Nitāi: (leads chanting, etc.) “In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and therefore he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.”
satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati
So here it is recommended, satāṁ prasaṅgāt, talks between devotees. Satām means devotee, not ordinary person; those who are devotees, sat. Sat and asat. There are two things. Sat means which exists, and asat mean which does not exist—temporary. That is called asat. This material world is asat. Therefore Vedic injunction is asato mā sad gama: “Don’t keep yourself within this material world.” (aside:) That child… Asato mā.
So people who are interested in materialistic life, they are called asat. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was asked by a devotee that “What is the behavior of a Vaiṣṇava, of devotee?” Vaiṣṇava means devotee. (aside:) Who is this? Who is making noise? So Caitanya Mahāprabhu, being inquired, “What is the duty of a devotee?” (aside:) …what is the sound?
Brahmānanda: They’re doing it purposely.
Prabhupāda: Oh, that’s all right. That’s all right. Never mind. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, asat-saṅga-tyāga, ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra [Cc. Madhya 22.87]. Asat-saṅga-tyāga, ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra. He, in one line, He said that “First of all, Vaiṣṇava, his business is to avoid the company of asat.” Asat means those who are materialistic interest. Asataḥ. Asato mā sad gama. This is very important thing. We have established this Kṛṣṇa consciousness society—means that to avoid the asat-saṅga, to avoid the… Of course, we are preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness amongst the people who are interested in material subject matter. But we are not associating with them. We are associating with Kṛṣṇa, because we don’t talk anything except Kṛṣṇa. We are not interested with their business. Everyone is interested with his own business. Similarly, we are interested with our own business, Kṛṣṇa consciousness business. Even if we go to a materialistic person, we canvass, “Kindly become our member. Kindly read this book. Purchase this book,” so we are not going to take their activities. We are trying to bring them in our activities.
So asat-saṅga-tyāga, vaiṣṇava-ācāra. The Vaiṣṇava, he should be always careful not to intermingle, means not to take up their ideas and thoughts. No. That is vaiṣṇava-ācāra. Asat-saṅga-tyāga, ei vaiṣṇava. And why they should be avoided? Asat eka strī-saṅgī, kṛṣṇa-abhakta. Who is asat? Asat means those who are very much attached to sense gratification. Sense… The culmination of sense gratification is sex life. So those who are too much attached to sex life, strī-saṅgī, and kṛṣṇa-abhakta, and not devotee of Kṛṣṇa, they are asat. So those who are actually serious to make advance in spiritual life, they should avoid the asat.
‘strī-saṅgī’-eka asādhu, ‘kṛṣṇābhakta’ āra
So if we discriminate like this, then we shall be advancing. Apavarga-vartmani. Taj-joṣaṇād āśu apavarga-vartmani śraddhā bhaktir anukramiṣyati. Just like if we are diseased, there is infectious disease, epidemic, so we should be careful not to be infected by the infectious disease. Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī said in Hari-bhakti-vilāsa… He has written one book, “The Behavior of the Vaiṣṇava,” Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. So in that book he has recommended, avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ naiva kartavyam. He has said that “One who is not Vaiṣṇava by his behavior, by his action, by his mode of life, if he speaks something from śāstra, especially hari-kathā…” Hari-kathā means Bhagavad-gītā, the Purāṇas, out of which the Bhāgavata, Mahāpurāṇa. So we should not hear from a professional reader, or avaiṣṇava, or Māyāvādī. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has warned, māyāvādi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa [Cc. Madhya 6.169]. If we hear Bhagavad-gītā—that is kṛṣṇa-kathā, hari-kathā—we should not hear from the Māyāvādīs or avaiṣṇava. Then it will not be effective.
There are so many Māyāvādīs and avaiṣṇava, they practically do not accept Kṛṣṇa even the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and they dare to speak on Bhagavad-gītā. Just see the fun. He does not accept Bhagavad-gītā as it is, and he wants to comment and give his ṭīkā. So you’ll never derive any benefit. Therefore here it is said, satāṁ prasaṅgāt. You should hear Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the devotees, not from a third-class man, no. Third class means those who are materialistic. So therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has warned that māyāvādi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa. If you happen to hear from a Māyāvādī, impersonalist, who does not accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or does not know what is Kṛṣṇa, if such person reads Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, you will never derive any benefit. You can go on hearing them for hundreds of years; still, you will never understand what is Kṛṣṇa. That is forbidden. Sanātana Gosvāmī has forbidden, that avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam. Hari-kathā, talks, discussion on Hari, or Kṛṣṇa, that is amṛta. Amṛta means nectarine. If one hears, then he gets his amṛta. Amṛtatvam.
So amṛtatvāya kalpate. Amṛta means no more birth and death. Mṛta means birth and death, mṛtyu, but amṛta means to stop birth and death. The whole spiritual life means to stop this birth, death, old age and disease, to get amṛta, no more birth, no more death. That is the real aim of spiritual life. Of course, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, the spiritual life begins if one is pious, if one is pious. Ārto arthārthī jijñāsuḥ. Catur-vidhā bhajante mām. Kṛṣṇa said, “Four classes of men…” Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtinaḥ arjuna. Sukṛti. Sukṛti means pious. One who has got background, pious life, not impious life, sinful life, such pious men, out of them, four classes of men, catur-vidhāḥ, they come to devotional life, begins. Who are they? Ārtaḥ, those who are distress; Ārtaḥ arthārthī, those who want some money; jijñāsuḥ, those who are inquisitive; and jñānī. So ārto arthārthī, they are in the lower grade. And jñānī and jijñāsuḥ, they are in the higher grade. But still, they are not pure devotee, because they want something. Ārtaḥ, the distressed, he comes to Kṛṣṇa in the temple or in the church to beg something, material profit. That is also good because he has come to Kṛṣṇa. “Kṛṣṇa, I am distressed. Kindly save me from this distressed condition.” “Kṛṣṇa, I require some money. Kindly, if You give me some money, I can live very peacefully.” Generally. So because they have come to Kṛṣṇa, therefore they are called sukṛtinaḥ. Sukṛtinaḥ means pious. And there are others, who are duṣkṛtina, impious, sinful. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. They are not even human being who do not accept the authority of the Supreme Lord. Duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ. And they have been described as mūḍhāḥ. Mūḍha means rascal, foolish. Real meaning of mūḍha is ass. So those who are like that, duṣkṛtinaḥ, and full of impious activities, narādhamāḥ, lowest of the mankind, māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ, whose knowledge has been taken away by the illusory energy, na māṁ prapadyante, they do not accept Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So in order to become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa we must associate with devotee. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvidaḥ. Then, by reciprocation with devotees, if one is… One comes to devotee also if one is pious. If something is there on the background, piety, then he comes to a devotee. So by mixing with devotee, by associating with devotee, our knowledge for salvation or getting out of the clutches of this māyā, repetition of birth and death, increases. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvidaḥ. The discussion on kṛṣṇa-kathā is vīryavān. Just like when there is sex life, if the man is vīryavān, there will be pregnancy. Similarly, if we hear from devotee, then immediate action will be there, some inclination that “Why not become Kṛṣṇa conscious?” That is vīryavān. “Why not become Kṛṣṇa conscious?” That is called śraddhā. Śraddhā bhaktir anukramiṣyati. Taj-joṣaṇād āśu apavarga-vartmani śraddhā. This is called śraddhā. If, by hearing from the devotees or in the association of devotees, one is inclined, “Now, why not become Kṛṣṇa conscious?” that is very nice, sukṛtinaḥ, immediately the effect of pious activities. Ādau śraddhā. That is the beginning of spiritual life. And if you want to develop your spiritual life more and more, then satāṁ prasaṅgāt, then you have to associate with devotees. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15].
And sādhu we have described already in three, four verses. The summary—a sādhu means a devotee. Api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. Ananya-bhāvena, without any deviation, unflinching, staunch devotee, they are called sādhu. So we have to associate with sādhu. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt. When you discuss about Kṛṣṇa with sādhu or devotees, it becomes very pleasing. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ [SB 3.25.25]. Rasāyanāḥ means there is some taste. Just like you eat something; there is some taste. That is called rasa, or mellow. Then… Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says, raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya [Bg. 7.8]. Rasa. Rasa means when you are thirsty, when you drink water, you taste something very nice to quench your thirst. So Kṛṣṇa has instructed that “To begin with, you can think of Me, aham, while you drink water.” It is not difficult. Everyone can practice it, so easy thing. Everyone can practice it. Everyone drinks water, and the rasa, the taste, the nice taste, when you are thirsty, how it is palatable by drinking water. Without water, sometimes we die, and by getting little sip of water, we live. Water is so important. So water, we drink everyone, and there is rasa, that taste. That taste, if we simply think, “Here is Kṛṣṇa,” very easy thing… Raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ [Bg. 7.8]. As soon as you see the sunlight in the morning, you can think. Kṛṣṇa says. Why do you say, “Can you show me God?” God is showing you Himself. Why don’t you see it? If you close your eyes, how you can see God? He says, “I am this.” According to our position…
Just like here it is said, śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati. Anukrama means gradually, not that all of a sudden you can expect to see God, but you become qualified to see God. This is the way. Śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati. Ādau śraddhā. Just like with śraddhā. Somebody is thinking, “This hari-kīrtana is nuisance.” They are amongst those, duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ. Those (who) are thinking that this hari-kīrtana, hari-kathā, which we are trying to spread all over the world, and they are accepting all over the world… And in India, especially here in Bombay, they are sending complaints to the police that we are creating nuisance. Just see the fun. Where Kṛṣṇa is born and kṛṣṇa-kathā is there, Bhagavad-gītā—we have not imported this book from elsewhere—now we are so fallen that we are thinking that “This kṛṣṇa-kathā, this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, is creating nuisance.” Just see how much we have advanced after getting independence. They are complaining that we are creating nuisance. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ [Bg. 9.14]. Kīrtana is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā satatam, always, twenty-four hours. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ [Bg. 9.14]. And worshiping the Deity with attention, with care. These things are going on here, and people are complaining we are creating nuisance. Just see. Asat is so dangerous. Therefore we have to create a society of sat. Then the world will be saved. Otherwise they are going to the hellish condition of life.
na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te ‘pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ
matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho ‘bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
So if we want to save ourself-We do not know how to save. Gaḍurikā-pravāha. Gaḍurikā-pravāha-nyāya. There is a logic of gaḍurikā-pravāha. One man is doing something, and another man is following. Of course, if you follow a saj-jana, a devotee, that is very nice. But if you follow a rascal, then you also become rascal. But at the present moment the whole world is full of rascals, mūḍhāḥ, duṣkṛtinaḥ, narādhamāḥ. “Why do you call mūḍhāḥ duṣkṛtinaḥ narādhamāḥ? There is so much advancement of education. There are so many universities, so many degrees.” But Kṛṣṇa says, māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ: [Bg. 7.15] “Their so-called knowledge has no value because the essence of knowledge is taken away by the illusion.” “Now why you say? They are educated. No, their knowledge has been taken away? Why? What is the reason?” The reason is āśuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ: “They have taken to the nonsense philosophy of godlessness.” That’s it. For this reason their so-called education, university education, degrees, are simply illusion of māyā.
Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung one song, jaḍa-vidyā jato, māyāra vaibhava. This material education without God consciousness is expansion of the influence of māyā. Jaḍa-vidyā jato, māyāra vaibhava, tomāra bhajane bādhā. They are simply impediments in the matter of advancing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Tomāra bhajane bādhā. Anitya saṁsāre. And why? Now, result of godless material education means that anitya saṁsāre moha janamiyā. We are already illusioned. Anyone who has come to this material world, he is illusioned. But advancement of so-called material education means the increasing of the same illusory propaganda. Jaḍa-vidyā jato, māyāra vaibhava, tomāra bhajane bādhā, anitya saṁsāre moha janamiyā. They are trying to become happy in this temporary material life. He has forgotten that he is eternal. Even if we become very happy, temporary life in this life, that will also illusion because we will not be allowed to stay and enjoy the status. But they do not understand.
So these things are to be understood in the association of devotees. A devotee knows everything. Tattva-darśinaḥ.
tad viddhi praṇipātena
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
Tattva-darśī means who has actually seen the truth. Oṁ tat sat. One who has seen the Supreme Truth. That Supreme Truth is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that “You are searching after the truth. You are studying the Vedic literature, Vedānta-darśana. That is very good. But what is the goal of Vedānta-darśana?” Veda means knowledge, and anta means the end, Vedānta, the ultimate knowledge. What is that? Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. Kṛṣṇa says that “If you are actually studying Vedānta, then ultimately you have to understand Me.” Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham: “I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I understand. I am the knower of Vedānta.” So if you hear from Kṛṣṇa what is Kṛṣṇa, that is actually understanding Vedānta. If you do not understand Kṛṣṇa and if you simply advertise yourself Vedāntī, that will not help you.
Therefore, without this knowledge, there is… They have been called in the Bhagavad-gītā as mūḍhāḥ. Mūḍho ‘yaṁ nābhijānāti, mohitam [Bg. 7.25].
tribhir guṇamayair bhāvair
ebhiḥ sarvam idaṁ jagat
mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam
The mūḍhas, they do not know it. So anyone who is in this material world, more or less, we are all mūḍhas. This morning I was walking while walking on the beach. More or less, we are all mūḍhas. Without being mūḍhaḥ, nobody comes here in this material world. Beginning from Brahmā down to the small ant, we are all mūḍhas of different degrees. So in order to become really learned, not to remain mūḍha, we have to associate with devotee. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvidaḥ. Then it will be relishable. Relishable. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvidaḥ. When it is relishable… Actually, when you take some foodstuff, if it is relishable, it gives you contentment, “Oh, very nice food.” So bhavanti hṛt: “It is pleasing to the heart.” “Oh, such a nice food.” And pleasing to the tongue. Similarly, when kṛṣṇa-kathā is discussed amongst the devotees, it is pleasing to the heart and pleasing to the ear. Unless you taste, relish something through the ear and through the heart, how you can steadily follow kṛṣṇa-kathā? So that requires little training. And that training is given by the devotees, by their practical life, by their daily behavior, their routine work. If we follow, taj-joṣaṇāt… Joṣaṇāt means to practice, is it not? What is given, joṣaṇāt? Cultivation, yes. Cultivation means practice. Practice.
So the ācāryas and the devotee, big, big devotees, they have given the routine work for cultivation. Just like we have got this Nectar of Devotion, how to cultivate devotional life. It is being very well received in European, American universities. In some of the universities they have made our Nectar of Devotion as textbook, “The Science of Bhakti.” So there is everything. If we want to cultivate bhakti, it is not sentiment. Sentiment, of course, that may remain for some time. But it is a great science. We have to learn it scientifically. That is The Nectar of Devotion, the science of devotional life. So those who are interested, they may kindly read this book, Nectar of Devotion, cultivation. Taj-joṣaṇāt. And practical cultivation—if you live with the devotees, in the association, then there will be practical cultivation: to rise early in the morning, to offer maṅgala-ārātrika to the Deity, then study some Vedic literature, then take prasādam, then do this, do that. They go for preaching. Actually, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, practically showing how to cultivate the devotional life, taj-joṣaṇāt. And if we do so, then āśu. Āśu means very soon, without delay, even in this life. Even in this life, not that we have to wait for another life. If we practice devotional service in this life, even for few days, still, it will be a permanent asset.
Tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ harer bhajann apakvo ‘tha patet tato yadi [SB 1.5.17]. If one takes to devotional service, tyaktvā sva-dharmam, giving up his routine duty… Sva-dharma means the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. They have got the all…, or brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha. They have got their particular duties. But nobody is following any duty. They are creating their own duty. So anyway, somehow or other, if one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ hareḥ, and practices for some time regularly, then again, due to bad association or by something, he falls down, so śāstra says that “What is the loss? There is no loss. On the other hand, if a person is executing his occupational duties very nicely, but he does not know what is Kṛṣṇa conscious, then what is the gain? There is no gain.” No gain. Even if you become very pious by acting as a strict brāhmaṇa or a sannyāsī, but if you do not understand what is Kṛṣṇa, then there is no gain. It is simply waste of time.
dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam
This is the verdict of Vyāsadeva. Śrama eva hi kevalam. You are very nice, executing your occupational duties. Dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ. Svanuṣṭhitaḥ. You are brāhmaṇa. That’s nice. You are executing the brāhmaṇa’s duties very nicely, or a kṣatriya, or a vaiśya, or a medical man, engineer, whatever you may be. That’s all right. Dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ. But if, by executing your professional or occupational duties, you do not develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness… That is the main business of human life, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So then dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathā… [SB 1.2.8]. Viṣvaksena-kathā means kṛṣṇa-kathā. Notpādayed yadi ratim. If you do not become inclined, śraddhā, this śraddhā of kṛṣṇa-kathā, then whatever you are doing—simply wasting your time, and it is a labor of love only, that’s all. Śrama eva hi kevalam. And a devotee, even if he falls down by chance… There is every possibility of falling down because māyā is very strong. And it is a fight against māyā. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14]. Duratyayā. Māyā is very strong. We are getting experience. Some of them are falling down. But still, whatever he has done sincerely, that is a permanent credit of his account.
That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, that yoga-bhraṣṭaḥ. Bhraṣṭa means falls down, fallen down. So he has got the asset. Therefore he’s not going to the other species of life. He’s getting again a human form of life. That is a great profit, because we have to change our body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. And that… We do not know. Kṛṣṇa does not say what kind of body, but there are so many, 8,400,000. Any one of them can happen. But a devotee who has fallen down, he is guaranteed again human life. And what kind of human life? Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo ‘bhijāyate [Bg. 6.41]. He’ll get a life, human being, in a very rich family or in a very pious family. Those who are more advanced, they will get their next birth in a pious brāhmaṇa family, very pure brāhmaṇa family or Vaiṣṇava family. That is called śucīnām. And śrīmatām. Śrī means wealth or beauty. Very rich family, beautiful body he will get. So those who have got their birth in high-class brāhmaṇa Vaiṣṇava family and those who have got their birth in rich very aristocratic family, they should consider that “This advantage is given to me by Kṛṣṇa. Because in my last life I could not finish my business of bhakti-yoga, now I have got it.” Therefore I said to the Americans that “You have got wealth; you have got education; you have got beauty. This is the asset of your pious life. Now you utilize it for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then your life is perfect.” So not only in America, everywhere, it is not easy that one man is born immediately very rich and one man is born in very poor family or very ugly family. There is distinction. There is some superior authority. It is not accident. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa jantur dehopapattaye [SB 3.31.1]. A living entity gets his body by superior administration, by nature’s quality. There is big science.
So if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then your life is secure, guaranteed. If you make complete the Kṛṣṇa conscious life in this life, then tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti [Bg. 4.9]. That is wanted. But don’t be neglectful. Those who have taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they should be very serious. Why should you take another chance of getting birth in a very rich family or a brāhmaṇa family? That is also risky because it is not guarantee. Because generally, those who are rich, they don’t care for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. “Oh, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is meant for the poor fellow.” Or if somebody is born in a brāhmaṇa family, he is also puffed up. He is thinking, “Oh, these are mlecchas, yavanas, Americans. Oh, I am brāhmaṇa. I am born in a very high family.” That is a cause of falldown, yes, proud, pride, unnecessary pride. A Vaiṣṇava is very humble. Tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā amāninā mānadena. We have already discussed. Titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ suhṛdaḥ sarva-dehinām [SB 3.25.21].
So these are the chance, human being, and there is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, there is Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is advising personally—so many opportunities offered by this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Why don’t you take it? If you don’t take it, then you are committing suicide.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)