The following is transcription of Bhagavatam class given by our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj on 29 June 2003 in Wellington, Newzealand on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.3.12.
(Maharaj started the class by singing “Jaya Radha Madhav” in his transcendental voice, relishing each and every word and absorbing himself completely in thoughts of Sri Sri Radha Madhav, followed by pranam mantras.)
“We are discussing today from Canto 2, Chapter 3 and verse 12. Title of the Chapter is “Pure Devotional service”. This verse should be sing in Brahma Samhita lyric. (Maharaj recited the shloka and requested all devotees to repeat the same few times, followed by word to word equivalents, translation and purport.)
jnaanam yad aapratinivrtta gunormi cakram
aatma prasaada uta yatra guneshv asangah
kaivalya sammata pathas tv atha bhakti yogah
ko nirvrtto hari kathaasu ratim na kuryaat
“Transcendental knowledge in relation with the Supreme Lord Hari is knowledge resulting in the complete suspension of the waves and whirlpools of the material modes. Such knowledge is self-satisfying due to its being free from material attachment, and being transcendental it is approved by authorities. Who could fail to be attracted?”
krishnaat param kim api tattvam aham na jaane
The transcendental nature of the Lord is very nicely described in this verse. vamshi means flute. His lotus hands are nicely decorated by the flute - vamshi vibhooshita karaan. nava neera daabhaat – and His bodily colour is like the fresh water laden cloud. Then His pitaambar – yellowish saffron vastra – is spiritual. Everything related to Krishna is forced to be spiritual. As soon as something is connected to Krishna, it can never remain material. Thats why the devotees of the Lord, may be in the beginning they are neophytes. But they have completely different look after coming in touch with Him. As soon as you chant Krishna’s names, “krishnaat param kim api tattvam aham na jaane“, you just come to this conclusion that, “I don’t know anything else other than Krishna“, then Krishna Himself works on our whole being and we are completely satisfied. That is the first requirement.
yas tv aatma-ratir eva syaad /aatma-trptash ca maanavah
aatmany eva ca santushtas /tasya kaaryam na vidyate
“But for one who takes pleasure in the self, whose human life is one of self-realization, and who is satisfied in the self only, fully satiated—for him there is no duty.” (3.17)
Beautiful verse in Bhagavad Gita. The word maanavah is coming from the word Manu. We are all descendants of Manu. Thats why we are called maanav and man means mind. Manu is born from the mind of Brahma and thats why he is called Manu and he has given us Manu Samhitha, the instructions about how to stay in this world. This Manu Samhitha says that our whole existence is directed to the satisfaction of Krishna, samsiddhir hari toshanam. atah pumbhih dwijashresthah varnashrama bibhagasah / swanusthitsya dharmasya samsiddhir hari toshanam – According to age and varna, we have to fixed in our prescribed duties. There is no other way. “caatur varnam mayaa srshtam” – Krishna is telling that He has created all these 8 divisions, four are bodily divisions and four are social divisions and all these divisions are very much essential. Unknowingly we are in these divisions. Then how to develop -”yas tv aatma ratih” – How to be attracted to the self ? And soul as you know, is transcendental by nature. Qualitatively it is same like Krishna. But it is very very small. Because of its inferior size, we may have the same quality in minute quantity. But we have. Krishna is the Supreme Transcendental figure and we also have spiritual figure which is completely transcendental and from that figure we develop the gross figure which is known as body. There are subtle elements which we carry always - the mind, intelligence and false ego. Krishna advises us with the 3 subtle elements and the gross body made of 5 elements, we must be attracted to transcendental nature of soul and Super soul. yas tv aatma-ratir eva syaad.
It doesn’t matter how and where you are situated in the setup of the 8 things – four ashramas and four varnas. Everyone has to do their duty. There is no need of running away from the duty. But the art in performing the duty is that somehow or the other they should be dove-tailed to Krishna. How to do it is our question, because we are differently situated. All the activities, they are directly coming from the Supreme Lord - mattaha sarvam pravartate. If everything is emanated from Him, then our duties are also coming from Him. If they are coming from Him, then any work you do, you do immaculately well, without keeping any diversion in our mind – This is the way to satisfy Him. Anything done in best way – is the way to satisfy Krishna.
Krishna willing we will hear more nectar from Gurudev in the subsequent offerings.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.