iti vijnapito devair
bhagavan atmabhur nrpa
Translation and purport, by His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada.
“O King, being thus informed by the demigods, the most powerful Lord Brahma, accompanied by Bhrgu, Daksa and other great sages, immediately started for the place where Hiranyakasipu was performing his penances and austerities.”
Purport: Lord Brahma was waiting for the austerities performed by Hiranyakasipu to mature so that he could go there and offer benedictions according to Hiranyakasipu’s desire. Now, taking the opportunity of being accompanied by all the demigods and great saintly persons, Brahma went there to award him the benediction he desired.
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
sri-caitanya-mano-‘bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam
So, it is stated that there are three types of persons, who should all approach Krishna to fulfill their desires. There are persons who desire kama, sense gratification. Sarva-kama, who have all lusty desires. There are those who have become frustrated with lusty desires, and who desire moksa, moksa-kamis. Sarva-kamis, moksa-kamis, those who desire moksa, and then, there are akamis. Those whose desire is to become free from all desire. Akamis, devotees. Scriptures tell us that all three groups, actually, should approach Krishna to fulfill their desires. So, obviously, Hiranyakasipu is not in the category of akami. He is sarva-kami. But, still, he is understanding to get higher authorities. He’s approaching higher authorities, doing penance, and austerities.
So, we always depend on higher authority. This concept, whether we approach a demigod, or we approach Krishna, still we are dependent on higher authorities. Of course, demigods, they are dependent on Krishna also. So, the intelligent person doesn’t go to demigods. This is for less intelligent people. Those who are hrta-jnana, who have lost their intelligence. But, still, there’s some idea of approaching higher authorities. A controlling deity. That is some degree of Vedic understanding, to do that. But it is incomplete. Even in ordinary material affairs, we see the example of Wal-Mart. This Sam Walton, he had a very good idea. Why should I go to some distributors to get my goods. I’ll just go straight to the manufacturers. In that way, I’ll have better business So, why should we go to some middle person? The demigods are simply distributors for the benedictions coming from Krishna. Why should we go to some middle person and not be so well situated? The demigod may give us some temporary boon, but still we are caught up in birth and death. Hiranyakasipu was a classic example of that. He is getting, what he thought was immortality, by some trick. Even though he was told, no, I cannot give immortality, but still he was thinking he was getting immortality. But of course, he did not get immortality. So, instead of going to some middle person, to Lord Brahma, to Lord Siva, to Indra, to Ganesa, to Sarasvati, we should go directly to Krishna. This is intelligence. We see that digvijaya pandita Kesava Kasmiri. He was a great devotee of Sarasvati. He was thinking he was very well situated. Now, no one can defeat me! Because I am so totally dedicated to goddess Sarasvati. But, he was defeated. So, those who take shelter of demigods, they may get some temporary benefit, but ultimately, they are defeated. Nowadays, they don’t even have that high of a conception. They want to take shelter of some politician Some athlete Some movie star. Some rock star. That’s who they want to take shelter of. They’re so crazy. But, those persons who actually take shelter of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, from whom all benedictions are coming, their situation is pakka. Its a very solid situation, absolutely solid. That person from whom everything is coming
aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
That person from whom everything is coming, who provides absolutely everything to everyone.
Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
ko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman
That one supreme conscious eternal, amongst the plural conscious eternals. He is supplying everything for everyone. So, if we are actually intelligent, we will make our relationship with that Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is intelligence. That is actual advancement of knowledge. Not this 747, this microchip, so-called high-tech. This is low technology.
We are thinking we have come out of the dark ages, with our high technology. But actually we are in the dark, dark ages now. If you want to be high-tech, Bhagavatam, that is high-tech. Why? Because, the Bhagavatam will take us to the other side of reality. The impersonalists, the Buddhist’s they say that this world is unreality, but that is not at all true. This material world is not unreality. This is simply the inferior reality of the greater reality. There are two sides to reality: the superior side, and the inferior side. So, the Krishna consciousness process is how to go from this side, the inferior side of reality, to the superior side. Not by the mistaken means promoted by one rock and roll star. He had a song, break on through to the other side. You can’t gate-crash your way into the other side of reality, by some rocket ship, or by some LSD. You have to be invited. You have to have an invitation. You can’t just go on your own. Because I want to go there. You have to qualify yourself to enter that other reality, that superior reality.
So, that transcendental dimension, beyond time and space, that Vaikuntha-dhama the transcendental world is going on right now. Just like here in Denver, outside of this temple, there are so many activities. People are getting up. They’re driving to work. There are so many busy activities happening. The airport planes are coming in. Planes are taking off. The luggage is going around the luggage thing. So many things are going on. So, right now, at this very second, in Goloka Vrindavana, there are so many activities going on. Krishna has just gotten His lunch, packed by mother Yasoda. The cowherd boys also, they are all taking off, into the forest, with the calves, playing some games. One cowherd boy, he is stealing the lunch bag from another cowherd boy, and tossing it to someone else. In this way, they are having so many childhood pastimes. And the gopis are waiting, when dark will come, so they can again go to the forest with their beloved Syamasundara, and have so many wonderful, nocturnal forest pastimes. So, all of these things are going on at every minute. All of those pastimes are there. As Prabhupada points out in his Bhagavad-Gita introduction, there is what is called svarupa-siddhi.
We all actually have an identity in the spiritual world. We shouldn’t try to guess what it is, or go to someone who can tell us what it is, that is bogus. That is sahajiya. But we know that if we simply follow the wonderful instructions that Srila Prabhupada has given us, that that day will come when we will actually become reestablished in our eternal identity in the spiritual world, on the other side of reality. So, its there right now, waiting for us. Whats holding us back? Ahankara. False ego. We’re very very proud. We’re encrusted with layers and layers and layers of false ego. That’s our deplorable condition at this very second. So, how do we get out? We have to pray for the mercy. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. We have to pray for the mercy of Srila Prabhupada. Pray for the mercy of Guru. Because by this means, the combined mercy of Guru, and Krishna, we can escape this material world.
We can get to that other side of reality, which Hiranyakasipu, in spite of all his many many penances, and austerities, for such a long time, he was standing on his tip-toes, to try to make himself God, he was an utter failure. We don’t have to do such rigorous, rigorous austerities as Hiranyakasipu, going up into the Rocky Mountains and standing on our tip-toes through all types of weather. Sometimes people try to imitate these yogis. These people that do the austerities in the mountains thinking they’ll get great powers. Sadly, one boy who used to come to our center in Austin, he graduated from college, and thought, now I’ll become a great yogi. So, he went to the Rocky Mountains down there in New Mexico. He went up in the mountains and took all his clothes off to do meditation. A few days later, they found him dead. So, instead of trying to do some artificial austerities, if we will simply do this simple austerity, chant Hare Krishna, follow these principles, join in this wonderful, nectarian, sweet, ever-more-enlivening, transcendental festival known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This is the most exciting thing happening in the history of the world, this society that Prabhupada has created. There’s nothing more wonderful, more enlivening, more nectarian, then to be a participant in ISKCON at this time. Actually I can’t think of anything more exciting than to be a member of ISKCON. Its the greatest adventure. Isn’t it? There’s nothing more enlivening than this.
Just consider that Srila Prabhupada is truly the greatest spiritual master in the history of the universe, because he is doing, through his movement, what no one else in the history of the world has ever done. Taken the Vaisnava movement, and spread it all over the world. Even Caitanya Mahaprabhu only spread it within India. Prabhupada has told us that there will be a 10,000 year period, in which Krishna consciousness will inundate the entire world. This 10,000 year period began 500 years ago, when Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. So, it remained, in one sense, in a seed-like form within India. For, those five centuries, and Prabhupada has brought that seed, and he’s expanded it all over the world.
Now, we’re right on the verge of a paradigm shift, in which, as this movement expands, Prabhupada actually told us, this movement will go down in history as having saved the world in its darkest hour. So, the actual fact is that we’re sitting, this very second, in one of the most exciting moments in history. As a vast spiritual revolution, which is, you could say, a tremendously huge tsunami, getting ready to inundate the entire world, and we are the lucky persons who get to be an integral part of what’s happening. We’re so fortunate. We’re so unqualified, but somehow or other we were in the right place, at the right time, and we got attracted by Prabhupada’s mercy. So, now, we get to act, even though we’re most unqualified, (aside) wake up wake up, don’t sleep. Even though we are most disqualified persons, we can’t even stay awake in Bhagavatam class. But, still somehow or other we are engaged in this activity of assisting Prabhupada, and Prabhupada’s servants in pushing forward this movement. To give the greatest benediction to all the conditioned living entities in this material world, and simultaneously, bring the greatest benediction upon ourselves, of actually being able to, not break through, but be allowed through to that other side of reality. That’s the spiritual world.
Whatever austerities and penances we may be doing right now, its worth it. Its worth it. We have to suffer anyway in this material world. Suffering is inescapable. Don’t you have to suffer if you have to work a job? Isn’t there so much suffering getting old, getting sick and dying? There’s so much suffering we have to go through anyway, so why not do it in Krishna consciousness? Actually, when you are fixed in Krishna consciousness, its not even suffering anymore. Just consider a person whose stuck in a third-world country and a revolution breaks out. His house is broken into, its vandalized. He’s running for his life in total fear, complete anxiety, and there’s a bunch of U.S. citizens there in that country. The U.S. government sends in a big transport jet, to pick up all the U.S. citizens, and the word goes around, get to the airport. Somehow, or other, get to the airport, because the U.S. government has flown in a jet to fly everybody out. Get you and your family members, get there. So, you get to the airport, and you’re sitting on the plane, ready to take off. You’re still there in that country, where the revolution is happening. But, now, all your anxiety is gone because you’re on the airplane, and you’re going home. So, try to understand the analogy. We’re still in the material world. The horrible, hellish Kali-yuga is still going on all around us. But, we’re on the airplane. We’re not home yet, but we’re as good as home. Because we’re sitting here on the airplane, getting ready to take off for Goloka Vrindavana at any minute. So, we’re as good as home. The only thing is, whatever you do, don’t get off the airplane. Fly ISKCON Airlines, back to home, back to godhead. Prabhupada is the pilot, there’s wonderful prasadam. The best cuisine on any airline. There are wonderful in-flight movies of Krishna’s pastimes, Lord Caitanya’s lila. The most sublime in-flight movies you could ever expect. The most wonderful persons are on that plane. The ISKCON sadhus.
There are some advantages to traveling and preaching all over the world, on the ISKCON circuit. Its very graphic, you get to see the contrast between the ISKCON community, and the material community as you move from point A to point B. I remember, we were just preaching a few months ago in Riga, Latvia. Then, mataji and myself, we traveled into Amsterdam. In going through the whole scene there at the airport, I felt like I was in Aghasura’s mouth, and then one brahmacari, Radha Vallabha, a very nice disciple of Prahladananda Maharaja, he showed up at the airport to greet us and take us to the temple. Just seeing him, it was like Krishna coming into Aghasura, to rescue me, from being swallowed by Aghasura. So, actually any one devotee in ISKCON, who’s following the principles, chanting his or her rounds, that person is a great sadhu actually. It could be a big leader, a big name, or just a new devotee who’s sincerely trying to serve Prabhupada’s instructions. So, actually, any one member of ISKCON who’s trying to serve Prabhupada, they are a great sadhu. That is stated in the Caitanya-Caritamrta.
’sadhu-sanga’, ‘sadhu-sanga’—sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya
All the scriptures declare that by having even one-eleventh of a second association with a sadhu, you can achieve all perfection.
So, this is the great blessing that any sincere follower of ISKCON is able to give. They can give one of Prabhupada’s books. They can say chant Hare Krishna. They can say come to our ISKCON center. In this way, they can give you that seed which will bestow upon you all perfection. An invitation to the temple. A kind word. A merciful smile. So, these devotees of this movement, they are not at all ordinary. Its an amazing story, one of our God brothers was telling. He was sitting with Prabhupada in London. A number of the God brothers were there and Prabhupada was sitting there. He said, so, now we are all together again. He said, in your previous birth, you were Indian Brahmanas. Now we are together again. So, anyone who has come to this movement, they are not ordinary people. Each and every member of this society, they are very special in the eyes of Prabhupada, in the eyes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So, even though we may sometimes have differences of opinion, sometimes disagreements, we have to always keep that sincere love and respect for all the wonderful devotees of this movement. That’s why we always offer our respects to them.
vanca kalpatarubhyas ca krpa sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah
Not mechanically. We should say that with feeling. Because these persons are very special because they have come to this movement. We should feel that I do not deserve to be in such exhalted company, as these ISKCON devotees. Somehow or other they’re tolerating my nonsense, and allowing me to stay here by their kindness. That’s how we should feel about ourselves. I don’t deserve to be here. I’m so lowly, so degraded, such a rascal. But somehow they’re allowing me to stay. They’re giving me this opportunity to get out of my demoniac state of consciousness. My Hiranyakasipu mentality. What is that Hiranyakasipu? Soft beds and money. Gold and soft beds.