Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto Seven, Chapter 3, Hiranyakasipu’s Plan to Become Immortal, Text number 17.
uttishthottishtha bhadram te
tapah-siddho ‘si kasyapa
varado ‘ham anuprapto
vriyatam ipsito varah
sri-brahma uvaca — Lord Brahma said; uttishtha — please get up; uttishtha — get up; bhadram — good fortune; te — unto you; tapah-siddhah — perfect in executing austerities; asi — you are; kasyapa — O son of Kasyapa; vara-dah — the giver of benediction; aham — I; anupraptah — arrived; vriyatam — let it be submitted; ipsitah — desired; varah — benediction.
Translation and purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Tridandi Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada. Jaya Srila Prabhupada, savior of the fallen souls.
Lord Brahma said: O son of Kasyapa Muni, please get up, please get up. All good fortune unto you. You are now perfect in the performance of your austerities, and therefore I may give you a benediction. You may now ask from me whatever you desire, and I shall try to fulfill your wish.
Srila Madhvacarya quotes from the Skanda Purana, which says that Hiranyakasipu, having become a devotee of Lord Brahma, who is known as Hiranyagarbha, and having undergone a severe austerity to please him, is also known as Hiranyaka. Rakshasas and demons worship various demigods, such as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, just to take the post of these demigods. This we have already explained in previous verses. [end of purport]
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
There is that one pastime. That one demon was worshiping Lord Siva. Such austerities he was doing. He was cutting off his flesh and throwing it in the fire. He wanted to invoke the presence of Siva to receive a boon from Lord Siva. Can you imagine? Tapasa brahmacaryena. You want to be a brahmacari and perform some austerities? Now cut off your flesh and throw it in the fire. Just imagine what austerities he was doing! Cutting his own flesh, putting it in the fire.
Still Lord Siva was not coming. He was so frustrated. Why is Siva not coming? Why is he not coming. Finally, I’ll just cut off my head and put it in the fire. Finally, Siva came and said, you nonsense. You fool. Why don’t you just offer some water? Alright, what do you want? He was thinking, Siva has such a beautiful wife, this Parvati is so beautiful. So beautiful. Let me kill Lord Siva, so I can enjoy his wife. You just give me the blessing that whoever’s head I will touch, his skull will crack immediately. Siva said granted.
Immediately, he wanted to occupy the post of Siva, by killing him. So, he could take Parvati as his consort. Siva has to go running running running because he has given the boon. He cannot withdraw it. He goes running running for his life. All over the universe, this demon is chasing him. Finally, they come to the Vaikuntha. Lord Visnu takes from the sky the form a little boy.
Come on. Do you think that Siva really has the power to give you such a boon? Are you a fool? Do you think Siva really has the power to give you a boon that anyone’s head you touch, their skull will crack? Are you dreaming? The demon got very bewildered. The Lord as a little child said, you have to test it to see if its really for real. Siva’s actually misleading you. Try it. Touch your head. So, pkeew! Finished. These are the sort of characters that worship the demigods. Simply rascals.
Hiranyakasipu, and this fellow who was worshiping Siva, they just want to take over the position Hiranyakasipu simply wanted to become the lord of the universe. That was his motive. A flatterer is your worst enemy. They’re flattering the demigod because they are actually envious. They want that position. Prabhupada also said that too much devoted, there is motive.
I remember, I was in my brahamacari days. We had one temple commander. Madan Mohan prabhu, in Gainesville. Some of the devotees came up to him and started glorifying him and he knew they had some motives. He said, ok. What do you want. He knew their was something up their sleeves. They weren’t just glorifying him for the sake of glorifying him.
This is the demoniac mentality. I have some motive, so I’m worshiping. In the material world someone gets a position in a corporation, they’re always flattering their supervisor. They don’t really like the person. Its just some game to move up corporate ladders. They might even hate his guts, but still, they play the game, to move up. This is demoniac mentality. Its all based on the desire for prominence. This desire for prominence is the greatest defect actually. It is this desire which brought us here, to begin with.
We were there in the spiritual world, serving Krishna in Goloka, and in the Vaikuntha world, every world, Krishna or Lord Visnu is prominent In Goloka Vrindavana, everyone’s talking about Krishna. The cowherd boys come home, all wide-eyed, they say Mata Mata! You know what happened today in the forest? This big demon came, and Krishna killed him! Krishna did it. Krishna Krishna. Everything is Krishna Krishna Krishna. Everyone’s talking about Krishna. Everyone’s thinking, when will I see Krishna. Everything is Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna.
If someone becomes infected with this, thinking well, why is Krishna prominent, why not me? Then, immediately they find they find themselves here in this place. This is the place for people who want to be the prominent center of everything. That is our disease. We have to understand what is our disease. We have the desire for prominence. We have to be careful when we enter even into a spiritual society like this wonderful iskcon that Prabhupada has founded, that we don’t bring that desire for prominence with us.
I didn’t make it in the material world, so, now I’ll become prominent in the spiritual movement. If you want prominence, then here’s the real way to become prominent. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Factually, for preaching, we want to be prominent, but it has to be a pure desire. Prabhupada after all, told us that we have to be so prominent that we manage the whole world. One tape I play every morning when I shave, Prabhupada is saying like this. He says the whole world is being managed by rogues and demons, now you make your life successful and you take the management. We manage the society. Iskcon is meant to be the prominent guiding institution on this planet.
We’re meant for prominence, but if we have the desire for personal prominence, for self-aggrandizement, then, we’re simply following the footsteps of Hiranyakasipu, which we must not do. We simply have to become humble servant of the servant of the servant of the servant. The more that we are in that position, then naturally we become prominent.
It never ceases to amaze me, one statement given by Srila Prabhupada, in the Caitanya-Caritamrta. It constantly amazes me. Prabhupada says in that purport that if a devotee can chant the holy name of the Lord without offense, completely free of all offenses, that devotee becomes jagat-guru. Spiritual master of the universe. Under his influence, the entire world takes up chanting Hare Krishna. He didn’t say it had to be a sannyasi, it had to be a GBC. He just said, if any devotee can purely chant the holy names of the Lord, that devotee will become jagat-guru and influence the entire planet to take up Krishna consciousness. So, just see how important it is when we chant our japa, to chant without offense, because just by pure chanting we can actually have an impact on the entire planet. Pure chanting even one iskcon member, out of all of our devotees on the planet, if even one iskcon member can purely chant the holy name, that one devotee can have the potency to completely push back the whole kali-yuga.
Pariksit Maharaja gave some place for Kali to reside. Didn’t he? But this Lord Caitanya’s movement can take away all of Kali’s hiding places. He has nowhere to go, nothing to do except shave up and put on tilak.
We have to make sure that we don’t have this mentality of Hiranyakasipu, a desire for prominence. We simply want to make Srila Prabhupada prominent, and make Krishna prominent. That should be our desire. The more that we have that mentality, then we naturally become prominent. We become influential to the extent that we want to see the Krishna consciousness shall become the guiding principle on this planet. All these other nonsense rascal things happening here, will be put to an end. The slaughterhouses, the brothels, the abortion clinics, the liquor shops, the porno websites, all this garbage, which is just destroying whatever tinge of decency is still left in the human society. These things have to be eradicated. We cant do it by brute force. We’re not powerful enough to do that. We’re not like Pariksit Maharaja that we can go out with a sword and say you close down this slaughterhouse or your finished. We don’t have the powerful prominence to do that. We’re not a military operation. We shouldn’t artificially try to do that.
This iskcon is actually the leading educational institution on the planet. That’s what its meant to be, and that’s what it is. To the extent that we actually fulfill the purposes of the society, in the way that we conduct ourselves as iskcon members, that will be our prominence. To be a preacher of Krishna consciousness is the position of brahmana. Prabhupada explains in his purport that brahmana means that he is the spiritual master of human society. To actually be a brahmana we give our second initiation ceremony to men and women both to live up to the real name of a brahmana.
I remember when I received my brahmana initiation in 1975. Satsvarupa Maharaja told me that now you have to actually be a brahmana. I took that seriously as a very poignant instruction. Its not just a ceremony that you know, here’s your thread and mantra. Now you’re a brahmana. No. Now you have to actually become a brahmana. Someone who knows the scripture, and lives the scripture, in all times all places and all circumstances in every thought every word and every deed, and teaches others the same thing. That is brahman. We’re all meant to be professors of Vedic wisdom: Brahmanas who can establish Krishna consciousness in every town and village throughout the world.
Prabhupada said, I do not want sit-down Vaisnavas. I want fighting Vaisnavas like Hanuman and Arjuna. We’re meant, actually, to create a revolution. That is the sloka. This Bhagavatam is meant for bringing about a revolution in the misdirected lives of this material civilization. We are meant to be revolutionaries. Just like Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja talks always in his Spiritual Warrior series. We are meant to be Spiritual Warriors who fight against the ignorance of this kali-yuga by preaching, by giving these wonderful books of Srila Prabhupada, by giving them the chance to hear the holy name, by giving them prasadam, by giving them loving kindness. Here’s someone who’s not trying to exploit me. Here is a devotee of the Lord who simply loves me. He’s not trying to cheat me or take something from me. He’s trying to give me the most precious thing that exists in all of reality. What is that? Krishna consciousness.
Krishna consciousness is the greatest treasure. There is no opulence possessed even by Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods, which can come even close to an infinitesimal, insignificant fraction of the unparalleled, unfathomable unlimited opulence of Krishna consciousness. One pure utterance of Hare Krishna can bring so much nectar that you cannot measure it. Its immeasurable nectar.
If we’re not tasting unlimited nectar when we say Hare Krishna, then that means nama-aparadha. We’re chanting with offense. We have to really strive. Its very nice that everyday that you read from Sri Namamrta. This is a first-class program we have here in iskcon Denver, under Sriman Makatma prabhu . Your very blessed to have such nice Krishna conscious leadership here. Take advantage of this leadership. Don’t take it for granted.
Take the instruction, the inspiration, the blessings you’re receiving here and make your life perfect. Make your determination not to take birth again in this material world. Haven’t we suffered enough in this material world? Haven’t we had enough of this nonsense? Birth death old age and disease. Sometimes a demigod, sometimes Indra, sometimes indragopa, sometimes an elephant, sometimes an orangutan How about a baboon? Can you imagine that you were a baboon? You were a baboon! Why should we stay in this embarrassing position?
We have the greatest opportunity now, in this human form of life. Let us not blow it by running after the opposite sex. You want to be married, that’s alright, you still cannot run after the opposite sex. You simply have to run after guru and Krishna. That’s what where are meant to run, not after the opposite sex. That running after the opposite sex keeps us here birth after birth after birth.
The Christians have the bumper sticker Yes. Born again and again and again and again Christian. We laugh, but we have to make sure we’re not born again and again and again Hare Krishnas also. Its easy to throw stones, but there’s an old saying, those who live in glass houses don’t throw stones. We’re actually meant to point out the fallacies, but we have to make sure that we’re pure. We’re meant to point out the fallacies. Prabhupada wants us to expose the nonsense, but we have to be very pure ourselves. Otherwise, we’re hypocrites and we wont be successful.
If we want to be successful in pulling off this world revolution that Prabhupada wants to pull off, then we have to be spotlessly pure. Spotlessly pure. Nothing sense gratification hidden in the corners of our life. I make a very good show, and when no one is looking, I go to the internet and check out a porn site. Nothing like that. We have to be spotlessly pure.
Everything we do is being witnessed. There are higher authorities who are seeing absolutely everything that we’re doing. Everything that we’re thinking also. You can’t hide anything from the higher authorities. We really have to become absolutely totally completely pure and just beg guru and Krishna to please drive all the impurities out of my heart, so I can become completely totally dedicated to your service. That is revolutionary. If there can be such persons on this planet, that will turn history upside down. Let us be such pure devotees. Let us make that our determination.
Prabhupada, when he gave some instruction, I remember, we got a letter when we were at the gurukula in the early days in Dallas, Prabhupada was saying that we should be revolutionary clean. That not only means external cleanliness, it means internal cleanliness also. We have to be revolutionary clean within and without. So clean that… Its revolutionary.