"How To Become Very Dear To God"

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.51
Los Angeles, December 28, 1973

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Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Pradyumna: Translation: "The subject of the departure of the sons of Pandu for the ultimate goal of life, back to Godhead, is fully auspicious and is perfectly pure. Therefore anyone who hears this narration with devotional faith certainly gains the devotional service of the Lord, the highest perfection of life."

Prabhupada: Yah sraddhayaitad bhagavat-priyanam. Bhagavat-priyanam. There is a common word in English, "If you love me, love my dog." That is very important. So bhagavat-priyanam, one who is very dear to Krsna, if you love such person, then Krsna is more pleased. Krsna is more pleased. Bhagavat-priyanam.

There is a version in the Puranas, Devi Purana. Parvati was asking questions to Lord Siva, and Lord Siva was replying. This is the process at home. The wife is supposed to inquire from the husband about spiritual advancement of life, and the husband must be competent to reply all the questions of wife. That will keep relation very nice. Sravanam kirtanam. That is bhakti. So Parvati was asking... Because according to Vedas, there are so many demigods. Visnu is sometimes taken, but Visnu is not... Brahma, Visnu, Mahesvara. They are the principal deities. So the inquiry was "Which worship is the best? Visnu, or Lord Siva, or Brahma or Candra?" There are so many demigods. Sometimes they are misunderstood that all of them are Gods. No. They are called demigods. God is one. That is... Originally, God is Krsna. Isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1].

So the inquiry was, "There are so many gods. So which worship is the best?" So Lord Siva replied,

aradhananam sarvesam
visnor aradhanam param
tasmat parataram devi
tadiyanam samarcanam

Means "My dear wife, Devi..." Wife is addressed "Devi," not by name. The husband should address the wife, "Devi." They must be like devi. Devi means goddess. And the wife must address the husband as "lord." This is the system. So he replied, "Devi, aradhananam sarvesam. There are many kinds of recommendation. ‘If you want this, you worship this God. If you want this, you worship...' " These are described in the Bhagavatam. "So of all different types of worship, the worshiping of Lord Visnu is the best," he said. Aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param. And again he said, tasmat parataram devi: "There is still better worship." What is called? What is that? Tadiyanam samarcanam: "To worship the devotee of Visnu, Vaisnava." Tadiyanam samarcanam. That is the best. First of all he said, visnor aradhanam param: "That is the supreme." Then again he said, tasmat, "From that," tasmat parataram, "still better," tadiyanam samarcanam, "to worship the devotee of God." So this is very simple method. You cannot approach God. It is not very easy thing. But God's representative, God's devotee, on behalf of God, who is canvassing, tadiyanam -- that worship is better. Tadiyanam samarcanam.

Therefore here it is said that bhagavat-priyanam. These Pandavas... Why one should be interested in the Pandavas' activities, Arjuna's fight with his brothers? There are so many other people, they are fighting with their brother, with their enemies. Why we are not recommended to hear about that thing? Why the Battle of Kuruksetra? Because Arjuna is there, tadiyanam. We are not interested in any battlefield stories. Why we should be interested? There are so many cats and dogs fighting. So we are not interested. But why we are interested in the Bhagavad-gita, Battlefield of Kuruksetra? Tadiyanam samarcanam. Because there is Arjuna. He is fighting. So to worship God is very good, but to worship the devotee of God is still very good. This is the... That is also admitted in the Bhagavad-gita, na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah [Bg. 18.69]. Krsna says, yo mam mad-bhaktesu. "Now, this Bhagavad-gita... Anyone who is preaching this Bhagavad-gita..." Na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah. Bhagavat-priyanam. Priya-krt. Priya means dear, very dear. So Krsna said that na ca tasman manusyesu: [Bg. 18.69] "Anyone who is preaching the message of Bhagavad-gita to the suffering people of the world," Krsna says, na ca tasmat priya-krt "nobody is dearer to Me than him."

So how to become very dear to God? Don't try to see God. Even if you see... You can find God everywhere if you have got eyes to see. But the real business is not to see. God wants to see you, what you are working for God. That He wants to see. To see God is not very difficult business. Anyone with eyes to see, he can see God. But to be seen by God, do something by which you can draw the attention of God and He can see you, "Oh, here is My devotee," that is wanted. Let God see you! Don't try to see God. That is foolishness. Let God see you. This is our philosophy. My Guru Maharaja used to say that, that "Don't try to see God, but try to do something so that God can see you." This is the philosophy. And whom God will see? As soon as... Just like any business firm, any man who is working very sincerely, it comes to the notice of the master, "Oh, this man is doing very nice." That is wanted. That is wanted. So a devotee is not very much anxious to see God. God is there. Simply... And one who has become devotee, he always sees God. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva [Bs. 5.38]. Sadaiva, twenty-four hours he sees. That is not very difficult job. But do something so that God will see you, "Oh, here is... Here is My devotee."

So He... Therefore here it is called, yah sraddhayaitad bhagavat-priyanam. The Pandavas were so dear to Krsna. So it is better to hear about the Pandavas than to hear about Krsna. To hear about Krsna, people may be very much inclined, but the sastra says, "To hear about the devotees of Krsna is still better." Therefore in the...You chant daily, yasya prasadat. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktah **. The spiritual master, it is said that "He is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastraih. Ukta, "said." Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih: ** "It is not only said, but it is accepted by sadbhih, those who are actually advanced in spiritual life, sadbhih." Why? Why the spiritual master should be accepted as directly as the Supreme God? Kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya. This priya, again, priyanam: "Because he is very, very dear to Krsna." Not that because he is worshiped as Krsna, therefore he thinks himself Krsna and declares, "Now I am Krsna." No. Kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya. This priya. Priya is word. So therefore try to become priya of Krsna. Do, act in such a way that Krsna can understand that you are very dear to Him.

And the very simple thing is that ya idam guhyam mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati. This confidential service, preaching of Bhagavad-gita... What is that? Bhagavad-gita preaching essence: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Simply go and preach. This very thing. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. This is Krsna's desire. Preach to the world, "Just be Krsna conscious." Man-manah. "Just become Krsna's devotee." Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji. "Just worship Krsna." Mad-yaji mam... "Just offer your obeisances to Krsna." Four words. Then you become a preacher. It is not very difficult to become a preacher and to become a spiritual master. How? Very simple thing. Go and speak what Krsna says. That's all. You have nothing to manufacture, Dr. Frog. There is no need of manufacturing. We are very safe because we don't manufacture. We simply repeat, parrotlike, what Krsna has said. That's all, finished. Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "Let aside everything. Just become My devotee, surrendered soul." So we are preaching that. We don't make compromise. Therefore all people are against me. Because "This man simply says, ‘Krsna.' " But I cannot say anything more. That's all.

So to become priya, very dear to Krsna, is very easy. That is siddhi, perfection. Labdhva harau bhaktim upaiti siddhim. Perfection, highest perfection: to become dear to Krsna. That's all. You become dear to Krsna. That is your perfection, highest perfection, supreme perfection. So such easy thing, and such highest perfection. Why people should not accept this? And it is practical. It is... Just last night I was talking with Srutakirti that this church, nobody was coming. Therefore they were obliged to sell it off, and we purchased. So the church is the same, building is the same, and you are all Americans. But you did not come before, so that it was to be sold. Now everywhere it is packed up. Why? Because Krsna is there. This is practical. This is practical. There is no question of enviousness. It is practical. In Boston one Christian priest said frankly that "These boys, girls, they are our boys, our girls. Either coming from Christian group or Jew's group, they are, after all, Americans. So they did not care for anything about God. Now they are mad after God. What is this?" This is practical. There is no question of competition. It is practical. Because they are trying. They are trying. Our only business is, "Just become dear to Krsna." That's all. Krsna consciousness movement means "You are trying to be dear to so many things." Somebody is trying to be dear to his father, to his mother, or to his family, children, or country, community, society, nation. Everyone is trying to be dear. "I will do such and such thing for you. Please give me vote. Please make me president." They are trying. And after all, the president also is not dear, neither people is not dear. The real fact becomes disclosed after a few days when the, what is called, face covering, ah, mask, is over. That's all.

So this kind of trying to become dear is no use. It is simply waste of time. So if you try to become dear to Krsna, that is siddhi. That is perfection. You are trying to become dear to so many objectives. At last, to become dear to a dog, ferocious dog. He does not say anything to the master. That means the master has become dear to him. So we are trying to become dear to somebody. That is our desire, dormant desire. But that is being misplaced. We do not know where to become dear. That we do not know. That is Krsna. If you become dear to Krsna, that is the highest perfection. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Siddhi, this siddhi, perfection. Out of millions and millions of persons, one is interested to become perfect. Because this world is imperfect. So everyone is imperfect, all of us. So neither they do know what is perfection.

But here is described, here is perfection. What is that perfection? Yah sraddhaya etad bhagavat-priyanam pandoh sutanam iti samprayanam srnoti. Srnoti. You simply hear about the Pandavas. Practically the whole Vedic literature, the Puranas, the Mahabharata especially, those were narrations... The Vedic knowledge... Vedic knowledge, directly, it is very difficult to understand. Just like in the Vedanta-sutra. The sutra, the code words are there. Athato brahma jijnasa: "Now it is the time for inquiring about the Absolute Truth." This is sutra, code word. But that is described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: in narration. This is brahma-jijnasa. The whole Srimad-Bhagavatam is brahma-jijnasa. Athato brahma jijnasa. Only this code is being... Therefore Bhagavata begins, janmady asya yatah anvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah sva-rat [SB 1.1.1]. Because Vedanta-sutra says, "The Absolute Truth is that supreme source of everything." So Bhagavata begins from that word, janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1], explaining, explaining.

So Purana means supplementary to the Vedas, to explain the knowledge. That is Purana. Mahabharata. Mahabharata is also explanation of the Vedic knowledge, but through history. Because Vyasadeva found it that directly to understand Vedic knowledge will be difficult for three classes of men. Trayi na sruti-gocara. Stri-sudra-dvija-bandhunam trayi na sruti-gocara. Trayi. Trayi means Vedas, dealing with the three gunas. Traigunya-visaya vedah. In the Bhagavad-gita, traigunya-visaya vedah. Trayi. There are three subject matters in the Vedas. The first subject matter is to know God and what is my relationship with God. This is the first subject matter. Then second subject matter is that what is the ultimate goal of life, and the third subject matter is how to attain it. To know God, my relationship with God, and what is my ultimate goal of life, and how to attain it -- these three subject matters are Vedic knowledge. That is everywhere. Another subject matter is... Trayi, means Veda is dealing with this material world. There is spiritual knowledge in glance.

Therefore Vyasadeva, after compiling all Vedic literatures, so many Puranas, so many Upanisads, Vedanta philosophy and four Vedas, but he was not satisfied. He was not satisfied. So when Narada Muni, his spiritual master, came, he inquired that "Why you are not satisfied?" So Vyasadeva said, "My dear sir, yes, as you say, I have done so many activities. I have written so many books. But still, I don't feel any satisfaction. So I do not know why it is. You can direct me. You are my spiritual master." So he said that "You have done, you have labored so hard in writing so many books, but you have not glorified the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Simply ordinary dealings with man to man, how to deal, dharma, artha, kama, moksa, how to make people religious, how to develop economic position, how to satisfy senses, how to go to heavenly planet to enjoy more -- these things you have described. But you have not described about yena atma samprasidati, by which your atma, your soul will be satisfied. That you have done nothing." You have read in the First Canto, jugupsita-dharma. "You are diverting the attention of the people to the dharma, artha, kama, moksa, never to the bhakti. Then in future, if people are advised, ‘Come to the bhakti platform, not on the platform of this dharma, artha, kama, moksa, catur-varnya,' they will not take it. So whatever you have done, it is not very good. Better simply try to explain about Bhagavan." That is Bhagavata. That is Bhagavatam.

Bhagavatam means... Bhagavata. Bhagavata means the Supreme Lord, and Bhagavatam means about Him, or about His devotees. That is bhagavata. Because a devotee is called bhagavata. This is book bhagavata, and a devotee is person bhagavata. So according (to) our Caitanya Mahaprabhu's cult, the Bhagavata should be studied from the person bhagavata, not from the professional reciters. No. Therefore Svarupa Gosvami... One... Because when Caitanya Mahaprabhu was present at Jagannatha Puri, many people used to come, present so many literatures, so many commentaries, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu will not hear them unless it is passed by His secretary Svarupa Damodara. First of all Svarupa Damodara Gosvami will see whether it is written properly, according to siddhanta. Then he will allow. That was the business. So one brahmana came. So there was many discrepancies in his writing. So Svarupa Damodara chastised him that "You do not know how to write. Why you have attempted this?" So he said, bhagavata pada giya bhagavata sthane(?): "If you want to know about Bhagavata, Srimad-Bhagavatam, then you study Srimad-Bhagavatam from a person bhagavatam, whose life is Bhagavatam. From such person, if you read, if you understand Bhagavata, then you will benefit." It is not a scholarship. Because you know, "ungwang,"(?) that is not the qualification. Bhagavata should be studied from the person whose life is Bhagavata. This is the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's personal secretary.

So here it is said, yah sraddhaya. And what is that sraddha?

tac chraddadhana munayo
pasyanty atmani catmanam
bhaktya sruta-grhitaya
 [SB 1.2.12]

Bhaktya sruta-grhitaya. You can realize. God realization is possible by a person who is faithful. Tac chraddadhanah. And what is that faith? That faith is explained in the Caitanya-caritamrta: sraddha-sabde visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya. One who has been firmly convinced... What is that conviction? Krsna says,

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
 [Bg. 18.66]

One who has got firm faith in declaration, that "If I become devotee of Krsna, if I fully surrender to Krsna, then all perfection is there," this is called faith. This is called faith. Not flickering faith: "Let me adopt this Krsna consciousness movement, and when there is opportunity, let me go to some rascal who has appeared as Bhagavan." That kind of faith will not help. That will not help. Sraddha-sabde visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya. That is sraddha, firm faith. It cannot be changed at any cost, at any circumstance. That is called firm faith. If that firm faith is not obtained, then we are still on the imperfection platform. But when there is firm faith, sraddha, sraddhaya...

Now, if anyone accepts that Pandava... These Pandavas, five brothers, son of Maharaja Pandu, they are very, very dear to Krsna. And they are as good, or sometimes better than Krsna. Because Lord Siva, authority... There are twelve authorities. Lord Siva is one of the authorities. Svayambhur naradah sambhuh. Sambhu [SB 6.3.20]. Sambhu is authority. He says that tasmat parataram devi tadiyanam samarcanam: "Better worship... Krsna worship, Visnu worship is good, but still better worship is to worship the krsna-bhaktas." Because he is very dear to Krsna. Kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya. Why spiritual master is very dear to Krsna? Because his only anxiety is how Krsna will be known all over the world. That's all. He has no ambition, pounds, shilling, pence. He only wants to know, only wants to see that everyone is devotee of Krsna and they are happy.

Thank you very much. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.51 -- Los Angeles, December 28, 1973

© 2001 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.

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