Srila Gurudeva – 

06 Jan 2010 – Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Srila Gurudeva: First of all, I offer my koti-koti dandavat-pranati at the lotus feet of my spiritual master, nitya-lila pravista Om Visnupada astottara-sata Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and the same unto the lotus feet of my siksa-guru, nitya-lila pravista Om Visnupada astottara-sata Srimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, to my dear sannyasis, brahmacaris, Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis.

We have told from the beginning that, without bhajana, no one can be happy. Actually, we are not this physical body. We are different from this body. But by the illusory energy of Krsna, we are thinking that we are this body. The happiness and problems we experience come from the mind. But actually, this is illusory. We are the eternal servants of Krsna. But we have forgotten Him. And that is why the illusory maya has covered over us, and we are thinking that we are this body. And whatever we do is not to please Krsna, but rather, to be pleased ourselves. But this is quite wrong. You cannot be happy independently. This has been true since time immemorial.

Our rsis and munis have discovered that without bhajana, no one can be happy. But what is bhajana? We will explain that now. Bhajana means:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

Bhagavad-gita 18.66



Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear. (BBT)

We should not expend our time only in sense gratification for the sake of this body. What is bhajana? To take shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna. We pray, “Oh Krsna! You are mine! I am not this body.” And to chant the holy name of Krsna.

Krsna has said, “I have invested all My power, all My qualities, and all My mercy in My names.”

Especially, the sixteen names together:

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

If you chant like that, then what? Then you can be happy.

harer-nama harer-nama harer-namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty-eva nasty-evanasty-eva gatir anyatha

In the age of Kali, the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy names, chanting the holy names, chanting the holy names. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.

This is the only way to be happy.

Harinama! Krsna-nama.

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

There is no other way. By chanting the mahamantra, we will be happy forever. Krsna will liberate us from this material world and take us to His Goloka Vrndavan. He will engage us there in His service. Even if you have performed so many sins in your past life, even maha-papa, the greatest sin, krsna-nama will save you. You can study the history of Ajamila in the Srimad Bhagavatam and imagine how krsna-nama is so powerful.

[Syamarani Didi glorifies the chanting of the holy name of the Lord while telling the history of Ajamila.]

Srila Gurudeva: You have heard the glory of krsna-nama. Ajamila was of a very aristocratic family. However, he went to the forest and became entangled with a low-caste prostitute, and then in his life with her, he performed all kinds of sins. But only by one thing, he gave his son the name Narayana. Thus, he became beyond the control of Yamaraja as well.

When he heard the glory of the name of Narayana from the four Visnudutas: Na, Ra, Ya, Na, at once, his chanting of the name was transformed into the pure name. Why? They were the parisadas, associates, of Lord Narayana. He heard the glories from them, and then he went to Haridvara and performed austerities. Then he went to Vaikuntha.

If this is the glory of Narayana’s name, you cannot imagine the power of Krsna’s name. Why? Because Narayana has come from Krsna. So Krsna’s name is more powerful. Narayana’s name can take you to Vaikuntha. But Krsna’s name will take you to Vraja, to Goloka. This is the glory of Krsna’s name.

Once, four rsis: Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanat Kumar, and Sanatana, went to Vaikuntha for the darsana of Narayana. However, Jaya and Vijaya, the guards at the gate of Vaikuntha, disturbed the four rsis. The four rsis cursed Jaya and Vijaya to become demons for three births. They came to this world first as Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa. They were very, very powerful. You will hear more about this afterwards.

The elder brother was Hiranyaksa. He fought with Visnu and was killed. When his body was collected from the battlefield and brought to the palace, it was covered with a white cloth. Everyone began to weep. His mother, brother, wife, sisters—no one could console his relatives. His brother, Hiranyakasipu, was very learned. He knew the whole theory of the Vedas, but he could not follow it. This is a quality of demons. They know everything, but they cannot follow.

Hiranyakasipu said, “Why are you weeping? You should not weep. He has been killed by battle, and the result of that is going to heaven. So don’t weep. Also, you should know—why are you weeping? For Hiranyaksa. But who is that? Is he sleeping here?”

Hiranyakasipu then told a story. There was a king named Suyajna. He was killed in battle. His dead body was similarly brought to the palace and covered with a white cloth. Yama Maharaja arrived there as a five-year old boy. The Lord of Death began to tell the family members, “Why are you weeping?”

An old family member said, “Go and play, you cannot understand.”

Yamaraja said, “You don’t know what I know. Why are you weeping?”

The old relative said, “Everyone is weeping for Suyajna.”

“But he is here. You are lying. He is here sleeping. You should call him. He will come back.”

“No. We are not weeping for the body. We are weeping for the soul.”

“Oh! Do you know the color of the soul? Is he golden, or dark, how tall, and what were the qualities of the soul?”

“No.”

“Then why are you weeping?”

“So, you should know that you are not the body. You are the soul, and are part and parcel of Krsna.”

After some time, Hiranyakasipu had a son, named Prahlada. He sent him to school, to Sanda and Amarka, his Gurukula teachers. Some days later, when Prahlada came back from school, his mother decorated him and put him in the lap of his father.

Hiranyakasipu asked, “Oh my son, what have you learned in school? What is the best thing you have learned?”

What did Prahlada say? Madhava Maharaja will speak.

[Sripada Madhava Maharaja tells the teachings of Prahlada Maharaja to his father.]

[Sripada Brajanatha Prabhu speaks the teachings of Prahlada Maharaja in the following verses:

Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.30-32]

śrī-prahlāda uvāca

matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā

mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām

adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ

punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām

Prahlāda Mahārāja replied: Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Kṛṣṇa are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both. (BBT)

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ

durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ

andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās

te ’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ

Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries. (BBT)

naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ

spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ

mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-’bhiṣekaṁ

niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat

Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for His uncommon activities. Only by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious and taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord in this way can one be freed from material contamination. (BBT)

Srila Gurudeva: Hiranyakasipu became so angry at his son [after hearing him speak about krsna-bhakti and the futility of material life and sense gratification], his face became red and he wanted to kill Prahlada. He threw him from a mountain, placed him fire, put him in a pit of poisonous snakes, he poisoned his food—in so many ways Hiranyakasipu tried to kill his son, but all to no avail. Hiranyakasipu had a sister named Hollika. She had a boon that she could not be burnt in fire. So she took Prahlada and entered into fire, but she was burnt to ash, and Prahlada came out of the fire, as if he was coming out of a snow-house. [laughter]

Hiranyakasipu tried in so many ways to kill Prahlada, but he could not. He became afraid. Because of this boy, I will be killed! He became very worried. Sanda and Amarka said, “Our father, Sukracarya, is now outside. But he will come back in a day or two, and he will change this boy. Don’t worry. So again they took Prahlada to the Gurukula.

How is it, that Hiranyakasipu was so powerful (and yet he could not do anything to Prahlada.) He had before gone to a mountain to perform austerities, and there had stood on the toes of one foot, and for 60,000 years had done tapasya. Brahma saw that everything in the universe was coming to a halt by the power of the austerities of Hiranyakasipu, he therefore appeared before Hiranyakasipu and said, “I am satisfied, you should ask for a boon.”

Hiranyakasipu said, “I wish to be immortal. No one should be able to kill me.”

Brahma said, “I cannot grant immortality. But you can ask for anything else.”

Hiranyakasipu said, “I should not be able to be killed or to die in the day or night, by any animal or man, by any demon or snakes or in any year, nor inside the house or out, nor in the sky or on the earth, nor by anyone that you have created, Oh Brahma.”

“Yes, I grant you these boons.”

By these boons Hiranyakasipu became very powerful. He conquered Indra. All demons became his subordinates. But those who are doing bhajana, they are very powerful. Krsna always protects them. So, Hiranyakasipu could not kill Prahlada.

One day, Sanda and Amarka went to perform some function, and made Prahlada the monitor of the class. When these two brothers, Sanda and Amarka, had gone outside, all the boys in the class began to say, “We should play!”

Prahlada said, “First listen to me, then you may play.” Then what did he say?

[Damodara Maharaja speaks on Prahlada Maharaja’s teachings to the students.]

[Devotees chant the mahamantra together in kirtan.]

[Sripada Ashram Maharaja and other devotees perform a skit of the appearance of Nrsimhadeva and the killing of Hiranyakasipu, followed by the Nrsimhadeva prayers.]