South India: Coconuts and Liberation
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
We can say many things, many stories, it is not a problem, but you know that we do not so much have and Maharaj has told me that we must go to another programme, that is why I would like to make it short. Do you have any questions, Prabhu?
Devotee: He comes here every year.
কয় বার এলি কয় বার গেলি
kaya bara eli kaya bara geli
"Coming and going, coming and going, and never learnt anything. You have been eating your own brain, who will you blame now, brother?"
We come and go, all the time we come and go, come and go—we have got a body so many times. Who will you blame for always having to change bodies? We are ourselves our enemy, and we ourselves are our friend.
Question: When Sudama Vipra came to Krishna with some flat rice and Krishna took some of that flat rice, why did Rukmini stop Krishna from taking it? And why did Sudama Vipra bring only this flat rice? He could have brought something else...
Oh, that is because
ভক্তের জিনিষ প্রভু লুটিপুটি খায়
bhakter jinish prabhu lutiputi khay
"The Lord eats anything and everything when a devotee offers it, but He does not take anything from a non-devotee."
A devotee can give anything to the Lord, and the Lord takes it; but a non-devotee cannot give anything because they give something to Krishna and inside they ask for something, like, "Prabhu, I giving this to you, but in lieu of it I want something..."
As for Rukmini, she thought, "Why is Krishna taking such bad things? No, no, stop!" Just as when somebody gives something to a little boy, the boy's mother will stop the boy, "No, no, no. It is not good, do not take it." Rukmini also had that kind of affection, that is why she told Krishna not to take it.
Question: Why do they offer coconuts to the Lord? [Note: Breaking coconuts is a widespread tradition in the temples of South India.]
You can offer a coconut, you can offer a banana, you can offer many things. In this area, they give coconut, in some other areas they offer bananas, and if you go to Venezuela you will see that they give arepa there.
Question [continuation]: Does breaking coconuts symbolise breaking the ego?
Ego is removed only through good association. Kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya are all removed through good association. Everybody has some ahankar (ego), I also have an ahankar, but what is my ahankar? I am the servant of the Lord. I am not a brahman, I am not a ksatriya, I am not a vaisya, I am not a sudra, I am not a sannyasi—I am a servant of the Lord.
Sometimes people criticise us, "Oh, why do you wear Tulasi beads?" and we tell them, "Because we are pet dogs of the Lord's servants. These Tulasi beads are our collar, our symbol, but you have no Tulasi beads, so you are a street dog!" [His Divine Grace laughs.]
তদ্বিদ্ধি প্রণিপাতেন পরিপ্রশ্নেন সেবয়া ।
tad viddhi pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya
You will be able to attain knowledge by satisfying the divine master with submission, relevant inquiry, and sincere service. The enlightened souls who are learned in scriptural knowledge and endowed with direct realisation of the Supreme Absolute Truth will impart divine knowledge to you.
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 4.34)
First you should surrender fully, then honest enquiry and service temper are necessary.
Question: If we want to go to heaven, what are the necessary qualifications?
We do not want to go to heaven. Why? It is simple matter—if you go to heaven, you have to come back again. Even Indra, the king of heaven, also has to come back again. There are thirty-three million demigods living in heaven (Kali, Durga, Laksmi, Saraswati, Ganesh, Kartik, and others), but they all spend only a short time there, after that they have to come back. Heaven (svarga) is temporary, and so is hell.
For example, if somebody breaks into a house, they get two years in jail, and if somebody kills another person, they get twenty years in jail—if somebody does something very bad they will go to hell for many years, and if somebody does something a little bad, they go to hell for a shorter time. In the same way, if somebody does some very good work, they may spend many years, a long time in heaven, and if somebody does a little good work, they get to spend a little time in heaven. It is all temporary.
কৃষ্ণভক্ত—নিষ্কাম, অতএব 'শান্ত' ।
krsna-bhakta—niskama, ataeva 'santa'
"A devotee of Krishna has no desires and is always peaceful. Those who have material desires, desire for liberation or desire for some perfection are always lusty and never know any peace."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.149)
We do not want even liberation. What is mukti (liberation)? I will give an example. Suppose a bunch of straw is floating down a river. At night, a drop of water is formed in the air and falls onto the straw. That drop of water thinks, "Oh I am very small, and this sea has so much of water! I want to be like that too!" Suddenly, the drop of water falls into the river and it no longer can find itself in it. That is called mukti. Devotees never want mukti.
Everybody wants something. But there is a difference. For example, a pujari serves a Deity here and he also wants something—he does not want mukti. What does he want? He is thinking, "Oh, I can go and serve a Deity there." Somebody makes garlands for the Deity here and they want to make garlands in the spiritual world as well. Or somebody is driving their Guru's car and they also want something—they may be thinking, "I want to be the driver of the Lord, of the Lord's devotees in Vaikuntha."
Question: Why is bhakti necessary?
How will you get the Lord without bhakti?? Without devotion, without love and affection, prem, how you will get the Lord?
Question: If we are part of the Lord (if we are like drops of water coming from an ocean), then why not again merge into the ocean? Atma and paramatma are the same in essence...
No. Paramatma is Bhagavan, and the atma is soul. I am not Bhagavan, you are not Bhagavan, is there anybody here who will say that they are Bhagavan? Everybody has an atma, and paramatma is Bhagavan—it is the atma's duty to serve paramatma. You can see this light bulb here—the electricity is coming from a power house, but the power house and a light bulb is not the same! It is anu-chaitanya and brihat-chaitanya (small consciousness and great consciousness). If you divide one hair 10,000 times, that is the size of the atma.
Jay Om Vishnupad Jaga-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay!
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