Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.8
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Seattle, October 21, 1968

Prabhupada: …something about the prayers of Prahlada Maharaja.

brahmadayah sura-gana munayo ’tha siddhah sattvaikatana-gatayo vacasam pravahaih naradhitum puru-gunair adhunapi pipruh kim tostum arhati sa me harir ugra-jateh

When Lord Nrsimha appeared… This is the picture. You have seen. For killing a great demon, Hiranyakasipu. Hiranyakasipu was very powerful materialist, and he did not believe in God. Generally, materialistic person, they have no capacity to understand what is God. That is generally.

In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated that bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam tayapahrta-cetasam. Bhoga, bhoga means sense enjoyment, and aisvarya means opulence, wealth, riches. Persons who are very much attached to sense gratification and hankering after material opulence, bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam taya, and by such thing, apahrta-cetasam… Apahrta means bewildered; cetasam, consciousness. Such persons, they are thinking that “These things will save me.” They never think that they will have to leave all these things behind him, and he has to go alone. Just like when a bird flies in the sky, so he has to leave behind him everything, and he has to fly in the sky on his own strength. There is no other help. Why bird? Take these airplanes, jet planes. When we get on the sky, leaving this land, no more we can depend on our strength on the land. If the plane is sufficiently strong, then we can fly; otherwise there is danger. Similarly persons who are very much materialistic, they are thinking that this opulence, prestige, and material strength will save him. No. That is bewilderment. Therefore Bhagavad-gita says, taya apahrta-cetasam. Apahrta-cetasam means whose consciousness has become bewildered by these material opulences. Such persons, taya apahrta-cetasam, for them, vyavasayatmika buddhih samadhau na vidhiyate. Samadhi. Samadhi means concentration in the vyavasayatmika, niscayatmika-buddhih. Niscayatmika means to be firmly convinced that “Krsna consciousness will only save me.” This conviction such persons cannot have. Which persons? Those who are too much sensuous and after material opulence.

bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam tayapahrta-cetasam vyavasayatmika buddhih samadhau na vidhiyate

And vyavasayatmika buddhih means confidence. Vyavasayatmika buddhih ekeha kuru-nandana. In the Bhagavad-gita you will study. Now we are getting our Bhagavad-gita As It Is. So Bhagavad-gita and the Teachings of Lord Caitanya and Srimad-Bhagavatam. Whatever we have already printed, you study them very nicely. And I think those who are harassed by this military board, today I have got hint from one paper addressed to Karttikeya that if one boy is certified that he’s engaged in studying spiritual consciousness or theological…, then he’s not called. So we shall issue certificate, bona fide. Now I am admitted in your country as bona fide, ordained minister of religion. So I think I can issue certificate. So this will be nice.

So vyavasayatmika buddhih. Vyavasayatmika buddhih means full confidence that Krsna consciousness will save me and nothing can save me. This full confidence. So those who are Krsna conscious, their firm faith is in one, Krsna.

vyavasayatmika buddhih ekeha kuru-nandana bahu-sakha hy anantas ca buddhayo ’vyavasayinam

Avyavasayinam means those who are not in Krsna consciousness, those who are flickering, for them, bahu-sakha, many branches. They think that “This will save me, this will save me, that will save me, that will save me.” But one who is fully surrendered to Krsna, he knows, and it is certain that Krsna will save him. That’s all. It’s very easy to become Krsna conscious. One. God is one. God cannot be many. God is one. Otherwise there is no meaning of God. God means, the definition of God means that “the person or the entity who has no equal, neither superior.” Nobody is superior to Him and nobody is equal to Him. Asama urdhva. Asama means equal. Sama means equal. Asama. Everyone is not equal to Him. Nobody is equal to Him and nobody is higher than Him. That is God. So God is one. There cannot be many Gods, but God can expand Himself in many forms. That is different thing.

So this Hiranyakasipu was not confident. He was thinking, he was materially puffed up, and he was thinking that he is God. When his son… Fortunately, his son Prahlada Maharaja, he was a great devotee, Vaisnava, by the grace of Narada, and he was always in Krsna consciousness. When he was in school, five-years-old boy, and naturally, the school was an atheistic school. Just like nowadays, in no school, colleges they encourage any theological study. What is called? Secular state. So gradually we are becoming like that Hiranyakasipu. But Hiranyakasipu tried, Ravana tried, Kamsa tried to exist without God, but they did not exist. So nobody can exist. So this Hiranyakasipu tried to protect himself by so many material ways, but when he was too much against his innocent devotee son, then Krsna appeared as Nrsimhadeva, and He was very fearful. So much fearful that all the demigods came to pacify Him, but He was groaning in anger. So there is anger in God also. Somebody says that “Why God should be angry?” No, God, there is anger. Everything is there in God. Otherwise where anger comes from? He is the source of everything, but He is absolute. His anger is also as good as His mercy. That is the difference. When we become angry, there is no mercy. Mercy is far away from it. But God, Krsna, because He is absolute, either He is angry or He is merciful, He’s the same. The word God is good. He’s good when He’s angry and He’s good when He’s merciful. That is difference. In the material contaminated state, not only God, even God’s devotee, they also acquire the same quality. Sometimes we see that saintly persons like Narada, Siva, they also become angry and curse somebody, but that curse becomes benediction. So that is the absolute stage.

So Hiranyakasipu was killed by Nrsimhadeva, and everyone was afraid, very fearful, that “God’s appeared in such a fearful appearance, half-lion shape and half-man’s shape with four hands.” So nobody could pacify Him. Everyone was afraid. Then Prahlada Maharaja was, he was only five-years-old boy. He was requested that “Nrsimhadeva has appeared for your protection especially. So you try to pacify the Lord.” So the boy was very jolly. So he was praying this way, that brahmadayah sura-gana munayo ’tha siddhah: “I see here there are so many great personalities just like Brahma, Siva, and Indra, Candra, all great demigods.” Brahmadayah sura-ganah. Sura-ganah means demigods; and munayo, great saintly persons, sages, all of them are here. And siddhya. Siddhya means the residents of the Siddhaloka. There is a planet within this universe which is caled Siddhaloka. Siddhaloka means there the inhabitants are so highly elevated. They are also materialists. They are also not spiritualists. But still, they are materially so advanced that the description is… Here, in this planet, we are flying in the sky in the outer space with some machine, but there, in that planet, Siddhaloka, the persons are so elevated, either you call materially or spiritually… Actually, they are materially. These are material, that they can fly in the sky without any machine, without any machine. Wherever they like, they can go. Whatever they want, immediately… That is yoga-siddhi. You have heard of so much advertisement of yoga. Actually, when one becomes perfect in yoga, asta-siddhi-yoga, eight kinds of material perfection, that he can become the smallest… Smaller than the atom he can become. He can go out from anywhere. You lock him in airtight packed, but he’ll come out. This is called anima-siddhi.

Actually, it so happened in Benares. There was a swami. His name was Trailunga Swami. Trailunga Swami, he was wandering in the street naked. Government… It is not very old story, say about 150 years ago this happened in Benares. So he was naked yogi, and government will not allow, police will not allow. So he was thrice arrested and put into the custody, and thrice he came out. Then he became very famous man, simply by exhibiting one perfection of yoga. That means a yogi can come out. Not only Trailunga Swami, but we have seen one Mr. Chakravarti in our childhood in a circus, he was playing this part. He was packed up. First of all, his hands and legs were tightly knotted with seal. Then he was put into a bag and the bag was also sealed. Then with this bag he was put in a box. The box was locked and sealed. And he came out from that box—in everyone’s presence. We have seen it. And again, he was seen that he was packed up in that way.

So yoga siddhi, these wonderful things are there. Similarly, one can walk on the water. He’ll not be drowned. He becomes so light he can float in the air. These are… So siddhya. Siddhya means the persons who reside in that planet, they have got automatically, by taking birth in that… Just like taking birth in the Western countries, America or Europe, you are more opulent than other countries materially. Similarly, in Krsnaloka also, those who are there, they are automatically all lover of Krsna. Similarly, there are many different planets, different kinds of residents. We… What knowledge we have got? But we have to take knowledge from the sastra. Therefore Vedanta-sutra says, sastra-caksusat. You have to understand, you have to gather your knowledge from authentic scripture, not by experimental knowledge. Experimental knowledge cannot be perfect because our instruments of acquiring knowledge are imperfect. So however we may tackle these instruments perfectly in our way, basically they are imperfect. Therefore perfect knowledge you cannot have. If you want to have perfect knowledge, then you have to understand this authoritative scripture. Just like here, in this Srimad-Bhagavatam, we understand that there is Brahma, or the demigods, and the siddhah. So we have to accept. You cannot understand these things by experimental knowledge. Simply as it is. Therefore I am presenting this Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Then you understand. That is knowledge, perfect knowledge. Otherwise, if you interpret, if you don’t believe, then you don’t get. There is no other way. The same example. Just like—I am repeating again—that if you want to know who is your father, the only witness is your mother. Higher evidence is final. If we want to make experiment who is your father, that is not possible. That experimental knowledge is not possible. You have to accept. Similarly, for perfect knowledge of the father or perfect knowledge of the Supreme, you have to accept the version, supreme version of Vedas. Then it is perfect.

So there are many different planets within this universe and beyond this universe, spiritual planets. Kesava tuar jagata vicitra. God’s creation is very variety. So we should not think that this is all in all. This is that Dr. Frog’s knowledge. Dr. Frog knows that “This small well is everything.” He has no knowledge of the Pacific Ocean. Similarly, these Dr. Frogs of this material world, they are thinking this planet is all in all. And 25,000 miles up this planet, that is all space. No.

panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo vayor athapi manaso muni-pungavanam so ’py asti yat-prapada-simny avicintya-tattve govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami [Bs 5.34]

Brahma, the first class, the first living entity within this universe, he says that panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo vayor athapi manaso. If you, not to speak of these airplanes, but if you can prepare a plane of the mental plane… Just like mental plane, you are sitting here, you can immediately transfer yourself ten thousand miles away or more than that, immediately, within a second. Just like I am here in America, Los Angeles, and India is about fifteen thousand miles away from this place, but immediately, within second, I can think that I’m sitting in my room there. How it is? The mind is so forceful. Just see. This is practical. You can transfer your mind immediately. So how can you compare with these airplanes? Can the airplanes… Airplanes means vayu. Vayu means air. These are all in Sanskrit language in the scriptures. These are not very new things. You see? Panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo vayor atha [Bs 5.34]. Vayu means air, and ratha means plane, airplane. So either by the airplane… Airplane is not so speedy. The jet planes are running at the rate of five hundred miles or one thousand miles per hour, but my mental plane can run fifteen thousand miles per second. You see? And just understand then the spirit, how much speedy the spirit should be. Because here, matter, there are matter: earth, water, fire… Then air. Air is very fine. Earth is crude. Water is crude. Then earth, water, fire. Fire is still finer, but crude. But still finer, air, and still finer, ether and still finer, mind, and still finer, soul. You see? So just imagine if mind is so strong that it can transfer itself from here to fifteen thousand miles in a second, how much speedy and powerful is the soul.

So these yogis, they come to the platform of the mental plane, speedy. The yogis can transfer. There are many yogis still, in India, that early in the morning they travel about four thousand miles within half an hour and take bath in four different pilgrimages within half an hour. Yes. So yogic powers are so… What yogis we have seen? Siddhah, that is siddhah. The demigods, siddhah… There are persons; it is not story. So Prahlada Maharaja says that “These demigods, these great saintly persons, these siddhas, how they have become so powerful?” Sattvaikatana: being situated in the material modes of goodness. If you put yourself, keep yourself in the modes of goodness, then you get more and more your spiritual power. And if you keep yourself in the modes of ignorance and passion, then you cannot make progress. You’ll have to remain here or go down. If you keep yourself in the modes of ignorance, then you go down even to the animal kingdom. If you keep yourself in the modes of passion, then at most, you can remain in Europe and America, that’s all. But if you keep yourself in goodness, then you can go up. These are explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Urdhvam gacchanti sattva-sthah, those who are in the modes of goodness, even they are not spiritually very much advanced so that they can enter into the spiritual kingdom, they’ll go in the upper status of planetary system, just like Siddhaloka, Janarloka, Maharloka. Urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha madhye tisthanti rajasah [Bg. 14.18] And in the middle planetary system… The middle planetary system, this earth is in the middle planetary system, heaven also. Bhur bhuvah svah. You are chanting Gayatri mantra: bhur bhuvah svah, these are within the middle. Then above this there was Mahar, Jana, Tapa, Satya, four. Three and four, seven up and seven down planetary system. So those who are in the modes of goodness, they are elevated to the higher planetary system. Urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha madhye tisthanti rajasah jaghanya-guna-vrtti [Bg. 14.18]they are elevated to the higher planetary system. Urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha madhye tisthanti rajasah. Jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha. Jaghanya means very abominable character. You see? Eating nonsense, and keeping nonsense, habits nonsense. Just like little more than the animals, that’s all. Jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah. They are going down, down, down, down. These things are explained there.

Here, these brahmadayah sura-gana, the demigods headed by Lord Brahma and the siddhas and the great saintly persons and elevated yogis, how they have become? Sattvaikatana-gatayo vacasam pravahaih. They fluently explain in very nice words, just like prayer. Whenever the Lord’s name… Krsna’s name is Uttamasloka. Uttama, uttama means selected, high class. Actually, not high class. It is transcendental. Ut means “trans,” and tama, tama means “darkness,” and sloka means “verses.” So uttamasloka means verses which are not of this material world. When Brahma-samhita we read, govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami **, these words, these vibrations are not of this material world. These are vibration transcendental, above this material world. Sattvaikatana-gatayo vacasam pravahaih. And they are so learned that fluently they went on praying the Lord with uttamasloka, selected transcendental sounds, but naradhitum puru-gunair adhunapi pipruh. But still, the Lord is not yet pacified. Although these great personalities have presented their prayers in so nice selected verses and they are transcendental vibration, still, they could not pacify the Lord. And kim tostum arhati sa me harir ugra-jateh: “Then how it is possible for me, because I am born of a father who was most passionate. So my body is most abominable. I have got this body from the abominable father. How can I please Lord when they have failed?” This is Vaisnava. He’s not proud. He’s not proud. Because the Brahma, Laksmi, and all the demigods and saintly persons have requested him, “My dear Prahlada, you try.” That means he is greater than all the persons present there; otherwise how they could request him? Just like if in an assembly, if somebody is requested, “Please, you lead us,” that means that person, that leader, is the greatest of all. So Prahlada is accepted as the greatest personality than Brahma, than the demigods, than the yogis. But this is the humbleness, meek. This is… In Bible also, it is said the humble and meek can enter into the kingdom of God. So out of his humbleness, meekness, he’s expressing, he’s presenting himself that “These great personalities, they failed to pacify the Lord. How it is possible for me, who has got this body born of a passionate father?” This is very beautiful.

So Vaisnava, Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us that how we shall preach this Krsna consciousness. Don’t be disheartened because the police is obstructing, because the people are complaining. They will do that. Just like… Why this police and public? This poor, innocent boy, five years old, because he was chanting, his father became his enemy. His father, what to speak of others. So it is such a thing. In any… You try to trace out the history of the world, you’ll find always persons who are for Krsna or God, they have been persecuted. Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, Haridasa Thakura was caned in twenty- two market places, Prahlada Maharaja was tortured by his father. So there may be such things. Of course, Krsna will protect us. So don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid if somebody tortures us, somebody teases us. We must go on with Krsna consciousness without any hesitation, and Krsna will give us protect. If you are more tortured, then Krsna will appear as Nrsimhadeva and give you all protection. You are all Prahlada, representative of Prahlada. You keep your confidence in Krsna, and He will give you protection, and go on chanting Hare Krsna.

Thank you very much. (obeisances) Now, any question?

Tamala Krsna: How do we enter into the modes of goodness?

Prabhupada: Just try to follow the four principles as we have prescribed: no intoxication, no gambling, no illicit sex, and no meat-eating. That’s all. This is goodness. This is goodness. These prohibitions are there. Why? Just to keep you in goodness. In every religion… Now, in the Ten Commandments also, I see that “Thou shall not kill.” The same thing is there, but people are not obeying. That is a different thing. No religious person… Nobody can be religious unless he is situated in the modes of goodness. A passionate person or a person in ignorance, they cannot be elevated to the religious platform. Religious platform means in goodness. Then you can understand. On the platform of goodness, you can understand the All-good. If you are in ignorance platform, if you are in the passionate platform, how you can understand the All-good? That is not possible. So one has to keep himself in goodness, and that goodness means one should follow the prohibitions. Either you follow the Ten Commandments or these four commandments, the same thing. That means you have to keep yourself in goodness. The balance must be in goodness. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated, param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12]. Arjuna accepted Krsna as the supermost pure. How you can approach the supermost pure without becoming yourself pure? So this is the steppingstone to become pure, because we are contaminated. So to become pure… The Ekadasi, why we observe? To become pure. Brahmacarya tapasya, austerity, penance, celibacy, keeping the mind always in Krsna consciousness, keeping the body always cleansed—these things will help us to keep us in goodness. Without goodness, it is not possible. But Krsna consciousness is so nice that even one is in the modes of passion and ignorance, at once he’ll be elevated on the platform of goodness, provided he agrees to follow the rules and regulations and chants Hare Krsna. This chanting of Hare Krsna and following the rules and regulation will keep you intact in goodness. Rest assured. Without failure. Is that very difficult? Huh? That’s all right.

Madhudvisa: Prabhupada, was the appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva predicted in the sastras, in the Vedas, or does the Lord appear any time His devotees are in dire need for His protection?

Prabhupada: No. It is generally said that whenever there is discrepancies in the matter of discharging religious principles and whenever there is too much prominence of irreligiosity, at that time the Lord appears. Yada yada hi dharmasya [Bg. 4.7]. This is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So because it is… Just like as soon as there is some riotous condition in any quarter or any part of the city, there is police action immediately. So this is God’s kingdom, either this material or spiritual. So everyone has to obey the God’s law. That is religion. Religion means… What do you mean by religion? Religion means… Just like good citizen. What do you mean by good citizen? Who obeys the laws of the state. So what is religion? Religion means to obey the laws of God. That’s all. Religion. Religion you cannot manufacture, just like you cannot manufacture law. Law is made by the state. You cannot manufacture law. If you say, “I have manufactured this law,” who cares for your law? Similarly, so-called religion, nonsense religion, there are so many manufactured, who cares for? That is not religion. Religion means God’s law. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. That is religion. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita we understand Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “You give up all other things. Simply you become Krsna conscious.” This is religion. This is the order, this is the word. So to become Krsna conscious is to become religious, is to remain in goodness, and is to make progress and advancement in self-realization. Everything is complete. There is no comparison of any religion with Krsna consciousness. We can challenge any religionist, “Come and see, and test and compare.” So the same advertisement: “You all, in ’69, match this.” So nobody can match Krsna consciousness, it is so nice.

Jaya-gopala: What sort of living entity is Mayadevi?

Prabhupada: Hm?

Jaya-gopala: What type of living entity is Mayadevi?

Prabhupada: She is Vaisnavi. She is great devotee of Krsna. But she has accepted a thankless task, to punish. The policeman is a sincere government servant, but he has accepted a task, nobody likes him. (laughs) If some policeman comes here, immediately you shall feel disturbed. But he is the sincere servant of government. That is the position of Maya. Her business is to punish these rascals who have come to enjoy here. (laughter) You see? But she is a sincere servant of God.

Jaya-gopala: Is this like a post?

Prabhupada: Yes. It is a post, thankless post. Nobody thanks, everyone derides, you see. But she is a great devotee. She tolerates and punishes. That’s all. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. She only wants to see that “You become Krsna conscious, I leave you, that’s all.” Police business is that “You become law-abiding citizen; then I have no connection with you.” So far. “And so long you are not a law-abiding (citizen), I shall kick you as much as possible.” So Maya’s business is like this. And we are complaining, “Why you are kicking? Why you are kicking?” “Yes, I shall kick you because you are not Krsna conscious. I shall make you Krsna conscious by kicking, kicking, kicking. That’s all. That is my business.” Our business is to implore, trnad api sunicena. Our preaching method is not kicking. Our preaching method is, dante nidhaya trnakam, by taking a grass in the teeth, padayor nipatya, falling down on the feet, and kaku-satam krtva ca aham bravimi, and flattering you hundred times, I’m just submitting one thing: “Become Krsna conscious.” That is our process. And Maya, his process different. (S)he’ll say, “Why you shall become Krsna conscious? You just enjoy and I shall kick you very nicely. That’s all.” And he accepts, “Yes, you kick me and let me enjoy, but I am not going to these Krsna conscious persons.” (laughter) You see? Practically, Maya’s business, our business is same, but her process is different, our process is different. The people like her process. [break] (kirtana) [break] (second kirtana—Prabhupada starts tapping microphone) I think it is not working. This is not working. (kirtana continues) This is not working.

Jaya-gopala: It’s working. It’s working, but it isn’t loud at all.

Prabhupada: Well, loud outside.(?) We want loud. (kirtana continues) Govinda dasi! You fix loudspeaker? You fix up loudspeaker when I’m chanting.(?) Loudspeaker. (end)