jueves, 8 de septiembre de 2011

Vāmanadeva --- Bali Mahārāja --- Letter to Satsvarūpa dāsa 3 July 1968

Vāmanadeva --- Bali Mahārāja --- Letter to Satsvarūpa dāsa 3 July 1968

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda

Regarding Bali Mahārāja: He was born in the same atheistic family of Mahārāja Prahlāda. He happened to be the grandson of Mahārāja Prahlāda, and his great grandfather Hiraṇyakaśipu, was very powerful. There was animosity between the demigods and the demons, and Bali Mahārāja also defeated the demigods several times and was occupying all the planets. At the time Vāmanadeva appeared as the son of Kaśyapa Muni, Bali Mahārāja was very charitably disposed.

Sometimes the atheists are also very charitable. Persons who believe that:

“We are doing pious activities, giving charity and performing welfare work to the human society.

Why should we bother about God?”

Such persons, even though very moral and pious in the estimation of the materialists, are also demons on account of their apathy for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

So, Bali Mahārāja was a man of that type. Under the circumstances he was not averse to accepting charity and other pious activities. He was being guided by his spiritual master, Śukrācārya. Śukra means the semina. In other words, one who claims to become Ācārya on the principle of being born of a Brahmin father, he may call himself Śukrācārya, or Ācārya, or preacher—not by disciplic succession, but on the right of heredity.

In India there are still superstitions that one should be initiated by someone from such a Śukrācārya family. They are called generally the jāti-gosāñi. Jāti-gosāñi means the caste spiritual masters. All over India, especially in Bengal, this jāti-gosāñi spiritual master-ship is very prevalent. But really gosvāmī means one who is master of the influence of different senses, namely the influence of anger, the influence of the belly, the influence of the genitals, and the influence of talking. So one who is master of these influential webs of sense gratification, he is called gosvāmī. Gosvāmī is not by hereditary chart. So Śukrācārya posed himself as such a gosvāmī spiritual master. He had many mystic powers; therefore, he was considered to be a very influential spiritual master of the demons.

So when Vāmanadeva appeared, Bali Mahārāja was attracted by His beauty as a dwarf Brahmin, and as he was charitably disposed he wanted to give Him some charity. But Śukrācārya, being elevated in mystic yogic powers, could understand that Vāmanadeva was Viṣṇu. And in order to favour the demigods, He had come there to cheat Bali Mahārāja in the shape of begging some charities. Bali Mahārāja was puffed up with his material vanities, and Vāmanadeva, as He is Viṣṇu, all-peaceful, without interrupting his attitude just approached him in the form of a Brahmin, who has a right to beg something from the princely order. And the princely order also is always disposed to giving charity to the Brahmins.

Śukrācārya, as spiritual master of Bali, taught him that everything should be offered to Viṣṇu. But when Viṣṇu actually appeared before Bali, Śukrācārya was afraid of Bali Maharaja’s charitable disposition. He warned Bali Mahārāja that this Vāmanadeva had come there to take everything from him in the shape of charity; therefore, he should not promise to give Him anything. This advice revolted Bali Mahārāja, because he was formerly instructed that everything should be offered to Viṣṇu.

Now why was Śukrācārya asking him not to act in accordance with his previous instructions?

Śukrācārya was afraid of his own position. He was living at the cost of Bali Mahārāja, so if Vāmanadeva would take everything from Bali Mahārāja, he was wondering how he would live. That is the materialistic temperament. The materialist does not want to serve or to give to Viṣṇu, because he thinks that by giving away to Viṣṇu he will be put into a poverty-stricken condition. This is materialistic estimation. But actually that is not the fact, as it will be proven by the dealings of Bali Mahārāja and Vāmanadeva.

That is the materialistic way of worshiping. Materialists are always careful for maintaining their material status quo first and then pleasing Viṣṇu, although they may profess to be devotees of Viṣṇu. Therefore, the Kṛṣṇa Conscious persons are greater than such materialistic worshipers. Materialistic persons perform all pious activities or devotional activities for some material gain, and as soon as there is any hindrance in the path of material gain, they at once become demons. Therefore, bhakti means without any material desires. That is the sign of a pure devotee. He has no motive to satisfy his material desires by devotional service.

Why is Bali Mahārāja considered a Mahājana?

Bali Mahārāja is a Mahājana because he wanted to serve Viṣṇu by disobeying his bona fide spiritual master. As explained above, Śukrācārya was a hereditary spiritual master by seminal discharge. But Bali Mahārāja first revolted against this stereotype-seminal-succession spiritual master, and therefore he is a Mahājana. Real Jīva Gosvāmī has described in his Krama sandharbha that one should be anxious to accept a spiritual master who is bona fide in spiritual knowledge. And if need be, one should relinquish the connection of a hereditary spiritual master and accept a real, bona fide spiritual master.

So when Śukrācārya advised him contrary to his previous instructions—specifically he checked Bali Mahārāja in the matter of worshiping Viṣṇu—Śukrācārya became at once fallen down from the position of spiritual master.

Nobody can become a spiritual master who is not a devotee of Viṣṇu. A Brahmin may be very expert in the matter of performing Vedic rituals, accepting charity, and distributing wealth—all these are the exalted qualifications of the Brahmins; but the Vedic injunction is, in spite of possessing all these qualities, if somebody is against Lord Viṣṇu, he cannot be a spiritual master.

So when Śukrācārya advised Bali Mahārāja against Viṣṇu, Śukrācārya at once became unqualified as a spiritual master. Bali Mahārāja disobeyed such an unqualified spiritual master, and therefore he is accepted as Mahājana. Mahājana means a personality whose footprints should be followed. So, his exemplary behaviour in rejecting a non-Vaiṣṇava spiritual master is ideal, and he is considered a Mahājana.

If Jadurāṇī (Śyāmarāṇī Didi) wants to paint the picture of Bali Mahārāja, it should be like this:

1) The hall must be very nicely decorated, a princely hall.
2) In one side of the hall the royal throne should be presented as vacant.
3) Bali Mahārāja should pose himself bowing down before Lord Vāmanadeva; and Vāmanadeva should be painted with one leg on the Earth and one leg high in the sky and one leg coming out of his navel and put on the head of Bali Mahārāja. This means that giving one’s possessions to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not full charity, but when one’s personal body and head is given to the service of the Lord, then one becomes perfect in offering everything to the Lord. This is called complete surrender of everything that a devotee may possess.

Bali Mahārāja may be shown as not more than forty years old, a very nice-looking king, well-dressed, like the royal order, and with a moustache but no beard. Śukrācārya should be wearing Shaivaite tilaka, and also Mahārāja Bali can have Shaivaite tilaka until after he meets with Vāmanadeva, and then you can change Bali Maharaja’s tilaka into a Vaiṣṇava one.

Yes, Pradyumna is typing that Third Canto and will send it to you soon. Hoping you are all well.

Your ever well-wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

  • Rama Kānta Dāsa Bali Mahārāja should pose himself bowing down before Lord Vāmanadeva; and Vāmanadeva should be painted with one leg on the Earth and one leg high in the sky and one leg coming out of his navel and put on the head of Bali Mahārāja. This means that giving one’s possessions to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not full charity, but when one’s personal body and head is given to the service of the Lord, then one becomes perfect in offering everything to the Lord. This is called complete surrender of everything that a devotee may possess.
  • Rama Kānta Dāsa A person is said to have perfectly studied the scriptures if he is completely surrendered to Bhagavān Śrī Viṣṇu, if he is free from karma, janā, yoga and other obstructions, and if he is engaged in the nine kinds of bhakti: hearing topics related to Bhagavān (śravaṇam); chanting His name (kīrtanam); remembering His name, form, qualities and pastimes (smaraṇam); serving His lotus feet (pāda-sevanam); performing deity worship (arcanam); offering prayers (vandanam); becoming His servant (dāsyam); becoming His friend (sakhyam); and offering one’s very self (ātma-nivedanam). Only such a person’s study of the scriptures is successful.

    śravaṇa-kīrtana-ādi-bhaktira prakāra
    cid-ghana-ānanda kṛṣṇe sākṣāt yāṅhāra
    sarva-śāstra-tattva bujhi’ kriyā-para tini
    sarvārtha-siddhite tiṅha vijṣa-śiromaṇi


    The nine kinds of devotion, navadhā-bhakti, comprise svarūpa-siddha-bhakti, unalloyed devotion. Other types of devotional practices fall into the categories of saṅga-siddha-bhakti, āropa-siddha-bhakti and so forth. It is essential that one completely surrender to Bhagavān, for one cannot enter svarūpa-siddha-bhakti without surrender. This is the import of the phrase iti puṁsārpitā viṣṇau in this Text. According to Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, the word puṁsā here indicates the māyā-baddha-jīva, conditioned living entity, who is attached to sense enjoyment. The words bhagavaty addhā refer to the instruction to perform service to Bhagavān that is stimulated by devotion that flows like a continuous stream of oil.

    Dedication of the self

    The word ātmā refers to ahaṁtā (egoism), or in other words the sense of “I” pertaining to the body, as well as mamatā (possessiveness), or the sense of “mine” that is related to the body. To offer both of these to Kṛṣṇa is called ātma-nivedana.
    The living entity who is within the body is known as dehī, one who possesses the body, and aham, the ego, egoism or the self. When the living entity takes support of these two conceptions (i.e. the sense of possessing a body (dehī) and the sense of ego or self (aham)), it gives rise to the sense of “I”. The possessiveness or attachment that rests upon this sense of “I” is called dehī-niṣṭha-mamatā, or attachment grounded in the egoism of possessing a body.

    The sense of “mine” in relation to the body is called deha-niṣṭha-mamatā, or possessiveness related to the body itself. One should offer both the sense of “I” and the sense of “mine” to Kṛṣṇa. One should give up the conceptions of “I” and “mine” and adopt the conception that, “I am a servant of Kṛṣṇa, I accept only the remnants of Kṛṣṇa’s prasāda and this body is an instrument suitable for the service of Kṛṣṇa”. To maintain the body exclusively with this mentality is called ātma-nivedana.

    Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: We should pray: 

    "I have no realisation or real understanding. I have offered myself unto your lotus feet. Please, pracodayāt." 

    In all mantras you will see the word pracodayāt: 

    "Please mercifully manifest yourself, as you are, in my heart." 

    If anyone has unconditionally surrendered in this way, he becomes a qualified person. Kṛṣṇa will manifest to that person. Lord Nārāyaṇa Himself told so many things to Brahma: 

    "Who am I? 
    What is this world? 
    What is prema-bhakti? 

    He explained these truths, but Brahma could not realise them. 

    So what did He do? 

    He said: 

    "Oh, I am manifesting myself in your heart because you are surrendered." 

    Nowadays, people want to use their own intelligence. They don't want to surrender. They have no belief, no strong faith, in the words of Gurudeva. They have no faith even in the transcendental words of śāstra, or in the holy name. They think: 

    "I must go to any job and make some money." 

    They do not depend on the chanting of the holy name, and they do not surrender to their Gurudeva. 

    Contrary to this, Vyāsadeva gave up everything: 

    bhakti-yogena manasi
    samyak praṇihite 'male

    ["He fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by the linking process of devotional service without any tinge of materialism. Thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control." 
    (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.7.4.)] 

    He surrendered himself totally. At once he saw: 

    apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇaṁ 

    He saw Kṛṣṇa with Rādhikā, all the gopīs, Nanda, Yaśodā, and all their pastimes. It was like seeing a film. From Kṛṣṇa’s birth to His Dvārakā-līlā, Vyāsadeva saw all the secret truths, and then he wrote Bhāgavatam. 

    yasyāṁ vai śrūyamāṇāyāṁ 

    ["Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling of loving devotion to Lord Kṛṣṇa sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion, and fearfulness."
    (Śrīmad Bhagavān 1.7.7)] 

    We should therefore have so much strong belief in the name, and also in hearing hari-kathā from Sri Śukadeva Gosvāmī. We should offer our heart to them in śaraṇāgati. More than śaraṇāgati, we should do ātma-nivedanam. Śaraṇāgati will not do so much. It is the entrance gate to bhakti. After śaraṇāgati comes śravaṇam, kīrtanam, viṣṇu-smaraṇam, pāda-sevanam, arcanam, vandanam, dāsyam, sakhyam, and ātma-nivedanam. Arjuna is also ātma-nivedanam, but not in full. Bali Mahārāja is also, but not in full. Śaraṇāgati is also in Hanumān, but it is not full. It is in the Pāṇḍavas and in Uddhava, but not full. Even in Dvārakā, in Rukmiṇī and Satyabhāmā, it is not full. It is extremely high in Yaśodā, but not in full. She cannot give her body for the service of Kṛṣṇa as the gopīs can. Their ātma-nivedanam is complete. 

    Do you understand? 

    Śrīla dāsa: I can only hear more.

    Brajanātha: So in this world, the highest surrender is to be always hearing from that Vaiṣṇava who is so exalted?

    Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: But only rare persons can do this. Generally, those who have no Sukṛti will go to a false guru.

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