Class by HG Nandakumar Prabhu - Damodardesh
Verse from Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.34
etad dhy ātura-cittānāḿ
Translation: It is personally experienced by me that those who are always full of cares and anxieties due to desiring contact of the senses with their objects can cross the ocean of nescience on a most suitable boat — the constant chanting of the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead.
Narada Muni says that the satisfaction for all the frustrated beings who are always contemplating on the objects of the senses, is to continually chant the activities of the Lord. Srila Prabhupada says that the Lord by His causeless mercy descends and does his pastimes like the wordly people, but all His activities are extraordinary. Lord Krishna performed these pastimes, so that we can turn our attention from materialistic activities to the spiritual activities of the Lord.
Narada represents giver of Narayana but unfortunately in cinema they make jokes on Narada. This is because we cannot recognize a Sadhu. Srila Prabhupada gives the example of King Rshabha, Sukadeva Goswami, Rahugana & Jada Bharata. One could never understand the saintly character of these personalities by their external behavior & characteristics.
There is no profit if one goes to a Sadhu for fulfillment of material desires and does not listen to him. We should associate with a sadhu for our own benefit.
na te viduh svartha-gatim hi vishnum
durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah
andha yathandhair upaniyamanas
te 'pisa-tantryam uru-damni baddhah
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 Vishnu. 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. (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.31)
We should therefore, hear the instructions of the Sadhu. The Sadhu puts hot oil in our ears and all the infection and contamination which exists will be cleansed out. So, we should follow the great authorities like Narada Muni.
svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo balir vaiyāsakir vayam
dvādaśaite vijānīmo dharmaḿ bhāgavataḿ bhaṭāḥ
guhyaḿ viśuddhaḿ durbodhaḿ yaḿ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute
Lord Brahmā, Bhagavān Nārada, Lord Śiva, the four Kumāras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahūti], Svāyambhuva Manu, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja,Grandfather Bhīṣma, Bali Mahārāja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and I myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhāgavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead. (Srimad Bhagavatam 6.3.20-21)
We should follow the path which the authorities have shown us. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ - Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.' (CC Madhya 17.186)
Narada is the Guru of Vyasadeva, Dhruva, Prahalad, Yudhistar Maharaj, Bhishma and in every Purana, we will find Narada in the scene. In every canto of Bhagavatam, Narada Muni is there.
Once Srila Prabhupada was in London temple and he began to laugh. There were only few devotees, so they asked Prabhupada, about his reason for laughing? Srila Prabhupada said, I am smiling because Sri Narada is laughing in ecstacy seeing the devotees going out and preaching to people completely devoid of God consciousness & doing kirtan in a place which is residence for mlecchas. So, Narada is happy when he sees devotees preaching. Narada’s mission is to go to every place, meet every individual and make them devotees. Yare Dekha Tare Kaha Krishna Upadesa (CC Madhya 7.128). In many ways, Srila Prabhupada is like Narada Muni. Srila Prabhupada travelled the globe 14 times and He said that ‘I got the same curse as Narada got. I cannot stay in one place.’
Narada Muni has a transcendental body and He is an associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead for whom the doors of Vaikuntha are always open. As explained in SB 1.6.31 Purport, “The ṛṣis, as above mentioned, cannot enter into the transcendental world like Nārada. This fact is disclosed in the Narasiḿha Purāṇa. Ṛṣis like Marīci are authorities in fruitive work, and ṛṣis like Sanaka and Sanātana are authorities in philosophical speculations. But Śrī Nārada Muni is the prime authority for transcendental devotional service of the Lord.”
aho devarṣir dhanyo 'yaḿ
gāyan mādyann idaḿ tantryā
ramayaty āturaḿ jagat
All glory and success to Śrīla Nārada Muni because he glorifies the activities of the Personality of Godhead, and so doing he himself takes pleasure and also enlivens all the distressed souls of the universe. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.38)
The Greatness of Sri Narada’s Mother
Narada started his journey from the most disqualified birth as the son of a maidservant. But so exalted was the mother that she did not prefer to serve materialistic men to earn her livelihood but rather preferred happily to serve the devotees of the Lord. When she learnt that the Bhaktivedantas had arrived during the Caturmasya period, she decided to go along with her little son and serve them. She and Narada were engaged constantly in their service. Sri Narada says, “Thus during two seasons — the rainy season and autumn — I had the opportunity to hear these great-souled sages constantly chant the unadulterated glories of the Lord Hari. As the flow of my devotional service began, the coverings of the modes of passion and ignorance vanished.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.28 Text)
How did Narada benefit from the Bhaktivedantas?
SB 1.5.26 Purport: “One can attain to the highest perfection of life simply by attentive hearing of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord from the right sources, as Śrī Nārada heard them from the pure devotees (bhakti-vedāntas) in his previous life. This process of hearing in the association of the devotees is especially recommended in this age of quarrel (Kali).”
However, in this age of Kali, we have to be careful from many professional reciters of the Bhagavatam who decry the supreme existence of Lord Krishna and establish superiority of some supernatural power which can be given any name or form. But Srimad Bhagavatam’s first verse begins with “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya - O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.” Every line of the Bhagavatam talks about Lord Hari.
SB 1.5.32 Purport: “The best thing is, after all, to get relief from all material activities and engage oneself completely in hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. But in case of the absence of such an opportunity, one should try to engage in the service of the Lord everything for which one has specific attraction, and that is the way of peace and prosperity.”
How wonderfully Srila Prabhupada guides us to channelize all our abilities in Krishna’s service.
SB 1.5.25 Text: Sri Narada says: “Once only, by their permission, I took the remnants of their food, and by so doing all my sins were at once eradicated. Thus being engaged, I became purified in heart, and at that time the very nature of the transcendentalist became attractive to me.”
Kind Grace of the Lord to Narada
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.9: “Once upon a time, my poor mother, when going out one night to milk a cow, was bitten on the leg by a serpent, influenced by supreme time.” Purport: That is the way of dragging a sincere soul nearer to God. The poor boy was being looked after only by his affectionate mother, and yet the mother was taken from the world by the supreme will in order to put him completely at the mercy of the Lord.
So Narada had no alternative for protection than the Supreme Lord.
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.33: The Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whose glories and activities are pleasing to hear, at once appears on the seat of my heart, as if called for, as soon as I begin to chant His holy activities.
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.17: O Vyāsadeva, at that time, being exceedingly overpowered by feelings of happiness, every part of my body became separately enlivened. Being absorbed in an ocean of ecstasy, I could not see both myself and the Lord.
Srila Prabhupada explains in SB 1.16.19 Purport, “We cannot demand the Lord to be present before our vision, just as we cannot demand the sun to rise whenever we like. The sun rises out of his own accord; so also the Lord is pleased to be present out of His causeless mercy. One should simply await the opportune moment and go on discharging his prescribed duty in devotional service of the Lord. Nārada Muni thought that the Lord could be seen again by the same mechanical process which was successful in the first attempt, but in spite of his utmost endeavor he could not make the second attempt successful. The Lord is completely independent of all obligations. He can simply be bound up by the tie of unalloyed devotion. Nor is He visible or perceivable by our material senses. When He pleases, being satisfied with the sincere attempt of devotional service depending completely on the mercy of the Lord, then He may be seen out of His own accord.”
Our Bhakti is fluctuating up and down like the stock market, but it can be steady if we hold on to the Lotus-like feet of Srila Prabhupada and Guru-acaryas.
All different religions state that they heard the voice of the Lord and on that basis came their religious texts. But for Narada, the Lord first gave him His darshan and then the voice came as a consolation prize. So this is the greatness of Sanatana Dharma.
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.22: The Lord said: “O virtuous one, you have only once seen My person, and this is just to increase your desire for Me, because the more you hanker for Me, the more you will be freed from all material desires.”
Purport: A living being cannot be vacant of desires. He is not a dead stone. He must be working, thinking, feeling and willing. But when he thinks, feels and wills materially, he becomes entangled, and conversely when he thinks, feels and wills for the service of the Lord, he becomes gradually freed from all entanglement. The more a person is engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, the more he acquires a hankering for it. That is the transcendental nature of godly service. Material service has satiation, whereas spiritual service of the Lord has neither satiation nor end. One can go on increasing his hankerings for the loving transcendental service of the Lord, and yet he will not find satiation or end. By intense service of the Lord, one can experience the presence of the Lord transcendentally. Therefore seeing the Lord means being engaged in His service because His service and His person are identical. The sincere devotee should go on with sincere service of the Lord.
The more service we do, the more we get attached to service and we gradually become free from all attachments. If we give up doing service, it means we give up seeing the Lord because the Lord and His service are identical.