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Srimad Bhagavatam Class- Live from Mayapur | Sri Mayapur
Srimad Bhagavatam Class- Live from Mayapur

Date: February 19th, 2011
Topic: Dhruva Maharaj Goes Back To Godhead

[SB 4.12.14]
Speaker: HH Ramai Swami

evam bahu-savam kalam
mahatmavicalendriyah
tri-vargaupayikam nitva
putrayadan nrpasanam

TRANSLATION: " : The self-controlled great soul Dhruva Maharaja thus passed many, many years favorably executing three kinds of worldly activities, namely religiosity, economic development and satisfaction of all material desires. Thereafter he handed over the charge of the royal throne to his son. "

PURPORT: Perfection of materialistic life is suitably attained by the process of observing religious principles. This leads automatically to successful economic development, and thus there is no difficulty in satisfying all material desires. Since Dhruva Maharaja, as a king, had to keep up his status quo or it would not have been possible to rule over the people in general, he did it perfectly. But as soon as he saw that his son was grown up and could take charge of the royal throne, he immediately handed over the charge and retired from all material engagements.

One word used here is very significant — avicalendriyah, which means that he was not disturbed by the agitation of the senses nor was his sensory power diminished, although in years he was a very old man. Since he ruled over the world for thirty-six thousand years, naturally one may conclude that he became very, very old, but factually his senses were very young — and yet he was not interested in sense gratification. In other words, he remained self-controlled. He performed his duties perfectly according to the materialistic way. That is the way of behavior of great devotees. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, one of the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya, was the son of a very rich man. Although he had no interest in enjoying material happiness, when he was entrusted with doing something in managing the state, he did it perfectly. Srila Gaurasundara advised him, “From within, keep yourself and your mind completely aloof, but externally execute the material duties just as they need to be done.” This transcendental position can be achieved by devotees only, as described in the Bhagavad-gita: while others, such as yogis, try to control their senses by force, devotees, even though possessing full sensory powers, do not use them because they engage in higher, transcendental activities. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 4.12.14]

HH Ramai Swami: Here the word mahatma is used, the great soul. Earlier on Prabhupada described Dhruva Maharaj as maha bhagavata. So not only mahatma but he was a maha bhagavata, first class devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And we heard yesterday from Ajamila how even as a small child he went to the forest with great determination to get a kingdom greater than his father, greater even than Lord Brahma. When Narada Muni came and instructed him with the mantra - om namo bhagavate vasudevaya, he chanted that and he developed love of God and was able to get darsan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Then he became a changed person and became full of love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead from a young age. So throughout his whole life he was totally devoted, so much so that Prabhupada writes, not only mahatma, maha bhagavata. As a maha bhagavata he still performed his duties as the king.

Prabhupada gives the example here of Raghunatha das Goswami who was born in a very rich family and at an early age one of the sadhus of the village which was Krishnapura, Balarama Acarya had invited Haridasa Thakura to come to that village. Haridasa Thakura was preaching about the glories of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and he also told about Lord Caitanya.

When Raghunatha dasa heard about Lord Caitanya and by the association of Haridasa Thakura he became very infatuated. Of course he is an eternal associate of the Lord. That awakened his love for Krishna and his attraction for Lord Caitanya. He was always thinking, “When can I meet Lord Caitanya.”

Later on he had heard that Lord Caitanya had taken sannyasa and was on His way to Vrindavan but Nityananda Prabhu and the other devotees had tricked Him and taken Him to Santipura, to the house of Advaita Acarya instead. So Raghunath dasa had heard that and he asked his parents (at that time he was fifteen years old) if he could go and see Lord Caitanya. They were a little reluctant because they knew that Raghunath had a mood to renounce everything and be a devotee and not stay in the family.

Nevertheless they sent him with an entourage and he stayed there. He went there and he stayed with Lord Caitanya for ten days. He became infatuated and was crying in the presence of Lord Caitanya. He again came back home but he was always thinking of Lord Caitanya and always thinking of renouncing the world.

He went back to Santipura again. This time, Lord Caitanya after travelling on tour in South India and came back again to Santipura to the house of Advaita Acaraya. This was some time later, four or five years later because Raghunath was nineteen or twenty years old. He again went to see Lord Caitanya. He wanted to just run away from home and go with Lord Caitanya to Jagannath Puri. But Lord Caitanya told him, “No. It will be revealed to you when the proper time of renunciation will come. Krishna will reveal that to you. For now you go back home and you do your duties just like an ordinary man of the world. And do your duties to the best of your ability. In due course of time it will be revealed to you when you can come and join Me at Jagannath Puri.” Lord Caitanya also told him, “You do that but within your own heart you always think of Krishna. You always engage in devotional service and in your heart you think of Krishna.”

So he did that. He went home and he got married to a very beautiful wife and he helped his father and his uncle manage the affairs of state. He did that very, very well. That was only to last a few years because after that time it just built up in him so much to be with Lord Caitanya that finally he found some way to run away via a secret passage through a jungle. He ended up meeting with Lord Caitanya in Jagannath Puri.

He lived a very austere life and after the departure of Lord Caitanya he stayed a little while longer until the departure of his siksa guru, Swarup Damodar Goswami. He then went to Vrindavan and was under the shelter of Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. We know that Raghunath dasa Goswami followed the order of Lord Caitanya.

So Dhruva Maharaj was also following the order to be the king. Prabhupada uses Raghunath dasa Goswami as an example of thinking of Krishna within but doing your duty. Here Prabhupada explains how Dhruva Maharaj followed this perfectly. He was a maha bhagavata and he was always thinking of Krishna but he followed just perfectly the dharma, artha, kama. Moksa of course is generally but it is not mentioned here because Dhruva Maharaj being a devotee was not so much interested in moksa but he was interested in devotional service.

He performed all the religious principles and Ajamila yesterday mentioned that in following this you have to follow properly religious duties, economic development and sense gratification - not sinfully. Don’t engage in sinful activities. Really one has to follow dharma, artha, kama according to varnasrama. In other words in religiosity you follow the general procedures but specifically one follows dharma according to whether one is a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra. Even in the economic development one will follow it according to whether you are a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra. And even in the sense gratification you would follow according to whether you are a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra. So dharma, artha, kama will be according to varnasrama.

So Dhruva Maharaj was in the order of ksatriya king so he was following perfectly. As it was mentioned previously that he would see so many yajnas were going on. He would follow himself all the religious principles and he would make sure that others were following. He would do yajnas. He would make sure that temples were being built, just like here we are building a very nice temple. Ambarish is building a very nice temple. He asked me not to mention his name. I am going to do it anyway.

I was just reading in the Agni Purana if one even thinks of building a temple then the sins of one hundred lives are forgiven. Someone who actually builds a temple, but not only that all their ancestors are freed from hell! If they are in hell they are freed from hell.

Furthermore if one builds one temple one attains Svargaloka. If one builds two temples you attain Brahmaloka. If you build five temples you attain Sivaloka and if you build ten temples you attain Visnuloka. Further more if you build a gold temple that is better than building a stone temple and if you build a stone temple that is better than building a wooden temple. If you build a wooden temple it is better than building an earthen temple. So such are the benefits.

Of course someone who is a devotee, if they become perfected devotees is already on the path back home. So this will be extra. [Laughs] That is the way I look at it. You are already on the path going back to Godhead and this is something extra that Krishna will consider. A healthy reward! But ordinarily these are the results.

So Dhruva Maharaj was following all these things and Prabhupada mentions here that this is the formula if you want to live in the world very nicely, peacefully and prosperously, you follow this formula of dharma and proper religiosity. Then you go to the artha. Here he says, “This leads automatically to successful economic development.

These days we see more and more that they want economic development but they want to cut out the dharma. There is some dharma but it is not according to bona fide religious principles. They are following some sort of religiosity. Therefore the economic development is patchy. It is not proper. But if one properly follows dharma according to varnasrama then there is as Srila Prabhupada says here automatically successful economic development. So this is the formula. Unfortunately these days people in Kali yuga know nothing of these things and so we have so many problems in the world. Some places have strong economic development and other places are very weak. There is no prosperity for all.

Some people have so much money. Other people have nothing. But where there is proper dharma there will be good artha, economic development and prosperity. And then when you got prosperity then you can have your kana, your sense gratification. But the sense gratification also has to be according to religious principles otherwise it will be taken away. Just like we heard from Ajamila yesterday, if you don’t enjoy properly, you try to enjoy in a sinful way then you will get so many reactions.

Dhruva Maharaj followed all these things so in the kingdom there was all prosperity. There was good facility for gratification but people were following in a very religious way. Another point mentioned here is that Dhruva Maharaj lived a very long time. This was Satya yuga so people lived 100 000 years. And his sensory powers never diminished. He never got old.

I read in the Agni Purana that the people of the Satya yuga never got old. They always stayed young, just like the devas. They never get old. They are always young. I also read in the Agni Purana that during Satya yuga from the bowels of the earth a certain juice flowed. That juice was drunk by the people of the Satya yuga and it gave the people vitality, health, strength and long life and practically eternal youth. Their whole lives they would be youthful! They would never get old by drinking this juice that came from the earth. [Is there some juice around? (Laughs)]

So anyway whether Dhruva drank the juice or not the people of the Satya yuga would drink this juice and so they would stay youthful. So Dhruva Mahara drank this juice and so he was always young and so his senses were strong. Prabhupada actually mentions here that the word - avicalendriyah is very significant. “He was not was not disturbed by the agitation of the senses nor was his sensory power diminished.” He was not interested I sense gratification. This is an important point.

Generally speaking when you are young and healthy and when you have as Ajamila Prabhu mentioned yesterday, health, wealth, - janmaisvarya-sruta-sribhir [SB 1.8.26] It is mentioned if you have high birth or you are very healthy or you have a lot of money or you are very learned, janmaisvarya-sruta, very learned; sribhir you are very beautiful the tendency is to enjoy in the world. You have got everything. You have got money, you are handsome, you are beautiful or you are learned. Imagine if you have got all these things. Immediately the tendency would be to enjoy. But not so with Dhruva Maharaj!

He had all these things yet he was not interested in sense gratification. In other words he remained self controlled. This is very, very important. He remained self controlled because he was maha bhagavata. This is another point Srila Prabhupada says here. He says yogis try to control their senses by vigorous practice of astanga yoga or some other type of yoga. They go to the Himalaya or they go deep in the forest and they shut themselves off and they do their meditation and they withdraw their senses. It is very difficult.

There is a story that I heard some time ago that one time a man came to India. He wanted to find a guru to teach him yoga. So the guru said, “Okay, I will accept you but first you have to go into this cave and you just have to be there and not come back. Just meditate. After one week you can come back.” So he did it and he came back and the guru said actually, “When you come back you can only say two words.”

So he came back and the guru said, “Yes? What are your two words?” He said, “More food.”[Laughter] He said, “All right you can have food. But you have to go back again for another week. And when you come back, two words.” So he did it and he came back. “What are your two words?” “More blankets.” In other words he was cold. “All right you can have some blankets but you have to go back again for another week. And then come back, only two words! He did it and he came back. “What are your two words?” He said, “Give up.” [Laughter]

So it is very difficult especially in the Kali yuga to do this type of austerity but the devotee being fixed in Krishna consciousness very easily he is not thinking of hardships. He is in ecstasy in Krishna consciousness. Prabhupada actually mentions that only the devotees actually can have full control. Dhruva Maharaj had everything yet he had full control of the senses and he was not disturbed and he was humble.

In the Mahabharata it s mentioned by Narada Muni to Yudhisthira Maharaj that if one wants to be successful in transcendental knowledge one has to be humble. And to be humble you need to be self controlled then you will be successful in transcendental knowledge. Furthermore he said that when you are in transcendental knowledge there can be one thousand grief’s a day, there can be one thousand fears a day but the person in transcendental knowledge is unaffected by either of those things. He is not overwhelmed.

But someone who is not in transcendental knowledge will be overwhelmed and so affected by so many things of the material world. So this was Dhruva Maharaj. Dhruva Maharaj was in the position of transcendental knowledge and in this way he could rule very, very nicely.

There is another story in relation to the position of devotional service and the position of transcendental knowledge. This is mentioned also in the Markendeya Purana. In the Markendeya Purana there is a story of Lord Dattatreya speaking to King Alark. Lord Dattatreya said that if someone has the ahankara, false ego, he said that one small shoot of ahankara can grow into a huge tree of ignorance. And the trunk of that tree is affection for the material world and the branches of the tree attachment to home and family, the leaves of the tree - attachment to wife and children; the flowers to the tree are attachment to the fruits and cereals and the canopy of the tree is all the relationships we have in the material world.

So this tree from a small shoot of ahankara can grow very, very big and one who lives under the leaves of this tree is forever in ignorance but it is the duty of someone seeking transcendental knowledge to fell this tree, cut down this tree. Only when this tree is cut down can you attain the position of transcendental knowledge.

Dhruva Maharaj throughout his whole life at least after he met Narada Muni and had darsan of the Supreme Lord, he was never in ignorance - maha bhagavata. And because of the position of transcendental knowledge when he saw that his son was ready to take over the kingdom he immediately handed over to his son. He was unattached. Actually this is the secret of success of life in the world - you do your duty in life to the best of your ability but remain unattached. It is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita. You remain unattached to the outcome. You leave the results to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whatever the results you leave to Krishna and you accept that. Whatever duties you have you do that to the best of your ability.

So when see that when the time came Dhruva Maharaj was able to just immediately give up. Normally people would become very, very attached. It is easy to give up something when you have nothing. When you have all of those things, how hard is it to give up? We see in recent history leaders who are eighty or ninety.

In Indonesia we had President Suharto who was eighty or ninety years old. He had to be dragged down. Amassed millions of dollars, overseas accounts we saw with Ferdinand Marcos and recently with Hosni Mubarak in Egypt - eighty two or eighty three years old and clinging to power to the very end. We read that now he and his family - there was one article I read, ‘Is This The Richest Man In The World?’ They estimate that he is worth seventy billion dollars. Seventy billion! He didn’t have seventy billion when he came to office. How he got the seventy billion? How have any of them? And even when he had all that still he wanted i One might think that, “Well I have got so much money. They want me to go, I will go. I have got seventy billion. Thanks! I will see you later.” [Laughter] You can have the kingdom. I have got the seventy billion.” But no still!

I read a survey was done of the richest people of the world and what do they want the most? The richest people want more money. And getting to your answer people who have power what do they want? More power! So none of these things actually satisfy! Only Krishna consciousness can satisfy. We see in the case of Dhruva Maharaj how he was satisfied. He was not attached to it all. He was doing so many things. The time came and he took the opportunity. He left home and handed over to his son and he went for full renunciation and engagement in Krishna consciousness. Hare Krishna! Thank you. Does anyone have any question or comment?

Prabhu: I actually have two. You can pick which one you want to answer!

HH Ramai Swami: Can I have them one at a time?

HG Badri Narayana Prabhu: I will give you both and you can pick which one you want. Whichever way you want to do it Maharaj, you are the boss.

One could argue, “I am a young man. I am on the cusp of beginning my adult life. I want to join Krishna consciousness and become a full time devotee but all my parents, everyone else is advising me to go to college, get a career. Take the gradual path of religiosity, material development and enjoy some sense gratification. Evolve and then when it s all over in due course later on when you are old and dried up then fall for devotional service. No problem.” And they will quote this as an example. So that is question one.

The other question, pick which one you like. You said humility depends on detachment.

HH Ramai Swami: Sense control.

HG Badri Narayana Prabhu: No you said in order to be humble you have to be detached from sense gratification. So could you elaborate on that dynamics? So either one Maharaj!

HH Ramai Swami: In regard to someone who is thinking which path to choose. In other words you are saying, “Shall I become like a full time devotee or shall I just pursue my career/” That would depend on the circumstances. I saw Prabhupada deal differently with different devotees.

In the early days we had two devotees who were studying and they were in the middle of their degree course and they went to Srila Prabhupada, “What shall we do, should we give up and become full time devotees and live in the temple or should we continue our studies?” So Prabhupada said to them that, “You should move in the temple and you continue your studies.’ But on another occasion I saw another student go to Prabhupada and ask the same thing and Prabhupada said, “Give it up immediately and move into the temple” So I say it would depend on the circumstances and the nature of the person and you have to consider all different facts.

Regarding your second question on humility and sense gratification: When one is engaged in sense gratification, especially if one becomes very attached, the thing is that the nature of sense gratification is that you are never satisfied. So one is going to be frustrated; one is going to be angry; one is going to be envious. And as mentioned by Srila Prabhupada in the Srimad Bhagavatam that were there is envy there has got to be pride and where there is pride you will insult someone. Therefore due to sense gratification you cannot remain humble. You have got to become envious and you have got to become proud. The only way to really be humble is to be detached. Then you will actually be humble. When you are humble then you can truly develop transcendental knowledge. Otherwise as Narada Muni said to Yudhisthira Maharaj you will not be successful in transcendental knowledge if you are not humble.

Chennai, S MurariiWhether humility is a born quality and if not how to develop humility?

HH Ramai Swami: Well it can be a born quality. If someone from their previous life had developed detachment, developed humility or if someone is nitya siddha and comes into the world then automatically they are humble. But other than those types of people then you have to develop it and you have to develop it in the way I just said. You have to develop sense control and all these things have to be done guided by the spiritual master. He will guide you, kala, patra, desa - according to the time place and circumstance. He will guide you. Because what was good five hundred years to follow maybe not so appropriate today.

Just like for sannyasis five hundred years ago they would walk around in their kaupin with nothing else on. Imagine if we all did like that today? [Laughter] we couldn’t walk around. They would immediately arrest us and take us to jail. In other words it is just an example. You have to follow your guru, how he says to do these things, your tapasya, your development of knowledge, you engagement in devotional service. He would give you just the right instruction according to the time place and circumstance.

One last question. Yes?

Prabhu: Hare Krishna Maharaja. Excuse me I have a very bad cough. I have a comment and question. The comment is you said rich people wanted to become richer and the powerful people want more power so the comment is that the Hare Krishna chanters they want more chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Here is my question: Maharaj how great is great. We have the mahatma, we have the maha bhagavata. So I was hearing class from Srila Prabhupada. He was talking about fighters. There is like the rati, there is the maharati - they can wipe out a thousand chariots he said. Some can wipe out ten thousand chariots and they have different terminologies.

HH Ramai Swami: There is always higher level. Maha bhagavata - Jiva Goswami in his Satsandarbha describes three levels of maha bhagavatas - first class, second class and third class. And he gives examples of those. Narada Muni - first clas; Sukadeva Goswami - second class; Narada Muni when he was in the asram he was like on the third level. He gives examples. So you go higher and higher and higher until you go to the gopis ‘til you go to Srimati Radharani. She is the highest. But even Her love is always increasing. So there is never a limit on the level of love of God. And with that I will end. Thank you very much. Jai, all glories to Srila Prabhupada ki!

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