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Bhakti means when one has attained real jnanam. Without real jnanam, nobody can become bhakta. The foolish person says that bhakti's meant for ajnani, or less intelligent

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"bhakti means when one has attained real jnanam. Without real jnanam, nobody can become bhakta. The foolish person says that bhakti's meant for ajnani, or less intelligent"


Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 3.25.18 -- Bombay, November 18, 1974:

So this godless society, the rascal society, who is, which has forgotten that we have to serve Kṛṣṇa, that is called dharmasya glāniḥ. When the society forgets Kṛṣṇa and stops Kṛṣṇa's service, that is called dharmasya glāniḥ. Real dharma means the characteristic. Dharma does not mean some rules and regulations. So just like sugar. Sugar, the characteristic of sugar is to become sweet. The characteristic of chili means to become hot. If sugar becomes hot and chili becomes sweet, then nobody cares for it. Similarly, our characteristic is to serve Kṛṣṇa. And when we serve anything other than Kṛṣṇa, that is our diseased condition of life. Just like this hand is meant for picking up something eatable and put it into the mouth. If it is unable to do it, then it is diseased. If the fingers and hands cannot pick up nice foodstuff and put into the mouth, then it is diseased condition. Similarly, when we are unable to serve Kṛṣṇa, or we do not serve Kṛṣṇa, we serve... Serving we are. That is a fact. We cannot become master. Nobody... Can anyone say that he is master? He's not serving anyone? Everyone is serving. That's a fact. Either you are serving your family or society or country or office or so many service. If anyone hasn't got to serve anything, then he picks up a master, a cat and dog, and serves him. Because service is my nature. But we are missing where to put the service. That is Kṛṣṇa. That is, that is Kṛṣṇa. So when we understand that we are missing... We are serving, but we are having no pleasure. Kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā pālitā durnideśāḥ. We are serving... Instead of serving Kṛṣṇa, I am serving my lusty desires. Kāma-lobhādi. If I go to serve any office, I am not going to serve that particular person, proprietor of the office, but I require some money. Therefore I am serving. So I am serving the money, not the person. Therefore it is said, kāma-lobha. Lobha. We serve the... Service must be... Kṛṣṇa is the master. Ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa āra saba bhṛtya (CC Adi 5.142). Only master is Kṛṣṇa, and anyone—all demigods or man or animal or trees or—anything, they are all servants. This is the position. And when one realizes this position, that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, particle, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. My duty is to serve Kṛṣṇa," then it is called self-realization. Not that ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I become Bhagavān." How you become Bhagavān? If you are Bhagavān, if you are actually the supreme powerful, then why you are in miserable condition under māyā? Does Bhagavān come under māyā? No. Kṛṣṇa says, mama māyā. Māyā is the maidservant of Kṛṣṇa. And we are servant of māyā. So how we can become māyā, uh, Bhagavān? This is common sense. Had I been Bhagavān, then why I have become servant of māyā? Therefore we are engaged in the service of māyā in so many phases and different names. Somebody's serving country, somebody's serving society, somebody's serving family, office, this, that, so many. This is māyā's service. Now, when we come to our senses, that "I am..., so long I was engaged in māyā's service. Now I have to engage myself in Kṛṣṇa's service," that is self-realization. That is described here that jñāna-vairāgya-yuktena. (SB 3.25.18) Jñāna-vairāgya. This is knowledge, that "I am servant of Kṛṣṇa. I am nobody's servant." This is jñāna. Because I am in illusion, I am, for nothing, without any benefit, I am serving so many... Kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā pālitā durnideśāḥ. Kāma-lobha. I am serving this kāma, lobha, moha, mātsarya, but without any benefit, without any pleasure. So when we come to this stage, to know, that is called jñānam. And as soon as you become jñānī, actually in knowledge, then what is the next step? Vairāgya. "No more I am serving anyone. I shall serve only Kṛṣṇa. That's all." This is called vairāgya. Jñāna-vairāgya. Therefore in the Bhāgavata it is said,

vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
(SB 1.2.7)

If one is engaged in the service of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, this knowledge also comes. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). After many, many births, if one is actually jñānī, seeking after knowledge, then he comes to this conclusion. What is this? Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ (BG 7.19). This is mahātmā, not anyone who is defying Kṛṣṇa and he's trying to become Kṛṣṇa. He's not mahātmā; he's durātmā. Mahātmā means, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19). And knowing this, māṁ prapadyate. That is mahātmā. Don't mistake mahātmā, who is mahātmā. What is the symptom of mahātmā?

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam
(BG 9.13)

He's mahātmā. You cannot manufacture mahātmā. This is the qualification of mahātmā: vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19), who knows that Kṛṣṇa is everything. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). He is mahātmā. And his business is mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīm... (BG 9.13). He is under the daivī-prakṛti. There are two kinds of prakṛtis: parā-prakṛti and aparā-prakṛti. Aparā-prakṛti means this material world, and daivī-prakṛti is the spiritual world. So immediately, as soon as he understands this philosophy of life, that "I am uselessly serving this material world or the society, friendship, country and so on, so on, without serving Kṛṣṇa," that is called jñāna, knowledge. And as soon as one comes to this knowledge, that knowledge is, that position is called brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20) stage. Brahman realization. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54). As soon as one comes to this platform of knowledge, then he becomes prasannātmā. "Oh, why I am serving these nonsense? I forgot that I am a spirit soul, minute particle of Kṛṣṇa. My business is to serve Kṛṣṇa." Just like... I have already explained. Part and parcel means serving the whole. That is called part and parcel. Any example you can take. In office there are so many workers, but they are working for satisfaction of the whole. Similarly, the whole is Kṛṣṇa. Anything, we individually or anything, they are meant for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). Upaniṣads. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam. Anyone who has understood that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa, Īśa... Īśa means Kṛṣṇa. Īśa or īśvara. There are so many īśvaras or īśa, but Īśvara, real Īśvara, is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). And Kṛṣṇa also says in the Bhagavad-gītā, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat (BG 7.7). There are many īśvaras, or īśas. That is all right, but "Nobody is greater than Me." That is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). So this is jñāna. So as soon as one comes to this conclusion, that "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I am Kṛṣṇa's part and parcel. I have got the same quality as Kṛṣṇa has got, but He is Prabhu, I am servant. He is master, and I am servant," this is perfect knowledge. Then jñāna-vairāgya-yuktena bhakti-yuktena (SB 3.25.18). So bhakti means when one has attained real jñānam. Without real jñānam, nobody can become bhakta. The foolish person says that bhakti's meant for ajñānī, or less intelligent. No. Bhakti is meant for the most intelligent person. Because bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). You become experienced, very, very experienced, after many, many years. So it is not many, many years, but many, many births, one actually becomes jñānī. And what is that jñāna? Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19). That is jñānam. So long you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa, or Vāsudeva, you should understand yourself that you are still fool. You may advertise yourself as very jñānī, but you are fool. That is the shastric conclusion. Because if you are actually jñānī, then you should have surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. That is also stated in another place in the Bhagavad... Māyayā apahṛta-jñānāḥ.

na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
prapadyante narādhamāḥ
āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
(BG 7.15)

Who does not surrender to Kṛṣṇa? These classes of men. What is that? Duṣkṛtinaḥ, always acting sinful activities. Because those who are sinful, they cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). Or yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpam. One who is completely free from pāpa, he can surrender to Kṛṣṇa. He can be engaged in devotional service. So to become free from pāpa, sinful life, one may say that "It will take many years..." Because yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām. Unless we act piously, it is not possible to become free from impious, or sinful, life. But there is very simple process. What is that process? Kṛṣṇa says that process:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
(BG 18.66)

Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi. If you simply surrender to Kṛṣṇa, sarva-dharmān... Sarva... There are many dharmas, or many activities or function. Some of them are pious; some of them are impious. There are two kinds. So Kṛṣṇa says, "You give up, pious and impious, both." That is sarva-dharmān. Because we are acting piously and impiously. So you can give up both pious activities and impious activities. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was thinking that "Fighting with my brother, it is impious." So Kṛṣṇa was insisting that "You must fight." So how Arjuna could take impious activities? Because Kṛṣṇa's service is above these pious and impious activities. That is called sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). Just like the gopīs. The gopīs went to Kṛṣṇa at mid..., midnight, by simply hearing the flute of Kṛṣṇa. So young girl, going to Kṛṣṇa at midnight, this is impious activities. According to śāstra, according to moral, it is impious activities. But because it was done for Kṛṣṇa, it is understood as the most pious. Recommends. Who recommends? Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that ramyā kācid upāsanā vraja-vadhū-vargeṇa yā kalpitā. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He was sannyāsī. He was very, very strict. And no woman could come near Him to offer respects. He was very strict about woman. And now, He's saying, ramyā kācid upāsanā vraja-vadhū-vargeṇa yā kalpitā: "What can be more wonderful process of worship than as it was conceived by the gopīs?" The six Gosvāmīs also: gopī-bhāva-rasāmṛtābdhi-laharī-kallola-magnau muhur vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau. So, so although it looks apparently that gopīs went to Kṛṣṇa to dance with Him, that is not very moral, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends that is the highest method of worshiping Kṛṣṇa.