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Mahatma means broad-minded. And duratma means cripple-minded, just the opposite word. Duratma. Dura means far away from Krsna consciousness, dura atma

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"Mahatma means broad-minded. And duratma means cripple-minded, just the opposite word. Duratma. Dura means far away from Krsna consciousness, dura atma"


Festival Lectures

Mahātmā means broad-minded. And durātmā means cripple-minded, just the opposite word. Durātmā. Dura means far away from Kṛṣṇa consciousness, dura ātmā. And mahātmā... Mahān, mahato mahīyān, Kṛṣṇa. So whose ātmā is attached to the Supreme, the great, he's called mahātmā.
Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami's Appearance Day -- Vrndavana, October 19, 1972:

Prabhupāda: So the most important chapter of Caitanya's teaching was to Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī. Teachings of Sanātana Gosvāmī, uh, Rūpa Gosvāmī and Rāmaṇanda Gosvāmī, Rāmānanda Rāya, so they are meant for devotees who are on the second stage. First stage, second stage, and third stage. The first stage is called mahā-bhāgavata, liberated devotee. And the second stage is via media between the lowest stage and liberated stage. And the lowest stage is called prākṛta-bhakta, means persons in material condition gradually being elevated to the supreme position of self-realization. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu dealt with Sanātana Gosvāmī because he was to write one book for direction, Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. You know—his famous book. This is a book giving directions especially to the householders, how to keep oneself on the proper standard of Vaiṣṇava behavior. Later on, Sanātana Gosvāmī wrote the book Hari-bhakti-vilāsa for giving direction, and Rūpa Gosvāmī wrote the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, "The Science of Devotion." Now, these two brothers met Caitanya Mahāprabhu when they were on their ministerial posts at Maldah, a district in Bengal. So after meeting Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they decided to join with Him fully for propagating the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and they resigned from their posts. Rūpa Gosvāmī first resigned..., not officially resigned, because he was very much eager to meet Caitanya Mahāprabhu, so he first of all retired. And then Sanātana Gosvāmī, later on, he wanted to resign in a tactful way, but the Nawab did not like the idea. So he was imprisoned at his house. No, he was actually imprisoned. And later on, Sanātana Gosvāmī bribed ten thousand gold coins to the jail superintendent and got out of the prison house and went to meet Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Benares.

So when he met, he very humbly approached and he said, "My dear Lord, I am born of lower family." Actually, he was born of a Sārasvata brāhmaṇa family, but because he associated with the mlecchas and yavanas, the Muhammadans, so they were rejected from the brāhmaṇa community, and therefore he represented himself as having born of a lower family. "My associations are all abominable." Ordinary men, especially he was mixing with the Mohammedans, they were habituated to drinking, meat-eating, which have become a fashion in the gentleman's society nowadays. So he considered himself as fallen. "The most wretched of mankind..." If a human being does not take advantage of this opportunity to have a human form of life, then he's missing the point. In the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says... (much talking in background) (aside:) Stop them.

Acyutānanda: Kṛpera, śānti kāraṇa.

Prabhupāda: Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ. Narādhama means "lowest of the mankind." Anyone who does not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead and does not surrender unto Him, he is considered the lowest of the mankind. It is not sectarian. It is a fact. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead says Himself. If we say somebody that "You are the lowest of the mankind because you, you are not Kṛṣṇa conscious," it may be called sectarian view, but when the Lord, Himself, says that,

na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
prapadyante narādhama
māyaya apahṛta-jñānā
asurī-bhāvam āśritāḥ
(BG 7.15)

Asurī-bhāvam āśritāḥ. There are two classes of men: asurī-bhāvam āśritāḥ and daivī-prakṛtim āśritāḥ. In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find these two words. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). Those who are mahātmānas, broad-minded... Mahātmā means broad-minded. And durātmā means cripple-minded, just the opposite word. Durātmā. Dura means far away from Kṛṣṇa consciousness, dura ātmā. And mahātmā... Mahān, mahato mahīyān, Kṛṣṇa. So whose ātmā is attached to the Supreme, the great, he's called mahātmā.

So durātmā means one who is under the influence of this material nature, far, far away from Kṛṣṇa. This material nature actually situated many, many, many, many thousands and millions of miles far away from Vaikuṇṭhaloka. This universe is unlimited according to our measurement. And beyond this universe there is the spiritual world, paravyoma. And far, far away, the topmost planet of the spiritual world is Kṛṣṇaloka. So those who are in this material world, actually they are durātmā in this sense that they are far, far away from the planet which is known as Kṛṣṇaloka, or Goloka Vṛndāvana. This Vṛndāvana is the replica of that original Vṛndāvana. Because when Kṛṣṇa comes on this planet He appears in this spot of land, Vṛndāvana. Just like when the governor goes somewhere, they have got a circuit house. It is something like that. And there is no difference between that original Vṛndāvana and this Vṛndāvana.

So mahātmā, they are always attached with Kṛṣṇa. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). They are no longer under the influence of this material nature. Anyone who surrenders to Kṛṣṇa, takes Kṛṣṇa everything, is no longer under the influence of this material nature. That is the significance. If one is fully surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, fully attached to Kṛṣṇa, the symptoms will be seen that he's no more attached to material enjoyment. Just like these Gosvāmīs. These Gosvāmīs, they were very highly posted, ministers. They were not ordinary men. Big, big ministers in the government. But because they became attached to Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Kṛṣṇa, they gave up their posts. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śrenīm. Tyaktvā means giving up; turnam, immediately. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śrenīm. Maṇḍala-pati means leaders. They were called... (aside:) One will do, not two.

Devotees: One, one, once.

Prabhupāda: Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śrenīṁ sadā tucchavat. Tucchavat means very significant. They did not give any importance to the ministerial post. Here in the material world, if you get a nice government service, what to speak of to become minister, then we are very much proud. But the Gosvāmīs thought of their posts as very insignificant. Without thinking like that, how they can give it up? Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59). You cannot by force become renounced order of life. When you see something better than your present engagement, then you can be renounced. After accepting renounced order of life, if I am still attached to these material things, then that is not advancement. So these Gosvāmīs, Sanātana Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī, they gave up their posts. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śrenīṁ sadā tucchavat bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau kṛpayā kaupīna-kantāśritau. Kaupīna, the underwear, loincloth, and a torn quilt, and a kuraṅga, That was their possessions. And they used to live underneath one tree, and next day another tree. In this way, in this Vṛndāvana... First of all, Sanātana Gosvāmī came here after taking instruction from Lord Caitanya in Benares. And Madana Gopāla's temple you have seen, old. He was living there underneath a tree. There was no temple at that time. The temple was constructed later on. So this Sanātana Gosvāmī, just after giving up his ministerial post, with great difficulty, he came to Benares and Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave him instruction for two months for guiding the Vaiṣṇava principles. So he's approaching his spiritual master with humble attitude. Therefore he's speaking like that. "I am born of lower family. My associations are all abominable, and I am fallen." Actually, he was minister. He was coming of a brāhmaṇa family. But these material qualifications are not sufficient to improve one's Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One must approach a bona fide spiritual master. That is being exhibited by Sanātana Gosvāmī. He's approaching the original spiritual master, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, with due humbleness. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta (SB 11.3.21). Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet samit-pāṇi śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). One must approach. Sanātana Gosvāmī's teaching us the Vaiṣṇava principle that one should approach a proper spiritual master. So he's approaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So one may argue that "Where is Caitanya Mahāprabhu now? Where is Kṛṣṇa now?" It doesn't matter. Kṛṣṇa's words are there. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's words are there. Instructions are there. So if we follow the direction and instruction of Caitanya Mahāprabhu or Kṛṣṇa under the guidance of a superior, bona fide spiritual master, then we associate with Kṛṣṇa or Caitanya Mahāprabhu without any deviation.