Secrets of attaining the highest perfection

How can one attain perfection in life and get to know the confidential aspects of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Read on…

krishna with cow

Lecture by Sri Chanchalapathi Dasa
Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.22

manisitanubhavo ‘yam
mama lokavalokanam
yad upasrutya rahasi
cakartha paramam tapah

TRANSLATION

The highest perfectional ingenuity is the personal perception of My abodes, and this has been possible because of your submissive attitude in the performance of severe penance according to My order.

In this verse the Lord is saying anubhavah is realization, personal perception by seeing the Lord’s abode. The highest perfection of wisdom is to have direct experience of the Lord and His abode. So the Lord is saying that you were blessed with this experience yad upasrutya rahasi, because this knowledge about My abode, about Myself is confidential aspects in the Vedas and you have very submissively heard, because you have acted according to what you heard and that action constitutes paramam tapah, highest austerity.

One of the things that Prabhupada elaborates here is the highest perfectional stage of life can be attained by everyone who is willing to discharge the act of devotional service to the Lord as enjoined in the revealed scriptures that are standard and accepted by the bona fide acharyas.

In the Bhagavad-gita, the Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna asks that one should always be mindful of Him, man mana, always be His devotee, bhava mad-bhakto, always worship Him only, mad-yaji and always bow down before the Lord, mam namaskuru and by doing so one is sure to go back home, back to Godhead without any doubt. In other places also the same order is there – that one gives up all other engagements and fully surrenders unto the Lord without hesitation sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, and the Lord will give such a devotee all protection. These are the secrets of attaining the highest perfectional stage.

Now there are so many intelligent people in this world and the question comes to our mind – why they are not able to take to Krishna consciousness? Because we see how Krishna consciousness is so logical, it is authorised and still why such wise people are not able to come to the conclusion of Krishna consciousness. This subject is very nicely analysed by Prahlada Maharaja in his talks.

Prahlada-Maharajas-Teachings-in-Front-of-Hiranyakashipu

Hiranyakashipu asked Prahlada after some days of training in the Gurukula school – my dear son what is the best thing that you have learnt in your school. And immediately Prahlada says:

sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam

These nine forms of devotional service is the highest thing. Hiranyakashipu was enraged to hear this. “All these suras, devatas, visnu bhaktas, are enemies of our clan; they clandestinely come and pollute children in my kingdom.” He got very angry at the teachers. Shukracharya was his guru, and his sons, were teaching him, they are not in disciplic succession, they were hereditary teachers sri-guru-putra uvaca. So the teachers Shanda and Amarka became very scared, and so they said, we have not taught him, na para-pranitam, nobody else has taught him also. Where did he get this understanding? So for that they are saying, naisargikiyam matir asya rajan, naturally he has developed it. niyaccha manyum, please give up your anger at us.

Having heard this from the teachers of Prahlada, Hiranyakashipu asked his son, ahasura sutam, sutam aha, tell me where have you learnt this? So for that Prahlada speaks three verses. When Hiranyakashipu heard those three verses, he became so angry he pushed Prahlada from his lap; Prahlada rolled and fell on the ground. Prabhupada spoke on those three verses innumerable times, and it captures the entire principles of Krishna consciousness very nicely.

We started discussing why learned people in this world don’t take to Krishna consciousness, that Prahlada answers in this:

matir na krsne paratah svato va
mitho ‘bhipadyeta grha-vratanam
adanta-gobhir visatam tamisram
punah punas carvita-carvananam

The question was about kuto abadra asati matih, putra asati matih, how have you developed, Prahlada is answering matir na krsne paratah svato va mitho ‘bhipadyeta grha-vratanam, this Krishna matih, how did I develop, you are asking matir na krsne paratah svato va mitho ‘bhipadyeta grha-vratanam, he is saying either by oneself or by somebody else teaching or by a combination of the two, one will not develop this Krishna matih, will not come about for those who are grha-vratanam, who are too addicted to materialistic bodily conception of life. Then Prahlada says, adanta-gobhir visatam tamisram punah punas carvita-carvananam, those who are in bodily conception of life, they have uncontrolled senses and activities of sense gratification visatam tamisram, they enter darker and darker regions of material existence punah punas carvita-carvananam, enjoying simply the enjoyed, chewing the chewed.

The next verse that Prahlada is saying

na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum
durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah
andha yathandhair upaniyamanas
te ‘pisa-tantryam uru-damni baddhah

Such people with uncontrolled senses, don’t know their own self-interest na te viduh svartha-gatim, what is the highest welfare for them and that is Vishnu and all kinds of desires, bahir-artha-maninah, and they consider all external objects of the material world artha-maninah, to be very valuable and they are like that andha yathandhair upaniyamanas, they are misdirected and not realising te ‘pisa-tantryam uru-damni baddhah, that everyone is tightly bound by the ropes of karma, not realizing this is the isa tantram, the Lord’s arrangement.

And the third verse talks about, why intelligent people are not able to surrender to Krishna and understand Krishna consciousness. This is the verse that enraged Hiranyakashipu so much:

naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim
sprsaty anarthapagamo yad-arthah
mahiyasam pada-rajo- ‘bhisekam
niskincananam na vrnita yavat

As long as you don’t take medicine, you will not get cured, as long as you don’t do this, you will not get this, this is the principle. One will not achieve inclination to serve the lotus feet of the Lord as long as one does not find a pure devotee, who is completely free from all possessiveness, and accept the pada-rajo-‘bhisekam dust from their lotus feet and smear it on your body. Because by taking the dust from the lotus feet of such great devotees all the unwanted things anarthas will vanish from our heart. Unless that happens, one will not be able to appreciate Krishna consciousness.

srila prabhupada

In the purport, Prabhupada describes this. One may ask why highly educated persons do not take to Krishna consciousness. The reason is explained in this verse. The scholars and big political leaders worshipped by millions of people cannot understand the goal of life and take to Krishna consciousness for they have not accepted a bona fide spiritual master and the Vedas. Prabhupada further explains that, first one must understand how to get out of the clutches of maya; the only means is to become Krishna conscious.

(The above transcripts have been edited for better readability. However they have not been verified and confirmed by the original speaker.)
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Sri Chanchalapathi Dasa is serving at ISKCON since 1984. He is presently the Governing Body Commissioner – ISKCON Bangalore Group of Temples, Senior Vice President – ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna Temple, Bengaluru and Vice Chairman – The Akshaya Patra Foundation.