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  • Adversity Brings More Mercy | Open Your Heart

    Q: I understand that I am in deep ignorance, so my question will be: I don't want to stop my growing interest in Krishna consciousness. But I'm living in a Muslim country, surrounded only by Muslim people. I'm studying Vaishnavism secretly and hiding that from my husband. How can I serve Krishna and His devotees and stay on the right path? In the nearest future I won't be able to visit my native country where devotees are. Currently I'm listening to the lectures and scriptures, and read books.

    Gradations of the truth: Krishna is always the absolute consideration. Discouraging words of Krishna: “Stay in your position.” “Leave all the dharma and surrender to Me” — that's more encouraging. Faith in God: believe that by getting Krishna's shelter everything will become adjusted. No one to blame: our karmic circumstances are generated by us. You are advised to stay in a progressive position. Whatever your position is, start hearing about Krishna — then you'll start making progress. Rupa and Sanatan waiting for Mahaprabhu's sign to join Him. Wife who has a paramour does her household duties even better not to arise any suspicion, with a paramour in her heart. Aspiring devotee is like a wife, karma is a husband and paramour is Sri Krishna. “In pursuance of my order you'll have my association”: spiritual association takes place in terms of nearness of consciousness, not bodies. (Association by nearness of consciousness). Queen Rukmini's request to Krishna to kidnap her. Krishna is the purpose of hearing and seeing. By hearing Krishna's appearing. Prayer for an atomic presence in the higher plane and then aspiration becomes unlimited. It's our good fortune that Krishna is a thief: He needs no invitation. Sukriti, shraddha, sadhu-sanga. Krishna will be even more merciful to those in adversity. 

    Q: We receive sacred knowledge, but can it help us to open our hearts? — Because knowledge itself is lower than the heart. We hanker for the hearts' relations, although I feel that my heart is closed  — will it be opened by the knowledge or by another heart?

    Knowledge does not open the heart. Srimad-Bhagavatam and pastimes of Krishna are not ordinary knowledge. Lust, desire, consumption has a stranglehold on the heart. What will release the flow of actual heart? Extended selfishness: family, country. What seed should be planted in the field of heart? — Bhakti-lata-bij. Sravan-kirtan-smaran done in the mood of service Krishna release the heart flow and person gets Krishna-prem. Anyone who associates with such person will be benefited eternally.

    Chiang Mai 2017 - Adversity Brings More Mercy | Open Your Heart

    Author: Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Cycle: Chiang Mai 2017 Uploaded by: Priyanana Created at: 26 October, 2017
    Duration: 00:55:38 Date: 2017-10-26 Size: 0.05Mb Place: Gupta Govardhan Chiang Mai Downloaded: 2589 Played: 4260

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    Devotee: There is one question sent by Ajita Kṛṣṇa Prabhu.
    Goswāmi Mahārāj: Where is he?
    Devotee: I don't know...Ajita Kṛṣṇa Prabhu, in Vṛndāvan. And he got that question from one devotee, she is living in some Muslim country. So, she is asking the question referring to that subject. So, I am translating from Russian: I want to try to ask question, Mahārāj. I understand that I am deeply in ignorant state of mood and I want to...and my question will be similar. I cannot stop the..my interest, growing interest towards the Kṛṣṇa consciousness and don't want to do that. I am living in Muslim country and I am surrounded only by Muslim people. I am studying Vaiṣṇavism secretly and hiding that from my husband. I cannot visit my country and it won't be possible in the nearest future...
    Goswāmi Mahārāj: Cannot...
    Devotee: Cannot...so what shall I do, how can I serve Kṛṣṇa and how can I serve devotees of Kṛṣṇa and stay on the right path? I am currently listening to many different kind[s] of lectures and read[ing] books and listen[ing] to scriptures (probably audio books, audio versions)...
    Goswāmi Mahārāj: What scriptures?
    Devotee: She didn't mention. About Kṛṣṇa, she says, listening to scriptures about Kṛṣṇa. And she thanks for the opportunity to ask that question.
    Goswāmi Mahārāj: The words of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj come to mind. One of his consistent themes, that he expressed as "Absolute consideration and relative consideration." Here, Kṛṣṇa is always Absolute consideration. He is the Absolute —
    īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
    anādir ādir govindaḥ
    (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā: 5.1)
    That is always Kṛṣṇa's position, the Absolute, the Supreme Absolute truth. Absolute truth, relative truth. There are endless varieties of relative truth. There are varieties of absolute truth [also], Kṛṣṇa being the Supreme Absolute truth. But there are endless varieties of relative truth. Even, I believe our friend Nietzsche said everything is a matter of tasting and taste. So, in the Gītā, early on, is a śloka that says:
    sva-dharme nidhanaṁ śreyaḥ
    para-dharmo bhayāvahaḥ
    (Bhagavad-gītā: 3.35)
    sva-dharma. sva-dharme nidhanaṁ śreyaḥ para-dharmo bhayāvahaḥ. That the general rule is, you shall remain in your position and try and make progress from there. But interestingly, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, one of his endearing, innumerable endearing qualities, is his honesty and being candid about he actually feels about things including the statements of scripture, when he read them. His default position is not that just everything he read, he accepted whole-heartedly. Some things he read, caused some apprehension on his part. He is thinking, I know, it is in the scriptures [so] it must be true, but I find it unsettling, or creating apprehension. So, he is saying when he read this verse, which succinctly translates as Kṛṣṇa saying "Stay in your position. To follow another's path," as Prabhupāda says, "is dangerous." That's how he translates the sva-dharme nidhanaṁ śreyaḥ para-dharmo bhayāvahaḥ. So, remain in your position, to go another way could be dangerous.
    But Guru Mahārāj says, when he read this, it discouraged him. [Laughter]. And he is saying, but it is Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa is speaking, why are the words of Kṛṣṇa discouraging me? Kṛṣṇa's words [are] supposed to be giving enlivenment. But remember, as I said, this is in the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā, where Kṛṣṇa is talking to Arjuna [about] all the different points of view you might conceive considering your kārmic circumstance. That's why so many things are described. But Guru Mahārāj said, but in the end, when Kṛṣṇa says, the keyword here is dharma, and He says:
    sarva-dharmān parityajya
    mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
    (Bhagavad-gītā: 18.66)
    Give up all...not just different ideas or conceptions about things, but He is saying, sarva-dharma. All these so-called dharmas, give it up. Give all of them up and just surrender to Me and Me alone. And that's, like, half of the [śloka]: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. The next half addressed [unintelligible] [a question one might have]: won't there be some pāp on my part by doing that, to become adharmic, I give up dharma, my local, provincial, relative obligations, responsibilities, won't I incur some pāp, generally translated as sin, or we can say bad reaction. Won't a bad reaction come from that? He says: ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo — I can digest all that. mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ (Bhagavad-gītā: 18.66). He is saying, don't worry, don't fear. So, it requires some faith in Kṛṣṇa. We see in Śaraṇāgati, goptṛtve varaṇaṁ — that if I take shelter of Kṛṣṇa, He will take care of everything, He'll protect me. And in that single act of giving shelter, everything else will be realized. Belief in this is śraddhā, faith. It really comes down to this, do we have [this ability]. Faith in God means that. ‘śraddhā’-śabde — viśvāsa kahe sudṛḍha niścaya kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya ( Śrī Chaitanya-Charitāmṛta: 22.62). By this one single act, everything will become adjusted. Who is capable of delivering on that sort of promise? None less than the Absolute. So, Guru Mahārāj said, when I read this...first, Kṛṣṇa is saying, well, better to stay in your position, to contemplate another path could be fraught with difficulty, danger etc. But when I read this, give up everything, surrender to Me, Guru Mahārāj said, then I got some inspiration, hope and happiness.
    And, as usual, Guru Mahārāj said, he thinks though, back on the original premise, stay in your position, hold tight. He said, why are you being told to do that? That you should just be stagnant. He cannot be recommending stagnation. But you are being told to stay in your position, ostensibly because it's wise, it's a progressive one. By staying there, gradually, maybe slowly, maybe quickly, more moderately, but gradually you will make progress. He said, but, one realizes by remaining in that position, not only am I not making progress, or maintaining, but I maybe going down. [Guru Mahārāj said], then, they'll take the risk of leaving that position. So, these are different considerations that come into the mind, heart of the aspiring servitor. But back to absolute consideration, relative consideration. From a relative position, we are trying to move toward the Absolute. And remember, Absolute always means Kṛṣṇa. Right? So, from the relative position, kārmic circumstances that we're surrounded by, and not by coincidence or accident, we're responsible for that. It always comes back to us. In our sojourn in the material world, the kārmic circumstances we find ourselves apparently inescapably surrounded by, we've generated. We're the cause of that. And the reason I mention this here is, so we have nothing to blame on others. To blame on others. That the reason we can't make progress is the circumstance, other people, whatever. But, from within that, there always is a path toward the Absolute, or Kṛṣṇa
    When Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda-saṁvāda — asking Rāmānanda what is your advice, considering all this different śāstric statements. What do you advise, how to proceed? First, beginning with some ślokas from the Bhagavad-gita, and interestingly there...It's Bhagavad-gītā, and Mahāprabu is going, "eho bāhya, āge kaha"(Śrī Chaitanya-Charitāmṛta Madhya-līlā: 8.59) eho bāhya. It means, that's external, go deeper. One, two, three. When he [Rāmānanda] says:
    jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
    jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
    sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
    ye prāyaśo ’jita jito ’py asi tais tri-lokyām
    (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.14.3).
    sthāne sthitāḥ — Means, from your position, whatever your position is. It's interesting. It's all encompassing, it says, whatever your relative circumstance is. And as it's saying here, when you begin hearing from Kṛṣṇa's agent, a substantial agent of Kṛṣṇa, then you can start making progress. Not only start making progress, actually in that single act alone, the seed of Kṛṣṇa conception enters the heart, will fructify and express itself fully in time. When Rāmānanda suggested this verse, Mahāprabhu goes, eho haya. Like, that, I accept. Now you are talking. This is the first actual contact with reality. But, āge kaha āra...go deeper. Like, Guru Mahārāj, and we are telling, "Dive deep into reality." So, here He is saying, here's your first substantial contact point with reality, now go deeper. Sādhu, śāstra, guru, vaiṣṇava.
    So...and, we could say, traditionally, there are many instances of where noble, chaste ladies had the devotional inclination that was not congruent with the husband. Trying to use the politest terms I can think of. So, she [the devotee who asked the question] should feel some camaraderie with these great ladies of all time, who in similar trying circumstances, adopted a progressive position. And, again we look to Śrīla Guru Mahārāj for some depth of analysis. And I think of something he once told us. He said...before presenting, he said, "This is very important." Like, announcing it, in case you [didn't think so]. Because he is so often giving so many unique conceptions, that we might not catch it, or understand its importance. He sort of announced, like, [this is important]...This is something, again, this is something unique that comes from him, you won't find anywhere else. As we were speaking recently, about the unique wealth of Śrī Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh being in these original conceptions of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. So, he said...and for this we need a little bit of historical or cultural context. But it may not be irrelevant to the situation [of the devotee].
    And, [this happened] previously. Because....I am announcing before I go into this that, yes, this will not be in modern context. So we're going back some time, Vedic culture, Indian culture, that part of the world. So he says, there, in the marital relationship, the husband has some legitimate demands upon the wife, that she has to meet. He said, so, for....the parallel is that a devotee...the karmic circumstances that they have generated, that they find themselves in, for the sake of this example, have some legitimate demands upon you. They didn't fall out the sky. Guru Mahārāj liked that one, he said, [the] Dalai Lama has said, karma does not fall out of the sky. It's the only time I ever heard him quote the Dalai Lama. But anyway, these...so karma is like the husband. And there is the devotee, the aspiring servitor. The karmic circumstance has some legitimate demands, from a relative point of view. And this is interesting because it connects with Mahāprabhu's advice to Rūpa and Sanātana, who were, what? Under the....they were government ministers of a Muslim government. Think about that. I mean it's sometimes hard to grasp, but they were. And high up in the government. And we know who they are from the scriptural point of view, and their Vṛndāvan identities and all that. And it's almost incomprehensible, this [their being ministers in Muslim government]. But these are the pastimes. And they're waiting for Mahāprabhu to give them some indication that it's time to leave that, and join with Him. And we know, in the place, what is called, Rāmkeli, where in the dead of night, Rūpa and Sanātana, they meet with Mahāprabhu at his encampment, and they're so humble, they're like, with a straw between their teeth, they are chanting these verses about how fallen they are, and.....from a distance, they're like, you know, dandavāt'ing, approaching Mahāprabhu and...Mahāprabhu said, actually it's painful for Me to witness your humility. Because He knows how great they are, Rūpa and Sanātana.
    But, at that point, He does not say, "yes, stay here with Me, don't return." It's interesting. He says to them, "Now is not the time for you to totally join with Me, but rather you should return to your respective positions." And He quotes this verse....what's that...can't recall...[He quotes this verse] about the wife who has a paramour. He is giving it as an example, saying, a wife who has a paramour becomes even more attentive to her household duties [in order] to not arouse any suspicion. So she [is] not only doing them, but, [is] like, [doing them] even better. To not arouse any suspicion. That in her heart, the parmour is there. So, Guru Mahārāj is saying, the kārmic circumstances are like the husband, come to exact his demand. The aspiring devotee is like that wife with the paramour, she will give some recognition of the kārmic demands, while internally the heart is given over to the paramour, who in this case is none other than Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, the Supreme Absolute Truth. So, we say that guru, Śrī Guru, is the Absolute descending in relative circumstance, to reciprocate the heart's inner awakening, inner hankering. No mundane circumstance can obstruct that, that flow of heart.
    As Gurudev says, the heart-to-heart transaction. And, not only in these circumstances, but what comes to mind is: in the last time I was with Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, and I could understand, he could understand [that] this could be the…most likely be the last time that I saw him, spoke to him or heard from him. And he said to me, he said, Rūpa Goswāmi wanted to stay with Mahāprabhu and Mahāprabhu sent him to Vṛndāvan. He is saying [to Rūpa Goswāmi], "in pursuance of My order, you will have my association." And he [Guru Mahārāj] gave this example, not only this time, but other times, he said how spiritual association takes place in terms of the similarity or nearness of consciousness. Not similarity, nearness actually. The nearness of consciousness. So he said, the bed-bug, lice, they become embedded in your skin. Right? So he said, and it's almost mildly humorous. He is saying, they couldn't be nearer, in terms of, if you say, association. They couldn't be nearer in terms of physical proximity. But the consciousness of the lice, or the lie, as the case may be, I think that is the singular of lice. The consciousness of that, and the person, are worlds apart. Although the physical proximity couldn't be any nearer.
    The spiritual inversion is that although there may be distance in terms of physical proximity, but by nearness of consciousness, there is association. So, in the absence of direct association, we, as I think she is indicating there, we take shelter of the scriptures, the holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, we try and remember their sayings and apply them as far as possible in our lives. And wait for some special inspiration that may come from the Lord or His agents. But, I like to remind everyone about the queen Rukmiṇī because if we read her story carefully in the Bhāgavatam, we'll see she in these very difficult kārmic circumstances, these...the parents want to betroth her to someone who's unworthy of her. The only person being worthy for her is Kṛṣṇa Himself. And on the eve of her betrothal, she writes a letter to Kṛṣṇa. And it's like [a] kidnap letter. And what's charming is that, normally [when] someone is kidnapped, and they send a ransom note to the party, [such as for example]: if you ever want to see so-and-so again, then, you know, meet us at this place, give us this amount of money, something like that. But here, it's inverted. She is writing, sending a message to Kṛṣṇa, inviting Kṛṣṇa to kidnap her. How exalted is her thinking? And the beginning line is very beautiful:
    śrutvā guṇān bhuvana-sundara śṛṇvatāṁ te
     nirviśya karṇa-vivarair harato ’ṅga-tāpam
    rūpaṁ dṛśāṁ dṛśimatām akhilārtha-lābhaṁ
     tvayy acyutāviśati cittam apatrapaṁ me
    (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.52.37)
    She is saying, when I heard about You, I could understand [that] You are the most beautiful thing in the world, beyond...and not only that, then I understood the purpose of hearing. Why we have the auditory sense. It's for this very purpose, to hear about [You]. Then it made sense to me, ohh, [this is the purpose]. Think of the intensity of this. She is saying, then I understood why there is such a thing as hearing. As if to imply, hearing other than about You, what is that? What is the use of that? Devotees would say, well, if it's in relation to the service of Kṛṣṇa. Yes, that's acceptable. But she is saying, really this is the purpose of hearing. This is why we have the auditory sense. To hear about Kṛṣṇa, His pastimes, Nāma, rūpa, guṇa, līlā. And from that sound, as we hear expressed in the Śaraṇāgati of Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur, from the Nāma, the rūpa comes. This is of peculiar interest. Because the neophyte section are inclined to think that, like, look at the rūpa and take the Nāma. Look at the form, the form will be helpful in Nām-taking.
    Guru Mahārāj says Śrīla Saraswati Ṭhākur did not advise that. He said rather [that] the senses are like vultures and they'll turn the form of Kṛṣṇa into their vulture-food. But if we look carefully, from Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur and elsewhere, Nāma, rūpa, guṇa, līlā. From Nāma, from sound, the rūpa appears. There in Śaraṇāgati he is saying, when I am taking the Name of Kṛṣṇa, some mysterious colour starts to come and form and then I see as Kṛṣṇa with specific qualities and He takes me forcibly into His pastimes. That's Nāma, rūpa, guṇa, līlā. So, she [Rukmiṇī] is saying, śrutvā guṇān bhuvana-sundara śṛṇvatāṁ te (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.52.37). By hearing about Your qualities, the form of You has come to me. Remember, at this point, although She is an eternal associate of Kṛṣṇa, in these pastimes, in this līlā, They have not met. And we see this in other parts too, in Vṛndāvan, gopīs who hear about Kṛṣṇa from the fruit-sellers, the flower-lady, they are hearing these pastimes of wonderful Kṛṣṇa. So by hearing, He is appearing. This is of specific interest to us, because, not in terms of exaltation, but there is a parallel in this situation. We begin also by hearing about Kṛṣṇa.
    She is saying, hearing about You, Your qualities, then I could understand...bhuvana-sundara — the most beautiful thing in the world. And the very reason we are gifted with the sense of hearing [is to] hear Your holy Name, pastimes, the sound of your flute even. nirviśya karṇa-vivarair harato ’ṅga-tāpam. And simultaneously, hearing about You brings relief from all the suffering of material existence, that we understand is really on account of forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa. So it stands to reason that the remembrance of Kṛṣṇa will put an end to that. By hearing about Him. rūpaṁ dṛśāṁ dṛśimatām akhilārtha-lābhaṁ. And through that hearing and seeing Your divine form in its inconceivable beauty, I understand why...what seeing was meant for. And even here, we should be able to grasp [this]. Sometimes, we see something so beautiful, and we're saying, is this not the reason that I have eyes, to behold this beauty. That kind of thing. And now.....and it all came from hearing...now, and seeing You, I understand why we have eyes. We hear the gopīs say, but two eyes are insufficient. The heart, it's suddenly greedy, eager and greedy, wants millions of eyes to behold the beauty of Kṛṣṇa. When Guru Mahārāj says — in the Śikṣāṣṭakam (verse),
    ayi nanda-tanuja kiṅkaraṁ
    patitaṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau
    kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja-
    sthita-dhūlī-sadṛśaṁ vichintaya
    (Śikṣāṣṭakam: Verse 5)
    the first reasonable expression of an aspiration of an aspiring servitor, is for an atomic presence in that plane. Prabhupāda used to like to say, fix me as one of the atoms of dust at Your Holy lotus feet.
    But in the next verse, Guru Mahārāj is saying, once that is granted, if you are given even the remotest connection, position and connection with the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, then you become transformed. He said the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa are the magic wand. Transformed.
    kṛṣṇa-mantra haite habe saṁsāra-mocana
    kṛṣṇa-nāma haite pābe kṛṣṇera caraṇa
    (Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā: 7.73)
    Entering the service of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. He said then the aspiration becomes unlimited, then they're hankering for so many things. Millions of eyes, those humble servitors, now they want millions [of eyes], they're demanding millions of eyes, to behold the beauty [of Kṛṣṇa]. This isn't fair, two eyes are incapable of processing this much beauty, like [the people], they want more processing power. Like that. So they want millions of eyes. How beautiful Kṛṣṇa must be, that two eyes are insufficient to behold the beauty of Kṛṣṇa. śobhana Kṛṣṇa.
    Viśeṣa-śobhaṁ. kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobhaṁ. ( Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā : 5.30). And, she said, and, not only that, I think I've got everything. Which is interesting, does that touch upon the belief that you'll get everything here? She's saying, when you have this experience, you've got everything. The samādhi-ślokā of Bhagavad-gītā,
    yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ
    manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ
    (Bhagavad-gītā: 6.22)
    When you reach this position, you realize you have everything. The finite, through devotion, the Infinite has come under the control of the finite. In a sense, the finite has captured the Infinite, through love and affection. tvayy acyutāviśati cittam apatrapaṁ me (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.52.37). I am now shamelessly, begging you to kidnap me. That's like verse number 1 of her letter, there's around five or so there. Can we understand, queen Rukmiṇī, how exalted she is. And she will accept no substitute for Kṛṣṇa. There is no substitute for the Absolute. So, our concern is, how from our relative position to move towards the Absolute. As Guru Mahārāj said in another time, the finite is approaching the Infinite. And by his nature, to err is human, to err is, you can say, finite. That's understood, but still, we try to make progress towards the Infinite.
    praviṣṭaḥ karṇa-randhreṇa
    svānāṁ bhāva-saroruham
    dhunoti śamalaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ
    salilasya yathā śarat
    (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 2.8.5)
    Through the medium of transcendental sound, Kṛṣṇa conception enters the heart and gradually starts spreading its influence. And as that...what's his name, Saumya Shyām, the teacher, relative of Guru Mahārāj, a Bengali gentleman. Guru Mahārāj liked to talk to him, he'd come and see Guru Mahārāj and they had sort of delightful śāstric conversations. And one of them was the talk with......it's our good fortune that Kṛṣṇa is a thief. And he would laugh and Guru Mahārāj would laugh. Guru Mahārāj said, yes, it is our good [fortune], because I am seeing here, Rukmiṇī, she is so exalted, she is writing the kidnap me letter. I am inextricably surrounded by kārmic circumstance, come and kidnap me from here. That's the approach commensurate with her heart. But, Guru Mahārāj said, we are fortunate that Kṛṣṇa is a thief. He said because a thief needs no invitation. She is inviting, but a thief needs no invitation. And he said, we have formed so many...I like the Russian word Kremlin, it's like a fort around our heart, to not allow Kṛṣṇa to come in. He is saying, but a thief needs no invitation. He enters for His own interest. So, it is our good fortune that our hearts is in Kṛṣṇa's interest.
    Just as when, after three books were made and we were thinking, what will be the next title. Guru Mahārāj said, in the first book we gave, 'Search for Śrī Kṛṣṇa: Reality the Beautiful', where everyone is searching for Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Reality the Beautiful, and in the end of the book, Kṛṣṇa, as Mahāprabhu, He is searching for Kṛṣṇa. So, it's very....it has a progression. He said, but now we shall show that the Lord, He is also searching for his lost servants. And then he would say, but it is a loving search. He said, so it's a loving search for the lost servant. So we are showing in the beginning the lost servant is searching for Kṛṣṇa, but now we are going to show that Kṛṣṇa, He is engaged in a loving search for that lost servant. Epitomized by the re-entry of....or the entry of Gopakumār in Vṛndāvan. He said, so stealthily, Kṛṣṇa will enter the heart for His own interest.
    So, by inconceivable good fortune, ajñāta-sukṛti, unknown connection with the nirguṇa plane, jñāta-sukṛti, willful co-operation with nirguṇa agents, then the accumulation of sukṛti expresses itself above ground, above soil, as śraddhā. That we get...one point of view it leads us to sādhu-sanga, another point of view is that it is actually sādhu-sanga that gives you that. Both. So, always in remembrance of the lotus feet of guru and vaiṣṇava. If you listen to all these songs we sing, songs of Narottam Ṭhākur, Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur....always remembering the lotus feet of guru and vaiṣṇava, sādhu and śāstra, whatever our circumstance is. Then....and Kṛṣna knows the adversity that we face. And Guru Mahārāj told us, and those in the most adverse circumstances or surrounded by elements opposed to the culture of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Kṛṣṇa will be even more merciful to them. They can be hopeful of that.
    Any other question?
    Devotee: A question from Gupta Govardhan: we received sacred knowledge, but...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: What is that?
    Devotee: We received sacred knowledge, but can it help us to open our heart? Because knowledge itself is lower than the heart. We hanker for the heart's relations, although I feel that my heart is closed. Will it be opened by the knowledge or by another heart?
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Well, that's a good point, because if we take just the word 'knowledge,' the word jñāna, it will not open the heart. Jñāna does not open the heart. But when Guru Mahārāj is explaining the nutshell ślokā, the line jñāna dīpena bhāsvatā, how does it go...what is the first line...
    teṣām evānukampārtham
    aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ
    nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho
    jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā
    (Bhagavad-gītā: 10.11)
    Guru Mahārāj says, interestingly, he is saying, here, this cannot mean jñāna in the ordinary sense. Because as you say, it's inferior to bhakti, devotion, the heart. So, it cannot give that. He is saying, but what it must mean, because there is jñāna, vijñāna, and prajñāna, prakṛṣta jñāna. So, there's different ways we may conceive of it. And he says, here what it means is that when the devotee is...and it's interesting because it's on theme with what we've been discussing. They're in a position where their necessity for connection with Kṛṣṇa has become extreme, then, at that time Kṛṣṇa reveals Himself to them. He is saying that's what it means. And it says, you know, I illuminate their hearts with the torch of knowledge. He is saying, it cannot be ordinary jñāna, it means at that time He reveals Himself to them. But, when we....well, and if we look in the Bhagavad-gītā
    bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
    jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
    vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
    sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
    (Bhagavad-gītā: 7.19)
    He is saying, really, the jñāni who is going in the right direction realizes that Kṛṣṇa is everything. And then starts making his approach. But that means like Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, not in the company of His potency. So he starts moving in that direction. But what I wanted to say was...ohh, yes. What's given in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and the pastimes Kṛṣṇa, this is not jñāna in the ordinary sense of the word. So we are told in the Bhāgavatam, twice. There are very few ślokas that appear there twice. Or almost identical. So in the beginning it says:
    bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś
     chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ
    kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi
     mayi dṛṣṭe ’khilātmani
    (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.20.30)
    That's how it appears the second time. It's saying the heart is knotted [with] lust, desire, consumption, consumerism has a stranglehold on the heart. What will release that stranglehold ? This isn't like...we are talking about opening your heart, in a....how do you say, in a secular sense. We are talking about the actual heart. What does it mean, for that sort of flow to be released. Not within the world of exploitation, to be more open [there] to other exploiting agents. [As in]: I realized I've been so selfish in my exploitation, I should include other exploiting agents. That's why Guru Mahārāj called nationalism extended selfishness. Like, yourself, your family, your nation....he just said these things are extended selfishness.
    But what we are talking about is releasing the actual flow of heart. What is the heart capable of. As the Bengali poet said, if we consider the heart as like a field for cultivation, what seed should be planted there, and what sort of yield will you get. We're talking of the bhakti-latā-bīja. In Gurudeva's praṇām, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj said, you know, Kṛṣṇa-prema-bīja pradam. He is giving the seed of Kṛṣṇa-prema. Love and Kṛṣṇa-prema are identical. Everything else is so-called love. And it's, in Guru Mahārāj's words, extended selfishness. Prabhupāda used to say it very bluntly. He'd say, you know, there are so many women in this world, why do I love this one? Because she is my wife. There are some many children in this world, why am I loving [these ones?] These are my children. My wife, my children, my community, my society, my country. Even, you know, my planet. Or, if you want to get, you know [Brahma-like], my universe, this is my universe, and as long as I am in charge, you know...As long as you are in my universe, you have to follow my rules. Indra, Brahmā, Brahma-vimohan, Indra-mohan. It's not just us. That's why sometimes, on paternity issues, sometimes not, but sometimes when someone would find out that someone is not actually their child. They cut. There's others, not.
    But still it's a conception of....in the words of Prahlāda that Prabhupāda liked to [quote] ahaṁ mamety — I and mine. So, what is the heart capable of. Kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa. What will bring that out. The verses that precede that, in that section, begin with:
    śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
    hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
     vidhunoti suhṛt satām
    (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.2.17)
    It's in the first cānto of the Bhāgavatam. It's saying, by hearing...and this is good because it is on the theme of what we are talking about. śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. By repeatedly hearing about Kṛṣṇa, then you are accumulating this puṇya śravaṇ, from śravaṇ-kīrtana. hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi — the abhadhrās that are polluting the heart, start to vanish. vidhunoti suhṛt satām.
    naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu
    nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
    (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.2.18).
    naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu — again, the word abhadhra is there, [it] means polluted heart. Here it says that the effects of hearing about Kṛṣṇa — and we mean with a serving current, service connection to that, under the guidance of guru and vaiṣṇava — the effects are that the unwanted things in the heart are gradually removed and, it said, this will have full effect even before it reaches a 100%. In other words, there is a particular point, like, what they call the tipping point. Something is going this way at a particular momentum, but it once it reaches the tipping point, then it goes very fast the rest of the way. So, that's hopeful. And it says, at last bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś. (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.2.21). Here granthi means the knots that have a stranglehold on the heart, they're slashed to pieces. And then at that point, just like the heart being constricted, like when someone has…what do they call it....arterial sclerosis....clogged arteries, maybe I am going too far with the example....but really it means, the flow is checked, right? Here we're told, then it's [released], then the heart releases, talking about being open, then the heart releases its actual wealth, which is what prema [is]. Not just 'love thy neighbour-type' stuff. Prema, Kṛṣṇa-prema. Then, and the heart that is released [to] Kṛṣṇa-prema, that....anyone who will get the association of such a person will be supremely benefited, eternally, by coming in even remote contact or service of such a person. That's what we want, nothing less than that. But it's gradual, cumulative effect. Śravaṇ, kīrtan, smaraṇ — all done with the mood of service.
    Hare Kṛṣṇa.