Bhagavat Saptah a week with a Saint

Teachings of Bhakta Prahlad

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Teachings of Bhakta Prahlad

When we come to Prahlada Maharaj, he was taught by Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka so many other things, but he always will insist that “I have learnt this”.

After some time Hiranyakashipu called him, called the teachers: “Have you taught my son now?”
He took him “Oh, son what are you doing, what have you learnt?”
He immediately replied, that “You are, please, you are the chief demon. Hear that those who have accepted the bodies. [on the side] we have the sloka you know, in our …

Tat sadhu manye, (you have got the pages, the page number I don’t have here). Seventh canto, chapter five, text 5


[Maharaj leads recitation of the verse 4 times]


śrī-prahlāda uvāca

tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehinā

sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt

hitvātma-pātaḿ gṛham andha-kūpaḿ

vanaḿ gato yad dharim āśrayeta

[SB 7.5.5]

 [Maharaj asks everyone to chant loudly]
Prahlada Maharaj replied,

O best of the asuras, King of the demons, as I have learnt from my spiritual master, any person who has accepted temporary body and temporary household life is certainly embarrassed by anxiety because of having fallen in dark well where there is no water but only suffering. One should give up this position and go to the forest [vana]. More clearly, one should go to Vrndavana, where only Kṛṣṇa consciousness is prevalent, and should thus take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


Wake up early for maṅgala-ārati

This is the prime instruction he gives to him. Now everybody cannot go to Vrindavan, maybe, Vrindavan is the place, dhams you know. Four dhams we have. Vrindavana, Jagannatha Puri, Badrika Ashram, Rameshvaram and Dwaraka dham. In all these dhams, even now, the glorification of Kṛṣṇa goes on. In your own place, you can create Vrindavana if continuously you chant Kṛṣṇa’s names.


Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare

Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare


And Prabhupāda was very clear that we are not here to change your faith or convert you.

“Which ever names you like, there are so many millions of certified names, for Kṛṣṇa, so you please go on chanting. But if you don’t have any name, then chant Kṛṣṇa”, he said. “If you don’t have any process, then follow the process which I am giving you.”
Somehow or the other he has really, toiled and moiled to wake us up at 4 O’ clock in the morning. Otherwise, our night life was so very obnoxious. That 3 O’ clock we were going to bed. And I don’t know how he did. He just woke us up at 4 O’clock. And now nearly crores of living entities, millions of living entities, around the world, they are devotees or semi-devotees. And they are trying to getup early, if not 4 O’clock, at least 5 or 6 O’ clock or 7 O’clock. Earlier than what they used to get up. This is the main thing. And then Vrindavana is at your step. In our house there is Vrindavana. Don’t worry if you are not able to go to Vrindavana. If you can go, so far so better. 


Basic religiosity is the monopoly of Bharat Varsha

You step in India and there are so many difficulties in Bharata varsha also now, but even then we are completely satisfied. That land has some potency. That anywhere you go and you step down from the aeroplane, as soon as you step down, you feel quite happy. The weather is very good always, with half kurtas you can move about here and there. No cold, no rain, set seasons are there. People are bit religious. At the first sight, you may really not like it, because we have so much population. And out of that population, half of the population is not Vaishnavas really. Either they are Muslims or Buddhists or Christians or so. So they don’t want to follow the Vedic traditions. So, at the first sight we may think, “O, I have come to India, I don’t see anything here?” No, but if you go to the population, Hindu population particularly, and in that also Vaishnavas, and in that also our temples, ISKCON temples, then you know really what is going on. Basic religiosity is the monopoly of Bharata varsha. I many times tell in the foreign countries that Christians should go to India and see how Christianity is followed. It’s not that which faith they follow, but they are basically religious, so they follow Christianity also very good. Buddhists also they are very expert in Buddhism in India. And no doubt, in our sect or different sects, but Vaishnavas are really very powerful, even now. And Prabhupāda’s mercy, so many now young people, they are understanding the importance of our Vedic culture, and they have full idea now that this is the only culture, which will uplift this planet, if at all, it is to be uplifted. Otherwise, there is no other culture. All other so called faiths, they are the offshoots of this Vedic culture. You take Islam, it is only 1400 years old. Christanity is 2000 years old. That means before 2000 years, nobody was liberated? Millions of years ago, Bhagavad-gītā was present.


śrī-bhagavān uvāca

imaḿ vivasvate yogaḿ proktavān aham avyayam

vivasvān manave prāha manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt

[The Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku](BG 4.1)

What is the art of living material life?

Millions of years, Bhagavad-gītā, is there and in Bhagavad-gītā, in fourth chapter, nice formula is given, how to get liberated. He says:


vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā / man-mayā mām upāśritā

bahavo jñāna-tapasā / pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatā
 [Being freed from attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in Me, many, many persons in the past became purifled by knowledge of Me-and thus they all attained transcendental love for Me.] (BG 4.10)


This is formula. mad-bhāvam āgatā. They all came to Me since last millions of years. And how? vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā. vita means without. Raga means attachment. Bhaya, fear and krodha, anger. Those living entities who have bit decreased their attachment…. And as I told you, to decrease the attachment, is not the carelessness. We take full care but we know that nothing I could do. Everything is done by Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is looking to the living entities. We falsely think that “I am looking after my children, I am nourishing them”. No! Their breathing is going on, because Kṛṣṇa wants. That’s why. You cannot give one breath to the children. Children are very dear to us. But that does’nt mean that we should be very careless in our duty. We should be very careful, but without attachment. This is the yoga karma su kaushalam. Art of living material life is here, that you are not attached, the same time you are not careless. This is how ….this is the beginning of it. And as soon as you are not attached and you are very careful, every living entity is very pleased with you. Knowing or unknowingly, everyone wants the service. So, attachment is not there, at the same time you are not careless. And then, vīta-rāga-bhaya, you are not afraid of anything. That sickness will come or I may die, or he may die or she may die, doesn’t matter. Death and birth is going on. So with this idea, we don’t have bhaya, we are not afraid of anything. And then if the fear is not there, anger is not there, we are always completely satisfied because, we have full faith in Kṛṣṇa. And we know very well, that idea is sunk in our mind, that Kṛṣṇa is controller. So we are not disturbed at all. As I told you that, we are not surprised at any situation. Those situations are going to come, we cannot avoid. Dukhalayam ashashvatam as branded by Kṛṣṇa, this life is full of misery and temporary, so we can’t find any remedy for it. The best remedy here, Prahlada Maharaj gives. There is only one remedy, that you should leave this situation, go to vana, go to forest. And Prabhupāda says, there are no forest now. So go to Vrindavana. And I told you, there is no need even if you cannot go to Vrindavana, you make Vrindavan in your own house. Only chanting is the remedy. This is the supreme remedy. And it is so nice, so easy to follow. Why are we delaying? … after listening to Prahlada Maharaj, we should never go back to the rut. At least we should devote some time to sincerely chant our rounds. You may chant one round or two rounds or four rounds, whatever, but you please chant sincerely.

Don’t look to the television and chant again. he-he-he-he. No. We have our…one of the devotees in Singapore, he is very much addicted to seeing the television. So, he doesn’t watch one television, there are three-four televisions. In one the wrestling goes on, in one the news goes on, some film is going on, something else is going on. He is very busy. If somebody comes, he says, “Don’t disturb me, I am very busy” [Audience laughs and Maharaj laughs mildly].
Please, stop these things. We are wasting our human existence with this. So, at least I thank you all of you. I hope that you only watching only one. [Laughs]. Thank you for your austerity. This is tapa, just to watch one. [Laughs]. Otherwise, don’t follow these instruction, to give four [Laughs].


Please, save yourself from this. And from today, at least few rounds, one round, please chant sincerely and start, have a taste. And then there is no need of forcing by anybody, you will increase yourself, because then taste is there.

Nine ways of Bhakti

As soon as Kṛṣṇa’s association is there, then nothing troubles us. This is what Prahlada Maharaj said to Hiranyakashipu. He again flared up. And he was very angry with the teachers you know. Teachers were completely trembling before him. What to do they didn’t know. So they took Prahlada Maharaj back and again they tried to …

Again after some time Hiranyakashipu called him, “Come on, come on Prahlada, have you learnt…”
They insisted that only the politics and economics should be taught to this boy and make him ready to take my throne. So, again they taught, but Prahlada Maharaj from the beginning he was a devotee. So again he asked, and again the second verses we have given here. The nine ways of bhakti is given here. Please chant.
[Maharaj chants SB 7.5.5 & 7.5.23-24 twice and the translation of 7.5.23-24, with audience repeating]


ś rī-prahlāda uvāca

tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehinā / sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt

hitvātma-pātaḿ gṛham andha-kūpaḿ / vanaḿ gato yad dharim āśrayeta
[Prahlada Maharaja replied: O best of the asuras, King of the demons, as far as I have learned from my spiritual master, any person who has accepted a temporary body and temporary household life is certainly embarrassed by anxiety because of having fallen in a dark well where there is no water but only suffering. One should give up this position and go to the forest [vana]. More clearly, one should go to Vrndavana, where only Kṛṣṇa consciousness is prevalent, and should thus take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.] (SB 7.5.5)


śrī-prahrāda uvāca

śravaṇaḿ kīrtanaḿ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaḿ pāda-sevanam

arcanaḿ vandanaḿ dāsyaḿ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam

iti puḿsārpitā viṣṇau bhaktiś cen nava-lakṣaṇā

kriyeta bhagavaty addhā tan manye 'dhītam uttamam
Please repeat the translation now:

Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) -- these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge. [SB 7.5.23-4]


Even then Prahlada again gave these ways of bhakti to Hiranyakashipu. Inside he was very pleased, he was Jaya within he was very pleased really. But outside he was flaring up again, and he threw him away, he said he is no good child. And again he was very angry with the teachers. So teachers explained to them, that “we are preaching to the best of our ability, and I don’t know where has he picked up these things.” So again teacher took him back and asked him. Mater na Kṛṣṇa parater satova


Our movement needs training schools

By our own endeavor we cannot learn about Kṛṣṇa. Unless Kṛṣṇa is merciful, it is very difficult to go an inch ahead in the devotional service. And in order to obtain his mercy there is only one way, that constant hearing from the reliable sources is required. And that’s what in this verse sravana is first thing. The more you hear, the more you are convinced about these things. We have so much hearing material outside, but maybe it is because of material education or whatever, but transcendental education is completely absent. We lack in these things particularly. We must have the Vedic institution, wherein it should make the people ready to fit into the material world and at the same time we should give them the transcendental knowledge throughout.
In America, there is a society TM they call it, Transcendental Meditation, and they have the full educational system, they only meditate. And boy enters into kindergarten, and comes out as engineer, or doctor, or whatever it is, he completes the whole thing and so all the young persons automatically attracted to the movement. Our movement also wants feeling.


Take care of your self interest

Please, this is our unique qualification, that we are the heir apparent of this Vedic culture, we have our own traditions and we have revived our own traditions. And these traditions, all the traditions, should be protected, and with a genuine attention we should come to these few of the verses, and try to learn them and try to perfect our own life and help others also to perfect the life. Everywhere you cannot have your own interest. Please forget about it. Selfish is a very good word. We become selfish. But instead of selfish, we should become self-ish, self-ish (separate it). So, you are working for your own soul. Its not selfish interest, it’s self-ish. So I have a soul, you have a soul, she has a soul, everybody has a soul. So, we are working for everybody’s welfare. Money should not be the criteria always. And you can experience this. Now here, I heard that some group cooked today here. They volunteered for cooking. And they are very happy. They didn’t get any money from it. But they performed the service without money and they are very pleased. When we do the activities in which the return is not involved, that activity pleases us. And this is what we have to learn, from these pages that, we have a need, we have our own work, or whatever fruitive work we are doing. And that work also, please don’t keep the fruit in your mind, but just love the work. And that is what we have to learn from the western or eastern society. They are very very immaculate in their work. We people are lazy. We just do some haphazard work. Don’t do that. Learn these lessons that we have to be very immaculate. Fruit, no doubt, we are getting our salary or profit or whatever, but love the work, and then you try to utilize some time to work for the betterment of the society in this sense.


Srila Prabhupāda movement gives real education

People were asking Prabhupāda that why don’t you open hospitals or schools or that or that, some welfare activity.
So he was always insisting that “I am opening the temples so if people are attracted to nama, the name of Kṛṣṇa, then they don’t require to go to the hospitals, they don’t require to go to the schools.”
He used to call the schools as slaughterhouses. And in India, really we have slaughterhouses now. Child is very small. You know, may be six years, seven years old. And he has to learn three languages and three histories, Indian history, English history and again something else, Congress history or whatever [laughs]. Long, long ago the Queen Victoria is dead. In England we stay in England, we went to see the grave of Queen Victoria. It’s completely broken, fallen apart. And the trees have grown up there. So, she has gone, vanished completely from England. But in our primary school, in India, she is alive.

That child does’nt know, “Queen Victoria! Queen Victoria! Queen Victoria!”

“Who was the queen?”
“Queen Victoria.”
“Who was the queen?”
“Queen Victoria”.
As if all over the world there is only one queen. Man, this is slaughterhouse. Three languages, Hindi, his own mother tongue and English. The child can’t speak properly. “I am a boy, I am a boy, I am a boy” “Come on speak English…”

“I am a boy” [laughs].

He doesn’t understand anything about it…. This is slaughterhouses. We are just killing the children. Then every week, there is a test, what test? then tuitions, then they want to play something, then the demon father becomes very angry.
“Hey, you are not studying?”
“Arre man, he has just come out!”.
Again, the fellow goes back, writes something, homework again. This is slaughterhouse. And then again after putting may be twenty years of education, then he comes out from the college…there is no job. And he doesn’t understand what is happening. These are young people, they are completely lost. They don’t have any direction. And this is the very pitiable situation, of younger generation. That’s why Prabhupāda insisted, that younger generation must have this direction from Prahlada Maharaj. That you please come to this point and your life is very sublime. Whatever work you do, whatever education you acquire, don’t worry. And then in the life also, because of the absence of the God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, so many miseries are there. And in order to reduce that misery, we have so many departments, we organize. 


Please lead simple life somehow or other

Prahlada Maharaj very nicely recites these verses. In the verses he instructs, that whatever remedy we apply, that remedy is more miserable than the misery itself. You know, we have one misery that we don’t want to walk. So, we have invented cars. Now you know better than me. As soon as you buy cars, somehow or the other, you have to pay the road tax, petrol you have to buy, then repairing you have to carry out. All these things come with it. It is better that we call it eleven number car. Go Walk. Then again you sit in the car, and your tummies are getting big and indigestion is there. So you sit in the car and go to the doctor then. We have increased the miseries. So many remedies we have found out, and those remedies are horrible. We should not calculate, so we had calculators. And now the young children have lost the memory completely.
“Two plus two?” … [mimicks] ahh.
“Aare man, come on.. two plus two?” … ahh.
“I must have calculator”. And he uses calculator…five…even then he is wrong. Then he says, “Calculator is not enough, we must have computer.”
The fellow can’t understand anything, he has to try computer. He does not know what is happening, goes on. Then too much use of computer, gives some disease in the joints of the fingers. So now for that again … then again in Europe, I don’t know about Australia, but should be here also. Internet viewers … those who view internet for more than three hours a day…they are regarded as drunkards. Drunkards and these internet viewers, they are put on the same level.
And doctors have advised in those countries, that, “Please, you have to rehabilitate them.”
So there are big societies coming up to rehabilitate the internet viewers because internet view is like a drunkard. You know drunkards also are rehabilated to decrease their drinking. The same way we have so many societies coming up for rehabilatation of the internet viewers. We have created our own sins and again we are increasing those sins.
This is how Prahlada Maharaj is very clear. That please come to the simple life somehow or the other. To the minimum extent we should do everything, otherwise we are killing in these things. And our whole time is wasted. Human existence is completely wasted. And that’s why we have given you few verses, from Prahlada Maharaj. Those verses are most meditarian. On the pages … I don’t know the page number, but it’s text 8, it starts from 8.

We have already run out of the time, we will discuss few verses. Please recite.

[Maharaj recites the verse.]

śrī-prahrāda uvāca

brahmādayaḥ sura-gaṇā munayo 'tha siddhā

sattvaikatāna-gatayo vacasā pravāhaiḥ

nārādhituḿ puru-guṇair adhunāpi pipruḥ

kiḿ toṣṭum arhati sa me harir ugra-jāteḥ
[Prahlada Maharaja prayed: How is it possible for me, who have been born in a family of asuras, to offer suitable prayers to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Even until now, all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, and all the saintly persons, could not satisfy the Lord by streams of excellent words, although such persons are very qualified, being in the mode of goodness. Then what is to be said of me? I am not at all qualified.][SB 7.9.8]
manye dhanābhijana-rūpa-tapaḥ-śrutaujas-


nārādhanāya hi bhavanti parasya puḿso

bhaktyā tutoṣa bhagavān gaja-yūtha-pāya
[Prahlāda Mahārāja continued: One may possess wealth, an aristocratic family, beauty, austerity, education, sensory expertise, luster, influence, physical strength, diligence, intelligence and mystic yogic power, but I think that even by all these qualifications one cannot satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, one can satisfy the Lord simply by devotional service. Gajendra did this, and thus the Lord was satisfied with him.] [SB 7.9.9]


Govindam Adi Purusham Tamaham Bhajami


What is not required in devotional service?

Brahma samhita lyric, whole prayer is very good. And this verse gives us twelve things which are not required for bhakti. Its beautiful… manye means I consider. I consider that the following twelve things are not required.

  1. The first thing is dhana. The wealth is not required for devotional service. Whether you have wealth or not, you can perform the devotional service.

  2. Second is abhijana. Aristocratic family. You know, my brother is a doctor, my father is accountant, my mother is this, I am this, all this aristocratic. It is not required at all.

  3. Then rupa. Rupa is also not required. And roop means personal beauty. Only the beautiful people can chant Kṛṣṇa’s names. No. There is no restriction. The more ugly you are, the more you can chant very nicely. Nobody looks at you anyway.

  4. Tapah, austerity is not required.

  5. Sruta, learning is not required.

  6. Ojas, bodily effulgence is not required.

  7. Teja, vigour is not required.

  8. Prabhavo, influence is not required.  Otherwise we boast, “I know the prime minister, I can get your work done etc.”. No influence.

  9. Bala, bodily strength is not required.

  10. Paurusha, ability is not required. You are all able persons, that’s why you are settled in the foreign countries. This is ability. But this is also not required.

  11. Buddhih, intelligence is not required.

  12. And Yogah, mystic powers are also not required.


These twelve things are not required. Nothing is required. Please, the sincere desire is required, to recognize the authority of Kṛṣṇa, though His names. Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare ….nārādhanāya hi, nārādhanāya hi. For prayers, you don’t have any qualifications. Devotional service is very simple. Please don’t complicate it.  Don’t put any conditions to devotional service. It’s a very simple thing. See, the oxygen is required for breathing. And we have come from India or Singapore, and we don’t have to bring the oxygen cylinders with us. Oxygen is everywhere available. And there are no meters in your nose….how many cubic feet you are taking. And there is no bill. It’s free of charge. And plenty it is supplied.

Be wide hearted and welcome everyone to devotional service

Devotional service, being our constitutional right, by our own right, we have the right to perform devotional service. So it should be plenty available everywhere, and free of charge. Don’t stop anybody from coming into the temple.  However, he or she maybe sinful, you think. No… no restrictions for the living entities. Everybody must take advantage of the darshan. We should not complicate unnecessarily. We are monopolizing it, trying to monopolize. No. You don’t have any right to monopolize. You must make it free and free of charge. If you can feed the people, it is well and good. Prabhupāda said, that all that everybody who comes to the temple, not only who comes to the temple, but in the vicinity of the temple, around 10 miles, nobody should go hungry. So this is how, please be wide hearted and welcome everybody into the temple for darshan, for hearing. Maybe even the gross sinful living entity also will improve. So this is the meaning of Prahlada Maharaj.

He gives the example then. bhaktyā tutoa bhagavān gaja-yūtha-pāya [SB 7.9.9] Elephant was in difficulty. That topic, we couldn’t touch, because we have limited time. Gajendra, he was moving about with so many she elephants, and he was very proud, but eventually he went to take bath in the lake and the crocodile caught hold of his feet. And by only bhakti, because in the previous life he was the king and he remembered his meditation. And just, he was in trouble. So only half name he could pronounce and he was liberated. He did not have all these twelve things. This is the very easy instruction from Prahlada Maharaj. I leave it to you to chant these things and please try to understand, take these pages, and if you can put at least in a plastic cover, they will be ready for you anytime to look at and try to understand. And those who are fortunate enough, to get hold of the Bhāgavatam copies, they should go through the purports also. And this is how, we should devote our time.


[Maharaj leading kirtan]


Kṛṣṇa Jinka Naam Hai

Gokul Jinka Dham Hai

Aise Sri Bhagavan Ko

Mere Baram Bara Pranam Hai (2)

Yosoda Jinki Maiya Hai

Nanda Jiva Paiya Hai

Aise Sri Gopal Ko

Mere Baram Bara Pranam Hai (2)

Radha Jinki Kaya Hai

Adbhuta Jinki Maya Hai

Aise Sri Ghansyam Ko

Mere Baram Bara Pranam Hai (2)


Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare

Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare (2)


Nitai Gaura Haribol,

Haribol, Haribol, Haribol.

Haribol, Haribol, Haribol

Jai Jai Prabhupāda

Prabhupāda Prabhupāda

Jai Srila Prabhupāda Maharaj Ki (Jai)

Nahi Bolne Walon Ki (Jai)

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