Friday, September 26, 2014

Selected Posts on Krishna Consciousness (24): Everything is sweet (Srila Sridhar Maharaj)

In this fantastic informal talk on his veranda, Srila Sridhar Maharaj describes how to make your transition from the path of this nether-world to the path to the Gracious World, from the land of bondage to the Land of Freedom, in 3 easy steps. You can start from wherever you are.

1. Stop acting on a personal agenda. Do your duties, your responsibilities, what's "on your table", but don't cash in the fruits from it.

2. Accept your karma as it comes to you, without resistance or trying to enjoy it.

3. Think of Krishna, the Supersoul/Superconsciousness, the Absolute Person (situated in your heart), the Supreme Will behind the Universal Flow, and surrender everything to Him. Chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra is the best method for that. If you want to add power to it, think of its inner meaning as "Please let me be an instrument of Your love".

Then just watch your surroundings change, and follow what unfolds in that flow. 


Srila Sridhar Maharaj

Everything is Sweet
(27 July 1982)

Long ago, one German scholar* stressed his opinion that the Bhagavad Gita is the highest spiritual book. And his point was that Gita clearly advises us not to correct the environment but to correct our own self to adjust with the environment. That is the key of the advice of Gita. Cure thyself. You have no power to bring about change in the environment. That is the Divine Will. That is irremovable. The result of all the forces that are acting from outside, you have no hand to interfere with that. That will only be a useless waste of energy. Try to correct yourself to adjust with the circumstances outside. This is the key to success of life. 

tat te 'nukampām su-samīksamāno
bhunjāna evātma-krtam vipākam
hrd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk

One who, in the hope of achieving Your grace, goes on enduring the inauspicious fruit of his own karma, and passes his days practising devotion unto You in every thought, word, and deed  such a person is heir to the land of freedom: he attains to the plane of positive immortality.
 Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.14.8

You have your duty to do but don't aspire after the result, mā phalesu kadācana:

karmany evādhikāras te
mā phalesu kadācana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
mā te sango 'stv akarmani

I shall now describe niskama karma-yoga, the path of selfless action. You have a right to perform your natural prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to any fruits of that action. You should neither act with desire to enjoy the fruits of your work, nor, as a result, should you be attached to neglecting your duties.
 Bhagavad-Gita 2.47

The result depends on the external force. You have your contribution. There are millions and millions of contributions from others and the result, that will create the environment. So you may contribute, you may give up your quota. But whatever you find, you are to take it as the best because it is the interference of the highest, of the Absolute. There are so many results of so many individual activities but they are all harmonised by the Absolute Will. You are to see and look at it like that and adjust yourself accordingly. 

In Gita it is said: karmany evādhikāras te, you have responsibility only to discharge your duty, your quota, mā phalesu kadācana, and never aspire after any particular environment. It will come in its own way. You cannot transform it, you cannot change it. You have no power to change the circumstance, the environment. You should try your best to change your own self to suit the environment. karmany evādhikāras temā phalesu kadācana, never consider yourself the cause of the result, never the consequence of your action. You are doing one thing but the result is giving another thing. So because I work for a particular result and I don't achieve it should I be discouraged? No. You go on doing your own duty and it will be offered to the Infinite and the Infinite will shape the result in Its own way. Whatever you are contributing, contribute it towards the Infinite and the Infinite will mould the result in Its own way. You are not to detect that. If you do that you are lost. karmany evādhikāras temā phalesu kadācanamā karma-phala-hetur bhūr, never aspire after any particular consequence of your action. mā te sango 'stv akarmani, at the same time don't be idle, don't be worthless. Go on discharging your duty independently of the external consequences. 

While doing this you have to remember Krsna and then you will be able to come in the relativity of Krsna, the Autocrat outside. And you will gradually come to realise that the environment is friendly. When your previous actions disappear in this way, you will find everything, every wave, is carrying good news to you. When your egoistic attitude has vanished you will find yourself in the midst of the sweet wave all around. To do away with what wrong you have done hitherto, such attitude is necessary. Do your duty, but never expect any definite result. You cast it towards the Infinite and then one day will come when you will find that your egoistic feeling will be dissolved and from within your real self, a real member of the Infinite, will spring up, awaken, and you will find yourself in the sweet wave of the environment, where everything is sweet. 

Sweet, sweet, sweet, everything. The breeze is sweet, the water is sweet, the trees are sweet. Whatever you come in contact with, everything is sweet. Your false ego is your enemy and to dissolve that ego such process is necessary. Do your duty as you see fit but never expect any reward according to your will. 

Then if you adopt this karma-yoga in no time you will find that the false ego that was expecting something crooked for your selfish purpose, that vanishes, and the broad, wide ego that is within, that has come out, and you are in harmony with the whole universe. The harmonious world will come before you. The cover will disappear, the cover of our selfish desire, selfish end, that will disappear. The disease is within. The cause is not outside, and this applies to everyone. A paramahamsa Vaisnava, a saint, he sees that everything is all right, nothing to complain. To the furthest extremity everything is good, everything is sweet. Then he comes to live in the plane of divinity. The selfish false ego is creating disturbance, and that ego should be dissolved.

In Bhagavatamtat te 'nukampām, not only is the environment not my enemy but we shall find out that this is the grace of the Lord. Whatever is coming to me like an enemy, this is the grace of the Lord. I can't see this. The dirt is on my eye. Rather, I see the opposite. But everything is divine. Such a searching attitude is necessary. All is the grace of the Lord. Really it is so but the disease is in my eye, the disease is in my feeling, the disease is in my ear. I am diseased and if that disease is cured I shall find I am in the midst of the graceful world, I am a member of the gracious world. Only the cover is deceiving me from having the real estimation of the world. 

We will become a bona fide student of the devotional school if we are able to accept such an attitude towards the environment, towards the Lord. We are to think that His will is everywhere. Even a straw that is shaking, it can't do so if not sanctioned by the Supreme Authority. Every detail is detected and controlled by Him. In this way we are to see that the environment is optimistic and the pessimism is with me. My ego is responsible for all sorts of evil. This is Vaisnavism. If we can do this then in no time our disease will be cured and we will be in the midst ofample, infinite blissfulness. Don't try to cure what we see on the outside. Our tendency at present is like this, that “Everything must be favourable to my will, my understanding.” We all want that. “Let everything follow my control, my sweet will. Then we are happy. Everything will obey me then I am happy. But we are to take just the opposite direction. 

trinad api sunicena
taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena 

kirtaniyah sada harihi

“One who is humbler than a blade of grass, more forbearing than a tree, who gives due honour to others without desiring it for himself is qualified to always chant the Holy Name of Krsna.”
         Sri Siksastakam, 3

We should create no resistance to the environment. Even if there is some attack and undesirable things come towards me, I am to forbear that. To my utmost patience I am to tolerate it. I won't do harm but if some attack comes to me I shall have forbearance to the extreme. amanina manadena: I shall honour everyone but won't seek any honour for myself. In this way we can make contact with the sound aspect of the Lord Himself in the holy Name. Thus with minimal energy and in the least amount of time we can attain our highest goal. The plane of Krsna where He is living, that is the most fundamental plane. It is possible. All these mundane engagements will vanish, die, and our inner heart, inner soul will awaken and that soul will find that he is in a sweet wave dancing, dancing and merry making in Vrindavana in relation to Krsna and His followers, His group.

What do you think? Is it unreasonable? 

Devotee: No. It's completely ecstatic.

* Most likely referring to Hegel. – Sd


See also 
So the real current is His pastimes 



  1. HAAA!


    everything is sweet.
    Srila Shridhar Maharaj sweetifyes everything

  2. Bhakta Tom


    But I don't understand fully what this means in practice. In particular, "Do what is on your table" - there is so much on my table, activities I have chosen for various reasons, some more auspicious, some less auspicious. How can I know what is my proper duty and what is not?

    For instance, working to earn money as a grihastha is probably a duty, if the profession is not too destructive. But suppose I love my job and I put my heart into it, is that fine if I'm indifferent to success or failure?

    Or suppose I want to help others. This speech is all about egoism versus devotion, but what about altruism? If I want to do something about the mistreatment of animals in society, is that my duty, or should I stay indifferent?

    Or suppose I find myself on a battlefield of some kind, like Arjuna, but there is no Krishna on my side to instruct me. How can I know which action is my duty?

    Sorry if I'm just being dense. Haven't chanted my rounds yet today...

    Sevananda das 

    Bhakta Tom, all of it together will let you understand what is meant – duties, responsibilities, "what's on your table", not personal agenda. Meditate and discriminate. 

    If you have family then that is your duty: make money to keep it up, but don't make a career, that is personal agenda. And don't divorce and get a new family, that is personal agenda. 

    Accept a raise if you get it, but don't go ask for it, that is personal agenda. 

    Don't love your job, love your duty. Is there a difference? Yes. What? Find out.

    No attachment to outcome – "failure" or "success". SSM: 
    "You are doing one thing but the result is giving another thing. So because I work for a particular result and I don't achieve it should I be discouraged? No. You go on doing your own duty and it will be offered to the Infinite and the Infinite will shape the result in Its own way. Whatever you are contributing, contribute it towards the Infinite and the Infinite will mould the result in Its own way. You are not to detect that. If you do that you are lost. Never aspire after any particular consequence of your action. At the same time don't be idle, don't be worthless. Go on discharging your duty independently of the external consequences."

    "Help" others: Leave that to Krishna and concentrate on discharging your duty. If it's on your table (What does that mean? Find out), then you do it; if not, leave it to Krishna, that is SSM's instruction here. Don't watch TV...

    TRUST Krishna or don't do this...

    Altruism is sattvic egoism. Surrender yourself to Krishna, the Supreme Controller, the Organic Whole, the Source of love and intelligence. Do your duty. Service is sacrifice, TRUE "altruism". Chant – "Let me be an instrument of Your love".

    If hurt animals come to you, then they're on your table. Do your duty and chant. Don't watch TV... Surrender to Krishna and TRUST that, don't speculate, don't go on a personal agenda. When you get a Spiritual Master he may tell you to do something about the mistreatment of animals and put it on your table. "If I want to do something" means personal agenda. As long as you’re going on personal agenda the Spiritual Master will not come… Either surrender to Krishna (and TRUST that) OR go on a personal agenda.

    Find out what is your duty. Chant your rounds :) Say: "Please let me be an instrument of Your love". And TRUST...

    These instructions are awesome – awesome as in both funky AND scary – this is why these things come to you. It is instructions on how to die to this world and rise to a higher. 'Die' means death. Mr Personal Agenda does not like that :D

  3. Sincere inspiring question accompanied by a bold hearfelt answer...

    When Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur would initiate a person the only thing he would have them promise, in general, was to always take guidence in life from Sadhus...

    Naturally, in their holy association, our priorities will synchronize with the sweet will of the Lord.

    The voice of the Guru and his dedicated students are nondifferent from the voice of Krishna. So we are not left alone on the battlefield, thank God!

  4. Bhakta Tom

    Sevananda das, thank you for the honest answer!

    I'm pondering how this discussion about duties relates to BG 3.5:

    "Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment."

    So it's about following the flow of one's life, continuing to "act helplessly" like the BG puts it, while at the same time transcending the flow, by lifting one foot out of it, setting it on Krishna's platform and trustingly shifting one's weight onto it?

    I'm familiar with taoism and that is just the same thing, though impersonal.

  5. Dear Bhakta Tom, thank YOU for the inspiring questions...

    That quote is a description of the whole undifferentiated Flow (of the material world) – karma (the flow of action and reaction of personal agendas: individual karma, group karma, gender, occupational, national, world karma…), dharma (duties, responsibilities, etc), and Divine Plan (yes indeed, even in the material world, the plane of low-frequenzy free-will acting). And depending on where your consciousness is in that flow, you will be helplessly acting in one of the three layers of the material energy (maya/forgetfulness): tamas (ignorance/darkness), rajas (passion/friction), or sattva (goodness/remembrance). Something like that, I'm no expert on this.

    What Srila Sridhar Maharaj describes is how to step out of this helpless flow, the path of the nether-world, and make your transition to the path to the Gracious world, by dropping karma (stop creating new and let old reactions ebb out), doing your duties only (that sustaining activity, which is service to Krishna, wherever you are), and asking for service in (active connection to) the Divine Flow, which leads you up, to the Gracious World, the Land of Freedom, where “everything is sweet”.

    Tao means no goal, doesn't it? The way is all. The goal in Krishna consciousness is very exact, and so incredibly vertiginous high... And real. It is a science.

    Krishna, the innermost of Source, the source of consciousness (and consciousness means person – “I”), the last word of the Absolute Truth, says “Only by devotion can one come to Me”. Gurumaharaj (Srila B.A. Paramadvaiti Maharaj) calls the writings of Srila Sridhar Maharaj (His sannyasa-guru) the Science of Devotion. And someone else (can't remember where I saw it) said very seriously that in the next cosmic cycle, Srila Sridhar Maharaj's talks will be part of the Vedas.



    Selected Posts on Krishna Consciousness 

    (15) Service to The Absolute (Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj)
    (16) Bhakti begins there (Srila Sridhar Maharaj)
    (17) Played by God (Srila Sridhar Maharaj)
    (18): Service — Samadhi — Lila (Srila B.A. Paramadvaiti Maharaj)
    (19) In a particular direction (Srila Sridhar Maharaj)
    (20) Service, service, service (Srila Sridhar Maharaj) 

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