Summary: Last week we discussed the 1st Canto narration of Narada, particularly how he personally became transformed from worldly insignificance to a superlative exalted state of spiritual perfection. In Canto 6, a similar narration is found re. Maharaja Citraketu. King Citraketu is described by Sukadeva Goswami as being an extremely pious and wonderful king; the one flaw in his character was his unwillingness to accept the plan of the Lord for him to not have a son. After learning the lesson of material attachment the hard way, King Citraketu became perfect by dint of the mercy he received from both Angira Muni and Narada Muni. Angira imparted transendental knowledge of the soul unto Citraketu, after which Narada imparted the seed of pure bhakti. Detachment which comes through knowledge of the soul (vairagya- vidya) is a valuable and important preliminary feature of advancing in Krishna Consciousness. This narration clearly points out the tether of intense material family attachment, which keeps us far away from our true feelings of devotion and love for our eternal Father, Lord Krishna. Text 26 gives some very valuable pointers to guide the preaching of sincere devotees who are trying to help others progress in Krishna Consciousness. Please note these guidelines carefully.
1) The mantra or prayer given by Narada indicates some important identifying characteristics of Bhagavan which distinguish Him as our worshipable Supreme. Select one of those characteristics and explain in your own words how that feature of His clearly marks Him as worthy of our worship.
(Note: the entire purport is not within the quote below. You may wish to read the whole purport, if you have access to the BBT publication.)
2) Explain how the purport to Text 26 below can be applied by you, in a practical way, in your interactions with others who you are introducing to Krishna Consciousness.
3) Explain the parallel between Krishna's instruction in Bhagavad Gita 2.44 and the sequential messages presented by Angira Muni, then by Narada Muni.
Reading Assignment a) Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.17, b) Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.18-19 and c) Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.26
a) Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.17
Thereafter, being very much pleased with Citraketu, who was a self-controlled devotee and surrendered soul, Narada, the most powerful sage, spoke to him the following transcendental instructions.
b) Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.18-19
TRANSLATION [Narada gave Citraketu the following mantra.] O Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, who are addressed by the omkara [pranava], I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. O Lord Vasudeva, I meditate upon You. O Lord Pradyumna, Lord Aniruddha and Lord Sankarsana, I offer You my respectful obeisances. O reservoir of spiritual potency, O supreme bliss, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are self-sufficient and most peaceful. O ultimate truth, one without a second, You are realized as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan and are therefore the reservoir of all knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
PURPORT In Bhagavad-gita Krishna says that He is pranavah sarva-vedesu, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras. In transcendental knowledge, the Lord is addressed as pranava, omkara, which is a symbolic representation of the Lord in sound. Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. Vasudeva, who is an expansion of Narayana, expands Himself as Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Sankarsana. From Sankarsana comes a second Narayana expansion, and from this Narayana come further expansions of Vasudeva, Pradyumna, Sankarsana and Aniruddha. The Sankarsana in this group is the original cause of the three purusas, namely Karanodakasayi Vishnu, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu and Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. Ksirodakasayi Vishnu is situated in every universe in a special planet called Svetadvipa. This is confirmed in the Brahma-samhita: andantara-stha. The word anda means this universe. Within this universe is a planet called Svetadvipa, where Ksirodakasayi Vishnu is situated. From Him come all the incarnations within this universe. As confirmed in the Brahma-samhita, all these forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are advaita, nondifferent, and they are also acyuta, infallible; they do not fall down like the conditioned souls. The ordinary living entity is prone to falling into the clutches of maya, but the Supreme Lord in His different incarnations and forms is acyuta, infallible. Therefore His body is different from the material body possessed by the conditioned soul. The word matra is explained in the Medini dictionary as follows: matra karna-vibhusayam vitte mane paricchade. The word matra, in its different imports, is used to indicate the decoration of the ear, possession, respect, and the possession of a covering. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (2.14):
matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah agamapayino 'nityas tams titiksasva bharata
"O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed." In the conditioned state of life, the body is used as our dress, and as one needs different dresses during the summer and winter, we conditioned souls are changing bodies according to our desires. However, because the body of the Supreme Lord is full of knowledge, it needs no covering. The idea that Krishna's body is like ours -- in other words, that His body and soul are different -- is a misunderstanding. There are no such differences for Krishna, because His body is full of knowledge. Here we receive material bodies because of a lack of knowledge, but because Krishna, Vasudeva, is full of knowledge, there is no difference between His body and His soul. Krishna remembers what He said forty million years ago to the sun-god, but an ordinary being cannot remember what he said the day before yesterday. This is the difference between Krishna's body and our body. Therefore the Lord is addressed as vijnana-matraya paramananda-murtaye. Because the Lord's body is full of knowledge, He always enjoys transcendental bliss. Indeed, His very form is paramananda. This is confirmed in the Vedanta-sutra: anandamayo'bhyasat. By nature the Lord is anandamaya. Whenever we see Krishna, He is always full of ananda in all circumstances. No one can make Him morose. Atmaramaya: He does not need to search for external enjoyment, because He is self-sufficient. Santaya: He has no anxiety. One who has to seek pleasure from other sources is always full of anxiety. Karmis, jnanis and yogis are full of anxiety because they want something, but a devotee does not want anything; he is simply satisfied in the service of the Lord, who is fully blissful. Nivrtta-dvaita-drstaye: in our conditioned life our bodies have different parts, but although Krishna apparently has different bodily parts, no part of His body is different from any other part. Krishna can see with His eyes, and Krishna can see without His eyes. Therefore in the Svetasvatara Upanisad it is said, pasyaty acaksuh. He can see with His hands and legs. He does not need a particular bodily part to perform a particular action. Angani yasya sakalendriya-vrttimanti: He can do anything He desires with any part of His body, and therefore He is called almighty.
c) Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.26
TRANSLATION Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Narada, having become the spiritual master of Citraketu, instructed him fully in this prayer because Citraketu was fully surrendered. O King Pariksit, Narada then left with the great sage Angira for the topmost planet, known as Brahmaloka.
PURPORT When Angira had first come to visit King Citraketu, he did not bring Narada with him. However, after the death of Citraketu's son, Angira brought Narada to instruct King Citraketu about bhakti-yoga. The difference was that in the beginning Citraketu was not in a temperament of renunciation, but after the death of his son, when he was overwhelmed by his great plight, he was awakened to the platform of renunciation by instructions regarding the falsity of this material world and material possessions. It is only at this stage that bhakti-yoga can be instructed. As long as one is attached to material enjoyment, bhakti-yoga cannot be understood. This is confirmed in Bhagavad Gita (2.44):
bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam tayapahrta-cetasam vyavasayatmika buddhih samadhau na vidhiyate
"In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination of devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take place."
As long as one is very much attached to material enjoyment, one cannot concentrate his mind on the subject matter of devotional service. The Krishna consciousness movement is progressing successfully in the Western countries at the present moment because the youth in the West have reached the stage of vairagya, or renunciation. They are practically disgusted with material pleasure from material sources, and this has resulted in a population of hippies throughout the Western countries. Now if these young people are instructed about bhakti-yoga, Krishna consciousness, the instructions will certainly be effective. As soon as Citraketu understood the philosophy of vairagya-vidya, the knowledge of renunciation, he could understand the process of bhakti-yoga. In this regard Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya has said, vairagya-vidya-nija-bhakti-yoga [Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 6.254]. Vairagya-vidya and bhakti-yoga are parallel lines. One is essential for understanding the other. It is also said, bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.42). Advancement in devotional service, or Krishna consciousness, is characterized by increasing renunciation of material enjoyment. Narada Muni is the father of devotional service, and therefore, just to bestow causeless mercy upon King Citraketu, Angira brought Narada Muni to instruct the King. These instructions were extremely effective. Anyone who follows in the footsteps of Narada Muni is certainly a pure devotee.