Published on May 13th, 2022 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada12
The Simple Process of Bhakti Yoga Under Srila Prabhupada’s Guidance
A pure devotee has no plans other than those for the Lord’s service. He is not interested in attaining success in mundane activities. He simply wants success in the progress of devotional service. (Quotes compiled by Varaha dasa)
Bhagavan: …too simple.
Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore they do not take it. Just like homeopathic medicine. You know homeopathic medicine?
Bhagavan: Oh, homeopathic medicine.
Prabhupada: Yes, simply water. So they do not like to take it. Actually, they do not want God. They want maya. Otherwise, if anyone wants God, Krsna there is no difficulty. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru, mam evaisyasi asamsayah [Bg. 18.65]. Four things. “Just always think of Me,” man-mana. Mad-bhaktah: “Just become My devotee.” Mad-yaji: “You worship Me. And offer your obeisances unto Me. If you do simply these four things, then you are coming back to Me without any doubt.” These four things. But they cannot do it or will not do it. Otherwise, very simple. We are thinking of something always. Simply we have to replace Krsna. No. They’ll think so many other things except Krsna. This is the difficulty. Otherwise, it is not at all difficult. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. This is Krsna consciousness. (Morning Walk June 9, 1974, Paris)
Srila Prabhupada: So, Krsna philosophy is little difficult to understand. If they are understanding so easily, that is not understanding. It is easy, it is easy, if you accept Krsna’s words, it is very easy. That is the difficulty. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakta, mad-yaji mam namaskuru, always think of Me. So where is the difficulty? You have seen Krsna’s picture, Krsna’s Deity, and if you think Krsna, where is the difficulty? After all, we have to think something. So instead of something, why not think Krsna? Where is the difficulty? But he does not take seriously. He has to think so many things, except Krsna. And Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakta. There is no difficulty to take to Krsna consciousness. Not at all. But people will not take it, that is the difficulty. They will argue simply. Kutaka. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakta, where is the argument against it? You are saying that, they may not think of Krsna, they may not say about Krsna. And Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakta. This is argument, this is not philosophy. Philosophy is there, direct, you should do like this, that’s all. You do it and get the results. You go to purchase something, the price is fixed, you pay the price and take it. Where is argument? If you are, if you serious about that thing, you may pay price and take it away. That is the advice of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Krsna-bhakti rasa-bhavita-mati kriyatam yadi kuto ’pi labhyate. If you can purchase somewhere the thinking of Krsna, krsna-bhakti rasa-bhavita mati. That is, we have translated into “Krsna Consciousness.” If you can purchase this consciousness, Krsna consciousness, somewhere, immediately purchase it. Krsna-bhakti rasa-bhavita-mati, kriyatam, just purchase, yadi kuto ’pi labhyate, if it is available somewhere. And if I have to purchase, then what price? Tatra laulyam ekam mulam. Na janma-kotibhih labhyate. If you want what is the price, he says the price is your eagerness. And that eagerness to obtain it, takes many millions of births. (April 12, 1975 Hyderbad)
Srila Prabhupada: Similarly big, big scholars like Dr. Radhakrishnan, he says when Krsna says man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], he said, “This is not to the person Krsna.” Just see. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, clearly it is stated, bhagavan uvaca. Find out this verse. Please, you find out, somebody. Bhagavad-gita here. Find out.
Devotee: Eighteenth Chapter.
Prabhupada: Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji, Ninth Chapter.
Devotee: Ninth Chapter. Also Eighteenth.
Prabhupada: He directly says that, that “Just become My devotee, always think of Me, offer your respectful obeisances unto Me, and I guarantee that you will come back to Me.” Read it.
Devotee: “Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” [Bg. 9.34]
Prabhupada: Now, Radhakrishnan says “Not to Krsna.” So there are so many wrong directions by big, big men, taking Bhagavad-gita. This is going on. And we are poor fellows. We are neither big scholar nor politician. We simply teach our disciple the same thing in Krsna’s service. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto; we are teaching, “You just become devotee of Krsna.” That’s all. No addition, no interpretation. And people are coming. And for the last two hundred years the so-called scholars and politicians published their books, and it is widely read, and not a single devotee of Krsna. Not a single. Just see practically. We have no magic. We don’t play any magic, prepare gold or jugglery. We simply say that you become devotee of Krsna, and these young men have become devotee of Krsna. (Feb 28, Atlanta)
Srila Prabhupada: They have not blindly accepted. So this is the process, that if you accept the PURE PATH as accepted by the authorities,then it will effective. Svayam eva… That is the Vedic principle. Svayam eva sphuraty adhah. Spiritual realization is revealed. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Buddhi-yogam dadami tam yena mam upayanti te. So if we adopt the right principle, then other things will automatically come and help us. And the process is very simple if we accept it. Man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. Find this verse.
Nitai: “Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.”
Prabhupada: A simple formula. Anyone can think of Krsna always. Anyone can offer obeisances. Bhava mad-bhaktah. Anyone can serve Krsna. Krsna is open to everyone. So four principle: man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. Even a child can do that. And by doing these four things he becomes perfect. (March 14, 1975 Iran)
Guest (3): Yeah, but, the thing is…
Prabhupada: There is no “but.” This is the instruction of Krsna. You have to accept it. Otherwise, you don’t read Bhagavad-gita. That’s all.
Guest (3): The question is…
Prabhupada: It is, it… There is no question of “but,” Krsna says that man mana bhava mad bhakto mad yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. If you do not do that, then what is the use of your reading Bhagavad-gita? Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityaja mam ekam saranam vraja, mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te (Bg18.66). If you do not follow these instructions of Krsna, then where do you, why do you waste your time reading Bhagavad-gita, and mislead others? That is our protest! All these misleaders… Perhaps, throughout the whole world, it is the first time—we are preaching Bhagavad-gita as it is. We are the only institution in the world that we are preaching Bhagavad-gita as it is, and people are liking it. Before that, for the last two hundred years, so many swamis, yogis and…, they tried to preach Hindu philosophy, Vaisnavism. Not a single person was a devotee of Krsna, not a single person. Now you see so many young men. Why? Why this difference? Because we did not present Bhagavad-gita adulterated. Presented as it is, that’s all. What is the use of preaching adulterated things? Everyone wants… That appeals as it is. Therefore we present Bhagavad-gita as it is. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. We are preaching the same thing—“Always think of Krsna. Chant Hare Krsna. You remember Krsna always.” This is the simplest process. (April 12, 1975 Hyderbad)
Prabhupada: Yes, you can see. You can go to Krsna and see Him. That requires qualification.
Paramahamsa: That’s not as easy.
Prabhupada: No, it is very easy. It is simply, as we are teaching our students, just become a devotee, offer namaskar, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto, always think of Him, and you will go to Him. It is not at all difficult. Bahavo jnana-tapasa puta mad-bhavam agatah. Bahavo, many, did come to Me. How? Jnana-tapasa, by knowledge and tapasya, being purified, they come to Me. Krsna says. Why you are disappointed? You can go. Krsna is open. Te ’pi yanti param gatim. Striya sudra tatha vaisya, even the women, less intelligent, the sudra, vaisya, they can come. Where is the difficulty? Even if you are born very lowest, you can go.Krsna is open to everyone. Simply you become qualified. That’s all. And what is the qualification? Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], just always think of Me, become My devotee, offer your respects to Me, and man-mana, worship Me. Four things. That… We are opening this temple (in Melbourne) for this purpose, that you always think of Him, you worship Him, you offer obeisances to Him, and become His devotee. And then? Mam evaisyasi asamsayah [Bg. 18.65], without a doubt you will come to Him. What is the difficulty? There is no difficulty. (May 8, 1975 Perth)
Prabhupada: No. God’s will is open. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. God says that “You always think of Me. You just become My devotee, worship Me, and offer your respect to Me.” This is Gods will. “And if you do this, then you are coming back to Me.” It is clearly said. God’s will is declared. There is no secret. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad… Find out this ninth verse, er, Ninth Chapter. Yes. Read it.
Bali-mardana: “Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” [Bg. 9.34]
Prabhupada: That’s all. This is God’s will. It is not secret. It is open. But the thing is that everyone has got his different God.
Yogi Bhajan: Well, question is very fundamental. Everybody has his own God, so let everybody bring one’s own God in understanding. It’s not… God is…
Prabhupada: God… you have got own God. God says, “Always think of Me.”
Yogi Bhajan: Um hm. That’s true.
Prabhupada: So that’s all right. The followers may think of Him. Man-mana. “You become My devotee, become My devotee and worship Me and offer respect to Me,” that’s all. So we are teaching our student, “Here is God, Krsna. You chant Hare Krsna, always think of Him. You just offer your respect and worship Him. In this way become His devotee.” We do not… Spiritually, thing is (?) (indistinct) That’s all right. And they are doing that and they are getting the result. We do not say that “Sit down, press your nose, and meditate and this, that,” or, no. Simple thing. There is God, we have got our temple… (Aside:) Don’t make now this sort of thing…. Simple thing. We have got our temple. We say that “Chant Hare Krsna. Here is God. And think of Him.” As soon as you chant “Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna…” Everyone has got the beads. That means you are thinking of Krsna, man-mana. And then we are offering respect, go to the temple and offer our obeisance, very simple thing. So we accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So if you don’t accept, then you must have your own God. Do that. But the followers of Vedic principle, they will accept Krsna the Supreme Lord. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. (June 7, 1975 Honolulu)
Srila Prabhupada: Why one should not think of God always? God says that “You think of Me.’’ But if you have no idea of God, how you’ll think of? We have God, Krsna, here. We can think of His form. We are busy in His service. We are not only thinking; we are trying to become His devotee. We are serving, trying to serve Him. Rising early in the morning, offering mangala-arati, then prayers, then reading His message, trying to apply in our life as far as possible. We are not perfect, but we are trying to follow the instruction of God. This is our life. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakta mad-yaji mam namaskuru. (July 31, 1972 London)
Srila Prabhupada: In the Bhagavad-gita you understand that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7]. So we are teaching them that “Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna.” So they are accepting. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. So we are teaching that “Just always think of Krsna, chant Hare Krsna mantra, and you will remember Krsna.” Man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. “And just become devotee. Worship the Deity of Krsna. Become His bhakta.” Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji. “Worship Lord Krsna.” Mam namaskuru. “Offer your obeisances to Krsna.” So we are teaching this arcanam. We have got hundred temples like this all over the world. And hundreds and thousands are joining. So this is practical. So they are accepting. Now it is our duty to give the actual Vedic culture which is concise, summarized in the Bhagavad-gita. Sarvopanisad-gavah, the essence of all Upanisad teaching. So there is very good demand for this culture, but unfortunately we give some rubbish things, and they come. Sometimes they go, that he becomes himself God. What is this nonsense? God is so cheap? So they have been frustrated, and our people go and still more frustrate them by giving some cheating type of… But here Bhagavad-gita is very simple. There is no need of great education. What is the difficulty to understand? If Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], where is the difficulty? “You always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me, offer My obeisances.” (April 18, 1974 Hyderbad)
Prabhupada: As long as they will not take to Krsna consciousness, they have to tolerate. They must suffer. That is nature’s law. That is said in the Bhagavad-gita, daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya… [Bg. 7.14]. You cannot escape all these miserable conditions of… Mam eva ye prapadyante. If you become Krsna conscious, then you escape. What is the difficulty to become Krsna conscious? Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru: [Bg. 18.65] “Simply always think of Me.” We have got nice Krsna. And attend the temple, and we see. And what is the difficulty to think of Him always? Or chanting, hearing His name. So there is no difficulty in remembering Krsna always. Man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. To become devotee, worship the Lord in the temple, prepare food for Him, and take the prasadam—where is the difficulty? The program which we have introduced, where is the difficulty there? But the rascals will not take. That is the difficulty. (May 25, 1974 Rome)
“‘When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive action. The devotee must constantly serve Krsna favorably, as Krsna desires.’
This verse is also found in Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11). As we can understand from the Bhagavad-gita (9.34 and 18.65), the Supreme Personality of Godhead wants everyone to think of Him always (man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah). Everyone should become His devotee, not the devotee of a demigod. Everyone should engage in His devotional service, including arcana (Deity worship) in the temple. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. Everyone should offer obeisances, from moment to moment, to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These are the desires of the Supreme Lord, and one who fulfills His desires favorably is actually a pure devotee. Krsna wants everyone to surrender unto Him, and devotional service means preaching this gospel all over the world. The Lord says openly in the Bhagavad-gita (18.69), na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah: One who preaches the gospel of the Bhagavad-gita for the benefit of all is most dear to Krsna. The Bhagavad-gita is spoken by the Lord so that human society can be perfectly organized from all angles of vision—politically, socially, economically, philosophically and religiously. From any point of view, human society can be reformed by the Krsna consciousness movement; therefore one who spreads this philosophy of Krsna consciousness for the benefit of all conditioned souls in the universe is perfect in pure devotional service.
The criterion is that a devotee must know what Krsna wants him to do. This understanding can be acheived through the MEDIUM OF A SPIRITUAL MASTER who is a bona fide representative of Krsna. Srila Rupa Gosvami advises, adau gurv-asrayam. One who is serious in wanting to render pure devotional service to the Lord must take shelter of a spiritual master who comes in the disciplic succession from Krsna. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. Without accepting a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, one cannot find out the real purpose of devotional service. Therefore one has to accept the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and agree to be DIRECTED by HIM. The first business of a pure devotee is to satisfy his spiritual master, master, whose only business is to spread Krsna consciousness. And if one can satisfy the spiritual master, Krsna is automatically satisfied—yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah **. This is the success of devotional service. This is the meaning of the word anukulyena—that is, favorable devotional service to the Lord. A pure devotee has no plans other than those for the Lord’s service. He is not interested in attaining success in mundane activities. He simply wants success in the progress of devotional service. For a devotee, there cannot be worship of others or demigod worship. A pure devotee does not engage himself in such pseudo devotional service. He is interested only in satisfying Krsna. If one lives only for the satisfaction of Krsna, it does not matter whether he belongs to this order of life or that order of life. One’s only business should be to satisfy Krsna. This process is completely manifest in the activities of the Krsna consciousness movement. It has been actually proved that the entire world can accept devotional service without failure. One simply has to follow the instructions of the representative of Krsna. (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 7 Text 167)