Hare Krsna to all
All glories to Srila Prabhupada who is forcing open our eyes with the lamp of transcendental
Below is a very short excerpt from two lectures which very clearly explain the process of bhakti yoga
beginning with the 3rd class or materialistic bhakta employing sravanam kirtanam and arcana seva–then on to Madhyama or 2nd class bhakta.
These things are important to hear for one who is somewhat serious about coming at least to the actual spiritual platform.
devotional service, especially this sravanam, kirtanam and arcanam,
arcanam, worshiping the Deity, and sravanam kirtanam. Even if you
follow one, that is sufficient, but there are nine different
processes. As far as possible, we shall execute everything, and, at
least, sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam, arcanam. Arcana
is very important. For kanistha-adhikari, devotee in the lower stage,
arcana is very, very important.
( let us take a little diversion for a moment, and see what Srila Prabhupada has to say about
the 3rd class devotee…. kanistha adhikari…. )
Prabhupada: Kanistha-adhikarimeans he must be a brahmana. That is kanistha-adhikari. The spiritual life, kanistha-adhikari, means he must be a qualified brahmana. That is kanistha. What is esteemed as very high position in the material world, brahmana, that is kanistha-adhikari.
arcayam eva haraye pujam yah sraddhayehate na tad-bhaktesu canyesu sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah
The brahmana means from the material stage gradually he is elevated to the spiritual stage. And below the brahmana there is no question of Vaisnava.
( So for those of us who are wearing the brahmana thread or who have been given gayatri mantra, this is not a cheap title, it has to be earned. And we may wonder why tears do not
appear in our eyes while hearing or chanting??Ok, now back to the original lecture….. )
Although the devotee in the higher stage, he also offers worship, but Krsna is everywhere. For a neophyte devotee Just like some people say that “Why you should go to the
temple? Krsna is everywhere.” Who was asking that question? “Krsna
cannot be served…” Here, last night. I think those girls, svarna(?)
girls. Krsna is everywhere, that is a fact, but that is for the
paramhamsa, one who is very very advanced. For the kanistha-adhikari,
he cannot He, like parrot, he can say, “Krsna is everywhere.” He must
be educated, “Here is Krsna in the temple.” Otherwise it is simply
blaspheme, that “Krsna is everywhere.” That’s a fact, but where is
your realization? Krsna is within your heart. Have you got that
realization? Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ‘rjuna tisthati. Have you
got that realization, that Krsna is within your heart? Can you talk
with Krsna? He says, Krsna says, “I talk.” Buddhi yogam-dadami tam.
Krsna gives intelligence. Krsna is giving, but have you got that
So these are all facts, that Krsna is everywhere, Krsna is within
your heart, Krsna is within the atom. Andantara
stha-paramanu-cayantara-tham. That’s a fact, but where is your
realization? Therefore you have to begin realization by arcana. That
is very essential. Then more you become expert in arcana, ye yatha mam
prapadyante, the more you become realized, then more you become
advanced. So therefore, for kanistha-adhikari, he has to raise
… arcayam eva haraye
yah pujam sraddhayehate
na tad-bhaktesu canyesu
sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah
By executing this arca-vigraha, arcanam, gradually you advance. But if
you simply remain in the arcana-viddhi or arcana process, and you
cannot understand who is a bhakta and what to do with others… That
is also a bhakta’s duty, not that simply we shall remain engaged in
arcana. We must know how to respect devotee, how to do some service to
others also. That is madhyama-adhikari. Simply if you become
satisfied, that “Now I am initiated and I am offering arcana. I have
become perfect,” no, the perfection is still awaiting. You have to
understand who is a devotee. You have to understand how to give
service to the innocent. If you do not know that, then if you simply
become packed up by arca-vigraha-seva, arcana, then you will remain in
the material platform. Na tad-bhaktesu canyesu sa bhaktah prakrtah
smrtah. Prakrtah means material. He is trying to go to the spiritual
platform, but if he simply remains in the arcana and does not preach,
this is na tad-bhaktesu canyesu. Anyesu. Anyesu means those who are
innocent. That is madhyama-adhikari, middle stage.
balisesu dvisatsu ca
yah karoti sa madhyamah
Isvara. Then, by arca-vigraha worship, by sravana-kirtana, by making
your properly advanced you will understand what is the position of
This bhakti yoga is a gradual process. Practically speaking, everyone begins from the material platform and if he or she follows the actual process of sadhana bhakti, then they will come eventually to the spiritual platform. As Srila Prabhupada describes, there are 4 platforms of realization. The sensual, the mental the intellectual and eventually the spiritual platform. To actually come to the spiritual platform requires austerity or purification of the senses. We all know what this means.
In the above segments Srila Prabhupada clearly explains that the neophyte or materialistic bhakta must perfrom Arcana or daily worship of the Vigraha Form of the Lord. This is not optional if one wants to eventually within his heart, see or talk with the Lord. If one is satisfied with just knowing he or she is doing some spiritual activity daily, then he or she can just chant Hare Krsna or read the books. This is good, but is not the final goal. The end goal is to have the realization of the Lord in one’s own heart where you and He can talk with each other, as Srila Prabhupada explains above. And that level of realization will develop, he says with Arcana, or daily worship of the Lord, and of course this is along with the chanting of Hare Krsna maha mantra.
Srila Prabhupada gives the proof of the materialistic bhakta in this lecture by saying
…”He is trying to go to the spiritual platform, but if he simply remains in the arcana and does not preach…”this is na tad-bhaktesu canyesu.
So we can see by the above statement, what has to be individually done.
And all along that path it is just like biting into some sugar-because wherever you bite, you will always taste sweetness-Krsna !!