Beyond Rules and Regulations

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj describes the clean heart of the Vaiṣṇava.

Kṛṣṇa said in Śrīmad Bhāgavat (9.4.68):

sādhavo hṛdayaṁ mahyaṁ sādhūnāṁ hṛdayaṁ tv aham
mad-anyat te na jānanti nāhaṁ tebhyo manāg api

The sādhus are My heart, and I am their hearts. They do not know anything without Me, and I do not know anything without them.”

Here, there is no law, and no rules or regulations. The Lord is saying, “The sādhus are My own; they serve Me directly.” This is the only law. I have heard this verse in the Manu-saṁhitā (2.1):

vidvadbhiḥ sevitaḥ sadbhir nityam adveṣa-rāgibhiḥ
hṛdayenābhyanujñāto yo dharmas taṁ nibodhata

What is the religion, the law, for the soul? Vidvadbhiḥ sevitaḥ sadbhir: the way the sādhus practise, the way they serve, that is the law. Nityam adveṣa-rāgibhiḥ: one who has no enviousness, who has no anger, and who has only the intention to serve Kṛṣṇa is a real sādhu. Hṛdayenābhyanujñāto: the rules and regulations are revealed from time to time in these sādhus’ hearts. That is the real ruling of Vedas.

One name for Veda is śruti. Śruti means hearing from a higher person. The Veda came down through hearing from Kṛṣṇa to Brahmā, Brahmā to Nārad Goswāmī, and Nārad Goswāmī to Vedavyās. So, it is called śruti, what has been heard from the higher level. Previously, the Veda was not written down.  Vedavyās compiled it, and in a harmonising way, he divided it into four parts and gave it to us in written form.

We are souls born in Kali-yuga, and our memory is very short. So, he gave us the Vedas in written form although before that the Vedas were not kept in writing, but we should understand that what is revealed in the heart of the sādhu for the service of Kṛṣṇa is the real memorandum, the real rule and regulation to be followed.

vidvadbhiḥ sevitaḥ sadbhir nityam adveṣa-rāgibhiḥ
hṛdayenābhyanujñāto yo dharmas taṁ nibodhata

Here it is started that the heart of the sādhu is very clean; there is no dirtiness or anything bad in their heart.

There is an example of this which can lead to some dangerous thinking but still is very a nice adjustment. Once, Parāśar Ṛṣi, the father of Vedavyās, wanted to cross a river. At that time, he saw a girl, and lust came into his mind. Not only was he a very old ṛṣi, but he was very firm in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So, he was surprised to feel this and thought, “Seeing this girl, lust is coming into my mind. What is this?” Immediately, he steadied himself and began to meditate. Then, he saw, “Oh, through this lust, Vedavyās will appear.” Then, he happily proposed to that girl, “I need a son from you.” The girl did not know anything, but she knew Parāśar Ṛṣi was a very powerful ṛṣi, and she feared that if she denied his request, then the ṛṣi would become angry. So, she made excuses, “Oh, this is not a suitable time. This is not this. This is not that.” But the ṛṣi said, “This is a suitable time. It has been revealed in my heart. And what difficulty there is for you, I will now make that fresh.” Then, he made some fog and other arrangements. In this way, Vedavyās was born in this world. Parāśar Ṛṣi was vidvān as is mentioned in this verse vidvadbhiḥ sevitaḥ sadbhir. He was a real scholar, a transcendental scholar. So, when lust appeared in his heart, he realised: “This is impossible, but it is coming into my heart. So, it must be my duty.”

Here is an example of the opposite. Kṛṣṇa once said to Yudhiṣṭhir, “Announce that Aśvatthāmā is dead.” Yudhiṣṭhir said, “How can I tell a lie like this?” Kṛṣṇa replied, “What you are thinking is a lie, and what I am saying is the truth, but for your satisfaction I will make an arrangement.” Then, Kṛṣṇa told Bhīmasen, “Go and kill the elephant named Aśvatthāmā.” Before Kṛṣṇa gave Yudhiṣṭhir this order, his chariot floated above the earth, but after he hesitated to carry out Kṛṣṇa’s order, his chariot rested on the ground.

The rule is that the rules and regulations first come out from a clean heart for the service of Kṛṣṇa. A clean heart is called Vāsudev in Śrīmad Bhāgavat.

sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vāsudeva-śabditaṁ
yad īyate tatra pumān apāvṛtaḥ
sattve cha tasmin bhagavān vāsudevo
hy adhokṣajo me namasā vidhīyate
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 4.3.23)

Here, Lord Śiva said, “To whom shall I pay my daṇḍavat?” Goddess Parvatī said, “O my Lord, you should pay daṇḍavat to my father. What fault is there in paying one daṇḍavat to him? He is your father-in-law!” Lord Śiva smiled and said, “How can I give my head again to someone else? I have already surrendered my head; I have already given my obeisance to Kṛṣṇa. I cannot not take my head from the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and put it at another’s feet. I have given my daṇḍavat to Kṛṣṇa, and that is final.” Here, Lord’s Śiva’s ignoring Dakṣa is an example of real dharma being revealed in the heart of the Vaiṣṇava, not only in formal customs or instructions.

You will see also in another part of Śrīmad Bhāgavat (4.31.14):

yathā taror mūla-niṣechanena
tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ
prāṇopahārāch cha yathendriyāṇāṁ
tathaiva sarvārhaṇam achyutejyā

When you put water on the root of a tree, the whole tree gets nourishment, but if you put water on the leaves and branches of a tree, it is not healthy for the tree. A tree may get a little nourishment through that, but it will not get proper nourishment. Only when you put water on the root will the whole tree get full nourishment. Similarly, if you pay your daṇḍavat to Kṛṣṇa and give honour to Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa takes that and the whole world gets everything. This is the rule.

So, what is revealed in the heart of the sādhu is the real rule and regulation. The people of the Vedic culture really should follow that.

jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva jīvanti
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.14.3)

This expression also shows rāga-mārg. Only affection and devotion are there, and nothing else, no dirtiness. There everything is clean. Going in clean way through the proper channel is rāga-mārg. Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu has shown us that line by the order of Śrīman Mahāprabhu.

kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ
krīyatāṁ yadi kuto ‘pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate

Laulyam, hankering, is the main thing. When honest hankering comes into your heart, that is rāga-mārg. Through that, you get everything. There is no possibility to go any other way there. Rāga-mārg is very suitable for the Western world actually. We are seeing this. We are seeing that that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra is being chanted all over the world, and it is on the basis of hankering. Otherwise, people would have no qualification. People are not living according to all the Vedic rules, but they can proceed in the line of devotion in rāga-mārg. This is the mercy of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu, it has come out again in this age through our Guru Mahārāj and Śrīla Swāmī Mahārāj. We are seeing that this has happened already.


Spoken 23 January 1993.

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