Bhajahu Re Mana
Purport to Bhajahu Re Mana (Edited)
by His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
bhajahu re mana sri-nanda-nandana-
durlabha manava-janama sat-sange
taroho e bhava-sindhu re
Then he says that “What am I doing? What is my present occupation?” The present occupation is:
sita atapa bata barisana
e dina jamini jagi re
biphale sevinu krpana durajana
capala sukha-laba lagi’ re
[He says, “I am working hard, day and night. Despite of winter or summer or rainy season, I have to work hard, day and night. If there is night duty in the winter season, I have to report to the office at twelve o’clock at night. So I must go. When there is snowfall, and if I don’t go, then I’ll be reported absent. So I am working so very hard.” Sita atapa bata barisana, jamini jagi re. “And what am I working for?” Now, biphale sevinu krpana durajana: “Just to serve persons who cannot protect me.” We think that my wife, my husband, my children, my relatives, or my friends, and so many other relationships with this material world and everyone is working to satisfy their relatives. A family man is working so hard because he has to satisfy his wife, children, friends and so many other persons. But one should be conscious that “These friends and relatives, they ultimately cannot protect me. I can neither protect them, nor they can protect me.” Everyone is responsible. Everyone is responsible for his own activities.
Suppose that I am constructing a skyscraper, just like you have in this country, if somebody asks me “What is the reason you are building such a high building?” And if I answer, “Just to set fire to it.” Then the man will laugh, “Simply for setting fire, you are spending so much money and building this high building?” “Yes.” So this sort of answer is just like our present activities.
You take the dead bodies to the crematorium and put them into the grave. But India of course, there are graveyards for the Muhammadans and the Christians, but the Hindus burn the dead bodies. In the Bhagavata also, these three system are recorded, that the ultimate transformation of this body will be either ashes, stool or earth. How is this? Because after death, persons who burn the dead body, is turned into ashes. This beautiful body, will be turned into ashes. If we bury it in the ground, the body will gradually turn into earth. And according to the Iranian system, the body is thrown to the vultures. They eat it, and than it will turn into animal stool. That is the last stage of this body. Everyone knows that they will die.
Still, we are working so hard. We are improving our bank balance, we are drawing up a will just to give protection to our family members, our children. There is no time. Everyone is very busy. But he doesn’t see that “What I am doing, all these bodies ultimately become either ash, animal stool, or turn into earth. So why I am taking so much trouble?” Therefore the revealed scripture advise that “It is all right to maintain your body. Except for simple material comforts, you should not devote more time than is absolutely required.” That means you don’t increase your bodily necessities. That was the standard of Indian civilization. The sages and saints did not advise to increase the necessities of the body. They planned the social system in such a way that people would be satisfied only with the bare necessities of life. We require some eating, some sleeping, some shelter, some sense gratification, and some protection from enemies. (end)]
Purport to Bhajahu Re Mana (Edited)
by His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
New York, March 30, 1966
[This is a song by which a devotee is praying and asking his mind, bhajahu re mana. Mana means mind. Because, at the present moment, our mind is the driver, and this body is considered just like a car. In the Bhagavad-gita it is also stated, bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya. This body is a car made of material nature. The living entity, what is said, “I,” I am now seated in this car prepared by material nature, and the driver is the mind. But the driver is not under my control. The driver is taking me anywhere he likes. Personally, I am not able to drive. I have engaged a driver, which is called the mind, who is carrying me (the soul) anywhere it likes. So therefore the proprietor, I, being helpless, request the driver, “My dear mind,” bhajahu re mana, “My dear mind, you kindly worship Lord Krsna.” Sri-nanda-nandana. Sri-nanda-nandana means Lord Krsna. Lord Krsna appeared as the son of Vasudeva, and He was accepted by Nanda Maharaja as His foster father. “I am requesting that you worship Lord Krsna who is abhaya-carana.” Abhaya-carana means He’s the fearless shelter. If we take shelter of Krsna, then we become free from all anxieties. Just like a helpless child, when he’s taken care of by his parents, he becomes carefree. “Similarly, I am requesting, my dear mind, you do not drive in this way, dangerously. Please worship Lord Krsna who is fearless shelter.” Bhajahu re mana sri-nanda-nandana-abhaya-caranaravinda re: “His lotus feet is fearless shelter.” One who takes shelter, as the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. Now, either you say Krsna or you say Superconsciousness. Superconsciousness is the impersonal conception of Krsna, and Krsna is the personal conception of Superconsciousness. Krsna means that He’s not only superconscious, but He’s supreme bliss and supreme knowledge-supreme knowledge means superconsciousness-and eternal, supreme consciousness, supreme bliss. That is the definition of Krsna. Now, then the devotee says that durlabha manava-janama sat-sange taroho e bhava-sindhu re. Now, this body, this human body, is durlabha. Durlabha means very valuable. It is obtained after a great struggle of existence. We have to come through so many species of life: aquatics, birds, then trees, reptiles, then beasts. There are so many, so many different forms of life. There are eighty-four lakhs (8,400,000) species of life, and we had to pass through all of them by gradual evolution. This theory is accepted by Darwin also, evolutionary theory. This human form of body is very valuable. So he requests, “My dear mind, …” Of course, in lower animal life the mind is there also. Their mind is not developed, but they have got mind. In the very lower animal living condition, the mind is not at all developed, but at least, in animal life there is mind. Now, the devotee is requesting that “This life, this human form of life, is very valuable. Don’t waste it. Don’t waste it, but you just try to make your life successful in the association of saints and sages.” Yes. “So you should not associate with anybody else, but associate only with saints and sages and make this valuable human form of life successful. Don’t waste your time. Worship Lord Krsna with the help of the saints and sages, and make your life successful.” That he is requesting. “Don’t drive me into the ocean in this irresponsible way.” It is also requested that “We are like in the ocean of birth and death.” This material cosmic situation is sometimes compared as the ocean, and these planets, they are compared as islands. But actually, the planets are islands in the air. Just like there are islands in the sea and ocean, similarly, these planets are islands in the air, and there are so many air islands.
He says that durlabha manava-janama sat-sange tara e bhava-sindhu re. Bhava-sindhu. Bhava-sindhu means this cosmic situation where birth and death is taking place continually, over and over. “So stop this business of repeated birth and death. Make this human form of life successful and get release from this disease of birth and death.” Birth and death is a sort of disease for the living entities. It is not a normal condition. Due to our abnormal encagement in this material body, we are put into the ocean of birth and death. Otherwise normally, I am not subjected to birth and death. I am by nature eternal. So he is requesting that “My dear mind don’t waste your time,” because the mind is taking me here and there. He is concentrating very philosophically while requesting his mind, “Don’t put me into the ocean of birth and death. Please save me, and just make your life successful in the association of saints and sages. That is my request.” Bhajahu re mana sri-nanda-nandana. So worship of Lord Krsna or the Supreme Lord, while at the same time, associate with saints and sages, that makes our life successful. Association with saintly persons and, at the same time, simultaneously render devotional service to the Lord. These two things combinedly will make our life successful. We worship Krsna, the symbol of Supreme Consciousness. Because in the Bhagavad-gita it is said that klesa adhikataras tesam avyaktasakta-cetasam. If you take up the impersonal path, simply consciousness, then you have to pass through a difficult process, but if you accept Krsna, the symbol of Supreme Consciousness, then it will be easier for you. Yes. I can concentrate my mind on Krsna. I can focus my mental activities in the service of Lord Krsna. Because He is Supreme Consciousness, I therefore automatically concentrate on the Supreme Consciousness.]
Please accept my humble obeisances and dandavats!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
and all pure devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead!
I thought it was interesting to post this information about purports to “Bhajahu Re Mana” which is a Vaisnava song about the mind. The mind can be our enemy or our mind can be our friend. Our mind becomes our friend when the mind is properly engaged in God consciousness, Krsna consciousness.
Coming from a Christian family I spent my childhood under the impression that I only had to attend services at least once or twice a week to be saved by Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, there was much talk of Lord Jesus Christ in the Christian belief, but what talk is there of God being a person who is all beautifull, all-perfect, all-loving? The Christians and certain other beliefs have made so much progress in materialistic advancement, but how much progress has been made to understand our eternal relationship with God as a person on an eternal personal level?
Srila Prabhupada is advising to live simply in these purports. I am inclined to believe this is the compromise. Actually around half of the twelve Great Mahajanas (the greatest authorities regarding God consciousness and Vaisnavism) are of the royal order and so possessed of great material wealth.
Then, the other Great Mahajanas are so so extremely renounced there are like super beings. Amongst the Great Mahajana that are super renounced we have the four Kumaras and Sukadeva Gosvami who apparently are usually going about society completely naked. Especially the four Kumaras remain as children of around five years of age and they can travel almost anywhere throughout the spiritual and material existence without a space ship or space suit.
How are ISKCON devotees going to ever establish some kind of monarchies dedicated to God consciousness and Vaisnavism? Are some devotees going to be fighting over a royal crown or royal throne? How are ISKCON devotees going to ever become as renounced as Sukadeva Gosvami? Are we going to learn how to live in the forest completely off the grid in the woods of New Talavana? How much is any devotee learning wilderness survival in accordance with Krsna consciousness?
How are ISKCON devotees ever going to live on only a handful of rice every day? It may be on rare occasions, but Srila Prabhupada did sometimes recommend more extremes beyond the regular ISKCON standard. We can see the story of the handful of rice appearing in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings on rare and specific occasions.
I am providing quotes regarding the story of Visnupriya, the second wife of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
[Sri Buddhimanta Khan was one of the inhabitants of Navadvipa. He was very rich, and it is he who arranged for the marriage of Lord Caitanya with Visnupriya, the daughter of Sanatana Misra, who was the priest of the local zamindar. He personally defrayed all the expenditures for the marriage ceremony. ]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Adi 10.74
[To you my advice is, because you are very intelligent and educated girl, you forget your relationship with Gaurasundara. Now you become mixed up in Krsna business and live like a chaste Hindu widow woman. There are many ideal young Hindu widows who do not dress nicely at all, do not comb the hair, and who take bath three times daily in the Ganges, wear white sari and are engaged 24 hours a day in chanting Hare Krsna Mantra. The vivid example is Visnupriya devi, Lord Caitanya’s wife. When Lord Caitanya left home accepting the renounced order of life, sannyasa, at that time Visnupriya was on the summit of youth, 16 years old, but when her husband became sannyasi she also became greater than sannyasa. She was chanting her rounds on the beads and after one round she was collecting one grain of rice. In this way all day and night, as many rounds as she could finish, that many grains she would cook and eat. Just she how much austerity she underwent! Visnupriya is the incarnation of the Goddess of Fortune but to teach us how much austerity and penance she underwent, I think you should follow the footsteps of Srimati Visnupriya.]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Govinda — Bombay 30 April, 1974
I believe it is definitely and usually going to take some serious diet control to at least keep up with
*Following four regulative principles “no meat eating”, “no illicit sex”, “no gambling”, “no intoxication”
*Chanting 16 rounds Hare Krsna Maha Mantra
*Morning Devotional Program
*Study of authorized Vaisnava Sastra
[Another significant point of this verse is that one has to observe the prescribed rules and regulations. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, yuktahara-viharasya. When one engages in devotional service in Krsna consciousness, he still has to eat, sleep, defend and mate because these are necessities of the body. But he performs such activities in a regulated way. He has to eat krsna-prasada. He has to sleep according to regulated principles. The principle is to reduce the duration of sleep and to reduce eating, taking only what is needed to keep the body fit. In short, the goal is spiritual advancement, not sense gratification. Similarly, sex life must be reduced. Sex life is meant only for begetting Krsna conscious children. Otherwise, there is no necessity for sex life. Nothing is prohibited, but everything is made yukta, regulated, with the higher purpose always in mind. By following all these rules and regulations of living, one becomes purified, and all misconceptions due to ignorance become nil. It is specifically mentioned here that the causes of material entanglement are completely vanquished.]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.33.26
[“He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, working, and recreation can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.” (Bg. 6.17)
Although we should minimize our eating and sleeping, we should not attempt this too rapidly, at the risk of becoming sick. Because people are accustomed to eating voraciously, there are prescriptions for fasting. We can reduce our sleeping and eating, but we should remain in good health for spiritual purposes. We should not attempt to reduce eating and sleeping too rapidly or artificially; when we advance we will naturally not feel pain due to the reduction of these natural bodily processes.]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => PoP 4: Moderation in Yoga
Generally this yoga practice goes on in the name of improving health. Somebody goes to reduce fat. You see? Reduce fat. Because you are rich nation, you eat more and become fatty and again pay yoga practice fees and reduce your fat. That is going on. I have seen some advertisement the other day, “Reduce your fat.” Why you increase your fat? The nonsense they will not understand. That if I have to reduce it, why I increase it? Why not be satisfied with simple foodstuff? If you eat grains and vegetables and light foodstuffs, you’ll never get fatty. You see? You’ll never get fatty. Reduce eating as much as possible. Don’t eat at night. Practice yoga like this. If you become voracious eater, you’ll be — there are two kinds of diseases. The voracious eaters, they are attacked with diabetes and those who cannot eat sufficiently, they are tuberculists (?). So you cannot eat more or you cannot eat less. You just eat what you require. If you eat more then you must be diseased. And if you eat less, you must be diseased. That will be explained. Yuktahara-viharasya yogo bhavati siddhi…. You are not to starve, but don’t eat more. Our program, krsna-prasada, is that you eat krsna-prasada. Eating is required, you have to keep your body fit for any practice. So eating is required. But don’t eat more. Don’t eat less also. We don’t say that you eat less. If you can eat ten pounds, eat. But if you cannot eat ten pounds, out of avarice, out of greediness you eat pounds, then you will suffer. You see? So here is the, what is that? No material facilities. Go on.]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 6.13-15 — Los Angeles, February 16, 1969
Yes, this is very important. Therefore we are insisting everyone to rise early in the morning. Even though sometimes we rise early in the morning, we compensate in other time. (laughter) This should be practiced, you see. Reducing eating, sleeping, mating, that is spiritual advancement. This is the test. The more you reduce… The idea is to bring it to nil. Just like Gosvamis, they did it. Nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau **, they conquered over sleeping and eating and mating. Conquered over. So our ideal is… We are fighting with maya. So the fighting… We will conquer over maya when we see that we are not disturbed by these four processes; eating, sleeping, mating and defending. This is the test. Nobody has to take certificate from anyone else how he is spiritually advancing. He can test himself: “How far I have conquered over these four things, eating, sleeping, mating, and…” That’s all. That is the test. So it is not required that don’t eat, don’t sleep, don’t… But minimize it; at least, regulate it, try. This is called austerity, tapasya. “I want to sleep, but still, I shall regulate it. I want to eat, but if my…, I must regulate it. I want sense enjoyment, so I must regulate it.” That is whole Vedic civilization. Go on.]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.5-6 — London, August 23, 1971
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