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If one offers charity to a brāhmaṇa who is not a devotee, the Lord does not accept; but if something is offered to a devotee, the Lord accepts. In other words, whatever a person wishes to offer the Lord may be given to His devotees. Caitanya Mahāprabhu also quoted Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to the effect that if a brāhmaṇa is not a devotee of the Supreme Lord, then he is lower than the lowest of the low, even though he may be qualified with the twelve brahminical qualities and born in a high family. A devotee, although born in a caṇḍāla (dog-eater) family, can purify his whole family for one hundred generations, past and future, by devotional service, whereas a proud brāhmaṇa cannot even purify himself. It is said in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya(13.2):
akṣnoḥ phalaṁ tvādṛśa-darśanaṁ hi
tanoḥ phalaṁ tvādṛśa-gātra-saṅgaḥ
jihvā-phalaṁ tvādṛśa-kīrtanaṁ hi
sudurlabhā bhāgavatā hi loke
"O devotee of the Lord, to see you is the perfection of the eyes, to touch your body is the perfection of bodily activities, and to glorify your qualities is the perfection of the tongue, for it is very rare to find a pure devotee like you."
(Teachings of Lord Caitanya).

The Lord next explained the different meanings of ittham-bhūta-guṇa. Ittham bhūta indicates fully transcendental pleasure before which the transcendental pleasure known as brahmānanda becomes like straw. In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (14.36), a devotee says:
tvat-sākṣāt-karaṇāhlāda-
viśuddhābdhisthitasya me
sukhāni goṣpadāyante
brāhmāṇy api jagad guro
"My Lord, O Supreme, simply by understanding You or seeing You, the pleasure which we derive is so great that the pleasure of brahmānanda becomes insignificant." In other words, the pleasure derived by understanding Kṛṣṇa as He is—as the all-attractive reservoir of all pleasures and the reservoir of all pleasure—giving tastes with all transcendental qualifications—attracts one to become His devotee.
(Teachings of Lord Caitanya).

It is corroborated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.26) that those who actually desire liberation abandon worship of the demigods, and, without envy, concentrate their minds in the worship of Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When such persons come in contact with a pure devotee, they engage in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa and abandon the idea of liberation. In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya it is stated:
aho mahātman bahu-doṣa-duṣṭo
'py ekena bhāty eṣa bhavo guṇena
sat-saṅgam ākhyena sukhābahena
kṛtādya no yena kṛśā mumukṣā
"O great soul, although there are many flaws within this miserable life, there is yet one glory—the association of pure devotees. Cultivate such association. By it our desire for liberation diminishes."
(Teachings of Lord Caitanya).

Even those who believe that the body is the self, or those who are full of material desires, are also, in a sense, ātmārāma. When they associate with the pure devotees of the Lord, they give up their material desires and become perfect in the service of the Lord. The best example of this is found in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (7.28), wherein Dhruva Mahārāja said:
sthānābhilāsī tapasi sthito 'haṁ
tvāṁ prāptavān deva-munīndra-guhyam
kācaṁ vicinvann api divya-ratnaṁ
svāmin kṛtārtho 'smi varaṁ na yāce
(CC.2:22:42)
"My dear Lord, I came to worship You because I desired some land on this earth, but fortunately I have attained You, who are beyond even the perception of great sages and saintly persons. I came to search out some particles of colored glass, but instead I found a very valuable gem like You. I am satisfied, and I do not desire to ask anything of You."
(Teachings of Lord Caitanya).

The advancement of learning by a godless people is as dangerous as a valuable jewel on the hood of a cobra. A cobra decorated with a valuable jewel is more dangerous than one not decorated. In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (3.11.12), the advancement of education by a godless people is compared to decorations on a dead body. In India, as in many other countries, some people follow the custom of leading a procession with a decorated dead body for the pleasure of the lamenting relatives. In the same way, modern civilization is a patchwork of activities meant to cover the perpetual miseries of material existence. All such activities are aimed toward sense gratification. But above the senses is the mind, and above the mind is the intelligence, and above the intelligence is the soul. Thus the aim of real education should be self-realization, realization of the spiritual values of the soul.
(Isopanishad).

The Lord explained that these symptoms of intoxication had automatically arisen when He had chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and that upon seeing this His spiritual master had ordered Him to preach devotional service all over the world. While speaking with Prakāśānanda, Lord Caitanya quoted an important verse from the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (14.36):
tvat-sākṣāt-karaṇāhlāda-viśuddhābdhi-sthitasya me
sukhāni goṣpadāyante brāhmāṇy api jagad-guro
"My dear Lord, O master of the universe, since I have directly seen You, my transcendental bliss has taken the shape of a great ocean. Thus I now regard the happiness derived from understanding impersonal Brahman to be like the water contained in a calf's hoofprint."
(Narada Bhakti Sutra).

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya it is stated that Prahlāda Mahārāja, a great devotee of the Lord, prayed to Nṛsiṁhadeva (the half-lion, half-man incarnation) as follows: "My dear Lord, I repeatedly pray unto Your lotus feet that I may simply be stronger in devotional service. I simply pray that my Kṛṣṇa consciousness may be more strong and steady, because happiness derived out of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service is so powerful that with it one can have all the other perfections of religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and even the attainment of liberation from material existence."
(Nectar of Devotion).

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya Prahlāda Mahārāja, while satisfying Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva by his prayers, says, "My dear Lord of the universe, I am feeling transcendental pleasure in Your presence and have become merged in the ocean of happiness. I now consider the happiness of brahmānanda to be no more than the water in the impression left by a cow's hoof in the earth, compared to this ocean of bliss." Similarly, it is confirmed in the Bhāvārtha-dīpikā, Śrīdhara Svāmī's commentary on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, "My dear Lord, some of the fortunate persons who are swimming in the ocean of Your nectar of devotion, and who are relishing the nectar of the narration of Your pastimes, certainly know ecstasies which immediately minimize the value of the happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and liberation. Such a transcendental devotee regards any kind of happiness other than devotional service as no better than straw in the street."
(Nectar of Devotion).

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya there is a statement about the benefit of visiting the temples of Lord Kṛṣṇa. As we have explained previously, in Vṛndāvana, Mathurā and Dvārakā the system is that all the devotees take advantage of visiting various temples situated in those holy places. It is stated in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya, "Persons who are impelled by pure devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and who therefore go to see the Deities of Viṣṇu in the temple will surely get relief from entering again into the prison house of a mother's womb." The conditioned soul forgets the trouble of living within the mother's womb during birth, but it is a very painful and terrible experience. In order to make an escape from this material condition, one is advised to visit a temple of Viṣṇu with devotional consciousness. Then one can very easily get out of the miserable condition of material birth.
(Nectar of Devotion).

It is said in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya, "A person who is circumambulating the Deity of Viṣṇu can counteract the circumambulation of repeated birth and death in this material world." The conditioned soul is circumambulating through repeated births and deaths on account of his material existence, and this can be counteracted simply by circumambulating the Deity in the temple.
(Nectar of Devotion).

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya there is a statement about the incense which is offered in the temple: "When the devotees smell the good flavor of the incense which is offered to the Deity, they thus become cured of the poisonous effects of material contamination, as much as one becomes cured of a snakebite by smelling the prescribed medicinal herbs." The explanation of this verse is that there is an herb found in the jungles which expert persons know how to use to revive the consciousness of one who is bitten by a snake. Simply by smelling that herb one becomes immediately relieved of the poisonous effects of the snakebite. The same example is applicable: when a person comes to visit the temple and smells the incense offered to the Deity, he is cured at that time from all his material contamination.
(Nectar of Devotion).

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya there is a conversation between Prahlāda Mahārāja and his father, Hiraṇyakaśipu, in which Hiraṇyakaśipu addresses Prahlāda in this way: "My dear son, association is very important. It acts just like a crystal stone, which will reflect anything which is put before it." Similarly, if we associate with the flowerlike devotees of the Lord, and if our hearts are crystal clear, then certainly the same action will be there. Another example given in this connection is that if a man is potent and if a woman is not diseased, then by their conjugation there will be conception. In the same way, if the recipient of spiritual knowledge and the deliverer of spiritual knowledge are sincere and bona fide, there will be good results.
(Nectar of Devotion).

There are many instances in the various Vedic writings of persons who were aspiring after liberation by speculative knowledge but gave up this process in order to take complete shelter under the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Examples of such persons are the brāhmaṇas headed by Śaunaka in the forest of Naimiṣāraṇya. Learned scholars accept them as devotees having complete wisdom. There is a statement in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya in which these great brāhmaṇas and sages, headed by Śaunaka Ṛṣi, told Sūta Gosvāmī, "My dear great soul, just see how wonderful it is! Although as human beings we are contaminated with so many taints of material existence, simply by our conversing with you about the Supreme Personality of Godhead we are now gradually decrying our desire for liberation."
(Nectar of Devotion).

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya it is stated that when Prahlāda Mahārāja was thinking himself unfit to approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he immersed himself in great distress, in an ocean of unhappiness. As such, he used to shed tears and lie down on the floor as though unconscious.
(Nectar of Devotion).

Tags: 2.‏, FROM, HARI-BHAKTI-SUDHODAYA., PART, TEACHINGS

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