Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10: The Opulence of the Absolute: Verse 9.
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ
tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca
mat–cittāḥ — their minds fully engaged in Me; mat–gata–prāṇāḥ — their lives devoted to Me; bodhayantaḥ — preaching; parasparam — among themselves; kathayantaḥ — talking; ca — also; mām — about Me; nityam — perpetually; tuṣyanti — become pleased; ca — also; ramanti — enjoy transcendental bliss; ca — also.
The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me
Before we proceed to this verse let refresh what we have learnt so far from previous chapters of Bhagavad Gita.
Bhagavad Gita: Chapters 1-6– talks about Karma Yoga.
Bhagavad Gita Chapters 8-12- talks about Bhakti yoga.
Bhagavad Gita Chapters 13-18– talks about Gyana Yoga ( it is also Bhakti yoga ) as Knowledge is needed to detach from materialistic things and attach to Krishna
Coming to Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10. Verses 10.8- 10.11 are called as Chatur Shloki verses and these verses have lots of significance. Out of 700 verses in BG, the entire essence of Bhagavad Gita is squeezed in to these verses . So even if we cannot study all 700 verses , we need to at least study these 4 verses .So If one makes an attempt to read, memorize, understand the realization and the mood which Srila Prabupad interpret it will help us in a long way. Sometimes when we first time recite a verse, we may not understand it. But as we go on reciting the verse, we may get a better understanding in future. But the important aspect is to understand as Srila Prabhupada has toiled and moiled to meditate on each word. In Sanskrit there are 10 different meanings for the same word. Even for a different word, the entire meaning changes. So how much effort Srila Prabupada had put to make us understand these verses. He would have put his heart and soul to put the right message across so when we read it, we get a better understanding. Ramanujacharya has referred these as the nut shell verses of Gita and subsequent teachers of BG have adopted that nomenclature
This verse is so significant – in terms of Content and context
The significance of the Context is – These are some of the Last verses that Krishna speaks as part of his instructions. After this Arjuna para phrases and rephrases his understanding of Krishna’s message. So far Arjuna has always spoken to asks questions. So, after the Chatur Shloki verses Krishna declares his position. He unambiguously declares Him to be the Supreme Person, ultimate reality, absolute truth, Pinnacle of existence.
The 9th chapter of Bhagavad Gita is called as – Most confidential knowledge.
Krishna calls this 10-chapter as Paramam vachaha. He wants to give Supreme instructions and has been building up the suspense from verse BG 10:3 that this knowledge will free us from sinful reactions.
In BG Verse 10:7- Krishna makes little clearer that by this knowledge will make you whole heartedly devoted to me
so ’vikalpena yogena
yujyate nātra saṁśayaḥ
Translation: Without any doubt without any delusion, you will be wholeheartedly fixed in me
So, the Context is very significant
The Flow of Chatur Shloki
Verse BG 10: 8 gives summary and BG 9:10 and 11 elaborate on the 8th verse.
In BG 10:8- Krishna says , those who know I am the source of everything become enlightened (budha) that means he gives you the intelligence and with that intelligence you will know that Krishna is the Ultimate and surrender to him and be devoted to him wholeheartedly ( bhava samanvitah) – devoted and enlightened.
In BG: 10.9- Krishna talks about how one can become devoted – He is giving us the process. That is by Adding Krishna to everything what we do.
In BG: 10.10 – Here Krishna talks about how one can become Budha (enlightened)- here Krishna gives Budhi yoga.
In BG: 10.11 – How Krishna gives Budhi – Krishna says I am present in the heart and I remove the darkness with the torch light of knowledge.
Once a soul understands Krishna’s position, he automatically becomes devoted and enlightened – as described in 8th verse. That is what results in the redirection of heart which is the BG: 10:9 verse and the redirection of the head (illumination and understanding that comes from BG: 10th and BG: 11th verse).
How can we understand it from another perspective?
As per Sri Caitanya Charitamrta to understand any subject there are 3 categories
1. Sambandha – Krishna
2. Abhidheya – Bhakti ( Process)
3. Prema – Prayojana- ( Result)
This means Krishna is with whom we want to develop that relationship because he is the ultimate reality and there is a personal relationship that we want to develop. Abhidheya is the process how we get there and Prayojana or result is the Krishna prema. For any activity we take we have these 3 steps.
Example) Advertisement of a man driving a car with a caption – Purchase the car and enjoy the envy in your neighbor’s eyes- this indicates the level of consciousness in people, the standard of enjoyment in the people.
So, when you see this advertisement you feel the need to get this car. You are connecting to that car and trying to build a relationship with the car ( Sambanda: to be the owner of the car). In order to purchase the car, you either save money or take a loan( that is the process) and the result (Prayojana) is you get the satisfaction and more than that you get satisfaction when you see your neighbor’s envy. But does it happen in real life. By the time you go and pick up the car and come back and look at the neighbor he will be driving a Porsche car and instead of he feeling envy you are feeling envy about the whole endeavor.
Material world is like that when we are about to enjoy the result(Prayojana) fruit, we look for another options. Example we purchased something and the moment we want to enjoy it our brain moves in to another best thing. We have a feeling that we have attained this, now the interest is lost. Example in Facebook the attention deficit disorder is so prominent that if we keep triggering your finger every second the new messages keep popping up and down stimulating your brain in so many multiple ways that we get lost in terms of reality
In BG verses 10:8 – rather than focusing on materialistic things Krishna is stressing the importance of having the Sambandha , abhidheya and Prayojana ( Relationship, Process and Result)
BG verse 10:9 – talks about Abhidheya, Prayojana (Process and Result)
BG verse 10.10-11- talks about Abhidheya ( Process)
In BG: 1:8, Krishna explains why we should worship HIM. This is absolutely very essential. This is the best weapon which we need in this age, the knowledge why we are doing what we are doing. Sometimes others will question why this GOD and why not that GOD, why are you doing, what are you doing, why this religion and we should be well equipped to handle these questions. This can come only if we have the awareness and knowledge of scriptures. If you don’t have the knowledge what will happen is our own mind which is like a devil sitting with us 24 hours will be dictating us – do this , don’t do this, you relax- you are tired. So, for our own betterment also we need to understand the purpose and need of what we are doing.
So, this verse Krishna says he is the SOURCE and Sustainer and maintainer of all. This is the qualification of Krishna. No Demi God or Demi Goddess can claim this. Knowledge of Krishna’s position leads enlightenment of the soul and make him attracted to offer his whole heart to Krishna – so both head and heart get transformed. The Head – will be illumined by – Budha( Intelligence), and Heart gets transformed – Bhava Samanvitaah – attracted to offer both heart and head.
In BG: 10:9 Krishna talks about how we become devoted to HIM. Here he tells us the process. Here he talks about 3 faculties.
– Chitta – mind – consciousness – Srila Prabupad in his purport mentions that Krishna says the thought of my devotee’s dwell in me. He does not say devotees think of me. This is such a precise and poetic translation. When we love Krishna – Krishna becomes our inner home. We may go here and go there but we do long to get back to the shelter and security . Devotees may think doing various services but after they have nothing else to do their thoughts come back to Krishna. That is how exalted devotees practice this process.
The nature of the mind is to become absorbed in what it likes most. Devotees of the Lord become absorbed in remembering Krishna because they develop deep adoration for him. Their devotion to Krishna becomes the basis of their life, from which they derive meaning, purpose, and the strength to live. They feel it as essential to remember God as a fish feels it essential to have water.
What is most dear to people’s hearts can be determined by where they dedicate their mind, body, and wealth. The Bible states: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” (Matthew 6:21)[v8]. You can see where people’s hearts are by studying their checkbooks and credit card statements. If they are spending money on fancy cars, that’s where their heart is. If they are spending on luxurious holidays, that’s what is most dear to them.
All of us have inner homes – money , sense gratification, cricket etc., so there are so many mental homes that we are fond of. The Whole Process of Bhakti – is to change our inner home. That is to make something higher than money or sense gratification like that. We make spiritual advancement to the extent to which our inner home changes. This is kind of introspection to find out where are we landing, to understand and measure where we stand. So, from worldly things when we make Krishna as our inner home – KRISHNA BECOMES OUR HOME.
Example is of a Traveler. Just like a traveler after an arduous and eerie journey comes back and feels love, joy and security and happiness of one’s own home and does not want to leave again , similarly a person once he gets to that stage of purification, he does not want to give up the lotus feet of Lord Krishna . He always wants to go back to Krishna, because he had attained the pleasure of lotus feet of Krishna and he is free from all miseries , everything which may agitate the mind and can bring their mind to Krishna , and he immediately feels serenity and tranquility. This shows by remembering Krishna, we feel relieved and move forward steadily.
HH Lokanath Swami Maharaj had said about a Mantra of leading our life it is :- Keep it simple stupid (KISS) but our current way of living by generation is Complicated living and confused thinking (CLCT)
In BG : 10.9, Krishna says
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ
tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca
Translation: The thoughts of My pure devotees’ dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.
Here Mac- citta- 3primary faculties of our existence referred here
Prana- life itself, body
Bodhayantah – speak and to hear -when we hear what others speak
and kathayanta – speak, when we speak
tuṣyanti delight in enlightening each other and nityam – for ever and ever
This is how exalted devotees do .They are controlling their mind, body, senses and they are by themselves and in the association of others how do they behave. Caitanya Maha Prabhu also himself has demonstrated that when he used to travel around and in association of devotees he immediately sits and discuss about Krishna Katha. But for us we get bored by hearing Krishna Katha for a long time. This show the level of consciousness we are having. But these exalted devotees are able to talk about various past times of Krishna endlessly without being tired or bored. These exalted devotees offer their Consciousness to Krishna , the whole existence is offered to Krishna- the devotee want to live only for service of Krishna and when they come together with other devotees, they only want to discuss topics and past times of Krishna forever and forever.
In his Antya Lila , Chaitanya Mahaprabhu when he stayed in Puri says
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ
tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca
Translation: The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.
Tusyati- means satisfied – devotee is satisfied with the bliss that Krishna is providing. The mood of the devotee is gratitude . Whatever I am getting is through your mercy Krishna , I even don’t deserve. I have the opportunity to practice Krishna Consciousness and I am satisfied with it
Ramanti cha – used in the context of Madhurya rasa- devotee is looking forward for so much more ecstasy waiting for Krishna in the future.
Here word bliss (ananda) is different from sukha ( happiness) – not same. Happiness is an emotion of your mind which means something externally is happening to you where you feel elated because of it. Bliss is the current state of the mind which means irrespective of what happening to you. This has no comparison with any happiness we get in the material world. This one can relish when they are in the company of devotees
ananda-mayo bhyasat- Krishna is personification of ananda-he is source of all happiness. When we chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra….
Rama -reservoir of all pleasure – gives pleasure to everyone
Krishna- all attractive
When a devotee goes deeper and deeper in to that ecstasy then that devotees joy knows no bounds. His Life is completely transformed. Body, mind and speech always used in Krishna’s service.
Srimad Bhagavatam also means that the joy of Krishna Katha is greater than greatest joy in material existence. In this way devotee offers everything to KRISHNA and experiences great joy.
In Srila Prabhupad’s Purport, he talks about Bhakti-Lata-bhija. How Sravana, kirtana karaye sinchana- CC Madhya lila Chapter 19- Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gives instructions to Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. When spiritual master gives his bija (seed)it has be protected and watered . Water is -Sravana and Kirtana. Protection: is how we nurture the seed and the seed grows to plant and then blossoms into a beautiful tree with lots of flowers and fruits. In Caitanya Caritamrta it describes that this tree grows beyond the material world , beyond the covering of the universe, through the Brahma Jyothi up to the spiritual sky and in spiritual sky goes beyond Vaikuntha to Goloka Vrindavan and touches Krishna’s Lotus feet the trees blossoms and fructifies and when the fruit falls from spiritual to material world and the devotee can relish the juice here itself. It is explained there that when the complete plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, one becomes fully absorbed in love of God; then he cannot live even for a moment without being in contact with the Supreme Lord, just as a fish cannot live without water. In such a state, the devotee actually attains the transcendental qualities in contact with the Supreme Lord. From this we can understand the position of great exalted devotees. They have transcended the modes of material nature and in a transcendental state and they can relish the supreme ecstasy with Krishna. This mean as we make spiritual advancement, we can relish the richness of pure Love of Krishna even in this world . Once the Bhakti-lata-bhija is grown the relish we get in our Bhakti is enormous. This is mystical and practical both at same time. Devotional service is natural to the soul but we have turned our back to explore this material existence. In the preliminary stage of devotional service, we relish the transcendental pleasure from the service itself, and in the mature stage they are actually situated in love of God.
The 9 stages of Bhakti Yoga
1)Sraddha: faith. little faith
2)Sadhu-sanga: association with. devotees.
3)Bhajana-kriya: performance of devotional service.- practice
4)Anartha nivrtti: decreasing of unwanted attachments.- stage of getting purified of unwanted things, separate desires not connected to Krishna
5)Nistha: steadiness. (strong conviction of what we are doing is right)
9)love.- Krishna prema
It is very beautiful not complicated and how is this possible- only by mercy of devotees and other Vaishnavas who come in to our life . Once we get into the contact with devotees, then our whole life changes. The devotees not only they have love for Krishna , but have so much compassion and generosity on all living entities( part and parcels of Krishna).Krishna wants to give all Supreme Ecstasy. This is one of the most important verses of BG which talks about association and joy of devotion experienced intensely especially in association ( association of like-minded devotees)
SO HOW DO GET INTO ASSOCIATION OF DEVOTEES
We were envious of Krishna and we want to enjoy separately from him. So, Krishna does not meddle or interfere with our freewill and accepts our desire to go separate from him. He makes sure we have access to scriptures that describe his activities and be in everyone’s heart as super soul. But when we show sort of desire or attraction, he will help us find our way but will not persuade to change our mind. With Krishna’s mercy we then come into contact with a devotee. The devotee however will actively engage in asking us to take up devotional service(Krishna Consciousness) and if the person accepts the process and takes to chanting of the HARE KRISHNA MAHAMANTRA – that watering nourishes the plant of devotion in the heart to grow more and more. All the other instructions are to assist the process of the natural growing of the plant of devotion does not get hampered.
In order for a plant to grown it needs it roots in the ground , needs sunlight and water and nourish it. This is all it needs. We may build a fence so that deer does not eat, or kids don’t trample or remove other weeds around it so they don’t eat away the nourishment for the plant. This is not in themselves something that makes the plant grow but removes the obstacles out of the way for plant to grow nicely. In the same way when you follow any religion there will be rules and regulations and a modern person feels why is GOD imposing these on them, why can’t we do what we want to do. For example, when we say do not associate with non-devotees it is tough. But the reason for this is when your new devotee, you know about Krishna and your devotional level is just like a seed or just sprouting. Would you go to a park and plant the seed where people walk? No, you try to protect it. When you are in the association of non-devotees, they sometimes make fun of what we are doing. When your roots of the plant are not firmly planted on the ground and someone say the moment you open your mouth you are talking or chanting about Krishna and ridicule us, we may not be in a position to stand up for ourselves. So, we need to protective of what we know. Once you know you have grown in to a stronger tree , you know what you are doing and have a strong conviction then you go out and meet anybody. You are not going to be affected. This is what we calling nurturing and protecting, “Shravanam and Keertanam”. One in million years we have got that desire and also because of our previous sukriti we have come in contact with a devotee who can help us and give us this knowledge and we have to protect this knowledge. These instructions and regulations are there to assist in a way that the natural growing of this plant of devotion will not get hampered .
Srimad Bhagavatam- is also so full of such narrations about the relationship Supreme Lord and the devotees, Therefore the Srimad Bhagavatam is so dear for the devotees as stated in 12.13.18
śrīmad-bhāgavataṁ purāṇam amalaṁ yad vaiṣṇavānāṁ priyaṁ
In this narration there is nothing about material activities, economic development, sense gratification or liberation. Srimad Bhagavatam is the only narration in which transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord and his dear devotees is described. Thus, the realized souls in Krishna Consciousness take continual pleasure in hearing such transcendental literatures just as a young boy and girl take pleasure in association.
In Anantha nivriti platform our ingrained nature, and habits and conditioning from past and current lives gets in the way but not that the process is difficult or painful ,but there is something gets between us and the process. But hearing Krishna bhajans, chanting his Holy name , offering service to HIM – these are all the activities that are natural to our soul and fills the heart with satisfaction and happiness .
Example of Top mostdevotees.
1) Radha Rani – top most devotee- so much so that Krishna wanted to feel the bliss of Radha Rani and came as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to experience it .
2) Vraja Vasis- A perfect example of the raganuga bhaktior also called as ragatmika bhaktiare Gopis.
When Narada Muni went and said that Krishna got a headache, and then you know, the only thing that can cure is the dust from His devotees’ feet. Brahma and other Demi Gods said how can you offer dust to Krishna, then you go to hell. Gopi’s said, let us go to hell, let Krishna be freed from headache. Let us suffer eternally but let Krishna be free from suffering. For the sake of Krishna’s enjoyment, we are willing to go to hell. If by any act of ours we are able to provide pleasure to the Lord even for a moment and for this if we have to suffer in hell for eternity then we are ready for it. We only want Krishna’s happiness and nothing else”. The love of the Gopi’s for Krishna is unparalleled. So, on the most advanced stage, what to speak of desiring to go back to Godhead, they are prepared to go to hell
3) Prabhupada – at the age of 65 with 40 Rs Prabhupada set out in Jaladhuta a cargo ship- (messenger of the sea) on a journey by sea, a 40-day journey during hurricane season to get to US to preach at the behest of his spiritual master. This shows the surrendered nature of Srila Prabupada . But now we are so much controlling . We want everything as planned and organized. But Srila Prabupada suffered 2 heart attacks on the ship and one again in New York. He was going with only hope that a friend’s son will pick him up and they drive him to their house where they eat meat . But Prabhupada made food and served them as well. They were so fortunate even though they did not know who Srila Prabupada was they did get an opportunity to serve him. While Pennsylvania he felt he need to go to New York and he sets out to New York with no address. He finds himself a bowery where drunks and drug addicts reside and even shared a place with a drug addict who once attacked Prabhupada and he had fled the place. There are more than 108 temples in this whole world due to Srila Prabupada’s effort.
Something that really touch our heart will be his letter of his journey.
My dear Lord Krishna, you are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now You can do whatever You like with me. But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place? Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life they think themselves very happy and satisfied, and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva [Krishna]. I do not know how they will be able to understand it. But I know that Your causeless mercy can make everything possible, because You are the most expert mystic. How will they understand the mellows of devotional service? O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message. All living entities have come under the control of the illusory energy by Your will, and therefore, if You like, by Your will they can also be released from the clutches of illusion. I wish that You may deliver them. Therefore, if You so desire their deliverance, then only will they be able to understand Your message…
How will I make them understand this message of Krishna consciousness? I am very unfortunate, unqualified, and the most fallen. Therefore, I am seeking Your benediction so that I can convince them, for I am powerless to do so on my own. Somehow or other, O Lord, you have brought me here to speak about You. Now, my Lord, it is up to You to make me a success or failure, as You like. O spiritual master of all the worlds! I can simply repeat Your message. So, if You like You can make my power of speaking suitable for their understanding. Only by Your causeless mercy will my words become pure. I am sure that when this transcendental message penetrates their hearts, they will certainly feel gladdened and thus become liberated from all unhappy conditions of life. O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So, if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord, make me dance as You like.
Not many of us like when Krishna gives problems. We would like to run away from problems and ask Krishna why we have to suffer when we have chanted so many times, and done several services.Srila Prabupada says I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Krishna. I have been designated as Bhaktivedanta, and now, if You like, you can fulfill the real purport of Bhaktivedanta. Here Srila Prabupada shows the compassion to the fallen souls. We chant 16 rounds ; follow regulative principles and we suffer from PDS ( Pure Devotee Syndrome_ we call ourselves Pure devotees. This is Self-Branding). When we hear the words of Pure Mahatmas or devotees it actually makes us feel how insignificant and puts us in our place. When the Supreme Soul is glorified , the small soul is purified. This shows how important is to follow the footsteps of pure devotees of Lord and follow the regulative principles to attain Krishna Prema.