Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)
syan mahat-sevaya viprah
Translation: "O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva."
Prabhupada: Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimukteh [SB 5.5.2]. In another place it is said, mahat-seva, rendering service to the pure devotee, mahat. Mahat means who is great soul. Who is great soul? Great soul means who is twenty-four hours engaged in the service of the Lord. In the Bhagavad-gita, the description of mahat, mahatma, is given there:
mahatmanas tu mam partha
daivim prakrtim asritah
bhajanty ananya manaso
jnatva bhutadim avyayam
This is the mahatma. They are under the daivi-prakrti. Daivi-prakrti. There are two kinds of prakrtis. We have studied in Bhagavad-gita: apara-prakrti, para-prakrti. So para-prakrti, or nature, transcendental nature, that is called daivi-prakrti. Just like we are trying to be under the guidance of Radharani, daivi-prakrti. Prakrti means woman, and daivi, transcendental woman. And those who are materialists, they are under the maha-maya, material energy, Goddess Kali, Durga. They are the symbolic representation of material energy.
So those who are materialists, they take shelter of the material energy, and those who are transcendentalists, they take shelter of the transcendental nature. So those who are mahatma, they take shelter of the transcendental prakrti. So we have to render service to such person who is under the protection of the transcendental nature. That is called mahatma. A mahatma, this word you have heard. A mahatma's description is mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg. 9.13]. Mahatma has nothing to do with this material world; he is simply under the care of the transcendental prakrti.
So susrusoh, susrusoh sraddadhanasya. Those who are engaged in hearing with faith, sraddadhana... Adau sraddha. Without faith, you cannot make any progress. This is the beginning of spiritual life. Adau sraddha. "Oh, here is..., Krsna consciousness is going on. It is very nice. They are preaching nice." People still, they are praising our activities. If we keep our standard, then they will appreciate. So this is called sraddha. This appreciation is called sraddha, sraddadhanasya. Even he does not join, if one says, "Oh, it is very nice, it is very... These people are good." Sometimes they, in papers they say that "These Hare Krsna people are nice. We want more of them." They say. So this appreciation is also an, also a lift for such person. If he doesn't hear, doesn't come, simply one says "It is very nice. Yes." Just like small children, a baby, he's also appreciating, trying to stand up with his cymbal. Appreciating. From the very beginning of life, appreciating, "It is nice." He knows or does not know, it doesn't matter. Simply appreciation is giving him a touch of spiritual life. It is so nice. Sraddha. If they do not go against, simply appreciate, "Oh, they are doing nice..." So development of spiritual life means development of this appreciation, that's all. But degrees, there are appreciation.
So susrusoh sraddadhanasya vasudeva-katha-rucih. In the previous verse, it has been explained, yad anudhyasina yuktah. One has to be engaged always thinking. This is the sword. You have to take this sword of Krsna consciousness. Then you become free. The knot is cut by this sword. So... Now how we can get this sword? That process is described here that you simply, with faith, you try to hear. You'll get the sword. That's all. Actually, our this Krsna consciousness movement is spreading. We are getting the sword one after another, simply by hearing. I started this movement in New York. You all know. I had no actually any sword. Just like in some religious principles, they take the religious scriptures in one hand and another hand, sword: "You accept this scripture; otherwise, I'll cut your head." This is also another preaching. But I had also sword, but not that kind of sword. This sword -- to give chance people to hear. That's all.
Vasudeva-katha-rucih. So as soon as he gets a ruci... Ruci. Ruci means taste. "Ah, here is Krsna talks, very nice. Let me hear." This very much you get the sword, immediately. The sword is in your hand. Vasudeva-katha-rucih. But the ruci comes to whom? This taste? Because, as I have several times explained, the taste, just like the sugar candy. Everyone knows it is very sweet, but if you give to a man who is suffering from jaundice, he'll taste it's bitter. Everyone knows sugar candy is sweet, but the particular man who is suffering from disease, jaundice, he will taste the sugar candy as very bitter. Everyone knows it. That's a fact.
So ruci, the taste for hearing vasudeva-katha, krsna-katha, this materially diseased person cannot taste. This ruci, taste. To get this taste there are preliminary activities. What is that? First thing is that appreciation: "Oh, it is very nice." Adau sraddha, sraddadhana. So sraddha, the appreciation, this is the beginning. Then sadhu-sanga. Then mixing: "All right, these people are chanting and talking of Krsna. Let me go and sit down and let me hear more." This is called sadhu-sanga. Those who are devotees, to associate with them. This is the second stage. The third stage is bhajana-kriya. When one is associating nicely, then he will feel, "Why not become a disciple?" So we receive application, "Prabhupada, if you'll kindly accept me as your disciple." This is the beginning of bhajana-kriya. Bhajana-kriya means to be engaged in the service of the Lord. This is the third stage. Then anartha-nivrttih syat.
As soon as one is actually doing bhajana-kriya... Bhajana-kriya means chant Hare Krsna mantra and observe the regulative principles. To observe the regulative principles means anartha-nivrttih syat. Anartha means all rascal habits are immediately vanquished. Just like we say "No illicit sex." So this is only a rascal habit, illicit. "You can marry a boy or girl. If you like, you can have sex." No. They'll not agree. They will agree to that rascal habit, illicit sex. "You want sex? All right. wife, husband." But no, they want illicit, without marriage. Married wife left aside, another illicit. This is anartha, rascaldom.
According to Vedic civilization, because man is very aggressive, so he's allowed to accept more than one wife. He's allowed. Generally, female population is greater than the male population. So the Vedic principle is that every girl must be married by the guardian, father. A father's duty is, as soon as girl is thirteen years old, fourteen years old, it is the duty of the father, or in the absence of father, it is the duty of elder brother to get her married. Some way or other, find out any husband. Yes. So if every girl has to be married, and if the female population is greater, then where to get so many husbands? Therefore it is very nice system that one man can marry more than one wife. That is natural.
So in Vedic system a husband can marry... Why others? Krsna, He married 16,000 wives. But not like us. He was present in the house of 16,000 wives by 16,000 forms. Every, each and every wife had palatial building, establishment. Each wife had ten sons. Not that because He has married 16,000, He cannot meet all of them. No. So that is Krsna; He is God. But even common man... Just like Krsna's father, he had also sixteen wives. Krsna is one wife's son. Vasudeva... Subhadra is another wife's daughter. Balarama is another wife's son. So in order to stop this rascaldom, that a human, I mean to say, man, he's allowed: "Marry them. Keep them nicely. Give them apartment. Give them nice food, nice dress, nice ornament. You enjoy." But rascaldom means "No, without responsibility I shall make phish, phish, phish" that's all.
So this rascaldom, so long the rascaldom is not gone, illicit sex, intoxication... These are called anartha. Anartha. Unnecessarily they have created this atmosphere, illicit sex, intoxication. What is the use of intoxication? There is no need. Just like in our society there is no intoxication. We don't take tea, we don't smoke. Are we dying for that want of tea or smoke? No. Therefore it is anartha; it is unnecessary. So first stage is appreciation, sraddha. Second stage is associating with the devotees. Third stage is to be engaged in devotional service. And if one is actually executing the rules and regulations of devotional service, naturally he'll be freed from this rascaldom. Anartha-nivrttih syat. Then next stage is nistha, faith. That faith, beginning faith, becomes strong, fixed up. Then ruci this ruci, taste. Just like immediately, the person suffering from jaundice cannot taste sugar candy as sweet, but the sugar candy is the only medicine for him. He is to be given sugar candy, and in this way, as the disease is cured, he comes to this taste stage, "Oh, it is nice, it is sweet." (aside:) Don't do that.
So, to come to the stage of taste, you have to first go through the so many... Not so... Five stages.
adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah
This ruci. Vasudeva-katha-rucih. Susrusoh sraddadhanasya. So if you continually hear with faith and appreciation, then you will come to the stage of tasting, "Yes." Taste means, if you like it, that is called taste. Not that by force one has to eat something. Unless he has got a taste for it... Just like if we are forced to eat meat, we cannot eat, because we have no taste for it. But another, as soon as you give a plate of meat, immediately, voracious eating. Yes. Because he has got the taste for it. So this taste is required. Then you get the sword, yad anudhyasina. If there is taste, then you can very nicely go on chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare,/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Because taste.
Just like Rupa Gosvami, he increased the taste. They were liberated souls. Therefore, he is writing that "If I could possess millions of tongue and trillions of ear, then I could nicely chant and hear." And so far we are concerned, because we have no taste, that sixteen rounds is also very difficult job. Because we have no taste. Why there is no taste? Because we are lacking in that previous processes. Bhajana-kriya.
So one after another, to get that sword, it, they requires this qualification: adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah. Then there is taste. Now how this taste is created, that is also explained in the next line. Syan mahat-sevaya. Mahat-sevaya. Mahat means... I have already explained. A devotee, pure devotee, whose..., who has no other business than to serve Krsna, he is called mahat. So one has to engage himself in the service of the pure devotee. As soon as we serve a pure devotee... As it is spoken by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah **. Yasya prasadat. If you satisfy a pure devotee by your service, then, even there is some discrepancies, you get all these qualities. Syan mahat-sevaya rajan. Syan mahat-sevaya viprah. Viprah. All the audience members hearing Suta Gosvami, they were all brahmanas. Otherwise, how they will have got taste? Brahmana, Vaisnava, they have taste. Not the sudras. Because at the present moment there are sudras, they are lacking taste. But our propaganda is, by some way or other, even they are sudras, even they're demons, we are creating the taste. That is our Krsna consciousness movement. Even there is..., there is no taste for vasudeva-katha-rucih, still, our process is so nice that we create the taste. Nobody was interested in Krsna consciousness, but there are thousand now. How? Because we are trying or we have created the taste, by this process.
The process will be explained in the next verses very nicely, but the main principle is to hear. To hear and... That is also natural. If we are pure, then we shall be naturally inclined to hear. Just like child. He is not taught, he is not educated, he has no knowledge, but he is also trying to hear. He's trying to get up and join us. It is natural. Because in everyone's heart that krsna-bhakti, or devotional service to Krsna, is there. But it has been covered by material dirty things. So this chanting of Hare Krsna mantra is ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], to cleanse that dirty things. The more you chant, more you hear, then the dirty things on the heart will be cleansed. And plus, if you engage yourself to carry out the orders, to satisfy a pure devotee... Syan mahat-sevaya viprah, punya-tirtha-nisevanat... Punya, pious. These are pious activities. Tirtha, tirtha, a saintly person is called tirtha. And nisevanat. In other places also, the same thing is... Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam. Mahat-sevam, serving the pure devotee, is the path of liberation. Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam. And if we become too much sexually inclined, then it is the path of darkness. Two paths are there. Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam. Not only to become personally very much sexually inclined, if you associate with a person who is sexually inclined, then you will fall down in the hell. Yositam sangi-sangam.
So we should be very much careful about this. Married life sex is allowed. Nothing else. That is sinful. Krsna says, dharmaviruddhah kamah. Lust, lust which is sanctioned by religious principles... Sanctioned means... This is sanction: you can have sex life in married life, not otherwise. If you want, more wife. But not more husband. No, that is not allowed. More wife is allowed. A man can have more wives, but woman cannot have more husband. Of course, in special cases, that is another... But generally, this is the rule. This is Vedic civilization. So as far as possible, we shall try to avoid this illicit sex, because that is very detrimental for advancing in the path of spiritual life. Therefore our first principle is no illicit sex. Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam.
So things are difficult, at the same time very easy, provided we are determined that "In this life, I shall go back to home, back to Godhead." So these are the processes. So? Purport?
Pradyumna: "The conditioned life of a living being is caused
by his revolting against the Lord..."
Prabhupada: That's all right, no time. Now chant Hare Krsna. (end)
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.16 -- Los Angeles, August 19, 1972