yathÄ hášášŁÄŤkeĹa khalena devakÄŤ
kaášsena ruddhÄti-ciraáš ĹucÄrpitÄ
vimocitÄhaáš ca sahÄtmajÄ vibho
tvayaiva nÄthena muhur vipad-gaášÄt
O HášášŁÄŤkeĹa, master of the senses and Lord of lords, You have released Your mother, DevakÄŤ, who was long imprisoned and distressed by the envious King Kaášsa, and me and my children from a series of constant dangers.
DevakÄŤ, the mother of KášášŁáša and sister of King Kaášsa, was put into prison along with her husband, Vasudeva, because the envious King was afraid of being killed by DevakÄŤâs eighth son (KášášŁáša). The King killed all the sons of DevakÄŤ who were born before KášášŁáša, but KášášŁáša escaped the danger of child-slaughter because He was transferred to the house of Nanda MahÄrÄja, Lord KášášŁášaâs foster father. KuntÄŤdevÄŤ, along with her children, was also saved from a series of dangers. But KuntÄŤdevÄŤ was shown far more favor because Lord KášášŁáša did not save the other children of DevakÄŤ, whereas He saved the children of KuntÄŤdevÄŤ. This was done because DevakÄŤâs husband, Vasudeva, was living, whereas KuntÄŤdevÄŤ was a widow and there was none to help her except KášášŁáša. The conclusion is that KášášŁáša bestows more favor upon a devotee who is in greater dangers. Sometimes He puts His pure devotees in such dangers because in that condition of helplessness the devotee becomes more attached to the Lord. The more the attachment is there for the Lord, the more success is there for the devotee.
DevakÄŤ, the devotee who became the mother of KášášŁáša, was not an ordinary woman. After all, who can become the mother of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? KášášŁáša agrees to become the son only of the most advanced devotee. In their previous lives, DevakÄŤ and her husband underwent severe austerities, and when KášášŁáša therefore appeared before them, wanting to give them a benediction, they told Him that they wanted a son like God. But where can there be another person equal to God? That is not possible. God is asamaurdhva; that is, no one can be equal to or greater than Him. There cannot be any competition. One cannot say, âI am God, you are God, he is God, we are all God.â No. One who says this is a dog, not God, for God is great, and He has no competitor. No one is equal to Him; everyone is lower. Ekale ÄŤĹvara kášášŁáša Ära saba bháštya: the only master is KášášŁáša, God, and everyone else is His servant, including even great demigods like BrahmÄ, ViášŁášu, and Ĺiva, not to speak of others. Ĺiva-viriĂąci-nutam. In the ĹÄstra, the Vedic scriptures, it is said that Lord KášášŁáša is offered respect even by Lord Ĺiva and Lord BrahmÄ, the topmost demigods.
Above the human beings there are demigods. As we human beings are above the lower animals, above us there are demigods, the most important of whom are Lord BrahmÄ and Lord Ĺiva. Lord BrahmÄ is the creator of this universe, Lord Ĺiva is its destroyer, and Lord ViášŁášu, who is KášášŁáša Himself, is its maintainer. For the maintenance of this material world there are three guášas, or modes of material nature â sattva-guáša (the mode of goodness), rajo-guáša (the mode of passion), and tamo-guáša (the mode of ignorance). Lord ViášŁášu, Lord BrahmÄ, and Lord Ĺiva have each taken charge of one of these modes â Lord ViášŁášu of sattva-guáša, Lord BrahmÄ of rajo-guáša, and Lord Siva of tamo-guáša. Yet these three controllers are not under the inďŹuence of the guášas. Just as the superintendent of a jail is not a prisoner but the controlling ofďŹcer, so Lord Ĺiva, Lord ViášŁášu, and Lord BrahmÄ control these three guášas and are not under the control of the guášas.
But above all others, the supreme controller is KášášŁáša, who is known as HášášŁÄŤkeĹa. The word hášášŁÄŤka means âsenses.â We are enjoying our senses, but ultimately the controller of the senses is KášášŁáša. Consider my hand, for example. I claim, âThis is my hand. I can ďŹght you with a good ďŹst.â I am very much proud. But I am not the controller; the controller is KášášŁáša, because if He withdraws my handâs power to act, the hand will be paralyzed. Although I claim, âIt is my hand, and I shall use it,â when it is paralyzed I cannot do anything. Therefore, I should understand that although I possess this hand by the grace of KášášŁáša, I am not its controller. This is KášášŁáša consciousness.
A sane man will think, âIf this hand is ultimately controlled by KášášŁáša, then it is meant for KášášŁáša.â This is a commonsense understanding. I claim, âThis is my hand, this is my leg, this is my ear.â Even a child will speak this way. If we ask a child, âWhat is this?â he will say, âIt is my hand.â But regardless of what we claim, actually it is not our hand; it is given to us. Because I wanted to use my hand in so many ways, KášášŁáša has given it to me: âAll right, take this hand and use it.â So it is a gift from KášášŁáša, and therefore a sane man always consciously thinks, âWhatever I have in my possession, beginning with this body and my senses, is actually not mine. I have been given all these possessions to use, and if everything ultimately belongs to KášášŁáša, why not use everything for KášášŁáša?â This is intelligence, and this is KášášŁáša consciousness.
Everyone is part and parcel of KášášŁáša (mamaivÄášĹo jÄŤva-loke jÄŤva-bhĹŤtaá¸Ľ), and therefore everyoneâs senses are also KášášŁášaâs. When we use the senses for KášášŁášaâs service, we attain the perfection of life. Therefore, hášášŁÄŤkeáša hášášŁÄŤkeĹa-sevanaáš bhaktir ucyate: when by our senses (hášášŁÄŤkeáša) we serve HášášŁÄŤkeĹa, the real master of the senses, that service is called bhakti. This is a very simple deďŹnition of bhakti. HášášŁÄŤkeĹa-sevanam, not hášášŁÄŤka-sevanam â service to the supreme master of the senses, not to the senses themselves. When we use our senses for sense gratiďŹcation, we are in mÄyÄ, illusion, but when we use our senses for the gratiďŹcation of the master of the senses, that service is called bhakti.
In this material world, everyone is generally using his senses for sense gratiďŹcation. That is mÄyÄ, illusion, and that is the cause of oneâs bondage. But when one comes to KášášŁáša consciousness, when one becomes puriďŹed and understands that these senses are actually meant for satisfying KášášŁáša, then he is a liberated person (mukta-puruášŁa).
ÄŤhÄ yasya harer dÄsye
karmaášÄ manasÄ girÄ
nikhilÄsv apy avasthÄsu
jÄŤvan-muktaá¸Ľ sa ucyate
âA person who acts in the service of KášášŁáša with his body, mind, intelligence, and words is a liberated person, even within the material world.â One should come to understand, âMy senses are meant to serve the master of the senses, HášášŁÄŤkeĹa.â The master of the senses is sitting within everyoneâs heart. In the Bhagavad-gÄŤtÄ (15.15) the Lord says, sarvasya cÄhaáš hášdi sanniviášŁášo: âI am seated in everyoneâs heart.â Mattaá¸Ľ smáštir jĂąÄnam apohanaáš ca: âAnd from Me come remembrance, knowledge, and forgetfulness.â
KášášŁáša is so merciful that if we want to use our senses in a certain way, He will give us the chance to do so. The senses are not ours; they are KášášŁášaâs, but KášášŁáša gives us the opportunity to use them according to our desires. For example, each of us has a tongue, and suppose we want to eat stool. We may say, âKášášŁáša, I want to taste stool,â and KášášŁáša will say, âYes, take this body of a hog and eat stool.â The master is present â KášášŁáša. He will give us an appropriate body and remind us, âMy dear living entity, you wanted to eat stool. Now you have the proper body in which to do so.â Similarly, if one wants to become a demigod, KášášŁáša will give one a chance to do that also. There are 8,400,000 forms of life, and if one wants to engage oneâs senses in a particular type of body, KášášŁáša will give one the chance: âCome on. Here is the body you want. Take it.â But eventually one will become exasperated by using oneâs senses. Ultimately one will become senseless. Therefore KášášŁáša says, sarva-dharmÄn parityajya mÄm ekaáš Ĺaraášaáš vraja: âDonât act like this. Your senses are meant for serving Me. You are misusing your senses and are therefore being entrapped in different types of bodies. Therefore, to get relief from this tedious business of accepting one body and then giving it up to accept another and again another in continued material existence, just give up this process of sense gratiďŹcation and surrender unto Me. Then you will be saved.â This is KášášŁáša consciousness.
At the present moment, our senses are contaminated. I am thinking, âI am American, so my senses should be used for the service of my country, my society, my nation.â Or else I am thinking, âI am Indian, and my senses are Indian senses, and therefore they should be used for India.â In ignorance, one does not know that the senses belong to KášášŁáša. Instead, one thinks that one has American senses, Indian senses, or African senses. This is called mÄyÄ, illusion. In material life, the senses are covered by designations such as âAmerican,â âIndian,â and âAfrican,â but when our senses are no longer contaminated by all these designations (sarvopÄdhi-vinirmuktam), bhakti begins.
To think âI am an American. Why shall I take to KášášŁáša consciousness and worship a Hindu god?â is foolishness. If one thinks, âI am Muhammadan,â âI am Christian,â or âI am Hindu,â one is in illusion. One must purify the senses so that one can understand, âI am a spirit soul, and the supreme spirit soul is KášášŁáša. I am part and parcel of KášášŁáša, and therefore it is my duty to serve KášášŁáša.â When one thinks in this way, one immediately becomes free. At that time, one is no longer American, Indian, African, this, or that. At that time, one is KášášŁáša-ized, or KášášŁáša conscious. That is what is wanted. Therefore KuntÄŤdevÄŤ says, âMy dear KášášŁáša, HášášŁÄŤkeĹa, You are the master of the senses.â
For sense gratiďŹcation we have fallen into this material condition and are suffering in different varieties of life. Because this is the material world, even KášášŁášaâs mother was put into suffering. DevakÄŤ was so advanced that she became the mother of KášášŁáša, but still she was put into difďŹculties by her own brother, Kaášsa. That is the nature of this material world. The living entities in this world are so jealous that if oneâs personal interest is hampered, one will immediately be ready to give trouble to others, even to oneâs nearest relatives.
The word khala means âjealous.â This material world is a world of jealousy and envy. I am envious of you, and you are envious of me. The KášášŁáša consciousness movement, however, is meant for one who is no longer jealous or envious. By becoming free from jealousy and envy, one becomes a perfect person. Dharmaá¸Ľ projjhita-kaitavo âtra paramo nirmatsarÄášÄáš satÄm (BhÄgavatam 1.1.2). Those who are jealous and envious are within this material world, and those who are not are in the spiritual world. Therefore, we can test ourselves. If we are jealous or envious of our friends or other associates, we are in the material world, and if we are not jealous we are in the spiritual world. There need be no doubt of whether we are spiritually advanced or not. We can test ourselves. Bhaktiá¸Ľ pareĹÄnubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (BhÄgavatam 11.2.42). When we eat, we can understand for ourselves whether our hunger is satisďŹed; we donât have to take a certiďŹcate from others. Similarly, we can test for ourselves whether we are in the material world or the spiritual world. If we are jealous or envious, we are in the material world, and if we are not we are in the spiritual world.
If one is not jealous, one can serve KášášŁáša very well, because jealousy and envy begin with being jealous of KášášŁáša. For example, some philosophers think, âWhy should KášášŁáša be God? I am also God.â This is the beginning of material life â to be envious of KášášŁáša. âWhy should KášášŁáša be the enjoyer?â they think. âI shall also be the enjoyer. Why should KášášŁáša enjoy the gopÄŤs? I shall become KášášŁáša and make a society of gopÄŤs and enjoy.â This is mÄyÄ. No one but KášášŁáša can be the enjoyer. KášášŁáša therefore says in Bhagavad-gÄŤtÄ, bhoktÄraáš yajĂąa: âI am the only enjoyer.â If we supply ingredients for KášášŁášaâs enjoyment, we attain the perfection of life. But if we want to imitate KášášŁáša, thinking, âI shall become God and enjoy like Him,â then we are in mÄyÄ. Our natural position is to provide enjoyment for KášášŁáša. In the spiritual world, for example, KášášŁáša enjoys, and the gopÄŤs, the transcendental cowherd girls, supply the ingredients for KášášŁášaâs enjoyment. This is bhakti.
Bhakti is a relationship between master and servant. The servantâs duty is to serve the master, and the master supplies whatever the servant needs.
nityo nityÄnÄáš cetanaĹ cetanÄnÄm
eko bahĹŤnÄáš yo vidadhÄti kÄmÄn
(Kaášha UpaniášŁad 2.2.13)
The Vedic literature informs us that KášášŁáša can supply all the necessities for oneâs life. There is no scarcity and no economic problem. We simply have to try to serve KášášŁáša, and then everything will be complete.
If KášášŁáša desires, there may be ample supplies. In America, for example, there is an ample supply of everything needed, although in other countries this is not so. For instance, when I went to Switzerland I saw that everything there is imported. The only thing supplied locally is snow. This is all under KášášŁášaâs control. If one becomes a devotee, one will be amply supplied with food, and if one does not become a devotee one will be covered with snow. Everything is under KášášŁášaâs control, so actually there is no scarcity. The only scarcity is a scarcity of KášášŁáša consciousness.
Of course, the world is full of dangers. But KuntÄŤdevÄŤ says, âBecause DevakÄŤ is Your devotee, You saved her from the distresses imposed upon her by her envious brother.â As soon as DevakÄŤâs brother heard that his sisterâs eighth son would kill him, he was immediately ready to kill DevakÄŤ. But DevakÄŤâs husband paciďŹed him. It is the duty of a husband to protect his wife, and therefore DevakÄŤâs husband said, âMy dear brother-in-law, why are you envious of your sister? After all, your sister will not kill you; it is her son who will kill you. That is the problem. So I shall deliver all the sons to you, and then you may do whatever you like with them. Why should you kill this innocent, newly married girl? She is your younger sister, and you should protect her, just as you would protect your daughter. Why should you kill her?â In this way he placated Kaášsa, who believed Vasudevaâs word that he would bring all the sons so that if Kaášsa wanted he could kill them. Vasudeva thought, âLet me save the present situation. After all, if Kaášsa later gets a nephew, he may forget this envy.â But Kaášsa never forgot. Instead, he kept DevakÄŤ and Vasudeva in prison for a long time (ati-ciram) and killed all their sons. Finally, KášášŁáša appeared and saved Vasudeva and DevakÄŤ.
Therefore, we must depend on KášášŁáša, like DevakÄŤ and KuntÄŤ. After KuntÄŤ became a widow, the envious DháštarÄášŁášra was always planning ways to kill her sons, the ďŹve PÄášá¸avas. âBecause by chance I was born blind,â he thought, âI could not inherit the throne of the kingdom, and instead it went to my younger brother. Now he is dead, so at least my sons should get the throne.â This is the materialistic propensity. One thinks, âI shall be happy. My sons will be happy. My community will be happy. My nation will be happy.â This is extended selďŹshness. No one is thinking of KášášŁáša and how KášášŁáša will be happy. Rather, everyone is thinking in terms of his own happiness: âHow shall I be happy? How will my children, my community, my society, and my nation be happy?â Everywhere we shall ďŹnd this. Everyone is struggling for existence, not thinking of how KášášŁáša will be happy. KášášŁáša consciousness is very sublime. We should try to understand it from ĹrÄŤmad-BhÄgavatam and Bhagavad-gÄŤtÄ and try to engage our senses for the service of the master of the senses (hášášŁÄŤkeáša hášášŁÄŤkeĹa-sevanam). Then we shall actually be happy.