Jul 162018
 

While I was chanting japa at Butterfly Beach, about forty crows converged on the sand nearby, and I told Jivan-mukta, “Look: a place of pilgrimage for crows (vayasam tirtham),” referring Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.1:

na yad vacas citra-padam harer yaso
  jagat-pavitram pragrnita karhicit
tad vayasam tirtham usanti manasa
  na yatra hamsa niramanty usik-ksayah
————————————————————————————————–

“Those words which do not describe the glories of the Lord, who alone can sanctify the atmosphere of the whole universe, are considered by saintly persons to be like unto a place of pilgrimage for crows. Since the all-perfect persons are inhabitants of the transcendental abode, they do not derive any pleasure there.”

The next verse of the Bhagavatam describes a different creation:

tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo
  yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso ’nkitani yat
  srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah

“On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung, and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.”

Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport to the first verse, “The crows take pleasure in a place where garbage is thrown out, just as the passionate fruitive workers take pleasure in wine and woman and places for gross sense pleasure. The swans do not take pleasure in the places where crows are assembled for conferences and meetings. They are instead seen in the atmosphere of natural scenic beauty where there are transparent reservoirs of water nicely decorated with stems of lotus flowers in variegated colors of natural beauty. That is the difference between the two classes of birds. . . . Similarly, there are different kinds of literature for different types of men of different mentality. Mostly the market literatures which attract men of the crow’s categories are literatures containing refused remnants of sensuous topics. They are generally known as mundane talks in relation with the gross body and subtle mind. They are full of subject matter described in decorative language full of mundane similes and metaphorical arrangements. Yet with all that, they do not glorify the Lord. Such poetry and prose, on any subject matter, is considered decoration of a dead body. Spiritually advanced men who are compared to the swans do not take pleasure in such dead literatures, which are sources of pleasure for men who are spiritually dead. These literatures in the modes of passion and ignorance are distributed under different labels, but they can hardly help the spiritual urge of the human being, and thus the swanlike spiritually advanced men have nothing to do with them. Such spiritually advanced men are also called manasa because they always keep up the standard of transcendental voluntary service to the Lord on the spiritual plane. . . . [L]iteratures which describe the glories of the Lord are enjoyed by the paramahamsas who have grasped the essence of human activities.”

I pray to increase my taste for transcendental literature, for Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

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