Unqualified to Preach, Unable to Continue Kīrtan…

This is just an incredibly blissful section, please listen attentively… ŚB 3.6.35-end.

“My dear Vidura,” Maitreya concluded, “this form of the All-Attractive, which embodies destiny and fate, arises on the strength of his own internal potency. Who can even aspire to completely describe it?

Maitreya stops describing the universal form (a divine manifestation that facilitates the destiny and fate of individual living entities) because it is impossible to exhaustively describe the limitless and indescribable.

Even still, my friend, for the sake of purifying my own impure voice, I narrate this kīrtan to you – explaining as much as I can comprehend of whatever I could hear about the glories of Hari.

Maitreya does not think he is enlightening Vidura. He thinks he is Vidura’s student, and that Vidura has purified him by engaging his impure voice in speaking about Hari. Only such a person with such a mood is qualified to perform the function of Śrī Guru. So long as we feel superior to any person we cannot function as Śrī Guru, we are only impostors and obstacles to others on their path of bhakti-yoga.

Another essential point about preaching (i.e. “functioning as Śrī Guru”)… we must hear Hari-katha before we are capable of “preaching!” Then we must understand something about what we heard. If we don’t understand what we are hearing or reading, we are still not qualified to preach (i.e. give others the sonic link to Śrī Hari). What we are supposed to preach is not what we hear but don’t understand – just repeating like parrots, robots, or sheep following a script. This is like shooting a gun with blanks instead of real bullets. Such a gun makes a sound, but there is no actual bullet coming out. We have to preach what we understand about what we have heard about Hari.

This means we better get off our lazy butts and make some serious endeavor to understand something substantial in the words of Śrī Guru – otherwise we are unfit instruments and will perform no important function in the service of Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

It is said, ‘Your words can achieve no greater fortune than to speak about him, whose qualities are the roots of the most exquisite poetry.’ And the ears, their greatest fortune is to very deeply fill up with ambrosial Hari Kathā spoken by the wise.

My God! This is such a beautiful, beautiful verse!

Your words can achieve no greater fortune than to speak about Hari. Hari is so wonderful that his qualities are the roots of the tree producing the most beautiful flowers and most delicious fruits mankind has ever expressed in words. So how can our words achieve anything more valuable than to enjoy those fruits and flowers?

And as for the ears… the greatest fortune they can achieve is to be filled very thoroughly and deeply with the ambrosia of Hari Kathā. Not just any Kathā, but the Kathā spoken by people who have understood something deep and significant about what they have heard about Hari.

This is the hope we cherish beyond all hopes — to be given to the company of persons whose voice emanates deep sounds of Hari-Kathā without cessation. When will Śrīmatī Vṛṣabhānu-Nandinī fulfill this wish? Or, when will this polluted soul named Vraja Kishor stop blocking the fulfillment of that wish, like a klutz tripping over his own feet?

My dear child, even the original poet couldn’t comprehend the greatness of that Being, even after striving by perfect mystic intelligence for a thousand celestial years!

Maitreya said that Hari-guṇa (the qualities of Hari) are the roots of the most exquisite poetry (suṣloka-mauleḥ)… so he continues speaking on the theme and talks here about Ādi-kavi Brahmā, the original poet, and will next mention other lesser poets…

So what can be said about lesser poets? The enchanting mysteries of the All-Attractive bewilder those mystified souls. Even he cannot fully comprehend his own limitlessness! Unable to grasp him, the words, mind, and egos of all the gods of the world fall silent and fold their hands to the All-Attractive, saying “namaḥ.”

This is how kīrtan tends to end. With the feeling that we may have caught a glimpse of a glimmer of the toenails of the Gopis rushing towards Krishna, but we cannot progress further, we cannot focus the picture. So kīrtan becomes tired, falls silent and prays for forgiveness and mercy to go further. The kīrtan that strives to establish itself via the voice, mind, or individuality of the speaker or singer, tends to always fail in this manner – even if gracefully and repentantly.

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grahyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphurty adaḥ

“The name (etc) of Krishna is not within the reach of the senses. It manifests of its own accord from tongue (etc) of a person who is inclined towards loving service.”

Hare Krishna.