Monday, 31 October 2011

More Enthusiastic to Chant

“In the relative world, the word “water” and the substance water are different. When I am thirsty, if I simply chant “Water, water, water,” my thirst will not be satisfied. I require the real water. That is the nature of the relative world and relative consciousness. But in the spiritual world or spiritual consciousness, the name is the same as the thing that is named. For instance, we are chanting Hare Krsna. If Krsna were different from the chanting of Hare Krsna, then how could we be satisfied chanting the whole day and night? This is the proof. An ordinary name-if you chant “Mr. John, Mr. John,” after chanting three times you will cease. But this Hare Krsna maha-mantra- if you go on chanting twenty-four hours a day, you will never become tired. This is the spiritual nature of the Absolute Truth. This is practical. Anyone can perceive it.” (Civilization and Transcendence ch. 7)

“Krsna’s words and He are not different. That is omnipotency. Omnipotency means everything relating to Krsna has the same potency. Just like here in this material world, if you are thirsty and want water, simply calling repeatedly, “water, water, water, water, water,” will not satisfy your thirst. Because the word “water” has not the same potency as water itself. You require the water as it is. Then your thirst will be satisfied. But in the transcendental, absolute world, there is no such difference. Krsna and Krsna’s name, Krsna’s words and Krsna’s qualities, Krsna’s pastimes- everything is Krsna.” (SPT 25/3/67)

“So immediately you can be in touch with Krsna by vibrating this sound, Hare Krsna. It is so potent. Nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya-rasa-vigrahah. The name of Krsna is cintamani, transcendental. It is not this material sound, material name. Nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya. Living force, caitanya. It is not dead sound. If you want water, if you chant only “Water, water, water, water,” you will not get water, because it is material sound. The water substance is different from the word “water”. Therefore, simply by chanting, “water, water” you cannot quench your thirst. You must have the substance water. That is material sound. Anything you take, simply by chanting the name, you will not get the thing. That is material.
“But in the spiritual world, the name and the person or the substance is the same. Krsna and Krsna’s name is the same. There is no difference. Therefore, those who are chanting “Krsna, Krsna, Krsna,” they are becoming more and more enthusiastic to chant.”(SPT 22/1/75)


Supremacy of the Holy Name

Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya asked Caitanya Mahaprabhu, ‘Which item is most important in the execution of devotional service?’ Mahaprabhu replied that the most important item was the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. Then Mahaprabhu quoted a verse from Brhan-naradiya Purana: ‘In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.’ (cc Madhya.241-2)

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu always emphasized the supremacy of nama-bhajana in His preaching. In Jagannatha Puri, Mahaprabhu also instructed Sanatana Gosvami on this point:

bhajanera madhye srestha nava-vidha bhakti
‘krsna-prema’, ‘krsna’dite dhare maha-sakti
tara madhye sarva-srestha nama-sankirtana
niraparddhe nama laile paya prema-dhana

Of all the different spiritual practices, the nine forms of bhakti (sravanam, kirtanam, etc) are the best because they have great potency to deliver Krsna and ecstatic love for Him. Of these nine practices, nama-sankirtana is the best. By chanting the holy name without offense, one very easily obtains the priceless treasure of krsna-prema. (cc. Antya 4.70-1) “The Caitanya-caritamrta states that of the nine ways of devotional service to obtain love of God, the foremost is nama-sarikirtana. One who chants nama without offenses surely achieves love of God. Bhakti-sandarbha says no form of bhakti (i.e. mathura-vasa, sadhu-sariga, sri-murti seva, and bhagavata-sravan) is complete without Sri Krsna nama-sankirtana. The Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya says that sahkirtana is the best and foremost of all spiritual practices for attaining Krsna’s mercy. If the other practices of bhakti are helpful to it, they should then be accepted.” (Sri Caitanya’s Teachings) “Sri-nama bhajana is more powerful than all other forms of bhajana (nava-vidha-bhakti). There is no difference between nama (the holy name) and nami (Bhagavan, who possesses the name.) If you chant nama without offense, you will very quickly attain all perfection. All nine forms of bhajana are, automatically carried out by performing nama-bhajana. When one utters sri-nama, he is engaged in hearing and chanting (sravanam, kirtanam). As one continues to chant, one also remembers the pastimes of Krsna, and within the mind one serves Krsna’s lotus feet (pada-sevanam), worships Him (arcanam), offers prayers (vandanam), serves Krsna in the mood of a servant (dasyam) or friend (sakhyam), and offers one’s very self to Krsna (atma-nivedanam).” Jaiva Dharma ch. 4)

Upon completing the description of the sixty-four limbs of devotional service, Srila Rupa Gosvami mentions five of them as the most important items. Srlla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura clearly shows how each one of these five most potent devotional processes points to the chanting of the holy name.
Sarasvati Thakura once explained that after careful consideration of the five limbs of bhakti, the best practice is sri-nama bhajana. The next entry shows how chanting Krsna’s holy names is the root of all nine forms of devotion and is glorified above all.

(1) Sadhu-sanga-assotiating with devotees is recommended to create a taste or inclination for sri-nama bhajana. This comes from associating with holy saints who are attached to chanting Krsna’s holy names with firm faith and who systematically chant the names.
(2) Bhagavata-sravaha-hearing Srimad Bhdgavatam which itself declares sri-nama bhajana to be the highest virtue. In its beginning, middle (sixth canto, Ajamila story), and end, the Srimad Bhagavatam repeatedly stresses the efficacy of sri-nama bhajana.
(3) Mathura-vasa-sri-nama bhajana is situated at the root of residence in Vrndavana or Sridhama Mayapur. The sadhus living in or visiting these holy places are always engaged in nama-sahkirtana.
(4) Sri-murti-seva-the service of Krsna’s Deity is always conducted with mantras full of God’s names. The Hari-bhakti-vilasa and Sri Jiva Gosvami say that Deity service must be accompanied with chanting the Hare Krsna mantra for it to be accepted.
(5) Nama-sankirtana-is directly chanting the holy names.

According to Sri Jiva Gosvami, chanting the holy name is not only the greatest form of sadhana, but it must accompany every other form of devotional service: “Chanting the holy name of Krsna is the chief means of attaining love of God. This chanting does not depend on any paraphernalia, nor birth in a good family. All the Vedas proclaim that by humility and meekness one attracts the attention of Krsna. Therefore, chanting Hare Krsna is the greatest sadhana (maha-sddhananam), and the fulfillment of all sacrifice, penance and austerities. Simply by chanting one achieves ecstatic love of God and complete perfection in life. Therefore, whatever one does in executing devotional service must be accompanied with the Chanting Of the holy name.” (Bhakti-sandarbha 270)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Humble Meditations on Govardhan Pastime

Today we celebrated Govardhan Puja by offering dandavats to Giriraja Govardhan. I remembered that one of the reason Sri Krishna arranged the Govardhan Puja was to remove the pride of His devotee Indradeva. So among other prayers, I was humbly requesting Girigovardhan to please remove the Sumeru mountain of pride within my heart.

Just like a sharp thorn thrust within the eye causes blindness, the sharp thorn of pride pierces the eye of our self realisation and causes spiritual blindness. Please Giriraja, lift this mountain of pride from my heart and allow me to become your genuine devotee. Today we began in the lane leading to Jatipura village. Passing the Vallabha Sampradya Mukharavinda we proceeded to the end of the village, then turned left to return to the main road. The area along the boundary wall had been used as an open toilet. There were multicoloured mounds of freshly deposited remains of the previous day's curries, and, the waters used for cleansing had trickled across our path. As I was prostrating my body in the dust, glancing left, catching various aromas, I realised that the bad, smelly desires of my heart were no better than the waste products on the side of the path. The only difference was that path-side stools had passed easily from someone's body, whereas the stool-like desires of my heart cling and cling, never wanting to come out. As much as I may read, or chant, or pray, or serve, I am understanding that I am totally dependent upon the causeless grace of Sri Radhe and Sri Krishna to free my heart from these filthy material desires. O Giriraja-dharan, O Giriraja Govardhan, please bestow your grace upon me, allow me to one day become your devotee.
Turning to the main road we proceeded a short distance till we again entered the inside path. As it was Govardhan Puja the parikrama path was full of pilgrims and the dust from their feet covered our bodies. Half way between Jatipura and Govardhan Village we stopped our parikarama, our car was waiting, we stopped at Giriraja Sweet Shop for kacoris with a pumpkin subji that was like a sweet hot chutney. Madhava bought fresh jalebis, delicious Bengali chum chums, and we proceeded to Kusum Sarovara for our bath and picnic. Returning home the devotees had worshipped my Giriraja beautifully. The altar was decorated with many flower garlands, pleasant incense and aromatic oils were burning, Giriraja had eaten a feast cooked by Vrindavan Bihari, mountains of delicious fruits, and tons of sweets. My neighbour Balarama Baba sent samples of the 56 preparations he had offered to Giriraja, Vijaya Radhika prepared sweet rice that tasted like amrita from the spiritual world. After a long shower we honoured the Lord's tasty foodstuffs. Then I feel into a deep comatose situation. After an hour I rallied my spirits, again bathed, dressed, and went to Madhava Prabhu's kirtan on the MVT lawn. It was celestial. Following that the vaisnavas allowed me to sing in the temple. After offering my lamp to the deities I walked in the cool Vraja night to Varaha Ghat relishing japa. Though Diwalli was yesterday, I can hear big explosions of firecrackers throughout Vrindavan. Good night dear friends from blessed Vrindavan on the evening of Govardhan Puja. I pray that you all had blissful celebrations filled with sweet remembrance of the Lord's Govardhan Lila. May the ever merciful, best devotee of Lord Hari, Giriraja Govardhan fulfil your heart's deepest spiritual yearnings. O Vrindavan, my home, the land I love, please let me serve you.
- HH BB Govinda Swami
(Taken from Facebook Updates) on October 27, 2011

Consciousness for entering Vrindavan Dhaam

To be in Vrindavan in the association of devotees is an inconceivacle good fortune. We should never think that we deserve but is has been given tio us. It is a matchless gift. If our hearts are truly grateful and we express that gratitude through our humble appreciation for Srila Prabhupada's mercy and that all of our previous acaryas and our Lord Sri Radha Shyamsunder and we express our gratitude through our service attitude. Vrindavan is a land of bhakti.

Srila Prabhupada says there is a very thin layer that covers Vrindavan. We must not see from our eyes but from the heart. When we hear from scriptures, we develop the faith that nothing can contaminate Vrindavan. But it is only revealed through devotion and surrender. Only by pure devotion I can be seen as I am standing before you. Therefore it is very important that when we come to Vrindavan we can't take anything for granted. We don't come here to enjoy or as a vacation. we come to Vrindavan to get purified and perform any service in association of devotees.

- HH Radhanath Swami

Jatayu - The Devotee

Jatayu - From material persepctive, jatayu failed. He lost, tried to keep sita from being taken away, but he was cut to pieces and was losing his life and Sita was taken by Ravana. But Lord Ramacandra did not see whether jatayu was successful or failure by material perspective but he saw the sincerity of devotion and Rama wept and wept to show the world, how much he loved His devotee.

To please the Lord is the only sign of victory, and to displease Him is the greatest failure, even if we win the whole world.

- HH Radhanath Swami

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

No Quality in Chanting?

Chanting the Holy Name

Quality Chanting of the Name

Devotee (8): When chanting our sixteen rounds, we are not sure if these rounds are sincere...

Prabhupada: You should be sure.

Devotee (8): How can we be sure?

Prabhupada: There is beads.

Brahmananda: No, he's saying that when we chant our rounds, how can we be sure that when we chant the round that the round is a perfect, attentive round, sincere?

Prabhupada: Therefore it is sastra, "You must." There is no question of understanding.

Brahmananda: The quality of the chanting he's asking. How can we make the quality the best?

Prabhupada: Quality, you'll understand first of all come to the quality. Without having quality, how he'll understand the quality? You follow the instruction of your spiritual master, of the sastra. That is your duty.
Quality, no quality  *** it is not your position to understand. When the quality comes there is no force. You will have a taste for chanting. *** That is quality, automatically. Just like Haridasa Thakura was doing. He was not forced to do. Even Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He requested, "Now you are old enough. You can reduce." So he refused, "No. Up to the end of my life I shall go on." That is quality. Have you got such tendency that you will go on chanting and nothing to do? That is quality. Now you are forced to do. Where is the question of quality? That is given a chance so that one day you may come to the quality, not that you have come to the quality. Quality is different. Asakti, attachment. Just like Rupa Gosvami says that "How shall I chant with one tongue, and how shall I hear, two ears? Had it been millions of tongue and trillions of ear, then I could enjoy it." This is quality. Quality is not so cheap. Maybe after many births. For the time being you go on following the rules and regulations. It is being done by force. Where is the quality? So you wanted to understand quality. This is the quality. You'll not be forced, but automatically you'll desire. That is quality. I am writing books. I am not being forced by anyone. Everyone can do that. Why one does not do it? Why I get up at night, one o'clock, and do this job? Because I cannot do without it. How one will do it artificially? This is quality. Therefore they like my purports.

That quality is shown by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda virahena me. "Oh, I do not see Govinda. The whole world is vacant." Sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda virahena me. This is quality. Just like we have got practical example. One man's beloved has died, and he is seeing the whole universe vacant. Is it vacant? So that is quality of love. So there is no formula of quality. It is to be understood by himself. Just like if after eating something you feel refreshed and get strength, that is quality. You haven't got to take certificate: "Will you give me a certificate that I have eaten?" You'll understand whether eaten or not. That is quality. When you will feel so much ecstasy in chanting Hare Krsna, that is quality. Not artificially-"Chant. Chant. Otherwise get out." This is not quality. This is in expectation that someday you may come to quality. That requires time. That requires sincerity. But quality is there. Sravanadi suddha citte karaye... It will be awakened. Not by force. Just like love between two persons, it cannot be forced. "You must love him. You must love her." Oh, that is no love. That is not love. When automatically you love one another, that is quality. Dora vede (?) prema.
Srila Prabhupada

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, is it true that our advancement in devotional services is influenced a lot by our past karma, by how many sinful activities we have committed?
Prabhupada: No, no, no. Bhakti is not under karma. Bhakti is under your good will. If you accept to surrender to Krsna, you can do that without being checked by anything else. Simply you have to will, "Yes, Krsna. You are asking me. So long I did not do. From this day I do." That will depend upon you. Whatever you may be, simply surrender and everything is finished. Even if you are sinful, Krsna will give you release, "All right. You have surrendered. That's all right." That is wanted. But if you reserve something and cheat Krsna, "Now I am surrendering," Krsna is very intelligent. He will see you still have reservation.

Devotee: In the mode of goodness it's easier to surrender to Krsna.
Prabhupada: Yes, in sattva-guna one can see, one can understand his position. He is not so much disturbed by the rajo-guna and tamo-guna. And if he increases and goes to the pure sattva-guna, suddha-sattva, then he is no more disturbed. At that time he can understand what is God. The other gunas mean lusty desires and greediness. These things will be finished when you are strongly situated in sattva-guna. Hearing about Krsna and chanting about Krsna means cleansing the dirty things of rajo-guna and tamo-guna.The world is going on in rajo-guna and tamo-guna. A very minute quantity of the population are in sattva-guna.

Devotee: You were saying that when one is in the mode of goodness, that he is on the mental platform?
Prabhupada: Mental platform is mixed sattva-guna and rajo-guna, not pure. But if you keep always Krsna in your mind, then you are purified. The mind has no other opportunity to keep anything else there. If you keep Krsna, then you are in sattva-guna. And when that concentration on Krsna is not disturbed, then it is suddha-sattva. That is the spiritual platform.

Srila Prabhupada's Sikasamrta Volume Two:
"I am so glad that at the present moment you are president of the center; it is great satisfaction to me. When a Krsna conscious person is elevated to a responsible position he never becomes puffed up. Just like a tree when overladen with fruits becomes humble and lower down, similarly, a great soul in Krsna conscious becomes humbler than the grass and bowed down like the fruitful trees, because a Krsna conscious person acts as the agent of Krsna, therefore he discharges his duty with great responsibility." (SPL to Gajendra, 27th January, 1970)

Summary by HH Romapada Swami: We all face disturbances. How to address ourselves to those causes of disturbances without reducing our concentration upon that which is non-material, or Krishna? The process of surrender is necessary! We need not rely simply upon our material faculties; alone they will not provide the needed shelter. We must remain humble before our Master and all his wonderful devotees, and then move forward to serve with all the sincerity.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Chanting Hare Krishna is the Only Way!

We can see how sound vibrations enter and affect the atmosphere. We are bound to be absorbed in thoughts of whatever type of sound enters our consciousness. If we constantly hear violent lyrics or cursing, we naturally feel irritable or depressed, and we are likely to transfer these traits to our actions. Similarly, if we hear sweet, spiritual sounds, we will feel calm and happy in higher consciousness. Whatever sound vibrations we associate with will affect our mind and consciousness. Even reading has an effect on our state of mind.
Spiritual life recognizes the power of sound. When a man is sleeping, he can be awakened by sound. Similarly, the conditioned souls sleeping in illusion can again be awakened to knowledge of God by hearing transcendental sound.
Vaishnava texts recommend the chanting of God's names as particularly effective in the current age. This is known as mantra meditation.
Man means mind, tra means deliverance, and the prescribed mantra for this age is the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, or great mantra for deliverance.
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Hare, Krishna, and Rama are names that refer to God and His energies. There is no difference between God's names and God Himself, so when we chant the names of Krishna and Rama, we are connecting directly with God. Because Krishna is all-powerful and spiritual, if we chant His names, then we become purified materially and spiritually.
There are no hard and fast rules for chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. The important thing is to clearly pronounce and hear the names.
You can chant anywhere, any time. You can repeat it to yourself on the way to work. Try chanting with your family or at the Temple. The more you chant, the more you will hear, and the more you will feel the spiritual effect of the mantra.

The three words, namely Hare, Krsna, and Rama, are transcendental seeds of the Maha Mantra and the chanting spiritual call for the Lord and His internal energy, Hara, to giving protection to the conditioned soul. The chanting is exactly like genuine cry by the child for mother. Mother Hara helps in achieving the Grace of the Supreme Father, Hari, or Krsna, and the Lord reveals Himself to such sincere devotee.

No other means therefore, of spiritual realization, is as effective in this age as chanting the Maha Mantra:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Six Loving Exchanges between Devotees


Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one's mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasāda and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another.

In this verse Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī explains how to perform devotional activities in the association of other devotees. There are six kinds of activities: (1) giving charity to the devotees, (2) accepting from the devotees whatever they may offer in return, (3) opening one's mind to the devotees, (4) inquiring from them about the confidential service of the Lord, (5) honoring prasāda, or spiritual food, given by the devotees, and (6) feeding the devotees with prasāda. An experienced devotee explains, and an inexperienced devotee learns from him. This is guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati. When a devotee distributes prasāda, remnants of food offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in order to maintain our spirit of devotional service we must accept this prasāda as the Lord's grace received through the pure devotees. We should also invite pure devotees to our home, offer them prasāda and be prepared to please them in all respects. This is called bhuńkte bhojayate caiva.

Even in ordinary social activities, these six types of dealings between two loving friends are absolutely necessary. For instance, when one businessman wishes to contact another businessman he arranges a feast in a hotel, and over the feast openly expresses what he wishes to do. He then inquires from his business friend how he should act, and sometimes presents are exchanged. Thus whenever there is a dealing of prīti, or love in intimate dealings, these six activities are executed. In the previous verse, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī advised that one should renounce worldly association and keep company with the devotees (sańga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ). The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been established to facilitate these six kinds of loving exchanges between devotees. This Society was started single-handedly, but because people are coming forward and dealing with the give-and-take policy, the Society is now expanding all over the world. We are glad that people are donating very liberally to the development of the Society's activities, and people are also eagerly accepting whatever humble contribution we are giving them in the shape of books and magazines dealing strictly with the subject matter of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We sometimes hold Hare Kṛṣṇa festivals and invite life members and friends to participate in the feasting by accepting prasāda. Although most of our members come from the higher rungs of society, they nonetheless come and take whatever little prasāda we are able to offer them. Sometimes the members and supporters inquire very confidentially about the methods of performing devotional service, and we try to explain this. In this way our Society is successfully spreading all over the world, and the intelligentsia of all countries is gradually appreciating our Kṛṣṇa conscious activities. The life of the Kṛṣṇa conscious society is nourished by these six types of loving exchange among the members; therefore people must be given the chance to associate with the devotees of ISKCON because simply by reciprocating in the six ways mentioned above an ordinary man can fully revive his dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In Bhagavad-gītā (2.62) it is stated, sańgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ: one's desires and ambitions develop according to the company one keeps. It is often said that a man is known by his company, and if an ordinary man associates with devotees, he will certainly develop his dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The understanding of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is innate in every living entity, and it is already developed to some extent when the living entity takes a human body.

It is said in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 22.107):
nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema 'sādhya' kabhu naya
śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya
"Pure love for Kṛṣṇa is eternally established in the hearts of living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, the living entity naturally awakens." Since Kṛṣṇa consciousness is inherent in every living entity, everyone should be given a chance to hear about Kṛṣṇa. Simply by hearing and chanting — śravaṇaḿ kīrtanam — one's heart is directly purified, and one's original Kṛṣṇa consciousness is immediately awakened. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not artificially imposed upon the heart, it is already there. When one chants the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the heart is cleansed of all mundane contamination. In the first stanza of His Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says: [Cc. Antya 20.12]
"All glories to the Śrī Kṛṣṇa sańkīrtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sańkīrtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious."

Not only is the chanter of the mahā-mantra purified, but the heart of anyone who happens to hear the transcendental vibration of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is also cleansed. Even the souls embodied in lower animals, insects, trees and other species of life also become purified and prepared to become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious simply by hearing the transcendental vibration. This was explained by Ṭhākura Haridāsa when Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired from him how living entities lower than human beings can be delivered from material bondage. Haridāsa Ṭhākura said that the chanting of the holy names is so powerful that even if one chants in the remotest parts of the jungle, the trees and animals will advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness simply by hearing the vibration. This was actually proved by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself when He passed through the forest of Jhārikhaṇḍa. At that time the tigers, snakes, deer and all other animals abandoned their natural animosity and began chanting and dancing in sańkīrtana. Of course, we cannot imitate the activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but we should follow in His footsteps. We are not powerful enough to enchant the lower animals such as tigers, snakes, cats and dogs or entice them to dance, but by chanting the holy names of the Lord we can actually convert many people throughout the world to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Contributing or distributing the holy name of the Lord is a sublime example of contributing or giving charity (the dadāti principle). By the same token, one must also follow the pratigṛhṇāti principle and be willing and ready to receive the transcendental gift. One should inquire about the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and open his mind in order to understand the situation of this material world. Thus the guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati principles can be served.
The members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness invite the Society's members and supporters to dine with them when they hold love feasts in all their branches every Sunday. Many interested people come to honor prasāda, and whenever possible they invite members of the Society to their homes and feed them sumptuously with prasāda. In this way both the members of the Society and the general public are benefited. People should give up the company of so-called yogīs, jñānīs, karmīs and philanthropists because their association can benefit no one. If one really wants to attain the goal of human life, he should associate with devotees of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement because it is the only movement that teaches one how to develop love of God. Religion is the special function of human society, and it constitutes the distinction between human society and animal society. Animal society has no church, mosque or religious system. In all parts of the world, however downtrodden human society may be, there is some system of religion. Even tribal aborigines in the jungles also have a system of religion. When a religious system develops and turns into love of God, it is successful. As stated in the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.6):
sa vai puḿsāḿ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati
"The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted in order to completely satisfy the self."
If the members of human society actually want Peace of mind, tranquillity and friendly relations between men and nations, they must follow the Kṛṣṇa conscious system of religion, by which they can develop their dormant love for Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As soon as people do so, their minds will immediately be filled with peace and tranquillity.
In this regard, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura warns all devotees engaged in broadcasting the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement not to speak to the impersonalist Māyāvādīs who are always determined to oppose such theistic movements. The world is full of Māyāvādīs and atheists, and the political parties of the world take advantage of Māyāvāda and other atheistic philosophies to promote materialism. Sometimes they even back a strong party to oppose the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. The Māyāvādīs and other atheists do not want the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement to develop because it educates people in God consciousness. Such is the policy of the atheists. There is no benefit in feeding a snake milk and bananas because the snake will never be satisfied. On the contrary, by taking milk and bananas the snake simply becomes more poisonous (kevalaḿ viṣa-vardhanam). If a snake is given milk to drink, its poison simply increases. For a similar reason, we should not disclose our minds to the serpent Māyāvādīs and karmīs. Such disclosures will never help. It is best to avoid association with them completely and never ask them about anything confidential because they cannot give good advice. Nor should we extend invitations to Māyāvādīs and atheists nor accept their invitations, for by such intimate intermingling we may become affected by their atheistic mentality (sańgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ). It is the negative injunction of this verse that we should refrain from giving anything to or accepting anything from the Māyāvādīs and atheists. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has also warned, viṣayīra anna khāile duṣṭa haya mana: "By eating food prepared by worldly people, one s mind becomes wicked. Unless one is very advanced, he is unable to utilize everyone's contribution to further the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement; therefore on principle one should not accept charity from the Māyāvādīs or atheists. Indeed, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has forbidden devotees to associate even with ordinary men who are too addicted to material sense gratification.
The conclusion is that we should always keep company with devotees, observe the regulative devotional principles, follow in the footsteps of the ācāryas and in full obedience carry out the orders of the spiritual master. In this way we shall be able to develop our devotional service and dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The devotee who is neither a neophyte nor a mahā-bhāgavata (a greatly advanced devotee) but is within the middle status of devotional service is expected to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, make friends with the devotees, show favor to the ignorant and reject the jealous and demoniac. In this verse there is brief mention of the process of making loving transactions with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and making friends with the devotees. According to the dadāti principle, an advanced devotee is supposed to spend at least fifty percent of his income on the service of the Lord and His devotees. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has set such an example in his life. When he decided to retire, he distributed fifty percent of his life's earnings to Kṛṣṇa's service and twenty-five percent to his relatives and kept twenty-five percent for personal emergencies. This example should be followed by all devotees. Whatever one's income, fifty percent should be spent on behalf of Kṛṣṇa and His devotees, and this will fulfill the demands of dadāti.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Material World - A Mirage

Whatever you have got in this material world, that is simply imitation, a shadow of the original....You can understand that in the desert sometimes it appears that there is a vast ocean of water, mirage. But actually there is no water. Those who are animals, they sometimes are misled. They are thirsty, and they think that there is water in the desert, and they run over, but actually there is no water. The animal runs, and the water also advances. In this way, when he becomes too much fatigued, he dies. This is the exact example of this material world. We are hankering after water, we are thirsty, and we are being misled by so-called water, mirage.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Laguna Beach, 9/30/1972)

Regretting one's sinful activities is necessary

When a person regrets his sinful activities, the abandoning of Krishna consciousness and good intelligence, his path of deliverance from the path of material clutches is opened. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.5: parabhavas tavad abodha jato yavan na jijnasata atma-tattvam. When a person loses his Krishna consciousness and loses interest in self-realization, he must engage in sinful activities. All one’s activities in a life devoid of Krishna consciousness simply lead to defeat and misuse of one’s life. Naturally one who comes to Krishna consciousness regrets his previous sinful activities in the human form. Only by this process can one be delivered from the clutches of nescience or ignorance in materialistic life.
Srimad Bhagavatam 4.26.19

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Sinful Condition

Sinful condition
Saturday, 17 February 1973

During morning class, Srila Prabhupada mentioned how the Fifth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam described a variety of different punishments for sinful acts. Nature's laws, he stressed, were very strict, and one could not claim ignorance as an excuse. In question-time, someone asked how long it took for the soul to enter its next body after death.

Prabhupada replied that it depended upon the individual. Usually it was quick -- a matter of minutes -- but if a man was very sinful, it could take longer. Srila Prabhupada gave the example of Winston Churchill, who had entered a long coma before his death.

"This means that he is very, very sinful. It takes longer to calculate his punishment. A living entity does not leave his body until his next birth is calculated." Prabhupada compared this to a caterpillar, who doesn't place his legs down until his next foothold is established.

- From "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu

Monday, 10 October 2011

"I am speaking of the same God" - Srila Prabhupada

I have often been asked why I converted from Catholicism to Krishna Consciousness. My reply is always that I did not convert: I built on the faith I already had. My roots are in Christianity, and I cannot change that. I cannot change the fact that for the first twenty years of my life God appeared to me through Jesus; that my character and morals were moulded by Sisters of the Holy Cross and Benedictine monks; and that a Christian church to me is still a holy place where I intuitively feel at home.

Nonetheless, the question remains: what made me decide to become a devotee of Krishna? One major attraction was the chanting of the Holy Name. The simplicity of just chanting was irresistible. Devotees chant in two ways. One is by singing together, and the other is by private prayer. My first encounter with the singing was on television, when I watched the 73-year-old founder of the Hare Krishna Movement, Srila Prabhupada, being interviewed on Late Night Line-Up in 1969. Prabhupada explained to his interviewer that he had come to Britain to teach how to love God. His wise and kindly face and his sincere voice seemed to tell to me that he knew what he was talking about. 'And which God are you referring to - the same one as Christians worship?' asked the interviewer. I wondered what his answer would be. Could he be worshipping the same God as me?

'Yes, I am speaking of the same God,' replied Prabhupada. Hearing this, my interest deepened. I had always wanted to learn from someone of another religious tradition about their idea of God.

'And how do you teach that we should love God?'

'The easiest and most direct way is to chant His name,' Prabhupada replied, 'If you chant the name of God, you can not only love Him, but you can speak to Him face to face, just as I am speaking to you.' I was intrigued. He spoke with such conviction, but surely it couldn't be that simple.

Prabhupada got up and walked across to another part of the studio where six of his disciples were waiting with musical instruments. Together they sat in a circle on the studio floor. A rich harmony swelled up from the Indian harmonium and a stringed instrument called a tambura, accompanied by small cymbals and a clay drum. Then Prabhupada began to chant the Hare Krishna mantra, rhythmically, majestically, while the devotees chanted their response. Together they wove a mystical web of transcendental sound that seemed to stretch from the studio right across the country and into my heart.

The closing credits of the programme rolled down the screen and I prayed that the chanting wouldn't stop, not yet! But too soon it faded away and the screen went blank. From that day I never needed to be convinced of the simple truth that just by chanting the Holy Name it is possible to see God.

(Excerpt from Looking for the Dearest Friend by Ranchor Dasa)

Remembering Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada sat at his low desk,satisfied and smiling. He spoke about the humility of advanced devotees. I was in a light,superficial mood. I said "My only qualification,"I added,"is that I am a fool." Prabhupada looked at me sharply."Yes,but you should not remain a fool."


Prabhupada's answer cut through the superficiality of my childish comment.

Actual devotees are humble, but they are never fools.

(Excerpt from My Glorious Master by Bhurijana dasa,Melbourne,1974)

"Chant to the Poor Creature"

On one particular afternoon, Srila Prabhupada was comfortably seated in a chair, and I was sitting on the ground beside him. He was softly chanting japa, enjoying the fresh ocean air, mixed with the fragrance of roses and other flowers. Occasionally he would say something but mostly he would chant softly. Suddenly beside my sitting place I saw a large brown slug in all its slimy ugliness. Somewhat repulsed I leaned away from the creature. Srila Prabhupada looked at me quizzically and I said: "Ugh, look at this", pointing to the slimy, sliding creature. Srila Prabhupada leaned forward and looked at the slug, his face grew full of love and compassion, and he said to me: "Chant to the poor creature", and so I sat there, chanting Hare Krsna to the slimy, yet benedicted slug for some time until he slithered away. He had incredible compassion even for the most abominable creature. Srila Prabhupada, I can never forget the sound of your voice when you gave me that instruction. In it, your whole mission was encapsulated. "Chant to the poor creature."[b]

(1008 Ways to Remember Srila Prabhupada) by Govinda dasi

Sign of a Krishna Bhakta

A krsna-bhakta, a devotee of Lord Krsna, he doesn't want anything more. He doesn't want anything more. You will never find that... Arjuna was a devotee. He was working for Krsna so much, he was sacrificing everything. He was prepared to kill his family members and everything. Still, he never wanted anything, "Krsna, give me this." Never. You will never find in the Bhagavad-gita.

This is the position of bhakta. And that is the teaching of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadisa kamaye: "My dear Lord Jagadisa, I don't want these things." Why? Na dhanam: "I don't want riches." Na dhanam na janam. "Not many followers." Because materially everyone wants this. He wants money, he wants to become leader, he will..., many thousands of people will follow him, janam. And sundarim kavitam, very beautiful wife. These are the material wants. So Krsna, Caitanya Mahapra bhu, He said, na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadisa kamaye: "I don't want all these things." This is called niskama. Kama means those who are wanting all these things. And
niskama means those one who does not want all these things. How one can avoid these? Mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi. If one becomes perfect, unalloyed devotee, he doesn't want all
these things. Therefore he is svami. Krsna-bhakta niskama ataeva santa. Others, they are wanting something.

So we cannot be peaceful so long we shall want something. That is the secret. And that want can be completely, we can be free from all wants when we become Krsna conscious.

yam labdhva caparam labham
manyate nadhikam tatah
yasmin sthito na duhkhena
gurunapi vicalyate

You have seen the history of Prahlada Maharaja, Dhruva Maharaja, many, many devotees, Pandavas. How much tribulation they had to suffer in their lives! So yasmin sthite, because they were devotee of Krsna,
they were never disturbed. Never. This is the position of Krsna consciousness. They will never want anything, and they are not disturbed by any material tribulations. This is the sign of a krsna-bhakta. Krsna-bhakta niskama ataeva santa.

So it is possible to arrive that state by little endeavor, and that is Krsna consciousness. And it is so simple, by chanting Hare Krsna mantra. And the practical examples you can see, that these European, American boys, they had so many wants, but they, all these demands could not satisfy them, but now they are fully satisfied simply by chanting Hare Krsna. Just like this boy, our Gurudasa, explained that he could swim over liquor business. His father has got very big business of liquor. But no. He wants to swim in the ocean of transcendental love. This is Krsna consciousness movement.

- Srila Prabhupada

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.10 -- Delhi, November 16, 1973

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Krishna is knowable through Devotion

"Krsna is knowable through devotion... Krsna sees the devotion, and He discloses. 'You are a very confidential person. Because of your devotion, I will give you the intelligence by which you can understand Me. Here is the intelligence. Now here I am.' It is a gift from Krsna. It is reciprocation from Krsna when He sees bhakti. That is our theology. Therefore, developing our devotion is all-critical, to have real knowledge. We read Prabhupada's books to develop our devotion, our appreciation for Krsna. As our appreciation for Krsna becomes stronger, our eagerness to serve Krsna becomes stronger and stronger; as that happens, then Krsna discloses: 'I am like this. Here is the intelligence by which you can understand what I have just disclosed to you.' Then, although the Lord is inconceivable, He becomes knowable."

- HH Romapada Swami
[Sri Sri Radha Shyamsunder from Sri Vrindavan Dhaam on October 09, 2011]

Faith in the Holy Name


When we are chanting our surrender is simply to hear because our mind will have many objects about what to contemplate on. The mind has so many attachments, desires, fears and aspirations.

It is a great priority that we make a offering of our heart by concentrating and hearing His Holy Name. This is how we can worship Krishna in the temple of our heart. It is an offering of love.

There’s a story of a devotee in Jagannath Puri who was constantly chanting Hare Krishna. Always chanting and had so much ecstasy always. So when he got the call of nature, he thought how he can take Krishna’s Holy Name in an impure place because Krishna is non-different from His name. So that devotee caught his tongue so that he could stop chanting. On the way he met a small 5 yr boy who said why he was doing that? The devotee replied because I don’t want to take Krishna in an impure place.

The boy replied Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us that there are no hard and fast rules for chanting the Holy Name. You can chant anywhere, everywhere and Krishna is so pure and merciful that through His name He accepts the service in any situation. The boy asked What happens if you die when you are in that situation? Death can come at anytime – padam padam yad vipadam na tesam. If you leave your body while the call of nature, what will happen if you are not chanting the Holy Name? It’s your duty to chant always without consideration.

So the devotee when he heard this, he let go and started chanting once again.

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates happened to be watching this and they were so pleased with this boy Gopal that They named this boy as Gopal Guru because he was a Guru – teaching the glories of the Holy Name.

- HH Radhanath Swami

Narada Muni's opinion on Noble Behavior

There was a king of the kuru dynasty named Suhotra who once went to visit some great rishis. While returning home, he happened to meet another king named Shibi, traveling on the road in the opposite direction. The road was too narrow for both chariots to pass and becuase they were both equals in terms of age and other qualifications, neither Shibi nor Suhotra would move.

Narada Muni then appeared on the scene and asked what was the matter?

Suhotra and Shibi replied, "Devarshi it is proper ettiquette that one should give the right way to superiors. However because we are equal to one another in all respects, none of us are willing to move."

Narada Muni said I will recite some verses from shastra and also give you my opinion on the matter.

-Wicked persons behave harshly even toward superiors, wheareas those who are elevated conduct themselves very mildly, even while dealing with those who are sinful. Since a noble person behaves virtuosly, even toward those who are degraded, why he should not do so in relation to those who are good?
- An exalted person regards another person's qualities and the services rendered by him to be one hundered times greater than they actually are. In this way he only sees good in others.
- The way to conquer a mean minded person is to give him charity. A liar is won over by truth, a sinful person is conquered by forgiveness, and a dishonest person's heart is softened by honesty.

My dear Suhotra, aside from this, you should know that Maharaja Shibi's greatness exceeds yours. My dear Kings, since you both are very large hearted, one of you should volunatrily move aside, giving up all sense of false pride.

Suhotra then moved his chariot off the road giving Shibi the right way and while doing so, he priased him highly.

- Stories from Mahabharat (Vana Parva - Markendya Rsi to Yudhistar Maharaj)

Faith in Krishna and His Devotees

Disciple: So knowledge is not necessary for faith, but faith is necessary for knowledge.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore a devotee, without any knowledge he becomes a devotee. That faith, only faith. The devotee advances. Later on, they become automatically full of knowledge because they have strong faith.

Earlier on this walk, a devotee had asked Prabhupada, “How does one particular person come to manifest faith and others do not?”

Prabhupada replied that it is because of purity. Another devotee volunteered, “Oh, you mean from past lives and pious activities?” Prabhupada said that if we have purity, we acquire more faith and knowledge. We must begin, however, with faith. “Because he is faithful, therefore I help him to get knowledge. Again you come to that.”

Disciple: Blind faith is the belief that…

Srila Prabhupada: Blind faith — that I have already explained. Why do you forget? He shows me, “Prabhupada, come this way.” So, I have no faith. Why shall I go? If I have no faith, then I have to stop here, and my movement is finished. You have to keep faith blindly. The man is giving direction. If he’s perfect, your faith will make you advanced.But if you go to a rascal cheater, if you have blind faith then you are lost. The child has no knowledge, but he has faith in his parents, and he believes what his parents say. Then he’s making progress.
Just like you go to a barber shop, and you put your neck like this and he is with the razor. So unless you have faith, “No, he’s a good man, he will not cut my throat,” how can you do so? Faith is the beginning. If you say, “No, I have no faith in you,” then you cannot be cleansed.

Disciple: Sometimes a barber looks like he could cut your throat.

Srila Prabhupada: He could do that, but you must have faith. Otherwise, no shaving. Suppose you are going to some unknown place. Now we are purchasing, paying $2,000 for a ticket, but where is the guarantee that you will go there? You are paying money first, but there’s no guarantee that you will go there. How do you get the ticket, and how do you get on the plane without faith? Without faith you cannot move an inch. It must be there.
We say, “No, this ticket is issued by Pan American. They are a good company. So many people are going. I will go also.” That’s all, faith. You never went there, neither you know whether it will be possible to go there. You have to purchase the ticket. If you say, “First of all let me go there, then I shall pay,” they will say, “Get out! First of all pay. Then you come on.”

Disciple: When I was first coming to this movement, Srila Prabhupada, I opened Bhagavad-gita and I said, “I don’t understand this.” I began to clean the floor, wash the dishes, cut the vegetables.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, very good. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. By service only. You can understand God simply by service.

Prabhupada once went to an ecumenical meeting with a few priests.

One of the priests asked him, “Don’t you ever have doubts?”
Prabhupada replied, “Doubts? Of course not. How can I be teaching if I have doubts?”
The priests were disturbed by his reply; they wanted him to admit to doubts because they had doubts. A fixed person will not have doubts. We may have to acknowledge that we are not so fixed.



"My conclusion is, therefore that You are the Supreme Soul, Absolute Truth, and the supreme original person; and although You have expanded Yourself in many Visnu forms, or in living entities and energies, by Your inconceivable transcendental potencies, You are the supreme one without a second, You are the supreme Supersoul. The innumerable living entities are simply like sparks of the original fire. Your Lordship, the conception of the Supersoul as impersonal is wrongly accepted because I see that You are the original person. A person with a poor fund of knowledge my think that, because You are the son of Maharaj Nanda, You are not the original person, that You are born just like a human being. They are mistaken. You are the actual original person; that is my conclusion. In spite of Your being the son of Nanda, You are the original person, and there is no doubt about it. You are the Absolute Truth, and You are not of this material darkness."
(Krsna Book, Chapter 14, Prayers Offered by Lord Brahma to Lord Krsna)

Sinful Birds Fly Away!

"Just as by clapping the hands one can cause many birds to fly away, similarly the birds of all sinful activities which are sitting on the body can be made to fly away simply by dancing and clapping before the Deity of Krsna."
(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 9)

Krishna's Special Favor

Sri Sri Radha London Isvara
London, England
"In our present state of imperfect material existence, we cannot see the Supreme Lord, due to imperfect vision. Yet those devotees who want to see him by means of material vision are favored by the Lord, who appears in a so-called material form to accept His devotee's service."
(Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 5, Purport)

Final Transmigration of the Soul - Back to Godhead! :)

Just like every night we die. The gross body remains inactive while we are sleeping, and the subtle body takes me away. I dream, I go in the dreamland. I have gone to some friend, I am talking with somebody, I am working in a different way. That is our daily experience. This means that we have got two kinds of body. One body is this gross body, and the other body is subtle body, made of mind, intelligence, and ego. So foolish person, they do not see the subtle body, but the subtle body is there. Everyone will accept. I am working with my mind, intelligence and ego. Everyone knows. So although we cannot see the subtle body, it is there. So death means this gross body, this overcoat is left, and I am carried away by the subtle body, and I enter into another overcoat, or gross body. So practically this is called death. Because we have no vision of the subtle body, how the soul is being transferred or transmigrating from one gross body to another gross body, keeping the subtle body intact. And the subtle body is given up when one is liberated. And at that time he goes, when he is liberated, freed from this subtle body also, at that time he is promoted to the spiritual kingdom in spiritual body. Therefore while living in this gross body, we have to educate our subtle body in such a way that it becomes spiritualized completely.

The subtle body is mind, intelligence and ego. So if we think of Krsna in the mind, always, and if we work intelligently for Krsna, that is mind and intelligence. And if we change our false ego, ego means, "I am." So I am at the present moment thinking, "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am white," "I am black," like that. "I am human being," "I am animal," "I am cat or dog," so many things, "I am." This "I am" has to be changed. I am eternal servant of Krsna. In this way, if you educate or transfer the activities of the subtle body, mind, intelligence, and ego, then, at the time of death, you give up this subtle body, material subtle body, mind, intelligence, and ego, and by your spiritual body you go back to home, back to Godhead. This is called Krsna consciousness movement. Gross body, automatically we give up. Now, we should practice to give up the subtle body. To give up this subtle body, one has to develop love for God, prema. And the process is, how to give up the subtle body.
So, Ultimate transmigration means go back to home, back to Godhead. That should be the actual aim of life. That is first class intelligent. But they do not know. Therefore we are trying to render our humble service to the human society, to give this information, that "You are trying for so many things for becoming happy, but instead of being happy, you are becoming hippie. So please take this Krsna consciousness and actually you will be happy."
- Srila Prabhupada

Result of following Religion

Real dharma, real religion is to become servant of God, or to render service to God. That is real religion. But we have manufactured so many religions. Different societies, different circumstances, different country. Therefore it is advised herewith that you may execute any kind of religious faith or [break] ...principle, but the result should be [break] ...perfect. You can say, "I am very perfectly executing the ritualistic ceremonies, and the tenets described in my scripture, Bible or Veda or Koran." That's very good. But what is the result? The result is that you must develop or increase your tendency to hear about God. But if your ultimate truth is impersonal. Mostly they consider God has no form. Then if God has no form then what he'll hear about Him. Simply formless, formless, formless. How can you, how long you can go thinking like this, "God is formless"? If God is formless, then your idea of hearing about Him is finished, because formless, there is nothing, activities.

But actually God is not formless. Several times I have explained. God has got His form. He is person. He has got His activities. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, janma karma, ajo 'pi sann avyayatma bhutanam isvaro 'pi san. Although He is aja, nobody has to die, aja. Aja means birth. Nobody takes birth. Either the living entity or God, na jayate na mriyate. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that the living entities, we are all living entities, na jayate, they do not take birth, neither they do die. Na jayate na mriyate va kadacit, at any time. Then what is this death and birth? The death and birth is simply change of the body. The subtle body and the gross body.
- Srila Prabhupada

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Dependent on the Mercy of Krishna

In the material world, to be dependent on the mercy of someone else is the utmost sign of misfortune, but in the case of our transcendental relation with the Lord, it is the most fortunate case when we can live completely dependent on Him. The material disease is due to thinking of becoming independent of everything. But the cruel material nature does not allow us to become independent. The false attempt to become independent of the stringent laws of nature is known as material advancement of experimental knowledge. The whole material world is moving on this false attempt of becoming independent of the laws of nature. Beginning from Rāvaṇa, who wanted to prepare a direct staircase to the planets of heaven, down to the present age, they are trying to overcome the laws of nature. They are trying now to approach distant planetary systems by electronic mechanical power. But the highest goal of human civilization is to work hard under the guidance of the Lord and become completely dependent on Him. The highest achievement of perfect civilization is to work with valor but at the same time depend completely on the Lord. The Pāṇḍavas were the ideal executors of this standard of civilization. Undoubtedly they were completely dependent on the good will of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, but they were not idle parasites of the Lord. They were all highly qualified both by personal character and by physical activities. Still they always looked for the mercy of the Lord because they knew that every living being is dependent by constitutional position. The perfection of life is, therefore, to become dependent on the will of the Lord, instead of becoming falsely independent in the material world. Those who try to become falsely independent of the Lord are called anātha, or without any guardian, whereas those who are completely dependent on the will of the Lord are called sanātha, or those having someone to protect them. Therefore we must try to be sanātha so that we can always be protected from the unfavorable condition of material existence. By the deluding power of the external material nature we forget that the material condition of life is the most undesirable perplexity. The Bhagavad-gītā therefore directs us (7.19) that after many, many births one fortunate person becomes aware of the fact that Vāsudeva is all in all and that the best way of leading one's life is to surrender unto Him completely. That is the sign of a mahātmā. All the members of the Pāṇḍava family were mahātmās in household life. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was the head of these mahātmās, and Queen Kuntīdevī was the mother. The lessons of the Bhagavad-gītā and all the Purāṇas, specifically the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, are therefore inevitably connected with the history of the Pāṇḍava mahātmās. For them, separation from the Lord was just like the separation of a fish from water. Śrīmatī Kuntīdevī, therefore, felt such separation like a thunderbolt, and the whole prayer of the Queen is to try to persuade the Lord to stay with them. After the Battle of Kurukṣetra, although the inimical kings were killed, their sons and grandsons were still there to deal with the Pāṇḍavas. It is not only the Pāṇḍavas who were put into the condition of enmity, but all of us are always in such a condition, and the best way of living is to become completely dependent on the will of the Lord and thereby overcome all difficulties of material existence.