Everything you need to become Krishna conscious at home

A Treasury of Timeless Wisdom

wp-content/uploads/2012/12/122_1977_12-0304-1-224x300.jpg

Traditional Indian Tapestry

Commentary
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
on the Vedic Literature of Ancient India.

On matter and spirit…

Everything that exists is a product of matter and spirit. Spirit is the basic field of creation, and matter is created by spirit.

On the nature of the soul …

The individual particle of spirit soul is a spiritual atom smaller than the material atoms, and such atoms are innumerable. This very small spiritual spark is the basic principle of the material body, and the influence of such a spiritual spark is spread all over the body as the influence of the active principle of some medicine spreads throughout the body. This current of the spirit soul is felt all over the body as consciousness, and that is the proof of the presence of the soul.

On matter, spirit, and transmigration of the soul…

There is no endurance of the changing body. That the body is changing every moment by the actions and reactions of the different cells is admitted by modern medical science; and thus growth and old age are taking place in the body. But the spirit soul exists permanently, remaining the same despite all changes of the body and the mind. That is the difference between matter and spirit.

This individual soul finally leaves the body at death and transmigrates to another body… The living being is eternal by nature, but due to his bondage in the material existence he has to change his body from one to another. This process is called transmigration of the soul.

On self-realization…

The basic principle of self-realization is knowledge that the living entity is not this material body but that he is different from it and that his happiness is in eternal life, bliss, and knowledge.

On regaining our spiritual identity …

One should always remember that as long as he has a material body, he must face the miseries of repeated birth, death, old age, and disease. There is no use in making plans to get rid of these miseries of the material body. The best thing is to find out the means by which one may regain his spiritual identity.

On the soul’s need for freedom …

The self [soul] is beyond the gross body and subtle mind. He is the potent active principle of the body and mind. Without knowing the need of the dormant soul, one cannot be happy simply with emolument of the body and mind. The body and the mind are but superfluous outer coverings of the spirit soul. The spirit soul’s needs must be fulfilled. Simply by cleansing the cage of the bird, one does not satisfy the bird. One must actually know the needs of the bird himself.

The need of the spirit soul is that he wants to get out of the limited sphere of material bondage and fulfill his desire for complete freedom. He wants to get out of the covered walls of the greater universe. He wants to see the free light and the spirit. That complete freedom is achieved when he meets the complete spirit, the Personality of Godhead. …The hankering soul must be satisfied by the perfect scientific process of perfect devotional service.

On diseased life vs. healthy life …

Material existence of the living being is a diseased condition of actual life. Actual life is spiritual existence, or brahma-bhuta existence, where life is eternal, blissful, and full of knowledge. Material existence is temporary, illusory, and full of miseries. There is no happiness at all. There is just the futile attempt to get rid of the miseries, and temporary cessation of misery is falsely called happiness. Therefore, the path of progressive material enjoyment, which is temporary, miserable, and illusory, is inferior. But devotional service of the Supreme Lord, which leads one to eternal, blissful, and all-cognizant life, is called the superior quality of occupation.

On breaking the chains of karma…

Since time immemorial each living entity has accumulated the various reactions of his good and bad work. As such, he is continuously ignorant of his real constitutional position. One’s ignorance can be removed by the instruction of the Bhagavad-gita, which teaches one to surrender unto Lord Sri Krishna in all respects and become liberated from the chained victimization of action, birth after birth.

On the purpose of human life …

Human life is especially meant for self-realization. That is to say, man should come to know what he is, what the world is, and what the Supreme Truth is.

On overcoming ignorance and attaining peace …

Ignorance is the cause of our bondage, and knowledge is the cause of our liberation. This knowledge is the mature fruit of devotional service, and when one is situated in transcendental knowledge, he need not search for peace elsewhere, for he enjoys peace within himself.

On the need for a bona fide spiritual master. .

The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. No one can be a bona fide spiritual master without following this principle of disciplic succession, The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to the disciple… Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. [And] inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding…

The result of receiving knowledge from a self-realized soul, or one who knows things as they are, is learning that all living beings are parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna… The living entities, as separate parts and parcels of the Supreme, have a purpose to fulfill. Having forgotten that purpose since time immemorial they are situated in different bodies as men, animals, demigods, etc. Such bodily differences arise from forgetfulness of the transcendental service of the Lord. But when one is engaged in transcendental service through Krishna consciousness, one becomes at once liberated from this illusion.

On the futility of material life—and the way out…

Owing to ignorance, one does not know that this material world is a miserable place where there are dangers at every step. Out of ignorance only, less intelligent persons try to adjust to the situation by fruitive activities, thinking that resultant actions will make them happy. They do not know that no kind of material body anywhere within the universe can give life without miseries. The miseries of life—namely birth, death, old age, and diseases—are present everywhere within the material world. But one who understands his real constitutional position as the eternal servitor of the Lord, and thus knows the position of the Personality of Godhead, engages himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Consequently, he becomes qualified to enter into the Vaikuntha planets, where there is neither material, miserable life, nor the influence of time and death.

On getting out of the material entanglement—permanently …

Srila Prabhupada preacing in Self-Realization 1977.

“Out of madness people frankly say that there is no need for self-realization, because they do not realize that this brief life is but a moment on our great journey toward self-realization.”

The living being is in the state of forgetfulness of his relationship with God due to his being overly attracted to material sense gratification from time immemorial. His struggle for existence in the material world is perpetual, and it is not possible for him to get out of it by making plans. If he at all wants to conquer this perpetual struggle for existence, he must reestablish his eternal relation with God. And one who wants to adopt such remedial measures must take shelter of literature such as the Vedas and the Puranas… Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless Purana, and it is especially meant for those who are desirous to get out of the material entanglement permanently.

On the power of God’s name …

The name of Krishna is as powerful as Lord Krishna Himself. There is no difference at all. Anyone, therefore, can take advantage of the holy names of Lord Sri Krishna even in the midst of greatest dangers. The transcendental name of Krishna, even though uttered unconsciously or by force of circumstances, can help one attain freedom from the hurdle of birth and death.

On making our life complete …

The completeness of human life can be realized only when the human form of life is engaged in the service of the complete whole… Krishna is the complete whole, and everything else is his part and parcel. The relation is one of the servant and the served, and it is transcendental and is completely distinguished from our experience in material existence. This relation of servant and the served is the most congenial form of intimacy. One can realize it as devotional service progresses. Everyone should engage himself in that transcendental loving service of the Lord, even in the present conditional state of material existence. That will gradually give one the clue to actual life and please him to complete satisfaction.

On faith and knowledge …

Men without faith in God and His revealed word find no good in this world, nor in the next. For them there is no happiness whatsoever. One should therefore follow the principles of revealed scriptures with faith and thereby be raised to the platform of knowledge. Only this knowledge will help one become promoted to the transcendental platform of spiritual understanding.

On the state of the world…

In this age, men are not only victims of different political creeds and parties, but also of many different types of sense-gratificatory diversions, namely cinemas, sports, gambling, clubs, mundane libraries, bad associations, smoking, drinking, cheating, pilfering, bickerings, and so on. Their minds are always disturbed and full of anxieties due to so many different engagements. In this age, many unscrupulous men manufacture their own religious faiths, which are not based on any revealed scriptures, and very often people who are addicted to sense gratification are attracted by such institutions. Consequently, in the name of religion so many sinful acts are being carried on, and the people in general have neither peace of mind nor health of body.

On waking up to our relationship with the Supreme…

By pouring water on the root of a tree, all the parts of the tree are automatically nourished. Only those branches and leaves which are detached cannot be so satisfied. Detached branches and leaves dry up gradually, despite all watering attempts. Similarly, human society, when it is detached from the Personality of Godhead like detached branches and leaves, is not capable of being improved, and one attempting to do so is simply wasting his energy and resources.

The modern materialistic society is detached from its relation with the Supreme Lord. And all its plans which are being made by atheistic leaders are sure to be baffled in every step. Yet they do not wake up to this. In this age, the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord is the prescribed method for waking up.

On spiritual education …

Modern civilization is a patchwork of activities meant to cover the perpetual miseries of material existence. Such activities are targeted toward sense gratification, but above the senses there is the mind, and above the mind there is the intelligence, and above the intelligence there is the soul. Therefore, the aim of education should be self-realization, realization of the spiritual values of the soul.

On the dangerous age we live in …

The age of Kali is very dangerous for the human being. Human life is simply meant for self-realization, but due to this dangerous age, men have completely forgotten the aim of life… Out of madness they frankly say that there is no need for self-realization because they do not realize that this brief life is but a moment on our great journey toward self-realization. The whole system of education is geared toward sense gratification, and if a learned man thinks it over, he sees that the children of this age are being intentionally sent to the slaughterhouses of so-called education.

On the responsibility of the world’s leaders…

Human life is meant for cultivation of spiritual knowledge, in eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the executive heads of all states and all planets are obliged to impart this lesson to the citizens by education, culture, and devotion. In other words, the executive heads of all states are intended to spread the science of Krishna consciousness so that the people may take advantage of this great science and pursue a successful path, utilizing the opportunity of the human form of life.

On a simple way to bring about world peace and friendship …

“Who is there, desiring deliverance from the vices of the Age of Kali [the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy], who is not willing to hear the glories of the Lord?” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.16)

The leaders of the people are very much anxious to live in peace and friendship, but they have no information of the simple method of hearing the glories of the Lord. On the contrary, such leaders are opposed to the propagation of the glories of the Lord. In the name of a secular state, such leaders are enacting various plans every year. But by the insurmountable intricacies of the material nature of the Lord, all these plans for progress are being constantly frustrated. They have no eyes to see that their attempts at peace and friendship are failing. But here is the hint to get over the hurdle. If we want actual peace, we must open the road to understand the Supreme Lord Krishna and glorify Him for His virtuous activities as they are depicted in the pages of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

On finding the center of enjoyment …

Here in the material world there is always a clash between different individual beings, because here the center of enjoyment is missed. The center of enjoyment is the Supreme Lord, who is the center of the sublime and spiritual rasa dance. We are all meant for joining him, for enjoying life with one transcendental interest and without any clash. That is the high platform of spiritual interest, and as soon as such a perfect form of oneness is realized, there can be no question of illusion or lamentation.

On perfecting the human condition…

The Supreme Personality of Godhead expanded himself into many for His ever-increasing spiritual bliss, and the living entities are parts and parcels of this spiritual bliss. They also have partial independence, but by misuse of their independence, when the service attitude is transformed into the propensity for sense enjoyment, they come under the sway of lust…

Lust is only the perverted reflection of the love of God which is natural for every living entity. But if one is educated in Krishna consciousness from the very beginning, that natural love of God cannot deteriorate into lust. When love of God deteriorates into lust, it is very difficult to return to the normal condition. Nonetheless, Krishna consciousness is so powerful that even a late beginner can become a lover of God by following the regulative principles of devotional service.

So, from any stage of life, or from the time of understanding its urgency, one can begin regulating the senses in Krishna consciousness, devotional service of the Lord, and turn the lust into love of Godhead—the highest perfectional stage of human life.

On attaining universal love …

Srila Prabhupada Preaches on Universal Love

“At the present moment the human society teaches one to love his country or family or his personal self, but there is no information where to repose the loving propensity so that everyone can become happy.”

The basic principle of the living condition is that we have a general propensity to love someone. No one can live without loving someone else. This propensity is present in every living being. Even an animal like a tiger has this loving propensity, at least in a dormant stage, and it is certainly present in the human beings. The missing point, however, is where to repose our love so that everyone can become happy.

At the present moment the human society teaches one to love his country or family or his personal self, but there is no information where to repose the loving propensity so that everyone can become happy. That missing point is Krishna, and the practice of Krishna consciousness teaches us how to stimulate our original love for Krishna and how to be situated in that position where we can enjoy our blissful life.

In the primary stage a child loves his parents, then his brothers and sisters, and as he daily grows up he begins to love his family, society, community, country, nation, or even the whole human society. But the loving propensity is not satisfied even by loving all human society; that loving propensity remains imperfectly fulfilled until we know who is the Supreme Beloved. Our love can be fully satisfied only when it is reposed in Krishna. This theme is the sum and substance of Krishna consciousness, which teaches us how to love Krishna in five different transcendental mellows.

Our loving propensity expands just as a vibration of light or air expands, but we do not know where it ends. Krishna consciousness is the science of loving everyone of the living entities perfectly by the easy method of loving Krishna. We have failed to create peace and harmony in human society, even by such great attempts as the United Nations, because we do not know the right method. The method is very simple, but one has to understand it with a cool head. Krishna consciousness teaches all men how to perform the simple and natural method of loving Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If we learn how to love Krishna, then it is very easy to immediately and simultaneously love every living being.

It is like pouring water on the root of a tree or supplying food to one’s stomach. The method of pouring water on the root of a tree or supplying foodstuffs to the stomach is universally scientific and practical, as every one of us has experienced. Everyone knows well that when we eat something, or in other words when we put foodstuffs in the stomach, the energy created by such action is immediately distributed throughout the whole body. Similarly, when we pour water on the root, the energy thus created is immediately distributed throughout the entirety of even the largest tree. It is not possible to water the tree part by part, nor is it possible to feed the various parts of the body separately. Krishna consciousness will teach us how to turn the one switch that will immediately brighten everything, everywhere. One who does not know this method is missing the point of life.

Series Navigation<< Back To Godhead March 1977 PDF Download<< The Best of Both Worlds…Why and How to Meditate — “Coming Home” >>Every Town and Village: India’s Nightingale Sings for Krishna >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *