Notes transcribed from a lecture given Wednesday, December 7, 1966.
“On The Teachings of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu”
If you want Lord Krishna, then there is no other way except by devotional service. As for yoga, ritualistic performances, and the study of Vedic or other scriptural literature-all these forms are recommended to help us further ourselves. But, if you want to be in touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you have to engage in devotional service.
Lord Chaitanya gives evidence of this from the Vedic literature. There is a verse in this connection in Srimad Bhagavatam. In it, Lord Krishna is instructing Uddhava. Uddhava was a great devotee—even greater than Arjuna. (There are three classes of devotees. The first class devotees are represented by the Gopis, the dancers of Vrindavan. Uddhava was next, and Arjuna represents the third.) Uddhava was instructed just as Arjuna was. In Srimad Bhagavatam, Krishna says that God is one, and that to act in devotional service is also one. Now, your body has nine holes or openings; two ears, two eyes, the mouth, the nose and the genitals. If you want to supply foodstuff to the body, there is only one way—through the mouth. You can’t supply food through the genitals. Similarly, if you want God, there is one way, bhakti. The foolish say that any path we accept will bring us to God. They are misguiding you. You can’t reach God by any other means than by devotion.
Impersonal, localized and universal—these are all forms of realization, but they are not perfect. If you want to know perfection, as its existence is stated in all Vedic literature, then read Lord Chaitanya who points out that, in the Srimad Bhagavatam, the way is called bhakti. You can never know the Lord fully, but you can know Him partially. The highest peak of human perfection can be reached by bhakti.
This process of devotional service is very dear to one who is acting in transcendental service. It is not simple. Belief in God is not sufficient. The ultimate goal is to attain love of God. To believe in God is not the end. You should further develop yourself to become God’s order-supplier—that is the way to perfection. Generally, people keep God as their order-supplier, and they ask and thank God for daily bread. The ultimate devotion, however, is rendered when we supply for God. Yasoda was so advanced that Krishna as a child was dependent on her. The mother’s system was, “If you become naughty, I shall punish you.” The Lord says that when His devotee makes Him dependent on him, then He is pleased. The devotee wants to serve God—that is why God depends upon him. The mother is safe in keeping the child in perfect order. We must see that He is always in order. Thus, although nobody can conquer Him, His devotee can conquer Him by pure love. Such is the process of devotional service.
Lord Chaitanya confirms that if you want to know Krishna, then devotional service is the only way. Devotional service is transcendental. While we are in the material world, we have this material body. So here this practice is apprenticeship. Of course, the same situations will be there in the spiritual kingdom. Though this is really only practice, even in practice we will feel the transcendental flavor. In this apprenticeship, if one follows the proper course, what is the result? Just as when a poor man gets sufficient money, all his sufferings are gone at once and as soon as the sun is in the sky, the darkness immediately goes away, similarly, as soon as get a taste of devotional service, our whole life becomes happy at once.
A person in Krishna Consciousness can’t be distressed by material activities. By execution of devotional service, you devote your activities to God, and thus develop your love of God. As soon as you get a taste for Krishna, you lose your taste for material life. As soon as you develop your love for Krishna, all this is gone. As long as you have a tinge of taste for the material world, you have to undergo transmigration from one body to another. The material body is meant for miseries-the threefold material miseries, and the specific miseries of birth, death, disease and old age. Krishna says that love for God begins after many births, when one surrenders unto Krishna. Therefore, we have a great opportunity before us, and we must get ourselves out of material contamination now. With this belief and determination you will make advancement. As you are determined, your taste for association with devotees will develop.
Then you have to execute devotional service according to the prescription of Lord Chaitanya. As soon as your devotional service and prescribed duties are performed, you become free from all material activities. You first have the taste, then you gradually develop and become fully in trance. You can’t attain love of God immediately. Nevertheless, the love of God is there within you if you become submissive by hearing and if you practice chanting the tongue should be engaged in glorifying God and in eating Krishna prasadam. As soon as you confirm your submission by engaging the tongue, your service will actually start. Taste Krishna prasadam, speak of Krishna, and chant for Krishna. As you engage yourself, God will reveal Himself to you. You have to please Him by attaining the devotional service attitude. If you execute devotional service, you will develop love. As you develop love for Krishna, you are freed from material contamination. As you develop your love of devotion, you develop your freedom. One should not think, “Now I am happy,” or, “I have become liberated.” These are the by-products. Becoming happy is not the end. The ultimate goal is to be absorbed in love of God in which you are crying in torment because of separation from Him. That means reaching perfection. If you love someone and they die, you will see everything barren and naked. But when you give your attachment to Krishna, that love will never be finished. That is the perfection of life. That is the love of Krishna.