By Tripurari dasa
Everyone appreciates some aspect of God’s innumerable manifestations. As stated in the Vedanta-sutra, janmady asya yatah: everything comes from the Supreme Lord. In both the spiritual and material worlds, Lord Krishna is providing countless varieties of situations for all living beings, who are parts of Him. In the material world, although we cannot perceive His hand in everything, He directs the wanderings of all living entities (bhramayan sarva-bhutani). And in the spiritual world, where He is always visible, He arranges to fulfill the desires of His pure devotees. Nothing exists that the Lord has not sanctioned; in fact, not a blade of grass moves outside the will of God.
God has provided this material world to allow us to try to be happy without Him, and to teach us that our attempts to do so will always be fruitless. So we cannot hold God responsible for our sufferings, for we have chosen them ourselves. By our material desires, manifested in our activity, we continuously implicate ourselves in a cycle of birth and death. Struggling in this world for survival, forgetful of our real nature, we appreciate but little of what the Lord has to offer.
The Supreme Lord is the reservoir of pleasure, security and knowledge. Yes, knowledge, too, comes from God. God has all knowledge. In Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says, “From Me come knowledge, remembrance and forgetfulness.” We are suffering, but only because of ignorance. What is that ignorance? It is the bodily concept of life. When we forget our true spiritual nature, we try hard to satisfy our bodily senses. “I am this body,” we think, “and everything related to this body is mine.” This is the primary dictation of the false ego. We are born into this misconception, and our false ego is enhanced when we are misinformed about our ultimate benefit by other conditioned souls, who are also misinformed but who pose themselves as authorities. Thus we try to be satisfied and enjoy life without really understanding what life has to offer. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, Krishna is the life of all that lives. Krishna has the entire spiritual world to offer everyone-we simply must choose to associate with the Lord directly, in harmony, rather than in opposition to His will.
Krishna gives knowledge for the conditioned souls through the Vedic literatures, which contain knowledge of both the spiritual and material worlds. This knowledge can afford us full appreciation of life, and this alone can satisfy us. It gives us a taste of the full nectar for which we are always anxious. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has told us, in His Siksastaka, or eight verses of instruction, that this taste is found in the sankirtana movement, the Hare Krishna movement, which is the life of all transcendental knowledge. Lord Krishna says in the Gita “There is nothing as sublime as transcendental knowledge.” And the sankirtana movement is both the realization and the distribution of such transcendental knowledge.
If we are at all looking to be happy by understanding who we are, we can begin by appreciating the happiness we can find in the transcendental message spoken by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad-gita. Handed down to us as it is, Bhagavad-gita is not merely a book. To the contrary, it is the most secret of all secrets, the king of knowledge. It is a manifestation of the Lord’s opulence of knowledge.
Yet if we choose to go further, we can appreciate the most wonderful aspect of the Lord—His mercy. By His mercy, He sends His devotees from door to door, from person to person, to distribute knowledge of Him. Such devotees have no other thought than how to deliver the fallen souls back to Godhead, how to bring them in direct touch with their only real friend, Lord Caitanya. We all belong to Lord Caitanya. Just see His mercy as He yanks us out of the darkness of maya (illusion) to join Him eternally in His pastime of sankirtana. “Say, stop a second—we want to give you one of these books. They let us see how to enjoy life in a more real way.” This simple request by a Krishna conscious devotee is actually the request of Lord Caitanya. Expressing the transcendental desire of Lord Caitanya, we ask you to give a donation for the costs of printing, read one of the books of the Krishna consciousness movement, and then pass it on to a friend.
Tripurari dasa, a traveling preacher, is so devoted to distributing Krishna conscious literature that Srila Prabhupada has called him “the incarnation of book distribution.”