Devotional Service: Elevation Over Illusion


by Bhagavan dasa Adhikari (ISKCON-Detroit)

This Krsna consciousness movement is meant to bring about the purification of human consciousness. The human form of life is a rare opportunity which we have now attained out of so many varieties of life. Therefore the opportunity afforded by this human form must be cultured and protected like a rare gem. If it is not, we will lose it by force of the laws of nature and again be subject to birth and death, perhaps in some other species of life. This is confirmed by Lord Sri Krsna in Bhagavad-gita.

As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones. (Bg. 2.22)

The culturing process is like this. All of us, when we are born, are born with impure consciousness. That is to say, we have no understanding of who we are. The modern civilization of today adds a great boost to this ignorance by offering people material knowledge (avidya) and leaving them devoid of the spiritual education needed for the highest advancement of human consciousness. The outcome is that most people go through their lives entirely ignorant of who they are. They are content to think in terms of temporary bodily designations—”I am a parent,” “I am a child,” “I am a teacher,” “I am a well-off or not so well-off businessman,” “I am a hippie,” etc. These are temporary identities because the pure living entity, the eternal spirit soul residing within the bodily shell, is devoid of such labels. In other words these are all relative truths depending on conditions of time and space which, if varied, would produce for us new designations. For instance, because one happens to be born into a Jewish or Christian family he is called a Jew or a Christian, but if this person were separated from his parents and adopted by others he might be called something else. This is material relativity, and thinking in these terms binds the living entity to the relative cycle of birth and death.

In Krsna consciousness we are being taught by our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, not to think along these relative, temporary lines but to seek out the Absolute Truth, that truth which does not depend upon any material consideration. This is called self-realization—to realize that which is our real nature. Those people who engage their consciousness in this way have begun to cultivate the resources of human consciousness.

In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear. (Bg. 2.40)

All of us have had countless births in the past, and if we are not careful we will have countless births in the future. Therefore, the goal is to break free from the miseries of birth and death, which are concomitant factors of material life, by regaining our eternal spiritual status as servants of the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. That is the perfection of human life. Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya has instructed that this attitude of rendering loving service to the Lord is the real eternal activity of the living entity. Through this process of devotional service one transcends the material platform of relative truth and becomes situated in absolute knowledge. Just as academic knowledge qualifies a person to attain a position in society, so when one understands the Absolute Truth, he becomes qualified to enter Krsna’s society, the spiritual kingdom which lies beyond the realm of the material universes.

True knowledge means to realize who we are in relation to Krsna. We must know our eternal identity; academic qualifications will not be helpful.

And when you have thus learned the truth, you will know that all living beings are My parts and parcels—and they are in Me and are Mine. (Bg. 4.35)

Therefore the cultivation of human life is to engage in all activities with the consciousness that “I am Krsna’s eternal servant.” Just as the parts of the body serve the stomach and thus become nourished and healthy, so, since we are parts and parcels of the transcendental body of Krsna, our eternal function is to render pleasing devotional service to Him and also to those who are His unalloyed, surrendered devotees. Krsna is so sublime that He actually gets more pleasure when He sees His pure devotees, the bona fide spiritual masters, being served, than when someone tries to approach Him directly. In the Adi Purana this is stated by Lord Krsna to Arjuna: “My dear Partha, one who claims to be My devotee is not so. Only a person who claims to be the devotee of My devotee is actually My devotee.” Therefore, our eternal position is one of servitorship. In the material world everyone serves only in order to get some temporary fruits which are all taken away at the time of death, but for those who accept their spiritual identity as servants of the Lord and His pure devotees, Lord Krsna says:

That is the way of the spiritual and godly life, after attaining which a man is not bewildered. Being so situated, even at the hour of death, one can enter into the kingdom of God. (Bg. 2.72)

To end the problems of material life does not mean to try to make this world an eternal paradise, but to reinstate ourselves in devotional service to the Lord, instead of devotional service to this material nature. This can be accomplished by anyone through the simple method of chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The chanting is a prayer to the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna to engage us in His transcendental loving service. We say loving service because Krsna is the perfect master who reciprocates with His servants by taking away all inauspicious things from the mind.

This movement is not in conflict with any religious belief. Our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, is simply teaching us how to immerse ourselves in God consciousness, Krsna consciousness, twenty-four hours a day, not just to serve God once a week or to think, “Oh yes, God exists.” Srila Prabhupada is teaching us to meditate on Krsna’s name, form, pastimes and devotees, even in the sleeping state. That is the process of bhakti-yoga or Krsna consciousness, the sublime method for cultivating real human consciousness.

Everyone desires to enjoy a complete life of happiness, but most people are misled in this quest by thinking that the body is the target for satisfaction. Actually, however, the body by itself has no qualification to satisfy our desires, but is instead a collapsible trap that ultimately ends in death. The original desire for a joyful life does not come from the body but from the spirit soul, the eternal living entity within the body. Having contacted this material body, we have made a false association which is manifested in the belief that we are the lump of flesh that we see in the mirror. The materialist feels that he can get satisfaction by gratifying the different urges which come from his senses. The intelligent man, however, soon realizes that bodily sense desires are often misleading. The young child will say, “Oh, that flickering substance looks very nice. I think I shall enjoy it.” But upon placing his hand in the fire he quickly learns that his senses are not to be trusted. In our conditioned state of existence, we think that our only satisfaction lies on the material platform, and we are constantly fooled in this way. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada states in Sri Isopanisad: “Foolish human beings who are grossly absorbed in the culture of avidya (ignorant material activities) do not mind this cruel process, but being enamored of the beauty of the illusory energy, they do the same things over repeatedly, not learning any lesson from the law of nature.”

Material Suffering

The conditioned living entity constantly places himself in the fire of material sense gratification. This means that everyone who is thinking, “I am this body,” is burning with the fire of passion and lust to control, own and manipulate this dull material world. Such illusioned souls try frantically to find some love in this temporary form, and the ultimate end is destruction. The Supreme Personality of Godhead states that they certainly lead a life of sin, “for a person delighting only in the senses lives in vain.” (Bg. 3.16) In his purports to Srimad-Bhagavatam Srila Prabhupada explains this further:

Excessive eating, excessive sense gratification, artificial standards of living, and depending too much on others’ mercy kill the very vitality of human energy, and thus man’s duration of life is shortened. (Bhag. 1.1.10, purport)

Everyone, no matter what his position in life—whether he be a successful businessman, president, dictator, or a low-grade drunk on the street—suffers in material life. Everyone is forced by the laws of nature to accept death, everyone is forced to accept disease, and everyone is forced to accept old age and birth. This is the real problem of existence. It is not enough to simply think, “How much can I make today at my job? How much sex life can I enjoy? How much food do I need?”

How is it that everyone desires an eternal life of happiness but that the body does not at all permit this? It is because bodily existence is not our real existence. The problem is that the conditioned living entity tries to make the body something which it is not. This body is not the reservoir of all pleasure. When one desires water he must go to a source where there is sufficient water stored up, but in the illusioned state of existence, when one desires pleasure he runs to bodily sense gratification and thus dies of spiritual thirst. An intelligent person who wants the real nectar of existence does not turn to bodily sense pleasure because the body is the reservoir of our misery. The body is simply made of dull, unconscious elements, which are no different from the elements that make up the wood on the floor or the elements that are in dirt. Certainly no one would jump on the floor and embrace it and say, “Oh, I love you.” But we try to embrace this body, saying, “Oh, I love you,” when that is not what we really desire to contact. Even science tells us that the body, if taken apart and divided into its main constituents, would be worth only $1.75 on the market. We cannot carry on a conversation with that little bottle of elements. In other words, we are not actually attracted to the material shell of the body but to the life force within the body which makes the entire machinery active. If this is not so, then why is no one attracted to a corpse?

The cause of all disturbance and havoc in the world is this false identification with the body. This misidentification can be immediate, in which case the conditioned soul thinks, “I am this form of flesh and bones,” or it can be extended, in which case one thinks, “I am this country,” “I am this race,” “I am this husband-wife relationship,” “I am this business firm,” etc. All this is false identification. Actually we are none of these things. To say that we are Americans or Indians is false. We are pure spirit souls, parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, and our true identity, our true existence, is that we are His eternal servitors. One’s identity in material life is designated by the service that one renders, but everyone’s real service is simply to surrender everything to the Supreme Lord, and when we exist in that state of consciousness, Krsna consciousness, we become fully satisfied.

O best of the Kuru dynasty, without sacrifice one can never live happily on this planet or in this life. What then of the next? (Bg. 4.31)

It makes no difference what one’s material designations are—the point is that with one’s working energy one should please the Supreme Lord. When man’s interest is in temporary bodily designations, how can he expect to have a united cooperative planet? We are busy trying to think of ways to maintain and increase the false prestige of bodily labels while with equal skill we are forgetting where everyone’s personality came from to begin with.

It is important for those who have taken the human form of life to realize that all living entities have the absolute identity of being eternal servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. To serve the Lord means to serve the Lord’s unalloyed devotees. That is the real method of spiritual life. In our wretched conditioned state, how can we know for sure what Krsna desires from us unless we go to one who knows perfectly well what will please the Lord? So we should scrutinizingly search out one who has no other business than to please the Personality of Godhead. Krsna Himself states this in Bhagavad-gita:

Just try to learn the truth by approaching the spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth. (Bg. 4.34)

When one finds such a pure devotee, all material opulences, fame, possessions, etc., become insignificant compared to a moment’s association with him. The pure devotee of the Lord has the power to lift one to the platform of transcendental loving service to the Lord and thereby alleviate the fears, anxieties and burdens of illusory material existence. Just as the sun draws moisture from a contaminated place and purifies it, so the pure devotee purifies our material consciousness by showing us how to serve Krsna and thereby perfect our lives. The power of this association is confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam by the sages of Naimisaranya:

O Suta Gosvami, the great sages who have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord can at once sanctify others who may come in contact with them, while the water of the Ganges can do so only after prolonged use. (Bhag. 1.1.15)

If we desire to attain this purified consciousness, we must understand our spiritual nature. This is not possible if we associate with people who are simply interested in sense gratification. If we always associate with people who are thinking, “I am this body, and my main business of life is sense gratification,” then we will also come to think in the same way: “I am this body, and my main occupation is sense gratification. I have nothing to do in this life but enjoy myself.” Association is so strong in affecting one’s consciousness that even if one does not engage in the exact activities that someone else does, just by associating with him one acquires his mode of consciousness. For example, one may know people who try to elevate their consciousness through chemicals. He himself may not use them, but if he has close association with people who do, then it is certain that his consciousness will be affected and that he will begin to think and act like them. The idea, then, is to always remain in a purified state of consciousness through close spiritual association. That very association has been made easily accessible in this age through the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. These holy names of the Lord have been praised by Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu as follows:

O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction upon the living beings, and therefore You have hundreds and millions of names like Krsna, Govinda, etc. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies, and there are no hard and fast rules for chanting these holy names. O my Lord, You have so kindly made approach to You easy by Your holy name, but unfortunate as I am, I have no attraction for them. (Siksastakam, 1)

Krsna has so mercifully given us His holy name to take shelter of, and when a conditioned soul hears the chanting from the lips of the Lord’s pure devotee he can be inspired to render devotional service to the Lord and thereby free himself from all material misery.

For All Humanity

This vibration is not just meant for boys with shaved heads and girls who wear saris. It is meant for all humanity. Everyone is looking for an object which will make him eternally happy, eternally satisfied. But that object can nowhere be found in the temporary material world. To satisfy ourselves, therefore, we must go beyond the limiting range of material phenomena and try to connect with the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, who is the eternal reservoir of bliss and knowledge. That connection is made by chanting the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna. One must become convinced that there is no happiness anywhere in the material world. A person may say that he is happy, but what has he actually accomplished? We must say, “My dear sir, now you say that you have been very successful in life. You’ve raised a nice family, you’ve had a nice job, you’ve had nice sex life, you’ve had nice food on your plate and a nice roof over your head, and you’ve also done some charity work. Now just tell us who you are and where you are going at the time of your death.” A person in material consciousness cannot answer this question. Because he has not cultured spiritual knowledge, such a person is forced by the laws of nature to fall back into the samsaric existence of birth and death.

The Krsna consciousness movement is meant for culturing spiritual knowledge in order to become qualified for release from the bondage of the material world—to go back to Godhead, back home, back to the spiritual realm. Sri Isopanisad states:

One should know perfectly well about the Personality of Godhead and His transcendental name, as well as the temporary material creation with its temporary demigods, men and animals. When one knows these he surpasses death, and the ephemeral cosmic creation with it, and in the eternal kingdom of God he enjoys his eternal life of bliss and knowledge. (Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 14)

One may be content to think, “What am I going to eat now? Where am I going to sleep? How will I defend myself in case of difficulty?” But what a waste of consciousness that is Our materialistic society has simply increased the quality of our eating, sleeping, mating and defending. Thus it has increased the fire of our material consciousness, which always burns with the desire to enjoy illusion. Nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke. “In this human form of life, the body is not meant for sense gratification like the animals.” All animals also eat, sleep, mate and defend, and to use our human intellect simply to increase the quality of these functions is no credit to human consciousness. Human life is meant for controlling sense gratification in order to move on to spiritual realization.

When there are ample earthly flats to lie on, then what is the necessity of cots and beds? When one can use his own arms, what is the necessity of a pillow? When one can use the palms of his hands, then what is the necessity of varieties of utensils? When there is ample covering, or the skins of trees, then what is the necessity of clothing? (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 2.3.4)

So the more we increase the degree of our sense gratification, the less we advance in spiritual progress. This does not mean that in snowy winter weather one should wear leaves. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, a great Vaisnava acarya, once said, “Man’s glory is in common sense.” So the idea is to keep material sense gratification to the minimum and be satisfied with only the bare necessities for bodily maintenance.

Life’s desires must not be directed towards sense gratification. One should desire only for a healthy life or for self-preservation because the life of a human being is meant for inquiry into the Absolute Truth, and nothing more should be desired from one’s occupational service. (Bhag. 1.2.10)

If one’s mind is surcharged with material considerations regarding eating, sleeping, mating and defending—the animal propensities—then certainly one does not need the human form of life, which is meant for higher level activities. Therefore Krsna says, “sada tad-bhava-bhavitah: A person gets his next life according to whatever he is absorbed in thinking.” This lifetime is meant for qualifying ourselves for our next body. If we simply live like animals in suits and ties, then Krsna, seated as the Supersoul in everyone’s heart, will understand our real desires, and in our next birth we may be born into a lower species of life and there continue our search for happiness in the material world. The worm in the stool is very content. He enjoys himself nicely eating stools. The dogs are happy hoarding their bones. But we are not worms or dogs. We have the human form of life, and we are meant to elevate our consciousness from the bodily concept of life to the ultimate stage of understanding fully the questions of spiritual life: “Who am I? Why am I here? How did I get here? Where am I going at the time of death?”

What Is This Life

We must ask the materialist, “Do you think that life is simply this spark of one hundred years? If it so happens that I get called in the army and killed, or run over by a car, is everything finished? Is that all there is to life—a little bit of sense pleasure, a few showers, a few meals and some nice clothes? Do you think that that’s all there is to life?” No. Life is meant for a complete understanding of our eternal nature and our eternal relationship with God. That is the completeness of human life. His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada states:

The living beings are parts and parcels of the Complete Whole (Krsna), and as long as the parts and parcels are detached from the Complete Whole, the illusory representation of completeness is not enough to bring the desired result. The completeness of human life can only be realized when the human form of life is engaged in the service of the Complete Whole.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is teaching people the spiritual knowledge of man’s eternal relation with the Supreme Lord, and we can see by the results of his Krsna consciousness movement that a divine population is in the making. Otherwise how could his disciples so quickly stop their meat-eating, illicit sex life, gambling and intoxication, and be so content simply chanting the holy name of Krsna and serving His pure devotee?

To care for one’s child by putting nice clothes on his body and giving him nice foodstuffs and a place to sleep is not enough. If that is all that we give our children, they will never know the real aim of life, and they will always be frustrated and misled. We can see this happening in high schools and on college campuses throughout the world. Why are young people rebelling so strongly and turning to violence, intoxicants and uncontrolled sex life? It is due to the frustration caused by material consciousness. Therefore we are taking care in our Krsna conscious society to culture love of God. That should be the only occupation of the parent, teacher, politician or anyone else who is in a position to lead or instruct. The responsible members of society must learn how to see everything in its relation with the Supreme Lord through the medium of devotional service, the eternal function of all spirit souls.

Krsna consciousness is a purifying movement meant to bring forth what is already present within us but is covered over by lust.

As the fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as the embryo is covered by the womb, similarly the living entity is covered by different degrees of lust. (Bg. 3.38)

Just as a mango becomes sweet upon maturing, so by changing from the immature concept of “I am this body” to the clear consciousness of “I am part and parcel of Krsna,” we reconnect ourselves with Krsna and display the all-blissful nature of the spirit soul. The conditioned soul attempts pleasure through bodily connection, but the devotee connects with Krsna through devotion and thus experiences divine pleasure.

One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God. (Bg. 18.55)

Everyone desires to have their bit of paradise on this temporary planet where everything is destined to be destroyed, but it is only when one recognizes a superior eternal nature or existence that he can experience the state of atmarama—self-satisfaction. Of those who have attained this atmarama state by breaking free of material lust, the highest are those who take to the devotional service of the Lord. Such was the case for Sukadeva Gosvami, who from the time of his birth was fixed in impersonal Brahman realization (the realization of knowing oneself to be spiritual energy) and was transcendental to all mundane sex desire and lust. He recounted to Maharaja Pariksit:

O saintly King, I was certainly situated perfectly in transcendence, yet I was still attracted by the delineation of the pastimes of the Lord, who is described by enlightened verses. (Bhag. 1.2.19)

Krsna confirms the potency of this knowledge:

One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna. (Bg. 4.9)

His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada states:

There is no difference between the kingdom of God and the devotional service of the Lord. Since both of them are on the absolute plane, to be engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord is to have attained the spiritual kingdom. (Bg. 2.72, purport)

Therefore the result of this sankirtana movement of chanting Hare Krsna is that people are actually exhibiting symptoms of transcending the shackles of material sense experience and are beginning to manifest love of God. They have smiling faces, they dance and sing in the streets, and sometimes they cry, moved by the beauty of the Lord and His pure devotees. These are bona fide symptoms of spiritual ecstasy, and they are within everyone; it is simply a matter of freeing the spirit soul from the encagement of false ego (bodily sense enjoyment). It is like lifting the shade and allowing the sun to enter.

One cannot have a loving relationship with anything impersonal. It is not possible be happy in this way, any more than it possible to find satisfaction by conversing with the air or the floor, because there is no reciprocation. To love, one must have a personal relationship. To know Krsna, the Absolute Truth, one must reestablish one’s personal relationship with Him. One must be devoid of all self-motivation and sense gratification. That is called devotional service, Krsna consciousness, the purification of human consciousness.

Everything in Krsna consciousness is spiritually pure. Our Krsna conscious marriages are an example. It is not that we get married on the basis of romance, dating, or living with someone for a while. It is a symptom of this degraded age that simply because they have lived together, eaten under the same roof and had sex life together, a boy and girl will consider themselves married. This is the consciousness that attracts people today. Even in so-called “legal” marriages, where is the firm conviction that husband and wife together should seek out the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, with the intention to render transcendental loving service to Him and His pure devotees? What other way is there to create a spiritual society where people are not like cats and dogs? A Krsna conscious marriage is meant to teach people how to love Krsna, how to perfect one’s life by serving Him instead of just taking from Him.

Everything animate and inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one must not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong. (Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 1)

When one recognizes Krsna’s supremacy, he automatically pleases everyone because Krsna is the root of everyone’s existence.

It is just a matter of whether or not one wants to agree. But to whom else can we surrender? Certainly it is not enough to place faith in our families. To depend on family life for pleasure is illusory because family members will all succumb to death at some time, and then all that will remain will be sentimental memories. Krsna conscious family life is not simply to surrender to that limited consciousness—”Oh, what would I do without you?”—but to surrender to Krsna—”Krsna, what would I do without You?” That is purified consciousness. It is not, “My dear baby, how nicely I will enjoy you and pamper you,” but instead, “How I will try to teach you nicely to serve Krsna and His pure devotees.” That is the platform on which there is no material attachment. Pure love is manifested when one soul enlightens another regarding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of all pleasure. When Sukadeva Gosvami was approached by the sages of Naimisaranya for advice for the fallen people of this age, he replied:

O sages, I have been justly questioned by you. Your questions are relevant to the public welfare because they are in relation with Krsna. Only this type of question can please the self completely. (Bhag. 1.2.5)

To say that we are unattached does not mean that we display no love, but that we are free from the entanglement of bodily relationships and are attached instead to relating with all living entities as spirit souls. Knowledge that all men are eternal parts and parcels of the Lord is the only plane on which full satisfaction can be found because the eternal function, the eternal engagement, of the spirit soul is the mood of transcendental loving service to Krsna.

If we do not give people the knowledge that the devotional service of the Lord and His pure devotees is the highest perfectional stage of life, we keep them in bondage to this material existence of eternal birth and death. Because death is against everyone’s personal self-interest, and because material activities simply bring one closer to death, the entire population of the world is frustrated and anxious, having missed the center of enjoyment. Therefore the Krsna consciousness movement is the prime benediction for all humanity because it teaches people how to live together peacefully and develop love of God. Only by developing love of God can we become free from the clutches of birth and death, and therefore nothing else is perfection but pure love of Krsna and His unalloyed devotees.

The devotees of the Krsna consciousness movement are simply trying to spread this sublime message all over the earth. Observe how people everywhere—in America, Japan, Australia, Canada and Europe—are taking to this life style and taking off the shackles of material existence. Not only adults but children also are participating in this movement. Our Krsna conscious children live in our farm commune, New Vrndavana, in the mountains of West Virginia, where they learn this knowledge of Krsna consciousness, and by the time they are twelve they are out preaching to people in a purified state of understanding. They are not attracted to the material world because they see it for what it is. Because they are given a full opportunity to taste the nectarean pleasure of spiritual life in Krsna consciousness, they are free from bondage to material sense gratification. What is there in the material world that can offer eternal pleasure? Nothing! Real pleasure comes from Krsna. That is transcendental knowledge, and that is our birthright as parts and parcels of Krsna.

We must simply accept what is already ours—spiritual bliss in the service of Krsna. By taking to this Krsna conscious way of life one can satisfy all one’s desires. When one becomes Krsna conscious he loses all fears and anxieties and becomes fixed in eternal happiness.

One may aspire to live for hundreds of years if he continuously goes on doing work in that way because that sort of work will not bind him to the law of karma. There is no alternative to this way for man. (Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 2)

We ask you to try and understand this sankirtana movement. It is not necessary that you live in the temple and shave your head, but come and learn. Give up the false spiritual teachers who are saying that you are God, that there is no God, that God is a chemical, or that God is this universal manifestation. Watch this movement—it is so sublime. Why shouldn’t everyone dance in the street? Why not get up and raise your arms? Why not dance in ecstasy? To lose all inhibitions does not mean to prance around naked. It means to act in the knowledge that we are the eternal servants of Krsna. That is the message of this sankirtana movement, and that is the message that is overflooding the world with love of God. And, if you want, it can overflood you.

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