“That which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul.”—Bhagavad Gita, 2.17
Anyone can understand what is spread all over the body: it is consciousness, the energy of the soul. When souls depart from bodies, bodies become dead. Half a millennium ago in the circle of Gauda in India, Sri Krishna Chaitanya appeared and taught Krishna Consciousness or spiritual happiness to all comers. And now Krishna Consciousness has come West.
Everyone wants to be happy. Different people expect to be happy by submitting to different circumstances in life. But sometimes the suspicion flashes across our minds that things just aren’t what they appear to be. We also want knowledge. We read books, newspapers and magazines. We listen to speeches and we philosophize. If we can get more knowledge we can probably get more satisfaction. Due to ignorance we often make mistakes for which we must suffer. But if we want really complete knowledge, we have to search for the primary causes or origins of existence. If we are too frenzied to spend time asking such questions, we should expect to have to play the parts of mindless fools in the continuing pageant of history
The modern world is sometimes supposed to offer evidence that man is progressing towards greater material happiness. Materialism is often opposed to theism, which is generally agreed to have declined. People widely believe that the advancement of material science is more rewarding than the enlargement of spiritual science, and that they are actually en route to unlimited luxury via materialism. But men with no understanding of the real significance of life are no better than animals. Their society will always be brutish, even if it be decorated with tons of trinkets and perfumes.
In physics there is the concept of a space-time continuum through which bodies move. By careful study we see that the bodies of living entities change within these space-time continuums. What is commonly called growth or aging is actually a progressive charging of the body. But although the body is changing, the individual soul remains intact. We had our infant bodies, but now our bodies are changed. We can remember the activities of our childhood bodies, but those bodies have vanished. The bodies are passing away, but we are remaining. Therefore we must be different from these bodies. We do sometimes wonder what the images in mirrors really have to do with us.
The soul is different from the body; the soul is eternal. And the truly natural existence is spiritual—eternal. Yogis are trying to come from materialism to this eternal point by meditation: “I am not this body.” By concentrating the mind in meditation, one should seek answers to such questions as, “What am I? How am I here? Where am I going? How can I achieve lasting happiness, uncut by the various miseries such as birth, disease, old. age and death?”
These are questions to be considered by one seriously seeking complete philosophy. At the point of asking such questions, spiritual life can begin. These questions are thoroughly discussed in The Bhagavad Gita As It Is and associated Vedic texts. This process of understanding is known as self-realization.
In this present span of time, known as Kali Yuga (the Age of Quarrel, Chaos and Hypocrisy) the chanting of mantras is described as being the secret of liberation from this mundane world. In the Vedic texts the chanting of the Maha Mantra, or Great Hymn—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—is especially recommended for self realization in this age.
The Vedic texts, written in the ancient Sanskrit characters, are accepted by most authorities as the oldest writing known to man. And this Krishna science has been elaborated by great spiritual personalities throughout the untold ages.
Krishna Consciousness has been established in the West by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, who came alone to the United States to fulfill the order of his spiritual master to teach through the medium of the English language.
Krishna Consciousness in Hawaii is currently established at 51-576 Kam Highway in Kaaawa (just before the Crouching Lion Inn), phone no. 237-8544. Classes are held at 7 a. m. daily and at 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A Love Feast, consisting of very fine vegetarian foodstuffs, prepared according to old East Indian recipes, is held every Sunday at noon, along with chanting and dancing. Everyone is invited to come.