DWT 10: The Sword of Remembrance
chindanti kovidās tasya
ko na kuryāt kathā-ratim
With sword in hand, intelligent men cut through the binding knots of reactionary work [karma] by remembering the Personality of Godhead. Therefore, who will not pay attention to His message?
The contact of the spiritual spark with material elements creates a knot which must be cut if one wants to be liberated from the actions and reactions of fruitive work. Liberation means freedom from the cycle of reactionary work. This liberation automatically follows for one who constantly remembers the transcendental pastimes of the Personality of Godhead. This is because all the activities of the Supreme Lord (His
Liberation from material bondage is, therefore, a by-product of devotional service. Attainment of spiritual knowledge is not sufficient to insure liberation. Such knowledge must be overcoated with devotional service so that ultimately the devotional service alone predominates. Then liberation is made possible. Even the reactionary work of the fruitive workers can lead one to liberation when it is overcoated with devotional service. Karma overcoated with devotional service is called
Therefore, any sensible man who is above the average man with a poor fund of knowledge must constantly remember the Personality of Godhead by hearing about Him, by glorifying Him, by remembering Him, and by worshiping Him always, without cessation. That is the perfect way of devotional service. The Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana, who were authorized by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to preach the
Unless we read, hear, and remember these literatures, we cannot cut the knot of our karmic reactions. Suppose a man is tied very strongly with ropes. With his hands and legs bound up, he cannot move independently. Similarly, we are tied up by the laws of material nature. The more sinful we are, the more the material nature binds us. For example, we are always bound by the laws of the state, either the criminal laws or the civil laws. If we violate the criminal laws, our punishment is very severe, and if we violate the civil laws, we are punished less severely—but in either case we are punished.
For the conditioned living entities in the material world, the body itself is a punishment. But people do not know this, and so they are trying to enjoy the body just like hogs. A village hog doesn't know how abominable it is that he has the body of hog and that he must eat stool and live in a filthy place. He is happy if he can simply enjoy sex with a female hog—never mind whether she is his sister, mother, or daughter. This is the hog's life-eating stool and enjoying sex. We are conscious of his abominable condition, but he is thinking, "Oh, what a happy life I have! I am dining very nicely on first-class food and having sex without any restriction. This is life."
Actually, this is
The more sinful one is, the more
So, the knot of the materialistic way of life is very strong, and the beginning of the knot is sex life. The whole world is bound up by the material laws of nature because of the strong desire for sex. Both in the human society and the animal society, the central point is sex. People are working so hard to earn money because they want to enjoy sex. Even the hippies could not give it up. They renounced everything—their father's property, their happy life at home—but sex they could not renounce.
Still, although the knot of material life is very difficult to cut, here the
Material life means
People are trying to be happy by becoming materially advanced. They do not know that the goal of life is to attain Kṛṣṇa consciousness (
In the mood of someone bound up by illusion, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura sings,
sat-saṅga chāḍi' kainu asate vilāsa
te-kāraṇe lāgila ye karma-bandha-phāṅsa
"Alas, I have given up the association of Kṛṣṇa's devotees because I wanted to enjoy illusory material happiness. In this way I have become entangled in the network of karma."
One who is a little intelligent, however, will immediately see the contradiction in the advertisement: "This advertisement is claiming I can become cool by smoking cigarettes? What is this nonsense?" Similarly, an intelligent person can understand
Therefore here the
Intelligence is shown by self-control. The cats and dogs have no self-control. If a bull or a male cat or dog sees a female, immediately he will rape her, yet he will not be punished. But if a human being does that on the street, he will be arrested at once. The inclination to rape is there in both the animal and the human being, but a human being is supposed to control himself. Indeed, human life is
So we have to follow the
It is the knot of karma that forces us to transmigrate from one body to another. This is not Darwin's theory of evolution—that nature causes a gradual evolution of bodies. Rather, each soul determines his future body by his actions in this life. The bodies are already there, and a living entity simply enters a particular type of body according to his karma. Suppose I act so abominably in this life that in my next life I must suffer the punishment of becoming a dog. Then I'll have to enter the womb of a female dog, and she will give me the body of dog. Eventually I will come out and experience life in a dog's body. This is the law of karma.
So you can become dog, or you can become a god. As a human being you have the facility to become either. You simply have to choose. As Kṛṣṇa says in the
yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā yānti mad-yājino 'pi mām
"Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; and those who worship Me will live with Me." But if you want to live with God in the spiritual world you must have a body like His, just as if you want to live in the water you must have the body of a fish. And if you don't want to live with God, if you want to enjoy unrestricted sense enjoyment, then you can take the body of a hog. Nature gives the chance to every human being to select his own future; no one is forced.
Therefore one must be intelligent and inquire, "How can I be freed from material bondage?" The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, answers this question in the
janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so 'rjuna
"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." Here Kṛṣṇa says that one must know Him in truth,
Every claim in the scientific world is supported by some book. For example, suppose someone comes upon a tree and claims it is a mango tree. Then one can check the claim by referring to a book on botany and learning the characteristics of a mango tree—how its leaves are shaped, how its fruit tastes, and so on. The same is true in the fields of chemistry, physics, and every other science.
Similarly, their is a process for testing whether someone is God or not. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu was asked how to test if a person is God, He said, "The
tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam
"A person who seriously desires real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters."
So, one should be intelligent enough to take shelter of a bona fide guru. This will enable one to cut the hard knot of material life with the weapon of remembrance of Kṛṣṇa. It is not difficult. One simply has to cultivate an attraction for hearing about Kṛṣṇa (