JSD 3: The Pleasure Principle
Pleasing the Perfect Master
In this material world, everyone is trying to search out happiness and get relief from misery. There are three kinds of miseries caused by our material condition:
Then there are
Finally, there are
So we are always suffering one or more of these miseries. This material nature is constituted in such a way that we have to suffer; it is God's law. And we are trying to relieve the suffering by patchwork remedies. Everyone is trying to get relief from suffering; that is a fact. The whole struggle for existence is aimed at getting out of suffering.
There are various kinds of remedies that we use to try to relieve our suffering. One remedy is offered by the modern scientists, one by the philosophers, another by the atheists, another by the theists, another by the fruitive workers. There are so many ideas. But according to the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you can get free of all your sufferings if you simply change your consciousness to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That's all.
All our sufferings are due to ignorance. We have forgotten that we are eternal servants of Kṛṣṇa. There is a nice Bengali verse that explains this point:
kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha haiyā bhoga-vāñchā kare
nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpatiyā dhare
As soon as our original Kṛṣṇa consciousness becomes polluted with the consciousness of material enjoyment—the idea that I want to lord it over the resources of matter—our troubles begin. Immediately we fall into
In the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement our mentality is just the opposite. We are trying to become the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Kṛṣṇa (
Now, people may say this is a slave mentality: "Why should I become a slave? I shall become the master." But they do not know that this consciousness—"I shall become the master"—is the cause of all their suffering. This has to be understood. In the name of becoming master of this material world, we have become the servants of our senses.
We cannot avoid serving. Every one of us sitting in this meeting is a servant. These boys and girls who have taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness have agreed to become servants of Kṛṣṇa. So their problem is solved. But others are thinking, "Why should I become a servant of God? I shall become the master." Actually, no one can become the master. And if someone tries to become the master, he simply becomes the servant of his senses. That's all. He becomes the servant of his lust, the servant of his avarice, the servant of his anger—the servant of
In a higher stage, one becomes the servant of humanity, the servant of society, the servant of his country. But the actual purpose is to become the master. That is the disease. The candidates for the presidency are presenting their different manifestos: "I shall serve the country very nicely. Please give me your vote." But their real idea is somehow or other to become the master of the country. This is illusion.
So, we should understand this important point of philosophy: Constitutionally we are servants. Nobody can say, "I am free; I am the master." If someone thinks like that, he's in illusion. Can anybody in this meeting say that he's not the servant of anybody or anything? No, because our constitutional position is to serve.
We may serve Kṛṣṇa, or we may serve our senses. But the difficulty is that by serving our senses we simply increase our misery. For the time being you may satisfy yourself by taking some intoxicant. And under the spell of the intoxicant you may think that you are nobody's servant, that you are free. But this idea is artificial. As soon as the hallucination is gone, again you see that you are a servant.
So we are being forced to serve, but we don't wish to serve. What is the adjustment? Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you become the servant of Kṛṣṇa, your aspiration to become the master is immediately achieved. For example, here we see a picture of Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna. [
So, if we want to get free of the service of this material world, the service of our senses, then we must direct our service toward Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī quotes a nice verse in his
Then someone may say to the devotee: "All right, you have served your senses. But now you are done serving them. Now everything is all right." But the difficulty is this:
Here I may disclose something one of my students told me: In old age his mother is going to marry. And somebody else complained that his grandmother has also married. Just see: Fifty years old, seventy-five years old, and the senses are still so strong that they're dictating, "Yes, you must marry." Try to understand how strong the senses are. It is not simply young men who are servants of their senses. One may be seventy-five years old, eighty years old, or even at the point of death—still one is the servant of the senses. The senses are never satisfied.
So this is the material situation. We are servants of our senses, but by serving our senses we are not satisfied, nor are our senses satisfied, nor are they merciful to us. There is chaos!
The best thing, therefore, is to become a servant of Kṛṣṇa. In
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
You have served your senses in so many lives, life after life, in 8,400,000 species. The birds are serving their senses, the beasts are serving their senses, the human beings, the demigods—everyone within this material world is after sense gratification. "So," Kṛṣṇa says, "just surrender unto Me. Just agree to serve Me, and I will take charge of you. You will be free from the dictation of your senses."
Because of the dictation of the senses, we are committing sinful activities life after life. Therefore we are in different grades of bodies. Don't think that every one of you is of the same standard. No. According to one's activities, one gets a certain type of body. And these different types of bodies afford one different grades of sense gratification. There is sense gratification in the hog's life also, but it is of a very low grade. The hog is so sensual that it does not hesitate to have sex with its mother, its sister, or its daughter. Even in human society there are people who don't care whether they have sex with their mother or sister. The senses are so strong.
So, we should try to understand that serving the dictations of our senses is the cause of all our misery. The threefold miseries that we are suffering—the miseries we are trying to get free of—are due to this dictation of the senses. But if we become attracted to serving Kṛṣṇa, we will no longer be forced to follow the dictation of our senses. One name for Kṛṣṇa is Madana-mohana, "He who conquers Cupid, or lust." If you transfer your love from your senses to Kṛṣṇa, you will be free from all misery. Immediately.
So this endeavor to be the master—"I am the monarch of all I survey"—should be given up. Every one of us is constitutionally a servant. Now we are serving our senses, but we should direct this service to Kṛṣṇa. And when you serve Kṛṣṇa, gradually Kṛṣṇa reveals Himself to you as you become sincere. Then the reciprocation of service between Kṛṣṇa and you will be so nice. You can love Him as a friend or as a master or as a lover—there are so many ways to love Kṛṣṇa.
So, you should try to love Kṛṣṇa, and you will see how much you are satisfied. There is no other way to become fully satisfied. Earning great amounts of money will never give you satisfaction. I once knew a gentleman in Calcutta who was earning six thousand dollars a month. He committed suicide. Why? That money could not give him satisfaction. He was trying to have something else.
So my humble request to you all is that you try to understand this sublime benediction of life, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa you will gradually develop a transcendental loving attitude for Kṛṣṇa, and as soon as you begin to love Kṛṣṇa, all your troubles will be eradicated and you will feel complete satisfaction.
Thank you very much. Are there any questions?
māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
"Anyone who seriously engages in My service immediately becomes transcendental to the material qualities and comes to the platform of Brahman, or spirit."
So, when you apply your energy in the service of Kṛṣṇa, do not think that it remains material. Everything used in Kṛṣṇa's service is spiritual. For example, each day we distribute fruit
Here is another example. If you drink a large quantity of milk, there may be some disorder in your bowels. If you go to a physician (at least, if you go to an Āyur-vedic physician), he'll offer you a medical preparation made with yogurt. And that yogurt with a little medicine in it will cure you. Now, yogurt is nothing but milk transformed. So, your disease was caused by milk, and it is also cured by milk. How is that? Because you are taking the medicine under the direction of a qualified physician. Similarly, if you engage the material energy in the service of Kṛṣṇa under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master, that same material energy which has been the cause of your bondage will bring you to the transcendental stage beyond all misery.
When a man is haunted by a ghost, he speaks all kinds of nonsense. Similarly, when a person is haunted by
So you have to cure them by vibrating the transcendental sound of the Hare Kṛṣṇa
Liberation to a Higher Pleasure
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, who has written this song, is a famous
People do not know that they are spoiling their life. They are thinking, "I've got a very nice apartment, a very nice car, a very nice wife, a very nice income, a very nice social position." All these material attractions make us forget the purpose of our life—to worship Kṛṣṇa.
In one verse [
puṁsaḥ striyā mithunī-bhāvam etaṁ
tayor mitho hṛdaya-granthim āhuḥ
janasya moho 'yam ahaṁ mameti
The basic principle of material attraction is sex:
For a few days. Then divorce.
But the beginning is sex. The basic principle of material attraction is sex. We have organized sex life in many social conventions. Marriage is a social convention that gives sex a nice finishing touch, that's all. Sometimes it is said that marriage is legalized prostitution. But for keeping up social relations one has to accept some regulative principles, some restrictions on sense gratification. Therefore civilized human beings recognize that there is a difference between sex in marriage and sex outside of marriage, which is just like sex between animals.
In any case, when two people unite some way or other, their next demand is a nice apartment (
In this way one becomes entangled in the material world and covered by illusion. Why illusion? Why are such important things—wife, children, money—illusion? Because although at the present moment you may think everything is all right—you have a nice arrangement of home life, apartment, wife, children, society, and position—as soon as your body is finished everything is finished. You're forced to leave everything and move on to your next platform. And you do not know what your next platform will be. Your next body may be that of a human being or a cat or a dog or a demigod or anything. You do not know. But whatever it is, as soon as you leave your present body you will forget everything. There will be no remembrance of who you were, who your wife was, what your home was like, how big your bank balance was, and so on. Everything will be finished.
Everything will be finished in a flash, just like a bubble bursting in the ocean. The thrashing of the waves in the ocean generates millions and billions of bubbles, but the next moment they are all finished. Finished.
In this way material life is going on. The living entity travels through many species of life, many planets, until he comes to the human form of life. Human life is an opportunity to understand how we are transmigrating from one place to another, from one life to another, and simply wasting our time, not understanding what our constitutional position is and why we are suffering so much distress.
These things are to be understood in this human form of life. But instead of inquiring about our real position, we are simply engaged with
So Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, representing us, is lamenting, "My dear Lord, I have spoiled my life." Why?
Then his lament goes on.
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura laments,
Therefore, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says we are suffering in
Then he says,
So Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says that Vrajendra-nandana (Kṛṣṇa) has now appeared as Śacī-suta (Lord Caitanya), and Balarāma (Kṛṣṇa's brother) has become Nitāi. And what is Their business?
What is the evidence that Lord Caitanya saved even the most fallen?
So chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa will actually deliver all fallen souls, without doubt. This is not bogus propaganda. Whatever his past life, anyone who takes to this chanting process will become saintly. He will become a pure, Kṛṣṇa conscious person.
Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa will purify our heart, our burning heart. Then we will understand, "I am an eternal servant of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa." Ordinarily we can come to this understanding only after many, many births, as Kṛṣṇa confirms in the
But Lord Caitanya has made it easy to become such a great soul. How? Simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. Therefore at the end of his song Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says,
So, all of us should follow in the footsteps of Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. The purificatory process is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. And as soon as our heart is purified, we will become completely convinced that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord and that we are His eternal servants. We have forgotten this. We are serving, but instead of serving the Lord we are serving our senses. We have never become the master. We are not the masters of our senses; we are the servants of our senses. That is our position.
So why not become the servant of the Supreme Lord instead of remaining the servant of your senses? Actually, you can become the master of your senses only when you become the servant of Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise, it is not possible. Either
When a person does not allow his senses to do anything for sense gratification but acts only for the service of Kṛṣṇa, that is called devotional service.
Thank you very much. Any questions?
When a pure devotee prays, "My dear Lord, I want You for my son," Kṛṣṇa accepts his prayer. Vasudeva and Devakī became Kṛṣṇa's parents in this way. In a previous life they underwent severe austerities. They were married, but they had no sex. They were determined that unless they could get the Lord as their son they would not have a child. So they performed severe austerities for many thousands of years. Then the Lord appeared to them and asked, "What do you want?"
"Sir, we want a son like You."
"How can you get a son like Me? I'll become your son!"
So Kṛṣṇa, the Lord, is the father of everyone, but He voluntarily becomes the son of His devotee. Otherwise, His position is always the supreme father.
So Mother Yaśodā has become more than God, more than Kṛṣṇa. The
Kṛṣṇa is just like a father who wants to see his son become more than himself. If the father has an M.A., he wants to see his son get a Ph.D. Then the father is satisfied. He'll not tolerate an outsider's becoming more than him, but he's glad if his son becomes more than him. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, wants to see His devotee become more than Himself. That is His pleasure.
Kṛṣṇa, Enchanter of the Soul
In this material world everyone is attracted by sex. This is a fact. As the
Generally, a man marries to satisfy sex desire. Then he begets children. Then, when the children are grown up, the daughter marries a boy and the son marries a girl for the same purpose: sex. Then, grandchildren.
In this way, material happiness expands as
What is this success? The
Another meaning of
But our business is not to be attracted by the glimmer of this material world; our business is to be attracted by Kṛṣṇa. And when we become attracted by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa, we will lose our attraction for the false beauty of this material world. As Śrī Yāmunācārya says,
yad-avadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt
tad-avadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāṇe
bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca
"Since I have been attracted by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa and have begun to serve His lotus feet, I am getting newer and newer pleasure, and as soon as I think of sexual intercourse my mouth immediately turns aside and I spit."
So, Kṛṣṇa is Madana-mohana, the conqueror of Madana, or Cupid. Madana is attracting everyone, but when one is attracted by Kṛṣṇa, Madana is defeated. And as soon as Madana is defeated, we conquer this material world. Otherwise, it is very difficult. As Kṛṣṇa says in the
daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī
mama māyā duratyayā
māyām etāṁ taranti te
This material world is very difficult to overcome, but if one surrenders unto Kṛṣṇa and catches His lotus feet very strongly—"Kṛṣṇa, save me!"—Kṛṣṇa promises, "Yes, I'll save you. Don't worry, I shall save you."
Unfortunately, people do not know that our only business is to take shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. We have no other business. Any other business we may do simply entangles us in this material world. The aim of human life is to get out of the clutches of the material world. But, as the
So, it is very difficult to turn people to Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this age. Still, Caitanya Mahāprabhu has ordered us to distribute this knowledge all over the world. So let us try. Even if the people do not take our instruction, that is no disqualification for us. Our only qualification is simply to try our best.
Our purpose is not to construct big, big buildings, although that is sometimes required for spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness and for giving shelter to people. But our main business is to turn the faces of the bewildered conditioned souls toward Kṛṣṇa. That is our main purpose. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and other Vaiṣṇavas have warned us to be careful about constructing too many big temples, because our attention may be diverted toward material things. In other words, we may become forgetful of Kṛṣṇa.
Of course, ultimately nothing is material. Thinking something is material is simply an illusion. Actually, there is nothing but spirit. How can there be anything material? The Supreme Lord is the Supreme Spirit, and since everything is coming from Him, what we call the material energy is also coming from Him and is thus ultimately spiritual.
But the difficulty is that in this material world, Kṛṣṇa's inferior energy, there is the possibility of forgetting Kṛṣṇa. People are engaged in so many activities—we can see this very clearly in the Western countries—and they are inventing so many modern facilities, but the result is that they are forgetting Kṛṣṇa.
Actually, there is nothing except Kṛṣṇa and His energies. As Nārada Muni says,
sthāvara-jaṅgama dekhe, nā dekhe tāra mūrti
sarvatra haya nija iṣṭa-deva-sphūrti
A pure devotee may see a tree, but he forgets the tree and sees the energy of Kṛṣṇa. And as soon as he sees the energy of Kṛṣṇa, he sees Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, instead of seeing the tree he sees Kṛṣṇa.
Another example is the sun and the sunshine. As soon as you see the sunshine, you can immediately think of the sun. Is that not so? In the morning, as soon as you see the sunshine shining in your window, you can immediately remember the sun. You are confident the sun is there, because you know that without the sun there cannot be any sunshine. Similarly, whenever we see something, we should immediately think of Kṛṣṇa with reference to that particular thing, because that thing is a manifestation of Kṛṣṇa's energy. And because the energy is not different from the energetic, those who have understood Kṛṣṇa along with His energies do not see anything except Kṛṣṇa. Therefore for them there is no material world. To a perfect devotee, everything is spiritual (
So, we have to train our eyes to see Kṛṣṇa everywhere. And this training is devotional service to Kṛṣṇa, which is a process of purification:
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
As soon as we are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we give up our false designations, and our seeing, touching, smelling, and so on become
So, Cupid is one of the agents of the illusory, material energy, but if we are perfectly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Cupid cannot pierce our heart with his arrows. It is not possible. A good example is Haridāsa Ṭhākura. When Haridāsa Ṭhākura was a young man, a nicely dressed young prostitute came to him in the middle of the night and revealed her desire to unite with him. Haridāsa Ṭhākura said, "Yes, please sit down. I shall fulfill your desire, but just let me finish my chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa." Just see! It's the dead of night, and in front of Haridāsa Ṭhākura is a beautiful young girl proposing to have sex with him. But still he's steady, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. But he never finished his chanting, so her plan was unsuccessful.
So, Cupid cannot pierce our heart when we are fully absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There may be thousands of beautiful women before a devotee, but they cannot disturb him. He sees them as energies of Kṛṣṇa. He thinks, "They are Kṛṣṇa's; they are meant for His enjoyment."
A devotee's duty is to try to engage all beautiful women in the service of Kṛṣṇa, not to try to enjoy them. A devotee is not pierced by the arrows of Cupid, because he sees everything in relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That is real renunciation. He does not accept anything for his own sense gratification but engages everything and everyone in the service of Kṛṣṇa. This is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Thank you very much.