TQE 1: The Quest for Enlightenment
Kṛṣṇa's Blessings In the Chanting of His Name
Ladies and gentlemen: Please accept my greetings for the happy new year of 1969, and please accept the blessings of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for your kindly participating in this happy meeting of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on earth five thousand years ago and gave us the unique philosophy and religious principles of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the shape of the
Lord Caitanya's special gift to the fallen souls of the present Age of Quarrel and Disagreement is to induce people in general—religionists, philosophers, everyone—to take to the chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. Lord Caitanya informed us that the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead can descend in transcendental sound and that when we chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa
Our conditioned life of material existence is due to dirty things in our heart. Originally we are all Kṛṣṇa conscious living beings, but because of our long association with matter, we have been transmigrating from one form of body to another, suffering in the cycle of birth and death in various species of life (numbering 8,400,000). Every one of us, although originally a spiritual soul and therefore qualitatively one in constitution with the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, has identified with our material body. Thus we are being subjected to various material pangs, headed by birth, old age, disease, and death.
The whole material civilization is a hard struggle against birth, old age, disease, and death. Against these perpetual problems human society is struggling fruitlessly in many ways. Some people are making material attempts, and some are making partially spiritual attempts. The materialists are trying to solve the problems through scientific knowledge, education, philosophy, ethics, literature, and so on. The salvationists are trying to solve the problems by putting forth various ways of discerning matter from spirit. And some people are trying to overcome birth and death through mystic yoga
But all of these people—the materialists, the salvationists. and the yogis—must know it for certain that in this Age of Kali, the Age of Quarrel and Dissension, there is no possibility of success without accepting the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the speaker of the
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the art of purifying our heart of the dust of material desires. As living entities we have desire as a component part of our constitution. Therefore we cannot stop desiring. But we can
We have forgotten that the ultimate goal of our life is to revive our lost relationship with God, or Kṛṣṇa. To revive that relationship we should execute all of our activities in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We do not ask you to cease your present occupational duties; we simply recommend that you execute those duties in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu never recommended that one change his position in life. Rather, He favored the process of staying in one's position and hearing about Kṛṣṇa from a bona fide source. To arrive at the real goal of life, one should give up the artificial process of philosophical speculation and instead submissively hear about the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is contained in Vedic literatures such as the
We are, however, misled at present by leaders who have very little connection with God, or Kṛṣṇa. Some of them deny the existence of God. Some of them try to put themselves in God's place. Some of them, utterly hopeless and frustrated at being unable to reach any right conclusion, think the ultimate goal of life is void, or zero. But Kṛṣṇa consciousness is solid ground for understanding God directly by the simple method of chanting His holy name.
Misled by spiritually blind leaders, people in general, who themselves are spiritually blind, have failed to achieve their desired success. But here is a method, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is directly offered by Kṛṣṇa. He plainly gave us His instructions five thousand years ago in the
So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is a great art of life, very easy and sublime. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement gives you everything you want, without any artificial endeavor. It is transcendentally colorful and full of transcendental pleasure. We prosecute Kṛṣṇa consciousness through singing, dancing, eating, and hearing philosophy received through the authorized disciplic succession of spiritual masters coming down from Kṛṣṇa Himself. Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness gives us complete spiritual success, without our undergoing any artificial change of our natural instincts.
Consciousness is already in you, but it is now dirty consciousness. What we have to do now is cleanse our consciousness of all dirty things and make it pure consciousness—Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And we can easily do this by the pleasant method of chanting the glorious holy name of God: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
Understanding the Soul
The You That Doesn't Change
Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the science of God, is very important because it enables us to understand God and our relationship with Him. Of course, in every religion there is some conception of God: "God is great." But simply understanding that God is great is not sufficient. We must have knowledge about our relationship with God.
Generally, we take it for granted that God is our order-supplier. So those who believe in God usually approach Him in distress or when they're in need of money. Then there are some who approach God out of curiosity, and a few who want to understand the science of God. These are the four classes of men who are interested in God, and they all have a background of pious activities. Without a background of pious activities, a person will not be interested in the science of God. Therefore those who are unfortunate, who are impelled by impious activities, do not believe in God; they never care for God. So it is very difficult for the atheists to understand God.
Still, because Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a science, even an atheist can appreciate it if he is intelligent. Atheist or theist, everyone is conscious. That is a fact. It doesn't matter whether you believe in God or you do not believe in God: you are conscious. As soon as I pinch any part of your body, you at once protest, "Somebody is pinching me! I am feeling pain!" Even in the animals there is consciousness.
Now, what is this consciousness? The
As soon as there is no consciousness in the body, the body is dead. Then what is consciousness? It is the symptom of the presence of the soul. Just as a fire situated in one place distributes heat and light everywhere, the spirit soul present in your body spreads consciousness all over your body. This is a fact.
From your childhood body to your boyhood body to your youthful body, your consciousness continues. Similarly, your consciousness will carry you into another body, and that transmigration from one body to another is called death. When your old body cannot be maintained anymore, the consciousness has to be transferred to a new body. When your garment is too old, it has to be changed. Similarly. when the material body is too old to carry on, your consciousness is transferred to another body and you begin another life. This is the law of nature.
But unfortunately the modern educational system has no department for teaching about consciousness or the spirit soul, although this knowledge is the most important. Without consciousness, without the soul's being present, the body is useless. Unfortunately, we take very good care of the body but have no knowledge of consciousness or the spirit soul. This ignorance is due to
As long as we are unaware of the presence of the spirit soul in the body, as long as we do not inquire about the spirit soul, all our activities are simply a waste of time. This is stated in the
Nearly everyone in the world is immersed in this ignorance, for they do not know that they are spirit souls transmigrating from one body to another. Although no one wants to die, cruel death is forced upon everyone. But people do not consider this problem very seriously. They think they are very happy following the principles of animal life-eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. At the present moment people are very proud of the advancement of human civilization, but they are almost totally concerned with these four principles. According to the Vedic literature, this way of life is no better than the animals'.
Human life is meant for advanced knowledge. And what is that advanced knowledge? To know oneself, to answer the question, What am I? In every civilized society there is some set of religious principles, whether Islam or Christianity or Judaism or Hinduism or Buddhism. And what is the purpose of the scriptures and religious principles? To understand consciousness, to understand the spirit soul and how it has fallen into material, conditioned life, how it is transmigrating among various species of life, and how it can be released from this cycle of birth and death. There are 8,400,000 species of life, and we are wandering among them. Only when we reach the human form of life do we have the opportunity to ask the question, What am I? If we do not understand what we are, then we miss the opportunity of human life. We simply waste our time in the propensities of animal life-eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.
We must inquire, "I do not wish to die; why is death forced upon me? I do not want to be diseased; why is disease forced upon me?" But even if a person becomes very ill, he will generally not inquire like this. He will simply think, "All right, I am diseased. Let me go to the doctor and get some medicine." But from the innermost part of his heart he doesn't ever want to be diseased, he doesn't want to be dead. Why? Because he is eternal. His real position is eternal life, blissful life, without any death, without any birth, without any disease. So he is missing the opportunity of human life unless he inquires into how he can attain this position.
The human form of life is the opportunity to achieve the highest perfection. If we do not make progress toward that vision, we are simply spoiling this opportunity of civilized human life. I especially mention civilized human life, with developed consciousness, developed education. At this developed stage we should ask, "Why are calamities being forced upon me?" Nobody wants to meet calamities. In every city of your country I see the fire brigade and the ambulance always rushing in the street. Who wants his house to be set on fire? Who wants to meet an accident? These things are being forced on us, but still no one asks, "I do not want these calamities. Why are they being forced upon me?" As soon as we become inquisitive to know why all these miserable conditions of life are being forced upon us, that is the beginning of our self-realization.
Now you are trying to solve these problems through so-called scientific research or so-called philosophical research, but the actual solution is to reform or purify your consciousness. If you purify your consciousness, you will end the process of transmigration from body to body. Of course, now you may be very happy that you have a nice American body. You are enjoying life. But do you know what your next life will be? That you do not know. But you should know that life is a continuity. This present life is only a flash—a moment in our journey through millions of species of life. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the movement for purifying consciousness, ending transmigration, and solving all problems.
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very simple. Simply chant these sixteen words: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. We are simply requesting you to chant these sixteen words. There is no loss on your part, but there is immense gain. Why don't you make an experiment? It is not very difficult. Throughout the world thousands are chanting. Although the
If we take to chanting this
Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa is the process of cleansing the mind of all dirty things. And as soon as you are cleansed of all dirty things, your material anxieties are over. That is stated in the
brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
Taking up Kṛṣṇa consciousness means that we begin our real life and get free from the temporary life of changing from one body to another. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is a very important movement. Try to understand it. We have our magazine,
So we invite you to come. There is no expenditure. We simply request that you come and try to understand this movement. It is very scientific; it is not a bogus bluff. Try to understand with all your argument, reason, logic. We are prepared to answer your questions.
This movement is for your benefit; it is not an institution to make some profit. It is just meant to render service to the whole of humanity so that you may understand the science of God and be benefited. We are simply presenting Kṛṣṇa consciousness before you. Now it is up to you to accept it or not. Thank you very much.
Are there any questions?
ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas
tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
patanty adho 'nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ
This is a very nice verse. It says that although some people think they have become liberated by Brahman realization, their hearts are not yet purified, because they reject the service of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, even after performing severe austerities and entering the Brahman effulgence, they must come back again to the material world. So if you don't want to come back again, then you have to enter deep into the "water" of the spiritual kingdom and remain as one of the servants of the Lord. This is the Vaiṣṇava philosophy.
We want to enter into the spiritual kingdom and live in our spiritual identity. We don't want to superficially mix with water and again evaporate, again come back. Those who believe in the philosophy of
So if you don't want to come back again, go deep into the water and become one of the living entities under the shelter of the water. They have no problem; they do not come back. The big aquatics live peacefully within the water. They never come out into the rivers, because in the rivers there is no place to accommodate them. So if you want to live perpetually in the spiritual kingdom, you have to understand your identity as one of the servants of God. Then you'll be perfect.
Thank you very much.
The Human Machine
niśamya mriyamāṇasya mukhato hari-kīrtanam
bhartur nāma mahārāja pārṣadāḥ sahasāpatan
"My dear king, the order carriers of Viṣṇu, the Viṣṇudūtas, immediately arrived when they heard the holy name of their master from the mouth of the dying Ajāmila, who had certainly chanted without offense because he had chanted in complete anxiety" (
In your city the police are wandering in their car, and if somebody calls for the police, immediately they go to him. Similarly, the attendants of Lord Viṣṇu are wandering throughout the universe, searching out somebody who is chanting the holy name of the Lord. If you chant the holy name of the Lord, they are very much pleased, and they immediately come.
When Ajāmila called out "Nārāyaṇa!" he was simply calling his son, but the attendants of Hari took notice only of the chanting, that's all. They did not care to know whether or not Ajāmila meant Lord Nārāyaṇa. No. Because they heard their master's name, they immediately appeared. This is clear.
So, anyone who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately taken care of by the attendants of the Supreme Lord. Especially if one chants at the time of death—that is when the account is figured up. If you practice chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa during your lifetime, naturally at the last moment of your life you will be inclined to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. It is so nice.
If in this life I practice chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa
And as soon as you are able to see things as they are, your material bondage is over. Now you are researching the bodily senses—finding out how they work—and doing so many things simply on the basis of the body. But as soon as your heart becomes cleansed, you will immediately understand, "I am not this body. So what is the use of studying cells and atoms, this and that? I am simply wasting my time."
Suppose I am driving a very nice car, but I am simply absorbed in the machine only. I have forgotten my destination, where I have to go, and I am busy studying the car. What is the use? You may be driving a good car, but you must know how to reach your destination. That is your main business. Knowing how the car works is secondary. Your main business is knowing how to utilize the car so you can reach your destination. That is intelligence.
So, we have fallen into this material condition, and we are occupying various forms. As long as we are in the bodily concept—thinking "I am this 'car'"—that is ignorance. What is wanted is to think, "I am not this body. I am spirit soul, and I have to utilize this body to go to my destination—the spiritual world—where I can meet the supreme spirit, God, and live in His association." Human life is meant for understanding what the Supreme Lord is, where He lives, what He does, and what our relationship with Him is. To seek to understand these things is called
We are given this machine of the body, but what is the use of simply studying the machine? The
God has given us a human machine, and now we should utilize it to go to our destination.
Therefore this human machine is
And what for? Suppose you have a nice, well-constructed boat. Then you can get into it and cross over a river or ocean. Similarly, in the human "boat" we can cross over this material ocean. Life after life we have been struggling in this material ocean, but now we have a suitable boat to cross it—this human body.
The human boat is especially advantageous because the breeze is very favorable. The breeze is the
So, we have a great opportunity: the boat is very nice, the captain is very good, the breeze is very favorable. But if with all these advantageous facilities we do not cross over the sea of ignorance, of material existence, then we are committing suicide (
People are being misled. They are studying the human machine, that's all. Instead of taking advantage of the machine to cross over the material ocean, they are busy studying it. And they cannot even study it completely. I may claim, "This is my body," but if somebody asks me, "How many hairs do you have on your body?" I cannot say. How I am eating something, how it is being turned into some secretion, how the secretion is becoming blood and going to the heart, how the blood is being distributed throughout the arteries and veins—I do not know any of these things. I can simply theorize.
The human machine is not under your control. The machine is made by God, or by nature, God's agent. It is a very subtle machine. So if you are intelligent, you will ask, "What is the use of simply studying the machine? I have it, so let me utilize it for going to my destination." That is intelligence.
But no, people neglect to use the human machine for going to their destination, and instead they simply study it. And this is going on in the name of science. What is this nonsensical science? Simply busy in studying the machine?
This is the mistake: Although we should use our developed human consciousness for going back home, back to Godhead, we are not doing so. Why should we waste our human intelligence? Suppose you study the human machine throughout your whole life. What will you get? Can you adjust the machine so it will not be lost, so there will be no death? All you scientists who are studying the machine, have you found any means by which there will be no death? Where is that knowledge? Death will come. You may study the machine or not study the machine, but in due course of time death will come and take you.
You cannot cure even one disease. You are embarrassed by the cancer disease. So, find out how the cells are working and how they can be changed, and then there will be no more cancer. No, that you cannot do. You go on studying and simply waste your time.
As long as you are in this material world, you are desiring in a certain way, nature is supplying you a certain type of machine, then you are busy trying to fulfill your desires, then the machine breaks, and then you accept another machine. This is going on. So your problem is to stop this repetition of birth, old age, disease, and death. Come to your spiritual life. That is your business. That is the instruction of the
Everyone knows how to maintain the machine. The dog knows how to maintain his machine. He eats according to the necessity of his doggish body. Similarly, we are maintaining our human body. That is natural. The supplies are already there. You cannot manufacture them. That is the Vedic instruction:
We ordinary living entities have many millions of duplicates. Therefore the word
But you are thinking that God has no form. Why? Wherefrom did you get your form? You are praying daily, "O God, our father, give us our daily bread." So, you accept God as the supreme father. And if you have form, your father must have form. This is reasonable. Therefore how can you say God has no form? This is all foolishness.
Suppose a child is born after the death of his father. So, simply because he has not seen his father, that does not mean he should conclude, "My father had no form." This is not a good conclusion. His mother can tell him, "Yes, my child, your father had form." This is intelligence.
So, God is a living entity, but the difference between Him and all the other living entities is that they are all dependent on Him. That's all. God is great, we are small. He is just like a father who maintains all his children. We are all children, and the supreme father maintains us.
Now, one child may like to play with a motorcar toy, another with a doll, and so on. And the parents are supplying: "All right, you take this toy car, you take this doll." Similarly, we are playing like that—making plans to enjoy—and God is supplying all our necessities. But He doesn't want to do that. He says, "My dear child, you are grown up now; you have this human body. Don't play like this and waste your time. Get an education and know things as they are." That education is called
Unfortunately, we are misled by blind leaders. We have been engaged in studying the body, that's all. So here it is said,
In another place the
Hare Kṛṣṇa. Thank you very much.
The Sense to Know God
viṣṇu-śaktiḥ parā proktā kṣetra-jñākhyā tathā parā
avidyā-karma-saṁjñānyā tṛtīyā śaktir iṣyate
"Lord Viṣṇu's potency is summarized in three categories—namely, the spiritual potency, the living entities, and ignorance. The spiritual potency is full of knowledge; the living entities, although belonging to the spiritual potency, are subject to bewilderment; and the third energy, which is full of ignorance, is always visible in fruitive activities."
This verse from the
So, Kṛṣṇa actually has one energy, the spiritual energy. He is the whole spirit, and the energy emanating from Him is also spiritual.
Again we can give the example of the sunshine and the sun globe—the energy and the energetic. In the sunshine there is heat and illumination, and in the sun globe there is also heat and illumination. But the degrees of light and heat are quite different. You can bear the heat of the sunshine, but if you went to the sun globe you could not bear the heat there; it would immediately burn everything to ashes. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa and the living entities are quantitatively very different.
Kṛṣṇa is infinite, while we are smaller than the atom. Therefore it is not possible for us to know the Supreme Personality of Godhead by our ordinary sense perception.
Then how are they to be understood?
The tongue is the most important sense within the body. Therefore it is recommended that if we want to control our senses we should first control the tongue. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has emphasized this. He describes our present conditioned state as
Therefore, this human body is a great opportunity, because by engaging the tongue in the loving service of the Lord we can advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We can achieve ultimate realization of God just by engaging the tongue in His service. In other bodies—the cat's body, the dog's body, the tiger's body—we cannot do this. So this human form of life is a great boon to the living entity, who is traveling through the cycle of birth and death, perpetually inhabiting different sorts of bodies. The human body is the opportunity for utilizing the tongue properly and getting out of the clutches of the material nature.
If we can keep our tongue always engaged in chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa
Without understanding Kṛṣṇa, the fools consider Him an ordinary human being. The word
But the fact is that Kṛṣṇa's name and Kṛṣṇa are not different. Therefore, as soon as your tongue touches the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, you are associating with Kṛṣṇa. And if you constantly associate with Kṛṣṇa by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa
Our tongue also wants very palatable dishes to taste. So Kṛṣṇa, being very kind, has given you hundreds and thousands of palatable dishes—remnants of foods eaten by Him. And if you simply make this determined vow—"I shall not allow my tongue to taste anything not offered to Kṛṣṇa and shall always engage my tongue in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa"—then all perfection is in your grasp. All perfection. Two simple things: don't eat anything not offered to Kṛṣṇa, and always chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That's all.
Variety is the mother of enjoyment, and
The great authority Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says, "What good is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa with one tongue? If I had millions of tongues, then I could chant to my full satisfaction. And what good are these two ears? If I had millions of ears, I could hear Hare Kṛṣṇa sufficiently." He's aspiring to have millions of ears and trillions of tongues to relish the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is an elevated stage, of course, when the chanting is so sweet and melodious that we want to have more ears and more tongues to relish it.
At present, however, we cannot know how relishable the name of Kṛṣṇa is (
Therefore, to understand Kṛṣṇa as He is we have to purify our senses. And to do that we should carefully follow the principles of
Thank you very much.
From Folly to Defeat
parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto
yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam
yāvat kriyās tāvad idaṁ mano vai
karmātmakaṁ yena śarīra-bandhaḥ
"As long as one does not inquire about the spiritual values of life, one is defeated and subjected to miseries arising from ignorance. Be it sinful or pious,
In the previous verse Ṛṣabhadeva has said that madly striving for sense gratification and doing all kinds of sinful activity are not good. Atheists may say, "Suppose we get a material body and it's a little miserable. What is wrong with that? It will be finished. Then there will be no more pains and pleasures." That is also the Buddhist theory: The body is a combination of matter producing pains and pleasures. So make this body zero; then there will be no more pains and pleasures.
So Ṛṣabhadeva answers this point: "No, although this body will be finished, you'll have to accept another body. And as long as you continue to accept one body after another, your miserable condition of material existence will continue."
In the beginning of his instructions Ṛṣabhadeva said that the human body is not to be misused simply for sense gratification like the dogs and hogs. So now he says,
Even if they go to the moon, they'll be driven away. What is the use of such an attempt? They cannot stay there. So this endeavor to go there by so-called scientific advancement is simply defeat. What have they achieved by these excursions? Nothing. No tangible achievement. But Russia and America have spent billions of dollars to go to the moon.
Even if they go there, they'll still have to die—they'll have to give up the body—and they do not know where they'll be placed after death. That is in nature's hands. No one can dictate, "After death I shall go to that planet or this planet." No. You are completely under nature's control.
Everyone is ambitious, but simply by becoming ambitious can one become a very rich man or a very respectable man? That is not possible. One must qualify himself. Similarly, to go and live on another planet one must be qualified. You have to act according to the higher laws. But they do not believe that there is higher authority, that there is judgment. They blindly think they can do whatever they like. That is not good.
So as long as one is not inquisitive to understand what he is, he will be defeated in life. And this is the condition in today's so-called civilization: Nobody is interested to know his real identity. From Sanātana Gosvāmī we get the perfect example of how to inquire into one's identity. When he first approached Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he asked the Lord:
This is called
The dog is thinking, "I am this body," and the cat is also thinking, "I am this body." So if a human being thinks like that, then he remains in ignorance. And if you remain in ignorance, whatever you believe to be to your credit is not an achievement: it is defeat. This is to be understood.
One should be inquisitive into who he is. Sanātana Gosvāmī has set the example. He went to Caitanya Mahāprabhu and said, "Sir, people say I am very learned, but actually I do not know what I am. Please instruct me on this topic." Ask any so-called scholar, doctor, Ph.D. if he knows what he is. Professor Kotovsky in Moscow said, "After the body is finished, everything is finished." He does not know what he is—an eternal soul. This is the position of everyone. Therefore, the so-called scholars, learned men, whatever they are doing, they're being defeated because they do not know their identity. Unless you know your identity, how can you work toward the goal of your life? If you are mistaken about your identity, then whatever you are doing, you will be defeated.
Then Ṛṣabhadeva says,
By pious activities you can take birth in a very aristocratic or rich family. You can become a very learned scholar. You can become beautiful. You American or Western people are supposed to be very learned, advanced in material science. You are also good-looking and richer than people in other countries. This is due to your past pious activities.
Suppose you have received these opportunities due to your past pious activities. Now, somebody else has taken birth in Greenland, where there is always snow and there are so many inconveniences. And someone else has taken birth somewhere in Africa where there are no facilities like those you have. From the spiritual point of view, all these situations are equivalent. In any birth, you have to enter within the womb of a mother to stay nine months in a packed-up condition. And nowadays they are killing the child within the womb. You may not even come out. Before you come out of your mother's womb you might be killed by your very mother or father. So whether you are in the womb of a very rich mother or a poor mother, a black mother or white mother, a learned mother or a foolish mother, the pains due to staying within the mother's womb are the same.
And as soon as you accept some material body, you'll have to suffer further bodily pains. Then, at the time of death, the same painful condition is there for everyone. So it doesn't matter whether one is rich or poor, the material condition will cause one to suffer.
So, if you continue to absorb your mind in fruitive activities, nature will continue to give you material bodies life after life to try to fulfill your unfulfilled desires. This is going on. Therefore a life devoid of inquiry into your real identity is
Your real business is to know that you are not this body; you are spirit soul, part and parcel of God, Kṛṣṇa. Your real business is to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, fully, and go back home, back to Godhead, to finish this business of repetition of birth and death. But who will understand this? Therefore it is said:
The basic principle of this movement is to understand Kṛṣṇa. And if you understand Kṛṣṇa, then after giving up this body, you go to Kṛṣṇa. Devotional service—chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, worshiping Kṛṣṇa in the temple, and so on—all these activities will help you understand Kṛṣṇa. Although it is very difficult to understand Kṛṣṇa, if you engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa's service as prescribed in the
This is confirmed by Lord Ṛṣabhadeva in the next verse:
evaṁ manaḥ karma-vaśaṁ prayuṅkte
prītir na yāvan mayi vāsudeve
na mucyate deha-yogena tāvat
"When the living entity is covered by the mode of ignorance, he does not understand the individual living being and the supreme living being, and his mind is subjugated to fruitive activity. Therefore, until one has love for Lord Vāsudeva, who is none other than Myself, he is certainly not delivered from having to accept a material body again and again."
So everyone has the wrong conception of life. But one can be saved if he somehow or other becomes a devotee of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa.
People are struggling, working hard for sense gratification—and suffering repeated birth and death. In this struggle for existence, if somehow or other one gets the seed of devotional service to Vāsudeva, then he's saved. Unless one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, his repetition of birth and death—contacting one body after another—will continue. This understanding is the basic principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Do not think that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a kind of religious faith. It is a science—the science of how to get release from the repetition of birth and death. It is not a system of religion, as people ordinarily accept some type of religion. Somebody's a Hindu, somebody's a Muslim, somebody's a Christian. It is not like that. It is a science. We are teaching, "Somehow or other, enhance your love for God. Then you are saved." And how do we enhance that love of Godhead? By our activities: rising early in the morning, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, studying the Vedic scriptures, worshiping the Deity in the temple, observing festivals honoring the Lord. These activities in devotional service will save us from the repetition of birth and death. Otherwise, we are doomed. We'll have to continue this repetition of birth and death.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches that we are wandering throughout the universe from one body to another, one planet to another, due to
Therefore Kṛṣṇa personally comes, and He says,
It is Kṛṣṇa's interest in this way: because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we are His sons. The rich father does not like to see his son become a crazy fellow loitering in the street. But if his son does not come home, there is no loss for the father. And if the son comes back to the home of his rich father, it is in the son's interest.
So Kṛṣṇa is canvassing: "Surrender unto Me." Those who are fortunate will accept this offer of Kṛṣṇa's. And when we actually love Kṛṣṇa, that is called
Thank you very much.