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Dharma: The Way of Transcendence

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabh!"da

Sanskrit words have become part of our everyday
speech. For example, almost no one would need to
crack a dictionary to understand such phrases as
"media guru," "political pundit," or "bad karma."
Another Sanskrit word that has established itself
in the mainstream of our language is "dharma." Fans
of eat!generation writer "ack #erouac might recall
his novel $harma ums, and in %&&' American
television viewers saw the debut of a popular
sitcom with a flighty new!age heroine named $harma.
ut what is dharma, really( If we consult the
teachings of the sages of ancient India, we find
there are two main meanings)nature and duty.
*et+s first consider nature. ,verything has its
particular nature, a uni-ue and essential -uality
that defines its existence. In this sense we can
say that the dharma of sugar is its sweetness, or
the dharma of water is its ability to -uench our
thirst with its pure taste.
,ach of us has an essential nature, too, and if we
live in harmony with our essential nature, or
dharma, we feel deeply satisfied. ut as human
beings, what is our dharma( According to the
timeless wisdom of the .edas, our dharma is a
characteristic not of our body but of our soul)the
spark of divine consciousness within. ,ach of us
has this spark within. It emanates from the Supreme
Soul, #rishna, who may be likened to a cosmic fire,
the source of all the divine sparks that are our
very selves.
And the dharma of each spark of divine
consciousness is to dance in harmony around the
central fire, #rishna, the original supreme
personality. /e are all uni-ue, individual, and
personal manifestations of #rishna, but our dharma
is to recogni0e our source, to celebrate our
eternal connection with 1im through loving service.
In short, our dharma, as eternally conscious
selves, is to love and serve #rishna, the Supreme
2ersonality of 3odhead.
In material consciousness we lose sight of our real
nature. /e forget our source and connection with
#a. And our original dharma of selfless service
to 1im transforms into the false dharma of
competitive selfishness. ecause we lose touch with
our true dharma, we experience frustration and
$harma4 5he /ay of 5ranscendence guides us back to
our true nature, our original position as loving
servants of #rishna.
Another meaning of dharma is "duty." In the latter
part of the twentieth century we+ve experimented
with the abandonment of a sense of duty and
responsibility in favor of an ethic of self!
gratification)"If it feels good, do it6" ut now
many of us are sensing that the experiment has
failed. 2eople are feeling that they+ve lost their
moral bearings amidst a chaotic sea of hedonism.
$uty is once again in favor.
ut duty to whom, and for what( /e can answer these
-uestions only by understanding the other part of
dharma)our essential characteristic. If our
essential characteristic is to render loving
service to #a, then our primary duty is to focus
our attention on awakening this loving service, or
bhakti, in ourselves and helping others achieve the
same goal.
$harma can give us the insight and inspiritation we
need. In this book, India+s greatest spiritual
ambassador to the world, 1is $ivine 3race A.7.
haktivedanta Swami 2rabhup8da, takes us to the
very heart of dharma, exploring its meaning in his
penetrating commentary on an ancient Sanskrit book
called the 9r:mad!h8gavatam, renowned as the ripe
fruit of the tree of .edic knowledge. In the
portion of the 9r:mad!h8gavatam 9rila 2rabhup8da
comments on here, the great sage S;ta 3oswami
concisely answers -uestions on dharma posed to him
by an assembly of sages in the sacred <aimi 8 ranya
Forest =in present!day northern India>.
5here is nothing more important than understanding
our dharma. 5his book thus stands as an enduring
literary landmark for humanity as we move forward
toward the new challenges and opportunities of the
twenty!first century.
7hapter %4 /hat is $harma(
sa vai pus8 paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoka?e
ahaituky apratihat8
yay8tm8 supras:dati
5he supreme occupation @dharmaA for all humanity is
that by which men can attain to loving devotional
service unto the transcendent *ord. Such devotional
service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to
completely satisfy the self.
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.C
In this statement, 9r: S;ta 3osv8m: answers the
first -uestion of the sages of <aimi 8 raya. 5he
sages asked him to summari0e the whole range of
revealed scriptures and present the most essential
part so that fallen people, or the people in
general, might easily take it up. 5he .edas
prescribe two different types of occupation for the
human being. Dne is called the pravtti!m8rga, or
the path of sense en?oyment, and the other is
called the nivtti!m8rga, or the path of
renunciation. 5he path of en?oyment is inferior,
and the path of sacrifice for the supreme cause is
5he material existence of the living being is a
diseased condition of actual life. Actual life is
spiritual existence, or brahma!bh;ta @S E.FG.BGA
existence, where life is eternal, blissful, and
full of knowledge. Haterial existence is temporary,
illusory, and full of miseries. 5here is no
happiness at all. 5here is ?ust the futile attempt
to get rid of the miseries, and temporary cessation
of misery is falsely called happiness. 5herefore,
the path of progressive material en?oyment, which
is temporary, miserable, and illusory, is inferior.
ut devotional service to the Supreme *ord, which
leads one to eternal, blissful, and all!cogni0ant
life, is called the superior -uality of occupation.
5his is sometimes polluted when mixed with the
inferior -uality. For example, adoption of
devotional service for material gain is certainly
an obstruction to the progressive path of
renunciation. Ienunciation, or abnegation for
ultimate good, is certainly a better occupation
than en?oyment in the diseased condition of life.
Such en?oyment only aggravates the symptoms of
disease and increases its duration. 5herefore
devotional service to the *ord must be pure in
-uality, i.e., without the least desire for
material en?oyment. Dne should therefore accept the
superior -uality of occupation in the form of the
devotional service of the *ord without any tinge of
unnecessary desire, fruitive action, or
philosophical speculation. 5his alone can lead one
to perpetual solace in 1is service.
/e have purposely denoted dharma as "occupation"
because the root meaning of the word dharma is
"that which sustains one+s existence." A living
being+s sustenance of existence is to coordinate
his activities with his eternal relationship with
the Supreme *ord, #a. #a is the central pivot
of living beings, and 1e is the all!attractive
living entity or eternal form amongst all other
living beings or eternal forms. ,ach and every
living being has his eternal form in the spiritual
existence, and #a is the eternal attraction for
all of them. #a is the complete whole, and
everything else is 1is part and parcel. 5he
relationship is one of the servant and the served.
It is transcendental and is completely distinct
from our experience in material existence. 5his
relationship of servant and the served is the most
congenial form of intimacy. Dne can reali0e it as
devotional service progresses. ,veryone should
engage himself in that transcendental loving
service of the *ord, even in the present
conditioned state of material existence. 5hat will
gradually give one the clue to actual life and
please him to complete satisfaction.
/e are all hankering for complete self!
satisfaction, or 8tma!supras8da, but first we must
know what the real self is. 5he word 8tma, or
"self," refers to the body, the mind, and the soul.
Actually, we are the spirit soul covered by two
kinds of "garments." "ust as a gentleman is covered
by his shirt and coat, so I, the soul, am covered
by a gross body consisting of the physical senses
and a subtle body consisting of mind, intelligence,
and false ego. A person covered by false ego
identifies with his body. /hen asked who he is, he
will answer, "I am an American," or "I am an
Indian," etc. ut these are bodily designationsJ
they are not his real identity.
5he .edic literature teaches that one begins to
understand his real identity when he thinks, aha
brahm8smi4 "I am rahman, or spirit soul."
5herefore the .ed8nta!s;tra says, ath8to brahma
?i?K8s84 "<ow one should in-uire about spirit." 5he
human form of life is meant for advancing in
knowledge of spirit, and this knowledge is the
beginning of real happiness.
,veryone is hankering for happiness because by
nature we are happy4 8nandamayo +bhy8s8t =.ed8nta!
s;tra %.%.%B>. As spirit souls we are naturally
happy, blissful. ut we are suffering because we
have been covered by five gross material elements)
earth, water, fire, air, and ether)and three subtle
material elements)mind, intelligence, and false
ego. Haterialists, identifying themselves with
these coverings, seek satisfaction through these
gross and subtle elements of the body. In other
words, they simply seek sense gratification, the
happiness of the body. In the material world
everyone is working hard only for this happiness.
Some people try to be happy by gratifying the
physical senses, and some try to be happy by
gratifying the mind in such pursuits as art,
poetry, and philosophy. ut neither gross nor
subtle sense gratification can give us real
happiness, because real happiness belongs to the
soul. And we actually see that although people are
endeavoring throughout the whole world for bodily
comforts, for sense gratification, they+re not
happy. 5hey cannot be happy, because the basic
principle of happiness is missing.
Suppose you have a nice coat. If you simply show
the coat and iron the coat and keep it very
carefully, you+ll never be happy. Similarly, now
you are trying to get happiness from gratifying the
coat of the body, but that is not possible.
1appiness comes only when you make the soul happy.
Dr, suppose you have a bird in a cage. If you
simply polish the cage but do not give the bird any
food, the bird will never be happy. Similarly, the
material body is the cage of the soul, and if we
simply care for the body, the soul will never
become happy. So, the beginning of spiritual
knowledge is to understand that the soul is encaged
within the body and mind and that neither bodily
comforts nor mental satisfaction will ever bring
the soul real happiness.
5hen how can the soul become happy( As stated in
the present verse of the 9r:mad!h8gavatam, the
soul can become happy only when living according to
the supreme dharma. A common ,nglish translation
for the word dharma is "religion," but, as
mentioned above, a more accurate meaning is "that
which sustains one+s existence" or "one+s essential
characteristic." ,verything has an essential
characteristic. 5he essential characteristic of
chili peppers, for instance, is to taste very hot.
/hen we go to the market to purchase chili peppers,
we test how hot they are. If they are not very hot,
we re?ect them. So the dharma of chili peppers is
to be very hot. Similarly, the dharma of sugar is
to be sweet.
5hen what is the dharma of the soul( /hen entrapped
by the material nature, the soul adopts various
artificial dharmas based on his false
identification with the body. Someone born in a
1indu family will say, "I am a 1indu," someone born
in a Huslim family will claim, "I am a Huslim,"
someone born in a 7hristian family will claim, "I
am a 7hristian," and so on. ut as I have already
explained, one+s real identity is the spirit soul)
aha brahm8smi4 "I am rahman. I am a spirit
soul." /hen we come to that platform of spiritual
understanding, our essential characteristic becomes
clear. As explained here, sa vai pus8 paro
dharmo yato bhaktir adhoka?e @S %.B.CA. 5he
supreme dharma of the soul is bhakti, devotional
service to the Supreme *ord. 5hat is our essential
characteristic. ,veryone is already a devotee)a
devotee of his country, his society, his family,
his wife, his children, his senses. <o one can say,
"I do not serve anyone." Lou must serve, because
that is your dharma. If a person has no one to
serve, he keeps a cat or dog and serves it. So to
render loving service to someone else is our
essential characteristic. ut we are missing the
point. /e are loving cats and dogs and so many
other things, but we are neglecting to love 3od.
5herefore, we are not getting real happiness. /hen
we shall direct our love toward the proper ob?ect)
Adhoka?a, or #a)we+ll become happy.
/hen the word dharma is taken to mean "religion,"
we can understand from this verse of the 9r:mad!
h8gavatam that rendering transcendental loving
service to the *ord is the highest form of
religion. 5he -uestion asked by the sages at
<aimi 8 raya was, "/hat is the best form of
religion, by which anyone can become elevated to
spiritual emancipation(" Some people may say that
the 1indu religion is best, others may recommend
the 7hristian religion, others may say that the
Huslim religion is very good, others may say that
uddhism is very good, and so on. ut the 9r:mad!
h8gavatam does not advocate the 1indu, 7hristian,
Huslim, or uddhist religion. It gives a general
description of the best religion4 "5he best
religious practice is that which enables you to
become a devotee of Adhoka?a."
"Adhoka?a" is a Sanskrit name for the Supreme
2ersonality of 3odhead. 5he literal meaning of the
name Adhoka?a is "1e who defeats, or +pushes down+
=adha>, all efforts to understand 1im by means of
knowledge gained through sense perception =aka!
?a>." 5his name of 3od)Adhoka?a)is an answer to
the mental speculators who research the -uestion
"/hat is 3od(" and write volumes of books. 5o them
the name Adhoka?a says, "Lou may go on speculating
for many thousands of years, but you will never be
able to understand 3od in that way."
3enerally people say, "3od is great." ut they do
not know how great 1e is. 3od+s greatness is
indicated perfectly by the name "#a." If you
want a perfect definition of the word "3od," then
it is ka, because the word ka means "all!
attractive." Mnless one is all!attractive, how can
1e be 3od, the greatest( If one is great, he must
be attractive. For example, "ohn $. Iockefeller and
1enry Ford were considered great men because they
were very rich, and their great wealth made them
attractive. So wealth is one feature of attraction.
5herefore 3od must be the most wealthy person.
eauty is another attractive feature)so 3od must be
the most beautiful person. Hany people, when they
see a picture of #a, are convinced they have
never seen such a beautiful person, although 1e+s a
little blackish. Similarly, #a fully possesses
the attractive opulences of strength, wisdom, fame,
and renunciation. And because these six opulences
of infinite wealth, beauty, strength, wisdom, fame,
and renunciation make 1im all!attractive, 3od is
known by the name "#a." /ith these
transcendental opulences 1e can attract the richest
person, the most beautiful person, the strongest
person, the wisest person, the most famous person,
and the most renounced person. Such infinite
attractive features are impossible for us to
understand through mental speculation based on
sense perception, and so #a is also known as
Adhoka?a, the name used in this verse of the
So, here the 9r:mad!h8gavatam gives a simple
definition of the best religion4 5hat religion is
the best by which you can develop your devotion and
love for the Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead. 1ow
nice this definition is6 Lou may follow
7hristianity, 1induism, uddhism, Islam)it doesn+t
matter. ut the test of your success is how far you
have developed love of 3od. If you have developed
your sense of love for 3od, you have actually
followed religious principles. Ieligion does not
mean that you go to a temple, mos-ue, or church and
as a matter of formality observe some rituals, make
some donation, and then come back home and do all
kinds of nonsense. 5hat is not religion. Suppose
someone is said to be great. /hat is the proof of
his greatness( 1e must have great riches,
knowledge, influence, beauty, etc. Similarly, what
is the proof that someone is a man of religious
principles( 5he proof is that he has developed love
of 3od. 5hen he is religious.
<ow, someone may say, "Dh, yes, I love 3od." ut
what is the nature of that love( In our experience
in this world we commonly see that a man will love
a beautiful girl. ut for how long( As long as she
is beautiful. And a girl loves a boy)for how long(
As long as his pocket is all right. 5his is not
love4 it is lust. "I love your skin, I love your
money")that is not love. 1ere the 9r:mad!h8gavatam
states that love of 3od must be ahaituk:, free of
selfish motivation. <ot that we say, "Hy dear 3od,
I love Lou because Lou supply me my daily bread."
/hether in the church, temple, or mos-ue, people
generally offer the same kind of prayer4 "D 3od,
give me my daily bread." In India people generally
go to a temple and pray, "Hy dear #a, I am in
difficulty. 2lease get me out of it," or "I am in
need of some money. #indly give me a million
dollars." 5his is not love of 3od.
Df course, this kind of religion is far better than
atheism. As *ord #a states in the hagavad!g:t84
catur!vidh8 bha?ante m8 ?an8 suktino +r?una
@g. '.%CA. Anyone who goes to 3od and asks for
some benediction is a pious man. ut he+s not a
devotee. 1e may be counted among pious men because
he recogni0es the supremacy of 3od, but he has not
developed the highest principle of religion, love
of 3od.
*ord 9r: 7aitanya describes love of 3od in 1is
9ik 8 aka ='>4
yug8yita nimeea caku 8 pr8v 8 yitam
N;ny8yita ?agat sarva govinda!virahea me
"D my dear 3ovinda6 ecause I cannot see Lou, every
moment seems like twelve years to He." ,veryone has
some experience of this feeling. If you love
someone and you expect your beloved to come at any
moment, you will feel as if every second were a
full day. 5hen, because *ord 7aitanya cannot see
#a, 1e says, caku 8 pr8v 8 yitam4 "5ears are
pouring from Hy eyes like torrents of rain," and
N;ny8yita ?agat sarvam4 "I see the whole world as
vacant." And all on account of separation from
3ovinda, or #a4 govinda!virahea me. /hen you
cannot tolerate separation from 3ovinda, that is
pure, causeless love of 3od.
5he next word used in the 9r:mad!h8gavatam to
describe pure love of 3od is apratihat8, which
means "without being hampered for any reason."
Sometimes people say, "I cannot love #a because
I am a very poor man," or "I cannot love #a
because I have no education)I cannot study .ed8nta
philosophy." <o. 5o love #a you don+t re-uire
any material ac-uisition. Lou can begin developing
your love of #a simply by bringing some fruit or
a flower to the temple and offering it to the $eity
form of #a. 5hat is one of the six signs of love
I;pa 3osv8m: describes in his MpadeN8mta =E>4
dad8ti pratigh 8 ti guhyam 8khy8ti pcchati
bhukte bho?ayate caiva a!vidha pr:ti!lakaam
First, you must give something to your beloved and
accept something from your beloved. If you simply
go on accepting but you do not give anything, then
there is no love. 5hen guhyam 8khy8ti pcchati4 Lou
should not keep anything secret within your mind,
and your beloved should not keep anything secret
within his or her mind. And bhukte bho?ayate
caiva4 Dne should give the beloved eatables and
accept eatables from him or her. /hen we cultivate
these six kinds of loving exchanges with #a, we
develop pure love of 3od. And that love should be
without any material motivation and without
If you can develop such love for 3od, you will feel
su!pras:dati, complete satisfaction. <o more
anxiety, no more dissatisfaction. Lou will feel
that the whole world is full of pleasure =viNva
p;ra!sukh8yate>. So the best religion is that
which teaches one how to become a lover of 3od, and
the best welfare work is to distribute this
knowledge. 5hese are the purposes of the #a
consciousness movement. #a consciousness is such
a beautiful thing. It does not depend on any
material ac-uisition, nor can it be checked by any
impediment. In any part of the world, at home or
away from home, you can chant the 1are #a mantra
in ecstasy and attain love of 3od very -uickly.
7hapter B4 Les to # a, <o to
v8sudeve bhagavati
bhakti!yoga prayo?ita
?anayaty 8Nu vair8gya
?K8na ca yad ahaitukam
y rendering devotional service unto the
2ersonality of 3odhead, 9r: # a, one immediately
ac-uires causeless knowledge and detachment from
the world.
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.'
5hose who consider devotional service to the
Supreme *ord 9r: # a to be something like
material emotional affairs may argue that in the
revealed scriptures, sacrifice, charity, austerity,
knowledge, mystic powers, and similar other
processes of transcendental reali0ation are
recommended. According to them, bhakti, or the
devotional service of the *ord, is meant for those
who cannot perform the high!grade activities.
3enerally it is said that the bhakti cult is meant
for the N;dras, vaiNyas, and the less intelligent
woman class. ut that is not the actual fact. 5he
bhakti cult is the topmost of all transcendental
activities, and therefore it is simultaneously
sublime and easy. It is sublime for the pure
devotees who are serious about getting in contact
with the Supreme *ord, and it is easy for the
neophytes who are ?ust on the threshold of the
house of bhakti. 5o achieve the contact of the
Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead 9r: # a is a great
science, and it is open for all living beings,
including the N;dras, vaiNyas, women, and even
those lower than the lowborn N;dras, so what to
speak of the high!class men like the -ualified
br8hma as and the great self!reali0ed kings. 5he
other high!grade activities designated as
sacrifice, charity, austerity, etc., are all
corollary factors following the process of pure and
scientific bhakti.
5he principles of knowledge and detachment are two
important factors on the path of transcendental
reali0ation. 5he whole spiritual process leads to
perfect knowledge of everything material and
spiritual, and the results of such perfect
knowledge are that one becomes detached from
material affection and becomes attached to
spiritual activities. ecoming detached from
material things does not mean becoming inert
altogether, as men with a poor fund of knowledge
think. <ai karmya means not undertaking activities
that will produce good or bad effects. <egation
does not mean negation of the positive. <egation of
the nonessentials does not mean negation of the
essential. Similarly, detachment from material
forms does not mean nullifying the positive form.
5he bhakti cult is meant for reali0ation of the
positive form. /hen the positive form is reali0ed,
the negative forms are automatically eliminated.
5herefore, with the development of the bhakti cult,
with the application of positive service to the
positive form, one naturally becomes detached from
inferior things, and he becomes attached to
superior things. Similarly, the bhakti cult, being
the supermost occupation of the living being, leads
him out of material sense en?oyment. 5hat is the
sign of a pure devotee. 1e is not a fool, nor is he
engaged in the inferior energies, nor does he have
material values. 5his is not possible by dry
reasoning. It actually happens by the grace of the
Almighty. In conclusion, one who is a pure devotee
has all other good -ualities, namely knowledge,
detachment, etc., but one who has only knowledge or
detachment is not necessarily well ac-uainted with
the principles of the bhakti cult. hakti is the
supermost occupation of the human being.
5he knowledge that comes from practicing bhakti
enables us to answer the -uestion "/hat am I(" In
the conditioned stage of life we pass our days not
in knowledge but in ignorance, ?ust like the
animals. 5he animals have no self!knowledge. 5hey
are always absorbed in the bodily concept of life.
5he dog thinks, "I am a dog. I am this body." Df
course, he does not know whether he is a dog or a
cat. /e have given him the name "dog." 1e simply
knows, "I am this body, and I must meet the needs
of this body somehow or other." 5hat is his only
business. 5he whole day and night he is simply
working to meet the needs of his body. 5his is
/hen we are no longer cats and dogs but are human
beings, we can understand, "I am not this bodyJ I
am a spirit soul." 5herefore the .ed8nta!s;tra
says, ath8to brahma ?i?K8s84 "1aving achieved the
human form of life, one should in-uire into the
Absolute 5ruth." 5he human body is achieved after
transmigrating for many, many years through up to
O,GGG,GGG lower forms of life. 5herefore this life
should not be spoiled by living like cats and dogs)
simply eating, sleeping, defending, and engaging in
sexual intercourse. 5hese bodily demands are common
to both animals and human beings. ut what is the
special facility of human life( 5he human being is
eligible to understand what is the value of life,
what are the problems of life, and how to make a
solution to those problems. 5hat is human life, not
simply passing our days like cats and dogs, working
very hard to satisfy our bodily demands.
Again and again the scriptures warn against this
kind of degraded life. *ord abhadeva says
=9r:mad!h8gavatam P.P.%>, n8ya deho deha!bh8?8
n loke ka 8n k8m8n arhate vi !bhu?8 ye4 "5his
human form of life is not meant for satisfying the
senses with great difficulty, like the stool!eating
hogs." ,ating is necessary, of course, but a
village hog eats the most abominable thing, stool,
searching it out the whole day and night. And if
human beings create a so!called civili0ation in
which one simply has to work hard day and night to
get food, then the lives of the human beings in
that civili0ation are no better than the hog+s
life. 5hat is not human life. 1uman life should be
peaceful. Dne should be able to ac-uire food
easily, eat nicely, and save time for cultivating
# a consciousness. 5hat is human life. ut if we
create a civili0ation of cats, dogs, and hogs, then
# a will give us the chance to work day and night
simply for eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.
And that is the position now because people want
Actually, there is no scarcity of food. # a is so
kind that he is providing food for everyone =eko
bah;n8 yo vidadh8ti k8m8n>. 1e is feeding
millions and trillions of living entities.
5hroughout the world there are billions of birds.
/ho is feeding them( # a is feeding them. So the
real problems in the world are not overpopulation
or a scarcity of food. 5he problem is a scarcity of
3od consciousness. 5hat is why people are
suffering. 5hat is not to say that the needs of the
body should be neglectedJ they must be met. ut we
should not be busy simply for satisfying the needs
of the body. /e are spirit souls, and the spirit
soul has its own needs. /e must meet those needs.
5hen we will be happy.
5hese needs can be met when we follow the
instructions of this verse and attain ?K8na and
vair8gya, knowledge and detachment. $etachment
cannot be achieved without knowledge. Ieal
knowledge means to understand, "I am not this
body." As soon as we understand that we are not the
body, we can also understand that sense
gratification is not re-uired. And that
understanding is detachment, or vair8gya. ut
without ?K8na, we think we must satisfy the senses.
Absorbed in the bodily concept of life, which is
a?K8na, or ignorance, we think our only business is
to satisfy our senses.
5he whole world is moving on the basis of sense
gratification. /hen a young man and a young woman
meet, the desire for sense gratification becomes
very strong. As the 9r:mad!h8gavatam =P.P.O> says,
pu sa striy8 mithun:!bh8vam eta
tayor mitho h daya!granthim 8hu
ato g ha!k etra!sut8pta!vittair
?anasya moho +yam aha mameti
A man is attracted to a woman, and a woman is
attracted to man, and as soon as they are united
sexually, that mutual attraction becomes very
strong. 5hen they are married and re-uire a house
or apartment =g ha> and a ?ob for earning money or
some land for cultivating food =k etra>. 5hen come
children =suta>, a widening circle of friends and
relatives =8pta>, and wealth =vittai >. In this way
the living entity becomes entangled in a network of
illusion and thinks, "I am this body, and this
family and property are mine."
Actually, nothing belongs to him. As soon as death
comes, he has to change his body, and as soon as he
changes his body, everything is finished. 1is
property, his wife, his children, his country, his
society)everything is lost. As # a says in the
hagavad!g:t8 =%G.E>, m tyu sarva!haraN c8ham4 "As
death, I take away everything." For 1is devotees
# a appears as 1imself )as beautiful 9r: # a
playing a flute)but for the nondevotees # a comes
as death. 5hen they can see 3od. 5he atheists
simply defy 3od, challenging "/here is your # a(
/here is 3od(" and in the end they also see 1im, as
So the atheists and the theists both see # a, but
whereas the atheists see 1im only at the end of
their lives, as all!devouring death, the theists
see # a 1imself in their hearts at every moment
because they have developed love for 1im
=prem8K?ana!cchurita!bhakti!vilocanena santa
sadaiva h daye u vilokayanti @s. P.FOA>. 5he
previous verse of 9r:mad!h8gavatam =%.B.C> has
described the culture of this love of 3od as the
supreme dharma for human beings4 sa vai pu s8
paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhok a?e. 5hat culture is
re-uired. Lou may belong to any type of religion!
1indu, Huslim, 7hristian!but the test of how
religious you are is how much you have developed
love of 3odhead. /ithout such development, your
religious process is useless.
Sometimes people ask, "1ave you seen 3od(" 5o see
3od is not difficult. Lou simply have to -ualify
yourself to see 1im by developing your love of
3odhead. 5hen you can see 3od at every moment. 5his
is the formula. And if you have not developed # a
consciousness to the degree that you can always see
1im in your heart, then you can see 3od in the
material world, as prescribed in the scriptures.
For example, in the hagavad!g:t8 ='.O> # a says,
raso +ham apsu kaunteya4 "I am the taste of water."
So, you can see # a while drinking water if you
remember, "5he taste of this water is # a." Is it
very difficult( <ot at all. 5hen # a says,
prabh8smi NaNi!s;ryayo 4 "I am the light of the sun
and the moon." If while drinking water you forget
that # a is the taste, you can see 1im by
remembering that 1e is the light of the sun and the
moon. So when people ask, "1ave you seen 3od(" we
reply, "Les, and you have also seen 1im, because
# a says, +I am the sunshine.+" /ho has not seen
the sunshine( So, you have to begin seeing 3od in
this way)by remembering 1im when you taste water,
when you see the sunshine, and so on. Such
remembrance of 3od is also seeing 1im. Spiritual
seeing is not done simply with the eyes. ecause
# a is absolute, you can also see 1im by chanting
1is name or by describing 1im. 9rava a k:rtana
vi o smara a p8da!sevanam @S '.P.BFA. /hen you
hear of # a, you are seeing # a, when you chant
about # a, you are seeing # a, when you are
thinking of # a, you are seeing # a. 5his is
the process for seeing 3od.
If you hear about # a, if you chant about # a,
if you think about # a, if you worship # a, if
you render some service to # a, if you offer
everything to # a, you+ll see # a always,
twenty!four hours a day. 5his is bhakti!yoga. Hy
students in the # a consciousness society are
following these principles4 5hey are cooking for
# a, dancing for # a, singing for # a,
talking for # a, going around the world for # a
)everything for # a. Anyone can adopt these
principles. /here is the difficulty( .8sudeve
bhagavati bhakti!yoga prayo?ita @S %.B.'A. And
if you practice # a consciousness in this way,
the result will be ?anayaty 8Nu vair8gya ? K8na
ca yad ahaitukam4 .ery soon you will automatically
attain knowledge and detachment.
5he mystic yog:s are trying very hard to become
detached from this material world by the processes
of yama =proscriptions>, niyama =prescribed
duties>, 8sana =sitting postures>, pr8 8y8ma
=breath control>, praty8h8ra =withdrawal of the
senses>, dh8ra 8 =concentration>, dhy8na
=meditation>, and sam8dhi =trance>. 5his is the
eightfold mystic yogic system. And what is the
goal( $etachment from the material world. <owadays
people take the goal of yoga to be health. ut yoga
is not actually meant for that purpose. Loga is
meant to detach us from matter and connect us with
the Supreme. 5hat is yoga.
5here are various types of yoga, but the supreme
yoga is described in the hagavad!g:t8 =C.E'> by
# a as follows4
yogin8m api sarve 8 mad!gaten8ntar!8tman8
Nraddh8v8n bha?ate yo m8 sa me yuktatamo mata
"And of all yogis, the one with great faith who
always abides in He, thinks of He within himself,
and renders transcendental loving service to He)he
is the most intimately united with He in yoga and
is the highest of all. 5hat is Hy opinion." So the
first!class yogi is he who is always thinking of
# a, and the easiest and simplest way to think of
# a is to chant 1are # a, 1are # a, # a
# a, 1are 1areQ 1are I 8ma, 1are I8ma, I8ma I8ma,
1are 1are. y this process your tongue, voice, and
hearing process are all fixed on # a. 5hat is
sam8dhi, absorption in thought of # a.
5his absorption in # a, however, can come only if
we are detached from the sense ob?ects. As # a
says in the hagavad!g:t8 =B.EE>,
bhogaiNvarya!prasakt8n8 tay8pah ta!cetas8m
vyavas8y8tmik8 buddhi sam8dhau na vidh:yate
5hose who are too much attached to material
en?oyment and opulence cannot attain sam8dhi,
absorption in # a consciousness. 5hey are
thinking that material en?oyment and opulence will
make them happy, and so they are called apah ta!
cetas8m, bewildered. ut if you practice bhakti!
yoga, detachment will automatically come, and
absorption in # a consciousness will follow.
5he whole # a consciousness movement is based on
the principles of knowledge and detachment. <ow we
are in ignorance, thinking, "I am this body, and I
am attached to my bodily expansions)my wife,
children, grandchildren, daughters!in!law, sons!in!
law, and so on." In this way we gather our
attachments around us. 5hese attachments should not
be re?ected at once, but they should be dovetailed
in # a consciousness. 5his principle has been
enunciated by 9r:la I;pa 3osv8m:4
an8saktasya vi ay8n yath8rham upayu K?ata
nirbandha k a!sambandhe yukta vair 8gyam ucyate
A man and a woman should live together as
householders in relationship with # a, only for
the purpose of discharging duties in the service of
# a. 5he husband, wife, and children should all
be engaged in # a conscious duties, and then all
these bodily or material attachments will
disappear. ,very family can worship .8sudeva, or
# a. Lou can install a small $eity or a picture
of # a in your house and perform worship. For
instance, everyone has to cook food to eat. So,
cook nice vegetarian foods for # a, offer them to
the $eity form or a picture of # a, and then
partake of the pras8dam, or remnants. 5his is
bhakti!yoga. It is not that the $eity should be
installed only in the temple. /hy not in your home(
Although # a is the vir8 !puru a, with a form as
big as the universe, 1e can also come within your
room as a small $eity. A or a :y8n mahato mah:y8n4
3od is bigger than the biggest and smaller than the
smallest. 5hat is 1is greatness.
So everyone can practice bhakti!yoga under the
guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, one who
knows the science of # a. $on+t lose this
opportunity of human life. 2ractice bhakti!yoga, be
# a conscious, and make your life successful. Dur
mission is to teach this science. It is not a
business)"3ive me some money, and I will teach
you." 5he knowledge is free. /e are simply
encouraging everyone, "7hant the 1are # a
mantra." /hat is the difficulty( Simply chant 1are
# a and dance. /hy go to some club to dance( 5he
whole family can chant and dance at home. Lou will
be happy. 5hen you will understand your
constitutional position as servants of # a.
5his is the main mission of human life4 to
understand our position as servants of the *ord.
5his understanding naturally results in vair8gya,
detachment. 5wo good examples are San8tana 3osv8m:
and I;pa 3osv8m:, the foremost disciples of 9r:
7aitanya Hah8prabhu. efore meeting *ord 7aitanya
they were the chief ministers of a king, <awab
1ussein Shah. 5hey associated with highly
aristocratic men. ut after they met 9r: 7aitanya
Hah8prabhu they decided to retire from the king+s
service and ?oin *ord 7aitanya+s # a
consciousness movement. About them it is said,
tyaktv8 t;r am aNe a!ma ala!pati!Nre : sad8
tuccha!vat4 Although they were big leaders of
society, they -uickly gave it all up as very
insignificant. 5hen what did they do( h;tv8 d:na!
ga eNakau karu ay8 kaup:na!kanth8Nritau4 For the
benefit of the whole human society, they became
renounced mendicants and taught # a
1ere the words d:na!ga a mean "the general mass of
poor people." I;pa 3osv8m: and San8tana 3osv8m: saw
that the people were very poor because they did not
know the aim of life or the means for achieving it.
Dne is actually poor who is poor in transcendental
knowledge. Haterial poverty is no consideration.
5hat may come or go, and one has to tolerate4 t8 s
titik asva bh8rata. And even if you have enough
money, you will still be unhappy if you are poor in
transcendental knowledge. 5herefore transcendental
knowledge is real wealth. 5hat is why in India, the
br8hma as )those who were rich in knowledge because
they understood the Supreme rahman, # a)were
traditionally respected even by kings.
So we must become rich in knowledge and detachment.
For so long we have been entangled in the
materialistic way of life because of attachment. /e
live our life in ignorance, and after death we get
another life, another body. 5hen another chapter
begins. In this way our life is going on. 5herefore
we must attain detachment from this materialistic
way of life so that we can end this changing from
one body to another.
Mnfortunately, people are so ignorant that they do
not take this process of transmigration very
seriously. 5hey think, "*et us go on as we are. /e
don+t mind getting another body. /hatever happens,
happens." 5hat is not very intelligent. Lou must
have knowledge. 5his knowledge is imparted at the
very beginning of # a+s teachings in the
hagavad!g:t8 =B.%%>4 aNocy8n anvaNocas tva
pra?K8!v8d8 N ca bh8 ase. "Ar?una, you are talking
like a big pa ita, but all your talk concerns this
body, which no one should be overly concerned
about." 3at8s;n agat8s; N ca n8nuNocanti pa it8 4
"Ieal pa itas are not very much concerned with
this body, but fools and rascals are simply
involved with bodily problems." 5his is ?K8na,
Dne can achieve this ?K8na very easily. 1ow( # a
explains in the hagavad!g:t8 =%G.%G>4
te 8 satata!yukt8n8 bha?at8 pr:ti!p;rvakam
dad8mi buddhi!yoga ta yena m8m upay8nti te
If you engage in the devotional service of the
Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead)# a, or . 8sudeva)
then # a, who is within your heart, will impart
knowledge to you. ut that service must be rendered
with love and faith, as we are teaching in the
# a consciousness movement. Since 1e is situated
in your heart, # a knows what you are. Lou cannot
cheat 1im. /hen 1e understands that you are serious
about knowing 1im, 1e supplies the knowledge by
which you can go to 1im. 5hat knowledge is the
process of bhakti!yoga, as # a clearly says in
the ,ighteenth 7hapter of the hagavad!g:t8
bhakty8 m8m abhi?8n8ti y8v8n yaN c8smi tattvata
tato m8 tattvato ? K8tv8 viNate tad!anantaram
"Dne can understand He as I am, as the Supreme
2ersonality of 3odhead, only by devotional service.
And when one is in full consciousness of He by such
devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of 3od."
So, you do not need to make any separate endeavor
to ac-uire knowledge. As stated in the present
verse of 9r:mad!h8gavatam, ?anayaty 8Nu vair8gya
?K8na ca yad ahaitukam4 @S %.B.'A "y serving
.asudeva, one ac-uires causes knowledge and
detachment." 5hus a sincere devotee is perfect in
knowledge because he is enlightened from within by
the Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead. As stated in
the beginning of 9r:mad!h8gavatam =%.%.%>, tene
brahma h d8 8di!kavaye4 "From within the heart,
# a gave *ord rahm8 the intelligence to create
the universe." Similarly, 1e will also give you
intelligence if you become 1is sincere servant.
As soon as you ac-uire this knowledge, you will
naturally be reluctant to pursue material sense
en?oyment. In the material world everyone is
working in ignorance, trying to increase his own
sense en?oyment, but in the spiritual world
everyone is working in knowledge, trying to
increase sense en?oyment of the Supreme 2ersonality
of 3odhead. In two lines the 7aitanya!carit8m ta
=Rdi!l:l8 E.%CP> very nicely explains the
difference between material and spiritual
8tmendriya!pr:ti!v8Kch8)t8re bali +k8ma+
k endriya!pr:ti!icch8 dhare +prema+ n8ma
"/anting to satisfy the desires of one+s own senses
is called k8ma, lust, and wanting to satisfy
# a+s senses is called prema, pure loving
/e see the contrast between k8ma and prema in the
behavior of Ar?una. At first he wanted to satisfy
his own senses4 "Hy dear # a, I cannot possibly
kill my cousin!brothers, my grandfather, or my
teacher $ro 8c8rya." ut after # a had imparted
the instructions of the hagavad!g:t8 to Ar?una and
then asked him, "<ow what is your decision(" Ar?una
na o moha sm tir labdh8 tvat!pras8d8n may8cyuta
sthito +smi gata!sandeha kari ye vacana tava
@g. %O.'FA
"Hy dear # a, by Lour grace all my illusion is
now gone and I have regained my original # a
consciousness." And what is his conclusion( "Hy
duty is to satisfy Lou, not my senses." In this way
Ar?una again came to his position as # a+s
devotee and fought the attle of #uruk etra.
# a consciousness, pure love of 3od, is not
something artificial. In the beginning you must
follow the regulative principles of bhakti!yoga.
5hen after some time you will naturally get
spontaneous love of 3od. As *ord 7aitanya explains
to San8tana 3osv8m: in the 7aitanya!carit8m ta
=Hadhya!l:l8 BB.%G'>,
nitya!siddha k a!prema +s8dhya+ kabhu naya
Nrava 8di!Nuddha!citte karaye udaya
"2ure love for # a is eternally established in
the hearts of all living entities. It is not
something to be gained from another source. /hen
the heart is purified by hearing and chanting about
# a, that love naturally awakens."
So, love for 3od is already there within each of us
because we are part and parcel of 1im, but that
love is now covered by lust due to material
association. /hen a mirror is covered by dust, you
cannot see yourself reflected in it, but after you
polish it you see your face clearly. Similarly, the
process of bhakti!yoga polishes the mirror of your
heart, and when it is nicely polished, you will see
what you are and how you should work so that you
will be happy. ,verything will be revealed.
5herefore, our re-uest is that you take this # a
consciousness movement very seriously and try to
apply yourself in the service of # a.
7hapter F4 Seeing the Free *ight and
the Spirit
dharma svanu hita pu s8
vi vaksena!kath8su ya
notp8dayed yadi rati
Nrama eva hi kevalam
5he occupational activities a man performs
according to his own position are only so much
useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for
the message of the 2ersonality of 3odhead.
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.O
5here are different occupational activities in
terms of man+s different conceptions of life. 5o
the gross materialist who cannot see anything
beyond the gross material body, there is nothing
beyond the senses. 5herefore his occupational
activities are limited to concentrated and extended
selfishness. 7oncentrated selfishness centers on
the personal body)this is generally seen amongst
the lower animals. ,xtended selfishness is
manifested in human society and centers on the
family, society, community, nation, and world with
a view to gross bodily comfort. Above these gross
materialists are the mental speculators, who hover
aloft in the mental spheres, and their occupational
duties involve making poetry and philosophy or
propagating some ism with the same aim of
selfishness limited to the body and the mind. ut
above the body and mind is the dormant spirit soul,
whose absence from the body makes the whole range
of bodily and mental selfishness completely null
and void. ut less intelligent people have no
information of the needs of the spirit soul.
ecause foolish people have no information of the
soul and how it is beyond the purview of the body
and mind, they are not satisfied in the performance
of their occupational duties. 5he -uestion of the
satisfaction of the self is raised herein. 5he self
is beyond the gross body and subtle mind. 1e is the
potent active principle of the body and mind.
/ithout knowing the needs of the dormant soul, one
cannot be happy simply with emolument of the body
and mind. 5he body and the mind are but superfluous
outer coverings of the spirit soul. 5he spirit
soul+s needs must be fulfilled. Simply by cleansing
the cage of the bird, one does not satisfy the
bird. Dne must actually know the needs of the bird
5he need of the spirit soul is that he wants to get
out of the limited sphere of material bondage and
fulfill his desire for complete freedom. 1e wants
to get out of the covered walls of the greater
universe. 1e wants to see the free light and the
spirit. 5hat complete freedom is achieved when he
meets the complete spirit, the 2ersonality of
3odhead. 5here is a dormant affection for 3od
within everyoneJ spiritual existence is manifested
through the gross body and mind in the form of
perverted affection for gross and subtle matter.
5herefore we have to engage ourselves in
occupational engagements that will evoke our divine
consciousness. 5his is possible only by hearing and
chanting the divine activities of the Supreme *ord,
and any occupational activity that does not help
one achieve attachment for hearing and chanting the
transcendental message of 3odhead is said herein to
be simply a waste of time. 5his is because other
occupational duties =whatever ism they may belong
to> cannot give liberation to the soul. ,ven the
activities of the salvationists are considered to
be useless because of their failure to pick up the
fountainhead of all liberties. 5he gross
materialist can practically see that his material
gain is limited only to time and space, either in
this world or in the other. ,ven if he goes up to
Svargaloka,S he will find no permanent abode for
his hankering soul. 5he hankering soul must be
satisfied by the perfect scientific process of
perfect devotional service.
As we have already explained, rendering devotional
service to 3od is the real dharma, or religion, for
everyone in human society. 2eople have manufactured
so many religions according to their different
circumstances and countries, but the essence is
service to 3od. Suppose someone says, "I perfectly
execute the ritualistic ceremonies described in my
scripture and follow the tenets of my religion."
5hat+s very good. ut what is the result( /hether
you are following the ible, the .edas, or the
#oran, the result must be that you are increasing
your eagerness to hear about 3od. ut if you
believe that 3od has no form, that the ultimate
truth is impersonal, what will you hear( Simply
"3od is formless," "3od is formless," "3od is
formless"( 1ow long can you go on like that( If 3od
were formless, there would be no point in hearing
about 1im, because 1e would have no activities.
ut 3od is not formless. 1e is a person, and
therefore 1e has 1is form and activities. If 3od
had no activities, why would 1e say in the
hagavad!g:t8 =E.&>,
?anma karma ca me divyam eva yo vetti tattvata
tyaktv8 deha punar ?anma naiti m8m eti so +r?una
"Dne who knows the transcendental nature of Hy
appearance and activities does not, upon leaving
the body, take his birth again in this material
world, but attains Hy eternal abode, D Ar?una"(
1ere # a says that 1e takes birth =?anma>, but
this "birth" is simply like the rising of the sun.
Actually, neither 3od nor the living entity takes
birth. In the hagavad!g:t8 =B.BG> # a says, na
?8yate mriyate v8 kad8cit4 the living entities
neither take birth nor die at any time. 5hen what
is death and birth( For the living entities death
and birth are simply changes of the body)the gross
body but not the subtle body of mind, intelligence,
and ego.
,very night we "die." 5he gross body remains
inactive on the bed, and the subtle body takes us
away to dreamland. /e may dream that we have gone
to some friend and are talking with him, or that we
are working in a different way than we do when
awake. 5his daily experience proves that we have
two kinds of bodies)the gross body of flesh and
blood, and subtle body of mind, intelligence, and
ego. /e cannot see the subtle body, but it exists,
as everyone knows. So, when death occurs we leave
this "overcoat" of the gross body and are carried
away by the subtle body into another "overcoat."
ecause we cannot see the subtle body or the soul,
we cannot see how the soul transmigrates from one
gross body to another while the subtle body remains
intact. /hen one is liberated, however, one is
freed from even the subtle body and is promoted to
the spiritual kingdom in a spiritual body.
5herefore, while living in this gross body, we have
to educate our subtle body in such a way that it
becomes completely spirituali0ed.
5hat education is the process of # a
consciousness. If our mind is always thinking of
# a, and if we work intelligently for # a, then
our mind and intelligence will become
spirituali0ed, and naturally our ego)our sense of
"I am")will also become spirituali0ed. At present
we are thinking, "I am American," "I am Indian," "I
am white," "I am black," and so on. 5his "I am" has
to be changed. Dne has to simply think, "I am an
eternal servant of # a."
If you educate yourself in this way, transferring
the activities of your subtle body from matter to
spirit, then at the time of death you will give up
your subtle body along with your gross body and go
back home, back to 3odhead, in your spiritual body.
5his process is taught in the # a consciousness
movement. 5he gross body we automatically give up
at the time of death. <ow we should learn how to
give up the subtle body as well. For that one has
to develop prema, love for 3od.
5he first step in developing love for 3od is to
ac-uire some Nraddh8)faith or respect. For example,
when someone comes to one of our # a
consciousness centers to hear about 3od, that is a
sign of respect for the glorification of 3od. 5he
person knows that he will hear about 3od, because
our only business is to talk of 3odJ in our centers
we don+t talk of politics or sociology or anything
else but # a. $iscussion of those subordinate
topics may come automatically, but our real
business is to talk about 3od. And those who talk
about 3od are called saintly persons, or
5here are two kinds of people in this world4
transcendentalists and materialists. 5he
transcendentalists, those who are interested in
spiritual life, talk of 3od and self!reali0ation,
and the materialists talk of topics concerning the
body!politics, sociology, welfare activities, and
so on. A main source of these topics is the
newspaper, which is filled up with news of this and
that, advertisements, fashion pictures, and so on.
5he materialistic persons read the newspaper, but
we read 9r:mad!h8gavatam. 5hat is the difference.
/e are reading and they are reading, but the
sub?ect matter is different. As 9ukadeva 3osv8m:
said to #ing 2ar:k it =9r:mad!h8gavatam B.%.B>,
Nrotavy8d:ni r8?endra n 8 santi sahasraNa
apaNyat8m 8tma!tattva g he u g ha!medhin8m
"Hy dear king, there are many hundreds and
thousands of topics for the materialistic person to
hear." So many novels, books of so!called
philosophy, newspapers, cinema maga0ines. All of
this is of great interest to those who are
apaNyat8m 8tma!tattvam @S B.%.BA, blind to self!
reali0ation, and g he u g ha!medhin8m, simply
interested in maintaining the body, wife, children,
house, and so on. ecause they have no information
of the soul, they are talking about the body, or
sometimes about the mind. Dne philosopher theori0es
something, and another philosopher theori0es
something else, producing lots of literature that
is all nonsensical because it is the result of
mental speculation.
Dften such speculation leads to atheism. 5wo
classes of men always exist within this world4 the
atheists and theists, or the asuras and the devas.
5herefore a class of atheists existed thousands of
years ago in India. It is not that the atheist
class developed recently. 5he number may have
increased, but there have always been atheists. For
example, long, long ago there lived an atheist
named 78rv8ka Huni. =1e was known as a muni, a
"thinker," because he was a mental speculator.> So,
this 78rv8ka Huni presented his atheistic
philosophy as follows4
a k tv8 gh ta pibet y8va? ?:vet sukha ?:vet
bhasm:!bh;tasya dehasya kuta punar 8gamano bhavet
78rv8ka+s theory was that as long as you live you
should eat as much ghee as possible. In India, ghee
=clarified butter> is an essential ingredient in
preparing many varieties of delicious foods. Since
everyone wants to en?oy nice food, 78rv8ka Huni
advised that you eat as much ghee as possible. If
you say, "I have no money. 1ow shall I purchase
ghee(" 78rv8ka Huni, replies, "5hen beg, borrow, or
steal, but somehow or other get ghee and en?oy
life." And if you further ob?ect that you will be
held accountable for such sinful activities,
78rv8ka Huni replies, "Lou will not be held
accountable. As soon as your body is burned to
ashes after death, everything is finished. So live
?oyfully, eat nicely, en?oy your senses, and finish
your life." 5his is atheism, the philosophy of
those who are apaNyat8m 8tma!tattvam @S B.%.BA,
blind to the truth of the soul.
If you inform such people that the soul is
transmigrating from one body to another among
O,EGG,GGG species of life, they don+t care. ,ven if
you inform them that one who follows 78rv8ka+s
philosophy is going to be a tree in his next life,
they will reply frankly, "Dh, it doesn+t matterJ
let me en?oy. If I become a tree, what is the harm(
I shall forget this life." 2eople have become so
foolish that they have lost sight of their real
self!interest. 5hey are like children. Suppose you
say to a child, "If you always play and do not go
to school, you will not become educated, and then
you will suffer in the future)you will have no
position in society." 5he child may reply, "I do
not care," but the certainty of suffering is there.
Similarly, when you inform a modern person about
the transmigration of the soul and explain that his
sinful activities will cause him to become an
animal, a-uatic, or reptile in his next life, he
will reply that he doesn+t care or that he doesn+t
believe you. 5hat is not very intelligent, because
transmigration is a fact.
At every stage of life, one has a past, a present,
and a future. A young man can remember his
childhood, live in the present, and plan for his
future as an old man. And why should there be no
future for the old man( 5here must be a future, and
that future is to get another body, whether it be
the body of an animal, a tree, a demigod, or an
associate of 3od. As # a states in the hagavad!
g:t8 @g. &.BPA,
y8nti deva!vrat8 dev8n pit n y8nti pit !vrat8
bh;t8ni y8nti bh;te?y8 y8nti mad!y8?ino +pi m8m
"5hose who worship the demigods will take birth
among the demigodsJ those who worship the ancestors
go to the ancestorsJ those who worship ghosts and
spirits will take birth among such beingsJ and
those who worship He will live with He."
So, you prepare yourself for your next body by how
you act in this body. 5he ultimate goal is to get a
body in the kingdom of 3od. 5hat is the highest
perfection =sa siddhi paramam>. /hy( # a
explains, m8m upetya punar ?anma du kh8layam
aN8Nvatam n8pnuvanti @g. O.%PA. "If someone comes
to He, then he does not get any more material
bodies in the material world." /hat harm is there
in staying in the material world( 5he harm is that
every situation in this world is du kh8layam
aN8Nvatam, full of miseries and also temporary.
Suppose you are an American. Lou may think, "In
America there is enough money, vast land, and
resources. I shall live perpetually as an
American." <o. Lou can live as an American for
perhaps one hundred years, but you+ll not be
allowed to live as an American perpetually. ,ven
*ord rahm8, whose one day is millions of years
long, is not allowed to remain perpetually in his
position. 5he ant will not be allowed, the cat will
not be allowed, the elephant will not be allowed,
the man will not be allowed, the demigod will not
be allowed to live forever. 5he great demon
1ira yakaNipu tried to live forever. 1e underwent
severe penances to become immortal, but it was
impossible. Df course, the lunatic scientists
promise, "y scientific advancement we shall become
immortal." ut it is impossible.
5herefore, intelligent persons should try to
achieve the ultimate transmigration, which is to go
back home, back to 3odhead. 5hat should be the aim
of life. Mnfortunately, people do not know this.
5herefore we are trying to render our humble
service to human society by teaching, "Lou are
attempting to become happy in so many ways, but
instead of becoming happy you are becoming
frustrated. So please take this # a consciousness
and you will actually become happy." Imparting this
knowledge is our mission.
7hapter E4 5he 5rue 3oal of $harma
dharmasya hy 8pavargyasya
n8rtho +rth8yopakalpate
n8rthasya dharmaik8ntasya
k8mo l8bh8ya hi sm ta
All occupational engagements are certainly meant
for ultimate liberation. 5hey should never be
performed for material gain. Furthermore, according
to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate
occupational service should never use material gain
to cultivate sense gratification.
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.&
/e have already discussed that pure devotional
service to the *ord is automatically followed by
perfect knowledge and detachment from material
existence. ut there are those who consider that
all kinds of different occupational engagements,
including those of religion, are meant for material
gain. 5he general tendency of any ordinary man in
any part of the world is to gain some material
profit in exchange for religious or any other
occupational service. ,ven in the .edic
literatures, for all sorts of religious
performances an allurement of material gain is
offered, and most people are attracted by such
allurements or blessings of religiosity. /hy are
such so!called men of religion allured by material
gain( ecause material gain can enable one to
fulfill desires, which in turn satisfy sense
gratification. 5his cycle of occupational
engagements includes so!called religiosity followed
by material gain and material gain followed by
fulfillment of desires. Sense gratification is the
general way for all sorts of fully occupied men.
ut in the statement of S;ta 3osv8m:, as per the
verdict of the 9r:mad!h8gavatam, this way is
nullified by the present verse, which describes the
real purpose of religion.
S;ta 3osv8m: says, dharmasya hy 8pavargyasya4 @S
%.B.&A the purpose of dharma, or a system of
religion, is to take one along the path toward
liberation from birth and death. 5he word apavarga
is very significant4 it means the negation of
pavarga, the miseries of material existence. In
Sanskrit linguistics, pavarga indicates the letters
pa, pha, ba, bha, and ma, each of which stands for
one of the material miseries. 2a indicates
pariNrama, hard labor. In this material world, you
have to work very hard for sense gratification. And
pha indicates phenil8, foam. /hen you work very
hard, foam sometimes comes from your mouth. /e
often see this among horses or other animals. a
indicates byarthat8, frustration. In spite of
working very hard, one feels frustration. And bha
indicates bhaya, fear. Although one works very
hard, still one is fearful about what will happen.
And finally, ma indicates m tyu, death. /e work so
hard, day and night, and still death comes. 5he
scientific world is working so hard to defeat
death, but the scientists themselves are dying.
5hey cannot stop death. 5hey can create some atom
bomb to kill millions of people, but they cannot
create something that will stop death. 5hat is not
possible. So, the word pavarga)indicating the
letters pa, pha, ba, bha, and ma)represents five
kinds of miseries in this material world.
1ere S;ta 3osv8m: says, dharmasya hy 8pavargyasya4
@S %.B.&A by practicing religion one should
nullify pavarga. <o more hard labor, no more
foaming at the mouth, no more frustration, no more
fearfulness, no more death. In other words, our
dharma must help us transcend the material world,
because in the material world you have to work
very, very hard and suffer the subse-uent miseries.
Lou cannot think, "Dh, I am such a great man that
I+ll not work." <a hi suptasya si hasya praviNanti
mukhe m g8 . 5he lion is known as the king of the
forest, but he still has to work. 5he lion cannot
simply lie down and hope that some animal will come
and say, "Hy dear lion, please open your mouth and
let me enter." <o. ,ven though he is the most
powerful animal in the forest, he still must work
very hard to ac-uire his food. Similarly, the
2resident of the Mnited States, though he is the
most powerful man in the country, is working very
hard in his post.
So, in this world no one can achieve anything
without working hard. ut we do not wish to workJ
therefore, at the end of the week we leave the city
and en?oy some leisure so that we may forget all
our hard labor throughout the week. 5hen on Honday
we have to return to work. 5his is going on
eing part and parcel of 3od, by nature every
living entity wants to en?oy life without work.
5hat is his tendency because that is what # a is
doing. # a is always en?oying with I8dh8r8 : and
the other gop:s, but 1e+s not working. /e don+t
hear from the 9r:mad!h8gavatam or any other .edic
literature that # a has to go to 1is ?ob in a
great factory at nine o+clock and earn some money
so that 1e can then en?oy with I8dh8r8 :. <o. 5he
.edic statement is na tasya k8rya kara a ca
vidyate4 3od has no duties to perform.
5hen what is # a doing( 1e is simply en?oying.
Dnce a ,uropean gentleman went to 7alcutta in
search of a temple of 3od. 1e saw many temples of
#8l: and some of 9iva, but only when he came to the
temple of I8dh8!# a did he say, "1ere is 3od."
/hy( 1e remarked, "I saw that in the other temples
3oddess #8l: and *ord 9iva are working, but here
3od is simply en?oying." 5his is confirmed in the
.ed8nta!s;tra, with the statement 8nandamayo
+bhy8s8t =.ed8nta!s;tra %.%.%B>)"5he *ord is by
nature full of transcendental happiness")and also
in the rahma!sa hit 8 =P.%>, which states that
# a is sac!cid!8nanda!vigraha , possessed of an
eternal form of knowledge and bliss.
So, ?ust as 3od doesn+t have to work but simply
en?oys, we also want to en?oy without working. Let
even though we are # a+s parts and parcels and
therefore also blissful by nature, because we have
fallen under the influence of # a+s external,
material energy, we have to work very hard ?ust to
live. /e have to work so hard that foam sometimes
comes from our mouth, yet still we are not assured
of success. And we are always fearful because,
after all, no matter how hard we work we must die.
5his is our position.
So, in the present verse of 9r:mad!h8gavatam S;ta
3osv8m: says, dharmasya hy 8pavargyasya4 religion
is meant to nullify these five kinds material
miseries)hard work, foaming at the mouth,
frustration, fearfulness, and death. 5hat is the
purpose of dharma. Let everywhere the 7hristians
are going to church and praying, "D 3od, D Father,
give us our daily bread." ut 3od is supplying food
to the cats and dogs and birds and bees and
everyone. /hy should 1e not give us our food( 5he
proper prayer is "D 3od, please engage He in Lour
service so I may be freed from these five
tribulations." 5hat is a proper prayer.
Df course, anyone who goes to church and prays to
3od for bread is a thousand times better than the
rascal atheists who have no faith in 3od. 5hey say,
"Dh, what is 3od( I am 3od. y economic development
I shall create so much bread. /hy shall I go to
church(" Dne who prays to 3od for bread is far
better than such rascals because, after all,
although he may not know what to pray for, at least
he has faith in 3od. So he+s pious. As # a
explains in the hagavad!g:t8 ='.%C>4
catur!vidh8 bha?ante m8 ?an8 suk tino +r?una
8rto ?i?K8sur arth8rth: ?K8n: ca bharatar abha
5here are four kinds of pious people who come to
3od. 5he first is the distressed person. Any common
man who is pious will pray to 3od when in distress4
"Hy dear *ord, kindly rescue me from this
difficulty." 5hen there are the poor people who go
to a temple, mos-ue, or church to pray for some
money. 5hey are also pious. And the curious are
also pious. 5hey go to a church or temple thinking
"/hat is 3od( *et us find out." Finally there are
the learned scholars who are seriously searching
after 3od and trying to understand 1im. All these
persons are pious.
Dn the other hand, one who denies the very
existence of 3od, who tries to solve his problems
solely by means of his own knowledge, is described
by # a as follows4
na m8 du k tino m; h8 prapadyante nar8dham8
m8yay8pah ta!? K8n8 8sura bh8vam 8Nrit8
"5hose miscreants who are grossly foolish, who are
the lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen
by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic
nature of demons do not surrender unto He"
=hagavad!g:t8 '.%P>. Dne may ask, "5here are so
many big, big philosophers and scientists who do
not recogni0e the existence of 3od. /hat about
their knowledge(" 1ere # a says, m8yay8pah ta!
?K8n8 4 "5heir knowledge has no value because the
essence of all knowledge, knowledge of 3od, has
been stolen away by illusion."
So, the hagavad!g:t8 says that only one who has
faith in 3od is pious, and that among pious persons
he who is serious about gaining knowledge of 3od is
the best. Mltimately, religion, or dharma, is meant
for those who are very serious about learning of
3od and getting out of this material, conditioned
life. 5hat is real dharma)not simply to go to a
temple or church and ask 3od for some material
2reliminary dharma, however, does include such
materially motivated religion as part of the four
.edic goals of life known as dharma, artha, k8ma,
and mok a. In the .edic civili0ation, a person is
recogni0ed as a human being when he is interested
in these four things4 religiosity, economic
development, sense gratification, and liberation.
First of all one must practice some dharma, because
without religious life a human being is simply an
animal =dharme a h:n8 paNubhi sam8n8 >. It
doesn+t matter whether one follows the 7hristian
religion, the 1indu religion, the Huslim religion,
or another religion, but one must follow some
religion to -ualify as a human being. 3enerally,
people think, "If I become pious, my life will be
nice. I+ll get my subsistence." And actually that+s
a fact, because from dharma comes artha, money. And
why do we want money( For sense gratification. And
when we are baffled in our attempts at getting
sense gratification, we want mok a, liberation from
birth and death. Dut of frustration we declare,
brahma satya ?agan mithy84 "5his world is false,
only rahman is true."
ut this is false renunciation. Ieal renunciation
means to give up the process of sense gratification
and apply yourself very seriously in the service of
the *ord. In other words, renunciation means not to
try to give up this world but to work in this world
and give the fruits of our work to the service of
# a. ,veryone is working in this material world
to get some result. /hether you work piously or
impiously, there must be some result. <ondevotees
try to en?oy the result and become entangled,
whereas devotees give the fruits to # a and are
liberated. As # a explains in the hagavad!g:t84
ya?K8rth8t karma o +nyatra loko +ya karma!
tad!artha karma kaunteya mukta!sa ga sam8cara
@g. F.&A
"If you sacrifice the fruits of your work for
.i u, or # a, you will be liberated. Dtherwise
you will be bound up by the reactions of your
work." Suppose you have performed pious work and
you are now a rich man+s son. /ealth and good birth
are some of the results of pious work, along with
good education and beauty. And ?ust the opposite
results will accrue to those who perform impious
activities4 no riches, no beauty, no knowledge, no
good family. ut whether you perform pious or
impious activities, you will be bound by the
results and have to suffer birth and death in this
material world.
So, generally people understand dharma in terms of
pious and impious activities, but here the
h8gavatam says, dharmasya hy 8pavargyasya n8rtho
+rth8yopakalpate4 @S %.B.&A "$harma should be
executed not for material benefit but to nullify
the miseries of material existence." /hether you
are rich or poor, you have to undergo the
tribulations of material existence. Lou may be a
rich man, but still you cannot avoid working hard,
you cannot avoid fearfulness, and you cannot avoid
disease, old age, and death. And the same miseries
are there for the poor man. So what is the benefit
of practicing dharma in order to become rich( Ieal
religion means to nullify the material miseries4
dharmasya hy 8pavargyasya.
<ow, you may ob?ect, "ut we re-uire some money to
maintain our existence." Les, that+s a fact.
5herefore our principle is y8vad artham4 y honest
means you should earn as much money as you re-uire
to maintain your body and soul together. $on+t work
very hard simply to accumulate more and more money.
5hat is the ass+s life. In India a washerman will
keep an ass to carry tons of laundry to the
riverbank for washing. 5here he is let loose to eat
a few morsels of grass. ut while he+s eating
freely, waiting to return with the huge load of
laundry, he does not think, "5his grass is
available everywhere, and I am free to go. /hy am I
working so hard for this washerman(" 1e has no
sense to think like that, and therefore he+s called
an ass. Similarly, anyone who is working hard day
and night simply to maintain himself and his
family, without observing any principles of dharma,
is simply a m; ha, or ass. 1e has been collared by
H8y8, or illusion.
/e should earn as much as we need to keep body and
soul together. 5hen we can use more of our time for
getting free from the five miseries of
materialistic life)hard labor, foaming at the
mouth, frustration, fear, and death. 5hat is
dharma. And if by practicing dharma you get more
money than you need, don+t spend it for sense
gratification but employ it in the service of
# a. In days gone by, rich men would often
construct a church, temple, or mos-ue. 5hat was the
system throughout the whole world because people
knew that if they had some extra money they should
employ it in the service of 3od. ut at present
many churches are being transformed into factories
because people have lost religion. And because they
have lost religion, they are animals. And how you
can have peace and prosperity in a society of
So, here in the 9r:mad!h8gavatam S;ta 3osv8m: is
explaining that to become peaceful and satisfied,
one must practice first!class dharma. First he
sa vai pu s8 paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhok a?e
ahaituky apratihat8 yay8tm8 supras:dati
"If you want peace of mind, if you want full
satisfaction, then you must practice that dharma,
or religion, by which you will advance in
unmotivated, uninterrupted devotional service to
the *ord" =9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.C>.
5hen he says,
v8sudeve bhagavati bhakti!yoga prayo?ita
?anayaty 8Nu vair8gya ? K8na ca yad ahaitukam
"If you devote yourself to the service of .8sudeva
=# a>, you will -uickly get perfect knowledge and
renunciation without any doubt" =9r:mad!h8gavatam
<ext he warns,
dharma svanu hita pu s8 vi vaksena!kath8su
notp8dayed yadi rati Nrama eva hi kevalam
"If you do not develop your consciousness of 3od by
executing your religious principles, then you are
simply wasting your time and labor" =9r:mad!
h8gavatam %.B.O>.
And now in the present verse S;ta 3osv8m: says,
dharmasya hy 8pavargyasya n8rtho +rth8yopakalpate
n8rthasya dharmaik8ntasya k8mo l8bh8ya hi sm ta
"Dne should not engage himself in any sort of
dharma only for material gain. <or should material
gain be utili0ed for sense gratification." 1ow
material gain should be utili0ed is described in
the next verse.
So, the 9r:mad!h8gavatam is meant for giving
enlightenment to all people of the world. It is not
the philosophy of a sectarian religionJ it is meant
for all human beings. 2eople should take advantage
of the instructions in the 9r:mad!h8gavatam and
make their lives perfect. 5hat is the mission of
our # a consciousness movement.
7hapter P4 /hat the Senses are Heant For
k8masya nendriya!pr:tir
l8bho ?:veta y8vat8
?:vasya tattva!?i?K8s8
n8rtho yaN ceha karmabhi
*ife+s desires should never be directed toward
sense gratification. Dne should desire only a
healthy life, or self!preservation, since a human
being is meant for in-uiry about the Absolute
5ruth. <othing else should be the goal of one+s
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.%G
5he completely bewildered material civili0ation is
wrongly directed toward the fulfillment of desires
in sense gratification. In such a civili0ation, in
all spheres of life, the ultimate end is sense
gratification. In politics, social service,
altruism, philanthropy, and ultimately in religion
or even in salvation, the very same tint of sense
gratification is ever!increasingly predominant. In
the political field the leaders of men fight with
one another to fulfill their personal sense
gratification. 5he voters adore the so!called
leaders only when they promise sense gratification.
As soon as the voters are dissatisfied in their own
sense satisfaction, they dethrone the leaders. 5he
leaders must always disappoint the voters by not
satisfying their senses. 5he same is applicable in
all other fieldsJ no one is serious about the
problems of life. ,ven those who are on the path of
salvation desire to become one with the Absolute
5ruth and desire to commit spiritual suicide for
sense gratification.
ut here the h8gavatam says that one should not
live for sense gratification. Dne should satisfy
the senses only insomuch as re-uired for self!
preservation, and not for sense gratification.
ecause the body is made of senses, which also
re-uire a certain amount of satisfaction, there are
regulative directions for satisfaction of such
senses. ut the senses are not meant for
unrestricted en?oyment. For example, marriage, or
the combination of a man with a woman, is necessary
for progeny, but it is not meant for sense
en?oyment. In the absence of voluntary restraint,
there is propaganda for family planning, but
foolish men do not know that family planning is
automatically executed as soon as there is the
search after the Absolute 5ruth. Seekers of the
Absolute 5ruth are never allured by unnecessary
engagements in sense gratification because the
serious students seeking the Absolute 5ruth are
always overwhelmed with the work of researching the
5ruth. In every sphere of life, therefore, the
ultimate end must be seeking after the Absolute
5ruth, and that sort of engagement will make one
happy because one will be less engaged in varieties
of sense gratification.
5he business of human beings is not simply to eat,
sleep, have sex, and defend. 5hat may be the
business of the cats and dogs, but human life is
meant for a higher purpose. 1uman civili0ation
should be molded so that people will have the
chance to think soberly about the truth of life)to
in-uire about 3od, this material nature, our
relationship with 3od and with nature, and so on.
5hat is called tattva!?i?K8s8, in-uiry into the
Absolute 5ruth. It is everyone+s duty to in-uire
into the Absolute 5ruth. 5here is no -uestion of
this being the duty of the 1indus but not the
Huslims and the 7hristians. 5ruth is truth. 5hat
two plus two e-uals four is accepted by the 1indus,
the Huslims, the 7hristians, and everyone else.
Science is science. 5herefore everyone should be
in-uisitive about the science of the Absolute
/here to in-uire into the Absolute 5ruth( 5he
h8gavatam =%%.F.B%> says, tasm8d guru prapadyeta
?i?K8su Nreya uttamam4 "5hose who are in-uisitive
to know the Absolute 5ruth must approach a guru."
As in the present verse of the h8gavatam, the word
?i?K8s8, "in-uisitive," is also used in this verse
from the ,leventh 7anto. 5his word is used when
someone in an inferior position in-uires from a
superior. For example, when a child in-uires from
his father, that is ?i?K8s8. An intelligent child
always in-uires, "Father, what is this( /hat is
that(" and the father explains. In this way the
child gets knowledge.
From whom should you in-uire about the Absolute
5ruth( # a answers in the hagavad!g:t8 =E.FE>4
upadek yanti te ? K8na ? K8ninas tattva!darNina .
5hose who have actually seen the Absolute 5ruth
=the tattva!darN:s> can give you knowledge of the
Absolute 5ruth. According to the .edic scriptures,
a tattva!darN: should be very pure. 5herefore, one
should generally go to a -ualified br8hma a to
in-uire about the Absolute 5ruth. *ord # a gives
the -ualities of a br8hma a in the hagavad!g:t8
Namo damas tapa Nauca k 8ntir 8r?avam eva ca
?K8na vi? K8nam 8stikya brahma!karma svabh8va!
"2eacefulness, self!control, austerity, purity,
tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom, and
religiousness)these are the natural -ualities by
which the br8hma as work."
So, in the .edic system the first -ualification of
a guru is that he must be a br8hma a. 1e need not
have taken birth in a br8hma a family, but he must
possess the -ualities of a br8hma a. Still, even if
he has the -ualities of a br8hma a, he cannot
become a guru if he is not a .ai ava. 5hat is the
in?unction of the N8stra4
a !karma!nipu o vipro mantra!tantra!viN8rada
avai avo gurur na sy8d vai ava Nva!paco guru
",ven if a br8hma a is very learned in the .edic
scriptures and knows the six occupational duties of
a br8hma a,S he cannot become a spiritual master
unless he is a devotee of the Supreme 2ersonality
of 3odhead. 1owever, if one is born in a family of
dog!eaters but is a pure devotee of the *ord, he
can become a spiritual master."
So a guru has to be a .ai ava, a devotee of the
Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead. Dtherwise, he
cannot know *ord # a in truth. As # a says to
Ar?una in the hagavad!g:t8 =E.F>, bhakto +si me
sakh8 ceti rahasya hy etad uttamam4 "Hy dear
Ar?una, it is because you are Hy devotee and friend
that you can understand this secret science of
# a consciousness I am speaking to you."
5herefore the guru must be a devotee of # a, or
in other words # a+s representative.
y serving the guru and in-uiring from him, we can
come to the point where # a will enlighten us
from within. # a, the supreme guru, first
imparted knowledge into the heart of rahm8, the
original person in the universe =tene brahma h d8
8di!kavaye @S %.%.%A>. # a is situated in
everyone+s heart as the Supersoul, and as you
become purified 1e speaks to you from within.
Actually, 1e is always speaking to us, but in our
impure condition we cannot hear 1im. In the
hagavad!g:t8 =%P.%P> # a confirms that 1e is the
source of our knowledge4 sarvasya c8ha h di
sannivi o matta sm tir ? K8nam apohana ca. "I am
situated within the heart of everyone, and from He
come all remembrance, knowledge, and
forgetfulness." So as 2aram8tm8, the Supersoul,
# a is always prepared to help every one of us,
provided we serve 1im and take 1is instruction. 1e
says in the hagavad!g:t8 =%G.%G>,
te 8 satata!yukt8n8 bha?at8 pr:ti!p;rvakam
dad8mi buddhi!yoga ta yena m8m upay8nti te
"5o those who are always engaged in serving He with
great love and devotion, I give the understanding
by which they can come to He."
If we want to know the Absolute 5ruth, we have to
follow the proper process, and that process is
simply to engage oneself in the loving service of
the *ord. 5hat will enable us one day to directly
perceive the Absolute 5ruth. /ith our present blunt
material senses we cannot perceive the Absolute
5ruth, the Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead. For
example, with a blunt knife you cannot cut
anything. Lou must sharpen it firstJ then it cuts
very nicely. Similarly, to understand the Absolute
5ruth you must sharpen and purify your senses by
engaging them in the service of the *ord. <ow you
cannot see 3od, or # a. ut if you purify your
eyes and your other senses, you will be able to see
3od, to hear 3od, to talk with 3od)everything. 5hat
is possible by the process of bhakti.
5he <8rada 2aKcar8tra defines bhakti as follows4
sarvop8dhi!vinirmukta tat!paratvena nirmalam
h :ke a h :keNa!sevana bhaktir ucyate
@7c. Hadhya %&.%'GA
<ow we are deluded by so many material designations
=up8dhis>, and so we are misusing our senses. For
instance, we may think, "5his hand is my hand and I
will use it for my purposes," or "*et me use this
hand for my family, my community, or my nation."
Actually the hand belongs to # a and should
therefore be used for 1is purposes, not for
anything else. 5hat is why one of # a+s names is
1 :keNa, the master of the senses. /hen we
actually engage our senses in the service of # a,
we become free of material designations and our
senses become purified. 5his is bhakti, or # a
,veryone should awaken to this consciousness,
beginning with tattva!?i?K8s8, in-uiry into the
Absolute 5ruth. 5he answers to your in-uiries have
been provided by # a in so many books of
knowledge)the 9r:mad!h8gavatam, the hagavad!g:t8,
and so on. /e should take advantage of this
treasure house of knowledge. ut instead of
utili0ing this knowledge, people are reading
bunches of useless newspapers. In the morning the
newspaper is delivered, and after one hour it is
thrown away. In this way people+s attention is
being diverted by so much nonsense literature, and
no one is interested in in-uiring about the
Absolute 5ruth from the real treasure house of
knowledge, the 9r:mad!h8gavatam. 5herefore in the
present verse the h8gavatam warns, ?:vasya tattva!
?i?K8s8 n8rtho yaN ceha karmibhi 4 "Lour only
business is to in-uire about the Absolute 5ruth."
And what that Absolute 5ruth is is explained in
detail in the next verse.
7hapter C4 $efining the Absolute 5ruth
vadanti tat tattva!vidas
tattva ya? ? K8nam advayam
brahmeti param8tmeti
bhagav8n iti Nabdyate
*earned transcendentalists who know the Absolute
5ruth call this nondual substance rahman,
2aram8tm8 or hagav8n.
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.%%
5he Absolute 5ruth is both sub?ect and ob?ect, and
there is no -ualitative difference there.
5herefore, rahman, 2aram8tm8, and hagav8n are
-ualitatively one and the same. 5he same substance
is reali0ed as impersonal rahman by the students
of the Mpani ads, as locali0ed 2aram8tm8 by the
1ira yagarbhas, or yogis, and as hagav8n by the
devotees. In other words, hagav8n, or the
2ersonality of 3odhead, is the last word in the
Absolute 5ruth, 2aram8tm8 is the partial
representation of the 2ersonality of 3odhead, and
the impersonal rahman is the glowing effulgence of
the 2ersonality of 3odhead, as the sun rays are to
the sun!god. *ess intelligent students of either of
the latter two schools sometimes argue in favor of
their own respective reali0ation, but those who are
perfect seers of the Absolute 5ruth know well that
the above three features of the one Absolute 5ruth
are different views seen from different angles of
As explained in the first verse of the First
7hapter of the h8gavatam, the Supreme 5ruth is
self!sufficient, cogni0ant, and free from the
illusion of relativity. In the relative world the
knower is different from the known, but in the
Absolute 5ruth the knower and the known are one and
the same thing. In the relative world the knower is
the living spirit, or superior energy, whereas the
known is inert matter, or inferior energy.
5herefore, there is a duality of inferior and
superior energy, whereas in the absolute realm the
knower and the known are of the same superior
energy. 5here are three kinds of energies of the
supreme energetic. 5here is no difference between
the energy and energetic, but there is a difference
of -uality of energies. 5he absolute realm and the
living entities are of the same superior energy,
but the material world is inferior energy. 5he
living being in contact with the inferior energy is
illusioned, thinking he belongs to the inferior
energy. 5herefore there is the sense of relativity
in the material world. In the Absolute there is no
such sense of difference between the knower and the
known, and therefore everything there is absolute.
As mentioned above, the analogy of the sun and the
sunshine is helpful for understanding rahman,
2aram8tm8, and hagav8n, the three aspects of the
Absolute 5ruth. In one sense there is no difference
between these three terms, ?ust as there is in one
sense no difference between the sunshine, the sun
globe, and the sun!god, .ivasv8n. All of them are
light. 5he inhabitants of the sun globe, led by
.ivasv8n, possess bodies made of fire, and
therefore everything on the sun is glowing. From a
great distance we see the sun as a glowing globe,
and the sunshine is the glow.
So, rahman is like the sunshine, 2aram8tm8 like
the locali0ed sun globe, and hagav8n like the sun!
god. 5hey are one in the sense that they are all
the pure light of the Absolute 5ruth, but still
there is a difference4 If you stand in the
sunshine, that does not mean you have reached the
sun globe or seen the predominating deity of the
sun, .ivasv8n. Similarly, the different means for
understanding the Absolute 5ruth produce different
reali0ations. Dne who tries to understand the
Absolute simply by mental speculation may
ultimately reali0e the impersonal rahman, and one
who tries to understand the Absolute through
meditative yoga practice may be able to reali0e
2aram8tm8, but one who practices bhakti!yoga can
achieve complete understanding of the Absolute
5ruth and reali0e the spiritual form of hagav8n,
the 2ersonality of 3odhead, who is the original
source of everything.
5here are many philosophers who are trying to find
the original source of everything. 5he scientists
are also trying to find that original source. 5hey
have concluded that everything originates from
matter)this is the modern theory of chemical
evolution. ut although the theory of the so!called
scientists is that everything, including life,
comes from matter, they have not been able to
produce life from chemicals.
5he .ed8nta!s;tra instructs that we should search
out the original source of everything, the Absolute
5ruth. ut the conclusion of all .edic knowledge is
that that source is a living being, not matter. As
the #a ha Mpani ad states, nityo nity8n8 cetanaN
cetan8n8m eko bah;n8 yo vidadh8ti k8m8n4 "Among
all the conscious living beings, their is one
supreme living being, who is supplying all the
others with their necessities." In the hagavad!
g:t8 =%G.O> # a reveals that 1e is that supreme
living being4 aha sarvasya prabhavo matta
sarva pravartate. "I am the source of
everything." 5hat aham)"I")is # a, the supreme
living being, not dead matter. Similarly, earlier
in the hagavad!g:t8 ='.'> # a says,
matta paratara n8nyat ki Kcid asti dhanaK?aya
mayi sarvam ida prota s ;tre ma i!ga 8 iva
"D con-ueror of wealth, there is no truth superior
to He. ,verything rests upon He, as pearls are
strung on a thread."
So, we should understand that # a, hagav8n, is
the last word in the Absolute 5ruth. In the
hagavad!g:t8 =%E.B'> # a states that the
impersonal rahman rests upon 1im =brahma o hi
prati h8ham>. "ust as the sunshine comes from the
sun, the light of rahman that spreads throughout
the universe comes from # a. 5hat is explained in
the rahma!sa hit8 =P.EG>4
yasya prabh8 prabhavato ?agad!a a!ko i!
ko i v aNe a!vasudh8di vibh;ti!bhinnam
tad brahma ni kalam anantam aNe a!bh;ta
govindam 8di!puru a tam aha bha?8mi
5he rahman effulgence is # a+s bodily glow,
known as the brahma!?yotir, and this material world
is generated out of that effulgence. In the
hagavad!g:t8 =&.E> # a says, may8 tatam ida
sarva ?agad avyakta!m;rtin84 "Hy impersonal
feature, the rahman effulgence, is expanded
everywhere." Hat!sth8ni sarva!bh;t8ni4 ",verything
is resting on that rahman effulgence." <a c8ha
te v avasthita 4 "ut I personally am not there."
5his is tattva!?K8na, knowledge of the Absolute
If we try to understand the Absolute 5ruth by dint
of our speculative strength, then we can at most
approach only up to the impersonal feature, ?ust as
if we try to understand the sun by our personal
strength we can at most see the sunshine. ut if we
want to study the sun globe or understand the
predominating deity of the sun, that is a different
thing. For that, simply coming into the sunshine
will not help you4 you+ll need some process by
which you can go to the sun globe and meet the sun!
god. Similarly, you can understand the impersonal
rahman by dint of your speculative knowledge, but
you cannot understand the 2aram8tm8, the expansion
of the *ord situated in everyone+s heart, or
hagavan, the Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead and
the origin of rahman and 2aram8tm8.
5he fact is that knowledge of # a, hagav8n,
includes everything. 5herefore the .edas say,
kasmin tu bhagavo vi?K8te sarvam ida vi? K8ta
bhavati. If you simply understand # a, you will
automatically understand the rahman feature and
the 2aram8tm8 feature. Lou don+t need to try to
understand rahman and 2aram8tm8 separately4 simply
by understanding # a, you will understand both.
1ere is another example4 Suppose you see a mountain
from a great distance. Lou will simply see some
cloudy, vague shape. ut if you approach the
mountain, you will see the same mountain much more
distinctly, with its greenish color and massive
form. And if you actually climb the mountain, you
will find so many animals, men, houses, trees, and
so on. 5he ob?ect is the same, but it appears
different from different angles of vision.
So understanding # a means understanding rahman
and 2aram8tm8 as well, but we must understand # a
in truth. As 1e says in the hagavad!g:t8 =E.&>,
?anma karma ca me divyam eva yo vetti tattvata
tyaktv8 deha punar ?anma naiti m8m eti so +r?una
"Dne who knows the transcendental nature of Hy
appearance and activities does not, upon leaving
the body, take his birth again in this material
world, but attains Hy eternal abode, D Ar?una."
1ere the word tattvata , "in truth," is used."
ecause we do not make the effort to understand
# a in truth, we consider 1im an ordinary human
being. 5his is the way of the fools and rascals
=ava?8nanti m8 m; h8 @g. &.%%A>. ut # a is
not of this material world. /hoever actually
understands # a as the Absolute 5ruth has
completed his mission in life, and at the end of
this life he doesn+t take birth again in this world
but returns home, back to 3odhead.
1ow to achieve that understanding is explained in
the next verse.
7hapter '4 Seeing 3od within
tac chraddadh8n8 munayo
paNyanty 8tmani c8tm8na
bhakty8 Nruta!g h:tay8
5he seriously in-uisitive student or sage, well
e-uipped with knowledge and detachment, reali0es
that Absolute 5ruth by rendering devotional service
in terms of what he has heard from the .ed8nta!
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.%B
5he Absolute 5ruth is reali0ed in full by the
process of devotional service to the *ord,
.8sudeva, or the 2ersonality of 3odhead, who is the
full!fledged Absolute 5ruth. rahman is 1is
transcendental bodily effulgence, and 2aram8tm8 is
1is partial representation. As such, rahman or
2aram8tm8 reali0ation of the Absolute 5ruth is but
a partial reali0ation. 5here are four different
types of human beings)the karm:s, the ?K8n:s, the
yogis, and the devotees. 5he karm:s are
materialistic, whereas the other three are
transcendental. 5he first!class transcendentalists
are the devotees who have reali0ed the Supreme
2erson. 5he second!class transcendentalists are
those who have partially reali0ed the plenary
portion of the absolute person. And the third!class
transcendentalists are those who have barely
reali0ed the spiritual focus of the absolute
As stated in the hagavad!g:t8 and other .edic
literatures, the Supreme 2erson is reali0ed by
devotional service which is backed by full
knowledge and detachment from material association.
/e have already discussed the point that devotional
service is followed by knowledge and detachment
from material association. As rahman and 2aram8tm8
reali0ation are imperfect reali0ations of the
Absolute 5ruth, so the means of reali0ing rahman
and 2aram8tm8, i.e., the paths of ?K8na and yoga,
are also imperfect means of reali0ing the Absolute
5ruth. $evotional service which is based on the
foreground of full knowledge combined with
detachment from material association and which is
fixed by the aural reception of the .ed8nta!Nruti
is the only perfect method by which the seriously
in-uisitive student can reali0e the Absolute 5ruth.
$evotional service is not, therefore, meant for the
less intelligent class of transcendentalist. 5here
are three classes of devotees, namely first,
second, and third class. 5he third!class devotees,
or the neophytes, who have no knowledge and are not
detached from material association but who are
simply attracted by the preliminary process of
worshiping the $eity in the temple, are called
material devotees. Haterial devotees are more
attached to material benefit than transcendental
profit. 5herefore, one has to make definite
progress from the position of material devotional
service to the second!class devotional position. In
the second!class position, the devotee can see four
principles in the devotional line, namely the
2ersonality of 3odhead, 1is devotees, the ignorant,
and the envious. Dne has to raise himself at least
to the stage of a second!class devotee and thus
become eligible to know the Absolute 5ruth.
A third!class devotee, therefore, has to receive
the instructions of devotional service from the
authoritative sources of h8gavata. 5he number one
h8gavata is the established personality of
devotee, and the other h8gavata is the message of
3odhead. 5he third!class devotee therefore has to
go to the personality of devotee in order to learn
the instructions of devotional service. Such a
personality of devotee is not a professional man
who earns his livelihood by the business of the
h8gavatam. Such a devotee must be a representative
of 9ukadeva 3osv8m:, like S;ta 3osv8m:, and must
preach the cult of devotional service for the all!
around benefit of all people. A neophyte devotee
has very little taste for hearing from the
authorities. Such a neophyte devotee makes a show
of hearing from the professional man to satisfy his
senses. 5his sort of hearing and chanting has
spoiled the whole thing, so one should be very
careful about the faulty process. 5he holy messages
of 3odhead, as inculcated in the hagavad!g:t8 or
the 9r:mad!h8gavatam, are undoubtedly
transcendental sub?ects, but even though they are
so, such transcendental matters are not to be
received from the professional man, who spoils them
as the serpent spoils milk simply by the touch of
his tongue.
A sincere devotee must therefore be prepared to
hear the .edic literature like the Mpani ads,
.ed8nta, and other literatures left by the previous
authorities or 3osv8m:s, for the benefit of his
progress. /ithout hearing such literatures, one
cannot make actual progress. And without hearing
and following the instructions, the show of
devotional service becomes worthless and therefore
a sort of disturbance in the path of devotional
service. Mnless, therefore, devotional service is
established on the principles of Nruti, sm ti,
pur8 a, and pa Kcar8tra authorities, the make!show
of devotional service should at once be re?ected.
An unauthori0ed devotee should never be recogni0ed
as a pure devotee. y assimilation of such messages
from the .edic literatures, one can see the all!
pervading locali0ed aspect of the 2ersonality of
3odhead within his own self constantly. 5his is
called sam8dhi.
1ere the 9r:mad!h8gavatam states that the first
re-uirement for achieving sam8dhi is Nraddh8,
faith. 5he 7aitanya!carit8m ta =Hadhya BB.CB>
defines Nraddh8 as follows4
+Nraddh8+!Nabde)viNv8sa kahe sud ha niNcaya
k e bhakti kaile sarva!karma k ta haya
/hen you firmly believe that by becoming a devotee
of # a you will achieve all perfection, that is
Nraddh8, genuine faith. At the end of 1is
instruction in the hagavad!g:t8 =%O.CC>, # a
sarva!dharm8n paritya?ya m8m eka Nara a vra?a
aha tv8 sarva!p8pebhyo mok ayi y8mi m8 Nuca
".oluntarily surrender unto He and I will take
charge of you. I will protect you from all sinful
reactionsJ do not worry." /hen one accepts this
instruction and surrenders to # a immediately,
without consideration, that is Nraddh8. /hen you
have such faith and you surrender to # a, you
become a muni or mah8tm8, a great!minded soul
endowed with knowledge and detachment =tac
chraddadh8n8 munaya ? K8na!vair8gya!yuktay8 @S
%.B.%BA>. 5he aim of human life is to ac-uire
knowledge and detachment. #nowledge alone is
uselessJ one must also have detachment. 5herefore
9r:p8da 9a kar8c8rya, the founder of the H8y8v8da
school, told his followers, "First become a
sanny8s: @renunciantAJ then you can speak." So one
who is a actually a ?K8n:, a wise man, must also be
a vair8g:, one who has given up all attachment to
material things. And the result of this faith,
surrender, knowledge, and detachment is paNyanty
8tmani c8tm8nam4 one sees the 2aram8tm8, the
Supreme Soul, within his mind and within his self.
5his is confirmed elsewhere in the 9r:mad!
h8gavatam =%B.%F.%>4 dhy8n8vasthita!tad!gatena
manas8 paNyanti ya yogina . "5he perfect yogi
always sees the Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead
within himself."
5he perfect yogi is one who has prema, pure love
for # a. As the rahma!sa hit8 =P.FO> states,
prem8K?ana!cchurita!bhakti!vilocanena santa
sadaiva h daye u vilokayanti4 "5he devotee who has
anointed his eyes with the ointment of love of
3odhead always sees the beautiful blackish form of
# a within his heart." /e cannot imagine how
beautiful # a is. It is said that # a+s body is
more beautiful than millions of 7upids =kandarpa!
ko i!kaman :ya!viNe a!Nobha @s. P.FGA>. 7upid is
very beautiful, but even if you place millions of
7upids together, their beauty cannot compare with
# a+s. 5hese things cannot be understood unless
one+s eyes are smeared with the ointment of love of
/e cannot understand 3od with our present blunt
material senses, which are simply after material
gratification. /ith them how can we perceive # a,
who is completely spiritual( It is not possible.
5herefore we must purify the senses through the
process of bhakti4
ata Nr:!k a!n8m8di na bhaved gr8hyam indriyai
sevonmukhe hi ?ihv8dau svayam eva sphuraty ada
@7c. Hadhya %'.%FCA
"<o one can understand the transcendental nature of
the name, form, -ualities, and pastimes of 9r:
# a through his materially contaminated senses.
Dnly when one becomes spiritually saturated by
transcendental service to the *ord are the
transcendental name, form, -ualities, and pastimes
of the *ord revealed to him" =hakti!ras8m ta!
sindhu %.B.BFE>.
,ngaging in the service to the *ord helps one come
to the platform of knowledge =?K8na> and detachment
=vair8gya>. Dne is in knowledge who understands,
aha brahm8smi4 "I am not this material bodyJ I am
spirit soul." <ow we have designated ourselves on
the basis of our bodily relationships. /e think, "I
am an American," "I am an Indian," "I am a
br8hma a," "I am black," "I am white," "I am
strong," "I am weak," "I am fat," "I am thin."
5hese are all bodily designations. /hen one becomes
free of these designations and thinks, "I am an
eternal servant of # a," one possesses real
?K8na, or knowledge.
As mentioned earlier, when one engages in
devotional service to # a, knowledge and
detachment automatically come. ut, as the present
verse states, one must perform that devotional
service by following the in?unctions of the .edic
literatures. 9r:la I;pa 3osv8m: confirms this in
his hakti!ras8m ta!sindhu =%.B.%G%>,
Nruti!sm ti!pur8 8di!pa Kcar8tra!vidhi vin8
aik8ntik: harer bhaktir utp8t8yaiva kalpate
@rs. %.B.%G%A
"$evotional service of the *ord that ignores such
authori0ed .edic literatures as the Mpani ads,
2ur8 as, and <8rada 2a Kcar8tra is simply a
disturbance in society."
5hese books have to be received through the channel
of the disciplic succession =parampar8>. In other
words, to learn the science of bhakti one must
accept a guru coming in disciplic succession from
# a. 5o understand the hagavad!g:t8, for
example, one should accept it ?ust as Ar?una did)
from # a or his representative, in a mood of
submission and service. Ar?una is part of the
disciplic succession. ecause the disciplic
succession had been broken and the knowledge of the
hagavad!g:t8 had been lost, # a spoke the
hagavad!g:t8 again to Ar?una. So, if you
understand the hagavad!g:t8 and # a as Ar?una
understood them, your understanding will be
perfect. ut if you invent some imaginary meaning
for the hagavad!g:t8, you are wasting your time.
$on+t waste your time. 5ry to understand # a as
1e is, as 1e describes 1imself in the hagavad!
g:t8. If 3od says, "I am like this," why are you
wasting your time manufacturing ways and means to
understand 3od differently( # a is canvassing
you4 "I am 3od. 1ere is Hy name, here is Hy
address, here are Hy activities." ,verything is
provided. /hy don+t you understand 3od from 3od(
/hy are you manufacturing your own ways to
understand 1im(
5he # a consciousness movement is not presenting
some manufactured way to understand 3od. It is
simply presenting the standard way. In the
hagavad!g:t8 # a says, man!man8 bhava mad!bhakto
mad!y8?: m8 namaskuru4 @g. %O.CPA "5hink of He,
become Hy devotee, worship He, and bow down before
He." And we are teaching the same thing. It is not
difficult to follow this process. Anyone can do it.
Sometimes people say that I have done something
wonderful by spreading the # a consciousness
movement all over the world. ut all I have done is
present # a as 1e is. 5hat is the secret. So,
anyone can understand # a as 1e is from the
hagavad!g:t8 and 9r:mad!h8gavatam and make his
life perfect. Dtherwise, any process you may invent
for understanding 3od is simply a useless waste of
7hapter O4 5he 2erfect Social Drder
ata pumbhir dvi?a!Nre h8
var 8Nrama!vibh8gaNa
svanu hitasya dharmasya
sa siddhir hari!to a am
D best among the twice!born, it is therefore
concluded that the highest perfection one can
achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for
one+s own occupation according to caste divisions
and orders of life is to please the 2ersonality of
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.%F
1uman society all over the world is divided into
four castes and four orders of life. 5he four
castes are the intelligent caste, the martial
caste, the productive caste and the laborer caste.
5hese castes are classified in terms of one+s work
and -ualification and not by birth. 5hen again
there are four orders of life, namely the student
life, the householder+s life, the retired life, and
the devotional life. In the best interest of human
society there must be such divisions of lifeJ
otherwise no social institution can grow in a
healthy state. And in each and every one of the
above!mentioned divisions of life, the aim must be
to please the supreme authority of the 2ersonality
of 3odhead.
5his institutional function of human society is
known as the system of var 8Nrama!dharma, which is
-uite natural for the civili0ed life. 5he
var 8Nrama institution is constructed to enable one
to reali0e the Absolute 5ruth. It is not for
artificial domination of one division over another.
/hen the aim of life, i.e., reali0ation of the
Absolute 5ruth, is missed by too much attachment
for indriya!pr:ti, or sense gratification, as
already discussed hereinbefore, the institution of
the var 8Nrama is utili0ed by selfish men to pose
an artificial predominance over the weaker section.
In the #ali!yuga, or the age of -uarrel, this
artificial predominance is already current, but the
saner section of the people know it well that the
divisions of castes and orders of life are meant
for smooth social intercourse and high!thinking
self!reali0ation and not for any other purpose.
1erein the statement of the h8gavatam is that the
highest aim of life, or the highest perfection of
the institution of var 8Nrama!dharma, is to
cooperate ?ointly for the satisfaction of the
Supreme *ord. 5his is confirmed in the hagavad!
g:t8 =E.%F>.
1ere S;ta 3osv8m: addresses his audience with the
word dvi?a!Nre h8 , "D best of the br8hma as."
5his indicates that they are devotees of # a and
the best of learned scholars. In this age everyone
is born a N;dra, a fourth!class man =?anman8 ?8yate
N;dra >. y reformatory practices one can become a
third!class man)a dvi?a =sa sk 8r8d bhaved dvi?a >.
y cultivation of knowledge and culture, one
becomes a second!class man, a vipra =veda!p8 h8d
bhaved vipra >. ut only one who knows rahman is a
first!class man, a br8hma a =brahma ?8n8t:ti
br8hma a>. And because the sages at <aimi 8ra ya
are the best of the br8hma as, they know not only
rahman but hagav8n, the Supreme 2ersonality of
5he brahminical class is essential for actual human
civili0ation, which begins with the social system
of var 8Nrama!dharma, four var as and four 8Nramas.
5he four var as are the br8hma as =the priests and
intellectuals>, the k atriyas =the warriors and
administrators>, the vaiNyas =the farmers and
merchants>, and the N;dras =the manual laborers>.
5he four 8Nramas are the brahmac8r:s =the celibate
students>, the g hasthas =the householders>, the
v8naprasthas =the retirees>, and the sanny8s:s =the
renunciants>. Mnless human society is
scientifically organi0ed according to this
var 8Nrama system, it is animal society. It is not
human society. And in animal society you cannot
expect any intelligence or any sense of goodness or
any idea of 3od. It is not possible.
5he system of var 8Nrama is natural because it is a
creation of 3od. "ust as the body has four
divisions)the brain, arms, belly, and legs)society
also has four divisions)the br8hma as, k atriyas,
vaiNyas, and N;dras. 5his is natural. ut if the
head is cut off, what is the value of the body( It
is a dead body. Similarly, at the present moment
there is no brahminical culture in society, and so
it is headless. 5here may be a very strong arm
department =the k atriyas>, a well!e-uipped
economic department =the vaiNyas>, and a numerous
labor department =the N;dras>, but because there is
no head department =the br8hma as>, society is like
a dead body. 5herefore everyone is suffering.
In the # a consciousness movement we are training
br8hma as so that human society may be saved. It is
not that the other classes are unimportant. In the
body the brain is very important, but the legs are
also important because if your legs do not work and
you cannot move your brain cannot help you. So
there must be cooperation between all the bodily
limbs. Although the brain is the most important
part of the body, still the leg is re-uired, the
hand is re-uired, the belly is re-uired)everything
is re-uired. Similarly, all the social and
spiritual classes in the var8Nrama system are
necessary for society to function properly.
So, we do not disregard any social division, but we
say that everyone must work for the satisfaction of
# a4 sa siddhir hari!to a am @S %.B.%FA. 5hen
every member of society can achieve perfection. It
doesn+t matter what you do, but if you can satisfy
# a by your art and intelligence and education )in
other words, by your work)then your life is
perfect. /e don+t say, "$on+t do your work." $o
your work, but do it for # aJ then it is perfect.
Dtherwise, go to hell4 Nrama eva hi kevalam @S
Someone may claim, "Dh, I am a philosopher, and I
am doing my duty."
"ut do you know 3od, and do you serve 3od("
"Les, I know 3od4 I am 3od."
Such nonsense will not help you. Suppose an
ordinary man claims, "I am the 2resident of the
Mnited States." ,veryone will understand he is a
cra0y fellow. Similarly, when a rascal says "I am
3od," we should understand he is cra0y.
Lou have to satisfy the Supreme *ord with your
service, not try to imitate 1im. In the hagavad!
g:t8 # a never advises that you should claim to
be 1im. <o. 1e says, sarva!dharm8n paritya?ya m8m
eka Nara a vra?a4 @g. %O.CCA "7ome under Hy
shelter exclusively." 1e never says, "ecome e-ual
with He." 5hat is nonsense. # a will be satisfied
with you when you surrender to 1im and try to serve
1im, not when you falsely claim, "I am # a," or
"# a is now dead and I have become 3od," or
"5here is no 3od." Such rascaldom will never
satisfy # a.
So, the instruction of the h8gavatam is
svanu hitasya dharmasya sa siddhir hari!to a am4
@S %.B.%FA "Lour perfection will come when you
perform your duties nicely for the satisfaction of
1ari, or # a." 5he activities in the four social
and four spiritual orders of the var 8Nrama system
may sometimes appear material, but when they are
performed for the satisfaction of # a, they are
no longer materialJ they are spiritual. "Haterial"
simply means forgetfulness of # a, that+s all.
Dtherwise, there is nothing material. 5hose who are
not thoroughly # a conscious distinguish between
material and spiritual, but when you are fully
# a conscious you see the oneness of everything,
ekatvam anupaNyata =TNopani ad '>. 5his means that
you see how everything is related to # a.
# a is the Supreme, and everything is an
emanation of 1is energy, which is variegated. A
good example is the sun4 from the sun emanates the
sunshine, which is made up of two energies)heat and
light. 5he whole material creation is based on this
heat and light. If there were no heat and light
from the sun, the trees would -uickly become
skeletons. So, while we can distinguish between the
sun+s heat energy and light energy, in a higher
sense they are one because they are both part of
the sunshine.
Similarly, two basic energies of # a are acting
in this world)1is material energy and 1is spiritual
energy. 5he material energy consists of earth,
water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and
ego, and the spiritual energy consists of the
living entities =?:va!bh;t8 mah8!b8ho yayeda
dh8ryate ?agat @g. '.PA>. So the material world is
a combination of # a+s spiritual and material
energies. And because &&.&U of the living entities
here have forgotten 3od, here there is a
distinction between the material and spiritual
energies. ut as soon as you advance in spiritual
knowledge and become # a conscious, you will no
longer see anything as materialJ you will see that
everything is spiritual4 sarva khalv ida
brahma. As 9r: 7aitanya Hah8prabhu says in the
7aitanya!carit8m ta =Hadhya O.B'E>,
sth8vara!?a gama dekhe, n8 dekhe t8ra m;rti
sarvatra haya ni?a i a!deva!sph;rti
"A spiritually advanced, # a conscious person
sees all moving and nonmoving things, but he does
not exactly see their forms. Iather, wherever he
looks he sees the manifestation of 1is worshipable
*ord." 5he vision of an atheist is ?ust the
opposite4 even if he comes into the temple and sees
the $eity form of # a, he will simply see stone.
ut a spiritually advanced person who looks at the
$eity will see # a personally. /hen 7aitanya
Hah8prabhu entered the temple in 2ur: and saw the
$eity of "agann8tha, 1e immediately fainted and
exclaimed, "1ere is Hy # a6"
So, to overcome our forgetfulness of # a, we
should make satisfying 1im our only business
=sa siddhir hari!to anam @S %.B.%FA>. And if your
aim is simply to satisfy # a, then your life is
7hapter &4 5he Sure /ay to #now 3od
tasm8d ekena manas8
bhagav8n s8tvat8 pati
Nrotavya k:rtitavyaN ca
dhyeya p;?yaN ca nityad8
5herefore, with one!pointed attention one should
constantly hear about, glorify, remember, and
worship the 2ersonality of 3odhead, who is the
protector of the devotees.
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.%E
If reali0ation of the Absolute 5ruth is the
ultimate aim of life, it must be carried out by all
means. In any one of the above!mentioned castes and
orders of life, the four processes, namely
glorifying, hearing, remembering, and worshiping,
are general occupations. /ithout these principles
of life, no one can exist. Activities of the living
being involve engagements in these four different
principles of life. ,specially in modern society,
all activities are more or less dependent on
hearing and glorifying. Any man from any social
status becomes a well!known man in human society
within a very short time if he is simply glorified
truly or falsely in the daily newspapers. Sometimes
political leaders of a particular party are also
advertised by newspaper propaganda, and by such a
method of glorification an insignificant man
becomes an important man)within no time.
ut such propaganda by false glorification of an
un-ualified person cannot bring about any good,
either for the particular man or for the society.
5here may be some temporary reactions to such
propaganda, but there are no permanent effects.
5herefore such activities are a waste of time. 5he
actual ob?ect of glorification is the Supreme
2ersonality of 3odhead, who has created everything
manifested before us. /e have broadly discussed
this fact from the beginning of the ?anm8dy asya
@S %.%.%A verse of this h8gavatam. 5he tendency
to glorify others or hear others must be turned to
the real ob?ect of glorification)the Supreme eing.
And that will bring happiness.
Ieal satisfaction comes when you satisfy the
Supreme *ord. And how should that be done( First by
fixing the mind on 1im with one!pointed attention
=ekena manas8>. Lou should not divert your
attention to so many things but simply fix your
mind on the Supreme *ord, hagav8n. 2reviously the
h8gavatam taught that the Absolute 5ruth is known
as rahman =the *ord+s impersonal effulgence>,
2aram8tm8 =the Supersoul>, and hagav8n =the
2ersonality of 3odhead>. ut when it comes to
focusing one+s attention on the Absolute, one must
focus on the Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead, *ord
# a. Dtherwise, how can we focus our attention(
It is very difficult to fix the mind on the
impersonal feature or the Supersoul. 5he impersonal
Absolute 5ruth can be understood by philosophical
speculation and the Supersoul by meditation, but
both these processes are very difficult. Fixing the
mind on hagav8n, however, is easy and practical.
/e can easily fix the mind on # a by seeing 1is
form in the temple, reading 1is instructions in the
hagavad!g:t8, hearing and chanting 1is holy names,
and in so many other ways. 5here is no difficulty.
ut if you try to absorb your mind in the
impersonal rahman or the Supersoul, it is very
difficult. As # a says in the hagavad!g:t8
=%B.P>, kleNo +dhikataras te 8m avyakt8sakta!
cetas8m4 "For those who are attached to the
impersonal feature of the Absolute 5ruth,
advancement is very troublesome." For devotees of
# a, on the other hand, there is the ?oyful
process of chanting the 1are # a mantra, dancing
in ecstasy, and eating sumptuous k a!pras8dam.
And even if you follow the very troublesome path of
impersonal reali0ation for many, many lifetimes,
working so hard to separate spirit from matter by
the speculative process of neti neti)"5his is not
rahman. 5his is not rahman")you+ll still have to
surrender to # a if you want to achieve success4
bah;n8 ?anman8m ante ? K8nav8n m8 prapadyate
@g. '.%&A.
<ow, one may say, "5here are so many hagav8ns. I
can fix my mind on any of them." <owadays people
have manufactured many "hagav8ns." ut here the
h8gavatam says bhagav8n s8tvat8 pati 4 "Lou have
to fix your mind on that hagav8n whom the devotees
accept as their *ord." 5here may be many hagav8ns,
but only the Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead, # a,
is accepted as the *ord by all the stalwart
devotees, 8c8ryas, and teachers, such as rahm8 and
9iva. 5he public may accept an ordinary man as
hagav8n and declare, "1ere is an incarnation of
3od," but that is foolishness. # a is 3od, as 1e
1imself declares in the hagavad!g:t8 ='.', %G.O>.
Hatta paratara n8nyat4 "5here is nothing beyond
He." Aha sarvasya prabhava 4 "I am the origin of
everything." Hatta sarva pravartate4 ",verything
emanates from He." Iti matv8 bha?ante m8 budh8
bh8va!samanvit8 4 "5hose who are actually learned
know that I am the source of everything, and
therefore they become Hy devotees."
5he rahma!sa hit8 =P.%> also states,
:Nvara parama k a sac!cid!8nanda!vigraha
an8dir 8dir govinda sarva!k8ra a!k8ra am
"5he Supreme 3od is # a, who has an eternal form
of bliss and knowledge." 5here are many gods, or
controllers, but # a is the Supreme 3od. <obody
is above 1im. 5herefore 1e is an8di, without
origin. /e all have an origin, but 1e has none
because 1e is the origin of all =8di >. 1e is known
as 3ovinda because 1e is the reservoir of all
pleasure, and 1e is the cause of all causes =sarva!
k8ra a!k8ra am @s. P.%A>.
<ow one may ask, "1ow should I fix my mind on
5he h8gavatam answers, Nrotavya 4 "Lou have to
hear about 1im."
"From whom should I hear("
5he best person to hear from is # a 1imself, who
kindly explains 1imself in the hagavad!g:t8.
Suppose you want to know something about me. Lou
can ask a friend, and he may say something or other
about me. ut when I explain myself to you, that is
perfect. Similarly, if you want to know the Supreme
2ersonality of 3odhead, the best way is ?ust to
hear directly from 1im. ut if you re?ect this
process and try to know 3od through speculation,
you will fail because your senses and mind are
5hen the next process the h8gavatam recommends is
chanting =k:rtitavyaN ca>. If you simply hear about
# a but do not repeat what you have heard to
others, you will not advance very -uickly in your
understanding of 3od. /hatever you hear or read you
should explain to others. 5hat is perfection. 5hat
is why we have established ack to 3odhead
maga0ine. $aily our students hear and read about
# a, and then they must be thoughtful and write
something about the science of # a consciousness.
And naturally when one writes or speaks of # a
one must think of 1im =dheya >. Finally, the
h8gavatam recommends worship of the *ord =p;?ya >.
5herefore we re-uire to regularly visit temples and
worship the $eities residing there.
So the h8gavatam says that with one!pointed
attention we should hear about the *ord, chant
about 1im, think of 1im, and worship 1im. And all
this should be done nityad8, regularly. 5his is the
process of bhakti!yoga. Anyone who adopts this
process can understand the Absolute 5ruth. 5hat is
the clear declaration of this verse of the 9r:mad!
7hapter %G4 5he Sword of Iemembrance
yad!anudhy8sin8 yukt8
chindanti kovid8s tasya
ko na kury8t kath8!ratim
/ith sword in hand, intelligent men cut through the
binding knots of reactionary work @karmaA by
remembering the 2ersonality of 3odhead. 5herefore,
who will not pay attention to 1is message(
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.%P
5he 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. *iberation means
freedom from the cycle of reactionary work. 5his
liberation automatically follows for one who
constantly remembers the transcendental pastimes of
the 2ersonality of 3odhead. 5his is because all the
activities of the Supreme *ord =1is l:l8> are
transcendental to the modes of the material energy.
5hey are all!attractive spiritual activities, and
therefore constant association with the spiritual
activities of the Supreme *ord gradually
spirituali0es the conditioned soul and ultimately
severs the knot of material bondage.
*iberation 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. 5hen
liberation is made possible. ,ven the reactionary
work of the fruitive workers can lead one to
liberation when it is overcoated with devotional
service. #arma overcoated with devotional service
is called karma!yoga. Similarly, empirical
knowledge overcoated with devotional service is
called ?K8na!yoga. ut pure bhakti!yoga is
independent of such karma and ?K8na because it
alone can not only endow one with liberation from
conditional life but also award one the
transcendental loving service of the *ord.
5herefore, any sensible man who is above the
average man with a poor fund of knowledge must
constantly remember the 2ersonality of 3odhead by
hearing about 1im, by glorifying 1im, by
remembering 1im, and by worshiping 1im always,
without cessation. 5hat is the perfect way of
devotional service. 5he 3osv8m:s of . nd8vana, who
were authori0ed by 9r: 7aitanya Hah8prabhu to
preach the bhakti cult, rigidly followed this rule
and made immense literatures of transcendental
science for our benefit. 5hey have chalked out ways
for all classes of men in terms of the different
castes and orders of life in pursuance of the
teachings of 9r:mad!h8gavatam and similar
authoritative scriptures.
Mnless 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. /ith his hands and legs bound up, he cannot
move independently. Similarly, we are tied up by
the laws of material nature. 5he 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. ut people
do not know this, and so they are trying to en?oy
the body ?ust 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. 1e is happy if he can simply en?oy sex with
a female hog)never mind whether she is his sister,
mother, or daughter. 5his is the hog+s life!eating
stool and en?oying sex. /e are conscious of his
abominable condition, but he is thinking, "Dh, what
a happy life I have6 I am dining very nicely on
first!class food and having sex without any
restriction. 5his is life."
Actually, this is m8y8, illusion. H8y8 has two
energies, the 8vara 8tmik8!Nakti and the
prak ep8tmik8!Nakti. 5he 8vara 8tmik8!Nakti covers
a living entity with ignorance. ,ven though he is
living a condemned life, still he will think, "I am
very happy. I am all right." 1is real knowledge is
covered. And the prak ep8tmik8!Nakti throws the
living entity down into the ocean of material
existence and keeps him there. /hen somebody is
trying to come to # a consciousness, the
prak ep8tmik8!Nakti will dictate, "/hy are you
going to the # a consciousness society( 5here are
so many restrictions there, so many rules and
regulations. etter give it up." And the
conditioned soul thinks, "/hy, yes, this # a
consciousness is nonsense. *et me give it up."
5he more sinful one is, the more m8y8 will prevent
one from becoming # a conscious. 5hat is m8y8+s
thankless task. She is ?ust like the police
department. 5he police are no one+s enemy, but when
someone commits a crime they arrest him, put him in
?ail, and punish him. Similarly, m8y8 is engaged by
the supreme authority, # a, to punish the sinful
living entities.
So, the knot of the materialistic way of life is
very strong, and the beginning of the knot is sex
life. 5he whole world is bound up by the material
laws of nature because of the strong desire for
sex. oth in the human society and the animal
society, the central point is sex. 2eople are
working so hard to earn money because they want to
en?oy sex. ,ven the hippies could not give it up.
5hey renounced everything)their father+s property,
their happy life at home)but sex they could not
Still, although the knot of material life is very
difficult to cut, here the h8gavatam gives us the
way4 yad!anudhy8sin8 yukt8 karma!granthi!
nibandhanam chindanti. "/ith the sword of
remembering # a, you can cut the hard knot of
material life." 5he best way to remember # a is
to always chant 1are # a, 1are # a, # a
# a, 1are 1areQ 1are I8ma, 1are I8ma, I8ma I8ma,
1are 1are. 5ake this sword of chanting the mah8!
mantraJ in this age it is the only means for
cutting the knot of material life.
Haterial life means karma, fruitive activities. y
performing fruitive activities in this life a
person creates his next body. Dne who acts sinfully
may get a dog+s body or a hog+s body or a tree+s
body, and one who acts piously may get a demigod+s
body. ut that is also a "knot"J it is not freedom,
because even the demigods, the most materially
advanced living beings in the universe, must die.
2eople are trying to be happy by becoming
materially advanced. 5hey do not know that the goal
of life is to attain # a consciousness =na te
vidu sv8rtha!gati hi vi um @S '.P.F%A>. 5hey
think, "y increasing motorcars, we shall be
happy." 5his is m8y8, illusion. Hotorcars will not
make you happy. 5his motorcar civili0ation will be
finished within at most a hundred years. Anything
we manufacture)a so!called empire, a so!called
material civili0ation)will one day be finished. All
these things simply constitute so many knots in the
heart, captivating us and leading us to think,
"/hat use is this # a consciousness movement( /e
must have three do0en motorcars and three do0en
wine bottles, and then we will be happy." 5his is
In the mood of someone bound up by illusion,
<arottama d8sa h8kura sings,
sat!sa ga ch8 i+ kainu asate vil8sa
te!k8ra e l8gila ye karma!bandha!ph8 sa
"Alas, I have given up the association of # a+s
devotees because I wanted to en?oy illusory
material happiness. In this way I have become
entangled in the network of karma." 1ere <arottama
uses the word sat!sa ga, meaning "association with
devotees of # a." Sat!sa ga can be found in the
# a consciousness movement, where one can hear
the 9r:mad!h8gavatam, chant 1are # a, and
practice how to become pure. "ust the opposite is
asat!sa ga, bad association, which leads one to
intoxication, illicit sex, drinking, and so many
other sinful practices. 5he advertisers are asat!
sa ga4 "7ome on, smoke #ool cigarettes and make
your brain cool." 5he rascals6 1ow can someone
become cool by smoking cigarettes( y smoking fire
one can become cool( Still, the advertisements are
being presented, and the foolish people who are
captivated by them smoke cigarettes to become cool.
5his is m8y8.
Dne who is a little intelligent, however, will
immediately see the contradiction in the
advertisement4 "5his advertisement is claiming I
can become cool by smoking cigarettes( /hat is this
nonsense(" Similarly, an intelligent person can
understand m8y8+s tricks and see the contradictions
in all her allurements.
5herefore here the h8gavatam uses the word kovida,
"intelligent person." /hen one actually becomes
intelligent, he must ask, "/hy am I in this
miserable condition of life( I do not want to die,
but death is there. /hy( I do not want disease, but
disease is there. /hy( I do not want old age, but
it is forced upon me. /hy( I don+t want war, but
the draft board is dragging me to war. /hy(" An
intelligent person must ask all these "why"
-uestions. San8tana 3osv8m: showed the proper way
to in-uire from the guru when he approached
7aitanya Hah8prabhu4 ke 8mi, kene 8m8ya ?8re t8pa!
traya. "/ho am I(" asked San8tana 3osv8m:. "/hy
have I been put into this miserable condition of
life( Hy dear *ord, because I am the king+s
minister and I know a little Sanskrit and Arabic,
the common people call me a pa ita, a learned
scholar. ut to tell Lou frankly, if I do not know
what I am and why I am suffering, what is the value
of my education(" 5his is intelligence.
Intelligence is shown by self!control. 5he 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. ut if a human being
does that on the street, he will be arrested at
once. 5he 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
meant for self!control. 5he more you control
yourself, the more perfect a human being you
become, and the more you allow your senses to run
loose, the more of an animal you are. 2eople do not
know this. 5hey want freedom, but in the name of
freedom they are becoming animals. 5his is their
so!called civili0ation.
So we have to follow the h8gavatam+s instruction
and become kovida, intelligent. An intelligent
person should take up the sword of remembrance of
# a =anudhy8sin8> and cut the knot of attachment
to material en?oyment. Dne meaning of the prefix
anu in anudhy8sin8 is "following." 5his indicates
we should follow in the footsteps of a genuine
spiritual master, or 8c8rya. /hat the 8c8rya is
teaching and showing by his example, we should
follow. Another meaning of anu is "always." /e
should always remember # a if we want to cut the
knot of karma binding us to birth and death in this
material world.
It is the knot of karma that forces us to
transmigrate from one body to another. 5his is not
$arwin+s theory of evolution)that nature causes a
gradual evolution of bodies. Iather, each soul
determines his future body by his actions in this
life. 5he 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. 5hen I+ll have to
enter the womb of a female dog, and she will give
me the body of dog. ,ventually I will come out and
experience life in a dog+s body. 5his is the law of
So you can become dog, or you can become a god. As
a human being you have the facility to become
either. Lou simply have to choose. As # a says in
the hagavad!g:t8 =&.BP>,
y8nti deva!vrat8 dev8n pit n y8nti pit !vrat8
bh;t8ni y8nti bh;te?y8 y8nti mad!y8?ino +pi m8m
"5hose who worship the demigods will take birth
among the demigodsJ those who worship the ancestors
go to the ancestorsJ those who worship ghosts and
spirits will take birth among such beingsJ and
those who worship He will live with He." ut if you
want to live with 3od in the spiritual world you
must have a body like 1is, ?ust 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 3od, if you want
to en?oy unrestricted sense en?oyment, then you can
take the body of a hog. <ature gives the chance to
every human being to select his own futureJ no one
is forced.
5herefore one must be intelligent and in-uire, "1ow
can I be freed from material bondage(" 5he Supreme
2ersonality of 3odhead, # a, answers this
-uestion in the hagavad!g:t8 =E.&>4
?anma karma ca me divyam eva yo vetti tattvata
tyaktv8 deha punar ?anma naiti m8m eti so +r?una
"Dne who knows the transcendental nature of Hy
appearance and activities does not, upon leaving
the body, take his birth again in this material
world, but attains Hy eternal abode, D Ar?una."
1ere # a says that one must know 1im in truth,
tattvata . Such knowledge comes from authori0ed
N8stras like the hagavad!g:t8 and 9r:mad!
h8gavatam. ut today so many rascals are
advertising, "Lou don+t need to understand 3od
through any book. "ust accept me as 3od." And
people are so foolish that they accept such rascals
as 3od.
,very 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. 5hen 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. 5he same is true in the fields of
chemistry, physics, and every other science.
Similarly, their is a process for testing whether
someone is 3od or not. /hen 7aitanya Hah8prabhu was
asked how to test if a person is 3od, 1e said, "5he
N8stra mentions the characteristics of 3od. If
someone has those characteristics, 1e is 3od." So
we are accepting # a as 3od not on blind faith
but because 1is character and activities are
mentioned in the N8stra. And we should use the same
process to determine who is a genuine spiritual
master4 not by blind faith, but by reference to
N8stra. About the genuine guru the 9r:mad!
h8gavatam =%%.F.B%> says,
tasm8d guru prapadyeta ?i? K8su Nreya uttamam
N8bde pare ca ni 8ta brahma y upaNam8Nrayam
"A person who seriously desires real happiness must
seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take
shelter of him by initiation. 5he -ualification of
the bona fide guru is that he has reali0ed 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 3odhead, 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. 5his will enable one
to cut the hard knot of material life with the
weapon of remembrance of # a. It is not
difficult. Dne simply has to cultivate an
attraction for hearing about # a =kath8!ratim>.
Lou don+t need to pass an H.A. or 2h.$.
examination. 3od has given you ears. Simply sit
down and hear books like 9r:mad!h8gavatam and
hagavad!g:t8 from a reali0ed person. 5hese books
contain everything you need to understand 3od. All
you have to do is increase your attachment for
hearing them. Simply by hearing repeatedly, you
will become expert in the science of 3od. 7aitanya
Hah8prabhu has approved this process4 sth8ne
sthit8 Nruti!gat8 tanu!v8 !manobhi . Iemain in
your social position, but try to hear the
transcendental message from reali0ed souls. Lou
will gradually become enlightened and cut the knot
of material bondage.
7hapter %%4 1earing of # a with Faith
NuNr; o Nraddadh8nasya
sy8n mahat!sevay8 vipr8
pu ya!t:rtha!ni eva 8t
D twice!born sages, by serving those devotees who
are completely freed from all vice, great service
is done. y such service, one gains affinity for
hearing the messages of .8sudeva.
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.%C
5he conditioned life of a living being is caused by
his revolting against the *ord. 5here are men
called devas, or godly living beings, and there are
men called asuras, or demons, who are against the
authority of the Supreme *ord. In the hagavad!g:t8
=Sixteenth 7hapter> a vivid description of the
asuras is given, in which it is said that the
asuras are put into lower and lower states of
ignorance life after life and so sink to the lower
animal forms and have no information of the
Absolute 5ruth, the 2ersonality of 3odhead. 5hese
asuras are gradually rectified to 3od consciousness
by the mercy of the *ord+s liberated servitors in
different countries according to the supreme will.
Such devotees of 3od are very confidential
associates of the *ord, and when they come to save
human society from the dangers of godlessness, they
are known as powerful incarnations of the *ord, as
sons of the *ord, as servants of the *ord, or as
associates of the *ord. ut none of them falsely
claim to be 3od themselves. 5his is a blasphemy
declared by the asuras, and the demoniac followers
of such asuras also accept pretenders as 3od or 1is
incarnation. In the revealed scriptures there is
definite information of the incarnations of 3od. <o
one should be accepted as 3od or an incarnation of
3od unless he is confirmed by the revealed
5he servants of 3od are to be respected as 3od by
the devotees who actually want to go back to
3odhead. Such servants of 3od are called mah8tm8s,
or t:rthas, and they preach according to particular
time and place. 5he servants of 3od urge people to
become devotees of the *ord. 5hey never tolerate
being called 3od. 9r: 7aitanya Hah8prabhu was 3od
1imself according to the indication of the revealed
scriptures, but 1e played the part of a devotee.
2eople who knew 1im to be 3od addressed 1im as 3od,
but 1e used to block 1is ears with 1is hands and
chant the name of *ord .i u. 1e strongly protested
against being called 3od, although undoubtedly 1e
was 3od 1imself. 5he *ord behaves so to warn us
against unscrupulous men who take pleasure in being
addressed as 3od.
5he servants of 3od come to propagate 3od
consciousness, and intelligent people should
cooperate with them in every respect. y serving
the servant of 3od, one can please 3od more than by
directly serving the *ord. 5he *ord is more pleased
when 1e sees that 1is servants are properly
respected because such servants risk everything for
the service of the *ord and so are very dear to the
*ord. 5he *ord declares in the hagavad!g:t8
=%O.C&> that no one is dearer to 1im than one who
risks everything to preach 1is glory. y serving
the servants of the *ord, one gradually gets the
-uality of such servants, and thus one becomes
-ualified to hear the glories of 3od. 5he eagerness
to hear about 3od is the first -ualification of a
devotee eligible for entering the kingdom of 3od.
As mentioned in this verse of the h8gavatam, such
eagerness is awakened by rendering service to the
mah8tm8s, or great souls. /ho is a great soul( Dne
who is engaged in the service of the *ord twenty!
four hours a day. In the hagavad!g:t8 =&.%F> *ord
# a describes the mah8tm8 in this way4
mah8tm8nas tu m8 p8rtha daiv: prak tim 8Nrit8
bha?anty ananya manaso ?K8tv8 bh;t8dim avyayam
"5hose who are not deluded, the great souls, are
under the protection of Hy divine nature. 5hey are
fully engaged in devotional service because they
know He as the Supreme 2ersonality of 3odhead,
original and inexhaustible."
1ere # a uses the word daiv:!prak ti, "divine
nature." In the hagavad!g:t8 # a explains that
1e has two kinds of prak tis, or natures4 the daiv:
)or par8!prak ti, which is 1is transcendental
nature, and the apar8!prak ti, 1is material nature.
$evotees of # a try to remain under the guidance
of daiv:!prak ti personified, 9r:mat: I8dh8r8 :.
Haterialists, however, are under the control of the
apar8!prak ti, personified as 3oddess #8l:, or
$urg8. So to develop our eagerness to hear about
# a =v8sudeva!kath8!ruci>, we have to render
service to a person who is under the protection and
guidance of # a+s transcendental nature.
5hat service begins with faith =NuNr; o
Nraddadh8nasya @S %.B.%CA>. /ithout faith, you
cannot make any progress. As 9r:la I;pa 3osv8m: has
written, 8dau Nraddh84 "5he beginning of spiritual
life is faith." 5hat faith can be simply some
appreciation for # a consciousness. /ithout even
taking up the process of bhakti!yoga, if a person
thinks, "5hese 1are # a people are very nice,"
such appreciation will give him a touch of
spiritual life. And the development of this
appreciation by degrees will be the development of
his spiritual life.
5he next stage is s8dhu!sa ga @7c. Hadhya BB.OFA,
association with devotees of # a. In this stage
one may think, "All right, the devotees are
chanting 1are # a and talking of # a. *et me go
to the temple and sit down and hear." 5he third
stage is bha?ana!kriy8, beginning to perform the
processes of devotional service. And after one has
been associating nicely with devotees and engaging
in devotional service for some time, chanting the
1are # a mantra and observing the regulative
principles, one will naturally feel, "/hy not
become a disciple of a spiritual master(" 5herefore
we receive many applications4 "9r:la 2rabhup8da,
kindly accept me as your disciple."
5hen comes anartha!niv tti, van-uishing unwanted
habits. Dne of these habits is illicit sex. /e
prohibit this in our Society. If one of our members
wants to have sex, he or she can get married, but
sex outside marriage is strictly forbidden. It is
simply an anartha, rascaldom. Another anartha is
intoxication. /hat is the use of intoxication(
5here is no need for it. In our Society we prohibit
any kind of intoxication. /e don+t even allow
coffee, tea, or cigarettes. So, are we dying for
want of tea or cigarettes( <o. <or are we dying for
want of meat!eating or gambling, which we also
prohibit. 5herefore all these things are anarthas,
unnecessary things.
So the first stage in the development of a taste
for hearing about # a is some preliminary
appreciation, the second stage is association with
devotees, the third is engagement in devotional
service, and the fourth stage)achieved if one is
actually executing the rules and regulations of
devotional service under the guidance of a bona
fide spiritual master)is freedom from unwanted
desires and habits. 5hen comes ni h 8, firm faith
in the process of # a consciousness. And the
sixth stage is ruci, a taste for hearing and
chanting about # a, serving 1im, and so on.
Suppose a person is suffering from ?aundice. 5o him
sugar candy tastes bitter, not sweet, but sugar
candy is the best medicine for him. If he eats
sugar candy, gradually his disease will be cured,
and at last he will come to the point where candy
tastes sweet again. Similarly, to come to the stage
of v8sudeva!kath8!ruci @S %.B.%CA, a taste for
hearing the glorification of # a, you must first
go through the five stages mentioned above, which
sometimes may appear bitter. ut if you continually
hear about # a with faith and appreciation, you
will surely come to the stage of tasting. 5hen you
will get the sword of remembrance of # a spoken
of in the last verse, yad anudhy8sin8. If you have
a taste for hearing and chanting about # a, you
can very easily remember # a by constantly
chanting)1are # a, 1are # a, # a # a, 1are
1areQ 1are I8ma, 1are I8ma, I8ma I8ma, 1are 1are.
So you have to take up the sword of # a
consciousness and cut the knot of material
entanglement. 5he # a consciousness movement is
spreading by teaching people how to take up this
sword. I started this movement in <ew Lork in %&CC.
I had no actual sword, like those wielded by some
religious preachers. 5hey take their scriptures in
one hand and a sword in the other and say, "Accept
this scripture or I+ll cut off your head6" <o, this
is not the way of spreading # a consciousness.
Still, I did have a sword)the sword of remembrance
of # a)which I taught people to use by giving
them a chance to hear about the *ord. 5he effect of
hearing about the *ord is described in the next
%B4 7leaning the 1eart by 1earing of 3od
N vat8 sva!kath8 k a
pu ya!Nrava a!k:rtana
h dy anta stho hy abhadr8 i
vidhunoti suh t sat8m
9r: # a, the 2ersonality of 3odhead, who is the
2aram8tm8 @SupersoulA in everyone+s heart and the
benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire
for material en?oyment from the heart of the
devotee who has developed the urge to hear 1is
messages, which are in themselves virtuous when
properly heard and chanted.
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.%'
Hessages of the 2ersonality of 3odhead 9r: # a
are nondifferent from 1im. /henever, therefore,
offenseless hearing and glorification of 3od are
undertaken, it is to be understood that *ord # a
is present there in the form of transcendental
sound, which is as powerful as the *ord personally.
9r: 7aitanya Hah8prabhu, in 1is 9ik 8 aka,
declares clearly that the holy name of the *ord has
all the potencies of the *ord and that 1e has
endowed 1is innumerable names with the same
potency. 5here is no rigid fixture of time, and
anyone can chant the holy name with attention and
reverence at his convenience. 5he *ord is so kind
to us that 1e can be present before us personally
in the form of transcendental sound, but
unfortunately we have no taste for hearing and
glorifying the *ord+s name and activities. /e have
already discussed developing a taste for hearing
and chanting the holy sound. It is done through the
medium of service to the pure devotee of the *ord.
5he *ord is reciprocally respondent to 1is
devotees. /hen 1e sees that a devotee is completely
sincere in getting admittance to the transcendental
service of the *ord and has thus become eager to
hear about 1im, the *ord acts from within the
devotee in such a way that the devotee may easily
go back to 1im. 5he *ord is more anxious to take us
back into 1is kingdom than we can desire. Host of
us do not desire at all to go back to 3odhead. Dnly
a very few men want to go back to 3odhead. ut
anyone who desires to go back to 3odhead, 9r: # a
helps in all respects.
Dne cannot enter into the kingdom of 3od unless one
is perfectly cleared of all sins. 5he material sins
are products of our desires to lord it over
material nature. It is very difficult to get rid of
such desires. /omen and wealth are very difficult
problems for the devotee making progress on the
path back to 3odhead. Hany stalwarts in the
devotional line fell victim to these allurements
and thus retreated from the path of liberation. ut
when one is helped by the *ord 1imself, the whole
process becomes as easy as anything by the divine
grace of the *ord.
5o become restless in the contact of women and
wealth is not an astonishment, because every living
being is associated with such things from remote
time, practically immemorial, and it takes time to
recover from this foreign nature. ut if one is
engaged in hearing the glories of the *ord,
gradually he reali0es his real position. y the
grace of 3od such a devotee gets sufficient
strength to defend himself from the state of
disturbances, and gradually all disturbing elements
are eliminated from his mind.
1earing the glories of *ord # a is very easy
because 1e has performed so many activities and
these have been recorded extensively in authori0ed
.edic literatures like the Hah8bh8rata and 9r:mad!
h8gavatam. 5he h8gavatam is full of descriptions
of # a+s pastimes, and besides being purifying to
hear, they are very relishable also. 2eople often
take pleasure in reading fictional stories, but if
you simply read 9r:mad!h8gavatam instead, you will
relish that reading and at the same time become
As 2ar:k it Hah8r8?a heard 9r:mad!h8gavatam he
said, niv tta!tar air upag:yam8n8d bhavau adh8c
chrotra!mano!+bhir8m8t4 @S %G.%.EA "<arrations
about # a are the proper medicine for those
suffering in material existence, and such
narrations are very relishable to hear, especially
for those who are free of all material hankering."
As long as you are in material existence, you will
feel hankering and lamenting because this world is
being conducted chiefly by the modes of passion and
ignorance. 5herefore ordinarily we hanker to
possess something, and if somehow or other we
ac-uire that thing and it is lost, we lament.
1ankering and lamenting and other effects of the
lower modes of nature are known as abhadr8 i, dirt
within the heart. ut in the present verse of the
9r:mad!h8gavatam S;ta 3osv8m: says that if you
simply hear about # a these dirty things will
gradually be cleansed away from your heart by the
*ord 1imself.
So while 2ar:k it Hah8r8?a has said that narrations
about # a are especially relishable for persons
who have transcended all hankering and lamenting,
he also says that for the common man these
narrations are bhavau adh8c chrotra!mano!+bhir8m8t )
very pleasing to the ears and the heart, and the
proper medicine to cure the disease of material
5herefore our program in the # a consciousness
society is to give people in general a chance to
hear about # a. 5his is our mission, which has
been given to us by 7aitanya Hah8prabhu. 1e said
=7c. Hadhya '.%BO>4
y8re dekha, t8re kaha +k a+!upadeNa
8m8ra 8?K8ya guru haK8 t8ra+ ei deNa
"Dn my order become a spiritual master and try to
explain k a!kath8 to everyone you meet." # a!
kath8 means words spoken by # a, such as the
hagavad!g:t8, and words about # a, such as
9r:mad!h8gavatam. 7aitanya Hah8prabhu ordered us
to distribute these two kinds of k a!kath8
throughout the whole world.
<ow, one may ask me, "/hat is your -ualification to
be a spiritual master(" Hy -ualification is that
under the supreme order of 9r: 7aitanya Hah8prabhu,
coming down in disciplic succession, I am ?ust
trying to preach k a!kath8. 5hat+s all. I have
not manufactured the process of # a
consciousness. <o. I am simply a messenger,
delivering # a+s message as it is. 5hat+s all.
And the message is effective because I am not
adulterating it. In the hagavad!g:t8 # a says,
sarva!dharm8n paritya?ya m8m eka Nara a vra?a4
@g. %O.CCA "3ive up all your nonsense and ?ust
surrender unto He." And I say the same thing4
"ecome a devotee of # a. Surrender to # a." So
because I am not adulterating or misinterpreting
# a+s message, there is no doubt that I am really
representing 1is interests. 5herefore the message
is proving effective.
efore I came x to the /estern world, many others
had come from India and taught the hagavad!g:t8.
Some of these teachers were great scholars. ut
because they did not deliver # a+s message as it
is, no /esterners ever accepted the principles of
bhakti!yoga, or # a consciousness. <ow the
/esterners are accepting by the thousands,
especially the youngsters. Hany of them are no
longer interested in material advancement. 5hey
have tasted it and are dissatisfiedJ now they are
looking for spiritual advancement. 5hey have come
to the stage described at the beginning of the
.ed8nta!s;tra4 ath8to brahma ?i?K8s8. "<ow in this
human form of life one should in-uire into rahman,
the Absolute 5ruth." And when they in-uire from us
we immediately explain that, according to the
hagavad!g:t8, # a is the Absolute 5ruth. As
Ar?una declared when he understood who # a was4
para brahma para dh8ma pavitra parama bhav8n
@g. %G.%BA. "Lou are the Supreme 2ersonality of
3odhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the
Absolute 5ruth." So when the in-uiry into the
Absolute 5ruth comes, we can supply the k a!kath8
to satisfy it.
5herefore everyone should ?oin the # a
consciousness movement. Dne simply has to hear
k a!kath8 and distribute this knowledge, as
ordered by 9r: 7aitanya Hah8prabhu. 5he result will
be what S;ta 3osv8m: describes here in the 9r:mad!
h8gavatam4 N vat8 sva!kath8 k a pu ya!
Nrava a!k:rtana @S %.B.%'A. # a!kath8 is so
nice that ?ust by hearing it one becomes pious.
,ven if one does not understand who # a is, if
one simply hears the vibration of the holy names)
1are # a, 1are # a, # a # a, 1are 1areQ
1are I8ma, 1are I8ma, I8ma I8ma, 1are 1are)one will
become pious. # a!kath 8 is so effective in
polishing the heart, as 7aitanya Hah8prabhu has
said in 1is 9ik 8 aka4 ceto!darpa a!m8r?anam @7c.
Antya BG.%BA. # a is within our hearts as the
2aram8tm8, or Supersoul, and as soon as 1e
understands that we are very seriously hearing
about 1im, 1e helps us by cleansing our hearts.
5he exact word used here for the dirty things in
our hearts is abhadr8 i, "that which is ignoble."
hadra means "noble," and abhadra means "ignoble."
So, what is it that is ignoble within our hearts(
Dur claim to proprietorship over the property of
3od. A good example is nationalism, which many
people today claim is so valuable. <ationalism is
eulogi0ed so much in the modern age, but actually
it is most ignoble. 1ow can we say this( Dn the
strength of the TNopani ad = @TNo mantra %A>4
:N8v8syam idam sarva yat ki Kca ?agaty8 ?agat
tena tyaktena bhuK?:th8 m8 g dha kasya svid dhanam
",verything animate or inanimate that is within the
universe is controlled and owned by the *ord. Dne
should therefore accept only those things necessary
for himself, which are set aside as his -uota, and
one should not accept other things, knowing well to
whom they belong."
1ere the TNopani ad says that everything belongs to
3od. 5hen how can you claim, "5his is our American
land" or "5his is our Indian land"( 5his is
illusion4 what is not yours, you are claiming to be
yours. ,ven your body is not yours. <ature has
given you your body according to your karma, but
ultimately your body belongs to # a. Suppose I
rent a house. It is not my houseJ it is the
landlord+s. 5his is a fact. ut if I move into the
house and then claim, "5his is my house," I will
get into trouble. Similarly, everything we are
using for our comfort and livelihood has been given
to us by 3od. 5he body is given by 3od, and the
maintenance for the body is also given by 3od. Lou
maintain your body by eating fruits, grains, milk,
or even meat. ut who is supplying these things(
Lou cannot create them in your factories. 5he .edas
say, eko bah;n8 vidadh8ti k8m8n4 "5he *ord is
supplying everyone+s necessities." Mnderstanding
that everything belongs to 3od is # a
<ow we have so many ignoble things in our hearts,
such as falsely claiming 3od+s property as our own.
ut # a is within our hearts, and when 1e sees
that we are regularly and seriously hearing k a!
kath8, 1e will wash off all these ignoble things4
h dy anta !stha abhadr8 i vidhunoti. So by
providing an opportunity for everyone to hear the
9r:mad!h8gavatam, hagavad!g:t8, and other sources
of k a!kath8, the # a consciousness movement is
helping human society become purified and thus live
in peace, happiness, and prosperity.
%F4 ,scaping the 7lutches of 1armful
na a!pr8ye v abhadre u
nitya bh8gavata!sevay8
bhagavaty uttama!Nloke
bhaktir bhavati nai hik:
y regular attendance in classes on the h8gavatam
and by rendering of service to the pure devotee,
all that is troublesome to the heart is almost
completely destroyed, and loving service unto the
2ersonality of 3odhead, who is praised with
transcendental songs, is established as an
irrevocable fact.
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.%O
1ere is the remedy for eliminating all inauspicious
things within the heart, which are considered to be
obstacles in the path of self!reali0ation. 5he
remedy is the association of the h8gavatas. 5here
are two types of h8gavatas, namely the book
h8gavata and the devotee h8gavata. oth the
h8gavatas are competent remedies, and both of them
or either of them can be good enough to eliminate
the obstacles. A devotee h8gavata is as good as
the book h8gavata because the devotee h8gavata
leads his life in terms of the book h8gavata and
the book h8gavata is full of information about the
2ersonality of 3odhead and 1is pure devotees, who
are also h8gavatas. h8gavata book and person are
5he devotee h8gavata is a direct representative of
hagav8n, the 2ersonality of 3odhead. So by
pleasing the devotee h8gavata one can receive the
benefit of the book h8gavata. 1uman reason fails
to understand how by serving the devotee h8gavata
or the book h8gavata one gets gradual promotion on
the path of devotion. ut actually these are facts
explained by 9r:la <8radadeva, who happened to be a
maidservant+s son in his previous life. 5he
maidservant was engaged in the menial service of
the sages, and thus he also came into contact with
them. And simply by associating with them and
accepting the remnants of food left by the sages,
the son of the maidservant got the chance to become
the great devotee and personality 9r:la <8radadeva.
5hese are the miraculous effects of the association
of h8gavatas. And to understand these effects
practically, it should be noted that by such
sincere association of the h8gavatas one is sure
to receive transcendental knowledge very easily,
with the result that one becomes fixed in the
devotional service of the *ord. 5he more progress
is made in devotional service under the guidance of
the h8gavatas, the more one becomes fixed in the
transcendental loving service of the *ord. 5he
messages of the book h8gavata, therefore, have to
be received from the devotee h8gavata, and the
combination of these two h8gavatas will help the
neophyte devotee to make progress on and on.
3enerally, people do not understand the need for
making spiritual progress and cleansing the heart
of all dirty things =abhadr8 i>. Haterial life
means dirty life, uncivili0ed life, yet people
think that having nice clothes and a nice apartment
and a nicely washed body means they are civili0ed.
5hey do not know how the contamination within their
hearts has attacked them.
In the name of civili0ation, people have created so
many unnecessary things, called anarthas. For
example, thousands of years ago, in the .edic age,
when there was no so!called advancement of
civili0ation, people used to eat from utensils made
of silver or gold, or at least some kind of metal.
<ow people are using plastic, yet they are still
proud of their advanced civili0ation. Actually, the
plastic utensils are unnecessary. Another example4
two hundred years ago in India there was no
industry, but people were so happy. 5hey did not
have to travel two hundred miles or five hundred
miles away from home to earn their livelihood. In
,urope and America I have seen that some people are
daily flying by airplane to the place where they
earn their livelihood. From 5oronto they are flying
to Hontreal)almost five hundred miles. <early
everyone has to travel at least fifty miles. In <ew
Lork many people come from a distant place on *ong
Island, cross the river, and then take a bus to
reach their place of employment. All this travel is
simply unnecessary.
78 akya 2a ita asks, "/ho is happy(" 1e answers,
"5he man who does not work away from home and who
is not a debtor)he is happy." .ery simple. Let now
we see that practically everyone works away from
home and everyone is a great debtor. So how can
they be happy( In America the banks canvass,
"orrow money from us, purchase a motorcar,
purchase a house, and as soon as you get your
salary, give it to us." Dr they offer, "5ake this
bank card." It should be known as a bankrupt card.
If you take the card and deposit your money in the
bank, then you can purchase whatever you like with
the card. ut soon you are without any money, and
all you have left is that card.
So, all these anarthas can immediately be finished
if you take up the process of # a consciousness,
or bhakti!yoga4 anarthopaNama s8k 8d bhakti!yogam
adhok a?e @S %.'.CA. A good example is our
students in the # a consciousness movement. Hany
are from America or ,urope, and they knew very well
how to increase anarthas. ut as soon as they
?oined our Society they no longer had to pay the
cinema bill, the gambling bill, and so many other
bills. ,ven the medical bills were decreased almost
to nil. $oes a person die without smoking( <o. It
is an anartha. Dne becomes habituated to smoking
due to bad association4 sa g8t sa K?8yate k8ma .
ecause of bad association one learns how to smoke,
how to gamble, how to eat meat, and how to take
intoxicants. In America the government is spending
millions of dollars to stop this intoxication habit
among the young people. ut the government does not
know how to stop it. 1ere is the remedy4 # a
consciousness. It is practical. Anyone who
seriously takes up the process of # a
consciousness can immediately give up all bad
habits, including intoxication. ut still the
government will not patroni0e the # a
consciousness movement. 5hey+d rather spend
lavishly on some useless program.
ecause the modern people do not know how to get
out of the clutches of all these unnecessary
things, the learned 9r:la .y8sadeva wrote the
9r:mad!h8gavatam4 lokasy8?8nato vidv8 N cakre
s8tvata!sa hit8m. 5ake shelter of the 9r:mad!
h8gavatam and you will perfectly learn how to
diminish your unnecessary things. 5he simple
process is given in the previous verse =S %.B.%'>4
N vat8 sva!kath8 k a pu ya!Nrava a!k:rtana
h dy anta !stho hy abhadr8 i vidhunoti suh t sat8m
If you simply hear about # a from the 9r:mad!
h8gavatam or the hagavad!g:t8, # a 1imself will
cleanse away your anarthas. In the hagavad!g:t8
# a is directly speaking about 1imself. ut don+t
misinterpret 1is words. Simply hear them as Ar?una
did. Someone may say, "Ar?una heard the hagavad!
g:t8 directly from # a, but now # a is absent.
So how can we hear it as Ar?una did(" ecause # a
is absolute, 1e is nondifferent from 1is words. So
if you read the hagavad!g:t8 as it is, receiving
it through disciplic succession, then your reading
is as good as Ar?una+s hearing directly from # a.
ut if you give your own interpretation of the
hagavad!g:t8, or hear the interpretation of a
nondevotee, you+ll remain a rascal.
San8tana 3osv8m: has forbidden us to hear about
# a from nondevotees4
avai ava!mukhodg:r a p;ta hari!kath8m tam
Nrava a naiva kartavya sarpocchi a yath8
"Dne should not hear anything about # a from a
non!.ai ava. Hilk touched by the lips of a serpent
has poisonous effectsJ similarly, talks about # a
given by a non!.ai ava are also poisonous."
Sometimes, in India, people who do not follow the
principles of .ai ava behavior become professional
reciters of the 9r:mad!h8gavatam and hold seven!
day public readings, called bh8gavata!sapt8ha. Such
hearing of 9r:mad!h8gavatam is forbidden. 5he
present verse recommends nitya bh8gavata!sevay8,
"regular hearing of the h8gavatam," not sapt8ha
bh8gavata!sevay8, "one!week+s hearing of the
h8gavatam." Is the h8gavatam such a thing that
you can understand everything ?ust by hearing it
for one week( Lou will not understand one word by
reading the h8gavatam for only a week, what to
speak of all eighteen thousand verses. 5he whole of
.edic knowledge is contained in the h8gavatam
=nigama!kalpa!taror galita phalam @S %.%.FA>, so
what will you understand by only a week+s reading(
5he real prescription is given here4 nitya
bh8gavata!sevay8. ,very day you should hear the
h8gavatam, and at every moment you should remember
the h8gavatam. 5hen na a!pr8ye v abhadre u4 @S
%.B.%OA the dirty things in your heart will be
eradicated. 5his is the essence of the # a
consciousness movement)to provide you with an
opportunity to hear about # a patiently so that
the dirty things within your heart will be cleansed
away. /hat those dirty things are will be mentioned
in the next verse4 lust, greed, and other effects
of the modes of passion and ignorance =ra?as!tamo!
bh8v8 @S %.B.%&A>.
7hapter %E4 hakti!yoga4 5he Vuickest
/ay to 2eace and liss
tad8 ra?as!tamo!bh8v8
k8ma!lobh8dayaN ca ye
ceta etair an8viddha
sthita sattve pras:dati
As soon as irrevocable loving service is
established in the heart, the effects of nature+s
modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust,
desire, and hankering, disappear from the heart.
5hen the devotee is established in goodness, and he
becomes completely happy.
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.%&
A living being in his normal constitutional
position is fully satisfied in spiritual bliss.
5his state of existence is called brahma!bh;ta @S
E.FG.BGA or 8tm8nand:, or the state of self!
satisfaction. 5his self!satisfaction is not like
the satisfaction of the inactive fool. 5he inactive
fool is in the state of foolish ignorance, whereas
the self!satisfied 8tm8nand: is transcendental to
the material state of existence. 5his stage of
perfection is attained as soon as one is fixed in
irrevocable devotional service. $evotional service
is not inactivity, but the unalloyed activity of
the soul.
5he soul+s activity becomes adulterated in contact
with matter, and as such the diseased activities
are expressed in the form of lust, desire,
hankering, inactivity, foolishness, and sleep. 5he
effect of devotional service becomes manifest by
complete elimination of these effects of passion
and ignorance. 5he devotee is fixed at once in the
mode of goodness, and he makes further progress to
rise to the position of vasudeva, or the state of
unmixed sattva, or Nuddha!sattva. Dnly in this
Nuddha!sattva state can one always see # a eye to
eye by dint of pure affection for the *ord.
A devotee is always in the mode of unalloyed
goodnessJ therefore he harms no one. ut the
nondevotee, however educated he may be, is always
harmful. A devotee is neither foolish nor
passionate. 5he harmful, foolish, and passionate
cannot be devotees of the *ord, however they may
advertise themselves as devotees by outward dress.
A devotee is always -ualified with all the good
-ualities of 3od. Vuantitatively such
-ualifications may be different, but -ualitatively
the *ord and 1is devotee are one and the same.
5he nondevotees, on the other hand, act under the
influence of a combination of the three modes of
material nature)the mode of goodness, the mode of
passion, and the mode of ignorance. 5hese modes
combine in unlimited ways to produce unlimited
varieties of people. 2rogressive life begins when
one endeavors to come to the platform of the mode
of goodness. y undergoing training one can come to
this platform, ?ust as by undergoing training an
illiterate, uncultured, animallike man can become
civili0ed. ,ven cats and dogs and tigers can be
trained to be obedient. 5hat is our practical
5here are two kinds of training processes for
elevating the human being to the stage of pure
goodness. Dne is the scheduled, step!by!step
process4 tapas8 brahmacarye a Namena ca damena ca
@S C.%.%FA. In this process one undergoes various
austerities =tapasya>, controls the sex impulse by
practicing celibacy =brahmacarya>, and in general
controls the senses and the mind =Nama dama>. Also,
one may give wealth in charity =ty8ga>. 5his is the
gradual process of elevation.
ut there is another process)# a consciousness,
or bhakti!yoga. Suppose you have to go up to the
top floor of a ten!story building. Lou can go step
by step, or you can take the elevator. hakti!yoga
is the elevator. If you take up this process, then
you will very -uickly reach the top floor.
Dtherwise, you have to go step by step by step.
Although both processes lead to the topmost floor,
one is very slow and the other is very -uick.
5he beginning of bhakti!yoga is hearing about
# a. As described in the present verses of the
h8gavatam, the result of hearing about # a
regularly is that the dirty things in the heart are
cleansed almost to nil =na a!pr8ye v abhadre u @S
%.B.%OA>J then one becomes steady in devotional
service, surpasses the modes of passion and
ignorance, and is promoted to the platform of
goodness =sthita sattve pras:dati>. And as soon
as you come to the platform of goodness, you are
freed from lust and greed, the effects of the lower
modes of passion and ignorance.
5he whole world is moving due to the impulse of
lust and greed. 5hose who are influenced by the
lower -ualities of material nature are never
satisfied4 "3ive me more, give me more, give me
more." ut no matter how much one gets, one is not
satisfied. A man will think, "If I can ?ust
increase my income to one thousand dollars a month,
I will be satisfied." ut as soon as he gets one
thousand dollars, he wants a hundred thousand. ,ven
the millionaires are not satisfied. In 2aris I have
seen lusty old men going to clubs. 5hey enter the
club by paying fifty dollars, and there they find
young women and wine)that is their pleasure. Dn the
one side they are not satisfied even with millions
of dollars, and on the other side they want to
en?oy young women. Simply greedy and lusty, that+s
So, to become # a conscious means to become free
from lust and greed4 ceta etair an8viddham. .iddham
means "piercing." *ust and greed are always
piercing and pinching the heart4 "7ome on, come on,
en?oy6" ut when you are actually a little advanced
in # a consciousness, these things will no longer
pinch you because your heart will be cleansed.
5hen you will always be ?oyful, pras:dati. As # a
says in the hagavad!g:t8 =%O.PE>,
brahma!bh;ta prasann8tm8 na Nocati na k8 k ati
sama sarve u bh;te u mad!bhakti labhate par8m
/hen you come to the brahma!bh;ta @S E.FG.BGA
stage, the platform of liberation, you become fully
?oyful and no longer lament or hanker over material
things =na Nocati na k8 k ati>. In material
consciousness we hanker after something we do not
possess, and we lament when we lose something. ut
in # a consciousness we are free from these
effects of the modes of passion and ignorance. In
such consciousness you will be able to see everyone
on the spiritual platform. As # a explains
earlier in the hagavad!g:t8 =P.%O>,
vidy8!vinaya!sampanne br8hma e gavi hastini
Nuni caiva Nva!p8ke ca pa it8 sama!darNina
Dne in # a consciousness is truly learned, and
thus he sees cats and dogs and human beings
e-ually. 1e doesn+t see the outward dress of the
body but sees the spirit soul. "1ere is a spirit
soul," he thinks "part and parcel of # a." 5hat
kind of vision is the basis of universal
brotherhood. rotherhood will not come by passing
resolutions in the Mnited <ations. 5hat is not
possible. Lou have to come to the spiritual
platformJ then there will be love, brotherhood,
e-uality, and fraternity. Dtherwise it is all bogus
Finally, one who comes to the spiritual platform)
the brahma!bh;ta @S E.FG.BGA stage)attains pure
devotional service to # a =mad!bhakti labhate
par8m @g. %O.PEA>. In other words, one becomes
completely fit to serve # a, and # a accepts
your service at that time. 5his stage is further
described in the next verse.
7hapter %P4 hakti!yoga is Science, <ot
eva prasanna!manaso
mukta!sa gasya ?8yate
5hus established in the mode of unalloyed goodness,
the man whose mind has been enlivened by contact
with devotional service to the *ord gains positive
scientific knowledge of the 2ersonality of 3odhead
in the stage of liberation from all material
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.BG
In the hagavad!g:t8 ='.F> it is said that out of
many thousands of ordinary men, one fortunate man
endeavors for perfection in life. Hostly men are
conducted by the modes of passion and ignorance,
and thus they are engaged always in lust, desire,
hankerings, ignorance, and sleep. Dut of many such
manlike animals, there is actually a man who knows
the responsibility of human life and thus tries to
make life perfect by following the prescribed
duties. And out of many thousands of such persons
who have thus attained success in human life, one
may know scientifically about the 2ersonality of
3odhead 9r: # a. In the same hagavad!g:t8
=%O.PP> it is also said that scientific knowledge
of 9r: # a is understood only by the process of
devotional service =bhakti!yoga>.
5he very same thing is confirmed herein in the
above words. <o ordinary man, or even one who has
attained success in human life, can know
scientifically or perfectly the 2ersonality of
3odhead. 2erfection of human life is attained when
one can understand that he is not the product of
matter but is in fact spirit. And as soon as one
understands that he has nothing to do with matter,
he at once ceases his material hankerings and
becomes enlivened as a spiritual being. 5his
attainment of success is possible when one is above
the modes of passion and ignorance, or, in other
words, when one is actually a br8hma a by
A br8hma a is the symbol of sattva!gu a, or the
mode of goodness. And others, who are not in the
mode of goodness, are either k atriyas, vaiNyas,
N;dras, or less than N;dras. 5he brahminical stage
is the highest stage of human life because of its
good -ualities. So one cannot be a devotee unless
one at least -ualifies as a br8hma a. 5he devotee
is already a br8hma a by action. ut that is not
the end of it. As referred to above, such a
br8hma a has to become a .ai ava in fact to be
actually in the transcendental stage. A pure
.ai ava is a liberated soul and is transcendental
even to the position of a br8hma a. In the material
stage even a br8hma a is also a conditioned soul
because although in the brahminical stage the
conception of rahman or transcendence is reali0ed,
scientific knowledge of the Supreme *ord is
lacking. Dne has to surpass the brahminical stage
and reach the vasudeva stage to understand the
2ersonality of 3odhead, # a.
5he science of the 2ersonality of 3odhead is the
sub?ect matter for study by the postgraduate
students in the spiritual line. Foolish men, or men
with a poor fund of knowledge, do not understand
the Supreme *ord, and they interpret # a
according to their respective whims. 5he fact is,
however, that one cannot understand the science of
the 2ersonality of 3odhead unless one is freed from
the contamination of the material modes, even up to
the stage of a br8hma a. /hen a -ualified br8hma a
factually becomes a .ai ava, in the enlivened
state of liberation he can know what is actually
the 2ersonality of 3odhead.
5he process of bhakti!yoga is not a concoction or
speculation. It is a science. As stated in the
present verse, bhagavat!tattva!vi?K8nam4 @S
%.B.BGA "one gains scientific knowledge of the
2ersonality of 3odhead." .i?K8na means "science."
In mathematics, "5wo plus two e-uals four" is
always true. Lou cannot make it e-ual five
according to your whims. <o. ecause mathematics is
a science, whether you are in America or India or
,ngland, you will find that everyone accepts that
two plus two e-uals four. Similarly, you cannot
imagine 3od according to your whims. <owadays many
people say, "Lou can imagine your 3od, and I can
imagine my 3od." <o, there is no -uestion of
imagining anything about 3od. As stated here, the
scientific truth of 3od can be understood by a
person who is mukta!sa ga, freed from material
association. Such a person, being transcendental to
the lower modes of nature, is ?ubilant and
enlightened =prasanna!manasa >. As long as you are
under the ?urisdiction of the modes of ignorance
and passion, there is no -uestion of ?ubilation or
enlightenment. 5herefore you have to come to the
platform of pure goodness.
5he previous verse stated, ceta etair an8viddha
sthita sattve pras:dati4 "/hen the heart is free
of passion and ignorance and fixed in goodness, one
becomes ?ubilant." At that time one can understand
how foolish it is for people to work so hard like
cats and dogs simply for material benefits. 1uman
life is meant for understanding 3od =ath8to brahma
?i?K8s8>. 5he foolish animals cannot understand
3od, but human beings can because of their
developed consciousness.
1owever, to take advantage of this developed
consciousness you must rise to the platform of
goodness. 5hen, by studying nature, you will see
that one does not have to work so hard for getting
the material necessities. 5he birds and beasts are
getting their food, they are getting their mates,
they are being protected in their own way, they
have some nest or hole to sleep in. ,ven the ants
are being provided for. /hen we sit down in a
garden we see that even the ant has its family, its
home, its food)everything is there. From the ant to
the elephant, all are getting their necessities of
life. /ho is supplying(
So, one who is in the mode of goodness will ask,
"Since 3od is supplying life+s necessities to all
O,EGG,GGG species of life, why are the so!called
civili0ed human beings struggling so hard for these
things(" /e have greater intelligence than the
animalsJ therefore our struggle for existence
should be less than theirs. Still, it is greater.
/hat sort of civili0ation is this( 5his is not
civili0ation. ,veryone wants a peaceful, calm life,
but instead the modern human society forces
everyone to work like an ass the whole day and
night simply to satisfy the four basic necessities
of life)eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.
And even then these are not guaranteed. /hen I
lived in India before going to America, I thought
that since America is very rich the people there
have no problem eating, sleeping, and so on. ut
the Americans have created a civili0ation where a
certain section of the people are obliged to lie
down on the street or in a park, and they have no
proper dress, not enough food, and no fixed!up sex
life. In such a so!called civili0ation, people are
always disturbed and full of anxiety. 5hen how they
can understand 3od(
5o understand 3od you first have to come to the
stage of tran-uillity. 5hen, when one understands
3od, one will be prasanna!manasa, always ?ubilant.
Dne can become ?ubilant only by practicing bhakti!
yoga, not by any other process. 5here are many
other yoga systems)karma!yoga, ?K8na!yoga, dhy8na!
yoga, ha ha!yoga. ,very endeavor for spiritual
enlightenment is a type of yoga. ut real yoga is
bhagavad!bhakti!yoga, devotional service to the
Supreme *ord. 5herefore in the hagavad!g:t8 =C.E'>
# a says,
yogin8m api sarve 8 mad!gaten8ntar!8tman8
Nraddh8v8n bha?ate yo m8 sa me yuktatamo mata
"Df all yogis, the one with great faith who always
abides in He, thinks of He within himself, and
renders transcendental loving service to He)he is
the most intimately united with He in yoga and is
the highest of all. 5hat is Hy opinion." So the
first!class yogi is the devotee who is always
thinking of # a within his heart by chanting the
1are # a mantra)1are # a, 1are # a, # a
# a, 1are 1areQ 1are I 8ma, 1are I8ma, I8ma I8ma,
1are 1are. 5hat is bhagavad!bhakti!yoga. And if the
devotee progresses nicely, following all the rules
and regulations, then one day he will understand
3od in truth and become prasanna!manasa)
enlightened, engladdened, and free of all
lamentation and hankering.
3od is not so cheap. "7ome on," say the cheaters,
"I shall show you 3od. Lou haven+t got to follow
any rules and regulations." 2eople who want 3od
cheaply are prone to be cheated, and there are many
cheaters who will take advantage of them. 5he
actual process of understanding 3od is a science.
Suppose someone says, "I shall teach you the
science of chemistry within a second. 3ive me some
money." Dr "I shall teach you mathematics within a
second. 3ive me some money." /ill you agree to such
impossible proposals( 5hen why are these rascals
allowed to mislead people into believing they can
understand 3od so cheaply( hakti!yoga is science,
not sentiment.
I;pa 3osv8m: instructs us,
Nruti!sm ti!pur8 8di!pa Kcar8tra!vidhi vin8
aik8ntik: harer bhaktir utp8t8yaiva kalpate
@rs. %.B.%G%A
So many rascals are causing a disturbance in
society by posing that they have understood 3od
without reference to the .edic literature, the
revealed scriptures. 5hese include the Nruti, such
as the four .edas and the Mpani ads, the sm ti,
such as the hagavad!g:t8, the 2ur8 as, such as the
9r:mad!h8gavatam, and the paKcar8tras, such as the
<8rada 2aKcar8tra. 5o understand 3od is a great
science. 1ow can you ignore the authori0ed books of
knowledge and manufacture a process for knowing
5herefore any religion without a scientific,
philosophical understanding of 3od is simply
sentiment. It is not religion. And philosophy
without religion is simply mental speculation. In
other words, that philosophy which does not answer
the ultimate -uestions)/hat is the Absolute 5ruth(
/hat is 3od()is useless. Ieligion and philosophy
should be combined so that we can scientifically
understand who is 3od, what is our relationship
with 3od, what is our duty toward 3od, and so on.
From its beginning the 9r:mad!h8gavatam kicks out
all cheating so!called religions and presents
bhagavat!tattva!vi?K8na, the genuine science of
3od. 5his science has to be studied, it has to be
practiced, and it has to be reali0ed. /e are
presenting this scientific understanding as # a
consciousness. It is not for the sentimentalists
but for those who are serious about perfecting
their lives.
It is not so easy to reach perfection and
understand 9r: # a. As # a states in the
hagavad!g:t8 @g. '.FA,
manu y8 8 sahasre u kaNcid yatati siddhaye
yatat8m api siddh8n8 kaNcin m8 vetti tattvata
"Dut of many thousands of men, one may endeavor for
perfection, and of those who have achieved
perfection, hardly one knows He in truth." Still,
because # a is compassionate upon the fallen
souls of this age, 1e appeared as *ord 7aitanya and
freely distributed 1imself. 5hat is 1is
prerogative. If # a wants to distribute 1imself
freely, that is 1is right, and then the whole
process becomes very easy. Dtherwise, it is not so
easy to understand # a. For example, to earn a
million dollar is not so easy, but if you are
fortunate and meet someone who freely gives you a
million dollars, that is a different thing.
5herefore I;pa 3osv8m: glorified *ord 7aitanya as
the most munificent incarnation4
namo mah8!vad8ny8ya k a!prema!prad8ya te
k 8ya k a!caitanya!n8mne gaura!tvi e nama
@7c. Hadhya %&.PFA
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme
*ord 9r: # a 7aitanya, who is more magnanimous
than any other avatar, even # a 1imself, because
1e is bestowing freely what no one else has ever
given)pure love of # a." If we follow in the
footsteps of I;pa 3osv8m:, we can understand *ord
7aitanya. And if we get the favor of *ord 7aitanya,
we can very easily understand # a.
7hapter %C4 /hen the # a Sun Iises in the 1eart
bhidyate h daya!granthiN chidyante sarva!sa Nay8
k :yante c8sya karm8 i d a ev8tman:Nvare
5hus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all
misgivings are cut to pieces. 5he chain of fruitive
actions is terminated when one sees the Self as
)9r:mad!h8gavatam %.B.B%
Attaining scientific knowledge of the 2ersonality
of 3odhead means seeing one+s own self
simultaneously. As far as the identity of the
living being as spirit self is concerned, there are
a number of speculations and misgivings. 5he
materialist does not believe in the existence of
the spirit self, and empiric philosophers believe
in the impersonal feature of the whole spirit
without individuality of the living beings. ut the
transcendentalists affirm that the soul and the
Supersoul are two different identities,
-ualitatively one but -uantitatively different.
5here are many other theories, but all these
different speculations are at once cleared off as
soon as 9r: # a is reali0ed in truth by the
process of bhakti!yoga. 9r: # a is like the sun,
and the materialistic speculations about the
Absolute 5ruth are like the darkest midnight. As
soon as the # a sun is arisen within one+s heart,
the darkness of materialistic speculations about
the Absolute 5ruth and the living beings is at once
cleared off. In the presence of the sun, the
darkness cannot stand, and the relative truths that
were hidden within the dense darkness of ignorance
become clearly manifested by the mercy of # a,
who is residing in everyone+s heart as the
In the hagavad!g:t8 =%G.%%> the *ord says that in
order to show special favor to 1is pure devotees 1e
personally eradicates the dense darkness of all
misgivings by switching on the light of pure
knowledge within the heart of a devotee. 5herefore,
because of the 2ersonality of 3odhead+s taking
charge of illuminating the heart of 1is devotee,
certainly a devotee, engaged in 1is service in
transcendental love, cannot remain in darkness. 1e
comes to know everything of the absolute and the
relative truths. 5he devotee cannot remain in
darkness, and because a devotee is enlightened by
the 2ersonality of 3odhead, his knowledge is
certainly perfect. 5his is not the case for those
who speculate on the Absolute 5ruth by dint of
their own limited power of approach. 2erfect
knowledge is called parampar8, or deductive
knowledge coming down from the authority to the
submissive aural receiver who is bona fide by
service and surrender. Dne cannot challenge the
authority of the Supreme and know 1im also at the
same time. 1e reserves the right of not being
exposed to such a challenging spirit of an
insignificant spark of the whole, a spark sub?ected
to the control of illusory energy. 5he devotees are
submissive, and therefore the transcendental
knowledge descends from the 2ersonality of 3odhead
to rahm8 and from rahm8 to his sons and disciples
in succession. 5his process is helped by the
Supersoul within such devotees. 5hat is the perfect
way of learning transcendental knowledge.
5his enlightenment perfectly enables the devotee to
distinguish spirit from matter because the knot of
spirit and matter is untied by the *ord. 5his knot
is called aha k8ra, and it falsely obliges a living
being to become identified with matter. As soon as
this knot is loosened, therefore, all the clouds of
doubt are at once cleared off. Dne sees his master
and fully engages himself in the transcendental
loving service of the *ord, making a full
termination of the chain of fruitive action. In
material existence, a living being creates his own
chain of fruitive work and en?oys the good and bad
effects of those actions life after life. ut as
soon as he engages himself in the loving service of
the *ord, he at once becomes free from the chain of
karma. 1is actions no longer create any reaction.
5his is the stage of complete liberation. In the
previous verse it was said, bhagavat!tattva!
vi?K8na mukta!sa gasya ?8yate @S %.B.BGA. 5his
means that the science of 3od, or the science of
Absolute 5ruth =bhagavat!tattva>, becomes manifest
to the liberated soul. Sometimes we find that
someone poses as a great devotee very much advanced
in spiritual understanding, but he cannot even give
up smoking cigarettes. 5hat means he+s not
liberated. For one who actually has a taste for
spiritual life, all material attachments diminish
to nil. 5his is the sign that one is actually
5he first statement in the present verse is
bhidyate h daya!granthi , "factual understanding of
3od cuts the knots in the heart." Haterial life
begins with the strong knot in the heart called sex
desire. A man hankers for a woman and a woman
hankers for a man, and their mutual attachment
begins their material life. <ot only in human
society but also in animal society, bird society,
insect society, you+ll find this sex attachment.
5his is the primary h daya!granthi , knot in the
5herefore in the .edic civili0ation the first
lesson a student learns is brahmacarya, celibacy.
Abstaining from sex is not such an easy thing4 it
re-uires tapasya, training in austerity. Dne has to
practice how to control the mind and the senses. At
present, far from being taught to practice tapasya,
the university students are given all kinds of
luxuries. ,specially in the /estern countries, the
boys and girls are educated together, and they even
live in the same building. So there is no -uestion
of brahmacarya. Iather, the hard knot of sex desire
binds their hearts more and more.
So, to cut the knot of sex desire and other knots
binding the heart, one must follow two parallel
lines4 Dn one side a person should cultivate # a
consciousness, and on the other he should try to
give up all his bad habits. oth sides must be
there if he wants to advance. For example, when a
person is diseased the doctor prescribes some
medicine, and at the same time he instructs the
patient in what to eat and what not to eat. 5hat is
the proper way of treatment. It is not that the
patient can eat whatever he likes and if he simply
takes the medicine he will be cured. Similarly, it
is nonsense to think that you can do whatever you
like and if you simply chant 1are # a you will
become spiritually advanced. Lou have to practice
tapasya by voluntarily accepting a little
inconvenience. For instance, we have instructed
that everyone in our # a consciousness society
must give up illicit sex, meat!eating,
intoxication, and gambling. In addition, all our
students must rise early in the morning =before
four>, take a bath, attend ma gala!8rati, and study
the scriptures. 5hese are all austerities, in which
we voluntarily give up things we may like and
accept things we may not like. Df course, if a
person takes to # a consciousness seriously,
# a helps him become -ualified in all these
5he next statement in the present verse is
chidyante sarva!sa Nay8 , "all doubts are cut to
pieces." Dne who is not advanced in # a
consciousness has so many doubts. 1e may even doubt
that he is the soul, not the body. ut as soon as
he becomes fully conversant in the science of 3od
=bhagavat!tattva!vi?K8nam @S %.B.BGA>, all his
doubts are wiped away he knows with certainty, "I
am a spirit soul, an eternal servant of # a."
<ext the h8gavatam says, k :yante c8sya karm8 i4
"the chain of fruitive action and reaction is
terminated." /e are bound up in this material
existence due to our karma, fruitive actions.
According to your past karma you have your present
body, and you are preparing your next body by how
you are acting now. All human beings have certain
common factors)two hands, two legs, one head)but
each body is different because everyone+s karma is
different. So, we have to stop this karma. 1ow(
# a explains in the hagavad!g :t8 =F.&>,
ya?K8rth8t karma o +nyatra loko +ya karma!
tad!artha karma kaunteya mukta!sa ga sam8cara
If you simply work for # a, then you will not be
bound up by karma. Dtherwise, whether your
activities are good or bad by ordinary calculation,
you will be bound up by the karmic reactions.
So, one who is fixed in devotional service to # a
is actually liberated from all material bondage.
ut as soon as you deviate from devotional service,
# a+s illusory energy =m8y8> will immediately
capture you. 9r: 7aitanya Hah8prabhu gives the
perfect analogy in the 7aitanya!carit8m ta =Hadhya
k a!s;rya!samaJ m8y8 haya andhak8ra
y8h8 k a t8h8 n8hi m8y8ra adhik8ra
# a is ?ust like the sunshine, and m8y8 is ?ust
like darkness. /herever the sun shines, there is no
possibility of darkness. So keep yourself always in
# a consciousness. 5hen there will be no
possibility of m8y8, which forces us to engage in
fruitive activities =karma>.
7oncerning the eradication of karma through
devotional service, the rahma!sa hit8 =P.PE>
yas tv indragopam athavendram aho sva!karma!
bandh8nur;pa!phala!bh8?anam 8tanoti
karm8 i nirdahati kintu ca bhakti!bh8?8
govindam 8di!puru a tam aha bha?8mi
"From *ord Indra, the #ing of heaven, down to the
small insect known as the indra!gopa, everyone is
en?oying or suffering the results of his karma. ut
a devotee+s karmic reactions are burned up by the
*ord 1imself."
Lou can be promoted to the post of Indra, the #ing
of heaven, provided you have performed sufficient
pious activities, ?ust as you can become a high!
court ?udge if you have sufficient education. All
the great demigods)Indra, 7andra, S;rya, rahm8)
have achieved their posts on account of their great
pious activities, called pu ya!karma. Similarly,
the hogs, dogs, and other animals are suffering in
their respective bodies due to p8pa!karma, impious
activities. So, everyone is suffering or en?oying
the reactions of his karma and in this way
remaining bound up in this material world. It is
very easy to understand. ut, karm8 i nirdahati
kintu ca bhakti!bh8?8m4 @s. P.PEA the karma of
those who have taken to # a consciousness in
devotional service is burned up. In other words,
for the devotees of # a there are no karmic
reactions. If you sow a chickpea in the ground, it
will grow into a plant, but if you fry a chickpea
and then sow it in the ground, it will not grow. So
we should fry our karma by devotional service. 5hen
our activities will not produce any karmic
Mnless you have completely eradicated your karmic
reactions, you cannot be promoted to the spiritual
world. In other words, as long as you continue to
perform fruitive activities, you+ll have to accept
some type of material body, birth after birth.
5herefore *ord abhadeva says in the Fifth 7anto
of the 9r:mad!h8gavatam =P.P.E>,
n;na pramatta kurute vikarma
yad indriya!pr:taya 8p oti
na s8dhu manye yata 8tmano +yam
asann api kleNada 8sa deha
"5hose without knowledge of the spirit soul are mad
after materialistic activities, and they perform
all kinds of sinful activities simply for sense
gratification. Such activities are inauspicious
because they force one to accept an abominable body
in the next life."
For a devotee, however, there is no more karma, and
so there is no more material body. # a confirms
this in the hagavad!g:t8 =E.&>4 tyaktv8 deha
punar ?anma naiti m8m eti. After giving up his
present body, a devotee does not get another
material body, but rather in his spiritual body he
goes back home, back to 3odhead.
5he same idea is expressed in the present verse of
the h8gavatam4 k :yante c8sya karm8 i d a
ev8tman:Nvare. Freed of all karmic reactions, the
devotee fully reali0es his relationship with 3od,
thinking "I am an eternal servant of 3od, or
# a." And because he reali0es his actual
identity, he always engages in pure devotional
service. 5hat is the perfection of life.

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