Janmāṣṭamī; Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s Appearance Day Lecture

Srila Prabhupada

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Today, being Janmastami, we thought we should include a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on Janmastami. The following lecture given on August 16, 1968, in Montreal Canada, is very sweet and reminiscent of how this society grew in a very personal and organic way. With Srila Prabhupada inviting his students and guests to speak on their realizations of Krsna, and Krsna Consciousness.

…So today is that auspicious day, Janmāṣṭamī, when Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared five thousand years ago in India, Mathurā. Those who are Indian ladies and gentlemen present, they know very well where is Mathurā. It is about ninety miles south of New Delhi. Mathurā is still existing and it is eternally existing. Kṛṣṇa appeared in Mathurā in His maternal uncle’s house in a very precarious condition. That birthplace, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s birthplace, is now maintained very nicely. One who goes to India, they see.

So anyway, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. Now Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Divyam means “not ordinary.” It should not be understood just like we take our birth. Kṛṣṇa does not take his birth like us.

…So we shall invite today to speak about Kṛṣṇa from our students, as well as all the members who are present here. So I shall request Janārdana to speak something about his realization of Kṛṣṇa. (pause) All right. Let him speak.

Full Lecture

Janmāṣṭamī; Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s Appearance Day Lecture
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Montreal, August 16, 1968

Devotees: govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi.

Prabhupāda:
cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.29]
(repeats govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi and devotees respond)

veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ
barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda sundarāṅgam
kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobhaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.30]
(govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi)

ālola-candraka-lasad vanamālyavaṁsi
ratnāṅgadam praṇaya-keli-kalā-vilāsam
śyāmaṁ tribhaṅga-lalitaṁ niyata-prakāśaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.31]
(govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi)

aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛtti-manti
paśyanti pānti kalayanti ciraṁ jaganti
ānanda-cin-māyā-saduj-jvala-vigrahasya
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.32]
(govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi)

advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam
ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca
vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.33]
(govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi)

panthāstu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo
vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānāṁ
so ‘pyasti yat prapada-sīmny-avicintya-tattve
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi)

So today, is the birth appearance ceremony of Lord Kṛṣṇa. In the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says:

janma karma me divyaṁ
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya
[Bg. 4.9]

“My dear Arjuna, any person who simply tries to understand about My transcendental birth or appearance and disappearance and activities, janma karma…” The Personality of Godhead is not niṣkriya, without activities. So anyone who can understand that what kind of activities the Lord has and what kind of birth He accepts, simply by understanding these two things one gets wonderful result. What is that? Tyaktvā deham. By quitting this body, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], he does not take any more birth in this material world. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti. Some of us may think that punar janma naiti means he becomes vanquished. No. Punar janma naiti, but mām eti, “He does not come to this material world, but he comes to Me.” Mām eti. Mām eti means, then… [break] …abode where we can go. Simply by understanding the nature of His appearance and activities.

So today is that auspicious day, Janmāṣṭamī, when Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared five thousand years ago in India, Mathurā. Those who are Indian ladies and gentlemen present, they know very well where is Mathurā. It is about ninety miles south of New Delhi. Mathurā is still existing and it is eternally existing. Kṛṣṇa appeared in Mathurā in His maternal uncle’s house in a very precarious condition. That birthplace, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s birthplace, is now maintained very nicely. One who goes to India, they see.

So anyway, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. Now Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Divyam means “not ordinary.” It should not be understood just like we take our birth. Kṛṣṇa does not take his birth like us.

That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. When Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are speaking that formerly You spoke this yoga system of Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god. That means it is millions and trillions years ago You spoke. How can I believe it?” Because Kṛṣṇa was contemporary to Arjuna, so he was thinking that “Kṛṣṇa is my friend, is my cousin brother. How it is possible that He spoke this Bhagavad-gītā yoga to sun-god?” So what was the reply?

The reply was this, that “You also appear many, many times; I also appear many, many times. The difference is that I can remember. You cannot remember.”That is the difference between God and ordinary living creature, that we are also taking birth after birth. There are 8,400,000 species of life, and so long we are in this material world, we are cycling round this birth after birth. So Kṛṣṇa’s birth is not like that. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ [Bg. 4.9]. Tattvataḥ means in truth. Not superficially. Scientifically, one who knows, he can get immediately liberation.

And how one can understand the same truths? That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvan yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. Again the same thing, tattvataḥ, in truth. If anyone wants to know God, or Kṛṣṇa, in truth, not superficially, then he has to undertake the process of devotional service. Bhaktyā.

In another place Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. “Any person who gives Me a little fruit, little flower, little water, but with devotion, bhaktyā…” That is the only qualification. So Kṛṣṇa says, tayā bhaktyā upāhṛtam aṣnāmi. “Because he brings it with devotion and faith and love, I eat.” Kṛṣṇa eats. We are offering in the temple prasādam. So He eats because He says “I eat.” How you can say that He does not eat?

Some gentleman asked me that “Swamijī, you offer prasādam in the temple, but do you think Kṛṣṇa or God eats?” I answered, “Yes, why not? He says, ‘I eat.’ How you can say He does not eat? But you do not know how He eats.” Due to poor fund of knowledge, you think that God does not eat. But eat…, His eating process is different. That is answered in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Brahma-saṁhitā, it is said aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛtti-manti [Bs. 5.32]. God’s senses, Kṛṣṇa’s senses are as powerful as other senses. Just like I can see with my eyes, but Kṛṣṇa can eat also with His eyes. That is… Aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛtti-manti. Just like…

There is many examples. Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu, the first creation is that Garbhośāyī (Garbhodakaśāyī) Viṣṇu lying on the ocean and Brahmā was created from His navel. There was a lotus stem grown from the abdomen of the Lord, and Brahmā was born. Now Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, was just sitting. But as we understand that if we beget child, we require the cooperation of wife, but here we see that wife was sitting, but He begot Brahmā from the navel. This is called sarva-śaktimān. He does not require anyone’s help. He can beget child. Not exactly as we beget child. Therefore janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9].

He is within your heart, He is everywhere, so He can appear from everywhere. Just like sun rises from the eastern side. It does not mean that eastern side is the mother of sun. We simply see that sun is rising from the eastern side. In this way, if we try to understand in truth, then we can understand what is God. Superficially, if we try to understand by our experimental knowledge, then it is not possible to understand God.

panthāstu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo
vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānāṁ
so ‘pyasti yat prapada-sīmny-avicintya-tattve
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

The Brahma-saṁhitā said that if one starts on the chariot of air and makes progress on the speed of mind, still one cannot understand what is God. Vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. He cannot be understood simply by studying Vedas. Traiguṇya viṣayā vedaḥ nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna. One has to transcend the position of Vedas also. Then one can understand what is God or what is Kṛṣṇa.

So that process is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, that bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvan yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. So this bhakti, devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, is so nice. And under that bhakti category, this Janmāṣṭamī… Of course, this Janmāṣṭamī ceremony is observed by all Hindus. Irrespective of becoming Vaiṣṇava or not, this ceremony is observed in India every home. Just like in your Western countries the Christmas is observed in every home, similarly Janmāṣṭamī is observed in every home. Today is a great ceremonial day. So our program is, at twelve o’clock night the Lord will take birth and we shall receive Him. And just now it is ten o’clock. For two hours our program will continue in kīrtana. Kīrtana means sometimes chanting with music, and sometimes speaking. Both of them are kīrtana. Kīrtayati iti kīrtanam. Whenever we glorify the Lord, that is called kīrtana. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam reading is also kīrtana. Abhavad vaiyāsakī kīrtane. Vaiyāsakī, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he achieved the highest perfection, liberation, simply by reciting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrī-viṣṇu-śravane parīkṣit. Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he simply heard. There are nine processes of devotional service. Śravanaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam. Chanting, hearing. First hearing, then chanting. Without hearing, nobody can chant. Śravanaṁ kīrtanam. And what sort of śravanaṁ kīrtanam? Viṣṇoḥ, of Viṣṇu. Not anything else.

śravanaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātmā-nivedanam
[SB 7.5.23]

These are nine processes of devotional service, of which śravanam, hearing, is most important. Without hearing, nobody can understand the science of God. Therefore the Vedic mantras are called śruti. Śruti means it is to be heard. It is not to be experimented in the laboratory. It is simply to be heard. Therefore it is called śruti. So śravanaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam, arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyam. Vandanam, offering prayer. We also offer prayer. The other religious sect, just like the Christians, they offer prayer; the Muhammadans, they offer prayer. So prayer, offering prayer is also one of the items of bhakti. Chanting, hearing, meditating, offering prayers, arcanam, worshiping the Deity in the temple, all of them are together devotional service. So out of the nine… If you can execute all the nine, it is very good. But it is not possible. So even if you can execute one item, you become perfect. It is so nice. Śrī viṣṇu śravane parīkṣit. Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit, he simply executed the function of hearing, he got perfection. Similarly, abhavad vaiyāsakī kīrtane. Vaiyāsakī means Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he simply glorified the Lord. Prahlādaḥ smarane. Prahlāda Mahārāja, he was simply meditating. There are many examples. Simply by following one principle of this devotional service, they got the highest perfectional life, liberation, back to home, back to Godhead.

So we shall invite today to speak about Kṛṣṇa from our students, as well as all the members who are present here. So I shall request Janārdana to speak something about his realization of Kṛṣṇa. (pause) All right. Let him speak.

Janārdana:

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhūtale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta svāmin iti nāmine

Kṛṣṇa, we know, is the ultimate Supreme Personality of Godhead. The name Kṛṣṇa has a meaning. The meaning of the name Kṛṣṇa is “the supreme attractive.” Whatever there is that holds any attraction, that attraction is given by Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa explains this Himself in the Bhagavad-gītā. So in our life in this material world, we have so many different attractions which we are pursuing in order to build what we think will be our happiness. All this attraction is the attraction of Kṛṣṇa’s inferior energy. Kṛṣṇa’s māyā holds a great attraction for all the conditioned souls. And by following this attraction of Kṛṣṇa’s māyā, they are continuing in the circle of birth and death. We are born into this world because we desire to enjoy something, so Kṛṣṇa provides us with a body that is suitable for that enjoyment, and He provides us also the objects of the enjoyment that we desire. However, also to remind us of our highest possible potential, that of the spiritual, unconditioned existence, we have along with these material enjoyments various kinds of suffering. These material enjoyments, although they are temporarily real, come to an end, and then there is feeling of bereavement and regret.So we are now enjoying the māyā of Kṛṣṇa’s external potency in our ordinary life. Unless we realize the personality of Kṛṣṇa Himself…

We must have personal realization, personal contact with Lord Kṛṣṇa. So long as we are enjoying these objects of our senses and thinking that these objects belong to us, and so long as we don’t know to whom all these objects belong, to whom belongs the land, the money, the foods that we eat, the clothes that we wear, our families—so long as we do not know to whom all these belong, then we are enjoying in a state of ignorance. Factually we are being thieves. We cannot be happy in such a condition. Kṛṣṇa is very kind. He provides us with all these objects of enjoyment, as we like them. But we can achieve a far happier state, not only for ourselves but for the whole human kind, if we realize that Kṛṣṇa, who is the supreme source of all the attractive objects that we are enjoying, is a person who is ready to receive as His loving servants the moment we want to surrender all our false ideas of ownership and come back to the spiritual platform.

So Lord Kṛṣṇa for this reason has appeared. He wants to call the conditioned souls back to Godhead. He wants us to realize that He is the source of the whole universe, He is the owner of the universe, He is the supreme enjoyer, the supreme knower of everything, and that we are always welcome to associate with Him by the grace of His devotees, by the grace of a spiritual master. And so He has appeared, and we are now celebrating the Janmāṣṭamī day, the day when Lord Kṛṣṇa came to this conditioned plane out of His own transcendental power, with His full spiritual potency, in order to reveal the supreme nature of sac-cid-ānanda vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1], eternal knowledge, consciousness, and bliss, to all the conditioned souls so that they might be attracted to Him, and so that they might come out of the miseries of material existence and of ignorance. At this particular time in the world it is very much necessary that all people hear about Kṛṣṇa and that they should become attracted to chanting the name of Kṛṣṇa, to hearing about Kṛṣṇa’s wonderful pastimes.

So that by this exquisite attraction for Kṛṣṇa they might forget their lower desires, which are now leading everybody to a hellish condition of life in which it seems inevitable there are going to be wars and pestilences and starvation, diseases, all kinds of social injustice. All these things are unavoidable so long as the world at large does not understand who owns everything, who owns the land, who owns the money, who owns the food. So long as they don’t understand that Kṛṣṇa is the owner and enjoyer of everything, so long as they don’t understand that it is the highest enjoyment for the living soul to serve Kṛṣṇa, it is the perfect harmony in this condition to serve Kṛṣṇa, so long there will be fighting due to ignorance and deluded cross purposes.This International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness movement is meant for spreading the Kṛṣṇa consciousness to the whole world so that people might realize their spiritual existence, and so that the whole atmosphere of the world can become spiritualized by chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa. So we welcome everybody who comes to this temple to inquire about how to make your life perfect by tuning in to the desires of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. You’ll find that this is such a pleasant proposition, that all insignificant lower desires will be forgotten. There will not be any need for unnecessary fighting among the people of the world if they can only understand the spiritual plane of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The way to realize Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very simple. Simply chant:

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare

Chant this mahā-mantra under the guidance of the spiritual master and the results will be very quick. Thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: Gaurasundara?

Gaurasundara:

oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur-unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.]

So this mantra is another form of obeisance to the spiritual master, and the meaning is that I, who was standing in darkness with my eyes sealed, now offer my obeisances unto my spiritual master, who has forced me to open my eyes. He has forced me to open my eyes with this torchlight of knowledge which he is bearing. So therefore my spiritual master is my master. He can give me this actual knowledge of my position, my position as an existing entity. And that perfection of understanding my position is understanding Kṛṣṇa, or the supremely perfect entity. Kṛṣṇa is perfect existence, the perfect being, and as such, His existence is the greatest certainty of all. In one syllogism or one comparison that I can give, I could say that how can a shadow of my hand exist unless my hand exists? The point is how can these individual entities exist except as the shadow of the perfect entity, God? Of course, we can understand from the Bhagavad-gītā or Vedic literatures that living entities are atomic particles of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such they reflect the potencies of that Supreme Person.So because Kṛṣṇa has personality and because Kṛṣṇa has individuality, we have individuality. Kṛṣṇa’s existence, because He is perfect, is the most certain. Imperfect existence has no meaning. Our existence has no meaning except as reference, in reference to Kṛṣṇa’s existence. We haven’t even got the power to conserve our own existence. Or in other words, we can’t understand how we’re existing. We can understand in some deluded manner that we’re feeding our bodies and so on. We can have some sort of knowledge of ritual. But we don’t actually know what we are and what the ritual is, why we’re performing it.

So getting beneath the actual ritual of daily life by this process of revealed or transcendental ritual taught by the spiritual master, then we can realize the real…

Prabhupāda: (in background:) Pradyumna. After he speaks they may…

Gaurasundara: …importance or the real striking features of our own existence. Again I want to come back to this point. Kṛṣṇa’s existence is the most certain. Sometimes people have the idea that they can debate whether Kṛṣṇa exists or not. They can do that as long as they want to close their own eyes or keep their own brains, their own minds clouded by so many extraneous factors. Actually, Kṛṣṇa’s existence is the most certain. We can go through many so-called proofs or logical proofs. Simply because that fact is already established, I might give one or two. We can understand in our mundane logic that if something exists, that there’s some reason for its existence, and similarly, if something does not exist, that there’s some reason for that. Just as we can say something exists…

For example, a harmonium exists because somebody has made that harmonium. A circle exists on the wall because somebody has drawn that circle on the wall. But on the other hand, a square circle does not exist because that existence would involve a contradiction or that would be absurd.So for anything which exists there must be a reason, and for anything which does not exist, then there is a reason why it does not exist. Now Kṛṣṇa’s existence therefore is most certain because any reason which could deny Kṛṣṇa’s existence is impossible to be found. Kṛṣṇa means He is the all-inclusive entity. Therefore any reason which could prevent Kṛṣṇa’s existence would have to be either external to His own divine nature or in His own nature. Nothing can be outside of Kṛṣṇa’s all-inclusiveness. Therefore no external agent can prevent Kṛṣṇa’s existence. And it is again self-contradictory to attribute any imperfection to the perfect being. Therefore the conclusion is that Kṛṣṇa necessarily exists because no one can prevent His existence.By definition, God is the perfect entity. So just as we’ve seen that existence of Kṛṣṇa cannot be checked…

And actually nobody can prove that Kṛṣṇa does not exist, neither can they prevent Him from existing. This is sort of an indirect way to prod you to think about the position that you’re in now. People become very proud because they have some material opulence or material knowledge, and they tend to think that they are self-sufficient. But actually, we’re dependent on so many things. For example, we are just taking it for granted that our bodies will remain unmutilated by various forces in nature, when actually at any moment the bodies could be totally destroyed. And, even granted that our bodies will be with us for some time in operable condition, this field of our activities has many laws which we’re dependent upon. Just as the other day we were discussing the law of gravity. This idea of laws in nature necessarily implies the existence of the lawmaker. And this can be demonstrated very easily in many, many ways. We’ll take the law of gravity again. If some object in nature which has no consciousness behaves in a regulated manner, then it’s obvious that it’s under the control of a law. We call it a law. For example, if an apple drops from a tree, the apple is obeying the law of gravity. The apple does not know the law of gravity; therefore that law is being enforced by some superior entity. In our dealings in society, people know laws. Still, they don’t obey them. They have to be forced to obey the laws, and still, people disobey the law. But the laws of nature are so perfectly enforced that nobody can disobey. Just a little thought will make this a little bit more clear to anyone. So there are twofold implications, namely the law proceeds from lawmaker, law enforcement proceeds from law enforcer. Man has tried so hard to establish law and order. Law and order is already there in this existence which he’s now facing.

I think that we don’t need to consider any more on these points just now. The main point or the main information which we’re considering now is that by understanding Kṛṣṇa’s existence, understanding Kṛṣṇa’s appearance before the perception of ourselves, that we can terminate this material existence which we now face. This life we’re now conscious of through these bodies which were born… Now these bodies were very small. They develop into impressive size. The bodies will dwindle and the bodies will be gone ultimately, lost. But all these living entities here in the room will go on existing. This process of birth and death we should understand. And we should especially understand how Kṛṣṇa appears before us who are trapped by birth and death. If we understand that Kṛṣṇa’s appearance is not like ours, because He’s perfect and because He’s appearing for our benefit, then we may be able to reach out and grab hold of the lifeline that can… [break] …of our own suicidal bogs.

So anyway, everybody has been coming here knows that we’re recommending, simply associate with us, chant with us and listen to the teachings of our spiritual master. Put questions to us. Any question. And at this point I’d also like to invite questions. Is there any question?

Prabhupāda: Let him speak. Mukunda.

Gaurasundara: Mukunda prabhu will speak now.

Mukunda: Let me offer my respectful obeisances to our spiritual master, Swami Bhaktivedanta, who is dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa, having taken shelter unto His lotus feet. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is intended to make a solution to our everyday problems. It’s not a kind of place where people just come because there’s some religious rites being performed. But everyone in this age is thinking that “I am free,” and actually I am not free. I am very bound up. We’re strictly bound up by the stringent laws of nature. In every status of life I have to serve somebody or something or my own body. In every status of life I have to serve my wife or I have to serve my children, I have to serve my pet, I have to serve my work, my boss, my associates. If I’m very wealthy, very elevated, or very beautiful physically, I am born in an aristocratic family, I always have to serve somebody. If nothing else, one has to serve one’s own stomach. I have to eat. I have to get food. I have to serve my stomach. So I am not free at all. I have to do these things. There’s no way I can stop. If I don’t eat, I will die.

So our natural position as a living entity is that we have to serve something. Every living entity has to serve. That’s our natural position. If something is wrong with my hand and I want to be cured, I don’t grab onto some foodstuffs or some medicine, some herbs, and squeeze it with the hand and think that this hand is going to be cured. I take the medicine or the food through my mouth, and then it circulates through the digestive system and through the veins and finally comes to the hand and can work its cure. So the hand, unless it’s serving its source, then it’s useless. The servant must serve its master or the part must serve the whole. And our relationship with God is the same. Just like the hand is made out of bile, blood and air, flesh and bone, as all the body is. So similarly we’re made out of spirit. Qualitatively the same as Kṛṣṇa, but quantitatively many millions of times less. Qualitatively the same, quantitatively different. Fragmental portion. So if we fragmental portions, separated parts and parcels, can serve the source or the whole, then we can be cured of this material disease which is rampant nowadays. And this is possible only by mercy. By mercy alone we can transcend this material existence and know that I am part and parcel of the Supreme, Kṛṣṇa, or God, and I can erase all of my karma and situate myself in pure consciousness. But this consciousness cannot be purified unless there is mercy. And in this age, Kali-yuga, as we know, mercy is diminished to being almost nonexistent. And Kali-yuga is just beginning.

So if we can get some information about what I am, what is my position, and what is God and how am I related to God, what is this world, then we’re very fortunate. So by the mercy of the spiritual master we can free ourselves from these stringent laws of nature, and these unbreakable bonds. And only in this way. We can’t free ourselves superficially or by our own mental invention. We can’t sit, just go out and sit and think and free ourselves from this material existence. We must be subject to our own body, bodily discomforts and our own mind, and we must be subject to the actions upon us of other living entities, and we must be subject to the laws of nature, to providence, to pestilence, famine, catastrophe. But if we can accept and hear submissively this teaching of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā from the bona fide spiritual master, then we are free immediately. We are in Vaikuṇṭha.

So we’re very shocked and astonished that so many people are coming to the West, to the United States, and posing as holy men and simply making business, charging money, and giving somebody some magical formula whereby they can become God in half of a year. And so many people who are sincere seekers are being deluded, and this is very unfortunate. There is said to be two classes of men. One class of men is satisfied with his existence. He goes from one pleasure to another. From the cinema to the restaurant to sports, from one to the other. “I can’t wait to finish one to go to the next,” and still he’s saying, “I’m happy. I’m satisfied.” And there’s another class of men that is not satisfied. These men are searching, that there is always something on his mind. He is thinking, “There must be something behind all of this. That I can look at all of this as a unified whole.” So this first class of men will not want to take to spiritual knowledge, but the person who is inquisitive and is not satisfied with this material life, he can hear this knowledge submissively and derive great benefit from it. The symptom of the human being is that he is not satisfied. He’s disgusted, he’s searching. The symptom of animal life is that he is satisfied taking everything, “That’s very nice. Everything is fine.” Like a hog, hog eating stool. He’s thinking, “Oh, it’s very nice.” But the human being will not accept such awful things. The human being has the chance to get out of this shackle of continued, repeated births and deaths.

So simply by hearing the message of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā, and the names of Kṛṣṇa diligently, submissively, and from a bona fide source, we can immediately get some relief from this material existence. Just like when we were chanting here you could feel some ecstasy. Well, this ecstasy goes unlimitedly and infinitely, eternally, if one takes to it. It’s not as if you reach some point of enlightenment and then you’re enlightened. No. But it’s always eternal, ever increasing. Just like the relationship between ourselves and our spiritual master is eternal and ever increasing, our relationship with God is the same. So please try to realize that this is a very serious movement, and we’re not asking you to sign up or pay us anything, but simply to sincerely try it and you’ll immediately feel some benefit. Thank you.

Prabhupāda: Yamunā? Yamunā.

Yamunā:

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhutale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta svāmin iti nāmine

I am offering my repeated, humble obeisances unto my spiritual preceptor, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Please try to understand that everything that we are learning here in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is received through the ears. And unless one does not listen submissively, one cannot hear transcendental message. This is the opening of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It states that at the reading of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, the forest of Naimiśāraṇya, many sages were present, and it was so quiet that the dropping of a pin could be heard on the sand. So the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness must be received submissively. Our spiritual preceptor has brought Kṛṣṇa consciousness to the Western world, in the hopes that the people here will sincerely take to this process of practicing bhakti-yoga, or the yoga of devotional service and love unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This is not a sect. This is for people of the world who understand one premise, that “I am not this body; I am pure spirit soul,” that this body is simply a dress. Just like you wear clothes. But what is it that keeps you alive that is eternal? This is spirit soul. This is so simple that even a child at the age of five years can understand this. If it’s from a bona fide source, he can understand this.We are requesting to you that you please come to the practices of Bhāgavata. Come to kīrtana. By chanting:

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare

…you at once are elevated into the spiritual platform, and our contaminated material senses may become purified simply because of this association of the names of God. These names are absolute. They are not material. If you chant “water, water, water, water,” your thirst will not be quenched. But if you cry “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa,” you may find your position in this world, where you came from, why are you here, what are you doing, where are you going. These questions man must answer, or he’s not making use of his ability of man. He’s simply living an animal life, eating, sleeping, mating, defending. It does not matter if you are man, you are woman, you are a child, you are Indian, you are American. You simply must ask these questions. And when one comes upon a bona fide source one must take advantage of that source and not pass it up. Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or the practice of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, are open to all, and we invite you to please come. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Feel the sublime ecstasy. Thank you very much. Are there any questions?

Prabhupāda: Pradyumna? So Hans, you can speak.

Haṁsadūta:

There are so many religions. There’s Hindu, there’s Christian, there’s Jewish, Muhammadan, so many things. And people are professing, “Oh, I’m Christian. I’m Hindu. I’m Jewish.” So many things. But this religion is not so cheap. This religion is not simply something I can take up, take it, “Oh, now I think I should be Christian. That’s very nice. Or maybe I’ll become Hindu.” No. You see these boys and girls, they’re not Hindus, they’re not Christians, they’re not Jews. What are they? You see the spiritual master. He’s not Hindu. You may be thinking, “Oh, he’s from India. And these American or these Canadian boys and girls, they’ve taken some fad. They like these Indian things.” No, it’s not like that at all. This is not religion. According to Sanskrit definition, religion means that quality of the living entity which after everything is removed… Oh, you can lose all your money, you can lose your family, you can lose your nationality, but when everything is removed, that religion remains. So what is that? What is that quality that’s common to every living entity? What is that? Just like fire. What is… [break] (end)

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. rene
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 19:32:02

    Jai Srila Prabhupada!!!

    Reply

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