Heaven or Hell

Srila Prabhupada in New York City

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…The Kṛṣṇa conscious person can go even to hell and still be happy. The pure devotee is never unhappy in any condition of life.

For a devotee, being situated in the heavenly planets and being in the hellish planets are equal, for a devotee lives neither in heaven nor in hell but with Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual world. The secret of success for the devotee is not understood by the karmīs and jñānīs. Karmīs therefore try to be happy by material adjustment, and jñānīs want to be happy by becoming one with the Supreme. The devotee has no such interest. He is not interested in so-called meditation in the Himalayas or the forest. Rather, his interest is in the busiest part of the world, where he teaches people Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was started for this purpose. We do not teach one to meditate in a secluded place just so that one may show that he has become very much advanced and may be proud of his so-called transcendental meditation, although he engages in all sorts of foolish materialistic activity.

A Vaiṣṇava is not interested in such a bluff of spiritual advancement. Rather, he is interested in enlightening people in Kṛṣṇa consciousness because that is the only way for them to become happy. One wanders within the universe, life after life, but by the grace of a devotee, a servant of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one can get the clue to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and then not only become happy in this world but also return home, back to Godhead. That is the real target in life… The members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement must be fully convinced that without Kṛṣṇa one cannot be happy. Thus the Kṛṣṇa conscious person avoids all kinds of pseudo spiritualists, transcendentalists, meditators, monists, philosophers and philanthropists. (from Purport to SB 7.9.44)

Full Verse and Purport More

Spiritual Knowledge Through Kṛṣṇa

…The best and ultimate authority is Kṛṣṇa, for He is our eternal well-wisher, and He always speaks for our benefit. Since we have to accept some authority, why not accept His? Simply by hearing of His glories from Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and by chanting His names: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, we can swiftly perfect our lives.

Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, the Matchless Gift
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter One

Spiritual Knowledge Through Kṛṣṇa

The aim of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to bring all living entities back to their original consciousness. All living entities within the material world are, to varying degrees, afflicted with a type of madness. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement aims at curing man of his material disease and reestablishing his original consciousness. In a Bengali poem a great Vaiṣṇava poet has written, “When a man is haunted by ghosts, he can only speak nonsense. Similarly, anyone who is under the influence of material nature should be considered haunted, and whatever he speaks should be considered nonsense.” One may be considered a great philosopher or great scientist, but if he is haunted by the ghost of māyā, illusion, whatever he theorizes and whatever he speaks is more or less nonsensical. Today we are given the example of a psychiatrist who, when requested to examine a murderer, proclaimed that since all the patients with whom he had come in contact were more or less crazy, the court could excuse the murderer on those grounds if it so desired. The point is that in the material world it is very difficult to find a sane living entity. The prevailing atmosphere of insanity in this world is all caused by the infection of material consciousness.

The purpose of this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is to bring man back to his original consciousness, which is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, clear consciousness. When water falls from the clouds, it is uncontaminated like distilled water, but as soon as it touches the ground it becomes muddy and discolored. Similarly, we are originally pure spirit soul, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, and therefore our original constitutional position is as pure as God’s. In Bhagavad-gītā Sri Kṛṣṇa says:

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