A Fish out of Water

fish-out-of-water

The other day I was talking with one guest, explaining that we are actually sac-cid-ānanda; (eternal, full of knowledge, and bliss), eternal spirit souls, but are, at the present moment, in a temporary position, just like a fish out of water. This is a very good analogy that Srila Prabhupada has used often in his preaching. I did a search this morning on Prabhupada Books.com and found a few references that I am posting here, as well as one very nice Bhagavad-gita Lecture wherein Srila Prabhupada is describing the nature of the soul.

Everyone in the material world is engaged in all kinds of political, philanthropic and humanitarian activities to make material life happy and prosperous, but this is not possible. One should understand that in the material world, however one may try to make adjustments, he cannot be happy. To cite an example I have given many times, if you take a fish out of water, you can give it a very comfortable velvet bedstead, but still the fish cannot be happy; it will die. Because the fish is an animal of the water, it cannot be happy without water. Similarly, we are all spirit soul; unless we are in spiritual life or in the spiritual world, we cannot be happy. That is our position. (Srila Prabhupada; Krsna Consciousness The Topmost Yoga System)

Śrīla Prabhupāda: The Vedic injunction is that people are searching after knowledge, and that when one understands the Absolute Truth, he understands everything. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati. People are trying to approach an objective, but they do not know that the final objective is Kṛṣṇa. They are simply trying to make adjustments with so many materialistic revolutions. They have no knowledge that they are spiritual beings and that unless they go back to the spiritual world and associate with the Supreme Spirit, God, there is no question of happiness. We are like fish out of water. Just as a fish cannot be happy unless he is in the water, we cannot be happy apart from the spiritual world. We are part and parcel of the Supreme Spirit, Kṛṣṇa, but we have left His association and fallen from the spiritual world because of our desire to enjoy this material world. So unless we reawaken the understanding of our spiritual position and go back home to the spiritual world, we can never be happy. We can go on theorizing for many lifetimes, but we will only see one revolution after another. The old order changes, yielding its place to the new. Or in other words, history repeats itself. (Srila Prabhupada; The Journey for Self Discovery)

A fish that is taken out of the water cannot be happy by any arrangement on land. He must be supplied with water. In the same way, the minute sac-cid-ānanda living entity cannot be really happy through any amount of planning conceived by his illusioned brain in this material universe. He must therefore be given a different type of happiness which is spiritual in essence. Our ambition should be aimed at enjoying spiritual bliss and not this temporary happiness. Some philosophers claim that spiritual bliss is attained by negating material happiness and material existence. Theoretical negation of material activities as propounded by Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya may be effective for an insignificant section of mankind, but the best and surest way for everyone to attain spiritual bliss was propounded by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by means of devotional activities. These devotional activities can change the very face of material nature. (Srila Prabhupada; Elevation to Krsna Consciousness)

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Captain of the Ship

Srila Prabhupada murti

This morning I saw this image of Srila Prabhupada’s murti while I was surfing on Sampradaya Sun. I like it very much and just wanted to include it here on our page.

…When one wants to cross a large ocean, he requires a strong boat. It is said that this human form of life is a good boat by which one can cross the ocean of nescience. In the human form of life one can obtain the guidance of a good navigator, the spiritual master. One also gets a favorable wind by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, and that wind is the instructions of Kṛṣṇa. The human body is the boat, the instructions of Lord Kṛṣṇa are the favorable winds, and the spiritual master is the navigator. The spiritual master knows well how to adjust the sails to catch the winds favorably and steer the boat to its destination. If, however, one does not take advantage of this opportunity, one wastes the human form of life. Wasting time and life in this way is the same as committing suicide.

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The Dream (Le Reve)

Le Reve7

Recently we were in Las Vegas for a wedding celebration, and after dinner we went to the show “Le Reve” at the Wynn. “Le Reve” is French for; “The Dream”. It was the most amazing theatrical performance we have seen in years. My mind was swept away by the magnificence of the production, and it was in fact, dream-like. I was transported to another dimension; phantasmagoria. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami uses this word in his books, to describe the dream-like nature of this material world.

I would highly recommend seeing Le Reve at the Wynn, if you are in Las Vegas, and as always…recommend reading the books by His Divne Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada for further advancement and enlightenment in life.

Le Reve The Dream

When a person is in deep sleep, he dreams and sees in himself many other objects, such as great mountains and rivers or perhaps even the entire universe, although they are far away. Sometimes when one awakens from a dream he sees that he is in a human form, lying in his bed in one place. Then he sees himself, in terms of various conditions, as belonging to a particular nationality, family and so on. All the conditions of deep sleep, dreaming and wakefulness are but energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should always remember the original creator of these conditions, the Supreme Lord, who is unaffected by them. (SB 6.16.53-54_

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The Human Form of Life

“The very first step in self-realization is realizing one’s identity as separate from the body. “I am not this body but am spirit soul” is an essential realization for anyone who wants to transcend death and enter into the spiritual world beyond. It is not simply a matter of saying “I am not this body,” but of actually realizing it. This is not as simple as it may seem at first. Although we are not these bodies but are pure consciousness, somehow or other we have become encased within the bodily dress. If we actually want the happiness and independence that transcend death, we have to establish ourselves and remain in our constitutional position as pure consciousness.” (from Beyond Birth and Death)

THE HUMAN FORM OF LIFE

Srila Prabhupada would often pose the question: ‘what is the difference between a live body and a dead one?’ He would point out that if we are nothing but chemicals, then these chemicals are also present in the dead body. What is it that distinguishes a living form from a non-living form? The answer, Srila Prabhupada taught, is consciousness, or awareness. All living forms display this symptom of consciousness to one degree or another. That is why we call them living rather than dead. Even the small microbial germ or the common houseplant shows signs of consciousness, whereas our dining table and chairs do not.

Srila Prabhupada would stress that although different forms of life display different degrees and levels of consciousness, it is in the human form that we find the highest development of consciousness. He taught that since humans had the highest level of self-awareness it was a complete waste if he simply engaged in the same activities as the animals.

But what is it about our consciousness that makes it so different from that of the insect, the bird, the beast, or even the monkey? These creatures eat and we also eat; they sleep and we also sleep; they reproduce and we reproduce; they defend themselves and so do we. That we can perform these functions with greater sophistication may be one indicator that we possess higher consciousness, but it does not fully explain our excellence above all other forms of life.

Srila Prabhupada explained that the real difference is found in our ability to question our existence, reflect upon our selves, and inquire into our own nature and the nature of God. We can create languages, ponder the meaning of life, and puzzle in wonderment over the night sky. Such an endowment is not present in any other form of life.

The Vedas therefore advise that in this human form of life we should be inquisitive to know who we are, what the universe is, what God is, and what the relationship is between ourselves, the universe, and God.

We should inquire about the solution to the ultimate problems of life, namely birth, death, old age, and disease. Such questions cannot be asked by the cats and dogs, but they must arise in the heart of a real human being.

YOU ARE NOT THIS BODY

Without exception, all material phenomena have a beginning and an end. A prominent idea of modem culture is that consciousness is an­other such material phenomenon. Thus it is believed that consciousness (or the self) also ends with the death of the material body. This point of view, however, remains only an assumption. It has not been proven true by any scientific observation or experiment. Srila Prabhupada was highly critical of Western culture’s strong identification of the self with the material body as he explains in the second canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam:

“The whole materialistic world, based on the conception of the material body as the self, is ignorant of the science of God. The materialist is always busy working for the welfare of the material body, not only his own but also those of his children, kinsmen, communitymen, countrymen, etc. The materialists have many branches of philanthropic and altruistic activities from a political, national and international angle of vision, but none of the field work can go beyond the jurisdiction of the misconception of identifying the material body with the spirit soul. Unless, therefore, one is saved from the wrong conception of the body and the soul, there is no knowledge of Godhead, and unless there is knowledge of God, all advancement of material civilization, however dazzling, should be considered a failure.”

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