Some Day the Tiny Soul Will Want to Get Out of Illusion

Vishnujana Swami 094_-_BTG_Year-1974_Volume-01_Number-65_Page_29

Some Day the Tiny Soul Will Want to Get Out of Illusion

Instructions to the devotees of the Hare Krsna movement
given in New York City, March 31, 1974
by His Holiness Visnujana Svami
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1974 Vol. 1, No. 65

…As soon as one gets the association of the bhakti-vedanta, the pure devotee or spiritual master, and hears from his lips the nectarean waves flowing just like the wonderful River Ganges, these waves enter his ears and his heart and purify him. Thus he is freed from the seeds of contaminated material desires. When he hears sufficiently, his intelligence becomes satisfied, and he agrees to act on the instructions of his bona fide spiritual master. The more he acts on these instructions, the more he becomes freed from past bad habits and the conditional responses of this material world. Thus his conditional association is completely vanquished. This, of course, is where he achieves a spiritual taste (ruci) and spiritual strength (vairagya).

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The Blessed Lord said:

Bhagavad-gita Song of God

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…at that time Kṛṣṇa, smiling, in the midst of both the armies, spoke the following words to the grief-stricken Arjuna.

The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead.

Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. (Bg. 2.10-12)

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Phantasmagoria

phantasmagoria

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One thing I have always marveled at, is Srila Prabhupada’s use of words, to describe transcendental topics to us in his books. The word phantasmagoria is one such example. Here it is being used to describe the temporary beauty of this material world…

By the mercy of the Lord, the pure devotee knows all this very well. Indeed, his whole philosophy of life is based on this understanding. Advancement of knowledge means to understand the naked truth of this world and to not be deluded by the temporary beauty of this phantasmagoria. (Mukunda-mālā-stotra #3)

The following is a definition of the word phantasmagoria and the full text and purport from the Mukunda-mala-stotra Sutra #3 More

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu

Bhagavad-Gita-Original-Art-Pancha-Tattva

…A person in the conditioned stage of material existence is in an atmosphere of helplessness, but the conditioned soul, under the illusion of māyā, or the external energy, thinks that he is completely protected by his country, society, friendship and love, not knowing that at the time of death none of these can save him. The laws of material nature are so strong that none of our material possessions can save us from the cruel hands of death…An intelligent person, therefore, does not put his faith in any material possessions, but completely takes shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord.

Let me offer glorification to the Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One who has taken shelter of His lotus feet is the most glorified person. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi Lila, Chapter 7, Text 2)

…Prabhu means master. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the supreme master of all masters; therefore He is called Mahāprabhu. Any person who takes shelter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu is most glorified because by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he is able to get promotion to the platform of loving service to the Lord, which is transcendental to salvation. (purport to above verse)

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A Choice of Destinies

Srila Prabhupada Vani

…God is available. and we can associate with Him according to our choice. The ability to choose, or our conscience, is given to us in the human form so we can utilize it. All the ingredients are there for us to cross the ocean of birth and death. This human body is a very nice boat, and we have a very good navigator, the spiritual master. We also have a very favorable wind the instructions of God. So we should take our chance and cross the ocean of birth and death. We can say, “Now here is an opportunity. Take it and be saved from birth, old age, disease, and death.” but if you don’t take advantage, what can we do?

Mr. Nordheimer: Why does all this exist? Why the challenge in the first place? Why maya?

Srila Prabhupada: Maya means illusion, darkness. If I tell you to come from the darkness into the light and if you don’t come, that is your misfortune. Maya is there, and God is there. If you want to remain in maya, then how can you be saved? I can help you by saying, “Don’t remain in darkness. Please come out into the light.” But if you say, “No, I shall remain here,” then how can I save you? You have your choice. God is there, and maya is there. If you take to maya, you remain in darkness. What can I do, and what can God do? That is your choice.

A Choice of Destinies

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada speaks with Jon Nordheimer of the New York Times in a conversation recorded in September 1972 at New Vrindaban.

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Karma-yoga—Action in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

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…This Fifth Chapter is a practical explanation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, generally known as karma-yoga. The question of mental speculation as to how karma-yoga can give liberation is answered herewith. To work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to work with the complete knowledge of the Lord as the predominator. Such work is not different from transcendental knowledge. Direct Kṛṣṇa consciousness is bhakti-yoga, and jñāna-yoga is a path leading to bhakti-yoga. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to work in full knowledge of one’s relationship with the Supreme Absolute, and the perfection of this consciousness is full knowledge of Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A pure soul is the eternal servant of God as His fragmental part and parcel. He comes into contact with māyā (illusion) due to the desire to lord it over māyā, and that is the cause of his many sufferings. As long as he is in contact with matter, he has to execute work in terms of material necessities. Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however, brings one into spiritual life even while one is within the jurisdiction of matter, for it is an arousing of spiritual existence by practice in the material world. The more one is advanced, the more he is freed from the clutches of matter. The Lord is not partial toward anyone. Everything depends on one’s practical performance of duties in an effort to control the senses and conquer the influence of desire and anger. And, attaining Kṛṣṇa consciousness by controlling the above-mentioned passions, one remains factually in the transcendental stage, or brahman-nirvāṇa. The eightfold yoga mysticism is automatically practiced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness because the ultimate purpose is served. There is gradual process of elevation in the practice of yama, niyama, āsana, pratyāhāra, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, prāṇāyāma, and samādhi. But these only preface perfection by devotional service, which alone can award peace to the human being. It is the highest perfection of life.

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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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The Spell of Illusion (Maya)

The sense of a separated existence from Kṛṣṇa is called māyā (-not, -this).

People in general, especially in this age of Kali, are enamored by the external energy of Kṛṣṇa, and they wrongly think that by advancement of material comforts every man will be happy. They have no knowledge that the material or external nature is very strong, for everyone is strongly bound by the stringent laws of material nature. A living entity is happily the part and parcel of the Lord, and thus his natural function is to render immediate service to the Lord. By the spell of illusion one tries to be happy by serving his personal sense gratification in different forms which will never make him happy. Instead of satisfying his own personal material senses, he has to satisfy the senses of the Lord. That is the highest perfection of life. The Lord wants this, and He demands it. One has to understand this central point of Bhagavad-gītā. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is teaching the whole world this central point, and because we are not polluting the theme of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, anyone seriously interested in deriving benefit by studying the Bhagavad-gītā must take help from the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement for practical understanding of Bhagavad-gītā under the direct guidance of the Lord. We hope, therefore, that people will derive the greatest benefit by studying Bhagavad-gītā As It Is as we have presented it here, and if even one man becomes a pure devotee of the Lord we shall consider our attempt a success.

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is essential in human society, for it offers the highest perfection of life. How this is so is explained fully in the Bhagavad-gītā. Unfortunately, mundane wranglers have taken advantage of Bhagavad-gītā to push forward their demonic propensities and mislead people regarding right understanding of the simple principles of life. Everyone should know how God or Kṛṣṇa is great, and everyone should know the factual position of the living entities. Everyone should know that a living entity is eternally a servant and that unless one serves Kṛṣṇa one has to serve illusion in different varieties of the three modes of material nature, and thus perpetually one has to wander within the cycle of birth and death; even the so-called liberated Māyāvādī speculator has to undergo this process. This knowledge constitutes a great science, and each and every living being has to hear it for his own interest. (From the preface to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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Glories of the Srimad Bhagavatam

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 7, Text 7

The conclusion is that simply by hearing the Vedic literature Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, one can have direct connection with the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and thereby one can attain the highest perfection of life by transcending worldly miseries, illusion and fearfulness. These are practical tests for one who has actually given a submissive hearing to the readings of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

TEXT 7

yasyāṁ vai śrūyamāṇāyāṁ
kṛṣṇe parama-pūruṣe
bhaktir utpadyate puṁsaḥ
śoka-moha-bhayāpahā

SYNONYMS

yasyām—this Vedic literature; vai—certainly; śrūyamāṇāyām—simply by giving aural reception; kṛṣṇe—unto Lord Kṛṣṇa; parama—supreme; pūruṣe—unto the Personality of Godhead; bhaktiḥ—feelings of devotional service; utpadyate—sprout up; puṁsaḥ—of the living being; śoka—lamentation; moha—illusion; bhaya—fearfulness; apahā—that which extinguishes.

TRANSLATION

Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for loving devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion and fearfulness.

PURPORT

There are various senses, of which the ear is the most effective. This sense works even when a man is deep asleep. One can protect himself from the hands of an enemy while awake, but while asleep one is protected by the ear only. The importance of hearing is mentioned here in connection with attaining the highest perfection of life, namely, getting free from three material pangs. Everyone is full of lamentation at every moment, he is after the mirage of illusory things, and he is always afraid of his supposed enemy. These are the primary symptoms of material disease. And it is definitely suggested herein that simply by hearing the message of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam one gets attachment for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and as soon as this is effected the symptoms of the material diseases disappear. Śrīla Vyāsadeva saw the all-perfect Personality of Godhead, and in this statement the all-perfect Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa is clearly confirmed.

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Realizing that God Is Everywhere


Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5

Realizing that God Is Everywhere

Mahārāja Prahlāda informed his classmates about the all-pervasiveness of the Supreme Lord. But although the Supreme Lord is all-pervasive by means of His expansions and His energies, that does not mean He has lost His personality. That is significant. Although He is all-pervading, still He is a person. According to our material perception, if something is all-pervading, then it has no personality, no localized aspect. But God is not like that. For example, the sunshine is all-pervading, but the sun also has a localized aspect, the sun planet, and you can see it. Not only is there a sun planet, but within the sun planet is a sun-god, whose name is Vivasvān. We get this information from Vedic literature. There is no way to understand what is taking place on other planets except to hear from authorized sources. In the modern civilization we accept scientists as authorities in these matters. We hear a scientist say, “We have seen the moon; it is such and such,” and we believe it. We have not gone with the scientist to see the moon, but we believe him.

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Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Family Illusion Chapter 3

Prahlāda Mahārāja told his friends, “You have to begin Kṛṣṇa consciousness immediately.” All the boys were born of atheistic, materialistic families, but fortunately they had the association of Prahlāda, who was a great devotee of the Lord from his birth. Whenever he found an opportunity, when the teacher was out of the classroom, he used to say, “My dear friends, let’s chant Hare Kṛṣṇa; this is the time to begin Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”

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