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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The Science of Reincarnation

The Science of Reincarnation

A conversation in 1975 between
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness,
and Mike Robinson, a reporter for the London Broadcasting Company.

Mike Robinson: Can you tell me what you believe—what the philosophy of the Hare Krsna movement is?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Krsna consciousness is not a question of belief; it is a science. The first step is to know the difference between a living body and a dead body. What is the difference? The difference is that when someone dies, the spirit soul, or the living force, leaves the body. And therefore the body is called “dead.” So, there are two things: one, this body; and the other, the living force within the body. We speak of the living force within the body. That is the difference between the science of Krsna consciousness, which is spiritual, and ordinary, material science. As such, in the beginning it is very, very difficult for an ordinary man to appreciate our movement. One must first understand that he is a soul, or something other than his body.

Mike Robinson: And when will we understand that?

Srila Prabhupada: You can understand at any moment, but it requires a little intelligence. For example, as a child grows, he becomes a boy, the boy becomes a young man, the young man becomes an adult, and the adult becomes an old man. Throughout all this time, although his body is changing from a child to an old man, he still feels himself to be the same person, with the same identity. Just see: the body is changing, but the occupier of the body, the soul, is remaining the same. So we should logically conclude that when our present body dies, we get another body. This is called transmigration of the soul.

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Action in Knowledge of Kṛṣṇa

…We must understand the meaning of relationships with Kṛṣṇa. In this material world we have many relationships as father, mother, wife or husband. Whatever relationship we find here is but a perverted reflection of the relationship we have with the Supreme Lord. Whatever we find in this material world is born of the Absolute Truth, but here it is pervertedly reflected in time. Whatever relationship we have with Kṛṣṇa goes on. If we have a relationship in friendship, that friendship is eternal and continues from life to life. In the material world, a friendship exists for a few years and then breaks; therefore it is called perverted, temporal, or unreal. If we make our friendship with Kṛṣṇa, it will never break. If we make our master Kṛṣṇa, we will never be cheated. If we love Kṛṣṇa as our son, He will never die. If we love Kṛṣṇa as our lover, He will be the best of all, and there will be no separation. Because Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, He is unlimited and has an unlimited number of devotees. Some are trying to love Him as lover or husband, and therefore Kṛṣṇa accepts this role. In whatever way we approach Kṛṣṇa, He will accept us, as He states in Bhagavad-gītā.

ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

“All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.” (Bg. 4.11)

Raja-Vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 8

Action in Knowledge of Kṛṣṇa

na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti
na me karma-phale spṛhā
iti māṁ yo ’bhijānāti
karmabhir na sa badhyate

“There is no work that affects Me; nor do I aspire for the fruits of action. One who understands this truth about Me also does not become entangled in the fruitive reactions of work.”(Bg. 4.14)

The whole world is bound by karma. We all know of the existence of microbes or germs which exist by the million within the measurement of one millimeter. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that beginning with the microbe, which is called indragopa, up to Indra, the king of the heavenly planets, all are bound by karma, the reaction of work. We all have to suffer or enjoy the reactions of our work, be they good or bad. As long as we have to suffer or enjoy these reactions, we are bound to these material bodies.

By nature’s arrangement the material body is given to the living entity for his suffering or enjoying. Different types of bodies are acquired for different purposes. The body of a tiger is made for killing and eating raw meat. Similarly, the hogs are made in such a way that they can eat stool. And as human beings our teeth are made for eating vegetables and fruits. All of these bodies are made according to the work done in past lives by the living entity. Our next bodies are being prepared according to the work which we are now doing, but in the previously quoted verse Śrī Kṛṣṇa indicates that one who knows the transcendental nature of His activities becomes free from the reactions of activities. Our activities should be such that we will not again become entangled in this material world. This can be made possible if we become Kṛṣṇa conscious by studying Kṛṣṇa, learning of the transcendental nature of His activities, and understanding how He behaves in this material world and in the spiritual world.

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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