Divine Consciousness

Srila Prabhupada's hand and foot

This evening I was reading from the “Mukunda mala storta”. Using a Sanskrit edition published by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in 1895, Śrīla Prabhupāda began translating the Mukunda-mālā-stotra in the late 1950’s. But after completing six verses with commentary, he suspended it to work on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He never resumed it. The following is verse 3 with Srila Prabhupāda’s translations and purport. It is a very sweet verse, and powerful purport.

O Lord Mukunda! I bow down my head to Your Lordship and respectfully ask You to fulfill this one desire of mine: that in each of my future births I will, by Your Lordship’s mercy, always remember and never forget Your lotus feet.

…To forget one’s relationship with the Lord and thus to remain overwhelmed by material hankerings is the most condemned mode of life. This is exactly the nature of animal life. When the living entity is born in a species of lower animals, he completely forgets his relationship with the Lord and therefore remains always busy in the matter of eating, sleeping, fearing, and mating. Modern civilization promotes such a life of forgetfulness, with an improved economic condition for eating and so on. Various agents of the external energy make explicit propaganda to try to root out the very seed of divine consciousness. But this is impossible to do, because although circumstances may choke up a living being’s divine consciousness for the time being, it cannot be killed. In his original identity the living entity is indestructible, and so also are his original spiritual qualities. One can kill neither the spirit soul nor his spiritual qualities. To remember the Lord and desire to serve Him are the spiritual qualities of the spirit soul. One can curb down these spiritual qualities by artificial means, but they will be reflected in a perverted way on the mirror of material existence. The spiritual quality of serving the Lord out of transcendental affinity will be pervertedly reflected as love for wine, women, and wealth in different forms. The so-called love of material things—even love for one’s country, community, religion, or family, which is accepted as a superior qualification for civilized human beings—is simply a perverted reflection of the love of Godhead dormant in every soul. The position of King Kulaśekhara is therefore the position of a liberated soul, because he does not want to allow his genuine love of God to become degraded into so-called love for material things. (from purport)

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The Real Goal of life

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Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Chapter Three

The Real Goal of life
February 28, 1972 (continued)

Śrīla Prabhupāda: This movement is especially meant to enable a human being to reach the real goal of life.

Bob: The real goal… ?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: The real goal of life.

Bob: Is the real goal of life to know God?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. To go back home, back to Godhead. That is the real goal of life. The water that comes from the sea forms clouds, the clouds fall down as rain, and the actual goal is to flow down the river and again enter the sea. So, we have come from God, and now we are embarrassed by material life. Therefore, our aim should be to get out of this embarrassing situation and go back home, back to Godhead. This is the real goal of life.

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Learning to Love

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…Since we as living entities are eternal, temporary activities are not our main concern. Our engagements should be eternal because we are eternal, and that eternal engagement is the rendering of service to Kṛṣṇa in love.

Love begins with this give and take. We give something to our lover, he gives something to us, and in this way love develops. When we create any loving transaction with any boy or girl, man or woman, we give and take. Thus Kṛṣṇa is teaching us how to give and take. Kṛṣṇa is begging us:

“Try to love Me. Learn how to love Me. Offer something to Me.”

“Sir,” we may say, “I have nothing to give You.”

“Oh, you cannot collect a piece of fruit, a flower, a leaf or a little water?”

“Oh yes, why not? Anyone can collect this.”

This then is the method of Kṛṣṇa consciousness which allows one to make friends with Kṛṣṇa. We can enter into any number of relationships with Kṛṣṇa. We can become a direct servant of Kṛṣṇa, or in the highest stages we can become Kṛṣṇa’s father, mother or lover. Kṛṣṇa is prepared to establish a loving relationship with all living entities. In actuality this relationship is already there because He is the supreme father and we are His parts and parcels. Because the son is part of the body of the father, the relationship between them cannot be broken; it may be forgotten for some time, but as soon as one recognizes his father or son, immediately affection develops. Similarly, we are eternally related to Kṛṣṇa, but at the present moment this relationship is simply forgotten or suppressed. Consequently we think that we have no relationship with Kṛṣṇa, but this is not a fact. Because we are integral with Him, because we are part and parcel of Him, our relationship with Him is eternal. That relationship simply has to be revived, and that revival is this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Krsna Consciousness, The Matchless Gift
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 3

Learning to Love

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