Similarly, by choice the soul can regain paradise and return home, back to Godhead.At the critical time of death, one can place the vital force between the two eyebrows and decide where he wants to go. If he is reluctant to maintain any connection with the material world, he can, in less than a second, reach the transcendental Vaikuṇṭha and appear there completely in his spiritual body which will be suitable for him in the spiritual atmosphere.
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 4 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 5 Lectures
- 6 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 7 Correspondence
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 13 - 18
Clear understanding of material nature, the Supersoul, the individual soul and their interrelation makes one eligible to become liberated and turn to the spiritual atmosphere without being forced to return to this material nature. This is the result of knowledge. The purpose of knowledge is to understand distinctly that the living entity has by chance fallen into this material existence. By his personal endeavor in association with authorities, saintly persons and a spiritual master, he has to understand his position and then revert to spiritual consciousness or Kṛṣṇa consciousness by understanding Bhagavad-gītā as it is explained by the Personality of Godhead. Then it is certain that he will never come again into this material existence; he will be transferred into the spiritual world for a blissful eternal life of knowledge.
SB Canto 1
The whole material world is full of hungry living beings. The hunger is not for good food, shelter or sense gratification. The hunger is for the spiritual atmosphere. Due to ignorance only they think that the world is dissatisfied because there is not sufficient food, shelter, defense and objects of sense gratification. This is called illusion. When the living being is hungry for spiritual satisfaction, he is misrepresented by material hunger. But the foolish leaders cannot see that even the people who are most sumptuously materially satisfied are still hungry.
A foolish man wants to be a cheap yogī without observing the regulative principles. A man who has no control over the tongue at first can hardly become a yogī. Yogī and bhogī are two opposite terms. The bhogī, or the merry man who eats and drinks, cannot be a yogī, for a yogī is never allowed to eat and drink unrestrictedly. We may note with profit how Dhṛtarāṣṭra began his yoga system by drinking water only and sitting calmly in a place with a spiritual atmosphere, deeply absorbed in the thoughts of the Lord Hari, the Personality of Godhead.
The citizens of the state must give in charity up to fifty percent of their income for the purpose of creating a spiritual atmosphere in the state or in human society, both individually and collectively. They should preach the principles of Bhāgavatam by (a) karma-yoga, or doing everything for the satisfaction of the Lord, (b) regular hearing of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from authorized persons or realized souls, (c) chanting of the glories of the Lord congregationally at home or at places of worship, (d) rendering all kinds of service to bhāgavatas engaged in preaching Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and (e) residing in a place where the atmosphere is saturated with God consciousness. If the state is regulated by the above process, naturally there will be God consciousness everywhere.
SB Canto 3
Factually no one is master here in the material world, and therefore the servants of the senses have a very bad experience of servitude. They shudder at the thought of service because they have no knowledge of the transcendental position. In transcendental loving service, the servitor is as free as the Lord. The Lord is svarāṭ, or fully independent, and the servant is also fully independent, or svarāṭ, in the spiritual atmosphere because there is no forced service. There the transcendental loving service is due to spontaneous love. A reflected glimpse of such service is experienced in the service of the mother unto the son, the friend's service unto the friend, or the wife's service unto the husband. These reflections of service by friends, parents or wives are not forced, but are due only to love. Here in this material world, however, the loving service is only a reflection. The real service, or service in svarūpa, is present in the transcendental world, in association with the Lord. The very same service in transcendental love can be practiced in devotion here.
For most of the trees, flowers, fruits and birds mentioned here as surrounding Bindu-sarovara Lake, English synonyms cannot be found. All the trees mentioned are very pious in that they produce a nice aromatic flower, such as the campaka, kadamba and bakula. The sweet sounds of waterfowl and cranes made the surrounding area as pleasant as possible and created a very suitable spiritual atmosphere.
The material world, or material existential life, is filled with threefold miseries: miseries pertaining to the body and mind, miseries pertaining to natural disturbances and miseries inflicted by other living entities. Human society is meant to create a spiritual atmosphere by spreading the spirit of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The miseries of material existence cannot affect the status of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not that the miseries of the material world completely vanish when one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but for one who is Kṛṣṇa conscious the miseries of material existence have no effect.
Lord Kapila says that mayi mānasam, a devotee whose mind is always fixed upon the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is called ātmārāma or vidita-tattva. Ātmārāma means "one who rejoices in the self," or "one who enjoys in the spiritual atmosphere." Ātmā, in the material sense, means the body or the mind, but when referring to one whose mind is fixed on the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, ātmārāma means "one who is fixed in spiritual activities in relationship with the Supreme Soul."
SB Canto 4
Whenever there is a nice atmosphere in the material world, immediately there is an awakening of the sexual appetite in the minds of materialistic persons. This tendency is present everywhere within this material world, not only on this earth but in higher planetary systems as well. In complete contrast with the influence of this atmosphere on the minds of the living entities within the material world is the description of the spiritual world. The women there are hundreds and thousands of times more beautiful than the women here in this material world, and the spiritual atmosphere is also many times better. Yet despite the pleasant atmosphere, the minds of the denizens do not become agitated because in the spiritual world, the Vaikuṇṭha planets, the spiritualistic minds of the inhabitants are so much absorbed in the spiritual vibration of chanting the glories of the Lord that such enjoyment could not be surpassed by any other enjoyment, even sex, which is the culmination of all pleasure in the material world. In other words, in the Vaikuṇṭha world, in spite of its better atmosphere and facilities, there is no impetus for sex life.
Unless one is self-satisfied, he cannot be free from the miserable conditions of material existence. Therefore it is essential to render service to the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas to achieve the perfection of self-satisfaction. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura therefore says:
- tāṅdera caraṇa sevi bhakta-sane vāsa
- janame janame haya, ei abhilāṣa
"Birth after birth I desire to serve the lotus feet of the ācāryas and live in a society of devotees." A spiritual atmosphere can be maintained only by living in a society of devotees and by serving the orders of the ācāryas. The spiritual master is the best brāhmaṇa. At present, in the age of Kali, it is very difficult to render service to the brāhmaṇa-kula, or the brāhmaṇa class. The difficulty, according to the Varāha Purāṇa, is that demons, taking advantage of Kali-yuga, have taken birth in brāhmaṇa families.
SB Canto 5
Almost 99.9 percent of the population is unhappy in family life, despite all the attempts being made to satisfy the family members. In the Western countries, due to the dissatisfaction of the family members, there is actually no family life. There are many cases of divorce, and out of dissatisfaction, the children leave the protection of their parents. Especially in this age of Kali, family life is being reduced. Everyone is becoming self-centered because that is the law of nature. Even if one has sufficient money to maintain a family, the situation is such that no one is happy in family life. Consequently according to the varṇāśrama institution, one has to retire from family life in middle age: pañcāśordhvaṁ vanaṁ vrajet. One should voluntarily retire from family life at the age of fifty and go to Vṛndāvana or a forest. This is recommended by Śrīla Prahlāda Mahārāja (SB 7.5.5):
- tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehināṁ
- sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt
- hitvātma-pātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ
- vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta
There is no benefit in transferring from one forest to another. One must go to the Vṛndāvana forest and take shelter of Govinda. That will make one happy. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is therefore constructing a Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma temple to invite its members as well as outsiders to come and live peacefully in a spiritual atmosphere. That will help one become elevated to the transcendental world and return home, back to Godhead.
"The abodes of Godhead in the material world, such as Dvārakā, Mathurā and Gokula, are facsimiles representing the abodes of Godhead in the kingdom of God, Vaikuṇṭha-dhāma." The unlimited spiritual atmosphere of that Vaikuṇṭha-dhāma is far above and beyond the material cosmos. This is confirmed in the Svāyambhuva-tantra, in a discussion between Lord Śiva and Pārvatī regarding the effect of chanting the mantra of fourteen syllables.
At the critical time of death, one can place the vital force between the two eyebrows and decide where he wants to go. If he is reluctant to maintain any connection with the material world, he can, in less than a second, reach the transcendental abode of Vaikuṇṭha and appear there completely in his spiritual body, which will be suitable for him in the spiritual atmosphere. He has simply to desire to leave the material world both in finer and in grosser forms and then move the vital force to the topmost part of the skull and leave the body from the hole in the skull called the brahma-randhra. This is easy for one perfect in the practice of yoga.
Rāmānanda Rāya's service to the gopīs for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa is purely an affair of the spiritual world. Unless one is fully situated in the spiritual atmosphere, the activities of Rāmānanda Rāya are most difficult to understand.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Easy Journey to Other Planets
The candidate must be prepared to change his habits in terms of the instructions contained in the books of authority, and for the satisfaction of the Lord he must be prepared to sacrifice both sense gratification and sense abnegation, following the example of Arjuna.The candidate should live in a spiritual atmosphere. He must be satisfied with as much wealth as is sufficient for maintenance only. He should not try to amass more wealth than is necessary to sustain himself in a simple way.
Message of Godhead
We should understand that the ultimate goal of all sacrifices is to please the Supreme Godhead, Viṣṇu. During our material existence, we have to deal with material objects, if only to keep body and soul together. But in all such material activities we can evoke the spiritual atmosphere, in terms of the Vedantic truth that the Supreme Spirit is omnipresent. This truth is imperfectly explained by the proponents of pantheism, the misconception that everything is the Supreme Spirit simply because the Supreme Spirit is everywhere. Once this misconception is cleared up and if we remember that the Supreme Spirit is indeed omnipresent, we can create a spiritual atmosphere by performing all our activities in relation to the Supreme Spirit, with everything directed by one who is a self-realized soul. Then the whole thing is transformed into spirit.
Those living beings who reside on higher planets like the sun and the moon, as well as those on Martyaloka, this earth planet, and also those who live on lower planets—all are merged into the waters of devastation during the night of Brahmā. During this time no living beings or species remain manifest, although spiritually they continue to exist. This unmanifested stage is called avyakta. Again, when the entire universe is vanquished at the end of Brahmā's lifetime, there is another avyakta state. But beyond these two unmanifested states is another unmanifested state, the spiritual atmosphere, or nature. There are a great number of spiritual planets in this atmosphere, and these planets exist eternally, even when all the planets within this material universe are vanquished at the end of Brahmā's life.
One should give up the material body, which will be turned to ashes, and allow the air of life to merge into the eternal reservoir of air. The living being's activities are performed within the body through the movements of different kinds of air, known in summary as prāṇa-vāyu. The yogīs generally study how to control the airs of the body. The soul is supposed to rise from one circle of air to another until it rises to the brahma-randhra, the highest circle. From that point the perfect yogī can transfer himself to any planet he likes. The process is to give up one material body and then enter into another. But the highest perfection of such changes occurs only when the living entity is able to give up the material body altogether, as suggested in this mantra, and enter into the spiritual atmosphere, where he can develop a completely different type of body—a spiritual body, which never has to meet death or change.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
We are accustomed to think either of this material energy or of the spiritual energy, now, how to transfer the thinking? The thinking of the material energy, how it can be transferred into thinking of the spiritual energy? So for thinking in the spiritual energy the Vedic literatures are there. Just like thinking in the material energies, there are so many literatures—newspapers, magazines, novels, fictions, and so many things. Full of literatures. So our thinkings are absorbed in these literatures. Similarly, if we want to transfer our thinking in the spiritual atmosphere, then we have to transfer our reading capacity to the Vedic literature. The learned sages therefore made so many Vedic literatures, the Purāṇas. The Purāṇas are not stories. They are historical records.
Because we work not with our body actually. We work with our mind and intelligence. So if our intelligence and mind are always engaged in the thought of the Supreme Lord, then naturally our senses are also engaged in the service of the Lord. That is the secret of Bhagavad-gītā. One has to learn this art, how one can be absorbed both by the mind and intelligence twenty-four hours thinking of the Lord. And that will help one to transfer himself into the kingdom of God or in the spiritual atmosphere after leaving this material body.
Sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). The Lord is full bliss, eternal knowledge. So the impersonalists they are satisfied with only knowledge, jñāna, light, that's all. Knowledge is light. But farther advanced, say, the yogis, they want to see the localized, just like the sun globe. And the devotees, they want to see the person who is predominating over the sun globe. This is a crude example. So the goal, ultimate goal, it is described, "The Supreme is the Personality of Godhead for the devotee, and liberation for the impersonalist." The impersonalists, they simply want to be free from this material atmosphere and go to the spiritual atmosphere.
Nobody's master here. To think of oneself that "I am the master, I am the master of all I survey," this is called māyā, illusion. I am not ser... I am not master. I am servant. So my service is now being misused under different designations. So as soon as we become free from the designations, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam... (CC Antya 20.12). That means when we can see exactly the position on the mirror of our mind after dusting over, that "My position, my constitutional position is that I am eternal servant." But we should not think that my service in the material world, and my service in the spiritual atmosphere is the same.
This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth in complete, without any doubt, and without any incompleteness. This is also confirmed in the Eighteenth Chapter, that if you want to know God in completeness and without any doubt, then you have to take to bhakti-yoga process. It is said,
- bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
- yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
- tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā
- viśate tad-anantaram
- (BG 18.55)
The meaning is that "One can understand Me only by this bhakti-yoga process. And when one is fully aware of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then he becomes fit to enter into the Kingdom of God." So the purpose of yoga practice is to promote or to leave this material atmosphere and enter into the spiritual atmosphere.
Although we are fully in ignorance of the spiritual matter, still, we can feel. If you analyze yourself silently, "What I am? I am this finger? I am this body? I am this hair?" you'll deny, "No I am not this." So beyond this body, what is, that is spiritual. That we can feel. Similarly, as we cannot find our self within this matter, although I'm here, that we can distinguish, the distinction between dead body and living body, something minus. That something is spirit. That something is spirit. Although we have no eyes to see, but the spirit is there. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. That spiritual existence is eternal, whereas this body is not eternal.Now, here it is said that avyaktaḥ akṣaraḥ: "That nonmanifested, spiritual atmosphere is nonmanifested." But how it can be manifested? We have little feeling of it, but how it can be manifested? Yes. It can be manifested. And that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which we are preaching.
Bhagavad-gītā is accepted by all classes of men in India. And so far outside India is concerned, all scholars, all religionists, all philosophers, they have accepted this Bhagavad-gītā as authority. So there is no doubt about Bhagavad-gītā's being authority. Even Professor Einstein, he was reading regularly this Bhagavad-gītā, such a great scientist. So there are many evidences. So you believe this, that there is a spiritual atmosphere and that is the kingdom of God. And here it is stated that yaṁ prāpya na nivartante, if you somehow or other, you can reach that spiritual atmosphere, then the result is na nivartante, you'll have no more to take this material body, na nivartante. Tad dhāma paramaṁ mama. So you'll become quietly and happily situated in your eternal life.
If I can get some place where going I'll have not to die again or not to become old and not to have any diseases, oh, certainly I shall accept it. That is my desire, heart's desire. I want. I want that. Why you want that? Because you have got the right to have that prerogative. You have got the right. Therefore you want. You are eternal. You are blissful. You are full of knowledge. Simply you are covered by this material entanglement. Therefore you have forgotten yourself. Now, here is the chance. Here is the chance to take advantage and revive my original status of life, original status of life. Here it is clearly said, yaṁ prāpya na nivartante: "If you somehow or other can approach that spiritual atmosphere, then you haven't got to return again in this land of miseries of the atmosphere."
We are thinking that if we can transfer ourself to the moon planet, we shall be happy. Oh, it is useless. Bhagavad-gītā has already informed you that even if you go to the highest planet, ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna (BG 8.16), even if you go by some way or other... You cannot go. That is a dream only. But still, if you go by your sputnik or by aeronautic means, but still, the four principles of material miseries, namely birth, death, old age and disease, you cannot avoid. So it is not our business to have our place anywhere within this material world. Either this country or that country or this planet or that planet, you'll never be happy. Here is information. Avyaktaḥ akṣara ity uktas tam āhuḥ paramāṁ gatim. If you can reach that highest perfectional stage of life, then only you'll no longer be required to come back again to this nonsense material world. Yes. This is the information you get. And where you shall do, what you shall do there? Some philosophers think that that spiritual atmosphere must be impersonal, impersonal, void. There are some philosophers, they think like that, that "There is. We accept the spiritual atmosphere." The impersonalists, Śaṅkarites, even the Buddhists, they also, some way or other, they accept that there is the voidness. But the Bhagavad-gītā does not disappoint you in that way.
Here it is said, puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha bhaktyā labhyas tv ananyayā. If you accept this principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the devotional path, and if you worship that Supreme Personality of Godhead, then you can have the spiritual realization and you prepare yourself and you become detached from this material enjoyment. Your life becomes sublime. Oh. That is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Puruṣa. Here it is clearly said, puruṣa, puruṣa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ. Paraḥ means Supreme. Paraḥ: "O My dear Arjuna, that in that spiritual atmosphere, there is the Supreme Personality." He's a person just like you and me. Just we have got talking face to face, when you'll reach there you'll talk face to face with God. You'll play, you'll eat, everything. Puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha.
Supreme Personality, although He's just like a person, like you and me, still, He's so widespread that everything is within Him and everything in Him, He's outside and inside. That is the conception of God. God is everywhere, but still, He has got His kingdom, abode. He has got His association, everything. Just like the sun. The sunshine is all over the universe, but it has got his own planet, his own residence, localized, everything.So that is the conception of God. And that God, or Kṛṣṇa, is in that spiritual atmosphere. If we approach, then our life will be successful, our aims will be fulfilled, and we'll be happy, and we'll be prosperous eternally, not for temporary, but eternally.
This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This movement is not a new thing or something concocted, but it is authorized and very old movement. There was a meeting about five thousand years ago in a place which is called Naimiṣāraṇya. That Naimiṣāraṇya is still there in India. There is a railway station which is called Nimsar. It is near Lucknow, in the northern part of India. Those who have gone to India, they may know this place. This is very old place. And still, if you go, you will find there immediately a spiritual atmosphere. There are many places in India where, if you go, you will find immediately a spiritual atmosphere.
So there was a great meeting. Just like we are holding here meeting for a few days, a similar meeting was held thousands of years ago, at least four thousand years ago, in a place which is called Naimiṣāraṇya. The Naimiṣāraṇya is in India. It is near Lucknow. Here is Professor Shivasrava(?). He knows. The station is called now Nimsar. I think it is in Hardoi district? So still the place is there, and if you sometimes go to India you can visit this place. It is a very nice place for spiritual atmosphere. So formerly all the great sages used to assemble in that Naimiṣāraṇya. It is said that all the demigods used to visit that place. So in that great meeting, Bhāgavata was discussed.
We find that the Bhagavad-gītā is spoken in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. Now, what we have to do with the battlefield? We have nothing to do with battlefield. We are here to have some knowledge in the spiritual atmosphere, and why should we bother about the battlefield? No. Because in the battlefield there... (break) The whole battlefield has become Kṛṣṇized. Kṛṣṇized. Just like if there electric charges, electric current, is in some metal, the whole thing becomes surcharged with electricity, similarly, when Kṛṣṇa is interested in some matter, then the whole thing becomes Kṛṣṇized. Otherwise, there was no need of discussing the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. So that is the omnipotency.
The government is thinking that Indian people, being too much religiously inclined, they have fallen down economically; therefore these religious sentiments should be stopped completely. It is not encouraged. Here in Vṛndāvana so many pilgrims, they come from all parts of India; now all parts of world, they're coming. But it is kept in such unclean state to discourage people not to come here. That is the idea, so that people, educated people, modernized people may not come here. They do not want. That is the policy, I am seeing. They are introducing in the Vṛndāvana area so many industrial things so that the spiritual atmosphere is to be killed. That is the policy is going on.
So one who is not complete, he's jīva. Aṇu and vibhu. Vibhu, there are many examples. Just like fire, blazing fire, you have got experience. And there are sparks. The sparks fall down sometimes and become extinguished, without any illumination, without any burning power. When..., so long the spark is within the fire, it has got the same quality, illumination and burning quality. But as soon as falls down-extinguished, no more illumination, no more burning power. So our position is like that. Although we are part and parcel of God, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7), because we have cyuta, fallen down from our spiritual atmosphere... Just like spiritual atmosphere, Kṛṣṇa's friends, cowherd boys, they're playing with Kṛṣṇa. That is also playing. And here in this material world the boys they also play football play. But these two plays are different. One is spiritual and another is material.
If God is everywhere, why not in the temple? These are the atheistic proposal. If God is everywhere, so why not in the temple? In the temple I can see God, at least. The form of God, it is being worshiped, offered prasādam. So there is a spiritual atmosphere. So why shall I not go to the temple? So actually God is everywhere. That's a fact. But so long I am not purified, I have to see God as they are prescribed in the śāstra.
They are going to different planets... They cannot go. Suppose if they are going: so taking so much trouble, expending so much money, they are trying to study. But we study within this room, even up to Vaikuṇṭha planet. Huh? These rascals are taking so much trouble and still unsuccessful. And we are getting all clear idea. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15). That is the perfection of Vedic literature. In remote jungle they are sitting. They are enjoying spiritual atmosphere and getting all information from the Vedic literature. How much, I mean to say, fortunate we are, those who have taken shelter of this Vedic literature. We get all information. Is there any doubt? So why should we take so much trouble? Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, take information, be prepared, and at the time of death, think of Kṛṣṇa. Immediately transferred within a second.
When you try to satisfy your own senses, that is lust. And when you satisfy..., when you try to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa, or God, that is called love. Here in this material world so-called love is personal sense gratification. A girl loves a boy, she has got the intention for personal sense gratification. Or the boy loves the girl, he has also the same, personal sense gratification. But the gopīs' love for Kṛṣṇa is not for personal sense gratification, but for Kṛṣṇa's sense gratification. That is the difference between gopī's love and people's lust.So love cannot be possible within this material world because every one has got the intention to satisfy his senses. Therefore love is not possible in the material world. Love is possible only in the spiritual atmosphere. When we know how to love Kṛṣṇa, or God, then our life is... Yayātmā suprasīdati. By that love you'll be fully satisfied. Ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to train people how to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa. Then all problems will be solved.
Guest (3): Because Kurukṣetra is to be taken as a particular place.
Prabhupāda: Not taken. It is still there. Why do you interpret that this is body? Is it not rascaldom? No devotee, no ācārya has done this, but these modern so-called scholars and leaders, they have done it. Are they not rascals? What do you think? Eh?
Guest (3): No, rascals... My representative (?) orders that "The people listen to me..."
Prabhupāda: So, why they should say? Now, you are a lawyer.
Guest (3): We do not know (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: And why do they...? What is the difficulty? Dharma-kṣetra kuru-kṣetra, is that a very difficult Sanskrit? Now, there is no question. Even in... If you do not understand Sanskrit, what is the difficulty to understand dharma-kṣetra? Is it not a Hindi word? Kurukṣetra is a name of place. So what is the difficulty? Why do you interpret that Kurukṣetra means this body? This rascaldom has killed the whole spiritual atmosphere of India. They are responsible, these rascal politicians, the rascal scholars, so-called. Actually if we want good of the people, these rascals should be disclosed and people should come back. We should... Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, yadā atiharṣotpulakāśru-gadgadam. He became so glad that he is faltering in speaking. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He was dancing in Jagannātha Purī during car festival and was singing, He could not utter "Jagannātha." He was uttering, "Jaga-aga-aaa-aaa..." Like that. He was faltering, faltering. These signs are that. They become at once transferred to the spiritual atmosphere and platform. These are very higher stage.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
The, the body of Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda vigraha (Bs. 5.1). Sac, cid, ānanda—three, three spiritual divisions. Not division actually. They are one. But for our understanding we analyze in that way, sac, cid, ānanda. Sat. Sat means eternity. So Brahman realization, impersonal Brahman realization, is realization of eternity; Paramātmā realization means eternity and knowledge; and Bhagavān realization means full realization: eternity, knowledge and bliss. Simple eternal realization is without factual knowledge and without bliss—impersonal. The impersonalists, they cannot enjoy the transcendental bliss. They simply stay as eternal. That's all. Śānta-rasa. It is called śānta-rasa, peaceful śānta-rasa. There is no exchange. And further development is dāsya-rasa. And further development is sākhya-rasa. And further development is vātsalya-rasa. And further, ultimate development is mādhurya-rasa. So in the spiritual atmosphere there are different degrees of realization. So this Brahman realization is the first step, and the Paramātmā realization is the second step, and Bhagavān realization, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that is the ultimate stage.
Always remember that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a sort of declaration of war with this illusory material nature. So there is war. She will always try to get you fall down. Daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). It is very strong, powerful. How you can save yourself? Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te. If you persistently simply adhere to the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, there will be no more strength of this illusory nature to drag you. No more. There will be no more power to get you into this province of sense gratification. Material nature means the jurisdiction of sense gratification. That's all. Simply people are engaged by sense gratification like cats and dogs. That's all. This is material atmosphere. And in the spiritual atmosphere there is no sense gratification; there is only activity for satisfying the Supreme, Kṛṣṇa. That is the difference.
Nobody can understand how great is Kṛṣṇa.
- kṛṣṇera mahimā rahu-kebā tāra jñātā
- vṛndāvana-sthānera dekha āścarya vibhutā
That is described, the glories of Kṛṣṇa—nobody can understand. Similarly, vṛndāvana-sthānera āścarya vibhutā. Similarly, the land which is known as Vṛndāvana, it has also got unlimited potency. Still, as I have several times mentioned, if you go to Vṛndāvana you'll find unlimited potency of spiritual atmosphere still. And therefore Lord Caitanya recommended that ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa-tanayaḥ tad dhāma vṛndāvanam: "As Lord Kṛṣṇa is worshipable, similarly His place, Vṛndāvana, is as good as Kṛṣṇa. It is also worshipable." And actually, still in India, if you go to Vṛndāvana, you'll see so many saints and sages are still there. They are worshiping Vṛndāvana-dhāma.
The supreme planet in the spiritual sky is called Goloka Vṛndāvana, and all other planets, either in the spiritual world or in the material world... All the universes, they are all in just like strata. So goloka-nāmni nija-dhāmni tale ca tasya (Bs. 5.43). Underneath that goloka-nāmni there are different planetary spheres or systems. Devī-maheśa-hari-dhāmasu teṣu teṣu. Devī-dhāma. This is called Devī-dhāma. This material world called Devī-dhāma. Above this there is Maheśa-dhāma, Śivaloka. Devī-maheśa-hari-dhāma. Hari-dhāma means these Vaikuṇṭhas. Devī-maheśa-hari-dhāmasu teṣu teṣu. In all those systems of different kinds of planets, teṣu teṣu, te te prabhāva-nicayā vihitas ca yena (Bs. 5.43). Every planet, every spiritual atmosphere or material atmosphere, they have got some particular specially, every, every planet. So that is designed by Kṛṣṇa.
One who is working simply for Kṛṣṇa, he is karma-yogī. You have got tendency to work. You have got tendency to flourish yourself by advancing industrialism. That's nice. You go on, do it. We don't forbid it. But do it for Kṛṣṇa. Make Kṛṣṇa center. That is the whole teachings of Bhagavad-gītā. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). You offer... Kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam. Yat karoṣi. "Whatever you do, it doesn't matter. Whatever you eat," yat karoṣi yaj juhoṣi, "whatever you sacrifice, whatever you give in charity, give unto Me." Kuruṣva tat mad-arpaṇam. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to educate people how to live in spiritual atmosphere, and then there will be peace and prosperity. Unless one is in spiritual life... Because factually we are spiritual entities. Mamaivāṁśaḥ. We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the whole spirit, and we are His part and parcel.
Prabhupāda: Philosophy means, real philosophy means to understand the truth. That is philosophy. So without understanding about the truth, if he encourages untruth... Just like some philosophers are philosophizing on sex life. So the people are becoming degraded. So what is philosophy in sex life, that is an (indistinct). It is there in animal and man also. So sex life is not actual life; it is a symptom of life only. So if we stress on this point only, that is not philosophy. Philosophy means, as it is stated, tattva jñānārthaṁ darśanam. To find out the Absolute Truth, tattva, that is philosophy. And tattva means the spirit soul or the spiritual atmosphere. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11). So those who are discussing about Brahman or Paramātmā, Supersoul, or Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are real philosopher because they are trying to find out the Absolute Truth, and others are bogus.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1968 Conversations and Morning Walks
Interviewer: What does your temple look like?
Prabhupāda: It is temple, just there is Deity, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deity and it's very, a place of sanctuary. If you go there you'll find immediately some impulse of spiritual idealism.
Interviewer: Do you have altars?
Interviewer: Do you have any of the other things you find in the inside of churches?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes, we have altars, we have pictures. We offer fruits, flowers, incense, and immediately, by combination of these things, there is some spiritual atmosphere, and there is chanting. So people enjoy it very nicely.
1972 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: That is because their purpose is not strong. That is due to māyā, forgetfulness. Just like darkness and light; if your light is strong, there is no darkness. But if you have no light, or if your light is not very strong, there is darkness. This is the principle: If you want to drive away darkness, you must bring light. That is the only medicine. You don't have to make a separate endeavor to drive away darkness. As soon as you bring light, darkness will go. The motto of our magazine Back To Godhead is: "Godhead is light, nescience is darkness. Where there is Godhead there is no nescience." This is also the Vedic injunction: Don't remain in darkness; come to the light. How is this possible? When I flew to London from Los Angeles, there was no darkness, for we did not allow the sun to set, you remain always in light. This means that if you don't forget Kṛṣṇa, your life will be successful. If you aim your plane westward and don't stop, you will remain in sunlight all the time. Similarly, if you remain in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by the simple method of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, you will never see the darkness. This is because Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's name are absolute; Kṛṣṇa is not different from His name. Kṛṣṇa is light, and if we associate with the name of Kṛṣṇa, we remain in light. Remaining in light is a very simple method; therefore you see all these boys with their beads chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. In this way māyā cannot touch them. No intoxication, no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling. How can these boys, who have been trained to practice these four items from the beginning of their lives, give them all up? Everything is possible, provided we make the choice. Therefore according to Vedic civilization in the beginning of life you become a brahmacārī. Then you are allowed to marry and become a householder, and after a number of years you remain a husband but abandon sexuality, and that is called vānaprastha. Finally you take sannyāsa and leave your family to practice and preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is Vedic civilization. Everything is provided to enlighten the people in general. All the knowledge is there, and the method is there; we simply have to take advantage of it. If we do not, how can we expect a peaceful and happy world? If society creates animals, then how can it expect peace and prosperity? In spite of so many big universities and all educational facilities, this society is producing hippies and frustration amongst the youth because we are spirit soul and cannot become happy simply by amassing material comforts. We must have spiritual life. If a fish is taken out of water, it cannot be made happy with all the comforts of land. To be happy, a fish must have all the freedom of water. Similarly, we are all spiritual sparks, and we cannot become happy in matter. We require spiritual food, spiritual atmosphere.
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Śyāmasundara: But the whole idea is that if you create a spiritual atmosphere that's so enlivening that everyone will want to participate in it, that's the solution. You can't individually treat each person. You have to get the whole thing generated by, by pouring water on the root.
Prabhupāda: That if you sit down for chanting, they should automatically sit down. If one is left, then you can maybe say, "Why you did not come?" But if there is no chanting, no sitting, simply wake up, wake up, wake up, all right, I'm waking up (indistinct). But one may wake up or not, you begin your work immediately.
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Just like Parīkṣit Mahārāja gave Kali four places. He could not find out. First of all he gave him four places, that "These four places you can go." But he could not find out such place. So he was embarrassed. So now there is no question of finding out. Everywhere you go, the same four principles. Formerly, it was very difficult to find out a place where these things are going on. Now everywhere you go, these four things are main principles of life. So therefore they cannot very much appreciate these prohibitory principles, that "What is wrong there?"
Devotee: It is just the opposite now. Now there is no place where Mahārāja Parīkṣit can go to find out a spiritual atmosphere.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Some of our men, at least one, left our association. He thought that "This is denying the primary necessities of life." Rāyarāma, Rāyarāma. He left for this reason, that we do not allow the bare necessities of life. Illicit sex, intoxication... He was first-class criminal on this account, but he could not give it up. Therefore he left.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: And it was so nice to live there, spiritual atmosphere, on the bank of the Ganges and Yamunā. Immediately you go, you become spiritualized. Vṛndāvana is also like that. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, bhārata-bhūmite janma haila, manuṣya-janma haila. To get the human form of life born in India, that is a special prerogative. Bhārata-bhumite manuṣya-janma haila yāra (CC Adi 9.41). He is fifty percent-prepared by birth.
Prabhupāda: So do that. Don't approach the cheater guru, bluffer guru, and be cheated. Stop this business. This has spoiled the whole spiritual atmosphere of the world. Take guru, the supreme guru, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa, when in Mahābhārata when Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira performed rājasūya yajña, in the rājasūya yajña one person is elected the chief guest. So in that yajña many big, big demigods were present, and Bhīṣmadeva was present, Vyāsadeva was present, and many, many other saintly person, brāhmaṇa, from the whole universe were present. And Kṛṣṇa was decided to be accepted as the... Everyone agreed to accept Him as the chief guest. And the Śiśupāla, he protested. Then everyone was angry to kill him. So Kṛṣṇa is accepted the guru by everyone.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Indian man: But what is the stage at which it is ātmā gets merged with Paramātmā? If ātmā would get merged with Paramātmā then...
Prabhupāda: That I have already explained. You cannot merge. You simply imagine. Merging means you merge in the spiritual atmosphere, but without ānanda you cannot stay there. Therefore you have to come back again to this material world. Suppose you are advocate and you are given some place without any practice. How long you will you remain there? If I say, "Please remain here happily without any practice." How long you'll remain? We want some activities. That is our nature, for ānanda. But here we are trying to get that ānanda, but that is temporary. That is not satisfying us. Therefore being disgusted we want to stop it and merge. But there is also temporary. Unless you go back to home back to Godhead, there is no complete life.
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: This tīrtha-sthāna, this is recommended. General public is recommended to go to the tīrtha-sthāna so that he may have some spiritual atmosphere, saintly person. If somebody thinks that tīrtha-sthāna means—just like this Hrishikesh—to take bath in the Ganges and go away, that is also good, but that is not the purpose. Yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). Yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile. In every pilgrim, pilgrimage, there is Gaṅgā, there is Yamunā. At least in India we have got so many holy places on the bank of the pious rivers. But if we take simply the advantage of the pious river, yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile, but we don't care for the persons who are living there, very experienced, spiritually advanced persons, then we remain animals.
Regarding your question about Krishna recommending the chanting of His Holy Names, probably you have not marked it in your study of the Bhagavad-gita, but in chapter 9, verse 14, Krishna describes how His devotees are always chanting His Names. Lord Caitanya, although He is Krishna Himself, is even more merciful than Krishna in that He has shown to the fallen living entities of the kali yuga how the chanting process can immediately elevate one up to the spiritual atmosphere.
Under these circumstances, I AUTHORIZE YOU TO DISREGARD FOR THE TIME BEING ANY DECISION FROM THE GBC MEN UNTIL MY FURTHER INSTRUCTION.You manage your affairs peacefully and independently, and try to improve the spiritual atmosphere of the centers more carefully.
In Australia we have got our temples, consult the Back to Godhead magazine for the temple nearest you. Please visit the temple and take advantage of the pure spiritual atmosphere, this will immediately extinguish the burning fire of material suffering in your heart. Meanwhile I humbly request you to chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. This chanting will bring you all perfection of life, please try it.