If we simply worship the original person (ādi-puruṣaṁ), we need not fear being misled by, anyone. Śrīdhara Svāmī, the original commentator on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, explains that one can reach the perfection of life simply by devotional service (kevalayā bhaktyā); one need not be dependent on any other process. Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that one can put an end to material life by one stroke (kevalayā). There is no need to first undergo severe penance and austerity, practice celibacy, control the mind and the senses, give in charity, perform great sacrifices and become very truthful and clean. Simply by one stroke - by accepting Kṛṣṇa consciousness - one immediately rises to the highest position. By just taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one develops all transcendental qualifications. The goldsmith uses a small hammer and taps the gold many times, but the blacksmith uses a large hammer and with one stroke his job is finished. This is the blacksmith's method: we take the big hammer of bhakti-yoga and finish all material life. There is no need to undergo the many lesser disciplines, nor to follow any other process. In actuality, there is no possibility of even following the other Vedic processes to perfection. For instance, the haṭha-yoga process would say: "You have to become a strict brahmacārī and sit in the forest with your body at a right angle to the ground, pressing your nose with your finger for six months." Who could follow such an instruction? Since such a method is not practical in this present age, the goldsmith method has to be discarded. The solution is to take the blacksmith's hammer of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and finish off all sinful reactions immediately.
By devotional service one has to become vāsudeva-parāyaṇa, a devotee of Lord Vāsudeva or Lord Kṛṣṇa. In other words, we have to learn how to become lovers of Vāsudeva. If the world takes up this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the planet is certain to be peaceiul. Now the earth is quickly becoming a hellish planet, and if this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not taken up, this hellish condition will progress despite all advances in education and economic development. Therefore those who are thoughtful should take this movement very seriously and try to understand its value. It is not something manufactured by one man or a group of disciples. It is authoritative and age-old, based on the Vedic literatures which date back thousands of years.
Nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ. Bhāskara refers to the sun. The sun immediately dissipates mist or fog as well as darkness. As stated before, we should try to make the sun of Kṛṣṇa rise within our hearts. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta also it is stated that Kṛṣṇa is like the sun and that māyā, the illusory energy, is darkness. Yāhāṅ kṛṣṇa, tāhāṅ nāhi māyāra adhikāra: As soon as the sun of Kṛṣṇa is present, the darkness of māyā immediately disappears. Without following this process, it is very difficult to overcome the ocean of darkness, māyā. If we simply teach people to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, God, all the fog and mist of illusion will disappear. The method is very simple: chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
The more one goes on chanting, the more the darkness of many lives is dissipated. Ceto-darpaṅa-mārjanam: by chanting, one can cleanse the dust from the mirror of his mind and perceive things very distinctly. Thus one will know what he is, what God is, what this world is, what our relationship with God in this world is, how to live in this world, and what our next life is. Such knowledge is not taught in schools, where one is taught how to manufacture or acquire products for sense gratification. There is always a hard struggle going on involving man's attempt to dominate material nature. However, for every convenience he manages to produce, there is an inconvenience accompanying it. For example, recently some engineers designed an airplane which can fly at great speeds without danger. When the plane flies, however, it breaks windows all over the city. Our time is thus being wasted in constructing so many devices which give us temporary and artificial convenience at the price of a proportionate amount of inconvenience. This is all part of the law of karma, the law of action and reaction. For whatever we do, there must be a reaction by which we become entangled. That is stated in Bhagavad-gītā:
- yajñārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra
- loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
- tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya
- mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara
"Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage." (BG 3.9)
When one acts for sense gratification, work entangles him, whether the work be good or bad, but if one works for Kṛṣṇa (yajñārthāt karmaṇo), he will be free, regardless of the possible desirability of his work.
Not only does Śukadeva Gosvāmī recommend unalloyed devotional service, but he further says that by devotional service one's sinful activities will be negated. Every one of us is more or less sinful, for if we were not sinful we would not have been put into material bodies. As soon as one is free from sinful life, he is liberated and transferred to the spiritual world in a spiritual body. The whole process is to cleanse oneself from the contamination of sinful or material life.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said, "My dear king, those who are sinful can become purified from contamination by tapa-ādibhiḥ, practicing austerity." Śukadeva also said, however, that no one can become completely purified by executing this process of austerity. There are many examples of yogīs who practiced austerities but did not emerge completely pure. Viśvāmitra Muni, for example, was a kṣatriya who wanted to become a brāhmaṇa and therefore began to practice austerity. Later on, however, he became a victim of Menakā, a society girl of the heavenly planets. Because Viśvāmitra was not pure, he became entangled with her and begot a child. Therefore it is said that even if one performs austerities and penances, worldly circumstances are so implicating that somehow or other they will involve one again and again in the material modes of nature. There are many examples of sannyāsīs who give up the world, renouncing it as false, saying, "Let me turn to Brahman," but they again become entangled in the work of the world when they set up hospitals and perform philanthropic work and welfare activities. If the world is false, why are they attracted to welfare activities? The philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness maintains that this world is not false but that it is temporary. God created this world, and He is true, so how can His creation be false? Because this is the creation of God, and God is the Absolute Truth, this creation is also true. We simply see it otherwise due to illusion. The world is a fact, but it is a temporary fact.
A person may claim something within this world to be his property, but that is a false claim. It is a fact that it is someone's property, but it is God's property (īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam). This does not mean, however, that the property is false. What is false is the claim to the property, which is based upon a puffed up false consciousness that the individual is the proprietor, the master, or God. Everyone desires to be master or proprietor of something, then minister, then president, and then God. When everything else fails, the living entity wants to become God. The tendency is there to want to become the greatest of all, but the fact remains that God is the greatest and the living entity is small compared to Him. The smallest is not false, and the greatest is not false, but when the small thinks that he is great, that is false.
We understand from Vedic literature that Brahman, or the spirit, is aṇor aṇīyāṁsam, smaller than an atom, and mahato mahīyāṁsam, greater than the greatest. As far as we can conceive, the space which contains the universe is the greatest, but Kṛṣṇa has shown millions of universes in His mouth. The greatness of God cannot be comprehended by the living entities, who are part and parcel of God. As living entities, we are very minute, infinitesimal, and God is infinite. Indeed, the magnitude of the individual spirit soul is so microscopic that it cannot be seen. One cannot even imagine it with his material senses. Therefore it is said that the spirit soul is smaller than an atom (aṇor aṇīyāṁsam).
Since the living entities and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, are both spirit, they are qualitatively one. Quantitatively, however, the Lord is great and the living entities are small. This fact can be accepted immediately on the basis of Vedic information. In Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated, yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya jīvanti loma-vila-jā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ: many millions of universes come out of God's body when He exhales, and they again disappear when He inhales. Simply by His breathing, millions of universes are created and dissolved. If this is the case, then how can the living entities claim proprietorship over anything? One's position is safe only in so far as he does not falsely declare himself to be God or proprietor. It has become fashionable to claim to be God, and fools accept such claims, but from the Vedic literatures we understand that God is not so cheap.
As long as we are not making puffed up egocentered claims, we are already liberated. There is no need to actually seek liberation. But as long as one thinks, "I am this body," he is not liberated. Liberation means knowing perfectly well that one's self is separate from the body. Therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī said, prāyaścittaṁ vimarśanam: "Develop your knowledge; that will give you relief." Our knowledge is perfect when we come to know that we are very small particles of spiritual sparks, and that God, the supreme, the greatest spiritual identity, supplies all our necessities (eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān). By knowing ourselves as minute particles, part and parcel of God, we can understand that our duty is to serve God. God is the center of all creation, of the whole universal body; He is the enjoyer, and we are His servitors. As this conception becomes clear, we become liberated.
Liberation entails freedom from all false conceptions. It is not that upon liberation one acquires ten hands. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam liberation is defined as muktir hitvānyathā-rūpam. Mukti means "to give up," and ānyathā-rūpam denotes a false conception of life. This is to say that when one is situated in his original constitutional position, having given up all false notions, he is liberated. It is also said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that by the acquisition of knowledge, one becomes liberated immediately. That knowledge can be very easily acquired, for it is simple: God is great, and I am very small; He is the supreme proprietor supplying all necessities, and I am His servant. Who can challenge this? It is a fact. We are simply under the false impression that we are this or that, and this leads us to the ultimate false impression that we are God. Yet we do not consider what manner of God we are. A small bodily disorder will send us to the physician. One who claims to be the supreme, therefore, should be understood to have fallen to the last snare of māyā. One who is thus fallen cannot even be liberated, for he is bound by false impressions.
Only when one has attained proper knowledge can he actually be liberated. The stage of liberation is also called the brahma-bhūtaḥ stage. One who has attained this stage is characterized by Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā in this way:
- brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
- na śocati na kāṅkṣati
- samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
"One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments, or desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. And in that state he achieves pure devotional service unto Me." (BG 18.54)
The joy which follows realization arises from understanding, "I was illusioned by false notions for so long. What a fool I was! I was thinking that I was God, but now I can understand that I am God's eternal servant." Upon gaining such realization, one attains liberation and becomes prasannātmā, or jolly, for this is the constitutional position of the living entity.
There is no lamentation when one is in pure consciousness, for he knows that he is a small part, a spiritual spark protected by the Supreme Lord. Where then is there scope for lamentation? A small child feels free as long as he knows that his father is there. He thinks, "My father is standing by me, so I am free. No one can harm me." Similarly, when one surrenders to Kṛṣṇa, he has complete faith that he is not in danger because Kṛṣṇa is protecting him. One who is thus surrendered to Kṛṣṇa is not subject to lamentation or desire, whereas one who is not God conscious simply hankers and laments. He hankers for that which he does not possess, and he laments for that which he did possess but has lost. A God conscious person is not subject to such misery. If something is lost, he knows that it is God's wish, and he thinks, "God desired this, so it is all right." He does not desire anything, for he knows that all his necessities are being provided by Kṛṣṇa, the supreme father.
As soon as one understands his relationship to God, he realizes universal brotherhood, for he understands that all men and animals - indeed, all life itself - are all parts of the supreme whole and are therefore all equal. Seeing this, one does not envy, exploit or trouble another living entity. Thus one who is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa automatically develops all good qualities, for he is in the proper consciousness. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahih. One who has developed Kṛṣṇa consciousness will manifest all the good qualities of the demigods. Indeed, it is stated, vāñcā-kalpa-tarubhyaś ca krpā-sindhubhya eva ca: A Vaisnava or devotee of Kṛṣṇa is an ocean of mercy to others. He gives the greatest gift to society, for society is in dire need of God consciousness. A Vaiṣṇava bestows the priceless gift of the mahāmantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Simply by chanting this mantra, one can remain in a liberated state.
One should not think, however, that this state is simply a state of trance whereby one remains seated in lotus position in a corner for days on end. No, liberation means serving. One cannot simply say, "Now I have dedicated my life to Kṛṣṇa. Let me remain seated in samādhi." The standard of surrender must be maintained by niṣevayā, serving. As one serves the Supreme Lord, the Lord reveals Himself within the heart. The program of devotional service to the Lord is executed from morning to night. Indeed, Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā that one must engage in devotional service to Him twenty-four hours a day. It is not that we should meditate for fifteen minutes and then engage in all kinds of nonsense. The more we serve, the more dedicated to Kṛṣṇa we become; therefore a person should utilize whatever talents he has for Kṛṣṇa. There are nine processes of devotional service - hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping the Deity in the temple, praying, carrying out orders, serving the Lord as friend, and sacrificing everything for Him - and one should always keep engaged in at least one of these nine processes. One who is always engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service never becomes disgusted (bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam). Service must be rendered with love, but in the beginning this may be difficult, and so one may become disgusted. As one makes progress in Kṛṣṇa's service, however, he will find it pleasing. This is indicated by Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā:
- yat tad agre viṣam iva
- pariṇāme 'mṛtopamam
- tat sukhaṁ sāttvikaṁ proktam
"That which in the beginning may be just like poison, but at the end is like nectar, and which awakens one to self-realization, is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness." (BG 18.37)
Once one has attained the spiritual platform, it is material service that actually becomes disgusting. For example, if one chants Hare Kṛṣṇa throughout his life, he will not grow tired of the names, but if one chants a material name over and over, he will soon become disgusted. The more one chants the names of Kṛṣṇa, the more he becomes attached. Thus service by śravaṇam and kīrtanam, hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa, is the beginning. The next process is smaraṇam - always remembering Kṛṣṇa. When one is perfect in chanting and hearing, he will always remember Kṛṣṇa. In this third stage, he becomes the greatest yogī.
Nor is progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness ever lost. In the material world, if one begins to construct a factory but does not complete it, the factory is useless for all intents and purposes. If the construction is stopped and the building half finished, whatever money is invested is lost. This is not the case with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for even if one does not come to the perfectional point, whatever work he does is his permanent asset, and he can begin from that point in his next life. Kṛṣṇa also confirms in Bhagavad-gītā that one who begins Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot lose anything:
- nehābhikrama-nāśo 'sti
- pratyavāyo na vidyate
- sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
- trāyate mahato bhayāt
"In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear." (BG 2.40)
In the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, when Arjuna asks about the fate of the unsuccessful yogī, Śrī Kṛṣṇa replies:
- pārtha naiveha nāmutra
- vināśas tasya vidyate
- na hi kalyāṇa-kṛt kaścid
- durgatiṁ tāta gacchati
"Son of Pṛthā, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil." (BG 6.40)
The Lord then indicates that the unsuccessful yogī takes up his practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the next life, beginning from the point where he left off. In other words, if one has finished fifty percent of the process in one life, in the next life he begins at fifty-one percent. Whatever material assets we accumulate in our life, however, are all annihilated at death, for we cannot take material opulence with us.
However, one should not think that he will do well to wait for the next life to attain Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We should try to fulfill the mission of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this life. Kṛṣṇa promises us that one who becomes His devotee will come to Him without fail:
- man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
- mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
- mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
- pratijāne priyo 'si me
"Always think of Me. Become My devotee. Worship Me, and offer your homage unto Me. The result is that you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this, because you are My very dear friend." (BG 18.65)
When we think of coming to Kṛṣṇa, we should not think that we will be standing before a void or an impersonal bright light. Kṛṣṇa, God, is a person, just as we are persons. Materially we can understand that our father is a person, and that his father is also a person, and that his father's father is a person and so on back to the supreme father, who must also be a person. This is not very difficult to understand, and it is noteworthy that God is called the supreme father not only in the Vedas but in the Bible, Koran, and other scriptures. The Vedānta-sūtra also confirms that the Absolute Truth is the original father from whom everything has taken birth or emanated. This is also confirmed in the Vedas:
- nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām
- eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān
"The Lord is the supreme eternal amongst all eternals and the supreme living entity amongst all living entities. He is maintaining all others." The desires and life symptoms displayed by all living entities are simply reflections of the desires and life symptoms of the supreme father. In other words, our desires are born because He has desires. Because we are part and parcel of God, we have all the instincts of God in minute quantity. The sex play and sex life which we see in the material world is but the perverted reflection of the love that is found in the spiritual world. This world is material because God is forgotten here, but once He is remembered the world immediately becomes spiritual. In other words, the spiritual world is that place where Kṛṣṇa is not forgotten. That is also the definition of the spiritual world given by Vedic literatures. We must therefore plan our lives in such a way that it will not be possible for us to forget Kṛṣṇa for a moment. In this way, by engaging in the service of Kṛṣṇa, we will therefore always live in Vaikuṇṭha or Vṛndāvana, the abode of Kṛṣṇa.
At present, due to our polluted consciousness, we are turning the world into a materialistic and hellish place, and because we are ignorant of our constitutional position, we have created innumerable problems, just as in dreams we create so many problems. But in actuality there are no problems. I may dream that I am in a great storm, or that I am being pursued, or that someone is taking my money, or that I am being devoured by a tiger, but actually these are all creations of my mind. Asaṅgo hy ayaṁ puruṣa iti śruteḥ. The Vedas say that the puruṣa (the ātmā or the soul) has no connection with all its dreamlike material activities. Therefore we must engage in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness process to awaken from this dreaming condition.
Above all the fruitive laborers, speculators, and mystic yogīs are the bhaktas, or devotees of Kṛṣṇa. A bhakta can be perfectly peaceful, whereas the others cannot because everyone but the bhakta, one who has pure love, has desire. A śuddha-bhakta is desireless because he is simply happy serving Kṛṣṇa. He does not know or even care whether Kṛṣṇa is God or not; he just wants to love Kṛṣṇa. Nor is he concerned with the fact that Kṛṣṇa is omnipotent or that He is all-pervasive. In Vṛndāvana, the cowherd boys and the gopīs did not know whether Kṛṣṇa was God or not, but they simply loved Him. Although they were not Vedāntists, yogīs or karmīs, they were happy because they were simple village girls and boys who wanted to see Kṛṣṇa. This is a very highly elevated position called sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam, or the stage of purity in which one is liberated from all material designations.
Although the yogīs and jñānīs are trying to understand God, they are not aware of their illusory condition. Māyā-sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍān: They are fools because they are working hard for illusory happiness. There is no question of peace for them. The jñānīs or speculators, wanting to get relief from the hard work of this material world, reject this material world (brahma satyaṁ jagan-mithyā). Their position is a little higher than that of the karmīs because the karmīs have taken this material world as everything. They say, "Here we shall be happy," and their dharma, or religion, consists of trying to make a peaceful atmosphere within this material world. The fools do not know that this has been tried for millions of years but has never happened and never will happen. How can peace in the material world be possible when Kṛṣṇa, the creator Himself, says that this place is meant for trouble and miseries?
- ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ
- punar āvartino 'rjuna
- mām upetya tu kaunteya
- punar janma na vidyate
"From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place." (BG 8.16)
Duhkhālayam aśāśvatam: not only is this world full of suffering, but it is also temporary. One cannot simply agree to go ahead suffering the three-fold miseries and stay here. Even that will not be allowed. In this world, he will not only be punished while staying here, but he will also be kicked out at the end. One may accumulate a large bank balance or an expensive home, a wife, children, and so many amenities, and he may think, "I am living very peacefully," but at any day he may be told, "Please get out."
"Why?" he will ask. "It is my house, and it is paid for. I have money and a job and responsibilities. Why should I get out?"
"Just get out. Don't talk. Get out."
On that day a man sees God. "Oh, I did not believe in God," he may think. "But now here is God finishing off everything." Thus it is said that the demoniac recognize Kṛṣṇa as death, for it is at that time that He takes everything away from them.
Why do we want to see God as death? When the demon Hiraṇyakaśipu saw Kṛṣṇa, he saw Him as death personified, but the devotee, Prahlāda, saw Him in His personal form as his beloved Lord. Those who challenge God will see Him in His ghastly aspect, but those who are devoted to Him will see Him in His personal form. In any case, everyone will ultimately see God.
A person who is honest can always see Kṛṣṇa everywhere. Kṛṣṇa says, "Try to understand Me. Try to see Me everywhere." By way of facilitating this method, the Lord says, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya: "I am the taste of water." When we are thirsty and need a glass of water, we can drink it and feel happy, understanding that the power of water to quench our thirst is Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, as soon as there is sunrise or moonshine, we can see Kṛṣṇa, for He says, prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ: "I am the sun and moon." At a further stage we can see Kṛṣṇa as the life force within everything, as He indicates in Bhagavad-gītā:
- puṇyo gandhaḥ pṛthivyāṁ ca
- tejaś cāsmi vibhāvasau
- jīvanaṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
- tapaś cāsmi tapasviṣu
"I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the light in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics." (BG 7.9)
Once we understand that all things are dependent upon Kṛṣṇa for their existence, there is no possibility of His ever becoming lost to us. In Bhagavad-gītā the Lord indicates that all things abide in Him in both their beginning and in their end and also in the interim state:
- etad-yonīni bhūtāni
- sarvāṇīty upadhāraya
- ahaṁ kṛtsnasya jagataḥ
- prabhavaḥ pralayas tathā
- mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
- kiñcid asti dhanañjaya
- mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ
- sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva
"Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both its origin and dissolution. O conqueror of wealth (Arjuna), there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls on a thread." (7.6-7)
Kṛṣṇa is easily visible, but He is only visible to those who are devoted to Him. For those who are envious, foolish or unintelligent, He obscures Himself with His veil of māyā:
- nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya
- mūḍho 'yaṁ nābhijānāti
- loko mām ajam avyayam
"I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My eternal creative potency (māyā); thus the deluded world knows Me not, who am unborn and infallible." (BG 7.25)
This eternal creative potency, or yoga-māyā, which obscures Kṛṣṇa to the unintelligent, is dissolved by love. This is the verdict of Brahma-saṁhitā:
- santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
"One who has developed love for Kṛṣṇa can see Him within his heart twenty-four hours a day."
Those who thus see Kṛṣṇa are not anxious because they know where they are going at death. One who has taken the gift of Kṛṣṇa consciousness knows that he will not have to return to this material world to take another body but that he will go to Kṛṣṇa. It is not possible to go to Kṛṣṇa unless one attains a body like Kṛṣṇa's, a sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha body, a body full of eternity, knowledge and bliss. One cannot enter into fire and not perish unless he himself becomes fire, and similarly one cannot enter into the spiritual realm in a body that is not spiritual. In a spiritual body one can dance with Kṛṣṇa in the rāsa dance like the gopīs and the cowherd boys. This is not an ordinary dance, but the dance of eternity, in the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only those who have become purified in their love for Kṛṣṇa can participate in it. One therefore should not take this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness as something cheap, but as a matchless gift bestowed upon suffering humanity by the Lord Himself. Simply by engaging in this process, all the anxieties and fears of one's life, which in actuality revolve about the fear of death, are allayed.