These sixteen names of the Lord are mentioned in many Purāṇas and Upaniṣads, and they are described as the Tāraka-brahma nāma of this age. It is recommended in the śāstras that offenseless chanting of these holy names of the Lord can deliver a fallen soul from material bondage. There are innumerable names of the Lord both in India and outside, and all of them are equally good because all of them indicate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But because these sixteen are especially recommended for this age, people should take advantage of them and follow the path of the great ācāryas who attained success by practicing the rules of the śāstras (revealed scriptures).
- 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 1 - 6
The renounced order of life can be accepted when one has been purified by the discharge of the prescribed form of duties which are laid down just to purify the hearts of materialistic men. Without purification, one cannot attain success by abruptly adopting the fourth order of life (sannyāsa). According to the empirical philosophers, simply by adopting sannyāsa, or retiring from fruitive activities, one at once becomes as good as Nārāyaṇa. But Lord Kṛṣṇa does not approve this principle. Without purification of heart, sannyāsa is simply a disturbance to the social order.
Out of all the above-mentioned persons, those who have no faith and are always doubtful make no progress at all. Men without faith in God and His revealed word find no good in this world, nor in the next. For them there is no happiness whatsoever. One should therefore follow the principles of revealed scriptures with faith and thereby be raised to the platform of knowledge. Only this knowledge will help one become promoted to the transcendental platform of spiritual understanding. In other words, doubtful persons have no status whatsoever in spiritual emancipation. One should therefore follow in the footsteps of great ācāryas who are in the disciplic succession and thereby attain success.
The yoga practitioner should be determined and should patiently prosecute the practice without deviation. One should be sure of success at the end and pursue this course with great perseverance, not becoming discouraged if there is any delay in the attainment of success. Success is sure for the rigid practitioner.
BG Chapters 7 - 12
The Gāyatrī mantra is mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Because the Gāyatrī mantra is especially meant for God realization, it represents the Supreme Lord. This mantra is meant for spiritually advanced people, and when one attains success in chanting it, he can enter into the transcendental position of the Lord. One must first acquire the qualities of the perfectly situated person, the qualities of goodness according to the laws of material nature, in order to chant the Gāyatrī mantra. The Gāyatrī mantra is very important in Vedic civilization and is considered to be the sound incarnation of Brahman. Brahmā is its initiator, and it is passed down from him in disciplic succession.
Anyone who wants to approach the supreme of all the Personalities of Godhead, on the Kṛṣṇaloka planet in the spiritual sky, and be intimately connected with the Supreme Personality, Kṛṣṇa, must take this formula, as stated by the Supreme Himself. Therefore, this verse is considered to be the essence of Bhagavad-gītā. The Bhagavad-gītā is a book directed to the conditioned souls, who are engaged in the material world with the purpose of lording it over nature and who do not know of the real, spiritual life. The Bhagavad-gītā is meant to show how one can understand his spiritual existence and his eternal relationship with the supreme spiritual personality and to teach one how to go back home, back to Godhead. Now here is the verse which clearly explains the process by which one can attain success in his spiritual activity: devotional service.
BG Chapters 13 - 18
Now, if one, with faith, follows some rules which are not mentioned in the scriptural injunctions, what is his position? This doubt of Arjuna's is to be cleared by Kṛṣṇa. Are those who create some sort of God by selecting a human being and placing their faith in him worshiping in goodness, passion or ignorance? Do such persons attain the perfectional stage of life? Is it possible for them to be situated in real knowledge and elevate themselves to the highest perfectional stage? Do those who do not follow the rules and regulations of the scriptures but who have faith in something and worship gods and demigods and men attain success in their effort? Arjuna is putting these questions to Kṛṣṇa.
SB Preface and Introduction
SB Canto 1
Out of many such manlike animals, there is actually a man who knows the responsibility of human life and thus tries to make life perfect by following the prescribed duties. And out of many thousands of such persons who have thus attained success in human life, one may know scientifically about the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In the same Bhagavad-gītā (18.55) it is also said that scientific knowledge of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is understood only by the process of devotional service (bhakti-yoga).
The very same thing is confirmed herein in the above words. No ordinary man, or even one who has attained success in human life, can know scientifically or perfectly the Personality of Godhead. Perfection of human life is attained when one can understand that he is not the product of matter but is in fact spirit. And as soon as one understands that he has nothing to do with matter, he at once ceases his material hankerings and becomes enlivened as a spiritual being. This attainment of success is possible when one is above the modes of passion and ignorance, or, in other words, when one is actually a brāhmaṇa by qualification.
Akrūra: The commander in chief of the Vṛṣṇi dynasty and a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Akrūra attained success in devotional service to the Lord by the one single process of offering prayers. He was the husband of Sūtanī, daughter of Ahūka. He supported Arjuna when Arjuna took Subhadrā forcibly away by the will of Kṛṣṇa. Both Kṛṣṇa and Akrūra went to see Arjuna after his successful kidnapping of Subhadrā. Both of them presented dowries to Arjuna after this incidence. Akrūra was present also when Abhimanyu, the son of Subhadrā, was married with Uttarā, mother of Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Ahūka, the father-in-law of Akrūra, was not on good terms with Akrūra. But both of them were devotees of the Lord.
The preliminary activities of the way of yoga are āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, etc. Mahārāja Dhṛtarāṣṭra was to attain success in those preliminary actions because he was seated in a sanctified place and was concentrating upon one objective, namely the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Hari). Thus all his senses were being engaged in the service of the Lord. This process directly helps the devotee to get freedom from the contaminations of the three material modes of nature. Even the highest mode, the material mode of goodness, is also a cause of material bondage, and what to speak of the other qualities, namely passion and ignorance.
The River Ganges is celebrated as the wife of the sea. The seat of kuśa straw is considered to be sanctified if the straw is taken out of the earth complete with root, and if the root is pointed toward the east it is considered to be auspicious. Facing the north is still more favorable for attaining spiritual success. Mahārāja Parīkṣit handed over the charge of administration to his son before leaving home. He was thus fully equipped for all favorable conditions.
SB Canto 2
In the previous verse, the great necessity for attaining attachment to Mukunda has been accredited. There are different types of persons who desire to attain success in different varieties of pursuits. Generally the persons are materialists who desire to enjoy the fullest extent of material gratification. Next to them are the transcendentalists, who have attained perfect knowledge about the nature of material enjoyment and thus are aloof from such an illusory way of life. More or less, they are satisfied in themselves by self-realization. Above them are the devotees of the Lord, who neither aspire to enjoy the material world nor desire to get out of it.
This means that hearing from the authorities is the first essential. Hearing of the holy name gradually promotes one to the stage of hearing about His form, about His attributes, His pastimes and so on, and thus the necessity of the chanting of His glories develops successively. This process is recommended not only for the successful execution of devotional service, but also even for those who are materially attached. According to Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī, this way of attaining success is an established fact, concluded not only by him, but also by all other previous ācāryas. Therefore, there is no need of further evidence. The process is recommended not only for the progressive students in different departments of ideological success, but also for those who are already successful in their achievement as fruitive workers, as philosophers or as devotees of the Lord.
A yogī can attain miraculous successes in material achievements, such as aṇimā and laghimā, by which one can become more minute than the minutest or lighter than the lightest, or in the ordinary sense, one may achieve material benedictions in the shape of wealth and women. But one is warned against such allurements because entanglement again in such illusory pleasure means degradation of the self and further imprisonment in the material world. By this warning, one should follow one's vigilant intelligence only.
Lord Brahmā said, "O my Lord Kṛṣṇa, a devotee who abandons the path of empiric philosophical speculation aimed at merging in the existence of the Supreme and engages himself in hearing Your glories and activities from a bona fide sādhu, or saint, and who lives an honest life in the occupational engagement of his social life, can conquer Your sympathy and mercy even though You are ajita, or unconquerable." (SB 10.14.3) That is the path of the paramahaṁsas, which was personally followed by Lord Brahmā and later recommended by him for attaining perfect success in life.
SB Canto 3
Here two points are very significant. The first is that Kardama Muni attained success by yoga practice in the beginning of Satya-yuga, when people used to live for one hundred thousand years. Kardama Muni attained success, and the Lord, being pleased with him, showed him His form, which is not imaginary. Sometimes the impersonalists recommend that one can arbitrarily concentrate one's mind on some form he imagines or which pleases him. But here it is very clearly said that the form which the Lord showed to Kardama Muni by His divine grace is described in the Vedic literature. Śābdaṁ brahma: the forms of the Lord are clearly indicated in the Vedic literature. Kardama Muni did not discover any imaginary form of God, as alleged by rascals; he actually saw the eternal, blissful and transcendental form of the Lord.
SB Canto 4
From the description in this verse, it appears that Mahārāja Pṛthu had no desire to promote himself to the higher planetary systems. He wanted to return home immediately, back to Godhead. Although Mahārāja Pṛthu stopped all practice of mystic yoga after realizing Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he took advantage of his previous practice and immediately placed himself on the brahma-bhūta platform in order to accelerate his return to Godhead. The aim of this particular system of āsana, known as the sitting posture for liberation, or muktāsana, is to attain success in kuṇḍalinī-cakra and gradually raise the life from the mūlādhāra-cakra to the svādhiṣṭhāna-cakra, then to the maṇipūra-cakra, the anāhata-cakra, the viśuddha-cakra, and finally to the ājñā-cakra.
"He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination." One who does not strictly follow the terms of the Vedic injunctions never attains success in life or happiness. And what to speak of going home, back to Godhead.
One śāstric injunction holds that a householder, a kṣatriya or an administrative head should not refuse to accept a woman if she voluntarily requests to become a wife. Since Kālakanyā, the daughter of Time, was deputed by Nārada Muni to offer herself to Yavana-rāja, the King of the Yavanas could not refuse her. All transactions must be performed in light of the śāstric injunctions. The śāstric injunctions are confirmed by great sages like Nārada Muni. As stated by Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura: sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya, cittete kariyā aikya. One should follow the principles of saintly persons, scriptures and the spiritual master. In this way one is sure to attain success in life.
Now their father's attachment for fruitive activities was disapproved by Nārada, who therefore kindly instructed Prācīnabarhi by telling him the allegorical story of Purañjana. Now Vidura again wanted to hear about Prācīnabarhi's sons, and he was especially inquisitive to know what they achieved by satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Here the words siddhim āpuḥ, or "achieved perfection," are very important. Lord Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (7.3), manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye: out of many, many millions of people, one may be interested in learning how to attain success in spiritual matters.
A pure devotee simply wants to engage in the service of the Lord without material desire, and if he wants this within the core of his heart, where the Lord is situated, and if he is without ulterior motive, why should the Lord not understand? If a sincere devotee renders service to the Lord or to the arcā-vigraha, the form of the Lord, all his activities prove successful because the Lord is present within his heart and understands his sincerity. Thus if a devotee, with all confidence, goes on discharging the prescribed duties of devotional service, he will ultimately attain success.
SB Canto 5
Mahārāja Nābhi, although still a king. retired from family life and went with his wife to a place called Badarikāśrama in the Himalayas, where the Deity Nara-Nārāyaṇa is worshiped. The words prasanna-nipuṇena tapasā indicate that the King accepted all kinds of austerity very expertly and jubilantly. He did not at all mind leaving his comfortable life at home, although he was the emperor. Despite undergoing severe austerities and penances, he felt very pleased at Badarikāśrama, and he did everything there expertly. In this way, being fully absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness (samādhi-yoga), always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva, Mahārāja Nābhi attained success at the end of his life and was promoted to the spiritual world, Vaikuṇṭhaloka.
Bharata Mahārāja was a great devotee, but he did not attain success in one life. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that a devotee who does not fulfill his devotional duties in one life is given the chance to be born in a fully qualified brāhmaṇa family or a rich kṣatriya or vaiśya family. Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe (BG 6.41). Bharata Mahārāja was the firstborn son of Mahārāja Ṛṣabha in a rich kṣatriya family, but due to his willful negligence of his spiritual duties and his excessive attachment to an insignificant deer, he was obliged to take birth as the son of a deer. However, due to his strong position as a devotee, he was gifted with the remembrance of his past life. Being repentant, he remained in a solitary forest and always thought of Kṛṣṇa. Then he was given the chance to take birth in a very good brāhmaṇa family.
SB Canto 7
(7) Dāsyam. There is the following statement in regard to assisting the Lord as a servant. After many, many thousands of births, when one comes to understand that he is an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, one can deliver others from this universe. If one simply continues to think that he is an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, even without performing any other process of devotional service, he can attain full success, for simply by this feeling one can perform all nine processes of devotional service.
All of these seasonal times are considered extremely auspicious for humanity. At such times, one should perform all auspicious activities, for by such activities a human being attains success in his short duration of life.
When one comes to the human form of life through natural evolution, one must then take the responsibility for further progress. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (9.25), yānti deva-vratā devān: one who worships the demigods can be promoted to their planets. Yānti mad-yājino 'pi mām: and if one practices devotional service to the Lord, he goes back home, back to Godhead. In the human form of life, therefore, one is meant to act auspiciously in order to return home, back to Godhead.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
The inhabitants of Vraja cut the gigantic body of Pūtanā into pieces, but because Kṛṣṇa had sucked her breast, she had been freed from all sins, and therefore when the cowherd men burned the pieces of her body in a fire, the smoke filled the air with a very pleasing fragrance. Ultimately, although Pūtanā had desired to kill Kṛṣṇa, she attained the Lord's abode. From this incident we gain the instruction that if one is attached to Kṛṣṇa somehow or other, even as an enemy, one ultimately attains success. What then is to be said of devotees who are naturally attached to Kṛṣṇa in love? When the inhabitants of Vraja heard about the killing of Pūtanā and the welfare of the child, they were very much satisfied. Nanda Mahārāja took the baby Kṛṣṇa on his lap and was filled with satisfaction.
For the perfect yogī who has attained success in the method of leaving his body in perfect consciousness, transferring from one planet to another is as easy as an ordinary man's walking to the grocery store. As already discussed, the material body is just a covering of the spiritual soul. Mind and intelligence are the undercoverings, and the gross body of earth, water, air and so on is the overcoating of the soul. As such, any advanced soul who has realized himself by the yogic process, who knows the relationship between matter and spirit, can leave the gross dress of the soul in perfect order and as he desires. By the grace of God, we have complete freedom. Because the Lord is kind to us, we can live anywhere—either in the spiritual sky or in the material sky, upon whichever planet we desire.
To come to the stage of manipulating finer elements like mind, intelligence and spirit, one needs appropriate training, an appropriate mode of life and appropriate association. Such training depends upon sincere prayers, devotional service, achievement of success in mystic perfection, and the successful merging of oneself in the activities of the soul and Supersoul. A gross materialist, whether he be an empiric philosopher, a scientist, a psychologist or whatever, cannot attain such success through blunt efforts and word jugglery.
Worship of the demigods is discouraged, and worship of a Vaiṣṇava is considered exalted. No respect is given to the nondevotees. There are discussions of how one can be liberated even in this life (jīvan-mukta), Lord Śiva as a devotee, and how a bhakta and his devotional service are eternally existing. It is stated that through bhakti one can attain all success because bhakti is transcendental to the material qualities. There is a discussion of how the self is manifest through bhakti. There is also a discussion of the self's bliss, as well as how bhakti, even imperfectly executed, enables one to attain the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unmotivated devotional service is highly praised, and an explanation is given of how each devotee can achieve the platform of unmotivated service by association with other devotees.
""In the morning, afternoon and evening one should worship the Deity, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, offer oblations, perform a fire sacrifice and feed the brāhmaṇas. These five activities constitute puraścaryā. To attain full success when taking initiation from the spiritual master, one should first perform these puraścaryā processes.""
The word puraḥ means "before," and caryā means "activities." Due to the necessity of these activities, we do not immediately initiate disciples in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. For six months, a candidate for initiation must first attend ārati and classes in the śāstras, practice the regulative principles and associate with other devotees.
"Without performing the puraścaryā activities, one cannot become perfect even by chanting this mantra for hundreds of years. But one who has undergone the puraścaryā-vidhi process can attain success very easily. If one wishes to perfect his initiation, he must first undergo the puraścaryā activities. The puraścaryā process is the life force by which one is successful in chanting the mantra. Without the life force, one cannot do anything; similarly, without the life force of puraścaryā-vidhi, no mantra can be perfected."
The offenseless chanting of the holy name does not depend on the initiation process. Although initiation may depend on puraścaryā or puraścaraṇa, the actual chanting of the holy name does not depend on puraścaryā-vidhi, or the regulative principles. If one chants the holy name even once without committing an offense, he attains all success. During the chanting of the holy name, the tongue must work. Simply by chanting the holy name, one is immediately delivered. The tongue is sevonmukha-jihvā—it is controlled by service. One whose tongue is engaged in tasting material things and also talking about them cannot use the tongue for absolute realization.
This material world is just like a big ocean. It begins with Brahmaloka and extends to Pātālaloka, and there are many planets, or islands, in this ocean. Not knowing about devotional service, the living entity wanders about this ocean, just as a man tries to swim to reach the shore. Our struggle for existence is similar to this. Everyone is trying to get out of the ocean of material existence. One cannot immediately reach the coast, but if one endeavors, he can cross the ocean by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mercy. One may be very eager to cross this ocean, but he cannot attain success by acting like a madman. He must swim over the ocean very patiently and intelligently under the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu or His representative. Then, one day, he will reach the shore and return home, back to Godhead.
The first business of a pure devotee is to satisfy his spiritual master, whose only business is to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And if one can satisfy the spiritual master, Kṛṣṇa is automatically satisfied—yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. This is the success of devotional service. This is the meaning of the word ānukūlyena—that is, favorable devotional service to the Lord. A pure devotee has no plans other than those for the Lord's service. He is not interested in attaining success in mundane activities. He simply wants success in the progress of devotional service. For a devotee, there cannot be worship of others or demigod worship. A pure devotee does not engage himself in such pseudo devotional service. He is interested only in satisfying Kṛṣṇa.
“The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment's association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.
According to astronomical calculations, a lava is one eleventh of a second.
A spiritual master should not be very anxious to accept a disciple because of his material opulences. Sometimes a big businessman or landlord may approach a spiritual master for initiation. Those who are materially interested are called viṣayīs (karmīs), which indicates that they are very fond of sense gratification. Such viṣayīs sometimes approach a famous guru and ask to become a disciple just as a matter of fashion. Sometimes viṣayīs pose as disciples of a reputed spiritual master just to cover their activities and advertise themselves as advanced in spiritual knowledge. In other words, they want to attain material success. A spiritual master must be very careful in this regard. Such business is going on all over the world. The spiritual master does not accept a materially opulent disciple just to advertise the fact that he has such a big disciple.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
There are certainly many Vedic injunctions, ritualistic and sacrificial performances, regulative duties, meditative techniques and speculative processes to attain knowledge, but Kṛṣṇa's direct order—"Always think of Me and become My devotee"—should be taken as the final order of the Lord and should be followed. If one is simply convinced of this order and comes to His devotional service, giving up all other engagements, one will undoubtedly attain success. To confirm this statement, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.20.9) says that one should follow other paths to self-realization only as long as one is not convinced of the direct order of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. It is the conclusion of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā that the direct order of the Lord is to give up everything and engage in devotional service.
Therefore Śrīla Vyāsadeva gives the reader a chance to gradually develop in spiritual realization before actually relishing the essence of the pastimes of the Lord. Thus Vyāsadeva purposefully invokes the gāyatrī mantra: dhīmahi. This gāyatrī mantra is especially meant for spiritually advanced people. When one attains success in chanting gāyatrī mantra, he can enter into the transcendental position of the Lord. First, however, one must acquire the brahminical qualities and become perfectly situated in the mode of goodness in order to chant the gāyatrī mantra successfully. From that point one can begin to transcendentally realize the Lord, His name, His fame, His qualities, etc.
Easy Journey to Other Planets
For the perfect yogī who has attained success in the method of leaving his body in perfect consciousness, transferring from one planet to another is as easy as an ordinary man's walking to the grocery store. As already discussed, the material body is just a covering of the spiritual soul. Mind and intelligence are the undercoverings, and the gross body of earth, water, air, etc., is the overcoating of the soul. As such, any advanced soul who has realized himself by the yogic process, who knows the relationship between matter and spirit, can leave the gross dress of the soul in perfect order and as he desires.
There are instances in history of great personalities, including sages and kings, who attained perfection by this process. Some of them attained success even by adhering to one single item of devotional service with faith and perseverance. Some of these personalities are listed below.
1. Emperor Parīkṣit attained the spiritual platform simply by hearing from such an authority as Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī.
2. Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī attained the same simply by recitation, verbatim, of the transcendental message which he received from his great father, Śrī Vyāsadeva.
3. Emperor Prahlāda attained spiritual success by remembering the Lord constantly, in pursuance of instructions given by Śrī Nārada Muni, the great saint and devotee.
4. Lakṣmījī, the goddess of fortune, attained success simply by sitting and serving the lotus feet of the Lord.
5. King Pṛthu attained success simply by worshiping the Lord.
6. Akrūra, the charioteer, attained success simply by chanting prayers for the Lord.
7. Hanumān (Mahāvīra), the famous nonhuman devotee of Lord Śrī Rāmacandra, attained success simply by carrying out the orders of the Lord.
8. Arjuna, the great warrior, attained the same perfection simply by making friends with the Lord, who delivered the message of Bhagavad-gītā to enlighten Arjuna and his followers.
9. Emperor Bali attained success by surrendering everything unto the Lord, including his personal body.
These are nine standard modes of devotional service to the Lord, and a candidate can choose to adopt any one, two, three, four or all, however he likes. All the services rendered to the Absolute are in themselves absolute, with none of the quantitative or qualitative differences found on the material platform. On the spiritual platform everything is identical with everything else, although there is transcendental variegatedness. Emperor Ambarīṣa adopted all the above nine items, and he attained perfect success.
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
To achieve Your favor, they give up everything—even the transcendental realization of Brahman. You are the supreme, ultimate goal of life. You are the reservoir of all interests of the living entities. Those who are actually well motivated desire only You, and for this reason they give up everything to attain success. They therefore deserve to associate with You. In the society of the servitors and served in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one is not subjected to the pains and pleasures of material society, which functions according to sex attraction. Therefore everyone, whether man or woman, should seek to be an associate in Your society of servitors and served.
Renunciation Through Wisdom
Faith inspires initial surrender, and later, by the powerful influence of saintly association, one's faith deepens and becomes steady. Once faith becomes steady, all mental agitations and doubts clear up due to constant worship of the Lord. One then practices bhajana (chanting meditation) of a very esoteric and elevated nature, and this leads one to the stage of love of Godhead. To attain this state, saintly association is imperative; there is no substitute. Therefore it is said:
- 'sādhu-saṅga', 'sādhu-saṅga'-sarva-śāstre kaya
- lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya
The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment's association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success. (CC Madhya 22.54)
Light of the Bhagavata
The merchants, preachers, kings, and students who were confined to home during the four months June, July, August, and September began to flow out and attain success in life, just as perfected souls attain the required body as soon as they leave the present one.
The people in general—especially the merchants, preachers, kings, and students—are advised not to leave home during the four months of the rainy season. These four months are known as Cāturmāsya, and for everyone there are specific rules for observing this period, partly for the sake of health and partly for spiritual realization.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Because spiritual life means tapasya. Formerly great, great saintly persons, they underwent very, very severe tapasya for thousands of years, hundreds of years. Then they attained success. In the Kali-yuga it is not possible to undergo such severe tapasya. There is concession. The concession is that you live a pure life and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This will make sufficient. A pure life: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling. This is pure life. These boys and girls who have joined this movement, they have given up. They are not dying. Nobody will die if he lives a pure life. Anyone will make progress. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa (SB 6.1.13). These are the injunction of the śāstra. If you want to be happy, this is the.... Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1).
Therefore this is the only way, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, to become perfect. Perfection means to attain spiritual life, eternity, blissful, and full of knowledge. That is waiting us. That is waiting us. Why should we refuse it? It is not a theory. Don't think that Bhagavad-gītā is something, imaginary thing. No. People have taken to it. They have practiced. They have attained success. It is coming on since a very, very long time. It was first advised to the sun-god. Then, after many, many millions of years, again, five thousand years before, it was advised to Arjuna. So it is coming down. It is accepted by all great ācāryas of India, and it is being followed, still being followed. So take it. Don't be destroyed. Take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and you will be saved. You will be saved from this destruction in the material...
Therefore śāstra gives us the instruction, kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum (SB 12.3.52). Kṛte mean in the Satya-yuga, when man used to live for one hundred thousands of years. Just like Valmiki Muni, he underwent meditation for sixty thousands of years, and he attained success. So it was possible, kṛte, in the Satya-yuga. Satya-yuga was the first, beginning of millennium. Satya-yuga exists for eighteen hundred thousand years, and then Treta-yuga, for twelve hundred thousand years, then Dvāpara-yuga, eight hundred thousands of years. Now it is Kali-yuga, it is four hundred thousands of years. And the duration of life in Satya-yuga was hundred thousands of years, and in the Treta-yuga it was one thousands of years. No? Ten thousands of years. And in the Dvāpara-yuga one thousand years.
So whatever we are acquiring here, that is not avyayam. Vyayam means expenditure, and a means "not," not expenditure. If you have got some money, if you spend, then it is vyayam, finished after some time. Avyayam means you spend as much, still not finished. That is avyayam. So devotional service of Kṛṣṇa is explained as susukhaṁ kartum avyayam. Whatever you do, if you have attained success ten percent, that ten percent your permanent. Therefore it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo sanjāyate (BG 6.41). Those who could not finish the bhakti-yoga in this life, they get another chance of human life. Not only human life, it is stated they go to the heavenly planet, they enjoy there, and then again come back in this planet.
So there are so many items to understand this vairāgya-vidyā or to practice. The first practice is brahmacarya, celibacy. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa (SB 6.1.13). So many items, but if one takes to vāsudeva bhakti... Vāsudeve bhagavati, kecit kevalayā bhaktyā (SB 6.1.15). Kevalayā means only by bhakti process one can attain all success, jñāna-vairāgya. So you are situated, you are at least being trained up in bhakti-yoga, and if you strictly follow, dṛḍha-vratāḥ... Dṛḍha-vratāḥ, that is the word, dṛḍha-vratāḥ, with firm determination, then in one life we can learn this vairāgya-vidyā nija-bhakti-yogam (CC Madhya 6.254) and go back to home, back to Godhead. That is possible. It is not impossible. But ordinarily it is very, very difficult. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja giving so many description, in detail, how we are becoming attached. But our real business is how to become detached.
Nectar of Devotion Lectures
His mission is, somehow or other, try to people..., try to engage people in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they may think of Kṛṣṇa, some way or other. Then regulate them, after that. Actually our, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, has attained little success on this principle. When we began this movement we never asked people that "You have to do this; you have to do that." No. "Please come and hear Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra." This was our policy. Never mind what you are. You may be Christian. You may be Jews. You may be Muhammadan or Hindu, Muslim. Whatever you may be, it doesn't matter. Please come and join with us, the Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting. Actually, that has become successful. In Tompkins Square, I was sitting underneath a tree and chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra alone.
Prabhupāda: Anxiety is there when I think that I am finite. Just like when I think that Mr. Bhatiwalla(?) is trying to get us out, then we are in anxiety. And if we know that there is no such thing, we can live here... So we want to live infinitely. When that is disturbed, there is anxiety. Therefore it appears that we are infinite. But we have been put into finite condition. That is the cause of anxiety. Now, therefore, the intelligent person should try to come to the platform of infiniteness. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa says that tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9). There are many others... There are many devotees, just to avoid this birth, death, old age, many have attained success. These things are stated in Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore the conclusion is it will become anxietyless to have infinite life. One must (indistinct) Kṛṣṇa conscious. This is the conclusion. And there is no question of avoiding. If you avoid, then you..., it must be remain entangled. It is a question of must.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Paramahaṁsa: What does it mean when they say that failure is the pillar of success?
Prabhupāda: Yes. For whom? Who is actually searching after success? Not for the fool. Anyone who is trying for attaining success, for him, failure is also success because he's making progress. Harer nāma harer nāma... (CC Adi 17.21). God says, "Many ways." That's all right. But why does He says that "If you want to know Me perfectly, and without any doubt, then this is the process, bhakti"? Other processes are there but by those processes you cannot understand. Just like practically, call anyone, so-called yogis, so-called jñānīs, they'll not understand Kṛṣṇa. They'll not understand Kṛṣṇa. So all other paths that are recommended, by those paths you cannot understand God perfectly and without any doubt.
1947 to 1965 Correspondence
As an Indian and a man of good sense with practical business-brain you should not at least indulge in such organization under the influence of unauthorized person. Instead of indulging in the organization of such unauthorized persons you may kindly learn the science from the authority and make your life enlightened and attain success of the boon of human form of life. The League of Devotees is an organized effort to render this service to the human society without any pretentious conventions. We are publishing one paper of the name Back to Godhead to educate people in the right direction and I am sending herewith one pamphlet in which the opinions of several respectable gentlemen are inserted as to how they are being appreciated.