The higher stage of ecstasy can be characterized by the following thirteen transcendental activities: (1) dancing, (2) rolling on the floor, (3) singing, (4) clapping, (5) bristling of the hairs of the body, (6) thundering, (7) yawning, (8) breathing heavily, (9) forgetting social conventions, (10) salivating, (11) laughing, (12) aching, (13) coughing. All these symptoms are not awakened simultaneously; they act according to the exchange of transcendental relationships. Sometimes one symptom is prominent, and at another time another is prominent.
- 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 7 - 12
Satyam, truthfulness, means that facts should be presented as they are, for the benefit of others. Facts should not be misrepresented. According to social conventions, it is said that one can speak the truth only when it is palatable to others. But that is not truthfulness. The truth should be spoken in a straightforward way, so that others will understand actually what the facts are. If a man is a thief and if people are warned that he is a thief, that is truth. Although sometimes the truth is unpalatable, one should not refrain from speaking it. Truthfulness demands that the facts be presented as they are for the benefit of others. That is the definition of truth.
SB Canto 1
The Lord's devotees cannot live for a moment without meditating on the Lord, and what to speak of the queens, who were all goddesses of fortune incarnated as queens in the pastimes of the Lord at Dvārakā. They can never be separated from the Lord, either by presence or by trance. The gopīs at Vṛndāvana could not forget the Lord when the Lord was away in the forest cow herding. When the Lord boy Kṛṣṇa was absent from the village, the gopīs at home used to worry about Him traversing the rough ground with His soft lotus feet. By thinking thus, they were sometimes overwhelmed in trance and mortified in the heart. Such is the condition of the pure associates of the Lord. They are always in trance, and so the queens also were in trance during the absence of the Lord. Presently, having seen the Lord from a distance, they at once gave up all their engagements, including the vows of women as described above. According to Śrī Viśvanātha Carkavartī Ṭhākura, there was a regular psychological reaction on the occasion. First of all, rising from their seats, although they wanted to see their husband, they were deterred because of feminine shyness. But due to strong ecstasy, they overcame that stage of weakness and became caught up with the idea of embracing the Lord, and this thought factually made them unconscious of their surrounding environment. This prime state of ecstasy annihilated all other formalities and social conventions, and thus they escaped all stumbling blocks on the path of meeting the Lord. And that is the perfect stage of meeting the Lord of the soul, Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
SB Canto 3
However, persons who have given up stereotyped worldly affairs and the beastly followers of these affairs, and who have taken shelter of the umbrella of Your lotus feet by drinking the intoxicating nectar of Your qualities and activities in discussions with one another, can be freed from the primary necessities of the material body.
After describing the necessity of married life, Kardama Muni asserts that marriage and other social affairs are stereotyped regulations for persons who are addicted to material sense enjoyment. The principles of animal life—eating, sleeping, mating and defending—are actually necessities of the body, but those who engage in transcendental Kṛṣṇa consciousness, giving up all the stereotyped activities of this material world, are freed from social conventions. Conditioned souls are under the spell of material energy, or eternal time—past, present and future—but as soon as one engages in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he transcends the limits of past and present and becomes situated in the eternal activities of the soul. One has to act in terms of the Vedic injunctions in order to enjoy material life, but those who have taken to the devotional service of the Lord are not afraid of the regulations of this material world. Such devotees do not care for the conventions of material activities; they boldly take to that shelter which is like an umbrella against the sun of repeated birth and death.
It is said that the father himself becomes the son in another form. The father and son are therefore considered to be nondifferent. A widow who has her son is actually not a widow, because she has the representative of her husband. Similarly, Devahūti is indirectly asking Kardama Muni to leave a representative so that in his absence she might be relieved of her anxieties by a suitable son. A householder is not expected to remain at home for all his days. After getting his sons and daughters married, a householder can retire from household life, leaving his wife in the charge of the grown-up sons. That is the social convention of the Vedic system.
One should not accept another's duty. If one is born in a particular society or community, he should perform the prescribed duties for that particular division. If, however, one is fortunate enough to transcend the designation of birth in a particular society or community by being elevated to the standard of spiritual identity, then his sva-dharma, or duty, is solely that of serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The actual duty of one who is advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to serve the Lord. As long as one remains in the bodily concept of life, he may act according to the duties of social convention, but if one is elevated to the spiritual platform, he must simply serve the Supreme Lord; that is the real execution of sva-dharma.
SB Canto 5
After accepting the feature of avadhūta, a great saintly person without material cares, Lord Ṛṣabhadeva passed through human society like a blind, deaf and dumb man, an idle stone, a ghost or a madman. Although people called Him such names, He remained silent and did not speak to anyone.
The word avadhūta refers to one who does not care for social conventions, particularly the varṇāśrama-dharma. However, such a person may be situated fully within himself and be satisfied with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, on whom he meditates. In other words, one who has surpassed the rules and regulations of varṇāśrama-dharma is called avadhūta. Such a person has already surpassed the clutches of māyā, and he lives completely separate and independent.
SB Canto 6
The fault of illicit connection with women is that it makes one lose all brahminical qualities. In India there is still a class of servants, called śūdras, whose maidservant wives are called śūdrāṇīs. Sometimes people who are very lusty establish relationships with such maidservants and sweeping women, since in the higher statuses of society they cannot indulge in the habit of woman hunting, which is strictly prohibited by social convention.
SB Canto 7
When a devotee becomes like a person haunted by a ghost, he laughs and very loudly chants about the qualities of the Lord. Sometimes he sits to perform meditation, and he offers respects to every living entity, considering him a devotee of the Lord. Constantly breathing very heavily, he becomes careless of social etiquette and loudly chants like a madman, "Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa! O my Lord, O master of the universe!"
When one chants the holy name of the Lord in ecstasy, not caring for outward social conventions, it is to be understood that he is ātma-mati. In other words, his consciousness is turned toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
During the time of Lord Caitanya, the influence of Śaṅkarācārya in society was very strong. People thought that one could accept sannyāsa only in the disciplic succession of Śaṅkarācārya. Lord Caitanya could have performed His missionary activities as a householder, but He found householder life an obstruction to His mission. Therefore He decided to accept the renounced order, sannyāsa. Since His acceptance of sannyāsa was also designed to attract public attention, Lord Caitanya, not wishing to disturb the social convention, took the renounced order of life from a sannyāsī in the disciplic succession of Śaṅkarācārya, although sannyāsa was also sanctioned in the Vaiṣṇava sampradāya.
Although Lord Baladeva appeared before the birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa and is therefore Kṛṣṇa's worshipable elder brother, He used to act as Kṛṣṇa's eternal servitor. In the spiritual sky all the Vaikuṇṭha planets are predominated by the quadruple expansions of Kṛṣṇa known as the catur-vyūha. They are direct expansions from Baladeva. It is the singularity of the Supreme Lord that everyone in the spiritual sky thinks himself a servitor of the Lord. According to social convention one may be superior to Kṛṣṇa, but factually everyone engages in His service. Therefore in the spiritual sky or the material sky, in all the different planets, no one is able to supersede Lord Kṛṣṇa or demand service from Him. On the contrary, everyone engages in the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa. As such, the more a person engages in the service of the Lord, the more he is important; and, conversely, the more one is bereft of the transcendental service of Kṛṣṇa, the more he invites the bad fortune of material contamination.
""O Lord Kṛṣṇa, You are just like an ocean. The river of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī has reached You from a long distance—leaving far behind the tree of Her husband, breaking through the bridge of social convention, and forcibly crossing the hills of elder relatives. Coming here because of fresh feelings of love for You, that river has now received Your shelter, but now You are trying to turn Her back by the waves of unfavorable words. How is it that You are spreading this attitude?""
Not only the yavanas and khasādayaḥ but even those born in still lower families can be purified (śudhyanti) by the grace of a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, for Kṛṣṇa empowers such devotees to perform this purification. Advaita Ācārya had confidence in the śāstric evidence and did not care about social customs. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, therefore, is a cultural movement that does not care about local social conventions. Following in the footsteps of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Advaita Ācārya, we can accept a devotee from any part of the world and recognize him as a brāhmaṇa as soon as he is qualified due to following the principles of Vaiṣṇava behavior.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
"When devotees discuss subjects dealing with the Supreme Lord, who can cleanse the heart of His devotee from all kinds of sinful reactions, they become overwhelmed with ecstasy and display different symptoms due to their devotional service." The Bhāgavatam further states: "Due to their spontaneous attachment for the Lord, when they chant His holy names they sometimes cry, sometimes laugh, dance, sing and so on, not caring for any social convention." (SB 11.2.40)
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
Kṛṣṇa indirectly answered the questions of the gopīs, even those questions which implied that Kṛṣṇa did not properly reciprocate their dealings. In answer, Kṛṣṇa said that He, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is self-satisfied. He does not require anyone's love, but at the same time He said that He is not ungrateful.
"My dear friends," Kṛṣṇa continued, “you might be aggrieved by My words and acts, but you must know that sometimes I do not reciprocate My devotees' dealings with Me. My devotees are very much attached to Me, but sometimes I do not reciprocate their feelings properly in order to increase their love for Me more and more. If I can very easily be approached by them, they might think, "Kṛṣṇa is so easily available." So sometimes I do not respond. If a person has no money but after some time accumulates some wealth and then loses it, he will think of the lost property twenty-four hours a day. Similarly, in order to increase the love of My devotees, sometimes I appear to be lost to them, and instead of forgetting Me, they feel their loving sentiments for Me increase. My dear friends, do not think for a moment that I have been dealing with you as I do with ordinary devotees. I know what you are. You have forsaken all kinds of social and religious obligations; you have given up all connection with your parents. Without caring for social convention and religious obligations, you have come to Me and loved Me, and I am so much obliged to you that I cannot treat you as ordinary devotees. Do not think that I was away from you. I was near to you. I was simply seeing how much you were anxious for Me in My absence. So please do not try to find fault with Me.
The brāhmaṇa knew Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and still he accepted the respectful service of the Lord on the grounds of Vedic social convention. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was playing just like a human being. Because He belonged to the kṣatriya division of the social system and was a young boy, it was His duty to show respect to such a brāhmaṇa.
Narada-bhakti-sutra (sutras 1 to 8 only)
"A person engaged in the devotional service of the Lord in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness automatically becomes carried away by ecstasy when he chants and hears the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. His heart becomes slackened while chanting the holy name, he becomes almost like a madman, and he does not care for any outward social conventions. Thus sometimes he laughs, sometimes he weeps, sometimes he cries out very loudly, sometimes he sings, and sometimes he dances and forgets himself." These are the signs of becoming intoxicated in devotional service. This stage, called the ātmārāma stage, is possible when the Lord bestows His mercy upon a devotee for his advanced devotional activity. It is the highest perfectional stage because one cannot reach it unless one has attained pure love of God.
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he was not a fool. He was a learned king. So all the great sages and saintly persons assembled there. He asked them, "My dear sirs, you are so kind that you have come here at the time of my death. So kindly let me know what is my duty at the present moment." So there were different kinds of authorities. Different kinds of authorities means some were in favor of fruitive activities, karma-kāṇḍa, pious activities; some were in favor of yoga principles; some were in favor of philosophical speculation; and some were in favor of devotional service of bhakti. So fortunately, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, a boy of sixteen years old, but he was highly elevated in spiritual knowledge, the son of Vyāsadeva, he was wandering all over the world, naked and without any care for his body or social convention. Of course, he did not come into the cities, but he heard that Parīkṣit Mahārāja was going to die. "He is in need of some spiritual instruction." So he also came there in that meeting.
We have got four businesses in this life, so long we have got this material body: āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca, eating, sleeping and sex and defense. These are primary business of the body. So why there are different types of eating, different types of sleeping? Why different types of mating, sex intercourse, and different types of defense? It is due to different qualities of the nature. A dog is happy sleeping on the street. A man does not want to sleep on the street. He wants to sleep in a nice apartment. Why this difference of...? According to guṇa. A dog enjoys sex life on the street without any shame, but a man has got some social convention. So he does not do so. But now they are coming, improving, that "There is no harm if there is sex on the street. Why we should have apartment?"
The mistake of modern civilization is that we are, I mean to say, bringing up spoiled children. So when they are grown up, if they become hippies or communists, it is not their fault. It is the fault of the guardians. It is the fault of the guardians. When the people become just something against the social convention, it is not the fault of the youngsters, but it is the fault of the education system, it is the fault of the parents, it is fault of the teachers. Because they are not teaching.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
So any way, some way or other, if one takes to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he becomes at once purified, at once. Never mind what he is. There may be classification in the social convention: he is big, he is small, he is brāhmaṇa, he is śūdra. Caitanya Mahāprabhu never says that "I am a brāhmaṇa," "I am a kṣatriya." Nāhaṁ vipra na ca nara-patiḥ: "I am neither a brāhmaṇa nor a kṣatriya nor a vaiśya and anything of this material designation." "Then what You are?" Gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ: (CC Madhya 13.80) "I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Kṛṣṇa." That is our transcendental... So as soon as we take to this, then everything is all right. But we have to take it very seriously.
It is social convention that if you want to speak truth, you speak truth very palatable, flattering. Don't speak unpalatable truth. But we are not meant for that purpose, social convention. We are preacher, we are servant of God. We must speak the real truth. You may like it or may not like it, that a godless civilization cannot be happy in any stage. That is a fact. Therefore we have started this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement to awaken this godless civilization, that you try to love God. This is the simple fact. You have got love within you. You want to love somebody. A young boy tries to love a young girl, young girl tries to love another young boy. This is natural, because the love is there. But we have created certain circumstances that love is being frustrated. Why? Everyone is frustrated. Husband, wife, boys, girls, man to man, states to states, everywhere, the love is not being utilized properly. Why? The missing point is that we have forgotten to love the Supreme Person. That is the disease.
Basic principle of material attraction is this sex life. This is general. Those who have organized the sex life in social convention in so many ways... The marriage is also another convention to give a very finishing nice touch than the animal. That's all. Just like sometimes it is said marriage is legalized prostitution. So for social convention the marriage is a license, but it is also based on the sex life. But for keep up social life, one has to accept some regulative principle. Therefore sex life like animals and sex life in marriage, there is difference. It is better. That is accepted in civilized world.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1972 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: We don't believe in so-called nonviolence, nonattachment, zero. No. We believe in everything, but if there is required violence, fight, "Yes, come on." Yes. Arjuna. No consideration, "The other side my grandfather, my father, or this or that. Kṛṣṇa wants this fight to kill them all." Gopīs, at dead of night they went to Kṛṣṇa: "Kṛṣṇa wants us. Oh, we don't care for all this social convention. Kick out. Let us go." Prahlāda Maharaja, Nṛsiṁhadeva killing his father, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is taking pleasure in killing my father. That is all right. (laughter) That I don't protest." He could have said, "My dear Lord, please do not kill my father." Immediately he would have been saved from that.
Prabhupāda: Bali Maharaja, he saw that his so-called Śukrācārya, caste Goswāmī, is checking him to offer anything to Vāmanadeva. "Oh, I don't like you. I reject you. I don't want a spiritual master like you, who is checking me for offering to Kṛṣṇa." This is a mahājana. Prahlāda Maharaja became mahājana. Gopīs became the topmost devotee. Why? For Kṛṣṇa. They neglected any social convention, this, that. "No. Kṛṣṇa must be satisfied." That is the most... That is Kṛṣṇa conscious.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Interviewer: What do the Vedic literatures say about adultery?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What about adultery, Prabhupāda? She wants to know what the Vedas say should be the... What is the reaction for adultery? How does one deal with an adulterer? If someone is an adulterer and he's caught, what should be the...
Prabhupāda: No, there is no such direct punishment, but it is prohibited. It is prohibited.
Rāmeśvara: There is no direct punishment, but it is prohibited. Part of education and social convention, it is prohibited. Not that the government allows propaganda to be made for illicit sex.
Prabhupāda: The other words, the woman who is chaste, she is very much glorified.
If you want you can cut your hairs, but there is no need of cutting. It would be nicer if you can put on sari, you can learn it from Jadurani. You must remain like a nice girl. The dress and appearance is social convention of the society.
There is a proverb in Sanskrit that you speak truth but don't speak unpalatable truth. When you speak the truth it must be very palatable. So this social convention is not applicable to a person who is preaching the Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is not dependent on material pleasure or unpleasure. I think Mahapurusa's personality did not impress upon him, but so far I know, his behavior could not be anything offensive. So forget the incident, but our mission is to preach Krishna Consciousness, and if possible, try to tackle this gentleman. Because he has got some inclination toward Krishna Consciousness, so let us try, to help him as far as possible. So continue correspondence with him, and let us see how we can deal with him later on.
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated October 11, 1968, and I am glad to note that you are arranging for my lectures in Los Angeles in several places, so the boys and girls in the Sankirtana party they are also going very soon to Los Angeles, perhaps by the end of this week, or in the middle of this week, so far I understand. And for myself, I shall go to Vancouver for a few days by the 24th of October, and from there I shall go to Los Angeles; that is the present program. And the future rests on Krishna. So far Mr. Fugate is concerned, I can understand that he is little proud of his becoming advanced in mystic understanding. But actually by his behavior, he does not appear that he is very much advanced in spiritual matters. Anyway, he is good friend and he might have been angry on plain speaking of Mahapurusa, because he has not learned any social convention, so his talks might have injured Mr. Fugate's sentiment. So you try to pacify him. In the meantime, I am enclosing one letter which he addressed to Rupanuga, and from this letter it appears that he is willing to help us, so don't reject him. Try to keep contact with him. And as he has got some inclination, for Krishna Consciousness, in future, he may come to the right understanding.
In the meantime, I may inform you that your newspaper cutting, "Non-Christian Unity Ruled Out," is not very surprising. Religious bigotry is one of the strong material symptoms, therefore, in the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said dharma projhita. This means that the idea of religiosity, economic development, sense-gratification, and endeavors for merging into the impersonal absolute are the different activities for the materialist person. Leaving aside the too grossly materialistic persons, who are without any moral principles or social conventions, if we take the right type of civilized man, then we find that he is engaged in some type of religious principle. It doesn't matter if he is Christian, Moslem or Jew, the symptom of a civilized man is that he must have the recognition of religious principles; that is required for civilized man. But generally men take to religious principles for economic development. Just like in the Christian religiosity the prayers for solving the economic problem or bread problem. Similarly, in the Vedic rituals also different methods of sacrifices are recommended for pleasing the demigods so that they will supply quantity of rain and there will be enough grain for eating. In this way, religious principles are generally practiced by men for some economic development.
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your two letters dated June 7, and June 16, 1969, and I have noted the contents. I have also received your presents, shoes and soap, and I thank you very much. I am also glad to learn that the anxiety of your parents is now removed. So go on with your prescribed duty of Krishna Consciousness and be happy. You are a very intelligent boy and faithful to your parents and to your duty. Certainly Krishna will be very much pleased upon you. The father and mother are also as good as the Spiritual Master, and we are indebted to father and mother in so many ways. So as they are dependent on your income, try to help them as far as possible, as well as spend something for Krishna also. Rupa Goswami spent 50% for Krishna, 25% for emergency, and 25% for relatives. You can also try to follow this principle as far as possible. Your main business is to keep in Krishna Consciousness, and if you keep that point in view, you can deal with others according to social conventions without being attached.