Many people claim, "God is great," but this is a hackneyed phrase. One must know how He is great, and that can be known from authorized scripture. In the Bhagavad-gītā God describes Himself. He says, "My appearance of taking birth just like an ordinary human being is actually transcendental." God is so kind that He comes before us as an ordinary human being, but His body is not exactly like a human body. Those rascals who do not know about Him think that Kṛṣṇa is like one of us. That is also stated in Bhagavad-gītā (9.11):
- avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā
- mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
- paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
- mama bhūta-maheśvaram
"Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be." We have a chance to know about Kṛṣṇa provided we read the right literature under the right direction, and if we simply know what the nature of God is, then by understanding this one fact alone we become liberated. It is not possible in our human condition to understand the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead completely, but with the help of Bhagavad-gītā, the statements given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and of the spiritual master, we can know Him to the best of our capacity. If we can know Him in reality, then immediately after leaving this body we can enter into the kingdom of God. Kṛṣṇa says, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so 'rjuna: "After leaving this body, one who is in knowledge does not come again to this material world, for he enters into the spiritual world and comes to Me." (BG 4.9)
The purpose of our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to propagate this advanced scientific idea to people in general, and the process is very simple. Simply by chanting the holy names of God—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—one cleanses the dirt from his heart and gains understanding that he is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and that it is his duty to serve Him. This process is very pleasant: we chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, we dance rhythmically, and we eat nice prasāda. While enjoying this life, we are preparing to enter into the kingdom of God in our next life. This is not a fabrication—it is all factual. Although to a layman this appears to be a fabrication, Kṛṣṇa reveals Himself from within to one who is serious about God realization. Both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master help the sincere soul. The spiritual master is the external manifestation of God, who is situated in everyone's heart as Supersoul. For one who is very serious about understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Supersoul immediately renders assistance by directing him to a bona fide spiritual master. In this way the spiritual candidate is helped from within and without.
According to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the Supreme Truth is realized in three stages. First there is impersonal Brahman, or the impersonal Absolute; then the Paramātmā, or localized aspect of Brahman. The neutron of the atom may be taken as the representation of Paramātmā, who also enters into the atom. This is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā. But ultimately the Supreme Divine Being is realized as the supreme all-attractive person (Kṛṣṇa) with full and inconceivable potencies of opulence, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. These six potencies are fully exhibited by Śrī Rāma and Śrī Kṛṣṇa when They descend before human beings. Only a section of human beings—the unalloyed devotees—can recognize Kṛṣṇa on the authority of revealed scriptures, but others are bewildered by the influence of material energy. The Absolute Truth is therefore the Absolute Person who has no equal or competitor. The impersonal Brahman rays are the rays of His transcendental body, just as the sun's rays are emanations from the sun.
According to the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, the material energy is called avidyā, or nescience, and is exhibited in the fruitive activities of sense enjoyment. But although the living being has the tendency to be illusioned and trapped by the material energy for sense enjoyment, he belongs to the anti-material energy, or spiritual energy. In this sense the living being is the positive energy, whereas matter is the negative energy. Matter does not develop unless in contact with the superior spiritual, or anti-material, energy, which is directly part and parcel of the spiritual whole. The subject matter of this spiritual energy exhibited by living beings is undoubtedly very complicated for an ordinary man, who is therefore astounded by the subject. Sometimes he partially understands it through the imperfect senses, and sometimes he fails to know it altogether. It is best, therefore, to hear from the highest authority, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, or from His devotee who represents Him in the chain of disciplic succession.
This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for the purpose of understanding God. The spiritual master is the living representative of Kṛṣṇa who helps externally, and Kṛṣṇa as Supersoul helps internally. The living entity can take advantage of such guidance and make his life successful. We request that everyone read authoritative literature in order to understand this movement. We have published Bhagavad-gītā As It Is; Teachings of Lord Caitanya; Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; and The Nectar of Devotion. We are also publishing our magazine Back to Godhead every month in many languages. Our mission is to save human society from the pitfalls of incarnating again in the cycle of birth and death.