There are three different processes by which Kṛṣṇa can be understood: the empiric process of philosophical speculation, the process of meditation according to the mystic yoga system, and the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or devotional service. By the method of philosophical speculation, the impersonal Brahman feature of Kṛṣṇa is understood. By the process of meditation or mystic yoga, the feature of the Supersoul, the all-pervading expansion of Kṛṣṇa, is understood. And by devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the original Personality of Godhead is realized.
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 4 Lectures
- 5 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 6 Correspondence
SB Canto 1
It appears that the muni, in whose hermitage the King entered, was in yogic trance. The transcendental position is attained by three processes, namely the process of jñāna, or theoretical knowledge of transcendence, the process of yoga, or factual realization of trance by manipulation of the physiological and psychological functions of the body, and the most approved process of bhakti-yoga, or the engagement of senses in the devotional service of the Lord. In the Bhagavad-gītā also we have the information of the gradual development of perception from matter to a living entity. Our material mind and body develop from the living entity, the soul, and being influenced by the three qualities of matter, we forget our real identity. The jñāna process theoretically speculates about the reality of the soul. But bhakti-yoga factually engages the spirit soul in activities. The perception of matter is transcended to still subtler states of the senses. The senses are transcended to the subtler mind, and then to breathing activities and gradually to intelligence. Beyond the intelligence, the living soul is realized by the mechanical activities of the yoga system, or practice of meditation restraining the senses, regulating the breathing system and applying intelligence to rise to the transcendental position. This trance stops all material activities of the body. The King saw the muni in that position. He also saw the muni as follows.
SB Canto 3
Before the Almighty Lord, any powerful living being is just like a toy lion in the hands of a playing child. No one can excel God in any capacity, and therefore no one can be equal to or greater than Him, nor can anyone attain the stage of equality with God by any kind of endeavor. Jñāna, yoga and bhakti are three recognized processes of spiritual realization. The perfection of such processes can lead one to the desired goal of life in spiritual value, but that does not mean that one can attain a perfection equal to the Lord's by such endeavors. The Lord is the Lord at every stage. When He was playing just like a child on the lap of His mother Yaśodāmayī or just like a cowherd boy with His transcendental friends, He continued to remain God, without the slightest diminution of His six opulences. Thus He is always unrivaled.
Such persons are called trai-vargika because they are interested in the three elevating processes. They are averse to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can give relief to the conditioned soul. They are not interested in the Supreme Personality's pastimes, which are worth hearing because of His transcendental prowess.
According to Vedic thought, there are four elevating principles, namely religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation. Persons who are simply interested in material enjoyment make plans to execute prescribed duties. They are interested in the three elevating processes of religious rituals, economic elevation and sense enjoyment. By developing their economic condition, they can enjoy material life. Materialistic persons, therefore, are interested in those elevating processes, which are called trai-vargika. Trai means "three"; vargika means "elevating processes." Such materialistic persons are never attracted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Rather, they are antagonistic towards Him.
SB Canto 4
The Vaikuṇṭha airplane does not move by mechanical arrangement. There are three processes for moving in outer space. One of the processes is known to the modern scientist. It is called ka-pota-vāyu. Ka means "outer space," and pota means "ship." There is a second process also called kapota-vāyu. Kapota means "pigeon." One can train pigeons to carry one into outer space. The third process is very subtle. It is called ākāśa-patana. This ākāśa-patana system is also material. Just as the mind can fly anywhere one likes without mechanical arrangement, so the ākāśa-patana airplane can fly at the speed of mind. Beyond this ākāśa-patana system is the Vaikuṇṭha process, which is completely spiritual. The airplane sent by Lord Viṣṇu to carry Dhruva Mahārāja to Śiśumāra was a completely spiritual, transcendental airplane. Material scientists can neither see such vehicles nor imagine how they fly in the air.
SB Canto 7
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the creator of the material world. There are three processes in creation-namely creation, maintenance and finally annihilation. During the period of annihilation, at the end of each millennium, the Lord becomes angry, and the part of anger is played by Lord Śiva, who is therefore called Rudra. When the Lord appeared in great anger to kill Hiraṇyakaśipu, everyone was extremely afraid of the Lord's attitude, but Lord Śiva, knowing very well that the Lord's anger is also His līlā, was not afraid. Lord Śiva knew that he would have to play the part of anger for the Lord. Kāla means Lord Śiva (Bhairava), and kopa refers to the Lord's anger. These words, combined together as kopa-kāla, refer to the end of each millennium. Actually the Lord is always affectionate toward His devotees, even though He may appear very angry.
The invocation involves three processes: defining the objective, offering benedictions and offering obeisances.
“There are three kinds of spiritual processes for understanding the Absolute Truth—the processes of speculative knowledge, mystic yoga and bhakti-yoga. According to these three processes, the Absolute Truth is manifested as Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.
This is the result of sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83)—consequent association with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the Vaiṣṇava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees. By rendering a little service, even by eating prasādam, what to speak of chanting and dancing, everyone can be promoted to Vaikuṇṭhaloka. It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community become pure Vaiṣṇavas, so that by their mercy all the people of the world will be transferred to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, even without their knowledge. Everyone should be given a chance to take prasādam and thus be induced to chant the holy names Hare Kṛṣṇa and also dance in ecstasy. By these three processes, although performed without knowledge or education, even an animal went back to Godhead.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
There are three different kinds of transcendental processes mentioned in Vedic literature by which one can understand and achieve that supreme perfection of the Absolute Truth. They are called the process of knowledge, the process of mystic yoga, and the process of devotional service. The followers of these three processes realize the Absolute Truth in three different aspects. Those who follow the process of knowledge realize Him as impersonal Brahman; those who follow the process of yoga realize Him as the localized Supersoul; and those who follow the process of devotional service realize Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In other words, although the word Brahman indicates Kṛṣṇa and nothing else, still, according to the process that is followed, the Lord is realized in three different aspects.
Nectar of Devotion
Practically there are three processes for elevating one to the platform of spiritual consciousness. These processes are called karma, jñāna and bhakti. Ritualistic performances are in the field of karma. Speculative processes are in the field of jñāna. One who has taken to bhakti, the devotional service of the Lord, need have nothing to do with karma or jñāna. It has been already explained that pure devotional service is without any tinge of karma or jñāna. Bhakti should have no tinge of philosophical speculation or ritualistic performances.
There are three ways of dealing with such insults. If someone is heard blaspheming by words, one should be so expert that he can defeat the opposing party by argument. If he is unable to defeat the opposing party, then the next step is that he should not just stand there meekly, but should give up his life. The third process is followed if he is unable to execute the above-mentioned two processes, and this is that one must leave the place and go away. If a devotee does not follow any of the above-mentioned three processes, he falls down from his position of devotion.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Now, there are three processes of yoga: jñāna-yoga, and karma-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. Now, jñāna-yoga, take for example jñāna-yoga. Jñāna-yoga means to keep in touch with the Supreme by speculation of higher knowledge, that discriminating what is spirit and what is matter. So there are philosophers, they are discriminating that "This is matter..." Neti neti: "This is matter, and this is spirit." Now, that requires study, and that requires knowledge also. Now, suppose a man is neither educated, neither he has got sufficient knowledge, philosophical knowledge. Then what happens to him? He will not be able to perform yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi? No. He is also a bona fide person. He can also perform the work. Because he has no knowledge and because he is uneducated, that doesn't mean that he cannot do the..., or he cannot work from the spiritual platform. He can also do. That, how he can do, that is the technique.
But one who is transcendentally situated, either by the yogic process or by the process of empiric knowledge or by bhakti-yoga, either of these processes... There may be a little difference of the ultimate end, but all these three processes, they are meant for transcendental life. So any process, if you make it perfect, then really you get peace. Peace. The only difference is that this yogic process as described in the Bhagavad-gītā, it is not possible to be executed in this age. Therefore the next alternative is this hari-kīrtana, as Lord Caitanya recommends and devises. And you can practically see that kīrtana, this kīrtana, you can go on for hours together; you'll feel not tired. But if you are asked to sit down in the posture as recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā for executing yoga system, oh, hardly you can spare some minutes.
So those who are impersonalists, they prefer these three processes. And those who are personalists, they prefer directly to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. So they're all transcendentalists. They're on the line. But here in the Bhagavad-gītā, those who are directly worshiping the Supreme Lord, they have been described as mahātmā. And those who are worshiping in other processes, they have been described, anye. Anye means others. So they have not been given so much importance, although they have been accepted. They have been... Because they have come to the line. Because... Suppose you are accepting the universal form of God. That is a fact also. Because the universe, the manifestation of the universe, is also manifestation of the energy of God. And the energy of God and God is not different. So therefore one who takes the manifestation of the energy as God, he's not mistaken.
The Brahma-sūtra, or Vedānta-sūtra, is called nyāya-prasthāna. There are three different processes for understanding the Absolute Truth: nyāya-prasthāna, śruti-prasthāna, smṛti-prasthāna. Brahma-sūtra is nyāya-prasthāna. Nyāya-prasthāna means everything, all the sūtras and codes, are there with full reasoning. Hetumadbhir viniścita. And whatever Brahma-sūtra says, that is viniścita, means ascertained. There is no doubt. Just like Brahma-sūtra says, athāto brahma jijñāsā. Brahma-sūtra says, "Now it is the time for inquiring about the Absolute Truth."
So there are three kinds of processes to receive knowledge: pratyakṣa, aitihya and śabda. Pratyakṣa means by direct perception, experimental knowledge. And aitihya, or anumāna. Anumāna, hypothesis, "It may be like this," "Perhaps like this." Just like modern scientists say, "Perhaps it is like this." That is called anumāna, hypothesis. And another process is śabda-pramāṇa. Śruti-pramāṇa. Śabda means sound vibration, and śruti means aural reception. So out of three processes, the śabda-pramāṇa, or receiving vibration, sound vibration from authorities by aural reception, that is considered to be the perfect.
So Śukadeva Gosvāmī replied, "My dear king, the sinful activities must be atoned." There are three processes: karma, jñāna, bhakti. So yoga is within the jñāna. To improve our condition there are different processes. One is called karma. Just like generally people are trying to elevate his position, economic condition, working day and night very hard. Similarly, we can also work very hard for our future happiness. We can promote ourself in the heavenly planets and we can degrade ourself to the hellish planets also—both ways. Because as soon as we are engaged in karma, unknowingly or knowingly we commit some sinful activities. This is the position. Just like even if I do not like to kill any animal, still, while walking we are killing many animals, many ants on the street, unwillingly. So that is also taken into account. You cannot kill even an ant. So the karma, karma-kāṇḍa, is not very safe.
Śamena, controlling the senses, controlling the mind. Śamena damena ca, these two things required. We should not become the servant of the mind; we should become master of the mind. And tyāgena. Tyāgena. Therefore in the śāstra the process of charity is recommended. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is also recommended that yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-kriya na tyājyaṁ kāryam eva tat. Because I have renounced this world, it does not mean I shall give up the process of performing yajña, dāna, and tapasya. It is further stressed, yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-kriya pāvanāni manīṣiṇāḥ. Even if you think that you are very advanced, still, you should not give up these three processes, means performing yajña, giving in charity, and performing tapasya. "One must then control the mind and senses, give charity, be truthful, clean, and nonviolent, follow the regulative principle, and regularly chant the holy name of the Lord. Thus a sober and faithful person who knows the religious principle is temporarily purified of all sins performed with his body, words, and mind."
So Prahlāda Mahārāja said, tatra, uh, guru-śuśrūṣayā. So you have to begin your spiritual, your Kṛṣṇa consciousness by accepting a bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession. And your first business will be guru-śuśrūṣā. Ṣuśrūṣā means to please the Supreme, this is spiritual master, by service, sevayā. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). If you want to learn that transcendental science, then you have to adopt three processes in the beginning. You have to select one, a bona fide spiritual master. Then you have to surrender. The same surrender process. You have to select such a spiritual master that you can surrender there. If you think, "Oh, this, this swamijī or the spiritual master is less intelligent than me or less educated than me or less in so many ways," then you cannot select a spiritual master. You have to select another person where you will find that "Here is a mind, here is man where I can surrender. Yes, he is greater than me in so many respects. Therefore I can surrender." This is called praṇipāt. So selection of spiritual master means first of all you must agree that "Here is a personality where I can bow down my head, yes."
So by ascending process, we can never come to the real knowledge. That is not possible, because our senses are imperfect. How we can ascend? Just like people are trying to ascend to the higher planetary system, but the instrument, sputnik itself, is imperfect. How you can go there? You can go 25,000 miles, again come back. Punar mūṣiko bhava. So this is going on. Because we are imperfect in every respect, so therefore we have to receive knowledge from the perfect. That is the process, real process. If your knowledge... Just like Janārdana suggested three processes, one by applying our senses, another by accepting knowledge from others, and another, rejection. Two ways. Or skepticism, make void. So this is out of frustration. So make the mind void, no more thinking. And knowledge by imperfect senses, that will always remain imperfect. And knowledge from others, that is real goal. But provided you receive that knowledge from the perfect...
If we miss this opportunity, we do not know where we are going. The defect of the modern civilization is they don't care. Hedonism, Cārvāka's theory. There was, long, long before, there was an atheist philosopher. As there are many atheist philosophers nowadays, in former days also. He was known as Cārvāka Muni. According to his opinion, he says that don't care for next life. Don't care. Bhasmī-bhūtasya dehasya kuto punar āgamano bhavet. He says... Because according to Vedic system, the body is burned after death. As you bury underground... There are three processes everywhere. Somebody throws away for being eaten up by birds, or somebody puts within the ground, or somebody burns it. So Cārvāka Muni says that "After burning this body, who is coming and who is responsible? You see. You live merrily as far as possible. Ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet. If you have no money, then borrow or steal, but live very nicely for sense pleasure." That is Cārvāka Muni's theory, and mostly, at the present moment, that theory is being followed.
So you have to learn from guru by three processes. What is that? First process is you must surrender. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta (SB 11.3.21). Surrender. You have to find out such an exalted person where you can willingly surrender, "Yes." Therefore it is enjoined in the śāstras, before making a guru, try to study him, whether you can surrender there. Don't accept any guru all of a sudden as fanatic. No, don't do that. That is the injunction. And guru also must study the disciple who wants to become a disciple; must study him, whether he's fit for becoming a disciple. This is the way of making relationship between guru and disciple. Everything is there provided we take them seriously. Then we can train up how to become bona fide disciple, how to find out bona fide guru, how to establish our relationship with guru and act accordingly and make our life successful. Because guru's business is ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā. Guru's business is to enlighten the disciple, because he's in darkness.
The śāstra says, "No. You should hear about Viṣṇu only." That is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that "You hear about Viṣṇu, Kṛṣṇa, and not anybody else. There are so many politicians, big, big other materialistic person. We can hear about him. Just like people are reading the biography of big, big politicians and spoiling their time. We are not interested. We are not interested. We are interested only to hear about Viṣṇu. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We are inter... So many biographies are there. People are interested. But our literature... We have published so many, about fifty books—only on Kṛṣṇa. That's all, nothing else. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ. These three processes is going on. The publication means śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). Or smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam. They are of Viṣṇu. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Stick to this principle. Don't try to hear anything else.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Jayapatākā: So is it necessary to be fixed up to take sannyāsa, or one should take sannyāsa to become fixed up?
Prabhupāda: To become fixed, become sannyāsī, the other three processes are there, to become brahmacārī, to become gṛhastha, to become vānaprastha, stage by stage. But if one is able, he can take sannyāsa. The stages are there, but if one is very competent, he can be given sannyāsa. And that competency is also very simple. If you become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious, then you can immediately become competent. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26). As soon as you fully engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then immediately you become more than a sannyāsī.
"One who has got unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord and similar faith in his Spiritual Master to him only the imports of Vedic knowledge become revealed."
A Spiritual Master is always liberated. In any condition of His life He should not be mistaken as ordinary human being. This position of a Spiritual Master is achieved by three processes. One is called sadhana siddha. That means one who is liberated by executing the regulative principle of devotional service. Another is krpa siddha, one who is liberated by the mercy of Krsna or His devotee. And another is nitya siddha who is never forgetful of Krsna throughout his whole life. These are the three features of the perfection of life.