Cosmos-Consciousness

Types of liberation.

There are five kinds of liberation: 1) attaining the planet where the Lord resides, 2) associating with the Lord, 3) attaining a transcendental body like the Lord’s, 4) attaining opulence like the Lord, and 5) merging into the existence of the Lord. A devotee has no particular interest in any of these types of liberation. He is satisfied simply by being engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. A devotee is especially adverse to merging into the existence of the Lord and losing his individual identity. Indeed, a devotee considers oneness with the Lord to be hellish. He will, however, accept one of the four other kinds of liberation in consideration for being engaged in the service of the Lord. Out of the two possibilities of merging in transcendence – namely becoming one with the impersonal Brahman effulgence and becoming one with the Personality of Godhead – the latter is more abominable to the devotee. The devotee has no aspiration another than engaging in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. One who does not understand the transcendental nature of the body of Kṛṣṇa becomes Kṛṣṇa’s enemy and defies or fights with Him. The enemies eventually merge into the Lord’s Brahman effulgence. Such mukti or liberation into the Brahman effulgence is never desired by the Lord’s devotees.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 323

 

Radha Krishna

There is no happiness in the material world.

In the material world we are struggling for existence with the hope that someday in the future we will be happy. Yet we are bewildered. An animal in the desert sees a mirage, a shadow of water, and he runs after this shadow again and again. He runs further and further, and in this way, as he crosses the hot sands, he becomes more and more thirsty and he finally dies. Our struggle for existence is like this. We are thinking, “Let me go a little further. There will be water eventually. There will eventually be happiness.” Yet there is no water in the desert. Those who are unintelligent, who are like animals, seek happiness in the desert of the material world. This false attachment has to be given up by the process of bhakti-yoga. This must be taken up very seriously, not artificially. Kṛṣṇa in all seriousness wants to see whether one has finished all his material desires. When Kṛṣṇa sees this, He is very pleased. We are actually busy with dharma, artha, kama and moksa, but when we transcend these, bhakti begins.

If we study the history of the world, we see that it is simply a history of struggle. Mankind attempts to relieve its miserable condition, but it simply brings about another miserable condition. As we try to overcome one problem, another problem arises. Our determination to renounce our association with this material world is called mukti. Mukti means coming to the spiritual platform. Since we belong to the spiritual atmosphere, it is impossible for us to be happy in the material atmosphere. If a land animal is placed in water, he will simply struggle for existence, despite being an expert swimmer. We have come into this material world to gratify our senses, but our attempts will never be successful. If we actually want to attain a state beyond fear, we have to accept this bhakti-yoga process enunciated by Lord Kapiladeva.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2007 edition), “Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Son of Devahuti”, Page 251 & 252

advancement iandkrsna

People are not interested in spiritual life.

At the present moment in Kali-yuga, people are not well educated. They are simply engaged in earning money to fill the belly. Vedanta philosophy is not meant for an ordinary person, not even for an ordinary learned person. It requires great knowledge of Sanskrit and philosophy. Of course Caitanya Mahaprabhu, being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, knew all things, but at that moment He had assumed the role of an ordinary person in order to instruct an illiterate, ignorant society. In this age people are not even interested in reading Vedanta-sutra. People are so badly infected by the influence of maya that they do not even care to understand that there is life after death or that there are 8,400,000 life forms. Sometimes if people hear that by acting in such a way they will become a tree, a dog, a cat, an insect or even a human being, they say that they do not even care to know this. Sometimes they say, “Never mind if I become a dog. What’s wrong with that? I will simply forget everything.” Many university students in the Western countries speak this way. They have become so ignorant that they are described as manda. Previously, in India, the brahmanas were interested in understanding Brahman. Athato brahma-jijnasa. However, at the present moment everyone is a sudra, and no one is interested in understanding Brahman. People are simply interested in getting more money and going to the cinemas.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2007 edition), “Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Son of Devahuti”, Page 173

spiritual life material

Why does Kṛṣṇa gives us permission to do something wrong?

“Kṛṣṇa is the witness within everyone’s heart, and He is seeing all of our activities. We cannot hide anything from Him, and we receive the results of our karma because the witness is Kṛṣṇa Himself within the heart. How, then, can we avoid Him? Without Kṛṣṇa’s permission, we cannot do anything. Why does Kṛṣṇa give us permission to do something wrong? He does so because we persist. Actually He does not tell us to do anything other than surrender unto Him. We want to do something, and Kṛṣṇa may sanction it, but we go ahead and do it at our own risk. Kṛṣṇa is not responsible. However, we should know that without the sanction of Kṛṣṇa, we cannot do anything. That is a fact. Actually we are constitutionally servants of Kṛṣṇa. Even though we may declare ourselves independent, we are not. Rather, we are servants falsely declaring that we are independent. Self-realization is to understand that we are dependent on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As Caitanya Mahaprahhu says:

ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram, patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankajasthita- dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya

“My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, son of Maharaja Nanda, I am Your eternal servant, but somehow or other I have fallen into this ocean of nescience. Please pick Me up from this ocean of death and place Me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.”(Siksastaka 5)

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2007 edition), “Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Son of Devahuti”, Page 69 & 70

brahmand

Material songs describe love between men and women.

Any song which describes the pastimes of Radha and Kṛṣṇa is the best song. In conditional life, the soul is captivated by sex. All fictions – dramas and novels – and material songs describe love between men and women. Since people are so attracted to this kind of literature, Kṛṣṇa appeared in this material world and displayed His transcendental loving affairs with the gopis. There is an immense literature dealing with the transactions between the gopis and Kṛṣṇa, and anyone who takes shelter of this literature or of the stories about Radha and Kṛṣṇa can enjoy actual happiness. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.36) it is said that the Lord displayed His pastimes in Vrndavana in order to reveal His actual life. Any intelligent person who tries to understand the pastimes of Radha and Kṛṣṇa is most fortunate. The songs that tell of those pastimes are the greatest songs in the world.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 382

Ture Devoutness

Everyone is blessed with hidden treasure.

“Concerning man’s search for the ultimate goal of life, Caitanya Mahaprabhu relates a story from the commentary of Madhva which occurs in the Fifth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam (Madhva-bhasya). Sarvajna to a poor man who came to him to have his future told. When Sarvajna saw the horoscope of the man, he was at once astonished that the man was so poor, and he said to him, “Why are you so unhappy? From your horoscope I can see that you have a hidden treasure left to you by your father. However, the horoscope indicates that your father could not disclose this to you because he died in a foreign place, but now you can search out this treasure and be happy”. This story is cited because the living entity is suffering due to his ignorance of the hidden treasure of his Supreme Father Kṛṣṇa. That treasure is Love of Godhead, and in every Vedic Scripture the conditioned soul is advised to find it. As is stated in the Bhagavad Gita, although the conditioned soul is the son of the wealthiest personality – the personality of Godhead – he does not realize it. Therefore Vedic literatures are given to him to help him search out his Father and his paternal property.

The astrologer Sarvajna further advised the poor man: “Don’t dig on the southern side of your house to find the hidden treasure, for if you do so you will be attacked by a poisonous wasp and will be baffled. The search should be conducted on the eastern side where there is actual light, which is called devotional service, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. On the southern side there are Vedic rituals, and on the western side there is mental speculation, and on the northern side there is meditational yoga”.

Sarvajna’s advice should be carefully noted by everyone. If one searches for the ultimate goal by the ritualistic process, he will be surely baffled. Such a process involves the performance of rituals under the guidance of a priest who takes money in exchange for service. A man may think he will be happy by performing such rituals, but actually if he does gain some result from them, it is only temporary. His material distresses will continue. Thus he will never become truly happy by following the ritualistic process. Instead, he will simply increase his material pangs more and more. The same may be said for digging on the on the northern side, or searching for the treasure by means of the meditational yoga process. By this process a person thinks of becoming one with the Supreme Lord, but this merging into the Supreme is like being swallowed by a large serpent. Sometimes a large serpent swallows a smaller one, and merging into the spiritual existence of the Supreme is analogous. While the small serpent is searching after perfection, he is swallowed. Obviously there is no solution here. On the western side there is also an impediment in the form of a Yaksa, an evil spirit who protects the treasure. The idea is that a hidden treasure can never be found by one who asks the favor of a Yaksa in order to attain it. The result is that one will simply be killed. This Yaksa is the speculative mind, and in this case the speculative process of self-realization, or the jnana process, is also suicidal.

The only possibility then is to search for the hidden treasure on the eastern side by the process of devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Indeed, that process of devotional service is the perpetual hidden treasure, and when one attains to it, he becomes perpetually rich. One who is poor in devotional service to Kṛṣṇa is always in need of material gain. Sometimes he suffers the bites of poisonous creatures, and sometimes he is baffled; sometimes he follows the philosophy of monism and thereby loses his identity, and sometimes he is swallowed by a large serpent. It is only by abandoning all this and becoming fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotional service to the Lord, that one can actually achieve the perfection of life.”

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 71

Radha and iandkrsna

Absoulte level is spiritual while material world is full of duality.

“This material world is the world of duality, and we cannot understand happiness without distress or distress without happiness. This is therefore called the relative world. For instance, there may be fireworks going on, and this may be happiness for someone but distress for us. Some people are thinking that these: fireworks are very enjoyable, and we are thinking that they are very inconvenient. That is the material world. On one side there is happiness, and on the other side there is distress. Both happiness and distress are actually illusions. In summer, water is happiness, but in winter it is distress. The water is the same, but at one time it brings happiness and at another time it brings distress. When a son is born, he brings happiness, but when he dies, he brings distress. In either case, the son is the same.

Spiritual happiness is above these Dualities. In the material world, one minus one equals zero, but in the spiritual world, one minus one equals one. That is called advaya-jnana. There is no duality in the spiritual world. One plus one equals one, and one minus one equals one. If we love Kṛṣṇa, that love will not be destroyed as love is in the material world. In the material world, a servant serves the master as long as the servant is pleased and as long as the master is pleased. The servant is pleased as long as the master pays, and the master is pleased as long as the servant renders good service. However, in the spiritual world, if the servant cannot serve under certain conditions, the master is still pleased. And if the master does not pay, the servant is also pleased. That is called oneness, absolute. A guru may have hundreds of disciples, hundreds of servants, but he doesn’t have to pay them. They are serving out of spiritual love, and the guru is teaching without receiving a salary. This is a spiritual relationship. There are no cheaters and cheated in such a relationship. Similarly, in the material world we experience that fighting is just the opposite of loving, but in God the fighting propensity and the loving propensity are one and the same. That is the meaning of “absolute”. We learn from the Vedic scriptures that when the so-called enemies of God are killed by God, they attain liberation.”

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 341 

Radha Krsna

“Kṛṣṇa consciouness” the real source of happiness.

“Srila Rupa Gosvami has analyzed the different sources of happiness. He has divided happiness into three categories, which are: 1) happiness derived from material enjoyment, 2) happiness derived by identifying oneself with the Supreme Brahman, and 3) happiness derived from Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

In the Tantra-sastra Lord Siva speaks to his wife, Sati, in this way: “My dear wife, a person who has surrendered himself at the lotus feet of Govinda and who has thus developed pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be very easily awarded all the perfections desired by the impersonalists; and beyond this, he can enjoy the happiness achieved by the pure devotees.”

Happiness derived from pure devotional service is the highest because it is eternal. But the happiness derived from material perfection or understanding oneself to be Brahman is inferior because it is temporary. There is no preventing one’s falling down from material happiness, and there is even every chance of falling down from the spiritual happiness derived out of identifying oneself with the impersonal Brahman.

It has been seen that great mayavadi (impersonalist) sannyasis – very highly educated and almost realized souls-may sometimes take to political activities or to social welfare activities. The reason is that they actually do not derive any ultimate transcendental happiness in the impersonal understanding and therefore must come down to the material platform and take to such mundane affairs. There are many instances, especially in India, where these mayavadi sannyasis descend to the material platform again. But a person who is fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness will never return to any sort of material platform. However alluring and attracting they may be, he always knows that no material welfare activities can be compared with the spiritual activity of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2011 edition), “The Nector of Devotion”, Page 10 & 11

Krishna

Why sense gratification is considered bad?

“People in this world want to satisfy their senses, they have become mad, and in this madness they’ll do anything and everything. For example, there have been many instances in material life where someone has become mad after something and has committed a criminal act such as murder. The person could not check himself. Similarly, we are accustomed to sense gratification. We are mad, and therefore our minds are fully absorbed in karma. This is very unfortunate because our body, although temporary, is the reservoir of all misfortunes and miseries; it is always giving us trouble. These matters are to be studied. We should not be mad. Human life is not meant for that. The defect of the present civilization is that people are mad after sense gratification. That is all. They do not know the real value of life, and therefore they are neglecting the most valuable form of life, this human form.”

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 161

Radhanath Swami Ji

Does Kṛṣṇa fulfills material desires of his devotees?

If one has material desires or motives within himself, and for fulfillment of such desires he engages himself in devotional service, the result will be that he will never get pure love of God. If one is thinking, “I am engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in Kṛṣṇa’s devotional service, because I want such and such an opulence,” that desire may be fulfilled, but he will never get such unalloyed love of Kṛṣṇa as the gopis had. If one has a motive, even though he discharges his devotional duty, he still will not be able to reach the stage of pure love of Godhead. In other words, if one has material desires, or even a desire for salvation, he cannot attain pure love of Godhead. Pure devotion is devoid of all desires-it is simply to render loving service for its own sake.

There is no ambition or motive in pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Every other transcendental function or mode of worship is backed by a motive: someone wants salvation, someone wants material prosperity, someone wants to go to a higher planet, and someone wants to go to Kṛṣṇaloka. These ambitions should not be there. A pure devotee has no such ambitions. A pure devotee does not even desire to go to the supreme abode of Kṛṣṇa. Of course, he goes, but he has no desire. He simply wants to engage himself fully in Kṛṣṇa’s service. The highest perfection of devotional service, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is exhibited when a devotee refuses to accept any benediction or profit from the Supreme Lord. Prahlada Maharaja was offered whatever he liked, he had only to ask for it, but he said, “My Lord, I am Your eternal servant. It is my duty to serve You, so how can I accept any benefit from it? Then I would not be Your servant; I would be a merchant.” He replied in that way, and that is the sign of a pure person.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura used to say that asking God for mukti or anything else other than bhakti is like going to a rich man and asking for ashes. There is another story, about an old woman who was carrying a bundle of dry wood through the forest. Somehow or other the bundle, which was very heavy, fell to the ground. The old woman became very disturbed, and thought, “Who will help put this bundle back on my head?” She then began to call on God, saying, “God help me.” Suddenly God appeared and said, “What do you want?” She said, “Please help me put this bundle back on my head.” So this is our foolishness. When God comes to give us some benediction, we simply ask Him to load us down again with all these material bundles. We ask Him for more material things, for a happy family, for a large amount of money, for a new car or whatever.

Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He fulfills all the desires of a devotee, even if he wants material benedictions. If at the bottom of the devotee’s heart there is some desire, He also fulfills that. He is so kind. But the sublime position of bhakti-yoga, or devotional service, is that a pure devotee refuses to accept the various kinds of liberation, even if offered by the Supreme Lord.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 340
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2007 edition), “Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Son of Devahuti”, Page 196