Happiness Beyond the Senses

We can never be fully satisfied even with unrivaled material pleasures.

A lecture given in London on August 8, 1973

na hi prapasyami mamapanudyad
yac chokam ucchosanam indriyanam
avapya bhumav asapatnam rddham
rajyam suranam api cadhipatyam

"I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to dispel it if even if I win a prosperous, unrivaled kingdom on the earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven." Bhagavad-gita 2.8

THIS IS THE position of material existence. We are sometimes in difficulty. Not sometimes we are always in difficulty. But we say "sometimes" because we make some attempt to get over the difficulty and that is taken as happiness. Actually there is no happiness in material existence. But sometimes we hope, "By this attempt I shall become happy."

That is how the so-called scientists are dreaming: "In the future we shall have no death." So many of them are dreaming in that way. But sane persons say, "Trust no future, however pleasant." That is the actual position.

Therefore Arjuna has approached Krsna. Sisyas te 'ham: "Now I am Your sisya, Your disciple."

"Why you have come to Me?"

"Because I know that no one else can save me from this dangerous position."

This is real sense.

The Supreme Happiness

Yac chokam ucchosanam indriyanam. Ucchosanam means "dried up." When we are put into great difficulty, the situation dries up our senses. Then no sense enjoyment can make us happy.Ucchosanam indriyanam. Here in the material world, happiness means sense gratification. But actually that is not happiness. Real happiness is described in the Bhagavad-gita: sukham atyantikam yat tad. … atindriyam. Real happiness atyantikam the supreme happiness, is not enjoyed by the senses. Atindriya means "surpassing or transcendental to the senses." That is real happiness. But we have taken happiness as sense enjoyment.

By sense enjoyment no one can become happy, because we are in material existence and our senses are false senses. Real senses are spiritual senses. So we have to awaken our spiritual consciousness. Then by spiritual senses we can enjoy.

Our material senses cover our real senses. I'm not this body; I'm spirit soul. But this body covers my real body, the spiritual body. The spiritual body has spiritual senses. Not that we are nirakara,formless. Why nirakara? When my hand is covered by some cloth, the cloth also gets the shape of a hand. Because I have a hand, the cloth has a hand. Because I have legs, my pants have legs. Similarly, the material body has form because the spiritual body has form.

It is common sense. From where has the body come? The Bhagavad-gita describes the body as vasamsi, a garment. A garment is cut according to the body, not that the body is made according to the garment. My body this garment has hands and legs; therefore originally, spiritually, I have hands and legs. Otherwise, how has the body developed?

Originally we are all persons. Krsna says, "These soldiers, these kings, you and I, My dear Arjuna, it is not that we did not exist in the past. Neither is it that in the future we shall cease to exist. I, you, and all these kings and soldiers who have assembled here existed before. As we are existing now as individual persons, we existed in the past as individual persons. And in the future we shall exist as individual persons." So where is the question of impersonality?

The principle given in this verse is that to understand things in reality one has to approach Krsna as Arjuna approached Him. Sisyas te 'ham: "Now I am Your disciple; just teach me." Sadhi mam prapannam: "I am surrendering. I am not trying to talk with You on an equal level."

To take a guru means that whatever the guru says you have to accept. Don't take a guru just to be fashionable. You must be ready. That is called prapannam, "surrender."

Tad viddhi pranipatena. You can understand spiritual truth simply by surrendering. You should not try to test the guru: "I shall test him to see how much he knows." Then what is the use of approaching the guru? Therefore Arjuna says, "Besides You, no one can satisfy me in this perplexed condition." Yac chokam ucchosanam indriyanam: "My senses are drying up."

Arjuna is referring to the superficial senses, not the actual senses. The real senses are within. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam: We have to serve Krsna, Hrsikesa, with our senses. Krsna is real, and we have to come to the position or reality of serving Him. Tat paratvena nirmalam. When our senses are purified, we can serve Him.

Ways of Gaining Knowledge

Indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah, manasas tu paro buddhir. These are different stages sensual, mental, intellectual, and so on. The bodily concept of life is on the sensual stage. When you transcend the bodily senses, you come to the mental platform. When you transcend the mental platform, you come to the intellectual platform. When you transcend the intellectual platform, you come to the spiritual platform, where there is spiritual form.

There are different grades and steps. On the gross bodily platform we demand pratyaksa-jnana, knowledge through direct perception. Pratyaksa means "direct perception." There are different stages of knowledge: pratyaksa, paroksa, aparoksa, adhoksaja, and aprakrta. Knowledge acquired on the bodily platform, through direct perception, is not real knowledge. Therefore, we can challenge the so-called scientists. Their basic principle of knowledge is in the bodily concept of life, pratyaksa, experimental knowledge. Experimental knowledge is on the stage of gross sense perception. Everyone says, "We do not see God." But God is not a subject you can see with pratyaksa, direct perception.

In this room we do not see the sun directly, but we know there is sun outside. It is daytime. How do we know? Because there are other ways by which we can experience it. That process of knowledge is called aparoksa.

Krsna consciousness is adhoksaja and aprakrta knowledge beyond the senses. How can we perceive what is beyond our direct perception? Through the process called srota-pantha, or sruti taking knowledge from the Vedas. And the Vedic knowledge is explained by the guru. Therefore one has to take shelter of Krsna as the supreme guru or of Krsna's representative. Then all one's troubles, arising out of ignorance, can be dissipated.

Unrivaled Kingdom

In this verse Arjuna is replying to something Krsna might say to him: "Go on fighting. And when you get the kingdom, you'll be happy. There is no need of accepting Me as guru."

Ordinary men think, "I am earning so much money. What is the use of accepting a guru? I can understand everything in my own way."

Another rascal says, "Yes, yata mata tata patha. Any opinion is all right. You can make your own opinion."

That is going on: You can make your own opinion to understand God. So foolish rascals are making their own opinions. But getting knowledge is not possible in that way.

Arjuna says: avapya bhumav asapat-nam rddham: "Even if I win a prosperous, unrivaled kingdom on earth …" Sapatni means "rival wife, co-wife." In the material world, if a man has more than one wife there is rivalry. One wife is snatching him: "Come to my room." Another wife is snatching: "Come to my room." So he's perplexed. Similarly we have these wives the senses. The eyes are dragging: "Please come to the cinema." The tongue is dragging: "Please come to the restaurant." The hand is dragging somewhere else. The leg is dragging somewhere else. Our position is like that.

In the analogy, the man with different wives is being dragged to different rooms. Why? Because the wives are rivals. But here Arjuna is speaking of an unrivaled kingdom. If there are many kings to claim one's property, there is difficulty. But Arjuna says, avapya bhumav asapatnam rddham: "Even if I get a kingdom and riches for which there is no other claimant, I won't be able to dispel my grief."

Arjuna speaks not only of a kingdom of this world but also of a kingdom of the higher planetary systems. Men are now trying to go to the moon. That is also a kingdom, which belongs to higher living entities known as demigods. They are very powerful. The demigod Indra, for example, is the powerful controller of the rains. He wields the thunderbolt.

People do not believe this, but we believe what is described in the Vedic literature. Not "believe" this is fact. From where is the thunderbolt coming? Who is arranging for the rain? There must be some director. Just as there are so many departmental managers in the state government, there must be many directors in God's government. These directors are called demigods.

The demigods supply us by the order of Krsna. Therefore there are sacrifices for satisfying the different demigods. Indra supplies us rain. Krsna once stopped the Indra yajna, the sacrifice to Indra. When Krsna's father, Nanda Maharaja, was arranging for the yajna, Krsna said, "My dear father, there is no need of an Indra yajna."

Krsna was showing that for anyone who is Krsna conscious there is no need of any yajna. Especially in this age, Kali-yuga, it is very difficult to perform different kinds of yajna. That was possible in the Treta-yuga, millions of years ago. Krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih. Makhaih means to perform yajna. In this age no one follows the directions for performing yajna. That is not possible in this age. Therefore the scriptural injunction is yajnaih sankirtanair prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah: "Instead of bothering with so many other things, people with good brain substance should perform sankirtana-yajna, the chanting of the holy names of the Lord."

These are the statements in the scripture:

krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam
yajnaih sankirtanaih prayair
yajanti hi sumedhasah

Krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam. Here in this temple we have the Deity of Lord Caitanya. He is Krsna Himself, but His complexion is akrsna, "not blackish." Tvisa means "by complexion." Akrsna: "yellowish." Sangopangastra-parsadam. And He's accompanied by His associates: Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, Srivasa, and other devotees.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the worshipable Deity in this age. Krsna-varnam tvisakrsna. So what is the process of worship? Yajnaih sankirtanair prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah. The sankirtana-yajna as we are performing it before Lord Caitanya, Nityananda, and others is the perfect performance of yajna in this age. Therefore it is becoming successful. This is the only prescribed yajna. There are so many yajnas, and sometimes Indian people perform so-called yajnas. They collect some money, that's all. Their yajnas cannot be successful because at present there are no yajnic brahmanas.

The yajnic brahmanas used to test the pronunciation of Vedic mantras for the sacrifice. The test was that an animal would be put into the fire and if the mantras were chanted correctly the animal would come out of the fire with a fresh young body. But where are such brahmanas in this age? Therefore no yajna is recommended. This is the only yajna: chant the Hare Krsna mantra and dance in ecstasy.

Krsna Comes

Rajyam suranam api cadhipatyam. Formerly there were many demons who conquered over the kingdom of the demigods. The demon Hiranyakasipu spread his authority even over the kingdom of Indra.

Indrari-vyakulam lokam mrdayanti yuge yuge. Indrari means "the enemy of Indra." Indra is the king of the heavenly planets, and the demons are his enemies. We also have many enemies. Because we are chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, there are so many critics and enemies. They do not like us. There are always demons, but now the number has increased. Formerly, there were some. Now there are many. Indrari-vyakulam lokam. When the demonic population increases, then vyakulam lokam: people become perplexed. Mrdayanti yuge yuge: at that time Krsna comes.

Ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Srimad-Bhagavatam lists the names of the incarnations of Krsna, or God. After mentioning all the names, the Bhagavatam says, "All the incarnations listed herewith are partial representations of Krsna. But Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead." Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. And when people are too harassed by the onslaught of the demons, He comes.

The Bhagavad-gita confirms what Srimad-Bhagavatam says. Krsna says:

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion at that time I descend Myself."

In this age, Kali-yuga, people are so much disturbed; therefore Krsna has come in the form of His name: Hare Krsna. Krsna has come not personally but by His name. But because Krsna is absolute, there is no difference between His name and Himself. Abhinnatvan nama-naminoh. As Krsna is full, complete, similarly Krsna's name is also full, complete. Suddha: It is not a material thing. Nityah: It is eternal. As Krsna is eternal, His name is also eternal. Purnah suddhah nitya-muktah. There is no material conception in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. Abhinnatvan nama-naminoh: "The holy name and the Lord are abhinna, identical."

Rajyam suranam api cadhipatyam. So even if we get the kingdom of the demigods asapatnam, without any rival still we cannot be happy as long as we have the material conception of life. It is not possible. That is explained in this verse.

Thank you very much.