Srila Prabhupada

Lord Krsna directs us in how to see Him at every moment and thus end our material existence.

A lecture given in Bombay, India, on April 1, 1971

mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva

"O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread." – Bhagavad-gita 7.7

Krsna is present everywhere, because everything is resting on His energies. In a big factory the proprietor may be out of the factory, but every worker is aware, "This factory belongs to such-and-such person." As it is possible for a factory worker to be always conscious of the proprietor of the factory, it is possible for everyone to become Krsna conscious in every activity. That is the philosophy we are preaching all over the world. That is the philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita.

Lord Krsna says, mam anusmara yudhya ca: "Think of Me and fight." This world is so made that everyone has to work. Without working, no one can even keep the body and soul together. We cannot avoid working. But at the same time, we can remember Krsna. That depends only on practice and pure understanding.

Here Krsna says, "There is no one greater than Me." That is the verdict of all ancient Vedic scriptures. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam the same thing is confirmed by the statement krsnas tu bhagavan svayam: "Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

That statement appears at the end of a list of incarnations of God. The list contains Lord Buddha's name: buddho namanjana-sutah kikatesu bhavisyati. Lord Buddha is mentioned as a future incarnation. Bhavisyati means "will appear," and kikatesumeans "in the province of Gaya."

Srimad-Bhagavatam was composed five thousand years ago, and Lord Buddha appeared 2,600 years ago. Therefore it is said bhavisyati: "He will appear." The writers of the sastra, Vedic scripture, were not ordinary men. Here in the Bhagavad-gita, for example, Krsna is speaking. He is not an ordinary man. No one would be interested in the Bhagavad-gita if it had been written by an ordinary man. It was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and it was recorded by His incarnation Vyasadeva. So it is transcendental literature.

Ordinary literature cannot be perfect, because the authors are subject to the four defects of all conditioned souls: bhrama-pramada-karanapatava-vipralipsa. Bhrama means "to commit mistakes." Pramada means "illusion," vipralipsa means "cheating," and karanapatava means "inefficiency of the senses." Sastra is above these defects.

Five thousand years ago the sastra predicted Lord Buddha's appearance. Similarly, there is a prediction about Kalki-avatara, who will come after 427,000 years. Kalki-avatara's name, his father's name, and where he will appear everything is there. That is the standard of sastra.

We have to understand Krsna from the sastra. Krsna Himself says, mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: "There is no one greater than Me." And when Arjuna understood Bhagavad-gita, he also accepted Krsna like that. Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan: "You are Parabrahman. . . ."

Expansions from Krsna

Krsna is Parabrahman. We are all brahman, spirit, because we are part of Parabrahman, the supreme spirit, but we are not Parabrahman. We are subordinate brahman. Eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman. We are supported by Krsna, God. God is one, and the supported brahmans, or living entities, are innumerable. No one can count how many living entities there are, but God is one.

From the ancient literature we learn krsnas tu bhagavan svayam: "Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." There are many incarnations and expansions of Krsna. Some of the expansions are direct personal expansions (svamsa), such as Lord Rama, Nrsimhadeva, Varaha. There are many in this category. Ramadi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan. Krsna is existing and expanding Himself in various forms. There are different kinds of incarnations, or avataras saktyavesa-avatara, guna-avatara, manvantara-avatara, yuga-avatara. Srimad-Bhagavatam concludes that the Lord's incarnations are so numerous that you cannot count them. If you sit down on the bank of a river, you cannot keep an account of how many waves are passing. Similarly, there is no account of how many incarnations are coming out from Lord Krsna.

Krsna is above all. Here Krsna personally says so, and it is confirmed by the previous sages and authorities. For-merly it was confirmed by great sages like Narada Muni, Vyasadeva, Asita, and Devala, and in the modern age by Sankaracarya, Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya, Visnusvami, and many other acaryas, or spiritual authorities. Everyone of them accepts that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So how can we deny it? We have to be guided by the acaryas. Acaryavan puruso veda: "One who follows the principles of the acaryas knows things as they are." That is the verdict.

In the Bhagavad-gita we find the word acaryopasanam, which means that we have to follow in the footsteps of the acaryas, because they can give us right direction. And one who does not follow the acaryas and creates his own mental concoction will not be accepted. There are many commentaries on the Bhagavad-gita, but not all of them are according to the direction of the acaryas. You have to accept Bhagavad-gita as it is, under the direction of the acaryas. They do not make any changes. They explain how Krsna is the greatest. They don't comment in a different way and divert you by saying that Krsna is an ordinary man.

From Krsna, the next expansion is Baladeva, in the category of svayam- prakasa. From Baladeva comes the catur-vyuha: Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. From Sankarsana comes Narayana. From Narayana comes another catur-vyuha. And from the Sankarsana of that catur-vyuha comes the first purus-avatara: Maha-Visnu. From Maha-Visnu comes Garbhodakasayi Visnu. From Garbhodakasayi Visnu comes Ksirodakasayi Visnu. Ksirodakasayi Visnu is situated in everyone's heart: isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese'rjuna tisthati.

Krsna expands in so many ways by personal expansion, by the expansion of His energy, by the expansion of His differentiated parts. We living entities are differentiated parts, vibhinnamsa. We are also expansions of Krsna. He expands Himself in so many ways. He also has categories of energy, or sakti: tatastha-sakti, cit-sakti, antaranga-sakti, bahiranga-sakti. We have to understand Krsna through these categories.

If we scrutinizingly study the Vedic literature, we shall come to the conclusion that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And if there is any name for God, it is perfectly given in the word Krsna, "all-attractive." There are many diverse meanings ofKrsna given by the acaryas, but on the whole, Krsna is the actual name of God.

Understanding Krsna by His Direction

How can one understand that Krsna is all-pervading? That direction is given by Krsna Himself. If we follow His direction on how to appreciate Him, then naturally and surely we shall come to the point of understand Krsna, although He is all-expansive. Krsna says,

raso 'ham apsu kaunteya
prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh
pranavah sarva-vedesu
sabdah khe paurusam nrsu

"O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man." Just try to understand Krsna by your daily experiences. Krsna says, "When you drink water and quench your thirst when you experience the nice taste of water I am that taste." So you can understand Krsna daily as soon as you drink water. Why should anyone say that there is no God? Just try to appreciate God according to the prescription given by God. Then you'll understand.

A doctor gives you medicine, and he gives you directions: "Drink this medicine. Take two drops." Then gradually you understand that by taking the medicine, you are being cured, you are feeling healthy. Similarly, Krsna gives us a prescription for seeing Him. When we meditate upon the taste of the water, we are meditating on Krsna.

Similarly, Krsna says prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh: "I am the sunshine and the moonshine." Who has not seen the sunshine? If you have seen sunshine and if you follow the prescription given by Krsna, then early in the morning you'll see Krsna. Why do you say, "I have not seen Krsna. Krsna is not present before Me"? Follow Krsna's instruction, and He will be present. He is present; we simply have to purify our eyes and senses to understand Him. That is required.

Suppose you have a beloved friend. As soon as you hear his voice on the telephone you immediately see him. Why? Because you love him. Similarly, if you develop your dormant love of Krsna, you'll see Krsna at every moment.

It is not at all difficult to see Krsna. Why do you say, "Can you show me God?" Why are you not seeing God? Here is God. Krsna says, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh. Who has not seen sunshine? Who has not seen moonshine? One simply has to understand that sunshine is the reflection of Krsna's bodily effulgence. Just as moonshine is the reflection of the sunshine, the sun is a reflection of the brahmajyoti. And what is the brahmajyoti? Krsna's bodily effulgence. Then why do you say that you have not seen Krsna?

There are many other examples. Krsna is giving some of them. If you study, if you meditate upon them, then gradually you will see Krsna. He will be revealed. He'll be present. It is all revelation. Not that by your eyes you can see. But if you follow the prescription, the direction, you will see Krsna daily, always, twenty-four hours.

So when one is an elevated devotee a maha-bhagavata he does not see anything but Krsna. Everywhere he sees Krsna. The maha-bhagavata may be standing on the shore of a great sea, but he is not seeing the sea; he is seeing Krsna. He's seeing Krsna's energy: how Krsna's energy is working and producing such a vast sea. He is thinking like that. That is meditation. Anywhere he goes, he simply thinks of Krsna. Sthavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti. He does not see the material form of anything. Sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti. Everywhere he sees Krsna. That is called Krsna consciousness.

So one has to develop. How can one develop? This is the process: sravanadi-suddha-citte. You have to hear. And as you go on hearing, the dirty things in your heart become clean. The process of hearing is so nice.

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti suhrt satam

"To hear about Krsna from Vedic literature, or to hear from Him directly through Bhagavad-gita, is itself righteous activity. And Lord Krsna, who is dwelling in everyone's heart, acts as a best-wishing friend and purifies the devotee who constantly engages in hearing of Him."

Simply hear about Krsna. We are speaking about Krsna from the Gita. If you try to understand Krsna as directed by Krsna, then Krsna will also cooperate with you. When a teacher sees that a student is very intelligent, that he is following directions, the teacher takes more interest in that student. That is natural. If the teacher says, "My dear child, write in this way," and the child tries, then the teacher takes more interest. Similarly, as soon as you try to understand Krsna according to His direction, Krsna, who is within you, will help you more and more. Dadami buddhi-yogam tam. Lord Krsna says, "I give him special intelligence to understand."

Our duty is to follow the instruction of Krsna. Krsna says, pranavah sarva-vedesu. Omkara, or pranava, is Krsna. When anyone chants Vedic hymns and vibrates this transcendental sound, om, Krsna is there.

Purify the Senses

So how you can avoid Krsna? You simply have to know how to see Him. You have to purify your eyes. You have to purify your ears. You have to purify your hands. You have to purify your legs. When your senses are purified, you will see Krsna nothing but Krsna at every moment.

You can purify your eyes by seeing the deity of Krsna. Krsna is present before you as the deity, known as arca-murti or arca-avatara. He has been nicely dressed by the devotees. It is the duty of the devotee to decorate the transcendental form of Krsna very nicely so that thousands of people may come into the temple and see Krsna. And as you go on seeing Krsna and your eyes become purified, then you will see how nice Krsna is. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu entered the Jagannatha temple, as soon as He saw Krsna He fainted, because His eyes were prepared to see Krsna.

We have to prepare our eyes to see. We have to prepare our ears to hear about Krsna. In these ways we can see Krsna. We can also use our tongue to see Krsna. Krsna says, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya: "I am the taste in water." Everyone drinks water. So as soon as you relish the taste of the water, by following the directions of the Bhagavad-gita you can see Krsna. Similarly, with the tongue you can eat bhagavat-prasadam, food offered to Krsna. And as soon as you taste the food offered to Krsna, you can remember Krsna. You can think how Krsna has kindly eaten the food.

So you can begin your purification with the tongue. Without reading any Vedic literature, without reading even the Bhagavad-gita, simply by eating krsna-prasadam you become Krsna conscious if you think, "How nicely Krsna has tasted this food."

To become Krsna conscious is not very difficult. You just have to follow the directions. That's all. But if you manufacture your own meaning, your own commentary on Bhagavad-gita, then you have deviated. You are lost. Such reading of the Bhagavad-gita is simply a waste of time and energy.

Therefore those who are not Krsna conscious, who are not hearing from Krsna conscious persons, are simply wasting time. The so-called reading of the Bhagavad-gita, the lecture on the Bhagavad-gita without Krsna they are a waste of time. It is like trying to have the kingdom of God without God. We want the kingdom of God peace and prosperity but without God. That is the position of our secular governments. But this is not possible. If you give up God or the relationship with God, there is no question of having the kingdom of God or peace and prosperity.

Krsna's Mercy

Krsna says, paurusam nrsu: "I am the ability in man." Anything extraordinary comes from Krsna. Krsna is the most extraordinary person, but even within this world, if you find some great leader, a great politician, a great scientist, a great businessman, you should know that that person's name and fame are due to Krsna's mercy. No one can be greater than others unless Krsna has specially bestowed His mercy on him. A little portion of Krsna's mercy must be there. Krsna is most opulent. You can claim, "I am the proprietor of ten million rupees," someone can claim, "I am proprietor of fifty million rupees," and someone else can claim, "I am the proprietor of a hundred million rupees." But no one can claim, "I am the proprietor of all the money in the material world." No one can say that. Even Brahma, the greatest created being, cannot say that. But of Krsna it is said, aisvaryasya samagrasya: "He is the proprietor of all conceivable wealth."

You should understand that any wealthy person you see within the material world he has taken a portion of Krsna's money. That's all. No one can claim, "I am the proprietor of all the money in the material world." That is not possible.

We should think, "Whatever money I have is Krsna's money, or Krsna's mercy. Krsna has mercifully given me this money." Then what is our duty? We should spend it for Krsna. That is the proper use of money. Similarly, if one is famous he should use his fame for Krsna's service. I am trying to spread this Krsna consciousness movement, but if a very famous man tries, it will spread very quickly. That is the proper use of his fame. Similarly, if a scientist proves Krsna's supremacy by scientific laws, his scientific knowledge is perfect.

If we know that anything we possess is a gift from Krsna and should be used for Krsna, then our life is successful. Samsiddhir hari-tosanam. It doesn't matter what you are. You may be an engineer, you may be a lawyer, you may be a businessman. Whatever you are, it doesn't matter. But try to satisfy Krsna by your profession, by your occupation. Then you are successful. Samsiddhi. It doesn't matter what you are doing. You don't have to give up your profession as a lawyer and join us as a sannyasiand dance. If you cannot do that . . . Everyone can do that, but if you think that you cannot, use your profession for Krsna's service. Then you become perfect.

Krsna consciousness is not a necessity for the members of this Krsna consciousness society only; it is the necessity of everyone throughout the whole world, without any discrimination. One has to take this opportunity to become Krsna conscious, to understand Krsna in these ways. Then the result will be sublime.

Understand that the taste of water is Krsna's energy, the sunshine is His energy, the moonshine is His energy. The Vedic mantras are meant to please Krsna. Sound is Krsna. The energy or the name, fame, and opulence of big persons of this world is also Krsna. If we study Krsna in these ways, we will gradually know Him. And Krsna says,

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so 'rjuna

"One who understands Me in truth becomes liberated. After quitting this body, he comes to Me."

So what is the difficulty? Even in your ordinary life you can study Krsna, you can understand Krsna. And Krsna will help you. As soon as you begin studying Krsna, trying to understand Krsna, Krsna will help you from within. Krsna is with you. Krsna is not far away. He is so kind that He is sitting in your heart as your friend just to help you become liberated from material contamination. Why not take advantage? Every sane man should take advantage of the instructions of the Bhagavad-gita. Then anywhere he may be, he is a liberated person.

iha yasya harer dasye
karmana manasa gira
nikhilasv apy avasthasu
jivan-muktah sa ucyate

Anyone who is trying to become Krsna conscious and trying to serve Krsna sincerely is liberated. He may be situated anywhere. It does not matter whether he is Indian or Hindu or Muslim or Christian or this or that. If he simply thinks of Krsna always, in the process as described here, he becomes liberated. You can become liberated at home. You simply have to think of Krsna.

Thank you very much.