Lord Krsna provides everything we need to bring the spiritual world into our lives.
A lecture given in Mumbai, India, on September 25, 1973
This lecture was given on the anniversary of the appearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, whose disappearance, or passing, we honor this July.
FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AGO Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu started the sankirtana movement, or the movement for spreading the congregational chanting of the holy names of God. Bhaktivinoda Thakura was the father of the sankirtana movement within the last two hundred years. He was a householder and responsible government officer a magistrate. And he was a great devotee and a great acarya, or prominent spiritual master, in the disciplic succession of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written many devotional songs. In one song he has written, ye-dina grhe, bhajana dekhi, grhete goloka bhaya: "One day while performing devotional practices, I saw my house transformed into Goloka Vrndavana, the spiritual world."
As Krsna is not material, so His home, Goloka Vrndavana, is not material. And although Krsna stays in His abode, Goloka Vrndavana, He can be everywhere. That is Krsna. The Brahma-samhita states,
eko 'py asau racayitum jagad-anda-kotim
yac-chaktir asti jagad-anda-caya yad-antah
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Krsna, Govinda, is everywhere by one of His plenary portions, known as Paramatma, or Supersoul. He is situated in every universe and within everyone's heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati.Not only is He within the heart of everyone, but He is within the atom. That is Krsna.
Similarly, Krsna's place, Goloka Vrndavana, is also spread everywhere. How? By the presence of Krsna's devotee. Krsna says,
naham tisthami vaikunthe
yoginam hrdayesu va
tatra tisthami narada
yatra gayanti mad-bhaktah
"I do not stay in Vaikuntha-loka, the spiritual world, or within the hearts of the yogis. I stay where My devotees chant about My glories."
That is Krsna's omnipotence. We pray to God the omnipotent, the omniscient, the omnipresent. God can be present everywhere simultaneously.
There is no difference between God and His place. Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommends, aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam. As Krsna is worshipable, His place is also worshipable. Similarly, as He is all-pervading, His place is also all-pervading.
How can a place be changed into Vaikuntha? By chanting of the holy name of the Lord. Devotees are so powerful that by chanting the holy name of God they make the all-powerful Supreme Lord descend. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings, "One day while performing devotional practices I saw my house transformed into Goloka Vrndavana."
We also can change our homes into Vaikuntha. That is not difficult, because as Krsna is all-pervading, Vaikuntha is all-pervading. That we simply have to realize by the authorized process.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura also says, krsnera samsara kara chadi anacara: "Giving up all sinful activities, carry on your worldly duties only in relation to Lord Krsna." To turn your home into Vaikuntha is not difficult. You simply have to adopt the right method. Anacara means "sinful activities." You cannot associate with God if you are sinful. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna says, yesam tv anta-gatam papam … te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratah: "One completely free from sinful life can worship Me."
In our Krsna consciousness movement we do not recommend that you give up your occupation, give up your wife and children, and become a sannyasi, a renunciant. No, that is not our movement. Among us aresannyasis, brahmacaris [celibate students], grhasthas [married people], vanaprasthas [retired people]. Everyone is there. Everyone can worship Krsna. There is no rule that only a certain class brahmanas orsannyasis or brahmacaris or Hindus can take part. No. Krsna is open to everyone. Mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah. Krsna is open even for a person born in a lower-grade family. One simply has to adopt the means to approach Him.
Many devotional songs give this same instruction. Narottama Dasa Thakura has sung, visaya chadiya kabe suddha ha 'be mana, kabe hama herabo sri vrndavana: "When I am free from sense enjoyment and my mind is clear, then I will be able to understand Vrndavana." Visaya means "sense enjoyment." One has to give up sense enjoyment to become purified.
To give up sense enjoyment does not mean, for example, that we cannot eat. There is no prohibition against eating, but you cannot eat anything not first accepted by Krsna. Our life in Krsna consciousness means to be always the servant of Krsna. As the servant eats remnants of food left by the master, we servants of Krsna eat remnants of food left by Krsna. That food is called prasadam, or maha-prasadam.
We have to mend our life in such a way that we give up anacara, forbidden things, sinful things. Dyutam panam striyah suna yatradharmas catur-vidhah. There are four kinds of sinful activities. The basic principles of sinful life are stri-sanga (illicit sex), suna (unnecessary animal killing), pana (intoxication), and dyutam (gambling). We have to give up these four principles. Then our life becomes pure.
If we give up these four principles and chant the Hare Krsna mantra, we become perfect. You can see the examples. The Europeans and Americans who have accepted Krsna consciousness were accustomed to all the sinful practices. That was their daily affair. But they have given these things up. Now you can see how saintly they are. One has to accept the principles. Then one's life becomes perfect.
People do not know what the perfection of life is. They think that material advancement is perfection. No, that is not the perfection of life, because even if you make a nice material arrangement you cannot enjoy it. At any time you shall be kicked out. So where is your perfection?
Suppose you have a nice apartment, a good bank balance, nice wife and children. Everything is all right. But is there any guarantee that you can enjoy them? At any moment you shall be kicked out. That is not perfection. First of all make the guarantee that "Whatever happy life I am preparing for in the material world will be permanent. I will not be kicked out." Then it is perfection.
But there is no such guarantee. Therefore that is not the perfection of life. The perfection of life comes when there is the guarantee of no more birth, no more death, no more old age, and no more disease. That is perfection.
That can be achieved by Krsna consciousness, not by any material way. Harim vina na mrtim taranti. If we want to be eternally blissful and full of knowledge sac-cid-ananda-vigraha then we have to take to Krsna consciousness. There is no other way.
There is only one way. If you are serious about the perfection of life, then you have to take to Krsna consciousness.
Lord Krsna says,
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
"Always think of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances unto Me, and worship Me. Without any doubt you shall come to Me." Simply four things. Is it very difficult to think of Krsna, worship Him, become His devotee, and offer obeisances to Him?
Just as we are doing this evening this is the process. We are thinking of Krsna by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. We are offering obeisances to the Deity and at least trying to become bhaktas, devotees.
And we are worshiping. What is the process for worshiping Krsna? Patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati. It is not difficult. Anyone can collect a flower, a fruit, or a little water and offer it to Krsna.
But because of dog obstinacy, people say, "I shall not do it."
Otherwise, Krsna consciousness is very easy. And if we adopt it our life becomes successful. That is the perfection of life. That we are teaching.
The process is very simple; everyone can adopt it, in every country. There is no distinction saying that one class can adopt Krsna consciousness and another cannot.
The Hare Krsna mantra is now being chanted all over the world, and those chanting are becoming Vaisnavas, devotees of Krsna. Then where is the difficulty?
The difficulty is our obstinacy. If one is obstinate, then becoming Krsna conscious is very difficult. Therefore Krsna says, na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah. Only these classes of men don't worship Krsna: duskrtinah ("those always engaged in sinful activities"), mudhah ("rascals"), and naradhamah ("the lowest of mankind").
Human life is meant for worshiping Krsna. Narottama Dasa Thakura sings, hari hari viphale, janama gonainu: "My life is spoiled." Why? Manusya-janama paiya, radha-krsna na bhajiya, janiya suniya visa khainu: "Having attained a human birth, I failed to worship Radha-Krsna and so have knowingly drunk poison."
We are trying to stop people from drinking poison. The Krsna consciousness movement is for everyone's benefit. It is the topmost humanitarian movement to make everyone happy, to make everyone immortal, to make everyone peaceful, to make everyone wise. Without being wise, nobody can surrender to Krsna. Mudhas rascals cannot.
Krsna says that one who does not surrender to Him is naradhama, "the lowest of mankind."
"Oh, how is he naradhama? He is an M.A., a Ph.D., a Dh.C., a Th.C. How is he naradhama?"
Mayayapahrta-jnana. His knowledge has no value because he does not know Krsna.
These M.A.'s and Ph.D.'s will not help me. Sankaracarya says, nahi nahi raksati dukrn-karane: "By your grammatical jugglery of words you cannot be saved." Bhaja govindam bhaja govindam bhaja govindam mudha-mate: "You rascal, just engage yourself in the loving service of Govinda." Although Sankaracarya is an impersonalist, this is his advice.
Krsna says, "One who does not worship Me has no knowledge." Because if one remains a rascal, what is the value of his knowledge? There is no knowledge.
Therefore Krsna says, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate: After many, many births of struggling for existence, if one becomes actually wise he surrenders to Krsna. That is intelligence.
This is intelligence: "Krsna, today I surrender. For so long I had forgotten. I did not know that my only business is to surrender to You."
Lord Krsna's Protection
Any moment you surrender you are protected. Lord Krsna says,
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
"Don't bother. Everything is there." Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati: "My devotee never perishes."
The Krsna consciousness movement is trying to make fools and rascals and sinful men wise. And actually it is happening. Papi tapi yata chila, hariname uddharila, tara saksi jagai madhai. You want evidence? Jagai and Madhai.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu delivered two sinful brothers named Jagai and Madhai. Now you can see how strong is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement. Many thousands of Jagais and Madhais are being delivered.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement is greater than Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally delivered Jagai and Madhai. Now, by His movement, thousands of Jagais and Madhais are being delivered. This is the practical evidence.
And Lord Caitanya's process is very easy. It is not very difficult. Anyone can take to it. But if we knowingly take poison, who can protect us?
We appeal to everyone to take to the Krsna consciousness movement and chant the Hare Krsna mantra. Even if you cannot give up your bad habits and sinful activities, still take to the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra, and your life will be glorified.
Thank you very much.