Bhakti-rasa, the mellow relished in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, does not end with the end of life. 

Srila Prabhupada

 Pradyumna: (reading) “…happiness immediately terminates with his body as soon as his life is over. Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death.” 

Prabhupada: Yes. We have discussed this point last night that everyone can see God. To see God is not a very difficult job. There are so many points described in the Bhagavad-gita. For the devotees, those who are serious about seeing God, they can see God. God is present everywhere. And God Himself, Krsna, is describing, raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh [Bg. 7.8]. Everyone drinks water. Now Krsna says, “I am the taste of the water.” So as soon as you drink water, the taste of the water is Krsna. Krsna says, “I am this.” Krsna has described Himself in so many ways. “Amongst the trees, I am this. Amongst the aquatics, I am this.” You can see God everywhere.

Those who are saintly devotees, they are seeing God, Krsna, at every moment. Premanjana-cchuritabhakti vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. If you become a saintly person by your austerities, penances, then you can see God at every step. Yes, nobody can become saintly immediately. It requires time. But as long as you are a material person, you can see God even in the water. You drink water. You can see God. You can see sunshine. God is there. Prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh. So who has not seen the sunshine? Who has not seen the moonshine? Therefore, if you have seen moonshine, if you have seen sunshine, you have seen God.

But especially those who are impersonalists, they can see God in that way. Sabdah khe paurusam nrsu. There are descriptions in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, how you can see God in your common dealings. Still, if you do not see God, then you can see, you must one day see God at the time of your death. Matyuh sarvaharas caham [Bg. 10.34]. Death is God. So the atheist class of men, just like Hiranyakasipu, who always challenges God, in spite of so many things, they deny to see God; therefore God comes before them as death. Everyone has to meet death. So God is there. And you are seeing this. But because we are atheist class of men, we are denying, “There is no God.” So Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu says that, “After all, you have to meet with God at the time of death. So before death, why don’t you see God in so many ways?” That is Bhaktirasamrta- sindhu: the science of devotional service which gives you an indication on how to see God always and everywhere. Go on reading.

Pradyumna: “Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheist class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death. At death everything is finished, and one has to begin a new chapter of life in a new situation, perhaps higher or lower than the last one. In any field of activity, political, social, national or international, the results of our actions will be finished with the end of life. That is sure. Bhaktirasa, however, the mellow relished in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, does not finish with the end of life. It continues perpetually and is therefore called amrta, that which does not die, but exists eternally.”

Prabhupada: Yes. Rasa. Rasa means mellow. Everything we have, there is a rasa. Without rasa, we do not deal in anything. So even in our daily dealings…our dealings with wife, children, friends or others, even enemies, there is a rasa. When we kill our enemy, there is also some pleasure rasa. When we see something ghastly, for example, in the European and Western countries, they want to see some ghastly things in the television, there is some rasa, relishment. Otherwise, how are they practically all day sitting and watching the television

So there are twelve kinds of rasas. We generally experience five kinds of rasa. The dealings between servants and master, dealings between friend and friend, dealings between mother and child, dealings between lover and the beloved, dealings between the enemy and enemies. All the rasas are there in Krsna. Akhila-rasamrta. He’s the reservoir of all pleasure. Even in ghastly behavior, when a man is killing another man, there is some enjoyment in killing. Just like Bhéma. When he killed Duryodhana, he immediately sucked the blood of Duryodhana’s heart. So there was some pleasure. Duryodhana insulted them in so many ways, so they, especially Bhima was finding an opportunity when he would enjoy the rasa by killing Duryodhana. So in all our dealings, directly or indirectly, there is some rasa.

In our material dealings, the rasas are temporary. They’ll be finished. As soon as this body is finished, the rasa is also finished. Just as we love somebody, either as friend or child or as a husband or lover, or as a friend, so many ways. But these rasas will be finished as soon as this body is finished. I have got some affectionate dealings with my sons but as soon as the son dies, or I die, the rasa is finished. But if you deal with Krsna in the same way, who is the reservoir of all rasas, it will continue. If you love Krsna as a friend in this life, if you develop your consciousness, Krsna consciousness, as a friend of Krsna’s, then tyaktva dehah punar janma naiti mam eti [Bg. 4.9], when you go to Krsna, tyaktva deham, giving up this body, then you go there as Krana’s friend.


Just like Srila Çukadeva Gosvami described in Srimad- Bhagavatam [SB 10.12.11]:

itthah satam brahma-sukhanubhutya
dasyam gatanam para-daivatena
mayasritanah nara-darakena
sakam vijahruh krta-punya-punjah

The boys who were playing with Krsna, Sukadeva Gosvami says after many, many births accumulation of pious activities… Because you cannot develop devotional service without pious life. Yesam tv antagatam papam. If you want to become an associate with Krsna, then you cannot act as a sinful man. Just like a criminal is not allowed to come out of jail. He has no freedom. Similarly, if we act sinfully in this life, then we’ll have to remain within this material world, one body after another. So we have to give up sinful activities. Therefore we forbid our students, no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. Because these are the pillars of sinful life. So we have to give up these things to accelerate our promotion to devotional service. We cannot go on doing this and that at the same time. It is like igniting a fire while pouring water over it. It will be a useless attempt. If you want to burn the fire, don’t put water on it. Keep it dry. Similarly, if you want to advance in Krsna consciousness, you cannot indulge in sinful activities. yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam, punyakarmanam.( After many, many births of executing pious activities, when one is completely freed from all contaminations, and from all illusory dualities, one becomes engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Bg 7.28)

Even if you engage yourself twenty-four hours in pious activities, in goodness, that is also tainted. But when you actually engage yourself in the devotional service of Vasudeva, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world. vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah, janayaty asu vairagyam. [SB 1.2.7]. Even if we are accustomed to sinful activities on account of bad habits, still, we can engage ourselves in the devotional service of Vasudeva. Devotees, sometimes due to their past habits, may unknowingly commit something sinful—that is excused by Krsna. Api cet su-duracaro bhajate mam ananya-bhak: Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination. (Bg 9.30) But not willfully. Willfully, if we commit some sinful activities, that can be excused once, twice, but not thrice. Then you’ll be punished. Therefore a devotee should not willfully commit any sinful activities in order to keep himself always fit in devotional service. He should try to keep himself steady, without committing any sinful actions. Chant sixteen rounds and keep yourselves always aloof from the sinful activities.


If you want to advance in devotional service, then you should be enthusiastic, utsahan, dhairyat, with patience, and niscayat, you should be assured that “Because I’m following strictly the direction of my spiritual master and sastras, certainly I shall meet Krsna.” Tat-tatkarma- pravartanat. By following the rules and regulations, sato vrtteh, always trying to be honest, and sadhu-sangas. Sadhu-sanga is very important. Therefore we have created this International Society. People are coming to our society, in our centers, and after one week, automatically take a bag and beads and shave head.

Solitary bhajana, executing devotional service in a solitary place, is not possible for the neophyte devotees. It is meant for the advanced devotees. If, from the very beginning, without executing the regulative principles, if one wants to execute devotional service in a solitary place, it will be simply disturbing, and he must fall down. There are so many examples. So we should not imitate. We must follow the vidhi-marga. The regulative principles must be followed. Then when you are mature, then we can sit down in a solitary place. Otherwise it is not possible. You read.

Pradyumna: “This is confirmed in all Vedic literatures. The Bhagavad-gita says that a little advancement in bhakti-rasa can save the devotee from the greatest danger, that of missing the opportunity for human life.”

Prabhupada: Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat. “In devotional service there is no loss or diminution, and even a small service rendered in devotional life is sufficient to save one from the greatest danger.” (Bg. 2.40). Just like Ajamila. When he was young, he was executing devotional service just like a pure brahmana under the direction of his father, but when he was young, he was captivated by prostitute and fell down, became a thief, drunkard, and cheater. His life became sinful in so many ways. But at the end of his life, when he was just going to die, he simply chanted “Narayana”, calling out his youngest son’s name. The Yamadutas, the messengers of Yamaraja, came to carry him away. Ajamila thought that his youngest son would save him. So he called his youngest son, Narayana and immediately remembered Narayana; because in the beginning he was a devotee of Narayana. So because he remembered Narayana, Narayana immediately sent His messengers to take him back to Vaikuntha. So svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat.

To be concluded in the next issue.