We find that certain scriptures such as the Upanisads give mere statements with no rhyme or reason — with no explanation or certification attached. This is because such knowledge is meant for the higher level where there is no possibility of any deception. Whatever is said there is taken by the listeners as complete truth. There is no room for doubt because in that higher civilised plane, there is no possibility of any deception. The Upanisads say: «This means so and so», and the natural response comes, «Yes, it is so.» There is no tarka (reasoning) and no doubt or anything of the kind because the very plane itself is such that deception is unknown. So, in the case of the Vedas and Upanisads, we are cautioned, «Achintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet: don’t take your reasoning and doubt into that higher stage. It is unnecessary there where there is only plain speaking and fair dealing with no trouble from anyone wanting to deceive another. Deception and unfair dealings are unknown there.» This is the level of the Vedas and Upanisads where rhyme and reason are unnecessary. But in a lower stage, the smrti and Puranas come to give their advice in another mood. The Puranas are like friends, advising, «Do this and you will be benefitted.» They give examples, «This person acted in such a way and received a good result, but this other did bad things and a bad result followed. So, my friend, please learn from this.» Then, the sruti comes to our help by showing us how to apply these truths in our everyday life.

The kavya also approaches us and comes in a very sweet manner like an affectionate wife to advise: «Do this, it will be very good for you.» But the Vedas take another approach, «Achintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet: this subject matter does not come within the jurisdiction of doubt, reasoning, and so on. Don’t drag all these filthy things into such a sphere.»

In a lecture, I gave an example to illustrate this. A mother gives a sweet to her son. She puts it in his hand, but he says, «Oh, it may be poisoned! I must go to the laboratory and examine it.» It is a deplorable thing and a very low type of civilisation where such an attitude prevails. But in such a plane where affectionate and fair dealing is unknown, tarka, vichar, and yukti — doubt, examination, and inspection — are all present. But that is really a filthy life. There is Krishna-smrti and its opposite, deha-smrti.

deha-smrti nahi yara samsara-kupa kaha tara
taha haite na chahe uddhara
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 13.142)

One who is unconscious of his material body has no worldly material connection. We are conscious of our material body and therefore have come in connection with the atmosphere of the material world. If we are independent of this material body, then we have no connection with the mortal world. This is the medium between the material world and the atma, the soul. The mental system makes the first connection, then comes this body consciousness.

After Sukadev Goswami finished giving his Bhagavata discourse, in his conclusion he gave warning to the audience, especially Pariksit Maharaj,

tvam tu rajan marisyeti pasu-buddhim imam jahi
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 12.5.2)

«O King, do not think you will die — give up this animal consciousness. Eliminate it fully from your thought, and do not allow your attention to come down to any material conception. Remain in your own soul conception. Take your stand firmly there. Why do you allow yourself to come down to the conception of this matter: the world, your body, and all these things? It is unnecessary. Don’t allow your attention to come down to material consciousness; you are independent of that. Think of your soul, its higher achievement and prospect. Your transaction must be all upwards; stick to that. You, the soul, are independent of these. Free from matter you can live and move very happily. To think it not possible to stay without a body is animal consciousness — pasu-buddhi. What is this! Why do you allow yourself to come into this consciousness of matter which is mortal? Don’t allow yourself to come down, to have experience of this material world. This is animal consciousness. You must kill it, butcher it! Tvam tu rajan marisyeti pasu-buddhim imam jahi. To think «I shall die» is animal consciousness. Just kill it once and for all. At the same time, try to soar up from soul to Oversoul and beyond to the Narayan conception and onwards to the Krishna conception. Try to live in the connection of Vraja and the divine damsels there who are all serving Krishna. Consider how they are so recklessly engaged in serving the sweet will of their Lord. Each one of them is always prepared and is the emblem of sacrifice.»

In Hitler’s army, there was a suicide squad who were always prepared for anything and everything. Similarly, the Vraja-gopis are ready to give up everything for the slightest satisfaction of Krishna. They are prepared to sacrifice at a second’s notice not only their whole body but their entire prospect of everything in their connection. Fully risking everything, they have this highest standard of preparedness for the service of Krishna — and that is the highest standard of life. In them, we find sacrifice to the extreme. Sacrifice for the good, sacrifice for the absolute good, the absolute beauty, bliss, and ecstasy. Your abode will be very near to Him according to your degree and intensity of sacrificing attitude. This is the close approach. By sacrifice we live. By enjoying we lose. By serving we thrive, and by enjoying we lose. And the position of renunciation is zero: no loss, no gain. But in comparison with the positive acquisition, it is loss. When there is no gain, then that is a loss. Renunciation, mukti, salvation, mere liberation — by whatever name it is called — is a loss in comparison with the positive attainment of a servitor.

Reality is for itself. It is for nothing else than He. We are for Him; our existence is meant only for Him. Our purpose is to serve Him. He is the integer. He is existing. He is all-in-all, and we are all subservient. So, we are to dissolve our body consciousness, this animal consciousness.

In a dream, a man may see that his beheaded body is fallen before him, but that does not affect his existence or his perception. The soul has a similar connection with this world. It is not affected. In a dream, he may see that although his body may be pulverised and the earth vanish from under his feet, he remains unaffected. Similarly, the soul’s position is independent. It is not dependent on material existence, but it thinks that material things are indispensably necessary to maintain its existence. But this is wrong and a concoction. To stand on a material conception is not necessary for the soul. Although that worldly conception seems to be so very indispensable for our being, it is not so. We are independent from matter. Even the mental existence is independent of this gross material existence, what to speak of that of the soul. Soul has nothing to do with this matter which is a foreign, concocted, dream-like substance. Rather, the material conception is poison to the soul and is drawing him in the opposite direction from his real interest.

The mayavadis and the Buddhists consider that with the dissolution of the material conception nothing remains. And Sankar says that only some non-differentiated consciousness remains in which no individual conception can stand. But the Vaisnavas say, «No, there is a world of reality made of higher stuff than your soul. Your soul is made of vulnerable consciousness, but there is a world of invulnerable consciousness. If you can manage to enter there, you will be happy, and only with the interest of rendering service there can you gain such entrance to that land. That sort of adaptability is within you. That is your svarup — your true nature. The adaptability to the positive life is inherent within the soul. You are to blossom and bloom, and when full-blown, you will reach the Goloka stage.»

Wrongly, we have adapted to matter, and this has drawn us into the negative side. Therefore, we are wandering in different stages. This fallen condition is not only unnecessary but is injurious to the soul.

Just as by taking water from in front and sending it behind him, a swimmer can make progress, so also by hearing and chanting, we can make progress. Sravana-kirtana-jale (Cc: 2.19.152). We are to hear, and what we acquire, we are to distribute to others. A swimmer makes quick progress by passing behind him the water in his front. Similarly, in spiritual terms, we are to receive from the capitalist and deliver that to the customers. Sravan, kirtan, sravan, kirtan … by imbibing and exporting, we can make good progress, and the absolute capitalist will supply as much as the customers can receive from Him. This is Mahaprabhu’s advice, «Yare dekha, tare kaha ‘Krishna’-upadesa (Cc: 2.7.128): deliver these goods to anyone and everyone, and new light will come to you which in turn you are to distribute to others. In this way, you will have a dynamic and progressive life, and there will be no shortage of higher backing.»

Swami Maharaj invoked assistance from Krishna. He petitioned Him, «Please come to my help. I have been ordered by Your favourite to do this duty. Please help me. After finishing this duty, I shall again join Your play in Vrndavan. There, we shall play, we shall run, we shall jump, and we shall do anything and everything in a boisterous way together. But for now, I have some duty which is necessary to discharge, and that duty has been ordered by Your most favourite person. If You help me to carry this out, then Your friend, that most favourite friend, will be pleased with You, and so You will get some advantage thereby!» In this way, he made his petition, «Krishna tava punya habe bhai: You will acquire good merit if You help me!»

Krishna supported Govardhan Hill with the little finger of His left hand, and afterwards His friends, the cowherd men, and boys, told Him, «You did not hold it alone. We also helped You with our sticks! Be reminded of it. You could not do it alone!» They share the pleasure, and also they do not care to think about His extraordinary majesty, power, and so forth. They feel, «He is one of us but very beautiful, and we cannot live without Him. We don’t know why it is, but somehow if He is not in our midst, we are all lifeless, and when He comes, we become enlivened like anything.» He is their very life, and they consider, «He possesses some peculiar power no doubt, but still He is one of us.»

If they should hear that He is God, then, «No, no, He can’t be God; we don’t admit that. Rather, He is our friend. Who says He is God? We don’t care for such grand claims. He is our friend, our very charming friend.»

Mother Yasoda also thinks, «He is my son, but some people don’t like that I live in peace, so they say He is God, and He is this, and He is that. Why do they say such things? He is my child, but they are so jealous and envious that they do not like that I may stay living peacefully with my son and husband. They are so envious that they say He is God and He is so-and-so. No! Simply, He is my child, only they are unable to tolerate that I have such a beautiful child, and therefore they air so many different types of speculation. I don’t like these things, and this is all a little ominous for my child. Why should He go to be a god? Human beings are real!»

krsnera yateka khela sarvottama nara-lila
nara-vapu tahara svarupa

Mahaprabhu taught that the human society is so valuable because Krishna is originally in this form. This human society is created after His original social style, and therefore it is so important: sarvottama nara-lila nara-vapu Tahara svarupa.

It is accepted in this world that the human creation is the highest. But the materialists all think, «We are masters of the fossil world. We don’t have to give any explanation for our activity to anyone. We are the masters.» That is the materialists’ scientific standpoint. But sometimes they are afraid, «If higher cultured people are in Sukragraha or any other star, should they come here, then we are nowhere. If in a flying saucer they should come once to attack us with any new types of weapons, then we are nowhere.»

But before this, they may fight with one another with atom bombs and destroy everything. Suicidal! This is, after all, the suicidal plane, the discordant plane where one cannot live without devouring his environment. That is the law of this land. If you want to live here, then you must devour your environment; otherwise, you can’t survive. So, it is the suicidal plane. One is eating another, and only then he can live.That too is only for the time being. So, is this a proper land to live in?

Prasad — that is the highest solution! The principal necessities of any life here in this world are to preserve and to propagate. Our first priority is to preserve, and for self-preservation we create havoc in the environment by exploitation. The first principle of exploitation begins from the urge for self-preservation, and that means eating. We are to adjust our dealings with the environment in our most primitive necessity which we can’t avoid in order to keep body and soul together. So, if we can solve this one difficulty, we can almost solve the whole problem.

prasada-seva karite haya
sakala prapancha jaya

Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur says that the key to the solution of the whole problem of this mundane life is in prasad. The first necessity of life is eating, and if we can solve that problem, we have solved the whole thing. Prasada-seva karite haya sakala prapancha jaya: the most important thing is to learn how we should take prasadam to maintain ourselves. Our life depends mainly on that.

To live here, we cannot but consume, and we cannot but create devastation in the environment by our eating. If we go to consume anything, even plants, grasses, or seeds, then microscopic creatures are being killed. So, the question is how to get rid of this reaction? It is said in Srimad Bhagavad-gita (3.9),

yajnarthat karmano ’nyatra loko ’yam karma-bandhanah

We shall get relief from that reaction only if we can successfully connect everything with the supreme satisfaction, with Him whose pleasure all existence is meant to fulfil. So, in the taking of food, really we are to be conscious that we are collecting the ingredients for His satisfaction, and then cooking and offering to Him for His satisfaction — that should be our real purpose. And then because our whole life and energy is for serving Him, we need energy and must take something out of that. But the main point, the real substance of the transaction, will be to collect, cook, and offer to Him according to His will expressed in the scriptures. That is the first step, and only after the foodstuffs have been offered to Him shall we take anything ourselves. This will help to make us always conscious of why we are taking. We are taking because we want only to serve Him. Furthermore, whatever has been accepted by the Lord, the ‘poison’, the bad reaction, will have been absorbed and digested by Him just as in the case of Mahadev who drank the poison generated from the Ocean of Milk.

Krishna is absolute and can digest anything. Not only that, but those things which have been consumed in His connection also receive promotion, so actually there is no himsa, violence. What appears to be himsa is not really so because those who are apparently violently treated actually receive a high promotion through connection with the Supreme. In addition, whoever has been instrumental in fulfilling that connection will also receive some reward. So, the devotee must think, «What shall I take? I won’t take anything from the world. I shall take only from my master as His grace. It is His grace. His free grace to me — prasad.»

The word prasad means ‘kindness’, ‘grace’. The devotee will feel, «Whatever service I do, I am not expecting anything to be paid to me in return. It is a free transaction. And whatever I receive is only His grace. So, I shall take prasad, then I shall be free from all entanglement of action and reaction even though I am in the midst of it. Because it is a fact that with every action I must disturb the environment, then if all my actions are meant for Him, the Supreme Lord, there will be no bad reaction coming to me, but rather the opposite reaction will occur and help not only me but those that were offered also. Through me, through myself as a centre, such waves will emanate that will help others to progress in their path of purification.»

So, through the godliness in his heart, everyone must be a purifying agent. God is on the throne of the heart, and from there He will emanate such a fine ray which will purify not only that person’s heart but also the environment. ‘Vaisnava’ means a purifying agent who emanates goodness, absolute goodness, everywhere — through his movements, his words, his actions: every deed, thought, and word — kaya, mana, vakya. A Vaisnava is an agent of auspiciousness: te Vaisnava bhuvanam asu pavitrayanti. There are so many Vaisnavas, and by their chanting the Holy Name, by all their practices and by their whole lives, they are like so many purifying agents.

By proper knowledge, proper dealings, and proper conduct, they set everything in its proper position and create adjustment in the domain of maladjustment. This world is maladjusted, and the balancing agents, the unifying factors, are the Vaisnavas. Just as there is a germ, a virus which spreads a particular contagious disease, so there must be the opposite of that, something which emanates only a pure and healthy atmosphere, and that is the Vaisnava.

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