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THE REAL PEACE FORMULA (New-2003)
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Krsna Consciousness The Topmost Yoga System
© Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Every living entity is searching after peace. Everyone, from the aquatics to the highest form of human being, from the ant up to Brahma, the first creature of this universe, is searching after peace. That search is the main objective of life, and it constitutes the very struggle for existence. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said that the only peaceful man is he who is in full Krishna consciousness, for he has no demands. He is akarmi, which means he does not suffer the reactions of his activities, that he has no desire, is self-sufficient and has nothing to ask. Such a person, fully situated in Krishna consciousness, is completely peaceful.
Everyone else falls into three other classes—bhuktis, muktis, and yogis. The bhuktis hanker after material happiness and enjoyment. These are the people who want to eat, drink, be merry and enjoy a life of the senses. There are different modes of enjoyment according to the body, and people are searching after sense enjoyment on this planet, on other planets, here, there, and everywhere. The main objective of this pursuit is simply to gratify the senses. Such are the bhuktis. The next class, a little more elevated, is the mukti class, those who, fatigued and frustrated by sense gratification, desire liberation from material entanglement. These Salvationists, however, also have some desire—the desire to be free from this material entanglement. The yogis, the third class, are busy searching after mystic perfection. There are eight kinds of mystic perfection which grant one the ability to become smaller than the smallest, heavier than the heaviest, lighter than the lightest, etc. Ordinary persons who are after sense gratification, and those who are Salvationists, and those who are after mystic perfection—all have some demand. This is not true of the devotees, however. They have no demands because they simply want to serve Krishna. They are awaiting the order of Krishna, and that is their satisfaction. If Krishna tells them to go to hell, they are prepared to go, and if He says, “You come to me,” they are also prepared to go. Because they have attained the perfect ional stage, they have no demands.
It is because we are in material bondage that we have so many demands. The masses of people simply want sense gratification, and those who are a little more advanced want mental satisfaction, and those who are even more refined strive to show some magical power in this world. All of these are in material bondage in different ways. Therefore a person who is Krishna conscious prays to the Lord: “My dear Lord, when shall I be fully absorbed in Your thoughts or Your service? When shall I be simply conscious of You and free from all mental demands?” Being absorbed in the thought of Krishna is not simply being absorbed in some abstract, concocted speculation. It is actual meditation on the Supreme Person that is indicated. By such meditation, all mental concoction and desires are completely eradicated.
At present we are hovering over the mental plane. The mind is constantly driving us to go here and go there, and it is to our benefit that we stop taking dictations from it. In order to do this, we have to establish ourselves in our constitutional relationship with Krishna as His servant. “I shall simply be Your eternal servitor,” we should think. “And I shall be very cheerful, for I have my master.” Those who are not in Krishna consciousness are guideless, and because they are their own guides and are uncertain, they are always fearful. A person who is in Krishna consciousness, however, has the advantage of having this supreme guide; therefore he has no fear. As long as a child is under the care of his parents, he has no fear, but as soon as he is free of them, he finds so many impediments. When we engage in Krishna consciousness one hundred percent, we will immediately become very peaceful, for we will immediately gain liberation from all mental concoctions.
For this reason Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that those who are in Krishna consciousness are actually peaceful because they have no demands. Those who are after sense enjoyment, salvation and yogic mystic perfections are all always full of anxiety. As long as one is full of anxiety, he should know that he is still under the grip of material nature, and as soon as one is free from all anxiety, he should know that he is liberated. Fears and anxieties exist because we do not know Krishna, the Supreme Lord, the supreme controller. Instead, we ascribe to other conceptions and are therefore always anxious.
Yet there are many difficulties which arise when we begin to take to Krishna consciousness. For example, Prahlada Maharaja, although five years old and a pet child, found that his father became his enemy and tried to kill him just because he was a devotee of the Lord’s. This is the way of the world; as soon as one becomes a devotee of the Lord, he finds so many obstacles presenting themselves. But one should be assured that these obstacles will not be serious hindrances or impediments on the path. Despite all obstacles, we should always be personally prepared to become Krishna conscious, otherwise we can only turn to the kingdom of maya, illusion. Maya will try to defeat us as soon as she sees that a living soul is leaving her grip, but as soon as we become Krishna conscious and fully surrender unto the Supreme Lord, we have nothing more to fear from this illusion. Therefore the Krishna conscious person is a perfectly peaceful person.
Everyone wants peace in the world, but no one knows how to attain it. The defect in the philosophy of the peace marchers was noted by the Archbishop of Canterbury when he said, “You want the kingdom of God without God.” If we at all want peace, we have to understand that peace means knowing God. This is stated in Bhagavad-gita. Unless we are in touch with the Supreme Lord, Krishna, we cannot have peace, for this is the real key to the peace formula. The real peace formula is that one must know that God is the proprietor of all this universe, including the United States, Russia, China, India, etc. Because we claim that we are the proprietors, there is fighting, discord and disagreement. In such consciousness, how can there be peace? We first must accept the fact that God is the proprietor of everything and that we are simply guests on this planet for at most one hundred years. We come and we go, and while we are here, we are absorbed in the thought that “This is my land. This is my family. This is my body. This is my property.” We do not stop to consider that when there is an order from the Supreme, we will have to leave this home, body, property, family, money, bank balance, etc. Our position has to be totally vacated. When material nature takes us in her grip at death and offers different kinds of bodies, she says, “Now my dear sir, you accept this body.” In this way we are forced to accept an American body, Indian body, Chinese body, cat’s body, dog’s body, etc. We’re not even the proprietors of these bodies, yet we are claiming to be these bodies. This is all due to ignorance. In such ignorance, where is the possibility of peace? Peace can only be had when we understand that God is the proprietor of everything. Our friends, family and relatives are guests of time. When we accept this knowledge, we will have peace.
We are searching for a friend to give us peace and tranquility, and that friend is Krishna, God. If we would just make friends with Him, we will find that everyone is our friend. God is situated in everyone’s heart, and if we make friends with Him, He will dictate from within so that we will be treated in a friendly way. If we make friends with the police commissioner, we will receive some advantages, or if we make friends with the president, so many people will be our friend. Similarly, if we make friends with God, everyone will be our friend. If everyone understands that God is everyone’s friend and that He is the supreme proprietor, the world will become peaceful. This is the verdict of Lord Chaitanya’s.
In Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Chaitanya Charitamrita and in all other Vedic literatures as well as in the literatures of all other religions, this very fact is presented: God is the proprietor, and He is the only friend. If we simply understand this, we will have peace, for this is the perfect peace formula. But as soon as we encroach on God’s property, claiming it to be our own, there will be police action taken in the form of material nature, which will inform us that we are not the proprietors. We can only have what is allotted by God.
Our only business is to elevate ourselves to perfect Krishna consciousness and nothing more. If we deviate from this law, or if we don’t accept this principle, or if we want to enjoy more, then we will have to suffer. There is no question of forgetting, for those who are in Krishna consciousness know nothing but Krishna. Therefore Lord Chaitanya says that one who is Krishna conscious has no demands and is at peace. This is a fact, for actually only those who are Krishna conscious are peaceful and unafraid. They are neither in heaven, nor in hell, nor anywhere else, for they are always with Krishna. Consequently wherever they remain is Vaikuntha. Krishna is never lost to them because He resides everywhere as Paramatma, the Supersoul in the hearts of all living entities. We should be careful to understand, however, that although Krishna lives within the heart of the hog, He is not being subjected to the punishments of a hog. The Lord and His devotees are always transcendental to the modes of material nature. Lord Sri Krishna Himself as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, seeing the pitiable condition of the general populace in the present day, directly distributes love of Godhead, and He distributes it freely due to His compassion for the suffering living entities.
Yet although love of God is being given freely and easily, people do not care for it. Guru Maharaja Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati used to say that if we take a langera mango, which is the highest quality mango in India, very costly, sweet, and tasty, and go from door to door and try to distribute it freely, people will doubt: “Why has this man brought this langera mango? Why is he trying to distribute it freely? There must be some motive behind it.” Similarly, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu distributes this Krishna consciousness freely, but people are so foolish that they think, “What is there to simply chanting Hare Krishna? This is meant for the foolish who cannot speculate and who do not have any higher standard of knowledge.” But factually this is not the case. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that out of millions and millions of people, only a few are so fortunate as to be interested in Krishna consciousness. We should not neglect this information, for it is very rare. If we prosecute Krishna consciousness, our lives will be successful, and our mission of human life will be fulfilled. The gift of Krishna consciousness is very valuable and very rare. Of the innumerable living entities who are wandering and transmigrating in the 8,400,000 species of life, he who takes to Krishna consciousness is most fortunate, for he has found a great spiritual treasure.
Sometimes devotees of the Lord go from door to door as beggars. This is the custom in India, where sannyasis in the renounced order often go to a householder’s door to beg. These sannyasis are very well received, and they do not ask for anything in particular but for whatever one can afford. If one simply offers a chapati to a pure devotee who comes to his door, he is made spiritually rich. When one is advanced in spiritual wealth, he offers a good reception to devotees, as far as possible. According to the Vedic system, even if an enemy comes to one’s home, he has to be received in such a way that one will forget that he is an enemy.
If by chance we receive training from a teacher who is a saintly person and a pure devotee of the Lord, by such contact we become pure. Therefore Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that the fortunate person who has had some spiritual asset in his past dealings will seek the association of pure devotees. The seed of Krishna consciousness is received by the mercy of the guru, the spiritual master, and by the mercy of Krishna. When the spiritual master and Lord Krishna will that a person become Krishna conscious, the seed of Krishna consciousness very nicely fructifies. When one’s spiritual assets make him so fortunate that he becomes spiritually enlivened, he meets a bona fide spiritual master. By the grace of that spiritual master he can receive the seed of Krishna consciousness. That is the result of his inner urge, his questioning: “Where can I get this association? Where can I get this awareness?”
Krishna is within us, and as soon as He sees that we are very sincere, that we are seeking, He sends a bona fide spiritual master. By a combination of Krishna and the spiritual master, we receive the seed of Krishna consciousness. The seed is there constitutionally. If we have a very nice seed of a rose bush, what is our duty? Are we to lock it up in a safety vault in a bank? Our duty is to sow it in the ground. The seed of Krishna consciousness must be sown within the heart, not within the earth, but within our very selves. And after sowing the seed we must pour a little water on it, and that water is sravanam kirtanam, hearing and chanting. Once the seed is sown within the heart, we only have to pour a little water on it to make it grow.
It is not that we reach any stage in spiritual life where we will no longer have to hear or chant. This process goes on continuously. As with any plant, if we stop pouring water on it, it will dry up and not produce any fruit, so the plant of Krishna consciousness must be constantly watered by the process of hearing and chanting. Maya is so strong, so powerful, that as soon as she sees an opportunity she will at once try to dry the plant up. But by the process of pouring on the water of chanting and hearing, the plant of Krishna consciousness grows unlimitedly. There is a limit to the growth of every plant that we see; it grows, grows, and finally reaches a point where it stops. But the plant of Krishna consciousness grows in such a way that it does not rest in any part of the material universe because a Krishna conscious person is not satisfied with any planetary facility in any part of this material universe. Even if we offer a devotee a place in Siddha Loka, where the inhabitants are so powerful and elevated that they can fly in the sky without airplanes, he will not be satisfied. The plant of Krishna consciousness does not stop at any planet in the material universe but penetrates the covering of this universe, and even after reaching the causal ocean continues to grow. Even when it reaches the spiritual sky it is not satisfied with any Vaikuntha planet but continues to grow to enter into the highest planet of the spiritual sky, known as Krishna Loka. This planet is shaped just like a lotus flower, and it is the supreme abode of Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is there that the plant finds Krishna’s lotus feet and rests. As soon as the plant of Krishna consciousness captures Krishna’s lotus feet, it takes shelter saying, “There, I have finished my journey. Let me expand and bare fruit here.” In this way we come to enjoy Krishna’s association. In this position, the devotee attains the perfection of peace.
II. Hearing, Chanting and Serving
Most people encounter difficulties in their search for peace because they have failed to control their minds. The nature of the mind is that it is very flickering; it accepts some things and rejects others. Consequently the mind is never at peace. One minute we may decide to do something, and at the next minute we may reject the idea. In this way we try to be satisfied by pursuing so many different paths of action. The principles of religion aim at controlling the mind. Only in the human form of life can we take to these religious principles, for in animal society there is no question of acting in accordance with religious principles. In Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, etc., the basic principle of yoga, which is mind control, can be found.
Of all the senses, the mind is the most important. It is the center of all senses. The body is a combination of senses, and if the mind is disturbed, the senses cannot act. If a man’s mind is in disorder, a man is called mad because the man cannot use his senses properly. He cannot think properly, feel properly, nor act properly.
Some five thousand years ago there was a great meeting of sages at Naimisaranya, in India, and Suta Gosvami, who was presiding over the assembly, spoke to the great sages about satisfying the mind. He said that if we want to satisfy the mind and actually attain to peace, we will have to take to the transcendental process of Krishna consciousness. Essentially this process is a process of rendering service.
It is the nature of man, or his dharma, to serve. Service is not only characteristic of man but of all other living entities as well. We often see animals serving their cubs, or ants serving their community, or bees serving their hives—that spirit of service is characteristic of all. We render service either out of a sense of love or a sense of superiority. No one can claim that he does not serve anyone. We must be serving, and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu points out that it is the prime duty of all living entities to understand that their position is to serve God. That is our real dharma, our real constitutional position. We are eternal servants of God, and therefore we cannot possibly escape rendering service. If we are not serving God, we are rendering service to our personal selves, to our bodies, to our families, to our society, community, or nation. Just as liquidity is characteristic of water, or sweetness is characteristic of sugar, so service is the characteristic of the living entity. It is the basic ingredient and cannot be taken away. In chemistry certain characteristics are understood to be intrinsic as far as certain chemicals are concerned. We have to understand that the dharma of service is intrinsic for the living entity.
When the word dharma is translated into English, it is often described as a kind of faith, but in Sanskrit the word dharma does not mean that. Dharma refers to the inherent characteristic of a particular thing, that which cannot be changed. A man’s faith can be changed—today one can be a Hindu and tomorrow a Christian. The essential characteristic of service, however, cannot be changed. This service is the perfect characteristic of the human being. It is transcendental, not material. Transcendental refers to that which is beyond this material conception, beyond the material energy. In Bhagavad-gita, Sri Krishna speaks of His material and transcendental energies in this way:
bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahamkara iti ’yam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha
apare ’yam itas tv anyam
prakrtim viddhi me param
yayedam dharyate jagat
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and false ego—altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies. Besides this inferior nature, O mighty Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine which is all living entities who are struggling with material nature and sustaining the universe.” (Bg. 7.4)
Just as there is superior and inferior energy, so there is superior and inferior service. Inferior service is service rendered for some material purpose. In the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Vyasadeva says: “He who serves the inferior energy is engaged in pretending, falsity and cheating.” (Bg. 7.5)
Sridhara Swami, the great commentator on Srimad-Bhagavatam, says that in general people are interested in four kinds of religious principles—religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation. Generally people are interested in some material benefit. Why? They desire sense gratification. If we get material riches, we can satisfy our senses according to our desires. In this way there are different motives for rendering service.
But transcendental service is devoid of such motives. Suta Gosvami, the speaker of Srimad-Bhagavatam, says that by executing transcendental service one can advance his natural love for God. Everyone has a natural love for God, and in the Chaitanya-Caritamrta it is said that this love is everlasting. This transcendental love is not attained by practice; it is already there. It simply has to be cultivated.
In Bhagavad-gita it is stated that when a man becomes addicted to something good, he gives up bad habits. For instance, a child sometimes plays very mischievously, but when he grows up he devotes himself to study, he reads and writes and goes to school and becomes sober and gentle. A person cannot be taught things by force; it must be natural. In Krishna consciousness movement we have experienced that thousands of American and European boys and girls are taking to Krishna bhakti, devotional service to Krishna, although four years ago they had never even heard the name of Krishna. Upon initiation into the service of Krishna, they willingly gave up the practices of intoxication, meat-eating, illicit sex and gambling. Although they engaged in these practices almost from the beginning of their lives, they abandoned them because they were taught them unnaturally. As soon as one comes to his natural position, which is dormant and everlasting, he gives up his artificial life.
If Krishna bhakti is natural for everyone, how is it invoked in everyone? Information of this is given in scripture. We must patiently hear about Krishna. The Krishna consciousness movement is based on this principle—one must listen to the message given by Krishna or to the message given about Krishna. The message given by Krishna is Bhagavad-gita, and the message given about Krishna is Srimad-Bhagavatam. Everyone can listen to these messages; there is no impediment. If we simply give aural reception to these messages, our dormant Krishna consciousness will be invoked naturally. The centers for the International Society for Krishna consciousness are being opened all over the world just to give people the chance to hear about Krishna. If we hear about Krishna, we can speak about him, and this process is called sravanam kirtanam. Sravanam means hearing, and kirtanam means speaking, describing, or chanting. When many men and women get together and glorify, chant or sing about Krishna, it is called sankirtana. Sankirtana is particularly appropriate for this age and is advocated by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
In the Satya Yuga, a previous age characterized by longevity and piety, people could advance in spiritual consciousness by meditation. In this fallen age meditation is not easy, but it was possible in Satya Yuga when people would live for 100,000 years. Valmiki Muni, for example, meditated for 60,000 years and reached perfection. Of course in the present age this is not possible. Even if we lived for such a long time, our minds are so disturbed and we are engaged in so many impious activities that it is impossible to meditate. One or two great yogis may be able to meditate properly, but for the masses of people it is not possible.
Meditation means concentration on Vishnu, not on something impersonal or fictitious. When yogis meditate, they fix their minds on Vishnu, the Supersoul expansion of the Lord. The Supreme Personality of Godhead lives in everyone’s heart. We simply have to meditate upon Him to realize Him, and this meditation was very easily performed in the Satya Yuga.
In the next millennium, Treta Yuga, the same results were achieved by performing great sacrifices. In accordance with the Vedic injunctions for sacrifice, many tons of butter and grains were sacrificed to the fire. Obviously today no one has sufficient money to perform such sacrifices, and even if the money were available there are no qualified brahmanas to perform the sacrifice. Traditionally, the priests who executed the sacrifice were tested to see whether they were qualified. The first test was to see whether or not the priest chanted the mantra perfectly. An animal would be placed into the fire, and if the mantra were chanted perfectly, the animal would come out with a new life. Such a task cannot be performed today because there are no qualified brahmanas, nor is all the additional paraphernalia available.
In the following millennium, Dvapara Yuga, it was possible for temple worship to be performed perfectly. Today even old temples are neglected; no one is taking care of them properly. The Christian churches and the temples and churches in England and America are now being sold because people are not taking care of them. People are gradually becoming atheistic in this age, and they have lost interest in going to the church or temple. Therefore this process is not recommended in this age.
The conclusion is that the process of sravanam kirtanam, hearing and chanting, is particularly suitable for this age. Everyone can hear, and everyone can chant. There is no difficulty. This can be done under any circumstance, at any time, in any condition of life, by anyone. This process of chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare was given to the world by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who descended on this earth specifically to give this process as the dharma for this age. By means of this process, purification of the senses is easily achieved, and the attitude of service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is invoked. It is the most efficient means of realizing our constitutional position as servants of the Supreme.
That process by which we can advance our understanding of our constitutional position is to be known as a first class religious process. We are everlastingly servants of God, but unfortunately we have forgotten Him. We have forgotten our relationship with God as servants. As pointed out before, the attitude of service is there in everyone, but in material consciousness we are rendering service to our senses, to our family, society, etc. In any case, the service spirit is there, but it is pervertedly reflected. Because we are covered by gross and subtle material elements, our spirit of service is being misused. Suta Gosvami says that the spirit of service which is inherent in all of us can be perfectly realized when we come to the platform of rendering service to the Supreme Lord.
The method of rendering service is transmitted by the parampara system, which passes knowledge down from master to disciple. The most efficient process for the perfection of all religious systems, the process by which our minds can be pacified, is this process of bhakti-yoga, the rendering of transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord who is beyond the perception of our material senses. Another name for God is Adhoksaja, which means “beyond the perception of our material senses.” We can see directly, eat, touch and smell directly, but we cannot perceive God directly through these material senses. Because we cannot see God directly, we are not to assume that He has no form. When Krishna was personally present on this planet, people saw His form. In addition, there are descriptions of Krishna’s transcendental form given by Lord Brahma in the Brahma-samhita. In the beginning of the creation, Brahma realized the Personality of Godhead by tapasya (penance), and Brahma-samhita was sung by him in praise of Sri Krishna. Through so many authorities we come to understand Krishna as having form. In rendering service to Krishna, there is no question of voidism or impersonalism. Transcendental loving service must be rendered to a personal God, the Supreme Person.
Service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead can not be checked by any material conditions. If we engage ourselves in His service, we will never be impeded by any material considerations. It is not that we cannot serve God because we are too busy, or because we are too rich or too poor, or because we are black or white or whatever color. Anyone can serve God in any circumstances whatsoever. Once we take to this process of pure devotional service, we will never be checked.
In order to attain the perfection of pure devotional service, we should worship God without purpose and without motive. The demigods are worshipped with a motive, but Krishna is served without any motive. In Bhagavad-gita it is affirmed by Sri Krishna Himself that the demigods are worshiped out of desire.
kamais tais-tair hrtajnanah
tam-tam niyamam asthaya
prakrtya niyatah svaya
“Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.” (Bg. 7.20) It is the wise man, however, who turns to Krishna and worships Him without motive.
bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti
sa mahatma sudurlabhah
“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes, and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Bg. 7.19)
We must take shelter of the Supreme Lord according to the rules and regulations of the scriptures and not whimsically. If we take shelter of Him in this way, we will attain the highest perfection of life, regardless of the birth we take.
mam hi partha vyapasritya
ye ‘pi syuh papayonayah
striyo vaisyas tatha sudras
te ‘pi yanti param gatim
“O son of Pritha, anyone who will take shelter in Me, whether a woman, or a merchant, or one born in a low family, can yet approach the supreme destination.” (Bg. 9.32)
In Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that if we want to attain real peace, we must be peaceful individually. Only when we are peaceful individually can we be peaceful nationally or collectively. A person may be satisfied in his own way, but if others are dissatisfied, there is disturbance. If we would come to the platform of Krishna consciousness and engage in the transcendental loving service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, our minds and souls will be fully satisfied, and peace will be possible. There will only be peace in the world when we turn to the Supreme Lord and glorify Him. In all scriptures we find that we should glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Somehow or other, we must worship Him on the platform of glorification and service. There is no necessity to perform austerity, penance and meditation because it is understood that by devotional service the perfection of austerity, penance and meditation is already reached. If we do not come to the point of worship of God, what is the value of austerity? We may consider ourselves a Christian or a Hindu, and we may execute our prescribed duties very nicely and think that we are working in accordance with our system of religion, but if we are not attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His pastimes, there is no benefit.
Unfortunately in this age people are not attached to or attracted by God and His pastimes. Throngs of people would assemble for a political meeting, but if the subject matter is Krishna or God, no one is interested. This is due to the influence of the age. The fact remains, however, that if we faithfully discharge our duties as a politician, a businessman, a professional man, a laborer or whatever, and do not develop Krishna consciousness, then our work is fruitless. The very aim of life is God consciousness, and the Srimad-Bhagavatam says that activities that do not bring us to God consciousness are simply a waste of time. The Vedanta Sutra also indicates that human life is especially meant for inquiring about the Supreme Absolute Truth. If that inquiry is not invoked in human life, the human form of life is spoiled. We are born in ignorance, without Krishna consciousness, without understanding our relationship with God. If we continue like this, we are actually defeated, regardless of how victorious we may think we are in our business or profession.
If we are too attached to this material world, we have to return again, and according to our karma we have to accept another body. There are 8,400,000 forms of bodies, and according to our work we can be put in any one of them. We may try to avoid nature’s law, but it is not possible. At death material nature again throws us into the cycle of birth and death. In these millions of forms of life, we have no control over where we will be placed next. Therefore the scriptures enjoin that we should try to evoke Krishna consciousness before death comes.
Death is certain. When death comes, it takes away everything—home, family, country, dress, apartment, etc. Everything is finished. We then have to accept another body and construct another house, another society, etc. This cycle is going on and on, and in this way Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu points out that the living entities are wandering in so many bodies all over this universe. Sometimes we may appear as Brahma, sometimes as an ant, sometimes as a demigod, a man, a fish, an insect and so on. While wandering in this way, the living entity is most fortunate if he gets in touch with the guru and Krishna.
If we get a very valuable seed of a lotus flower and do not utilize it, the seed will not fructify, but if we plant it, the seed will grow, and one day a very beautiful lotus flower will blossom. The seed of Krishna consciousness is given, and if we cultivate it, our life will be successful. Krishna consciousness is a great science. It is authorized, not concocted. It is based on scripture, not mental speculation, and it is very easy to execute. If we try to meditate on our own, we will run into great difficulties and will ultimately fail, but in this age the process has been made very easy. Let us just try to approach a bona fide spiritual master, or a representative of Krishna, and under his direction take this seed of Krishna consciousness and sow it in our hearts and water it by hearing and chanting. If we continue hearing and chanting, the seed will grow. Simply by beginning this process we will quickly come to the stage whereby we will realize that this is the quickest, easiest, and most reliable way to peace.
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