Lecture Delivered at New York on October, 1966
purushah sa parah partha
bhaktya labhyas tv ananyaya
yena sarvam idam tatam
We have been discussing about the transcendental world. The transcendental world is above this material sky. The material sky is also a part of the transcendental sky or spiritual sky—it is covered only. This thing we have already explained. Just like the sky, some part of the sky is covered by cloud. The cloud cannot cover the whole sky. That is not possible. That is not in the power of the cloud. Only insignificant portion of the cloud, er, sky, is covered by cloud. Similarly, the unlimited sky, spiritual sky, and some portion of it, when it is covered by mahat-tattva or a spiritual cloud, the portion which is covered, it is called material sky.
This material sky is meant for the conditioned soul. Just like the prison house. What is this prison house? The prison house is a certain area of the state, walled, all sides walled and protected, so that the prisoners may not come out. That is called prison. But it is within the state, within the city, under insignificant portion. Similarly, this material manifestation is only a very insignificant portion of the spiritual sky, and it is covered so that we may not go to the spiritual sky. That is not possible. We cannot go. We cannot travel even in the outer space of this material sky. So we have got very limited potency. But this is the situation.
So there, in the spiritual sky, there are spiritual planets, and on each planet the Lord is manifested. There are innumerable planets. So here it is, that information is given in the Bhagavad-gita, that purushah sa parah partha: "That spiritual sky, the predominating Personality of Godhead is transcendental." Just like here, in every country, in every planet, there is a predominating personality. In your country, the predominating personality is President Johnson. Similarly, in every country there is a predominating personality. Similarly, every planet there is a predominating personality. So the same system is there also. But there is no rival. Purushah sa parah partha. There, the Personality of Godhead, there is nobody rival. Just like here, the predominating personality, President Johnson, when the next election will come, there will be so many rivals. But in the spiritual sky there is no rival. In the spiritual sky the Supreme Lord is the Supreme. And those who wanted to become rival, they are put into this material sky, under condition of the material nature. This is the difference between spiritual sky and material sky.
So purushah sa parah partha. There the predominating Personality of Godhead is transcendental. Because there is no rivalry, there are also inhabitants; in those planets, there are inhabitants. They are liberated souls. In the Bhagavata we get information that their feature of the body is exactly like God. In some of the planets the God is manifested in two hands; and some of the planets, the God is manifested in four hands. And the living entities, they are also of the same feature. The inhabitants or citizens, they are also of the four hands. And one cannot distinguish who is God and who is not God. This is called sarupya-mukti, liberation of the same feature.
There are five kinds of liberation: sayujya, sarupya, salokya, sarshti, samipya, five kinds of liberation. So sayujya-mukti is to merge into the impersonal effulgence of God. That is called sayujya-mukti. If you like, you can merge your identity with the impersonal feature of the Supreme Lord, which is called Brahman, brahmajyoti. That you can do. But that is not very palatable. That we have discussed many times. But others... There are two schools of philosophers. One likes to merge into the existence of the Supreme and close his identity, individual identity—no more individuality. That you can do. You close your identity. But that sort of merging is risky also. That we have several times discussed. But if you enter into some planets, spiritual planets, then you can have five kinds of liberation. One kind of liberation is sarupya. You can have body exactly like God. Sarupya. Salokya. You can live in the same planet, salokya. Salokya, salokya and sarshti. Sarshti means you can have similar opulence as God has, similar opulence. So much powerful you can become that you are as powerful as God is. That is called sarshti. And samipya. Samipya means you can always remain with God as one of the associates. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna is always with Krishna as friend. This is called samipya.
So there are different kinds of liberation. Now, any one, any of these five kinds of liberations you can have. But out of the five, the sayujya-mukti, or the liberation by becoming merged into the existence of the Supreme, is not accepted by the Vaishnava philosophers. We belong to the Vaishnava philosophical school, Vaishnava. Vaishnava means we want to worship God as He is, and we keep our separate identity eternally to serve Him. That is Vaishnava philosophy. And the Mayavada philosophy and impersonalist philosophy is that they want to close their individual identity and merge into the existence of the Supreme.
Now, here Lord Krishna does not advise you... That is a suicidal policy. That policy is neither recommended by Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the Bhagavad-gita, neither the Vaishnava philosophers, they accept it, to merge. They don't wish to close their individuality. They...Lord Caitanya, the stalwart amongst the Vaishnava philosophers, He said that, He prayed that
na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagadisha kamaye
mama janmani janmanishvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
[Cc. Antya 20.29, shikshashtaka 4]
The pure Vaishnava, unadulterated devotee of the Lord, they do not want even liberation. They don't want. They don't care for liberation also. What they want? Just like in this prayer, Lord Caitanya says, mama janmani janmanishvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki: "I may remain Your pure devotee birth after birth." That means, when there is birth after birth, there is no liberation. So He doesn't expect even liberation. When you are liberated, there is no birth. Either you remain in the spiritual planet or you merge into the existence of the Supreme, there is no more birth in this material world. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu prays that "Birth after birth." That means He doesn't care whether He is liberated or not liberated; He wants simply to be engaged in Krishna consciousness, to serve the Lord, Supreme Lord. That is His philosophy. Never mind where He is. The devotee doesn't mind whether he's born in the animal society or human society or demigod society or any society. He simply prays to God that "I may not forget You. I may be always engaged in Your transcendental loving service." This is the symptom of pure devotion. Of course, a devotee, wherever he remains, he remains in the spiritual kingdom, even in this material body. But from his side he does not demand from God anything for his personal superiority or personal comfort.
So Lord Krishna says that if you want to become one of the associates in that spiritual planet, then you have to become a pure devotee. Purushah sa parah partha bhaktya labhyah. Bhaktya labhyah means you can attain that perfection by devotional service. And ananyaya. Ananyaya means "without any deviation." Ananyaya. What is that deviation? The deviation is that we are sometimes inclined to become a devotee for some material benefits. So here it is said that ananyaya, ananya-bhakti, without any deviation, without any material profit, you have to become a pure devotee. Then you can attain that spiritual planet.
Now, what is the nature of God? That is also... Mmmm. Yasyantahsthani bhutani yena sarvam idam tatam. The Supreme Lord, although He's person, just like exactly a person like you and me, still, He's so, I mean to say, great that all this manifestation, spiritual or material, that is within Him. And He is also all-pervading, all-pervading by His different... Parasya shaktir vividhaiva shruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport], by His different energies, He's all-pervading everywhere. You can... If you develop pure Krishna consciousness, you can see Krishna always before you. Premaïjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena [Bs. 5.38]. These stages are there. So these are explained in the shrimad-Bhagavad-gita. Then again Lord Krishna explains. This is for the devotee.
Now, for ordinary persons, there are some chances how to enter into that spiritual kingdom. Here it is said,
yatra kale tv anavrttim
avrttim caiva yoginah
prayata yanti tam kalam
Now Krishna is explaining that "My dear Arjuna, there are different time indication of passing away from this material world. That I am explaining to you." Yatra kale, the time. Now suppose at a particular... There are different... Of course, in your country I do not know what is the astronomical almanac, but in India there is very minute calculation of astronomical situation. When a man is born, his horoscope is made, and when a man dies, how does he go, where he is going, what is his situation, by astronomical calculation they can say. So Krishna also, accepting that principle, and He's confirming herewith that yatra kale tu anavrttim. If some, at some particular time I leave this body, then I may become liberated. That means no more my birth in this material world. Similarly, if I die at a particular moment, I may..., I'll have to come back again in this material world. It is all chance. But that chance, accidentally or by some way or other one may have. But, for the devotee, there is no such chance. He is surely, he is surely. Because devotee... Sada tad-bhava-bhavitah [Bg. 8.6]. A devotee is always in Krishna consciousness. So there is no question of chance. He does not give any chance to think otherwise. Therefore he is guaranteed. But for others there are some chances like that, that in particular moment if he dies, if he leaves this body, then he can enter into the spiritual kingdom.
agnir jyotir ahah shuklah
tatra prayata gacchanti
brahma brahma-vido janah
You know that the sun's movement are different, six months on the northern side and six months on the southern side. The sun is also moving according to Vedic calculation, and in shrimad-Bhagavatam we get information that the sun is in the center of the universe. And it is also moving. As all other planets are moving, the sun is also moving. And the movement, I have seen, it is calculated that it is sixteen thousand miles per second. The sun's movement is like that. So, if we believe... And we can see the sun's movement, northern side and southern side. So when a person dies during this movement of the sun on the northern side, then he can attain liberation. That is stated in Bhagavad-gita; in other Vedic scriptures also.
dhumo ratris tatha Krishnah
tatra candramasam jyotir
yogi prapya nivartate
And if somebody dies at night, and in cloud, and it is the season during the six months when the sun is on the southern side, then the yogi, a person who dies in that particular time, he comes back again in this material world.
shukla-krshne gati hy ete
jagatah shashvate mate
ekaya yaty anavrttim
In this way, either this side or that side, that is accidental. That nobody can say, "When I'm going to die." It is simply accidental. If somebody dies accidentally during this period as stated, so somebody can attain liberation and somebody may not attain. And that is doubtful.
naite srti partha janan
yogi muhyati kashcana
tasmat sarveshu kaleshu
But one person who is bhakti-yogi, who is always in Krishna consciousness, for him there is no question of such chance. It is sure. It is sure. Even he dies at the time of this southern or northern, he has nothing to concern about that chance. Because we have already discussed that at the time of death if you can think of Krishna, then at once you are transferred to the Krishnaloka, Krishna platform.
So therefore Krishna advises, tasmat sarveshu kaleshu yoga-yukto bhavarjuna: "You always remain in Krishna consciousness. Always remain in Krishna consciousness." And that is not very difficult. If you practice this Krishna consciousness, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, then this practice will help you to be, remain, because this Krishna and the Krishna in His spiritual kingdom is no different, Absolute. The Krishna, this sound vibration, and Krishna, the original Personality of Godhead, the same. By sound vibration, you can have Krishna associated with you. Just like we are associating, we are sitting together, similarly, while, I mean to say, you are walking on the street, if you are chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, that means Krishna is going with you. Just like you have seen. While walking on the street, you see up on the horizon. You'll see the moon is going with you. The sun is going with you. And a long... I remember..., very long... It is about fifty years before. When I was householder, my second son—he was about four years old—he was walking with me on the street, and he was ask me, "Father, why the moon is going with us? Why the moon is going with us?" Yes. The moon is... As you find that the moon is going with you, similarly, by chanting, if the moon has got such power—it is a material thing; it can go with you—don't you think the Supreme Lord, who is all-powerful, He cannot remain with you? Yes. He can. By His potency, He can remain with you, provided you are also qualified to keep His company. If you are a pure devotee and if you are always merged in the thought of Krishna, you should always remember that Krishna is with you. Krishna is with you.
Lord Caitanya has confirmed this version, absolute version, in His prayer,
namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrshi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrsham ihajani nanuragah
He is praying, "My dear Krishna, my dear Lord, Your name is always invested with all the potencies of Your person." Namnam. "You have got all the potencies in name, and You have made it so easy that we can chant without any hard-and-fast rules and regulations." Suppose if you have to establish one temple of Krishna. You have got to observe so many rules and regulations. You have to spend money. You have to see its management. But here, by chanting, any man can have the same benefit of becoming nearer or in company with Krishna always and derive all the benefits out of it. Of course, there is benefit when you are associated with Krishna. So the same benefit... Just like Arjuna is deriving the benefit, being associated with Krishna, similarly, you can also derive the same benefit as being associated with Krishna simply by chanting this Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This is possible.
So Lord Caitanya says... It is not my version... Lord Caitanya says who are realized soul, who is considered to be the authority and incarnation of Krishna, Krishna Himself is saying that "You have been... The Lord, You have become so kind to these people of this material world or of this age especially that they cannot have any facility for understanding God." But God has descended in the form, in the sound, in the sound form, transcendental sound form. Simply by vibrating, you associate with God. Simply by vibrating, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. It is so much kindness of the Supreme Lord, that He wants to associate with you. So you should receive Him.
This is... It is not expensive, no loss on your part. Why don't you take this advantage? If there is any profit, why do you not care for it? Take this. Always chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Tasmat sarveshu kaleshu yoga-yukto bhavarjuna: [Bg. 8.7] "Therefore, My dear Arjuna, you should always be engaged in this yoga system, yoga-yuktah, in this transcendental form of yoga." You haven't got to do anything, controlling your breathing system or some gymnastic system, nothing. Simply... You haven't got to acquire any specific qualification to chant this Hare Krishna. Just like in your country—this language is Sanskrit, and some of you do not know the meaning. Still, it is so attractive when we chant Hare Krishna in the park or any public place, oh, all ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls, they take part.
So there is no rule, or hard-and-fast rule, for chanting. You just take to it as recommended by Krishna here: sarveshu kaleshu—always, twenty-four hours. You'll be completely safe even in this dangerous position. You, you, you should always know that this material world is always dangerous position. Just like you started the peace movement. Why? You were thinking that danger is coming, danger is coming. Yes, at any moment, there may be danger of war declaration and all these innocent youths may be called to fight. So it is always, however you may think that "I am independent nation" and this and that, you should always remember that this material world is full of danger. It is a dangerous spot. Therefore, who are Krishna conscious, who are devotee of Krishna, for them, this dangerous place is not suitable. This dangerous... Padam padam yad vipadam na tesham [SB 10.14.58]. Padam padam. In every step there is danger. This place is not suitable for the devotees of the Lord. Padam padam yad vipadam na tesham. In the Bhagavata... They are not meant for remaining this miserable, dangerous place. Yes.
So we have got this nice body, human form of life, with an advanced consciousness. Just merge it into Krishna consciousness and be happy. This is the sum and substance of this movement. You take advantage of it and be happy.
Thank you very much. [break]
Student: What is the function of the chanting? Because the chanting seems to serve a function, at least to me, of—which may be my own individual weakness, but nevertheless—is an experience I have been shown...
Prabhupada: Chanting, the chanting process is just to cleanse your mind. You have got so many misunderstandings about yourself, about this world, about God, and about our interrelationship between these things. We have got so many misgivings. We are in the position of complete ignorance. This chanting will help you to cleanse your mind. Then you'll understand that this chanting Hare Krishna is not different from Krishna.
Student: Yes. No, I, I, I...
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. Yes. So in the beginning we have to chant. We may be in whatever position we are; that doesn't matter. If we begin chanting then our, the first benefit will be ceto-darpana-marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] "The mind will be clear of all dirty things." Ceto-darpana-marjanam. And then next stage will be bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam. The next stage will be that the sufferings, the miseries of this material world, will subside. So we'll have to, I mean to say, make progress stage after stage. But any stage you can adopt this means, any stage. There is no necessity of preliminary qualification, that "You have to come to this stage and then chant." From any stage you can chant. Yes.
Student: Well, secondly, I don't quite understand what material world is, because...
Prabhupada: Material world is full of suffering and miseries. Don't you understand it? Are you happy?
Student: Sometimes I'm happy and sometimes I'm not.
Prabhupada: No. You are not happy. That sometimes is your imagination. Just like a diseased man says, "Oh, yes, I am well." What is that "well"? He's going to die and he's well?
Student: I don't claim any ultimate happiness...
Prabhupada: No, you do not know what is happiness.
Student: ...(indistinct) but it's greater or lesser...
Prabhupada: Yes. You do not know what is happiness.
Student (2): Well, of course, that sorrow or that suffering might add the spice to make that suffering that goes in between happiness.
Prabhupada: No. The thing is that there are different kinds of miseries. That we understand. That is our..., due to our ignorance. We don't care for it. Just like a man who is suffering from very, since a long time. He has forgotten what is happiness. He has forgotten what is real happiness. Similarly, the sufferings are there already. Now take for example, you are now young man. Now, would you like to become old man?
Student: I will become an old man in the process of...
Prabhupada: Now, you will become. You'll be forced to become old man, but you don't like to become an old man.
Student: I'm not going to be forced to become old man.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. Forced. You'll be forced.
Student: I don't see why...
Prabhupada: If you don't like to become old man, you'll be forced to become old man.
Student: It's one of the conditions of...
Prabhupada: Yes. That condition is miserable.
Student: I find it not miserable.
Prabhupada: No. You don't because you are young man, but ask any old man how he's suffering. You see. A diseased man—do you want to be diseased?
Student: I wouldn't search it out.
Student: I wouldn't search it out.
Prabhupada: No, no. Just answer me. Do you like to be diseased?
Student: What is...?
Prabhupada: Just answer.
Student: What is disease?
Prabhupada: Oh? You have never suffered from disease? You have never suffered from disease?
Student: I've had, I've had the mumps and the measles and whooping cough, (laughter) which is what everyone has, and you get over...
Prabhupada: Everyone has, that does not mean because..., that does not mean... Everyone is now suffering from this winter season, but that does not mean that is not suffering. So we have to admit that we are always in suffering.
Student: If I've never known happiness, I feel sure I've never known suffering either.
Prabhupada: That is due to your ignorance. We are in suffering. We don't want to die. The death is there. We don't want to be diseased. The disease is there. We don't want to become old. The old age is there. So we don't..., so many things we don't want, but they are forced upon us. And any sane man will admit that these are sufferings. But if you are accustomed to these sufferings so you say, "It is all right," that is a different thing. But naturally, any sane man, he won't like to be diseased. He won't like to be old. He won't like to die. You see. Why this movement? Because if there is war, there will be death. So people are afraid. They're making agitation, "There should be no war." So don't you... Do you think that death is very pleasurable thing?
Student: I have never experienced...
Prabhupada: You have experienced, forgotten. You have exper... Several times you have died, you have experienced, but you have forgotten. Forgetfulness... Forgetfulness is no excuse. Forgetfulness is no excuse. Suppose a child forgot some suffering. That does not mean that he did not suffer.
Student: No, I agree. I agree. But...
Prabhupada: Yes. So suffering's there. You have to take version from realized souls, from, I mean to say, authorities that this... Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it is said that duhkhalayam ashashvatam: [Bg. 8.15] "This place is full of miseries." So one has to realize it. Unless we understand that this place is miserable, there is no question how to get out of it.
Student: So we have to...
Prabhupada: Similarly, a person who does not develop this miserable condition of this world, he is not fully developed. Just like the animals. Animals, they do not understand what is misery. They do not understand. They are satisfied... (end)