His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Lecture at the home of Ted and Denise Self. 
Given on February 6th, 2005, in Irondale, Alabama.

SDA:  We're very happy to be with you here today in your meditation room.  This human form of life is very important for coming to the higher platform.  There are two levels of being.  There is the lower self, and there is the higher self.  We have to become situated in the higher self.  That is the purpose of human life.   

It is stated in the Vedanta Sutra, athato brahma jijnasa.  You have transmigrated through millions of different species of life; now, that you have achieved this human form, your duty is to inquire who am I?  What is the purpose of my existence?  Where have I come from?  What is my destination?  How will I get there?  What is the absolute truth?  This inquiry must be asked.  Otherwise we will be in the path of the lower self, which is basically the animal platform.  They say that man is a rational animal.  Human beings are rational animals, but if we do not use our rationality to understand "who am I?", then we remain animals. 

Rationality must be utilized to understand "who am I?".  Where have I come from?  What is my identity?  What is my destination?  How can I achieve it?  The great sages of India have given this elaborate Vedic wisdom, especially Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam.  These great sages of India have given us great kindness.  You may not know this, but before the kali-yuga began, 5000 years ago, all this Vedic wisdom was going on as an aural tradition.  There was no need for written language.  The anthropologists foolishly tell us that when man became more advanced, he began to write.  Written language is the sign of advancement in civilization, but these foolish rascals do not realize that actually it is a sign of the human society going down.  Previously the human beings, especially those who were disciples of gurus, were very serious in self-realization, they were known as sruti-dhara.  It means one who can capture by hearing.  The disciple could sit at the lotus feet of guru maharaja, and could hear from guru maharaja's lotus mouth, 18,000 verses of perfectly composed Sanskrit poetry, and then he could turn around a pick out one verse.  There are actually 18,000 verses and guru maharaja would say, in the 3d canto, 5th chapter, text number 13, what was that verse?  And he could recite it perfectly down to the syllable.  You can imagine the power of memory before the kali yuga began, that human beings used to have. 

Because things began going wrong, Vedavyasa was called tri-kala-jna.  One who knows past present and future, so Vedavyasa could perceive that this kali yuga which was coming that people would have very short memories.  We could not remember anything.  So, they kindly put this Vedic wisdom into written form, so those of us who have taken human birth in kali yuga would have some opportunity to achieve the perfection of human existence.  The first division of the Vedas were the four original Vedas from the original Veda.  The Yajur Veda was divided into Yajur, Rg, Sama and Atharva.  Then you have the 18 puranas, and you have108 upanisads.  Out of the 108 upanisads, this upanisad is very special because this one captures the essence of Vedic wisdom in 18 verses.  

We will read a verse from this Isa Upanisad.   

isavasyam idam sarvam
yat kinca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjitha
ma gridhah kasya svid dhanam


"Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong."

This is called the isavasya conception.  Isa means God.  This is the big problem facing our modern day society.  Instead of being a God centered society, we are a me centered society.  Everyone is walking around thinking that I'm the center, or my family's the center, my community's the center, my nation is the center of the universe.  Just like after 9/11, we saw so many billboards around America, "God Bless America".  I was always thinking what about the other nations?  How narrow minded.   Its nice that they're thinking about God, assembled on the steps in Washington, saying God Bless America, but why not God bless all the nations?  This is the problem.  Even if we are God conscious, we mix this material concept into our God consciousness, so our God consciousness is impure.  That's the problem.


 Many people go to church, but they donít have the pure knowledge of the science of God.  They mix in material concepts.  Its not pure bhakti or pure God consciousness.  That's the problem.  We are trying to introduce, now, all over the world, this program of pure bhakti.  This can solve all the problems. 


We went to a yoga center yesterday, called the connection.  We were speaking to the yogis there about the different steps on the yoga ladder.  Krishna actually describes in the 6th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita that there are different yogas.  There's karma yoga, hatha yoga, jnana yoga, astanga yoga, kundalini yoga, so many yogas are there.  But Krishna explains there in the final verse of the 6th chapter, He says: 


yoginam api sarvesham
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah

"And of all yogis, the one who is the most intimately united with Me is the one who worships Me with love and devotion."


We may sit down and do some yoga asanas, do some deep breathing exercise, but the purpose of the yogas system, according to Patanjali, is to bring the mind completely to steadiness.  So its not flickering like a candle flame in a breezy room.  The idea of the astanga system, the eightfold path of yoga is to make that mind totally still.  Then, what do you do after you've brought the mind to complete stillness, total equilibrium?  Then you fix the mind on the paramatma form of the Lord, in the heart.  That is the next step.


There are many yogis who became very advanced.  Especially in former days.  In kali yuga its difficult because there are so many distractions.  But, one yogi became very very advanced in this yoga practice.  His name was Visvamitra muni.  Very very fixed in this yogic meditation.  You may know the ultimate stage in yoga is to achieve samadhi.  He reached samadhi.  He was fixed in perfect yogic union, and when the yogis achieve this state they become powerful.  They can develop great mystic powers.  They can do practically anything they want with mystic powers. 


So, Indra, the king of heaven was watching.  He was very nervous because  he knew that this yogi, if he wants to, can kick me out of my position and take over the position of king of heaven, just by yogic power.  He was very nervous. He may take my position now that he's achieved this advanced yogic state of consciousness.  So, in heaven, they have the most beautiful women you can imagine.  We have Miss America, Miss Universe, but all the beauties of this planet, they don't compare with the beauties of heaven.  One of these heavenly beauties, Menaka, was sent to pay a visit to the yogi.  He was sitting there in his yogic state of perfect equilibrium, but then he heard the tinkling of her ankle bells.  (makes tinkling sound).  He said, Oh.  A woman's come.  She is so beautiful.  They made love and it was all over.  He lost all his yogic power.  Indra got his desire fulfilled.  I got him!  He wont be taking over my position. 


The point is  that process of mechanically fixing the mind, we may become very advanced in that astanga yoga system, but we are subject to being deviated very easily fro m the path.  But the bhakti system, which Krishna described as the topmost system is very very potent, and powerful because what you're doing in that yoga system is you're falling in love with object of your meditation.  Have you ever fallen head over heels madly in love with someone?  All you can do is think of them, talk about them, call them, buy them gifts, invite them for dinner, cook for them.  Your whole consciousness becomes completely totally immersed in that person, automatically.  You don't have to force yourself to think about your beloved.  You just wake up thinking, when will I meet her, or when will I meet him? Its spontaneous.


Bhakti yoga is the most powerful yoga because what you do is you fall in love with the object of your meditation.  When one becomes fixed in bhakti, then nothing of this world can sway your mind away because nothing is more beautiful, more attractive.   No one is more beautiful or attractive, more wonderful than Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  No one is more attractive.  He has His other forms too, like Rama.  Some bhaktas may be attracted to Rama.  That's the same thing, but the original form from which all the other forms are emanating, Krishna describes in Bhagavad-Gita.  He says:


aham sarvasya prabhavah
mattah sarvam pravartate

"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me."


And Brahmaji confirms this in Brahma-Samhita:


govindam adi purusam tam aham bhajami


Adi means original and purusam means person in Sanskrit.  So, he's saying, "I worship that original person, Krishna."  Nowadays, many people are atheistic, they say, well, there's no God.  We just believe in science.  Its very popular nowadays.  But, do not the scientists also believe there is a source for everything?  Are they not trying to seek out that source through their scientific research?  What is the big bang, what has caused the big bang?  Aren't they trying to find out the origin of the universe?  Yes, they are.  So, actually, there is no difference between the theists and the atheists.  The theists understand that there is an origin for everything, a source for everything, and the atheists also understand.  So, actually everyone understands there is a source or origin of everything.  The difference is we know what the source is, and they don't.  (laughing) That's the difference. 


They're groping in the dark, trying to find out where the light switch is, and we're already in the light.  That's the difference.  Its a big difference.  Actually its not difficult.  Even a child can understand these things, but these people become so sophisticated and puffed up by their ability to razzle-dazzle the general public with all these big scientific words that they can't even understand the simple truth that we have no experience of something coming out of nothing.  There has to be something from which everything has come.  We simply trace back that line of causality until we come to a point where we find something that didn't come from something.  Something that was just there already.  That is God, the original source. 


What is the nature of God?  Its easy to understand the concept of God, the origin of everything.  Even the scientists accept that there is an origin.  We choose to use the word God to describe that.  We can also say origin or source  We can talk about it with many sorts of terminologies.  We're not hung up on language.  We can understand that is that source, origin or God.  Then to study the nature of God is the next thing.  What is the nature of the source, the origin?  What is the nature?  This is a very important subject matter.  This is not being taught in the schools.  This is the most important subject matter.  You have to understand what is the nature of reality.  What is the nature of existence?  What is the nature of being?  We are not taught these things.  We are just taught how to make and spend money.  That's all we're taught in this modern society.  Make money, spend money.  Make money, spend money.


But, let us understand what is the actual nature of that source.  I will give you an example.  Try to understand.  If I told you, Mr. and Mrs. Self, that I were to bring you one kilo of gold every day.  I drop by your house every day saying, I've brought you another kilo of gold.  That would make your day, every day.  Oh, wow!  This is great!  Then, here comes another kilo.  Stocking it up in the meditation room where nobody knows about it.  Hide it.  You may say, Gurudeva, where are you getting all this gold?  Its amazing that you have so much gold.  You don't appear to be materially rich, yet every day you're bringing so much gold every day?  Where are you getting it? 


Well, I have a gold mine.  You have a gold mine?  Yeah, a gold mine.  You'd say, well, how much do you have in that gold mine? 


It doesn't have any gold in it.  You'd say, wait a minute,  wait a minute, wait a minute.  Gurudeva, everyday you're bringing me gold and you want me to believe there is no gold in the gold mine?  You're hiding something.  You must have so much gold in the gold mine and you don't want anyone to know and come to rob it. 


So, from that original source from which everything is emanating, from which everything has sprung, within the totality of existence we find so many persons.  Here we've got so many persons, this guru that guru, this avatar, this saint, a seal, a dog here, poochie poo, an eagle.  So many living entities in the universe.  So many persons sitting here.  So many persons within reality, who've all emanated from that original source, and you mean to tell me that original source does not possess personality?  That is just as absurd as saying that all this gold is coming out of a goldless goldmine.  Its just as equally as absurd.  If so many persons are coming out of the original fountainhead emanation point of all energies, if that energetic source of all energies is producing from itself so many personalities, then wouldn't it be more reasonable to understand that that energetic source must indeed also possess personality? 


There are so many persons who claim to be great Vedic scholars who try to establish that the original source is impersonal.  All that does is kills the ability of the living being to come to the point of bhakti.  It kills the ability of the living being to come to the point of bhakti.  How can you fall in love with an imperson?  In India, the system of marriage, even still going on today is called arranged marriage.  My disciple, Abhaya Caran, who lives there in Austin is a very happy young man working a job, but one day his parents said, ok son, we have your wife for you, come on back.  She was just picked out by the parents.  They're happily married.  Arranged marriages are still going on and they're still working out very nicely.  In America, we shutter to think.  Ahh!  Arranged marriage?!  You're parents just pick out your spouse and say ok son come on home its time for your wedding?!  Americans would be shocked!  How barbaric!   But the point I'm making here is that if you're parents said, ok, we've got your spouse picked out for you. 


You say really, what's her name? She doesn't have a name.  What does she look like?  She doesn't have a form.  She has no name.  She has no form.  Where does she live?  She doesn't live anywhere.  Who are her friends?  She doesn't have any friends.


Wait a minute mom and dad.  What is this you're trying to get me into anyway?  How can I fall in love with a spouse who has no name, no form, no activities?  I'm supposed to fall in love?  The point is that you cannot really have bhakti unless there's God as a person.  That's my point.  You can't really come to bhakti, your yoga practice will always be susceptible to deviation, like Visvamitra Muni.  Yoga does not become perfect until bhakti is added to it.  Yoga always remains imperfect until bhakti is added.  This is why the philosophers who tell us that God is impersonal are actually, I hate to say this, but they're actually our enemies.  They're killing our ability to develop bhakti, to have love. 


When Christ was praying to the Lord, he was not praying to some impersonal oneness floating out there in the ether somewhere.  Nor was he talking to himself when he said Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  He has an intimate loving relationship with his beloved father.  He is understanding God as a person.  He has an intimate loving relationship with Him.  This is how we come to the perfection of yoga practice.  We have to realize the personality of Godhead.  We have to realize that I'm His eternal servant.  Now, let me fully surrender unto Him.  Its the same teaching in the Bible and the Gita.  In the Gita, that supreme father, Krishna says:


sarva dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah

Give up all other duties, just surrender unto Me.  I will deliver you from all sinful reactions.  Do not fear. 


What does Christ say?  Father, not my will, but Thy will be done.  Its actually the same instructions, just from two different angles.  The father is saying completely surrender unto Me.  Give up all other duties and responsibilities  The son is saying, now I fully give myself unto You.  As you have told me to give up all other duties, all other desires other than pleasing you, now, not my will but Thy will be done.  The Bible and the Gita are actually saying exactly the same thing. 


The problem is that people are so misguided by pseudo religionists who are trying to turn religion into some kind of way of manipulating people.   Practically there's no one to tell you what the real essence of religion is.  The word religion comes from Latin, religio, which means to relink.  Yoga means to link, or connect, and religion mean to relink or to reconnect.  So yoga and religion are actually the same word.  Ligio, link.  Yoga, yoke.  Yoke and link are the same thing.  So, relink is religion.  And yoga is to yoke.  Religion and yoga are the same thing actually: To reconnect yourself with God is religion.


That is not being taught.  That's the problem.  The science of God is not being taught.  They are teaching some pseudo science.  The genuine science of God has become very much lost to the modern day world.  Therefore we see chaos.  Some people in the name of Allah, flying an airplane into the World Trade Center, thinking that they're very pious and very religious, sacrificing their life for Allah.  Killing the heathens, or whatever they call us, the infidels.  They actually thought they were doing the work of Allah by flying that airplane.  You can see how disturbed the science of God has become.  Throughout the world, the science of God has become lost.  So what does Krishna say?


evam parampara praptam
imam rajarsayo viduh
sa kaleha mahatah
yoga nasta parantapa

"This knowledge was thus receive through the chain of disciplic succession, but in due course of time the science has become lost."


Krishna actually came to reestablish it.  We've been deputed by the Lord because this science of God has been lost.  We have been deputed by the Lord to reestablish the actual science of God throughout the world for the benefit of all living entities whether they are Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Jew, so the world can come back to be one spiritual family all over the world.  Its not that I say I love everyone, then I eat my brothers and sisters for dinner.  I say I love everyone, I love all, but then when it comes time to eat, I eat my four-legged brothers and sisters.  I chop them up and put them in the oven, and eat them.  I say I love you God, but then I eat your children. 


Just imagine you have a next door neighbor.  Mr. Smith, I really love you.  You're my best friend.  Then one day Mr. Smith comes over and says, Joe, have you seen my kids?  I don't know where my kids are.  You say, I love you.  I chopped them up and put them in the oven.  We're having them for dinner tonight.  Mr. Smith would say "Joe!  How could you do that?  I thought you were my best friend.  I thought you love me.You say, "I do".


We're doing that to God.  We're saying I'm Your dedicated devotee, then we capture His children, butcher them, then put them in the oven in the name of Thanksgiving.  We do these barbaric things, and say I'm showing God how appreciative I am by taking one of His children, kill it and put it in the oven.  Mr. Smith, I want to show you how thankful I am, we're having your kids for dinner tonight. 

I remember I was so mad at my father.  We had these cute ducks.  I loved those ducks.  (Makes quacking sounds)  One night I went to the movie.  The next day they were gone. I said what happened to the ducks?  I killed them after you got home from the movies last night. Then we came to the dinner table, and I was supposed to eat the duck.  I couldn't do it.  I could not do it.  I would not do it.  I was so angry.  This is my pet duck.  I loved that duck!  You killed him, and now I'm supposed to eat him?  This is the kind of barbaric society we live in. 


I'm from Texas, that's our headquarters.  Actually I'm from cyberspace, that's where I really am.  (laughs)  Our headquarters are in Austin, and there the cowboy is celebrated, the cowboy is like God.  The cowboy is God.  What are they celebrating?  What are the cowboys doing?  They're herding the cows to the slaughterhouse.  They didn't have railways.  Texas was remote in those days, so they would herd them up to Kansas where there were trains and ship them off to the slaughterhouse.  So, the so-called romantic celebrated days of cowboy lore, they were just herding the poor animals off to slaughter.  Just like Hitler in Auschwitz  They kill 1.5 million Jews in Auschwitz  So what they are doing is just like Auschwitz  And they are thinking what they are doing is very romantic  The Marlboro man, cowboy hats.  We've been so mistrained.  Growing up watching westerns on television, thinking this is great.  The cowboys are the cow killers, actually.  We've just been so conditioned by our society to do things which are barbaric and actually insane, and think that they're normal.  This is why a bona fide spiritual master has to come and straighten things out so we really know what we're doing, and really get back on track.  Anyway.


We're really happy to be here and see that your meditation room can become surcharged with bhakti spirit.  We're very happy that you have opened your hearts and your meditation room to us today so we can come here with Krishna's holy name.  It is described


ceto darpana marjanam bhava
maha davagni nirvapanam

This chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra increases the ocean of bliss and enables us to taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.  It is like a benediction moon, bestowing blessings throughout the entire universe.  So, we're very happy that you've facilitated us to come and bring the holy name of Krishna to this meditation room. 


Ted Self:  You've blessed us.


SDA:  Hare Krishna.  Do you have any questions?


Ted:  I want to know one thing.  We used to be steady with meditation, but now we've missed sometimes.  So when we get into a dry spell like this, we pray for devotion, but when we feel our devotion is lacking, we don't know anything to do but to pray for devotion.  So, how can we get back into the state of bhakti.


SDA:  There's two ways of acting.  One is called proactive, the other is reactive.  Reactive means I wait until my bhakti goes away, and pray to get it back.  Proactive means you pray every day, and automatically your bhakti never goes away.  That is the advice we give, to not be reactive, waiting for your bhakti to slack, then pray to get it back. 


Do bhakti every day, even when you're feeling strong in bhakti, then you should amp it up even more.  You should do bhakti every day on a regular basis.  Every day we have our time for bhakti.  Don't you eat every day?  You should have a regular schedule just like you have your breakfast time, your dinner time, you should have a time to feed your soul.  Not that I will go without eating for a couple of months, then I notice I'm hungry, so... No.  You just eat every day.  You have to feed your soul every day.  You should have a time when you get together, and do bhakti, every day, automatically without fail. 


I grew up in a Christian family.  When we visited my grandparents.  They had an automatic bhakti program.  They would do bhakti before breakfast.  It was part of the day.  You don't eat breakfast until you meditate.  They would go to the breakfast table, then get down on our knees on the floor.  That was the program.  We were on the floor, bowing down and praying to God, on the floor before we could get up on the chair and eat our breakfast.  So, if you tie your bhakti into your eating, Ok, no bhakti, no breakfast.  Then, I guarantee you that your bhakti will happen every day.  Make a program that we will not eat our breakfast until we've had our time for bhakti.  Then your bhakti will become very strong.  Just like you brush your teeth, or shave, you make it an automatic part of your routine.  Every day, you do bhakti.  Then, I guarantee that your bhakti will take off like a rocket.  You will actually enter into the realm of immortality, and remain there forever.  As soon as we let our bhakti slack of we immediately come back to the realm of mortality.  That realm is not very pleasant.  Let's face it.  


There's two sides to reality; One side is called mortality, the other side is immortality.  Which side of reality would you like to live on?  You want to be mortal or you want to be immortal?  You make your choice, and bhakti is the key that opens the door to the other side.  Bhakti is the key.  The tendency is that modes of nature keep pulling us back into the realm of mortality.  That's why you have to overpower the modes of nature.  You have to conquer the lower self which pulls you into mortality by the higher self by which you exist in immortality.  You have to daily practice bhakti to keep yourself out of the mortality side of reality, into the immortality.  Stay fixed in the immortality side of reality.  You should never miss. 


It is stated in the Kali Santarana Upanisad.  I'm not saying this because I'm not biased.  You know I'm a member of the Hare Krishna movement, so you might think I'm biased.  I'm trying to push the Hare Krishna movement 35 years ago.  No.  Its not like that at all.  I'm recommending that you chant Hare Krishna together not because I'm a member of the Hare Krishna movement, but because that is the injunction in the Kali Santarana Upanisad.  That of all Vedic mantras, techniques of meditation and spiritual elevation, the most recommended in the age of kali is the chanting of, you guessed it:


Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

That can be confirmed by your own practical experience.  Its not that we have to blindly accept the injunction of the Vedas.  If you really want to boil it down to the simplest of all possible equations, to realize the truth, its very simple.  Truth works.  Period.  So, this Hare Krishna mantra, let us chant it with love and devotion, this mantra will carry you into that realm of immortality and keep you there.  You'll never come back.  Even though you can still maintain this body for its allotted number of years, but you won't be living in bodily consciousness anymore.  You'll be living a divine, celestial existence  You can immerse yourself in Krishna consciousness.  I guarantee it.  So, I encourage you to do that. 


I'm traveling all over the world just to plant these seeds of Krishna bhakti in the hearts of everyone that I see, everyone that I speak to.  My own personal practical experience is the highest understanding of truth.  Its confirmed in the Vedic injunctions. 

dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam

The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all.  Such truth uproots the threefold miseries of material existence  That's how you know you've got truth.  You're suffering three different types of miseries in this material world.  In the Sanskrit language they're called adhyatmika adhibhautika, and adhidaivika.  Adhidaivika is like tornadoes and tsunamis, natural disasters.  Another is adhibautika, miseries caused by other living beings like 9/11.  Then there's the adhiatmika miseries caused by our own mind and body, if you have psychological or physical problems.  If you actually come into the realm of truth, if by the grace of guru and Krishna, it will be verified and confirmed, solidly understood by the fact that those threefold miseries adhyatmika, adhibautika, and adhidaivika are just uprooted from your heart.  You'll find that you'll have a heart that is totally devoid of any kind of anxiety.  Then you'll know.  I've finally achieved the truth.  Thank you Krishna.  I've actually found it.  All of my anxieties are gone!  No more anxiety.  Truth works.


My practical experience has confirmed that this Krishna consciousness is the ultimate understanding of reality.  This doesn't negate other   Everything is included within Krishna consciousness.  This is the most mature complete understanding of reality.  This is why the Bhagavatam is called Paramahamsa Samhita.  It is the treatise of the most highly enlightened intelligent class of persons in the universe.  When you come to Krishna bhakti, then automatically, all other practices are perfected.   When you come to bhakti, you have your kriya-yoga, hatha-yoga, astanga-yoga, karma-yoga, jnana-yoga.  When you become a perfect addict in bhakti then you become perfect in all yogas.  You become a perfect Christian, a perfect Jew a perfect Muslim a perfect Sikh.  You become perfect in everything.  When you come to the form of Krishna bhakti, you become perfect in every way.  A perfect follower of Christ, Mohammad.  This is the ultimate essence of everything.  Krishna bhakti. 


Its not a sect.  This is the essence.  People take this a Hindu sect.  But, actually this word, 'Hindu' is a word coined by the Muslims.  The great sages of India are not promoting Hinduism.  They are promoting the science of realizing the self.  You've been designated as Mr. Self.  Now you have to live up to your name.  You have to realize what is the self, atma in Sanskrit.  You have to fully realize what is the self.  This is the Vedic injunction.  You must realize what is the self. 


Any other questions? 


Ted:  We have this idea in the Birmingham area thereís nowhere to go to meditate.  That's why we want to start a meditation group.  We have to grow out of our little room.  We were thinking to get copies of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, and maybe Autobiography of a Yogi.


SDA:  I don't have Autobiography of a Yogi, but I have a connection with a publisher for this Bhagavad-Gita As It Is.  We can certainly supply that book easily to you.  How many copies would you like?


Ted:  Start very modestly with maybe 20.


SDA:  Ok.  We can give you a discounted rate.  Because we have an inside connection with the publisher.


Ted:  Great.


SDA:  We buy them by the case.  (laughs)  We can do that.  How do you purchase, by check or by credit card?  What you can do is wait until your next payday.  When you're ready, we'll be in touch.  Just make sure to have your contact information handy, so we can communicate as soon as you have the funds available.  Then you can send me a check, or put that on your credit card.  Then we can have them shipped to you from the publisher, right from the warehouse.  20 is no problem at all.


Of course, you could do a credit card transaction this weekend, but you may not have the money now and you don't want to go into debt.  I understand.


Ted:  Its a debit card.


SDA:  Alright.  Do what you can do.  Wait until you have the funds in your bank account, and send a check.  We can have them shipped out to you.  That's fantastic!  It seems like Krishna may want us to spend more time here in Birmingham, because there's a lady in the Birmingham vicinity who wants to do the same thing that you're doing down in Pratville.


We just flew in on a quick in and out thing.  But we're going to do a North American Road Tour later on this spring.  We can swing through here in May, or maybe early June.  We're looping up through the west, going north, and coming back down through here on our way back to Texas.  It could be the end of June before we get back here depending on how our road tour goes.  We can make this one of the planned stops. 


Ted:  There was actually a Krishna group in Birmingham in the 70s.  I used to in Avondale park.


SDA:  That used to be the happening place?


Ted:  There were vegetarian delights and chanting.


SDA:  Those were the good old days right?


Ted:  Yeah.


SDA: Let's bring the good old days back.  Let's work together and make a spiritual revolution in Birmingham.  What do you say?  Do we have a deal?


Ted:  Yeah.


SDA:  Alright. 


Denise:  Sometimes at work it gets so hectic and I go outside just to relax.


SDA:  Nature is called an atmosphere in the mode of goodness.  There are three different modes in the world.  A very degraded scene like  red light district would be considered an atmosphere in the mode of ignorance, or an atmosphere in the mode of passion is like the stock exchange, but if you go out in nature, thatís the mode of goodness.  But there's even a higher atmosphere than nature.  That is when you go to a temple.


Actually if you look at nature minutely, the struggle is still going on.  You've got one insect eating another.  The struggle is still going on if you really look at it closely.  You've got one animal jumping on another and killing it.  Of course its more in harmony than we humans are.  That's a fact.  But, the highest atmosphere is the temple, where you're  just totally absorbed in devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna. 


The intelligent thing is, that since people like to go out to nature, you go out to nature, and build a temple.  Then people get both.  Find a beautiful spot in nature, like a beautiful waterfall on a river, and build a temple there.  People are attracted to nature.  They out there for the nature, and how long can you sit at the waterfall anyway?  They go in the temple, and really get connected.  In nature you're connected better than in the modes of passion and ignorance, but when you come to the temple, that's when you're really connected, fully.  That's great.


You can give me your phone number, I'll make sure its in my directory.


Now we have some wonderful treats, bhakti bullets!  I'm going to pass them out now, there are weight restrictions on the airplane, we can't bring too many or the plane can't take off.


Transcribed by His Grace Jagannatha Dasa

Index of Transcribed Lectures