Durul Home Program
Istanbul, 27 April 2005 (Part 1)
I’m traveling all over the world to share this wonderful science of how to achieve unlimited happiness. Actually, that unlimited happiness is already there within the heart. By God’s arrangement, God, Who has unlimited knowledge and unlimited happiness, is manifesting all of us as His parts and parcels. The only reason we feel any ignorance or any anxiety in our lives is because we have lost our contact. We are not living in a state of harmony with God, the Supreme Consciousness.
Each one of us is an individual consciousness. You’re conscious of the pains and pleasures of your body; I’m conscious of the pains and pleasures of my body; but I am not conscious of the pains and pleasures of your body nor are you conscious of the pains and pleasures of my body. But there is a Supreme Consciousness, or God, Who is conscious of the pains and pleasures of everything and everyone. If we can learn an art of how to connect with that Supreme Consciousness, or God, then we can actually enter into our natural, original, enlightened state of consciousness which is eternal, full of bliss and full of knowledge.
The ancient sages of India taught this science. It’s all based on mantra, or sound vibration. Actually, isn’t it sound vibration that wakes us up in the morning when the alarm clock goes off? Sound has the power to awaken us. So sound was also used by the great sages, the great mystics – the great rsis and yogis of India. Sound vibration was used as a medium for awakening that divine consciousness within us which is presently asleep.
So this is a very nice process. Of course we hear about the yogis who do all kinds of postures, who stand on their heads and hold their breathing – but these techniques are very difficult, especially in the modern-day context of living in the modern, Western city where we have schedules, jobs and businesses. We have so many things we’re doing. The yogis would actually go away from everything to the Himalaya Mountains and simply sit in a cave, and they wouldn’t worry about anything else. So it’s not practical for us. The technique of yoga postures and breathing may be good for your health, but for actually awakening that divine consciousness within, this other system of yoga, which is called mantra-yoga, is much more practical and effective. So this is what I’m teaching: the science of mantra-yoga.
I’ve been practicing and teaching this science for the last 34 years, since 1971. And now we’re traveling all over the world to teach it. We’re on a tour of Europe right now; we’ve been teaching this science in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Now we have come to Istanbul. This is our first venture into the Muslim world, and we’re very happy to be here. We see that everyone is the same, wherever we go. We’re all human beings, and we’re all looking for unlimited happiness. So there’s really no difference. We’re seeing that everyone in the world is actually all one family, wherever we go. From here we’re going on to the Netherlands, and then we’re doing a tour of the U.S. Then we’re going to Mexico, and then we’ll be coming back to Europe in the fall and then on to India to tour some of the great holy places where this science has been taught for thousands and thousands of years.
Since it’s not that easy just to pack up and go to India, we thought we would bring that India to you here tonight. Adi Radhika has personally brought this [harmonium] from India. In India this instrument has become very popular, although I have heard that actually this instrument, the harmonium, is of European origin. Nonetheless, in India it has been popular for many centuries. I heard that Christian missionaries actually introduced the harmonium into India; but in India it has become a very popular instrument for chanting mantras, or sacred sound vibrations.
So I wanted to give you all a little sample of this chanting process, and then we will discuss some ancient wisdom from the Bhagavad-gita and how you can apply it right here, today, in April of 2005. We’ll discuss how you can take this ancient wisdom in the Bhagavad-gita and apply it to your life - whether you’re a businessman, a student, a housewife, or whatever you may be – a prime minister, a lawyer, a general - whatever you’re doing, we’ll discuss how you can apply this wisdom to your life and achieve unlimited happiness.
So we will talk in detail about this. But first, I will chant this beautiful prayer, called Jaya Radha Madhava; then we will sing what’s called the Hare Krishna Mantra. And when we come to the Hare Krishna Mantra, we invite you to sing along with us if you’d like. The technique is that I will be leading and then everyone else will come in as a chorus. The two ladies here – my wife here on the right and Adi Radhika devi dasi, who is one of the students of my e-course – they will come is as the chorus, so you can sing at the same time that they do if you’d like to join in.
This first song, Jaya Radha Madhava, is very nice. This describes God in His actual pastimes that are happening right now in the spiritual world. Just as you can look at a beautiful painting and it opens up another world for you, so too this song is like a window into that other dimension beyond time and space, where life is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss, and where there are unlimited pastimes of happiness going on between God (Lord Krishna) and His devotees.
[begin kirtan with harmonium accompaniment]
madhava kunja bihari
So now I’ll lead this Hare Krishna chant. You can join in with us if you’d like. We encourage you to do that.
This is called transcendental meditation. In the Sanskrit language, the sound vibration Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare is called the sabda-brahma, the transcendental sound vibration. As one great songwriter, a realized guru named Narottama das Thakura said, golokera prema-dhana hari-nama sankirtana. [Ista-deve Vijnapti] This sound vibration of “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna” is coming from another dimension, the spiritual dimension beyond this world of birth and death. So by taking the mantra “Hare Krishna” and chanting, the consciousness is elevated beyond this world and into that other world, the transcendental existence.
This is a very easy way that anyone – be they a child, and old person, middle-aged, or in any walk of life – can chant this Hare Krishna mantra and actually taste the sweetest happiness of love of God. It’s not an artificial imposition. It’s just like a match. Doesn’t a match have fire within it? A match already has fire within it. When you strike the match, the fire comes out. It’s not something artificial imposed upon that match; the match already has fire within it. Likewise, each and every one of you sitting here in this room tonight has pure, enlightened consciousness already there within you. You may not have known that, but actually each and every one of you is a spiritually enlightened being. It’s just dormant right now, like a match with a fire within.
But if you take a match and strike it on the proper striking surface, then that fire comes out. Similarly, by hearing the holy names, the transcendental sound vibration (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare) from the mouths of the pure devotees of Krishna – those who are purely chanting these names – that spiritual consciousness within you can become awakened. The seed of spiritual enlightenment becomes planted within the heart. And then it is up to you. If I were to plant a seed in your garden, you can water that seed, you can weed the garden, you can take very nice care to make sure no big animals come and step on that plant, and in this way you can cultivate that plant. Likewise, cultivating the seed of spiritual enlightenment is up to you. We came tonight to give you that seed of spiritual enlightenment, love of God, to plant in your heart; and now we have given you that seed within your heart through the medium of sound vibration. So now it is up to you, whether you would like to nurture that seed or just let it die. It’s up to you. You can nurture that seed by regularly chanting the names of God and by living a pure and simple, spiritual sort of life; then you can cultivate that seed within the heart and achieve the topmost perfection.
Right now we are caught up in the cycle of birth and death. Sometimes we are human beings, sometimes we are animals, sometimes we are plants – we are just rotating again and again, rotating, rotating, rotating, rotating. This is called samsara in the Sanskrit language – the wheel of birth and death. But by coming in contact with a bona fide spiritual master, we can actually get that seed of bhakti planted in the heart – the seed of enlightenment, of spiritual awakening within the heart. And then we can actually get out of the cycle of birth and death. We can get free from all the suffering.
Every time we take birth it’s a suffering condition. We have forgotten, but actually it was a very difficult situation to be packed up in our mother’s womb. It was a very painful situation. We were simply begging God to get us out. “Will you let me out of here? I promise you I will become a saintly devotee of the Lord. I’ll devote myself to you – just get me out!” But when we got out we forgot our promise. Instead we got absorbed in money and prestige and power and so many things. But actually that is a very difficult situation, to be a little baby packed up and tightly trapped in the womb. Especially in the last couple of months, it’s a very difficult situation to be in. And then we come out and we have to face so many diseases, and then we have to face old age. Who wants to get old? Would anybody like to be eighty years old right now if I could say, “Okay, now I will make you eighty years old”? Would anybody volunteer to become ninety years old right now? “Okay, I’ll make you ninety years old – boom!” Would you like that? No. No one wants to become old, because it’s difficult! The day before yesterday we flew from Amsterdam and saw one old, old Turkish man in a wheelchair. I mean, he was really old – like he was ninety-five or something. You could see how he was having difficulty in that old, old body. It is difficult to be that old, very difficult.
So why go through this again and again and again and again and again and again, through thousands and millions of births and deaths? If you become an enlightened spiritual being – a lover of God – then you get an eternally youthful body in the spiritual kingdom. An eternally youthful body: you never get sick, never get old, and never have to suffer being wrapped up in the womb again. You just live an eternal life of bliss and knowledge.
So it happens through this chanting of the holy names of God – whether you chant Allah or Krishna, it’s the same principle. You chant the holy names of God on a regular, daily basis to purify your heart – to tune yourself in to the higher consciousness on a daily basis. Every night when you go to sleep the mind just goes running - wow – here and there. When you wake up in the morning, that’s when you’ve got to retune your consciousness, every day. So that’s why we recommend that you get up in the morning and chant this Hare Krishna mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
This is described very nicely in the Bhagavad-gita. We’ve brought some copies that everyone can take home if they would like to help with some donation for the printing. I don’t know how much – Adi-Radhika knows. Whatever donation. We have brought some copies that are in your Turkish language. I am reading an English version because I don’t read Turkish. Of course, every version has the original Sanskrit, which is very wonderful and beautiful. The English version has the Sanskrit and the Turkish version has the Sanskrit. Krishna is very nicely describing here [in the Bhagavad-gita]:
This is Chapter Nine, Text Number Fourteen. He says, “Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.”
So here we have one of the most amazing scriptures in the world, the Bhagavad-gita. Here we have 800 verses where God Himself, in a very direct and personal way, is instructing His devotee Arjuna - who represents us, actually. So actually Krishna is speaking to each and every one of us directly. And He’s telling us, directly telling us, through an actual conversation that happened in India five thousand years ago at a place called Kurukshetra. You can go to India and you can see where the conversation happened. This is not mythological; it’s historical. God Himself actually descended to this earthly plane. He appeared in a body with two arms and two legs. It’s not that He took it on; He has such a body in the spiritual world. That’s why the Bible says that man is made in the image of God. But He has a form that doesn’t get sick, doesn’t get old and doesn’t die. And when we go back to the spiritual world, we also have such a form. Even though He was 120 years old at the time He spoke the Bhagavad-gita, He had the body of a 16- to 20-year-old boy. The body never aged. So He was actually here on this plane, and He was telling us what to do: “Constantly chant My glories.” Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. “Bow down to me; endeavor to please Me by your activities.”
He’s describing those who are called ‘great souls.’ In India we hear this world mahatma [‘great soul’] applied to Mahatma Gandhi. But Mahatma Gandhi was very active in politics. The actual mahatmas are not so much interested in politics. The actual mahatmas are more interested in spiritual cultivation. So here, Krishna is giving the instruction that if you would like to become a realized person – a mahatma, one who has actually realized that highest truth and lives in that highest truth at every minute – then, He says, “You absorb yourself always in chanting My name. Always chanting My name.” He doesn’t say you have to chant the name ‘Krishna’ because there are millions of names of God. In the Qur’an there is the name Allah; in the Bible they have the name of Christ. So this is not something sectarian. These are universal principles. It’s the science of God we’re speaking of here.
The principle is that you should always be chanting the name of God – Allah or Krishna or Jehovah. The injunction is, “Always chant” or “as much as possible chant.” But at least every morning you should spend some time where you just sit down and you chant the names of the Lord. You get up, take a bath, sit down in a place of meditation in your home and chant the names of God. And then keep that remembrance throughout the day while you’re going to school, while you’re running your business, while you’re cleaning house, or whatever you’re doing. Keep that consciousness alive. In this way, absorb yourself in Krishna consciousness, God consciousness. Why? Because whatever consciousness we have at the time of death, that will determine our next body. If our thoughts are centered around God or Krishna at the time of death, then we go to Him upon leaving the body; we don’t have to take birth again in the material world. Moreover, even while we are here, we will be extremely happy, blissful people because the fact is that God is everywhere. He’s omnipresent, but right now [we can’t see Him because] we are covered by a cloud of illusion. We cannot see. When we get up in the morning, we just see Istanbul sitting out there; we don’t see God directly. Even though Istanbul is within Krishna, and Krishna is within every square inch of Istanbul, we do not see; we just see Istanbul.
But by this activity of always chanting the names of the Lord as much as possible, through the Lord’s name you can come into direct contact. A good example of this is a radio broadcast. That radio program is already present in the room. But without a radio receiver you cannot hear it. The radio waves are already there; the broadcast is already happening. It’s already vibrating through your room but you cannot hear because you have no means of connecting. The radio receiver will connect you with those radio vibrations which are already floating through this room. It’s just like there are so many TV vibrations here in this room right now - some old movies are being shown right now. The TV waves are happening in this room, and there are movies going on in this room right now. So many radio programs are here; so many TV programs are going on. But because we don’t have the proper television tuned in and because we don’t have the radio turned on, we cannot hear them. In the same way, God is actually present. He’s fully manifest. But because we don’t have our receivers turned on, we’re not connected.
But just as the radio and the television set will connect us with the radio and the TV waves, the science of mantra-yoga (the names of God are called mantra) will deliver the mind from illusion. If we tune into the mantra - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare - our illusion then becomes dispelled and we actually, directly contact God. We come into direct contact with that Lord Who was present but Whom we did not experience as present, being under the influence of illusion. Just as right now I can speak with you and you can speak with me, face to face - we can directly contact one another – so also can one directly contact God through this medium of sound vibration, which is just like your radio receiver or your TV set. If you properly turn that set on and tune it in, then you are connected with the TV show or the radio program. So through properly chanting the names of the Lord under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master (who teaches you how to do it properly and who will initiate you into the chanting), this will actually enable you to experience God directly, twenty-four hours a day, in all times, places and circumstances within every thought, every word and every action.
This is the enlightened state of consciousness; this is spiritual perfection. This is what the bona fide gurus, yogis and swamis are all talking about. But we have made it very simple for you because sometimes they make it very complicated. But for one who has actually mastered an understanding of the Bhagavad-gita as I have learned from my spiritual master – one who has perfect knowledge of the Gita – it becomes actually very simple to understand these things. It doesn’t require that you become a great Sanskrit scholar and read thousands of Vedic scriptures. It doesn’t require that. If you can simply read this one book, Bhagavad-gita, which is very nicely translated into Turkish, with very nice commentary and purport by my teacher - if you can study this one book; if you can simply take this book tonight, take it home and study it very carefully - then you will get very, very solid training from this book in how you can be tuned in to that divine consciousness at every minute of your existence, from now until the moment of death, at which time you will not have to take birth again in this material world. This book will actually teach you how to enter into that divine state from which there is no taking birth again in this material world.
So I have come here tonight to introduce you to this science of how you can enter into that divine consciousness. I am also open to answer any questions you may have in this regard. We don’t charge any money for this knowledge, although it’s easily worth millions of dollars. This knowledge is more valuable than anything you can purchase in any place in this world. You can’t even put a price tag on it. It’s worth trillions of dollars. But because my teacher gave it to me freely and instructed me that I should also distribute this all over the world freely, therefore we are doing it free of charge. We only ask something for the book, because the printer doesn’t give it to us for free. We have to pay the printer some fee for the paper and the ink and the glue and the labor involved to put the book together. Otherwise we’d give you the book for free, too. But we have to get something to cover the printing cost so we can keep getting more and giving out more and more and more and more, all over the world, in every language. That’s our goal.
And since you speak English, you can take a free e-course that I have on the Internet . . . you can get on my e-course absolutely free, and every day in your e-mail you will get some meditation, some reminder of this wonderful science. And then every week there’s also a little lesson; if you want to answer the questions, you can do that, and I’ll tell you whether you got the answers right or not. And also with that e-course I give free consultations – you can personally ask me questions. I also have ongoing consultations absolutely free via the Internet, and I have students all over the world. There’s no money involved in this. You can pass that around [sign-up sheet for e-course] . . . Make it very clear, with your name and your e-mail address, and we’ll get you going on that e-course. And then you can actually develop a personal relationship with me if you want. You can tell me all about yourself and your desires for moving forward spiritually. I have many people who actually became very close with me just by e-mail. I just initiated one, a college girl in Riga, Latvia; she has very much communicated ongoing through the e-mail and established the guru-disciple relationship. And in Finland now there are many people getting ready to become initiated as my disciples . . . one radio station owner in Riga, also. So yes, feel free to sign up for the e-course. If you sign up now, by tomorrow morning you will have something in your e-mail box waiting for you. Either this evening or tomorrow morning I will input you into the system, and then you will start getting stuff regularly. And if you get tired of it, there’s a handy removal link at the bottom; you just click and you can delete yourself automatically if you decide you don’t like me anymore and don’t want to hear from me ever again.
I’m extremely happy to be here. This is my first time. Of course I’ve gone through the Muslim world in the airport, in various cities like Oman and in Kuwait; I’ve gone through many airports but I’ve never actually cleared Customs and come out and met the wonderful Muslim people. I’m very happy to have gotten this invitation from Adi-Radhika here in Istanbul to actually come out and present Krishna consciousness, this science which is nonsectarian. It’s not Hindu, not Muslim. It’s actually everything. It’s Hindu, it’s Muslim, it’s Christian, it’s Jewish – it’s everything and it’s nothing, all at the same time. In other words, it’s a science of God that applies equally to everyone. Someone who becomes realized in Krishna consciousness is the perfect Muslim, the perfect Jew, the perfect Christian – and at the same time, they’re not limited by any sectarian designation. They’re beyond all the designations. So I’m really happy to be able to present this here in the Muslim world.
This is revolutionary, actually. This is revolutionary information, because anybody who practices Krishna consciousness becomes a spiritually enlightened being who actually has the power to create a spiritual revolution in the world. So it’s very, very powerful knowledge that we’re giving here. We will turn you into a spiritual revolutionary! Not in any material way – I’m not going to give you a machine gun or anything like that. We’re going to teach you how to become a spiritually enlightened person who can inspire other people to become spiritually enlightened wherever you go anywhere in the world. This is a revolutionary thing.
Is it possible for us to take a little break for eating?
Oh, yes. What we normally do is we have some talking for a while; the philosophy may get dry after a while, so then there’s some eating also. What is the total time we’d like to go for? It’s now 8:30. What we can do is make it a little more informal now, with a few questions, and then you can pass out the refreshments – we can do that in just a short time, a few minutes. We don’t want people to start leaving. You made all the arrangements; I understand. But once everyone starts eating, it won’t be so easy to hear, because everyone will be chatting. Or maybe they could eat while I’m talking also, but once you’re chewing, it’s harder to pay attention to what I am saying. So, if it’s okay, let’s have a few minutes of questions and answers, and then you can serve the refreshments.
Does anybody have any questions about what we have spoken?
In our religion, the Muslim religion, there is a practice . . . which is repeating one of the ninety-nine names of God. It serves the same purpose, doesn’t it?
Yes. It’s exactly the same thing. This proves the universal nature of mantra-yoga. Mantra-yoga cuts through everything. That practice is actually mantra-yoga. So your Muslim religion also teaches the science of mantra-yoga. The Vedas teach it, the Bible teaches it; it’s a universal principle. The difference is that in the Vedas, that science is described in a more detailed way, that’s all. The Qur’an will give the idea, but it doesn’t go into great detail. The Bible gives the idea, but doesn’t go into great detail. But the Vedic wisdom goes into great detail about how to perfect that science of mantra-yoga, chanting the names of God. That’s the difference. That’s why we recommend taking the Bhagavad-gita as a supplement to your study of the Qur’an, because it will help you to become a perfect Muslim. By studying the Gita you will become a perfect Muslim; you’ll achieve the perfection of Islam. The Bhagavad-gita is not trying to convert you. I may look like a Hindu, but I’m from a Christian family. I did not study Bhagavad-gita to become a Hindu; I had no desire to become a Hindu. I simply wanted to achieve the perfection of religion. That perfection of religion is equally applicable to a Muslim person or a Christian, because God is one.
How many suns are there in the sky? Someone may call it ‘the sun’ in English; in Spanish it’s called ‘el sol;’ in Turkish you have a name for it; in Hindi they call it ‘surya.’ So there are many, many names, hundreds of names for the sun. But still there is only one sun. So whether I call God ‘Krishna’ in Sanskrit language or I call Him ‘Allah’ in Arabic language or I call Him ‘Jehovah’ or ‘Yahweh’ – still, there’s only one Supreme God. So this quarreling that people do on the basis of religion is just asinine, actually, because we’re all talking about the same Supreme God Who is the Father of all of us. It’s actually absurd, you know, to fight over religion, because religion is one: to love God. That’s all.
So yes, the Vedic wisdom of India is especially helpful because these sages of India perfected that science of mantra-yoga. They really, really perfected it.
They perfected it so much that God would speak directly to them from within the heart. It’s just like in the Qur’an you have especially the prophet Mohammed. He realized directly what was God. He was one of the greatest prophets. But actually, anyone who takes seriously to chanting the name of God can have that realization also – direct revelation from God. That will not contradict Prophet Mohammed or Christ. It will simply reaffirm the same teaching. There are no two teachings. The teaching is one: love of God. So by chanting mantra you can have that personal realization that Mohammed and the great realized teachers had. You also can have that personal realization of God. It won’t contradict; it will simply reaffirm what is already given in the Qur’an, what is already given in the revealed scriptures. So instead of the Qur’an being some theoretical book of study for you, you will be living the Qur’an at every minute. Every breath will be Qur’an; every thought will be Qur’an! This is called the perfection of religion. Mantra-yoga will bring you to that point by fully absorbing yourself in chanting the names of God, whether you say ‘Allah’ or ‘Krishna’ – same thing.
Any other questions?
What is the meaning of the design on the nose . . . ?
Ah. This clay marking on the nose is the sign of one who has conquered over death. When one who actually takes up this pathway of devotion to God very seriously with complete dedication becomes initiated by the spiritual master, they enter at that very moment into deathlessness, into immortality. They’ve already achieved immortality; even while they are existing within their body they have achieved immortality. So this is the sign of one who has actually achieved immortality.
We will also teach you, if you would like to achieve immortality even while you are walking in this mortal body. We will teach you how to enter into and live in immortality right here and right now. We can initiate you into this science if you are very eager to learn. And there’s no charge. Again, it’s just a matter of your being willing to practice it seriously. And those who sign up for the course will have the access to this information absolutely free on an ongoing basis. Today we’re only here for an hour or hour and a half – just some brief introduction. But this will be a lifetime thing. As long as I’m alive I will continue doing this course on the Internet. Of course, once I leave this world I will no longer be available. But now I’m in my fifties, so I have a few more years maybe, by God’s grace, to teach my students more and more and more.
Any other questions?
What happens when we leave this world? Where are we going?
If your mind is fully absorbed in thoughts of God at the time of death, then you directly go to Him. He has an abode which is full of His devotees who are living a life of complete harmony, complete happiness. So you actually enter into that eternal abode of the Lord as one of His eternal associates. There’s no old age, there’s no sickness, there’s no death. You just live as an eternal youth in God’s kingdom, enjoying like anything, with all kinds of wonderful adventures are going on. Our scriptures describe in detail what is actually happening in the spiritual world right now. It’s a real thing. There are people there. They eat, they sing, they dance, they have beautiful flowers - it’s not some dull void. It’s an exciting place full of color and aroma, and festivals are constantly going on.
Is it possible to have continued happiness while living in this world?
Yes. If you become a pure lover of God, then you enter into that spiritual world, that spiritual consciousness, even while you’re right here, right now. Yes; that’s right. You could achieve it now.
But there is all this suffering around.
Yes, the suffering will go on. But a spiritually enlightened person will see the suffering in an entirely different way. Whatever personal suffering he has to go through – because we do have aging bodies – he will not experience as an ordinary, material person will suffer. First of all, he will realize, “I am not my body.” For example, if somebody came up and they stepped on your foot, it would hurt you; you wouldn’t want that. But if somebody went and put their foot on top of your car sitting outside, that wouldn’t cause you any direct pain. If somebody came and kicked the tire on your car, that wouldn’t hurt you; but if somebody kicked your foot, that would hurt you. Similarly, a self-realized person fully realizes that this body is just like a car; it’s not me. I’m the soul that’s sitting within the body right now. A self-realized person becomes completely transcendental to the pains and pleasures of his body. The body is just something he’s using in the service of God. He realizes, “I am not this body. I’m not male, I’m not female, I’m not Turkish, I’m not American, I’m not white, I’m not black, I’m not fifty, I’m not forty, I’m not eighty – I’m not this body.” He realizes fully well that he is not the body. He just uses the body as an instrument in the service of God, that’s all. So even though his body does get old like everyone else’s bodies, he does not experience the same anxiety, because he knows, “I am not getting old.” He has realized his eternal, youthful nature, and the sufferings of the body do not torment his mind. He simply watches them happen, as an observer, knowing that this is the last time he will have to go through with this - because in the drama of eternal existence, after this scene is wrapped up, in the next scene he won’t have to take a material body again.
What will happen if you are not completely enlightened at the time you die?
Then, according to your mentality, you take your next birth. For instance, when I was in college there was one boy in our dormitory who we used to call “The Bear.” Every weekend he would just sleep as long as he possibly could. That was his pleasure pastime. He was the talk of the dormitory – “How long is he sleeping this weekend?” But he didn’t realize that actually by that sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep - being so attached to sleeping – he was qualifying himself to take the body of a bear in his next life by the laws of karma. So whatever mentality you cultivate, if it’s not spiritual, then you will cultivate another material body suitable for your mentality. People in Hawaii like to surf on the waves; they don’t realize that they’re going to become fish in their next life.
. . . if you believe in reincarnation.
Oh no, it has nothing to do with belief. I can ask you if you believe that the sun exists. The sun exists whether you believe in it or not. In the same way, the law of karma will act, whether you believe in it or not. It’s just like the law confirmed by Newton. When you were in school did you study the laws of motion? Yes. That is the law of karma. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That action also happens on the subtle platform of the mind. The mind is the subtle form of activity, and whatever mental activities are happening, that will bring a reaction, according to Newton’s law. Although he didn’t realize the full ramification of his law of motion, Newton actually discovered a very, very valuable principle. For every action, even mentally, on the subtle plane, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
So by your own thoughts you are creating your own future – including your next lifetime. That’s why we recommend that you chant the names of God, because then you are actually remolding yourself - you’re purifying and spiritualizing your thoughts, which will automatically take you into a spiritual body in your next lifetime. So whatever you do, whatever you are thinking throughout your daily life, you are creating your future. They say that man is the architect of his own destiny. You are creating your future, even just by your thoughts. And of course, your thoughts translate into words and actions. So by thoughts, words and deeds you are indeed shaping your future destiny. It’s not by accident. You have the power and the control over your future. So we want to empower you with the tools to take complete control of that future. That’s what I’ve come here to Istanbul to give you. I have come here to give you the empowerment to take total, perfect control over your future – not just to be carried away by the TV and the radio or whatever. You put yourself in control now. I want you to be in control of your future. That’s why I’ve come: to teach you how to take total, complete control over your destiny. Is that all right?
How can we do it?
The easiest way is to constantly chant the names of God, or at least spend some quality time in the morning for an hour or two. Just sit down and chant the names of God. That’s the easiest way, because that will completely surcharge your mind spiritually. Then naturally, throughout the day, you will act and think and speak in a spiritual way if you’ve had that intensive meditation on the names of God in the morning. Whether you chant Hare Krishna or Allah, it’s the same thing. In the early morning you focus on the names of God, and in that way you will be attuned throughout the entire day. And if you keep doing that day after day, week after week, month after month, you will be amazed at how elevated your consciousness becomes. Plus you will be guaranteed, in that state of mind, to enter into an eternal, blissful spiritual form when you leave this body – not just to have to take another suffering body again.
It’s not that easy to concentrate.
If you’re serious, I can train you. You have to be willing to be my student now, you see. Anyone here can agree to be my student – I don’t charge money, and it’s a personal thing. You agree to become my student, and I agree to teach you. It means you keep inquiring from me and I keep giving you advice. Because it’s not an easy thing to do all of the sudden – I agree. But you can take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. In fact, this is described in Chapter Four [Bhagavad-gita]. Krishna says:
“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.”
So all you have to do is inquire submissively and be in the mood of appreciation. Because after all, we’re not charging you. ‘Service’ means you are always in a mood of appreciation that the teacher is giving you this kindness and this love. Without any charge he is giving you his time and his energy to help you understand. So in this mood of service and appreciation you simply inquire and inquire and inquire and inquire. And by inquiring and then trying to follow the instructions to the best of your ability, it will start to happen. You will have your own personal experiences which will reconfirm what the teacher is telling you. You’ll go, “Wow, this really works.”
There’s a saying about how to understand truth. The very simple way to understand what is true is this: Truth works. If something is true, it works. You can experiment with it. You can just try it out, and if it actually works then you know you have the truth. This knowledge that I’m teaching my students works. It does work. That’s why I have thousands of students all over the world who are experiencing these results – in Australia, in America, in Canada, in the Baltic States and Scandinavia, in India - all over the world; here in Turkey also. All over the world I have students who are applying this science and they are tasting the results. And if you will also seriously apply it you will experience it.
You won’t have to just take it blindly. It’s just like when you eat: don’t you know when your belly is full? Do I have to tell you, “My dear lady, you should not eat any more because your belly is filled up now”? Do I have to tell you that? Of course not! You will know, you’ll say “No, I’m full.” I’ll say, “Here, take thirds,” and you’ll say, “Oh, no, no – I’m full; I don’t want any more.” You know when you’re filled up. No one has to tell you when your belly is filled up. So when you are actually advancing on this pathway of self-realization no one has to tell you. You will be tasting it; you will be experiencing it. When the sun comes up in the morning, you can see the sun is rising. So too, when that Krishna sun, or that Allah sun, rises within your heart, you will know it. You will experience it. It’s first-hand experience.
Any other questions?
How do you confront people who are atheists? From what I have understood, you claim that there is no sort of salvation for people who are atheists.
Actually, nowadays atheism is very popular. Formerly, everyone thought that if you want some material advancement, you must go to God and pray for material things. But now, with the advent of modern science, many people think, “Well, the scientists are giving us everything; why do we need God anymore?” The scientists are giving us all kinds of high-tech things without prayer. So we accept the scientists as our gods, you see, and we become atheists.
But the actual fact is that we [in the Krishna consciousness movement] are teaching a ‘science’ also. So we do not exclude atheists. We teach the science of self-realization, the science of God, but not as a religious dogma, as previously it had been taught in all traditions. Everyone is taught a religious dogma. But now, we are doing something very unique. We are presenting as a science. We can show by scientific method that there is a Supreme and that you have a relationship [with Him].
I’ll give you a very simple example. Do you have any experience that something comes from nothing? Can you show me a scientific example – can you scientifically bring something out of nothing in your laboratory? No, you cannot do that.
I can’t, but there are researchers who are trying to create something -
Out of nothing. They’re trying.
Yes, and they –
Yes, that is they are trying, but they have not done it. They have not done it, and I can guarantee you, they will never be able to make something out of nothing. Everything comes from something. Nothing comes from nothing. They may claim that if you give them some big grant that they will create something out of nothing. “Give me ten million dollars and we will make something out of nothing in our laboratory.” That’s bluff! They’re bluffing - getting some big money and talking some scientific jargon. But I guarantee that they will never create something out of nothing - that something always comes from something. And that something comes from something which comes from something. Now, the scientists are trying to find that original source of everything. Now they call it ‘the Big Bang,’ don’t they?
No, not anymore.
What’s the latest one?
They don’t have a name for it; no one besides Stephen Hawking can understand –
Well, he’s become God now for the scientists. Actually, this is the way of the scientists: they invent their own language that nobody can understand except for them. And everyone thinks, “Well, they must know what they’re talking about because I can’t understand what they’re talking about.” But how do you know he’s not bluffing you? What is your proof? You’re putting blind faith in him because he talks some big, big words. Stephen Hawking is talking big, big words, and no one can understand what in the world he’s talking about. But he’s simply bluffing you with big, big words. You have no proof that he actually knows what he’s talking about because you can’t understand what he’s talking about. You’re simply putting blind faith in him. You’re accepting him as the high priest of your religion. Stephen Hawking is the pope of your religion.
The scientists are trying to find the source of the universe; that’s a fact. The theologians are interested in the source of the universe and the scientists are also. Hawking is interested in the source of the universe. But if you ask him if he’s fully understood it yet, he would have to say no . . . If you don’t believe that, you ask him. One time I met a big scientist at the University of Florida. He had 3,000 students come to hear him. So I asked him, “My dear sir, you have given this scientific explanation. Is it a theory or is it a fact?” He said, “I think it’s a fact.” Note that he said, “I think.” And then I asked another question. I said, “My dear learned scientist, we have seen throughout the history of science that one theory becomes popular for some time, and then it’s replaced by another theory. How do we know that your theory will not be replaced by another theory?” To that he said, “I hope it is, because then we will be making progress!” Just see the rascal: in one minute he’s saying it’s a fact and not a theory, and in the next minute he admits it’s a theory and says that if it’s defeated by another theory then that will be ‘the progress of science.’
You see, this is not knowledge. This is called speculation. The scientists do not have actual, tangible knowledge of reality; they are simply speculating. And whoever is the most sophisticated speculator is applauded as the leading scientist of the day until some more sophisticated speculator comes along with bigger words that nobody can understand except for themselves. And even they don’t understand their own words. It’s just hocus pocus. Bogus hocus pocus.
But the fact is that there is indeed an origin of the universe. That’s a fact. The scientists know there is, and they’re looking for it. And those persons who have realized the highest truth, the spiritualized persons, also know it because they’ve experienced it directly. They have direct perception of the origin. That is the difference. The scientists cannot see it. They understand intuitively that is must be there. But the self-realized spiritual master has directly experienced it, so he knows that it’s there. He knows it scientifically, actually - not as theory, but as fact. So if you can hear from a teacher who has direct experience of the origin of everything that exists – one who is in direct connection with the original source of all that exists – then under his direction, under his guidance, you can also have that direct experience and become millions of times more advanced than billions of Stephen Hawkings who are out there hawking their philosophy and hyping the so-called ‘scientific’ community. You can become far more advanced than ten billion Stephen Hawkings by having direct experience of that original source of all that exists.
That’s what we are teaching. When you have direct experience yourself, it’s called direct perception. Krishna explains this in Bhagavad-gita [9.2]: raja-vidya raja-guhyam pavitram idam uttamam pratyaksavagamam dharmayam. He says that this is the perfection of science. Raja-vidya: this is the perfection of scientific knowledge. And it is extremely secret knowledge - raja-guhyam – because it is only known to those who are self-realized. It is only known to the self-realized personalities. Raja-vidya raja-guhyam pavitram idam uttamam pratyaksavagamam dharmayam. Pratyaksava means you have direct experience of it, direct perception of it. When you’re trained by a proper spiritual master who himself has direct perception, then you also have direct perception. That is scientific proof: when you directly experience it. That is scientific evidence for you.
[Mataji] And it doesn’t change.
And it doesn’t change. The scientific textbooks are always being rewritten. In physics, for instance – the textbooks are always being revised, aren’t they?
You say that it’s scientific proof when you taste it. If you can’t prove it to anyone else, it can’t be a fact. It will be relative –
Because you claim that something is a fact; but if you can’t prove it to someone, then it’s not a fact.
All right. I will defeat your argument. Do you exist?
How do you know?
Hmm . . .
Can you prove that you exist?
You know that you exist because you have cognizance. You have awareness. You can see me talking to you; you can hear; you have direct perception of your own existence because you’re sitting inside of it, right? I have never met you before. If I had not met you this night, I would have no knowledge whatsoever of your existence; but still you would exist – without my knowledge of it. So the only thing that is required for scientific understanding is your own perception. No one else has to perceive it. Do you mean to say that you would not exist if I had not perceived you tonight? No, you would still exist – whether I ever perceive you or not in my whole lifetime. You understand, yes.
Questions more? These are very nice questions.
You said we are writing our destiny. If we are writing our destiny, then what about the accidents? Are we also writing the accidents into our lives?
Accidents? As an example, what sort of accident are you referring to - traffic accident . . . ?
Car accident, aircraft accident, diseases . . .
Actually there is no such thing as an accident. Nothing is accidental, because everything is happening by the law of karma. There’s actually no such thing as an accident. Everything is happening by karmic principles. Something may appear to be accidental because it wasn’t to your liking; but there is no such thing as accident. Everything is going on strictly by karmic laws. So you can actually mold your destiny, and not have to worry about accidents that get in the way. You don’t have to worry about some accidental thing getting in the way. You can actually purely mold your destiny. There’s no such thing as accident.
But I don’t agree with that. Look, we’ve had this terrible earthquake here. Those little kids and babies who died in that earthquake – they didn’t have the time . . .
A very common argument. You don’t know what they did in a previous life. That’s the thing: it’s because of previous karma in previous lifetimes. It’s a fact that in this lifetime they are totally innocent. In this lifetime, they didn’t deserve it – that’s a fact. But if we look into the previous lifetime, we will see their karma - in the previous lifetime.
How can we know our previous life?
Actually, you don’t have to worry about it. Just make this one perfect. That’s all you have to do.
That curiosity is naturally there, but it’s not that important. We’ve all screwed up, obviously; otherwise we wouldn’t have material bodies. You know what I mean? If somebody shoots an arrow at you, the first thing to do is to pull it out - and then worry about where it came from. So first of all, become a spiritually enlightened being. Then you will have perfect knowledge of all your past lifetimes. But right now, if you put all of your energy into wondering “how did I get here,” then you won’t get out of here! The first thing to do is to make this life perfect. Then you won’t be caught up in the karma-cakra (the wheel of karma) anymore. Make this one perfect. And then whatever knowledge you want, you will have easily. No problem. But just make this life perfect, and everything will come.
So is this how it is explained? All the suffering that people go through – if they’re poor, if they have diseases, if their children die in the earthquake . . . ?
It’s all reactions from previous impious activities. So everyone has the power to totally conquer over all suffering conditions just by learning how to live in harmony with God, in perfect harmony with the will of the Lord. Everybody has complete power to conquer all the suffering of material existence. Nobody is a helpless victim. You see, the government cannot save all the poor people. The government can’t afford it. Materially you can never solve all the problems; it’s just not possible. There are too many problems. Could the government absolutely protect the citizens from a tsunami or an earthquake? The government doesn’t have that much power. But if we learn how to live in harmony with the higher principles in the universe, then we can absolutely conquer all suffering conditions. By not acting out of harmony with those principles – by learning how to be in complete harmony with those principles - we conquer all suffering. This may appear to be fatalistic, but it’s not. What we are teaching is realistic, and it is optimistic. With the knowledge we are giving, we can empower every man, woman and child on the face of this planet to conquer over all suffering eternally. That’s what we are teaching.
Now, one man wrote me and said, “Actually, there is no suffering. Why do you talk about suffering? Everything is beautiful.” But that’s ridiculous. It’s like saying you want to have a doctor who always tells you that you’re well. “He’s a very good doctor – I may have terminal cancer, but when I say, ‘Doc, how am I doing? Am I fine?’ he says, ‘You are fine.’” That doctor is a criminal! I could sue him! If I had cancer and I went into his office and he saw it but said, “Oh yeah, you’re fine. Don’t worry; just have a good day” - I could sue him! The doctor has to say, “No, you have prostate cancer, you’ve got to go into chemotherapy right away to save your life.” That’s a good doctor. When you’re in a suffering condition he tells you, and he tells you how to get out of it. So we tell you, “Yes, you’re in a suffering condition because you haven’t learned the art of how to harmonize yourself with higher principles – and now we’ll teach you how to do that, how to put yourself in total harmony so you wont’ have to suffer anymore, ever.”
Yes, but assuming that we choose that for ourselves, we still continue to see the suffering around us that other people are going through. How do we get into some sort of harmony with that?
No, we’re never in harmony with that. A person who has become self-realized, who has conquered their own suffering, doesn’t feel at all harmonious about other people’s suffering. In fact, he feels so much compassion. My spiritual master, for example, was walking one time in the park with his followers in Melbourne, Australia – in a nice, modern city during the morning rush hour when all the commuters were going into town. Our devotees were not going into town; they were just walking and talking about spiritual matters in the park. And when my teacher saw the commuters going into town, he just started crying. They were all fired up, going to work for another day of making money; but he knew how much suffering they were going through to get that little bit of money - how much anxiety in the office, with all the politics in the office; just spending so many hours every day just working, working, working, and never inquiring about who they are and what their ultimate purpose of existence is. My teacher just started crying, he felt so sorry for them.
So a person who actually becomes self-realized feels great sorrow in his heart. Even though he is personally happy, he feels the greatest sorrow and sympathy for suffering people, and therefore he dedicates his whole life to helping them. In a Krishna-conscious society – a society based on these principles of God consciousness – the government would make sure that every citizen was well fed. And at the same time, that government would make sure that every citizen was properly trained in the science of God. That government would not try to impose a particular religion on that person – “you have to be a Muslim” or “you have to be a Christian” – no. Let the person follow their own tradition, of their choice. But let them do it in a way which is in perfect harmony with the actual, original teachings of the great founders of these religions. Let them actually capture the true essence of that religion, which is to become a lover of God.
You see, now we’ve polluted all the religions. We’ve made religion as some means of getting material things for ourselves. We go to the mosque, the synagogue, the temple, the church – and we pray for material things. That is polluting religion. Religion is meant for you to become a pure lover of God. That is religion. That is the science of religion. That will make you perfect if you are in the mood of simply giving service to the Lord with every thought, every word, and every deed. That’s what we are teaching: how to become a perfect Muslim, a perfect Christian, or a perfect Jew by being in this mood of complete service to the Lord. Totally – with every thought, every word and every deed, in all times, all places and all circumstances. That, we are teaching.
One more thing – there’s no such thing as inequality in this . . . inequality doesn’t exist.
In the eyes of God, everyone is equal. The only inequality is something that man has artificially created. In God’s perspective, there is no inequality. Everyone is His beloved child. Every living being is the beloved child of God. For Him, everyone is totally equal. The only inequality is what man has artificially created. This is our nonsense, that we have created all these inequalities. On the spiritual platform, there is perfect equality among everyone. There’s no inequality. Everyone is fully equal. We’re all the servants of God.
We’re all equal. Samo ‘ham sarva-bhutesu. [Bg 9.29] The self-realized soul sees all living beings equally, whether it be a learned priest, a learned scholar, a businessman, a cow, an elephant, a dog, or a dog-eater. He sees all living beings equally. Samo ‘ham sarva-bhutesu: Krishna is equal to all living entities. Panditah sama-darsinah: A learned person has equal vision. [Bg 5.18] In Sanskrit the word for ‘equal’ is sama, like the English word ‘same.’ Panditah means ‘learned person,’ sama means ‘same,’ and darsinah means ‘vision.’ So the truly learned person sees everyone equally. Panditah sama-darsinah. He sees everyone equally.
So there’s no inequality. Everyone is equal, in the eyes of God and in the eyes of a person who is completely godly. That person sees everyone equally: no distinction; no discrimination; everyone equal. So a saintly person who has that godly vision feels that he is the servant of God and the humble servant of everyone – even the animals. That’s why we follow a vegetarian diet. We don’t want to unnecessarily trouble the animal. When I can eat some vegetarian food and be very healthy, which I have been doing now for 35 years, why should I trouble one of my four-legged brothers and sisters? To grab them and cut their throats, when they would be very much happier peacefully living, just like I like to enjoy peaceful life? Why should I unnecessarily hurt my little brother when I can eat some lower being that doesn’t feel that pain when he’s killed, like a carrot or a potato? They are also my brothers, but their consciousness is not so evolved to where they feel pain like an animal does. A potato is not terrorized when we cut it with a knife like an animal is terrorized when we cut it with a knife. We don’t want to cause pain unnecessarily to our brothers and sisters because we see the equality of all living beings, even the plants and animals. So in this way we try to live in complete harmony and serve all living creatures with love. And the result is that we become very happy. When you’re giving love to everyone then you’ll find love wherever you go in everything.
Any other questions? I know we have a request here – maybe one more question.
This is not a question, but a request. There are some latecomers. Would it be possible to have this chat . . . ?
We can have a break, and then we can have some more talk and a little more singing.
One more question: If you have mice where you live, in your apartment or in your house, what are you doing? Are you feeding them, or are you . . .
Well, personally . . . right now we don’t have mice in the house, but previously we had some problem with them. In America they have a trap that’s called “Have a Heart.” It’s a live trap. We even caught some rats one time. You can catch them alive and then you take the trap a few blocks away and you let them out in the field, letting them run nicely in the field.
So yes, I don’t like to kill a mouse or a rat. There are stories, though, of great sages living in caves, where a snake would be living in the cave and the sage would just sit there and let the snake be his roommate, and not even worry . . . But the people were afraid to visit the sage, so the snake voluntarily left out of courtesy for the sage. Was that the story? . . . People were afraid to go visit the sage to take training. The guru was living in the cave, and he didn’t mind that the snake was his roommate. The poisonous snake, a cobra – he wasn’t bothering the guru. Then many people wanted to come and take lessons from the guru, but they were afraid of the snake. So the snake, out of courtesy for his roommate the guru, moved out of the cave voluntarily, understanding, “Now this great spiritual teacher is here and now people are afraid to come and learn from him because I’m living in the cave with him.” So yes, we see everyone – the snake, the rat, everyone - as our brothers. Of course, if we’re not happy to live with them, then we peacefully remove them and give them another place to stay.
[Refreshment break begins]
Anybody who wants to talk with me personally during the refreshment break can come and speak with me also.
Whenever I pray every night, I pray for having goodwill in everything I do, to have compassion, and not to be afraid . . . I think that the only way in the normal life to lead a good life is to be able to act with goodwill in any decision.
Goodwill has different levels of perfection.
Goodwill is a very nice thing. We have to learn how to purify goodwill to where it’s on the perfectional stage, and then we become perfect.
But to start . . .
That idea is very good, I think. So we have to learn what the perfection of goodwill is, and that will make our lives perfect.
[Mataji] You have to know what goodwill is, also. If you don’t know how to swim, how can you . . .
Yes, yes, that’s right. That’s correct.
[End of program Part I]
Transcribed by Her Grace Labangalatika devi dasi