His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Psychology Lecture
 21 October 2004 – Riga, Latvia

at the International High School for Practical Psychology

 vande ’ham sri guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri–gurun vaisnavams ca
sri rupam sagrajatam saha-gan-raghunathanvitam tam sa-jivam
sadvaitam savadhutam parijana-sahitam krsna-caitanya-devam
sri-radha-krsna-padan saha-gana-lalita-sri-visakhanvitams ca

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for attending this lecture here at the International High School for Practical Psychology.   I am very happy that it is an institute of practical psychology, because if psychology is not practical, what is the use of it?  Theoretical psychology has no value unless you can make it practical.  So today we are giving you a very practical lesson in how to properly understand and utilize psychology.

Today we are discussing the psychology of terrorism.  Just like recently, in Baghdad, some terrorists captured some Americans and a Briton and they cut their heads off.  So what is the cause of terrorism, and how do we get rid of it?

Terrorism is rooted in a psychological state which is known as “lording-it-over” mentality.  The original psychological text of ancient India is Bhagavad-gita; in the Bhagavad-gita the terrorist mentality is described in full detail.  I will read you this from Chapter 16, where it describes the mentality of the terrorist.

The terrorist thinks:

“So much wealth do I have today, and will gain more according to my schemes.  So much is mine now, and I will increase it in the future, more and more.  He is my enemy, and I have killed him; my other enemies will also be killed.  I am the lord of everything - I am the enjoyer.  I am perfect, powerful and happy.  I am the richest man, surrounded by aristocratic relatives.  There are none so powerful and happy as I am.  I shall perform some sacrifices; I shall give some charity; and thus I shall rejoice.  I will be happy.”

In this way such persons are deluded by ignorance.

So the terroristic mentality is one of thinking, “Everything belongs to me; I am the lord; everything is mine.”  Such a mentality becomes an obsession.  Once one develops this terroristic spirit, one becomes overpowered by unlimited amounts of lust and greed to control and own everything.  This terroristic mentality is becoming more and more widespread on this planet now, and something has to be done to curb it.  Otherwise this whole planet will break out into total, complete hell – total, complete hell, unless something is done to stop this terroristic mentality.

In case you’re getting scared, don’t worry.  We have the solution to this problem.  It is called “Krishna consciousness.”

In a jungle, there are so many animals, and some of the animals are naturally going to be very ferocious, like a tiger or a lion.  Likewise, in a world where everyone is like an animal, some will be gentle, and some will be very ferocious, like a terrorist.  So the solution to the problem of terrorism in the world is to elevate the human society beyond the animal platform.  In other words, we’re all responsible for the terrorism problem, because we all have a tendency to act like animals unless we become spiritually enlightened beings.  This is why a guru, or spiritual master, is very important - because he elevates us beyond the animal platform to the platform of spiritual realization.  In a society where many people are becoming spiritually realized, terrorism cannot flourish.

So what we have to do to stop terrorism is to educate the intelligent class of men and women on this planet in how to become spiritually enlightened beings.  That influence will uplift the mentality of the entire planet.  If even one percent of the world population can become spiritually enlightened, the terrorism problem will go away.  Terrorism is not solved by bigger guns, or by tanks or bombs, because the terrorists are very good at hiding.  The only way you can defeat the terrorists is to introduce a new, enlightened mentality into the world environment so that people don’t feel a need to try to lord it over material nature to be happy.

Right now our conception of happiness is based on how much money we can make - how much we can control other people.  This is a terroristic mentality that each and every one of us has.  In other words, each of us has a little terrorist in our own heart.  The ones who will be called ‘terrorists’ are the big ones, who will fly airplanes into the World Trade Center.  But there is a little bit of a terrorist in every one of us, and that is the desire to lord it over this world.  We have a tendency to think, “Now I have this much money; now I want more money; now I want more money; now I want more, more, more, more, more.”  This is the mood of a terrorist.  He wants to own and control everything. 

What we have to do is realize, as Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, sarva-loka-mahesvaram [BG 5.29]:  Lord Krishna, or God, says that actually He is the owner of everything.  Instead of trying to accumulate everything to put in our own bank accounts, or our own pockets, we should try to engage everything in this world in the service of God.  Instead of thinking, “This belongs to me, that belongs to me”, we should think, “Nothing is mine.”  We should think, “Everything belongs to God.”  This will put a stop to the terroristic mentality.

So, each and every one of us has to learn this art of how to see everything as the property of God.  Even your body does not belong to you.  We come into this world naked and we leave this world naked.  In the middle we claim, “This is my land” – and we fight.  But how can we claim it is “my” land?  When I am born I have nothing.  When I die I have nothing.  Everything remains simply as the property of God.  If we can all realize this - or at least if the leading, educated class of people can realize this - then the terrorism problem will go away.

There’s a very nice book called the Sri Isopanisad.  In this book there’s a very beautiful verse in Sanskrit.  It says:

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

 This means, “One should therefore accept only that which has been set aside as one’s quota and should not be greedy for other things, knowing well to whom they belong.”  We have to know that everything is actually God’s property, and use everything for His service.

We very proudly say, “My body”, or “I ___ this body” - “I am male”, “I am female”, “I am Latvian”, “I am American” – but actually this body is just the energy of God.  It simply belongs to Him.  Therefore this body should be used in His service.  This will make us happy.  Do you know that a thief can never be happy?  Do you know why a thief can never be happy?  Because he is always afraid of getting caught.  As long as we are taking this body, which is the property of God, and we’re thinking, “This is mine” - then we always have to live in a state of fear.  If we use this body in the service of the Lord, by chanting His name on our lips, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare . . .” - or in a Christian church they sing, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah”; or if you go to the temple or the church or the synagogue and you bow down before the Lord -  in this way if you use your body, use your tongue, use your intelligence - use everything in the service of God - then you will have no anxieties whatsoever in your life, because you are no longer trying to steal from God that which is His property.  In this way you will create a wonderful spiritual atmosphere by your example, wherever you go in the world.  And the terroristic mentality will go away.

The whole point is that you have to become a saint.  Wherever a saint goes, other people are inspired also to become saints.  The sinners give up being sinners, and they become saints by the association of a great saint.  Even the terrorists can give up.  In Russia, there was one man  . . . he was a member of the Russian Mafia, and he used to carry a sawed-off shotgun inside his coat - and the Mafia would simply go and murder people.  But he realized that this is not right, and became a devotee of Lord Krishna.  He became a great saint.  So in this way, this process of Krishna consciousness that we are teaching is the perfection of the science of psychology, because it can turn a terrorist - or member of the Mafia - into a great saint.  This is why we have come today to the International High School of Practical Psychology - because we wanted to teach you how to solve the terrorist problem that is running rampant, running wild, all over this planet.

Does anyone have any questions?

Q1  [What kind of change in society is required?]

A1 - Actually, we can keep the society like it is now.  The street sweeper can continue sweeping the street; the bread-baker can continue baking the bread; the prime minister can continue being the prime minister.  Everyone can continue what they are doing and chant the holy names of God.

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare

 Just imagine if all day they’re baking the bread, and they’re going “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare” – and then the bread becomes so spiritual.  And you eat that bread you just feel, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna . . .”  And the street sweeper - he’s sweeping the street:  “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna . . .”  You walk by, and you see this street sweeper going “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna”, and you go “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna . . .”  Then you go to meet the prime minister, and he’s going, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”  Everybody is so happy chanting Hare Krishna.  Nobody wants to fight, nobody wants to kill anyone, and everybody just becomes very happy – they raise families, they do their business nicely, they take good care of their customers, they take good care of their friends and their family, they stop killing the cows - everyone just becomes a wonderful, happy family, all over the whole planet.  So this is what happens when we become Krishna conscious.  Instead of thinking, oh, Latvian, Finnish, British and American, and Muslim and Christian, and man and woman, and black and white – making all these divisions and fighting – we can simply realize that we’re all one family.  We’re all God’s children, and there’s no reason for any animosity.

Any other questions?

Q2  [What church can we attend?]

A2 - Any church is good.  God is actually one.  Whether you call Him Christ or you call Him Krishna, He is the same – God is one.  So whether you want to chant God’s name in your mosque, your synagogue, your church, your temple – that does not matter.  But everyone must chant the names of God.  But along with chanting the names of God, we have to give up sinful life.  And to unnecessarily kill other living beings – that is sinful life.  The human being is not required to kill the animals and eat them.  In fact, the karmic reaction to inflicting terrorism upon the animals is that we must also suffer being attacked by terrorists.  The Bible says, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”  So we should not cause any suffering to the animals.  We must be kind to the animals: they are our brothers and sisters.  Love the animals and don’t eat them.  You will be much healthier on a vegetarian diet.  It’s cheaper, it’s more delicious - and you don’t get the bad karma of killing your brothers and sisters.  So chant the names of the Lord in your Lutheran church and stop killing animals.  That will help the world to become peaceful and happy.

Questions more?

Q3  [But aren’t we all children of God . . . ?]

A3 - We are all the children of God, that’s true; but some of the children didn’t run away from home.  Jesus didn’t run away from home, but we did.  That’s the difference.  You have run away from home, and He [Jesus] is a loyal son of His Father, so He has come to try to bring you back home.  This is the vision of all great spiritual masters.  They come on behalf of the Lord to rescue us from our fallen position in this material world.  As Mataji says, we are the disobedient sons of God: Jesus is the obedient son, but you are disobedient.  We can teach you how to become obedient sons and go back to Godhead – if you are willing to learn.  Are you?  He says yes.  Very good.

Other questions?

Q4  [How can you be healthy on a vegetarian diet?  Isn’t it expensive to get the protein you need from nuts, etc . . . ?]

A4 - But meat is very expensive. A vegetarian diet is definitely cheaper than meat-eating . . .  I will take you to the grocery store – come with me to the grocery store after this meeting and I will show you the difference.  If you take rice and beans and you drink milk, you will get all the protein you need.  Do I look sick?  I’ve been eating a vegetarian diet for 33 years . . . I was born in 1947.  I’m an old man, almost 60 years old – but I feel like a young man, 30 years old.  So there are many benefits to not eating the rotting flesh of dead animals.

One should eat vegetarian foods and offer them to the Lord before eating.  And then by eating food which has been offered to the Lord, it becomes blessed food, or the holy sacrament which purifies your brain cells to help you realize God.  Just like in a Christian church, you have Holy Communion.  In the Hare Krishna lifestyle that we practice, every meal is Holy Communion.  Simply by eating you become very, very holy.

Q5  [Were you raised this way . . . how did you come to Krishna consciousness?]

A5 - When I was a little boy I did not know this wonderful Krishna consciousness.  I was raised to be a sinful, meat-eating, money-hungry person like everyone else.  But I was miserable!  I knew there had to be something more than just making money, getting old, getting sick, and dying.  So when I went to college, I began reading and inquiring:  What is the real purpose of human life?  My professors could not tell me.  My fraternity brothers could not tell me, nor could other students.  The textbooks I was reading could not tell me.  Nobody could tell me what was the meaning of my existence.  But I knew that I had to find out:  What is the meaning of life?  I struggled for many years – in fact it took me six years of intense struggle to discover what the actual meaning of life was.  When I realized what the meaning of life was, everything changed.  And for the last 33 years, my whole life has been dedicated to enlightening you about what the meaning of your life is.

There is one underlying source for all that exists.  You and I both come from the same, original source.  There is one origin for everything that exists.  Each and every one of us is meant to live in perfect harmony with that original source of our existence.  If you are synchronized with your source - if you’re in harmony with your source - then you will be absolutely happy and free of illusion and anxiety.  But if you’re not in harmony with the source of your existence, no matter what arrangements you may make here in Riga or anywhere in the world for your happiness, you will still remain frustrated.  So you have to learn how to become perfectly harmonized with the source of your existence.  That’s true for you, for everybody else in this room, and for everybody throughout the entire universe.

You have a question?

Q6 [Can there varieties of religion without wars and terrorism?]


A6 - Wherever there is terrorism, real religion does not exist.  Religion is one: to reconnect yourself with your source in loving service.  Whether you say Christ or Krishna or Allah is a detail.  The underlying principle is that you have to be in perfect harmony with the source of your existence: God.  Whichever name you call him doesn’t matter.  That is the one religion that will reunite everyone in peace and happiness.  If we bicker, saying, “Yes Krishna, no Jesus, no Allah”, then we fight.  Or if we say, “Yes Jesus, no Krishna, no Allah”, then we fight.  If we say, “Yes Allah, no Jesus, no Krishna”, then we fight.  But if we say, “Yes Jesus, yes Krishna, yes Allah” – then we don’t fight.  Do you understand?

God is one.  How many suns are there in the sky?  There is one sun in the sky: every morning it rises, and every evening it sets.  (Of course you can’t see it for the clouds, but if you go up in an airplane you’ll see that the sun actually shining over Latvia today, but the clouds are blocking it.)  So there’s one sun.  But how many different names are there for the sun?  In the Latvian language the sun is called something, in Russian it’s called something, in English it’s called something, in French it’s called something – and just as the sun has many names according to many different languages, similarly God has many names according to different religious traditions.   But still there’s only one God.  Can you imagine if Latvia and Russia went to war over the name of sun?  There are two different names - in Russian it’s called what?  And in Latvian?  So they have a big war:  What’s going to be the name of the sun.  Pow, pow – a big war, with bombs, tanks . . . That’s what the so-called ‘religious’ people are doing today.  They are fighting over what we will call God.  There is only one God; you can’t change Him by calling Him different names.  So this is the real formula for peace and happiness in the world.  Let us all worship that one supreme God.  And stop eating our four-legged brothers and sisters.

Yes, there can be varieties.  Just like in America there are so many cultures that came together and formed one nation.  You can have diversity within unity.  Have you ever heard that concept, ‘diversity within unity’?  Even here we have diversity.  We are coming together as one group of friendly people to talk to each other.  But we have Latvians, we have Americans, we have Indians; we have males, we have females - yet we are all together as friends to discuss philosophy.  So if you want to maintain your tradition, your way of worshiping God, we have no objection.  But simply we are asking, don’t eat your brothers and sisters.  Is that all right?

Q7 [Why ‘Krishna’?]

A7 - The name Krishna is so beautiful!  Krishna - - -

Q8 [Is this a new religion you are introducing?]

A8 - We are not introducing a new religion.  We are teaching that which is the essence of all religion.  I was raised as a Christian, and I’m still a Christian.  I did not give up believing in Jesus to chant Hare Krishna.  I simply became a better Christian, that’s all.

Q9 [Hasn’t God created many religions?]

A9 - That is created by man.  God has given us one religion: to love Him with a pure heart.  But man, in his imperfect, political mentality, has created so much animosity – this religion, that religion, this religion, that religion – this is man’s invention, not God’s.  God has given one religion: to love Him with a pure heart. 

Questions more?

Q10  [Can this process change the world right now?  How soon?]

A10 - Yes.  That’s up to you.  How soon will you become a pure lover of God?  You become a revolutionary person on this planet.  You become a pure lover of God, and by your influence you will create a revolution in this country.  We’re waiting for you to become a pure lover of God.  And you will transform the world.

Q11  [What about the prayers we say now, like the Lord’s Prayer – is there some new, universal prayer – like the euro currency - to replace these?]

A11 - No, all the prayers can remain; they don’t have to stop . . . Actually this Hare Krishna prayer is the universal ‘euro’ mantra – this Hare Krishna is good for everyone.  I’m a Christian and I chant Hare Krishna.  I know Muslims who chant Hare Krishna; there are Jews who chant Hare Krishna – everyone chants Hare Krishna.  It’s not a sectarian prayer.  It’s good for everyone.  Christians can chant it, Muslims can chant it, Jews can chant it, Hindus can chant it – everyone can chant Hare Krishna.  You don’t have to give up being a Christian to chant Hare Krishna.  I have a Baptist minister who is my student.  He chants Hare Krishna - a Baptist minister in North Carolina, in the United States.  He’s a Baptist minister, he chants Hare Krishna, and he supports my ministry with a regular monthly donation. 

Questions more?

Q12  [But we would all agree that man has evolved from apes, yes?]

A12 - You’re saying we would all agree that man has evolved from monkeys?  Well, we accept that Darwin was a monkey.  But I did not come from the monkey.  I’m descended from Brahmaji, the chief demigod of this universe.  He’s a highly intelligent being – he’s not a monkey, like Darwin’s grandfather.

Q13  [Can we really unite world under one culture?]

A13 - 5000 years ago this planet was united by one culture, called the Vedic culture, which was centered in India.  The whole planet Earth was one culture. 

Q14 [What is the origin of this universal culture?]

A14 - Actually it’s from other planets  . . .

-          end recording  –


Transcribed by Her Grace Labangalatika devi dasi

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