His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Transcendental Engineering Seminar Part I

The Art of Dying

Srimad Bhagavatam 2.1.15

Vrindavana, India

April 14, 2013

So, do we have any engineers here today? Are any of you engineers? Yes. Well this seminar is to make all of us into engineers. What is our sampradaya called? It is the Brahma Sampradaya. Isn’t it? Who is Brahma? He is the engineer of the Universe and he is the original transcendental engineer. So we are going to study in the line of Brahmaji, the original engineer of the universe, how to be transcendental engineers. In order to do that, we need the special mercy of the great personalities. So, first I would like to offer this prayer, begging for their mercy so that we can very cheerily and potently describe and understand this supreme science, raja-vidya.

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

nama om vishnu-padaya
krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta
swamin iti namine
 
namaste saraswati deve
gaura-vani-pracharine
nirvishesha-shunyavadi
pashchatya-desha-tarine

Our Srila Prabhupada, he is the topmost engineer of the transcendental science. He is called the acarya or the one who teaches by example and he is founder-acarya because he is the foundation of our society, the International society for Krishna consciousness. So our understanding of the science of bhakti is fully dependent on Prabhupada. We cannot come up with something new or something different. It is only through the mercy of the Srila Prabhupada that we can understand things as they are; otherwise we remain in the darkness of ignorance. So in order to be able to speak and give a meaningful seminar, we have to do it, not from our own imagination, but we have to base it strictly on the teachings of Prabhupada.

In other words Krishna consciousness means to go deeper and deeper and deeper into the understanding of the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and how to manifest them within our every thought, our every word and our every deed, in all times, all places and circumstances.

So in this connection our first session is a very dynamic and important session, ‘The Art of Dying.’ Is there anyone of us here who don’t have to worry about this, that we don’t have to die? No. Death is certain for every one of us. They say that two things are certain, death and taxes. The government will tax you and the material nature will kill you. Of course we are speaking of the body here. But our bodies will die. That’s a fact. These bodies will not remain forever. So how you leave your body determines where you will go.

(Aside: Everybody can move forward there is plenty of space here. It feels more intimate and warm if we sit closer together. Thank you! Here we go Srimad Bhagavatam 2.1.15)

So, we will be reading from the 2nd canto, chapter number 1, ‘The First Step in God Realization.’ It’s a wonderful, wonderful chapter because that’s where we are, my dear Vaishnavas and Vaishnavis. We are beginners on this path way. We are neophytes. Neophyte means new. Even if we have been in the movement for 30 or 40 years still we understand that we are new. If we consider the position of the Goswamis, the position of Srila Prabhupada, the position of Bhakti Siddhanta Sararasvati Thakura, we have to honestly feel that we are very new. We are just taking our baby steps here in self-realization.

I was delighted to find out that the organizers of the seminar asked me to speak from the Second Canto, Chapter One, because this chapter is an extremely important chapter. We don’t really study it enough. So this is a great opportunity today that we can go deeper in to the Bhagavatam, Second Canto, Chapter One, ‘The First Step in God Realization.’

anta-kale tu purusa
agate gata-sadhvasah
chindyad asanga-sastrena
sprham dehe 'nu ye ca tam

TRANSLATION

At the last stage of one's life, one should be bold enough not to be afraid of death. But one must cast off all attachment to the material body and everything pertaining to it and all desires thereof.

SDA: Wow! That’s really great. We have been ordered here to be bold at the time of death not to be ‘chicken’ as we say in America, a coward. Don’t be a chicken, a coward. Be bold at the time of death. So how do you do that? Prabhupada will tell us in the purport now how to be bold at the time of death.

PURPORT

The foolishness of gross materialism is that people think of making a permanent settlement in this world, although it is a settled fact that one has to give up everything here that has been created by valuable human energy. Great statesmen, scientists, philosophers, etc., who are foolish, without any information of the spirit soul, think that this life of a few years only is all in all and that there is nothing more after death. This poor fund of knowledge, even in the so-called learned circles of the world, is killing the vitality of human energy, and the awful result is being keenly felt. And yet the foolish materialistic men do not care about what is going to happen in the next life. The preliminary instruction in the Bhagavad-gita is that one should know that the identity of the individual living entity is not lost even after the end of this present body, which is nothing but an outward dress only. As one changes an old garment, so the individual living being also changes his body and this change of body is called death. Death is therefore a process of changing the body at the end of the duration of the present life. An intelligent person must be prepared for this and must try to have the best type of body in the next life. The best type of body is a spiritual body, which is obtained by those who go back to the kingdom of God or enter the realm of Brahman. In the second chapter of this canto, this matter will be broadly discussed, but as far as the change of body is concerned, one must prepare now for the next life. Foolish people attach more importance to the present temporary life, and thus the foolish leaders make appeals to the body and the bodily relations. The bodily relations extend not only to this body but also to the family members, wife, children, society, country and so many other things which end at the end of life. After death one forgets everything about the present bodily relations; we have a little experience of this at night when we go to sleep. While sleeping, we forget everything about this body and bodily relations, although this forgetfulness is a temporary situation for only a few hours. Death is nothing but sleeping for a few months in order to develop another term of bodily encagement, which we are awarded by the law of nature according to our aspiration. Therefore, one has only to change the aspiration during the course of this present body, and for this there is need of training in the current duration of human life. This training can be begun at any stage of life, or even a few seconds before death, but the usual procedure is for one to get the training from very early life, from the stage of brahmacarya, and gradually progress to the grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa orders of life. The institution which gives such training is called varnasrama-dharma, or the system of sanatana-dharma, the best procedure for making the human life perfect. One is therefore required to give up the attachment to family or social or political life just at the age of fifty years, if not earlier, and the training in the vanaprastha and sannyasa-asramas is given for preparation of the next life. Foolish materialists, in the garb of leaders of the people in general, stick to family affairs without attempting to cut off relations with them, and thus they become victims of nature's law and get gross bodies again, according to their work. Such foolish leaders may have some respect from the people at the end of life, but that does not mean that such leaders will be immune to the natural laws under which everyone is tightly bound by the hands and feet. The best thing is, therefore, that everyone voluntarily give up family relations by transferring attachment from family, society, country, and everything thereof to the devotional service of the Lord. It is stated herein that one should give up all desires of family attachment. One must have a chance for better desires; otherwise there is no chance of giving up such morbid desires.

SDA: Wow! Prabhupada says family attachment is morbid. That’s pretty heavy statement. Morbid means of the nature of death.

Prabhupada continues:

Desire is the concomitant factor of the living entity. The living entity is eternal, and therefore his desires, which are natural for a living being, are also eternal. One cannot, therefore, stop desiring, but the subject matter for desires can be changed. So one must develop the desires for returning back home, back to Godhead, and automatically the desires for material gain, material honor and material popularity will diminish in proportion to the development of devotional service. A living being is meant for service activities, and his desires are centered around such a service attitude. Beginning from the top executive head of the state down to the insignificant pauper in the street, all are rendering some sort of service to others. The perfection of such a service attitude is only attained simply by transferring the desire of service from matter to spirit, or from Satan to God. [End of Purport]

om anjana-timirandhasya
jñananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah

SDA: So, we have a nice program. Is there paper going around now? You can write your questions on paper. As soon as the question pops in to your head just get a piece of paper and write it down. We will have question and answer session. This session goes to 11:45 am which is 50 minutes from now. So I will speak for some time and then we will have wonderful question and answer session.

So this is a very, very poignant and important instruction coming from Prabhupada because the fact is that we are all going to die. The culture of the material world is that they are never going to die. We are not really trained to be conscious of the fact that death can come at any minute. We are taught to make money, get a nice house, get a nice wife, get kids. You are setup for wonderful enjoyment for yourself in this material world. That’s how we are trained. But it is very clearly described in the Mahabharata:

Ahani ahani bhutani gacchantih yamamandiram
Sesah sthavaram icchanti kim ascharyam atah param

This question was asked by Yamaraja to Maharaja Yudhisthira, “What is the most amazing thing in this world?” And Maharaja Yudhisthira, he is not just a king but he is rishi, he is a rajarsi. He is a king and a great sage simultaneously. Therefore he answered as a sage would answer even though he was a ksatriya. He is a sage. The real ksatriyas, they are sages at the same time: raja-rishi, rajarsi. So he very wisely answered, “At every moment countless numbers of living beings are being dragged to the court of Yamaraja, death. But those who are remaining here they think, ‘Oh, not me. I am immune to death’.”

kim ascharyam atah param

“There is nothing more wonderful than this.”

So that’s the phenomenon. We advertise 'The Art of Dying' and most people think, “That doesn’t really apply to me. I don’t have to worry about that.” We go to Delhi and have a big seminar. We rent a huge stadium. We are having a seminar of 'The Art of dying’. How many people will come? Most people will think, “This doesn’t apply to me. Maybe if you have cancer then you might be interested to go. But it doesn’t really apply to me.” 'The Art of Dying’, we don’t think it’s very important but actually this is the most important art or science or technique or methodology that one should study, ‘How to die.’ Because at any moment we can be snuffed out by the laws of material nature, any minute, in traffic, it could be heart attack. Some gunda could attack you to rob your money. You never know when death is going to come. So we have to be prepared at every minute. Every minute we should be prepared. What is that preparation? To take shelter of Krishna. Prabhupada told us many years ago in Los Angeles, a wonderful lecture he gave. He said, “from the day of initiation one’s deathlessness begins.” So the art of dying means the art of how to enter into deathlessness. So to teach the art of dying means, we want to teach you how to become deathless. How to become transcendental to death. This is the training.

So the first step is to realise, ‘I am not the body. I don’t die.’ As long as we continue to identify with this material body we remain within the clutches of karma cakra. When we perform an activity, we get the result. That result binds us. We perform another activity under the influence of the first activity which just goes on for item for item for millions and millions of lifetimes. As long as we remain in bodily consciousness we remain caught up. Janma mrtyu jara vyadhi - birth, death, old age and disease. When one realises ‘I am not this body. I am an eternal spiritual being’ - jivera svarup haya krsnera nitya das - then one becomes a candidate for liberation. I say candidate because this understanding that you are not the body is not enough.

To have a theoretical Brahman understanding is not enough. You have to actually become solidly situated in Brahman understanding. You have to manifest it. If I say, “I am a spiritual being; I am not the body,” but yet I am still addicted to gratifying this material senses then I am not liberated. Even though I know better, as long as I am caught up in gratifying these material senses, I am a conditioned soul. I am subjected to the laws of death. But one who actually turns his whole life into bhakti or devotion to Krishna that person is already liberated. For him death is nothing. As we say in America, ‘a piece of cake’. It is just ‘a piece of cake’, no problem. Just like we may wear a kurta and you walk by some wall and there is a nail in it and your kurta catches on the wall and you rip it and your kurta is finished. Well, no big deal. You just throw it away and you have another kurta to put on. So this body is just a kurta. It is just a garment we are wearing and that’s all it is.

If you are firmly convinced that you are an eternal spiritual being, that you have an eternal spiritual body which is not subject to birth, death, old age and disease, then if this body falls apart, there is no problem. Just get another one; that’s all. As long as one continues to think “I am this body” he must remain in the state of anxiety because then he thinks “I am sick; I am getting old. Oh no, I am dying!” So the key is you have to be firmly convinced, “I am not this body. I am an eternal spiritual being. I am qualitatively one with the Supreme personality of Godhead.”

So how does one get free then from the addiction to material sense gratification? This addiction to material sense gratification is what keeps us rooted in the false bodily conception. How do you get free from that? How do you get free from the desire for sense gratification? Param drstva nivartante: we must get the higher taste. So that is a very, very important thing. We have to get the higher taste for Krishna consciousness. We have to find the ways and means that we can relish Krishna bhakti 24/7, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We are not doing this, “Oh no, I have to do this, I have to do that, Oh god! I have to do this.” No. We are actually relishing: “Now I have the privilege of getting up and going to mangal arati. Now I am blessed with the privilege of getting up, of chanting japa. Now I am blessed with the privilege of working a job to support the family that I can raise in Krishna consciousness.” One has to take one’s service as a blessing, not as botheration. In other words we have to learn how to render service with the mood of gratitude, or as they say, ‘an attitude of gratitude.’ We have to see how Krishna is blessing us. How the mercy of Krishna is coming down to us through the disciplic succession. That’s the key. Always feel grateful. “Oh wow! How fortunate I am to have this opportunity to do this service! How fortunate I am that I have the opportunity to associate with this devotee.” We should never take it for granted. Sometimes people just find faults with this and that. They don’t realise the great good fortune they have to be in the association of the devotees. For millions of lifetimes due to bad association with the non-devotees, those who think that they themselves are god, we have been forced to suffer in so many ways: birth, death, old age and disease, adhiyatmika adhibhautika, adhidaivika. Suffering, suffering, suffering, suffering for millions and millions of births due to bad association. But Prabhupada is giving us the opportunity now to get divine association. There is Prabhupada himself, many of us were fortunate, of course we are dying number now. Many of us were fortunate to directly associate with Srila Prabhupada.

I see in the room here, do we have any Prabhupada’s disciple here today? - one, two. There are two of us. When we use to come to Vrindavana in the old days, we were all Prabhupada’s disciple. The whole festival was Prabhupada’s disciples, when I first came to India. It was all Prabhupada’s disciples and now we are dying off. But you are all coming on board to keep the thing going after we are gone. So Prabhupada gave his divine association for us. He gave his books. He mercifully... Actually this business of recording lectures, Prabhupada did that. When Prabhupada started the movement, they didn’t have cassette players or mp3 recorders. It was the gigantic reel-to-reel recording machines. Prabhupada actually had a reel-to-reel recorder and he was recording his lectures even before we started recording him. He recorded them. Do you know how Prabhupada wrote the introduction to the Bhagavad-gita? One night nobody came for the lecture. Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said, "If nobody comes, preach to the four walls." So Prabhupada did that. He preached to the four walls with the tape machine turned on and that’s the introduction of the Bhagavad-gita, a lecture when nobody showed up.

So Prabhupada’s direct association is there, and then it is there in the form of his recorded lectures, in the form of his books, in the form of his disciples who have so many memories of Prabhupada. In so many ways ISKCON remains to get the divine association of Srila Prabhupada. That’s what it means. What does Bhagavad-gita say? Sangat sanjayate kamah, one’s consciousness is developed by the company that one keeps. So all we are doing here in ISKCON is we are all associating with Srila Prabhupada. Directly some of us had that, of course, it is direct for you also. Prabhupada is directly available in his books. By reading Prabhupada’s books, and serving Prabhupada’s mission you are directly associating with Srila Prabhupada. That’s a fact. Prabhupada one time said simultaneously direct and indirect. So you are getting his association through your Guru Maharaja; you are getting through Prabhupada’s disciples; you are getting through the books. So in one sense it is indirect but it is also direct, simultaneously both direct and indirect.

So here we are right now associating with Prabhupada. His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, actually present right here with us and he is blessing us. So by that association of Srila Prabhupada, we are becoming tanscendentalized, Krishnized, spiritualized. And as one becomes spiritualized, krishnized, transcendentalized etc., material sense gratification, instead of appearing very delightful, starts to appear very morbid. Whereas previously it seemed to be, “Wow! It’s so great”, now, “No thank you.” I was just reading a few minutes ago where Prabhupada was saying in Vaikunthaloka they are amazed that anybody could be attracted by sex. It’s just like sometimes you may have to blow your nose, right? You get some mucus. You blow your nose. Do you feel all excited? “Oh wow! I get to blow my nose, it feels so good.”(Makes action of blowing nose) It is just some embodied dirty thing you have to do. “I have to blow my nose, Prabhu.” You don’t feel all enlivened, “Oh wow! Ah, it feels so good.” No one gets excited and enlivened to blow their nose.

In Vaikunthaloka, to them sex is just like blowing your nose. They wonder how somebody can be infatuated by it. It’s so gross. It’s just some gross, nasty, dirty thing, how can they be so enamoured by it? In Vaikunthaloka, Prabhupada said they feel like that. But right now people are just completely enamoured by it. Cupid is flying around ‘zing, zing, zing’, he is zapping ‘zung’. Cupid is getting us with his arrows. You are going, “Ah! Look at that pretty girl over there. Look at that cool looking guy over there. Oh, wow!” Cupid is doing his number on us. But Cupid is actually attracted to someone whose name is Madana Mohana, the attractor of Cupid, Krishna. That person who is piercing the heart with the arrow of lusty desires, he is attracted by Madana Mohana, Krishna. So if you become attracted by Krishna, Madana Mohana, you will have a Cupid-proof heart. If Cupid shoots an arrow at you, it will just bounce right off because you have a higher taste. That’s actually confirmed by Yamunacarya Albandaru.

yad-avadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamany udyatam rantum asit
tad-avadhi bata nari-sangame smaryamane
bhavati mukha-vikarah susthu nisthivanam ca

Prabhupada mentions this in a Bhagavad-gita purport. It’s a very nice sloka. So Yamunacarya Albandaru is saying that, “Ever since I have been engaged in transcendental loving service of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, deriving nava nava rasa, ever newer, sweeter taste in that service, whenever somehow or other I think of enjoying sex, my lips curl with distaste and I spit at the thought.”

So once you get that higher taste, then these things won’t attract you anymore. If somehow they enter into your brain because of seeing a billboard or some external thing in the material world that can make one lusty, it will just bounce right off. You will go (action of spitting), so Krishna consciousness is really a higher taste. We just have to relish how wonderful Krishna is, how sublime Krishna is. We just have to learn how to relish Krishna. That’s all.

venum kvanantam aravinda-dalayataksam
barhavatamsam asitambuda-sundarangam
kandarpa-koti-kaminiya-visesa-sobham
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

“I worship the primeval Lord Govinda who is adept with playing on His flute with blooming eyes like lotus petals.” Can you imagine somebody whose eyes are blooming like lotus petals? How beautiful they would be? How attractive they would be? If you were to see such a person you would go “Wow! Look at that person! His eyes are blooming like lotus petals.” "...Blooming eyes like lotus petals, head bedecked with the peacock feather with the figure of beauty tinged with the hue of blue clouds and His unique loveliness is charming millions of cupids."

That’s pretty amazing just imagine a person like that. If you could see such a person, you could become an intimate associate of such a person. That is called Krishna consciousness. So really all you have to do to master the art of dying is to somehow become enamoured by Krishna. That’s all. That beautiful good looking boy, I mean... Krishna is cool! He really is. He is a supreme cool. So many wonderful verses are describing Krishna.

ananda-cinmaya-rasatmataya manahsu
yah praninam pratiphalan smaratam upetya
lilayitena bhuvanani jayaty ajasram-
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

“I adore the primeval Lord Govinda whose glory ever triumphantly dominates the mundane world by the activities of His own pastimes being reflected in the minds of recollecting souls as the transcendental entity of ever blissful cognitive rasa.”

I really like that verse: chapter five, text number 42 of Brahma-samhita. “Being reflected in the minds of recollecting souls.” Well, who are those recollecting souls? These are the great sages. Well, you think we could do that too? Yes, that’s what we are talking about. Transcendental engineering means how you can become one of those recollecting souls whose heart is like a mirror reflecting the pastimes of Krishna. That’s what we are talking about here, transcendental engineering. How you can become one of those recollecting souls, “being reflected in the minds of recollecting souls as the transcendental entity of ever blissful cognitive rasa.”

Oh wow! That’s pretty amazing,' blissful, cognitive rasa'. Rasa means essence, sweetness, or relationship or flavour. Cognitive rasa means full of knowledge, full of bliss. A relationship which is pregnant with bliss and with knowledge. Not some dry sterile, mechanical relationship but the relationship which is over-flooded with bliss and cognizance. This is what it means to have awakened your Krishna consciousness. You get to have relationship with God Himself, that person who is the source of everything, the source of all the avataras.

ramadi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan
nanavataram akarod bhuvanesu kintu
krsnah svayam samabhavat paramah puman yo
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

“I worship Govinda the primeval Lord who manifested Himself as Krishna.”

That’s a pretty amazing verse actually. Someone says, where does Krishna come from? Ever heard someone ask you that, “Where does Krishna come from?” Brahmaji says, “Krishna comes from Govinda.” If someone ever asks you, “Where does Krishna comes from?” The verse says, “I worship Govinda the primeval lord who manifested himself as Krishna.”

So you can say Krishna comes from Govinda. Well, who is Govinda? He is Krishna. Krishna comes from Krishna. That is the meaning of God: anadir, He has no origin; adi, He is the origin. Someone might say, “What’s the origin of Krishna?” He has no origin, that’s why He is God. God has no origin. If He has an origin then He is not God.

So Brahmaji says, “He manifested Himself as Krishna and the different avataras in the world such as Rama, Nrsimha, Vamana etc. as His subjective portions.”

There is actually an infinite number of incarnations of God. If you could go to all the beaches of all the ocean on this planet and you could count every single grain of sand on every beach on this planet, you still could not count how many incarnations of God there are within the existence. But every single one of those incarnations of God they are all emanating from Govindam adi purusham tam aham bhajami. So just imagine if you could actually have a personal intimate loving relationship with that person who is the source of the Rama, Nrsimha, Vamana etc.

So this transcendental engineering science teaches us how to do that. This is the ultimate self-realisation system. Some follow the path of Brahman realisation. They want to merge into Brahman. Some follow the pathway of Paramatma realisation. They want to realise the four arm form of the Lord within the heart. But those who are highly intelligent, those who are highly fortunate, they follow the path of Bhagavan realisation, the ultimate self-realisation system in order to revive their original transcendental identity.

This process is fun. It requires work, yes. But the work is fun. If one is very greedy to achieve a certain goal, they don’t mind working hard to get it. That work is fun. Just like a successful businessman, he is becoming a millionaire and then a billionaire. He loves going to the office every day. He is fired up. He only sleeps four hours. He gets up early in the morning. These successful businessmen they don’t sleep very much because they are excited to make more money. They are enlivened. They sleep as little as possible and they get up and get back to work again. “More money, more money, more money, more money.” So the devotees are the same way. Just like the businessman is greedy for more money, the devotee is greedy for bhakti. “More bhakti, more bhakti, more bhakti, more bhakti, more bhakti.” Just like a businessman wants to make as much profit as he can every day, a devotee is exactly the same except transcendentally. He wants to make as much spiritual advancement every day at every minute as much as he possibly can. He does not want to waste his time in philosophies. He simply wants to focus on awakening the dormant love of God within the heart because once one achieves that state of consciousness, his happiness surpasses even the demigods in the heavenly planets. It even surpasses the happiness of being a Brahmaji in the topmost planet in the material world.

So it’s not just becoming a little pious. This is becoming a completely purified, completely self-realised soul. The transcendental science of Krishna conscious engineering means you become a completely liberated soul, a paramhamsa.

Prabhupada wants us all to become completely pure devotees just like I mentioned in the Bhagavatam class. He wrote me one letter. He said; “Now you just qualify yourself to see Krishna face to face.” Can you imagine? What an amazing order Prabhupada gave. “Now you just become qualified to see Krishna face to face.” Well, that’s what Prabhupada wants us to do. He wants us all to become completely pure devotees who can see Krishna face to face.

That’s a pretty high level. I was not some leader. I was just some rank in file brahmacari. Prabhupada wrote me a letter like that. I wasn’t a temple president. I wasn’t a sankirtana leader. I wasn’t a head pujari. I was a head cook one time. I didn’t have any big position. I am just a humble pot washer but Prabhupada told me, “You become qualified to see Krishna face to face.” So I can understand that applies to everyone in our movement: big, little, small, in between, whatever your position is, you should become a pure devotee. You can become qualified to see Krishna face to face. And Prabhupada’s books are telling us exactly what we have to do to achieve that. All we have to do is follow what’s in the books. Don’t water it down. Take what’s in the books, don’t adulterate with any other ideas, sense gratification, sahajiyaism, whatever it may be, don’t water down in any way what is in the Prabhupada’s books. Strictly follow what’s in Prabhupada’s books and you will achieve the supreme perfection in due course of time.

So are there any questions? Pass them forward. The first question-

Question: How to win over sleep?

Answer: This is not an easy thing to do, to be honest. Winning over sleep is not an easy thing because we have been enjoying sleep for millions of life times. Sleep is considered a great enjoyment in this material world. When I was a college student we had one boy in our dormitory. They use to call him a ‘bear’ because on Friday when all the classes were over, he would go to sleep and he would sleep as long as he possibly could. He would sleep like 24 hours. He would sleep until Saturday afternoon. I mean that was his thing. That was his enjoyment on the week end. He would sleep 24 hours. Can you imagine that? Everybody would be quiet when they went by his room, out of respect. So this sleep is not an easy thing to overcome. But if you are excited about something, then sleep goes away, if you are enlivened about something. So we have to try to become enlivened. If we have a hard time waking up in the morning you can set two alarm clocks. Just like if you have a smart phone you can set it for 3.30, 3.31, 3.32 have it keep going off as many times as you need but even five times 2.30,2.31, 2.32, 2.33 as many times as you need to get up fully or have some other devotees check on you to wake you up. Have some other devotees, if they were to get up before you, double check on you. “Well, I have set an alarm for 3.30 but Prabhu just make sure that I am up.” If you really make an intelligent endeavour to get up and take help from others. It’s sometimes difficult for us to overcome sleep. But if we make that endeavour sincerely, beg for Radharani’s mercy, beg for Prabhupada’s mercy, beg for guru’s mercy, then we can be successful.

Question: When you say you will see Krishna face to face, does that means you are seeing Gurudeva at every minute?

Answer: If one becomes qualified to see Krishna face to face he will also be able to directly connect with Srila Prabhupada as well. They asked Prabhupada one time, “Srila Prabhupada, if you are not present can we communicate with you?” He said, “If your heart is pure.” If one is completely pure devotee, he has access to Srila Prabhupada, Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He has complete access to Krishna and all the great acaryas to associate with them and inquire from them even. In another letter Prabhupada told me. He said, “If you will serve Krishna 24 hours a day with full sincerity of attitude then he will personally come and answer all of your questions. So if we really become dedicated to become pure we will have access to Krishna, Prabhupada, to all the great acaryas.

Question: You said somehow or other we must relish Krishna. Does it mean that one is trying to enjoy Krishna?

Bhaktarupa das: That’s from Gurumata.

SDA: I can’t hear you. Take a piece of paper and write it down.

Bhaktarupa das: It’s from Gurumataji.

SDA: It doesn’t matter who it is from.

Answer: Prabhupada told us, “Chant Hare Krishna and be happy.” Now does that being happy means, I am trying to enjoy Krishna? No, I am trying to obey Prabhupada. We should try to come to the position where we relish hearing about Krishna, we relish seeing Krishna’s Deity form. We should try to come to that position when we feel great happiness and joy to see the Deities. Is it wrong to relish the darsan of Krishna-Balarama, to feel happy to see them, is that something wrong? Am I enjoying? No, it’s not in enjoying mood. One has to see in the mood of service, being a servant of the Lord. Not that I am seeing Krishna and trying to get Him to serve me. Just like that song,

Give me a Cadillac,
a brand new Cadillac,
replete with Michelin tires.
Give my wife a new silk sari.
Give my kids a Harvard education.
Give me a house by the sea.
Om! Jaya Jagadisha Hari!

Not like that, “I want Krishna to satisfy me.” But to want to actually relish Krishna consciousness is not wrong. Otherwise why did Prabhupada say, “Chant and be happy.” He wants us to relish Krishna consciousness. He said, "Take prasadam to your full satisfaction.” So we want to take the darsan of the Deities in such a way that we feel great pleasure in doing that, otherwise we will go to sex life. We have to feel pleasure from the devotional service, from chanting in such a way that we become ecstatic, not that you are trying to enjoy the holy name. That’s not the point. If you are in the mood of service, the mood of surrendering yourself to Krishna, you will naturally enjoy. In other words, the servant enjoys on an equal level with the king. So the way to relish Krishna is to act in such a way that He will relish you. We don’t want to enjoy Krishna; we want to act in such a way that Krishna will enjoy us, the way we are chanting, the way we are dancing, the way we are singing, the way we are cooking, the way we are cleaning, the way we are preaching, the way we do so many things. We want Krishna to enjoy us. That is His position: He is supreme enjoyer. But when you do that, the natural result is that you will enjoy like anything. So when I say that somehow we must relish Krishna, what I am saying is that we must act in such a way that Krishna will relish our attitude, our service, the way we speak, everything about us. Krishna will relish us like anything. So that’s what it really means to relish Krishna. You act in such a way that He relishes you. Krishna likes to relish His devotees. Just like that prayer in the Jagannathastakam :

kadacit kalindi-tata-vipina-sangita karavo
mudabhiri-nari-vadana-kamalasvada-madhupah
rama-sambhu-brahmamara-pati-ganesarcita-pado
jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me

“Sometimes in great happiness Lord Jagannatha makes aloud concert with His flute in the groves on the banks of the river Yamuna. He is like a bumble bee who relishes the beautiful lotus-like faces of the cowherd damsels of Vraja and great personalities such as Lakshmi, Siva, Brahma, Indra and Ganesh worship His lotus feet. May that Jagannatha Swami be the object of my vision.”

So Krishna does relish. He not only relishes the lotus-like faces of those beautiful gorgeous gopi girls, even us ugly folks. He relishes our sincere attempt to serve Him and please Him. So relishing Krishna comes naturally to the extent that you act in such a way that He relishes you. I Hope that’s clear. You should come to the point where you can relish everything about Krishna consciousness. “I love getting up for mangal arati, I love going to Prabhupada’s samadhi at 4:10 Am. I relish it. It’s sweet. I love going to Vrindavana Dhama, I love preaching, I love book distribution.” We should love everything. You should come to the point where “I love serving newer devotees. I love cooking for the Vaishnavas. I love washing Krishna’s pots because I am cleaning my heart.” We should come to the point where we can relish absolutely everything about Krishna consciousness.

Question: Hare Krishna! I wish I could associate with a source of everything of ever existing Krishna. However as far as I understand in Goloka Vrindavana we will also be in illusion: we would hardly realise Who we are playing with, serving etc. Thank you. Also how cit aspect of sac-cid-ananda appears in the spiritual world.

Answer: It is little unclear but I will try to figure it out here. So one may think, “Well, that wouldn’t be too good if I didn’t realise that I am associating with God. I really want to know that I am serving God. If I was in Goloka in my svarupa, I wouldn’t know that I was serving God, then that would be like missing out.” That is not true. No, no, no, it doesn’t work that way. The thing is you want something for yourself. Instead of thinking “What can I do to please Krishna?”, you are thinking “I want this. I want to have knowledge that I am dealing with God. I don’t want to forget that I am just serving some cute little kid who lives next door.” The cowherd boys, they don’t know that Krishna is God. They just know “Wow! Krishna is really cool. I mean, He is really amazing. He does all these amazing things. Wow! I mean He is somebody so cool. He is so wonderful. He is so dynamic and He is so clever. I just like Him like anything. All I can do is just think about Him, talk about Him, serve Him, run to Him, do this and that for Krishna.” They don’t know that He is God, so they are missing out. No. the Brijavasis, even if they don’t know that Krishna is God, they are in the highest, most intimate loving rasa with Krishna, more than the Vaikunthavasis who know that Narayana is the supreme.

Question: What are the symptoms of someone who is not afraid of dying?

Answer: He is absolutely ecstatic in all times, in all places, and in all circumstances like Prabhupada.

Question: How to attach with your family without attachment? How to be attached without being attached?

Answer: That’s an interesting question: “How do I become attached without being attached. Actually Prabhupada explains that the family is a natural object of attachment, and there is certain amount of attachment that one is allotted as one’s quota:

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. Therefore one should accept only those things necessary for himself which are set aside as his quota knowing well to Whom everything belongs.”

So, one does have some quota of being attached to your wife and kids. The scriptures allow us to have certain amount of attachment. I mean we all become attached. Just like two brahmacaris they develop friendly relationships living in the ashrama. They become attached to each other. There is nothing wrong. Just like what is that prayer by Narottama das Thakura: ramacandra sanga mage... Narottama dasa says, "I am always hankering for the association of Ramacandra Cakravarti." Narottama das Thakura is very, very attached to his fellow Vaishnav, Ramacandra Cakravarti. So, is that attachment mundane? No. Narottama das Thakura is a pure Vaishnava and he is saying that he is always hankering for that association. So if one is attached to one’s guru for example... "I really like being with my spiritual master, sitting at his lotus feet, hearing the words emanating from his lotus mouth." Is that mundane? No. We have to have transcendental attachment. If we don’t have transcendental attachment then we will be attached to sense gratification. So we need to become attached spiritually. And if you have service relationship, transcendental relationship with the Vaishnavas either in the ashrama or your own family members, if you are serving together and it is not based on sense gratification but it is based on pleasing guru and Krishna, then that is a transcendental attachment. But if you are having sense gratification, that is a mundane attachment. So the key is to engage 24/7 in bhakti and then if those attachments are helping you to become more absorbed in Krishna consciousness, those attachments are good.

Question: How can we get more bhakti from Krishna?

Answer: No. How can you give more bhakti to Krishna? That’s the proper question. Not “How can I get more bhakti from Krishna?” but “How can I give more bhakti to Krishna.” Of course we can beg for bhakti. Just like this morning I was blessed with the opportunity to sing the Gurvastakam prayers at the Samadhi for the mangala arati for Prabhupada. And I was praying to Prabhupada, “Please bless me with prema bhakti. Please Prabhupada, please bless me with prema bhakti.” So to desire, to be greedy for pure bhakti and to beg for it is very good. How to get more bhakti? You can beg for it. “Please, please Krishna!” Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Please give me pure devotional service, please Krishna give me pure devotional service.” Beg for it; that’s the key.

Question: How to avoid sleeping during lectures?

Answer: One devotee when he was giving lectures, he would keep water gun. He saw somebody sleeping (sound of shooting) he would shoot him with the water gun. Actually what I do when I am lecturing and I see somebody nodding, I go (loud claps). That usually works. I mean I fight it too. I am not saying “I am holier than thou.” I fight it too when I am sitting here in lectures especially when I have not had enough sleep the night before and it’s tough. One thing is if you have good posture, not slouched like this. Sitting up will help. The yogis sit straight for a purpose. It helps to be more alert. If we have a good posture - I am not perfect but I am trying - so if we sit straight, it’s not like a rigid thing, but natural way of sitting straight that can help. A good posture can help you stay awake and if that doesn’t work stand up, if that doesn’t work, rock back and forth, if that doesn’t work go to the ashrama and go to sleep.

Question: We can become sick we can’t take medicines or can we go to a doctor and say that we shall take medicine.

Answer: If you are sick you should do whatever works to get you healthy. Prabhupada went to the doctor many times. Of course by becoming Krishna consciousness one doesn’t need so much doctor because you become more healthy when you become Krishna consciousness. We have healthier diet, healthier habits, so devotees does not get as sick as a non-devotee. But still even devotees get sick sometimes. So if you need medical attention go to a doctor. Fire, debt and disease, all three should be eradicated immediately. So if you are sick don’t neglect it. There was one boy I think his name was Caitanyananda. He had a tumour on his leg - cancer -and he completely neglected it. He continued going on the book distribution. He completely ignored it. He said it’s just a body. Then one day the temple president said, “What is that on your body?” It turned out he had terminal cancer. He had completely neglected it. He came to Vrindavana. This was a young boy in his twenties, a very fired up preacher, book distributor. He should have gone to the doctor. He would probably be here if it hadn’t been for that. Don’t artificially neglect your health. Of course, he died Krishna consciously. He was very Krishna conscious boy. He came to Vrindavana and died and left his body here, very wonderful young boy, this book distributor from Finland. Caitanyananda, wasn’t that his name? I think it was Caitanyananda Oh, he was just an amazing boy. Just like you see a bull going out to pull the plough in ecstasy, he would go out and do everything like a bull. The books, he had a big thing about books. He would just go out in ecstasy, just like ploughing through the field the material world, distributing books. He was in ecstasy on book distribution. He really relished it like anything. He was very transcendental. But if he had paid a little more attention to his body he would probably still be here going on book distribution, giving more people the books.

This is the last question for this session if it is a simple one otherwise I will postpone it.

Question: In Krishna consciousness there is a story about Kal Krishna das who had the association of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who still fell victim of woman and sex desire with that kind of person. What’s the remedy for sex desire?

Answer: Sex desire is pretty heavy. I know I have this thing called the ‘Ultimate Self-realization’ course on the Internet. I have 15,000 people signed up for it. So I get lot of emails. And people they tell me the things they wouldn’t tell their temple commander or the temple president. They tell me all these stories what they are going through. I really know a lot about what devotees are going through which they wouldn’t normally tell people in the temple even, their inner dirt. A lot of devotees are struggling with the sex desire. It’s a big problem, many, many devotees have. Masturbation also is a problem that many men have, artificially stimulating their sexual organs. So the people again and again ask me, how to get free from this? How to get free from this? How to get free from this? The trick is you just have to have faith in this process that, “If I don’t indulge myself in sex, if I restrain myself, if I give the process a time to work...” The sex gives some instant so called pleasure, very intense pleasure. But just put that away and just have faith by laying sex aside and giving this process some time to actually kick in and elevate your consciousness. Then you will actually achieve that position where it no longer appeals to you. So you just have to have faith in the process. Don’t indulge in illicit sex. Chant Hare Krishna, read the books, go on pilgrimage, do service, go on book distribution, go on Harinam, do everything you can to get a taste for Krishna consciousness and just have faith that this sex desire, even though its nagging you like anything, just don’t give into it. Just be very, very staunch and don’t give into it. Just like if you have a little kid, every time he goes to the store, he cries, he wants some candy. At the checkout counters in the USA, they always have the candy. I don’t know about India. You go to the grocery store, there is a whole big candy rack and the little kids go, “Mommy, Mommy I want that, I want that,” sometimes they scream they want the candy. The parents know this is not good. This is junk food. It is bad for the kid. “No, you can’t have it.” The parents are firm. “No, you can’t have it.” So sex desire is like candy at the checkout counter. You just have to say “No, you can’t have that.” You have to tell yourself, “No, you can’t have it. You know you cannot have it.” Bas, finished. And give the process a chance to kick in, to get that higher taste. As long as you keep indulging your sex desire you will never get the higher taste, not even in millions and millions of lifetimes even if you are chanting 16 rounds, if you can maintain it. But just when you see that candy counter there, say,” No. you can’t have sex, can’t have it.” Even subtly the mind thinks, “Well, I could just think about some beautiful woman, her breasts, her bodily parts, I can think about it.” No, if you give Maya an inch, she will take a mile. You say, “No,” that’s it. Finished. “No”. Just nip it. As soon as those thoughts come, say “No”. Some devotees get carried away by pornography. They regularly look at pornography. They get addicted to it. They can’t not look at pornography. I get those kinds of emails too. You just have to say “No”. That’s all. If you can’t control yourself, take your computer and give it away. Don’t even have a computer anymore. This is very, very important thing that one cannot indulge the senses. You cannot indulge the sense. Sense gratification and Krishna consciousness go ill together. You must cut it off very staunchly and let yourself get that higher taste then the addiction for the sex pleasure will gradually dry up. Just like I can put a glass of water on the table here and you come back here in a week it is empty glass. Did somebody poured it out? No. Did it evaporate? Yes. Especially in Vrindavana, it evaporates very quickly, the dry atmosphere here. So, Vrindavana is a good atmosphere for drying up your heart of all the material desires as well. So take this mood of Vrindavana with you wherever you go and you can advance quickly.

So we will stop here now. We will meet again in 15 minutes at 12:05 pm. Everybody can go and take a break, chant your Gayatri if you are brahmana initiated. You need to be back at 12:05 for wonderful session on “The system of gaining knowledge.”

Thank you very much!

Transcendental engineering, Ki jaya!
Srila Prabhupada, Ki Jaya!

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Transcribed by Sulaksana devi dasi

Prema Bhakti dasa - editor

 

Index of Transcribed Lectures