A lecture given by His Holiness Kadamba Kanana Maharaja, 28 February 2012 in Modra, Slovakia.
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
A number between 1 and 18?
Okay. A number between 1 and 34?
Okay, 9.18. This is not gambling (laughter) because in gambling you can lose and win and here you can never lose!
gatir bharta prabhuh saksi
nivasah saranam suhrt
prabhavah pralayah sthanam
nidhanam bijam avyayam
Translation: I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed. I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.
We all need Krsna
If you ask anyone what do they want then they can think for a moment, get an idea and then say the answer, ‘Krsna!’ because everyone really wants Krsna. One time they asked Prabhupada, ‘how many devotees are there around the world?’ Prabhupada said, ‘everybody is a devotee- only some know it and some don’t.’ So many people in the world are covered by the material energy,
avrtam jnanam etena
It is said that the living beings become covered and they forget. It is due to the influence of lust. Lust is that we want everything for ourselves, that we basically want to enjoy the material energy. atmendriya-priti-vancha—tare bali ‘kama’, for our own senses. That is lust. Well everybody has become conditioned like that and all of us have so many goals in life. But naturally there is also some frustration because in the material world although we try we are still not happy. And of course some people will disagree and say, ‘no I’m very happy.’ Just as they went to the hospital, then one man was hanging there with his leg in the plaster and when we asked, ‘how are you?’’ and he said, ‘oh I’m very happy!’ Many people say that they are very happy but you look at their lives and say, ‘well I don’t want to change for that.’ You work in a horrible factory from Monday to Friday in hell and then, ‘I’m very happy.’ This kind of happiness is not real happiness. Real happiness means that everything must be perfect. People will say, ‘that’s not realistic, that’s for dreamers. The problem with you Hare Krsnas is that you are all dreamers! You should do something practical. Dreaming, dreaming about big spiritual worlds but what are you doing here?’ No, no, no, we are not just dreaming about the spiritual world. Certainly we believe that there is an eternal, spiritual world. Certainly we believe that in that eternal spiritual world everything is perfect but we also realise that this world can also be spiritualised. You can take anything and use it for Krsna and suddenly it becomes spiritual.
Devotional service changes everything
A simple example given is a knife; I take a knife and I put it on your throat and because I’m a barber I slowly start shaving! So in that way the knife is useful…my grandmother use to say that if you can peel the apple all at once without breaking the peel then you will get married very soon. Grandmothers knows these things. So whatever may be, a knife may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how it’s used. In this way one can make a selection in the material world. Everything can be used for Krsna. The people that made this thing never thought it was to be used for Krsna. And you may be thinking why is she (translator) is using this thing (mic), she does need to use it. It’s true because she has a very loud voice. She doesn’t really need it but she’s using it to purify the factory where it has been made! This is how it is; if we use anything that is made for material purposes and we use it for Krsna then the makers become purified. In this way devotional service can change everything!
Smita Krsna Maharaja told us once that Prabhupada said that when the harinama sankirtana party goes through the street, the transcendental sound changes all the people in the street! He heard it from Prabhupada. He said but that’s not everything because the street itself also becomes purified and therefore even after the harinama party has left, anyone who goes through that street becomes purified! Can you imagine that there are houses where devotees use to live like here in Modra. In Bratislava they use to have a house next to the oil refinery. I remember it very well. Now it’s not a temple anymore and I don’t know who lives in that place but don’t be surprised if these people sometimes feel like… ‘hare Krsna!’ it’s like something…they get purified just by being in that house because a lot of serious kirtana was there in that house. In this way places become purified. In India people know this, therefore they always say, ‘please you must come to my house! Come to my house, little prasad (Indian accent)…’ It’s true, when devotees come to your house then your house becomes purified. Whoever chants the holy name once becomes purified.
The sleeping soul
The living being, when he becomes embodied, has two bodies- gross body and a subtle body. The subtle body is made of mind, intelligence and false ego. And Prabhupada says that by chanting Hare Krsna the subtle body becomes dissolved. What does that mean? Well it means that the mind disappears. Is that a good thing? Some people think like, ‘well I don’t know! I get mental when I think about things like that!’ That’s it, the mind is always giving us trouble, all the time and the mind and the mind and the mind! So to get rid of the mind is not at all a bad thing. According to the Bhagavad Gita, the functions of the mind are thinking feeling and willing. Thinking, feeling and willing are natural functions of the mind. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said that actually these are not the functions of the mind. He said that actually, they are functions of the soul. But when the soul enters into the body then the soul goes into a dormant state and then the mind takes over the functions of thinking, feeling and willing. As we get purified then the thinking, feeling and willing starts to come again from the soul. Then one is free from any form of anxiety. On the level of the mind there is always happiness and distress so the mind comes up with moments of anxiety and ‘yes, yes, yes!’ Just always up and down, up and down! Sometimes it looks really good and sometimes it looks really bad, sometimes it looks really dry or sometimes it looks really wet.
Whatever may be, the material energy has its dualities. But the soul is naturally connected to Krsna and when we get busy with the material energy, the soul just naturally falls asleep- too boring! But when there is Krsna and service to Krsna then the soul becomes awake.
So because we have been on the mental platform for a very long time, we cannot access the soul.
A little bit for Krsna and a little bit for me
The mind and the senses are busy with the material energy and then by chanting Hare Krsna we become free, free from anxiety. So it’s very simple to understand but not so easy to put into reality. Prabhupada came to England and in one lecture Prabhupada said, “Krsna consciousness is so simple, you might just miss it!” and we think, ‘no it cannot be so simple. The lecture was just too simple, I wasn’t very impressed. It was really simple.’ Yes, but the truth is very simple- everything about Krsna is blissful, Krsna is just amazing. Therefore whatever is in connection with Krsna is very wonderful whereas with material things it’s not always just blissful. Well since we used the example of getting married when peeling the apple, well most people get married because they think they will be happy but it’s not always like that. Some people they just suffer for 40 years! In the material world you never know, you just don’t know…it looks so good and then after a while it looks like a crocodile. Like that you just never know what you get. But when it comes to Krsna you can’t go wrong. Whatever we invest in Krsna, it will make it better. That’s how simple it is. But the mind is not sure…
‘No it cannot be so simple! I think I will do some service for Krsna and I will do something else at the same time…’ and this is what everybody is doing, (sings) ‘a little bit for Krsna, little bit for me’ and this is how we live. We have nice terms for it; we call it ‘material desires.’ In sanskrit we can call it visayi and we can use words such as ‘entanglement with the material nature,’ or ‘due to the interaction of the three modes of material nature the living entity becomes entangled in an endless variety of circumstances.’ Or to just say it more simple, we are just not choosing for Krsna because we still believe that we will be happy in the material world.
If only we would let go
It is said that the kanistha adhikari, or the neophyte devotee is very afraid because, ‘what if I give up what I have and then I give my whole life to Krsna and then I’m still not happy? Then I will no longer have my material enjoyment and will no longer have any spiritual things. No better I hold on to my material things and at the same time try out Krsna.’ So to give an example of a beggar in India who was not doing so well. Due to the economic crisis even the beggars were not getting much as result. So he had not eaten for days and he was feeling very weak. So he thought, ‘I’ll go to a temple because that’s a good place to beg.’ But when he came to the temple he felt so weak that he grabbed one of the pillars and he was hanging on the pillar. So one man saw and said, ‘oh this beggar looks really bad, I should give him something.’ So he had some puffed rice and he said, ‘here for you, I have some puffed rice.’ The beggar was holding on to the column and said, ‘just put it in my hands.’ But then how could he eat it? The column was in the middle and if he would open his hands it will all fall on the ground. So we are the same- we hold our column of material things, in our arms and therefore we cannot taste the happiness of Krsna consciousness. But we believe in it! We hold onto the column, we are not tasting anything but we say, ‘I’m not giving up, I believe in Krsna consciousness but it’s very difficult.’ So this is the situation. If we would just have a little courage, if we would just say, ‘okay, let go off the column and I would just do everything for Krsna’ and then suddenly we will feel very inspired.
I have another story…one man was in the foot hills of the Himalayas where it is going slowly up and he was walking and walking and walking and he was thinking, ‘this is too much walking, I wish I had a horse!’ Just then there was a horse! And he was like, ‘this is the arrangement of God!’ So he tried to buy that horse and it was very expensive. But anyway, it was sent by God so he paid the price. So then he jumped on his horse but it didn’t want to move so he tried all the tricks that he knew…hut, hut, hut….he tried the flat hand on the back…he was looking for the hand brake but it wasn’t moving. So he got out from his horse and then the next moment his horse gave birth to a little foal. He said, ‘Look at this, this is my lucky day- two for the price of one!’ But then he wanted to go but the big horse wouldn’t move because the little foal wouldn’t walk. So sometimes later someone saw this man and he was carrying a little foal on his shoulders and the horse was following him. So the man said, ‘what are you doing? Why are you carrying a little foal up the mountain, I mean what are you doing?’ so then he told this whole story that, ‘I got this divine horse and I got two for the price of one!’ So then the man said, ‘Why don’t you just leave these horses behind? They are no good to you anyway!’ ‘No, no, no I can’t do that! I paid a lot of money for them…’ So we are also like that; everyone is carrying their horses and they don’t go away- they start off like little foals but then they grow into horses. Then someone says, ‘well, why don’t you leave these horses behind? And then we say, ‘oh no, no, no; I’ve invested so much in them, how could I give them up?’ In this way we stay for years and years in a hellish situation and we never leave. Someone will say, ‘this place, this place is just too much, I lived here for 40 years and it’s just hell! And then someone will say, ‘why don’t you just leave?’
‘Oh no, no, no, I can’t do that!’ We are like that man and the horse!
Everything for Krsna
So these are all stories that show that Krsna consciousness is actually very simple and that when we feel it’s complicated it’s because we make it complicated. So if our life has become complicated then let us know that we have made it complicated because Krsna consciousness is very simple. It’s just everything for Krsna and nothing for us. And whatever Krsna gives us, all right, then we can accept. In Bhagavatam you find descriptions of personalities like that. In the 7th Canto there is a story of Prahlada. When Prahlada was grown up then he was a king and one day he was walking on the road and there was some sadhu lying on the road. The sadhu was actually to be honest, quite fat. So Prahlada being quite straight forward told him, ‘please don’t mind if I ask you some questions. You are a sadhu, how come you are so fat?’ The sadhu said that well, he had taken a vow of the python. A python, unlike other animals and instead of hunting, the python just waits and it’s just lying there on the path, just waiting for someone to come. And when it comes the python will just swallow it. So this man took the vow of the python and he was just lying on the road accepting whatever came. And he explained to Prahlada and said, ‘allot came!’ and that’s why he was so fat! So you can see that what I am saying is actually existing in the scripture.
Another example is Madhavendra Puri. Madhavendra Puri, his conclusion was that all trouble starts with eating: because you have to eat you have to work and then from that so many complications come. So Madhavendra Puri decided that, ‘okay, I will not work, I will only worship Krsna and I will just not worry about eating. And if something comes then it comes and if nothing comes then I’ll fast.’ So that was the program. And he was seated next to Govardhana and he was fasting and chanting and he was peaceful. H e wasn’t thinking, ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, oh God I’m fasting, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, I’m hungry, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, oh I wish I had something to eat, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna,’ no he was simply absorbed in his chanting. But then in the afternoon one boy came with a pot of milk and the boy said, ‘oh I heard you were fasting so I came to bring some milk.’ And then Madhavendra Puri was surprised, ‘how did you know I was fasting?’
‘oh some ladies from the village they said there’s one baba and he’s not eating. Ladies know everything! Anyway if you finish the milk then later on I will come and collect the pot.’ Of course he never came back but later that same person appeared in the dream of Madhavendra Puri and he then turned out to be Krsna! So then he realised that it was Krsna who had brought him the milk.
So there are many devotees like that of great devotees who had full faith in Krsna and didn’t make any arrangements for their material enjoyment or their material maintenance and everything was going on fine. So we can see that Krsna consciousness is very simple- it’s just everything for Krsna. But we are the ones who make it complicated. Sometimes when we are in the process of balancing then it can also happen that a little for Krsna and then a little for me! But that is not allowed. Whatever you give to Krsna, you can never take it back. Whatever we promise Krsna, we cannot take it back. That has to be the standard. And if we have that standard then we can make advancement.
The 15th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita explains how a living being makes a life which is a network of karma. It is said there is a tree that is upside down- the roots are up and the branches are going in all directions. So this is how our life has become very complicated because our in our life there are so many branches, so many things that we got involved in and our mind is not peaceful you know, ‘the Chinese are coming! Did you think about that? They are really coming!’ So like that there are so many things, so many things to worry about and so many anxieties because we have made life so complicated. Okay we cannot all at once we make it so simple like Madhavendra Puri but we can begin to make it a little more simple. If you don’t have so much then what are the Chinese going to take from you? I hope there is nobody Chinese here (laughter). I’m just joking about the Chinese because they are taking over the world now. Like they have a cartoon and there’s a Chinese delegation and there is Obama and he is like bowing down to them. Then one of the Chinese says, ‘oh yes this is Mr Obama and he’s one of the managers of our western holdings.’ So people are in anxiety about that- the economy- and then you read the newspapers (dramatic: in anxiety), ‘are you also reading newspapers? Oh God! Do you know what I read in the newspapers! You know I read that drinking water in Delhi, there are many bacteria, which are resistant to antibiotics! And they are spreading! And the newspapers said that it was so serious that there will be a time when the miracle antibiotics will no longer work! Oh my God, but that is very serious! Oh my God, think about that! No more antibiotics! Oh no! Oh, no! What will we do!’
See there are many things to get worried about but when we simply chant Hare Krsna then we just leave it up to Krsna. ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, bacteria….Krsna Krsna Hare Hare…’ then you don’t need a microscope and you don’t need all these things. Modern man invented all these things. For thousands of years people were living very peacefully- some people died and many people lived – and then they invented microscopes and then you have to go and give blood and injections and all kinds of things and some people died and some people lived! It’s just like that, what has really changed? Some diseases have disappeared and some new ones have come…what has really changed? ‘We are no longer dying of the black plague!’ No, now we’re dying of cancer. What’s the difference? They’re just dead, I’m sorry to say.
Therefore the more Krsna conscious we become, the more simple we become. Our only real source of happiness is Krsna. So if you’re already married with 12 children and a dog and a cat and a canary then I know that this lecture may be a little…you may wonder, ‘is it really practical?’ Yes, I think it is; I think you can teach the canary or the parrot to chant Hare Krsna. The more Krsna there is at home, the more happiness there will be at home and the less Krsna there is at home then shew…the more headaches, troubles and anxieties. So actually it is very simple, very, very simple to be Krsna conscious. It’s only us who are not simple.
Any questions or any comments?
Question: Maharaja, you were talking about the man who saw his horse as divine and we are in the same situation. So how should we see if it’s been given by Krsna or by maya?
Maharaja: Well let’s just take this house- is this house given by Krsna or is it given by Maya? What do you think?
Devotee: Maya is Krsna’s servant so… (laughter)
Maharaja: Well I think that the house has been given by maya- karma. Karma is the laws of action and reaction which is part of Maya energy but we use it for Krsna. So why are we worried whether it is given to us by Maya or by Krsna? We just use it for Krsna. We don’t care who gives it to us- if we can use it for Krsna we use it, if we cannot use it for Krsna then forget it! Like I cannot use a house for Krsna- forget it. But they can so that’s good. So just use it for Krsna and don’t worry who gave it- even if it is the devil himself! Who says the devil cant become a devotee!
Question: I would like to ask, when the harinama passes the street, how long will the streets stay purified?
Maharaja: Well Prabhupada didn’t exactly say that part so now I have to speculate (laughter). It’s very powerful so it might be for some time. But just to make sure, it will be better to have regular harinama. So it’s better that once a week you go on harinama just in case!
I thank you all for coming here. You all came from different places. The last time I came from Slovakia, I came to Modra and then I went to Ekachakra. So I met many people in Modra and then I came to Martin and then I met the same people. And when I arrived in Ekachakra everyone was already there. So I thought that this time I will just stay in Modra! But I thank you all for coming. I appreciate that. Nobody can be Krsna conscious alone because the material energy is very strong. But somehow or other we meet again and again and that gives us strength and somehow or other we carry on. Not that it all becomes easy but still, it gives enough energy to say no. So everyone needs to be enthused. So it’s very enthusing that you all came and thank you for taking all the trouble. I’m just sitting here lazing on my nice seat (laughter) so thanks for coming!