(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 11 April 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, Lecture at House Program)
I was reading a quote from the German philosopher which I liked, and he said, “When an old man has to do more than a young man.” It was interesting because you would think of it the other way round, to take a step back as you get older. I would say no, as the old man has to do more than the young man because he is running out of time. So he cannot play around anymore, he has to really do something and if anybody has lived by that, it was Srila Prabhupada! An old man has to do more than a young man and he did it in his old age. He brought it all together, the fruits of a lifetime because an old man can do that. What can a young man do? In that regards, he can try so many things. He can run around here and there but he does not have access to many things but after a lifetime, one has access to so many things.
Therefore, knowledge of Krsna consciousness also comes down to real life because real life experience tells us how to apply this knowledge. It is no longer just a lesson learnt by heart but a lesson learnt by life. Therefore, we understand Krsna, we understand that this material world is a temporary domain and it is the eternal world which really counts! Just like sometimes, you see in Chinese karate movies – not that I am watching those things but sometimes you see somethings on a plane – you see the young guys and they are doing all the big movements. But sometimes, the very old master comes out and he is sort of half crooked and does not really move much but in one movement, ‘Phow!’ and the enemies fly in all directions. Something like that, the concentrated effort. The concentrated Krsna consciousness. All that experience from a lifetime, all that surrender, actually all comes together.
I used to think, ‘Oh, why do I have to manage and deal with this difficult material energy? I would rather study the scripture.’ But then I found out that from all that management, I gained so much. Management is about sacrifice because the material energy is difficult and you are suppose to manage the material energy. The material energy is such that it can create all kinds of perplexing situations, things can happen that are not logical, but that is only our little perception of Krsna’s greater plan! Anything is possible; anything can happen so like that, we are not in control – Krsna is in control!