(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 26 May 2018, Radhadesh, Belgium, College of Vedic Studies Retreat Lecture: ‘Krsna Consciousness in the Real World’)
The other day I was remembering Srila Prabhupada’s statement of how paintings of Krsna are like windows to the spiritual world; it means that through these paintings, we are looking into the ‘real world’, and when we are looking out of this window (of the building), we are simply looking at a picture. So Krsna consciousness must begin with that understanding, that the spiritual world is the real world. It is there where we find our nourishment because after all, in the material world, we will never be emotionally nourished. There will always be something lacking as this is the nature of the material world. It is usually when we talk to people behind closed doors where people reveal their heart and usually what comes out is that they are not feeling fulfilled, “I’m not happy with my life!”
It was recently in the news that some Russian lady who supposedly turned 119 years old said, “I have never had a happy day in my life!” Now, that is a bit depressing, isn’t it? I mean I don’t think this life is that bad (laughter). Everyone should at least remember some happy days, with the exception of that lady clearly (laughter). What to do? But the point of this is that we will never find fulfilment in this material world. Can we have everything that we have ever wanted here? Who has that?
So therefore, we always feel a little undernourished in this material world. Real nourishment comes in our relationship with Krsna and that is where we have to find it. Now, it is easy to say, “But Krsna is so far away. I need something here and now to nourish me.” Well, Krsna is far away but only if we put him far away. We should make an attempt to bring Krsna closer to us. So we must begin with our Krsna consciousness. By understanding that we have to invest in cultivating our relationship with Krsna, we bring him closer to us! That is what we are doing when we are having our morning sadhana – our regular reading, chanting and so on. We are coming closer to Krsna. In the Ādi Purāṇa, it is stated that when we chant the holy name, we are extremely close to Krsna. So this is what we are actually experiencing. It may take a little while to experience it in that way, but at least we can begin to reflect on it right now!