(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 18 August 2016, Zadar, Croatia, Balarama’s Appearance Day Lecture)

Kirtan is our meditation. We can meditate on so many things – freedom, sex, money, etc. but meditation on kirtan is the ultimate goal of life. It is deeper as it stays with us always. This connection never changes. If the connection with kirtan is strong then there is nothing in this world that we cannot face – even death, death is just temporary. The mahamantra is known as the great mantra. Mantra means to deliver the mind, man refers to the mind and tra is to deliver. The mind goes into many things and things go into the mind… We still think about the past, it is still in the mind but actually, it is unnecessary. Kirtan lifts us above the mental platform and above the physical platform to the platform of the soul. 

Philosophers around the world have tried to understand who God is. There are so many different religions and why is that!? Because we cannot see God with our eyes. Christians used to believe that God is a person and heaven is above the clouds. Now this is seen as mythology. Believing that God is all pervading love is how they got rid of the personality aspect. In the world there are so many personalities. The argument is: If there is a God and this material world is his creation then how can the creation can have qualities that are not in the creator! The creation tells us something about the creator. For example, a car has “eyes” and a “nose” and exhaust pipe. So then, if God is a personality what would he look like? Since he can choose, of course he will be young and attractive, etc.

In the spiritual world, people have bodies made of spirit. There is no war and no problems. Everyone is interested only in the Supreme Lord, and there is a constant festival. Sometimes the Lord comes to this world. Krsna came 5000 years ago and he brought the spiritual world with him and he performed pastimes in Vrindavan together with many cows and with Balarama. Today is Balarama’s appearance day!

He appears first. He is said to be an expansion of Krsna. Krsna is svayam rupa and Balarama is svayam prakash. Balarama is non-different from Krsna but Balarama’s mood is that of a servant. It is in our nature to be servants! The husband has to serve the wife, the wife and the husband serve the kids, etc. If we think we are masters, then we are in illusion. Masters are in control and we are definitely not in control. 

By following Balarama’s example, we can become perfect servants of Krsna and become qualified to enter into the spiritual world. There are many pastimes about Lord Balarama. Krsna went with the cows and the cowherd boys into the forest and there were these special fruit trees. Balarama went ahead and collected the fruit. However, a powerful demon, Dhenukasura, lived there and attacked Balarama. He kicked Balarama with his hind legs but Balarama caught him, spun him around and threw him; and the demon died. This demon, in the form of an ass, represents being loaded up with material things! Therefore he could not think of higher things. If one wants to achieve higher things in life then we have to give up material things first!

Another demon, Pralambasura, who represents lust for women, greed, desire for worship and position, was killed by Balarama too. If we want to experience a higher reality then we have to give up illicit sex – not having one woman today and another one tomorrow. If we don’t care about the heart and only about sex, we become cruel.

We have to become pure; we have to give up greed because it will possess us. We should not focus on ourselves. It is not about what we can get but what we can give. This is the lesson of Balarama: GIVING! Then we can become a servant.

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