The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on June 5th, 1983 in Atlanta, Georgia. The class begins with a reading from the Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 3, Verse 3-5.
“The Blessed Lord said: O sinless Arjuna, I have already explained that there are two classes of men who realize the self. Some are inclined to understand him by empirical, philosophical speculation and others are inclined to know him by devotional work. Not by merely abstaining from work can one achieve freedom from reaction, nor by renunciation alone can one attain perfection.
na hi kascit ksanam api
jatu tisthaty akarma-krt
karyate hy avasah karma
sarvah prakrti-jair gunaih
“All men are forced to act helplessly according to the impulses born of the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.”
Our Founder-Acarya, founding spiritual master of the Krishna conscious movement who came to America in 1965, seated there, Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada so, he gives an explanation for these verse which I read.
It is not a question of embodied life, but it is the nature of the soul to be always active. Without the presence of the spirit soul, the material body cannot move. The body is only a dead vehicle to be worked by the spirit soul, which is always active and cannot stop even for a moment. As such, the spirit soul has to be engaged in the good work of Krsna consciousness, otherwise it will be engaged in occupations dictated by the illusory energy. In contact with material energy, the spirit soul acquires material modes, and to purify the soul from such afﬁnities it is necessary to engage in the prescribed duties enjoined in the sc… sastras.”, or the sacred books “But if the soul is engaged in his natural function of Krsna consciousness, whatever he is able to do is good for him.”
The very nature of the self, of the soul… What do we mean, when we say soul? Soul means in the body, the living principle, the living energy the actual living being is the soul, as was explained here: “Without the presence of the spirit soul, the material body cannot move. The body is only a dead vehicle to be worked by the spirit soul…”, Yantra-rudhani mayaya.
This body is a vehicle and we are higher than a vehicle. One of our devotee in the airport when he was meeting people, met a coroner, and they had a discussion that, “What is the difference between live body and a dead body?” So, he admitted that a dead body, their eyes no life. They’re just lifeless there’s just no movement, nothing, there’s something missing. Now, some type of scientists would have us believe that there’s some chemical is missing . But the Vedas say that life and consciousness are of a higher order than chemistry or physics or biology, that actually the consciousness is on, what we would call a transcendental platform above material energy or anti material platform.
That is what we are. We are not the body, but we are the higher spiritual energy within the body who is conscious of the movements of the body the pains and pleasures of the body, and when we leave this body, the body is dead. If we analyze, “Who am I? Am I this hand? Am I this arm? Am I this head?” you’d say, “No this is my hand, my head, my arms, my body, my mind.” Who is the I? The I is the self. The self should be realized, known, understood and utilized, engaged properly for achieving the natural real happiness which is our birthright, which is our very nature.
Unfortunately there is no institution in the modern society to train anybody about anything beyond the body or the gross thoughts. You want to find out about the body they have medical colleges, but if you want to find about the living force which is taking the body grow there is no place to study. This Krishna Consciousness movement is actually the place for those post graduate students who would like to study the science of self. “Who am I? Where I come from? Where I am going to? What is life? The reason why we refer to this book… This is the Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita means the song of God. Gita means song, Bhagavata means God. God not in the ordinary sense but bhaga means all opulences.
In Sanskrit each name has got a definition. Bhaga means opulence. Bhagavan means “One who is filled with opulence.” What type of opulences? All wealth. There are many rich people in the world but nobody can claim to monopolize all the wealth, but Krishna, He has all the wealth. So all wealth, bhaga. All opulence.
All strength, power. With a fraction of his energy He’s sustaining the whole material universe, millions and millions of galaxies, universes. What we see in this material sky… visible sky of millions and millions of luminaries is considered to be one visva, in the Sanskrit language and there are ananta koti brahmanda. In this one brahmanda there’s unlimited millions of these. This is just one of many out of billions, millions, so He has got all the power. Enough power that he doesn't has to be here to manage the affairs, and if someone wants to demand “Let me see God.” He doesn't also have to come here to show Himself.
Just like if somebody says, “I don’t believe there’s a President of United States. I don’t believe it. Even the paper says so, I don’t believe it. Even the radio and television say, I don’t believe it. Unless he comes right before me I don’t believe it.” Who cares for that, then? You think Reagan’s going to come here and say, you know, “Alright…” but if you do some good work for the country, he’ll call you there, and he’ll give you some medal.
So, in the same way those atheist-type or doubting-type people who are saying that “Unless I see God I don’t believe in God.” It’s not the way… You can see Him, no doubt but you have to know the way. That’s not the way. You do something that God can see you, something to help His mission of uplifting uh, humanity, He will recognize you and bring you to Him, or He can come, but He’s not somebody’s lackey that He will come at his beck and call. One has to develop spiritual consciousness to be able to understand and be qualified to realize even the soul, what to speak of the supreme soul.
So Bhagavan all power, all strength, all beauty: the most beautiful person. There are so many beautiful actresses, actors, natural beauties, but the creator of all this beauty is ultimately even more beautiful. That’s why one of Krishna’s names is Syamasundara. Actually Krishna is a type of transcendental black color. Not the material black, because Krishna is also more effulgent than the sun, than millions of sun although He can turn down the effulgence to a cooling level, at the same time He’s a… like the color of dark bluish monsoon cloud. In India, you can see these clouds quite frequently. I don’t if you can see in Atlanta. But, like a thunderstorm cloud, similar to that. As close as you can see in the material world. But He is all attractive, all beautiful so that’s another opulence: power, wealth, beauty.
Then he also has fame. There’s no one more famous than God. Fame.
He also has knowledge. He knows everything that’s going on everywhere, always: Past, present and future.
And He has all renunciation. He can create the whole world even, He doesn’t have to stay here, doesn’t really care to be present. He’s renounced, if He’s wanted he can intervene, otherwise he can stay aloof. And in so many other ways, He’s renounced. So these are the basic bhagas, or opulences that He has in full or complete. But he reveals Himself only to His uh, intimate uh, devotees.
So, He is speaking this particular sacred book .Therefore it is called Bhagavad-gita Krishna was on this planet 5000 years ago. Some scholars argue the exact date but He was actually here and on the planet He spoke these book, 700 verses to his devotee, Arjuna who is a great prince and a great devotee and also a yogi, although he was a married man, he was a yogi, he know all the various types of yoga, especially bhakti-yoga, and the place He spoke Bhagavad-gita is still there in India, just between Delhi and Kashmir you can find one place, I believe it’s now in Haryana, it’s called Kuruksetra. That is where the Bhagavad-gita was spoken. Still every time there’s a solar eclipse, thousands and millions of people go there to bathe in a some sacred uh, lakes which are there. So, the very first uh, verse of Bhagavad-gita says, dharmaksetra kuruksetra this is spoken in the religious holy place of Kuruksetra.
So why Krishna spoke this? Because this particular knowledge, He knows. He can impart to us, just like if you ever buy a Sony tape recorder you go to the Sony company for the manual, how to repair it, how to open it, it comes with it. So, Krishna not such a fool to give a whole universe without a manual that goes with it. What is the universe? How is it working? Modern science is just scratching the surface, so this is the Bhagavad-gita.
Now, whether or not you accept to be the song, or words of God, Himself, that you don’t have to immediately accept or reject. I would appeal to you all to rather just give an open ear, even hypothetically that, “Alright if God was speaking this, take it that this possibility is there, then the things He’s saying, how do they make sense? How do they fit in with the scheme of things?”
Just like here, He’s saying “All men are forced to act helplessly according to the impulses born of material nature.” You can analyze whether or not what He is saying is true. You can experiment, just like science. Somebody says H plus O, hydrogen, oxygen, you combine the two, you get water, so… and then you think, “Are all men are forced to act helplessly according to the modes of material nature?” When a person is angry, is he in control, or is he forced to… When a person is overwhelmed by different.. If you… you can even do a study. And if you study carefully enough you find you will find that the different modes that come over our mind, different sentiments of charitability or goodness or of passion - lust, or of anger – greed, that these impulses are what control us. Therefore either one mode or another is going to overcome us, and we will act in one way or another.
Someone may act out of anger and hurt someone else. Someone may act out of mercy and help someone else. Someone may act out of selfishness, and just trying to get something for oneself and not care about helping or hurting anyone else. But nobody can be refraining from doing something, you see. So the different types of yoga are meant to understand the difference between the material nature and the spirit, the self. What are the between all the dead matter, trees, plants, which are already lying dead and the living entities? This is one of the questions, and there are many other questions.
Basically if we can know who we are then we can only start to understand what is real happiness. If we don’t understand who we are how we can understand how we can become happy, you know? Most people what they are doing is simply being swept along by the whole environment and flow of the society around them. They are not able to, so-to-speak, stand aside, objectively analyze what’s going on because they are identifying with their body they’re identifying with their nation the body was born in, the family the body was born in, the friends the body has accumulated, the attachments the body has uh, made. In this way a person is completely wrapped up.
And, normally you ask someone “What’s your plan?”
“Well I am going to work this Summer, and I am going to go out to the park and then I’m going to go back to school in the Fall, and I’m going to continue my job.” The vision is, you know very short-sighted wh…
So, what you are going to do with your life? What is going to be the sum total result, you see?
Modern society said “If you can work very hard earn a very good living have a good house have a good car have a good name this is success you should be very happy.” When George Harrison came to visit Mayapur he told us now that he had become world-famous, his special hobby was how to dodge the newspaper men. Because I happened to be in Bangkok the day he arrived there, but he didn’t know I was there, but he met us in Mayapur the world headquarters in India. I noticed in the newspaper that when he checked in the hotel the hotel leaked it out that “He’s in our hotel.”
So I come in at the… we were in uh, Bangkok. I saw in the newspaper, they asked you to do some benefit for some charity, like that. So then, he mentioned that “Yes, beca use of the rush I had to use my own name to book the hotel otherwise normally we always use another name, my secretary’s name.” And he said that… then they started reminiscing how they had dodged the newsmen through Indonesia, through Singapore, through Australia, New Zealand. They said that if they can get through the countries without uh, getting photographed, and in the papers, that’s a special treat for them (laughter).People work the whole life to get name and fame (Laughter) when you get it then your special joy is to how to avoid the press the media so, actually what people are working for even when they get it they are not satisfied, because that’s not the ultimate purpose of human life.
You see, these books may have been spoken thousands and thousands of years ago they are examples may even be somewhat archaic, but they’re still practical today in terms of spiritual understanding as what… as they were in those days. There’s one example given that if you put a bird in a cage and you give in the cage all type of facility, may be you put a little fan, you give some nice, uh cushions, put a picture on the side, put a little mirror, anything… you can just make it you know… silk.. put it… whatever you like. Air condition it (devotees laugh), but you don’t feed the bird, then will the bird be happy? Similarly, you take a fish you take it out of water and you give him similar nice box, everything, but if he’s out of water he won’t be happy. Actually our element is not just having so many materials things.
The American dream of just having so many material luxuries is all kids’ stuff. That’s a kid’s dream now in the 20th century 1983, that dream should also expand to understand that the real dream should pursuit of happiness, we should face up to it, that people are not just happy just by the surrounding themselves with all the material possessions. It may a good second, but it’s not the real thing because happiness is coming from inside.
And what that happiness is, nobody can pinpoint. Why? Because they are trying to understand happiness through the material nature. We are not this material nature. Although we are connected to this body and the p… pain and pleasure of the body, we can perceive, we can relate with that, but it is not enough to satisfy. It’s not complete enough to actually meet our full demand.
Just like trying to put an ocean into a bottle, our desires is so great, the body is so limited. Just like tonight we’re have a feast. Some people they like feasts. In fact some people when they taste very good food, actually, their appetite increases . One time we went to a feast in India our spiritual master was with us he said “I have no appetite.” but they had nice hot, delicious prasadam he said “Just by seeing the prasada my appetite has come.” (laughter) especially by smelling (laughter). So what happens, even though our eyes may be so big, right? Even when our desire is so much but after we finish one or two little plates, we’re already up to here. Even we’d like to eat so much more, but our body doesn’t have that capacity. It’s an example I am giving, or any material enjoyment, the body has got its limitations but our appetite is more because the appetite is seated in mind which is greater than the body, and the original desire is in the soul, is in the living force, and that is much greater even than the mind.
So, even you absorb yourselves in intellectual activity, just like recently they say that those people who are completely absorbed in computer programming that they become practically speaking impotent for sexual activities. They get so absorbed in their minds, that the women they lose their appetite, men become impotent like that. That means if your mind is completely absorbed, then even your body will becomes satiated for that time, but even then that’s not completely satisfying. Even if you absorb the mind.
Actually until one comes to spiritual platform one cannot achieve full complete satisfaction. So, because the nature of the self, the spirit the living uh, soul is to be always active, so the natural form of yoga is yoga of action, karma-yoga. When karma-yoga is purified with love and devotion for God then it becomes bhakti-yoga, or devotional loving yoga. Yoga means to unite, or to link up with the supreme. So, when that connection is with the supreme source of all opulences: power, fame, wealth, renunciation, beauty, knowledge, material, spiritual, the source of all happiness, then we actually become completely satisfied. Completely satisfied.
We don’t look outside for more than just to maintain our body or more… maintain a reasonable healthy and comfortable situation so we can go on with our work. But for our actual satisfaction we take it directly take from the supreme source. Now some people may say “Well, how do I know? Prove it.” So many… “I don’t believe.” That of course is anybody’s prerogative.
Philosophically we can give so many proofs, but ultimately logic has got its limit. If a person wants to go on completely discounting everything, just as a basic doubt, even avoiding common sense logic various types of reasoning, that person may do so, but why it doesn’t affect a fixed-up Krishna devotee practicing yogi, of this Krishna-yoga is because… just like a person comes up when you’ve just eaten a meal and said “You have any… you take this food.”
You’d say“No I’m full.”
“Oh no, take some more food.”
“No I don’t need it I just ate.
“No I don’t believe it.”
“Who cares for you believe or not. I am full. (devotees laughing) I cannot eat anymore. I’m filled”
So a person… How do you if you’re satisfied. That question sometimes people ask. “How do you if you’re satisfied?” That question can only be asked by a person who is not satisfied because someone who is satisfied, he knows it. That means, just like you’re filled up, You can’t eat. You know “I am filled up.” So, spiritually a person becomes satisfied so he can experience a sublime feeling where all of the mental and physical activities at that time are actually also satisfied, not only that some interior spiritual level is satisfied on some intellectual or spiritual plane and the mind and the body is not satisfied, no.
When the ultimate source of the total mental and physical structure, the soul, the power house, driving force is completely satisfied from direct spiritual contact and spiritual uh, union through devotion with the supreme soul, then automatically the person becomes satisfied, and is complete right down to the most gross level.
So sometimes that satisfaction, a person in the beginning achieves, just for a few moment of chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
because they may chant for some time, while then, sometimes they may not be very regular. In this way they may get a taste of that satisfaction then they fleed away from it. Therefore one is recommended to take association of the devotees, to come in associate, to with make friends with them, to make ones own house a type of spiritual sanctuary where one can go and chant, make the house centered around spiritual cultivation. Without that there’s no meaning for being a human being. Human being means higher intellect. That means to develop the spiritual environment.
The material environment that is alright for kids or for animals, for those who are undeveloped, but it creates in the long run a type of havoc or ghauma. It creates utpatayaiva kalpate, great disturbance in society. So actually, this Krishna conscious movement is trying to bring in harmony in the world. Our only obstacle is ignorance. The people are not understanding who they are. They’re identifying with their body, with their temporary culture. When they see anything they don’t understand, they fear it. From fear comes hate, or comes anger. This ignorance is the obstacle but those who are intelligent who have some broad vision, they could at least appreciate that this is a movement for uplifting the people from material consciousness to spiritual consciousness by a very ancient authorized process of chanting mantras or vibrations which actually liberate the mind from its gross association to give it spiritual association.
‘Man’ means mind ‘tra’ means deliverance. Mantra means to deliver the mind, so thinks Hare Krishna is the great mantra because… there are many mantras which are secret which cannot be chanted by everyone and anyone because there are so many rules and regulations for chanting those: gayatri mantras bija mantras, but this is called maha-mantra because any one can chant or repeat. The process is simple you just have to repeat,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
In this way by chanting, the consciousness become elevated and you can achieve the supreme perfection of human life. When you achieve it then you know that. It’s been documented what stages you go through. There are levels not that just you jump up to the top, but you go step by step by step. So just for those who are interested, who are the friends of the temple or who are interested in this type of meditation we have a special organization called FOLK, Friends of Lord Krishna. So, anyone who is a FOLK… of one of the FOLK, one of the Friends of Lord Krishna they can come Wednesday, you can see our Balabhadra prabhu, and give your name if you like or otherwise just come by every Wednesday night.
There, they have informally 10, 15, 20, depending, many as come, they have a little japa class, chanting of Hare Krishna for10,15 minutes. Show different video shows on reincarnation, videos on festivals in India, festivals around the world, and sometimes cooking classes, and other practical question and answer in a very informal basis. Men women, husband wife, everyone is welcome. The idea is that we want to let people become acquainted with these principles so they can practice at their own home, and if somebody is very eager to end this whole material life, and achieve a full spiritual life they don’t want to go out again and again in this cycle of reincarnation, then of course they should come and take private counselling how to do that with some of the senior devotees or the spiritual master of this temple.
We are here simply to serve you, so we thank you very much for coming and we hope that you’ll utilize this service and bring your friends so they may also come and utilize the service.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Tomorrow… tonight I am leaving for… to uh, Miami and tomorrow at 1 o’clock and I am flying to Bolivia, and I am going a tour of South America to Chile, Peru Ecuador and Columbia, and I’ll be coming back here for our big festival on 25th and 26th of June. Then I’ll be going back to India.
Jayapataka Swami: 25th and 26th. Will you be there?
Devotee: Then you’re going back to India, right?
Jayapataka Swami: Yes
Devotee: You’ll stay there all year?
Jayapataka Swami: No, I will be back in September.
He describes in the Bhagavad-gita, ye yada mam prapadyante According to how they are surrending to Me, tams thataiva bhajamy aham I reciprocate with them. He also reveals himself to the atheists. The atheists says that I don’t want to see God, so for him He doesn’t appear. In his life He’s not there except Krishna said that “Of sure things, I am death.” So whether you are theists or atheists, every… everybody has to leave their body. That’s a sure thing. So, even the atheists they see the God as death.(baby cries) Because you can’t avoid, but the devotees, they do not see that fearful form of the Lord. It’s not fearful for them, because they know that it’s like taking one shirt off and putting on another. Rather they see that “Krishna is our very dear friend, well-wisher.”, and according to how they are surrendering to Krishna, Krishna reciprocates.
Even one starts to ask Krishna that “I want to actually become happy. I just want to know what is truth. I want to have a bona fide spiritual master to guide me.” Different requests, one is desiring even in the mind, just moping that “I wish like to figure out what is the real situation, how will I be actually happy?” If one is sincere, then Krishna will start reveal himself. He will lead one to a spiritual master. He’ll help one in different ways, and that it goes on and on. You talk to the devotees who are going out and taking risk. Going out and preaching sometimes in dangerous places how Krishna helps them in various ways.
And then ultimately when’s pure enough, Krishna gives one spiritual vision. Not that you see Krishna with flesh eyes, because He’s sat-cid-ananda He’s made of eternal knowledge… blissful knowledge, eternal, blissful knowledge. There’s no bones and veins, there’s a spiritual form in a different dimension. So, we also can have that vision developed, if given to us.
Just like people they can astral project. They can see subtle creatures on a subtle platform if they develop that type of practice. They don’t even realize it was given to them by Krishna, they think that “I got it because of my own effort.”, and because of that, they sometimes get stuck up on a certain level. But because the devotee keeps his uh, consciousness focused on his actual relationship with nature with supreme with everyone else, so they continues to progress to full enlightenment. Therefore Krishna says that of all the yogis or transcendentalists the devotees is the most intimately united with Me. Krishna has no trouble giving you that spiritual vision.
Guest: What is the… What is the role of women in uh, Krishna conscisousness? And uh, some of the mothers here, I know… I just want to say this. Downtown, they have a food line served out by the devotees of Hare Krishna…
Guest: … who have you know, brought that about. There’s a lot of (indistinct) and a lot of other people, uh, in this town, and for these guys to come up here giving service, a hot meal, that’s something you don’t be getting. So I just want to ask the question, what is the role of women in Krishna… Krishna consciousness.
Jayapataka Swami: Why did you want to know that?
Guest: Uh, I see a lot of men, and I don’t see… Uh, I don’t see a lot of… I mean…
Jayapataka Swami: Well probably because a lot of them are in the kitchen right now cooking the feast for you. That’s one of the roles. Everybody’s role is the same in the sense of serving, but the services may vary according to one’s ability, right? There are some… Just like having children, the mother is have...having the children that’s one of the roles also, to raise a Krishna conscious child and try to give that child a chance to become a perfect human being. Of course that is not within our complete control. When they grow up they will go whatever way they want, but to provide them as much as a spiritual atmosphere as possible.
To do that, you need a nice uh, healthy combination of uh, Krishna Conscious wife, Krishna Conscious husband, so most of the women in this temple, with exception one or two single women, most of them are already married. That’s a phenomenon. In some temples I see that many… just like here in Atlanta, we have many many friends, many Friends of Lord Krishna, they are practicing in their homes and men and women, many… hundereds, but recently uh, in this temple more men have been joining, as far as full time, but a couple of years ago it was more women. Sometimes it just goes through various cycles. In New Orleans yesterday three men walked in, but previous week four women came.
I think we’d have to get a Can… some special information why this is happening. I cannot… but basically our doors are open to everyone. It’s up to any individual how active they want to be. Ours is not a program where we try to force people. It’s something that has to come on their own accord, but we try to provide the facility that as much as one wants to progress… If it’s just to come and take a little hot food downtown, that’s also alright that food is also blessed food.
You want to come here and hear for 15 - 20 minutes and then go, they are welcome They want to stay half hour and take the feast and go, they are welcome. They want to come every day, they are welcome. They want to live with us, they are also welcome. Or if they want to come every so often and learn… and… what we are doing and make their house in to a little spiritual asrama, like in India, then we’re also ready to go on, set up them up in their house, make meditation room, make a beautiful atmosphere, you see. Basically we are trying to just encourage people.
But some people may take several lifetimes to achieve progress, and those who want to… are very serious to achieve progress in this life time actually, right to the completion of our cycle of birth and death, to the complete realization, then they can come and practice full time and be guaranteed of success. But those customers are rare just like diamond customers. But, uh we are open to all kinds of customers, anyone who want to get little spiritual peace, understanding we are ready to give any help that we can give. Hare Krishna.
Do you have a question?
Lady Guest: (indistinct)… work trend.
Jayapataka Swami: Pardon?
Lady Guest: What does it mean when a person’s described as repeating a work trend?
Jayapataka Swami: A work train?
Lady Guest: A work trend. Trend.
Lady Guest: I’m talking about myself, more, you can see as far as your work trend, (indistinct)
Jayapataka Swami: This is because… it is described that we are forced to act helplessly according to the certain modes. We’re born in a certain situation we grow up in a certain situation, and it’s very hard to get out of that type of cycle, you see. By very hard work, sometimes a person can actually break that type of uh, situation and slightly move or even, you know, move into a different cycle, but then one falls into that particular trend. That’s why to actually come out of the work trend where one is like, just coming again and again, doing the same thing without any spiritual… without any kind of uh, real development, the… the dynamic way of doing that is to become spiritually awakened, to become Krishna conscious. Then you change your karma. You… im… you immunize yourself from the material impulses by becoming receptive to the spiritual magnetism, the spiritual attraction and that will pull you out of the material impulses which are keeping you going around and around in the same track. If you chant Hare Krishna, then you can break that trend and come to a higher realm, otherwise it is very difficult, because you are bound by so many actions from this life and previous lives.
Just like uh, Ravi Shankar. He is a great musician sitar player, world famous so Prabhupada revealed confidentially, you don’t tell anyone, that uh, he was a musician for 9 births. This is after his 9th birth. So, in each birth, they take off, they bring with them the abilities and desire to do music to be absorbed right from their childhood, right from their birth… they’re born in a family of musicians usually. That culture is there, because it… sometimes it’s not only from this birth, but just like that may be from one birth, or 5, or 9 births or even more .
Sometimes a person may be born as a scientist birth after birth trying to figure out something. He’s so absorbed that when he is dies, he’s still unfulfilled, he hasn’t discovered what he is looking for. Again he may take birth as a scientist, as many… as that type of… in that type of sense… allow him to continue, that type of higher justice that a person is unfulfilled, wants to uh, complete uh, that particular trend, they’re allowed to do that. Sometimes that trend is good, sometimes it’s neutral and sometimes it’s very bad but no matter what the trend is people can’t easily get out of it, you see. Unless their karma shifts, somehow they come into a re… uh, level of karma where suddenly, they… they get some break from previous activities.
Just like uh, Prabhupada uh, had a dream where, this is uh… he revealed that uh… uh, after… when he met John Lennon he had a dream with John Lennon, was uh, took him to a house in Calcutta, and there was a big merchant’s house, wealthy… and he revealed that in the previous lifetime, that uh, not merchant, but big musician’s house. That uh, John Lennon was a musician, but he was very wealthy and he was very generous, so he was fairly wealthy, he was very generous. He used to give a lot of charity. That’s why in the next birth he took his birth and become very wealthy he was getting the result from all of his charity. So like that, a person just slightly moves from birth to birth. So, someone may be working off some bad karma, then suddenly one gets the result from good karma and see a sudden change in their life. But to get out of that whole chain of karma, there is some secrets and you can start that uh, freedom movement by actually chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Lady Devotee: When one surrenders their ignorance, and stupidity with you, does it help?
Jayapataka Swami: When someone surrenders their ignorance and stupidity?
Lady Devotee: I mean will it… does it help?
Jayapataka Swami: You want to donate the ignorance? (devotees laugh) What are you keeping for yourself? No. You see, the point is, one can realize that it doesn’t have a very complete understanding or that basically one is under the influence of ignorance, illusion, then if one has faith in their spiritual master, then one puts one under the care and direction of the spiritual ma… just like a doctor.
If you have some disease you go to the doctor. The doctor gives you the treatment, the medicine, and you follow it. If you feel better then you know it’s successful. So, like that we have also our spiritual doctors, they’re known as guru, acarya, and they have their assistants, so they’ll give advice. Then one, if they actually have that humility that “I’m not in full knowledge. I’m in ignorance about my spiritual nature, so let me follow the instructions of these spiritually advanced people…”, you can try it, and if you see you’re getting some progress, you’re becoming spiritually healthier, then you should continue and ultimately, then you surrender, means then you agree that “For the rest of my life, I will continue just follow the spiritual advice and direction of the master… of the spiritual master.
Guest: I had this question that, I don’t know which path… I don’t know which path is the one I’m meant for like this, you know? And…
Jayapataka Swami: You should settle down to any one path and then continue on that until you… if you reach a dead end then go on to a next one. Don’t just say that “Well because I don’t know which path to take, I won’t take any path.”, then you won’t learn. Better you take the wrong path, then just to stay perpetually in nowhere. Because if you sincerely do the wrong path you’ll know that’s wrong, in no time if you are sincere. But then you should be sincere enough that if you see it’s wrong, have that strength “I’ll reject it until I find the right thing.” But actually if… one should try to find the what is the right path and take that, what is the more sincere path, where you can see that people are improving spiritually. This is the last segment of his question. Maybe you can ask, this is your last chance.
Guest: Oh, um, I… I’m in touch with Krishna, you know, and (coughing) this being you know, they call Krishna, and somehow, I kind went right in, I kind went out of contact…
Jayapataka Swami: Right.
Guest: Something stopped me from… from transcending…
Jayapataka Swami: That’s called maya. (Devotees laughing) Maya means that which is not or that which is separating us from Krishna. The material nature is actually a cover. In our pure state, we can see Krishna every day, just as you can see other human beings. But, if you’re sick, if you have cataracts over your eyes you can’t see so we are now in the material illusion, therefore, we cannot see Krishna. That illusion is called maya. When a person starts to fall away from Krishna, that means they lose their spiritual connection. Maya has two purposes: to bring us down from our spiritual status to the material conditioning, and then to keep us there.
So we have the fight against that by coming here by associating by eating Krishna foodstuff and by chanting you have to struggle to get back. Just like if you fall down then you have to somehow, struggle and stand up again. The older you get, right?, then if you fall down it is one… more major. Little kid falls down, he gets up and falls down 10 times in a day. So, when we get a little older, it’s harder to change if we… if we fall down sometimes, we may not have that type of stamina to get up again. That’s why it’s advised we should start spiritual practice in our early life, because then we have the stamina that if we fall down or if we have this difficulty, we can just continue. But any case if you’re determined, you can again connect with Krishna, it’s not out of touch at any moment… out of reach rather. Then you having any difficulties you especially chant the names
You write that down, and you chant that many times before chanting Hare Krishna, and then that will bring Krishna to you much quicker.
Devotees: Jaya Srila Acaryapada!
Devotee: (inaudible )
Jayapataka Swami: Hemabhakti, if you want, you should get out the things for prasada. It’s time for the buffet, get it out. I think it’s the last question.
Devotee (2): It was pointed out that… so when chanting Hare Krishna, one becomes satisfied, like this, and so the test one’s satisfied is he knows he’s satisfied, but uh, we can aslo… other people also can… give that line also. Does that mean it’s subjective?
Devotee(2): I’ve seen bogus non-sense things, even in the material nature that people say they’re satisfied.
Devotee (3): (inaudible) that depends on your definition of satisfaction. (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: No. People may say that they are satisfied. I am not talking in that kind of sense. Someone’s coming up, smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, you know, has all these crutches, and they may say “I’m satisfied.” That just means rather, they’re relegated to the fact of staying in that level, but the fact is that they are dependent on so many material crutches that for the time being they may consider “Well, this is enough.”, but we know they cannot maintain that situation. Even if they achieve that type of satisfaction based on so many materials crutches that for that moment, they have a nice maid, they have a nice house, they have a nice this they have a nice that, but they cannot maintain that. They are going to lose it or it’s going to lose them.
Plus, they have to struggle so hard to maintain all those little things, to be able to have the house the car, the this, the that, they have to work like anything in anxiety that they may lose it, in fear of so many different things, so their level of satisfaction… We admit that there’s some happiness in the world, but that level of happiness is so minute it’s a like a drop, and that is very flickering.
So, that everyone may achieve for a short time, some material happiness. Some may maintain it for a while, but the actual spiritual happiness, when you experience it, is different from that. It’s so much fuller and so much greater depth, that there’s no real comparison but to actually understand that, yes one has to personally experience it. It is subjective. Just like person says “Well, I am satisfied.” but someone can see that the person may be a nervous wreck, may be strung out, he says “I’m happy.”
Just like a man who’s always seen in the hospital… there was a… some devotee was visiting another, some friend or something, in the hospital, and then there was somebody who had had the tubes up his nose tubes, here, tubes everywhere and he is in the oxygen tank with the plastic all around, and he is Whistling Dixie * whistles * (laughter) Someone asked him “How you feeling?”
“Feeling pretty good today.”, but practically speaking, the guy’s in hell. Got tubes everywhere. But maybe from yesterday, he’s feeling better, because maybe the pain was so bad yesterday. But today he’s like you know, “Feeling a little better.”
(indistinct), “Pretty good. Going on.” But, anybody can see. So, that’s happiness, you see. Even a Krishna conscious person in same situation, you see, he is not materially… doesn’t identify with that material feeling. One day a little better, next day… like today it’s sun out, “Oh, I’m feeling good.” It’s raining out, “I don’t feel good.” It’s not that type of uh, superficial thing. Actually in depth. There is subjective, you personally experience it. Objective meaning, they may also see. People see, I’m flying all the time on the airplane people say that “You seem very happy.” They can objectively see, but you don’t… Just like you’re eating an apple and * mmm *, like smile, it’s good so some taste, like a you can only draw some kind of compar… actually, you want to taste a mango, just taste one.
There is a story in India about jackfruit. Jackfruit is very stringy. Very sweet, but it’s very hard. A very rich man came to England as he was saying that how wonderful jackfruit was, so then someone was asking to explain well, “What does it taste like?” (devotees laughing) So then he says, “Well how to explain how it tastes like?” kathal, so then, he says “Well it tastes like if you have an old man, you see with a long beard, and if you soak that in sweet juice, and then you suck it, that’s what jackfruit tastes like. Actually, I don’t think it does justice to the fruit.
But, how do you explain to someone how it tastes like, but you can say that “Well, its salty, sweet, its good it’s bad”.
There was apparently see… Cyanide one of the most deadly poisons. Soon as it… right? As soon it touches your tongue, you die. So, no one has been able to say what is the taste of cyanide. Other you know, poisons: “It tastes bitter. It tastes sour.” like that. So one scientist thought, “For science, I’ll stand here with a pen, and then I’ll taste the cyanide and write what is the taste, it’s for science, you know. You have to know these things. Then he tasted the cyanide he wrote “S”, and died. So they don’t know salty, sweet, sour.
Hare Krishna. So ready for the feast? and you can…
[end of recording]
Transcribed by Pranasakhi Lasika Devi Dasi