Who is Lord Chaitanya?
Understanding His position in the light of scripture
and the teachings of previous spiritual masters
A lecture given in Mayapur, West Bengal, on March 2, 1974
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
jaya jaya mahaprabhu sri-krishna-chaitanya
tanhara caranasrita sei bada dhanya
"Let me offer glorification to the Supreme Lord, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. One who has taken shelter of His lotus
feet is the most glorified person."
—Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila 7.2
Sri Krishna Chaitanya is Sri Krishna. Srila Rupa Gosvami spoke this verse:
namne gaura-tvise namah
"O most munificent incarnation! You are Krishna Himself appearing as Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You
have assumed the golden color of Srimati Radharani [Lord Krishna's internal energy], and You are widely distributing
pure love of Krishna. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You."
Lord Chaitanya is Krishna Himself. In this age, known as Kali-yuga, Krishna's direct incarnation is Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu. This is also confirmed throughout the Vedic literature—Mahabharata, Puranas, Upanishads. The
essence of all Vedic literature is the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and there also Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is accepted
as the Supreme Lord:
yajanti hi su-medhasah
The Srimad-Bhagavatam says that in the Kali-yuga the incarnation of Krishna has a bodily complexion that is
akrishna, "not Krishna." The Sanskrit word Krishna means "black." In the shastra, the scriptures, it is said that
Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears in the four yugas, or ages, in four different colours:
asan varnas trayo hy asya
grhnato 'nuyugam tanuh
suklo raktas tatha pitah
idanim krishnatam gatah
"Your son Krishna appears as an incarnation in every millennium. In the past He assumed three colours—white,
red, and yellow—and now He has appeared in a blackish color." This verse was spoken by the learned brahmana
Gargamuni during Krishna's name-giving ceremony. In the Vedic culture, as soon as a child is born his horoscope
is made and his past and future are calculated. Today, because of poverty and other reasons, practically no one
does this. But this is one of the samskaras, or purifying rituals for human life. At conception there is the garbhadhana
samskara, while the child is within the womb there is a samskara, and so on. In this way a human body is purified
by ten kinds of samskaras, or purificatory methods.
It is said, janmana jayate sudrah samskarad bhaved dvija: "Everyone is born a shudra, a member of the unpurified
caste, but by samskara one becomes twice-born, or a brahmana."
Everyone is born from a father and a mother. Even cats and dogs have a father and a mother. Any life you get,
there is a father and a mother. Therefore the Prema-vivarta says:
janame janame sabe pita-mata paya
krishna guru nahi mile bhaja hari ei
Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 5
"In every birth you'll get a father and a mother. But in every birth you cannot get Krishna or a bona fide spiritual
master." The perfection of human life is possible by the mercy of guru and Krishna. And that mercy can be achieved
in the human form of life, not in the life of cats and dogs.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is acting as both guru and Krishna, or as the combination of the two. Kaviraja Gosvami,
the author of Chaitanya-charitamrita, first offered his obeisances to Lord Chaitanya in the first verse of this chapter
(agaty-eka-gatim natva ...). After offering obeisances to the Supreme Lord, "the only hope for the hopeless," now
the author is again offering obeisances with the second verse: jaya jaya mahaprabhu sri-Krishna-Chaitanya.
Prabhu and Mahaprabhu
Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu—any Vaishnava, or devotee of the Lord, is addressed as prabhu ("Lord" or
"master"). But Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Mahaprabhu, the "topmost prabhu, the master prabhu." All others are
servant prabhus. For example, if you work in an office, you may consider your immediate boss your master, but
he's not the master. The managing director or the proprietor is master of the office. But, still, those who work under
him—"sub-prabhus"—are also called prabhu.
All Vaishnavas should be addressed as "Prabhu." That is the etiquette. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Mahaprabhu
because He's the greatest master.
ekale isvara Krishna ara saba bhrtya
yare yaiche nacaya, se taiche kare nrtya
"Lord Krishna alone is the supreme controller, and all others are His servants. They dance as He makes them do
so." We are simply dancing in the material world, trying to be the master. Everyone is trying. Everyone wants to
exploit the resources of the material nature, to become the master. That is the struggle for existence. I am trying
to become the master, and you are trying to become the master, so there is a clash. I challenge you, "Why should
you be the master?" And you challenge why I should be the master. That is going on. That is the nature of the
material world. But if we accept that we are eternal servants and not the master, and that the master is Krishna
or Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, then our problems are solved.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung, jiv krishna dasa ei visvas korle to ar duhkha nai: "If you just understand that
the spirit soul is the eternal servant of Krishna, you will never have any more sorrows." That is the solution.
Everyone wants to become the master, the prabhu. You can become prabhu. That is not extraordinary. Some way
or other we are prabhus. Suppose I am a family man. I am managing my family, my wife, my children, my servants,
my subordinates, so I may be prabhu. In that sense I am a small prabhu. Similarly, everyone is prabhu. But there
is the supreme prabhu, the prabhu of all prabhus. That Mahaprabhu is Sri Krishna Chaitanya. He's Krishna.
As it is stated in the Brahma-samhita: Isvarah paramah krishnah. isvara means "ruler" or "controller." All of us are
more or less little controllers or rulers, but not the absolute ruler. The absolute ruler is Krishna. Similarly, the
absolute prabhu, master, is Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Taking Shelter of Mahaprabhu
Tanhara caranasrita: Everyone is prabhu, but when the prabhu takes shelter of the lotus feet of the Mahaprabhu,
sei bada dhanya—the prabhu becomes glorified. Don't remain satisfied being a prabhu of your wife, children,
family, country, or this or that, but try to become the servant of Mahaprabhu. Tanhara caranasrita. When you take
shelter of the supreme prabhu, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, then your life is successful. Sei bada dhanya:
you are glorified.
To become the servant of God, or Mahaprabhu, is very prestigious. It is not very easy to become the servant of
Krishna or Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So if one agrees to become the servant of the supreme prabhu,
one's life is successful. Sei bada dhanya: he is glorified.
The Vaishnava's principle is to come to the platform of eternal servitude—not to become the master, but to become
servant of the master. That is perfect philosophy. Gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah. The brahmana
is thinking himself the master of the kshatriya [warrior] or the vaisya [merchant] or the shudra [labourer]. The
sannyasi [renunciant] is thinking himself the master of the vanaprastha [retired person], the grhastha [householder],
or the brahmachari [celibate student]. Similarly, the head of the household is thinking himself the master, and the
kshatriya king is thinking he's the master. You are a master to some extent, but if you accept Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu or Sri Krishna as your master, your life is successful. That is the secret of success, as confirmed in
6 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010
atah pumbhir dvija-srestha
"The highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one's own occupation according
to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead."
Arjuna was a kshatriya; his business was to fight. Why was he fighting the Battle of Kurukshetra? To become the
master of the kingdom. But he stayed eternally the servant of Krishna. That is success. Don't be satisfied simply
to be the master of your material position. Try to become the servant of the supreme; then you are successful.
Our mastership is relative; under certain conditions we become the master. But Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the
master without any conditions. Namo maha-vadanyaya Krishna-prema-pradaya te. Because He's the master, He
can distribute Krishna-prema, love of Krishna, very easily. Otherwise, Krishna-prema is very difficult to attain. Even
understanding Krishna is very difficult.
kascid yayati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah
Out of many millions of persons, one may try to make his life successful, and out of many such persons who have
become successful in understanding their constitutional position, one may understand Krishna. One may understand;
there is no surety. To understand Krishna is a very, very difficult job.
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
To understand Krishna and to understand the service of Krishna is very exalted. One has to become brahma-
bhutah, completely liberated. Then one can understand how to render service to Krishna, mad-bhaktim labhate
param. But this difficult subject matter is given very easily by Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore Rupa
Gosvami offered his first prayer to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu:
namne gaura-tvise namah
"You are not only giving Krishna, but You are giving Krishna-prema, love of Krishna." You may meet an exalted
person, but to have an intimate, loving relationship with an exalted person is not very easy. But Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu distributed love of Krishna to anyone. That is Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's contribution to human
society. If you simply come under the lotus feet of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, then love of Krishna is very
easily achieved. To come under the lotus feet of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu means you have Krishna.
That is the verdict of the scripture and Chaitanya-charitamrita. Krishna, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, does not give
anything else. He directly gives you Krishna and love of Krishna.
To award this greatest benediction to human society, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, the renounced order
of life, at the age of twenty-four in this land of Mayapur, Navadvipa. It is a very glorified place. It is not an ordinary
place. The Vaishnava devotee and poet Narottama Dasa Thakura says, gauda mandala bhumi, yeba jane cintamani
tara hoy vrajabhume vasa. "Anyone who understands the spiritual value of Navadvipa lives in Vrajabhumi,
Vrindavana—Lord Krishna's land." There is no difference between Vrindavana and Navadvipa, or Gauda-mandala-
bhumi. That is the verdict of the shastra.
Read Narottama Dasa Thakura's Prarthana and Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Prarthana. They are very, very valuable
for advancement in spiritual understanding—especially Narottama Dasa Thakura's Prarthana. By reading them,
by understanding them, we can understand Krishna very easily. Otherwise, it is very, very difficult to understand
Krishna. Big, big scholars, big, big sannyasis—they cannot understand Krishna. They think Krishna is like us—a
Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 7
very great man, a politician, a historical person. Or they think of Krishna as a debauchee because He associated
with the gopis, the cowherd girls, or because He married sixteen thousand wives.
We shall be misled in understanding Krishna if we try to do so by our own knowledge. We have to accept Krishna
through Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advises everyone:
amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa
yare dekha tare kaha 'Krishna'-upadesa
"Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Sri Krishna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad
Bhagavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land." Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself. Because Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came as a human being, people have
misunderstood Him to be a human being. But He's not human being; He's the master of the human beings.
Because we are part and parcel of Krishna, Krishna very kindly comes when we are distressed because of violating
the laws of religion. Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati. Dharmasya glani means "deviation from the path of
religion." And what is religion? Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam. Religion means the laws of God. That is
the simple definition of religion. The rules and regulations given by the Lord are called religion, just as the rules
and regulations given by the state are called law. You cannot manufacture law. Similarly, you cannot manufacture
dharma. Nowadays, in this Kali-yuga, rascals manufacture religion. But who cares for that religion? Or what will
be the benefit of such religion? There will be no benefit.
Today, so-called religious leaders even claim to be God. But Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu never manufactured
religion, and to set the example He never said, "I am Krishna." Rather, when He was in Vrindavana some of the
devotees praised Him: "You are Krishna." He blocked His ears: "No, no. Don't say that," indicating that to claim
to become God or Krishna is the highest type of rascaldom.
Some Mayavadis, or impersonalists, claim, "Everyone is God. I am God, you are God." They are all rascals. We
do not accept such cheap "Gods." No. We accept Krishna. And we accept Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as God on
the authority of shastra and the acharyas, our predecessor spiritual masters. We follow in the footsteps of the
acharyas. Rupa Gosvami says, krishnaya krishna-chaitanya-namne: "Sir, You are Krishna. You have come under
the name of Krishna Chaitanya. You are so magnanimous that You are distributing love of Krishna."
Without being Krishna, how can one distribute Krishna? Without being a millionaire, how can one distribute millions
of dollars? Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is so magnanimous that He is distributing Krishna. So take shelter
of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
You have come from distant places. You have spent much money to come here. Take advantage of this journey
and chant sri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda. Then
you'll get Krishna, surely. This land is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's birthplace. Anyone who takes shelter of Sri Krishna
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is glorified.
Thank you very much.
8 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010
SRILA PRABHUPADA SPEAKS OUT
So Easily Cheated and Befooled
This exchange between His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
and some of his disciples took place
during a morning walk in Denver,
Colorado, on June 28, 1975.
Srila Prabhupada: Wherever my books are
distributed profusely, our work is successful.
People are in gross ignorance, taking this
temporary material body and temporary life
as everything. A very horrible situation. But
these books give scientific self-knowledge from
the Vedas, knowledge of our actual, spiritual
self and our eternal life.
Disciple: But sometimes, Srila
Prabhupada, troublemakers come
along. In Denver we have to deal
with several bogus groups that
have made their world
headquarters here. One group
is led by a chubby self-styled
guru who claims he's God.
You've seen their magazine,
I think, with this fat man
dressing like Krishna and
even sporting a peacock
feather and a flute. civilization is based on Darwin's bogus theory of evolution.
Anyway, these groups put out tons of propaganda. All But common sense dictates, How far back can we trace
impersonalism, atheism. "God isn't really a separate history with any accuracy? Can we trace the history of
person—God is simply everything and everyone. You the sun—when it was created, when it came into
are God. We are God. And mainly, our leader is God." existence? Can Darwin give us the history of the sun,
of the moon, of the sky?
Srila Prabhupada: So make propaganda against them
very vigorously. These Vedic texts and this disciplic Where is the history? There is such a history, in the
succession both come from Lord Krishna Himself. We Vedic literature. But where is your history? You simply
have got sound footing. What do these nonsensical imagine, "There was a chunk, and it exploded and
rogues have? Show that they are all nonsense, bogus. somehow became manifested as the sun and moon
This fat rogue is God, and his rascal followers are and so on and so forth. And gradually these dull material
worshiping him as God? This rascaldom is going on in ingredients developed consciousness and ultimately
such a cultured, sophisticated city? This rogue is being produced living, conscious beings like us. No need for
worshiped as God? the soul or the Supreme Soul, the creator." What is this
nonsense? How, actually, did this cosmic manifestation
Disciple: Well, to be fair, the local people are disgusted come into existence? "There was a chunk." What other
with him. They don't like him at all. nonsense do you want us to believe?
Srila Prabhupada: I'll issue a challenge: "I shall kick [Chuckling.] You will find a nice example in one of the
this rascal in the face, and if he is God, let him punish texts I have translated today from Srimad-Bhagavatam:
me." I am prepared. Let this rascal come out and meet Just as a prostitute tries to befool people by changing
me in public. I shall kick him squarely in the face. Let her appearance, so the material nature changes her
him do whatever he likes—I am prepared. If he is God, appearance to befool us. Bogus gurus, pseudo scientists.
let him kill me by his mantra or by his will. Only then And we are so foolish that we are trying to establish a
shall I accept him as God. This is my challenge. "I shall long-term relationship with this prostitute. We are trying
kick him in the face in public, and if he is God, let him to become her husband. Has anyone ever become
punish me." happy by becoming the husband of a prostitute?
And as for his followers, "You are such fools that you Therefore, Chanakya Pandita says, dusta bharya satham
are accepting this scoundrel as God? You belong to mitram bhrtyas cottara-dayakah/ sa-sarpe ca grhe vaso
America, a nation advanced and sophisticated in so mrtyur eva na samsayah: "If one has a wife who is a
many ways. And yet you have become such utter fools prostitute, a friend who is a hypocrite, a servant who is
and rascals?" We shall challenge like that. "This rogue an upstart, or a home with a snake in it, he will die." He
has come to cheat you. How have you allowed will die; there is no doubt about it. His life will be spoiled.
yourselves to become so easily cheated and befooled?" This is Chanakya Pandita's verdict.
Disciple: This supreme being was recently indicted for Chanakya also says, mata yasya grhe nasti bharya
smuggling, and now there's a warrant out for his arrest. capriya-vadini/ aranyam tena gantavyam yatharanyam
Srila Prabhupada: All right, so this is my challenge: tatha grham: "If at home a man does not have an
"Now there is a warrant out for the arrest of the all- affectionate mother or a wife who speaks sweetly—if,
powerful one. So? Does he have the power to nullify it? rather, his wife speaks very hotly—then he should give
Everyone knows that God is great. Is he great? And yet up that home at once and go to the forest. Actually, for
we have to believe he is God? God is such a cheap him, home is no different than the forest." [Chuckles.]
commodity that you have accepted this pathetic person How intelligent.
as God? What is this nonsense—blindly accepting some Formerly, at least one expected love from one's mother.
rascal as God? That is also being finished. This is the advancement of
"At the same time, we give you people some credit, civilization. Even one's mother is not reliable—what to
since at least you are inquiring about God. But inquire speak of others. A small child sleeps soundly on the lap
about God through His authorized channels of education, of his mother, because he thinks, "Now I am safe." But
this Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya disciplic succession and today the mother may kill the child, often with the help
this Vedic literature." of her rascal doctor. This is our modern civilization's so-
[On seeing a museum of natural history in the park:]
This is a nice park, but what is this natural history Disciple: Srila Prabhupada, in the neighborhood of our
temple, doctors and other supposedly high-class men
exhibition? "Natural history" means Darwin's bogus
theory of evolution. People have become captured by
this evolution propaganda. That's all. The whole modern Srila Prabhupada: The real doctor is he who can cure
10 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010
this material disease of repeated birth and death. What the old-man body becomes finished, why not a next
do you think? But you modern people want to be cheated life?
by some pseudo doctor or some pseudo yogi or meditator Such a dull head these modern people have! If a child
who is inimical to your real well-being. Therefore, these says, "No, no, in the future I shall have no new body—
rascals have gained prominence, by popular support. I shall remain a child," is that sensible? And similarly,
Only a select group of people have come to me. is it sensible for you to say, "No, no, in the future, after
Otherwise, the mass of people do not understand this my elderly body is finished, everything will be finished—
Krishna consciousness movement as yet. I shall have no new body"?
Disciple: Well, lots of people just won't listen to any So people have become very dull-headed. The simple
philosophy. truth they cannot understand. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara/ tatha dehantara praptir: "As
Srila Prabhupada: That is why they are being cheated
the embodied soul passes, within this lifetime, from one
so easily by these various scoundrels.
body into another and yet another, so after this lifetime,
And now people have become so foolish that they the soul passes into still another body." That is the actual
cannot understand even the simplest philosophical idea. situation. The example Krishna gives is so nice and so
Not even Krishna's basic instruction in Bhagavad-gita— simple, and yet people cannot understand. What kind
that just as the baby has his future and the child has of brain do they have? Animal brain.
his future and the young man his future, so why not the The only hope is that you continue distributing my books
old man? Within this one lifetime, the soul has many as much as possible, throughout Europe and America
little lifetimes, many bodies—as a baby, a child, and so and the rest of the world. Some day, people will realize
on and so forth—and yet the soul keeps his sense that their value. Some day, people will realize what valuable
"After all these changes of body and all these little books I have left for the study of the whole world. That
lifetimes, I am the same person." So after this life, when day will come.
Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 11
To Love God
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura [Tajpur journal, Friday, August 25, 1871]
It was Christ Jesus who first said
“Love God with all thy heart, with all
thy mind, with all thy soul, and with
all thy strength, and love man as thy
brother.” This is an absolute truth
indeed; but different men put different
interpretations to this noble
expression. The expressions of all
great men are nice but somewhat
mysterious - when understood they
bring the truth nearest to heart
otherwise they remain mere letters
that “kill.” The reason of the mystery
is that men, advanced in their inward
approach to the Deity, are in the habit
of receiving revelations which are but
mysteries to those that are behind
them. The stages of progress are
very much the same as the circles
of spiritualism which, though not true
themselves, explain a great deal
about the gradual development of
We have understood some
spiritualists to maintain that matter
when sublimated converts itself to
spirit. This theory is indeed against
any inward conviction. Matter is
matter, and spirit is spirit; one of them
cannot form the other. Spirit is
certainly of superior existence; though
we cannot fully understand in our present state of material imprisonment, what relation spirit does exactly bear
to matter, space and time. Metaphysics apart, we decide that the human soul rises higher and higher and can
understand things of which we have no idea at present. Subject to this important rule, Christ Jesus of Nazareth
received and uttered these words quoted above.
To readers who are a little above the scale of ordinary men, these expressions of Jesus teach, that man should
love God with all his heart (meaning the affections of the heart perceivable in all children as opposed to hate),
with all his mind (meaning the intellect which knows, as opposed to ignorance of, good things), with all his soul,
(meaning the principle of the human constitution which worships the Almighty and feels its own immortality) and
with all its strength (meaning all active work). To the inspired, however, more things and better and sublimer
meanings appear beneath these holy words of the inspired Jesus. He teaches man to love God and not to know,
infer, hate or think of God. He tells us that man in his absolute state is not the intellect or the body but is the pure
The essence of the soul is wisdom and its action is love absolute. The absolute condition of man is his absolute
relation to the Deity in pure love. Love then alone is the religion of the soul and consequently of the whole man.
The pupil asks here “What have I to do with the heart? - my heart loves to see the ‘sun to smile’, ‘to eat the sweetest
dishes and to see a dance’”. Jesus profoundly replies “Yes, you must love God with all thy heart. Your heart now
runs to other things than God, but you must, as you train a bad horse, make your feelings run to the loving God.”
This is one of the four principles of worship or what is known in Vaishnava literature as shanta rasa. Then the pupil
says “My Lord, the intellect takes me elsewhere from God, i.e. it wants to take me to Positivism; please instruct
12 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010
me what am I to do?” “Yes,” replies Jesus’” you must love God with all your mind, i.e. when you perceive, conceive,
remember, imagine and reason, you must not allow yourself to be a dry thinker but must love. Love alone can
soften the dryness of the intellect, you must develop the intellect on all good and holy things by means of love of
truth, spiritual beauty and harmony.” This is the second phase of Vaishnava development which passes by the
name of dasya rasa. The pupil then enquires whether the development of the affections and the intellect is quite
enough for him. Then says the Lord, “You must love God with thy soul also, i.e. you must perceive yourself in
spiritual communication with the Deity and receive holy revelations in your sublimest hours of worship.” This is
called the sakhya rasa of the Vaishnavas - the soul approaching the Deity in holy and fearless service.
The disciple apprehends that he will be lost in such a position and will be unable to act. Then the Saviour tells us
these words, “You must love God with all thy strength or will - you are wrong to conclude that you will lose your
active existence - you will get it the more. Work for God and to God, proceeding from no self interested views but
from a holy free will (which is alone the strength of man) and identifying itself with pure love, will fully engross your
attention.” This description is of bhakti in general. Then Jesus proceeds to tell us “You must love man as thy
brother.” From this is inferred the fourth phase of love which is a feeling that all men are brothers and God is their
common Father. This is vatsalya rasa in its first stage of development.
Bhakti (love) is thus perceived in the very first development of the man in shape of heart, then in the shape of
mind, then in the shape of soul and lastly in the shape of will. These shapes do not destroy each other but beautifully
harmonize themselves into a pure construction of what we call the spiritual man or the ekanta of Vaishnava
literature. But there is another sublimer truth behind this fact which is revealed to a few that are prepared for it.
We mean the spiritual
conversion of the soul into
a woman. It is in that
sublime and lofty state
that the soul can taste the
sweets of an indissoluble
marriage with the God of
love. The fifth or the
highest stage of
is this, which we call
madhurya rasa, and on
this alone the most
beautiful portion of the
Vaishnava literature so
ably expatiates. This
phase of human life,
mysterious as it is, is not
attainable by all, nay, we
should say, by any but
“God’s own.” It is so very
beyond the reach of
common men that the
rationalists and even the
ordinary theists cannot
understand it, nay, they
go as far as to sneer at
it as something unnatural.
Oh God! Reveal Thy most
valuable truths to all so
that Your own may not be
numbered with the
fanatics and the crazed
and that the whole of
mankind may be admitted
as “Your own.”
Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 13
SOUR GRAPES AND THE VINE OF VEDIC KNOWLEDGE By Satyaraja Dasa
“Oouuuch!” they pessimists? Arthur Schopenhauer is considered one of the fathers
My dentist probably expected a more meaningful No, they are not. True, they are aware of the miseries of of Pessimism as a philosophical school of thought.
exchange, perhaps simple pleasantries or a friendly material existence, but that’s called knowledge in the His words, at least in regards to suffering, merely echo
conversation. After all, he hadn’t seen me for quite some mode of goodness. Knowledge in the mode of ignorance, the truths found in the Vedic literature. Ultimately,
time. But I was here to get down to business, and so was by contrast, is beleaguered by obliviousness—blindness Schopenhauer tells us, “All life is suffering.” He explains
he. No time for light talk. to the pain and suffering that are very real components this by noting that everything that lives has desire,
of the material world. In other words, Krishna wants, and needs. “Life wants,” he says, “and because
“Let’s see,” he said, looking into my mouth as if searching its wants are mostly unfulfilled, it exists largely in a
for gold. “You need a few fillings. Hmm. Root canal, for consciousness has much to say about the darker side of
life, about the perils of being caught in a temporary state of unfulfilled striving and deprivation.”
sure, and definitely a bridge, right back here.”
material body. At first blush, therefore, Krishna His analysis reminds me of something I said to my
It was precisely at this point that the oouuch blurted out consciousness might appear pessimistic. But a deeper dentist: All materialistic endeavours for happiness fall
of my mouth. He poked once too often. look reveals that it transcends the usual duality of optimism into three broad categories, and they all result in
“Come on,” I started. “The idea of all that dental work is and pessimism altogether. Rather, it is what I would call misery: (1) You try for happiness and don’t achieve it.
depressing—it’s going to cost way too much, and it’s “realism,” or, better yet, “spiritual realism.” That is to say, You’re miserable for obvious reasons. (2) You try for
probably gonna hurt.” it is balanced. This is so because it is not a product of happiness and achieve it, but it doesn’t live up to your
the usual conditioned responses, positive or negative, expectations. Again you’re miserable. (3) You try for
“I’m not saying this to depress you,” he said, shaking his
but it is instead the spiritual consciousness bequeathed happiness and get it, and it does live up to your
head. “That’s not my motivation. These are the facts. to us by the saints and sages of the past. Indeed, Krishna
Your teeth need attention, and they need it now.” expectations. But you lose it after some time. Is there
consciousness is like a precious gem, originally revealed any form of material happiness that doesn’t fit into
That sent my mind back to a conversation I had had the by God Himself, and then passed down by self-realized one of these three categories?
day before, at the Sunday feast in the Brooklyn Hare souls in disciplic succession, in an esoteric lineage created
Krishna temple. I was explaining certain basic points of “And even that which we call ‘happiness,’” says
by God to help all conditioned souls reach the ultimate
Krishna conscious philosophy to a newcomer, telling her Schopenhauer, “is really only a temporary cessation
that the world is a place of misery, wherein repeated birth of some particular suffering.”
Pessimism and the Western Philosophical Tradition
and death take place. We all go through birth, death, old All satisfaction, or what is commonly called happiness,
age, and disease, I reminded her, and we all suffer from In popular language, the term pessimist is applied to is really and essentially always negative only, and
threefold miseries: those caused by our own bodies and people who habitually view life with intense melancholy, never positive. It is not a gratification which comes to
minds, by the bodies and minds of others, and by natural who view painful experiences as almost desirable—at us originally and of itself, but it must always be the
calamities. least in the sense that they wouldn’t know how to live satisfaction of a wish. For desire, that is to say, want,
any other way. Pain is familiar to them. In addition, such is the precedent condition of every pleasure; but with
“Why are you so negative?” she asked. people generally have little corresponding appreciation the satisfaction, the desire and therefore the pleasure
A bit surprised by her reaction, I explained that the negative for the pleasurable or positive side of life. Alternatively, cease; and so the satisfaction or gratification can
philosophy at the base of Krishna consciousness is only pessimists sometimes do want happiness in the normal, never be more than deliverance from a pain, from a
a starting point. Using this as a foundation—that the positive sense of the word, but they are doubtful about want.
material world can be a nasty place—Krishna the possibility of achieving it. These are two classic kinds
of pessimism. The Vedic tradition articulates this same idea. Srila
consciousness goes on to explain how life can be truly
Prabhupada often referred to happiness in the material
blissful, not only in some hopeful future life but also within As a philosophical system, Pessimism addresses the world as merely “the cessation of misery.” He used
our own lifetime, in the here and now. presence of evil in the world, the built-in torment resulting the analogy of the dunking stool. To punish evil-doers,
But now, sitting in my dentist’s chair, I sounded a lot like from material limitations. Loved ones leave or die, officers of the court used to tie criminals to a see-saw
that young woman. My dentist was only giving me the situations to which we become attached soon change, kind of dunking stool, easing them down into water
facts, explaining the state of rot in my mouth. Nonetheless, fundamental anxieties find their way into our lives, and then, periodically, lifting them up again. Gasping
I found it necessary to rebel, to insist that he was being especially that black hole of our own mortality—all cause for air, the convicted felon would enjoy the simple act
overly negative. Similarly, when I mentioned the obvious suffering on both gross and subtle levels. In the West the of breathing as if it were the greatest pleasure. Likewise,
truth of life in an ever-decaying material world, my new philosopher Leibniz taught that pain is integral to finite Prabhupada taught, because the material world is so
friend at the temple needed to respond in kind, as if I was and temporary existence. For example, he said, we don’t devoid of any real enjoyment —of any substantive
distorting the facts just to depress her. want to see the end of pleasure, love, and life, and yet pleasure—the titillating sensations of the body and
end they must. The principle from which pain and evil mind seem alluring, like a few precious breaths to a
Optimists, Pessimists, and Realists arise—the temporary quality of all things material—is drowning person.
People usually fall into one of two categories: optimists thus viewed as an essential part of nature. This idea is
or pessimists. They view life as being basically a happy clear in Buddhist thought as well, where the Four Noble So Are Devotees Pessimistic?
experience or a dismal one. Optimists see the cup as Truths categorize suffering in various ways along with a It is clear from Srila Prabhupada’s books that suffering
half full, whereas pessimists see it as half empty. These coherent system for the cessation of suffering. And it is is integral to material existence: “Out of so many
two types of people view the same phenomenon differently. also taught in the Bhagavad-gita, upon which Krishna human beings who are suffering, there are a few who
Where would one place the devotees of Krishna? Are consciousness rests. are actually inquiring about their position, as to what
14 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 15
they are, why they are put into this awkward position, favour these things, but they prefer to spiritualize them,
and so on. Unless one is awakened to this position of to bring them to the next level by using them in Krishna’s
questioning his suffering, unless he realizes that he service. For example, devotees believe in feeding people,
doesn’t want suffering but rather wants to make a solution but they insist on feeding them Krishna prasadam,
to all suffering, then one is not to be considered a perfect sumptuous vegetarian cuisine that has been offered to
human being. Humanity begins when this sort of inquiry Krishna with love. Prasadam distribution is the epitome
is awakened in one’s mind.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, of food distribution because it nourishes people both
Introduction) materially and spiritually. Devotees favour this kind of
holistic endeavour, one they believe can help people
The final sentence in the above quote reveals something overcome evil and pain.
about the purpose of suffering in the material world. It
is meant to act as an impetus for the human being to And that’s the question: How are we supposed to
inquire about God consciousness. After lifetimes of overcome evil and human suffering? Many traditional
various kinds of suffering, the wise begin to ask, “What’s religions teach that we can overcome these only in an
life all about? Why am I here? Why should I go on afterlife where a benevolent God rules in His paradisiacal
suffering?” These questions separate humankind from kingdom. Krishna consciousness, however, rejects the
the animals. idea that we must wait for some pie-in-the-sky future.
Yes, those who are Krishna conscious have secured a
In Srila Prabhupada’s books he often reveals a kind of place for themselves in the hereafter, with Krishna in
hierarchy of consciousness. On the most fundamental the spiritual world. But that is not their chief concern.
level, he says, one believes that the world is safe, that Instead, Prabhupada taught devotees that the fight
lasting pleasure exists here, and that one can live happily against human suffering and evil must occur here and
ever after. But he quickly adds that a life based on such now. Since each of us is responsible for that which goes
thinking is like animal life, where eating, sleeping, mating, wrong in our lives, we are also responsible for making
and defending are the primary activities and one has things right. Krishna consciousness teaches that we
little time to pursue God consciousness. Human beings, can indeed make things right, but only if we surrender
he tells us, must move on from this basic, animalistic to God, with a heart full of love and devotion. Devotees
mentality. And if they advance even a little, he says, try to do that in their own lives, and they teach others
then they adopt something of a pessimistic view of life, the same principle.
acknowledging the limitations of material happiness, its Prabhupada concludes:
shallowness and its temporary nature.
Knowledge means understanding how the supreme
Significantly, however—and this is the main point— controller is controlling. People who defy religion and
Prabhupada also talks about a yet higher level of deny the existence of a supreme controller are like the
existence, wherein one bids adieu to pessimism and jackal that keeps jumping and jumping, trying to reach
becomes situated in Krishna consciousness. From this grapes on a high vine. After seeing that he cannot reach
perspective, life is full of meaning, full of purpose, full the grapes, he says to himself, “Oh, there is no need to
of bliss. It begins while serving Krishna in the material reach them. They are sour anyway.” People who say
world, and carries on when we attain His supreme that we do not need to understand God are indulging
kingdom. in sour grape philosophy.
Not Naive Optimists Prabhupada here turns the “devotee as pessimist” idea
Overall, devotees believe in hope rather than despair, on its head. He sees the materialist as pessimistic—as
tolerance rather than fear. They believe in love and not rejecting God because of a “sour grapes” kind of
hatred, compassion not selfishness, beauty not ugliness, philosophy. Indeed, from the Vedic perspective the
and realized knowledge not blind faith or irrationality. devotees have the greatest hope for humankind—to
They believe in working hard for the true betterment of engage them in Krishna’s service—while the materialists
humankind, and they give their time and life to help are hopeless, having given up the quest to understand
other people. These are not the virtues of the pessimist. God. And in this hopelessness they sometimes view
devotees as negative.
But devotees aren’t naive optimists either. They don’t
believe that all humans will necessarily pursue higher But devotees value this world more than anyone else,
goals. Krishna consciousness is a pragmatic because they see it in relation to God. Some people
philosophy—humans are not necessarily good or evil will be pleased by this vision: “Right. It is important to
but they do have the capacity for both. For this reason see God in His creation. But why, then, do you devotees
Srila Prabhupada set up his institution (ISKCON) to tend to emphasize the Creator instead?” The reason is
quite simple: Devotees know that focusing on the creation
encourage the ultimate good while discouraging not
can distract a person from the Creator. Therefore,
only the overtly evil but also goodness diluted by devotees emphasize the Creator to help one avoid the
materialism. pitfall of becoming sidetracked. Until one learns to focus
On that point many may look at devotees somewhat on God, the relationship between Him and His creation
askance, wondering why they are not more involved in remains an abstraction. This is not sour grapes; it’s just
social work or altruistic endeavours. The truth is, devotees a fact of life.
16 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010
From Morality to Spirituality
Chaitanya Charana Dasa
Daily news reports of things like corruption, nepotism, moral they stand to lose a lot and gain nothing tangible.
favoritism, and infidelity have us fed up. Politicians say, Moreover, our godless education gives us no knowledge
“Education in ethics and values is the solution. ” But about any higher-order natural laws of cosmic
don’t most people already know right from wrong? I accountability. And the fallibility of our penal systems is
think so. They just feel they’ll fare better in life without all too well known. The result? Morality appears entirely
following moral codes. And exhortation by moralists or dispensable, especially for the shrewd or powerful. In
legislation by politicians doesn’t inspire them to think such an environment, how can we expect mere platitudes
differently. to inspire people to be moral?
Living by moral principles is like following traffic laws Love: The Basis of Morality
for smooth and safe travel. The purpose of travel,
however, is not to follow the laws but to reach the “Morality means lack of opportunity.” This saying catches
destination. If a traveler feels that the traffic laws delay the tottering utilitarian approach to morality. The Vedic
him or obstruct his reaching the destination, he may texts of ancient India assert that morality without
break them if he thinks he can get away with it. spirituality is baseless and therefore short-lived. If we
seriously want morality in society, we need to introduce
Like traffic laws, moral principles promote order, systematic spiritual education centered on a positive
specifically orderly social interactions. But modern goal of life. The Vedic texts inform us of a nonsectarian
education doesn’t teach us about the goal of social universal spiritual goal of life: to develop pure love for
transactions or of life itself. Consequently people may God. We are all spiritual beings and are meant to rejoice
stay moral out of deference to culture or tradition but in our eternal loving relationship with the supreme all-
give up morality when circumstances threaten or tempt attractive spiritual being, God. Being intrinsically spiritual,
them. Worse still, the incessantly glorified goals of we find real happiness not in material acquisition but in
modern consumer society—fame, wealth, luxuries, spiritual awakening our innate love for God. The more
power, pleasure, prestige—encourage and even we love God, the happier we become.
necessitate immoral behavior. The Bhagavad-gita
(16.8–15) explains that a materialistic worldview leads Love for God results in love for all living beings as our
to insatiable lust and greed, which impel corrupt actions. brothers and sisters in the one universal family of God.
When people are surrounded and bombarded by When we love all living beings, we will no longer desire
materialistic allurements, they may feel that by being to exploit or manipulate others for our selfish interests.
Instead, our love for God will inspire us to love and
serve each other. This will create a culture of warmth
and trust, which engenders moral behavior. This contrasts
sharply with the modern culture of alienation and
suspicion, which fosters immorality.
Genuine spiritual practices, even in their preliminary
stages, trigger our innate value system. We intuitively
realize that God is our greatest well-wisher. Subsequently
we voluntarily and lovingly choose to lead a morally and
spiritually principled life, as ordained by God, knowing
it to be in our ultimate interest. And as we find inner
happiness by loving God, we become freed from selfish,
lusty, greedy, and egoistic drives. No longer do we feel
we are missing anything because of our morality. Morality
ceases to be the “difficult but right” choice. Rather it
becomes the easy and natural course of action for our
Not Utopia, But Reality
Some may feel, “All this sounds good, but it’s unscientific
and utopian.” In other words, we live in an age where
only the scientific, practical worldview is considered
reasonable and acceptable. But is the Vedic worldview
really unreasonable or impractical?
Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 17
We need to remind ourselves that science has never our stealing, which leads to pain and punishment?
proven the non-existence of God or the soul. Rather
Similarly Krishna takes the role of a handsome youth
the reductionistic approach chosen by most scientists to reciprocate with the devotees who desire a conjugal
for studying the universe just presumes the non-existence relationship with him. His love for the gopis (cowherd
of any spiritual reality. Strikingly enough, even within maidens) is based not on the beauty of their bodies but
this reductionistic framework some scientists conclude on the devotion of their hearts. Some people allege that
that the evidence strongly suggests a super-intelligent Krishna’s pastimes with the gopis are like the lusty
designer of the cosmos (God) and a non-material source dealings of ordinary boys and girls. But then why would
of consciousness within the body (soul). highly renounced saints who give up the sexual love of
Love of God will appear utopian only as long as we do this world, seeing it as disdainful and distasteful, worship
not know the coherent philosophy and the clear-cut path the pastimes of Krishna with the gopis? Even today
to its attainment. Through genuine spiritual practices thousands of people all over the world are becoming
like prayer, meditation, and chanting the names of God, free from the control of lusty desires by chanting Krishna’s
anyone can experience spiritual enrichment. Once we names and worshiping him. If Krishna himself were
taste immortal love, we realize that it is the defining and controlled by lust, how could he free his devotees from
unifying goal of life. lust?
Higher Morality In the battle with the Kauravas, Krishna urges the
Pandavas to act immorally. But that is like an authority’s
Someone familiar with episodes in the lives of Krishna urging policemen to break the speed limit to catch
and his devotees might object: “But Krishna Himself thieves who are speeding away. The policemen are
sometimes acts immorally. And so do his devotees. How (apparently) breaking the law to serve the purpose of
can worshiping an immoral God help us become moral?” the law. Similarly the Pandavas break moral codes to
To understand this, we need to first consider the ultimate serve a higher purpose that Krishna wants to see fulfilled:
purpose of all morality. We are lost in the darkness of to establish the rule of morality by removing the immoral
ignorance in the material world, not knowing what to do Kauravas from power.
and what to avoid. Like a torch, moral codes light the In exceptional circumstances, Krishna’s devotees may
way for us. They protect us from being waylaid by selfish act seemingly immorally to do his will, which is meant
desires and keep us on the way toward our ultimate for the ultimate good of all living beings. But generally
objective—achieving love for Krishna and returning to devotees follow moral codes as an expression of their
him. But Krishna is the source of all morality, just as the devotion to Krishna. In fact, without devotion, we will
sun is the source of all light. Because he is fully satisfied not have the inner strength to sustain lifelong adherence
in himself, he acts only out of selfless love for us, either to moral principles.
to reciprocate with our love or to help us rectify our
errant ways. He does not need moral codes because We need to exercise caution in understanding Krishna’s
he has not the slightest trace of selfish desires. It is we actions, which are above morality. Otherwise, we may
who need moral codes because we are filled with selfish misunderstand him and reject his love, condemning
desires. But if we become proud of our morality and try ourselves to staying below morality and suffering the
to examine Krishna with our moral standards, that’s like karmic reactions for our misdeeds.
searching for the sun with a torch. It’s foolish and futile. If we want lasting morality, empty exhortation and
When the sun rises by its own accord, its effulgence ineffectual legislation won’t do. As long as people are
reveals its full glory. Similarly when Krishna decides to taught to pursue material goals, they will feel morality
reveal himself by his own sweet will, we can understand to be impractical or even undesirable. Only when they
his pure morality and glory. Until then it is best for us to know and pursue love for God as the goal of life will
scrupulously follow moral codes to please him so that morality become desirable and practical for them.
he may eventually reveal himself. And we should be Therefore at a social level we need to introduce genuine
careful not to become proud of our righteousness. spiritual education and practices leading to love for God
and inner fulfillment. And at an individual level,
If we accept Krishna’s position as the Supreme Lord, recognizing the spiritual basis of morality is highly
we can gain some understanding about how all his acts empowering. It opens for us a course of action far
are moral. For example, Krishna steals butter from the superior to apathy, tacit approval, helpless lamentation,
houses of the cowherd women of Vrindavana. But how or indignant self-righteousness. In a cancerous tissue,
can he be considered a thief when he creates and owns one healthy cell can activate the healing process.
everything? He takes the role of a child to reciprocate Similarly when the cancer of immorality afflicts modern
the maternal affection of his devotees. His stealing, a society, each one of us can, by leading a life of spiritual
naughty childhood prank, enhances the sweetness of and moral integrity, activate the process of social
their loving exchanges. How can that be compared to recovery.
18 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010
The Teachings of Lord Chaitanya
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
In the instruction of Lord
Chaitanya to Sanatana
Goswami we can understand the
Science of God in the matter of His
transcendental form, His opulences,
and His devotional service—for
everything is being described to
Sanatana Goswami by the Lord
Himself. At the time Sanatana fell at
the feet of the Lord and with great
humility asked about his real identity. He
spoke as follows: "I am born of a lower
family, my associations are all abominable,
and I am fallen and the most wretched of mankind.
I was suffering in the dark well of material
enjoyment, and I never knew the actual goal
of my life. I do not know what is beneficial
to me although in the ordinary way I am
what is known as a great learned man;
in fact, I am so much of a fool that I even
accept that I am a learned man. You have
accepted me as Your servant and You
have delivered me from the entanglement
of material life; now You can tell me what
my duty is in this liberated state of life." In other
words, we see by this plea that liberation is not the
final word of perfection; there must be activities
in liberation. Sanatana clearly asks, "You have
saved me from the entanglement of material
existence; now after liberation, what is my duty? Consciousness,
Kindly explain it to me." Sanatana further inquired naturally, by the grace of
"Who am I? Why are the three-fold miseries Krishna, he was already
always giving me trouble? Finally, tell me how conversant with everything,
I will be relieved from this material entanglement? but, "Because you are a humble
I do not know how to question about spiritual devotee you are asking Me to
advancement of life, but I beg that You kindly, confirm what is already realized by
mercifully let me know everything that I you. This is very nice." These are the
should know." characteristics of a true devotee. In the
This is the process of acceptance of a Narada Sutra it is said that one who is
spiritual master by the disciple. One should very serious about developing his Krishna
approach a spiritual master and humbly submit Consciousness, by the grace of the Lord, has
to him and then inquire from him about one's his desire for understanding Krishna very soon
spiritual progress. The Lord was pleased by fulfilled. The Lord said, "You are a suitable person
Sanatana's submissive behaviour and He replied for protecting the devotional service of the Lord,
to him as follows: "You are already benedicted therefore it is My duty to instruct you in the science of
by Lord Krishna, therefore you know everything God, and I will explain to you one of the orders."
and you are free from all miseries of material It is the duty of a disciple approaching a spiritual master
existence." The Lord further replied that to enquire about his constitutional position. In response
because Sanatana was in Krishna to that spiritual process, Sanatana has already asked,
Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 19
"What am I and why am I suffering from threefold His instruction. It is calculated by great devotees that
miseries?" The threefold miseries are called adhyatmic, Lord Chaitanya is Krishna Himself. And as He ended
adhibhautic, adhidaivic. Adhyatmic means pertaining to His instruction in the Gita, from that point He begins His
the body and mind, therefore there are two kinds of instruction again, to Sanatana. The Lord said to
miseries suffered by the living entity: sometimes he is Sanatana, "Your constitutional position is that you are
suffering bodily, and sometimes he is distressed pure living soul. This material body is not the identity of
mentally—both are miseries. We are put into miseries your real self, neither is your mind your real identity, nor
even in the womb of the mother. And there are also your intelligence, nor is false ego the real identity for
many forms of misery that take advantage of our delicate self. Your identity is that you are eternal servitor of the
body and give us pain. Miseries inflicted by other living Supreme Lord, Krishna. Your position is that you are
entities are called adhibhautic. There are many living transcendental. Superior energy of Krishna is spiritual
entities such as bugs born of eggs, that give us miseries in constitution, and inferior external energy is material.
while we are sleeping in bed. There are many living In other words, you are between the material energy
entities, like cockroaches, that sometimes give us pain, and the spiritual energy, therefore your position is
and there are other living entities born on different kinds marginal. In other words, you belong to the marginal
of planets, and they also give us miseries. So far as potency of Krishna. You are simultaneously one with
adhidaivic miseries are concerned, they are offered by and different from Krishna because in a sense you are
the demigods from the higher planets. For instance, spirit, therefore you are not different from Krishna; but
sometimes we suffer from serious cold weather, because you are only a minute particle of Krishna, you
sometimes we suffer by the thunderbolt, sometimes are therefore different from Krishna."
earthquakes, tornadoes, droughts and all other natural This simultaneous oneness and difference always exists
disasters. So we are always in either of these three in the relationship between the living entities and the
kinds of miseries. Sanatana's enquiry was, "What is the Supreme Lord. From the marginal position of the living
position of the living entities? Why are they always put entity, this "simultaneously one and different" is
into these three kinds of miseries?" Sanatana has understood. The living entity is just like a molecular part
admitted his weakness; although he was known by the of sunshine, whereas Krishna is compared to the blazing
mass of people as a great learned man (and actually and shining sun. Lord Chaitanya compared the living
he was a highly learned scholar in the Sanskrit entities to the blazing sparks from the fire, and the
language)—and although he accepted the designation Supreme Lord to the blazing fire of the sun. The Lord
of a very learned man given him by the mass of people, cites in this connection a verse from Vishnu Purana in
yet he did not actually know what his constitutional which it is stated that everything that is manifested within
position was, and why he was subjected to the threefold this cosmic world is but a different energy of the Supreme
miseries. Lord. For example, as the fire emanating from one place
The necessity of approaching a spiritual master is not exhibits its illumination and heat all around, similarly the
a fashion, but is for him who is seriously conscious of Lord, although situated in one place in the spiritual
the material miseries and who wants to get out of them; world, is manifesting His different energies everywhere,
it is the duty of such a person to approach the spiritual and the whole world of cosmic representation is but
master. We find similar circumstances in the Bhagavad- different manifestations of His energy. The energy of
gita. When Arjuna was perplexed by so many problems, the Supreme Lord is transcendental and spiritual, and
whether to fight or not to fight, he accepted Lord Krishna the living entities also belong to that energy, but there
as his spiritual master. There also it was a case of the is another energy which is called hard-working material
Supreme Spiritual Master instructing Arjuna about the energy, which is covered by the cloud of ignorance and
constitutional position of the individual entity. In the therefore divided into the three modes of material nature.
Bhagavad-gita we are informed that the constitutional Lord Chaitanya quoted from Vishnu Purana that all
position of the individual entity is spirit soul; he is not inconceivable energies are there in the Supreme
matter, therefore as a spirit soul he is part and parcel Personality of Godhead, and the whole cosmic
of the Supreme Soul, Absolute Truth, Personality of manifestation is acting due to the same inconceivable
Godhead. We also learn that it is the duty of the spirit energy of the Supreme Lord. For example, as the heat
soul to surrender, for only then can he be happy. The of the fire is all perceivable, similarly the inconceivable
last instruction of the Bhagavad-gita is that the spirit energy of the Supreme Lord is always perceivable by
soul is to surrender completely unto the Supreme Soul, an intelligent person.
Krishna, and in that way realize happiness. Here also, The Lord says that the living entities are also known as
Lord Chaitanya in answering the questions of Sanatana ksetrajna, or "knower of the field of activities." In the
is repeating the same truth, but without giving him Gita in the 13th Chapter the living entity is described as
information of the spirit soul which is described in the ksetrajna, the body is described as the field of activities,
Gita. He begins from the point where Krishna ended and the living entity is the knower of that field. Although
20 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010
the living entity is constitutionally conversant with spiritual are a little enlightened are suffering less, but on the
energy, or has the potency of understanding, he is being whole, everyone is subjected to material miseries on
covered by the material energy, and he consequently account of being covered by the material energy. The
understands this body to be himself. This is called false Lord also quoted from the Gita, 7th Chapter, in which
ego. In material existence, under this false ego, the it is stated that earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind,
bewildered living entity is changing his different bodies intelligence, and ego, all combine together to form the
and suffering different kinds of miseries. The knowledge inferior energy of the Supreme Lord. But the Superior
of understanding his true position is present to various Energy is the real identity of the living entity; on account
extents in different varieties of living entities. In other of that energy the whole material world is working. The
words, it is to be understood that the living entity is part cosmic manifestation, made of material energy or
and parcel of the spiritual energy of the Supreme Lord. material elements, has no power to act unless it is
The material energy is inferior energy, and therefore moved by the superior energy, the living entity. So
man has the potency to uncover this material energy actually, the conditional life of the living entity is
and utilize the spiritual energy. It is stated in the forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Lord
Bhagavad-gita that the superior energy is covered by in superior energy. When that relationship is forgotten,
the inferior energy. Due to this covering, the living entity conditional life is the result. Only when man revives his
is subjected to the miseries of the material world, and, real identity, that of eternal servitor of the Lord, does he
according to the different degrees of obscuration, is become liberated.
proportionately suffering material miseries. Those who
Feb 25 Ekadashi Feb 20 Ratha Yatra in Bellary
Feb 26 break fast Feb 28 Sri Gaura Purnima
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Appearance
Mar 11 Ekadashi
fasting till moonrise
Mar 12 break fast
Mar 6 Ratha Yatra in Chennai
Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 21
Ratha Yatra in Bangalore
(Above) Devotees in Bangalore
participated in the annual Sri
Sri Krishna Balarama Ratha
Yatra in mid January.
(Left) Chief Guests His Holiness
Sri Sri Charumurthy Shivarudra
Mahaswamiji (Beli Math,
Bangalore) and Sri N. L.
Narendra Babu (MLA,
Bangalore) are seen here with
Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa,
at the inauguration.
22 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010
Ratha Yatra in Mangalore
The citizens of Mangalore were blessed with the
darshana of Their Lordships Sri Sri Krishna Balarama,
riding Their chariot during the annual Ratha Yatra
in mid January 2010.
The inauguration of the Ratha Yatra was held at the
A B Shetty Hall by Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, south
regional chief of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
(RSS), in the presence of Ajith Kumar Rai Malady,
President of the Federation of World Bunts’
Association and Madhu Pandit Dasa, President of
The chariot was drawn by the devotees on the streets
of the city, begining at the Bunts Hostel Circle. A
total of 18,000 packets of prasadam sweet and
puliogare were distributed to the devotees during
Vaikuntha Ekadashi Celebrations at Chennai
The Hare Krishna Movement’s temple at Chennai celebrated
Sri Vaikuntha Ekadashi with special alankara of the Dieties
of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama (above). Visitors to the temple
entered through the Vaikuntha Dvara (right). Devotees also
participated in the laksharchana.
Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 23
Vaikuntha Ekadashi Celebrations at Hubli
Sri Veeranna Mattikatti, Chairman, Legislative
Council Karnataka, inaugurated the Vaikuntha
Dvara at the Hubli ISKCON Temple. Renowned
Madhva scholar, Sri Narasimha Achar was present
(pic at bottom).
Around 10,000 people visited the temple to have
darshana of Lakshmi Narayana at the Vaikuntha
Dvara. There was a special alankara for Krishna
Balarama: Lord Krishna was adorned as four
handed Narayana (left).
Thousands of visiting devotees participated in the
laksharachana throughout the day (below).
24 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010
Kombu Mela on Makara Sankranthi
Radio Mirchi Bangalore (RM-B) presented ‘Kombu Mela’,
a cow fashion show at the ISKCON temple in Bangalore
on the occasion of Makara Sankranthi.
Ten teams of three each from colleges of Bangalore
strove to dress up cows with themes varying from the
basic ‘'Gow Mata’' by the Sindhi College to ‘'Astronaut”
from Seshadhripuram College, covering diverse subjects
that included Indian bridal dress to global warming and
One of the teams from Vogue Fashion Institute (VFI) was
awarded the first prize of Rs.10,000 for its ‘Beauty and
the Beast’ theme. The first runner up was also a team
from VFI with an ‘anti-plastic’ theme. The second runner-
up was “Astronaut’. The second prize was Rs. 7,500 and
the third prize Rs. 5,000. Other colleges that participated
included the fashion team from Surana College, KLE
College, Presidency College and City College.
The station had been announcing the contest on air for
some time, and, of the twenty five teams that applied,
ten were shortlisted based on innovativeness of the theme
that they proposed. The ten cows and the venue for the
contest were provided by ISKCON Bangalore.
Sandalwood lead actors Chetan and Regina of the film
‘Suryakaanthi’ were the judges for the event.
Sri Gavisiddheshwara Jatra Mahotsava 2010
Sri Gavi Math, at the foot of a hill on the east of
Koppal, North Karnataka, has a history of one
thousand years. At the annual Rathotsava this year,
Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa (President ISKCON-
Bangalore) was one of the chief guests. The chariot
festival was attended by thousands of devotees
from around the state.
Sri Ma. Ni. Pra. Ja. Gavisiddeshwara Maha Swamiji
of Gavi Math, Koppal welcomes Sri Madhu Pandit
Dasa to the festival (left).
Krishna Voice, Feb 2010 25
This is a unique programme
to feed poor children. During
our lifetime, we wish to see
the eradication of poverty.
In order to eradicate poverty,
hunger has to be eradicated.
In this drive to eradicate
hunger Akshaya Patra will
— Sri Sushil Kumar Modi
Deputy Chief Minister, Bihar
Andhra Bank donates food distribution vans
As a part of the Corporate Social
Responsibility initiative, Andhra Bank
Chairman and Managing Director
R. S. Reddy donated four food
distribution vans to The Akshaya
Patra Foundation, Hyderabad, which
can carry food to serve 20,000
26 Krishna Voice, Feb 2010
Krishna Voice Monthly Magazine, February 2010 Vol11, No.2 Price Rs 15/-
Posted on 5th or 10th of the Month at MBC, Manipal, License to post without prepayment No. WPP(CO-8), Reg No. KA/BGGPO
2521/ 2009-11, Registered with Registrar of Newspapers for India under No. RNI 71022/99, Posted at MBC, Manipal, 576104.