680522 - Lecture BG 08.05 - Boston
Prabhupāda: There is a story. In a cowshed there was fire. So after that incidence, the cow, as soon as the cow sees something red, oh, they began to disturb, "Oh, there is fire." Similarly, here, tasting the bitterness of so-called rascaldom, they think that Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is also similar rascaldom. So we shall begin? So when they have sent the file? Did you ask?
Brahmānanda: I think two days ago.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Then they might have received.
Prabhupāda: (plays karatālas) Jaya oṁ viṣṇu-pāda paramahaṁsa parivrājakācārya aṣṭottara-śata śrī śrīmad bhaktisiddhānta sarasvatī gosvāmī . . . (chants gurvaṣṭaka, kīrtana, prema-dhvani)
- om ajñāna-timirāndhasya
- cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
- tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
(I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.)
- sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
- svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
- dadāti sva-padāntikam
- vande 'haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
- śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
- sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
- śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca
In the Eighth Chapter, Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Kṛṣṇa says:
- anta-kāle ca mām eva
- smaran muktvā kalevaram
- yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
- yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ
- (BG 8.5)
Anta-kāle means "at the time of death." "At the time of death, one who remembers Me . . ." Anta-kāle ca mām eva. Mām eva. Mām eva means . . . eva means "certainly," and me means . . . mām means "me." "Certainly Me." The Supreme Personality of Godhead says, "Certainly Me." That means Kṛṣṇa, or Kṛṣṇa's expansion, the form—not formless. Mām. Formless . . . this is explained in the Twelfth Chapter, that kleśo 'dhikataras teṣām avyaktāsakta-cetasām (BG 12.5). One who is attached to the impersonal Brahman, then his business is troublesome. Kleśa. Kleśa means troublesome. Avyaktā hi gatir duḥkhaṁ dehavadbhir avāpyate. Dehavat. Because we are in this material body and our senses are not able to understand except something form. So if by artificial way I want to think of formless, it becomes a troublesome business.
Actually, God is not formless, but His form is different. Everything has form. Without form, there is nothing. Even the this smallest atom, it has got form. Just like in geometry, they describe a point has no length, no breadth—because the point is so small that our instrument, measuring instrument, fails to measure what is its length or breadth. Therefore they give it up that, "It has no length and no breadth." But actually, it is not a fact. It has got length and breadth, but we have no instrument, we have no power to see.
So spirit soul is aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān. Spirit soul is the greater than the greatest and it is the smaller than the smallest. So we cannot see the smallest; we cannot see the greatest. Greater than the greatest. We can think of the greatest, the sky, the expansion of the sky—unlimited. But such skies, God is so great that innumerable, millions and billions of skies are within Him. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated, yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya . . . (BS 5.30). Therefore we have to refer to the authoritative scripture to get knowledge. As I told you the other day, that transcendental knowledge has to be acquired by aural reception. There is no other way. Just like, practical. The geometrical calculation is that the sun, the dimension of the sun is many, many hundred, thousands of . . . greater than the earth. But we are seeing just like a disk. So our sense is unable to see how great it is. It is a material thing. So how we can see the greatness of God with these material eyes? It is not possible. As you are understanding about the sun by authoritative statement of the geometry, that this sun globe is so great, so many hundred thousands greater than the . . . but you are seeing just like a disk. So how to get the knowledge of the sun? By receiving through the ear. That's all. Simply you have to receive the knowledge from the authority. It is not that practically you are experimenting by going to the sun, that it is so great and so long, so broad. That is not possible. You have to receive such knowledge through authority. That's all.
So even for material understanding which is beyond our sense perception we have to receive knowledge from authority. Similarly, we cannot understand what is God. But from the authoritative sources we can understand that God is so great. Just like in the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya jīvanti loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ (BS 5.30)—that you see this universe, and in each universe there is a predominating demigod which is called Brahmā, or jagad-aṇḍa-nātha, the master of the universe. That master of the universe is living, only taking the duration of breathing of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Just like you are breathing, inhaling and exhaling. So when Mahā-Viṣṇu exhales, innumerable universes come out. And when He inhales, all these universes go into His body. So just imagine how great He is, how big He is. That is not conceivable with our limited sense. But if we believe, then you get the perfect knowledge. There is no doubt. If you don't believe, there is no other way. You cannot understand what is God, or what is His length, what is His breadth.
So whenever in the scripture it is said that God is without form, that means He has no form which we have got experience. But He has got form. Just the same example. When you cannot measure, you say a point has no length, no breadth. But actually, it is not a fact. The point has length and breadth. We have no instrument to measure it, that's all. Similarly, when as soon as we say "form," we understand this form. Just like I am seeing your form, you are seeing my form. So we understand that God may be a form, and because God also comes in this form also. Just like in Bhagavad-gītā it is said, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam: (BG 9.11) "Because I have come in the form of a(an) ordinary human being, they are deriding: 'How He can be God?' " So many scholars, so many philosophers, they deny to accept Kṛṣṇa, God. Why? Because He appears to be just like you and me, a human being. But God can appear in any way because He is all-powerful. He sometimes appears as fish; sometimes He appears as tortoise; sometimes He appears like a boar; sometimes He appears half-lion, half-man. Similarly sometimes He appears man, sometimes He appears as woman.
So we cannot restrict God that, "He cannot be like this. He cannot come here. He cannot take any shape." No. He is not under my restriction. Then how God is great? If I put God under my restricted knowledge or limited knowledge, then God becomes under my understanding. But the Vedic language says, avan mānasa-gocaraḥ. He's beyond the expression of words. He is beyond the conception of mind. He is greatest of the great, and the smallest of the small. How He's the smallest of the . . . we are also, because we are spirit spark. Now, do we know what is our measurement? That we can find in the śāstra. I have several times mentioned that one ten-thousandth part of the tip of your hair is the measurement of the soul. Now you have no instrument. You cannot measure even the tip of your hair, and what to speak of one-thou . . . ten-thousandth part of it. Impossible. Therefore because you cannot find out by dissecting this body where is that spirit spark . . . there is, but your present eyes cannot find it out. Therefore you say nirākāra, or no form. But actually, it has form.
We get information from the śāstras. Just like we get complete information of the sun globe from geography or from authoritative sources, scientist, astrologer, astronomer, mathematician, so similarly, you can get information what is the form of individual soul, what is the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are there. But His form is not like your form or my form. The Brahma-saṁhitā says, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (BS 5.30). His form is full of bliss, and full of knowledge, and eternal. But this body, this body, our body, is neither eternal, neither full of knowledge, neither blissful. So we can distinguish what is the form of God. Sac-cid-ānanda. Sat. Sat means eternal, cit means full of knowledge, and ānanda means full of blissfulness.
So this body is neither blissful, neither eternal, nor full of knowledge. It is full of ignorance and full of miseries and not permanent; temporary. So God hasn't got such body. Therefore sometimes it is said in the Vedic literature: formless. Formless means the form which you can conceive at the present moment, God hasn't got that form. But when He descends like you and me, that is His mercy. Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām (BG 4.8). He comes just to . . . being visible to our eyes. Just like this picture. This picture is not . . . it is not to be taken that He's not God, He is picture. The picture of God is also God. Picture of Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa. The sound, name Kṛṣṇa, that is also Kṛṣṇa. But just to give us facility to understand . . . you do not think that this picture of Kṛṣṇa is painted by some artist's imagination. No. It is not imagination. There is description in the scripture what is the form of Kṛṣṇa.
- veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ
- barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam
- govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
- (BS 5.30)
Veṇu means flute. He is playing on flute. Veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣam. Aravinda means lotus petal. His eyes are so nice, like lotus petal. Veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ barhāvataṁsam (BS 5.30). Barhāvataṁsam means the peacock feather. You'll find Kṛṣṇa and Viṣṇu, He is very fond of this peacock feather. Everywhere you'll find the peacock feather. Barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam. And His color is a cloud, darkish cloud. Asita, asitāmbuda. Ambuda means cloud and asita means blackish. Sundarāṅgam. But still, He is so beautiful . . . veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam, kandarpa-koṭi (BS 5.30). He is so beautiful that He surpasses the beauty of millions of Cupid. Cupid is supposed to be very beautiful. It impels lust, Cupid. So He is many more thousands times beautiful than Cupid. Kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobham (BS 5.30). Viśeṣa-śobham. He has got His particular beauty. Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. In this way there are description.
So according to the description, these pictures are drawn. It is not imagination. So this form is factual. It is not imagination. The Māyāvāda philosophers, impersonalists, they answer the Bhagavad-gītā's word that kleśo 'dhikataras teṣām avyaktāsakta-cetasām . . . (BG 12.5). One who is attached to impersonal views, their process of meditation or execution of spiritual activities is very troublesome. Now, therefore Māyāvāda philosopher, they say that "God has no form. But because you cannot meditate upon the formless, so you just imagine any form you like." So God is not subjected to your imagination. That is not God's form. If we imagine something . . . and that has been degraded. Śaṅkarācārya limited such imaginative forms to five only. Five. What is that five? Viṣṇu, Lord Śiva, and Sun, and Gaṇeśa, and Devī, Durgā. He limited that, "Any of these five forms you can meditate upon, you worship. And ultimately, it is formless." But at the present moment, unauthorized person has degraded in such a way that, "You can imagine any form. You can imagine even stool." They say like that. You see.
So . . . so neither God is limited to any five imaginative forms or this form or that form. His form nobody can imagine, neither He is within our perception. But He is as He is. Paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto mama bhūta-maheśvaram (BG 9.11). Therefore we have to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead from authoritative sources, just like the Bhagavad-gītā. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself speaking, "What I am." This is the science of God. If we take Him as He is saying, then we become perfect knower of God. There is no difficulty. But if we deny, then we are in difficulty. Those who have accepted Kṛṣṇa as He is, God as He is, they have attained perfection also. It is practical. Not that we are. There are millions and billions followers of Kṛṣṇa in India. Not only ordinary followers. Just like many great stalwarts, educationists, I mean to say, saintly person like Śaṅkarācārya, Madhvācārya, Rāmānujācārya, great educated and learned scholars, they have accepted. Lord Caitanya has accepted. And . . . there are so many others also. And there are millions and millions of temples of Kṛṣṇa. They are being worshiped by millions and billions of devotees still. Still, if you go some Kṛṣṇa temple in South India, you'll find thousands of thousands of people always assembled. You have no imagination. You see? In Jaipur temple, Jaipur temple, the king's palace . . . within the king's palace there is Jaipur temple. So whenever you go in that Jaipur temple, you'll find at least one thousand men assembled. At least. If you go Jagannātha Purī, you'll find at least two thousand men, daily coming and going. If you go to Vṛndāvana, you'll find at least five thousand men, daily coming and going. So . . . and in Vṛndāvana itself there are five thousand temples. Out of that only seven or eight temples are very big temples. Other . . . other wor . . . in other words, each and every house is Kṛṣṇa temple. So it is not that . . . somebody asked me, "How many there are in India Kṛṣṇa conscious people?" Oh, the Kṛṣṇa conscious men in India, at least, the Hindus, oh, they are ninety percent, at least, all Kṛṣṇa conscious.
So His form . . . His form, His name, His quality, His pastimes—everything transcendental. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, anta-kāle ca mām eva. Mām eva (BG 8.5). "Only unto Me." If you simply practice the Kṛṣṇa's form to see . . . just like if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, at once you see the form of Kṛṣṇa within your mind. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says: "One who is thinking of Me, Kṛṣṇa, always, He is the greatest yogi." He's the greatest yogi. Yoginām api sarveṣām. There are many kinds of yogis, but Kṛṣṇa says that, "Of all the yogis . . ." Yoginām api sarveṣām. Sarveṣām means you can count as many millions of yogis. But of all them, all of them . . . yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā: (BG 6.47) "One who is always thinking of Me," antar-ātmanā, "within himself, within the heart, within the mind," śraddhāvān, "with faith and love," bhajate yo mām . . . bhajate means engaged in devotional service. "Kṛṣṇa, please be kind upon me. I am fallen. Kindly accept me." This is yoga. That's all. Very simple thing. "Kṛṣṇa, I am in . . ."
That Lord Caitanya has said. Ayi nanda-tanuja. He has especially mentioned nanda-tanuja, "Oh, the son of Mahārāja Nanda." Because in Vṛndāvana Kṛṣṇa appeared Himself as the cowherd boy, son of Mahārāja Nanda. So Lord Caitanya is teaching us, ayi nanda-tanuja: "Oh, the beloved son of Mahārāja Nanda." Ayi nanda-tanuja patitaṁ kiṅkaraṁ mām. "I am Your eternal servant. Now, somehow or other, I am fallen into this material existence." Ayi nanda-tanuja patitaṁ kiṅkaraṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau, the great ocean of material existence. Don't you see the biggest, outer space? It is . . . what to speak of ocean. We cannot compare with even ocean. So many millions of oceans can be pushed in this space, of material space. So patitaṁ kiṅkaraṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau kṛpayā, "By Your causeless mercy," kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja-sthita-dhūlī-sadṛśaṁ vicintaya. Paṅkaja. Paṅkaja means a lotus flower. A lotus flower, you'll find some dust, saffron. So the devotee is praying that, "As in the lotus flower there are so many dusts, You kindly accept me as one of the particles of that dust."
So this is very nice. Bhakti-yoga. Simply surrender and pray. And that is the best and the highest type of yoga. If you accept this Bhagavad-gītā, if you believe in this Bhagavad-gītā, if you follow the footprints of great personalities who have followed this Bhagavad-gītā, then your life is perfect. There is no doubt about it. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You cannot . . . Everyone is following the footprints of great personalities in every department of knowledge. Even scientific, scientific . . . ah . . . scientists, they are also following the law of gravitation, basing their further progress on the law of gravitation. There are so many laws. How the laws are there they do not know, but that law is found out and scientific advancement is going on. So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. So as in the material field also we are following the great personalities and authorities, similarly, in spiritual realization, if you follow the great personalities . . . there are specifically mentioned, the great personalities in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. If you cannot find out who is great personality, the list is there. And who are they?
- svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
- kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
- prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
- balir vaiyāsakir vayam
- (SB 6.3.20)
They're given there. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja. Prahlāda Mahārāja is a great authority in the devotional service. A five-years-old boy, he was chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. His only fault was that. His father became enemy. His father insistently wanted, "You stop this nonsense, Hare Kṛṣṇa." He would not. So the father wanted to kill him—put him into so many tortures. At last he came out successful, and he was blissful. So therefore he is mahājana. In spite of so much tortures by his father, he did not give it up. Similarly, if we stick to the principle, as it was done by great personalities, Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Nārada, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja . . . their stories, their life history is there everywhere in the Purāṇas.
So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to accept the path of great personalities. Otherwise, if we want to understand the Absolute Truth simply by arguments and logic, oh it will never be achieved.
- athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-
- prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi
- jānāti tattvaṁ bhagavan-mahimno
- na cānya eko 'pi ciraṁ vicinvan
- (SB 10.14.29)
The path of spiritual realization is for him who has a slight mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta. Prasāda means mercy—leśa, a slight. If one has achieved a slight benediction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can understand what he is. Na cānya eko 'pi. And others, eko 'pi. Those who have not achieved that causeless mercy, na cānya eko . . . ciraṁ vicinvan. For lives together, if they go on contemplating and meditating and speculating, it is not possible. It is not possible. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). After such so-called meditation and so-called speculation . . . that is also valid, but it takes long, long, long way. They are not rejected, but our life is very short, especially in this age. Our intelligence is very short. We cannot perform real meditation. We cannot perform the preliminary activities. Yama niyama āsana prāṇāyāma. It is not possible at the present moment. So those principles are not rejected, but it is not possible at the present moment. Therefore Lord Caitanya says, harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam (CC Adi 17.21). As soon as you chant this transcendental vibration, Hare Kṛṣṇa, immediately the form of Kṛṣṇa is within yourself, without yourself. And here in the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says, anta-kāle ca mām eva smaran muktvā kalevaram (BG 8.5). "One who at the time of death simply thinks of Me," smaran, "simply by remembering," muktvā, "immediately he becomes liberated." Muktvā kalevaram, yaḥ prayāti. "Anyone who passes away from this body . . ." So what is the result? Yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvam. Mad-bhāvam means he gets the next body just like Kṛṣṇa. That means that sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (BS 5.30), eternal body, blissful life, and full of knowledge. Yaḥ prayāti sa mad . . . yāti. He attains, yāti. Nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ (BG 8.5). Do not be doubtful. It is fact.
How it is fact? The next verse says . . . it is not a fact because somebody is thinking of Kṛṣṇa, he gets a body like Kṛṣṇa and goes to the Kṛṣṇa's abode. But it is the general rule. What is that? Yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram (BG 8.6). Anyone, at the time of his death, the mind, being absorbed by some kinds of thought, so he gets the body. And there are instances. Just like Bharata Mahārāja. Bharata Mahārāja, he was a great king, but at an early age, only—he was only twenty-four years old—he gave up his kingdom. Bharata Mahārāja means the king by whose name India is called Bhāratavarṣa. Not only India—this whole planet was known as Bhāratavarṣa. Gradually, it is declined. Just like recently we have partitioned, Pakistan. Similarly, the whole planet was known as Bhāratavarṣa. So anyway, that Bharata Mahārāja, at the time of his death, he had a pet deer. He thought of the deer and he became next life a deer. Therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa says that "It is not that because you think of Me you get a body like Me, but it is the general rule. If you think . . . at the time of your death, whatever you think, you carry the idea with your mind and you get the immediately a similar body." That means you are put into the womb of a mother to get a similar body. So instead of thinking of Kṛṣṇa always, if we think of our dog, as Bharata Mahārāja was thinking of the deer, oh, there is risk of getting a dog's body.
- yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
- tyajaty ante kalevaram
- taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya . . .
- (BG 8.6)
"My dear Arjuna, he gets a similar body," sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ, "because he is always thoughtful of that particular body."
So this practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ. If you always think of Kṛṣṇa, naturally, you will think at the time of death Kṛṣṇa. And the result will be next life you get a body like Kṛṣṇa.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Any questions?
Devotee: I'm not sure that I understand the process by which one might be thinking of something in his mind, and how that soul is put into a body similar to what that thought is. In other words, how can the soul be subject to what the mind is thinking of?
Prabhupāda: Because soul is now covered by the subtle body and the gross body. When the gross body stops to work . . . just like at night the gross body is lying, but the subtle body mind is working. Therefore you are dreaming. The subtle body is working. So when you give up this body, your subtle body, mind, intelligence, that carries you very fine. Just like the flavor is carried by the air. If the air passes on some rose trees, the air becomes flavored like rose. There is no rose, but the flavor is there. Similarly, the flavor of your mentality, the flavor of your understanding, is carried. That is the subtle body. And you get a similar body. Therefore at the time of death the examination is tested, how one has advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The best thing is . . . it is said in the next verse, tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu (BG 8.7). Kṛṣṇa says, tasmāt sarveṣu . . . (break) . . . of death you are transferred to a body like Kṛṣṇa in the abode of Kṛṣṇa.
Indian man: Supposing there is a person who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious during his life, but at the time of death he becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then what his body . . .?
Prabhupāda: He goes to Kṛṣṇa.
Indian man: So that we can perform bad actions during our life and only at . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes, if you are so fortunate . . . just like Ajāmila. Throughout the whole life he committed all sinful acts. But when he was at the point of death . . . he had a pet child whose name was Nārāyaṇa. So he was calling, "My dear boy Nārāyaṇa." So when he was calling Nārāyaṇa, he thought of Nārāyaṇa. So immediately he achieved Nārāyaṇa.
Indian man: But don't you think it is a contradiction that if a man is a bad throughout his life and only at the time of death he thinks of Kṛṣṇa and gets . . .?
Prabhupāda: No. That history of Ajāmila is different. In his childhood he was a son of a brāhmaṇa. He was faithfully discharging the duties of a brāhmaṇa. But accidentally, when he was young . . . he was married also. Accidentally, when he was young he was passing on the road and some śūdra girl and boy were embracing and kissing, and he became attracted. And he became attracted by the prostitute. And he left home, wife, and everything, and then he became a great dacoit and smuggler, and everything he did. But . . . and he had so many children. Youngest was Nārāyaṇa. So at the time of death . . . because generally, people become attached to the youngest son, so he was calling "Nārāyaṇa." But he remembered, "Oh, that Nārāyaṇa." Reference to the context. As soon as he called Nārāyaṇa . . . in his boyhood he served Nārāyaṇa under the direction of his father, so he remembered Nārāyaṇa. Therefore it is not always possible, but therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt. If somebody has executed devotional service even a little bit, oh, it may be, it can save him from the greatest danger.
Devotee: I don't understand. I don't see how man in one life can achieve a level of consciousness that he could sit with Kṛṣṇa. Don't you have to go through a change, I mean, according to what you do in your life? Don't you either have to be elevated, stay the same, or return . . .?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That elevation you can achieve immediately simply by changing your consciousness. What do you mean by elevation? A man is called uneducated and another man is called very learned. What is that? He has practiced how to become educated. That's all. Similarly you practice. Here is the practice. And you become elevated. There is no, I mean to say, impediment. Anyone can elevate himself immediately. There is no question of waiting. Because the process of change is going on. If you accept the change immediately, and then you follow, you become elevated.
Guest: If a person experiences difficulty attaining a level of consciousness of God . . .
Guest: If a person experiences difficulty attaining a level of consciousness of God, how to counteract that?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Difficulty is there always. Even you go to a school there are so many difficulties. But if you practice with vow and rigidity, you become successful. Difficulties may be there. In every field of our activities there are difficulties. You cannot say . . . this world is full of difficulties. So difficulties may be there, but you have to struggle against the difficulties and you have to adopt the process. Then your difficulties will be over. It is not that, "Because there is difficulty I shall refrain from it." No. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo 'tha bhajana-kriyā tato 'nartha . . . (CC Madhya 23.14-15). These are process. Just like you have come here with some śraddhā—with some faith, "Oh, here is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Let me sit down. Let me hear." This is the preliminary stage. If you become little serious, then you come daily and try to understand what is this. This is called sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83). Then, gradually, as these boys, they offered themselves, "Swamiji, I want to be your regular student, initiate." Third stage. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo 'tha bhajana-kriyā (CC Madhya 23.14-15). And if he follows the rules and regulation, gradually the difficulties are over. Anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. And when the difficulties are over, then he gets faith—tato niṣṭhā. He gets taste—tato ruciḥ. Athāsaktiḥ, then attachment. Then bhāva, ecstasy, and the highest perfection after that. So difficulty may be there. We are in difficulties, this material life. But we have to come over. That is required. It is not that you cannot come over the difficulties. In every step of our life there are difficulties. The material life is like that. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām (SB 10.14.58). In every step there is danger. It is a place like that. Even if you are comfortable in a nice car, you are going, oh, there may be any moment accident. You are going in a plane, there may be any moment accident. Even you are sitting here, there may be accident. So difficulties, this world is full of difficulties. One who does not understand this difficult position, he's a fool. If one thinks that, "I am very comfortable," then he's a fool. This is animal life, just as animal thinks, "Oh, I am very comfortable. I am very nice." And dissatisfaction is human life. He's not happy unless he gets the greatest happiness. That is human life. And if he thinks, "Yes, I am well off. I am very happy," then he is animal. Because there is no happiness here. Full of distress. Full of miseries. How he says that "I am happy"? That means he is ignorant. So difficulties are there. You have to work out. That is the problem.
Mādhavī-latā: Swamiji, in last night's initiation you gave me my spiritual name. Could you tell me tonight what that name means?
Prabhupāda: You have forgotten? (chuckles) Mādhavī-latā. Why don't you like it? Mādhavī-latā.
Jadurāṇī: She asked what it means, Swamiji. She asked what it means.
Prabhupāda: Mādhavī-latā. Oh, Mādhavī-latā is a plant which was very much liked by Kṛṣṇa, Mādhavī-latā. It is a flower plant, Mādhavī-latā, and Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā used to take pleasure underneath that plant. So anything related with Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa. Any other question?
Devotee or Guest: I have a question about the, taking a body of Kṛṣṇa after death if you're thinking of Kṛṣṇa at the time of death, or taking the body of a dog or a deer if you're thinking about that sort of thing when you die. There must be different kinds of taking of a body, because there are different kinds of bodies. The bodies of dogs and deers and things are not the same as the body of Kṛṣṇa. Now, how do you take on this form of Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: By thinking of Kṛṣṇa.
Guest: No, what I mean is how does the soul assume this form? How does it become . . .
Prabhupāda: Not become Kṛṣṇa. Just like you are spirit soul. When you take the body of a certain type of body, you act according to the body. Just like the dog is acting differently from human body because he has got a different body. Hog is acting differently because he has got a different body. So there are 8,400,000's of different bodies. So mad-bhāva, mad-bhāva means the nature, Kṛṣṇa's nature. You keep your individuality, but you get Kṛṣṇa's nature. And what is Kṛṣṇa's nature? Kṛṣṇa's nature is always blissful. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). Always joyful. So you get a body of joyful, full of knowledge, and eternal. Not that you become Kṛṣṇa. You get exactly the same bodily constitution as Kṛṣṇa has got. That is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (BS 5.30). As we are, even at the present moment, we are particle Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is vibhu, the whole. We are aṇu, we are small. Similarly, as now we have got this material body, if we pass our life in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we get our spiritual body, which is not different from the soul. A clear example: just like a man put into the water is raised from the water and placed in the land. So in the land he is happy. Similarly, because we are spirit soul, we are in a very unfavorable condition of this material world. As soon as we perfect ourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we get into the spiritual platform or body or atmosphere.
Guest: I have one more question. If in taking on a body like Kṛṣṇa we assume a nature like Kṛṣṇa's nature . . .
Guest: When you say taking on the body of a dog or a cat or a pig or whatever, is this also . . . do you mean literally a body like a pig, or do you mean the nature of a pig or dog or cat?
Prabhupāda: No. Here the body and the soul different. The soul is spirit, and the body is matter. But when you attain a body like Kṛṣṇa's, that means that is spiritual body. There is no difference between the soul and the body. Here there is difference between soul and body. But in the spiritual world there is no difference between soul and body.
Guest (2): Swami, are we now . . . are we all part of Kṛṣṇa and at the time of death if we think of Kṛṣṇa, like we become what? Like meshed in with Kṛṣṇa? Like now we're, say, suspended within Kṛṣṇa. But at the time of death, if we think of Him we merge. Is that what you're saying?
Prabhupāda: Yes. You merge means you merge into the spiritual existence, but that does not mean you lose your individuality. You are already merged in the matter. We are all merged. Now your soul, my soul, his soul, you cannot distinguish where is the soul. But body, the material body, we have got everyone. But in spite of our being merged in the matter, we have got our individuality. Similarly, to become merged in spiritual existence does not mean that we lose our individuality. Try to understand. Just like we are all merged into the matter. If you dissect my body, you won't find where is that small particle spirit. It is already merged, but still, we have got individuality. That means spirit soul is individual. Otherwise, so far your body is concerned, my body is concerned, there is blood, you have got blood; you have got muscle, I have got muscle; you have got bones, I have got bones. What is the difference? But why you are individual, I am individual? Because the spirit soul is individual. We are merged in the matter but we keep our individuality. Similarly, you merge in the spirit, you keep your individuality. How can you lose your individuality?
Guest (2): Yes.
Guest (2): Your individuality, you mean?
Prabhupāda: Yes. You are individual always. Just try to understand your present position.
Guest: I . . . I'm trying . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Yes. You are merged in the matter. I am merged into the matter. But still you keep your individuality, I keep my individuality. Similarly, when you merge in the spirit, why the individuality should be stopped? Only difference is, at the present moment the soul and the matter, they qualitatively different. And when you get spiritual body, the quality of the body and the soul is the same. But individuality must continue. How can you stop individuality? But that individuality and this individuality is different. In that individuality there is no disagreement. In this individuality there is always disagreement. Therefore in spite of individuality, there is oneness.
So individuality will continue. There is . . . if there is no display of individuality, then you'll have to come back again to this display of individuality in the material world. Because everyone . . . individual means he has got his own choice. If I tell you that, "You can come here, but you haven't got any choice," then you won't like to sit down here. You can sit down here, you can go out immediately. That's your choice. But if I make the condition that, "You can sit down here without your choice," oh, you will hate to come here. "Oh, I don't care for your meeting." That is individuality. But that choice may be very nice, and that choice may be very bad. That is different thing. But you have got your choice. That is individuality. So in the spiritual world the choice is there to serve Kṛṣṇa. Somebody is thinking, "I shall serve Kṛṣṇa like this." Somebody is thinking, "I shall love Kṛṣṇa like this." The choice is there. The individuality is there. But the center is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore there is no disagreement.
Just like in this world there may be dozens of parties. They may fight with one another, but the center is nationalism. Therefore those parties are not null and void. They're accepted by the government. They may be fighting with one another with aims and objects, but because their point is nationalism, they are accepted. There is the agreement. Similarly, in the service of Kṛṣṇa, there may be individuality, the choice of individuality may be, but the center being Kṛṣṇa, that is absolute. There are many authoritative books, means Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Prīti-sandarbha. But generally, if you simply try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any malinterpretation, then you get all information of these things.
Just like here Kṛṣṇa advises, yudhya ca mām anusmara: (BG 8.7) "You go on fighting. Because you cannot stop your fighting because you are a soldier." But mām anusmara, "At the same time you think of Me." This is the secret, that nobody can stop his activities, but he can think of Kṛṣṇa at the same time. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I have given several times the example that a woman who is in love with other man in spite of her husband, she is very mindful to the household duties, but she is always thinking, "When at night I shall meet with my friend?" Yudhya ca mām anusmara (BG 8.7). Apparently, she is very busy, very nicely she's performing her household duties, but at mind, oh, she is always thinking of the lover, when she will meet. As it is possible, why not Kṛṣṇa? Is it very difficult? Meditation, perfect meditation. Always, twenty-four hours. You cannot forget Kṛṣṇa. Just like a lover cannot forget beloved. So you have to contact Kṛṣṇa in love, then the meditation continues for twenty-four hours.
Bhaktijana: The Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, is he nice? Do you know Rabindranath Tagore?
Prabhupāda: Yes, why not.
Bhaktijana: Is he a nice poet?
Prabhupāda: He is nice poet from materialistic point of view. That's all. To satisfy the materialistic person. He is not a nice poet from spiritualistic point of view. We have nothing to do with him. (chuckles) We have to do with the poet like Vyāsadeva. Don't you see how nicely he has written Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam? There is no comparison, even from the literary point of view. He is perfect poet. Lokasyājānato vidvāṁś cakre sātvata-saṁhitām, anarthopaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje, lokasya ajānataḥ . . . (SB 1.7.6). People do not know this, that to get out of the clutches of māyā, all this nonsense, the only thing is bhakti-yogam. And people do not know it. Lokasyājānato vidvāṁś cakre sātvata-saṁhitām. The greatest poet, vidvān, learned Vyāsadeva, has written this Bhāgavatam. So he is the greatest poet.
Devotee: Swamiji, while it's true that anyone who thinks of Kṛṣṇa as he is dying can take on the body of Kṛṣṇa, is it not true that if you don't spend your life thinking of Kṛṣṇa, it may be difficult at the time of death to remember Him because of attachment?
Prabhupāda: Certainly. If you don't practice, then at the time of examination, certainly you'll fail. (chuckles) If you say: "All right. I shall see in the examination hall. I shall write everything nice," that is nonsense. You have to study nicely before the examination. Therefore it is said, yudhya ca mām anusmara (BG 8.7). Practice it. Abhyāsa-yoga-yuktena. What is yoga? Yoga means practice. Abhyāsa-yoga-yuktena cetasā nānya-gāminā (BG 8.8). Yoga means you do not allow your mind to go anywhere else. Just try to engage. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18). Always fix up in Kṛṣṇa. That is the highest type of yoga. All right. Question finished? Let us chant. (kirtana) (end)