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QfE 7 Love of God, the Ultimate Goal

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The Yoga of Pure Attachment

Here Śrīla Prabhupāda describes the perfection of yoga: "Why does the river flow to the sea? It is simply natural; there is no artificial reason why it flows there. Similarly, when our love for Kṛṣṇa will glide down like that, without any personal motive, we will have achieved perfection in yoga." (June 1972, San Diego, California)

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, 'Now hear, O son of Pṛthā, how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with your mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt'" (Bhagavad-gītā 7.1).

The yoga system Kṛṣṇa mentions here is very simple and sublime. You have to simply engage your mind in thinking only of Kṛṣṇa, of the form of Kṛṣṇa. And how should you think of Him? With attachment (āsakti). If you love somebody, you always want to see him; your attachment is so strong that if you don't see him you become restless. Different people have different attachments, but attachment is always there.

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has explained very simply how we should be attached to God. He says, "My dear Lord, as a young man awakens his attachment immediately upon seeing a young girl, or as a young girl becomes attracted as soon as she sees a young boy, let me become attached to You." This kind of attachment is natural. Nobody has to go to the university to learn it.

Simply by seeing a young girl, a young boy thinks, "Oh, here is a nice, beautiful girl." And a young girl thinks, "Oh, here is a nice, beautiful boy." Similarly, we should think, "Oh, here is Kṛṣṇa, here are topics about Kṛṣṇa, here is Kṛṣṇa's temple."

Another example is that our attachment should flow toward Kṛṣṇa like the current of a river. A river automatically flows down to the sea. Just as the river is flowing toward the sea spontaneously, without any artificial attempt, our love should spontaneously flow toward Kṛṣṇa, or God. That is the perfection of yoga.

Yoga means "connection." In the beginning we may revive our connection with Kṛṣṇa artificially, but when that connection comes spontaneously, without any check, just like the river water going down incessantly to the sea, then we will be perfect in yoga. Nobody can check the flowing river. Why does the river flow to the sea? It is simply natural; there is no artificial reason why it flows there. Similarly, when our love for Kṛṣṇa will glide down like that, without any personal motive, we will have achieved perfection in yoga.

Spontaneous love for God does not depend on any external cause. Its only cause is the love itself. Therefore it is called ahaitukī. Ahaitukī means "without any cause or motive." Generally people go to a temple or church with a personal motive to fulfill. For example, the Christians go to church and pray, "God, give us our daily bread." The motive is the desire for bread. But when you go to church without any motive except to glorify God, that is real love. Of course, it is also nice to think, "God will give me bread; therefore let me go to church." But this motivated faith may be lost. If we approach God for some material benefit, our faith in Him may break at any time. So that is not the platform of real love of God. Real love is without personal motivation.

And this love is also apratihatā, "unable to be checked." Real love for God cannot be checked by any material condition. Nobody should say, "Because I am a poor man I have to work very hard, so I cannot love God now." People often talk like that: "I shall wait. When I get millions of dollars in my bank account I shall take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now let me earn money." This is not bhakti. This is not attachment to Kṛṣṇa.

Here Kṛṣṇa says we should practice yoga under His protection (mad-āśrayaḥ). This means we must take shelter of Kṛṣṇa or His representative and try to practice that yoga by which we will attain spontaneous love for Kṛṣṇa. So, to awaken that attachment there are some regulative principles we must follow. For instance, we say, "No illicit sex." The Vedic system teaches that one who wants to have sex must get married and live according to religious principles. Then the husband and the wife can satisfy their desire for sex by begetting good children. There is no prohibition against sex; it is allowed. But not illicit sex. Engaging in illicit sex means you increase your attachment for sex, not Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is forbidden.

Also, no meat-eating. Meat- or fish- or egg-eating - any nonvegetarian diet - is simply an attachment of the tongue. Nobody dies from not eating meat. That's a fact. When we were babies we depended on milk, either our mother's breast-milk or cow's milk. Therefore the cow is also our mother. Just as we drink breast-milk from our mother, we drink milk from mother cow. You must not kill your mother; that is a great sin. Therefore meat-eating is prohibited. But people have become so sinful that they do not consider, "When I was young this cow supplied her blood in the form of milk to feed me, to keep me alive. But now that I am grown up, I am so ungrateful that I am going to kill her and eat her flesh." This is the advancement of modern education: that people have learned how to kill their mother.

In every religion, killing is prohibited or very much restricted. In the Christian religion you have the commandment "Thou shalt not kill." But nearly everyone is violating this commandment. Then where is your claim to being a Christian? If you violate the injunction given by Lord Jesus Christ, how can you claim to be a Christian? That is our question. And even if one is not a Christian, killing is most sinful and should be avoided as far as possible.

Your first business in life is to increase your spontaneous attachment for God. That is the primary business of human life, because only in the human form of life can you do that. And as soon as you increase your attachment for Kṛṣṇa, your life is successful. "Successful" means that you won't have to accept any more material bodies. You will get a spiritual body and go to Kṛṣṇa - back home, back to Godhead. Therefore, if you increase your attachment for Kṛṣṇa, the benefit is that you make a solution to all the problems of your life.

To increase your attachment for Kṛṣṇa, in the beginning you have to follow some regulative principles, some restrictions. For instance, a doctor will prescribe a treatment: "Don't eat this. Don't do this." And he will say, "Do this." Similarly, in Kṛṣṇa consciousness there are so many do's and don't's. We have to accept the do's and avoid the don't's (ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlyasya varjanam). This is how to cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness favorably. We have to accept only those things favorable for awakening our attachment for Kṛṣṇa, and reject everything else.

So, if illicit sex is unfavorable for your advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you must reject it. You cannot argue. That will not help you. Similarly, you must reject intoxication, meat-eating, and gambling. Illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication, and gambling - these are the four pillars of sinful life. The roof of sinful life is held up by these four pillars. In the beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, when you are actually going to take Kṛṣṇa consciousness seriously, you must give up these four pillars of sinful life.

Today some souls will be initiated. This means that they are going to take up Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously. So, the first business of one who is serious to take up Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to break these four pillars of sinful life. Then there will be no chance of sin. As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.28),

yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām
te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ

"One who has given up sinful activity and is simply engaging in pious activity - such a person is unbewildered and attains firm faith in Kṛṣṇa consciousness."

What are pious activities? first is yajña, performing some sacrifice. For example, today we are holding a fire sacrifice. Then another pious activity is giving charity for spreading Kṛṣṇa's propaganda. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is making propaganda, so we require money. Money is Kṛṣṇa's energy. Everyone is holding Kṛṣṇa's money, and the sooner they spare some of that money for the sake of Kṛṣṇa, the better off they'll be. Suppose I am holding your money illegally. If I give it back to you, I become released from my criminal activities. Or suppose I have stolen something from your pocket and then I feel the pain of my conscience: "Oh, this stealing is not good." So, as soon as I return it to you, the thing is settled. But if I hold on to it, I am a criminal and will be punished. Similarly, all those persons who are holding Kṛṣṇa's money, not returning it to Kṛṣṇa, are criminals. And they will be punished.

How will they be punished? That we have seen. Recently there was a war between Pakistan and India. So, according to one's capacity, everyone in India had to contribute money to the war effort. All the rich men had to contribute fifty lakhs of rupees (about half a million dollars). Many millions of rupees were collected and used to produce gunpowder - Svāhā!*

So, if you don't execute this svāhā, you will have to execute that svāhā. The Vietnam War is going on - Svāhā! So many young men - Svāhā! So much money - Svāhā! Therefore, better learn how to make a svāhā for Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise you will have to make a svāhā for māyā (illusion).

So, one must perform sacrifice and give in charity for Kṛṣṇa. Then there is tapasya. Tapasya means voluntarily accepting all kinds of restrictive principles. Now we are addicted to all kinds of nonsense, but unless you stop all nonsensical activities, you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you want to be serious, you must give them up.

In this way we have to increase our attachment for Kṛṣṇa. And if we increase our attachment for Kṛṣṇa, we will reach the perfection of yoga. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the topmost yoga system. As Kṛṣṇa states in the Bhagavad-gītā (6.47), yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntarātmanā ... sa me yuktatamo mataḥ: "Of all yogis, one who is always thinking of Me is the best." You can always think of someone if you're attached to him. Otherwise, you cannot. It's not possible. If you love somebody, you will always see his picture, his form, in your mind. Always. As it is said in the Vedic literature, premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti (Bs. 5.38). We have to purify our eyes so we can see God within, and that purification is possible when we apply the ointment of love of God to our eyes daily. A doctor may prescribe that we apply some ointment to improve our eyesight. Similarly, you will see God when your vision is clarified by premāñjana, the ointment of love of God.

So, you must practice how to love Kṛṣṇa. First you have to rise early in the morning. You don't like to, but you think, "I will rise early to satisfy Kṛṣṇa." This is the beginning. Then, "I have to chant sixteen rounds of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra on my beads." You may be lazy, you may not want to do it, but if you want to love Kṛṣṇa you must do it. You must do it. In the beginning you have to learn how to love Kṛṣṇa, but when you actually come to the state of love of God there is no question of "have to." You will spontaneously follow the regulative principles, because love is there.

Learning to love Kṛṣṇa is something like developing love in our ordinary affairs. If I love a girl, I will give her a flower or other present. This is one of the six exchanges of love: you have to give a gift to your beloved. You also have to accept gifts from him (dadāti pratigṛhṇāti). Then guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati: opening one's mind to the beloved. Guhyam means "very confidential things," and ākhyāti means "disclosing." You must disclose your innermost thoughts to your beloved, and he'll disclose his innermost thoughts to you. Then bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva - giving the lover something to eat and accepting food from him. These are the six ways of increasing love. If you act in these ways with Kṛṣṇa, you will develop love for Him.

Now we are taking so many things from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is giving us everything; all our necessities are being supplied by Him (eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān). It is not possible to manufacture fruits, flowers, and grains in a factory. Kṛṣṇa is giving them to us. So, we are living at the cost of Kṛṣṇa, and if after cooking the grains we do not offer them to Kṛṣṇa, is that very gentlemanly?

In the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we cook food and then offer it to Kṛṣṇa. What is wrong with this? The rascals say, "These Kṛṣṇa conscious people are heathens because they offer food to a stone." Just see! These rascals are less intelligent. They do not know that God eats. As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.26),

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

"When My devotee offers Me something within the categories of vegetables, grains, fruits, and water or milk, I eat it, because he has brought it with devotion and love." The devotee thinks, "Kṛṣṇa, You have given us so many nice foodstuffs, and I have cooked them. You please partake of the preparations first." This is love.

Suppose your father has given you many things, and you feel obliged to him. So when you cook something you will give it to him first, saying, "My dear father, I have cooked this. It is very nice, so please you eat it first." He will answer, "Oh, it is very nice? All right, give some to me." He will be so pleased with you. Actually, what you cook is already your father's property, so you cannot really give anything to him. Similarly, you don't actually have anything to offer to Kṛṣṇa. But if you become a little intelligent, you will offer Him back what already belongs to Him and in this way develop your love for Him. If you remain a rascal and steal God's property, your human life is spoiled, but if you become a little intelligent and offer everything back to Him, your life is successful.

God is giving us our daily bread, so why not offer it to Him first? That is intelligence. And rascaldom is to think, "God is giving me bread, so I shall eat it. That's all. I am meant only for eating." And why not for offering? We should feel gratitude toward God: "God has given me this bread, so let me offer it to Him first. Then I may eat." What is wrong with this idea? What is the loss? But the lowest of mankind do not even know that because God has given them something to eat, they should first offer it to Him before eating. And when you offer something to Kṛṣṇa, to God, He will eat it but then leave everything for you as prasādam. This is God's power.

So, bhakti-yoga, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the process that will increase your attachment for Kṛṣṇa. We do not say, "Christians are bad, Hindus are good." No, we don't say that. We simply say, "Now in this human form of life, learn how to love God. For so long you have loved dog, now try to love God." That is our propaganda. We don't criticize anyone; we simply want to see whether he has developed his love for God. That's all. You can do it as a Christian, as a Hindu, or as a Muslim. We don't care. But we want to see whether you're actually a lover of God. If you are not, then we tell you, "Please try to love God in this way." What way is that? By śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23) - simply hearing about Kṛṣṇa and chanting about Kṛṣṇa. Is that very difficult? If you have not yet learned how to love God, take up this process. If you simply hear about Kṛṣṇa in this temple, without doing anything else, your life will become perfect.

Thank you very much.

Bhakti - The Art of Eternal Love

In this lecture Śrīla Prabhupāda explains how we can awaken our dormant love for the supreme lovable object. (January 1973, Mumbai, India)

"The basic principle of the living condition is that we have a general propensity to love someone. No one can live without loving someone else. This propensity is present in every living being. Even an animal like a tiger has this loving propensity at least in a dormant stage, and it is certainly present in the human beings. The missing point, however, is where to repose our love so that everyone can become happy" (The Nectar of Devotion, Preface).

People become frustrated looking for the perfect object of love. We may love our brother and sister, our mother and father, our wife or husband, our friends, our community, our nation, the international community, or even all human beings, yet still our love will remain imperfect. That is because it is not all-inclusive. For example, every country considers the human beings residing there to be nationals, but not the animals. But "national" means anyone who takes birth in that country. In Sanskrit the word is prajā, "those who take birth." So it is the duty of the leader of a country to protect all prajā residing there. Not that only human beings should be protected, while the animals - the cows, pigs, chickens, and so on - are slaughtered. They are also prajā.

When one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, however, he loves every living being because of its connection with Kṛṣṇa. As Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ: "Material nature is the mother of all forms of life, and I am the seed-giving father" (BG 14.4). Real equality and brotherhood come when we see all living entities as equal, as children of the Lord. A person with such vision is called a paṇḍita, or wise man. A paṇḍita does not say, "Only my father and brother are good, and all others are bad." That is sectarianism. At present all the leaders are fools and rascals because they are simply sectarian, thinking, "I am good, my brother is good, my father is good, my countrymen are good, and all others are bad." That is the sum and substance of nationalism.

A devotee of Kṛṣṇa does not see like that. He does not like to kill even an ant. There was once a hunter named Mṛgāri who used to half-kill animals. After meeting the great sage Nārada, he became a devotee of Kṛṣṇa and was not prepared to kill even an ant. There is no partiality in a Vaiṣṇava (devotee of Kṛṣṇa). He is everyone's friend, as Kṛṣṇa is everyone's friend. Just as Kṛṣṇa descends to reclaim all fallen souls back home, back to Godhead, similarly His representative, the devotee, also approaches everyone and tries to get them back home to Godhead. That includes even the animals. Once when Caitanya Mahāprabhu's party was going to Jagannātha Purī, a dog followed, and by his association with devotees the dog was also delivered.

We have a propensity to love, but we do not know how to make our love perfect. That perfection is possible when we love Kṛṣṇa. Now, in my old age, I am wandering all over the world teaching that everyone can become happy by practicing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not that I love only my countrymen, only Hindus or Bengalis. I love everyone, even the animals. But because human beings can understand the Kṛṣṇa consciousness philosophy, I hold meetings for them. Yet whenever I get a chance, I give protection to the animals also. I give them prasādam (food offered to Kṛṣṇa). I do not prohibit even an animal from coming to hear. They also hear sometimes. Everyone can hear.

Still, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is primarily for human beings. When properly trained in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, a human being can understand that Kṛṣṇa is present everywhere. An animal has no realization who Kṛṣṇa is, but a human being, after associating with devotees, can understand: "I know that the taste of the water I am drinking is Kṛṣṇa and that the light of the sun and moon are also Kṛṣṇa, because He states this in the Bhagavad-gītā: raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ (BG 7.8)." In this way the person immediately remembers Kṛṣṇa, and that means he is also associating with Kṛṣṇa. When you hear about Kṛṣṇa, you are associating with Kṛṣṇa. When you chant about Kṛṣṇa, you are associating with Kṛṣṇa. When you remember Kṛṣṇa, you are associating with Kṛṣṇa.

The perfection of love of Kṛṣṇa is already there within everyone. As Lord Caitanya says,

nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema 'sādhya' kabhu naya
śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya

"Pure love for Kṛṣṇa is eternally established in the hearts of all living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When one purifies his heart by hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa, that pure love naturally awakens" (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.107).

A lump of gold is gold, though it may be covered with dirt. It simply has to be cleansed; then it becomes pure gold. Similarly, everyone is Kṛṣṇa conscious, but on account of association with matter people think they are something different from Kṛṣṇa. Because everyone is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, everyone has His qualities in minute degree, just as a speck of gold has the qualities of the vast mass of gold in the gold mine, or as a drop of sea water contains the same ingredients as the great ocean. The difference between Kṛṣṇa and us is that He is the great, unlimited spiritual being and we are infinitesimal particles of spirit.

On account of our association with māyā, the material energy, we have forgotten Kṛṣṇa. That forgetfulness is manifested by our desire to enjoy this material world. Everyone is trying to enjoy this world to his best capacity. Only the Kṛṣṇa conscious persons are not trying to enjoy this world but are trying to dovetail it in the service of Kṛṣṇa. That is the difference. For example, we eat prasādam, food offered to Kṛṣṇa. Everyone is eating, and we are also eating - but we do not eat directly after cooking. Whatever we prepare, we first offer to Kṛṣṇa. We cannot manufacture rice, beans, wheat, fruit, or milk in our factories. These are given by Kṛṣṇa. So we should acknowledge this: "This food is given by Kṛṣṇa. Since it is Kṛṣṇa's, let me offer it first to Him. Then I will take the remnants as prasādam." Everyone can do this, but people do not want to. They want to satisfy the tongue. But Kṛṣṇa forbids that in the Bhagavad-gītā: bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpāṁ ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt (BG 3.13). "One who cooks for himself eats only sin." If one is simply eating sin, how can he be happy? He will have to suffer. So, a devotee cooks only for Kṛṣṇa. A nondevotee thinks, "Look at this meat and chicken, bread and liquor. I will eat voraciously." Because he is eating nothing but sin, he will have to suffer.

Without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, everyone must suffer. That is the law of nature. As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā: (BG 7.14) "On your own you cannot avoid suffering the pains caused by my material nature." But, mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te: "You can be happy and free of suffering if you surrender to Me." That is the only way.

So, we have a propensity to love, but we do not know how to love or where our loving propensity should be reposed so that we and everyone else will be happy. The proper object of love is revealed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.31.14):

yathā taror mūla-niṣecanena
tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ
prāṇopahārāc ca yathendriyāṇāṁ
tathaiva sarvārhaṇam acyutejyā

"If you water the root of tree, the water is distributed to the branches, leaves, twigs, fruits, flowers - everywhere. Or, if you put food into the stomach, the energy is distributed all over the body. Similarly, if you love Kṛṣṇa, then everyone becomes satisfied."

Kṛṣṇa is the root of all existence (ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ, (BG 10.8) janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1)). But we are neglecting to water the root. Instead we are pouring water on the leaves and branches. But the leaves and branches are drying up, and we are becoming frustrated. In other words, so-called humanitarian service or social service without any touch of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is just like watering the leaves and branches of a tree without watering the root: it is all useless labor (śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8)). You may perform whatever loving service you can for your society, community, and nation, but you must do it in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for Kṛṣṇa's pleasure. Then your loving service will be perfect. Otherwise it will remain imperfect. The persons whom you are serving will never be happy, nor will you be happy.

So our ability to love one another will remain imperfectly fulfilled until we know who is the supreme beloved. The supreme beloved is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Person. He is supremely beautiful, supremely rich, supremely famous, supremely wise, supremely powerful, and supremely renounced - everything supreme. If someone has any of these six opulences, we love him. If one is very rich and charitable, for example, he is loved. Now, just think how rich and charitable Kṛṣṇa is! He is distributing food to millions and millions of living entities every day. We are proud if we can feed one hundred, two hundred, five hundred, two thousand people. But there are millions and millions of animals all over the world, and Kṛṣṇa is supplying them all with food. Actually, there is no scarcity of food. Human beings sometimes experience a scarcity of food because they misuse their advanced consciousness. Therefore they are put into trouble. If people would take up Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all these troubles would be finished.

The mission of our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to teach people how to love Kṛṣṇa. Only then will they be fully satisfied. As it is said in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.6):

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati

"The supreme occupation for all humanity is that which awakens loving devotional service to Kṛṣṇa. When such devotional service is uninterrupted and free of selfish motives, it completely satisfies the self." Teaching this truth is the mission of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. If people will accept it, all their problems will be solved, and they will be happy.

Thank you very much.

Placing Our Love in Kṛṣṇa

In this lecture given in Śrīla Prabhupāda says, "To love your home, to love your country, to love your husband, to love your children, to love your wife, and on and on - all this love is more or less present in the animal kingdom. But that sort of love will not give you happiness. You'll be frustrated.... If you really want peace, if you really want satisfaction,... then try to love Kṛṣṇa." (September 1968, Seattle, Washington)

Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. Our program is to worship Govinda, the original person, with love and devotion. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We are teaching people to love Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Our program is to direct your love toward the proper place. Everyone wants to love, but they're being frustrated because their love is being misplaced. People do not understand where to place their love. First of all you love your body. Then, a little extended, you love your father and mother. Then you love your community, then your country, then the whole human society. And at last you love all living entities. But all this extended love will not give you satisfaction - until you reach the point of loving Kṛṣṇa. Then you'll be satisfied.

For example, when you throw a stone into a lake, a circle begins expanding. The circle keeps expanding, expanding, expanding ... And when the circle touches the shore, it stops. Until the circle reaches the shore of the lake, it must go on increasing. So we have to go on increasing and increasing our love until we love Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

There are two ways to increase your love. You can practice loving your society, loving your country, loving all humanity, all living entities, and on and on. Or you can directly love Kṛṣṇa. Then everything is complete. It is so nice. Because Kṛṣṇa is all-attractive, love for Him includes everything. Why? Because Kṛṣṇa is the center of everything. In a family, if you love your father, then you love your brothers, your sisters, the servant of your father, the home of your father, the wife of your father (namely, your mother) - everyone. The central point is the father. Similarly, if you love Kṛṣṇa, then your love will be expanded everywhere.

Another example: If you love a tree, you can simply pour water on the root. Then the leaves, the flowers, the branches, the trunk, the twigs - everything - will be nourished. Then your love for the tree will be properly expressed. Similarly, if you love your countrymen, if you want to see that they become educated, advanced economically and mentally and physically, then what do you do? You pay taxes to the government; you don't hide your income tax. You simply pay taxes to the central government, and your money will be distributed to the education department, to the defense department, to the hygiene department - everywhere.

These are crude examples, but they show that if you actually want to love everyone and everything, you should love Kṛṣṇa. You'll not be frustrated, because loving Kṛṣṇa is complete. When your love is complete, you'll be completely satisfied. It is just like when you eat food to your full satisfaction: you say, "I am satisfied; I don't want any more."

So, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very simple. Although it was inaugurated five hundred years ago by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, it is even older than that, since it is spoken of in the Vedic scriptures. From the historical point of view, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has existed at least since Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on the surface of this planet five thousand years ago. And more recently, five hundred years ago, Lord Caitanya expanded the movement. His mission is ārādhyo bhagavān, to propagate the worship of Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Everyone is subordinate to someone else. Everyone wants to be independent, but this is impossible. Nobody is independent; everyone is subordinate. Nobody can say, "I am completely independent." Is there anyone who can say this? No. Everyone is subordinate. And when you love someone, you willingly become subordinate. A girl says to a boy, "I want to become your subordinate." Why? That is our nature. We want to be subordinate, because our nature is to be subordinate. But we do not know to whom we should be subordinate so that we will become completely satisfied. We reject one subordination and accept another subordination. For example, a worker becomes subordinate to his boss because the boss gives him wages, say six hundred dollars monthly. Therefore the worker must worship the boss; the worker must please him. And if the worker finds some better wages in another place, he goes there. But that does not mean he becomes independent. He's still subordinate.

So, Lord Caitanya teaches that since you must be subordinate to somebody, since you must worship somebody, you should worship Kṛṣṇa. Then you'll be fully satisfied.

Then, tad-dhāma vṛndāvanam. If you want to worship somebody, then worship Kṛṣṇa, love Kṛṣṇa. And if you want to worship some place, worship His place, Vṛndāvana. Everyone wants to love some place - some country or nation. Somebody says, "I love this American land." Somebody says, "I love this Chinese land." Somebody says, "I love this Russian land." This is nationalism, bhauma-ijya-dhīḥ. A person is naturally inclined to love some material land, generally where he's born. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that because you are inclined to love some person, love Kṛṣṇa, and because you want to love some land, love Vṛndāvana. Ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa-tanayas tad-dhāma vṛndāvanam.

But suppose someone says, "I can't see Kṛṣṇa. How can I love Him?" Caitanya Mahāprabhu answers, ramyā kācid upāsanā vrajavadhū-vargeṇa yā kalpitā. If you want to learn the process of worshiping Kṛṣṇa, of loving Kṛṣṇa, just try to follow in the footsteps of the gopīs, the cowherd girls of Vṛndāvana. The gopīs' love for Kṛṣṇa is the highest perfectional love of God. There are different kinds of worship of God. The beginning is "O God, give us our daily bread." This is the beginning. When we are taught to worship God, we are instructed, "Go to church and pray to God for your necessities." But although that is the beginning, that is not pure love. Pure love for God can be found among the gopīs. Here is how they loved Kṛṣṇa:

Kṛṣṇa was a cowherd boy. With His friends, the other cowherd boys, He used to go with His cows to the pasturing ground for the whole day. (At that time people were satisfied with land and cows. That's all. That was the means of solving all economic problems. They did not work in big industries; they were not the servants of anyone. They simply took the production from the land and the milk from the cows, and their whole food problem was solved.) So, Kṛṣṇa used to go to the pasturing ground, and the gopīs stayed at home. Kṛṣṇa was miles away, in the pasturing ground, and the gopīs at home were thinking, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa's feet are so soft! Now He's walking on the rough ground, and the sharp pebbles are pricking His soles. So He must be feeling some pain." Thinking in this way, the gopīs used to cry. Just see. This is love.

When Kṛṣṇa returned they did not ask Him, "My dear Kṛṣṇa, what have You brought us from Your pasturing ground? What is in Your pocket? Let us see." No. They were simply thinking of how Kṛṣṇa could be satisfied. The gopīs used to dress themselves very nicely and go before Kṛṣṇa. While dressing they would think, "Oh, He'll be happy to see me." Generally, a boy or a man becomes happy to see his lover or wife nicely dressed. Therefore it is the nature of a woman to dress nicely just to satisfy her husband. If her husband is not at home, then she should not dress nicely. Women dress differently according to their positions, and by seeing a woman's dress one can immediately understand what she is. One can understand by seeing the dress that she is an unmarried girl, a married girl, a widow, or a prostitute. Dressing is so important.

So, we are not going to discuss the social customs of India. We are discussing the loving affairs of Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs. Their relationship was so intimate and so unalloyed that Kṛṣṇa Himself admitted, "My dear gopīs, it is not in My power to repay you for your love." Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet He became bankrupt - He could not repay His debt to the gopīs. So the gopīs possessed the highest perfection of love for Kṛṣṇa.

I am describing the mission of Lord Caitanya. He is instructing us that the only lovable object is Kṛṣṇa, the only lovable land is Vṛndāvana, and the process of loving Kṛṣṇa is shown by the vivid example of the gopīs. There are different stages of devotees, and the gopīs are on the highest platform. And among the gopīs, the supreme is Rādhārāṇī. Therefore, nobody can surpass Rādhārāṇī's love for Kṛṣṇa.

Now, to learn this science of loving God, there must be some book, some authoritative literature. Yes, Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, that book is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-bhāgavatam pramāṇam amalam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the spotless description of how to love God. There is no better description. From the beginning it teaches how to love God.

Those who have studied Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam know that the first verse in the First Canto is janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1) ... satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi. In the beginning the author says, "I am offering my unalloyed devotion unto the Supreme, from whom everything has emanated." So, it is a great description. If you want to learn how to love God, or Kṛṣṇa, then study Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And for understanding Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the preliminary study is Bhagavad-gītā. Study Bhagavad-gītā to understand the real nature or identity of God and yourself, and also to understand your relationship with God, and then when you are a little advanced, when you are fully convinced that Kṛṣṇa is the only lovable object, then the next book you should study is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Knowledge of the Bhagavad-gītā As It Is is the entrance examination. Just as students pass their high-school examination and then enter college, so you must pass your "high-school examination" in how to love God by studying Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Then you should study Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam - that is the graduate course. And when you're still further advanced, on the postgraduate level, you should study Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. So there is no difficulty in learning the science of loving Kṛṣṇa.

The fact is that we have to learn how to love Kṛṣṇa. The instruction is there and the method is there, and we are trying to serve you as far as possible. We are sending our boys into the streets to invite you, and if you kindly take up this opportunity, then your life will be successful. Premā pum-artho mahān. This human form of life is meant for developing love for God. In all other forms of life, we have loved something else - as birds we have loved our nests, as bees we have loved our hives, and so on. There is no necessity of teaching a bird or a bee how to love its offspring, because that is natural. To love your home, to love your country, to love your husband, to love your children, to love your wife, and on and on - all this love is more or less present in the animal kingdom. But that sort of love will not give you happiness. You'll be frustrated. Because the body is temporary, all these loving affairs are also temporary. And they're not pure; they are simply a perverted reflection of the pure love existing between you and Kṛṣṇa. So if you really want peace, if you really want satisfaction, if you don't want to be confused, then try to love Kṛṣṇa. Then your life will be successful.

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not something manufactured to mislead or bluff people. It is the most authorized movement, based on the Vedic literature - the Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Caitanya-caritāmṛta, and other scriptures - and many, many great saintly persons have adopted the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness as the means of attaining perfection. The vivid example is Lord Caitanya. You see that in His picture He is chanting and dancing in ecstasy. So you have to learn this art; then your life will be successful. You don't have to practice something artificial and speculate and bother your brain and so on. You have the instinct for loving others; it is natural. You are simply misplacing your love, and therefore you are frustrated and confused. So if you don't want to be confused, if you don't want to be frustrated, then try to love Kṛṣṇa. You will feel how you are making progress in peace, in happiness, in everything that you want.

Thank you very much.