THE BENEDICTINE TREE OF DIVINE ASPIRATION: CHAPTER FIVE
Honourable teachers, respectable Vaisnavas, and my beloved students, I am feeling very fortunate that you have given me this chance to speak about Krsna consciousness. I am especially indebted to the authorities of this college; because of their kindness it was possible for me to meet with you all today.
When I first came here to Mauritius I noticed some very auspicious symptoms. I noticed that the trees are bearing so many fruits, all the earth is very fertile, and all the people are very conscious of religion. I was surprised to see that this country is like a heaven on earth. I saw that many mangoes had fallen from the trees, and many other trees bore ripe papayas and other fruits, yet nobody collected those fruits. Seeing these symptoms immediately inspired me to remember Sri Vrndavana Dhama. There we find ripe fruits on the trees everywhere, and the souls residing there are full of the mood of service. They are all eternally engaged in the Divine Service of the Supreme Lord. We find such descriptions of Goloka-Vrndavana, the Holy Abode of Krsna, in Sri Brahma-samhita. This holy book was brought by Sriman Mahaprabhu from South India, and it is widely accepted by religious authorities as the authentic treatise depicting the Teachings of Sriman Mahaprabhu..
isvarah paramah krsnah
(Sri Brahma-samhita 5.1)
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Embodiment of Truth, Consciousness and Joy, is Govinda, Krsna. He is beginningless, the Origin of all that be, and the Cause of all causes." That is, the actual form of each one of us originates from the Sac-cid-ananda-vigraha of Krsna.
All the Vedic Scriptures teach us that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 'Other gods' also have their own abodes and full powers, but as expansions of the Power of the Infinite Personality of Godhead, Krsna. If you subtract infinite power from infinite power, you will still remain with infinite power, in a similar way as zero minus zero equals zero.
om purnam adah purnam idam
A proper examination of the Vedic Scriptures will leave us with no doubt that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Throughout the whole world people are chanting the Hare Krsna Mahamantra, and through that we can also have some understanding. In all the Scriptures—the Vedanta, Upanisads, eighteen Puranas, etc.—everywhere we find chanted the Glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Still the question arises, 'What is Krsna consciousness, and why should we worship Krsna?'
We are in want. We are not fulfilled within ourselves, and for that fulfilment we must worship Krsna. What is our want? We need love, we need beauty, we need charm, we need ecstasy, and so on. These are essential for our living soul.
The soul is always in a state of living—the properties of the soul are willing, feeling and thinking. The soul can move, and the jada, the material, cannot move. But even within matter, souls are living. Within a tree is living a soul, and this has also been proved by scientists such as Jagadish Bose. But this knowledge is not new; in the ancient Vedas we will find all knowledge given in a living way. The knowledge given by the Vedas is that behind everything is the living soul, and if we study the Vedas we will find this out.
The property of the living soul is willing, feeling and thinking. One who has these properties must necessarily need to do something. He can do good or he can do bad. If he will do good, then good reaction will come to him. And if he will do bad then bad will come to him as his reaction. You have probably heard Newton's third law which states, 'To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.' Every action has reaction. Therefore we shall try to do good things otherwise we shall not receive any good reaction.
And to get relief from all reaction we are to follow in the line of Krsna consciousness. There we can see that if we surrender fully to Krsna then everything will go directly into His account. If we can put all our actions in the line of Krsna consciousness, reaction will not come to us. This process has been given in Srimad-Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad-gita.
In this gathering you are all students and you all wish to know something about religion, specifically something about Krsna consciousness. If you will try to read Srimad Bhagavad-gita, you must be benefited. Everyone has the chance to improve his future by reading this book whether he is a fruitive worker who needs to do some work, or a knowledge seeker who always must think and gain knowledge, or a yogi wanting to conquer power from the environment, or a bhakta who is always surrendered and fully dependant upon the knowledge of Krsna consciousness. Everyone can gain some good future prospect from reading Srimad Bhagavad-gita.
The real benefit to be gained is that without mundane attachment we are to engage in service to Krsna.
asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase gatasun agatasums ca nanusocanti panditah
Krsna said to Arjjuna, "You are speaking like a wise man, but you are suffering from this material happiness and sadness. You are showing yourself to be knowledgeable in the Vedas (pandit), but you are not actually following that line." Then Krsna started to give some knowledge of the Vedas to Arjjuna. He explained that there is a certain plane, and if we can live there, no reaction will come to us.
niyatam kuru karmma tvam karmma jyayo hy akarmmanah sarira-yatrapi ca te na prasiddhyed akarmmanah
"If you do not do anything then you will not get anything. You will not even be able to survive. You must do something, so try to do something good."
yajnarthat karmmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karmma-bandhanah tad-artham karmma kaunteya mukta-sangah samacara
"O Arjjuna, this whole world of living beings comes into bondage by all action except action performed as selfless duty offered unto Lord Visnu. Therefore, being free from attachment, fully engage in the performance of action for the purpose of such sacrifice." Actually, we need to do something good even from childhood. This is the knowledge of Srimad-Bhagavatam and Krsna consciousness. Whenever we shall gain any knowledge, we shall try to use that for a good purpose; not only a good purpose, but we shall use it in a way that will be good for everybody. If we will proceed in this way we shall get super benefit in our life as the final result.
When students endeavour for promotion to a higher class, they try heart and soul. But everyone is not able to get the desired result because there may be many types of deficiency. Some may fail in their class, but if we can think that 'failure is the pillar of success' then we can get much strength to try and try again. Even in the mundane world we must apply this process.
At first nobody can run. When a very young child tries to run, he must fall down on the ground, but again he tries to run. He falls down, runs, falls down... but gradually he will gain strength and capacity, and finally he will be able to run properly. In this way a karmmi, a fruitive worker, has some prospect, jnanis also, yogis also, but the super prospect is with those who are fully surrendered to Krsna. By their own freewill they march in the line of Krsna consciousness, and they will gain the benefit accordingly.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam we find the advice of Prahlada Maharaj to his student classmates.
kaumara acaret prajno
Prahlada was a devotee of Lord Nrsimhadeva. His classmate friends were from 5 to 12 years of age. When he met with them in their teacher's house they would discuss together and he would urge them to enquire about, and practise, spiritual life even from childhood.
We have fortunately gained this human body. We are jivas-souls and we may be given any type of body according to our activities. But now some good previous activities have brought us this human body. In the human body there is very much possibility to learn many things. We have much capacity to learn and realise. Other species such as dogs, cows, etc. only have a very limited power of understanding; just sufficient to try to achieve some basic happiness. Real happiness, however, is not possible in this mundane world, but some realisation is possible.
We use knowledge in many ways to try to gain happiness and a good result. The best thing for the jiva is to try to know what is the transcendental world's environment, and his place there. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my destination of life? After death where shall I go? In this human body we can realise the answers to many such questions; and that is called Bhagavat-jnana, Bhagavat-dharmma. If we shall try to read and know about such topics, we must be benefitted.
It is necessary that in this life we try to know what is the super benefit of our human life, and the super benefit of the soul. The soul is actually transcendental, but our body is mortal. The transcendental body is living in the mortal body, whether it be a human body or any other variety of species.
Actually we are not this body. We are living inside this body. We can understand it when we see a person who is dying. At that time we cannot give him any more days. We can understand that inside the body is the spirit of the person. With the spirit is willing, feeling and thinking, and that is called the jiva, the soul. When a man dies, that soul leaves the temporary material body. This is not only Indian philosophy, but in the Western countries also we find famous philosophers such as Hegel who have similar realisations.
We must try to do something good for our self, for our soul. Good is possible through the processes of humility, tolerance, and giving honour to others. We should try to avoid the opposing environment, and in that way we can happily study what is the soul, what is God, and what is the super benefit of this life. Also we shall study about where we have come from, where we shall go, etc. Birth and death is natural in this world, and we are always getting happiness and sadness and many other temporary feelings. We must try to understand all these things.
Prahlada Maharaj said,
kaumara acaret prajno
We must try to know what is Bhagavat-dharmma, and when that steady knowledge comes within us, we shall try to gain the chance through that knowledge to know what is what. If not, we shall be losers. Actually it is only in this human body that we can understand properly what is good and what is bad, and if we shall try sincerely we must get that type of knowledge.
What is necessary is sincerity, tolerance, humility and giving honour to others. These four qualities are necessary for everyone. I am very happy to obseive that the people here in Mauritius are very enthusiastic and enlightened with these qualities. Furthermore, their tendency is to be real searchers, and they are practising to do good according to their capacity, while avoiding bad things. I am very happy to see this within this small country.
I am pleased to meet with you all. I do not know how much good I can do for you, but I am with you, and it is my expectation that our attempt must be fruitful for the future.
(Verses in glorification of Srila Govinda Maharaj)
II: Chanting the Mahamantra
III: Dasa-vidha Namaparadha
(The Ten Offences to the Holy Name)
|"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"|
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