His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
by Purujit Dasa
Easy. Easy. Let's start with simple logic. It's not difficult. There is a section and there is a whole. A section is part of a whole. A whole is never a part of a section. An example: if we take a drop of a seawater, it is a section of the whole, the big sea. But if we say that now I'm holding a sea in my hand, that's kind of dumb, isn’t it? "Look, I got a sea in my hand!" -a crazy person, or a poet might say like that, but it is not reality. Now, in this world we see so many wholes and so many sections. Just like I can be called Mr. Thompson and be a section of the whole Thompson family. Or The Beatles, a famous rocknroll band is a whole and tiny little Ringo Starr behind the drums is its' section. There's a whole year 2012 ahead of us and yet there are sections like January, February, March, April... etc. So wholes and sections. Is that cool? Ok. ok. Now, let's go beyond the known, beyond the perception of our senses. Cuz pretty much all of the previous examples I have given we can percieve by our senses. Senses? What do you mean? Well, simple. Just like your eyes. Very important sense through which we percieve what we call a "reality". A reality? What is "reality"? Hold on a sec. Before we get into the "everything is relative man" game, let me express what's on my mind today. Is that alright with you? Thanks…
So now the beyond the known, that is a very dangerous zone as many of us have been cheated. Cheating basically takes advantage of our ignorance of the unknown. Like a cheater drug dealer, he cheats the people addicted to intoxication. In exchange for their money, he gives them what they think is heroin. But in reality there's only very small percentage of pure heroin. Most of it is lots of junk, a white powder, something like that, just so he can save as much of the pure heroin, so he can sell it to someone else and cheat him too. Of course, the addicts, they even know it's cheating, still they have to go and get it because they are forced to settle whatever is available due to habit. And that's our position, you see? Although we don't want to be cheated, we are forced to make solutions based on the unknown in our daily life on regular basis whether we like it or not because we are under the habit of identifying our true selves with these temporary bodies.(Kind of like I tend to scream when someone chops off a part of my body?) How do you know that this particular college or job you're applying for will be ok for you? Still you have to pick something, otherwise your parents won't support you, or you end up homeless or something like that. I don't know what you do. Or, or.. I got it! You are supposed to select your mate. That's like super difficult, isn't it? Cuz in the present society where there's so much ego going on and everyone wants to compete and screw others and so on and so on. Where's the guarantee that your mate will not turn out to be a real jerk, who just takes advantage and exploit your fine sentiments for his/her sense gratification? But some of us at one point realize, I can't go on like this. I think I'm gonna connect with some other person and face the world like that, in two and then you end up all confused, cuz you can’t find anyone due to paranoya of being exploited, but at the same time you need someone. In other words, there are instances where we are forced to deal with the unknown, whether we like it or not. So, now it is not a question, whether it is important to deal with the unknown or not, it is a question of HOW to deal with the unknown, you see? We have to deal with it. Not the relative, computer-like yes/no but simple and all encompassing HOW. say it again: HOW. HOW are you? Doing fine? Ok. Carry on.
So what is that beyond the known? Many things, but we want to go to the root. We don't want to be limited. You want to be limited? Well, I don't want to be limited and you don’t want to be limited either no matter what you say now just to distract me from what I’m trying to build here, tricky boy! Because, the soul, or that what we are, is never limited. Whatever limitations are here are due to these bodily designations: man, woman, ugly, beautiful. Instead of seeing you as a beautiful and free personality with his/her beautiful individuality, they want to put you in a box: a woman. Or check this out: a man. So this is the nature of the soul, or that what we are, the unlimited consciousness within. Not unlimited supremely(cuz if that was the case, why would we end up here in the material world in the clutches of material energy, doing things which we don't like doing, right?), yet unlimited nevertheless. Unlimited in the sense of not being confined in these bodily concepts.
So that root, what is that? That root is the total whole. Or The Total Whole. Like the ultimate, you know? Now, some of you might object that this smells like God! And you will try to kill the discussion(cuz that's all we're doing right now, you see? I'm not trying to convert you, nor force some dogma on you. Easy. Easy.) by saying: What if there's nothing like the total whole? What if what you call the "total whole" is yet another section of some other whole and that is a section of some more wholesome whole, etc. Nice one, but now, and this might sound surprising, cuz usually that’s what people ask us, not that we ask that, but: where's the evidence? You see, everything we say, provided we want to have a communication of course, we should back up by something we could both relate to. If we want to just have a wonderful free style monologue just so that everyone can see how wonderful we are, that’s ok, but you can’t have that in two. You see? Like you have some faith, that's ok, but if you want to communicate that faith to me, I need it backed up by some sort of knowledge. Let's say I have faith to go to the beach, because I think we're going to enjoy it. Now, let's say you don't have that faith. Your faith is that you want to stay home and sleep, then I have to use some evidence. So I might say something like: Remember, how we used to go to the beach last year, how cool it was? How you enjoyed so much? and how you didn't want to go home as it was so cool and nice and wonderful and you name it. So, now I'm using one type of evidence called history. In other words, I'm using a previous experience to back up my present faith. This type of evidence is very much dominating in the present society. Like for example, people because they had a bad experience with people who claim to be worshippers of God (but in reality are simply using God to build their ego), when we the Krsna devotees approach them to chant with us, eat with us and enjoy the wonderful transcendental pleasures in Krsna consciousness with us, sometimes they frown. No, I don't believe in God. Because for them, God means a cruel, dry person, who has to go to work just like many of us in the early morning subways to take care of the world, punish the sinners and who actually does not want you to feel pleasurable and free, but quite the opposite, a God, who wants you to be miserable and scared cuz He’s fed up of your messing up His plans. So naturally, when we say: Krsna is God, they immediately recollect that previous experience with a so-called priest, or a so-called Christian family member, or someone on the street who called you a devil-obsessed for having some weird clothes on, or something extraordinary, which you thought was cool but he didn't like. So, that is one type of evidence: history. This is very nice.
But it is not perfect. Why? Because that experience upon which that history has been made, might have been wrongly assessed. Actually, our experience is always limited, because, we gather such experience through our limited senses. But there are other types of evidence too. The sacred Vedas mention anuman, hypothesis. Going to beach is cool, because if you stay home and sleep, you'll get depressed and lazy, you will fall into what we call the mode of ignorance-tamas. This is hypothesis. I’m giving you an argument. If you do this, then this might happen. So direct experience, history, hypothesis, in this way we come to the most perfect evidence and that is sabda, or hearing the info from the perfect source and keeping it perfect by not adulterating it. If I tell you that in the Vedas, the hypothesis is called anuman and if I'm not lying, then you don't have to go and search for a dictionary of Sanskrit language in a library and waste a whole day not being able to find one. No, and again provided I'm not lying, if you simply have trust, that ok this guy he's a Hare Krsna devotee, I guess he kind of understands these kinds of things, let me put my trust in him on this, you will advance faster in your understanding, you see? It’s faster. Like the internet. Now, forget about the bad things for a sec. Who can deny the benefits which it provides? Just because internet sometimes lies, does not mean that you can’t find true things on it. And this is what it's all about. Instead of trying to gather all the sections of knowledge, which is a totally futile attempt due to our limited position of NOT being able to even get to know all the sections of knowledge, what to speak of seeing them in an unbiased way and what to speak of putting them and understanding them all in a context without using them just to build my own dogma, why not use time to find a perfect source, from which we can derive the whole knowledge? Have we tried? And if we did(cuz many people use it very cheaply this phrase that: "Did that, done that.”), do we know what is the process for searching such source? Do we know what are the characteristics of such a source? Yes, just for a sec, pay attention to the latter two questions. Hmm?
So, the Vedas are considered to be the most authoritative source of knowledge in the world and we accept them as such through the process of sruti or hearing. Through seeing I cannot ascertain what’s behind a wall. Through hearing though I can see what’s behind that wall if someone from behind the wall tells me.
One section of the Vedic literature is called Upanisad and in it there’s another subdivision called Sri Isopanisad, which deals specifically with the subject matter of the complete total whole. It says:
oḿ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaḿ
pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
“The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete. And be-cause He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped -as a complete whole. Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete by itself. And because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.”
(Sri Isopanisad, Invocation)
So even though the Complete Whole is generating so many sections, it yet remains complete. Another characteristic of the Complete whole is explained in the following quote by Srila Prabhupada in the purport to this verse:
“The Complete Whole must have everything, both within our experience and beyond our experience. Otherwise He cannot be complete.”
(Iso. Invocation purport)
Now, let’s go back to the question why there has to be a Complete Whole in the first place.
As mentioned in the invocation to Sri Isopanisad, because the Complete Whole is complete, the sections of the complete whole are also complete by themselves.
In other words, because this world is relative, it is relative to something right? It is not relative just by itself. If it was relative by itself, we would call it absolute. So because it is relative to something, the things we see here must be included in that something. And because we see that everything here belongs to some whole, whether it's Montreal being part of the whole Canada, or you being a part of your whole family, everything that exists must be a part of the Complete Whole. This is the Complete Whole.
So, when we say Krsna, we mean Complete Whole. Not a Hindu or Indian god, not a religion, not a faith, not a sect(ion). You might call the total whole in a different way like Jehova, or Allah, or simply God, but that doesn't matter as this is just semantics. It's clear that the total whole is for all of us. It's not for me, it's not for you. It's universal, unlimited, complete and total. And because it's complete, unlimited and total it must be a person. If it's not person, there's a flaw in its completeness. Then me, who is just like a little tiny nothing here am more than God becuz I’m a person? I am more than God, becuz I’m a person? He’s more than God, because he’s person? So we’re all persons and God is not? Then what kind of a looser God is it? You see, then God is loosing on that wonderful pleasurable feeling of being a unique individual. So it is not like that. God is a person. So now, Krsna is not just an opinion, or yet another name, but it is the elaborate description of that person. From the Vedic literatures which our spiritual master Srila Prabhupada brought for us from the ancient times of a greatly advanced and sophisticated civilization, we can have a very clear idea how that person acts, how He looks like, how He is enjoying and that He's enjoying in the first place and also how we can develop our unadulterated love for Him, Krsna.
For example in another ancient scripture called Sri Brahma samhita which has been actually spoken billions of years ago at the beginning of this particular creation by the demigod-creator Lord Brahma it is said that Krsna’s body is sat cit ananda: eternal, and full of knowledge and bliss. He’s engaged in tending cows, yielding all desire and His Divine Abode is built with touchstone and surrounded by desires trees and served by millions of Godesses of fortune. Furthermore the primeval Lord, who is adept in playing on His flute, with blooming eyes like lotus petals with head decked with peacock's feather, with the figure of beauty tinged with the hue of blue clouds, and His unique loveliness charming millions of Cupids.
Nowhere in the world and this is not a puffed up statement, but you can make a test, is there any description of that Supreme Person as elaborate as in the scriptures such as the Brahma-samhita, Srimad Bhagavatam or Srimad Bhagavad-gita. There His different potencies, different energies and how they work together are explained in a scientific manner.
It is explained there that this planet is just among many millions of other planets and that there are many millions and millions of universes like this and that even though Krsna is completely conscious of everything in the material creation and is the Supreme controller of all that is, He is yet completely aloof and enjoying His transcendental pastimes in His Abode in the spiritual sky simultaneously. In order to have benefit of this great knowledge we have to go beyond our limited sense perception. Let’s not be like a blind man who is trying to understand the sun.
Srila Prabhupada has left behind these literatures for all the intelligent people of the world so they can quench their thirst for the whole knowledge and go even beyond and be situated on a transcendental plane of existence.
So if you don’t want to be limited and if you no longer find happiness in these different sections of knowledge, please do not confuse this great movement for a sectarian movement, or a religious sect, which deals with only partial understanding, or an aspect of the absolute, or is appealing to a section of society only. No. Krsna consciousness is a universal science and we are inviting everyone to bring whatever arguments they have, or whatever questions they have and our master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is going to answer them personally from his books. Not in a fanatical way, trying to put down your character to shut you up, or distract your attention on some other point to confuse you as this is the way we are used to, not like that. But in what we might call a really scientifically based discussion on a human platform. The animals cannot take part in such a discussion, you see? Why? Because the animals are just not interested in solving the problem of death. Instead of wasting valueable time, it is better that such animal-like men go their way as they have still not asked about the real cause of our suffering. No, this is for intelligent person, who asks himself: I do not like suffering, still I suffer. Why? And more importantly How to avoid this? Right? This is intelligence. How to avoid it? How to RELIEVE the suffering. Look at all the inventions like plane for example. Instead of suffering a long journey, they have invented a plane which takes you to Europe in a few hours. So of course, these inventions are not the ultimate solution. They are mere attempts to ease our suffering. The real suffering is death. Death makes all our happiness here in the material life meaningless and some modern philosophers like the existentialists for example, they became so much aware of this fact, that they became completely hopeless and some of them even committed suicide. But there’s no need to commit suicide actually. We should very soberly look at the problem and try to find a solution. This is called intelligence and if you have come to this platform by now, then you will appreciate the gems Srila Prabhupada has brought for the world. Just try touching them with your eyes gently and Krsna will touch your heart in person.