The Science of Self Realization by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Meditation and the Self Within
excerpted from Chapter 5
Can meditation solve our everyday problems? Is there life after death? Can drugs help us achieve self-realization? During a visit to South Africa in 1976, Śrīla Prabhupāda answered these and other questions for interviewer Bill Faill of the Durban Natal Mercury.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is a name for God that means “all-attractive.” Unless one is all-attractive he cannot be God. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness means God consciousness. All of us are small particles of God, equal in quality with Him. Our position as living entities is like that of a small particle of gold in relation to a large quantity of gold.
Mr. Faill: Are we something like sparks in a fire?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Both the fire and the spark are fire, but one is big, and the other is very small. Unlike the relationship between the spark and the fire, however, our relationship with God is eternal, although at the present moment we have forgotten that relationship due to contact with the material energy. We are facing so many problems only because of this forgetfulness. If we can revive our original God consciousness, then we shall become happy. This is the sum and substance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is the best process by which to revive our original God consciousness. There are different processes of self-realization, but in the present age of Kali, people are very fallen, and they require the simple process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now they are thinking that so-called material advancement is the solution to their problems, but this is not a fact. The real solution is to get out of the material condition entirely by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious. Because God is eternal, we are also eternal, but in the material condition we are thinking, “I am this body,” and therefore we must repeatedly change from body to body. This is due to ignorance. Actually we are not our bodies but spiritual sparks, parts and parcels of God.
Mr. Faill: Then the body is just like a vehicle for the soul?
We all have our favorite quotes and slokas from the pages of Srila Prabhupada’s books. One of mine is the following:
“My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.” (Bhāg. 12.3.51)
Srila Prabhupada quotes this partictular verse from the Bhagavatam many times in his lectures, conversations, books etc., for instance:
“In the sastra it is said this Kali-yuga is full of faults, so many faults. It is the ocean of faults. But there is a very nice thing, asti hy eko mahan gunah, a very great quality. What is that? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. If you simply chant Hare Krishna mantra, then you become perfect. Is it very difficult? Chant Hare Krishna and you become perfect. But we are so unfortunate, we are not even prepared to chant. This is our position. So you have to make little determination that ‘I shall chant henceforward Hare Krishna mantra.’ Then everything is all right.”
This morning I was doing a little internet searching and revisiting some of my favorite sites. This took me to The Prabhupada Connection. For some reason I clicked on the Editorial Notes and began reading some of the essays. I was a big fan of Visnujana Swami, as was everyone, and I enjoyed reading this memory by Padmapani Prabhu.
When Visnujana Swami led kirtan in Stanley Park, hundreds of people encircled our party, all transfixed by his melodious chanting. Usually we might have a couple of dozen onlookers in attendance for harinam, but this was a monumental occasion. The devotees twirled and jumped and danced with great abandon. The sense of harmony amongst us was real and palpable. The swelling crowd was a testament to the infectious joy of chanting Hare Krsna in unity and love.
A Time for Reflection
by Padmapani das
When I first joined the Vancouver temple in 1973, a devotee explained to me that everyone who comes in contact with Krsna is a great soul, a mahatma. He told me that even the postman who delivers Krsna’s mail is very special and should be respected. I was in total awe.
It seems there is world wide fear over the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, such as myself , and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. But I refuse to live in fear, although we have accepted a self imposed quarantine, I have gone about my business working alone in my woodworking shop, and chanting the holy name. Hare Krishna! -V
Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, which is feared by fear personified. (SB 1.1.14)
… It is stated herein that the name of Kṛṣṇa is feared even by fear personified. This indicates that the name of Kṛṣṇa is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the name of Kṛṣṇa is as powerful as Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. There is no difference at all. Anyone, therefore, can take advantage of the holy names of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa even in the midst of greatest dangers. The transcendental name of Kṛṣṇa, even though uttered unconsciously or by force of circumstances, can help one obtain freedom from the hurdle of birth and death. (from purport)
Click Here to listen to Srila Prabhupada’s address in mp3 format
As explained on the cover of the record album, this transcendental vibration — by chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — is the sublime method for reviving our Krishna consciousness. As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krishna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter since time immemorial, our consciousness is now polluted by material atmosphere. In this polluted concept of life, we are all trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities.
This illusion is called Maya, or hard struggle for existence over the stringent laws of material nature. This illusory struggle against the material nature can at once be stopped by revival of our Krishna consciousness.
Journey of Self-Discovery
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5, Yoga & Meditation
Meditation Through Transcendental Sound
Lecturing at Boston’s Northeastern University in the summer of 1969, Śrīla Prabhupāda introduces a meditation system renowned for its extraordinary power and the fact that it can be easily practiced almost anywhere and at any time. “If you take up this simple process,” he says, “chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma Hare Hare, you are immediately elevated to the transcendental platform.” He adds, “No other meditation is possible while you are walking on the street.”
My dear boys and girls, I thank you very much for attending this meeting. We are spreading this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement because there is a great need of this consciousness throughout the world. And the process is very easy—that is the advantage.
…”You write to me that you do not know what is my desire, but my desire is an open secret. I simply want all over the Western countries people may take this simple formula of chanting, dancing and eating Krishna Prasadam, and being happy. I am simply surprised that they should not accept this simple formula and be happy themselves. My only desire is that all people become happy and prosperous in Krishna Consciousness.”
(Srila Prabhupada letter, September 19, 1969)
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder and Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
The transcendental vibration established by the chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is the sublime method for reviving our transcendental consciousness. As living spiritual souls, we are all originally Krishna Conscious entities, but due to our association with matter since time immemorial, our consciousness is now adulterated by the material atmosphere. The material atmosphere, in which we are now living, is called maya, or illusion. Maya means “that which is not.” And what is this illusion? The illusion is that we are all trying to be lords of material nature, while actually we are under the grip of her stringent laws. When a servant artificially tries to imitate the all-powerful master, he is said to be in illusion.