THE DYNAMIC VARIETY OF THE SPIRITUAL REALITY

THE DYNAMIC VARIETY OF THE SPIRITUAL REALITY

THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM CANTO 3, CHAPTER 9, BRAMHA´S PRAYERS FOR CREATIVE ENERGY, TEXT 21, WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI IN ISKCON UJJAIN, INDIA, ON 8 FEBRUARY 2009.


Srimad Bhagavatam, third Canto, chapter nine ‘Brahma’s Prayers For Creative Energy’, text twenty one.

yan-nabhi-padma-bhavanad aham asam idya
loka-trayopakarano yad-anugrahena
tasmai namas ta udara-stha-bhavaya yoga-
nidravasana-vikasan-nalinekshanaya

Synonyms:
yat — whose; nabhi — navel; padma — lotus; bhavanat — from the house of; aham — I; asam — became manifested; idya — O worshipable one; loka-traya — the three worlds; upakaranah — helping in the creation of; yat — whose; anugrahena — by the mercy; tasmai — unto Him; namah — my obeisances; te — unto You; udara-stha — situated within the abdomen; bhavaya — having the universe; yoga-nidra-avasana — after the end of that transcendental sleep; vikasat — blossoming; nalina-ikshanaya — unto Him whose opening eyes are like lotuses.

Translation:
O object of my worship, I am born from the house of Your lotus navel for the purpose of creating the universe by Your mercy. All these planets of the universe were stationed within Your transcendental abdomen while You were enjoying sleep. Now, Your sleep having ended, Your eyes are open like blossoming lotuses in the morning.

Purport:
Brahma is teaching us the beginning of archana regulations from morning (four o’clock) to night (ten o’clock). Early in the morning, the devotee has to rise from his bed and pray to the Lord, and there are other regulative principles for offering mangala-arati early in the morning. Foolish non-devotees, not understanding the importance of archana, criticize the regulative principles, but they have no eyes to see that the Lord also sleeps, by His own will. The impersonal conception of the Supreme is so detrimental to the path of devotional service that it is very difficult to associate with the stubborn non-devotees, who always think in terms of material conceptions.

Impersonalists always think backwards. They think that because there is form in matter, spirit should be formless; because in matter there is sleep, in spirit there cannot be sleep; and because the sleeping of the Deity is accepted in archana worship, the archana is maya. All these thoughts are basically material. To think either positively or negatively is still thinking materially. Knowledge accepted from the superior source of the Vedas is standard. Here in these verses of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, we find that archana is recommended. Before Brahma took up the task of creation, he found the Lord sleeping on the serpent bed in the waves of the water of devastation. Therefore, sleeping exists in the internal potency of the Lord, and this is not denied by pure devotees of the Lord like Brahma and his disciplic succession. It is clearly said here that the Lord slept very happily within the violent waves of the water, manifesting thereby that He is able to do anything and everything by His transcendental will and not be hampered by any circumstances. The Mayavadi cannot think beyond this material experience, and thus he denies the Lord’s ability to sleep within the water. His mistake is that he compares the Lord to himself — and that comparison is also a material thought. The whole philosophy of the Mayavada school, based on “not this, not that” (neti, neti), is basically material. Such thought cannot give one the chance to know the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is.
[End of Purport]

yan-nabhi-padma-bhavanad aham asam idya
loka-trayopakarano yad-anugrahena
tasmai namas ta udara-stha-bhavaya yoga-
nidravasana-vikasan-nalinekshanaya

O object of my worship, I am born from the house of Your lotus navel for the purpose of creating the universe by Your mercy. All these planets of the universe were stationed within Your transcendental abdomen while You were enjoying sleep. Now, Your sleep having ended, Your eyes are open like blossoming lotuses in the morning.

So Brahma is offering his prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the beginning of creation. Brahma appeared from the lotus navel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and then he had been instructed by the Lord from within his heart. Having done that, Brahma then saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead and had been instructed by the Lord that he should create this universe. The basic structure of the universe was already made, was already created. Now Brahma had to do the further interior decoration. The house has been built, now the interior decoration and get the tenants. That was Brahma’s job. So who are the tenants of this universe? The conditioned souls. And Brahma not only got the tenants, Brahma gave them specific bodies also according to their ability, according to their propensity.

So this is the beginning of creation. That’s why we can see that how scientific the informations are, the Vedic informations are, especially in Srimad Bhagavatam. It is absolutely scientific information. It’s a pity that people mistake these informations to be fairy tales, mythology. They mistake this to be some sort of concocted ideas. That is because they do not study this subject properly. They are not fortunate enough to receive the information. The main qualification of studying this subject is faith; to have faith and faith in the words of the teacher. The books are there. To study the books, to understand the books we need the guidance of a teacher, a qualified teacher. And a qualified teacher explains, but to begin with, if the person doesn’t have faith then how can he possibly understand the subject? Especially when this subject matter is beyond our sense perception. Practically all the subjects are beyond our sense perception but we have faith in the teachers and that will be [unclear]. Like, we can consider when we were children we are taught this is A, this is B. We didn’t know at that time what is A or what is B, but mother said this is A and we  accepted this is A, this is B. We didn’t question at that time, “Why this is A? I don’t accept it this is A”, or “It’s not A, it’s a triangle.” We did not think like that. We just accepted with faith. So to receive knowledge the faith is the most important element. Unless and until we have faith we cannot possible understand any subject, whether it is material, any of the material branches or whether it is spiritual information. Therefore, adau shraddha, the beginning, at the very beginning what is needed? It is shraddha – faith. Then comes sadhu-sanga, the association of devotees who are also studying the same subject. So it is a gradual progression.

Here we can see how this whole creation came about. It is not possible to understand how the whole creation came about, like our situation is so insignificant, our intelligence is so insignificant, we are so tiny, our ability is so minimum, that it is not possible to understand. Especially when we are dealing with a subject that is beyond our sense perception. But systematically we learn what is the systematic development of this knowledge. The first knowledge is that we are not material, we are spiritual beings. We are spiritual. Our actual identity is spiritual. We are not this body. The body is made of matter. This material body is not my real identity. Then we begin to realize that this body is alive because I am here. I am in this body. The body has consciousness because the soul – me – is in the body and this consciousness is being transmitted through the body. A very simple understanding. It’s common sense. Ultimately it is common sense. These are all actually a matter of common sense, simple common sense. Can this pair of glasses see? Who sees? Only when the glasses are tuned into my eyes I see. Through the glasses I see. Similarly these eyes cannot see. It is me, the spirit soul, because these eyes are connected to the spirit soul that’s why it can see. And it’s a long process. It’s a very, very intricate process. The soul is giving out consciousness and that consciousness is projected through the mind. The mind is connected to the eyes, external senses. The eyes cannot see also by itself. Even in a living body the eyes cannot see. Only when the mind is connected to the eyes the eyes can see. We see that, like, there may be some object in front of our eyes but we don’t see it. But only when the mind is projected through that, and the mind is focused then we register the object.

So the Vedas are very systematically giving us that understanding. You speak of science, this is the ultimate science. So the first understanding is: I am not this body, I am a spirit soul. That spirit soul is not a product of the material nature. The spirit soul came from the spiritual sky. We all came from the spiritual sky. None of us was generated here. The body has been generated here in the material nature but not me. I came from the spiritual sky and in the spiritual sky everything is spiritual, meaning in the spiritual sky everything is conscious. In the spiritual sky everything is eternal and in the spiritual sky everyone is blissful, everything is blissful. And actually in the spiritual sky there is no difference between body and thing. In the material nature there is difference. Thing mean inert. Body means alive. Everybody is living but everything may not be living. The inert object we identify as thing. Like we all are bodies, everybody, somebody, but this is something. We don’t call this somebody, do we? So what’s the difference? Living things are body and inert things are things but in the spiritual sky everything is living. Everything is living! In the spiritual sky this plate is living but it is functioning in a different way. It doesn’t move by itself. It’s waiting for somebody to come and use him in the service of Krishna. But they can move also, they can move also. Like, there is an incidence. Krishna’s pillow one day was thinking, “I am so unfortunate. I don’t get a chance to serve Krishna’s lotus feet. I am always at Krishna’s head.” So that day the pillow moved towards Krishna’s feet. And Lalitadevi, who makes arrangements for Krishna’s bed, she became very upset. She thought that the gopi who was supposed to make Krishna’s bed, she became so absent minded that instead of putting the pillow towards Krishna’s head put it on Krishna’s leg and she started to chastise her. But then they found out that it was not her mistake, it was the pillow himself [laughs], the pillow himself moved towards Krishna’s feet with an intention to serve Krishna’s lotus feet. And we also get descriptions like, when Krishna moves in Vrindavana, what happens? Krishna puts His step and the earth becomes ecstatic and in ecstasy the earth begins to dance. And it seems that the earth is moving. When Krishna goes to the Yamuna, the waves rush towards Krishna to embrace Him. So this is how they are living. The trees, as soon as Krishna comes immediately they become filled with flowers. The flowers are the ecstasy of the trees. Their joy is expressed in the form of flowers, and the flowers also are living entities. The flowers, in their ecstasy they immediately bloom. So this is how dynamic the spiritual sky is. It is moving, Vraja. Vraja means movement, Vraja, whereas material is static. Everything is static, inert. Spiritual everything is dynamic.

So that is the spiritual sky and then, when we enter into the spiritual sky, then we get to know about the Supreme Personality of Godhead – the source of everything, the Supreme Spiritual Personality, the Supreme Joyful, the Supreme Conscious, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Now those who do not have that knowledge, it is their misfortune. Those who do not want to accept that knowledge they’re even more unfortunate. Those who do not have the knowledge are unfortunate  but those who, in spite of having the opportunity, do not receive that knowledge, they are even more unfortunate. Like, to have the ability to see, is it fortunate or unfortunate? Consider a person blind, he cannot see. How unfortunate he is! How much he is missing out. He can’t see. His life is practically meaningless. Just see a blind man, how miserable he is! Now similarly, those who are spiritually blind they’re so unfortunate. And even more unfortunate, even in spite of having the eyes if somebody doesn’t utilize the eyes and doesn’t see. He has eyes but his eyes are closed. So how unfortunate…Therefore, when these informations are available from a proper source we must take advantage of that. We must take advantage of that.

These informations are so wonderful! Now when we get to know the Lord, okay, somebody became aware of the existence of the Lord. Yes, there is something spiritual. But if he thinks that the spiritual doesn’t have any shape, the spiritual doesn’t have any form, the spiritual doesn’t have any identity, it is all inert, it is meaning that it is inert, non-existent, it’s nothing, they’re missing out on that. The impersonalists are unfortunate in that sense. They just don’t want to understand that there is a spiritual reality and the variety that is there in the spiritual reality. Therefore, in Bhagavad Gita Krishna has declared kleso’dhikaras tesam avyaktasakta- cetasam [Bg 12.5], that those attached to avyakta, unmanifest – unmanifest means shapeless, formless, impersonal – they are very unfortunate. What they get, unfortunate people what they get? They only get sufferings. They are unfortunate. Unfortunate people suffer, fortunate people enjoy. So those who are fortunate they are actually enjoying.

Like Prabhupada used to say, “These Mayavadis they are so dry. They say don’t eat, but we say eat as much as possible, mahaprasada.” Akantha puriya karo prasada sevana. Now tell me, who is more fortunate: those who are not eating or those who are eating? [laughter] So all their efforts, all their activities are so painful, so miserable, source of sufferings. They are missing out on that. They are missing out on the loving exchange. They cannot possibly have a loving exchange. How can you love something that doesn’t have any consciousness, that doesn’t have any shape, that doesn’t have any form? So not only He has shape, He is the source of consciousness. He is a personality. He is a person and then we get to know the qualities of that person. Oh, He is so beautiful! He is so strong. He is so powerful. He is so wise. He is so famous and He is so rich. Isn’t it wonderful to have a relationship with a person like that? In simple words we can say, “Won’t it be wonderful to have a father?” Don’t we want to have a father who is the richest, who is the most richest, who is the most powerful? Won’t you be proud to have a father like that? And yes, we have a father. We have a father. The only thing is that we forgot about Him. We forgot our relationship with Him. When we were young didn’t we think, “Oh, my father is the best.” [laughs] And in our reality our father IS the best. He is the best father! He is the richest, He is the wisest, He is the most powerful, He is the most caring. And when we have the shelter of such a father, then why should we worry about anything?

Just consider, people are so afraid or terrorists today. I was basically trying to touch that topic yesterday. People are living in such anxiety today. Not only in India, not only in Bombay, everywhere. After the terrorist attack Bombay is in a bad shape. There are so many ‘Bombaywallahs and – wallihs’ [men and women from Bombay], they will confirm that. Actually, soon after that we saw, soon after the terrorist attack in the hotel people stopped going to the hotels. They stopped going to the shopping malls. Shopping malls became deserted, they became empty. Not only in Bombay, even in Delhi, people stopped going to the shopping malls because they are afraid of terrorist attack. Now, if we live in fear there is no end to end. We’ll constantly live in fear because there are so many possibilities of danger in this material nature. And besides that, in our mind we can create so many possibilities of danger, “Oh, may be right now Bin Laden is coming.” [laughs] But when we read Srimad Bhagavatam then we see these people, Kamsa, what to speak of Kamsa, even Kamsa’s small chelas are far more powerful than these insignificant people, these Bin Laden and Fin Laden. [laughter] Compared to Kamsa they are most insignificant. Just imagine how powerful these people were. Trinavarta came in the form of a tornado. Can you imagine, he can turn himself in the most dangerous cyclone, the most dangerous tornado. He can create a storm that can make houses, this is what happens in tornados, in the course of tornado, if something comes, like a big truck, you know what happens? The truck just goes up with the tornado and then it drops. The houses, they are just twisted, big multi stories buildings. They are just twisted. All you see is just a steal structure twisted in a thing, nothing is left of the house, this building. That’s how powerful this tornado is. So this Trinavarta could make himself in a tornado like that and he came to kill Krishna. But Krishna is so concerned. Krishna knew, see here he is, all cognizant, omniscient, He knows everything. So Krishna knew, “Okay, now Trinavarta is coming. Okay, fine.” Krishna was on His mother’s lap at that time. And how old Krishna was? Just a little baby, just few months old. A little baby on His mother’s lap, and Krishna thought, “I am on My mother’s lap. This guy is coming, so he will carry My mother also along with Me. So better I spare My mother.” So Krishna became so heavy mother Yashoda couldn’t keep Krishna on her lap so she placed Krishna on the floor. And at that time Trinavarta came and took Him away. So this is how caring Krishna is, so that nothing happens to His mother.

So many demons came. Although they came to kill Krishna but it caused fear in the hearts of the residents of Vrindavana. What did they do? Did they try to fight with those demons? No, they didn’t fight with the demons. They simply took shelter of Krishna and Krishna took care of them. Just consider, one day this terrible forest fire. This came in a very strange way. The cowherd boys were tending the cows and the forest fire came from all four sides. From all four sides the forest fire encircled them. So they were trapped in the middle. So how do you feel? If all of a sudden there is a fire, if there is a fire from this side you can try to run towards the door and to run out. But when you are running to the door you see there is fire there also. Then you think you go to the balcony and somehow try to make your way down. Then you go there and you see that there is fire also. How will you feel? There is no way to escape from that. But what did the cowherd boys do? They simply said, “Krishna! Krishna! Help us! Krishna, save us! Krishna, protect us!” And Krishna said, “Don’t worry. Close your eyes.” And as they closed their eyes Krishna swallowed the fire. “Okay, now you can open your eyes.” The fire was gone! Now is it real or is it a fairy tale? Here comes the faith. If you think it is fairy tale, you’ll miss out. But if you accept it with full conviction, it’s real, it’s true, then what will happen? Then when you are in a difficulty, when there is a danger for you, you will take shelter of Krishna and Krishna will protect.
Terrorists will attack, war will break out. Now there is a big fear. Pakistan has nuclear bomb, atom bomb. Nuclear bomb, more powerful than an atom bomb actually. So they are afraid that if the Talibans get that bomb then what will happen? They will use it. And there are so many such bombs all over the world, and if they start to drop then what will happen? There will be mass destruction. Now what is the way out of that dangerous situation? The only way out is to take shelter of Krishna with full faith: “Krishna! Krishna! Protect me.” There is no harm in praying to Krishna for protection. There is no harm in that. Yes, you can ask. Prabhupada used to say, “If you want something, ask Krishna.” So if there is any danger devotees should not be worried. Krishna will protect. Yes, this body may not be saved, maybe, but our identity is not this body. Our identity is spiritual. So if I take shelter of Krishna, He WILL protect me. That faith must be there and those who have that faith, they’re fortunate. And Krishna WILL protect, we’ll see that.

Now consider, talking about danger, how dangerous is our situation? Can you imagine how dangerous is our situation? Like, we are situated on the earth planet, on the surface of earth. The earth is round and the earth is moving with a tremendous speed. Isn’t it a very dangerous situation? The earth is moving and we are on the surface of the earth. Isn’t  it a dangerous situation? Because we can get thrown out. But we may think, “Well, it’s alright. When it never happens, we are safe.” But now consider if the earth stops for a fraction of a second, just something happens and the earth stops, do you know what will happen? Everything will be finished. But did it happen? Why not? Because Krishna is protecting. It’s Krishna’s mercy, so Krishna is protecting us in this dangerous situation. So why should I worry? Krishna is taking care of us, why should I worry? Therefore a devotee is free from anxiety, kuntha. A devotee is free from anxiety. For a devotee no anxiety, Krishna is there. He will take care. We are already in such a dangerous situation. So many things can happen. There may be an earth quake and everything may fall apart. We don’t have to wait for the terrorists. The ocean, what’s with the ocean? Waves can rise a few meters. The water from the middle of the ocean can come to the side of the ocean by chance. We have seen. Like one little wave came, what’s the name? Tsunami. It is not Tsunami, it is a Kunami. [laughter] And you saw the damage, the extent of damage it caused.
So, so many things can happen but a devotee, when he takes shelter of Krishna’s lotus feet, he has nothing to worry. Therefore the spiritual sky is Vaikuntha: no anxiety. Why? Because everyone is depending upon Krishna. In the spiritual sky, because everyone is depending upon Krishna, therefore they do not have any anxiety. Therefore that world, that region is free from anxiety. No anxiety, no one has any anxiety, whereas material nature is full of anxiety. “Oh, what will happen? What will happen if I lose my job?” Don’t people have that anxiety? “What will happen if my company fails? What will happen if my customer doesn’t pay me the money? What will happen if the government puts so much tax on me?” There are so many anxieties in the material nature, what will happen, what will happen, what will happen?! But for a devotee, nothing will happen! Krishna will take care. Krishna has already taken care of me, Krishna IS taking care of me and Krishna will continue to take care of me, therefore no anxiety. Isn’t it a fortunate situation? So that’s how fortunate a devotee is.

Thank you very much! All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!

Does anybody have any question? Yes?

Devotee: This question is from Guru Gauranga prabhu. The scientists are attest to the avyakta shakti and don’t allow any break between God and the world.
BCS: The scientists are?Devotee: The scientists are attest to the avyakta shakti and don’t allow any break between God and the world. Shankaracharya’s ‘Vivarta Vada’ did the same. How do we apprise them of their self imposed limitation of discovering that unified reality of Krishna the parinama shakti, or discovering Krishna’s transformation of energies from internal to external?
BCS: Well, the parinama actually means the transformation from internal to external. Say for example, in the Vedas there is this philosophy, a branch of Vedic  philosophy called ‘Brahma Parinama Vada.’ The Brahman or the spiritual energy has transformed into material, but what Shankaracharya came and gave is called ‘Vivarta Vada’, the theory of illusion. You see, parinama is alright. Parinama is real. Like, for example, milk turned into yoghurt. So this is parinama; milk became yoghurt. Milk is real, yoghurt is real. But illusion is that it is not there but it is imagined to be there. That is called Vivarta Vada. So this Vivarta Vada has been established by Shankaracharya and the foundation on which he established that was that there is no water in a mirage, but the mirage is mistaken to be water. There is no snake in the rope but the rope is mistaken to be a snake. So that is Shankaracharya’s theory. Like, there is no reality in this nature. It is all illusion. It’s not real, it’s not there. It’s all illusory. So that is his Vivarta Vada, which is commonly known as Mayavada or theory of illusion. But Ramanujacharya defeated that by saying that, “Fine, there is no water in the mirage but somewhere the water is existing. That’s why you are mistaking the mirage to be water. Fine, there is no snake in the rope but somewhere the snake is existing. That’s why you are mistaking the rope to be a snake. Therefore, this material nature may be illusory but beyond the material nature there is a real reality.” And that’s how he establishes that the real reality is full of form and variety and personality. Whatever is there in the reflection must be there in the reality.
It’s a very deep question you asked, Guru Gauranga. Does it answer your question?

Devotee: So how to convince the scientists of this?
BCS: First of all, you have to create the good fortune for the scientists. You have to first make them develop faith in the words of the scriptures. Like, if somebody has already concluded that A is Y, then how can you convince him that A is A? You have to first make him come out of his misconception that A is not Y; A is A. And how do you get to understand that A is A? Why is he thinking that A is Y or A is X? Because he did not receive the knowledge from a qualified source. To begin with, he got a whole bunch of wrong information. The wrong information is that A is X or A is Y.  That is the misconception. Now what they will do? They will keep on going “A is X, A is Y, A is Z, A is W, A is B, A is C, A is D”, but they will not understand that A is A! So first of all they have to accept the authority who has the information. Their main problem is that they are simply depending upon their senses – sense perception – and a whole lot of wrong informations that have been injected into their defected brain.
What’s your comment now, Guru Gauranga?
Devotee: He is laughing. [BCS laughs too] He says it is very good.
BCS: Thank you. Is there any other question? Yes?

Devotee: One question from Peter from Franklin, USA. Do you believe it is possible that preventing devotees from chanting in society has added to the misery which seems to grief the entire world?
BCS: Yes, yes. The Harinama is the only remedy for this trouble ridden world, Harinama. So this Harinama sankirtana must go on. That is the only way that will save this world. Individually we should chant and we should encourage others to chant and in this way we must chant collectively. That’s why we have to start this massive Harinama sankirtana. Wherever we go, we should ask everyone to chant and encourage everyone to chant, facilitate everyone to chant.

Devotee: I want to ask one question, Guru Maharaja. What is the relation between the soul and the mind? Because every time when a soul takes birth then he thinks new things, does it mean that the soul doesn’t have any intelligence or it doesn’t carry a memory?
BCS: Yeah. You see, mind is matter also. It’s the consciousness that’s the soul, the consciousness from the soul. When the soul comes in contact with the material nature then what happens? The first thing that he encounters is false ego – that is “I am the controller. I am the enjoyer. I am the lord and master.” That’s how he develops this false ego and then it gets covered over, it gets the second covering of intelligence, that “How am I going to enjoy this material nature?” Then it gets the third covering of mind through which the consciousness flows towards this direction. It is through the mind that our consciousness is flowing towards this material nature, or projected towards the material nature. So in this way through the false ego, intelligence and mind we develop the subtle body. And then according to the subtle body the nature gives us a gross body.

Now, this gross body is temporary. The gross body changes but the subtle body doesn’t change like the gross body does. Like in the sense, the gross body, because it is gross, its activities are, it is gross. So what happens? All of a sudden we leave the body and we die, the body dies, but the subtle body remains with the soul. It’s the subtle body that goes with the soul or carries the soul to the next gross body by nature’s arrangement.
So now you can consider, a child is born. The child is born, the gross body may be a fresh one, a new one, but the subtle body is already there. It’s carrying all the impressions from the past. It is comprising of mind, intelligence and false ego. So that mind has the memory, or the memory is there. But the thing is, because his consciousness is material, it is projected to the body. You see, that’s what happens in the material nature, in our material existence. Our consciousness is limited to the body. So when we get a new body we think, “Oh, I got a new body! This is new.” So he doesn’t have access to the old body’s impressions directly but the memory carries those impressions with the karmic reactions. First he gets the body, he thinks, “Oh, I don’t know how to deal with this.” Then gradually he learns to deal with that, and then he gets memories related to the body. Then everything becomes related to the body and whatever is happening to the body he thinks it is happening to him.
So you get the point? Like, the mind is the carrier of the consciousness and in the subtle body, in the memory, all the impressions are there but we do not have access to those informations because we have limited ourselves to this body. So whatever is happening to this body our mind is tuned into that only, our memory is tuned into that only. We do not have a direct access to the other body’s memory as such.

Devotee: Guru Maharaja, we see that when Hiranyakasipu tried to kill Prahlada Maharaja he never endeavored to protect himself. Rather, he just closed his eyes, asking Krishna for protection.
BCS: Who?

Devotee: Prahlada Maharaja. So in the case of us, when some devotee is in the rail way station and there is a terrorist attack, what he should do? He should just close his eyes and chant Hare Krishna or he should run and chant Hare Krishna?
BCS: That will depend on that person’s faith.

Devotee: Which one is better?
BCS: Now run means he is making an endeavor, but depending upon Krishna, okay.

Devotee: That is best?
BCS: That is the best. But at the same time we have to use our intelligence also. If by running we can spare Krishna to save us, we can spare Krishna’s saving us, then let us make that endeavor. But when we become completely exhausted, we don’t have any other course open, then, yes, depend upon Krishna. Like, say for example, a train is coming and I am on the track. Now if I keep on moving towards the train, thinking Krishna will protect me, that’s stupid! [laughter] That’s not faith. I mean, if I can take one step aside and save myself, why shouldn’t I do that? Or a car is coming, there is red light. I mean, pedestrians crossing red light and green light for the cars and if I go on thinking, “Oh, Krishna will protect me. I don’t care!” So we shouldn’t be stupid. We should use our intelligence and we should use our ability. But ultimately we know that Krishna will protect us. That faith must be there.
Yes, Chloe?

Devotee: Guru Maharaja, is there any difference between the subtle body and the spiritual body?
BCS: The subtle body and the spiritual body? Yes, the subtle body is made of mind, intelligence and false ego and the spiritual body is the soul.

Devotee: Only soul?
BCS: The soul’s body, spiritual body.

Devotee: So if somebody leaves his body and goes back to Krishna then what happens with the subtle body?
BCS: Yeah, in order to go to Krishna we have to get rid of our subtle body. This subtle body is the biggest problem. You see, the gross body dies and we are free from the gross body. We don’t have the gross body’s bondage. This body is tying us down to the material nature. At some point we become free from the bondage of the gross body, but our trouble is, our problem is that we have the bondage of the subtle body – mind, intelligence and false ego. The subtle body doesn’t die but the subtle body can be transformed. See your mind, through the mind our consciousness is going towards matter. Now, when the mind is used in thinking about Krishna, then what is happening? The consciousness is not going towards matter: the consciousness is going towards Krishna. So in this way the mind is now transformed and spiritualized.
Now, when intelligence is engaged in serving Krishna – how to serve Krishna, how to serve Krishna – then the intelligence is spiritualized. And in this way when you become a servant of Krishna then what happens to your false ego? Do you have your false ego then, when you become a maidservant of Krishna? No false ego! So what happened to your mind? What happened to your intelligence? What happened to your false ego? What happened?

Devotee: It is transformed.
BCS: Transformed, very good. So that means they are not there anymore. That means, at that time you don’t have any subtle body. It’s the spiritual body existing in this apparently material body, gross body. So that is the state of siddhya, called svarupa-siddhi, the perfection of one’s svarupa, the perfection of one’s identity. At that time, although apparently one is in the material body but he is situated in the spiritual identity. It’s a pure spirit soul in the apparently material body. That material body then is also not material anymore, it is spiritualized. Just like when iron is in fire, what happens? Is it still iron or fire, what? The iron in fire becomes hot, red, then is it iron or is it fire? Okay, you are thinking. Touch it! [laughter] Touch it, is it iron or fire?
Devotee: Fire.
BCS: Good! [laughs] So that is how that the body of a pure, svarupa-siddha personality is also spiritualized. And then when time comes by nature’s arrangement for him to leave the body then he goes back to the spiritual sky.
Yes, Radharani?

Devotee: [inaudible]
BCS: Yeah, but that intelligence will become purified only when the mind is engaged in thinking of Krishna.

Devotee: The intelligence is higher than the mind, if the intelligence is directed
BCS: Yeah, right, you have to use your intelligence and decide to become a devotee of Krishna. So that is how the intelligence is used but when you become a devotee of Krishna then what happens? Then you engage your mind. So which one comes first is irrelevant.

Devotee: As you said, Guru Maharaja, that the earth planet moves in ecstasy when Krishna touches it, so are the other planets also moving in the same, move in ecstasy as Krishna touches it?
BCS: As?

Devotee: You said that it moves around so as Krishna touches it, it moves in ecstasy.
BCS: Did I say it is moving around because Krishna is touching it?

Devotee: No, putting His feet on the earth, it is moving in ecstasy.
BCS: No, no

Devotee: It is moving in ecstasy.
BCS: Oh, okay, okay. That is not, that is Vrindavana. It begins to dance.

Devotee: Okay.
BCS: It is not moving in the spinning like that. It is always spinning. Yes?

Devotee: Question from [inaudible]. She is asking, if a pure devotee has only pure soul, how does his body exist without the subtle body?
BCS: How does his body exist, yeah, you see, Hare Krishna! The gross body doesn’t need the subtle body. The gross body, in order to be active, be alive, it needs the spirit soul. Champi, did you understand? The soul is causing the body to be alive, not the subtle body. So for a pure devotee, he doesn’t have a subtle body, meaning a body consisting of material mind, material intelligence and material false ego. So that body has a pure spirit soul in that. Is the answer clear to you, Champi?

Devotee: [inaudible]
BCS: Okay!

Devotee: One more question from Peter. How often does one overcome his subtle body?
BCS: How?

Devotee: Often does one overcome his subtle body?
BCS: How often? Very rarely! Because manushyanam sahasresu, out of thousands and thousands of people endeavor for spiritual advancement and out of such thousands of perfected spiritualists, rarely one becomes a pure devotee of Krishna. [Bg 7.3] So it is these pure devotees of Krishna only who have transformed their subtle bodies, or got rid of their subtle bodies by becoming situated in their pure spiritual identity. Is that clear, Peter? It’s rare, but the thing is that it may be rare for others but it is not rare for you. You can become a pure devotee. Just practice the process that Srila Prabhupada gave. Yes?

Devotee: Guru Maharaja, it is like that, that the subtle body consists of  intelligence, false ego and mind, so after leaving this body where does the transformation of the subtle body take place?
BCS: The subtle body doesn’t transform like that. You see, the subtle body takes the shape according to his activities, karma. Say, somebody is acting like a very nice way. Somebody is acting like an angel, then his subtle body takes the shape of an angel’s subtle body. But if somebody acts like an animal, what will happen to his subtle body? His subtle body will take the shape of an animal’s subtle body. Then after they leave the human body the subtle body will carry, by nature’s arrangement, to an appropriate womb. Whose subtle body has taken the shape of an angel the nature will take him, take that soul and place him in an angel’s body. And somebody who acted like an animal, the nature will place him in an animal body, and according to their subtle body they will get their gross body, by nature’s arrangement. Clear?

Devotee: My question is, where does it take place: in the material world or after leaving the gross body? The subtle body, where does it go?
BCS: It stays in the material nature.

Devotee: It stays in the material nature?
BCS: Yeah, and it goes to the next mother’s womb and in the womb it develops a new body and comes out when the production is complete. [chuckles] The womb is the factory where the bodies are manufactured like the motorcars are manufactured in the factory. The different types of bodies, when they’re ready then the driver begins to drive that body. Who is the driver? Who is the driver? Who drives the body? [devotees: the soul] The soul, the soul is the driver and the body is the machine. Some bodies are like rikshas, some bodies are like three-wheelers, some bodies are like motorcars and some bodies are like aeroplanes. [laughter] Some bodies are like ships, some bodies are like motorboats. Some move in water, some move in land, some move in sky, and there also there are different types of, different qualities of bodies.
Okay? Are you reading Prabhupada’s books?

Devotee: No, I
BCS: No?! Then what do we do?

Devotee: Sometimes I read.
BCS: Sometimes, okay. Keep as often as possible, keep reading more often. You are studying now?

Devotee: Yeah.
BCS: What are you studying?

Devotee: I’m in the eleventh [unclear].
BCS: Eleventh, oh, so you are a very intelligent girl. So you must read Prabhupada’s books. Hare Krishna!
Devotee: Hare Krishna!

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Transcription & Editing : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Audio reference: click here