Wandering the Planets–Getting Out of this Cycle
September 13, 2010 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Filed under Preaching
The living entity is wandering in this way, life after life—sometimes as human being, sometimes as demigod, sometimes as brahmana, sometimes as sudra, sometimes as tree, sometimes as insect, sometimes as fish, so many. Sometimes as birds. And in different planets also, not only in this planet.
Bombay, December 27, 1972
Pradyumna: (reading:) “…but his whole advancement of material happiness immediately terminates along with his body as soon as his life is over. Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death. At death everything is finished, and one has to begin a new chapter of life in a new situation, perhaps higher or lower than the last one. In any…”
Prabhupada: Yes. Bhagavad-gita, it is said, Krsna says: mrtyuh sarva-haras caham. At the… By death, everything is taken away by Krsna. So the modern civilization, they do not believe in the next birth. That is the basic mistake of the present civilization, that we get information that tatha dehantaram praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati. Dehantaram. Just like we are transmigrating, even in this span of life, from childhood to boyhood, from boyhood to youthhood, from youthhood to old age body. Therefore it is natural to conclude that after this old body’s finished, then we get another body, transmigration of the soul. But there is no education, no enlightenment about this transmigration of the soul. But we can, if we think, ponder very deeply on this matter, how transmigration of the soul is taking place, and it is authorized, authorized statement of Bhagavad-gita:
tatha dehantaram praptir
dehino ‘smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantaram praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
So this is the defect. The atheist class of men, they also see God. One, everyone can see God, provided he has got eyes to see. Actually, premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. Those who are yogis, bhakta-yogis, because they are in love with God, Krsna, they are seeing every moment within their heart the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Anyone you love, you see always within your heart. Similarly, if you have love for God, Krsna, then you can see Krsna always. That is called yoga system. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]. Yoginah, those who are yogis, under meditation, they see the Supreme Personality of Godhead within the heart. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]. So there are many evidences in the sastras. Yoga means to see the Supreme Lord within the heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese arjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. Isvara, the Supreme Lord, is situated in everyone’s heart. One has to see. One has to develop that visionary power, how to see God within the heart. That is wanted. That is called yoga system. Dhyanavasthita. Otherwise Isvara is there in everyone’s heart. Therefore Krsna says,
yoginam api sarvesam
mad gata antaratmana
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
“The first-class yogi is he who is always seeing Me within his heart.” Yoginam api sarvesam. There are different types of yogis. The first-class yogi is he who can see Krsna within his heart constantly, without any cessation. Smartavyam satato visnuh vismartavyam na jatucit. This is the process. One has to observe Visnu within the heart always. Smartavyam satato visnuh vismartavyam na… This is Krsna consciousness. One has to think of Krsna or see Krsna within the heart twenty-four hours. That is perfection of yoga. Yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatena antaratmana.
But the atheist class of men, they do not see. They do not like to see. Just like Hiranyakasipu and Prahlada. Prahlada is the son of Hiranyakasipu; a great devotee. And the father is atheist. That is the struggle. This struggle between the atheist and theist, always existing. But God, Hiranya, I mean to say, Nrsimhadeva appeared. Nrsimhadeva appeared for the solace of the devotee, Prahlada, and for the death of the atheist. Both of them saw. Prahlada saw Nrsimhadeva as the most worshipable Deity, and Hiranyakasipu saw the same person as death. Therefore God can be seen by everyone, atheist or theist, but they see in a different way. The, the theist, the devotee, sees God… Just like these devotees are worshiping the Lord, Krsna, that “Here is Krsna, Radharani, and let us offer Him respect by offering aratrika, prasadam.” They’re seeing also. The atheist will say, “What this nonsense? Some idol they are worshiping.” The atheist will see, “What is this non…?” But that atheist will see God at the time of death, when He’ll come as Nrsimhadeva: immediately finished. All his assets, finished. With the body, the, everything he has possessed, the family or the house, the bank balance, this or that, everything is finished.
Now he begins another chapter. He forgets. Just like we forget at night when we see some dream, we forget our identity, that “I am this. I am that. I am lying on the bed. I’ve got this good apartment.” No. Everything is finished. Again, this, when the dream is finished, we come to another dream: “Oh, this is my house. This is my family. This is my bank balance.” This is going on. Dream. One dream at night, one dream at daytime. But who is dreaming? That is the living entity. So his business is different. Not dreaming, daytime dreaming and nighttime dreaming. He has to come to the actual platform. That is Krsna consciousness. If he takes to Krsna consciousness, that is his actual life. Otherwise, he’s in the dreamland. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. This is called maya, illusion. Nighttime dreaming and daytime dreaming. The nighttime dream… In this way, we are dreaming life after life. As human being, as animal, as tree, as aquatics. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati. This evolutionary process is going on.
Therefore, therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says,
ei rupe brahmando bhramite kono bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]
The living entity is wandering in this way, life after life,sometimes as human being, sometimes as demigod, sometimes as brahmana, sometimes as sudra, sometimes as tree, sometimes as insect, sometimes as fish, so many. Sometimes as birds. And in different planets also, not only in this planet. Brahmando. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, brahmando. Within the universe, he is traveling according to his karma.
yanti deva-vrata devan
pitrn yanti pitr-vratah
bhutejya yanti bhutani
mad-yajino ‘pi yanti mam
So those who are in goodness, they are being promoted to the higher planetary systems of demigods.
urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha
madhye tisthanti rajasah
adho gacchanti tamasah
Those who are in goodness of material nature, they’re being promoted to the higher planetary systems. Those who are in passion, they are left within this Bhur, Bhuvarloka. And those who are in ignorance, jaghanya-guna-vrtti, they, one who has no systematic life, living like animal, so eating, sleeping like animal, jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah, they go down. This is going on. Out of many millions of living entities, in this way, wandering all over the universe, one who is fortunate, he comes in contact with guru and Krsna. Guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Beginning of devotional service, Krsna consciousness.
So that is real life.
ei rupe brahmando bhramite kono bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]
mali hana sei bija karaye aropana
sravana-kirtana-jale karaye secana
Just like if you get a nice flower seed, if you sow it and pour water, gradually it will grow. Similarly, this bhakti-lata-bija, if one gets fortunately, through the association of devotees, and if he sows it within the heart and pour water gradually, by this way, sravana kirtana, this process which you are following, hearing and chanting… This is called the process of pouring water. Then that bhakti-lata-bija, that creeper, bhakti-lata, will grow. And, in due course of time, it will give you the fruit. The fruit is to be under the shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is fruit. Go on.
Pradyumna: “In any field of activity,political, social, national or international,the results of our actions will be finished with the end of life. That is sure. Bhakti-rasa, however, the mellow relished in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, does not finish with the end of life.”
Prabhupada: Yes, this is very important. Whatever we are doing in this life, everything will be finished with the end of the body. My position, my wealth, my family, my this or that,everything will be finished, because I’ll have to accept another body. Karmana daiva netrena jantor deha upapattaye. This gross body will be finished. I’ll have to accept another gross body. But if you begin Krsna consciousness, it will not be finished, because it is the business of the soul. Krsna consciousness means the original consciousness, “I am Krsna’s. I am God’s, part and parcel of God,” this consciousness. At the present moment, being illusioned by different material designations, we are thinking in different way: “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am brahmana,” “I am sudra,” “I am this,” “I am that.” These are all designations. And Krsna consciousness means “I am Krsna’s.” Aham brahmasmi. So ‘ham. “I am as good as Krsna,” or “I am Krsna’s. I am eternal servant of Krsna.” This consciousness is required to invoke. That is the prime objective of human life. Now we are in different consciousness. So bhakti means sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. One has to become freed from all these designations: “I am this,” “I am that,” this bodily concept of life. Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke [SB 10.84.13]. I am identifying myself with this body. This is condemned in the sastra. Sa eva go-kharah. One who identifies himself with this body, he’s no better than the cows and the asses. Sa eva go-kharah.
So Krsna consciousness means one is not identifying himself with this material body. He is identifying himself in his original constitutional position, aham brahmasmi
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
Mad-bhaktim labhate param. After being liberated from all these designations, one begins his devotional service, devotional life. And Krsna says, “If one wants to know Me, then he must accept.” Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. Tattvatah. If one wants to know Krsna, God, as He is, then he has to accept the process of devotional service. Bhaktya mam abhijanati. Evam prasanna-manaso bhakti-yogena [SB 1.2.20]. There is another verse in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: evam prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah. By practicing the bhagavad-bhakti-yoga, bhagavad-bhakti-yoga prasanna manaso, one has to become first of all joyful by identifying himself with the spirit. Brahma bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. Then when he becomes joyful, he understands that “I am not this material body, I am spirit soul. I am not American, I am not Indian, I’m not brahmana, I am not this, this, this, so many things… No, I am spirit soul. I am part and parcel of Krsna.” This is called brahma-bhutah. Evam prasanna-manaso. When one becomes brahma-bhutah, self-realized, at that time, he becomes prasanna-manaso, joyful. Na socati na kanksati: he has no more lamentation or hankering. Evam prasanna. In this state of life, prasanna-manaso, evam prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah [SB 1.2.20], by practicing bhagavad-bhakti yoga, bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam mukta-sangasya jayate. At that time, one can understand what is the science of God, bhagavat-tattva. It is not a sentiment; it is a vijnana, science. Bhagavad-tattva-vijnana. So who can understand this bhagavad-tattva-vijnana, science? Mukta-sanga. One who is liberated from this material contamination, he can understand.
Therefore devotees who are constantly engaged in the loving service of the Lord, they are liberated. Mam ca avyabhicarini bhakti-yogena yah sevate. Anyone who is engaged in devotional service unadulterated, without any motive, unadulterated:
He’s liberated. These activities of Krsna consciousness, it is, it appears to be ordinary activities, but that is liberated activity. Those who cannot understand the activities in liberation, nirvisesavadi, they think that in the conditioned state of life, there are activities; when one becomes liberated, he has no more activities, he becomes dumb. No. Actual activities begins in liberated… Just like a man, a diseased fellow, diseased fellow, lying on the bed, he’s also eating. He’s also sleeping. He’s also passing stool, urine. But that is not real activity. When he becomes cured of the disease, come to his healthy life, and then again he walks, he eats, he sleeps, that is another, mean, a position of eating, sleeping. But one who cannot understand the liberated activities, they are shuddered. As soon as they think of activities, they think, “Oh, the activities, they, the…” The same patient who is suffering, for, suppose from birth, he cannot understand that there is activities after being cured of this disease. He cannot understand. He thinks activity means lying down on the bed and drinking all bitter medicine and pass stool and urine by using, what is called, that…?
Devotees: Bed pan. Bed pan.
Prabhupada: Bed pan. He’s thinking like that. He has no idea there is better activities, better sleeping, better eating. That he cannot understand. Therefore sunyavadi. They want to make zero. “These activities are giving me so much trouble. Make it zero.” Just like sometimes one cannot tolerate the pains of diseased condition. Sometimes they commit suicide, stop these activities. So the sunyavadi, they are like that, committing suicide; stop these activities. But they do not know that there is activities. There are… After being cured of this material disease, when one is healthy… That healthy activities are the devotional activities. Therefore Krsna says, mam ca avyabhicarini yogena yah sevate. Sevate means there is activities. It is not stoppage of activities. Sevate. Sevate means giving service. Giving service is not stopping activities. But that is a different type of activities, healthy activities. Therefore Krsna says,
mam ca avyabhicarini
bhakti-yogena yah sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
He’s brahma-bhutah. He’s self-realized. Self-realized. That is mukti. Muktir hitva anyatha rupam svarupena vyavasthitih. Mukti does not mean stopping activities. That is not mukti. That is suicidal. You are living entity. How you can stop? That is not possible. They say that, Mayavadi philosophers, they say to become desireless. That…, you cannot be desireless because you are living entity. How you can stop your desires? But you have to rectify, you have to purify your desires. Now we are desiring simply for sense gratification, to lord it over the material nature. That is your desires. And, and when this desire is purified, then you’ll desire that how everything should be engaged in the service of God. Now I am trying to become God, lord it over the material nature, but when my desires are purified, then I shall understand that everything belongs to God; therefore everything should be dovetailed in the service of God. That is liberation. Muktir hitva anyatha rupam svarupena… This is svarupa.
Therefore sunyavadi, or nirvisesa-vadi, they are not liberated. They are still in maya. Vimukta-maninah.
In the Bhagavata it is said that they are thinking, concocting that they have become liberated. Actually they are not liberated. Ye ‘nye ‘ravindaksa vimukta-maninah. Maninah. Say somebody thinks that “I’m the proprietor of all the banks.” Let him think like that. But that does not mean he has become the proprietor of the banks. That is a different thing. Similarly, one may think that “I have become liberated,” but actually he’s not liberated. Liberated is he who is engaged in the service of the Lord. He’s liberated. Nobody’s liberated. Ye ‘nye ‘ravindaksa vimukta-maninas tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah [SB 10.2.32]. Just like they are going to the Moon planet. They have got very high speed sputniks. Simply riding on, boarding on high-speed sputnik does not mean he has gone to the moon planet. Actually he has to go there and live there. Then it is successful. But what they are doing? They are going and coming back. They are going and coming back. Similarly, aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanti adhah [SB 10.2.32]. If you have to stay in the higher status of life, brahma anubhuti, then you’ll have to come back again. Aruhya krcchrena. Krcchrena means by practicing severe austerities, penances, one may go up to the Brahman effulgence, param padam. That is called param padam.
But because there is no stay… Just like in the sky. You may go with high speed, but if you cannot stay in some planet, you’ll have to come back again. Similarly, aruhya kncchrena param padam tatah, patanti adhah anadrta-yusmad-anghrayah. Because they cannot get shelter under the lotus feet of Krsna, they have to come down again to these material activities. And we have seen practically, so many big, big sannyasis, they give up this material world, take sannyasa to understand Brahman, but because they could not understand Brahman, they again come to open hospital and schools. That is their business. Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanti adhah [SB 10.2.32].
But one who is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, he does not come to these material activities again. The, the factual evidence… Just this, these boys, these European, American boys. Who could enjoy material life better than them? They were all enjoying. But they have given up everything. They are no more going back to that status of life. Param drstva nivartate. They have found something better. Therefore they’re not going to again that life of meat-eating, illicit sex, intoxication, smoking and drinking. No. They are not, no more going. Give them bribe also: “You come to again to that stage.” Will you go?
Devotees: No. No.
Prabhupada: No. They’ll never go. This is called liberation. This is called liberation. Simply by thinking, “I have become liberated,” and I am handicapped by so many bad habits, that is not liberation. That is simply mental concoction. Real liberation is bhakti-yoga.
Thank you very much. That’s all. (end)