After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis..." /> Great Souls Do Not Return to this World of Suffering |

Welfare Work

Published on January 26th, 2016 | by Madhudvisa dasa


Great Souls Do Not Return to this World of Suffering

After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection. (Bhagavad-gita 8.16)

Since this temporary material world is full of the miseries of birth, old age, disease and death, naturally he who achieves the highest perfection and attains the supreme planet, Kṛṣṇaloka, Goloka Vṛndāvana, does not wish to return.

The supreme planet is described in Vedic literature as beyond our material vision, and it is considered the highest goal. The great souls receive transcendental messages from the realized devotees and thus gradually develop devotional service in Krishna consciousness and become so absorbed in transcendental service that they no longer desire elevation to any of the material planets, nor do they even want to be transferred to any spiritual planet. They only want Krishna’s association and nothing else. Such great souls in Krishna consciousness attain the highest perfection of life. In other words, they are the supreme souls.

Maya’s greatest trick is to fool us into thinking that we can somehow make a comfortable position in the material world and that we can live here happily. But unfortunately it is not possible to live happily in the material world because the material world is not our home. We do not belong here. We are spiritual beings with the same qualities as Krishna. We are eternal, we are full of knowledge and full of ever increasing transcendental bliss and we have an eternally youthful spiritual body.

But here, in the material word, our real nature is covered by the gross and subtle material bodies and we are mistakenly identifying these temporary material bodies as ourselves. This is the fundamental mistake that we make. Misidentifying our material bodies as our selves. So once we misidentify like this we work to try and satisfy the senses of the material body, thinking that “I am this material body. I am a man, I am an Indian, I am an Australian, I am black, I am white…” These ideas are all false because actually I am not my material body. I am the eternal spiritual being trapped within this material body.

These material bodies and the whole material world are opposite to our real nature. Our real nature is we are eternal, full of knowledge and full of ever-increasing transcendental bliss but our material bodies and the material world are the opposite. The material world is temporary, full of ignorance and full of anxiety. So it is exactly the opposite to our real eternal spiritual nature.

So we can not be happy in the material world any more than a fish can be happy out of the water. The fish can not be happy out of the water. He is a creature of the water. He can not be happy on the land. Similarly we are spiritual entities, we are creatures of the spiritual world. We can not be happy in the material world.

So the first step in spiritual life is to become free from the bodily conception of life. We have to realize we are not these material bodies, that we are the eternal spirit soul who is trapped within the material body.

From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.

(Bhagavad-gita 8.17)

All kinds of yogiskarma, jnana, hatha, etc.—eventually have to attain devotional perfection in bhakti-yoga, or Krishna consciousness, before they can go to Krishna’s transcendental abode and never return.

Those who attain the highest material planets or the planets of the demigods are again subjected to repeated birth and death. As persons on earth are elevated to higher planets, people in higher planets such as Brahmaloka, Candraloka and Indraloka fall down to earth.

The practice of sacrifice enables one to be elevated to the higher planets which are still material but provide a higher level of material sense gratification than is available here on earth. But even in one is elevated to the heavenly planets if he does not cultivate Krishna consciousness there he must return to earth.

Those who progress in Krishna consciousness in the higher planets are gradually elevated to higher and higher planets and at the time of universal devastation are transferred to the eternal spiritual kingdom.

When there is devastation of this material universe, Brahma and his devotees, who are constantly engaged in Krishna consciousness, are all transferred to the spiritual universe and to specific spiritual planets according to their desires.

About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna." I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can. That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental! That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

29 Responses to Great Souls Do Not Return to this World of Suffering

  1. Mark David Vinzens says:

    Beautiful, enlightening teachings. Hare Krishna!

  2. Mark David Vinzens says:

    These universal spiritual truths are the essence of all religions. Vedic knowledge is complete and makes sense. Hare Krishna!

  3. Sudakshnasharma says:

    Thank you prabhu ji for providing me spiritual food. I enjoy each and every word of your post. So very humbly request you to keep on sending your post so that I may improve to enjoy Krishna conscious . Prabhu ji I have one problem while chanting . I feel very very uneasy with my tounge . May be the result of bad karma . But I go on and try to remember Krishna all the time . Hoping to have a word or two in this connection . With deep regards . Sudakshnasharma

    • Hare Krsihna Sudakshnasharma

      The thing about chanting Hare Krishna is it may be difficult or awkward in the beginning but there is an English saying: “Practice makes perfect.” And it is very true. The point of chanting Hare Krishna mantra is to chant all the worlds and to hear them clearly. So just do that. Do not worry so much if you are feeling uneasy. Just chant Hare Krishna mantra with your tongue and hear the mantra with your ears and chant at least 16 rounds a day and very soon you will be chanting Hare Krishna and feeling very comfortable and happy doing it. But you have to practice it by chanting at least 16 rounds every day and practice makes perfect…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  4. Marcy says:

    I am 72 years old and have begun to be a Krishna devotee. I am learning at my own pace. However I had received 60 articles and was getting 1 article every other day. I asked why you had stopped sending them now as its been 2 months and I’ve receive NOTHING and had asked for an explanation as to what happened. You have hurt me and I’ve heard nothing from either anyone. It makes me wonder with terrible thoughts in my head.. I read them at my own pace because of my age. I was enjoying them and looking forward to more ONLY TO FIND OUT I’ve heard nothing from you.

    • Hare Krishna Bhaktin Marcy

      I am very sorry. Now the emails are not so often, one a week usually. But what happened is somehow you were unsubscried from the list on March 2. I think you may have clicked on the unsubscribe link by mistake. So I have subscribed you again and you will start getting emails again, not every day, but should be at least one a week. And please read Srila Prabhupada’s books also. There is so much more in Srila Prabhupada’s books. I am really just trying to get you interested in Krishna consciousness so you read Srila Prabhupada’s books. That is the idea of the emails.

      Unsubscribe Time: March 2 2016, 2:57 pm ?
      Unsubscribe IP: ?

  5. Jayesh Trivedi says:

    Hare krishna prabhuji,

    What happens to Shivloka & Lord Shiva’s devotee when complete devastation takes place? because Shiva is eternal.

    • Hare Krishna Jayesh

      I answered part of this elsewhere. The point you are missing is everyone is eternal. We are also eternal. Shiva is eternal. Visnu is eternal. Krishna is eternal. We are all part and parcel of Krishna. So as Krishna is eternal all of Krishna’s parts and parcels are also eternal.

      Sadashiva is eternal. He has an eternal spiritual planet. But Lord Shiva’s expansions in the material world are only manifest when the material world is manifest, they are not manifest when the material world is unmanifest. But the eternal spiritual planet of Sadashiva is always manifest of course.

      As far as Lord Shiva’s devotees they are materialists. So they are not liberated and at the time of devastation they are, like all the other jivas, conserved within the body of Maha-Visnu and they sleep there until the next creation when they will become manifest again.

      • Jayesh Trivedi says:

        Dear Prabhuji,

        Hare Krishna,
        But what happens to spiritual devotees of Shiva who are very serious in spirituality? can they get the liberation? or they have to go to Lord Krishna or Lord Vishnu for the liberation?
        In which scripter all these details available.

        • Hare Krishna Jayesh

          There are not spiritual devotees of Lord Shiva.

          Lord Shiva’s teachings are targeted at the people in the mode of ignorance. They are for materialists.

          So they do not get liberation by following the materialistic instructions of Lord Shiva.

          But Lord Shiva is a great devotee of Lord Visnu. Actually Lord Shiva is more than that. Shiva is Visnu in contact with the material energy. Visnu is never in contact with the material energy, but Lord Shiva is Visnu transformed by contact with the material energy in the same way that milk is transformed into yogurt by the addition of some culture. So even though you can not say the yogurt is different from the milk it has been transformed and no longer has the same properties as milk.

          So you can not get the same result by worshiping Lord Shiva that you get by worshiping Lord Krishna in that you do not get the same result by eating milk as you get by eating yoghurt.

          The point is Shiva is a devotee of Visnu so if one understands this and worships Lord Shiva knowing he is a devotee of Lord Visnu then it is possible to advance spiritually.

          But Lord Shiva is not for transcendentalists. His purpose is to look after the materialists in the mode of ignorance.

          If you just study Srimad-Bhagavatm you will find all the details you are looking for and then you will be able to properly understand the relationship and positions of Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  6. Tina says:

    If “we do not belong here”, as you said, why we are here? If there are higher material planets, does it mean there is extra terrestrial life, or life in other planets in the universe? Do the names of higher material planets you mentioned correspond to any scientific names of planets or stars?

    • Hare Krishna Tina

      No. All the planets in the material word are material and we are not material, we are spiritual. We belong in the spiritual world which is beyond the boundaries of the material world. So everything we see in the sky is part of this universe. We can not see beyond this material universe. The planets we see are material planets but some are heavenly [better than earth] and some are hellish [worse than earth]. Yes some of the higher material planets we mention do correspond to the scientific names of planets. The heavenly planets are physical places within this universe and are composed of the same material elements as our earth planet is. It is just that the standard of living there is different.

      • Jayesh Trivedi says:

        Hare Krishna,

        What happens to Lord Shiva & his devotee when complete devastation takes place? Is Shiva eternal like Lord Vishnu?

        • Hare Krishna Jayesh

          Everyone is eternal like Visnu. You are eternal like Visnu. We are all qualitatively the same as Krishna, only Krishna is unlimitedly great and we are unlimitedly small. So the difference is quantity only. In quantity Krishna is great and in quantity we are small but in quality we are the same as Krishna. And so is Lord Shiva.

          Lord Shiva is not like us and not exactly like Lord Visnu. Lord Shiva is described as being Lord Visnu transformed by contact with the material energy. The example to explain this is milk and yoghurt. Yoghurt is nothing but milk. But it has been transformed by contact with a culture. And once the milk is transformed into yoghurt it acts completely differently to the original milk. So Visnu is like the milk and Shiva is like the yoghurt.

          So Lord Shiva has His own special position between Visnu-tattva and jiva-tattva [us]. Shiva is inbetween, not Visnu-tattva and not jiva-tattva.

          As far as what happens at the time of the annihilation of the material world, we, the jiva-tattvas, are not annihilated. We are conserved within the body of Maha-Visnu and we will come out again when the next creation is manifest. So we just sleep until the next creation.

          As far as Lord Shiva, He has many expansions. But the original Lord Shiva is Sasa-Shiva and He has an eternal planet in the spiritual world that is not annihilated at the time the material world is annihilated.

          So the point is we are all eternal, no one is ever annihilated. Even the material world is not completely annihilated. What happens is the material elements are conserved within the body of Maha-Visnu and the same material elements are used in the next creation. And the living entities just sleep in the body of Maha-Visnu until the next creation.

          But during this time Lord Shiva in his original form of Sada-shiva has his own eternal spiritual planet.

          Very fine details we can not understand everything but this is the basic idea.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  7. Bhaktin Marcy says:


    • Earth is a middle planet. Above the middle planets there are seven levels of heavenly planets and below the middle planets there are seven levels of hellish planets. So earth is in the middle which is a special place. Here we can experience both sides of the coin. Here we can see material so-called pleasure and we also experience pain. In the hellish planets they mostly experience pain and in the heavenly planets material pleasure is more prominent. So the tendency is in the hellish planets they are too distracted with the suffering and just trying to exist to think about spiritual life and in the heavenly planets they are too comfortable to be considering spiritual life… But here on earth we see both the suffering and the so-called pleasure and we are in a good position to take to spiritual life. So we should take full advantage of this fortunate birth and become pure devotees of Krishna and go back home back to Godhead.

      For the full information on the different planetary systems in the material world you can refer to Srimad-Bhagavatam.

  8. sanghamitra says:

    Thanks Prabhuji for your articles. Hare Krsna

  9. Peter says:

    HariBol Madhudvisa Dasa.Thankyou very much for the brilliant Krishna science you sent in your email.
    I am totally pleased with the way you describe our spiritual journey. i chant every day for the last 30years Recently I have been trying to find a SPIRITUAL MASTER with accommodation not too far away.

    • Hare Krishna Peter

      Please very seriously read Srila Prabhupada’s books, keep chanting the Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds a day and strictly follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication and I guarantee you will find your spiritual master very soon.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  10. Violeta says:

    First, thank you so much for your articles, they are great. My question is, where does the memory from all our past lifes go? Also, upon final devastation do we all get transformed? Is there simaltaneously existing realities so, right now another world could be already in Satya Yuga again? Also, can we reincernate in different times, say my next reincernation in time 1920 for example. Instead of future. Thanks for your answers.

    • Hare Krishna Violeta

      We still have the memory of our past lives in our sub-conscious, or in the soul. But we are covered by the material and gross bodies so that covering causes forgetfulness. But we are the product of our past lives. This life is a continuation of our past life. That is why people, even from a very young age, have clear tendencies and interests. Because we just pick up from where we left off in our previous life. So even though the detailed memories are not there this body is the product of our actions, thoughts and desires in our previous body.

      We never get transformed. We are not the material body. We are the eternal spirit soul who is trapped within this material body. So the soul is never transformed. The soul has the same nature as Krishna, although Krishna is unlimitedly great and the soul is unlimitedly small, the quality is the same. So as Krishna is eternal and has no birth and no death so we, the spirit souls are also eternal and have no birth and death and are never transformed.

      There are unlimited planets and unlimited universes simultaneously existing. So when we leave this body we can take birth on another planet or in another universe or we can even go back home back to Godhead and reestablish our original eternal relationship with Krishna by serving Him there.

      Time is an incarnation of Krishna and as Krishna can not be defeated time also can not be defeated. So you can not go backwards in time. So your next birth can be anywhere in the spiritual or material worlds but you can not back in time and take birth in 1920…

      You have to take birth in the future.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Eka says:

        Hare Krishna

        You had said that thoughts of previous births remain in us as residuals and those thoughts push us to manifest ourselves to pick up some interests . Even seeking spirituality could also be a part of the residuals of our previous births ? If yes how does one attain perfection in spirituality so that the no of births can be minimized to attain ” Mukti ” ? Is there also a possibility of slip or drift in spiritual consciousness from birth to birth or it will be always ascending ?

        • Hare Krishna Eka

          It is a very nice question. Yes. You are correct. We also carry our spiritual interests with us from one life to the next. In fact it is understood that if one is very serious about Krishna consciousness in this life then he must have performed so many great sacrifices and austerities and spiritual activities in his previous life.

          There is a difference in spiritual advancement and material advancement. Material advancement is lost with the body. Because material advancement is related to the body. If in this life I make a lot of money and at the time of death I am very rich that money will not go with me to the next life. I will loose that money. But spiritual advancement is not like that. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita 2.40:

          “In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.”

          PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada:

          Activity in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Kṛṣṇa without expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material plane has to be completed, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Kṛṣṇa consciousness has a permanent effect, even though not finished. The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Kṛṣṇa consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent; whereas, in material activity, without a hundred percent success, there is no profit. Ajāmila performed his duty in some percentage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but the result he enjoyed at the end was a hundred percent, by the grace of the Lord. There is a nice verse in this connection in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

          “If someone gives up self-gratificatory pursuits and works in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and then falls down on account of not completing his work, what loss is there on his part? And, what can one gain if one performs his material activities perfectly?” (Bhāg. 1.5.17) Or, as the Christians say, “What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world yet suffers the loss of his eternal soul?”

          Material activities and their results end with the body. But work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness carries the person again to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even after the loss of the body. At least one is sure to have a chance in the next life of being born again as a human being, either in the family of a great cultured brāhmaṇa or in a rich aristocratic family that will give one a further chance for elevation. That is the unique quality of work done in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

          • Eka says:

            Hare Krishna

            Thanks very much for the wonderful explanation on my questions . I am fully convinced about the fact that only if a soul has experienced Krishna consciousness in the past lives the present birth will have a recall and soul would work towards further progress . As the evolution of species takes millions of years ,even to attain 100% Krishna consciousness ( mukti ) it will take so many births and one can assess the degree of progress based on the degree of Krishna consciousness in us . I have my personal experience that it took 20 years for me in this birth to actually experience Krishna consciousness unconsciously with out efforts and according to me that is an indication for an individual to know how many more births are in pipe line to attain mukti . I also strongly believe that when a soul is in the last round of births or birth the extent of renunciation and abandonment of materialistic desires and carnal urges would be much higher and one can even experience an accelerated of form of urges emerging and getting fulfilled so that they are sealed for ever and the soul moves forward . During all these phases one should not abandon the efforts of bringing Krishna consciousness with in so that we do not miss out on the opportunity to attain Godhead ( reaching the lotus feet of Krishna ) . Please enlighten me if I need to have more clarity on my thoughts .

  11. vaijanath says:

    Hare Krishna ,

    Thanks prabhu ji , Ones a person move away from krishna (ISKCON Temple )
    And working for his bodily needs .
    It is little deficalt to be in touch with Temple .

    But Prabu ji like you send Newsletter like this Then some Energy comes in this body ,
    By seeing this Newsletters about the Lord .

    Thanking You

  12. Sriram. P. says:

    Very nice article Prabhuji which explains the necessity of Krishna Consciousness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to Top ↑