Published on August 14th, 2010 | by Gadadhara das


Love, Ego, Truth, Knowledge

Our desire to love someone here in this earthly planet is a reflection of our original desire to love Krishna. Krishna is so kind; He has no reason to be hungry, He has everything and is everything, but based on our desire to serve Him, He becomes hungry. To awaken this desire we have the opportunity to serve Krishna always by preparing food for Him, dressing Him, offering flowers to Him and chanting His names constantly.

“You are what your deep driving desire is, as your desire is so, so is your will, as your will is so, so is your deed, as your deed is so, so is your destiny.”

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5:

‘Pure you’ = ‘pure truth’

The body, the mind, the intelligence, the ego: use your mind to control your body, use your intelligence to control your mind, and use “the ego” to control your intelligence. “Ego” is the real you, the eternal living spirit soul. True ego is: “knowing who you are and what your position is in the world around you.” ‘Pure you’ = ‘pure truth’. The false conception of ego is: “I am a man, I control all that I see, I can do this, I can do that” This is a false identification with the ego and this is “not” the true self. When you identify with your true self and you know who you are, then you know the real truth. The true ego is: knowing who you are = “you are Krishna’s eternal servant.” Not everyone is Krishna’s servant, but everyone is Krishna’s “eternal” servant. Those who deny the existence of God are trying to become God by default, but that is the one very constant impossibility.

There is always someone that controls something because that is how things get done. That’s how everything runs. A businessman owns a car factory, he has his general manager serve him to manage his business, supervisors serve the general manager, and workers work on the assembly line to get the job done. Everyone is serving someone: the factory has light bulbs, someone bought them at the store, a store merchant purchased them to sell, a manufacturer had them made, someone came up with the idea of a light bulb and consumers demanded supply, and finally the light bulb was made with supplies like tungsten, medal and glass. Someone used their intelligence to put these materials together in the right way to make the light bulb. The question is who gave the intelligence to this person? Who gave the intelligence to the businessman? The intelligence comes from the life force, the true ego. Where does life come from? Life comes from life. God controls everything by default and by definition that’s what God is. Just as a huge tree comes from a small seed, our small “true self” comes from Krishna’s infinite supreme self.

In the Brahma-samhita it is said,

isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda vigrahah anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam

Karana means cause, cause of all causes, seed of all seeds. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada says, “This is confirmed in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita where para and apara prakrti are discussed (Bg. 7.4-5). The elements of nature–earth, fire, water, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego–all belong to the inferior or material energy of the Lord, whereas the living being, the organic energy, is the para prakrti (superior energy) of the Lord. Both of the prakrtis, or energies, are emanations from the Lord, and ultimately He is the controller of everything that exists. There is nothing in the universe that does not belong either to the para or the apara prakrti; therefore everything is the property of the Supreme Being.” (Isopanishad, txt 1, purport, page 1)

What is real love? First there must be two egos in the equation to conclude the word love. You can love your self, but that is still two egos because it is the real you in love with your ideal ego: that is, your real ego in love with your conception of your ideal “false” ego. That, of coarse is not real love. You can be in love with another person, or so you think, but that’s not real love either because you are also in love with a false conception of the other’s ego: you think they are a type of person who looks a certain way, acts a certain way, moves a certain way, talks a certain way, and thinks a certain way. You are not in love with them; you are in love with a false notion. They are not their false ego, they “are” their true ego. They are not their body. Real love is love of the ultimate lover: Krishna. He is the ultimate Supreme Being. Everyone in this material world is infatuated with lifeless mater. I love this beautiful girl or this beautiful boy. A natural attraction is there because everything on material planet is a perverted refection of the life we have had in the perfect spiritual sky where Krishna resides in His supreme personal form. The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber called it the “I-Thou relation,” where the human being goes into a certain relationship with his innermost ego and whole being, in a encounter, in a real dialogue this is what both of the partners do. For Buber, interhuman encounters are only a reflection of the human meeting with God. But to really understand this is to know that true love is love in the purest form: love of the perfect being, Krishna and anything else is a perverted reflection of this. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada says in the Brahma-samhita, “Krishna is the exalted Supreme entity having His eternal name, eternal form, eternal attribution and eternal pastimes. The very name “Krishna” implies His love-attracting designation, expressing by His eternal nomenclature the acme of entity. His eternal beautiful heavenly blue-tinged body glowing with the intensity of ever-existing knowledge has a flute in both His hands. As His inconceivable spiritual energy is all-extending, still He maintains His all-charming medium size by His qualifying spiritual instrumentals. His all-accommodating supreme subjectivity is nicely manifested in His eternal form. The concentrated all-time presence, uncovered knowledge and inebriating felicity have their beauty in Him. The mundane manifestive portion of His own Self is known as all-pervading Paramatma, Isvara (Superior Lord) or Visnu (All-fostering). Hence it is evident that Krishna is sole Supreme Godhead. His unrivaled or unique spiritual body of superexcellent charm is eternally unveiled with innumerable spiritual instrumentals (senses) and unreckonable attributes keeping their signifying location properly, adjusting at the same time by His inconceivable conciliative powers. This beautiful spiritual figure is identical with Krishna and the spiritual entity of Krishna is identical with His own figure. (Brahma-samhita, txt 1, prt 1, page 1)

Our desire to love someone here in this earthly planet is a reflection of our original desire to love Krishna. Krishna is so kind; He has no reason to be hungry, He has everything and is everything, but based on our desire to serve Him, He becomes hungry. To awaken this desire, which we have always had but have forgotten because we are infatuated with material life, we have the opportunity to serve Krishna always by preparing food for Him, dressing Him, offering flowers to Him and chanting His names constantly. Just as you may have a burning desire to be the best businessman on earth, if you understand your desire, you will attain that small position of best businessman on earth. If you desire to love Krishna, with a burning desire, so you will attain His love. This is not a false notion. This is a real notion because Krishna is the epitome of Truth. A falsity is putting your faith in something that will change, as if it would last forever. Krishna is the constant. You may say you love all those material possessions, but they will cease to be in the future. That beautiful girl in her next life will look different according to her karma. If she has good karma and a burning desire to love Krishna, she will remember Him in her next life and have the opportunity to be with Him in His abode, maybe even in this life. To love real truth is “true love” and you must have a burning desire for the truth in order to attain it.

Ego=Real Knowledge

The famous philosopher Socrates, when he discusses the different types of love in “Plato’s Symposium,” says that the greatest type of “love” is Philosophy because it concludes an eternal truth. The truth is: “knowing what your constitutional position is: your relationship with the Universe and of coarse God- who is the controller of the Universe.” There are different types of knowledge. One might know, for instance, that he has the body of a man or that she has that body of a woman. That is general knowledge or “Dead Truth:” something that you can see with the material eyes to make a certain judgment and then use that judgment to make a certain truth.

For example, I see a tree, a rock, a stream, a woman, a man, a house. This is a type of false knowledge because when the body, which is operated by the soul, dies by disease or old age everything is forgotten, when the entity is under the conception that he or she is part of this material world: that he or she is the body. That type of truth that existed to that person when he or she was alive in that old body is irrelevant. That knowledge doesn’t cease to exist when the person’s body ceases to exist, but it ceases to exist to that person when he or she leaves the body and takes a new body on earth. “Real Knowledge” is: “knowing” what the position of the tree, rock, stream, woman, man, and house is. They are temporary in the big picture. In the “Real Truth” they are what scientist call “matter,” temporary material dead “lifeless” things. The body will get old and wither, the rock will become a mountain or get corroded by rain, and the house will fall apart and become dust. In the future they will become other material things and they never really exist, because to “exist” is to have consciousness, to understand, to know to be able to feel, to love, comprehend, discover, to live. You, the eternal living spirit soul, other eternal living spirit souls, and God will always exist. You are in one body in one lifetime and then another body in the next life. So “Real Truth” is Truth that exists eternally and the real you, the ego, is “understanding who you are.”

You “are” what your deep driving “desire” is. If you really desire Krishna and you “understand” it, then you will go to Him in the spiritual sky. If you desire to be the greatest businessman on earth and you really understand it, then that is who you think you are and that is what you will become. That conception of “businessman” is a false truth because if you attain the position of best businessman on earth, Krishna is the best businessman is the universe (always) and you can not top that. If you understand that these designations: businessman, Man, Woman, Animal, Rich, Poor, they are all false truths because you can never be “businessman, Man, Woman, Animal, Rich, Poor,” forever. Truth is the Truth that is always True, forever. The one constant that is always true: there is only one Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you understand truth, understand YOU, understand who Krishna is and you have understood everything.

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10 Responses to Love, Ego, Truth, Knowledge

  1. Sean says:

    Hare Krsna prabhuji. My goals or wants in life has been and will be to be happy and have love. i am unable to get love. My wants are reasonable and much more than reasonable. i have the right to want and have it. I don’t think and hope that my wants are not materialistic in any way. Of course besides these the only thing materialistic i would want is have the basic necessities of life which is right and enough food to eat, a place to live and so and of course so that i can use these things for krishna in krsna consciousness but still. nothing more and nothing less in the basic necessities of life.

    And i don’t mind the the long answers you wrote and time you took. You said “I hope you appreciate it and follow it, put it into practice in your life.” I of course appreciate what you said and will put to practice if not fully at now in the present will endeavour to do it. I think i can. but i all i need is the will and determination and need to be sincere to put it into practice.

    They was never a time i did not appreciate the reply to you gave whether how long it is. and i never never mind how long your reply is. if you want to write your reply as long a book or even more i would not mind.

  2. Bhumika says:

    Love for Krishna is the highest form of devotion
    but when one gets married and the love we feel for the partner (husband or wife), what kind of love or affection will be that?
    how can be differentiate the “Love for Krishna” or “Love for Partner”?

    • Hare Krishna Bumika

      Love for Krishna is our eternal occupation. Krishna is eternal and we are also eternal and our eternal constitutional position is to serve Krishna.

      What we see in this world, love for family, love for partner, etc, is a perverted reflection of that original love we have for Krishna. As there are five types of love we can experience within this world, we can also have these five types of love with Krishna. Here you can love someone in awe and reverence like the citizens may love the King. You can love someone as a friend, you can love someone as your child, you can love someone as your married partner and there is also a neutral relationship of rendering service like the tree serves you by providing you with shade, the grass serves you by providing a soft surface for you to walk on, etc.

      So all these five types of loving relationships we experience within this material world are but perverted reflections of the original eternal loving relationships we have with Krishna.

      It is said that these original spiritual relationships are reflected on our desire. Like a tree is reflected in the water but if the water is moving then the reflection of the tree is distorted.

      The distortion is that in the material world we are trying to satisfy ourselves by these loving relationships. But really our natural position is to be trying to satisfy Krishna.

      So these so-called loving relationships are but perverted reflections of our original loving relationship with Krishna. As in a reflection there is no actual substance. For example if a mango tree is beside a lake and there is a reflection of that mango tree in the lake you can see the tree and the mangos in the reflection. But you can not actually taste the mangoes in the reflection.

      So that is the problem with “love” in the material world. We can never actually get what we are looking for. Because what we really want is that spiritual, eternal loving relationship we have with Krishna. So the perverted, reflected “love” we find in this material world can never actually satisfy us.

      However this husband and wife relationship can be perfected if the husband and wife come together and serve Krishna together. If they both have the idea of pleasing Krishna and together try to please Krishna then their married life will be a great success.

      They can install the Deity of Krishna in their house and serve Him. They can cook and offer the bhoga to Krishna and distribute prasadam to their family and friends and even the uninvited guests. And the whole family together can take part in the Deity worship and kirtans in the morning and evening…

      So the secret to a successful married life is to put Krishna in the center and go into this relationship with the idea that you are coming together to help each other advance spiritually and to help each other serve Krishna better…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Sean says:

        Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji.

        Like you mentioned “husband and wife relationship can be perfected if the husband and wife come together and serve Krishna together. If they both have the idea of pleasing Krishna and together try to please Krishna then their married life will be a great success.”

        Can it be true of any relationship that it will be perfected. I mean for example if two friends come together having the idea of pleasing krsna and serve. Or for example me or my relative or any relationship between two people in this world to to please krsna by serving him.

        When they come together to please Krsna it won’t be a material relationship anymore right?. The relationship will be spiritualized. It will be a spiritual relationship right.

        • Hare Krishna Sean

          The thing about a husband and wife is the relationship is generally not perfect. It is generally a material relationship based around sex and family and all sorts of material attachments. So this husband and wife relationship can be made perfect by the husband and wife helping each other to serve Krishna and helping each other develop their loving relationships with Krishna and only using sex for the purpose of having nice Krishna conscious children. In this way the relationship becomes spiritual. Because the husband and wife are not interested in actually developing their loving relationship, they are interested in helping each other develop their loving relationships with Krishna. So the husband will only ever haves sex with his wife if he actually wants to have a Krishna conscious child and then only once a month on the day which it is most likely his wife will conceive a child. Because the purpose of a Krishna conscious marriage is not sense gratification and not to develop a loving relationship between the husband and wife. It is a cooperative arrangement between the husband and wife where they agree to live together and assist each other in serving Krishna. Their happiness is seeing Krishna happy, the purpose of their relationship is to please Krishna. If Krishna is pleased by their activities, then they are happy.

          So the whole thing about husband and wife is this sort of relationship is generally completely materialistic and based around bodily things.

          You have to realize the idea of Krishna consciousness is not to develop a relationship with another person. That is maya. The idea is to reestablish our lost relationship with Krishna. And to do this sadhu-sanga, or the association of devotees, is very essential. So devotees associate with each other and have relationships based on helping each other serve Krishna and this is spiritual. But they are not interested in developing a loving relationship between themselves. They are interested in pleasing Krishna, they are not interested in pleasing each other. The love is between the devotees and Krishna. So this is a different thing.

          Of course there is a loving relationship between the devotees, between godbrothers, but this is spiritual, not material. And it is centered around helping each other to please Krishna more.

          We are not thinking of developing a loving relationship with another devotee. We are thinking of reestablishing our loving relationship with Krishna. And the relationships between devotees, sadhu-sanga, are centered around Krishna, devotees work together, they have relationships with each other, but the purpose of those relationships is to help each other develop their loving relationships with Krishna.

          This is not so easy to explain. You have to experience it and you have obviously not experienced it. So I would strongly suggest that you surrender to Srila Prabhupada, actually follow his instructions, actually chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, actually strictly follow the four regulative principles (no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication) and read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day and actually follow the instructions you find Prabhupada giving you as you read his books in your day-to-day life. In this way you will be able to become Krishna conscious and you will be able to understand what is sadhu-sanga, the nature of the association of devotees, and what is maya. If you do not actually surrender to chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and do not strictly follow the four regulative principles and do not regularly read Srila Prabhupada’s books you will remain forever in maya, forever confused.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Sean says:

            Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. Just one more thing regarding relationship in the material world or association with non devotees. First of all i should not associate with non-devotees in a relationship form unless in a official way to get work done ? Seond while associating with them i feel contaminated or affected by what they said and good and cannot and will not agree with them. That i should learn to read people so that i don’t agitate them i thought it is a waste of time to learn to read people. but i feel affected. should i learn to read people especially people i associate with so that they don’t be agitated or what.

            Anyways am i right to think that associating with non-devotees like the one i did is useless and waste of time. And whatever they say and said is all non-sense and false about life, , society and what not like the ones that i associated said to me. even if they is a little truth it is still defective and false and poisonous from the degree they talking from right.?

          • Hare Krishna Sean

            Right now the times are somewhat difficult. Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON as an International Society of Krishna Conscious Devotees. And Srila Prabhupada had no interest in materialistic devotees, mixed devotees, etc. Of course in very broad terms we can say that everyone is a devotee of Krishna. Because ultimately everyone is serving Krishna in one way or another. Even the demons are serving Krishna indirectly.

            So there are also devotees who have material desires to fulfill. The demigods are examples of such materialistic devotees. The demigods are all devotees of Krishna undoubtedly. They believe in and worship Krishna. But still they maintain material desires. They want to be the lord and master in the material world. They do not actually want to go back home back to Godhead and serve Krishna.

            So in this world also there are many materialistic devotees. They are, like the demigods, undoubtedly devotees of Krishna, but they maintain material desires and really have no desire to completely surrender to Krishna and serve Krishna. They want ‘success’ in the material world. So Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON is for the devotees who are aspiring to engage in pure devotional service. It is for the devotees who at least want to give up all material desires and want to become completely surrendered servants of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. It is not for these materialistic devotees who want to hang on to material desires and at the same time be devotees of Krishna.

            So what I am getting to really is that today’s ISKCON is completely flooded with these materialistic devotees and the mood for cultivating pure devotional service, complete surrender and pure unalloyed service, has been lost.

            So you are speaking of not associating with materialists. And you are correct of course. We become what we associate with. So if we want to become pure devotees of Krishna we have to associate with pure devotees of Krishna. And that is what Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON for. It is for the pure devotees of Krishna and for those who are aspiring to become pure devotees of Krishna. So the ISKCON temples are supposed to be full of devotees who are completely, totally one hundred percent, twenty-four hours a day engaged in pure unalloyed devotional service to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. And Srila Prabhupada has given us a very practical program starting at 4:00 AM in the morning and ending at 10:00 PM at night where we can be completely engaged in devotional service without any break at all. And if we spend all our waking hours engaged in pure devotional service under the direction of Srila Prabhupada then ultimately we will dream about Krishna and serving Krishna also when we take rest.

            So that is what ISKCON is supposed to be. An international society of pure devotees. And we, the fallen conditioned souls, are supposed to be able to visit the ISKCON temples and take the association of the pure devotees who are living there and become enlivened by their association. That is what ISKCON is for.

            But unfortunately the devotees aspiring for pure devotional service have been driven out and now ISKCON is mostly materialistic devotees. Undoubtedly, like the demigods, they are devotees, and they have attachment to serving Krishna, and generally believe in the philosophy of Krishna consciousness, etc. But generally these days, the ‘devotees’ maintain all sorts of material desires which may be subtle like for fame, profit, adoration and distinction. But these subtle desires are really just manifestations of the sex desire and will ultimately degrade in to the sex desire over time.

            So as devotees even when associating with other devotees we have to have discrimination. We want to associate with pure devotees of Krishna or at least devotees who are engaged in pure devotional service and who are aspiring to become pure devotees of Krishna. That means at least they are getting out of bed before 4:00 in the morning, attending the Mangal-Aroti, chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, hearing the Bhagavatam Class every day, attending Srila Prabhupada’s Guru-Puja every day and going out on sankirtan, the public chanting of Hare Krishna or distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books, every day. Without these things there is no life, there is no pure devotional service.

            So realistically most ISKCON devotees no longer really do any of these things very seriously. These days most ‘devotees’ do not live in the temples and really do not strictly follow anything at all very much. Of course there are exceptions. But realistically these days it is very difficult to find any pure devotee or even any devotee very seriously engaged in pure devotional service to associate with.

            And if we associate with materailistic devotees really that is not going to help us advance in Krishna consciousness. We have to associate with devotees who are more advanced than ourselves. They can help us advance. If we associate with materialistic devotees then that association will cause us to also become materialistic devotees. Which is not a good thing. Because a materialistic devotee is not a pure devotee, he does not even want to be a pure devotee, he is still cultivating material desires and his desire is to be successful in the material world, to use Krishna consciousness to become materially successful. In other words really he is insane…

            So we do not want to associate with materialistic devotees because we do not want to become materialistic devotees ourselves. We want to become pure devotees of Krishna. And ISKCON was established by Srila Prabhupada solely for the purpose of giving shelter to pure devotees of Krishna and those devotees who really sincerely wanted to practice pure devotional service and become pure devotees of Krishna. ISKCON is not for materialistic devotees. But these days ISKCON is practically only materialistic devotees and pure devotional service is not at all encouraged there any more.

            So the point I am trying to explain with this rather long answer to your question is that, yes, we have to associate only with devotees, but we have to only associate with pure devotees or at least devotees genuinely aspiring to become pure devotees, and to find such devotees these days is very, very difficult because ISKCON no longer encourages pure devotional service…

            So you are asking if you should give up associating with non-devotees and of course a devotee hates to associate with a non-devotee. Lord Caitanya says that he would prefer to be locked up in a cage with a wild tiger rather than have to associate with a non-devotee. Srila Prabhupada said he created ISKCON and created devotees in the west so he would not have to associate with non-devotees. So a devotee does not want to associate with non-devotees and any association we have with non-devotees should be only official and only for what we absolutely need to associate with them for. Of course we can preach to non-devotees. But that means we give them our association. But the preacher has to learn how to give his association to the non-devotees without taking the association of the non-devotees. That is the art of preaching. If in the name of ‘preaching’ the devotee associates with a non-devotee then he will fall down, he will become a non-devotee again. So it is a great art we have to learn. Preaching. How to give our association to the non-devotees without taking their association.

            Anyhow, yes, if we are to become pure devotees of Krishna we have to give up association of non-devotees. But we also have to give up association with materialistic devotees… So in this world, as it is currently situated, there is no international society of pure devotees and devotees aspiring to become pure devotees any more. So it is very difficult to find the association of pure devotees or non-materialistic devotees.

            Fortunately we can associate with Srila Prabhupada unlimited. So in reality, if we want to become pure devotees of Krishna, we have to associate with Srila Prabhupada constantly by reading his books and hearing his recorded lectures, conversations, etc, watching the video of Srila Prabhupada, etc. Associating with Srila Prabhupada is the best association. And by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy we can also associate with Krishna by chanting:

            Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
            Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

            So this is the answer to your question. I hope you appreciate it and follow it, put it into practice in your life. I hope you are not another materialistic devotee who wants to hang on to some materialistic aspirations to become famous, wealthy, powerful, etc, through Krishna consciousness. This hanging onto some material aspirations is done by so many devotees these days but this is like putting the anchor down on the ship and revving the engines and trying to move forward. But the ship will never go anywhere with the anchor down…

            I was reluctant to write this before because you see it took me a long time to explain all this and I do not know if you will even appreciate it..

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

  3. Pragwal says:

    Hare Krishna,
    We are eteernal servants of Krishna.. We are eternal lovers of Krishna. He is our only true companion

  4. indu says:

    you sound indian,am i right?

    also the article seems very complex the way you wrote it.

  5. atanu says:

    “You are what your deep driving desire is, as your desire is so, so is your will, as your will is so, so is your deed, as your deed is so, so is your destiny.”

    Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5:

    True. What follow below this citation in the main text is nothing but authors own desire.

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