Published on January 21st, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Krishna Consciousness is Elevating people from Animals to Human Beings

These are very scientific things. The whole world is unaware of these scientific things, this is animal civilization; and this Krsna consciousness movement is trying to elevate them to the standard of human beings.

vartamanah anyayoh kalah gunabhijnapako yatha
evam janmanyayor etad

So there are three phases of time: past, present and future. Time is eternal; I am also eternal. But because I am in the material world, the time is relatively divided into past, present and future. Relativity, the law of relativity–I have explained several times. Brahma’s past, present, future and the ant’s past, present, future are not the same. Similarly, our past, present, future or the ant’s past, present, future are not the same. Time is eternal, but according to the quality of the body, the past, present, future is calculated.

So it is said in the Bhagavad-gita… Krsna says vedaham samatitani. Because Krsna is not changing body, therefore He has no past, present, future. Those who are changing body, they have got past, present, future. I had my childhood. I have changed the body in this old age. Therefore I think, “In the past I was like this, or future, I will be like this.” So this is relative. Time is eternal, we are eternal, but because we have accepted this temporary body, therefore we have to calculate past, present and future. So future means… Just like there is ordinary word in English, “Child is the father of man,” future. The same child will be father or grandfather in future.

So this future, past, present, future, is being controlled by the three modes of material nature. If we practice in this life sattva-guna, then urdhvam gacchanti sattva-sthah: then we shall be promoted to the higher planetary system. Madhye tisthanti rajasah. If we cultivate rajo-guna… Rajo-guna means kama-lobha, kama, simply desiring. This is called rajo-guna. “I want this, I want this, I want this.” Because there is no satiation of want, therefore every man or woman planning something, “How my sense gratification will be fully satisfied.” This is rajo-guna, kama. Everyone is forgetting his real business. His real business is he should know, one should know, that “I am eternal. I have taken this temporary body and subjected to the laws of nature, birth, death and old age. So my real problem is how to become again eternal, not accepting any more birth, death, old age. That is my real business.” But because I am infected with the material modes of nature, we are making different plans. Everyone is busy. Everyone is busy in different plans, forgetting his real business. This is called maya. Maya means…, ma means not; ya means this. Therefore maya means when you understand, “This is not my business,” then you are out of maya. “This is not,” ma-ya.

So here the Yamadutas are analyzing whether Ajamila is pious or impious. The Visnudutas asked them to explain what is dharma and what is adharma. “You have come here to arrest this person, to take away with to the yama… So you are servant of Dharmaraja. Now explain what is dharma and adharma.Dharma means which will bring me again to my original, constitutional position, and adharma means which will take me down and down from my original, constitutional position. This is the test of dharma and adharma. I am eternal part and parcel of God, so my dharma is to render service to God and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is my real business. So adharma means I forget my relationship with the Supreme Lord and I go down and down just to become up to the worm in the stool. This is called adharma. There are so many varieities of life. Why? This is due to difference of dharma and adharma. Those who are trying to take the principles of dharma, they are being elevated to the higher, higher, higher, higher, higher, up to back to home, back to Godhead. And those who are not accepting… Jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah. Jaghanya, they do not know how to live, just like animal, less than animal. Animal has got also sense. The modern civilization is less than animal. Animal does not kill its own son. The human being is killing his own son.

So this is the position. And this is not at all good. It is suffering. We are purchasing suffering more and more. The laws of God or laws of nature, they are very strict. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya. You cannot avoid the stringent laws of the material nature. If you violate, then you will suffer. If you follow, then you will be elevated. That is stated, vartamanah anyayoh kalah. This suffering or enjoying–there is no enjoyment–suffering, so this is past, present and future. I am suffering or enjoying in this body. Then I am manufacturing another body for the future. And that manufacturing of future depending on the influence of kala and the material modes, sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. In this way I am implicated. That they do not know. Vartamanah anyayoh kalah gunabhijnapako. Those who are learned, they can understand why this man has become like this or why the animal has become this.

Guna-jnapa. Guna, according to guna. There are three gunas, and mix it then it becomes nine, then mix it, it becomes eighty-one. Guna-jnapakah. It is not that every different types of body and living entities have come by chance. This is nonsense. There is no question of chance. Everything is being carried or being conducted by the three modes of material nature. Guna-jnapakah. Evam janma anyayoh. As I have got this body according to guna, similarly, anyayoh, in the future we shall get different types of body according to guna. Evam janmanyayor etad. But all these–based on dharma and adharma. The principle is dharma and adharma, our occupational duty according to modes of material nature.

Just like a pig. It is very much fond of eating stool. So if you want to ask, “Why this animal is fond of eating stool?”… So dharma adharma jnapaka, because in the past life this living entity practiced tamo-guna, no discrimination of eating… Tamo-guna means no discrimination. Eating… We have got four businesses in this life, so long we have got this material body: ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca, eating, sleeping and sex and defense. These are primary business of the body. So why there are different types of eating, different types of sleeping? Why different types of mating, sex intercourse, and different types of defense? It is due to different qualities of the nature. A dog is happy sleeping on the street. A man does not want to sleep on the street. He wants to sleep in a nice apartment. Why this difference of…? According to guna. A dog enjoys sex life on the street without any shame, but a man has got some social convention.

So he does not do so. But now they are coming, improving, that “There is no harm if there is sex on the street. Why we should have apartment?”

So these are all due to different infection of the guna. Tamo-guna means shameless, tamo-guna. Rajo-guna means lusty desire. And sattva-guna means knowledge, to see things as they are. So just like here in the temple, we are cultivating sattva-guna, or more than that, above sattva-guna. Above sattva-guna. It is said in the sastra that to live in the forest is sattva-guna. Sattva-guna, people have got tendency to live in a secluded place, solitary place, without any disturbance. That is sign of sattva-guna. And to live in the cities, big, big cities, skyscraper building, this is rajo-guna. And to live in the brothel, in the liquor shop, in the slaughterhouse, this is tamo-guna. Sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. But to live in the temple is transcendental. Transcendental. It is above sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna, to live in temple. Therefore we are introducing this Krsna consciousness movement so that the persons who are in Krsna consciousness, living in the temple according to the regulative principles, they are above all these sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. That is wanted. Nistraigunya. Traigunya means three gunas, and nih means negative. Nistraigunyo bhavarjuna. That is our aim, that although we are in this material world, by this Krsna consciousness process we shall live above these three gunas. These three gunas cannot touch me. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita: sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate. Who? Mam ca vyabhicarini bhakti-yogena ya sevate. Anyone who is engaged in pure devotional service avyabhicarini, not mixed up, whimsical, regularly, as they are ordained, as they are prescribed. So if anyone is engaged in such transcendental loving service of the Lord, then his position is: he is above the three gunas. He is not…

So these Yamaduta superficially saw that “This man, Ajamila, is a first-class sinful man, and he has to be taken to Yamaraja. He has simply committed adharma.” But the Visnuduta has come because he is now freed from all material contamination, because at the end of his life he chanted the holy name of Narayana. So that is… If it is possible, so much advantage of chanting the holy name of the Lord, if you constantly keep yourself engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord, there is no possibility of your being touched by maya. This is the position. Vartamanah anyayoh kalah gunabhijnapakah. Gunabhijnapakah. Anyone who is intelligent, who can understand what this man is, which quality he belongs to… This is education. This is learning, to understand what is the position of this particular… The general definition is given, urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha madhye tisthanti rajasah, jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gac… You can… Any person who has studied sastra, and he is in the sattva-guna, to him it is…, everything is there. He can understand what is this man, what he is going to be and what he was, past, present, future, everything. Why? How one can understand past, present, future? Through the sastra. Sastra-caksusah. There are still astrological calculation in India called Brghu-samhita. If you consult Brghu-samhita, immediately they will give you your past, present and future. Immediately they will give. The astrology science is so perfect. What you were in the past life, what you are at the present and what you are going to be, these three things they can be known.

vartamanah anyayoh kalah gunabhijnapako yatha
evam janmanyayor etad

So we have to follow the principle of religion; otherwise we are misguided. Just like a child has to be sent to school to understand, to become learned scholar. It is compulsory, not that I may send my child to school or if I like, I don’t send. No. It is compulsory. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet. This is Vedic injunction. If you want to be learned fully, especially if you want to learn the transcendental science, gurum eva abhigacchet: “One must go to a guru.Guru– the spiritual master as well as the teacher also, guru. So he must att…, he must go to a guru. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya. And going to guru, what you have to do? Pranipatena. You have to fully surrender. Pariprasnena. After surrendering, then you can enquire, you can put question. Otherwise, it is illegal. If you do not accept anybody as guru, then don’t put question before him to waste his time and your time. This is the process. First of all find out whom you like to accept as guru. Then put question. But sometimes we have to talk with persons who is not student: outsider. That is preaching work. But sastra says that one should approach a guru, and with surrender he would ask him, and guru will talk with a person who is surrendered. Otherwise, there is no necessity of talk, because he will not accept. One who has come to challenge the guru, so he will simply waste time. He will not accept. But a disciple who has surrendered, he will accept. Therefore talking is recommended between guru and disciple, not outsider. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet. This is essential. And guru trains the disciple according to the Vedic principle. Therefore there are division of varna and asrama.

So these are very scientific things. The whole world is unaware of these scientific things, this animal civilization; and this Krsna consciousness movement is trying to elevate to the standard of human being.

Thank you very much. (end)

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

4 Responses to Krishna Consciousness is Elevating people from Animals to Human Beings

  1. John says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. I am new to this website. Just met someone today who said is a neophyte devotee and he was looking for me to read article that introduces Krsna Consciousness like just what is Krsna Consciosuness. Can you help me with giving me the information to which article introduces me to Krsna Consciousness or just tell me what Krsna Consciousness is ?.

    • Hare Krishna John

      Actually Krishna consciousness can only really be understood by the devotees. It can not be understood actually by non-devotees. It is not really something that can be explained, it is something that has to be experienced. It is experienced through the association of a pure devotee of Krishna. The only way actually to understand what Krishna consciousness is is by getting the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna. So Srila Prabhupada is living in his books, therefore when we read Srila Prabhupada’s books we are personally associating with a pure devotee of Krishna, and it is through hearing from and then surrendering to Srila Prabhupada through reading his books that we can understand what Krishna consciousness is.

      The realization of what Krishna consciousness is comes gradually as we become Krishna conscious. This question is like asking me to explain to you want honey tastes like. And my only answer is the only way you can understand what honey tastes like is by tasting it yourself. I can tell you it is sweet. But that will not give you the idea really what honey tastes like. Similarly I can say so many things about Krishna consciousness, but you will not understand it, you have to experience it for yourself. Krishna consciousness can only be understood by becoming Krishna conscious. There is no other way. And the only way one can become Krishna conscious is by the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna.

      That is the way it is. If she wants to know what Krishna consciousness is then she needs to read Srila Prabhupada’s books. That is the only way. All of Prabhupada’s books are wonderful. There are small books like Beyond Birth and Death, Perfection of Yoga, Perfect Questions Perfect Answers, King Of Knowledge, and larger books like Science of Self Realization and Bhagavad-gita As It Is, of course, many books.

      Krishna consciousness is a science and like any science if one wants to understand it he has to study the books. You can not understand it by just reading one article. And you can not understand it by just reading the books either. You have to actually put into practice what you read in the books.

      Generally materialistic people need to be somewhat purified before they can understand what Krishna consciousness is. That purification can be by hearing the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra from pure devotees of Krishna, by accepting Krishna prasadam, by giving some of their hard-earned money for the printing of Srila Prabhupada’s books, etc. It is by association with real devotees engaged in pure devotional service that one can begin to understand what Krishna consciousness is. There is a sequence of events: ado sraddha, in the beginning one has to have some faith, at least a little faith that this Krishna consciousness is nice, then tatha sadhu sanga, then one associates with the devotees, then anarta nrvriti shat, then all the impurities in the heart begin to be cleared away. It is at this stage, when the impurities of the heart are being cleared away, that one can begin to understand what Krishna consciousness is, not before.

      Materialists will think we are crazy if we tell them that they have to give up illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat eating and get out of bed before 4:30 every morning and chant the Hare Krishna mantra on beads for 2-3 hours every day. They will just say: “That’s crazy. I’ll never do that. I love sleeping and drugs and sex…” So this sort of preaching does not work. They have to get the chance to associate with the pure devotees, they need to have the chance to join in the kirtans of the pure devotees, and they need to be fed with the prasadam cooked and offered to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna by sincere devotees engaged in pure devotional service. And they need to read Srila Prabhupada’s books. And then after doing these things for some time the dirty things will be washed away in their hearts and they will come to the point of having some realization as to what Krishna consciousness is.

      Of course I can tell you that Krishna consciousness is the original consciousness which is within us all that is currently covered by this material consciousness. Krishna consciousness is our natural and original consciousness, it is currently covered and the way to uncover our original Krishna consciousness is by chanting:

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

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  2. Hiren Parmar says:

    Thank you very much for this knowledge.

  3. p kasiviswanadham says:

    very aptly explained the gunas and delighted to know in a detailed manner.
    hare krishna

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