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Published on February 22nd, 2017 | by Madhudvisa dasa | Full size image

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There is Another World!

There is Another World!

Yet there is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.”  Bhagavad-gita (8.20)

So this is very interesting information. It means the world we find ourselves in at the moment is not the only place we can live. There is another world that is eternal and transcendental and if we want we can go to that world and live there. It sounds like it might be a nice place to live. Bhagavad-gita (8.15) also confirms that the world we are in is not a very good place:

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.”

Here Krishna is informing us that this eternal and transcendental world is the place mahatmas, great souls who have attained the highest perfection, go to. He is also informing us that this world is temporary and full of miseries. What does that mean? I thought this world was a wonderful place?

This World is Full of Miseries:

One of Krishna’s most powerful energies acting in this material world is maya. Maya has two functions:

  1. Covering our intelligence (Avaranatmika)
  2. Pulling us down (Praksepatmika)

We will discover this material world is a miserable place, however, because maya covers our intelligence with her avaranatmika potency we accept the miserable suffering condition as enjoyable. We don’t have a realistic view of the world we live in. We think it is a nice place…

A good example is the hogs or pigs. The pigs live by eating stool. And they see stool as being very delicious and they very much enjoy eating it. But a person who is in higher consciousness can see that stool is a very nasty and obnoxious thing and that the life of the pig eating stool is miserable. But the pig is loving it. He is so happy when he finds some stool to eat. But eating stool is not happiness, we can understand that it is horrible. But because the living entity entrapped in the body of the pig has his intelligence covered by maya’s avaranatmika potency he accepts something which is most obnoxious as the greatest pleasure.

Sometimes we get a little realization of the miserable and painful condition we are experiencing in the material world and we become very determined to get out of material bondage. But maya is ready with her praksepatmika potency. Maya very expertly diverts us away from our attempt to escape from her clutches and throws us back down into ignorance and impels us to remain in conditioned life satisfied by sense gratification. This works very well, as soon as I become determined, “Now, in this life, I shall make spiritual advancement. Now it is decided.” Then immediately the next moment maya, or the illusory energy, says, “What nonsense spiritual life you are going to do? Just enjoy this life here. You have got so many enjoyments. Why you are thinking like that? Forget it. You have a good job, a nice girlfriend, and in the future you will get more money and a better job…”

So this is the position. Everyone is thinking they are very happy. This is maya’s influence. Unless a hog feels happy, how he can live in this abominable life? This is called praksepatmika-sakti, covering. If a man knows that “I was king in my previous life. Now I have become a poor unemployed person,” then he will become mad. So therefore he forgets.

You can test it, as soon as you start to become a little serious about becoming Krishna conscious maya will dictate to you, “Oh, why you trying to become Krishna conscious? There are so many restrictions and so rules and regulations. Better give it up.” Then your mind will confirm, “Why, yes, what is this nonsense? Give it up.” This is called prakṣepātmikā. Maya is dragging us down. Because the more one is sinful, the more one is miscreant, the more one is the lowest of the mankind, he, maya will not allow: “Oh, why this rascal is here? He must suffer more…” That is maya’s business. Thankless business. Just like police. Police is nobody’s enemy, but when they find a criminal, they punish him, they put him in the jail and beat him with a rod. That is the business of maya, thankless. Nobody will thank the police. When police beats, nobody will say, “Thank you very much.” No. Nobody is happy. Similarly, maya’s business is very thankless task, but she is engaged by the supreme authority to punish us.

We are Criminals being Punished:

So this world is not at all what it appears to be to us… Our dreams for the future, our hopes of finding our soul mate and enjoying endless bliss here are all illusions put into our minds by maya. Actually this world is a prison, we are criminals and we have been put here to suffer. If you can realize this world is not a nice place, that it is a prison, then that is the beginning of your determination to make advancement in Krishna consciousness. The thing is most people in this prison of the material world have no idea they are in prison, no idea they are suffering, they think they are happy and never even dream of trying to escape and don’t even have any idea there is another world they can escape to, and there they can enjoy an eternally youthful life with full knowledge and ever-increasing transcendental bliss…

The hog is very happy wallowing in the mud and eating stool and having sex with the other hogs. Although his actual condition of life is obnoxious and we can see that, to him he is very happy. Even if you offer the hog better food he will prefer to eat stool. He likes it… His condition of life is very horrible actually, in reality he is suffering, but because of maya’s praksepatmika-sakti covering he accepts his miserable condition of life as happiness…

The material world we are in is a prison. We are all criminals because we are in prison an in the prison you only find criminals. Although we think this universe is very large actually it is tiny. The entire material world consisting of unlimited universes is just a small fraction of the total energy of Krishna. As we find in our experience there is a prison and there is some population of criminals in the prison, still it is only a small percentage of the total population in the prison. The majority of the population are law-abiding citizens and will never be put into the prison. So there is a spiritual world, that is where the good citizens are, and there is the material world, where we are, and that is the prison where the criminals are… But there are not many of us criminals, the vast majority of the living entities are in the spiritual world. It is only us, the criminals, who are forced to come here to the material world, and we are here to be punished and ultimately reformed.

The idea of a prison is you send the criminals there and they are punished and reformed and then released back into the society where they hopefully become honest law-abiding citizens. So that is the purpose of this material world:

“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Bg. 7.19)

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 Kuntī, never takes birth again. (Bg. 8.16)

So please try to understand these ideas and if you have any questions or comments please post a question or comment on this article.

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24 Responses to There is Another World!

  1. swapnil sahoo says:

    Hare Krishna,

    Prabhuji, could you please elaborate on the regulative practices for a new devotee of ISCKON ?

    Yours Sincerely,

    Swapnil Sahoo

    • It is very simple. Begin by chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day. 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. This is the minimum starting point. If you are not prepared to surrender to these simple points at least then you can not become Krishna conscious.

      So many people do not even follow these basic points but think they are devotees. This is nonsense. These are the minimum points for beginning.

      Then, as you read Srila Prabhupada’s books, you will find Srila Prabhupada instructing you to follow so many other points. So if you surrender to Srila Prabhupada and follow the instructions he gives you as you read his books you will make rapid advancement in Krishna consciousness.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  2. Dubravka Arbanas says:

    The very perfection of knowledge!

  3. sakthi murugan says:

    I heard that there is totally 14 world and the top most one is spiritual world where highly perfect people and paramaathma are living.Scientists found many galaxies and proof of aliens.This makes clear that there are living creatures outside this solar system and they are also suffering.Cant we do austerities nowadays.Are we not capable of doing it?

    • Hare Krishna Sakthi

      There are 14 planetary systems within this material world. Seven lower planetary systems and seven higher planetary systems and here on Earth we are in the middle planetary systems. So these 14 planetary systems are all within our universe. Beyond the walls of our universe there are many other universes also. And beyond all the material universes is the Spiritual Sky. The Vaikuntha planets and the principle planet in the spiritual world is Krishnaloka, Goloka Vrindavan, that is Krishna’s planet, where He lives as a cowherd by looking after the cows in the association of His devotees. Goloka literally means the planet of the cows.

      As far as austerities it is not possible for us now. Previously people lived for much longer. In the previous aged, people lived for 1000 years, and in the age prior to that, when the system of sacrifice was been practiced the people were living for 10,000 years and in Satya-yuga, the golden age, people were living for 100,000 years. So now we can not even live for 100 years and our intelligence and strength is very much diminished. So in this age, as confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this age of Kali the only practical method for spiritual advancement is the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra;

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

      • Damien says:

        Hare Krishna, prabhu…what constitutes one planetary system? How many planets in one system?

        • Hare Krishna Damien

          There is no number of planets mentioned. But there are many. We can not see them all. So many things in the universe we can not see from earth… You can read all the details in Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 5.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  4. Neena Choudhary says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    Please accept my humble obeisances.
    I am new to Krishna consciousness.I have been reading Srila Prabhupada’s books regularly.I wake up at 4 in the morning and do my 16 rounds of chanting and I am also following four regulative principals.The only thing that I am not able to do is make prasadam.I am a married woman and my in-laws won’t approve of it as they have their
    own deity.They also won’t allow putting Srila Prabhupada’s picture in the temple.
    What do you suggest I should do?Also, I have a few questions.
    1)How do we know that we are making progress in Krishna consciousness?
    2)Can a person with no initiation wear tulsi beads around his neck?

    • Hare Krishna Neena

      It is very good you are following the regulative principles, chanting 16 rounds every day and rising at 4AM. Now if you add in reading Srila Prabhupada’s books 1-2 hours a day that will be also very, very helpful for you. If you are married woman you are probably cooking so just when you cook cook it for Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. The thing that Krishna accepts really is the love and devotion that goes into preparing the offering. So you cook for Krishna, no one can stop you from cooking for Krishna and no one can stop you from offering it to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. You don’t have to make a big show about it. You can have small photo of Srila Prabhupada and Panca-Tattva in the kitchen or somewhere and you can make an offering to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya there. Even if your inlaws will not allow you to put the offering on a plate and offer to Srila Prabhupada and Panca-Tattva you can offer in your mind.

      So in this way you can adjust. Without making a big disturbance in the house you can just internally prepare the offering for Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and when it is complete you can offer to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, even in your mind if it is not possible to physically do the offering.

      As far as your questions, how do we know we are making progress in Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is directly perceived. As we make advancement in Krishna consciousness we will practically feel that our material desires are decreasing and our love for Krishna is increasing. In so many ways we will feel and see that our consciousness has been transformed and we are now completely different people to what we were before coming to Krishna consciousness. The more you read Srila Prabhupada’s books also, that will help you advance in Krishna consciousness more, and the more you advance the more you will be able to perceive practically that your consciousness is now quite different from what it was before and you are happy and detached from the temporary happiness and distress of the material world. Gradually we will feel we are actually transcendental, no longer a part, of the material world. Once we are actually Krishna conscious we are no longer in the material world although externally it seems we still are. So don’t worry. Keep on practicing Krishna consciousness and you will be able to feel your practical advancement in Krishna consciousness.

      2. As far as tulsi beads, yes, you can wear tulsi beads before taking initiation. In ISKCON they have a tradition that before initiation devotees can wear one or two rounds of tulsi beads around their necks and after initiation they wear 3 rounds around their necks generally. But it does not matter really, how many rounds of tulsi beads around your neck. If you are reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, following the regulative principles and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day then you are really Prabhupada’s disciple. Disciple means the one who accepts the discipline of the spiritual master. And this is the discipline, chanting 16 rounds, reading Prabhupada’s books, following the regulative principles, getting out of bed before 4:00 AM, etc. So as you read Srila Prabhupada’s books more and more you will find he is giving you instructions through the books. So as you surrender more and more to Prabhupada’s instructions in this way you will make more and more advancement in Krishna consciousness and you will practically feel your consciousness is becoming transformed, spiritualized.

      Because it is happening gradually we may not notice so much but if you have been practicing Krishna consciousness seriously for a year or two and then if you remember back to your life before you started Krishna consciousness you will find a dramatic difference. A devotee has a completely different outlook on the world and is no longer touched or concerned by the things the materialists are bothered by.

      So I encourage you to continue your Krishna consciousness with full enthusiasm inspite of the difficulties you may face because of the in-laws not approving so much. You can try not to disturb them too much, but sometimes demons get disturbed anyhow, so just always put your faith in Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and keep on chanting Hare Krishna and following the regulative principles and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books in whatever situation you find yourself. And your life will be completely successful, you will remember Krishna at the time of death and because of this you will be transferred back home, back to Godhead, to reestablish your eternal relationship with Krishna in Goloka Vrindavan…

      Also your Krishna consciousness, the chanting, the prasadam you cook, etc, will be very beneficial to all the members of your family. So your Krishna consciousness will not only benefit you, it will benefit all the people who have the great fortune of coming into contact with you.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  5. Damien says:

    Hare Krishna, Madhudvisa!!

    Could you please tell me if this site below is a good site?

    http://prabhupadabooks.com/

    Today, I ‘unconsciously’ did the hare Krishna chant (…and singing a tune to it) without even realizing it…I love it and somehow, I seem drawn to all that is about Krishna, and reading/studying things on Krishna.org.

  6. Juan Carlos Troyo says:

    Dear Madhudvisa: All glories to Srila Prabhupada. I’ve always had a doubt that I hope you can clear out for me. If we all eternal spiritual souls, of the same spiritual nature as Krishna, and we have always existed as individuals, along with our Supreme Lord, then why are we presently here suffering in this place? If someone is enjoying a superior position, full of joy, knowledge and eternity (in the spiritual world) why is this person going to change his ideal situation for something evidently much lower than what he previously had? Lord Krishna indicates that if someone reaches his Supreme Abode, that person will not return to the material world. Is it then that none of us who are presently here has been before in the spiritual world? Thank you and I hope that you have a excellent day!

    • Hare Krishna Juan

      The thing is Krishna is great and we are small. Our constitutional position is to serve Krishna. But we have all the same qualities of Krishna, only in a small amount. Most living entities never come to the material world. Maybe 90% are always in the spiritual world. It is like the prison in your country. Most of the citizens of your country never go to the prison. There is only a small percentage of people who break the laws of the government and are arrested by the police and are put into the prison. Material world is like that. A small percentage of the spirit souls only are here in the material world. Vast majority never come to the material world at all.

      But we have independence. Our relationship with Krishna is that of love. So for love to exist there must be the independence to not love. And because we have the same qualities as Krishna, only in a small quantity, we also have the desire to become the master, the desire to become the controller. But in the spiritual world we are all serving Krishna. Krishna is the only master. That is our real position, we are servants of Krishna, we can only be happy serving Krishna. But sometimes some living entities have the desire to be the master like Krishna. So that is us, the inhabitants of this material world, all trying to be the master, all trying to become the controller. It creates the hellish world we are currently in…

      So we always have the independence to choose not to serve Krishna, to want to become the master like Krishna, even in the spiritual world. The tendency to fall down into the material world is there in every living entity. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna says upon returning to the spiritual world one does not again fall down. So once a living entity falls down into the material world and then goes back home back to Godhead, then he does not fall down again. But remember the vast majority of living entities in the spiritual world have never been in the material world. And even the ones who go back could fall down again if they wanted to. It is like after you put your hand in the fire you never put your hand in the fire again. Because the first time your hand gets terribly burnt and you suffer a lot of pain. So you will not put your hand in the fire again because you remember what happened the last time you put your hand in the fire. But you could still put your hand in the fire, but you don’t. So it is like that.

  7. Damien says:

    Hare Krishna…! You wrote “One of Krishna’s most powerful energies acting in this material world is maya”. Why must Krishna’s powerful energies be exerted in this material world??? What is the purpose??? I don’t understand. It doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Yes. Many things do not make sense because we are in ignorance. I am just giving some short introductions. For the full details and full understand you need to read Srila Prabhupada’s books. You will find everything you are looking for there in Prabhupada’s books.

  8. sakthi murugan says:

    I heard that in the very beginning,God created plants,birds,animals,humans and everything in this world.These souls were provided with a ambition (free from desire,remain unattached,understand god to attain mukti)..why he created this world?u said we r particles of God supersoul.why he created our souls…u said we don’t surrender to god and that was the problem.where that happened?I am talking about the day before this universe is created by God.i agree that in this universe,we r not surrendering to him….since he put us all here and made Maya to cheat us,we r not surrendering him…if he put us in the spiritual world where there is no Maya,and guided us with love,we would be with him…

    • Everything you can not understand in the beginning. The knowledge will be revealed to you gradually as you advance in Krishna consciousness. So start at the beginning. Chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, 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 every day. Then gradually you will understand everything.

  9. sakthi murugan says:

    Why God is testing us our purity…we are all children of God….why he isolated us and allowed us to stay in the material world….. please reply gurus

    • We are all children of God but we have rejected our father at the present time. We have come to this material world because we don’t want to surrender to and serve Krishna. So we are here in the material world not because God wants us to be here, but because we don’t want to be with God, we want to become God…

      It is envy of God, instead of wanting to serve Krishna, which is our natural, eternal constitutional position and the only way we can be happy, we want to become the enjoyer, the master ourselves.

      So it is Krishna’s mercy that He has created this material world for us where we can all play God. But a world in which everyone is trying to become the master is a hellish world…

      So we can not go back to the spiritual world until we get rid of this demonic mentality. So that is why maya tests us in so many ways in the material world. So we need to pass the tests and then we can go back home, back to Godhead.

      For a devotee passing the tests of maya is not very difficult. So become a devotee, pass the tests and go back home back to Godhead.

      It is in your hands, it is your decision. It is up to you. Krishna wants us to go back home, back to Him, the problem is actually we don’t want to go.. We want to stay here in the material world. That is the problem…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  10. Nagendra says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
    Please accept my humble obesciences. Thank you for the news letter. I have questions regarding the article.
    a) As per the article this material world is a like a prison and only criminals are sent for punishment and followed by refinement. During the recent times the population of the world (as far a human beings are concerned) is increasing and every effort is made by the govt of all the places to check this. Does this mean that more people in spiritual world are sent here? Please explain.
    b) I have read in the history books that some animal species are extinct now because man have hunted them without any stoppage. Does this mean that man can control the number of species? Request you to explain.
    c) Does the material world means only Planet Earth or our solar system? Please explain.

    Yours Sincerely
    Nagendra R P
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

    • Hare Krishna Nagendar

      There are unlimited living entities and they are coming to the human form either after falling down from the spiritual world or from other planets or by coming up through the evolution of consciousness. There are 8,400,000 species of life and souls evolve through these species and when they get to either a lion, monkey or cow, then there next birth will be as a human being. There are so many living entities. There is no shortage of living entities. So the change in human population numbers is very small in comparison, insignificant.

      It is not just this planet, there are millions and millions of planets and living entities can come and go from any of the planets in this universe and there are unlimited other universes also. So they can come and go from other universes also, and the spiritual world. So this universe we find ourselves in is a very tiny part of the material world which is a very tiny part of the total creation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna…

      Man can not control the number of species. Man can not control anything actually. As far as the species they all exist on the subtle platform. All the species are not physically present on any particular planet at any particular time. They may come and go over time. But all the species exist eternally on the subtle platform and when there is need and when the circumstances are right for them they will be physically manifest.

      As I said material world is huge, not just this planet, not just this universe, but unlimited universes, and this is a very small universe compared to many of the other universes…

  11. Greater truth than this has never been spoken.
    This is the truth all people of the world need to realize.
    Hare Krishna Hare Rama!

  12. William Rich says:

    Hare Krishna. I need you Lord to teach me. I love to learn of you. Forgive me when I become forgetful. Hare Krishna.



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!


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