Published on September 17th, 2022 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image14
There Is No Happiness in the Material World
Actually people work so hard. He has to go to office. Suppose there is snowfall. So he cannot stop. He has to go. Or there is scorching heat. You have no experience in your country, scorching heat. But India, 122 degrees. Just imagine, this year. Still they have to go to work. So somewhere it is severe cold and somewhere it is severe scorching heat. This is nature’s law.
Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):
na ca saknomy avasthatum
bhramativa ca me manah
nimittani ca pasyami
Translation: “I am unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself, my mind is reeling. I foresee only evil, O killer of the Kesi demon.”
Prabhupada: So viparitani. Nimittani ca pasyami viparitani kesava. Viparitani means “just the opposite.” “I have come here to fight to regain my kingdom. That is the cause for which I have come here to fight, but actually I am seeing it is just the opposite. My fighting will be useless. I came here to fight for some useful purpose, but now I see that viparitani, just opposite. It will be useless.” Why useless? Because one tries to become rich man, opulent–this is material nature–just to show to his relatives, to his friends, to his family members, “Just see how I have become rich, opulent.” This is the psychology. A man works very hard day and night to become rich just to make a show that “My dear friends, my dear relatives, you see that how I have become now rich.” This is the only purpose. Nobody is working hard for serving Krsna. This is maya. And Krsna consciousness means, the same hardship we shall take, but take for Krsna. Just like our Mrs. Sharma. She was working in the family, but now she has come to work for Krsna. And this is solution. This is mukti. Not that we have to stop our working capacity. Simply we have to change the position. In the family life we work uselessly for so-called relatives, but the same labor, when we employ for the service of Krsna, every inch of it is utilized.
There is song by Govinda dasa, sita atapa bata barisana e dina jamini jagi re, biphale sevinu krpana durajana, capala sukha-laba lagi re. He says that sita atapa bata barisana: “I have worked without caring for scorching heat and severe cold.” Actually people work so hard. He has to go to office. Suppose there is snowfall. So he cannot stop. He has to go. Or there is scorching heat. You have no experience in your country, scorching heat. But India, 122 degrees. Just imagine, this year. Still they have to go to work. So somewhere it is severe cold and somewhere it is severe scorching heat. This is nature’s law. You have to suffer. While you are in cold country, you think that “India is very warm. They are very happy.” (laughs) And in India they are thinking, “In England they are very happy.” This is the way. This is illusion. Nobody thinks that there is no happiness within these three worlds, beginning from Brahmaloka down to the Patalaloka. Abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino ‘rjuna. There is no happiness, even if you go to the Brahmaloka and get the opportunity of living like Brahma, millions of years, and thousand times better standard of life. Still it is not happiness. They do not know it. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam. Therefore mad-dhama gatva punar janma na vidyate. Therefore our aim should be only how to go back to home back to Godhead. That should be.
So nimittani viparitani. This viparitani, when we are materially conscious, we see that “Without happiness of myself, my family, my society, my country, my community…” They think happiness in terms of expanded selfishness. “First of all, my happiness, personal.” Just like a child. It does not think of anyone’s happiness. Whatever he takes, he wants to eat. So you, as we grow, we expand our happiness little more: “My happiness, my brother’s happiness, my family’s happiness, my community’s happiness, or my nation’s happiness.” So you can go on expanding the scope of happiness, but there is no happiness. There is no happiness. These foolish persons, they do not know. So Arjuna also is playing like an ordinary foolish person. Nimittani viparitani. “Where is my happiness? I came here to fight, to get happiness, and I have to kill my own kinsmen. Then where is my happiness? I cannot enjoy the property or the kingdom alone. There must be relatives, brothers. I will be very proud: ‘Just see how I have become king.’ So if they are dying, then who, whom I shall show my opulence?” This is the psychology. Nimittani ca viparitani pasyami. Just the opposite. This is illusion. This is illusion.
There is no happiness actually, expanding selfishness. Just like a national leader like Mahatma Gandhi in our country. He planned that “Let the Britishers go away. My countrymen will be happy. My countrymen will be happy.” But when the Britishers went away, giving the responsibility of Indian empire to the Indian people, Gandhi was thinking in the morning, “Oh, I am so unhappy. Now only death will please me.” And the next, the same evening, he was killed. He was so unhappy. Because everything was topsy-turvied. He wanted Hindu-Muslim unity. Now the country was divided. The Muslims became separated. The whole program was changed. There were so many things. He wanted that the government should be very simplified. But he saw that his disciples, his followers, were after office, simply for office. So nimittani. He saw that “I shall be happy, my countrymen will be happy,” but at the end he saw viparitani, all opposite. Everyone will experience that. So long he will be materially attached, he will find viparitani. “I wanted to be…” Sukhera lagiya, e ghara bandhinu, agune puriya gela (?): “I constructed this nice house for living happily, but there was fire and everything finished.” This is the way. You construct everything for happiness, but there will be something which will put you into the most miserable condition. This is called material world. They do not know. Therefore one who is intelligent, he thinks that “If I have to work so hard for so-called happiness, and here is Krsna is canvassing, asking me, that ‘You work for Me,’ so why not work for Krsna? Here I see viparitani, everything is opposite. There is no happiness.” So that is intelligence. “I have to work hard. Krsna says, ‘Just surrender unto Me.’ ” Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. So Krsna is asking to work for Him, giving up everything. That is clear, everyone knows. “Here also I am working very hard, but here I am working hard to be happy, but the viparitani, I am becoming unhappy. So why not work for Krsna?” This is intelligence. I have to work after all. Jivera svarupa haya nitya-krsnera dasa. Constitutionally, every living entity is a servant. He’s serving eternal servant of Krsna. If he does not serve Krsna, then he will have to become servant of maya. That’s all. His servitude, servantship, will not go. Dhenki svarga gele sva-dharman. (?) Dhenki. Just like a dhenki, you do not understand. The husking machine. Say, a typewriter. So if you send the typewriter to the heaven, what does it mean? It is to be worked as typewriter. Does it mean because it has gone to heaven, the work has changed? No. The work will continue. Either in this hell or heaven, typewriter will kat, kat, kat, kat. That’s all. Similarly, our position is servant. If you don’t become servant of Krsna, then you serve, you become servant of your wife, your children, your relative, your country, your nation, your dog. At last, if you have no family, then you become servant of your dog. You know in your country it is very usual. If he has nobody, then he keeps a dog, and takes it on the street. His dog passes stool, and he is standing, waiting: “Yes, sir. You pass your stool, I am waiting.” Just see. It is practical. If you don’t become servant of Krsna, then you have to become servant of the dog. This is nature’s way. Therefore intelligent person will take lesson from it, that “I have to become servant. Why not become Krsna’s servant? Then I will be happy. There are so many Krsna’s servants. They are so happy. Why shall I remain the servant of the maya?” Kamadinam katidha.
So we remain servant of maya on account of my sense gratification. That’s all. I remain servant of my wife because I want to satisfy my senses. I want to remain servant of my husband because I want sense gratification. Here is the disease. Everyone. Even the servant of the servant or servant of the dog. Because I like it, a pet dog. So actually, instead of becoming master, we become servant. This is the fact. And servant of whom? Kamadinam kati na katidha palita durnidesah. Servant of lust, servants of greediness. Kama, krodha, moha, matsarya. Servant of all these senses. Therefore one who is intelligent… There was a brahmana. He said like this: “My dear Lord Krsna, I am now servant. I have served so much.” Kamadinam kati na katidha durnidesah. “I have served them so nicely that I had to execute something which is abominable.” If you become servant of somebody, if he says that “You have to do it,” your conscience does not allow you to do it. Still, you have to do it. Still, you have to do it. A man is stealing for family. He does not like to steal. Still, he is in need of money; he has to steal. Kamadinam kati na katidha palita durnidesah. This is study, study the psychological condition. When I become servant of maya, even I do not wish to do something which is not very good, still I am obliged to do it. But the result is that nobody is satisfied. The same example. Just like Gandhi served his country so much, so nicely, so voluntarily. Still, the result was he was killed by his countryman. Just see. Result was, the reward was that he served his country so much. It is undoubtedly, nobody can serve so sincerely. Everybody knows. But the result was even a person like Mahatma Gandhi was killed by his countrymen. Just this morning Mrs. Sharma was telling that she has worked so much for the family, but still, the sons and daughters, they want, “No, no, you cannot go. You serve us, serve us. We are not satisfied yet.” They will never be satisfied. You serve maya. The maya will never be satisfied. Tesam na karuna jata na trapa nopasanti. (?)
The intelligent man is speaking, “My dear Lord, I have served my senses, lust, anger, greediness, so much so. Still, they are not kind upon me. They are still dictating, still dictating, ‘Do this, do this, do this.’ Therefore,” sampratam labdha buddhi (?), ” now I have got intelligence by Your grace.” Guru-krsna-krpaya. “By the grace of my spiritual master, by the grace of yourself, I have got this intelligence. Now I have come to You, to serve. Kindly engage me.” This is surrender. “I have served my senses, lust, greediness, and other things so faithfully. They are not satisfied. They still want me to serve. They are not going to give me pension. They want still, ‘Oh what you have done? You have to do so many things.’ So now I am disgusted.” This is called vairagya. Vairagya. Jnana-vairagya-yuktaya. This is required. In human life, this is, this intelligence required, vairagya, not to serve this material world, but to serve Krsna. The Mayavadi philosophers, they simply stop these material activities. Just like Buddha philosophy, nirvana. He simply advises to stop this. But after stopping, what is, sir? “No, zero. Zero.” That cannot be. That is not possible. This is their mistake. But the people to whom Buddha philosophy was preached, they are not so intelligent that there can be better service after giving up this service. Therefore Lord Buddha said, “You stop this service. You become happy because ultimately everything is zero.” Sunyavadi. Nirvisesavadi.
The Mayavadis, there are two kinds of Mayavadis: the impersonalists and the voidists. They are all Mayavadi. So their philosophy is good so far, because a foolish man cannot understand more than this. A foolish man, if he is informed that there is better life in the spiritual world, to become servant of God, Krsna, they think, “I became servant of this material world. I have suffered so much. Again servant of Krsna? Oh…” They shudder, “Oh, no, no. This is not good. This is not good.” As soon as they hear of service, they think of this service, this nonsense service. They cannot think of that there is service, but there is simply ananda. One is still more eager to serve Him, Krsna. That is spiritual world. That they cannot understand. So these nirvisesavadi, impersonalists, they think like that. Just like a diseased man lying on the bed, and if he is informed that “When you will be cured, you will be able to eat nicely, you will be able to walk,” he thinks that “Again walking? Again eating?” Because he is accustomed to eat bitter medicine and sagudana, not very palatable, and so many things, passing stool and urine, activities on the bed. So as soon as they inform that “After being cured there is also passing of stool and urine and eating, but that is very palatable,” he cannot understand. He says, “It is something like this.”
So the Mayavadi impersonalists, they cannot understand that serving Krsna is simply pleasure and blissful. They cannot understand. Therefore they become impersonalists: “No. The Absolute Truth cannot be person.” That is another side of the Buddha philosophy. Impersonal means zero. That is also zero. So Buddhist philosophy, they also make the ultimate goal zero, and these Mayavadis, they also make the ultimate goal… Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum. They do not understand that there is life, blissful life, by serving Krsna. Therefore, here Arjuna is playing just like ordinary man. So he says to Krsna, “You wanted me to fight, to become happy, to get the kingdom, but by killing my own men? Oh, nimittani viparitani. You are misleading me.” Nimittani ca pasyami viparitani. “I’ll not be happy by killing my own men. That is not possible. How You are inducing me?” So he said, nimittani ca viparitani pasyami. “No, no.” Na ca saknomy avasthatum: “I cannot stand here. Let me go back. Take my chariot back. I’ll not stay here.” Na ca saknomy avasthatum bhramativa ca me manah. “I am becoming bewildered. I am puzzled now.”
So this is the position, material world. We are always in problem, puzzle, and when something better is proposed to the materialistic person, that “You take to Krsna consciousness, you’ll be happy,” he sees nimittani viparitani, just opposite. “What this Krsna consciousness I shall happy? My family is in trouble or I have got so many problems. What this Krsna consciousness will help me?” Nimittani ca viparitani. This is material condition of life. Therefore it requires time, little time to understand. That is Bhagavad-gita. The same Arjuna, he is now finding, nimittani ca viparitani. When he will understand Bhagavad-gita, he will say, “Yes, Krsna, what You are saying, it is right. It is right.” Because after instructing Arjuna, Krsna will ask him, “Now what you want to do?” Because Krsna does not force. Krsna says that “You surrender unto Me.” He does not force, that “You must surrender. I am God. You are My part and parcel.” No, He’ll never say that. Because He has given you little independence, He will not touch it. Otherwise what is the difference between a stone and a living entity? A living entity must have independence, although it is very little, minute. That Krsna does not touch. He’ll never touch. You’ll have to agree, “Yes, Krsna, I shall surrender unto You. Yes. That is for my benefit.” This is Krsna consciousness. You must voluntarily agree, not hackneyed, mechanical. “Spiritual master says like this right. All right let me do it.” No. You have to understand very nicely. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam. Priti, with love. When you work, when you work for Krsna with love and enthusiasm, that is your Krsna conscious life. If you think that “It is hackneyed, it is troublesome, but what can I do? These people ask me to do it. I have to do it,” that is not Krsna consciousness. You have to do it voluntarily and with great pleasure. Then you know. Utsahan niscayad dhairyat tat-tat-karma-pravartanat, sato vrtteh sadhu-sange sadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati. You will find in our Upadesamrta. Always you should be enthusiastic, utsahat. Dhairyat, with patience. Tat-tat-karma-pravartanat, niscayat. Niscayat means with confidence. “When I am engaged in Krsna’s business, Krsna’s activities, Krsna will surely take me back to home, back to…” Niscayat. And Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. “I will take you back.” It is stated. Krsna is (not) a liar so we have to work with enthusiasm. Just… Not viparitani. That will be accepted by Arjuna at the end. Krsna will ask him, “My dear Arjuna, what is your now decision?” Arjuna will say, “Yes.” Tvat prasadat kesava nasta-mohah: “My all illusion is now gone by Your mercy.” Karisye vacanam tava: “Now I shall fight. Yes, I shall kill all my kinsmen.”
That’s all. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.
British man: …made of a very inferior metal, in fact, in lead. But we couldn’t think anything better than having this badge made for you in solid gold, twenty-four carat, and hereby we present it on behalf of the members of the guild to you, our most beloved leader.
Prabhupada: Thank you very much. (devotees all shouting Haribol!) So, how it is to be used?
British man: Just like this, m’Lord. Has a pin on it.
Prabhupada: Oh, I see. Thank you. Hm. Betiye, saheb. Idara chair ne. (Hindi) This is Part One? Betiye. (end)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
This world is a world of suffering. Birth, death, old age and disease. We don’t realize this as we have become foolish. But if we read Srila Prabhupada’s books and chant Hare Krishna and beg Srila Prabhupada and Krishna for their mercy we will realize this and know exactly how to solve this problem and fall in love with Krishna.
Hare Krishna Prabhu
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Are all the ideas of enjoyment in material world only reflections from spiritual world or there is some truth in them? Just like in spring season there is so much beauty around, especially in India. So is this only illusion and this idea of beauty of spring season is actually only present in the spiritual world?
Hare Krishna Aman
If there is a very beautiful girl and you see her reflection in the mirror you can see her beauty. But you can not actually enjoy the reflection of the beautiful girl in the same way as you can the original real girl.
So yes. Things in the material world, in nature, they are reflections of the real things in the spiritual world. So there is real beauty in the spiritual world, and when it is reflected in the material world you can see that beauty reflected. But it is reflected in a perverted way. So you can see the beauty, but not actually appreciate it in the same way as you could in the spiritual world.
In the material world the reflection is in matter: earth, water, fire, air and ether; but in the spiritual world everything consists of spirit and in the spiritual world everything is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. In the material world everything is temporary, full of anxiety and full of ignorance. So the substance of the reflection in the material world is very different from the substance of the original that it is reflected from in the spiritual world.
In the material world you can find a nice fragrant flower but very soon the fragrance will fade and the flower will wilt and die and rot. In the spiritual world the flower is spiritual, eternal, the fragrance will never fade and the flower will never die.
So yes, we sometimes see the reflected beauty of the spiritual world in the material world, particularly in the undisturbed nature, but that is only usually during a few days in a particular season, other times there may be no rain and it may be too hot and everything may be dead or other times there may be huge floods that wash away and destroy all the beautiful things. So the beauty is not permanently manifest in the material world. We just get a fleeting glimpse of the reflection of the real beauty in the spiritual world. And yes, there is beauty in the reflection, but is is not real, it is only a reflection of the real beauty in the spiritual world.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!
Hare Krishna Prabhu
Thank you very much for such a nice explanation. I have got my answer.
I feel that I have no affection for Krishna. Seeing him playing with gopis, associating with Yashoda, or playing with his cowherd friends just doesn’t seem to stir up any kind of emotion within me. I know Prabhupada says that we have to develop a feeling for Him, but it’s hard for me to imagine that day coming.
However I feel very emotional and motivated when I hear or see Prabhupada in lectures or videos. I feel much love and respect for him, and I feel like I want to do whatever he tells me to do.
My question is whether this is an acceptable position for a novice aspirant of Krishna Consciousness. Is this feeling of wanting to make Prabhupada happy by following his instructions enough for me? Will the chanting do all the work? Do I just simply need to force myself to sit down and chant without any motive at all other than because Prabhupada says so? I feel sad when I don’t follow Prabhupada’s instructions to chant, but my faith in whether it will lead anywhere for me is often very low. What can I do when I am feeling frustrated?
Thank you for time to help out this fallen soul.
Hare Krishna Albert
Yes. Yes. Yes. Faith in Prabhupada is the beginning of Krishna consciousness. And a feeling of trying to please Srila Prabhupada by following his instructions and reading his books, that is the way forward in Krishna consciousness. So do not worry that at the moment you don’t have much feeling or attraction to the pastimes of Krishna. But still read them, read Krsna Book, read Bhagavad-gita, read Srimad-Bhagavatam, read Caitanya-caritamrta. Read Teachings of Lord Caitanya. I think you will relate to Lord Caitanya and His teachings easier than to Krishna, so read Teachings of Lord Caitanya and see what you think.
Krishna’s pastimes are wonderful but in the beginning we have no attachment to hearing them. We are attached to material things. So as our attraction to Krishna increases our attraction to material things will reduce.
So do not worry, attachment to Prabhupada is a very strong position and if you have that strong attachment to Prabhupada the attachment to Krishna and hearing His pastimes will come also in time.
Krishna consciousness does not generally happen immediately overnight. We have to surrender to the basic things: chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, strictly following the four regulative principles, and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day. This is the starting point. So we have to concentrate on trying to do these things every day and we will advance gradually… And our attracting to hearing Krishna’s pastimes will increase and our attraction to material sense gratification will decrease…
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!
Hare Krishna Prabhu!
I hope you are well in Krishna Consciousness.
I have fallen down to material world and hardly trying to catch the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada but the silver lining for me is I’m being frustrated time and again (like everyone in material world) and being reminded again and again that there is no happiness here. Hopefully someday I will be back to Krishna Consciousness. Meanwhile I keep reading and listening to you and Srila Prabhupada. Please don’t be upset about yours and Srila Prabhupada’s names being used in same line Prabhu because you are also my shiksha guru. I know you don’t like to be called guru but then for me you are because you introduced me to Srila Prabhupada’s original books which have improved my life to a great extent by teaching me that this material world is made to frustrate the rebellious living entities.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Yes. But we have to actually become Krishna conscious. It is very difficult of course, in the material world, with no association. But it is not a very great credit to write in one line that “I am not Krishna conscious anymore” and in another line that “you are my guru”. So I must be a hopeless guru in that case if I am your guru and you are not Krishna conscious.
So if I am your guru you should do what I ask you to do. And I am asking you to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and strictly follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication and read Srila Prabhuapda’s books at least 1-2 hours a day. And follow the instructions you find Srila Prabhupada giving you as you read his books…
So if I am your guru, as you say, these are my instructions to you. So do it.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!
Hare Krishna Prabhu
I’m very sorry for the offense. I hope to be able to call you and Srila Prabhupada my guru some day.
All glories to your devotional service!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna!
It is alright Prabhu. I know how difficult it is and I am also facing difficulties on my side. But I have to speak from the absolute platform. And I see from your more recent comments that you are chanting more rounds now and taking it more seriously. So keep on taking Krishna consciousness more and more seriously and become a pure devotee of Krishna and you can help so many others also become pure devotees of Krishna. That will be your great service to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. So take it seriously and do it. You will be very happy if you do and your life will be successful and you will go back home back to Godhead after a job well done…
Hare Krishna Prabhu!
Please accept my humble obeisances.
Yes Prabhu. I’m doing well from my standards now. Yes Prabhu you are absolutely right. I’m trying to be more and more determined to follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. I hope by Srila Prabhupada’s and Lord Krishna’s grace we can overcome all obstacles.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Hare Krishna! Srila Prabhupada knows everything! I’m wasting my life…. I pray to him that he engages me in his service.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Over the years , I have seen that this site has attracted many sincere souls from all age groups( especially the youth). Since advancement in Krishna consciousness is possible only by surrendering to guru and by sincerely serving him, I am sure many of these sincere souls would love to serve Srila Prabhupada as much as possible(especially the youth who are brimming with energy). Book distribution is one such service, but due to various circumstances, not everyone can distribute all the time. So this leaves them with some free time wherein they would love to serve Srila Prabhupada in other ways. I read somewhere in one of your comments that you are filled with service to the brim and have infinitely many(as Krishna is unlimited) tasks to complete in service of Krishna and you are engaged 100+ hours/week in serving Krishna.
So in short is it possible to assign some of these tasks to these sincere souls who are very eager to serve Krishna and advance in KC? I know there are many challenges(geographical, not knowing purity of person, etc) but perhaps this could be overcome. I have seen many open source projects on Github work nicely with contributions from many people. The same idea, if brought into Krishna consciousness, can bring tremendous results, I feel. In any case, you could be the final authority in deciding how the task ought or ought not to be done, and others can help accordingly.
So is this idea possible??
Hare Krishna Madhusudana
My practical experience is that there are very few who are really actually prepared to surrender large amounts of time on a regular basis for serving Krishna.
Krishna consciousness is a personal thing. It is not really suited to the impersonal and distant communication and teamwork possible on the internet.
Real thing is to get people together locally physically in a preaching center and go out on sankirtan, book distribution and chanting Hare Krishna. Without sankirtan and without living in the association of devotees there is really not much hope of Krishna consciousness. So sankirtan and living in the association of devotees is not possible online. It is something that requires a real physical actual group of people living together…
The real thing that needs to be done is book distribution. And everyone can do it. The books are printed. You can purchase them at KrishnaStore.com and just distribute them to the people you meet and go out anywhere there are people and distribute them.
And make your own group of devotees in your own area and go out on sankirtan and book distribution with them.
That is the only way. It has to be done locally with real people living together and performing sankirtan.
We are the sankirtan movement, that is what we need devotees for, to perform sankirtan, that means the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and the distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books and preaching. These are the things that only devotees can do. Other things there are plenty of people who we can pay to do. There are plenty of computer programmers, etc, we can get them to work for Krishna and pay them. But we can not pay people to preach and distribute books and perform sankirtan. That is what we need devotees for…
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!