Published on March 4th, 2019 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image


Wandering the Planets–Getting Out of this Cycle

The living entity is wandering in this way, life after life—sometimes as human being, sometimes as demigod, sometimes as brahmana, sometimes as sudra, sometimes as tree, sometimes as insect, sometimes as fish, so many. Sometimes as birds. And in different planets also, not only in this planet.

Bombay, December 27, 1972

Pradyumna: (reading:) “…but his whole advancement of material happiness immediately terminates along with his body as soon as his life is over. Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death. At death everything is finished, and one has to begin a new chapter of life in a new situation, perhaps higher or lower than the last one. In any…”

Prabhupada: Yes. Bhagavad-gita, it is said, Krsna says: mrtyuh sarva-haras caham. At the… By death, everything is taken away by Krsna. So the modern civilization, they do not believe in the next birth. That is the basic mistake of the present civilization, that we get information that tatha dehantaram praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati. Dehantaram. Just like we are transmigrating, even in this span of life, from childhood to boyhood, from boyhood to youthhood, from youthhood to old age body. Therefore it is natural to conclude that after this old body’s finished, then we get another body, transmigration of the soul. But there is no education, no enlightenment about this transmigration of the soul. But we can, if we think, ponder very deeply on this matter, how transmigration of the soul is taking place, and it is authorized, authorized statement of Bhagavad-gita:

tatha dehantaram praptir
dehino ‘smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantaram praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati

[Bg. 2.13]

So this is the defect. The atheist class of men, they also see God. One, everyone can see God, provided he has got eyes to see. Actually, premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. Those who are yogis, bhakta-yogis, because they are in love with God, Krsna, they are seeing every moment within their heart the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Anyone you love, you see always within your heart. Similarly, if you have love for God, Krsna, then you can see Krsna always. That is called yoga system. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]. Yoginah, those who are yogis, under meditation, they see the Supreme Personality of Godhead within the heart. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]. So there are many evidences in the sastras. Yoga means to see the Supreme Lord within the heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese arjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. Isvara, the Supreme Lord, is situated in everyone’s heart. One has to see. One has to develop that visionary power, how to see God within the heart. That is wanted. That is called yoga system. Dhyanavasthita. Otherwise Isvara is there in everyone’s heart. Therefore Krsna says,

yoginam api sarvesam
mad gata antaratmana
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah

[Bg. 6.47]

“The first-class yogi is he who is always seeing Me within his heart.” Yoginam api sarvesam. There are different types of yogis. The first-class yogi is he who can see Krsna within his heart constantly, without any cessation. Smartavyam satato visnuh vismartavyam na jatucit. This is the process. One has to observe Visnu within the heart always. Smartavyam satato visnuh vismartavyam na… This is Krsna consciousness. One has to think of Krsna or see Krsna within the heart twenty-four hours. That is perfection of yoga. Yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatena antaratmana.

But the atheist class of men, they do not see. They do not like to see. Just like Hiranyakasipu and Prahlada. Prahlada is the son of Hiranyakasipu; a great devotee. And the father is atheist. That is the struggle. This struggle between the atheist and theist, always existing. But God, Hiranya, I mean to say, Nrsimhadeva appeared. Nrsimhadeva appeared for the solace of the devotee, Prahlada, and for the death of the atheist. Both of them saw. Prahlada saw Nrsimhadeva as the most worshipable Deity, and Hiranyakasipu saw the same person as death. Therefore God can be seen by everyone, atheist or theist, but they see in a different way. The, the theist, the devotee, sees God… Just like these devotees are worshiping the Lord, Krsna, that “Here is Krsna, Radharani, and let us offer Him respect by offering aratrika, prasadam.” They’re seeing also. The atheist will say, “What this nonsense? Some idol they are worshiping.” The atheist will see, “What is this non…?” But that atheist will see God at the time of death, when He’ll come as Nrsimhadeva: immediately finished. All his assets, finished. With the body, the, everything he has possessed, the family or the house, the bank balance, this or that, everything is finished.

Now he begins another chapter. He forgets. Just like we forget at night when we see some dream, we forget our identity, that “I am this. I am that. I am lying on the bed. I’ve got this good apartment.” No. Everything is finished. Again, this, when the dream is finished, we come to another dream: “Oh, this is my house. This is my family. This is my bank balance.” This is going on. Dream. One dream at night, one dream at daytime. But who is dreaming? That is the living entity. So his business is different. Not dreaming, daytime dreaming and nighttime dreaming. He has to come to the actual platform. That is Krsna consciousness. If he takes to Krsna consciousness, that is his actual life. Otherwise, he’s in the dreamland. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. This is called maya, illusion. Nighttime dreaming and daytime dreaming. The nighttime dream… In this way, we are dreaming life after life. As human being, as animal, as tree, as aquatics. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati. This evolutionary process is going on.

Therefore, therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says,

ei rupe brahmando bhramite kono bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija

[Cc. Madhya 19.151]

The living entity is wandering in this way, life after life,sometimes as human being, sometimes as demigod, sometimes as brahmana, sometimes as sudra, sometimes as tree, sometimes as insect, sometimes as fish, so many. Sometimes as birds. And in different planets also, not only in this planet. Brahmando. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, brahmando. Within the universe, he is traveling according to his karma.

yanti deva-vrata devan
pitrn yanti pitr-vratah
bhutejya yanti bhutani
mad-yajino ‘pi yanti mam

[Bg. 9.25]

So those who are in goodness, they are being promoted to the higher planetary systems of demigods.

urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha
madhye tisthanti rajasah
adho gacchanti tamasah

[Bg. 14.18]

Those who are in goodness of material nature, they’re being promoted to the higher planetary systems. Those who are in passion, they are left within this Bhur, Bhuvarloka. And those who are in ignorance, jaghanya-guna-vrtti, they, one who has no systematic life, living like animal, so eating, sleeping like animal, jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah, they go down. This is going on. Out of many millions of living entities, in this way, wandering all over the universe, one who is fortunate, he comes in contact with guru and Krsna. Guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Beginning of devotional service, Krsna consciousness.
So that is real life.

ei rupe brahmando bhramite kono bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija

[Cc. Madhya 19.151]

mali hana sei bija karaye aropana
sravana-kirtana-jale karaye secana

Just like if you get a nice flower seed, if you sow it and pour water, gradually it will grow. Similarly, this bhakti-lata-bija, if one gets fortunately, through the association of devotees, and if he sows it within the heart and pour water gradually, by this way, sravana kirtana, this process which you are following, hearing and chanting… This is called the process of pouring water. Then that bhakti-lata-bija, that creeper, bhakti-lata, will grow. And, in due course of time, it will give you the fruit. The fruit is to be under the shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is fruit. Go on.

Pradyumna: “In any field of activity,political, social, national or international,the results of our actions will be finished with the end of life. That is sure. Bhakti-rasa, however, the mellow relished in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, does not finish with the end of life.”

Prabhupada: Yes, this is very important. Whatever we are doing in this life, everything will be finished with the end of the body. My position, my wealth, my family, my this or that,everything will be finished, because I’ll have to accept another body. Karmana daiva netrena jantor deha upapattaye. This gross body will be finished. I’ll have to accept another gross body. But if you begin Krsna consciousness, it will not be finished, because it is the business of the soul. Krsna consciousness means the original consciousness, “I am Krsna’s. I am God’s, part and parcel of God,” this consciousness. At the present moment, being illusioned by different material designations, we are thinking in different way: “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am brahmana,” “I am sudra,” “I am this,” “I am that.” These are all designations. And Krsna consciousness means “I am Krsna’s.” Aham brahmasmi. So ‘ham. “I am as good as Krsna,” or “I am Krsna’s. I am eternal servant of Krsna.” This consciousness is required to invoke. That is the prime objective of human life. Now we are in different consciousness. So bhakti means sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. One has to become freed from all these designations: “I am this,” “I am that,” this bodily concept of life. Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke [SB 10.84.13]. I am identifying myself with this body. This is condemned in the sastra. Sa eva go-kharah. One who identifies himself with this body, he’s no better than the cows and the asses. Sa eva go-kharah.

So Krsna consciousness means one is not identifying himself with this material body. He is identifying himself in his original constitutional position, aham brahmasmi

brahma-bhutah prasannatma
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param

[Bg. 18.54]

Mad-bhaktim labhate param. After being liberated from all these designations, one begins his devotional service, devotional life. And Krsna says, “If one wants to know Me, then he must accept.” Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. Tattvatah. If one wants to know Krsna, God, as He is, then he has to accept the process of devotional service. Bhaktya mam abhijanati. Evam prasanna-manaso bhakti-yogena [SB 1.2.20]. There is another verse in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: evam prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah. By practicing the bhagavad-bhakti-yoga, bhagavad-bhakti-yoga prasanna manaso, one has to become first of all joyful by identifying himself with the spirit. Brahma bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. Then when he becomes joyful, he understands that “I am not this material body, I am spirit soul. I am not American, I am not Indian, I’m not brahmana, I am not this, this, this, so many things… No, I am spirit soul. I am part and parcel of Krsna.” This is called brahma-bhutah. Evam prasanna-manaso. When one becomes brahma-bhutah, self-realized, at that time, he becomes prasanna-manaso, joyful. Na socati na kanksati: he has no more lamentation or hankering. Evam prasanna. In this state of life, prasanna-manaso, evam prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah [SB 1.2.20], by practicing bhagavad-bhakti yoga, bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam mukta-sangasya jayate. At that time, one can understand what is the science of God, bhagavat-tattva. It is not a sentiment; it is a vijnana, science. Bhagavad-tattva-vijnana. So who can understand this bhagavad-tattva-vijnana, science? Mukta-sanga. One who is liberated from this material contamination, he can understand.

Therefore devotees who are constantly engaged in the loving service of the Lord, they are liberated. Mam ca avyabhicarini bhakti-yogena yah sevate. Anyone who is engaged in devotional service unadulterated, without any motive, unadulterated:

jnana-karmady anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanu-

[BRS 1.1.11]

He’s liberated. These activities of Krsna consciousness, it is, it appears to be ordinary activities, but that is liberated activity. Those who cannot understand the activities in liberation, nirvisesavadi, they think that in the conditioned state of life, there are activities; when one becomes liberated, he has no more activities, he becomes dumb. No. Actual activities begins in liberated… Just like a man, a diseased fellow, diseased fellow, lying on the bed, he’s also eating. He’s also sleeping. He’s also passing stool, urine. But that is not real activity. When he becomes cured of the disease, come to his healthy life, and then again he walks, he eats, he sleeps, that is another, mean, a position of eating, sleeping. But one who cannot understand the liberated activities, they are shuddered. As soon as they think of activities, they think, “Oh, the activities, they, the…” The same patient who is suffering, for, suppose from birth, he cannot understand that there is activities after being cured of this disease. He cannot understand. He thinks activity means lying down on the bed and drinking all bitter medicine and pass stool and urine by using, what is called, that…?

Devotees: Bed pan. Bed pan.

Prabhupada: Bed pan. He’s thinking like that. He has no idea there is better activities, better sleeping, better eating. That he cannot understand. Therefore sunyavadi. They want to make zero. “These activities are giving me so much trouble. Make it zero.” Just like sometimes one cannot tolerate the pains of diseased condition. Sometimes they commit suicide, stop these activities. So the sunyavadi, they are like that, committing suicide; stop these activities. But they do not know that there is activities. There are… After being cured of this material disease, when one is healthy… That healthy activities are the devotional activities. Therefore Krsna says, mam ca avyabhicarini yogena yah sevate. Sevate means there is activities. It is not stoppage of activities. Sevate. Sevate means giving service. Giving service is not stopping activities. But that is a different type of activities, healthy activities. Therefore Krsna says,

mam ca avyabhicarini
bhakti-yogena yah sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate

[Bg. 14.26]

He’s brahma-bhutah. He’s self-realized. Self-realized. That is mukti. Muktir hitva anyatha rupam svarupena vyavasthitih. Mukti does not mean stopping activities. That is not mukti. That is suicidal. You are living entity. How you can stop? That is not possible. They say that, Mayavadi philosophers, they say to become desireless. That…, you cannot be desireless because you are living entity. How you can stop your desires? But you have to rectify, you have to purify your desires. Now we are desiring simply for sense gratification, to lord it over the material nature. That is your desires. And, and when this desire is purified, then you’ll desire that how everything should be engaged in the service of God. Now I am trying to become God, lord it over the material nature, but when my desires are purified, then I shall understand that everything belongs to God; therefore everything should be dovetailed in the service of God. That is liberation. Muktir hitva anyatha rupam svarupena… This is svarupa.
Therefore sunyavadi, or nirvisesa-vadi, they are not liberated. They are still in maya. Vimukta-maninah.

In the Bhagavata it is said that they are thinking, concocting that they have become liberated. Actually they are not liberated. Ye ‘nye ‘ravindaksa vimukta-maninah. Maninah. Say somebody thinks that “I’m the proprietor of all the banks.” Let him think like that. But that does not mean he has become the proprietor of the banks. That is a different thing. Similarly, one may think that “I have become liberated,” but actually he’s not liberated. Liberated is he who is engaged in the service of the Lord. He’s liberated. Nobody’s liberated. Ye ‘nye ‘ravindaksa vimukta-maninas tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah [SB 10.2.32]. Just like they are going to the Moon planet. They have got very high speed sputniks. Simply riding on, boarding on high-speed sputnik does not mean he has gone to the moon planet. Actually he has to go there and live there. Then it is successful. But what they are doing? They are going and coming back. They are going and coming back. Similarly, aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanti adhah [SB 10.2.32]. If you have to stay in the higher status of life, brahma anubhuti, then you’ll have to come back again. Aruhya krcchrena. Krcchrena means by practicing severe austerities, penances, one may go up to the Brahman effulgence, param padam. That is called param padam.

But because there is no stay… Just like in the sky. You may go with high speed, but if you cannot stay in some planet, you’ll have to come back again. Similarly, aruhya kncchrena param padam tatah, patanti adhah anadrta-yusmad-anghrayah. Because they cannot get shelter under the lotus feet of Krsna, they have to come down again to these material activities. And we have seen practically, so many big, big sannyasis, they give up this material world, take sannyasa to understand Brahman, but because they could not understand Brahman, they again come to open hospital and schools. That is their business. Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanti adhah [SB 10.2.32].

But one who is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, he does not come to these material activities again. The, the factual evidence… Just this, these boys, these European, American boys. Who could enjoy material life better than them? They were all enjoying. But they have given up everything. They are no more going back to that status of life. Param drstva nivartate. They have found something better. Therefore they’re not going to again that life of meat-eating, illicit sex, intoxication, smoking and drinking. No. They are not, no more going. Give them bribe also: “You come to again to that stage.” Will you go?

Devotees: No. No.

Prabhupada: No. They’ll never go. This is called liberation. This is called liberation. Simply by thinking, “I have become liberated,” and I am handicapped by so many bad habits, that is not liberation. That is simply mental concoction. Real liberation is bhakti-yoga.
Thank you very much. That’s all. (end)

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12 Responses to Wandering the Planets–Getting Out of this Cycle

  1. madhudvisa says:

    Hare Krishna Ani

    Yes. Our minds are very disturbed. It is the time we are in. But the more you chant Hare Krishna and read Srila Prabhupada’s books the more peaceful your mind will become.

    And if you have been initiated with the Brahmin gayatri mantra then yes you must say it regularly three times every day. Why not? It does not take very long and then at least three times a day you are thinking about Krishna.

    Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

    Madhudvisa dasa

  2. madhudvisa says:

    Hare Krishna Ani

    I can understand your confusion. In India the Hindus are completely confused because of the bogus preaching of so many so-called sadhus over the years and with that initial confusion you are now trying to make some sense out of the other religions of the world.

    And you are only finding more confusion. Every religion claiming that they are the only true religion and that all other religions are going to Hell…

    Of course this is not true. All these different religions were not made by God. They were made by man. God’s order is only one, “Surrender to Me, worship Me, serve Me.”

    And God appears in many different forms and he sends his empowered representatives, prophets, to reestablish the religious principles when they are no longer being properly followed. It is because these prophets explain the same spiritual knowledge to their followers in different countries and cultures and languages that it appears there are many different competing religions. But actually all the bona-fide representatives of God are preaching the same thing, only in a different language.

    So there is a great commonality and unity among all the religions of the world but the followers of these religions do not know that.

    Anyhow it is impossible for me to fully answer your question in this small space. All your answers have been given by Srila Prabhupada elaborately in his books. Please read Prabhupada’s books. You will find them immensely satisfying and they will answer all your questions and more.

    Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

    Madhudvisa dasa

  3. rama krishna says:


    I have one doubt. can I donate my organs after death? Is that a crime? anywhere anything has written on Organ donation?? what is your opinion from your experience?

    second doubt:

    why do people go to NARAKA though we have a concept called LAW OF KARMA. from the concept of LAW OF KARMA anyways we are going to rebirth on the planet and will suffer the karma that we had done in our past lives. then again why is this NARAKA or HELL.???

    • Hare Krishna Rama Krishna

      The Vedic way is that the body of a dead person must be very promptly burnt. There is a very important reason for this. Because the soul is very attached to the body if the body is not promptly destroyed by the fire then the soul may remain around the body as a ghost, and this is a very unfortunate condition for the soul. So to encourage the soul to move on the Vedic culture is the body must be promptly burnt. So if you are going to follow the Vedic system your body has to be burnt so you can not donate the organs because they will be all burnt up.

      Also you have to be very, very, very careful with these organ donation people. The organs are much better for transplanting into other people if they take them from living people, not dead people… So it happens many times that people sign these organ donation forms and then when there is a demand for their organs in the hospital they may just take the organs and let you die. Because they make a lot of money from selling these organs…

      So the answer is that according to the Vedic system a dead body has to be promptly burnt, so no person who follows the Vedic system can donate his organs. His body must be burnt.

      As far as going to hell that is part of karma. If you do something sinful then as a result of that, as the karma or reaction to that, you have to go to hell and suffer terribly. The hellish planets are also planets and we also take birth there in bodies suitable for receiving a lot of suffering and punishment without dying so we can suffer to the maximum degree there. So as we can get promotion to the heavenly planets and apparently enjoy a higher standard of living there by performing pious activities we can also be sent to the hellish planets as a result of performing sinful activities. At the moment virtually everyone on this planet is performing unlimited sinful activities so the future of everyone is very dark. Practically everyone is going to hell…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  4. Chetan says:

    Hare Krsna:

    Why Onion, Garlic, Tea & Coffee are forbidden by devotees?

    • Tea and coffee are intoxicants. You get addicted to them. We don’t want to get addicted to anything in the material world. We want to get addicted to Krishna. What happens if the time of death comes and you are hankering for a nice cup of coffee? Because you are addicted to coffee? Not a good idea. We should give up coffee and become addicted to Krishna.

      Onions and garlic are in the mode of passion and smell bad and Krishna does not like them. It is not that they are forbidden to devotees. Devotees only eat Krishna prasadam, the remnants of the food offered to Krishna. Krishna does not accept garlic and onions so we can not offer it to Krishna so prasadam does not have garlic and onions in it so devotees don’t eat it… Because Krishna doesn’t like it…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

  5. Sonya says:

    What are the 10 offences?

    • Hare Krishna Sonya. This is a very good question, “What are the 10 offenses in chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra.” To understand these things requires serious study. Therefore Srila Prabhuapda has written so many books, and if we want to understand all these points we have to read the books. I am giving a short quote below from Srila Prabhupada’s purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.25. You can find it online here:

      Similarly, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Third Canto, Twenty-fifth Chapter, verse 21, the qualifications of a saintly person are mentioned. It is said there that a saintly person eligible to enter into the kingdom of God is very tolerant and very kind to all living entities. He is not partial; he is kind both to human beings and to animals. He is not such a fool that he will kill a goat Nārāyaṇa to feed a human Nārāyaṇa, or daridra-nārāyaṇa. He is very kind to all living entities; therefore he has no enemy. He is very peaceful. These are the qualities of persons who are eligible to enter into the kingdom of God. That such a person gradually becomes liberated and enters the kingdom of God is confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Fifth Canto, Fifth Chapter, verse 2. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Second Canto, Third Chapter, verse 24, also states that if a person does not cry or exhibit bodily changes after chanting the holy name of God without offense, it is to be understood that he is hardhearted and that therefore his heart does not change even after he chants the holy name of God, Hare Kṛṣṇa. These bodily changes can take place due to ecstasy when we offenselessly chant the holy names of God: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

      It may be noted that there are ten offenses we should avoid. The first offense is to decry persons who try in their lives to broadcast the glories of the Lord. People must be educated in understanding the glories of the Supreme; therefore the devotees who engage in preaching the glories of the Lord are never to be decried. It is the greatest offense. Furthermore, the holy name of Viṣṇu is the most auspicious name, and His pastimes are also nondifferent from the holy name of the Lord. There are many foolish persons who say that one can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa or chant the name of Kālī or Durgā or Śiva because they are all the same. If one thinks that the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the names and activities of the demigods are on the same level, or if one accepts the holy name of Viṣṇu to be a material sound vibration, that is also an offense. The third offense is to think of the spiritual master who spreads the glories of the Lord as an ordinary human being. The fourth offense is to consider the Vedic literatures, such as the Purāṇas or other transcendentally revealed scriptures, to be ordinary books of knowledge. The fifth offense is to think that devotees have given artificial importance to the holy name of God. The actual fact is that the Lord is nondifferent from His name. The highest realization of spiritual value is to chant the holy name of God, as prescribed for the age—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. The sixth offense is to give some interpretation on the holy name of God. The seventh offense is to act sinfully on the strength of chanting the holy name of God. It is understood that one can be freed from all sinful reaction simply by chanting the holy name of God, but if one thinks that he is therefore at liberty to commit all kinds of sinful acts, that is a symptom of offense. The eighth offense is to equate the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa with other spiritual activities, such as meditation, austerity, penance or sacrifice. They cannot be equated at any level. The ninth offense is to specifically glorify the importance of the holy name before persons who have no interest. The tenth offense is to be attached to the misconception of possessing something, or to accept the body as one’s self, while executing the process of spiritual cultivation.

      When one is free from all ten of these offenses in chanting the holy name of God, he develops the ecstatic bodily features called pulakāśru. Pulaka means “symptoms of happiness,” and aśru means “tears in the eyes.” The symptoms of happiness and tears in the eyes must appear in a person who has chanted the holy name offenselessly. Here in this verse it is stated that those who have actually developed the symptoms of happiness and tears in the eyes by chanting the glories of the Lord are eligible to enter the kingdom of God. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that if one does not develop these symptoms while chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, it is to be understood that he is still offensive. Caitanya-caritāmṛta suggests a nice remedy in this connection. There it is said in verse 31, Chapter Eight, of Ādi-līlā, that if anyone takes shelter of Lord Caitanya and just chants the holy name of the Lord, Hare Kṛṣṇa, he becomes freed from all offenses.

  6. Yvonne says:

    Hare Krishna,

    This is very good teaching. I would like to know if eating fish is considered an offence? and if getting out of bed at 7am EST. to meditate is OK? Please reply at your convenience.

    Hare Krishna,


    • Hare Krishna Yvonne. Yes. There are four regulative principles and one of them is “no meat eating.” So fish are included in this. The thing is a devotee does everything for Krishna. Nothing for himself. So Krishna doesn’t eat fish. A devotee only cooks for Krishna, not for himself. So there is no question of a devotees eating fish because they will only eat food that has been offered to Krishna and you can’t offer Krishna fish because He won’t accept it. Certainly offering Krishna fish would be an offense and eating fish would be breaking one of the regulative principles. So it is not very easy to make spiritual advancement and do these things at the same time.

      As far as chanting Hare Krishna at 7am. Chanting Hare Krishna can be done at any time. So it is certainly OK to get out of bed at 7:00am and chant Hare Krishna. Any time and every time we can chant Hare Krishna. Ultimately you will want to get up at least 1.5 hours before the sun rises and meditate then, but we can not do all of these things immediately all of a sudden.

      So even if you can not completely follow everything perfectly in the beginning that is natural. That is not a problem. But we should try to follow everything properly and keep trying until we are able to follow everything properly. To make advancement in Krishna consciousness we need two things, enthusiasm and patience. We have to be enthusiastic to serve Krishna nicely and to make spiritual advancement and to come to the proper standards of pure devotional service, but at the same time we have to be patient and understand that we have been in the material world for many, many lifetimes and over that time we have learnt a lot of bad habbits and it may take some time for us to get rid of those bad habits.

      It is important to know what the proper standard is and to strive for that. But also it is OK and quite understandable that in the beginning we can not follow the topmost standards.

      Hope it is of some help. Please keep chanting Hare Krishna more and more and the more you chant Hare Krishna the more you will be able to follow everything and the more spiritual advancement you will make. It seems a little difficult in the beginning but as you chant more and more it becomes very enjoyable, very blissful…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

  7. Anurag Goel says:

    Hare Krishna,

    This is really very very good. Wanted to know how should we chant. Obviously beads are there. But is it necessary to have an image of Krishna in front of you or any other deity is also ok. I mean can you tell me the exact suggested way by Srila Prabhupada to go about worshipping and timings of the day.

    Hare Krishna,

    • Hare Krishna Anurag Prabhu. There are no rules and regulations for chanting Hare Krishna in the sense that you can chant Hare Krishna anywhere in any situation. Best time to chant is the Brahma Murhurta that is a period that starts 1.5 hours before sunrise. So if one is serious about spiritual life he will get out of bed at least 2 hours before sunrise so he will be awake and chanting Hare Krishna during the brahma-muhurta. And there are four important regulative principles that the serious student must follow: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication. And there are also ten offences to consider. If we are chanting and continue commiting any of the ten offences, although the chanting is still having a good effect, that effect is very very small compared to the effect we could get if we chanted defencelessly.

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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.

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