Radhanath Swami explains solution for an existing problem- source of new problem
This material existence has been designed by Krishna through the power of maya to be endlessly entangling. Whatever efforts we make to solve the problems of our life, those very efforts create more difficult problems than the original problems. And actually this is the law of nature. It cannot be changed by any powers of this earth. When our efforts appear to be successful, then we become attached and dependent on those material endeavors or facilities and that attachment to the facility is a greater bondage than what the facility was meant to relieve you from. Haribol! This is the law of nature. Duhkhalayamasasvatam. This material world is a miserable place.Therefore, Prahlad Maharaj has spoken in SrimadBhagavatam that if you want to be happy in this world, you have to stop trying to be happy in this world. Or in another words, if you want to avoid suffering in this world, you have to stop making material arrangements to avoid suffering because those arrangements are really the cause of your suffering.
Haribol! So then what are we supposed to do? I would like to introduce you to two very exalted souls, first Sri Sanskritananda Maharaj, who is one of the very great Sanskrit scholars and a very loving hearted devotee of the lord and one of my dearest god brothers, HG Sri VasuGhoshprabhu, who is the president of Baroda temple in Gujarat and also a very dear disciple of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad and also a very dear disciple of Sanskrit of Sri Sanskritananda Maharaj. He’s perhaps one of the only few American sadhus who can speak fluently Sanskrit in conversation. He also sings most beautiful melodious kirtans and he speaks wonderfully from Bhagavat. We are inviting you to our temple so everyone can have your nice association. Please come, both, please. We are inviting you to come to our temple, or may be tomorrow.
Technology is not bad, but our false ego is:
So Bhagavadgita is explaining like this, that the ahankar is the cause of endless entanglement and suffering. prakrtehkriyamananigunaihkarmanisarvasahahankara-vimudhatmakartahamitimanyate. Because we think we are the doer of our activities.But actually, they are being carried out by nature. We are trying to solve problems of life but when we try to solve our problems on the basis of ahankar that ‘I am the doer’, then we actually increase the problems. Medicine, the whole science of medicine, is meant to solve disease and yet, if you look at the world today, there are worst diseases now than there has ever been. This epidemic is more potentially dangerous than the bubonic plague or any disease that modern history has ever seen. What to speak of cancer and heart disease and so many? And science, and yet so much hi-tech knowledge in medicine and yet things are worse than ever. Akrura, what do you think? He is supervisor of medical relief for the state of Maharashtra. It’s correct? Haribol! It is not that the technology is bad; it is that the ahankar is bad. And science, how much leaps and bounds, science has made? Through computers, what man can do or not do, it’s unbelievable. Technology, science and yet there is more drug addiction, there is more alcoholism, there is more crime, there are wars going on everywhere, there is water pollution, air pollution, heart pollution despite so much advancement in civilization. And all of our efforts are meant to solve these very problems. And we have very, very excellent trained politicians in the United Nations and in the capital buildings of every place in the world and yet every country is suffering so much strife and there are so many wars and so much hatred and so much sectarianism! Why? Because without understanding what Krishna is teaching us in Bhagavadgita, all of our attempts to solve the problems of the world only increase the problems of this world. There is nothing wrong with science. There is nothing wrong with technology. There is nothing wrong with higher education. But as long as all of these endeavors to solve the miseries of material life through these processes are under the misconception that ‘I am the doer’, as long as we are trying to solve problems on the level of material attachment and material misconception that ‘I am this body and those things in relationship to this body are mine’, we only make everything further disturbed.
Therefore, Krishna gives us simple solution. daivihyesaguna-mayimama maya duratyayamam eva ye prapadyantemayametamtarantite. That ‘this material nature is difficult to overcome. It is impossible to overcome. But one who surrenders to Me can easily cross beyond it.’ And what does it mean to surrender to Krishna? man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājīmāḿ namaskurumāmevaiṣyasisatyaḿ tepratijānepriyo ‘si me. That ‘always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. In this way, you will come to Me without fail.’ It is said in the SrimadBhagavatam that fear personified is fearful of Krishna. Chaitanya Charitamrita explains Krsna suryasama, maya hoy andhakar. Yaha krsna tahamayarnahiadhikar.That Krishna is like the sun, and all the darkness of illusion which is the cause of so much suffering, strife and disharmony in this world is like darkness. In the presence of the sun, all darkness is removed. When we remember Krishna with love, with devotion, with sincere attention, then all the miseries of material existence seize to existbecause the miseries of material existence are actually illusory. Krishna says in Gita, the soul cannot be killed. Na hanyatehanyamanesarire.It cannot be cut into pieces by any weapon; it cannot get wet by even the greatest downpours of monsoon rains. It is transcendental. When we realize our eternal identity as a jivatma, then all the miseries of material existence seize to exist. Then we can be para-dukha dukhi. We see the misery in others and we try to give them relief.
Holy name of Krishna is the cure for the source of all diseases
To give a starving man food gives him temporary relief, but to give him the food of transcendental knowledge and Harinam, you can mitigate his hunger for bliss, for joy, for eternal life, forever. It is the greatest charity. To give a sick man medical relief gives some temporary relief and that’s good. We approve, because we need temporary relief in this world. But Bhaktivinod has prayed ‘enechiaushadhi maya nashibarolagihari-namamaha-mantra laotumi magi’. That Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has the medicine that will cure the very source of all disease, which causes all suffering and that is the holy name of Krishna. And if we take this medicine regularly according to the prescription of the doctor who comes in the form of gurudev, who comes in the form of the shastra, who comes in the form of great sadhus, they are giving us the proper prescription of how to take this medicine of the chanting of Harinam. It must be taken regularly, every day. Within our mission, we recommend that devotees chant 16 malas everyday of mahamantra, but it must also be done with great attention, with great concentration and with great feeling. What is that feeling? That ‘Krishna, Your holy name is my only shelter.’
Maya bewilders us if we think that we are the controllers:
Thakur Bhaktivinod has prayed that ‘I’ve seen and considered everything within all the fourteen worlds and my conclusion is it is only the name of God that can save me.’ But yet due to ahankar, the false ego, we are under the illusion that we could save ourselves through our position in society, through our money and wealth, through our influence, through our education but so many people have so much money and so much influence and such high education and the world is a mess. And those very people, their lives are messes. Time is consuming their lives, they are approaching death and they can do nothing about it. And their near and dear ones, sometimes they go against their will, sometimes they get terrible diseases, sometimes they suffer terribly, sometimes they die and we have no power to control our situation and yet we are under the illusion that ‘I am the controller and the more I have, the more I can control.’ But this whole sphere of control, the more we think we are controlling in this world, the more we are being controlled by maya to be in that illusion and ultimately, the more we have to suffer. Therefore, whoever we are, whether we are rich or poor, whether we are educated or uneducated, if we become humble and understand that ‘if I simply live in harmony with God’s will and purify my heart and become a good servant of the lord’, then by God’s grace, all the problems of existence are solved.
We cannot solve our material problems, but we can transcend them:
Now, when we say all the problems of existence are solved, that doesn’t mean that you will not grow old, get diseased and die. Because the law of nature is everything must grow old, get diseased and die. You cannot solve that problem on the level of the problem. But you can transcend it. Your consciousness can go beyond it; like a lotus flower that is in the dirtiest, muddiest pool of water, it remains untouched. It remains pure and clean.We are all meant to become lotus-like. We become what we associate with. If we associate with the lotus feet of Krishna, our consciousness becomes lotus-like. It becomes pure. Om apavitra–pavitro–vasarva-vasthamgatoapiva yah smaretpundarikakshamsahbhayabhyantarasuchih. Krishna’s feet are lotus-like. That means even if He appears in this world and walks on this earth, where everyone is being endlessly entangled in karmic reactions, birth, death, old age, disease, He is aloof, He is transcendental, He is above it. And if we become attached to Those lotus feet, if we always fix our consciousness in remembering Those lotus feet, then we become also lotus-like. We can be in this world, but not of this world. While material nature does what material nature will inevitably do, constantly be in a process of transformation of energy, which we call old age and death and re-birth, it’s just a transformation of material energy, no one can stop that. But while within it, you can be beyond it because the soul by nature is beyond material existence. The great personalities, the sadhus, we say they have lotus feet. Because they are in this world but they are not trying to enjoy this world for their own selfish, exploitative interests. And they are not trying to solve the problems of this world on the level of the world itself because the problems are ultimately unsolvable – birth, old age, disease and death.But they come to the world only to give everyone the opportunity of understanding how to transcend, how to find our eternal joy and peace in the loving service of the lord, in remembering Krishna and Those same lotus feet of Krishna are revealed to us through the beautiful sound of His name.
Chanting the holy names of Krishna is the panacea cure for all sorrows of this world:
How to always meditate on God? By hearing about Him, by chanting about Him, by seeing His beautiful form, by associating with His devotees. But in this age of Kaliyuga, kalerdosa-nidherajanastihyekomahangunahkirtanadevakrsnasyamukta-sangahparamvrajet. This age of Kali is an ocean of defects, ocean of faults. But Krishna has given a concession in this age of Kali. That simply by remembering and chanting His holy name, we can attain the perfection of liberation from all the problems, sorrows and sufferings of the world and this is the greatest need of human society, to take this medicine of Harinam. So we must chant regularly and we must chant attentively with this feeling that ‘Krishna, Your name is truly my shelter in life.’ We must chant the holy name in the mood of seeking shelter of the holy name. And we know in the story of Draupadi… she was such a wonderful devotee of Krishna and she was always chanting the holy name of Krishna. But when the dignity of her chastity was being threatened by Dushyasana in that assembly and he was about to strip her naked which is a fate worse than death for a good woman, she was in a totally helpless condition. She was in such grief that at that moment, she did the same thing she was doing all her life. She called out Krishna’s name but due to the conditions she chanted out with such feeling, helplessly that ‘Krishna, I cannot save myself. Only You can protect me.’ And she cried out, ‘He Krishna, He Govinda’. When she called out the names of Govinda, she raised her arms just like we raise our arms or as we should raise our arms; in that spirit in that mood, we should cry out as our only shelter realizing our helpless condition ‘He Krishna, He Govinda!!’. This is the spirit we should endeavor to cultivate when we chant the holy names, both in japa as well as in kirtan, to take shelter of the holy names. This is the real solution, the panacea cure for all the sorrows of this world. And the greatest act of love is to induce and inspire another living being to find eternal shelter through the chanting of God’s holy name. And it’s for this reason that our beloved Guru maharaj, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad gave us this most simple and sublime instruction which is the conclusion of all knowledge of all the Vedas and what was that? Chant Hare Krishna and be happy. nama–sankirtanamyasyasarva–papa–pranasanam – Vyas Dev concludes the SrimadBhagavatam with this verse, that all sins which are the cause of all pain can be removed by simply chanting the holy names. This is the conclusion of all knowledge to chant Hare Krishna and be happy. SrilaPrabhupad would say that so often. Would he not, VasuGhoshprabhu… Just chant Hare Krishna and be happy. But we shouldn’t take this instruction lightly. It is the sum mum bonum of all knowledge to chant the holy names and be happy.