Questions & Answers session.

QD: About the mind and control of  mind, to reach the soul, and so how it works?

AM: Okay. I’ll explain according to the shastra. “golokera prema-dhana, hari-näma-saìkértana”. That means the holy name has descended from the spiritual platform. The holy name is a spiritual word. It is not a sound of this world. “kali-käle näma-rüpe kåñëa-avatära” that in this age of Kali, God incarnates within the sound of his name. The sounds of god’s name is not a simply a method of controlling the mind. The sound of god’s name is God. “nämnäm akäri bahudhä nija-sarva-çaktis taträrpitä niyamitaù smaraëe na kälaù” that all the power, all the glory, all the opulence, all the purifying affects of god himself are fully contained within the sound of His name. Now what you are saying is true. That we must control our mind. Our mind is like a mirror. The soul is like the sun. The mind is meant to reflect the bright of the sun. When the mind is uncontrolled, to the degree it uncontrolled it gets covered with dust and dirt. Because due to uncontrolled nature, it becomes attached to things of this world and those attachments are like dust and dirt. When a mirror is covered with dust and dirt, none of the light of the sun can be reflect from it. All that shows from that mirror is dust and dirt. So mind control ultimately must be for the purpose of cleansing the mind to allow the soul to shine through it without the impediment of dust and dirt. Now meditation is the process of stilling the mind. But that ultimate meditation, according to sashtra is the chanting of the name, because by concentrating the mind on the sound of the name, you are concentrating your mind on the all pure glory and supreme nature of god. It’s not like simply meditating on a word or meditating on a mundane vibration or meditating on a picture. These things can still the mind but they do not purify the mind. Do you understand? The Chanting of the name not only stills mind but it purifies the mind. But in order to chant properly, you have to concentrate your mind completely on the sound vibration. Otherwise the name goes in one way and out the other. We should not chant mechanically. We have to chant with devotion. And the sincerity of the devotion is express to the degree we are willing to concentrate and fix our mind on the sound of the name. What you are saying is correct? We should not just be saying the word, when our mind is somewhere else. We will have minimal affect by that type of chanting. The chanting is a meditation. Yoga means to control our mind by fixing our mind on God. Our mind becomes godly. By fixing our mind on the pure, our mind becomes purified. The name is all pure. The name is god. By fixing our mind by chanting with concentration and attention and hearing the name with your mind , all the dust will removed, it is cleansed and through that process the eternal light of the soul will shine and reflect upon that, mirror of mind and bring light, illumination and bliss to your life, and will reflect and give light illumination and bliss to everyone you come in contact within world. Is that understandable?


QD: – Also you know that everyone born as human being and part of god and make the path to god for perfection. Sometimes it is not easy but is made easy. Because to control the mind, we have that particular defect, to reach and then have the maximum defects while chanting. I do not know whether it is that defect, but sometimes seeing the good things, making the good people, even thinking about god, sometimes thinking of Krishna. Definitely there is lot of sorrows?

AM:  You are experiencing attaining a little glimmer of the infinity light of god within you and that is bringing you such a joy, compared to the pleasures of this world. Even attaining a little glimmer of reflection of the light of god is supremely joyful. What to speak of when our heart and when our mind is cleansed of all the dust. Not only a glimmer but the full effulgent light of the sun of god is manifest to us. Then there is infinite bliss and infinity ecstasy in our life for ever. So Krishna is showing you few glimmers here and there. Why did he show you few glimmers? To attract you to the source of that glimmer, Himself. And because He is non different than His name. To the degree we fix our mind on His name to that degree our mind becomes purified. Krishna says in Gita “man-manä bhava mad-bhakto mad-yäjé mäà namaskuru”. Always think of me. That is the essence of Gita to always think of God. Because god is all pure. If you think of all pure, you become purified, correct. So we should not chant mechanically. Mechanically chanting has  very minimal affect. The purpose of chanting the name of God is the opportunity to completely focus all of concentration of the mind on God, through the sound of his name.

QD: Why is that in Vedas, that one letter contains the whole energy of the world. Is it Om? Is Om by vibration, by the wake of the sound which comes out of it, in regards to the potency & the name of Krishna?

AM: Krishna says in Gita, “praëavaù sarva-vedeñu” that I am the sacred syllable Om in the vedic mantras. Om is the name of god. By chanting Om, your heart becomes purified. There are many names of god. But Omkara the pranav mantra is specifically the transcendental sound vibration, which represents and is non different than, the sat or the eternal impersonal aspect of the supreme. Where as the name Krishna, is also a sound vibration, which is non different from the personification as well as representing that the same eternal absolute truth, but  it is a manifestation through sound of the personal aspect of the absolute truth. You understand. Now there is supreme bliss in our personal loving relationship with the supreme person. The bliss of loving god, to understand the eternal aspect of god is incomparable in ecstasy, to the pleasures of the world. But Rupa Gosvami says comparatively the  ocean of sweetness and bliss that one derives from loving god. The bliss that is contained in  liberation is insignificant. Generally people chant pranava the Om Kara mantra for liberation. And they will attain liberation by chanting omkara. Generally people chant the name of Krishna or Rama to develop personal loving relationship with supreme lord and through that process they do develop in eternal loving relationship with the supreme lord. They are both transcendental sound vibrations which are representing the same absolute truth, but different aspects of the absolute truth. As they say, people chant Om for liberation, but people chant the name of Rama and Krishna for bhakti, for pure love, which is higher and more complete realization of that one supreme absolute truth. But Krishna says. Because Krishna is the complete absolute. He is sachidananda. Brahman is the sat, the eternal feature of the lord. Paramatma is the sat and chid, the eternal and knowledge  feature of the Lord and Krishna is the Sachidananda (bhagavan), Complete realization of eternity, knowledge and bliss. The bliss comes through love, through lila. The bliss is in lila and spiritual reciprocation. So chanting Om and chanting Krishna are in one level , they are non different, or on another level they gave entrances into various realizations of that one supreme absolute truth.


QD: You said that the Lord is Sachidananda, they talk of  jnani, the yogi or bhakta. What are the perspectives?

AM: There are different schools. Sometimes they chant Om. Sankarcarya taught the chanting of “tatva masi”. I am that. But factually if you approach Om is the supreme person, you will realize Krishna through the chanting of Om. It is a question of your consciousness, if you are approaching Krishna, some people chant Krishna as the unmanifest absolute and through the chanting of Krishna they realize the unmanifest absolute. As you approach Krishna, He will reward you directly. In fact all of His potencies are contained in all of His names. And you approach the lord for love and devotion through any of those transcendental names, he will reveal himself. What I am saying, generally, the people who chose to chant Om, because it is the impersonal aspect of the absolute truth, generally they are chanting for liberation. Very rarely you find someone chanting the Omkar Mantra for pure bhakti. But those who chant “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”. Some chant Hare Krishna for liberation. But if you are guided by a bona fide spiritual master, you will not be chanting Hare Krishna for liberation. You will be chanting Hare Krishna like, dear Lord please engage me in your loving service for ever. There are Mayavadis chanting Hare Krishna, and there are also vaishnavas chanting Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. As you approach Krishna He rewards you accordingly and He is non different than His name. He will also reciprocate through His name, according to how you approach Him. So we are not concerned with what name you chant. We are concerned with proper understanding and proper concentration of your chanting. That’s why Lord Caitanya said you have many names my lord. Whether you chant Allah, Jehova, Krishna, Rama, Govinda, or Madhusudana. If you chant with proper spirit of Bhakti or devotion, you will achieve the same result.


QD: After attaining mukti, will that be the highest perfection of life, as one will be free from the problems of the material world ?

AM: From the material point of view with people, you will liberate from all the problems of this material world. Mukti means no more birth, old age, disease and death. But then you enter into the spiritual stratum of consciousness,the eternal reality. Once you tear through the covering of this material world, you enter into beyond the Viraja River, what is called the Brahma Jyoti., which is the spiritual sky. Mukti means to merge into the spiritual sky. Within the spiritual sky there  are spiritual planets, and in  each of these planets, the supreme lord is residing in His various transcendental features. And in each of those planets, the lord is reciprocating eternally loving pastimes with His devotees. Now whether you are in the spiritual sky or on those planets, you are liberated from this material world, you are out of material atmosphere. But it is a higher and  intimate realization of god to be personally loving Him and serving Him, in His personal eternal form than  to simply be resting in a state of mukti within the sky of spiritual atmosphere. But in the spiritual sky also there is that same risk,because anandamaya vyasat. The soul is looking for love by nature. In the spiritual sky the soul is liberated from material suffering but it finds no love. In mukti there is no love, there is simply no pain. There is the bliss of not having pain. But there is no love. Because there is no one in the love. So in that liberated condition, eventually that propensity for love will awaken in the soul and when that propensity comes, if you do not have any information of the supreme Lord’s loving lila taking place on his spiritual planets, if you do not enter there, to repose your natural affection, propensity for love, then you will again come down into this material world. Are you aware.  It is described in Bhagavad-Gita that those who attain this state of mukti, because they generally do not find a resting place for their loving propensities they come down again eventually to this material existence to find love here. The nature of the soul is to love.

QD : Can we go to the Goloka after achieving Mukti in Brahmajyoti?

AM: From the Brahma Yoti, you can either go to Goloka Vrindavana or you can come to this material world. You have to go one of either way eventually. But there is a risk. Therefore why not cultivate directly relationship now rather than striving for mukti. Why not strive now for bhakti. Krishna says,

“janma karma ca me divyam

evaà yo vetti tattvataù

tyaktvä dehaà punar janma

naiti mäm eti so ‘rjuna”

Bhagavad-Gita 4.9

One who understands the transcendental nature of my appearance and activities, he never takes birth in this material world again but it attains my abode. After living in this material world, when you understand the transcendental nature of Krishna’s appearance and activities, you attain to his eternal world and you never come back down to this material world again, because you learned your lesson. You already tried living  separate from Krishna. If you will not try again,you will be so glad to go back. You could comeback. But you will not. A child may be attracted by fire, but once he puts his hand on the fire and is burnt, will he put it back again? But he could, but he will not. So one time you can turn to this world to try it .To try to live independent of god. But after you touched the fire, you get so burnt, by the time you go back to Godhead,the thought of enjoying apart from god, just proves  so unpalatable, unattractive for you. That you never want to come back again.


QD: How about someone, who has transcended material modes of nature ,to other bank of river, but still has not be able to get Goloka Vrindavana?

AM: There are Vaikuntha Planets,for those who want to worship the Lord and Love the Lord in reverence. They worship the lord in His various Vishnu forms. Goloka Vrindavana is Vaikuntha planet. But Goloka Vrindavan is that place where Krishna personally intimately, exchanges love with His devotees, with complete freedom. In the Vaikuntha planets, there Narayana or Vishnu resides in His various expansions, like Rama and so forth, Varaha, Narasimha. The Lord and His various forms resides in various vaikuntha planets. They are all eternal, where  all associates are filled with love and bliss,& their tendency of serving Him, loving Him, and serving Him as master. In Goloka Vrindavana no one serves Krishna as their master. They serve Him as their son, or their friend, or their lover. So all the Vaikuntha planets are eternal abodes. And in each planet the lord simply reveals himself just the way you want to love Him, Just the way you want to serve Him. The spiritual world is chintamani dhama. If someone in Vaikuntha wants to be Narayana’s wife. He is  immediately transferred to Goloka Vrindavana, where he can be a gopi. Because no one except Laxmi is Narayana’s wife. If someone in Vaikuntha wants to be Narayana’s friend, he is transferred to Goloka Vrindavana, where he could be Narayana’s friend. Krishna has friends. So Vaikuntha is that place for people who in their natural inclination and propensity, is that  they want to serve the Lord as the master, the controller & the creator.And Goloka Vrindavana is that place where those who want that freedom and intimacy of sweetness of love. They are both pure lovers of god, they are one in quality but different in intensities of that qualities of love. To be either in Vaikuntha or the higher of Vaikuntha is Goloka, you have to be a pure devotee. You have to have pure love. But there are different gradation of intensity within that  pure love as well and different gradation of intimacy, according to your desire. Just like Hanuman. Hanuman, do you think he wants to be Rama’s friend. Do you think he wants to be Rama’s lover. Do you think he wants to be Rama’s parent. These concepts for Hanuman are totally unpalatable. He simply wants to be Rama’s servant. When Hanuman, if he would go to Goloka Vrindavana and he would see the cowherd boys jumping on Krishna’s back, he would probably want to just be smashing him with his club. What you are doing, jumping on my Lord’s back. He would not be very happy in Goloka Vrindavana. But in Vaikuntha everyone is bowing down before Rama, and Hanuman is  seeing. Ah very nice. So this is his nature. His natural inclination is to serve Rama eternally as servant. So therefore the supreme lord reveals himself in such a way and in an eternal abode where he can completely satisfy all his desires. Now the gopis, you think the gopis wanted to stand around Krishna with club and gadroon. Gopis just think it’s horrible. They want to dance with Krishna. One man’s food is another man’s poison. That is material conception. But the idea in the spiritual world is that according to your natural inclination, your relationship with Krishna is perfect. But another’s relationship will be completely unpalatable to you. The gopis do not want to be like Hanuman. And Hanuman does not want to be like the gopis. If Hanuman was with the cowherd boys, he would just be  beating all the cowherd boys, because they are so intimate with Krishna,wrestling with him,& defeating him. Sridam wrestles with Krishna and defeats him. You know Hanuman, what will he do with Sridama ,beating up Krishna, he will become very angry with him. But do  you think Sridama wants to stand with club and protect Krishna. No, he wants to wrestle with him. He wants to just fight with him. That’s his bliss. So you see we are all spiritual personalities and we all have unique way of loving Krishna in the spiritual world,and therefore the various spiritual planets are places where the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna or Narayana reveals himself, just perfectly to fulfill all the desires of his devotees. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.