vrajaàs tiñöhan padaikena

yathaivaikena gacchati

yathä tåëa-jalaukaivaà

dehé karma-gatià gataù



Just as a person traveling on the road rests one foot on the ground and then lifts the other, or as a worm on a vegetable transfers itself to one leaf and then gives up the previous one, the conditioned soul takes shelter of another body and then gives up the one he had before.


This is the process of the soul’s transmigration from one body to another. At the time of death, according to his mental condition, the living being is carried by the subtle body, consisting of mind, intelligence and ego, to another gross body. When higher authorities have decided what kind of gross body the living entity will have, he is forced to enter such a body, and thus he automatically gives up his previous body. Dull-minded persons who do not have the intelligence to understand this process of transmigration take for granted that when the gross body is finished, one’s life is finished forever. Such persons have no brains with which to understand the process of transmigration. At the present moment there is great opposition to the Hare Kåñëa movement, which is being called a “brainwashing” movement. But actually the so-called scientists, philosophers and other leaders in the Western countries have no brains at all. The Hare Kåñëa movement is trying to elevate such foolish persons by enlightening their intelligence so that they will take advantage of the human body. Unfortunately, because of gross ignorance, they regard the Hare Kåñëa movement as a brainwashing movement. They do not know that without God consciousness one is forced to continue transmigrating from one body to another. Because of their devilish brains, they will next be forced to accept an abominable life and practically never be able to liberate themselves from the conditional life of material existence. How this transmigration of the soul takes place is very clearly explained in this verse.


Just as a person traveling on the road rests one foot on the ground and then lifts the other, or as a worm on a vegetable transfers itself to one leaf and then gives up the previous one, the conditioned soul takes shelter of another body and then gives up the one he had before.



The example given here by Vasudeva to King Kamsa is very appropriate. Because people who do not have the access to experience a realization of the knowledge of the absolute, because of their condition state of consciousness, tendency is, to try to relate everything to our own experience. That is the nature of conditioned ego, that it must comprehend something on the basis of its own relative experiences in this world. That it is why so many people have such a very difficult time really, deeply & truly believing in God. Most people in religions today, throughout the world for the sense of security they say yes I believe in God, because they want to believe in God. Because they are afraid that life will be so utterly futile if there was no God. But deep down in their heart of hearts they really do not know they fail to admit it to themselves, what to speak of others in the society.


Leap Of Faith:

Why is so difficult to believe in God? Because we are speaking of a Supreme entity who has inconceivable potencies, who is transcendent & beyond the limitations of our conception of reality. And we believe to be true what we have relative experience what is possible & otherwise we have to take this leap of faith. Of course that leap of faith is important. In fact Srila Rupa Goswami explains that to really & truly have faith in God is very advanced platform of spiritual life. He describes into Bhaktirasamrta sindhu

 ädau çraddhä tataù sädhu-saìgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyä tato ‘nartha-nivåttiù syät tato niñöhä rucis tataù.

At the beginning if we have some desire, some sincere inclination, for spiritual life then by the causeless mercy of Sri Krsna, éçvaraù sarva-bhütänäà håd-deçe ‘rjuna tiñöhati from within the heart he directs us into the association of sadhus, persons truly & genuinely devoting their lives in Gods loving service. In that association we sit, we open our minds, we open our ear, we open our hearts & we hear from them. And through that hearing a preliminary form of faith is developed within our heart.

Science Of Krishna Consciousness:

And through the process of hearing this faith gradually becomes stronger. And at a certain level it is described ädau çraddhä tataù sädhu-saìgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyä. And when our faith becomes somewhat convinced, we accept the process bhajana-kriyä that means the discipline of sadhana bhakti. In the discipline of sadhana bhakti we accept bonafide spiritual master. We accept initiation from such a bonafide spiritual master. We inquire submissively, we render service. We begin to accept certain disciplines in our life, because disciple means discipline. In the Krsna consciousness movement we chant a minimum of 16 rounds or 2 hours of Hare Krsna mahamantra everyday. And follow the 4 regulative principles, no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, and no meat eating. We also learn through the process bhajana-kriyä how to come to the temple & properly respect the deity, the archa vigraha form of the Lord. Gradually we learn how to personally worship the deity. We also learn how to study the scriptures in the association of the devotees to gain deeper comprehensions & convictions to defend the philosophy of absolute truth against the onslaughts of atheists & those who are avers to the principle of bhakti or devotional service to the Lord. We also learn the standards of cleanliness, the standards of simplicity, detachment (vairagya). And through the purification it takes place ädau çraddhä tataù sädhu-saìgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyä tato after following the principles of bhajan kripa our heart becomes very pure. And the next stage is nistha. Nistha means firm faith, unshakable faith, and utter conviction that Krsna is God, the Supreme Absolute Truth, the controller of all controllers, the source of everything, the cause of all causes & I am His eternal servant. So as we see & from that faith by continuing on ruchi. Ruchi is that raganuga platform where we have a spontaneous desire to only serve Krsna. No longer we have inclination to enjoy material sense enjoyment. And even that is considered to be in the category of sadhana bhakti, that spontaneous attraction for Krsna. And by serving Krsna under that principle for some time gradually bhava or pure love of God awakens in our heart.


Don’t Be Discouraged:

So we can see that Krsna consciousness is a science & it is not a cheap thing. And really our Krsna consciousness is very much determined according to the level of our faith. But we should not think that we have so much faith now. And if we do not have that faith we should not be discouraged. We should understand that such unflinching faith is a very very advanced stage. But somehow or other with our intelligence our heart is being moved, inspired towards the deep realm of faith & we must know that with trust in guru, trust in all the previous acaryas, trust in the scripture, trust in our own ultimate logical conclusion, that we aren’t perfect & unlimited & we can not comprehend the unlimited. We have to diligently work & practice to purify our hearts, to develop this great unshakable faith in the Lord & purity of heart. But until that time the scriptures & the great devotees of the Lord, they are so merciful that they are trying to explain the phenomena of the Absolute truth according to the terms that we have practical experience just so that we have a means of connecting it, connecting these truths to what we have power to understand.


Sastra In Story / Analogy Form:

That is why we find the great teachers of the Absolute truth or Krsna consciousness often speak in analogies or symbols. In the Bible Jesus he was mostly speaking in parables, speaking common stories to explain higher truths. Because the people he was speaking to they had to hear everything in common stories. And similarly in the sastra it is described that the 4 Vedas are incomprehensible to the common man. And the Upanisads only a few very very deep thinking pure hearted souls could possibly understand the Upanisads. And it was unfortunate thing people are so puffed up. The impersonal class of philosophers often times they say that the Upanisads is the real essence & the truth, you should simply study the Upanisads. The other literatures are for the less intelligent. They are not going to admit that they are less intelligent because although they study the Upanisads throughout their life because it is such high, deep, mysterious secret purport to the Upanisads they never understand what it is saying. They get the wrong idea of the whole thing. And yet they are too proud to accept the humble position of accepting the Puranas. The Puranas have been given by Vyasadeva because the Upanisads are impossible to understand without them.

The Vedanta sutra was written in such a way to summarize the essence of all the Vedic literature in codes. It is described that the Puranas what did they do? What is the purpose? According to the factual histories of the past the Absolute truth of the Upanisads & the Vedas are described in the story form. That even a simple child could understand what’s being said & what is the truth underlying because it’s relative to some extent to our experience. And the Vedanta sutra summarizes everything & ultimately Vyasadeva felt frustrated after the Vedanta sutra.

He felt there is something missing in his mission & that time his spiritual master Narada muni explained because you have not directly expounded the glories of The Supreme Personality of Godhead without tinging it with the lesser forms of religiosity, economic development, sense gratification & liberation & on this basis he wrote Srimad Bhagavatam. In the Bhagavatam we find so many beautiful stories, so many beautiful symbols, so many beautiful analogies giving us a practical understanding by which we can comprehend what is the absolute truth, who is God, what is the soul, what is the nature of the soul.

So, here Vasudeva knowing that Kamsa is a very materialistic person, he is very attached to the body & because he is attached to the body he really can not comprehend anything beyond the experiences he had with his body. And really to some extent that is the situation of all of us. Therefore he is using this beautiful analogy. Just to make the absolute truth, the great mystery something practical, something we can identify with according to our relative experience & get   some grasp or understanding of it.

“Just as a person traveling on the road rests one foot on the ground and then lifts the other, or as a worm on a vegetable transfers itself to one leaf and then gives up the previous one, the conditioned soul takes shelter of another body and then gives up the one he had before.”


Transmigration Of Soul:

Even in the Bhagavad Gita Krsna is constantly using the symbols to give us some reference so that we can grasp what He is saying

 väsäàsi jérëäni yathä vihäya naväni gåhëäti naro ‘paräëi tathä çaréräëi vihäya jérëäny anyäni saàyäti naväni dehé

as a persons puts on new cloths giving up old ones. Similarly soul accepts new body giving up the old useless one. Because Krsna knows that except for some rare avadhutas, who probably don’t read Bhagavad Gita anyway, everyone puts on cloths everyday. So who can not understand this analogy? You put on the cloths everyday & you take off the old ones. So Krsna says just like that you do it everyday. Can’t you understand? So He is giving us the key by which we can practically assimilate this knowledge.  And here Vasudeva is using a very very common example. How many people walk? Everybody walks. Even a little child learns how to walk. So he saying you want to know what the transmigration of soul is. Just like walking. You take your one foot you put it on the ground, you pick up the back & take it up & you step forward & you place another back foot & you take it up. This is what the transmigration of soul is. You stepped forward. You accepted one material body. Before that lifting other foot, leaving one place to accepted another place.


“Hear” — To Change:

So we must know how important it is to hear from the scriptures & hear from the great souls in the humble disposition of mind, so that we can really & truly understand these principles & gradually develop faith. Really the whole purpose of Vasudeva’s preaching to Kamsa was to try to give him some sense of faith. Why to change his life. He could have just said Kamsa don’t do it. Why is he preaching to him? Trying to give him faith in higher principle, a faith in a truth. Not just so that Kamsa would become a jnani & just say yes I know the truth. But the whole purpose of giving him this knowledge is to change his life, to change his whole outlook on reality, to teach him how to give up his sinful activity & live for higher purpose higher cause. And that is the purpose of preaching. And that is also the purpose of hearing Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, to change our lives. By hearing from the great souls, by learning how to practically understand according to our relative experiences, those truth beyond our experience we develop a faith, we develop a conviction, we develop a vision.

And what is the purpose of that vision? to change the direction of our life, to change our whole way of thinking, feeling, willing. Kamsa was a sinful man. He was about to commit most abominable sinful act. And Vasudeva not only trying to save Devaki he was also trying to save Kamsa from committing such an atrocity, by changing his life. So we should understand that transcendental knowledge is for this purpose & this purpose alone to change the quality of our life.

Purpose Of Preaching:

And preaching is for this purpose alone to change the quality of people’s life. And according to time & circumstance we must preach in such a way so that person’s life will change. A devotee should not be so self righteous to think that I have to explain all 700 verses of Bhagavad Gita to whomever I meet whether they like it or not. It’s like if you go to the west there are Christians they have ruined the name of Christianity. Whoever they meet they have some very very self righteous conviction that everyone I meet must tell them if they don’t accept my savior they are going to hell forever. And most people look at them & say well I rather be in hell than people like you, if you are the ones that are going to be in Heaven. Jesus did not preach that way, Mohammad did not preach that way. If you don’t accept Allah, then you will die by my sword. These people they are simply fanatics. They have no conception of compassion. A real preacher is one who will say & do whatever is required to help the persons faith come closer to God, so that the person will change the quality of his life. If you have all sorts of faith in God, but if you are still a sinful criminal what is the use of such a faith? It is even said in the sastra that having beautiful great knowledge, but not being the humble devotee of the Lord are like the beautiful jewels decorating the head of the serpent. The serpent just becomes more proud because he has beautiful jewels and still engages in the same envious activities.


True Devotee:

So the fruit of transcendental knowledge is to become humble servant of Krsna & a humble servant of His devotees. Srila Rupa Goswami he was the assigned commission of Sri Caitanya Mahhaprabhu to give the world the highest truths of His teachings. Although very elaborately & very philosophically he & the six goswamis had very very deeply extracted the essence of the highest knowledge in all creation. Very simply he explains. You want to know who true devotee is, he who never finds faults in others. Find that person, he is the good devotee. He doesn’t say how learned you are, how austere you are. So one who is a humble servant of the Lord he will never find faults in others. But he is always seeing a positive opportunity to bring others upward in Krsna consciousness. He is so humble & soft he doesn’t feel he is entitled to find fault in others. And this is the symptom; this is one of the essential symptoms of one who has changed his heart, one who is actually tasting the higher principle of glorifying Krsna.


Behind Law There Is a Lawmaker:

Srila Prabhupada is here giving in his beautiful purport, that the idea of the souls transmigration from one body to another & at the time of death according to his mental condition, a living being is carried by the subtle body consisting of mind, intelligence & ego to another gross body. And then he explains that the higher authorities have decided what kind of gross body the living entity will have. He is forced to enter such body. And thus he automatically gives up his previous body. Although these are the laws of nature, karma means that according to how you live your life, there will be a certain state of consciousness; a certain thought at the time of death & according to the nature of that thought you will be carried to the next body. This is a law of nature. For every action there is an equal corresponding reaction. But here it is being very specifically explained that the laws of nature are all carried out at every step by law maker. Just like in the state, there is a law that has been made may be 100s of years ago. At the making of the constitution there are certain laws of the state. But unless there are, presently at the time, now, somebody to carry out & protect those laws & execute those laws, those laws have no meaning. So similarly Krsna has created laws of nature. mayädhyakñeëa prakåtiù süyate sa-caräcaram This material nature is working under my direction. But how is He directing it? He could do it all Himself. But out of love He wants to give the opportunity to His devotees to help Him. Just like a mother she could cook herself but she allows her little children to help her just……because that’s what they like. So in this way the demigods, the devatas, they are empowered by Krsna, to help Him, to execute the laws of material nature. And it is described here, each & every living being at the time of death, higher authorities, the Lord in the heart, and the demigods, his assistants, they decide personally, where you are best suited to be transferred to after this body. karmaëä-daiva-netreëa it is explained that one takes birth in a womb according to the decision of higher authorities, who execute the laws of material nature.


Materialist Cannot Comprehend:

But Prabhupada is explaining here that people in this world, especially in the western societies, specially the leaders, they are so foolish, that they are so ignorant, that they have no conception of a soul. They have no conception that we are anything more than this body. Their idea is when this body is finished everything is finished. Therefore they are utterly irresponsible in preparing their consciousness at the time of death. And therefore almost all of them are leading the life that will direct them to hellish conditions in the future. And Prabhupada said such devilish, ignorant brains they are offended, when someone explains that there is a soul. And they are most offended when we tell them you should give up sense gratification because it perpetuates the bodily conception of life. And when they see the devotees giving up illicit sex, intoxication, gambling, meat eating, when they see them chanting the Names of God rather than watching the television, reading news paper & spending their hard earned money on cinemas & reading sex novels, when they spend their time in the temples chanting the Holy Names & hearing the scriptures instead of going to the bar & getting drunk, they think that these people are brain washed. This is a reality.



There are 100s of such people from the Hare Krsna movement & other such spiritual movements. They have been forcibly kidnapped & gone through a process called Deprogramming. They lock you in rooms, they nail the door shut, they nail wood over windows, and they do not allow you to sleep, they do not allow you to eat, unless you eat meat. And they keep you up, by putting ice on you, so you can not sleep. And they simply harass you & blaspheme God & the movement that you representing. Until finally, if you are weak, you have a nervous breakdown & in a process in having a nervous breakdown, you lose your conception of logic & intelligence, you lose your power of discrimination. And when you have this nervous breakdown they call it cracking, that means you are finally released from the curse of your faith in God. And then sometimes it works. And they start to believe whatever the person says, because they are in such a vulnerable condition. Of course, on sincere devotee it never works. They go through it all, then shortly after that, come back to the temple & chant Hare Krsna more fixed in Krsna ever before. But those who are not so sincere & praying for Krsna’s protection they become deprogrammed. And what do they do? They become totally brain washed by these tyrant demons who have just enslaved their consciousness through actual brain washing techniques.



And then these people to get money, they tell the person you go to the courts & you say that they brain washed you & sue the movement for 10 million dollars. And of course the people in the courts, the jury, are the same types of people as the ordinary citizens. They are completely convinced that they are this body, they are completely convinced that sense gratification is the goal of life. They have very very materialistic idea of religion and anything that is not matching that must be brain washing. So of course, jury when they see a person saying, they made me give up illicit sex, I am not allowed to have dates anymore & they made me give up even watching movies & watching television & even reading news paper, And not only that they say drinking coffee & tea is bad for you. What to speak of some alcohol some times. Understand ! all these people drink coffee every morning just to wake up. They spend all night watching television, smoking cigarettes. Then they think, My God ! we have to do all these things, these people are really wicked. They are brain washing. Yes!. We award 10 million dollars. You want to know what is happening. That’s what is happening. The persecution against New Vrndavana, why? Because they think we are a crazy cult. Why because we believe in eternal soul, we should live for the soul & God. They have no reference to that. They call it brain washing & they persecute.


Be Intelligent:

Prabhupada explained to one devotee who was going to court because he was sued for brain washing. He says that you go & tell that jury & tell that judge the truth, that your brains are full of stool. Why don’t you let us wash them? Of course, he didn’t say that. But Prabhupada wanted to make a point, Krsna says in the Gita

näsato vidyate bhävo näbhävo vidyate sataù ubhayor api dåñöo ‘ntas tv anayos tattva-darçibhiù

what is night for the materialist, is the day for the devotee, a transcendentalist. And what is night for the transcendentalist, is the day for the devotee. Devotee is Always awake & alive, thinking in terms of how to serve God & how to live according to spiritual principles of purification. And the materialistic people, the ordinary people of society are asleep to this. Even the so called religious people are utterly asleep to this. Therefore we must have a very very scientific, conscientious understanding, otherwise like Kamsa we will just go on in this grand illusion, performing acts which will not at all be conducive to our real welfare & the future. And of course Kamsa was given the most wonderful preaching by Vasudeva & he actually accepted what he had to say. This is a very important principle I am about to speak.


Protection In Association:

He actually accepted what he was about to say. And he let Devaki & Vasudeva go. He was convinced. But what happened. We will read about that in the future. He got back into his bad association. And in that association, he forgot everything that Vasudeva told him & went back to his most abominable ways. He started killing all babies & killed Vasudeva & Devaki’s baby & he put them in prison. So, even if you hear message of Godhead & even if you are convinced, if you fall back into too much materialistic association, Krsna will steal away all that conviction & all that faith & again you begin to act as you did before. Therefore, it is very important that the treasure of transcendental knowledge be received & protected. Is there any questions?


Attachment To Krsna Is Real Detachment:

Question :  We have heard Attachment to even a gulab jamun, you have to come back to this world. So what I feel, that we all try our level best to control our senses & upto last breath of our life we can not come over it, we can just control it. We will not be able to come out of it. If only we have to control it not overcome it does that mean that we have to come back again?

Maharaj : täni sarväëi saàyamya yukta äséta mat-paraù vaçe hi yasyendriyäëi tasya prajïä pratiñöhitä

one who restrains his senses & fixes his consciousness upon me, understands what is buddhi yoga or transcendental knowledge. You see simply by controlling our senses, simply by restraining them from the objects, dragging our mind away from sense gratification is not enough, that’s only part of it. You have to fill your mind, fill your senses with Krsna, a positive alternative. Ultimately that is the only reason, why we are trying to restrain our senses. So that we can more & more focus on Krsna. At the time of death we can’t just be trying to forget gulabjamuns. At the time of death, you have to be completely immersed your mind in Krsna. Then automatically you will not be thinking of gulab jamuns. When you chant Krsna’s name, your mind is engrossed in Krsna. Detachment from sense enjoyment is only for one purpose, to become fully attached to Krsna. We are not concerned with detaching ourself. The impersonalists, they simply want to be detached. But the bhaktas they simply want to be totally attached. And we have only one motive for detaching ourself, so that we can put all our attachement in Krsna & His loving service. And even if you think of a gulab jamun, you will be thinking how it is Krsna’s Prasad, it is Krsna’s mercy. If you think of that, at the time of death you will go back to Golok Vrndavana.

Gulab jamun comes to your mind, how will I enjoy it, you will take another birth to enjoy gulab jamun. But if you are thinking how merciful, that, Krsna’s mercy is coming through this, then you will go to Golok Vrndavana to eat gulab jamuns with Krsna.

Just learn how to be attached to Krsna. Just learn how to always think of Krsna.


Narada Knew Krsna’s Desire:

Question : Is it Just because he was in bad association even after getting good advice, he acted wrong. Because even Narada muni adviced him

Maharaj : that was later, what was the reason? Because Narada muni understood the plan of the Lord & he understood that what was inevitable was to be. And he wanted to speed it up. He didn’t want time to be wasted. He knew what Kamsa would do. He knew what atrocious person he would be. He knew that on the basis of this Krsna would appear in the world. And therefore he was thinking, let Krsna come as soon as possible. Things are not getting any better. So he was simply an instrument in the hands of Krsna. For this purpose, of attracting Krsna sooner, to make His most glorious appearance in this world. And also it is explained that after Kamsa sent all these demons to kill all children & do everything atrocious ….Narada muni wanted Kamsa dead, as he was a rascal. So he came & said that, don’t you know that this eighth son that you are looking for, its Krsna, the son of Nanda & Yashoda. And that time Kamsa invited Krsna for the wrestling match. Narada told that to Kamsa just so that, Kamsa finally once & for all be finished & Krsna would be glorified.


Sacred Benediction Is To Serve:


Maharaj : We don’t want to get out of the conception. You want to simply correct the conception. Now we are thinking I am this body & all things in relationship to this body are mine. My home, my family, my wealth. Understand jévera ‘svarüpa’ haya—kåñëera ‘nitya-däsa’

I am not this body. I am the eternal soul. And what is mine? The eternal sacred benediction, to serve Krsna. I am the soul the eternal servant of Krsna & what is mine that service, that right to serve. We have to cultivate the proper, true understanding of I & mine. The impersonalists philosophy wants to destroy the conception of I & mine. Neti neti neti, I am not this, I am not that, I not this, I am not that, but then what are you? this is what is important. ahaà brahmäsmi, I am Brahman. But what is the activities in that Brahman? That is bhakti, the eternal loving service to the Lord.


Thank you very much!

Hare Krsna.

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.