cetah khalv asya bandhaya

muktaye catmano matam

gunesu saktam bandhaya

ratam va pumsi muktaye

(SB 3.25.15)


The stage in which the consciousness of the living entity is attracted by the three modes of material nature is called conditional life. But when that same consciousness is attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is situated in the consciousness of liberation.


Srila Prabhupada’s wonderful contribution to this world

Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of my most beloved Lord and master guru maharaja, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, we welcome you to this auspicious occasion where we are celebrating the glories of the one-hundredth anniversary of the appearance of Srila Prabhupada in this world. As we have heard Srila Prabhupada gave his life as in utter sacrifice to bring the glories of Krishna throughout the world. He taught the process of pure bhakti to every continent on this earth. As we have been so fortunate to see in this wonderful multimedia presentation, many of the beautiful Archamurtis that Srila Prabhupada installed in various parts of the planet. By Srila Prabhupada’s divine influence about four hundred such temples where devotees are worshipping the Deities of Radha and Krishna are established throughout the world. And we see by the beautiful sight of these Deities, how they are worshipped with great love and enthusiasm. And throughout the world thousands upon thousands of people relinquished their attachments to sinful activities and wasting their lives sitting before mundane televisions and hearing materialistic music and dedicated their lives to hearing and chanting the glories and the names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this way through his supreme compassion, that Krishna manifests into the world through his devotional service, Srila Prabhupada established the Krishna Consciousness movement.


The correct way to clean the environment around us

In this particular sloka that we are reading today from the third canto of Srimad- Bhagavatam, Lord Kapiladev is explaining exactly what is Krishna Consciousness? Throughout the world today, there is a great crisis in the ecology. There is so much suffering, so much disease; in fact the whole human race is practically on the verge of extinction due to the terrible pollution of the atmosphere. And even the politicians of the biggest nations of the world are having emergency conferences, trying to figure out some ways and means to bring this planet back to its natural healthy state. But we should know that this world is an extension of the state of consciousness within the hearts of men and women. If your consciousness is filthy, the only thing you can do is make the world filthy. You can have multi-millions of dollars, you can have several PhDs in your education, but if your heart is unclean the utilization of all these things will only assist to make the world a filthier and one miserable place. And so called modern education has missed the whole purpose of the needs of the world. Real knowledge and education means to understand the process by which we can clean our consciousness, purify our hearts and actually create a clean and purified world where people can be happy.


Cause of our misery is attraction towards three modes of material nature

Within this body is the eternal soul, which is full of knowledge and full of bliss, part of God. The nature of every soul is to be Krishna conscious, to serve the Lord with love, but if this time the soul due to forgetfulness of its real nature is attracted to this world which is constituted by three modes of material nature, the mode of goodness, passion and ignorance. And due to these attractions the soul goes deeper and deeper and deeper into forgetfulness of its true nature. And according to the particular type of desire that the soul cultivates to exploit the resources of material nature, there are eight million four hundred thousand species of life, that the soul has to enter due to its karmic consequence. After transmigrating through so many life times of birth, old-age, disease and death, at last the soul enters into the human species. This human form of life is a great gift of the Lord, because it affords the opportunity to purify our consciousness of all of these materialistic attachments and once again experience our eternal spiritual identity beyond birth and beyond death. Human life is meant specifically and exclusively for the purpose of purification.

nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke
kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye
tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ
śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ tv anantam

(SB 5.5.1)

It is not meant to regress again into the way of life of the dogs and hogs by trying to enjoy our senses. In fact in Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna explains that the process of sense gratification is the source of all misery. We practice sense gratification because we want happiness, but it is the very means which keeps us from real happiness.


Interesting analogy of a foolish monkey

Srila Prabhupada would sometimes use the example of how they catch foolish monkeys in the jungle? They put some nice food within a container; it has a wide bottom and a thin top this container. And the monkey likes to enjoy this food. So somehow or the other to get his hand into the container, he makes it as the smallest possible and slips it inside and then he holds on to as much food as his hand can possibly hold. But because his hand is so filled with food, he cannot get it out of the container. And he struggling and struggling and straining, and the hunter he comes with his net right before the monkey. And if the monkey would just let go, he could slip away and be free from death. But the monkey is so much thinking I have to enjoy this food that he will not let go. And the monkey is put in the net and killed.

So this material energy and its controlling force of maya is making monkeys out of the whole society. She offers us so many objects to attract us thinking let me enjoy, let me enjoy! Hankering and lamenting, hankering for what we do not have and lamenting for what we may lose. And gradually death comes and puts its net around us and takes us away.

Because even in our greatest educational institutions, universities and colleges they are just training us to be very very sophisticated intellectual monkeys. Through so many thousands and thousands of elaborate courses and subject matters, they are just teaching us various ways of trying to hold on to that food in the container. But no where we taught you foolish monkey let go. Prahlad Maharaja said, if you want to be happy in this world all you have to do is to stop trying to be happy in this world. But the problem is we all want to be happy in this world. And some yogis and religious teachers come forward and say, that trying to be happy in this world is an illusion, so just stop trying to be happy at all and just sit in a state of trying to empty in void your mind of anything. But that is not possible, because the nature of the soul, the Brahmasutra says, is ananda mayo abhyasat, it is full of bliss, so it is always seeking bliss.


Secret of real pleasure and happiness

The soul wants active dynamic pleasure. And here is the secret of real pleasure is being revealed. Rather than cultivating within our life attraction for the dying pale objects of the senses, develop attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. The Narada Pancaratra explains,


tat-paratvena nirmalam

hrishikena hrishikesa

sevanam bhaktir ucyate


That the same very mind and senses which are causing us so much difficulty, confusion and anxiety and pollution, if they are just utilised in the service of the Lord, gradually they become purified. This practical process of purifying the mind and senses through the engagement of the service of the Lord is called bhakti. And Krishna tells us in Gita,

bhaktya mam abhijanati

yavan yas casmi tattvatah

(BG 18.55)


It is only through bhakti, that we can connect to the Supreme Godhead and find real happiness in our life. And one who experiences that happiness becomes beyond birth and beyond death.

Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is the Supreme Bhagawan, Purushottama, Krishna appears in this age of Kaliyuga to teach the means by which we can always be conscious of Krishna in our life. By always remembering Krishna through taking the position of His humble servant and cleansing our hearts through hearing His glories from Srimad- Bhagavatam and other such scriptures and chanting His holy names. The original biography of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was called Chaitanya- Mangala. It was written by that very great acharya and intimate associate of the Lord of the name Vrindavan Das Thakur.

Today is the very auspicious festival of the disappearance day of Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur. The great acharayas understood that he was non- different than Vedavyasa, who wrote Srimad-Bhagavatam to tell the beautiful life and pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna. So therefore with great pleasure and ultimate respect they renamed his book, Chaitanya-Bhagwat. Srimad-Bhagwat is the life of Krishna and Chaitanya-Bhagwat is the life of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu.


Human life is the greatest gift of God

In this wonderful literature there are so many stories which teach the ultimate lessons of life through the example of Lord Chaitanya and His devotees. I would like with your permission to narrate one such story which is very popular and worship with in the hearts of all Gaudiya Vaishanvas. Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu inaugurated this wonderful sankirtana movement of the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra. In fact in the house of one of His devotees, Srivas Thakur throughout every night He and His associates will simply dance in transcendental ecstasy and chant the holy names of the Lord because they did not want to waste a moment. We should understand how valuable each moment we have in this human form of life is. Srila guru maharaj, Prabhupada, would often quote Chanakya Pandit that,”time is money”. But Chanakya Pandit says, time is more than money, because if you loose crores and crores of rupees somehow or other you can work and get it back. But if you waste one moment of this human life even for crores and crores and crores and crores of dollars you cannot buy that one moment back, it is lost forever. The most precious thing we have is the moments we have to live. When we use each moment for purification of our hearts then that moment creates an eternal asset of our spiritual progress in our life. But a moment wasted without cultivating attraction to Krishna is the most sourful loss, because such moments are passing and with every second we are coming closer to death.

Human life is meant to utilize our intelligence to orient everything around our spiritual purification. So Lord Chaitanya taught this practically. He and His associates were such liberated souls, they simply required no sleep. When everyone else were sleeping they would be dancing in transcendental ecstasy with their arms raised loudly chanting the holy names




It is difficult for materialistic people to appreciate devotional life

The envious people they were only aches (?) to criticise the Lord’s devotees. These devotees are so useless, why don’t they get nice sleep so that they can work hard and make lots of money and enjoy life? We have to make so much money, so much money because we have to get our daughters married, and we want them to marry a wealthy family so we have to give big-big dowries and big-big wedding and all other and we have to make so much money to put them through college so that they grow up to be asses like us, just working hard foaming at the mouth with no purpose in life. And besides that our neighbours have a new car so we have to get a better car than them otherwise our distinction will be lost. And we have to get newer clothes to make sure we are always up with the latest fashions and we need nicer and nicer facilities within our house so we can eat, sleep, mate and defend like the hogs and dogs in a nice beautiful palatial place.

I am sorry, if I am too blunt but my guru maharaja has taught me this process. We have to be honest about the reality of this world. So such foolish materialistic people were condemning Lord Chaitanya and His associates for wasting their valuable human lives by cultivating Krishna consciousness. But the devotees, they don’t mind what the materialistic people say; rather their hearts weep and cry in compassion for such unfortunate souls. But the pious people, they would worship the devotees and think that they are so fortunate that they can chant and dance with Lord Gauranga throughout the whole night, if some day we become purified and through the pious may be He will allow us to also chant and dance with Him. So after the kirtan in the morning these pious souls will come and bring gifts of bananas and fruits and clothes and whatever they could, they would come to present it for the pleasure of the Lord. And they would humbly, with great eagerness beg the Lord to be merciful to them. And He gave them all His great mercy by instructing them in the science of the yuga-dharma. He told them that you are all grihasthas with families, in your own home bring your families together or your friends, if you have a small house you can even sit in the front courtyard of your house and all of you just clap your hands very nicely and chant the sixteen word mantra.




Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explains that this mahamantra is the most powerful and pure of all remedies for the disease of material suffering. There are many remedies for various diseases if you go to the pharmaceutical store. But we require a physician to tell us which particular medicine is most effective for the disease that we have. In this age of Kaliyuga everyone is infected with the disease of quarrel and hypocrisy. There is so much spiritual laziness and so many material desires of lust and greed and envy and anger and pride and illusion, that there is conflict within us and conflict all over the world. And the Vedic scriptures teach us that the specific medicine which can cure us of this disease in this age of Kaliyuga, cleanse and purify our hearts and bring it back to its natural original position of being eternal loving servants of the Lord, is the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra. And there are no hard and fast rules for this chanting. Make your family and your home into an ashram by just clapping your hands and chanting Hare Krishna. And if possible you play kartals, mridangas and in this way make your lives perfect.

Lord Chaitanya gave them the supreme gift and all those fortunate persons throughout the day and night, they could always be heard, whether they were in their homes, whether they were in their work, everywhere was the loud chanting of Hare Krishna mahamanta.




Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu ki jai!

gṛhe thāko, vane thāko, sadā ‘hari’ bole’ ḍāko,

(Book: Saranagati, Section: Dainya Song 7)


Bhakti Vinod Thakur has said, whether you are grihastha with wife and children or sannyasi living in ashram or in the forest, just chant the Holy names, be free from all the miseries of this material world and experience transcendental happiness.


Pastime of Srivas Thakur’s son

One night while Lord Chaitanya was dancing in transcendental happiness with all of His devotees in the house of Srivas, a wonderful thing took place. The son of Srivas who had contracted a very-very critical disease, died and his soul entered into the spiritual world where on that very night he saw directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. Because the soul had left the body of this child which we call death in this world, the ladies of the house in the back rooms were weeping very loudly. Srivas Thakur came back to see what was the commotion? His family members and relatives with tears in their eyes, they said look here is the corpse of your son, he has died. Srivas said this is very auspicious! I can see that he has left his body while Lord Chaitanya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees have been chanting the holy names loudly in this house. The Lord is non-different than His name. Anyone who leaves this body in the presence of the holy name is most fortunate. This child is so fortunate that he has perfected his life and gone back to the spiritual world on this very night.

Krishna explains in Gita,

yam yam vapi smaran bhavam

tyajaty ante kalevaram

(BG 8.6)


That whatever we think at the time of death, we will achieve that without fail

antakale ca mam eva

smaran muktva kalevaram

(BG 8.5)


Life is a preparation, death is an examination

If we think of Krishna at the time of death, Krishna says it is His promise, we will go to Him. Death is the final exam of life, life is like a school, it is suppose to prepare us for the final exam. Some people they say let me just enjoy eating, sleeping, mating, defending and all the entertainment of this world and at the time of death I will just think of Krishna. But if your children tell you, I will not attend any classes, I will not read any books, I will not study anything, I will just go and take the final exam and get my degree. Today the young people of India are just training their poor brains to get good grades on their exams. And the parents are pushing, pushing, pushing, and pushing.

I spoke to one young man, he told me, he decided, he wanted to go to IIT, so he studied day and night for three years just for that exam. But we should know what is the final exam? Death. We only live for a short time in this world and according to how we grade on that final exam, we either go down into the lower species or go below them into the hellish planets or we may continue on struggling in this human life or may be elevated to a more enjoyable place, but to pass the exam means to think of Krishna and go back to the spiritual world where there is no more birth, no more deaths, simply eternal pleasure in the lila of the Lord.

And Prahalada Maharaja told us

kaumāra ācaret prājño

dharmān bhāgavatān iha

(SB 7.6.1)


Cultivation of Krishna Consciousness is of utmost importance

That now when you are little children, you may have your studies, you may have your schools that is all right, but the most important thing is to cultivate this consciousness of Krishna. We cannot wait and the simple process by which we can always remember Krishna and naturally remember Him in our life and at the time of death is to always remember His holy names. The first and only duty of a parent in the eyes of God is that the parents raise the child in such a way that, that child never has to take birth again in this material world. This means training the child by your words and by your example to always remember Krishna by chanting His holy names




Srivasa’s happiness at the death of his son

So Srivas was very happy that his son died because he went back home, back to Godhead. And he told his family members to stop crying. But if somehow you can’t stop crying, cry silently. Because Lord Chaitanya is dancing in ecstasy in our home, and the perfection of our life is that He be happy. We should not interrupt His bliss with our sorrow. If He is happy dancing and chanting in ecstasy in our home then we should know that He will take care of everything. So all the family members became very peaceful. And Srivas went back into the kirtan and he was so jubilant to see Lord Chaitanya dancing and chanting that Srivas is became more and more and more joyful with his hands rose dancing ecstatically chanting Krishna’s holy names.




And the kirtan went on hour after hour after hour throughout the entire night while all the devotees were simply absorbed and as they looked at Srivasa’s bliss, everyone just became more ecstatically immersed in enthusiastically calling out Krishna’s holy names.




Lord Chaitanya’s weeping on hearing the news of death of Srivasa’s son

At the end of the night gradually through the night more and more devotees were hearing the news that Srivasa’s son has died. And naturally when you love someone even if he goes back to Godhead, there is sorrow, that this person is gone. So Lord Chaitanya stopped the kirtan. He said I sensed some sorrow in this house. Has anything happened? And the father of the son, Srivas very blissfully, he said my Lord when You are dancing in ecstasy in my house, how could any sorrow come into our lives? Because You are chanting with Your devotees the holy name everything is auspicious. And then the devotees they told Lord Chaitanya that about two hours after the sunset, Srivasa’s son died. That was about seven and a half hours ago. So Lord Chaitanya asked, why didn’t you tell Me? Then Srivas said my son has gone back home, back to Godhead by Your mercy and everyone knows that. And we did not want to even for one second interrupt the pleasure You are having, dancing and chanting with Your devotees. When Lord Chaitanya heard the words of Srivas, He began to uncontrollably weep tears of love.

He said that how could I ever give up the association of Srivas Thakur? His love for Me is so great that he didn’t even mind loosing the association of his own son, just so that My kirtan would remain in great happiness. And He continued to weep. And when the devotees saw this, they would struck with wonder to see the love that the Lord had for Srivas. But they were not able to understand His words. How could I give up the association of someone who loves Me so much? Because Lord Chaitanya knew when in the near future He would take sannyas and for the sake of giving Krishna consciousness to the whole world, He would have to give up the company of such devotees like Srivas. The thought of this made His heart break and He wept tears of love for His devotees. Just to chase after the most sinful and fallen souls of this world, the Lord exhibited the supreme opulence of renunciation just to give us this Harinama sankirtan movement. And Lord Chaitanya and His associates went into the room where that body of the dead child was lying.


Srivasa’s son’s body becomes alive and speaks words full of knowledge

Sri Gaurasundar spoke to the dead corpse to everyone’s great surprise. He said my dear child why have you left the house of your father, Srivas? And then to everyone’s great astonishment, a wonderful miracle took place. The child rose from the dead and began to speak. He said my Lord, You are the supreme controller and master, wherever You tell me my soul must go, that is where I must go. The child continued and said that this body is a temporary residence for the soul. And according to our previous karma we are destined to leave this body at a certain time. And that destiny cannot be changed. At allotted time we all must die. So now by Your will, I am going to my next destination. I will no longer have the auspicious pleasure of living in the house of Srivas and hearing Your wonderful kirtan. But I beg you for one benediction, that wherever You want this soul to go after it leaves this body, that it never forgets You, it always remembers You. I offer my prostrated obeisances unto Your lotus feet and the lotus feet of all of Your devotees, I beg forgiveness if I have made any offences. Now please give me permission to depart back according to the destination You have selected for me. And then the Lord sent back child’s soul back to the spiritual world to enter again into His eternal loving lila. And his body became completely silent. And everyone rejoiced.

And Lord Chaitanya turned to Srivas and said do not think that you have lost one son. That because of your great love for Me and detachment from anything apart from serving Me, today I declare to you that Lord Nityananda prabhu and Myself will always be your sons. And then all the family members and all the devotees became ecstatic in love of God and raised their arms and have beautiful kirtan chanting the holy names.




And Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with all the devotees took the body of the child to the Ganges, performed the last rites, took the bath in the Ganga and through the whole thing the kirtan was going on in great jubilation.


Glories of hearing the pastimes of Srivasa’s son’s death

And Sri Vrindavan das Thakur explains that anyone who hears the beautiful pastime of the passing of Srivas’s son during the kirtan of Lord Gauranga will most definitely achieve pure unalloyed devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. To hear this wonderful pastime with faith, we will be free from death and enter into eternal life.

So Srila Prabhupada travelled throughout the world to give us all this great benediction which can free us from the clutches of death, which can give us entrance into the eternal life. Following in the footsteps of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu, he accepted the order of sannyas. A sannyasi, one of his duties is to beg alms. Srila Prabhupada went to the Western world to beg only one alms. The only alms I beg he said was please worship Krishna, chant Krishna’s names, teach others about Krishna. Krishna is your mother, your father, He is your very life, He is your real treasure and wealth. Chant His holy names. Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu ki jai!

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.