Lecture at the Connection Yoga Studio
Birmingham, Alabama - February
5th, 2005 Capture
Krishna by Your Love
- February 5th, 2005
Capture Krishna by Your Love
(Recording begins with kirtana for 5 minutes and 36 seconds)
SDA: We are most happy to be here today with you yogis. Yoga means, like your sign says, connection. That is the Sanskrit word. Yoga in English means connection. If we speak of connection, the question is with what are we connecting? Therefore, to know the inner science of yoga is very important if you want to achieve the perfection of yoga. This science of yoga is not some new invention. Krishna was speaking of the science of yoga to Arjuna 5000 years ago in India, on the battlefield of Kuruksetra. At that time, Krishna said this very ancient science of yoga.
If 5000 years ago it was regarded as an ancient science, we can just imagine how ancient it must be. Krishna has very lucidly explained the yoga process. We will read some of His words and discuss the very nice meaning.
In Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 6 text number 19, Krishna said
yatha dipo nivata-stho
As a lamp in a windless place does not waver, so the transcendentalist, whose mind is controlled, remains always steady in his meditation on the transcendent self.
Although yoga, as it is practiced in the Western world is very good for health, most people that I've spoken with, who call me about yoga, are interested in health, that is actually a byproduct. That is a natural byproduct of the yoga system. The actual purpose of the yoga system, according to the author of the yoga-sutra, Patanjali, the actual purpose of yoga is to fix the mind. We have two bodies. We have this gross body, composed of the gross material elements. In the Sanskrit language, they translate it to English as earth, air, fire, water, and ether. And according to modern science also, the chemical elements make up this body. That is called the gross body.
There's a subtle body also, sometimes called the astral body. There's a subtle body composed of mind intelligence and false ego. That is the body that the yoga system is more interested in, actually, the subtle body. The excercises are done with the gross body for the purpose of bringing the subtle body to the point of connection with the Supreme.
The similie being used here by Krishna is a lamp in a windless place. Just consider a lamp in a windy place. In your mind, picture a candle flame in a windy room. Its struggling just to stay lit, being blown this way and that way. It may blow out very easily also. Actually, we can very easily extinguish a candle by blowing, isn't it so? Just imagine as candle that's in a place that's absolutely, totally scientifically windless. That is what yoga is meant to do. To bring the mind to that position, where its like a candle in a place where there's absolutely no wind. Absolute fixed mind. Then, what does the yogi do upon reaching that state of perfect mental equilibrium? The yogi then fixes the mind on the Supreme. Yoga is compared to a ladder. There are different rungs on that ladder. Each rung is a successively more advanced stage.
We will read a few more words from Krishna about the yoga system. Krishna has a different name, amongst the yogis He is known as Yogesvara, the master of yoga. As I am here in a yoga group, I will talk about Yogesvara. Now Yogesvara will explain further. He says
In the stage of perfection called trance, or samadhi, one's mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This perfection is characterized by one's ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness, realized through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest calamity. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.
When you reach this stage, you know that your yoga practice is going very well. Just losing a few pounds, that's alright, but this is the real advancement in yoga. You can be completely undisturbed by any calamity that the material nature may throw at you. If you can dive into an ocean of unlimited transcendental bliss at every minute, no matter what's happening around you, then you're an advanced yogi.
This is what we have come to teach you today. A little insider information, how you can achieve that state, the perfection of yogic trance. As Patanjali is explaining, the goal of yoga is to bring that mind under complete total control, so that we can fix it on the Supreme. This system, very elaborately expounded by Patanjali, is a mechanical process. The yogic process is called the eight-fold path of yoga. There's eight different aspects. In the Sanskrit language: yama niyama asana pratyahara dharana dhyana samadhi. The first two mean the dos and the don'ts. The strict yogis practice celibacy for example. They don't want to divert their energy. Actually, the strict yogis go to the Himalayas, or the forest, and be completely aloof from all material entanglements. They wouldn't have any distractions. They just do yoga full time. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Then, every 12 years, they would come down from the Himalayas for the kumbha mela. There are yogis still doing that.
Some of them are even said to come by mystic power and arrive at kumbha mela. Their yogic powers are advanced enough to control the material situation. Advanced yogis have all sorts of mystic powers, but these mystic powers are not the goal of yoga. The actual goal is to fix that mind undeviatingly on the Supreme. The yogis do that through this mechanical process. They actually reach a point where they can merge their incoming and outgoing breaths, and virtually stop breathing. They can just turn their metabolism way way down, and in this way live for hundreds of years, maintaining a youthful body.
For what purpose? So that they can continue to refine their practice more and more and more and more and more to achieve perfection. This is a mechanical process of manipulating my breathing, manipulating my sitting postures et cetera, I'm making the mind controlled and fixed.
I am a teacher of the bhakti-yoga system. We accept the validity of all yogic paths. The reason I have taken the bhakti-yoga system is because Yogesvara actually explains here at the conclusion of this chapter detailing the yoga system that the bhakti yoga system is the most advanced path. Why is it described as the most advanced system? It is not to decry the other systems, but it is described in that way because its the easiest system. So, I recommend all yogis, who are attached to the other paths of yoga, add this bhakti yoga to your current yoga practice, and that will accelerate it like anything.
I have come here today to help you accelerate your yoga practice. Why is bhakti yoga said to be the topmost yoga by Yogesvara Himself, who's given astanga yoga, jnana yoga, karma yoga? Yogesvara has laid out all the different types of yoga. Why is He, who's given all the different yogas promoting bhakti as the topmost? Here's the reason.
If you try to fix your mind on something, you can say, ok mind, get back to it now. Don't go away from it, get back to it. You can try to force your mind to fix on something. But, just remember the first time you fell in love. Could you do anything but think of your lover? If you're actually in love with a person, then when you wake up, immediately you're thinking of them spontaneously. The bhakti yoga system, simply put is falling in love with the object of your meditation. Instead of forcefully putting your mind there by incoming and outgoing breath, by sitting in rigid postures as long as you possibly can, which is good, it does help the mind to slow down and become moldable, but if you actually just fall in love with the object of your meditation, then you're just swimming in the nectar of that meditation, 24 hours a day.
Even if you don't do a sitting posture, or do rigorous breathing excercises, the bhakti yoga system is simply one of falling in love with the object of you're meditation. How do you do that? Normally, when you fall in love with a person, you have to associate with them, isn't it so? If I say, I have a nice husband for you, in India the traditional way was that the parents would say, ok my dear daughter we have a husband for you. They wouldn't date like in the West. If I told you that I have a nice husband for you now. You must fall in love with him, but I'm never going to let you meet him. You can never talk with him, but you have to fall in love with him. That would be impossible.
In the bhakti yoga system, by the mercy of guru, and by the mercy of revealed scriptures, we actually get to associate with God Himself, with Krishna, Yogesvara. We get to associate with Him directly. I remember years ago in 1968, when I was a very young yoga practitioner in my 20s, sitting there in Denver in a yoga posture. I studied the Bhagavad-Gita. I had gotten a Gita from the Denver public library. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Yogesvara says if you offer to Me, with love and devotion, a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it. I went wow... I can actually offer something to God, directly give Him something, and He will personally accept it from me? That was so real, so intimate, so personal, it wasn't what I had learned in Sunday school.
In Sunday school, I learned that God was some big cop up there who would zap me with thunderbolts if I didn't eat my spinach or my asparagus This is really something wonderful. I had a poster of Krishna, and He was beautiful. He had a girlfriend. She was looking at Him with so much love in her eyes, for a guy to have such a beautiful girlfriend, he had to be really cool. He would accept something from me? He was actually God, the one from whom everything is emanated at every minute? Wow. This is heavy stuff. This is really something.
A friend of mine came over one night. He turned me on to this mantra.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna
Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
There were no Hare Krishna devotees in Colorado at that time, but this friend of mine, Patrick, taught me this mantra and encouraged me to chant it. I chanted with him for a few minutes, and thought wow. This is really amazing. I was looking for some easy practical means of meditation. Getting yourself into an enlightened state of consciousness. Isn't that what we're all looking for? To be totally blissful, to be out of all the anxieties that are going on at every minute in this world? So, I'd been looking for a meditation technique, for some guru who could turn me on with enlightenment.
One of my friends came over and just taught me this mantra, so I tried it and went over to his house the next day to get a little more information, because that was pretty neat. I sat there and chanted with him for a few minutes. I had somehow struggled like anything as a freshman in college to find out the purpose and meaning of existence. To me, just working hard in school to get a good degree, to get a good job, to get a good looking wife, and good little kiddies running around in a nice looking house in suburbia, simply to get old, get sick and die and be buried six feet under didn't make a lot of sense. There just has to be something deeper than this. I knew that God couldn't be so cruel that that was all there was to it. Something told me that there's more.
My professors didn't tell me. We had a course called Basic Studies 101, of course you know what the initials are. B.S. 101. So, that was a course that the whole college had to take for 2 semesters. It was a small liberal arts school. We plowed through the B.S. It was a whole study of western culture. Starting with the Tigris and the Euphrates, and all the different thinkers, the writers, poets, dramatists, it was like a compendium of western culture. It was a multidepartmental course taught by many different professors from practically every department on campus. An interesting course. But, I noticed that there was none of the great intellectual leaders of our western culture that gave any inkling of an idea, the closest one was Socrates actually. He was the only one who came close to being a yogi.
They asked Socrates, because he was defeating the hypocrisy of Athenian modern day, sociological philosophy, again and again. He was a threat. So, they decided to poison him to death, and he had to administer the poison himself. They said, how would you like to be buried, he said, Oh, you have to catch me first to do that. He had some yogic wisdom in that he knew he wasn't his body. He knew he was a spiritual being, beyond his body, but beyond Socrates, actually, there was no deep wisdom available of the real purpose and meaning of existence.
But this Bhagavad-Gita actually opens a door into a whole realm of knowledge, wisdom and of yogic practice, which will situate one in this state here described, of boundless transcendental happiness. Completely undisturbed by any calamity, or any difficulties. Freedom from all miseries arising from material contact. The interesting point here is that is the cause of misery. Misery is caused by material contact. You may say, well what can I do? I am hopelessly stuck in a miserable situation. But no. That's not true. Actually, for a realized yogi, there's no such thing as material anymore.
Everything originally emanates from Yogesvara. Yogesvara's the source of all that exists. A realized yogi doesn't have material contact anymore, even though they may appear to. They don't have any material contact anymore because they penetrate through the coverings of the material nature, and actually, contact the source of the material nature, which is situated within every atom, and between every atom. They extract spirit from within matter at every step, in every sound, in every sight, in every sensation. The realized yogi can extract spirit from every material thing, so, for him or her, there is no material contact, even though they may appear to be very well connected. Driving a car, whatever they may do, getting on an airplane and flying to Birmingham, or traveling by mystic power, which the yogis can do.
My guru, Srila Prabhupada arrived in the old airport in Dallas, Love Field, they still use it, but its just local flights. When Prabhupada arrived in Love Field, he said that actually, we have come today by airplane, but the yogis can travel by different means. There's a system of traveling, being carried by pigeons through the air. He named all the different ways how the yogis can travel. Many different ways. They said Swamiji, then why did you come by airplane today? He said to be one with you, I have come by airplane. (Laughs) Its described that they can actually travel on the rays of the sun, and enter the sun planet without being burned. They can be as cool as a cucumber on the sun planet, traveling on the rays of the sun. Those who are highly advanced in yoga can do all kinds of amazing things, but we are not interested in getting sidetracked by these different mystic powers.
We want to
capture the essence of yogic practice, which is to connect with
Yogesvara, within every atom, between every atom, through love.
The way that we do that is that we sing about Yogesvara, we offer
our food to Yogesvara before we eat, as Krishna says ,
yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam
Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer, give away, as well as whatever austerities you may perform, do that oh son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.
That's the pathway of bhakti, the topmost yoga system. You do everything for Krishna, Yogesvara. If you're in love with someone, don't you do want to do everything for them? When you go shopping, you think, what gift can I buy for them. You cook and invite them over for dinner so I can give them what they like to eat the most. When you're with other people, you like to hear them talk about your beloved. Isn't it so? This is the natural psychology. When this same method is applied to Yogesvara, or Krishna, then, you'll find amazing things start to happen within your consciousness.
All these lights start coming on inside your heart. You start to feel connected with the supreme consciousness. That's what happens. That means you're advancing in yoga, when you start to feel connected with the supreme consciousness. Each one of us is an individual consciousness. You are conscious of the pains and pleasures of your body, I am conscious of the pains and pleasures of my body, but there is a supreme consciousness that is conscious of everything throughout the entire cosmos. That supreme consciousness is known as Yogesvara, the master of mystic yoga. Through love, we can dovetail our individual consciousness with that supreme consciousness, be connected with Him at every minute, and enjoy equally. The servant of the king enjoys equally with the king.
He lives in the same palace, eating the same food. The king may eat first, but he still gets the same food the king eats, after the king eats, then the servants also enjoy. The same entertainment that's going, the dancers and singers come and entertain the king. The servants are also enjoying. Actually, the servant of the king enjoys equally with the king. When you become a lover of God, then you enjoy equally with God, that's a fact. The bhakti yoga system quickly elevates us to that platform. Other yoga systems gradually go step by step by step by step by step, like you may go to the Empire State Building, and go one step at a time. The bhakti yoga system however, is compared to the elevator. In the bhakti yoga system, you quickly reach the topmost floor, and there is Yogesvara waiting for you on the top floor.
If you want to meet that supreme, then we recommend the elevator. Continue your yoga, what you're doing now is very good, but add bhakti. Develop love for that master of all mystic yoga. Understand that person is there, waiting for your love, and give your love to that supreme person, and I guarantee you, your yoga practice will blossom like a beautiful spring flower when you do that.
We can open it up now, if there's any questions.
Guest 1: I want to understand so that I can apply what you are saying. So, through love, we offer everything we do, everything we have, tell me about that.
SDA: A simple example is your food. Yogesvara is a vegetarian; He doesn't take meat, fish or eggs. We encourage you to become vegetarian, but even if you're not in the begining, you can offer your vegetarian food to Krishna. Whatever you take from the category of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and grains, you can have a picture of Krishna at your home, and make a nice plate: rice, vegetables, bread whatever is from those categories. Invite Krishna to your home and have a special plate for Krishna, and offer the food to Krishna before you eat. That's a practical example. Whatever you eat, you first offer it to Krishna. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, so He will actually come if you offer Him, with love, foodstuffs from the category of fruit vegetables, dairy products and grains, He will personally come and bless you by His divine presence in your home.
The key is to capture Krishna by your love. Whatever you lovingly offer to Him, He will personally come and bless you by His divine presence. You can do that by singing also. Just like we're singing Hare Krishna.
Guest 1: Ultimately the goal is to get past the material, and connect with the material.
SDA: Penetrate the coverings. Reality has two sides. Reality is polar. There is the inferior energy which is the negative side, you have the superior energy which is the positive side. Sometimes they say yin and yang. But actually what we're doing is penetrating through the coverings that separate the spiritual and material sides of reality. Penetrating into the spiritual side of reality which is there waiting for us. The bhakti yoga system makes that very easy even if its an old person who can't do hatha yoga can do bhakti yoga. A little child is not ready to sit in the asanas can eat the food offered to Krishna, or hear the chanting of kirtana. Its a matter of connecting with that supreme consciousness through love.
The easiest way is that you offer your food. This Bhagavad-Gita is very helpful. Bhagavad-Gita will give you full detail of the science. If you're interested to learn, my students can arrange to get you a copy. They may have an extra copy.
Guest 1: My question is, isn't everything spiritual?
SDA: Everything is potentially spiritual. Everything can be used in a spiritual way.
Guest 1: Can't we focus on that spirit which is underlying everything?
SDA: The spirit is more easily accessible in certain things. Even an atomic bomb is also the energy of God. So, you could say the nuclear bomb must have a spiritual utilization also. Of course, that may be a little hard to see in a practical way, maybe if we blew up Osama bin Laden, it might be spiritual. (laughing) My point is that some things lend themselves more easily.
Material nature has three aspects: sattva guna rajo guna and tamo guna. Ultimately all three of them can be dovetailed with the supreme consciousness. The mode of goodness, mode of passion and mode of ignorance. But those things in the mode of goodness are more easily connected. If you go to a beautiful mountain top that's the mode of goodness. Even though you could connect in the middle of a hellish factory somewhere with the supreme, like you could say, I'm going to sit down in the middle of a steel mill surrounded by molten iron, this will be my place of meditation, with toxic fumes everywhere horrible noise pollution, you could do it, if you're highly advanced, no doubt, but if you're in a beautiful serene mountain top, it would be easier. Even though ultimately everything can be connected, there's three different modes of material nature, and the yogi always gravitates toward the mode of goodness in everything. In Sanskrit its called sattvika. Be sattvik as far as possible in everything you do. That will make it easier to fix your mind on the supreme in that sattvik lifestyle.
Guest 2: I understand the importance of trying to live in the spiritual connection with God, and trying to live in the sattvik way, but I think the miseries are not really all just material. Its the way we interact with each other that is the problem, and its getting worse every day.
SDA: That is the beauty of the bhakti yoga system. The hatha yogi traditionally would go to a solitary place and just be totally aloof from society. They just go to a purely sattvik atmosphere in the Himalayas Their only interaction with society was coming down for Kumbha Mela every 12 years.
The bhakti yoga system is taught to Arjuna. The Bhagavad-Gita was taught on a battlefield. That's not a sattvic atmosphere. Arjuna became a fully realized yogi while killing enemies. Of course they weren't actually enemies, it was the arrangement of Krishna. He was actually in a purely meditative state while fighting the battle. The bhakti yoga system allows this. We have a mantra we sing every morning: bahir nrsmha hrdaye nrsmho. Literally its saying within Yogesvara, and without Yogesvara. Internally Yogesvara, and externally also Yogesvara. The bhakti yogi spiriutalizes him or her self fully within and also without. They master the science of manifesting pure spiritual energy in all of their interactions, externally also, 24 hours a day.
A bhakti yogi is actually a spiritual revolutionary who is bringing about a revolution in the world. The spiritual revolution which is predicted in our scriptures is the greatest revolution in history. These other revolutions that we've read about in western history are not that significant. What did they change? One set of cheaters replaced by another set of cheaters. But, this revolution which is now beginning to manifest which is predicted in the Vedas is the greatest revolution in the history of the world. We're sitting pretty now in terms of world history. We have a chance now to be a part of that revolution. To completely turn world history upside down. Totally spiritualize the whole planet, and indeed the whole universe.
Even the material scientists may be thinking there may be someone out there on the other planets. They have these powerful radio receptors and they're trying to see if there are any signals coming in from other planets. Right now they're pointing all these powerful radio receptors at planets way out there in outer space to see if there's some message they're giving. We don't need to worry because this message is already here. This eternal message is coming from the topmost planet beyond even this whole universe. Instead of spending millions of dollars on radio receptors, if they would just pick up the Bhagavad-Gita, they get the knowledge of what's going on on all the planets, and what's going on beyond the universe.
The Vedic knowledge says that we're just inside of one universe like a mustard seed, and this is just one of millions of billions of material universes. That whole conglomeration of material universes, just makes up one fourth part of the whole existence, the other three fourths being the spiritual portion. So, yes, I absolutely agree with you. Its not just an internal thing. But, first of all physician, heal thyself. First of all, get ourselves connected within, and then, once we're connected within, we can connect all of this material external energy with the supreme. That will bring a revolution. Its simultaneous. Connecting yourself within empowers you to connect the without, and the more you connect the without, the more you are connected within. So, both things are going on simultaneously. Especially, in this age, which started 5000 years ago, the kali yuga our connection is through how we deal with the external energy. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna says give up all other duties. Just surrender to Me. That's an internal thing. But that same Krishna appeared 500 years ago as Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and said, you should spread this spiritual revolution. This is how you connect with Me.
Actually, to be a spiritual revolutionary or a spiritual educator is the way that we connect internally in this age. That's my practical experience. I do my own internal meditation every day with my prayer beads, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, and after I've done that, I'm training thousands of people all over the world how to become self realized. I get on my computer to do my correspondence Talk about dealing with the external energy: The internet, and all the modern technology. Its very external. But, I find myself being just as connected when I'm training my students in cyberspace as I do when I'm chanting Hare Krishna on my prayer beads. Its non different.
Both things are there. We do our internal meditation, then we spread that spiritual culture throughout the world.
Guest 2: You're saying that its predicted and written that there will be a beautiful spiritual revolution.
SDA: Yes. But its going down the tubes right now. But, there's positive side to that. How many people live in this town, and how many are here today. Its a very small number that are interested in higher consciousness. Mostly, they say where's the money, where's the money where's the money? When the get money, where's the girls? Where's the booze? Its a more and more low-class type of society we have here. There are people though, who are sensitive, feeling people, intelligent people. As things get worse externally, they will become more serious to look for alternatives. So the downturn of the material society, that cloud has a silver lining, because it will create an increased desire among a larger number of people to actually find the reality which is beyond material reality. Its actually all positive, even though it is getting worse, I agree.
Just consider what will happen if al qaida gets a hold of nuclear weapons, and they can assemble them in any city they want anywhere in the world. They could call up president Bush and say, OK Georgie. Give into our demands, or New York City's going up in five minutes. He would say no way. We don't negotiate with terrorists, and New York City goes up in a mushroom cloud in five minutes, and the call again saying, OK L.A. is next. Just see the kind of dangerous situation the material world is getting into, and how important a spiritual revolution is to transform the consciousness of the world population. All I do, full time, is promote the spiritual revolution.
To bring actual, enlightened consciousness to the general population is what we have to do. That's what I'm doing for the rest of my life. That's all I live for. To bring about that transformation of consciousness on this planet. If you're interested in my course, just go to backtohome.com. That's where you can sign up. Backtohome.com. That spiritual atmosphere is our real home.
We'll give you our little calling card in case you forget whether its back2home, or backtohome.
Any other questions?
Organizer: It seems impossible, almost like a wall that every time we try to open a yoga center with wonderful beautiful yoga teachers, and spiritual teachers, we don't get any support. It closes down, we open another, and it closes down. I've had several people say lets open a beautiful spiritual yoga center. Since you have wonderful spiritual insight, is there some advice you can give us to open a spiritual center and have more spiritual leaders and teachers like you come and visit us.
SDA: That I can do, now that I have some students here. I go where my students are. I find thousands of people all over the world who are keen for higher consciousness and I travel all over the world to visit them, and to help them and nurture them along the path in their local vicinities.
Brick and mortar cost money. That's the advantage of the internet. Its relatively inexpensive. I can be teaching people all over the world. At least, I can offer my services whenever I come to Birmingham, whatever way I can help you, I'll be happy to do that by coming and teaching. If I have any other insights that come, I will certainly be happy to share those with you. If you have a sincere desire to do something to elevate the consciousness on this planet, then you will be facilitated because the Supreme Being wants that that should happen. If you want to serve Him by facilitating that, then He will give facility. That's my practical experience. That's stated in the Bhagavad-Gita also.
Krishna says to those who worship Me with exclusive devotion, whatever they have, I protect it, and whatever they're lacking, I provide it. If we're actually very serious to serve the purpose of Yogesvara, then He will give all facilities. All facility will be given. The classic example is my own guru, Srila Prabhupada. He had been ordered by his guru, that you must spread this knowledge for the English world. He had no idea how he could do such a thing. But, just on the order of his guru, even though he even had no money to come to America from India, still he was able to beg one lady who owned a steamship company a passenger cabin in a steamship.
She was saying, no. You're too old. You'll just die there. But he begged that pious Indian lady in Bombay of the Scindia Steamship company. He begged her. He was willing to come here and die, because, even though he was an old man, he knew his guru had ordered him to do this. So, she said, alright, and she gave him a free round trip ticket in the passenger cabin in the freighter He came here and he didn't know what to do.
He had some volumes of books he had printed in India. He only had 40 rupees, which was 8 dollars. And, in those days, you couldn't even change Indian Rupees in America. So, he sold some of his books. The binding was not good. There were so many misspellings. They were done in Delhi by some Indians. He sold his books to some interested people among the early day hippies, in the middle 60's in New York. He attracted some young hippies. He was just struggling. He had a tiny storefront, maybe one fifth the size of this. He would pass a little basket, and maybe get a few quarters, and that was it.
He struggled like anything to establish it. Because he was sincere to serve his spiritual master's order to bring about a revolution in consciousness, Krishna sent everything. Even George Harrison got behind it, and pushed it like anything, putting Hare Krishna Mantra was #1 in Europe. So, if you're sincere to actually serve the purpose of the Lord, for the respiritualization of the human society, and you show Him your sincerity with no selfish motive, you just want to do this as a service to please Him, and to do the best thing for the whole suffering humanity, you will get all facilities.
You may go through some periods of tests. Like Prabhupada was tested. For a whole year, nobody came, but then, all of a sudden, it just took off. You just have to prove that you have no ulterior motive. Not that you want to become worshiped as a yoga teacher or something else. You have to show the Lord that you have the sincere desire to serve, and nothing else. Then, I guarantee you that if you remain steady in that consciousness, then the whole world will come running to you eventually, to learn how to perfect their consciousness.
So, study carefully the Bhagavad-Gita, so you have the perfect knowledge, wisdom and understanding, and then apply it to the best of your ability. We will give you all personal guidance to help you. You will be amazed at what can happen, and how successful you can be. This is my personal experience.
Any other questions?
Devotee 1: As you become more attuned to sattvic energies, then if you find it more difficult to be around rajasic or tamasic influences, what to do? Have you had that experience where you tend to be more reclusive and protective of who I share my energy with. It seems like a block, when you consider tantra where they can assimilate those energies.
SDA: Inclusive is good. The bhakti yogi, learns and masters the art of how to be in the midst of all of that material nature, and perfectly dovetail it all with the Supreme consciousness. If you actually take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, then under that guru's guidance, you can get all blessings and empowerment to use all aspects of the material nature without being pulled down by it. Having some so-called tantric sex will not do it. The real platform is that you have to take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master, and by his blessings and guidance, then you can actually engage all types of energies: sattvic, rajasic and tamasic, and connect them in the Supreme consciousness. This requires some training. That's all. That training is not to just go to a mountain somewhere and get away from it. The trouble is, we're not satisfied in that position.
There are two terms in Sanskrit, bhoga and tyaga. Tyaga means renounce. Get away from everything, but we're not happy just remaining in tyaga. Man is a social animal. We crave company, friends, action. That's called bhoga. But because the bhoga is not very spiritual, and it brings us down, we regret, and lament, and we want to go back to tyaga. We're not satisfied in either position. That's the problem. So, we have to come beyond bhoga and tyaga. That is called yukta vairagya, or yukta tyaga. This tyaga or renunciation is also called vairagya.
There are two types of vairagya. There's yukta vairagya and phalgu vairagya. Phalgu vairagya means artificial renunciation. I'll just become a reculse, but all of your desires are still there. Its artificial. The Sanskrit word phalgu refers not only to artificial renunciation, but it also means an underground river. It looks dry on the surface, but underneath, the river's still flowing. I may become a reculse, but within my heart, all my material desires are still going on full speed, within. That sort of reclusion doesn't last.
I had one Godbrother, who, before joining our movement, was a recluse. He would just stay in the forest and eat brown rice, then every now and then, it would get too much, and he would come into town to Baskin Robbins, and go on an ice cream binge. (laughing) He couldn't maintain that position of tyaga, renunciation. The real platform to come to is yukta vairagya.
On that platform, by taking shelter of a bona fide guru, you learn the science of how to connect everything with the Supreme. Whether you're at work, or with your family, you learn how to connect absolutely everything with the Supreme. You're a pretty non reclusive recluse.
At home, you have your asrama. You make your home into an asrama. You're kind of like an air force pilot. You go back to the base, but then you can take off on the mission. You have your sanctuary that you plug into every morning and evening, and now you're an empowered spiritual warrior. You go out into the society and can do all kinds of spiritual things. You're like a doctor who takes precautions in the morning before entering the epidemic area to treat the patients. He's not going to catch the epidemic because he's very careful. The main thing is to keep your hands clean, if you're a doctor. Antibacterial soap.
You have your own place of sanctuary, and that protects you. You can go back to that, then you can deal with the material nature. You can act in a way that can uplift the material nature. You're reclusive and you're also a spiritual revolutionary.
Guest 4: Why is it that we are put in this material world where there is suffering, if we are supposed to be happy?
SDA: Actually, we have not been put in this material world. We have put ourselves here. We were originally situated with Yogesvara in a sublime spiritual atmosphere where there is no birth no death no old age and no disease. In that supreme atmosphere the Supreme was the center and everything was for Him. We thought what would it be like if I was in the center. He said, don't think that way. You'll be much happier here. Stay here and continue to serve. Most of the servants say alright, I'll take His word for it. But sometimes, in a family the mother will instruct all the children not to stick there hand in the fire because it will burn. But there's always one kid who wants to stick his hand in the fire, because its fascinating. So, out of the many millions and billions living entities in the spiritual world who never come to this world of birth and death, there's always going to be one or two who think, what will it be like, if I stick my hand in fire? Curiosity killed the cat.
Krishna facilitated us. Alright you want to be in a world where you're in the center. Go ahead and try it until you've had your fill. And you're welcome to come back. Isn't it a fact that everyone is strutting around, thinking that I'm the center of the universe. That's why we cant get along. I'm thinking I'm the center, you're thinking you're the center and as soon as we disagree, we fight. How many marriages are broken? How many nations have gone to war? Its the history of this material world, that I'm thinking I'm the supreme, you're thinking you're the supreme. As soon as I feel that you are not giving me what I want, then I'm not interested in you anymore. That's the material world.
The spiritual atmosphere is completely different. Its how much I can serve you, not how much I can get out of you. That's the spiritual atmosphere.
Any more questions?
VPM: Can you explain about the bona fide spiritual master, please?
SDA: Yogesvara is described in Sanskrit, as adi-guru. The original spiritual master is Krishna, and Krishna has given this knowledge.
tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah
Krishna has given this knowledge in the very beginning of this universe to Brahmaji, the chief engineer of this universe. Brahmaji has given to Narada Muni, who is a great liberated space man. He can travel anywhere at will without a spaceship. Narada Muni has given the knowledge to Vyasadeva who compiled the Vedic literature, Vedavyasa. So, actually, there's a line of teachers coming down from Krishna to Brahma to Narada to Vyasa, all the way down to the present day. In this way, you can find out guru. Guru must be coming from God. If we can find a person coming in that line succession and if we take instruction and teaching from them, then we can become spiritually enlightened beings very easily. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. If one actually takes guidance and instructions from such a person, then one can quickly attain spiritual enlightenment.
If there is nothing further, we can stop here. We are very happy that you've facilitated us coming here to explain to you how to advance in the path of yoga. We will give out our cards. If you'd like to inquire from me personally, confidentially, about your own practice of yoga, you can write, email, call or come to visit me. I don't charge for this. I just live on what comes by Krishna's grace. I don't do this for business, it is a service. We have some nice treats which we have brought from Austin. This is special yoga food. Its called Yogesvara prasadam. This food will give you bhakti. Bhakti in a bite. Its called prasadam or the mercy of Krishna. Bhakti bite. This was offered to Krishna with love and devotion. That's why. When you take ordinary food and offer it to Krishna its transformed from matter to spirit, and when you eat this food it spiritualizes your mind, your body and your soul. Just by eating this food, you very quickly become a highly advanced yogi.
Transcribed by His Grace Jagannatha Dasa