by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Every living entity is searching after peace. That is the struggle for existence. Everyone, from the aquatics to the highest form of human being—from the ant up to Brahma, the first creature of this universe—is searching for peace. That is the main objective. Lord Caitanya said that a person who is in full Krsna consciousness is the only peaceful man because he has no demands. That is the special qualification of a person who is in Krsna consciousness. He is akamah. Akamah refers to those who have no desire, who are self-sufficient, who have nothing to ask and who are fully peaceful. Who are they? They are the devotees who are situated in Krsna consciousness.
All others fall into three classes. One class is bhukti, those who are hankering after material happiness and enjoyment. These people want to eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. There are different modes of enjoyment according to the body. People are searching after sense enjoyment on this planet, on other planets, here, there and everywhere. Their main object is to gratify the senses. That is called bhukti. The next class is those people who are fatigued or frustrated in sense gratification and therefore want liberation from this material entanglement. And then there are those who, in search of knowledge, speculate about what the Absolute Truth is. Thus there are some who want sense enjoyment, and others, the salvationists, who are seeking liberation. The salvationists also have some desire, the desire to be free from this material entanglement. Then there are those who are yogis; they are searching after mystic perfection. There are eight kinds of mystic perfection which grant the ability to become the smallest, to become the heaviest, or to get whatever one desires. Ordinary persons who are after sense gratification and those who are salvationists or who are after mystic perfection all have some demand. But what about the devotees? They have no demands. Because they simply want to serve Krsna, they are waiting for the order of Krsna, and that is their satisfaction. If Krsna wants the devotees to go to hell, they are prepared to go to hell. And if Krsna says, “You come to Me,” they are prepared to go. They have no demands. This is the perfectional stage.
There is a very nice verse in which a devotee prays: “I shall simply be conscious of You, my dear Lord, Krsna conscious, free from all mental demands.” Actually, because we are in material bondage, we have many demands. Some people want sense gratification, those who are a little more elevated want mental satisfaction, and those who are still more refined want to show some magic jugglery of power in this world. They are all in material bondage in different capacities. Therefore, a person who is Krsna conscious prays to the Lord: “My dear Lord, when shall I be fully absorbed in Your thoughts or Your service?” “Your thoughts” are not simply abstract, concocted speculation; it is a practical mode of thought. “I shall become peaceful.” All mental concoction—I want this, I want that—will be completely eradicated.
We are hovering over the mental plane. We have given power of attorney to the mind, and the mind is driving us—”Come here, go there.” One has to stop such nonsense. “I shall simply be Your eternal servitor. And I shall be very cheerful, for I have my master.” All others who are not in Krsna consciousness are guideless. They are their own guides. The person who is Krsna conscious has the supreme guide; therefore, he has no fear. For example, as long as a child is under the care of his parents he has no fear. But as soon as he becomes free, he finds many impediments. This is a crude example, but similarly, when one becomes completely free from all mental concoction and engages one hundred percent in Krsna consciousness twenty-four hours a day, he will be peaceful at once. That is peace.
Therefore, Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that those who are Krsna conscious, because they have no demands, are actually peaceful. Those who are after sense enjoyment, salvation and yogic mystic perfection are always full of anxiety. As long as one is full of anxiety, one should know that he is still under the grip of material nature. And as soon as one is free from all anxiety, one should know that he is liberated. This fearful anxiety exists because we do not know Krsna, the Supreme Lord, the supreme controller. Instead, we have other conceptions, and therefore we are always anxious.
There are many examples, such as Prahlada Maharaja. He was only five years old, a pet child, but because he was a devotee of the Lord, his father became his enemy. This is the way of the world. As soon as one becomes a devotee of the Lord he finds so many obstacles. But those obstacles will not hinder one or be impediments on the path. We should always be personally prepared to become Krsna conscious. Otherwise, there is only the kingdom of maya, illusion. Maya will try to defeat us as soon as she sees, “Oh, here is a living soul going out of my grip.” As soon as one becomes Krsna conscious and fully surrenders unto the Supreme Lord, he has nothing more to fear from this illusion. The Krsna conscious person is the perfectly peaceful person.
Everyone wants peace in the world. The peace marchers do not know how to obtain peace, but they want peace. I read a speech of the Archbishop of Canterbury in which he said, “You want the kingdom of God without God.” This is our defect. If you want peace at all, then accept that peace means to understand God. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Unless you are in touch with the Supreme Lord, Krsna, you cannot have peace. Therefore, we have a different peace formula. The real peace formula is that one must know that God is the proprietor of all this universe, including the United States of America. He is the proprietor of Russia, He is the proprietor of China, He is the proprietor of India, of everything. But because we claim that we are the proprietors, there is fighting, there is discord, there is disagreement, and how can there be peace?
First of all, one has to accept that God is the proprietor of everything. We are simply guests for fifty or a hundred years. We come and go, and while one is here, he is absorbed in this thought: “This is my land. This is my family. This is my body. This is my property.” And when there is an order from the Supreme for one to leave his home, his property, his body, his family, his money and his bank balance and it is all gone, one has to take another place. We are under the grip of material nature, and she is offering different kinds of bodies: “Now, my dear sir, you accept this body.” We accept an American body, an Indian body, a Chinese body, a cat’s body or a dog’s body. I am not the Proprietor even of this body, yet I say that I am this body. Actually, this is ignorance. And how can one have peace? Peace can be had when one understands that God is the proprietor of everything. One’s friends, one’s mother, one’s mother’s father and the President are all guests of time. When this knowledge is accepted, then there will be peace.
We are searching for a friend to give us peace and tranquillity. That friend is Krsna, God. Just make friendship with Him; you’ll find everyone to be your friend. Because God is situated in everyone’s heart, if you make friendship with God, He will dictate from within so that you will also be treated in a friendly way. If you make friendship with the police commissioner, you receive some advantage. H you make friendship with President Nixon, everyone will be your friend because everyone is under the President. If you want something from any officer, simply call President Nixon, and he will say, “All right, look after this man.” Everything is taken care of. Just try to have friendship with God, and everyone will be your friend. If all people understand this very nice fact, that God is everyone’s friend and that He is the supreme proprietor, they will become peaceful. That is explained also by Lord Caitanya.
In Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, or any Vedic literature or any other literature in any other religion, the same fact is presented: God is the proprietor. God is the only friend. If you understand this, then you’ll have peace. This is the peace formula. As soon as you encroach on God’s Property, calling it your own, material nature, the police action, will be there: “You are not the proprietor.” You can simply have what is allotted to you by God.
Your business is to elevate yourself to perfect Krsna consciousness and nothing more. If you deviate from this law, if you don’t accept this principle, if you want to enjoy more, then you have to suffer more. There is no question of forgetting. Therefore, Lord Caitanya says, “One who is Krsna conscious has no demands. Thus he is at peace.”
Those in Krsna consciousness do not know anything more than Krsna. Actually only those who are Krsna conscious are peaceful, unafraid of anything. They are neither in heaven nor in hell nor anywhere but with Krsna, so for them everything is Vaikuntha, without fear. Similarly, Lord Krsna as Paramatma, Supersoul, lives everywhere. He lives in the heart of a hog also. The hog eats stool, but that does not mean that because the Supreme Lord is in the heart of the hog, He is also subjected to such punishment. The Lord and His devotees are always transcendental to the modes of material nature. Persons who are completely Krsna conscious are very rare and very peaceful. Out of millions and millions of people, it is very difficult to find one who is actually Krsna conscious; this position of Krsna consciousness is so rare. But Krsna Himself, as Lord Caitanya, seeing the pitiable condition of the present day, is directly giving free love of Godhead.
Yet because love of God is being given freely and so easily, people do not care for it. My spiritual master used to say that if you take a langera mango, which is a first-class, topmost quality mango in India, very costly, very sweet and very tasteful, and go from door to door and try to distribute it freely, people will doubt: “Why has this man brought this langera mango? Why is he trying to distribute it freely? There must be some motive behind it.” Similarly, Lord Caitanya distributed this Krsna consciousness langera mango very cheaply, but people are so foolish that they think, “Oh, they are simply chanting Hare Krsna; what is there to it? This is meant for the foolish, who cannot speculate and do not have any higher standard of knowledge.” But that is not so. It is said: “Out of millions and millions of people, only a few are interested in Krsna consciousness.” Do not neglect this information; it is very rare, and if you practice Krsna consciousness, your life will be successful. Your mission in human life will be fulfilled. This seed of Krsna consciousness is very rare and very valuable. Lord Caitanya said that innumerable living entities are wandering and transmigrating in the 8,400,000 species of life, one after another. Out of so many, one may come who is fortunate, who has spiritual fortune.
Sometimes devotees of the Lord go from door to door. Their policy is to go as beggars. So in India, beggars, especially sannyasis, are very much respected. If a sannyasi comes to a house to beg, he is very well received: “Swamiji, what can I do for you?” The devotee beggar won’t ask for anything, but whatever one can give, even one capati, makes one spiritually rich. That man who offers a capati to a pure devotee who comes to his door is made spiritually rich. When one is advanced in spiritual wealth, he offers a good reception to devotees as far as possible. According to the Vedic system, even if your enemy comes to your house, you have to receive him in such a way that you will forget that he is your enemy. That is the general system for receiving a pure devotee who has sacrificed everything for the Lord.
These are instructions for householders. The householder should come out of his home during noontime and call out for anyone who is hungry to please come and take the food. Only if no one comes in answer to his call can the chief of the household take his meals. There are so many rules and regulations just to train a man to become godly. They are not superstitious or superfluous. The human being should be trained to be godly. Because he is part and parcel of God, he is given the chance to be trained. This training is given because some day or other the person may be Krsna conscious.
If by chance during this training he meets a teacher who is a saintly person and a pure devotee of the Lord, then by such a contact he becomes pure. Therefore, Lord Caitanya said that the fortunate person who has had some spiritual asset in his past dealings will seek the association of a pure devotee. The seed of Krsna consciousness is received by the mercy of guru, the spiritual master, and by the mercy of Krsna. When the spiritual master and Lord Krsna will that a person must have Krsna consciousness, then the seed very nicely fructifies. That spiritual asset makes one fortunate, and thus he becomes spiritually enlivened, and then he meets a bona fide spiritual master, and, by the grace of the spiritual master, he can receive the seed of Krsna consciousness. That is his inner urge: “Where can I get this association? Where can I get this awareness?”
This process is recommended; it is the general process of spiritual advancement. Krsna is within you, and as soon as Krsna sees that you are very sincere, that you are seeking, He sends a bona fide spiritual master. This combination of Krsna and the spiritual master is the cause of one’s receiving the seed of Krsna consciousness. The seed is there. If you have a very nice seed of a rose bush, what is your duty? If you have a seed of any nice plant, it is your duty not to lock it up in the safety vault of a bank. Your duty is to sow it in the ground. Where should you sow that seed? If you have information of Krsna consciousness, you just sow it in your heart. Not in this earth, but in the earth within yourself. And after sowing a seed you have to pour a little water on it, so that water is hearing and chanting. Once the seed is sown in the heart, just pour on a little water, and it will grow.
This process should not be stopped by the thought that because one is initiated there is no need of hearing and chanting. It should go on continuously. If you stop pouring water on a plant, it will dry up, it will not produce any fruit. Similarly, even if you are highly elevated in Krsna consciousness, you cannot stop this process of hearing and chanting because maya is so strong, so powerful, that as soon as she sees, “Ah, here is an opportunity,” at once you will dry up. By the process of pouring water, that plant of Krsna consciousness grows. How does it grow? There is a limit to every plant you see; it grows and grows and grows, but there is a limit where it stops growing. But the plant of Krsna consciousness grows in such a way that it does not rest in any part of this material universe because a Krsna conscious person is not satisfied with planetary facilities in any part of this material universe. Even if you offer him Siddhaloka, where the inhabitants are so powerful and elevated that they can fly in the sky without airplanes, he will not be satisfied.
There is a planet, Siddhaloka, according to Srimad-Bhagavatam, where the inhabitants do not need airplanes or spacecraft to fly from one planet to another. Above Siddhaloka there are many other planets. I saw that the latest modern opinion is that every star is a sun, and there are different planetary systems, solar systems; but according to Vedic literature there are innumerable universes which are separate identities. The limit of this universe is the outermost sky. The modern scientist says that each and every star is a sun. But Vedic literature does not say that. Vedic literature informs us that there is only one sun in each universe, but there are innumerable universes, and thus there are innumerable suns and moons. The highest planet of this universe is called Brahmaloka. And Lord Krsna says, “Even if you approach the highest planet, you have to come back again.” Sputniks and astronauts are going very high, and here on earth people are clapping; but after just a brief time they come down again. However one may clap, he cannot do more than that. Similarly, those who are materialistic can go high up to Brahmaloka where Brahma is, but those who are Krsna conscious will reject even that. They neglect even the impersonal brahma-jyotir. They don’t care for it.
The covering of this universe is far, far greater than this space which we are now in. The outside of the universe is ten times the space within, so one has to penetrate that covering, and then reach Viraja, the Causal Ocean. The Buddhist philosophical perfection is to reach that Viraja. When this material existence is completely finished, it is called viraja, according to Vedic language. But the Krsna conscious person not only penetrates the covering of this universe, but after he reaches that Causal Ocean, which is the neutral position, he continues. The plant grows so nicely from Brahmaloka to Viraja to the spiritual sky, and even when that plant reaches the spiritual sky, it is not satisfied with any Vaikuntha planet.
The highest planet in the spiritual sky is Krsnaloka. It is just like a lotus flower, where Krsna is standing. And there, when the plant finds Krsna’s lotus feet, it rests. Just as a creeper grows and grows and grows and at last attaches itself to something and then expands, when the devotional plant gets to the lotus feet of Krsna, it expands. As soon as this Krsna consciousness creeper captures Krsna’s lotus feet, it takes shelter. “There. Now I have finished my journey. Let me expand here.” To expand means to enjoy Krsna’s association. There the devotees are satisfied.
That creeper has to go on, and thus those who are already in Krsna consciousness, if they have their natural growth, relish the fruit of that creeper even in this life.
If you continue this chanting and hearing process, you will grow and grow and actually reach Krsna’s lotus feet and there relish His association.