Selections from Srila Prabhupada's books and lectures




* Impersonalists - miserable process, devotees - blissful process

* Greater than greatest, smaller than smallest

* Crow and Tal Fruit Logic

* A slap in the face for Mayavadis and atheists

* Every chance for the mind to be diverted



Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.5.4


   O Lord, persons who, because of their serious attitude, attain the stage of enlightened devotional service achieve the complete meaning of renunciation and knowledge and attain the Vaikunthaloka in the spiritual sky simply by drinking the nectar of Your topics.


    The difference between the impersonalistic mental speculators and the pure devotees of the Lord is that the former pass through a miserable understanding of the Absolute Truth at every stage, whereas the devotees enter into the kingdom of all pleasures even from the beginning of their attempt. The devotee has only to hear about devotional activities, which are as simple as anything in ordinary life, and he also acts very simply, whereas the mental speculator has to pass through a jugglery of words, which are partially facts and partially a make-show for the maintenance of an artificial impersonal status. In spite of his strenuous efforts to attain perfect knowledge, the impersonalist attains merging into the impersonal oneness of the brahmajyoti of the Lord, which is also attained by the enemies of the Lord simply because of their being killed by Him. The devotees, however, attain to the highest stage of knowledge and renunciation and achieve the Vaikunthalokas, the planets in the spiritual sky. The impersonalist attains only the sky, and does not achieve any tangible transcendental bliss, whereas the devotee attains to the planets where real spiritual life prevails. With a serious attitude, the devotee throws away all achievements like so much dust, and he accepts only devotional service, the transcendental culmination.


Krishna is greater than the greatest, smaller than the smallest

There are those who can simply think of God as being great but do not know how great He is. When they think of greatness, they think of very high mountains, the sky, and other planets. Therefore the Lord has been described in terms of such material manifestations so that while thinking of these different manifestations one can think of the Lord. That is also Krsna consciousness. If one thinks, "This mountain is the bone of Krsna," or if one thinks of the vast Pacific Ocean as Krsna's navel, one is in Krsna consciousness. 

Similarly, one may think of the trees and plants as the hairs on Krsna's body, one may think of Brahmaloka as the top of Krsna's skull, and one may think of the Patalaloka planetary system as the soles of Krsna's feet. Thus one may think of Krsna as greater than the greatest (mahato mahiyan).

Similarly, one may think of Krsna as smaller than the smallest. That is also a kind of greatness. Krsna can manufacture this gigantic cosmic manifestation, and He can also manufacture a small insect. In a book one may sometimes find a small running insect smaller than a period. This is Krsna's craftsmanship. Anor aniyan mahato mahiyan (Katha Upanisad 1.2.20): He can create something greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest. Now human beings have manufactured the 747 airplane, which according to their conception is very big. But can they produce an airplane as small as a flying insect? That is not possible. Actual greatness, however, is not one-sided. One who is actually great can become greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest.

But even the great things men can manufacture in the modern age are still not the greatest things man has created. We have information from the Srimad-Bhagavatam that Kardama Muni, the father of the great sage Kapiladeva, manufactured a huge plane that resembled a great city. It included lakes, gardens, streets, and houses, and the whole city was able to fly all over the universe. In that plane, Kardama Muni traveled with his wife and showed her all the planets. He was a great yogi, and his wife, Devahuti, was the daughter of Svayambhuva Manu, a great king. Kardama Muni had desired to marry, and Devahuti told her father, "My dear father, I want to marry that sage." Thus Svayambhuva Manu brought his daughter to Kardama Muni and said, "Sir, here is my daughter. Please accept her as your wife." She was a king's daughter and was very opulent, but when she joined her austere husband, she had to serve so much that she became lean and thin. In fact, even with insufficient food she was working day and night. Thus Kardama Muni became compassionate. "This woman who has come to me is a king's daughter," he thought, "but under my protection she is not receiving any comfort. So I shall give her some comfort." Thus he asked his wife, "What will make you comfortable?" A woman's nature, of course, is that she wants a good house, good food, fine garments, good children, and a good husband. These are a woman's ambitions. Thus Kardama Muni proved to her that she had received the best husband. By yogic powers he created for her this great airplane and gave her a big house with maidservants and all opulences. Kardama Muni was merely a human being, but he could perform such wonderful things by yogic powers.

Krsna, however, is Yogesvara, the master of all yogic powers. If we get a little mystic power we become important, but Krsna is the master of all mystic powers. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that wherever there is Yogesvara, Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all mystic powers, and wherever there is Arjuna, who is also known as Partha or Dhanur-dhara, everything is present. [from Teachings of Queen Kunti]

Crow and Tal Fruit Logic

by His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

taken from a letter, addressee unknown

We never had any occasion when we were separated from Krsna. Just like one

man is dreaming and he forgets himself. In dream he creates himself in

different forms: now I am the King discussing like that. This creation of

himself is as seer and subject matter or seen, two things. But as soon as the

dream is over, the 'seen' disappears. But the seer remains. Now he is in his

original position.


Our separation from Krsna is like that. We dream this body and so many

relationships with other things. First the attachment comes to enjoy sense

gratification. Even with Krsna desire for sense gratification is there. There

is a dormant attitude for forgetting Krsna and creating an atmosphere for

enjoying independently. Just like at the edge of the beach, sometimes the

water covers, sometimes there is dry sand, coming and going. Our position is

like that, sometimes covered, sometimes free, just like at the edge of the

tide. As soon as we forget, immediately the illusion is there. Just like as

soon as we sleep, dream is there.


We cannot say therefore that we are not with Krsna. As soon as we try to

become Lord, immediately we are covered by Maya. Formerly we were with Krsna

in His lila or sport. But this covering of Maya may be of very, very, very,

very long duration, therefore many creations are coming and going. Due to

this long period of time it is sometimes said that we are ever-conditioned.

But his long duration of time becomes very insignificant when one actually

comes to Krsna consciousness. Just like in a dream we are thinking very long

time, but as soon as we awaken we look at our watch and see it has been a

moment only. Just like with Krsna's friends, they were kept asleep for one

year by Brahma, but when they woke up and Krsna returned before them, they

considered that only a moment had passed.


So this dreaming condition is called non-liberated life, and this is just

like a dream. Although in this material calculation it is a long, long

period, as soon as we come to Krsna consciousness then this period is

considered as a second. For example, Jaya and Vijaya. They had their lila

with Krsna, but they had to come down for their little mistake. They were

given mukti, merging into the Brahmasayujya after being killed three times as

demons. This Brahmasayujya mukti is non-permanent. Every living entity wants

pleasure, but Brahmasayujya is minus pleasure. There is eternal existence

only. So when they do not find transcendental bliss, they fall down to make a

compromise with material bliss. Just like Vivekananda founded so many schools

and hospitals. So even Lord Brahma, he is still material and wants to lord it

over. He may come down to become a germ, but then he may rise up to Krsna

consciousness and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is the position.


So when I say Yes, there is eternal lila with Krsna, that means on the

evidence of Jaya-Vijaya. Unless one develops full devotional service to

Krsna, he goes up only up to Brahmasayujya but falls down. But after millions

and millions of years of keeping oneself away from the lila of the Lord, when

one comes to Krsna consciousness this period becomes insignificant, just like



Because he falls down from Brahmasayujya, he thinks that may be his origin,

but he does not remember that before that even he was with Krsna. So the

conclusion is that whatever may be our past, let us come to Krsna

consciousness and immediately join Krsna. Just like with a diseased man, it

is a waste of time to try to find out how he has become diseased, better to

spend time curing the disease.


On the top of the tree there is a nice tal-fruit. A crow went there and the

fruit fell down, Some panditas, big big learned scholars saw this and

discussed:  the fruit fell due to the crow agitating the limb. No, the fruit

fell simultaneously with the crow landing and frightened the crow so he flew

away. No, the fruit was ripe and the weight of the crow landing broke it from

the branch, and so on and so on. What is the use of such discussions? So

whether you were in the Brahmasayujya or with Krsna in His lila, at the

moment you are in neither, so the best policy is to develop your Krsna

consciousness and go there, never mind what is your origin.


Brahmasayujya and Krsna lila--both may be possible, but when you are coming

down from Brahmasayujya or when you are coming down from Krsna lila, that

remains a mystery. But at the present moment we are in Maya's clutches, so at

present our only hope is to become Krsna conscious and go back to Home, back

to Godhead. The real position is servant of Krsna, and servant of Krsna means

in Krsna lila. Directly or indirectly, always we are serving Krsna's lila.


Even in dream. Just like we cannot go out of the sun when it is daytime, so

where is the chance of going out of Krsna lila? The cloud may be there, it

may become very gray and dim, but still the sunlight is there, everywhere,

during the daytime.  Because I am part and parcel of Krsna, I am always

connected. My finger, even though it may be diseased, remains part and parcel

of my body. Therefore, we try to treat it, cure it, because it is part and

parcel. So Krsna comes Himself when we forget Him, or He sends His



Awakening or dreaming, I am the same man. As soon as I awaken and see myself,

I see Krsna. Cause and effect are both Krsna. Just like cotton becomes thread

and thread becomes cloth, still, the original cause is cotton. Therefore,

everything is Krsna in the ultimate sense. When we cannot contact Krsna

personally, we contact His energies. So there is no chance to be outside

Krsna's lila. But differences we see under different conditions. Just like in

the pool of water and in the mirror the same me is reflecting, but in

different reflections. One is shimmering, unsteady, one is clear and fixed.

Except for being in Krsna consciousness, we cannot see our actual position

rightly, therefore the learned man sees all living entities as the same parts

and parcels of Krsna. Material existence is impersonal because my real

personality is covered. But we should think that because I am now covered by

this clay, I am diseased, and we should think that I must get to business to

get myself uncovered, not wonder how I got this way. Now the fruit is there,

take it and enjoy, that is your first business. God is not bound by cause. He

can change, He is the Cause of all Causes. Now don't waste your time with

this "Kaka taliya nyaya," crows and tal-fruit logic."


A slap in the face for the Mayavadis and atheists

Dr. Radhakrishnan has never directly perceived the supreme transcendental personality, Lord Sri Krsna. Although Lord Krsna is right in front of him, he cannot see Him, and thus out of delusion he calls Him a historical person. Genuine Indian religious philosophy teaches that there are both oneness with God and difference from Him. This concept of simultaneous oneness and difference has been termed visista-dvaita, dvaitadvaita, suddhadvaita, and acintya-bhedabheda-tattva. If this esoteric concept were false, then Krsna would not be worshiped throughout India, practically in every home. He is worshiped not as a historical figure but as the Supreme Lord. Krsna's position as the Supreme Godhead is firmly established by the authoritative text Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is the natural commentary on and essence of the Vedanta-sutra and the Gayatri mantra. Many scholarly Mayavadis far more erudite than Dr. Radhakrishnan have tried to shake the faith of the general populace, but since time immemorial Krsna temples have mushroomed by the millions--a slap in the face for the Mayavadis and atheists, who claim the Lord Krsna is an ordinary mortal. In the future also, more Krsna temples will be built to frustrate the agnostics and nonbelievers. All Visnu temples are authorized by the scriptures and acaryas. It hardly seems likely that, just for the sake of Dr. Radhakrishnan, the entire Indian population is going to strike a compromise with Mayavada philosophy.

Indian history is filled with accounts of many brilliant heroes who lit up the heavens with their fame. Why have the many sages and philosophers left aside these brilliant suns and chosen only Sri Krsna, Sri Rama, and Their expansions to worship as the Supreme Godhead? The spiritual preceptors who have delved into the scriptures to make an unbiased study of this phenomenon are scholars far more advanced than Dr. Radhakrishnan. Yet it is quite understandable that an ordinary mortal like Dr. Radhakrishnan is illusioned about Lord Krsna, since even the residents of the heavenly planets are illusioned about Him. As stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.2), muhyanti yat surayah: "By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion." The earth planet is way down in the seventh position among the fourteen planets in this cosmic system, so its residents are endowed only with meagre potency.
(taken from Renunciation through Wisdom)



Every chance for the mind to be diverted

Of these three methods, the path of bhakti-yoga is especially suitable for this age, because it is the most direct method of God realization. To be doubly assured, Arjuna is asking Lord Krsna to confirm His former statement. One may sincerely accept the path of self-realization, but the process of cultivation of knowledge (jnana) and the practice of the eightfold yoga system are generally very difficult for this age. Therefore, despite constant endeavor, one may fail for many reasons. First of all, one may not be actually following the process, the rules and regulations. To pursue the transcendental path is more or less to declare war on the illusory energy. When we accept any process of self-realization, we are actually declaring war against maya, illusion, and maya is certain to place many difficulties before us. Therefore, there is a chance of failure, but one has to become very steady. Whenever a person tries to escape the clutches of the illusory energy, she tries to defeat the practitioner by various allurements. A conditioned soul is already allured by the modes of material energy, and there is every chance of being allured again, even while performing transcendental disciplines. This is called yogac calita-manasah: deviation from the transcendental path. Arjuna is inquisitive to know the results of deviation from the path of self-realization.

As stated in Bhagavad-gita (6.37), quoted above, yogat means "from the practice of yoga," calita means "diversion," and manasah means "mind." So there is every chance for the mind to be diverted from yoga practice. We all have some experience of trying to concentrate by reading a book, and our mind is so disturbed that it does not allow us to concentrate on the book.

Actually, Arjuna is asking a very important question, for one is subject to failure in all types of yoga—be it the eightfold yoga system, the jnana-yoga system of speculative philosophy, or the bhakti-yoga system of devotional service. Failure is possible on any of these paths, and the results of failure are clearly explained by Sri Krsna Himself in the following dialogue with Arjuna (Bg. 6.38–44). Arjuna, continuing his inquiry, asks,

 kaccin nobhaya-vibhrastas
chinnabhram iva nasyati
apratistho maha-baho
vimudho brahmanah pathi

"O mighty-armed Krsna, does not such a man, being deviated from the path of Transcendence, perish like a riven cloud, with no position in any sphere?"

 etan me samsayam krsna
chettum arhasy asesatah
tvad-anyah samsayasyasya
chetta na hy upapadyate

"This is my doubt, O Krsna, and I ask You to dispel it completely. But for Yourself, no one is to be found who can destroy this doubt."

 sri-bhaga van uvaca
partha naiveha namutra
vinasas tasya vidyate
na hi kalyana-krt kascid
durgatim tata gacchati

"The Blessed Lord said: Son of Prtha, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil."

 prapya punya-krtam lokan
usitva sasvatih samah
sucinam srimatam gehe
yoga-bhrasto ’bhijayate
[Bg. 6.41]

"The unsuccessful yogi, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy."

 atha va yoginam eva
kule bhavati dhimatam
etad dhi durlabhataram
loke janma yad idrsam
[Bg. 6.42]

"Or he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Verily, such a birth is rare in this world."

From The Path of Perfection - by Srila Prabhupada



more selections:


* Where is that perfect man?

* By mere academic knowledge

* Srila Prabhupada's great humility

* Enjoy, but you'll never be happy

* Other enjoyments, flat and tasteless

               Click here- Selections #2





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