TQE 4: Yoga and Meditation for the Age of Quarrel
Put Kṛṣṇa in the Center
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: 'Now hear, O son of Pṛthā [Arjuna], how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt'" (
This is a verse from the Seventh Chapter of the
There are six kinds of opulence: wealth, reputation, strength, beauty, knowledge, and renunciation. If a person is very rich, he attracts the attention of many persons. Similarly, if a man is very famous for his activities, he also attracts attention. If a person is very influential or strong, he also attracts. If a man or woman is very beautiful, he or she also attracts attention. And if one is very learned or renounced, he also attracts attention.
We all possess these opulences in some small quantity. Every one of us may possess some riches, may be a little wise or a little strong. But when you find that person who possesses more opulences than anyone else, that is God. The Sanskrit word for this is
So the background of this
Therefore, it is said
The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases: impersonal, localized, and personal. In the
Therefore, Vyāsadeva, the compiler of the
Kṛṣṇa states in the
God is attractive for everyone, and God is equal to everyone. There is no distinction for God that here is an animal, here is a man, here is a tree. No. Every living entity is part and parcel of God. That is our understanding of God consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Among the different processes of yoga for linking to God, three are principal:
yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
Of all yogis, the yogi who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa with love and faith is the first-class yogi.
The Seventh Chapter of the
Vyāsadeva is the compiler of all Vedic knowledge, and he accepts Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Later on, all the
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga means to increase attachment for Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Everyone has attachment for something, either for his family or for some friend or for some house or some hobby or some cats, some dogs. There is attachment. That doesn't have to be learned. Attachment is there in everyone's heart. Everyone wants to be attached to somebody else; everyone wants to love someone else. Love does not mean oneness. For love there must be two: the lover and the beloved.
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga system is the means to increase your attachment for Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is said here,
For example, if something is charged with electricity and you touch something else to it, it also becomes electrified. We have daily experience. The wires distribute the electricity from the powerhouse, and as soon as we join the plug, immediately it is electrified. Similarly, if you carry the words of Kṛṣṇa as they are carried by others in the disciplic succession, then you are in touch with Kṛṣṇa. That is called
Kṛṣṇa says in this verse, "Please try to hear from Me." Kṛṣṇa is speaking personally. So if we accept the
In our present position, with blunt material senses, with four defects, it is not possible to understand what God is. We have four defects in this material condition: we commit mistakes, we are illusioned, we tend to cheat, and our senses are imperfect. Every day we see the sun with our eyes, but because our senses are imperfect we see the sun as a disk, although it is thousands of times bigger than the earth. In this way, if we analyze our senses we will find that they are imperfect. Speculation based on imperfect senses is also imperfect. Therefore all the speculators—so-called scientists, philosophers, and so on—put forward theories: "Perhaps." "It may be." That means they do not have perfect knowledge. But if you receive knowledge from the supreme perfect, God, that is actually perfect.
Our process is like that. In the Fourth Chapter of the
Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement gives an understanding of the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, as He is, without any interpretation. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga. That can be achieved, as Kṛṣṇa says, by always keeping Him in the center. If you practice this yoga
Thank you very much.
Reaching Kṛṣṇa His Way
na sādhayati māṁ yogo na sāṅkhyaṁ dharma uddhava
na svādhyāyas tapas tyāgo yathā bhaktir mamorjitā
[The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, said:] "My dear Uddhava, neither through
Lord Caitanya quoted this verse while relating an allegory in which an astrologer tells a poor man where to dig to find a treasure. The treasure represents Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or love of God, and the directions in which the man is told to dig represent different processes by which people search for the Absolute Truth.
The astrologer tells the poverty-stricken man, "You are actually a very rich man's son, but you do not know this. Therefore you are suffering."
To be poor in this world is a curse for ordinary people, those under the concept of material life, whereas the spiritually enriched have nothing to do with the poverty or wealth of this world. The living entities are not meant to be poverty-stricken, because they are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, the supreme proprietor. Every living entity has the birthright to enjoy God's property, just as the son inherits the property of the father. That is the law. But under the spell of illusion we have forgotten our relationship with the supreme father; therefore we are suffering. That is the diagnosis.
Now we have to find out how to go back home, back to Godhead. That should be the mission of human life. Never mind why we are in contact with the material world. By the instruction of the astrologerlike Vedic literature we should come to the point of finding out how to go back to Godhead. Just as the astrologer is giving hints to the poor man, the Vedic literature gives us hints so that we can become the richest by reviving our lost relationship with our father.
There are different paths for reviving that relationship, but Lord Caitanya says that no method but
Real yoga means "connect, plus, addition." In mathematics we have addition and subtraction. So at the present moment we are in subtraction—God minus myself. I have no sense of God; therefore I am in a "minus" condition. Yoga means God plus myself. That is the real meaning of yoga. For so long I was God-minus; now, through yoga, I become God-plus.
But you must always remember that in the spiritual, absolute sense God plus me is God and God minus me is also God. When I am "minus," or separated from God, that does not mean God has lost some of His capacity. No. He is full. And when I am "plus," or reunited with God, that does not mean God has increased in some capacity. No.
I say "ordinary" because millions of oceans are floating in the universe. Therefore we should not be very astonished to see the Atlantic Ocean. Within space are millions and trillions of oceans like the Atlantic. They are floating just as an atomic particle of water can float in the air. That is the potency of God.
For those who are too engrossed in the bodily conception of life, the yoga system is very good, because it is a practice to withdraw the senses from their engagement in the external world. There are eight stages of yoga practice. The first two are
Then one has to sit nicely in a secluded, sanctified place with the neck, head, and body in a straight line. Then you have to look at the tip of your nose with half-opened eyes. If you open your eyes, then the material manifestation will disturb you. And if you close your eyes, then you nap. [
Another step in the eightfold yoga system is
Yoga is not so easy. Many so-called yoga teachers are simply exploiting people. I say frankly that they and their students are a society of the cheaters and the cheated.
Although yoga is approved in the Vedic literature, it is very difficult to perform in the modern age. Even five thousand years ago—when the circumstances were more favorable, when people were not so polluted and were advanced in so many things—still, at that time such a person as Arjuna refused to practice yoga. When Kṛṣṇa said to him, "You become a yogi like this," Arjuna said, "It is not possible for me."
So yoga is not at all possible now. It was possible in the Satya-yuga, when every man was in the mode of goodness, every man was highly elevated. Yoga is meant for highly elevated persons, not ordinary persons.
But even if yoga is done very nicely and perfectly, it cannot take you to the Supreme Lord. That is stated here in this verse. What to speak of pseudo yoga, even if you perform yoga perfectly, still you cannot reach God. That is stated here:
It is also said here,
That analysis of the material world into twenty-four parts is called Sāṅkhya. It is a full analysis of everything within our experience. And above the twenty-four elements is the spirit soul. And above the soul is God.
Sāṅkhyites cannot find the soul. They are like material scientists in that they simply study material objects. They have no information above that. Now I am talking with you; so the Sāṅkhya philosophers cannot explain what is that thing which is talking. Similarly, the medical doctor, after dissecting the body, cannot find what is working, the spiritual force. And because the materialists cannot find even the particles of the Supreme Lord—us living entities—what chance do they have of finding God? So neither the yogis nor the Sāṅkhyites can find God.
By dharma, also, one cannot find God. Dharma here refers to rituals. The Hindus go to the temple, the Christians go to the church, and the Muslims go to the mosque with the idea "Here is God." That is, of course, the beginning. It is nice. That conviction must be there. But because they are trapped in the rituals, they have no further knowledge. They do not try to advance further. They think, "Everything ends here." So they too cannot attain God.
So the Lord says, "All these processes—yoga, Sāṅkhya, rituals, study of the
So practically all processes are condemned herewith by the Supreme Lord. Condemned in this sense: those who follow them can approach the final goal to a certain extent, but they will never be able to achieve it unless the devotional process is added. Devotion must be there because the end is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord. Kṛṣṇa says in the
One has to come to the point of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You may follow the yoga process, you may follow the philosophical process, you may follow the ritualistic process, or you may perform penances or engage in studying the
Unfortunately, people become satisfied with different degrees of success. Hardly anyone tries to reach the final goal. But if anyone wants to reach the final goal, then he has to take up the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness (
Those who are intelligent take to the simple process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In this age you cannot perform yoga perfectly, you cannot perform religious rituals perfectly, you cannot study perfectly. The circumstances are so unfavorable that these processes are not possible in this age. Therefore Lord Caitanya, by His causeless mercy, has given us the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, beginning with the chanting of the holy name. And His teaching is corroborated in the
harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
"In this Age of Kali, simply by chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa one can attain the ultimate goal. There is no alternative. There is no alternative. There is no alternative."
So Lord Caitanya has not manufactured something by recommending
Thank you very much.
How to See and Know God
We are worshiping Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original person. And this song we were just singing
Similarly, just as you can see a television picture transmitted from thousands and thousands of miles away, you can always see Govinda in your heart if you prepare yourself properly. This is stated in the
Now, to repair a television an expert technician is required. Similarly, you require the help of someone expert in the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then the machine in your heart will work and you will be able to see Kṛṣṇa. This is the perfection of yoga
In the scriptures we hear how one can come to this perfection:
Now, here in the
This is a common-sense affair. If lawyers accept some book as a law book, then we should understand that it is an authoritative law book. You cannot say, "Why should I accept this law book?" The evidence is that the lawyers have accepted it. Similarly, if the medical practitioners accept a book as authoritative, then we should know that it is an authoritative medical book. In the same way, since saintly persons accept the
And who is a
Now, in the beginning of the Seventh Chapter of the
One's spiritual life begins when one asks, What am I? Why have I come here? Why am I put into so many miserable conditions? Is there any remedy? Human life is meant for answering these questions. Animals do not know anything except sense gratification. They have no power of understanding; their consciousness is not developed. For example, in Green Lake Park there are many ducks. As soon as somebody goes there with a little food, they gather: "
So in the first six chapters of the
We are very minute sparks of the supreme spirit, just like particles of sunshine. The sun's rays are made up of shining particles, and when these shining particles mix together they form sunshine. Similarly, we are minute particles of God, and because we are part and parcel of God we have the same propensities as God: thinking, feeling, willing, creating—everything. Whatever you see in yourself is there in God also. Therefore, since we are all persons, God cannot be impersonal. I have so many propensities in a very minute quantity, and the same propensities are there in Kṛṣṇa, or God, in an unlimited quantity. This is the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
We are small, infinitesimal, yet we still have so many propensities, so many desires, so many activities, so much brainwork. Just imagine how much greater are God's desires and activities and brainwork! So qualitatively God and the living entity are one, but quantitatively we are different. He is great, we are small. He is infinite, we are infinitesimal.
Now, when sparks are in the fire they glow very nicely, but when they are out of the fire they are extinguished. Similarly, since we are sparks of Kṛṣṇa, when we associate with Him our illuminating quality is manifested. Otherwise, we are practically extinguished, or covered. The living spark cannot be extinguished. If it were extinguished, how are we manifesting our living condition? No, it is not extinguished; it is covered. When a fire is covered you can feel heat on the cover, but you cannot see the fire directly. Similarly, when the spiritual spark is covered by the material dress, the body, you can see the effects of the spark—your activities of life—but you cannot see the spark directly. To see the spiritual spark directly, to uncover your original spiritual nature, you must practice yoga
So real yoga is
So you have to practice that first-class yoga
So Kṛṣṇa consciousness means always thinking of Kṛṣṇa's form, name, pastimes, and so on. How can we practice this yoga
As mentioned before, Kṛṣṇa explains the perfection of yoga
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ
So if you practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the topmost of all yoga
Thank you very much.