The Goal of Yoga
In the Bhagavad-gita, the Sanskrit word mam is frequently used. This word means “unto me.” Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, says, “unto Me”—Krsna. We cannot interpret this in a different way. When I say, “Bring me a glass of water,” it means that I am the person in want of the glass of water, and if you supply to me and not to others, then it is right. When Krsna says, “unto Me,” that means Krsna. But philosophers are still interpreting—they say “unto something else.” Even grammatically this is wrong.
One who has developed attachment to Krsna is Krsna conscious. They say if you have attachment for your lover you always think of her. That is lover consciousness. It is natural. It is stated that a woman who has another lover besides her husband shows herself very attentive to her household duties, but is always thinking, “When shall my lover and I meet in the night?” This is an example. It is possible, in spite of our false engagement, if we love somebody, to think of him always. If materially it is possible, why not spiritually? That is the whole teaching of the Bhagavad-gita.
In the Gita, Krsna says to Arjuna, “As a fighter, you have to fight. You cannot step away from the fighting. It is your duty.” Nowadays I have practical experience that the draft board of your country is calling for boys to join the army, but they are not willing. They are not willing because they are not trained as ksatriyas, warriors. They are trained as sudras, laborers. Therefore the caste system is very scientific. A section of people should be trained as brahmanas, men of knowledge. Those who are intelligent enough in the society should be picked and trained in higher philosophical science. And those who are less intelligent than the brahmanas should be given military training. We require everything in society—not only military men. How can everyone be a military man? Because they are sending sudras, ordinary workers, to Vietnam, these are unnecessarily being killed. Any country which is very proud of scientific advancement, and yet does not know how to organize its society, is a fool’s society.
In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna says that there are four divisions of society, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra. That is natural. Some are inclined toward spiritual advancement, and these are the brahmanas. Now we are training boys who are spiritually inclined and they are unnecessarily being forced into military service. The foolish have no knowledge that some boy is being trained up in higher science. Why should he be destroyed when he is being perfected? The intellectual persons, those boys who have brahminical qualifications, are being restrained in brahmacarya student life: they don’t take to meat-eating, they don’t take part in illicit sex. They are being trained as complete brahmanas, the highest intellectuals, the most purified persons in society. If there is one brahmana in a whole family, then the whole family—the whole society—becomes sanctified. But today they have no knowledge of how to train a brahmana, or how to train a ksatriya. In the other fields of action, in the work of sudras and vaisyas there is nice training. If anyone wants to be a businessman, there are colleges or technological schools. That’s very nice. But why should everyone be dragged into technology? Just as in your body: for proper maintenance we require the head, the arms, the belly and the legs. All these parts of the body are required. You cannot say, “We do not require the head.” That is nonsense—we require everything. Suppose there is a body without a head—it is a dead body. If the body is now intact, but there is no head, it is called a dead body. The head is considered to be the intellectual part of the body. Similarly, if there is no brahmana in the society, it is a dead body. If there is no spiritual man in the society, it is a dead society.
Therefore, Krsna says, “I have created the four divisions of society, according to quality and work.” If someone is working as a brahmacari-brahmana and has acquired the quality of understanding Krsna, the Supreme Lord, then why should he be called for army action? The arm of the body is the ksatriya. Of course that is required; to protect the society, to protect the country, a military arrangement should be there. No one will disapprove. But not the brahmanas. It is putting a race horse before the work cart. A race horse is required for different purposes. The other beasts of burden—asses, mules and oxen—are required for pulling carts.
I say this frankly—everyone may read it—that any society where there are no spiritual persons or Krsna consciousness is a rascal society, because it has no head. Where there is a headless man, there is a dead body. And if there is no brain, there is no head; if the brain is not working properly then he is a madman; if he has no head at all, then he is a dead man.
Do you think that in a dead society or a mad society there can be any peace? No. If the society is full of madmen, then where is the question of peace? Therefore, Krsna consciousness is the most important study in present-day society. The men who are leading the society, the President and the Secretary of Defense, should have the intelligence to understand this science of the soul.
The other day when coming to your country I met a secretary of the Japanese government in Tokyo. I wanted to explain to him that he should cooperate with this movement, but he said, “Oh, we cannot cooperate with any religious movement.” He is one of the chief secretaries of the government, and he is such a fool. He is taking this movement as a religious movement, just as we have so many sentimental religions. But this is not sentimental. This is the necessity of society: a class of men should be Krsna conscious. Otherwise the society is doomed; it is going to hell. And, when such rascals are at the head of the government, how can there be peace? How can you expect peace in a dog’s society? The dogs are by nature howling—“Woof! Woof! Woof!”—as soon as they see other dogs. So do you mean to say there will be peace if you turn human society into dog society, into cat society, into tiger society? The tiger is very powerful; he can kill many other animals. But does that mean he is a very important animal? No, he has no use in society. And now we are very powerful, and we have good weapons to fight with, and we can kill many people. But these are no qualifications for good men or a good society.
We are not meant to manufacture a society of monkeys or tigers or asses—or rascals who work very hard. Do you mean to say a society of asses will derive any benefit from life? No.
For those who have developed an attraction to Krsna, attachment can be developed. Before my coming to the West, there was no movement like this Krsna consciousness, but now it is developing. Krsna was not born in your country; you do not accept Krsna as your religious God. But Krsna is so attractive that although you are a foreigner, you are not foreign. To Krsna you are not a foreigner. He claims everybody. We make Him foreign, but this is our foolishness.
In the Gita Krsna says, “My dear Arjuna, there are many different forms and different species of life undoubtedly. But I am their father.” Just see how Krsna is universal. He is claiming not only human society, but animal society, bird society, beast society—everyone. He says, “I am the father.” So how can Krsna be foreign? It is a mental concoction. They say Krsna is Indian or Krsna is worshiped by the Hindus and therefore He is one of the Hindu Gods; and they think that Krsna is saying, “Yes, I am the Hindu God. Yes, I am Indian.” But He is like the sun. Why American sun or Indian? Nothing is American or Indian; that is all artificial.
“This planet belongs to the humans, that’s all.” This is your communism. This present communism is defective because the Russians say that Russia is for the Russians or China is for the Chinese. Why not for others? Just think in terms of human communism! Why human communism? Living being communism! If you take this world as belonging to human society, that is defective. It belongs to everyone! It belongs to the tree community; it belongs to the beast community. They also have a right to live. Why should you cut the trees? Why should you send the bulls to the slaughterhouse? This is injustice. How can you gain justice by yourself doing injustice? We have no Krsna consciousness. We do not know that Krsna is our original father and that we are all His sons. The tree is my brother, the ant is my brother, the bull is my brother. The American is my brother, the Indian is my brother, the Chinese is my brother. Therefore, we have to develop Krsna consciousness. We talk all this nonsense of universal brotherhood and United Nations—all nonsense. Either you acknowledge the Father, or else you have no idea of how to realize brotherhood or humanity. Therefore, they are talking for years and years. They are the same fools. Can’t you see the U.N.? They have headquarters in New York. They are simply talking nonsense, that’s all. That is their business. So unless there is full Krsna consciousness, there cannot be any improvement of the world condition.
Krsna says that you have to develop your attachment for Him. Begin at the beginning, but you can do it; it is not artificial. I have a few sincere students here, just developing; they are not complete, but they are developing Krsna-attachment. Otherwise, why should they waste their time chanting Hare Krsna? They are doing it, and it can be done. You can develop love for anything if you try for it. But Krsna development is very natural. Because Krsna is not a thing belonging to a particular type of religion or sect. Krsna claims, “I belong to everyone.” Therefore originally, we are all connected with Krsna; but we have simply forgotten. This process of chanting is to evoke your remembrance of Krsna. It is not that we are inducting something artificially into you. No, Krsna is already connected with you, but you have forgotten. And we are trying to give you the process for reviving your original consciousness. So you can come to our temple; that is the beginning. You can see Krsna or Krsna’s devotees, and you can chant Hare Krsna.
Krsna is not different from His name because He is absolute. He is nondifferent from His words. The name Krsna and the person Krsna are not different. Because everything is Krsna.
Oneness, the philosophy of monism or pantheism, is imperfect. When that oneness comes in understanding Krsna, that is perfection. If Krsna is the Supreme Absolute Truth from whom everything is emanating, then everything is Krsna. Just as you have a gold mine and are preparing so many golden utensils and ornaments and many other things. But they are all gold because the original is gold. So you may name it “earring,” but you have to add “gold”—golden earring. You may name it “necklace,” but it is gold, because originally it came from the gold mine. Similarly, originally, everything is coming from Krsna.
If He is Supreme, the Absolute Truth, then nothing is different from Him. Just as, whether you say earring or necklace or bangle or wristwatch, these are all made of gold, and so they are gold. But, at the same time, you cannot say that this is all gold—you must say, “This is a gold necklace. This is a gold earring.” The mayavadi, or impersonalist, will say that everything is Brahman. But “everything is Brahman” is not right.
This is very nicely explained in the Gita, in the Thirteenth Chapter: “I am expanded all over. That is My impersonal feature.” Krsna is everywhere in His impersonal feature, but still He is a person. The Mayavadi philosopher thinks that if Krsna has become everything, then where is the possibility of Krsna here, apart? This is complete rascaldom because it is thinking in a material way. There is no spiritual knowledge.
In the material way, suppose you take a piece of paper and tear it into particles and throw it all over. The original paper has no existence. This is material. But we get information from the Vedas that the Absolute Truth is so perfect that if you take away the whole, still the whole remains. One minus one equals one. The material way of thinking is one minus one equals zero; but spiritually it is not like that. Spiritually, one minus one equals one, and one plus one equals one also.
Krsna is everything. The Mayavadis, the impersonalists, see our Deities here and say, “Oh, they have installed some wooden forms, and they are worshiping them as God.” But one who knows Krsna science understands that Krsna is everything and therefore can appear in everything. With electricity, the current is everywhere along the line, so wherever you touch you will feel it. Similarly, the Krsna current in His impersonal form is everywhere, and it is the technician who knows how to use the force. Before we have a phone installed, we have a telephone conversation, and we simply inform the person, before we even talk money, that he should come immediately to find out where the connection can be made. And he comes out and does his work; and we do not notice, because he knows the technique. So, one must know how to connect with Krsna. Krsna is everywhere—this is Krsna consciousness. But one must know how he can derive Krsna from the features of Krsna’s form in wood or iron or metal.
You have to learn how to contact Krsna everywhere in everything. That is explained in the system of yoga. Krsna consciousness is also yoga, the perfect yoga, the highest of all yogic systems. A yogi may come, and we can challenge him, saying that this is the topmost yoga system, though at the same time it is very simple. You don’t have to exercise your body over a period of weeks before you feel some power. But in Krsna consciousness you won’t feel tired. All of our students are simply anxious to be overloaded with work in Krsna consciousness. “Prabhupada, what can I do?” And they are actually doing it. In the material world, if you work for some time you’ll feel weak.
Of course, I am not exercising myself. I am an old man of seventy-two years. I was ill, I went back to India; but I want to work. Actually, I could retire from all these activities, but as far as I can, I want to work; I want to learn day and night. At night I will work with the dictaphone, and I am sorry if I cannot work. This is Krsna consciousness. One must be very anxious to work. It is not an idle society. No, we have sufficient engagements: editing papers, selling papers.
Simply find out how Krsna conscious you can be. If you want to be really at peace, if you want to be happy, then develop Krsna consciousness. And the beginning is to develop attachment for Krsna. The process which we have prescribed is chanting and dancing before the Deities, and offering prasadam, spiritual food. This will make you more Krsna conscious.
The yoga system as it is described in the Bhagavad-gita is different from the bogus yoga system which is going on in the West these days. The yoga systems which have been introduced into the West by so-called yogis are not bona fide. Yoga is difficult: the first thing is to control the senses. That is the position of the yogi: he is not allowed to indulge in sex life. If you indulge in intoxication, if you indulge in meat-eating, and if you indulge in gambling and sporting—all nonsense—you cannot at the same time become a yogi. I was astonished when a yogi came here, having advertised in India that you can be a yogi even though you may be addicted to drinking. This is not the yoga system. This is not standard. You can call it yoga, but it is not the standard yoga system.
The yoga system is especially difficult for this age. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam we understand that yoga means to concentrate one’s attention on the Superself, Visnu. He is situated in your heart. And, in order to concentrate your attention, you have to control the senses. The senses are working just like infuriated horses. If you cannot control the horses of your carriage, it will be dangerous. Just imagine that you are seated in a carriage and your horses are so furious that they are dragging you to hell. Then what is your position? The yoga system means to control these senses. The senses are also compared to serpents: The serpent does not know who is its friend and who is its enemy. It bites anyone. And, as soon as the serpent bites, the result is death. Similarly, if the uncontrolled senses work in their own way, then you should know that you are in a dangerous position.
It has been said that when one becomes too sensual, he loses his temper, he loses his identity, he forgets himself. Infuriated by the senses, a man will attack even his children, even his daughter. Therefore, for those who are advancing in spiritual life—not only for them but for everyone—the sastras, scriptures, say that you should not sit in a secluded place even with your mother, even with your daughter or your sister. Why? Because the senses are so strong that if they become infuriated, you will forget whether she’s mother, sister, or daughter.
You may say that this may be true only for some foolish persons, but sastra says no—you should not sit in a secluded place even with your mother, sister or daughter, because the senses are so strong that even though you may be very moral, you may still be attracted by sex.
Our position in this world, our suffering in this world, is due to the body. This body is the cause of all miseries, and the ultimate goal of life should be to get out of this material body and be situated in the spiritual body. This is a foreign atmosphere. The soul is free spiritually, but it has been conditioned by this material atmosphere. And the body is of this matter.
A human being is fit to inquire as to whether he is this body or something else. This can be understood very easily. I am not this body, because at the time of death the body remains—although everyone cries, “Oh, the poor man is gone!” The man is lying there. Why do you say he is gone? He is lying there! At that time, we can come to our senses: the body is not the man. The real man is gone. The childhood body is changed to the youthful body, and the childhood body is gone. Similarly, when the boyhood body is gone, you’ll have to accept a body like mine, an old man’s body. The body is changing. Not only year after year, but at every second the body is changing. Still, you are situated there. This is very simple to understand. And because the body is there, we are suffering. Everyone is trying to get out of suffering, in any field of action; in the economic field, in the political field, or any field of activity, social or national, everyone is trying to get out of misery. There is no other activity. Either nationally or socially, individually or collectively, we are all suffering; and this suffering is due to the body.
Yoga means to inquire. What am I? If I am not this body, then what am I? I am pure soul. Now, if my bodily activities or sensual activities are incorrect, I will not be able to understand myself—what I am—and the Bhagavad-gita says that we are all grand fools. Why fools? Since we have this body, we are fools. If somebody invites you to come to his apartment but you know it is full of danger, do you think you would like to go there? “Oh no,” you will say, “I am not going there. If it is full of danger, why shall I go?” Similarly, don’t you think that the body is full of danger? Then, why are you going there, taking repeated birth? When you are flying in a plane, you are always fearful that there may be a crash. And what is this crashing? It is due to the body. The soul cannot be affected by crashes. But you are always afraid.
The soul is ever-existing, and the body will not exist. And because you are existing and the soul has accepted the nonexisting body, therefore you suffer.
The problem, then, is how to get out, just as you try to get out of a fever. The fevered condition is not your permanent life. Permanent life is enjoyment, but due to the fever you cannot enjoy life. When you are sick you cannot go out; you have to rest and take so many medicines and formulas. But we don’t want that—“Why should I be a sick person?” But you are diseased. Similarly, we should always know that this bodily conditional stage of the pure soul is a diseased condition. And anyone who does not know that he is suffering from disease is a fool. He is Fool Number One.
The sastra says, everyone is born a fool: because he has this body, therefore he was born a fool. No being, either American or Indian, cat or dog, is free from this. You have come to disease, that’s all. If you feel, “I am an American,” that is a kind of disease; if you feel, “I am an Indian,” that is also a disease; if you feel, “I am a cat,” that is a disease. You are not a cat, you are not a dog, you are not Indian, you are not fair, you are not black. You are your soul—that is your identity! And one who does not understand this truth, that “I am pure soul,” is defeated in all his activities.
Lord Jesus Christ taught like that: If you lose your soul and gain the whole world, what do you gain? People do not know what they are, and yet they work just like madmen. Just see, all these people are working, and they are madmen. They are not Americans or Indians, Germans or Japanese. They are nothing of the kind. They have been given a chance to come to this naughty place, this Earth; and so, being born in a particular place, they have a particular kind of body—and they are mad after it.
The Bhagavad-gita says that just as our outer garments are changed, so this body is changed. Yoga means the process of getting out of this material embodiment. Just as you are repeating changes of dress, so you are repeating birth and death, and this is the cause of your miseries. If you do not understand this, then all your activities end in defeat.
Yoga means to get out of this embodiment, and it means to know oneself. This body is born of the parents. Similarly, as pure soul, you are also the source of its birth. We do not mean birth beginning historically from a certain day and ending on a certain day. No; the soul is not like that—it has no beginning, and it has no end. But in the Bhagavad-gita it is said that the soul is part and parcel of God. God is eternal, God is full of joy and bliss. The position of the Absolute Person, the Godhead, is that He is full of bliss, eternal, and full of knowledge. And, because we are also part and parcel of the Supreme, we have partial blissfulness and eternality, and we are full of knowledge, according to our infinitesimal size.
The human beings are understood to be the most intelligent of all living creatures, but they are misusing their intelligence. How? They are misusing their intelligence by devoting it to the animal propensities. These animal propensities are eating, sleeping, mating and fearing. You can analyze the trend of modern civilization: everyone is busy with these four principles of animal life. They are sleeping and creating some cushions for comfortable sleep. They are creating palatable dishes for the eating propensity. They are exciting sex very nicely, for the mating necessity. And they are defending their country with so many atom bombs—that is the fear propensity.
But these symptoms you will find among the animals. They are also sleeping according to their own ways, and they are defending. They may not have the atom bomb, but they have some way of defending. You can kill your enemy, or he can kill you, but there is actually no defense. You cannot defend yourself; wherever you drop the bomb, it will hurt you, due to nuclear radiation. So this is not the solution of your problems. The solution of your problems is to get out of the conditioned state of life. That is called yoga—to link yourself to the Supreme.
There is a Supreme. This material creation is so nice—don’t you think there is a friend behind it? The sky is so beautiful, the foodstuff is being produced, the moon is rising in due course, the sun is rising in due course, supplying heat for your health, supplying heat to the planetary systems. Everything is arranged very nicely; and yet the fools say there is no brain behind it, but it is all happening automatically.
The fact is that there is God, Krsna, and we are all parts and parcels of Krsna. We have been conditioned in some way or other in this material atmosphere. But now we have this human form of life, and so we have to get out of the entanglement. But getting out is not possible. You cannot get out of the entanglement of the material body unless you develop your Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is not artificial—don’t think that. This is the greatest necessity of the human being. Krsna consciousness, God consciousness, is there within you. Don’t you find, when there is a kirtana performance, that the more innocent a person is, the sooner he begins? Immediately, the child begins to clap, begins to dance. This is within him; and it is very simple, this Krsna consciousness.
So, unless you develop Krsna consciousness, there is no rescue from the entanglement of conditioned life. This you have to understand. This is not some sentiment. No, it is a great science. You have to understand it nicely. Then the human form of life will be successful, and otherwise it is defeated. You may become a very great nation, but that is not the solution of the problem of life.
By the grace of Krsna, I am able to serve you with my life’s energy. I left the United States in 1967 in poor health; but life and death—everything—depends on Krsna. I thought, “Let me go back to Vrndavana, because Vrndavana is a sanctified place where Krsna consciousness is very strong.” I thought that I might go there and die in Krsna consciousness. Of course, if you are always in the atmosphere of Krsna consciousness, then here also you can have Vrndavana. Vrndavana is not a particular place that is called Vrndavana. Krsna says, “It is not that I live in the Kingdom of God, Vaikuntha; nor is it that I live in the heart of the yogi.” The yogi wants to find out where Krsna is within the heart. But Krsna says, “I am not in the abode in the spiritual sky, nor am I in the heart of the yogi.” Then where are You? Krsna says, “I stay where My pure devotees are chanting My glories.” That is Vrndavana.
So, if that is Vrndavana, then I am there. There is no difference. Wherever there is electric light, there is electricity. It is naturally understood. Similarly, wherever there is Krsna consciousness, it is Vrndavana. We can create Vrndavana by the mercy of Krsna, if we chant Hare Krsna. Perfect this Krsna consciousness; try to understand the philosophy behind it. It is a science, not a bluff. We can speak from any angle of vision.
Krsna consciousness is the great necessity of human society. Learn it and appreciate it, comprehend it and assimilate it—and teach it. It is very simple. If you offenselessly chant Hare Krsna, everything will be revealed from within because Krsna is sitting within you. If you are strong and have faith and conviction in Krsna, as well as in the spiritual master, the transparent via medium to Krsna, then Krsna is there. The Vedas say that if you have implicit faith in God and implicit faith in your bona fide guru, who teaches you Krsna consciousness, then the result will be that all the Vedic scriptures will be revealed authoritatively.
The process is spiritual; it does not require any material qualifications. The speculators who are not realized souls are covered in delusion and are simply wasting their time. Whatever they may do in their official class, they remain the same foolish rascals. But our Krsna conscious students will feel a change in their lives, a change in happiness, and a change in youth, also. This is reality.
I shall request you, my dear young girls and boys, to take Krsna consciousness very seriously, and you will be happy—your life will be perfected. It will be the sublime addition to your life. It is not a bluff. We have not come here to collect some money. Money is supplied by Krsna. I am going back and forth to India—not only I, but my students as well. For a rich man there would be many expenditures; it would cost ten thousand dollars or such trips. But our business is Krsna, and He will supply. I do not know where the money comes from, but Krsna supplies. In Krsna consciousness, you will be happy. You are the young generation; you are the flower of your country and society. practice this most sublime system, Krsna consciousness. Be happy and make others happy. This is the real mission of life.
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