BHAGAVADGITA CLASSES EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY AT 6PM

Thu

24

Nov

2011

Perception of Time (interview with Craig MacKie)

The following is an interview between Craig MacKie(I), a sociologist from Concordia university and Purujit Dasa(P), a devotee of Krsna about how time is viewed upon from the perspective of the Vedic civilization. Craig and Purujit met earlier this year and the interview has been recorded. You can listen to it at the link below.

 

http://www.archive.org/details/PerceptionOfTimeInterviewHareKrsna

 

 

I: Okay, so, ah, first, um, do you mind if I ask you some questions about your perception of time and your opinions about the end of time? Or whether or not you believe in it?

P: …the second part of the question?

I: Ummm, whether the…okay, so…about your perception of time? So how you see it? And then your opinions about the end of time, whether you believe in the end of time or not, why or why not, those kind of questions.

P: Well, see we don’t follow what is called the ascending process of acquiring knowledge. Ascending means by your limited mind and so on, and so on. We accept the Vedic authority, the Vedas, you know? The spiritual master and so on and so on and we are acquiring knowledge by the descending process, the knowledge is already perfect and it descends through a disciplic line so we don’t actually accept things like “my individual perception” or we don’t accept them as perfect, you see? So, what we accept as the time…there are two types of time. One time is eternal, the time is eternal, it’s coming from Krishna, from the Supreme Absolute Truth and the other time is, that’s the absolute time, the absolute time…the other time is the relative time. Relative time is related to our body, you know? Like in the body whatever you perceive as past, present, future is because we are in the body. As soon as you become liberated from the bodily conception there is no past, present, future and this is the beginning of spiritual realization to understand that you are not this body. So Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, He says that dehino smin yatha dehe kaumara yauvana jara tatha dehantara praptih dhiras tatra namuhyanti” He says that as you had a body of a small boy in the beginning, then later on you had a body of a teenager now you have a grown-up body, similarly you will have an old body. The body changes but you, the observer of the changes, you don’t change. Your body changes, your mind changes, your intelligence changes, but you, the pure you, behind all these coverings, you know, we have different coverings, the body conception, you know? People think I’m the body, man, woman, ugly, beautiful, American, Canadian, this is illusion. Similarly, a little bit more elevated, mental speculators, intellectuals, they identify with the mind, mental. 

 

I: Totally..

P: But we’re not that, we’re none of that because we can observe the changes…

I: Yeah.

P: So this is called the living principle in the body, that’s what we are.

I: Okay.

P: That is our true identity. And that is eternal.

I: Now, and, ah and just as, as an aside to that, are…

P: Mmm hmm?

I: Is that distinct? Like is it a, is it a singular thing? Or is it part of a more significant thing? Like, I mean, for me ah I think of my body as individual but I also think of the observer within me like, like this this kind of…thinking subject, as…as singular even, even despite that…but for me also when I communicate as an observer with like other people and I and I interact with other subjects we make one another, so in a certain sense we’re not just one, we’re all, we’re, we’re all that we experience, we’re all that we…that ahhh…like, like, ah I guess I do, I think of it being both individual and multiple ah, at the same time, the, the observer, the true essence that you’re speaking about, is that, is that a singular thing or is it connected to something wider?

P: It is one and different at the same time.

I: Okay, okay, so then we’re, we’re sort of on the same page there.

P: Yes, um, we are … first we have to understand the singular.

I: Okay…

P: You know? Because then we can understand the nature of the absolute which includes everything. So the singular, this is what I would like to point that this not a belief, see, when people speak of the soul its we have no exp…especially in the materialistic society we have no experience of someone speaking about the soul and it’s not based on like a belief…

I: Mmm Hmm…

P:  or just like ‘My Bible says…’ or ‘My this and that says and that’s it…’

I: Yeah. 

P: So its not like that. The Bhagavad-gita explains scientifically as as I explained, you had the body of a small boy, teenager, these are different forms.

I: Mmm hmm.

P: But, you are not changing.

I: Okay, okay…

P: You see?

I: Yeah.

P: So…

I: So you have an eternal principle behind…

P: Exactly, exactly, so why would you…see the body of a small boy is no longer here.

I: Yeah.

P: Its dead and gone, all the cells are changed, everything, the material elements that were there in your childhood body are, are gone.

I: Okay.

P: So the body is dead, the body of a small boy is dead, you have a different body, but you are still here, you can remember when I was a small boy I was doing this and that, this and that…

I: Yeah.

P: The observer stays.

I: Yeah.

P: So, why would you cease to exist with the old body?

I: Right.

P: that’s how we challenge…

I: And ah, and is that how reincarnation basically works?

P: Exactly.

I: Okay, so, now I just want to establish…you’re Hare Krishna? Or…

P: Hare Krishna.

I: Hare Krishna. I actually knew…nothing about (laughter) about your beliefs…

P: Okay.

I: Until after we met today…and

P: That’s pefect! Because you’re not biased.(laughter)

I: I ran..Well, very, very ever so slightly…I did look up ah on Google I re…I typed typed in Hare Krishna and Time and so I looked I tried to look at like the difference and similarities, so, correct me if I’m wrong…

P: Sure.

I: This is the…the understanding I got in about 15 minutes.

P: Sure, sure, go ahead.

I: Um…time is, is a cycle that goes through several smaller cycles, which are called Yuga?

P: Yes! Yes, yes.

I: Okay, and, there’s four of those and they, and they, they cycle and then you, when you hit the end of the four you get…there’s a whole other cycle…

P: Yes.

I: Where all the cycles begin again.

P: Exactly, yes.

I: So that moment at the end is that, would be that ah you refer to that as the Kali Yuga.

P: Yes…

I: Okay, okay, great, so actually, there’s a lot of…it’s, it’s amazing to me how, how similar these ideas are for me, when you’re talking about the absolute and the individual, one of my favourite philosophers is Hegel and those are the terms he uses (laugh) too and they’re actually what you were describing is very similar to the way he uses them, so, okay, I want to, I want to ask you more about that, um…

P: I didn’t, I didn’t finish the…

I: Oh! Please,  fin… please go on.

P: The relative time comes into place when ah the soul starts to identify with the body…

I: Okay.

P: You know? That’s where the past, present, future comes into place, otherwise in the liberated platform the time is there, but there’s no past, present and future.

I: Okay.

P: Because there’s eternity.

I: And do these coincide? Are these basically the same thing? Or is it…is it distinct? Like, because I’d imagine when you get out of the cycle of reincarnation you go to the principle of the absolute where you’re beyond past, present and future

P: Yes

I: Right?

P: that’s what I’m talking about…

I: Is it a different space? Or a different place? Or a different concept than the cycle of, of like, do they kind of like, are they on top of one another? Are they the same thing? Are they in different places? When you imagine them I guess…

P: They’re…the material world is coming from the spiritual world so it’s like a perverted reflection…

I: Okay.

P: Whatever is here in the material world is present in the absolute but in the absolute it’s not limited…

I: Okay…

P: You know? So here we have a body, so in the spiritual world there’s also a form, the soul has a form, but that form is not ah subjected to death and birth and old age and disease…

I: Right…And I guess you wouldn’t even be aware of time at that point…

P: There is…there is time, there is time.

I: There is time? Oh…

P: But that time is transcendental.

I: Okay, okay, okay.

P: Because, see, if there there’s no time in the absolute platform, then the absolute is limited…

I: Right…okay.

P: You understand?

I: Yeah, yeah.

P: So there is time, but that time is different.

I: It’s limitless time.

P: It’s limitless time…

I: Right, okay.

P: Its limitless time, but there is time, there are things going on…

I: Yeah.

P: It’s not…it’s not void. It’s not simply, see many people think that the absolute is, is void…is formless, is individuality-less and so many, so many but that’s not a correct understanding of the absolute…

I: Right.

P: You know? The absolute…yes, there is denial of the material but there are things beyond material.

I: Right, right.

P: There are things which are transcendental.

I: Now, okay, so this, for me when I think of the, the classic kind-of secular end of time story its environmentalism right now

P: Mmm hmm.

I: Um, so, the idea that we could reach planetary extinction in terms of kind of our limited view is sort of like the end of, the end of time, the en…or at the very least the end of history, right?

P: Mmm hmm.

I: If…if the uni…earth was to be destroyed, ah, if we did enough environmental damage that we went extinct as a species, would that change the cycle of reincarnation? Like, what, what would happen at that point do you imagine?

P: Well, first point is that we don’t accept that the species can be extinct.

I: Okay.

P: Second point is that there’s life on other planets.

I: Okay.

P: So, its going on like that, changing, whatever is going on here even suppose for the arguments sake, even the species would be extinct…we would just go to another planet.

I: Right, okay, that’s what I was wondering about basically, like, if we were bounded to this sphere or..

P: Yes…

I: Or if there was like…

P: Yes, but, the environment, we don’t accept the theory that man can destroy the nature

I: Right

P: We actually say that the nature is an agent of Krishna, of the Supreme God.

I: Okay

P: And she’s simply withdrawing her supplies when people become sinful…

I: Okay

P: She just withdraws the supplies but when people are performing yajnas, sacrifices, she gives everything…

I: Okay, okay, so as long as we’re, we’re basically like respectful and we’re, we’re doing…doing the prop…the right actions…

P: Yes, then the nature supplies

I: Then nature supplies, okay…

P: Like the present catastrophes, whatever, the environmental crisis, it’s not made by humans…

I: Okay…

P: It’s a punishment by the agents of the material nature, it’s a punishment, there are personalities behind these things.

I: So do you think that, that in that sense, that if we were do you think that some of the, the right actions then are, would be representative of, or would be represented as like the kind of, of envir…like recycling and, and something like that, right, would that be an expression of right action or is right action only in relationship to the diety, um, and that and the proper like relationship, ritual relationship I guess…

P: Yes, in the Srimad Bhagavatam it is stated that, that’s our, one of our the main scriptures of transcendental realization it is stated that if you water the root of a tree that automatically all the branches and leaves are nourished, you don’t have to go separately and water every single leaf and branch, you know? You focus on the essence, you water the root, it’s one thing, it seems limited, but actually that’s how it works, you water the root, the tree will be nicely nourished. If you water different branches and leaves you try to do this and that da da da da da da, you forget the root, the tree will dry out so similarly if you understand the essence of everything, if you understand the absolute then you no longer have to worry about the environment, about this, about religion, about…the, the, the sociology, culture, because you understand the essence, you understand everything…

I: Right.

P: So, the problem is because people are sectarian and they don’t inquire about the absolute, they get stuck in these different problems…

I: Right

P: And they can’t solve them…

I: Okay, cool, and ah, are you…would you like to add anything, um, before I ask you another question?

P: That’s, that’s it.

I: Okay, okay, great…this is wonderful by the way, thank you so much I really appreciate this…

P: Okay, I enjoy it myself.

I: Okay, okay, so that, that makes me interested in the…coming back to this idea of right action and, and over time…

P: Mmm hmm.

I: Umm for me the, the Marxist story is a story um is, is an attempted redemption story right? Except that for them right action is basically violence. Right? So…the, the bourgeoisie, the proletariat, they, they come in a violence uprising which is, is right action and this will be the moment that brings about redemption and finally history will end and everybody lives in the socialist utopia. Right?

P: Okay.

I: So…it seems like your, you have a similar narrative in terms of a redemption story where if you have right action you are able to, to go toward ah, the absolute.

P: Yes, yes.

I: Umm…which is also, actually, like, Marx took the idea from Hegel about like the way that time progresses and that was actually the, his argument too. Is that at the end of…wh…for him it was a process of going through knowledge where you would reach the absolute at the end, which was actually to understand the self, um…

P: Mmm hmm.

I: So, okay, in, in the context of redemption if it, if it occurs over time, ah, relative time, um does it have a starting point? Like, like, do you have a moment where you emerge I guess? And then you have to start the process of redemption which would theoretically be over several ah reincarnations, right?

P: Merge? You mean what?

I: Like ah, I’m thinking is it, is it…is it possible at the beginning of, say, after the Kali Yuga and, and you have the, the next cycle beginning, would you have the new observer, or a new subject emerge that would begin their process of redemption through reincarnations? Or does it always come from, from before that somehow?

P: The soul is eternal.

I: So it’s, it’s that’s almost like a principle of the absolute…

P: Yes…

I:  It’s, it’s like…so is it a…

P: The soul is the minute absolute but then there’s the Supreme Soul which is God, Krishna…and  the fall down, like in the beginning we all have been in the transcendental dimension with Krishna, in the absolute world…

I: At the very…the ultimate beginning, like the very, very…

P: Ultimate beginning, but because, see, if I take this chair you know, and move it here (moves chair) it will stay here for eternity.

I: Yeah

P: If I put you here and I put you here, you probably going to protest…after a while (interviewer laughs) you gonna go out and whatever. This is the difference between a, a conscious entity and unconscious, like a matter…

I: Yes.

P: Spirit and matter.

I: Yes.

P: Spirit is dynamic, matter is static.

I: Yeah.

P: So, the spirit has free will and that will nev…and that is never taken from him.

I: Okay.

P: Because we have free will although in the spiritual everything is perfect, everything is absolute…because we have free will we have a choice to decide to become relative.

I: Okay.

P: And when that happens, ah, we’re put into this world where we have an opportunity to enjoy  separately from the absolute. Its just like a finger, you know? The finger supplies the food to the stomach and everything is nice, but when the finger decides, “I don’t want supply to the stomach…I want to enjoy directly.” There’s frustration and that’s this material world.

I: Okay.

P: so that’s how the reincarnation cycle begins, you know, he’s put into the material world and he’s trying to fulfill that hallucination of being the lord and master, you know? You can see it, see it everywhere, everyone is trying to be the master, no one, no one wants to be the servant…and there’s controlling, even in marriage, in friendship, everyone’s trying to…

I: Absolutely.

P:  There’s competition

I: I agree.

P: So when the jiva, when the soul understand that ‘actually I’m not the master’ when he gets smashed by the sufferings in the material world then he starts his journey back home, back to Godhead.

I: Okay, so, so there would be never, now…why would a, why would a soul that has achieved the absolute, like, that has gone through their cycles of reincarnation to the point where they…is it, is it…what’s the motivation to come back? Is, like, would there be, ever be a point where everyone would have achieved the end of their reincarnation and…

P: Yes.

I: And all ascended into the absolute.

P: Yes, yes because that’s our constitutional position, the soul has three main qualities. It’s eternal, full of knowledge and full of blissfulness.

I: Okay.

P: So the eternity aspect would try to look for it, you know? in the material world. Would try to not die…

I: Yeah, yeah, oh absolutely.

P: We don’t want to die, no one wants to die. Why?

I: Yeah.

P: See? Why, you know, why we don’t want to die if we’re just this material body why we have such a big problem with death, you know? No one wants to die. I don’t want to die. That’s why we go to school, we get diploma, we work, so we can, you know, feed the body so we don’t die.

I: Yes.

P: But no one is asking that, “If I don’t want to die, why do we have to die?”

I: Yeah.

 P: See? This is a big contradiction. So the Vedas explain that because we are eternal, that’s why we don’t want to die. Another aspect is that we’re full of knowledge. We already know everything but due to the identification with the body we’re covered by ignorance. Body means ignorance. So that’s why we’re always curious about things, that’s why we’re always ah try to know, you know, read and even people who don’t read they, they turn on the tv and get the, the info…

I: Yeah.

P: Like that. And then the third one is blissfulness. Everyone wants pleasure which does not end.

I: Right, right, right, right, right.

P: You know?  So because we’re constitutionally like this we have to come back ultimately.

I: Okay.

P: We looking for it already. Everyone is already Krishna conscious. Krishna conscious because Krishna is the embodiment of all these aspects unlimitedly and ever-expan…ah it ever-expands in Him.

I: Right.

P: So we’re bound to, to find it ultimately.

I: Right, because we’re all already perfect.

P: We’re already perfect.

I: We just don’t realize it, right?

P: Exactly. We have forgotten.

I: So is that…would that be awakening from Samsara? Is that…is, is, is that the correct use of the term.

P: Yes, yes. Samsara means the cycle of birth and death, yes.

I: See that, and that I, I’ve always been really fascinated by, the um, ahhh in Marxism they have, ah false consciousness ah is, is what they call it. That you, you achieve it through class consciousness. So (laughs)

P: Okay.

I: So by becoming aware of your class position its supposed to give you the correct orientation toward violence, right? Umm

P: Mmm hmm.

I: But, but it seems that there’s so many ummm…

P: Well you cannot understand the class because, see, people think that if I work for my community, if I work for my family, I’m not selfish…

I: mmm

P: But no! You are selfish. You simply extend your selfishness and you remain limited. You know, people they are very much proud that I’m doing so much for the society, you know, I feed the poor and this and that but at the same time they’re killing the poor animals.

I: Right.

P: So, he’s, he’s just working for his team, you know, the human species.

I: Yeah, yeah.

P: So it’s not really …when you speak of class the ah communist, what it…they actually have a good ideal but it’s not perfect because that class is, is not a class. What, what the ideal of the class it includes everyone, everything

I: Yeah.

P: And that is God.

I: Yeah.

P: God means the absolute.

I: So it is when you expand it to the next level, to animals, to nature and then you keep expanding outward, you have to hit the universal right?

P: Exactly, exactly, and if you don’t achieve it, it’s not…real class. You know?

I: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Okay, I’m just gonna check here. Okay, so then we’ve, we’ve come to 20 minutes, um, do you want to, please, please feel free to expand on any of this that you want to, or if there’s anything that you feel that’s been omitted…um…anything that you want to say on this topic, like, like…or any questions you want to ask me.

P: Ummmm…well there are many things I could say but ah I suppose…ummm…people don’t realize what is the aim of things, they just do and even in religion, they don’t really understand what is the purpose of religion or belief or faith and the purpose is to understand God, the absolute. And if you get stuck on rituals on this and that then there’s gonna be problems and  arguments and so many other things, so I find this a very fundamental principle you know? And I was always studying at school, always, before I joined the temple and basically decided to completely reject the society with all the concepts; with the whole culture I rejected everything. I was I have noticed this, the people they’re trying to work on something but they missing the purpose.

I: Mmm.

P: You know? Like they expand, like you have many zeros, you know, but if you put that one, then you have one million and so on, so on, so on

I: Yeah

P: but if you miss the one on the million you can have an unlimited number of zeros, its still zero

(interviewer laughing)

I: Yeah, yeah.

P: You know? So they’re trying to expand on the illusory consciousness…very nicely…okay, wonderful (claps) bravo. Technically the science is very advanced and so on, and so on, you’re going deeper into the subject matter, but, you’re, your base is not there.

I: Yeah

P: So ultimately it’s useless.

I: Yeah

P: You know? People think that like this is like materialism, you know? They think that the more knowledge you have the more open-minded you are…

I: Yeah.

P: You know?  Well, that’s not, that’s not the case.

I: Yeah.

P: If, if you understand the essence, it might be one thing, but you understand everything.

I: Yeah.

P: That’s the real open-mindedness.

I: Great. Yeah, I, I concur. It’s actually funny for me how, when you refer to it as the absolute, because it’s within the gamete of my, of the philosopher that basically, like, if there’s anybody in terms of sort of my existential life that I really identify with it’s Hegel and he was, he was a faithful person, like he was Christian, but he had a very heterodox, you know, weird interpretation of Christianity,

P: Okay

I: And, and it was about the absolute, and it was about cycles and it much more resembled almost like a reincarnation,  I mean he called it dialectics or whatever, but these are all semantics, right?

P: Yeah.

I: Like these words we’re putting on top of things. But for me as a result of my own personal experiences the word the absolute when you say that it’s just like ‘okay, yeah, that makes perfect sense, it’s like Hegel.” Right? (Laughs)

P: Yeah, okay, by absolute we mean everything what is within our experience and everything what is beyond our experience.

I: Yeah and um and that would be it for him too, like, the dialectic is about a process of…you have, you have a moment a a a moment of experience and it becomes countered by what you don’t know, by some kind of fundamental negation and then that is that is what brings us together to become subjects so it’s a…it’s kind of like um the idea relative and absolute time would be perfectly feasible for him, that would actually be something I think that he would really identify with because if, if you have an absolute you must necessarily a non-absolute and if you have a non-absolute vice versa, right? And their definitions require one another to be a whole thing.

P: Well, we say that the non-absolute is part of the absolute.

I: Yeah and, exactly, their both…but, but at the same time it’s almost as if we need, we always a negation in order to, to uumm, to experience, like, there’s something fundamental about…

P: That’s in the relative platform.

I: Yeah, yeah, but also I mean like I think it would be difficult for a totally, like, a total synthesis of these, these ideas but ah but it, it ah its very ah its very its, its amazing to me how comfortable I am with, with like that ahhh formulation, I guess.

P: Okay, okay,

I: It’s like ah, it’s really neat.

P:  Its… because we’ve an experience of individuality and personality and the absolute must have a personality and a individuality like you have your taste, your things you like, things you don’t like, so that aspect must be in the absolute also present, there’s nothing less in the absolute, as long as there’s something less, it’s not absolute anymore

I: Yeah, yeah.

P: So we say that ah the absolute is a tra…has a transcendental personality and that’s Krishna

I: Right

P: Krishna, the word is non-sectarian, means all-attractive.

I: Okay

P: Attractive in all different ways. In the material world if someone is rich he’s attractive, is if he’s famous, if he’s wealthy, ahh…sorry, if he’s strong, if he’s renounced and the fifth one…beautiful

I: Okay

P:  So Krishna has all these aspects unlimitedly.

I: Right

P: Unlimitedly and simultaneously.

I: Yeah

P: So that makes him God

I: Yeah

P: You know? The people… there are different religions, Christianity and so on, so on, and they speak of Krishna, they speak of God, theSsupreme God, but they don’t have more information

I: Right

P: That information about …we all have propensity to love, you know?

I: mmm hmmm

P: So ultimately that propensity is meant for the absolute.

I: Right.

P: But if you don’t how God looks like, what is his likes, dislikes, and so, there’s no meaning of love…

I: Yeah.

P: There might be appreciation…okay, there’s something absolute

I: Yeah.

P: Some creator, whatever, but there’s no meaning of love.

I: Right.

P: Love means exchange, service.

I: Yeah.

P: Like you love a woman, so you bring her something, you bring her flowers, you bring her cake, whatever, whatever, nice clothes. Something. Some sort of service you have to do.

I: Yeah.

P: If you don’t do that there’s no relationship.

I: Right.

P: So, this is all explained in the Vedas that we actually have a personal relationship with the Absolute Personality.

I: Yeah.

P: With Krishna and we’re enganged in, the Hare Krishna movement, we’re engaged in direct service to Krishna…

I: Yeah.

P: We try to engage others and in this age um the, the process like you mentioned the the Yugas before. So for each Yuga the process is different.

I: Okay.

P: Because the qualification of people varies. In the Kali Yuga people are very much degraded…

I: Right.

P: So the method is very simple, you just chant Hare Krishna mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. That’s what I was doing on the guitar. And what is interesting about this mantra is that there’s actual proof of its transcendence.

I: I’ve, I’ve actually heard something about…around that like, like ah also I mean meditation in general but I I would imagine that that there’s also specific studies um the chant like the Hare Krishna chant, right?

P: Yes. The transcendence is experienced like we chant this mantra like I chant on the on these beads, you know? Every, every morning I chant 16 rounds is 800…sorry 108 beads

I: Okay

P: And I do, you know, like, every bead is one mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And I go around, this is considered one round.

I: Okay.

P: So I do 16 minimum every day.

I: Yeah.

P: That takes me like two hours, then we have a chanting in front of the altar, you know, ecstatic chanting and dancing: Hare Krishna! Again, an hour per day then I go out and I chant outside for two hours, the same mantra, the same melody.

I: Yeah.

P: If it’s a material vibration how come we’re able to do that? You know?

I: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

P: We challenge people that if you think that this is not transcendental, you think it it’s a material vibration, you take any material vibration, let’s say: Coca Cola, Coca Cola, take, you know, take mala like this, take beads like this and try to do that.

I: Yeah.

P: You know?

I: It wouldn’t yeah yeah yeah I don’t think if you were chanting Coca Cola it wouldn’t have any (laughing) effect.

P: You can’t.

I: Yeah.

P: That’s, and you, you actually, another thing is you derive a pleasure from it, a kind of a ecstasy and by that ecstasy our spiritual master Srila Prabhupada, he was able to convert in the 60s  people who are very much addicted to drugs and illicit sex and gambling and intoxication…

I: Mmm hmmm

P: Ah he converted them in pure Vaisnavas into pure Vaisnavas, in other words we don’t indulge  in drugs in sex, masturbation, gambling and meat-eating.

I: Right.

P: You know? So simply by experiencing a high taste we’re able to do like that in this contaminated age.

I: Yeah.

P: That’s another proof.

I:  So we’re in the year of the Kali Yuga right now.

P: We’re in the beginning.

I: We’re in the beginning of it, okay, okay, okay.

P: And this is called the golden age of Kali Yuga, we’re just celebrating, we’re just celebrating the arrival of the last incarnation of Krishna who, who comes as Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

I: Okay

P: He came 500 years ago and he started the, the Vedic knowledge is eternal, but, like I said, there’s different method, so Krishna Himself comes to introduce this Hare Krishna movement which is the representation of the old Vedic tradition for this age.

I: Okay.

P: And He started this, you know, ecstatic chanting and dancing on the street and feasting, we  do we actually our meditation is that we chant and dance for Krishna and we distribute food which has been offered to Krishna…

I: Okay.

P: Which is called Prasadam and that’s our means of how we are spreading the message.

I: And is…the cause I I used to go when I was at SFU

P: Mm hmmm

I: And I would go to like umm a Krishna group that would serve ah lunches by donation um and that actually helped me survive like for years (laughing) in school.

P: Okay, okay (laughing)

I: Would that be the same kind of idea?

P: Yes.

I: And so that food that I was eating was actually offered to Krishna.

P:  Yes.

I: Okay.

P: And that purifies the existence.

I: Great.

P: That purifies you from karma. We’re stuck in Samsara because we have karma, like you perform activities…people usually think that karma means something bad, you know?

I: Yeah.

P: But it’s also good.

I: Right, right, right, because you can do right action, right?

P: There’s reaction for it.

I: Yeah.

P: The point is not to do good action.

I: Yeah…okay.

P: See, like you can relate it to the environm…like the recycling and this and that, because the point is like why people are rich, why there’s so many varieties of situations,

I: Mmm

P: like you born in a rich family I’m born in a poor family he’s born famous, he’s the…there’s many varieties of situations, animals, you know? So why’s that? You know? Material…

I: Right and that’s, that’s the result of of processes of reincarnation

P: Of karma, of activities, right? You’re doing certain activities there’s reaction, you might now see the reaction now but there’s always reaction…

I: Right.

P: Your present body is the result of the activities you were doing in your previous lifetime, so if you do good things you have a nice set-up, if you do bad things you’re punished. (laughs)

I: Yeah, yeah.

P: So the point is not to um do right action because ultimately good or bad action binds you (pounds table) to take birth again, which is suffering.

I: Right.

P: So the transcendentalists they trying to get out from the reaction.

I: Okay.

P: You know? But our Krishna consciousness is the highest because it tells you, you can’t deny activity.

I: Okay.

P: That’s the, that’s the…

I: Right, right, right you must act, right?

P: The body is not active, it’s the soul, as soon as the soul leaves the body, the body is not active, it’s the soul the active principle so you can’t stop activity but what you can do is you can make the activity transcendental…

I: Okay.

P: That’s why we do everything we do we do in relationship with the absolute, with Krishna.

I: And that’s how you ah…almost, like, escape karma, right? Cause you’re not doing good karma, you’re not doing bad karma, it’s not a matter of right and wrong, 

P: It’s transcendental.

I:  It’s transcendental action.

P: Yes, that’s…

I: Okay,

P: That’s where you connect with Krishna, like we offer the food, there’s karma, not just ima…not just in the animal food I mean the the meat…

I: Right

P: But there’s also karma in the vegetarian food…

I: Right.

P: You know, Like people they think, you know, I’m a vegetarian I don’t support the animal slaughter, but there is soul in the plant also.

I: Right.

P: So, when you offer it to Krishna, Krishna is the creator of the law

I: Right

P: He’s able to absorb that karma.

I: Okay.

P: You know? In other words it comes back and that food becomes karma free.

I: Okay, okay, okay.

P: You understand?

I: Yeah, yeah, yeah, cool.

P: So in the similar way, we don’t reject the world.

I: Yeah.

P: People have a stereotypical understanding of spiritual, someone, monk

I: Is like acetic right?

P: Yeah.

I: You’re just like, no I’m God (unclear)

P: Yeah, yeah, that’s not the ultimate, that’s not gonna solve anything, you can deny it for some time but ultimately you come back to the society because it’s the nature of the soul to have association, to have pleasure and so on, so on, so what we do we don’t deny activity, we don’t deny even like technical things, like guitar, you know? Whatever, computer, we use computer. Everything, because we see it as part and parcel of the absolute.

I: Yeah.

P: The mat…what material means is actually a part and parcel of Krishna which is covered by sense-gratification.

I: Mmm hmm.

P: In other words if I use the guitar for my pleasure, for the limited pleasure then its material.

I: Right.

P: But if I use it for Krishna then it revives its original spiritual nature.

I: Right.

P: Then it’s no longer material, it’s spiritual, so in a in this world we’re converting the whole society, the culture whatever, you name it, we’re converting it to spirit.

I: Okay.

P: You know? That’s our movement.

I: Great.

(end) 

 

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