by purujit dasa
this hare krsna movement as we know it with blissed out devotees chanting and dancing on the street and inviting everyone for beautiful feasts of krsna prasadam, with the beautifully illustrated literatures full of ancient wisdom of the vedas is actually the introduction of vedic culture in the western world. vedic culture is, as opposed to the materialistic way of life purely based on spiritual realization. we are not this body is actually not a belief but a scientific fact percievable by our senses. our body changes, we, the observer do not. the culmitation of spiritual realization is a revival of our original eternal consciousness. we are not just spirit, but we have an eternal relationship with God in one of the five rasas(mellows). this is reality. on account of krsna's inferior energy (maya) we have forgotten this reality and are falsely identifying with the body and everything what is related to it. if you stop for a second and think, you will see that pretty much all our activities we perform are to satisfy the body( either gross-sensually, or in subtle way: mind, intellect, ego) but we are not the body, so this is called misuse of human form of life. krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita that there is no death for the eternal soul.
For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.
therefore if we want to revive our true consciousness of our soul, we have to engage in our eternal activity. in other words, after liberation from the bodily conception of life, there are activites, there's service, there's pleasure, there's variety and there are persons you do it with and do it for. this is important, because generally people misunderstand spiritual life to be a negation of the material : no activity, no service, no pleasure, no individuality. Activity on the spiritual plane however is not subjected to the control of material nature. they are performed under the control of Krsna's divine nature(yoga-maya).
such eternal activity on the spiritual plane therefore is going on perpetually. there's no end. this is why we should chant hare krsna continually 24 hours a day. in other words, our service to God should not be a hobby, or a recreation. no, krsna consciousness means that you have to allow krsna to change you. not that i will remain the same selfish, greedy, lusty, envious person and I'll reserve the God stuff only to Sunday church going while fully engaging in material senseless enjoyment(becuz the senses just go numb when one abuses them so much). no. our service to God is going on perpetually hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare. why stop?
Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.
(Note the word "always")
does it mean that I should go to church, mosque or temple every day? or even better should I move into the church? no, not at all. it's actually not a question of place. it is a question of consciousness. wherever we are, we should always chant hare krsna, talk about krsna and connect everything to krsna, then we'll think of krsna all the time and because krsna is the source of all pleasures in the universe, we'll be in constant touch with the unlimited pleasure-giving personality. just imagine, in such state we'll hardly think of things like what's on tv, or who won the football game or what is Lady Googoo's new song. in the beginning, due to our long time association with the limited pleasures, we think krsna to be also a limited and the mahamantra to be a limited sound vibration, but we have to make the endeavor. soon, we'll realize that the more we chant hare krsna hare rama, the more we become aware of krsna's transcendental nature. thus we'll become transcendental to the material laws ourselves.
Such constant meditation however can be achieved only if our chanting is without any motives. In other words, we should not chant to please anyone except Krsna, neither in order to get something, neither we should chant to show off how great devotees of Krsna we are. only then we will be able to chant nonstop
The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted in order to completely satisfy the self.
SB 1972 1.2.6
If our service is being interrupted, we must know that we're not yet perfect devotees as we're being dragged to the material platform time to time. there may be many causes, but ultimately these disturbances are there because we still desire to enjoy the illusion on the bodily platform. therefore krsna is fulfilling our desire to enjoy in that way and of course suffer the consequences of our relative pleasure seeking. so let's try to transcend. this can be done by hearing from the bona fide spiritual master more and more about the mysteries and intricacies of bhakti-yoga (devotional service). By such hearing from a bona fide spiritual master, all our misconceptions will be clarified and we will engage in our natural activity again –unconditional loving devotional service unto the Supreme Godhead Sri Krsna.
Bhakti means to be free from the attachment of this material world and to become attached to Kṛṣṇa. Because you have to attach to something. You cannot become unattached. That is not possible. So, in order to become attached to Kṛṣṇa or to enter into the devotional service of the Lord, one has to become detached from this material affection. That is wanted. Ordinarily, they go to Kṛṣṇa for maintaining the attachment with this material world. Just like, "O God, give us our daily bread." That means I have got attachment of this material world, and to live in this material world, I must have supplies of material things so that I can maintain my status quo. This is called material attachment. People go to God for securing the material position. That is, one sense, it is good; but that is not wanted. To become free from material attachment, that is required. Not that I worship God to increase my opulence in the material world. That is not wanted.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.41 -- Los Angeles, May 3, 1973