Prabhupāda: …repeating his name, “Mr. John, Mr. John, Mr. John,” I cannot associate with him. He may be some thousand miles away from me. So if I require to see him or to touch him or to feed him—these are all exchanges of love. If you love somebody, you want to see him, you want to touch him, you want to serve him, you want to talk with him. So many exchanges there are. So if your lover is away from you, say thousand miles away, or a few miles away, if you simply chant the name of your friend, you cannot relish the actual meeting association. That is not possible; that is materially not possible.
But spiritually, although God is… We don’t know where He is living. We do not know even this material world, where the other planets are there. We have seen at night so many planets and stars in the sky, but we have no information, because it is not possible to reach. The modern scientist says that if you want to reach the topmost planet, then you have to travel in the space for 40,000 of years—and then you can reach.
Now who is going to live for 40,000 years, and with…? It is impossible. So in the material world you see so many planets and stars—you have got machine also to fly in the space—but it is not possible. At least, the time will not allow you to go there. This space…, not only this space, but there is time also: time and space. So materially it is not possible. Even within this material world you cannot minimize the longest distance of time and space. But spiritually it is possible. That is the difference between matter and spirit. Just try to understand this.
The matter and spirit, we are all combined together, every one of us, because I am the spirit soul; I am not this body, matter. So both the matter and spirit are here, you can see. Just like I am speaking before you. As soon as I, the spirit, leave this body, this body can no more speak, can no more can shake the hands and move the hands and so on. Everything stopped. So just try to understand: this is matter and spirit. Without going into the detailed information, any layman, any child, any man can understand what is the distinction between matter and spirit.
So spiritual world is different from the material world. Spiritually it is different. So spiritually we cannot understand now, because we are absorbed in matter. But we understand from reliable sources, from authoritative sources, that Kṛṣṇa is everywhere, although He is far far away in His abode, beyond this material world. So I just explained the material world, we cannot reach the limit, and what to speak of going to the spiritual world that is far beyond this sky. But although it is impossible materially, spiritually it is possible. Spiritually it is possible.
So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is a spiritual movement; it is not material movement. And from scriptures, from authoritative Vedic literature, we understand that Kṛṣṇa, although He is living in His abode far, far away from us, He is also everywhere:
tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā kalābhiḥ
goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūto
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
This prayer says that Kṛṣṇa expands His internal energy of bliss and knowledge, ānanda-cinmaya. Ānanda means bliss, happiness. Ānanda. The spirit soul is ānanda-moya avyasat. The nature of the spirit soul is joyful, happy, and because we are spark of that spiritual—we are spiritual spark, or part and parcel of the Supreme Lord—therefore our nature is to seek joy. Whole living entities—either birds, beasts, human beings—everyone is seeking happiness, because that is the nature. Nature of the spirit soul is to seek happiness.
Unfortunately, we have been conditioned. We have been conditioned by these material laws. Therefore we cannot, I mean to say, fully realize what is that happiness. For example, in your country, United States of America, you are known all over the world the richest nation. Actually you are. But some section of your younger population, they are not finding happiness in this material advancement.
They are frustrated; they have invented some other way of living, known as hippies, or something like that. Why? They are all sons and daughters of rich men. Their parents are puzzled how to settle up their sons and daughters. They are not happy. So many, I mean to say, endeavors are going on, from the government side, from private side, how to control. But actual defect they do not see. They do not see that happiness, real happiness, is not possible simply by material advancement. That is the defect.
Material advancement cannot make you happy. It may be for a few days, somebody, some… If somebody is very poor, and if he all of a sudden gets millions of dollars, he may feel happy: “Now I have got so much money.” But that happiness is not ultimate. That is temporary happiness. There will be a reaction.
After he has enjoyed fully that millions of dollars, he will again feel unhappy, frustration, confusion. That is the nature, because the spirit soul’s happiness is different happiness. The defect of the modern civilization is that they do not see this, what is the defect, that in spite of so much material advancement, why a section of people is not happy, why they are seeking happiness somewhere else?
So this is the defect of modern education: they do not see it. But the answer is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. The answer is there. Unfortunately, we do not read all this literature. The answer is there. Lord Kṛṣṇa says, sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tad atīndriyam-grāhyam [Bg. 6.21].
The real happiness… Happiness means sense gratification. Happiness, the other import of happiness, is sense gratification. So we are also trying to be happy by sense gratification in the material world. But because we are spirit soul, our adjustment of this material happiness will not make us happy, because our nature is different.
For example, that if I build a very palatial building in some lonely island in the sea, and I give you to live there—just like sometimes the lighthouse is there; they are living, but they are not happy. They are not happy. Just like there is a poetry, Alexander Selkirk. Perhaps you might have read? In our childhood we read this, that Robinson Crusoe, he was thrown into an isolated island. So enough land, enough material resources, everything.
He says, “I am the monarch of all I survey.” So he was thinking that “Now I am the monarch; there is no other human being. So I am the monarch.” But still he was feeling…“Society, friendship and love divinely bestowed upon man. Had I the wings of a dove, I could go again to my home.” Why? Because ānanda-mayo ‘bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12].
The spirit soul wants happiness in a different way, in society, in friendship and love. This is the real thing.
So the Māyāvādī philosophers, they being failure to find society, friendship, and love in the material world, they are frustrated. They are seeking void: make it all minus, zero. You see? But that is also not the real happiness. Because naturally I am seeking society, friendship and love, but this society, friendship and love has not given me that happiness. So making it zero, or void, is not the ultimate solution. Just like you have got some disease in your eyes.
Diseased in the eyes, he cannot see over and above there is always some pain, some disturbances, some water is…, erm, mucus is there, some pain—so many things. So therefore sometimes the doctor advises that take out this eyeball, and fix up some false eyeball. Perhaps you have seen? You see like that?
So the Māyāvādī philosopher, the void philosophy, you see is their philosophy is to take out this eyeball. Because it is painful, so make it void. The void philosophy is like that. But that will not make him happy. If there is somebody, some expert physician who can make the eye disease cured, and gives the natural eyesight, then that is happiness—not to take it out.
The void philosophy, or the impersonal philosophy, they are frustrated on the status of this material friendship, society or love. So they want something minus; that means void. So that will not make your ultimate solution. So they are trying to forget. Generally a man takes to drinking to forget his anxiety. So far we have seen in our country, when a man becomes frustrated, failure, he begins to drink, so that he can forget himself.
So these process of forgetting oneself, or imaginary voidness, these things will not make a solution of the problem. The solution of the problem is that Brahma-saṁhitā says that:
tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā kalābhiḥ
goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūto
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Govinda, Kṛṣṇa, He has His society, love and friendship in the spiritual realm, which is ānanda-cinmaya: that is spiritual and full of happiness, full of pleasure—expansion of spiritual bliss and knowledge. Spiritual world means expansion of spiritual bliss and life is spiritual bliss and knowledge eternally, ānanda, sac-cid-ānanda.
Three things: sat means “eternal,” and cit means “knowledge,” and ānanda means “happiness.” So the spiritual world is made of these three things: eternal, bliss and knowledge. So that eternal bliss and knowledge is expanded by Kṛṣṇa, exactly like the sun expands its heat and light by the energy which is called sunshine. It is practical, that the sun means heat and light. That heat and light is expanded by the sunshine.
However severe cold it may be, if there is bright sunshine, ah, you immediately get relief. That is practical. Now the sun is ninety millions miles away from you. How you associate with the sun or associate with the heat and light of the sun? By the sunshine. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is the foremost symbol of bliss, eternal life and knowledge. If you can capture the sunshine, or the bodily effulgence of Kṛṣṇa, or His energy, then you get the same pleasure.
Just like sunshine is sometimes covered by cloud, so you do not get the actual benefit of sunshine. Although within the cloud, even there is cloud you can appreciate that there is sunshine, or if you go above the cloud by jet plane, you see there is full sunshine. So this cloud cannot cover the sun.
Whenever there is cloud, do not think that the whole sun disc or the sun sphere or globe is covered. No. That is not possible. It is only a insignificant part of the sky, maybe hundred miles, two hundred miles, five hundred miles covered with cloud. But what is this hundred miles, two hundred miles, five hundred…, five thousand miles in comparison to the vast space overflooded with sunshine? It is nothing. It is nothing.
Similarly, when we are covered by this material energy, you should understand yourself that you are covered like the cloud. So you have to somehow or other get out of the cloud, just like we get out of the cloud by aeroplane and go above the cloud, there is full sunshine. Similarly, if you somehow or other get out of this cloud and capture the sunshine, or the effulgence of Kṛṣṇa, then you become happy immediately.
That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You have to change your consciousness. That consciousness is now clouded, covered with cloud and material things. This cloud…, actually, cloud has no permanent existence. It appears in the sky and again disappears. It appears also by the sunshine. What is this cloud? The cloud is not a foreign thing; it is a product of the sunshine.
When there is excessive heat, the sunshine evaporates seawater and it turns into gas, which is called cloud. So cloud has no separate existence beyond the sunshine; it is also a product of the sunshine. Similarly, this māyā, illusion, is also a creation of God. And because it is creation of God, it can be dissolved by the mercy of God. The same process: the cloud is there, but when the sunshine is too bright the cloud disappears: no more cloud.
Similarly, if you can capture the sunshine of Kṛṣṇa, and if you make it brighter, or if you go to the brighter side—sunshine is always there, similarly bright side of Kṛṣṇa is always there—that side is the association of the devotees. Instead of associating with nondevotees, if you associate with these devotees, then you get that sunshine, or the light and heat from Kṛṣṇa. That is the process. Same way: if you somehow or other you go up the cloud, then you get this full sunshine.
Similarly, if you capture the association of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you get sunshine, that Kṛṣṇa’s shining. This is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But unfortunately there are some people, they do not want it, or they have no knowledge. But this process is like that. We cannot be happy within this cloud-covered material existence. We are spirit by nature. We are sparks, spiritual sparks. We have to associate with Kṛṣṇa; then we can have our full-fledged.
Another example: just like there is fire, and there are small particles of sparks coming out of the fire. The sparks which is coming out of the fire, it falls down beyond the range of the flame, it becomes charcoal, carbon, immediately—black charcoal. But if it remains with the fire, it is as bright as the fire. All this a small spark.
Similarly, if you remain always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness fire, you are also as good as Kṛṣṇa, ānanda-cinmaya-rasa. And as soon as you go out of the boundary, or somehow or other you are covered, just like cloud, then you become black, or extinguished—no more fire, although the fire potency is there. Just like coal: the coal, it looks very blacks, carbon; but put it in the fire, it becomes red, very good fire.
Similarly, we are now out of the orbit, or the shining influence, of Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We have to put ourselves again into that atmosphere of Kṛṣṇa; then we get full-fledged happiness, knowledge and eternal life. That is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says that to attain this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not very difficult task. Actually it is so; it is not very difficult task. Simply we have to make association, and that association is very easily made, simply by chanting.
This process we are spreading: Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. If you simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, you will gradually realize ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12].
The first status, the first stage of realization, is ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam, cleansing the heart. At the present moment my heart is not cleansed. I am thinking I am matter, I am American, I am this, I am that, I am… But when the heart is cleansed, then I understand that I don’t belong to this material world. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: “I am Brahman. I am the spiritual spark.”
So this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is the greatest boon for the human society, and we request everyone to take advantage of this movement. And the process is very easy: simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. And these boys and girls who have taken to this movement, you can discuss with them, or you can discuss with me.
Of course, the more you practice you will understand, because unless the heart is cleansed… It takes some time. Anything, any education, any schooling, it takes a little time to understand. So… But it does not take very much, a great deal of time. It is very easily understood, because Kṛṣṇa, or God, is also situated within your heart. If you sincerely want association of God, He is already there with you as a friend. Just like in a tree two birds are sitting—these are Vedic information—two birds are sitting in one tree, in friendly terms.
Similarly, bird…, or Kṛṣṇa and yourself are just like two birds, and both of you are sitting in this tree of body. The one bird, the jīva soul, or the part-and-parcel individual soul, he is eating the fruit of this body, the fruit of the tree. This body means… What is called? “As you sow, so you…”
Govinda dāsī: So you reap.
Prabhupāda: “…so you reap.” So we are creating this body according to our work. We are creating sometimes this human body; sometimes we are creating dog’s body; sometimes we are creating hog’s body; sometimes we are creating demigod’s body.
So just like we cultivate so many trees and plants, similarly we are creating… You have got, all of us who are sitting here, we have got different types of body. That means we are all individual souls. We have created these different types of body, and…
…according to the body, just like according to the tree there is fruit, so similarly, according to this body there is fruit. Just like the hog: the hog has developed a certain type of tree, and he is eating the fruit. In any other body… [break] …no one can eat stool, but because that soul, particular soul has manufactured, developed, a body of hog’s body… [end]