A civilized human being has three kinds of births. The first birth is by a pure father and mother, and this birth is called birth by semen. The next birth takes place when one is initiated by the spiritual master, and this birth is called savitra. The third birth, called yajnika, takes place when one is given the opportunity to worship Lord Visnu. Despite the opportunities for attaining such births, even if one gets the life-span of a demigod, if one does not actually engage in the service of the Lord, everything is useless. Similarly, one’s activities may be mundane or spiritual, but they are useless if they are not meant for satisfying the Lord.
Guest (5): And how does yoga…?
Prabhupāda: Oh, that is not possible for us. Because yoga practice, if you really aim to the perfection of yoga, that is not possible in this age. If you are satisfied simply by some sitting posture and paying the fees, that is your business. You can do that. But it will never get you to the perfectional stage because you are completely unable to perform all the regulation and rules of yoga system. That is not possible. That I have described in many… Yes. So yoga system is very difficult for this age. But if you think that this fractional practice of yoga, a hundredth, one percent… That is not possible to reach to the perfectional stage. The perfectional stage is that if one is perfect in the yoga practice, he shall die at his will. Material laws cannot act upon him. He’ll be practiced to control the inside air in such a way that whenever he thinks fit, that “Now I shall leave my body for such and such planet. I shall go to such and such planet,” the yoga system will help him—if he is perfect. But who is such perfect man in the yoga system? It is not possible.
Guest (2): But there have been yogis in India who have reached that…
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes. But they do not come out. Because the yoga system is to practice in a secluded place alone. It is not a business that you have to open some yoga class and practice it. No. It is… First principle is that he must be alone and in a secluded place, in a sacred place. You see that they are described in the standard yoga śāstra. So they do not come, those who are really achieving perfection. They do not come out to the human society.
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Lecture on SB 5.5.3 — Boston, May 4, 1968
So uttamam. Pratyakṣa avagamam. Pratyakṣa avagamam means if you follow this path, then you will personally understand how far you are advancing. How far you have become on the path of perfection, you yourself will understand. Nobody will require to certify that “You have advanced so much.” You’ll understand yourself. Pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyam. Dharmyam means the religious principles. Pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ susukham. Susukham means that it is very happy to execute. Very happy to execute. Keep Reading
As a summary study on the second chapter of Bhagavad-gita this book vividly explains the duality of matter and anti-matter (spirit) and chalks out the path for realization of this truth via the practical process of bhakti-yoga. Also includes an insight to the Vedic cosmology and, written at the end of the 50´s, a prophetical challenge to the supposed moon-landing – a theme which is controversial for decades now. Edited from the original articles published in 1960 issues of Srila Prabhupada´s Back to Godhead magazine.
The most prominent amongst the 108 Upanisads, this Isa Upanisad provides knowledge which brings one closer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. Edited from Srila Prabhupada´s translations and purports published in 1960 Back to Godhead magazine and the 1969 first Western printing.
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated February 21st, 1977, and I thank you for the check as well as the nice sentiments you have expressed. In the beginning you also gave me $5,000 and now again you have sent.
This body is today or tomorrow finished. We should not be very much bothered about the body. Trees also live for thousands of years but that does not mean a successful life. A successful life is one of Krishna consciousness. By the grace of Krishna from the very beginning you are a devotee and that is the real profit of your life.
I thank you for your check, but I would prefer that you may require the money for your treatment. So if you like I can return it. But I hear that you have some income. I pray to Krishna for your more advanced Krishna conscious life.
About a sadhu it is said, “jiva va mara va,” a sadhu may live or die, it doesn’t matter. While living he is engaged in Krishna Conscious business and when dying he goes back home back to Godhead.
Hoping this finds you improving in your health.
Your ever well-wisher,
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Letter to Jayananda — Mayapur 26 February, 1977
In the Kali-yuga there is no yajña. Therefore there is anāvṛṣṭi, anāvṛṣṭi. The Kali-yuga people will forget performing yajña. They will be busy in ghora-rūpa activities, horrible and fierceful activities, not yajña. They will neglect yajña. So then how your these bolts and nuts and rubber tires will help you? Therefore there is scarcity of anna. That will increase more and more. It will so increase that now you are getting anna by paying high price, but time will come when even if you are prepared to pay price, there will be no more anna. That time is coming. Naturally, what people will eat? They will eat māṁsa and roots and seeds. No milk. No sugar. No wheat. These things will be stopped. As we are becoming entangled in ghora-rūpa activities or mūḍha activities, then the more we shall be entangled with sufferings of material existence. They do not know what is the actually interest. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31).
“Association with a devotee, the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, and the nature of devotional service help one to give up all undesirable association and gradually attain elevation to the platform of love of Godhead.”
This verse refers to the association of pure devotees, the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and the rendering of devotional service. All these help one give up the association of nondevotees and the material opulence awarded by the external energy, māyā. A pure devotee is never attracted by material opulence, for he understands that wasting time to acquire material opulence is a misuse of the gift of human life. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). In the eyes of a devotee, politicians, social workers, philanthropists, philosophers and humanitarians are simply wasting their time, for human society is not freed from the cycle of birth and death by their activity and propaganda. These so-called philanthropists, politicians and philosophers have no knowledge because they do not know that there is life after death. Understanding that there is life after death is the beginning of spiritual knowledge. A person can understand himself and what he is simply by understanding the first lessons of the Bhagavad-gītā (2.13):
- dehino ‘smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati
“As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.”
Not knowing the real science of life, a foolish person engages in the temporary activities of this life and thus becomes further entangled in the cycle of birth and death. He always desires material opulence, which can be attained by karma, jñāna and yoga. But when one is actually elevated to the devotional platform, he gives up all these desires. This is called anyābhilāṣitā-śūnya. Then one becomes a pure devotee.
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
CC Madhya 24.104, Translation and Purport.
Matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā mitho ‘bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām (SB 7.5.30). Gṛha-vratānāṁ matir na kṛṣṇe. Those who have taken it a vow, that “I shall remain in this family life and improve my condition,” gṛha-vratānām… Gṛha-vrata. Gṛhastha and gṛha-vrata are different. Gṛhastha means gṛhastha-āśrama. Keep Reading