What is Hare Krishna?
Hare Krishna Mantra
Personality of Godhead
A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Events: Kirtan Festival
World Sankirtan Party
© 2004 - Hansadutta das
|We have faith in the government. We have faith in the insurance policy. We have faith in the stock market. We have faith in business. We have faith in so many things; [but] we have no faith in Krishna. We must gather up our faith and deposit... like you invest money. A man gets all his money and invests in the market, hoping it will go up. So we say, gather together all your faith—faith you have got in the government, in your wife and children, in your business—all that faith, and deposit, invest it in Krishna, Krishna nama, harer nama, Hare Krishna. There is no loss. You cannot lose, because Krishna, after all, is the proprietor of the largest business or enterprise. The whole material world is being managed by Him. So He's a good businessman. If you invest in Krishna, you will profit.|
movement of chanting the holy name of Krishna in sankirtan is
the special concession for the people of the dark age of Kali, and Srimad-Bhagavatam
and other Vedic literatures. The age we live in is described as the age
of darkness, the age of irreligion, the age of quarrel, the Iron Age.
In this age, there will be no observance of the rules and regulations
governing human behaviour.
The rules and regulations governing human behaviour are known as religion. Or religion means the laws and orders of God. God means the supreme being, Krishna, or Allah or Jehovah. There are many names for God. And in every society the people have some book of God, like Bible or Koran and of course the Bhagavad-gita. They are known as shastras or scriptures, rules and regulations for how human beings should behave.
What is the purpose of the rules and regulations? The purpose is to help us avoid suffering and to attain happiness. What is that suffering? The suffering for the human beings—not only human beings, but all beings, except that human beings can avoid suffering—are four: birth, death, old age and disease. These sufferings are perpetual. In other words, we are born, we grow, we become old, we become diseased, and we die. But if we do not follow the rules and regulations of the shastras, we repeat the same suffering in another bodily existence. That is called samsara, or the cycle of repeated birth and death. Those who have no knowledge, who live in ignorance and who are known as karmis (karmis means who work hard day and night just to eat and sleep and enjoy sense gratification without any goal higher than these four aims) live like animals. They have no knowledge that there is soul and when this body is finished, the soul will transmigrate and accept another body according to one's karma. There are two kinds of human beings: karmis and devotees. Devotees are aware of life's goal, and so they follow the rules and regulations of the shastras. The goal of life is to get free from this repeated birth and death. That is the goal. Shastras are the rules and regulations which help us to come towards the goal. But in this age, Kali-yuga, people will not follow the rules and regulations of the shastras. And even if they do follow the rules and regulations of the shastras, they do not know the goal. They just follow them to make a show. We have seen in all the religious communities—whether they are Buddhist or Christian or Hindus or Mohammedans—people don't know that the goal is to get free, to get release from material existence permanently. If they follow some religious rules and regulations, they follow them hoping to improve their material existence, which is suicidal, because to improve material existence means to repeat material existence—which means to suffer birth, death, old age and disease.
Material existence cannot be improved, because it is temporary, and unless one can make it permanent, improvements have no meaning. It is just like a man travelling comes to a foreign town, rents a hotel room and starts to make improvements in the room. It has no meaning, because he is only there for the night. He is only there to spend the night. What is the use of making improvements? It is not his room, his permanent place. In the morning he has to go. So it is waste of time. Similarly, this body is temporary. You just come here for a few days in a particular body, at a particular time and place, and then you have to go. So improving has no meaning.
Real improvement is to prepare one's self for his real business, which is to go back to Godhead.
In this age—my point was—although there are rules and regulations in the Christian community, Buddhist community, Hindu community, people do not know what is the reason, what is the purpose behind the rules and regulations. Sometimes they follow them, but only to make a show that "I'm very religious person." They bow down, they ring some bells, light some incense, chant some mantra. But they don't have any idea what is the goal. You see? So it has no value. It is just a show. And mostly no one follows and rules or regulations. They just do anything. They don't believe in any God. They don't believe in soul. They believe only in indulging in sense gratification as much as possible to the last day.
For all these people, the people of Kali-yuga, Lord Chaitanya introduced this emergency shortcut concession, that okay, you don't follow anything, and you are living just like cats and dogs, eating and sleeping, or you are pretending, making a show, ringing bells. Never mind. Everything is overlooked. Just chant this holy name of Krishna: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Just do this one thing. Chant the holy name of Krishna loudly, together with friends, family, countrymen or alone on beads: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And just by doing this one thing, you get the benefit of following... as if you were following all the rules and regulations of the shastras, or as if you were doing all yoga, austerity, penance, sacrifice, knowledge. Just you do this one thing—nothing else—you will get... you will awaken. You will get not only liberation, freedom from the cycle of birth and death; you will get love of Krishna. You will awaken actual Krishna prema, love for Krishna. We love so many things. We love our wife, our children. We love our money, our country. We love our automobile. But this love is all frustration. There is no happiness at all in any love anywhere, because it is all material, lust. The same energy, when you chant "Krishna," you will awaken love, actual love for Krishna, and that love for Krishna will take you back home, back to Godhead. And this is the goal. This is the actual perfection of human life.
It is as if we are so fallen and degraded and misguided. Like they bring a dead man to the hospital. The medicine is not going to help the dead man. The doctor puts the electric paddles, and they give him a jolt of electricity. Sometimes he comes back to life. His heart will start beating, and he'll breathe in. And then, maybe, he will survive. They give some treatment, and gradually... sometimes. Emergency treatment. I don't know what they call that, but we are just like dead (spiritually dead) men. So this chanting Hare Krishna is like that electric shock. Sometimes someone actually begins to chant Hare Krishna, and then gradually they come again. They come back, they become human beings, and they become Krishna conscious, and they make progress. It is just like that. It is an emergency. It is a last resort. Chant Hare Krishna, that's all. The last resort. It is not possible for the people in this age to follow shastras, all the rules and regulations, varnashrama dharma, yoga, jñana or penance, austerities. Lord Chaitanya brought the last resort medicine—"You take this, and you can be saved."
That is actually the sum and substance of this Hare Krishna movement. The aim is not to become some religionist or philosopher, yogi or make a show. It is just a desperate, last attempt: crying for Krishna, "Please accept me. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." Don't avoid chanting Hare Krishna. Don't neglect it. Don't be hesitant. Chant loudly, as if you were drowning in the ocean or as if you had fallen into a dark well in the field, shouting, "Help! Help! Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna!" Like that. This is the sum and substance of the Krishna consciousness movement.
And to make the chanting more effective, or rapidly effective, there are four rules or conditions which make it very effective: no intoxication, no meat eating, no illicit sex and no gambling. And there is not just chanting. When you get tired of chanting, there is prasadam. Prabhupada used to say, "What is the difficulty? Chanting, dancing and taking prasadam."
Hare Krishna. Thank you very much. Any questions?
Nrsingha Chaitanya das: Maharaja, is there anybody who can take all the souls?... [inaudible]
Hansadutta das: Krishna can catch the soul. And Krishna's devotee can catch the soul. But if someone gives himself over, then yes, of course he can be caught. If we foolishly walk into maya's grip, then we are also captured. But anyone can immediately be freed from any trap. Just chant Hare Krishna. Just this simple Hare Krishna, and you are free. Just this. But that desire must be there. "Please, Krishna! Hare Krishna." It's not exaggeration. It's fact. It is a fact. Prahlada Maharaja was just five years. His father, Hiranyakashipu, was so powerful that he was ruling the whole universe. But Prahlada was fixed up, compact in Krishna. He could not be caught. So it is a fact.
And we have to practice that, chanting the holy name with faith and conviction, "Krishna will protect me." "In that proportion, as one surrenders unto Me, I reveal Myself to him." (Bhagavad-gita 4.11) Krishna says, "Do not fear. I will protect you." (Bhagavad-gita 18.66) Just practice. We have to practice to take shelter in Krishna by loudly chanting the holy name of Krishna. Unfortunately, our faith is misdirected. We have faith in the government. We have faith in the insurance policy. We have faith in the stock market. We have faith in business. We have faith in so many things; [but] we have no faith in Krishna. We must gather up our faith and deposit... like you invest money. A man gets all his money and invests in the market, hoping it will go up. So we say, gather together all your faith—faith you have got in the government, in your wife and children, in your business—all that faith, and deposit, invest it in Krishna, Krishna nama, harer nama, Hare Krishna. There is no loss. You cannot lose, because Krishna, after all, is the proprietor of the largest business or enterprise. The whole material world is being managed by Him. So He's a good businessman. If you invest in Krishna, you will profit. But we don't believe it. We invest instead... or we don't invest at all; we just keep our money like misers. But if you invest everything in Krishna, you cannot lose. You can only lose by not investing. In fact, it is said that Krishna doesn't look to see how much you give; He looks to see how much you keep. Like the teller in the bank. They want to know, "How much did you keep?" Everything actually belongs to Krishna, but Krishna is saying, "Come on, now it's amnesty. You can surrender. Nothing will happen. I will protect you. You can come now. Surrender. Everything will be excused. Whatever misdeeds, whatever sinful... come on! It will be dismissed. The record will be cleared. The bad loans will be written off." (Bhagavad-gita 18.66) But this is your last chance. If you miss this, there is no alternative. This is the mercy. Just chant Hare Krishna and be Krishna conscious.
Rittvik Representative of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Trustee, BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST
WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY