Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das

Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man

By Hansadutta das

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Chapter 1 God's Name (Cont'd)

Kirtan--Tasting Real Pleasure

It enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.--Shikshastaka

We're Mystified
We are part and parcel of Krishna, servants of God, but because we have diverted our attention solely to material affairs, we are left confused and mystified. Sometimes, when people think of God, yoga or religion, they think of something mysterious or impersonal. There is actually nothing mysterious about God, religion or chanting Hare Krishna.

The mystery is that everyone is godless. God is the source of everything. Everything is emanating or vibrating from Him, and yet we are godless. Our vibrations are godless. Everywhere people say, "I don't believe in God," or "God is dead." If God doesn't fit into our mysterious and mind-boggling conception, we cannot accept Him. Therefore this age is called Kali-yuga, the age of darkness and ignorance.

Can You See God?
We cannot exist outside God, Krishna, because everyone is part and parcel of God. The solution to all our disagreements, our differences, our frustrations and confusion is to become conscious of God, Krishna. Once we become conscious of our eternal relationship with Krishna, we automatically become conscious of all other living entities and our relationship with them. Although we are different and individual, through Krishna we can get along with everyone peacefully and happily.

If we do not recognise Krishna as the centre of everything, we cannot get along with anyone. As soon as we accept Krishna, then immediately we can communicate with everyone. Everything becomes clear, intelligible and harmonious. I cannot call from my house to your house, avoiding the telephone exchange. If I go through the exchange, however, the phone will ring in your house. Krishna is like the telephone exchange. If we go through Krishna, we can communicate with anyone.

We must see Krishna in everything, then everything will be seen in its proper perspective. The sun enables us to see ourselves and everything else. Without the sun, we are in darkness. Similarly, without Krishna we cannot see or understand anything. We are simply in ignorance. We can only see God, Krishna, by chanting His holy name.

Who is Number One?
Krishna is the leader, the number one eternal amongst all eternals. He is maintaining everyone, and He is fulfilling everyone's desires. All living creatures are being looked after by Krishna according to their karma--actions and reactions. This fact can be easily understood simply by performing Kirtan (congregational chanting of Hare Krishna), especially on the street. At once we understand, "The whole world is going on without me. It's going on under Krishna's direction." When we serve the supreme leader, Krishna, by performing Kirtan, we get actual happiness, spiritual happiness. We feel ananda, bliss.

God is eternally blissful. Because He is God, He has nothing to worry about. There is no one greater than Him, and there is no one equal to Him. Everything originates in God, everything is being maintained by Him and everything again enters into Him. When we understand that we are eternally part and parcel of Krishna, we will be happy, complete in our original, joyful existence. Krishna says,

One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realises the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.--Bhagavad-gita 18.54

Just by vibrating Hare Krishna, we feel happy. We reach a point where we feel unhappy if we are not chanting Hare Krishna. When we stop chanting, we feel that there is something missing. We want to be joyful, free from the material anxieties of eating, sleeping, defending and having sex. We want to be self-satisfied and self-realised. The purpose of chanting Hare Krishna is to develop love for Krishna, and the result of chanting Hare Krishna is love of God, eternal bliss.

Taste Real Intoxication
In the present day, people ingest so many intoxicating substances to experience relief from their constant material anxieties. Everyone wants a taste of bliss. They want to experience some supramundane happiness. Even the most powerful drug ultimately brings misery. But the holy name of Krishna allows one to taste the highest, most relishable kind of bliss. Krishna is ananda. He is never unhappy. His form is sach-chid-ananda: eternity, knowledge and bliss.

The material body is composed of earth, water, fire, air and ether. The material body is miserable, ignorant and temporary. In our search for relief from this miserable, temporary body, we become entangled with other bodies. The more we become entangled in material activities, the more we suffer. The more we become engaged in chanting Hare Krishna, the more we experience relief by awakening to the spiritual reality.

Under the gloom of death, one ignorantly scrambles for so-called material happiness. Seeking happiness, an ignorant person will take intoxicant and obliterate his brain for an hour or two, a day, a week or even a lifetime. Some children are even born intoxicated because the mother and father are taking heroin, LSD or other intoxicants. Consequently, when the baby is born, he is intoxicated. Naturally, such children become easily addicted to smoking and drinking.

Pure and Unconditional
Devotees also dance, sing, work, eat, sleep and have children. Devotees also get intoxicated--not with drugs, but with Krishna. Devotees become mad after Krishna, addicted to chanting Krishna's name. When they chant, they experience relief from material misery.

The materialists get relief from material misery by taking drugs like heroin. Intoxicated, he feels everything is all right. Heroin is a material substance which gives a semblance of relief or pleasure. However, when heroin wears off, it reacts with pain, and each time, the pain is more acute than the time before. In chanting Hare Krishna, there is no pain or bad reaction. Chanting is pure and unconditional. Krishna is the intoxication of devotees.

Kirtan is the song and dance of ecstasy. The word ecstasy comes from the word exit. When one is in ecstasy, the false things must exit, leave or be driven out. When everything false and misleading is stripped away, we feel ecstasy. This ecstasy is our natural, joyful consciousness--Krishna consciousness.

Kirtan is an appeal to Krishna--"O Krishna, please protect me. O Krishna, please engage me." It is also an appeal to the conditioned souls who are in ignorance--"Be Krishna conscious, be happy. Don't suffer. Come chant Hare Krishna, surrender to Krishna and go home, back to Godhead." Every endeavour in Krishna consciousness thus aims at spiritual happiness--for ourselves and others.

Hansadutta das
Rittvik Representative of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

©2004 - Hansadutta das
Chaitanya MahaprabhuChaitanya Mahaprabhu

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