Startling evidence of the soul's incredible journey after death.An increasing number of people believe in reincarnation. Reincarnation means leaving this body and accepting a new one, over and over again . But reincarnation does not have to remain an eternal reality. This powerful book will give you knowledge to help you break the cycle of reincarnation.
The very first step in self-realization is realizing one's identity as separate from the body. "I am not this body but am spirit soul" is an essential realization for anyone who wants to transcend death and enter into the spiritual world beyond. It is not simply a matter of saying "I am not this body," but of actually realizing it. This is not as simple as it may seem at first. Although we are not these bodies but are pure consciousness, somehow or other we have become encased within the bodily dress. If we actually want the happiness and independence that transcend death, we have to establish ourselves and remain in our constitutional position as pure consciousness.
Living in the bodily conception, our idea of happiness is like that of a man in delirium. Some philosophers claim that this delirious condition of bodily identification should be cured by abstaining from all action. Because these material activities have been a source of distress for us, they claim that we should actually stop these activities. Their culmination of perfection is in a kind of Buddhistic nirvana, in which no activities are performed. Buddha maintained that due to a combination of material elements, this body has come into existence, and that somehow or other if these material elements are separated or dismantled, the cause of suffering is removed.
If the tax collectors give us too much difficulty because we happen to possess a large house, one simple solution is to destroy the house. However, Bhagavad-gita indicates that this material body is not all in all. Beyond this combination of material elements, there is spirit, and the symptom of that spirit is consciousness.
Consciousness cannot be denied. A body without consciousness is a dead body. As soon as consciousness is removed from the body, the mouth will not speak, the eye will not see, nor the ears hear. A child can understand that. It is a fact that consciousness is absolutely necessary for the animation of the body. What is this consciousness? Just as heat or smoke are symptoms of fire, so consciousness is the symptom of the soul. The energy of the soul, or self, is produced in the shape of consciousness. Indeed, consciousness proves that the soul is present. This is not only the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita but the conclusion of all Vedic literature.
The impersonalist followers of Sankaracarya, as well as the Vaisnavas following in the disciplic succession from Lord Sri Krsna, acknowledge the factual existence of the soul, but the Buddhist philosophers do not. The Buddhists contend that at a certain stage the combination of matter produces consciousness, but this argument is refuted by the fact that although we may have all the constituents of matter at our disposal, we cannot produce consciousness from them. All the material elements may be present in a dead man, but we cannot revive that man to consciousness.
This body is not like a machine. When a part of a machine breaks down, it can be replaced, and the machine will work again, but when the body breaks down and consciousness leaves the body, there is no possibility of our replacing the broken part and rejuvenating the consciousness. The soul is different from the body, and as long as the soul is there, the body is animate. But there is no possibility of making the body animate in the absence of the soul.
Because we cannot perceive the soul by our gross senses, we deny it. Actually there are so many things that are there which we cannot see. We cannot see air, radio waves, or sound, nor can we perceive minute bacteria with our blunt senses, but this does not mean they are not there. By the aid of the microscope and other instruments, many things can be perceived which had previously been denied by the imperfect senses. Just because the soul, which is atomic in size, has not been perceived yet by senses or instruments, we should not conclude that it is not there. It can, however, be perceived by its symptoms and effects.
There have been many yoga systems popularized in the Western world, especially in this century, but none of them have actually taught the perfection of yoga. In the Bhagavad-gita, Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, teaches Arjuna directly the perfection of yoga.
From the Introduction:
It is certainly remarkable that the perfection of yoga was taught in the middle of a battlefield. It was taught to Arjuna, the warrior, just before Arjuna was to engage in a fratricidal battle. Out of sentiment, Arjuna was thinking, "Why should I fight against my own kinsmen?" That reluctance to fight was due to Arjuna's illusion, and just to eradicate that illusion, Sri Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to him.
One can just imagine how little time must have elapsed while Bhagavad-gita was being spoken. All the warriors on both sides were poised to fight, so there was very little time indeed--at the utmost, one hour. Within this one hour, the whole Bhagavad-gitawas discussed, and Sri Krishna set forth the perfection of all yoga systems to His friend Arjuna. At the end of this great discourse, Arjuna set aside his misgivings and fought.
However, within the discourse, when Arjuna heard the explanation of the meditational system of yoga--how to sit down, how to keep the body straight, how to keep the eyes half-closed and how to gaze at the tip of the nose without diverting one's attention, all this being conducted in a secluded place, alone--he replied,
"O Madhusudana, the system of yoga which You have summarized appears impractical and unendurable to me, for the mind is restless and unsteady." (Bg. 6.33)
This is important. We must always remember that we are in a material circumstance wherein at every moment our mind is subject to agitation. Actually we are not in a very comfortable situation. We are always thinking that by changing our situation we will overcome our mental agitation, and we are always thinking that when we reach a certain point, all mental agitations will disappear. But it is the nature of the material world that we cannot be free from anxiety. Our dilemma is that we are always trying to make a solution to our problems, but this universe is so designed that these solutions never come.
Not being a cheater, being very frank and open, Arjuna tells Krishna that the system of yoga which He has described is not possible for him to execute. Arjuna considers his mind to be like a great demon, such as the demon Madhu. If it were possible for Krishna to kill the demon called the mind, then Arjuna would be able to attain the perfection of yoga. "My mind is much stronger than this demon Madhu," Arjuna is saying. "Please, if You could kill him, then it would be possible for me to execute this yoga system." Even the mind of a great man like Arjuna is always agitated. As Arjuna himself says,
"For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind." (Bg. 6.34)
It is indeed a fact that the mind is always telling us to go here, go there, do this, do that--it is always telling us which way to turn. Thus the sum and substance of the yoga system is to control the agitated mind. In the meditational yoga system the mind is controlled by focusing on the Supersoul--that is the whole purpose of yoga. But Arjuna says that controlling this mind is more difficult than stopping the wind from blowing. One can imagine a man stretching out his arms trying to stop a hurricane. Are we then to assume that what was impossible for Arjuna in a more advanced age is possible for us in this degenerate age? We should not for one moment think that we are in Arjuna's category. We are a thousand times inferior.
Moreover, there is no record of Arjuna's having executed the yoga system at any time. Yet Arjuna was praised by Krishna as the only man worthy of understandingBhagavad-gita. What was Arjuna's great qualification? Sri Krishna says, "You are My devotee. You are My very dear friend." Despite this qualification, Arjuna refused to execute the meditational yoga system described by Sri Krishna. What then are we to conclude? Are we to despair the mind's ever being controlled? No, it can be controlled, and the process is this Krishna consciousness. The mind must be fixed always in Krishna. Insofar as the mind is absorbed in Krishna, it has attained the perfection of yoga.
SEARCH FOR LIBERATION
With John Lennon, George Harrison and Yoko Ono
In 1969 John Lennon invited Srila Prabhupada (the Founder-Acharya of the Hare Krishna Movement) and some of his disciples to live at his Tittenhurst Park Estate near London. Search for Liberation is based on a conversation where John Lennon, Yoko Ono and George Harrison ask Srila Prabhupada questions about liberation and spirituality. The Beatles questions and Prabhupada's answers create a fascinating book.
Price: 1,40€ 0,91€
Author: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Format: Softbound, 4" x 7", 8 color plates
This introductory pamphlet presents the basic knowledge of Krishna (God), His qualities and nature, and why He is known as the source of all pleasure.
Everyone seeks pleasure, but everything pales to the pleasure one receives in connection with Krishna. If we simply turn toward Him we will find, finally, all happiness we hanker for.
Learn about Krishna's fascinating personality and activities and enter into the unlimited reservoir of pleasure.
From Chapter 1
Krishna--this sound is transcendental. Krishna means the highest pleasure. All of us, every living being, seeks pleasure. But we do not know how to seek pleasure perfectly. With a materialistic concept of life, we are frustrated at every step in satisfying our pleasure because we have no information regarding the real level on which to have real pleasure. For the last few weeks we have been learning that we are not this body; we are consciousness. Not exactly consciousness, for consciousness is actually the symptom of our real identity: we are pure soul, now merged within this material body. Modern material science lays no stress on this; therefore the scientists are sometimes misled in their understanding of spirit soul. But spirit soul is a fact, which anyone can understand by the presence of consciousness. Any child can understand that consciousness is the symptom of the spirit soul.
Now the whole process we are trying to learn from the Bhagavad-gita (The Song of God) is how to bring ourselves to this level of consciousness. And if we act from the level of consciousness, then we may not be pushed again into the level of this bodily conception; and, if we can continue on that level, if we can continue to act in pure consciousness, then, at the end of this body we shall be free from material contamination, our spiritual life will be revived, and the ultimate result will be that in our next life, after leaving this body, we shall have our full, eternal spiritual life. Spirit, as we have already discussed, is described as eternal.
Even after the destruction of this body, consciousness is not destroyed. Rather, consciousness is transferred to another type of body and again makes us aware of the material conception of life. That is also described in the Bhagavad-gita. At the time of death, if our consciousness is pure, we can be sure that our next life will not be material?our next life will be spiritual. If our consciousness is not pure at the point of death, then, after leaving this body, we shall have to take another material body. That is the process which is going on. That is Nature's law.
We have now a finite body. The body which we see is the gross body. It is just like a shirt and coat: within the coat there is a shirt, and within the shirt there is a body. Similarly, the pure soul is covered by a shirt and coat. The garments are the mind, intelligence and false ego. False ego means the misconception that I am matter, that I am a product of this material world. This misconception makes me localized. For example, because I have taken my birth in India, I think myself Indian. Because I have taken my birth in America, I think myself American. But as pure soul, I am neither Indian nor American. I am pure soul. These others are designations. American, or Indian, or German, or Englishman; cat or dog, or bee or bat, man or wife: all these are designations. In spiritual consciousness we become free from all such designations. That freedom is achieved when we are constantly in touch with the supreme spirit, Krishna.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is simply intended to keep us in constant touch with Krishna. Krishna can be in constant companionship with us because He is omnipotent. Therefore, He can be fully in touch with us by His words. His words and He are not different. That is omnipotence. Omnipotence means that everything relating to Him has the same potency. For example, here in this material world, if we are thirsty and we want water, simply repeating ?Water, water, water, water,? will not satisfy our thirst, because this word has not the same potency as water itself. We require the water in substance. Then our thirst will be satisfied. But in the transcendental, absolute world, there is no such difference. Krishna's name, Krishna's quality, Krishna's word?everything is Krishna and provides the same satisfaction.
Some people argue that Arjuna was talking with Krishna because Krishna was present before him, whereas in my case, Krishna is not present. So how can I get directions? But that is not a fact. Krishna is present by His words?the Bhagavad-gita. In India, when we speak on the Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, we regularly perform worship with flowers, or with other paraphernalia, as is required for worshiping. In the Sikh religion also, although they have no form of the Deity, they worship the book Granthasahib. Perhaps some of you are acquainted with this Sikh community. They worship this Grantha. Similarly, the Moslems worship the Koran. Similarly, in the Christian world, the Bible is worshiped. It is a fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is present by His words. Krishna is also present by His words.
These personalities, either God or the son of God, who come from the transcendental world, keep their transcendental identities without being contaminated by the material world. That is their omnipotence. We are in the habit of saying that God is omnipotent. Omnipotence means that He is not different from His name, from His quality, from His pastimes, from His instruction. Therefore, the discussion of Bhagavad-gita is as good as discussion with Krishna Himself.
The classic 1972 Hare Krishna introductory booklet, now for the first time printed in full color! A great introduction to the Hare Krishna Movement and its Founder and Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
From the booklet:
"The transcendental vibration established by the chanting of Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare is the sublime method for reviving our Krishna consciousness. As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krishna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness is now polluted by the material atmosphere. The material atmosphere, in which we are now living, is called maya or illusion. Maya means "that which is not." And what is this illusion? The illusion is that we are all trying to be lords of material nature, while actually we are under the grip of her stringent laws. When a servant artificially tries to imitate the all-powerful master, this is called illusion. In this polluted concept of life, we are all trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities. Therefore, although we are engaged in a hard struggle to conquer nature, we are ever more dependent on her. This illusory struggle against material nature can at once be stopped by the revival of our Krishna consciousness.
Krishna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind; this consciousness is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear the transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived. And this process of chanting Hare Krishna is recommended by authorities for this age. By practical experience also, we can perceive that by chanting this maha-mantra, or the Great Chanting for Deliverance, one can at once feel transcendental ecstasy from the spiritual stratum. When one is factually on the plane of spiritual understanding -- surpassing the stages of sense, mind, and intelligence -- one is situated on the transcendental plane. This chanting of Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare is directly enacted from the spiritual platform, surpassing all lower stages of consciousness, namely sensual, mental and intellectual. There is no need, therefore, to understand the language of the mantra, nor is there any need for mental speculation or any intellectual adjustment for chanting this maha-mantra. It springs automatically from the spiritual platform, and as such, anyone can take part in this transcendental sound vibration without any previous qualification, and dance in ecstasy.