Hare Krishna Temple of Austin

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS

FOUNDER-ACHARYA HIS DIVINE GRACE A.C.BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA


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Bhagavad Gita Chapter:6, Dhyana Yoga: Verse:13-14

samaṁ kāya-śiro-grīvaṁ
dhārayann acalaṁ sthiraḥ
samprekṣya nāsikāgraṁ svaṁ
diśaś cānavalokayan

praśāntātmā vigata-bhīr
brahmacāri-vrate sthitaḥ
manaḥ saṁyamya mac-citto
yukta āsīta mat-paraḥ

Translation: One should hold one’s body, neck and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose. Thus, with an unagitated, subdued mind, devoid of fear, completely free from sex life, one should meditate upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.

Sri Krishna is explaining about Ashtanga process to Arjuna patiently in the Battle field of Kurukshetra. The depth of the discussion is so profound even after 5,000 years we are discussing about this. The eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga are Yama (abstinences), Niyama (observances), Asana (yoga postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption). In Ashtanga process we have to go through strict actions, strict regulations and physical postures, meditation etc. This yoga process was practiced by Yogis in previous ages. Srila Prabhupad has always brought the attention and focused on what is really necessary.  For any activity to perform there are two things Actions and Intensions and we should always keep our actions aligned with our intensions otherwise the intension behind the actions gets lost. That is why getting the knowledge from the Parampara system is very important, because the knowledge is as it is, without any change, so we will never miss the intension of the action of the yoga process. So Srila Prabupada explains that Krishna is the ultimate goal of life and the localized viṣṇu-mūrti, the plenary representation of Kṛṣṇa dwelling within one’s heart is the object of yoga practice. One has to realize this viṣṇu-mūrti other than uselessly engaging in mock yoga practice by wasting their time. Acharya means a ritual, Spiritual because he adds the spirit to remember Krishna and teaches us how to reconnect with him. The very word yoga comes from the term “Yuj” means to bind or reconnect with Krishna and that is the goal of the yoga process.

How can one realize the Visnu-murti within his heart?

To realize this viṣṇu-mūrti within the heart, one has to observe complete abstinence from sex life. It is not possible for us to leave home and live alone in a secluded place like yogis, but we can have perfect control of sex life by practicing perfect control of mind and avoiding all kinds of sense gratification. One cannot enjoy sex life daily at home or elsewhere and attend a so-called yoga class and thus become a Yogi. 

What is the effect of Sex gratification?

Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3. Verse 37

śrī-bhagavān uvācakāma eṣa krodha eṣarajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥmahāśano mahā-pāpmāviddhy enam iha vairiṇam

Translation: The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world.

Lust is considered as the biggest enemy of a spiritual practitioner. The biggest problem with lust is, if it is satisfied It becomes greed but if it is dissatisfied it becomes anger. So, it is better to practice Bramacharaya. The Lord explains the consequences of lust in Bhagavad Gita (16: 21) 

tri-vidhaṁ narakasyedaṁdvāraṁ nāśanam ātmanaḥkāmaḥ krodhas tathā lobhastasmād etat trayaṁ tyajet

Translation: There are three gates leading to this hell – lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul.

So, lust, anger and greed are the effects of sense gratification. Especially the most powerful form of sense gratification is sex life, which is without God. That is why the Lord is telling us to restrain from this desire. The other side effects of sense gratification Srila Prabupada mentioning here is it will make a person self-centered. Your consciousness will become like what actions will give you the most pleasure and your intentions will be how to fulfill it, thus you will get in to that world of “I” and “Mine” losing empathy and compassion towards others. Acharya’s point out that you identify yourself with the body, and that is the biggest challenge so they enforce strict regulation of this activity. Another reason to restrain from this desire is to develop a good character because Krishna accepts persons with good character. No one will trust a person without a good character and in this world, we are lacking people with good character. We can see now in this world there are people holding responsible positions in the society but they lack sense control. Even we can see some predators hunting for women, children in the society for their sense gratification creating a great havoc in the society.

How to control Sense gratification

No one can perform correct yogapractice through sex indulgence. Children at the age of five should be sent to the Guru-Kula, or the place of the spiritual master, and the master trains the young boys in the strict discipline of becoming Brahmacārīs. Without such practice, no one can make advancement in any yoga, whether it be Dhyana, Jnana orBhakti.One who, however, follows the rules and regulations of married life, having a sexual relationship only with his wife (and that also under regulation), is also called a Brahmacārī. Such a restrained householder Brahmacārīmay be accepted in the bhaktischool, but the Jnana and Dhyanaschools do not even admit householder Brahmacaris. They require complete abstinence without compromise.

Srila Prabupada has always tried to tell devotees to teach children from the beginning of their lives to inculcate the strong values of cleanliness, austerity, purity and having right principles in life.

In the bhakti school, a householder Brahmacārī is allowed controlled sex life because the cult of bhakti-yoga is so powerful that one automatically loses sexual attraction, being engaged in the superior service of the Lord. In the Bhagavad Gita (2.59) it is said that:

viṣayā vinivartante
nirāhārasya dehinaḥ
rasa-varjaṁ raso ’py asya
paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate

Translation: Whereas others are forced to restrain themselves from sense gratification, a devotee of the Lord automatically refrains because of superior taste. Other than the devotee, no one has any information of that superior taste.

There are two point here. One is regulation. When a person is situated in Krishna consciousness there is a paradigm shift how you look the world around you. A person who is not in Krishna consciousness when they see the opposite sex the first thing, they try to think is how they could impress them, embrace them and bring them to their favorable situation. They have a feeling woman are meant for enjoyment. That is why it is said that without any philosophical foundation it is very hard to follow these principles of sense gratification. 

In this material world people want to enjoy. They view this world like a hotel. Like you go to a hotel, order a dish for example soup, the waiter brings it for you, then you find a fly in the soup. So automatically you are unhappy, you don’t like that dish and will be reluctant to pay for the dish. The real problem with this world is you don’t get happiness every time. Sometimes we can hear from successful businessmen telling that they always get what they want but there will be a time you also get what you don’t want (old age, diseases, loss in business etc.). So, trying to treat this world as a hotel view point will always be frustrating that is why Krishna says about this material world in Bhagavad Gita (8:15) “duhkhalayam asasvatam,” there is a mixture of happiness and distress in this material world.

A Devotee looks the world as a rehabilitation facility. When we are sick, we go to a Hospital, we just don’t go to the Doctor and say that this medicine you gave me is really bitter so I am not going to come here anymore nor take it. We will tell the Doctor to cure us. The Doctor will say I know it hurts but these things need to be done. So, we can see on one side there is expectations of enjoyment and on the other side there is expectation that Doctor will cure you somehow so you are humble, you accept something for your own benefit. That is why Srila Prabupada says in this verse and many purports purify your intensions. The reasons we are stuck in this material world is our intensions are not pure. Sometimes we judge people through their actions and we expect them to judge us by our intensions. Usually it should always be the other way round. We have to be careful to go through this purification process to purify our intensions. 

Second point here is adapting higher taste. We were taught before to enjoy our life in this world. So, it will take some time for us to overcome this situation and to adapt ourselves to acquire higher taste. We can do that only through devotional service.

This can be explained by a past time. There was a wrestler in a South India. A very strongly build and good-looking person. He got married to a beautiful lady and was so much engrossed in her beauty day and night. For him it was the most beautiful object in the universe. He was so attracted to her, especially her eyes. He made sure his wife was carried in a palanquin. When she stepped out of the palanquin, he used to hold umbrella for her. He was so immersed in the beauty of her eyes; he just looks at her and walks backwards. One time this was happening in front gate of Srirangam Temple. Sri Ramanujacharya of Sri Sampradaya was very much amused by the actions of this person and thought if he could have this person and all the people in the world to have the same attraction towards Krishna that will be really great. So, Sri Ramanujacharya asked the wrestler to meet him in person later on. So later when they met Sri Ramanujacharya asked him why he is behaving like this. He admitted he was attracted to the beauty of his wife and her eyes especially. So, Sri Ramanujacharya asks him if he could give him an experience which is most beautiful than his wife what will he do. So, the wrestler told him that he and his wife will surrender completely. So, Sri Ramanujacharya held his hand, that itself gives a spiritual current in his body, and that is the power of an Acharya and takes him to the front of the Deity Ranganath and prays to the Lord kindly give the wrestler his darshan, so that he can be the Lord’s servant. The Lord accepted his prayers and just gives the wrestler a glimpse of his eyes. The wrestler was so mesmerized and overwhelmed that was the power of the beauty of Sri Krishna who is the reservoir of all the pleasure. He even the stuns the animals when he plays the flute. So, from this we can understand that we should stop our attraction towards material things and get attracted to Krishna.

In this material world there is always some kind of fear this is due to our perverted memory and forgetfulness of our eternal relationship with Krishna. The Bhagavatam (11.2.37) says, bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād īśād apetasya viparyayo ’smṛtiḥ. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the only basis for fearlessness. Therefore, perfect practice is possible for a person who is Kṛṣṇa conscious. Srila Prabupada gives example of a small child crossing the road by holding her parents hand is fearless when compared to the child who forgets to hold the hand of the parents, there by becoming more stressful and getting separated from parents. Examples of truly fearless person who are situated in Krishna consciousness are Sri Prahlad Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada

How do we develop Higher Taste?

We can develop higher taste by Sadhana, Seva and Sanga

  1. Sadhana: The most important spiritual practice for this age of Kali is not Ashtanga yoga but Harinama Eva Kevalam. The chanting of the holy name of the Lord. Chant 16 round daily off Hare Krishna Mahamantra sincerely. If we do this there will be no lust, greed, envy, anger, pride, attachment to sense objects, jealousy or illusion in our heart
  2. Seva: Do various devotional service at the temple like Deity worship, serving the devotee, writing, singing Bhajans, cooking etc. If we do Seva it humbles our mind and ego. Bring your family to Krishna conscious, treat them in Krishna conscious way, by making them humble servant of Krishna.
  3. Sanga: Means association with devotees. If you feel the first two things are impossible to do, then go and sit with a Vaishnava. It is always hard to do things in the beginning without the association of devotees because we are living in this material world where we find egoistic and selfish enjoyment but the path of Krishna consciousness is always blissful, there is always positive attachment and enjoyment which will help in long run.

When Narada Muni asks the Lord where do you reside the Lord says In the Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda (92.21):

naham tisthami vaikunthe, yoginam hrdayesu va, tatra tisthami narada, yatra gayanti mad bhaktah.

Translation:” I am not in Vaikuntha nor in the hearts of the yogis. I remain where My devotees engage in glorifying My activities.”

Sri Bhakti Thirta Swami once said that we must resist the temptation to be normal, because those who are now considered normal accept the values and practices of an insane world.

We have to understand the message of Bhagavad Gita, accept the values and practice it in our life like how the way Arjuna did not like the way how Dhritarashtra did. The message of Bhagavad Gita was spoken in the Battle field of Kurukshetra by Krishna to Arjuna, same time Dhirtarashta was also listening to the same message through Vidura but he did not choose the right path. Two people, same message, but one’s intension was pure and did action based on Lord’s instruction and gained victory, and other’s intension was not pure, hence had to meet with defeat.

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