No More Swimming
Srila Prabhupada: “(Ladies) and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly receiving me. This is the first time I am coming in this country, Sweden. So this Krishna consciousness movement is spreading all over the world gradually. It is little difficult to understand the purport of this movement because it is completely on the spiritual platform. Generally, people do not understand what is spiritual platform. So as we can understand that we are combination of two things… Every one of us, living being, we are at the present moment combination of spirit and matter. Matter we can understand, but on account of our long association with the matter, we cannot understand what is that spirit. But we can imagine that there is something which distinguishes a dead body and living body. That we can understand. When a man is dead… Suppose my father is dead or somebody, a relative, is dead, we lament that “My father is no more. He has gone away.” But where he has gone? The father is lying on the bed. Why do you say, “My father has gone away?” If somebody says that “Your father is lying sleeping on the bed. Why you are crying that your father has gone away? He has not gone. He is sleeping there…,”but that sleep is not this sleep, ordinary sleep as we have daily. That sleep means eternal sleep. So actually, we have no eyes to see who is my father. During the lifetime of my father I did not know who is my father; therefore when the actual father goes away, we cry that “My father is gone.” So that is spirit. Who has gone away from that body, that is spirit soul; otherwise why he is speaking that “My father is gone”? The body is there.
So first of all we have to understand this distinction between the spirit soul and this material body. If we can understand what is that spirit soul, then we can understand what is this spiritual movement. Otherwise, simply on material understanding, it is very difficult to understand what is spiritual life or spiritual platform. But there is. We can simply feel like that at the present moment, but there is a spiritual world, spiritual life. And what is that spiritual life? Complete freedom. Complete freedom. Eternity, blissful and full of knowledge. That is spiritual life. Completely distinct from this bodily concept of life. Spiritual life means eternity, blissful life of knowledge. And this material life means nonpermanent, ignorance and full of miseries. This body means it will not stay and it is always full of miserable condition. And there is no blissfulness. Always in the material (life) we have got some kind of unhappiness. But on account of our long association with this material life we have become so dull-headed that it is very difficult to understand what is spiritual life, what are spiritual activities, what is spiritual world, what is God, what is our relationship with Him. Therefore this Krishna consciousness movement is a kind of training to understand what is spiritual life and what is spiritual world, what is God.
So I do not wish to take much of your time, but this Krishna consciousness movement is spiritual movement; therefore sometimes it is misunderstood from the material stand, material point of view. But if we associate with the persons who are propagating this movement, there is process how to understand. The process is very simple: this sankirtana movement. Just like we chanted Hare Krishna maha-mantra. If we chant this Hare Krishna maha-mantra, it is not very difficult task. There are only sixteen words: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare… Actually, there are three words—Hare, Krishna and Rama—but they have been adjusted in such a way, they are composition sixteen words.
So we are simply requesting the people in general that “You chant this mantra. It is not very difficult. And if you chant this mantra, then gradually your heart will be cleansed.” The whole thing is that due to our material association, we are contaminated. We cannot understand what is spiritual life. But if we take advantage of this mantra, chanting, then gradually our heart will be cleansed and immediately we shall be able to understand that “I am not this body; I am spirit soul.” Then real awakening will come. Because at the present moment, every one of us is working on the bodily concept of life, which I am not. This is the fact. I am acting for something which I am not; therefore it is called maya, or illusion. Phantasmagoria. I am working for something, and because I am working for something which I am not, therefore there is confusion. People are not happy. He is working day and night for this body; still, he is not happy. He is trying to make the senses… Body means the senses. So we are trying to satisfy the senses in so many ways, repeating the same thing in different way, but there is no happiness. It cannot be, because we are not this matter. We are spirit soul.
I can give you one example. Just (as) a man, if he is thrown into the ocean, he may be very expert swimmer, but simply by swimming over the ocean, he cannot be happy there. Because he is put in a different condition of life. It is not possible. So the best thing is that if we can pick up that man from the ocean, then he will be happy. So our this Krishna consciousness movement is that we do not wish to swim over the ocean foolishly and to become happy there. That is not our program. Because you cannot be happy. When you are put into the ocean, however expertly you may swim, you will never be happy there. That is not possible. The only remedy is to pick you. If somebody can pick up from the ocean and give you shelter on the land, then you will feel happy. Similarly, our program is not to become happy by so-called adjustment of material condition. That is not possible. Better come to the spiritual platform and act in the spiritual life. Then there is possibility of happiness.
Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that those who are cultivating spiritual life, spiritual knowledge, for them, after giving up this body there is promotion to the spiritual world. That is eternal, blissful life, and that will make us happy. So if we become serious, if we actually want to be happy, then we must take to spiritual understanding. Of course, in every country or in different parts of the world, there is some religious system. Religious system means to understand spiritual life. But unfortunately, nobody is interested in spiritual or religious system because they have been more and more induced to become addicted to the material and sensuous activities, and so they are going far and far away from the spiritual life, and more and more confusion and what is called disappointment is rising all over the world. So to mitigate this sort of disappointment and confusion, one has to take to this Krishna consciousness movement and try to understand the philosophy and act accordingly. Then people will be happy. That is our program. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.”