From Grudging to Gratitude 3 – Learn to re-interpret reality devotionally

by Chaitanya CharanMay 14, 2017

[Retreat at Krishna Avanti School, Leicester, UK]


So, in this session I will discuss about… in the journey from moving from grudging towards gratitude…we discussed till now about how grudging hurts us, and then what is the cause of whatever it is hurting us, that is has multiple level of causes, and now we will gradually shift towards how Krishna is the cure for all our sufferings, He is not the cause of our suffering.

Now, when we talk about Karma it has to be… we have to be very… at one side we have to be philosophically educated, philosophically aware. On the other side we also have to be very specific. Now, when people are hurting us, it is in not at that time whether it is right to tell them that it is by their own karma. That is something which has to very carefully understood. When we are dealing with people our focus should be on doing that which is our dharma, not… or just telling people that it is your karma. For example, when Draupadi is dishonoured which is a horrendous thing especially in a conservative society like that, and publicly dishonouring… anytime it is but especially at that time. Now, nobody in the Mahabharat tell Draupadi that it is your own karma…absolutely no one. When Sita is abducted, no one tells Sita that it was by your karma that you have been abducted. So, there is philosophical reality and there is emotional sensitivity.

All truths are not ours to tell. We have no obligation to tell every truth at every time. What does it mean? That our goal is to help people, and if speaking a particular truth helps them, then we speak it at that time, but if saying a particular truth is not going to help at that time… it’s only going to hurt further, then we should not only snide it, we should not tell the truth. This selective disclosure of truth is not untruth. This selective disclosure of truth is simply education.

When the child is in the first standard, at that time the child is told that he cannot subtract a bigger number from smaller number, but when the child grows up he knows that there are negative numbers which you can subtract. So, at the first or the second standard the concept of negative numbers will not register. So, at that time there is no need to tell that.

So, selective disclosure of truth is not untruth. It can be education. Sometime it can be untruth, but sometimes it can be educational also. So, if we understand the purpose of our interaction with others, especially the purpose when we are devotees, trying to share Krishna with others, then the purpose is to help people come closer to Krishna, and if we are insensitive then if we don’t know how to speak appropriately at what time, then we can come off as terribly insensitive. It’s not just a matter of insensitivity, it can also be a matter of incorrectness because there is karma and there is dharma. I will give different examples to illustrate the difference. Say, a thief has robbed a person, and this victim of the robbery goes to a king, and tells the king, ‘I have been robbed.’, and the king says, ‘It was by your karma that you got robbed.’ The king should be concerned what is his dharma. His dharma as a King is to protect the citizen. Yes, that specific robbery happened to that person because of their karma, but when the king is interacting with the citizen the king’s basis of interaction is not what is the persons karma in this particular scene. It is what is my dharma. So, in general we are not meant to judge people by their past karma. From this life’s perspective this robbery happened. That is unfair, and if it unfair it needs to be corrected. From the long-term karmic perspective it may be fair. Now the concept of karma is more for… actually it is more for individual education about making right choices. I should understand the principle of karma so that I don’t make wrong choices. If I do this, this will have bad consequences, if I do this it will have a good consequence. Therefore I should do this, and not do this. The knowledge of karma is primarily for educating us to make right choices.

The knowledge of karma is never meant to condemn people who are suffering. If somebody is in trouble, at that time our goal should be, how can I help them? Now, sometimes a part of helping the person may also be educating the person, but the purpose should be help, and if we just focus on trying to speak what we consider the truth, ‘Ah, they are all suffering because of their past karma.’ We will come off as very insensitive. So, if say there is a natural calamity – there is a earth quake, there is a hurricane, some people are suffering. If I tell that everybody is suffering because of their past karma, then tomorrow that thing happens to us, now do we want people to say that to us, that you are suffering because of your past karma. Then we don’t want people to help us. So, actually like Jesus said, ‘Do unto others, as you want other to do unto you.’ That is the golden rule, and the principle of karma is not meant to take away normal human sensitivity. Krishna tells Arjuna that, you are not the body but you are the soul. In fact when Krishna talks about attachment, He says, ‘One should not be attached to putra, dar, grha, adi su..07.19. One should not be attached to one’s son, one should not be attached to one’s wife, one should not be attached to one’s family business, and yet in the Kurukshetra war when Abhimanyu dies… when Abhimanyu dies in the 13th day, at that time Arjuna is devastated, his heart got broken. There is one full chapter in the Mahabharata that describes the lamentation… the heart broken cries of Arjuna, and at that time Krishna doesn’t take a patronising tone, ‘O Arjuna, you have forgotten the Bhagavat Gita.’ No, Krishna is consoling, Krishna is encouraging. Krishna tells Arjuna, O Arjuna, this is a great calamity that has happened, but great people know how to face great difficulties and still stick to their duty. Now it is not you alone who is stressed. Pandavas are also distressed, everybody is distressed. Don’t act in a way that will increase their distress, act in a way that will decrease their distress.

So, Krishna is very sensitive. Sometimes we use philosophy as a tool to beat …8.42… ‘Now, you are suffering, it’s your own karma that you are suffering.’ I don’t see anywhere in scripture it is done like that. In the fourth canto, when citizens are starving, and they come to King Prithu and say, ‘So, we are starving, so please help us.’ King Prithu doesn’t say, ‘It’s your own karma you are suffering.’ So, he does his duty as a king, and makes sure that they are provided. Now, yes Srila Prabhupada was careful that we don’t get too caught in just humanitarian work. So, in India there was a whole conception that, ‘All that you need to do is humanitarian work. There is no need to do any other kind of work.’

So, I will just take a little bit of divergence to explain this.

When you talk about three levels of causation… there is an immediate cause, there is an intermediate cause, and there is the ultimate cause. So, if there is a earthquake, the immediate cause is… there was a shift in the tectonic plates because of which a seismic disturbance happened. That is the immediate cause. The intermediate is karma, and the ultimate cause is Krishna.

Now, in the modern world… in today’s times, most people stay stuck only in the immediate cause. Now staying stuck only at the immediate cause is not enough, because if you deal with one immediate cause, another immediate cause will come. So, Dr. Rennet Boy, he wrote a book in around the 1950’s, and the book was titled, ‘Health in the 21st century – The future of an illusion.’ So, what was the idea? At that time there was a propaganda that, there are so many diseases that have been cured, so many diseases have been eliminated, medicine has improved so much. There is a propaganda that medical science has progressed so much, and in the future we will remove diseases. That was the idea, that was being propagated, and he said, ‘No, whatever diseases we claim have been removed… for example the Plague, it is said that it has been eliminated… but this plague was caused not just by say rats or the germs that they carry, it was the product of the socio-cultural, socio-economic environment of that times. In the industries, where people were outdoors, it was that time that this disease came. Today we are stressed…11.15-19… So, in every age there will be diseases, and those diseases will be product of the socio-cultural, socio-economic factors in action at that time. So, if we focus only on the immediate causes and think that we are going to solve the problem, that is an illusion. That is definitely an illusion, but if we completely neglect the immediate cause, and say, if somebody is suffering because they are victims of a earthquake, it’s their own karma… we neglect the immediate cause and we neglect the normal human sensitivity… that is also bad.

So, when Srila Prabhupada was not in favour of doing humanitarian work so much, there was a reason for that. The reason was, that it emerged from India’s socio-cultural history. From the 17th,18th century onwards Christian missionaries came to India, and they tried to vigorously convert India, and initially they would just go and blast Indian religions, ‘What kind of God you worship?’ They would talk about Kali, ‘Your goddess is so… drinks blood, who has skeletons around her neck. What kind of worship is this? You Lord Krishna, He dances with woman at night. Just look at our Jesus, how virtuous he is.’ So basically, they condemned Indian God’s, and that is how they tried to convert Indians, but they found that not many Indians got converted by that. The Indians started to reform their own religions.

When the Bengal renaissance movement took place, they were basically Indians trying to reform Hinduism, and many of the modern Hindu movements emerged to that. So then, when this was not working they shifted primarily to humanitarian work, to education, to feeding the poor, to taking care of orphans, and through that they started converting, and actually in a sense it was Western influence only which empowered East India. If India had been a poor country, why the Britisher’s would have come here? So many invaders came here because India was a wealthy country, but the British policy is that they drained India of the wealth. There is big debate going on right now. Many of you might be aware of it, of how much the Britishers are responsible for India’s financial wealth, whether the Britishers contributed positively or negatively. I am not going to get into politics here, but my point is that, on one side it was the British economic system which actually drained India of wealth, but on another side the Christian Missionaries, they offered relief in the poverty, that was there.

Now, many people started converting because of that. Now, when they started converting, some Hindu organizations started saying, ‘Why should people convert to some other religion just because they are not having food, clothing and shelter? Our own people can give them food, clothing and shelter.’, and now this is perfectly fine, but they went further… in order to inspire people to help other people, they started saying that, ‘Actually, you don’t have to see God in the temple. Just see God in the starving person, and when you feed that daridra Narayan, feed the person who is starving, that is actually a greater form of bhakti than worshipping God in the temple.

The social service is important. That is valuable, but social service is not a substitute for devotional service. Social service is… ok people are suffering in the material level. We are meant to help them in the material level. Especially kings… that’s their duty… King’s primary duty or the King’s one of the major duty is just to take care of the material welfare of the citizens also. So, the social welfare is important, but the way it was portrayed was… social welfare is not just a substitute for devotional service… it’s like a superior substitute for devotional service. ‘You people go and do so much worship in the temple, but you can’t see God in the hearts of the poor people. That is the lack of your spiritual consciousness, and in this process some of the spiritual teachers went overboard and they started condemning devotional service. So, some of them started saying, ‘What is the use of worshipping Tulasi? You want to water something, water an egg plant. At least you will get something to eat. What you are going to get watering Tulasi?  So, they started condemning forms of devotional service. ‘For a young person what is the need for the Bhagavat Gita?  The young person needs a football… football ground, so that they can play and become healthy.’ Now, football ground and Bhagavat Gita are not competitors, but they portrayed it as… if people who were doing devotional service were foolish, and people who were doing social service are not just better, they are spiritually better, they are spiritually more realized.

So, now our achryas, Bhaktisiddhantha Saraswati Thakur and Srila prabhupada, they strongly countered that. Social service has its place but devotional service is what is going to ultimately deals in their problems. I will talk about how devotional ultimately deals in problems, but the point which I am making here is… we see in the Bhagavat, material welfare also being taken care of. Prthu Maharaj arranges for the needs of his citizens.

There is the story of Rantidev and Sivi. They take care of people who are needy. So, there is nothing wrong against material welfare, when material welfare is seen as a substitute for spiritual welfare, then it becomes a problem, but at a normal human level if somebody is suffering, we cannot dismiss people’s suffering simply by calling it karma. We have to see what is my dharma.

So, now Brahmanas… there are two roles. There are Brahmanas and there are ksatriyas. Ksatriyas focus on material welfare, and ksatriyas create systems by which Brahmanas can provide a spiritual welfare. Brahmanas give spiritual knowledge, Brahmanas share spiritual practices, and that’s how spiritual welfare is taken care of. So, the ksatriyas and Brahmanas work complementarily. The ksatriyas take care of material welfare, and they also create facilities, create systems by which the Brahmana can disseminate spiritual knowledge. So, Prabhupada wanted Iskcon to be like a brahminical society, and the other spiritual organizations get into welfare, and Prabhupada was not against material welfare per se. Prabhupada was against material welfare being equated in spiritual welfare, or material welfare being used to replace spiritual welfare. So, both need to go in parallel, and again the point which is important for our discussion is that we as devotees are not meant to dismiss other people’s sufferings simply as past karma. It is for our understanding.

In the previous session my thrust was on, ‘Just don’t look at the immediate. Look beyond the immediate.’ Now my thrust is, don’t dismiss the immediate. Just because we should look beyond the immediate, that does not mean that we are meant to dismiss the immediate. Now if A has hurt B, and if C is in charge, C should not be telling B that, ‘It is just your bad karma that you have got hurt.’ No, there has to be some… if C has been given the responsibility to take care of that situation, then it’s C’s responsibility to ensure that he behave properly. So, there is … so, past karma is never to be used as a licence for irresponsibility. We all intuitively understand this. ‘If a baby is crying, should the mother think that the baby is crying because of past karma? It would be ridiculous. No, if the baby is crying I will have to go and take care. Now, yes the baby may have stomach upset and the stomach upset maybe because of past karma, but when the mother is dealing with the baby the mother’s focus is not on the past karma. The mother’s focus is on, what is my duty… I am a mother, my duty is to take care of my children.

So, our spirituality is meant to expand our humanity, not shrink our humanity. To expand our humanity means, we are sensitive, but we are sensitive in a different way, not that we are insensitive. If people are suffering, yes we have to acknowledge that they are suffering, and if there is an immediate cause we acknowledge the immediate cause. Parikshit Maharaj acted against Kali. He acted against the immediate cause also. So, now how to deal with that immediate cause that will vary according to time, place and circumstance, but the important thing is that we don’t stay stuck with the immediate cause, nor do we dismiss the immediate cause. We don’t get stuck with the immediate cause and think that this is all that there is. If we just resolve the immediate cause, then everything will be resolved. That’s the current main stream conception in today’s world, and that is wrong. So, Prabhupada was strongly against the idea that this material welfare will solve all problems.

Now, I was at a United Nation’s conference on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations. So, India head of the United Nations at that time… he told that since the United Nations was established they had go literally millions of dollars, thousands of workers, and they had like 66 sister organizations, and all the areas they had been working, every single area that they had been working, they said, actually as compared to 1940’s, things have become worse today. So, things have not improved. So, the point is… it’s not that…we are not saying that everything that United Nations is doing is useless. The point is without going deeper, to change consciousness… solutions will not work. So, we need to change consciousness also. That doesn’t mean that we don’t work in the immediate level. They two can go together. Say, a person is alcoholic, and because of drinking too much alcohol, they got liver problems. Now if the person has got a severe attach where they are vomiting or they are having pain, at that time if they come to a doctor. At that time the doctor’s duty is not to say, ‘You fool, why did you drink the alcohol?’ That is not the point. The doctor has to at that time provide medicine, provide relief so that the person doesn’t feel pain, but at the same time the doctor also has to give knowledge. ‘This was caused by your drinking. You have to stop drinking. Otherwise this will happen again and again. It will worsen. Now I was able to help you. In future a attack may come in such a way that I may not be able to help you.’ So, the doctor has to give education, but the doctor also has to give the 22.42(inaudible)…

It’s not the education about the cause is meant to be at the substitute of dealing with the consequences. Education about the cause and rectification of the consequences both can go in parallel. The past indulgence of alcohol… the consequence of that the doctor helps in treating, but along with that he also gives the education, ‘Don’t drink this again, otherwise it will cause further problems.’

So, now I will… like a small detour for going towards social or interpersonal where others are suffering, but our focus is right now on…when we are going through some situation, which hurts us a lot, but I talked about it a slightly different because if we see somebody else who is suffering, and they are hurt, at that time it is not for us to tell them, ‘It is all because of your own past karma.’ You may sometimes tell it, but we have to see what is the consequence of telling it. Is it is going to bring them closer to Krishna, or is it going to take them away from Krishna?

It is said that preaching means to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comforted. What does it mean? Afflict the comforted. Say, when Prabhupada was in America, he said, ‘Americans, do you think you are very progressive, you are very successful, you are very powerful. What is this success?’ Prabupada would use the example of… ‘He was the President of America. So powerful, so young, so well to do. Just one moment he was shot.’ Everything that you have can be taken away in one moment. What is the use of your success? This is afflicting the comforted. ‘Everything is temporary. Don’t become so proud of it. Remember the danger in this world.’ But preaching also means to comfort the afflicted. Now if somebody has lost his loved one. At that time, if we have to go there, we should console him, ‘Krishna is our eternal shelter. You loved one’s wherever they are, Krishna will take care of them. You pray to Krishna. Krishna will help them. You pray to Krishna, Krishna will give you shelter also. So, at that time our focus is on helping them rise on the suffering. Now, instead if you tell them, ‘Your this loved one has passed away. That loved one is also going to die. All your loved ones are going to die. All relations are temporary. There is no shelter in this world.’ That would be terribly insensitive, that is violence. It may be true, but that is not the time for telling that. In the 3rd Canto it is said that the Lord is very pleased by those who travel around…the sages who travel around the world assuring people of fearlessness in the Lord. The Lord is very pleased with them.

So, the great devotees, what they do is, they say, ‘take shelter of Krishna. Everything will be alright.’ So, our goal is not to increase people’s fears. It is not to increase people’s troubles. Sometimes, you may have to afflict the comforted so that they take shelter of Krishna. If people are afflicted, that time we have to comfort them. So, when we are interacting with others… and this principle is applied to when we are interacting with ourselves also, right? And our goal should be, What will help me come closer to Krishna? What will help this person come closer to Krishna. So, if somebody is suffering, at that time you have to help them understand that Krishna is there with them, Krishna will shelter them, Krishna will help them to tolerate this, to transcend this, just take shelter of Krishna.

So, now here my whole thrust will be on sensitivity… We have to understand that there is, as I said Krishna is not the cause of everything. Now, like sometimes in India there is Gita Sar… People put that in their shops or houses, and it says, ‘Jo hua wo accha huan, jo ho raha hain wo accha ho raha hain, jo hone wala hain wo bhi accha hi hoga.’ ‘Whatever has happened is good, whatever is happening is good, whatever will happen is good.’ Now, I have read the Bhagavat Gita over a hundred times, recited it thousands of times, but I have never found any verse which comes anywhere close to this. (laughter)

The Bhagavat Gita’s focus is not on what has happened. Bhagavat Gita’s focus is on what are we going to do. It is not that everything that happens is good, everything that happens can be for good, everything that happens is not intrinsically good. Sometimes bad things happen in life, and it is not that as devotees somehow we have to imagine that bad things are good. Now if a loved one suddenly passes away, if he gets a terrible disease, if some injustice happens, if suddenly we are framed and fired from our job, if we go through a painful separation in a relationship, it is not that everything that happens is good.

Spirituality is not meant to whitewash the reality of suffering in this world. That means that, it’s not that we just deny all suffering and say that, everything is good. No, in this world bad things do happen. Krishna says, ‘this world is dukhalayam. This world is a place of misery.’ Krishna is not dismissing away the misery. So, it’s not that everything that happens is good. Many times bad things happen in life, but everything that happens can be for good. That means good can come out of the bad.  Bad things happen, but good can come out of the bad. How does the good come out of the bad? That depends on the way we respond. Sometimes I may act in a way that makes bad things worse, or sometimes I may act in such a way that from the bad something good comes out. So, it depends on our actions, and this is where taking shelter of Krishna helps enormously. When we take shelter of Krishna, at that time He guides us… dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te,
He guides us, He gives us the intelligence. What kind of buddhi, buddhi yoga. Yoga means connection, connection with the supreme reality Krishna. Buddhi Yoga means the intelligence that helps us to make the connection. So, buddhi yoga is the intelligence that helps us… which will make the connection between what is happening now with Krishna. How can this be seen in a way that is favourable for my growth. How can this be seen in a way that helps me to grow in bhakti yoga, that is buddhi yoga.

To a large extent, philosophical education is meant for devotional reinterpretation of reality. Philosophical education is meant for devotional reinterpretation of reality. Reinterpretation of reality in such a way that we see how it can be favourable for my devotion. When Parikshit Maharaj sees that I have been cursed to die in seven days. What does he do at that time? … Ultimately this world has to be renounced. Now, maybe I have got too much attachments. Krishna has arranged for me to get detached for this world, and get focussed on dying. So, it was a terrible event, but interpreted in such a way that it was favourable for his devotion. So, that expertise is what is exhibited by characters again and again throughout the Bhagavatam.

One of my favourite stories in the Bhagavat is the story of Vrtrasur. Now, Vrtrasur is such a dramatic story… the Bhagavatam is expert at inverting conventional realities, conventional conceptions. Normally demons are considered bad, and devatas are considered good, but the Bhagavat from time and time again it inverts the hierarchy. Prahlad is also a demon, but Prahlad doesn’t look like a demon, Prahlad looks like devotee. Such a nice, saintly, tender boy. So, there the inversion is not that dramatic, because we can see that Hiranyakashipu is a demon, and Prahlad is a devotee, but although born in a demoniac family it’s almost like a afterthought. Don’t think of Prahlad at all that he has anything with a demoniac family. Looks so saintly, acts so saintly, but Vrtrasura was not like that. Vrtrasura was born in a demoniac family, and was actually born a demon, and he looked like a demon. He was scary to look at, he was huge, he was Vrtrasura. Vrtra means one who cover’s, his body was so huge that he would cover the vision when he would appear. That is one of the reasons why he is called Vrtrasur, and he was a demon and he was fighting against Indra who is just not a devata, but he is devendra, the king of the Gods, and then what happens? As they are fighting and fighting; initially in the fight Vrtrasura was winning; Indra loses his vajra…throws his vajra which was his most celebrated weapon…actually he throws his mace which is very powerful, and when he throws his weapon at Vrtrasura he not only just catches that weapons, but he takes it and hurls it back, and it hits Airavat who is a giant elephant carrier of Indra, and it hits him so badly that airavat is thrown back… falls back, and Indra is just dazed, and he is thinking, ‘My best weapon doesn’t work. What do I do now?’

It’s just like, let’s say there is celebrated spin bowler, and that bowler bowls his best googly, and the batsman just lofts it for a six, and he thinks, ‘What do I do now? My best weapon has been dismissed completely. So, it’s not that Vrtrasura just defended or just dodged the blow. He just counter attacked. Now Indra started thinking, ‘What do I do now?’ Now when Indra became disheartened, at that time Vrtrasura starts speaking, and Vrtrasura has a beautiful series of verses. Initially he is just goading, ‘You are the killer of my brother, you are the killer of a brahmana, you are the killer of your own guru.’ Indra killed Viswarup earlier who was the priest for them. Therefore you deserve to die, and I will kill you, and then he says, ‘If however I am not able to kill him, and if I die, then…’ Till that point there is sudden transition, a significant transition in the way he speaks. Initially he speaks in the mood of vengeance, but then he shifts. He says, ‘If however I am not able to kill you. If however you kill me, then I am longing to go back to my Lord’s abode.’ He says, ‘For those who are not very devoted, the Lord gives them dharma, artha and kama, but those who have a little devotion the Lord gives them wealth, worldly pleasures etc. Then he says, ‘But those are very devoted to Him, the Lord is so merciful that he take everything away from them, and He gives Himself to them. Krishna is Krishna’s greatest blessing.’

So, what is he saying to Indra… ‘That actually the Lord is giving you small mercy. To you Indra, the Lord is going to give you Swarga, but He is going to give Himself to me. He is going to liberate me from material existence. So, Krishna’s small mercy is when he makes life comfortable for others. Krishna’s greatest mercy is when He attracts us to Him, and takes us to Him. Sometimes we say to Krishna, ‘Krishna, you give me your small mercy, I don’t want your big mercy.’ We feel like that. Yes, It is not necessary the Krishna’s small mercy has to come at the expense of the big mercy, they can both come together also. Pandavas, they ruled their kingdom, and they got worldly prosperity, and they were devotees also. Sometimes it can happen that both can come together. Sometime it may work out that, Krishna may have a plan to give the bigger mercy.

So, Vrtrasur didn’t see, ‘No, I am fighting and I want to be defeated. No, Indra has been given the weapon by which I will be killed, and therefore life is so unfair to me. God is so unfair to me.’  He doesn’t think like that. Yes, if he gets the kingdom it’s fine; I am going to get something better, I am going to get the Lord. So, essentially whatever happens, we need to interpret it in a way that is favourable for our bhakti, interpret it in a way that will help us to grow towards Krishna. To the extent we are able to do that, to that extent we will not be shaken by life’s up’s and down’s, to the extent…

So, now we see throughout religious history…when Jesus was crucified… it’s not just the Bhagavatam principle, it is a universal principle… when Jesus was crucified it was devastating for the followers, because the whole idea at that time was… the abrahamic religions at that time, Judaism, Christianity, Islamic… they were very messianic traditions. Messianic means, they expect a messiah to come, and that messiah will deliver them. So, messianic traditions… many of the followers of Jesus, they thought Jesus was the messiah, and they had expected that the messiah had come… In the past, most of the prominent leaders of Christianity… many of them were not of Christianity, they were from the tradition, which was Jewish earlier. Jesus was himself a Jew… born in Jew family. They were kings. So, they had expected a great king to come and win the kingdom for them, but when Jesus came, Jesus was not a warrior at all, he was a carpenter’s son, and then he attracted many people with the message which is all given in the gospel and the bible, but eventually when was going to be crucified, all the followers expected that he will do some miracle. He had done many miracles. He had brought a dead person to life, he had cured a blind person, had walked across water, many things he had done. They expected that some miracle will happen. Nothing happened, and he was crucified. So, that could have been the death of their faith. They could have said, ‘We have mistakenly thought him to be a messiah. He was not a messiah. He was an ordinary man. So, he was crucified.’ Now, crucification was very brutal form of death also because nails were being put in the body of a person and killed. At that time, the less milder form of killing was giving the person hemlock, telling them to take the poison and die. Socrates was poisoned and killed like that with hemlock, but after Jesus had been killed, when the followers were meeting in a particular point the felt the presence of Jesus, and then they got the feeling that Jesus had been resurrected, and that he died for our sins, and because he sacrificed… because he died for our sins, he has sacrificed so much for us. Therefore we should sacrifice for him, and it was after this that his followers took up preaching with so much vigour. When Jesus was there, he was doing the main preaching and they were just assisting him, but after he died they could have been shattered because he was not there at all, but what happened was, they became more enlivened because they saw the event of Jesus’s death not as a defeat, but they saw it as a sacrifice.

From the external perspective death is the same thing. Death can be seen as a defeat, where in the fight for life one is defeated, where death can also be seen as a sacrifice. So, Jesus could have saved himself, but he chose to die. So they saw it as sacrifice,…41.19… follows and they became so enlivened, and the way they preached far and wide that is revolutionary. So, in any religious tradition if we see, there is this whole devotional reinterpretation of reality. Whatever is happening we have to interpret it in a way that is favourable for our bhakti. Now this interpretation is not just a act of mental adjustment or intellectual adjustment. It is actually an alignment with reality. That is what it really is. Ultimately whatever happens, it is for our… it is not necessarily good, but it will be for our good when we respond appropriately. If we respond with resentment, if we respond with hatred, then it will not work for our benefit, it will work for our bad. We always have our free will, and if we don’t use our free will properly then we may aggravate the situation, we may worsen the problem. So, for us by practicing bhakti now in this world we have to see that actually whatever is happening there is an immediate cause, and how to deal with that immediate cause? That is something practical which we have to think calmly and decide. There is an intermediate cause, that is my karma. This ultimate cause, that is Krishna, but it is not Krishna who is inflicting the suffering on us. Krishna is sanctioning it, but Krishna is not up there as a judge who is inflicting the suffering on us. Krishna is in here with us, helping us to deal with the suffering, helping us to tolerate, to transcend the suffering.

We know the story of Haridas Thakur. He was punished… to be whiplashed in 22 market places. The idea of that punishment was, that this whippers would be so powerful that in just one or two market places when person is whipped, he will die, but the idea of public fogging was that, it would be a lesson for the culprit. If anyone else does this crime, they would know that this is what they would get. This was done to strike fear in people’s hearts, by which they would be docile before the rulers. So, now when he was whipped in 22 market places… somehow at that time Haridas Thakur survived. Nothing happened to him, and Haridas Thakur, he did not even feel much pain. He was just absorbed in chanting Krishna’s names, but later on Chaitanya Mahaprabu in the Mahaprakash lila, He reveals. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu lifts His upper clothe and He shows that the marks of those whiplashes were there on his body. What did Caitanya show…. ‘Actually when the floggers were beating you, I was there ready with my Sudarshan chakra to cut off their heads, but because you were praying for them to be forgiven, so the power of your compassion was greater than the power of my anger. So, the sudarshan chakra was in my hand but it could not be released, because you were praying for them, but I could not tolerate your suffering. So, the only alternative for me was, I 44.52-54, I took the … that were coming…, and this is how you did not feel the pain.

Now, this is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s … Haridas Thakur..45.08. by shielding him, by taking upon those blows. It’s not just a historical incident reserved for a special devotee like Haridas Thakur. Yes, that specific way of affection, yes that is specially for Haridas Thakur, but that also demonstrates a universal principle. The universal principle is that, that Krishna is not up there, just like the judge who gives the suffering according to the karma one does. Krishna is in here with us, in our hearts… sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto. He is there with us in our own hearts. He is closer than the closest person can be ever to us. Even the person who is the most closest to us, they embrace us in the tightest of hugs, still they cannot come as close to us as Krishna always is. He is there in our hearts, and if we take shelter of Krishna, if we remember Krishna, if we absorb ourselves in Him, then the blows of this world will come, but they will hit us but they will hurt us. How does that happen? Suppose say, there is a child who has not done homework, and the teacher at the school is very strict. So, the teachers call him, ‘Not done homework, show your hand.’ The teachers hits the child’s hands with the stick… thk, thk, thk.. now the mother knows that when the child has not done the homework, the child will be punished today. The mother doesn’t want the child to be punished, but at the same time the mother doesn’t want the child to be irresponsible also. The mother wants the child to learn to do homework properly. So, when the child is going to school, the mother puts a nice, thick glove on the child’s hands. When the child goes to the school the teachers asks, ‘Have you done the homework?’… ‘come here. Show your hand.’ When the hand is shown, the stick falls thk, thk…. a loud noise comes, but the child is protected by the glove. The blows hit but it doesn’t hurt, because the glove is protecting.

So similarly, we are like the child. By our karma we are meant to suffer, Material nature is like the teacher. Karmic reactions that are going to come, they are like the blows of the stick. Krishna is like the mother, and the glove is Krishna Consciousness. The glove is the remembrance of Krishna. We put on the gloves… life’s suffering will come, they will hit us but they won’t hurt us, because we will be sheltered in Krishna.

mac-cittaḥ sarva-durgāṇi
mat-prasādāt tariṣyasi
atha cet tvam ahaṅkārān
na śroṣyasi vinaṅkṣyasi
B.G (18.58),

In the Bhagavat Gita, Krishna says, if you become conscious of Me, all obstacles by My mercy, will cross over them. So, Krishna is not saying that the problems will not be there. Problems will be there. We are not saying that the problems will go away, but you will pass over them. How? mat-prasādāt, by my mercy, and how does that mercy come? mac-cittaḥ…when we become conscious of Krishna. If we become conscious of Krishna, the problems will come, but the problems won’t trouble us so much. But if we are not conscious of Krishna, the problems will become like ghosts that will haunt us constantly, and when we see Krishna as shelter for our consciousness, then we will get relief. Quite often when we are practicing bhakti, instead of seeking a shelter for our consciousness, we seek a solution for our problem.

‘Now, why is this person doing like this? This person should not do like this, but he should do like this?” we seek a solution for the problems specifically, instead of seeking a shelter for our consciousness. Yes, we need a solution to problem, and that solution will emerge in due course, but when we focus on the problem, and tell Krishna, ‘Please solve this problem. Please make this person change.’ What is happening, even when we are praying to Krishna, we are not conscious of Krishna. We are actually conscious of the problem. Now we are problem conscious instead of Krishna Conscious. So, actually the problems in this world are meant to prompt us towards Krishna. They are meant to make us take shelter of Krishna, but instead we are seeing Krishna as the means to solving the problems. So, we are getting our means and ends confused. Krishna is not a means to end of solving the problems of this world. The problems of this world are a means to the end of absorbing ourselves in Krishna. This is a very fundamental principle, that Krishna is not a means to the end of solving the problems of life in this world. Rather, the problems of life are a means to the end of absorption to Krishna. The end of complete devotion to Krishna. Now, this doesn’t mean again that the problems are meant to be kept as it is or the problems are not meant to be solved. It just means that the priorities have to be cleared. As long as we put the world first, and we put Krishna second, we will always be having second thoughts about our life. ‘Will Krishna help me? Will Krishna really solve this problem? Should I be practicing bhakti? Should I not be doing something else?’ Now, as long as we put the world first, and Krishna second, then we will have second thoughts about our bhakti, but when we put Krishna first, ultimately whatever happens in life, whatever happens in this world, the ultimate shelter is Krishna. It doesn’t mean that we check the world, it doesn’t mean that we have to abandon everything in the world, but we have to put Krishna first. When we put Krishna first and take shelter of Krishna, then when the problem comes, it’s not that… we are praying to Krishna, ‘Krishna, Krishna, solve this problem.’ Closing our eyes, and we hope the problem gets resolved. So, even though we are not Krishna conscious, but we are problem conscious. Then, we may not really be growing spiritually, we are not really taking shelter of Krishna, we are not absorbing ourselves in Krishna. So, when we absorb ourselves in Krishna, that itself is a relief.

Just like say, from outside it’s very cold, or it is very hot and we come to a air-conditioned room. Then we immediately feel relief. Now the outside heat is not yet gone, but we have come to a place where we can get relief, we can get comforting cool atmosphere within. So, now if instead of coming inside the house I open the door and expect the whole environment to become cool… and complain, ‘why is this air-conditioning not working, why is it still hot?’… don’t expect the air-conditioning to cool the whole world. Go inside the air-conditioning and you will experience the cool. So, like that when we connect with Krishna, when we open the door to Krishna bhakti, we open the door but instead of entering into Krishna consciousness, entering into absorption in Krishna, we are like opening the door, ‘Krishna, come and solve the problem.’ We are expecting the whole world to cool down. That can also happen. It will happen later. As the seasons change, the cooling will also  happen, but primary is not solving the problem, primary is taking shelter of Krishna. So, when we take shelter of Krishna, when we absorb ourselves in Krishna that itself is a relief, it’s not the full solution but that itself is a relief. No matter how big the problem that we are facing, if we just try to remember Krishna, chant His names, come to His temple, pray to Him, hear his message, we find ourselves getting some comfort, getting some relief, and that itself is a big part of the solution.

The Bhagavatam, 3rd Canto Krishna says, mad asraya  katha mrstha….srunvanty katha cu ya…tapanty vividha stapa…naitan mad gatin cetasah… that if we just take shelter of….those who take shelter of me, by hearing my delightful pastimes..katha mrsta, srnmanty kathayanti… those who hear it, those who recite it…tapanty vividha sthapa. Tapanty...various kinds of miseries in the world… but naitan, he won’t suffer those, why? Mat gat cetasa... 55.20… their consciousness is absorbed in Me. So, just that remembrance of Krishna gives relief from the suffering. That relief is not the solution, and the relief may not be the substitute for the practical solution, but sometimes when we focus only on the practicals, ‘I have this problem. This should be solved.’, then we miss out on the transcendental opportunity.

There is a practical adversity, but within that practical adversity means… the real world. Practically there is an adversity, but within that practical adversity, within that worldly adversity is a transcendental opportunity. The transcendental opportunity is to experience the reality of the shelter of Krishna. If we focus only on… ‘When will this adversity be solved?’, then we completely miss out the transcendental opportunity. That is to absorb ourselves in Krishna.

In 2012, once I was in Mumbai. In the temple on morning I was doing japa, and I was just trying to just absorb myself in chanting. So, I was just walking along. At that time I didn’t have crutches. I used to wear a brace in my leg. So, I was walking along and with closed eyes I was chanting, and someone had spilled a little water over there. So, I just slipped and fell, and because I had that brace in my leg, so the leg could not bend when I fell. So, I got just twisted completely. I had a severe fracture, practically the thigh came out… So, it was a bad fracture, and then I was in a kind of pain that I had never experience before. So, I had so much pain…for me, among all the books I had always connected with the Bhagavat Gita. So, I loved to recite Bhagavat Gita. So, at that time the pain was just becoming unbearable, somehow I started reciting Bhagavat Gita verse, and I started reciting…it was somewhat like 7’o clock it happened in the morning, then we thought it was just a.. we did not realize that it is a major thing…. So, some devotees took me to a room. I was lying down over there just chanting verses and the pain was not going away. So, it was like I was chanting the verses, feeling good, as soon as I stopped chanting pain just comes back. And finally when the pain was not going down, I had to do X-ray by a nearby place, …. The doctors said that I had to immediate do a operation.. they rushed me to the hospital. So, he was shocked that with this kind of fracture, patients would be screaming in pain, patients would be unconscious. Then finally when I was rushed to the hospital, it was 3-4 hours by the time I reached the hospital, and immediately the doctors gave anaesthesia, and then they did a surgery.

So, after this one of my old friends who was an atheist, he wrote a letter to me. He said that, ‘you were chanting your God’s name in His own temple, and He couldn’t protect you there itself. Why are you worshipping such a God?’ So, this whole incident is there on the website. There is an article, ‘Do you still believe in God?”, So, I wrote back to him, and I said that, ‘Actually not only do I still believe in God, my faith in God has become stronger. Because although I had talked about how there is a higher spiritual reality beyond this material reality, I had little realization, but at that time those three, four hours I could practically experience that there is a material reality and there is a spiritual reality. It’s like if you have a two storey building, and in the ground floor there is no air-conditioning. So, as soon as you come to the ground floor, you experience terrible heat. As soon as you rise to the first floor there is air-conditioning completely. So, like this there is material consciousness and there is spiritual consciousness. So, as soon as you come to material consciousness, there is misery. In the physical level there must be, but as soon as there is absorption in Krishna… as I was reciting I was absorbing myself in Krishna, there was relief from the pain. So, I told him that for me, no other incident in my life convinced me about the reality of the shelter of Krishna. The reality of the relief that one gets when he absorbs himself in Krishna, and no other incident convinced me of that, as much as this incident.

So, sometimes we may say that, ‘Actually… I am praying so much to Krishna, why is Krishna not removing this suffering. Why is this suffering coming?’ And if we focus only on this, ‘that Krishna is not solving my problem’, then we may think that Krishna doesn’t exist or Krishna doesn’t care and we then we may give up our bhakti, but we can again… devotional reinterpretation of reality, it is seen in a different way. We can say that…but actually Krishna says in the Bhagavat Gita, ‘This world is dukhalayam’, and now I am experiencing this. So, what Krishna is saying is true.

One of the Srila Prabhupada’s senior disciples, Ravindra Swarup Prabhu…. so, he writes in one of the articles…he had gone to many spiritual paths, and they were all talking about how to become happy, and some of the spiritual guru’s would say, ‘Actually, you are already gone, you are already happy, you are ananda, you are not realizing your ananda.’ So, he said that first I came to a Krishna conscious program, and I heard that, ‘This world is a place of misery.’, and then he thought, ‘At last someone is telling the truth.’ So, now if you see the world’s propaganda is…  most of the movies are about romance, most of the novels are about romance, and the usual theme in romance is 1.01.42 happily ever after. They say, ‘Happily Ever after.’ But the Bhagavat Gita says, ‘Dukhalayam Asaswatam.’ It’s the exact opposite. Happily … dukhalayam…. ever after… asaswatam..

So, what is the reality? The reality is, this world is a place of misery, and most people don’t realize that. They think, ‘Ok there is some misery, but you do some adjustment and everything will go alright.’ Or they say, ‘You know your India is miserable, you come to U.K. Everything will be happy. Come to U.K. once you get a better job, you will become happy.’ People have this idea that if they adjust something materially, things will become better. Relatively speaking something’s may become better, but principally that this world is a place of misery, is always there.

Srila Prabhupada writes, another verse in Bhagavata Gita, usually we quote 8.15 when we talk about dukahalayam asaswatam, but there is another verse in Bhagavat Gita which also talks about the same thing, that is 9.33,

anityam asukhaṁ lokam
imaṁ prāpya bhajasva mām

Krishna says that, ‘anityam asukhaṁ lokam’ This world is anityam, temporary, asukhaṁ, it is not having happiness in it.

imaṁ prāpya bhajasva mām…now that you have come to this world, just worship Me, bhajasme… so, there Srila Prabhupadas says in the purport that in this world there are differences such as wealthy, poor, such as high born, low born, such as strong, week, there is differences like this. Ultimately these differences make no difference. Ultimately material differences make no difference as far as saving us from material miseries are concerned. I may be wealthy, I may be poor, I have to grow old, I have to get diseased, I have to die. Yes, relatively speaking, when I grow old, if I am wealthy, I have better insurance, then I may not have so much suffering. Maybe I will have relatives around me, I will have people around me. Of course, whether those people will care for me or they care for my money, that is a different question. Yes, money can provide some shelter, some comfort, but ultimately we all have to die.

So, when Srila Prabhupada met Ambarish Prabhu or Alfred Ford for the first time… So, the devotees introduced him to Prabhupada, ‘He is the great grandson of Henry Ford.’, and Prabhupada looked at him. Amabarish prabhu said, ‘Prabhupada looked into me.’, Prabhupada looked into him and said, ‘So, you are the great grandson of Henry Ford. Where is he now?’ So, Ambarish Prabhu said, ‘I had met so many spiritual teachers. They would always sort of speak very gently with me, because I so wealthy, and I could become a patron for them. But Prabhupada was simply concerned about me. So, Prabhupada was saying, ‘Where is he now?’ What does it mean? Henry Ford earned so much money, but he left the money behind, he is gone now, where is he? So, he understood that Prabhupada was the real saint.

So, now, yes money makes a big difference relatively speaking, but ultimately speaking it doesn’t make any difference. So, everybody has to grow old, everybody has to get diseased, everybody has to die. Now again it is not to say that material differences don’t make any difference. But, ultimately they don’t, and we have to be aware of the ultimate reality. Srila Prabhupada says, ‘For everyone this world is a place for misery.’ So, therefore just practice bhakti. The point which I was talking about this is that when we get suffering, one attitude could be that, ‘Oh, why is God letting this problem come? Why is God not helping me?’

There is cultural bhakti and there is spiritual bhakti. Cultural bhakti means just a part of our culture. Knowing a part of the culture we should go to a temple, parents may tell the children, ‘Before your exam go and go down to God. Take His blessings. Good things will happen to you when you worship God.’ This is the culture. This is good that at least the culture is there, but cultural bhakti is different from spiritual bhakti.

There is cultural bhakti, there is intellectual bhakti and there is spiritual bhakti. The intellectual is the bridge that raises us from the cultural to the spiritual. When we are simply practicing cultural bhakti, why do we go to a temple? Because it is a part of our culture. When tomorrow the culture changes, ‘nobody is going to the temple, why should I go to the temple? I don’t need to go to the temple.’ Or if we are practicing bhakti simply as a cultural sentiment, or you go to temple… good things will happen to you…. ‘ I am going to the temple, no good things are happening, only bad things are happening,  no need to go to the temple.’ So, if we are practicing cultural bhakti alone, then when the culture changes, circumstances changes, you will stop practicing, but when there is intellectual bhakti… intellectual bhakti means we have understand the philosophy properly. It is in the intellectual level where the devotional reinterpretation of reality happens. Philosophy is very important.

Some people say that… ‘Philosophy is.. my heart is just devoted to Krishna. I don’t need philosophy.’ But the Caintanya Caritamrita says, ‘No, philosophy is very important… siddhanth baliy cite na kare alas, iha haita Krishna labhe sudrida manas– don’t say that it is all philosophy, I am not interested, don’t be lazy like this… iha haita, by philosophical understanding….Krishna lage suddrid manas … by philosophical understanding your mind will become fixed on Krishna wholeheartedly. So, it is philosophical understanding which will raise our bhakti from the cultural level to the spiritual level. So what is this philosophical understanding?

It is said that when we get problems in our life, at that time one response could be, ‘Why is this God letting this happen? God doesn’t care for me. I won’t care for me.’ Then that is just a cultural level, but the philosophical understanding is that, ‘Yes, I am getting suffering… Krishna has told already, this world is a place of suffering.’ But, although this world is a place of suffering, Krishna’s  thrust is not that, ‘This world is a place of suffering, so suffer.’ That is not the thrust of the Gita. Not at all. If you see, the Bhagawat Gita itself in its context… what happens? Arjuna at the start he is suffering, he is crying, but by the end he is relieved, he is comforted, he becomes confident.

So, the Bhagavat Gita’s message is not a message of condemning us to suffering. ‘This world is a suffering, suffer.’ No, Bhagavat Gita gives us the process for going beyond suffering.

In the same verse, in which we often quote about how this world is a place of suffering… in 8.55.

mām upetya punar janma
duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ
saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ

So, in this verse Krishna says, ‘mam upetya…. those who worship me, those who become devoted to me… punar janma… dukhalayam asaswatam...they won’t take birth again in this world.. asawatatam… this place is temporary… naapnuvanti, they will not come back again, mahatmanah….they are great souls. What will happen to them? Samsiddhir param gatah… they will attain the supreme destination.

So, what Krishna is saying is, by the practice of bhakti, they will attain the supreme destination. They will not come back to this material world which is a place of misery. So, in a sense the misery of the world is a passing fact. Krishna stresses, not that this world is a place of misery… be miserable. Krishna stresses, yea this world is a place of misery but you can get out of it. So, misery is a fact of the world but it is not the purpose of life. Misery is the fact of life, it is not the purpose of life. Just like in a hospital there is going to be sickness, but the purpose of the hospital is not to make people miserable. The purpose of the whole hospital is the cure the patient, and in the hospital if the patient cooperates with the doctor then the doctor is there to cure him.  So, similarly misery is there in this world. Now if we expect in a hospital that I will get a 5 course or a seven course or a 15 course feast, I am going to be frustrated. We can understand that this is a hospital, and I will get some food, but the primary purpose is to get treated. The primary purpose is to get treated so that I can get cured, so that I can go and then there is my life waiting for me. So, like that we understand in this world… we have too much expectations that the material things will work out right in this world, then we will be frustrated, and if we expect Krishna to send material things right for us, then we frustrate Krishna also, but instead if we follow the line of thought of scriptures. When sufferings come in our life, sufferings can actually increase our faith in Krishna. How? Krishna has said that this world as a place of suffering. Now I am experiencing that this world is a place of suffering. Therefore what Krishna says is true.

Now I have experienced one part… I have experienced as real, as true one part  of the scriptures. Now, let me check whether the other part of the scriptural teaching also is true. What is the other part of… one part of scriptural teaching is, this world is a place of misery, the other part of scriptural teaching is by taking shelter of Krishna, we can transcend this world. So, let me check whether this is true? And when this happens, when suffering comes in a devotee’s life, the devotee takes shelter of Krishna..1.12.08 (inaudible). ‘Krishna, just let me absorb myself in You. I want to absorb myself in you.’ When we have that mood, then we will find that there is a dramatic relief…. a dramatic relief available for us, when we absorb ourselves in Krishna.

So, for us devotees, if we focus on the solution rather than the absorption, then there will be frustration. If we focus on the expectation of the solution, rather than the absorption of Krishna then there will be frustration, but if we focus on absorption, then that itself is a first level solution, and then there are second level solutions which will be able to think of with more calmness, more clarity. If somebody is hurting us, whether to forgive them or whether to take action against them, that is a whole different subject, which I will discuss in our future classes, but at this point whatever be the problems that we are facing if we take shelter of Krishna we will get relief. Immediately we will get relief through the absorption or  from connection with Krishna, and then we will also get the calmness and clarity by which we will know how to practically deal about it. We will be able to best decide that.


I spoke today about how… in the second session about how we have to know… be very sensitive, when people are suffering, we shouldn’t say that it is all their karma. One aspect is that we don’t just stay stuck with the immediate cause, that this person is causing the problem, but we should look beyond the immediate to the deeper causes, but that doesn’t mean that we dismiss the immediate cause.

There is practical suffering that we have to acknowledge. That people are… we are not meant to judge people who are suffering…. of past karma. The child is crying…. the mother should not focus on  whether the child is crying because of past karma. She should focus on what is her dharma, and if a person is being robbed, the king should not be thinking, …. it is because of their past karma they have been robbed, it’s my duty to …  

Nobody blames Sita or Draupadi when they were dishonoured…. So we have to be sensitive. Krishna did not tell Arjuna, you … When Abhimanyu was killed and Arjuna was crying… so, we have to balance philosophical education with emotional sensitivity.

Now, we don’t have to tell every…. ….  We have to tell that truth which helps people come closer to Krisha, and which us also to come closer to Krishna. We should focus on that truth. So, preaching means sometimes we have to afflict the comforted and sometimes we have comfort the afflicted. Those preachers are dear to Krishna who assure people of fearlessness in Krishna… not that they create fearfulness by talking philosophy… and it is not that everything that happens is good, bad things do happen to … Everything that happens can be for good, and when it will be for good? When there is devotional reinterpretation….

So, Parikshit Maharaj saw the curse as an opportunity to focus whole-heartedly on Krishna. The followers of Jesus Christ saw the crucification as a sacrifice and devoted them to be more devoted to Jesus. So, whatever happens, we need to see it in a way that makes us come more closer to Krisha. So, when the suffering comes, rather than blaming God… why is the suffering coming? We see Krishna has said, ‘This world is a place of suffering… So, what Krishna is saying is true. The first part is true. Everybody else is saying that this world is a enjoyable, but no I have seen.. it is a place of misery, and then …

Thus taking shelter of Krishna gives relief from… So, the problems will hit us but they won’t hurt us if we take shelter of Krishna, just like a mother will put on a glove on the child… if the teachers stick hits but it doesn’t hurt, like that the glove is the remembrance of Krishna, and when we focus too much on expectation a material solution, we don’t get the spiritual absorption. When there is heat we come into the air-condition, when there is suffering come into the room of absorption of Krishna, and there are two levels of reality, the ground floor, we can be either in material level or we can be in the spiritual level, and just to get relief from the problem … that itself is a …..

That is big step towards solution, and when we focus on… first on that relief by absorption, then there will be clarity from which a practical solution will….

The practical solution we will discuss in our future …

So, we can conclude with this meditation, that problems come by our past karma.

Whatever Karma may get us to, Krishna will get us get us through.

Thank You very much

(Transcription by Sadananda Krishnaprema Prabhu)

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