Kundalini, Reincarnation, the Astral World

BY: SUN STAFF - 5.3 2018

By HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Back To Godhead 1983, Vol. 18, No. 09

Questions and Answers On the Science of Transcendence – Part One

This conversation with guests took place at the Hare Krsna center in Los Angeles in the late sixties.

Srila Prabhupada: Like the Hare Krsna mantra, om is a manifestation of the Supreme Lord in the form of sound vibration. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So, Hare Krsna and omhave practically the same value, but chanting Hare Krsna is easier. Another reason we chant Hare Krsna is that it was specifically chanted by Lord Caitanya. * ["Lord Caitanya is Krsna Himself in the role of His own devotee. He appeared in Bengal, India, five hundred years ago to teach love of God through the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra.]

Om is generally chanted at the beginning of Vedic mantras: om tad visnoh paramam padam sada. . . . om purnam adah purnam idam. Om addresses the Lord, and Hare Krsna also addresses the Lord. But chanting Hare Krsna is easier, and it is recommended for this age. Otherwise, transcendentally, or spiritually, there is no difference.

Guest: What do you think of kundalini-yoga and raja-yoga?

Srila Prabhupada: Raja-yoga means "the king of yogas." But we are practicing the emperor of yogas, bhakti-yoga, so raja-yoga is included in it. In the Bhagavad-gita [6.47], Lord Krsna says,

yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah

"Anyone who is always thinking of Me within himself is the topmost yogi." Therefore a person who is in full Krsna consciousness has surpassed all other kinds of yogic principles.

What is your understanding of kundalini-yoga? Do you know what it is?

Guest: It's very dangerous.

Srila Prabhupada: Why do you want to practice such a dangerous thing?

Guest: I just wanted to know what you thought of it.

Srila Prabhupada: It is not possible to practice such a difficult process of yoga in this age. It is too difficult. So we recommend that you not waste your valuable time trying to follow something that is not possible for you. That is our recommendation.

Of course, if you want to maintain some "yoga hobby," that is a different thing. But you will never be successful, because kundalini-yoga is very difficult to perform. In the present age, bhakti-yoga, or Krsna consciousness, is recommended as the only possible way for self-realization. And it is very simple: Just chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Anyone can do it, in any part of the world. One may be of any age; it doesn't matter whether you're an old man or a child. The many children of our devotees are chanting Hare Krsna, and old men like me are also chanting Hare Krsna. And these young boys and girls, my disciples, are also chanting Hare Krsna. So it is universal.

My disciples are neither Hindus nor Indians, nor have they any knowledge of Sanskrit. But they have easily picked up this Hare Krsna chant, and they are getting the result. So chanting Hare Krsna is the easiest, most universal method of self-realization in the present age. No other yoga practice will be successful. It will simply be a waste of time.

Guest: May I ask this, Swami: Have you yourself reached the superconscious state, or the Christ-conscious state?

Srila Prabhupada: It is not very difficult. You can also do that. Just follow the easy process of chanting Hare Krsna. What is Christ consciousness? What did Christ teach? That you surrender to God. Isn't this his essential teaching?

Guest: Well, the understanding I have of Christ consciousness is when one's mind reaches the state where it is within all the atoms and all the flowers

Srila Prabhupada: Krsna is within your self, within your heart, within the atoms everywhere. So if Christ taught that God is like that, then there is no difference between Christ consciousness and Krsna consciousness.

Guest: When I say Christ consciousness, I mean to get your mind on the same level as the atoms actually, on a higher level, beyond the atoms, as pure spirit. These two levels of consciousness, in the atoms and beyond

Srila Prabhupada: Actually, there aren't two levels of consciousness. There is only one. Consciousness is like the sky, but when part of the sky is overcast with clouds, you divide it: "This is the friendly sky, and this is the unfriendly sky." The airlines like to advertise, "Fly in the friendly sky." Wherefrom has this "friendly sky" come? The sky is one, but the part of the sky that is covered with clouds we call "the unfriendly sky," and the part that is sunny we call "the friendly sky."

Similarly, everything, without exception, is spirit (sarvam khalv idam brahma), but the portion of spirit that is covered by ignorance by the cloud of ignorance is called matter.

What is material civilization? All our usual activities, minus God. And as soon as we add God to all our activities, our civilization is spiritual. So, all activities minus God means trouble, and all activities plus God means the spiritual world, all-pleasing. Krsna consciousness means all activities should be done with God in the center. That is the sum and substance of Krsna consciousness.

We are doing the same things as you. We are burning candles here, and you also burn candles at your home. This is an apartment, and you also have your apartment. What is the difference between this apartment and your apartment? Here there is a relationship to Krsna. So, you make everything in your life related to Krsna, and your life will become spiritual. That is the technique you learn in Krsna consciousness.

Actually, there is nothing but Krsna consciousness. We have artificially covered Krsna consciousness with something else, which is called maya, or illusion. You have to get out of this maya consciousness and stand in your original Krsna consciousness. Then your life is perfect. That is what we are teaching nothing artificial or extraordinary. Nor is it very difficult. It is very plain and simple.

Guest: Is there a regression in your system of reincarnation? In other words, after his body dies can a man regress and become an animal or an insect of some sort?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. There are 8,400,000 different kinds of bodies, and after this life we can enter any one of them.

As far as my constitutional position is concerned, I am not the body: I am a spirit soul. We are changing our body even at the present moment. When you were born from your mother's womb, your body was very small. Now it has grown. You were a small boy, now you are a young man, and soon you will become an old man like me. So, your body is changing; this is a simple fact. And Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita [2.13], tatha dehantara-praptih: "After death you will pass into another body." That body may be a human body, a dog body, a cat body, a plant body it all depends on your consciousness at the time of death.

Guest: What is it that you take with you?

Srila Prabhupada: I will explain. Our change of body is taking place according to our mentality. For example, all these boys and girls and ladies and gentlemen sitting here in this room have different clothes, different bodily features, different modes of life. Why? Because of their different mentalities. Somebody likes to keep his hair dirty, somebody likes to cleanse it. Why? Because of a difference of mentality. Similarly, your next body will be determined by the state of your mind at the time of your death. If your mind is God conscious, you will get a body like God's. And if your mind is dog conscious, you will get the body of a dog.

So, it is a question of training your mind in such a way that at the point of death you can keep yourself Krsna conscious. Then you will get a body as good as Krsna's. This is the whole philosophy of Krsna consciousness. Krsna's body is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha: full of bliss, full of knowledge, and eternal. We should hanker after an eternal, blissful body full of knowledge. That should be our aim. And to fulfill that aim, we should practice Krsna consciousness.

Guest: When we get our next body, does our mind retain much of what it learned in the life before? Or does it start all over again and gain its knowledge through that body?

Srila Prabhupada: Death means forgetfulness. It is something like sleep. Or, sleep is partial death. When you sleep you forget your day's activities, and you also sometimes think that you have a different body or that you are floating in the air or that you have gone somewhere you have never been before.

Similarly, as soon as your body changes, your mind also changes. The mind's functions are thinking, feeling, and willing. We think, feel, and will according to circumstances. For example, now you have an American body, so you are thinking like an American, and someone else has a Russian body, so he's thinking like a Russian. Similarly, a soul who has a dog's body thinks like a dog. So the mind changes according to the condition of the body.

(To be continued…)