Freedom through the Holy Name

By editor - 23.11 2021

By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

God’s names are a divine gift that can lift us from the conditions of material life and return us to our original spiritual freedom.

Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for kindly participating in this Krishna consciousness movement. This knowledge, bhagavata-dharma, was spoken by Bhagavan Himself, Lord Sri Krishna. Bhagavan is a Sanskrit word. Bhaga means fortune, and van means one who possesses. So bhagavan means the supreme fortunate. There are six principal opulences: beauty, wealth, strength, fame, knowledge, and renunciation. One who possesses these in full, without any rival, is called Bhagavan.

Bhagavata-dharma means the relationship between the devotees and the Lord. The Lord is Bhagavan and the devotee is bhagavata, or in relationship with Bhagavan. Everyone is related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as a father and son are related. That relation cannot be broken at any stage, but sometimes it happens that the son, out of his own independence, goes out of his home and forgets the affectionate relationship with the father.

We living entities are part of God. When we want to live independently of God, the conditional stage of our existence begins. “Conditional stage” means we accept a material body, which is conditioned in so many ways. For example, the body undergoes six kinds of change: It is born at a certain date, it remains for some time, it grows, it gives some byproducts, it dwindles, and at last it vanishes.

Besides these six changes of the body, we face many tribulations. There are the threefold miseries: those pertaining to the body and mind, those offered by other living entities, and those caused by natural disturbances. And the whole thing is summarized into four principles, namely birth, death, old age, and disease. Together these make up our conditional life.

Our Original Consciousness

To get out of these conditions of life, we must revive our Krishna consciousness, or God consciousness. Krishna means the Supreme Lord. God consciousness, or Krishna consciousness, is our original consciousness. Just as it is natural to remember our father in this life, it is natural to remember our original father. But we forget the supreme father, Krishna, and we want to live independently to enjoy life according to our whims. That is so-called independence. But by such independence we are never happy, so for this illusory happiness we transmigrate from one body to another. Each type of body has a particular facility for happiness. We want to fly in the sky. But because we are human beings, we have no wings and cannot fly. But the birds, although they are lower animals, can easily fly. If you analyze you’ll see that every type of body has a particular facility that others don’t. But we want all facilities of life. That is our inclination.

For example, modern scientists are trying to go to other planets, but they’re conditioned, so they cannot go. There are millions and trillions of planets before us the sun, the moon, Venus, Mars. Sometimes we wish, “How can I go there.” But because we are conditioned and not independent, we cannot go.

Originally, because we are spirit soul, we were free to go anywhere. We have immense independence, but we are now conditioned by this body. Therefore the human form of life is an opportunity to get back our original independence. That is called Krishna consciousness. That is freedom.

Two Kinds of Material Body

We have our spiritual body within the material body. That is our real identification. Now we are covered by two kinds of material body. One is called the subtle body and the other is called the gross body. The subtle body is made of mind, intelligence, and false ego, and the gross body is made of earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Generally we can see the gross body; we cannot see the subtle body. I know that you have your mind. I know that you have intelligence. You know that I have a mind and intelligence. But I cannot see your mind, I cannot see your intelligence, I cannot see your determination, I cannot see your thoughts, feelings, and will. You see my gross body made of earth, water, air, and fire, and I can see your gross body. And when your gross body is changed and you are carried away by the subtle body, that is called death.

Death means we change the gross body. For example, you have your shirt and coat, and you may change the coat but keep the shirt. Similarly, we keep our subtle body and give up the gross body; that is called death. And by the laws of nature the subtle body carries us into the womb of another mother. Then we develop another gross body with materials supplied by the mother. And when the body is prepared, we come out of the womb to work again with our subtle and gross bodies.

Bhagavata-dharma means that we have to transcend both the gross and subtle bodies and come to the spiritual body. It is very scientific. And as soon as we come to our real, spiritual body, being freed from the gross and subtle bodies, then we actually feel happiness and independence. The process of Krishna consciousness is the highest benediction for human society because it is trying to bring the human being to the platform of the spiritual body transcending the gross and subtle material bodies. That is the highest perfection. Human life is meant for coming to that platform, the spiritual platform, transcending the gross and subtle material bodily concept of life.

Therefore this Krishna consciousness movement is very important. Those who have taken to it are very, very fortunate.

“I Am Wasting My Valuable Life”

I shall explain a song sung by Narottama Dasa Thakura, one of our predecessor acharyas, or teachers. His songs are accepted in our Vaishnava society as Vedic truth. He has written in simple Bengali language, but it contains the Vedic truth. He has written many songs. One of them begins hari hari biphale janama gonainu: “My dear Lord, I am simply wasting my valuable life.” Narottama Dasa is speaking for people in general. Although we have been born as human beings, we do not know how to use human life. We are just like animals. The animal eats; we simply make arrangements to eat unnaturally. That is our advancement. In the animal kingdom every animal has a particular type of food. A tiger eats flesh and blood, but if you give the tiger nice oranges or grapes, he’ll not touch them, because those are not his food. Similarly, a hog eats stool. If you give the hog nice halava, it will not touch it. You see? Every animal has a particular type of food. Similarly, we human beings have our type of food. What is that? Fruits, milk, grains, vegetables. Our teeth are made for such foods. If you take a fruit, you can easily cut it into pieces with your teeth. If you take a piece of flesh, it will be difficult to cut with these teeth. But a tiger has a particular type of teeth, and he can immediately cut flesh into pieces.

We are advancing in education, but we do not even study our teeth. We simply go to the dentist, that’s all. This is our advancement of civilization. The tiger never goes to the dentist. Its teeth are so strong that immediately it can tear raw meat into pieces. But it doesn’t require a dentist, because it doesn’t eat anything unnatural for it. We eat anything; therefore we require the help of a dentist.

The human being has a particular type of business. That business is to study and discuss the bhagavata life. That is our natural business. We should try to understand Bhagavan, God. The relationship between Bhagavan and the bhakta, or devotee, is called bhagavatadharma. The business of human life is very easy: Simply hear about Krishna. Krishna is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we are part of Krishna.

Suppose I have forgotten my home. I left my home a long time ago and have forgotten my father. So if somebody reminds me, “Do you know such-and-such gentleman? He is your father. You were playing in such a way, your father was helping you . . .” In this way, if he simply talks of my father, I will remember my home. Similarly, we have forgotten our relationship with Krishna. If we simply hear about Him, then we will remember.

It is a simple process. We simply have to hear about Krishna. Krishna is situated in everyone’s heart, and we have forgotten Krishna, our supreme father, on account of material contamination. So hear about Krishna attentively. You haven’t got to do anything else. It doesn’t require that you become an M.A. or a Ph.D. No. God has given you two ears, and if you kindly submissively hear from the realized souls, then your life will be successful.

Deliverance by The Holy Name

I was explaining Narottama Dasa Thakura’s song. Let me finish it. He says:

hari hari! bifale janama gonainu
manusya-janama paiya,
radha-Krishna na bhajiya,
janiya Suniya bisa khainu

“My dear Lord, I received this valuable human form of life, but I have wasted it for nothing. This life is meant for understanding Radha and Krishna, but I did not do so. Therefore I have knowingly taken poison.” Sometimes a person takes poison to commit suicide. He knows that as soon as he’ll take the poison he’ll die. Similarly, one who is not taking to Krishna consciousness is drinking poison. This life is the opportunity to become Krishna conscious. And if you don’t use this opportunity, that means knowingly drinking poison.

Golokera prema-dhana harinama-sankirtana. Just as we receive radio sounds from different countries, from the spiritual world we receive the vibration of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Rati na jan milo kene tay: “I could not get my attachment to this transcendental vibration.” Samsara-bisanale, dibanisi hiya jwale, juraite na koinu upay: “I am suffering constantly with the poison of this materialistic way of life, and I did not try to get out of it by taking shelter of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.”

Then Narottama Dasa says, brajendra-nandana yei, Saci-suta hoilo sei. “In this age, the same Supreme Personality of Godhead who appeared five thousand years ago as the son of Nanda Maharaja that Krishna has appeared in this age as the son of mother Saci.” Lord Caitanya’s mother’s name was Saci-devi. Balarama hoilo nitai: “The same Balarama who appeared as Krishna’s elder brother has appeared as Nityananda.” What is the business of Lord Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu? Dina-hina jata chilo, hari-name uddharilo delivering the lowly, wretched souls with the holy name.

There are two kinds of people within the material world. One is committing sin and the other is suffering sinful reactions. Papi-tapi. That is our business. In this life, I am suffering the resultant action of my past impious activities and creating another set of impious activities so that I shall suffer next life. Hariname uddharilo: But everyone can be delivered simply by chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Thank you very much.