Monday, August 13, 2012

Begin by engaging the tounge (Srila Prabhupada)

In this lecture, given in Hamburg on Janmastami 1969, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada stresses how important it is to use our senses to serve Krishna/The Absolute Person in order to be able to understand anything about Him.

This touches the essence of Krishna Consciousness: Nothing is to be renounced. It's not yours to renounce — everything belongs to Krishna. Instead, everything is to be used, but in the service of Krishna. Everything. The senses too, all of them: the senses of perception and the working senses. Here Srila Prabhupada talks about the tounge, the most difficult one to control.

He starts the lecture with a quote from the Vishnu Purana, describing the situation of the living entities in the material world.

Srila Prabhupada:

avidya-karma-samjnanya: in ignorance and forced to work...

This is from a verse in the Vishnu Purana, on the nature of the Absolute Truth, wherein it is stated that vishnu-shaktih para: "The energy of the Supreme Lord is spiritual."

The energy and the energetic, the generated and The Generator, they are nondifferent. Just like the sunshine is the energy of the sun globe, but the quality of sunshine and the sun globe is the same. It is not different.

The sunshine is bright, illuminating, hot — similarly, we can understand the sun globe, that the temperature there may be very high, but the quality is the same.


vishnu-shaktih para prokta:

God has got one energy. That energy is spiritual energy. And,

kshetrajnakhya tatha para:

the same energy is manifested in another form, the marginal energy, or the energy in which we living creatures are acting.


avidya- karma-samjnanya:

Besides these energies, there is another energy, which is avidya, ignorance. Karma-samjnanya: and it is based on fruitive activities, work.

So beside these two energies, the spiritual energy and the marginal energy (the living entities), there is another energy, which is called avidyaAvidya means ignorance.

And karma-samjnanya, in that energy, one has to enjoy the fruit of one's own labor.

This is the material world.

This material world is also the energy of Krishna, or God, but here ignorance prevails. Ignorance is prominent. Avidya, ignorance. Therefore one has to work.

Practically one hasn't got to work, but because one is in avidya, ignorance, therefore one has to work.


So actually, there is one energy: spiritual energy. Krishna, or God, is the whole spirit, and the energies emanating from Him, that is also spiritual.

shaktih shaktimator abhinnah

In the Vedic language we understand that the shaktiman, or the energetic — Krishna, and the energy, they are nondifferent. So this material energy is also nondifferent from Krishna.

In other words of Vedic language it is said,

sarvam khalv idam brahma:

"Everything is Brahman."

In the Bhagavad-gita also, Lord Krishna says that,

Sarvam means all, idam means this manifestation, this cosmic manifestation, whatever you are experiencing... Krishna says that "I am expanded as this cosmic manifestation."

maya tatam idam sarvam:

"Everything is resting on Me", or "everything is an expansion of Myself."

naham teshu avasthitah:

"But I am not there."

This philosophy, acintya-bhedabheda — simultaneously one and different — is our philosophy, inaugurated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, although it is in the Vedanta-sutras.

So everything is simultaneously one and different from the Supreme Lord.

But there are two classes of philosophers — one class says that God and the living entities are different, and the other, the monist philosophers, they say God and the living entities are one.

So this acintya-bhedabheda philosophy adjusts that: "God and the living creatures, they are simultaneously one and different." They are one in quality, just like the energy and the energetic, the sun globe and the sunshine. But not in quantity.

In quality one: in sunshine there is heat, there is illumination, light. In the sun globe also there is heat, there is illumination, light. But the degrees are quite different.

You can bear the heat and illumination of the sunshine, but you cannot go to the sun globe, you can not bear the heat and temperature there. The scientists says that so and so many millions miles away, if somebody or some planet goes near the sun globe, they will immediately burn into ashes.

Similarly, God and ourself, Krishna and the living entities, they are qualitatively one, but quantitatively we are very minute. Anu. We are smaller than the atom.

Nowadays there is atomic theory. We can see the atoms within the holes of the windows when there is focus of sunlight. That is called prasarenuPrasarenu means six atoms combined together, then it is visible.

Otherwise, the atom is not visible with our naked eyes.

There is atomic theory in Vedic literature also, paramanuvada. And Srimad Bhagavatam says that the scientists may one day be able to count how many atoms there are within this universe. This is not possible, of course, but it is theoretically.

The Vedic Bhagavatam says: "It may be possible one day that by scientific research one can count how many atoms there are within this cosmic manifestation. Still, it is not possible to know the Supreme Personality of Godhead by our ordinary sense perception."

Krishna, or God, is not perceivable by your material senses. It is not possible.

atah: therefore


NamadiNamadi means "beginning from His name." Because we try to understand Krishna beginning by chanting His holy name, Hare Krishna.

Then, after chanting Hare Krishna, when our heart is purified, then we can understand His form, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha.

So neither His name or His form or His quality or His paraphernalia or His activities — none of these can be understood by your material senses. It is not possible.

atah sri-krishna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih

na indriyaih: not by the senses.

Then how is it understood?

sevonmukhe hi jihvadau:

Begin by engaging the tongue in the service of the Lord.

When we take to the transcendental loving service of the Lord, then the Lord reveals Himself. We cannot understandHe reveals Himself.

Therefore, sevonmukhe hi jihvadauJihva means tongue. The first business is to engage the tongue in the service of the Lord.

How you can engage the tongue in the service of the Lord? By chanting and glorifying His name, fame, quality, form, paraphernalia, pastimes. This is the business of the tongue.

sevonmukhe hi jihvadau

When the tongue is engaged, gradually all other senses are also engaged in the service of the Lord. The tongue is the most important sense within our body; therefore for controlling our senses it is recommended that one should control first of all the tongue.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings in his song:

ta'ra madhye jihva atilobhamaya sudurmati

The tounge is the most dangerous.

We are packed up in the network of this material body. It is just like a fish is caught within a net: similarly, we are caught up by this network of this material body. Not only this body — we are changing this net in various phases of life. There are 8,400,000 species of life, that's how many holes there are in this network. This is a network of ignorance, avidya-jalAvidya means ignorance.

sarira avidya-jal

And this network, my imprisonment within this network of ignorance, is being continued on account of these dangerous senses. Sense enjoyment. So out of these dangerous senses, Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, the tongue is the most dangerous.

The tongue... If we cannot control the tongue, then the tongue will oblige me to take different types of material bodies, one after another. If I am very much fond of satisfying my tongue by flesh and blood, then nature, material nature, will give me facility to taste flesh and blood fresh, and give me the body of a tiger.

If I do not discriminate of eating, then material nature will give me a body of a hog, when we have to accept as our food stool.

So we are materially suffering and so-called enjoying according to this body.

Therefore this body, this human form of body, is a great opportunity, because God realization begins by engaging the tongue.

sevonmukhe hi jihvadau

By engaging the tongue in the loving service of the Lord, one can make advancement in Krishna consciousness, ultimate realization of God. The tongue.

This tongue, in the human body, can be engaged.

So this human form of life is a great boon to the living entity who is traveling through the cycle of birth and death, perpetually changing different sorts of body. Here is the opportunity, the human form of body. We can utilize the tongue properly and get out of these clutches.

sevonmukhe hi jihvadau

So sevaseva means service; jihva ado: beginning from the tongue. So we try to keep our tongue engaged, always chanting the Hare Krishna mantra... Because "Krishna," this sound, is not different from Krishna. Krishna is Absolute. Nothing is different from Him. Krishna and Krishna's name is not different.

In the material sense, everything is different. I myself am different from this body. I am not this body. But Krishna is not like that. Krishna and Krishna's body is the same.

param bhavam ajananto — "These rascals do not know what is My influence and what I am."

param bhavam — "What is My nature they do not know. Without knowing Me, they consider, 'Krishna is an ordinary human being.' "

avaja-nanti mudha — This very particular word has been used, mudhaMudha means rascals. 

So in spite of this warning, there are so many rascals passing as big scholars. They say  like this: "When there is the instruction of Krishna that ‘you surrender unto Me,’ that is not to Krishna but the unborn spirit which is within Krishna."

They do not know that Krishna is not different from His body, Krishna is not different from His name, Krishna is not different from His fame.

Anything pertaining to Krishna is Krishna.

They are monists, they are philosophizing that Oneness, but as soon as they come to Krishna, immediately they divide: "Krishna is different from His body," or "Krishna's body is different from Krishna."

So, atah sri-krishna-namadi. Therefore we try to understand Krishna beginning from His name.

Krishna's name and Krishna is not different. Therefore, as soon as my tongue touches the holy name of Krishna, that means immediately it associates with Krishna.

So if you constantly keep yourself associated with Krishna by chanting this mantra, Hare Krishna, then just imagine how you are being easily purified simply by this process, chanting — jihvadau — engaging the tongue in chanting.

And your tongue wants very palatable dishes to taste. So Krishna is very kind. He has given you hundreds and thousands of palatable dishes, remnants of foodstuff eaten by Him. You eat.

In this way, if you simply make it a determination that "I shall not allow my tongue to taste anything which is not offered to Krishna, and I shall engage my tongue in always chanting Hare Krishna," then all perfection is within your hold.

All perfection.

Two simple things: Chant Hare Krishna. And don't eat anything which is not offered to Krishna. That's all. Our Krishna prasadam are so variegated, nice varieties... The variety is the mother of enjoyment.

How much enjoyment you want with your toungue? You can have simply by eating Krishna prasadam. And the more your tongue is purified, the more you relish the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra.


It is stated by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu that it increases the ocean of bliss, transcendental bliss.

The ocean does not increase — we have no experience of that within this material world. If the ocean would have increased, then all the lands would have been swallowed up a long, long time ago. The ocean does not increase.

But this ocean, transcendental bliss, is increasing. Some of you must have experienced, those who are actually relishing.

The authorities like Rupa Gosvami, he says that: "What I shall chant with one tongue? If I would have millions of tongues, then I could chant a little more. And what I shall hear with two ears?"

So he's aspiring to have millions of ears and trillions of tongues to relish this chanting Hare Krishna. So that is another stage of course, when this chanting will be so melodious that we shall try to have more ears and more tongues to utilize it.

atah sri-krishna-namadi 
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih

By our present senses, we cannot understand what is Krishna, or what is God, what is His name, what is His form, what is His quality.

Therefore, atah sri-krishna-namadi... These present senses, these impure senses, contaminated senses, cannot understand Krishna; therefore we should follow this principle:

sevonmukhe hi jihvado

First of all, engage in chanting Hare Krishna.

There is Radha and Krishna. Hare is Radha, and Krishna, there is. But don't try to understand by the present senses, but simply chant their holy Name, Hare Krishna. Then,

The dust on the mirror of your heart will be cleansed, and it will cleanse by simply chanting.


. . . and there will be no more any material condition.

That is the next stage. If you chant the Hare Krishna mantra without any offense, then immediately the stage will be that you are freed from all material anxieties.

That is the test — how I am advancing in chanting will be tested: How far you are free from material anxieties? That's all.

ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam

Then real life begins.

So long you are perturbed by material disturbances, you should know that your spiritual life has not begun.

When you forget Krishna, or God, and if we think that there is something else than Krishna, then we are afraid. Those who are convinced and realized souls think that “there is nothing but Krishna, where is the cause of fearfulness?”

Therefore those who are pure devotees, they are not disturbed even in the most distressed condition of life. What they think? They think, tat te 'nukampam...: "My Lord, it is Your great mercy that You have put me into this distressed condition":

So in the distressed condition, the devotees take it an opportunity that "I have got a very nice opportunity to remember God constantly. Krishna, You are so kind that You have given me this distressed condition."

So this Krishna consciousness is very nice. If we try to make progress on this line, we'll feel fearless: Bhagavad-gita says that if one is situated in Krishna consciousness, even in the terrible situation, fearful situation, he is not afraid.

Just like Prahlada Maharaja. You see? Prahlada Maharaja, a five-years-old boy, his father tortured him like anything. But he was not afraid. He was not afraid. This is the Krishna consciousness state. The boy is not afraid.

Even in such tortured condition, when his father challenged him, "Prahlada, with whose strength you are so powerful that you do not care for me?" he immediately answered, "My dear father, by whose power you are talking like that?"

So Krishna consciousness is so nice that even if one is put into a terrible condition of distress, he is not perturbed.

If one becomes Krishna conscious, he is not afraid, not of any condition of life. If he is put into hell or in heaven or in the spiritual world or any world, he is happy.

He thinks everything is all the same: "Whether you put me in hell or heaven or this or that, it is all the same." For because he is always with Krishna, chanting Hare Krishna, Krishna is always with him.

So where is the cause of being afraid of the dualities that "This place is not good; this place is good?” No. Wherever Krishna is, there is very good. That's all.

So we have to practice and train the tongue very nicely.

sevonmukhe hi jihvado

And the more our tongue is engaged in the loving service of Krishna... It is very nice service. You simply chant and eat Krishna prasadam. Is it very difficult service? Everyone will accept, "Oh, yes." But unfortunately, everyone does not accept. [audience laughs, Prabhupada chuckles] You see.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore says,

"My dear Lord, You are so kind that You have approached Me by transcendental sound. Or "You are always with Me." You can be. If I take, then Krishna is always with me. If I reject, then... That is the ignorance...

"Krishna is everywhere" means as soon as we accept, Krishna is immediately with us. And as soon as we reject, oh, He is far, far away. So Krishna can be with us very easily simply by this chanting or engaging the tongue in His service.

So, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommended this process, although it is not a new system. But He especially introduced it because His incarnation is to reclaim the fallen souls of this age.

Due to our ignorance, avidya, we have been very much serious with the temporary situation of maya, and we have forgotten the eternal position. This is our present conditional life.

Now this Krishna consciousness movement means His treatment to reclaim the souls from the clutches of maya. Then they are situated in their natural position.

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