By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Lecture given in New York on November 29, 1973

Srila Prabhupada explains that like Arjuna when Lord Krishna left this world, we too are missing our eternal friend.

Lord Krishna is sitting within our heart, waiting to see when we will turn to Him.

suta uvacha
evam krishna-sakhah krishno
bhratra rajna vikalpitah

nana-shankaspadam rupam

Suta Goswami said: Arjuna, the celebrated friend of Lord Krishna, was grief-stricken because of his strong feeling of separation from Krishna, over and above all Maharaja Yudhishthira’s speculative inquiries. – Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.1

One of Arjuna’s names is Krishna Sakha, “the friend of Krishna.” And he is also sometimes called Krishna because his bodily features were similar to Krishna’s. Arjuna had just returned from Dwarka, where he had gone to visit Krishna. He was morose, being separated from Krishna. His elder brother Yudhishthira had yet to learn that Krishna had left this world, so he was suggesting whether Arjuna was morose for this reason or that reason. Actually, Arjuna was unhappy on account of being separated from Krishna.

Similarly, not only Arjuna – all of us. Like Arjuna, each of us is also a living entity. So we are also unhappy because we are separated from Krishna. Modern philosophers or scientists may go on thinking otherwise – that they can improve the world situation in their own way – but that is not possible. We are unhappy on account of being separated from Krishna. They do not know that. We are like the child who is crying. Nobody can say why he is crying, but actually a child is generally crying because of being separated from the mother.

So it is not a question of only Arjuna being unhappy. Every one of us is unhappy. In the Svetashvatara Upanishads (4.6) it is said that Paramatma, or Krishna, and the living entity are sitting on the same tree, samanam vriksham. One living entity is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other living entity is simply witnessing, anumanta. Krishna is situated in everyone’s heart. Without His sanction the living entity cannot do anything. The living entity wants to do something out of his own whims, and Krishna gives good consultation: “This will not make you happy. Don’t do this.” But he is persistent that he will do it. Then Krishna as Paramatma sanctions: “All right, do it – at your risk.” This is going on.

Every one of us is very intimately connected with Krishna, and Krishna is sitting in everyone’s heart. Krishna is so kind that He is simply waiting. “When will this rascal turn his face towards Me?” He is so kind. But we living entities are such rascals that we turn our face to everything except Krishna. This is our position.

We want to be happy, with so many ideas. Everyone is making his own idea. But the rascals do not know the actual process for getting happiness. That process is Krishna consciousness. They do not know that. You can see in your country how they are trying so many things – so many skyscraper buildings, so many motorcars, so many big, big cities – but there is no happiness, because they do not know what is missing. That missing point we are giving. “Take Krishna, and you will be happy.” This is our Krishna consciousness movement.

Krishna and the living entity are very intimately connected, like father and son, or friend and friend, or master and servant. We are very intimately connected. But because we have forgotten our intimate relationship with Krishna and are trying to become happy in this material world, we have to undergo so many tribulations. This is our position.

“Why are you in the material world and not in the spiritual world?” In the spiritual world nobody can become the enjoyer, bhokta. That is the position of only the Supreme. In the spiritual world there are also living entities, but they know perfectly well that the real enjoyer, the real proprietor, is Krishna. That is the nature of the spiritual kingdom. Similarly, even in this material world, if we understand perfectly well that we are not the enjoyer and that Krishna is enjoyer, then it becomes the spiritual world.

The Enjoyer is Krishna

This Krishna consciousness movement is trying to convince everyone that we are not the enjoyer but the enjoyer is Krishna. In this whole body, the enjoyer is the stomach, and the hands and legs and eyes and ears and brains and everything should be engaged to find enjoyable things and put them in the stomach. This is natural. Similarly, we are part and parcel of God, or Krishna, and we are not the enjoyer.

In every religion this is accepted. In the Christian religion it is said, “O God, give us our daily bread.” We cannot manufacture bread. It must come from God. That is the Vedic version also. God, or Krishna, gives all the necessities of life, but if you accept your enjoyable things as you like, then you’ll become entangled. If you accept things to be enjoyed by you as Krishna offers them to you, then you’ll become happy. If a diseased patient wants to enjoy life in his own whimsical way, he’ll continue his disease. But if he accepts the modes of life according to the directions of the physician, then he becomes free from the disease.

There are two methods, pravritti and nivritti. Pravritti means “I have the inclination to eat this or to enjoy this. Why not? I shall do it. I have got my freedom.” “But you have no freedom, sir.” You have no freedom. We have that experience. Suppose there is very nice palatable food. If I think, “Let me eat as much as possible,” then the next day I’ll have to fast because I’ll have dysentery or indigestion.

You cannot violate the laws of Krishna, or the laws of nature. That is not possible. You are not at all independent. The rascals will not understand this. They are always thinking they are independent. That is the cause of all unhappiness. Nobody is independent. How can you be independent? Nobody is independent. That is factual. Who is independent? Here you are sitting, so many boys and girls. Who can say, “I am independent of everything”? No. Nobody can say that. This is our mistake, and by misusing our independence we are suffering in this material world in so many ways. That has to be reformed. That has to be checked. That is the purpose of the Krishna consciousness movement.

The Illusion of Independence

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has preached, jivera ‘svarupa’ haya—krishnera ‘nitya-dasa.’ We living entities are eternally servants of Krishna. That is our position. But if we deny this position – “Now, why shall I become the servant of Krishna? I am independent” – then suffering begins. Immediately. As soon as you desire to enjoy independently, you are captured by maya, the illusory energy.

It is very easy to understand. If you don’t care for the government laws, if you want to live independently, immediately you are in the clutches of the police force.

Our position is that we are always dependent on God. We should understand this. This understanding is Krishna consciousness. Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes in a song, manasa, deho, geho, jo kichu mor, arpilun tuwa pade, nanda-kishor: “Mind, body, family, and whatever else may be mine, I have surrendered at Your lotus feet, O youthful son of Nanda!”

In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.1.4) it is said:

atma-sainyeshv asatsv api
tesham pramatto nidhanam
pashyann api na pashyati

“Persons devoid of atma-tattva [knowledge of the self] do not inquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children, and wife. Although sufficiently experienced, they still do not see their inevitable destruction.” Our mistake is to think that we are independent. “I am independent, and my soldiers or my society, community, or family will protect me.” Hitler declared war, and so many wars are declared. Everyone is thinking, “I am independent.” And we are thinking that we have got so many soldiers, so many atomic bombs, and so many airplanes, and we shall come out victorious. Similarly, each and every one of us is thinking, “I am independent, and my wife, my children, my society – they are my soldiers. If I am in danger, they will help me.” This is going on.

This is called maya. Because we have become mad after this so-called independence, independence from God, we are thinking these things will help us, will protect us, but that is maya. Tesham nidhanam: everyone will be destroyed. Nobody will be able to give us protection.

If real protection is wanted, we will have to take the protection of Krishna. That is the instruction of the Bhagavad-gita (18.66):

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam sharanam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
mokshayishyami ma shucah

“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” Krishna is saying, “You rascal, you are thinking that so many things will give you protection. That will not be possible. You will be finished, and your so-called protector and friends and soldiers will be finished. Don’t depend on them. Just surrender unto Me. I’ll give you protection.” This is real protection.

Everyone is falsely thinking he is independent, but he is dependent. He is depending on a false platform. That is the mistake of this material civilization. They are thinking of protection from a tilting platform, the material world.

We have to take shelter of Krishna. Krishna is very friendly to all of us. Therefore He comes down from Vaikuntha to inform us of the real situation. That information is given in the Bhagavad-gita and elaborately explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is the only thing.

The Solution Is Krishna Consciousness

People are faced with so many crises, problems. In the airport the reporter asked me, “What is the solution of this crisis?” The solution is Krishna consciousness. It is already there, but you will not take it. If the Arabians think that this oil is Krishna’s property and the others, the purchasers, also think that it is Krishna’s property, then they agree. America also must agree that this land of America is Krishna’s property. If you think that the Arabian oil is Krishna’s property, God’s property, and that you shall take it by force, then why should the Arabians not be allowed to come from the desert and live in America? They have got the United Nations. But the United Nations means simply committing mistake, mistake, mistake, mistake. That’s all. That is their business. Why don’t you unite? Yes, this Arabian oil is Krishna’s property, as is the Australian land, or the African land, or this American land, so vast a tract of land. But “No, you cannot come here. Yow! Yow!” They say – the immigration department. You see. Yow-yow department.

These rascals, all these politicians, are spoiling the situation, but they are such big rascals that they will not accept the solution. Take to Krishna consciousness, and everything will be solved. That’s a fact.

Lord Krishna says,

na mam dushkritino mudhah
prapadyante naradhamah
asuram bhavam ashritah

“Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, who are lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons do not surrender unto Me.” (Gita 7.15) Mudha – they’re such rascals; dushkritina – full of sinful activities; and naradhama – the lowest of mankind. Always remember that our preaching work is dealing with these kinds of men. Dushkritina means full of sinful activities. Mudha, rascals. Naradhama, the lowest of mankind. Mayayapahrita-jnana, and they’re thinking they are very much advanced in education, but they are fool number one because maya has taken away their real knowledge.

Why all these things? Because they are godless. Their only fault is godlessness. Āsuram bhavam ashritah. They have taken the position that there is no God. These big, big scientists are trying to prove there is no God. They are putting forward all kinds of foolish theories, and they are getting the Nobel Prize. This is the position.

In today’s verse the elder brother is making various suggestions about the cause of Arjuna’s unhappiness. These rascal scientists are taking the position of our elder brother, and they’re suggesting, “This is the cause of . . . ,” “This is the cause of . . . ,” “This is the cause of . . . ,” “This is the cause of . . .” But the only cause is forgetfulness of Krishna. That they do not know.

krishna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare
pashate maya tare japatiya dhare

“When an individual soul forgets his eternal relationship with God and tries to lord it over the material nature or resources, that condition, that forgetful condition, is called maya, or illusion.” (Prema-vivarta 6.2) This is the cause.

So try to preach this philosophy. Not everyone will accept it, but a few percent, or one percent of the whole population may accept. In the sky there is one moon only, and there are millions of stars. What is the value of the millions of stars? But one moon, oh, it can dissipate the whole darkness of night. Similarly, at least those of you who have taken to Krishna consciousness, each of you become a moon and enlighten the world. These glowworms will not be able to do anything. That’s a fact. Don’t remain a glowworm. Just become a sun or moon. Then people will be happy, and you will be happy.

Thank you very much.