Although the Absolute Truth is one without a second, the sages have described Him in many different ways. Therefore one may not be able to acquire very firm or complete knowledge from one spiritual master. Having learned from my spiritual masters, I remain situated in realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and, fully renounced and enlightened by realized spiritual knowledge, wander the earth without attachment or false ego. SB 11.9.30-31

Self-realization and enlightenment means that one gives up their attachment to everything that is temporary, which no longer has any influence over the self, and realizes their oneness with the Supreme Absolute. This awakening may be achieved through the assistance of one or more gurus, but the Absolute is always one without a second. Once one has achieved this state of awareness and deep realization, there is nothing else for the devotee to do, but to be of service to God, guru and other seekers. Many God-realized sages freely wander the earth giving their association (holy vibrations) and instructions (self-realization) all over the world. Or they may preach where they are currently situated and send disciples out all over the world sharing love of God. Such a renounced soul does not care for any residence, but may stay in holy cities due to the masses of people who come for such divine association, or they may travel to those with live with gross material vibrations who live in crowded cities. There are no rules for the God-realized. They serve wherever Divine Mother puts them. 

“Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.” Mark 6:7

“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.” The Nectar of Instruction by verse 1 by Srila Gosvāmī, translation by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami 

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, expanding His own potency, māyā-śakti, created innumerable species of life to house the conditioned souls. Yet by creating the forms of trees, reptiles, animals, birds, snakes and so on, the Lord was not satisfied within His heart. Then He created human life, which offers the conditioned soul sufficient intelligence to perceive the Absolute Truth, and became pleased. After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavor for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Kṛṣṇa consciousness is possible only for a human being.” SB 11.9.28-29

Human life is very rare and according to all scriptures of the world, it should be used to learn to love and understand God. It is an opportunity to put an end to all material suffering and become not only self-realized, but God-realized. No other form of life provides the opportunity that a human life affords. In every form of life, the living entity is conditioned by birth and its past karma to fear death and struggle to survive. The goal being to live fully and avoid death at all cost. This fear of death allows the human being an opportunity to transcend death by close association with that which he or she fears. By directly facing that which has us in denial of fully living (and dying), we are able to understand the biggest fear that forced us to continue in the process of birth and death. If one can over come the fears associated with dying, then there will be no longer a fear of living. 

“The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead.” Bg. 2.11

“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” Bg. 2.20

“For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.” Bg. 2.27

“We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.” Mark 14:58

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:18

“How oft when they were at the point of death have men been merry”. ~ William Shakespeare

“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

“My music fights against the system that teaches to live and die.” ~ Bob Marley

“A man who has many wives is constantly harassed by them. He is responsible for their maintenance, and thus all the ladies constantly pull him in different directions, each struggling for her self-interest. Similarly, the material senses harass the conditioned soul, pulling him in many different directions at once. On one side the tongue is pulling him to arrange tasty food; then thirst drags him to get a suitable drink. Simultaneously the sex organs clamor for satisfaction, and the sense of touch demands soft, sensuous objects. The belly harasses him until it is filled, the ears demand to hear pleasing sounds, the sense of smell hankers for pleasant aromas, and the fickle eyes clamor for pleasing sights. Thus the senses, organs and limbs, all desiring satisfaction, pull the living entity in many directions.” SB 11.9.27

In the material world everyone is looking to satisfy his or her own senses, and due to our nature there is competition for supremacy. Each person either directly or subtly sees the other as a competitor. Our friendships and other love relationships are usually based on simple unspoken agreement in acceptance of the other. “If you rub my back I will rub yours.” or “If you love me according to my desire, I will love you in return” and “you don’t call me on my shit, then I won’t call you on yours.” In essence, one hand washes the other. If the other person can show up and support our projection of our self and at the same time feel that their own projection of their own self is being maintained, then the relationship is considered a success. But if you are unwilling to support my projection, due to my own unwillingness to see me as I really am, I consciously or unconsciously leave the relationship for another who may fit my illusion. I will try to make your life uncomfortable, or I will leave, depending of the level of fear that I need to learn and overcome. This type of relationship is no different from any business relationship. It is based on lack or scarcity, and if our own senses are not being satisfied, in time we will leave.

In a spiritual relationship, God is always the center of every activity and the goal is to work at pleasing God. When God’s sense are satisfied, in return we will also be satisfied. When one has a fruit bearing tree, one first waters the roots of the tree, not the leaves or bark. By watering the roots, the water is properly distributed and the whole tree is fully satisfied. The ability of it to produce fruit is assured. When this occurs everyone can take freely. In our human existence, when we try to satisfy the Lord, in return we will be satisfy regardless of the outcome. It is known that people who volunteer and work for the joy of giving are better workers than those who are only working from paycheck to paycheck. Humans take great pleasure, like God, in serving one another. It is a natural arrangement. In our intimate relationship, the goal is to see the other person as a reflection of the Divine.

“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

“The senses are so strong and impetuous, O Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the mind even of a man of discrimination who is endeavoring to control them.” Bg. 2.60

“A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires–that enter like rivers into the ocean which is ever being filled but is always still–can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.” Bg. 2.70

“Everyone Is God speaking. Why not be polite and Listen to Him?” ~ Hafiz

“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.” ~ Meister Eckhart

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25:45

“The material body is also my spiritual master because it teaches me detachment. Being subject to creation and destruction, it always comes to a painful end. Thus, although using my body to acquire knowledge, I always remember that it will ultimately be consumed by others, and remaining detached, I move about this world. A man attached to the body accumulates money with great struggle to expand and protect the position of his wife, children, property, domestic animals, servants, homes, relatives, friends, and so on. He does all this for the gratification of his own body. As a tree before dying produces the seed of a future tree, the dying body manifests the seed of one’s next material body in the form of one’s accumulated karma. Thus assuring the continuation of material existence, the material body sinks down and dies.” SB 11.9.25-26

Many yogis, like Native American warriors, and General Custer, begin each day with the realization that physical life is unstable and temporary, and no one is assured of a long life or another single moment. “This is a good day to die” is their mantra. Words that may stir our fears, but also can liberate the soul. Everyone works hard to accumulate money to purchase the things that they are attracted to; a spouse, a family, home, fancy toys, rich food, prestige, etc. all for the purpose of distracting oneself from the fact that they are soon going to die, if not today, then tomorrow. The material objects that anchor ones consciousness to the material world, whether in thought or deed, are the subtle impressions that one takes with them into their next incarnation. For every living being upon the earth, death is as certain as sure as a heart attack, therefore, one who wants to put an end to the material cycle of repeated birth and death, accepts in the present moment that they are going to die.  

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ~ Mark Twain

“Those who know Me as the Supreme Lord, as the governing principle of the material manifestation, who know Me as the one underlying all the demigods and as the one sustaining all sacrifices, can, with steadfast mind, understand and know Me even at the time of death.” Bg. 7.30

“One who, at the time of death, fixes his life air between the eyebrows and in full devotion engages himself in remembering the Supreme Lord, will certainly attain to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Bg. 8.10

“When the Supreme Personality of Godhead displays His own potency in the form of time and guides His material potencies, such as the mode of goodness, into a neutral condition of equilibrium, He remains as the supreme controller of that neutral state, called pradhāna, as well as of the living entities. He is also the supreme worshipable object for all beings, including liberated souls, demigods and ordinary conditioned souls. The Lord is eternally free from any material designation, and He constitutes the totality of spiritual bliss, which one experiences by seeing the Lord’s spiritual form. The Lord thus exhibits the fullest meaning of the word “liberation.” SB 11.9.17-18

There is a liberated state, that lies outside or beyond all of our mental and emotional perceptions of our inner and outer life. Beyond time and beyond the mode of material goodness. In our search for this state, the search itself keeps us from allowing our consciousness to simply drop back into this Divine state. We use the Lord’s impersonal energy in the form of time, the material and cosmic creation to stay distracted from fully surrendering to the personal form of the Lord. What we are trying to escape is actually our oneness in love, a merging into an ocean of transcendental bliss that we have given up for the illusion of minute control of our senses, the mind and intelligence. As long as we struggle to maintain the false-ego’s concept of being independent, we remain trapped in the temporary material atmosphere. 

“Those who are not faithful on the path of devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of foes, but return to birth and death in this material world.” Bg. 9.3

“By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.” Bg. 9.4

“Those with the vision of eternity can see that the soul is transcendental, eternal, and beyond the modes of nature. Despite contact with the material body, O Arjuna, the soul neither does anything nor is entangled.” Bg. 13.32

“When you see that there is nothing beyond these modes of nature in all activities and that the Supreme Lord is transcendental to all these modes, then you can know My spiritual nature.” Bg. 14.19

“The Lord of the universe, Nārāyaṇa, is the worshipable God of all living entities. Without extraneous assistance, the Lord creates this universe by His own potency, and at the time of annihilation the Lord destroys the universe through His personal expansion of time and withdraws all of the cosmos, including all the conditioned living entities, within Himself. Thus, His unlimited Self is the shelter and reservoir of all potencies. The subtle pradhāna, the basis of all cosmic manifestation, is conserved within the Lord and is in this way not different from Him. In the aftermath of annihilation the Lord stands alone.” SB 11.9.16

This verse puts into perspective what takes place in the grand scheme of the material creation and the annihilation. The spiritual world remains separate and exists eternally. Being a part and parcel of that Supreme, we have a choice to be dragged along with the creation, birth after birth, through time until the point of complete annihilation, or we can learn to see things as they are, accept that there is someone in control, learn to love and understand the Creator and go back to our original home back in the spiritual world. If not, we will be taken over by the material force of time. 

“When Brahma’s day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma’s night they are all annihilated.” Bg. 8.18

“Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Partha, and they are helplessly dissolved.” Bg. 8.19

“Yet there is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is. Bg. 8.20

“That supreme abode is called unmanifested and infallible, and it is the supreme destination. When one goes there, he never comes back. That is My supreme abode.” Bg. 8.21

‘”Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”’ Luke 22:42

“Thus, when one’s consciousness is completely fixed on the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one no longer sees duality, or internal and external reality. The example is given of the arrow maker who was so absorbed in making a straight arrow that he did not even see or notice the king himself, who was passing right next to him.” SB 11.9.13

On the platform of the Absolute Truth or God Consciousness, there is only God. One may choose to see God as separate, as we naturally see things in the physical world in duality and as external, where everyone’s consciousness is conditioned based upon the past; but on the Absolute platform, there is only God and the Absolute truth. We all originally existed on the Absolute platform and are struggling to get our realization back to it. It should be noted that even when a person is on this platform he or she does not become God. The minute individual living entity, though one with the Supreme, is still only part of the Supreme Whole.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. John 1:1-5

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” John 8:58

“And when you have thus learned the truth, you will know that all living beings are but part of Me–and that they are in Me, and are Mine.” Bg. 4.35

“The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.” Sri Isopanisad Invocation

“Having perfected the yoga sitting postures and conquered the breathing process, one should make the mind steady by detachment and the regulated practice of yoga. Thus one should carefully fix the mind on the single goal of yoga practice. The mind can be controlled when it is fixed on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Having achieved a stable situation, the mind becomes free from polluted desires to execute material activities; thus as the mode of goodness increases in strength, one can completely give up the modes of passion and ignorance, and gradually one transcends even the material mode of goodness. When the mind is freed from the fuel of the modes of nature, the fire of material existence is extinguished. Then one achieves the transcendental platform of direct relationship with the object of his meditation, the Supreme Lord.” SB 11.9.11-12

The goal of yoga practice is to discipline the body to be still so that it can sit for long periods in meditation, and the breathing practices are performed so one can discipline the subtle energies of the mind to be used to cultivate higher knowledge and realizations. Ultimately both the body and the mind are to be directly engaged in love and devotion in the service of the Lord.

The three modes or gunas (goodness-sattva, passion-rajas, ignorance-tamas) are slowly transcended to the point that the mind remains only in the mode of goodness (sattva), and eventually is able to fully transcend all three of the material modes. Then the yogi is no longer on the material platform and is transcendental to material consciousness and obtains full knowledge of the Absolute Truth. 

“When the yogi, by practice of yoga, disciplines his mental activities and becomes situated in Transcendence–devoid of all material desires–he is said to have attained yoga.” Bg. 6.18

“Material nature consists of the three modes–goodness, passion and ignorance. When the living entity comes in contact with nature, he becomes conditioned by these modes.” Bg. 14.5

“When you see that there is nothing beyond these modes of nature in all activities and that the Supreme Lord is transcendental to all these modes, then you can know My spiritual nature.” Bg. 14.19

“When the embodied being is able to transcend these three modes, he can become free from birth, death, old age and their distresses and can enjoy nectar even in this life.” Bg. 14.20

“A person in the divine consciousness, although engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving about, sleeping and breathing, always knows within himself that he actually does nothing at all. Because while speaking, evacuating, receiving, opening or closing his eyes, he always knows that only the material senses are engaged with their objects and that he is aloof from them.” Bg. 5.8-9

“The saintly brāhmaṇa said: Everyone considers certain things within the material world to be most dear to him, and because of attachment to such things one eventually becomes miserable. One who understands this gives up material possessiveness and attachment and thus achieves unlimited happiness. Once a group of large hawks who were unable to find any prey attacked another, weaker hawk who was holding some meat. At that time, being in danger of his life, the hawk gave up his meat and experienced actual happiness.” SB 11.9.1-2

The cause of our physical material birth is due to the desire to try to enjoy separately or outside of the Absolute Truth or God. Of course this is impossible, but the soul with it’s tiny independence, like a child, wants to prove that it is as great or just as independent as the parent or the Supreme. And so it heads down the path that the false-ego directs, clinging to material sense gratification that only keeps the soul bound within the material creation. Since the soul who is actually situated in God, the Absolute, already has everything; nothing that appears outside can ever provide the “independent soul” with lasting happiness. If and when, like the weaker hawk, we learn to let go of our attachments, we will at once experience the greater joy that has always been existing. 

“If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditional life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.” Bg. 18.58

“One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme God, is not affected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.” Bg. 5.10

“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Luke 18:22

“The steadily devoted soul attains unadulterated peace because he offers the result of all activities to Me; whereas a person who is not in union with the Divine, who is greedy for the fruits of his labor, becomes entangled.” Bg. 5.12

“There is no work that affects Me; nor do I aspire for the fruits of action. One who understands this truth about Me also does not become entangled in the fruitive reactions of work.” Bg. 4.14

“The avadhūta said: Thus, her mind completely made up, Pińgalā cut off all her sinful desires to enjoy sex pleasure with lovers, and she became situated in perfect peace. Then she sat down on her bed. Material desire is undoubtedly the cause of the greatest unhappiness, and freedom from such desire is the cause of the greatest happiness. Therefore, completely cutting off her desire to enjoy so-called lovers, Pińgalā very happily went to sleep.” SB 11.8.43-44

“Material desire is undoubtedly the cause of the greatest unhappiness, and freedom from such desire is the cause of the greatest happiness.” Every seed of desire that we plant in our consciousness, either has to be burned up in the fire of wisdom or continuously watered with the energy of our longing until they fructify either in this life or some future lifetime. This is the purpose of our material birth, the results of previous unfulfilled material desires. It is said that God has been fulfilling everyone’s desires since the beginning of time, and that out of the Lord’s causeless mercy, all of our longings will eventually be fulfilled. Sometimes this happens in dreams, in thought, realization, and meditation, in both our physical and subtle bodies or in future ones. As minute co-creators with the Lord, we are given the opportunity to learn material lessons until we come to the platform of transcendental happiness, which has already been lying dormant within us. Like the prostitute in this story, when we finally become materially frustrated, we will let go, and naturally experience the greatest happiness, which like the soul, has been existing since time immemorial. 

“Such a person must factually know the greatest of all, the Personality of Godhead, who is unembodied, omniscient, beyond reproach, without veins, pure and uncontaminated, the self-sufficient philosopher who has been fulfilling everyone’s desire since time immemorial.” Śrī Īśopaniṣad verse 8

“A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires–that enter like rivers into the ocean which is ever being filled but is always still–can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.” Bg. 2.70

“A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego–he alone can attain real peace.” Bg. 2.71

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