“My dear Uddhava, an intelligent person should never take to literatures that do not contain descriptions of My activities, which purify the whole universe. Indeed, I create, maintain and annihilate the entire material manifestation. Any so-called knowledge that does not recognize these activities of Mine is simply barren and is not acceptable to those who are actually intelligent.” SB 11.11.20

Billions of people daily worship Lord Krishna, and have cultivated their devotion by first hearing about Him. This has been going on since Krishna appeared on the planet 5000 years ago. The same is true for Lord Buddha, Lord Jesus and many other Avatars. One may spend their time running after material knowledge, searching after the absolute truth and trying to avoid inevitable death. But regardless of our pursuits, if we never come to the realization that there is a Supreme Person, Cause of all causes, then we have mislead ourselves in temporary pursuits that only end in frustration at death. The unlimited material manifestation along with our tiny roll in it, is set in motion and is being maintain be the Supreme Intelligence of God or Krishna. Regardless of how we approach the Supreme, we must come to this understanding. If we are going to be fully successful in our allotted time here, we should strive for the highest association. The Lord here is sharing with His devotee (and us), that the highest realization possible, is that of the activities of the Supreme. Because simply by hearing them, our consciousness will become purified, and our love for God will greatly increase. Jesus spoke this truth by saying “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:36)

“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

“”Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24

“Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.” Bg. 9.14

“I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.” Bg. 10.8

“But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.” 10.42

“Again there are those who, although not conversant in spiritual knowledge, begin to worship the Supreme Person upon hearing about Him from others. Because of their tendency to hear from authorities, they also transcend the path of birth and death.” Bg. 13.26

“If through meticulous study one becomes expert in reading Vedic literature but makes no endeavor to fix one’s mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then one’s endeavor is certainly like that of a man who works very hard to take care of a cow that gives no milk. In other words, the fruit of one’s laborious study of Vedic knowledge will simply be the labor itself. There will be no other tangible result.” SB 11.11.18

Many learned persons make a study and show of their religious undertakings by turning the Words of God into a profession. Propounding the truth without a deep recognition. Such persons can be compared to a parrot, able to repeat what they hear with little understanding or personal realization. Regardless of the scripture or spiritual practice, without realization of the Absolute, either in a personal form or formless state, mundane endeavor for knowledge has little meaning to the spirit soul. At death, transcendental realization is the boat that will help one cross the dark ocean of material life, and one’s favorable wind is their love for the Divine. At death, all other material endeavors immediately become meaningless.

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:26

“Human Life is meant for reviving one’s eternal relation with the Lord and all religious injunctions are meant for awakening this dormant instinct of the living entity.” ~ A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you If you do not act on upon them?” Buddha

“This Human form of life is meant for developing love for God.” ~ A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

“A donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey.”  ~ Sufi proverb

“To purify the heart is the one and only purpose that God has created this human life.” ~ A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

“A saintly sage sees with equal vision and therefore is not affected by that which is materially good or bad. Indeed, although he observes others performing good and bad work and speaking properly and improperly, the sage does not praise or criticize anyone.” SB 11.11.16

A saintly sage, regardless of religious dogma, sees every living entity as part and parcel of God. And as the Lord’s representative, he acts only as he is instructed from within. No one is a friend or an enemy; all are children of the Lord and therefore seen as a brother or sister; including all other living creatures. If a saintly person speaks to someone harshly, it is only for the other persons benefit, and not out of anger on the sages part. When Jesus drove out the money changers from the temple*, he did so because he was directed from within to do so by the Lord, to wake up those who obviously had forgotten for whom the temple was built and belonged. At no time was Jesus disturbed while performing these actions, in the same way that he was not upset with those who sought to benefit from his crucifixion.**

“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” Bg. 5.18“A person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a yogi [or mystic] when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything–whether it be pebbles, stones or gold–as the same.” Bg. 6.8

*John 2:15, Matthew 1:12

**“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:34

“Be steadfast in yoga, O Arjuna. Perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such evenness of mind is called yoga.” Bg. 2.48

“Sometimes for no apparent reason one’s body is attacked by cruel people or violent animals. At other times and in other places, one will suddenly be offered great respect or worship. One who becomes neither angry when attacked nor satisfied when worshiped is actually intelligent.” SB 11.11.15

An enlightened soul sees everything as an extension of the energy of the Supreme. Neither seeing fame or blame as different. No longer accepting or rejecting. Since the body and its surroundings are not the eternal home, a self-realized soul does not take shelter of this temporary illusion, and takes refuge only in the Absolute.

“A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent, unbewildered, and who knows the science of God, is to be understood as already situated in Transcendence.” Bg. 5.20

“An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.” Bg. 5.22

“The Blessed Lord said: He who does not hate illumination, attachment and delusion when they are present, nor longs for them when they disappear; who is seated like one unconcerned, being situated beyond these material reactions of the modes of nature, who remains firm, knowing that the modes alone are active; who regards alike pleasure and pain, and looks on a clod, a stone and a piece of gold with an equal eye; who is wise and holds praise and blame to be the same; who is unchanged in honor and dishonor, who treats friend and foe alike, who has abandoned all fruitive undertakings–such a man is said to have transcended the modes of nature.” Bg. 14.2-25

“A person is considered to be completely liberated from the gross and subtle material bodies when all the functions of his vital energy, senses, mind and intelligence are performed without material desire. Such a person, although situated within the body, is not entangled.” Bg. 11.11.14

Liberated means knowing the difference between spiritual and material consciousness. Having full understanding of the mind-body connection, ones dissociation from that connection, and the realization of oneself as pure spirit soul; understanding the Original Person and enjoyer, the Supersoul. Being fully liberated means, not only seeing oneself as a part of the Supreme Absolute, but giving up all material attachments in service for unlimited happiness in the association with the form of the Lord that one is most attracted to. It is a loving exchange on the highest level between the Lord and His devotee.

“One who works in devotion, who is a pure soul, and who controls his mind and senses, is dear to everyone, and everyone is dear to him. Though always working, such a man is never entangled.” Bg. 5.7

“When, however, one is enlightened with the knowledge by which nescience is destroyed, then his knowledge reveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the daytime.” Bg. 5.16

“One whose happiness is within, who is active within, who rejoices within and is illumined within, is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme.” Bg. 5.24

“The yogi whose mind is fixed on Me verily attains the highest happiness. By virtue of his identity with Brahman, he is liberated; his mind is peaceful, his passions are quieted, and he is freed from sin.” Bg. 6.27

“And of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.” Bg. 6.47

“Although the sky, or space, is the resting place of everything, the sky does not mix with anything, nor is it entangled. Similarly, the sun is not at all attached to the water in which it is reflected within innumerable reservoirs, and the mighty wind blowing everywhere is not affected by the innumerable aromas and atmospheres through which it passes. In the same way, a self-realized soul is completely detached from the material body and the material world around it. He is like a person who has awakened and arisen from a dream. With expert vision sharpened by detachment, the self-realized soul cuts all doubts to pieces through knowledge of the self and completely withdraws his consciousness from the expansion of material variety.” SB 11.11.12-13

When one wakes up into the realization that they are not their body, nor have they ever been the body, nor those things that they have associated with the body. Like waking up from a bad dream, once the spirit soul acknowledges that the whole material creation is only an expression of the cosmic dream of the Lord, they begin to detach from all that is material, accept that life was a projection of their own mind, and begin to replace all false thinking with realization of the truth. Integration of one’s past into a present state of awareness may take a lifetime or many lifetimes, but once awake, the soul finds satisfaction in the self alone, and is no longer disturbed by the incessant flow of desires.

“The Blessed Lord said: O Partha, when a man gives up all varieties of sense desire which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness.” Bg. 2.55

“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

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” ~ Albert Einstein

“The sky, due to its subtle nature, does not mix with anything, although it is all-pervading. Similarly, the soul, situated in Brahman vision, does not mix with the body, though situated in that body.” Bg. 13.33

“Therefore the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance should be slashed by the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yoga, O Bharata, stand and fight.” Bg. 4.42

“An enlightened person fixed in detachment engages his body in lying down, sitting, walking, bathing, seeing, touching, smelling, eating, hearing and so on, but is never entangled by such activities. Indeed, remaining as a witness to all bodily functions, he merely engages his bodily senses with their objects and does not become entangled like an unintelligent person.” SB 11.11.11

This may be hard to conceptualize, but all people at one time or another, have had the experience that they are a separate witness to their own life, and that life is but a dream. Imagine that when you took birth it was just a continuation from your previous life and that you remained fully conscious of this fact. This is the state of a fully God-realized soul. In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that both of them have had many lifetimes, the difference being that Krishna could remember all of his, whereas Arjuna, like most of us, could only remember some of the events of his current lifetime*. Many young children can remember some of their previous lives and until they become materially conditioned in their preset body, are able to recall in some detailed memories from their previous life. Under hypnosis many adults have also been able to do this, but it is very rare that someone is able to remember even important facts from more than a few lifetimes. An enlightened soul, may or may not recall events from previous lifetimes, it is not important; but what is important, is that one wakes up to the fact that they are transitioning from one body to another, similar to as we awaken from a dream, and that we realize that even though the body is engaged in many undertakings, the soul is actually unaffected and can remain detached.

“This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.” Bg. 2.24

*“The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!” Bg. 4.5

“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 stage of perfection is called trance, or samadhi, when one’s mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This is characterized by one’s ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.” Bg. 6.20-23

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John 2:15

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

“Since everything is but an illusion, Perfect in being what it is,

Having nothing to do with good or bad, Acceptance or rejection,

One might as well burst out laughing! ~ Longchenpa

“An unintelligent person situated within the body created by his previous fruitive activities thinks, “I am the performer of action.” Bewildered by false ego, such a foolish person is therefore bound up by fruitive activities, which are in fact carried out by the modes of nature.” SB 11.11.10

We want to believe that we are the results of our actions. Parents see their children as extensions of themselves and likewise, children carry the burdens and conditioning that they learn from their parents. A doctor thinks that he or she is the performer of their activities, which are actually carried out by nature, and an employer thinks that he has control over those under his command. In the same way, all countries have an identity and culture that the majority of the people identify with, just as the inhabitants of the earth know their place on the planet and accept it as their permanent home. Whatever we habitually associate with we become entangled within. But in actuality, this identification or entanglement is being carried out by the modes of nature. Once we are removed from it, we immediately take on a new identification, whether by our own will, or that of nature’s at our death. Our identification with our thoughts and body is so strong, that simply by hearing a few harsh words, or by getting a foreign microscopic bacteria in our body, our reality can be turned upside-down in a moment.

“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

“All men are forced to act helplessly according to the impulses born of the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.” Bg. 3.5

“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

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” Matthew 23:13

“An enlightened person who is free from the contamination of material desire does not consider himself to be the performer of bodily activities; rather, he knows that in all such activities it is only the senses, born of the modes of nature, that are contacting sense objects born of the same modes of nature.” SB 11.1.9

In our original form, as pure spirit soul, we are not influenced by the material atmosphere. But once we take on a material body, we become conditioned by the three modes of material nature. These three modes, (gunas:rope) goodness passion, and ignorance are created by maya and influence the soul to either feel happy, active, or helpless or a combination of the three. Though the soul in its transcendental state is not touched by these modes, when it puts on a material body and the bodies senses are engaged, the soul becomes covered-over by the modes and is immediately influenced. This energy or force of maya is sometimes referred to as Brahman, and is the binding force that attracts one into thinking that they can experience independence and enjoyment in the material world, but is actually the importance for learning life’s lessons. When the spirit soul reawakens to its constitutional position, it is said that it is enlightened in knowledge and the modes no longer have an influence upon the consciousness, no matter the engagement. He or she then understands that in all activities only the senses which have arisen out of the modes, are in contact with the sense-objects that have also been born from the same modes. A gross example of this is when we are easily influenced by a stadium full of people. The fan consciousness is already existing, as are our senses before we attend an event, though we may not feel their influence. But once we arrive at the stadium, it is very easy for our senses to become actively engaged and overwhelmed and influenced to join the individual and collective consciousness. Yet at any time, if we are fully conscious, we can withdraw our energy from the modes, and our senses will no longer become attached, though we may continue to observe the event.

“While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.” Bg. 2.62

“One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?” Bg. 2.66

“The total material substance, called Brahman, is the source of birth, and it is that Brahman that I impregnate, making possible the births of all living beings, O son of Bharata. B. 14.3

“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

“One who is enlightened in self-realization, although living within the material body, sees himself as transcendental to the body, just as one who has arisen from a dream gives up identification with the dream body. A foolish person, however, although not identical with his material body but transcendental to it, thinks himself to be situated in the body, just as one who is dreaming sees himself as situated in an imaginary body.” SB 11.11.8

When we dream, for the most part, we are fully identified with the dream and its events. Yet a very small part of our awareness remains separate and knows that it is a dream, and is there to bring us out of the dream state. Once we start to awaken, the dream begins to fade and our memories of who we are in our physical body return and we again associate fully with those memories, as if the dream no longer existed, and we become 100% identified with the past and our imagined future. In a similar manner, our awakened state, due to its length and full identification and engagement by our senses, makes our physical reality appear to be the truth, and due to our limited senses, we feel and see very little beyond our self-constructed reality. Though we are unable to know if anything is actually happening as we see it or how it appears to others, we accept our conditioned  state as 100% factual. A person who is enlightened in self-realization, does not see or accept the body as the self. A self-realized soul understands that there is a body, like a vehicle that is being used by the soul, like in a dream, and that events are occurring, all of them separate from the spirit soul. The soul is transcendental to everything material and though the body and the mind go through many changes, the soul remains unattached to these events.

“The embodied spirit, master of the city of his body, does not create activities, nor does he induce people to act, nor does he create the fruits of action. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature.” Bg. 1.14

“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

“When, however, one is enlightened with the knowledge by which nescience is destroyed, then his knowledge reveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the daytime.” Bg. 5.16

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” John 15:19

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:16

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