Absolute Love“Everyone is frustrated — husbands, wives, boys, girls. Everywhere there is frustration, because our loving propensity is not being utilized properly.” In this lecture given in Seattle, Washington, in October of 1968, Srila Prabhupada reveals how we can achieve complete satisfaction by directing our love toward the Supreme Person.
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge.”
Everyone in this material world is born into ignorance, or darkness. Actually, the nature of this material world is that it is dark. It may be lighted with sunlight, moonlight, fire, or electricity, but its nature is dark. That is a scientific fact. So everyone born in this material world — from Brahma, the chief personality in the topmost planet of this universe, down to the ant — is born into the darkness of ignorance.
Now, the Vedic injunction is, tamasi ma jyotir gamah: “Don’t remain in darkness; come to the light.” And for this, a spiritual master is needed. It is the duty of the spiritual master to open the eyes of the person in darkness with the torch of knowledge, and one should offer one’s respectful obeisances unto such a spiritual master.
People should not be kept in darkness; they should be brought into the light. Therefore, in every human society there is a religious institution of some sort. What is the purpose of Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Christianity, or Buddhism? The purpose is to bring people to the light. That is the purpose of religion.
And what is that light? That light is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
A godless civilization cannot be happy. That is a fact. So we have started the Krishna consciousness movement to awaken this godless civilization. Just try to love God; this is our simple request. You have love within you — you want to love somebody. A young boy tries to love a young girl; a young girl tries to love a young boy. This is natural, because the loving propensity is within everybody. But we have created circumstances in which our love is being frustrated. Everyone is frustrated — husbands, wives, boys, girls. Everywhere there is frustration, because our loving propensity is not being utilized properly. Why? Because we have forgotten to love the Supreme Person. That is our disease.
So the purpose of religion is to train people how to love God. That is the purpose of all religion. Whether your religion is Christianity or Hinduism or Mohammedanism, the purpose of your religion is to train you how to love God, because that is your constitutional position.
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam [1.2.6] it is said, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje. Now, in English dictionaries this word dharma is generally translated as “religion,” a kind of faith, but the actual meaning of dharma is “essential characteristic.” For example, sugar’s dharma, or essential characteristic, is sweetness. If you are given some white powder and you find that it is not sweet, you will at once say,”Oh, this is not sugar; it is something else.” So sweetness is the dharma of sugar. Similarly, a salty taste is the dharma of salt, and pungency is the dharma of chili.
Now, what is your essential characteristic? You are a living entity, and you have to understand your essential characteristic. That characteristic is your dharma, or religion — not the Christian religion, the Hindu religion, this religion, that religion. Your eternal, essential characteristic — that is your religion.
And what is that characteristic? Your essential characteristic is that you want to love somebody, and therefore you want to serve him. That is your essential characteristic. You love your family, you love your society, you love your community, you love your country. And because you love them, you want to serve them. That tendency to engage in loving service is your essential characteristic, your dharma. Whether you are a Christian, a Mohammedan, or a Hindu, this characteristic will remain. Suppose today you are a Christian. Tomorrow you may become a Hindu, but your serving mood, that loving spirit, will stay with you. Therefore, the tendency to love and serve others is your dharma, or your religion. This is the universal form of religion.
Now, you have to apply your loving service in such a way that you will be completely satisfied. Because your loving spirit is now misplaced, you are not happy. You are frustrated and confused. The Srimad-Bhagavatam tells us how to apply our spirit of loving devotion perfectly:
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
That religion is first class which trains you to love God. And by this religion you will become completely satisfied.
If you develop your love of God to the fullest extent, you will become a perfect person. You will feel perfection within yourself. You are hankering after satisfaction, full satisfaction, but that full satisfaction can be obtained only when you love God. Loving God is the natural function of every living entity. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Christian or a Hindu or a Muhammadan. Just try to develop your love of God. Then your religion is very nice. Otherwise it is simply a waste of time(srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]). If after executing rituals in a particular type of religion throughout your whole life you have no love for God, then you have simply wasted your time.
The Krishna consciousness movement is the postgraduate movement of all kinds of religion. We are inviting all Christians, Muslims, and Hindus — everyone — to please come associate with us and try to love God. And the method is very simple: Just chant His holy names — Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
All my students are Americans, and they have come from either Christian or Jewish families. None of them have come from Hindu families. So the process I have given them — the process of chanting the Hare Krishnamantra – is universal. It is not Hindu or Indian.
The Sanskrit word mantra is a combination of two syllables, man and tra. Man means “mind,” and tra means “deliverance.” Therefore a mantra is that which delivers you from mental concoction, from hovering on the mental plane. So if you chant this mantra — Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — very soon you’ll find that you are coming from the darkness to the light.
I do not wish to take much of your time, but I simply want to impress upon you the importance of chanting Hare Krishna. Try an experiment: Chant Hare Krishna for one week, and see how much spiritual progress you make. We don’t charge anything, so there is no loss. But there is great profit; that is guaranteed. Therefore please chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Thank you very much.