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The Book of

Gethsemane
by David Bruce Hughes
(Gaurahari Dsnuds Bbj)
Published by
Esoteric Teaching Seminars
esotericteaching.org
ISBN 978-0-557-25943-4
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by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. v
Dedication
To my Divine Spiritual Master
His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivednta Svm Prabhupda
Who, like Lord Jesus Christ, descended from the most sacred place to bless
the most degraded denizens of the Iron Age with the Esoteric Teaching of
God consciousness and pure devotional service. He gave the highest and most
complete spiritual knowledge to the most fallen souls without consideration
of their disqualifications, and raised them to the highest stage of Love of
Godhead by his powerful mercy. I offer my most respectful obeisances to
him.
vi Copyright 1976-2001
Table of Contents
Preface:
Christianity and the Esoteric Teaching................................ 1
The Keys to the Gate of Association of the Esoteric Teaching..... 9
Introduction:
The Esoteric Teaching............................................................ 11
Approaching the Esoteric Teaching ........................................... 13
The Purpose of the Esoteric Teaching........................................ 17
Topics of the Esoteric Teaching................................................. 18
The Soul and the Lord ................................................................ 22
Illusory vs. Real Consciousness................................................. 24
Three Degrees of Realization...................................................... 25
Receiving Transcendental Knowledge........................................ 27
The Attitude of Sacred Service ................................................... 28
Beyond Religion ......................................................................... 30
Eternal Liberation....................................................................... 33
Attaining the Supreme Abode..................................................... 37
Spiritual Work............................................................................. 39
Devotional Service...................................................................... 41
Conclusion ................................................................................. 43
The Disciplic Succession....................................................... 47
Chapter 1:
In the Garden of Gethsemane............................................... 53
What Really Happened While The Disciples Were Asleep? ........ 53
After the Last Supper.................................................................. 54
Jesus Motivation........................................................................ 55
Take This Cup ......................................................................... 58
Master of the Senses.................................................................. 60
Jesus and the Pharisees............................................................. 61
Ecstatic Symptoms..................................................................... 63
The Father of All ......................................................................... 65
Spiritual Society ......................................................................... 67
Jesus Reasoning ....................................................................... 68
Three Stages of Realization........................................................ 70
The Supreme Personality of Godhead........................................ 71
The Son of God........................................................................... 72
Jesus Position ........................................................................... 73
Table of Contents
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. vii
The Spiritual Master Teacher...................................................... 75
Chapter 2:
The Nature of the Soul............................................................ 79
The First Step in Transcendental Knowledge ............................. 79
Real Spiritual Knowledge............................................................ 80
Eternal Life Guaranteed.............................................................. 81
Eternal Individuality Confirmed.................................................. 82
Spiritual Identity ......................................................................... 84
Impermanence of Happiness and Distress ................................. 85
Reality Distinguished from Illusion............................................. 87
Qualities of the Soul ................................................................... 88
Body and Soul ............................................................................ 90
Only the Body is Slain ................................................................ 91
Changing the Body ..................................................................... 94
Hearing from the Lord................................................................. 95
Freedom from Lamentation ........................................................ 96
The Amazing Soul..................................................................... 100
Chapter 3:
The Art of Spiritual Work .....................................................103
Going Beyond Karma................................................................ 103
The Highest Order..................................................................... 104
The Supreme Sacrifice.............................................................. 105
Avoiding Infamy........................................................................ 106
The Lords Judgment................................................................ 107
Working Without Karma............................................................ 108
Eternal Benefits........................................................................ 110
The Spiritual Master.................................................................. 112
Beyond Ordinary Religion ........................................................ 112
The Greatness of the Teaching................................................. 114
Prescribed Duties ..................................................................... 116
Union with the Divine................................................................ 116
Working Without Result............................................................ 117
Perfect Liberation..................................................................... 119
The Self-realized Soul............................................................... 120
The Cause of Falldown............................................................. 125
The Principles of Freedom........................................................ 126
Freedom from Desire ................................................................ 128
Chapter 4:
Duty and Renunciation.........................................................131
Two Paths to the Supreme........................................................ 131
Freedom from Karmic Reaction................................................ 133
The Necessity of Work.............................................................. 134
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viii Copyright 1976-2001
The Great Art of Work............................................................... 136
Pleasing the Demigods............................................................. 138
Food of the Saints..................................................................... 141
Where to Find God.................................................................... 143
Liberation from Duty................................................................. 144
The Lords Work ....................................................................... 147
The Work of the Wise................................................................ 151
The Perfection of Work............................................................. 152
Freedom from Bondage............................................................ 154
The Cause of Sin....................................................................... 157
The Headquarters of Lust ......................................................... 161
The Secret of Victory ................................................................ 161
Chapter 5:
Transcendental Knowledge.................................................165
The History of the Teaching...................................................... 165
Receiving Absolute Knowledge................................................ 168
The Mystery of the Teaching..................................................... 169
The Eternal Friend.................................................................... 170
The Transcendental Position of the Lord.................................. 173
Why the Lord Descends............................................................ 174
The Confidential Appearance of the Lord................................. 178
Rewards for the Faithful ........................................................... 179
The Lord Grants All Desires...................................................... 183
Four Classes of Occupational Duties....................................... 184
Beyond Material Designations.................................................. 185
Action and Inaction................................................................... 187
Action Without Reaction........................................................... 189
Freedom from Duality............................................................... 191
Converting Matter into Spirit..................................................... 192
The Nectar of Sacrifice ............................................................. 195
The Culmination of Sacrifice..................................................... 197
How to Learn the Truth............................................................. 198
The Lords Unparalleled Mercy................................................. 200
Sublime Transcendental Knowledge ........................................ 201
Chapter 6:
Action in Christ Consciousness........................................205
Service or Knowledge?............................................................. 205
Complete Renunciation ............................................................ 206
The Soul of Existence ............................................................... 207
Work Without Entanglement..................................................... 208
Divine Consciousness.............................................................. 209
Attaining Purification................................................................ 210
Freedom from Cause and Effect ............................................... 211
Table of Contents
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. ix
Beyond the Influence of Nature ................................................ 212
The King of Knowledge............................................................. 213
True Knowledge is Spiritual Vision........................................... 215
Symptoms of the Self-realized Soul.......................................... 217
Happiness Within...................................................................... 219
Liberation in the Supreme ........................................................ 219
Attaining Peace......................................................................... 221
Chapter 7:
The Yoga of Christ Consciousness..................................223
Eightfold Yoga Impractical........................................................ 223
The Ladder of Yoga .................................................................. 224
Conquering the Mind ................................................................ 226
The Advanced Yogi ................................................................... 227
How to Practice Yoga................................................................ 229
The Goal of Yoga ...................................................................... 231
The Yoga Diet ........................................................................... 232
Christ-conscious Yoga ............................................................. 233
The Perfection of Yoga ............................................................. 234
Controlling the Mind................................................................. 237
The True Yogi is Never Lost ...................................................... 238
Jesus Rejects the Yoga System................................................ 240
The Fallen Yogi ......................................................................... 243
The Highest Yogi ...................................................................... 249
Appendix A:
The Three Modes of Material Nature.................................253
The Law of Karma..................................................................... 253
Three Kinds of Material Energy................................................. 255
Karmic Results of the Three Modes.......................................... 258
Appendix B:
The Holy Name of the Lord..................................................259
Avoiding Offenses to the Holy Name........................................ 265
Appendix C:
Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide ............................................271
About the Author....................................................................275
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 1
Preface
Christianity and the Esoteric
Teaching
When one sees a book about Lord Jesus Christ, it is natural to assume that it
is written by a Christian. While I am certainly a Christian, I am a Christian of
a very different sort than most readers may have encountered. Let me explain.
I grew up in a conventional Episcopal church and was very active as a
choirboy, acolyte and lay reader. However, almost from the beginning of my
childhood I could perceive profound differences between the principles and
actions of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospels, and the behavior and
attitudes of all but a few rare Christians.
After all, Jesus Christ was a strict renunciant, but almost all Christians today,
including the clergy, are householders with no taste for celibacy or austerity.
He had no home, and eschewed the comforts of family life for the rigors of
traveling and preaching; but todays Christians prefer to live in luxurious
houses with all convenient amenities. Jesus dedicated his life to healing
people and preaching the message of God, traveling on foot throughout the
ancient world; whereas most of his modern followers drive expensive late-
model vehicles on missions of economic aggrandizement and personal
pleasure. Instead of making regular retreats to the wilderness to fast and pray,
todays Christians spend their annual vacations at expensive luxury resorts.
Jesus Christ, as the leader and messiah of the Essene sect of Jews, was a strict
vegetarian; yet his contemporary professed disciples eat any kind of meat,
even unclean foods like pork, and veal, which requires extreme cruelty to
young calves to produce. Lord Jesus was the perfect example of unconditional
spiritual love and sacrifice, but it was obvious to my vision even as a child
that selfish materialistic interests motivate most modern professional clergy
and laymen. Lord Jesus Christ willingly accepted death in the prime of his life
to serve the desire of his Father the Lord, whereas the Christians I knew
fought death with every weapon of medical science and technology, delaying
the inevitable as long as their health insurance paid the bills.
These observations, and many more like them, led me at a tender age to
conclude that most ostensible Christians were actually followers of Jesus
Christ in name only; and that the church and its ministers edited and diluted
the message of Jesus Christ to cater to the understanding and expectations of
the majority of their congregation. For example, when was the last time you
heard a sermon on the verse: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye
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of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God? Does anyone
really believe the fashionable abundance theology preached in most
churches today is authored by Jesus Christ, the son of man who had no place
to lay his head? The Lord does indeed promise to grant all the desires of His
devotees, but why should we approach the Supreme Godhead in fervent
prayer and invoke His solemn promise, merely to beg selfishly for money and
other transitory material blessings? Why not ask Him for really valuable
things that only He can provide: eternal spiritual benedictions like
unconditional spiritual love, transcendental wisdom and pure devotional
service? And when was the last time you went to church and encountered an
ecstatic crowd, dancing and chanting psalms and the Holy Name of the Lord
with drums, high-sounding cymbals and trumpets as in the days of King
David? All the best traditional spiritual practices are recorded in the Bible,
but how many Christians actually perform them? Have the exalted teachings
of Jesus Christ become merely a prop for our unfettered material greed? And
will we vainly try to make the Supreme Lord the servant of our gross desires,
instead of actually following in the footsteps of Jesus and sacrificing
everything to worship and serve the Lord as the Supreme Master?
Whether this materialistic degeneration and theological distortion occurred
deliberately or accidentally, consciously or unconsciously was and is not the
issue. It is not my purpose here to cast blame for this situation; that will not
benefit anyone. Nevertheless, recognizing the unfortunate materialistic trend
in the Christian religion was by far the most significant event of my formative
years. This realization inspired in me an intense search for others who had
made similar observations and attained similar insights, in the hope that I
could find an association of the faithful who followed the teachings of Jesus
Christ without attenuation or adulteration by the ideas of the world. This
search soon led me beyond the sectarian borders of Christianity to the more
inclusive monastic and philosophical traditions of the Eastnot the watered-
down New Age versions popular in the West, nor the materialistic
polytheism now known as Hinduism (a term of Muslim origin), but the
original Vedic Vaiava tradition. I accepted an exalted spiritual Master
Teacher, studied in traditional monastic communities in India, earned
advanced initiations in these traditions, and found in them a philosophical
rigor and strict adherence to the universal fundamentals of religious life
truthfulness, purity, nonviolence, simplicity, austerity, devotion and careful
discrimination among different levels of spiritual Truthqualities that were
very attractive to my mind and pleasing to my heart.
That one may find more of Jesus Christ in the teachings of the East than in
conventional Christianity today should not be too surprising. After all, Jesus
was far more a product of the Eastern spiritual tradition than of Western
theological speculation. He inhabited a cultural environment with a moral
perspective that would seem quite alien and restrictively austere to most
Preface: Christianity and the Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 3
contemporary Westerners. The recent discovery and translation of the Nag
Hammadi (Dead Sea) scrolls have contributed quite a bit of evidence to this
line of reasoning. The well-known history of the Roman Church also
underscores the indubitable fact that we do not have access to the complete,
unedited Gospels. As a result, most objective religious scholars now agree
that the content and style of modern Christianity owe far more to Paul ,
Constantine and Aristotle than to Jesus.
For example, there are many gaps, both large and small, in the biography of
Jesus recounted in the Gospels. What did Jesus do between the age of twelve,
when he strayed from his bar mitzvah party to confound the rabbis, and when
he was initiated by John the Baptist and began his preaching mission? Why is
important background informationsuch as the social and religious contexts
of Jesus appearance and activities detailed in the Nag Hammadi books, and
the etymological derivation of the title Christabsent from the Bible, and
indeed the entire Christian scholastic tradition? Another serious omission
concerns the most significant encounter of Jesus Christ with the Supreme
Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of the Last Supper. Jesus goes
from protesting, Take this cup, to acceding, Thy will, not my will, in
about two verses. Why did Jesus appear to weaken in his hour of greatest
tribulation? What happened to change his mind, ease his doubts and
strengthen his determination? The astute reader may identify hundreds of
such gaps and inconsistencies, large and small, in the books of the Bible.
This broadminded analytical viewpoint, unfortunately, has not yet filtered
down to the average lay Christian. No doubt the leaders of churches and
other Christian organizations find it convenient to shield their followers from
these baffling questions and awkward truths, which certainly call for a
complete reassessment of the core teachings and practices of the Christian
Church. But again, it is not my purpose here to criticize or argue with
anyones beliefs. Rather, I would simply point out to the reader who may
never have thought along these lines before that there is a lot more to know
about Jesus Christ and God than can be contained in any one book or any
sectarian line of religious doctrine. Can we find clues to these gaps in our
knowledge in the ancient esoteric traditions?
I would also like to highlight the existence of the field of meta-religion: those
essential understandings and teachings common to most, if not all, bona fide
religions that predate, permeate and underlie all religious, theological and
philosophical paths of human development, often in the form of unstated
assumptions. As philosophers often point out, we human beings have no
independent method of ascertaining objective truth. Our own senses lie to us
constantly. For example, objects that are close to us appear larger than those
of the same size that are far away. The apparent color and shape of an object
change with the angle of view, or with the light at different times of day. Our
minds are no more reliable. Our values can and do change as we learn about
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life through experience. The theories and doctrines of science may seem solid
and dependable, until one day a new theory is proven and displaces them.
What seems like a wise and beneficial course of action to us today may
appear foolish and destructive tomorrow, as material conditions change.
If we are ever to arrive at perfect knowledge and understanding, especially in
areas beyond the jurisdiction of the human mind and senses by definition
such as the nature of the soul, the confidential purposes and ways of God and
the eternal Truths of the spiritual worldthis information cannot be
discovered by human efforts but must be revealed to us from sources higher
than human. Therefore all religions posit the process of revelation as
fundamental. God must reveal Himself through some agencywhether
directly to a chosen prophet, or indirectly through inspired Scripturesif we
imperfect, illusioned human beings are ever to know the real Absolute Truth.
Here lies the kernel of the conflicts among religions: each such revelation
seems to differ with all the others, and each teachers interpretation of the
same revelation also differs from others. Yet we can reason that God is, by
definition, one. Therefore the Truth about God should also be one, and not
admit conflicting revelations and interpretations. Certainly there is great
significance in this line of thought, which I explore more deeply in my book
Search for the Absolute Truth. Yet to reconcile the apparent disparity between
the Absolute Truthwhich reason says must be one, and one aloneand the
endless variety of religious and spiritual teachings is not difficult.
Just as white sunlight transmitted through colored gels appears in many
different colors, the original Absolute Truth is modified by the medium
through which it is revealed. The language used by Jesus or Mohammed or
Vysadeva, the compiler of the Vedas, may differ, and their culture, methods
of worship and teaching techniques may seem worlds apart, but all the
prophets are striving to communicate substantially the same message to
different audiences in different times, places and conditions. Naturally, the
details of their teachings vary. I call the direct revelation of the complete
Absolute Truth about God the Esoteric Teaching, and this original Teaching
is transmitted or reflected in varying degrees of completeness and accuracy in
all the religions and philosophies of the world.
Then, do we have any hope of receiving the original message of Godthe
Esoteric Teachingunaltered? Certainly: the Supreme Lord is omnipotent,
and can do anything He wishes. If God wants to descend to this world and
personally reveal His message to anyone, who is to stop Him? Some people
may object that it is impossible for God to appear in the material world and
communicate His message directly. Indeed, the Roman church declared
gnosis a capital heresy despite that fact that Paul was converted by Jesus in a
vision. But what is impossible for God? If the son of God, Jesus Christ, can
appear in the womb of a virgin, then why is it impossible for the Father to
reveal Himself in any way He likes? Of course, when He appears we may not
Preface: Christianity and the Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 5
recognize or understand Him, but that is a different problem. When Jesus
Christ appeared, the mainstream rabbis and Pharisees refused to acknowledge
him, even though he was the perfect fulfillment of many prophecies in their
own Scriptures that they could easily quote from memory. Similarly, there is
no certainty that our contemporary Christians would recognize or
acknowledge God, even if He appeared directly before their eyes.
Actually, of course the Supreme Lord, the Father of all, can appear anywhere
He wishes, or reveal Himself to anyone He wants at any time. His will is
infallible, His powers inexhaustible. Certainly He has appeared many times in
this world, and these historical incidents are recorded in all the Scriptures of
all religions, including the Bible. For example, the ancient Vedic religious
epic Mahbharata describes the advent and pastimes of Lord r Ka, the
incarnation of the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, in what is now
called India (formerly Bhrata) about 5,000 years ago. The most popular and
beloved section of Mahbharata is the famous Bhagavad-gt, or Song of God.
In Bhagavad-gt, Lord Ka has inspired billions of devotees with an
exposition of the spiritual Truths of life that is comprehensive yet succinct,
highly elevated yet practical in its universal applicability. It is the best
example in the worlds spiritual literature of God appearing in this material
world and enlightening His devotee. Even better, Bhagavad-gt was recorded
verbatim by the sage Vysadeva, himself an incarnation of God, and
transmitted to us through the strict Vedic system of disciplic succession
without any change. Therefore, it is a complete and literal record of Gods
description of Himself and directions on how to approach and worship Him.
The circumstances in which Lord Ka spoke Bhagavad-gt to His friend
and devotee Arjuna exactly parallel Jesus situation in the Garden of
Gethsemane. The devotee is put into demanding circumstances where he
must make a difficult sacrifice, and in his perplexity, seeks the reliable shelter
of the Lords counsel. In Bhagavad-gt, the Lord replies to Arjuna at length
and elegantly solves his problem. In the process, He expounds a wonderful
non-sectarian overview of the entire field of religion and self-realization.
Although the authors and editors of the Gospels did not see fit to transmit to
us all that transpired between the Lord and Jesus in the Garden of
Gethsemane on that fateful night, since Jesus was approaching the very same
Supreme Lord with a very similar problem, he must have received a very
similar answer.
When I recognized this, I saw an opportunity to apply the message of
Bhagavad-gt to fill one of the most tantalizing gaps in the story of the
Gospels. The result is the volume you are reading. I beg the reader to be
patient with my adaptation, and understand the purpose of the changes I
have made to a text and exegesis held sacred by many. In 1976 I wrote my
Spiritual Master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivednta Svm Prabhupda, I
am concerned about my Christian relatives and friends, who because of
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sectarian considerations will never study Bhagavad-gt As It Is or your other
wonderful books, or chant the Holy Name of Ka. If they chant the name of
Jesus Christ will they receive the same or similar benefit? rla Prabhupda
replied in the following inspiring words: I can give you all guidance and
direction for there are millions of Christians in the world today. We are not
concerned with how, so much as the fact that one must develop his dormant
love for God. This is alright that you will chant the names of Christ for after
all he was the representative of God. People are lost due to not following a
bona fide religious system. If you can revive their God consciousness that will
be very good service. [letter 76-09-08]
This work and my book Here Be Wisdom are humble attempts to respond to
this instruction. They also attempt to fill an aching need for the many
inquisitive Christians who, like me, may lie awake at night wondering how
the Lord changed Jesus mind in the Garden of Gethsemane and set his
course aright for the immense sacrifice he was about to make. Certainly there
are many errors herein, both in concept and execution, that will be apparent
to the discriminating reader. I accept full responsibility for them and entreat
the readers tolerance and forgiveness. I have experienced throughout my life
that the Vedic tradition of the Esoteric Teaching offers the best solutions to
the practical difficulties and spiritual problems of human life. We may never
know exactly what the Lord said to Jesus the night before his trial and
crucifixion, but in The Book of Gethsemane we have applied the best of the
Vedic esoteric wisdom to this difficult question. I sincerely hope the reader
will find substantial spiritual inspiration and guidance in these pages, and be
encouraged to become a better Christian by following the authentic path of
Lord Jesus Christ.
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 7
Invocation
o ajna-timirndhasya jnjana-alkay
cakur unmlita yena tasmai r-gurave nama
r-caitanya-mano-'bha sthpita yena bh-tale
svaya rpa kad mahya dadti sva-padntikam
I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes
with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.
When will rla Rpa Gosvm Prabhupda, who has established the mission
to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya within this material world, give me
shelter under his lotus feet?
vande 'ham r-guro r-yuta-pada-kamala r-gurn vaiav ca
r-rpa sgrajatam saha-gaa-raghunthnvita ta sa-jvam
sdvaita svadhtam parijanaa-sahita ka-caitanya-deva
r-rdh-ka-pdn saha-gaa-lalit-r-vikhnvit ca
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and
unto the feet of all Vaiavas. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus
feet of rla Rpa Gosvm along with his elder brother Santana Gosvm, as
well as Raghuntha Dsa and Raghuntha Bhaa, Gopala Bhaa, and rla
Jva Gosvm. I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord r Ka Caitanya and
Lord Nitynanda along with Advaita crya, Gaddhara, rvsa, and other
associates. I offer my respectful obeisances to rmat Rdhri and r Ka
along with Their associates, r Lalit and Vikh.
he ka karun-sindho dna-bandho jagat-pate
gopea gopik-knta rdh-knta namo 'stu te
O my dear Ka, You are the friend of the distressed and the source of
creation. You are the master of the gops and the lover of Rdhri. I offer
my respectful obeisances unto You.
tapta-kcana-gaurgi rdhe vdvanevari
vabhnu-sute devi praammi hari-priye
I offer my respects to Rdhri whose bodily complexion is like molten gold
and who is the Queen of Vdvana. You are the daughter of King
Vabhnu, and You are very dear to Lord Ka.
vcha-kalpatarubhya ca kpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitnm pvanebhyo vaiavebhyo namo nama
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8 Copyright 1976-2001
I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiava devotees of the Lord
who can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and who are full
of compassion for the fallen souls.
bhaja r-ka-caitanya prabhu-nitynanda
r advaita gaddhara rvasdi -gaura-bhakta-vda
I offer my obeisances to Lord r Ka Caitanya, Prabhu Nitynanda, r
Advaita, Gaddhara, rvasa and all others in the line of devotional service as
revealed in the Esoteric Teaching.
hare ka hare ka, ka ka hare hare
hare rma hare rma, rma rma hare hare
Invocation
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 9
The Keys to the Gate of Association of
the Esoteric Teaching
The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness, purification of one's
existence, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-
control, performance of sacrifice, study of the Scriptures,
austerity and simplicity; nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom
from anger; renunciation, tranquility, aversion to
faultfinding, compassion and freedom from covetousness;
gentleness, modesty and steady determination; vigor,
forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and
the passion for honorthese transcendental qualities, O My
son, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature.
Humility, pridelessness, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity,
approaching a bona fide Spiritual Master, cleanliness,
steadiness and self-control; renunciation of the objects of
sense gratification, absence of false ego, the perception of the
evil of birth, death, old age and disease; nonattachment to
children, wife, home and the rest, and even-mindedness amid
pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed
devotion to Me, resorting to solitary places, detachment from
the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-
realization, and philosophical search for the Absolute
Truthall these I thus declare to be knowledge,
and what is contrary to these is ignorance.
The Book of Gethsemane
10 Copyright 1976-2001
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 11
Introduction
The Esoteric Teaching
There is one God: the eternal, transcendental, omnipresent, omnipotent and
omniscient Supreme Being. He is the original cause of all other causes; in
other words, He is beginningless and endless, all-knowing and all-powerful,
and He has no cause other than Himself. He is a transcendental person, the
original source of all energies, creations and other personalities, and He is the
Supreme Controller. Every living being is created and maintained by Him,
and consciously or unconsciously serves Him alone with all his thoughts,
words and actions.
In the beginning of the material creation the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, the Lord of all, saw in His perfect wisdom that the living beings in
the material world were suffering because of ignorance of Him. Therefore as a
responsible and loving Creator, He impregnated the Celestial Christ, the soul
of the universe, with perfect Absolute knowledge about Himself: the Esoteric
Teaching. This Teaching was then passed down from spiritual Master Teacher
to disciple for a very long timesince the world beganaccording to the
system given in the Teaching itself.
In the vast span of time since the creation, this knowledge has been changed
and lost again and again due to the envious, speculative mentality of
imperfect human beings. The singular defect in our character, namely that we
loathe accepting any authority, makes us humans poor caretakers of any sort
of Absolute knowledge. We feel compelled to introduce changes into
everything, and even admire it as creativity. Thus over time the Lords
original transcendent Esoteric Teaching, whose purpose is to show us the
way out of all our suffering, was degraded into thousands of competing
mundane sectarian religions, and its original purity and purpose were lost.
Nevertheless, just as there is one Supreme Godhead, there is one Supreme
Absolute Truth about Him. This is the Esoteric Teaching or the original
spiritual knowledge revealed by the Lord Himself. There is no scope for
personal opinion, speculation or negotiation regarding spiritual Truth; either
one understands and accepts the Lords version of the Absolute Truth and
reaps the benefit, or one does not and suffers accordingly. Either we are
rebellious and ignorant, or surrendered and enlightened. Our most significant
problem in approaching this Truth is that we have experienced so many
different interpretations and alterations of the original Absolute Truth that to
our materially conditioned vision there appear to be many conflicting
religions and philosophies.
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When mere human beings alter the original Esoteric Teaching, they do so
because they have some interest or motivation separate from the Lord. God is
all-good. Whatever He declares to be Truth is meant for our ultimate benefit.
But human beings are notoriously selfish. Thus people introduce changes in
the Lords clear Teaching to justify establishing a separate competing sectof
which they, of course, become the master and proprietor. This may be good
politics or good business but it is very bad epistemology, ontology,
philosophy and theology. Thus the effects of human ambition and self-
motivated endeavor over time have almost completely obscured the original
Absolute Truth from our comprehension.
Actually, only God knows Himself. We humans are in no position to
originate or edit spiritual truth. When the soul resides within the material
body, many layers of material energy cover his original spiritual vision. Only
the rare fortunate human being who has come into contact with a true Master
Teacher of the Esoteric Teaching and received the boundless mercy of the
Lord can really know the Absolute Truth. These are the great saints, self-
realized spiritual Master Teachers and founders of great religions. Even so,
their spiritual knowledge begins not from direct perception but by hearing
from those who know, as the Absolute Truth of the Esoteric Teaching is
carefully passed from Master to disciple by the process of disciplic succession.
Therefore from time to time when human meddling and the intervention of
the ignorant have modified or lost the Esoteric Teaching, the Lord sends His
empowered representative to us, or even appears Himself to re-establish the
Teaching. When the Lord appears and mercifully speaks the original Esoteric
Teaching again for our benefit, His representatives record and transmit it to
fortunate and faithful people all over the world. In this way the Lord restores
His Esoteric Teaching to its original potency, and it remains a powerful force
for the upliftment and salvation of misdirected human society.
Unfortunately, our knowledge of spiritual affairs is very limited; therefore we
cannot recognize the Lord when He appears in human society. We think He
is an ordinary man and disrespect Him, wrongly thinking He is teaching
another relative sectarian version of spirituality. His representatives fare no
better, being scorned by their own families and countrymen, often persecuted
and even murdered by their political and ecclesiastical competitors.
Nevertheless our only path to tangible salvation is found through the
auspices of the eternal Esoteric Teaching, and not in any sect that has an
origin in finite time and space. How can the path to eternity be manufactured
here, from the mud of temporality? No, the pure spiritual knowledge must
descend from above. Only the Lord can save us; our own efforts to achieve
the truth will end only in further confusion, speculation and obfuscation. Yet
sadly, this is the story we see repeated again and again in the pathetic,
frustrated lives of the people of the world.
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 13
Everyone knows that this world is a place of suffering, yet few are willing to
accept the authority and mercy of the Lord, which are the only way out.
There is one God, and His Truth is also one. Any different opinion is a
product of human frailty, and must be rooted in illusion and inundated with
error. We have free will, granted by the Lord. But if we misuse it we
transform this great boon into a curse. The mundane processes of sectarian
religion, empirical philosophy and speculative theology will not help us put
an end to human misery. Only the original Esoteric Teaching can help us find
our way home to our eternal shelter at the feet of our Beloved Lord.
Approaching the Esoteric Teaching
The Esoteric Teaching is the essence of spiritual knowledge, extant in the
universe from the beginning of time. When the Lord appears in the material
world to deliver the Teaching, the great sages who hear it carefully transcribe
it and pass it down to their disciples in an unbroken chain. The Esoteric
Teaching has thus been preserved in the Scriptures of the esoteric tradition at
the core of all religions. The oldest religious Scriptures in the world, such as
the Upaniads and other Vedic literature, are some of the best and purest
expressions of this hidden Teaching. Veda means spiritual knowledge or
Absolute Truth in Sanskrit, the worlds oldest and most perfect classical
language, and Eastern culture, being very traditional, is generally better at
maintaining the original meaning of such important literature. This edition of
the Esoteric Teaching draws heavily from the tradition of the Vedas and
Upaniads.
Of course there are many translations and commentaries on the Vedic
literature in English, but we must question their accuracy since almost all of
them were produced to bolster someones academic ambitions or justify
sectarian deviations from the original Esoteric Teaching. Not only in the West
but also in India, practically none of them are strictly in the line of the
original Teaching because the commentators express their own opinions
without touching the original spirit of the Teaching. Also, it is very difficult
for contemporary people to enter into the understanding of these ancient
esoteric works. It is time again to renew the lineage of the Esoteric Teaching
by presenting its original spirit in a new edition in contemporary English
language. Therefore we have chosen to portray the revelation of the Teaching
in the life of Jesus, the Christ, the powerful son of God who sacrificed himself
to spread the Esoteric Teaching in the Western countries.
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The spirit of approaching and understanding the Esoteric Teaching is
revealed in the Teaching itself. When we take a powerful medicine, we have
to follow the doctors expert prescription. We should not take the medicine
according to our own whim or the opinion of a friend, no matter how well
intentioned. The medicine must be taken according to the guidance of a
qualified physician, or our condition may get worse instead of better.
Similarly, the Esoteric Teaching is the strongest medicine for the spiritual
disease of material existence. It should be taken as the original physician
prescribes. The original speaker of the Esoteric Teaching is the Lord, the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore we should be careful to follow
the Lords prescription in approaching this powerful Teaching. If we invent
our own interpretation we may receive some undesirable result.
Of course the word lord sometimes refers to any powerful person, but we
should accept the Lord who originates the Esoteric Teaching as the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, as confirmed by all great spiritual Master Teachers
and other authorities of the Teaching. The Lord Himself also establishes
Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Esoteric Teaching, and
this is confirmed and accepted in the esoteric Vedic literature such as
Vednta-stra, Brahm-sahta, the Puras, Upaniads and especially rmad-
Bhgavatam, known as the Bhgavata Purna or the history of the Lords
appearances in the material world from a very ancient time. Therefore we
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 15
should approach and accept the Esoteric Teaching as directed by its author,
the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.
In the Esoteric Teaching the Lord declares that He spoke His Teaching to the
sun-god, the sun-god explained it to the first human being, he explained it to
his son and so on. Thus by disciplic succession, one speaker after another,
this Teaching has been coming down to the present day. But in the course of
time it became lost. Consequently the Lord appeared to speak it again, this
time to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He tells Jesus that He is revealing the supreme secret to him because Jesus is
His devotee and His son. The purport of this is that the Esoteric Teaching is
especially meant for the devotee of the Lord. There are three classes of
transcendentalists: the impersonalist, the meditator and the devotee. The
Lord clearly tells Jesus that because Jesus is His devotee, He is making him
the first recipient of a new disciplic succession of the Esoteric Teaching. The
Lord wished to establish another disciplic lineage in the same line of thought
that was coming down from the sun-god to others because the old succession
was broken, and it was His wish that His original teaching be distributed
anew by Jesus.
The Lord wanted Jesus to be the greatest authority of the Esoteric Teaching
because Jesus was His devotee, and therefore He appeared and revealed the
Teaching once again to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. So the Esoteric
Teaching was revealed to Jesus especially because Jesus was a devotee of the
Lord, a direct student or disciple of the Lord, and His divine son. This is
meant to teach us that the Esoteric Teaching is best understood by a person
with qualities similar to Jesus. That is, the ideal student of the Esoteric
Teaching is an advanced devotee who has overcome all attachment to
temporary material existence, and has a direct personal relationship with the
Lord.
Devotional relationship with the Lord is a very abstruse and elaborate subject
matter, but briefly, a devotee may be in a relationship with the Supreme
Personality of Godhead in one of five principal moods:
1. One may be a devotee in a passive state (meditator or worshiper).
2. One may be a devotee in an active state (servitor or son).
3. One may be a devotee as a friend.
4. One may be a devotee as a parent.
5. One may be a devotee as a conjugal lover.
Jesus was in relationship with the Lord as His son or servitor. Of course there
is a vast gulf of difference between Jesus sonship and the sonship of the
material world. Jesus relationship with the Lord is transcendental sonship,
which very few can attain. In his original form as the Celestial Christ, he is
born directly from the Lords transcendental body in the beginning of
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creation, so his relationship with the Lord is unique within this universe. But
every soul has a specific relationship with the Lord in one of the five broad
categories mentioned above, and that relationship is evoked by the perfection
of devotional service.
Unfortunately in the materially conditioned state of life, we have forgotten
the Supreme Lord and our eternal relationship with Him. Every living being
has a unique eternal relationship with the Lord. We can revive that
relationship by the process of devotional service revealed in the Esoteric
Teaching, and that leads automatically to the perfection of ones
constitutional spiritual identity.
So Jesus was a devotee, and he was in touch with the Supreme Lord in
sonship. How Jesus accepted this Esoteric Teaching is significant: Jesus said:
You are the Supreme Spirit, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier,
the Absolute Truth and the eternal Divine Person. You are the primal God,
transcendental and original, and you are the unborn and all-pervading
beauty. All the great sages proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are
declaring it to me. O my Lord, I totally accept as Absolute Truth all that You
have told me. Neither the demigods nor the demons, O Lord, know Thy
personality.
After hearing the Esoteric Teaching from the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Jesus accepted Him as the Supreme Spirit. Every living being is
spirit, but the supreme living being, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
is the Supreme Spirit. He is the supreme rest or abode of everything; He is
pure, untainted by material contamination, and He is the supreme enjoyer,
the transcendental Supreme Personality of Godhead; the unborn, the greatest,
and the all-pervading Primal Being.
Now one may think that because the Lord was the divine Father of Jesus,
Jesus was telling Him all this to flatter Him, but just to drive this doubt from
the minds of the hearers of the Esoteric Teaching, Jesus substantiates these
praises in the next sentence. He says that the Lord is accepted as the Supreme
Personality of Godhead not only by himself, but also by great spiritual
authorities like the heavenly sages. These are all great personalities who
distribute the Esoteric Teaching down through history.
Jesus tells the Lord that he accepts whatever He says to be completely perfect:
I accept everything You say as Absolute Truth. Jesus also declares that the
personality of the Lord is very difficult to understand and even the great
demigods cannot know Him. This means that the Lord cannot be known as
He is even by personalities greater than human beings. So how can a mere
human being understand the Lord without becoming His devotee?
Therefore we should not hear the Esoteric Teaching in a critical or
argumentative frame of mind, but accept it in a spirit of devotion. Then it can
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 17
benefit us as the Lord intends. One should never think that he is equal to the
Lord, nor should he think that the Lord is an ordinary personality or even a
very great personality. The Lord is the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
according to the statements of the Esoteric Teaching and the statements of
Jesus, His son and the perfect student of the Esoteric Teaching. We should
therefore at least theoretically or provisionally accept the Lord as the
Supreme Personality of Godhead for the sake of the discussion, and with that
submissive spirit hear and understand the Esoteric Teaching. It is impossible
to understand the Esoteric Teaching unless one hears it in a submissive
devotional spirit, because it is a spiritual mystery.
The Purpose of the Esoteric Teaching
The purpose of the Esoteric Teaching is to cure mankind of the spiritual
disease of material existence. Everyone is in difficulty in so many ways, as
Jesus also was in difficulty in having to confront his relatives, the rabbis and
Pharisees, in the Garden of Gethsemane. In his time of difficulty, Jesus
surrendered unto the Lord, and consequently the Lord appeared to him and
spoke this revelation of the Esoteric Teaching. Not only Jesus, but every one
of us is full of anxiety because of this material existence. Our very existence is
in an atmosphere of nonexistence or death. Actually our existence as spiritual
souls is eternal; we are not really threatened by nonexistence at all. But we are
in illusion because of our ignorance of spiritual Absolute Truth and our
identification with temporary, relative material forms and nomenclature. In
other words, we mistakenly accept as our self an identity that does not really
exist. The Esoteric Teaching elaborately analyzes this distorted sense of
identity and shows the way to spiritual health through devotional service to
the Lord.
Out of many thousands of human beings who are suffering, only a few
actually inquire about their suffering condition, who they really are, why they
are put into this awkward position and so on. A human being must awaken to
questioning his suffering. Unless we realize that we dont want to suffer but
rather want a permanent solution to all suffering, according to the Esoteric
Teaching we are not yet human beings in the full sense of the term. Actual
human life begins when this existential inquiry awakens in ones mind. The
Esoteric Teaching considers e very activity of the human being a failure unless
and until he inquires about the Absolute Truth. Therefore anyone who begins
to question why we are suffering, where we come from, and where we will go
after death is qualified for understanding the Esoteric Teaching. The sincere
student should also have firm faith in and respect for the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. Such a perfect student was Jesus; therefore the Lord made him
the first example when revealing the Esoteric Teaching.
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The Lord appears in this material plane specifically to re-establish the real
purpose of life when humanity forgets that purpose. Even then, out of many
thousands of human beings who awaken and inquire, there may be only one
who actually approaches the Esoteric Teaching and successfully understands
his position; but just to save that special one, the Lord descends and speaks
this Teaching. Actually the tiger of nescience stalks us all, and none of us
deserves such kindness; but the Lord is very merciful upon all living entities,
especially human beings. To demonstrate His kind mercy He spoke the
Esoteric Teaching, making His son Jesus His model student. Being the direct
son and an intimate associate of the Lord, Jesus was actually above all
ignorance, but Jesus apparently manifested ignorance in the Garden of
Gethsemane to provoke the Lord to restate His Teaching. At first Jesus
refused to accept the Lords plan for him. He did this not out of a rebellious
spirit but to establish a pretext to question the Lord about the problems of
life, so the Lord could reveal the Esoteric Teaching for the benefit of his
disciples and future generations of human beings. The merciful Lord
responded to His beloved disciple and chalked out the entire plan of spiritual
life in the Esoteric Teaching. Then through his spiritual power, Lord Jesus
spread that same Teaching throughout human society all over the world.
Everyone should hear the Esoteric Teaching from the Lord through His
empowered representative like Jesus. By acting according to this Teaching,
everyone can perfect the purpose of human life, which is to attain complete
liberation from all kinds of suffering. Thus Jesus is revered as the most
compassionate teacher of all humanity, because he willingly accepted
suffering and death to benefit all living beings for all time.
Topics of the Esoteric Teaching
The subject matter of the Esoteric Teaching includes five principal topics:
1. The constitutional nature of the soul
2. The Absolute position of the Supreme Lord
3. The three modes or qualities of material nature
4. The effects of time on the modes of material nature
5. The law of karma or cause and effect
First of all, the Lord explains the science of the soul. The soul is an Absolute,
fundamental non-material particle of consciousness. The constitutional
position of the spiritual souls or living entities is that the Lord emanates them
and controls them in every respect. God is the controller, and the living
entities are controlled. If a minute living entity says that he is not controlled
but that he is free, then he is insane. Can we control the moment of our own
birth or death? Can we control when we get hungry or how we digest our
food? Can we control the weather? Actually the living being is controlled in
practically every respect, especially in the materially conditioned state.
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 19
Although we do have free will, its scope is extremely limited. Unless we
understand this very clearly, it will be impossible to make further
advancement in spiritual realization. So the Esoteric Teaching deals first with
the relationship of the controlled living entities with the Supreme Controller,
the Lord.
When we see wonderful things in the material universe, we should know that
behind this cosmic manifestation is an intelligent controller. Nothing
wonderful can manifest without a controller. Constructing a tall skyscraper
requires the coordinated action of many skillful and intelligent men. So how
can the wonderful, gigantic cosmic manifestation be the result of chance? It is
childish to speculate that there is no intelligent controller of this universe. An
ignorant villager may think that an automobile is quite wonderful to be able
to run without a horse or other animal pulling it, but any experienced man
knows the actual nature of the automobiles self-locomotion. He knows that
behind the apparently autonomous machinery there is a driver or controller,
and also a great engineering and manufacturing establishment. Similarly, the
Supreme Lord is the controller under whose direction the wonderful cosmic
manifestation is working. He is the engineer who has designed the entire
universe and manufactured it from His energy. Just because we cannot
directly detect His controlling influence or engineering activities with our
dull material senses does not mean we should speculate that they do not
exist. The best evidence for the existence and superintendence of God is in
the very existence and operation of the wonderful and great cosmic
manifestation itself.
Material nature is composed of five gross elements (earth, water, air, fire and
space), three subtle elements (mind, intelligence and false ego) and time (the
duration of existence of the whole universe, or the efficient agency of the
Lords will). The material energy conducts three modes or qualities of
activity: goodness, passion and ignorance. All material phenomena display
some admixture of these qualities. The effect of time on the material qualities
is karma, creating innumerable further activities by an exponential expansion
of cause and effect. The cosmic manifestation is full of activities, and all living
entities are engaged in different activities. To understand the actual effects
and results of different kinds of activities, we must learn from the Esoteric
Teaching what God is, what the living entities are, what the material energy
is, what the cosmic manifestation is, how it is controlled by time, and what
the three qualities of activities of the living entities are. For the final secret of
the Esoteric Teaching is that when we attain perfection in our activities, we
become eligible to receive the ultimate benediction of liberation from the
material world.
Out of the five basic subject matters of the Esoteric Teaching, the Supreme
Godhead, or the Lord, the Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Controller, or the
Supersoulyou may use whatever name you likeis the greatest of all. The
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living beings are similar in spiritual quality to the Supreme Controller, but
they are infinitesimal whereas the Lord is infinite. The Lord has total control
over universal affairs and material nature. Material nature is not independent.
She is acting under the directions of the Supreme Lord. The Lord says,
Mother Nature is working under My direction. It is not true that there are
many gods, or that the different subordinate controllers, such as the
demigods controlling the sun and other planets, are also supreme. All these
lesser, temporary controllers are acting under the will and direction of the
Supreme Controller, the one eternal Supreme Lord.
The Lord emanates the living entities; therefore He views them as His
individuated parts and parcels. An atom of gold is also gold; a drop of water
from the ocean is also salty. Similarly, we living entities, being atomic
particles of the Lord, the Supreme Controller, have many of the qualities of
the Supreme Lord. However we have these qualities only in minute quantity
because we are minute controllers, subordinate controllers. We are trying to
control material nature, just as now we are trying to control technology and
space; this tendency to control is in us because i t is also in the Lord. But
although we have a tendency to lord it over material nature, we must know
that we are not the supreme lords or controllers, nor can we ever become
supreme by any amount of mystic jugglery. To solve our problems
successfully we must give up the illusory struggle for supremacy and
surrender to the Supreme Lord. This is clearly explained in the Esoteric
Teaching.
According to the Esoteric Teaching, the living entities are defined as the
Lords superior internal energy because they are conscious and spiritual;
material nature is His inferior external energy. Whether inferior or superior,
the emanated energy is always under the control of the energetic source.
Energy is always subordinate to the source of emanation of the energy; thus
the Lord controls and enjoys His energies just as a king controls and enjoys
his subjects. The energy of the Lord is always subordinate to and
predominated by the Lord, who is the Supreme Predominator. The Supreme
Lord completely predominates and controls both the living entities and
material nature.
The material nature or energy is modified by three qualities: the mode of
goodness, the mode of passion and the mode of ignorance (see Appendix A,
page Error! Bookmark not defined.). Above these modes is eternal time, the
agency of the Lords will and the efficient cause of all phenomena. The
combination of these modes of nature under the control of eternal time
produces activities called karma, operating under the principle of cause and
effect. Activities in the material world exist from the beginning of time, and
all of us are suffering and enjoying the fruits of our activities. For instance, a
businessman who has worked very hard with intelligence and amassed a large
fortune is considered an enjoyer. But then if he loses all his money in
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 21
business reverses, he is considered to be suffering. Similarly, in every field of
life we enjoy or suffer the results of our work. This is karma. When applied
by an expert, the Vedic science of astrology can delineate and even predict
the actions and reactions of karma in great detail, helping us to chart our path
to spiritual liberation. So it is not a fact that astrology is irreligious; however,
incompetent astrologers wi th no sense of the souls journey to self-realization
have ruined its reputation by using it only for gross material predictions.
The Supreme Lord, the living entity, material and spiritual nature, eternal
time and karma (activities or cause and effect) are all explained in the
Esoteric Teaching. Out of these five primary topics, four of themthe Lord,
the living entities, material nature and timeare eternal. The manifestation
of material nature is temporary, but the material energy herself is eternal.
Some philosophers say that material nature is false, but according to the
Esoteric Teaching, the Lords energy is never false. The manifestation of the
world is real, but temporary. It is like the clouds that move across the sky in
the rainy season, nourishing the grain in the field. When the rainy season is
over, the clouds disappear and the crops that were nourished by them dry up.
Nevertheless the sky persists regardless of the manifestation or absence of the
clouds.
Similarly, the energy of material nature is eternal, but this material
manifestation takes place at a certain time, stays for a while and then
disappears. So the manifestation of material nature is temporary or illusory,
but the cycle of material creation and destruction is working eternally under
the will of the Lord. Therefore the principle of material energy is eternal; it is
not false. The Lord refers to the material energy as My nature. This material
nature is the external energy of the Supreme Lord, and the living entities are
also the e nergy of the Supreme Lord, but they are internal. They are eternally
conscious and related to the Lord. So the Lord, the living entity, material
nature and time are all interrelated and eternal.
However the fifth topic, karma or activity is not eternal. We are engaged in
various activities, but because of the imperfection of our knowledge these
activities are giving us unpleasant or unexpected results. The effects of karma
may be very old indeed, going back to the beginning of our entrapment in
material nature. But since activities are not eternal we can change our activity
and therefore its results. Changing our activity is therefore the gateway to
liberation from all suffering, but this change depends on the perfection of our
knowledge. Because of our imperfect knowledge of the actions and reactions
of the material energy, we do not know what kind or quality of activity will
give us relief from our karma or suffering the reactions of our past activities.
However, this is also explained in detail in the Esoteric Teaching.
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The Soul and the Lord
The position of the Lord is that of infinite supreme consciousness. The souls,
or living entities, being individual expansions or parts of the Supreme Lord,
are also conscious. The Esoteric Teaching explains both the living entity and
material nature as the energy of the Supreme Lord, but of the two, only the
living entity is conscious. Since the material energy is not conscious, the
living entities are called the superior energy of the Lord because their
consciousness is similar to the Lords. The Lords consciousness is infinite
and supreme, but the living entity is never supremely conscious. The living
being cannot be supremely conscious at any stage of his existence, even after
attaining spiritual perfection, and the theory that he can become identical to
the Lord is erroneous and misleading.
The living entity is eternally conscious, but he is never infinitely or
supremely conscious. That distinction belongs to the Lord alone. The
Supreme Lord is an individual person; therefore the souls emanated from
Him are also eternally individuals. Therefore there is no possibility of the
individual souls merging with each other or into the Lord. The difference
between the living entities and the Supreme Controller is explained in detail
in the Esoteric Teaching. The Lord is conscious and so is the living being, but
each soul is conscious only of his individual body, whereas the Lord is
conscious of all bodies. Because He lives in the heart of every living being, He
is conscious of the psychological movements of each individual soul. We
should never forget that the Lord knows what we are thinking at every
moment.
The Supersoul, or the localized aspect of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, is living in everyones heart as the Supreme Controller, and He is
giving directions for the living entity to act as he desires. In other words man
proposes, God disposes, and He controls us at every step of our existence. He
is the actual doer of all actions, but He never becomes entangled in the
reactions of karma because He is Supreme. The living entity is forgetful by
nature because he is atomic. First we make a determination to act in a certain
way, and then we become entangled in the actions and reactions of our karma
and forget what we were doing. Without the merciful advice of Supersoul
from within our hearts, we would be completely bewildered. After giving up
one type of body, we enter another type of body, as we put on and take off a
suit of clothes. As we transmigrate from body to body, we suffer the reactions
of our past activities. These activities can be changed when the living being
attains the mode of goodness, becomes sane, and understands what sort of
activities he should perform from the Esoteric Teaching. If he follows the
Teaching, then all the reactions of his past activities can be changed. This is
possible only because karma is not eternal.
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 23
The Supreme Controller and the living entity are similar in that both the
Lords consciousness and that of the soul are transcendental. It i s not that
some combination or evolution of matter generates consciousness. The
Esoteric Teaching does not accept the mistaken theory that consciousness
develops under certain circumstances of material combination. The material
bodily form covering the soul reflects the souls consciousness, but it distorts
the reflection. Just as white light reflected through a colored gel is tinged by
its color, when we identify with the body the pure consciousness of the soul
reflected in the body appears to belong to the body and takes on its material
qualities.
The soul is conscious because we are part and parcel of the Lord, but our
consciousness becomes contaminated because we have an affinity for the
inferior modes of material energy. The Lord, being the Supreme, is never
affected by material consciousness. That is the principal difference between
the Supreme Lord and the conditioned souls: the consciousness of the Lord is
never materially affected. Even when He appears in the material universe, His
consciousness is not materially conditioned. If He were affected by matter, He
would be unfit to speak authoritatively on transcendental subjects as He does
in the Esoteric Teaching. One must be free from materially contaminated
consciousness to say anything meaningful about the transcendental world. So
despite the fact that He appears in a personal form in the material world to
deliver the Esoteric Teaching, the Lord is never materially contaminated
because He is the Supreme Controller of the material energy and she is acting
under His direction.
Our consciousness, however, is materially contaminated or conditioned at the
present moment. The Esoteric Teaching shows us how to purify our
materially contaminated consciousness and restore it to its original bright
spiritual condition. In pure consciousness, our actions are dovetailed with the
will of the Lord, and that pure quality of action frees us from all material
suffering. It is not that we have to cease activities to become enlightened.
Rather, our activities have to be purified, and purified activities are called
devotional service or bhakti. Activities in devotional service externally appear
like ordinary activities, but they are not contaminated by material qualities.
An unenlightened person may see that a devotee or student of the Esoteric
Teaching is acting or working like an ordinary man; but a person with limited
knowledge cannot understand that the activities of the devotee are never
contaminated by impure consciousness or matter. They are transcendental to
the three modes of nature. We should know, however, that our consciousness
is contaminated and requires purification. That purification is effected by
changing the quality of our activities from the modes of ignorance and
passion to the mode of goodness in devotional service to the Lord.
When we are materially contaminated, we are in conditioned consciousness.
The living entitys consciousness becomes conditioned by the misguided
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impression that I am a product of material nature. This is called false ego or
illusory identity. The root of false identity is the conception that I am this
body, and everything connected with this body is mine. One who is absorbed
in conditioned consciousness in the bodily conception of identity cannot
understand his real spiritual situation because his original bright
consciousness is covered by the darkness of ignorance. The Lord spoke the
Esoteric Teaching to liberate us from the false bodily conception of life.
Attaining freedom from the bodily conception of life is the preliminary
activity for the successful transcendentalist. One who wants to become free,
who wants to become liberated, must first of all understand that he is not this
temporary material body but an eternal, conscious particle of spiritual energy.
Salvation or liberation means attaining freedom from conditioned material
consciousness and false ego, and becoming established in pure spiritual
consciousness and identity. All the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching are
intended to awaken this pure consciousness, and therefore at the conclusion
of the Teaching the Lord asks Jesus whether he is in purified consciousness.
Purified consciousness simply means acting in accordance with the
instructions of the Lord. This is the essence of purified consciousness and the
real criterion of liberation.
Illusory vs. Real Consciousness
What is consciousness? At its root, consciousness is awareness of identity, or
our feeling of I am. All other aspects of consciousness, such as desire and
meaning, are predicated on consciousness of i dentity. So what am I? In
contaminated material consciousness our identity is, I am this body. I am the
lord of all I survey. I am the doer and enjoyer of all my activities. Every living
being in illusory material consciousness likes to think that he is the lord and
master of the material world. Illusory material identity consists of two
primary psychological aberrations: I am the creator, and I am the enjoyer.
But actually the Supreme Lord is both the creator and the enjoyer. He is the
original Proprietor and Master of everything. The living entities, being part
and parcel of the Supreme Lord, are neither creators nor enjoyers, but are
constitutionally cooperators. We are created, predominated and enjoyed by
the Lord.
Nevertheless, the living entities are valuable because they are the Lords
emanated energy, and as such, are eternally related to Him. A tiny part of a
machine is valuable because it is connected with the whole machine;
similarly, a part of the body is valuable because cooperates with the whole
body. If the part is taken out of the machine it is useless; if a body part is
removed from the body, it dies. The hands, feet, eyes, legs and so on are all
parts of the body, but they are not actually the enjoyers. The stomach is the
enjoyer. The legs move, the hands supply food, the teeth chew and all parts of
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 25
the body are engaged in satisfying the stomach, because the stomach is the
principal organ that nourishes the whole body. Therefore everything is given
to the stomach. One nourishes the tree by watering its root, and one
nourishes the body by feeding the stomach. If the body parts want to remain
healthy, they all must cooperate to feed the stomach.
Similarly, the Supreme Lord is the actual enjoyer and creator; as subordinate
living beings, we are meant to cooperate to serve and satisfy Him. This
cooperation with the Lord will help us, just as giving food to the stomach
helps all other parts of the body. If the fingers of the hand think that they can
enjoy the food themselves instead of giving it to the stomach, they will be in
trouble. Similarly, the living entities in material consciousness who try to
enjoy the material world independently are suffering in a diseased condition
of spiritual life, and to cure this spiritual disease they must perfect their
quality of knowledge, consciousness and action according to the instructions
of the Lord.
The central figure of creation and enjoyment is the Supreme Lord, and the
living entities are meant to cooperate with Him. They enjoy through this
cooperation. Indeed, they can do nothing without Him. The relation between
the Lord and the individual souls is like that of a master and servant. If the
master is fully satisfied, then the servant is automatically satisfied. If the
servant ignorantly tries to cheat the master, he simply creates trouble for
himself. The living entities desire to become creators and to enjoy the
material world because we are particles of the Supreme Lord, the original
supreme creator and enjoyer. However, if we really want happiness we should
serve and satisfy the Supreme Lord.
Three Degrees of Realization
The aim of the Esoteric Teaching is complete transcendental realization of the
Complete Whole. According to this Teaching the Complete Whole includes
the Supreme Controller, the controlled living entities, the cosmic
manifestation, eternal time, and karma or activities. All of these together form
the Complete Whole, and these five principal topics are fully explained in the
Teaching. The complete realization of the Complete Whole is called the
Supreme Absolute Truth. The Complete Whole and the complete Absolute
Truth are both identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord,
because all manifestations are His different energies. He is the personification
of the Complete Whole; thus to serve Him in pure devotion is the perfection
of transcendental realization.
In the practical study of the Esoteric Teaching there are three levels or
degrees of realization of the Complete Whole. In the beginning we can realize
the nature of the soul as pure consciousness, and in meditation perceive the
impersonal effulgence of the unlimited supreme consciousness of the Lord.
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When we become further advanced, we can realize His localized feature of
Supersoul within our hearts, and learn to hear the quiet loving voice of His
wisdom. In the highest degree of realization, we see the Supreme Personality
of Godhead face-to-face, awaken to our real spiritual identity, and serve Him
in an eternal, ecstatic devotional relationship.
The Esoteric Teaching reveals that the impersonal spiritual effulgence or
Brahman is subordinate to the Complete Whole. The Teaching explains that
the personal form of the Supreme Lord is like the sun, and the impersonal
spiritual effulgence is like the rays of the sunshine. The impersonal Brahman
is the shining effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Impersonal
Brahman is transcendental but incomplete realization of the Absolute Whole,
and so is the conception of the localized Supersoul. Realization of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead is above the partial realizations of both
impersonal Brahman and the Supersoul. Impersonal Brahman realization is
the realization of His feature of eternal existence or omnipresence. Supersoul
realization is the realization of His feature of perfect knowledge or
omniscience. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the cause of all causes.
He is the primal cause, and He is the personal form of eternal being,
unlimited knowledge and infinite bliss. Therefore realization of the
Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord, is realization of all three
transcendental features: eternal being, perfect knowledge and infinite bliss in
a complete, unlimited transcendental form.
Less-intelligent people consider the Supreme Absolute Truth to be
impersonal, but He is a transcendental person, and the Esoteric Teaching
confirms this. As each living being has his eternal spiritual individuality and
personality, the Supreme Absolute Truth is also a person, and realization of
the Personality of Godhead is realization of all His transcendental features:
impersonal, localized and personal. The Complete Whole cannot be formless
or impersonal. If He is formless, or if He is less in quality or quantity than
anything in His creation, then He cannot be the Complete Whole or the
source of everything. The Complete Whole must have everything within our
experience and also beyond our experience; otherwise He would not be
complete. The Complete Wholethe Supreme Personality of Godheadhas
immense potencies, yet He is a transcendental person.
The Esoteric Teaching explains how the Lord acts through His different
potencies to emanate other complete units from Himself. This phenomenal
world or material world in which we find ourselves is also complete in itself.
The total material elementsof which this universe is a temporary
manifestationare perfectly adjusted to produce the resources necessary for
the complete subsistence and maintenance of this universe. There is nothing
superfluous, nor is there any shortfall. Any apparent shortage or inequity of
material resources is due only to human greed and mismanagement. This
universal manifestation has its own time span fixed by the energy of the
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 27
Supreme Whole, and when its duration is complete, this temporary
manifestation will be anni hilated by the complete arrangement of the
Complete Whole. There is complete facility for the tiny complete units,
namely the living entities, to realize the Complete Whole, and any
incompleteness we experience is simply due to our incomplete knowledge of
the Complete Whole. So the Esoteric Teaching contains the complete
knowledge of the Complete Whole, and anyone who studies it sincerely
attains complete realization of the Complete Whole.
Receiving Transcendental Knowledge
The knowledge of the Esoteric Teaching is infallible, and sincere students of
the Teaching accept it to be complete and perfect. The Supreme Personality of
Godhead originates the Esoteric Teaching, and He is above all error. So the
Esoteric Teaching is complete and perfect because it is f ree from doubts and
mistakes; it is the essence of all knowledge: the King of Knowledge or the
Supreme Absolute Truththe highest knowledge, once knowing which there
is nothing that remains unknown.
The spiritual knowledge of the Esoteric Teaching is not a product of human
research. We cannot arrive at perfect spiritual knowledge through research
because the material mind and senses are imperfect. The Esoteric Teaching
states that the only way to attain perfect knowledge is to accept knowledge
that comes down by revelation and disciplic succession from the Lord. We
have to receive knowledge from the proper source: the disciplic succession
beginning with the supreme Spiritual Master, the Lord Himself, and handed
down without change through a succession of self-realized Master Teachers.
Accepting this highest quality of knowledge will result in complete
realization of complete transcendental Truth.
Jesus, the perfect student who received the Esoteric Teaching directly from
the Lord, accepts everything He says without reservation. It is not permissible
to accept one part of the Lords Teaching and reject another according to our
own whim. A fault-finding attitude will not help us in our quest for perfect
knowledge. We must accept the Esoteric Teaching fully, without
interpretation or deletion and without our own capricious and imperfect
speculation. Then we will have a chance to realize these eternal truths for
ourselves; otherwise we remain lost in a shifting labyrinth of the minds
illusions. The Esoteric Teachi ng should be viewed as the most perfect
presentation of spiritual knowledge. The Lord Himself first spoke the
Teaching and passed it down unchanged through the transcendental channel
of the disciplic succession. When we receive it in the same way, then our
knowledge also becomes perfect, opening the path of liberation.
The words spoken by the Lord are different from those spoken by a person of
the mundane world who is infected with four defects: an ordinary human
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being 1) is sure to commit mistakes, 2) is i nvariably illusioned, 3) has the
tendency to cheat others and 4) is certainly limited by imperfect senses. With
these four imperfections, no ordinary human being can deliver perfect all-
pervading transcendental knowledge. The Esoteric Teaching is not imparted
by such defective living entities. At the beginning of the creation the Lord
revealed the Teaching unto the heart of Lord Brahma, the celestial form of the
Christ, the first created living being in the universe. Brahma the Celestial
Christ in his turn disseminated this perfect knowledge to his sons and
disciples exactly as he originally received it from the Lord. And we can
receive the same Teaching today from the disciplic succession originating
from Lord Brahma. The Lord is all-perfect, and there is no possibility of His
becoming subjected to the imperfections of material nature because He is the
origin and the controller of the material energy. Therefore His knowledge and
His Esoteric Teaching are authoritative and perfect. No one else can claim
such unlimited perfection, not even Jesus Christ.
The Attitude of Sacred Service
One should therefore be intelligent enough to know that the Lord is the only
Supreme Proprietor of everything in the universe and that He is the original
Divine Creator and spiritual Father of everyone. So no human being in this
material world should claim to be the proprietor of anything; instead, one
should accept only the things set aside by the Lord as his quota for his
maintenance. A simple life dedicated to the sacred service of the Lord,
without any desire for extensive material exploitation, is the optimum
platform for perfection in self-realization. The story of Jesus in the Garden of
Gethsemane illustrates how one should utilize the things set aside for us by
the Lord. In the beginning of the talks between Jesus and the Lord, Jesus
decided that he would not confront his relatives, and thus incur their
misfortune due to the inevitable offenses they would commit against him.
This was his independent decision. Jesus told the Lord that it was not
possible for him to enjoy life after causing the destruction of his kinsmen.
This decision was based on the illusory bodily concept of life. Jesus
apparently thought that the body was his self and that his brothers, cousins,
uncles, teachers and so on were his bodily relations or expansions. He was
thinking in this way to satisfy his bodily and mental demands. The Lord
delivered the Esoteric Teaching to Jesus just to change this view, and in the
end Jesus decided to obey the directions of the Lord: Not my will but Thine.
I shall act according to Thy word.
Human beings are not meant to toil and suffer in ignorance like animals. We
must be intelligent enough to understand the importance of human life, and
refuse to act like ordinary animals. An animal may think that gratifying the
material senses is the sole aim of life, but a human being should realize that
the aim of life is spiritual realization of Transcendence. This instruction is
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 29
given in all bona fide spiritual literature, and the essence of all spiritual
knowledge is given in the Esoteric Teaching. The Esoteric Teaching is meant
for human beings, not for animals. Animals can kill other animals, and there
is no sin on their part, but if a man kills an animal for the satisfaction of hi s
uncontrolled taste, he must be responsible for breaking the Law of God
(Thou shalt not kill). Even in civil law, if a person destroys the property of
another he is liable for damages. Similarly, the Lord creates all life; therefore
all living entities are His property. If we destroy what we cannot restore, we
will have to pay for it one way or another according to the law of karma,
activity or cause and effect.
The Esoteric Teaching clearly explains that there are three kinds of activities
according to the different modes of nature: activities of goodness, passion and
ignorance. Similarly, there are three kinds of food also: food in goodness,
passion and ignorance. Everything in this world is of three kinds according to
these modes, even religion. These modes have symptoms by which we can
easily recognize them. Activities in the modes of passion and ignorance cover
our spiritual intelligence and lead to suffering and bondage in continued
material existence. Activities in the mode of goodness lead to spiritual
knowledge, enlightenment and liberation. Therefore we should avoid
activities in the modes of ignorance and passion, and cultivate activities in the
mode of goodness. All of this is clearly described in the Esoteric Teaching.
(see Appendix A, page Error! Bookmark not defined. )
If we properly utilize the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching, then our
whole life becomes purified, and ultimately we will be able to reach the
ultimate spiritual destination beyond this material universe. That destination
is the eternal spiritual dimension or spiritual world. In this material world we
find that everything is temporary. It is conceived, comes into being, grows,
remains for some time, creates some byproducts, dwindles and then vanishes.
That is the process of temporary existence of the material energy, and it
applies to everything in the material world from this body, to a skyscraper or
even a galaxy. But beyond this temporary material world there is another
world that the Esoteric Teaching describes as eternal. That world consists of
the Lords superior energy, which is conscious and eternal. The soul is
eternal, and the Lord is also eternal. We are meant to live in the Lords eternal
kingdom and happily associate with Him in loving service eternally.
We have an intimate devotional service relationship with the Lord, and the
living entities, the spiritual world and the Supreme Personality of Godhead
are eternal, spiritual and therefore qualitatively one. So the purpose of the
Esoteric Teaching is to revive our eternal occupation, our eternal spiritual
duty of devotional service to the Lord, which is the eternal purpose of the
living entity. We are temporarily engaged in contaminated material activities,
but our activities become purified when we give up temporary material
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activities and take up the eternal spiritual activities prescribed by the
Supreme Lord. That is our real life.
The Supreme Lord and His transcendental abode are eternal, and so are the
living entities. The material universe is temporary, along with everything in
it. There is a fundamental incompatibility between the temporary, dull
material energy and the eternal, living and conscious spiritual energy. So the
temporary material world cannot be our real home. Transferring our
existence from the material world to the ecstatic loving association of the
Supreme Lord and the perfect living entities in His eternal spiritual abode is
therefore the perfection of human life. The Lord is very kind to the livi ng
entities because they are His children. The Lord declares in the Esoteric
Teaching, I am the Father of all. Of course the living entities have to accept
different types of bodies according to their karma, but in His Teaching the
Lord claims that He is the Divine Father of them all.
Therefore the Lord descends to reclaim all of these fallen, conditioned souls
and call them back to the eternal spiritual world, so that the eternal living
entities may regain their eternal positions in eternal loving devotional
association with the eternal Lord. The Lord comes Himself in different
incarnations, or He sends His confidential servants, sons and spiritual Master
Teachers to spread the Esoteric Teaching all over the universe to reclaim the
suffering conditioned souls. This is the real purpose of this material creation:
it is a school of the Esoteric Teaching meant to purify the fallen living entities
and reinstate them in their real life in the spiritual world.
Beyond Religion
The Esoteric Teaching does not refer to or support any sectarian religion. It is
independent of all mundane organizations created by imperfect human
beings. The Teaching is beyond religion; it reveals the eternal function of the
eternal living entities in eternal relationship with the eternal Supreme Lord.
The Esoteric Teaching proclaims that devotional service to the Lord is the
eternal occupation of the living entity. The word eternal means having
neither beginning nor end, so the Esoteric Teaching and devotional service
have neither beginning nor end. Since in material consciousness our spiritual
vision is limited, we must accept the version of the Lord as authoritative.
Devotional service means something different from religion. Religion assumes
the concept of faith, and faith is a function of the mind. Since the mind,
though subtle, is material, it can and will change. Therefore we experience in
life that a person may have faith in a particular religion, but later may change
this faith and accept another religion. So religion is not eternal because it is
changeable. But the Esoteric Teaching defines devotional service as that
activity which is so intrinsic to the soul that it cannot be changed. For
instance, liquidity cannot be taken from water, nor can heat be taken from
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 31
fire. Similarly, the eternal function of the eternal living entity cannot be taken
from the living entity. As long as we exist we must be engaged in service to
the Lord, either willingly or unwillingly, because that is the unalterable law of
the Supreme Lord.
Devotional service is therefore eternally as integral to the living entity as
consciousness. When we speak of devotional service we must accept on the
authority of the Lord that it is eternal: it has neither beginning nor end. That
which has neither end nor beginning cannot be sectarian, for it cannot be
limited by the boundaries of space and time or any divisive political,
philosophical or ecclesiastical considerations. Yet due to their self-imposed
limitations, people adhering to some sectarian faith may wrongly assume that
the Esoteric Teaching or devotional service to the Lord is also limited and
sectarian.
We must try to understand this concept of devotional service as revealed in
the Esoteric Teaching. If we deeply analyze the Esoteric Teaching in the light
of spiritual philosophy, we will see that is beyond all sectarian considerations,
and that devotional service to the Lord is the primary business of all the
people of the worldindeed, of all the living entities of the universe.
Sectarian religious faith is not eternal; it has a beginning in the annals of
world history, and in the history of a particular individual. But there is no
beginning of devotional service because it eternally remains the prime
purpose of the living entities by the will of their Creator. The authoritative
Scriptures state that the living entity has neither birth nor death, and the Lord
confirms in the Esoteric Teaching that the living entity is never born and
never dies; he is eternal and indestructible, and continues to live after the
death of the temporary material body. Devotional service therefore exists
constantly along with the soul. There is always heat and light along with fire;
without heat and light, there is no meaning to the concept of fire. Similarly,
the Esoteric Teaching helps us to discover the essential part of the living
being, the part that gives meaning to our existence and is our constant
companion. The souls constant companion is his eternal quality; his eternal
quality is his eternal activity, and his eternal activity is devotional service to
the Supreme Lord.
The Lord reveals in the Esoteric Teaching that the constitutional position of
the living being is rendering service, and the ultimate beneficiary of all service
is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If we consider this statement of the
Lord, we can easily see that every living being is constantly engaged in
rendering service to other living beings. Even in ordinary life, we experience
that one friend serves another friend, the mother serves the child, the wife
serves the husband, the husband serves the wife and so on. If we analyze life
in terms of service, we can see that there is no exception to activities of
service in the society of living beings. A politician presents his manifesto for
the public to convince them of his capacity for service. The voters serve the
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politician by giving him their votes, thinking that he will render valuable
service to society. The shopkeeper serves the customer, and the worker serves
the capitalist. The capitalist serves the corporation, and the corporation
serves the state, all in temporary manifestations of the eternal service capacity
of the eternal living being. So we can see that no living being is exempt from
rendering service to other living beings, and the activity of service is the
constant companion of the living being. Therefore rendering service is the
eternal quality or eternal activity of the living being.
Yet every intelligent person professes to belong to a particular type of
religious faith with reference to a particular time and circumstance, and thus
claims to be a Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or belong to some other
sect. Such designations are non-eternal because they are limited in time and
space. Each of these sects was founded at a certain time in the past, and at
some point in the future will cease to exist. In addition, a Hindu may change
his faith to become a Muslim, a Muslim may change his faith to become a
Hindu, or a Christian may change his faith from one sect to another and so
on. And who knows what religion we will claim in the next life? But in any
case, the designation or change of religious faith does not affect the eternal
occupation of rendering service to others. The Hindu, Muslim or Christian in
all circumstances is servant of someone or something. Thus, to profess a
particular type of religious faith does not really acknowledge ones eternal
quality and activity. Despite our temporary allegiance to one religion or
another, rendering service is the eternal occupation of the living entity.
In fact we are eternally related to the Supreme Lord in service. The Lord is
the supreme Master and Proprietor, and we living entities are constitutionally
His property and His servitors. He is the ultimate beneficiary of all service. He
creates us for His enjoyment, and creates this material world in such a way
that we cannot help but serve Him and follow His Law. When we become
spiritually mature, we willingly participate in the eternal enjoyment of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead and we become eternally happy. We cannot
become eternally happy otherwise, because anything we may try to enjoy in
this world is actually the property of the Lord. Besides, all material pleasures
have a beginning and an end.
When we serve the Lords pleasure, we naturally become happy in every way,
just as when we water the root of a tree, all the leaves and branches are
nourished automatically. This is the secret of eternal bliss. It is not possible to
experience this spiritual happiness independently, just as no one part of the
body can be happy independently without cooperating with the stomach.
Similarly, it is impossible for the living entity to be eternally happy without
rendering transcendental loving service unto the Supreme Lord.
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Eternal Liberation
The Esoteric Teaching advocates monotheism. The worship of different
demigods or rendering service to them is not approved in the Esoteric
Teaching, because it is a completely spiritual teaching on the highest platform
of eternal liberation. The Lord says, Those whose minds are distorted by
material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and
regulations of that worship according to their own natures. Here the
Supreme Lord plainly says that those who worship the demigods and not the
Supreme Lord for material results have distorted minds; in other words,
because their activities are directed by material desire, their intelligence is
defective, and so their results of their activities are limited and temporary.
Worship of the demigods as described in different religious traditions is
complex and difficult, but pleasing the Supreme Lord is easy: all we have to
do is take complete shelter of His Holy Name (see Appendix B, page 259).
The Holy Name of the Lord does not indicate any material or sectarian name.
All the Holy Names of the Lord are always transcendental in quality because
they have no material meaning or referent. The Holy Name of the Lord
confers the highest spiritual ecstasy, because the Supreme Lord is the
transcendental reservoir or storehouse of all pleasure. We are all hankering
after pleasure. Like the Lord, the living entities are full of consciousness, and
naturally they want happiness. The Lord is perpetually happy, and when the
living entities associate with the Lord, cooperate with Him and take part in
His spiritual pastimes, they also become happy. This is the principle of
eternal liberation from all material miseries, and it is attainable by following
the instructions of the Lord revealed in the Esoteric Teaching.
The Lord descends to this mortal world to reveal His pastimes in the spiritual
worlds, which are full of happiness. For example, when the Lord appeared as
r Ka in Vdvana, India about 5,000 years ago, His activities with His
cowherd boyfriends, His damsel friends, with the other inhabitants of
Vdvana and the cows were all full of happiness. The whole population of
Vdvana knew nothing but the Lord. Lord Ka discouraged His father
Nanda Mahrja from worshiping the demigod Indra because He wanted to
establish the fact that people need not worship any demigod of the material
universe. They need only worship the Supreme Lord because their ultimate
goal is not temporary material enjoyment, but to return to His transcendental
abode and enjoy with Him eternally.
The Lord describes His abode in the Esoteric Teaching: My abode is not
illuminated by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. Anyone who reaches it
never comes back to this material world. This is a description of the eternal
spiritual world. Of course we have a material conception of the world, and we
think of it in relationship to the sun, moon, planets and other luminaries. But
here the Lord states that in the eternal abode there is no need for illumination
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of any kind, because the effulgent rays emanating from the Lords spiritual
body already illuminate the spiritual world.
Fools deride the Lord when He descends in human form
We are trying to reach other planets with rockets and encountering much
difficulty, but it is not difficult to reach the abode of the Supreme Lord in the
spiritual world. This abode is beautifully described in great detail in the
literature of the Esoteric Teaching, such as the rmad-Bhgavatam. The Lord
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resides eternally in His abode, yet we can approach Him from this world. This
is why the Lord comes and reveals His real form when He presents the
Esoteric Teaching, as He did to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. When He
manifests His spiritual form, there is no need to imagine what He looks like.
To discourage such imaginative speculation, He descends and shows Himself
to His sincere devotees as He really is.
Unfortunately, less-intelligent people deride Him because He comes within
this world and displays a human-like form. But we should not consider that
the Lord is one of us just because He sometimes appears in this world in a
form similar to a human being. His form is always spiritual. He presents
Himself in His personal form before us and displays His pastimes, which are
examples of the pastimes found in His abode. He does this by His internal
potency, which is so powerful it can even do the impossible. So there is no
question of the form of the Lord being imaginary; nor is there any possibility
that He comes under the influence of the material energy, because He is all-
powerful.
There are innumerable spiritual planets floating in the effulgent rays of the
spiritual world. The brilliant effulgence of the spiritual world emanates from
the supreme abode of the Lord, and the blissful eternal spiritual planets float
in those rays. Thus there is no need for any artificial illumination there. The
spiritual world is so beautiful and wonderful; there is no suffering or lack of
any kind. The inhabitants are all in a state of constant ecstatic bliss. The Lord
Himself promises, One who can approach that spiritual world is not
required to descend again to the material world. In the material world, even
if we approach the highest planet, the abode of the Celestial Christwhat to
speak of the moonwe will have to experience the same conditions of
material life: birth, death, disease and old age. No planet in the material
universe is free from these principles of material existence because wherever
we go in the material universe we must live in a temporary material body.
Therefore the Lord mentions in the Esoteric Teaching that the living entities
are traveling from one planet to another, not by a mechanical arrangement
but by a spiritual process. No mechanical arrangement is required for
interplanetary travel, because our karma takes us in the next life to whatever
planet we are qualified to inhabit. The Teaching instructs that there are three
different types or levels of planets: higher, middle and lower planetary
systems. The earth belongs to the middle planetary system. The Esoteric
Teaching informs us how to travel to the higher planetary systems with a very
simple formula. One can go to any of the higher planetary systems simply by
pleasing the indwelling deity of that particular planet with our worship.
Yet the Esoteric Teaching does not advise us to go to any of the planets in this
material world because even if we go to the highest material planet, we will
still find the material inconveniences of birth, death, disease and old age. But
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anyone who wants to approach the planets in the spiritual world or the
supreme planet of the Lord will not meet these material inconveniences. The
Esoteric Teaching reveals the confidential information of how to leave the
material world and regain our natural blissful eternal life in the spiritual
world.
The real picture of the material world is given in the Esoteric Teaching. The
Supreme Lord says: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and
its branches down, and the sacred hymns of the Scriptures are its leaves. One
who knows this tree is the knower of the Teaching. Here the material world
is described as an upside-down tree. What kind of tree is that? If one stands
on the bank of a river or lake, he can see that the trees reflected in the water
are upside down: the branches go downward and the roots upward. Similarly,
this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world in the material energy.
Material so-called reality is but a reflection of spiritual reality. There is no
substantiality in a reflection, but we can understand from the existence of the
reflection that there is a substantial object causing it. In the desert there is no
water, but the mirage of water seen in the desert depends on the fact that
there is such a thi ng as real water. Similarly, in the material world there is no
happiness. The so-called happiness of the material world is as insubstantial as
a mirage or a shadow because it is temporary. But the real water of actual
eternal happiness exists in the spiritual world.
The Lord instructs us to attain the spiritual world in the following manner:
Only one who is free from all material designations can reach that eternal
kingdom. What does this mean? In this world we are identified with so
many false designations. In material consciousness we think, I am Mr. So-
and-so, I am my fathers son, I am a white man or a black man, I am rich or
poor, I am an accountant, and so forth. Everyone wants to become the lord
and enjoyer of this material world by becoming the president or a rich man or
a king or whatever else he can imagine will bring him happiness. As long as
we are attached to these material designations, we are identified with the
body because all material designations are defined in relation to the body.
But we are not these bodies, we are spirit souls, and accepting our real
spiritual identity is the first step in spiritual realization. In bodily
consciousness, we are associated with the three modes of material nature, and
therefore we constantly suffer the actions and reactions of the law of karma.
But the Esoteric Teaching shows us how to detach ourselves from karma
through devotional service to the Lord. If we are not attached to devotional
service to the Lord, then we cannot become detached from the modes of
material nature. False material designations and attachments are due to our
lust and desire to lord it over the material nature. As long as we indulge our
propensity to enjoy material nature, there is no possibility of returning to the
Kingdom of God, our eternal home. Only one who is not bewildered by the
attractions of false material enjoyment and who is situated in the loving
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 37
devotional service of the Supreme Lord can approach that eternal kingdom,
which unlike the material universe is never destroyed.
Elsewhere in the Esoteric Teaching the Lord states: That supreme abode is
unmanifest and infallible, and it is the supreme destination. When someone
goes there, he never comes back. That is My supreme abode. The spiritual
world is unmanifest, but that does not mean that it does not exist. Not even
the entire material world is manifested before us. Our senses are so imperfect
that we cannot even see all the planets and stars in this material universe. The
Esoteric Teaching reveals much information about the important planets,
including the planets of the unmanifest spiritual world beyond this material
universe. One should desire and aspire to go to that supreme kingdom, for
when one attains that kingdom, he does not return to birth and death in this
material world but attains eternal felicity.
Attaining the Supreme Abode
The method of attaining the abode of the Supreme Lord is given in the
Esoteric Teaching. The Lord promises: Anyone who abandons his body at
the end of life remembering Me alone attains immediately to My nature; there
is no doubt of this. In other words, whoever thinks of the Lord at the time of
death goes directly to the Lord. If one leaves the body thinking of the
beautiful spiritual form of the Lord, he achieves the spiritual kingdom. He
also attains an eternal body with the same pure spiritual nature as the
Supreme Being. The Supreme Being is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss.
Our present material bodies are not eternal; they are perishable. Nor are they
full of knowledge, but ful l of ignorance and trouble. We have no knowledge
of the spiritual kingdom, nor do we even have perfect knowledge of this
material world. There are so many things unknown to us. And instead of
being full of bliss, the material body is full of misery. All the miseries we
experience in the material world originate with the body. But one who leaves
this body thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead at once attains an
eternal body full of knowledge and bliss, as promised in the Esoteric
Teaching where the Lord says, He attains My nature.
The spiritual Law of God regulates the process of quitting this body and
getting another one in the next life. We die only after spiritual authorities
decide what type of body we will have in the next life. Higher authorities
make this decision, not the living entity himself. We advance or regress in
our spiritual position in the next life according to the quality of our activities
in this life. This life is like a school; it is a preparation for the next life. If we
prepare in this life to get promotion to the Kingdom of God, then after
quitting this material body, we will attain a spiritual body similar in quality to
the Lord. There are innumerable spiritual planets in the spiritual world. The
number of spiritual planets is far greater than all of the planets in the material
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world. This material world is only about one quarter of the Lords creation. In
this material segment of creation there are millions and billions of universes,
each with trillions of planets and suns, stars and moons. But this whole
material creation is only a fraction of the total creation. Most of the creation
is in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world there are different
classifications of spiritual destinations suitable for the different types of
transcendentalists.
There are three kinds of transcendentalists: the impersonalists, the
meditators, and the devotees. Impersonalists who desire to merge into the
existence of the Supreme Brahman are transferred to the impersonal
effulgence of the Supreme Lord in the spiritual world. But the devotee who
wants to enjoy the personal association of the Lord enters into one of the
innumerable spiritual planets, where he associates with the Supreme Lord in
one of His plenary expansions. Therefore the transcendentalists who are
perfected in meditation think either of the spiritual effulgence of the Lord,
the Supersoul or the Supreme Personality of Godhead at the end of life. In all
cases they enter into the spiritual world, but only the devotees who are in a
personal spiritual relationship with the Supreme Lord enter into the spiritual
planets. This is the secret of permanent liberation from material suffering.
The Lord further states, There is no doubt. We must have firm faith in this
process of liberation. We should not reject the Esoteric Teaching of the Lord
just because it does not fit some imaginary human concept of salvation. Our
attitude should be that of Jesus: I believe everything that You have said.
Therefore when the Lord says that at the time of death whoever thinks of
Him as Brahman the all-pervading Spirit, the Supersoul in the heart or as the
Supreme Personality of Godhead certainly enters into the spiritual world,
there is no doubt about it. There is simply no possibility of disbelieving it,
because God never lies.
The Esoteric Teaching also gives the results of being in different states of
consciousness at the time of death: Whatever state of consciousness one
remembers when one quits his present body, in his next life he will attain to
that state of being without fail. Material nature is a display of the external
energy of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord has diverse and innumerable
energies that are beyond our conception; however, great learned sages or
liberated souls have analyzed them into three categories: internal, external
and marginal. All of the energies are different potencies of the Supreme Lord.
His internal energy is transcendental. Living entities like us belong to the
marginal energy. The external, inferior material energy is in the mode of
ignorance. At the time of death we marginal living entities can remain either
in the inferior external energy of this material world, or we can transfer to the
superior energy of the spiritual world.
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 39
Since we are in the marginal position between the internal and external
energies of the Lord, we can think either of the material energy or the
spiritual energy. Our problems exist because we are accustomed to think of
the inferior material energy, and do not know how to think of the superior
spiritual energy. There is so much literature and other media that fill our
minds with thoughts of the material energy: television, newspapers, novels,
etc. Therefore the Lord spoke the Esoteric Teaching, and the sages recorded it
and passed it down in the form of sacred literature. Our thinking, which is
now absorbed in mundane topics, should be transferred to the Esoteric
Teaching. We can do this easily by reading and discussing the sacred
literature of the Teaching, which helps us remember our real position. The
conditioned souls have forgotten their relationship with the Supreme Lord,
and thus they are engrossed in thinking of material activities. The Lord has
given a great number of different religious teachings according to the needs of
society at different times and places and the capacity of different living
beings, just to transfer their thoughts to the spiritual world. We must always
engage our minds in reading and discussing these sacred teachings. Just as
materialists engage their minds in reading newspapers, magazines and other
materialistic literature, if we are serious about spiritual advancement we must
transfer our reading interest to literatures based on the Esoteric Teaching.
This will help us remember the Supreme Lord at the time of death.
Spiritual Work
The only reliable way to attain spiritual salvation is the method suggested by
the Lord. If we follow His instruction, He guarantees the result: There is no
doubt. He also says, Jesus, you should always think of Me, and at the same
time you should continue your prescribed duty. With your mind and
activities always fixed on Me, and everything engaged in Me, you will attain
to Me without any doubt. He never advises Jesus to give up his occupation
and simply remember Him. That would be impractical. One has to work to
maintain the body in this material world.
According to the Esoteric Teaching, human society is divided into four
occupational divisions: intellectuals, administrators, merchants and workers.
The intelligent class is supposed to understand and propagate the Esoteric
Teaching; the administrative class is to regulate society according to the
principles of the Esoteric Teaching; the mercantile class provides economic
support, and the laborers serve the other occupational divisions. Whether one
is a servant, laborer, merchant, banker, warrior, administrator, farmer, or
even if one belongs to the intellectual class and is a literary man, scientist or
theologian, whatever the nature of our service we have to work to maintain
our existence.
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The Lord therefore tells Jesus that he need not give up his occupational duty,
but while he is engaged in his occupation he should remember Him. If we
dont practice remembering the Lord while we are struggling for existence,
then it will not be possible to remember Him at the time of death. Lord r
Caitanya Mahprabhu, the founder of the current lineage of the Esoteric
Teaching, also advises that one should practice remembering the Lord by
chanting the Holy Names of the Lord constantly. The names of the Lord are
identical to the Lord Himself. So the Lords instruction to Jesus to
Remember Me, and Lord Caitanyas injunction to always Chant the Holy
Names of the Lord, are the same. There is no difference, because the Lord
and the Lords Holy Name are identical. On the Absolute platform there is no
difference between reference and referent. Therefore we have to practice
remembering the Lord by chanting His Holy Names and molding our lifes
activities in such a way that we can remember Him always.
How is this dual consciousness possible? The great Master Teachers give the
following example: if a married woman is attached to another man, even
though such an attachment is illicit, it is considered very strong. One with
such an attachment is always thinking of the beloved. The unfaithful wife is
always thinking of meeting her lover, even while she is carrying out her
household chores. In fact, she carries out her household work very carefully
so her husband will not suspect her illicit affair. Similarly, we should always
think of the supreme Beloved, the Lord, and at the same time perform our
material duties very nicely. This strong sense of love is called bhakti or
devotion. If we have a strong sense of devotion for the Supreme Lord, then
we can discharge our material duty perfectly and at the same time remember
Him. But we have to develop that sense of love and attachment for the Lord
by working for Him. Jesus, for instance, was always thinking of the Lord; and
at the same time he was a preacher. The Lord did not advise him to give up
preaching and go to the forest to meditate.
In fact when the Lord taught Jesus about silent meditation, Jesus replied that
the practice of this system is not possible for him. Jesus said, O Father, the
system of silent meditation which You have summarized appears impractical
and unendurable to me, for the mind is restless and unsteady. But the Lord
replies: Of all meditators, he who always abides in Me with great faith,
worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united
with Me and the highest of all. So one who always thinks of the Supreme
Lord is the greatest meditator and the greatest devotee at the same time. The
Lord further informs Jesus that as a renunciant Jesus cannot give up his
preaching duties, but if he remembers the Lord when his bellicose relatives
confront him, then he will be able to remember the Lord at the time of death.
But to achieve this one must completely surrender mind and body to the
transcendental loving service of the Lord, and chant the Holy Names of the
Lord regularly with great diligence.
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 41
We perform our work not with our body, actually, but with our mind and
intelligence. So if we always engage our intelligence and mind in thoughts of
the Supreme Lord, then naturally the senses will also engage in His service.
Superficially the activities of the senses may remain the same, but our
consciousness is changed by dedication of our work to Him and
remembrance of His Holy Name. The Esoteric Teaching shows us how to
absorb the mind and intelligence in the thought of the Lord. This is called
God consciousness, Ka consciousness or Christ consciousness, according
to the particular Holy Name of the Lord in which we place our faith. Such
absorption of consciousness in the Lord will enable one to transfer to the
blissful spiritual kingdom of the Lord. If the mind is engaged in the Lords
service, then the senses are automatically engaged in His service. This is the
art of spiritual work, and it is also the secret of success in the mystery of the
Esoteric Teaching: total absorption in the thought of the Lord. This is not
possible through silent meditation, but only by constant chanting of the Holy
Name of the Lord.
Devotional Service
Modern people struggle very hard for superficial material attainments, such
as a high-paying job or traveling to the moon, but do not try very hard to
elevate themselves spiritually. For ordinary mundane purposes such as
making a living, people spend many years and much money and effort in
education and training. But they do not invest much time and energy at all in
their spiritual development. This material body is temporary and everything
we do to benefit it will surely pass away in time, but whatever spiritual
advancement we can make in this life is eternal. Therefore we should be at
least as attentive to our spiritual progress as we are to our material
responsibilities. Beginning from whatever position we find ourselves in, we
should try our best to reap the maximum benefit from the spiritual
opportunity of human life. Whatever time we have left in our life, we should
engage that brief time in the practice of devotional service to the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. This is the real purpose of human life.
The practice of devotional service consists of nine techniques or processes:
1. Hearing the Esoteric Teaching from qualified authorities
2. Chanting the Holy Name and glories of the Lord
3. Remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead
4. Offering respect and submission to the Lord
5. Worshiping in the Temple
6. Accepting initiation from a spiritual Master Teacher
7. Becoming the Lords servant
8. Becoming the Lords friend
9. Surrendering everything
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Of these nine processes, the easiest is hearing the Esoteric Teaching from a
realized person. The spiritual Master Teachers are always presenting learned
and inspiring discourses on the process of devotional service, and hearing
them, even through a book or other medium, is as good as hearing in person.
Hearing from a self-realized soul automatically leads to remembering the
Supreme Lord. It is also easy to chant and hear the Holy Names of the Lord.
This simple practice enables anyone to attain a spiritual body qualified for
personal association with the Supreme Lord, even at the hour of death.
The Lord further declares: By practicing this recollection without deviation,
thinking always of the Supreme Godhead, one is sure to achieve the planet of
the divine Supreme Personality, O son of Mary. Remembering God is not a
very difficult process. However, one must learn it from an experienced person
already established in the practice. The mind is a quicksilver chariot, always
flying here and there, but one who always practices concentrating the mind
on the form of the Supreme Lord or on the sound of His Holy Name can tame
the mind. The mind is naturally restless, but it finds rest and peace in the
transcendental sound vibration of the Lords Holy Name. One can chant any
of the thousands and millions of the Lords Holy Names according to his
faith. The Christian can chant the name Jesus Christ, the Hindu can chant the
name Rma or Ka, and the Muslim can chant the name Allah. Any Holy
Name of the Supreme Lord is transcendental and bestows the same benefit.
Therefore there is no obstacle for anyone from any part of the world or
belonging to any religion or culture to chant the Lords Holy Name.
The highest spiritual practice is to meditate on the Supreme Person always,
and attain Him by this simple method. This is the highest blessing obtainable
in this human form of life. The means for this ultimate realization, this
ultimate attainment, are given in the Esoteric Teaching, and the doors of this
highest knowledge are open for everyone. No one is rejected, for anyone can
hear the Lords Esoteric Teaching and chant His Holy Names. All kinds of
people can approach the Lord by thinking of Him, for the Lord in His
kindness and mercy has made hearing and thinking of Him possible for
everyone.
The Lord confirms this when He says: O son of Mary, anyone who takes
shelter of Me, whether a woman or a merchant, or born in a low family, can
also approach the supreme destination. How much greater then are the
learned brhmaas, the righteous, the pure devotees and saintly kings! In this
miserable world, these great souls are always fixed in devotional service to
the Lord. One does not have to be a very high-class intelligent person to
attain success in devotional service. The door is open for everyone who is
willing to follow the simple instructions revealed by the Lord in the Esoteric
Teaching. Even human beings e ven in the lower status of life can attain the
Supreme. Even a child can chant the Holy Name of the Lord. One does not
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 43
need highly developed intelligence. The methods given in the Esoteric
Teaching are universal.
The value of a religious practice that offers salvation or liberation only to an
exclusive group of people is limited. Real religion, real spirituality is practical
and open for everyone. Just as God is universal and eternally merciful to all,
the actual spiritual path is easy and simple enough that no one is excluded. It
is not necessary to convert from one religion to another, join a particular
group or sect, or radically change ones lifestyle to get the highest benefit
from the Esoteric Teaching. Anyone who adopts the simple methods of
hearing a nd remembering about the Lord and especially chanting His Holy
Names, however they accept and understand them, can get the ultimate
benefit.
The point is that anyone who accepts the principle of bhakti or devotion,
accepts the means and methods of the Esoteric Teaching as the highest
blessing of life, and accepts the Supreme Lord as the ultimate goal of human
life can approach the Lord in the spiritual world. Anyone who adopts the
universal principles of the eternal Esoteric Teaching can make his life perfect.
There is no discrimination and no disqualification for success in the ways of
this Teaching. We can make a perfect solution to all the problems of life
arising from the transient nature of material existence just by following the
instructions of the Lord according to our best ability. This is the sum and
substance of the entire Esoteric Teaching.
Conclusion
The Esoteric Teaching is a transcendental mystery of Divine origin and
profound meaning and power that one should study very carefully. It is
capable of saving one from all fear and danger, and from every inauspicious
condition of material life. The Lord confirms this: In this endeavor there is
no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one
from the most dangerous type of fear. Whatever advancement one makes on
the esoteric path is permanent and can never be lost. All spiritual activities
are eternal. If one reads the Esoteric Teaching sincerely and seriously and
accepts the Teaching as his guide in life, then the reactions of his past
misdeeds will not disqualify him from attaining spiritual liberation. In other
words, he obtains complete forgiveness of his sins by the Lords special
mercy. At the conclusion of the Esoteric Teaching, the Lord proclaims: Give
up all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me; in return I shall
protect you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear. In other words, the Lord
takes all responsibility for one who surrenders unto Him, and He indemnifies
them from all reactions of sin. This leads immediately to spiritual liberation
from material existence and all suffering.
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One cleanses the body daily by taking a bath in water, but one who cleanses
his mind with the sacred waters of the Esoteric Teaching and his
consciousness with the transcendental sound of the Holy Name of the Lord
cleanses away all the dirt of material life. Because the Supreme Personality of
Godhead personally speaks the Esoteric Teaching, one need not study any
other sacred literature. The Esoteric Teaching contains all spiritual
knowledge revealed in other Scriptures and much more besides. One need
only attentively and regularly hear and read the Esoteric Teaching to attain
the highest blessing obtainable in human life. In the present age, human
society is so preoccupied with material values that it is impossible to read and
properly study all the sacred literature of the world. But that is unnecessary.
This one Esoteric Teaching will suffice, because in it the Supreme Personality
of Godhead directly speaks the essence of all sacred literatures. The Esoteric
Teaching is the very nectar of the Absolute Truth spoken by the Supreme
Lord Himself. It is nectar emanating from the mouth of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. What higher blessing or better teaching could there
be?
The Esoteric Teaching is just like a cow capable of giving unlimited milk of
the highest quality, and the Lord is milking her. This milk is the essence of all
the sacred literature, and Jesus is just like a calf who drinks the sacred milk of
the Teaching. There is a message here: the wise men, the spiritual
renunciants, great sages, saintly kings and pure devotees, are to drink the
nectarean milk of the Esoteric Teaching and be nourished thereby. Then they
are to distribute the remnants to one and all without distinction to relieve
them from all the repetitive sufferings of material life.
At the present time, humanity is very keen to have one Scripture, one God,
one religion, one government and one occupation. So let there be one
common Scripture for the whole world: the Esoteric Teaching. And let there
be one God for the whole world: the original Supreme Lord. And one
religion: glorifying the Holy Name of the Lord. And one government: the
universal rule of Gods spiritual Law as revealed in the Esoteric Teaching.
And let there be only one occupation: loving devotional service to the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the transcendental formula that will
bring the peace and felicity that all humanity has always prayed for, and
which Lord Jesus Christ descended to this planet to give us.
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 46
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 47
The Disciplic Succession
This Esoteric Teaching is received through the process of disciplic
succession. The simplified chart on the opposite page illustrates the descent
of this Teaching from the Supreme Personality of Godhead to this material
world. The list below gives the names of all the spiritual Master Teachers in
the current lineage of the Esoteric Teaching.
1. r Ka, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
2. Lord Brahm, the Celestial Christ
3. Nrada Muni
4. Vysadeva, the Divine Author of the Vedas
5. Madhvcrya
6. Padmanbha
7. Nhari
8. Mdhava
9. Akobhya
10. Jayatrtha
11. Jnasindhu
12. Daynidhi
13. Vidynidhi
14. Rjendra
15. Jayadharma
16. Puruottama
17. Brahmayatrtha
18. Vysatrtha
19. Lakmpati
20. Mdhavendra Pur
21. vara Pur, Lord Nitynanda, Lord Advaita crya
22. r Caitanya Mahprabhu
23. Rpa Gosvm, Svarpa Damodar Gosvm, Santana Gosvm
24. Raghuntha ds Gosvm, Jva Gosvm
25. Kadsa Kavirj Gosvm
26. Narottama ds hkura
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27. Vivantha Cakravrti hkura
28. Baladeva Vidyabhana, Jaganntha ds Babj
29. Bhaktivinoda hkura
30. Gaurakiora ds Babj
31. Bhaktisiddhnta Sarasvat hkura
32. A.C. Bhaktivednta Svm Prabhupda
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 49
The Pacha-tattva or Quinity
The quintuple Incarnation of the Supreme Lord that appeared in Bengal,
India about 500 years ago to teach the highest process of devotional service
by constant chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord
Left to right: Lord r Advaita Prabhu, Lord Nitynanda Prabhu, Lord r
Caitanya Mahprabhu, r Gaddhara Prabhu, r rvasa Prabhu
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rla Bhaktivinod hkur
Pioneer of the program to benedict the
entire world with pure devotional service
rla Bhaktisiddhnta Srasvat hkur
Spiritual Master of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivednta Svm
Prabhupda and the greatest devotional scholar of the modern age
Introduction: The Esoteric Teaching
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by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 53
Chapter 1
In the Garden of Gethsemane
What Really Happened While The
Disciples Were Asleep?
Most people have heard the story of Jesus and his disciples in the Garden of
Gethsemane. The core teaching of this familiar account from the New
Testament is that when in difficulty, one should approach the spiritual Master
Teacher or God to pray for advice and inspiration. The Lord will respond,
either directly or through the spiritual Master Teacher, resolving the sincere
disciples difficulty. This tenet is actually an integral part of the Esoteric
Teaching from which all the bona fide religions in the world are derived.
Therefore it is universally relevant to all Godly people, regardless of their
doctrinal orientation or level of attainment in self-realization.
However, this pastime also contains a much more profound meaning. There
is a clue to its deeper layer of significance in the fact that Jesus disciples
could not remain awake while he prayed. The unenlightened person can
hardly appreciate the personal presence of God or the timeless Esoteric
Teaching He reveals when He appears in this world. As the Lord stated in the
Esoteric Teaching, The time of awakening for the self -realized soul is night
for ordinary beings. Therefore, although a spiritual event of universal
significance was happening right before them, the neophyte disciples who
would later chronicle of Jesus life in the Gospels and found the original
Christian religion could not remain alert. They slept despite the fact that God
was present, engaged in an intense personal dialog with His son and intimate
disciple Jesus Christ. This inattention is revealed in the Gospels; or rather, in
what is omitted from the Gospels. After all, the writers could not possibly
have recorded what was happening while they were asleep. Therefore in the
Gospels version of the story, Jesus goes from protesting My Father, all
things are possible for You, take this cup from me, to capitulating, Yet, not
as I will, but as You will, in a single verse.
A great soul like Jesus does not so easily doubt the order of the Lord, which is
his life and soul. If Jesus had doubts (Take this cup from me), they must
have been significant. Significant doubts are not easily erased. One gets the
feeling that a lot of dialog is absent from the narration; indeed, the Lords side
of the conversation is completely missing. Except for a brief mention of the
appearance of the Lord of Heaven to Jesus, only statements and actions of
Jesus appear in the Gospels.
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This is consistent with the observation that the disciples were inattentive and
unaware of Gods presence. They were dozing, and only half awoke when
Jesus cried out to his Father in prayer. Alas, the Gospels, for all their beauty
and value, are not perfect. They contain many omissions. Another glaring
dereliction is the entire story of Jesus young manhood. The Gospels narrate a
few precious pastimes of Jesus as a child, and then suddenly skip to his
preaching activities as a grown man. Twenty years or so are utterly missing
from the Gospels account of Jesus l ife. However, this is not the case with
other records. The Esoteric Teaching narrates Jesus early travels throughout
the ancient world, notably to Egypt and India, where he took instruction and
received initiation and recognition from many spiritual authorities. Not
surprisingly, the Esoteric Teaching contains a similar, but more complete
version of the Gethsemane story as well.
After the Last Supper
The Gospels version of the story begins just after the Last Supper, when the
disciples followed Jesus out into the countryside to pray:
Going out according to his custom, Jesus took his disciples to the Mount
of Olives. Then Jesus came with the disciples to a place called
Gethsemane. And he said to the disciples, Sit here and wait while I
pray. And taking along Peter, James and John, Jesus walked about a
stones throw away. And he began to be sorrowful and deeply troubled.
Then he said to them, My soul is deeply grieved, even unto death. Stay
here and watch with me. And going forward a little, he fell on his face
praying and saying, My Father, all things are possible for You, take this
cup from me.
And the Lord of Heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. And being
in ecstasy, he prayed more intently. And his sweat became as drops of
blood falling down onto the earth.
There are many important lessons to be learned from this Gospel story. The
age-old custom of those in the spiritual and renounced orders of life is to seek
the shelter of natures pure atmosphere for spiritual activities. The cities,
towns and villages are always more or less polluted by peoples sinful
activities of selfish sense gratification. For this reason Jesus initiating
spiritual Master Teacher John the Baptist refused to enter the towns even for
preaching purposes. He used to remain outside the town walls in the
pasturing grounds (eremo in the original Greek), and the people had to come
out to see him. Therefore after the Last Supper, Jesus wanted to leave the
contaminated atmosphere of the town and commune with God in the purity
of the countryside, without the distracting influences of material sense
gratification and sinful life.
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Spiritual life has nothing to do with bodily sense gratification; indeed, the two
are mutually exclusive. One cannot work hard to maintain the values of
bodily enjoyment and at the same time become a self-realized or God-realized
soul. That is contradictory. Spiritual life means the renunciation of gross
bodily pleasures as far as possible, and realization of a higher source of
pleasure in relationship with God and His pure devotees. This is actual
spiritual life. It is not dry, it is full of pleasurebut that pleasure is on the
spiritual platform, not the bodily platform. Jesus is the prototype of a
renunciant. He is not at all interested in material pleasure, for he has realized
a higher source of pleasure in loving devotional service to the Lord. His
greatest joy is in sharing his special relationship with God. In this story we
find a perfect instance of the spiritual relationship of mutual love, surrender
and service between the devotee and the Lord.
One should therefore study this confidential Esoteric Teaching very
carefullyif possible, with the help and guidance of a self-realized devotee of
the Lordand try to understand it outside of blind doctrinal criticism and
personally motivated misinterpretations. The example of proper
understanding is illustrated in the way Jesus accepted instruction directly
from the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane, transforming his initial
lamentation and hesitation into joyful, enthusiastic surrender. If someone is
fortunate enough to understand this Esoteric Teaching without twisting it to
justify his personal desires, then he surpasses all conventional exoteric
religious studies and ordinary Scriptural wisdom. One will find in the stories
and parables of the Esoteric Teaching all that is contained in the ordinary
teachings of religion, but the deeply inquiring reader will also find much
wisdom not to be found anywhere else. That is the specific standard of the
Esoteric Teaching. It is the perfect theistic science because the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord, directly speaks it for the pleasure
and benefit of His devotees.
Jesus Motivation
The first sentences of this apparently simple story set the stage for the sacred
talks to follow. To understand the character and motivation of Jesus, we must
first accept that he is a pure devotee of the Lord. He has no desire for material
sense gratification, intellectual philosophical knowledge or even liberation.
He is so advanced he is ready to sacrifice everything for the purposes of his
beloved Father, the Lord. Yet for the sake of his disciples, he adopted the role
of an ordinary ignorant man and pretended to be in anxiety and illusion.
Jesus did this to invoke the Lords mercy upon them. He wanted to gain the
Lords special instructions and blessings to empower his disciples to teach the
Absolute Truth to the fallen people of this materialistic age. It is extremely
difficult to teach spiritual life or God consciousness in the present historical
cycle without distortion, especially in the Western countries. Jesus wanted a
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new dispensation of the eternal Esoteric Teaching specially adapted to
present conditions, so that even the most fallen materialistic people could
understand these important transcendental Truths.
The Garden of Gethsemane was a favorite meditation place of Jesus. He came
there many times to pray to the Lord. Therefore it was a comfortable scene to
his disciples, who were used to resting while Jesus prayed. But this time was
special, for Jesus already knew that he was betrayed and what was to occur
early the next morning. On this night, Jesus was approaching his prayer with
unprecedented intensity, because he knew that he and his disciples were soon
to undergo the greatest test. The disappearance of the empowered
representative of the Lord from this world always opens the gates of chaos,
and unscrupulous persons take advantage of this to advance their own
interest under the guise of religious teaching. Jesus therefore asked his closest
disciples to remain alert while he invoked the presence of the Supreme Lord,
so they would benefit by receiving the special Teaching the Lord was going to
reveal.
The Lord appears in the material world to protect His pure devotees, to
accept their loving service unto Him, and to respond to their heartfelt pleas
for help. A pure devotee can invoke the presence of the Lord at any time, and
the Lord responds to him just like an ordinary parent or friend. The father of
a young chi ld is certainly in a superior position, yet when his son calls in
distress the father immediately comes to help. Similarly, the Supreme Lord is
the Father of all living entities, who are therefore His dependent children. Yet
He is always responsive to the loving call of His pure devotee who feels
helpless and completely dependent upon His kind mercy.
Death is an extremely difficult time for everyone but a pure devotee of the
Lord. Only the pure devotee has nothing to lose and everything to gain by
giving up the material body. Others whose lives are riddled with sinful
activity not only suffer the loss of everything near and dear to them, but also
have nothing to look forward to except a hellish existence after death. But the
devotee knows that after death he will be reunited with his most beloved
Lord. Therefore he is not disturbed by the prospect of death; indeed, he
welcomes it enthusiastically.
Jesus wanted the Lord to take responsibility for his disciples because he knew
the Lords plan. Jesus was soon to leave this world and his disciples would
have to carry on without his physical presence. Nevertheless they were at an
immature stage of spiritual development and unready to carry on the exalted
esoteric tradition of transcendental knowledge. Therefore Jesus wanted to ask
the Lord to protect them directly. Of course, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead is already protecting all living entities, but this is an example of the
sweet personal dealings between the devotee and the Lord. Jesus knew that
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he would be unable to complete his disciples transcendental education;
therefore he personally called upon his Father, the Lord, for assistance.
The next part of the story reads, And going forward a little, he fell on his
face praying. This text is a little difficult for the ordinary person to
understand, because it refers to a level of spiritual practice beyond our
common exoteric experience. In the West, it is customary to kneel while
praying; but in the context of the Esoteric Teaching, it is understood that one
is supposed to fall down on the ground in complete surrender before the Lord
and his spiritual Master Teacher. To show proper respect to the omnipotent
Lord and his personal earthly representative the spiritual Master Teacher, one
is supposed to offer complete obeisance with eight parts of the body: the two
legs, the two arms, the belly, the chest, the head and with ones words. This is
called dandavats, or falling down like a stick. This is the transcendental
etiquette, and here we see the Jesus Christ observes the customary procedure.
One who does not comply with this tradition is considered most uncultured
and unfit to associate with the members of the Esoteric Circle. However,
anyone who offers proper respect to the spiritual Master Teacher and to the
Lord very easily obtains their complete mercy and advances in spiritual life
and devotion.
The bulk of the disciples could not pass through the Gate of Initiation and
enter the Mesoteric Circle because they were not yet qualified to be Initiates.
Only Peter, James and John could go deeper into the Garden with Jesus. As
the Path of the Teaching ascends toward the presence of the Supreme Lord in
the Esoteric Circle at the center of the Garden, it becomes so narrow only one
can pass. Only Jesus could enter the Esoteric Circle and come into the
Presence of God, because only he was qualified by personal realization of the
Absolute Truth.
The Esoteric Teaching asserts that Lord Jesus Christ is an empowered
incarnation of the Celestial Christ, the secondary creator, sent to the earth
planet by the Supreme Lord to perform an important service to Him. Lord
Jesus Christ is unique among all beings in this universe because his body is
emanated or expanded directly from the transcendental body of the Lord
before the creation of the planetary systems of this material universe.
Therefore, although the Lord is certainly the spiritual Father of all living
entities, Jesus Christ is especially known as the transcendental son of God.
The question then arises that, considering the exalted position and advanced
spiritual consciousness of Lord Jesus Christ, how is it that he lamented his
imminent persecution and crucifixion? Was he afraid of death? Did he doubt
his eternal spiritual identity because of some material ignorance? Was his
spiritual development less than perfect? Otherwise, why was he begging, All
things are possible for You, take this cup from me? Was Jesus asking the
Lord to change His plan? If Jesus knew the future and the nature of the
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conspiracy against him, why didnt he simply use his mystic powers to
escape? These are all legitimate questions in the mind of the inquisitive
student.
Take This Cup
In the symbolism of the ancient wisdom-language of the Esoteric Teaching,
the cup stands for the mind, and the drink within the cup for the knowledge
or consciousness within the mind. Jesus was begging the Supreme Lord, not
to change His plan, but to change his consciousness or state of mind. This is
confirmed by Jesus ultimate conclusion: Not as I will, but as You will,
indicating Jesus complete surrender to the will of the Lord. The metaphor of
the cup indicates that the entire passage should be interpreted as shedding
light on the esoteric psychology of the intimate loving relationship between
the pure devotee and the Lord.
Unless we change our consciousness, we cannot advance in spiritual life.
Spiritual life means developing consciousness of God leading to eternal
freedom and bliss, whereas material life means consciousness limited to the
dull, temporary and changeable material mind and senses. The soul perceives
the Lord directly through spiritual senses, so the material body is superfluous
in the advanced stages of spiritual life. The spiritually advanced devotee does
not care for the material tabernacle, except insofar as it is useful to carry out
the instructions of the Lord. Therefore Jesus was not lamenting for the body,
although from a material perspective it may appear to be so.
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To comprehend the significance of the events in the Garden of Gethsemane
that night, it is vital to understand that Jesus was trying to create a pretext for
the Lord to transmit the Esoteric Teaching anew. He was concerned about his
disciples immature stage of spiritual advancement. Jesus felt they were
unprepared for his imminent disappearance. He was trying to provoke the
Lord to appear and bestow the important instructions of the Esoteric
Teaching for their benefit. Therefore he invokes the Lords presence by
pleading for help in dealing with his own mind. In other words, Jesus humbly
takes the position of an ordinary man who is unable to control his mind at
the hour of death. He does this both as an example to his disciples of how to
pray in times of emergency, and to provide an opportunity for a new
dispensation of the Esoteric Teaching. He knew that God always speaks just
appropriately for the intelligence of those who are hearing. His real
motivation is thus consistent with both his devotional attitude of humility
and unconditional compassion, and his special concern for his disciples
welfare and their impact on the future of humanity.
The appearance of the Lord in the material universe is always a very great and
significant event. It is only by such appearances or incarnations of the Lord
that we denizens of the material world learn of transcendental knowledge.
Unless the Lord reveals Himself by speaking the Esoteric Teaching, we would
simply have no other alternative than to speculate about religion and
manufacture our own so-called truth, as is going on all over the world at the
present moment. Unfortunately, as we have experienced, this leads only to
misunderstanding, strife and disaster.
People in material consciousness cannot understand why modern hedonistic
culture, based as it is upon limited human intelligence, cannot grant perfect
peace and happiness to the living beings. This is because, while materialists
may have made some small progress in material science, they are ignorant of
the science of God. Therefore spiritual degradation, unrest and suffering are
increasing all over the planet. The Lord appears to speak transcendent
knowledge of spiritual life just to mitigate the sufferings of all living beings by
granting them spiritual peace. This is the only valid process of obtaining real
knowledge of Transcendence, which by definition is beyond the observational
range of the imperfect material senses and the analytical power of the tiny
human mind. Since we cannot see the spiritual world in our present limited
state of consciousness, when the Lord appears He reveals knowledge of the
unmanifest world. This is the origin of the Esoteric Teaching that underlies
and informs all the bona fide religions of the world.
However, we must be intelligent and spiritually advanced enough to see and
recognize the Lord when he reveals Hi mself. Otherwise we will miss Him and
lose the opportunity, as did Jesus disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane.
While Jesus was speaking with the Lord, completely absorbed in the spiritual
ecstasy of seeing Him face to face, his disciples were sleeping. This confirms
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that they did not see the Lord nor feel His presence. Therefore their
transcendental senses were as yet unawakened. Not only Jesus neophyte
disciples, but the entire Jewish elite of Jerusalem missed the appearance of the
Lord, who comes as a thief in the night, and thus is not exposed to our
materially conditioned senses.
Master of the Senses
In the Esoteric Teaching, the Lord is called Hkea or the Master of the
Senses because as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is the actual
owner and controller of all the senses in all living bodies. The living entities
emanate from Him, therefore the senses of the living entities are also
emanations of His senses. The omnipresent Lord, situated in the hearts of all
living entities, directs their minds and senses, but since the embodied living
entities in the illusion of material consciousness identify with the body, they
wrongly think that the bodily senses are operating under their own control.
Actually, the Lord directs the senses and awakens the minds of the living
entities in proportion to the degree of their surrender unto Him. He does not
force Himself on anyone, but reciprocates in response to the sincerity of our
desire to know Him as He is.
The non-devotional impersonalist philosophers, and others overwhelmed by
the illusion of material consciousness, cannot understand Him or detect His
personal presence. But in the case of a pure devotee, the Supreme Lord
directly controls his senses and mind, awarding enlightenment, unlimited
spiritual pleasure and causeless transcendental knowledge. No one but a pure
devotee of the Lord can comprehend how this is so. The impersonalist
philosophers cannot properly understand either the senses of the living
entities or the transcendental senses of the Lord, and therefore they concoct
various theories that describe all living entities, including the Lord, as
ultimately impersonal or senseless. Since there is no such thing as a living
entity without senses, in reality it is the impersonal theory that is senseless.
The Lord has different names according to His different activities and
qualities. In the Garden of Gethsemane the Lord directly controlled the
spiritualized senses of Jesus, thus stimulating intense symptoms of ecstatic
love in Jesus body and recalling His particular name of Hkea, Master of
the Senses. The purpose of Jesus dialog with his Father, the infallible Lord,
was to get Him to reveal the confidential purpose of eternal religionthe
Esoteric Teachingto his disciples. Although the Lord is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead and the Supreme Controller, He accepted this task in
the service of His transcendental son out of His causeless mercy and
boundless unconditional love. He never fails in His affection for His devotees,
and thus He is called Acyuta or Infallible One. He felt responsible to carry
out Jesus request, and as a loving Father he did not hesitate to do so.
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Although in this pastime the Lord accepted the position of a Father or
Spiritual Master at Jesus request, His supreme position was never challenged.
In all circumstances, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord of
the total senses. But the Lord was reciprocating His devotees love. The
relationship between the Lord and His servitor is very sweet and
transcendental. The devotee is always ready to render service to the Lord, and
similarly the Lord is always seeking an opportunity to render service to His
devotee. He actually takes greater pleasure in His pure devotees ordering
Him than he does in being the order-giver Himself. Since He is always the
supreme Master and Controller, everyone is under His order, and no one is
above Him. But when He finds that a pure devotee is ordering Him, although
He is the infallible Master of all beings, He derives spiritual pleasure from this
paradox of loving intimacy. This is the esoteric transcendental psychology of
the relationship between the Lord and His pure devotee in the ecstasy of
spiritual love.
Jesus and the Pharisees
As soon as the Supreme Lord appeared to him, Jesus was cleansed of all
material contamination and elevated to his original spiritual position as the
Celestial Christ. With mystic vision, he could see the entire situation clearly,
as if from above. Jesus could see many high priests, rabbis, Pharisees, elders
as respectable as his father, grandfathers, teachers, uncles, brothers, sons,
grandsons, friends, and well-wishers within the party of his enemies all full
of hatred and ready to kill him.
Jesus could clearly see the hatred in the hearts of his enemies, but he did not
hate them. And he could also see the fear and unsteadiness in the hearts of
his disciples, although they were under the Lords protection. This situation
was giving him grief, because in both cases it was an illusion due to the
influence of ignorance. The Pharisees were the religious scholars of the Jews.
They wanted to protect their aristocratic position in Jewish society against the
popular movement started by Jesus. Therefore they hated Jesus, although
there was no offense on his part. As a pure devotee of the Lord, Jesus had no
desire to fight with his fellow Jews, but since the rabbis and Pharisees were
never agreeable to any peaceful negotiation, he was forced to preach against
them by their very obstinacy. It was an open secret that there was a
conspiracy among the rabbis, in collaboration with the local Roman
government, to entrap Jesus by evil plans.
Jesus wanted to educate everyone in transcendental knowledge, and thus
share the bliss of his enlightenment. But demoniac people are always against
spiritual advancement, though they may be in the dress of so-called pious
priests, rabbis or other religious authorities and government officials. They
made a false case against Jesus, a pure devotee, a genuine representative of
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God, and sought to entrap him by a conspiracy of counterfeit arguments. All
this gave rise to distress within Jesus heart, caused by compassion. Of course,
Jesus enemies could not comprehend that he and his sincere disciples
inevitably would be victorious over their evil plan by the Lords grace. The
Pharisees were so proud of their temporal power and ignorant of real spiritual
Truth that they would not accept the Lords representative, even though he
personally appeared before them. Why then did Jesus grieve for them?
In the Esoteric Teaching, the pure devotee is referred to as Gukea or One
who conquers sleep. Sleep also means ignorance. So Jesus conquered both
sleep and ignorance because of his being the transcendental son of the Lord.
As a great devotee of the Lord, he could not forget the Lord even for a
moment, because that is the nature of the devotee. Either waking or in sleep,
a devotee of the Lord is always thinking of the Lords Holy Name, form,
abode, qualities and pastimes. And this God consciousness is the source of
the highest transcendental ecstasy. Thus a devotee of the Lord can conquer
both sleep and ignorance simply by thinking of the Lord constantly. In the
language of the Esoteric Teaching this is called God consciousness, Christ
consciousness or Ka consciousness.
As Hkea, the Director of the senses and mind of every living entity, the
Lord could understand Jesus purpose in calling Him to the Garden of
Gethsemane. As the Supersoul of all living entities, the Lord could
understand everything in Jesus mind and heart. As a Father, He wanted to
comfort His transcendental son Jesus, and assure him that there was no cause
for distress. But He was also concerned about Jesus doubts. Did Jesus want to
stop there and not go on with executing the Lords plan? The Lord never
expected such things from his transcendental son. The Lord, who can
understand the psychic activities of all beings, thus predicated His teaching in
the Garden that night on the conflicting thoughts in Jesus mind.
Jesus, seeing his Jewish friends and relatives conspiring against him in such a
perverted spirit of animosity, felt symptoms of transcendental anxiety out of
compassion for their spiritual blindness. Anyone who has genuine devotion
to the Lord has all the good qualities found in Godly persons; whereas the
non-devotees, however advanced they may be in material qualifications by
education and culture, lack all good spiritual qualities beginning with
truthfulness, compassion and loving kindness. Jesus could understand that
his kinsmen, though intelligent and learned, were devoid of God
consciousness and had ignorantly become enemies of his mission. As such, he
was overwhelmed by compassion for these fools who had declared war
against their own real interest in life. As far as his disciples were concerned,
he was naturally sympathetic. But Jesus felt deep compassion even for the
opposing party, foreseeing their imminent destruction and the terrible
punishment they would have to undergo for their offenses.
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Jesus was simply astonished to see the animosity of the rabbis and Pharisees.
Practically the whole Jewish aristocratic community, all blood relatives of
Jesus, had conspired to stop his preaching mission. This overwhelmed a kind
devotee like Jesus. Such symptoms in Jesus were actually not due to weakness
but to his soft-heartedness, an important characteristic of a pure devotee of
the Lord. One who has unflinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead
has all the good qualities of the archangels and more. But one who is not a
devotee of the Lord has only material qualifications that are of little value.
This is because he is hovering on the mental plane without spiritual
engagement, and therefore is certain to be attracted by the glare of the
material energy and entrapped in an endless regress of material desire and
frustration.
Ecstatic Symptoms
When the son of God, Jesus, saw all these different grades of friends and
relatives full of animosity, he became overwhelmed with compassion and
spoke in a faltering voice: My dear Father, my whole body is trembling,
and my hair is standing on end. My renunciants staff is slipping from my
hand, and my skin is burning.
The ecstatic phenomena, such as trembling of the body, standing of the hair
on end, horripilation (goose bumps), loss of external consciousness, faltering
of the voice and so on occur either in great spiritual ecstasy or out of great
fear in material consciousness. Jesus symptoms in this situation are
apparently out of material fearnamely, imminent loss of life. Excessive
attachment for material things puts a man in a bewildered mental condition,
especially at the time of death. Such fearfulness and loss of mental
equilibrium in the face of hardship, suffering and death take place in persons
who are too affected by material conditions. But there is no fear in
transcendental realization and Jesus is the pure devotee on the transcendental
platform of consciousness. Therefore Jesus is actually in transcendental
ecstasy due to the presence of the Supreme Lord, and only pretending to be
fearful in order to provoke the Lord to benefit his disciples by speaking the
Esoteric Teaching.
The sweating of blood from the pores of the skin mentioned earlier in the
Biblical text of this story is a very uncommon symptom of great spiritual
ecstasy (mah-bhva). It is documented in certain esoteric literatures that
describe the advanced symptoms of intense love of Godhead. These books
declare that such rare symptoms exist only in the bodies of the greatest
devotees or in the transcendental body of the Supreme Lord Himself.
However, since Jesus is having a conversation with the Lord, we must
conclude that he is not God, but an incarnation of a great devotee especially
empowered by God to perform the mission of spreading the Esoteric
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Teaching among the people of the Western countries. This conclusion is
essential to understanding the transcendental personality of Lord Jesus Christ
and his relationship to his Father, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Jesus continued, I am now unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting
myself, and my mind is reeling. I foresee only evil, O Destroyer of Doubt. I
do not see how any good can come from being killed by my kinsmen, or
Your killing them in retribution. Nor can I, my dear Father, desire any
subsequent success, opulent congregation or happiness. Jesus, in humbly
accepting the role of an ordinary foolish man before his Divine Father,
envisioned only painful reverses in the immediate futurehe felt that he
would not be happy even by gaining victory o ver his foes. When a man
perceives only frustration in his expectations, he feels like he would rather be
anyone or anywhere else. Everyone is interested in himself and his own
welfare. But ones real eternal welfare lies in worshiping and serving the Lord.
The conditioned soul forgets this, and therefore suffers material reactions to
his unfortunate activities. Jesus was apparently showing ignorance of his real
self-interest by trying to forestall his destiny according to the Lords will.
Jesus ostensibly thought that whatever the outcome of the coming struggle, it
would only be a cause of lamentation for him. He could not, for the moment,
see how any good could come from being killed by his own kinsmen. Nor,
because of his sense of righteousness, could he desire victory over them, nor
any subsequent success or happiness.
Jesus therefore argued, O Father, of what avail to us are followers,
happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them
are now arrayed against us? O killer of evil-doers, when teachers, fathers,
sons, grandfathers and all other relatives are ready to give up their lives
and properties by offending Your son, then why should I wish You to kill
them, though I may survive? O maintainer of all creatures, I am not
prepared to see You destroy them even in exchange for the three worlds, let
alone this earth. Without knowing that ones real self-interest is in
devotional service to the Lord, conditioned souls are attracted by bodily
relationships, hoping to be happy in such temporary, imperfect situations. In
such a blind conception of life, they forget that the Lord is the original cause,
even of material happiness. In his anxiety, Jesus appears to have forgotten the
moral codes for a renunciant. The ancient esoteric Scriptures teach that a
person in the renounced order of life who is completely devoted to spiritual
culture is eligible to enter into the spiritual world or Kingdom of God at the
time of death. Therefore Jesus should have been glad to accept suffering and
even martyrdom in the service of the Lord, for that would have guaranteed
his eternal liberation from the suffering of material existence.
But the real cause of Jesus agitation is that out of profound compassion, he is
reluctant to allow his relatives to commit offenses to his divinely ordained
mission, thereby ruining their chances of spiritual advancement. For the same
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reason, he thinks that there would also be no happiness in being victorious
over his kinsmen. Any victory could only come by the defeat and humiliation
of many senior rabbis, who Jesus humbly regarded as his teachers. Therefore
he was temporarily unwilling to go on, just as a person who does not feel
hunger is not inclined to cook. Perhaps he imagined escaping into the desert
to live a secluded life of frustration. But as a renounced preacher, he required
a congregation for his subsistence, because according to the Eastern religious
social tradition, renunciants cannot engage themselves in any occupation
other than preaching and begging from their congregation. Jesus sole
opportunity for gaining happiness lay in going through with the Lords plan,
which for the moment he apparently did not want to do.
The Father of All
Jesus further reasoned, Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors.
Therefore it is not proper for you to kill the descendents of Moses and our
friends. What should we gain, O Father, Husband of the Goddess of
Fortune, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen? O Lord
of All, although these men, overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing ones
family or quarreling with friends, why should we, with knowledge of the
sin, engage in these acts?
Jesus addressed the Lord as Father because the Lord is the origin and
maintainer of all beings. And as the Husband of the Goddess of Fortune, He
the real object of all pleasures of the senses. By using these significant words,
Jesus hints that the Lord should understand what would satisfy Jesus senses.
But the Lord is not meant for satisfying our senses. However, if we try to
satisfy the desires of the Lord, then automatically our own senses become
satisfied. This is the mystery of devotional service to the Lord. Materially,
everyone wants to satisfy his own senses, and wants God to be the order
supplier for such satisfaction. The Lord will satisfy the senses of the living
entities as much as they deserve, but not to the extent that they may covet.
But when we take the opposite pathtrying to satisfy the senses of the Lord
without desiring to satisfy our own sensesthen all our desires are satisfied
by the grace of the Lord. Jesus deep affection for community and family
members was exhibited due to his natural compassion for them. Therefore he
was unwilling to see them destroyed by the Lords anger. Everyone wants to
enjoy his opulence with his relatives. Jesus feared that if his relatives attacked
him, the authorized representative of the Lord, the Lord would kill them all,
and thus he would be unable to share his opulence of spiritual enlightenment
with them. This is a typical miscalculation of materialistic consciousness.
The transcendental life, however, is different. Since the devotee wants to
satisfy the desires of the Lord, he can, Lord willing, enjoy all kinds of
opulence for the service of the Lord, and if the Lord is unwilling, he will not
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accept anything. Jesus did not want to be the cause of the Lord annihilating
his relatives. Jesus was thinking like this because he apparently forgot that
the Lord had already decided long ago to punish the rabbis and Pharisees,
and that he was only to become an instrument for the Lords plan. This fact
is, of course, disclosed in other books of the Bible. As a natural devotee of the
Lord, Jesus did not want the Lord to retaliate against his miscreant relatives,
but factually it was the Lords plan from long before that they should all be
defeated. The devotee of the Lord does not want to retaliate against the
wrongdoer, but the Lord does not tolerate any mischief done to the devotee.
The Lord can excuse a person who offends Him, but He excuses no one who
has harmed His devotee. Therefore the Lord was determined to punish the
reprobate rabbis, although Jesus wanted to excuse them.
According to Scriptural injunctions there are six kinds of capital aggressors:
1) a poisoner, 2) an arsonist, 3) one who attacks with deadly weapons, 4) one
who plunders riches, 5) one who occupies anothers land, and 6) one who
kidnaps anothers wife. No sin is incurred by killing such aggressors. Killing
criminal aggressors is quite befitting an ordinary person, but Jesus was not an
ordinary man. He was saintly by character, and therefore he wanted to deal
with them in saintliness. According to Scriptural law, a saintly person should
not slay aggressors, especially those who are also family members. Jesus
thought that in this case, the Lord should consider the special type of
aggressors, namely his own relatives, rabbis, the Pharisees, etc. Because they
were relatives and also religious teachers, Jesus thought that He should not
take the severe steps necessary against ordinary aggressors. Besides that,
saintly persons are inclined to forgive. Therefore Jesus may have thought that
it was not proper for his Father to vanquish the descendants of Moses and
David on his account. How could Jesus be happy by becoming the cause of
the Lords destroying his kinsmen?
Such injunctions of mercy for saintly persons are usually more important
than any personal emergency. Jesus considered that rather than invoke the
power of the Lord to defeat his kinsmen for personal advantage, it would be
better to forgive them on grounds of religion and saintly behavior. He did
not, therefore, consider such retaliation profitable simply for temporary
bodily happiness. After all, the pleasures derived from the body are
impermanent, so why should he risk his eternal salvation by the sin of
causing the downfall of his own kinsmen? Jesus wanted to point out to the
Lord that, as Husband of the Goddess of Fortune, he should not induce Jesus
to take a course of action that would ultimately bring about misfortune. The
Lord, however, never brings misfortune to anyone, especially His devotees.
Although Jesus relatives minds were overtaken by greed and they saw no
fault in killing him or persecuting his disciples, how could Jesus, who could
see the crime in destroying a family, tolerate these acts of violence? Especially
when he foresaw the terrible revenge Lord would wreak on the entire Jewish
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society as a result. However, a preacher is not supposed to abscond when
some rival party confronts him, but defeat them by spiritual power. Under
such a moral obligation, Jesus could not refuse to meet the fate designed by
the Pharisees, though the ultimate result would be their certain destruction.
Jesus compassionately considered that the other party might be blind to the
effects of such an offense. He, however, could foresee the evil consequences
and therefore could not accept the challenge. According to the highest logic
of Scriptural morality, an obligation is actually binding only when the effect is
good, but when the effect is destructive, then no one can be bound by
obligation. Considering all these pros and cons, Jesus wanted to escape and
prevent the terrible carnage that would result from the persecution of his
mission.
Spiritual Society
Jesus prophesied, With the destruction of the senior family members of the
dynasty, the eternal family tradition is vanquished, and thus the
descendants become involved in irreligious practice. When irreligion is
prominent in the family, O Father, the women of the family become
corrupt, and from the moral degradation of womanhood come unwanted
progeny. When there is increase of unwanted population, a hellish
situation is created both for the family and for those who destroy the
family tradition. In such corrupt families, there are no regular offerings of
food and water to the Supreme Lord. In the ancient system of spiritual
society there are many principles of religious tradition to help members of the
family mature properly and attain spiritual values. The elder family members
are responsible for such purifying process, which are a series of seven
transcendental rituals celebrating the passages of life, beginning from
conception and birth up to the death ceremony. But on the death of the
senior family members, the family traditions of purification may become
neglected, and the remaining younger family members may develop
irreligious habits and thereby lose their chance for spiritual salvation. With
the destruction of the lineage holders of the family spiritual tradition, the rest
of the family may become involved in irreligion. Therefore, for no purpose
should the older members of the family be disrespected, disobeyed or
destroyed.
When irreligion becomes prominent in the family, the women of the family
become polluted by unfaithfulness. And from the degradation of womanhood
comes unwanted low-class progeny. The deliberate creation of good quality
population is the basic principle for peace, prosperity and spiritual progress
in human society at large. The principles of the exoteric social institution of
the Esoteric Teaching are designed so that good population prevails in society
for the general spiritual progress of state and community. These
arrangements for good population depend on the chastity and faithfulness of
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womanhood. As children are vulnerable to deception, women are similarly
very susceptible to exploitation and moral degradation. Therefore, both
children and women require constant protection, supervision and guidance
by the elder members of the family. The women are protected from being
misled into adultery by being constantly engaged in various family religious
traditions in association with their elders and spiritual teachers.
Women are generally sentimental and not very spiritually intelligent, and
therefore are easily deceived and misled by unscrupulous men. So family
traditions of religious activities should always engage them, and thus their
chastity and devotion will result in good population eligible for participation
in spiritual life. On the failure of such spiritual institutions, naturally the
women become free to act independently and mix unrestrictedly with men,
and the resulting illicit sexual relations create unwanted, sinful population.
Irresponsible lusty men also promote adultery in society, and thus unwanted
children flood the human race with the result of crime, war and a pandemic
of ignorance in society. The increase of unwanted population certainly causes
hellish conditions of life both for the family and for those who destroy the
family tradition. The evil deeds of those who destroy family traditions and
thus give rise to unwanted children ultimately devastate all kinds of
community projects and family spiritual welfare activities. The family welfare
activities of the social institutions of the Esoteric Teaching are designed to
help people attain ultimate salvation.
Therefore, when irresponsible, unenlightened leaders break the family
tradition, the result is social chaos, and consequently people in general forget
the aim of life: devotional service i n God consciousness, Ka consciousness
or Christ consciousness. Such ignorant leaders are spiritually blind, and
persons who follow them are certain to be misled into confusion. One may be
inclined to desire sinful acts such as the death of ones own senior relatives
when driven by selfish motives. There are many such tragic occurrences in
the history of the world. But Jesus, being a saintly devotee of the Lord, was
always conscious of spiritual principles and therefore took care to avoid
sinful activities. He could foresee that the entire community of the Jews
would have to bear the sinful reaction of the evil conspiracy of their leaders,
the rabbis and Pharisees. These results would reach far into the future and
disrupt the peaceful condition of society all over the world. We are actually
experiencing the results of this sinful reaction even today.
Jesus Reasoning
Jesus concluded, I would consider it better for the descendents of Moses to
kill me unarmed and unresisting, rather than to ask You to kill them. Jesus
was trying to establish a position of non-violence on the principles of material
religiosity. He compassionately saw that if the rabbis were allowed to attack
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him, due to this offense the Lord would punish them severely. The inevitable
result of this offense against a pure devotee of the Lord would be the
destruction of the elders and spiritual guides of Jewish society: the rabbis
descended from Moses and David. When the guardians of spiritual family
traditions are destroyed, the traditions important to the spiritual health of
society would be neglected, and the whole civilization would glide down into
a hellish condition as described above.
Although Jesus concern for the spiritual family tradition was certainly correct
according to external Scriptural codes of morality, the Lord was more
concerned with the esoteric side of religious practice. While the rabbis and
Pharisees were following the external principles of religion very strictly, they
had become ignorant of the inner or esoteric aspects of spiritual
advancement. Thus they were unable to recognize Jesus as a pure devotee and
representative of the Lord. They had become more concerned with
maintaining their important positions in material society than with the
Absolute Truth. Due to their continued offenses the Lord had already decided
long ago to destroy them, and Jesus was to be the instrument of His plan.
Jesus knew this, but at the same time he was horrified at the thought of the
destruction that would take place. He did not consider that the family
religious traditions had become corrupt, and the Lord desired to replace them
with a new dispensation of the Esoteric Teaching. Jesus apparently was
caught up in material lamentation. He thought that even if he survived the
confrontation with the Pharisees and defeated them, he still would be unable
to enjoy the result. Having defeated and dishonored his elders, many of
whom were his childhood religious teachers, Jesus would not be able to enjoy
the flourishing congregation he would thus inherit. Nor, after defeating and
dishonoring them, would he be able to share his spiritual success with them.
In every alternative, then, Jesus saw only defeat and frustration of his actual
mission, which was to uplift the entire human society, including his
quarrelsome relatives, to the plane of God consciousness.
Seeing Jesus full of compassion in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Supreme
Lord spoke comforting words of transcendental wisdom to him. In very
ancient times the Lord killed the demon Madhu, and thus to this day He is
called Madhusdana or Killer of Madhu by the followers of the Esoteric
Teaching. Now in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus wanted Him to kill the
demon of doubt that had overtaken him in the discharge of his devotional
service. No one in material consciousness knows the proper application of
compassion. A person fallen in the dangerous ocean of material nescience
cannot be saved simply by rescuing his outer dressthe gross material body.
Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is useless.
Therefore bodily compassion, lamentation and tears are all signs of ignorance;
compassion for the eternal soul is actual self-realization. One who does not
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know this and laments for the outward dress of the soul the material
bodylaments unnecessarily. Jesus was an advanced transcendentalist, a
great sage and spiritual Master Teacher, and for him this kind of conduct was
unexpected. The Supreme Lord, however, wanted to show how to dissipate
the lamentation of all ignorant people. For this reason He arranged a situation
in which Jesus was apparently placed into lamentation so that the Lord could
impart the confidential truths of the Esoteric Teaching to save suffering
humankind.
Three Stages of Realization
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Father of all, spoke confidentially
to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Supreme Person said: My dear
Jesus, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all
befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead
to higher planets, but to infamy. The Supreme Lord, the Father of Jesus and
the Supreme Personality of Godhead are identical. Therefore the Supreme
Lord, God the Father Almighty, is referred to as the Supreme Personality of
Godhead throughout the Esoteric Teaching. The Absolute Truth is realized in
three phases of understanding: Brahman, the impersonal all-pervasive
spiritual existence; Paramtm, the Supersoul or localized knowledge aspect
of God within the heart of all living entities; and the Father or the Supreme
Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the personal form of unlimited
consciousness, knowledge and bliss. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, or
God the Father, is the ultimate goal in the study of the Esoteric Teaching.
These three Divine aspects can be illustrated by the example of the sun,
which also has three different aspects: the sunshine, the sun disc and the sun
planet itself. One who studies the sunshine is only a preliminary student. One
who understands the sun disc is farther advanced. And one who can enter
into the sun planet itself is the most advanced. Ordinary students who are
satisfied simply by understanding the sunshineits universal pervasiveness
and the glaring effulgence of its impersonal naturemay be compared to
those who can realize only the impersonal Brahman feature of the Absolute
Truth. The student who has advanced still further can know the sun disc,
which is compared to knowledge of the Paramtm feature of the Absolute
Truth. And the student who can enter into the heart of the sun planet is
compared to those who realize the Father, or the personal feature of the
Supreme Absolute Truth.
The sunshine, the sun disc and the inner affairs of the sun planet cannot be
separated from one another, and yet the students of the three different phases
are not in the same category. Therefore the lovers of God, or the
transcendentalists who realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the
Father feature of the Absolute Truth, are the most advanced
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transcendentalists, although all mystics who realize any aspect of the
Absolute Truth are certainly on the path of the Esoteric Teaching.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead
The term Supreme Personality of Godhead refers to He who possesses all
riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation.
There are many persons who are very rich, very powerful, very beautiful, very
famous, learned or very much detached, but no one besides the Lord can
claim that he possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all
knowledge and all renunciation in full. Only the Supreme Lord can claim this
because he is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Complete Whole and
the Supreme Absolute Truth. No living entity, including Lord Jesus Christ,
can possess opulence as fully as the Supreme Lord. Lord Jesus himself
confirms in the Esoteric Teaching that his Father the Supreme Lord is the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one is equal to or greater than Him.
He is the primeval Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Father of
all, and the Supreme Cause of all other causes.
In advanced texts of the Esoteric Teaching there is a list of many incarnations
of the Supreme Lord within the material world, but the Supreme Personality
of Godhead is also defined as the original Godhead from whom many, many
incarnations of God expand. Therefore the Supreme Lord, the Father, is the
original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, the source of
both the omnipresent Supersoul and the impersonal spiritual effulgence.
Jesus lamentation for his kinsmen was certainly unbecoming in the presence
of the exalted Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such weakness is never
expected from men belonging to the Esoteric Circle who know the ultimate
spiritual value of life and have an eternal, interplanetary civilization based on
spiritual realization of the Absolute Truth. People who are led astray by the
material conception of life cannot know that the aim of life is realization of
the Absolute Truth, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Father. The
glittering external features of the material world captivate their minds, and
therefore they cannot understand spiritual liberation. But according to the
Esoteric Teaching, knowledge of spiritual life is a requirement for human
beings. Therefore persons who have no knowledge of spiritual life or
liberation from material consciousness sometimes are called humanoids,
meaning resembling humans. Although Jesus was supposed to be a preacher,
he was deviating from his prescribed duties by declining to play his part in
the Lords plan to defeat the Pharisees. The Lord describes this act of
cowardice as befitting the humanoids. Such deviation from duty does not
help one progress in spiritual life, nor does it even give one the opportunity
to become famous in this world. The Supreme Lord did not approve of the
so-called compassion of Jesus for his offensive kinsmen.
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The Son of God
The Lord encouraged Jesus, O My son, do not yield to this degrading
impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart
and arise, O sinless one. Jesus is the son of the Supreme Lord. Therefore
Jesus had an intimate family relationship with the Supreme Lord. If the son of
a great king declines to fight, he is a prince in name only, and if the son of a
holy man acts impiously, he is a priest or rabbi in name only. Such cowardly
princes and ignorant priests are unworthy sons of their fathers; therefore, the
Supreme Lord did not want Jesus to become an unworthy son. Jesus is
intimately related with the Supreme Lord, and the Lord was directly guiding
him; he was a spiritual Master Teacher and a prominent member of the
Esoteric Circle. But in spite of all these qualifications, if Jesus abandoned the
battle for Truth, he would be committing an infamous act. Jesus wanted to
avoid confronting the Pharisees on the grounds of his magnanimous attitude
for his relatives, but in the presence of the Supreme Lord that sort of
compassion was revealed as mere weakness of heart. Spiritual authority does
not approve such false compassion. Therefore, false magnanimity should be
given up by persons like Jesus engaged in the work of preaching the Esoteric
Teaching under the direct guidance of the Supreme Lord. Actual compassion
means to enlighten people with spiritual knowledge. To allow them to remain
in ignorance, when one knows the Truth, is really a kind of violence. This
attitude did not fit Jesus personality or position.
Jesus wondered how the Lord could put him in a position of ruining
respectable men who he felt worthy of his worship. Respectable superiors like
kings, rabbis, priests and other teachers are always due respect. It is general
etiquette that superiors are not to be offered even a verbal fight. Even if they
attack, they should not be counterattacked. And even if they are sometimes
harsh in behavior, they should not be harshly treated in return. Then, how
was it possible for Jesus knowingly to create a situation where the Lord
would counterattack and destroy them? Jesus wanted to justify his attitude
and behavior to the Supreme Lord, his Father. But since these arguments are
ultimately based upon mundane religious morality, the Lord did not accept
them.
Jesus considered that it would be better to become an unknown beggar than
to enjoy worldly fame at the cost of the reputations of great souls who were
his teachers. Even though they desired worldly gain, he considered them to
be superiors. If they were defeated, he thought his devotional service would
be spoiled by the offense. Jesus was feeling some bodily attachment to those
who had instructed him in his youth. But according to Scriptural codes, a
teacher who loses his sense of discrimination and engages in abominable
actions is fit to be abandoned. The Pharisees were the official spiritual
teachers of the Jews, but they were preaching only the letter of law and
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ignoring the spirit. They also attempted many times to entrap and persecute
Jesus unjustly. Under the circumstances, they had lost the respectability of
teachers. But because of his natural humility, Jesus thought that nevertheless
they remained his superiors, and therefore he felt that to accept the fame and
reputation that would come to him after defeating them would mean to
unlawfully enjoy rewards earned by offensive acts.
Even accepting that it was his duty to continue to preach and thus confront
the rabbis and Pharisees, leading them to inevitable disaster, Jesus did not
know which was better: conquering them or being conquered by them. If he
were to defeat his relatives the Pharisees and rabbis by the power of God, he
would not care to live. Yet they were plotting against him as if on a
battlefield. Therefore Jesus did not know whether he should continue to
preach and risk unnecessary violencealthough preaching was his dutyor
whether he should refrain out of compassion for his relatives. Even if victory
awaited him, still if the rabbis and Pharisees lost their high reputation, Jesus
considered that it would be very difficult for him to continue living because
of this offense.
All these compassionate considerations by Jesus definitely prove that not only
was he a great devotee of the Lord, but he was also highly enlightened and
had complete control over his mind and senses. His desire to retire from the
preaching field, although he was directly the son of God, is another sign of
humility and detachment. These qualities combined with his faith in the
words of instruction of the Supreme Lord, indicate that he was truly virtuous
and a perfected soul in the highest stage of God consciousness.
Jesus Position
We must conclude therefore that Jesus was already a perfectly liberated soul.
Unless the senses are controlled by intelligence, there is no chance of
elevation to the platform of spiritual knowledge; and without knowledge,
humility and devotion there is no chance of liberation. Jesus was competent
in all these spiritual attributes, over and above his enormous material
qualifications. Jesus submitted, I can find no means to drive away the grief
that is drying up my senses. Now I am confused about my duty and have
lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You
to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul
surrendered unto You. Please instruct me. Although Jesus was the son of
God and a perfectly self-realized soul, in the Garden of a Gethsemane on the
eve of the climax of his mission Jesus apparently became confused about his
duty due to human weakness. He did this to create a pretext for the Lord to
deliver the Esoteric Teaching anew for the benefit of his immature disciples
and their followers. Therefore he prayed to the Lord to tell him conclusively
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what was his best path. In other words, he stopped being a son and became a
disciple: a soul surrendered unto God.
By Gods Law, material activities are always a source of difficulty. At every
step there are problems, and therefore one must approach an enlightened
spiritual Master Teacher who can give proper guidance in achieving the
ultimate purpose of life. All spiritual literatures advise approaching a bona
fide spiritual Master Teacher to get free from the problems of life, which
happen automatically without our desire. The problems of life are like a forest
fire that blazes spontaneously without being set by anyone. Similarly, the
human condition is such that the problems of life automatically appear. No
one wants difficulty or suffering and yet they take place, and we become
confused because we feel that we have not done anything wrong. We do not
understand that as long as we remain in material consciousness, the problems
of life will continue to remind us that this material world is not our real
home.
The Esoteric Teaching therefore advises that one must approach a spiritual
Master Teacher who is in the lineage of disciplic succession from the Lord to
understand the spiritual science and solve the problems of life. A person with
a bona fide spiritual Master Teacher is supposed to know everything. One
should not, therefore, remain in material suffering but should approach the
Master Teacher for instruction and initiation in spiritual life. Anyone who is
perplexed and lamenting due to material suffering does not know the
solution to the problems of life. In the Esoteric Teaching one who is ignorant
of the spiritual cause of material suffering is described as a miser who does
not utilize the opportunity of human life to solve the problems of life, and
who thus leaves this world like an animal, without understanding the science
of self-realization.
This human form of life is a most valuable asset for the living entity to use in
solving the problems of life. A human being must be intelligent enough to
utilize this life to solve his real problem. One who does not properly utilize
this opportunity is a humanoid, or a human being in name only. Miserly
humanoids waste their time in the material bodily conception of life, being
overly affectionate for family, society, country, etc. Most people are attached
to family lifewife, children and other family members, house, money and
career, social status, race, religion, and the reston the basis of temporary
sensual affection or skin disease. The materialist humanoid ignorantly thinks
he is able to save family members from death; or he thinks that his family our
society can save him from the verge of death. Such family attachment can be
found even in the animals, who also take care of children. Nevertheless, no
amount of family affection can save any living entity in the material world
from death.
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Being highly intelligent, Jesus understood that his affection for family
members and his wish to protect them from defamation and death were the
causes of his suffering and confusion. Although he understood that his duty
was to preach, because of compassion for his disciples and relatives he was
baffled how to discharge his duties. He therefore intelligently put the matter
before the Supreme Lord, the supreme Spiritual Master, to make a conclusive
solution. He went to the Garden of Gethsemane and offered himself to the
Supreme Lord, not as a son but as a disciple. He wanted to stop intimate,
affectionate talks and inquire seriously from the Lord. Discussions between
the Master and disciple are grave and significant, and Jesus wanted to talk
very seriously with the most authorized spiritual Master Teacher, the Lord.
The Supreme Lord is the original Spiritual Master of the science of the
Esoteric Teaching, and Jesus is the perfect disciple for understanding the
Teaching.
The Spiritual Master Teacher
Without approaching the spiritual Master Teacher or the Supreme Lord, we
can find no means to stop the grief and suffering that are drying up our
senses. Even Jesus was unable to dispel it. Jesus was capable of putting
forward so many arguments based on Scriptural knowledge of the principles
of religion and moral codes. But it appears that he was unable to solve his real
problem without the help of his Spiritual Master, his Father the Supreme
Lord. He could understand that his so-called knowledge was useless in
driving away his problems, which were enervating his entire existence; but it
was impossible for him to actually resolve his suffering without the help of
his spiritual Master Teacher the Supreme Lord.
Academic knowledge, Scriptural scholarship, wealth, beauty, high position,
or any other material opulence are all useless in solving the real problems of
life. Real help can be received only from the Supreme Lord or a spiritual
Master Teacher who is in touch with Him through God-conscious self-
realization. Therefore, only a man who is 100 percent God-conscious, Ka-
conscious or Christ-conscious is the bona fide spiritual Master Teacher, for
only he can help us solve the problems of life. The Lord says in the Scriptures
of the Esoteric Teaching that regardless of his social position, one who is
master in the science of Christ consciousness or Ka consciousness is the
real Spiritual Master.
It does not matter whether a person is a learned scholar in Scriptural wisdom,
is born in a high-class family or is in the renounced order of life; if he is
master in the science of the Supreme Lordthe Esoteric Teachinghe is the
perfect and bona fide spiritual Master Teacher. On the other hand, without
being expert in the science of God consciousness, Ka consciousness or
Christ consciousness, no one can be a bona fide spiritual Master Teacher. It is
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also said i n the esoteric literature that a scholarly intellectual, expert in all
subjects of Scriptural knowledge, is unfit to become a spiritual Master
Teacher without also being expert in the practical science of God
consciousness. But a person born in a lower-class family can become a
spiritual Master Teacher if he is fully Christ-conscious. Later on in the
Esoteric Teaching, the Lord will explain the symptoms of a fully God-
conscious soul so that we can easily recognize a qualified spiritual Master
Teacher.
No amount of material religiosity, economic development or sense
gratification can counteract the problems of material existence: birth, old age,
disease and death. In the Western world there are many economically
developed countries replete with all material f acilities of life. The people are
beautiful, strong and well educated. They are also ostensibly pious, yet all the
problems of material existence are still present. People are seeking peace
through material means, and despite great endeavors this has proven to be
ineffectual. But they can achieve real happiness if they consult the Supreme
Lord, or the Esoteric Teachingwhich constitutes the science of the Supreme
Lordthrough the bona fide representative of the Lord, the experienced man
in perfect God consciousness.
If sectarian piety, economic development or sensual comforts could drive
away our family, social, national or international problems, then Jesus would
have thought that victory over his enemies would be able to drive away His
lamentation. But he knew by personal experience that these temporary
material solutions are ineffective. He therefore sought refuge in God
consciousness, and that is the right path for peace and harmony. Economic
development or political supremacy over the world can be finished at any
moment by the inevitable cataclysms of material nature. When the results of
pious activities are finished, one falls down again from the peak of happiness
to a low status of life. Many great politicians and other leaders of the world
have fallen down in that way. Such downfalls only constitute more causes for
lamentation. Therefore, if we want to curb lamentation forever, we have to
take shelter of the Supreme Lord, as Jesus did. Jesus asked the Supreme Lord
to solve this problem definitely, and that solution is the path of the Esoteric
Teaching.
Satan, or ignorance personified, must have been very glad to understand the
Jesus was not going to confront the rabbis and Pharisees, and was instead
leaving the preaching field for a frustrated life of isolation. But Jesus
conclusionNot my will, but Thinewould disappoint Satan by showing
him that as a surrendered, empowered representative of God, Jesus was still
competent to chastise the ignorant and preach the Absolute Truth. Although
Jesus was apparently overwhelmed with false grief due to the intransigence of
his relatives, he correctly surrendered unto the Supreme Lord, the supreme
Spiritual Master, as a disciple. This indicates that due to invoking the infinite
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mercy of the Lord, he would soon be free from false lamentation resulting
from bodily affection. Once enlightened with perfect knowledge of self-
realization, or God consciousness, he would then surely continue to act in
spiritual consciousness and teach that knowledge by personal example. Thus
Satans joy was short-lived, since Jesus certainly would be enlightened by the
Supreme Lords direct revelation of the Esoteric Teaching, and would preach
with undiminished potency to the end.
Thus end the Bhaktisiddhartha purports of the First Chapter of The Book of
Gethsemane in the matter of the conversation between the Lord and Jesus in the
Garden of Gethsemane. All glories to the Holy Name of the Lord!
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Chapter 2
The Nature of the Soul
The First Step in Transcendental
Knowledge
In the previous chapter we saw how Jesus invoked the presence of his Father
the Supreme Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane by fervent prayer in his great
hour of need. As always, the Lord directly and personally responded to the
sincere prayer of His pure devotee. The Lord appeared in the garden in His
beautiful, effulgent eternal spiritual form and began speaking with Jesus. At
first the dialog between Jesus and the Lord was of the character of the Divine
Father and His beloved son. As such, the mood was one of paternal affection
and filial devotion; however this sweet, intimate family relationship was not
really appropriate for solving Jesus problem. The Lord wanted to create a
pretext for His revelation of the Esoteric Teaching. Thus the Lord inspired
Jesus to surrender as His disciple to make more serious inquiries for the
benefit of his disciples and their followers in the future.
When the Lord heard Jesus request, He smiled. The Lord was pleased
because His most prominent son Jesus had voluntarily chosen to become a
disciple. As Lord of all, He is always in the superior position as the Master of
everyone, and yet the Lord affectionately accepts the loving service one who
wishes to be His parent, friend, son or lover, or who wants Him in such a
role. So when His devotee Jesus wanted Him to become a Spiritual Master, He
at once assumed the role and instructed the surrendered disciple as a perfect
Spiritual Masterwith great seriousness and gravity, as is required.
The talk between the Master and His disciple was openly exchanged in the
Garden of Gethsemane. In the days of Jesus, gardens such as Gethsemane
were public gathering places available for everyone to enjoy, similar to todays
parks. This highlights the fact that the revelations of the Esoteric Teaching
are not the monopoly of any particular person, organization or community
but are for the benefit of all, and friends or enemies are equally invited to
hear them. Unfortunately, both Jesus own disciples and the opposing party
both chose to ignore this most significant and precious event. Nevertheless,
the Lords appearance and instructions are never in vain. His actions and
words always bring the highest benefit to everyone, and His plan is infallibly
successful whether or not we choose to cooperate.
The nature and qualities of the soul are the foundation of real spiritual
knowledge. One who does not understand the difference between matter and
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spirit is surely baffled in the pursuit of self-realization. This basic
understanding also allows us to recognize the advanced soul in pure God
consciousness (also called Ka consciousness or Christ consciousness).
Indeed, anyone who has realized the nature of the soul, the difference
between matter and spirit, and the relationship of the soul with the Supreme
Lord is fit to be a spiritual Master Teacher and disseminate the Esoteric
Teaching all over the world. The Lord therefore opens His instructions to
Jesus with these important and fundamental topics.
Real Spiritual Knowledge
The Lord began, My dear Jesus, you are speaking like a learned man, but
you do not seem to know that one who is actually learned does not lament
for any condition of the body, either living or dead. Assuming His role as
Spiritual Master, the Lord at once displayed the mood of the teacher and
chastised His student Jesus, insinuating that he was less-intelligent. The duty
of the Spiritual Master is to expose the shortcomings of the student, and then
supply relevant spiritual instructions to help him overcome his faults and
attain perfection. Therefore the Blessed Lord began His instruction by
informing Jesus that while he certainly expressed himself with all Scriptural
reasoning using very sophisticated language, by lamenting for himself, his
disciples and relatives he was mourning for something that was unworthy of
grief: the temporary material body. The Lord reminded him that those who
are truly wise lament neither for the living nor the dead. Despite his
intelligent words, Jesus apprehension and lamentation were actually
symptoms of spiritual weakness and ignorance.
Jesus wanted to avoid the imminent confrontation with the rabbis and
Pharisees. His excuse was that religious and ethical principles should override
considerations of mundane politics and social status. That conception is
certainly correct, as far as it goes. But he did not consider that realized
knowledge of the complex interrelationships of matter, soul and the Supreme
Personality of Godhead is even more important than religion, since this
esoteric knowledge paves the way to complete liberation from material
suffering. Because he apparently lacked this esoteric knowledge, consequently
he was lamenting for something that was unworthy of grief. The body is
temporary and will be vanquished in a short time; therefore the body is
unimportant compared to the eternal soul. Real knowledge means to know
the difference between matter and spirit and their proper relationship, and to
know the Lord as the Supreme Controller of both. One who knows thisnot
just theoretically but practicallyis actually learned, and for such a self-
realized soul the condition of the material body is never a cause of
lamentation.
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The wise lament neither for the living or the dead.
Eternal Life Guaranteed
The Lord reassured Jesus, There was never a time when I did not exist, nor
you, nor all these beings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. The
Lord continued imparting to Jesus the Esoteric Teaching of the fundamental
knowledge of the soul. The soul is eternal, without beginning or end. This
knowledge is actually the essential truth at the basis of all religions; however,
it is rarely taught explicitly in churches or other religious gatherings.
Nevertheless it is the fundamental axiom of all real theology and philosophy.
Moreover, the soul is personal and individual. Spiritual identity cannot be
separated from spiritual existence because just like the Lord, the soul is
always a person with his own eternal individuality.
The Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead is the maintainer of
innumerable living entities in the material and spiritual worlds. By Gods
Law, all of them experience different states of consciousness and embodiment
according to the reactions of their work. When the living entities actions are
material, they are in materially conditioned consciousness, but when they
perform spiritual activities, they attain liberation in spiritual consciousness.
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The Lord creates the material universes from His energy to give the
bewildered living entities in conditioned consciousness a place to learn the
Truth by hard lessons of experience. The same Supreme Personality of
Godhead is situated within the heart of every living entity by His plenary
expansion of the Supersoul. Only self-realized persons, who can see this same
Supreme Lord within and without, can actually attain to perfect and eternal
peace.
The same Absolute Truth that the Lord gave to Jesus in the Garden of
Gethsemane is also meant for everyone who poses as very learned, but
factually has but a poor fund of knowledge. That is, it is meant to benefit
every one of the deluded souls in this material world. The Lord says clearly
that He Himself, Jesus, and all the souls within the material and spiritual
worlds, including Jesus enemies, are eternally individual spiritual beings. The
Lord is eternally the maintainer of the individual living entities, in both their
conditioned and liberated states. He is the Supreme Lord, yet is always an
individual person, and Jesus, the Lords eternal associates in the spiritual
world, and all the souls in the material world are also individual eternal
persons. Their individuality and identity existed in the past, and will continue
in the future eternally without interruption. Therefore there is no cause for
lamentation for anyone, because there is no death of the eternal soul .
Eternal Individuality Confirmed
The Lord, the supreme authority, does not support the speculative
impersonalist theory that after death or liberation the individual soul is
released from the covering of illusion, loses his individual existence and
merges into spiritual oneness with the Lord. Nor does His statement support
the mistaken theory that only oneness is real, and we simply imagine our
individuality in the materially conditioned state of consciousness. The Lord
clearly says here and in many other places in the Scriptures of the world that
the individuality of the Lord and all other beings continues eternally. This
statement of the Lord is authoritative because God cannot be subject to
ignorance, error or illusion.
If the eternal individuality of the soul were not factual, then the Lord would
not have stressed it so mucheven eternally in the future. The impersonalist
may argue that the individuality spoken of by the Lord is not spiritual, but
material. Even if we accept for the sake of argument that the individuality of
ordinary persons is material, then how can we explain the Lords personality
and individuality? The Lord affirms His individual personality in the past and
eternally in the future; thus God also possesses eternal spiritual individuality.
If He becomes an ordinary conditioned soul in material consciousness
whenever He appears as an individual in this material world, then He would
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not be Supreme, and His Esoteric Teaching would have no value as
authoritative Scripture.
A human being conditioned by the defects of human frailtyillusion,
mistakes, imperfect intelligence and cheatingis unable to teach conclusive
knowledge of eternal Absolute Truth. The Esoteric Teaching is above such
human ignorance. No mundane knowledge can compare with the Esoteric
Teaching, either in its penetrating wisdom about the unseen world of the
spirit, or in the perfection, beauty and harmony of its assertions and its noble
philosophical conclusions. If one considers the Lord to be an ordinary being
due to His individuality, His Teaching loses all importance. This offensive
mentality forever closes the door to higher spiritual realization and ultimate
liberation from material suffering. To reject the Esoteric Teaching of the Lord
on the false grounds that His individuality is material, bringing Him within
the compass of relativity and subjecting Him to illusion, is certainly a most
perverted exercise of the Lords unconditional gift of free will.
The impersonalist may then argue that the individuality asserted by the Lord
is conventional and that it refers to the body. But the Lord already
condemned Jesus apparent lamentation due to material attachment prior to
His statement about the eternal nature of spiritual individuality. Therefore, it
would be self-contradictory for the Lord to base a proposition on the
conventional bodily platform after condemning the bodily conception of life.
Gods intelligence is never covered by such inconsistency. Therefore, we have
to accept that the individuality of every living beingincluding the Lord
exists eternally on the spiritual platform, and all great spiritual teachers
throughout history confirm this truth. The impersonalist theory of oneness of
the spirit soul with God is also flawed on the grounds that if all spirit is one
without individuality, then spirit cannot be cut into pieces to manifest the
individual souls. Such cutting into different individual souls would make the
Supreme cleavable or changeable, against the principle of the Supreme Soul
being one and unchangeable. Therefore the impersonalist theory is riddled
with internal contradictions. Actually impersonalism is only a sophisticated
excuse for fallible, deluded human beings to flatter themselves with the
illusion that they have become god. Truly intelligent and sincere persons
reject it.
Actually only devotees, or lovers of the Lord can understand spiritual
individuality properly. Those who are envious of God as the Supreme
Personality of Godhead and want to make Him impersonal have no access to
the esoteric realm. The non-devotees approach to the Esoteric Teaching is
like licking the outside of a bottle of honey. One cannot taste the honey
unless one opens the bottle. Similarly, only devotees in a loving service
relationship with the Lord can appreciate the mysticism of the Esoteric
Teaching, and no one else can taste it. Neither the impersonalists, nor the
atheists who foolishly deny the very existence of the Lord, can approach the
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mystical perfections of the Esoteric Teaching. Therefore, the impersonalist
philosophy of oneness (advaita-vda) is a misleading distortion. It is
dangerous to read the books of the impersonalists, for one who accepts such a
gross misunderstanding of spirituality loses all power to understand the
profound mystery of the Lords Teaching. If individuality refers only to our
limited experience within the material universe, then there is no need of
teaching by the Lord. The individuality of the soul and of the Lord is an
eternal fact, and is confirmed by all authentic sources of spiritual wi sdom.
This Esoteric Teaching is the greatest knowledge coming from beyond this
limited, imperfect material world.
Spiritual Identity
One may wonder how the soul maintains his individuality when passing out
of the body at the time of death. After all, our experience of identity is
commonly on the bodily platform, so it may be difficult to imagine any
identity beyond the material bodily conception of life. However, change of
the body happens not only at death; it occurs within this material life as well.
The Lord revealed this fact to Jesus: As the embodied soul passes from
childhood to youth to old age in this lifetime, the soul similarly passes into
another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by this
change. A self-realized person who understands what is soul and what is
body is not bewildered by the change of residence of the soul at death, since
he understands that although the body is changing, he himself (the soul)
retains the same consciousness and spiritual identity. Every living entity is an
individual soul, yet each is changing his body every moment, manifesting first
as a zygote, then a fetus, then a baby, then as a child, a youth, an adult, and
finally as an old man or woman. Yet the same spirit soul the same
personalityis there continually throughout the entire lifetime. At death the
individual soul finally changes the body completely and transmigrates to
another body. But the process of bodily transformation and transmigration of
the soul actually goes on continuously, both wi thin this lifetime and on into
the next at death.
Since the soul is sure to take another body in the next lifeeither material or
spiritualthere was no cause for lamentation by Jesus on account of death,
either for himself, for his enemies or for his disciples, for whom he was so
concerned. Rather, he should rejoice for their changing bodies from old to
new ones, thereby rejuvenating their energy and reaping the result of their
devotional activities in this life. The soul changes to a new body, complete
with suitable varieties of enjoyment and suffering, according to his work in
this life. So Jesus and his disciples, being noble souls, were surely going to
have either spiritual bodies in the next life, or at least life in heavenly bodies
for superior enjoyment of subtle material existence. In either case, there were
no grounds for lamentation.
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The soul changes bodies as a person changes garments
Impermanence of Happiness and
Distress
Anyone who has perfect knowledge of the constitution of the individual soul,
the Supersoul, and natureboth material and spiritualis a most sober,
most intelligent man. Such an advanced, self-realized student of the Esoteric
Teaching is never deluded by the change of bodies. As the Lord told Jesus in
the Garden of Gethsemane, The impermanent appearance and
disappearance of happiness and distress are natural occurrences like the
appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. Such
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dualities of material existence arise from sense perception, and one should
tolerate them without being disturbed. Therefore in the proper discharge of
ones religious and spiritual duty, one has to learn to tolerate the
nonpermanent appearances and disappearances of happiness and distress as
inevitable natural phenomena. No one stops working simply because the
weather changes with the seasons; a mature person executes his duty despite
climatic inconveniences. Similarly, to preach the Absolute Truth is the
religious principle of the wise spiritual Master Teachers of the Esoteric
Teaching, and although one has to struggle with some friend or relative, one
should not deviate from his prescribed duty. One has to follow religious
principles despite all temporary material inconveniences, because one
becomes liberated from the clutches of illusion only by deep understanding of
esoteric spiritual knowledge and selfless acts of devotion.
The Lord continued, O My son, O best among men, one who is not
disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly
eligible for liberation. The forms of address given to Jesus are significant.
To address him as best among men signifies his blood relations from his
mothers side, who were all great rabbis going back to King David and Moses;
and to address him as My son signifies his greatness from his Divine Fathers
side. Jesus has a great heritage from both sides of the family. A great heritage
brings heavy responsibility to maintain the exalted prestige of ones
distinguished forefathers; therefore, Jesus cannot avoid the proper discharge
of his religious duties.
Anyone who is steadily determined to attain the advanced stage of spiritual
realization and can tolerate the onslaughts of distress and happiness with
equanimity is certainly eligible for liberation. In the social institution of the
Esoteric Teaching, the renounced order of life (sannysa) is a difficult and
painstaking state of affairs. But one like Jesus who is serious about attaining
spiritual perfection certainly adopts the renounced order of life in spite of all
difficulties. The difficulties of the renounced order arise from having to sever
family attachment and give up all connection with wife and children. But for
anyone who is able to tolerate such difficulties, the path to complete spiritual
realization is clear. Similarly, the Lord is advising Jesus to persevere in his
discharge of duties as a renounced preacher, even if it is difficult to struggle
with his family members or similarly beloved friends and respected elders.
Jesus took the renounced order at an early age despite being the eldest son of
the family, for a higher cause. Now his Spiritual Master the Lord is advising
him to be steady in the discharge of higher duties, for that is the way of
achieving liberation from material bondage.
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Reality Distinguished from Illusion
The Lord reminded Jesus, Seers of the Truth have concluded that there is
no endurance of the nonexistent, and no cessation of the existent. The
seers determined this by studying the nature of both. This esoteric
statement contains deep ontological significance. In other words, temporary
material objects are actually nonexistent, precisely because they do not
persist eternally. Matter is always being transformed from one state to
another by the influence of time and conditions in the material world. While
material objects seem to have a solid, independent existence, this is actually a
dream. Modern science has revealed that the atoms of so-called solid matter
are really mostly empty space. Yet matter certainly seems solid and real to our
bodily senses; this is called my or illusion. Whereas spirit actually exists
because it is eternal and unchanging, even though it may seem like a dream
to our materially conditioned consciousness.
There is no endurance of the changing body. As discussed above, the body is
changing throughout life by the actions and reactions of different cells, and
thus growth, old age and death take place in the body. This is obvious to
everyone. But the person within the body, the spirit soul, exists permanently,
remaining the same identity despite all changes of the body and mind. This is
commonsense wisdom, and it is also the difference between matter and spirit.
By nature, the body is ever changing, and the soul is eternal. This conclusion
is accepted by all seers of spiritual Truth, both impersonalist and personalist.
Thus according to all seers of Truth, the terms existent and nonexistent, real
and illusory apply only to spirit and matter, respectively.
This great Truth is the cornerstone of the Lords Esoteric Teaching to the
living entities bewildered by the influence of ignorance in the material world.
Complete removal of this ignorance requires understanding the difference
between the infinitesimal living entities and the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, and the consequent re-establishment of the eternal relationship
between the worshiper and the worshipable Lord. One can understand the
nature of the Supreme by thorough study of this Esoteric Teaching. The
difference between oneself and the Supreme is the relationship between the
part and the whole. The individual soul is incomplete without this
relationship with the Lord, just as the finger or the nose is incomplete
without the rest of the body.
In the ancient Scriptures of the Esoteric Teaching such as Vednta-stra and
rmad-Bhgavatam, the Supreme is described as the origin of all emanations.
Such emanations of superior and inferior energy from the spiritual potency of
the Lord occur automatically by a natural process in response to His will. The
living entities belong to the superior energy of the Lord. Although there is no
qualitative difference between the emanated energy and the energetic source,
the source is the Supreme, and the energy or nature is subordinate to His
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control. The living entities are always therefore subordinate to the Supreme
Lord, as the servant is subordinate to the master and the student to the
teacher. Such clear knowledge is impossible to understand under the spell of
illusion, but the Lord speaks the Esoteric Teaching to illuminate the Truth
and break the spell of ignorance for the eternal enlightenment of all living
entities.
Qualities of the Soul
The Lord continued, Know that the soul, which pervades the entire body,
is indestructible. No one can kill the immortal soul. This explains the
existential condition of the soul, who feels as if he is spread throughout the
body. Anyone can understand what pervades the body: consciousness.
Everyone is conscious of the pains and pleasures of their body, both as a
whole and in every one of its parts. This permeation of consciousness is
limited to ones own body. The pains and pleasures of other bodies are
unknown to the individual soul. Therefore, each body is the embodiment of
an individual soul, and the symptoms of the souls presence are the life force
and individual consciousness.
The Scriptures of the Esoteric Teaching describe the size of the soul as one
ten-thousandth of the tip of a hair point, and such fundamental spiritual
particles are innumerable. Therefore, the individual spirit soul is a
transcendental spiritual particle smaller than a material atom. Nevertheless,
this tiny spiritual spark is the energetic animating principle or life force of the
material body, and the influence of this tiny spiritual particle is spread
throughout the body, just as the effect of a powerful drug spreads throughout
the body. The energy of the spirit soul pervades the body as consciousness
and life force, and that is the direct proof of the presence of the soul.
Anyone can understand that a material body minus consciousness and life
force is a dead body, and that once death occurs, the life force withdraws
from the body and no material measures can revive consciousness. Therefore,
life energy and consciousness are not due to any combination of material
substances or conditions, but to the presence of the spirit soul. The soul is
subatomic in size, yet he can be perceived by perfect intelligence. The spirit
soul is situated within the heart, and when he is purified from the
contamination of material consciousness, he exhibits his spiritual influence.
So any sane man can directly feel and observe the influence and energy of the
atomic soul in his practical experience.
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The body changes, but the soul remains the same
The influence of the atomic soul pervades each living body, but because the
soul is beyond the observational power of material scientists, some of them
foolishly assert that there is no soul. It is a fact that material scientific
instruments cannot directly measure the purely spiritual soul. However, the
individual soul is seated in the heart along with his source the Supersoul, and
thus all the life energies of the body emanate from the heart. The corpuscles
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that carry oxygen from the lungs gather energy from the soul. When the soul
passes away from his position in the heart, the life-giving activity of the heart
and blood ceases. Medical science accepts the importance of the heart and red
blood corpuscles, but it cannot ascertain that the source of the life energy is
the soul. Medical science, however, does admit that the heart is the seat of all
energies of the body. This is indirect proof of the existence of the soul.
The Lord is like the sun, and the spirit souls are like the innumerable radiant
photons of sunshine emanating from the sun. The spirit souls are living,
conscious sparks of the effulgent rays of the Supreme Lord, and thus they are
called His superior energy. The dull, non-living material energy is His inferior
energy, because it is temporary and constantly transformed from one state to
another by the influence of time. When the superior energy becomes covered
by the inferior energy in the form of the material body, he loses his natural
spiritual consciousness and becomes identified with the temporary material
body. This is an incompatible situation. The Supreme Personality of
Godhead, the source of emanation of the spirit souls and the Father of all
living entities, therefore periodically descends to the various planets of the
material world and describes the science of the soul in great detail, or sends
one of His beloved sons just to save His dear children from the sufferings of
material ignorance by spreading the Esoteric Teaching.
Body and Soul
The material body is perishable by nature. It may expire tomorrow, or after a
hundred years; it is only a question of time. There is no chance whatsoever of
living forever in any material form. Therefore the Lord reminded Jesus in the
garden: Only the material body of the indestructible, unlimited and eternal
living entity is subject to death; therefore fight for the Truth, O My son. So
from both sides there is no cause for lamentation because the living entity can
never be killed, nor can the material body be protected permanently. The
minute individual particle of spirit acquires his material body according to
the quality of his work, and therefore we should observe religious principles
for advancement of our spiritual position in life. The spiritual living entity is
qualified as light because he is part and parcel of the Supreme Light, the Lord.
As sunlight maintains the entire universe, so the light of the soul maintains
this material body. As soon as the spirit soul is out of this material body, the
body begins to decompose; therefore the spirit soul maintains this body. The
body itself is unimportant. Therefore Jesus was advised to fight for the sake of
the Absolute Truth and sacrifice the material body for the cause of religion.
The Lord continued to instruct Jesus, saying: He who thinks that the living
entity is the slayer or that he is slain, does not understand. One who is in
knowledge knows that the self slays not nor is slain. When weapons fatally
injure the body of the embodied living entity, we should understand that the
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living entity within the body is not killed. The spirit soul is so small that it is
impossible to kill him by any material weapon; nor is the living entity mortal
or killable because of his spiritual constitution. Only the body can be killed.
Nevertheless this does not at all encourage killing of the body of any
embodied being, human or animal. It is best never to commit violence to
anyone. Killing the body without authority is abominable and punishable by
the law of the state and by the Law of the Lord. For people who are actually
religious, any kind of killing is repulsive.
Kings and state administrators, however, may sometimes kill criminals and
other wrongdoers to protect the principles of religion in society. The
principle here is that once a person has become so fallen and insane as to
rape, assault or kill others, they themselves must be killed to purify them and
prevent them from committing further violence. This minimizes the
punishment they must bear in the next life. So for the state authorities to
execute a violent criminal is actually non-violence because it protects both
the criminal and his potential victims.
However, the Roman state authorities colluded with the Jewish rabbis in the
murder conspiracy against Jesus, and this is certainly against the principles of
religion. Jesus was not a criminal, never harmed anyone, and indeed was
acting as a perfect traditional religious renunciant and teacher. Such traveling
preachers benefit the whole society by spreading spiritual knowledge and
Love of God, therefore the state must protect such genuine men of God at all
costs. To attempt to execute such a great soul like a common criminal is a
great and terrible offense, and was certainly the cause of the subsequent
destruction of Jerusalem and the diaspora and other persecutions of the Jews.
Only the Body is Slain
The Lord continued, 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.
The spirit soul is an atomic fragment of the Supreme Spirit. Although he is
quantitatively infinitesimal, he is qualitatively one with the Supreme. He
therefore undergoes no changes of conception, gestation, birth, growth,
maturity, old age and death like the body. The soul is eternally steady in his
spiritual nature. The soul is not born, but because he accepts a material body,
the body forms, grows and takes its birth. The soul does not take birth, and
does not die. Anything that is born also must die; whatever is created must
also be destroyed. This is the law of all material existence; but since the soul
is spiritual, this law does not apply to him.
Because the soul has no birth or death, he therefore has no past, present or
future. He is beyond time; he is eternal, ever existing, and primevalthat is,
just as there is no possibility of the eternal soul dying in the future, there is
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no history of his coming into being at any time in the past. Because we are
conditioned by the limitations of material existence, we want to understand
the history of birth and past lives of the soul. But the soul is actually not
subject to such temporal limitation. Concepts such as an old soul are simply
nonsense. The soul never becomes old, as the body does. A so-called old man
feels himself to be the same person, in the same consciousness as in his
childhood or youth. The personality and individual identity of the soul are
unchangeable.
The changes of the body do not affect the soul. The soul does not deteriorate
like everything material does. The soul has no by-product either. The by-
products of the body, namely children, are also embodied individual souls;
owing to bodily relations, they appear as children of a particular man and
woman. But actually they are eternally separate individuals. The body
develops because of the souls presence, but the soul has neither offshoots nor
change. Therefore, the soul is always free from the temporary conditions and
changes of the body.
Consciousness is the principal symptom of the soul. The soul is full of
knowledge, or eternally conscious. Even if we cannot observe the soul
situated within the heart, we can still understand the presence of the soul by
the presence of consciousness. As soon as there is a little light in the sky early
in the morning, we can understand that the sun is in the sky, even if we
cannot see the sun itself directly. Sometimes we cannot see the sun in the sky
because of clouds; but the light of the sun is there, and so we are convinced
of the presence of the sun in the sky by indirect evidence. Similarly, since
there is some consciousness in all living bodieswhether man or animalwe
can understand the presence of the soul. Even plants are conscious of the
light and turn to follow it. Therefore the living soul is present even in plants.
This consciousness of the soul is, however, quantitatively different from the
consciousness of the Supreme. The Supreme Lord is conscious of all
knowledgepast, present and future; but the consciousness of the individual
soul is limited, because it is covered by forgetfulness. When the soul is
forgetful of his real nature, he obtains education and enlightenment from the
superior lessons of the Lord through the Esoteric Teaching. But God is not
forgetful like the soul. If He were, His Esoteric Teaching would be useless.
Therefore there are two kinds of soulsnamely the minute individual soul
and the Supreme Soul or Supersoul. Both the Supersoul and the atomic soul
are situated on the same tree of the body within the heart, but only one who
has become free from all material desire and lamentation can truly
understand the glories of the soul by the grace of the Supreme. The Supreme
Lord is the origin of the Supersoul, as the Lord will disclose in the following
chapters, and Jesus is playing the role of the atomic soul, forgetful of his real
nature, who requires to be enlightened by the Lord, or by His bona fide
representative through the agency of the Esoteric Teaching.
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The Supersoul and the living entity are like two friendly birds,
both seated on the tree of the body
The Lord continued, exclaiming, O My son Jesus, how can a person who
knows that the soul is indestructible, unborn, eternal and immutable, kill
anyone or cause anyone to kill? Anyone who really knows the nature and
constitution of the soul can understand that it is useless to kill. The soul
cannot be killed, and killing his body merely forces him to change his
embodiment. Besides, one who kills has to accept severe sinful reactions for
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depriving the victim of his current embodiment before his natural time of
death, forcing him to create another one. This delays the souls progress on
the path of spiritual knowledge; therefore murder is always considered the
most serious crime because it interferes so seriously with the spiritual
advancement of the victim.
Everything has its proper utility in spiritual life, and an enlightened man
situated in complete knowledge knows how and where to apply everything so
that it aids the development of spiritual illumination. Similarly, violence also
has its utility, but to apply violence properly is only possible for the self-
realized person in knowledge of the Esoteric Teaching. Although the court
awards capital punishment to a person condemned for murder, the judge,
jury or members of the legislature cannot be blamed. The court orders violent
punishment to a murderer or other capital offender according to the
principles of justice. According to the codes of spiritual justice, a murderer
should be condemned to death so that in he will not have to suffer for the
great sin he has committed his next life. Therefore, the governments
punishment of executing a murderer is actually beneficial for him. A surgical
operation is not meant to kill the patient, but to cure him. Therefore the
violence ordered by the court to punish a violent criminal is in harmony with
full knowledge of the soul, so there is no possibility of sinful reaction in that
case.
Changing the Body
The Lord explained, The soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the
old and useless ones as a person puts on new garments, giving up the old
ones. Change of body by the atomic individual soul is an inescapable fact.
Although the atheistic scientists do not believe in the existence of the soul,
they cannot explain the source of life energy in the heart. They also have to
accept continuous changes of body from babyhood to childhood, childhood
to youth, to maturity and from maturity to old age. They cannot stop or
retard the process of changing bodies by any amount of technology or
medicine. From old age, the change of body transfers the soul from the old,
worn-out body to a new one. Inevitable death is the law of nature and the
Law of God.
The grace of the Supersoul makes possible this transference or transmigration
of the atomic individual soul from one body to another body. The Supersoul
fulfills the desire of the atomic soul as one friend fulfills the desire of
anotherout of love. The Esoteric Teaching compares the soul and the
Supersoul to two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the
individual atomic soul) is eating the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree, and
the other bird (the Supersoul) is simply watching His friend. Of these two
birdsalthough they are the same in qualitythe fruits of the material tree
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captivate the individual soul, while the Supersoul is simply wi tnessing the
activities of His friend with great compassion.
In the present case, the Lord is the witnessing bird, and Jesus is the eating
bird. Although they are intimately related as Divine Father and son, one is
still the Master and the other is the servant. Forgetfulness of this relationship
by the atomic soul is the cause of material entrapment, forcing him to change
his position from one tree to another, or from one body to another. The bird
of the soul is struggling very hard on the tree of the material body, trying to
enjoy its fruits. But as soon as he agrees to accept the other bird as the
supreme Spiritual Masteras Jesus agreed to do by voluntary surrender unto
the Lord for instructionthe subordinate bird immediately becomes free
from all lamentation. The ancient texts of the Esoteric Teaching confirm this:
Although the two birds are in the same tree, the eating bird is fully
engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree.
But if in some way or other he turns his face to his friend the Lord, and
knows His gloriesat once the suffering bird becomes free from all
anxieties.
Hearing from the Lord
Jesus has now turned his face towards his eternal friend, the Supreme
Godhead, and is hearing the Esoteric Teaching from Him. And by receiving
the Esoteric Teaching directly from the Lord, he can understand the Lords
supreme glories and be freed from all lamentation. But as Jesus states
elsewhere, whatever he has done, we can also do. We can also acquire
faultless knowledge of Transcendence and be freed from all lamentation by
hearing the same Teaching with great care and attention from a bona fide
Spiritual Master in the line of the Esoteric Teaching.
Jesus is advised herewith by the Lord not to fear nor lament for the imminent
bodily change of his relatives, his disciples and himself. He should rather be
happy that they might be cleansed of all reactions from various sinful bodily
activities and rejuvenated with new embodiments for further progress in
spiritual life. One who lays down his life on the sacrificial altar of religious
life, or in the proper battlefield for the right spiritual cause, is at once
cleansed of bodily reactions and promoted to a higher status of life. So there
was no cause for Jesus lamentation except the mistaken bodily conception of
life.
The Lord emphasized, The soul can never be cut into pieces by any
weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor
withered by the wind. 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. No weapon, force of
material nature or magical power is able to kill or harm the spirit soul. Nor is
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it possible to separate the individual soul from the original Supersoul. The
impersonalists cannot understand how the individual soul fell from the
spiritual world and consequently became covered by the gross and subtle
illusory material energy of the body. The eternal atomic individual souls are
similar in quality to the Supreme, but they are weak. When out of ignorance
they desire to become separated from the association of the Supreme Lord,
they are prone to be attacked by illusion, just as sparks of a fire, although one
in quality with the fire, are easily extinguished when out of the fire.
Thus, the living entities are separated parts of the Supreme. They are eternally
related to the Supreme, but they are also eternally individual. So, even after
being liberated from illusion, the soul retains hi s individual identity. Jesus
became liberated from his apparent ignorance by the esoteric knowledge he
received from the Lord, but he never became one with Him or lost his
personal identity. Oneness with God is possible only in terms of spiritual
qualities. The qualifications of the spirit soul indicate that he is eternally an
atomic particle of the spirit whole, and he remains the same individual
eternally, without change. The theory of monism is impossible to apply to the
soul, because the individual soul never becomes one with God. After
liberation from material conditioned consciousness, the atomic soul may
prefer to return to being an atomic spiritual spark in the effulgent rays of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the intelligent souls enter into the
spiritual planets to personally associate with the Personality of Godhead in
the eternal planets of the spiritual world.
The word all-pervading is significant because there is no doubt that living
entities are all over Gods creation. They live on the land, in the water, in the
air, within the earth and even within fire. The theory that they are sterilized
in fire is untrue, because it is clearly stated by the Lord that the soul cannot
be burned by fire. The body may be burned by fire, but not the soul.
Therefore it is certain that living entities exist on every planet, even in the
sun, with embodiments suited to the local conditions. If the planets and stars
were uninhabited, then the Lords statement that the souls are all-
pervadingliving everywherewould be untrue. Since the Lord can never
lie, then there must be living beings on every planet.
Freedom from Lamentation
The Lord pointed out, It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable,
immutable, and unchangeable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the
body. If, however, you think that the soul is perpetually born and always
dies, still you still have no reason to lament, O My son. The soul is so
small that even the most powerful microscope cannot resolve him, and in any
case, since he is composed of spiritual energy, he is invisible to our material
senses and their technological extensions. Therefore no one can establish his
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existence or nonexistence by any material experiment. The real proof of the
existence of the soul is hearing from the Lord and His designated authorities
like Jesus. This is the way of the Esoteric Teaching. We have to accept the
immanent existence of the soul as Truth, because the Lord has spoken it and
there is no empirical source of proof. There is no recourse beyond Divine
authority in matters of Transcendence. The spirit soul is consciousness and
consciousthat is the statement of the Esoteric Teaching, and we have to
accept that. However, since the symptom of the soul is consciousness, his
existence is easily proven by subjective perception. We are conscious;
therefore we are spirit souls.
Our human senses and mental faculties are limited and imperfect, especially
in matters of spirituality. There are many Truths we have to accept solely on
grounds of superior authority. No one can deny the existence of his father,
for he has taken birth. But one can know the identity of the father with
certainty only by the authority of his mother. There is no more reliable
source of understanding the identity of ones father than by the authority of
ones mother. Similarly, there is no more reliable source of understanding the
soul than hearing the Esoteric Teaching of the Lord, either directly or from
one who has received it by disciplic succession. In other words, the soul is
inconceivable by human experimental knowledge. Unlike the bodily changes,
there is no change in the soul. The Supreme Soul is infinite, and the atomic
soul is infinitesimal. As eternally unchangeable, the soul always remains
atomic in comparison to the infinite Supersoul. Therefore the infinitesimal
soul, being unchangeable, can never become equal to the infinite soul, or the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. This concept is repeated in the religions of
the world in many different ways just to confirm the stability of the
conception of the soul. Repetition of a great Truth is necessary so we can
understand the matter thoroughly, from all angles of vision without error.
There is a class of philosophers who disbelieve in the separate existence of
the soul beyond the body. When the Lord spoke the Esoteric Teaching to
Jesus, Buddhism already existed, and its teachings certainly had spread from
India through the caravanserai to the Middle East. Some Buddhist
philosophers maintain that the symptoms of life energy and consciousness
occur under certain material conditions. The modern material scientists and
atheistic philosophers also promote this idea, as if it were their own.
According to them, the body is a combination of physical elements, and the
symptoms of life develop at a certain stage of interaction of physical energies
and chemical elements. The sciences of anthropology and physiology are
based on that idea. Currently, besides the nihilistic non-devotional sects of
Buddhism, many New Age pseudo-religions also adhere to that theory.
For the benefit of those whose spiritual vision is blinded by that
misunderstanding, the Lord points out that even if Jesus did not believe in
the existence of the soul, there still is no cause for lamentation. According to
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the nihilist philosophy, the soul vanishes along with the death of the body.
According to that theory, there are many living entities generating out of
matter every moment, and many of them being vanquished at every moment,
so there is no need to grieve for anyones death, even our own. No one should
stop discharging his duty because of anticipating the loss of a certain batch of
chemicals. Indeed, in modern science and technological warfare, many tons
of chemicals are wasted for temporary economic development and raining
death upon the enemy.
So in any case, whether or not Jesus accepted the Lords conclusion that there
is an atomic soul, he had no reason to lament. Whatever his opinion of the
nature of the soul, Jesus had no reason to be afraid of death, either f or his
disciples or himself. Nor did he need to fear being affected with sinful
reactions due to the Lords killing his relatives, the rabbis and Pharisees, on
his account.
The Lord continued, For one who has taken 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. All created beings are unmanifest in
their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when
they are annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation? The law of
nature forces birth and death upon us; this is also the Law of God. We have
to take birth to receive the results of the activities of our past life. If we have
been pious and good in the past, our present life situation will be favorable
for self-realization and spiritual advancement. If we have been selfish and
cruel, we are born into an unfortunate situation. Then after finishing our lifes
term of activities, we have to die to take birth for the next. In this way the
cycle of birth and death is revolving, one lifetime after the other, until we
attain to perfect self-realization in pure Love of Godhead.
The facts that we are trapped in a repetitive cycle of rebirth and that death is
inevitable do not support unnecessary murder, slaughter and war. It is not for
us to decide the time and manner of death, either for others or for ourselves;
death will come in Gods good time. However, violence and war are inevitable
factors in human society, both for keeping law and order and as a result of
undeveloped peoples gross foolishness and vicious selfishness. The murder
conspiracy against Jesus and his disciples was inevitable, being the will of the
Supreme Lord. To sacrifice ones life for the Supreme Absolute Truth is the
highest duty of a religious renunciant.
Yet the perpetrators of such a heinous deed certainly deserve the most severe
punishment. And history shows that soon after Jesus murder and the
martyrdom of his disciples, Jerusalem was ruthlessly conquered, its beautiful
Temple sacked and destroyed. This violence was the justice of the Lord
against the evil deeds of the Jewish elders. So why should Jesus be afraid of or
aggrieved upon his disciples or his own death, since by giving up their lives
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for the highest cause they were discharging their proper duty? As the most
prominent son of God, Jesus did not deserve to break the Law of God,
thereby becoming subject to sinful reactions, of which he was so afraid. And
even by avoiding the proper discharge of his duty, he still would not be able
to stop the death of his relatives by the will of the Lord, who had already
condemned them, and he would also become degraded due to choosing the
wrong path of action.
The Lords instructions to Jesus reveal that He has penetrated to the root of
Jesus dilemma. Jesus real question is not about ethics and duty, but a
lingering doubt about the ontological position of the soul. Once Jesus
understands clearly who and what he really is, he will automatically choose
the right course. The Lord accordingly selects an argument that Jesus, as co-
creator of the universe, will understand. Accepting that there are two kinds of
philosophyone accepting the existence of the soul and the other rejecting
itin either case there is no cause for lamentation. Those who deny the
existence of the soul are considered atheists by followers of the Esoteric
Teaching, even if they superficially profess to be religious.
The Lords point is that even if, for arguments sake, we provisionally accept
the atheistic theory, there is still no cause for Jesus to lament. Apart from the
separate existence of the individual soul, the material elements remain
unmanifest before creation. From this subtle state of noumenon a natural
process produces the tangible manifestation: from unmanifest noumena, air is
generated; from air, fire is generated; from fire, water is generated; and from
water, earth becomes manifested. Other works in the literature of the Esoteric
Teaching discuss this process of creation in detail.
Let us take as an example a big skyscraper manifested from the earth. When
the raw materials of the skyscraperiron ore, sand, silica, copper, and so
forthare in the earth, the skyscraper is unmanifest. The skyscraper begins
the process of manifestation as an inspiration in the mind of the architect or
builder. This is the stage of noumenon. Then a complex process of
engineering, manufacturing, planning and building takes place, starting from
using sound in air to communicate the architects vision, the use of fire and
water in factories to create steel, glass and other materials. Thus gradually the
ingredients and structure of the complete skyscraper become manifest. Once
constructed, the skyscraper remains in the manifest state for some time.
When it is demolished or otherwise destroyed, the skyscraper again becomes
unmanifest. When the entire material universe is destroyed at some far future
date, the material of the skyscraper will remain as potential energy in the
unmanifest state of the universe.
The Law of Conservation of Energy still holds, but in the course of time
material objects are manifest and unmanifestthat is the only difference.
Then what cause is there for lamentation, either in the stage of phenomenon
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or noumenon? By Gods Law, even in the unmanifest stage, nothing is lost.
Both at the beginning and at the end, all the material elements remain
unmanifest, and only in the middle are they manifested. From the spiritual
perspective of eternity, none of this makes any real difference because it is all
impermanent. And if we accept the conclusion of the Esoteric Teaching that
these material bodies are perishable in due course of time but the soul is
eternal, then we will understand that the body is like a suit of clothes;
therefore why lament changing a suit? The material body has no factual
existence in relation to the eternal soul; it is something like a dream. In a
dream we may think of flying in the sky or riding in a chariot, but when we
wake up we can see that we are neither flying nor seated on a chariot. The
wisdom of the Esoteric Teaching encourages self-realization on the basis that
the existence of the material body is a temporary illusion. Therefore whether
one believes in the existence of the soul or not, in either case there is no
cause for lamentation for loss of the body.
The Amazing Soul
The Lord concluded His teaching on the soul: Some look at the soul as
amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing;
while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all. O
My son, he who dwells in the body is eternal and can never be slain.
Therefore you need not grieve for any creature. The fact that the atomic
soul is the source of life and consciousness in the body of a human being, a
gigantic whale or banyan tree, and also in microbes, billions of which can fit
in a cubic inch of space, is certainly very amazing. Those who have but a poor
fund of esoteric knowledge and are not austere cannot understand the
wonders of the individual atomic spiritual spark, even though it is explained
by the greatest authority of knowledge, the Supreme Lord who imparted
lessons even to Jesus, the co-creator of this universe. Intelligent people
consider the soul wonderful, either by constitution or by description. But
most people cannot imagine how such a tiny particle can be the source of
energy and consciousness in all living bodies, both great and small, because
of their gross material misconception of life. Deceived by material illusion,
most people are so engrossed in searching for sense gratification that they
think they have no time to study self-realization, even though without self-
realization they must accept ultimate defeat in the struggle for existence.
To be truly happy and successful in l ife, one has to understand the Truth of
the nature and position of the soul, and also work to build a devotional
spiritual relationship with the Lord. This is the only effective way to make a
final solution to the universal material problems of birth, old age, disease and
death. Some people who are inclined to hear about the soul may be searching
for spiritual knowledge, and this is good. But because they are ignorant of the
existence of the Esoteric Teaching, false teachers who promote the theory of
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oneness of the Supersoul and the atomic soul, ignoring the distinction of
magnitude, are able to misguide them. It is very difficult to find a man who
perfectly understands the positions of the atomic soul and the Supersoul,
their respective functions, relationships and all other major and minor
details, and who is able to describe the qualities and condition of the soul in
different stages of spiritual development. And it is still more difficult to find a
man who has actually derived full benefit from this knowledge of the soul.
But if one is able to understand the subject matter of the soul by association
with an authorized Master Teacher of the Esoteric Teaching, then ones life is
successful. The easiest process for understanding the subject matter of the
soul is to accept the statements of the Esoteric Teaching spoken by the
greatest authority, the Lord, without being deviated by speculative theories of
human origin. But it also requires a great deal of penance and sacrifice, both
in this life and in previous ones, before one is able to accept the Lord as the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord can be known as He is in fullness
only by the causeless mercy of the pure devotee.
The Lord now concludes His instruction to Jesus on the immutable spirit
soul. In describing the immortal soul in various ways, the Lord establishes
that the soul is eternal and the body is temporary. Therefore Jesus must not
abandon his duty as a religious renunciant out of fear that he, his disciples or
his relatives the rabbis and Pharisees will die. On the authority of the Lord,
one must believe that he is a soul different from the material body, and not
accept any of the various bewildering materialistic theories about the origin
and cause of life and consciousness. Though the soul is immortal, violence is
discouraged except when there is a need to protect the stability of society and
the safety of the citizens from the destructive acts of criminals. That need
must be justified in terms of the sanction of the Law of God, and to evaluate
this need is the duty of the enl ightened man in knowledge of the real nature
of the soul. Therefore for the spiritual protection of society, a class of
enlightened men of wisdom must exist to guide the activities of society in
general and the policies of the state administrators in particular. In the
present age, the only truly enlightened sages are the self-realized Master
Teachers, students and disciples of the Esoteric Teaching, for theirs is the
only disciplic succession of revealed spiritual knowledge that is currently
intact and remains true to its original source without any change or
distortion.
Thus end the Bhaktisiddhartha purports of the Second Chapter of The Book of
Gethsemane in the matter of the Nature of the Soul. All glories to the Holy Name
of the Lord!
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Chapter 3
The Art of Spiritual Work
Going Beyond Karma
The Supreme Lord has elaborately explained the nature and constitution of
the soul. Because the soul is an eternal particle of individual consciousness,
there is no cause for lamentation for anyone. Only spirit really exists, and
material forms are illusory; this is the fundamental spiritual Truth. Now the
Lord will explain how to put this knowledge into action, and show us how to
go beyond the effects of karma by engaging our work in the service of the
Supersoul. The Esoteric Teaching prescribes different material duties for
different kinds of human beings. By steady performance of our specific
occupational duties, we become qualified to receive spiritual knowledge from
a Master Teacher of the Esoteric Teaching. When we are in knowledge, we
can shift the purpose of our work to satisfying the Supreme Lord. At this
point, our work ceases to generate karma or material effects, and becomes
fully spiritualized.
The Supreme Lord, having finished describing the position and qualities of
the soul, continued teaching Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane:
Considering your specific duty as a renounced preacher, you should know
that there is no better engagement for you than sacrificing your life for
religious principles; so there no need for hesitation. There are two kinds of
religious duties. As long as one is materially conditioned, one has to perform
the duties of his particular occupational division and spiritual position with
the aim of achieving liberation. When one is liberated, ones duty becomes
spiritual and is no longer in the material bodily concept.
The Esoteric Teaching divides duties on the bodily platform into four
occupational divisions and four degrees of spiritual development. These
duties are mans steppingstone to spiritual understanding and enlightenment.
Human civilization begins from the stage of specific duties in terms of the
qualities of the individual body and mind. The Lord ordains these specific
duties according to personal abilities and spiritual qualifications; they are
never assigned on the basis of bodily family heredity. Performing ones
specific duty in any field of action in accordance with the occupational
instructions of the Esoteric Teaching automatically elevates one to a higher
status of spiritual life. The Lord will explain this subject elaborately in the
Esoteric Teaching.
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In the bodily conception of life there are specific duties for the four different
types of men: intellectuals, administrators, merchants and workers.
According to the social institution of the Esoteric Teaching, these
occupational divisions of society are universal. By Gods Law, activities
according to ones bodily and mental qualities and degree of spiritual
development are unavoidable. The laws of nature require us to act according
to our psychological and physical constitution. For example, a soldier must
fight, and will automatically create or attract situations in which he must
fight according to his karmathe same with a priest, a businessman or a
worker. No one can avoid their duty in life. Everyone must work according to
his God-given talents and abilities, or he will suffer. All people have a specific
propensity for certain kind of work. We must perform work suitable to the
qualities of our mind and body, or we will be in difficulty by the power of the
Law of God.
The Highest Order
Jesus was a member of the traditional spiritual order of renunciants. In the
ancient tradition of spiritual life based on the Esoteric Teaching, the four
social orders of occupational duties are 1) workers and servants; 2)
businessmen, bankers, farmers and traders; 3) political administrators and
warriors; and 4) intellectuals, educators and the priestly order. Out of these
four orders of occupational division, the order most important for the peace
and well being of the entire society is the intelligent priestly order or
brhmaas. The brhmaa class was represented in Jewish society of Jesus
time by the rabbis. In the ancient wisdom-language of Sanskrit, Brahman
means the all-pervading Spirit of God. So the brhmaas are those who know
Brahman or spirit. A qualified brhmaa can understand the confidential
conclusions of the revealed Scriptures because he is trained from an early age
in the principles of religion. More important, he has heard and understood
the Esoteric Teaching from a qualified spiritual Master Teacher. This of
course implies that he has served the Teacher favorably and submitted
relevant inquiries about the Absolute Truth, and the Teacher has satisfied his
inquiries and doubts by presenting the authorized truths from the Scriptures
of the Esoteric Teaching according to his own level of realization. In addition,
the true brhmaa has attained an advanced degree of direct personal self-
realization of the Absolute Truth.
The principal duty of the brhmaa class is to guide, advise and educate
human society in the principles of religion. They are the educators of the
young, the interpreters of Scripture in any situation where its purport or
application are unclear, advisors to the government, and the priests in all
religious ceremonies meant for the purification of human existence. As such,
they have to be perfect examples of spotless character. Unfortunately, as the
present historical age of spiritual ignorance deepens in its effect, there are
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fewer qualified brhmaas and more cheating impostors posing as religious
teachers. At this point in time, people are cynical and discouraged about
religion due to the lack of truly qualified brhmaas in society. Why? Instead
of remaining unified in their knowledge and realization of the Esoteric
Teaching, the false charlatans have split religion into innumerable competing
bogus sects, and as a result people are bewildered about the real purpose of
religion, and suffering from ignorance of the actual principles of religion. A
strong class of qualified brhmaas well-versed in the Absolute Truth and
unified in their understanding is required for peace and felicity in human
society.
The highest stage of brhmaa is the renunciant or sannys who has given up
all attachment to home and family, and renounced all other material
engagements for the highest duty of traveling and teaching the Absolute
Truth. Jesus was a perfect sannys brhmaa in all respects. The less-
intelligent rabbis and Pharisees, who were still limited to the lower stages of
priestly duties because of their lack of self-realization, were envious of him.
This was their great misfortune, for the Lord takes an offense to His pure
devotee much more seriously than an offense to Himself. Because of their
great offense to Jesus, out of anger the Lord was ready to destroy the rabbis
and Pharisees, burn their Temple to the ground and scatter the entire Jewish
people throughout the earth, and He wanted Jesus to be the instrument of His
retribution.
The Supreme Sacrifice
A bona fide sannys has given up all proprietorship of his own life and
turned everything over to the Supreme Lord for His pleasure. He has already
sacrificed everything to the highest cause, and is thereby as good as a dead
man already. He personally has nothing to gain or lose from his activities,
because they are all spiritual and offered to the Lord. Because of this sacrifice,
a sannys is eligible for achieving the highest heavenly destination after
death, as the righteous brhmaas attain the heavenly planets by performing
innumerable religious rituals and other sacrifices for the good of the whole
human society.
Therefore, from the point of view of the Esoteric Teaching, there is no
difference between a pious warrior losing his life on the battlefield and the
sacrifice performed when a sannys gives up his life in the line of duty. The
pious kings chivalrous fighting in the field of battle for the sake of religious
principles is not considered an act of violence, because everyone is benefited
by the results of performing spiritual duty. Similarly, when a holy renunciant
voluntarily gives up his comfortable home and takes on the difficult task of
spreading religious principles to every class of human beings, the entire
society benefits from his selfless sacrifice, even when ignorant people
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violently interfere with his mission. Thus Jesus ultimate sacrifice was
pleasing to the Lord, and He wanted Jesus to continue without deviating from
the path He had chosen, for this would be beneficial to Jesus and to everyone
else.
The Lord therefore stated, O Jesus, happy are the sannyss to whom such
opportunities for preaching and sacrifice come unsought, opening for them
the doors of the heavenly planets. As Supreme Teacher of the universe, the
Lord reproves the attitude of Jesus who said, I do not see any good in this
confrontation. It will cause us all to go to hell. Such statements by Jesus
were due to apparent ignorance. He wanted to avoid violence in the discharge
of his specific duty as a preacher. For a renounced preacher to get the
opportunity to make the ultimate sacrifice, and then want to evade his duty is
the philosophy of a cowardly fool. The sannyss duty is to protect the
citizens from all kinds of spiritual difficulties by sacrificing their personal
comfort to teach religious principles in society by their personal example. To
perform this duty successfully he has to tolerate violence in suitable cases for
the higher cause. Therefore he has to conquer the soldiers of material desires
and mental weakness with firm faith, and renounce the world for the sake of
higher religious victory.
Avoiding Infamy
Considering all this, Jesus had no reason to refrain from confronting his
relatives. If he should defeat the rabbis and Pharisees by his preaching, he
would enjoy unchallenged religious fame and fealty in Jewish society; and if
he should die because of their heinous plot, by this ultimate sacrifice the Lord
would be elevate him to the heavenly planets, whose doors were wide open to
him. Confronting his relatives would be for his benefit in either case.
Therefore the Lord warned Jesus, If you do not make this religious
sacrifice, certainly you will incur sins for neglecting your duty and thus
lose your reputation as a preacher. People will always speak of your
disgrace; and for one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death.
The great brhmaas and devotees who have highly esteemed your name
and fame will think that you have avoided the confrontation out of fear for
your life, and thus they will consider you a coward. Your enemies will
describe you in many unkind words and scorn your lack of courage. What
could be more painful for you? Jesus was a famous preacher, and he
attained this fame by defeating many great and powerful opponents,
including Satan himself. Jesus pleased the Lord by defeating them and
received as a reward the love and respect of the Jewish common people.
Everyone knew that he was a great preacher. Even his enemies respected him,
for his teachers awarded him special spiritual powers by which he could
defeat even the greatest Pharisees. In his youthful journeys to India and Egypt
he also received many advanced initiations from spiritual authorities. So he
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was credited with so many spiritual certificates from powerful teachers and
authorities. But if he abandoned his preaching field because of the challenge
of his relatives, he would not only neglect his specific duty as a sannys
preacher, but he would also lose all the fame and good reputation he had
earned and thus prepare his royal road to hell. In other words, he would go to
hell not by confronting his relatives, but by withdrawing from them.
Both as Spiritual Master and Father to Jesus, the Lord now gives His final
judgment regarding Jesus refusal to face his enemies. The Lord declares,
Jesus, if you avoid this confrontation, people will call you a coward. And if
you dont care that people may disrespect you, but that you will save your life
by fleeing the confrontation, then My advice is that youd do better to die
tomorrow anyway. For a respectable man like you, ill fame is worse than
death. And your foes will hunt you down and kill you anyway. So, you
should not flee for fear of your life; better to die by the hand of your corrupt
relatives. That will save you from the infamy of losing your prestige in
society.
The Lords Judgment
Thus the Lords final judgment was for Jesus to stand his ground and not
withdraw, even if it meant his death. He continued to advise Jesus: Do not
think that the great devotees and brhmaas who honored you in the past
will believe that you have left the battlefield out of compassion for your
teachers and senior rabbis. They will think that you have left out of simple
fear for your life. And thus their high estimation of your personality will go
to hell. The Lord was astonished at Jesus unprecedented plea for
compassion. Now He solidified His opinion against Jesus so-called
compassion. The Lord concluded, O son of Mary, either you will be killed
by your relatives and attain the heavenly planets, or you will defeat them
and enjoy everlasting fame in this world. Therefore get up and preach with
determination. Preach for the sake of duty, without considering happiness
or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeatand, by so doing, you shall not
sin. Although there was no certainty of victory for Jesus, he still had to
preach; for even if he were killed, he would be elevated to the heavenly
planets. The Lord now directly says that Jesus should preach for the sake of
duty; in other words, because He desires it. There is no consideration of
happiness or distress, profit or gain, victory or defeat in activities in
pursuance of the instructions of the Lord or the Esoteric Teaching. When we
do everything for the sake of the Lord we work in transcendental
consciousness, so there is no material reaction to these activities.
One who acts for his own gratification, either in goodness, passion or
ignorance, is subject to the concomitant karmic reaction. But one who has
completely surrendered himself in pursuance of the instructions of the
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Esoteric Teaching is no longer obliged to anyone, nor is he a debtor to
anyone, as he would be in the ordinary course of activities. For anyone who
gives up all other duties and completely surrenders to the Lord is freed from
all karmic obligations to the demigods, the sages, the people in general,
kinsmen, humanity and his forefathers. This is the great liberating power of
spiritual work.
Working Without Karma
The Lord continued His Teaching to Jesus in the Garden: So far I have
declared to you the analytical knowledge of the soul. Now listen to the
confidential knowledge of how to work without material result. O son of
Mary, when you act by such intelligence you can free yourself from
bondage to the results of work (karma). The philosophy of the Esoteric
Teaching describes the real nature of the soul, and it also describes material
phenomena from a spiritual perspective. The practice of the Esoteric
Teaching involves controlling the senses according to the instructions of the
Lord to attain self -realization. Jesus proposal to flee from the confrontation
with his relatives was based on sense gratification. Forgetting his prime duty
of satisfying the Lord by preaching His glories, he thought that by avoiding
the confrontation with his relatives and kinsmen he would be happier than by
allowing them to destroy themselves by attacking him. Either way, his desire
was for sense gratification. Happiness derived by seeing kinsmen alive and
happiness derived from defeating them are both based on the conception of
personal sense gratification.
The Lord, therefore, first explained to Jesus that killing the body does not kill
the soul. He also explained that all persons, including the Lord Himself, are
eternal individuals. All of us were individuals in the past, are individuals in
the present, and will continue to remain individuals in the future. All of us
are individual souls eternally, and we simply change our external bodily dress
in response to the q uality of our consciousness and activities in life. And we
keep our individuality even after liberation from the bondage of material
body. Thus the Lord has clearly and graphically explained the analytical
study of the soul.
The Esoteric Teaching describes that the Supreme Lord creates simply by
looking over material nature or energy. He does not need to contact the
material energy directly to create. The Lord simply glances over the material
energy and impregnates her with atomic individual souls by His gl ance. All
these individual souls are working in the material world for sense
gratification, and under the spell of material energy they think they are
enjoyers, whereas in reality they are suffering the miseries of material
existence. This illusory mentality is dragged to the last extreme when the
infinitesimal living entity wants to become one with the Lord. This is the final
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snare of illusion, and it is only after many, many births of suffering the results
of this illusory mentality that a great soul comes into contact with the
Esoteric Teaching and surrenders unto the Lord, fulfilling the search after the
ultimate Absolute Truth.
Jesus has already accepted the Lord as his Spiritual Master by surrendering
himself unto Him. Now the Lord will tell him about working under His
direction. Working under the direction of the Lord is the same as performing
devotional service for the pleasure of the Lord. The process of working for
the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord is clearly explained in the Esoteric
Teaching as being direct communion with the Lord, who is sitting as the
Supersoul in everyones heart. This communion cannot take place without
surrender to the Lord in devotional service. One who is situated in
transcendental loving service to the Lord, in Christ consciousness or Ka
consciousness, attains to this advanced stage of spiritual life by the special
grace of the Lord. The Lord says in the Esoteric Teaching that He awards the
gift of devotion only to those who are always engaged in His service out of
transcendental love. Others, who execute some empty religious rituals out of
a sense of duty, or speculate about spiritual life with dry philosophy, cannot
attain the exalted platform of devotional service. Only the pure devotee can
reach Him in the ever-blissful Kingdom of God.
The secret of working without creating karma is to engage all our energies in
the devotional service of the Lord. In the previous chapter the Lord presented
an analytical description of the soul just to bring Jesus to the point of
devotional service, or work dedicated to the satisfaction of the Lord. Now He
will explain the confidential methods of this special kind of work. One
should understand devotional service as work in full consciousness of the
Lord, in the full bliss and knowledge of Divine Love. One who works for the
satisfaction of the Lord in spite of all difficulties works under the protection
of the Lord Himself, and thus finds himself always in transcendental bliss.
Through such transcendental engagement, one achieves all transcendental
qualities automatically by the grace of the Lord. Thus his liberation is
complete in itself. He has no need to make any extraneous endeavors to
acquire knowledge, for the Lord as the Supersoul fills him with causeless
knowledge and bliss by direct revelation from within his heart. There is a vast
difference between ordinary work for fruitive results and work in spiritual
consciousness. A fruitive worker is always entangled in the actions and
reactions of trying to achieve results in material sense gratification. But a
person engaged in pure devotional service is so filled with spiritual happiness
that he has no desire for material sense gratification. Relief from karmic
reaction is a natural function of the transcendental quality of working under
the guidance of the Lords Esoteric Teaching.
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Eternal Benefits
The Lord reassured Jesus, In this endeavor there is never any loss or
diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the
most dangerous type of fear. Activity in God consciousness, or acting for
the pleasure of the Lord without expectation of sense gratification, is the
highest transcendental quality of work. Because devotional service is the
desire of the Supreme Lord, there is no impediment to even a small beginning
of such activity; nor can that small beginning ever be lost. Materialistic work,
once begun, has to be completed; otherwise the whole effort is a failure. But
any work begun in devotional service has a permanent effect, even though
unfinished. The performer of devotional service therefore never loses any
effort, even if his work in devotional service is incomplete. One percent done
in God consciousness produces permanent results, so that the next beginning
is from two percent; whereas in material activity, without a hundred percent
completion there is no profit. If someone gives up self-serving materialistic
pursuits and serves in God consciousness, but falls down on account of not
completing his work, there is no loss on his part. But even if one performs his
material activities perfectly, whatever gain one achieves is vanquished at the
end of this life.
We need to invest our efforts in life in spiritual work where moth and rust do
not decay. Material activities and their results end with the body. But
devotional service in God consciousness carries a person again to God
consciousness, even in the next life. A fallen devotee is sure to take birth as a
human being in the family of a great cultured brhmaa, or in a rich
aristocratic family that will give one a further chance for elevation. Eternality
of results is the unique quality of work done according to the instructions of
the Esoteric Teaching.
The Lord continued, Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose,
and their aim is one. O My beloved son, the intelligence of those who are
irresolute is many-branched. Success in the principles of the Esoteric
Teaching requires a strong determination and faith that one will be elevated
to the highest perfection of life. Faith means unflinching trust in the power of
Transcendence. When one is engaged in the duties of the Esoteric Teaching,
he no longer needs to act in relationship to the material world. The
conventional obligations to family traditions, humanity and nationality
simply bind us to the bodily conception of life. Material activities are actually
ones karmic reactions from past good or bad deeds. When one is awake in
transcendental consciousness, he need no longer endeavor for good results in
his activities, because the activities of devotional service are already complete
and perfect without any result. When one is situated in God consciousness,
his activities are no longer subject to dualities like good and bad, complete
and incomplete because they are on the Absolute plane.
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The highest perfection of God consciousness is complete Transcendence of
the material conception of life. Progressive devotional service in God
consciousness or Christ consciousness automatically brings one to this
exalted state. The resolute, determined purpose of a person in God
consciousness is based on transcendental knowledge. The knowledge that
God is everything and everywhere brings one to know directly that the Lord
is the root of all manifested causes. As water on the root of a tree is
automatically distributed to the leaves and branches, by working in God
consciousness one renders the best service to everyone: self, family, society,
country, humanity, etc. If the Lord is satisfied by ones dedicated actions in
devotional service, then everyone will be satisfied.
In the materialistic conception of life, each living entity competes with all
others for material enjoyment, power, position and resources. There is no
unified philosophy or aim of life, other than selfish sense gratification. Even
government and religion are rife with vicious infighting and base political
maneuvering. Each material transaction is a unique activity apparently
unrelated to all others. In this turbulent environment, it is impossible to have
certainty or peace of mind. In material consciousness everyones mind is
constantly agitated with many conflicting desires and aims. Each desire and
each sense is clamoring for sense enjoyment of a different kind. And because
the materialist accepts responsibility for all his actions, he must constantly
speculate on what his competitors will try to do, and worry about the result
of each of his activities. This creates an atmosphere of constant conflict
within the mind of the conditioned soul. When the mind is in conflict with
itself, there can be no final goal or ultimate aim of life. Consequently there is
no peace for the materially conditioned souls. Their intelligence is divided
because of pursuing many conflicting purposes for the sake of material
advancement, and this divided mind causes constant mental suffering for the
materially entrapped living entity.
However, in Christ consciousness the aim is one: the pleasure of the Supreme
Lord. There are no conflicting aims and desires because His plan is always in
universal harmony and synergy of the highest order. Since everyones efforts
converge on the central point of the enjoyment of the Lord, there is no
conflict in spiritual society. Instead, everyone cooperates to accomplish a
unified aim. There is no need for guesswork because the Lords instructions
and plan are fully disclosed and known. And there is no need to worry about
results because the Lord takes responsibility for providing the results of a
devotees spiritual work. Similarly, within the mind of the devotee, all
purposes converge on the great aim of self-realization. Therefore for one on
the spiritual path, his resolute purpose is always one. He cannot be deviated
from the goal, for all his actions and energies are focused and coherent due to
the transcendental quality of his aim. When the mind is concentrated on a
single goal, it can attain unity of purpose and clarity of action, and therefore
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the devotee feels deep peace within his mind. When the mind is aligned in
unanimity, it acquires transcendental qualities and functions that do not
appear in the normal fragmented state. This peaceful mental state is a unique
characteristic of pure devotional service.
The Spiritual Master
Devotional service in God consciousness is best practiced under the able
guidance of a spiritual Master Teacher who is in the disciplic succession of
the Esoteric Teaching. One must be very careful to accept a spiritual Master
Teacher who is not only perfectly self-realized, but also who understands
ones inner nature and who can guide him to engage his natural propensities
for work in God consciousness. A qualified spiritual Master Teacher will
never instruct a disciple to give up his occupational duty; instead he will
show the disciple how to transform his existing occupation into devotional
service to the Lord. In any event, to become expert in God consciousness one
has to act with determination and serve the representative of the Lord. One
should accept the instruction of the bona fide spiritual Master Teacher as
ones most important mission in life.
By satisfying the spiritual Master Teacher, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead becomes satisfied. If one offends his Spiritual Master, there is no
chance of being promoted to the platform of God consciousness. In formal
Temples of the Esoteric Teaching, the disciples meditate and pray for their
spiritual masters mercy three times a day; and they offer their respectful
obeisance to him upon seeing him, and in formal ceremonies of worship. The
proper relationship of the disciple to the spiritual Master Teacher is formal,
but at the same time, affectionate and loving.
Success in the process of devotional service, however, depends on receiving,
understanding and realizing perfect knowledge of the soul beyond the
conception of the body. The knowledge transmitted from the spiritual Master
Teacher is not just theoretical but also practical. The ideal spiritual Master
Teacher is in the renounced stage of life, when there is no longer any chance
for sense gratification manifested in fruitive activities.
Beyond Ordinary Religion
We should execute devotional service with great determination and faith.
Various types of fruitive acts, even those that are ostensibly religious, divert
one who is not firmly fixed in mind, leading to undesirable activities that
produce further karmic bondage to the material world. Therefore the Lord
explained to Jesus, Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the
flowery words of the Scriptures, which recommend various fruitive
religious activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth,
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power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life,
they say that there is nothing more than this. In the minds of those who are
too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are
bewildered by such temporary things, the resolute determination for
devotional service to the Supreme Lord cannot take place. Religion mainly
deals with the three modes of material nature. Rise above these modes, O
Jesus. Be transcendental to all of them. Be free from all dualities and from
all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in God consciousness.
People in general are not very intelligent, and due to their ignorance they are
most attached to the fruitive activities recommended in the materialistic
neophyte stage of religi on. They do not want anything more than wealth,
prestige, material opulence, sense gratification and flattering proposals for
enjoying life in heaven. The various religious traditions of the world
recommend many processes for elevation to the heavenly worlds, and people
like the Pharisees who are deluded by false egoism and do not have a
relationship with a self-realized spiritual Master Teacher think that this is the
whole purpose of religion. It is very difficult for such inexperienced and
unlearned persons to understand that the result of determined action in
devotional service to the Lord far surpasses the benefits of ordinary religion.
Unenlightened men, bewildered by heavenly opulence and sense enjoyment,
lose their chance to become situated in pure devotional service and become
free from the law of cause and effect (karma). Thus they remain trapped in
the material world of birth and death.
To attain success in spiritual life, we have to fix our minds on the goal. When
the mind is fixed for understanding the self and the Supersoul, this state is
meditational trance, or yoga. This type of yoga is completely different from
the so-called yoga practices offered by commercial schools, because it is
devoid of sense gratification and offered to the Supreme Lord in devotion.
The Lord will present Christ-conscious yoga in Chapter Seven. Such a fixed
trance of spiritual consciousness is impossible for persons who are
bewildered by temporary material sense enjoyment. They are condemned by
their own karma to remain in material existence.
All material activities involve actions and reactions, cause and effect in the
three modes of material nature. They create fruitive results, which cause
bondage of the soul to the material world. Ordinary religion deals mostly
with material fruitive activities in the modes of goodness and passion, to
gradually elevate the general public from the field of sense gratification in
ignorance to the neophyte stage of spiritual consciousness. Jesus, as a student
and son of the Lord, is advised to raise himself beyond ordinary religious
concerns to the transcendental position of the Esoteric Teaching, which
begins from deep questions about the nature of the soul and Supreme
Transcendence and progresses to detached activities in the mode of goodness.
All the living entities in the material world are struggling very hard for
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existence. After creating the material world, the Lord gave the Esoteric
Teaching to show us how to live peacefully and happily in the material world
and at the same time, get rid of the material entanglement, which is the root
cause of all our suffering. When we are finished with activities of sense
gratification, then the Lord offers us the chance for spiritual realization in the
form of the Esoteric Teaching. Accepting this Teaching marks the beginning
of actual transcendental spiritual life.
The Greatness of the Teaching
As long as the material body exists, there are actions and reactions in the
three material modes. One has to learn to carry out his duties in spiritual life
under the guidance of the Esoteric Teaching while remaining tolerant in the
face of dualities such as happiness and distress, success and failure, heat and
cold. By tolerating such dualities we become free from anxieties regarding
gain and loss and the other material dualities. This transcendental position is
achieved in full God consciousness, when one is fully dependent on the
mercy of the Lord. The Lord illustrated His point by a metaphor: All
purposes served by the small well can easily be served by the great lake.
Similarly, all the purposes of religion can be served by the esoteric purpose
behind them. The rituals and sacrifices provided by the ordinary exoteric
religious Scriptures of the world are compared to a small well. They are
meant to encourage materialistic people to gradually develop toward the
actual platform of self-realization. The purpose of self-realization is clearly
stated in the Esoteric Teaching: to realize the Lord, the primeval cause of
everything. Self-realization also means understanding ones eternal
relationship with the Lord. The actual relationship of the living entities with
the Lord is revealed only in the Esoteric Teaching, which the Lord compares
to a great lake of spiritual water. The living entities are individuated parts and
parcels of the Lord; therefore, revival of God consciousness by the individual
living entity is not only the highest perfection of knowledge and self-
realization, it also accomplishes all the purposes of religion without
extraneous effort.
Just as one must invest great effort to dig a well, the ordinary Scriptures of the
world do not easily reveal their secrets. They require much study and
penance to penetrate to their deeper esoteric meanings. Yet, the amount of
water one can draw from a well is l imited. Similarly, materialistic religion is
of limited benefit. The well also sits on someones property, and the owner
can jealously guard access to its valuable waters. An ordinary religion is often
the property of an exclusive group that covetously guards its secrets from
outsiders. But the great lake is too big to be limited in either quantity or
access. Therefore to promote sectarian religion when the Esoteric Teaching is
the actual truth behind them is like trying to sell well water by the side of a
huge lake. The only customers will be blind, foolish people who cannot see
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the lake in front of them. Similarly, once people know that the Esoteric
Teaching can provide both material and spiritual benefit of the highest
quality, what use will they have for limited sectarian religions?
To appreciate the real greatness of the Esoteric Teaching, one must be
intelligent enough to penetrate to the confidential purpose of religion without
being attached to the external rituals, and must not desire to be elevated to
the heavenly kingdom or simply attain a better quality of sense gratification.
It is not possible in this historical age for the common man to follow all the
rules and regulations of religious rituals. Executing the purposes of religion
requires much time, energy, knowledge and resources. This is hardly possible
in this age. Therefore to follow the external path of religion is to risk
becoming a hypocrite. The Lord tries to convince Jesus of exactly this point
in these opening chapters of The Book of Gethsemane.
The core, or esoteric purpose of religion is actually to change our
consciousness from material selfishness to spiritual devotion. Thus external
qualifications are of little importance in approaching the Esoteric Teaching. A
person who is fully engaged in devotional service, chanting the Holy Name of
the Lord with great love and determination, although born in a low family,
unlearned or otherwise materially unfortunate, is actually on the highest
platform of spiritual consciousness and self-realization. Such a person must
already have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to
exoteric religious rituals, studied the Holy Scriptures many, many times and
traveled to all the sacred places of pilgrimage. Though he may not display
much external opulence, such a pure and dedicated person is considered to
be the best student of the Esoteric Teaching.
The best purpose of religionliberation from all material bondageis served
by chanting the Holy Name of the Lord without any personal desire, as
recommended in the Esoteric Teaching. Chanting the Holy Name of the Lord
is much better and more effective for self-realization than studying religious
philosophy, worshiping in the church or Temple and performing silent
meditation or complex rituals. By chanting the Holy Name of the Lord one
becomes ecstatic with Divine Love. In this fallen materialistic age, most of the
population is foolish. They not adequately trained to understand the
recondite intricacies of religious philosophy, and so smooth-talking, self-
interested promoters in the guise of religious teachers easily lead them astray.
The highest purpose of religious philosophy is freedom from materially
conditioned consciousness. This purpose is best served by inoffensively
chanting the Holy Name of the Lord. The ultimate purpose of the Esoteric
Teaching is to elevate us to the stage of pure devotion to the Lord. Therefore
the most advanced religionist is the great soul who takes pleasure in chanting
the Holy Name of the Lord.
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Prescribed Duties
Performing prescribed duties according to the realized instruction of spiritual
authorities can help us become detached from selfishly motivated material
work. Therefore the Lord instructed Jesus, You have a right to perform your
prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never
consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never
be attached to not doing your duty. There are three important concepts in
the Lords statement: prescribed duties, attachment to the results of selfishly
motivated work, and inaction. Prescribed duties are activities performed
according to the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching while one is in the
material body. Selfish work means independent action without the sanction
of authority, and inaction means avoiding the performance of work. The Lord
advised Jesus to perform his prescribed duty of preaching without being
attached to the result. This non-attachment to success or failure is work in
the mode of goodness. One who is attached to the result of his work thinks
he is the cause of the action. Thus he works in the mode of passion, becomes
the enjoyer or sufferer of the result, and is bound to the material world by the
karmic results of such fruitive work. And inaction is in the mode of
ignorance, which causes one to lose the valuable spiritual opportunities of
human life.
The Lord therefore advised Jesus to preach as a matter of duty without
attachment to the result. Jesus wish to withdraw from the immanent
confrontation with his relatives is just another side of material attachment.
Such attachment never leads one to the path of salvation because it is an
action performed with a result in mind. Any attachment to results, positive or
negative, is cause for bondage to the results of work or karma. And inaction is
sinful.
Union with the Divine
Therefore, continuing to preach as a matter of duty, regardless of the result,
was the only auspicious path of salvation for Jesus. The Lord continued to
convince Jesus of this point: Be steadfast in God consciousness, O Jesus.
Perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such
evenness of mind is called Union with the Divine (yoga). The Lord tells
Jesus that he should act in yoga. And what is yoga? Yoga means linking ones
consciousness with the Divine Consciousness, or the Supreme Lord. Yoga is
thus far more than the bodily stretching and breathing exercises or sanas
popularly known as yoga. That is only a preliminary practice. Yoga actually
means to concentrate the mind upon the Supreme by working for Him
without attachment while controlling the ever-disturbing senses. This is real
union with the Divine, or devotional service. And who is the Divine? The
Divine is the Lord. And because He Himself is telling Jesus to confront his
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relatives, Jesus has nothing to do with the results of following that order.
Gain or loss, victory or defeat is the Lords concern; Jesus is simply advised to
act in devotional service following the order of the Lord. Abiding by the
Lords order is real yoga or union with the Divine, and according to the
Esoteric Teaching this detachment in devotional service is the most important
practice of God consciousness. One can give up the sense of proprietorship
over the results of his actions only by God consciousness. One has to become
the servant of the Lord, or even better, the servant of the servant of the Lord.
That is the right way to discharge duty in God consciousness, which is the
perfection of transcendental yoga.
Working Without Result
Jesus was a sannys, and as such he was participating in the social institution
of the Esoteric Teaching. The whole aim of the Esoteric Teaching is to satisfy
God by sacrificing the results of our dutiful work to Him while remaining
detached. Therefore no one should work just to satisfy himself, as is the rule
in the material world, but one should satisfy the Lord with his work
according to his nature and capacity. Otherwise there is no escape from ones
karma and the round of material birth and death. Therefore the Lord
emphasized, O Jesus, conqueror of sleep, rid yourself of all fruitive
activities by devotional service, and surrender fully to that consciousness.
Those who want to enjoy the fruits of their work are misers. One who
actually understands his constitutional position as the eternal servitor of the
Lord gives up all engagements except working in God consciousness. As
already explained, yoga or union with the Divine actually means
transcendental loving service to the Lord. Such devotional service is the best
course of action for the living entity. Only misers desire to enjoy the
temporary fruit of their own work, at the price of becoming more entangled
in material bondage. They do not understand that they are spirit souls whose
eternal life is already guaranteed, and that our loving Father the Lord eagerly
awaits our return to the unlimited opulence and bliss of His spiritual world.
Thus all activities except devotional service or work in God consciousness are
actually undesirable, because they entrap the doer deeper in the cycle of birth
and death. One should therefore never desire to be the cause or beneficiary of
any work. Everything should be done in God consciousness, by the order of
the Lord and for the satisfaction of the Lord. Misers do not know how to
enjoy the riches they acquire by good fortune or hard labor. Similarly,
ignorant people do not understand how to get the most benefit from the
valuable human life they have achieved. One should spend all his energy
working in God consciousness, and that will make ones life successful. Pure
devotees of the Lord, the most fortunate people in the world, employ their
entire human energy in the service of the Lord.
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The Lord explained further, A man engaged in devotional service rids
himself of both good and bad actions even in this life. Therefore strive for
yoga, O Jesus, which is the art of all work. The wise take refuge in the Lord
and engage in devotional service. They free themselves from the cycle of
birth and death by renouncing the fruits of action in the material world. In
this way they attain the state beyond all miseries: liberation. Each living
entity in the material world has accumulated various reactions to his good
and bad work since the beginning of time. As such, he remains ignorant of
his constitutional spiritual position and entangled in a network of material
cause and effect. Ones ignorance can be removed by following the
instructions of the Esoteric Teaching. The Teaching recommends that we
surrender unto the Lord in all respects and become liberated from the
victimization of action and reaction, cause and effect, birth and death. The
goal of the students of the Esoteric Teaching is to attain the spiritual planets
of the Lord, where there are no material miseries. Therefore the Lord advises
us to work in God consciousness without attachment to results to neutralize
the reactions of our previous work. The liberated living entities go to the
Kingdom of God, the spiritual world where life is eternal, full of bliss and
knowledge. The Lord is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation, and is
famous among the followers of the Esoteric Teaching as Mukunda, the giver
of liberation from this material world. For one who has totally surrendered to
Him, the vast ocean of the material world is as easy to cross over as the water
in a calfs hoof print.
Because of ignorance, people do not know that this material world is a
miserable place where there are dangers at every step. Less-intelligent persons
try to adjust to the situation by fruitive work and sense gratification, thinking
that the resultant actions will make them happy. They cannot understand
why their work does not give them the permanent happiness they desire. So
they try harder to enjoy material sense pleasure, not realizing that this simply
deepens their entanglement in material suffering. They do not know that no
material bodily situation anywhere within the universe can give life without
miseries. The miseries of lifebirth, death, old age and diseaseare present
everywhere within the material world. But one who understands his real
constitutional position as the eternal servitor of the Lord knows the position
of the Personality of Godhead. Such an intelligent man engages himself in the
transcendental loving service of the Lord without devi ation. Consequently he
becomes qualified to enter into the spiritual planets of the Lord, where there
is neither miserable material life nor the influence of time and death.
Understanding ones constitutional position includes knowing the sublime
Absolute position of the Lord. One who wrongly thinks that the living
entities and the Lord are on the same level is in the darkness of ignorance,
and therefore cannot engage in the devotional service of the Lord. He tries to
become a lord or enjoyer himself and thus ensures repetition of birth and
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death in the material world. But one who understands that his position is to
serve dedicates himself to the service of the Lord, qualifying himself to enter
the Lords spiritual planets.
Perfect Liberation
Service to the purpose of the Lord under the philosophical conception and
practical instructions of the Esoteric Teaching is pure devotional service. One
who is engaged in pure devotional service is already on the platform of
spiritually liberated consciousness. Therefore the Lord told Jesus, When
your intelligence has passed out of the dense forest of delusion, you shall
become indifferent to all that has been heard and all that is to be heard.
When your mind is no longer disturbed by the flowery language of the
Scriptures, and when it remains fixed in the trance of self-realization, then
you will have attained the Divine consciousness. In the state of Absolute
consciousness instilled by pure devotional service to the Lord, the spiritual
Absolute Truth is obvious. In this consciousness one can perceive Truth as
clearly as you can see the words on this page. One who is awake to his
constitutional position knows himself and the Lord directly through spiritual
senses. In this state there is no more need for guidance from the Scriptures,
because the transcendent Absolute Truth is self-evident. The Truths of the
Esoteric Teaching are no longer philosophical considerations but become
direct personal observations. The devotee perceives himself, the Lord and the
spiritual world directly through spiritual senses, as Jesus did in the Garden of
Gethsemane. This is the perfection of self-realization.
There are many good examples in the lives of the great devotees of the Lord
who became indifferent to the rituals of the Scriptures simply by devotional
service to the Lord. When a person factually understands the Lord and his
relationship with the Lord, he naturally becomes completely indifferent to the
rituals of materialistic religion. r Madhavendra Pur, a great devotee and
spiritual Master Teacher in the line of the Esoteric Teaching of the Lord, says:
O Lord, in my prayers three times a day, all glory to You. Bathing, I offer my
obeisances unto you. O demigods! O forefathers! Please excuse me for my
inability to offer you my respects. Now wherever I am I just remember the
Lord, the enemy of the demons, and by this remembrance I free myself from
all sinful bondage. I think this is sufficient for me.
The rites and rituals of religious catechisms are imperative for neophytes who
have no idea of spiritual life or devotional service. But when one is fully God-
conscious and engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, one
becomes indifferent to all these regulative principles because he has already
attained perfection. If one can reach the platform of realization by service to
the Supreme Lord, he has no longer to execute different types of penances
and sacrifices recommended in the revealed Scriptures. One who is already
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clean has no need to take bath. Similarly, one whose consciousness is already
purified by pure, undeviated devotional service has no need to perform any
external religious rituals. But if one has not understood that the purpose of
religion is to reach the Lord, and simply engages in religious rituals without
understanding that the object of religion is promotion to the stage of pure
devotional service, he is uselessly wasting his time. Persons in God
consciousness who are engaged in pure devotional service transcend the rules
and rituals of religion, for they have achieved the purpose of such external
practices.
A person who is in the uninterrupted trance of pure devotional service has
fully realized God consciousness in all three stages: the impersonal Brahman
effulgence, localized Supersoul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The
highest perfection of self-realization is to understand that one is eternally the
servitor of the Lord and that ones only business is to discharge duties in God
consciousness. A God-conscious person, or pure devotee of the Lord, cannot
be deviated from this conclusion by any kind of argument. He is not
disturbed by the flowery language of the Scriptures nor engaged in material
religious activities for promotion to the heavenly planets. In God
consciousness, one comes directly into communion with the Lord, and in
that transcendental state of consciousness receives personal instruction from
the Lord. One is sure to achieve this result by activities in devotional service,
and attain conclusive knowledge beyond the external directives of the
Scriptures. The only qualification for this exalted state is to faithfully carry
out the orders of the Lord or His representative, the spiritual Master Teacher.
The Self-realized Soul
Jesus inquired of the Supreme Lord: What are the symptoms of one whose
consciousness is thus merged in Transcendence? How does he speak, and
what is his language? How does he sit, and how does he walk? There are
specific symptoms for every situation in life. A rich man has certain
symptoms that make him recognizable as a rich man, and a sick man presents
symptoms that enable a doctor to identify his disease. A learned man displays
the symptoms of learning, and a man from a foreign country shows certain
symptoms that identify his place of origin. Similarly, a man in transcendental
consciousness of the Lord has specific symptoms in various dealings. One
who is God-conscious or Christ-conscious has a particular way of talking,
walking, thinking, feeling, etc. One can know these specific symptoms from
the Esoteric Teaching. Most important is how the man in God consciousness
speaks, for speech is the most important quality of any human being. A fool
can remain undiscovered as long as he does not speak, and certainly a well-
dressed fool is hard to identify. But as soon as he speaks, he reveals himself at
once. The most prominent symptom of a God-conscious man is that he
speaks only of the Lord and of matters relating to His service.
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The Blessed Lord replied: O Jesus, when a man gives up all varieties of
sense desire that arise from mental concoction, and when his mind finds
satisfaction in the Lord alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental
consciousness. One who is not disturbed despite the threefold miseries,
who is not elated when there is happiness, and who is free from
attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind. The Esoteric
Teaching affirms that any person who is fully God-conscious and practices
pure devotional service to the Lord has all the good qualities of the
archangels and great sages; whereas a person who is not transcendentally
situated has no good qualifications, because instead of accepting the good
advice of the Lord he is sure to try to take shelter in his own mental
concoctions. Consequently, the Lord says that one has to give up all kinds of
sense desire manufactured by mental concoction. It is impossible to stop
sensual desires artificially, by an effort of will. The more we try to artificially
suppress sense desires, the more the material mind becomes agitated. Thus
we always see false religious leaders in trouble for financial impropriety,
attachment to illicit sexual affairs, and deviation from the original pure
teachings of the Lord. But a pure devotee of the Lord is never troubled by
sense desire or in danger of falldown.
We have sense desires because the soul desires pleasure. If one is engaged in
Christ consciousness, sense desires automatically subside without effort, for
the pleasure of pure devotional service is unconditional and unlimited.
Therefore, one has to engage in God consciousness without hesitation, for
devotional service instantly situates us on the platform of transcendental
pleasure. The highly developed soul always remains satisfied by realizing
himself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord. Such a transcendentally
situated person has no sense desires resulting from petty materialism; rather,
he remains always happy in his natural position of eternally serving the
Supreme Lord.
A philosopher can agitate his mind in various ways for mental speculation
without coming to a factual conclusion. Every philosopher has a different
angle of vision, and unless a philosopher differs from other philosophers, he
cannot be called a philosopher in the strict sense of the term. This
philosophical speculation is another form of mental concoction. But a sage of
steady mind, as mentioned by the Lord, is different from an ordinary
philosopher. The sage of steady mind is always in Christ consciousness, for
he has transcended the process of creative speculation. He has surpassed the
stage of philosophical speculation by accepting the conclusion of the Esoteric
Teaching that the Lord is everything, and devotional service to Him is the
highest purpose of human life. Thus he becomes settled and fixed in mind,
and because all his needs are satisfied by engagement in devotional service,
no one can deviate him from this conclusion.
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According to the Esoteric Teaching, there are three kinds of miseries in this
material world: miseries from our own self, such as old age, disease and
death; miseries from higher authorities, such as the effects of karma and
rebirth; and miseries from natural disasters like storms, earthquakes and war.
A fully Christ-conscious person is not at all disturbed by the onslaught of
these threefold miseries. He accepts all miseries as the mercy of the Lord,
thinking himself only worthy of more trouble due to his past misdeeds. And
he sees that considering his degree of imperfection, his miseries are
minimized by the grace of the Lord. Similarly, when he is happy he gives
credit to the Lord, humbly thinking himself unworthy of the happiness. He
realizes that he is in such a comfortable condition and able to render better
service to the Lord only by the Lords grace. He is always daring and active for
the service of the Lord, and is not influenced by attachment or aversion.
Attachment and aversion mean accepting and rejecting things based on ones
own sense gratification, and detachment is the absence of such mental
concoction. But one fixed in God consciousness has neither attachment nor
detachment because his life is fully dedicated to the devotional service of the
Lord. He can accept or reject anything, based on the desire of the Lord.
Consequently he is not at all frustrated even when his attempts are
unsuccessful.
A God-conscious person is always steady in his determination, for he knows
it is the quality of his consciousness and activities in devotional service, not
the result, that leads to liberation from material suffering. Therefore Lord
explained to Jesus, He who is without attachment, who does not rejoice
when he obtains good nor lament when he obtains evil, is firmly fixed in
perfect knowledge. One is truly situated in knowledge when he is able to
withdraw his senses from sense objects as a tortoise draws its limbs within
its shell. The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment,
though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements
by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness. There is
always some agitation in the material world that may bring us good or evil.
Change and upheaval are constant features of the material energy. One who is
not agitated by such material upheavals, who does not consider good and bad
but engages constantly in devotional service, is fixed in God consciousness.
As long as one is in the material world there is always the possibility of good
and evil because this world is full of duality. But one who is fixed in God
consciousness is not affected by good and evil because he does not see things
in terms of his own likes and dislikes. He is simply concerned with the Lord,
who is all-good and Absolute. Such perfect God consciousness situates one in
the transcendental position beyond dualities like good and bad, happiness
and distress, loss and gain.
Therefore the concise answer to Jesus question about the symptoms of the
self-realized soul is that a devotee or self-realized soul is one who controls the
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senses according to the instructions of the Lord. Most people, however, are
completely overwhelmed by the desires of the senses and the concoctions of
the mind, and thus become servants of the senses. The senses are like
poisonous snakes that want to act without any restriction. The devotee must
be very steady in his determination, realizing that he cannot control the
senses by forcible repression. One can, however, control the senses like a
snake charmer, or as a clever parent controls unruly children, by engaging
them in higher activities. He never allows them to act independently. There
are many rules and regulations in the practice of the Esoteric Teaching; some
of them are duties, and some of them are prohibitions. For example, the
students of the spiritual Master Teacher must awaken before sunrise, take
cold bath and chant the Holy Names of the Lord a fixed number of times on
their beads. At the same time they are prohibited from eating meat, gambling
or speculating and from engaging in illicit sex. All the dos and donts of actual
spiritual life have the aim of restricting the student from sense enjoyment.
Unless one is able to follow these spiritual principles, it is not possible to be
firmly fixed in God consciousness because one will come again under the
control of the material senses.
The Lord uses the tortoise as the example of sense control. The tortoise can
withdraw its limbs inside its shell, and then exhibit them again at any time
for particular purposes. Similarly, the senses of God-conscious persons are
engaged only for some particular purpose in the service of the Lord, and
otherwise are kept withdrawn in deep meditation on the Holy Name, form,
qualities and pastimes of the Lord. Keeping the senses aloof from material
engagement except for specific activities in the service of the Lord is the
principal symptom of the sage of steady mind. It is impossible to retire from
sense enjoyment unless one is actually situated in transcendental
consciousness.
Restricting the conditioned soul from sense enjoyment by rules and
regulations is similar to restricting a diseased person from certain foods. The
patient neither likes such restrictions nor loses his appetite for the prohibited
food. Nevertheless, if he wants to recover he must obey the directions of the
qualified physician. Similarly, sense restriction by the mechanical process of
rules and regulations is recommended for less-intelligent persons who have
no better knowledge or higher realization. Such unenlightened people find
sense restriction a difficult task. But one who has tasted the beauty of the
Supreme Lord due to advancement in God consciousness no longer has a
taste for pale material enjoyment. The exquisite beauty of God fills all his
senses with delight, and thus there is no question of mundane sense
enjoyment.
Therefore, rules and restrictions in sense enjoyment are for neophytes in
spiritual life, but such restrictions have value only if they lead to a taste for
spiritual consciousness through devotional service. Following rules and
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regulations simply for their own sake is useless. When one is actually God-
conscious, he automatically loses his taste for material enjoyment, thus he
transcends the rules and restrictions of the Scriptures by accomplishing the
confidential purpose of religion. The Lord continued to teach Jesus the
qualities of a perfectly self-realized soul, The senses are so strong and
impetuous, O Jesus, that they forcibly carry away the mind even of a man
of discrimination who is endeavoring to control them. But one who
restrains his senses and fixes his consciousness upon Me is known as a
man of steady intelligence. There are many learned sages, philosophers and
transcendentalists who try to conquer the senses, but despite their endeavors,
even the greatest of them often fall victim to material sense enjoyment due to
the agitated mind. There are so many examples in the history of the world of
great religious figures who fell down into illicit sense enjoyment or were
found engaging in some secret vice. Therefore, it is very difficult to control
the mind and the senses without being fully God-conscious.
Without engaging the mind in the Lord, we cannot cease material
engagements because we cannot live without pleasure. Pleasure is natural
because we are spiritual parts and parcels of the Supreme Enjoyer, the Lord.
But material pleasure always leads to suffering. We may lose the object of
pleasure, become unable to enjoy because of infirmity, or develop some
disease because of overindulgence. Certainly such enjoyment leads to further
bondage to the material body and senses in conditioned consciousness. No
dry philosophical or external religious process can supply the ever-fresh
enjoyment needed by the soul. So, no one can remain for long on the
platform of sense control without the deep, satisfying personal relationship
between the soul and the Lord fostered by devotional service.
God consciousness, Christ consciousness or devotional service is so
transcendentally beautiful that material enjoyment automatically becomes
distasteful. Devotional service satisfies our craving for enjoyment, just as a
good meal satisfies a hungry man. The Lord clearly explains to Jesus that the
highest conception of perfection in union with the Divine is God
consciousness. Unless one is God-conscious, it is not at all possible to control
the senses and avoid further entanglement in material consciousness and
karma.
The best way to control the senses in devotional service is disclosed in the
Esoteric Teaching. We should fix our minds in devotion on the beautiful feet
of the Lord, engage our words in describing the abode of the Lord, our hands
in cleansing the Temple of the Lord, our ears in hearing the pastimes of the
Lord, our eyes in seeing the form of the Lord, our body in working to serve
the great devotees, our nostrils in smelling the flavor of the flowers offered to
the feet of the Lord, our tongue in tasting the delicious food offered to Him,
our legs in traveling to the holy place where His Temple is situated, our head
in offering obeisances unto the Lord, and our desires in fulfilling the desires
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of the Lord. First-class devotees of the Lord perform all these spiritual
activities in devotional service. Thus they engage all the senses in works of
devotion, remembering the Lord at every step of life. This is the stage of pure
devotional service.
The senses can be completely controlled only by the strength of pure
devotional service to the Lord. As fire burns everything combustible offered
to it, similarly the Lord, situated in the heart of the devotee, burns up all
kinds of karma when we offer our sense activities to Him in devotional
service. The so-called transcendentalists who meditate on something besides
the personal form of God simply waste their time in a vain search after some
phantasmagoria. We have to be God-conscious, Ka-conscious or Christ-
conscious: devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the real
aim of yoga or union with the Divine, and we can easily achieve such spiritual
perfection through this Esoteric Teaching.
The Cause of Falldown
The Lord explained to Jesus how the embodied soul becomes bewildered by
sense enjoyment: While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person
develops attachment for them, from such attachment lust develops, and
from lust anger arises. From anger, delusion arises, and from delusion
comes bewilderment of memory. When memory is b ewildered, intelligence
is lost, and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material
pool. One who is not God-conscious is subjected to material desires while
contemplating the objects of senses. The senses require active engagement,
and if they are not engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord,
they will automatically seek engagement in selfish materialism. In the
material world everyone, even the demigods in the heavenly planets, is
subjected to the influence of sense objects. The only practical method to get
out of the entanglement of material existence is to develop God
consciousness by working in devotional service.
When Jesus was a young devotee, Satan, the incarnation of illusion and
ignorance, allured him. Satan even quoted Scripture to Jesus to bewilder him,
but he easily passed the test because of his unalloyed devotion to the Lord. A
sincere devotee of the Lord can shun all material sense enjoyment, even
power and false material prestige, due to his higher taste for spiritual
enjoyment in the association of the Lord. That is the secret of success in
spiritual life. One who is not in God consciousness, however powerful he
may be in controlling the senses by artificial repression, is sure ultimately to
fail, for the slightest thought of sense pleasure will agitate him again to gratify
his desires. Even if he does not fall into gross sense enjoyment, he may
become addicted to anger, greed, fame, adoration, distinction, false pride and
other subtle pleasures.
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Actually, in devotional service we do not reject the material energy, but find
the proper use for it in the Lords service. One can understand the spiritual
utility of everything by development of Christ consciousness.
Transcendentalists who are not God-conscious artificially try to avoid
material objects. As a result of this repressive mentality, although they desire
liberation from material bondage, they cannot attain to the stage of perfect
renunciation; they fall down. But a person in God consciousness knows how
to use everything in the service of the Lord; therefore he does not become a
victim of material consciousness.
For example, the impersonalists think that the Absolute Truth, being
impersonal, cannot eat. Therefore the impersonalists try to avoid tasty food.
However, a devotee knows that the Lord is the supreme enjoyer and that He
eats everything offered to Him in devotion. So, after offering sumptuous
delicacies to the Lord, the devotee eats the remnants, called prasdam or the
mercy of the Lord. By offering to the Lord, the food becomes spiritualized and
so there is no danger of falling down into material consciousness by eating
nice food. The devotee enjoys prasdam in God consciousness, whereas the
non-devotee rejects it as material. Because of his artificial renunciation the
impersonalist cannot enjoy life, so any slight agitation of the mind pulls him
down again into the pool of material existence. Such a soul, even though
advancing to the point of liberation, falls down into material life again
because he lacks the support of devotional service.
The Principles of Freedom
The Lord continued to explain the nature of the perfectly self-realized soul:
One who controls his senses by practicing the regulated principles of
spiritual freedom obtains the complete mercy of the Lord, and thus
becomes free from all attachment and aversion. For one who is so situated
in the Divine consciousness, the threefold miseries of material existence no
longer exist; in such a happy state, ones intelligence soon becomes steady.
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?
The Lord already explained that one may try to control the senses by some
artificial process, but unless the senses are engaged in the transcendental
service of the Lord, there is every chance of a falldown. Although the person
in full God consciousness may appear to external vision to act on the sensual
plane, because of his being Christ-conscious, he actually has no attachment to
sensual activities.
The God-conscious person is concerned only with the satisfaction of the
Lord, and nothing else; therefore he is transcendental to all attachment. If the
Lord wants, the devotee can do anything that is ordinarily undesirable, or not
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do what he would ordinarily do for his own satisfaction. The actions of the
devotee are by his own will, but because he is a surrendered soul he acts only
under the direction of the Lord. This is real detachment from sensual
activities. This exalted devotional consciousness is the causeless mercy of the
Lord, which the devotee can achieve even while living in the material world.
Unless one is in God consciousness there is no possibility of peace. So it is
stated in the Esoteric Teaching that we can have real peace when we
understand that the Lord is the only enjoyer of all the good results of sacrifice
and penance, that He is the proprietor of all universal manifestations, and
that He is the real eternal Friend of all living entities. This eternal peace
comes from attaining the ultimate goal of pure devotional service, or union
with the Divine.
Therefore, if one is not in God consciousness, there cannot be peace because
there is no final goal for the mind. Mental disturbance is due to uncertainty of
the ultimate goal of life. When one is certain that the Lord is the Supreme
Enjoyer, Proprietor and Friend of everyone and everything, and that none of
the results of our actions actually belong to us, then and only then can the
mind become steady and filled with peace. Therefore, one who is engaged in
activity without a relationship with the Lord is certainly always feeling mental
distress. Peace of mind will elude him, no matter how much he makes a show
of peace and spiritual advancement in life. God consciousness is a self-
manifested peaceful condition that can be achieved only in relationship with
the Lord.
The Lord warned Jesus, Even one of the senses on which the mind focuses
can carry away a mans intelligence, as a boat on the water is swept away
by a strong wind. Therefore, O mighty Jesus, one whose senses are
restrained from their objects is certainly of steady intelligence. Unless all
the senses are engaged in spiritual service to the Lord, even one of them
engaged in material sense gratification can deviate the devotee from the path
of transcendental advancement. All the senses must be engaged in God
consciousness; that is the correct technique for controlling the mind. An
enemy that cannot be defeated by ones own force must be curbed with the
help of a strong ally. Similarly the senses cannot be controlled by human
determination, because they are stronger and more persistent than our tiny
will. But keeping them engaged in the service of the Lord can easily control
them. One can remain firmly established in spiritual intelligence only by
devotional service in God consciousness. One who has understood this is a
suitable candidate for liberation. One should learn and practice this art under
the experienced guidance of a bona fide spiritual Master Teacher.
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Freedom from Desire
The Lord continued, What is night for all beings is the time of awakening
for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for
the introspective sage. A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow
of desiresthat enter like rivers into the ocean which is ever being filled
but is always stillcan alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives
to satisfy such desires. There are two kinds of intelligence. One is
extroverted intelligence for sense gratification through material activities, and
the other is introspective intelligence that is awake to the cultivation of self-
realization. The spiritual activities of the introspective sage are as night for
compulsively extroverted persons absorbed in material consciousness.
Materialistic persons remain asleep in such a night due to their ignorance of
self-realization. The introspective sage remains alert within, feeling
transcendental pleasure in steady advancement of spiritual consciousness. But
people in materialistic activities are asleep to self-realization, thinking
spiritual life is a dream. Instead they dream of varieties of sense pleasure,
feeling sometimes happy and sometimes distressed in their sleeping
consciousness. The introspective man is always indifferent to materialistic
happiness and distress. He remains awake in eternal activities of self-
realization, remaining undisturbed by temporary material reactions.
One may dream at night of being a king, or of being eaten by a tiger. Neither
the pleasure of being a king nor the terror of being eaten by a tiger in the
dream is real. When we wake up from the dream state the passing feelings of
the dream evaporate; nevertheless, while we are dreaming they certainly seem
real. We say they are unreal because they are temporary. Similarly the
pleasures and pains of material existence seem real, but they do not persist.
When we awaken to spiritual consciousness, we clearly see that all sensations
of material pleasure and pain are as evanescent as a dream. The activities of
devotional service, the spiritual pleasure we derive from them, and our
devotional relationship with the Lord are eternal and unchanging. That is the
difference between the material dream and the spiritual reality. We can wake
up from material consciousness, but once awake in the reality of spiritual
consciousness we never again fall under the control of the material dream.
Material desires are as unlimited as the waters of a great river. Although the
vast ocean is already full of water, the rivers pour much more water into it.
But the ocean is so much greater than the rivers that it can absorb their
copious waters, and remain steady. Similarly, a person whose intelligence i s
fixed in the ocean of God consciousness can absorb the incessant flow of
material desires without being disturbed. As long as one has the material
body, the demands of the body for sense gratification will continue. The
devotee, however, is not disturbed by such desires because his mind is full
with the ecstasy of Divine Love.
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A God-conscious person is not in need of anything because the Lord fulfills
all his necessities. Therefore he is like the ocean: always full in himself.
Desires may come to him like the waters of the rivers that flow into the
ocean, but he is steady in his activities, and not at all disturbed by desires for
sense gratification. That is the symptom of a God-conscious devotee: he has
lost all inclination for material sense gratification, although the desires are
present in the body. Because he remains satisfied in the transcendental loving
service of the Lord, he remains steady like the ocean, and therefore enjoys full
peace. Others may fulfill their desires in this world, even up to the limit of
liberation, but they can never attain peace. The fruitive workers, the exoteric
religionists and salvationists, and even the mystic yogs who desire
supernatural powers are all unhappy because their desires are unfulfilled. But
the person in God consciousness is happy in the service of the Lord because
he has no selfish desires to be fulfilled. In fact, he does not even desire
liberation from material bondage. The devotees of the Lord have no material
desires, and therefore they are in perfect peace because they are already in the
liberated position.
The Lord concluded, Only 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 can attain real peace. That is the
way of the spiritual and godly life, after attaining which a man is not
bewildered. Being so situated, even at the hour of death, one can enter into
the Kingdom of God. Desireless means freedom from desire for material
sense gratification. But desire is a natural function of the mind and cannot be
stopped artificially. Therefore, one who turns his desires toward becoming
God-conscious, Ka-conscious or Christ-conscious is actually desireless.
The perfect devotee in Christ consciousness understands his actual position
as the eternal servitor of the Lord. He does not falsely claim the material body
to be the self, nor falsely claim proprietorship over anything in the world.
One who is situated in perfection knows clearly that the Lord is the Creator
and Proprietor of everything; therefore everything must be used for His
satisfaction. Jesus did not want to confront his relatives for his own sense
satisfaction, but when he became fully God-conscious he confronted them
because the Lord wanted him to. He had no desire to defeat them for himself,
but for the Lords sake he stayed in the garden and did not try to escape when
his hour of destiny approached.
Desire for the satisfaction of the Lord is really desirelessness, because one
does not desire anything material for his own satisfaction. Therefore
becoming free from desire is not an artificial attempt to abolish desires. The
living entity cannot be desireless or senseless, because both desire and
consciousness are functions of the soul. Therefore he has to change the
quality of the desires from material and selfish to spiritual and devotional. A
materially desireless person certainly knows that everything belongs to the
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Lord, and therefore he does not falsely claim proprietorship over anything.
This transcendental knowledge is based on self-realization. Self-realization
means knowing perfectly well that the spiritual identity of every living entity
is a spiritual spark of consciousness in eternal relationship with the Lord.
Therefore the eternal position of the living entity is subordinate to the Lord,
the Supreme Controller and the original Spiritual Master. This understanding
of God consciousness is the basic principle of real peace.
One can attain Christ consciousness or Divine Love at once, or one may not
attain this exalted state of life even after millions of births. It is only a matter
of understanding and accepting the fact. Many devotees attained this state of
life just a few minutes before their death, by surrendering completely unto
the Lord. According to the nihilist philosophy, there is only void after this
material life, but the Esoteric Teaching reveals the real Truth: actual life
begins after the completion of this material life, when we are engaged in pure
devotional service. For the gross materialist it is sufficient to know that one
has to end this materialistic way of life, but persons who are spiritually
advanced should know that there is another life after this material body.
Before ending this life, if one fortunately becomes God-conscious, he at once
attains the stage of liberation in the Supreme. There is no difference between
the Kingdom of God and the devotional service of the Lord. Since both of
them are on the Absolute plane, to be engaged in the transcendental lovi ng
service of the Lord is the same as attaining the spiritual kingdom. In the
material world there are activities of sense gratification, whereas in the
spiritual world there are activities of devotional service. Attainment of God
consciousness even during this life is immediate attainment of liberation, and
one who is situated in God consciousness or pure devotional service without
any material engagement has certainly already entered into the Kingdom of
God, even in this life.
The Introduction and first three chapters of The Book of Gethsemane
summarize the contents of the whole text. The subject matter of The Book of
Gethsemane includes work in devotion, transcendental knowledge and
devotional service. So far the Lord has revealed the transcendental knowl edge
of the nature of the soul and discussed work in devotion. A glimpse of the
perfection of devotional service has also been given, to preview the contents
of the complete Teaching. The following chapters expand upon these topics
in greater depth.
Thus end the Bhaktisiddhartha purports of the Third Chapter of The Book of
Gethsemane in the matter of the Art of Spiritual Work. All glories to the Holy
Name of the Lord!
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 131
Chapter 4
Duty and Renunciation
Two Paths to the Supreme
In the beginning of The Book of Gethsemane, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead elaborately described the constitution of the soul. He did this to
deliver His son Jesus from the ocean of material grief and lamentation by
reassuring him that the soul, life and consciousness are actually eternal. He
also recommended the path of following the principles of the Esoteric
Teaching, or Christ consciousness, for self-realization. However, sometimes
Christ consciousness is misunderstood to be laziness or inactivity. To avert
this error, Jesus inquired: O my Father, if You think that intelligence is
better than fruitive work, then why do You urge me to engage in this
ghastly confrontation? My intelligence is bewildered by Your equivocal
instructions. Therefore, please tell me decisively what is most beneficial for
me. Those who misunderstand devotional service to be total retirement from
action sometimes withdraw to a secluded place to become fully God-
conscious by praying and chanting the Holy Name of the Lord. But the Lord
did not advise Jesus to withdraw into seclusion; He told Jesus to confront the
conflict and sacrifice his life for the supreme cause. It is impossible to
understand this properly without being trained in the actual philosophy of
Christ consciousness, the timeless Esoteric Teachi ng.
While chanting and meditating on the Holy Name of the Lord is always
beneficial, it is inadvisable to withdraw from active service and chant the
Holy Name in a secluded place. This may get some cheap adoration from the
innocent public, but the Lord does not recommend it in the Esoteric
Teaching. Jesus apparently thought that God consciousness, Ka
consciousness or Christ consciousness, the application of intelligence to
spiritual advancement, meant retirement from active life and the practice of
penance and austerity in seclusion. In other words, he cleverly wanted to
avoid the confrontation with his relatives on the pretext of renunciation.
Certainly regular retreats for intensive spiritual work are beneficial. But by
taking that course of action in the present circumstance, Jesus would be
avoiding his duty and showing a poor example to his disciples and followers.
So as a sincere student, he placed the matter before his Divine Master, and
inquired from the Lord as to his best course of action.
The Lord touched upon many different subjects in the previous chapters as
an introduction to the Esoteric Teaching. He summarized the position of the
soul, control of the senses by intelligence, work without fruitive desire, and
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the symptoms of the self-realized soul. However, the beginning student
requires a more detailed description of the path of the Esoteric Teaching for
complete understanding and intelligent action. Jesus, therefore, wanted to
clear up these apparently confusing matters so that anyone could accept them
without misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Jesus presented himself as
unable to understand whether the main principle of Christ consciousness is
renunciation or active duty. The intention of his question was to clear the
path of Christ consciousness for all future students who seriously want to
understand the mystery of the Esoteric Teaching. In response, the Lord
elaborately explained the proper relationship of duty and renunciation in
Christ consciousness.
The Blessed Lord replied: O sinless Jesus, I have already explained that
there are two classes of men who realize the Supreme Lord. Some are
inclined to understand Him by empirical philosophical speculation, and
others are inclined to know Him by devotional work. Previously the Lord
presented two approaches to self-realization; here, He explains the same
subject more clearly. The analytical study of the nature of spirit and matter is
the preliminary subject matter for persons who are attached to experimental
knowledge and philosophical speculation. After much frustration and error,
this empirical inductive process eventually leads to acceptance of the Esoteric
Teaching as the supreme source of knowledge. Although many empirical
philosophers deny the existence of God, the ultimate goal of a nalytical
philosophy is actually the Lord. The proof of this is that intelligent
philosophers who are sincerely searching after the Absolute Truth ultimately
take shelter of the Esoteric Teaching.
Philosophical speculation is an indirect process by which, after many futile
attempts to understand the truth by ones own effort and intelligence, one
gradually comes to see the purpose and necessity of Christ consciousness.
The real goal of philosophy is to understand the position of the soul in
relationship to the Supersoul. Once all doubts are cleared by detailed study of
the Scriptures and meditation on their Truths, advanced transcendentalists
dedicate themselves to working in Christ consciousness, or devotional
service. When this understanding is established, the process of devotional
service directly connects the soul with the Lord in Christ consciousness. The
Lord also explained that one gains relief from bondage to the law of material
cause and effect (karma) by working for Him according to the principles of
the Esoteric Teaching. This means to work according to ones occupational
duty, while remaining detached and depending entirely on the Supreme Lord
for the result. One who practices this sublime approach to self-realization can
control the senses and approach the supreme destination very easily.
The processes of duty and renunciation are not two separate paths; they are
interdependent, as religion and philosophy. Religion without philosophy is
sentiment, or even fanaticism, while philosophy without religion is simply
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mental speculation without a tangible goal. Therefore while we should have
strong faith and dedication to our work in devotional service, at the same
time we should deeply study the philosophy of the Esoteric Teaching to
understand the process of spiritual development leading to complete
enlightenment in Christ consciousness.
Freedom from Karmic Reaction
The path of devotional service is better than either religion or philosophy
because it does not depend only on faith, or on purifying the mind and senses
by a philosophical process. Practicing Christ consciousness according to the
direction of a self-realized soul is itself the ultimate purifying process, and the
method of devotional service is simultaneously direct, easy and sublime. The
Lord explained, One cannot achieve freedom from reaction merely by
abstaining from work, nor can one attain perfection by renunciation alone.
All beings are forced to act according to the impulses born of the modes of
material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, even
for a moment. The renounced order of life exemplified by Jesus should be
accepted only after being purified by performing prescribed duties according
to the principles of the Esoteric Teaching. The Lord gives various moral
instructions in the revealed Scriptures of the world just to purify the hearts of
materialistic people. Accepting the renounced order of life without
completing this preliminary purification and becoming engaged in pure
devotional service to the Lord leads only to confusion and disaster. According
to the impersonalist philosophers, simply retiring from fruitive activities
makes one as good as God. But without purification of heart, premature
sannysa or renunciation is simply a disturbance to the social and religious
order. An authentic sannys must be situated on the platform of
transcendental consciousness through practice of devotional service.
On the other hand, if anyone begins the process of transcendental service to
the Lord, even without discharging prescribed duties or accepting the
renounced order, the Lord gladly accepts whatever service he is able to
contribute to His purpose. Even a small or incomplete performance of the
principles of devotional service enables one to overcome great difficulties in
life and approach the supreme destination of the Lords eternal abode.
Therefore the Lord does not approve Jesus proposal to escape the imminent
confrontation and renounce his duty, but advises him to continue preaching
to the end.
This is not really an issue of moral rules and obligations or philosophical
principles, but duty in devotional service is required because the soul is
always active by nature. The material body cannot live even for a moment
without the presence of the energetic spirit soul. The body is only a material
vehicle animated by the soul, which is always active and cannot stop even for
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a moment. Even during sleep we are active in dreams. If the energy of the
spirit soul is not engaged in the spiritual activities of Christ consciousness, he
will have to engage in activities dictated by the modes of material nature. The
soul identifies with material qualities due to association with the material
energy, but this is an unnatural and incompatible situation for the pure spirit
soul. The Scriptures enjoin various religious duties to purify the soul from
the qualities of material energy and bring forth his real spiritual nature. But if
the soul is directly engaged in the natural function of devotional service to
the Supreme Lord in Christ consciousness, whatever he is able to do brings
him immediate eternal benefit.
The Esoteric Teaching affirms that if someone takes to devotional service in
Christ consciousness, even though he may not follow the prescribed duties in
the Scriptures nor execute his devotional service properly, and even though
he may fall down from the spiritual standard, there is no loss or evil for him.
But if he carries out all the injunctions for purification in the Scriptures but
does not become engaged in devotional service, what good does it do him if
he is not God-conscious? The rabbis and Pharisees misunderstood Jesus
because they carried out all the moral and religious injunctions of the Jewish
Scriptures to the letter of the law, but they were not God-conscious. Although
they were certainly engaged in the preliminary purificatory process of
scholarship, moral rules and religious duties, they did not understand the
value of pure devotional service. The actual goal of the purificatory process in
the Scriptures is to reach Christ consciousness, or the stage of pure
devotional service without any material activities. Therefore sannysa
(renunciation), or any purificatory process is to help the soul reach the
ultimate goal of becoming God-conscious and engaging in pure devotional
service to the Lord, without which everything in human life is considered a
failure.
The Necessity of Work
The Lord elaborated, One who restrains the senses and organs of action,
but whose mind dwells on sense objects, certainly deludes himself and is
called a pretender. On the other hand, he who controls the senses by the
mind and engages his senses in works of devotion without attachment is far
superior. Perform your prescribed duty, for action is better than inaction. A
man cannot even maintain his physical body without work. There are
many pseudo-spiritualists who refuse to work in devotional service but
pretend to meditate while mentally dwelling upon the objects of sense
enjoyment. Such pretenders may speak some dry philosophy to bluff
sophisticated followers, but according to the Lord they just cheat themselves
and others. One can work in any legitimate occupation to meet the needs of
the material senses. While working to maintain body and soul together, one
who follows the rules and regulations for his occupational duties given in the
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Esoteric Teaching will make gradual progress in purifying his existence. But
someone who makes a show of being spiritually advanced while actually
pursuing wealth, fame and sense gratification is the greatest cheater. Even
though he may sometimes speak about philosophy, his knowledge has no
spiritual potency because his intelligence is contaminated by the illusory
material energy of the Lord. Such a pretenders mind is always impure, and
therefore his show of meditation has no real value.
It is far better to remain in ones normal business instead of becoming a
phony transcendentalist for the sake of transient material wealth and sense
enjoyment. Dedicated performance of occupational duties according to ones
nature provides the material facility required to achieve the actual purpose of
life, which is to get free from material bondage and enter into the spiritual
world, the Kingdom of God. The prime benefit of self-realization is to reach
the Lord in the spiritual world. Performing our specific occupational duties
along with regular study of the Esoteric Teaching under the able guidance of
a spiritual Master Teacher will help us reach this all-important goal of life.
Attaining the highest goal of life does not require us to become brhmaas or
accept the renounced order. A householder in any of the occupational
divisions of life can also reach the supreme destination by regulated service in
Christ consciousness. One can attain self-realization without external
renunciation by following the regulative principles of the Esoteric Teaching,
and continue carrying out ones business without attachment. Regular steady
progress under superior guidance is better than trying to jump to a very
advanced position and then falling down. A sincere person who follows this
method is far better situated than a pretender who cheats himself and
swindles the innocent public. A humble and sincere worker who is steady in
his duty is far better than the charlatan meditator, or a priest who preaches
only for the sake of making a living.
The Lord did not want Jesus to become a pretender. He wanted Jesus to
perform the duties of austerity and spiritual teaching prescribed for the
renounced order. Jesus was a sannys and a preacher, and therefore it was
better for him to perform his religious duties and not try to renounce them
artificially for the purpose of selfish enjoyment and an easy, comfortable life.
Occupational activities performed as duty gradually cleanse the heart of a
mundane man and free him from material contamination. Artificial
renunciation for the purpose of material gain is never approved by the Lord,
or by any religious Scripture. After all, one has to maintain body and soul
together by working; therefore work should not be given up capriciously.
Anyone who is in the material world is certainly possessed of the impure
propensity to enjoy material nature, or in other words, for sense gratification.
Working as a matter of duty clears this polluted propensity. Without
preliminary purification through prescribed duties, one should never attempt
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to become a pseudo-transcendentalist, renouncing work and living at the cost
of others.
The Great Art of Work
Since one has to work just to maintain the body, performing the prescribed
occupational duties for ones social position and quality of work fulfill that
need while one is making gradual progress in self-realization. The work that
we do to maintain the body is not for our personal profit. It is a duty to
maintain the facility for self-realization so kindly provided by the Lord. As
the Lord instructed Jesus, Work must be performed as a sacrifice,
otherwise work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O My son,
perform your prescribed duties for My satisfaction and you will always
remain unattached and free from bondage. In the beginning of creation, as
the Lord of all creatures I sent forth generations of men and demigods with
the process of sacrifice, and blessed them by saying, Be thou happy by this
sacrifice because its performance will bestow all desirable things upon
you. All sacrificial performances are meant for the satisfaction of the Lord.
Whether one performs prescribed duties as sacrifice or directly serves the
Lord as Jesus did, we must work in spiritual consciousness to maintain our
existence while attaining self-realization. Christ consciousness is therefore
based on performance of work as sacrifice to the Lord of all creatures. The
social institution of the Esoteric Teaching engages our occupational activities
as a means of sacrifice to the Lord. No one who adopts this method has to
give up his occupation, or renounce home and family for a monastic life to
make tangible progress in spiritual life. In addition, one who works as a
sacrifice is freed from the consequences of his actions in the material world.
This is the great advantage of the Esoteric Teaching over conventional
religion.
Therefore one has to work for the satisfaction of the Lord alone. Any other
work done in this material world is a cause of bondage. Even good work has a
reaction, and any reaction binds the performer to the law of karma.
Therefore, one has to work in Christ consciousness to satisfy the Lord, and
while performing such dedicated activities one is in a liberated state of
consciousness. This is the great art of doing work, and in the beginning this
process requires very expert guidance. One should therefore work very
diligently under the expert guidance of a spiritual Master Teacher who is an
advanced devotee of the Lord, as Jesus was working under the direct
instruction of the Lord Himself. We should work for the satisfaction of the
Lord instead of for sense gratification. This practice will not only save us
from reactions to our work, but will also gradually elevate us to the
transcendental loving service of the Lord, which alone can bring us to the
Kingdom of God.
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Be thou happy by this sacrifice of the Holy Name!
The material creation freely provided by the Lord of all creatures is a most
valuable opportunity offered to the conditioned souls to come back home,
back to Godhead. All living entities in the material creation are conditioned
by material consciousness because they forget their eternal relationship with
the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The principles of the Esoteric Teaching
help us re-establish this eternal relationship. The Lord says that the purpose
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of the Esoteric Teaching is to enable the conditioned souls to understand
Him. He is the Lord and Father of all living creatures and all worlds, the
reservoir of all beauty and pleasure, and the protector of everyone. The Lord
created this material world for the conditioned souls to learn how to perform
sacrifice for His satisfaction. If we pursue the Lords purpose as revealed in
the Esoteric Teaching, we can live very comfortably wi thout anxiety even in
the material world. Then we can enter into the spiritual Kingdom of God
after finishing the present material body. The intended purpose of the
material creation is to provide facility for performance of sacrificial work,
which is the pathway to spiritual success for the conditioned soul.
By performance of sacrifice, the conditioned souls gradually become God-
conscious and recover their original spiritual qualities. The Esoteric Teaching
most highly recommends the sacrifice of chanting the Holy Names of God for
the present historical age. The Lord introduced this transcendental system for
the deliverance of all men in this fallen age. Chanting the Holy Names of the
Lord and working in Christ consciousness go well together. It is no accident
that Jesus appeared in a family line descended from King David, who made
this chanting process a regular state policy and himself composed so many
nice psalms in glorification of the Lord. In this age, people who are sober,
fortunate and spiritually advanced worship the Lord by chanting His Holy
Names and glorifying His exalted spiritual qualities. Other sacrifices
mentioned in the Esoteric Teaching are impossible to perform properly in
this age, but chanting the Holy Names of the Lord is an easy and effective
process of sacrifice for all spiritual purposes.
Pleasing the Demigods
The demigods are administrators of material affairs empowered by the Lord.
They supply air, light, water and all other material necessities for maintaining
the body and soul of every living entity. The innumerable heavenly demigods
are empowered agents or servants of the Lord in different parts of the
universal body. The Lord delegates the task of universal administration to the
demigods, who are responsible for ample distribution of natural resources
everywhere in the creation. This system of administration created by the all-
perfect Lord is also perfect; therefore, any apparent shortage of resources in
this world is simply due to the misbehavior and mismanagement of greedy,
imperfect human beings. The Lord explained, The demigods in charge of
the various necessities of life supply all necessities to man when they are
satisfied by performance of sacrifice. Being pleased by sacrifice, the
demigods will also please you; thus nourishing one another, there will be
general prosperity for all. But anyone who enjoys these gifts without
offering them in sacrifice is certainly a thief. The pleasures and
displeasures of the demigods are responsive to our performance of sacrifice. It
is stated in the Esoteric Teaching that the Lord Himself is the beneficiary of
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all kinds of sacrifice. Therefore, ultimate satisfaction of the Lord is the chief
purpose of all sacrifice. When these sacrifices are nicely performed, the Lord
is satisfied, so naturally the demigods in charge of the departments of
universal supply are pleased to provide a plentiful supply of natural
resources. Performance of sacrifice has many benefits, ultimately leading to
liberation from material bondage. By performance of sacrifice, all activities
become purified.
As the Lord explains below, by performance of sacrifice ones food becomes
sanctified, and by eating sanctified food, ones existence becomes purified; by
the purification of existence, finer memory tissues in the brain become
purified, and when the mind is sanctified, one can think of the path of
liberation. All these combined together lead to Christ consciousness, the great
necessity of human society. The demigods are authorized supplying agents on
behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore we must satisfy
them by performance of prescribed duty and sacrifice to the Lord to have a
peaceful, comfortable life. Some ancient religions prescribe different kinds of
sacrifices for the demigods, but all sacrifices are ultimately offered to the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. Different types of sacrifices are
recommended in the Scriptures of the world according to the material
qualities of different people. Sacrifice to the demigods is recommended only
for more or less primitive people who cannot understand the supremacy of
the Personality of Godhead. Worshipers are attracted to different demigods
on the basis of their qualities of consciousness and spiritual advancement.
For example, meat-eaters who are in the mode of ignorance generally worship
the ghastly form of material nature, and they perform bloody sacrifices of
animals. But for those who are in the mode of goodness, the Esoteric
Teaching recommends transcendental worship of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead by chanting His Holy Names.
Ultimately, all sacrifices provide the result of gradual promotion to the
transcendental position over many lives. One should know, however, that the
demigod agents of the Lord directly supply all the necessities of life. No
human can manufacture any of these necessities. Take food, for example.
Necessary foods include grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, sugar, herbs, spices
and so on for the persons in the mode of goodness, and also non-vegetarian
foods like eggs, fish and meats, none of which can be manufactured by any
industrial process. Human endeavor cannot manufacture other necessities
like heat, light, water and air either. Without the Supreme Lord, there can be
no abundant sunlight, moonlight, rainfall, breeze, earth or so many other
natural necessities, without which no one can live. Obviously, our life is
dependent on supplies from the Lord. Even for our manufacturing
enterprises, we require so many raw materials like metal, sulfur, mercury,
manganese, and so many other essentials. The empowered agents of the Lord
supply all these necessities, and no human being can create them. So we
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should make proper use of them to keep ourselves fit for the purpose of self-
realization, leading to the ultimate goal of life: liberation from the material
struggle for existence. This aim of life is attained by performance of sacrifice.
The demigods, satisfied by sacrifice to the Lord,
supply all needs to mankind
If we forget the purpose of human life and simply take supplies from the
agents of the Lord for sense gratification, we become more and more
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entangled in material existence. This is not the purpose of the creation, nor is
such selfish use of His natural resources authorized by the Lord. Therefore by
enjoying the Lords material resources without offering them first in sacrifice,
we certainly become thieves, and the laws of material nature punish us. A
society of thieves can never be happy because their aim in life is against Gods
Law. Therefore there are so many troubles in the present misdirected
materialist society. The gross materialist thieves have no ultimate spiritual
goal of life. They are simply trying to exploit resources provided by the
demigods for the purpose of satisfying the Lord for their own sense
gratification; nor do they have any spiritual knowledge or inclination to
perform sacrifice for the Lord. The Lord, however, inaugurated the easiest
performance of sacrifice, namely the congregational chanting of His Holy
Names, which anyone in the world who accepts the principles of Christ
consciousness and the Esoteric Teaching easily can perform.
Food of the Saints
The devotees of the Supreme Lord, or the persons who are in Christ
consciousness, are called sntas (saints), and they are always in love with the
Lord. They look upon their Beloved Lord with eyes of affection smeared with
tears of ecstatic joy and love. The saints, being always in a confidential
compact of devotional love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
address Him with various affectionate names like Govinda (the giver of all
pleasures), Mukunda (the giver of liberation), and Ka (the all-attractive
person). The pure devotees cannot accept anything without first offering it to
the Supreme Person. Out of love, they want to give everything nice to Him
first. Before eating they always offer nice vegetarian food to the Lord with
beautiful ceremonies and prayers, and then taste the remnants of their
offerings with great devotion and relish. Therefore the Lord reminded Jesus,
My devotees are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food
which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal
sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin. Such devotees always perform
sacrifices in different modes of devotional service, such as hearing about the
Lord, chanting His Holy Names, remembering Him, bowing down before Him
in the Temple, offering the results of their work and other activities to Him
and so on. These performances of sacrifice always protect them from all
contamination of sinful material association. Non-devotees, who prepare
impure animal food for their own or others sense gratification, are not only
thieves as described above, but are also eating all kinds of impurities and sins.
How can a person be happy if he is both a thief and sinful? It is not possible.
Therefore, we see so much unnecessary suffering and strife in the world. For
the people of the world to become happy in all respects, they must perform
the easy process of chanting the Holy Names of the Lord in full Christ
consciousness, and offering pure vegetarian food to the Lord before eating.
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The Esoteric Teaching shows us how to live without karmic reaction, but to
do so we have to be willing to change our purpose in life from material sense
gratification to devotional service. Otherwise, there can be no lasting peace or
happiness in the world or in life because we will constantly be suffering the
fruits of our sinful activities.
The books of the Nag Hammadi scrolls reveal that Jesus was the leader of the
Essenes, who were strict vegetarians. Therefore it is certain that Jesus did not
eat meat. He may have eaten fish on occasion, as a necessity while traveling
on his preaching missions. But there is no question that Jesus Christ would
ever touch animal food such as beef, what to speak of pork or other unclean
food. More than that, before eating he would offer all his food to the Supreme
Lord in sacrifice, as recommended in the ancient Esoteric Teaching.
Therefore the Lord stressed: All living bodies subsist on food grains, which
are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of sacrifice,
and sacrifice is born of prescribed duties. The Supreme Lord is the
personal beneficiary of all sacrifices. He is also the Master of all demigods,
who serve Him as the different limbs of the body serve the whole. The
demigods are not themselves gods, but advanced living entities appointed by
the Lord to manage the affairs of the material universe. The Esoteric Teaching
advises us to perform sacrifice to satisfy the Lord, and this also pleases the
demigods since they are devotees of the Lord. When the demigods are pleased
they bountifully supply air, light and water to produce ample food and grain.
When we worship the Lord, we also automatically worship the demigods,
who are different limbs of the Lord performing delegated functions of
universal management; therefore there is no need to worship the demigods
separately from the Lord, as some less-intelligent persons do.
For example, the devotees of the Lord offer food to the Lord in Christ
consciousness, and then eata sacrifice that spiritualizes the body. This
sacrifice neutralizes reactions to past sinful activities, and immunizes us from
the contamination of material nature. A vaccine protects a person from the
attack of an epidemic. Similarly, food offered to the Lord before being eaten
makes us resistant to the infection of material consciousness. A person who is
accustomed to this practice is called a devotee of the Lord. Therefore, a
person in Christ consciousness who eats only food spiritualized by offering it
to the Lord easily counteracts all infections of reactions to past material
activities, destroying all impediments to progressive self-realization. But one
who eats material food increases the amount of sinful reaction, and this
contaminates the body with the resultant reactions of these sins. The material
world is very contaminated, but a devotee is immunized by accepting food
offered to the Lord, whereas one who does not offer his food remains
unprotected from material contamination.
Food grains, vegetables and milk products are the proper diet for spiritual
progress in human life. Domestic animals can eat the chaff of the food grains,
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leftover vegetables, grass and other plants. Unenlightened human beings who
are habituated to eating meat and flesh must also depend on the production
of vegetation to feed the animals they slaughter. In the ultimate issue, we all
depend on agricultural production and not on the output of industrial
factories to eat. The field production depends on sufficient rain, and the
demigods control the supply of rain. The demigods are all servants of the
Lord, and they are pleased only when the Lord is pleased by sacrifice. Human
beings can satisfy the Lord by sacrifices; but one who does not perform them
will find himself in scarcitythat is the law of nature. Sacrifice, specifically
the offering of food to the Lord and the chanting of His Holy Names
prescribed for this age, must be performed to save us at least from scarcity of
food.
If the reader doubts this Truth, consider that as this is being written,
agriculture and the environment are approaching a grave crisis. Rainfall has
decreased all over the world as a result of global warming trends, and the
transformation of formerly arable land into desert is increasing at an alarming
rate. Now multinational agricultural interests are destroying millions of acres
of jungle to plant crops, decreasing the production of rain still further and
exacerbating the problem. In addition, artificial methods of agricul ture
introduced by the material empirical scientists are reducing the immunity of
plants and livestock to infections like mad cow disease, which also infects
humans. Whenever there is disregard in human society for the spiritual laws
of the Lord, trouble follows like a shadow. Unless we follow the occupational
rules and perform the sacrifices prescribed in the Esoteric Teaching, there
will never be complete peace and plenty for all the people of the world.
Where to Find God
Work for the satisfaction of the Lord is the express necessity of human life.
To achieve the satisfaction of the beneficiary of sacrifice, the Lord, we must
find out from the transcendental Esoteric Teaching how to succeed in this
kind of work. The Teaching provides the instructions for transcendental
work. Any work done against the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching is
unauthorized or sinful work. Therefore to be saved from the reaction of work,
one should always follow the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching. As the
Lord explained to Jesus, Regulated activities are prescribed in the Esoteric
Teaching, and the Esoteric Teaching is directly manifested from Myself, the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. Consequently the all-pervading
Transcendence is eternally situated in acts of sacrifice. Just as we have to
work in ordinary life under the authority and direction of the state law,
similarly, we also have to work under the authority and direction of the
supreme universal state of the Lord. The Supreme Personality of Godhead
directly speaks the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching. Therefore in case of
any conflict, the Law of God supersedes the law of the state. The Lord, being
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omnipotent, glanced over material nature and thus impregnated the material
energy with all the spiritual living entities who desired material existence.
After impregnating the conditioned souls into the womb of material nature,
He gave directions in the Esoteric Teaching how the conditioned souls can
return home, back to Godhead. Thus the actual purpose of the Lords
creation of the material universe is to provide adequate facility for the
conditioned living beings to execute the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching
and perfect their spiritual life.
The conditioned souls in material nature are all eager for material enjoyment.
The directions of the Esoteric Teaching are designed so that one can satisfy
ones material desires, then having finished his so-called enjoyment, return
back to our real home, back to Godhead. The material universe is a chance
for the conditioned souls to attain liberation; therefore we must try to follow
the process of sacrifice by becoming God-conscious. Even those who cannot
follow all the injunctions of the Esoteric Teaching may adopt the principles of
Christ consciousness by chanting the Holy Names of the Lord, and attain the
same result through the gradual cultivation of pure devotion.
In the course of our preaching and teaching work, sometimes people who are
bewildered by doubts will challenge, Where is God? Can you show me God?
Only then I will believe. Here the Lord Himself answers this objection by
disclosing the method to perceive Him directly. Although in conditioned
consciousness our spiritual vision is blinded by the glare of the material
energy, we can see God through the performance of sacrifice. Since the
location of Transcendence is within the act of sacrifice itself, by performing
sacrifice we develop the vision to perceive the presence of the Lord. If one
sincerely follows the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching and transforms
every act of life into a sacrifice, the Lord reveals Himself at every turn of life
as the greatest Friend. This is an esoteric mystery that can only be
experienced, not explained or proven, but it is open to anyone who is willing
to undertake the experiment of implementing this Teaching in his own life.
Liberation from Duty
The Lord continued, My dear Jesus, a man who does not follow the system
of sacrifice prescribed in the Esoteric Teaching certainly leads a life of sin,
for a person delighting only in the senses lives in vain. However, one who
is illuminated in his soul, who takes pleasure in the Lord, who rejoices in
and is satisfied with the Supersoul only, fully satiatedfor him there is no
duty. Here the Lord condemns the materialist philosophy of work very hard
and enjoy sense gratification. Therefore, the process of performing sacrifice
presented above is absolutely necessary even for those who want to enjoy this
material world. One who does not follow the regulations of the Esoteric
Teaching is living a very dangerous life, becoming more and more
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condemned to a hellish state of existence by his own selfish actions. Gods
Law specifically designates this human form of life for self-realization by any
of the three paths of Transcendence: intelligent analysis of spirit and matter
(skhya-yoga), working for the Lord as a sacrifice (karma-yoga), or pure
devotion (bhakti-yoga). Anyone may adopt any or all of these methods
according to inclination and ability; therefore anyone can approach the goal
of human lifeself-realizationand we ignore the Lords instruction at our
peril.
The quality of our activity determines the quality of the result. Those who are
not God-conscious are certainly engaged in materialistic work to satisfy their
senses; therefore they must perform work as a sacrifice to counteract the
inevitable negative karmic results. The system of sacrifice given in the
Esoteric Teaching is designed so sensual persons may satisfy their desires
without becoming entangled in the vicious reactions of self -gratificatory
work. The prosperity of the world depends not on our own efforts, but on the
orders of the Supreme Lord implemented by the demigods. Therefore, the
sacrifices given in the Esoteric Teaching are directly aimed at the pleasure of
the Supreme Lord. Following the process as recommended in the Esoteric
Teaching automatically results in opulence and prosperity for all. This
process of sacrifice is indirect practice of devotion or Christ consciousness,
because when one works for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, one is sure
to become God-conscious to some degree. But if one does not become God-
conscious and develop devotional love of God by performing work as a
sacrifice, he is seeing these principles as only external moral codes. One
should not limit his progress to following moral codes, but should transcend
them to attain Christ consciousness, the ultimate purpose of human life.
A person who is fully God-conscious, and is thus fully satisfied by devotional
work in Christ consciousness, no longer has any duty to perform. All his
impiety is completely cleansed by his God consciousness, an effect of many
thousands of sacrificial performances. By clearing the consciousness of
material infection, he becomes fully confident of his eternal position in
relationship with the Supreme. His duty is revealed automatically by the grace
of the Lord, and he no longer has any obligations to Scriptural injunctions
because he has fulfilled the ultimate purpose of those injunctions. Such a
God-conscious person is no longer interested in material activities and takes
no pleasure in material arrangements like wine, women and similar
infatuations, for he has become a pure devotee of the Lord. This is pure
devotional service, the highest goal of human life.
The Lord explained further, A perfectly self-realized soul has no purpose to
fulfill in the discharge of his prescribed duties, nor has he any reason not
to perform such work. Nor has he any need to depend on any other living
being. Therefore, one should act as a matter of duty without being attached
to the fruits of your work; for by working without attachment, one attains
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the Supreme. For advanced transcendentalists who have achieved perfection
in God consciousness or Christ consciousness, there is no necessity of
performing prescribed sacrifices, for they have already achieved the aim and
intent of such duties. A self-realized soul is no longer obliged to do anything
except devotional activities in Christ consciousness. Christ consciousness is
not inactivity either, but devotional service performed out of pure love for
God. A God-conscious man does not take shelter of anyone except the
Supreme Lord. Whatever he does in Christ consciousness is sufficient to
satisfy both the Lord and himself. But for those who are still engaged in sense
gratification, purification by the sacrificial performances is an absolute
necessity. The Supreme appears different from different states of
consciousness. The Absolute is liberation for the impersonalist, but the
devotees see the Supreme as the Personality of Godhead, the eternal Friend. A
person in any state of spiritual advancement who works for the Lord in Christ
consciousness is certainly making progress toward the supreme goal of life.
The key to success is to work under the guidance of a self-realized soul
without attachment to the result.
The Lord tells Jesus that he should remain in the Garden and confront his
relatives, because the Lord wanted him to preach and not try to escape, even
though there was certain to be violence. To be a good man or a nonviolent
man is attachment to moral principles, but to act on the order of the Supreme
is to act on the Absolute spiritual platform without attachment for the result.
That is perfect action of the highest quality as recommended by the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, the Lord. The sacrifices prescribed in the Esoteric
Teaching are performed for purification of impious activities performed in the
field of sense gratification. But action in Christ consciousness is
transcendental to the reactions of good or evil work. A God-conscious person
has no attachment for the result but acts on the desire of the Lord alone. He
may engage in all kinds of activities, but is completely unattached to the
result. This is the secret of unassailable peace.
The Lord continued, Even great kings like David and others attained
perfection by performing prescribed duties. Therefore, do your duty just
for the sake of educating the people in general. Whatever a great man does,
common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by
his exemplary acts, the entire world pursues. Great God-conscious kings
like David were perfectly self-realized souls; consequently they had no
obligation to perform the prescribed duties in the Scriptures. Nevertheless
they performed all prescribed duties enthusiastically, just to set a good
example for the people in their care. David was the forefather of Jesus. Being
a great devotee of the Lord, he was transcendentally situated, but because he
was the King of Jerusalem, he had to teach his subjects how to fight
righteously in battle. He and his royal militia fought to teach people in
general that violence is sometimes necessary to set things right in a situation
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where good arguments fail. Similarly, Jesus made every effort to adjust the
enmity of his relatives with good Scriptural arguments and peaceful
negotiation, but the other party was determined to be unreasonable.
Nevertheless, it was Jesus duty as a renunciant and preacher to stand his
ground and preach, even though it meant his death and the subsequent doom
of his adversaries the rabbis, Pharisees and their followers.
Although one who is situated in Christ consciousness may not have any
interest in the world, he still works to teach the public how to live and how
to act. Experienced devotees in Christ consciousness should act in such a way
that others will follow, for they are in a position to know how to act for self-
realization, the ultimate benefit of human life. People in general are like
children; they require a leader who can teach them by practical behavior. A
leader cannot teach the public to stop sin if he himself sins. Therefore a
teacher should behave properly even before he begins teaching. One who
teaches by example is an ideal teacher because he teaches by behavior as well
as precept. A teacher or leader must himself follow the principles of Scripture
to show the right way to the public. The teacher cannot misbehave or
manufacture rules against the principles of the Esoteric Teaching, or he loses
the support of the Law of God. The revealed Scriptures are the standard
rulebooks to be followed by human society. Thus the leaders teaching should
be based on the principles of the standard rulebooks as the great teachers of
religion practice them. The Esoteric Teaching affirms that one should follow
in the footsteps of great devotees, and that is the way of progress on the path
of spiritual realization. The king or the executive head of state, the elders of
the family and the schoolteacher are all natural leaders of the innocent people
in general. These natural leaders have a great responsibility to their
dependents; therefore they must be conversant with standard Scriptural
books of moral and spiritual codes. Above and beyond that, they have an
obligation to show the people the path of liberation from all suffering.
Therefore leaders and teachers must become expert in the subtle ways of the
Esoteric Teaching, so they can successfully deliver the people in their charge
from the pangs of material existence.
The Lords Work
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in the Esoteric Teaching as
the controller of all other controllers, and He is the greatest of all the
planetary leaders. Everyone is under His control. The Supreme Lord alone
delegates all living entities with particular power; even the demigods are not
supreme themselves. He is also worshipable by all demigods and is the
supreme director of all directors. Therefore, He is transcendental to all kinds
of material leaders and controllers and is worshipable by all. There is no one
greater than Him, and He is the supreme cause of all causes. He does not
possess temporary material bodily form like that of an ordinary living entity.
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There is no difference between His body and His soul. He is the Absolute. All
His senses are transcendental. Any one of His senses can perform the action
of any other sense. Therefore, no one is equal to or greater than Him. His
potencies are multifarious and indefatigable, and thus His will is
automatically performed as a natural sequence without His further endeavor.
Since the Supreme Personality of Godhead possesses unlimited opulence and
is the perfect Absolute Truth, there is no duty for Him to perform. So why did
He appear to deliver the Esoteric Teaching to Jesus and his disciples? The
Lord explained His own actions to Jesus: O son of Mary, there is no work
prescribed for Me within all the planetary systems. Nor am I in need of
anything, nor do I need to obtain anythingand yet I am engaged in work.
For, if I di d not work, O Jesus, certainly all men would follow My path. If I
should cease to work, then all these worlds would be put to ruin. I would
also be the cause of creating unwanted population, and I would thereby
destroy the peace of all sentient beings. One who needs to obtain the
results of work to approach perfection has some designated duty, but the
Lord, who has nothing to achieve within any planetary system, certainly has
no duty. He acts only according to His sweet will. And yet the Lord is
engaged in presenting the wisdom of the Esoteric Teaching to Jesus in the
Garden of Gethsemane. He accepts this work in pursuance of His purpose to
uplift the souls trapped in the material illusion. He is not obligated to work,
but He does so to benedict the fallen souls out of love.
Jesus appealed to the Lord in his distress at having to confront his bellicose
relatives, and the Lord appeared in this material world as his Teacher just to
protect, comfort and instruct him. Although He is above all the regulations of
the revealed Scriptures, He never does anything that violates the codes of the
Scriptures. Therefore the Lord engages in the duties of religious instruction,
presenting the original Esoteric Teaching whenever and wherever human
society deviates too much from the real purpose of life. If He did not perform
this task, He would teach idleness and irresponsibility by His example.
Common men would follow in His footsteps, because He is the greatest
authority. This would lead to chaos in human society, for we would naturally
forget that the right path to attain spiritual emancipation is through
performance of prescribed duties without attachment, as a devotional
sacrifice to the Lord.
Unwanted population means children born out of wedlock or as a result of
illicit sexual affairs, and raised in a sinful atmosphere without proper spiritual
training in their formative years. Such unwanted sinful population simply
disturbs the peace of the general society. The rules and regulations for family
life prescribed in the Scriptures of the world are designed to check this social
disturbance. If people follow these rules, society automatically becomes
peaceful and properly organized for spiritual progress in life. When the Lord
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descends, naturally He emphasizes such rules and regulations in order to
maintain the prestige and necessity of spiritual family life.
The Lord is the Father of all living entities, so if the living entities are
misguided and fall into a chaotic condition, indirectly the responsibility goes
to the Lord. Therefore, whenever there is general disregard of spiritual
regulative principles in human society, the Lord corrects the society through
His empowered representative or by descending Himself. In the case of the
rabbis and Pharisees, they displeased the Lord by their pride and disobedient
attitude. The Lord had decided long ago in the time of the Prophets to
destroy them, for they were no longer in alignment with His purpose. He
used Jesus as His instrument to accomplish this objective: the rabbis and
Pharisees sealed their death warrant by persecuting him. Simultaneously He
revealed a new dispensation of the eternal Esoteric Teaching through Jesus to
become the master plan for human society from that time forward. Therefore
we have seen that since the time of Jesus, his teachings gradually have
become a leading influence in human culture all over the world.
By acting to preserve spiritual values in human society, the Lord protects and
encourages all His children, the living entities, to follow Him in the
performance of assigned duties. We should, however, remember that
although we have to follow in the footsteps of the Lord, we cannot imitate
Him. Following the Lord is worship, while imitating Him is offensive. We
cannot imitate the Lord by creating innumerable planetary systems; that is
impossible for any human being. Constitutionally, the spirit souls are
predominated by the Lord. We have to follow His instructions, but we may
not imitate Him at any time.
The Lord continued, As the ignorant work with attachment to results,
similarly the learned may also act, but without attachment, to lead people
on the right path. The wise should not disrupt the minds of the ignorant
who are attached to fruitive action. They should not be encouraged to
refrain from work, but to engage in work in the spirit of devotion. People
in Christ consciousness are differentiated from those in material
consciousness by their desire and attitude. A God-conscious person avoids
anything not conducive to development of Christ consciousness. He may
even perform various material duties, such as maintaining a professional
business or taking care of home and family, exactly like an ignorant person
who is identified with the material body and thus overly attached to material
activities. The difference is in the motivation and detachment of the Christ-
conscious person. The materialist engages in activities for the satisfaction of
his personal sense gratification, whereas the devotee works for the
satisfaction of the Lord. Therefore, the God-conscious person is required to
show not only a good example of how to perform all the ordinary duties of
life nicely, but also how to engage the results of action for the purpose of
Christ consciousness.
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This is why the Lord does not advise His devotees to seek complete
renunciation from all material activity, but to work in devotion for Him. For
ourselves it would be sufficient to camp under a tree and chant the Holy
Names of the Lord, but this would send a misleading message to the society
in general. People need to be encouraged to perform their regular duties
nicely, to qualify them to receive spiritual knowledge and embark on the
esoteric path of self-realization. One cannot begin the study of the Esoteric
Teaching unless he is situated in the mode of goodness, beyond passion and
ignorance. One attains the platform of goodness by performance of regular
duties. Therefore the wise should lead a normal life in all respects, except that
all their actions are motivated and guided by their love and devotion for the
Lord.
The Supreme Lord is the objective of all prescribed duties and religious
rituals. All duties, all performance of sacrifice, and everything revealed in the
Scripturesfrom directions for ordinary material activities up to the most
recondite spiritual secrets of the Esoteric Teachingare meant for
understanding the Lord as the ultimate goal of life. But because the
conditioned souls do not know anything beyond sense gratification, they
study the Scriptures for clues to material advantage. So in the beginning of
spiritual life, the mundane religionists follow the principles of the Scripture
in hope of material advancement and prosperity. Despite their mundane
mentality, performing the prescribed duties of the Scriptures is purifying.
Thus by following the regulations of spiritual life, especially the glorification
of the Lords Holy Names, one is gradually elevated to God consciousness,
and then to Christ consciousness or pure devotional service.
Therefore a realized soul in Christ consciousness should not disturb others in
their activities or understanding, but he should act, showing how the results
of all work should be dedicated to the service of the Lord. The learned God-
conscious person should act in such a way that ignorant people working for
sense gratification and suffering the reactions of sinful life may learn how to
act for spiritual advancement. Although the developed God-conscious
devotee should not disturb the ignorant mans activities or make efforts to
forcibly change his understanding, he may engage directly in the service of
the Lord by advancement of knowledge in the Esoteric Teaching without
performing all the rules and rituals of the ordinary Scriptures. For this
fortunate man there is no need to follow the Scriptural rituals, because direct
God-conscious service under the principles of the Esoteric Teaching
automatically provides all the results of following the prescribed duties of the
Scriptures.
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The Work of the Wise
A person in Christ consciousness and another in material consciousness
performing the same task may appear to be working on the same platform,
but there is a tremendous difference in his consciousness. Therefore the Lord
instructed Jesus, The bewildered spirit soul under the influence of the
three modes of material nature thinks he is the doer of activities that are
actually carried out by nature. Bewildered by the modes of material nature,
the ignorant fully engage themselves in material activities and become
attached. But the wise should not unsettle them, although these duties are
inferior due to the performers lack of knowledge. The person in material
consciousness is convinced by false ego that he is doing everything. He does
not know that the mechanism of the body is produced by the modes of
material nature, which work under the supervision of the Supreme Lord. The
materialistic person does not know that ultimately he is under the control of
the Lord. Because of false ego he takes all credit for his actions. That is the
symptom of his nescience, for work done on ones own account traps one in
an endless regress of material cause and effect.
One who labors under the spell of illusion does not know that this gross body
and subtle mind are creations of material nature under the order of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since neither his body nor mind is actually
his property, his bodily and mental activities should be dedicated in the
service of the Lord, in Christ consciousness. The ignorant man does not
know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is called Hkea because He
is master of the senses of the material body. Because of his long misuse of the
senses in sense gratification, he is totally bewildered by false ego in material
bodily identification. Thus the bewildered soul thinks that he is the body and
mind, which makes him forget his eternal relationship with the Lord.
Spiritually ignorant people falsely identify with gross material consciousness
and define their identity in terms of temporary material designations. This
body is a gift of material nature, and is supposed to be used in the pursuit of
self-realization. One who is too attached to bodily consciousness without
understanding the position of the spirit soul is lazy, no matter how hard he
may be working for sense gratification. Ignorant people think the body is the
self, accept bodily connections with others as relationship, think the land in
which the body is born is the object of worship, and consider the formalities
of religious rituals to be ends in themselves. Under the spell of temporary
material designations, they are always working in the material field. Social
work, nationalism and altruism are the best activities such materially
designated persons can conceive. Spiritual realization is a myth to them, and
so they are uninterested. Such bewildered persons may even engage in
primary moral principles, such as nonviolence and similar materially
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benevolent work. Nevertheless, they remain entrapped in a network of cause
and effect due to accepting an illusory material identity as the self.
However, those who are enlightened in spiritual consciousness should not try
to approach such materially engrossed persons to teach them the Absolute
Truth. The Lord advises Jesus that it is better to prosecute ones own spiritual
activities silently to serve as a good example of a self-realized soul. Ignorant
men cannot appreciate activities in Christ consciousness, and therefore the
Lord advises us not to disturb them and simply waste valuable time.
Indirectly the Lord is chastising Jesus for trying to preach the Truth to the
ignorant rabbis and Pharisees, thus provoking them to attack him. But the
pure devotees of the Lord are even more merciful than the Lord because they
understand the purpose of the Lord. Consequently they undertake all kinds
of risks, even to the point of approaching ignorant men to try to engage them
in the acts of Christ consciousness, the Absolute necessity for the human
being.
For example, we are certain that publishing a book like The Book of
Gethsemane will provoke a storm of criticism from the conventional sectarian
Christian community. Those who misunderstand the thesis of the Esoteric
Teaching and oppose the conclusion of this work on dogmatic grounds may
attack us in so many ways. Nevertheless we are determined to proceed
despite all difficulties, and promote these Truths as broadly as possible in
human society for the benefit of everyone. As discussed above, the Esoteric
Teaching is the ultimate formula for peace and prosperity for the entire
worlds people. It is essential that the leaders of the world adopt its spiritual
principles, for this will allow them to lead the people in general to an era of
unprecedented global prosperity, peace and well-being.
The Perfection of Work
The Lord declared, One who is in knowledge of the Absolute Truth, O
thou of mighty faith, does not engage himself in the senses and sense
gratification, knowing well the differences between work for fruitive results
and work in devotion. Therefore, O Jesus, perform your prescribed duty
with mind intent on Me, surrendering all your work unto Me, without
desire for gain and free from egoism and lethargy. One who knows the
Absolute Truth feels embarrassed at his awkward position in material
existence. He knows that he is the beloved spiritual child of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, and that he should not be trapped in the material
creation. He knows his real identity as part and parcel of the Supreme, who is
eternal bliss and knowledge, and he realizes that somehow or other he has
fallen into the illusory material conception of life. He also knows that his
pure state of existence is to offer all his activities in devotional service to the
Supreme Personality of Godhead.
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He therefore engages himself in the activities of Christ consciousness. By such
spiritual work he gradually becomes unattached to the circumstantial,
temporary qualities and activities of the material senses. He realizes that his
condition of life is under the supreme control of the Lord; consequently he
becomes tolerant of all dualities and undisturbed by material reactions, which
he considers to be the mercy of the Lord to teach him detachment. He who
knows the Absolute Truth in three different featuresimpersonal Brahman,
localized Paramtm, and the Supreme Personality of Godheadand also
knows his own factual position in relationship with the Supreme, is a true
knower of the Supreme Absolute Truth. We attain this state of complete
transcendental knowledge by study and practice of the Esoteric Teaching
under the care and guidance of a fully self-realized soul.
Here the Lord clearly indicates the purpose of the Esoteric Teaching. The
Lord instructs Jesus that one has to become fully God-conscious and
discharge his prescribed duties with detachment, as a spiritual discipline.
This injunction may seem difficult; nevertheless we must perform prescribed
work with complete dependence on the Lord, because that is the
constitutional position of the living entity. The living entity cannot be happy
independently of the Lord. We need the cooperation of the Supreme Lord
because the eternal constitutional position of the living entity is subordinate
to the desires of the Lord. Therefore the Lord ordered Jesus to work under
His direction as if the Lord were his military commander. One has to sacrifice
everything to the Lord, at the same time discharging prescribed duties
without claiming proprietorship, to deserve the goodwill of the Supreme
Lord. Jesus did not have to consider whether the order of the Lord was
correct or not; he had only to accept and execute His order. The Supreme
Lord is the soul of all souls. He has complete knowledge of past, present and
future, and He also knows the inner psychological nature of all beings.
Therefore, one in full knowledge of the Absolute Truth is fully God-
conscious and has perfected his knowledge as far as humanly possible; he
depends solely and wholly on the Supreme Soul without doubts or personal
considerations.
Surrender means that one has to act on the order of the Lord without
expecting personal profit. The cashier may count millions of dollars for his
employer, but he does not claim a cent for himself. Similarly, one has to
realize that nothing in the world belongs to any individual person, but that
everything belongs to the Supreme Lord. That is the real meaning of
surrender unto the Lord. One who is in Christ consciousness does not claim
proprietorship over anything. Instead he thinks, Nothing is mine; everything
should be used for Gods pleasure. We should respond to the Lords order
immediately, without consideration of so-called kinsmen in the bodily
relationship. As Jesus said, Let the dead bury their dead. If we feel any
reluctance to execute this firm order, that reluctance should be disregarded;
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in this way one attains the mode of goodness, becoming sober and giving up
both the passionate enjoying mentality and ignorant lethargy. Everyone has a
particular type of work to perform according to his natural qualities and
relationship with the Lord. Discharging these duties in Christ consciousness
as described above leads one to the path of liberation.
Freedom from Bondage
The order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the essence of all
Scriptural wisdom, the Absolute Truth, and therefore is eternally and
unconditionally true. As the Esoteric Teaching is eternal, so the method of
working in Christ consciousness is also eternal. One should have firm faith in
this injunction without taking a rebellious or envious attitude toward the
Lord. As the Lord told Jesus in the garden, One who executes his duties
according to My injunctions and who follows this teaching faithfully,
without envy, becomes free from the bondage of fruitive actions. But those
who disregard these teachings out of envy and do not practice them
regularly are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and
doomed to ignorance and bondage. There are many foolish speculators who
write commentaries on the Scriptures but have no faith in the Lord. The Lord
grants us free will, so they are entitled to their opinions, but they cannot
obtain liberation from the bondage of fruitive action by speculating some
path different from the order of the Lord. However, a sincere man of ordinary
intelligence who has firm faith in the eternal injunctions of the Lord becomes
liberated from the bondage of the law of karma, even if he is unable to
execute such orders. The beginning student of the Esoteric Teaching may not
be able to discharge the order of the Lord perfectly, but if he is not resentful
of the Lords direction and works sincerely without giving up or becoming
hopeless, he will gradually advance to the stage of pure Christ consciousness.
Here the Lord reveals the fatal flaw of failing to attain God consciousness. As
there is punishment by the laws of the state for disobedience to the order of
the executive head of state, so there is certainly spiritual punishment for the
disobedience of the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A
disobedient person, however great he may be in material calculation, is
ignorant of his own self and the Personality of Godhead, due to a heart
contaminated by material desire. Therefore there is no hope of perfection in
this life for such a fallen person.
The Lord continued, Even a man of knowledge acts according to his own
nature, for everyone follows his nature. What can repression accomplish?
Attraction and repulsion for sense objects are felt by embodied beings, but
one should not fall under the control of senses and sense objects because
they are obstacles on the path of self-realization. Everyones material body
is conditioned by the influence of some combination of the three modes of
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material nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. The Esoteric Teaching
assigns prescribed duties to an individual on the basis of his particular
combination of modes. For example, those primarily in the mode of goodness
are brhmaas designated to work as priests, intellectuals and teachers. Those
predominantly in the mode of passion are engaged in government or business
administration and protection of the citizens. People in the mixed modes of
passion and ignorance are engaged in the duties of trade, finance and
agriculture, while those in the mode of ignorance are to work in service to the
other three occupational divisions. A trained observer can ascertain the
modes of a particular individuals embodiment on the basis of astrological
analysis and direct observation of his or her psychological and physiological
qualities, even at an early age. It is very harmful, both to the individual and to
society, to engage in duties that are inappropriate to ones actual situation in
the modes of nature. For example, it is extremely dangerous for anyone who
is not purely in the mode of goodness to act as a spiritual leader, teacher or
preceptor. It is precisely because of unqualified men posing a s religious
leaders and putting forward their own imperfect opinions that the one
original Esoteric Teaching has become divided and broken into many
mundane religious sects, each with its own conflicting theology. Everyone
should understand the qualities, symptoms and results of the three modes of
nature and learn to classify both himself and others honestly. (See Appendix
A, page Error! Bookmark not defined.) The Lord will present this subject in
detail later in the Esoteric Teaching.
Real spiritual life is beyond the influence of the three modes of material
nature. But unless one is situated on the transcendental platform of Christ
consciousness, he cannot get free from the influence of these modes.
Therefore, it is impossible to nullify the entanglement of illusion simply by
theoretical knowledge, or by separating the soul from the body in meditation,
even for the most highly educated person on the mundane platform. There
are many so-called spiritual leaders who outwardly pose to be advanced, but
inwardly or privately are completely under some particular combination of
the modes of nature which they are unable to surpass. One may be very
learned academically, but because of his protracted association with material
nature, he forgets that he is in the bondage of illusion. Christ consciousness
helps one to get out of the material entanglement by engaging ones
prescribed duties in any mode of material nature in the process of self-
realization. Therefore, no one should suddenly give up his prescribed duties
and become a fraudulent so-called yog or transcendentalist artificially. It is
better to be situated in ones ordinary position and work toward attaining
Christ consciousness gradually under the superior direction of the Esoteric
Teaching. Thus step-by-step, one may be freed from the clutches of the
illusory energy.
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One who is situated in Christ consciousness is naturally reluctant to engage
in material sense gratification. So the rules and regulations of the Scriptures
are not required for a fully Christ-conscious person, although as discussed
above, he follows them anyway just to set a good example. But those who are
not advanced in spiritual consciousness must follow the rules and regulations
of the revealed Scriptures. Unrestricted sense enjoyment is the cause of
material entrapment. One who follows the rules and regulations of the
revealed Scriptures is protected from being entangled by sense objects. For
example, sex enjoyment is an inescapable necessity for the conditioned soul.
Therefore, sex is allowed under the license of marriage according to
Scriptural regulations. The Scriptural injunctions of all bona fide religions
forbid a man to engage in sex relationships with any woman other than his
wife. All other women must be considered as untouchable as ones mother.
But, in spite of such injunctions, men are still inclined to have sex with many
women.
The propensity for illicit sex must be curbed, or it becomes an unsurpassable
obstacle on the path of self-realization. As long as the material body is there,
the necessities of the material body are allowed, but under the restrictions of
the rules and regulations of pious life. The purpose of this is to limit our
association with the material modes of passion and ignorance. Scriptural rules
and regulations help us remain steady in the neophyte stage of spiritual
development. However, if we become attached to the regulated sense
enjoyment allowed by the Scriptures, this will eventually limit our spiritual
advancement. Therefore, in the higher stages of advancement, all attachment
to sense gratification must be given up. One has to follow the Scriptural rules
and regulations, but without attachment, because even sense gratification
under regulations may also lead one to go astray. A lifelong smoking or other
sense-enjoyment habit can begin from a single usage. Any contact with the
pleasures of the senses can start the development of a dangerous attachment.
Once begun, such habits are very difficult to overcome. Therefore anyone
who sincerely desires to attain the pinnacle of self-realization must avoid all
activities of material sense gratification.
The sense-enjoying spirit of material attachment has been with us a very long
time, owing to our association with the material modes. Therefore, even in
regulated sense enjoyment, there is a good chance of falling down. But action
in the loving service of the Lord leads to detachment from all kinds of sensory
activities by the pure mercy of the Lord. The eternal spiritual pleasure of
devotional service automatically displaces the temporary pleasures of the
material senses. Therefore, everyone should try to remain engaged in Christ
consciousness at every stage of life. The whole purpose of detachment from
all kinds of sense attachment is ultimately to become situated on the ecstatic
platform of eternal Christ consciousness.
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The Lord concluded, It is far better to perform your prescribed duties,
even imperfectly, than anothers duties. Destruction in the course of
performing ones own duty is better than engaging in anothers duties, for
to follow anothers path is dangerous. The final opinion of the Lord is that
one should discharge his duties in full Christ consciousness rather than those
prescribed for others. Prescribed duties on the material platform are those
appropriate to the psycho-physiological qualities of ones particular
combination of the modes of material nature. Spiritual duties are prescribed
by the spiritual Master Teacher under the guidance and authority of the
Esoteric Teaching, for the transcendental pleasure of the Lord. These spiritual
duties are so important that one should maintain his prescribed duties, even
unto death, rather than imitate anothers duties. Duties on the spiritual
platform and duties on the material platform are certainly different in quality,
but the principle of following the order of the Lord is always spiritually
beneficial. As long as one is under the influence of the modes of material
nature, one should follow the prescribed duties for his particular modes and
should not imitate others. For example, a brhmaa or priest is in the mode
of goodness, and thus must remain nonviolent even if provoked, while a king
or warrior is in the mode of passion, and is allowed to be violent under
certain circumstances, such as in times of war. As such, for a sannys like
Jesus it is better to be vanquished following the rules of nonviolence than to
imitate a cowardly beggar who runs from any challenge.
Everyone has to cleanse his heart by a gradual process, and according to the
Esoteric Teaching the best purificatory process is to offer the results of his
prescribed work to the Supreme Lord. However, when one transcends the
modes of material nature and is fully situated in Christ consciousness, he can
perform any kind of duty by the order of the bona fide spiritual Master
Teacher. In the stage of pure Christ consciousness, one is no longer limited to
the prescribed duties determined by his external bodily situation in the
modes of material energy. The distinctions of the material world do not apply
on the transcendental platform. Therefore the advanced soul in pure Christ
consciousness may perform any duty belonging to any occupational
classification. But as long as one is on the material platform, he must perform
his duties according to the modes of material nature without trying to imitate
others. At the same time, he must have a full sense of Christ consciousness.
The Cause of Sin
A living entity, as part and parcel of the Supreme, is originally spiritual, pure,
and free from all material contaminations. Therefore, by nature he is not
subjected to the sins of the material world. But when he is in contact with the
material nature, he acts in many sinful ways, sometimes even against his will.
Therefore Jesus inquired: O my Lord, by what is one impelled to sinful
acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force? Jesus question is very
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sanguine, as it highlights the perverted nature of material consciousness.
Although the living entity who is trying to make spiritual advancement does
not want to act in sin, sometimes he is still forced to act by the material
energy. Sinful actions are not impelled by the Supersoul, but are due to
another cause, as the Lord explains below.
The living entity is covered by different degrees of lust
according to the three modes of material nature
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By asking this question, Jesus also hints that he feels driven by circumstances
to perform a sinful act by allowing his relatives to be destroyed by offending
him. He is still resistant to the plan of the Lord, and thinks it better to escape
the confrontation so that he may have more time to preach. He feels that by
allowing himself to be crucified, he may miss the opportunity to convince the
Jewish leaders to be more tolerant, and thus spare them the severe retribution
of the Lords anger. He also wants time to give more transcendental
knowledge to his neophyte disciples, who he feels are weak and unready to
carry on his mission. Jesus does not want to see that the steel-framed hearts
of his relatives will never give up their causeless envy of the pure devotee; nor
does he want to believe that the Lord in His infinite power and wisdom can
use even his neophyte disciples as instruments to carry out His wishes despite
their lack of transcendental qualifications.
Therefore the Lord, knowing Jesus heart, cuts to the core of the cause of the
material disease, so that Jesus may understand the real nature of his
hesitation in carrying out his prescribed duty. The Blessed Lord replied: O
Jesus, it is lust only, which is born of contact with the material modes of
passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring,
sinful enemy of this world. The living entity is covered by different degrees
of this lust as fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as
the embryo is covered by the womb. When the spiritual living entity comes
in contact with the material energy, association with the material mode of
passion transforms his eternal love for the Lord into lust. In other words, the
souls sense of love of God changes into material desire because of spiritual
blindness. The soul remains always unchanged but the object of his desire is
distorted, just as milk in contact with lemon juice transforms into curd. Curd
is nothing but milk, but at the same time it has a different function because it
has acquired different properties. Similarly, when the souls natural spiritual
love becomes transformed into lust, he loses consciousness of his real self and
the Supreme Lord, and becomes engrossed in material sense objects and
activities. Material desire can never be satisfied because of the constantly
unstable conditions in the material world. When lust is unsatisfied, it begets
frustration. Frustration turns into anger which is born of the mode of
ignorance; anger leads to further sinful acts, sin deepens the living entitys
illusion, and illusion continues the material existence and suffering. The
modes of passion and ignorance force the living entity to exhibit symptoms of
material desire, wrath, compulsive extroversion, material ambition,
attachment and other corollaries. Lust induces the pure living entity to
remain entangled in the material world. Therefore, lust is the greatest enemy
of the living entity because it is the root of the vicious cycle of cause and
effect that propagates the unnatural condition of material existence.
However, if instead of the mode of passion becoming degraded into the mode
of ignorance by anger, it is elevated to the mode of goodness, and then one
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can be saved from the degradation of lust and anger. This is possible by
following the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching, which provides a
prescribed method of living and acting to develop spiritual attachment. Just
as anger is a symptom of the mode of ignorance, patience is a manifestation of
the mode of goodness. The Supreme Personality of Godhead emanates
innumerable living entities for His ever-increasing spiritual bliss, and the
living entities are constitutionally parts and parcels of this spiritual bliss. The
living entities or souls have free will or partial independence. But when their
natural spiritual service attitude is transformed into the propensity for sense
enjoyment by misuse of their independence, they come under the sway of lust
and thus become trapped in the material energy.
The Lord creates this material universe to give facility to the conditioned
souls to fulfill their material desires, and when they are completely baffled by
prolonged frustration of lustful activities, they begin to inquire about their
real position. This inquiry eventually leads the living entity to the Esoteric
Teaching, wherein the Lord shows the proper method to find the Supreme
Absolute Truth. The Supreme is defined in the Esoteric Teaching as the
origin of everything; therefore, the Supreme is also the origin of desire. If our
lust or desire for matter becomes transformed into Love of God, or Christ
consciousnessin other words, desiring everything for the Lordthen both
lust and anger can be spiritualized. When lust and anger are transformed by
advancement in Christ consciousness, they become our friends instead of our
enemies.
The Lord mentions three degrees of lust covering of the living entity and
obscuring his pure consciousness. These coverings are equivalent to the three
modes of material nature. Smoke covering fire is like the mode of goodness,
dust on the mirror is similar to the mode of passion, and the womb covering
the embryo indicates the mode of ignorance. When lust is like smoke, the fire
of the living entity is still perceptible; the living entity exhibits God
consciousness to some degree. Although fire is always present where there is
smoke, there is no overt manifestation of fire in the beginning. This is the
beginning stage of God consciousness, when the living entity wants to get out
of material entanglement, but is not yet engaged in pure devotional service.
The fortunate living entity may revive Christ consciousness a little in the
beginning of the human form of life by good association in the family
environment and ordinary religious training. If he continues to make
progress, he can kindle the fire of spiritual life. A smoky fire can be made to
blaze by careful stoking and a steady draft. Similarly, the human form of life
is a chance for the living entity to escape the entanglement of material
existence by gradual cultivation of Christ consciousness. In human life, one
can conquer lust by cultivation of Christ consciousness under the able
guidance of the spiritual Master Teacher and the Esoteric Teaching. The best
process of liberation is to chant the Holy Names of the Lord.
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The Headquarters of Lust
Since lust is primarily a psychological or spiritual condition, it cannot be
satisfied by any amount of sense enjoyment, just as fire is never extinguished
by a constant supply of fuel. The center of all activities in the material world
is sex, and thus sex is the shackle that binds the conditioned soul to the
material world. Criminals in prison are kept behind bars; similarly, criminals
who are disobedient to the laws of the Lord are imprisoned by sex life. This
imprisonment is all the more insidious by the fact that the prisoners are
thinking they are enjoying their punishment, so no bars are required to
control them. Bewildered by sex, the prisoners enthusiastically make plans to
increase their material attachments of wealth and false prestige, not realizing
that advancement of material civilization on the basis of sense gratification
means increasing the duration of their material imprisonment. Therefore, lust
is the symbol of the ignorance by which the living entity is captured within
the material world. While one enjoys sense gratification, he may have some
temporary feeling of happiness, but actually that feeling of so-called
happiness is the ultimate enemy of the conditioned soul. The Lord said to
Jesus, Thus, a mans pure consciousness is covered by his eternal enemy in
the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire. The
senses, mind and the intelligence are the headquarters of lust, which veils
the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him. The enemy, lust,
has captured important strategic positions in the body and mind of the
conditioned soul. The Lord hints at those positions, so that one who wants to
conquer the enemy may know where he is located. Mind is the center of all
the activities of the senses, and thus the mind is the reservoir of all ideas of
sense gratification. As a result, the mind and the senses become the
repositories of lust. Next, the intelligence department becomes the capital of
lustful propensities. Intelligence, as the plan-making and discriminatory
facility of the mind, is the immediate next-door neighbor of the spirit soul.
Lusty intelligence influences the spirit soul to acquire the false ego and
identify himself with matter, and thus voluntarily enter into the prison of
materialistic life. The spirit soul becomes addicted to enjoying the material
senses and mistakes this as true happiness. But according to the Esoteric
Teaching, a human being who identifies his body with his self, who considers
the by-products of the body to be his family, who considers the land of birth
as worshipable, and who goes to a place of worship simply to socialize rather
than meet men of transcendental knowledge, is considered a humanoid no
better than an ass or cow.
The Secret of Victory
The Lord concluded, Therefore O Jesus, best of the Jews, in the very
beginning curb this great symbol of sinlustby regulating the senses,
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and slay this destroyer of knowledge and self-realization. The working
senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses;
intelligence is still higher than the mind; and the soul is even higher than
the intelligence. Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to material
senses, mind and intelligence, one should control the lower self by the
higher self, and thus conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust by
spiritual strength. The Lord advised Jesus to regulate the senses from the
very beginning so that he could defeat the greatest sinful enemy, lust, which
destroys the urge for self-realization and real knowledge of the self. This is
the transcendental method of spiritual training advocated by the Esoteric
Teaching. The beginning of falling into the control of lust is described by the
Lord previously as contemplation of the objects of the senses. One cannot
regulate the mind and senses directly by an effort of will, because the material
energy is stronger than the tiny spirit soul. But we can defeat the enemy by
controlling the attention and directing the contemplation of the mind to
spiritual objects that have nothing to do with this material world. The best
method for controlling the senses, therefore, is constant chanting of the Holy
Names of the Lord, which have no referent in material variegatedness. The
Holy Name is pure spirit, just like the Lord Himself, and only one who
follows this method with dedication can attain complete control over the
intelligence, mind and senses.
Self-knowledge means distinguishing the real self from non-self, or
knowledge that the spirit soul is different from the body. Self-realization
means specific knowledge of the individual spirit soul, ones constitutional
position and his eternal relationship to the Supreme Soul. The knowledge of
the relationship between the self and the Supreme Self is very confidential
and mysterious, because in material existence our spiritual vision is veiled by
illusion. But self-knowledge and self-realization can be understood if the Lord
Himself explains it. The Lord gives us that knowledge, specifically knowledge
of the self, in the Esoteric Teaching. The living entities are parts and parcels
of the Lord, and therefore they are simply meant to serve the Lord. By acting
in this constitutional position, one develops causeless knowledge of the self
and the Lord. This consciousness is called God consciousness, Ka
consciousness or Christ consciousness. And the process of attaining this
exalted stage of consciousness is given in the Esoteric Teaching: devotional
service to the Supreme Lord.
So to attain the highest perfection of life one should be trained in Christ
consciousness or devotional service from the very beginning of life, and
thereby one may become fully God-conscious without any deviation. Lust is
the perverted reflection of Love of God, the natural state of every living
entity. But if one is educated in Christ consciousness from the very beginning
of life, ones natural love of God will not deteriorate into lust. Once Love of
God deteriorates into lust, it is very difficult to return to the normal
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condition. Nonetheless, Christ consciousness is so powerful that even a late
beginner can learn to love God by following the regulative principles of
devotional service. So if one cannot begin regulating the senses in Christ
consciousness from the beginning of life, if one begins sincerely from the
time of understanding its urgency, he can turn lust into love of Godhead: the
highest stage of human life.
Lust resides within the mind and intelligence, but it acts through the
functions of the senses. The sensory outlets function differently when there is
superior consciousness: Christ consciousness or God consciousness. In God
consciousness the soul makes direct connection with the Supreme Personality
of Godhead; therefore the sensory functions, instead of being engaged with
material objects, ultimately end in the Supreme Soul. Bodily action means the
ordinary functions of the senses, and we may think that stopping sense
gratification means stopping all bodily actions. But since the mind is active,
then, even though the body may be silent and at rest, the mind will act, as it
does during dreams, and we will again be captured by lust. But the
determination of the intelligence is above the mind, and above the
intelligence is the soul. Therefore, if the soul is directly engaged with the
Supreme Lord, naturally the subordinates of the mindintelligence, mind
and the sensesautomatically engage in the higher duties of Christ
consciousness.
According to the statements of the Lord in the Esoteric Teaching, the objects
of sense gratification are superior to the senses, and mind is superior to the
sense objects. Therefore, if the mind is constantly engaged in the direct
service of the Lord, then there is no chance of the senses becoming engaged
in other ways. This mental attitude is the secret of success in sense control. If
the mind is engaged in the transcendental service of the Lord, there is no
chance of its being engaged in sensual propensities. The soul is above all: the
sense objects, the senses, the mind and the intelligence. Therefore, directly
understanding the constitutional position of the soul is the solution to the
whole problem of material imprisonment and the key to ultimate liberation.
Even though the soul is the master of intelligence, mind and senses, still,
unless association with the Lord strengthens it in Christ consciousness, there
is every chance of falling down due to the agitated mind. One has to seek out
the constitutional position of the soul with i ntelligence, and then engage the
mind always in Christ consciousness. That is the solution to all the problems
of material life. The neophyte devotee is strongly advised to keep aloof from
the objects of senses. In this stage, a monastic environment where association
with the objects of the senses is restricted is very helpful. One has to
strengthen the mind by use of intelligence. If one engages ones mind in
Christ consciousness by intelligence and at the same time completely
surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then automatically the
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mind becomes robust. Even though the senses are very strong, like serpents,
they will be no more dangerous than serpents with broken fangs.
This chapter of the Esoteric Teaching is conclusively directive to Christ
consciousness by knowing oneself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. We should reject polytheism, impersonal monism
and nihilism, and become expert in the philosophy of the Esoteric Teaching
as the ultimate Absolute Truth. In material existence, one is certainly
influenced by propensities for lust and desire for dominating the resources of
material nature. Desire for lording over material nature and sense
gratification are the greatest enemies of the conditioned soul; but one can
control the material senses, the mind and the intelligence by the strength of
Christ consciousness. One must not give up work and prescribed duties
suddenly; but one can be situated in a transcendental position without being
influenced by the material senses and the mind, by cultivating steady
intelligence directed toward cognizing ones pure identity. In the immature
stage of spiritual life, philosophical speculation and artificial attempts to
control the senses by the practice of so-called yogic postures can never help a
man toward spiritual life. To attain spiritual success, he must be trained in
Christ consciousness by a self-realized soul under the authority and direction
of the original, complete Esoteric Teaching of the Supreme Lord.
Thus end the Bhaktisiddhartha purports of the Fourth Chapter of The Book of
Gethsemane in the matter of Duty and Renunciation. All glories to the Holy Name
of the Lord!
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 165
Chapter 5
Transcendental Knowledge
The History of the Teaching
The Esoteric Teaching is the original spiritual knowledge, injected into this
universe by the Supreme Lord at the beginning of creation. Since then it has
been passed down through the ages by the disciplic succession of sages and
saintly kings. Whenever the succession becomes deviated from the original
Teaching, the Lord Himself descends or sends His empowered representative
to re-establish the disciplic lineage. This knowledge is the ultimate key to
liberation from material bondage. Thus, the Lord takes special care to keep
the disciplic lineage of this Teaching intact. The Blessed Lord declared the
history of the Teaching to Jesus in the garden: I instructed this
imperishable science of God consciousness to the sun- god Vivasvn, and he
instructed it to Manu the father of mankind, who in turn instructed it to his
son Ikvku, the first king of the earth planet. Here the Lord reveals the
history of one lineage of the Esoteric Teaching when He delivered it to the
solar dynasty of enlightened kings in very ancient times. The science of self-
realization is meant for the protection of the citizens from spiritual falldown,
and therefore the royal order must study and realize it so they can protect the
people under their rule from bondage to material lust as described in the
previous chapters. Human life is meant for cultivation of the Esoteric
Teaching, or eternal spiritual knowledge in relationship with the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. The foremost duty of the executive leaders of all
states and planets is to impart this lesson to the citizens by education, culture
and the example of their personal devotion. They must teach authentic Christ
consciousness broadly through the management of the state, so the people
may take advantage of this great science and attain spiritual success in the
human form of life.
The Esoteric Teaching was delivered to the sun-god Vivasvn because he is a
great king, and the original father of all kings in the solar dynasty. Following
the example of Vivasvn, the leaders of all states should accept this Teaching
and promote it within their domains as the best cure for all the problems of
human society. The Lord is the original person, and the creator and
controller of the universe; under His order the sun, the king of all planets,
assumes immense power and heat. The sun is the origin of all other planets in
the solar system, and he represents the eye of the Lord. The sun is the king of
the planets, and the powerful sun-god rules the sun planet, which nourishes
and controls the other planets by supplying heat and light. He moves in his
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orbit under the authority of the Lord, and because of the great power and
responsibility delegated to him, in the ancient past the Lord made the sun-
god Vivasvn His disciple to understand the science of the Esoteric Teaching.
The Esoteric Teaching is not, therefore, yet another insignificant speculative
treatise for the mundane scholar but a standard tradition of knowledge
coming down from the highest authorities since time immemorial.
I instructed the Teaching to Vivasvn, and he instructed it to Manu
Chapter 5: Transcendental Knowledge
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Because it is so ancient, the cosmology of the Esoteric Teaching contains
detailed descriptions of the great cycle of historical ages. This cosmic cycle of
four historical ages with distinctive qualities repeats throughout the entire life
of the material universe. In the first or Golden Age, virtue reigns supreme and
everyone is pure and saintly. In the second or Silver Age, vice is introduced
and up to 25% of the population becomes influenced by irreligion. In the
third or Bronze Age the influence of vice reaches 50% of the people, including
the higher classes, and by the fourth or Iron Age, vice increases to influence
practically everyone. At the close of the Iron Age the Lord descends to
devastate the demoniac population of the world, and the cosmic cycle begins
again.
According to the history of the Esoteric Teaching, Vivasvn delivered this
science of the relationship with the Supreme to Manu in the beginning of the
Third (Bronze) Age of the historical cycle. Manu, the father of mankind, gave
it to his son King Ikvku, king of the Earth planet and forefather of the
Raghu dynasty in which Lord Rmacandra appeared. Therefore, according to
its internal history the tradition of the Esoteric Teaching existed in the
human society at least from the time of King Ikvku.
At present we have passed through 5,000 years of the Fourth or Iron Age,
which lasts 432,000 years. Before this there was the Second or Silver Age
(864,000 years), and before that there was the Third or Bronze Age
(1,200,000 years) during which Ikvkus reign began. Because of the very
special nature of the current cycle of historical ages, the Second and Third
Ages were reversed. Unfortunately, the explanation for this is too long and
technical to include in this text. Thus, Manu spoke the Esoteric Teaching to
his disciple and son King Ikvku approximately 2,005,000 years ago.
The age of the current Manu is calculated to last some 305,300,000 years, of
which about 120,400,000 have passed. Assuming that the Lord spoke the
Teaching to the sun-god Vivasvn before the birth of his son Manu, an
approximate estimate of the age of this Teaching is that the Lord gave the
Teaching to Vivasvn at least 120,400,000 years ago, and it has been extant in
human society on this planet for about 2,000,000 years. We are well aware
that these dates are completely at variance with the commonly accepted
scholarly theories of history, archaeology and science. However, the histories
of the Esoteric Teaching, the Purnas, affirm that human history is much
older than modern science can verify by empirical means. The Lord spoke the
same Esoteric Teaching again to Jesus about 2,000 years ago to re-establish
the same tradition in human society after it had been lost. This rough
estimate of the antiquity of the Teaching is according to the historical records
of the Teaching itself, and according to the version of the original speaker of
the Teaching, the Supreme Lord.
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Receiving Absolute Knowledge
Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead delivers the Esoteric Teaching,
it is certain to be the authentic Absolute Truth; in other words this
knowledge is faultless because it is received from a superhuman source.
Esoteric instructions must be accepted as they are, without speculative
human interpretation, because they deal with transcendental subjects beyond
the limited range of human sense perception and empirical verification. The
Teaching must therefore be accepted on faith, without any mundane
interpretation or dogmatic criticism, because the Supreme Personality of
Godhead speaks it. The mundane academic wranglers and sectarian
divisionists may speculate on the Teaching in their own ways, but that is not
accepting the Esoteric Teaching unconditionally, as Jesus did. Therefore the
Lord declared, This supreme science was thus received through the chain
of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings through understood it in that
way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the
original science appears to be lost. I am speaking that very ancient science
of the relationship with the Supreme to you today, because you are My
devotee as well as My son; therefore you can understand the transcendental
mystery of this science. The Esoteric Teaching has to be accepted exactly as
it is through the process of disciplic succession, since that is the method of
transmission specified in the Teaching itself. There are two classes of men:
devotees and demons. The devotees accept the Lords Teaching without
change, and the demons struggle against it. The Lord selected Jesus to receive
this great science because he is His pure devotee and therefore has no interest
in altering the Teaching to support some interest separate from the Lords. It
is impossible for demons to understand this great mysterious science. There
are a number of interpretations of this great knowledge; some of them have
commentaries by the devotees, and some of them have commentaries by the
demons. Exegesis by the devotees is authentic, whereas that of the demons is
worse than useless: it is offensive. Jesus accepts the Lord as the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, and any commentary on the Teaching following in
the footsteps of Jesus is real devotional service to the cause of this great
science. One should only follow the authentic disciplic succession from Jesus
(or any original recipient of this Teaching), and thus be benefited beyond all
human calculation.
The Lord delivered the Teaching to the saintly kings like Vivasvn and Moses
because He wants them to execute its purpose through ruling over the
citizens. Certainly the Esoteric Teaching was never meant for the demoniac
people of the present Iron Age, who hate this Teaching because it exposes
their evil purposes as clearly as the sun lights up the sky in the daytime. The
envious and demoniac devise all kinds of misinterpretations of the Esoteric
Teaching according to their perverted, evil whims. They fabricate some
nonsense arguments and mislead the public from the path of the Lords clear
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Teaching, dissipating its value and squandering its benefits. Posing as
religious teachers, they concoct many false explanations of the meaning of
the Esoteric Teaching to deceive the people in general and make them fall
down from the path of spiritual advancement. Thus the people of the world
have become confused and weak, and the demons can more easily exploit
them for selfish material purposes.
As soon as the unscrupulous misinterpreters in the present historical age
disrupted the original purpose of the Teaching, the need to re-establish the
disciplic succession arose. The Lord, of course, knew that the disciplic
succession was broken, and therefore He declared to Jesus that the purpose of
the Teaching He had delivered to Moses appeared to be lost. Similarly, at the
present time there are many editions of the Scriptures and commentaries in
the world, but hardly any of them follow the conclusions of the authorized
disciplic succession. There are innumerable interpretations rendered by
mundane scholars and dogmatic sectarian religionists who have no
advancement in self-realization; none of them really accept the authority of
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although they make a good business on
the words of the Lord. This spirit is demonic, because demons do not follow
the instructions of God, but simply exploit His property for their own selfish
enjoyment.
The Mystery of the Teaching
There is a great need of an accurate edition of the Esoteric Teaching as it is
received by the system of disciplic succession authorized in the Teaching
itself. Treating the Esoteric Teaching as a mere treatise of philosophical
speculations is a waste of time; but accepted as it is, as a great transcendental
mystery, it is the greatest science and the greatest benediction to humanity,
for it leads to permanent cessation of all material miseries. Jesus wanted to
establish the validity of the system of disciplic succession, therefore he
inquired: The sun-god Vivasvn is very old. How can I understand that in
the beginning You instructed this Teaching to him? Jesus inquires on this
point as if he were not aware that the Lord is the eternal Supreme Personality
of Godhead. Jesus is a pure devotee of the Lord, so how could he disbelieve
the Lords account of speaking the Esoteric Teaching to the sun-god? Actually
Jesus never doubted the Lord; he inquired for the benefit of those who do not
believe in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it will become evident
later on, Jesus knew perfectly well that the Lord is the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, the fountainhead of everything and the last word in
Transcendence. But in keeping with his role as an ordinary ignorant man, he
made this inquiry for our benefit in the future.
Of course, the Lord did not appear and speak the Esoteric Teaching only to
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane; He also appeared in this universe many
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times in different forms and guises to execute His transcendental purposes.
How the Lord appears in this world and still remains the same Supreme
Personality of Godhead, the eternal, original person, is very difficult for an
ordinary man to understand. Therefore Jesus put this question before the
Lord so He could speak authoritatively to clarify this point. The Lord is the
supreme authority accepted by the whole universe from the beginning of
time, and the demons alone reject Him. Since all sane, pious people accept
the Lords authority, Jesus put this question before Him so the Lord would
describe His appearance in the world directly, without misinterpretation by
the demons, who always try to distort Him to please their demoniac
followers.
Everyone needs to know the science of the Lord for his own best interest.
When the Lord speaks about Himself, His Teaching is most auspicious for all
the worlds. Explanations by the Lord Himself appear strange to the demons,
because the demons always study the Lord from their own perverted
viewpoint. But devotees like Jesus heartily welcome the explanations of the
Lord, especially when the Lord speaks about Himself. The devotees always
worship such authoritative statements of the Lord because they are eager to
know more and more about Him. By hearing the powerful explanations of
Absolute Truth by the Lord, the atheists who consider Him an ordinary man
may in time realize that the Lord is superhuman, that He is the eternal form
of bliss and knowledge, that He is transcendental to the domination of the
modes of material nature and above the influence of time and space. A pure
devotee of the Lord like Jesus is undoubtedly above any misunderstanding of
the transcendental position of the Lord. Jesus put this question before the
Lord to defeat the atheists who consider the Lord to be an ordinary human
being, subject to the modes of material nature.
The Eternal Friend
The Blessed Lord replied: You and I have passed many, many lives
together. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of
ignorance! The Lord is the constant companion of the living entity in His
form of Supersoul localized within the heart. He gives direction to the atomic
soul and reminds him of his eternal purpose when he has forgotten due to the
overwhelming influence of the material energy. He is the dearmost Friend of
all living entities, and knows us better than we know ourselves. He
remembers everything that happens in all of our misadventures in this
material world, and thus He alone can superintend the spiritual development
of the soul over many lifetimes of material existence.
We should not think it strange that we have many lives, or that the Lord
takes such a detailed personal interest in the affairs of our hearts. The
declaration of the Roman Catholic Church that reincarnation is a heresy was
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a terrible mistake, fueled more by politics than considerations of spiritual
truth. After all, the attainment of full spiritual self-realization requires a long,
complex development of mental and spiritual faculties. It would be unfair and
unkind of the Lord to judge us after only one short lifetime, and condemn or
reward us permanently on that limited basis. He is very kind and merciful,
and gives us as many chances as we need to wake up and come back to Him.
He operates from the perspective of eternity, and guides us subtly from
within so that ultimately, we realize His unfailing friendship and give up our
fallen ways in material consciousness.
The Lord also appears in many different forms perceptible to the material
senses of the living beings. The complete Esoteric Teaching provides
information of many, many incarnations, expansions and appearances of the
Lord. The Lord is the original transcendental person: Absolute, infallible and
beginningless. Although He expands into unlimited spiritual forms, He is still
the same original Godhead; although He is the oldest, He always appears in
His incarnations as a fresh youth. Only the advanced students of the Esoteric
Teaching can understand the eternal, blissful, all-knowing forms of the Lord,
but they are always manifest to pure, unalloyed devotees.
Followers of the Esoteric Teaching worship the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, who expands Himself in many different incarnations, but who is
the original Personality of Godhead known as the Lord of all. He personally
incarnates in innumerable forms at different times and places by His sweet
will, although He is one without a second. Like a beautiful precious stone
that changes color according to the angle of the light, He reveals innumerable
aspects of Himself in different incarnations, yet still remains one. Because He
is omnipotent, He can do anything, even if it seems impossible to those
whose minds are conditioned by the material energy. The pure, unalloyed
devotees understand His multifarious incarnations and forms, but not by a
simple study of the Scriptures. They can only be understood by the direct
self-revelation of the Lord through the mystic practices of the Esoteric
Teaching.
Pure devotees like Jesus are constant companions of the Lord, and whenever
and wherever the Lord incarnates or appears in this world, the associate
devotees also incarnate in order to serve the Lord in different capacities. Jesus
is one of these devotees, and in this verse it is understood that some millions
of years ago when the Lord spoke the Esoteric Teaching to the sun-god
Vivasvn, Jesus was also present in his capacity as the Celestial Christ. The
difference between the Lord and Jesus is that the Lord remembered the
incident, whereas Jesus apparently could not. That is the difference between
the atomic living entity and the Supreme Lord. Although Jesus is addressed
herein as a mighty hero who could subdue all ignorance, he is unable to
recall what happened in his previous lives.
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The Lord appears in many incarnations
whenever there is a decline in religious principles
Therefore a living entity, however great he may be, can never be equal to the
Supreme Lord in any way. Anyone who is a constant companion of the Lord
is a highly exalted liberated soul, but even he cannot equal the Lord. The
Lord is infallible, which means that He never forgets anything, even though
He appears within the material world. Therefore, the Lord and the living
entity can never be equal, even if the living entity is as liberated and powerful
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as Jesus. Although Jesus is a devotee of the Lord, he sometimes appears to
forget the nature of the Lord. But by the action of Divine Grace a devotee can
remember Him and understand the infallible, omnipotent position of the
Lord, whereas a non-devotee or a demon cannot understand His
transcendental nature. Consequently demonic brains cannot understand the
descriptions in this Teaching.
The Transcendental Position of the Lord
The Lord remembers acts He performed millions of years before, but Jesus
could not, despite the fact that both the Lord and Jesus are eternal in nature.
A living entity forgets everything due to his change of body, but the Lord
remembers because He does not change His eternal body. There is no
distinction between His body and Himself. Everything in relation to Him is
spirit, whereas the conditioned soul is always different from his material
body. And because the Lords body and Self are identical, His position is
always transcendental, even when He appears in the material world. The
demons cannot adjust to the transcendental nature of the Lord, as the Lord
explained to Jesus: Although I am unborn and My transcendental body
never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I still
appear in every Age in My original transcendental form. Here the Lord
reveals the unique and specific nature of His appearance in this world.
Although He may appear in a form similar to an ordinary human being, He
remembers everything of His many, many past appearances, whereas an
ordinary man cannot remember exactly what happened even a few hours
before. If a common man is asked what he did exactly at the same time one
year earlier, it would be very difficult for him to answer immediately. He
would surely have to dredge his memory. And yet, some less-intelligent men
dare claim to be God. One should not be misled by such meaningless claims.
The Lord also explains His transcendental form. The Lord says that He
appears in His original body. He does not change His body, as the ordinary
living entity changes from one body to another. The conditioned soul may
have one kind of body in the present birth, and a different body in the next
birth. In the material world, the living entity has no fixed body but
transmigrates from one body to another, even in this life. The Lord, however,
does not transmigrate. He always appears in the same original spiritual body
by the power of His internal potency. The Lord appears in this material world
in His original eternal form. He appears in His eternal body, uncontaminated
by this material world.
Although He appears in the same transcendental body and is always the
Supreme Lord of the universe, in some of His incarnations it appears that He
takes birth like an ordinary living entity. In these incarnations, the Lord
grows from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to youth; however He
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never ages beyond youth. We never see a picture of the Lord in old age
because He never grows old like us, although He is the oldest person in the
whole creation. Neither His body nor His intelligence ever deteriorates or
changes, so He always looks like a beautiful youth, not more than 16 years
old. Therefore, it is clear that despite His appearance in the material world,
the Lord is always the Supreme with the same unborn, eternal form of bliss
and knowledge, changeless in His transcendental body and intelligence. The
Lords appearance and disappearance in this material world are like the sun
rising, moving through the sky and then setting. When the sun is out of sight,
it is still shining just as brightly. Actually the sun is always in the same
position and the earth turns and moves around it. But we perceive the
appearance and disappearance of the sun in the sky because of our defective,
limited senses. Similarly, sometimes the Lords form is manifest in the
material world, and mostly it is unmanifest; nevertheless the Lord is always
the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The Lords spiritual form is eternal, full of infinite bliss and knowledge by the
power of His internal potency. His appearance and disappearance in this
world are completely different from those of ordinary, common living
entities; thus even though He appears in the material world, He is never
contaminated by material nature. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is one
and unborn, yet He still seems to take His birth or appear in many different
forms. This is confusing to the ordinary man, and it is incomprehensible to
the demonic. But the Esoteric Teaching emphasizes that even though the
Lord appears to take birth, He does not change His original body. Actually
only the pure devotees can understand the form and appearance of the Lord.
The Lords appearance in His original eternal form before Jesus is His
causeless mercy upon His pure devotee.
Why the Lord Descends
A common living entity forgets everything about his past body as soon as he
gets another body, but the Lord is perfectly conscious of all His manifold
appearances and eternal transcendental forms. He is the Lord of all living
entities who performs wonderful and superhuman activities when He appears
on this earth. Therefore, the Lord is always the same Absolute Truth and is
without differentiation between His form and Self, or between His quality and
body. The Lord is always independent and is never subject to the laws or
death and rebirth like ordinary living beings. Then why does the Lord appear
and disappear in this world? The Lord declared, O descendant of David, I
descend Myself whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious
practice and a predominant rise of irreligion. I advent Myself in every Age
to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, and to re-establish the
principles of religion. We must not misconceive the Lords advent in the
material world as the creation of a new form. Because the Lords eternal form
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or body is uncreated and unborn, all of His transcendental forms are eternally
existent. Therefore, when the Lord appears in this world He manifests
Himself directly as He is. Although the Lord appears in all four historical
Ages as predicted by the Scriptures, still He has no obligation to adhere to
such restrictions because He is completely free to act in any way by His will.
He therefore appears by His own will to correct the situation whenever there
is a disappearance of the true lineage of the Esoteric Teaching and a
predominance of irreligion.
The Esoteric Teaching must be accepted as originally spoken by the Lord
Himself. The Lord gives the principles of religion in the Esoteric Teaching,
and any discrepancy in executing the principles of the Esoteric Teaching
makes one irreligious. The principles of the Esoteric Teaching are the laws of
the Lord. It is our duty to follow the instructions of the Lord or be punished
according to His Law. Only the Lord can create the system of religion.
Human meddling only introduces distortion into the Lords clear Teaching.
Therefore, the principles of religion are the direct orders of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. These principles are clearly indicated throughout the
Esoteric Teaching.
The purpose of the Esoteric Teaching is to establish the principles of religion
by the order of the Supreme Lord. At the conclusion of the Teaching, the
Lord declares that the highest principle of religion is to surrender unto Him
alone, and follow His desire. Religious principles are designed to encourage
everyone to surrender completely unto Him; therefore, whenever the
demoniac disturb these principles, the Lord appears to correct the situation.
For example, the Esoteric Teaching states that Lord Buddha is an incarnation
of the Lord who appeared when materialism was rampant and demoniac
people were misusing the authority of the Esoteric Teaching as a pretext to
slaughter animals. Although there are certain rules and regulations in the
Esoteric Teaching regarding animal sacrifice for spiritual purposes, people of
demonic tendency were performing animal sacrifices without reference to the
esoteric principles, just for the pleasure of their uncontrolled sense of taste.
Lord Buddha appeared to stop this nonsense and to establish the spiritual
principle of nonviolence.
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I appear in this world to deliver the pious and annihilate the miscreants
Whenever the Lord desires to appear, He can advent Himself anywhere and
anytime. In each and every incarnation, He speaks as much of the Esoteric
Teaching as can be understood by the people of the time in their particular
circumstances. But His mission is always the same: to lead people to God
consciousness and obedience to the principles of religion. Sometimes He
descends personally, and sometimes He sends His bona fide representative in
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the form of His son, servant, or Himself in some disguised form. Therefore
each and every incarnation of the Lord has a particular mission, and they are
all described in the Esoteric Teaching. No one should be accepted as an
incarnation of the Lord unless the Scriptures predict his appearance. For
example, it is not a fact that Lord Jesus Christ is God. He is certainly a great
devotee on the highest platform of love of God, but we see throughout the
Scriptures that Jesus Christ is a living entity empowered by the Lord to
execute a specific service for Him. If Jesus is identical with the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, why did he refer to the Lord as his Father?
The Lord spoke the principles of the Esoteric Teaching to Jesus, and to other
highly elevated persons in His other appearances, because they were highly
advanced compared to ordinary people. 2 + 2 = 4 is a mathematical principle
that is true both in the beginners arithmetic class and in the advanced
mathematics class. Still, there are higher and lower mathematics, and these
subjects are presented to the appropriate audiences. The Lord, therefore,
teaches the same principles in all His incarnations, but they appear to be
higher and lower according to the quality of the hearers and the
circumstances. The higher principles of religion begin with accepting the four
occupational orders and the four stages of spiritual life, as the Lord explains
later. But the intent and purpose of all incarnations and appearances of the
Lord is to arouse Christ consciousness in everyone.
According to the Esoteric Teaching, a devotee is a man in Christ
consciousness. A devotee may superficially appear to be irreligious or
materially low-class, but if he has all the spiritual qualifications of Christ
consciousness, the Lord accepts him as a pure devotee. And a miscreant is
one who doesnt care for Christ consciousness. The Lord describes such
miscreants as foolish and the lowest of mankind, even though they may be
decorated with mundane education, power and wealth. The Lord accepts a
person who is a hundred percent engaged in Christ consciousness as a pure
devotee, even though he may be neither learned nor well-cultured. As far as
the atheists are concerned, it is not necessary for the Supreme Lord to appear
in His original form to destroy them. The Lord has many agents who are
quite competent to vanquish demons. But sometimes the Lord descends
especially to protect His unalloyed devotees when the demoniac harass them.
Demons always harass the devotees, even though the devotee may happen to
be their relative, a saint in the renounced order of life, or even their own
spiritual Master Teacher. Therefore the Lord says that He appears in different
incarnations to deliver the devotees and vanquish the demon miscreants.
The Supreme Lord descends from the Kingdom of God or spiritual world to
manifest His eternal spiritual form in the material world. The particular form
of the Personality of Godhead who appears is called an incarnation. Such
incarnations are actually eternally situated in the spiritual world. They only
seem to appear in the material creation. There are various categories of
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incarnations. Some are connected with the process of creation, others control
the modes of material nature, whereas others are living entities empowered
for a specific purpose, and yet others establish the principles of religion for a
particular historical age. All these incarnations appear on schedule as
predicted by the esoteric Scriptures, all over the universe. But the Lord is
always the primeval Godhead, the fountainhead of all incarnations. The
Supreme Lord descends for the specific purposes of mitigating the anxieties
of the pure devotees, who are very anxious to see Him in His original spiritual
form. Therefore, the prime purpose of the Lords appearance is to satisfy His
unalloyed devotees.
The Lord says that He incarnates Himself in every historical Age. This
indicates that He incarnates also in the current historical age. Lord r
Caitanya Mahprabhu, the incarnation of the Lord in the Fourth or Iron Age,
spreads the worship of the Lord by the congregational chanting of the Holy
Names of God. He appears to spread God consciousness, Ka consciousness
or Christ consciousness, and He predicted that this culture of congregational
chanting of the Holy Names of God would spread to every town and village
all over the world. This incarnation of the Lord, the Personality of Godhead,
is described secretly and indirectly in the confidential parts of the revealed
Scriptures. The pure devotees of the Lord are much attracted by the
movement of congregational chanting of the Holy Names of God. This
incarnation of God does not kill the miscreants, but delivers them by the
causeless mercy of the Lord.
The Confidential Appearance of the Lord
Why is it so important to understand the confidential spiritual nature of the
Lords appearance in this world? The Lord revealed this important secret: O
Jesus, one who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and
activities does not take his birth again in this material world upon leaving
the body, but attains My eternal abode. The Lord explains His descent from
His transcendental abode to this humble earth planet in the paragraphs
above. We have tried to enlarge upon His explanation so that anyone who is
sincere can grasp this difficult subject. Yet, the above is just an introduction
to the deep subject of the Lords incarnations and appearances. In truth, the
incarnations of the Lord are as innumerable as the waves of an ocean.
Nevertheless, it is vital to understand the important secret of the Lords
appearance in the material world. Here the Lord reveals that anyone who can
understand the transcendental secrets of His appearance and activities is
already liberated from material bondage, and therefore he returns to the
Kingdom of God immediately after quitting this present material body. Such
liberation of the living entity from material bondage is not at all easy. The
impersonalists and yogs attain liberation only after much trouble and many,
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many births. Even then, the liberation they achievemerging into the
impersonal effulgence of the Lordis only partial, and there is every risk of
returning again to this material world. But the devotee, simply by
understanding the transcendental nature of the body and activities of the
Lord, attains the abode of the Lord after ending this body and does not run
the risk of returning again to this material world. This vividly illustrates the
power of the Esoteric Teaching and devotional service compared to other
forms of self-realization.
The Esoteric Teaching states that the Lord has many forms and incarnations.
Although there are innumerable transcendental forms of the Lord, they are all
still one and the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. One has to
understand this fact with conviction, although it is incomprehensible to
mundane scholars and empiric philosophers. As stated in the Esoteric
Teaching, the one Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternally engaged in
many simultaneous relationships with His unalloyed devotees in many
transcendental forms. The Lord personally confirms this version in the
Teaching. One who does not waste time in philosophical speculation and
simply accepts this truth on the strength of the authority of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead attains the highest stage of liberation. Simply by
accepting this truth on faith, one can attain liberation without a doubt.
Anyone who understands the Lord to be the Supreme, or who says unto the
Lord, You are the Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead, is
certainly liberated instantly, and consequently his entrance into the
transcendental association of the Lord is guaranteed. In other words, the
faithful devotees of the Lord attain the highest perfection possible for a
human being, and this is confirmed by the Lords assertion above.
Rewards for the Faithful
One can attain the stage of perfect eternal liberation from birth and death in
the material world simply by knowing the Lord, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, as He is. There is no alternative to this approach because anyone
who does not understand the Lord as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is
surely affected by the mode of ignorance. Just as one cannot taste sweetness
by licking the outside of a bottle of honey, one cannot attain salvation by
interpreting the Esoteric Teaching according to mundane scholarship,
sectarian dogma or philosophical speculation. Empiric philosophers and
sectarian religionists may assume very important roles in the material world,
but they are not eligible for liberation. One has to enter into the mystery of
the Esoteric Teaching by following the instructions of the Lord with firm
faith. One should therefore cultivate Christ consciousness with faith and
knowledge, and in this way attain spiritual perfection.
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The Lord reciprocates the devotional service of His worshipers according to
their degree of surrender to Him. Therefore He stated, Being freed from
attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in
Me, many persons in the past became purified by knowledge of Me, and
thus they all attained transcendental love for Me. All of themas they
surrender unto MeI reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all
respects, O son of Mary. It is very difficult for a person who is too
materially affected to understand the personal nature of the Supreme
Absolute Truth. People who are attached to the bodily conception of life are
so absorbed i n materialism that it is almost impossible for them to
understand that the Lord has a transcendental body that is imperishable, with
unlimited knowledge, infinite consciousness and eternal bliss. In the
materialistic concept, the body is perishable, full of ignorance and completely
miserable. Therefore, people in general keep this same bodily idea in mind
when they hear about the personal form of the Lord.
The ghastly form of the gigantic material manifestation is supreme to such
materialistic men. Consequently they consider the Supreme to be impersonal.
And because they are too materially absorbed, the conception of retaining the
personality after liberation from matter frightens them. Impersonalism is a
fearful stage of life, devoid of perfect knowledge of spiritual existence. When
impersonalists are informed that spiritual life is also individual and personal,
they become afraid of remaining persons, and so they naturally prefer to
merge into the impersonal void. They prefer impersonalist and voidist
philosophies that compare the living entities to the foam of the waves that
merges into the ocean. Indeed, that is the highest conception of spiritual
existence attainable without accepting the concept of eternal spiritual
individuality and personality.
And there are even people who cannot understand spiritual existence at all.
Being embarrassed by many conflicting theories and by contradictions among
various types of speculative philosophy and theology, they become disgusted
and foolishly conclude that there is no supreme cause, and that ultimately
everything is void. Such nihilistic people are in a diseased condition of
spiritual life. Some nihilists are too materially attached and therefore do not
give attention to spiritual life, some of them want to merge into the supreme
spiritual cause, and some of them disbelieve in everything, being hopeless
and angry at all sorts of spiritual speculation. This last class of men often
takes to the shelter of intoxication, and sometimes they mistake their affective
hallucinations for spiritual visions.
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As they surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly
One has to grow beyond all three stages of attachment to the material world:
negligence of spiritual life, fear of an eternal personal spiritual identity, and
the misconception of voidism in response to the frustration of life. To get free
from these three stages of the material concept of life, one has to take
complete shelter of the Lord, guided by the bona fide spiritual Master
Teacher, and follow the disciplines and regulative principles of devotional
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life. The ultimate stage of devotional life is pure transcendental love of
Godhead.
In the beginning of spiritual life one must have a preliminary desire for self-
realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons
who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one accepts initiation from an
elevated spiritual Master Teacher, and under his instruction the neophyte
devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of devotional
service under the guidance of the spiritual Master Teacher, one becomes free
from all material attachment, attains steadiness in self-realization, and
acquires a taste for hearing about the Absolute Personality of Godhead, the
Lord. This taste leads one further forward to attachment to Christ
consciousness, which matures in the preliminary stage of transcendental love
of God.
Full love for God is the highest perfection of life. In the beginning stage of
love of God there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service
of the Lord. And in the highest stage there is constant, ever-increasing
transcendental ecstasy caused by the sweet reciprocation of the Lord with the
devotees service. Anyone who is sincere can attain the highest stage by
gradual progress of devotional service under the guidance of the bona fide
spiritual Master Teacher. But first one must be freed from all material
attachment, from fearfulness of individual spiritual personality, and from the
frustrations resulting from void philosophy. Then by executing the purifying
process of devotional service according to the instructions of the Esoteric
Teaching, one can ultimately attain to eternal life in the blissful abode of the
Supreme Lord.
Everyone is searching for the Lord in the different aspects of His
manifestations. The Lord is the ultimate object of everyones search for
Absolute Truth, and He satisfies anyone and everyone according to the degree
of their desire to have Him. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is partially
realized in His impersonal spiritual effulgence, and as the all-pervading
Supersoul dwelling within everything, including the atom. But only the pure
devotees fully realize the Lord as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the
transcendental world, the Lord reciprocates with His pure devotees in any
transcendental mood that the devotee wants Him. One devotee may want the
Lord as supreme Master, another as his personal Friend, another as his Divine
Son, and still another as the perfect Lover. The Lord rewards all the devotees
according to their intensity of love for Him. The same reciprocations of
feelings exist between the Lord and His devotees in the material world, and
the Lord exchanges ecstatic spiritual emotions appropriately with all different
types of worshi pers. Either in the material or spiritual world, the pure
devotees associate with the Lord in person, render direct personal service to
Him, and derive ecstatic transcendental bliss from His reciprocation with
their loving service.
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The Lord Grants All Desires
The Lord is so kind that He even accepts the impersonalists who want to
commit spiritual suicide, annihilating their individual existences by being
absorbed into His effulgence. Such impersonalists do not agree to accept the
eternal, blissful Personality of Godhead; they cannot relish the bliss of
transcendental personal service to the Lord because they desire to extinguish
their individuality. However, most of them cannot remain situated in the
impersonal existence for long, and return to this material field to exhibit their
dormant desires for activities. They are not admitted into the spiritual
planets, but they are given another chance to act on the material planets and
learn the lessons of the Esoteric Teaching. The Lord also awards the desired
results of prescribed duties to the fruitive workers; and the yogs seeking
mystic powers also receive such powers. In other words, everyone is
dependent for success upon His mercy alone, and all kinds of spiritual
processes and their results are but different degrees of progress on the same
path. Unless, therefore, one comes to pure devotional servicethe highest
perfection of Christ consciousnessall attempts at self-realization remain
imperfect.
The Esoteric Teaching states that whether one is without material desire (the
condition of the devotees), is desirous of all fruitive results, or is after
liberation, one should try with all efforts to worship the Supreme Personality
of Godhead for complete perfection, culminating in Christ consciousness.
The Lord continued, Men in this world desire success in fruitive activities,
and therefore they worship the demigods. Of course, quickly get results
from fruitive work in this world. There is a great misconception about the
demigods of this material world. Some sectarian religionists want to deny the
existence of the demigods, and other less-intelligent men, although passing as
great scholars, think these demigods are identical with the Supreme Lord.
Actually, the demigods do exist, but they are not different forms of God. The
demigods are Gods empowered servants for administration of universal
affairs. God is one, and His servants are many. The Esoteric Teaching says
that God is onethe Supreme Lordand the demigods are living beings just
like ourselves, delegated with special powers to manage this material world.
These demigods are all mortal living entities with different grades of material
power. They can never be equal to the Supreme Lord. Anyone who thinks
that God and the demigods are on the same level is as f oolish and misguided
as an atheist. Even the greatest demigods cannot be compared to the Supreme
Lord. In fact, the demigods worship the Lord, knowing they derive their
power and protection from Him alone.
The Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, does not belong to this
world. He is beyond, or transcendental to the material creation. Even
Sakarcrya, the leader of the impersonalists, accepts that the Lord is
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beyond this material creation. However, foolish materialistic people worship
the demigods, or worship matter, because they want immediate results. They
get the results quickly, but do not realize that results obtained from demigod
worship are temporary and expire just as quickly. The demigods cannot
bestow what they do not themselves possess. Since the demigods are mortal
just like us, their benedictions are also limited and temporary. And no
demigod can award liberation from the repetition of material birth and death.
The intelligent person in Christ consciousness has no need to worship
demigods for some immediate, temporary benefit. The demigods of this
material world and their worshipers will vanish with the annihilation of this
material world. Therefore the boons of the demigods are material and
temporary. All the material worlds and their inhabitants, including the
demigods and their worshipers, are merely temporary bubbles in the cosmic
ocean.
However, people in this world are mad after temporary things like land,
family and enjoyable material possessions. They worship demigods or
powerful men in human society to achieve such temporary things. If a man
gets some position in the government by worshiping a political leader, he
considers that he has achieved a great blessing. They worship the so-called
leaders to achieve temporary boons, and they do attain them. But they do not
realize that these material benefits cannot solve the real problems of life. Such
foolish men are not interested in Christ consciousness for permanent solution
to the hardships of material existence. They are all after sense enjoyment, and
to get a little facility for sense enjoyment they worship empowered living
entities or demigods. Materialistic people are rarely interested in Christ
consciousness. They are attached to temporary material enjoyment, and
therefore they waste their time worshiping some powerful living entity.
Four Classes of Occupational Duties
Actual material advancement is earned by performing ones prescribed duty
within the four occupational classes defined by the Esoteric Teaching.
Therefore the Lord stated, I created the four occupational divisions of
human society according to the three modes of material nature and the
duties prescribed for them. And although I am the creator of this system,
you should know that I am yet the unchangeable non- doer. The Lord is the
creator of everything. Everything emanates from Him at the time of creation,
He sustains everything during the term of the cosmic manifestation, and after
annihilation everything rests in Him. He is also the creator of the four
divisions of the social order, beginning with the intelligent class of men,
technically called brhmaas, who are in the mode of goodness. Next in
importance is the administrative and warrior class, situated in the mode of
passion. The mercantile, banking and agricultural class is situated in the
mixed modes of passion and ignorance, and the laborer class is in the
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ignorant mode of material nature. The Lord will describe the symptoms of the
modes of nature in detail later in this Teaching. Despite His creating the four
occupational divisions of human society, the Lord and His eternal associates,
the liberated devotional servants in the spiritual world, do not belong to any
of these divisions because they are not conditioned souls.
The Lord creates the four occupational divisions of human society to elevate
men from the ignorant stage of animal bodily consciousness to the human
status of performing prescribed duties for development of Christ
consciousness. These four divisions are not an artificial superimposition on
human nature or an article of religious dogma. The modes of material nature
of the body an individual has acquired determine his tendency to work in a
particular way. Those who are influenced by the mode of ignorance cannot
help but serve others; they have no capacity for success in business, politics,
administration or the higher kinds of intellectual work. Similarly, people with
an admixture of ignorance and passionate qualities will naturally engage in
business, finance, agriculture and trade, and will resist becoming a servant of
others. A man in the mode of passion cannot help but become a leader and
manager of others, and one in the mode of goodness is naturally inclined to
act as a brhmaa or learned sage in spiritual realization. Therefore, whether
or not one accepts the Esoteric Teaching, he will automatically act in one of
the four occupational divisions by the psychophysical propensities dictated
by the modes of material nature affecting his particular body.
Beyond Material Designations
A person in Christ consciousness, however, is transcendental to this system
of four occupational classes because he is situated in transcendental
consciousness beyond the modes of material nature. Only a man who
transcends the limited spiritual knowledge of a brhmaa and attains direct,
unlimited knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme
Lord, can attain full Christ consciousness. Christ consciousness includes
esoteric knowledge of all the plenary expansions of the Lord. Just as the Lord
is transcendental to this system of four occupational divisions of human
society, a person in Christ consciousness is also transcendental to all
divisions of human society, whether we consider the divisions of occupation,
community, nation or species. Therefore a person in Christ consciousness
can perform any kind of duty for the satisfaction of the Lord.
The Lord explained the reason for His and His pure devotees detachment
from the four divisions of occupational duties: 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.
All the liberated souls in ancient times acted with this understanding and
so attained liberation. Therefore, as the ancients, you should perform your
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duty in this Divine consciousness. Although the Lord creates this material
world, He is not affected by the qualities and activities of the material energy.
He creates but remains aloof from the creation, whereas the conditioned
living entities become entangled in the fruitive results of material activities
because they want to exploit the Lords material resources.
The Lord is not responsible for the material activities of the living entities,
but the living entities are responsible for themselves because the Lord has
endowed them with free will. The living entities are engaged in various selfish
activities of sense gratification, but the Lord does not approve these activities.
The living entities engage in material fruitive work for improvement of sense
gratification, and they also aspire to heavenly happiness after death. The
Lord, being complete and satisfied in Himself, has no attraction for either
material sense gratification or heavenly happiness. The heavenly demigods
are only His engaged servants. The wealthy president of a great corporation
never desires the low-grade happiness such as the workers may desire.
Similarly, the Lord does not need nor participate in material enjoyment,
which is the cause of entanglement in the cycle of birth and death. He is aloof
from the material actions and reactions.
Although the supreme will of the Lord is the original cause of the material
creation, He is not responsible for the nescient activities of the conditioned
living entities. For example, the rain is not responsible for different types of
vegetation that grow on the earth, although without rain there is no
possibility of vegetative growth. Similarly, the Lord is the supreme cause of
the material creation; the immediate cause is the material energy that actually
manifests the cosmic creation. The created beings in the cosmic manifestation
are of many varieties, such as the demigods, human beings and animals. All
of them are subject to karma, or the reactions of their past good and bad
activities. The Lord provides the living beings proper facilities for material
activities under the regulations of the modes of nature, but He never becomes
responsible for their past and present activities because He is transcendental
to the modes of material nature and the laws of karma. The Lord is never
partial to any living entity; He makes the laws and sets the conditions of life,
and the living entity must be responsible for the consequences of his own
acts. The Lord only gives him facilities through the agency of material nature,
His external energy.
Anyone who is fully conversant with all the intricacies of the law of karma, or
the results of fruitive activities, also becomes liberated from the results of his
activities. The Lord reiterates that any person who understands His
transcendental nature is an experienced man in Christ consciousness, and
thus he is never subjected to the law of karma. One who does not know the
transcendental nature of the Lord, and who thinks that the Lord intends His
activities to produce fruitive results like the activities of the ordinary living
entities, certainly entangles himself in fruitive reaction out of ignorance of the
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transcendental position of the Lord. But one who knows the Supreme Truth
is a liberated soul fixed in Christ consciousness.
There are two classes of living beings: conditioned souls are full of polluted
material desires within their hearts, and liberated souls are free from both
material desire and karmic reactions. Christ consciousness is equally
beneficial for both. Those who are full of contaminated material desires can
engage in the process of Christ consciousness for spiritual purification by
following the regulative principles of devotional service. Those who are
already cleansed of the impurities may continue to act in the same Christ
consciousness so that others may follow their exemplary activities and
thereby be benefited.
Action and Inaction
Foolish persons or neophytes in spiritual life often want to retire from
activities without having complete knowledge or realization of Christ
consciousness. Jesus proposal to retire from preaching activities was not
approved by the Lord. There is no harm in acting in this material world,
provided one knows how to act to attain freedom from reaction. To retire
from the activities of devotional service and to sit aloof, making a show of
spiritual life, is not Christ consciousness. External renunciation is less
spiritually effective than engaging in the field of activities for the sake of the
Lord, while remaining detached within. Jesus is advised to act in Christ
consciousness, following in the footsteps of the Lords previous disciples,
such as the sun-god Vivasvn mentioned above. The Supreme Lord knows all
His past activities, as well as those of persons who acted in Christ
consciousness in the past. Therefore He makes reference to the exemplary
acts of the sun-god, who learned the art of devotional service from the Lord
some millions of years before. All such students of the Lord are mentioned
here as past liberated persons, engaged in the discharge of prescribed duties
allotted by the Lord.
Yet it is very difficult to understand the kind of action that leads to freedom
from reaction. Therefore the Lord instructed, Even the intelligent are
bewildered in determining what is action and what is inaction. Now I shall
explain action to you, knowing which you shall be liberated from all sins.
The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should
know properly what action, forbidden action, and inaction are. We should
perform the actions of devotional service in Christ consciousness according
to the example of previous perfected devotees. Action in Christ consciousness
should not be independent or a product of our own speculative thinking. To
act successfully in Christ consciousness, one has to follow the leadership of
authorized persons who are in the line of disciplic succession of the Esoteric
Teaching. The Lord spoke the Esoteric Teaching to the sun-god, the sun-god
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explained it to his son Manu, Manu explained it to his son Ikvku, and the
system has been passed down to human beings on this earth from that very
remote time. Therefore, one has to follow in the footsteps of previous
authorities in the line of disciplic succession. Otherwi se even the most
intelligent men will be bewildered regarding the standard actions of Christ
consciousness. When the authorized system of disciplic succession breaks
down, as it had in Jesus time, proper understanding of the Esoteric Teaching
becomes impossible. Therefore, the Lord decided to instruct Jesus in Christ
consciousness directly. Because of the direct instruction of the Lord to Jesus,
anyone who follows in the footsteps of Jesus is certainly not bewildered.
No one can ascertain the ways of religion simply by imperfect experimental
knowledge. Actually, only the Lord Himself can ordain the principles of
religion. No one can manufacture a religious principle by the defective
process of speculation. One must follow very carefully in the footsteps of
great authorities like Jesus Christ. One cannot ascertain what is religion or
self-realization by mental speculation. Therefore, out of causeless mercy to
His devotees, the Lord explained directly to Jesus what action is and what
inaction is. Only purified action performed in Christ consciousness can
deliver a person from the entanglement of material existence.
One who is serious about liberation from material bondage must understand
the differences among authorized action, unauthorized actions and inaction.
One has to apply oneself carefully to the analysis of action, reaction and
perverted actions because it is a very difficult subject matter. To understand
the difference between Christ consciousness and action according to the
modes of material nature, one first has to understand ones relationship with
the Supreme. One also must acquire a very thorough understanding of the
modes of material nature and their symptoms.
One who has understood all this perfectly knows that every living entity is
the eternal servitor of the Lord, and that consequently one has to act in Christ
consciousness. The entire Esoteric Teaching is directed toward this
conclusion. Any other conclusions, against this consciousness and its
attendant authorized actions, are prohibited actions. To understand all this
properly on the practical level, one has to associate with authorities in Christ
consciousness and learn the secret from them; this is as good as learning from
the Lord directly. Otherwise, even the most intelligent person will be
bewildered.
The Lord continued, One who sees inaction in action, and action in
inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position
although engaged in all sorts of activities. A person acting in perfect Christ
consciousness is free from the bondage of karma because his activities are all
performed as an offering for the Lord; therefore he does not enjoy or suffer
any of the results of his work. Consequently he is considered the most
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intelligent person in human society, for he is free, even though he is engaged
in all sorts of activities for the Lord. Devotional service, or work performed
for the Lord, means work without reaction. The impersonalists try to cease all
fruitive activities out of fear. They are afraid the reaction to their work may
become an obstacle on the path of self-realization. But the devotee properly
understands his position as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead; therefore he engages himself in the service activities of Christ
consciousness. Because everything he does is done for the Lord, he enjoys
only the transcendental happiness of love of Godhead in the discharge of this
service. Those who are engaged in pure devotional service in love of Godhead
are free from desire for personal sense gratification. The consciousness of
eternal servitorship to the Lord makes one immune to all reaction to work.
Action Without Reaction
Only a person with deep realization of the Esoteric Teaching can understand
the activities of a person in Christ consciousness. Although externally he may
seem to be acting on the material platform with the body and mind, he is
actually detached from matter due to his realization of his eternal service
relationship with the Lord. Development of consciousness of ones eternal
servitorship to the Lord is compared to fire. Once one kindles the fire of
transcendental consciousness by studying the Esoteric Teaching under the
auspices of a realized soul, it burns up all reactions to work. The person in
Christ consciousness is devoid of all propensity for sense gratification,
because he has burned up the reactions of his work by perfect knowledge of
his constitutional position as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. One who has attained to this perfection of spiritual knowledge is
actually learned. Others who lack this consciousness may have great
academic knowledge of the Scriptures, but they still have to accept reactions
to their activities, since even good activities bind the performer to the
material world.
The Lord described this state: One is understood to be in full knowledge
whose every act is devoid of desire for sense gratification. The sages call
him a worker whose fruitive action is gratification burned up by the fire of
perfect knowledge. Abandoning all attachment to the results of his
activities, ever satisfied and independent, he performs no fruitive action,
although engaged in all kinds of undertakings. Such a man of
understanding acts with mind and intelligence perfectly controlled, gives
up all sense of proprietorship over his possessions and acts only for the
bare necessities of life. Thus working, he is not affected by sinful
reactions. This complete freedom from the bondage of action and reaction is
possible only in pure Christ consciousness, when one is doing everything out
of transcendental love for the Lord. Because a Christ-conscious person sees
everything as a loving offering to the Lord, he has no attachment to the
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results of the action. He is not anxious to obtain anything, or to protect the
things already in his possession. He is not even attached to his personal
maintenance, for he leaves everything up to the Lord. He does his duty to his
best ability and lets the Lord arrange the result. Such an unattached person is
always free from the resultant reactions of good and bad; although he is
always busy in various kinds of devotional service, it is as though he were not
doing anything. This is the sign of action in Christ consciousness without
fruitive reactions.
A Christ-conscious person does not expect good or bad results from his
activities. His mind and intelligence are fully controlled and steady in the
discharge of his duty. He knows that he is part and parcel of the Supreme,
and therefore as a particle of the Complete Whole, the part he plays in the
grand scheme of the Lord is not his own choice, but is chosen for him by the
Lord and is done only through His power. When the hand moves, it does not
move out of its own accord, but by the endeavor of the whole body and with
the sanction of the Lord. A Christ-conscious person is always dovetailed with
the Lords supreme desire, for he has no personal desire for sense
gratification. He moves exactly like a marionette, or part of a machine
controlled by the Lord. As a machine part requires oiling and cleaning for
maintenance, similarly, a Christ-conscious man maintains himself by his
work just to remain fit for action in the transcendental loving service of the
Lord. Like an animal, he has no feeling of proprietorship even over his own
body. The proprietor of an animal sometimes cruelly kills the animal in his
possession, yet the animal does not protest. Similarly, the Christ-conscious
person does not claim false independence or proprietorship over his body. He
is therefore immune to all the reactions of his endeavors.
A Christ-conscious person fully engages in self-realization, so he has no
desire to falsely possess any material object. Because he lives very simply, he
does not require unfair means of accumulating money for maintaining family
members in extravagant style. He does not, therefore, become contaminated
by such material sins. He is free from all reactions to his actions. The Lord
continued to explain the position of the Christ-conscious worker: He who is
satisfied with gain that comes of its own accord, who is free from duality
and does not envy, who is steady both in success and failure, is never
entangled although performing actions. The work of a man who is
unattached to the modes of material nature and who is fully situated in
transcendental knowledge merges entirely into Transcendence. A Christ-
conscious person does not make much endeavor to maintain his body. He
neither begs nor borrows, but he labors honestly as far as is in his power
without attachment to the result, and is satisfied with whatever he obtains by
the Lords grace. He is therefore independent in his livelihood. He does not
allow service to anyone else to dilute or hamper his own service to the Lord
in Christ consciousness. However, for the service of the Lord he can
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participate in any kind of action without being disturbed by the duality of the
material world. The duality of the material world is experienced as heat and
cold, or misery and happiness. A Christ-conscious person is above duality
because he does not hesitate to act in any way for the satisfaction of the Lord.
Therefore he is steady both in success and in failure. These symptoms
become visible when a devotee is fully established in transcendental
realization.
Freedom from Duality
One in full Christ consciousness is freed from all dualities and thus is free
from the contaminations of the material modes. He is liberated even in this
world because he knows his constitutional position in relationship with the
Lord; thus his mind cannot be drawn from Christ consciousness.
Consequently, whatever he does, he does not for himself but to serve the
pleasure and purpose of the primeval Lord. Therefore, all his works are
technically sacrifices because sacrifice involves satisfying the Supreme Person.
The resultant reactions to all such work certainly merge into Transcendence,
and one does not suffer material reactions. The Lord continued, A person
who is fully absorbed in Christ consciousness is sure to attain the spiritual
kingdom because of his full contribution to spiritual activities, in which the
consummation is Absolute and that which is offered is of the same spiritual
nature. Activities in Christ consciousness lead one to the ultimate spiritual
goal. There are many different activities in Christ consciousness, and the
Lord will describe all of them in the Esoteric Teaching. But here the Lord
describes the essential principle of Christ consciousness.
A conditioned soul entangled in the network of material contamination is
forced to act by the laws of cause and effect. Yet to attain real happiness he
has to get out of the material environment. The only process that can help the
conditioned soul get out of the material atmosphere is Christ consciousness.
The spiritual power of devotional service directly invokes the purifying
presence of the Lord, who is stronger than the forces of material
contamination and illusion because He is the omnipotent Supreme
Controller. The material entanglement of the conditioned soul is a serious
spiritual disease that produces much unnecessary suffering. But this disease
can be cured by Christ consciousness as described in this Teaching. This
process is called devotional service, or activities performed as sacrifice meant
for the satisfaction of the Lord. The more ones activities in the material world
are performed in Christ consciousness, or for the satisfaction of the Lord
only, the more the consciousness of the soul becomes spiritualized by
complete absorption in His Absolute nature.
The Lord is all-spiritual, and the brilliant rays of His transcendental body are
His spiritual effulgence. Everything that exists is situated in that effulgence,
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but when illusion or sense gratification cover our spiritual vision of His
effulgence, our vision becomes materially contaminated. Christ consciousness
immediately removes this material veil. The offering for the sake of Christ
consciousness, the consuming agent of such an offering or contribution, the
process of consumption, the contributor, and the result areall combined
togetherthe Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is eternally existent and
omnipresent. The Absolute Truth covered by the illusion of separateness
from the Lord is experienced as matter. However, matter dovetailed in
sacrifice for the cause of the Absolute Truth loses its quality of illusion and
regains its original spiritual quality. This is the great secret of spiritualizing
ones existence, and it is possible only through devotional service to the Lord.
Converting Matter into Spirit
Christ consciousness is therefore the process of converting illusory material
consciousness into Brahman, or spiritual energy. When the mind is fully
absorbed in Christ consciousness, it is said to be in samdhi, or trance. Any
work performed in such transcendental consciousness is sacrifice for the
Absolute. In that condition of spiritual consciousness, the contributor, the
contribution, the consumption, the performer or leader of the performance,
and the result or ultimate gaineverythingbecomes identical in quality
with the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Lord. That is
the technique of Christ consciousness. There are also other techniques to
accomplish the same result, as the Lord explained: Some transcendentalists
worship the demigods perfectly by offering different sacrifices to them, and
others offer sacrifices in the fire of the Supreme Brahman. Some of them
sacrifice the hearing process and the senses in the fire of the controlled
mind, and others sacrifice the objects of the senses, such as sound, in the
fire of sacrifice. Those who are interested in self-realization in terms of
mind and sense control offer the functions of all the senses, as well as the
vital force [breath], as oblations into the fire of the controlled mind. There
are others who, enlightened by sacrificing their material possessions in
severe austerities, take strict vows and practice God consciousness by the
path of eightfold mysticism, and others study the Esoteric Teaching for the
advancement of transcendental knowledge. And there are still others who
practice the process of breath restraint to remain in trance, and they
practice stopping the movement of the outgoing breath into the incoming,
and incoming breath into the outgoing, and thus at last remain in trance,
stopping all breathing. Some of them, curtailing the eating process, offer
the outgoing breath into itself as a sacrifice. A person discharging duties in
Christ consciousness with no outside interest is a perfect devotee or a first-
class mystic. But there are other categories of transcendentalists who perform
similar sacrifices by worship of demigods, sacrifice to the impersonal feature
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of the Supreme Lord, and many other kinds of sacrifices in terms of their
aims and understanding.
Sacrifice means engaging the senses and sense objects to satisfy the Supreme
Lord, who is sacrifice personified. The various categories of sacrifice by
different types of performers demark only varieties of sacrificial technique.
The actual determinant of the value of an act of sacrifice is its intention. The
Lord here recognizes all performers of sacrifice who are sincere in their
intention to reach the highest goal. As the Father of all creatures throughout
eternity, He takes an extremely broad-minded view of the subject. The Lord
accepts the sacrifices of everyone who makes offerings for the purpose of
spiritual advancement; He is not biased or sectarian. We may not be familiar
with all these sacrificial techniques, since many of them belong to earlier
historical Ages when such techniques were more widely known and
understood. However, as stated earlier, the Lord reciprocates with all
performers of sacrifice on the basis of their level of spiritual advancement.
All varieties of sacrifice can be classified in two primary divisions:
renunciation or sacrifice of worldly possessions, and austerities or sacrifice in
pursuit of transcendental knowledge. Again, the aim of a sacrifice, not the
particular technique employed, defines its specific result. Those who are in
Christ consciousness sacrifice all work and material possessions for the
satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, while those who want some temporary
material happiness sacrifice their work and material possessions to satisfy the
demigods. Others, who are impersonalists, sacrifice their identity by merging
into the existence of impersonal Brahman. But only the devotees attain the
eternal benediction of devotional service to the Lord.
The demigods are powerful living entities appointed by the Supreme Lord for
the maintenance and supervision of all material functions like the heating,
watering and lighting of the universe. Those who are interested in material
benefits worship the demigods by various sacrifices and rituals. They are
called polytheists, or believers in many gods. But others, who worship the
impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth and regard the forms of the
demigods as temporary, sacrifice their individual selves in the supreme fire of
universal oneness, and thus end their individual existences by merging into
the existence of the Supreme. Such impersonalists spend their time in
philosophical speculation to understand the transcendental nature of the
Supreme. In other words, the fruitive workers sacrifice their work and
material possessions for material enjoyment, whereas the impersonalists
sacrifice their material work and designations with the aim of merging into
the impersonal aspect of the Supreme. For the impersonalist, the fire altar of
sacrifice is the Supreme Brahman, and the offering is the self being consumed
by the fire of Brahman.
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The Christ-conscious person like Jesus sacrifices everything for the
satisfaction of the Lord, and thus all his material possessions, his body and
even his selfeverythingis sacrificed for the Lord out of devotional love.
Thus, the pure devotee is the highest class of mystic transcendentalist
because his objective is not to benefit himself, but to provide pleasure to the
Lord, who is the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices. He is completely
unselfish in his spiritual pursuits because he acts in pure unconditional love
for the Lord.
All the techniques of sacrifice spoken of by the Lord are meant to help men
become perfect transcendentalists and pure devotees. Different techniques are
suitable for people in different cultures, historical Ages and levels of spiritual
attainment. The Lords Esoteric Teaching is eternal; therefore He speaks
broadly to all times, places and kinds of human beings. Human life is not
meant for enjoying sense gratification like animals, therefore the system of
transcendental sacrifice is arranged so that anyone may gradually attain
perfection in spiritual life from any condition of life.
All transcendentalists should become sincere students under the care of a
bona fide spiritual Master Teacher and control the mind and body by
abstaining from sense gratification. The Lord refers to this as sacrificing the
hearing process and the senses in the fire of the controlled mind. A student
in the school of a spiritual Master Teacher who is a pure devotee of the Lord
hears only words concerning Christ consciousness. Hearing is the basic
principle for understanding, and therefore the sincere transcendentalist
engages fully in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. He restrains
himself from hearing material sound vibrations based on the concept of
bodily sense gratification, and engages his hearing in the transcendental
sound vibration of the Holy Name of the Lord, as it is understood in his
particular language, place and time. Although householder transcendentalists
have some license for sense gratification, they perform such acts with great
restraint. Sex life, intoxication and meat eating are general tendencies of
unenlightened humanoid society, but a householder transcendentalist does
not indulge in unrestricted, unregulated sex life and other sense gratification.
Marriage on principles of religious life is therefore a requirement for civilized
human society, because it is the only platform for devotional service that
includes restricted sex life. This restricted, unattached sex life is also a kind of
sacrifice because the regulated householder sacrifices his general tendency
toward sense gratification for higher transcendental life.
As long as the soul is attached to sense enjoyment, he is more or less polluted
by the material energy. The polluted soul is subjected to the functions of
different kinds of subtle energy working within the body, and these energies
may be controlled through the breathing system. The ancient yogic
techniques of breath control (pryama) allow the practitioner to control
the functions of the bodys life energy mechanically to purify the soul of
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material attachment. The ultimate goal of this system is withdrawal of the
soul from all material activities (pratyhara). The material senses interact
with their sense objects, and all of them engage the soul in activities of the
external material energy. When the soul is purified from the pollution of the
material energy by mechanical regulation of the breathing system, he again
becomes situated on the pure spiritual platform and can engage in spiritual
service. The eightfold yoga system is described in detail in Chapter Seven.
Unfortunately, this ancient yoga system is no longer practical for the
conditions in the current Iron Age. Therefore ultimately the Lord advises us
to simply surrender all our activities to Him in devotional service. This
provides the same result of withdrawal of the senses from the sense objects,
or renunciation of sense gratification and dedication of ones work in sacrifice
to the Lord.
As the Lord describes above, there are many different kinds of sacrifices.
Some people sacrifice their possessions in various kinds of charitable work.
There are many hospitals, old-age homes and similar charitable foundations
meant for distributing food, education and medical treatment free to the
poor. All these charitable activities, while good, are actually material activities
since they aim at the welfare of the body. There are others who voluntarily
accept many kinds of austerities, such as celibacy and vows of silence for
elevation in consciousness. These processes entail severe vows for conducting
life under certain rigid rules. Sacrifice of the comforts of life for a higher
spiritual goal is also good, but still meant for selfish benefit.
There are still others who engage themselves in different kinds of mystic God
consciousness, like Patajalis eightfold yoga system for merging into the
existence of the Absolute. And others travel to all the sanctified places of
pilgrimage. All these practices are sacrifice for a certain type of perfection in
the material world. There are others who engage themselves in the studies of
different esoteric literatures, specifically the Upaniads and Vednta-stra, or
the skhya philosophy that analyzes the differences between matter and
spirit. All of these are called the sacrifice of studies. All these performers of
sacrifice are faithfully engaged in different types of sacrifice and seek a higher
status of life. However, Christ consciousness is different from these because it
is the direct service of the Supreme Lord. Christ consciousness cannot be
attained by any of the above-mentioned types of sacrifices, but can be
attained only by the mysterious mercy of the Lord and His bona fide devotee.
Therefore, Christ consciousness is transcendental to the material world.
The Nectar of Sacrifice
The different processes of material sacrifice, including charity, renunciation
and mechanical control of the bodily energies, are all meant for control or
restraint of the senses. A Christ-conscious person, however, being always
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situated in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, automatically
controls his senses. He is at once raised to the platform of liberation by his
transcendental engagement in devotional service. His senses have no chance
of becoming engaged in the service of matter because they are always engaged
in the service of the Lord. At the end of life, he is naturally transferred to the
transcendental abode of the Lord; consequently he makes no attempt to
increase longevity through artificial technological or yogic means. A Christ-
conscious person begins from the transcendental stage, and he is constantly
in God consciousness from the begi nning of the process. Therefore there is
no chance of falldown, and he enters into the abode of the Lord without
delay. Reducing the eating process is very helpful in the matter of sense
control. And without sense control there is no possibility of getting out of the
material entanglement. But the practice of fasting or reduced eating is
automatically performed when one eats only vegetarian food that is offered
first to the Lord (prasdam).
The Lord concluded, All these performers who know the meaning of
sacrifice become cleansed of sinful reaction, and having tasted the nectar of
the remnants of such sacrifice, they go to the supreme eternal atmosphere.
O best of the Jews, without sacrifice one can never live happily on this
planet or in this life: what then of the next? The conclusion of the Lords
explanation of different types of sacrifice is that the common aim of all of
them is to restrain the senses from sense gratification, and instead offer both
the senses and sense objects in devotional service to the Lord. Activities of
sense gratification are the root cause of both material existence and the
reaction of past sinful activities. Therefore, unless one is situated on the pure
spiritual platform beyond sense gratification, there is no chance of being
elevated to the abode of eternal life, full knowledge, and full bliss. The
spiritual platform is the eternal spiritual world, or the abode of the Lord, and
it is our real home. All the sacrifices mentioned above help cleanse the soul
from the sinful reactions of material existence so we can go back to home,
back to Godhead. By this spiritual advancement in life, one not only becomes
happy and opulent, but at the end of this short life, he enters into the eternal
Kingdom of God.
Material existence makes the soul ignorant of his real nature and his
precarious situation in material life. Existence in the material world is due to
the reactions of our sinful activities. Ignorance is the cause of sinful life, and
sinful life is the cause of ones dragging on in miserable material existence.
The process of sacrifice in devotional service is the only loophole by which
we can get out of this vicious circle of karma. The Esoteric Teaching gives us
a chance for escape by pointing out the paths of religion, pious economic
development, regulated sense gratification and at last, the means to escape the
miserable material condition entirely by pure devotional service. The path of
religion as recommended by the Lord automatically solves our economic
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problems through performance of different kinds of sacrifice. By performance
of sacrifice we can have sufficient material necessities, even if there is an
increase of population. When the bodily necessities are adequately supplied,
naturally the next stage is to satisfy the senses. The Esoteric Teaching
therefore prescribes sacred marriage for regulated sense gratification. By
following this system of sacrifice one is gradually elevated to the platform of
release from material bondage, and the highest perfection of liberated life is to
associate with the Supreme Lord. We can achieve this perfection by
performance of the system of sacrifice described in the Esoteric Teaching,
beginning with hearing the Lords glories and regular chanting of His Holy
Name.
The Culmination of Sacrifice
If a person is not inclined to perform sacrifice according to the Esoteric
Teaching, how can he expect a happy life? There are different grades of
material comforts in different heavenly planets, and in all cases there is
immense happiness for persons engaged in different kinds of sacrifice. But the
highest kind of happiness that a man can achieve is to be promoted to the
spiritual planets by practice of Christ consciousness. A life of Christ
consciousness is therefore the solution to all the problems of material
existence. The Lord explained, All these different types of sacrifice are
approved by the Esoteric Teaching, and all of them are born of different
types of work. Knowing them as such, you will become liberated. O
chastiser of evil, the sacrifice of knowledge is greater than the sacrifice of
material possessions. O son of Mary, after all, the sacrifice of work
culminates in transcendental knowledge. Many different types of sacrifice
are provided in the Esoteric Teaching to suit different types of workers,
circumstances and historical periods, as discussed above. There are many
different types of individuals and situations in the world, and in His infinite
mercy the Lord makes Himself accessible to all of them. Because men are so
deeply absorbed in the bodily concept, there are many different types of
sacrifices so one can perform sacrifice either with the body, the mind, or the
intelligence. Here the Lord confirms that all of them are designed to help
people attain liberation from the material body.
The purpose of all sacrifices is to gain complete knowledge of Transcendence,
then to gain release from material miseries and ultimately, to engage in loving
transcendental service to the Supreme Lord, or Christ consciousness.
Nonetheless, there is a mystery about all these different activities of sacrifice,
and one should know this mystery. Sacrifices sometimes take different forms
according to the particular faith of the performer. It is not that there is one
and only one proper way to perform sacrifice, or that one religious sect is
right and all the rest are wrong. That is a very narrow-minded, neophyte
point of view. The Lord is eternally the Supreme Godhead of all universes, all
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worlds, all planets, all religions and all living entities. He is not partial toward
any particular group of His creatures, although He does respond to each
individual according to that persons degree of surrender to Him. The
Esoteric Teaching is meant to benefit all, without distinction of race, religion
or creed.
Nevertheless, when the faith of a performer of sacrifices develops to the stage
of transcendental knowledge, he should be considered more advanced than
those who simply sacrifice material possessions without such knowledge.
This is because without attainment of knowledge, sacrifices remain on the
material platform and bestow no permanent spiritual benefit. Real knowledge
culminates in Christ consciousness, the highest stage of transcendental
knowledge. Without elevation to transcendental knowledge, sacrifices are
simply material activities in the mode of goodness. They are beneficial, but
only on the material level. However, when the process of sacrifice reaches the
level of transcendental knowledge as described in the Esoteric Teaching, it
attains the spiritual platform. Depending on the consciousness and intention
of the performer, sacrificial activities can be fruitive activities, or knowledge
in the pursuit of Absolute Truth. It is better when the intention of sacrifice is
transcendental knowledge. The Lord descends and speaks the Esoteric
Teaching just to provide His children with the knowledge they need to rise
above the modes of material nature and enter the spiritual world. Therefore
the best sacrifice is to learn this Teaching well from someone who has already
mastered it, and also propagate this exalted spiritual knowledge to others.
How to Learn the Truth
The Lord directed Jesus, Just try to learn the Truth by approaching a
spiritual Master Teacher. Inquire from him submissively and render service
unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he
has seen the Truth. The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult.
The Lord advises us in the Esoteric Teaching to approach a bona fide spiritual
Master Teacher in the line of disciplic succession from Himself. No one can
be a bona fide spiritual Master Teacher without following this principle of
disciplic succession. The Lord is the original Spiritual Master, and a spiritual
Master Teacher situated in the disciplic succession conveys the Lords
message to his disciple without distortion. This is the fundamental principle
of propagation of the Esoteric Teaching, and the student must observe it very
carefully. The succession of the disciplic lineage is not determined by family
heredity or the votes of some ecclesiastical convention or committee, but by
accurate presentation of the Lords original Esoteric Teaching. Therefore the
student must be very careful to accept only a spiritual Master Teacher who is
on the highest platform of self-realization, and who faithfully and accurately
presents the original essence of the Esoteric Teaching in a practical form to
his students.
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No one can become spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process, as
is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. The Lord directly enunciates the path
of religion. Therefore, dry mental speculation or envious sectarian arguments
cannot help one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide
spiritual Master Teacher to receive the knowledge. One should accept a
spiritual Master Teacher by full surrender because the spiritual Master
Teacher is the representative of the Lord, and one should serve the spiritual
Master Teacher like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of
the self-realized spiritual Master Teacher is the most confidential secret of
advancement in spiritual life.
Inquiries and submission to the spiritual Master Teacher constitute the
proper procedure for spiritual understanding. Unless there is submission and
service, the teaching of the learned spiritual Master Teacher will not be
effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual Master Teacher,
and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses
the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding. Both blind following and
absurd inquiries are useless. One should not only hear the Esoteric Teaching
patiently and submissively from the spiritual Master Teacher, but one must
also get a clear understanding from him by exposing ones doubts in a mood
of sincere inquiry. A bona fide spiritual Master Teacher is very kind toward
the sincere disciple by nature. Therefore when the student is submissive and
always ready to render service, the reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries
becomes perfect.
The Lord continued, And when you have thus learned the Truth, you will
know that all living beings are but part of Meand that they are in Me, and
are Mine. The result of receiving knowledge from a self-realized soul, or one
who knows the Supreme Absolute Truth, is learning that all living beings are
parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord.
The sense of existence separate from the Lord is the root of the illusion of
material consciousness. The less-intelligent impersonalists speculate that we
have nothing to do with the Lord, that He is only a great historical
personality and that the Absolute is the impersonal Brahman. Factually, as it
is stated in the Esoteric Teaching, this impersonal Brahman is the personal
effulgence of the Lord. Even so, the speculators cannot reach Brahman
without the practices of renunciation and sacrifice recommended in the
Lords Esoteric Teaching. Therefore even the impersonalists depend on the
kind mercy of the Lord to attain their goal.
The Lord, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the cause of all causes.
Even the millions of incarnations of God are only His different personal
expansions. Similarly, the living entities are also expansions of the Lord in a
different category. The impersonalist philosophers wrongly think that the
Lord loses His own personal identity in His many expansions. However, this
misconception is based on materialistic assumptions. We have experience in
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the material world that when something is fragmentally distributed, it loses
its original identity and becomes divided. But the Lord is the eternal Absolute
Supreme Personality of Godhead. The impersonalist philosophers fail to
understand what Absolute means: that the Lord can emanate innumerable
personalities equal in power to Himself, and still retain His unlimited
potency. In the Absolute world, one plus one is equal to o ne, and one minus
one is also equal to one. The Lords Absolute position is irreducible.
In material life our intelligence is covered with illusion because of insufficient
knowledge in the Absolute science, and therefore we erroneously think that
we are separated from the Lord. Although we are insignificant individual
parts of the Lord, we are nevertheless not different from Him in quality. The
differences between the material bodies of the living entities are illusory, not
factual. We are all spirit souls, meant to satisfy the Lord. By the power of this
illusion, Jesus temporarily thought that the bodily relationship with his
kinsmen was more important than his eternal spiritual relationship with the
Lord. Therefore the Lord kindly spoke the Esoteric Teachi ng to correct his
misunderstanding. The whole Esoteric Teaching stresses the understanding
that a living being, as the Lords eternal servitor, can never be separated from
Him, and his sense of material identity without relationship with the Lord is
an illusion. The living entities, as separated parts and parcels of the Supreme
Lord, have a purpose ordained by the Lord. Having forgotten that Divine
purpose since time immemorial, they are wandering in this material world in
different bodies as men, animals and demigods. Such bodily differences are
due to forgetfulness of the transcendental service of the Lord. But engaging in
transcendental service through Christ consciousness at once liberates us from
this illusion.
Only the bona fide spiritual Master Teacher in the disciplic succession of the
Esoteric Teaching can provide such pure knowledge, avoiding the impersonal
delusion that the living entity is one with the Lord. Perfect knowledge is that
the Supreme Soul, the Lord, is the supreme shelter of all living entities. The
living entities become deluded by the material energy by giving up the shelter
of the Lord, imagining themselves to be unrelated to Him. Thus they become
forgetful of the Lord under the spell of different temporary designations of
material i dentity. However, when such deluded living entities become
situated in Christ consciousness, they automatically advance on the path of
liberation. Liberation means to give up the misconception of temporary
material bodily identity and rediscover ones constitutional position as the
eternal servitor of the Lord. This is the perfection of Christ consciousness.
The Lords Unparalleled Mercy
Proper understanding of ones constitutional position in relationship to the
Lord is so powerful that it immediately saves one from the struggle for
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material existence. This material world is sometimes compared to an ocean of
nescience. The struggle for survival in the great ocean is very difficult,
however expert a swimmer one may be. If someone comes with a strong boat
and lifts the struggling swimmer from the ocean, he is the greatest savior.
Perfect knowledge received from the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the
path of liberation. The boat of Christ consciousness is very simple, but at the
same time the most sublime. The Lord mercifully declared, Even if you are
considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the
boat of transcendental knowledge you will be able to cross over the ocean
of material miseries. As the blazing fire turns firewood to ashes, O Jesus, so
the fire of knowledge burns all reactions to material activities to ashes.
There is nothing so sublime and pure in this world as transcendental
knowledge. This knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism, and one
who has achieved this enjoys the Self within himself in due course of
time. Perfect knowledge of soul and Supersoul and their relationship is
compared to fire. This fire burns up all reactions to pious and impious
material activities, turning them to ashes. There are many stages of reaction:
reaction in the making, reaction fructifying, reaction already achieved, and
reaction to the original sin of leaving our sweet relationship with the Lord.
But knowledge of the constitutional position of the living entity burns such
material reactions to ashes. When one is in complete knowledge, all material
reactions are consumed. One overcomes both the pious and impious
reactions of work by following the sublime knowledge of the Esoteric
Teaching.
Sublime Transcendental Knowledge
Transcendental knowledge means understanding ones spiritual service
relationship with the Lord. There is nothing so sublime and pure as
transcendental knowledge. Ignorance of our real spiritual position is the
cause of our bondage, and transcendental knowledge i s the cause of our
liberation. This knowledge is the mature fruit of devotional service, and when
one is situated in transcendental knowledge, he need no longer search for
peace elsewhere, for he enjoys peace within himself. The Kingdom of
Heaven is within you, for the Supersoul lives in the core of the heart along
with the individual soul. When we perfect transcendental knowledge through
the process of this Teaching, we come to know Him as He really is and enjoy
our original sweet relationship with Him. In other words, transcendental
knowledge culminates in the peace of pure Christ consciousness. That
exalted stage of love of Godhead is the last word in the Esoteric Teaching.
Therefore the Lord warned Jesus, A faithful man who is absorbed in
transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses quickly attains the
supreme spiritual peace. But ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the
revealed Scriptures do not attain God consciousness. For the doubting soul
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there is happiness neither in this world nor in the next. A person who
believes firmly in the Lords Teaching can achieve perfect knowledge in
Christ consciousness. A faithful man knows that simply by acting in Christ
consciousness according to the instructions of the Lord, he can attain the
highest perfection. This faith is attained by the discharge of devotional service
and by chanting the Holy Names of the Lord, which cleanse ones heart of all
material contamination.
Over and above this, one should control the senses. A person who is faithful
to the Lord and who controls the senses can easily attain perfection in the
knowledge of Christ consciousness without delay. Out of many standard and
authoritative revealed Scriptures, the Esoteric Teaching is the best. Persons
who have no faith in, or knowledge of, the standard revealed Scriptures are
almost like animals. And others, even though they have some knowledge of
the revealed Scriptures, or can cite passages from them, have no actual faith
in these words. And even though others may have faith in Scriptures like the
Esoteric Teaching, they do not believe in or worship the Personality of
Godhead, the Lord. Such persons cannot have any standing in Christ
consciousness. They fall down. Those who have no faith and are always
doubtful make no progress at all. Men without faith in God and His revealed
Word find no good in this world or in the next. For them there is no
happiness whatsoever. One should therefore follow the principles of the
revealed Scriptures with faith and thereby be raised to the platform of
knowledge. Only this transcendental knowledge can help one become
promoted to the transcendental platform of spiritual understanding. In other
words, doubtful persons have no status whatsoever in spiritual emancipation.
One should therefore follow in the footsteps of great spiritual Master
Teachers who are in the disciplic succession from the Lord, and thereby
attain success.
The Lord concluded, Therefore, one who has renounced the fruits of his
action, whose doubts are destroyed by transcendental knowledge, and who
is situated firmly in the self is not bound by karma, O conqueror of the
mind and senses. Therefore slash the doubts that have arisen in your heart
out of ignorance with the weapon of knowledge. Armed with Christ
consciousness, O Jesus, stand and preach. One who follows the instruction
of the Esoteric Teaching as imparted by the Lord, the Personality of Godhead
Himself, becomes free from all doubts by the grace and power of
transcendental knowledge. One who realizes himself to be a part and parcel
of the Lord in full Christ consciousness is already established in self-
knowledge. As such, he is undoubtedly above bondage to karma, or the
results of material action.
The God-conscious system of sacrifice described in this chapter is based upon
activities of eternal divine service performed by the living entity. This process
of God consciousness has two divisions of sacrificial actions: sacrifice of ones
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material possessions, and direct knowledge of the self, which is pure spiritual
activity. If sacrifice of ones material possessions is not dovetailed for spiritual
realization, then such sacrifice becomes material. But one who performs
sacrifices with a spiritual objective, or in devotional service, reaches the
perfection of sacrifice.
Spiritual activities are also divided into two kinds: understanding ones own
self, or ones constitutional position, and the Absolute Truth regarding the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who follows the path of the Teaching
without distortion can very easily understand these important divisions of
spiritual knowledge. For him there is no difficulty in obtaining perfect
knowledge of the self or soul as part and parcel of the Lord. And this
understanding helps the student understand the transcendental activities of
the Lord.
One who does not accept the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching is
faithless, and is misusing the fragmental independence the Lord freely awards
to him. Anyone who, despite such good instructions does not understand the
real nature of the Lord as the eternal, blissful, all-knowing Personality of
Godhead is certainly a great fool. We can remove our spiritual ignorance only
by gradual progressive acceptance of the principles of Christ consciousness.
Christ consciousness is awakened by different types of sacrifices to the
demigods, sacrifice to Brahman and sacrifice in celibacy, in controlled
household life, in controlling the senses, in practicing mystic God
consciousness, in penance, in foregoing material possessions, in studying the
Esoteric Teaching, and in partaking of the social institution of four
occupational and spiritual divisions. The Lord accepts all of these as sacrifice,
and all of them are based on regulated activities. But the aim and intention of
all these activities must be self-realization. One who seeks that objective is
the real student of the Esoteric Teaching, but one who doubts the authority of
the Lord falls back into the material ocean.
One is therefore advised to study the Esoteric Teaching, or any other
Scripture, under the direction of a bona fide spiritual Master Teacher, with
service and surrender. A bona fide spiritual Master Teacher is in the disciplic
succession from time eternal, and he does not deviate at all from the
instructions of the Supreme Lord as they were imparted millions of years ago
to the sun-god, from whom the instructions of the Esoteric Teaching first
came down to the earthly kingdom. One should therefore follow the path of
the Esoteric Teaching as it is expressed in the Teaching itself, and beware of
self-interested people after personal aggrandizement who deviate others from
the actual path. The Lord is definitely the Supreme Person, and His activities
are transcendental. One who understands this is a liberated person from the
very beginning of his study of the Teaching.
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Thus end the Bhaktisiddhartha purports to the Fifth Chapter of The Book of
Gethsemane, in the matter of Transcendental Knowledge. All glories to the Holy
Name of the Lord!
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Chapter Six
Action in Christ Consciousness
Service or Knowledge?
In this c hapter of The Book of Gethsemane, the Lord teaches Jesus that
working in devotional service is better than dry mental speculation.
Devotional service is better than the path of speculation because, being
transcendental in nature, it frees one from reaction. In the Second Chapter,
the Lord explained preliminary knowledge of the soul and its entanglement
in the material body. In the Third Chapter He explained how to get out of
this material entanglement by working in devotional service. In the Fourth
Chapter, the Lord explained that a person who is situated on the platform of
knowledge no longer has any material duties to perform. And in the Fifth
Chapter, the Lord told Jesus that all kinds of sacrificial work culminate in
transcendental knowledge. However, at the end of the Fifth Chapter, the Lord
advised Jesus to stand up and preach, being situated in perfect knowledge.
Therefore, by simultaneously stressing the importance of both work in
devotion and inaction in knowledge, the Lord perplexed Jesus and confused
his determination. Therefore Jesus again inquired: O my Lord, first of all
You ask me to renounce work, and then You recommend work with
devotion. Now will You kindly tell me definitely which of the two is more
beneficial? Jesus understands that renunciation in knowledge involves
cessation of all kinds of work performed for sense gratification. But if one
performs work in devotional service, then how is work stopped? In other
words, he thinks that sannysa, or renunciation in knowledge, should be
altogether free from all kinds of activity because work and renunciation
appear to him to be incompatible. He appears not to have understood that
work in full knowledge is non-reactive and is therefore the same as inaction.
He therefore inquires whether he should cease work altogether, or work with
full knowledge.
The Blessed Lord replied: The renunciation of work through cultivation of
transcendental knowledge and working in devotion are both good for
liberation. But of the two, work in devotional service is better than
renunciation of work. The cause of material bondage is fruitive activity in
pursuance of sense gratification. As long as one is engaged in activities aimed
at improving the standard of bodily comfort, one is sure to transmigrate to
different types of bodies, thereby continuing material bondage indefinitely.
People are mad after sense gratification, and they do not know that this
present body, which is full of miseries, is a result of ones fruitive activities in
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the past. Although this body is temporary, it is always giving trouble in so
many ways. Therefore, to act for sense gratification is a waste of valuable
time. As long as one makes no serious inquiry about the reactive nature of
working for fruitive results, ones life is considered to be a spiritual failure;
for as long as one is engrossed in the consciousness of sense gratification, one
has to transmigrate from one body to another. Although the mind may be
engrossed in fruitive activities and influenced by ignorance, one must
somehow or other develop attachment for devotional service to the Lord.
Only then can one have the opportunity to get out of the bondage of material
existence.
Therefore, knowledge that one is not this material body but spirit soul is
good, but is insufficient for liberation. One has to perform the activities of
spirit souldevotional service to the Lordotherwise there is no escape
from continued material bondage. Action in Christ consciousness is not,
however, action on the fruitive platform. Activities performed in full
knowledge strengthen ones advancement in real knowledge. Without Christ
consciousness, mere renunciation of fruitive activities does not actually purify
the heart of a conditioned soul. As long as the heart is not purified, one has to
continue working on the fruitive platform. But action in Christ consciousness
automatically helps one escape the result of fruitive action so that one need
not descend to the material platform. Therefore, action in Christ
consciousness is always superior to renunciation, which always entails a risk
of falling.
Complete Renunciation
Renunciation without Christ consciousness is incomplete. Renunciation of
things that are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, though they
are material, is incomplete renunciation. Renunciation is complete when it is
in the knowledge that everything in existence belongs to the Lord and that no
one should claim proprietorship over anything. One should understand that
factually, nothing belongs to anyone except the Lord. Then what is the
question of renunciation? One who knows that everything is the Lords
property is already situated in renunciation. Since everything belongs to the
Lord, everything should be employed in His service. This perfect form of
action in Christ consciousness is far better than any amount of artificial
renunciation by a sannys of the impersonalist school. Therefore the Lord
explained, One who neither hates nor desires the fruits of his activities is
known to be renounced. Such a person, liberated from all dualities, easily
overcomes material bondage and is completely liberated, O mighty Jesus.
One who is fully in Christ consciousness is always renounced because he
feels neither desire nor aversion for the results of his actions. Such a
renunciant is fully qualified in knowledge because he knows his
constitutional position in relationship with the Lord, and therefore dedicates
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his total energy to the transcendental loving service of the Lord. He knows
full well that the Lord is the whole, and that he is part and parcel of the Lord.
Such spiritual knowledge is perfect because it is both qualitatively and
quantitatively correct. The concept of oneness of the spirit soul with the Lord
is incorrect because the part can never be equal to the whole. Knowledge that
one is identical in quality with the Lord, yet different in quantity from Him, is
correct transcendental knowledge. This knowledge empowers one to become
full in himselfcompletely self-satisfiedhaving nothing to aspire to or
lament over. There is no duality in his mind because whatever he does, he
does for the Lord. Being thus freed from the platform of dualities, he is
liberated even in this material world.
The Soul of Existence
The aim of the analytical study of the material world is to find the soul of
existence. The soul of the material world is the Supersoul, or the Supreme
Lord. Devotional service to the Lord entails service to the Supersoul. One
process is to find the root of the tree, and the next to water the root. The
perfect student of analytical philosophy finds the root of the material world,
the Supreme Lord within the heart, and then engages himself in the service of
the Lord in perfect knowledge. Therefore, there is no difference between the
two paths in essence, because the aim of both i s devotional service to the
Lord. One who is learned knows the unifying aim of these two different
processes.
Therefore the Lord revealed, Only the ignorant speak of work in devotional
service as being different from the analytical study of the material world
[skhya]. Those who are actually learned say that he who applies himself
well to one of these paths achieves the results of both. One who knows that
the position reached by means of renunciation can also be attained by
works in devotional service and who therefore sees that the path of works
and the path of renunciation are one, sees things as they are. The real
purpose of philosophical research is to find the ultimate goal of life, and the
purpose of devotional service is to attain that goal. Since the ultimate goal of
life is self-realization, there is no difference between the conclusions reached
by the two processes. By analytical philosophical research one comes to the
conclusion that a living entity is not fundamentally a part of the material
world, but of the supreme spirit whole. Since the spirit soul ultimately has
nothing to do with the material world, therefore his actions must be in
relation with the Supreme. Consequently when he acts in Christ
consciousness, he is actually in his constitutional position. In the process of
analytical philosophy, one has to become detached from matter, and in the
devotional yoga process one has to attach himself to the work of the Lord.
Actually both processes are the same, although superficially one process
appears to involve detachment and the other process appears to involve
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attachment. However, detachment from matter and attachment to the Lord
are one and the same. One who can see this sees things as they are.
The Lord concluded, Unless one is engaged in the devotional service of the
Lord, mere renunciation of activities cannot make one happy. The sages,
purified by works of devotion, achieve the Supreme without delay. There
are two classes of sannyss, or persons in the renounced order of life. The
impersonalist sannyss study analytical speculative philosophy, whereas the
sannyss of the Esoteric Teaching practice devotional service, which provides
the complete understanding of spiritual development. The students of the
Esoteric Teaching engage in the devotional service of the Lord according to
Scriptural regulations, and therefore they perform multiple engagements in
the transcendental service of the Lord. The sannyss of the tradition of the
Esoteric Teaching have nothing to do with material activi ties, and yet they
perform various activities in their devotional service to the Lord. But the
impersonalist sannyss, engaged in the studies of speculative philosophy,
cannot relish transcendental service of the Lord. Because their studies become
very tedious, they sometimes become tired of speculation on Brahman, and
thus they take shelter of the Scriptures of the Esoteric Teaching without
proper understanding. Consequently their study of the Teaching becomes
troublesome, both for them and for others. Dry speculation and artificial
impersonal interpretations of the Teaching are all useless for the
impersonalist sannyss. The personalist sannyss, who are engaged in
devotional service, are happy in the discharge of their transcendental duties,
and they have the guarantee of ultimate entrance into the Kingdom of God.
The impersonalist sannyss sometimes fall down from the path of self-
realization and again enter into activities of philanthropy and altruism, which
are nothing but material engagements. Therefore, those who are engaged in
Christ consciousness are better situated than the sannyss engaged merely in
Brahman speculation, although they too come to Christ consciousness after
many births.
Work Without Entanglement
One who is on the path of liberation through the Esoteric Teaching is very
dear to every living being, and every living being is dear to him. This is due to
his Christ consciousness. Such a person cannot think of any living being as
separate from the Lord, just as the leaves and branches of a tree are not
separate from the tree. By pouring water on the root of the tree, the water will
be distributed to all the leaves and branches; or by supplying food to the
stomach, energy is automatically distributed throughout the body. Similarly,
by serving the Supreme Lord, one performs the best service to every living
entity. Therefore the Lord declared, 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
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entangled. Because one who works in Christ consciousness is servant of all,
he is very dear to everyone, and everyone is satisfied by his work. Because he
is pure in consciousness, his mind is completely controlled. And because his
mind is controlled, his senses are also controlled. Because his mind is always
fixed on the Lord, there is no chance of his being deviated from the Lord. Nor
is there a chance that he will engage his senses in matters other than the
service of the Lord. He does not like to hear anything except topics relating to
the Lord; he does not like to eat anything that is not offered to the Lord; and
he does not wish to go anywhere if the Lord is not involved. Therefore, his
senses are controlled. A man of controlled senses cannot be offensive to
anyone. One may ask, Why then was Jesus offensive to the Pharisees?
Wasnt he in Christ consciousness? Jesus was only superficially offensive
because (as the Lord already explained in the Second Chapter) he, the rabbis,
Pharisees and his disciples would continue to live individually, as the soul
cannot be slain. So spiritually, no one was killed when the Lord destroyed
Jerusalem in retribution for the violent offenses to His son Jesus Christ. Only
their bodily dresses were changed by the order of the Lord, who was
personally present. Therefore while Jesus was preaching against his relatives,
he was simply carrying out the order of the Lord in full Christ consciousness.
Such a person is never entangled in the reactions of work.
Divine Consciousness
The Lord continued, 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. A person in Christ
consciousness is pure in his existence, and consequently he has nothing to do
with any work that depends upon the five immediate and remote causes: the
doer, the work, the situation, the endeavor and fortune. This is because he is
engaged in the loving transcendental service of the Lord. Although he appears
to be acting with his body and senses, he is always conscious of his actual
position, which is spiritual engagement in devotional service. In material
consciousness, the senses are engaged in sense gratification; but in Christ
consciousness the senses are engaged in the satisfaction of the Lords senses.
Therefore the Christ-conscious person is always free, even though he appears
to be engaged in actions of the senses. Activities such as seeing, hearing,
speaking, evacuating, etc., are actions of the senses meant for work. A God-
conscious person is never affected by the actions of the senses. He performs
all his activities service of the Lord because he knows that he is the eternal
servitor of the Lord.
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The Lord continued, One who performs his duty without attachment,
surrendering the results unto the Supreme God, is not affected by sinful
reaction, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water. Although the material
world is a sum total manifestation of the three modes of material nature,
everything in the material world is ultimately a manifestation of the Lords
potencies; and, although the effects are differently manifested, ultimately they
are non-different from the cause. Since everything is related to the Supreme
Brahman or the Lord, everything belongs to Him alone. One who knows
perfectly well that everything belongs to the Lord, that He is the Proprietor of
everything, and that therefore everything should be engaged in the service of
the Lord, naturally has nothing to do with the results of his activities,
whether virtuous or sinful. Even ones material body, being a gift of the Lord
for carrying out a particular type of action, can be engaged in Christ
consciousness. The pure soul in unadulterated devotional service is beyond
contamination by sinful reactions, exactly as the lotus leaf, though remaining
in the water, does not get wet. The Lord also instructs us in the Esoteric
Teaching: Dedicate all your work unto Me. The conclusion is that a person
without Christ consciousness acts according to the concept of the material
body and senses, but a person in Christ consciousness acts according to the
knowledge that the body is the property of the Lord and should therefore be
engaged in the service of the Lord. Such a pure devotee of the Lord is never
affected by sinful reaction.
Attaining Purification
The Lord continued, Abandoning material attachment, the students of the
Esoteric Teaching act with body, mind, intelligence, and even with the
senses, only for the purpose of purification. By acting in Christ
consciousness for the satisfaction of the senses of the Lord, any action,
whether of the body, mind, intelligence or even of the senses, is purified of
material contamination. There are no material reactions resulting from the
activities of a Christ-conscious person. Therefore, anyone acting in Christ
consciousness can easily perform purified activities. A person acting in Christ
consciousness with his body, mind, intelligence and words is a liberated
person even within the material world, although he may be engaged in many
so-called material activities. He has no false ego, nor does he believe that he is
this material body, nor that he possesses the body. He knows that he is not
this body and that this body does not belong to him. He himself (the soul)
belongs to the Lord, and the body also belongs to the Lord. When he applies
everything produced of the body, mind, intelligence, words, life, wealth
whatever he may have within his possessionto the Lords service, he is at
once dovetailed with the Lord in Christ consciousness. He is one with the
Lord in quality, and is devoid of the false ego that leads one to believe that he
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is the body and to perform material activities. This is the perfect stage of
Christ consciousness.
The Lord explained, 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. The difference between a person in bodily
consciousness and a person in Christ consciousness is that the materialist is
attached to the results of his activities, whereas the devotee is attached to the
Lord. The person who is attached to the Lord and works for Him only is
certainly liberated, and he is not anxious for fruitive rewards. The Esoteric
Teaching explains that the cause of anxiety over the result of an activity is
functioning in the conception of dualitythat is, without knowledge of the
Absolute Truth. The Lord is the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of
Godhead. All that exists is a product of the Lords energy, and the Lord is all-
good. There is no duality in Christ consciousness. Therefore, activities in
Christ consciousness are on the Absolute plane; they are transcendental and
have no material effect. One who is in Christ consciousness, therefore, is
filled with peace. However, one who is entangled in profit calculation for
sense gratification cannot have that peace. This is the secret of Christ
consciousness: realization that nothing actually exists besides the Lord is the
platform of complete peace and fearlessness.
Freedom from Cause and Effect
The Lord explained, When the embodied living being controls his nature
and mentally renounces all actions, he resides happily in the city of nine
gates [the material body], neither working nor causing work to be done.
The nine gates are described as follows: The Supreme Personality of
Godhead, who is living within the body of a living entity, is the controller of
all living entities all over the universe. The body consists of nine gates: two
eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, the anus and the genital. The living
entity in his conditioned stage identifies himself with the body, but when he
identifies himself with the Lord within hi mself, he becomes just as free as the
Lord, even while in the body. [vetvatra Upaniad 3.18]
The embodied soul lives in the city of nine gates. The activities of the
figurative city of body are conducted automatically by the particular modes of
nature that influence the body. The soul, although subjecting himself to the
conditions of the body in material consciousness, can be beyond those
conditions if he so desires. He identifies with the material body because of
forgetfulness of his superior nature, and therefore suffers. By hearing the
Esoteric Teaching, he can revive his real position through Christ
consciousness and thus come out of his embodiment into his real position.
Therefore, one who becomes Christ conscious at once becomes completely
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aloof from bodily activities. In such a controlled life, in which his
deliberations about his identity are changed, he lives happily within the city
of nine gates. Therefore, a Christ-conscious person is free from both the gross
physical and subtle inner activities of the material body.
The Lord continued, 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. The living entity, as the Lord will explain in a later chapter, is one in
nature with the Supreme Lord, distinguished from matter, which is the
inferior energy of the Lord. Somehow the superior energythe living
entityhas been in contact with the inferior material energy since time
immemorial. The temporary body or material dwelling place that the living
entity obtains is the cause of various activities and their resultant reactions.
Living in such a conditioned atmosphere, one suffers the results of the
activities of the body by identifying himself (in ignorance) with the body.
Although the living entity is spiritual and actually has nothing to do with the
body, because of identification with the body, he thinks that whatever
happens to the body happens to him. This ignorance acquired from time
immemorial is the cause of bodily suffering and distress. As soon as the living
entity becomes aloof from the activities of the body, he becomes free from the
reactions as well. As long as he is in the city of body, he appears to be the
master of it, but actually he is neither its proprietor nor the controller of its
actions and reactions. He is simply in the midst of the material ocean,
struggling for existence. The waves of the ocean are tossing him, and he has
no control over them. His best solution is to get out of the water by the boat
of transcendental Christ consciousness. That alone will save him from all
turmoil.
Beyond the Influence of Nature
The Lord continued, Nor does the Supreme Spirit assume anyones sinful
or pious activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of
the ignorance that covers their real knowledge. The Supreme Lord is full of
unlimited knowledge, riches, strength, fame, beauty and renunciation. He is
always satisfied in Himself, undisturbed by sinful or pious activities. He does
not create a particular situation for any living entity, but the living entity,
bewildered by ignorance, desires to be put into certain conditions of life. The
Lord kindly fulfills his desire, and thereby his chain of action and reaction
begins.
A living entity is, by superior nature, full of knowledge. Nevertheless, he is
prone to be influenced by ignorance due to his limited power. The Lord is
omnipotent, but the living entity is not. The Lord is omniscient, but the
living entity is atomic. Because he is a living soul, he has the capacity to
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desire by his free will. Only the omnipotent Lord fulfills such desires. And so,
when the living entity is bewildered in his desires, the Lord allows him to
fulfill those desires, but the Lord is never responsible for the actions and
reactions of the particular situation that he desires. Being in a bewildered
condition, therefore, the embodied soul identifies himself with the material
body and its circumstances, and thus becomes subjected to the temporary
misery and happiness of life. The Lord is the constant companion of the
living entity as the Supersoul, and therefore He can understand the desires of
the individual soul, as one can smell the flavor of a flower b y being near it.
Desire is a subtle form of conditioning of the living entity. The Lord fulfills
his desire as he deserves: Man proposes and God disposes. The individual is
not, therefore, omnipotent in fulfilling his desires. The Lord, however, can
fulfill all desires, and the Lord, being neutral to everyone, does not interfere
with the desires of the minute independent living entities. However, when
one desires the Lord, the Lord takes special care and encourages one to desire
in such a way that one can attain to Him and be eternally happy.
The Esoteric Teaching therefore declares: The Lord engages the living entity
in pious activities so he may be elevated. The Lord engages him in impious
activities so he may go to hell. The living entity is completely dependent in
his distress and happiness. By the will of the Supreme he can go to heaven or
hell, as a cloud is driven by the air. Therefore the embodied soul, by his
immemorial desire to avoid Christ consciousness, causes his own
bewilderment. Consequently, although he is constitutionally eternal, blissful
and cognizant, due to the littleness of his existence he forgets his
constitutional position of service to the Lord and is thus entrapped by
nescience. Thus, under the spell of ignorance, the living entity claims that the
Lord is responsible for his conditioned existence. The Esoteric Teaching
confirms that the Lord neither hates nor likes anyone, though He appears to.
He is simply awarding the results of our own misguided material desires, and
waiting for us to desire the knowledge that leads us out of our ignorance to
Him.
The King of Knowledge
The Lord continued, When, however, one is enlightened with the
knowledge by which nescience is destroyed [the Esoteric Teaching], then
his knowledge reveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the
daytime. Those who have forgotten the Lord must certainly be bewildered,
but those who are in Christ consciousness are not bewildered at all. It is
stated in the Esoteric Teaching that knowledge is always highly esteemed.
And what is that knowledge? Perfect knowledge is achieved when one
surrenders unto the Lord. After passing through many, many births, when
one perfect in knowledge surrenders unto the Lord, or when one attains
Christ consciousness, then everything is revealed to him, as the sun reveals
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everything in the daytime. The living entity is bewildered in so many ways.
For instance, when he speculatively thinks himself to be God, he actually falls
into the last snare of nescience. If a living entity is God, then the only
possible explanation for his present materially conditioned existence is that
God becomes covered by illusion. But how can God become bewildered by
nescience? Can the omniscient, omnipotent Supreme Lord ever become
bewildered by nescience? If so, then nescience, or Satan, is greater than God.
Therefore the impersonalist theory of oneness of the living entity with God is
simply ridiculous nonsense.
Real knowledge can be obtained only from a person who is in perfect Christ
consciousness. Therefore, one has to seek out such a bona fide spiritual
Master Teacher and, under him, learn what Christ consciousness is. The
spiritual Master Teacher can drive away all nescience, as the sun drives away
darkness. Even though a person may be in full knowledge that he is not this
body but is transcendental to the body, he still may not be able to
discriminate between the soul and the Supersoul. However, he can know
everything well if he cares to take shelter of the perfect, bona fide God-
conscious spiritual Master Teacher. One can know God and ones
relationship with God only when one actually meets a representative of God.
A representative of God never claims that he is God, although he is paid all
the respect ordinarily paid to God because he has perfect knowledge of God.
One has to learn the proper distinction between God and the living entity.
The Lord therefore stated in the Second Chapter that every living being is
individual and that the Lord is also individual. They were all individuals in
the past, they are individuals at present, and they will continue to be
individuals in the future, even after liberation. At night we see everything as
one in the darkness, but in day when the sun is up, we see everything in its
real identity. Identity with indivi duality in spiritual life is real knowledge.
The Lord continued, When ones intelligence, mind, faith and refuge are
all fixed in the Supreme, then one becomes fully cleansed of misgivings
through complete knowledge and thus proceeds straight on the path of
liberation. The Supreme Transcendental Truth is the Lord. The whole
Esoteric Teaching centers around the declaration of the Lord as the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. That is the version of all Scriptures. He is the
Supreme Reality, who is understood by the knowers of the Supreme as
Brahman, the Supersoul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The
Supreme Personality of Godhead is the last word in the Absolute Truth.
There is nothing more than Him. The Lord says, Impersonal Brahman is also
supported by Me. Therefore in all ways the Lord is the Supreme Reality. One
whose mind, intelligence, faith and refuge are always in the Lord, or, in other
words, one who is fully in Christ consciousness is undoubtedly washed clean
of all misgivings and is in perfect knowledge in everything concerning
Transcendence. A Christ-conscious person can thoroughly understand the
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real Truth that there is simultaneous qualitative identity with and
quantitative individuality from the Lord, and one who is equipped with such
perfect transcendental knowledge can make steady progress on the path of
liberation.
True Knowledge is Spiritual Vision
A Christ-conscious person does not make any distinction between species or
castes. A brhmaa and an outcaste may be different from the social point of
view, or a dog, a cow, or an elephant may be different from the point of view
of species, but these differences of body are meaningless from the viewpoint
of a learned transcendentalist. Thus the Lord stated, The humble sage, by
virtue of true knowledge, sees a learned and gentle brhmaa, a cow, an
elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste] with equal vision. The Christ-
conscious person sees every living entity in terms of their relationship to the
Supreme, for the Supreme Lord is present in everyones heart by His plenary
portion of the Supersoul. Such an objective understanding of the living entity
and the Supreme is real knowledge. The Lord is equally kind to everyone
despite their having material bodies in different castes or different species of
life. He treats every living being as a friend, yet maintains Himself as
Supersoul, detached from the actions and reactions of material nature
regardless of the circumstances of the living entities. The Lord as Supersoul is
present both in the outcaste and in the brhmaa, although the body of a
brhmaa is influenced by the mode of goodness and that of an outcaste is
influenced by the mode of ignorance. The bodies are material productions of
different modes of material nature, but the soul and the Supersoul within the
body are of the same spiritual quality. Of course, the similarity in the quality
of the soul and the Supersoul does not make them equal in quantity, for the
individual soul is present only in that particular body whereas the Supersoul
is present in each and every body.
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The humble sage sees with equal vision
A Christ-conscious person has full knowledge of this, has equal vision and
therefore is truly learned. Both the soul and Supersoul are conscious, eternal
and blissful. The difference is that the individual soul is conscious within the
limited jurisdiction of the body, whereas the Supersoul is conscious of all
bodies. The Supersoul is present in all bodies without distinction. The Lord
continued, Those whose minds are established in sameness and
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equanimity have already conquered the conditions of birth and death. They
are flawless like Brahman, and thus they are already situated in Brahman.
Equanimity of mind is a symptom of self-realization. Those who have actually
attained this stage have conquered material conditions, including birth and
death. As long as one identifies with this body, he is considered a conditioned
soul, but as soon as he is elevated to the stage of equanimity through self-
realization, he is liberated from conditioned life. In other words, he is no
longer subject to take birth in the material world but can enter into the
spiritual sky after his death.
Symptoms of the Self-realized Soul
The Lord is flawless because He is without attraction or hatred. Similarly,
when a living entity is without attraction or hatred, he also becomes flawless
and eligible to enter into the spiritual sky. Such persons are to be considered
already liberated, and the Lord described their symptoms to Jesus: 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. The Lord explains the symptoms of the self -realized person.
The first symptom is that he is not illusioned by the false identification of the
body with his actual self. He knows perfectly well that he is not this body, but
is the fragmental portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore
he is not joyful in achieving anything material, nor does he lament losing
anything related to the body. Due to this steadiness of mind, he never
mistakes the gross body for the soul and becomes bewildered, nor does he
incorrectly accept the body as permanent and disregard the existence of the
soul.
This knowledge qualifies him to know the complete science of the Absolute
Truth, namely Brahman, Supersoul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
He knows his constitutional position perfectly well by studying the Esoteric
Teaching, without falsely trying to become one with the Supreme. This is
called Brahman realization or self-realization. Such steady consciousness is
called God consciousness, Ka consciousness or Christ consciousness. The
Lord continued, Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense
pleasure or external objects but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure
within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for
he concentrates on the Supreme. A self-realized person in Christ
consciousness is so absorbed in the loving service of the Lord that he loses his
taste for material sense pleasure altogether. The highest pleasure in terms of
matter is sex pleasure. The whole world is moving under its spell, and a
materialist cannot work at all without this motivation. But a person engaged
in Christ consciousness can work with greater vigor without sex pleasure,
which he avoids. This is the ultimate test of a devotees spiritual realization.
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Spiritual realization and sex pleasure are incompatible. A persons degree of
self-realization is indicated by how well he has been able to maintain freedom
from sex desire.
A fully Christ-conscious person is not attracted to any kind of sense pleasure
due to his being a liberated soul. Why? The Lord stated, An intelligent
person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to
contact with the material senses. O son of Mary, such pleasures have a
beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.
Material sense pleasures are due to the contact of the soul with the material
senses, which are all temporary because the body itself is temporary. A
liberated soul is not interested in anything temporary. Knowing well the joys
of transcendental pleasures, how can a liberated soul agree to enjoy false
pleasure? It is written in the Padma Pura: The mystics derive unlimited
transcendental pleasures from the Absolute Truth, and therefore the Supreme
Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, is also known as Rma. There is
no need to work very hard for sense pleasure in this human form of life; such
material pleasures are available even to the animals. Rather, we should
undergo penances in this life to purify our existence and consciousness, for as
a result we will attain self-realization and enjoy the unlimited eternal
transcendental bliss of Christ consciousness.
Therefore, those who are true yogs or learned transcendentalists are not
attracted by sense pleasures, which are the causes of continuing the miseries
of material existence. The more one is addicted to material pleasures, the
more he is entrapped by material miseries. The Lord continued, Before
giving up this present body, if one is able to tolerate the urges of the
material senses and check the forces of desire and anger, he is a self-
realized person and is happy in this world. If one wants to make steady
progress on the path of self-realization, he must control the urges of the
material senses. There are the urges of talk, urges of anger, urges of mind,
urges of the stomach, urges of the genitals, and urges of the tongue. One who
is able to control the forces of all these different senses and the mind is called
gosvm or svm. Such gosvms live strictly controlled lives, and completely
forgo the urges of the senses. Unsatisfied material desires generate anger, and
thus the mind, eyes and chest become agitated. One must learn to control
material desire by practice of penance and austerity before giving up this
material body. It is too late to learn this practice when one is already old;
therefore, one must learn and apply the practice of austerity while still
youthful. One who can do this is understood to be self-realized and is thus
happy in the state of self-realization. The foremost duty of the
transcendentalist is to try strenuously to control desire and anger.
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Happiness Within
The Lord continued, 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.
Unless one is able to relish real happiness from within, how can one retire
from the superficial happiness of external engagements? A liberated person
enjoys profound inner happiness by direct transcendental experience. He can,
therefore, sit silently anywhere and enjoy the activities of life from within.
Such a liberated person no longer desires external material happiness. This
state is called spiritual self-satisfaction; anyone who attains it is assured of
going back to Godhead, back to home.
The Lord continued, One who is beyond duality and doubt, whose mind is
engaged within, who is free from all sins and is always busy working for
the welfare of all sentient beings achieves liberation in the Supreme. Only
a person who is fully Christ-conscious can be engaged in welfare work for all
living entities. When a person who actually knows that the Lord is the
fountainhead of everything, acts in that spirit, he acts for everyone. Thus his
service to the Lord is beneficial for all classes of living beings. The sufferings
of humanity are due only to forgetfulness of the Lord as the Supreme Enjoyer,
the Supreme Proprietor, and the Supreme Friend. Therefore, the highest
welfare work is to work to revive this consciousness within the entire human
society. This is first-class welfare work, but one cannot do it without already
being liberated in the Supreme. A Christ-conscious person has no doubt
about the supremacy of the Lord. He has no doubt because he is completely
freed from all sins. This is the state of Divine Love. A person engaged only in
ministering to the physical welfare of human society cannot factually help
anyone. Temporary relief of the external body and the mind is not
satisfactory. The real cause of ones difficulties in the hard struggle for life is
forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Lord. When a man is fully
conscious of his relationship with the Lord, he is actually a liberated soul,
although he may still live within the material tabernacle.
Liberation in the Supreme
The Lord continued, Those who are free from anger and all material
desires, who are self-realized, self-disciplined and constantly endeavoring
for perfection are assured of liberation in the Supreme in the very near
future. Of the different kinds of saintly persons who are constantly striving
toward salvation, one who is in Christ consciousness is the best of all. One
should just try to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in devotional
service. Even great sages are unable to control the urges of the senses as
effectively as those who are engaged in transcendental bliss by serving the
lotus feet of the Lord, uprooting the deeply ingrown desire for fruitive
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activities. The desire to enjoy the fruitive results of work is so deep-rooted in
the mentality of the conditioned soul that it is very difficult even for the great
sages to control such desires, despite great endeavors. But a devotee of the
Lord who constantly engages in devotional service in Christ consciousness
very quickly becomes perfect in self-realization and attains liberation in the
Supreme. Owing to his complete knowledge in self-realization, he always
remains in trance, his mind attracted spontaneously to the beautiful lotus feet
of his worshipable Beloved Lord.
A devotee in Christ consciousness, although far away from the Lords abode,
can elevate himself to that abode simply by thinking of Him constantly; in
other words, by engagement in Christ consciousness. He does not feel the
pangs of material miseries at all. This state of life is called liberation in the
Supreme, or the absence of material miseries due to being constantly
immersed in the loving service of the Supreme Lord. The Lord explained this
state: Shutting out all external sense objects, keeping the eyes and vision
concentrated between the eyebrows, suspending the inward and outward
breaths within the nostrilsthus controlling the mind, senses and
intelligence, the transcendentalist becomes free from desire, fear and anger.
One who is always in this state is certainly liberated. One who is engaged
in Christ consciousness can immediately understand his spiritual identity,
and then one can approach the Supreme Lord by devotional service. When he
is well situated in devotional service, one comes to the transcendental
position, qualified to feel the presence of the Lord in the sphere of ones
activity. This particular spiritual state is called liberation in the Supreme.
After explaining the principles of liberation in the Supreme, the Lord
instructs Jesus how to attain that position by practice of meditational
mysticism or yoga, sometimes known as aga-yoga, or the eightfold yoga
method. Asga-yoga has eight limbs or stages called yma, niyma, sana,
pryma, pratyhra, dhra, dhyna and samdhi. The subject of yoga is
described in detail in the Seventh Chapter; it is only mentioned here. After
preliminary purification by observing the strict rules of yma and niyma, one
has to practice bodily stretching and other exercise to stabilize the correct
sitting position (sana). One drives out the sense objects such as sound,
touch, form, taste and smell from the mind by the pryma (breathing)
process. Then one must keep the vision of the eyes between the two eyebrows
and concentrate on the tip of the nose with half-closed eyelids (pratyhra, or
withdrawal of the senses from sense objects). There is no benefit in closing
the eyes altogether, because then there is every chance of falling asleep. Nor is
there benefit in opening the eyes completely, because then there is the hazard
of being attracted by sense objects. The breathing movement is restrained
within the nostrils by neutralizing the vertical motion of air within the body
(dhra). By practice of such yoga one is able to gain control over the senses
and refrain from outward sense objects (dhyna), and thus prepare oneself for
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liberation in the Supreme (samdhi). This yoga process helps one become free
from all kinds of fear and anger and thus feel the transcendental presence of
the Supersoul.
A Christ-conscious person, however, being always engaged in devotional
service, does not risk losing control of his senses to some material
engagement. This is a better way of controlling the senses than by the
aga-yoga. In other words, Christ consciousness is the easiest process of
executing the yoga principles. This will be thoroughly explained in the next
chapter.
Attaining Peace
The Lord concluded, The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all
sacrifices and austerities, the S upreme Lord of all planets and demigods
and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from
the pangs of material miseries. The conditioned souls struggling in the
clutches of the illusory energy are all anxious to attain peace in the material
world. But they do not know the formula for peace, which is explained in the
Esoteric Teaching. The greatest peace formula is simply this: the Lord is the
beneficiary in all human activities. Men should offer everything to the
transcendental service of the Lord because He is the Proprietor of all planets
and the beings thereon. No one is greater than Him. He is greater than the
greatest of the demigods, and He is even greater than Lord Jesus Christ.
Under the spell of illusion, the living entities are trying to be lords of all they
survey, but actually they are completely dominated by the material energy of
the Lord. The Lord is the Master of material nature, and the conditioned
souls are under her stringent rules. Unless one understands these primary
spiritual facts, it is impossible to achieve peace in the world, either
individually or collectively. This is the sense of Christ consciousness: Lord is
the Supreme Predominator, and all living entities, including the great
demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in
complete Christ consciousness.
This Sixth Chapter of The Book of Gethsemane is a practical explanation of
Christ consciousness. The question of how work can provide liberation is
answered herein. To work in Christ consciousness is to work with the
complete knowledge of the Lord as the Supreme Predominator. Such work is
not different from transcendental knowledge. Direct Christ consciousness is
work in devotion, and transcendental knowledge is a path leading to such
liberated work. Christ consciousness means to work in full knowledge of
ones relationship with the Supreme Absolute Truth, and the perfection of
this consciousness is full knowledge of the Lord, or the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. A pure soul is the eternal servant of God as His fragmental part
and parcel. He comes into contact with illusion due to the desire to control
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and enjoy the material energy, and that is the cause of all his suffering. As
long as he is in contact with matter, he has to execute work in terms of
material necessities. Christ consciousness, however, brings one into spiritual
life even while within the jurisdiction of matter, for it is the arousal of the
sense of spiritual identity by practice in the material world. The more one
advances in Christ consciousness, the more he is freed from the clutches of
matter. The Lord is not partial toward anyone. Anyone from any culture or
social position can become liberated from illusion through this practice.
Everything depends on ones practical performance of duties under the
direction of the self-realized spiritual Master Teacher in an effort to control
the senses and conquer the influence of desire and anger. Once attaining
Christ consciousness by controlling the above-mentioned passions, one
remains factually in transcendental trance. The eightfold yoga mysticism is
automatically practiced in Christ consciousness because the same ultimate
purpose is served. The Christ-conscious person makes gradual advancement
in the principles of the yoga system automatically. But these only preface
perfection by devotional service, which alone can award complete peace to
the human being, for pure devotional service in Christ consciousness is the
highest perfection of life.
Thus end the Bhaktisiddhartha purports of the Sixth Chapter of The Book of
Gethsemane in the matter of the Action in Christ Consciousness. All glories to the
Holy Name of the Lord!
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 223
Chapter 7
The Yoga of Christ
Consciousness
Eightfold Yoga Impractical
In this chapter the Lord continues to explain the difference between
cultivation of transcendental knowledge and working in devotion. He
presents a detailed explanation of the process of the eightfold yoga system as
a valid method for controlling the mind and the senses. However, this process
is very difficult for people in general to perform, especially in the present
historical Age of Iron. Although in this chapter the Lord accepts the eightfold
yoga system for linking the consciousness of the living entity with the
Supreme, the Lord emphasizes that the process of working in Christ
consciousness, or devotional service, is better. His purpose in presenting the
aga-yoga system is to show that one who is in Christ consciousness
automatically achieves the same purpose without difficult endeavor. The
Blessed Lord instructed Jesus: One who is unattached to the fruits of his
work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life,
and he is the true mystic: not he who lights no fire and performs no work.
Everyone in this world works to maintain himself, his family and their
paraphernalia, but no one is working without some self-interest, some
personal gratification, whether individual or extended. The criterion of
perfection is to act in Christ consciousness without any desire to enjoy the
fruits of ones work. Acting in Christ consciousness is the duty of every living
entity, because all beings are constitutionally parts and parcels of the
Supreme. The parts of the body work for the satisfaction of the whole body.
The limbs of the body do not act for self -satisfaction but for the satisfaction of
the complete whole. Similarly, the living entity who acts for satisfaction of the
supreme whole and not for personal satisfaction is the perfect sannys
(renunciant), and the perfect yog.
The impersonalist sannyss sometimes think that they have become liberated
from all material duties, and therefore they artificially cease to perform all
work, but actually they are self-interested because their goal is becoming one
with the impersonal Brahman. Such a desire is greater than any material
desire, but it is still self-interested. Similarly, the mystic yog who practices
the eightfold yoga system with half-open eyes, ceasing all material activities,
desires some spiritual satisfaction for hi s personal self. But a person acting in
Christ consciousness works for the satisfaction of the Complete Whole,
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without self-interest. A Christ-conscious person has no desire for self-
satisfaction. His criterion of success is the satisfaction of the Lord, and thus
he is the perfect sannys, or perfect yog. Lord Caitanya, the very symbol of
perfection in renunciation, prays: O Almighty Lord, I have no desire to
accumulate wealth, nor to enjoy beautiful women. Nor do I want any number
of followers. What I want only is the causeless mercy of Your devotional
service in my life, birth after birth. [r-r ikstaka]
Real renunciation means that one understands his constitutional position as
an eternal spiritual living entity as described in the Esoteric Teaching, and
acts accordingly to serve the purpose of the Supreme Lord. The living entity
has no independent identity separate from the Lord. He is the marginal
energy of the Supreme. When he is entrapped by material energy he is
conditioned, and when he is Christ-conscious, or aware of the spiritual
energy, then he is in his real and natural state of life. In either case he is in
relationship with the Lord, either through the external inferior material
energy of the Lord, or through the internal, superior spiritual energy.
Therefore the Lord stated, Renunciation is actually the same as yoga, or
linking oneself with the Supreme, for no one can become a yog unless he
renounces the desire for sense gratification. A person who has no
information of the Supreme must be engaged in self-satisfaction, because no
one can remain inactive. Therefore, one who is in complete knowledge ceases
working for personal enjoyment and renounces all activities of sense
gratification. The authentic yogs who restrain the senses from material
attachment attempt this, but their practice is fraught with difficulty and they
frequently fall down. However, a person in Christ consciousness has no
opportunity to engage his senses in anything that is not for the purpose of the
Lord. Therefore, a Christ-conscious person is simultaneously a sannys and a
yog. Christ consciousness automatically serves the purposes of attaining
transcendental knowledge and of restraining the senses. If one is unable to
give up the activities of his selfish ani mal nature, then transcendental
knowledge and yoga are of no avail. The real aim of spiritual life is for a living
entity to give up all selfish satisfaction and to be prepared to satisfy the
Supreme in all respects. A Christ-conscious person has no desire for any kind
of self-enjoyment. He is always engaged for the enjoyment of the Supreme.
Therefore, the practice of Christ consciousness perfectly serves all the
purposes of transcendental knowledge and yoga.
The Ladder of Yoga
Yoga is the process of linking oneself with the Supreme, which may be
compared to a ladder for attaining the topmost spiritual realization. This
ladder begins from the lowest material condition of the living entity in
conditioned consciousness, and rises up to perfect self-realization in pure
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devotional service to the Lord. Different parts of the ladder are known by
different names. But the complete ladder is called yoga and may be divided
into three parts, namely transcendental knowledge, meditation and
devotional service. The Lord continued, Work is the means for one who is
a neophyte in the eightfold yoga system; and for one who has already
attained to yoga, cessation of all material activities is the means. In the
eightfold yoga system, the beginners attempts to enter meditation through
practice of regulative principles (yma and niyma) and different sitting
postures (sanas, which are really just bodily exercises) are considered
fruitive material activities. The purpose of all yogic activities is achieving
perfect mental equilibrium to control the senses. When one is accomplished
in the practice of meditation, all disturbing mental activities cease. However,
a Christ-conscious person is situated on the platform of meditation from the
beginning because he always thinks of the Lord. And being constantly
engaged in the service of the Lord, he has ceased all material activities.
The Supreme Lord continued, A person has attained to yoga when having
renounced all material desires, he neither acts for sense gratification nor
engages in fruitive activities. When a person is fully engaged in the
transcendental loving service of the Lord, he is pleased in himself, and thus
he is no longer interested in fruitive activities or sense gratification.
Otherwise, one must be engaged in sense gratification, since one cannot live
without engagement. Without Christ consciousness, one must always seek
self-centered or extended selfish activities. But a Christ-conscious person can
do everything for the satisfaction of the Lord and thereby be perfectly
detached from sense gratification. One who has no such realization must
mechanically try to escape material desires before being elevated to the stage
of liberation.
The mind of the conditioned soul is especially important in the yoga system;
indeed, the mind is the central point of yoga practice. The purpose of the
yoga system is to control the mind and to draw it away from attachment to
sense objects. The Lord implies that the mind must be so well-trained that it
can deliver the conditioned soul from the mire of nescience. In material
existence one is subjected to the influence of the mind and the senses. In fact,
the pure soul is entangled in the material world because of the minds ego
that desires to control and enjoy material nature. Therefore, the mind should
be trained so that it will not be attracted by the glitter of material nature, and
in this way the conditioned soul may be released from being conditioned by
sense objects. One should not degrade oneself by attraction to sense objects.
The more one is attracted by sense objects, the more one becomes entangled
in material existence. The best way to disentangle oneself is to engage the
mind in Christ consciousness by always chanting the Holy Name of the Lord.
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Conquering the Mind
For human beings, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of
liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind
detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation. Therefore, the
mind that is always engaged in Christ consciousness is the cause of supreme
liberation. Therefore the Lord said, For him who has conquered the mind,
the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very
mind will be the greatest enemy. A man must elevate himself by his own
mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul,
and his enemy as well. The purpose of practicing the eightfold yoga system
is to control the mind in order to make it a friend in completing the mission
of human life. Unless the mind is controlled, making an external show of
yoga practice is simply a waste of time. One who cannot control his mind
lives always with his greatest enemy, and thus his entire life and its great
mission of self-realization are spoiled. The constitutional position of the
living entity is to carry out the order of his Master, the Lord. As long as ones
mind remains an unconquered enemy, one has to serve the dictations of
inferiors such as lust, anger, avarice, illusion, etc. But when the mind is
conquered, one voluntarily agrees to abide by the order of the Personality of
Godhead, who is situated within the heart of everyone as Supersoul. Real
yoga practice entails meeting the Supersoul within the heart and following
His dictation. For one who takes to Christ consciousness directly, perfect
surrender to the instructions of the Lord follows automatically.
The Lord continued, For one who has conquered the mind, the Supersoul
is already reached, for he has attained tranquility. To such a man happiness
and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all the same. When
the mind is misled by the external illusory energy, one becomes entangled in
material activities. Actually, every living entity is intended to follow the order
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is seated in everyones heart as
the Supersoul. One whose mind is controlled through the yoga system
already has reached the destination. Therefore to attain perfection, one has
only to accept the order of ones superior, either the Lord in the heart or the
spiritual Master Teacher. When ones mind is fixed on the superior nature, he
has no other alternative but to follow the order of the Supreme. The mind
must be trained to accept the opinion of superior intelligence and follow it.
The effect of controlling the mind is that one automatically follows the
dictation of the Supersoul or Supreme Lord. Because one who is in Christ
consciousness achieves this transcendental position at once, the devotee of
the Lord is unaffected by the dualities of material existence, namely distress
and happiness, cold and heat, etc. This state is practical samdhi, or
absorption in the Supreme.
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The perfect yogi sees the Supersoul within the heart
The Advanced Yogi
Book knowledge without realization of the Supreme Truth is useless. No one
can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and
pastimes of the Lord through his materially contaminated senses. Only when
one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are
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the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to
him. Therefore the Lord instructed Jesus, A person is said to be established
in self-realization and is called a yog [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 everythingwhether
pebbles, stones or goldas the same. This Esoteric Teaching is the science
of Christ consciousness. No one can become Christ-conscious simply by
mundane scholarship; one must be fortunate enough to associate with a
person who is in pure consciousness. One with mere academic knowledge is
easily deluded by false arguments and confused by apparent contradictions.
One can remain steady in his convictions only by realized transcendental
knowledge. A Christ-conscious person has realized perfect knowledge by the
grace of the Lord, because he is satisfied in pure devotional service. One
becomes perfect by realizing the transcendental knowledge of this Teaching.
The realized soul is self-controlled because he is surrendered to the Lord. He
is transcendental because he has nothing to do with mundane scholarship.
For him mundane scholarship and mental speculation, which may be as good
as gold to others, are of no greater value than pebbles or stones.
The Lord continued, A person is said to be still further advanced when he
regards allthe honest well-wisher, friends and enemies, the envious, the
pious, the sinner and those who are indifferent and impartialwith an
equal mind. A transcendentalist should always try to concentrate his mind
on the Supreme Self; he should live alone in a secluded place and should
always carefully control his mind. He should be free from desires and
feelings of possessiveness. The Lord is realized in different degrees as
Brahman, Supersoul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Christ
consciousness means, concisely, to be always engaged in the transcendental
loving service of the Lord. But those who are attached to the impersonal
Brahman or the localized Supersoul are also partially God-conscious, because
impersonal Brahman is the spiritual effulgence of the Lord and the Supersoul
is the all-pervading partial expansion of the Lord. Thus the impersonalist and
the meditator are also indirectly Christ-conscious. However, a directly Christ-
conscious person is the topmost transcendentalist because such a devotee
knows Brahman and the Supersoul, and he also knows the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. His knowledge of the Absolute Truth is complete
and perfect, whereas the impersonalist and the meditative yog are only
partially or imperfectly God-conscious.
Nevertheless, the Lord encourages all transcendentalists to engage constantly
in their particular disciplines so that they may come sooner or later to the
highest perfection. The first business of a transcendentalist is always to keep
the mind on the Lord. One should always think of the Lord and not forget
Him even for a moment. Concentration of the mind on the Supreme is called
samdhi, or trance. To concentrate the mind, one should always remain in
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seclusion and avoid disturbance by external sense objects. He should be very
careful to accept favorable conditions, and reject unfavorable conditions that
affect his realization. And in perfect spiritual determination, he should not
hanker after unnecessary material things that entangle him by stimulating
feelings of possessiveness.
All these perfections and precautions are perfectly executed when one is
directly in Christ consciousness, because direct Christ consciousness means
self-abnegation, where there is very little chance for material possessiveness.
When one is not attached to anything, but at the same time accepts
everything in relation to the Lord, one is rightly situated above
possessiveness. On the other hand, one who rejects everything without
knowledge of its relationship to the Lord is incomplete in his renunciation. A
Christ-conscious person knows well that everything belongs to the Lord, and
thus he is always free from feelings of personal possessiveness. As such, he
has no hankering for anything on his own account. He knows how to accept
things in favor of Christ consciousness and how to reject things unfavorable
to Christ consciousness. He is always aloof from material things because he is
always transcendental, and he is always alone, having nothing to do with
persons who are not Christ-conscious. Therefore a person in Christ
consciousness is the perfect yog.
How to Practice Yoga
The Lord instructed, To practice yoga, one should go to a secluded place
and prepare an sana (seat) by laying grass on the ground, then cover it
with a deerskin and a soft cloth. The seat should be neither too high nor
too low and should be situated in a sacred place. The yog should then sit
on it very firmly and practice yoga by controlling the mind and the senses,
purifying the heart and fixing the mind on one point. A sacred place is a
place of religious pilgrimage. In India the yogs, transcendentalists and
devotees all leave home and reside in sacred places such as Prayga, Mahur,
Vdvana, Hkea and Haridwra and practice yoga in solitude where the
sacred rivers like the Yamuna and the Ganges flow. But often this is not
possible, especially for Westerners. The so-called yoga centers in big cities
may be successful in earning material profit for their proprietors, but they are
not at all suitable for the practice of actual yoga. One who is not self-
controlled and whose mind is disturbed by material desire cannot practice
meditation. Therefore, in the Esoteric Teaching it is written that in the
present historical age, when people in general are short-lived, slow in
spiritual realization and always disturbed by various anxieties, the best means
of spiritual realization is chanting the Holy Name of the Lord. In this age of
quarrel and hypocrisy the only practical means of spiritual deliverance is
chanting the Holy Name of the Lord. There is no other way to attain the goal
of yoga in this Iron Age. The cultivation of transcendental knowledge, mystic
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yoga practice and opulent ceremonial sacrifices recommended in the
Scriptures for past ages are no longer effective, because the degradation of
human society in the Iron Age has made it impossible to perform them
properly.
The Lord continued, One should hold ones body, neck and head erect in a
straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose. Thus with a peaceful,
subdued mind, devoid of fear, completely free from sex life, one should
meditate upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.
The goal of life is to know the Lord, who is situated within the heart of every
living being in His four-handed Viu form as the Supersoul. One should
practice the yoga process to discover and see this localized form of the Lord,
and not for any other purpose. The localized Supersoul is the plenary
representation of the Lord dwelling within ones heart. One who has no aim
to realize the Supersoul is uselessly engaged in false yoga practice and is
certainly wasting his time. The Lord is the ultimate goal of life, and the
Supersoul situated in ones heart is the object of yoga practice. To realize this
Supersoul within the heart, one has to observe complete abstinence from sex;
therefore one has to leave home and live alone in a secluded place, remaining
seated as mentioned above. One cannot enjoy sex life daily at home or
elsewhere, attend a so-called yoga class and thus become a yog. That is
nonsense. One has to practice controlling the mind and avoiding all kinds of
sense gratification, of which sex is the chief. In the rules of celibacy in the
Esoteric Teaching it is said: The vow of celibacy is meant to help one
completely abstain from sex indulgence in work, words and mindat all
times, under all circumstances, and in all places. No one can perform correct
yoga practice and remain connected with sex indulgence.
Celibacy is best is taught from childhood when one has no knowledge of sex
life. Children should be sent at the age of five to the school of the spiritual
Master Teacher, so the Master can train the young boys in the strict discipline
of becoming celibate monks. Without such practice, no one can make
advancement in any yoga, whether it be transcendental knowledge,
meditation, or devotional service. One who, however, follows the rules and
regulations of married life, having sexual relationship only with his wife (also
under regulative principles), is also called celibate. Such a restrained
householder celibate may be accepted in the school of the Esoteric Teaching,
but authentic schools of yoga, transcendental knowledge and meditation do
not admit even householder celibates. They require complete abstinence
without compromise. In the school of the Esoteric Teaching, a householder
celibate is allowed a controlled sex life because the practice of devotional
service is so powerful that one automatically loses sexual attraction by being
engaged in the superior service of the Lord. Whereas others are forced to
restrain themselves from sense gratification, a devotee of the Lord
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automatically refrains because of superior taste. No one other than the
devotee has any information of that superior taste.
The Lord mentions that one must be fearless to practice yoga successfully.
One cannot be fearless unless one is fully Christ-conscious. A conditioned
soul is always fearful due to his perverted material consciousness and his
forgetfulness of his eternal relationship with the Lord. Christ consciousness is
the only basis for complete fearlessness. Therefore, perfect practice of
meditation is possible only for a person who is Christ-conscious. And since
the ultimate goal of yoga practice is to see the Lord within, a Christ-conscious
person is already the best of all yogs. The principles of the yoga system
mentioned herein are different from those of the popular so-called yoga
centers. They merely practice some sanas (bodily postures) and perhaps
some pryma, but without the other six limbs of the original eightfold
system. Only the Esoteric Teaching embodies the complete practice of yoga,
as originated by the Lord.
The Goal of Yoga
The Lord continued, Thus practicing control of the body, mind and
activities, the mystic transcendentalist attains to the Kingdom of God [the
abode of the Lord] by cessation of material existence. The Lord now
clearly explains the ul timate goal of yoga practice. Yoga practice is not meant
for attaining any kind of cheap material facility, such as physical fitness; it is
to enable the complete cessation of material existence. One who seeks an
improvement in health or aspires after material perfection is no yog at all,
according to Esoteric Teaching. Nor does cessation of material existence
mean entering into the void, which is only a myth. There is no void anywhere
within the creation of the Lord. Rather, cessation of material existence means
to enter into the spiritual sky, the abode of the Lord. The abode of the Lord is
also clearly described in the Esoteric Teaching as that place where there is no
need of sun, moon or electricity. All the planets in the spiritual kingdom are
self-illuminated like the sun in the material sky. The Kingdom of God is
everywhere, but the spiritual world and its planets are superior abodes.
A consummate yog who is perfect in understanding the Lord, as stated by the
Lord Himself, can attain real peace and can ultimately reach His supreme
abode in the spiritual world, known as Goloka Vdvana. In the Brahm-
sahta, a devotional treatise written by the Celestial Christ, it is clearly
stated that the Lord, although residing always in His abode called Goloka, is
the all-pervading Brahman and the localized Supersoul by His superior
spiritual energies. No one can reach the spiritual world or enter into the
eternal abode of the Lord without a proper understanding of the Lord and His
plenary expansion the Supersoul . Therefore a person working in Christ
consciousness is the perfect yog, because his mind is always absorbed in the
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Lords activities. One can overcome the path of birth and death only by
understanding the Lord as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other
words, perfection of the yoga system is the attainment of freedom from
material existence and not some petty gymnastic feats or magical jugglery to
cheat innocent people.
The Yoga Diet
The Supreme Lord continued, There is no possibility of ones becoming a
yog , O Jesus, if one eats too much, eats too little, sleeps too much or does
not sleep enough. The Lord recommends regulation of diet and sleep for
yogs. Eating too much means eating more than is required to keep the body
and soul together. There is no need for men to eat animals, because there is
an ample supply of grains, vegetables, fruits and milk. According to the
Esoteric Teaching such simple vegetarian foodstuff is considered to be in the
mode of goodness. Animal food is for those in the mode of ignorance.
Therefore, those who indulge in animal food, drinking, smoking and eating
food that is not first offered to the Lord will suffer sinful reactions because of
consuming polluted things. Anyone who eats for sense pleasure, or cooks for
himself without offering his food to the Lord, eats only sin. One who eats sin
and eats more than is allotted to him cannot execute perfect yoga.
One who is serious about self-realization should eat only the remnants of
food offered to the Lord. A person in pure Christ consciousness does not eat
anything that is not first offered to the Lord. Therefore, only the Christ-
conscious person can attain perfection in yoga practice. Nor can one practice
yoga successfully who artificially abstains from eating by manufacturing his
own personal process of fasting. The Christ-conscious person observes fasting
as recommended in the Scriptures. He neither fasts or eats more than is
required, and thus he is competent to perform yoga practice. One who eats
more than required will dream too much while sleeping, and must
consequently sleep more than is required. One should not sleep more than
six hours daily. Anyone who sleeps more than six hours out of twenty-four is
certainly influenced by the mode of ignorance. A person in the mode of
ignorance is lazy and prone to sleep a great deal. Such a person cannot
perform yoga, because his mind will not be sufficiently alert.
The Lord continued, He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping,
working and recreation can mitigate all material pains by practicing the
yoga system. Extravagance or lack of regulation in eating, sleeping,
defending and matingthe basic demands of the bodyblocks advancement
in the practice of yoga. Eating can be regulated when one is practiced to
accept only food sanctified by offering it to the Lord. According to the
Esoteric Teaching, the Lord is offered only vegetables, flowers, fruits, grains,
milk, and other nice vegetarian food. By offering his food to the Lord before
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eating, a person in Christ consciousness automatically becomes trained not to
accept food in the modes of ignorance and passion that is not meant for
human consumption. A Christ-conscious person is always alert in the
discharge of his duties in Christ consciousness, and therefore any
unnecessary time spent sleeping is considered a great loss. A Christ-conscious
person cannot bear to pass a minute of his life without being engaged in the
service of the Lord. Therefore, his sleeping is kept to a minimum. Similarly, a
Christ-conscious person does not do anything that is not connected with the
Lords interest, and thus his work is always regulated and untainted by sense
gratification. Since there is no question of sense gratification, there is no
material leisure for a person in Christ consciousness. And because he is
regulated in all his work, speech, sleep, wakefulness and all other bodily
activities, there is no material misery for him because he does not participate
in the causes of suffering. A Christ-conscious person is therefore a perfect
yog.
Christ-conscious Yoga
The Lord continued, When the yog disciplines his mental activities by
practice of yoga and becomes situated in Transcendencedevoid of all
material desireshe has attained yoga, or connection with the Divine. The
activities of the yog are distinguished from those of an ordinary person by
the characteristic of cessation of all kinds of material desiresof which sex is
the chief. A perfect yog is so well disciplined in the activities of the mind that
he can no longer be disturbed by any kind of material desire. Those in Christ
consciousness can automatically attain this stage of perfection by gradual and
determined practice of the methods of Christ-conscious yoga or devotional
service. The perfect devotee first of all engages his mind on the beautiful feet
of Lord; then he engages his words in describing the transcendental qualities
of the Lord; his hands in cleaning and decorating the Temple of the Lord; his
ears in hearing the narrations of the activities of the Lord; his eyes in seeing
the transcendental forms of the Lord; his body in touching the bodies of the
devotees; his sense of smell in smelling the scents of the lotus flowers offered
to the Lord; his tongue in tasting the tuls leaves offered at the lotus feet of
the Lord; his legs in going to the Temples of the Lord in the holy places of
pilgrimage; his head in offering obeisances unto the Lord; and his intelligence
and desires in executing the mission of the Lord. All these transcendental
activities are befitting a pure devotee and they make him a perfect yog.
The transcendental stage of samdhi, or complete absorption of the mind in
Transcendence, may be inexpressible by the followers of the impersonalist
path, but it becomes very easy and practical for a person in Christ
consciousness, as is apparent in the above description of the engagements of a
pure devotee. But unless the mind is fixed on the lotus feet of the Lord by
constant remembrance of His Holy Name, such transcendental engagements
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are impossible. The senses and the mind require engagements. Simple
abnegation is impractical. The prescribed activities in the devotional service
of the Lord engage all the senses in the service of the Lord. Therefore, for
people in generalespecially those who are not in the renounced order of
lifetranscendental engagement of the senses and the mind as described in
the Esoteric Teaching is the perfect yogic process for achievement of
transcendental perfection.
The Perfection of Yoga
A truly Christ-conscious person is always absorbed in Transcendence, in
constant undisturbed meditation on his worshipable Lord. The Lord declared,
As a lamp in a windless place does not waver, so the transcendentalist
whose mind is controlled remains always steady in his meditation on the
transcendent Self. The stage of perfection, when ones mind is completely
restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga, is called
trance or samdhi. This is characterized by ones ability to by the pure
mind and to relish and rejoice in the Supersoul. In that joyous state, one is
situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys oneself through
transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the Truth
and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. One who is
situated in such transcendental consciousness is never shaken, even in the
midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all material
miseries. One gradually becomes detached from all material concepts by
practice of yoga. This is the primary characteristic of yoga practice. And after
this detachment becomes stabilized, one becomes situated in trance, or
samdhi, which means that the yog realizes the Supersoul through
transcendental mind and intelligence, without any of the misgivings of
identifying the self with the Supersoul. The eightfold yoga system is more or
less based on the principles of the Vedic writer Patajali. Some unauthorized
commentators try to identify the individual soul with the Supersoul, and the
monists think this is l iberation, but they do not understand the real purpose
of the Patajali eightfold system of yoga. Patajali recognizes transcendental
pleasure in his system, but the monists do not accept this transcendental
pleasure out of fear of jeopardizing the theory of oneness. The duality of
knowledge and knower is not accepted by the impersonalist, making any sort
of pleasure impossible. But in this verse the Lord mentions transcendental
pleasurerealized through transcendental senses. And Patajali Muni , the
famous exponent of the yoga system, corroborates this. The great sage
declares in his Yoga-stras: pururtha-nynm gunm pratiprasava
kaivalyam svarpa-pratih v citi-aktir iti. This means that the internal
potency of the Lord is transcendental. Pururtha means material religiosity,
economic development, sense gratification and, at the end, the attempt to
become one with the Supreme. This oneness with the Supreme is called
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kaivlyam by the monist. But according to Patajali, kaivlyam is an internal
transcendental potency by which the living entity becomes aware of his
constitutional position. In the words of Lord Caitanya, this is called cleansing
the impure mirror of the mind. This clearance or purification of all material
mental contamination is actual liberation.
The Supersoul within the heart
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After cessation of material attachment, there is the manifestation of spiritual
activities, or devotional service of the Lord, also known as Christ
consciousness. This is the real life of the living entity. Illusion, or material
consciousness, is a diseased condition of spiritual life contaminated by
material infection. Liberation from this material infection does not require
destruction of the original identity and eternal individuality of the spiritual
living entity. Patajali also accepts this by his words kaivalyam svarpa-
pratih v citi-aktir iti. This citi-akti, or transcendental pleasure, is real life.
This is confirmed in the Vednta-stra as nanda-mayo bhyt. This natural
transcendental pleasure is the ultimate goal of yoga and is easily achieved by
execution of devotional service, or Christ consciousness. The Lord will
vividly describe this path of devotional service in the Eighth Chapter of The
Book of Gethsemane.
The ultimate goal of the yoga system described in this Chapter is samdhi. In
samdhi there is no longer any connection with mundane pleasure, for one is
then transcendental to all sorts of happiness derived from the senses. Once
the yog experiences that transcendental position, he is never shaken from it.
Unless the yog is able to reach this position, he is unsuccessful in yoga
practice. Modern so-called yoga practice, which accepts various sense
pleasures, is contradictory. A so-called yog indulging in sex and intoxication
is a mockery. Even those yogs who are attracted by the siddhis (mystic
powers or perfections) that are side-effects of the yoga process, are not
perfectly situated. If the yogs are attracted by the byproducts of yoga, they
cannot attain the stage of perfection as stated in this verse. Therefore, persons
indulging in the sideshow practice of gymnastic feats in the name of yoga
should know that the real aim of yoga is lost in that way.
The best practice of yoga in this age is Christ consciousness, which is easy
and practical. A Christ-conscious person is so happy in his spiritual
occupation in love with the Lord that he does not aspire after any other
happiness. There are many impediments to practicing the eightfold yoga
system, especially in this age of hypocrisy, but there is no such problem in
executing devotional service in Christ consciousness.
As long as the material body exists, one has to meet the demands of the body,
namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating. But a person who is in pure
Christ consciousness does not arouse the senses while meeting the demands
of the body. Rather, he accepts the bare necessities of life and enjoys
transcendental happiness in Christ consciousness, making the best use of a
bad bargain. He is callous toward incidental material occurrencessuch as
accidents, disease, scarcity and even the death of a most dear relativebut he
is always alert to execute his duties in Christ consciousness. The accidents of
material life never deviate him from his duty. As stated in the Esoteric
Teaching, he endures all such incidental natural occurrences because he
knows that they come and go, and do not affect his duties. In this way he
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achieves ultimate perfection in yoga practice: pure devotional service to the
Lord.
Controlling the Mind
The yoga practitioner should be determined and should patiently prosecute
the practice without deviation. One should be sure of success at the end and
pursue this course with great perseverance, not becoming discouraged if
there is any delay in the attainment of success. Success is sure for the
determined practitioner. The Lord continued, One should engage oneself in
the practice of yoga with undeviating determination and faith. One should
abandon all material desires born of false ego without exception, and thus
control all the senses on all sides by the mind. The process of Christ
consciousness can be executed successfully with full-hearted enthusiasm,
perseverance, and determination by following ones prescribed duties under
the guidance of the spiritual Master Teacher in the association of devotees,
and by engaging completely in activities of goodness. The practice of yoga,
even by the easy method of devotional service in Christ consciousness, may
appear to be a very difficult job. But if anyone follows the principles with
great determination, the Lord will surely help, for God helps those who help
themselves.
The Lord continued, Gradually, step by step, with full conviction, one
should become situated in trance by means of intelligence, and thus the
mind should be fixed on the Supersoul alone and should think of nothing
else. One should gradually cease external sense activities by proper
conviction and intelligence. This is called pratyhra, or withdrawal of the
mind from the senses. The mind, being controlled by conviction, meditation
and cessation of sense gratification, becomes situated in trance or samdhi. At
that stage there is no longer any danger of becoming engaged in the material
conception of life. In other words, although one is necessarily involved with
matter to some extent as long as the material body exists, one should not
think about sense gratification. One should think of no pleasure aside from
the pleasure of the Supreme Self. This state is easily attained by directly
practicing Christ consciousness.
The Lord continued, From whatever and wherever the mind wanders due
to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and
bring it back under control. The nature of the mind is flickering and
unsteady. But a self-realized yog has to control the mind; the mind should
not control him. One who controls the mind (and therefore the senses as
well) is called gosvm, and one who is controlled by the mind is called go-
dsa, or the servant of the senses. A gosvm knows the actual standard of
happiness: in transcendental enjoyment, the senses are engaged in the service
of Hkea, or the supreme owner of the senses (the Lord). Serving the Lord
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with purified senses is Christ consciousness. That is the only practical way to
bring the senses under full control; and it is the highest perfection of yoga
practice.
The Lord continued, The yog whose mind is fixed on Me verily attains the
highest happiness. He is liberated by virtue of his spiritual identity; his
mind is peaceful, his passions are quieted, and he is freed from sin. Fixing
the mind on the transcendental Lord is the same as being free from material
contamination and situated in ones original spiritual identity in the
transcendental service of the Lord. One cannot remain in the consciousness
of Brahman, the Absolute Lord, until ones mind is fixed on the lotus feet of
the personal form of the Lord. Factual liberation from the mode of passion
and all material contamination is always to be engaged in the transcendental
loving service of the Lord, or to remain in Christ consciousness.
The True Yogi is Never Lost
Self-realization means knowing ones constitutional position in relationship
to the Supreme. The individual soul is part and parcel of the Supreme, and
his position is to render transcendental service to the Lord. The Lord
continued, Steady in the Self, being freed from all material contamination,
the yog achieves the highest stage of perfect happiness in touch with the
Supreme Consciousness. A true yog observes Me in all beings, and also
sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere.
A Christ-conscious yog is the perfect seer of the Truth because he sees the
Lord, the Supreme, situated in everyones heart as Supersoul. The Lord in His
Supersoul feature is situated within the heart of every living creature. The
perfect yog knows that the Lord is eternally transcendental and is not
materially affected by His presence in the heart of a materially conditioned
being. That is the supreme neutrality of the Lord. The individual soul is also
situated in the heart, but he is not present in all hearts. That is the distinction
between the individual soul and the Supersoul. A Christ-conscious person
can see the Lord in the heart of both the believer and the nonbeliever. One
who is not factually in the practice of yoga cannot see this clearly. The yog
sees equally because he sees that all living entities in different situations
according to the results of their fruitive work in all circumstances remain the
servants of God. While in the material energy, the living entity serves the
material senses; and while in the spiritual energy, he serves the Supreme Lord
directly. In either case the living entity is the servant of God. This vision of
the universal equality of all living entities is perfected in a person in Christ
consciousness.
The Lord continued, I am never lost to one who sees Me everywhere and
sees everything in Me, nor is he ever lost to Me. A person in Christ
consciousness certainly sees the Lord everywhere and sees everything in the
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Lord. Such a perfectly self-realized person may continue to see the external
manifestations of material nature, but in each and every instance he is
conscious of the Lord, knowing that everything is the manifestation of the
Lords energy. Nothing can exist without the Lord, and the Lord is the
Proprietor of everything. This is the basic principle of God consciousness.
Christ consciousness is the development of pure love for the Lorda
position transcendental even to liberation from material existence. It is the
stage beyond self-realization at which the devotee attains union with the
Lord, in the sense that the Lord becomes everything for the devotee, and the
devotee becomes full in loving the Lord. An intimate relationship between the
Lord and the devotee then exists. In that advanced stage, the living entity
attains his immortality. Nor is the Personality of Godhead ever out of the
sight of the devotee. To merge in the Lord is spiritual annihilation. A devotee
takes no such risk. He worships the primeval Lord, who is always seen by the
devotee whose eyes are anointed with the ointment of love. The devotee sees
the Lord in His eternal form of Supersoul situated within the heart of the
devotee. At this stage, Lord never disappears from the sight of the devotee,
nor does the devotee ever lose sight of the Lord. Such a perfect yog becomes
a pure devotee and cannot bear to live for a moment without seeing the Lord
within himself.
The Lord continued, The yog who knows that I and the Supersoul within
all creatures are one worships Me and remains always in Me in all
circumstances. A yog who is practicing meditation on the Supersoul sees
within himself the plenary portion of the Lord as Viu, with four hands
holding conchshell, wheel, club and lotus flower. The yog or devotee should
know that Viu is not different from the Supreme Lord, the Father of Jesus
Christ. The Lord in His form of Supersoul is situated in everyones heart.
Furthermore, there is no difference among the innumerable Supersouls
present in the hearts of innumerable living entities. Nor is there any
difference between a Christ-conscious person always engaged in the
transcendental loving service of the Lord, and a perfect yog engaged in
meditation on the Supersoul. The yog in Christ consciousness remains
always situated in the Lord, even though he may be engaged in various
activities while in material existence. A devotee of the Lord, always acting in
Christ consciousness, is automatically liberated. By concentrating ones
attention on the transcendental form of the Lord, who is all-pervading and
beyond time and space, one becomes absorbed in thinking of the Lord, and
then attains the happy state of transcendental association with Him.
Christ consciousness is the highest stage of trance in yoga practice. The
understanding that the Lord is present as Supersoul in everyones heart makes
the yog faultless. The Lord is one, yet He is certainly also all-pervading. By
His inconceivable potency, He is present everywhere, despite His one form.
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Like the sun, He appears in many places at once but remains the same
transcendental Lord.
The Lord declaimed, O Jesus, He is a perfect yog who sees the true
equality of all beings, both in their happiness and distress, by comparison
to his own self! One who is Christ-conscious is a perfect yog; he is aware of
everyones happiness and distress by dint of his own personal experience. The
only cause of distress for a living entity is forgetfulness of his original
spiritual relationship with God. And the cause of the greatest happiness is
knowing the Lord to be the Supreme Enjoyer of all the activities of the
human being. The Lord is the Proprietor of all beings, lands and planets. The
perfect yog is the most sincere friend of all living entities. He knows that the
living being who is conditioned by the modes of material nature is subjected
to the threefold material miseries due to forgetfulness of his relationship with
the Lord. Because one in Christ consciousness is happy, he distributes the
knowledge of the Lord everywhere and to everyone. Since the perfect yog
tries to broadcast the importance of becoming Christ-conscious, he is the best
philanthropist in the world, and he is the dearest servitor of the Lord. A
devotee of the Lord always looks to the welfare of all living entities, and in
this way he is factually the friend of everyone. He is the best yog because he
does not desire perfection in yoga for his personal benefit, but tries for others
also. He does not envy his fellow living entities. Here is a contrast between a
pure devotee of the Lord and a yog interested only in his personal elevation.
The yog who has withdrawn to a secluded place in order to meditate
perfectly is not as perfect as a devotee who is trying his best to turn every
man toward Christ consciousness, because the devotee wants to share the
cause of his unconditional happiness with everyone.
Jesus Rejects the Yoga System
Jesus objected: O My Lord, killer of the demons, the system of yoga You
have summarized appears impractical and unendurable to me, for the mind
is restless and unsteady. Jesus rejects the system of mysticism described by
the Lord because it is impossible for an ordinary man of this age. It is not
possible for an ordinary man to leave home and go to a secluded place in the
mountains or jungle to practice yoga in this Iron Age of quarrel and
hypocrisy. The present age is characterized by a bitter struggle for a life of
short duration. People are not serious about self-realization even by simple,
practical means, and what to speak of this difficult yoga system, which
regulates the mode of living, the manner of sitting, selection of place, and
detachment of the mind from material engagements. Jesus thought it was
impossible for a practical man to follow this system of yoga, even if he was
favorably endowed in many ways. Of course, Jesus had the qualifications
necessary to practice the yoga system. He belonged to a high rabbinical family
and was highly elevated in spiritual qualities; he was a great preacher, he had
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great longevity, and above all, he was the most intimate son of the Lord, the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. Two thousand years ago, Jesus had much
better spiritual facilities than we do now, yet he refused to accept this system
of yoga. In fact, we do not find any record in history of his practicing it at any
time. Therefore this system must be considered generally impossible in this
age. Of course it may be possible for some very few, rare men, but for the
people in general it is an impossible proposal. If this were so two thousand
years ago, then what of today? Those who are imitating this yoga system in
different so-called schools and societies, although complacent, are certainly
wasting their time. They are completely in ignorance of the actual goal of
yoga.
Jesus continued, For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very
strong, O Lord, and to me it seems that to subdue it is more difficult than
controlling the wind. The mind is so strong and obstinate that it sometimes
overcomes the intelligence, although mind is supposed to be subservient to
the intelligence. For a man in the practical world who has to fight so many
opposing elements, it is certainly very difficult to control the mind.
Artificially, one may establish a mental equilibrium toward both friend and
enemy and try to be detached from all duality, but ultimately no worldly man
can do so, for this is more difficult than controlling the raging wind. The
individual soul is the passenger in the chariot of the material body, and
intelligence is the driver. Mind is the whip, and the senses are the horses. The
great devotees understand the position of the soul in human life as the
enjoyer or sufferer in the association of the mind and senses. Intelligence is
supposed to direct the mind, but the mind is so strong and obstinate that it
often overcomes even ones own intelligence. The practice of yoga is
supposed to control the mind, but this practice is impractical for a worldly
person, even in Jesus time. And what can we say of contemporary man? The
simile used here is appropriate: one cannot capture the blowing wind, and it
is even more difficult to capture the turbulent mind. The method prescribed
in the Esoteric Teaching is that one must engage ones mind fully i n the Lord.
Only then will there remain no other engagements to agitate the mind. The
easiest way to control the mind, as suggested by Lord Caitanya, is chanting
the Holy Name of the Lord, the great mantra for deliverance, in all humility.
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The mind is restless and unsteady
The Blessed Lord replied: O mighty son of Mary, it is undoubtedly very
difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by constant practice
and by detachment. The difficulty of controlling the obstinate mind, as
expressed by Jesus, is accepted by the Personality of Godhead. But at the
same time He suggests that it is possible by practice and detachment. What is
that practice? In the present age almost no one can observe the strict rules
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and regulations of the yoga system, such as remaining in a sacred place,
focusing the mind on the Supersoul, restraining the senses and mind,
observing celibacy, staying alone, etc. By the practice of Christ consciousness,
however, one engages in nine types of devotional service to the Lord. The
first and foremost of such devotional engagements is hearing about the Lord.
This is a very powerful transcendental method for purging the mind of all
misgivings. The more one hears about the Lord, the more one becomes
enlightened and detached from everything that draws the mind away from
the Lord. By detaching the mind from activities not devoted to the Lord, one
can very easily learn renunciation. Renunciation means detachment from
matter and engagement of the mind in spirit. Impersonal spiritual detachment
is much more difficult than attaching the mind to the activities of the Lord.
The hearing and chanting process of Christ consciousness is practical because
by hearing about the Lord one automatically becomes attached to the
Supreme Spirit. This attachment is spiritual satisfaction. It is just like the
feeling of satisfaction a hungry man has for every morsel of food he eats.
Similarly, one feels transcendental satisfaction as the mind becomes detached
from material objectives and attached to the sweet remembrance of the
Beloved Lord by performing devotional service. Hearing of the transcendental
activities of Lord is therefore expert treatment for the mad mind, and eating
the remnants of food offered to the Lord is the appropriate diet for the
suffering patient. This treatment is the process of Christ consciousness as
revealed in the Esoteric Teaching.
The Lord concluded, For one whose mind is unbridled, self-realization is
impossible. But one who controls his mind and strives by right means is
assured of success. That is My opinion. The Supreme Personality of
Godhead declares that one who does not accept the proper treatment to
detach the mind from material engagement can hardly achieve success in self-
realization. Trying to practice yoga while engaging the mind in material
enjoyment is like trying to ignite a fire while pouring water on it. Similarly,
yoga practice without mental control is a waste of time. Such a show of yoga
practice may be materially lucrative, but it is useless for spiritual realization.
Therefore, the mind must be controlled by engaging it constantly in the
transcendental loving service of the Lord. Unless one is engaged in Christ
consciousness, he cannot steadily control the mind. A Christ-conscious
person easily achieves the result of yoga practice without separate endeavor,
but a yoga practitioner cannot achieve success without becoming Christ-
conscious.
The Fallen Yogi
Jesus questioned the Lord, What is the destination of the man of faith who
does not persevere; who in the beginning takes to the process of self-
realization but who later desists due to worldly-mindedness and thus does
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not attain perfection in mysticism? The path of self-realization or mysticism
is described in the Esoteric Teaching. The basic principle of self-realization is
knowledge that the living entity is not this material body, but that he is a
spirit soul; and that his real happiness is in the eternal life, bliss and
knowledge obtainable by devotional service to the Lord. The principles of this
devotional service are transcendental, beyond both body and mind.
Self-realization is sought by the path of knowledge, the practice of the
eightfold yoga system or by devotional service in Christ consciousness. In any
of these processes one has to realize the constitutional position of the living
entity, his relationship with God, and the activities whereby he can re-
establish the lost link with the Lord and achieve the highest stage of perfect
Christ consciousness. One is sure to reach the supreme goal sooner or later
by following any of the above methods. The Lord asserted this in the Second
Chapter: even a little endeavor on the transcendental path offers a great hope
for deliverance. Out of these three methods, the path of devotional service is
especially suitable for this Iron Age because it is the most direct method of
God-realization. To be doubly assured, Jesus is asking Lord to confirm His
former statement. One may sincerely accept the path of self-realization, but
the process of cultivation of knowledge and the practice of the eightfold yoga
system are generally very difficult for people in this age. Therefore, despite
constant endeavor, one may fail for many reasons. First of all, one may not be
following the process accurately. And to pursue the transcendental path is
more or less to declare war on the illusory material energy. Consequently,
whenever a person tries to escape the clutches of the illusory energy, she tries
to defeat the practitioner by various allurements. A conditioned soul is
already allured by the modes of material energy, and there is every chance of
being allured again, even while performing transcendental disciplines, and
become deviated from the transcendental path. Jesus is inquisitive to know
the consequences of deviation from the path of self-realization.
There are two ways to progress in life. Materialists have no interest in
Transcendence; they are more interested in immediate material advancement
by economic development, or in promotion to higher planets by pious work.
One who takes to the path of Transcendence has to cease all material
activities and sacrifice all forms of so-called material happiness. If the aspiring
transcendentalist fails, then he apparently loses both ways: he can enjoy
neither material happiness nor spiritual success. He has no position; he is like
a riven cloud. A cloud in the sky sometimes deviates from a small cloud and
tries to join a bigger one. But if it cannot join a big one, then it is blown away
by the wind and becomes a nonentity in the vast sky. The Esoteric Teaching
is the path of transcendental realization through knowing oneself to be
spiritual in essence, part and parcel of the Supreme Lord who is manifested as
Brahman, Supersoul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord is
the Complete Whole, the Supreme Absolute Truth, and therefore one who is
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surrendered to the Supreme Person is the most successful transcendentalist.
To reach this goal of life through Brahman and Supersoul realization takes
many, many births. Therefore the greatest method of transcendental
realization is devotional service or Christ consciousness, the direct method.
He who applies himself to one of these paths achieves the result of both
Jesus continued, This is my doubt, O Father, and I ask You to dispel it
completely. But for Yourself, no one is to be found who can destroy this
doubt. The Lord is the perfect knower of past, present and future. In the
beginning of the Esoteric Teaching, the Lord said that all living entities exist
individually in the past, they exist now i n the present, and they continue to
retain individual identity in the future, even after liberation from material
entanglement. So He has already cleared up the question of the future of the
individual living entity. Now, Jesus wants to know of the future of the
unsuccessful transcendentalist. No one is equal to or above the Lord, and
certainly the so-called sages and philosophers who are at the mercy of
material nature cannot equal Him. Therefore the verdict of the Lord is the
final and complete answer to all doubts because He knows past, present and
future perfectlybut no one knows Him. The Lord and Christ-conscious
devotees alone can know what is what.
The Blessed Lord reassured Jesus: Son of Mary, a transcendentalist engaged
in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world
or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome
The Book of Gethsemane
246 Copyright 1976-2001
by evil. If someone gives up all material prospects and takes complete
shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no loss or
degradation for him in any way. On the other hand, a non-devotee may fully
engage in occupational duties and yet not gain anything, for all material
results are temporary. There are many activities, both Scriptural and
customary, for increasing material prospects. A transcendentalist is supposed
to give up all material activities for the sake of spiritual advancement in life,
or God consciousness. One may argue that one may attain the highest
perfection by Christ consciousness if the process is completed, but if one does
not attain the stage of perfection, then he loses both materially and
spiritually. It is enjoined in the Scriptures that one has to suffer reactions for
not executing prescribed duties; therefore one who fails to discharge
transcendental activities properly may become subjected to these reactions.
But here the Lord assures the unsuccessful transcendentalist that he need not
worry. Even though he may be subjected to reactions for not perfectly
executing prescribed duties, he is still not a loser. The Lord never forgets his
efforts in auspicious Christ consciousness, and one engaged in self -realization
will continue to progress even if he is lowborn in the next life. On the other
hand, one who simply follows the prescribed duties of material life strictly
will not necessarily attain auspicious results if he is lacking in Christ
consciousness.
Humanity may be divided into two sections: the regulated and the
unregulated. Those who are engaged simply in bestial sense gratification
without knowledge of their next life or spiritual salvation belong to the
unregulated section. And those who follow the principles of prescribed duties
in the Scriptures are classified amongst the regulated section. The
unregulated section, both civilized and uncivi lized, educated and uneducated,
wealthy and poor, strong and weak, are full of animal propensities. Their
activities are never auspicious because by enjoying the animal propensities of
eating, sleeping, defending and mating, they perpetually remain in material
existence, which is always miserable. On the other hand, those who are
regulated by Scriptural injunctions gradually rise to Christ consciousness and
thus certainly progress in life.
Those who are following the path of auspiciousness toward self-realization
can be divided into three sections, namely, 1) the followers of Scriptural rules
and regulations who are after material prosperity, 2) those who are trying to
attain ultimate liberation from material existence by cultivation of
transcendental knowledge or practice of yoga, and 3) those who are devotees
in Christ consciousness. Those who are following the rules and regulations of
the Scriptures for material happiness may be further divided into two classes:
those who are fruitive workers, and those who desire no fruit for sense
gratification. Those who are after fruitive results for sense gratification may
be elevated to a higher standard of lifeeven to the higher planets; but still,
Chapter 7: The Yoga of Christ Consciousness
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 247
because they are not free from material desire and existence, they are not
following the truly auspicious path. The only actually auspicious activities are
those leading to liberation. Any activity not aimed at ultimate self-realization
or liberation from the material bodily concept of life is actually inauspicious.
Activity in Christ consciousness is the only truly auspicious activity, and
anyone who voluntarily accepts all bodily discomforts for the sake of making
progress on the path of Christ consciousness is a perfect transcendentalist
under severe austerity. And because the eightfold yoga system is directed
toward the ultimate realization of Christ consciousness, that practice is also
auspicious, and anyone who is trying his best in this matter never needs to
fear degradation.
The Lord continued, The unsuccessful yog, after many, many years of
enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family
of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy. The unsuccessful
yogs are divided into two classes: one is fallen after very little progress, and
the other is fallen after long practice of yoga. The yog who falls after a short
period of practice goes to the higher planets where pious living entities are
allowed to enter. After prolonged life of heavenly enjoyment there, he is sent
back again to this planet to take birth in the family of a righteous brhmaa
or aristocratic merchant. The real purpose of yoga practice is to achieve the
highest perfection of Christ consciousness. But those who do not persevere to
the end and fail due to material allurements are allowed to make full
utilization of their material propensities, by the grace of the Lord. And after
that, they are given opportunities to live prosperous lives in righteous or
aristocratic families. Those who are born in such families should not become
deviated by material activities but should take advantage of the facilities
provided by the Lord to elevate themselves to full Christ consciousness.
The Lord continued, Or he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists
who are surely great in wisdom. Verily, such a birth is rare in this world.
An unsuccessful yog who falls after prolonged practice of yogic principles is
born in a family of transcendentalists by the special grace of the Lord. Birth in
a family of yogs or transcendentaliststhose with great wisdomis praised
herein by the Lord because the child born in such a rare family receives
spiritual training and encouragement from the very beginning of life. Such
families are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they
often become spiritual Master Teachers. By the grace of the Lord, there are
still families that foster transcendentalists generation after generation. It is
certainly very fortunate to take birth in such families. Fortunately, both our
Spiritual Master, O Viupda r rmad Bhaktvednta Svm Gosvm
Mahrja, and his Spiritual Master had the opportunity to take birth in such
families, by the grace of the Lord, and both of them were trained in the
devotional service of the Lord from the very beginning of their lives. Later on
they met by the order of the transcendental system of the Esoteric Teaching.
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248 Copyright 1976-2001
Transcendental endeavors, or the practice of yoga, never go in vain. By the
grace of the Lord, the transcendentalist gets repeated opportunities for
complete perfection in Christ consciousness. The Lord continued, On taking
such a birth, he again revives the divine consciousness of his previous life,
and he tries to make further progress in order to achieve complete success,
O My son. By virtue of the divine consciousness of his previous life, he
automatically becomes attracted to the yogic principleseven without
seeking them. Such an inquisitive transcendentalist, striving for yoga,
stands always above the ritualistic principles of the Scriptures. Advanced
yogs are not attracted to the rituals of the Scriptures, but they automatically
become attracted to the yoga principles, which can elevate them to complete
Christ consciousness, the highest yogic perfection. Persons who chant the
Holy Names of the Lord are far, far advanced in spiritual life, even if born in
families of dog-eaters. Such chanters have undoubtedly performed all kinds of
austerities and sacrifices, bathed in all sacred places, and finished all
Scriptural studies.
The most famous example of this was presented by Lord Caitanya, who
accepted hkura Haridsa as one of His most important disciples. Although
hkura Haridsa happened to take his birth in a Muslim family, he was
elevated to the post of spiritual Master Teacher of the Holy Name by Lord
Caitanya due to his rigidly attended principle of chanting three hundred
thousand Holy Names of the Lord daily. And because he chanted the Holy
Name of the Lord constantly, it is understood that in his previous life he must
have passed through all the ritualistic methods of the Esoteric Teaching.
Unless, therefore, one is purified, one cannot take to the principle of Christ
consciousness or become engaged in constantly chanting the Holy Name of
the Lord.
The Lord continued, But when the yog engages himself with sincere
endeavor in making further progress, then ultimately, after many, many
births of practice, being washed of all contamination, he attains the
supreme goal. A person born in a particularly righteous, aristocratic or
sacred family becomes conscious of his favorable condition for executing
yoga practice. Therefore he resumes his unfinished task with determination,
and thus he cleanses himself completely of all material contamination. When
he is finally free from all contamination by the grace of the Lord, he attains
the supreme perfection: pure Christ consciousness. Christ consciousness is
the perfect stage of being freed of all contamination. After many, many births
of executing pious activities, when one is completely freed from all
contamination and from all illusory dualities, one then becomes engaged in
the transcendental loving service of the Lord.
Chapter 7: The Yoga of Christ Consciousness
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 249
The Highest Yogi
The Lord concluded, A yog is greater than the ascetic, greater than the
empiricist and greater than the frui tive worker. Therefore, O Jesus, in all
circumstances, be a yog. When we speak of yoga we refer to linking our
consciousness with the Supreme Absolute Truth. Devotional yoga or Christ
consciousness is the ultimate perfection of all yoga, as the Lord will explain
below. The Lord has confirmed herein the superiority of yoga, but He has
nowhere mentioned that it is better than Christ consciousness. Christ
consciousness is complete spiritual knowledge; as such, nothing can excel it.
Asceticism or renunciation without self-knowledge is imperfect. Empiric
knowledge without surrender to the Supreme Lord is also imperfect. And
fruitive work without God consciousness is a waste of time. Therefore, the
form of yoga practice most highly praised in the Esoteric Teachi ng is Christ
consciousness, or devotional service to the Supreme Lord.
The Lord concluded, And of all yogs, he who always abides in Me with
great faith, devoted to Me in transcendental loving service, is most
intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. The word
devoted is significant here. The English word worship means to adore, or to
show respect and honor to the worthy one. But devotion, or transcendental
service with love and faith, is especially meant for the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. One can avoid worshiping a respectable man or a demigod and may
be called discourteous, but one cannot avoid serving the Supreme Lord
without being thoroughly condemned. Every living entity is part and parcel
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus every living entity is
intended by his own spiritual constitution to serve the Supreme Lord. If he
fails to do this, he falls down. Anyone who does not render service unto the
primeval Lord, the source of all living entities, and neglects his duty will
certainly fall down from his constitutional position and become entangled in
the actions and reactions of material fruitive activities. The highest
culmination of all kinds of yoga practice is Christ consciousness. All other
yoga practices are but preliminary means to come to devotional service in
Christ consciousness. Yoga actually means devotional service; all other yoga
practices are but progressive stages toward the destination of devotional
service.
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250 Copyright 1976-2001
He who always abides in Me with great f aith
is the highest yogi of all
From the beginning to the end of yoga practice is a long path of self-
realization. Work without fruitive results (karma-yoga) is the beginning of
this path. When this work increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage
is called transcendental knowledge (jna-yoga). When this knowledge
increases in withdrawal from the senses and concentration of the mind on the
Supersoul by different physical processes, it is called meditation (dhyna-
Chapter 7: The Yoga of Christ Consciousness
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 251
yoga). And, when one surpasses meditation and comes to the point of
devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead the Lord, it is
called bhakti-yoga, devotional service or Christ consciousness, the highest
culmination of yoga. Factually, Christ consciousness is the ultimate goal, but
to analyze the stages of the yoga path in detail, one has to understand these
other yoga practices. The yog who is progressive is therefore on the true path
of eternal good fortune. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of
Christ consciousness, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all the
other yoga practices. Therefore, to become Christ-conscious is the
culmination or highest stage of yoga, just as when we speak of the Himalayas,
we refer to the worlds highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount
Everest, is the culmination.
It is by great good fortune that one comes to Christ consciousness on the
path of the Esoteric Teaching. The ideal yog concentrates his attention on the
Lord, who is as beautifully colored as a fresh rain cloud, whose lotus-like face
is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body
is garlanded with beautiful flowers. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous
effulgence, which is called the Brahman. He incarnates in different forms
such as Rma, Nsiha, Varha and Ka, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of mother Yaod,
and He is known as the Lord, Govinda and Vsudeva. He is the perfect Divine
Child, Husband, Lover, Friend and Master, and He is full with all opulence
and transcendental qualities. One who remains fully conscious of these
features of the Lord at all times is the highest yog.
The stage of highest perfection in yoga can be attained only by Christ
consciousness, as is confirmed in the Esoteric Teaching: Only unto those
great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual Master
Teacher are all the imports of transcendental knowledge automatically
revealed. Christ consciousness means devotional service to the Lord that is
free from desire for material profit, either in this life or in the next. Devoid of
all selfish materialistic inclinations, one should fully absorb the mind in the
Supreme. That is the ultimate purpose of working without attachment to
results, and the best means for performance of devotional service, or Christ
consciousness, the highest perfectional stage of the yoga system.
Thus end the Bhaktisiddhartha purports to the Seventh Chapter of The Book of
Gethsemane, in the matter of Sakhya-yoga Brahma-vidya. All glories to the
Holy Name of the Lord!
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 253
Appendix A
The Three Modes of Material
Nature
One of most powerful themes in the Esoteric Teaching is the concept of the
three modes of material nature. If we can understand this concept, we gain
control over our destiny by determining the results of our activities according
to the law of karma. A detailed and practical understanding of the three
modes of material nature is necessary to rise above their control and attain
the transcendental position of an Initiate in the Esoteric Teaching.
The spiritual world is made of spiritual energy, with infinite variety and
innumerable qualities. But since the material world is made of the external
energy of the Lord, the variety of experience available in the material world is
limited. All varieties of phenomena in the material world are composed of
three primary qualities, similar to the three primary colors that combine to
make all other shades. These three qualities or modes of material nature
combine in different proportions in all material phenomena.
The Law of Karma
Everyone has heard the law of karma described colloquially as what goes
around, comes around. This popular understanding of karma is a start, but it
is not detailed enough to help us transform our activities so that we become
eligible for spiritual liberation. The great secret of the law of karma may be
expressed as follows:
The karmic result of any act is an equal and opposite
reaction in the same mode of material nature as the
original act.
For example, if we kill a human being or even an animal, in the future we
will have to be killed in a similar way. If we give charity to someone, in the
future we will receive charity in the same or similar way. If we cheat
someone, in the future someone will cheat us. If we share truth with
someone, the result will be that someone will share truth with us.
We can think of the law of karma as a set of three karmic bank accounts, one
for each of the three modes of material nature. As we perform activities, we
make deposits that increase the balance in our karmic accounts. Similarly, as
we experience karmic reactions, we make withdrawals that decrease our
karmic account balances.
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We do not know exactly when or how the karmic result of any act will
manifest. A very competent astrologer can make fairly accurate guesses about
an individuals karma and what results he or she can expect in this life. But
generally, if someones karmic account is very clean, they experience
reactions almost immediately, while someone with a very large karmic
balance due may have to wait until a subsequent lifetime to experience the
result, good or bad. This is because the present bodily form is incapable of
sustaining such a large amount of karmic reaction.
For example, if a person has been extremely evil, they may appear to coast
through life with no significant reactions. However, in the next life he may be
born into a hellish situation such as an abusive family, an aborted birth, a
hellish planet or even an animal body. On the other hand, if someone has
done a tremendous amount of good in his life, he may seem to lead a very
simple, quiet existence without a great deal of good fortune or success. This
kind of person may have to be reborn in a heavenly planet or even attain the
spiritual world to receive the result of his present pious activities.
In general, we can understand that we have a choice to be good or evil in this
life. The Esoteric Teaching divides human qualities into good and evil as
follows:
Good qualities Evil qualities Good
qualities
Evil qualities
Absence of false ego Cultivation of false ego Gentleness Brutality
Approaching a bona-
fide Spiritual Master
Insulting or persecuting
the bona-fide Spiritual
Master
Humility Pride
Austerity Decadence Interest in self-
realization
Ignorance of self-
realization
Aversion to faultfinding Critical nature Love of quiet and
solitude
Attachment to
society and raucous
activity
Celibacy Sex indulgence,
licentiousness
Modesty Exhibitionism
Charity Selfishness Nonviolence Violence
Cleanliness Uncleanliness Perception of the
evil of material
existence
Love of material
existence
Compassion for all
living entities
Indifference or enmity to
others
Performance of
sacrifice
Irreligion
Cultivation of spiritual
knowledge
Lack of interest in
spiritual knowledge
Philosophical
search for the
Absolute Truth
Decrying the very
idea of Absolute
Truth
Detachment from
family life and the
Attachment to family
and country;
Purification of ones
existence
Sinful activities
Appendix A: The Three Modes of Material Nature
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 255
Good qualities Evil qualities Good
qualities
Evil qualities
general mass of
people
acceptance of mass
culture
Even-mindedness in
pleasant and
unpleasant situations
Becoming affected by
pleasant and
unpleasant situations
Renunciation Acquisitiveness
Faith in God and
devotion to spiritual life
Atheism and
materialism
Self-control Self-indulgence
Fearlessness Fearfulness Simplicity Many conflicting
interests
Forgiveness Blame Steady
determination
Vacillation
Fortitude Laziness Study of the
Scriptures
Lack of interest in
religion
Freedom from anger Anger Tolerance Intolerance
Freedom from
covetousness
Greed and
avariciousness
Tranquility Agitation
Freedom from envy Enviousness Truthfulness Fraudulence
Freedom from passion
for honor
Passion for honor Vigor Sluggishness
Everyone who is sane wants to cultivate the above good qualities and avoid
the evil ones. The difficulty is that we are conditioned and illusioned by the
material energy. We do not have adequate control of our material senses and
mind, and therefore we perform evil actions even when we want to do good.
The Esoteric Teaching gives us the power to replace our bad qualities with
good ones. The first step to gaining this power is understanding the
symptoms and interactions of the three modes of material nature.
Three Kinds of Material Energy
All material objects and actions are qualified by the three modes of nature.
For example, there are three kinds of food: food in the mode of goodness,
food in the mode of passion and food in the mode of ignorance. Similarly, all
other material objects and activities are also of three kinds. Therefore there
are really three kinds of material energy.
Actions and objects may appear very similar or identical but in reality, they
may be composed of a different kind of material energy depending upon the
mode of nature that they conduct. Also, the same object may conduct
different modes of nature depending on how it is used. For example, a
hammer conducts the mode of passion when it used to build something, but
the mode of ignorance when it is used to destroy. The table below
summarizes the three modes of nature in different categories of objects.
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256 Copyright 1976-2001
Quality or
action
Mode of
Goodness
Mode of
Passion
Mode of
Ignorance
Cosmic
Function
Maintenance Creation Annihilation
Purity Purifying Contaminating Most contaminating
Consciousness Spiritual illumination Material fruitive activity Delusion
Effect Happiness and
knowledge
Desire and longing Madness, indolence,
sleep
Symptoms Purity, cleanliness,
morality, intelligence,
detachment
Great attachment,
intense endeavor,
uncontrollable desire
and hankering
Confusion,
unconsciousness,
inertia, madness,
illusion
Death Of natural causes,
peaceful
Violent, from exhaustion
or by accident
While intoxicated,
from chronic
condition, due to
drug addiction or sex
life
Spiritual
Destiny
Higher planets,
spiritual world
Ordinary human birth in
material world
Animal kingdom,
hellish worlds
Diet Grains, beans,
vegetables, fruits, milk
products
Gourmet cooking, very
heavy, spicy and highly
opulent food
Animal products,
processed foods,
restaurant food
Food Qualities Juicy, palatable,
nourishing, increase
longevity, wholesome
Bitter, sour, salty, hot,
pungent, dry, burnt
Stale, tasteless,
putrid, untouchable,
impure
Result Purity, piety,
happiness
Misery, conflict,
unhappiness
Foolishness,
intoxication,
madness
Product Knowledge of material
and spiritual reality
Greed and desire Foolishness,
madness, illusion
Object of
Worship
Supreme Lord Demons and ordinary
men
Ghosts and spirits
Sacrifice According to scripture,
as duty, with no desire
for reward
For material benefit, out
of pride
Without regard for
scripture, distribution
of spiritual food,
chanting of mantras
or remuneration to
the priests
Austerity Of body, mind and
speech according to
scripture
Out of pride, for
respect, honor and
worship, impermanent
Out of foolishness,
with self-torture or to
injure others
Charity Out of duty, without
expectation of return,
at proper time and
place to a worthy
person
With expectation of
return or material
results, in a grudging
mood
At an impure place,
improper time, to
unworthy person and
without proper
attention and respect
Appendix A: The Three Modes of Material Nature
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 257
Quality or
action
Mode of
Goodness
Mode of
Passion
Mode of
Ignorance
Renunciation Out of duty, without
attachment or
expectation of result
With expectation of
return or material
results, for respect and
status
Giving up prescribed
duty because of
illusion
Knowledge Sees one Supreme
Being within many
different material forms
Sees different types of
living entities in different
types of bodies
Attached to one kind
of work, without
knowledge of
spiritual truth
Action Regulated, without
attachment, love,
hatred or fruitive
results
With great effort, to
gratify desires, from a
sense of false ego
Out of illusion,
against Scriptural
injunctions, without
concern for
consequences, for
violence or distress
caused to others
Work Performs duty without
association with the
material modes or
false ego, with great
determination and
enthusiasm, without
attachment for success
or failure
Attached to work and
the fruits of work,
desires to enjoy the
fruits, greedy, envious,
impure, motivated by
joy and sorrow
Against Scriptural
injunction,
materialistic,
obstinate, cheating,
insulting others, lazy,
morose,
procrastinating
Understanding Knows what is to be
done and what is not,
what is to be feared
and what is not, what
is binding and what is
liberating
Cannot distinguish
between religion and
irreligion, or between
duty and prohibited
action
Considers religion to
be irreligion and
irreligion to be
religion, under the
spell of illusion,
striving in the wrong
direction
Determination Unbreakable,
sustained by yoga
practice, controls the
activities of the mind,
life and senses
Holds fast to fruitive
results in religion,
economic development
and sense gratification
Cannot go beyond
dreaming,
fearfulness,
lamentation
moroseness and
illusion
Happiness Like poison in the
beginning but nectar in
the end, awakens one
to self-realization
Derived from contact of
the senses with their
objects, like nectar in
the beginning but
poison in the end
Blind to self-
realization, delusion
from beginning to
end, arises from
sleep, laziness and
illusion
Personal
Qualities
Peacefulness, self-
control, austerity,
purity, tolerance,
honesty, knowledge,
Heroism, power,
courage in battle,
generosity, leadership,
resourcefulness
Labor and service to
others
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258 Copyright 1976-2001
Quality or
action
Mode of
Goodness
Mode of
Passion
Mode of
Ignorance
wisdom and
religiousness
Karmic Results of the Three Modes
In general, the result of acts of goodness is to grant us spiritual realization,
elevation in consciousness, happiness, knowledge, detachment and liberation.
The results of acts of passion are attachment, great effort and endeavor,
material accumul ation, conflict, pain, disease and suffering. The results of
acts of ignorance are unconsciousness, foolishness, misunderstanding and
bondage. When we observe these symptoms in our own or others lives, we
can understand the type of activities that created such a result.
The instructions of the Esoteric Teaching gradually restrict and reduce our
activities in ignorance and passion and encourage us to act in the mode of
goodness, so we can become qualified for self-realization. Actions in the
mode of passion result in pain and suffering; those in the mode of ignorance
result in foolishness and unconsciousness. Therefore we should strive always
to act in the mode of goodness to obtain the best spiritual result from our
work.
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 259
Appendix B
The Holy Name of the Lord
This temporary material existence is full of suffering. Everyone in this world
is suffering from the problems of material life. There is no exception. The
root cause of the suffering of material existence is constant transmigration of
the soul from one body to another.
Even if one does not accept the truth of reincarnation, still it is a fact that we
take birth in an infant body, then transmigrate from a baby body to the body
of a child, to an adolescent body, then to an adult body, to a middle-aged
body, and at last to the body of an old man or woman. Finally the present
body is subjected to death. Yet through all these transformations or
transmigrations, the identity of the living entity remains the same. So
transmigration of the soul to different bodies happens even within this life.
Everyone experiences that these changes of body are causes of suffering to the
embodied living entity.
We do not want to suffer, nor do we want to transmigrate to different
material bodies. We do not want our consciousness or activities to change,
our relationships to end or our bodies to die. By nature we are free, eternal,
blissful spiritual beings. We naturally desire to have an eternal existence in a
perfect body full of knowledge and pleasure. We want to expand our
activities and enjoyment unlimitedly in an atmosphere of freedom,
understanding and love. This is our real spiritual nature.
But at present our eternal spiritual nature is covered by a temporary material
body. By the laws of nature we are not free, for the type of body we inhabit
and its stage of bodily existence condition our experience in every way. In
material existence, our bodily condition totally determines our range of
action, thought and consciousness.
Like every material phenomenon, the body goes through the stages of
creation, gestation, birth, growth, production of byproducts, deterioration
and death. One may have performed good works and consequently find
oneself in a relatively comfortable material condition, or one may be in an
unfortunate condition due to impious activities. But no matter what kind of
karma one may have created for oneself, the universal sufferings of birth, old
age, disease and death are as inevitable as they are abominable.
This conditional life of suffering in material existencethe involuntary
repetition of birth, old age, disease and deathis called sasra. Sasra is
uncontrollable, like a blazing forest fire. A forest fire ignites automatically by
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260 Copyright 1976-2001
lightning, and to extinguish it is beyond human power. The raging forest f ire
can be extinguished only by another natural force, when there is an ample
downpour of rainwater. We are helpless before the powerful manifestations of
material nature like forest fires and rainstorms. No one can stop them.
Similarly we are helpless to stop the suffering of sasra, unless we are
fortunate enough to receive the mercy of God in the form of His Holy Names.
Sasra-dvnala-lha-loka-trya kruya-ghanghanatvam. Like the
cooling downpour of rain from a storm cloud, hearing the Holy Names of the
Lord from the self-realized spiritual master and chanting them offenselessly
extinguishes the blazing fire of sasra by eliminating the root cause of
material suffering.
These Holy Names are the remedy for the suffering of materially conditioned
existence. They are so powerful that anyone who simply hears or chants them
regularly, with faith, becomes relieved of all material suffering. How is this
possible? By the power of transcendental sound. Any terminology indicating
God or the Supreme is not an ordinary sound vibration of this material world.
Viu or God is the Supreme Absolute Truth. The unique quality of the
Absolute is that everything connected to Him, such as His Names, forms,
abode, pastimes, associates, and the narration of His glories, is also on the
same absolute platform.
o pram ada pram ida prt pram udacyate
prnsya pram dya pram evvaiyate
May we invoke auspiciousness by offering our respectful obeisances unto the
Supreme Lord. 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. [r opaniad, Invocation]
Since He is absolute, His Holy Names are also absolute. Therefore the Holy
Names of Viu or Ka are identical in spiritual quality and potency with
Ka (God) Himself. Like Him, they are complete and perfect. Since Ka
and His Holy Names are identical in properties and power, His Holy Names
are eternally pure and immune to all material contamination. More than that,
they embody the purifying and enlightening power of Godhead in the form of
transcendental sound. The Lord is personally present in the transcendental
sound of His Holy Names. The association of the Supreme Lord is
indescribably blissful; it bestows spiritual opulence and causeless knowledge
of the Absolute Truth. Therefore we can be relieved of all material difficulties
simply by chanting these beautiful Holy Names of the Lord.
Appendix B: The Holy Name of the Lord
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 261
Unfortunately, otherwise intelligent people who are bewildered by the
complex combination of anxieties and suffering in material existence often
find it difficult to appreciate the simple process of chanting the Holy Names,
which is free from all anxiety. They cannot comprehend that there can be a
class of absolute nomenclature beyond limited, relative knowledge and
temporary conditional existence.
Any name that represents a temporary object of this material world may be
subjected to critical arguments, inductive speculation and experimental
verification. Thus all relative conclusions created by material mental
speculation are subject to uncertainty. But in the absolute world a person and
his name, the fame and the famous, the actor and the act are identical.
Similarly the qualities, pastimes, abode, associates, Names and everything else
pertaining to the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead are also spiritual
and absolute in quality. This is transcendental knowledge beyond all
uncertain processes of inductive speculation. And since this absolute
knowledge is received through the descending process of parampar, or
disciplic succession from the Lord Himself, there is no uncertainty or
speculation. This is the eternal, unchanging Absolute Truth.
Actually, the Holy Name is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself,
manifesting as a transcendental vi bration. The Holy Name is completely
different from material sound: golokera prema-dhana, hari-nma-sakrtana.
The transcendental vibration of chanting the Holy Names descends from the
spiritual abode of Ka. Materialists who are addicted to experimental
knowledge and so-called scientific method have difficulty placing their faith
in the chanting of the Holy Names. Nevertheless it is a fact that one can be
freed from all material suffering simply by chanting the Holy Names without
offense. Let anyone who doubts this assertion subject it to their experimental
verification by chanting regularly according to the prescribed process and
carefully observing the result.
The spiritual world is called Vaikuha, which means without anxiety. In
material consciousness everything is uncertain and temporary, and therefore
everyone is full of anxiety (sa-kuha). In the spiritual world Vaikuha,
everything is known and certain by the causeless mercy of the Lord. Birth, old
age, disease and death are nonexistent there, and therefore everyone there is
free from all anxiety. Chanting the Holy Names gives us the opportunity to
transfer our existence to the Vaikuha world, where we can exist eternally
without any suffering. This occurs as soon as we change from the material
conditioned platform of consciousness to blissful Vaikuha consciousness
through chanting the Holy Names.
Unfortunate people in material consciousness are not very enthusiastic to
chant the Holy Names of the Lord, just as a patient suffering from jaundice
does not relish the taste of sugar candy, even though sugar candy is the
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262 Copyright 1976-2001
specific medicine for jaundice. Nevertheless, chanting the Holy Name of the
Lord is the only effective remedy for ending the material suffering of the
conditioned soul. Although chanting the Holy Name of the Lord may not be
very palatable for people suffering from the disease of material existence,
anyone who wants to be cured of the material disease must do it with great
care and attention.
Even among people who accept the spiritual path, there are many who are
frustrated by pursuing processes of self-realization that are impractical in this
fallen, contaminated age. In the present age the vibration of the Holy Names
of the Lord is the only yoga process that can actually help one attain a
transcendental position, beyond all material contamination.
harer nma harer nma harer nmaiva kevalam
kalau nstyeva nstyeva nstyeva gatir anyath
Chant the Holy Name [in the neophyte stage], chant the Holy Name [in the
clearing stage], certainly you must chant the Holy Name [in the liberated
stage of life] constantly. In the Age of Kali there is no other way [by the
austere yoga practices recommended for the Satya-yuga], no other way [by
the elaborate Vedic sacrifices recommended for the Treta-yuga], no other way
[by the opulent Deity worship recommended for the Dvrapa-yuga] to attain
the ultimate destination [of the personal association of the Lord].
[Bhan-nradya Pura]
For progress in spiritual life, the Vedic scriptures recommend austerity and
meditation in Satya-yuga, sacrifice for the satisfaction of Lord Viu in Treta-
yuga and gorgeous worship of the Lord in the Temple in Dvpara-yuga, but
in the Age of Kali one can achieve spiritual progress only by chanting the
Holy Name of the Lord. This is confirmed in many scriptures. For example,
in rmad-Bhgavatam (12.3.51) it is said,
kaler doa-nidhe rjann asti hy eko mahn gua
krtand eva kasya mukta-saga para vrajet
In the Age of Kali there are many faults, for people are subjected to many
miserable conditions, yet in this age there is one great benediction: simply by
chanting the Hare Ka mah-mantra one can be freed from all material
contamination and thus be elevated to the spiritual world.
The Nrada-pacartra also praises the Hare Ka mah-mantra as follows:
trayo veda a-agni chandsi vividh sur
sarva akarntastha yac cnyad api v-mayam
sarva-vednta-srrthah sasrrava-traa
The essence of all Vedic knowledgecomprehending the three kinds of
Vedic activity [karma-ka, jna-ka and upasna-ka], the chandas,
or Vedic hymns, and the processes for satisfying the demigodsis included
Appendix B: The Holy Name of the Lord
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 263
in the eight syllables Hare Ka, Hare Ka. This is the reality of all
Vednta. The chanting of the Holy Name is the only means to cross the ocean
of nescience.
Similarly, the Kali-santaraa Upaniad states,
hare ka hare ka ka ka hare hare
hare rma hare rma rma rma hare hare
iti oaaka nmn kali-kalmaa-nanam
nta parataropya sarva-vedeu dyate
Hare Ka, Hare Ka, Ka Ka, Hare Hare; Hare Rma, Hare Rma,
Rma Rma, Hare Harethese sixteen names composed of thirty-two
syllables are the only means to counteract the evil effects of Kali-yuga. In all
the Vedas it is seen that to cross the ocean of nescience there is no alternative
to the chanting of the Holy Name.
r Mdhvcrya, in his commentary upon the Muaka Upaniad, quotes the
following loka from the Nryaa Sahit:
dvparyair janair viu pacartrais tu kevalai
kalau tu nma-mtrea pjyate bhagavn hari
In the Dvpara-yuga one could satisfy Ka or Viu only by worshiping
Him gorgeously according to the pacartrik [Deity worship] system, but in
the Age of Kali one can worship and satisfy the Supreme Personality of
Godhead Hari only by chanting His Holy Name.
Since the Holy Name can deliver the conditioned soul from all material
suffering, it is called sarva-mantra-sra, the essence of all Vedic hymns.
However, one should receive the Holy Name from the pure devotee who is
fully engaged in the loving devotional service of the Lord. One who has a
merely academic interest in religion, or who poses as a great spiritual teacher
merely for the sake of transient name, fame, profit and cheap adoration from
the innocent public, cannot impart the real thing.
The Holy Name is most effective when heard from a self-realized teacher
situated in the parampar (disciplic succession) from Ka Himself:
eva parampar-prptam ima rjarayo vidu
This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic
succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. [Bhagavad-gt
4.2]
A self-realized spiritual master is not an ordinary human being, but is fully
qualified to act as the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
How to approach such a spiritual master is also described:
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264 Copyright 1976-2001
tad viddhi praiptena paripranena sevay
upadekyanti te jna jninas tattva-darina
Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from
him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can
impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth. [Bhagavad-gt
4.34]
One should fully accept all these merciful scriptural instructions of the Lord
as ones purpose in life to quickly perfect ones self-realization and put an end
to all misery.
Hearing and chanting the Holy Names of the Lord is the only effective
medicine for the disease of material suffering. Anyone in material conditioned
existence can cleanse his consciousness from all material contamination and
find relief from all misconceptions by this simple process (ceto-darpaa-
mrjanam). Avidy or ignorance is simply a misconception about one's actual
spiritual identity. This misconception provides the foundation for ahakra,
or false ego within the heart.
The real cause of all our suffering is the contamination of material
identification within the heart. If we cleanse our heart, if we cleanse our
consciousness of this false identification with temporary material
designations, the material disease can no longer affect us. This is actual self-
realization. The chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord quickly cleanses the
consciousness and heart from all misconceptions, and the ever-fresh taste of
transcendental nectar arises spontaneously within the mind. It is both easy
and beneficial. By chanting the nectarean Holy Names, one is immediately
freed from the blazing fire of material existence by the blissful personal
association of the Lord.
Therefore one should chant the Holy Name of the Lord as a regular daily
practice. In fact, we should make this chanting our primary spiritual practice,
as recommended by the authorities quoted above. One can chant whatever
Holy Name of God inspires ones faith. All His Holy Names are identical in
potency. Therefore whether one chants Hare Ka, Jesus Christ or Allah,
Govinda, Jehovah or another Holy Name, he will get the same result.
The Holy Name may be chanted quietly as a personal spiritual practice, or
congregationally as a group. Quiet chanting is called japa, and it is usually
done with beads, similar to a rosary, for counting the number of mantras
chanted. It is advisable to start with a small number of rounds on ones beads,
and increase gradually. Congregational chanting, or sakrtan, should be
performed with musical instrumentsdrums, cymbals or any nice
instrumentationand ecstatic dancing. Everyone should be welcome to
participate without any distinction whatsoever. After congregational
chanting, one should serve nice vegetarian refreshments offered to the
Appendix B: The Holy Name of the Lord
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 265
Supreme Lord. This simple practice makes ones life perfect, and after this life
one is sure to attain the spiritual world. That is the final conclusion of all
bona fide Scriptures of the world.
Avoiding Offenses to the Holy Name
The bliss of the Holy Name is the highest benediction. The limited happiness
of wealth, sense enjoyment, piety or even liberation cannot compare with it.
Anything one may desire is obtainable from the Holy Name, for there is no
difference between the Holy Name and Ka Himself. All the Vedic
scriptures confirm this. Real happiness, peace, and relief from all difficulties
are easily obtainable by nma-bhajan, and this result is eternal.
If this is so, then why do we need to chant again and again? There is no
imperfection or fault in the Holy Name, and His purifying effect is certain and
immediate. But like intoxicated elephants, after we bathe our minds and
hearts by chanting, we again smear them with the mud of our attachments
and desires. As conditioned souls we have a tendency to fall down into
material consciousness. We must not only learn the art of chanting nicely,
but also of clearing the mentality that habitually contaminates the eternal
bliss that is its natural result.
Avoiding nma-aparha or offenses to the Holy Name is the only way to
retain the eternal benedictions of chanting. rla Jva Gosvm, one of the
founders of our disciplic lineage, instructs that we should chant the Holy
Name of the Lord continuously and loudly, and it should be performed
offenselessly, as recommended in the Padma Pura.
One can be delivered from the effects of all sins by surrendering himself unto
the Lord. One can be delivered from all offenses at the feet of the Lord by
taking shelter of His Holy Name. But one cannot be delivered if one commits
an offense at the feet of the Holy Name of the Lord, for chanting the Holy
Name is itself the process of deliverance. Ten such offenses are mentioned in
the Padma Pura.
The first offense is to vilify the great devotees who have preached about the
glories of the Lord. Blasphemy of the pure devotees is the most serious of the
offenses that deprive us of the benefit of chanting. The self-realized pure
devotee is not an ordinary human being, but is an authorized representative
of the Supreme Lord r Ka. As such, he has the power to award pure
devotional service to Ka, which is the key to spiritual liberation and
eternal happiness. No one in material consciousness can understand the inner
mental state, actions or values of a pure devotee. Therefore one should not
regard the pure devotee with a critical or envious attitude, since this can place
formidable obstacles in ones path of spiritual advancement. It is better not to
become too familiar with the pure devotee, but to maintain some formality of
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266 Copyright 1976-2001
respect with him. This will help prevent us from committing offenses by
cultivating a service attitude.
The second offense is to see the Holy Names of the Lord in terms of worldly
distinction. The Lord is the proprietor of all the universes, and therefore He
may be known in different places by different Names, but that does not in any
way qualify the fullness of the Lord. Any nomenclature that is meant for the
Supreme Lord is as holy as the others because it is meant for the Lord. All the
transcendental Holy Names are as powerful as the Lord, and there is no bar
for anyone in any part of the creation to chant and glorify the Lord by the
particular Holy Names of the Lord as they are locally understood. All of His
Holy Names are absolute and all-auspicious, and one should not distinguish
among different Holy Names of the Lord as one does with material objects
and their names.
The third offense is to neglect the orders of the authorized cryas or
spiritual masters. There are many authorized spiritual masters in the disciplic
lineage or parampar, and all of them have given wonderful instructions
capable of saving the entire world. If we follow these instructions we will be
benefited, even if we do not understand them. For example, the Vaiava
spiritual masters are unanimous in their glorification of worship of the holy
tuls plant as a means to achieve pure devotional service. It does not matter if
one cannot understand how offering prayers and water to a plant can bestow
spiritual advancement. If we follow the instruction without argument, we will
gain the benefit. When we become spiritually qualified, Ka will reveal the
purpose of all devotional instructions and practices from within our hearts.
Our duty is to follow in the footsteps of the great souls in Ka
consciousness.
The fourth offense is to vilify the scriptures or Vedic knowledge. Although
there are many statements in the scriptures that are difficult for us to
comprehend, we should not adopt a critical attitude because these are not
ordinary books. The rmad-Bhgavatam tells us that the Vedas are originally
manifested from the breathing of the Supreme Lord Nryaa. And in
Bhagavad-gt, Ka declares that He alone is the true knower of the deep
import of the Vedas. The Vedic literature is extremely elevated and pure. Its
purpose is the salvation of all living entities from the suffering of material
existence. Thus it is meant for our eternal benefit, and we should be careful
not to underestimate its value.
The fifth offense is to define the Holy Name of the Lord in terms of one's
mundane calculation. The Holy Name of the Lord is identical with the Lord
Himself, therefore one should understand the Holy Name to be nondifferent
from Him. We have discussed this point elaborately with evidence from the
Vedic scriptures in the Preface of this work. Nevertheless, in the beginning
stage of devotion, it is often difficult to see how this is so. The best policy is
Appendix B: The Holy Name of the Lord
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 267
to accept provisionally that the Holy Name of the Lord is identical with Him,
on the strength of the word of the great souls who have passed this truth
down to us, and trust that when we are sufficiently purified we will be able to
realize it for ourselves.
The sixth offense is to interpret the Holy Name. The Lord is not imaginary,
nor is His Holy Name. There are persons with a poor fund of knowledge who
think the Lord to be an imagination of the worshiper and therefore think His
Holy Name to be imaginary. Such a chanter of the Name of the Lord cannot
achieve the desired success in the matter of chanting the Holy Name. There is
no material significance or hidden meaning to the Holy Names of the Lord.
To speculate otherwise is offensive. The real truth about the Holy Name of
the Lord is extensively discussed in the authorized Vedic scriptures. No other
interpretation is needed.
The seventh offense is to commit sins intentionally on the strength of the
Holy Name. In the scriptures it is said that one can be liberated from the
effects of all sinful actions simply by chanting the Holy Name of the Lord.
One who takes advantage of this transcendental purification, yet continues to
commit sins on the expectation of neutralizing their effects by chanting the
Holy Name of the Lord, is the greatest offender at the feet of the Holy Name.
Such an offender cannot purify himself by any other method of purification.
In other words, one may be sinful before chanting the Holy Name of the
Lord, but after taking shelter in the Holy Name of the Lord and becoming
immune, one should strictly restrain from committing further sinful acts with
a hope that chanting the Holy Name will give him protection.
The eighth offense is to consider the Holy Name of the Lord and His chanting
method to be equal to some material auspicious activity. There are various
kinds of good works for material benefits recommended in the scriptures, but
the Holy Name and His chanting are not merely auspicious holy services.
Undoubtedly the Holy Name is holy service, but He should never be utilized
for such selfish purposes. Since the Holy Name and the Lord are one and the
same, one should not try to bring the Holy Name into the service of mankind.
The point here is that the Supreme Lord is the Supreme Enjoyer. He is no
one's servant or order supplier. Si nce the Holy Name of the Lord is identical
with the Lord, one should not try to utilize the Holy Name for one's material
benefit. The real purpose of chanting the Holy Name is to attain pure
devotional service to the Lord.
The ninth offense is to instruct those who are not interested in chanting the
Holy Name of the Lord about the transcendental nature of the Holy Name. If
such instruction is imparted to an unwilling audience, this act is considered
to be an offense at the feet of the Holy Name. The reason for this is that by
forcing the issue, one has created a bad impression in the minds of the
audience about the Holy Name. This impediment will delay their acceptance
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268 Copyright 1976-2001
of the chanting process and can lead to offenses against devotees. Since the
Holy Name is meant for the spiritual benefit of the living entities, preaching
the glories of the Holy Name to an unwilling audience goes against the Lords
actual purpose for manifesting the Holy Name in human society.
The tenth offense is to become uninterested in or inattentive to the Holy
Name of the Lord, neglecting ones chanting even after understanding the
wonderful transcendental nature of the Holy Name. The effect of chanting the
Holy Name of the Lord is liberation from the conception of false egoism.
False egoism is thinking oneself to be the enjoyer of the world and thinking
everything in the world to be meant for one's enjoyment. The whole
materialistic world is moving under the false egoism of I and mine, but
the factual effect of chanting the Holy Name is to become free from such
misconceptions. If one begins the chanting process but then stops due to a
mundane conception of life, this is an offense. One should maintain chanting
and hearing the Holy Name of the Lord continuously, until the process of
purification is complete.
The best protection against committing offenses to the Holy Name of the
Lord is to have firm faith in the instructions of the scriptures and of ones
personal spiritual master. One should continue the regular daily chanting of
the Holy Names of the Lord with patience, diligence and enthusiasm. It is
wonderful if one can accept initiation from a bona fide spiritual master in the
disciplic succession from Ka Himself. If possible one should give up all
material activities and join the mission of Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanyas
process, harinma-saktana, is to chant and hear the Holy Name, topics
related to the glories of the Lord and His Holy Name, literature such as
Bhagavad-gt, rmad-Bhgavatam and Caitanya-caritmrta, and nice songs
glorifying pure devotional service continuously in the association of like-
minded devotees, until the self-effulgent glory of the Holy Name becomes
self-manifest in ones consciousness.
At that point, all the elaborate philosophical instructions of the scriptures
that we have summarized herein are reduced to a simple matter of
experience, and the glories of the Holy Name of the Lord become self-evident.
One who has tasted the full nectar of the Holy Name automatically avoids the
ten offenses to the Holy Name, and his path to complete spiritual
enlightenment becomes straight and clear.
It is our fond hope that the readers of this volume will apply these truths and
instructions to make their own lives perfect in spiritual realization. Certainly,
anyone who chants the Holy Name of the Lord even once is a great soul
worthy of all respect and praise.
yan-nmadheya-ravanukrtand yat-prahvad yat-smarad api kvacit
vdo 'pi sadya savanya kalpate kuta punas te bhagavan nu darant
Appendix B: The Holy Name of the Lord
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 269
To say nothing of the spiritual advancement of persons who see the Supreme
Person face-to-face, even a person born in a family of dog-eaters immediately
becomes eligible to perform Vedic sacrifices if he once utters the Holy Name
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or chants about Him, hears about His
pastimes, offers Him obeisances or even remembers Him. [rmad-
Bhgavatam 3.33.6]
Once begun, the process of hearing and chanting inevitably continues,
clearing the mirror of the mind of all misconceptions until the chanter attains
the perfection of spiritual realization. Long before achieving that exalted
destination, all material pangs will have been erased by the potent purifying
action of the Holy Name. We wish the reader all good fortune on this most
auspicious progressive journey to the most wonderful state of Christ
consciousness or Ka consciousness.
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 271
Appendix C
Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide
Vowels
m
a Like the a in organ or the u in but
m
Like the in fr but twice as long as a

i Like the i in pin

Like the in pque but twice as long as i


3
u Like the u in push
3
Like the in rle but twice as long as u

Like the in Rita but more like French ru

Like but twice as long (trilled)

Like lree, or sometimes lruu

e Like the e in they

ai Like the ai in aisle


m
o Like the o in go
m
au Like the ow in how

Like the nasal n in the French word bon


Like the ha in aha, but only at the end of a line, otherwise silent.
Takes the sound of the preceding vowel, ex. vpu = v+pu+hu
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272 Copyright 1976-2001
Consonants
d
ka Like the k in kite

kha Like the kh in Ekhart

ga Like the g in give

gha Like the gh in dig-hard


S
a Like the n in sing
=
ca Like the ch in chair

cha Like the chh in staunch-hearted

ja Like the j in joy

jha Like the geh in hedgehog


>
a Like the ny in canyon
<
a Like the t in tub

ha Like the th in lighthearted


B
a Like the d in dove
"
ha Like the dh in red-hot

a Like the n in not but with the tongue on the roof of the mouth.

ta Like the t in tub but with tongue against teeth


~
tha Like the th in lighthearted but tongue against teeth
"
da Like the d in dove but with tongue against teeth
Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 273

dha Like the dh in red-hot but with tongue against teeth

na Like the n in nut but with tongue between teeth

pa Like the p in pine



pha Like the ph in uphill
N
ba Like the b in bird

bha Like the bh in rub-hard

ma Like the m in mother

ya Like the y in yes

ra Like the r in run

la Like the l in light


H
va Like the v in vine

a Like the s in the German word sprechen


z a Like the sh in shine
F
sa Like the s in sun

ha Like the h in home


'

Replaces a leading vowel in compound words: manohara + ajita =
manoharojita
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274 Copyright 1976-2001
Consonant & Vowel Combinations
Sanskrit, especially Sanskrit poetry, is not so much spoken as sung or
chanted. The three essential elements of chanting sacred Sanskrit poetry are
mantra, svra and mtra. Mantra means the text, svra refers to the intonation
and mtra means the rhythm. Svra is beyond the scope of this short guide.
Regarding mtra, Sanskrit does not have stressed and unstressed syllables like
Western languages; it has long and short syllables instead. In the table above,
the long vowels are shown in the shaded boxes. In other words, the short
vowels are a, i, u, and , and the long vowels are , , , e, ai, o and au.
The short and long syllables are measured with a time intervals called a pda.
A pda is very similar to the concept of an eighth-note beat in Western music.
In Sanskrit, short syllables are one pda long, and long syllables are two
pdas. The pdas only apply to the length of the vowel sounds; the
consonants do not count.
So for example, in the word mtra the vowel of the first syllable is sounded
twice as long as the second. In the word keava, the vowel of the first syllable
is sounded twice as long as the second and third. Again, the mtras in this
edition have been researched extensively and are very authentic to the style of
Sanskrit in use at the time of Vysadeva.
d
ka
d
ku

k
d
kau
d
k
d
k
d
ke
m
a
d
ki
d
k
d
kai
m
a
d
k
d
k
d
ko
Short vowels
Long vowels
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 275
About the Author
His Grace r Atihara Bhaktisiddhrtha
Dsnuds is an initiated disciple of His
Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivednta Svm
Prabhupda. He met his Spiritual Master
in New York City in 1965, and later
attended classes and other functions in
Prabhupdas San Francisco Temple.
Bhaktisiddhrtha joined the Miami
Temple of the International Society for
Ka Consciousness in 1971, and was
formally initiated by rla Prabhupda in
1972. He spent many years in India
performing various services in support of
rla Prabhupdas Indian preaching
mission, studying the philosophy and
practices of the Vedic tradition, and
performing deep sdhana in Indias most sacred places of pilgrimage.
Bhaktisiddhrtha now lives on the island of Kauai, where he spends most of
his time performing sdhana and writing books on the philosophy of the
Esoteric Teaching. Here are some of his other works:
Here Be Wisdom
is a spiritual handbook of the stature of Tao Te Ching,
containing the distilled essence of a lifetime of
spiritual work. The author studied under the direct
personal guidance of a fully self-realized Master
Teacher. This rare opportunity exposed him to the
esoteric Absolute Truth, a spiritual teaching almost
completely unknown in the materialistic West. Yet,
this rare teaching contains the essence of the highest
degree of spiritual understanding and self-realization.
The text consists of 108 inspired aphorismssayings
at once obvious and obscure, pithy and profoundand weaves a spellbinding
commentary around them drawn from the author's experience and
realization. The results are often shocking in their total rejection of the
fundamental assumptions underlying the illusory state of material
consciousness. Nevertheless, the lucid commentary, written in the powerful
voice of a genuinely self-realized soul, leads the reader through the difficult
spiritual paradoxes exposed by the aphorisms to a deeper and more personal
understanding of God.
The Book of Gethsemane
276 Copyright 1976-2001
Sri Nrsimhasahasranama
is an esoteric handbook for spiritual protection. These
thousand Holy Names of the Lord in His ferocious
form of Nsihathe half-man, half-lion
incarnationoffer shelter from the storms of material
strife to the sincere devotee. Life is full of challenges,
and pious, intelligent people are under attack in a
society gone mad with lust for false material values.
Hearing and chanting these powerful Holy Names of
Lord Nsihadeva creates a shield of spiritual power
around the worshipper that repels all harm. No
material energy can surpass this spiritual armor; no
magic, however powerful, can defend anyone who tries to harm Lord
Nsiha's devotee. This premiere edition, with companion CD, makes the
full power of r Nsihasahasranma available in the West for the first time.
The crystal-clear recording by an advanced practitioner makes it easy to learn
the correct Sanskrit pronunciation of the mantras. And the complete text,
both in Devanagari and Roman transliteration, makes the practice of this
powerful spiritual armor practical for everyone. The Preface explains the
reasons for the amazing power of the Holy Name of the Lord, and the
Introduction tells the ancient story of the wonderful appearance of Lord
Nsihadeva to protect His pure devotee Prahlda Mahrja in complete
detail.
Hare Krsna Kirtan
is a sweet and melodious one-hour krtan, or
congregational chanting of the Holy Name of God. It
is in a very authentic and traditional style from
Bengal. The lineage of this chanting goes back to Lord
Krsna Himself. Bhaktisiddhrtha Dsnuds is a
disciple of A.C. Bhaktivednta Svm Prabhupda, the
great world teacher of bhakti-yoga, or devotion to Krsna as a path to spiritual
liberation.
Sri Visnusahasranama
is the companion CD to the book. It contains both
Western and traditional Eastern versions of the
mantras, plus a recorded reading by the author of the
Preface to the book. Indispensable for those who
want to learn how to chant the Sanskrit mantras with
proper pronunciation.
Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide
by Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas. All Rights Reserved. 277
Kalachandji
is a compilation of kirtans set to modern styles of
music, from Latin to symphonic to rock to ethereal,
romantic arrangements that defy categorization. The
Holy Name of the Lord has a special devotional
potency that can lift us above the sufferings of
ordinary material consciousness. The devotees of the
Lord relish confidential loving exchanges with the
Lord through this chanting, which gives them symptoms of ecstatic bliss.
RagaJazz
is a term I coined to describe the new musical genre I
have developed. RagaJazz extends the complex tonal
and rhythmic resources of the raga system into the
jazz improvisation space. If jazz musicians have made
so much wonderful music with two or three scales
and time signatures, what will they do with 64 of
each? RagaJazz opens an exciting tonal and rhythmic frontier to jazz
exploration.
Vipralambha
is a Sanskrit word for conjugal romantic love in
separation. This CD is completely instrumental, just
flute, tamboura and drone. The pieces are all full of
very deep longing and separation. This music was
recorded during a difficult time in my life. This
spiritual separation is actually a kind of ecstasy. It is
simultaneously bitter and sweet.
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