Elevation to Krsna Consciousness
Krishna Consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original actual energy of the living entity. In the material concept of life we are busy in the matter of sense gratification as if we were in the lower animal stage. Herein Srila Prabhupada discusses the step by step process of reviving our original peaceful and happy condition.
Chapter 1: Choosing animal and human lives
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who has opened my eyes, blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge.” It is customary with this verse to offer obeisances to the spiritual master who enlightens his disciples in the matter of transcendental knowledge. The Vedic process does not involve research work. In mundane scholarship, we have to show our academic learning by some research, but the Vedic process is different. In the Vedic process the research work is already done; it is complete, and it is simply handed down by disciplic succession from teacher to student. There is no question of research work because the instruments and the means with which one conducts such research work are blunt and imperfect. At this stage of our material existence, we are conditioned by many laws of nature. All conditioned souls are subject to four defects due to the imperfection of their senses. One defect is that the conditioned soul is certain to commit mistakes. There is no man who does not commit mistakes. In India, for instance, Mahatma Gandhi was supposed to be a very great personality, but he also committed mistakes. Five minutes before he came to the meeting at which he was killed, he was warned by confidential associates not to go, but he persisted. To commit mistakes is very natural in the conditioned state of life. Indeed, the popular saying has arisen: “To err is human.” Another imperfection of the conditioned soul is that he is sure to be illusioned. Being illusioned means accepting something which is not, taking some phantasmagoria to be factual. Every one of us is under the impression that we are these bodies, but actually we are not. Accepting the body to be the self is called illusion, or miiyii. The third imperfection is that conditioned souls have a tendency to cheat. We have often heard a storekeeper say, “Because you are my friend, I won’t make any profit off you.” But in actuality we know that he is making at least 50% profit. There are so many instances of this cheating propensity. There are also many examples of teachers who actually know nothing but put forth theories in words like “perhaps” or “it may be,” while in actuality they are simply cheating their students. The fourth imperfection is that the senses of the living entity are not perfect. Our vision is so limited that we cannot see very far away nor very near. The eye can see only under certain conditions, and therefore it is understood that our vision is limited. Similarly, all our other senses are also limited. It is not possible to understand the unlimited by these imperfect, limited senses. The conclusion is that the Vedic process does not encourage us to endeavor to learn the Absolute Truth by employing our present senses, which are conditioned in so many ways. If we are to have knowledge, it must come from a superior source which is not conditioned by these four imperfections. That source is Krishna. He is the supreme authority of Bhagavad-gita, and He is accepted as the perfect authority by so many saints and sages.
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