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Volume 01, Number 04, 1966


By the Mercy of Krishna
From The Lectures of Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Poem by Acyutananda
Experience of Karma Yoga
Poem by Brahmananda
The Process of Surrender in God Realization

© 2005 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International

By the Mercy of Krishna

Our Society has been holding Kirtan at Film Makers Cinematheque Theater, which is at 125 West 41 Street. Our engagement extends for all four Sundays in December, from 3 to 6 P.M. The admission is free and the invitation is open—please come and bring your friends.

By the time this issue of Back to Godhead is released, our 33-1/3 LP album of chanting should be on sale in various parts of the city. The record features our regular Kirtan, as well as some mantra sung by Swami Bhaktivedanta. So natural is the urge to rejoice while listening to this chanting of the Lord's names that everyone—company personel and onlookers included—began dancing during the last session at the recording studio. This is the real meaning of Kirtan: Rejoice, and glory to the Lord!

Within a month of this date Krishna Consciousness should have arrived in full bloom on the West Coast. We're hoping to open a center there, in San Francisco, within the next month. In mid or late January, there will be a Mantra-Rock Rejoicing, at which the Swami will appear. Also aiding in our program will be Mr. Allen Ginsberg, who has already rendered much valuable service to Krishna, especially in propagating the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mantra.

We'll have more to say about the West Coast next issue—since that's where the editors expect to be, laying groundwork for the Swamiji.

The Editors

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From The Lectures of Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta

Notes transcribed from a lecture given September 8, 1966

The energy of the body emanates from the heart. The spiritual spark, or soul, is situated in the heart, and from there it expands to fill the body. The size of this spiritual atom is 1/10,000 of the tip of a hair. It cannot be detected by scientific means, but that doesn't mean that it isn't there.

To understand the science of the soul, we must have certain qualifications, which are:

Humility: We should not try to force others to respect us because we are Krishna Conscious. We should preach with humility and respect for others. For example, instead of saying, "Every-you know is a lot of nonsense," we should say, "I know you are a learned man, but please forget it for a moment and listen to me." We should not expect to be always well-received, either. Jesus Christ preached the word of God, and He was crucified for it. Humility includes acceptance of difficulties from others.

We should preach Krishna's word to whomever we meet, but in so doing, we should not try to manufacture a new religion. People want a new religion, but what is there new to preach? We are as old as eternity, so what need have we of the new? Nature's law is not new—the sun still rises in the East and sets in the West, as it has always done. We still eat and sleep. God is not new. Sometimes, to make people listen, it is necessary to explain the old religion in new terms. This is like putting old wine in new bottles. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as the wine is not adulterated in the process.

Non-violence: We should give the same liberty to others that we want for ourselves for all living beings have the right to live and eat. In nature there is food for all, and every creature has its own allotment. There are different varieties of food for different tastes. Human beings have a responsibility to all creatures. We do not have the right to kill any creature, not even the insects.

There is also another kind of violence. If we do not do our best to bring Krishna Consciousness to other beings, we are acting violently toward them. If we do not act to relieve suffering in others, we are doing them an injustice. Krishna Consciousness means the real end of all suffering, so everyone has the right to Krishna Consciousness.

Patience and simplicity: We should not try to hurry Krishna up. Our thoughts and our speech should also be controlled. We will see Krishna when He chooses. We should render service without reservation to the spiritual master.

Purity: There are two kinds of purity: external and internal. External purity is bodily cleanliness. Internal purity means keeping the mind always on Krishna. There are times when it is not possible to keep the body clean, due to external conditions, but external conditions need not keep the mind from being clean. We can and should always keep our internal purity, regardless of external conditions.

Steadfastness: One who is convinced that he must realize Krishna at all costs will be steadfast. Krishna Consciousness requires self control so that one will not be distracted.

Indifference to sense objects: Smoking, for example, only serves for sense gratification; it is not necessary for the maintenance of the body. This kind of indulgence is a distraction from Krishna Consciousness. Krishna Consciousness subdues the demands of the senses.

Self-effacement: This is the elimination of the false self. We must realize that we are not this body. The body should be maintained for the sake of using it in the service of Krishna. If proper food is not available, then other food may be eaten for the sake of maintaining the body. However, improper food may be eaten only when there is no other food available.

Non-attachment: The devotee should regard desirable and undesirable conditions equally. The householder should be detached from his family. He should take care of his family and fulfill his responsibilities, but he should not let his family stand in the way of his service to Krishna.

Perception of the evils of birth, death, old are, and disease will guide us to Krishna Consciousness. In Krishna Consciousness, we will have transcended all evils, all sufferings, and all delusions.

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Poem by Acyutananda

These dying temple flowers,
By the end of this day
Will see Krishna's abode.
Are they not luckier
Than me?

—-Acyutananda Das Brahmachary
(Charles Barnett)

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Experience of Karma Yoga

by Satsvarupa Das Brahmachary
(Stephen Guarino)

Karma means "material activities subjected to reaction." Karma binds us with each act. Yoga means "that which connects, links with the Supreme." Yoga is the process of Self-liberation. These two words combine in a single process called Karmayoga which is the seeking-and-attainment of self realization (liberation) through action.

Everyone has to act. According to Lord Krishna,

Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to one's acquired qualities of the modes of material nature, and thus nobody can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment. (Gita, 3.5)

Everyone has to do something, but by the grace of Krishna we can be freed from that place where every action is followed by bondage. If a man is fixed in God-consciousness he does not engage himself in action that is binding, like excessive food indulgence or drug addiction or sexual promiscuity. For instance, no Krishna conscious man should pursue sexual encounters for once he moves into such activities, misery will claim him since he is bound to his action. Without Yoga, Karma is entanglement—action quickly becomes binding and one suffers the good or bad consequences. The lives of such Karmis lead either to aimless chaotic activity on the phenomenal level or directly to hell. The real way out of the action-nightmare is Karmayoga. In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna says,

... if a sincere person tries to control the sense organs and begins Karmayoga in Krishna consciousness, without being attached, he is far better. (Gita, 3.7)

He is "far better," he is "sorrowless" because he does not suffer the consequences of his action.

A simple way to begin is to give all you earn to Krishna. That is a start. It releases you at once. If all you earn goes to Krishna, you are saved from a whole area of materialism. Let the world know that any money coming into your hand is going to Krishna—and you are free from great danger.

In Karmayoga, when you are working for Krishna, you can do your office tasks, speak to people on business, and do whatever you duty happens to be, for it all becomes part of your single aim: to return to God. The more God-conscious you become, the more effectively you can function. Whereas formerly you found yourself trapped, once you take to Karmayoga and sacrifice every act to Krishna, then your main objective is not to get out of trouble but to love God. Then no powerful mundane personality will awe or frighten you. You can do your work well and unafraid because you work unattached. And your work goes well.

How can you control your sense organs? In the matter of techniques, sincerity is what is needed. In spiritual effort, when you try hard you succeed. As you work, chant the name of God, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare." This means "Hail God," please accept me, be associated with my humble dealings on Your behalf.

Sitting at your desk, waiting for the elevator, answering the phones—make these moments moments of decision and re-affirm your purpose. Are you Karma-yogi? Then don't let your sense wander! Remember: Why have you come here? Why are you working? Why are you living? Who do you love? Make all your answers—Krishna. Control is gained by being thoughtful of your position. This "thoughtfulness" is the beginning of God-consciousness. Wherever you are God offers this consciousness and you must not fail to grasp it. Aim your heart to this end. When the crowd goes mad, as so often happens, you will not be swept away—if you remember Krishna. Remember, you are in control only because Krishna is controlling—receive His rays. That is real control. Work for Him.

This is not a punishing technique. The punishment is dealt by the material nature. According to the Bhagavad Gita we are in these bodies because we desired to have sensual enjoyment and because we more or less hate God.

All beings are born to delusion O Bharata (Arjuna) overcome by the dualities which arise from wish and hate, O conqueror of the foe (Arjuna). (Gita, 7.27)

The material world is a prison. Factories are producing artificially needed items, and offices are producing artificially created services, at the great cost of daily brute labor. The karma yogi, who is forced by his original desire into one of three modes of material nature (goodness, passion, ignorance) is, by way of his control and sacrifice, receiving a sublime touch unknown to the ordinary fruitive worker. He is a tiny speck of God; he realizes this and takes it seriously. In the presence of the Supreme he is asking for the touch of association, and nothing more. The advanced form of Karmayoga is called Bhaktiyoga, namely "devotional service to God." As he serves God with his body, words and intelligence, and guided by the principles of the revealed scriptures, the Karma or Bhakti yogi is developing a personal individual relationship with the Supreme. He is not working for his own gain, nor for a formless impersonal concept, but for the Supreme revealed Lord, and the actuality of his position is that he feels the touch of the Supreme.

This process leads to Krishna. It is a question of realizing the Godhead. If God is realized only through His grace you should at least try to see that this Grace is open to you. As stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam, we are bewildered by the Lord:

No one can understand, oh Lord, your transcendental pastime which appears to be human, and is misleading. (SB, 2.8.28)

It is bewildering of course, that you, O Soul of the Universe, have to work although inactive, have to take birth although unborn and are the vital force. Still you yourself descend amongst the animals, men, sages, aquatics. They are verily bewildered. (SB, 2.8.29)

When you work for God, the wages are the chance of understanding Him. Our brains are tiny. To realize the Personal God is most difficult. We have His Word (scripture), His Form (Sri Krishna), His devotees (Lord Chaitanya and the disciplic succession)—and today, most easily available and life-saving, His Holy Name for chanting. But we are nonetheless stupid and covered up by contamination. Without Grace the human brain can conjecture about God for eternity and get nowhere. Nonsense-babbling is endless, fools crowd the streets and governments, waves of illusion throw us around like flies—therefore we must be wary and take shelter of the Supreme Lord. Faced with this material nature, and yet in sight of Divine Light, the Karma yogi has said, "Let me work for Him. God is a person not like me. But yet like me. Let me do His work here. Since I must act, let my actions be for Him—I am nonsense, but He is the True Reality of which everything on earth is a mistaken reflection."

A karma yogi does not lose heart. He is not staggered or made "punchy" by labor. There is not the taste of dread despair in his labor—not the terror of the abyss, not the wholesale nausea over having to live, not the mad fear of Yamaraj, the Death messenger—at worst the path gets very hard, but the Karma yogi does what he can, and beyond that point the Supreme provides. The Lord—as revealed in the Bhagavad-Gita—has promised protection and deliverance to such a devotee:

Come to Me alone for shelter. Be not grieved, for I shall release thee from all evils. (Gita, 18.66)

Karma yoga is the fulfilling of His promise in reciprocal love, through the energy of His work.

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Poem by Brahmananda

To think, "I am chanting Krishna's Name,"
is to think of oneself
and not of Krishna.

We should chant Krishna's Name
without thinking.

To be self-conscious
is to be unconscious.

of Krishna
is not thoughts
but Knowledge
of Krishna.

—Brahmananda Das Brahmachary
(Bruce Scharf)

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The Process of Surrender in God Realization

by Hayagriva das Brahmachary
(Howard Wheeler)

Fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, sacrifice to Me, bow down to Me. Having thus disciplined yourself, and regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, you will come to Me. (Gita, 9.34)

Surrendering, in thought, all actions to Me, regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, and practising steadiness of mind, fix your heart, O Arjuna, constantly on Me. (Gita, 18.57)

Surrendering all unto the Supreme Lord is a difficult if not impossible task for must people. This is because they are not aware of the peace such surrender brings. There are many kinds of surrender: there is surrender in war, when the defeated side surrenders in order to preserve whatever life and property remain. This is a willful surrender to a superior force—some thing like a plea for mercy in the hope of avoiding death and total devastation. Then there is surrender in a totally hopeless situation, the surrender of a man, for instance, facing an unavoidable death. And there is also willful surrender to some thing overwhelmingly pleasant—like the surrender to a lover, or surrender to some desire or to the senses. Such surrenders are qualified by extraneous desires and circumstances, but there is a total and perfect surrender—the surrender unto the Will of the Supreme Lord. In the West, Christ is an example of complete surrender unto the Father—He was aware of His impending crucifixion long before it took place, but He surrendered totally and willfully. On the cross His last words were, "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." (Luke, 23/46) In the Bhagavad-Gita, Arjuna also surrendered unto the Supreme Lord by engaging himself in the battle of Kurukshetra and killing those he did not want to kill, only because Lord Krishna commanded him to do so.

Since there are many kinds of surrender, there are many degrees of completeness because some types of surrender are more total than others. By and large they all entail abandonment of certain designations: of birth and parentage, of career and material possessions, of mind, of the body and its senses, of doctrines and concepts. Abandonment of delusion followed by submission to the Divine, to the Will of the Father, is the process of surrender. Such a surrender, when it is total, is in reality the abandonment of momentary misery and darkness for an eternity of bliss and light.

We seldom think of it, but every night when we go to sleep we surrender consciousness and all its concomitants—birth and parentage, possessions, mind, body, senses and conceptualization. Our individual consciousness fades as we push off in the night into the somnolent state. It is only our conjecture that we will awake the next morning in the same bed and in the same body. It is conjecture and faith. So surrender and faith do not belong to a few people only—rather they belong to all men, for all men surrender everything when they go to sleep and all men have faith in something, even if it is nothing more than rising the next morning. But this is usually surrender and faith in ignorance. When a man does not know what he is surrendering to or what he has faith in, then he is in ignorance.

What is the process of perfect surrender? Surrender in knowledge principally involves the abandonment of the modes of ignorance and passion and the misconceptions arising from them. The surrender of birth and parentage means that one relinquishes the false notion, resulting from identification with the body, that he is the son of (for example) Mr. and Mrs. Jones, born at a particular time, that his age is such and such, and that he is an American or Russian or Indian because he is born in that particular place. All these designations are attached to the gross body. In actuality, he is spirit-soul, forever free, unborn, unbegot and eternal, not "belonging" to parents or nation, but the sole property of the Supreme Lord. Christ even addressed his earth-mother, "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" (John, 2/4) and also said, "Who is my mother, or my brethren? ... Behold my mother and my brethern! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother (Mark, 3/33-35) To say that one is an American or Indian or whatever is the grossest ignorance, for such thought implies identification with the gross body instead of the Supreme Spirit Man was born" ... not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John, 1/13) In this regard, misconceptions result in bondage and finally reduce one, by identification with the body, to the status of an animal who might say, "I am a pig and I belong to Mr. Jones' farm." Society encourages this attitude in its insistance on "birth certificates" and "identification papers," etc. Such are the shackles of delusion. In truth, all things are the property of the Creator, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and all things have the tag of the Super-soul. The man in knowledge says, "I am not this body. I am spirit-soul, a part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. I have neither beginning nor end. My bliss is in my eternal relationship with the Supreme Spirit, God." One can maintain this only after surrendering the false designations of birth and parentage which are attributed to ignorance.

Surrender of nationality and nationalism, like surrender of parentage and birth, follows when one no longer identifies with the gross body and the designations attached to it. In this age, especially, nationalism is one of the greatest tyrannies. For the sake of country and "freedom," men are willing to commit innumerable atrocities and transgressions against the laws of God. The first commandment, "I am the Lord Thy God, Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me," explicitly forbids man to place the commands of his country before the commands of the Lord. In this age, however, the trend is to make the State god. Worship of the State is forced upon the people by brute power, and to encourage this the State promotes atheism and atheistic doctrines. Communism, as practised in Russia and China, is such an atheistic doctrine denying the existence of God and advocating worship of the State. Many people in the United States fear that this country's pursuit of materialism is quickly leading it into the same atheistic position. When the disciples of the Pharisees asked Christ whether it were lawful to give tribute to Caesar, Christ asked them whose image and superscription they saw on the coin, and they said, "Caesar's." Christ then said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matt, 22/21) Had a man in transcendental awareness, who sees God every where, been asked whose image he saw on the coin, he would have automatically said, "God's." A wise man knows that all things belong to God and that God is omnipresent. Of course Christ had an apt reply for the ignorant men who were trying to trick Him, but He would not have given the same reply to a holy man or an incarnation like Himself, for they would have said, "Nothing belongs to Caesar. All things belong to God and it is our duty to render everything unto Him." In the tradition of spiritual communism, no allegiance, no money, no rendering of any kind is given to the State, but all thing are rendered unto the Supreme Lord. Therefore the abandonment of nationalism in total surrender to God-consciousness is revolutionary in the truest and most radical sense. Even in the face of death, one should be willing and prepared to maintain his belief in the truth that all things belong to God.

Surrender of one's career, of one's material possessions, etc. is also very difficult for most people who are trained to place value in these things. Regarding material possessions, Christ said;

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt, 6/19-21)

When the rich young man asked Him what he could do to have eternal life, Christ said, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (Matt, 19/21) The reason for the relinquishment of worldly possessions is easy to understand. We should not be attached to that which is ephemeral and illusory, but to that which is eternal. Only the Reality, the eternal, can bestow real happiness upon us. It is ignorance to search for happiness in a dungheap. But the glitter of materialism deludes many, despite constant and consistant warnings from the authorities and the scriptures. Material possessions also give rise to other false conceptions, the sense of "I" and "mine", when in truth all thing belong to the Supreme Lord. Private property is non-existent among truly God-conscious people. The earth and its possessions belong to the Lord. He alone creates them, He alone preserves them, and He alone destroys them.

Similarly, surrender of the body and sense enjoyments born of passion and ignorance appears like poison at first to people who have been trained to believe that the body and sense enjoyments are to be cultivated. Of all sense-enjoyments, the sex drive is the strongest in all creatures and is the greatest bind to the material world. There have been many examples of great saints and sages falling prey to sexual temptation. Many of the demi-gods, who are themselves attached to sex-enjoyment, send beautiful creatures to tempt holymen into sexual play. "The turbulent senses violently carry off the mind even of a wise man striving for perfection," Krishna tells Arjuna. (Gita, 2.60) We may of ourselves be able to somewhat restrict our sexual activities, but the desires will still remain. Lord Jesus Christ said, "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matt, 4/28) The only solution is to re-direct the sex-drive into desire for the Supreme Lord. We must dovetail all our desires to Him. The desires themselves come from the Lord, and it is He only who can satisfy them. We must have desires—they are healthy—but we must learn to understand what these desires are really for. Observing that Socrates had an eye for beautiful youths, Diotima, Socrates' teacher, suggested that if he knew what the beauty in youths really represented, he would be after something else—namely, eternal Beauty, undefiled by human contact.

"This, my dear Socrates," said the stranger of Mantinea, "is that life above all others which man should live, in the contemplation of beauty absolute; a beauty which if you once beheld, you would see not to be after the measure of gold, and garments, and fair boys and youths, whose presence now entrances you ... But what if man had eyes to see the true beauty—the divine beauty. I mean, pure and clear and unalloyed, not clogged with the pollutions of mortality and all the colors and vanities of human life—thither looking, and holding converse with the true beauty simple and divine? Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and immortal, if mortal man may." (From Plato's Symposium)

Furthermore, the impossibility of satisfaction in sexual relations is apparent when we recognize such happiness to be conditioned—an orgasm lasts only a few brief seconds, there are many impurities and imperfections between partners, and the body grows old and eventually decays, leaving one impotent and sexually undesirable. Shakespeare also was aware of the futility and squalor behind every sexual act.

Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjur'd, murd'rous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and prov'd, a very woe;
Before, a joy propos'd; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

(Shakespeare, Sonnet 129)

When one begins to understand that one is really seeking the Lord when looking for happiness in sex-enjoyment, than one can begin to make progress in properly directing this drive. There is also sexual enjoyment in the spiritual world but it is far different. Transcendental sex enjoyment is eternal, infinite, undefiled by material contact and indescribable. The love men and women experience on earth is but a limited and perverted reflection of the great ocean of love and bliss that is in the spiritual world. But a man will not set aside one pleasure until he receives a greater one. Therefore Krishna says, "The objects of the senses fall away from a man practising abstinence, but not the taste for them. But even the taste falls away when the Supreme is seen." (Gita, 2.59) So the surrender of sexuality is easy when a greater pleasure awaits a man, but impossible when he gets nothing in return. "Rama" means "Enjoyer." Krishna and His consort Radha represent the pleasure principle on the transcendental plane. One who abandons earth-lovers for the Divine Lover is never disappointed. "Not the desirer of desires attains peace, but he into whom all desires enter as the waters enter the ocean, which is full to the brim and grounded in stillness." (Gita, 2.70) A man who is constantly aware of the unchangable Reality within never looks outside for enjoyment. For him no agitation is created by the objects with which he comes in contact during his life on earth.

Incidently, in this connection hatha yoga has led many people astray in its emphasis on body development. Many hatha yoga teachers only incidentally mention union with the Supreme Lord as the goal of all yoga. Instead they advertise that their students look and feel younger longer and enjoy healthy sex lives into their old age. Instead of liberating the individual soul from attachment to the body, hatha yoga more often has the opposite effect in that it fosters bondage to the flesh through emphasis on the body. Christ said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John, 3/6) St. Paul also warned, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall be also reap. Far he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (Galatians, 5/7-8) Like hygiene and college gym courses, hatha yoga is a materialistic science. Real yoga is not concerned with maintaining and repairing a faulty, obsolete engine, but with doing away with the engine altogether.

There are other pitfalls of sense gratification—for example, overindulgence in food is often a pitfall for the man who has only succeeded in sublimating the sex-drive. There are many other material enjoyments too that must be relinquished before man is totally free. The body also must be surrendered, as Christ surrendered His body at the crucifixion. Many men surrender their bodies to the armies of the world without taking a second's thought. Socrates surrendered his body when he drank the hemlock. He also preached the immortality of the soul.

And when you see a man who is repining at the approach of death, is not his reluctance a sufficient proof that he is not a philosopher but a philosoma, not a lover of wisdom, but a lover of the body, and probably at the same time a lover of either money or power, or both. (Socrates, from Plato's Phaedo)

Socrates considered the body an unnecessary encumbrance for the man in pursuit of wisdom, for it is always getting in his way. All men know that the body must eventually be surrendered, but the wise, established in the eternal and unmanifested Self, neither fear nor avoid this surrender.

In surrendering the body unto the Supreme Lord, one surrenders "the Field" with its constituents: I-consciousness; understanding, or the determining faculty; energy; the ten senses, namely ears, eyes, nose, tongue, skin, hands, feet, vocal organ, and the organs of evacuation and generation; the mind; the five objects of senses, sound, sight, touch, smell, taste; desire; hatred; pleasure; pain; the aggregate, the combination of the body and the senses, intelligence; and fortitude, the state of mind that maintains body and mind. Finally Krishna advises the total and complete surrender of all doctrines and concepts. "Abandon all dharmas and come to Me alone for shelter. I will deliver you from all sins; do not grieve." (Gita, 18.66) This then is the epitome of devotion to the Supreme Lord—the willful surrender of everything into His hands. In the West we are given the example of Christ as perfect sacrifice and surrender.

Surrender can either be gradual or sudden. This is the age of Kaliyuga, an age characterized by disagreement, ignorance and sudden death. In this age it is best not to waste time. Mankind is already on the brink of a nuclear holocaust. Total surrender unto the lotus feet of the Lord is the only solution. In the Fifteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna gives the example of the Asvattha Tree. "Asvattha" literally means "that which does not endure till the next day." Because of its changing nature, the entire phenomenal (material world is compared to the Asvattha tree.

They speak of an imperishable Asvattha Tree with its root above and branches below. Its leaves are the Vedas, and he who knows it knows the Vedas. Above and below spread its branches, nourished by the gunas (goodness, passion and ignorance). Sense-objects are its buds; and its clustering roots spread downward in the world of men, giving rise to action. Its true form is not comprehended here, nor its end, nor its origin, nor even its existence. Having cut down this firmrooted Asvattha with the strong axe of detachment, one should pray, "I take refuge in that Primal Being from whom has streamed forth this eternal activity," and seek that Goal from which they who have reached it never return. (Gita, 15.1-4)

Such is the true method of perfect surrender.

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(Bhagavad Gita As It Is)
by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Bhagavad Gita is widely recognized as the compendium of all Vedic wisdom, yet there are few who have the necessary qualifications to understand and teach this all-important scripture. Swami Bhaktivedanta—who is a devotee in the line of disciplic succession from Arjuna—is one of these few. His classic introduction is vastly illuminating.

Price: 35 c


by Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva

The original and genuine commentary on Vedanta philosophy by the author of Vedanta himself, Vyasadeva, now available for the first time in English with authorized explanation by Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta.

The Srimad Bhagavatam is the post-graduate study of the Bhagavad Gita, or the Science of Krishna. This book of transcendental knowledge contains information of classical Hindu culture, philosophy, sociology, economics, politics, aesthetics and Divine love.

This unique edition of Srimad Bhagavatam has been greatly appreciated by all learned societies of philosophy and theosophy and approved by the Indian State and Central Government Education Departments, and by the United States government.

Swami Bhaktivedanta's edition contains Sanscrit, Sanscrit transliteration, English equivalents, translation and elaborate commentaries. Published by the League of Devotees, New Delhi, India, 1962-65. Price: $16,80 for 3 volumes (1200 pages). Postage paid by the Society.

Available from the International Society For Krishna Consciousness, 26 Second Avenue, New York, New York.


by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Every man is seeking pleasure in life. But he does not know where it is. This small booklet will give an idea of the perpetual pleasure of Krishna Consciousness. Price: 35 cents


by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Every man is seeking pleasure in life. But he does not know where it is. This small booklet will give an idea of the perpetual pleasure of Krishna Consciousness. Price: 35 cents


by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

A person who is illusioned by the temporary wonders of material energy is certainly a crazy man. Practically all men in material activities are insane in various degrees. How to cure this increasing epidemic is suggested here. Read it and be cured of all craziness. Price: 35 cents

Available from The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, 26 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. Postage paid.


BACK TO GODHEAD is published semi-monthly by The International Society For Krishna Consciousness at 26 Second Avenue (between 1st and 2nd Streets) New York, New York 10003.

1 year subscription (24 issues) $3.00. Phone 674-7428

FOUNDER: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

EDITORS: Hayagriva Das Brahmachary (Howard Wheeler)

Rayarama Das Brahmachary (Raymond Marais)

Circulation: Gargamuni Das Brahmachary (Gregory Scharf)

Printing: Ranchhor Das Brahmachary (Ronald King)

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