By regular and disciplined practise of the Hare Krishna yoga the chanter wakes up from illusion. One of the strongest illusions of this world is our misidentification with our bodies. Most people think they are these bodies and cannot recognize their existence as separate from the body. We are pure spirit souls, part and parcels of God. However due to our identification with temporary matter, we feel we are nothing more than this body. Chanting of Hare Krishna helps us see ourselves as separate from this body; we transcend the layers of body, mind, intelligence and ego and connect to the pure spirit soul, in it’s pure relationship with the all loving and merciful God, Krishna.
Our misconception about this world too begins to dissolve with the regular practise of the Hare Krishna culture. What is the misconception about this world and is this world an illusion after all?
Radhanath Swami assures that this world is not unreal; rather our conception that there is nothing beyond this world and this is all in all is an illusion. There is an eternal spiritual world, beyond the temporary material world and by sincere chanting a chanter qualifies to go to the spiritual world. He also perceives this material world to be temporary and the spiritual world to be a real existence. His senses and understanding becomes refined and he’s able to grasp the import of spiritual books that describe this world as temporary and the spiritual world as our real home. When we consider the temporary to be permanent or vice versa that’s illusion.
An example helps us understand the illusion. For example, if you mistake a snake to be a rope, that’s an illusion. You may pick it up and tie it around your throat, but when you get bitten by it, that’s not illusion, that’s real, because the snake is real. The snake is real but the understanding that it’s a rope is an illusion. A rope and a snake are two separate identities but we are in illusion when we misidentify the two. Similarly the material world and the spiritual world are both a reality; the former is our temporary abode and the latter our permanent home. Most people however are in illusion because they consider this temporary world to be the only reality and the source of permanent happiness.
Radhanath Swami explains the illusion beautifully, “This world is real and you are real. Anything that emanates from God is real because God is real. You are an eternal soul, but when you identify yourself with the matter of this world, that is an illusion. When you think your happiness is to enjoy matter that is an illusion. That is the source of all bondage. But when we see matter and think of how to use it in God’s service, that is knowledge.”
Chanting Hare Krishna helps a chanter desire to go back to the real world, the spiritual world after his tenure in this body ends. Meanwhile, while living in this body within this material world, he engages all temporary things in service of Lord. That helps him transcend illusion and connect to the spiritual reality. For example the microphone which the world uses in hope of seeking happiness by singing some ordinary song could be in the category of illusion. However when a Hare Krishna chanter uses the same microphone to chant the holy names of God that’s reality; the act helps him connect to the eternal reality God.