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What is better than Peace and Happiness?

Following is an excerpt from the lecture on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5: Karma-yoga-Action in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness – Verse 29 – by Vraj Bihari Das

BG 5.29
bhoktaram yajna-tapasam
sarva-loka-mahesvaram
suhrdam sarva-bhutanam
jnatva mam santim rcchati

Translation:
The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.

Purport:

The conditioned souls within the clutches of 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 this part of the Bhagavad-gītā. The greatest peace formula is simply this: Lord Kṛṣṇa 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 demigods thereon. No one is greater than He. He is greater than the greatest of the demigods, Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā. In the Vedas the Supreme Lord is described as tam īśvarāṇāṁ paramaṁ maheśvaram. Under the spell of illusion, living entities are trying to be lords of all they survey, but actually they are dominated by the material energy of the Lord. The Lord is the master of material nature, and the conditioned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Kssna consciousness: Lord Kṛṣṇa is the supreme predominator, and all living entities, including the great demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

This Fifth Chapter is a practical explanation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, generally known as karma-yoga. The question of mental speculation as to how karma-yoga can give liberation is answered herewith. To work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to work with the complete knowledge of the Lord as the predominator. Such work is not different from transcendental knowledge. Direct Kṛṣṇa consciousness is bhakti-yoga, and jñāna-yoga is a path leading to bhakti-yoga. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to work in full knowledge of one’s relationship with the Supreme Absolute, and the perfection of this consciousness is full knowledge of Kṛṣṇa, 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 māyā (illusion) due to the desire to lord it over māyā, and that is the cause of his many sufferings. As long as he is in contact with matter, he has to execute work in terms of material necessities. Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however, brings one into spiritual life even while one is within the jurisdiction of matter, for it is an arousing of spiritual existence by practice in the material world. The more one is advanced, the more he is freed from the clutches of matter. The Lord is not partial toward anyone. Everything depends on one’s practical performance of duties in an effort to control the senses and conquer the influence of desire and anger. And, attaining Kṛṣṇa consciousness by controlling the above-mentioned passions, one remains factually in the transcendental stage, or brahman-nirvāṇa. The eightfold yoga mysticism is automatically practiced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness because the ultimate purpose is served. There is gradual process of elevation in the practice of yama, niyama, āsana, pratyāhāra, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, prāṇāyāma, and samādhi. But these only preface perfection by devotional service, which alone can award peace to the human being. It is the highest perfection of life.

In Krishna consciousness, the greatest peace formula is “Men should offer everything to Krishna as he is the master of everything including all observable materials and the demigods”. So, we will discuss about peace and happy by answering the four following questions.

  1. Is there a real happiness and peace in this world?
  2. Is there something better than happiness? If yes, what is that something?
  3. From where we can get that something?
  4. How to get that something?

For the first question, we should see the world around us and find peace. Yes, we can find peace but only at three places – Television, Advertisement and Movies. Other than these three places, peace is very hard to find. Peace is elusive still everybody wants that peace. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that due to contact of senses with the material things, there will only be misery at the end. He also says that this world is a home of misery. But we, the people, want to prove Krishna wrong.

For the second question, yes there is something better than happiness. That is Love which is a higher goal than happiness and peace. Generally, if you aim for a higher goal like getting 100 marks you would certainly get a lower goal of 35 marks. Similarly, if you want to be happy then you have to get the Love and give the Love. Material things can give you happiness through sense gratification but that is only a temporary negation of misery. We misunderstood that happiness is the relief from misery. But not, relief from misery is just the absence of misery and the real happiness can only be achieved through Love. Material things can never give you that Love. Only relationships can give that Love. Love is the positive side and enjoyable feel compared to the peace which is the only the neutral and the absence of misery. So, Love is more than peace and happiness.

For the third question, we search this world for the sources of Love. There are many sources like body, family, social cause etc. Essence of all the sources is service whether it is service to self or extended self like family or society. For most of the time, we are trying so much to enjoy through our body. But it is the biggest cheater in the world. Our body will never be satisfied for happiness but it will give a lot of miseries like disease and pain. Bhagavad Gita says that rather than serving self, we should focus on serving Krishna. It also says that greatest occupation of every living thing in the world is to Love Krishna. We all have the sense of Identification and when it is threatened we are in misery. So, to avoid misery, take out the self-identification and put Krishna instead. When you put Krishna in the center, your expectation and identification with happiness will go away. Krishna says that everyone is part and parcel of Krishna. So, if you want to love Krishna, you should love everyone also.

For the final question, we can get the Love from Krishna by serving Krishna and chanting his holy names. Serving the Krishna will attract us towards Krishna more than before. So the service would eventually make you go closer to Krishna. By chanting his holy names, you can get the Rasa of Krishna. There are many types of Rasa in this world but none like that of Krishna. You will never get bored or run low of this Rasa of Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada emphasizes that if we chant Hare Krishna and render service to Krishna for long time, we will slowly but surely develop the love and attraction for Krishna. Krishna had given the formula “Make Krishna as center”. Now it is the job of us to work out the formula and get the result. To find out if we made Krishna as center or not, we have to analyze the experiences we go through. One who thinks himself as center will go through anxiety predominantly but one who thinks Krishna as center will go through excitement predominantly.

This is very beautifully explained in this Audio to a great length, please download and listen to it.

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