OVER 2 1/2 MILLION COPIES OF THIS BOOK IN PRINT
E A S Y
J O U R N E Y
O T H E R
P L A N E T S
BY PRACTICE OF SUPREME YOGA
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
THE BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST
Los Angeles - London - Paris - Bombay - Sydney - Hong Kong
One can attempt to go to any planet he desires, but this is
only possible by psychological changes in the mind or by yogic
powers. Mind is the nucleus of the material body. Anyone who
trains the mind to turn from matter to the spiritual form of the
Godhead by performance of bhakti-yoga can easily attain the
kingdom of God in the antimaterial sky. Of this there is no
( C O V E R )
This text is distributed by DIAL-A-GURU BBS. Readers interested
in its subject matter or who would like similar texts are invited
by to correspond with its Secretary. /\ /\ /\
/\ /\ /\ / \ / \ / \
/ \ / \ /\ / \ /\ / \/ / \
/ \ / \ / \ /\/ \ / \ / \ / \
/ \ / \ / \/ \ \/ \ \ / \
/ \ / / \ \ / \ / \
/ D I A L - A - G U R U (TM) /
305 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, New York 11217
Public Access Computer Bulletin-Board System (BBS)
Data phone number: (718) 624 - 8614
300/1200 BAUD 24 hrs / 7 days
------- THE YOGA CONNECTION!!! --------
Your Hosts: Vipramukhya Swami & Daruka
c1970, 1972 the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
All rights reserved
First printing, 1970: 5,000 copies
Second printing, 1971: 5,000 copies
Third printing, 1972: 100,000 copies
Fourth printing, 1972: 10,000 copies
Fifth printing, 1975: 300,000 copies
Sixth printing, 1975: 300,000 copies
Seventh printing, 1977: 500,000 copies
Foreign Language Editions: 1,432,000 copies
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 70-118080
International Standard Book Number: 0-912776-10-2
Printed in the United States of America
the scientists of the world,
with blessings of
His Divine Grace
Shree Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
my spiritual master
C O N T E N T S
1. ANTIMATERIAL WORLDS 1
2. VARIETIES OF PLANETARY SYSTEMS 31
A living being, especially civilized man, has a natural
desire to live forever in happiness. This is quite natural
because, in his original state, the living being is both eternal
and joyful. However, in the present conditioned state of life, he
is engaged in a struggle against recurring birth and death.
Therefore he has attained neither happiness nor immortality.
The latest desire man has developed is the desire to travel
to other planets. This is also quite natural, because he has the
constitutional right to go to any part of the material or
spiritual skies. Such travel is very tempting and exciting
because these skies are full of unlimited globes of varying
qualities, and they are occupied by all types of living entities.
The desire to travel there can be fulfilled by the process of
yoga, which serves as a means by which one can transfer himself
to whatever planet he likes - possibly to planets where life is
not only eternal and blissful, but where there are multiple
varieties of enjoyable energies. Anyone who can attain the
freedom of the spiritual planets need never return to this
miserable land of birth, old age, disease and death.
One can attain this stage of perfection very easily by his
individual effort. He can simply follow, in his own home, the
prescribed method of bhakti-yoga. This method, under proper
guidance, is simple and enjoyable. An attempt is made herein to
give information to the people in general, and to philosophers
and religionists in particular, as to how one can transfer
oneself to other planets by this process of bhakti-yoga - the
highest of all yogic processes.
Materialistic science may one day finally discover the
eternal antimaterial world which has for so long been unknown to
the wranglers of gross materialism. Regarding the scientists'
present conception of antimatter, the Times of India (Oct. 27,
1959) published the following news release:
Stockholm, Oct. 26, 1959 - Two American atomic scientists
were awarded the 1959 Nobel Physics Prize today for the
discovery of the antiproton, proving that matter exists in
two forms - as particles and antiparticles. They are Italian
- born Dr. Emillo Segre, 69, and Dr. Owen Chamberlain, born
in San Francisco ... According to one of the fundamental
assumptions of the new theory, there may exist another world,
or an antiworld, built up of antimatter. This antimaterial
world would consist of atomic and subatomic particles
spinning in reverse orbits to those of the world we know. If
these two worlds should ever clash, they would both be
annihilated in one blinding flash.
In this statement, the following propositions are put
1. There is an antimaterial atom or particle which is made up
of the antiqualities of material atoms.
2. There is another world besides this material world of which
we have only limited experience.
3. The antimaterial and material worlds may clash at a certain
period and may annihilate one another.
Out of these three items, we, the students of theistic sci-
ence, can fully agree with items 1 and 2, but we can agree with
item 3 only within the limited scientific definition of antimat-
ter. The difficulty lies in the fact that the scientists' concep-
tion of antimatter extends only to another variety of material
energy, whereas the real antimatter must be entirely antimateri-
ial. Matter as it is constituted is subjected to annihilation,
but antimatter - if it is to be free from all material symptoms -
must also be free from annihilation, by its very nature. If mat-
ter is destructible or separable, antimatter must be destructible
and inseparable. We shall try to discuss these propositions from
the angle of authentic scriptural vision.
The most widely recognized scriptures in the world are the
Vedas. The Vedas have been divided into four parts: Sama, Yajur,
Rig and Atharva. The subject matter of the Vedas is very diffi-
cult for a man of ordinary understanding. For elucidation, the
four Vedas are explained in the historical epic called the Maha-
bharata and in eighteen Puranas. The Ramayana is also a histori-
cal epic which contains all the necessary information from the
Vedas. So the four Vedas, the original Ramayana by Valmiki, the
Mahabharata and the Puranas are classified as the Vedic litera-
tures. The Upanishads are parts of the four Vedas, and the
Vedanta- sutras represent the cream of the Vedas. To summarize
all these Vedic literatures, the Bhagavad-gita is accepted as the
essence of all Upanishads and the preliminary explanation of the
Vedanta-sutras. One may then conclude that from the Bhagavad-gita
alone one can have the essence of the Vedas, for it is spoken by
Lord Shree Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who de-
scendes upon this material worlds from the antimaterial world in
order to give complete information of the superior form of
The superior form of energy of the personality of Godhead is
described in the Bhagavad-gita as para prakriti. The scientists
have recently discovered that there are two forms of perishable
matter, but the Bhagavad-gita describes most perfectly the con-
cept of matter and antimatter in terms of two forms of energy.
Matter is an energy which creates the material world, and the
same energy, in its superior form, also creates the antimaterial
(transcendental) world. The living entities belong to the cate-
gory of superior energy. The inferior energy, or material, is
called apara prakriti. In the Bhagavad-gita the creative energy
is thus presented in two forms, namely apara and para prakriti.
Matter itself has no creative power. When it is manipulated
by the living energy, material things are produced. Matter in
its crude form is therefore the latent energy of the Supreme
Being. Whenever we think of energy, it is natural that we think
of the source of energy. For example, when we think of electri-
cal energy, we simultaneously think of the powerhouse where it is
generated. Energy is not self-sufficient. It is under the con-
trol of a superior living being. For example, fire is the source
of two energies, namely light and heat. Light and heat have no
independent existence outside of fire. Similarly, the inferior
and superior energies are derived from a source, which one may
call by any name. That source of energy must be a living being
with full sense of everything. That supreme living being is the
Personality of Godhead, Shree Krishna, or the all-attractive liv-
In the Vedas the supreme living being, or the Absolute
Truth, is called Bhagavan - the opulent one, the living being who
is the fountainhead of all energies. The discovery of the two
forms of limited energies by the modern scientists is just the
beginning of the progress of science. Now they must go further
to discover the source of the two particles or atoms which they
term material and antimaterial.
How can the antimaterial particle be explained? We have ex-
perience with material particles or atoms, but we have no experi-
ence with antimaterial atoms. However, the Bhagavad-gita gives
the following vivid description of the antimaterial particle:
This antimaterial particle is within the material body.
Because of the presence of this antimaterial particle, the
material body is progressively changing from childhood to
boyhood, from boyhood to youth to old age, after which the
antimaterial particle leaves the old, unworkable body and
takes up another material body.
This description of a living body confirms the scientific
discovery that energy exists in two forms. When one of them, the
antimaterial particle, is separated from the material body, the
latter becomes useless for all purposes. As such, the antimate-
rial particle is undoubtedly superior to the material energy.
No one, therefore, should lament for the loss of material
energy. All varieties of sense perception in the categories
of heat and cold, happiness and distress, are but interact-
ions of material energy which come and go like seasonal
changes. The temporary appearance and disappearance of such
material interactions confirms the material body is formed
of a material energy inferior to the living force, or jiva
Any intelligent man who is not disturbed by happiness and
distress, understanding that they are different material
phases resulting from the interactions of the inferior
energy, is competent to regain the antimaterial world, where
life is eternal, full of permanent knowledge and bliss.
The antimaterial world is mentioned here, and in addition
information is given that in the antimaterial world there is no
"seasonal" fluctuation. Everything there is permanent, blissful,
and full of knowledge. But when we speak of it as a "world," we
must remember that it has forms and paraphernalia of various cat-
egories beyond our material experiences.
The material body is destructible, and as such it is change-
able and temporary. So is the material world. But the
antimaterial living force is nondestructible, and therefore
it is permanent. Expert scientists have thus distinguished
the different qualities of the material and antimaterial
particles as temporary and permanent respectively.
The discoverers of the two forms of matter have yet to find
out the qualities of antimatter. But a vivid description is al-
ready given in the Bhagavad-gita as follows. The scientist can
make further research on the basis of this valuable information.
The antimaterial particle is finer than the finest of mate-
rial particles. This living force is so powerful that it
spreads its influence all over the material body. The anti-
material particle has immense potency in comparison to the
material particle, and consequently it cannot be destroyed.
This is but the beginning of the description of the antima-
terial particle in the Bhagavad-gita. It is further explained as
The finest form of the antimaterial particle is encaged
within the gross and subtle material bodies. Although the
material bodies (both gross and subtle) are subject to de-
struction, the finer, antimaterial particle is eternal.
One's interest, therefore, should be in this eternal
The perfection of science will occur when it is possible for
the material scientists to know the qualities of the antimaterial
particle and liberate it from the association of nonpermanent,
material particles. Such liberation would mark the culmination
of scientific progress.
There is partial truth in the scientists' suggestion that
there may exist also another world consisting of antimaterial
atoms and that a clash between the material and antimaterial
worlds will result in the annihilation of both. There is a clash
which is continually going on: the annihilation of the material
particles is taking place at every moment, and the nonmaterial
particle is striving for liberation. This is explained in the
Bhagavad-gita as follows:
The nonmaterial particle, which is the living entity, influ-
ences the material particle to work. This living entity is
always indestructible. As long as the nonmaterial particle
is within the lump of material energy - known by the names of
gross and subtle bodies - then the entity is manifest as a
living unit. In the continuous clashing between the two par-
ticles, the nonmaterial particle is never annihilated. No
one can destroy the antimaterial particle at any time - past,
present or future.
Therefore, we think that the theory maintaining that the ma-
terial and antimaterial worlds may clash, resulting in the anni-
hilation of both worlds, is correct only within the context of
the scientists' limited definition of antimatter. The Bhagavad-
gita explains the nature of the antimaterial particle, which can
never be annihilated:
The fine and immeasurable antimaterial particle is always
indestructible, permanent and eternal. After a certain
period, however, its encagement by material particles is
annihilated. This same principle also operates in the case
of the material and antimaterial worlds. No one should fear
annihilation of the antimaterial particle, for it survives
the annihilation of material worlds.
Everything that is created is annihilated at a certain stage.
Both the material body and the material world are created, and
they are therefore subject to annihilation. The antimaterial
particle, however, is never created, and consequently it is never
annihilated. This also is corroborated in the Bhagavad-gita:
The antimaterial particle, which is the vital force, is never
born or created. It exists eternally. It has neither birth
dates nor death dates. It is neither repeatedly created nor
destroyed. It is eternally existing, and therefore it is the
oldest of the old, and yet it is always fresh and new. Al-
though the material particle is annihilated, the antimaterial
particle is never affected.
The principle is also applicable to the antimaterial universe
as well as to the antimaterial particle. When the material uni-
verse is annihilated, the antimaterial universe exists in all
circumstances. This will be explained in more detail later.
The scientist may also learn the following from the Bhagavad-
The learned man who knows perfectly well that the antimate-
rial particle is indestructible knows that it cannot be an-
nihilated by any means.
The atomic scientist may consider annihilating the material
world by nuclear weapons, but his weapons cannot destroy the
antimaterial world. The antimaterial particle is more clearly
explained in the following lines:
It is neither cut into pieces by any material weapon, nor is
it burnt by fire. Nor is it moistened by water, nor wither-
ed, nor dried up, nor evaporated in the air. It is indivi-
sible, nonflammable and insoluble. Because it is eternal, it
can enter into and leave any sort of body. Being steady by
constitution, its qualities are always fixed. It is inexpli-
cable, because it is contrary to all material qualities. It
is unthinkable by the ordinary brain. It is unchangeable.
No one, therefore, should ever lament for what is an eternal,
Thus, in the Bhagavad-gita and in all other Vedic literatures
the superior energy (antimaterial principle) is accepted as the
vital force, or the living spirit. This is also called the jiva.
This living principle cannot be generated by any combination of
material elements. There are eight material principles which are
described as inferior energies, and they are: (1) earth, (2)
water, (3) fire, (4) air, (5) ether, (6) mind, (7) intelligence,
(8) ego. Apart from these is the living force, or the antimate
rial principle, which is described as the superior energy. These
are called "energies" because they are wielded and controlled by
the supreme living being, the Personality of Godhead (Krishna).
For a long time the materialist was limited within the bound
ary of the eight material principles mentioned above. Now it is
encouraging to see that he has a little preliminary information
of the antimaterial principle and the antimaterial universe. We
hope that with the progress of time the materialist will be able
to estimate the value of the antimaterial world, in which there
is no trace of material principles. Of course the very word
"antimaterial" indicates that the principle is in opposition to
all material qualities.
There are, of course, the mental speculators who comment
upon the antimaterial principle. These fall into two main
groups, and they arrive at two different erroneous conclusions.
One group (the gross materialists) either denies the antimaterial
principle or admits only the disintegration of material combina-
tion at a certain stage (death). The other group accepts the
antimaterial principle as being in direct opposition to the mate-
rial principle with its twenty four categories. This group is
known as the Shankyaites, and they investigate the material prin-
ciple and analyze them minutely. At the end of their investiga-
tion, the Sankyaites finally accept only a transcendental
(antimaterial) nonactive principle. However, difficulties arise
for all these mental speculators because they speculate with the
help of inferior energy. They do not accept information from the
superior. In order to realize the real position of the
antimaterial principle, one must rise to the transcendental plane
of superior energy. Bhakti yoga is the very activity of superior
From the platform of the material world, one cannot estimate
the real position of the antimaterial world. But the Supreme
Lord, who is the controller of both material and antimaterial
energies, descends out of His causeless mercy and gives us
complete information of the antimaterial world. In this way we
can know what the antimaterial world is. The Supreme Lord and
the living entities are both antimaterial in quality, we are
informed. Thus, we can have an idea of the Supreme Lord by an
elaborate study of the living entities. Every living entity is
an individual person. Therefore, the supreme living being must
also be the supreme person. In the Vedic literatures the supreme
person is properly claimed to be Krishna. The name "Krishna,"
indicating the Supreme Lord, is the only truly intelligible name
of the highest order. He is the controller of both material and
antimaterial energies, and the very word "Krishna" signifies that
He is the supreme controller. In the Bhagavad-gita the Lord
confirms this as follows:
There are two worlds - the material and antimaterial. The
material world is composed of inferior qualitative energy di-
vided into eight material principles. The antimaterial world
is made of superior qualitative energy.
Because both the material and antimaterial energies are ema-
nations of the Supreme Transcendence, the Personality of God-
head, it is proper to conclude that I [Lord Krishna] am the
ultimate cause of all creations and annihilations.
Because the Lord's two energies (inferior and superior) mani-
fest the material and antimaterial worlds, He is called the Su-
preme Absolute Truth. Lord Krishna explains this in the Bhagavad
I am, Arjuna, the highest principle of transcendence, and
there is nothing greater than Me. Everything that be rests
on My energies exactly like pearls on a thread.
Long, long before the dicovery of the principles of antimat-
ter and the antimaterial worlds, the subject was delineated in
the pages of Bhagavad-gita. The Gita itself indicates that its
philosophy had previously been taught to the presiding deity of
the sun, which implies that the principles of the Bhagavad-gita
were expounded by the Personality of Godhead long before the
battle of Kurukshetra - at least some 120,000,000 years before.
Now modern science has just discovered a fraction of the truths
that are available in the Bhagavad-gita.
The assumption of an antimaterial universe is also found in
the Bhagavad-gita. And from all data available it is to be as-
sumed without the slightest doubt that the antimaterial world is
situated in the antimaterial sky, a sky which is mentioned in
Bhagavad-gita as sanatana-dhama, or the eternal nature.
Exactly as material atoms create the material world, the
antimaterial atoms create the antimaterial world with all its
paraphernalia. The antimaterial world is inhabited by antimate-
rial living beings. In the antimaterial world there is no inert
matter. Everything there is a living principle, and the Supreme
Personality in that region is God Himself. The denizens of the
antimaterial world possess eternal life, eternal knowledge and
eternal bliss. In other words, they have all the qualifications
In the material world the topmost planet is called Satya-
loka, or Brahmaloka. Beings of the greatest talents live on this
planet. The presiding deity of Brahmaloka is Brahma, the first
created being of this material world. Brahma is a living being
like so many of us, but he is the most talented personality in
the material world. He is not so talented that he is in the cat-
egory of God, but he is the category of those living entities di-
rectly dominated by God. God and the living entities both be-long
to the antimaterial world. The scientist, therefore, would be
rendering service to everyone by researching the constitution of
the antimaterial world - how it is administered, how things are
shaped there, who are the presiding personalities, and so on. Of
the Vedic literatures, Srimad-Bhagavatam deals elaborately with
these matters. The Bhagavad-gita is the preliminary study of the
Srimad-Bhagavatam. These two important books of knowledge should
be thoroughly studied by all men in the scientific world. These
books would give many clues scientific progress and would
indicate many new discoveries.
The transcendentalists and the materialists are two distinct
classes of men. The transcendentalist gathers knowledge from
authoritative scriptures like the Vedas. Vedic literature is re-
ceived from authoritative sources which are in the line of trans-
cendental disciplic succession. This disciplic succession
(parampara) is also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita. Krishna says
in the Bhagavad-gita that hundreds of thousands of years ago the
Gita was spoken to the presiding deity of the sun, who delivered
the knowledge to his son Manu, from whom the present generation
of man has descended. Manu, in his turn, delivered this
transcendental knowledge to his son King Iksvaku, who is the
forefather in which the Personality of Godhead Shree Rama
appeared. This long chain of disciplic succession was broken
during the advent period of Lord Krishna (five thousand years
ago), and for this reason Krishna restated the Bhagavad-gita to
Arjuna, thereby making him the first disciple of this knowledge
in this age. The transcendentalist of this age, therefore, is in
the disciplic line that starts with Arjuna. Without troubling
himself with materialistic research work, the transcendentalist
acquires the truths concerning matter and antimatter in the most
perfect way (through this disciplic succession) and thereby saves
himself much botheration.
The gross materialists, however, do not believe in the
antimaterial worlds of the Personality of Godhead. They are
therefore unfortunate creatures, although sometimes very
talented, educated and advanced otherwise. They are bewildered
by the influence of the material manifestation and are devoid of
knowledge of things antimaterial. It is a good sign, therefore,
that the materialistic scientists are gradually progressing
toward region of the antimaterial world. It may even be possible
for them to make sufficient progress to be able to know the
details of this anti-material world, where the personality of
Godhead resides as the predominating figure and where the living
entities live with Him and serve Him. The living entities who
serve the Godhead are equal in quality to Him, but at the same
time they are predominated as servitors. In the antimaterial
world there is no difference between the predominated and the
predominator - the relationship is in perfection and without
tinge of materialism.
The nature of the material world is destructive. According
to the Bhagavad-gita, there is some partial truth to the
assumption of the physical scientist that there is annihilation
of the material and antimaterial worlds when they chance to
clash. The material world is a creation of changing modes of
nature. These modes (gunas) are known as sattva (goodness),
rajas (passion) and tamas (ignorance). The material world is
created by the mode of rajas, maintained by the mode of sattva,
and annihilated by the mode of tamas. These modes are
omnipresent in the material world, and as such, at every hour,
every minute, every second, the process of creation, maintenance
and annihilation is taking place all over the material universe.
The highest planet of the material universe, Brahmaloka, is also
subjected to these modes of nature, although the duration of life
on that planet, due to the predominance of the mode of sattva, is
said to be 4,300,000 x 1,000 x 2 x 30 x 12 x 100 solar years.
Despite this long duration, however, Brahmaloka is subject to
destruction. Although life on Brahmaloka is fantastically long
compared to life on Earth, it is only a flash in comparison to
the eternal life of the nonmaterial worlds. Consequently, the
speaker of the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Shree Krishna, asserts the
importance of the antimaterial universe, which is His abode.
Lord Krishna instructs that all the planets within the
material universe are destroyed at the end of 4,300,000 x 1,000 x
2 x 30 x 12 x 100 solar years. And all the living entities
inhabiting these material planets are destroyed materially along
with the destruction of the material worlds. The living entity,
however, is constitutionally an antimaterial particle. But
unless he elevates himself to the region of the antimaterial
worlds by cultivation of antimaterial activities, he is destroyed
materially at the annihilation of the material worlds and is
subject to take rebirth in a material shape with the rebirth of a
new material universe. In other words, he is subject to the
pains of repeated birth and death. Only those living entities
who take to the loving service of the Personality of Godhead
during the manifested stage of material life are undoubtedly
transferred to the antimaterial worlds after quitting the materi-
al body. Immortality is obtained only by those who return to
Godhead by practice of antimaterial activities.
What are these antimaterial activities? They are medicines.
For example, when a man falls ill, he goes to a physician who
prescribes medicines which eventually cure the suffering patient.
Similarly, the materialist is ailing, and he should consult an
expert transcendentalist-physician. What is his ailment? He is
suffering the tribulations of repeated births, deaths, diseases
and old age. Once he agrees to put himself under the "back to
Godhead" treatment, he is able to transfer himself to the
antimaterial world, where there is eternal life instead of birth
Annihilation of the material world takes place in two ways.
Partial annihilation occurs at the end of every 4,300,000 x 1,000
solar years, or at the end of each day of Brahmaloka, which is
the topmost planet in the material world. During that time of
partial annihilation, the topmost planets such as Brahmaloka are
not annihilated, but at the end of each duration of 4,300,000 x
1,000 x 2 x 30 x 12 x 100 solar years, the entire cosmic
manifestation is merged into the antimaterial body from whence
the material principles emanate, manifest and merge after
annihilation. The antimaterial world, which is far removed from
the material sky, is never annihilated. It absorbs the material
world. It may be that a "clash" occurs between the material and
antimaterial worlds, as suggested by the scientists, and that the
material worlds are destroyed, but there is no annihilation of
the antimaterial worlds. The eternally existing antimaterial
world is unmanifested to the material scientist. He can simply
have information of it insofar as the principles of its existence
are contrary to the modes of the material world. Full details of
the antimaterial universe can be known only from the infallible
source of liberated authorities who have thoroughly realized the
constitution of the antimaterial principle. This information is
received by aural reception by a submissive disciple of the
Personality of Godhead.
The Vedic knowledge was thus imparted unto the heart of
Brhama, the first living being in the material creation. It was
Brahma who related this knowledge to the sage Narada Muni.
Similarly, the Bhagavad-gita was spoken by the Personality of
Godhead, Shree Krishna, to Vivasvan, the presiding deity of the
sun, and when the aural chain of disciplic succession was
broken, Lord Krishna repeated the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna on the
Battlefield of Kurukshetra. At that time, Arjuna took the role
of disciple and student in order to receive transcendental
knowledge from Shree Krishna. In order to drive out all
misgivings which the gross materialists of the world may have,
Arjuna asked all relevant questions, and the answers were given
by Krishna so that any layman can understand them. Only those
who are captivated by the glamour of material world cannot accept
the authority of Lord Shree Krishna. One has to become thorough-
ly clean in habit and heart before one can understand the
details of the antimaterial world. Bhakti-yoga is a detailed
scientific transcendental activity that both the neophyte and the
perfect yogi can practice.
The material world is only a shadow representation of the
antimaterial world, and intelligent men who are clean in heart
and habit will be able to learn, in a nutshell, all the details
of the antimaterial world from the text of the Bhagavad-gita, and
these are in actuality more exhaustive than material details.
The basic details are as follows:
The presiding Deity of the antimaterial world is Shree
Krishna, who exists in His original personality as well as in His
many plenary expansions. This personality and His plenary
expansions can be known only by antimaterial activities commonly
known as bhakti-yoga, or devotional service. The Personality of
Godhead is the supreme truth, and He is the whole antimaterial
principle. The material principle as well as the antimaterial
principle is an emanation from His person. He is the root of the
complete tree. When water is poured onto the root of a tree, the
branches and leaves are nourished automatically. And in the
same way, when Shree Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, is
worshiped, all details of the material worlds are enlightened,
and the heart of the devotee is nourished without his having to
work in a materialistic way. This is the secret of the Bhagavad-
The process of entering into the antimaterial worlds differs
from materialistic processes. The individual living being can
very easily enter the antimaterial world by practicing
antimaterial activities while residing in the material world.
But those who are truly gross materialists, who depend on the
limited strength of experimental thought, mental speculation and
materialistic science, find great difficulty in entering the
antimaterial worlds. The gross materialist may try to approach
the antimaterial worlds by endeavoring with spaceships, satel-
lites, rockets, etc., which he throws into outer space, but by
such means he cannot even approach the material planets in the
higher regions of the material sky, and what to speak of those
planets situated in the antimaterial sky, which is far beyond the
material universe. Even the yogis who have perfectly controlled
mystic powers have great difficulty entering into that region.
Master yogis who control the antimaterial particle within the
material body by practice of mystic powers can give up their
material bodies at will at a certain opportune moment and can
thus enter the antimaterial worlds through a specific thorough-
fare which connects the material and antimaterial worlds. If
they are at all able, they act in accordance with the prescribed
method given in the Bhagavad-gita:
Those who have realized the Transcendence can reach the anti-
material world by leaving their material bodies during the
period of uttarayana, that is, when the sun is on its north-
ern path, or during auspicious moments in which the deities
of fire and effulgence control the atmosphere.
The different deities, or powerful directing officers, are
appointed to act in the administration of cosmic activities.
Foolish people who are unable to see the intricacies of cosmic
management laugh at the idea of personal management of fire, air,
electricity, days, nights, etc., by demigods. But the perfect
yogis know how to satisfy these unseen administrators of material
affairs and, taking advantage of the good will of these adminis-
trators, leave their material bodies at will during opportune
moments arranged for entrance into the antimaterial universe or
not the highest planets of the material sky. In the higher plan-
ets of the material world, the yogis can enjoy more comfortable
and more pleasant lives for hundreds of thousands of years, but
life in these higher planets is not eternal. Those who desire
eternal life enter into the antimaterial universe through mystic
powers at certain opportune moments created by the demigod-
administrators of cosmic affairs, administrators unseen by the
gross materialists who reside on this seventh-class planet called
Those who are not yogis but who die at an opportune moment
due to pious acts of sacrifice, charity, penance, etc., can
rise to the higher planets after death, but are subject to
return to this planet [Earth]. Their going forth takes place
at a period known as dhuma, the dark, moonless half of the
month, or when the sun is on its southern path.
In summary, the Bhagavad-gita recommends that one adopt the
means of devotional service, or antimaterial activities, if one
wishes to enter the antimaterial world. Those who adopt the
means of devotional service, as prescribed by the expert trans-
cendentalist, are never disappointed in their attempts to enter
the antimaterial world. ALthough the obstacles are many, the de-
votees of Lord Krishna can easily overcome them by rigidly fol-
lowing the path outlined by the transcendental devotees. Such
devotees, who are passengers progressing in the journey of life
toward the antimaterial kingdom of God, are never bewildered. No
one is cheated or disappointed when he adopts the guaranteed path
of devotion for entrance into the antimaterial universe. One can
easily attain all the results that are derived from the studies
of the Vedas, performances of sacrifice, practice of penance and
offerings of charities simply by the unilateral performance of
devotional service, technically known as bhakti-yoga.
Bhakti-yoga is therefore the great panacea for all, and it
has been made easy to practice, especially in this iron age, by
Lord Krishna Himself in His most sublime, liberal and munificent
appearance as Lord Shree Chaitanya (1486 - 1534), who appeared in
Bengal and spread the sankirtana movement - singing, dancing, and
chanting the names of God - throughout India. By Lord
Chaitanya's grace, one can quickly pick up the principles of
bhakti-yoga. Thus all misgivings in the heart will disappear,
the fire of material tribulation will be extinguished, and
transcendental bliss will be ushered in.
In the Fifth Chapter of the Brahma-samhita there is a
description of the variegated planetary system that is within the
material world. It is also indicated in the Bhagavad-gita that
there are variegated planetary systems in hundreds of thousands
of material universes, and that altogether these universes
comprise only a fraction (one fourth) of the creative energy of
the Godhead. The majority (three fourths) of the Lord's creative
energy is manifested in the spiritual sky, called the para-vyoma
or the Vaikunthaloka. These instructions of the Brahma-samhita
and Bhagavad-gita may be finally confirmed by the material
scientist as he researches into the existence of the antimaterial
In addition, a February 21, 1960, Moscow news release
Russia's well-known professor of astronomy Boris Vorontsov
Veliaminov said that there must be an infinite number of planets
in the universe inhabited by beings endowed with reason.
This statement of the Russian astronomer is a confirmation
of the information given in the Brahma-samhita, which states:
yasya prabha prabhavato jogandanda-koti
tad brahma nishkalam anantam asesa-bhutam
govindam adi purusham tam aham bhajami
According to this quote from the Brahma-samhita, there are
not only infinite numbers of planets, as confirmed by the Russian
astronomer, but there are also infinite numbers of universes.
All these infinite universes with their infinite planets within
are floating on and are produced from the Brahman effulgence ema-
nating from the transcendental of Maha-Vishnu, who is worshiped
by Brahma, the presiding deity of the universe in which we are
The Russian astronomer also confirms that all the planets -
which are estimated to be not less than one hundred million - are
inhabited. In the Brahma-samhita there is indication that in
each and every one of the infinite number of universes there are
infinite number of variegated planets.
The astronomer's view was seconded by Professor Vladimir
Alpatov, a biologist, who maintained that some of the above-
mentioned planets had reached a state of development correspond-
ing to that of the earth. The report from Moscow continued:
It could be that life, similar to that on Earth, flourishes
on such planets. Doctor of Chemistry Nikolai Zhirov, cov-
ering the problem of atmosphere on the planets, pointed out
out that the organism of a Martian, for instance, could very
well adapt itself to normal existence with a low body tem-
perature. He said that he felt that the gaseous composition
of the atmosphere of Mars was quite suitable to sustain life
of beings which have become adapted to it.
The adaptability of organisms in different varieties of
planets is described in the Brahma-samhita as vibhuti-bhinnam,
i.e., each and every one of the innumerable planets within the
universes is endowed with a particular type of atmosphere, and
the living beings there are advanced in science, psychology,
etc., according to the superiority or inferiority of the
atmosphere. Vibhuti means "specific power," and bhinnam means
"variegated." Scientists who are attempting to explore outer
space in an attempt to reach other planets by mechanical means
must realize that organisms adapted to the atmosphere of the
earth cannot exist in the atmospheres of other planets. As such,
man's attempts to reach the moon, the sun, or Mars will be
completely futile because of the different atmospheres prevailing
on those planets. Individually, however, one can attempt to go
to any planet he desires, but this is only possible by psycholog-
ical changes in the mind. Mind is the nucleus of the material
body. The gradual evolutionary progress of the material body de-
pends on psychological changes within the mind. The change of the
bodily construction of a worm into that of a butterfly and, in
modern medical science, the conversation of a man's body into
that of a woman (or viceversa) are more or less dependent on psy-
In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that if a man, at the time
of death, concentrates his mind upon the form of the Personality
of Godhead, Shree Krishna, and while so doing relinquishes his
body, he at once enters the spiritual existence of the antimate-
rial world. This means that anyone who trains the mind to turn
from matter to the spiritual form of the Godhead by performance
of the prescribed rules of devotional service can easily attain
the kingdom of God, in the antimaterial sky. And of this there
is no doubt.
And in the same way, if one desires to enter into any other
planet of the material sky, he can go there just after quitting
the present body (i.e., after death). Thus if someone wants to
go to the moon, the sun or Mars, he can do so simply by perform-
ing acts for the purpose. The Bhagavad-gita confirms this state-
ment in the following words:
That upon which a person meditates at the time of death,
quitting his body absorbed in the thought thereof, that
particular thing he attains after death.
Maharaja Bharata, despite a life of severe penances, thought
of a stag at the time of his death and thus became a stag after
death. However, he did retain a clear consciousness of his past
life and realized his mistake. It is important to realize that
one's thoughts at the time of death are influenced by the actual
deeds which one performs during his life.
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (Third Canto, Chapter Thirty-Two),
the process of entering the moon is described as follows:
Materialistic-minded men, who have no information of the
kingdom of God, are always mad after material acquisition of
wealth, fame and adoration. Such men are interested in the
progressive weal of their own self-satisfaction and so are
also interested in the progress of social and national wel-
fare. These men attain their desired objects by material ac-
tivities. They are mechanically engaged in the ritualistic
discharge of prescribed duties and are consequently inclined
to satisfy the Pitas, or bygone forefathers, and controlling
demigods by performance of sacrifices as prescribed by the
revealed scriptures. Addicted to such acts of sacrifices and
ceremonial observances, such souls enter into the moon after
death. When one is thus promoted to the moon, he receives
the capacity to enjoy the drinking of soma-rasa, a celestial
beverage. The moon is a place where the demigod Chandra is
the predominating deity. The atmosphere and amenities of
life there are far more comfortable and advantageous than
those here on earth. After reaching the moon, if a soul does
not utilize the opportunity for promotion to better planets,
he is degraded and forced to return to earth or a similar
planet. However, materialistic persons, although they may
attain to the topmost planetary system, are certainly annihi-
lated at the time of the cosmic manifestation.
As far as the planetary system of the spiritual sky is
concerned, there are unlimited Vaikuntha planets in the para-
vyoma. The Vaikunthas are spiritual planets which are manifesta-
tions of the internal potency of the Lord, and the ratio of these
planets to the material planets (external energy) in the material
sky is three to one. So the poor materialist is busy making po-
litical adjustments on a planet which is most insignificant in
God's creation. To say nothing of this planet earth, the whole
universe with innumerable planets throughout the galaxies is
comparable to a grain of mustard seed in a bag full of mustard
seeds. But the poor materialist makes plans to live comfortably
here and thus wastes his valuable human energy in something which
is doomed to frustration. Instead of wasting his time with
business speculations, he might have sought the life of plain
living and high spiritual thinking and thus saved himself from
perpetual materialistic unrest.
Even if a materialist wants to enjoy developed material
facilities, he can transfer himself to planets where he can
experience material pleasures much more advanced than those
available on the earth planet. But the best plan is to prepare
oneself to return to the spiritual sky after leaving the body.
However, if one is intent on enjoying material facilities, one
can transfer himself to other planets in the material sky by
utilizing yogic powers. The playful spaceships of the astronauts
are but childish entertainments and are of no use for this
The ashtanga-yoga system is also materialistic, inasmuch as
it teaches one to control the movements of air within the
material body. The spiritual spark, the soul is floating on air
within the body, and inhalation and exhalation are the waves of
that air containing the soul. Therefore the yoga system is a
materialistic art of controlling this air by transferring it from
the stomach to the navel, from the chest to the collarbone and
from there to the eyeballs and from there to the cerebellum and
from there to any desired planet. The velocities of air and
light are taken into consideration by the material scientist, but
he has no information of the velocity of the mind and intelli-
gence. We have some limited experience of the velocity of the
mind, because in a moment we can transfer our minds to places
hundreds of thousands of miles away. Intelligence is even finer.
Finer than intelligence is the soul, which is not matter like
mind and intelligence but is spirit, or antimatter. The soul is
hundreds of thousands of times finer and more powerful than
intelligence. We can thus only imagine the velocity of the soul
in its traveling from one planet to another. Needless to say,
the soul travels by its own strength and not with the help of any
kind of material vehicle.
The bestial civilization of eating, sleeping, fearing and
sense-gratifying has misled modern man into forgetting how
powerful a soul he has. As we have already described, the soul
is a spiritual spark which is many, many times more illuminating,
dazzling and powerful than sun, moon or electricity. Human life
is spoiled when man does not realize his real identity with his
soul. Lord Chaitanya appeared with His disciple Nityananda to
save man from this type of misleading civilization.
Srimad-Bhagavatam also describes how yogis can travel to all
the planets in the universe. When the vital force is lifted to
the cerebellum, there is every chance of this force bursting out
from the eyes, nose, ears, etc., as these are places which are
known as the seventh orbit of the vital force. But the yogis can
block out these holes by complete suspension of air. The yogi
then concentrates the vital force in the middle position, that
is, between the eyebrows. At this position, the yogi can think
of the planet into which he wants to enter after leaving the
body. He can then decide whether he wants to go to the abode of
Krishna in the transcendental Vaikunthas from which he will not
be required to descend into the material world, or to travel to
higher planets in the material universe. The perfect yogi is at
liberty to do either.
For the perfect yogi who has attained success in the method
of leaving his body in perfect consciousness, transferring from
one planet to another is as easy as an ordinary man's walking to
the grocery store. As already discussed, the material body is
just a covering of the spiritual soul. Mind and intelligence are
the undercoverings, and the gross body of earth, water, air,
etc., is the overcoating of the soul. As such, any advanced soul
who has realized himself by the yogic process, who knows the
relationship between matter and spirit, can leave the gross dress
of the soul in perfect order and as he desires. By the grace of
God, we have complete freedom. Because the lord is kind to us,
we can live anywhere - either in the spiritual sky or in the
material sky, upon whichever planet we desire. However, misuse
of this freedom causes one to fall down into the material world
and suffer the threefold miseries of conditioned life. The
living of a miserable life in the material world by dint of the
soul's choice is nicely illustrated by Milton in Paradise Lost.
Similarly, by choice the soul can regain paradise and return
home, back to Godhead.
At the critical time of death, one can place the vital force
between the two eyebrows and decide where he wants to go. If he
is reluctant to maintain any connection with the material world,
he can, in less than a second, reach the transcendental Vaikuntha
and appear there completely in his spiritual body which will be
suitable for him in the spiritual atmosphere. He has simply to
desire to leave the material world in finer and grosser forms and
then move the vital force to the topmost part of the skull and
leave the body from the hole in the skull called the brahma-
randhra. This is the highest perfection in the practice of yoga.
Of course man is endowed with free will, and as such if he
does not want to free himself of the material world he may enjoy
the life of brahma-pada (occupation of the post of Brahma) and
visit Siddhaloka, the planets of materially perfect beings who
have full abilities to control gravity, space, time, etc., To
visit these higher planets in the material universe, one need not
give up his mind and intelligence (finer matter), but need only
give up grosser matter (the material body).
Man-made satellites and mechanical space vehicles will never
be able will never be able to carry human beings to the planets
of outer space. Men cannot even go on their much-advertised
trips to the moon, for, as we have already stated, the atmosphere
on such higher planets is different from the atmosphere here on
earth. Each and every planet has its particular atmosphere, and
if one wants to travel to any particular planet within the
material universe, one has to have a material body exactly
adapted to the climatic condition of that planet. For instance,
if one wants to go from India to Europe, where the climatic
condition is different, one has to change his dress accordingly.
Similarly, a complete change of body is necessary if one wants to
go the transcendental planets of Vaikuntha.
If one wants to go to the higher material planets, he can
keep his finer dress of mind, intelligence and ego, but he has to
leave his gross dress (body) made of earth, water, fire, etc.,
When one goes to a transcendental planet, however, it is
necessary to change both the finer and gross bodies, for one has
to reach the spiritual sky completely in a spiritual form. This
change of dress will take place automatically at the time of
death if one so desires. But this desire is possible at death
only if the desire is cultivated during life. Where one's treas-
ures are, there also is one's heart. When one practices devo-
tional service, one cultivates a desire for the kingdom of God.
The following details outline a general practice by which one
can prepare himself for an easy journey to the Vaikuntha
(antimaterial) planets, where life is free from birth, old age,
disease and death.
General practice (positive functions):
1. The serious candidate must accept a bona fide spiritual
master (guru) in order to be trained scientifically. Because the
senses are material, it is not at all possible to realize
the Transcendence by them. Therefore the senses have to be
spiritualized by the prescribed method under the direction of
the spiritual master.
2. When the student has chosen a bona fide spiritual master,
he must take the proper initiation from him. This marks the
beginning of spiritual training.
3. The candidate must be prepared to satisfy the spiritual
master in every way. A bona fide spiritual master who is fully
cognizant of the methods of spiritual science, learned in the
spiritual scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita, Vedanta, Srimad-
Bhagavatam and Upanishads, and who is also a realized soul who
has made a tangible connection with the Supreme Lord, is the
transparent medium by which the willing candidate is led to the
path of the Vaikunthas. The spiritual master must be satisfied in
all respects, because simply by his good wishes a candidate can
make wonderful progress along the path.
4. The intelligent candidate places intelligent questions to
the spiritual master in order to clear his path of all uncertain-
ties. The spiritual master shows the way, not whimsically,
but in accordance with the principles of the authorities who
have actually traversed the path. The names of these authorities
are disclosed in the scriptures, and one has simply to follow
them under the direction of the spiritual master. The spiritual
master never deviates from the path of the authorities.
5. The candidate should always try to follow in the
footsteps of the great sages who have practiced the method and
obtained success. This should be taken as a motto in life. One
should not superficially imitate them, but should follow them
sincerely in terms of the particular time and circumstances.
6. The candidate must be prepared to change his habits in
terms of the instructions contained in the books of authority,
and for the satisfaction of the Lord he must be prepared to
sacrifice both sense gratification and sense abnegation, follow-
ing the example of Arjuna.
7. The candidate should live in a spiritual atmosphere.
8. He must be satisfied with as much wealth as is sufficient
for maintenance only. He should not try to amass more wealth than
is necessary to sustain himself in a simple way.
9. He must observe the fasting dates, such as the eleventh
day of the growing and waning moon.
10. He must show respect to the banyan tree, the cow, the
learned brahmana and the devotee.
These are the first stepping - stones toward the path of
devotional service. Gradually one has to adopt other items,
which are negative in character.
11. One should avoid offenses in the discharge of devotional
service in chanting the holy names.
12. He should avoid extensive association with nondevotees.
13. He must not take on unlimited disciples. this means that
a candidate who has successfully followed the first twelve
items can also become a spiritual master himself, just as a
student becomes a monitor in class with a limited number of
14. He must not pose himself as a vastly learned man simply
by quoting statements in books. He must have solid knowledge of
the necessary books without superfluous knowledge in others.
15. A regular and successful practice of the above fourteen
items will enable the candidate to maintain mental
equilibrium even amidst great trials of material loss and
16. In the next stage, the candidate does not become
afflicted by lamentation and illusion.
17. He does not deride another's mode of religion or
worship, nor does he deride the Personality of Godhead or His
18. He never tolerates blasphemy against the Lord or His
19.He should not indulge in the discussion of topics dealing
with the relationship between man and woman; nor should he
engage in useless topics concerning others' family affairs.
20. He should not inflict pain - either in body or in mind -
upon other living beings, whomsoever they may be.
Out of the above twenty items, the first three positive
items are imperative and most essential for the serious
There are fortyfour other items to be followed by the
serious candidate, but Lord Chaitanya has selected five as the
most important. These were selected owing to the present
conditions of civic life. They are as follows:
1. One should associaate with devotees. Association with
devotees is made possible by hearing them attentively, by asking
them relevant questions, by supplying them food and accepting
food from them, and by giving them charity and by accepting from
them whatever they offer.
2. One should chant the holy name of the Lord in all
circumstances. The chanting of the Lord's name is an easy and
inexpensive process of realization. One can chant any of the in
numerable names of the Lord at any time. One should try to avoid
offenses. There are ten offenses which one can commit while
chanting the transcendental names, and these should be avoided as
far as possible, but in any event, one should try chant the holy
names of the Lord at all times.
3. One should hear the transcendental topics enunciated in
the SrimadBhagavatam. This hearing is made possible through
platform lectures by bona fide devotees and by authorized trans
lations of the Bhagavatam.
4. One should make his home at Mathura, the birthplace of
Lord Krishna. Or one may make his home as good as Mathura by
installing the Deity of the Lord to be worshiped by all members
of the family after proper initiation from the spiritual master.
5. One should worship the installed Deity with attention
and devotion so that the whole atmosphere of one's home becomes
the replica of the Lord's abode. This is made possible by the
direction of the spiritual master who knows the transcendental
art and can show the candidate the proper method.
The above five items can be adopted by any man in any part
of the world. Thus anyone can prepare himself for returning
home, back to Godhead, by the simple method recognized by author
ities such as Lord Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who specifically
advented Himself to deliver the fallen souls of this age.
For further details on this subject, one should read
literatures like the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, of which we
have presented an English summary study entitled The Nectar of
The whole process of transferring oneself to the spiritual
sky involves gradually liquidated the material composition of
the gross and subtle coverings of the spirit soul. The above-
mentioned items of devotional activities are so spiritually
powerful that their performance by a devotee, even in the
preliminary stage, can very quickly promote the sincere executor
to the state of bhava (the stage just prior to love of Godhead),
or emotion on the spiritual plane, which is transcendental to
mental and intellectual functions. A complete absorption in
bhava, or love of God, makes one fit to be transferred to the
spiritual sky just after leaving the material tabernacle. The
perfection of love of God by a devotee actually situates him on
the spiritual platform, even though he may still maintain a gross
material body. He becomes like a red-hot iron which, when in
contact with fire, actually ceases to be iron and acts like fire.
These things are made possible by the Lord's inscrutable and
inconceivable energy, which material science has not the scope to
calculate. One should therefore engage himself in devotional
service with absolute faith, and to make his faith steadfast one
should seek the association of the standard devotees of the Lord
by personal association (if possible) of by thinking of them.
This association will help one develop factual devotional service
to the Lord, which will cause all material misgivings to
disappear like a flash of lightning. All these different stages
of spiritual realization will be personally felt by the
candidate, and this will create in him a firm belief that he is
making a positive progress on the way to the spiritual sky. Then
he will become sincerely attached to the Lord and His abode.
Such is the gradual process of evolving love of God, which is the
prime necessity for the human form of life.
There are instances in history of great personalities,
including sages and kings, who attained perfection by this
process. Some of them attained success even by adhering to one
single item of devotional service with faith and perseverance.
Some of these personalities are listed below.
1. Emperor Pariksit attained the spiritual platform
simply by hearing from such an authority as Shree Shukadeva
2. Shree Shukadeva Goswami attained the same simply by
recitation, verbatim, of the transcendental message which he
received from his great father, Shree Vyasadeva.
3. Emperor Prahlada attained spiritual success by
remembering the Lord constantly, in pursuance of instructions
given by Shree Narada Muni, the great saint and devotee.
4. Lakshmiji, the goddess of fortune, attained success
simply by sitting and serving the lotus feet of the Lord.
5. King Prithu attained success simply by worshiping the
6. Akrura, charioteer, attained success simply by chanting
prayers for the Lord.
7. Hanuman (Mahavira), the famous nonhuman devotee of Lord
Sri Ramachandra, attained success simply by carrying out the
orders of the Lord.
8. Arjuna, the great warrior, attained the same perfection
simply by making friends with the Lord, who delivered the message
of Bhagavad-gita to enlighten Arjuna and his followers.
9. Emperor Bali attained success by surrendering everything
unto the Lord, including his personal body.
These are nine standard modes of devotional service to the
Lord, and a candidate can choose to adopt any one, two, three,
four or all, however he likes. All the services rendered to the
absolute are in themselves absolute, with none of the
quantitative or qualitative differences found on the material
platform. On the spiritual platform everything is identical with
everything else, although there is transcendental variegatedness.
Emperor Ambarisha adopted all the above nine items, and he
attained perfect success. It was he who engaged his mind on the
lotus feet of the Lord, his voice in describing the spiritual
world, his hands in cleansing the temple of the Lord, his ears in
submissively hearing the words of Lord Shree Krishna, his eyes in
viewing the Deities of the Lord, his body in touching the bodies
of the devotees, his nostrils in smelling the flowers offered to
the Lord, his tongue in tasting the food offered to the Lord, his
legs in visiting the temple of the Lord, and all the energy of
his life in executing the services of the Lord without in the
least desiring his own sense gratification. All these activities
helped him attain the perfect stage of life which defeats all
dexterities of material science.
It is therefore important for all human beings to adopt
these principles of spiritual realization for the perfection of
life. A human being's only obligation is spiritual realization.
Unfortunately, in modern civilization, human society is too busy
in discharging national duties. Actually, national duties,
social duties and humanitarian duties are obligatory only to
those who are bereft of spiritual duties. As soon as man takes
his birth on this earth, not only does he have national, social
and humanitarian obligations, but he also has obligations to the
demigods who supply air, light, water, etc. He also has
obligations to the great sages who have left behind them vast
treasure-houses of knowledge to guide him through life. He has
obligations to all kinds of living beings, to his forefathers,
family members and so forth and so on. But as soon as one
engages himself in the one single obligatory duty - the duty of
spiritual perfection - then he automatically liquidates all other
obligations without having to make separate efforts.
A devotee of the Lord is never a disturbing element in
society - on the contrary, he is a great social asset. Since no
sincere devotee is attracted to sinful actions, as soon as a man
becomes a pure devotee he can do inestimable selfless service to
society for the peace and prosperity of all concerned, in this
life and in the next. But even if such a devotee commits some
offense, the Lord Himself rectifies it in no time. Therefore,
there is no need for a devotee to cultivate materialistic know
ledge, nor does a devotee need to renounce everything and live as
a hermit. He can simply remain at home and execute devotional
service smoothly in any order of life. And there are instances
in history of extremely cruel men becoming kindhearted simply by
the execution of devotional service. Knowledge and abnegation of
an inferior way of life follow automatically in the life of a
pure devotee without his having to make extraneous effort.
This spiritual art and science of devotional service is the
highest contribution of Indian sages to the rest of the world.
Therefore everyone who has taken his birth in India has an obli
gation to perfect his life by adopting the principles of this
great art and science and distributing it to the rest of the
world, which is still ignorant of the ultimate aim of life.
Human society is destined to reach this stage of perfection by
gradual development of knowledge. Indian sages, however, have
already reached that position. Why do others have to wait for
thousands and thousands of years to attain their heights? Why
not give them the information immediately in a systematic way, so
that they may save time and energy? They should take advantage
of a life for which they may have labored millions of years to
A Russian fiction writer is now contributing suggestions to
the rest of the world that scientific progress can help man to
live forever. Of course, he does not believe in a Supreme Being
who is the creator. Yet we welcome his suggestion because we
know that actual progress in scientific knowledge will certainly
take men to the spiritual sky and inform the scientist that there
is a supreme creator who has full potencies beyond all material
istic scientific conceptions.
As mentioned, every living being is eternal in form, but he
has to change his outer coverings, gross and subtle, and this
changing process is technically known as life and death. As long
as a living being has to put on the shackles of material bondage,
there is no relief from this changing process, which continues
even in the highest stage of material life. The Russian fiction
writer may speculate, as fiction writers are apt to do, but saner
people with some knowledge of natural law will not agree that man
can live forever within this material world.
A naturalist can see the general course of material nature
simply by studying a piece of fruit. A small fruit develops from
a flower, grows, stays for some time on a branch, becomes full-
grown, ripens, then begins to dwindle daily until it finally
falls from the tree and commences to decompose into the earth and
at last mingles with the earth, leaving behind its seed which in
its turn grows to become a tree and produces many fruits in time,
which will all meet the same fate, and so on and so on.
Similarly, a living being (as a spiritual spark, a part of
the Supreme Being) takes its organic form in the womb of a mother
just after sexual intercourse. It grows little by little within
the womb, is born, then continues growing, becomes a child, boy,
youth, adult, old man, then finally dwindles and meets death,
despite all the good wishes and hopeful pipe dreams of fiction
writers. By comparison, there is no difference between man and
the fruit. Like the fruit, the man may leave behind him his
seeds of numerous children, but he cannot exist eternally within
his material body due to the law of material nature.
How can anyone ignore the law of material nature? No
material scientist can change the stringent laws of nature,
however boastful he may be. No astronomer or scientist can
change the course of the planets - he can only manufacture a
paltry toy planet which he calls a satellite. Foolish children
may be impressed by this and @amd may give a great deal of credit
to the inventors of modern satellites, sputniks, etc., but the
saner section of humanity gives more credit to the creator of the
gigantic satellites, namely the sun, stars and planets of which
the material scientist can see no end. If a small toy satellite
has a creator in Russia or American, it is reasonable that the
gigantic satellites have their creator in the spiritual sky. If
a toy satellite requires so many scientific brains for its
manufacture and its orbiting, what kind of subtle and perfect
brain created galaxies of stars and maintains them in their
orbits? Thus far the atheistic class have not been able to
Nonbelievers put forward their own theories of the creation,
which usually result in statements such as, "It's hard to
understand," "Our imagination cannot conceive it, but it's quite
possible," "It's incomprehensible," and so forth. This only
means that their information has no authoritative basis and is
not backed by scientific data. They simply speculate. However,
authorized information is available in the Bhagavad-gita. For
instance, the Bhagavad-gita informs us that within the material
world there are living beings whose duration of life covers
4,300,000 x 1,000 x 2 x 30 x 12 x 100 solar years. We accept the
Bhagavad-gita as authority because this book of knowledge was so
accepted by India's great sages like Shankaracharya, Shree
Ramanujacharya, Shree Madhvacharya and Shree Chaitanya Maha
prabhu. The Bhagavad-gita indicates that in the material world
all component forms are subject to decay and death, regardless of
their duration of life.
Therefore all material shapes are subject to the law of
change, although potentially the material energy is conserved.
Potentially, everything is eternal, but in the material world
matter takes shape, remains for some time, develops into
maturity, grows old, begins to dwindle and at last disappears
again. This is the case with all material objects. The
materialist's suggestion that beyond the material sky there is
"some other form" which is beyond the boundary of visibility and
which is strange and inconceivable is but a faint indication of
the spiritual sky. However, the basic principle of spirit is
much closer - for it functions within all living beings. When
that spiritual principle is out of the material body, then the
material body has no life. Within the body of a child, for
instance, the spiritual the spiritual principle is present, and
therefore changes take place in the body and it develops. But if
the spirit leaves the body, the development stops. This law is
applicable to every material object. Matter transforms from one
shape to another when it is in contact with spirit. Without
spirit there is no transformation. The entire universe develops
in that way. It emanates from the energy of the Transcendence
because of the spiritual force which is His, and it develops into
gigantic forms like the sun, moon, earth, etc. There are fourteen
divisions of planetary systems, and although they are all
different in dimension and quality, the same principle holds true
for all. The spiritual force is the creator, and by this
principle only, transformation, transition and development take
Life is definitely not generated simply by a material
reaction like a chemical combination, as many foolish men claim.
Material interaction in motion by a superior being who creates a
favorable circumstance to accommodate the spiritual living force.
The superior energy handles matter in an appropriate way - as
determined by the free will of the spiritual being. For example,
building materials do not automatically "react" and suddenly
assume the shape of a residential house. The living spiritual
being handles matter appropriately by his free will and thus
constructs his house. Similarly, matter is the ingredient only,
but the spirit is the creator. Only a man with a poor fund of
knowledge avoids this conclusion. The creator may remain unseen
in the background, but that does not mean that there is no
creator. One should not be illusioned simply by the gigantic
form of the material universe. Rather, one should learn to
discern the existence of supreme intelligence behind all these
material manifestations. The Supreme Being, who is the supreme
intelligence, is the ultimate creator, the all-attractive
Personality of Godhead, Shree Krishna. Although one may not be
aware of this, there is definite information of the creator given
in Vedic literatures such as the Bhagavad-gita and especially the
When a satellite is thrown into outer space, a child may not
understand there are scientific brains behind it, but an
intelligent adult realizes that scientific brains on earth are
controlling the satellite. Similarly, less intelligent persons
do not have information of the creator and His eternal abode in
the spiritual world, which is far beyond our range of visibility,
but in actuality there is a spiritual sky, and spiritual planets
which are more spacious and greater in numbers than planets in
the material sky. From the Bhagavad-gita we receive information
that the material universe only constitutes a fraction (one
fourth) of the creation. Such information is extensively
available in the Srimad-Bhagavatam and in other Vedic
If living energy can be generated in the scientist's
laboratory by "the interaction of certain physical and chemical
combinations," then why haven't the boastful material scientists
been able to manufacture life? They should know definitely that
spiritual force is distinct from matter and that such energy is
not possible to produce by any amount of material adjustment. At
present Russians and Americans are undoubtedly very much advanced
in many departments of technological science, but they are still
ignorant of the spiritual science. They will have to learn from
superior intelligence in order to make a perfect and progressive
The Russians are unaware that in the Srimad-Bhagavatam the
socialist philosophy is most perfectly described. The Bhagavatam
instructs that whatever wealth exists - all natural resources
(agricultural, mining, etc.) - is created by the ultimate
creator, and therefore every living being has a right to take
part of them. It is further said that a man should only possess
as much wealth as is sufficient to maintain his body, and that if
he desires more than that, or if he takes more than his share, he
is subject to punishment. It is also stated that animals should
be treated as one own's children.
We believe that no nation on earth can describe socialism as
well as the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Living beings other than humans
can be treated as brothers and children only when one has a full
conception of the creator and the actual constitution of the
Man's desire to be deathless is realized only in the spiritual
world. As stated at the beginning of this essay, a desire for
eternal life is a sign of dormant spiritual life. The aim of
human civilization should targetted to that end. It is possible
for every human being to transfer himself to that spiritual realm
by the process of bhakti-yoga, as described herein. It is a
great science, and India has produced many scientific literatures
by which the perfection of life may be realized.
Bhakti-yoga is the eternal religion of man. At a time when
material science predominates all subjects - including the tenets
of religion - it would be enlivening to see the principles of the
eternal religion of man from the viewpoint of the modern
scientist. Even Dr. S. Radhakrishnan admitted at a world
religion conference that religion will not be accepted in modern
civilization if it is not accepted from a scientific point of
view. In reply, we are glad to announce to the lovers of the
truth that bhakti-yoga is the eternal religion of the world and
is intended for all living beings, who are all eternally related
with the Supreme Lord.
Shreepada Ramanujacharya defines the word sanatana, or
"eternal," as that which has neither beginning nor end. When we
speak of sanatana-dharma, eternal religion, we take this
definition for granted. That which has neither beginning nor end
is unlike anything sectarean, which has limits and boundaries.
In the light of modern science it will be possible for us to see
sanatana-dharma as the main occupation of all the people of the
world - nay, of all living entities of the universe. Non-
sanatana religious faith may have some beginning in the anals of
man, but there is no historic origin of sanatana-dharma because
it eternally remains with the living entities.
When a man professes to belong to a particular faith -
Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or any other sect - and when
he refers to a particular time and circumstance of birth, such
designations are called non-sanatana-dharma. A Hindu may become
a Muslim or a Muslim may become a Hindu or Christian, etc., but
in all circumstances there is one constant. In all circumstances,
he is rendering service to others. A Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or
Christian is in all circumstances a servant of someone. The
particular type of faith professed is not sanatana-dharma.
Sanatana-dharma is the constant companion of the living being,
the unifier of all religions. Sanatana-dharma is the rendering
In the Bhagavad-gita there are several references to that
which is sanatana. Let us learn the import of sanatana-dharma
from this authority.
There is reference to the word sanatanam in the tenth verse
of the Seventh Chapter, in which the Lord says that He is the
eternal fountainhead of everything and is therefore sanatanam.
The fountainhead of everything is described in the Upanishads as
the complete whole. All emanations of the fountainhead are also
complete in themselves, but although many complete units emanate
from the complete sanatana fountainhead, the sanatana head does
not diminish in quality or quantity.* That is because the nature
of sanatana is unchangeable. Anything that changes under the
influence of time and circumstances is not sanatana. Therefore
anything that changes whatsoever in form or quality cannot be
accepted as sanatana. To give a material example, the sun has
been disseminating its rays for hundreds and millions of years,
and yet although it is a materially created object, its form and
rays are still unchanged. Therefore, that which is never created
cannot change in formation and quality, even though He is the
seedling source of everything.
The Lord claims to be the father of all species of life. He
claims that all living beings - regardless of what they are - are
part and parcel of Him. Consequently, the Bhagavad-gita is meant
for all of them. In the Gita there is information of this
sanatana nature of the Supreme Lord. There is also information
of His abode, which is far beyond the material sky, and of the
sanatana nature of the living beings.
Lord Krishna, in the Bhagavad-gita, also informs us that
this material world is full of miseries in the shape of birth,
old age, disease and death. Even in the topmost planet of the
material universe, Brahmaloka, these miseries are present. Only
*See Shree Ishopanishad, Invocation
in His own abode is there a total absence of misery. In that
abode there is no need of light from sun, moon or fire. The
planets are self-illuminous. Life there is perpetual and full of
knowledge and bliss. That is what is known as sanatana-dharma.
It is therefore natural to conclude that the living entities must
return, back to Godhead, to enjoy life in the sanatana-dhama with
the sanatana purusha, or the purushottama, Lord Shree Krishna.
They must not remain to rot in this miserable land of material
existence. There is no happiness in the material sphere - even
in Brahmaloka - so plans and activities for elevation to higher
planets within the material universe are carried out by those who
are less intelligent. Less intelligent men also take shelter of
demigods and only derive benefits which endure for a limited
period. Thus their religious principles and the benefits derived
therefrom are only temporary. The intelligent man, however,
abandons all engagements in the name of religion and takes
shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus receives
absolute protection from the Almighty Father. Sanatana-dharma is
therefore the process of bhakti-yoga, by which one can come to
know the sanatana Lord and His sanatana abode. By this process
only can one return to the spiritual universe, the sanatana-
dhama, to take part in the sanatana enjoyment prevailing there.
Those who are followers of sanatana-dharma may henceforward
take up those principles in the spirit of the Bhagavad-gita.
There is nothing barring anyone from adopting the eternal
principles. Even persons who are less enlightened can return to
Godhead. This is the version taught by Srimad-Bhagavatam and the
Supreme Lord Himself in the Bhagavad-gita. Mankind should be
given a chance to take advantage of this opportunity. Because
Bhagavad-gita was spoken in the land of Bharata-varsha, every
Indian has the responsibility to broadcast the message of real
sanatana-dharma in the other parts of the world. Especially at
the present moment, misguided men are suffering in the darkness
of materialism, and their so-called learning has enabled them to
discover the atomic bomb. They are consequently on the verge of
annihilation. Sanatana-dharma, however, will teach them about
the real purpose of life, and they will benefit by its
V A R I E T I E S O F P L A N E T A R Y S Y S T E M S
In these days, when men are trying to go to the moon, people
should not think that Krishna consciousness is concerned with
something old-fashioned. When the world is progressing to reach
the moon, we are chanting Hare Krishna. But people should not
misunderstand and assume that we are lagging behind modern
scientific advancement. We have already passed all scientific
advancement. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that man's attempt to
reach higher planets is not new. Newspaper headlines read,
"Man's First Steps on the Moon," but the reporters do not know
that millions and millions of men went there and came back. This
is not the first time. This is an ancient practice. In
Bhagavad-gita (8.16) it is clearly stated, a-brahma-bhuvanal
lokah punar avartino 'rjuna: "My dear Arjuna, even if you go to
the highest planetary system, which is called Brahmaloka, you
will have to come back." Therefore, interplanetary travel is not
new. It is known to the Krishna conscious devotees.
Since we are Krishna conscious, we take what Krishna says to
be the Absolute Truth. According to Vedic literature, there are
many planetary systems. The planetary system in which we are
living is called Bhurloka. Above this planetary system is
Bhuvarloka. Above that is Svarloka (the moon belongs to the
Svarloka planetary system). Above Svarloka is Maharloka; above
that is Janaloka; and above that is Satyaloka. Similarly, there
are lower planetary. Thus there are fourteen statuses of
planetary systems within this universe, and the sun is the chief
planet. The sun is described in the Brahma-samhita (5.52):
yach-chakshur esha savita sakala-grahanam
raja samasta-sura-murtir ashesha-tejah
yasyajnaya bhramati sambhrita-kala-chakro
govindam adi purusham tam aham bhajami
"I worship Govinda [Krishna], the primeval Lord, by whose
order the sun assumes immense power and heat and traverses its
orbit. The sun, which is the chief among all planetary systems,
is the eye of the Supreme Lord." Actually, without the sun we
cannot see. We may be very proud of our eyes, but we cannot even
see our next-door neighbor. People challenge, "Can you show me
God?" But what can they see? What is the value of their eyes?
God is not cheap. We cannot see anything, not to speak of God,
without sunshine. Without sunshine we are blind. At night, we
cannot see anything, and therefore we use electricity because the
sun is not present.
There is not only one sun in the cosmic manifestation; there
are millions and trillions of suns. That is also stated in the
yasya prabha prabhavato jagandanda-koti-
tad brhama nishkalam anantam ashesha-bhutam
govindam adi purusham tam aham bhajami
The spiritual bodily effulgence of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead, Krishna, is called the brahmajyoti, and in that
brahmajyoti there are countless planets. Just as within the
sunshine there are innumerable planets, in the shining effulgence
of the body of Krishna there are innumerable planets and
universes. We have knowledge of many universes, and in each
universe there is a sun. Thus there are millions and billions of
universes and millions and billions of suns and moons and
planets. But Krishna says that if one tries to go to one of
these planets, he will simply waste his time.
Now someone has gone to the moon, but what will human
society gain from it? If, after spending so much money, so much
energy and ten years of effort, one goes to the moon and simply
touches it, what is the benefit of that? Can one remain there
and call his friends to come? And even if one goes there and
remains, what will be the benefit? As long as we are in this
material world, either on this planet or other planets, the same
miseries - birth, death, old age and disease - will follow us.
We cannot rid ourselves of them.
If we go to live on the moon - assuming it is possible -
even with an oxygen mask, how long could we stay? Furthermore,
even if we had the opportunity to stay there, what would we gain?
We might gain a little longer life perhaps, but we could not live
there forever. That is impossible. And what would we gain by a
longer life? Taravah kim na jivanti: are not the trees living
for many, many years? Near San Francisco I have seen a forest
where there is a tree seven thousand years old, that is not a
very great credit.
How goes to the moon, how he comes back, etc., is a great
story, and this is all described in the Vedic literature. It is
not a very new process. But the aim of our Krishna consciousness
society is different. We are not going to waste our valuable
time. Krishna says, "Don't waste your time attempting to go to
this planet or to that planet. What will you gain? Your
material miseries will follow you wherever you go." Therefore,
in the Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi Lila 3. 97) it is very nicely
said by the author.
keba pape, keha punye kare vishaya-bhoga
bhakti-gandha nahi, yate yaya bhava-roga
"In this material world someone is enjoying and someone is
not enjoying, but actually everyone is suffering, although some
people think that they are enjoying, whereas others realize that
they are suffering." Actually everyone is suffering. Who in
this material world does not suffer disease? Who does not suffer
from old age? Who does not die? No one wants to grow old or
suffer from disease, but everyone must do so. Where then is the
enjoyment? This enjoyment is all nonsense because within this
material world there is no enjoyment. It is simply our
imagination. One should think, "This is enjoyment, and this is
suffering." "Everything is suffering! Therefore, it is stated
in the Chaitanya-charitamrita, "The principles of eating,
sleeping, mating and defending will always exist in different
standards." For example, the Americans have taken birth in
America as a result of pious activities performed in previous
lifetimes. In India the people are poverty-stricken and are
suffering, but although the Americans are eating very nicely
buttered bread and the Indians are eating without butter, they
are both eating nevertheless. The fact that India is poverty-
stricken has not caused the whole population to die for want of
food. The four principle bodily demands - eating, sleeping,
mating and defending - can be satisfied under any circumstances,
whether one is born in an impious condition or in a pious
condition. The problem, however, is how to become free from the
four principles of birth, death, old age and disease.
This is the real problem. It is not "What shall I eat?"
The birds and beasts have no such problem. In the morning they
are immediately chirping, "jee, jee, jee, jee." They know that
they will have their food. No one is dying, and there is no such
thing as overpopulation because everyone is provided for by God's
arrangement. There are qualitative differences, but obtaining a
superior quality of material enjoyment is not the end of life.
The real problem is how to get free of birth, death, old age and
disease. This cannot be solved by simply wasting time traveling
within this universe. Even if one goes to the highest planet,
this problem cannot be solved, for there is death everywhere.
The duration of life on the moon, according to Vedic
information, is ten thousand years, and one day there is equal to
six month here. Thus ten thousand multiplied by one hundred
eighty years is the duration of life on the moon. However, it is
impossible of earthmen to go to the moon and live there for very
long. Otherwise the whole Vedic literature would be false. We
can attempt to go there, but it is not possible to live there.
This knowledge is in the Vedas. Therefore, we are not very eager
to go to this planet or that planet. We are eager to go directly
to the planet where Krishna lives. Krishna states in Bhagavad-
yanti deva-vrata devan
pitrin yanti pitri-vratah
bhutani yanti bhutejya
yanti mad-yajino 'pi mam
"One can go to the moon, or one can even go to the sun or to
millions and trillions of other planets, or if one is too
materially attached he may remain here - but those who are My
devotees will come to Me." This is our aim. Initiation into
Krishna consciousness insures that the student ultimately can go
to the supreme planet, Krishnaloka. We are not sitting idly; we
are also attempting to go to other planets, but we are not merely
A sane and intelligent man does not wish to enter any of the
material planets because the four conditions of material miseries
exist on all of them. From Bhagavad-gita we can understand that
even if we enter Brahmaloka, the highest planetary system of this
universe, the four principles of misery will be present. We
learn from Bhagavad-gita that the duration of one day of Brahma
is millions of years of our calculation. That is a fact.
Even the highest planetary system, Brahmaloka, may be
reached but scientists say that it will take forty thousand years
at sputnik speed. Who is prepared to travel in space for forty
thousand years? From the Vedic literature we can understand that
we can enter any of the planets, provided we prepare for that
purpose. If one prepares himself to enter into the higher
planetary systems, which are said to be inhabited by demigods, he
can go there. Similarly, one can go to a lower planetary system,
of if one desires he can remain on this planet. Finally, if one
desires, he can enter the planet of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. It is all a matter of preparation. However, all
planetary systems within our material universe are temporary.
The duration of life on certain material planets ma be very long,
but all living entities in the material universe are eventually
subject to annihilation and have to again develop other bodies.
There are different types of bodies. A human body exists one
hundred years, whereas an insect body may exist for twelve hours.
Thus the duration of these different bodies is relative. If one
enters the planet called Vaikunthaloka, the spiritual planet,
however, he then achieves eternal life, full of bliss and
knowledge. A human being can attain that perfection if he tries.
That is stated in Bhagavad-gita when the Lord says, "Anyone who
knows in truth about the Supreme Personality of Godhead can
attain to My nature."
Many people claim, "God is great," but this is a hackneyed
phrase. One must know how He is great, and that can be known
from authorized scripture. In the Bhagavad-gita God describes
Himself. He says, "My appearance of taking birth just like an
ordinary human being is actually transcendental." God is so kind
that He comes before us as an ordinary human being, but His body
is not exactly like a human body. Those rascals who do not know
about Him think that Krishna is like one us. That is also stated
in Bhagavad-gita (9.11):
avajananti mam mudha
manushim tanum ashritam
param bhavam ajananto
"Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do
not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over
all that be." We have a chance to know about Krishna provided we
read the right literature under the right direction, and if we
simply know what the nature of God is, then by understanding this
one fact alone we become liberated. It is not possible in our
human condition to understand the Absolute Supreme Personality of
Godhead completely, but with the help of Bhagavad-gita, the
statements given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and of
the spiritual master, we can know Him to the best of our
capacity. If we can know Him in reality, then immediately after
leaving this body we can enter into the kingdom of God. Krishna
says, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so 'rjuna: "After
leaving this body, one who is in knowledge does not come again to
this material world, for he enters into the spiritual world and
comes to Me." (Bg.4.9)
The purpose of our Krishna consciousness movement is to
propagate this advanced scientific idea to people in general,
and the process is very simple. Simply by chanting the holy
names of God - Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare
Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare - one cleanses
the dirt from his heart and gains understanding that he is part
and parcel of the Supreme Lord and that it is his duty to serve
Him. This process is very pleasant: we chant the Hare Krishna
mantra, we dance rhythmically, and we eat nice prasada. While
enjoying this life, we are preparing to enter into the kingdom of
God in our next life. This is not a fabrication - it is all
factual. Although to a layman this appears to be a fabrication,
Krishna reveals Himself from within to one who is serious about
God realization. Both Krishna and the spiritual master help the
sincere soul. The spiritual master is the external manifestation
of God, who is situated in everyone's heart as Supersoul. For
one who is very serious about understanding the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Supersoul immediately renders assistance
by directing him to a bona fide spiritual master. In this way
the spiritual candidate is helped from within and without.
According to the Bhagavata Purana, the Supreme Truth is
realized in three stages. First there is impersonal Brahman, or
the impersonal Absolute; then the Paramatma, or localized aspect
of Brahman. The neutron of the atom may be taken as the
representation of Paramatma, who also enters into the atom. This
is described in the Brahma-samhita. But ultimately the Supreme
Divine Being is realized as the supreme all-attractive person
(Krishna) with full and inconceivable potencies of opulence,
strength, fame beauty, knowledge and renunciation. These six
potencies are fully exhibited by Sri Rama and Sri Krishna when
They descend before human beings. Only a section of human beings
- the unalloyed devotees - can recognize Krishna on the authority
of revealed scriptures, but others are bewildered by the
influence of material energy. The Absolute Truth is therefore
the Absolute Person who has no equal or competitor. The
impersonal Brahman rays are the rays of His transcendental body,
just as the sun's rays are emanations from the sun.
According to the Vishnu Purana, the material energy is
called avidya, or nescience, and is exhibited in the fruitive
activities of sense enjoyment. But although the living being has
the tendency to be illusioned and trapped by the material energy
for sense enjoyment, he belongs to the antimaterial energy, or
spiritual energy, which is directly part and parcel of the
spiritual whole. The subject matter of this spiritual energy
exhibited by living beings is undoubtedly very complicated for an
ordinary man, who is therefore astounded by the subject.
Sometimes he partially understands it through the imperfect
senses, and sometimes he fails to know it altogether. It is
best, therefore, to hear from the highest authority, Shree
Krishna, or from His devotee who represents Him in the chain of
This Krishna consciousness movement is meant for the purpose
of understanding God. The spiritual master is the living
representative of Krishna who helps externally, and Krishna as
Supersoul helps internally. The living entity can take advantage
of such guidance and his life successful. We request that
everyone read authoritative literature in order to understand
this movement. We have published Bhagavad-gita As It Is;
Teachings of Lord Chaitanya; Srimad-Bhagavatam; Krishna, the
Supreme Personality of Godhead; and the Nectar of Devotion. We
are also publishing our magazine Back to Godhead every month in
many languages. Our mission is to save human society from the
pitfalls of incarnating again in the cycle of birth and death.
Everyone should attempt to go to Krishna. We have published
an article in our Back to Godhead magazine entitled "Beyond the
Universe." This article describes a place beyond this universe
according to knowledge which is in Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita
is a very popular book, and there are many editions of it in
America and also many from India. Unfortunately, however, many
rascals have come to the West to preach Bhagavad-gita. They are
designated as rascals because they are bluffers who do not give
real information. In our Bhagavad-gita As It Is, however, the
spiritual nature is authoritatively described.
This cosmic manifestation is called "nature," but there is
another nature, which is superior. The cosmic manifestation is
inferior nature, but beyond this nature, which is manifested and
unmanifested, there is another nature, which is called sanatana,
eternal. It is easy to understand that everything manifested
here is temporary. The obvious example is our body If one is
thirty years old, thirty years ago his body was not manifested,
and in another fifty years it will again be unmanifested. That
is a factual law of nature. It is manifested and again
annihilated, just as waves in the sea rise frequently and then
recede. The materialist, however, is simply concerned with this
mortal life, which can be finished at any moment. Furthermore,
as this body will die, so the entire universe, this gigantic
material body, will be annihilated, and whether we are fortunate
or unfortunate, on this planet or another planet, everything
will be finished. Why then are we wasting our time trying to go
to a planet where everything will be finished? We should try to
go to Krishnaloka. This is spiritual science; we must try to
understand it, and, after understanding it ourselves, we should
preach this message to the whole world. Everyone is in darkness.
Although people have no knowledge, they are very proud. But it
is not advancement of knowledge to go to the moon after ten years
of effort and take a rock and come back. The space travelers are
very proud: "Oh, I have touched it." But what have they gained?
Even if we were able to live there, it would not be for long. It
will all be destroyed in the end.
Try to find that planet from which one will never return,
where there is eternal life, and where one can dance with
Krishna. This is the meaning of Krishna consciousness. Take
this movement seriously, for Krishna consciousness gives one a
chance to reach Krishna and to dance with Him eternally. From
Vedic literature we understand that this material world is a
manifestation of only one fourth of the complete creation of God.
The three-fourths portion of God's creation is the spiritual
world. That we can find in Bhagavad-gita. Krishna says, "This
material world is but a fractional part of the whole." If we
look as far as we can see - up to the sky - our vision is still
confined within only one universe, and there are unlimited
universes clustered together within what is called the material
world. But beyond those clusters of unlimited numbers of
universes is the spiritual sky, which is also mentioned in
Bhagavad-gita, where the Lord says that beyond the material world
is another nature, which is eternal; there is no history of its
beginning, and it has no end. "Eternal" refers to that which has
no end and no beginning. The Vedic religion is therefore called
eternal because no one can trace back when it began. The
Christian religion has a history of two thousand years, and the
Muhammadan religion also has a history, but if one were to trace
back Vedic religion, he would not find its historical beginning.
Therefore it is called eternal religion.
We may rightly say that God created this material world, and
this indicates that God existed before the creation. This very
word "created" suggests that before the creation of the cosmic
manifestation, the Lord was existing. Therefore God is not under
the creation. If God were under the creation, how could He have
created? He would instead have been one of the objects of this
material creation. But God is not under the creation; He is the
creator, and therefore He is eternal.
There is a spiritual sky, where there are innumerable
spiritual planets and innumerable spiritual living entities, but
those who are not fit to live in that spiritual world are sent to
this material world. Voluntarily we have accepted this material
body, but actually we are spirit souls who should not have
accepted it. When and how we accepted it cannot be traced. No
one can trace the history of when the conditioned soul first
accepted the material body. There are 8,400,000 forms of living
entities - 900,000 species of living entities are within the
water, 2,000,000 species of life are among the plants and
vegetables. Unfortunately, this Vedic knowledge is not
instructed by any university. But these are facts. Let the
botanist and anthropologist research into the Vedic conclusion.
Darwin's theory of the evolution of organic matter is, of course,
very prominent in the institutions of learning. But the
Bhagavata Purana and other authoritative scriptures of scientific
magnitude describe how the living entities in different forms of
body evolve one after another. It is not a new idea, but
educators are giving stress only to Darwin's theory, although in
Vedic literature we have immense information of the living
conditions in this material world.
We are only a fractional portion of all the living entities
in the many universes of the material world. Those who are in
the material world and material body are condemned. For example,
the population in prison is condemned by the government, but
their number is only a fraction of the whole population. It is
not that the whole population goes to prison; some, who are
disobedient, are confined in prison. Similarly, the conditioned
souls within this material world are only a fraction of all the
living entities in the creation of God, and because they have
disobeyed God - because they did not abide by the order of
Krishna - they have been put into this material world. If one is
sensible and inquisitive, he should try to understand: "Why have
I been put into the conditional life? I do not wish to suffer."
There are three kinds of suffering, including miseries
pertaining to the body and mind. In Hawaii, in front of my
house, a man was keeping some animals and birds for the purpose
of taking them to be slaughtered. I gave this example to my
students: "These animals are standing here, and if you tell
them, 'Oh, my dear animals, why are you standing here? Go away!
You are meant for the slaughterhouse,' they cannot go. They
have no intelligence."
Suffering without knowledge, without remedy, is animal life.
One who cannot understand that he is suffering and who thinks
that he is very well off is in animal consciousness, not human
consciousness. The human being should be cognizant of suffering
the threefold miseries of this planet. One should know that he
is suffering in birth, suffering in death, suffering in old age
and suffering in disease, and one should be inquisitive as to how
he may avoid the suffering. That is real research work.
We have suffered from the beginning of our birth. As a
baby, the human being is tightly place in the abdomen of the
mother in an airtight bag for nine months. He cannot even move,
there are insects biting him, and he cannot protest. After the
child comes out, the suffering continues. The mother undoubtedly
takes much care, but still the child cries because he is
suffering. There are bugs biting or there are pains in his
stomach; the child is crying, and the mother does not know how to
pacify him. His suffering begins in the womb of his mother.
Then, after his birth, as he grows up, there is more suffering.
He does not want to go to school, but he is forced to. He does
not want to study, but the teacher gives him tasks. If we
analyze our life, we will find that it is full of suffering. Why
then are we coming here? The conditioned souls are not very
bright. We should inquire, "Why am I suffering?" If there is a
remedy, we must take advantage of it.
We are eternally connected with the Supreme Lord, but
somehow or other we are now in material contamination.
Therefore, we must take up a process by which to go back again to
the spiritual world. That linking process is called yoga. The
actual translation of the word yoga is "plus." At the present
moment we are minus God, or minus the Supreme. But when we make
ourselves plus - connected - then our human form of life is
perfect. During our lifetime we have to practice approaching
that point of perfection, and at the time of death, when we give
up this material body, that perfection has to be realized. At
the time of death, one must be prepared. Students, for instance,
prepare for two to five years in college, and the final test of
their education is the examination. If they pass the
examination, they get a degree. Similarly, in the subject of
life, if we prepare for the examination at the time of death and
pass it, then we are transferred to the spiritual world.
Everything is examined at the time of death.
There is a very common Bengali proverb that says that
whatever one does for perfection will be tested at the time of
death. Bhagavad-gita describes what we should do at the point of
our death, when we are giving up this present body. For the
dhyana-yogi (meditator) Shree Krishna speaks the following
yad aksharam veda-vido vadanti
vishanti yad yatayo vita-ragah
yad icchanto brahmacaryam charanti
tat te padam sangrahena pravakshye
mano hridi nirudhya cha
murdhny adhayatmanah pranam
"Persons learned in the Vedas, who utter omkara and who are
great sages in the renounced order, enter into Brahman. Desiring
such perfection, one practices celibacy. I shall now explain to
you this process by which one may attain salvation. The yogic
situation is that of detachment from all sensual engagements.
Closing all the doors of the senses and fixing the mind on the
heart and the life air at the top of the head, one establishes
himself in yoga." (Bg. 8.11-12) In the Yoga system this
process is called pratyahara, which means, in technical language,
"the opposite." Now the eyes are engaged in seeing worldly
beauty, so one has to withdraw them from enjoying that beauty and
concentrate on seeing beauty inside. That is called pratyahara.
Similarly, one has to hear the omkara sound from within.
om ity ekaksharam brahma
vyaharan mam anusmaran
yah prayati tyajan deham
sa yati paramam gatim
"After being situated in this yoga practice and vibrating
the sacred syllable om, the supreme combination of letters, if
one thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and quits his
body, he will certainly reach the spiritual planets." (Bg. 8.13)
In this way all the senses have to stopped in their external
activities, and the mind must be concentrated on vishnu-murti,
the form of Lord Vishnu. That is the perfection of yoga. The
mind is very turbulent, so it has to be fixed upon the heart.
When the mind is fixed within the heart and the life air is
transferred to the top of the head, one can attain the perfection
The perfect yogi then determines where he is to go. There
are innumerable material planets, and beyond these planets there
is the spiritual world. Yogis have this information from Vedic
scriptures. For examples, before I came to the United States I
read descriptions of it from books. Similarly, a description of
the higher planets and the spiritual world can be found in the
Vedic scriptures. The yogi knows everything; he can transfer
himself to any planet he likes. He does not need the help of
Material scientists have been trying for many years, and
they will go on trying for one hundred or one thousand years
more, but they will never reach any planet. Maybe by a
scientific process one or two men can reach some planet, but that
is not the general process. The generally accepted process for
transferral to other planets is the practice of the yoga system
or the jnana system. The bhakti system, however, is not meant
for transferral to any material planet. Those who engage in the
devotional service of Krishna, or the Supreme Lord, are not
interested in any of the planets of this material world because
they know that no matter to which planet one elevates himself, he
will still find the four principles of material existence there
nonetheless. On some planets the duration of life is much longer
than on this earth, but death is there. Those who are Krishna
conscious, however, transcend this material life of birth, death,
disease and old age.
Spiritual life means release from this botheration and
misery. Those who are intelligent, therefore, do not try to
elevate themselves to any planet of this material world. Men are
trying to reach the moon, and although it is very difficult to
gain entrance that planet, if we do gain entrance the period of
our lives will be enhanced. Of course, that does not apply to
life in this body. If we were to enter the moon with this body,
instant death would be certain.
When one enters into a planetary system, he must have a
suitable body for that planet. Every planet is inhabited by
living entities with bodies suitable for that planet. For
instance, we can enter the water in this body, but we cannot live
there. We may stay there for fifteen or sixteen hours, or maybe
twenty four hours, but that's all. Aquatic animals, however,
have particular bodies suitable for living their whole lives in
water. Similarly, if one takes a fish out of water and puts it
on the land, it will die instantly. As we understand that even
on this planet there are different kinds of bodies for living in
particular places, so, similarly, if we want to enter another
planet, we have to prepare ourselves to get a suitable body.
If one transfers himself and his soul transmigrates to the
moon by this yogic process, he gets a long duration of life. On
the higher planets, six of our months equals one day. Thus the
beings there live for ten thousand years. That is the
description in the Vedic literature. So undoubtedly one can get
a very long duration of life, but still there is death. After
ten thousand or twenty thousand years, or ever after millions of
years (it does not matter), death comes.
Actually, we are not subject to death. That is affirmed in
the beginning of Bhagavad-gita (2.20); na hayante hanyamane
sharire. We are spirit soul, and therefore we are eternal. Why
then should we subject ourselves to death and birth? It is
intelligent to think in this way. Those who are Krishna
conscious are very intelligent because they are not interested in
getting promotion to any planet where there is death, despite a
long duration of life there. Rather, they want to get a body
like God's. Ishvara paramah krishnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah.
(Brahma-samhita 5.1) God's body is sach-chid-ananda. Sat means
"eternal," and chit means "full of knowledge." Ananda means
"full of pleasure."
As stated in our pamphlet Krishna, the Reservoir of
Pleasure, if we transfer ourselves to the spiritual world, to
Krishna's planet or to any other spiritual planet, then we will
get a body similar to God's: sach-chid-ananda - eternal, full of
knowledge and full of bliss. So those who try to be Krishna
conscious have a different aim of life than those who are trying
to promote themselves to the better planets in this material
world. Lord Krishna says, murdhny adhayat-manah pranam asthito
yoga-dharanam: "The perfection of yoga is to transfer oneself to
the spiritual world." (Bg. 8.12)
The spirit soul is a minute particle within the body. We
cannot see it. One practices the yoga system to raise the soul
to the topmost part of the head. This practice goes on while one
is living, and the perfection is reached when one can place
himself on the top of the head and then break through. Then he
can transfer himself to whatever higher planets he likes. That
is the perfection of the yogi.
If the yogi is inquisitive to see the moon, he can say, "Ah,
let me see what the moon is like. Then I shall transfer myself
to higher planets," just like travelers who go to Europe,
California, Canada, or other countries on earth. One can
transfer oneself to many planets by this yoga system, but
anywhere he goes he will find visa systems and customs systems.
To go to other planets, one must be qualified.
Krishna conscious persons are not interested in any
temporary planet, even if it offers a long durartion of life. If
the yogi, at the time of death, can pronounce om, the concise
form of transcendental vibration, and at the same time mam
anusmaram, remember Krishna, Vishnu, he will attain perfection.
The purpose of the entire yoga system is to concentrate the mind
on Vishnu. Impersonalists imagine that they see the form of
Vishnu, or the Lord, but those who are personalists do not
imagine this - they actually see the form of the Supreme Lord.
Either way, if one concentrates his mind through imagination or
if one actually sees, one has to concentrate his mind on the
Vishnu form. Mam means "unto the Supreme Lord, Vishnu." Anyone
who leaves this body and concentrates his mind on Vishnu enters
into the spiritual kingdom after quitting his body. Those who
are actually yogis do not desire to enter any other planet
because they know that life is temporary on the temporary
planets, and thus they are not interested. That is intelligence.
Those who are satisfied with temporary happiness, temporary
life and temporary facilities are not intelligent according to
Bhagavad-gita (7. 23). Antavat tu phalam tesham tad bhavaty
alpa-medhasam: "One whose brain substance is very meager is
interested in temporary things." That is the version of Srimad
Bhagavad-gita. I am eternal, so why should I be interested in
nonpermanent things? Who wants nonpermanent existence? No one
wants it. If we are living in an apartment and the landlord asks
us to vacate, we are sorry, but we are not sorry if we move to a
better apartment. This then is our inclination. We do not wish
to die, because we are eternal.
The material atmosphere is robbing us of our eternality.
The Srimad-Bhagavatam says, "Our duration of life is being
diminished by the sun, beginning from its rising until the time
it sets." Daily we are losing the duration of our lives. If the
sun rises at 5:30 in the morning, at 5:30 in the evening twelve
hours have been taken away from the duration of our lives. We
will never get this time back. If we ask any scientist, "I will
give twelve million dollars - please give me back these twelve
hours," he will reply, "No, it is not possible." The scientist
cannot do it. Therefore the Bhagavatam says that from sunrise to
sunset the duration of our lives is being diminished.
Time is called kala - past, present and future. What is now
present, tomorrow will be past and what is now future, tomorrow
will be present. But this past, present and future are the past,
present and future of the body. We do not belong to the category
of the past, present and future. We belong to the category of
eternity. Therefore one should be concerned with how to attain
or how to be elevated to the platform of eternity. The developed
consciousness of the human being should be utilized not in the
animal propensities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending but
in searching out the valuable path which will help him get that
life of eternity. It is said that the sun is taking away our
duration of life - every minute, every hour, every day - but we
engage ourselves in the topics of Uttama -shloka, the topics of
the Lord, that time cannot be taken away. It is an asset - a
plus, not a minus. The duration of life, so far as the body is
concerned, may be taken; however one tries to keep it intact, no
one can do it. But the spiritual education we receive in Krishna
consciousness cannot be taken away by the sun. It becomes a
Chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare
Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is a very easy
thing to do. Time spent chanting cannot be taken away like time
pertaining to the body. Fifty years ago I was a young man, but
that time has been taken and cannot be returned. The spiritual
knowledge I received from my spiritual master, however, cannot be
taken away, but will go with me. Even after I quit this body, it
will go with me; and if it is perfect in this life, then it will
take me to the eternal abode.
Both the material and spiritual worlds belong to Krishna.
We are not proprietors of anything. It is all the property of
the Supreme Lord, just as everything in the state belongs to the
government, either in the prison house or outside the prison
house. Conditioned life is just like life in a prison house in
this material world. A prisoner cannot freely change from one
cell to another. In free life one can go from one home to
another home, but in prison life one cannot do that but must stay
in his cell. All these planets are like cells. We are trying to
go to the moon, but it is not practical by mechanical means.
Whether we are American, Indian, Chinese or Russian, we have been
given this planet to live on. We cannot leave - although there
are millions and billions of planets and although we have
machines by which we can - because we are conditioned by the laws
of nature, God's laws. A man who is put into a certain cell
cannot change at will without superior authority. Krishna says
in the Bhagavad-gita that one should not try to change from one
cell to another. That will not make anyone happy. If a prisoner
thinks, "I am in this cell - let me request the warden to change
my cell, and I will be happy," that is a mistaken idea. One
cannot be happy so long as he is within the prison walls. We are
trying to be happy by changing cells - from capitalism to
communism. The aim should be to become free from this "ism" and
that "ism." One has to change completely from this "ism" of
materialism; then he can become happy. That is the program of
We are taking advice from the Supreme Person. He says, "My
dear Arjuna, you may be elevated to the highest planetary system,
which is called Brahmaloka and is desirable because life there is
very long." We cannot calculate even a half-day there. It is
beyond our mathematical calculations. But even in Brahmaloka
there is death. Therefore Krishna says, "Do not waste your time
trying to elevate yourself or transfer yourself from this planet
to that planet."
The people I have seen in America are very restless. They
go from one apartment to another apartment or from country to
another country. That restlessness is there because we are
searching after our real home. To go from this place to that
place will not give eternal life. Eternal life is with Krishna.
Therefore Krishna says, "Everything belongs to Me, and I have the
superexcellent abode, which is called Goloka Vrindavana." If one
wants to there, he must simply become Krishna conscious and try
to understand how Krishna appears and disappears, what His
constitutional position is, what our constitutional position is,
what our relationship with Him is, and how to live. Simply try
to understand these ideas scientifically. Everything in Krishna
consciousness is scientific. It is not bogus, whimsical,
sentimental, fanatical or imaginary. It is truth, fact, reality.
One must understand Krishna in truth.
We have to give up this body, willingly or unwillingly. The
day will come when we will have to submit to the laws of nature
and give up this body. Even President Kennedy in his procession
had to submit to nature's law and change his body for another
body. He could not say, "Oh, I am the president; I am Mr.
Kennedy. I cannot do that." He was forced to do it. That is
the way nature works.
The purpose of our developed human consciousness is to
understand how nature works. Aside from human consciousness,
there is consciousness in dogs, cats, worms, trees, birds, beasts
and all other species. But we are not meant to live in that
consciousness. The Srimad-Bhagavatam says that after many, many
birth we have attained the human form of body. Now we should not
misuse it. Please utilize this human life to develop Krishna
consciousness and be happy.
G L O S S A R Y
Apara prakriti - Inferior or material energy.
Ashtanga-yoga - The materialistic art of controlling the airs of
the body for transferral to any planet desired.
Avidya - Nescience.
Bhagavan - The opulent one, the living being who is the
fountainhead of all energies.
Bhakti-yoga - Loving devotional service unto Krishna - the
activity of superior energy.
Bhava - Attachment, the stage prior to love of Godhead.
Brahma - The first living being in the created material world,
the presiding deity of this universe.
Brahman - Effulgence emanating from the transcendental body of
Brahmajyoti - The spiritual bodily effulgence of Krishna.
Brahma-pada - Occupation of the post of Brahma.
Brahma-randhra - Hole on the topmost part of the skull. By
lifting the vital force to the brahma-randhra, a yogi can
leave the gross and subtle bodies and reach the
transcendental Vaikuntha planets.
Dhuma - Dark, moonless fortnight. Those who die during this
opportune period for death may rise up to the higher
planets, only to return again, after death, to the earthly
Gunas - The modes of nature.
Hare - A form of address to the energy of the Lord.
Jiva - The living spirit, or vital force.
Kala - Eternal time.
Para Prakriti - Superior form of energy which creates the
Para-vyoma - The variegated spiritual planetary system which
comprises the major three-fourths part of the Supreme Lord's
creative energy. Also called Vaikunthaloka.
Pitas - Bygone forefathers.
Pratyahara - The process of closing all the doors of the senses
and fixing the mind on the heart and the life air at the top
of the head, thus establishing oneself in yoga.
Rajas - The material mode of passion.
Sanatana - Eternal, that which has neither beginning nor end.
Sanatana-dhama - The eternal nature, the antimaterial sky beyond
the material universe.
Sanatana-dharma - the eternal nature of the living being, to
Sankhaites - Speculators who scrutinize the material principles
with minute analysis and synthesis.
Sattva - The material mode of Goodness.
Satyaloka - The topmost planet of the material world. Also
Siddhaloka - Planets of materially perfect beings who have full
capacities to control gravity, space, time, etc.
Soma-rasa - A celestial beverage drunk on the moon.
Tamas - The material mode of ignorance.
Uttarayana - Period when the sun passes toward the northern side,
in which the deities of fire and effulgence control the
atmosphere, the opportune time for persons who have realized
the Transcendence to leave their material bodies and reach
the antimaterial world.
Vaikunthaloka - See: Para-vyoma.
Vibhuti-bhinnam - Specific variegated endowment by which each
planet has its own atmosphere, making bodily or
psychological change necessary for the organism of one
planet to adapt to life on another planet.
Vishnu-murti - The form of Vishnu.