Developing transcendental thoughts

Lack of transcendental thoughts causes spiritual downfall. The remedy is to daily connect with God through lecture, japa, etc.

supreme god

Lecture by Sri Shukadeva Dasa

kas tam tv anadrtya paranucintam
rte pasun asatim nama kuryat
pasyan janam patitam vaitaranyam
sva-karmajan paritapan jusanam


Who else but the gross materialists will neglect such transcendental thought and take to the nonpermanent names only, seeing the mass of people fallen in the river of suffering as the consequence of accruing the result of their own work?

-Srimad-Bhagavatam – 2.2.7

In this verse Srila Sukadeva Goswami is explaining that gross materialists will neglect such transcendental thought, meaning thinking of the reality which is – Krishna is the Supreme Lord, I am His eternal part and parcel and my duty is to render loving devotional service unto Him. This has to eternally be in the mind of all the living entities.

We can use our independence properly or improperly. Proper use of independence is – I being part of Krishna, my duty is to serve Krishna. Misuse means forget Krishna and do whatever I like. When the living entity forgets Krishna then that love of God gets transformed into lust.

Lord Rishabha Dev, an incarnation of the Supreme Lord Krishna, says “nunam pramattah kurute vikarma, yad indriya pritaya aprnoti” – when a person considers sense gratification the aim of life, he certainly becomes mad after materialistic living and engages in all kinds of sinful activities. He does not know that due to his past misdeeds he has received a body which although temporary is the cause of his misery.

There are three kinds of suffering in this material world – adhyatmik klesa, adhibhoutik klesa, adhidaivik klesa. Adhyatmik klesa is suffering due to one’s own body and mind. Janma mrtyu jara vyadhi – everyone has to suffer. Even though the body is healthy, mind is always disturbed. If you do not engage the mind positively in devotional service, it thinks about sense gratification and is always dissatisfied; and adhiboutik klesa – miseries due to other living beings. And adhidaivik klesa – miseries due to super natural powers, earth quakes, droughts, etc. In spite of all these sufferings still people forget this reality. The intelligent people understand – Oh, I am suffering in this material world because of sense gratification. Let me get out of it. To think like this, one’s mind has to be peaceful; if one is in the mode of passion, it covers the real intelligence.

The soul tries to express its happiness through the senses. The primary sense which tries to enjoy is the tongue. We have to take ucita ahara, that which is appropriate for us. Prabhupada explains eating foodstuff cooked by a sinful person is very dangerous, it contaminates the consciousness. Also it is explained in the Vedas that by performance of yajna, one’s eatables become sanctified and by eating sanctified foodstuff, one’s very existence becomes purified. By purification of the existence, finer tissues of memory become sanctified and when memory is sanctified one can think of the path of liberation. All these combined together lead to Krishna consciousness.

There are three modes in this material nature – sattva, rajas and tamas – modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. The scriptures give guidance in order to elevate people in the mode of passion to sattva guna gradually. Because people are mad after sense gratification, if good advice is given they will not take, they will not understand. So one section of the Vedas is this karmakandiya where if you perform some puja or some yajna, you please some devata and they will bless you with some benediction and you can enjoy. This is the first step of attracting a person who is in the mode of passion. Instead of committing sinful activities for the sake of enjoyment, he can first surrender to some authority, some devata who is representative of the Lord. So here begins regulated life. Gradually by worshipping devatas, they will understand that actually these benedictions are coming from the Supreme Lord.

Whatever may be your desire; if you worship the Supreme Lord tivrena bhakti yogena – whole life we have to lead according to the principles of devotion – then we can achieve whatever we desire. So, in this way gradually the soul will be taken back home, back to Lord Krishna.

So, in meditating on the Lord, there are three levels of understanding God –BrahmanParamatma and BhagavanBrahman is the impersonal aspect of the Lord and is the effulgence which emanates from the body of the Lord. The next understanding is the Paramatma feature, the localized aspect of the Lord; He is situated as the super soul in the heart of every living entity.


The Deity form that we see in the temple is the same form of the Lord who is situated in the heart.  So if we just come in front of the Deity of the Lord and have darshan beginning from the lotus feet, then to His thighs, waist, chest, arms, lotus face – this is real meditation.  So anyone who visits the temple daily, attends arati, has darshan, he becomes free from the threefold miseries, he conquers lusty desires; he develops pure love for God.  But those who do not take to this process glide down to hell because they are committing sinful activities.

Suffering in hell is one type of purification of the soul.  After that suffering is over, maybe some millions of years – depends on the sinful activity – then the soul is given a particular kind of body and sent back to earth to continue his life. Those who have performed pious activities are elevated to heaven to enjoy some material pleasures, and they will enjoy there for a long time and once the pious credits are over, they have to come back to earth.  But intelligent people will understand that this world is miserable, let this life be the last life for me, let me become intelligent and take to the process of devotion.  That is why it is said that anyone who comes in touch with Krishna consciousness is most fortunate.

The chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra is the only way of making progress in devotional life and getting out of all sufferings. Just by hearing about Krishna, His pastimes, His holy names, all the things which are disturbing in the heart will be destroyed completely.  So we have to be serious and execute, it is very simple. The key for success is associating with devotees. In this way we can take advantage of this human form of life and go back to God.

(The above transcripts have been edited for better readability. However they have not been verified and confirmed by the original speaker.)

Sri Shukadeva Dasa is a full-time missionary with ISKCON since 2000. He is presently the Head of Spiritual Education Services, ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna Temple, Bangalore.

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