Try To Experience Krishna
A lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
(Reprinted from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust)

"O son of Kunti, Arjuna, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras. I am the sound in ether and ability in man."

raso 'ham apsu kaunteya
prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh
pranavah sarva-vedesu
sabdah khe paurusam nrsu

This is all-pervasive nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should mark the important word in this verse: aham. Aham means the person. Krishna never says that "I am imperson." Imperson is the feature of Krishna. Just like in the Ninth Chapter, Krishna says, maya tatam idam sarvam jagad avyakta-murtina. Maya, "I am all-pervasive by My energy."

We have already explained that Krishna has multi-energies. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate. That is the Vedic version, that the Absolute Truth, Supreme Person, has got multi-energies. In the Vishnu Purana also: whatever we are experiencing, that is simply Krishna's energy. Just like we can experience the heat and light from the sun. We can understand the constitution of the sun globe. Although we are ninety-three million miles, away from the sun, but by his energy, heat and light, we can understand what is the sun. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, He has got multi-energies. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate.

na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate
na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate
parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate
svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca

This is the version of Upanisad. He has nothing to do. Na tasya karyam. Why? And because... Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate. And nobody is equal to Him. Neither greater than Him. And He hasn't got to do anything because He has got so many energies. Svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca. Everything is being done by His energy very perfectly.

So His energy is working even in the water. You can perceive His energy within the water. We are daily using water. We are tasting water. So you can perceive Krishna's presence, Krishna's all-pervasiveness, even while you drink water. Every one of us, we drink water. And... So the taste of the water, Krishna says, "Here I am." This is impersonal feature, but the person is behind. Mayadhyaksena prakrtih (Bg. 9.10). Water is one of the products of this material nature, but behind this existence of water is Krishna. Then you can understand Krishna. You try to understand by studying His energy. Therefore Krishna is describing that "Although you cannot see Me just now..." Because in the preliminary stage nobody can see Krishna, although Krishna is present everywhere. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham. He is present within the atom. But it requires the qualified eyes to see Him or purified senses to perceive Him.

That is stated in the sastra: atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih (BRS. 1.2.234). With our these present senses we cannot understand what is the holy, transcendental name of Krishna. Therefore sometimes we are misunderstood, that "Why these people are chanting Hare Krishna?" So... Because ordinary man or ordinary senses cannot understand the value, the nature of the name, therefore sastra says, atah sri-krsna-namadi. Namadi, beginning from name. We can realize God by chanting name. Because abhinnatvan nama-naminoh. Nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya-rasa-vigrahah. These are the description of the sastras. Nama, the holy name of the Lord, is completely spiritual. Nama cintamanih krsna. He is... Nama is, name is as good as Krishna. Nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya-rasa-vigrahah. Those who are chanting Hare Krishna maha-mantra without any offense, they are tasting spiritual nectarine. Just like Rupa Gosvami has written a sloka that "If I could possess millions of ears and millions of tongues, then I could enjoy what is the transcendental mellow in chanting Hare Krishna maha-mantra. But that is not possible for ordinary human being in the beginning. Therefore sastra says, atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih (BRS. 1.2.234). These impurified senses cannot appreciate the value of the holy name of Krishna. Nama-adi, His name, His quality, His pastimes, His form, His activities... There are so many things, beginning with nama, Hare Krishna maha-mantra. As we go on chanting, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and as we become purified... The more we chant, we become purified. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam (Cc. Antya 20.12).

So this is the process. So those who are not even inclined to chant this holy name of Hare Krsna maha-mantra, although there is no loss and there is no expenditure... Anyone can chant. It is freely distributed by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Anyone can take the chance of chanting Hare Krishna. Automatically... Sometimes we find friends on the street. Simply by seeing us, they chant "Hare Krishna." So that is a good sign. They are learning the value of Hare Krishna maha-mantra. So in this age the chanting of the holy name is very, very important. Kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. For God realization.

So even if you are not inclined to chant Hare Krishna maha-mantra, then try to understand Krishna in this way. This is the process given by Sri Krishna Himself. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya. You have to drink water; you cannot avoid it. So when you taste, while drinking water, anything drinking... Apsu. Apsu means any liquid thing. Either you drink milk or even up to, even you drink wine, so you have got some taste in any liquid thing while drinking. So Krishna says, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya. "My dear Kaunteya, Arjuna, that taste in the liquid thing which you drink or use, that is I am." Just see how it is easily can be done. Nobody is without drinking something liquid. Either Coca-cola or water or this or that, something must be drinking. So Krishna says that "I am the taste." So where is the difficulty of understanding Krishna? If we cannot... They say, "Can you show me Krishna?" All right, here is Krishna, see. Seeing means directly perception. When I say, "Let me see what is this mango," you are seeing already. Here seeing means tasting. "Let me see the mango." That means seeing means tasting.

So we have got so many senses. And we taste different senses. We can see by eyes. We can taste by the tongue. We can hear by the ear. We can smell by the nose. We can touch by the hand. So we have got all senses. And by senses we get experience. So if you try to experience Krishna by this process, that whenever you drink something liquid and taste it very nicely, you consider "This taste is Krishna," is it very difficult for Krishna realization? And because you'll remember Krishna... Actually that taste is Krishna. Because that water is also Krishna. Water is Krishna in this sense: the energy of Krishna. Just like fire and the heat. Heat is the energy of Krishna. So heat and fire is not distinct. They are the same. Still, the heat is not fire. This is called acintya-bhedabheda philosophy, simultaneously one and different. Simultaneously. Everything. Idam hi visvam bhagavan ivetarah. It requires only realization that "Whole universe is Krishna." Idam hi visvam bhagavan. But it appears different from Bhagavan. Actually, it is not different. You have to understand by purified senses. That is required. Unless you have got purified senses, you cannot understand. But this is the beginning: raso 'ham apsu kaunteya. You just try to understand. This rasa... It is said by Krishna. It is not our manufacture. When... If I say that "The taste of water is Krishna," that may be different. But Krishna says raso 'ham apsu kaunteya. So why not think of Krishna?

So this thinking of Krishna is a process of devotional service, out of the nine processes. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam (SB 7.5.23). So if you remember Krishna, you advance in your spiritual life, and you become perfect yogi. How?

yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
(Bg. 6.47)

If you simply think, as you drink water, or drink anything, the taste only... Here is the hint: "Now here is Krishna." So you must be drinking so many times. If so many times, if you remember Krishna, you gradually become Krishna conscious. So simple thing it is. Krishna is prescribing. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh. Suppose if you do not drink. So nobody there is who does not drink. Everyone drinks. The another method, prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh. As soon as, early in the morning, you find the sunshine, you remember "Here is Krishna. Here is Krishna." Or at night, when there is no sun, there is moonlight, "Here is Krishna." Then pranavah sarva-vedesu. If you are a student, serious student of Vedic mantras... Om tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti sura... If you chant the Vedic mantras... Om bhur bhuvah svah tat savitur varenyam. The omkara, that is Krishna. Many people are very much fond of chanting omkara. That is also nice. That is Krishna. But if we simply remember that "This omkara is Krishna," then we become perfect. Because the process is how to become Krishna conscious.

So you can become Krishna conscious while drinking any liquid or water, while seeing the sunshine, while seeing the moonshine, while, if you are a scholar, brahmana, advanced, while chanting the pranava, pranavah sarva-vedesu. Or even if you, sound, if you hear the sound... There are so many sounds going on. If you remember Krishna. And also, paurusam nrsu. Paurusam. You meet so many men in your dealings with this material world. There are many very big, big men. Big, big industrialists, big, big scholars, big, big manufacturers, and big, big bankers. So this is paurusam... who has attained perfection in the material world. So instead of envying him, if you simply think that "He has attained because he has got little power from Krishna." Yad yad vibhutimat sattvam mama tejo 'msa-sambhavam. Anything wonderful that is done, that is done by any person, paurusam, that is also Krishna's energy.

So it is not at all difficult to become Krishna conscious. There is no expenditure; there is no loss. Simply by your daily dealings you can become Krishna conscious. This is the program here. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh, pranavah... If you cannot chant... We are advising everyone, "Chant Hare Krishna mantra." Kirtaniyah sada harih. Kirtan... This Hare Krishna mantra should be chanted twenty-four hours. Kirtaniyah sada harih. But (if) it becomes difficult or hackneyed, then you can remember Krishna otherwise. While drinking water, while seeing the sunshine, while seeing the moonshine, while chanting Vedic mantras, or even hearing some sound in the khe. Sound is produced by the ether. So many sounds we are hearing. If you simply remember this sloka of Bhagavata, that sabda, any sound... Hare Krishna sound is transcendental. That's all right. But if you don't like Hare Krishna sound, you take any sound, any sound is also... That is coming from the original sound. Simply it is covered by maya. What is the difference between spiritual and material? Everything is spiritual. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. But when it is covered by maya, it is material. That's all. And what is maya? Forgetful of Krishna. The same water, the same water, it is spiritual. Because it is Krishna's energy. Krishna has already said, bhumir apah. Apah. Here also, apsu. So apah, jala, or water, is Krishna's energy. How it can be different from Krishna? So we have to deal with water in so many ways. How we can forget Krishna?

The Krishna consciousness movement is the spreading the knowledge of Bhagavad-gita as it is. So how one can become Krishna conscious very easily without any loss, but gain is very much -- why don't you take this advantage of Krishna consciousness movement? What is the reason that you'll not take? Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah (Bg. 9.14). If you become Krishna conscious in this way, the profit is very, very great. Because the more you become Krishna conscious, the more Krishna becomes revealed to you. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. Realization, revelation, that... With the blunt senses you cannot understand Krishna, you cannot realize Krishna. But if you purify... Atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih (BRS. 1.2.234). Our present senses are blunt senses because it is covered by forgetfulness of Krishna, or maya. Therefore it has to be purified. Or the nature of forgetfulness has to be removed. That's all. This is the process. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya. If you follow this process, that "Here is drinking water, the taste is Krishna," that means some percentage of your forgetfulness of Krishna is removed. Similarly, when you see the sunshine, the moonshine, or you chant omkara... There are other, so many ways prescribed in the later verses. So try to understand Krishna in this way. It doesn't require any advancement of education or Vedic knowledge. A simple thing.

So there is no difficulty. And as soon as it is purified... Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. The purification... That is bhakti. Bhakti-marga, devotional service means purifying the senses. That's all. The, at the present moment, our senses are covered by maya, and this maya can be moved away simply by remembering in every step Krishna. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. That, that sevonmukha, that is the devotional service. Jihvadau. You simply engage your jihva. Jihva means tongue. The tasting is also tongue. Without tongue, you cannot taste. Therefore it is said, sevonmukhe hi jihvadau: "The beginning, beginning of purification, is to use your tongue in this devotional service." So our prescription is therefore that you use your tongue for chanting Hare Krishna maha-mantra and employ your tongue for tasting Krishna's prasadam. It is not at all difficult. There is no need of studying, mean, higher knowledge in the Vedic principle. That will auto... automatically will be revealed.

Therefore it is said: sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. If you apply your ear only... As it is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah (SB 1.2.17). Punya-sravana-kirtanah. Chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, or hearing of Krishna's word... Just like you are hearing the words of Bhagavad-gita. Srnvatam sva-kathah. This is His own word. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah. Either you hear or you chant. Because sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam... (SB 7.5.23). There are nine methods. So the beginning is hearing. We are opening so many centers just to give people chance to hear about Krishna. That's all. If you simply hear about Krishna, Krishna, then Krishna becomes pleased: "Oh, now he's hearing about Me." Then what does He do? Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah. Either you understand or don't understand, it becomes a pious activities on your part. And the more you become pious, you can understand Krishna. Because impious persons... Yesam tv anta-gatam papam. Impious persons cannot understand Krishna. But one who is free from impious activities, yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam... Punya-karma. This hearing is punya-karma. Jananam punya, te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratah (Bg. 7.28). If you simply hear. There is no... If you understand, it is very good. Even if you do not understand, the vibration of Hare Krishna mantra, the reading of Bhagavad-gita, simply chanting, you'll be purified. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah, hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani... (SB 1.2.17).

So we cannot understand what I am, what is God, what is my relationship with God, what I have to do in that rela... we cannot understand these things because we are enwrapped in sinful activities. That is also stated in the... Here. Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah (Bg. 7.15). So in the material world, every one of us, more or less, are duskrtinah. More or less sinful. So it is very difficult for us to understand Krishna. Atah sri-krsna-namadi. I have already explained. Therefore we have to take advantage of this Krishna consciousness movement. And wherever there is a chance of hearing about Krishna, we should take the opportunity. That is Krishna consciousness movement. And learn from the... It is not our manufacture. Krishna says. Learn how to become Krishna conscious. Simply you try to understand Krishna in every step of life. In every step of life. They will be all explained in this chapter, how you can perceive Krishna. The beginning is tasting. Everyone drinks water or drinks something else. So try to taste the liquid, thinking that "This taste is Krishna." You see in the morning the light of sunshine: "Here is Krishna." In the evening you see the moonlight: "Here is Krishna." There is sound always, especially in a city like Bombay. It is full of sound. So whenever you hear any kind of sound -- sound is the vibration of the sky -- you remember: "This sound is Krishna." Sabdah khe. And whenever you meet any person very exalted, very extraordinarily able, you understand that "This ability is Krishna's mercy, vibhuti."

In this way, if you practice, and if you chant also Hare Krishna maha-mantra, and if you hear from realized souls about Krishna, then you gradually become advanced in Krishna consciousness. And when you come to perfection... Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah. This Krishna's appearance, disappearance, His activities, will be revealed to you. Svayam eva sphuraty adah. When Krishna becomes manifest, revelation, then you understand what is Krishna, what is His activities, what is His name, what is His pastimes. Everything becomes revealed. Then you can understand perfectly. Not... We cannot understand perfectly, but so far our ability is concerned, we can understand Krishna. And if we a little bit understand Krishna, then our life is successful. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya (Bg. 4.9). Simply by little understanding Krishna. What is that? Now, tyaktva deham punar... That is the highest perfection. After giving up this body... Ordinarily, we give up this body and we accept another. Tatha dehantara-praptih. That we have to stop. We are trying our best to make solution of all problems of life. The real problem is janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi, birth, death, old age and disease. But if you can conquer over birth, no more birth... As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti (Bg. 4.9). No more birth. "Then it is finished? I am finished?" No, you are not finished. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti (Bg. 4.9). "You come to Me. You come to Me." Go back to home, back to Godhead. This is the process of Krishna consciousness. It is very easy. Everyone can adopt. Why should you give up? Take it very seriously and be happy.

Thank you very much.

(Srila Prabhupada lecture, Bombay, February 23, 1974)
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