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Making Our Way Out

We often forget that the goal of life is to be free. As souls, we are prisoners of this world - covered by the modes of material nature and obliged to suffer and enjoy in different ways. Self realization means to live life with affection and detachment while at the same time making our way out.

Getting out can be tricky and we need help. We need someone who has found the way to let us in on the secret. Often we humans put our own needs first before the welfare of others. Many have lost the generosity of spirit found in the following story.

Told by Prabhupada to the Beatles in 1969 it speaks to the joy, the generosity, and the total abundance mentality that is found at the heart of bhakti. It also reflects Prabhupada’s own story and mood, he who just a few years earlier stood beneath a tree in New York City and shared the mantra that he had received.

“Rāmānujācārya, was a great ācārya of this Vaiṣṇava sampradāya. His spiritual master gave him mantra: "My dear boy, you chant this mantra silently. Nobody can hear."

Then he asked, "What is the effect of this mantra?" He said, "By chanting this mantra, by meditation, you'll get liberation." So he immediately went out and in a public, big meeting he said "You chant this mantra. You'll be all liberated."

So he came back to his spiritual master, and his spiritual master was very angry saying "I told you that you should chant silently." He said, "Yes, I have committed an offense. So whatever punishment you like, you can give me. But because you told me that this mantra will liberate, I have given it publicly. Let everyone hear and be liberated. Let me go to hell. I don't mind. I have disobeyed your order. Let me go to hell. I am prepared. But by chanting this mantra, if anyone is liberated, let it be publicly distributed."

His spiritual master embraced him "You are greater than me." You see? So if a mantra has such power, why it should be secret? It should be distributed. People are suffering. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "Chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Anyone who will hear... Even the birds and beasts will hear and they will be liberated." That's all.”

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