“Consciousness is originally pure, like water. But if we mix water with a certain color, it changes. Similarly, consciousness is pure, for the spirit soul is pure. But consciousness is changed according to the association of the material qualities. Real consciousness is Krishna consciousness. When, therefore, one is situated in Krishna consciousness, he is in his pure life.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 15.9 Purport)
1. Election consciousness
“This is the most important election of our lifetimes. Who we choose to lead us for the next four years will drastically alter the course of human history. Will the country remain as founded, adhering to our bedrock principles? Or will it be fundamentally changed, going against what it was intended to be?
“To me, there is no other choice. We have to stand by this one person. They are the only hope. Otherwise, we are in for trouble. Things might go so far in the wrong direction that it will be impossible to unwind. Irreparable damage. There will be no turning back. We can’t allow that to happen.”
2. Virus consciousness
“I can’t believe people are thinking of sending their children back to school. Have they not realized that we are in a pandemic? That means something. Death. Disease. Pain. Suffering. What is a year or two in the grand scheme of things? We are fortunate enough to live in such advanced times that our kids can still learn even while away from the classroom.
“Why take the risk? Listen to the experts. Follow science. No need to be hasty. We’ve come this far, we might as well continue the sacrifice until we can know for certain that everything will be okay. Trust me, I want more than anybody to return to normal, but we have to be responsible.”
3. Race consciousness
“I am sick and tired of people of my race who just do not get it. They don’t see how we have been oppressed for so long. No one else knows what it is like to hear the sound of car doors locking as we walk by, innocently on the street. No one else endures the looks of derision, of disdain, where they hope to return to the days of yore when our people were serving coffee, picking crops on the field, and denied the decency of a human existence afforded to everyone else.
“We need to stand up for our race. Be proud. Don’t let others diminish us. Come together. Demand change. Educate them as to what it is like to be a second-class citizen growing up in their society. We don’t want sympathy or handouts. We just want to be treated equally.”
4. Parent consciousness
“The future for my child is everything. It is why we live where we do. The school district. The extracurricular activities. The tutoring. The discipline we instill. I take parenthood very seriously. It is a grave responsibility, and it is something I think about day and night. Child is the father of man, after all. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow.”
5. Krishna consciousness
In truth, there are so many kinds of consciousness. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that there is originally a single consciousness for every living being. The soul is an instance of life, a spark of an amazing energy that has no origin and no end.
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचिन्
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतो ऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे
na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre
“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.20)
Consciousness changes based on the association with material qualities. The Sanskrit word is guna. Different grades of guna, prepared and assembled in a variety of combinations, thus accounting for the many species we can at least identify in our journey through life.
We may go through so many changes in consciousness, but the pure version stays unchanged. That is to say there is always the opportunity to return to the original way of an existence. Krishna is one name for the Almighty. The term “Krishna consciousness” is an attempt to describe in English what is known in Sanskrit as sanatana-dharma, bhakti-yoga, bhagavata-dharma and other similar terms.
Returning to the original and pure consciousness is in my best interest. It will do me the most good. It will bring me the most pleasure. Ananda is my reason for living. Every action has the purpose of some kind of benefit in the future, either immediate or long-term.
मीठो अरू कठवति भरो रौंताई अरू छेम |
स्वारथ परमारथ सुलभ राम नाम के प्रेम |
mīṭho arū kaṭhavati bharo rauṃtāī arū chema |
svāratha paramāratha sulabha rāma nāma ke prema |
“Having sweets in such abundance that they fill up a large bowl, having the power and glory of a king while remaining humble and forgiving, having worldly assets and spiritual assets at the same time – these [seemingly contradictory] combinations of benefits can be acquired easily by having prema for Shri Rama’s holy name.” (Dohavali, 15)
As Goswami Tulsidas says, connecting with God the person in a mood of love meets both the short and long term interests. Prahlada Maharaja confirms that what we would consider short-term or personal interest, svartha, has the ultimate destination of Vishnu, which is another name for the personal God.
Krishna consciousness does not prevent death in this lifetime, but it stops the cycle moving forward. The living entity develops a certain kind of gross body based on the consciousness at the completion. If the consciousness is pure, then the body will match the desire to serve the Almighty in a mood of love, without motivation and without interruption.
In other words, the controller of nature gives the reward matching desire. He facilitates our earnest desire to be with Him. We can see evidence already, through the blessed opportunity to always chant His names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Consciousness originally pure to be,
But now in variation to see.
Where focus on upcoming election,
Or to child’s interests attention.
But this life one day to end,
Nature to another body to send.
But if to pure returning mind,
Krishna’s association to find.
Categories: the five