No better knowledge than becoming a musician -Sanskrit proverb
July 1st, 2017
Compiled by Damaghosa dasa
25 January, 1969
My Dear Mr. Levine,
Please accept my blessings. I am so pleased to read your letter of January 21, 1969 and to learn of your sincere eagerness to serve Krishna in the best capacity of your talents. There is a Sanskrit proverb that says that there is not any better knowledge than to become a musician. Our Krishna Consciousness movement is practically based upon music and dancing. If by your exceptional qualities you can help in this movement, I think you have been sent by Krishna Himself to help me in this connection.
Path of perfection-yoga as action -1
The spiritual body is developed through the practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This material body is spiritualized by this bhakti-yoga process. If you place an iron within fire, the iron becomes so hot that it also becomes fiery. When the iron is red hot, it acquires all the qualities of fire. If you touch something with that iron, that iron will act as fire. Similarly, although this body is material, it can become spiritualized through Kṛṣṇa consciousness and act as spirit. Although copper is just a metal, as soon as it comes in contact with electricity, it becomes electrified, and if you touch it, you will receive an electric shock.
As soon as your body is spiritualized, material activity ceases. Material activity means acting for sense gratification. As you become spiritualized, material demands dwindle until they become nil. How is this possible? In order for an iron to act as fire, it must remain constantly in contact with fire. In order for the material body to become spiritualized, one must remain constantly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When this material body is fully engaged in spiritual activities, it becomes spiritual.
What is the difference between prasāda and ordinary food? Some people may say, “What is this prasāda? We are eating the same food. Why do you call it prasāda?” It is prasāda because it has been offered for Kṛṣṇa’s satisfaction and has thus become spiritualized.
In a higher sense, there is no matter at all. Everything is spiritual. Because Kṛṣṇais spiritual and matter is one of the energies of Kṛṣṇa, matter is also spiritual. Kṛṣṇa is totally spiritual, and spirit comes from spirit. However, because the living entities are misusing this energy—that is, using it for something other than Kṛṣṇa’s purposes—it becomes materialized, and so we call it matter. The purpose of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to respiritualize this energy. It is our purpose to respiritualize the whole world, socially and politically. Of course, this may not be possible, but it is our ideal. At least if we individually take up this respiritualization process, our lives become perfect.
No one really wants to sit down and meditate. Why should we? We’re meant for positive activity, for recreation, for pleasure. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness, our recreation is dancing and chanting, and when we get tired, we take prasāda. Is dancing difficult? Is chanting difficult? We don’t charge anything to dance in the temple. If you go to a ballroom, you have to pay to enter, but we do not charge. It is natural to enjoy music and dancing and palatable foods. These are our recreations, and this is our method of meditation. So this yoga system is not at all laborious. It is simply recreation, susukham. It is stated in the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā (9.2) that this yoga is susukham—very happy. “It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.” It is natural, automatic, and spontaneous. It is our real life in the spiritual world.