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Understand the "Great Mystery"

241216650 6C0F5A85D2 MI've heard a number of people express their intuitive belief in some kind of universal mind, great mysterious force, universal super-consciousness, or great white light. This mysterious energy guides us all and can facilitate the fulfillment of our desires, as well as provide great artistic inspiration.

This perception is, in fact, an amazingly deep intuitive understanding of the true nature of the universe. However, while intuition is well and good, intuition coupled with a scientific intellectual understanding of the "great mystery" is even better.

Maybe you think that it simply cannot be understood, or maybe you think it is different for everybody? However, judging by everything I've learnt, I believe that the science of Krishna consciousness can and does perfectly explain the "great mystery" and it does so in a completely logical left-brain way. At the same time, Krishna consciousness can also reinforce one's intuitive relationship with the "force". The end result is a complete realization of the nature of reality.

Many people these days are somewhat cynical of organized religions that demand faith in some kind of deity. They therefore prefer to believe in this somewhat undefined impersonal mystery. That is safe: the mystery doesn't make dogmatic demands, force you to surrender, etc. But have no fear: Krishna consciousness is different from "religion" as traditionally known. There is no blind following: everything has a good reason and purpose. In fact, all other spiritual traditions of the world make perfect sense when viewed under the Krishna conscious framework.

Different faiths exist for different purposes, mentalities, times, places and circumstances. However, Krishna consciousness deals with the eternal underlying reality. It is about engaging in a process of continuously deepening one's relationship with the "great mystery", becoming more aligned with its desires, intellectually understanding what it is and how it functions, feeling what it wants, etc. There is no blind faith, because one can experience the direct and indirect effects of this relationship on so many levels as one progresses in one's practice. One gets abundant sensory, mental and intellectual experience of the "mystery".

In order to get this experience, one needs to be willing to do the experiment and engage in Krishna conscious activities. Sadly, many people are afraid of doing so: "What if it turns out to be true? Will I have to change my behavior? Will I have to give everything up? What will become of my own personal wants and desires?"

(by the way, the answers to those question are (in order): You become happier than you've ever been. Only that which is causing you suffering. No. They remain eternally.)

So, the "great mystery" has a name: Krishna! And the relationship with Krishna is called Krishna consciousness. Krishna is described in great detail in the Vedic literature. He has many aspects. One such aspect is the great all-expansive impersonal force that pervades everything (it is called the "Brahman" effulgence). Another is a unified personal form that exists distributed inside of every living being, constantly guiding, facilitating and protecting us all, if we are only willing to listen (it is called "Paramatma" in Sanskrit - roughly translated as "super-consciousness"). The third and final aspect of Krishna is a supreme individual personal form known as "Bhagavan". This aspect is the person whom most religions refer to as "God". Brahman and Paramatma aspects both emanate from the original Bhagavan personality.

Re-connecting with Krishna is the literal meaning behind the word "yoga". It is much more than the physical exercise for which the word is commonly known. The Vedas teach that all living beings are made up of a physical bodily machine, a subtle (but nevertheless material) mind and a spiritual consciousness. Any physical techniques only affect the body and mind. Real holistic yoga deals with all three and particularly focuses on the consciousness.

Our consciousness has been dulled because of being covered over by varying degrees of material contamination. Just like a mirror covered by a thick layer of dust, our covered consciousness limits our ability to "see" ourselves. If the covering of the body and mind is removed, i.e. if we become more and more aware of the consciousness as a separate entity from the body and mind, then we see with equal vision. We can see everything and everyone in their true position as a unique individual living entity of pure consciousness that is part of Krishna. In this way we are all the same, regardless of different physical bodies (male/female, young/old, black/white, rich/poor, christian/muslim, chinese/american, etc) and mental states and abilities (artistic ability, creativity, intelligence, anxiety, depression, etc). We are one. However, at the same time we also retain our unique individuality.

The benefit of engaging in the various yoga practices of Krishna consciousness are many: by removing the material covering and uncovering the underlying consciousness we develop "full-brain" insight into "everything" (i.e. both matter and spirit). We also gain a deep sense of personal fulfillment and happiness that is independent of external conditions. No more: "I'm happy because I won an award and got a raise at work". Instead: "I'm always happy, regardless of the circumstances, because my motivation is completely in-line with Krishna's desires". Normally, doing the same activity over and over again eventually becomes dry. However, if one's motivation is connected with Krishna, i.e. if one is "Krishna conscious", all activities are ever fresh.

The Vedic literature, in my experience, provides the deepest, most scientific, most complete and most authoritative knowledge of spirituality in all the world. Nothing else even comes close. Here is a quote from the literature that explains the "super-consciousness":

chaos in love
"It is stated in Bhagavad-gita that a person who is always absorbed in Krishna consciousness is the topmost yogi. What is Krishna consciousness? As the individual soul is present by his consciousness throughout his entire body, so the Supersoul, or Paramatma, is present throughout the whole creation by superconsciousness. This superconscious energy is imitated by the individual soul, who has limited consciousness. I can understand what is going on within my limited body, but I cannot feel what is going on in another's body. I am present throughout my body by my consciousness, but my consciousness is not present in another's body. The Supersoul, or Paramatma, however, being present everywhere and within everyone, is also conscious of everyone's existence. The theory that the soul and the Supersoul are one is not acceptable because it is not confirmed by authoritative Vedic literature. The individual soul's consciousness cannot act in superconsciousness. This superconsciousness can be achieved, however, by dovetailing individual consciousness with the consciousness of the Supreme. This dovetailing process is called surrender, or Krishna consciousness. From the teachings of Bhagavad-gita we learn very clearly that Arjuna, in the beginning, did not want to fight with his brothers and relatives, but after understanding Bhagavad-gita he dovetailed his consciousness with the superconsciousness of Krishna . He was then in Krishna consciousness." [Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.45 (purport)]

(picture credit: picture one, picture two)

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  • phanisvara das 01/11/2007 8:03am (9 years ago)

    yes, excellent; explains KC very well.

    i hope you don't mind if i re-publish this essay in the new-devotee section of (, with due credits, of course.

    ys phani

  • Ekendra Dasa 31/10/2007 10:02pm (9 years ago)


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