In the book Caitanya-mangala, by Srila Locan Dasa Thakur, it is recorded that Narada Muni, while visiting the spiritual world, came upon Lord Gauranga.
The Lord told him of His mission to destroy the sinful activities of the Age of Kali.
"With the powerful chopper of nama-sankirtana," He said, "I'll cut the hard knots of demoniac desires from the hearts of everyone. Even if the sinners reject religion or flee to foreign countries, still they will get My mercy. I will send more senapati-bhakta to go there and deliver them." Mor senapati-bhakta refers to that commanding acarya who will be empowered by Lord Caitanya to lead His sankirtana movement. That acarya, whom Lord Caitanya referred to, is Srila Prabhupada, who is destined to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world.
Srila Gopal Krishna Goswami was born in Delhi on aug 14, 1944. He became an initiated disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1969 and accepted the renounced order of life, Sannyas in 1982. Currently he is GBC of over 30 temples around the world. he successfully opened the Sri Sri Radha-Parthsarathi temple in New Delhi, India.
Following in the footsteps of his spiritual master, He is spreading Krishna Consciousness all over the world.
Most of the people think that freedom means, to become free to enjoy according to one’s desires and to eat, drink, and have six without any interruption. They have no idea that there is something beyond all these which will bring them eternal happiness and freedom from all miseries of life.
Freedom does not mean freedom for unlimited material enjoyment. All of us want to enjoy, but we do not know what’s the real enjoyment. Real enjoyment means freedom from the real problems of life, i.e., which are common to all, not wanted by anyone, and are also unavoidable.
There are four such problems: birth, death, old age, and disease. All these are applicable to the material body. But the Bhagavad Gita teaches us that we are not the body but the spirit soul and our original position is to be a servant of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Father. Quite like the prodigal son who becomes happy by returning to his father after a lot of suffering, we can also revive our relationship with our eternal father Lord Sri Krishna and be happy. Real happiness through real freedom and real freedom by real surrender to Lord Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada says, “If you are a karmi, then you have to work. If you are a devotee, and devotee means one who has engaged his senses cent percent for the service of the Lord, he is devotee, pure devotee. So one who cannot become cent percent, all right, become fifty percent, twenty-five percent, one percent. Give something for Krsna. Don’t be a miser. Because whatever you have got, it is Krsna’s. so long you catch it up, “It is mine”, that is maya. You just let loose it for Krsna. Then it is freedom for you. You see.”!
In another lecture Srila Prabhupada explains, “So asuras, they are engaged for fruitive result. They are working, but they are expecting, “I shall enjoy the result.” So, that freedom is given to everyone. You can work at your responsibility and enjoy or suffer. Just like state has given everyone individuality, everyone freedom, You act as you like. But if you act criminally, then you will be punished. That you cannot avoid. You have been given freedom, “You act whatever you like, “but if you violate the laws of the state, then you are to be punished, criminal.”
Similarly, the same thing is there in God’s kingdom that we have been given freedom, W have got little freedom because we are part and parcel of God. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7]. Krsna says, “All these living entities, they are My minute particles, minute part of My body.” Just like father is the part of the body, or son is the part of body of father, similarly, we are also part and parcel of the transcendental body of Krsna. That is our real identity, spiritual identity.
“So therefore Krsna has got freedom, full freedom. So we have also got freedom in minute quantity. That is our position. That freedom, if we use properly, then we are happy, and if we misuse improperly, then we are unhappy. But freedom is there. Krsna says that sarva-dharman parityajya man ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. He is requesting Arjuna “You just surrender unto Me.” He is all-poerful. He can force anyone and everyone to be surrendered to Him, but that He does not do. That is not Krsna’s business. He gives freedom. Because Krsna has given you little freedom, so He does not want to interfere with your freedom. Then what is the meaning of giving freedom? That is Krsna’s business.”
We can very well understand from the foregoing quotations and discussions that the freedom given to us by God should be used intelligently. If we choose to use the freedom to enjoy material benefits, we will have to go through the cycle of birth and death again and again. If we choose the path of devotional service to the Lord, we can be free from the cycle of birth and death and enjoy eternally and unlimitedly with Krishna in the spiritual world.
This book is a compilation of nectarean lectures delivered in Montreal and other parts of Canada by Srila Gopal Krishna Goswami. It focuses on the goal, purpose, practices, regulations, and realizations for success in our spiritual life. These lectures are teaching us what real freedom is and how to attain it. By reading and following these beneficial instructions we can experience real freedom in life, advance on the path of devotion and gradually, attain the ecstatic loving service to the Lord.
We sincerely thank Ananda Dasa, Vidura Priya Dasa, and Rishikumara Dasa for editing and proofreading. We also thank Bhakta Sushant Pati and Anuttam Hari Dasa for arranging the design and layout of this book.
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