Spring Fundraising Drive: is a non-profit organization that depends on your donations to operate. It takes (only) $6,500 each month to run's web department, with a dedicated staff of 5 people and dozens of volunteers, reaching more than 7 million households in 194 countries. Please join our family of supporters and give a donation to support this important project.

True Independence Comes from Dependence on Krishna

Karnamrita Das

(this blog is recorded on the full page: quick time player needed)
Since "Independence Day" in the USA was on July 4th, I gave a class the following Sunday about the idea of real independence from a spiritual perspective. I will share some of the points I made in this and a second blog. To begin with, material "independence" is an illusion based on our forgetfulness of our spiritual nature. Since we are tiny parts of Krishna, our normal condition is to be under a superior shelter. Therefore, we can only work under the power of His energies, either consciously through bhakti (internal superior energy), or unconsciously through the modes of material nature (separated inferior energy).

Spiritual dependence is the true reality and secret for peace, happiness, and fulfillment. Real independence comes from total dependence on Krishna by seeing Him as the Supreme Source of everything in our lives and the world. Krishna is the supreme proprietor, enjoyer, and dear-most friend of all. I explain these points through six verses from the Gita with some of Prabhupada’s purports and then I ran out of my allotted words, so I will give practical examples by sharing spiritual narrations from the Shrimad Bhagavatam in my next blog. I then end with some prayers from Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur that speak of how to practice seeing Krishna as our supreme maintainer and protector.
“The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature." [ Bg 3.27]

[SP purport above Bg 3.27] “The materialistic person has no knowledge that ultimately he is under the control of Krishna. The person in false ego takes all credit for doing everything independently, and that is the symptom of his nescience. He does not know that this gross and subtle body is the creation of material nature, under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such his bodily and mental activities should be engaged in the service of Krishna, in Krishna consciousness.”

“Therefore, O Arjuna, surrendering all your works unto Me, with full knowledge of Me, without desires for profit, with no claims to proprietorship, and free from lethargy, fight.” [Bg 3.30]

[purport above Bg 3.30] “This verse clearly indicates the purpose of the Bhagavad-gita. The Lord instructs that one has to become fully Krishna conscious to discharge duties, as if in military discipline. Such an injunction may make things a little difficult; nevertheless duties must be carried out, with dependence on Krishna, because that is the constitutional position of the living entity. The living entity cannot be happy independent of the cooperation of the Supreme Lord, because the eternal constitutional position of the living entity is to become subordinate to the desires of the Lord.”
“I am in everyone's heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship some demigod, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to that particular deity.” [Bg 7.21]

[purport to above Bg 7.21] : “God has given independence to everyone; therefore, if a person desires to have material enjoyment and wants very sincerely to have such facilities from the material demigods, the Supreme Lord, as Supersoul in everyone's heart, understands and gives facilities to such persons. As the supreme father of all living entities, He does not interfere with their independence, but gives all facilities so that they can fulfill their material desires. Some may ask why the all-powerful God gives facilities to the living entities for enjoying this material world and so lets them fall into the trap of the illusory energy. The answer is that if the Supreme Lord as Supersoul does not give such facilities, then there is no meaning to independence. Therefore He gives everyone full independence—whatever one likes—but His ultimate instruction we find in the Bhagavad-gita: one should give up all other engagements and fully surrender unto Him. That will make man happy…”

“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” [Bg 15.7]

[SP purport to above Bg 15.7]: “As fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, the living entities also have fragmental portions of His qualities, of which independence is one. Every living entity, as an individual soul, has his personal individuality and a minute form of independence. By misuse of that independence one becomes a conditioned soul, and by proper use of independence he is always liberated.”
“In all activities just depend upon Me and work always under My protection. In such devotional service, be fully conscious of Me.” [Bg 18.57]

[SP purport to above Bg 18.57]: When one acts in Krishna consciousness, he does not act as the master of the world. Just like a servant, one should act fully under the direction of the Supreme Lord. A servant has no individual independence. He acts only on the order of the master. A servant acting on behalf of the supreme master is unaffected by profit and loss. He simply discharges his duty faithfully in terms of the order of the Lord.”
“If you become conscious of Me [Krishna], you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.” [Bg 18.58]

[SP purport to above Bg 18.58]:” A person in full Krishna consciousness is not unduly anxious about executing the duties of his existence. The foolish cannot understand this great freedom from all anxiety. For one who acts in Krishna consciousness, Lord Krishna becomes the most intimate friend. He always looks after His friend's comfort, and He gives Himself to His friend, who is so devotedly engaged working twenty-four hours a day to please the Lord. Therefore, no one should be carried away by the false ego of the bodily concept of life. One should not falsely think himself independent of the laws of material nature or free to act. He is already under strict material laws. But as soon as he acts in Krishna consciousness, he is liberated, free from the material perplexities.”

To explain how we are never independent on Krishna, and how pure devotees depend on Him, in part two of this series I share stories about Narada Muni’s previous birth as a son of a maidservant, Drupadi’s surrender to Krishna, how Ajamila was blessed by the Lord in spite of his fallen condition, and how the determination of the sparrow was successful. See you then! Hare Krishna!