ACHARYA DAS: Namaste and welcome.

So continuing the series on the Eight Life Lessons from the Bhagavad-gita. Today, we’re going to be speaking about Fearlessness. And before we start, as usual, we’ll do some kirtan meditation and we invite you, of course, to join with us.

Haribol Nitai Gaur – Nitai Gaur Haribol kirtan

So today’s topic is “fearlessness”. You know, if you ask the question, “What are you afraid of?” we actually have so many fears. Some of them are large and some of them are small. And we often don’t recognize—I mean, if we are asked the question— Just before we went on, turned the cameras on here, I was asking some of the people here with me, you know, what is it that they are afraid of? And instantly, everybody thinks of the big items, the things that just really jump out whether it’s, you know, fear of deep water or fear of spiders, or turbulence in the airplanes, whatever it is, that kind of like the big things? But if we look at our life a little bit more closely, we find that there are actually a myriad of things that scare us and worry us and cause us anxiety. But, of course, in broad terms is the idea of, you know, fear of the dark or can be like fear of failure. The anxiety, the fear of even not succeeding, but there’s also sometimes a fear of success. It’s like, what if I win this? What if I get this job that I’m going after? I succeed in it and then I’m worried that what if I don’t live up to other peoples’ expectation? So even in the face of success, we sometimes feel fearfulness. Of course, there’s fear of loss, all kinds of things and ultimately, fear of death.

I can remember my own childhood. I was probably maybe about five or six years of age. And my big fear was when I wake up in the middle of the night and I have to go to the bathroom. It’s kind of like, I’m lying there in bed and I’m kind of like—I’ve just, I’ve got to make it to the bathroom. And I was like--I don’t even know where I got this idea from. I was afraid to put my feet on the floor because I knew that there was somebody under my bed (laughs) and they were going to grab me around the ankles and I was like--I don’t know why I even had this thought. But it was almost paralyzing and I’d be lying in bed until, you know, I just had to make a run for the bathroom. I couldn’t resist any more so I get to the end of my bed and I would jump off on to the floor, a little bit of distance from the bed and just ran all the way to the bathroom (laughs).

You know, as children, we experienced fear but it is something that troubles us, actually all through our life. As we, so-called grow up, we sort of figure out ways to manage that fear, you know, and not have it disturb us too much and people come up with all different ways of trying to manage it. But something that we just mentioned a little is the anxiety that people experience are actually a form of fearfulness. The anxiousness springs from a fear; a fear of failure or a fear of loss. And it’s a really an interesting subject because when you look at the broad spectrum of wanting something and then having it and then losing it, in all those states, there is an anxiety, a fearfulness attached.

In the very beginning, if we think something is desirable and we want it, we want to acquire it or we want to have this experience or we want this recognition; something that we want. And then people pray about it or they really try to get into the positive thinking groove and like, you know, I’ve got make this happen and they get really, really focused in the attempt of sort of like really make something happen. But the whole time that they’re desiring and wanting something, planning for it, doing what they think they need to do to get it, there is this gnawing, this anxiety, this fearfulness that maybe I won’t get it. Then finally, after so much effort and endeavor and anxiety, we’re able to get hold of that thing; whether it’s a relationship, whether it’s a, you know--anything. You know, the latest car or a pair of shoes; it can be anything.

As soon as you get what it is that you want, then you’re always in the anxiety that something is going to happen to it; it’s going to get damaged, or I’m going to lose this person, or I’m going to loss this thing. Somehow I’m going to be separated from it. And so, the whole time that you have it, and you’re not entirely aware of the fact that this is kind of like gnawing away at you and it becomes very pronounced when, you know, somebody sort of like suddenly can’t find something. You know, and they’re sure they just put it there and it’s not there anymore, what happened to that--(talks garble), you know, they’re just spazzing out. And you know, you can see in those moments of almost loss how much we’re just actually plagued by this underlying anxiety.

And then finally, when you lose something - the person dumps you or the object is stolen. Or, I mean, can you imagine the trauma of driving home, what you consider your home. And as you get closer, you notice this big column of smoke in the fire--I’m sorry, smoke in the sky and you can hear a fire engines and stuff. And as you get closer it’s kind of like, oh “Oh my God! This is near where I live!” And then, you know, the panic starts to set in and then you finally pull into the street and maybe there’s others also or maybe not; your house is on fire. Or, you know, a tornado rips through the neighborhood and you’re down in a shelter or whatever and everything, the shaking. And you have no idea what’s going on up there. Or, a flood has come and everybody is head to evacuate their home and move out. And then you’re just in complete panic and anxiety wandering about all your stuff.

When you finally lose the things that you’ve grown attached to and you thought you desperately needed or wanted, then you still experience another type of anxiety, a fear and anxiety of loss and the fearfulness of, you know, “Oh,” and regret.

So it’s kind of like a really interesting situation. If there is an object and I desire or want it, I’m feeling fearfulness and anxiety. I finally get hold of it. The fearfulness and anxiety doesn’t go away; it simply changes to another--it manifests in a different way, another type of anxiety, another type of fearfulness but still fearfulness and finally it’s gone, it’s taken away or I lose it or whatever. Then I’m in regret and anxiety and fearfulness.

So this situation is actually quite unpleasant. But it is really part of material existence. And because we live with it all the time, we don’t--we’re not so conscious, so much aware. But the foundational truth is I am never at peace. And it’s for a number of reasons. But fearfulness is a large part of why we’re not feeling at peace.

Ultimately, we understand from all the yogic scriptures and the great saintly teachers that fear is actually rooted in fear of death. Fear of death is so overwhelming. You know, often people go, “Oh, I’m not afraid of death,” you know. The big brave people who like to state that. But as soon as you put somebody in a situation or a condition where they might suddenly lose their life, or they are put into proximity of a dead body, you watch how people change. People are not so relaxed and, you know, like it’s no big deal.

I was talking to some friends actually just a couple of nights ago. And I was recalling (laughs) this YouTube video I’d seen one time. Somebody showed it to me. It was absolutely hilarious. It was both hilarious and at the same time quite shocking. And it was from South America. These guys were doing this sort of like reality joke kind of thing. And they had an elevator that actually didn’t move. It would kind of like, you know, it was in a building. It was like it was real. But what would happen is people would walk into the elevator and somebody would suddenly run up to the door of the elevator and put the hand in, “Please, just one second hold it!” and so everybody’s polite, “Oh, okay,” and they hold the button, hold the doors open. And in come these guys and they’re rolling a coffin into the elevator. And you should see the reaction on peoples’ face. I mean they had like all these hidden cameras everywhere. And the reaction on peoples’ face, is like all of a sudden are so incredibly uncomfortable, just seeing a wooden box because it is associated with something that is very deep. And everybody, you know, this fear of death. So this wooden coffin, they bring it in and it’s longer than the elevator. And so, what they have to do is, stand it up in the corner. So they prop it up in the corner and it’s standing up there and it’s like one of those coffins where—I don’t know if you’ve seen them. In parts of the world, particularly where they have like open coffins or wakes and stuff, there’s sometimes like a split in the lid and the bottom part stays closed and the top can open so you can see a face and stuff like that and people can come up and offer their respects. It was one of those kind of coffins.

So it’s propped up. And then the two people that brought it in leave and the third guy that was holding the door, he says to them, “Ah, can you just, please can you just, give me, give me, give me a second, just one second,” and then he rushes off. And the people that are operating the show, they caused the doors to close. And even though the person may be trying to keep it open, the doors close then the elevator starts moving. And then the people are just kind of like--some of the people just turn away from it, they turn their back to it and just look into the corner in these mirrors on the inside of the elevator and cameras on the other side of the mirrors. And people are just kind of like pretending it’s like not there and then they can hear a noise. You know, there’s some kind of, like, creaking. And all of a sudden the top half of the lid flops open from the shaking in the elevator and a body that’s all got make-up on so it’s very whitish, and cotton wool stuck up the nose, falls out of the coffin. (laughs) And it’s hanging over the top (laughs) and people just like scream. You know, they’re just like utterly frightened and they’re just like freaking out, “Yahhh!!!” and some people are almost crying and someone clinging to the--“Ohhhh, ohhhh!” and it’s complete mayhem inside the elevator.

And while it was quite hilarious to look at, when you actually think about it and you observe it carefully you can see this profound fearfulness of death. I mean if there was a person that just walked into the elevator and stood there and suddenly flopped in half, people would look at them and ask, “Are you okay?” It’s just—It’s not very shocking. But when a dead body does it suddenly everybody’s freaking out and nobody wants to touch it. They’re all like, “Arhhhhhhh!!!!” trying to get as far away from it, really into the corner of the elevator as possible.

And the reason that we have this type of reaction, it is because of our own suppressed and very deep fearfulness of death. And it is from this actual root - fearfulness of death - that all other types of fear manifest.

So the question is, of course, why do we fear death? Why are we so afraid? The reality is that death is the great disrupter. At death everything is thrown into chaos. I mean even when someone has a very critical illness and they are slowly physically wasting away and people may have one month or two months of preparation, you know, and they’re watching the gradual deterioration and they’re trying to be helpful and kind, when that relative, spouse, partner, friend, whatever, finally dies it is utterly devastating.

And you will see—there will be phases. The time that it occurs, it’s enormous. When they move the body and take it away to be put into a coffin or something, that is like incredibly disturbing. People kind of got used to them dying but as soon as the body gets moved--And then at a church or a ceremony or something like that it’s kind of like, you know, people are holding it together, they’re toughing it out, they’re feeling sad. But as that body is then carried from the church or a chapel or a funeral home where they’ve had some service, the time it’s being carried out and put into a hearse, again, people just get hit with this gut-wrenching, you know, just devastation. And then the final one comes at a graveyard or the crematorium, when the body is going into the fire or when the body is being lowered into the ground. It’s kind of, you know, people are just holding it together and they’ve been okay, and suddenly as the body begins to go down people just erupt into tears and cry in a very pitiful fashion.

And that is the nature of death. It is a great disruptor. And at this point it is like everything has come to an end. There is this permanence that you sense about what is going on, that everything has come to an end.

You know, the nature of my attachments to other people and other things, the nature of relationships, the desire that we may have, for instance, for a home or some shelter somewhere, in all of these things there is a desire for permanence. We not only desire, we hope, we cling vainly to this hope that these things will be permanent. And we want this permanence. And what death does is demonstrate that relationships, that the desire for a home or a shelter, that the nature of our attachments to things, all of these things are impermanent; and these will be broken. And so death reminds us of this reality and so it is really, deeply disturbing at the core of our being.

This being disturbed is not a bad thing. It is actually by design. Just as, like in this life, physical pain. What does physical pain tell us? If we experience some physical pain; for instance, if I put my hand on a surface, like on the top of a stove or near a pot, you know, that’s been on a stove and I feel the heat and I feel the pain from a burn, it protects me. It protects me by making it so I instantly draw away from that. If I didn’t feel pain I would just leave my finger there. My finger might start melting, you know. All the fat will dissolve and might catch fire even and, you know. If you weren’t watching you wouldn’t know that something bad was happening. So pain is actually designed to protect us, to make it so that we can withdraw; we can, you know, resist somehow what is happening or has happened.

In a similar manner, the pain that we experience from death or any fearful situation, it is meant to be a learning experience for ourselves so that we don’t continue to experience pain, we don’t continue to experience what is actually that which is fearful. And of course the big freak-out associated with death is the fear of the unknown – the absolute fear of the unknown. What is going to happen? What happens at death and what transpires? What is this experience? What is going to happen to me?

So all of these things are characteristic of fear that is fundamentally, at its most base level, rooted in the death experience, but associated with everything else in our life and it has to do with this—the fact that we desire permanence and we are dealing with that which is impermanent.

The very foundation for this experience is due to the fact that by nature, by nature – I’m not talking about material nature – by our own nature or dharma, we, living beings, we are eternal. And we sense that in the core of our being, that, “I am eternal.” I mean if you even look at animals or even the lowest of life forms, bacteria, for instance, all, all living beings will struggle against death. They will struggle intensely against death. Because death goes against everything fundamental to my eternal nature. I mean as we’ve mentioned so many times before, the material condition means I think I am material. I think this body is me. And yet at the core of my being I have this deep-seated experience, this reality that I recognize that I am eternal and therefore the idea of things coming to an end – or impermanence – is so utterly disturbing. It is so utterly contrary to my eternal nature.

One of our spiritual masters from a couple of hundred years ago, he wrote this beautiful, absolutely beautiful spiritual song, described sometimes as a bhajan, which means a cultivation of devotion for God. And in this song he had this line, kamala-dala-jala, jivana-talamala. And it is so beautiful if you understand the meaning. And it means that this life is tottering just like a drop of water on a lotus leaf. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this, but if you have like a large lotus leaf and there’s a drop of water on it, the water, even if it’s sprinkled on, instantly seems to be rejected by the surface of the leaf and it collects together in a quite large drop, round. And it always forms this perfectly round drop of water usually. And then as the wind blows or the surface of the water moves you will see this drop of water rolling on the leaf and it may roll all the way to the edge and then the wind blows or—and it rolls back, and it’s rolling. But because it is not fixed and stable, at any second it can simply roll off the leaf and be gone. And so this description, kamala--kamala-dala-jala, jivana-talamala, that the life of the living entity, not the life of the soul, but the life within this body, it is so—looking for the right world. It’s not fragile. It is so precarious that any moment this, the life within this body can be lost. At any moment this drop of water can roll off the leaf of the lotus and be gone. And this is the very nature of material existence.

So fear, fear in any manifestation, in any shape or form, it will exist as long as one clings to the material conception of life. Fear is inseparable from the material conception of life. For the great saintly persons, the great yogis and spiritual personalities, they are—their hearts are simply breaking by observing humanity and, in fact, all life. They see the suffering associated with material existence. They see the fear, they see the lack of fulfillment, they see that everybody is desperately—it’s like somebody has been thrown out of a boat and they’ve got heavy clothing on and they’re flailing around in the water, desperately trying to swim to some haven or sanctuary, some shore where they can be safe. And in their desperate flailing around in the water it is like they are drowning. The situation is so unfortunate. And for the spiritual personalities they look at all life in the material world with the same vision. They see things in exactly the same way.

So this material conception of life, of course, is founded on the idea that I am material and the way that that is manifest is in the idea that I am this body. I mean, it takes some time for this to actually really sink into the consciousness in a way that you’re kind of frequently experiencing this. I mean people don’t think like in these very clear terms, “I am material,” but they do strongly think that this particular body they have on is them.

I was speaking a little while back to a bunch of really young people in Australia and many of them, because of the fact that they were born into families of people that were practicing yoga and the spiritual path, they were experiencing some conflicts in their life. They had sort of been raised in a spiritual tradition of their parents but this was not of their own volition; it’s not like they’d come to this conclusion like—In my own life, ever since I was quite young I was searching, desperately searching. it’s like, “What the hell is this all about?” I would look at my parents, I would look at my relative, friends, different people around me, my friends’ parents and I go like, “What is this all about? What’s this for? Where is this actually going?” I was quite disturbed and so in my younger life, I was like really searching for actual answers. But here we have situations where you’ve got people who were born into a family of practitioners of yoga or yoga philosophy and the kids sort of like are along for the ride just by virtue or the fact that they showed up in that particular family but it’s not like they’ve made a personal decision. And then they find themselves in a situation that I also found myself in the beginning of my spiritual practice of almost being like in a no man’s land. I don’t know if you have any thoughts about what this is like. You don’t see it in modern warfare although it does exist to some degree but particularly in the First World War and sometimes in the Second World War you would have—and when they have trench warfare, in one side you’ve got one army, in the other side you’ve got another army and they’re constantly bombarding each other with shells and this explosion’s going off, there’s barbwire all over in between the ground and mines in the ground between the two lines and they do that so if somebody attacks from this side they’ve got all these obstacles to go through. Then they’re being shot at like crazy. And if you happen to get left behind or wounded and you’re lying in no man’s land then later gather the strength to try and get up and crawl to safety, both sides will probably see you and both sides will be shooting at you trying to kill you. That’s no man’s land. And my personal experience--I’m not saying this is absolutely what it is like but my personal experience was that as a teenager, when I--in my late teens, when I started becoming seriously involved in more spiritual pursuit, I had this attraction for the material world and for the material experience but I also experienced great emptiness in that and on the other side I had come across this spiritual path and it was enormously attractive but I still had this spontaneous attraction and material desires - attraction for material life - and so it’s kind of like, “I know what I should be doing but my heart is over here, my mind is over there. I’m kind of getting pulled in multiple directions.” And so you’ll often see that younger people have this type of experience and then they begin to question, “Well, why can’t I do what everybody else is doing? Why are my parents wanting me to behave in this particular way or that particular way?”

I have my own mind, I have my own desires I know what I want in life and so they become very drawn to, you know, go out and do what everybody else is doing but at the same time they feel this twinge, “Yeah, but I know that this is the right choice,” but because I haven’t come to the point of making that personal decision and kind of like pulled in both directions. And so, one of the questions that was coming up is, “Well, we are teenagers. Why can’t we go do all these stuff? How come we don’t go to wild parties? How come we’re not smoking dope? How come we’re not getting drunk? We’re just teenagers. We should be allowed to do that. Why can’t we do it?” So when I talk to them, I told them, “You know what your biggest problem is? Your biggest problem is that you actually think that you are a teenager. You’re totally convinced that you’re a teenager and you should therefore be allowed to do all the stuff that goes with that territory. And what you are not understanding is that you are not a teenager. You are a spiritual being and you have travelled through many lives and now in this lifetime you are being served up without seeking it, an opportunity to actually escape permanently the great suffering of material existence and instead of thinking about that intelligently you become so obsessed with the body and the age of the body that you have on. You’re so deeply identifying it you think that you are entitled to do all this crazy shit. Excuse me (clears throat) but that’s the way it is and this is, this is the problem.

You know fear and these ideas that we have, this idea that I am my body, this is actually ignorance. It is not knowledge, it is ignorance and ignorance equals pain. It is like a formula: ignorance equals pain. You cannot separate them.

So this idea that I am the body and this idea that this world is my home - that I can actually make a home here—So this desire for permanence and stability, these are all born from ignorance. In Sanskrit it’s called “avidya”. Vidya means knowledge, avidya is the opposite. It means great ignorance. So to think that something which is untrue, to think that that is true and real and permanent is ignorant. I’m sorry, even if you are supposedly highly intelligent, got a fantastic IQ, if this is what you are thinking then you are in a state of ignorance and that is extremely unfortunate. And as I said, according to the degree that you are covered by ignorance and acting on ignorance, you will experience pain. The greater the ignorance, the greater the pain. The greater the ignorance, the greater the suffering. Knowledge equals freedom from pain. Knowledge equals actual spiritual blissfulness, great spiritual joy. Knowledge, actual knowledge will bring you freedom. Ignorance is--it enslaves you. You become a slave to your mind, and your desires and everything and it pulls you in a direction that never, never ends well.

So then the question is, of course, what is the alternative? What is the alternative to this ignorance? What is the alternative to death? In--let me just go back a little bit. You know, when we embrace so profoundly this idea that the body is me, that it is who I actually am, oh my God, the myriad of unbelievable problems that will arise from this ignorance, from this ignorant condition is monumental. It is the cause of all suffering in this world. All, not most. All suffering in this world can be attributed to this idea of embracing, the idea that the body is who I am. This is me, this is my identity.

So as I mentioned, what is the alternative? The alternative, of course, is the cultivation of real understanding. If we look at a person that is not living in ignorance, we will find that such a person is truly spiritually enlightened. In the second chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, in the 56th verse, Krishna says that:

One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.”
Bhagavad-gita 2.56

So there might be some ideas here that we have not spoken of before; for instance, the threefold miseries. In the Vedas, they categorize practically all miseries in this world into three categories. One is called “adhidaivika”. Adhidaivika means suffering that we experience from environmental things and things that are like just way beyond our control. It happen--like earthquakes, floods, you know, excessive heat, freezing cold; all of these types of things. Then you have “adhibhautika”. Adhibhautika miseries, are miseries that are caused by other living beings whether it’s our husband or wife, (laughs) our children or our parents, whether it is mosquitos that are biting me and infecting me with diseases or ingesting something with bacteria that’s causing me to have diarrhea and fever. Whatever. Any suffering that is attributed to other living beings is called adhibhautika. Adhyātmika is self-caused misery. If I fall down and break my arm, if my mind is disturbed and plagued with worries and fears, any things that’s directly attributed to my own body this is called Adhyātmika.

So we’re talking here about a person that has come to this position of being undisturbed, undisturbed and having an even mind. A mind is undisturbed even in the midst of threefold miseries where you are not elated in happiness. It’s okay to be a little happy, but let’s not lose the plot like someone in a gameshow and they pull a lever or spin something and then certain thing comes up and they’re just jumping up and down and screaming, “Aaaaahhhhhh!” (laughs) They’re just completely losing the plot like now their life is going to change. No, your life is not going to change. The suffering and happiness that will come of its own accord will be there. It’s not going to increase or decrease.

When a person is equipoised even in happiness and distress, who is free from attachments, free from fear, and free from anger, such a person is called a sage of steady mind. Their mind is in a very stable and steady condition.

So the reason that somebody is in that state is due to knowledge, spiritual knowledge. This knowledge or real knowledge is actually the panacea. It actually destroys darkness in the same way that light destroys darkness. When everything is dark and you turn on the light, instantly the darkness is destroyed. In the same way knowledge instantly evaporates the darkness of ignorance.

So the process of spiritual cultivation is both a process of hearing, reading spiritual subject matter. Hearing from spiritual authorities, the great spiritual teachers, hearing by reading the instruction of Krishna, of other spiritual personalities within yogic scripture. And then adopting a personal practice. I mean if you want to win a gold medal in the Olympics, is that easy? Can you just say, “Oh I want to be a gold medalist.” And then just go and enter some competition and expect to win? What’s required is that a person actually undergo a regimen of practice, of activity - proper eating, proper training and exercise, a proper honing or sharpening of a particular skill set - where you come to a point of capability that when you compete against others you have a very high possibility of winning such a gold medal.

This spiritual path requires the same type of focus and dedication. It is not that it is so difficult. It’s not like, “Oh my God, I’m going to make so much sacrifice. How am I going to be able to do this?” No. It’s not like that at all. If you are able to engage under the guidance of a proper spiritual teacher, this path of spiritual cultivation, as you gradually progress, you begin to taste a form of sweetness and happiness that continues to increase and grow. And it results in this—it’s very transformative. It’s not like when we talk about knowledge we are talking about book learning - where you learn an idea and you can sort of repeat it. This knowledge is an awakening and seeing things from a completely different perspective.

So in this verse from the Bhagavad-gita, the 18th Chapter, the final chapter of the Bhagavad-gita. The 30th verse it states--Krishna is speaking to Arjuna;

Oh son of Prtha, that understanding by which one knows what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, what is to be feared and what is not to be feared, what is binding and what is liberating, this is in the mode of goodness.
Bhagavad-gita 18.30

So Krishna explains that there are different types of so-called knowledge. Real, factual knowledge which is being described here as knowledge in the mode of goodness is completely enlightening. Whereas the so-called knowledge that people cultivate, if its foundation is ignorant, you may go on studying a subject and becoming very knowledgeable in that subject but if it’s heading in the wrong direction and taking you in the wrong direction, it is ultimately considered ignorant.

So this spiritual knowledge, this transformative knowledge, it teaches a person what is to be done and what is not to be done. In the beginning, refraining from what should not be done may be a little difficult. Doing what is asked of you to do in order to have this spiritual, this growth and this transformation may seem a little bit, a little bit difficult. But what happens if one begins to tread ever so—even slowly, but down this path, there is an internal transformation. And there is an awakening of things. And the development of a wonderful spiritual taste. This is likened to someone who is—a sickness, jaundice. A sickness of the liver. When a person has jaundice, candy, rock candy, sugar, tastes bitter and foul. But as a person gradually becomes healed from the condition they taste the actual sweetness that is there. In a very similar manner the spiritual experiences like that, that which may be a little difficult in the beginning and may not deliver the sweetness of what it is that you are really—of the experience, is there because of a, if I can put it this way, a material disease. Materialism. But as one is awakened then we learn and increasingly apply what is the actual right path, what will deliver the goods. What should be done, what should not be done. What is to be feared and what is not to be feared.

Jesus Christ wrote, it’s in the Bible. I can’t recall if it’s in the New Testament or the Old where it says that, “One should not fear the killers of the body rather one should fear the killer of the soul.” That has a very wonderful, that’s a wonderful expression. It is absolutely truthful but it needs to be understood appropriately. Actually the soul can never be killed. But you can be your spiritual—the light of your spiritual life can be completely extinguished by going in the wrong direction; in which case it is described as just like the soul is dead.

In this next verse also from the Bhagavad-gita, 2nd Chapter, the 40th verse it says;

In this endeavor (meaning the spiritual endeavor) there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous types of fear.
Bhagavad-gita 2.40

So as we’ve pointed out, everybody is existing with all kinds of fears that are buried often deep inside us and surface from time to time. But because we live in this state and condition we are not always aware of it. From the point of view of an actual spiritual personality they look at other living beings as being—their condition as very lamentable. It is very sad and unfortunate. And they seek to relieve the suffering of the living beings. And when one actually cultivates this understanding, when one simply takes, for instance, to this process of kirtan or the use of this transcendental sound silently or quietly to one self, or singing out loud musically, or using beads as a part of their meditation, japa meditation; when one engages in this process it causes the arising, gradual opening of this actual spiritual knowledge. And with a little development of spiritual understanding, knowledge, one can become free from the most dangerous, it says here, types of fear.

So this is the proposition. This is what is being offered. And this is what we are asking people to kindly consider. It is in your interest to consider this and to act on it.

My initiating spiritual master Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, he had written in the—a commentary in one of the verses in Bhagavad-gita. That when one takes shelter of the Supreme Lord - taking shelter means taking shelter in this knowledge - when one actually places their heart at the feet of the Lord such a person has nothing to fear even in the midst of the greatest calamity.

So we must understand that by virtue of the fact that we exist, embodied within this body, living in the material world, we will be confronted in different points in our life with calamities. They will occur because it is the nature of material world. But even in the face of the greatest calamity when one has taken shelter of the Supreme Soul, when one has taken shelter of the knowledge that is being offered, when one is acting on that knowledge, then one can be free from fear even in the midst as stated of the greatest calamity. So this is the key to fearlessness.

I’d like to thank you very much for joining us today and we will conclude with some chanting of these wonderful spiritual sound, this kirtan. And I invite you to join with us.

Hare Krishna kirtan

Thank you very much for joining us and I look forward to seeing you next week. Thank you! Namaste!

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.