The Supreme Lord also has a will, the Supreme will, and His will is always done. As long as I act independent of the Supreme will then I am responsible for all my actions. That is the law of karma. But if I connect my will with the Supreme will, I do what I do because it is His will then there is no karma for those actions. That is karma-free activity. I will give you an example.
There is a fireman, he is working in the fire house. The alarm goes off, he jumps in the truck, quickly pulls out of the firehouse, rides in front of traffic, cuts up many cars, comes to the corner, there is a red light, he runs through the red light. There is a policeman sitting right there and he does nothing. He goes up a one-way street the wrong way, now the policeman goes in front of him helping him. No violations at all.
He comes back after the fire, everything is okay. He gets off work, gets in his car, comes to the same red light, the same policeman is there. He runs the red light, he gets stopped by the same policeman and given a ticket.
What is the difference? One is… In the first case he was authorized to do these things. He was acting under a higher authority. Second case – now he is independent, he is acting independently, so now he is completely responsible. It is like this. We basically live our lives independently and create all the karma.
The process of bhakti-yoga is a very complete process of perfection. That is what we practice, that is what we teach. In the process of bhakti-yoga we learn to gradually dovetail our will with the Supreme will. We begin to do what we do according to His guidance, His instructions and so on. This is called “devotional service”.
When we do this it actually brings us in contact with the Supreme Lord and a relationship begins to develop. When we are acting in this way there is no karma, absolutely no karma. Not only that, but the previous karma that we have accumulated for many lifetimes, is removed. From the time I begin to do this and till the end of my life I create no new karma, all previous karma is removed. I come to the end of my life with no karma. That means I don’t have to take another birth to get the rewards of my karma, or the results of my karma because I don’t have any karma. One third of the problem is solved.
Now what about this material attachment thing, that is the strong one. All these things work together perfectly.
The second example. There is a young secretary, she graduates from university and gets her first job. She knows she is not a good secretary, but she needs this job. it is her life, it is her rent, it is her food, it is her survival. She is always very nervous when the boss comes in, “Oh, I might get fired. He is going to see I am no good.” She is so happy when he doesn’t come in. “Oh, he goes on a trip, oh, great. I hope he stays a long time,” etc.
However as they relate to each other more and more on a daily basis things change. They become very comfortable with each other. They are going on a few business lunches together, things change more. They are going on a few business trips together and you know the story. They become attached, they fall in love. A wife’s worse nightmare. It wasn’t supposed to happen but it did. It happens all the time. Why? Because the relationship developed and out of this relationship her whole approach to her job changed. Originally she was attached to the job, “Oh, me, my job, I am in the center.” But then later she is attached to the boss. She transferred the attachment from the job to the boss. She is no longer in the center, he is the center. She is revolving around him.
In the same way when we develop this relationship with the Supreme Person and He moves into the center, then my material attachments gradually decrease and disappear, and are replaced with spiritual attachments. I am still attached, because this is a nature of the soul. But now it is the perfection of attachment – spiritual attachment to the Supreme Lord.
So I can come to the end of my life with no material attachment, but strong spiritual attachment, and remember, personal attachments are the strongest ones.
What about material desire? It is all part of the same evolution. The secretary’s original desire was, “Oh, I hope he doesn’t come in the office.” Now it is, “Where is he? It has been ten minutes.” Before, “Oh, he is going on the business trip. Great, I hope he stays forever.” Now, “Oh, I hope he takes me with him.” You see, everything changes. Her desire now is to please the boss: how should I fix my hair, what perfume, what lipstick, what dress. “Oh, I will work late, I will help you after work, you don’t have to pay me overtime.” The only difference is in the relationship.
You see, it is all about relationship. When we have that ongoing increasing relationship with the Supreme Lord our desires change too. Material desire is replaced with spiritual desire. I come to the end of my life, which is inevitable, but everything is different. I have no karma, I have no material attachments, may be some light thing but nothing serious, but I have strong spiritual attachment. No material desire but very strong spiritual desire. Therefore, this takes me to the spiritual world. It is called “being back home”.
We have been gone a long time but we can return to our original home and reestablish ourselves in our relationship there with the Supreme Lord. This is the goal of life. That is the only way to get off the wheel of birth and death. It is an individual choice. we have free will.
If we know the choice then we have the possibility of making that choice. If we don’t know we don’t even have the possibility. The one activity of all activities that makes this a reality more than any other is mantra-meditation. This is the most purifying activity, the most cleansing activity, the most pleasing activity. This is a gift the Supreme Lord has given us. He has given us the opportunity to actually come back to the spiritual world.
The whole process of bhakti-yoga is complete, but the main activity is this mantra-meditation. We are always encouraging people, “Hey, why not? It is easy, it is free” and you will find (if you have not yet) it is very, very enjoyable and in a much deeper way.
So those are the ideas for the evening. Time is like… flying. If you want to ask a few questions we do have 22 minutes. We will chant for five minutes then you can ask your questions. I will chant and everybody can listen and then you chant and I will listen.