Seeing Krishna !
From the book 'The path of Yoga'
By HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Submitted by Manoj
prasanta-manasam hy enam
yoginam sukham uttamam
"The yogi whose mind is fixed on Me verily attains the highest happiness. By virtue of his identity with Brahman, he is liberated; his mind is peaceful, his passions are quieted, and he is freed from sin." (Bg. 6.27)
yunjann evam sadatmanam
atyantam sukham asnute
"Steady in the Self, being freed from all material contamination, the yogi achieves the highest perfectional stage of happiness in touch with the Supreme Consciousness." (Bg. 6.28)
So here is the perfection: "The yogi whose mind is fixed on Me." Since Krishna is speaking, the "Me" refers to Krishna. If I am speaking and saying, "Give me a glass of water," I do not intend that the water be supplied to someone else. We must therefore clearly understand that, since Bhagavad-gita is being spoken by Sri Krishna, when He says "unto Me," He means unto Krishna. Unfortunately, there are many commentators who deviate from these clear instructions. I do not know why; their motives are no doubt nefarious.
"A true yogi observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere." (Bg. 6.29) Sarva-bhuta-stham atmanam: "A true yogi observes Me in all beings." How is this possible? Some people say that all beings are Krishna and that therefore there is no point in worshiping Krishna separately. Consequently, such people take to humanitarian activities, claiming that such work is better. They say, "Why should Krishna be worshiped? Krishna says that one should see Krishna in every being. Therefore let us serve daridra-narayana, the man in the street." Such misinterpreters do not know the proper techniques, which have to be learned under a bona fide spiritual master.
A true yogi, as explained before, is the devotee of Krishna, and the most advanced devotee goes forth to preach Krishna consciousness. Why? Because he sees Krishna in all beings. How is this? Because he sees that all beings are part and parcel of Krishna. He also understands that since these beings have forgotten Krishna, it is his duty to awaken them to Krishna consciousness. Sometimes missionaries go forth to educate primitive, uneducated people just because they see that they are human beings and so deserve to be educated in order to understand the value of life. This is due to the missionary's sympathy. The devotee is similarly motivated. He understands that everyone should know himself to be part and parcel of Krishna. The devotee understands that people are suffering due to their forgetfulness of Krishna.
Thus the devotee sees Krishna in everything. He is not under the illusion that everything has become Krishna. Rather, he sees every living being as the son of God. If I say that this boy is the son of Mr. Johnson, do I mean that this boy is Mr. Johnson himself? I may see Mr. Johnson in this boy because this boy is his son, but the distinction remains. If I see every living being as the son of Krishna, I see Krishna in every being. This should not be difficult to understand. It is neither an association nor a vision but a fact.
When a devotee sees a cat or a dog, he sees Krishna in him. He knows that a cat, for instance, is a living being, and that due to his past deeds he has received the body of a cat. This is due to his forgetfulness. The devotee helps the cat by giving it some krishna-prasada so that someday the cat will come to Krishna consciousness. This is seeing Krishna in the cat. The devotee does not think, "Oh, here is Krishna. Let me embrace this cat and serve this cat as God." Such thinking is nonsensical. If one sees a tiger, he does not say, "Oh, here is Krishna. Come on, please eat me." The devotee does not embrace all beings as Krishna but rather sympathizes with every living being because he sees all beings as part and parcel of Krishna. In this way, "the true yogi observes Me in all beings." This is real vision.
Whatever is done in Krishna consciousness, knowingly or unknowingly, will have its effect. Children who bow down or try to vibrate Krishna's names or clap during kirtana are actually accumulating so much in their bank account of Krishna consciousness. Fire will act, whether one is a child or an adult. If a child touches fire, the fire will burn. The fire does not say, "Oh, I will not burn him. He is a child and does not know." No, the fire will always act as fire. Similarly, Krishna is the supreme spirit, and if a child partakes in Krishna consciousness, he will be affected. Krishna will act, whether the child knows or does not know. Every living being should be given a chance to partake of Krishna consciousness because Krishna is there and will act. Therefore everyone is being invited to come and take prasada, because this prasada will someday take effect.
We should be careful not to make the mistake of thinking that everyone is Krishna; rather, we should see Krishna in everyone. Krishna is all-pervading. Why is He to be seen only in human beings? As stated in Brahma-samhita, He is also present within the atom: andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham. [Bs.5.35] The word paramanu means "atom," and we should understand that Krishna is present within every atom. "A true yogi observes Me in all beings and also sees every being in Me." How does the yogi see every being "in Me"? This is possible because the true yogi knows that everything that we see is Krishna. We are sitting on this floor or on this carpet, but in actuality we are sitting on Krishna. We should know this to be a fact. How is this carpet Krishna? It is Krishna because it is made of Krishna's energy. The Supreme Lord has various energies, of which there are three primary divisions-material energy, spiritual energy, and marginal energy. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. We living entities are marginal energy, the material world is material energy, and the spiritual world is spiritual energy. We are marginal energy in the sense that we can be either spiritually or materially situated. There is no third alternative; either we become materialistic or spiritualistic.
As long as we are in the material world, we are seated on the material energy, and therefore we are situated in Krishna, because Krishna's energy is not separate from Krishna. A flame contains both heat and illumination, two energies. Neither the heat nor the illumination are separate from the flame; therefore in one sense heat is fire, and illumination is fire, but they can be distinguished. Similarly, this material energy is also Krishna, and although we are thinking that we are sitting on this floor, we are actually sitting on Krishna. Therefore it is stated, "The self-realized man sees Me everywhere." Seeing Krishna everywhere means seeing every living being as well as everything else in relationship to Krishna. In the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita (7.8), Lord Krishna tells Arjuna how He can be seen in various manifestations.
raso 'ham apsu kaunteya
sabdah khe paurusam nrsu
"O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man."
Water is drunk by all living entities, and is needed by birds, beasts, and man. It is not only used for drinking, but for washing and for cultivating plants as well. A soldier on the battlefield can understand how important water is. When fighting, soldiers become thirsty, and if they have no water, they die. Once a person has learned the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita, whenever he drinks water, he sees Krishna. And when does a day pass when we do not drink water? This is the way of Krishna consciousness. "I am the light of the sun and the moon." So whether in the day or the night, we see either sunshine or moonshine. How, then, can we forget Krishna? This, then, is the way of perfect yoga. We have to see Krishna everywhere and at all times.
yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na pranasyami
sa ca me na pranasyati
"For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me." (Bg. 6.30) This is sada tad-bhava-bhavitah: [Bg. 8.6] always remembering Krishn. If we practice living in this way, we never lose Krishna and are never lost to Krishna, and at the time of death we are therefore sure to go to Krishna. If we are not lost to Krishna, where can we go but to Krishna? In the Ninth Chapter, Krishna tells Arjuna, kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati (Bg. 9.31): "O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes."
Simply don't lose sight of Krishna. That is the perfection of life. We can forget everything else, but we should never forget Krishna.