A Korean organization named Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) invited Sri Krishna Mandir to their event Dialogue of Scriptures scheduled on the 20th of August, 2016. They have asked us to present our scriptural perspective on how to achieve world peace.
They have called some other religious figures also to present their perspective. His Grace Sundara Gopāla dāsa, the President of Sri Krishna Mandir, by far, delivered the most succinct, clear and practical way to achieve world peace. His rousing speech on how Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the answer to world peace was very much appreciated by the multi-religious, multi-racial audience.
His signature style of presentation using the digital screen got everyone glued to the presentation and made the audience actually read Śrīla Prabhupāda’s words and understand the concept very clearly. Viśvambhara dāsa was adept and prompt at operating the screen.
The presentation was very simple. First, His Grace Sundara Gopāla dāsa impressed upon the audience that although world peace might sound like a herculean achievement to covet, if we actually notice that the world is made up of individual people, it boils down to actually making peace with oneself first.
From the verses of Bhagavad-gītā and the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, he drove home the point that the mind, with which we are sitting and conversing day in and day out, has been our greatest enemy. Following are a few of the verses that were covered in his presentation.
Bhagavad-gītā 6.5-6: “A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well. For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy.”
How the mind, under the influence of the modes of passion and ignorance, has been our enemy by inducing us to perform undesirable acts was corroborated by Vedic evidence. We wish to cite a couple of verses here.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.15.43-44: “In the conditioned stage, one’s conceptions of life are sometimes polluted by passion and ignorance, which are exhibited by attachment, hostility, greed, lamentation, illusion, fear, madness, false prestige, insults, fault-finding, deception, envy, intolerance, passion, bewilderment, hunger and sleep. All of these are enemies. Sometimes one’s conceptions are also polluted by goodness.”
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.23.47: “All the senses have been under the control of the mind since time immemorial, and the mind himself never comes under the sway of any other. He is stronger than the strongest, and his godlike power is fearsome. Therefore, anyone who can bring the mind under control becomes the master of all the senses.”
Next, Bhagavad-gītā 2.66: “One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?”
This transcendental consciousness is explained by Lord Kṛṣṇa in another verse of Bhagavad-gītā (5.29): “The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.” If everyone understands that everything belongs to the Lord, no one would encroach upon others’ property knowing well that they belong to the Supreme Lord and everyone has been given a quota to subsist on.
The practical process to attain this transcendental consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is devotional service or bhakti-yoga. In Bhagavad-gītā 14.26, Lord Kṛṣṇa says, “One who engages in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.”
Then Bhagavad-gītā 18.54: “One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.”
Everyone present was greatly impressed by His Grace Sundara Gopāla dāsa’s 17-minute power-packed presentation and they asked intelligent questions which His Grace Sundara Gopāla dāsa gladly answered again from the scriptures towards the end of the session. The attendees from other religious groups and sects paid their respects to him for his superb presentation.
Śrīla Prabhupāda has mercifully given us the perfect knowledge. If we can just present it as it is in a serious manner, any sane person would be impressed. And, that is exactly what happened in this meeting. Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda!