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I was asked to answer some questions via video link last Saturday, from people attending a yoga and kirtan retreat on the Coromandel Peninsular in New Zealand.  I thought that others may also benefit from this, so am posting it.

The questions in summary were:

  1. What is my purpose in life ..? Why am I here?
  2. What is the point of us not remembering our previous lives? What benefit is there in not remembering them? Why can’t we remember them?
  3. Why is the world so full of incredible suffering and pain?
  4. When you speak of this human existence someone said t’s like a jail and we will never find true fulfillment here. Why does this have such a negative lens? Is it possible to have this understanding whilst also seeing the absolutely magical and beautiful world that God has created for us? I hope that makes sense.

Aum Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Before speaking I would like to offer my most humble respects to my spiritual teachers, to our lineage and to the Supreme.

Aum ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
Caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah

Bhaja Sri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu Nityananda
Sri Advaita Gadadhara Sri Vas Adi Gaura Bhakta Vrnda

He Krishna karuna sindhu dina bandho jagat pate
Gopesa gopika kanta Radha kanta namo ‘stu te

Aum Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

So I’ve received few questions that we will try to address. The first one is from, I think it’s Sellie? (Woman: Jenny? Acd: Huh?  Woman: There’s another one about that from Jenny. Acd:  No. I’ve…) And the question is a really, really important question: What is my purpose in life? Why am I here? It’s kind of interesting because we’ve got that, and we’ve got another question related to a reincarnation, and another couple of questions related to the nature of suffering in this world, and that instantly reminded me of an amazing event that took place about 500 years ago.

One of our great spiritual teachers, his name was Sanatan Goswami, and he had lived a life of great privilege. He was a great transcendentalist, but was born in a very wealthy family. He had been required to serve the Muslim Emperor that had seized control of North India and East India at that time. The Emperor had engaged Sanatana to be his treasurer, which I think is a very clear indication of his exceptional talents and intelligence, otherwise he wouldn’t have been put in that situation. Eventually Sanatana freed himself from this service, and leaving everything behind, becoming a mendicant, he travelled to one of the great holy places of India, and on that journey he met up with his spiritual master, the great Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and they engaged in this extraordinary discourse.

And in this discourse Sanatana took a position of enormous humility, saying that he was very low-born and very unintelligent. So he said,

“I was born in a low family, and my associates are all very low-class people. I myself am very fallen and the lowest of men. Indeed I have passed my whole life fallen into the well of sinful materialism. I do not know what is beneficial for me or what is detrimental.”

So in saying that, he is referencing how a person should approach the subject of the purpose of life, accepting that perhaps I don’t know, perhaps I don’t have it all right, perhaps I’ve got many things wrong. And so Sanatana prayed in this way, said,

“I do not know what is beneficial for me or what is detrimental. Nonetheless, in ordinary dealings, people consider me a learned scholar, and I am also thinking of myself as such.”

And of course, he was an extraordinary scholar. He spoke multiple languages. He was a brilliant person. Continuing, he said,

“Out of your causeless mercy you have delivered me from the materialistic path, and now by the same causeless mercy please tell me what my duty is. Who am I? Why do the threefold miseries in life always give me trouble? If I do not know this how can I be benefited? Actually I do not know how to inquire about the goal of life and the process of obtaining it. Being merciful upon me please explain all these truths.”

So I thought I would just read that because it is highly instructive how we need to approach this spiritual search. If I think I already know so much, and I’ve got it together, I am not going to be interested in hearing, nor will I have a tendency to inquire very carefully.

So in answering this question—I’ll just give you something foundational. The understanding of the great spiritual teachers is that we are all eternal spiritual beings. The body that we have on is not our identity. It’s not who we are. This is a temporary covering that I’m occupying. Anywhere that you see life there is spiritual existence.

Life is a symptom of the presence of the soul, or the atma. Therefore in lower species, and here I’m going to just reference animals in particular, there is the same spiritual being, the same soul, the same atma, as in a human body, only in that body one is incredibly covered. There is no capacity to ask questions. One simply acts on impulse and on desire.  There is no other choice. This is animal existence.

An animal existence, is said that they have four primary focuses or concerns. First is eating, always looking what to, where can I eat, eat, eat? The second is, where can I sleep? Where am I going to bed down for the night? The third is mating, engaging in sexual activity for reproductive purposes. And then a fourth and final one is to defend what they consider theirs, their territory, their young, themselves. So this eating, sleeping, mating, and defending were considered the four animal proclivities.

Human beings also tend to be almost entirely focused on these four things. Everything else that is done, like the type of work, and getting an education, everything, is done in in support of these fundamental proclivities. But in the human form of life one has a unique capacity. The human body is considered the most subtle of all the gross material coverings that can cover a soul. And this subtleness makes it so that there is this intelligence, where one can ask these questions:  So what is this all about? What is life about? What is it for? Why am I here?

In the lower forms of life one cannot, and does not (answer this or—[correction]) ask this question. So the fact that we can ask this question is somewhat of an indicator about the importance and the purpose of human life. To have a human form has one, and only one, actual purpose, and that purpose is self-realization and God realization. The answer to this question, “Who am I and why am I here?” this is the actual purpose. Everything else is secondary or tertiary, is of not great importance.

I mean many of the things that we focus on and we think are like incredibly important, oh, developing relationships; perhaps a family, our own family or being part of a family; an occupation and a skill set to make it so I can earn money; and then to gain recognition and acceptance, fame perhaps even, all of these things that accompany these undertakings, when looked at in the big picture, are actually not very important at all. Not very important because they have a beginning and they will come to an end. And as one lives through that life everything that we strived for, everything that we endeavoured for, everything that we’ve got all emotional about, and this roller coaster up and down, and all of these things instantly comes to an end at death. Not only does it come to an end, that’s it for good, there is no revisiting what has happened.

And the understanding that’s taught in the Vedas is that then the living being, the spirit soul, the atma, leaves a particular body, and that is why the body dies. You don’t die. You cannot die. You are eternal but the body will die, and then according to the laws of karma and other laws of material nature you will again take another body, and you will again go through this process of identifying with a new family and new relationships and a new particular body that you have. Now you’ve adopted this identity, and this has become me, and now again I engage in these undertakings, one more time, with tremendous enthusiasm and focus. It’s like, becomes my all and all. And then that journey comes to an end. When my body is no longer habitable because of disease, or accident, or old age, or whatever then I just move right on. I just leave everything, and I leave all those relationships and all those connections and just move on.

When we have that broad perspective then it really helps us to become more focused on what is the true purpose and meaning of my life. I would just like—well let me finish this though: The purpose of human life is spiritual pursuit, the discovery of who I am in truth, who I am, and to reconnect and experience the reality of my spiritual identity. And of course, with that there will be a realization of my connection with some higher spiritual reality. So this is referred to as God realization. So this is the real purpose, to rediscover myself and reconnect with that which is permanent, with that which is eternal, because I am spending—I am an eternal being, but I am spending all my time just chasing that which is temporary, which does not last, which is actually a monumental waste of time, in the sense that it all comes to an end, and then it’s all gone, and I just move on to another situation.

Somebody may then ask, “Okay, well, if material life and the life of this—in this body and everything, is that all to be ignored or rejected?” and the answer is, absolutely not! We cannot artificially attain a platform of perfect spiritual realization. We fully embrace the reality and the acceptance that now I am in an embodied state, I am in this condition, for whatever reason. I have this body and with this particular body there is a there is definitely duty and responsibility. And so while my main focus in life, my principal focus in life has to be this spiritual journey of discovery, of self-realization, of the realization of my true and eternal spiritual identity, while that is the main thing, I have to accept, “But I’m not in a state of pure or perfect spiritual consciousness, I’m still clouded by material consciousness. I still have this covering.” And so I must act in a way that is in my self-interest.

My self-interest is this spiritual realization, but at the same time I have an obligation. I have an obligation towards family, to people I am in relationships with, to a broader society. Yes, there are obligations here, and I need to carry out those things as duties, as responsibilities, but in the larger context, that this is in support of my spiritual journey of self-discovery. When we understand that then one does not act in an irresponsible way or seeks to avoid these great responsibilities and duties connected with having a material body and being a resident in this world. So these duties are going to be there, and so my life now becomes balanced.

A material life is a life of imbalance. It’s completely out of balance. It is a complete and total focus on the temporary, on that which is temporary and constantly changing, while I am an eternal. And so what I do is I seek to find or to fulfill my deeper spiritual needs in this world. I try to make a home here. You cannot make a home here. This is not your home.

I seek permanent relationships. I seek permanence in so many ways, and that is false. It is false, because I cannot find permanence. But if I understand that in my—this journey—that there is a need for me to live a more balanced life, instead of just chasing that which is material in the hope that it will fulfill me, in the hope that it will satisfy me. We draw a huge distinction between the pleasurable experiences that one can receive through the senses, tasting, touching, smelling, seeing, these can be pleasurable stimulation and experience, but these things are not the same as being completely happy.

One can be in a situation where they’re constantly stimulating their senses. And of course a brilliant example is somebody that’s taking methamphetamine and is totally addicted to it, and it’s just every day you’re looking for that blast, or that two or three or four blasts, five blasts (and people smoke it, people move past that to injecting, which is actually called blasting), and if you watch somebody over the course of this experience, where they’re experiencing tremendous rush in their brain from the drug where there’s this massive amounts of stimulation, but I can at the same time be incredibly unhappy and even suicidal.

So when we live a balanced life it doesn’t mean that we turn our back on material existence, but we try to understand its purpose and meaning, and we try to utilize it to support my body, the health of my body, the well-being of my body so I can utilize this instrument in my spiritual search. I should be using or utilizing my body and my mind to fulfill my highest need, the need for self-realization. If I am not using my body and my mind, my mind and my body will be using me. I am like the energy source for the mind and the body, but the mind and the body have the capacity to almost operate independently, and when the mind is not controlled it is considered the greatest enemy of all people.

So I think I’ve sufficiently covered, “What is the purpose of life?”

“Why am I here?” is a little bit more challenging to answer, because it requires a deeper understanding of things. But I will tell you this, all entangled beings in this world suffer from a common disease, a common ailment, and that ailment is the desire to be the centre of everything. I mean, I don’t even think about it like that, but in my actions and in my life I am constantly placing myself at the centre of everything. This—the degree of self-absorption of the material condition is astonishing, and we don’t even recognize how bad it is or how powerful it is.

Even when somebody is in a state of, for instance, massive depression where they are completely unhappy and shutting themself off from the world, in that condition there is just this idea of me being at the centre of everything, and me being in this dark hole. Again it’s simply all about me.

You notice in this world, when a group of people get together, it’s like a mini competition to be the centre of things. You’ve got one person that tells the best jokes, and that’s how they seek to be the centre of attention. Somebody else has got the cool new clothing on, or some hot new phone or something, and flashing it around, and that’s how they get attention. Somebody else is trying to do it with the beauty or the muscle thing, or a new tattoo, or some new skateboard trick, or some new thing that they’ve heard that they want to share with everybody. Somebody’s got the hot gossip, “Oh, did you guys hear about…” Every time people do this, if you look at the underlying psychology, there is this desire to be at the centre of things. This is considered the big problem, and this is considered one of the reasons why we are in this place.

We are in this place because we have turned our back on what is our true and eternal natural position, to be a humble and loving servant of the Supreme Soul. I mean, I am not the centre of the universe. Somebody else is. There is actually a centre of the universe, of all material and spiritual creation, but in the material condition I have no thought of that. In fact I am seeking to occupy that position. I see everything in relation to what I call me, but the me that I’m talking about is not the true me. It’s just the body and the mind.

So the material world is considered, from a spiritual perspective, to be the realm of the wayward souls, those who seek to be Godlike and the centre of everything, and the material realm is considered the realm where one can undertake this pursuit. And of course [this] puts us immediately in conflict with everything else around us, because we want to be supreme, we want to be the centre of things. But this is a very big subject.

But the thing that we need to do is to seek to regain our original and true spiritual consciousness and position, and this is the purpose.

The Vedanta Sutra, the Brahma-Sutra, which is considered one of the most authoritative spiritual texts, begins with a Sanskrit aphorism, a line, and it is, athato brahma jijnasa, which means “Now is the time for spiritual inquiry.” And what this statement is pointing to is, now that you have attained the human form of life, now that you have already been stuck on this repeated wheel of birth and death for so long, now that you have gained the highly valuable human form, now it is time for you to begin inquiry into a higher spiritual truth. So this is really what the purpose of human life is for.

So now I’ll speak about a question from Jenny. (Haribol Jenny)

“What is the point of us not remembering our previous lives? What benefit is there in not remembering them?  What reason is there that we cannot remember them?”

So, one of the characteristics of the atma, the self, the spirit soul, is that we have freedom of choice. We are free to make choices. But what we don’t understand is, we are not free from the consequence of those choices.

So I mentioned, in the end of that last question I answered, that one of the characteristics of the conditioned state is this desire for us, that we have, to be the central enjoying agent, to be the centre of things, to be loved, to be honoured, to be uplifted, to enjoy different experiences. We see ourself in this way, and we think it is our right, and we endeavour—everybody is endeavouring in this way.

The problem is, when I am completely—when I have lost the plot, and I live out a materially focused life in a particular body, trying to exploit it, and enjoy things, and build relationships, and acquire assets and experiences, and then the body dies, it becomes uninhabitable for—can be any one of a number of reasons, and then me, the living being, the spiritual being, must leave; I bring with me my underlying consciousness.

And if my underlying consciousness is that I am still seeking to be the central enjoying agent of everything, I have developed attachment to certain types of relationships and experiences, material relationships and experiences, because I am hungering for these things, and I am missing them, with the thought of being separated from them, this really makes it so that we will again receive another body. Again we will take birth in order for us to try and fulfill these desires and fantasies that we have, and this underlying desire to be at the centre of everything.

If I could remember all that has happened in my previous life that would be in direct conflict with my desire to be the central enjoying agent, that it’s all about me, because then I would start entering this realm of being—feeling quite probably depressed and upset. “I really want to be at the centre of things. I really want to find the perfect love here. I really want to make a home here. I really want to enjoy all this stuff, but it keeps getting taken away from me. Oh my God, that’s so depressing.”

But that understanding doesn’t bring spiritual consciousness. It doesn’t purify my heart or my mind. It doesn’t eradicate this desire I have to be at the centre of everything.

And so the mechanism, what happens, the experience of death, for the majority of living beings, is so utterly shocking and actually painful (and I’m not talking about physical pain, I’m talking about something much deeper) it is so shocking and painful, and the experience of birth is likewise shocking and painful, it is said that during these experiences my memory of all past life or lives becomes eradicated.

And the great sages say that that is actually a form of mercy or kindness, because I have this compulsion, this drive to be the centre of things and to be the central enjoying agent; and as long as I have that desire I must repeatedly take birth again and again and again. And for me to try and be able to fulfill that desire I have this will—I want to try and fulfill these desires—the fact that I cannot remember my failures makes it possible for me to continue to foster this desire.

It is said that when a person comes to actually question, “Well hell, is this really worth it? Am I really finding everything that I seek, am I being fulfilled in the way that I wish to be fulfilled in this life? Or is there something wrong?” Just like I read that little portion from the Caitanya Caritamrta in the beginning, where Sanatana Goswami asks, “Why must I suffer the threefold miseries?”

So these threefold miseries is the unhappiness or suffering that’s caused by my own body and mind, this is called adhyatmika; then there is adhidaivika—or we’ll go adhibautika next, the suffering that I experience due to other living beings, my friends, my husband or wife, my kids even, my pets, the sand flies, the mosquitoes, the flies, the insects, the little bugs that invade my body, other living beings cause me different forms of unhappiness; and the third type is called adhidaivika. It means the suffering that comes as a result of natural calamities and natural occurrences, a volcanic eruption, an earthquake, excessive heat in the summer, or prolonged dry spells or flooding or excessive cold, all of these natural occurrences that also can cause me suffering.

So Sanatana was asking, why, why do I suffer these threefold miseries?

So it’s going to be the nature of this world that because we are trying to do something that is not entirely natural, for instance I seek happiness: why do I want happiness? I want happiness because it is part of the eternal condition of the soul itself to exist in a state of ananda. Sat chit ananda. This Ananda, this blissfulness is the natural state of the soul, but when I inhabit a body and I’m not experiencing a state of blissfulness, I feel agitated, and so I’m always looking here and there and everywhere else for something to stimulate my senses, because maybe that will make me happy. I’m looking for happiness because it is part of my eternal nature to exist in a state of happiness, but while I am in possession of this overwhelming consciousness, where it’s all about me, I’m the centre of my life, and it’s all about me, while I have that consciousness, okay, I’m given the opportunity to try and fulfill that. I have the free will to make that choice, and I’m given the facility to try and fulfill it.

But the reality is that when I endeavour, it must frustrate me somehow or rather, and then my choice is, in my frustration and disappointment, is either to take intoxicants so I kind of forget everything, or to try and become lost in some experience, or to actually question, maybe I’m doing something wrong? Maybe there is a better way? And so these—I think you’re probably beginning to see, Jenny, how your question and the previous question are actually both very closely interrelated. And it’s necessary to develop a good and broad understanding of what is spiritual life and the nature of material life, which now leads to the next question, is—

“After talking to some friends who do not have much spiritual information in their lives, this question came up, ‘Why is the world so full of incredible suffering and pain?’”

And that ties in also to the question, I think it’s from Kayla, the last question:

“When you speak of this human existence you say it’s like a jail” (and this question was put to somebody else) “you say it is like a jail, and we will never find true fulfillment here. Why does this have such a negative lens? Is it possible to have this understanding whilst also seeing the absolutely magical and beautiful world that God has created for us? I hope that makes sense.”

So yeah, so we’ll try and address these two things together. (And looks like, what’s that, I got a new message. One second. Let me just read this. Okay. Well I’m not sure if we’ll be able to get to that or not.)

So what is the big picture?  The big picture is material life is not a punishment. It’s not. It’s not a punishment. The living being, the soul, desires to be like God, almost, and be the centre of everything. I see myself at the centre of everything, and so we’re simply given an opportunity to try and fulfill that fantasy, because the reality is I’m not the centre of everything. But the nature of the material world is such that it doesn’t matter how much I stimulate my senses it cannot fulfill me, because I’m a spiritual being. It is only spiritual experience, spiritual nutrition, that is going to fulfill me and fill up the void.

It’s kind of like two people sitting side by side, and somebody gets an ice cream and they’ve got this Woow, this massive ice cream with all the trips on it, and it’s like so amazing, and you’re just sitting there looking at it, “Wow, this is going to be fantastic. This is going to be amazing. I’m going to really dive into this. And wow! Okay, here we go.” And then I push it up against the other person’s face, and they lick it, and go, “Ooh.” And then I’m sitting there holding it, and I’m going like—I’m looking at that person tasting it. I’m going like, “I’m not feeling anything. Oh, let me try again,” and I put it over, and the other person licks the cone, then I bring it back, and I’m going, “Well all of this has been eaten, but it’s not doing anything for me.”

That may seem like a ridiculous example but actually, that’s what it’s like. The living being has become so preoccupied with this illusion that the body is the self, and I desire actual fulfilling experience of happiness and of love, but I only engage my body and my mind to try and find that fulfillment, that experience; and then I’m sitting back in there, and my body can be getting full up, like my stomach can be getting full of ice cream, and my mouth is now all sugared out, and I’m inside going like, “It’s not fulfilling me. It’s not completely giving me what I hoped it would.”

It’s necessary to try and understand that then, the consequence of feeling kind of sometimes a bit depressed and let down and disappointed with this world, and the relationships and the experience and everything, this is a natural consequence. It’s not that you have been punished. You have foolishly assumed that if I can just do that I’ll be fulfilled. If I can have that, if I can experience that I will be fulfilled, I will feel the love and the happiness, and everything that I actually desire within my heart of hearts. But when I discover that it’s not doing that, that’s not a punishment. That’s just like, well, what can you do? You’ve made an assumption, you’ve gone on this journey to try and exploit something for your so-called happiness, and it’s just not fulfilling you.

Well, that’s fantastic. That’s not something to be depressed about. That’s wow! You’ve been shown a reality that you should be able to relate to and embrace and go, “Wow, far out! So that’s not doing it. I need to find the thing that will actually do that, that will actually give me the fulfillment, will actually give me everything that I’m actually seeking and looking for.”

So the nature of the material world—yes, I mean everything breaks down. The four highlights of human life, you take birth, and then as you grow you eventually come to this point of experiencing different types of diseases. I mean, my God, look at covid! Then you run into old age, and you think your life may be bad now, whatever it is, you wait for the old age thing. That’s mind-blowing. And then you’ve got death.

This is just the nature of the journey. It’s not a punishment. It’s not bad. It’s just the nature of things. What causes us great unhappiness is when we have false expectations, that this particular person, or this relationship, or this experience, or this whatever it is, is going to fulfill me, and it’s going to utterly make me happy, and I’m—we’re all going to live happily ever after. Not true. Not true.

And then I find out this person, not only can they not fulfill me, I’m not fulfilling them, and they’re off on a relationship with somebody else. Then it’s like my heart has been broken in two, and I’m just pining and crying, and I can hardly get over it. It’s kind of like, “Well, why did you place your heart in the hands of someone who cannot love you perfectly, who cannot fulfill your need for love? Why did you do that?” “Well, I thought they would. They promised.” Yeah! I thought they would, and they promised to me, and therefore I thought it was going to be true. No, that’s not the case at all.

We should neither have an optimistic nor a pessimistic view of the world and of life. We should simply see it for what it is, a realistic view, where we are not raising it up, nor should we be putting it down; to recognize that, okay, if I put my hand in the door and I—door frame and I closed the door on my fingers it’s going to cause pain. That’s just the way things work. If I expose myself by falsely hoping that something’s going to fulfill me, then I become disappointed, it’s not the nature of the world, it’s my problem for having falsely expected this would be fulfilling.

So, what is the mentality of a transcendentalist? A transcendentalist moves through this world full of awe and appreciation for everything, not just the beautiful things—I mean the final part of that question was, “Is it possible to have this understanding whilst also seeing the absolutely magical and beautiful world that God has created for us?” Yeah. If we have that understanding that God created this world for us… to do what? You know, what’s not been said there, oh God created this world—and a lot of people, Christians and people and other religions, they have this idea that God created this world for me, so I can enjoy it, and be God-like, to be the centre of everything. No, that’s not true. That’s absolutely not true. He didn’t.

If we want—if we embrace that idea that the world has been created, it’s a creation, and it has purpose, the purpose is not to fulfill you, and make you limitlessly happy, because if that occurred you would not seek out your eternal spiritual benefit. You would not seek to regain your lost and eternal spiritual consciousness and this most rewarding, ecstatically overwhelming reconnection with the Supreme Soul. I wouldn’t go there. I’d be happy with all ice creams, the endless varieties of stuff, and the relationships and all, and money just kept flowing in, and I could just spend it.

Come on! People that are wealthy become depressed. They commit suicide. They become unhappy also. It’s just childish to think that this world is put here for me to enjoy, and I can actually achieve a state of limitless enjoyment here. No, that’s not the nature of things.

So a transcendentalist is absorbed in the journey, in this reconnection of the soul with the Supreme Soul, which is the actual meaning of yoga. Some people try to say that that’s not the meaning, but that’s a false idea. This is the actual meaning.

And so I should deeply appreciate the wonder of this world, and know that anything that I see here that is beautiful and awesome and wonderful is but a tiny spark of an infinitely more wonderful spiritual reality, of spiritual beauty, of spiritual love and experience and truth. And if I get lost, if I’m just enamoured by all the little sparks, and don’t turn my attention to the actual source, the blazing fire from which all these sparks have arisen, then I’m sort of missing the point. I’m missing the plot.

So, don’t be overly optimistic and think this world is going to provide you everything that you need, you’ll be fulfilled and happy. No, you won’t. Nor should you be on a limitless bummer about how crappy the world is. That’s not helpful either. We should be in great awe of the power of material nature, awe of the power of the illusion that’s created, but we should seek out our eternal spiritual good. This is really what is the purpose of our life. And in doing that we develop a healthy and great appreciation for the material world and its nature.

We embrace duty and responsibility that comes with having a body, that comes with having societal connections and relationships, but we dovetail this. There’s a wonderful word dovetail. I don’t know if you know this—it’s a carpentry term where, when they joined two pieces of wood together, like on a drawer in the old days. (They hardly ever do this now. It’s all glue and screws.) And what they would do is cut, you know the tail of a dove, it’s like a triangle? So they’d have a piece of wood with all these triangles sticking up along the top of it, and the other side would be in reverse so that they fitted perfectly together and never came apart. This is what dovetailing means.

And so, when we learn to dovetail the journey through this life, and our activities and responsibilities, with this higher spiritual purpose, regaining our lost connection to the Supreme Soul, then we feel deeply appreciative and value the world. We don’t falsely see it, that it’s going to fulfill me. We’re intensely aware of the shortcomings and the nature of things, but that doesn’t become our focus.

Okay. I hope I have sufficiently answered your questions today. If I have said anything that you are unhappy with, I ask for your patience and consideration, to consider what I am presenting. It’s not my ideas. None of this has come from my head. These are eternal spiritual truths, and you would be—serve you well to endeavour to try and appreciate and understand these things.

So thank you very, very much. Haribol. Namaste. And let, maybe we’ll just chant for a couple of minutes before we end this session. Haribol.

So we will chant the mantra Haribol Nitai-Gaur, and then maybe Gopala Govinda Rama.

56:00 – 1:02:50 Kirtan

Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak with you, and I hope you will enjoy the rest of your retreat, and I’m sorry I’m not there with you all. Haribol.