December 23 2008

Here’s the second of five questions Sriman Krsna Mitra dasa sent me in October:


“Krsna says in Bhagavad-Gita 5.29, “I am the proprietor and I am the supreme enjoyer”, so how can I preach this point to normal peoples?”


Ownership means control. If someone actually owns something, they consequently have control of it. And if you have control of something, you have the right and ability to enjoy it.

However, it’s not difficult to understand that none of us minute living beings own anything. We have nothing that we can call our own possessions. Even our bodies, what to speak about anything associated with them, do not belong to us. At any moment they can be taken away.

On a visit to New Mayapur in France on August 2 1976 Srila Prabhupada spoke to the assembled students of our gurukula there.

August 2 1976 meeting with Gurukula

He explained that the root cause of all our difficulties lay in our false desire to want to become masters of all we survey:

[TD 3] “Quoting from Bhagavad-gita 18.66 he said devotional service begins with surrender. But he said the material disease is that everyone wants to become master; nobody wants to become a servant. Therefore there is a struggle for existence.

He said the history of Europe is one of war — one leader after another trying to become the master. “The “mastership competition” is going on life after life and in different species of life, but it is a false ambition.

Napoleon ‘Dubya’ the Great

whoops! Sorry, wrong dictator…

Emporer Napoleon

“They say, ‘Napoleon is France.’ France is there, but where is Napoleon?” — Srila Prabhupada, July 2 1976, WDC


“He described Stalin as the biggest criminal in the world” — May 7 1976 -Honolulu


“Big, big empires, big, big society, big, big nation. That Hitler, he wanted to make something big. Napoleon wanted to make something big. Nothing big has been done. Where is Napoleon? Where is Hitler? — Srila Prabhupada, June 12 1976

“And at the time of death, when this body finishes, the mind absorbed in that mastership idea takes me to another body according to my ambition. So I become again manifest in different body to exhibit my mastership, another chapter begins. So they do not know how these subtle laws of material nature is working to give us opportunity to become master according to our idea, false idea. And we are actually suffering, sometimes as human being, sometimes as animal, sometimes as trees, sometimes as dog. So mastership cannot be attained, that is not possible. In the false idea to become master, we are becoming slaves of the laws of material nature.”

Because we have no ownership, we therefore have no control. And consequently we cannot enjoy anything.

Our imitation ownership indicates that there must be an actual owner. Just as something fake indicates the existence of something real–counterfeit money means there is real money–similarly our attempts at ownership, our attempts at control, our attempts at enjoying, are all reflections or counterfeits of the reality.

Krsna says in Bhagavad Gita 5.29 that He alone is the proprietor. That is the natural position of God. He owns the whole universe and everything in it, including the living beings. He can manifest or destroy countless universes at His will.


That is God’s control. And because God is the Supreme Person, He therefore enjoys His various energies, including the living beings, and engages with them for His own pleasure.

The true pleasure of the living beings is realized when they become honest and recognize the ownership and control of the Supreme Living Being, Krsna, and utilize everything for His pleasure, including themselves. That way He is happy and we also become happy. To such obedient servants, Krsna shares everything He has and to enhance the loving exchanges even makes Himself subordinate to them. Therefore He is the best friend of all living beings.

Krsna with His friends

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