How realistic is that one returns to Krsna in this life?

Devyah-pati Das SERBIA - May 4, 2009 9:09 am

I heard many times from devotees that they are

convinced that they will return to Krsna in this life.


In the "utsaha" stage of my practice, in the first years,

I also had the same oppinion, but as my spiritual pactice

reduced and especially when I "fell down", I became

much more realistic about the possibility of returning

to Krsna in this lifetime...


Most probably this is caused because of my low

spiritual tension and practice, so I do not think that

others will so easily return to Krsna, even they chant

16 rounds, read Prabhupads books and do their service

in the best way they can.


I have heard that SSM said to devotees in one instance

when one devotee was hit by the car and was chanting

Hare Krsna before he left his body, that it is not certain

that he will return to Krsna... it depends on the consciousness.


All in all, I do believe, of course, in the power of Guru krpa,

and Krsnas will and grace, but am I wrong in my oppinion

that it will take at least few if not many lifetimes to return

to Krsna?



Devyah-pati das

Syamasundara - May 4, 2009 12:57 pm

It really depends on the parameters involved and taken into consideration.

How do you know what birth you are at? We didn't all start our journey at the same time. Even if you take initiation as a determining point, that's also relative. Suppose you receive initiation in this lifetime, but for some reason you don't attain spiritual perfection before dying, you will take a birth that takes all your spiritual progress into account, but you will still have to take initiation from a guru.


Your answer is pretty much in your question. This is the world of quantity, and we are striving for the world of quality. Things like chanting "sixteen" rounds, reading "all" the books, etc, are considerations that belong to the world of quantity; in fact, they help us only inasmuch as the quality of our reading and chanting is present and increasing.

From the point of view of the world of quality, or feeling, or consciousness, and ultimately of Krsna yes, it can happen in one second, and that's also why all the seers in our scriptures and lineage speak like that (lava matra sadhu-sange sarva siddhi haya). Trick is, from that point of view, or state of consciousness, a second and an eon really have the same valence, if any (yugayitam nimesena).

The important thing is that it's happening/happened.


So, as you can see, SP has given us one recipe that will facilitate that change of heart, and SSM is stressing the point that unless and until there is a change of heart, no progress will be noticed in the world of quality.

Madan Gopal Das - May 4, 2009 2:22 pm

I guess living in a place "where time stands still" helps one have such consciousness. Very nice comments Shyam.

Citta Hari Dasa - May 4, 2009 3:13 pm

Well said Syamu! With answers like that, you might be going back this life. . .

Citta Hari Dasa - May 4, 2009 3:22 pm

My two cents: in my early days I had the same idea (of going to Krsna in this life) since that was how it was presented to newbies at the time so that we would be encouraged to practice. Then the reality started to come out: one disciple of SP who was the temple president at the time said something to the effect that "When we have the attitude that we WILL go back to Godhead in THIS life time, and practice accordingly, then it's only a few more lifetimes after that." I just about choked on my oatmeal (it was breakfast time) when I heard that, but once I got over the initial horror of where I am really at in relation to the goal I was encouraged because I started to see just how big a path suddha-bhakti is, and that to just be on the path toward that goal is a great thing in itself.


Later I heard that when we no longer care how long it takes, whether we go in this lifetime or in millions more, then we're getting close.

Syamasundara - May 4, 2009 7:32 pm

Also (my two Colones):


nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve

na kutaścana bibhyati


api tulyārtha-darśinaḥ


"Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, never fear any condition of life. For them the heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord."


Once you have attained visuddha sattva and you are absorbed in your service, and all you see is service, it won't really matter how many births you have to go still. If anything, it's Krsna who won't be able to tolerate the separation from you at some point, and that will be your last birth.

Devyah-pati Das SERBIA - May 5, 2009 7:42 am

Jay, Prabhus! Nice points...


Actually, besides the fact that many devotees,

if not all of those I have encountered so far :Bring It On:

think that this lifetime is their last one in this world;

precisely speaking, the main thing that inspires me

to ask this question is Gita verse 6.45:



prayatnad yatamanas tu

yogi samsuddha-kilbisah


tato yati param gatim



"But when the yogi engages himself with sincere

endeavor in making further progress, being

washed of all contaminations, then ultimately,

after many, many births of practice, he attains

the supreme goal."



SP purport:


A person born in a particularly righteous,

aristocratic or sacred family becomes conscious

of his favorable condition for executing yoga practice.

With determination, therefore, he begins his unfinished

task, and thus he completely cleanses himself of all

material contaminations. When he is finally free from

all contaminations, he attains the supreme perfection-

Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is the perfect

stage of being freed of all contaminations.

This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita:


yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam

te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratah



"After many, many births of executing pious activities,

when one is completely freed from all contaminations,

and from all illusory dualities, one then becomes engaged

in the transcendental loving service of the Lord."



I am known as very jolly and optimistic person, but

when I pointed out this argument to the devotees

(freed from all illusory dualities), they mostly

thought that I am in some morose phase :Devil:...


All in all, I think that one should be definitely optimistic,

but in the same time this optimism should be based

on some concrete spiritual achievements.

Devyah-pati Das SERBIA - May 5, 2009 12:53 pm

I just heard recording of GM phone call of

April 12, 2009. and there one can hear very

nice points where he explains the different

possibilities of our next life destination...

Ishan Das - April 14, 2013 3:37 am

Most of us are aware to some degree of the stages of spiritual development, and the symptoms of these stages. When we come to the stage of spontaneous ecstatic love for Krishna while still embodied, then we are ready to take birth where Krishna is engaged in His lila within some material universe for our further development. Therefore, all we need do is to understand our present status. As I am filled with material hankerings and lamentations, I can understand that I have some "work"/practice/cultivation ahead of me. It is certainly not like the Christian idea of going to heaven after leaving the body because of having been a "good" person - in our case, meaning having done all our rounds, etc. As it is said, "Home is where the heart is." What I have realized while still embodied will be my baseline for my next birth. If I am engaged in Krishna lila while embodied in this lifetime, then perhaps I am ready to take birth where Krishna lila is in full swing. This is my understanding (not my experience, mind you).

Swami - April 17, 2013 11:16 pm



You have a good understanding of the issue. Sadhana leads to sadhya, and that sadhya is bhava bhakti. One must attain bhava-bhakti in this world and from there attain prema-bhakti.