Path of Perfection

Path of Perfection

When we see a book with a title like The Path of Perfection, we may react with a bit of common skepticism: “Oh, another book claiming to give all the answers. One more do-it-yourself enlightenment scheme.” And certainly, it seems that such skepticism is justified nowadays. Our natural desire for ultimate meaning, happiness, enlightenment, liberation, and salvation has become the most exploited commodity of the twenty-first century, creating what one contemporary theologian termed a disastrous “seduction of the spirit.” This seduction is, indeed, the most tragic kind of exploitation. And the unfortunate consequence of this exploitation is a kind of deadening cynicism that discourages our search for self-fulfillment and a means to attain it.

The contemporary, thoughtful reader, weary of the current flood of speculative, simplistic books offering instant formulas for psychological or spiritual salvation, will find The Path of Perfection a welcome relief.

Excerpt from the Introduction

Episodes playlist 210-239

One of my favorite quotes

Path of Perfection | Chapter 1

No one really wants to sit down and meditate. Why should we? We’re meant for positive activity, for recreation, for pleasure. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness, our recreation is dancing and chanting, and when we get tired, we take prasāda. Is dancing difficult? Is chanting difficult? We don’t charge anything to dance in the temple. If you go to a ballroom, you have to pay to enter, but we do not charge. It is natural to enjoy music and dancing and palatable foods. These are our recreations, and this is our method of meditation. So this yoga system is not at all laborious. It is simply recreation, susukham. It is stated in the ninth chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā (9.2) that this yoga is susukham – very happy. “It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.” It is natural, automatic, and spontaneous. It is our real life in the spiritual world.
In Vaikuṇṭha, the spiritual world, there is no anxiety. Vaikuṇṭha means “freedom from anxiety,” and in Vaikuṇṭha the liberated souls are always dancing, chanting, and taking prasāda. There are no factories, hard work, or technical institutions. There is no need for these artificial things. In the Vedānta-sūtra it is stated, ānandamayo ’bhyāsāt: God is ānandamaya, full of bliss and pleasure. Since we are part and parcel of God, we also possess these same qualities. So the goal of our yoga process is to join with the supreme ānandamaya, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, to join His dance party. Then we will actually be happy.
On this earth we are trying to be happy artificially and are therefore frustrated. Once we are situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness we will revive our original position and become simply joyful. Since our actual nature is ānandamaya, blissful, we are always searching for happiness. In the cities we are inundated with advertisements. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and dance halls are always announcing, “Come on, here is ānanda. Here is pleasure.” That is because everyone is searching for ānanda, pleasure. Our society for Kṛṣṇa consciousness is also announcing, “Here is ānanda,” but our standard of pleasure is very different. In any case, the goal – pleasure – is the same.
Most people are hunting for pleasure on the gross material platform. The more advanced search for pleasure in speculation, philosophy, poetry, or art. The bhakti-yogī, however, searches for pleasure on the transcendental platform, and that is his only business. Why are people working so hard all day? They are thinking, “Tonight I shall enjoy. Tonight I will associate with this girl or with my wife.” Thus people are going to so much trouble to acquire a little pleasure. Pleasure is the ultimate goal, but unfortunately, under illusion, people do not know where real pleasure is to be found. Real pleasure exists eternally in the transcendental form of Kṛṣṇa.