One day I’ll Arrive …

My heart’s doors closed at the dusk of revelation,

As flowers petals shut when the sun goes off the horizon.

Truth weighs down on me once again.

Tears of suffering shouldn’t go in vain.

Light within me dims like the oil lamp

Burning alone in the corner of that dark room.

Not until the mirror of my heart becomes spotless.

He’ll scratch the dust off my heart so what if it bleeds till eternity.

Then I’ll look at the face of my soul

In the clean mirror of my heart.

Sifting through the piles of memories

I’ll breath a thought in the universe

That it was worth it.

I wouldn’t have reached Home

without becoming lost in the labyrinth of Your Maya.

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Madhava prabhu’s Hare Krishna Kirtan

I have always wondered how it feels to be replete with bliss, energy, love, and joy, all at the same time. What gives such an experience? What do I need to be able to have an experience that brings me closer to Krishna without going through suffering. Why Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to cry rivers of tears in ecstasy when he would chant Krishna’s name? Why would he dance a dance that no one has been able to replicate? Why did Meera act like a mad woman by singing Krishna’s names and dancing on streets? What was behind the divine madness of Tukaram?

Madhava prabhu, if you wouldn't do the blissful Hare Krishna sankirtan today at ISKCON Dwarka, we would never know what it means to taste the nectar. If you wouldn't make us chant louder, we would not know what crying for Krishna means. If you wouldn't chant as if you were going to die the next moment, we would not experience what it means to live for Hare Krishna. I thought Mahaprabhu was dancing in your kirtan. He was jumping so high that he would touch the sky. Deities were dancing, Madhava prabhu. Srila Prabhupada was dancing. Who are you Madhava prabhu? You made me feel indebted to a Srila Prabhupada. You made me miss Mahaprabhu. You made me wonder how earth would dance under the lotus feet of Krishna Chaitanya when he would do kirtan of Hare Krishna in ecstasy. Madhava prabhu, you stirred our souls this evening. You made us jump in the air as if we were as light as feathers; as if we were beyond physical fatigue. I hated my mind when it wandered away to trivia in the kirtan. I wanted to beat it with a broom.

You have made us taste the divine nectar today. But why did you have to stop the kirtan. Why could the time not stop? Did you see the young man who danced as if no one was watching him. Did you see how we were swaying right to left, left to right and how we were going deeper into the holy name. Perhaps you didn't, because you were with Krishna every moment. Madhava prabhu, if you do kirtan outside pubs, the drunkards would dance to your kirtan and the pubs would close down. Who would need alcohol then. Your kirtan has the power to melt stoned hearts.

Thank you for purifying our hearts and giving us a rare experience of bliss today. Being there in your kirtan has purified me of many sins. Please come back to us sooner than we deserve your divine company.

An Adventurous Trip to His Homeland

It was an evening of July 2002. A business analyst and I were structuring and cleaning up a product definition document at our office. We were working after standard office hours on the day. It was past 8pm when my cell phone rang. It was Shallu who called to ask me if I would like to visit Vrindavana. “When do you plan to leave” I asked. She said, “We leave in an hour or so.”  By the time I would reach home, it would be 9. I needed time to fresh up. “Why so late?” I asked. “We’ll drive to Vrindavana. We don’t have to travel in public transport.” “We …?” I inquired. “You and I” “I don’t think it’s safe to drive to UP at this hour, or anywhere in India for that matter.” Shallu is an adventuress, and I’m unusually timid about taking plunges. Shallu’s life, so far, has been one adventure after another. For her this was just another drive. One time she drove down to Rishikesh alone. She likes to take risks. She has seen many countries, dealt with a variety of people, managed several businesses.  I hope and pray that someday she risks everything for Krishna’s love.

“What would I tell my parents?” I wondered. I told her what I had thought of telling my parents so they would let me go. I went home and announced my sudden trip to Vrindavana with Shallu and her mom. We started our journey on a Haryana Roadways bus. Shallu called for a friend’s Tata Indica. I was still quite apprehensive about what we were doing. She said, “Why would Krishna let anything happen to us when we’re risking our safety to visit his holy land?” It made sense. Her words assured me enough to remain seated in the car–though I was quite stiff and not comfortable at all. We would have covered  1/3rd of the distance when she asked me if I could change a flat tire just in case we ended up driving over nails that are sometimes thrown across the road. Tubeless tires were designed much later as far as I remember. My fear changed gears, and my heart began to sink at the thought of being stranded on the road. Fear has its own odor. Animals have a knack for sensing fear. They attack when they smell that odor. Shallu sensed my fear by my facial expressions. She asked me to play some music and relax and not spoil the joyride. I don’t recall what we played. But we were getting closer to Vrindavana.

We must have driven halfway when Shallu proposed to have a cup of tea at a dhaba on our side of the road. Shallu expertly parked her friend’s Tata Indica and sounded thrilled about adhrak cutting chai. We found a table and waited for two cups of cutting chai. It would have been a few minutes when we saw a gang of men getting out of a car in the dhaba parking. They were 5 or 6 of them.  As I dreaded, they grabbed a table pretty close to ours. Their body language was making me uncomfortable. I vaguely remember them laughing loud, wanting attention. Shallu looked relax; not worried at all.

I looked at Shallu, fear oozing out of my facial expression. The lines of worries on my forehead and between eyebrows must have become pronounced. She was still bubbly and bold. We were still talking about the gang of men on the next table and power went off. I freaked out! This was the last thing I expected on a pilgrimage (or joyride?) that we started in a casual spirit. What Shallu said shocked me to my bones “when rape is inevitable then might as well.” A waiter lighted a candle on our table. We sipped our tea, paid for it, and left swiftly toward our car.

We would have driven a couple of kilometers when we saw the gang following us in a Santro. Shallu sped up. The gang sped up. We were being chased. I must have prayed to Krishna. I must have emotionally blackmailed Him, too. How could He let us get into this dangerous situation? After a few kilometers, the gang took a U turn and left us alone. What accompanied us on the Mathura road were trucks, one after another.

We reached Vrindavana around 1am. The Parikrama marg was silent and dark. Roads were muddy. She parked the car outside what looked like a guest house. It was right on the main road. I don’t recall its name. I should ask Shallu if she still remembers it. We went inside to ask for a room to stay over. The guesthouse keeper said all rooms were occupied. Shallu felt thrilled. “We could sleep in the car. It has an AC. What’s the problem?” She chuckled. “I can’t sleep in the car!” I was tensed. It was too much for me. First the lone trip in the middle of the night, then the gang at the dhaba, and now the prospect of sleeping on wheels. The guesthouse keeper said there was a kitchen which no one used. We could use it for the night.

Beggers can’t be choosers! We saw the kitchen and agreed. We slept on the floor or on the slabs, I don’t recall. But the cooler made the atmosphere more humid than it was outside. For someone who had moderate sleeping disorders, sleeping in the kitchen with a water cooler was nothing less of a test. I couldn’t sleep even for a minute. Shallu gave me a heads-up about waking up at 4am to attend the morning aarti in gauron ka mandir (ISKCON). She said the aarti was quite amazing. She had attended it many times before.

We woke up in time and ran to the temple to attend the aarti. I remember walking on the veranda that has checkered floor of white and black marbles.  I remember finding a place to sit on steps. A white-bodied priest was reciting Sanskrit verses immaculately and offering aarti to the deities. Thankfully there were not many people, so I could feel the bliss of the place. The entire program took 1.5 hours to complete. I sat on stair steps all along, tears flowing down my eyes. The emotions that had been brewing up rose to my eyes as my heart could no longer hold the grief that I had been carrying for many lives. I cried to my heart’s content. On that morning, during the aarti my connection with Krishna became stronger. I didn’t feel I was visiting the temple for the first time. It felt like home.

We could see the light at 5.30am. I was looking around when my eyes fell upon a wall painting. An aged Indian man was surrounded with firangis (hippies). He must have been their guru, I thought to myself. The more I looked at the painting, the more déjà vu I experienced. I learned that ISKCON had another temple in Kailash Hills, New Delhi. I must go there, I thought to myself. Krishna was gravitating me toward Him. This was not the first time He was doing this to me. This had been going on for lives.

My Heart is a Wreck

I’ve loved Hari Hari Bifale bhajan since the time I learned from Yamuna Devi’s biography that this is Prabhupada’s favorite bhajan. But my love for this bhajan is skin-deep. Or, shall I say, my love is unrealized. My love for Hari Hari Bifale is like jnana; knowledge, which goes into the mind, but heart remains bereft of its juice. Krishna pairs jnana and vijnana because jnana alone cannot take us deep enough into the Truth. But when vijnana or realization joins jnana, the truth begins to reveal itself. Vijnana, as I see it with my limited intelligence and experience, demands sacrifice. But before one is able to sacrifice with love, suffering pulls one breath by breath. Krishna, the supreme intelligence personified, knows how and how much to dose one with knowledge, suffering, sacrifice, and realization.

“samsara-bisanale, diba-nisi hiya jwale” is the third line of the second couplet in the Hari Hari Bifale bhajan. It means my heart burns day and night with the worldiness. “Worldiness” carries a different meaning for each of us, from one time to another, according to the level of our transformation. A compassionate saint suffers out of affection by seeing the souls trapped in the world, or due to his separation from God. An old man may suffer because of his disease, loss of his wife, or children. A young woman suffers from loneliness. A married woman suffers because her husband doesn’t seem to be the soul mate she wanted. The kaleidoscope of suffering has countless designs, patterns, and shades. And yet, behind each suffering lurk expectations, desires, hopelessness, insecurity, anger, fear, greed, madness, thanklessness, ingratitude, or different shades of these feelings identified by different names in different cultures and communities.

samsara-bisanale, diba-nisi hiya jwale keeps ringing in my heart like a temple bell. At times, I make efforts to remind myself of the next line “juraite na koinu upay” which means “I have not taken the means to relieve it.” This beautiful bhajan starts like this “O Lord Hari, I have spent my life uselessly. Having obtained a human birth and having not worshiped Radha and Krsna, I have knowingly drunk poison.” I know, both intuitively and experientially, that I’ve wasted away many human births running after various chimeras. I’ve wasted away many human lives by royally ignoring my eternal companions Radha and Krishna. I’ve looked for love in the way a thirsty person looks for water in a desert. I’ve hurt my eternally bruised heart with the coals of falsities and illusions a million times. A thirsty person mistakes mirage in a desert for water. I’ve gone far beyond this, several times, uncountable times. I’ve created dangerous mirages of love in the deep recesses of my heart.

Nothing but the nectar that flows from the divine feet of Radha and Krishna can heal me. In some rare moments this truth goes somewhat deeper than the bottom of my intellect. Most times, the dolphins and sharks of maya make me dance as they like. The lines before “samsara-bisanale, diba-nisi hiya jwale” reveal the antidote and my natural tendency, as I’ve developed in this world, to not take the antidote properly. “The treasure of divine love in Goloka Vrndavana has descended as the congregational chanting of Lord Hari’s holy names. Why did my attraction for that chanting never come about?” The grace of the holy name came to me 4.5 years ago. But, my stubborn mind has been victoriously distracting me during my chanting of the holy name. Krishna and the devotees always knew that this was going to happen. So, they did everything, without intervening in freewill, to help me chant anyway. My determination to chant is their unconditional gift to me.

My titanic-like heart has survived many heart-wrecks. Some I foresaw and feared and some came unexpectedly. I survived because Krishna protected me. He guided me out of them. I’ve not faced wreck of those types in many years; although of other types have been keeping me absorbed. This heart-wreck has given me glimpse of the depth of the meaning of Hari Hari Bifale. “A glimpse of the depth” is an oxymoron. To experience the depth one has to lose themselves in the depth. The spiritual moments are translogical and conflicts can co-exist in these moments.

I’ve been wondering offlately if the wreck I’ve been struggling with these days is a test that Krishna has thrown at me to check my resistance, or is it, as it happens during the process of churning nectar, that first poison comes out. Or, is it my prarabhada. It could be an ingenious combination of all of this, as orchestrated by Krishna. He must be doing this to help me transform. A Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, says, “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” Not just need to know but need to learn and then transform. Krishna wants to cleanse my heart of all impurities so that I can see Him, love Him, and serve Him. He’s not a cheap deal. The price that I have to pay to experience the bliss of ever-increasing love is nothing less than my self. For me, I’m most precious. So, this is the highest price I can pay to get Him. He’s the highest possible achievement one can have. So the price of dedicating myself to Him is nothing. But He knows my plight. He’ll accept the price with love.

Yesterday was one of the tough days that I have been living through recently. Tears helped only as long as they dropped. Distracting the mind to other things helps me somewhat. Going out, meeting people helps for as long as I’m not back within myself. I’ve been praying, too. The medicine of prayer goes to the root of the disease. But, have I prayed intensely? Yesterday I did. I cried to Krishna. I said to Him what He already knows. I told Him I can’t open up to anyone as I can to Him. I pleaded for His help. samsara-bisanale, diba-nisi hiya jwale kept ringing in my heart like a temple bell. The evening satsang in the association of Krishnanand Prabhu uplifted my spirit. Krishna must have sent Him for my rescue. Inspired by his devotional energy, I prayed again to Radha Krishna before I slept. I closed my eyes and imagined Radha Krishna enjoying on a swing made of flowers. I was watching them prayfully when they were on the swing. The swing picked speed. Their lotus feet came closer to my heart. I cried. I don’t know when but after sometime I fell asleep. I couldn’t see their beautiful glowing faces. I couldn’t smell the flowers, either. Neither could I see the transcendental signs on the feet of their souls. This took place only in my mind. But, someday, I hope that someday, I recite them a poem while they’re swinging on their flower-studded swing in joy. I pray that that day comes sooner than I deserve. This is my helpless prayer to the eternal lords of my soul. Narottama dasa says, “O Lord, please do not push me away from Your reddish lotus feet, for who is my beloved except for You?”
hari hari! bifale janama gonainu

manushya-janama paiya, radha-krishna na bhajiya,

janiya suniya visha khainu
(2)

golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana,

rati na janmilo kene tay

samsara-bishanale, diba-nisi hiya jwale,

juraite na koinu upay
(3)

Vrajendra-nandana jei, saci-suta hoilo sei,

balarama hoilo nitai

dina-hina jata chilo, hari-name uddharilo,

tara sakshi jagai madhai
(4)

ha ha prabhu nanda-suta, vrishabhanu-suta-juta,

koruna karoho ei-baro

narottama-dasa koy, na theliho ranga pay,

toma bine ke ache amara
Translation:
(1) 0 Lord Hari, I have spent my life uselessly. Having obtained a human birth and having not worshiped

Radha and Krishna, I have knowingly drunk poison.
(2) The treasure of divine love in Goloka Vrindavana has descended as the congregational chanting of Lord

Hari’s holy names. Why did my attraction for that chanting never come about? Day and night my heart burns

from the fire of the poison of worldliness, and I have not taken the means to relieve it.
(3) Lord Krishna, who is the son of the King of Vraja, became the son of Saci (Lord Caitanya), and Balarama

became Nitai. The holy name delivered all those souls who were lowly and wretched. The two sinners Jagai

and Madhai are evidence of this.
(4) 0 Lord Krishna, son of Nanda, accompanied by the daughter of Vrishabhanu, please be merciful to me

now. Narottama dasa says, “O Lord, please do not push me away from Your reddish lotus feet, for who is

my beloved except for You?”

Self-Realization

What are the different ways people try to realize the Self?

Some people try to realize the Self by empirical, philosophical speculation, while others by devotional service. (BG 3.3)

What are the stumbling blocks on the path of self realization?

Attachments and aversions are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization. One must follow the principles that help us regulate these emotions. (BG 3.34)

What should be the consciousness of the person aspiring for self-realization?

Although Krishna is the ultimate creator, He’s not affected by His work; He doesn’t aspire for fruits of actions. Whosoever understands this truth doesn’t become entangled with the reactions of his karmas (BG 4.14).

Krishna is the supreme. He is not bound by activities and their results. A person who realizes the greatness of Krishna becomes attached to Him, and therefore, doesn’t have material expectations.  Moreover, such a person realizes that when God doesn’t expect results, how we can have expectations. We are only a small part of His creation.

The liberated souls in the past acted with this understanding. So we have success stories/case studies. Krishna advises us to follow their footsteps. (BG 4.15)

What practices a person aspiring for self-realization should adopt?

  • Use intelligence to purify oneself
  • Control the mind with determination
  • Give up the objects that gratify the senses
  • Become free from attachment or hatred
  • Eat in moderation
  • Control body, mind, speech
  • Become free from false ego, false strength, false pride, lust, anger, false proprietorship. (Krishna is the ability in humans, he is the creator of everything, and therefore, we should be humble in our mind, body, and speech.)
  • Become peaceful
    (BG 18.51-53)

What’s that knowledge that facilitates one to become situated in the Self?

The transcendental knowledge about devotional service, about Krishna is the purest knowledge. It situates our awareness in the self. This is the perfection of all types of knowledge. This knowledge is eternal. Moreover, it gives joy and bliss. (BG 9.2)

What are the qualities of a self realized person?

Krishna has stated the traits of liberated souls in the Bhagavad Gita (BG 5.20):

A liberated person doesn’t become excited when he accomplishes something. He doesn’t  lament when he loses something precious. This person is self-intelligent. That is, his intelligence is fixed in his original self. He knows who he is, why he shouldn’t be attached to his activities or their results. Nothing can bewilder this person. He knows the science of God! He understands his actual, eternal position, so the temporary pleasure and pain don’t bother him.

How Can I Stop Creating Karmas?

BG 3.9:

  • Perform duties that are prescribed according to our skill and nature.
  • Perform those duties for the Lord’s satisfaction.

If we don’t perform our activities as a sacrifice to lord, they create new karmas and bind us to this material world.

When we offer our prescribed activities to the lord, we become free from the bondage.

BG 3.34:

  • Don’t let your attachments and aversion control you. If you do, they will become the stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization.  That is, as long as we’re have material attachments and aversions born from our false ego, we would never be able to see the Self; who we are, and we won’t be able remain in the awareness of the self consistently.
  • To control attachments and aversions, which our senses experience when they come in contact with the sense objects, we should follow the regulative principles under the direction of a bonafide spiritual master.

BG 4.14:

One who understands that Krishna, the creator, the king, has no duty to perform, nor he desires any results of his actions, such a person doesn’t become entangled reactions or results of his actions.

Krishna creates universes but remains aloof from it.

BG 4.18:

One who sees inaction in action and action in inaction is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities.

BG 4.19:

One is understood to be in full knowledge whose every endeavor is devoid of desire for sense gratification. He is said by sages to be a worker for whom the reactions of work have been burned up by the fire of perfect knowledge.

BG 4.20:

Abandoning all attachment to the results of his activities, ever satisfied and independent, he performs no fruitive action, although engaged in all kinds of undertakings.

BG 4.36:

Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.

BG 4.37:

As a blazing fire turns firewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities.

BG 5.3:

One who understands that he is an instrument of karmas, and to be free of them, he who makes Krishna the center of his thinking, feeling, willing, and doing, becomes free from the material bondages, that is, he becomes liberated.

What’s it Between Me, My Nature, and Material Nature?

Sometimes I feel compelled to do things that I shouldn’t be doing, why?

The Three Modes of Nature (goodness, passion, and darkness/ignorance) compel us to act according to their unique configuration that covers us (souls). This configuration results from our prarabhada karmas (karmas that we’re born to enjoy or suffer).

We’re souls who are under the influence of false ego. Under this influence we think we are the doers of activities that actually the three modes of nature (goodness, passion, ignorance) carry out. (BG 3.27)

The soul doesn’t act, nor does it induce others to act, therefore, the soul doesn’t create results or fruits of actions either. The modes of nature orchestrate activities and interactions. (BG 5.14)

Is there any underlying emotion that impels me to act in a way I do?

Lust. Lust is born in our hearts when we come in contact with the mode of passion. In the material world, the mode of passion dominates.

The origin of all negative emotions is lust. From lust comes anger, which devours the world through personal conflicts, national fights, international fights, and so on. (BG 3.37)

The three modes of nature engage us in material activities according to their unique design for us. As a result we become attached to these activities. These activities or duties we perform are inferior because we don’t have the knowledge about our original duties. (BG 3.29)

Tell me what’s the connection between desires and the mode of passion?

Desires are the cause of the mode of passion. We work hard to get what we want (thinking, feeling, willing, doing) and during this process we create karmas. These karmas keep us bound to this world. (BG 14.7)

At the highest level, because the conditioned souls wanted to enjoy independently of God, the material universe was created. The creation is characterized by the mode of passion.

What’s is it that makes me experience good and evil? 

Living entity enjoys the results of his association with the material nature, which takes place under the influence of the modes of nature. Due to the activities that the modes of nature perform, the living entity experiences the good and evil by transmigrating through various species. (BG 13.22)

Where do the modes of nature originate from?

 These modes manifest from Krishna’s material energy. Although Krishna pervades in everything through his ksirodaskhyai (paramatma) form, He, as Krishna, is independent of everything. He is not influenced by the modes of nature. They are subordinate to Him. (BG 7.12)

Why don’t I and the rest of the world know the original cause of the modes of nature?

Because we’re deluded by the modes of nature. (See verse 7.13), our perspective is limited as well as contaminated. The modes act on consciousness as the dirt works on the glass. It stops us from seeing things as they are.

When was material energy created, and when did we, living entities, come into existence?

Because Krishna is beginningless, so is His material energy and living entities. Whatever transformation we see in the material energy and in the living entities is because of the modes of nature. (“The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.” (BG 2.23)) What Krishna is talking about here is the transformation of the covering of the soul. That is, body, senses, mind, intelligence. (BG 13.20)

What’s the underlying relationship between the material nature and living entity/soul/me?

Nature is the immediate cause of all material causes and their effects. (BG 13.21) Whereas, the living entity or soul is the cause of the sufferings and enjoyments in this world. We desire, contemplate on our desires, work toward accomplishing what we want, experience pain or pleasure in the course (BG 2.62-63). All begins with lust (BG 3.37).

How will my life change if I understand the relationship between material nature, modes, and soul?

One who understands the philosophy of how material nature influences the living entity through the modes of nature gradually becomes observant, detached from activities and their results, and therefore, is liberated. (BG 13.24)

Tell me more how do the three modes of nature work on me?

Goodness, passion, and ignorance. These three modes influence the soul whenever the soul comes in contact with the nature. Our bodily constitution, thinking, feeling , willing, eating, dressing, likes and dislikes everything is influenced by the modes of nature. (BG 14.5)

Which mode is better than the others?

 The mode of goodness is purer than the modes of passion and ignorance. Those souls who are more influenced by the goodness mode remain free from sinful activities which are the characteristics of the other two modes. This mode engages the soul in knowledge and causes happiness through the pursuits of goodness, such as philanthropic activities, sattvik religious activities. (BG 14.6)

What can the mode of ignorance or darkness do to me if it dominates my personality?

It lands us into crazy things like drug addictions, suicide, murder, etc.

BG 14.8:

  • Deludes embodied living entities
  • Causes madness, indolence, and sleep

It seems like the modes are ropes that bind us! Is it so?

Indeed. The modes are ropes that bind us. The mode of goodness binds us to happiness, mode of passion binds us to result-oriented actions, and the mode of ignorance binds us to madness (it covers knowledge). (BG 14.9)

Do modes work through us in the same way, always?

The modes are dynamic. They keep changing their position. Sometimes goodness has an upper hand, while sometimes passion leads, and other times ignorance wins the race. The modes function dynamically. (BG 14.10)

When does the mode of goodness prevail?

One of the ways the mode of goodness can prevail in us is when the nine gates of body (2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, mouth, and genitals) function in knowledge, that’s when we don’t use them for sense gratification, the mode of goodness prevails. (BG 14.11)

How do we know that the mode of passion is dominating?

The symptoms of the mode of passion are attachment, expectations of results, too much endeavor, uncontrollable desires, and hankering. (BG 14.12)

What’re the signs of the mode of darkness?

The signs of this mode are madness and illusion. Becoming mad after somebody or something and acting without thinking which leads to disturbance and destruction. (BG 14.13)

What types of inner qualities develop in each mode?

Mode of goodness develops real knowledge, mode of passion, greed, and mode of ignorance foolishness, madness, and illusion. (BG 14.17)

Where do those, who lived their lives in the mode of goodness, go after death?

If the mode of goodness has dominated throughout life, a soul leaves the body in the same mode and attains higher planets such as heaven. (BG 14.14)

Where do those, who lived their lives in the mode of passion or ignorance, go after death?

One who leaves in the mode of passion, he returns to the planet where fruitive activities are performed. Those who die in the mode of ignorance take birth as animals. (BG 14.15)

What do the actions performed in three modes result in?

Actions performed in the mode of goodness bring happiness and contentment. Those performed in the mode of passion bring misery, and those performed in the mode of ignorance result in foolishness (E.g. someone tries to commit suicide, and before dying realizes what a foolish act he has committed.) (BG 14.16)

Which planets do souls attain according to the modes?

 Goodness: Higher planets, Passion: Earthly planets, Ignorance: Hellish planets (BG 14.18)

Will we always remain under the influence of the modes of nature and won’t be able to overcome them? 

Krishna says His material energy that consists of the three modes of nature is difficult to overcome. Only those who take Krishna’s refuge can cross beyond this energy. Because it’s Krishna’s energy and subordinate to Him, only Krishna can manage it. (BG 7.14)