Krishna

Mahat-tattva is a shadow of pure consciousness from where the false ego of the living entity is generated.

The mahat-tattva is the total consciousness because a portion of it is represented in everyone as the intellect. The mahat-tattva is directly connected with the supreme consciousness of the Supreme Being, but still it appears as matter. The mahat-tattva, or shadow of pure consciousness, is the germinating place of all creation. It is pure goodness with the slight addition of the material mode of passion, and therefore activity is generated from this point.

The mahat-tattva is the via medium between pure spirit and material existence. It is the junction of matter and spirit wherefrom the false ego of the living entity is generated. All living entities are differentiated parts and parcels of the Personality of Godhead. Under the pressure of false ego, the conditioned souls, although parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, claim to be the enjoyers of material nature. This false ego is the binding force of material existence. The Lord again and again gives a chance to the bewildered conditioned souls to get free from this false ego, and that is why the material creation takes place at intervals. He gives the conditioned souls all facilities for rectifying the activities of the false ego, but He does not interfere with their small independence as parts and parcels of the Lord.

A pure living entity in his original spiritual existence is fully conscious of his constitutional position as an eternal servitor of the Lord. All souls who are situated in such pure consciousness are liberated, and therefore they eternally live in bliss and knowledge in the various Vaikuntha planets in the spiritual sky. When the material creation is manifested, it is not meant for them. The eternally liberated souls are called nitya-muktas, and they have nothing to do with the material creation. The material creation is meant for rebellious souls who are not prepared to accept subordination under the Supreme Lord. This spirit of false lordship is called false ego. It is manifested in three modes of material nature, and it exists in mental speculation only. Those who are in the mode of goodness think that each and every person is God, and thus they laugh at the pure devotees, who try to engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Those who are puffed up by the mode of passion try to lord it over material nature in various ways. Some of them engage in altruistic activities as if they were agents appointed to do good to others by their mental speculative plans. Such men accept the standard ways of mundane altruism, but their plans are made on the basis of false ego. This false ego extends to the limit of becoming one with the Lord. The last class of egoistic conditioned souls–those in the mode of ignorance–are misguided by identification of the gross body with the self. Thus, all their activities are centered around the body only. All these persons are given the chance to play with false egoistic ideas, but at the same time the Lord is kind enough to give them a chance to take help from scriptures like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam so that they may understand the science of Kṛṣṇa and thus make their lives successful. The entire material creation, therefore, is meant for the falsely egoistic living entities hovering on the mental plane under different illusions in the modes of material nature.

False ego interacting with the different modes of material nature is the source of all materials in the phenomenal world. The chief function of the false ego is godlessness. When a person forgets his constitutional position as an eternally subordinate part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and wants to be happy independently, he functions mainly in two ways. He first attempts to act fruitively for personal gain or sense gratification, and after attempting such fruitive activities for a considerable time, when he is frustrated he becomes a philosophical speculator and thinks himself to be on the same level as God. This false idea of becoming one with the Lord is the last snare of the illusory energy, which traps a living entity into the bondage of forgetfulness under the spell of false ego. The best means of liberation from the clutches of false ego is to give up the habit of philosophical speculation regarding the Absolute Truth. One should know definitely that the Absolute Truth is never realized by the philosophical speculations of the imperfect egoistic person. The Absolute Truth, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is realized by hearing about Him in all submission and love from a bona fide authority who is a representative of the twelve great authorities mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. By such an attempt only can one conquer the illusory energy of the Lord, although for others she is unsurpassable, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (7.14).

Source : A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 5 – Text 27 to 31

Krishna

No Material scientific advancement can produce life.

Material nature’s primal factor is the mahat-tattva, or breeding source of all varieties. This part of material nature, which is called pradhana as well as Brahman, is impregnated by the Supreme personality of Godhead and delivers varieties of living entities. Material nature in this connection is called Brahman because it is a perverted reflection of the spiritual nature.

It is described in the Viṣṇu Purana that the living entities belong to the spiritual nature. The potency of the Supreme Lord is spiritual, and the living entities, although they are called marginal potency, are also spiritual. If the living entities were not spiritual, this description of impregnation by the Supreme Lord would not be applicable. The Supreme Lord does not put His semen into that which is not spiritual, but it is stated here that the Supreme Person puts His semen into material nature. This means that the living entities are spiritual by nature. After impregnation, material nature delivers all kinds of living entities, beginning from the greatest living creature, Lord Brahma, down to the insignificant ant, in all varieties of form. In Bhagavad-gita (14.4) material nature is clearly mentioned as sarva-yonisu. This means that of all varieties of species–demigods, human beings, animals, birds and beasts (whatever is manifested)– material nature is the mother, and the Supreme personality of Godhead is the seed-giving father.
Generally it is experienced that the father gives life to the child but the mother gives its body; although the seed of life is given by the father, the body develops within the womb of the mother. Similarly, the spiritual living entities are impregnated into the womb of material nature, but the body, being supplied by material nature, takes on many different species and forms of life. The theory that the symptoms of life are manifest by the interaction of the twenty-four material elements is not supported here. The living force comes directly from the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is completely spiritual. Therefore, no material scientific advancement can produce life. The living force comes from the spiritual world and has nothing to do with the interaction of the material elements.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 19

krsna

The Lord does not create the material world for His own satisfaction.

Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead from whom the three creative incarnations, namely the purusa-avataras–Karanarnavasayi Viṣṇu, Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu and Ksirodakasayi Viṣṇu–expand. The whole material creation is conducted by the three purusas in successive stages under the external energy of the Lord, and thus material nature is controlled by Him. Thinking material nature to be independent is like seeking milk from the nipple like bags on the neck of a goat. The Lord is independent and desireless. He does not create the material world for His own satisfaction as we create our household affairs to fulfil our material desires. Actually the material world is created for the illusory enjoyment of the conditioned souls, who have been against the transcendental service of the Lord since time immemorial. But the material universes are full in themselves. There is no scarcity for maintenance in the material world. Because of their poor fund of knowledge, the materialists are disturbed when there is an apparent increase of population on the earth. Whenever there is a living being on the earth, however, his subsistence is immediately arranged by the Lord. The other species of living entities, which far outnumber human society, are never disturbed for maintenance; they are never seen dying of starvation. It is only human society that is disturbed about the food situation and, to cover up the real fact of administrative mismanagement, takes shelter in the plea that the population is excessively increasing. If there is any scarcity in the world, it is the scarcity of God consciousness; otherwise, by the grace of the Lord, there is no scarcity of anything.

 Source : A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 5 – Text 5

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A devotee is never disturbed by reverses, when something is arranged by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

When something is arranged by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one should not be disturbed by it, even if it appears to be a reverse according to one’s calculations. For example, sometimes we see that a powerful preacher is killed, or sometimes he is put into difficulty, just as Haridasa Thakura was. He was a great devotee who came into this material world to execute the will of the Lord by preaching the Lord’s glories. But Haridasa was punished at the hands of the Kazi by being beaten in twenty-two marketplaces. Similarly, Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, and Prahlada Maharaja was put through so many tribulations. The Pandavas, who were direct friends of Kṛṣṇa, lost their kingdom, their wife was insulted, and they had to undergo many severe tribulations. Seeing all these reverses affect devotees, one should not be disturbed; one should simply understand that in these matters there must be some plan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Bhagavatam’s conclusion is that a devotee is never disturbed by such reverses. He accepts even reverse conditions as the grace of the Lord. One who continues to serve the Lord even in reverse conditions is assured that he will go back to Godhead, back to the Vaikuntha planets. Lord Brahma assured the demigods that there was no use in talking about how the disturbing situation of darkness was taking place, since the actual fact was that it was ordered by the Supreme Lord. Brahma knew this because he was a great devotee; it was possible for him to understand the plan of the Lord.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 16 – Text 37

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It may not be necessary to undergo the disciplinary system of Varnasrama-dharma, if one directly engages in the process of devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

The purpose of the material creation by Brahma is clearly described herein. Every human being should beget nice children in the womb of his wife, as a sacrifice for the purpose of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead in devotional service. In the Viṣṇu Purana (3.8.9) it is stated:

Varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman
Viṣṇur aradhyate pantha nanyat tat-tosa-karanam

“One can worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, by proper discharge of the principles of varna and asrama. There is no alternative to pacifying the Lord by execution of the principles of the varnasrama system.” Viṣṇu worship is the ultimate aim of human life. Those who take the license of married life for sense enjoyment must also take the responsibility to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, and the first stepping-stone is the varnasrama-dharma system. Varnasrama-dharma is the systematic institution for advancing in worship of Viṣṇu. However, if one directly engages in the process of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it may not be necessary to undergo the disciplinary system of varnasrama-dharma. The other sons of Brahma, the Kumaras, directly engaged in devotional service, and thus they had no need to execute the principles of varnasrama-dharma.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 13 – Text 11

krishna

A pure devotee is never entangled in material worldy affairs.

One may question how one can always think of the Lord in regard to His name, fame, quality, etc., if one is embarrassed by thoughts of family affairs. Everyone in the material world is full of thoughts about how to maintain his family, how to protect his wealth, how to keep pace with friends and relatives, etc. Thus he is always in fear and lamentation, trying to keep up with the status quo. In answer to this question, this verse spoken by Brahma is very appropriate.

A pure devotee of the Lord never thinks of himself as the proprietor of his home. He surrenders everything unto the supreme control of the Lord, and thus he has no fear for maintaining his family or protecting the interests of his family. Because of this surrender, he no longer has any attraction for wealth. Even if there is attraction for wealth, it is not for sense enjoyment, but for the service of the Lord. A pure devotee may be attracted to accumulating wealth just like an ordinary man, but the difference is that a devotee acquires money for the service of the Lord, whereas the ordinary man acquires money for his sense enjoyment. Thus the acquisition of wealth by a devotee is not a source of anxieties, as is the case for a worldly man. And because a pure devotee accepts everything in the sense of serving the Lord, the poisonous teeth of accumulation of wealth are extracted. If a snake has its poison removed and bites a man, there is no fatal effect. Similarly, wealth accumulated in the cause of the Lord has no poisonous teeth, and the effect is not fatal. A pure devotee is never entangled in material worldly affairs even though he may remain in the world like an ordinary man.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 9 – Text 6

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Characteristics of spiritual world.

The transcendental world or Vaikuntha atmosphere is enriched with transcendental qualities. These transcendental qualities, as revealed through the devotional service of the Lord, are distinct from the mundane qualities of ignorance, passion and goodness. Such qualities are not attainable by the non-devotee class of men. In the padma purana, Uttara-khanda, it is stated that beyond the one-fourth part of God’s creation is the three-fourths manifestation. The marginal line between the material manifestation and the spiritual manifestation is the Viraja River, and beyond the Viraja, which is a transcendental current flowing from the perspiration of the body of the Lord, there is the three-fourths manifestation of God’s creation. This part is eternal, everlasting, without deterioration, and unlimited, and it contains the highest perfectional stage of living conditions. In the Sankhya-kaumudi it is stated that unalloyed goodness or transcendence is just opposite to the material modes. All living entities there are eternally associated without any break, and the Lord is the chief and prime entity. In the Agama Puranas also, the transcendental abode is described as follows: The associated members there are free to go everywhere within the creation of the Lord, and there is no limit to such creation, particularly in the region of the three-fourths magnitude. Since the nature of that region is unlimited, there is no history of such association, nor is there end of it. The conclusion may be drawn that because of the complete absence of the mundane qualities of ignorance and passion, there is no question of creation or of annihilation. In the material world everything is created, and everything is annihilated, and the duration of life between the creation and annihilation is temporary. In the transcendental realm there is no creation and no destruction, and thus the duration of life is eternal unlimitedly. In other words, everything in the transcendental world is everlasting, full of knowledge and bliss without deterioration. Since there is no deterioration, there is no past, present and future in the estimation of time. It is clearly stated in this verse that the influence of time is conspicuous by its absence. The whole material existence is manifested by actions and reactions of elements which make the influence of time prominent in the matter of past, present and future. There are no such actions and reactions of cause and effects there, so the cycle of birth, growth, existence, transformations, deterioration and annihilation–the six material changes–are not existent there. It is the unalloyed manifestation of the energy of the Lord, without illusion as experienced here in the material world. The whole Vaikuntha existence proclaims that everyone there is a follower of the Lord. The Lord is the chief leader there, without any competition for leadership, and the people in general are all followers of the Lord. It is confirmed in the Vedas, therefore, that the Lord is the chief leader and all other living entities are subordinate to Him, for only the Lord satisfies all the needs of all other living entities.

The inhabitants in Vaikunthaloka are all personalities with spiritual bodily features not to be found in the material world. We can find the descriptions in the revealed scriptures like Srimad-Bhagavatam. Impersonal descriptions of transcendence in the scriptures indicate that the bodily features in Vaikunthaloka are never to be seen in any part of the universe. As there are different bodily features in different places of a particular planet, or as there are different bodily features between bodies in different planets, similarly the bodily features of the inhabitants in Vaikunthaloka are completely different from those in the material universe. For example, the four hands are distinct from the two hands in this world.

It appears that in the Vaikuntha planets there are also airplanes brilliantly glowing, and they are occupied by the great devotees of the Lord with ladies of celestial beauty as brilliant as lightning. As there are airplanes, so there must be different types of carriages like airplanes, but they may not be driven machines, as we have experience in this world. Because everything is of the same nature of eternity, bliss and knowledge, the airplanes and carriages are of the same quality as Brahman. Although there is nothing except Brahman, one should not mistakenly think that there is only void and no variegatedness. Thinking like that is due to a poor fund of knowledge; otherwise no one would have such a misconception of voidness in Brahman. As there are airplanes, ladies and gentlemen, so there must be cities and houses and everything else just suitable to the particular planets. One should not carry the ideas of imperfection from this world to the transcendental world and not take into consideration the nature of the atmosphere, as completely free from the influence of time, etc., as described previously.

Source:A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 9 – Text 10,11 & 13

krishna

Lord Ramacandra is a full incarnation with six opulences.

Lord Rama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His brothers, namely Bharata, Laksmana and Satrughna, are His plenary expansions. All four brothers are Viṣṇu-tattva and were never ordinary human beings. There are many unscrupulous and ignorant commentators on Ramayana who present the younger brothers of Lord Ramacandra as ordinary living entities. But here in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the most authentic scripture on the science of Godhead, it is clearly stated that His brothers were His plenary expansions. Originally Lord Ramacandra is the incarnation of Vasudeva, Laksmana is the incarnation of Sankarsana, Bharata is the incarnation of Pradyumna, and Satrughna is the incarnation of Aniruddha, expansions of the Personality of Godhead. Laksmiji Sita is the internal potency of the Lord and is neither an ordinary woman nor the external potency incarnation of Durga. Durga is the external potency of the Lord, and she is associated with Lord Siva.

As stated in the Bhagavad-gita (4.7), the Lord appears when there are discrepancies in the discharge of factual religion. Lord Ramacandra also appeared under the same circumstances, accompanied by His brothers, who are expansions of the Lord’s internal potency, and by Laksmiji Sitadevi. Lord Ramacandra was ordered by His father, Maharaja Dasaratha, to leave home for the forest under awkward circumstances, and the Lord, as the ideal son of His father, carried out the order, even on the occasion of His being declared the King of Ayodhya. One of His younger brothers, Laksmanaji, desired to go with Him, and so also His eternal wife, Sitaji, desired to go with Him. The Lord agreed to both of them, and all together they entered the Dandakaranya Forest, to live there for fourteen years. During their stay in the forest, there was some quarrel between Ramacandra and Ravana, and the latter kidnapped the Lord’s wife, Sita. The quarrel ended in the vanquishing of the greatly powerful Ravana, along with all his kingdom and family.

Sita is Laksmiji, or the goddess of fortune, but she is never to be enjoyed by any living being. She is meant for being worshiped by the living being along with her husband, Sri Ramacandra. A materialistic man like Ravana does not understand this great truth, but on the contrary he wants to snatch Sitadevi from the custody of Rama and thus incurs great miseries. The materialists, who are after opulence and material prosperity, may take lessons from the Ramayana that the policy of exploiting the nature of the Lord without acknowledging the supremacy of the Supreme Lord is the policy of Ravana. Ravana was very advanced materially, so much so that he turned his kingdom, Lanka, into pure gold, or full material wealth. But because he did not recognize the supremacy of Lord Ramacandra and defied Him by stealing His wife, Sita, Ravana was killed, and all his opulence and power were destroyed. Lord Ramacandra is a full incarnation with six opulences in full, and He is therefore master of all opulence.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 7 – Text 23

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Absoulte Personality of Godhead has neither lust nor anger.

When Lord Siva was engaged in severely austere meditation, Cupid, the demigod of lust, threw his arrow of sex desire. Lord Siva, thus being angry at him, glanced at Cupid in great wrath, and at once the body of Cupid was annihilated. Although Lord Siva was so powerful, he was unable to get free from the effects of such wrath. But in the behavior of Lord Viṣṇu there is no incident of such wrath at any time. On the contrary, Bhrgu Muni tested the tolerance of the Lord by purposely kicking His chest, but instead of being angry at Bhrgu Muni the Lord begged his pardon, saying that Bhrgu Muni’s leg might have been badly hurt because His chest is too hard. The Lord has the sign of the foot of bhrgupada as the mark of tolerance. The Lord, therefore, is never affected by any kind of wrath, so how can there be any place for lust, which is less strong than wrath? When lust or desire is not fulfilled, there is the appearance of wrath, but in the absence of wrath how can there be any place for lust? The Lord is known as apta-kama, or one who can fulfill His desires by Himself. He does not require anyone’s help to satisfy His desires. The Lord is unlimited, and therefore His desires are also unlimited. All living entities but the Lord are limited in every respect; how then can the limited satisfy the desires of the unlimited? The conclusion is that the Absolute Personality of Godhead has neither lust nor anger, and even if there is sometimes a show of lust and anger by the Absolute, it should be considered an absolute benediction.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 7 – Text 7

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Why it is important to marry a partner of like disposition?

Example 1:
In spite of his condemning persons who approach the Lord for material advantages, Kardama Muni expressed his material inability and desire before the Lord by saying, “Although I know that nothing material should be asked from You, I nevertheless desire to marry a girl of like disposition.” The phrase “like disposition” is very significant. Formerly, boys and girls of similar dispositions were married; the similar natures of the boy and girl were united in order to make them happy. Not more than twenty-five years ago, and perhaps it is still current, parents in India used to consult the horoscope of the boy and girl to see whether there would be factual union in their psychological conditions. These considerations are very important. Nowadays marriage takes place without such consultation, and therefore, soon after the marriage, there is divorce and separation. Formerly husband and wife used to live together peacefully throughout their whole lives, but nowadays it is a very difficult task.

Kardama Muni wanted to have a wife of like disposition because a wife is necessary to assist in spiritual and material advancement. It is said that a wife yields the fulfilment of all desires in religion, economic development and sense gratification. If one has a nice wife, he is to be considered a most fortunate man. In astrology, a man is considered fortunate who has great wealth, very good sons or a very good wife. Of these three, one who has a very good wife is considered the most fortunate. Before marrying, one should select a wife of like disposition and not be enamored by so-called beauty or other attractive features for sense gratification. In the Bhagavatam, Twelfth Canto, it is said that in the Kali-yuga marriage will be based on the consideration of sex life; as soon as there is deficiency in sex life, the question of divorce will arise.

Kardama Muni could have asked his benediction from Uma, for it is recommended in the scriptures that if anyone wants a good wife, he should worship Uma. But he preferred to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead because it is recommended in the Bhagavatam that everyone, whether he is full of desires, has no desire or desires liberation, should worship the Supreme Lord. Of these three classes of men, one tries to be happy by fulfilment of material desires, another wants to be happy by becoming one with the Supreme, and another, the perfect man, is a devotee. He does not want anything in return from the personality of Godhead; he only wants to render transcendental loving service. In any case, everyone should worship the Supreme personality of Godhead, for He will fulfil everyone’s desire. The advantage of worshiping the Supreme Person is that even if one has desires for material enjoyment, if he worships Kṛṣṇa he will gradually become a pure devotee and have no more material hankering.

Example 2:
The nine principal rsis, or sages, are Marici, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrgu, Vasistha and Atharva. All these rsis are most important, and Brahma desired that the nine daughters already born of Kardama Muni be handed over to them. Here two words are used very significantly–yatha-silam and yatha-ruci. The daughters should be handed over to the respective rsis, not blindly, but according to the combination of character and taste. That is the art of combining a man and woman. Man and woman should not be united simply on the consideration of sex life. There are many other considerations, especially character and taste. If the taste and character differ between the man and woman their combination will be unhappy. Even about forty years ago, in Indian marriages, the taste and character of the boy and girl were first of all matched, and then they were allowed to marry. This was done under the direction of the respective parents. The parents used to astrologically determine the character and tastes of the boy and girl, and when they corresponded, the match was selected: “This girl and this boy are just suitable, and they should be married.” Other considerations were less important. The same system was also advised in the beginning of the creation by Brahma: “Your daughters should be handed over to the rsis according to taste and character.”

According to astrological calculation, a person is classified according to whether he belongs to the godly or demoniac quality. In that way the spouse was selected. A girl of godly quality should be handed over to a boy of godly quality. A girl of demoniac quality should be handed over to a boy of demoniac quality. Then they will be happy. But if the girl is demoniac and the boy is godly, then the combination is incompatible; they cannot be happy in such a marriage. At the present moment, because boys and girls are not married according to quality and character, most marriages are unhappy, and there is divorce.

It is foretold in the Twelfth Canto of the Bhagavatam that in this age of Kali married life will be accepted on the consideration of sex only; when the boy and girl are pleased in sex, they get married, and when there is deficiency in sex, they separate. That is not actual marriage, but a combination of men and women like cats and dogs. Therefore, the children produced in the modern age are not exactly human beings. Human beings must be twice-born. A child is first born of a good father and mother, and then he is born again of the spiritual master and the Vedas. The first mother and father bring about his birth into the world; then the spiritual master and the Vedas become his second father and mother. According to the Vedic system of marriage for producing children, every man and woman was enlightened in spiritual knowledge, and at the time of their combination to produce a child, everything was scrutinizingly and scientifically done.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 15 – Text 24 and Chapter 21 – Text 15