vedic

Devotional service to the Lord is uncheckable in all circumstances.

We may not hate even the prostitutes if they are devotees of the Lord. Even to date there are many prostitutes in great cities of India who are sincere devotees of the Lord. By tricks of chance one may be obliged to adopt a profession which is not very adorable in society, but that does not hamper one in executing devotional service to the Lord. Devotional service to the Lord is uncheckable in all circumstances. It is understood herewith that even in those days, about five thousand years ago, there were prostitutes in a city like Dvaraka, where Lord Krsna resided. This means that prostitutes are necessary citizens for the proper upkeep of society. The government opens wine shops, but this does not mean that the government encourages the drinking of wine. The idea is that there is a class of men who will drink at any cost, and it has been experienced that prohibition in great cities encouraged illicit smuggling of wine. Similarly, men who are not satisfied at home require such concessions, and if there is no prostitute, then such low men will induce others into prostitution. It is better that prostitutes be available in the marketplace so that the sanctity of society can be maintained. It is better to maintain a class of prostitutes than to encourage prostitutes within society. The real reformation is to enlighten all people to become devotees of the Lord, and that will check all kinds of deteriorating factors of life.

Sri Bilvamangala Thakura, a great acarya of the Visnusvami Vaisnava sect, in his householder life was overly attached to a prostitute who happened to be a devotee of the Lord. One night when the Thakura came to Cintamani’s house in torrents of rain and thunder, Cintamani was astonished to see how the Thakura could come on such a dreadful night after crossing a foaming river which was full of waves. She said to Thakura Bilvamangala that his attraction for the flesh and bone of an insignificant woman like her would be properly utilized if it could be diverted to the devotional service of the Lord to achieve attraction for the transcendental beauty of the Lord. It was a momentous hour for the Thakura, and he took a turn towards spiritual realization by the words of a prostitute. Later on the Thakura accepted the prostitute as his spiritual master, and in several places of his literary works he has glorified the name of Cintamani, who showed him the right path.

In the Bhagavad-gita (9.32) the Lord says, “O son of Prtha, even the low-born candalas and those who are born in a family of unbelievers, and even the prostitutes, shall attain perfection of life if they take shelter of unalloyed devotional service to Me, because in the path of devotional service there are no impediments due to degraded birth and occupation. The path is open for everyone who agrees to follow it.”

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 11 – Text 19

vedic life

Why drinking & flesh eating by sacrifices is permitted in scriptures?

The basic principles of irreligiosity, such as pride, prostitution, intoxication and falsehood, counteract the four principles of religion, namely austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness. The personality of Kali was given permission to live in four places particularly mentioned by the King, namely the place of gambling, the place of prostitution, the place of drinking and the place of animal slaughter. Srila Jiva Gosvami directs that drinking against the principles of scriptures, such as the sautramaniyajna, association with women outside marriage, and killing animals against the injunctions of scriptures are irreligious. In the Vedas two different types of injunctions are there for the pravrttas, or those who are engaged in material enjoyment, and for the nivrttas, or those who are liberated from material bondage. The Vedic injunction for the pravrttas is to gradually regulate their activities towards the path of liberation. Therefore, for those who are in the lowest stage of ignorance and who indulge in wine, women and flesh, drinking by performing sautramani-yajna, association of women by marriage and flesh-eating by sacrifices are sometimes recommended. Such recommendations in the Vedic literature are meant for a particular class of men, and not for all. But because they are injunctions of the Vedas for particular types of persons, such activities by the pravrttas are not considered adharma. One man’s food may be poison for others; similarly, what is recommended for those in the mode of ignorance may be poison for those in the mode of goodness. Srila Jiva Gosvami Prabhu, therefore, affirms that recommendations in the scriptures for a certain class of men are never to be considered adharma, or irreligious. But such activities are factually adharma, and they are never to be encouraged. The recommendations in the scriptures are not meant for the encouragement of such adharma, but for regulating the necessary adharma gradually toward the path of dharma.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 17 – Text 38

vedic scriptures

Lord Kṛṣṇa gave knowledge of Bhagavad-gita to the sun-god.

The Vedic literatures are taught in higher planets also, as there is reference in the Bhagavad-gita (4.1) about the teachings to the sun-god (Vivasvan) by the Lord, and such lessons are transferred by disciplic succession, as it was done by the sun-god to his son Manu, and from Manu to Maharaja Iksvaku. There are fourteen Manus in one day of Brahma, and the Manu referred to herein is the seventh Manu, who is one of the prajapatis (those who create progeny), and he is the son of the sun-god. He is known as the Vaivasvata Manu. He had ten sons, and Maharaja Iksvaku is one of them. Maharaja Iksvaku also learned bhakti-yoga as taught in the Bhagavad-gita from his father, Manu, who got it from his father, the sun-god. Later on the teaching of the Bhagavad-gita came down by disciplic succession from Maharaja Iksvaku, but in course of time the chain was broken by unscrupulous persons, and therefore it again had to be taught to Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. So all the Vedic literatures are current from the very beginning of creation of the material world, and thus the Vedic literatures are known as apauruseya (not made by man). The Vedic knowledge was spoken by the Lord and first heard by Brahma, the first created living being within the universe.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 12 – Text 19

what is god

When Srimad Bhagvatam & Mahabharata were compiled?

Amongst mundane scholars, there is some diversity of opinion as to the date of compilation of Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is, however, certain from the text of the Bhagavatam that it was compiled before the disappearance of King Pariksit and after the departure of Lord Krsna. When Maharaja Pariksit was ruling the world as the King of Bharata-varsa, he chastised the personality of Kali. According to revealed scriptures and astrological calculation, the age of Kali is in its five thousandth year. Therefore, Srimad-Bhagavatam was compiled not less than five thousand years ago. Mahabharata was compiled before Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the Puranas were compiled before Mahabharata. That is an estimation of the date of compilation of the different Vedic literatures. Badarayana (Vyasadeva) a powerful incarnation of Narayana, broadcasted the Vedic wisdom to the world. As such, Vyasadeva is offered respects before one chants the Vedic literature, especially the Puranas. Sukadeva Gosvami was his son, and rsis like Vaisampayana were his disciples for different branches of the Vedas. He is the author of the great epic Mahabharata and the great transcendental literature Bhagavatam. The Brahma-sutras–the Vedanta-sutras, or Badarayana-sutras–were compiled by him. Amongst sages he is the most respected author by dint of severe penances. When he wanted to record the great epic Mahabharata for the welfare of all people in the age of Kali, he was feeling the necessity of a powerful writer who could take up his dictation. By the order of Brahmaji, Sri Ganesaji took up the charge of noting down the dictation on the condition that Vyasadeva would not stop dictation for a moment. The Mahabharata was thus compiled by the joint endeavor of Vyasa and Ganesa. The Mahabharata was compiled by Vyasadeva after the Battle of Kuruksetra and after the death of all the heroes of Mahabharata. It was first spoken in the royal assembly of Maharaja Janamejaya, the son of Maharaja Pariksit.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 7 – Text 8
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 9 – Text 6 & 7

radha krishna

The sex life in the material world should not be encouraged beyond the necessity.

The genitals and the pleasure of begetting counteract the distresses of family encumbrances. One would cease to generate altogether if there were not, by the grace of the Lord, a coating, a pleasure-giving substance, on the surface of the generative organs. This substance gives a pleasure so intense that it counteracts fully the distress of family encumbrances. A person is so captivated by this pleasure-giving substance that he is not satisfied by begetting a single child, but increases the number of children, with great risk in regard to maintaining them, simply for this pleasure-giving substance. This pleasure-giving substance is not false, however, because it originates from the transcendental body of the Lord. In other words, the pleasure-giving substance is a reality, but it has taken on an aspect of pervertedness on account of material contamination. In the material world, sex life is the cause of many distresses on account of material contact. Therefore, the sex life in the material world should not be encouraged beyond the necessity. There is a necessity for generating progeny even in the material world, but such generation of children must be carried out with full responsibility for spiritual values. The spiritual values of life can be realized in the human form of material existence, and the human being must adopt family planning with reference to the context of spiritual values, and not otherwise. The degraded form of family restriction by use of contraceptives, etc., is the grossest type of material contamination. Materialists who use these devices want to fully utilize the pleasure potency of the coating on the genitals by artificial means, without knowing the spiritual importance. And without knowledge of spiritual values, the less intelligent man tries to utilize only the material sense pleasure of the genitals.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 6 – Text 8

krishna

How sex desires can be reduced?

The grossest type of anartha which binds the conditioned soul in material existence is sex desire, and this sex desire gradually develops in the union of the male and female. When the male and female are united, the sex desire is further aggravated by the accumulation of buildings, children, friends, relatives and wealth. When all these are acquired, the conditioned soul becomes overwhelmed by such entanglements, and the false sense of egoism, or the sense of “myself” and “mine,” becomes prominent, and the sex desire expands to various political, social, altruistic, philanthropic and many other unwanted engagements, resembling the foam of the sea waves, which becomes very prominent at one time and at the next moment vanishes as quickly as a cloud in the sky. The conditioned soul is encircled by such products, as well as products of sex desire, and therefore bhakti-yoga leads to gradual evaporation of the sex desire, which is summarized in three headings, namely profit, adoration and distinction. All conditioned souls are mad after these different forms of sex desire, and one shall see for himself how much he has been freed from such material hankerings based primarily on the sex desire. As a person feels his hunger satisfied after eating each morsel of foodstuff, he must similarly be able to see the degree to which he has been freed from sex desire. The sex desire is diminished along with its various forms by the process of bhakti-yoga because bhakti-yoga automatically, by the grace of the Lord, effectively results in knowledge and renunciation, even if the devotee is not materially very well educated. Knowledge means knowing things as they are, and if by deliberation it is found that there are things which are at all unnecessary, naturally the person who has acquired knowledge leaves aside such unwanted things. When the conditioned soul finds by culture of knowledge that material necessities are unwanted things, he becomes detached from such unwanted things. This stage of knowledge is called vairagya, or detachment from unwanted things. The transcendentalist is required to be self-sufficient and should not beg from the rich blind persons to fulfill the bare necessities of life. Sukadeva Gosvami has suggested some alternatives for the bare necessities of life, namely the problem of eating, sleeping and shelter, but he has not suggested any alternative for sex satisfaction. One who has the sex desire still with him should not at all try to accept the renounced order of life. For one who has not attained to this stage, there is no question of a renounced order of life. So by the gradual process of devotional service under the guidance of a proper spiritual master, and following the principles of the Bhagavatam, one must be able at least to control the gross sex desire before one accepts the renounced order of life factually.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 2 – Text 12

lord krsna

Why eating non-veg is prohibitive, eating veg will also involve killing of non-moving creatures such as plants?

According to Vedic Scriptures meat eating is prohibitive as any non-vegetarian diet (meat/fish/egg ) is simply an attachment of the tongue. In every religion, killing is prohibitive or very much restricted. In the Christian religion you have the commandment “Thou shalt not kill.” However, today nearly everyone is violating this commandment. If you violate the injunction given by Lord Jesus Christ, how can you claim to be Christian. And even if one is not a Christian, killing is most sinful and should be avoided as far as possible. By killing you become entangled in sinful activities and their resulted reactions, as a result, we will have to take various types of bodies, perpetually. Sometimes people argue that vegetables also have life. Yes, this is true and that is why it is recommended in the scriptures to eat only prasadam, food offered to Kṛṣṇa before being eaten. Whatever Kṛṣṇa leaves, we should take. This is the process according to Vedic Scriptures, We should’t take directly. So, while the vegetables have life, Kṛṣṇa says, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati tad aham…asnami: [Bg. 9.26] ” If one lovingly offers me a leaf, a flower, or water, I will accept it.” Then there is no sin in eating vegetables.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Quest for Enlightenment”, Page 71, 72 & 186
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 133 

iskcon

The weak are the subsistence of the strong. Why we should offer food to Lord? Can we offer meat to Lord?

A systematic law of subsistence in the struggle for existence is there by the supreme will, and there is no escape for anyone by any amount of planning. The living beings who have come to the material world against the will of the Supreme Being are under the control of a supreme power called maya-sakti, the deputed agent of the Lord, and this daivi maya is meant to pinch the conditioned souls by threefold miseries, one of which is explained here in this verse: the weak are the subsistence of the strong. No one is strong enough to protect himself from the onslaught of a stronger, and by the will of the Lord there are systematic categories of the weak, the stronger and the strongest. There is nothing to be lamented if a tiger eats a weaker animal, including a man, because that is the law of the Supreme Lord. But although the law states that a human being must subsist on another living being, there is the law of good sense also, for the human being is meant to obey the laws of the scriptures. This is impossible for other animals. The human being is meant for self-realization, and for that purpose he is not to eat anything which is not first offered to the Lord. The Lord accepts from His devotee all kinds of food preparations made of vegetables, fruits, leaves and grains. Fruits, leaves and milk in different varieties can be offered to the Lord, and after the Lord accepts the foodstuff, the devotee can partake of the prasada, by which all suffering in the struggle for existence will be gradually mitigated. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (9.26). Even those who are accustomed to eat animals can offer foodstuff, not to the Lord directly, but to an agent of the Lord, under certain conditions of religious rites. Injunctions of the scriptures are meant not to encourage the eaters of animals, but to restrict them by regulated principles.

The living being is the source of subsistence for other, stronger living beings. No one should be very anxious for his subsistence in any circumstances because there are living beings everywhere, and no living being starves for want of food at any place. Maharaja Yudhisthira is advised by Narada not to worry about his uncles’ suffering for want of food, for they could live on vegetables available in the jungles as prasada of the Supreme Lord and thus realize the path of salvation.

Exploitation of the weaker living being by the stronger is the natural law of existence; there is always an attempt to devour the weak in different kingdoms of living beings. There is no possibility of checking this tendency by any artificial means under material conditions; it can be checked only by awakening the spiritual sense of the human being by practice of spiritual regulations. The spiritual regulative principles, however, do not allow a man to slaughter weaker animals on one side and teach others peaceful coexistence. If man does not allow the animals peaceful coexistence, how can he expect peaceful existence in human society? The blind leaders must therefore understand the Supreme Being and then try to implement the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God, or Rama-rajya, is impossible without the awakening of God consciousness in the mass mind of the people of the world.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 13 – Text 47