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Kṛṣṇa's love

Human beings are given a chance to revive their original status of life with the help of revealed scriptures.

As we have discussed several times, there are two types of living entities. Most of them are ever liberated, or nitya-muktas, while some of them are ever conditioned. The ever-conditioned souls are apt to develop a mentality of lording over the material nature, and therefore the material cosmic creation is manifested to give the ever-conditioned souls two kinds of facilities. One facility is that the conditioned soul can act according to his tendency to lord it over the cosmic manifestation, and the other facility gives the conditioned soul a chance to come back to Godhead. So after the winding up of the cosmic manifestation, most of the conditioned souls merge into the existence of the Maha-Visnu Personality of Godhead, lying in His mystic slumber, to be created again in the next creation. But some of the conditioned souls, who follow the transcendental sound in the form of Vedic literatures and are thus able to go back to Godhead, attain spiritual and original bodies after quitting the conditional gross and subtle material bodies. The material conditional bodies develop out of the living entities’ forgetfulness of their relationship with Godhead, and during the course of the cosmic manifestation, the conditioned souls are given a chance to revive their original status of life with the help of revealed scriptures, so mercifully compiled by the Lord in His different incarnations. Reading or hearing of such transcendental literatures helps one become liberated even in the conditional state of material existence. All the Vedic literatures aim at devotional service to the Personality of Godhead, and as soon as one is fixed upon this point, he at once becomes liberated from conditional life. The material gross and subtle forms are simply due to the conditioned soul’s ignorance and as soon as he is fixed in the devotional service of the Lord, he becomes eligible to be freed from the conditioned state. This devotional service is transcendental attraction for the Supreme on account of His being the source of all pleasing humors. Everyone is after some pleasure of humor for enjoyment, but does not know the supreme source of all attraction (raso vai sah rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati). The Vedic hymns inform everyone about the supreme source of all pleasure; the unlimited fountainhead of all pleasure is the Personality of Godhead, and one who is fortunate enough to get this information through transcendental literatures like Srimad-Bhagavatam becomes permanently liberated to occupy his proper place in the kingdom of God.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 10 – Text 6

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who is guru

Vedic transcendental knowledge descends directly from the personality of Godhead.

It may be argued that Sukadeva Gosvami is not the only authority of perfect knowledge in transcendence because there are many other sages and their followers. Contemporary to Vyasadeva or even prior to him there were many other great sages, such as Gautama, Kanada, Jaimini, Kapila and Astavakra, and all of them have presented a philosophical path by themselves. Patanjali is also one of them, and all these six great rsis have their own way of thinking, exactly like the modern philosophers and mental speculators. The difference between the six philosophical paths put forward by the renowned sages above mentioned and that of Sukadeva Gosvami, as presented in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, is that all the six sages mentioned above speak the facts according to their own thinking, but Sukadeva Gosvami presents the knowledge which comes down directly from Brahmaji, who is known as atma-bhuh, or born of and educated by the Almighty Personality of Godhead.

Vedic transcendental knowledge descends directly from the Personality of Godhead. By His mercy, Brahma, the first living being in the universe, was enlightened, and from Brahmaji, Narada was enlightened, and from Narada, Vyasa was enlightened. Sukadeva Gosvami received such transcendental knowledge directly from his father, Vyasadeva. Thus the knowledge, being received from the chain of disciplic succession, is perfect. One cannot be a spiritual master in perfection unless and until one has received the same by disciplic succession. That is the secret of receiving transcendental knowledge. The six great sages mentioned above may be great thinkers, but their knowledge by mental speculation is not perfect. However perfect an empiric philosopher may be in presenting a philosophical thesis, such knowledge is never perfect because it is produced by an imperfect mind. Such great sages also have their disciplic successions, but they are not authorized because such knowledge does not come directly from the independent Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. No one can be independent except Narayana; therefore no one’s knowledge can be perfect, for everyone’s knowledge is dependent on the flickering mind. Mind is material and thus knowledge presented by material speculators is never transcendental and can never become perfect. Mundane philosophers, being imperfect in themselves, disagree with other philosophers because a mundane philosopher is not a philosopher at all unless he presents his own theory. Intelligent persons like Maharaja Pariksit do not recognize such mental speculators, however great they may be, but hear from the authorities like Sukadeva Gosvami, who is non-different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the parampara system, as is specially stressed in the Bhagavad-gita.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 8 – Text 25

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spiritual life material

Conditioned soul can render service to the Lord by creating progeny suitable for the attainment of salvation.

The heavenly pleasure for the conditioned soul is sexual pleasure, and this pleasure is tasted by the genitals. The woman is the object of sexual pleasure, and both the sense perception of sexual pleasure and the woman are controlled by the Prajapati, who is under the control of the Lord’s genitals. The impersonalist must know from this verse that the Lord is not impersonal, for He has His genitals, on which all the pleasurable objects of sex depend. No one would have taken the trouble to maintain children if there were no taste of heavenly nectar by means of sexual intercourse. This material world is created to give the conditioned souls a chance for rejuvenation for going back home, back to Godhead, and therefore generation of the living being is necessary for upkeep of the purpose of creation. Sexual pleasure is an impetus for such action, and as such one can even serve the Lord in the act of such sexual pleasure. The service is counted when the children born of such sexual pleasure are properly trained in God consciousness. The whole idea of material creation is to revive the dormant God consciousness of the living entity. In forms of life other than the human form, sexual pleasure is prominent without any motive of service for the mission of the Lord. But in the human form of life the conditioned soul can render service to the Lord by creating progeny suitable for the attainment of salvation. One can beget hundreds of children and enjoy the celestial pleasure of sexual intercourse, provided he is able to train the children in God consciousness. Otherwise begetting children is on the level of the swine. Rather, the swine is more expert than the human being because the swine can beget a dozen piglets at a time, whereas the human being can give birth to only one at a time. So one should always remember that the genitals, sexual pleasure, the woman and the offspring are all related in the service of the Lord, and one who forgets this relationship in the service of the Supreme Lord becomes subjected to the threefold miseries of material existence by the laws of nature. Perception of sexual pleasure is there even in the body of the dog, but there is no sense of God consciousness. The human form of life is distinct from that of the dog by the perception of God consciousness.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 10 – Text 26

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holy spirit

Combination with women is an unnecessary burden that checks self-realization.

The Lord, being the source of everything that be, is the origin of all austerities and penances also. Great vows of austerity are undertaken by sages to achieve success in self-realization. Human life is meant for such tapasya, with the great vow of celibacy, or brahmacarya. In the rigid life of tapasya, there is no place for the association of women. And because human life is meant for tapasya, for self-realization, factual human civilization, as conceived by the system of sanatana-dharma or the school of four castes and four orders of life, prescribes rigid dissociation from woman in three stages of life. In the order of gradual cultural development, one’s life may be divided into four divisions: celibacy, household life, retirement, and renunciation. During the first stage of life, up to twenty-five years of age, a man may be trained as a brahmacari under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master just to understand that woman is the real binding force in material existence. If one wants to get freedom from the material bondage of conditional life, he must get free from the attraction for the form of woman. Woman, or the fair sex, is the enchanting principle for the living entities, and the male form, especially in the human being, is meant for self-realization. The whole world is moving under the spell of womanly attraction, and as soon as a man becomes united with a woman, he at once becomes a victim of material bondage under a tight knot. The desires for lording it over the material world, under the intoxication of a false sense of lordship, specifically begin just after the man’s unification with a woman. The desires for acquiring a house, possessing land, having children and becoming prominent in society, the affection for community and the place of birth, and the hankering for wealth, which are all like phantasmagoria or illusory dreams, encumber a human being, and he is thus impeded in his progress toward self-realization, the real aim of life. The brahmacari, or a boy from the age of five years, especially from the higher castes, namely from the scholarly parents (the brahmanas), the administrative parents (the ksatriyas), or the mercantile or productive parents (the vaisyas), is trained until twenty-five years of age under the care of a bona fide guru or teacher, and under strict observance of discipline he comes to understand the values of life along with taking specific training for a livelihood. The brahmacari is then allowed to go home and enter householder life and get married to a suitable woman. But there are many brahmacaris who do not go home to become householders but continue the life of naisthika-brahmacaris, without any connection with women. They accept the order of sannyasa, or the renounced order of life, knowing well that combination with women is an unnecessary burden that checks self-realization. Since sex desire is very strong at a certain stage of life, the guru may allow the brahmacari to marry; this license is given to a brahmacari who is unable to continue the way of naisthika-brahmacarya, and such discrimination’s are possible for the bona fide guru. A program of so-called family planning is needed. The householder, who associates with woman under scriptural restrictions, after a thorough training of brahmacarya, cannot be a householder like cats and dogs. Such a householder, after fifty years of age, would retire from the association of woman as a vanaprastha to be trained to live alone without the association of woman. When the practice is complete, the same retired householder becomes a sannyasi, strictly separate from woman, even from his married wife. Studying the whole scheme of disassociation from women, it appears that a woman is a stumbling block for self-realization, and the Lord appeared as Narayana to teach the principle of womanly disassociation with a vow in life. The demigods, being envious of the austere life of the rigid brahmacaris, would try to cause them to break their vows by dispatching soldiers of Cupid. But in the case of the Lord, it became an unsuccessful attempt when the celestial beauties saw that the Lord can produce innumerable such beauties by His mystic internal potency and that there was consequently no need to be attracted by others externally. There is a common proverb that a confectioner is never attracted by sweetmeats. The confectioner, who is always manufacturing sweetmeats, has very little desire to eat them; similarly, the Lord, by His pleasure potential powers, can produce innumerable spiritual beauties and not be the least attracted by the false beauties of material creation. One who does not know alleges foolishly that Lord Krsna enjoyed women in His rasa-lila in Vrndavana, or with His sixteen thousand married wives at Dvaraka.

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

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Kṛṣṇa

The binding effects of the three modes of material nature are never to be conquered.

Material advancement of civilization means advancement of the reactions of the threefold miseries due to celestial influence, earthly reactions and bodily or mental pains. By the celestial influence of the stars there are many calamities like excessive heat, cold, rains or no rains, and the aftereffects are famine, disease and epidemic. The aggregate result is agony of the body and the mind. Man-made material science cannot do anything to counteract these threefold miseries. They are all punishments from the superior energy of maya under the direction of the Supreme Lord. Therefore our constant touch with the Lord by devotional service can give us relief without our being disturbed in the discharge of our human duties. The asuras, however, who do not believe in the existence of God, make their own plans to counteract all these threefold miseries, and so they meet with failures every time. The Bhagavad-gita (7.14) clearly states that the reaction of material energy is never to be conquered, because of the binding effects of the three modes. They can simply be overcome by one who surrenders fully in devotion under the lotus feet of the Lord.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 14 – Text 10

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scriptures soul karma

Arjuna was the medium for the Bhagvad Gita while his grandson Maharaja Pariksit became the medium for Srimad Bhagvatam.

The Supreme Lord is so kind to His pure devotees that in proper time He calls such devotees up to Him and thus creates an auspicious circumstance for the devotee. Maharaja Pariksit was a pure devotee of the Lord, and there was no reason for him to become extremely fatigued, hungry and thirsty because a devotee of the Lord never becomes perturbed by such bodily demands. But by the desire of the Lord, even such a devotee can become apparently fatigued and thirsty just to create a situation favorable for his renunciation of worldly activities. One has to give up all attachment for worldly relations before one is able to go back to Godhead, and thus when a devotee is too much absorbed in worldly affairs, the Lord creates a situation to cause indifference. The Supreme Lord never forgets His pure devotee, even though he may be engaged in so-called worldly affairs. Sometimes He creates an awkward situation, and the devotee becomes obliged to renounce all worldly affairs. The devotee can understand by the signal of the Lord, but others take it to be unfavorable and frustrating. Maharaja Pariksit was to become the medium for the revelation of Srimad-Bhagavatam by Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa, as his grandfather Arjuna was the medium for the Bhagavad-gita. Had Arjuna not been taken up with an illusion of family affection by the will of the Lord, the Bhagavad-gita would not have been spoken by the Lord Himself for the good of all concerned. Similarly, had Maharaja Pariksit not been fatigued, hungry and thirsty at this time, Srimad-Bhagavatam would not have been spoken by Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, the prime authority of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 18 – Text 24-25

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krishna | iandkrsna

The Supreme lord is always Supreme.

Naradaji is one of the liberated souls, and after his liberation he was known as Narada; otherwise, before his liberation, he was simply a son of a maidservant. The questions may be asked why Naradaji was not aware of the Supreme Lord and why he misconceived Brahmaji to be the Supreme Lord, although factually he was not. A liberated soul is never bewildered by such a mistaken idea, so why did Naradaji ask all those questions just like an ordinary man with a poor fund of knowledge? There was such bewilderment in Arjuna also, although he is eternally the associate of the Lord. Such bewilderment in Arjuna or in Narada takes place by the will of the Lord so that other, non-liberated persons may realize the real truth and knowledge of the Lord. The doubt arising in the mind of Narada about Brahmaji’s becoming all-powerful is a lesson for the frogs in the well, that they may not be bewildered in misconceiving the identity of the Personality of Godhead (even by comparison to a personality like Brahma, so what to speak of ordinary men who falsely pose themselves as God or an incarnation of God). The Supreme Lord is always the Supreme, and as we have tried to establish many times in these purports, no living being, even up to the standard of Brahma, can claim to be one with the Lord. One should not be misled when people worship a great man as God after his death as a matter of hero worship. There were many kings like Lord Ramacandra, the King of Ayodhya, but none of them are mentioned as God in the revealed scriptures. To be a good king is not necessarily the qualification for being Lord Rama, but to be a great personality like Kṛṣṇa is the qualification for being the Personality of Godhead. If we scrutinize the characters who took part in the Battle of Kuruksetra, we may find that Maharaja Yudhisthira was no less a pious king than Lord Ramacandra, and by character study Maharaja Yudhisthira was a better moralist than Lord Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa asked Maharaja Yudhisthira to lie, but Maharaja Yudhisthira protested. But that does not mean that Maharaja Yudhisthira could be equal to Lord Ramacandra or Lord Kṛṣṇa. The great authorities have estimated Maharaja Yudhisthira to be a pious man, but they have accepted Lord Rama or Kṛṣṇa as the Personality of Godhead. The Lord is therefore a different identity in all circumstances, and no idea of anthropomorphism can be applied to Him. The Lord is always the Lord, and a common living being can never be equal to Him.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 5 – Text 10

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daily devotional

The human form is a special gift of material nature.

The less intelligent do not know the real value of the human form of life. The human form is a special gift of material nature in the course of her enforcing stringent laws of miseries upon the living being. It is a chance to achieve the highest boon of life, namely to get out of the entanglement of repeated birth and death. The intelligent take care of this important gift by strenuously endeavoring to get out of the entanglement. But the less intelligent are lazy and unable to evaluate the gift of the human body to achieve liberation from the material bondage; they become more interested in so-called economic development and work very hard throughout life simply for the sense enjoyment of the temporary body. Sense enjoyment is also allowed to the lower animals by the law of nature, and thus a human being is also destined to a certain amount of sense enjoyment according to his past or present life. But one should definitely try to understand that sense enjoyment is not the ultimate goal of human life. Herein it is said that during the daytime one works “for nothing” because the aim is nothing but sense enjoyment. We can particularly observe how the human being is engaged for nothing in the great cities and industrial towns. There are so many things manufactured by human energy, but they are all meant for sense enjoyment, and not for getting out of material bondage. And after working hard during the daytime, a tired man either sleeps or engages in sex habits at night. That is the program of materialistic civilized life for the less intelligent. Therefore they are designated herein as lazy, unfortunate and short-lived.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 16 – Text 9