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

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

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

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

soul karma

When the discharge of the male is greater, male children are begotten.

Devahuti was too sexually excited, and therefore she discharged more ova, and nine daughters were born. It is said in the smrti-sastra as well as in the Ayur-veda that when the discharge of the male is greater, male children are begotten, but when the discharge of the female is greater, female children are begotten. It appears from the circumstances that Devahuti was more sexually excited, and therefore she had nine daughters at once. All the daughters, however, were very beautiful, and their bodies were nicely formed; each resembled a lotus flower and was fragrant like a lotus.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 23 – Text 48

To check the increase of demoniac population it is importatnt to follow the garbhadhana process for begetting good children.

In former days there were only two demons (Hiranyakasipu & Hiranyaksa)—those born of Diti—yet there were so many disturbances. At the present day, especially in this age of Kali, these disturbances are always visible, which indicates that the demoniac population has certainly increased.

To check the increase of demoniac population, the Vedic civilization enacted so many rules and regulations of social life, the most important of which is the garbhadhana process for begetting good children. In Bhagavad-gita Arjuna informed Kṛṣṇa that if there is unwanted population (varna-sankara), the entire world will appear to be hell. People are very anxious for peace in the world, but there are so many unwanted children born without the benefit of the garbhadhana ceremony, just like the demons born from Diti. Diti was so lusty that she forced her husband to copulate at a time which was inauspicious, and therefore the demons were born to create disturbances. In having sex life to beget children, one should observe the process for begetting nice children; if each and every householder in every family observes the Vedic system, then there are nice children, not demons, and automatically there is peace in the world. If we do not follow regulations in life for social tranquillity, we cannot expect peace. Rather, we will have to undergo the stringent reactions of natural laws.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 17 – Text 15

Sexual intercourse according to religious principles is a representation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

The conditions for having good progeny in society are that the husband should be disciplined in religious and regulative principles and the wife should be faithful to the husband. In Bhagavad-gita (7.11) it is said that sexual intercourse according to religious principles is a representation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Before engaging in sexual intercourse, both the husband and the wife must consider their mental condition, the particular time, the husband’s direction, and obedience to the demigods. According to Vedic society, there is a suitable auspicious time for sex life, which is called the time for garbhadhana.

Diti (mother of demon Hiranyakasipu) neglected all the principles of scriptural injunction, and therefore, although she was very anxious for auspicious children, she was informed that her children would not be worthy to be the sons of a brahmana. There is a clear indication herein that a brahmana’s son is not always a brahmana. Personalities like Ravana and Hiranyakasipu were actually born of brahmanas, but they were not accepted as brahmanas because their fathers did not follow the regulative principles for their birth. Such children are called demons, or Raksasas. There were only one or two Raksasas in the previous ages due to negligence of the disciplinary methods, but during the age of Kali there is no discipline in sex life. How, then, can one expect good children? Certainly unwanted children cannot be a source of happiness in society, but through the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement they can be raised to the human standard by chanting the holy name of God. That is the unique contribution of Lord Caitanya to human society.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 14 – Text 38