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Transcendent

Why God created this material world?

The living entities are not great as Viṣṇu (Kṛṣṇa), who is beyond this material creation. Since neither Viṣṇu nor the living entity are of the material creation, someone may inquire, Why were the small particles of spirit created at all? The answer is that the Supreme Absolute Truth is complete in His perfection when He is both infinite and infinitesimal. If He is simply infinite and is not infinitesimal, He is not perfect. The infinite portion is the Viṣṇu-tattva, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the infinitesimal portion is the living entity.

Due to the infinite desires of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is existence in the spiritual world, and due to the infinitesimal desires of the living entity, there is existence in the material world. When the infintesimal living entities are engaged in their infinitesimal desires for material enjoyment, they are called jiva-shakti, but when they are dovetailed with the infinite, they are called liberated souls. There is no need to ask, therefore, why God created the infinitesimal portions, they are simply the complementary side of the Supreme. It is doubtlessly essential for the infinite to have infinitesimal portions which are inseparable parts and parcels of the supreme soul. Because the living entities are infinitesimal parts and parcels of the Supreme, there is a reciprocation of feelings between the infinite and the infinitesimal. Had there been no infinitesimal living entities, the Supreme Lord would have been inactive, and there would not be variegatedness in spiritual life. There is no meaning to a king if there are no subjects, and there is no meaning to the Supreme God if there are no infinitesimal living entities. How can there be meaning to the word “lord” if there is no one to overlord? The conclusion is that the living entities are considered to be expansions of the energy of the Supreme Lord, and the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the energetic.

In simple words, God has created us in the same way a gentleman accepts a wife. If one takes on a wife, he will beget children. A man takes on the responsibility of maintaining a wife and children because he thinks that through them he will enjoy life. In the material world we see that during the evening a man tries to enjoy life with his wife, children and friends. Therefore he takes on so many responsibilities. This is supposed to be ananda, bliss, but because it takes place in the material world, the ananda is converted into something distasteful. However, we can enjoy this ananda when we are with our Supreme Father, Kṛṣṇa We are all children of the Supreme Father Sri Kṛṣṇa, He has created us for His enjoyment, not to create distress. Although we are Kṛṣṇa’s children, we have given up our Supreme Father because we wish to enjoy ourselves independently. Consequently we are suffering. If a rich man’s son gives up his home to try to enjoy life independently, he simply suffers. It is to our benefit to return home, back to Godhead, to enjoy ourselves with our original father, Kṛṣṇa. This will give us happiness. Kṛṣṇa is full of all opulence. He possesses in totality wealth, strength, beauty, fame, knowledge and renunciation. He possesses everything in unlimited quantity. If we return to our original father, we can enjoy ourselves with Him unlimitedly. It is not that we can enjoy ourselves independent of Kṛṣṇa. Nor can we say that to enjoy ourselves we have to become one with Kṛṣṇa. In the material world, our father gives us our birth, and we are an entity separate from him. If we are suffering, do we say, My dear father, I am suffering. Will you please once again make me one with you?

Is this a very good proposal? A father says, “I have begotten you separately to enjoy yourself “. You remain separate, and I remain separate, and in this way we will enjoy. Now you are asking to become one with me. What is this nonsense?

 

Source:A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 244
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2007 edition), “Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Son of Devahuti”, Page 202 and 203

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spiritual life material

How material world was created?

[whohit]How material world was created?[/whohit]
When it is necessary to create the material universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu (Kṛṣṇa) first expansion Balarama (Sankarsana) expands Himself as the Maha-Viṣṇu (Purusa-avatar). The Lord Balarama is the brother of Kṛṣṇa in the Vrndavana pastimes. This Maha-Viṣṇu lies down on the Causal Ocean and breathes the entire universe from His nostrils. These innumerable universes are produced from the pores of Maha-Viṣṇu’s body. As innumerable particles of dust pass through the tiny holes in a screen, similarly from the pores of the Maha-Viṣṇu’s body innumerable universes emanate. As He breathes out innumerable universes are produced, and as He inhales, they are annihilated.

Just as a husband and wife combine to beget offspring, the Maha-Viṣṇu combines with His wife Maya, or material nature. Viṣṇu impregnates Maya or material nature simply by glancing at her. This is the spiritual method. Materially we are limited to impregnate by only one particular part of our body, but the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa or Maha-Viṣṇu, can impregnate any part by any part. Simply by glancing the Lord can conceive countless living entities in the womb of material nature.  This created Consciousness/ living entities are then divided into three departmental activities according to the three gunas, or modes of material nature which include the mode of goodness, passion and ignorance. The entire cosmic manifestation is a combination of all these modes. Kṛṣṇa’s guna-avatar’s Brahma, Viṣṇu and Siva are the predominating deities of the three modes of material nature. Brahma (passion), Viṣṇu (goodness), and Siva (ignorance).

The second Purusa-avatar or incarnation of Viṣṇu is the Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu (Maha-Viṣṇu expands His personality and enters each universe as Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu), which enters into all the universe, spreads water from His body, and lies down on that water. From His navel, the stem of a lotus flower grows, and on that lotus flower the first creature, Brahma, is born. Within the stem of that lotus flower are fourteen divisions of planetary systems, which are created by Brahma. Within each universe the Lord is present as the Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu, and He maintains each universe and tends to its needs. Although He is within each material universe, the influence of material energy cannot touch Him.

The third Purusa-avatar of Viṣṇu is Ksirodakasayi Viṣṇu (Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu expands as Kshirodakashayi Viṣṇu), who then expands Himself unlimitedly to enter the hearts of all the living entities in His particular universe. This expansion of Viṣṇu is known as Paramatma, the Supersoul, who accompanies each jiva soul in his search for material pleasure. Kshirodakashayi Viṣṇu is also an incarnation of the mode of goodness, and He resides on the ocean of milk within the universe.

The scientific worldview of cosmic manifestation is quite different from the Vedantic view. However, the concept of time and space is extremely important in both science and Vedanta. In a materialistic worldview, time has a beginning and cosmologists say that time started along with the so-called Big Bang theory. This is the conceptual framework regarding the beginning of our universe according to the opinion of modern cosmologists. According to this theory, our universe began around thirteen to fifteen billion (13-15 * 109) years ago. According to Vedanta, kala or time has no beginning. It is eternal and the impersonal aspect of the Supreme Being. Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavadgita (11.32), kalo ‘smi, “Time I am”. Thus, in a spiritual worldview, time has no beginning and no end, and it has been existing eternally. According to Vedanta all the material universes have manifested because of Big Vision and not by a Big Bang. All these manifestations have a beginning as well as an end. This is the symptom of the material nature. Just like all our material bodies have a beginning and also have an end. The creation and annihilation go on in cycles just like the changes of the seasons. The Vedantic cosmology describes that at the beginning of each cycle of creation of the universe, Lord Brahma, the first created cosmic living being is born. A day of Brahma is called a kalpa and one kalpa consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas, or ages called Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. The same number comprises one night of Brahma and he lives one hundred of such years and then dies. Satyayuga lasts 1,728,000 years; Tretayuga lasts 1,296,000 years; Dvaparayuga lasts 864,000 years and Kaliyuga lasts 432,000 years. Thus one hundred years of Lord Brahma equal to 311 trillion and 40 billion earth years. According to Vedantic cosmology, our universe starts wth the birth of Lord Brahma and he is at present a little more than 50 years old. The present period is 5,000 years in the Kaliyuga of the twenty-eighth four-yuga cycle of the seventh Manu of the first kalpa of the first day of Brahma in the second half of his life. Hence, our present universe started about 155.522 trillion (155.522 * 1012) years ago and will end in 155.518 trillion (155.518 * 1012) years and just after that a new cycle of creation will begin again.

At the end of the millennium, Brahma begins to enter into the Personality of Godhead Lord Narayana [Maha-Viṣṇu] along with all creative elements. (Bg.1.6.29). The merging of the living beings into the body of Maha-Viṣṇu takes place automatically at the end of Brahma’s one hundred years. But that does not mean that the individual living being loses his identity. The identity is there, and as soon as there is another creation by the will of the Supreme Lord, all the sleeping, inactive living beings are again let loose to begin their activities in the continuation of past different spheres of life. (Bg. 1.10.21, Purport).

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 113 and 114.
Urmila Devi Dasi, http://btg.krishna.com/creation-and-dissolution-material-world, Last accessed on July 03, 2016  

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Cosmos-Consciousness

How big is the Universe?

Our universe is one of the many universes in the material world. According to scriptures, the spiritual world has been calculated to comprise three-fourths of the energies of the Supreme Lord, and the material world is said to comprise one-fourth of His energy, but no one can understand what this three-fourths is, since even this material universe, which comprises only one-fourth of His energy, cannot be described. Our universe is only four thousand million miles broad; however, there are many millions and billions of universes which are far, far greater than ours. Some of these are many trillions of miles broad.

Beyond the material sky, there is an unlimited span of spiritual sky generally known as the brahmajyoti. Within this effulgence there are innumerable spiritual planets, and they are known as the Vaikuntha planets. Each and every Vaikuntha planet is many, many times bigger than the biggest universe within the material world, and in each of them there are innumerable inhabitants who look exactly like Lord Viṣṇu. These inhabitants are persons directly engaged in the service of the Lord. They are happy in those planets and are without any kind of misery, and they live perpetually in full youthfulness, enjoying life in full bliss and knowledge without fear of birth, death, old age or disease. (Bg. 1.14.35–36, Purport) In those planets there is no difference between the body and the soul, nor is there any influence of time as we experience it in the material world. (Bg. 2.5.39, Purport).

Source:  A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 113 and 114.
Urmila Devi Dasi, http://btg.krishna.com/creation-and-dissolution-material-world, Last accessed on July 03, 2016.

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Hare Krishna

How duration of life is different for different species?

Everything in the world is relative. Our bodies, lives, intelligence, and everything else are all relative. To us an ant may seem to have a very short life, but for the ant his life is about a hundred years in duration. That hundred years is relative to the body. Similarly, Brahma, who lives fantastically long from our point of view, only lives a hundred years from his point of view. In the Bhagavad-gita Kṛṣṇa states:  “By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together is the duration of Brahma’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.”  Thus Brahma, by these calculations, lives for so many millions and trillions of years.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 261

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One Universe

Location of planets in the universe.

Within this one universe, there are fourteen planetary systems, and the living entities are wandering in different bodily forms on different planets. According to karma, the living entity sometimes goes up and sometimes goes down. The lower systems are called Bhurloka, the middle systems are called Bhuvarloka, and the higher planetary systems, up to Brahmaloka, the highest planetary system of the universe, are called Svarloka. And all of them are situated on the body of the Lord. In other words, no one within this universe is without a relationship with the Lord. Modern enterprisers (the astronauts who travel in space) may take information from Srimad- Bhagavatam that in space there are fourteen divisions of planetary systems. The situation is calculated from the earthly planetary system, which is called Bhurloka. Above Bhurloka is Bhuvarloka, and the topmost planetary system is called Satyaloka. These are the upper seven lokas, or planetary systems. And similarly, there are seven lower planetary systems, known as Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala lokas. All these planetary systems are scattered over the complete universe, which occupies an area of two billion times two billion square miles. The modern astronauts can travel only a few thousand miles away from the earth, and therefore their attempt to travel in the sky is something like child’s play on the shore of an expansive ocean. The moon is situated in the third status of the upper planetary system. There are innumerable universes beyond the one in which we are put, and all these material universes cover only an insignificant portion of the spiritual sky. The entire material universe is called Devidhama, and above it there is Sivadhama, where Lord Siva and his wife Parvati eternally reside. Above that planetary system is the spiritual sky where innumerable spiritual planets, known as Vaikunthas, are situated. Above these Vaikuntha planets there is Kṛṣṇa’s planet known as Goloka. Goloka Vrndavana is larger than all the material and spiritual planets put together. Those who are devotees of the Narayana expansion of Kṛṣṇa attain the Vaikuntha planets, but it is very difficult to reach Goloka Vrndavana. Indeed, that planet can be reached only by persons who are devotees of Lord Caitanya or Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 5 – Text 38, 40 & 41
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 168,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2007 edition), “Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Son of Devahuti”, Page 15

location-of-planets-spiritual-material-universe

location-of-planets-spiritual-material-universe-1

Source of Everything

Time (Kala) controls everything.

There is control by time all over the space within the universe, as there is control by time all over the planets. All the big gigantic planets, including the sun, are being controlled by the force of air, as the clouds are carried by the force of air. Similarly, the inevitable kala, or time, controls even the action of the air and other elements. Everything, therefore, is controlled by the supreme kala, a forceful representative of the Lord within the material world. Thus Yudhisthira should not be sorry for the inconceivable action of time. Everyone has to bear the actions and reactions of time as long as one is within the conditions of the material world. Yudhisthira should not think that he had committed sins in his previous birth and is suffering the consequence. Even the most pious has to suffer the condition of material nature. But a pious man is faithful to the Lord, for he is guided by the bona fide brahmana and Vaisnava following the religious principles. These three guiding principles should be the aim of life. One should not be disturbed by the tricks of eternal time. Even the great controller of the universe, Brahmaji, is also under the control of that time; therefore, one should not grudge being thus controlled by time despite being a true follower of religious principles.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 9 – Text 14

Source of Everything

How the dissolution of the universe takes place?

There are two types of dissolution of the manifested cosmos. At the end of every 4,320,000,000 solar years, when Brahma, the lord of one particular universe, goes to sleep, there is one annihilation. And at the end of Lord Brahma’s life, which takes place at the end of Brahma’s one hundred years of age, in our calculation at the end of 8,640,000,000 x 30 x 12 x 100 solar years, there is complete annihilation of the entire universe, and in both the periods both the material energy called the mahat-tattva and the marginal energy called jiva-tattva merge in the person of the Supreme Lord. The living beings remain asleep within the body of the Lord until there is another creation of the material world, and that is the way of the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the material manifestation. The material creation is effected by the interaction of the three modes of material nature set in action by the Lord, and therefore it is said here that the Lord existed before the modes of material nature were set in motion. In the Sruti-mantra it is said that only Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord, existed before the creation, and there was no Brahma, Siva or other demigods. Viṣṇu means the Maha-Viṣṇu, who is lying on the Causal Ocean. By His breathing only all the universes are generated in seeds and gradually develop into gigantic forms with innumerable planets within each and every universe. The seeds of universes develop into gigantic forms in the way seeds of a banyan tree develop into numberless banyan trees.

This Maha-Viṣṇu is the plenary portion of the Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa, who is mentioned in the Brahma-samhita as follows:
“Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the original Personality of Godhead, Govinda, whose plenary portion is the Maha-Viṣṇu. All the Brahmas, the heads of the universes, live only for the period of His exhaling, after the universes are generated from the pores of His transcendental body.” (Brahmasamhita 5.58) Thus Govinda, or Lord Kṛṣṇa, is the cause of Maha-Viṣṇu also. The ladies talking about this Vedic truth must have heard it from authoritative sources. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. The merging of the living beings into the body of Maha-Viṣṇu takes place automatically at the end of Brahma’s one hundred years. But that does not mean that the individual living being loses his identity. The identity is there, and as soon as there is another creation by the supreme will of the Lord, all the sleeping, inactive living beings are again let loose to begin their activities in the continuation of past different spheres of life. It is called suptotthita naya, or awakening from sleep and again engaging in one’s respective continuous duty. When a man is asleep at night, he forgets himself, what he is, what his duty is and everything of his waking state. But as soon as he awakens from slumber, he remembers all that he has to do and thus engages himself again in his prescribed activities. The living beings also remain merged in the body of Maha-Viṣṇu during the period of annihilation, but as soon as there is another creation they arise to take up their unfinished work. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (8.18-20). The Lord existed before the creative energy was set in action. The Lord is not a product of the material energy. His body is completely spiritual, and there is no difference between His body and Himself. Before creation the Lord remained in His abode, which is absolute and one.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 10 – Text 21

Kṛṣṇa

Astronomical influence on our life.

Astronomical calculations of stellar influences upon a living being are not suppositions, but are factual, as confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Every living being is controlled by the laws of nature at every minute, just as a citizen is controlled by the influence of the state. The state laws are grossly observed, but the laws of material nature, being subtle to our gross understanding, cannot be experienced grossly. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita (3.9), every action of life produces another reaction, which is binding upon us, and only those who are acting on behalf of Yajna (Viṣṇu) are not bound by reactions. Our actions are judged by the higher authorities, the agents of the Lord, and thus we are awarded bodies according to our activities. The law of nature is so subtle that every part of our body is influenced by the respective stars, and a living being obtains his working body to fulfill his terms of imprisonment by the manipulation of such astronomical influence. A man’s destiny is therefore ascertained by the birth time constellation of stars, and a factual horoscope is made by a learned astrologer. It is a great science, and misuse of a science does not make it useless.

Maharaja Pariksit or even the Personality of Godhead appears in certain constellations of good stars, and thus the influence is exerted upon the body thus born at an auspicious moment. The most auspicious constellation of stars takes place during the appearance of the Lord in this material world, and it is specifically called jayanti, a word not to be abused for any other purposes. Maharaja Pariksit was not only a great ksatriya emperor, but also a great devotee of the Lord. Thus he cannot take his birth at any inauspicious moment. As a proper place and time is selected to receive a respectable personage, so also to receive such a personality as Maharaja Pariksit, who was especially cared for by the Supreme Lord, a suitable moment is chosen when all good stars assembled together to exert their influence upon the King. Thus he took his birth just to be known as the great hero of Srimad- Bhagavatam. This suitable arrangement of astral influences is never a creation of man’s will, but is the arrangement of the superior management of the agency of the Supreme Lord. Of course, the arrangement is made according to the good or bad deeds of the living being. Herein lies the importance of pious acts performed by the living being. Only by pious acts can one be allowed to get good wealth, good education and beautiful features. The samskaras of the school of sanatana-dharma (man’s eternal engagement) are highly suitable for creating an atmosphere for taking advantage of good stellar influences, and therefore garbhadhana-samskara, or the first seedling purificatory process prescribed for the higher castes, is the beginning of all pious acts to receive a good pious and intelligent class of men in human society. There will be peace and prosperity in the world due to good and sane population only; there is hell and disturbance only because of the unwanted, insane populace addicted to sex indulgence.

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

scriptures karma

Impact of time (kala) does not act on the transcendental plane.

Devastating time (kala), which controls even the celestial demigods by its manifestations of past, present and future, does not act on the transcendental plane. The influence of time is exhibited by the symptoms of birth, death, old age and disease, and these four principles of material conditions are present everywhere in any part of the material cosmos up to the planet Brahmaloka, where the duration of life of the inhabitants appears to us to be fabulous. Insurmountable time even brings about the death of Brahma, so what to speak of other demigods like Indra, Candra, Surya, Vayu and Varuna? The astronomical influence directed by the different demigods over mundane creatures is also conspicuous by its absence. In material existence, the living entities are afraid of Satanic influence, but for a devotee on the transcendental plane there is no such fear at all. The living entities change their material bodies in different shapes and forms under the influence of the different modes of material nature, but in the transcendental state the devotee is guna-tita, or above the material modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. Thus the false ego of “I am the lord of all I survey” does not arise there.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 2 – Text 17

scriptures

The whole process of creation is an act of gradual evolution.

The whole process of creation is an act of gradual evolution and development from one element to another, reaching up to the variegatedness of the earth as so many trees, plants, mountains, rivers, reptiles, birds, animals and varieties of human beings. The quality of sense perception is also evolutionary, namely generated from sound, then touch, and from touch to form. Taste and odor are also generated along with the gradual development of sky, air, fire, water and earth. They are all mutually the cause and effect of one another, but the original cause is the Lord Himself in plenary portion, as Maha-Viṣṇu lying in the causal water of the mahat-tattva. As such, Lord Kṛṣṇa is described in the Brahma-samhita as the cause of all causes, and this is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (10.8) as follows:

aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam budha bhava-samanvitah

The qualities of sense perception are fully represented in the earth, and they are manifested in other elements to a lesser extent. In the sky there is sound only, whereas in the air there are sound and touch. In the fire there are sound, touch and shape, and in the water there is taste also, along with the other perceptions, namely sound, touch and shape. In the earth, however, there are all the above-mentioned qualities with an extra development of odor also. Therefore on the earth there is a full display of variegatedness of life, which is originally started with the basic principle of air. Diseases of the body take place due to derangement of air within the earthly body of the living beings. Mental diseases result from special derangement of the air within the body, and as such, yogic exercise is especially beneficial to keep the air in order so that diseases of the body become almost nil by such exercises. When they are properly done the duration of life also increases, and one can have control over death also by such practices. A perfect yogi can have command over death and quit the body at the right moment, when he is competent to transfer himself to a suitable planet. The bhakti-yogi, however, surpasses all the yogis because, by dint of his devotional service, he is promoted to the region beyond the material sky and is placed in one of the planets in the spiritual sky by the supreme will of the Lord, the controller of everything.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 5 – Text 26-29