Source of Everything

Lord Kṛṣṇa is cent percent.

The summum bonum Kṛṣṇa is one without a second. He Himself has expanded Himself in various parts, portions and particles as svayam-rupa, svayam-prakasa, tad-ekatma, prabhava, vaibhava, vilasa, avatara, avesa, and jivas, all provided with innumerable energies just suitable to the respective persons and personalities. Learned scholars in transcendental subjects have carefully analyzed the summum bonum Kṛṣṇa to have sixty-four principal attributes. All the expansions or categories of the Lord possess only some percentages of these attributes. But Sri Kṛṣṇa is the possessor of the attributes cent percent. And His personal expansions such as svayam-prakasa, tad-ekatma up to the categories of the avataras who are all Viṣṇu-tattva, possess up to ninety-three percent of these transcendental attributes. Lord Siva, who is neither avatara nor avesa nor in between them, possesses almost eighty-four percent of the attributes. But the jivas, or the individual living beings in different statuses of life, possess up to the limit of seventy-eight percent of the attributes.

In the conditioned state of material existence, the living being possesses these attributes in very minute quantity, varying in terms of the pious life of the living being. The most perfect of living beings is Brahma, the supreme administrator of one universe. He possesses seventy-eight percent of the attributes in full. All other demigods have the same attributes in less quantity, whereas human beings possess the attributes in very minute quantity. The standard of perfection for a human being is to develop the attributes up to seventy-eight percent in full. The living being can never possess attributes like Siva, Viṣṇu or Lord Kṛṣṇa. A living being can become godly by developing the seventy-eight-percent transcendental attributes in fullness, but he can never become a God like Siva, Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa. He can become a Brahma in due course. The godly living beings who are all residents of the planets in the spiritual sky are eternal associates of God in different spiritual planets called Hari-dhama and Mahesadhama. The abode of Lord Kṛṣṇa above all spiritual planets is called Kṛṣṇaloka or Goloka Vrndavana, and the perfected living being, by developing seventy-eight percent of the above attributes in fullness, can enter the planet of Kṛṣṇaloka after leaving the present material body.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 3 – Text 28

god krishna

Why God name is Kṛṣṇa?

Actually God has no particular name. By saying He has no name, we mean that no one knows how many names He has. Since God is unlimited, His names also must be unlimited. Therfore we cannot settle on one name. For instance, Kṛṣṇa is sometimes called Yasoda-nandana, the son of mother Yasoda; or devaki-nandan, the son of Devaki; or vasudeva-nandana, the son of Vasudeva; or Nanda-nandana, the son of Nanda. Sometimes He is called Partha-sarathi, indicating that He acted as the charioteer of Arjuna, who is sometime called Partha, the son of Prtha.

God has many dealings with His many devotees, and according to those dealings, He is called certain names. Since He has innumerable devotees and innumerable relations with them, He also has innumerable names. We cannot hit on any one name. But the name Kṛṣṇa means “all attractive”. God attracts everyone; that is the definition of God. We have seen many pictures of Kṛṣṇa and we see that He attracts the cows, calves, birds, beasts, trees, plants, and even the water in Vrndavana. He is attractive to the cowherd boys, to the gopis, to Nanda Maharaja, to the Pandavas, and to all human society. Therefore if any particular name can be given to God, that name is “Kṛṣṇa”.

Some people say that God has no name – that we can call Him only “Father”. A son may call his father “Father”, but the father has a specific name. Similarly, “God” is the general name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose specific name is Kṛṣṇa. Jesus, as the son of God, has revealed to us the actual name of God: Christ. We can call God “Father”, but if we want to address Him by His actual name, we have to say “Christ”. “Christ” is another way of saying Krsta, and “Krsta” is another way of pronouncing Kṛṣṇa, the name of God. Jesus said that one should glorify the name of God. Therefore whether you call God “Christ”, “Krsta”, or “Kṛṣṇa”, ultimately you are addressing the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. Christ comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “the anointed one” and Christos is the Greek version of the word Kṛṣṇa. So when we address God as “Christ”, “Krsta” or “Kṛṣṇa”, we indicate the same all attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sri Caitanya said: namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktih. “God has millions and millions of names, and because there is no difference between God’s name and Himself, each one of these names has the same potency as God.” Therefore, even if you accept designations like “Hindu,” “Christian,” or “Muhammadan,” if you simply chant the name of God found in your own scriptures, you will attain the spiritual platform. Human life is meant for self-realization-to learn how to love God. That is the actual beauty of man. Whether you discharge this duty as a Hindu, a Christian, or a Muhammadan, it doesn’t matter-but discharge it.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 20, 128, 134

lord krishna

Is God a person?

If one decorates oneself, one’s reflection in a mirror will also appear decorated. Similarly, since we are reflections of Kṛṣṇa, if we decorate Kṛṣṇa we also shall be decorated. In the Bible it is said that man was made in the image of God, and this means that we are reflections of God’s image. It is not that we invent or imagine some form of God according to our own form. Those who adhere to the Mayavada philosophy of anthropomorphism say, “The Absolute Truth is impersonal, but because we are persons we imagine that the Absolute Truth is also a person.” This is a mistake, and in fact just the opposite is true. We have two hands, two legs, and a head because God Himself has these same features. We have personal forms because we are reflections of God.

Kṛṣṇa has a completely spiritual body (sac-cid-ananda-vigraha), but we do not have the eyes to see what that spiritual body is. We are accustomed to seeing material, gross things (jada). We can see stone, metal, wood, and other elements, and because Kṛṣṇa is everything, to be visible to our imperfect eyes He appears in a form of these elements. It is not that Kṛṣṇa is stone or that we are worshiping stone. We are worshiping Kṛṣṇa, but because we cannot see anything except material elements like stone, Kṛṣṇa kindly appears in a form carved from stone.

Just as we are all living beings, Kṛṣṇa, God, is also a living being. Kṛṣṇa is not impersonal. Because we are all individual persons but our knowledge and opulence are limited, the impersonalists cannot adjust to the idea that the Supreme, the original, unlimited cause of everything, can also be a person. Because we are limited and God is unlimited, the Mayavadis, or impersonalists, with their poor fund of knowledge, think that God must be impersonal. Making a material comparison, they say that just as the sky, which we think of as unlimited, is impersonal, if God is unlimited He must also be impersonal. But that is not the Vedic instruction. The Vedas instruct that God is a person. Kṛṣṇa is a person, and we are also persons, but the difference is that He is to be worshiped whereas we are to be worshipers. The king or president is a person, and the citizens are also persons, but the difference is that the president or king is an exalted person who should be offered all respect.

Source : A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Teachings of Queen Kunti”, Page 87, 88, 161, 213

Hare Krishna

Is it possible to see God?

The Supreme Lord, Sri Kṛṣṇa, cannot be seen by our present conditional vision. In order to see Him, one has to change his present vision by developing a different condition of life, full of spontaneous love of Godhead. When Sri Kṛṣṇa was personally present on the face of the globe, not everyone could see Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Materialists like Ravana, Hiranyakasipu, Kamsa, Jarasandha, and Sisupala were highly qualified personalities by acquisition of material assets, but they were unable to appreciate the presence of the Lord. Therefore, even though the Lord may be present before our eyes, it is not possible to see Him unless we have the necessary vision. This necessary qualification is developed by the process of devotional service only, beginning with hearing about the Lord from the right sources. The Bhagavad-gita is one of the popular literatures which are generally heard, chanted, repeated, etc., by the people in general, but in spite of such hearing, etc., sometimes it is experienced that the performer of such devotional service does not see the Lord face to face. The reason is that the first item, sravana, is very important. If hearing is from the right sources, it acts very quickly. Generally people hear from unauthorized persons. Such unauthorized persons may be very learned by academic qualifications, but because they do not follow the principles of devotional service, hearing from them becomes a sheer waste of time. Sometimes the texts are interpreted fashionably to suit their own purposes. Therefore, first one should select a competent and bona fide speaker and then hear from him. When the hearing process is perfect and complete, the other processes become automatically perfect in their own way.

When Dhruva Maharaja was undergoing penance and meditating upon the form of Viṣṇu within his heart, the Viṣṇu form suddenly disappeared, and his meditation broke. Upon opening his eyes, Dhruva Maharaja immediately saw Viṣṇu before him. Like Dhruva Maharaja, we should always think of Kṛṣṇa, and when we attain perfection we shall see Kṛṣṇa before us. This is the process. We should not be too hasty. We should wait for the mature time. Of course, it is good to be eager to see Kṛṣṇa, but we should not become discouraged if we do not see Him immediately. If a woman gets married and wants a child immediately, she will be disappointed. It is not possible to have a child immediately. She must wait. Similarly, we cannot expect that just because we engage ourselves in Kṛṣṇa consciousness we can see Kṛṣṇa immediately. But we must have faith that we will see Him. We must have firm faith that because we are engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness we shall be able to see Kṛṣṇa face to face. We should not be disappointed. We should simply go on with our Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, and the time will come when we will see Kṛṣṇa, just as Kuntidevi sees Him face to face. There is no doubt about this.

Source : A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Teachings of Queen Kunti”, Page 148 & 208

krishna

Idol worship.

Mayavadis and atheists accept the forms of the Deities in the temple of the Lord as idols, but devotees do not worship idols. They directly worship the Personality of Godhead in His arca incarnation. Arca refers to the form we can worship in our present condition. Although Kṛṣṇa is beyond our vision, He has agreed to be seen by us through the arca-vigraha, the Deity. We should not think that the Deity is made of stone. Even if it is stone, we should think that Kṛṣṇa has made Himself visible before us like a stone because we cannot see beyond stone. That is Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Because our eyes and other senses are imperfect, we cannot see Kṛṣṇa present everywhere in His original spiritual form. Because we are imperfect, we see the difference between things spiritual and material, but Kṛṣṇa, being absolute, knows no such distinctions. He can become spiritual or material, however He likes, and it does not make any difference to Him. Being almighty and omnipotent, Kṛṣṇa can change matter into spirit and spirit into matter. Therefore we should not think, as the atheists do, that we are worshiping idols. Even if it is an idol, it is still Kṛṣṇa. That is the absolute nature of Kṛṣṇa. Even if we think that the Deity is a stone, or a piece of metal or some wood, He is still Kṛṣṇa. The understanding of this requires bhakti on our part. If we are a little thoughtful and philosophical, and if we are at all inclined toward bhakti, we can understand that Kṛṣṇa is present in stone.

There are many sastric injunctions which give instructions for carving forms of the Lord. These forms are not material. If God is all-pervading, He is also in the material elements. There is no doubt about it. But the atheists think otherwise. Although they preach that everything is God, when they go to the temple and see the form of the Lord, they deny that He is God. According to their own theory, everything is God. Then why is the Deity not God?

Source : A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Teachings of Queen Kunti”, Page 90 & 91
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 21

One Universe

Lords Purusa avatar’s.

The Bhagavad-gita states that the Personality of Godhead Sri Kṛṣṇa maintains these material universes by extending His plenary expansions. So this purusa form is the confirmation of the same principle. The original Personality of Godhead Vasudeva, or Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is famous as the son of King Vasudeva or King Nanda, is full with all opulences, all potencies, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation. Part of His opulences are manifested as impersonal Brahman, and part of His opulences are manifested as Paramatma. This purusa feature of the same Personality of Godhead Sri Kṛṣṇa is the original Paramatma manifestation of the Lord. There are three purusa features in the material creation, and this form, who is known as the Karanodakasayi Viṣṇu, is the first of the three. The others are known as the Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu and the Ksirodakasayi Viṣṇu, which we shall know one after another. The innumerable universes are generated from the skin holes of this Karanodakasayi Viṣṇu, and in each one of the universes the Lord enters as Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu.

In the Bhagavad-gita it is also mentioned that the material world is created at certain intervals and then again destroyed. This creation and destruction is done by the supreme will because of the conditioned souls, or the nitya-baddha living beings. The nitya-baddha, or the eternally conditioned souls, have the sense of individuality or ahankara, which dictates them sense enjoyment, which they are unable to have constitutionally. The Lord is the only enjoyer, and all others are enjoyed. The living beings are predominated enjoyers. But the eternally conditioned souls, forgetful of this constitutional position, have strong aspirations to enjoy. The chance to enjoy matter is given to the conditioned souls in the material world, and side by side they are given the chance to understand their real constitutional position. Those fortunate living entities who catch the truth and surrender unto the lotus feet of Vasudeva after many, many births in the material world join the eternally liberated souls and thus are allowed to enter into the kingdom of Godhead. After this, such fortunate living entities need not come again within the occasional material creation. But those who cannot catch the constitutional truth are again merged into the mahattattva at the time of the annihilation of the material creation. When the creation is again set up, this mahat-tattva is again let loose. This mahat-tattva contains all the ingredients of the material manifestations, including the conditioned souls. Primarily this mahat-tattva is divided into sixteen parts, namely the five gross material elements and the eleven working instruments or senses. It is like the cloud in the clear sky. In the spiritual sky, the effulgence of Brahman is spread all around, and the whole system is dazzling in spiritual light. The mahat-tattva is assembled in some corner of the vast, unlimited spiritual sky, and the part which is thus covered by the mahat-tattva is called the material sky. This part of the spiritual sky, called the mahat-tattva, is only an insignificant portion of the whole spiritual sky, and within this mahat-tattva there are innumerable universes. All these universes are collectively produced by the Karanodakasayi Viṣṇu, called also the Maha-Viṣṇu, who simply throws His glance to impregnate the material sky.

The first purusa is the Karanodakasayi Viṣṇu. From His skin holes innumerable universes have sprung up. In each and every universe, the purusa enters as the Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu. He is lying within the half of the universe which is full with the water of His body. And from the navel of Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu has sprung the stem of the lotus flower, the birthplace of Brahma, who is the father of all living beings and the master of all the demigod engineers engaged in the perfect design and working of the universal order. Within the stem of the lotus there are fourteen divisions of planetary systems, and the earthly planets are situated in the middle. Upwards there are other, better planetary systems, and the topmost system is called Brahmaloka or Satyaloka. Downwards from the earthly planetary system there are seven lower planetary systems inhabited by the asuras and similar other materialistic living beings. From Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu there is expansion of the Ksirodakasayi Viṣṇu, who is the collective Paramatma of all living beings. He is called Hari, and from Him all incarnations within the universe are expanded.

Therefore, the conclusion is that the purusa-avatara is manifested in three features — first the Karanodakasayi who creates aggregate material ingredients in the mahat-tattva, second the Garbhodakasayi who enters in each and every universe, and third the Ksirodakasayi Viṣṇu who is the Paramatma of every material object, organic or inorganic. One who knows these plenary features of the Personality of Godhead knows Godhead properly, and thus the knower becomes freed from the material conditions of birth, death, old age and disease, as it is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, In this sloka the subject matter of Maha-Viṣṇu is summarized. The Maha-Viṣṇu lies down in some part of the spiritual sky by His own free will. Thus He lies on the ocean of karana, from where He glances over His material nature, and the mahat-tattva is at once created. Thus electrified by the power of the Lord, the material nature at once creates innumerable universes, just as in due course a tree decorates itself with innumerable grown fruits. The seed of the tree is sown by the cultivator, and the tree or creeper in due course becomes manifested with so many fruits. Nothing can take place without a cause. The Karana Ocean is therefore called the Causal Ocean. Karana means “causal.” We should not foolishly accept the atheistic theory of creation. The description of the atheists is given in the Bhagavad-gita. The atheist does not believe in the creator, but he cannot give a good theory to explain the creation. Material nature has no power to create without the power of the purusa, just as a prakrti, or woman, cannot produce a child without the connection of a purusa, or man. The purusa impregnates, and the prakrti delivers. We should not expect milk from the fleshy bags on the neck of a goat, although they look like breastly nipples. Similarly, we should not expect any creative power from the material ingredients; we must believe in the power of the purusa, who impregnates prakrti, or nature. Because the Lord wished to lie down in meditation, the material energy created innumerable universes at once, in each of them the Lord lay down, and thus all the planets and the different paraphernalia were created at once by the will of the Lord. The Lord has unlimited potencies, and thus He can act as He likes by perfect planning, although personally He has nothing to do. No one is greater than or equal to Him. That is the verdict of the Vedas.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 3 – Text 1 & 2

spiritual life material

Why people worship demigods?

According to Padma Purana there are different scriptures for worshiping different types of demigods. According to Caitanya Mahaprabhu such instructions only bewilder people into thinking that the demigods are supreme. Yet if one carefully scrutinizes and studies Puranas, he will find that Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the only object of worship. For instance, in the Markandeya Purana there is mention of Devi worship, or worship of the goddess Durga or Kali, but in this same candika it is also stated that all the demigods – even in the shape of Durga or Kali are but different energies of the Supreme Viṣṇu (Kṛṣṇa). Thus study of the Puranas reveals Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to be the only object of worship. The conclusion is that directly or indirectly, all types of worship are more or less directed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. In Bhagavad-gita it is confirmed that one who worships the demigods is in fact only worshiping Kṛṣṇa because the demigods are but different parts of the body of Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa. Since neophytes are not all on the same transcendental level, they are advised to worship different types of demigods according to their situation in the different modes of material nature. The idea is that gradually such neophytes may rise to the transcendental plane and engage in the service of Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

People are accustomed to worship different forms of demigods; however, in Bhagavad-gita such a mentality is condemned; therefore one should be intelligent enough to worship only the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His different forms such as Lakshmi-Narayana, Sita-Rama and Radha-Kṛṣṇa. Thus one will never be cheated. By worshiping the demigods, one may elevate himself to the higher planets, but during the dissolution of the material world, the deity and his abode will be destroyed. But one who worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead is promoted to the Vaikuntha planet, where there is no time, destruction or annihilation. The conclusion is that time cannot act upon devotees who have accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead as everything.

Source : A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 74
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2007 edition), “Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Son of Devahuti”, Page 229

Source of Everything

Who are Demigods? Are Demigods also human beings?

People are generally under the impression that the demigods are powerful, but people are not aware that Kṛṣṇa is above all of them. The highest of the demigods, Brahma, gave his opinion of this matter in the verse isvarah paramah Kṛṣṇah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah (Brahma samhita 5.1):”Kṛṣṇa is the supreme controller, and His body is full of knowledge, bliss, and eternality”.

There is only one master-Kṛṣṇa. All others are subservient, there are thirty-three million demigods. Everyone is bhrtya, or servant. When Kṛṣṇa orders, “My dear Mr. So and-So, now please give up your place and leave,” one must go. Therefore everyone is a servant. This is the position of Lord Brahma and the ant as well. Yas tv indragopam athavendram aho sva-karma. From Lord lndra to indragopa, an insignificant insect, everyone is reaping the consequences of his karma.

The demigod goddess Durga is so powerful that she can create, maintain and annihilate. However, she cannot act independent of Kṛṣṇa. She is like a shadow of Kṛṣṇa. A sadhu knows that prakrti, nature, is working under Kṛṣṇa’s direction. Similarly, a policeman knows that he is not working independently but under government orders. This knowledge is required in order that the policeman, who has some power, will not think that he has become God. No, God is not so cheap. God has multi-energies, and one of these energies is Durga. It is not that she is all and all, for there are many millions of Durgas, just as there are many millions of Sivas and millions of universes. Although there are millions of demigods, God is one. It is not that there are a million Gods. Of course, God can expand in millions of forms, but that is different. A devotee offers respects to the demigods as the assistants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not as the supreme power. One who does not know God as He is considers the demigods to be supreme. Such people are less intelligent. A devotee offers respects to the demigods, but he knows that the Supreme Lord is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavan svayam.

Demigods are appointed servants of the Lord, the conversation between Jambavati one of Kṛṣṇa’s wives, and Kalindi, her friend offers a description of all the demigods.

Jambavati inquired, “Who is this personality circumambulating our Kṛṣṇa?”
Kalindi replied, “She is Durga/ Ambika, the superintendent of all universal affairs.”

Then Jambavati inquired, “Who is this personality who is trembling at the sight of Kṛṣṇa?”
Kalindi replied, “He is Lord Siva.”

Then Jambavati inquired, “Who is the person offering prayers?”
Kalindi replied, “He is Lord Brahma.”

Jambavati then asked, “Who is that person who has fallen on the ground and is offering respect to Kṛṣṇa?”
Kalindi replied, “He is Indra, the king of heaven.”

Jambavati next inquired, “Who is this person who has come with the demigods and is laughing with them?”
Kalindi replied, “He is my elder brother, Yamaraja, the superintendent of death.”

This conversation offers a description of all the demigods, including Yamaraja.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, says in Bhagavad-gita that the natural laws are perfect because of His superintendence. No one should think that nature is working automatically, without superintendence. The Vedic literature says that the clouds are controlled by the demigod Indra, heat is distributed by the sun-god, the soothing moonlight is distributed by Candra and the air is blowing under the arrangement of the demigod Vayu. But above all these demigods is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the chief living entity. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. The demigods are also ordinary living entities, but due to their faithfulness-their devotional service-they have been promoted to such posts. These different demigods, or directors, such as Candra, Varuna and Vayu, are called adhikari-devata. The demigods are departmental heads. The government of the Supreme Lord consists not only of one planet or two or three; there are millions of planets and millions of universes. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has a huge government, and He requires assistants. The demigods are considered His bodily limbs. These are described in Vedic literature. The sun-god, moon-god, fire-god and air-god are working under the direction of the Supreme Lord. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (9.10), mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram. The natural laws are being conducted under His superintendence. Because He is in the background, everything is being performed punctually and regularly.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 343
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2007 edition), “Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Son of Devahuti”, Page 17, 155, 244

Hare Krishna

Who can approach Lord Kṛṣṇa?

Everyone can worship Kṛṣṇa. There is no rule that only a certain class – brahmanas or sannyasis or brahmacaris or Hindus – can take part. No, Kṛṣṇa is open to everyone. Mam hi partha vyapasritya ye pi syuh papa-yonayah (Bg. 9.32). Kṛṣṇa is open even for a person born in a lower- grade family. One simply has to adopt the means to approach Him – namely, giving up sense enjoyment and practicing the purifying process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

There is nothing in the words spoken by Sri Kṛṣṇa to stipulate that theses devotees will appear within the boundaries of a particular caste, creed, color, or country. Rather, they can and do appear everywhere, without any restriction of caste, creed, color, or country. So everyone, whatever and whoever he may be, is eligible to be a devotee of Sri Kṛṣṇa. To confirm this fact, in Bhagavad-gita the Personality of Godhead says, “O son of Prtha, even those who are faithless and are of lower birth – including fallen women, or professional prostitutes, ignorant manual laborers, or merchants – all shall attain perfection and reach the kingdom of God if they take shelter of Me in devotional service.” In other words, the unscrupulous caste system now dominant in the society of the faithless is not a barrier to approaching Sri Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Personality of Godhead.

Sri Kṛṣṇa Himself has enumerated the basic principles of a caste system that is real and universal. The four social orders – the brahmanas (priests and intellectuals), the ksatriyas (administrators and soldiers), the vaisyas (merchants and farmers), and the sudras (laborers) – are set up by Him according to the qualities the members of those orders have acquired through their actions under the modes of nature. So although in one sense Kṛṣṇa is the maker of this caste system all over the world, still, in another sense. He is not its maker. That is, He is not the maker of a tyrannical and unnatural caste system in which the faithless dictate one’s position according to one’s birth. Rather, He is the maker of a caste system that is applicable universally, is voluntary and natural, and is based on one’s qualities and abilities.

The system of four social orders were never meant to be a caste system by birthright. This system is universally applicable in terms of people’s mundane, practical qualifications and work. The classification of brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, or sudra is never made with reference to one’s accidental birth, any more than someone can become a medical practitioner merely by birthright – simply because he happens to be the son of a noted doctor.

When we are conditioned, we give up our original constitutional position, which is described by Caitanya Mahaprabhu as being that of eternal service to Kṛṣṇa (jivera svarupa haya-krsnera nitya-dasa’). But as soon as we employ ourselves in the service of the Lord, we are liberated immediately. There is no need to pass through some preliminary process. This very act of engaging one’s senses in the service of the Lord is evidence that one is liberated. This liberation is open for everyone (samam carantam). In Bhagavad-gita Kṛṣṇa does not say to Arjuna, “Only you may come to Me and become liberated”. No, the Lord is available for everyone. When He says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja – “Give up all other duties and surrender unto Me” – He is speaking not only to Arjuna but to everyone. Arjuna was the original target, but in fact Bhagavad-gita was spoken for everyone, for all human beings, and therefore one must take advantage of it. Kṛṣṇa’s impartiality is compared to that of the Sun. The sun does not consider, “Here is a poor man, here is a low-class man, and here is a hog. I shall not distribute my sunshine to them”. No, the sun is equal toward all, and one simply has to take advantage of it. The sunshine is available, but if we close our doors and want to keep ourselves in darkness, that is our decision. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is everywhere, Kṛṣṇa is for everyone, and Kṛṣṇa is ready to accept us as soon as we surrender, Samam carantam. There is no restriction. People may make a distinction between lower class and higher class, but Kṛṣṇa says. mam hi partha vyapasritya ye ‘pi syuh papa-yonayah (Bg.9.32): “Even though one may supposedly be of a lower class, that doesn’t matter. If he surrenders to Me he is also eligible to come back home, back to Godhead.”

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Quest for Enlightenment”, Page 52
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Message of Godhead”, Page 50
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Teachings of Queen Kunti”, Page 80

Hare Krishna hare krisna

Everyone is under the control of the Supreme Lord.

Every living being, either in this material world or in the spiritual world, is under the control of the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead. Beginning from Brahmaji, the leader of this universe, down to the insignificant ant, all are abiding by the order of the Supreme Lord. Thus the constitutional position of the living being is subordination under the control of the Lord. The foolish living being, especially man, artificially rebels against the law of the Supreme and thus becomes chastised as an asura, or lawbreaker. A living being is placed in a particular position by the order of the Supreme Lord, and he is again shifted from that place by the order of the Supreme Lord or His authorized agents. Brahma, Siva, Indra, Candra, Maharaja Yudhisthira or, in modern history, Napoleon, Akbar, Alexander, Gandhi, Shubhash and Nehru all are servants of the Lord, and they are placed in and removed from their respective positions by the supreme will of the Lord. None of them is independent. Even though such men or leaders rebel so as not to recognize the supremacy of the Lord, they are put under still more rigorous laws of the material world by different miseries. Only the foolish man, therefore, says that there is no God. Maharaja Yudhisthira was being convinced of this naked truth because he was greatly overwhelmed by the sudden departure of his old uncles and aunt. Maharaja Dhrtarastra was placed in that position according to his past deeds; he had already suffered or enjoyed the benefits accrued to him in the past, but due to his good luck, somehow or other he had a good younger brother, Vidura, and by his instruction he left to achieve salvation by closing all accounts in the material world. Ordinarily one cannot change the course of one’s due happiness and distress by plan. Everyone has to accept them as they come under the subtle arrangement of kala, or invincible time. There is no use trying to counteract them. The best thing is, therefore, that one should endeavor to achieve salvation, and this prerogative is given only to man because of his developed condition of mental activities and intelligence. Only for man are there different Vedic instructions for attainment of salvation during the human form of existence. One who misuses this opportunity of advanced intelligence is verily condemned and put into different types of miseries, either in this present life or in the future. That is the way the Supreme controls everyone.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, First Canto, Chapter 13 – Text 41