Śrīmad-Bhāgvatam – Canto 2
(Q&A Format)

As mother is naturally attached to the baby, similarly, the Lord is always affectionate to every living entity.

Every one of us is searching after real happiness in life, namely eternal life, eternal or limitless knowledge, and unending blissful life. But foolish people who have no knowledge of the substance search after the reality of life in the illusion. This material body does not endure eternally, and everything in relation to this temporary body, such as the wife, children, society, and country, also changes along with the change of body. This is called samsara, or repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. We would like to find a solution for all these problems of life, but we do not know the way. Here it is suggested that anyone who wants to make an end to these miseries of life, namely repetition of birth, death, disease, and old age, must take to this process of worshiping the Supreme Lord and not others, as it is also ultimately suggested in the Bhagavad-gita (18.65). If we at all want to end the cause of our conditioned life, we must take to the worship of Lord Sri Krishna, who is present in everyone’s heart by His natural affection for all living beings, who are actually the parts and parcels of the Lord (Bg. 18.61). The baby in the lap of his mother is naturally attached to the mother, and the mother is attached to the child. But when the child grows up and becomes overwhelmed by circumstances, he gradually becomes detached from the mother, although the mother always expects some sort of service from the grown-up child and is equally affectionate toward her child, even though the child is forgetful. Similarly, because we are all part and parcel of the Lord, the Lord is always affectionate to us, and He always tries to get us back home, back to Godhead. But we, the conditioned souls, do not care for Him and run instead of after the illusory bodily connections. We must, therefore, extricate ourselves from all illusory connections of the world and seek reunion with the Lord, trying to render service unto Him because He is the ultimate truth. Actually, we are running after Him as the child seeks the mother. And to search out the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we need not go anywhere else, because the Lord is within our hearts. This does not suggest, however, that we should not go to the places of worship, namely the temples, churches, and mosques. Such holy places of worship are also occupied by the Lord because the Lord is omnipresent. For the common man, these holy places are centers of learning about the science of God. When the temples are devoid of activities, the people, in general, become uninterested in such places, and consequently, the mass of people gradually become godless, and a godless civilization is a result. Such a hellish civilization artificially increases the conditions of life, and existence becomes intolerable for everyone. The foolish leaders of a godless civilization try to devise various plans to bring about peace and prosperity in the godless world under a patent trademark of materialism, and because such attempts are illusory only, the people elect incompetent, blind leaders, one after another, who are incapable of offering solutions. If we want at all to end this anomaly of a godless civilization, we must follow the principles of revealed scriptures like the Srimad-Bhagavatam and follow the instruction of a person like Sri Sukadeva Gosvami who has no attraction for material gain.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 2 – Text 6

 

How sex desires can be reduced?

The grossest type of anartha which binds the conditioned soul in material existence is sex desire, and this sex desire gradually develops in the union of the male and female. When the male and female are united, the sex desire is further aggravated by the accumulation of buildings, children, friends, relatives and wealth. When all these are acquired, the conditioned soul becomes overwhelmed by such entanglements, and the false sense of egoism, or the sense of “myself” and “mine,” becomes prominent, and the sex desire expands to various political, social, altruistic, philanthropic and many other unwanted engagements, resembling the foam of the sea waves, which becomes very prominent at one time and at the next moment vanishes as quickly as a cloud in the sky. The conditioned soul is encircled by such products, as well as products of sex desire, and therefore bhakti-yoga leads to gradual evaporation of the sex desire, which is summarized in three headings, namely profit, adoration, and distinction. All conditioned souls are mad after these different forms of sex desire, and one shall see for himself how much he has been freed from such material hankerings based primarily on the sex desire. As a person feels his hunger satisfied after eating each morsel of foodstuff, he must similarly be able to see the degree to which he has been freed from sex desire. The sex desire is diminished along with its various forms by the process of bhakti-yoga because bhakti-yoga automatically, by the grace of the Lord, effectively results in knowledge and renunciation, even if the devotee is not materially very well educated. Knowledge means knowing things as they are, and if by deliberation it is found that there are things which are at all unnecessary, naturally the person who has acquired knowledge leaves aside such unwanted things. When the conditioned soul finds by the culture of knowledge that material necessities are unwanted things, he becomes detached from such unwanted things. This stage of knowledge is called vairagya, or detachment from unwanted things. We have previously discussed that the transcendentalist is required to be self-sufficient and should not beg from the rich blind persons to fulfill the bare necessities of life. Sukadeva Gosvami has suggested some alternatives for the bare necessities of life, namely the problem of eating, sleeping, and shelter, but he has not suggested any alternative for sex satisfaction. One who has the sex desire still with him should not at all try to accept the renounced order of life. For one who has not attained to this stage, there is no question of a renounced order of life. So by the gradual process of devotional service under the guidance of a proper spiritual master, and following the principles of the Bhagavatam, one must be able at least to control the gross sex desire before one accepts the renounced order of life factually.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 2 – Text 12

 

The Supreme Lord is the seer of all worlds.

The Supreme Lord is the seer of all worlds, both material and transcendental. In other words, the Supreme Lord is the ultimate beneficiary and enjoyer of all worlds, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (5.29). The spiritual world is the manifestation of His internal potency, and the material world is the manifestation of His external potency. The living entities are also His marginal potency, and by their own choice, they can live in either the transcendental or material worlds. The material world is not a fit place for living entities because they are spiritually one with the Lord and in the material world the living entities become conditioned by the laws of the material world. The Lord wants all living entities, who are His parts and parcels, to live with Him in the transcendental world, and for enlightening conditioned souls in the material world, all the Vedas and the revealed scriptures are there–expressly to recall the conditioned souls back home, back to Godhead. Unfortunately, the conditioned living entities, although suffering continually the threefold miseries of conditioned life, are not very serious about going back to Godhead. It is due to their misguided way of living, complicated by sins and virtues. Some of them who are virtuous by deeds begin to re-establish the lost relationship with the Lord, but they are unable to understand the personal feature of the Lord. The real purpose of life is to make contact with the Lord and be engaged in His service. That is the natural position of living entities. But those who are impersonalists and are unable to render any loving service to the Lord have been advised to meditate upon His impersonal feature, the virat-rupa, or universal form. Some way or other, one must try to re-establish one’s forgotten relation with the Lord if one at all desires to gain real happiness in life, and to reclaim his natural unfettered condition. For the less intelligent beginners, a meditation on the impersonal feature, the virat-rupa, or universal form of the Lord, will gradually qualify one to rise to personal contact. One is advised herewith to meditate upon the virat-rupa specified in the previous chapters in order to understand how the different planets, seas, mountains, rivers, birds, beasts, human beings, demigods and all that we can conceive are but different parts and limbs of the Lord’s virat form. This sort of thinking is also a type of meditation on the Absolute Truth, and as soon as such meditation begins, one develops one’s godly qualities, and the whole world appears to be a happy and peaceful residence for all the people of the world. Without such meditation on God, either personal or impersonal, all good qualities of the human being become covered with misconceptions regarding his constitutional position, and without such advanced knowledge, the whole world becomes hell for the human being.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 2 – Text 14

 

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

 

How one can perceive the presence of Lord in our heart?

The general argument of the common man is that since the Lord is not visible to our eyes, how can one either surrender unto Him or render transcendental loving service unto Him? To such a common man, here is a practical suggestion was given by Srila Sukadeva Gosvami as to how one can perceive the Supreme Lord by reason and perception. Actually, the Lord is not perceivable by our present materialized senses, but when one is convinced of the presence of the Lord by a practical service attitude, there is a revelation by the Lord’s mercy, and such a pure devotee of the Lord can perceive the Lord’s presence always and everywhere. He can perceive that intelligence is the form-direction of the Paramatma plenary portion of the Personality of Godhead. The presence of Paramatma in everyone’s company is not very difficult to realize, even for the common man. The procedure is as follows. One can perceive one’s self-identification and feel positively that he exists. He may not feel it very abruptly, but by using a little intelligence, he can feel that he is not the body. He can feel that the hand, the leg, the head, the hair, and the limbs are all his bodily parts and parcels, but as such the hand, the leg, the head, etc., cannot be identified with his self. Therefore just by using intelligence he can distinguish and separate his self from other things that he sees. So the natural conclusion is that the living being, either man or beast, is the seer, and he sees besides himself all other things. So there is a difference between the seer and the seen. Now, by a little use of intelligence, we can also readily agree that the living being who sees the things beyond himself by ordinary vision has no power to see or to move independently. All our ordinary actions and perceptions depend on various forms of energy supplied to us by nature in various combinations.

Our senses of perception and of action, that is to say, our five perceptive senses of (1) hearing, (2) touch, (3) sight, (4) taste and (5) smell, as well as our five senses of action, namely (1) hands, (2) legs, (3) speech, (4) evacuation organs and (5) reproductive organs, and also our three subtle senses, namely (1) mind, (2) intelligence and (3) ego (thirteen senses in all), are supplied to us by various arrangements of gross or subtle forms of natural energy. And it is equally evident that our objects of perception are nothing but the products of the inexhaustible permutations and combinations of the forms taken by natural energy. As this conclusively proves that the ordinary living being has no independent power of perception or of motion, and as we undoubtedly feel our existence being conditioned by nature’s energy, we conclude that he who sees is a spirit and that the senses, as well as the objects of perception, are material. The spiritual quality of the seer is manifest in our dissatisfaction with the limited state of materially conditioned existence. That is the difference between spirit and matter. There are some less intelligent arguments that matter develops the power of seeing and moving as a certain organic development, but such an argument cannot be accepted because there is no experimental evidence that matter has anywhere produced a living entity. Trust no future, however pleasant. Idle talks regarding future development of matter into spirit are actually foolish because no matter has ever developed the power of seeing or moving in any part of the world. Therefore it is definite that matter and spirit are two different identities, and this conclusion is arrived at by the use of intelligence. Now we come to the point that the things which are seen by a little use of intelligence cannot be animate unless we accept someone as the user of or director of the intelligence. Intelligence gives one direction like some higher authority, and the living being cannot see or move or eat or do anything without the use of intelligence. When one fails to take advantage of intelligence he becomes a deranged man, and so a living being is dependent on intelligence or the direction of a superior being. Such intelligence is all-pervading. Every living being has his intelligence, and this intelligence, being the direction of some higher authority, is just like a father giving direction to his son. The higher authority, who is present and residing within every individual living being, is the Superself.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 2 – Text 35

 

The human necessities of life are fully supplied by the Lord.

The sufferings of human society are due to a polluted aim of life, namely lording it over the material resources. The more human society engages in the exploitation of undeveloped material resources for sense gratification, the more it will be entrapped by the illusory, material energy of the Lord, and thus the distress of the world will be intensified instead of diminished. The human necessities of life are fully supplied by the Lord in the shape of food grains, milk, fruit, wood, stone, sugar, silk, jewels, cotton, salt, water, vegetables, etc., in sufficient quantity to feed and care for the human race of the world as well as the living beings on each and every planet within the universe. The supply source is complete, and only a little energy by the human being is required to get his necessities into the proper channel. There is no need for machines and tools or huge steel plants for artificially creating comforts of life. Life is never made comfortable by artificial needs, but by plain living and high thinking. The highest perfectional thinking for human society is suggested here by Sukadeva Gosvami, namely, sufficiently hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam. For men in this age of Kali, when they have lost the perfect vision of life, this Srimad-Bhagavatam is the torchlight by which to see the real path. Srila Jiva Gosvami Prabhupada has commented on the kathamrtam mentioned in this verse and has indicated Srimad-Bhagavatam to be the nectarean message of the Personality of Godhead. By sufficient hearing of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the polluted aim of life, namely lording it over matter, will subside, and the people in general in all parts of the world will be able to live a peaceful life of knowledge and bliss.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 2 – Text 37

 

Whom should we give charity?

The materialistic way of pious activities like charity is recommended in the smrti-sastras as quoted by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Money given in charity to a suitable person is guaranteed bank balance in the next life. Such charity is recommended to be given to a brahmana. If the money is given in charity to a non-brahmana (without brahminical qualification) the money is returned in the next life in the same proportion. If it is given in charity to a half-educated brahmana, even then the money is returned double. If the money is given in charity to a learned and fully qualified brahmana, the money is returned a hundred and a thousand times, and if the money is given to a veda-paraga (one who has factually realized the path of the Vedas), it is returned by unlimited multiplication. The ultimate end of Vedic knowledge is a realization of the Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita (vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah). There is a guarantee of money’s being returned if given in charity, regardless of the proportion. Similarly, a moment passed in the association of a pure devotee by hearing and chanting the transcendental messages of the Lord is a perfect guarantee for eternal life, for returning home, back to Godhead. Mad-dhama gatva punar janma na vidyate. In other words, a devotee of the Lord is guaranteed eternal life. A devotee’s old age or disease in the present life is but an impetus to such guaranteed eternal life.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 3 – Text 17

 

Human life is not meant for so-called economic development or advancement of materialistic science.

The materialistic man of the modern age will argue that life, or part of it, is never meant for the discussion of theosophical or theological arguments. Life is meant for the maximum duration of existence for eating, drinking, sexual intercourse, making merry and enjoying life. The modern man wants to live forever by the advancement of material science, and there are many foolish theories for prolonging life to the maximum duration. But the Srimad-Bhagavatam affirms that life is not meant for so-called economic development or advancement of materialistic science for the hedonistic philosophy of eating, mating, drinking, and merrymaking. Life is solely meant for tapasya, for purifying existence so that one may enter into eternal life just after the end of the human form of life. The materialists want to prolong life as much as possible because they have no information on the next life. They want to get the maximum comforts in this present life because they think conclusively that there is no life after death. This ignorance about the eternity of the living being and the change of covering in the material world has played havoc in the structure of modern human society. Consequently, there are many problems, multiplied by various plans of modernized man. The plans for solving the problems of society have only aggravated the troubles. Even if it is possible to prolong life more than one hundred years, advancement of human civilization does not necessarily follow. The Bhagavatam says that certain trees live for hundreds and thousands of years. At Vrndavana, there is a tamarind tree (the place is known as Imlitala) which is said to have existed since the time of Lord Krishna. In the Calcutta Botanical Garden, there is a banyan tree said to be older than five hundred years, and there are many such trees all over the world. Svami Sankaracarya lived only thirty-two years, and Lord Caitanya lived forty-eight years. Does it mean that the prolonged lives of the above-mentioned trees are more important than Sankara or Caitanya? Prolonged life without spiritual value is not very important. One may doubt that trees have life because they do not breathe. But modern scientists like Bose have already proved that there is life in plants, so breathing is no sign of actual life. The Bhagavatam says that the bellows of the blacksmith breathe very soundly, but that does not mean that the bellows have a life. The materialist will argue that life in the tree and life in the man cannot be compared because the tree cannot enjoy life by eating palatable dishes or by enjoying sexual intercourse. In reply to this, the Bhagavatam asks whether other animals like the dogs and hogs, living in the same village with human beings, do not eat and enjoy sexual life. The specific utterance of Srimad-Bhagavatam in regard to “other animals” means that persons who are simply engaged in planning a better type of animal life consisting of eating, breathing and mating are also animals in the shape of human beings. A society of such polished animals cannot benefit suffering humanity, for an animal can easily harm another animal but rarely do good.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 3 – Text 18

 

Everyone is endowed with different levels of intelligence.

Living beings are proportionately endowed with intelligence in terms of their previous activities. All living beings are not equally endowed with the same quality of intelligence because behind such development of intelligence is the control of the Lord, as declared in the Bhagavad-gita (15.15). As Paramatma, Supersoul, the Lord is living in everyone’s heart, and from Him only does one’s power of remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness follow (mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca). One person can sharply remember past activities by the grace of the Lord while others cannot. One is highly intelligent by the grace of the Lord, and one is a fool by the same control. Therefore the Lord is Dhiyam-pati, or the Lord of intelligence.

The conditioned souls strive to become lords of the material world. Everyone is trying to lord it over the material nature by applying his highest degree of intelligence. This misuse of intelligence by the conditioned soul is called madness. One’s full intelligence should be applied to get free from the material clutches. But the conditioned soul, due to madness only, engages his full energy and intelligence in sense gratification, and to achieve this end of life he willfully commits all sorts of misdeeds. The result is that instead of attaining an unconditional life of full freedom, the mad conditioned soul is entangled again and again in different types of bondage in material bodies. Everything we see in the material manifestation is but the creation of the Lord. Therefore He is the real proprietor of everything in the universes. The conditioned soul can enjoy a fragment of this material creation under the control of the Lord, but not self-sufficiently. That is the instruction in the Isopanisad. One should be satisfied with things awarded by the Lord of the universe. It is out of madness only that one tries to encroach upon another’s share of material possessions.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 4 – Text 20

 

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 Krishna 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 Krishna. Lord Krishna 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 Krishna. The great authorities have estimated Maharaja Yudhisthira to be a pious man, but they have accepted Lord Rama or Krishna 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

 

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 the plenary portion, as Maha-Vishnu lying in the causal water of the mahat-tattva. As such, Lord Krishna 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

 

All living beings are stated to be the parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord.

All living beings are stated to be the parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. The four divisions of human society, namely the intelligent class (the Brahmanas), the administrative class (the ksatriyas), the mercantile class (the Vaisyas), and the laborer class (the sudras), are all in different parts of the body of the Lord. As such, no one is different from the Lord. The mouth of the body and the legs of the body are non-different constitutionally, but the mouth or the head of the body is qualitatively more important than the legs. At the same time, the mouth, the legs, the arms, and the thighs are all component parts of the body. These limbs of the body of the Lord are meant to serve the complete whole. The mouth is meant for speaking and eating, the arms are meant for the protection of the body, the legs are meant for carrying the body, and the waist of the body is meant for maintaining the body. The intelligent class in society, therefore, must speak on behalf of the body, as well as accept foodstuff to satisfy the hunger of the body. The hunger of the Lord is to accept the fruits of sacrifice. The Brahmanas, or the intelligent class, must be very expert in performing such sacrifices, and the subordinate classes must join in such sacrifices. To speak for the Supreme Lord means to glorify the Lord by means of propagating the knowledge of the Lord as it is, broadcasting the factual nature of the Lord and the factual position of all other parts of the whole body. The Brahmanas, therefore, are required to know the Vedas or the ultimate source of knowledge. Veda means knowledge, and anta means the end of it. According to Bhagavad-gita, the Lord is the source of everything (aham sarvasya prabhavah), and thus the end of all knowledge (Vedanta) is to know the Lord, to know our relationship with Him and to act according to that relationship only. The parts of the body are related to the body; similarly, the living being must know his relationship with the Lord. The human life is especially meant for this purpose, namely to know the factual relationship of every living being with the Supreme Lord. Without knowing this relationship, human life is spoiled. The intelligent class of men, the Brahmanas, are therefore especially responsible for broadcasting this knowledge of our relationship with the Lord and leading the general mass of people to the right path. The administrative class is meant for protecting the living beings so that they can serve this purpose; the mercantile class is meant for producing food grains and distributing them to the complete human society so that the whole population is given a chance to live comfortably and discharge the duties of human life. The mercantile class is also required to give protection to the cows in order to get sufficient milk and milk products, which alone can give the proper health and intelligence to maintain a civilization perfectly meant for knowledge of the ultimate truth. And the laborer class, who are neither intelligent nor powerful, can help by physical services to the other higher classes and thus be benefited by their cooperation. Therefore the universe is a complete unit in the relationship with the Lord, and without this relationship with the Lord the whole human society is disturbed and is without any peace and prosperity. This is confirmed in the Vedas: brahmano ‘sya mukham asid, bahu rajanyah krtah.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 5 – Text 37

 

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 planetary systems are called Bhurloka, the middle planetary systems are called Bhuvarloka, and the higher planetary systems, up to Brahmaloka (Satyaloka), the highest planetary system of the universe, are called Svargaloka. 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. 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 above Bhuvarloka are Svargaloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, and 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. 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 Shivadhama, where Lord Shiva 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 Krishna’s planet known as Goloka. Goloka Vrindavana is larger than all the material and spiritual planets put together. Those who are devotees of the Narayana expansion of Krishna attain the Vaikuntha planets, but it is very difficult to reach Goloka Vrindavana. Indeed, that planet can be reached only by persons who are devotees of Lord Caitanya or Lord Sri Krishna. P.S. Please refer to images below to get the more clear understanding about the location of planetary systems in the universe.
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

 

The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna is the father of all living entities.

“There are many powerful kings, leaders, learned scholars, scientists, artists, engineers, inventors, excavators, archaeologists, industrialists, politicians, economists, business magnates, and many more powerful deities or demigods like Brahma, Siva, Indra, Candra, Surya, Varuna and Marut, who are all protecting the interest of the universal affairs of maintenance, in different positions, and all of them are different powerful parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna is the father of all living entities, who are placed in different high and low positions according to their desires or aspirations. Some of them, as particularly mentioned above, are specifically endowed with powers by the will of the Lord. A sane person must know for certain that a living being, however powerful he may be, is neither absolute nor independent. All living beings must accept the origin of their specific power as mentioned in this verse. And if they act accordingly, then simply by discharging their respective occupational duties they can achieve the highest perfection of life, namely eternal life, complete knowledge, and inexhaustible blessings. As long as the powerful men of the world do not accept the origin of their respective powers, namely the Personality of Godhead, the actions of maya (illusion) will continue to act. The actions of maya are such that a powerful person, misled by the illusory, material energy, wrongly accepts himself as all in all and does not develop God consciousness. As such, the false sense of egoism (namely myself and mine) has become overly prominent in the world, and there is a hard struggle for existence in human society.

The intelligent class of men, therefore, must admit the Lord as the ultimate source of all energies and thus pay tribute to the Lord for His good blessings. Simply by accepting the Lord as the supreme proprietor of everything, since He is actually so, one can achieve the highest perfection of life. Whatever a person may be in the estimation of the social order of things, if a person tries to reciprocate a feeling of love towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is satisfied with the blessings of the Lord, he will at once feel the highest peace of mind for which he is hankering life after life. Peace of mind, or in other words the healthy state of mind, can be achieved only when the mind is situated in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The parts and parcels of the Lord are endowed with specific powers for rendering service unto the Lord, just as a big business magnate’s sons are empowered with specific powers of administration. The obedient son of the father never goes against the will of the father and therefore passes life very peacefully in concurrence with the head of the family, the father. Similarly, the Lord being the father, all living beings should fully and satisfactorily discharge the duty and will of the father, as faithful sons. This very mentality will at once bring peace and prosperity to human society”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 6 – Text 6

 

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

The genitals and the pleasure of begetting counteract the distresses of family encumbrances. One would cease to generate altogether if there were not, by the grace of the Lord, a coating, a pleasure-giving substance, on the surface of the generative organs. This substance gives a pleasure so intense that it counteracts fully the distress of family encumbrances. A person is so captivated by this pleasure-giving substance that he is not satisfied by begetting a single child, but increases the number of children, with great risk in regard to maintaining them, simply for this pleasure-giving substance. This pleasure-giving substance is not false, however, because it originates from the transcendental body of the Lord. In other words, the pleasure-giving substance is a reality, but it has taken on an aspect of pervertedness on account of material contamination. In the material world, sex life is the cause of many distresses on account of material contact. Therefore, the sex life in the material world should not be encouraged beyond the necessity. There is a necessity for generating progeny even in the material world, but such a generation of children must be carried out with full responsibility for spiritual values. The spiritual values of life can be realized in the human form of material existence, and the human being must adopt family planning with reference to the context of spiritual values, and not otherwise. The degraded form of family restriction by use of contraceptives, etc., is the grossest type of material contamination. Materialists who use these devices want to fully utilize the pleasure potency of the coating on the genitals by artificial means, without knowing the spiritual importance. And without knowledge of spiritual values, the less intelligent man tries to utilize only the material sense pleasure of the genitals.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 6 – Text 8

 

GOD is not impersonal.

In order to defy the impersonal conception of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a systematic analysis of the physiological and anatomical constitution of His transcendental body is given here. It is clear from the available description of the body of the Lord (His universal form) that the form of the Lord is distinct from the forms of ordinary mundane conception. In any case, He is never a formless void. Ignorance is the back of the Lord, and therefore the ignorance of the less intelligent class of men is also not separate from His bodily conception. Since His body is the complete whole of everything that is, one cannot assert that He is impersonal only. On the contrary, the perfect description of the Lord holds that He is both impersonal and personal simultaneously. The Personality of Godhead is the original feature of the Lord, and His impersonal emanation is but the reflection of His transcendental body. Those who are fortunate enough to have a view of the Lord from the front can realize His personal feature, whereas those who are frustrated and are thus kept on the ignorance side of the Lord, or, in other words, those who have the view of the Lord from the back, realize Him in His impersonal feature.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 6 – Text 10

 

Energies of Supreme Lord.

The energy of the Supreme Lord is transcendental and spiritual, and the living entities are part and parcel of that energy. The Lord is described here as omnipotent by three energies (tri-Sakti-dhrk). So primarily His three energies are internal (para), marginal (ksetrajna) and external (avidya). The para energy is actually the energy of the Lord Himself (the internal energy); the ksetrajna energy is the living entity (the marginal energy), and the avidya energy is the material world, or Maya (the external energy). It is called avidya, or ignorance because under the spell of this material energy living entities forget his actual position and his relationship with the Supreme Lord.

The internal energy (para) is displayed in three spiritual modes—samvit (“cit” knowledge, Yogmaya), sandhini (“sat” existence, Lord Balram) and hladini (“Ananda” bliss, Sri Radha). In other words, He is the full manifestation of existence, knowledge, and bliss. Out of the total manifestations of the sandhini energy of the Lord, one fourth is displayed in the material world, and three fourths are displayed in the spiritual world.

Similarly, the external energy (“Maya” Durga-Devi) is also displayed in the three modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance.

The marginal energy, or the living entities, are also spiritual (prakrtim viddhi me param), but the living entities are never equal to the Lord. The Lord is nirasta-samya-atisaya; in other words, no one is greater than or equal to the Supreme Lord. So the living entities, including even such great personalities as Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, are all subordinate to the Lord. In the material world also, in His eternal form of Vishnu, He maintains and controls all the affairs of the demigods, including Brahma and Shiva. The conclusion is that the living entities represent one of the energies of the Supreme Lord, and as infinitesimal parts and parcels of the Supreme, they are called jivas.

In the material world such a sense of existence, knowledge, and pleasure is meagerly exhibited, and all living entities, who are minute parts and parcels of the Lord, are eligible to relish such consciousness of existence, knowledge, and bliss very minutely in the liberated stage, whereas in the conditioned stage of material existence they can hardly appreciate what is the factual, existential, cognizable and pure happiness of life. The liberated souls, who exist in far greater numerical strength than those souls in the material world, can factually experience the potency of the above-mentioned sandhini, samvit and hladini energies of the Lord in the matter of deathlessness, fearlessness, and freedom from old age and disease.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 246
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 6 – Text 19 & 32

 

Why should we worship Lord when everything is nothing but the Lord Himself?

The impersonalists argue that there is no use in worshiping the Lord when everything is nothing but the Lord Himself. The personalist, however, worships the Lord out of a great sense of gratitude, utilizing the ingredients born out of the bodily limbs of the Lord. The fruits and flowers are available from the body of the earth, and yet mother earth is worshiped by the sensible devotee with ingredients born from the earth. Similarly, mother Ganges is worshiped by the water of the Ganges, and yet the worshiper enjoys the result of such worship. Worship of the Lord is also performed by the ingredients born from the bodily limbs of the Lord, and yet the worshiper, who is himself a part of the Lord, achieves the result of devotional service to the Lord. While the impersonalist wrongly concludes that he is the Lord himself, the personalist, out of great gratitude, worships the Lord in devotional service, knowing perfectly well that nothing is different from the Lord. The devotee, therefore, endeavors to apply everything in the service of the Lord because he knows that everything is the property of the Lord and that no one can claim anything as one’s own. This perfect conception of oneness helps the worshiper in being engaged in His loving service, whereas the impersonalist, being falsely puffed up, remains a non-devotee forever, without being recognized by the Lord.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 6 – Text 23

 

How peace can be achieved in this world?

People, in general, are always anxious to have peace of mind or peace in the world, but they do not know how to achieve such a standard of peace in the world. Such peace in the world is obtainable by performances of sacrifice and by the practice of austerity. In the Bhagavad-gita (5.29) the following prescription is recommended:

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram
suhrdam sarva-bhutanam jnatva mam santim rcchati

“The karma-yogis know that the Supreme Lord is the factual enjoyer and maintainer of all sacrifices and of the austere life. They also know that the Lord is the ultimate proprietor of all the planets and is the factual friend of all living entities. Such knowledge gradually converts the karma-yogis into pure devotees of the Lord through the association of unalloyed devotees, and thus they are able to be liberated from material bondage.”

Brahma, the original living being within the material world, taught us the way of sacrifice. The word “sacrifice” suggests dedication of one’s own interests for the satisfaction of a second person. That is the way of all activities. Every man is engaged in sacrificing his interests for others, either in the form of family, society, community, country or the entire human society. But the perfection of such sacrifices is attained when they are performed for the sake of the Supreme Person, the Lord. Because the Lord is the proprietor of everything, because the Lord is the friend of all living creatures, and because He is the maintainer of the performer of sacrifice, as well as the supplier of the ingredients of sacrifices, it is He only and no one else who should be satisfied by all sacrifices.

The whole world is engaged in sacrificing energy for the advancement of learning, social upliftment, economic development and plans for total improvement of the human condition, but no one is interested in sacrificing for the sake of the Lord, as it is advised in the Bhagavad-gita. Therefore, there is no peace in the world. If men at all want peace in the world, they must practice sacrifice in the interest of the supreme proprietor and friend of all.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 6 – Text 28

 

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

The Lord, being the source of everything that is, 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 brahmacharya. 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 a 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 Brahmachari 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 a woman. A 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 Brahmachari, 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 Brahmachari is then allowed to go home and enter householder life and get married to a suitable woman. But there are many Brahmacharis 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 Brahmachari to marry; this license is given to a Brahmachari who is unable to continue the way of naisthika-brahmacharya, and such discriminations are possible for the bona fide guru. A program of so-called family planning is needed. The householder, who associates with a woman under scriptural restrictions, after a thorough training of brahmacharya, 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 a 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 Brahmacharis, 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

 

Absolute Personality of Godhead has neither lust nor anger.

When Lord Shiva was engaged in severely austere meditation, Cupid, the demigod of lust, threw his arrow of sex desire. Lord Shiva, 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 behaviour of Lord Vishnu, 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 fulfil 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

 

Lord ramachandra is a full incarnation with six opulence’s.

Lord Rama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His brothers, namely Bharata, Laksmana and Satrughna, are His plenary expansions. All four brothers are Vishnu-tattva and were never ordinary human beings. There are many unscrupulous and ignorant commentators on Ramayana who present the younger brothers of Lord Ramachandra 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 Ramachandra 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 Ramachandra also appeared under the same circumstances, accompanied by His brothers, who are expansions of the Lord’s internal potency, and by Laksmiji Sitadevi. Lord Ramachandra 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 Ramachandra 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 worshipped by the living being along with her husband, Sri Ramachandra. 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 Ramachandra and defied Him by stealing His wife, Sita, Ravana was killed, and all his opulence and power were destroyed. Lord Ramachandra 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

 

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

 

The Lord is situated in everyones heart as the witness.

The Bhagavad-gita confirms that the Lord is situated in everyone’s heart as the witness, and as such, He is the supreme director of sanction. The director is not the enjoyer of the fruits of action, for without the Lord’s sanction no one can enjoy. For example, in a prohibited area a habituated drunkard puts forward his application to the director of drinking, and the director, considering his case, sanctions only a certain amount of liquor for drinking. Similarly, the whole material world is full of many drunkards, in the sense that each and every one of the living entities has something in his mind to enjoy, and everyone desires the fulfillment of his desires very strongly. The almighty Lord, being very kind to the living entity, as the father is kind to the son, fulfills the living entity’s desire for his childish satisfaction. With such desires in mind, the living entity does not actually enjoy, but he serves the bodily whims unnecessarily, without profit. The drunkard does not derive any profit out of drinking, but because he has become a servant of the drinking habit and does not wish to get out of it, the merciful Lord gives him all facilities to fulfill such desires.

The impersonalists recommend that one should become desireless, and others recommend banishing desires altogether. That is impossible; no one can banish desires altogether because desiring is the living symptom. Without having desires a living entity would be dead, which he is not. Therefore, living conditions and desire go together, the perfection of desires may be achieved when one desires to serve the Lord and the Lord also desires that every living entity banish all personal desires and cooperate with His desires. That is the last instruction of the Bhagavad-gita. Brahmaji agreed to this proposal, and therefore he is given the responsible post of creating generations in the vacant universe. Oneness with the Lord, therefore, consists of dovetailing one’s desires with the desires of the Supreme Lord. That makes for the perfection of all desires. The Lord, as the Supersoul in the heart of every living being, knows what is in the mind of each living entity, and no one can do anything without the knowledge of the Lord within. By His superior intelligence, the Lord gives everyone the chance to fulfill his desires to the fullest extent, and the resultant reaction is also awarded by the Lord.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 09 – Text 25

 

Disciplic succession from Brahma-Sampradya.

Brahma is the direct recipient of Vedic knowledge from the Personality of Godhead, and anyone discharging his entrusted duties in disciplic succession from Brahma is sure to gain fame in this life and salvation in the next. The disciplic succession from Brahma is called the Brahma-sampradaya, and it descends as follows: Brahma, Narada, Vyasa, Madhva Muni (Purnaprajna), Padmanabha, Nrhari, Madhava, Aksobhya, Jayatirtha, Jnana sindhu, Dayanidhi, Vidyanidhi, Rajendra, Jayadharma, Purusottama,Brahmanya tirtha, Vyasatirtha,Lakshmipati, Madhavendra Puri, Isvara Puri, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara and Sri Rupa Gosvami and others, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Krishnadasa Gosvami, Narottama dasa Thakura, Visvanatha Cakravarti, Jagannatha dasa Babaji, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. This line of disciplic succession from Brahma is spiritual, whereas the genealogical succession from Manu is material, but both are on the progressive march towards the same goal of Krishna consciousness.

Lord Brahma is the original speaker of Vedic wisdom to Narada, and Narada is the distributor of transcendental knowledge all over the world through his various disciples, like Vyasadeva and others. The followers of Vedic wisdom accept the statements of Brahmaji as gospel truth, and transcendental knowledge is thus being distributed all over the world by the process of disciplic succession from time immemorial, since the beginning of the creation. Lord Brahma is the perfect liberated living being within the material world, and any sincere student of transcendental knowledge must accept the words and statements of Brahmaji as infallible. The Vedic knowledge is infallible because it comes down directly from the Supreme Lord unto the heart of Brahma, and since he is the most perfect living being, Brahmaji is always correct to the letter. And this is because Lord Brahma is a great devotee of the Lord who has earnestly accepted the lotus feet of the Lord as the supreme truth. In the Brahma-samhita, which is compiled by Brahmaji, he repeats the aphorism govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami: “I am a worshiper of the original personality of Godhead, Govinda, the primeval Lord.” So whatever he says, whatever he thinks, and whatever he does normally in his mood are to be accepted as truth because of his direct and very intimate connection with Govinda, the primeval Lord. Sri Govinda, who pleasingly accepts the loving transcendental service of His devotees, gives all protection to the words and actions of His devotees. The Lord declares in the Bhagavad-gita (9.31), kaunteya pratijanihi: “O son of Kunti, please declare it.” The Lord asks Arjuna to declare, and why? Because sometimes the declaration of Govinda Himself may seem contradictory to mundane creatures, but the mundaner will never find any contradiction in the words of the Lord’s devotees. The devotees are especially protected by the Lord so that they may remain infallible. Therefore the process of devotional service always begins in the service of the devotee who appears in disciplic succession.The devotees are always liberated, but that does not mean that they are impersonal.The Lord is a person eternally, and the devotee of the Lord is also a person eternally. Because the devotee has his sense organs even at the liberated stage, he is therefore a person always. And because the devotee’s service is accepted by the Lord in full reciprocation, the Lord is also a person in His complete spiritual embodiment. The devotee’s senses, being engaged in the service of the Lord, never go astray under the attraction of false material enjoyment. The plans of the devotee never go in vain, and all this is due to the faithful attachment of the devotee for the service of the Lord. This is the standard of perfection and liberation. Anyone, beginning from Brahmaji down to the human being, is at once put on the path of liberation simply by his attachment in great earnestness for the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, the primeval Lord.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 13 – Text 08
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 06 – Text 34

 

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 an 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

 

Penance for self realization or sense gratification?

“There are two kinds of penance: one for sense gratification and the other for self-realization. There are many pseudo-mystics who undergo severe penances for their own satisfaction, and there are others who undergo severe penances for the satisfaction of the senses of the Lord. For example, the penances undertaken to discover nuclear weapons will never satisfy the Lord because such penance is never satisfactory. By nature’s own way, everyone has to meet death, and if such a process of death is accelerated by anyone’s penances, there is no satisfaction for the Lord. The Lord wants every one of His parts and parcels to attain eternal life and bliss by coming home to Godhead, and the whole material creation is meant for that objective. Brahma underwent severe penances for that purpose, namely to regulate the process of creation so that the Lord might be satisfied. Therefore the Lord was very much pleased with him, and for this Brahma was impregnated with Vedic knowledge. The ultimate purpose of Vedic knowledge is to know the Lord and not to misuse the knowledge for any other purposes. Those who do not utilize Vedic knowledge for that purpose are known as Kuta-yogis, or pseudo transcendentalists who spoil their lives with ulterior motives.

One cannot enjoy material illusory prosperity if he desires to return home, back to Godhead. One who has no information of the transcendental bliss in the association of the Lord foolishly desires to enjoy this temporary material happiness. In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said that if someone sincerely wants to see the Lord and at the same time wants to enjoy this material world, he is considered to be a fool only. One who wants to remain here in the material world for material enjoyment has no business entering into the eternal kingdom of God. The Lord favors such a foolish devotee by snatching all that he may possess in the material world. If such a foolish devotee of the Lord tries to recoup his position, then the merciful Lord again snatches away all that he may have possessed. By such repeated failures in material prosperity, he becomes very unpopular with his family members and friends. In the material world, the family members and friends honor persons who are very successful in accumulating wealth by any means. The foolish devotee of the Lord is thus put into forcible penance by the grace of the Lord, and at the end the devotee becomes perfectly happy, being engaged in the service of the Lord. Therefore penance in devotional service of the Lord, either by voluntary submission or by being forced by the Lord, is necessary for attaining perfection, and thus such penance is the internal potency of the Lord.

One cannot, however, be engaged in the penance of devotional service without being completely free from all sins. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, only a person who is completely free from all reactions of sins can engage himself in the worship of the Lord. Brahmaji was sinless, and therefore he faithfully discharged the advice of the Lord, ” tapa,” and the Lord, being satisfied with him, awarded him the desired result. Therefore only love and penance combined can please the Lord, and thus one is able to attain His complete mercy. He directs the sinless, and the sinless devotee attains the highest perfection of life.”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Second Canto, Chapter 09 – Text 20 & 23

 

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 literature 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 literature 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 a transcendental attraction for the Supreme on account of His being the source of all pleasing humor. 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 literature 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

 

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

The heavenly pleasure for the conditioned soul is a 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 the generation of the living being is necessary for the 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. Informs 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 at 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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