Śrīmad-Bhāgvatam – Canto 3
(Q&A Format)

Lord krishna nitya-lila (eternal pastimes) are going on without ending.

“The comparison of Krishna to the sun is very appropriate. As soon as the sun sets, darkness automatically appears. But the darkness experienced by the common man does not affect the sun itself either at the time of sunrise or of sunset. Lord Krishna’s appearance and disappearance are exactly like that of the sun. He appears and disappears in innumerable universes, and as long as He is present in a particular universe there is all transcendental light in that universe, but the universe from which He passes away is put into darkness. His pastimes, however, are everlasting. The Lord is always present in some universe, just as the sun is present in either the eastern or the western hemisphere. The sun is always present either in India or in America, but when the sun is present in India, the American land is in darkness, and when the sun is present in America, the Indian hemisphere is in darkness.

As the sun appears in the morning and gradually rises to the meridian and then again sets in one hemisphere while simultaneously rising in the other, so Lord Krishna’s disappearance in one universe and the beginning of His different pastimes in another take place simultaneously. As soon as one pastime is finished here, it is manifested in another universe. And thus His nitya-lila, or eternal pastimes, are going on without ending. As the sunrise takes place once in twenty-four hours, similarly the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa take place in a universe once in the daytime of Brahma, the account of which is given in the Bhagavad-gita as 4,300,000,000 solar years. But wherever the Lord is present, all His different pastimes as described in the revealed scriptures take place at regular intervals.

As at sunset the snakes become powerful, thieves are encouraged, ghosts become active, the lotus becomes disfigured and the cakravaki laments, so with the disappearance of Lord Krishna, the atheists feel enlivened, and the devotees become sorry.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 02 – Text 07

 

The Lord left in His own body.

In conformity with the Vedic hymns (nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam), the Personality of Godhead is more excellent than all other living beings within all the universes in the material world. He is the chief of all living entities; no one can surpass Him or be equal to Him in wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge or renunciation. When Lord Krishna was within this universe, He seemed to be a human being because He appeared in a manner just suitable for His pastimes in the mortal world. He did not appear in human society in His Vaikuntha feature with four hands because that would not have been suitable for His pastimes. But in spite of His appearing as a human being, no one was or is equal to Him in any respect in any of the six different opulences. Everyone is more or less proud of his opulence in this world, but when Lord Krishna was in human society, He excelled all His contemporaries within the universe. When the Lord’s pastimes are visible to the human eye, they are called prakata, and when they are not visible they are called aprakata. In fact, the Lord’s pastimes never stop, just as the sun never leaves the sky. The sun is always in its right orbit in the sky, but it is sometimes visible and sometimes invisible to our limited vision. Similarly, the pastimes of the Lord are always current in one universe or another, and when Lord Krishna disappeared from the transcendental abode of Dvaraka, it was simply a disappearance from the eyes of the people there. It should not be misunderstood that His transcendental body, which is just suitable for the pastimes in the mortal world, is in any way inferior to His different expansions in the Vaikunthalokas. His body manifested in the material world is transcendental par excellence in the sense that His pastimes in the mortal world excel His mercy displayed in the Vaikunthalokas. In the Vaikunthalokas the Lord is merciful toward the liberated or Nitya-Mukta living entities, but in His pastimes in the mortal world, He is merciful even to the fallen souls who are Nitya-baddha or conditioned forever. The six excellent opulence which He displayed in the mortal world by the agency of His internal potency, yoga-Maya, are rare even in the Vaikunthalokas. All His pastimes were manifested not by the material energy but by His spiritual energy. The excellence of His rasa-lila at Vrndavana and His householder life with sixteen thousand wives is wonderful even for Narayana in Vaikuntha and is certainly so for other living entities within this mortal world. His pastimes are wonderful even for other incarnations of the Lord, such as Sri Rama, Nrsimha and Varaha. His opulence was so superexcellent that His pastimes were adored even by the Lord of Vaikuntha, who is not different from Lord Krishna Himself.

When the Lord was present, persons who were able to satisfy their material hankerings by seeing Him in true perspective were thus able to go back with Him to His kingdom. But those persons who were unable to see the Lord as He is remained attached to material hankerings and were not able to go back home, back to Godhead. When the Lord passed beyond the vision of all, He did so in His original eternal form. The Lord left in His own body; He did not leave His body as is generally misunderstood by the conditioned souls. This statement defeats the false propaganda of the faithless non-devotees that the Lord passed away like an ordinary conditioned soul. The Lord appeared in order to release the world from the undue burden of the nonbelieving asuras, and after doing this; He disappeared from the world’s eyes.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 02 – Text 11 & 12

 

The earth is never overburdened due to an increase in population.

“It is a wrong assumption that due to an increase in population the world becomes overburdened and therefore there are wars and other extinction processes. The planet is never overburdened. The heaviest mountains and oceans on the surface of the earth hold more living entities than there are human beings, and they are not overburdened. If a count were taken of all the living beings on the surface of the earth, certainly it would be found that the number of humans is not even five percent of the total number of living beings. If the birthrate of human beings is increasing, then the birthrate of other living beings is rising proportionately. The birthrate of lower animals–beasts, aquatics, birds, etc.–is far greater than that of human beings. There is sufficient arrangement for food for all the living beings all over the earth by the order of the Supreme Lord, and He can provide more and more if there is actually a disproportionate increase of living beings.

Therefore, there is no question of an increase in population causing a burden. The earth became overburdened due to dharma-glani, or irregular discharge of the Lord’s desire. The Lord appeared on the earth to curb the increase in miscreants and not the increase in population, as is wrongly put forward by the mundane economist. When Lord Krishna appeared, there had been a sufficient increase in culprits who had violated the desire of the Lord. The material creation is meant for fulfilling the desire of the Lord, and His desire is that the conditioned souls who are unsuited to enter into the kingdom of God have a chance to improve their conditions for entering. The entire process of cosmic arrangement is meant just to give a chance to the conditioned souls to enter the kingdom of God, and there is an adequate arrangement for their support by the nature of the Lord.

Therefore, although there may be a great increase in population on the surface of the earth, if the people are exactly in line with God consciousness and are not offenders, such a burden on the earth is a source of pleasure for her. There are two kinds of burdens. There is the burden of the beast and the burden of love. The burden of the beast is unbearable, but the burden of love is a source of pleasure. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti explains the burden of love very practically. He says that the burden of the husband on the young wife, the burden of the child on the lap of the mother, and the burden of wealth on the businessman, although actually burdens from the viewpoint of weight, are sources of pleasure, and in the absence of such burdensome objects, one may feel the burden of separation, which is heavier to bear than the actual burden of love. When Lord Krishna referred to the burden of the Yadu dynasty on the earth, He referred to something different than the burden of the beast. The large numbers of family members born of Lord Krishna counted to some millions and were certainly a great increase in the population of the earth, but because all of them were expansions of the Lord Himself by His transcendental plenary expansions, they were a source of great pleasure for the earth. When the Lord referred to them in connection with the burden on the earth, He had in mind their imminent disappearance from the earth. All the members of the family of Lord Krishna were incarnations of different demigods, and they were to disappear from the surface of the earth along with the Lord. When He referred to the unbearable heaviness on the earth in connection with the Yadu dynasty, He was indicating to the burden of their separation. Srila Jiva Gosvami confirms this inference”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 03 – Text 14

 

The Lord and His associates appear and disappear by the will of the Lord.

The Lord and His associates appear and disappear by the will of the Lord. They are not subjected to the laws of material nature. No one was able to kill the family of the Lord, nor was there any possibility of their natural death by the laws of nature. The only means, therefore, for their disappearance was the make-show of a fight amongst themselves, as if brawling in intoxication due to drinking. That so-called fighting would also take place by the will of the Lord, otherwise, there would be no cause for their fighting. Just as Arjuna was made to be illusioned by family affection and thus the Bhagavad-gita was spoken, so the Yadu dynasty was made to be intoxicated by the will of the Lord, and nothing more. The devotees and associates of the Lord are completely surrendered, souls. Thus they are transcendental instruments in the hands of the Lord and can be used in any way the Lord desires. The pure devotees also enjoy such pastimes of the Lord because they want to see Him happy. Devotees of the Lord never assert independent individuality; on the contrary, they utilize their individuality in pursuit of the desires of the Lord, and this cooperation of the devotees with the Lord makes a perfect scene of the Lord’s pastimes.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 03 – Text 15

 

The Lord does not create the material world for His own satisfaction.

Lord Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead from whom the three creative incarnations, namely the purusa-avataras–Karanarnavasayi Vishnu, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, and Ksirodakasayi Vishnu–expand. The whole material creation is conducted by the three purusas in successive stages under the external energy of the Lord, and thus material nature is controlled by Him. Thinking material nature to be independent is like seeking milk from the nipple like bags on the neck of a goat. The Lord is independent and desireless. He does not create the material world for His own satisfaction as we create our household affairs to fulfil our material desires. Actually, the material world is created for the illusory enjoyment of the conditioned souls, who have been against the transcendental service of the Lord since time immemorial. But the material universes are full in themselves. There is no scarcity for maintenance in the material world. Because of their poor fund of knowledge, the materialists are disturbed when there is an apparent increase of population on the earth. Whenever there is a living being on the earth, however, his subsistence is immediately arranged by the Lord. The other species of living entities, which far outnumber human society, are never disturbed for maintenance; they are never seen dying of starvation. It is an only human society that is disturbed about the food situation and, to cover up the real fact of administrative mismanagement, takes shelter in the plea that the population is excessively increasing. If there is any scarcity in the world, it is the scarcity of God-consciousness; otherwise, by the grace of the Lord, there is no scarcity of anything.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 5 – Text 5

 

The beauty of transcendental literatures like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam is that they never become old

The Lord’s pastimes for the protection of the twice-born civilized men, the cows, and the demigods are all transcendental. A human being is inclined to hear good narrations and stories, and therefore there are so many books, magazines and newspapers on the market to satisfy the interests of the developed soul. But the pleasure in such literature, after it is read once, becomes stale, and people do not take any interest in reading such literature repeatedly. In fact, newspapers are read for less than an hour and then thrown in the dustbins as rubbish. The case is similar to all other mundane works of literature. But the beauty of transcendental works of literature like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam is that they never become old. They have been read in the world by civilized man for the last five thousand years, and they have never become old. They are ever fresh to the learned scholars and devotees, and even by daily repetition of the verses of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, there is no satiation for devotees like Vidura. Vidura might have heard the pastimes of the Lord many, many times before he met Maitreya, but still, he wanted the same narrations to be repeated because he was never satiated by hearing them. That is the transcendental nature of the Lord’s glorious pastimes.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 5 – Text 7

 

No Scientific advancement of material science can never produce a living being.

The offspring of any living being is born after the father impregnates the mother with semen, and the living entity floating in the semen of the father takes the shape of the mother’s form. Similarly, mother material nature cannot produce any living entity from her material elements unless and until she is impregnated with living entities by the Lord Himself. That is the mystery of the generation of the living entities. This impregnating process is performed by the first purusa incarnation, Karanarnavasayi Viṣṇu. Simply by His glance over material nature, the whole matter is accomplished. We should not understand the process of impregnation by the Personality of Godhead in terms of our conception of sex. The omnipotent Lord can impregnate just by His eyes, and therefore He is called all potent. Each and every part of His transcendental body can perform each and every function of the other parts. This is confirmed in the Brahma-Samhita (5.32): angani yasya sakalendriya-vrttimanti. In Bhagavadgita (14.3) also, the same principle is confirmed: mama yonir mahad-Brahma Tasmin garbham dadhamy aham. When the cosmic creation is manifested, the living entities are directly supplied from the Lord; they are never products of material nature. Thus, no scientific advancement of material science can ever produce a living being. That is the whole mystery of the material creation. The living entities are foreign to matter, and thus they cannot be happy unless they are situated in the same spiritual life as the Lord. The mistaken living being, out of forgetfulness of this original condition of life, unnecessarily wastes time trying to become happy in the material world. The whole Vedic process is to remind one of this essential feature of life. The Lord offers the conditioned soul a material body for his so-called enjoyment, but if one does not come to his senses and enter into spiritual consciousness, the Lord again puts him in the unmanifested condition as it existed at the beginning of the creation. The Lord is described here as viryavan, or the greatest potent being because He impregnates material nature with innumerable living entities who are conditioned from time immemorial.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 05 – Text 26

 

Mahat-tattva is a shadow of pure consciousness from where the false ego of the living entity is generated.

The mahat-tattva is the total consciousness because a portion of it is represented in everyone as the intellect. The mahat-tattva is directly connected with the supreme consciousness of the Supreme Being, but still, it appears as matter. The mahat-tattva, or shadow of pure consciousness, is the germinating place of all creation. It is pure goodness with the slight addition of the material mode of passion, and therefore activity is generated from this point.

The mahat-tattva is the via medium between pure spirit and material existence. It is the junction of matter and spirit wherefrom the false ego of the living entity is generated. All living entities are differentiated parts and parcels of the Personality of Godhead. Under the pressure of false ego, the conditioned souls, although parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, claim to be the enjoyers of material nature. This false ego is the binding force of material existence. The Lord, again and again, gives a chance to the bewildered conditioned souls to get free from this false ego, and that is why the material creation takes place at intervals. He gives the conditioned souls all facilities for rectifying the activities of the false ego, but He does not interfere with their small independence as parts and parcels of the Lord.

A pure living entity in his original spiritual existence is fully conscious of his constitutional position as an eternal servitor of the Lord. All souls who are situated in such pure consciousness are liberated, and therefore they eternally live in bliss and knowledge in the various Vaikuntha planets in the spiritual sky. When the material creation is manifested, it is not meant for them. The eternally liberated souls are called Nitya-muktas, and they have nothing to do with the material creation. The material creation is meant for rebellious souls who are not prepared to accept subordination under the Supreme Lord. This spirit of false lordship is called false ego. It is manifested in three modes of material nature, and it exists in mental speculation only. Those who are in the mode of goodness think that each and every person is God, and thus they laugh at the pure devotees, who try to engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Those who are puffed up by the mode of passion try to lord it over material nature in various ways. Some of them engage in altruistic activities as if they were agents appointed to do good to others by their mental speculative plans. Such men accept the standard ways of mundane altruism, but their plans are made on the basis of false ego. This false ego extends to the limit of becoming one with the Lord. The last class of egoistic conditioned souls–those in the mode of ignorance–are misguided by identification of the gross body with the self. Thus, all their activities are centred around the body only. All these persons are given the chance to play with false egoistic ideas, but at the same time, the Lord is kind enough to give them a chance to take help from scriptures like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam so that they may understand the science of Krishna and thus make their lives successful. The entire material creation, therefore, is meant for the falsely egoistic living entities hovering on the mental plane under different illusions in the modes of material nature.

False ego interacting with the different modes of material nature is the source of all materials in the phenomenal world. The chief function of the false ego is godlessness. When a person forgets his constitutional position as an eternally subordinate part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and wants to be happy independently, he functions mainly in two ways. He first attempts to act for personal gain or sense gratification, and after attempting such fruitive activities for a considerable time, when he is frustrated he becomes a philosophical speculator and thinks himself to be on the same level as God. This false idea of becoming one with the Lord is the last snare of the illusory energy, which traps a living entity into the bondage of forgetfulness under the spell of false ego. The best means of liberation from the clutches of false ego is to give up the habit of philosophical speculation regarding the Absolute Truth. One should know definitely that the Absolute Truth is never realized by the philosophical speculations of the imperfect egoistic person. The Absolute Truth, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is realized by hearing about Him in all submission and love from a bona fide authority who is a representative of the twelve great authorities mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. By such an attempt only can one conquer the illusory energy of the Lord, although for others she is unsurpassable, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (7.14).
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 5 – Text 27 to 31

 

How false ego traps a living entity into the bondage of forgetfulness.

“The chief function of the false ego is godlessness. When a person forgets his constitutional position as an eternally subordinate part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and wants to be happy independently, he functions mainly in two ways. He first attempts to act fruitively for personal gain or sense gratification, and after attempting such fruitive activities for a considerable time, when he is frustrated he becomes a philosophical speculator and thinks himself to be on the same level as God. This false idea of becoming one with the Lord is the last snare of the illusory energy, which traps a living entity into the bondage of forgetfulness under the spell of false ego.

The best means of liberation from the clutches of false ego is to give up the habit of philosophical speculation regarding the Absolute Truth. One should know definitely that the Absolute Truth is never realized by the philosophical speculations of the imperfect egoistic person. The Absolute Truth, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is realized by hearing about Him in all submission and love from a bona fide authority who is a representative of the twelve great authorities mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. By such an attempt only can one conquer the illusory energy of the Lord, although for others she is unsurpassable, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (7.14)”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 05 – Text 31

 

No material creation can take place without the glance of the Lord.

All material creations take place from subtle to gross. The entire universe has developed in that manner. From the sky developed the touch sensation, which is a mixture of eternal time, the external energy and the glance of the Personality of Godhead. The touch sensation developed into the air in the sky. Similarly, all other gross matter also developed from subtle to gross: sound developed into the sky, touch developed into the air, the form developed into a fire, taste developed into the water, and smell developed into the earth.

Thereafter the extremely powerful air, interacting with the sky, generated the form of sense perception, and the perception of form transformed into electricity, the light to see the world. When electricity was surcharged in the air and was glanced over by the Supreme, at that time, by a mixture of eternal time and external energy, there occurred the creation of water and taste.

Thereafter the water produced from electricity was glanced over by the Supreme Personality of Godhead and mixed with eternal time and external energy. Thus it was transformed into the earth, which is qualified primarily by smell.

From the descriptions of the physical elements in the above verses, it is clear that in all stages the glance of the Supreme is needed with the other additions and alterations. In every transformation, the last finishing touch is the glance of the Lord, who acts as a painter does when he mixes different colors to transform them into a particular color. When one element mixes with another, the number of its qualities increases. For example, the sky is the cause of air. The sky has only one quality, namely sound, but by the interaction of the sky with the glance of the Lord, mixed with eternal time and external nature, the air is produced, which has two qualities–sound and touch. Similarly, after the air is created, an interaction of sky and air, touched by time and the external energy of the Lord, produces electricity. And after the interaction of electricity with air and sky, mixed with time, external energy and the Lord’s glance over them, the water is produced. In the final stage of sky there is one quality, namely sound; in the air two qualities, sound and touch; in the electricity three qualities, namely sound, touch, and form; in the water four qualities, sound, touch, form and taste; and in the last stage of physical development the result is earth, which has all five qualities–sound, touch, form, taste and smell. Although they are different mixtures of different materials, such mixtures do not take place automatically, just as a mixture of colors does not take place automatically without the touch of the living painter. The automatic system is factually activated by the glancing touch of the Lord. Living consciousness is the final word in all physical changes. This fact is mentioned in Bhagavad-gita (9.10) as follows:

mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram
hetunanena kaunteya jagad viparivartate

The conclusion is that the physical elements may work very wonderfully to the laymen’s eyes, but their workings actually take place under the supervision of the Lord. Those who can mark only the changes of the physical elements and cannot perceive the hidden hands of the Lord behind them are certainly less intelligent persons, although they may be advertised as great material scientists.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 5 – Text 33 to 36

 

What happens to individual souls after dissolution of the universe.

Every individual soul remains unconscious after the dissolution of the creation and thus enters into the Lord with His material energy. These individual living entities are conditioned souls everlastingly, but in each and every material creation they are given a chance to liberate themselves and become free souls. They are all given a chance to take advantage of the Vedic wisdom and find out what is their relationship with the Supreme Lord, how they can be liberated, and what the ultimate profit is in such liberation. By properly studying the Vedas one becomes conscious of his position and thus takes to the transcendental devotional service of the Lord and is gradually promoted to the spiritual sky. The individual souls in the material world engage in different activities according to their past unfinished desires. After the dissolution of a particular body, the individual soul forgets everything, but the all-merciful Lord, who is situated in everyone’s heart as the witness, the Supersoul, awakens him and reminds him of his past desires, and thus he begins to act accordingly in his next life. This unseen guidance is described as fate, and a sensible man can understand that this continues his material bondage in the three modes of nature.

The unconscious sleeping stage of the living entity just after the partial or total dissolution of the creation is wrongly accepted as the final stage of life by some less intelligent philosophers. After the dissolution of the partial material body, a living entity remains unconscious for only a few months, and after the total dissolution of the material creation, he remains unconscious for many millions of years. But when the creation is again revived, he is awakened to his work by the Lord. The living entity is eternal, and the wakeful state of his consciousness, manifested by activities, is his natural condition of life. He cannot stop acting while awake, and thus he acts according to his diverse desires. When his desires are trained in the transcendental service of the Lord, his life becomes perfect, and he is promoted to the spiritual sky to enjoy eternal awakened life.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 6 – Text 3

 

The senses are powered by the ten kinds of air within the body.

“In Bhagavad-gita (7.4-5) it is stated that the eight elements earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and false ego are all products of the Lord’s inferior energy, whereas the living entities, who are seen to utilize the inferior energy, originally belong to the superior energy, the internal potency of the Lord. The eight inferior energies work grossly and subtly, whereas the superior energy works as the central generating force. This is experienced in the human body. The gross elements, namely, earth, etc., form the external gross body and are like a coat, whereas the subtle mind and false ego act like the inner clothing of the body.

The movements of the body are first generated from the heart, and all the activities of the body are made possible by the senses, powered by the ten kinds of air within the body. The ten kinds of air are described as follows: The main air passing through the nose in breathing is called prana. The air which passes through the rectum as evacuated bodily air is called Apana. The air which adjusts the foodstuff within the stomach and which sometimes sounds as belching is called Samana. The air which passes through the throat and the stoppage of which constitutes suffocation is called the Udana air. Aid the total air which circulates throughout the entire body is called the vyana air. Subtler than these five airs, there are others also. That which facilitates the opening of the eyes, mouth, etc., is called naga air. The air which increases appetite is called krkara air. The air which helps contraction is called kurma air. The air which helps relaxation by opening the mouth wide (in yawning) is called Devadatta air, and the air which helps sustenance is called dhananjaya air.

All these airs are generated from the center of the heart, which is one only. This central energy is the superior energy of the Lord, who is seated within the heart with the soul of the body, who acts under the guidance of the Lord. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita (15.15) as follows:

sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham

The complete central force is generated from the heart by the Lord, who is seated there and who helps the conditioned soul in remembering and forgetting. The conditioned state is due to the soul’s forgetfulness of his relationship of subordination to the Lord. One who wants to continue to forget the Lord is helped by the Lord to forget Him birth after birth, but one who remembers Him, by dint of association with a devotee of the Lord, is helped to remember Him more and more. Thus the conditioned soul can ultimately go back home, back to Godhead.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 06 – Text 09

 

A pure devotee is never entangled in material worldly affairs.

One may question how one can always think of the Lord in regard to His name, fame, quality, etc. if one is embarrassed by thoughts of family affairs. Everyone in the material world is full of thoughts about how to maintain his family, how to protect his wealth, how to keep pace with friends and relatives, etc. Thus he is always in fear and lamentation, trying to keep up with the status quo. In answer to this question, this verse spoken by Brahma is very appropriate.

pure devotee of the Lord never thinks of himself as the proprietor of his home. He surrenders everything unto the supreme control of the Lord, and thus he has no fear for maintaining his family or protecting the interests of his family. Because of this surrender, he no longer has any attraction for wealth. Even if there is an attraction for wealth, it is not for sense enjoyment, but for the service of the Lord. A pure devotee may be attracted to accumulating wealth just like an ordinary man, but the difference is that a devotee acquires money for the service of the Lord, whereas the ordinary man acquires money for his sense enjoyment. Thus the acquisition of wealth by a devotee is not a source of anxieties, as is the case for a worldly man. And because a pure devotee accepts everything in the sense of serving the Lord, the poisonous teeth of accumulation of wealth are extracted. If a snake has its poison removed and bites a man, there is no fatal effect. Similarly, wealth accumulated in the cause of the Lord has no poisonous teeth, and the effect is not fatal. A pure devotee is never entangled in material worldly affairs even though he may remain in the world like an ordinary man.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 9 – Text 6

 

Time & Space.

One truti – 8.13,500 secondn>One vedha – 8.135 secondn>One lava – 8.45 secondn>One nimesa – 8.15 secondn>One ksana – 8.5 secondn>One kastha – 8 secondsn>One laghu – 2 minutesn>One danda – 30 minutesn>One prahara – 3 hoursn>One day – 2 hoursn>One night – 12 hoursn>One paksa – 15 daysnnTwo paksas comprise one month, and twelve months comprise one calendar year, or one full orbit of the sun. A human being is expected to live up to one hundred years. That is the way of the controlling measure of eternal time.n nThe Brahma-samhita (5.52) affirms this control in this way:nnyac-caksur esa savita sakala-grahanam raja samasta-sura-murtir asesa-tejahnyasyajnaya bhramati sambhrta-kala-cakro govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajaminn”I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, under whose control even the sun, which is considered to be the eye of the Lord, rotates within the fixed orbit of eternal time. The sun is the king of all planetary systems and has unlimited potency in heat and light. The atomic description of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is almost the same as the modern science of atomism. In modern science also, the atom is accepted as the ultimate indivisible particle of which the universe is composed. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the full text of all descriptions of knowledge, including the theory of atomism. The atom is the minute subtle form of eternal time. Atoms are the ultimate state of the manifest universe. When they stay in their own forms without forming different bodies, they are called the unlimited oneness. There are certainly different bodies in physical forms, but the atoms themselves form the complete manifestation. One can estimate time by measuring the movement of the atomic combination of bodies. Time is the potency of the almighty Personality of Godhead, Hari, who controls all physical movement although He is not visible in the physical world.

Time and space are two correlative terms. Time is measured in terms of its covering a certain space of atoms. Standard time is calculated in terms of the movement of the sun. The time covered by the sun in passing over an atom is calculated as atomic time. The greatest time of all covers the entire existence of the non-dual manifestation. All the planets rotate and cover space, and space is calculated in terms of atoms. Each planet has its particular orbit for rotating, in which it moves without deviation, and similarly, the sun has its orbit. The complete calculation of the time of creation, maintenance and dissolution, measured in terms of the circulation of the total planetary systems until the end of creation, is known as the supreme kala. The division of gross time is calculated as follows: two atoms make one double atom, and three double atoms make one hexatom or trasarenu. This trasarenu is visible in the sunshine which enters through the holes of a window screen. One can clearly see that the trasarenu goes up towards the sky. The time duration needed for the integration of three trasarenus is called a truti, and one hundred trutis make one vedha. Three vedhas make one lava. It is calculated that if a second is divided into 1687.5 parts, each part is the duration of a truti, which is the time occupied in the integration of eighteen atomic particles. Such a combination of atoms into different bodies creates the calculation of material time. The sun is the central point for calculating all different durations. The duration of time of three lavas is equal to one nimesa, the combination of three nimesas makes one ksana, five ksanas combined together to make one kastha, and fifteen kasthas make one laghu. By calculation, it is found that one laghu is equal to two minutes.

The atomic calculation of time in terms of Vedic wisdom may be converted into present time with this understanding. Fifteen laghus make one nadika, which is also called a danda. Two dandas make one muhurta, and six or seven dandas make one-fourth of a day or night, according to the human calculation. The measuring pot for one nadika, or danda, can be prepared with a six-pala-weight [fourteen ounces] pot of copper, in which a hole is bored with a gold probe weighing four masa and measuring four fingers long. When the pot is placed on water, the time before the water overflows in the pot is called one danda. It is advised herein that the bore in the copper measuring pot must be made with a probe weighing not more than four masa and measuring not longer than four fingers. This regulates the diameter of the hole. The pot is submerged in water, and the overflooding time is called a danda. This is another way of measuring the duration of a danda, just as time is measured by sand in a glass. It appears that in the days of Vedic civilization there was no dearth of knowledge in physics, chemistry or higher mathematics.

Measurements were calculated in different ways, as simply as could be done. It is calculated that there are four praharas, which are also called yamas, in the day and four in the night of the human being. Similarly, fifteen days and nights are a fortnight, and there are two fortnights, white and black, in a month. The aggregate of two fortnights is one month, and that period is one complete day and night for the Pita planets. Two of such months comprise one season, and six months comprise one complete movement of the sun from south to north. Two solar movements make one day and night of the demigods, and that combination of day and night is one complete calendar year for the human being. The human being has a duration of life of one hundred years. Influential stars, planets, luminaries and atoms all over the universe are rotating in their respective orbits under the direction of the Supreme, represented by eternal kala. In the Brahma-Samhita it is stated that the sun is the eye of the Supreme and it rotates in its particular orbit of time. Similarly, beginning from the sun down to the atom, all bodies are under the influence of the kala-cakra, or the orbit of eternal time, and each of them has a scheduled orbital time of one samvatsara.

The subject matters of physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, time and space dealt with in the above verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam are certainly very interesting to students of the particular subject, but as far as we are concerned, we cannot explain them very thoroughly in terms of technical knowledge. The subject is summarized by the statement that above all the different branches of knowledge is the supreme control of Kala, the plenary representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nothing exists without Him, and therefore everything, however wonderful it may appear to our meager knowledge, is but the work of the magical wand of the Supreme Lord. As far as time is concerned, we beg to subjoin herewith a table of timings in terms of the modern clock.

>One truti – 8.13,500 second
>One vedha – 8.135 second
>One lava – 8.45 second
>One nimesa – 8.15 second
>One ksana – 8.5 second
>One kastha – 8 seconds
>One laghu – 2 minutes
>One danda – 30 minutes
>One prahara – 3 hours
>One day – 12 hours
>One night – 12 hours
>One paksa – 15 days

Two paksas comprise one month, and twelve months comprise one calendar year or one full orbit of the sun. A human being is expected to live up to one hundred years. That is the way of the controlling measure of eternal time.

The Brahma-Samhita (5.52) affirms this control in this way:

yac-caksur esa savita sakala-grahanam raja samasta-sura-murtir asesa-tejah
yasyajnaya bhramati sambhrta-kala-cakro govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, under whose control even the sun, which is considered to be the eye of the Lord, rotates within the fixed orbit of eternal time. The sun is the king of all planetary systems and has unlimited potency in heat and light.”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 11 – Text 1-14

 

Duration of life on other planets.

The partial dissolution of the universe that takes place at the end of Brahma’s day does not affect all the planetary systems. The planets of highly learned living entities like the sages Sanaka and Bhrgu are not affected by the dissolutions of the millenniums. All the planets are of different types, and each is controlled by a different Kala-chakra, or schedule of eternal time. The time of the earth planet is not applicable to other, more elevated planets.

The four millenniums are called the Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali yugas. The aggregate number of years of all of these combined is equal to twelve thousand years of the demigods. The years of the demigods are equal to 360 years of humankind. As will be clarified in the subsequent verses, 12,000 of the demigods’ years, including the transitional periods which are called yuga-sandhyas, comprise the total of the aforementioned four millenniums. Thus the aggregate of the above-mentioned four millenniums is 4,320,000 years. The duration of the Satya millennium equals 4,800 years of the years of the demigods; the duration of the Treta-Yuga is 3,600 years; the Dvapara millennium equals 2,400 years, and that of the Kali millennium is 1,200 years of the demigods. As aforementioned, one year of the demigods is equal to 360 years of human beings. The duration of the Satya-yuga is therefore 4,800 x 360, or 1,728,000 years. The duration of the Treta-Yuga is 3,600 x 360, or 1,296,000 years. The duration of the Dvapara-Yuga is 2,400 x 360, or 864,000 years. And the last, the Kali-yuga, is 1,200 x 360, or 432,000 years.

The transitional periods before and after every millennium, which are a few hundred years as aforementioned, are known as yuga-sandhyas, or the conjunctions of two millenniums, according to the expert astronomers. In those periods all kinds of religious activities are performed. In the Satya millennium, complete execution of religious principles prevailed. Gradually, the principles of religion decreased by one part in each of the subsequent millenniums. In other words, at present, there is one part of religion and three parts irreligion. Therefore people at this age are not very happy. Outside of the three planetary systems [Svarga, Martya, and Patala], the four yugas multiplied by one thousand comprise one day on the planet of Brahma. A similar period comprises a night of Brahma, in which the creator of the universe goes to sleep. When Brahma goes to sleep in his nighttime, the three planetary systems below Brahmaloka are all submerged in the water of devastation. In his sleeping condition, Brahma dreams about the Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu and takes instruction from the Lord for the rehabilitation of the devastated area of space.

After the end of Brahma’s night, the creation of the three worlds begins again in the daytime of Brahma, and they continue to exist through the life durations of fourteen consecutive Manus, or fathers of mankind. At the end of the life of each Manu, there are shorter dissolutions also. The duration of life of a Manu comprises seventy-one sets of four millenniums, as described in the Viṣṇu Purana. The duration of life of one Manu is about 852,000 years in the calculation of the demigods, or, in the calculation of human beings, 306,720,000 years. After the dissolution of each and every Manu, the next Manu comes in order, along with his descendants, who rule over the different planets; but the seven famous sages, and demigods like Indra and their followers, such as the Gandharvas, all appear simultaneously with Manu. There are fourteen Manus in one day of Brahma, and each of them has different descendants. In the creation, during Brahma’s day, the three planetary systems–Svarga, Martya, and Patala–revolve, and the inhabitants, including the lower animals, human beings, demigods, and Pitas, appear and disappear in terms of their fruitive activities. In each and every change of Manu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears by manifesting His internal potency in different incarnations, as Manu and others. Thus He maintains the universe by discovered power. At the end of the day, the dissolution of the three worlds is effected by the incarnation of darkness, Rudra, represented by the fire of eternal time which blazes over the three worlds. These three worlds are known as Bhuh, Bhuvah, and Svah (Patala, Martya, and Svarga). The innumerable living entities merge into that dissolution, which appears to be the dropping of the curtain of the scene of the Supreme Lord’s energy, and so everything becomes silent. It is understood that the glare of the sun and moon disappear from the sphere of the three worlds, but the sun and the moon themselves do not vanish. They appear in the remaining portion of the universe, which is beyond the sphere of the three worlds. The portion in dissolution remains without sunrays or Moonglow. It all remains dark and full of water, and there are indefatigable winds. The devastation takes place due to the fire emanating from the mouth of Sankarsana, and thus great sages like Bhrgu and other inhabitants of Maharloka transport themselves to Janaloka, being distressed by the warmth of the blazing fire which rages through the three worlds below. It is said that the blazing fire from the mouth of Sankarsana rages for one hundred years of the demigods, or 36,000 human years. Then for another 36,000 years, there are torrents of rain, accompanied by violent winds and waves, and the seas and oceans overflow. These reactions of worlds. People forget all these devastations of the worlds and think themselves happy in the material progress of civilization. This is called Maya, or “that which is not.” Every living being lives for one hundred years in terms of the times in different planets for different entities. These one hundred years of life are not equal in every case. The longest duration of one hundred years belongs to Brahma, but although the life of Brahma is very long, it expires in the course of time. Brahma is also afraid of his death, and thus he performs devotional service to the Lord, just to release himself from the clutches of illusory energy. Animals, of course, have no sense of responsibility, but even humans, who have developed a sense of responsibility, while away their valuable time without engaging in devotional service to the Lord; they live merrily, unafraid of impending death. This is the madness of human society. The madman has no responsibility in life. Similarly, a human being who does not develop a sense of responsibility before he dies is no better than the madman who tries to enjoy material life very happily without concern for the future. It is necessary that every human being be responsible in preparing himself for the next life, even if he has a duration of life like that of Brahma, the greatest of all living creatures within the universe.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 11 – Text 16-33

 

The realization of the personal form of the Lord is the highest perfectional stage of yoga.

“The realization of the personal form of the Lord is the highest perfectional stage of yoga. In the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, where yoga practice is described, this realization of the personal form of the Lord is called the perfection of yoga. After practicing the sitting postures and other regulative principles of the system, one finally reaches the stage of samadhi–absorption in the Supreme. In the samadhi stage, one can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His partial form as Paramatma, or as He is. Samadhi is described in authoritative yoga scriptures, such as the Patanjali-sutras, to be a transcendental pleasure.

The yoga system described in the books of Patanjali is authoritative, and the modern so-called yogis who have manufactured their own ways, not consulting the authorities, are simply ludicrous. The Patanjali yoga system is called ashtanga-yoga. Sometimes impersonalists pollute the Patanjali yoga system because they are monists. Patanjali describes that the soul is transcendentally pleased when he meets the Supersoul and sees Him. If the existence of the Supersoul and the individual is admitted, then the Impersonalist theory of monism is nullified. Therefore some impersonalists and void philosophers twist the Patanjali system in their own way and pollute the whole yoga process.
According to Patanjali, when one becomes free from all material desires he attains his real, transcendental situation, and realization of that stage is called spiritual power. In material activities, a person engages in the modes of material nature. The aspirations of such people are (1) to be religious, (2) to be economically enriched, (3) to be able to gratify the senses and, at last, (4) to become one with the Supreme. According to the monists, when a yogi becomes one with the Supreme and loses his individual existence, he attains the highest stage, called Kaivalya. But actually, the stage of realization of the Personality of Godhead is Kaivalya. The oneness of understanding that the Supreme Lord is fully spiritual and that in full spiritual realization one can understand what He is–the Supreme Personality of Godhead– is called Kaivalya, or, in the language of Patanjali, the realization of spiritual power. His proposal is that when one is freed from material desires and fixed in the spiritual realization of the self and the Superself, that is called cit-Sakti. In full spiritual realization, there is a perception of spiritual happiness, and that happiness is described in Bhagavad-gita as the supreme happiness, which is beyond the material senses. Trance is described to be of two kinds, samprajnata, and asamprajnata, or mental speculation and self-realization. In samadhi or asamprajnata one can realize, by his spiritual senses, the spiritual form of the Lord. That is the ultimate goal of spiritual realization.

According to Patanjali, when one is fixed in constant realization of the supreme form of the Lord, one has attained the perfectional stage, as attained by Kardama Muni. Unless one attains this stage of perfection–beyond the perfection of the preliminaries of the yoga system–there is no ultimate realization. There are eight perfections in the ashtanga-yoga system. One who has attained them can become lighter than the lightest and greater than the greatest, and he can achieve whatever he likes. But even achieving such material success in yoga is not the perfection or the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is described here: Kardama Muni saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His eternal form. Devotional service begins with the relationship of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul, or Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa’s devotees, and when one attains it there is no question of falling down. If through the yoga system, one wants to attain the stage of seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face but is attracted instead to the attainment of some material power, then he is detoured from proceeding further. Material enjoyment, as encouraged by bogus yogis, has nothing to do with the transcendental realization of spiritual happiness. Real devotees of bhakti-yoga accept only the material necessities of life absolutely needed to maintain the body and soul together; they refrain completely from all exaggerated material sense gratification. They are prepared to undergo all kinds of tribulation, provided they can make progress in the realization of the Personality of Godhead.”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 12 – Text 21

 

The human being is a social animal and his unrestricted mixing with fair sex leads to downfall.

Balavan indriya-gramo vidvamsam api karsati (Bg. 9.19.17). It is said that the senses are so mad and strong that they can bewilder even the most sensible and learned man. Therefore it is advised that one should not indulge in living alone even with one’s mother, sister or daughter. Vidvamsam api karsati means that even the most learned also become victims of the sensuous urge. Maitreya hesitated to state this anomaly on the part of Brahma, who was sexually inclined to his own daughter, but still, he mentioned it because sometimes it so happens, and the living example is Brahma himself, although he is the primeval living being and the most learned within the whole universe. If Brahma could be a victim of the sexual urge, then what of others, who are prone to so many mundane frailties? This extraordinary immortality on the part of Brahma was heard to have occurred in some particular kalpa, but it could not have happened in the Kalpa in which Brahma heard directly from the Lord the four essential verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam because the Lord blessed Brahma, after giving him lessons on the Bhagavatam, that he would never be bewildered in any kalpa whatsoever. This indicates that before the hearing of Srimad-Bhagavatam he might have fallen a victim to such sensuality, but after hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam directly from the Lord, there was no possibility of such failures.

One should, however, take serious note of this incident. The human being is a social animal, and his unrestricted mixing with the fair sex leads to downfall. Such social freedom of man and woman, especially among the younger section, is certainly a great stumbling block on the path of spiritual progress. Material bondage is due only to sexual bondage, and therefore the unrestricted association of man and woman is surely a great impediment. Maitreya cited this example on the part of Brahma just to bring to our notice this great danger.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 12 – Text 28

 

How Universe was populated?

The post of Brahma is the highest responsible post within the universe, and it is offered to the most perfect personality of the universe. Sometimes the Supreme Personality of Godhead has to become Brahma when there is no suitable living being to occupy the post. In the material world, Brahma is the complete representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and transcendental sound, pranava, comes from him. He is therefore invested with multifarious energies, from which all the demigods like Indra, Candra and Varuna are manifested. His transcendental value is not to be minimized, even though he exhibited a tendency to enjoy his own daughter. There is a purpose for the exhibition of such a tendency by Brahma, and he is not to be condemned like an ordinary living entity.

Balavan indriya-gramo vidvamsam api karsati (Bhag. 9.19.17).

It is said that the senses are so mad and strong that they can bewilder even the most sensible and learned man. Therefore it is advised that one should not indulge in living alone even with one’s mother, sister or daughter. Vidvamsam api karsati means that even the most learned also become victims of the sensuous urge. Maitreya hesitated to state this anomaly on the part of Brahma, who was sexually inclined to his own daughter, but still, he mentioned it because sometimes it so happens, and the living example is Brahma himself, although he is the primaeval living being and the most learned within the whole universe. If Brahma could be a victim of the sexual urge, then what of others, who are prone to so many mundane frailties? This extraordinary immortality on the part of Brahma was heard to have occurred in some particular kalpa, but it could not have happened in the kalpa in which Brahma heard directly from the Lord the four essential verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam because the Lord blessed Brahma, after giving him lessons on the Bhagavatam, that he would never be bewildered in any kalpa whatsoever. This indicates that before the hearing of Srimad- Bhagavatam he might have fallen a victim to such sensuality, but after hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam directly from the Lord, there was no possibility of such failures.

One should, however, take serious note of this incident. The human being is a social animal, and his unrestricted mixing with the fair sex leads to downfall. Such social freedom of man and woman, especially among the younger section, is certainly a great stumbling block on the path of spiritual progress. Material bondage is due only to sexual bondage, and therefore the unrestricted association of man and woman is surely a great impediment. Maitreya cited this example on the part of Brahma just to bring to our notice this great danger.

The sages like Marici were not in the wrong in submitting their protests against the acts of their great father. They knew very well that even though their father committed a mistake, there must have been some great purpose behind the show, otherwise such a great personality could not have committed such a mistake. It might be that Brahma wanted to warn his subordinates about human frailties in their dealings with women. This is always very dangerous for persons who are on the path of self-realization. Therefore, great personalities like Brahma, even when in the wrong, should not be neglected, nor could the great sages headed by Marici show any disrespect because of his extraordinary behavior.

The post of Brahma is the super most post in the universe, and it appears that there are many Brahmas and many universes besides the one in which we are situated. One who fills this post must be ideal in behavior, for Brahma sets the example for all living entities. Brahma, the living entity who is the most pious and spiritually elevated, is entrusted with a post next to that of the Personality of Godhead.

Lust for sexual intercourse is so strong that it appears herein that Brahma could not be dissuaded from his determination in spite of the appeal by his great sons like Marici. Therefore, the great sons began to pray to the Supreme Lord for the good sense of Brahma. It is only by the grace of the Supreme Lord that one can be protected from the allurement of lusty material desires. The Lord gives protection to devotees who are always engaged in His transcendental loving service, and by His causeless mercy, He forgives the accidental fall of a devotee. Therefore, sages like Marici prayed for the mercy of the Lord, and their prayer was fruitful. The best way to compensate for one’s sinful acts is to give up one’s body at once, and Brahma, the leader of the living entities, showed this by his personal example. Brahma has a fabulous duration of life, but he was obliged to give up his body due to his grievous sin, even though he had merely contemplated it in his mind without having actually done it.

This is a lesson for the living entities, showing how sinful an act it is to indulge in unrestricted sex life. Even to think of abominable sex life is sinful, and to compensate for such acts, one has to give up his body. In other words, one’s duration of life, blessings, opulence, etc., are decreased by sinful acts, and the most dangerous type of sinful act is unrestricted sex. Ignorance is the cause of sinful life, or sinful life is the cause of gross ignorance. The feature of ignorance is darkness or fog. Darkness or fog still covers the whole universe, and the sun is the only counteracting principle. One who takes shelter of the Lord, the perpetual light, has no fear of being annihilated in the darkness of fog or ignorance.

As fire can consume anything and everything without being contaminated, so, by the grace of the Lord, the fire of Brahma’s greatness consumed his desire for the sinful act of sex with his daughter. The Vedas are the source of all knowledge, and they were first revealed to Brahma by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead while Brahma was thinking of re-creating the material world. Brahma is powerful by dint of his devotional service unto the Lord, and the Lord is always ready to forgive His devotee if by chance he falls down from the noble path of devotional service. The Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.42) confirms this as follows:

sva-pada-mulam bhajatah priyasya tyaktvanya-bhavasya harih paresah
vikarma yac cotpatitam kathan-cid dhunoti sarvam hrdi sannvistah

“Any person who is engaged one hundred percent in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, at His lotus feet, is very dear to the Personality of Godhead Hari, and the Lord, being situated in the heart of the devotee, excuses all kinds of sins committed by chance.” It was never expected that a great personality like Brahma would ever think of sex indulgence with his daughter. The example is shown by Brahma only suggests that the power of material nature is so strong that it can act upon everyone, even Brahma. Brahma was saved by the mercy of the Lord with a little punishment, but by the grace of the Lord, he did not lose his prestige as the great Brahma.

In his former body, which was transcendental, affection for sex life was forbidden, and Brahma, therefore, had to accept another body to allow himself to be connected with sex. He thus engaged himself in the matter of creation. His former body transformed into the fog.

O son of the Kurus, when Brahma saw that in spite of the presence of sages of great potency there was no sufficient increase in population, he seriously began to consider how the population could be increased.

Brahma thought to himself: Alas, it is wonderful that in spite of my being scattered all over, there is still insufficient population throughout the universe. There is no other cause for this misfortune but destiny. While he was thus absorbed in contemplation and was observing the supernatural power, two other forms were generated from his body. They are still celebrated as the body of Brahma. Two bodies came out from the body of Brahma. One had a moustache, and the other had swollen breasts. No one can explain the source of their manifestation, and therefore until today, they are known as the kayam, or the body of Brahma, with no indication of their relationship as his son or daughter.

The two newly separated bodies united together in a sexual relationship. Out of them, the one who had the male form became known as the Manu named Svayambhuva, and the woman became known as Satarupa, the queen of the great soul Manu. Thereafter, by sex indulgence, they gradually increased generations of population one after another. O son of Bharata, in due course of time he [Manu] begot in Satarupa five children–two sons, Priyavrata and Uttanapada, and three daughters, Akuti, Devahuti and Prasuti. The father, Manu, handed over his first daughter, Akuti, to the sage Ruci, the middle daughter, Devahuti, to the sage Kardama, and the youngest, Prasuti, to Daksa. From them, all the world filled with the population.

Therefore, Brahma is known as the grandfather of everyone, and the Personality of Godhead, being the father of Brahma, is known as the great-grandfather of all living beings. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (11.39) as follows:

vayur yamo ‘gnir varunah sasankah prajapatis tvam prapitamahas ca
namo namas te ‘stu sahasra-krtvah punas ca bhuyo ‘pi namo namas te

“You are the Lord of air, the supreme justice Yama, the fire, and the Lord of rains. You are the moon,
and You are the great-grandfather. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto You again and again.”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 12 – Text 28 to 30, 32 to 34, 48

 

It may not be necessary to undergo the system of Varnasrama-dharma, if one is engaged in devotional service.

The purpose of the material creation by Brahma is clearly described herein. Every human being should beget nice children in the womb of his wife, as a sacrifice for the purpose of worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead in devotional service. In the Vishnu Purana (3.8.9) it is stated:

Varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman
Vishnur aradhyate pantha nanyat tat-tosa-karanam

“One can worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, by proper discharge of the principles of varna and ashrama. There is no alternative to pacifying the Lord by execution of the principles of the varnasrama system.” Vishnu worship is the ultimate aim of human life. Those who take the license of married life for sense enjoyment must also take the responsibility to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, and the first stepping-stone is the varnasrama-dharma system. Varnasrama-dharma is the systematic institution for advancing in the worship of Vishnu. However, if one directly engages in the process of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it may not be necessary to undergo the disciplinary system of varnasrama-dharma. The other sons of Brahma, the Kumaras, directly engaged in devotional service, and thus they had no need to execute the principles of varnasrama-dharma.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 13 – Text 11

 

The Law book for the entire human society is the Manu-samhita

The whole administrative system is arranged for the purpose of going back home, back to Godhead. Brahma is the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Manu is the representative of Brahma. Similarly, all other kings on different planets of the universe are representatives of Manu. The lawbook for the entire human society is the Manu-Samhita, which directs all activities towards the transcendental service of the Lord. Every king, therefore, must know that his responsibility in an administration is not merely to exact taxes from the citizens but to see personally that the citizens under him are being trained in Vishnu worship. Everyone must be educated in Vishnu worship and engaged in the devotional service of Hrsikesa, the owner of the senses. The conditioned souls are meant not to satisfy their material senses but to satisfy the senses of Hrsikesa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the purpose of the complete administrative system. One, who knows this secret, as disclosed here in the version of Brahma, is the perfect administrative head. One who does not know this is a show-bottle administrator. By training the citizens in the devotional service of the Lord, the head of a state can be free in his responsibility; otherwise, he will fail in the onerous duty entrusted to him and thus be punishable by the supreme authority. There is no other alternative in the discharge of administrative duty.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 13 – Text 12

 

The Lord can perfectly play the part of any living entity.

We should always remember that although the body of a hog is material, the hog form of the Lord was not materially contaminated. It is not possible for an earthly hog to assume a gigantic form spreading throughout the sky, beginning from the Satyaloka. His body is always transcendental in all circumstances; therefore, the assumption of the form of a boar is only His pastime. His body is all Vedas, or transcendental. But since He had assumed the form of a boar, He began to search out the earth by smelling, just like a hog. The Lord can perfectly play the part of any living entity. The gigantic feature of the boar was certainly very fearful for all non-devotees, but to the pure devotees of the Lord He was not at all fearful; on the contrary, He was so pleasingly glancing upon His devotees that all of them felt transcendental happiness.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 13 – Text 28

 

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

 

Who is Lord Shiva?

Lord Shiva is not an ordinary living being, nor is he in the category of Vishnu, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is far more powerful than any living entity up to the standard of Brahma, yet he is not on an equal level with Vishnu. Since he is almost like Lord Vishnu, Shiva can see past, present, and future. One of his eyes is like the sun, another is like the moon, and his third eye, which is between his eyebrows, is like fire. He can generate fire from his middle eye, and he is able to vanquish any powerful living being, including Brahma, yet he does not live pompously in a nice house, etc., nor does he holds any material properties, although he is master of the material world. He lives mostly in the crematorium, where dead bodies are burnt, and the dust of the crematorium is his bodily dress. He is unstained by material contamination.

Lord Shiva is not connected with anyone, nor is anyone his enemy. Since he is one of the three controllers of the universal affairs, he is equal to everyone. His greatness is incomparable because he is a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is said that among all the devotees of the Personality of Godhead, Lord Shiva is the greatest. Thus the remnants of foodstuff left by him are accepted by other devotees as Maha-Prasada or great spiritual foodstuff. The remnants of foodstuff offered to Lord Krishna are called Prasada, but when the same Prasada is eaten by a great devotee like Lord Shiva, it is called Maha-Prasada. Lord Shiva is so great that he does not care for the material prosperity for which every one of us is so eager. Parvati, who is the powerful material nature personified, is under his full control as his wife, yet he does not use her even to build a residential house. He prefers to remain without shelter, and his great wife also agrees to live with him humbly. People in general worship goddess Durga, the wife of Lord Shiva, for material prosperity, but Lord Shiva engages her in his service without material desire. He simply advises his great wife that of all kinds of worship, the worship of Vishnu is the highest, and greater than that is the worship of a great devotee or anything in relation with Vishnu.

Lord Shiva’s uncivilized, devilish characteristics are never despicable because he teaches the sincere devotees of the Lord how to practice detachment from material enjoyment. He is called Mahadeva, or the greatest of all demigods, and no one is equal to or greater than him in the material world. He is almost equal to Lord Vishnu. Although he always associates with Maya, Durga, he is above the reactionary stage of the three modes of material nature, and although he is in charge of devilish characters in the mode of ignorance, he is not affected by such association.

Lord Shiva never accepts any luxurious dress, garland, ornament or ointment. But those who are addicted to the decoration of the body, which is finally eatable by dogs, very luxuriously maintain it as the self. Such persons do not understand Lord Shiva, but they approach him for luxurious material comforts. There are two kinds of devotees of Lord Shiva. One class is the gross materialist seeking only bodily comforts from Lord Shiva, and the other class desires to become one with him. They are mostly impersonalists and prefer to chant sivoham, “I am Shiva,” or “After liberation, I shall become one with Lord Shiva.” In other words, the karmis and jnanis are generally devotees of Lord Shiva’s, but they do not properly understand his real purpose in life. Sometimes so-called devotees of Lord Shiva imitate him in using poisonous intoxicants. Lord Shiva once swallowed an ocean of poison, and thus his throat became blue. The imitation Shivas try to follow him by indulging in poisons, and thus they are ruined. The real purpose of Lord Shiva is to serve the Soul of the soul, Lord Krishna. He desires that all luxurious articles, such as nice garments, garlands, ornaments, and cosmetics, be given to Lord Krishna only because Krishna is the real enjoyer. He refuses to accept such luxurious items himself because they are only meant for Krishna. However, since they do not know this purpose of Lord Shiva, foolish persons either laugh at him or profitlessly try to imitate him.
Source:A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 14 – Text 25 to 29

 

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

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

Diti (mother of demon Hiranyakasipu) neglected all the principles of a scriptural injunction, and therefore, although she was very anxious for auspicious children, she was informed that her children would not be worthy to be the sons of a brahmana. There is a clear indication herein that a brahmana’s son is not always a brahmana. Personalities like Ravana and Hiranyakasipu were actually born of Brahmanas, but they were not accepted as Brahmanas because their fathers did not follow the regulative principles for their birth. Such children are called demons, or Rakshasas. There were only one or two Rakshasas in the previous ages due to the negligence of the disciplinary methods, but during the age of Kali, there is no discipline in sex life. How, then, can one expect good children? Certainly, unwanted children cannot be a source of happiness in society, but through the Krishna consciousness movement, they can be raised to the human standard by chanting the holy name of God. That is the unique contribution of Lord Caitanya to human society.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 14 – Text 38

 

There is no sexual relationship in the spiritual world.

In the material world, opulence is achieved by materialistic persons by dint of their labour. One cannot enjoy material prosperity unless he works very hard to achieve it. But the devotees of the Lord who are residents of Vaikuntha have the opportunity to enjoy a transcendental situation of jewels and emeralds. Ornaments made of gold bedecked with jewels are achieved not by working hard but by the benediction of the Lord. In other words, devotees in the Vaikuntha world, or even in this material world, cannot be poverty-stricken, as is sometimes supposed. They have ample opulence for enjoyment, but they need not labour to achieve them. It is also stated that in the Vaikuntha world the consorts of the residents are many, many times more beautiful than we can find in this material world, even in the higher planets. It is specifically mentioned here that a woman’s large hips are very attractive and they stimulate man’s passion, but the wonderful feature of Vaikuntha is that although the women have large hips and beautiful faces and are decorated with ornaments of emeralds and jewels, the men are so absorbed in Krishna consciousness that the beautiful bodies of the women cannot attract them. In other words, there is an enjoyment of the association of the opposite sex, but there is no sexual relationship. The residents of Vaikuntha have a better standard of pleasure, so there is no need for sexual pleasure.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 15 – Text 20

 

Why it is important to marry a partner of like disposition?

Example 1:
In spite of his condemning persons who approach the Lord for material advantages, Kardama Muni expressed his material inability and desire before the Lord by saying, “Although I know that nothing material should be asked from You, I nevertheless desire to marry a girl of like disposition.” The phrase “like disposition” is very significant. Formerly, boys and girls of similar dispositions were married; the similar natures of the boy and girl were united in order to make them happy. Not more than twenty-five years ago, and perhaps it is still current, parents in India used to consult the horoscope of the boy and girl to see whether there would be a factual union in their psychological conditions. These considerations are very important. Nowadays marriage takes place without such consultation, and therefore, soon after the marriage, there is divorce and separation. Formerly husband and wife used to live together peacefully throughout their whole lives, but nowadays it is a very difficult task.

Kardama Muni wanted to have a wife of like disposition because a wife is necessary to assist in spiritual and material advancement. It is said that a wife yields the fulfillment of all desires in religion, economic development and sense gratification. If one has a nice wife, he is to be considered a most fortunate man. In astrology, a man is considered fortunate who has great wealth, very good sons or a very good wife. Of these three, one who has a very good wife is considered the most fortunate. Before marrying, one should select a wife of like disposition and not be enamored by so-called beauty or other attractive features for sense gratification. In the Bhagavatam, Twelfth Canto, it is said that in the Kali-yuga marriage will be based on the consideration of sex life; as soon as there is the deficiency in sex life, the question of divorce will arise.

Kardama Muni could have asked his benediction from Uma, for it is recommended in the scriptures that if anyone wants a good wife, he should worship Uma. But he preferred to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead because it is recommended in the Bhagavatam that everyone, whether he is full of desires, has no desire or desires liberation, should worship the Supreme Lord. Of these three classes of men, one tries to be happy by the fulfilment of material desires, another wants to be happy by becoming one with the Supreme, and another, the perfect man, is a devotee. He does not want anything in return from the personality of Godhead; he only wants to render transcendental loving service. In any case, everyone should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for He will fulfill everyone’s desire. The advantage of worshiping the Supreme Person is that even if one has desires for material enjoyment if he worships Krishna he will gradually become a pure devotee and have no more material hankering.

Example 2:
The nine principal is, or sages, are Marici, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrgu, Vasistha and Atharva. All these rsis are most important, and Brahma desired that the nine daughters already born of Kardama Muni be handed over to them. Here two words are used very significantly–yatha-silam and yatha-ruci. The daughters should be handed over to the respective rsis, not blindly, but according to the combination of character and taste. That is the art of combining a man and woman. Man and woman should not be united simply on the consideration of sex life. There are many other considerations, especially character and taste. If the taste and character differ between the man and woman their combination will be unhappy. Even about forty years ago, in Indian marriages, the taste and character of the boy and girl were first of all matched, and then they were allowed to marry. This was done under the direction of the respective parents. The parents used to astrologically determine the character and tastes of the boy and girl, and when they corresponded, the match was selected: “This girl and this boy are just suitable, and they should be married.” Other considerations were less important. The same system was also advised at the beginning of the creation by Brahma: “Your daughters should be handed over to the rsis according to taste and character.”

According to astrological calculation, a person is classified according to whether he belongs to the godly or demoniac quality. In that way, the spouse was selected. A girl of godly quality should be handed over to a boy of godly quality. A girl of demoniac quality should be handed over to a boy of demoniac quality. Then they will be happy. But if the girl is demoniac and the boy is godly, then the combination is incompatible; they cannot be happy in such a marriage. At the present moment, because boys and girls are not married according to quality and character, most marriages are unhappy, and there is divorce.

It is foretold in the Twelfth Canto of the Bhagavatam that in this age of Kali married life will be accepted on the consideration of sex only; when the boy and girl are pleased in sex, they get married, and when there is a deficiency in sex, they separate. That is not actual marriage, but a combination of men and women like cats and dogs. Therefore, the children produced in the modern age are not exactly human beings. Human beings must be twice-born. A child is first born of a good father and mother, and then he is born again of the spiritual master and the Vedas. The first mother and father bring about his birth into the world; then the spiritual master and the Vedas become his second father and mother. According to the Vedic system of marriage for producing children, every man and woman was enlightened in spiritual knowledge, and at the time of their combination to produce a child, everything was scrutinized and scientifically done.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 15 – Text 24 and Chapter 21 – Text 15

 

Lord sometimes comes to the material world as an incarnation in order to manifest His fighting spirit.

The Lord stated that the punishment inflicted by the sages upon the doorkeepers Jaya and Vijaya was conceived by the Lord Himself. Without the Lord’s sanction, nothing can happen. It is to be understood that there was a plan in the cursing of the Lord’s devotees in Vaikuntha, and His plan is explained by many stalwart authorities. The Lord sometimes desires to fight. The fighting spirit also exists in the Supreme Lord, otherwise how could fighting be manifested at all? Because the Lord is the source of everything, anger and fighting are also inherent in His personality. When He desires to fight with someone, He has to find an enemy, but in the Vaikuntha world there is no enemy because everyone is engaged fully in His service. Therefore He sometimes comes to the material world as an incarnation in order to manifest His fighting spirit.

In Bhagavad-gita (4.8) also it is said that the Lord appears just to give protection to the devotees and to annihilate the nondevotees. The nondevotees are found in the material world, not in the spiritual world; therefore, when the Lord wants to fight, He has to come to this world. But who will fight with the Supreme Lord? No one is able to fight with Him! Therefore, because the Lord’s pastimes in the material world are always performed with His associates, not with others, He has to find some devotee who will play the part of an enemy. In Bhagavad-gita the Lord says to Arjuna, “My dear Arjuna, both you and I have appeared many, many times in this material world, but you have forgotten, whereas I remember.” Thus Jaya and Vijaya were selected by the Lord to fight with Him in the material world, and that was the reason the sages came to see Him and accidentally the doorkeepers were cursed. It was the Lord’s desire to send them to the material world, not perpetually, but for some time. Therefore, just as on a theatrical stage someone takes the part of enemy to the proprietor of the stage, although the play is for a short time and there is no permanent enmity between the servant and the proprietor, so the sura janas (devotees) were cursed by the sages to go to the asura jana, or atheistic families. That a devotee should come into an atheistic family is surprising, but it is simply a show. After finishing their mock fighting, both the devotee and the Lord are again associated in the spiritual planets. That is very explicitly explained here. The conclusion is that no one falls from the spiritual world, or Vaikuntha planet, for it is the eternal abode. But sometimes, as the Lord desires, devotees come into this material world as preachers or as atheists. In each case we must understand that there is a plan of the Lord. Lord Buddha, for example, was an incarnation, yet he preached atheism: “There is no God.” But actually there was a plan behind this, as explained in the Bhagavatam.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 16 – Text 26

 

A devotee is never disturbed by reverses, when something is arranged by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

When something is arranged by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one should not be disturbed by it, even if it appears to be a reverse according to one’s calculations. For example, sometimes we see that a powerful preacher is killed, or sometimes he is put into difficulty, just as Haridasa Thakura was. He was a great devotee who came into this material world to execute the will of the Lord by preaching the Lord’s glories. But Haridasa was punished at the hands of the Kazi by being beaten in twenty-two marketplaces. Similarly, Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, and Prahlada Maharaja was put through so many tribulations. The Pandavas, who were direct friends of Krishna, lost their kingdom, their wife was insulted, and they had to undergo many severe tribulations. Seeing all these reverses affect devotees, one should not be disturbed; one should simply understand that in these matters there must be some plan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Bhagavatam’s conclusion is that a devotee is never disturbed by such reverses. He accepts even reverse conditions as the grace of the Lord. One who continues to serve the Lord even in reverse conditions is assured that he will go back to Godhead, back to the Vaikuntha planets. Lord Brahma assured the demigods that there was no use in talking about how the disturbing situation of darkness was taking place since the actual fact was that it was ordered by the Supreme Lord. Brahma knew this because he was a great devotee; it was possible for him to understand the plan of the Lord.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 16 – Text 37

 

To check the increase of demoniac population it is important to follow the garbhadhana process.

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

To check the increase of demoniac population, the Vedic civilization enacted so many rules and regulations of social life, the most important of which is the garbhadhana process for begetting good children. In Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna informed Krishna that if there is an unwanted population (Varna-Sankara), the entire world will appear to be hell. People are very anxious for peace in the world, but there are so many unwanted children born without the benefit of the garbhadhana ceremony, just like the demons born from Diti. Diti was so lusty that she forced her husband to copulate at a time which was inauspicious, and therefore the demons were born to create disturbances. In having a sex life to beget children, one should observe the process for begetting nice children; if each and every householder in every family observes the Vedic system, then there are nice children, not demons, and automatically there is peace in the world. If we do not follow regulations in life for social tranquillity, we cannot expect peace. Rather, we will have to undergo the harsh reactions of natural laws.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 17 – Text 15

 

The mother brings forth twins in a reverse order to that in which they were first conceived.

There is authoritative Vedic literature called Pinda-siddhi in which the scientific understanding of pregnancy is very nicely described. It is stated that when the male secretion enters the menstrual flux in the uterus in two successive drops, the mother develops two embryos in her womb, and she brings forth twins in a reverse order to that in which they were first conceived; the child conceived first is born later, and the one conceived later is brought forth first. The first child conceived in the womb lives behind the second child, so when birth takes place the second child appears first, and the first child appears second. In this case, it is understood that Hiranyaksa, the second child conceived, was delivered first, whereas Hiranyakasipu, the child who was behind him, having been conceived first, was born second.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 17 – Text 18

 

What is shraddha? The devotee of the Lord does not need to perform such ritualistic ceremonies.

“Shraddha is a ritualistic performance observed by the followers of the Vedas. There is a yearly occasion of fifteen days when ritualistic religionists follow the principle of offering oblations to departed souls. Thus those fathers and ancestors who, by freaks of nature, might not have a gross body for material enjoyment can again gain such bodies due to the offering of shraddha oblations by their descendants. The performance of Shraddha, or offering oblations with Prasada, is still current in India, especially at Gaya, where oblations are offered at the lotus feet of Viṣṇu in a celebrated temple. Because the Lord is thus pleased with the devotional service of the descendants, by His grace He liberates the condemned souls of forefathers who do not have gross bodies, and He favors them to again receive a gross body for development of spiritual advancement.

Unfortunately, by the influence of Maya, the conditioned soul employs the body he gets for sense gratification, forgetting that such occupation may lead him to return to an invisible body. The devotee of the Lord, or one who is in Krishna consciousness, however, does not need to perform such ritualistic ceremonies as shraddha because he is always pleasing the Supreme Lord; therefore his fathers and ancestors who might have been in difficulty are automatically relieved. The vivid example is Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada Maharaja requested Lord Nrsimhadeva to deliver his sinful father, who had so many times offended the lotus feet of the Lord. The Lord replied that in a family where a Vaisnava like Prahlada is born, not only his father but his father’s father and their fathers–up to the fourteenth father back–are all automatically delivered. The conclusion, therefore, is that Krishna consciousness is the sum total of all good work for the family, for society and for all living entities. In the Caitanya-caritamrta the author says that a person fully conversant with Krishna consciousness does not perform any rituals because he knows that simply by serving Krishna in full Krishna consciousness, all rituals are automatically performed.”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 20 – Text 43

 

Yoga practice can be successfully performed by persons who have a very long duration of life.

“The eight divisions of yoga performance are described as (1) control of the senses, (2) strict following of the rules and regulations, (3) practice of the different sitting postures, (4) control of the breath, (5) withdrawing the senses from sense objects, (6) concentration of the mind, (7) meditation and (8) self-realization. After self-realization, there are eight further perfectional stages, which are called yoga-siddhis. The system of yoga entails controlling the mind, and the Lord of the mind is Aniruddha. It is stated that Aniruddha is four-handed, with Sudarsana cakra, conchshell, club and lotus flower. There are twenty-four forms of Vishnu, each differently named. Among these twenty-four forms, Sankarsana, Aniruddha, Pradyumna and Vasudeva are depicted very nicely in the Caitanya-caritamrta, where it is stated that Aniruddha is worshiped by the yogis. Meditation upon voidness is a modern invention of the fertile brain of some speculator. Actually, the process of yoga meditation, as prescribed in this verse, should be fixed upon the form of Aniruddha. By meditating on Aniruddha one can become free from the agitation of acceptance and rejection. When one’s mind is fixed upon Aniruddha, one gradually becomes God-realized; he approaches the pure status of Krishna consciousness, which is the ultimate goal of yoga.

It is understood herein that Kardama Muni meditated in yoga for ten thousand years before attaining perfection. Similarly, we have information that Valmiki Muni also practiced yoga meditation for sixty thousand years before attaining perfection. Therefore, yoga practice can be successfully performed by persons who have a very long duration of life, such as one hundred thousand years; in that way, it is possible to have perfection in yoga. Otherwise, there is no possibility of attaining real perfection. Following the regulations, controlling the senses and practicing the different sitting postures are merely the preliminary practices. We do not know how people can be captivated by the bogus yoga system in which it is stated that simply by meditating fifteen minutes daily one can attain the perfection of becoming one with God. This age (Kali-yuga) is the age of bluffing and quarrel. Actually, there is no possibility of attaining yoga perfection by such paltry proposals. The Vedic literature, for emphasis, clearly states three times that in this age of Kali–kalau nasty Eva nasty Eva nasty Eva–there is no other alternative, no other alternative, no other alternative than harer nama, chanting the holy name of the Lord.”
Source: “A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), ” Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 21 – Text 04 & 06
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), ” Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 28

 

Intercaste marriage was current even in the olden days.

“Only by God’s grace can one get a nice wife just as he desires. Similarly, it is only by God’s grace that a girl gets a husband suitable to her heart. Thus it is said that if we pray to the Supreme Lord in every transaction of our material existence, everything will be done very nicely and just suitable to our heart’s desire. In other words, in all circumstances, we must take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and depend completely on His decision. Man proposes God disposes. The fulfillment of desires, therefore, should be entrusted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead that is the nicest solution. Kardama Muni desired only a wife, but because he was a devotee of the Lord, the Lord selected a wife for him who was the Emperor’s daughter, a princess. Thus Kardama Muni got a wife beyond his expectation. If we depend on the choice of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we will receive benedictions in greater opulence than we desire. It is also significantly noted here that Kardama Muni was a brahmana, whereas Emperor Svayambhuva was a Kshatriya. Therefore, intercaste marriage was current even in those days. The system was that a brahmana could marry the daughter of a Kshatriya, but a Kshatriya could not marry the daughter of a brahmana. We have evidence from the history of the Vedic age that Sukracarya offered his daughter to Maharaja Yayati, but the King had to refuse to marry the daughter of a brahmana only with the special permission of the brahmana could they marry. Intercaste marriage, therefore, was not prohibited in the olden days, many millions of years ago, but there was a regular system of social behavior.”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 21 – Text 28

 

The dowry is a gift given to the daughter by the father to show goodwill.

“The custom of giving one’s daughter in charity with a dowry is still current in India. The gifts are given according to the position of the father of the bride. Paribarhan maha-dhanan means the dowry which must be awarded to the bridegroom at the time of marriage. Here maha-dhanan means greatly valuable gifts befitting the dowry of an empress. The words bhusa-vasah paricchadan also appear here. Bhusa means “ornaments,” vasah means “clothing,” and paricchadan means “various household articles.” All things befitting the marriage ceremony of an emperor’s daughter were awarded to Kardama Muni, who was until now observing celibacy as a Brahmacari. The bride, Devahuti, was very richly dressed in ornaments and clothing.

In this way, Kardama Muni was married with full opulence to a qualified wife and was endowed with the necessary paraphernalia for household life. In the Vedic way of marriage such a dowry is still given to the bridegroom by the father of the bride; even in poverty-stricken India, there are marriages where hundreds and thousands of rupees are spent for a dowry. The dowry system is not illegal, as some have tried to prove. The dowry is a gift given to the daughter by the father to show good will, and it is compulsory. In rare cases where the father is completely unable to give a dowry, it is enjoined that he must at least give fruit and a flower. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, God can also be pleased even by fruit and a flower. When there are financial inability and no question of accumulating a dowry by another means, one can give fruit and flower for the satisfaction of the bridegroom.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 22 – Text 23

 

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

Devahuti was too sexually excited, and therefore she discharged more ova, and nine daughters were born. It is said in the smrti-sastra as well as in the Ayurveda that when the discharge of the male is greater, male children are begotten, but when the discharge of the female is greater, female children are begotten. It appears from the circumstances that Devahuti was more sexually excited, and therefore she had nine daughters at once. All the daughters, however, were very beautiful, and their bodies were nicely formed; each resembled a lotus flower and was fragrant like a lotus.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 23 – Text 48

 

The illusory material energy is cheating everyone.

An intelligent man should utilize good opportunities. The first opportunity is the human form of life, and the second opportunity is to take birth in a suitable family where there is a cultivation of spiritual knowledge; this is rarely obtained. The greatest opportunity is to have the association of a saintly person. Devahuti was conscious that she was born as the daughter of an emperor. She was sufficiently educated and cultured, and at last, she got Kardama Muni, a saintly person, and a great yogi, as her husband. Still, if she did not get liberation from the entanglement of material energy, then certainly she would be cheated by the insurmountable illusory energy. Actually, the illusory, material energy is cheating everyone. People do not know what they are doing when they worship the material energy in the form of goddess Kali or Durga for material boons. They ask, “Mother, give me great riches, give me a good wife, give me fame, give me victory.” But such devotees of the goddess Maya, or Durga, do not know that they are being cheated by that goddess. Material achievement is actually no achievement because as soon as one is illusioned by the material gifts, he becomes more and more entangled, and there is no question of liberation. One should be intelligent enough to know how to utilize material assets for the purpose of spiritual realization. That is called karma-yoga or jnana-yoga. Whatever we have we should use as service to the Supreme Person. It is advised in Bhagavad-gita sva-karmana tam abhyarcya: one should try to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead by one’s assets. There are many forms of service to the Supreme Lord, and anyone can render service unto Him according to the best of his ability.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 23 – Text 57

 

Lord Vishnu (Krishna) is known as tri-yuga.

Lord Vishnu is called tri-yuga. He appears in three yugas–Satya, Treta, and Dvapara–but in Kali-yuga He does not appear. From the prayers of Prahlada Maharaja, however, we understand that He appears garbed as a devotee in Kali-yuga. Lord Caitanya is that devotee. Krishna appeared in the form of a devotee, but although He never disclosed Himself, Rupa Gosvami could understand His identity, for the Lord cannot hide Himself from a pure devotee. Rupa Gosvami detected Him when he offered his first obeisances to Lord Caitanya. He knew that Lord Caitanya was Krishna Himself and therefore offered his obeisances with the following words: “I offer my respects to Krishna, who has now appeared as Lord Caitanya.” This is also confirmed in the prayers of Prahlada Maharaja: in Kali-yuga He does not directly appear, but He appears as a devotee. Vishnu, therefore, is known as tri-yuga. Another explanation of tri-yuga is that He has three pairs of divine attributes, namely power and affluence, piety and renown, and wisdom and dispassion. According to Sridhara Svami, His three pairs of opulence are complete riches and complete strength, complete fame and complete beauty, and complete wisdom and complete renunciation. There are different interpretations of tri-yuga, but it is accepted by all learned scholars that tri-yuga means Vishnu.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 24 – Text 26

 

The time factor is so pressing that in the course of time everything within this material world is spoiled or lost.

It is not true that Sankhya philosophy is a new system of philosophy introduced by Kapila as material philosophers introduce new kinds of mental speculative thought to supersede that of another philosopher. On the material platform, everyone, especially the mental speculator, tries to be more prominent than others. The field of activity of the speculators is the mind; there is no limit to the different ways in which one can agitate the mind. The mind can be unlimitedly agitated, and thus one can put forward an unlimited number of theories. Sankhya philosophy is not like that; it is not mental speculation. It is factual, but at the time of Kapila, it was lost.

In due course of time, a particular type of knowledge may be lost or may be covered for the time being; that is the nature of this material world. A similar statement was made by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad-gita. Sa kaleneha mahata yogo nastah: “In course of time the yoga system as stated in Bhagavad-gita was lost.” It was coming in parampara, in disciplic succession, but due to the passage of time, it was lost. The time factor is so pressing that in the course of time everything within this material world is spoiled or lost. The yoga system of Bhagavad-gita was lost before the meeting of Krishna and Arjuna. Therefore Krishna again enunciated the same ancient yoga system to Arjuna, who could actually understand Bhagavad-gita. Similarly, Kapila also said that the system of Sankhya philosophy was not exactly being introduced by Him; it was already current, but in course of time it was mysteriously lost, and therefore He appeared to reintroduce it. That is the purpose of the incarnation of Godhead.

Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata.

Dharma means the real occupation of the living entity. When there is a discrepancy in the eternal occupation of the living entity, the Lord comes and introduces the real occupation of life. Any so-called religious system that is not in the line of devotional service is called adharma-samsthapana. When people forget their eternal relationship with God and engage in something other than devotional service, their engagement is called irreligion. How one can get out of the miserable condition of material life is stated in Sankhya philosophy, and the Lord Himself is explaining this sublime system.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 24 – Text 37

 

A woman is not supposed to take sannyasa.

Kardama Muni was anxious about his good wife, Devahuti, while leaving home, and so the worthy son promised that not only would Kardama Muni be freed from the material entanglement, but Devahuti would also be freed by receiving instruction from her son. A very good example is set here: the husband goes away, taking the sannyasa order for self-realization, but his representative, the son, who is equally educated, remains at home to deliver the mother. A sannyasi is not supposed to take his wife with him. At the vanaprastha stage of retired life, or the stage midway between householder life and renounced life, one may keep his wife as an assistant without sex relations, but in the sannyasa order of life one cannot keep his wife with him. Otherwise, a person like Kardama Muni could have kept his wife with him, and there would have been no hindrance to his prosecution of self-realization.

Kardama Muni followed the Vedic injunction that no one in sannyasa life can have any kind of relationship with women. But what is the position of a woman who is left by her husband? She is entrusted to the son, and the son promises that he will deliver his mother from entanglement. A woman is not supposed to take sannyasa. So-called spiritual societies concocted in modern times give sannyasa even to women, although there is no sanction in the Vedic literature for a woman’s accepting sannyasa. Otherwise, if it were sanctioned, Kardama Muni could have taken his wife and given her sannyasa. The woman must remain at home. She has only three stages of life: dependency on the father in childhood, dependency on the husband in youth and, in old age, dependency on the grown-up son, such as Kapila. In old age the progress of woman depends on the grown-up son. The ideal son, Kapila Muni, is assuring His father of the deliverance of His mother so that His father may go peacefully without anxiety for his good wife.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 24 – Text 40

 

Why Bhakti is better then Mukti?

Bhakti is in a far higher position than mukti because a person’s endeavor to get liberation from the material engagement is automatically served in devotional service. The example is given here that the fire in the stomach can digest whatever we eat. If the digestive power is sufficient, then whatever we can eat will be digested by the fire in the stomach. Similarly, a devotee does not have to try separately to attain liberation. That very service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the process of his liberation because to engage oneself in the service of the Lord is to liberate oneself from material entanglement. Sri Bilvamangala Thakura explained this position very nicely. He said, “If I have unflinching devotion unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, then mukti, or liberation, serves me as my maidservant. Mukti, the maidservant, is always ready to do whatever I ask.”
For a devotee, liberation is no problem at all. Liberation takes place without separate endeavor. Bhakti, therefore, is far better then mukti or the impersonalist position. The impersonalists undergo severe penances and austerities to attain mukti, but the bhakta, simply by engaging himself in the bhakti process, especially in chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, immediately develops control over the tongue by engaging it in chanting, and accepting the remnants of foodstuff offered to the Personality of Godhead. As soon as the tongue is controlled, naturally all other senses are controlled automatically. Sense control is the perfection of the yoga principle, and one’s liberation begins immediately as soon as he engages himself in the service of the Lord. It is confirmed by Kapiladeva that bhakti, or devotional service, is gariyasi, more glorious than siddhi, liberation.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 25 – Text 33

 

Difference between a mayawadi and a pure devotee.

There are many so-called devotees who think that in the conditioned state we may worship the Personality of Godhead but that ultimately there is no personality; they say that since the Absolute Truth is impersonal, one can imagine a personal form of the impersonal Absolute Truth for the time being, but as soon as one becomes liberated the worship stops. That is the theory put forward by the Mayavada philosophy. Actually, the impersonalists do not merge into the existence of the Supreme Person but into His personal bodily luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. Although that brahmajyoti is not different from His personal body, that sort of oneness (merging into the bodily luster of the Personality of Godhead) is not accepted by a pure devotee because the devotees engage in greater pleasure than the so-called pleasure of merging into His existence. The greatest pleasure is to serve the Lord. Devotees are always thinking about how to serve Him; they are always designing ways and means to serve the Supreme Lord, even in the midst of the greatest obstacles of material existence.

The Mayavadis accept the description of the pastimes of the Lord as stories, but actually, they are not stories; they are historical facts. Pure devotees accept the narrations of the pastimes of the Lord not as stories but as Absolute Truth. The words mama paurusani are significant. Devotees are very much attached to glorifying the activities of the Lord, whereas the Mayavadis cannot even think of these activities. According to them, the Absolute Truth is impersonal. Without personal existence, how can there be activity? The impersonalists take the activities mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavadgita and other Vedic literatures as fictitious stories, and therefore they interpret them most mischievously. They have no idea of the Personality of Godhead. They unnecessarily poke their noses into the scripture and interpret it in a deceptive way in order to mislead the innocent public. The activities of Mayavada philosophy are very dangerous to the public, and therefore Lord Caitanya warned us never to hear from any Mayavadi about any scripture. They will spoil the entire process, and the person hearing them will never be able to come to the path of devotional service to attain the highest perfection or will be able to do so only after a very long time.

It is clearly stated by Kapila Muni that bhakti activities, or activities in devotional service, are transcendental to mukti. This is called pancama-purusartha. Generally, people engage in the activities of religion, economic development, and sense gratification, and ultimately they work with an idea that they are going to become one with the Supreme Lord (mukti). But bhakti is transcendental to all these activities. The Srimad-Bhagavatam, therefore, begins by stating that all kinds of pretentious religiosity are completely eradicated from the Bhagavatam. Ritualistic activities for economic development and sense gratification and, after frustration in sense gratification, the desire to become one with the Supreme Lord, are all completely rejected in the Bhagavatam. The Bhagavatam is especially meant for the pure devotees, who always engage in Krishna consciousness, in the activities of the Lord, and always glorify these transcendental activities. Pure devotees worship the transcendental activities of the Lord in Vrindavana, Dvaraka and Mathura as they are narrated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Puranas. The Mayavadi philosophers completely reject them as stories, but actually, they are great and worshipable subject matters and thus are relishable only for devotees. That is the difference between a Mayavadi and a pure devotee.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 25 – Text 34

 

No Material scientific advancement can produce life.

Material nature’s primal factor is the mahat-tattva or breeding source of all varieties. This part of material nature, which is called pradhana as well as Brahman, is impregnated by the Supreme Personality of Godhead and delivers varieties of living entities. Material nature in this connection is called Brahman because it is a perverted reflection of the spiritual nature.

It is described in the Vishnu Purana that the living entities belong to the spiritual nature. The potency of the Supreme Lord is spiritual, and the living entities, although they are called marginal potency, are also spiritual. If the living entities were not spiritual, this description of impregnation by the Supreme Lord would not be applicable. The Supreme Lord does not put His semen into that which is not spiritual, but it is stated here that the Supreme Person puts His semen into material nature. This means that the living entities are spiritual by nature. After impregnation, material nature delivers all kinds of living entities, beginning from the greatest living creature, Lord Brahma, down to the insignificant ant, in all varieties of form. In Bhagavad-gita (14.4) material nature is clearly mentioned as Sarva-yonisu. This means that of all varieties of species–demigods, human beings, animals, birds and beasts (whatever is manifested)– material nature is the mother, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the seed-giving father.

Generally, it is experienced that the father gives life to the child but the mother gives its body; although the seed of life is given by the father, the body develops within the womb of the mother. Similarly, the spiritual living entities are impregnated into the womb of material nature, but the body, being supplied by material nature, takes on many different species and forms of life. The theory that the symptoms of life are manifest by the interaction of the twenty-four material elements is not supported here. The living force comes directly from the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is completely spiritual. Therefore, no material scientific advancement can produce life. The living force comes from the spiritual world and has nothing to do with the interaction of the material elements.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 19

 

Lord expansion as the four Personalities of Godhead.

The Vasudeva manifestation, or the status of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is called pure goodness, or suddha-sattva. In the suddha-sattva status there is no infringement of the other qualities, namely passion and ignorance. In the Vedic literature, there is mention of the Lord’s expansion as the four Personalities of Godhead–Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. Here in the reappearance of the mahat-tattva the four expansions of Godhead occur. He who is seated within as Supersoul expands first as Vasudeva. The Vasudeva stage is free from infringement by material desires and is the status in which one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead or the object which is described in the Bhagavad-gita as adbhuta. This is another feature of the mahat-tattva. The Vasudeva expansion is also called Krishna consciousness, for it is free from all tinges of material passion and ignorance. This clear state of understanding helps one to know the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Vasudeva status is also explained in Bhagavad-gita as kshetra-jna, which refers to the knower of the field of activities as well as the Superknower. The living being who has occupied a particular type of body knows that body, but the Superknower, Vasudeva, knows not only a particular type of body but also the field of activities in all the different varieties of bodies. In order to be situated in clear consciousness, or Krishna consciousness, one must worship Vasudeva. Vasudeva is Krishna alone. When Krishna, or Vishnu, is alone, without the accompaniment of His internal energy, He is Vasudeva. When He is accompanied by His internal potency, He is called Dvarakadhisa. To have clear consciousness or Krishna consciousness, one has to worship Vasudeva. It is also explained in Bhagavad-gita that after many, many births one surrenders to Vasudeva. Such a great soul is very rare.

In order to get a release from the false ego, one has to worship Sankarsana. Sankarsana is also worshiped through Lord Siva; the snakes which cover the body of Lord Siva are representations of Sankarsana, and Lord Siva is always absorbed in meditation upon Sankarsana. One who is actually a worshiper of Lord Siva as a devotee of Sankarsana can be released from false, material ego. If one wants to get free from mental disturbances, one has to worship Aniruddha. For this purpose, worship of the moon planet is also recommended in the Vedic literature. Similarly, to be fixed in one’s intelligence one has to worship Pradyumna, who is reached through the worship of Brahma. These matters are explained in Vedic literature.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 21

 

The false ego is born because of misuse of independence.

In the beginning, from clear consciousness, or the pure state of Krishna consciousness, the first contamination sprang up. This is called a false ego, or identification of the body as self. The living entity exists in the natural state of Krishna consciousness, but he has marginal independence, and this allows him to forget Krishna. Originally, pure Krishna consciousness exists, but because of the misuse of marginal independence, there is a chance of forgetting Krishna. This is exhibited in actual life; there are many instances in which someone acting in Krishna consciousness suddenly changes. In the Upanishads, it is stated, therefore, that the path of spiritual realization is just like the sharp edge of a razor. The example is very appropriate. One shaves his cheeks with a sharp razor very nicely, but as soon as his attention is diverted from the activity, he immediately cuts his cheek because he mishandles the razor.

Not only must one come to the stage of pure Krishna consciousness, but one must also be very careful. Any inattentiveness or carelessness may cause fall down. This fall down is due to a false ego. From the status of pure consciousness, the false ego is born because of misuse of independence. We cannot argue about why false ego arises from pure consciousness. Factually, there is always the chance that this will happen, and therefore one has to be very careful. False ego is the basic principle for all material activities, which are executed in the modes of material nature. As soon as one deviates from pure Krishna consciousness, he increases his entanglement in material reaction. The entanglement of materialism is the material mind, and from this material mind, the senses and material organs become manifest.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 24

 

By false ego all material things are produced as objects of enjoyment.

Ahankara, or false ego, is transformed into the demigods, the controlling directors of material affairs. As an instrument, the false ego is represented as different senses and sense organs, and as the result of the combination of the demigods and the senses, material objects are produced. In the material world, we are producing so many things, and this is called advancement of civilization, but factually the advancement of civilization is a manifestation of the false ego. By false ego, all material things are produced as objects of enjoyment. One has to cease increasing artificial necessities in the form of material objects. One great acarya, Narottama dasa Thakura, has lamented that when one deviates from a pure consciousness of Vasudeva, or Krishna consciousness, he becomes entangled in material activities. The exact words he uses are, sat-sang chadi’ kainu asate vilasa/ te-karane lagila ye karma-bandha-phansa: “I have given up the pure status of consciousness because I wanted to enjoy in the temporary, material manifestation; therefore I have been entangled in the network of actions and reactions.”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 26

 

Mind is a product of egoism in goodness and intelligence is a product of egoism in passion.

The mind is the product of ego in goodness and the function of the mind is acceptance and rejection according to desire. But here intelligence is said to be the product of ego in passion. That is the distinction between mind and intelligence; mind is a product of egoism in goodness, and intelligence is a product of egoism in passion. The desire to accept something and reject something is a very important factor of the mind. Since mind is a product of the mode of goodness, if it is fixed upon the Lord of the mind, Aniruddha, then the mind can be changed to Krishna consciousness. It is stated by Narottama dasa Thakura that we always have desires. Desire cannot be stopped. But if we transfer our desires to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that is the perfection of life. As soon as the desire is transferred to lording it over material nature, it becomes contaminated by matter. Desire has to be purified. In the beginning, this purification process has to be carried out by the order of the spiritual master, since the spiritual master knows how the disciple’s desires can be transformed into Krishna consciousness. As far as intelligence is concerned, it is clearly stated here that it is a product of egoism in passion. By practice one comes to the point of the mode of goodness, and by surrendering or fixing the mind upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one becomes a very great personality, or mahatma. In Bhagavad-gita it is clearly said, sa mahatma sudurlabhah: “Such a great soul is very rare.”

In this verse it is clear that both kinds of senses, the senses for acquiring knowledge and the senses for action are products of egoism in the mode of passion. And because the sense organs for activity and for acquiring knowledge require energy, the vital energy, or life energy, is also produced by egoism in the mode of passion. We can actually see, therefore, that those who are very passionate can improve in material acquisition very quickly. It is recommended in the Vedic scriptures that if one wants to encourage a person in acquiring material possessions, one should also encourage him in sex life. We naturally find that those who are addicted to sex life are also materially advanced because sex life or passionate life is the impetus for the material advancement of civilization. For those who want to make spiritual advancement, there is almost no existence of the mode of passion. Only the mode of goodness is prominent. We find that those who engage in Krishna consciousness are materially poor, but one who has eyes can see who is the greater. Although he appears to be materially poor, a person in Krishna consciousness is not actually a poor man, but the person who has no taste tor Krishna consciousness and appears to be very happy with material possessions is actually poor. Persons infatuated by material consciousness are very intelligent in discovering things for material comforts, but they have no access to understanding the spirit soul and spiritual life. Therefore, if anyone wants to advance in spiritual life, he has to come back to the platform of purified desire, the purified desire for devotional service. As stated in the Narada-pancaratra, engagement in the service of the Lord when the senses are purified in Krishna consciousness is called pure devotion.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 31

 

Without the living energy, there is no possibility that matter can take shape.

In sex life, the combination of matter from the parents, which involves emulsification and secretion, creates the situation whereby a soul is received within matter, and the combination of matter gradually develops into a complete body. The same principle exists in the universal creation: the ingredients were present, but only when the Lord entered into the material elements was matter actually agitated. That is the cause of creation. We can see this in our ordinary experience. Although we may have clay, water, and fire, the elements take the shape of brick only when we labor to combine them. Without the living energy, there is no possibility that matter can take shape. Similarly, this material world does not develop unless agitated by the Supreme Lord as the Virat-purusa. Yasmad udatisthad asau Virat: by His agitation, space was created, and the universal form of the Lord also manifested therein.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 51

 

Detailed description of the universe.

“This universe, or the universal sky which we can visualize with its innumerable planets, is shaped just like an egg. As an egg is covered by a shell, the universe is also covered by various layers. The first layer is water, the next is fire, then air, the sky, and the ultimate holding crust is pradhana. Within this egglike universe is the universal form of the Lord as the Virat-purusa. All the different planetary situations are parts of His body. This is already explained at the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Second Canto. The planetary systems are considered to form different bodily parts of that universal form of the Lord. Persons who cannot directly engage in the worship of the transcendental form of the Lord are advised to think of and worship this universal form. The lowest planetary system, Patala, is considered to be the sole of the Supreme Lord, and the earth is considered to be the belly of the Lord. Brahmaloka, or the highest planetary system, where Brahma lives, is considered to be the head of the Lord.

This Virat-purusa is considered an incarnation of the Lord. The original form of the Lord is Kṛṣṇa, as confirmed in Brahma-Samhita: Adi-purusa. The Virat-purusa is also purusa, but He is not adi-purusa. The adi-purusa is Kṛṣṇa. Isvarah paramah Kṛṣṇah sac-cid-Ananda-vigrahah. anadir Adir govindah. In Bhagavadgita, Kṛṣṇa is also accepted as the Adi-purusa, the original. Kṛṣṇa says, ” No one is greater than I.” There are innumerable expansions of the Lord, and all of them are purusas, or enjoyers, but neither the Virat-purusa nor the purusa-avataras–Karanodakasayi Viṣṇu, Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu, and Ksirodakasayi Viṣṇu–nor any of the many other expansions, is the original. In each universe, there are Garbhodakasayi Viṣṇu, the viratpurusa, and Ksirodakasayi Viṣṇu. The active manifestation of the Virat-purusa is described here. Persons who are in the lower grade of understanding regarding the Supreme Personality of Godhead may think of the universal form of the Lord, for that is advised in the Bhagavatam.

The dimensions of the universe are estimated here. The outer covering is made of layers of water, air, fire, sky, ego, and mahat-tattva, and each layer is ten times greater than the one previous. The space within the hollow of the universe cannot be measured by any human scientist or anyone else, and beyond the hollow, there are seven coverings, each one ten times greater than the one preceding it. The layer of water is ten times greater than the diameter of the universe, and the layer of fire is ten times greater than that of water. Similarly, the layer of air is ten times greater than that of fire. These dimensions are all inconceivable to the tiny brain of a human being.

It is also stated that this description is of only one egglike universe. There are innumerable universes besides this one, and some of them are many, many times greater. It is considered, in fact, that this universe is the smallest; therefore the predominating superintendent, or Brahma, has only four heads for management. In other universes, which are far greater than this one, Brahma has more heads. In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is stated that all these Brahmas were called one day by Lord Kṛṣṇa on the inquiry of the small Brahma, who, after seeing all the larger Brahmas, was thunderstruck. That is the inconceivable potency of the Lord. No one can measure the length and breadth of God by speculation or by false identification with God. These attempts are symptoms of lunacy”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 52

 

The more one is addicted to sexual enjoyment, the more susceptible he is to a quick death.

Yogis and transcendentalists who want to live for greater spans of life voluntarily restrain themselves from discharging semen. The more one can restrain the discharge of semen, the more one can be aloof from the problem of death. There are many yogis living up to three hundred or seven hundred years by this process, and in the Bhagavatam, it is clearly stated that discharging semen is the cause of horrible death. The more one is addicted to sexual enjoyment, the more susceptible he is to a quick death.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 57

 

After being freed from the material body where does the soul go?

“Sva-samsthana indicates that the impersonalists have no particular place to stay. The impersonalists sacrifice their individuality so that the living spark can merge into the impersonal effulgence emanating from the transcendental body of the Lord, but the devotee has a specific abode. The planets rest in the sunshine, but the sunshine itself has no particular resting place. When one reaches a particular planet, then he has a resting place. The spiritual sky, which is known as Kaivalya, is simply blissful light on all sides, and it is under the protection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (14.27), brahmano hi pratisthaham: the impersonal Brahman effulgence rests on the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, the bodily effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is kaivalya, or impersonal Brahman. In that impersonal effulgence, there are spiritual planets, which are known as Vaikuntha, chief of which is Kṛṣṇaloka. Some devotees are elevated to the Vaikuntha planets, and some are elevated to the planet Kṛṣṇaloka. According to the desire of the particular devotee, he is offered a particular abode, which is known as sva-samsthana, his desired destination. By the grace of the Lord, the self-realized devotee engaged in devotional service understands his destination even while in the material body. He, therefore, performs his devotional activities steadily, without doubting, and after quitting his material body he at once reaches the destination for which he has prepared himself. After reaching that abode, he never comes back to this material world.

The words lingad vinirgame, which are used here, mean “after being freed from the two kinds of material bodies, subtle and gross.” The subtle body is made of mind, intelligence, false ego, and contaminated consciousness, and the gross body is made of five elements–earth, water, fire, air, and ether.

When one is transferred to the spiritual world, he gives up both the subtle and gross bodies of this material world. He enters the spiritual sky in his pure, spiritual body and is stationed in one of the spiritual planets. Although the impersonalists also reach that spiritual sky after giving up the subtle and gross material bodies, they are not placed in the spiritual planets; as they desire, they are allowed to merge in the spiritual effulgence emanating from the transcendental body of the Lord. The word svasamsthanam is also very significant. As a living entity prepares himself, so he attains his abode. The impersonal Brahman effulgence is offered to the impersonalists, but those who want to associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His transcendental form as Narayana in the Vaikunthas, or with Krishna in Kṛṣṇaloka, go to those abodes, wherefrom they never return.”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 27 – Text 29

 

Activities of liberated soul are to be accepted as the continuation of past activities.

The following questions may be posed. As long as the liberated soul is in contact with the body, why don’t the bodily activities affect him? Doesn’t he actually become contaminated by the action and reaction of material activities? In answer to such questions, this verse explains that the material body of a liberated soul is taken charge of by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is not acting due to the living force of the living entity; it is simply acting as a reaction to past activities. Even after being switched off, an electric fan moves for some time. That movement is not due to the electric current, but is a continuation of the last movement; similarly, although a liberated soul appears to be acting just like an ordinary man, his actions are to be accepted as the continuation of past activities. In a dream one may see himself expanded through many bodies, but when awake he can understand that those bodies were all false. Similarly, although a liberated soul has the by-products of the body–children, wife, house, etc.–he does not identify himself with those bodily expansions. He knows that they are all products of the material dream. The gross body is made of the gross elements of matter, and the subtle body is made of mind, intelligence, ego and contaminated consciousness. If one can accept the subtle body of a dream as false and not identify oneself with that body, then certainly an awake person need not identify with the gross body. As one who is awake has no connection with the activities of the body in a dream, an awakened, liberated soul has no connection with the activities of the present body. In other words, because he is acquainted with his constitutional position, he never accepts the bodily concept of life.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 28 – Text 38

 

Philosophy which does not aim for devotional service to the Lord is considered as mental speculation.

Bhakti-yoga, devotional service, is the basic principle of all systems of philosophy; all philosophy which does not aim for devotional service to the Lord is considered merely mental speculation. But of course bhakti-yoga with no philosophical basis is more or less sentiment. There are two classes of men. Some consider themselves intellectually advanced and simply speculate and meditate, and others are sentimental and have no philosophical basis for their propositions. Neither of these can achieve the highest goal of life–or, if they do, it will take them many, many years. Vedic literature therefore suggests that there are three elements–namely the Supreme Lord, the living entity and their eternal relationship–and the goal of life is to follow the principles of bhakti, or devotional service, and ultimately attain to the planet of the Supreme Lord in full devotion and love as an eternal servitor of the Lord.

Sankhya philosophy is the analytical study of all existence. One has to understand everything by examining its nature and characteristics. This is called acquirement of knowledge. But one should not simply acquire knowledge without reaching the goal of life or the basic principle for acquiring knowledge–bhakti-yoga. If we give up bhakti-yoga and simply busy ourselves in the analytical study of the nature of things as they are, then the result will be practically nil. It is stated in the Bhagavatam that such engagement is something like husking a paddy. There is no use beating the husk if the grain has already been removed. By the scientific study of material nature, the living entity and the Supersoul, one has to understand the basic principle of devotional service to the Lord.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 29 – Text 02

 

At the time of death one will be absorbed in the thoughts which he cultivated during his lifetime.

In Bhagavad-gita, it is said that at the time of death one will be absorbed in the thoughts which he cultivated during his lifetime. A person who had no other idea than to properly maintain his family members must have family affairs in his last thoughts. That is the natural sequence for a common man. The common man does not know the destiny of his life; he is simply busy in his flash of life, maintaining his family. At the last stage, no one is satisfied with how he has improved the family economic condition; everyone thinks that he could not provide sufficiently. Because of his deep family affection, he forgets his main duty of controlling the senses and improving his spiritual consciousness. Sometimes a dying man entrusts the family affairs to either his son or some relative, saying, “I am going. Please look after the family.” He does not know where he is going, but even at the time of death, he is anxious about how his family will be maintained. Sometimes it is seen that a dying man requests the physician to increase his life at least for a few years so that the family maintenance plan which he has begun can be completed. These are the material diseases of the conditioned soul. He completely forgets his real engagement–to become Krishna conscious–and is always serious about planning to maintain his family, although he changes families one after another.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 30 – Text 18

 

The process of punishment in the abode of Yamaraja.

Every living entity is covered by a subtle and gross body. The subtle body is the covering of mind, ego, intelligence, and consciousness. It is said in the scriptures that the constables of Yamaraja cover the subtle body of the culprit and take him to the abode of Yamaraja to be punished in a way that he is able to tolerate. He does not die from this punishment because if he died, then who would suffer the punishment? It is not the business of the constables of Yamaraja to put one to death. In fact, it is not possible to kill a living entity because factually he is eternal; he simply has to suffer the consequences of his activities of sense gratification.

The process of punishment is explained in the Chaitanya-caritamrta. Formerly the king’s men would take a criminal in a boat in the middle of the river. They would dunk him by grasping a bunch of his hair and thrusting him completely underwater, and when he was almost suffocated, the king’s constables would take him out of the water and allow him to breathe for some time, and then they would again dunk him in the water to suffocate. This sort of punishment is inflicted upon the forgotten soul by Yamaraja, as will be described in the following verses.

While passing from this planet to the planet of Yamaraja, the culprit arrested by Yamaraja’s constables meets many dogs, which bark and bite just to remind him of his criminal activities of sense gratification. It is said in Bhagavad-gita that one becomes almost blind and is bereft of all sense when he is infuriated by the desire for sense gratification. He forgets everything. Kamais tais tair hrta jnanah. One is bereft of all intelligence when he is too attracted by sense gratification, and he forgets that he has to suffer the consequences also. Here the chance for recounting his activities of sense gratification is given by the dogs engaged by Yamaraja. While we live in the gross body, such activities of sense gratification are encouraged even by modern government regulations. In every state all over the world, such activities are encouraged by the government in the form of birth control. Women are supplied pills, and they are allowed to go to a clinical laboratory to get assistance for abortions. This is going on as a result of sense gratification. Actually, sex life is meant for begetting a good child, but because people have no control over the senses and there is no institution to train them to control the senses, the poor fellows fall victim to the criminal offenses of sense gratification, and they are punished after death as described in these pages of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Under the scorching sun, the criminal has to pass through roads of hot sand with forest fires on both sides. He is whipped on the back by the constables because of his inability to walk, and he is afflicted by hunger and thirst, but unfortunately, there is no drinking water, no shelter and no place for rest on the road. Sometimes the criminal falls down in fatigue, and sometimes he becomes unconscious, but he is forced to rise again. In this way, he is very quickly brought to the presence of Yamaraja.

Thus the criminal has to pass ninety-nine thousand yojanas within two or three moments, and then he is at once engaged in the torturous punishment which he is destined to suffer. One yojana is calculated to be eight miles, and he has to pass along a road which is therefore as much as 792,000 miles. Such a long distance is passed over within a few moments only. The subtle body is covered by the constables so that the living entity can pass such a long distance quickly and at the same time tolerate the suffering. This covering, although material, is of such fine elements that material scientists cannot discover what the coverings are made of. To pass 792,000 miles within a few moments seems wonderful to the modern space travelers. They have so far traveled at a speed of 18,000 miles per hour, but here we see that a criminal passes 792,000 miles within a few seconds only, although the process is not spiritual but material.

In the hell the criminal has to eat his own flesh, burning with fire, or allow others like himself who are present there to eat. In the last great war, people in concentration camps sometimes ate their own stool, so there is no wonder that in the Yamasadana, the abode of Yamaraja, one who had a very enjoyable life eating others’ flesh has to eat his own flesh. His entrails are pulled out by the hounds and vultures of hell, even though he is still alive to see it, and he is subjected to torment by serpents, scorpions, gnats and other creatures that bite him. Next, his limbs are lopped off and torn asunder by elephants. He is hurled down from hilltops, and he is also held captive either in water or in a cave.

The mistake of modern civilization is that man does not believe in the next life. But whether he believes or not, the next life is there, and one has to suffer if one does not lead a responsible life in terms of the injunctions of authoritative scriptures like the Vedas and Puranas. Species lower than human beings are not responsible for their actions because they are made to act in a certain way, but in the developed life of human consciousness, if one is not responsible for his activities, then he is sure to get a hellish life, as described herein.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 30 – Text 20 to 27 & Text 30

 

The woman created by the lord is the representation of maya.

Sometimes it happens that a rejected well is covered by grass, and an unwary traveler who does not know of the existence of the well falls down, and his death is assured. Similarly, association with a woman begins when one accepts service from her, because a woman is especially created by the Lord to give service to man. By accepting her service, a man is entrapped. If he is not intelligent enough to know that she is the gateway to hellish life, he may indulge in her association very liberally. This is restricted for those who aspire to ascend to the transcendental platform. Even fifty years ago in Hindu society, such association was restricted. A wife could not see her husband during the daytime. Householders even had different residential quarters. The internal quarters of a residential house were for the woman, and the external quarters were for the man. Acceptance of service rendered by a woman may appear very pleasing, but one should be very cautious in accepting such service because it is clearly said that woman is the gateway to death or forgetfulness of one’s self. She blocks the path of spiritual realization
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 31 – Text 40

 

Both man and women should be attracted to the service of the Lord.

“In these instructions of Lord Kapiladeva, it is explained that not only is the woman the gateway to hell for man, but man is also the gateway to hell for a woman. It is a question of attachment. A man becomes attached to a woman because of her service, her beauty, and many other assets, and similarly, a woman becomes attached to a man for his giving her a nice place to live, ornaments, dress and children. It is a question of attachment for one another. As long as either is attached to the other for such material enjoyment, the woman is dangerous for the man, and the man is also dangerous for the woman. But if the attachment is transferred to Krishna, both of them become Krishna conscious, and then marriage is very nice. Srila Rupa Gosvami therefore recommends:

anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah
nirbandhah Krishna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate

(Bhakti-rasamrta-Sindhu 1.2.255)
Man and woman should live together as householders in a relationship with Krishna, only for the purpose of discharging duties in the service of Krishna. Engage the children, engage the wife and engage the husband, all in Krishna conscious duties, and then all these bodily or material attachments will disappear. Since the via medium is Krishna, the consciousness is pure, and there is no possibility of degradation at any time.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), ” Srimad Bhagavatam“, Third Canto, Chapter 31 – Text 42″

 

Materialistic persons are not interested in the transcendental activities of the Supreme Lord.

According to Vedic thought, there are four elevating principles, namely religiosity, economic development, sense gratification, and liberation. Persons who are simply interested in material enjoyment make plans to execute prescribed duties. They are interested in the three elevating processes of religious rituals, economic elevation and sense of enjoyment. By developing their economic condition, they can enjoy material life. Materialistic persons, therefore, are interested in those elevating processes, which are called trai-vargika. Trai means “three”; vargika means “elevating processes.” Such materialistic persons are never attracted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Rather, they are antagonistic towards Him.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is here described as hari-medhah, or “He who can deliver one from the cycle of birth and death.” Materialistic persons are never interested in hearing about the marvelous pastimes of the Lord. They think that they are fictions and stories and that the Supreme Godhead is also a man of material nature. They are not fit for advancing in devotional service, or Krishna consciousness. Such materialistic persons are interested in newspaper stories, novels, and imaginary dramas. The factual activities of the Lord, such as Lord Krishna’s acting in the Battle of Kuruksetra, or the activities of the Pandavas, or the Lord’s activities in Vrindavana or Dvaraka, are related in the Bhagavadgita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, which are full of the activities of the Lord. But materialistic persons who engage in elevating their position in the material world are not interested in such activities of the Lord. They may be interested in the activities of a great politician or a great rich man of this world, but they are not interested in the transcendental activities of the Supreme Lord.

Everyone is addicted to hearing of the activities of another person, whether a politician or a rich man or an imaginary character whose activities are created in a novel. There are so many nonsensical literatures, stories, and books of speculative philosophy. Materialistic persons are very interested in reading such literature, but when they are presented with genuine books of knowledge like Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, Vishnu Purana or other scriptures of the world, such as the Bible and Koran, they are not interested. These persons are condemned by the supreme order as much as a hog is condemned. The hog is interested in eating stool. If the hog is offered some nice preparation made of condensed milk or ghee, he won’t like it; he would prefer an obnoxious, bad-smelling stool, which he finds very relishable. Materialistic persons are considered condemned because they are interested in hellish activities and not in transcendental activities. The message of the Lord’s activities is nectar, and besides that message, any information in which we may be interested is actually hellish.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 32 – Text 18 & 19

 

In Krishna conciousness nothing is prohibited, but everything is made yukta, regulated.

One has to observe the prescribed rules and regulations, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, yuktahara-viharasya. When one engages in devotional service in Krishna consciousness, he still has to eat, sleep, defend and mate because these are necessities of the body. But he performs such activities in a regulated way. He has to eat Krishna-Prasada. He has to sleep according to regulated principles. The principle is to reduce the duration of sleep and to reduce eating, taking only what is needed to keep the body fit. In short, the goal is spiritual advancement, not sense gratification. Similarly, sex life must be reduced. Sex life is meant only for begetting Krishna conscious children. Otherwise, there is no necessity for sex life. Nothing is prohibited, but everything is made yukta, regulated, with the higher purpose always in mind. By following all these rules and regulations of living, one becomes purified, and all misconceptions due to ignorance become nil. It is specifically mentioned here that the causes of material entanglement are completely vanquished.

The Sanskrit statement anartha-nivrtti indicates that this body is unwanted. We are spirit soul, and there was never any need of this material body. But because we wanted to enjoy the material body, we have this body, through the material energy, under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As soon as we are re-established in our original position of servitorship to the Supreme Lord, we begin to forget the necessities of the body, and at last, we forget the body.

Sometimes in a dream, we get a particular type of body with which to work in the dream. I may dream that I am flying in the sky or that I have gone into the forest or some unknown place. But as soon as I am awake I forget all these bodies. Similarly, when one is Krishna conscious, fully devoted, he forgets all his changes of body. We are always changing bodies, beginning at birth from the womb of our mother. But when we are awakened to Krishna consciousness, we forget all these bodies. The bodily necessities become secondary, for the primary necessity is the engagement of the soul in real, spiritual life. The activities of devotional service in full Krishna consciousness are the cause of our being situated in transcendence. The words bhagavaty atma-samsraye denote the Personality of Godhead as the Supreme Soul or the soul of everyone. In Bhagavad-gita Krishna says, bijam mam sarva-bhutanam: “I am the seed of all entities.” By taking shelter of the Supreme Being by the process of devotional service, one becomes fully situated in the concept of the Personality of Godhead. As described by Kapila, mad-guna-sruti-matrena: one who is fully Krishna conscious, situated in the personality of Godhead, is immediately saturated with love of God as soon as he hears about the transcendental qualities of the Lord.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 33 – Text 26

 

Even great demigods like Brahma and Lord Shiva are captivated by the beauty of woman.

“Lord Brahma’s being captivated by the charms of his daughter and Lord Shiva’s being captivated by the Mohini form of the Lord are specific instances which instruct us that even great demigods like Brahma and Lord Shiva, what to speak of the ordinary conditioned soul, are captivated by the beauty of a woman. Therefore, everyone is advised that one should not freely mix even with one’s daughter or with one’s mother or with one’s sister, because the senses are so strong that when one becomes infatuated, the senses do not consider the relationship of a daughter, mother or sister. It is best, therefore, to practice controlling the senses by performing bhakti-yoga, engaging in the service of Madana-Mohana. Lord Krishna‘s name is Madana-Mohana, for He can subdue the god Cupid, or lust. Only by engaging in the service of Madanamohana can one curb the dictates of Madana, Cupid. Otherwise, attempts to control the senses will fail.

The first living creature is Brahma himself, and from him were created sages like Marici, who in their turn created Kasyapa Muni and others, and Kasyapa Muni and the Manus created different demigods and human beings, etc. But there is none among them who is not attracted by the spell of Maya in the form of a woman. Throughout the entire material world, beginning from Brahma down to the small, insignificant creatures like the ant, everyone is attracted by sex life. That is the basic principle of this material world. Lord Brahma’s being attracted by his daughter is the vivid example that no one is exempt from sexual attraction to a woman. A woman, therefore, is the wonderful creation of Maya to keep the conditioned soul in shackles.

There are many instances in the history of the world of a great conqueror’s being captivated by the charms of a Cleopatra. One has to study the captivating potency of a woman, and man’s attraction for that potency. From what source was this generated? According to Vedanta-sutra, we can understand that everything is generated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is enunciated there, janmady asya yatah.This means that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or the Supreme Person, Brahman, the Absolute Truth, is the source from whom everything emanates. The captivating power of a woman, and man’s susceptibility to such attraction, must also exist in the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the spiritual world and must be represented in the transcendental pastimes of the Lord.

The Lord is the Supreme Person, the supreme male. As a common male wants to be attracted by a female, that propensity similarly exists in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He also wants to be attracted by the beautiful features of a woman. Now the question is if He wants to be captivated by such womanly attraction, would He be attracted by any material woman? It is not possible. Even persons who are in this material existence can give up womanly attraction if they are attracted by the Supreme Brahman. Such was the case with Haridasa Thakura. A beautiful prostitute tried to attract him in the dead of night, but since he was situated in devotional service, in transcendental love of Godhead, Haridasa Thakura was not captivated. Rather, he turned the prostitute into a great devotee by his transcendental association. This material attraction, therefore, certainly cannot attract the Supreme Lord. When He wants to be attracted by a woman, He has to create such a woman from His own energy. That woman is Radharani. It is explained by the Gosvamis that Radharani is the manifestation of the pleasure potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the Supreme Lord wants to derive transcendental pleasure, He has to create a woman from His internal potency. Thus the tendency to be attracted by womanly beauty is natural because it exists in the spiritual world. In the material world it is reflected pervertedly, and therefore there are so many inebrieties. Instead of being attracted by material beauty, if one is accustomed to being attracted by the beauty of Radharani and Krishna, then the statement of Bhagavad-gita, param drstva univariate, holds true. When one is attracted by the transcendental beauty of Radha and Krishna, he is no longer attracted by material feminine beauty. That is the special significance of Radha-Krishna worship. That is testified to by Yamunacarya. He says, ” Since I have become attracted by the beauty of Radha and Krishna when there is an attraction for a woman or a memory of sex life with a woman, I at once spit on it, and my face turns in disgust.” When we are attracted by Madana-Mohana and the beauty of Krishna and His consorts, then the shackles of conditioned life, namely the beauty of a material woman, cannot attract us.
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “”Srimad Bhagavatam“”, Third Canto, Chapter – Text 36 to 38

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