Nothingness does not exist

We’re supposed to believe that everything originally came from nothing. Nothing existed before, and suddenly for no reason whatsoever there was an explosion, or “singularity”, and out of this nothingness, all of everything came. In other words, we’re all just a “random” meaningless accident. BTW, randomness does not exist also, but that’s topic for another day.

As if this absurdity from the scientific community wasn’t enough, certain pseudo-spiritual traditions even attempt to focus their efforts on dissolving into nothingness.

But actually nothingness does not exist. Let’s say we had empty space with no molecules or light or radiation of any sort in it… what would we have, nothing, right? Wrong! Space still exists, and cannot be created by any material means. Space cannot be taken for granted. In space, everything material happens, physical phenomena, chemical reactions, biological interactions, electromagnetic radiation, everything happens in space, and no material scientist has ever created space or shown it being created materially. So where does space come from? No periodic table of elements even lists space as a material element! Actually the periodic table of material elements is sorely incomplete, but again, topic for another day.

Let’s examine “nothingness” as a concept. Yes, the concept of nothingness exists, it is something, but by its very existence, it negates the reality of nothingness. So even the existence of the concept of nothingness means that nothingness does not actually exist.

Nothingness has never existed, and never shall exist.

Let’s leave these absurdities like nothingness aside and focus on matters of substance, total substance, perfectly substantial, the Supreme Substantial Whole, showing nothingness as paltry, as it should be for all of us.

oṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ
pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate

“The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.” https://vedabase.io/en/library/iso/invocation/

…The completeness of human life can be realized only when one engages in the service of the Complete Whole. All services in this world – whether social, political, communal, international or even interplanetary – will remain incomplete until they are dovetailed with the Complete Whole. When everything is dovetailed with the Complete Whole, the attached parts and parcels also become complete in themselves.

eko ‘py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiṁ
yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ
aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham-
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

He is an undifferentiated entity as there is no distinction between potency and the possessor thereof. In His work of creation of millions of worlds, His potency remains inseparable. All the universes exist in Him and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore. https://www.vedabase.com/en/bs/5/35

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Is Krishna an expansion of Lord Vishnu?

B.shahvir balaporia, 12th November 2013

Hare Krishna!

Pardon me for my dearth of knowledge in putting forth this question.
I just needed to understand whether lord Vishnu is the plenary expansion of Lord Krishna or is it the other way round? I ask this since, as per popular Hindu belief, Lord Krishna is considered to be an avatar/expansion of Lord Vishnu. Hence, Lord Vishnu is considered as Supreme Personality of Godhead as per popular belief.

My apologies again if the context of my question is inappropriate.

regards,
Shahvir

Sudeep Manchanda, 13th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

We have had wonderful discussion on the topic in the past. Sharing a few answers:

By Harish Prabhu:

1) BG 10.21
adityanam aham visnur
jyotisam ravir amsuman
maricir marutam asmi
naksatranam aham sasi

“Of the Adityas I am Visnu, of lights I am the radiant sun, of the Maruts I am Marici, and among the stars I am the moon.”

2) Brahma Samhita 5.48:
yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya
jivanti loma-vila-ja jagad-anda-nathah
visnur mahan sa iha yasya kala-viseso
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

Brahma and other lords of the mundane worlds, appearing from the pores of hair of Maha-Visnu, remain alive as long as the duration of one exhalation of the latter (Maha-Visnu).  I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whose subjective personality Maha-Visnu is the portion of portion.

3) In Srimad Bhagvatam, there is a list of many incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Krsna is described as the original Personality of Godhead, from whom many, many incarnations and Personalities of Godhead expand.

SB 1.3.28
ete camsa-kalah pumsah
Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
Indrari-vyakulam lokam
mrdayanti yuge yuge

“All the lists of the incarnations of Godhead submitted herewith are either plenary expansions or parts of the plenary expansions of the Supreme Godhead, but Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.”

In many of his purports also, Srila Prabhupada has quoted Visnu or Lord Krsna as same:

(BG 1.14) – Victory is always with persons like the sons of Pandu because Lord Krsna is associated with them. And whenever and wherever the Lord is present, the goddess of fortune is also there because the goddess of fortune never lives alone without her husband. Therefore, victory and fortune were awaiting Arjuna, as indicated by the transcendental sound produced by the conchshell of Visnu, or Lord Krsna.

(BG 2.2) – Persons who are led by the material conception of life do not know that the aim of life is realization of the Absolute Truth, Visnu or Bhagavan (Krsna), and they are captivated by the external features of the material world, and therefore they do not know what liberation is.

(BG 9.13) – The mahatma or great souls does not divert his attention to anything outside Krsna, because he knows perfectly well that Krishna is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt about it. Such a mahatma, or great soul, develops through association with other mahatmas, pure devotees. Pure devotees are not even attracted by Krsna’s other features, such as the four-armed Maha-Vishnu. They are simply attracted by the two-armed form of Krsna. They are not attracted to other features of Krsna, nor are they concerned with any form of a demigod or of a human being. They meditate only upon Krsna in Krsna consciousness.  They are always engaged in the unswerving service of the Lord in Krsna consciousness.”

Even if we observe during the Tulasi aarti we perform every day morning and evening, both Lord Visnu and Krsna names are used.  Moreover it is often observed that even during chanting the first mantra for offering obeisances while bowing down (pancanga pranam) some say Visnu bhakti prade devi and some say Krsna bhaktiprade devi but anyhow later on we only chant Krsna as given below :

vrindaai tulasi devyai priyaai kesavasya ca,
visnubhaktiprade / krsnabhaktiprade devi satyavatyai namo namah
 
namo namah tulasi krsna-preyasi namo namah
radha-krsna-seva pabo ei abilasi
 
ye tomara sarana loy, tara vancha purna hoy
krpa kori koro tare vrndavana-vasi
 
mora ei abhilasa, vilasa kunje dio vasa
nayana heribo sada yugala-rupa-rasi
 
ei nivedana dhara, sakhira anugata koro
seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi
 
dina krsna-dase koy, ei yena mora hoy
sri-radha-govinda-preme sada yena bhasi

There must be much more verses or quotes too.  But hope the above may help a bit.

By Jaya Krishna Prabhu:

Please refer previous lessons of our course.i remember once our gurudeva explained it like this,
‘vishnu is god in office and krishna is god in home’

By Sanil Prabhu:

The mentioned reply by Srila Gurudeva is pasted below:

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:
Question: Difference Between Krishna and Narayana

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I read Lesson C9: Transcending the Dualities of Material Existence, which I received on Sunday 29th July 2012. Well, it is so beautifully explained and full of knowledge.

I have some questions where even devotees are quite confused at times. I have read that Krishna resides in Goloka as a cowherd boy while Narayana resides in Vaikuntha.

My questions:
1. Is Krishna different from Maha-Vishnu? How?
2. Who is Narayana? Is Narayana and Maha-Vishnu same?
3. Is Maha-Vishnu an incarnation or expansion of Krishna?

I understand that they are all one and the same, i.e. the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But, can you please tell how they (Krishna, Narayana, Maha-Vishnu) are different and at the same time the same Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Thanking you.
yours humbly

Kesaven

Answer: God at Home and God at the Office

The answer is very simple.  In His original form the Supreme Lord is two-handed and is called Krishna. In His expanded four-armed forms, of which there are many, He is known as Narayana. All the forms are Krishna Himself. Simply He is acting in different capacities. When God is at home enjoying life with His intimate associates He is known as Krishna. When is at the office engaged in managing cosmic affairs He manifests form arms and is known as Narayana.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

your Servant,
Sudeep Manchanda
B.shahvir balaporia, 13th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

Thank you

Regards,
Shahvir

Shreyas, 19th November 2013

Hare Krsna Prabhujis
Dandavat Pranam.

I hope this helps as well. Following is the conversation which is a part of the lecture Srila Gurudev delivered. I pray that this helps as well:

Q: I am still confused with Visnu and Krsna.

SDA: Visnu and Krsna. Of course we are called Vaisnavas. You know what Vaisnava mean? It means devotees of Visnu. Actually Prabhupada explained this with one gentleman he met him in NY. I have heard the tape conversation, so I am basing my answer what Prabhupada told this Indian gentleman who also had a similar confusion as you. Krsna is the original Visnu. Visnu is the category. There are thousands of millions of Visnus and most of them have four arms also. But Krsna is the original form of Lord Visnu. So Visnu and Krsna are same. But there is one Visnu from whom all the other Visnus have come and that is Krsna. Visnu is the Personality of the Godhead category. In other words Rama is Visnu, Nrsmhadeva is Visnu, Vamana is Visnu, all the avataras they are all Visnu. Sometimes the jiva is empowered to act as an incarnation but in most cases the incarnations of God, they are Visnus and it is mentioned in the Srimad Bhagvatam.

ete camsa-kalah pumsah
krishnas tu bhagavan svayam
(SB 1.3.28)

That all those Bhagawans, all those Visnus, the original one is Krsna. So Krsna is the original form of Lord Visnu. And the other Visnus are the emanations from Krsna. Just like I can have one candle flame burning very nicely I can have many other candles that are not lit. I can take that one original candle flame and I can transfer it to the second candle. The first candle is still just as powerful but now that flame is also in another candle which can be transferred to the third, fourth, the fifth candle, pretty soon  there are  hundreds  of thousands of candles, all burning with equal power but one flame is different than the others and that is the original flame. The others are simply the expansions from that. So, all the different candles they are all Visnu but the one Visnu from which all the other candles  has come, that Visnu is known as Krsna. He is the original Visnu.

your servant
Hare Krsna
B.shahvir balaporia, 19th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

Thank you… very informative!

regards,
Shahvir

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Understanding the Kingdom of God

Gusti Nyoman Ambara, 14th June 2013

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumataji,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The kingdom of the Lord is so glorious because not only that kingdom is eternal, full of knowledge and all blissful, but also it is spiritual, full of variegatedness and free from anxieties, Srila Prabhupada explained in the beginning of purport to SB 3.15.15 that this kingdom cannot be understood by any process other than hearing from the description of the Vedas.

There are many informations describing situation in the kingdom written in Srimad Bhagavatam, Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Sri Brahma Samhita. Here are some of them :
That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world (BG 15.6).
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of lakshmis or gopis (Bs 5.29).
Lowest of all is located Devi-dhama (mundane world), next above it is Mahesa-dhama (abode of Mahesa); above Mahesa-dhama is placed Hari-dhama (abode of Hari) and above them all is located Krishna’s own realm named Goloka. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, who has allotted their respective authorities to the rulers of those graded realms (Bs 5.43).
In the Vaikuntha planets all the residents are similar in form to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They all engage in devotional service to the Lord without desires for sense gratification (SB 3.15.14).
In the Vaikuntha planets is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the original person and who can be understood through the Vedic literature. He is full of the uncontaminated mode of goodness, with no place for passion or ignorance. He contributes religious progress for the devotees (SB 3.15.15).
In those Vaikuntha planets there are many forests which are very auspicious. In those forests the trees are desire trees, and in all seasons they are filled with flowers and fruits because everything in the Vaikuëöha planets is spiritual and personal (SB 3.15.16).
In the Vaikuntha planets the inhabitants fly in their airplanes, accompanied by their wives and consorts, and eternally sing of the character and activities of the Lord, which are always devoid of all inauspicious qualities. While singing the glories of the Lord, they deride even the presence of the blossoming mädhavi flowers, which are fragrant and laden with honey (SB 3.15.17).
When the king of bees hums in a high pitch, singing the glories of the Lord, there is a temporary lull in the noise of the pigeon, the cuckoo, the crane, the cakravaka, the swan, the parrot, the partridge and the peacock. Such transcendental birds stop their own singing simply to hear the glories of the Lord (SB 3.15.18).
Although flowering plants like the mandara, kunda, kurabaka, utpala, campaka, arna, punnaga, nagakesara, bakula, lily and parijata are full of transcendental fragrance, they are still conscious of the austerities performed by tulasi, for tulasi is given special preference by the Lord, who garlands Himself with tulasi leaves (SB 3.15.19).
The inhabitants of Vaikuntha travel in their airplanes made of lapis lazuli, emerald and gold. Although crowded by their consorts, who have large hips and beautiful smiling faces, they cannot be stimulated to passion by their mirth and beautiful charms (SB 3.15.20).
The ladies in the Vaikuntha planets are as beautiful as the goddess of fortune herself. Such transcendentally beautiful ladies, their hands playing with lotuses and their leg bangles tinkling, are sometimes seen sweeping the marble walls, which are bedecked at intervals with golden borders, in order to receive the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (SB 3.15.21).
The goddesses of fortune worship the Lord in their own gardens by offering tulasi leaves on the coral-paved banks of transcendental reservoirs of water. While offering worship to the Lord, they can see on the water the reflection of their beautiful faces with raised noses, and it appears that they have become more beautiful because of the Lord’s kissing their faces (SB 3.15.22).
After reading them, some questions appear in my mind. I humbly beg you to help me deepen my understanding  in this topic. Please forgive me for my offensive and inappropriate questions.
Is Mahesa-dhama an eternal realm like the Vaikunthas or is it somewhat similar to Devi-dhama which will be annihilated in due course of time?
For the resident of the spiritual kingdom there is no question of birth, death, old age and disease, and therefore they are not anxious (Purport to SB 3.15.13). Does it mean that time is eternal there? Is it always “now” there? How to understand the eternity of time?
Srila Prabhupada explained in purport to BG 15.6 that all the planets in the spiritual sky are self-luminous. Does it mean that it is always daylight without any night in the spiritual kingdom? Therefore, is sleeping activity needed or there is no need for sleeping activity there? Do the inhabitants there never get tired?
Regarding lakshmis which is mentioned in Bs 5.29, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati explained in the purport that lakshmi denotes gopi. In the purport to SB 3.15.21, Srila Prabhupada explained that these millions and trillions of goddesses of fortune who reside in the Vaikuntha planets are not exactly consorts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but are the wives of the devotees of the Lord and also engage in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If I am not mistaken, lakshmi is shakti-tattva and gopi is jiva-tattva. Why the gopis or the wives of the devotees in the spiritual sky were considered to be the lakshmis?
Srila Prabhupada explained that spiritual variegatedness means that everything is animate.There is nothing inanimate. Even the trees, the ground, the plants, the flowers, the birds and the beasts are all on the level of Krishna consciousness  (Purport to SB 3.15.18). My understanding is that all of them are liberated jivas who obtain their most suitable spiritual forms and rasas to serve the Lord. In this case, is it a free choice to serve The Lord in a particular form and rasa or it is determined by the Lord Himself?
The resident of Vaikuntha are similar in form to the Lord, which is four handed. Is it sarupya-mukti? Is the form obtained in sarupya mukti is always the four handed form? Or is there any other form similar to any of unlimited Lord’s form which also can be obtained?
Regarding the term “wife” and “consort” used in the verses, is there any classification between male-female or man-woman in spiritual sky? How to understand this? Is catur-ashrama (brahmacari, grhasta, wanaprashta, sanyasa) also performed there? So there are marriages and family life there. Since there are no birth, does it mean that the families there never have offspring?
In Vaikunthaloka there is no occupation but the service of the Lord, and this service is not rendered with a purpose. Although every service has a particular result, the devotees never aspire for the fulfillment of their own desires; their desires are fulfilled by rendering transcendental loving service to the Lord (purport to SB 3.15.14). Being having direct association with the Lord, is arcanam still performed there? Are there also temples there? How do they prepare food and drink for prasadam? Do they have to cook or do they obtain them instantly from the desire trees and the surabhis?
The spiritual (cit) potency has built the spiritual world of transcendental gems or cintamani (purport to Bs 5.29). What kind of buildings are there in the spiritual sky? How do the bulidings look like and how are they designed? For example, do the houses have bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms or restrooms/toilets (I mean, do the inhabitants also need sleeping, cooking, bathing and evacuation?)
Thank you very much. Please again, forgive my offensive and inappropriate questions.

your insignificant servant,
Gusti Nyoman Ambara

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 14th June 2013

Dear Gusti,

We will answer those questions which I do know the answers to, but bottom-line is that you’re going to have to go to the spiritual world to find out for yourself. Qualify yourself to see Krishna face-to-face, as Srila Gurudeva was instructed by Srila Prabhupada.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Gusti Nyoman Ambara, 18th June 2013

Hare Krishna

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumataji,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for your answer. It is very true.
Thank you.

your insignificant servant,
Gusti Nyoman Ambara

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 18th June 2013

Dear Gusti,

Hare Krishna!

OK, here are answers to those questions where I have authoritative information from hearing or reading from those firmly situated in Parampara. But I am a conditioned nitya baddha, so I cannot fully answer any of these questions. I may not even be able to clarify any further than this.

1. Is Mahesa-dhama an eternal realm like the Vaikunthas or is it somewhat similar to Devi-dhama which will be annihilated in due course of time?
It is not fully eternal, it is semi-eternal, but for practical purposes it is eternal from our perspective in devi dham. Lord Sadashiva is the glance of Maha Vishnu impregnating the womb of material nature with souls who desire to lord it over material nature. Mahesha dham, the abode of Sadashiva, exists so long as there is a need for the material universes to exist. As per Srila Gurudeva, if an infinitesimal fraction of souls from an infinite number of souls desire to lord it over material nature, then practically, there will be an infinite number of souls in the material world. Srila Prabhupada says in his purport to SB 1.3.1 (I made certain items bold):

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

From this we can understand better if we meditate and reflect upon this.

2. For the resident of the spiritual kingdom there is no question of birth, death, old age and disease, and therefore they are not anxious (Purport to SB 3.15.13). Does it mean that time is eternal there? Is it always “now” there? How to understand the eternity of time?

Yes, time is eternal everywhere, time is a feature of Krishna. Yes, correct, in the spiritual world it is the eternal ever-present. Not that time is not present, but the negative effects of time are absent. It is not that time does not pass, for example, there are seasons in Goloka, and day and night etc., but everything is meant to facilitate the pastimes of Krishna, there is no sense of loss of passing, it is one adventure after another, one sweetness after another. In the material world, there is anxiety for things past, lamentation that they didn’t come or last longer. Also there is anxiety for future promises, of long life, wealth, health, beauty, prestige, sense gratification, relationships, friendship, love, etc., and most of them do not materialize and therefore cause lamentation again… so anxiety for the future, dissatisfaction of the present, and lamentation for the past are the characteristics of the material world. But this eternal ever-present can be experienced also in the material world by those who are situated in spiritual consciousness. If you want to observe this, see a spiritual master parting from the disciples, the disciples are in lamentation (and rightly so) but spiritual master does not manifest that same lamentation. Spiritual master knows that he will be with the sincere disciples even while “away” and for all time to come. Same experience is had by advanced or perfected chanters of Hare Krishna Mahamantra. You might also have this experience when you are deeply and purely engrossed in some service or celebration, you don’t feel tired, you don’t feel hungry or thirsty, you don’t feel the passage of time, and you don’t have any space to think of past, present, or future, you are not thinking “am I enjoying, am I happy, am I OK”, simply you are engrossed in the service or celebration completely. That “zone” is the eternal privilege of the residents of the spiritual world.
3. Srila Prabhupada explained in purport to BG 15.6 that all the planets in the spiritual sky are self-luminous. Does it mean that it is always daylight without any night in the spiritual kingdom? Therefore, is sleeping activity needed or there is no need for sleeping activity there? Do the inhabitants there never get tired?

There is day and night, but not the kind of night which is manifested of ignorance. It is a night which facilitates Krishna’s pastimes with His devotees. Sleeping etc., are available, but they are again of the nature of pastimes, leela, no one has a material body, so the tiredness, fatigue, etc., it is all simply to increase the varieties of enjoyments. For example, when Krishna and Balaram are out with the cowherd boys in the forest, after taking lunch, sometimes Krishna gets “tired” and “goes to sleep”, but this is simply to give an opportunity for His friends to fan Him, bring Him a refreshing drink, etc. And Krishna enjoys this loving reciprocation.

4. Regarding lakshmis which is mentioned in Bs 5.29, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati explained in the purport that lakshmi denotes gopi. In the purport to SB 3.15.21, Srila Prabhupada explained that these millions and trillions of goddesses of fortune who reside in the Vaikuntha planets are not exactly consorts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but are the wives of the devotees of the Lord and also engage in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If I am not mistaken, lakshmi is shakti-tattva and gopi is jiva-tattva. Why the gopis or the wives of the devotees in the spiritual sky were considered to be the lakshmis?

The Gopis are all Lakshmis. There is not only one but billions and trillions of Lakshmis. Maha Lakshmidevi herself is an expansion of Radharani (though the details of how are unknown to me). In the spiritual world, the husband-wife relationship is not based on a false sense of proprietorship (mamaaham) but on the basis of service to Krishna (as Bhaktivinode Thakura sings in his famous manasa deha geha song) – “Mind, body, family, everything I own I offer at Your lotus feet, O Nanda-kishora!” We should not extrapolate our knowledge of the perverted marriage relationship as known in the material world to the pure devotees marriage relationships or the marriage relationships in the spiritual world. The jiva tattva is “tatastha shakti – marginal potency” and must always act under other potency, for example, in material world, the conditioned jiva acts under maya shakti. A pure devotee in Goloka Vrindavana acts under yoga maya and is under the hladini shakti. The spiritual master for example, acts in the potency of Sri Balarama – samvit.
5. Srila Prabhupada explained that spiritual variegatedness means that everything is animate.There is nothing inanimate. Even the trees, the ground, the plants, the flowers, the birds and the beasts are all on the level of Krishna consciousness  (Purport to SB 3.15.18). My understanding is that all of them are liberated jivas who obtain their most suitable spiritual forms and rasas to serve the Lord. In this case, is it a free choice to serve The Lord in a particular form and rasa or it is determined by the Lord Himself?

Krishna reciprocates as per the pure devotee’s desire. It is not some sort of “here, I will put you in your place, and you stay there you little jiva”. It is purely voluntary by Krishna’s grace. The pure devotee who takes the form of a blade of grass in Goloka Vrindavana is totally blissed out experiencing the touch of Krishna’s lotus feet upon His head, the touch of the cows’ feet, the touch of the devotees’ feet, and takes great pleasure in providing the perfect sensation of softness and support, taking his service very seriously. He experiences the nectar of the dust of the lotus feet of Krishna and His devotees. With his fellow blades of grass, they sing Krishnakatha and have kirtan endlessly, eat from the dust of Vrindavana and drink from the nectarean rain that falls from the sky in the spiritual world, they breathe the magical air of Goloka. He gets taken by the cows (willingly and eagerly, because there is no pain or suffering, just voluntary loving devotional service) and transformed into the most flavorful milk for Krishna, and renews himself with an even better wonderful grass body, and his service is in producing the best texture for Krishna’s foot, the most flavorful taste that will go in harmony to produce the most heavenly fragrant milk, with the help of the cow who is taking service from so many blades of grass in her service to Krishna. Then this milk is transformed into the most delightful of preparations by those exalted gopis and mother Yashoda. It is all interconnected and wonderfully woven into endless pleasure for Krishna, and of course, everyone enjoys with Him. It is only in material conception that I think that a blade of grass is insignificant. Krishna does not fail to notice ANYTHING or ANYONE. Right now, Krishna is missing the flavor of service that I can provide Him, so foolish I am that I deprive Him of my service.

6. The resident of Vaikuntha are similar in form to the Lord, which is four handed. Is it sarupya-mukti? Is the form obtained in sarupya mukti is always the four handed form? Or is there any other form similar to any of unlimited Lord’s form which also can be obtained?

Yes, sarupya mukti. There is always a distinction between the form of the Lord and His associates… we see the description of the 2 associates of the Lord, Nanda and Sunanda who came to fetch Dhruva Maharaja in the Vaikuntha flying vehicle… same thing with Jaya and Vijaya, they are all not facsimile copies, they are each unique with those features of 4 handed, same complexion etc. Why don’t you tell me which form you got once you get it? 🙂 Better still, when you go there, you beg and plead with Krishna and please come back for me.
7. Regarding the term “wife” and “consort” used in the verses, is there any classification between male-female or man-woman in spiritual sky? How to understand this? Is catur-ashrama (brahmacari, grhasta, wanaprashta, sanyasa) also performed there? So there are marriages and family life there. Since there are no birth, does it mean that the families there never have offspring?

There is definitely a clear distinction between male and female in the spiritual world. There, the service relationship with Krishna defines the body, not karma as in the material world. For example, The varnashrama system is there, but is not enforced or unnatural and there are no imperfections there, everyone is in their natural position and blissfully happy in their service to Krishna and His devotees. perverted sex life is not present in the spiritual world. The reason for this sex life is to enable birth. Birth is a misery, and is absent in the spiritual world, except when the spiritual world appears on the material plane, such as in Gokula Vrindavan.

8. In Vaikunthaloka there is no occupation but the service of the Lord, and this service is not rendered with a purpose. Although every service has a particular result, the devotees never aspire for the fulfillment of their own desires; their desires are fulfilled by rendering transcendental loving service to the Lord (purport to SB 3.15.14). Being having direct association with the Lord, is arcanam still performed there? Are there also temples there? How do they prepare food and drink for prasadam? Do they have to cook or do they obtain them instantly from the desire trees and the surabhis?

Yes, archanam is definitely performed, but it can be done effortlessly, not like someone has to struggle to bathe, cleanse, get the paraphernalia together, etc. Yes, there are temples also to facilitate the pastimes, remember, in Goloka, no one believes Krishna is God 🙂 There is no need to struggle to prepare anything, just think of how you want to serve Krishna, and this manifests itself effortlessly and naturally. There is the activity of cooking etc., but it is not a chore or any effort. It just flows. I have personally seen how some devotees can conjure up a feast seemingly out of thin air! Have you seen Gurumataji’s feasts? She can prepare 20+ items in no time at all. And each item is PERFECT. This is a manifestation of the spiritual world in the material realm, just to give us a glimpse of what it is like on the other side.
9. The spiritual (cit) potency has built the spiritual world of transcendental gems or cintamani (purport to Bs 5.29). What kind of buildings are there in the spiritual sky? How do the bulidings look like and how are they designed? For example, do the houses have bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms or restrooms/toilets (I mean, do the inhabitants also need sleeping, cooking, bathing and evacuation?)

The buildings are exactly what is needed for Krishna’s pastimes. In Vaikuntha, everything is palatial, even the servants quarters are palaces. In Goloka, there are sweet huts, little shelters, goshalas, and homes. But everything is of a very high standard, not needing mundane maintenance etc. They can eat unlimitedly but have no need to evacuate. Evacuation is needed due to mundane material embarrassment of having a material body! A material body is “avidya jaal”, a network of ignorance. So its byproducts are nasty and horrible. But a purely spiritual body, consuming purely spiritual food, does not create any material nasty byproducts. In fact, there are accounts of pure devotees in this world, whose so-called bodily byproducts are actually not unpleasant but very wonderful and attractive… One relatable example is that ordinarily food leftover after someone eats them are considered to be unpleasant. But Krishna’s remnants? Is that unpleasant? And the spiritual master’s remnants are also relished by those who know that the spiritual master is really a pure devotee.

Bottom-line, you go there and find out for yourself.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Gusti Nyoman Ambara, 26th June 2013

Hare Krishna

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumataji,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for your nice and interesting answers and explanations, They are very wonderful, especially your explanation about Srimati Gurumataji feasts.  Really, I am so happy to read them all. Thank you so much.

your insignificant servant,
Gusti Nyoman Ambara

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Colour of Lord Krishna and Meaning of Plenary Expansion

Sunil, 20th July 2011

Respected Disciples and Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances

On reading books of Krishna Consciousness I understand that amazing knowledge is shared in this group and I am thankful to all group members who do so

I would like to ask following two questions:

What is the colour of Lord Krishna? I think that I have read that Lord Krishna’s colour is black as cloud and in photos I have many times seen Lord Krishna is blue in colour, So I am confused

Please also tell what is meaning of plenary expansion

Regards

Sunil

Indira G, 20th July 2011

Please accept my humble obeisances

I dont know whether my answer will help you or not  but i think Shri Krishna , the brahma is symbol of infinity so he appears in color of some time in deep blue or some time in black, or some time in green all  dark shades of all three hues reminds us the unfathomable depth of brahma.

Thanks & Regards

Indira G

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21th July 2011

Dear Sunil Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for your active involvement and participation. This shows that you are really engaging your intelligence in Prabhupada’s books.

Krishna’s color: Is not material in nature! It is a spiritual color, cannot be seen by anyone with material eyes. In various texts, Krishna is described as “blackish”, or “color of a newly formed rain cloud” or bluish in complexion, the color of the Tamal tree, etc. It is important to note that Krishna’s color is not static, for example, He may take the color that pleases Him most, and this could change – for example, the complexion of Radharani, or any other color that pleases Him. In deity form, it is said that the pure devotee sees Him as He is. So our goal should be to purify ourselves so that we may see Krishna face-to-face and see for ourselves what is really His color – as Lord Brahma says in the Brahma Samhita, and as Srila Gurudeva repeats often “Premanjana Chhurita Bhakti Vilochanena” – we can only see Him with eyes smeared with the ointment of Love, pure Love for Krishna. There is no mundane explanation for Krishna’s color. The impersonalists say that Krishna is a certain color because Krishna represents Brahman, but this is not correct. Krishna is the source of Brahman, the Brahmajyoti or Brahman effulgence emanates from His transcendental body, not the other way around – crude example: the sunshine exists because of the sun, not that the sun exists because of the sunshine.

Plenary expansion: Means expansion that carries the full potency of the original. This means that just because Sri Narayana is an expansion of Krishna, that does not mean that Sri Narayana is not all-powerful or omnipresent. Plenary expansion of Krishna means Vishnu-tattva. All the living entities are also expansions of Krishna, but we are not plenary expansions, we are jiva tattva, it means that we are one in quality with Krishna, that we are full of knowledge and bliss, but in quantity we are infinitesimal…

Dictionary meaning from dictionary.com is given below:

Origin: 1510s, earlier plenar  (late 13c.), from M.L. plenarius  “entire, complete,” from L. plenus  “full,” from PIE *ple-  “to be full”

as an adverb:

full; complete; entire; absolute; unqualified: plenary powers

attended by all qualified members; fully constituted: a plenary session of Congress.

As an adjective: full and complete in every respect

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

SUPARTHA RUDRA, 21th July 2011

Hare Krishna Sunil Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

The explanation given by Mahabhagavat Prabhuji is very nice and complete in sense.

With this may I most humbly add something that I recently read in this group?

It has been written by Jagannath Parbhuji. I’m just putting it below:

In Srila Prabhupada’s purport to Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila Chapter 9,

text 144 he compares the qualities of Vishnu and Krishna.

“Lord Narayana has sixty transcendental qualities. Over and above these,

Krishna has four extraordinary transcendental qualities absent in Lord

Narayana. These four qualities are (1) His wonderful pastimes, which are

compared to an ocean, (2) His association in the circle of the supreme

devotees in conjugal love (the gopés), (3) His playing on the flute, whose

vibration attracts the three worlds, and (4) His extraordinary beauty, which

surpasses the beauty of the three worlds. Lord Krishna’s beauty is unequaled

and unsurpassed.”

From this it is clear that even though Lord Sri Krishna & His unlimited PLENARY EXPANSIONS are at the same plane but their moods (bhava) are different. Srila Prabhupad used to give the example of a Supreme Court Judge in the office (comparable to Lord Narayan) and that same Supreme Court Judge in his home( comparable to Lord Shri Krishna). In the Court room every body has respect with awe & reverence for the Judge. But in home that same Judge is enjoying sweet loving reciprocation with all the family members. That graveness of court room is not their in home. Similarly with Lord Shri Krishna the loving devotional service attitude dipped in either of the above-mentioned FOUR  TRANSCEDENTAL mellows can be sweetly reciprocated. But for us, we should consider ourselves as das anu das–servant of the servant of the Lord Shir Krishna and perform our devotional service following proper regulation prescribed in the scriptures under the expert and bonafide guidance of pure devotee (Spiritual Master) of Lord.

your servant,

supartha rudra

Sunil, 21st July 2011

Respected Devotees and Disciples

Please accept my humble obeisances

When I have read your answers I have felt satisfaction

Maybe this is what is called Relishing the nectar of transcendental knowledge

Regards

Sunil

How does the Maha Mantra Work?

Priyesh Shah,30th June 2011

Hare Krishna

Please Accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I am a little confused as to how the Maha Mantra works. For the last 2 years, since I joined ISKCON, I was under the impression that when you chant the Maha Mantra, the roots of the sinful activities are destroyed, and therefore the fruits would also be destroyed. However, another devotee yesterday mentioned that actually the Karma does not go away. As long as you have the material body, the Karma will stay and continue to act as they were meant to. But when you chant and do devotional service, Krishna arranges the Karma to act in a way which is favourable to Krishna Consciousness. Would anyone kindly be able to tell me as to how this works?

Thank you,

Your Servant,

Priyesh

Jagannatha das,30th June 2011

Hare Krishna Priyesh,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Karma has two important meanings.

1.  Action

2.  Reactions

When we act in a certain way, that action is karma.  The reaction to that activity will perpetuate further activity.  The reaction is also karma.  In this way actions create reactions and then further actions in a chain which *appears* endless.  The seemingly eternal appearence of karma is however an illusion.

Of the five topics explained in Bhagavad Gita…

1. Isvara (Krishna)

2. Jiva (living beings)

3. Prakrti (material nature)

4. Kala (time)

5. Karma (fruitive activity)

…four are eternal, but karma is the one which is temporary.

When you act, the reaction only lasts so long, even in this life.  Otherwise we would only need, for example, to eat once and we would be eternally satisfied.

Now, someone may argue using the following two questions:

1.  “Fine, each action has a limited reaction in terms of both time and space.  But isn’t there an eternal chain of actions and reactions which are always being manifested, one after another?”

and

2. “Even if karma is temporary, isn’t it influencing us at least for the duration of time in which we have a material body?”

In the spiritual world, the will of Krishna and his pure devotees who reside there are eternally enjoying without any question of karma.  Therefore the chain of karma is itself limited, not eternal because it does not extend to the realm of Krishna.

Even in this world a pure devotee is free from karma.  Otherwise, he would take birth again in this material world goaded on by a complicated network of material desires.

This is confirmed throughout Vedic literatures and by all acaryas:

Sri Brahma Samhita

yas tv indragopam athavendram aho sva-karma-

bandhanurüpa-phala-bhajanam atanoti

karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam

govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, who burns up to their roots all fruitive activities of those who are imbued with devotion and impartially ordains for each the due enjoyment of the fruits of one’s activities, of all those who walk in the path of work, in accordance with the chain of their previously performed works, no less in the case of the tiny insect that bears the name of indragopa than in that of Indra, king of the devas.

(emphasis added)

Srimad Bhagavad-Gita

sarva-dharman parityajya

mam ekam saranam vraja

aham tvam sarva-papebhyo

moksayisyami ma sucah

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

Srimad Bhagavatam

yan-namadheyah mriyamana aturah

patan skhalan va vivaso grnan puman

vimukta-karmargala uttamam gatim

prapnoti yaksyanti na tam kalau janah

Sri harinama is glorious! Chanted in any condition of life, whether almost dead, deathly sick, slipping, falling, or in any semi-conscious state, the name of SrI Bhagavän releases the chanting person from the bondage of karmic reactions and promotes him to the highest goal of spiritual achievement. The real pity is that the fallen people of Kali-yuga refuse to execute this devotional activity.

Srila Rupa Gosvami

yad-brahma-saksat-krti-nisthayapi

vinasam ayati vina na bhogaih

apaiti nama sphuranena tat te

prarabdha-karmeti virauti vedah

The seeds of sinful activities that cause rebirth for their fruition are not totally destroyed despite realization of oneness with Brahman through constant meditation. But, O Lord, as soon as Your holy names manifest on the tongue (even in the form of namabhasa) all seeds of sinful activities are totally uprooted. This is elaborately glorified in the Vedas.

There are more examples, but I hope this will help.

Your servant,

-Jagannatha dasa

Raj, 30th June 2011

Hare Krishna Prabhu ji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

This is my first attempt to participate.

Thanks for providing details about Karma . u mentioned Karma has 2 meanings .(Action and Reaction ). Is it that Karma has 2 parts( Action and Reaction) . Pls clarify.

Also u mentioned that “When you act, the reaction only lasts so long, even in this life” ,does this mean that our action in this life has reaction limited only to this life.

Because on many occasions people state that this is because of urs past karmas, this mean that karmas are also carry forward.pls help

Chris Sookoo, 30th June 2011

Sir

This is one beautiful and eloquent analysis that I have had the pleasure of reading.Thanks to the mind that put it together.

regards

csookoo

Mahabhagavat Das SDA,30th June 2011

Jagannatha Dasa Prabhu,

Very grateful for that! I learned a lot from your detailed answer. Thank you.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Priyesh Shah,01st July 2011

Hare Krishna Jagannatha Prabhu,

A wonderful answer. Thank you for clearing my doubt and enlightening me with that knowledge.

Your Servant,

Priyesh

Mahabhagavat Das, 16th April 2012

Dear Raj Kumar,

Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Due to the efforts of one of our other group members Dr. Sunil Vaswani, I realized that your questions below were not answered. Please forgive us for this oversight.

>u mentioned Karma has 2 meanings .(Action and Reaction ). Is it that Karma has 2 parts( >Action and Reaction) . Pls clarify.

Yes, this is correct. Every action has a reaction associated with it, and every reaction has another set of actions associated with it – this is like a seed which is thrown on the ground… after some time, the seed sprouts, and the plant grows, it becomes a tree, and the tree yields fruits, the fruits have seeds, which again fall on the ground, giving rise to more trees, and this cycle continues. There are more karmas than meet the eye… they are in unmanifest state.

One cannot counter karma with karma – it is an endless cycle – so if someone does something bad, to atone for it, they do something good – they don’t cancel each other out. The person will experience effects of both, the good karmas (karma) and the bad karmas (vikarma). Devotional service though, is without reactions, and eliminates accumulated reactions, so it is called akarma. This is also described in Srila Prabhupada’s purport to Sri Ishopanishad Verse 2:

“Actions that are performed in terms of one’s prescribed duties, as mentioned in the revealed scriptures, are called karma. Actions that free one from the cycle of birth and death are called akarma. And actions that are performed through the misuse of one’s freedom and that direct one to the lower life forms are called vikarma. Of these three types of action, that which frees one from the bondage to karma is preferred by intelligent men. Ordinary men wish to perform good work in order to be recognized and achieve some higher status of life in this world or in heaven, but more advanced men want to be free altogether from the actions and reactions of work. Intelligent men well know that both good and bad work equally bind one to the material miseries. Consequently they seek that work which will free them from the reactions of both good and bad work”

In the Padma Purana, it is stated:

aprarabdha-phalam papam kutam bijam phalonmukham

kramenaiva praliyeta vishnu-bhakti-ratatmanam

In this verse it states that karma can be lying in seed form, it can be dormant, or it can be bearing fruits. Nevertheless, whatever stage a karmic reaction may be in, it is gradually eliminated by performing devotional service.

Your second question:

>Also u mentioned that “When you act, the reaction only lasts so long, even in this life” ,does >this mean that our action in this life has reaction limited only to this life.

This is a misunderstanding of what Jagannatha Prabhu intended. He did not mean that the effects of karma last exactly not more than one lifetime. When you take his entire response and all the verses quoted into context, you can see that he is using that sentence just for example – like for example, if someone steals something, then they may be punished for a few days, few weeks, few months, few years, eventually they will be released – so he means that the reactions are temporary, even though sometimes they may transcend lifetimes. The example is that one child may be born to cultured parents, good chance of being cultured, though not always the case. Another child may be born to uncultured parents, good chance of being uncultured, but sometimes the child may become cultured through other association… same thing with bodily beauty, health, intelligence, etc.

I hope that this response was useful and you will resume your participation soon.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das