Ascending vs. Descending Process of knowledge

What is knowledge? What is ignorance? How do we acquire knowledge? Which method actually works? Finding out things the ascending way, or hearing from an authority? How to acquire perfect knowledge beyond all doubt?

Knowledge is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

Are these people getting anywhere? Are they “progressing”?

With knowledge, comes power. Power to do good, and also power to do evil. Knowledge can be a liberator, but also can be a tool for enforcing bondage.

Also, what qualifies as knowledge anyway? If, for example, a person acquired some knowledge on “how to rob a bank” and applies that knowledge, landing in prison, or even if they escape somehow, was that really knowledge? Or was it ignorance?

There are 2 main types of knowledge:

  1. Knowledge of the material world -material knowledge
  2. Knowledge of what lies beyond this material world through the scriptures – spiritual knowledge – In Sanskrit “परोक्ष” or “parokṣa”

There are many means of acquiring knowledge:

  1. By Direct experience or perception – In sanskrit “प्रत्यक्ष” or “pratyakṣa”
  2. By hypothesis/logic/conjecture/guessing – In sanskrit “अनुमान” or “anumāna”
  3. By hearing from a higher authority – In Sanskrit “शब्द” or “śabda”

Ultimately, there are 2 fundamental processes of acquiring knowledge:

  1. Ascending Process – build up knowledge from building blocks – In Sanskrit “आरोहपन्था” or “ārohapanthā
  2. Descending Process – Knowledge descending directly from God and His messengers – In Sanskrit “अवरोहपन्था” or “avarohapanthā

In an article, with an example of an ant who wanted to map the Universe, I discussed the futility of the ascending process of knowledge, especially about items that are outside of our realm of perception.

Much of what we know exists, is actually too subtle to perceive.

These are the material elements, listed in the Bhagavad Gita:

Gross Material Elements:

  1. Earth
  2. Water
  3. Fire
  4. Air
  5. Ether (Space/Sky)

Subtle Material Elements:

  1. Mind
  2. Intelligence
  3. False Ego

BG भूमिरापोऽनलो वायु: खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च ।
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा ॥ ४ ॥

bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego – all together these eight constitute My separated material energies.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/4/

The Material-Spiritual Disconnect

Earth is the most gross of the material elements, more subtle is water, even more subtle is air, and ether is quite subtle, you can’t touch or feel space, but we can still perceive it. Now, when we get to the mind, that is even more subtle. Intelligence is still more subtle, and the most subtle material element is false ego, our sense of identity.

However, none of the material elements can directly approach that which is non-material, namely the spiritual is outside of the realm of material elements, even subtle.

If we see our material means of acquiring knowledge, the mind, intelligence, and our sense of identity are all material in nature, and therefore, the ascending process of acquiring knowledge cannot possibly extend to the spiritual realm.

There is another main reason why the ascending process of knowledge is flawed… all of us who are “conditioned” to accept a material identity, have 4 defects:

  1. Tendency to be illusioned (In Sanskrit “भ्रम”or “bhrama”) – we often misunderstand facts and are illusioned about things as they are
  2. Tendency to make mistakes (In Sanskrit “प्रमाद” or “pramāda”) – there is no conditioned souls who can say they never make mistakes
  3. Tendency to cheat others (In Sanskrit “विप्रलिप्सा”or “vipralipsā”) – this is a great weakness, to want to appear better than we are, or know something we don’t, etc.
  4.  We possess imperfect senses (In Sanskrit “करण पाटव” or “karaṇa-pāṭava”) – all our senses are quite imperfect, and we miss a lot from our senses

So, with these 4 defects, it is impossible to acquire perfect knowledge using only our senses. Why is that? It is because with an imperfect instrument, you cannot make something that is perfect. No matter how hard we try, our imperfections stand in the way.

The common example is if we’re doing some mathematical calculation or solving an equation… a tiny mistake somewhere along the way can get us a wrong answer.

Let’s say, for example, someone didn’t know who their father was… they can do some detective work, or a DNA test of every man in the world, or they can take the answer from their mother. The mother’s answer is authoritative and a lot easier too.

Reconnecting Material to the Spiritual

The only way to acquire perfect knowledge, then, is through the descending process, “avarohapantha”. In this process, the Supreme Absolute Perfect (generically called God, specifically named Krishna, Allah, Rama, Govinda, Buddha, Jehovah, Yahweh, etc.) conveys the perfect knowledge, and whoever hears this knowledge passes it on without addition or subtraction.

Perfect Knowledge means something that never changes. Compare this to our ascending process of knowledge. Researchers make a career out of making mistakes! First they publish one paper hypothesizing (and sometimes also offering “proof”) one particular thing… the laypeople accept that as the truth, and then a little while later, that or another researcher publishes another paper contradicting the original hypothesis or proof. In this way, the so-called philosophers and scientists bumble about, going from imperfection to imperfection. This is not called knowledge, this is called nescience, or ignorance.

Why is that? Because material knowledge gives the impression of advancement, whereas it actually traps us in bigger and bigger problems, requiring more and ever more complexity. A material “solution” is only another problem in disguise… it is simply creating one problem in place of another. Therefore, material knowledge is not called knowledge, but ignorance. And those who pursue material knowledge excessively are said to be ignorant.

So therefore, spiritual knowledge is worth pursuing, and such knowledge cannot be “discovered/created/invented” by anyone else other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

धर्मं तु साक्षाद्भ‍गवत्प्रणीतं
न वै विदुऋर्षयो नापि देवा: ।
न सिद्धमुख्या असुरा मनुष्या:
कुतो नु विद्याधरचारणादय: ॥ १९ ॥

dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ
na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ
na siddha-mukhyā asurā manuṣyāḥ
kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādayaḥ

Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/19/

But, one may ask, it’s not like the Supreme Personality of Godhead is directly perceivable to a materially conditioned soul. So what is to be done?

Fortunately, there is a clear way…

स्वयम्भूर्नारद: शम्भु: कुमार: कपिलो मनु: ।
प्रह्लादो जनको भीष्मो बलिर्वैयासकिर्वयम् ॥ २० ॥
द्वादशैते विजानीमो धर्मं भागवतं भटा: ।
गुह्यं विशुद्धं दुर्बोधं यं ज्ञात्वामृतमश्नुते ॥ २१ ॥

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam

dvādaśaite vijānīmo
dharmaṁ bhāgavataṁ bhaṭāḥ
guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ
yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute

Lord Brahmā, Bhagavān Nārada, Lord Śiva, the four Kumāras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahūti], Svāyambhuva Manu, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja, Grandfather Bhīṣma, Bali Mahārāja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and I myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhāgavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/20-21/

Now, at least some of those personalities have established disciplic successions on this planet.

There are 4 main authorized disciplic successions to receive perfect knowledge in discipic successions. A disciplic succession is known as “Sampradaya” or “That which gives completely”.

A mango, intact, passed down

A useful example is that if a ripe mango is high in a tree, then if the mango is handed from person to person from those who are at various heights pass the mango down from hand to hand, vs. trying to throw the mango down to the ground…

A Sampradaya delivers spiritual knowledge perfectly, without addition or subtraction
  1. Brahma Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Madhva, Lord Chaitanya, and their followers.
  2. Rudra Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Vishnu Swami and his followers.
  3. Sri Sampradaya and its branches, begun by Lakshmi devi, the Goddess of Fortune, consort of Lord Narayana, and especially expounded by the great teacher Sri Ramanuja and his followers.
  4. Kumara Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Sri Nimbarka and his followers.

What about the rest?

To the extent the teachings of others are in line with one of these descending lines of discipic succession, they are valid, and anything outside of these is at best a stepping stone to one of these 4 lines of disciplic succession. In the worst case, it is a materialistic business masquerading as a genuine spiritual tradition.

Those who claim to be part of a certain tradition but add or subtract from the fundamental principles or twist the teachings are called “apasampradayas” or “anti disciplic successions”.

His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

By the mercy of my parents and then my spiritual master His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari who is a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada The Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, even though personally unworthy, I am connected to one of these lines of disciplic succession, called the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, and seeking to pass on those pure instructions to whoever may want to follow, without adding or subtracting any principle, only, if need be, adjusting details to suit the individual and times.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

And what is a principle and what is a detail? That, Srila Prabhupada said, requires some intelligence. I pray for this intelligence, which in my case, I simply ask my spiritual master with a clear description of context.

Ultimately however, knowledge coming from the scriptures and the spiritual master in disciplic succession must be realized in the heart through a process of personal effort (sadhana) and purification. Then the paroksha jnana or scriptural knowledge through scripture, becomes “aparoksha” or that which is beyond the reach of the material senses. In order to experience such knowledge in action, one’s senses must be spiritually awakened, or re-spiritualized.

Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Pure devotional service to Krishna is the Ultimate goal of all knowledge, and anything besides this is a waste of time.

Questions? I remain your servant on your spiritual journey! Hare Krishna!

Dear Pope Francis, how many apologies to go?

Recently, Pope Francis apologized for the abuse and killing of Inuit children in residential schools in Canada. But is an apology enough? Does the faith he profess even understand what “spirit soul” means? I challenge all Christians to read and understand the Bhagavad Gita, so they can actually be Christians one day.

I live in Canada, which was once only inhabited by Native Canadians of various tribes. Then the European settlers came, and now, only a few hundred years later, you hardly see any Native Canadians. They are mostly relegated to faraway remote reserves, and reduced to a tiny minority. The few Native Canadians are often seen in cities, in terrible shape, drugged, drunk, and in a really difficult situation. Their culture stands decimated, and their age-old customs are all but destroyed. They don’t possess much either, having been mostly tricked or cheated out of their land, their rights, their heritage.

Among other things that contributed to their misery, there was this strategy of conversion to Christianity without due respect to their culture and rights as souls. Their free will was trampled willy nilly.

Sometimes the force was overt, and sometimes it was insidious and downright criminal. For example, one strategy adopted by the Government of Canada and the Christian Church was that of forcibly separating young Native Canadians from their families and putting them into residential schools, where they were to be reformed of their “heathen culture” and made into proper Christians.

Kamloops Indian Residential School

But in these schools, many children were abused and tortured by their Christian teachers and the Christian priests, and many even died. Think about it, imagine what it is like for a child to go to school to be “civilized” and be killed by the Christians. Their little friends were then often made to dig graves and bury the dead children. Can you even imagine the horror?

These souls were shot dead due to “overcrowding”

So far, in Canada, thousands of graves have been uncovered, and more are yet to be uncovered. This has shocked the nation beyond words. Whatever happened to “Thou Shalt Not Kill”?

Mass grave of 182 buried children’s bodies, at a residential school in British Columbia, Canada

Similar abuse was perpetrated in the United States of America also, and in most parts of North and South America.

So why did this happen? Well, there are many reasons, but there is one particular main reason.

In Christianity, there is an idiotic concept that only certain types of humans “have souls” and all the other types of humans (such as natives or aborigines, or, anyone who is not European or Christian), animals, birds, insects, and plants have no souls. I wrote about Descartes being in ignorance about the nature of consciousness and life. This is continuing to cause havoc all over our planet, including mass slaughter and all kinds of exploitation.

What I found shocking though, is that the root cause of the injustice heaped upon native people in various parts of the world, including India, Asia, and Africa, are doctrines published by the Church!

The Doctrine of Discovery dehumanized humans

There is something called the “Doctrine of Discovery“, which are Papal Bulls, or decrees by the Pope, issued, starting in the 1100s, and then later in 1455 and 1493 by the Pope of the time. What they said, in essence, was that the native population of “discovered lands” were not “human” and could therefore not possibly possess a right to any land or property, and that essentially everything that the European explorers “discovered” was theirs to claim!

I grew up in India, where Christian preachers routinely denounced the ancient Vedic culture as barbaric and uncultured. In effect they preached that the followers of any culture or religion that is not European in origin were “heathen”, people bereft of souls, or worse, souls claimed by the devil. These poor creatures, then, in essence, were meant to be “saved” by trampling over, destroying their culture, appropriating their land and wealth, and somehow or other converting them to Christianity, even if what they were following was higher than what the missionaries were preaching.

A Christian Preacher

But unfortunately, even today, the Pope and most of his followers are in the deepest, darkest ignorance.

Thomas Paine, American Thinker

There are fundamental truths that the Pope needs to learn from the Bhagavad Gita, that life cannot exist without spirit. Wherever there is life, there is a spirit soul underlying… the only difference, as I discussed in a previous article is that of the degree of awakening of consciousness. In short, a drunk man and a sober men are both human, but the drunk man may act just like an animal… doesn’t make him “not a soul”, just a soul under the influence of an intoxicant! Similarly, an animal may be less intelligent than a human, but is still a spirit soul!

Read the Bhagavad Gita to get a clearer understanding of the Holy Bible

As a result of this terrible ignorance that continues to be perpetrated, among other atrocities, for example, there is large-scale slaughter of animals and birds going on, sanctioned by the Christian church, under the doctrine that only humans have souls!

Dear Pope Francis, humans don’t “have” souls, but are souls! So are all the other living entities, including the tiniest germ… they are simply wearing different clothes, just like you wear your robes, and someone might dress in a pair of jeans and a shirt… Both of you are humans, just wearing different clothes.

These material bodies are simply clothes, that are changed at the time of death.

All living entities are spirit souls, experiencing a particular material experience

So recently, Pope Francis apologized for the crimes committed at the Canadian residential schools, and previous Popes have apologized for the slave trade, for crimes against women, against Jews, for sexual abuse, to Orthodox Christians, and for sure, there will be many more apologies. But what good are these apologies? The wrongs have been done, many souls have suffered, and the perpetrators are suffering the effects of following a flawed authority. And what is worse, the atrocities based on ignorance continue!

But if the Pope, meant to be God’s direct representative on this planet does not know the Supreme Absolute Truth, and has a need to apologize for their predecessor’s mistakes, then how pure is that connection to God? How deep is the spiritual understanding of the Pope? Is there any sense in following someone who is spiritually blind?

न ते विदु: स्वार्थगतिं हि विष्णुं
दुराशया ये बहिरर्थमानिन: ।
अन्धा यथान्धैरुपनीयमाना-
स्तेऽपीशतन्‍त्र्यामुरुदाम्नि बद्धा: ॥ ३१ ॥

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te ’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ


Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/7/5/31/

No disrespect to the blind, but the blind leading the blind in unknown territory is not such a good idea. Everyone ends up in a ditch sooner or later. The Pope must admit his ignorance and surrender to someone who does know the truth, for example, a spiritual descendant of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, such as my spiritual master!

To the Pope, or any of his followers reading this, these are some fundamental truths about life spoken by God in the Bhagavad Gita (The Song of God), please understand them, accept them, and be perfect.

Krishna is God the Father, in other words, the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ. These are the words of God the Father.

Krishna, the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, a True Son of Krishna

अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो मत्त: सर्वं प्रवर्तते ।
इति मत्वा भजन्ते मां बुधा भावसमन्विता: ॥ ८ ॥

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/8/

Everything rests upon Krishna, and therefore He is the Supreme Authority, even of Jesus Christ, what to speak of a Pope who must apologize for the sins of his predecessors.

मत्त: परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय ।
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव ॥ ७ ॥

mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
kiñcid asti dhanañ-jaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ
sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/7/

Because Krishna is the Supreme Authority, His words, which are above sectarian division like Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, should be accepted as the Supreme Absolute Truth.

वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि ।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा-
न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ॥ २२ ॥

vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro ’parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī

As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/22/

You are not this body. You are a spirit soul, and so is every living entity. You should not discriminate against a particular living entity just because of the clothes they wear.

सर्वयोनिषु कौन्तेय मूर्तय: सम्भवन्ति या: ।
तासां ब्रह्म महद्योनिरहं बीजप्रद: पिता ॥ ४ ॥

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/14/4/

Every single species of life originates from God, is a soul, just like you and me. In other words, every living entity is our brother or sister, no less than anyone else.

पिताहमस्य जगतो माता धाता पितामह: ।
वेद्यं पवित्रम् ॐकार ऋक् साम यजुरेव च ॥ १७ ॥

pitāham asya jagato
mātā dhātā pitāmahaḥ
vedyaṁ pavitram oṁ-kāra
ṛk sāma yajur eva ca

I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable oṁ. I am also the Ṛg, the Sāma and the Yajur Vedas.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/17/

God is the Father of all of us, not just some of us!

Instead of making mistakes, which is all too human, while spuriously claiming divine revelation and a direct connection to God, it is better to take a humble position, admit our ignorance, follow the right authority, and come to the light.

Dear Pope Francis, you did the right thing by apologizing, but this is not enough. Now, please continue to do the right thing, please follow the Bhagavad Gita, and save yourself and your millions of followers from a dark and dangerous future, beginning with a long time in hell. Please, heed my humble plea.

Here are 2 formulas for Ultimate Perfection:

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।
सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ २९ ॥

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/29/

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा श‍ुच: ॥ ६६ ॥

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

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

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/66/

Eating Meat is not for Spiritualists

Many aspiring spiritualists, while trying to pursue a spiritual path, also consume meat, yes, from slaughtered creatures.

यातयामं गतरसं पूति पर्युषितं च यत् ।
उच्छिष्टमपि चामेध्यं भोजनं तामसप्रियम् ॥ १० ॥

yāta-yāmaṁ gata-rasaṁ
pūti paryuṣitaṁ ca yat
ucchiṣṭam api cāmedhyaṁ
bhojanaṁ tāmasa-priyam

Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness. BG 17.10

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/17/10/

Leaders of many spiritual traditions choose to turn a blind eye, giving in to “give them what they want”, instead of “teach them what they need”.

For example, one of the Commandments in the Bible states “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. It’s clear as daylight, “Not Kill”. But many church leaders, eager to fill up their churches and their coffers with the money of those addicted to meat and blood, interpret that as “Thou Shalt Not Murder”, in other words, it’s ok to slaughter those poor cows. We can’t blame business-people for wanting to maximize their profits at all costs, but are these religious leaders genuinely spiritual?

Whatever happened to “As you sow, so shall you reap”? Inflict all that horror and cruelty upon another sentient being and expect peace and enlightenment in return?

A good friend told me “its not what goes inside that defiles a man, but what comes out”. So, let’s think about that for a moment. One regulatory definition of meat is as follows ” the carcass of a food animal, the blood of a food animal, or a product or by-product of its carcass.”

Eating “carcass”, “blood”, or a product or by-product of “carcass and/or blood” makes you all spiritually surcharged does it?


It is only through brute mentality that this killing goes on. The civilized method of obtaining needed fat is by milk. Slaughter is the way of subhumans. Protein is amply available through split peas, dāl, whole wheat, etc.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada BG 17.10 Purport

Anyone who wants to pursue spiritual advancement, needs to stay away from this bloodthirsty behaviour. Regardless of which spiritual tradition someone follows, it is possible to follow that tradition without the consumption of meat.

It wasn’t long ago, that certain peoples, nations, races, were not seen as human, yes, even just a few decades ago. But today, that is seen as backward and barbaric. It is envy of others that causes such callousness. “Let him die so I may live”.

I look forward to the day when eating meat from slaughtered birds, animals, and insects is seen as something reserved for other carnivorous creatures who have no choice, no intelligence, and certainly no ability to progress spiritually.

In the meantime, I pray this prayer, following in the footsteps of the great boy saint Prahlada:


स्वस्त्यस्तु विश्वस्य खल: प्रसीदतां
ध्यायन्तु भूतानि शिवं मिथो धिया ।
मनश्च भद्रं भजतादधोक्षजे
आवेश्यतां नो मतिरप्यहैतुकी ॥ ९ ॥
svasty astu viśvasya khalaḥ prasīdatāṁ
dhyāyantu bhūtāni śivaṁ mitho dhiyā
manaś ca bhadraṁ bhajatād adhokṣaje
āveśyatāṁ no matir apy ahaitukī


May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other’s welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/18/9/

“all envious persons may undergo a change of heart and think of the welfare of others.”

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, SB 5.18.9 Purport

Check out this book, A Higher Taste. If you want to, then follow your own spiritual tradition, omit bloodthirst, feel your own advancement, help others advance too. Need resources? Contact me.

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Varieties of Determination

KV Rao, 6th January 2014

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to your devotional service!

I got following doubt while reading New Year greetings saying determination, resolution, vow etc.

What is the use and result of determination in the mode of goodness, passion and ignorance? Please share your thoughts.

Haribol!

your servant,

Rao

Sunil 06th January 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Rao Prabhuji determination is very essential for practising Krishna consciousness. Many impediments can come to one against chantingand practising devotional service. So determination plays an essential role in Krishna Consciousness

One must be determined to engage one’s mind in devotional activities like chanting , reading , listening. There can be so many distractions to completing 16 rounds of chanting. For eg., one may feel like switching on television or engaging mundane gossip on social media instead of doing japa. At such time one determinedly do the japa.

This determination helps one to transcend the mode of goodness , passion and ignorance

Determination to serve and please Lord Krishna can be practiced in mode of goodness , passion or ignorance ; Such determination gets enhanced and gives nice results especially when he or she gets association of a pure devotee and inquires from the devotee submissively

Regards,

Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16th January 2014

Dear Sriman Rao,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Determination in the modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance are described by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita:

BG 18.33: O son of Pṛthā, that determination which is unbreakable, which is sustained with steadfastness by yoga practice, and which thus controls the activities of the mind, life and senses is determination in the mode of goodness.

BG 18.34: But that determination by which one holds fast to fruitive results in religion, economic development and sense gratification is of the nature of passion, O Arjuna.

BG 18.35: And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion — such unintelligent determination, O son of Pṛthā, is in the mode of darkness.

You are much  better at summarizing symptoms and characteristics of the various types of determination.

From this, we can understand that the use of the determination in the mode of ignorance is zero, the use of the determination in the mode of passion binds one to endless birth and death, and the use of the determination in the mode of goodness can lead to liberation from material bondage, unless one gets attached to the results.

The results of the determination in the mode of ignorance are always unpleasant, whether successful or not – take for example foolish but determined political and national leaders who took their country to such massive problems such as needless war-mongering. Even if someone remains on the level of dreaming, etc., such a person is always unsatisfied.

The results of the determination in the mode of passion (most new year resolutions by a majority of people fall into this category) are mixed, as in, they may be successful, but regardless of result, they don’t actually liberate one.

The results of determination in the mode of goodness are conducive to spiritual perfection, though not always.

There are also combinations of determination – someone might desire something in the mode of goodness but be determined to achieve it through actions in the mode of passion (someone wants good health, but goes about it by a very strenous physical exercise regime). Someone might want something that is in the mode of passion, but set about achieving it with actions in the mode of goodness (for example, a foolish militant who wants to destroy but diligently learns the art of explosive warfare).

Indeed, the endless combinations of the three modes make up all the varieties in the material world.

So  may our determination and resolutions be conducive to always remaining conscious of Krishna in thought, word, and deed.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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