Brajanath Das, 24 January 2016
Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,
Please accept my humble obeisances!
All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to your devotional service!
While reading SB 1.8.26 purport, I got the following doubts –
In the purport it is stated that “It is said in the śāstras that by once uttering the holy name of the Lord, the sinner gets rid of a quantity of sins that he is unable to commit.” What is the meaning of “… the sinner gets rid of a quantity of sins that he is unable to commit”?
Later in the purport Prabhupada says …
Therefore, the four principles of material advancement, namely (1) high parentage, (2) good wealth, (3) high education and (4) attractive beauty, are, so to speak, disqualifications for progress on the path of spiritual advancement.
Krishna says in Bg 6.41 that unsuccessful yogi takes birth in sucinam srimatam gehe … , but the first two are kind of contradictory.
The other two – high education (knowledge) and beauty are sparks of Krishna’s opulence. Only pious/fortunate people get them. How they become disqualification for spiritual progress?
Please help me to understand.
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 January 2016
Dear Brajanath Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
>What is the meaning of “… the sinner gets rid of a quantity of sins that he is unable to commit”?
It is said that by one utterance of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
one burns away more sinful (and pious) reactions than one can accumulate in an entire lifetime.
Lord Gautama Buddha also said that if we stacked up the skeletons of all the bodies one soul has inhabited in the material world, it would block out the sun. Meaning that we have been here more lifetimes than we can possibly imagine.
One lifetime of Brahma is 311.04 trillion years. Every living entity starts as a Brahma of some universe, and then devolves and goes up and down in the chain of species, sometimes human sometimes some other bodies. The scriptures state that numerous Brahmas come and go and the living entity is still in the cycle of birth and death.
I heard a class by Kadamba Kanana Swami Maharaja where he said “apparently, then, there is a bit of a pile of sinful reactions” (not actual quote – but as I remember).
Sinful activities give rise to seeds, which sprout, take root, grow into trees, and give flowers and fruits – imagine one banyan seed giving rise to a tree giving rise to millions of figs which give thousands of seeds each, which result in more trees… So, Sriman Rao, our past sinful activities are collecting super-super compound interest as I write this 🙂 Unless we are fully surrendered to Krishna, in which case, these seeds are roasted in the fire of Krishna consciousness, and this incapable of multiplying and eventually burned by Krishna.
But still, another challenge is offenses against the Vaishnavas, against the Holy Name – inspite of absence of sinful reactions, these offenses block progress in spiritual life and stop us from chanting Hare Krishna properly.
>The other two – high education (knowledge) and beauty are sparks of Krishna’s opulence. Only pious/fortunate people
>get them. How they become disqualification for spiritual progress?
With your second question, in the purport, Srila Prabhupada makes it clear – did you miss those lines:
But the result is that by possessing all these material assets one becomes artificially puffed up, intoxicated by such temporary possessions. Consequently, such materially puffed up persons are incapable of uttering the holy name of the Lord by addressing Him feelingly, “O Govinda, O Kṛṣṇa.”
Don’t you see that if you have a beautiful face and healthy body, others will be attracted to you for sense gratification and they will give you sense gratification? Don’t you se that high education in the material realm will give you a lot of money with the ability to enjoy a lot of sense gratification? Does sense gratification ever relinquish its grip on a person intoxicated with knowledge, beauty and wealth?
Finally, did you read these lines in the purport? “The material covering of the pure spirit soul is an external feature, as much as fever is an external feature of the unhealthy body. The general process is to decrease the degree of the fever and not to aggravate it by maltreatment. Sometimes it is seen that spiritually advanced persons become materially impoverished. This is no discouragement. On the other hand, such impoverishment is a good sign as much as the falling of temperature is a good sign. The principle of life should be to decrease the degree of material intoxication which leads one to be more and more illusioned about the aim of life. Grossly illusioned persons are quite unfit for entrance into the kingdom of God.”
Yes, the verse from Bhagavad Gita you quoted, 6.41 is right, but this pious birth only gives an opportunity for advancement, it does not guarantee this. How many children from pious households do we know who took up terrible bad habits like meat eating, illicit sex, intoxication, and gambling? Just being born in a pious atmosphere does not guarantee piety, just as being born in a family of doctors does not guarantee one’s profession as a doctor.
Yes, the facility is there, but if someone does not make use of the facility, they fall back down into a lower status.
We should realize that Maya, or the illusory energy, is also a spark of Krishna’s splendor. But associating with this energy of Krishna does not lead to spiritual emancipation.
One should follow in entirety what Srila Prabhupada has taught us, not take a sentence from here, a sentence from there, and allow the uncontrolled mind to make us bewildered with some apparent contradiction.
Does this make sense?
Devotees, please do kindly add your perspectives
Bhakta Sunil, 27 January 2016
Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada
Here is a discussion :
(kīrtana, followed by small child playing karatālas)
Prabhupāda: Oh, very good. (laughs) Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ geheyoga bhraṣṭa sañjāyate [Bg. 6.41]. When Arjuna asked Kṛṣṇa that “Persons who are trying to make perfection in the bhakti-yoga…” Because the māyā’s influence is very strong. Anyone practicing bhakti-yoga, sometimes he may fall down. But there is assurance that even one falls down, there is no loss. That has been advised by Nārada Muni, that tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁcaraṇāmbujaṁ harer bhajann apakvo ‘tha patet tato yadi [SB1.5.17]. Just like in our movement somebody joins. A few cases have happened also that joined, being nice, but all of a sudden drifted from our Society. So Nārada Muni advised that even some, sometimes somebody may not continue, but falls down, there is no loss. Tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujam. And those who are sticking to their work, prescribed duties, but not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, what they are gaining? Just try to understand. A person, say, out of sentiment, or some other influence, he joins this Movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but could not follow strictly the rules and regulation and falls down. Nārada Muni says there is no loss, even though he has fallen. But another person who is sticking to their material activities, a material… A karmī’s thinking, “What these people are doing? Simply wasting time. Let us do our duty. Let us produce something”—so-called production.
So Bhāgavata says such persons who are very nicely done their materialistic way of life, duties, but has not taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, what does he gain? This is the comparison. One joins this movement; due to some reason, immaturity, he falls down. For him the assurance is that he does not lose. He’s still gainer. But one who’s sticking to the material duties, but does not take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Bhāgavata says, “What does he gain?” It is very important question. The spiritualistic duties, transcendental duties, Kṛṣṇa conscious duty is so nice that even if you fall down, whatever you have done, that is your guaranteed property. That is your guaranteed property. And anything, whatever you gain in this material world… Suppose you become very rich man, good factory, working. But as soon as this body’s ended, everything is ended. Lost everything. These things will not go with you. Your factory, your skyscraper building, your millions of dollars, bank balance, that you’ll have to leave behind you. You have to go with your work only, what you have done, pious or sinful activities. That will go with you. The result of pious activity and sinful activity will go with you. But in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, whatever you have done, it will go with you, and to give you other chance you’ll have your birth in two nice places: śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe [Bg. 6.41]. Those who have fallen from this Kṛṣṇa consciousness platform due to many reasons, maybe—he’s guaranteed next life a human form of life. And where? Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe. You’ll take your birth in a nice devotee or brāhmaṇa’s house or in a rich man’s family. Not only your human form of life is guaranteed, but also in a better house, in a better family.
So these children who are born in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness Society, they are those children, those who could not finish Kṛṣṇa consciousness last life. They have been given to take birth in the family of devotee husband and wife; therefore he’s playing karatāla. Otherwise it is not possible. He had practice in his last life; therefore he’s quickly… He had got the chance. Again he’s remembering and playing. This is the fact. So we have to study from the śāstric vision. Śāstra-cakṣuṣāt. How you’ll see? You’ll see through the authority, scriptures. So these are the statements of authoritative scriptures. Śucīnāṁśrīmatāṁ gehe. So this child is born of a devotee father and devotee mother. Now he’ll again begin from the point where he lost last life. Suppose Kṛṣṇa consciousness he executed fifty percent. So he’ll begin from this life fifty-one percent. That fifty percent was in his stock. But ordinary karmīs—cent percent lost. He has to begin another chapter of life according to hiskarma. Either he’ll become a man or dog, there is no guarantee. If he has maintained a dog mentality, then he’ll get a dog’s body. All this property he made in this life goes to hell. He becomes a dog if he has maintained a dog mentality. And if he has maintained a god’s mentality, then he becomes a god also. But that will depend on his work. But generally the karmīs, they are not very good mentality. So there is risk. You do not know.Karmaṇā daiva netreṇa [SB 3.31.1]. The judgement will be done by the superior authority, and he’ll be given a particular type of body, as he has maintained the consciousness.
Therefore our business, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is to train the followers to Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that next life he gets Kṛṣṇa consciousness atmosphere. He’s not promoted immediately, directly to the abode of Kṛṣṇa. That is also possible. Mad-yājino ‘pi yānti mām [Bg. 9.25]. “Those who are My devotees, they come to My place.” Kṛṣṇa says. So if you perfect your Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this life, then you’re guaranteed to be promoted to go back to home, back to Kṛṣṇa. If you do not perfect, then next life is guaranteed, a very nice human body, either in a rich man’s family or in a Kṛṣṇaconscious family. Just try to understand how nice this movement is.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Now here is a question: If one takes a birth in a rich man family, rich man’s family, how it is good? Nowadays, actually, now…, not nowadays, practically always… That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānāṁ tayāapahṛta-cetasām [Bg. 2.44]. Those who get facilities of material sense gratification, bhoga, aiśvarya—means great opulence, wealthy—for them it is very difficult to come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In other words, too much rich, richness, is a disqualification for coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But it is not always the same. There are many persons, if they have associated, they… Unfortunately they do not associate with spiritually advanced men. That is their defect. They think the spiritual advancement is poor man’s business: “They have no sufficient to eat; therefore they are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. What they can do? We have got this factory. We have to go to the factory.” That is their mentality. Therefore it is not good. But if one is intelligent, if he has got good association, then he understands the verdict of Bhagavad-gītā, śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁgehe, yoga bhraṣṭa sañjāyate. [Bg. 6.41] If he thinks that “I have got this opportunity of opulence. I have nothing to bother about my living and eating. I am born rich man. Why I am given so much chance? Because last, my, I executed Kṛṣṇa consciousness, yoga; I could not finish. Therefore Kṛṣṇa has given me this chance that I’ll not have to bother about my eating, sleeping. I save my time and engage myself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” Unfortunately, due to bad association, they think, “I have…, we have go so much money, father’s money, for nothing, without any labor. So either let me become a great sense enjoyer or a hippy.” That’s all. It is due to bad association. Therefore it is our duty to go door to door and inform them the message of Kṛṣṇa, without any discrimination, so that they’ll come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
All right, give me…. (end)
Hope that the following lecture by Prabhupada in Detroit, July 17, 1971 on Gita 6.41 , helps
Brajanath Das, 29 January 2016
Pranams Prabhu for your wonderful answer.
Dandavats a lot!
Brajanath Das, 30 January 2016
Pranams Sunil Prabhu,
Kudos to you for sharing a wonderful lecture by Srila Prabhupada. After reading Mahabhagavat das Prabhu’s answer and the Srila Ptabhupada lecture, the following two pastimes came to my mind.
Lords pastime – Deliverance of Nalakuvara and Manigriva (breaking the twin arjuna trees) clearly explains how arrogant pride which comes from puffed-up prestige, which is rooted in a madness for wealth. This pastime of Krishna very directly illustrates the predicament of people who are wealthy and aristocratic, but who become involved in licentiousness.
Lord Chaitanya’s pastime with Keshav Kashmiri CC Ādi 16.29 on wards … Later Kesava Kashmiri became an acharya in Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya and his pravachanams became Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary.
Any pastime on beauty? (Probably King Daksha, not sure)
David J, 30 January 2016
I seem to have posted this wrong the first time. I hope I am doing it correctly this time.
Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu
All glories to Krishna’s devotees.
I hope I don’t add to anyone else’s confusion by ‘butting in”, but your answer has raised a question in my mind.
You stated “Every living entity starts as a Brahma of some universe and then devolves and goes up and down in the
chain of species…”
I would be first to admit that my Krishna consciousness is infinitesimally small. That being said, I find this statement quite confusing. I was under the impression that Lord Brahma(s) is a more ‘evolved’ being in the chain of species; indeed, at the top of the chain. I have read that he is a great devotee of Lord Krishna, although I cannot provide a specific reference. If this is true, how is it that he ‘devolves’ into lower species, rather than immediately going back home, after leaving the Brahma body?
Bhakta Sunil, 01 February 2016
While reading “Nectar of Devotion” for e-academy connected to this group, i came across following lines from Chapter nine , which further enlightens on your question :
There is the following statement in Caitanya-caritamrita: “A person who chants the holy name of Krishna once can counteract the resultant actions of more sinful activities than he is able to perform.” A sinful man can perform many, many sinful activities, but he is unable to perform so many that they cannot be wiped out by one single uttering of Krishna.”
Regarding pastime in context of wealth and beauty having a corrupting impact , following pastimes came to my mind :
Hiranyakasipu who misused power
Prostitute who tried to entice Haridas Thakur with her beauty
your insignificant servant,
Brajanath Das, 01 February 2016
Pranams Mahabhagavat Prabhu,
Wonderful answer. I liked this sentence very much .. “One should follow in entirety what Srila Prabhupada has taught us, not take a sentence from here, a sentence from there, and allow the uncontrolled mind to make us bewildered with some apparent contradiction.”
Dandavats a lot!
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01 February 2016
Your question is valid and relevant, and you may be helping a lot of us clear our confusion. I had a similar confusion when I heard this first, but later on I understood by asking questions.
There are two types of Brahmas, one type, a living entity Brahma, and when no one is qualified, then the Supreme Personality of Godhead expands Himself to play the role of Brahma. A living entity can fall, the Supreme Personality of Godhead can never fall down into material conditioning, being Supremely Perfect.
Now, in the category of the living entity Brahmas – what is the qualification? One hundred consecutive human lifetimes lived without sin qualifies a living entity to play the role of Brahma. Of course, just because someone is qualified does not mean they do become a Brahma, that is Krishna’s choice. (source – class by Rupanuga Prabhu (GKG), no recording or transcript exists – feel free not to accept this part)
Now, from the category of those jivas who have got the post of Brahmas, there are two categories. One category is a devotee Brahma, like our 4-headed Brahma is a pure devotee. Another category is “bahirmukha Brahma” or “outward facing Brahma” or in other word a Brahma who is not a devotee. Just imagine, one can be 100% sinless and still not be a devotee!
The living entities struggling here were, at some point in time, clearly a non-devotee Brahma.
Srila Prabhupada writes this in his book Teachings of Queen Kunti (see http://www.vedabase.com/en/tqk/18):
To become Brahmā is not a very easy thing. Brahmā is such a big post, and it is given to a very qualiﬁed living entity who is highly advanced in austerities and penance. But he is also a living entity like us. In America there are many citizens, and President Ford is also a citizen, but by dint of his ardent labor and diplomacy he captured the post. Still, he is an ordinary citizen. President Nixon, for example, has now been dragged down and is no longer president. This is because he was an ordinary citizen. Similarly, if we like, we may also become Brahmā. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says:
kīṭa-janma hao yathā tuyā dāsa
bahirmukha brahma-janme nāhi āśā
“Let me become an insect in a place where Your devotee is present, because if I fall down in the dust of the feet of a devotee my life will be successful.” Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, bahirmukha brahma-janme nāhi āśā: “I would not want to be a Brahmā and not be a devotee of Kṛṣṇa.”
Srila Prabhupada also writes the following in his purport to SB 6.16.57:
As stated by the Vaiṣṇava poet Jagadānanda Paṇḍita in his Prema-vivarta:
kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare
nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
As soon as a living entity forgets his constitutional position and endeavors to become one with the Supreme, his conditional life begins. The conception that the Supreme Brahman and the living entity are equal not only in quality but also in quantity is the cause of conditional life. If one forgets the difference between the Supreme Lord and the living entity, his conditional life begins. Conditional life means giving up one body to accept another and undergoing death to accept death again.
We are fortunate to even take our birth in a universe where the chief living entity is a devotee, and we happen to be in that tradition passed down by him… we should definitely take advantage of this and finish this foolish dalliance with the material energy.
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