Living with Science and Scripture – development of the fetus

The Bhagavatam says that the foetus, in development, is very distressed. Does science offer any evidence of this? In general, how to reconcile science and spirituality?

Nikhil Mishra, 30 June 2018

Hare Krsna                                                                                

Obeisance to Guru, Gauranga and devotees.

Please refer the below link.

http://www.vedabase.com/sb/3/31

In it, is described the development of foetus. My question is- has it been seen by modern scientific instrument like ultrasound etc that fetus is totally unhappy and unable to move his/her limbs inside womb ?

Because in one youtube video, (if i remember correctly !!), they showed one grown baby fetus smiling inside belly of mother!!

Sincerely

Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03 July 2018

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

I think I remember seeing one such video, but really, we all know that videos can be easily faked.

From what I know, yes, the amount of space available to the foetus continuously decreases, and in the initial months, the foetus can swim around, but later on, everything gets progressively very tight – that part is clearly confirmed from data and experience.

In fact, one of the things that expecting mothers are taught to do is to take a few moments throughout the day to monitor that the foetus is moving around – too many just give up their life inside the womb and sometimes the mother doesn’t even know for days after! Re facial expressions, I have seen that the baby as seen in ultrasound images could be neutral, crying, or grimacing.

In any case, the ultrasound lasts for a few seconds or minutes, it cannot be done 24X7.

It is not possible to conclusively confirm, as baby is not verbal until about a year after birth, and the trauma of birth takes away all memory of life in the womb.

I have witnessed childbirth myself. It is no walk in the park, even with all sorts of pain medication. It is clearly Krishna’s mercy that women don’t remember it, otherwise, no one would have children in this world.

There is also no need to doubt the statements of the Bhagavatam which is spotlessly pure and free of fault by the personal statement of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself and thousands of other great Vaishnava Acharyas.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 04 July 2018

Thank you very much Mahabhagavat prabhu for taking out time to express your views on my question. I really appreciate that and offer my gratitude to you for the same.

Knowing views of other vaisnavas help me to intensify my search about truth and devotion while keeping my intellect sane.

Sincerely

Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 05 July 2018

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

I completely understand where you are coming from.

Srila Gurudeva once told me “the sign of a Brahmana is one who can keep two opposing viewpoints in the mind without getting disturbed” and then he added “that is also a definition of intelligence”.

Basically, when we position the scripture and modern scientific understanding as competing against each other, it is always a difficult situation.

But they are not competing fields of knowledge, but complementary fields of knowledge.

Reality is very vast, and there is much of reality that is not materially perceivable – for example, material science expresses thoughts, emotions, as mere eletrochemical reactions. Yes, it is true that someone may observe that my thoughts and emotions might be expressed on one level as electrochemical reactions. BUT, that sort of reductionist viewpoint is incomplete, because we all have personal experience that thoughts and emotions are much more than just electrochemical reactions.

Science explicitly looks for matter, and thus therefore finds matter… starts with the assumption that anything that is not mathematically provable or empirically observable does not exist (though there are inconsistencies there – for example what is the square root of -1, can anyone show me an i?).

Scripture and Science are two different genres of knowledge – you cannot always take the rules of one and apply to the other.

For example, take the image below… reality consists of gross, subtle, and spiritual, but materialistic science only deals with the gross. (Image courtesy of His Grace Chaitanya Charan Das The Spiritual Scientist). Spirituality on the other hand, doesn’t concern itself so much with the gross, but focuses on the subtle and spiritual.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 05 July 2018

Hare Krsna

Thank you for writing to me again Mahabhagavat prabhu. Yes you got the essence of query and your answer further helped me.

Really vaisnavas are so merciful.

Hari bol

Sincerely

Nikhil

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com

What does a foetus feel in the womb?

What does a foetus in the womb feel? Are the descriptions in the Scripture confirmed by Science?

Nikhil Mishra, 30 June 2018

Hare Krsna                                                                                

Obeisance to Guru , Gauranga and devotess.

Please refer the below link.

http://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/3/31

In it, is described the development of foetus. My question is – has it been seen by modern scientific instrument like ultrasound etc that fetus is totally unhappy n unable to move his/her limbs inside womb?  because in one youtube video, (if i remember correctly !!), they showed one grown baby fetus smiling inside belly of mother!!

Sincerely

Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03 July 2018

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

I think I remember seeing one such video, but really, we all know that videos can be easily faked.

From what I know, yes, the amount of space available to the foetus continuously decreases, and in the initial months, the foetus can swim around, but later on, everything gets progressively very tight – that part is clearly confirmed from data and experience.

In fact, one of the things that expecting mothers are taught to do is to take a few moments throughout the day to monitor that the foetus is moving around – too many just give up their life inside the womb and sometimes the mother doesn’t even know for days after! Re facial expressions, I have seen that the baby as seen in ultrasound images could be neutral, crying, or grimacing.

In any case, the ultrasound lasts for a few seconds or minutes, it cannot be done 24X7.

It is not possible to conclusively confirm, as baby is not verbal until about a year after birth, and the trauma of birth takes away all memory of life in the womb.

I have witnessed childbirth myself. It is no walk in the park, even with all sorts of pain medication. It is clearly Krishna’s mercy that women don’t remember it, otherwise, no one would have children in this world.

There is also no need to doubt the statements of the Bhagavatam which is spotlessly pure and free of fault by the personal statement of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself and thousands of other great Vaishnava Acharyas.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 04 July 2018

Thank you very much Mahabhagavat Prabhu for taking out time to express your views on my question. I really appreciate that and offer my gratitude to you for the same.

Knowing views of other vaisnavas help me to intensify my search about truth and devotion while keeping my intellect sane.

Sincerely

Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 05 July 2018

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

I completely understand where you are coming from.

Srila Gurudeva once told me “the sign of a Brahmana is one who can keep two opposing viewpoints in the mind without getting disturbed” and then he added “that is also a definition of intelligence”.

Basically, when we position the scripture and modern scientific understanding as competing against each other, it is always a difficult situation.

But they are not competing fields of knowledge, but complementary fields of knowledge.

Reality is very vast, and there is much of reality that is not materially perceivable – for example, material science expresses thoughts, emotions, as mere eletrochemical reactions. Yes, it is true that someone may observe that my thoughts and emotions might be expressed on one level as electrochemical reactions. BUT, that sort of reductionist viewpoint is incomplete, because we all have personal experience that thoughts and emotions are much more than just electrochemical reactions.

Science explicitly looks for matter, and thus therefore finds matter… starts with the assumption that anything that is not mathematically provable or empirically observable does not exist (though there are inconsistencies there – for example what is the square root of -1, can anyone show me an i?).

Scripture and Science are two different genres of knowledge – you cannot always take the rules of one and apply to the other.

For example, take the image below… reality consists of gross, subtle, and spiritual, but materialistic science only deals with the gross. (Image courtesy of His Grace Chaitanya Charan Das The Spiritual Scientist). Spirituality on the other hand, doesn’t concern itself so much with the gross, but focuses on the subtle and spiritual.

Vedic Oasis for Inspiration
Culture and Education, Pune
5
How Are They Diverging
Operating Platform
Spirit
SubtleGross
SCI...

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 05 July 2018

Hare Krsna

Thank you for writing me again Mahabhagavat prabhu. Yes you got the essence of query and your answer further helped me.

Really Vaishnavas are so merciful.

Hari bol

Sincerely

Nikhil

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com.

Science vs Scriptures

Is it science vs. scripture? Could ancient scripture be so advanced that modern science cannot yet understand it?

Nikhil Mishra, 16 October 2017

Hare Krsna devotees

Please accept my humble obeisances

Though this is true that my heart feel peace when i sing glories and pastimes of Lord yet there arise confusions in my mind when we read in shastras that Suryadev and Chandradev were demigods while science says them to be just planets and similar other such confusions.

Only thing that is left in such confusions is to beg from Lord to keep my mind hooked into His names and reveal His merciful presence in my heart.

May be at some later stage, i would be able to understand all this better.

Hari Bol
nikhil

Bhakta Sunil, 16 October 2017

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble respects

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Vedic science comes long before the mundane science and is constant whereas theories of mundane science keeps changing because mundane science is based on our Limited senses

The following thought for the day based on the vedic version helps us to understand this :-
Life Did Not Explode Out of Nothing — 17 July 2011

Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA

There is no doubt that we’ve been given the most challenging assignment imaginable. Our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has ordered us to deliver everyone from illusion by teaching them what is their origin and how to perfect their relationship with that origin. At the present moment the popular theory is that life has evolved from a random combination of chemicals, which originally exploded out of nothing. It’s no wonder that people are so bewildered and frustrated when such an empty, meaningless and dogmatic cosmology is being crammed down their throats. Therefore out of compassion upon these poor suffering fellows we must constantly tax our brains to how to drive away this cosmological cloud of illusion with the brilliant sun of transcendental knowledge so that everyone will understand who they are and how to be who they are and thus become unlimitedly happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

www.joincourse.com

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Nikhil Mishra, 19 October 2017

Thank you so much sunil prabhu for your answer. I beg mercy of exalted vaishnavas so that i can calm down my argumentative mind in light of realisation (which does occur in glimpses but then fades away).
thanks again

nikhil

Manoj Tripathi, 19 October 2017

Hare Krsna Prabhujis and Matajis,

There are several articles, books, lectures and videos by HG Sadaputa Prabhu (Dr. Richard L. Thompson) and other devotees which are very good at removing the conditioning caused by the modern so-called-scientific dogma.

Some things that I remember from his books:
One of the greatest problem with the modern world-view is that a model for understanding the things around us is taken to be the reality. This model assumes that

  1. The laws valid around us are applicable at all points in space and time (that is how they talk about things happening in distant stars and black holes etc.)
  2. These laws are simple mathematical statements, and all phenomena is reducible (that is why modern scientists tend to assume that consciousness is “made up of” constituent material elements, although the vedic version is that the soul which causes consciousness is irreducible)
  3. That which exists is observable (observable by their choice of methods. If we say, chant Hare Krsna and you will see Krsna face to face, they won’t accept this method of observation).
    As Srila Prabhupada said, this modern science is atheism in the garb of science.

May we develop more and more faith in Srila Prabhupada’s words and his pure representatives’ words.

Please forgive me and correct me if anything is incorrect/not in parampara.

Nikhil Mishra, 21 October 2017

Thanks manoj prabhu for carry forwarding the discussion.

Somehow besides having faith in shastras , some stuff keep appearing in mind. for example, now when i see sun, i dont say that suryadev has arrived on his chariot but mind thinks , so here comes another rotation of earth on its axis and a new day starts.

i also understand that mind enjoys such intellectual thoughts but avoid real work. when it comes to wake up early and chant hari-naam, it does not obey. if i have a flight at 5 am, i wake up but for hari naam, no!!

i beg mercy of all vaisnavas and creator of this world to kindly remove tamo and rajo guna from my inside.and let Krsna in my heart propel me towards His will.

sincerely
nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 October 2017

Dear Nikhil, Sunil, and Manoj,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Sriman Nikhil, thank you for breaking a long drought. The last question asked in this forum was who knows when! 🙂

Also, thank you both Sriman Sunil and Sriman Manoj for encouraging a healthy understanding of this subject matter! This is what this group is for – Srila Prabhupada said “discuss it threadbare” and Srila Gurudeva encourages us to have these discussions, and that is why this group exists.

This is what I have gathered…

Positioning science “vs” shastras is not beneficial to anyone. I learned this from Chaitanya Charan Prabhu in detail. They are complementary – Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada maintain that the genuine scientist will end up at the lotus feet of Krishna eventually, even if it takes longer than necessary.

But as Vaisesika Prabhu taught me “you can take a horse to the water – you cannot make him drink, you can lead a man to wisdom – you can’t make him think”.

For example, science can tell you that when the trigger of a gun is pulled when the gun is loaded with
ammunition, a projectile bullet will accelerate and proceed at a certain velocity in a certain trajectory. It can also tell you what will happen when that bullet hits the body of a human being in terms of physics and biology. However, science cannot say “should that trigger be pulled?”, and “what will be the future consequence of that trigger pull?” and “why was that trigger pulled”.

Shastra is meant to give us understanding of that which is essentially beyond our understanding materially speaking. For example, take the modes of material nature, 3 in number. When those 3 combine, they make 9 combinations. When the 9 combinations of those combine, they make 81 variants. When the 81 variants combine, they make 6561 variables, and when they combine, they make 43,046,721 combinations. This combination continues infinitely, and each of us is governed by the specifics of the modes of material natures we have acquired over billions of lives. For the sake of discussion, let’s stop here for now – now, when two individuals each governed by 43 million variables interact with each other, their interactions are governed now by 1,800 trillion variables, plus the results of each person’s past karmic reactions and karmic debts to others and each other. When we get to that level of complexity, no material science can help you to understand what is exactly going on. Surely, we can speculate, but we cannot find a solution to this ever-endingly increasing complexity, seen as “chaos” or “randomness” by those who can’t see the nuances.

But, the intelligent person will ask, OK, how can I dissolve the modes of material nature acting upon me? Devotional service is the only way. The shastra or scripture does not waste time in useless frivolous pursuits like trying to categorize the millions billions trillions of combinations of the modes of material nature, but tells us how to get rid of them altogether, and we can experience our lives getting simpler and simpler when we practice devotional service. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

apraarabdha phalam paapam
kutam bijam phalonmukham
kramenaiva praliyeta
vishnu bhakti rataatmanaam

From Padma Purana – the complexities of karmic actions and reactions, lying in the form of hidden seeds, sprouting plants, and those flowering and bearing fruit, can all be systematically countered by executing vishnu bhakti

Think about a banyan tree which gives thousands of fruits with hundreds of seeds inside each fruit. Material science can never answer the question “how many trees are inside this seed”, but spiritual science can just fry that seed and ensure zero trees inside the seed.

Now for example, your question about the planets… take this passage from Srila Prabhupada’s introduction To the Bhagavad Gita As It I:

For instance, the Lord has control over the universal affairs of material nature, as will be explained in the later chapters of Bhagavad-gītā. Material nature is not independent. She is acting under the directions of the Supreme Lord. As Lord Kṛṣṇa says, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram: “This material nature is working under My direction.” When we see wonderful things happening in the cosmic nature, we should know that behind this cosmic manifestation there is a controller. Nothing could be manifested without being controlled. It is childish not to consider the controller. For instance, a child may think that an automobile is quite wonderful to be able to run without a horse or other animal pulling it, but a sane man knows the nature of the automobile’s engineering arrangement. He always knows that behind the machinery there is a man, a driver. Similarly, the Supreme Lord is the driver under whose direction everything is working.”

Is there a single instance of any machine we have created that works on its own without direction? Even the most advanced machine learning systems need someone to set up the test set, the training set, the specific implementation of some algorithms, and a feedback network… does any computer suddenly manifest out of thin air without someone trying to make it come about? Does a cell phone just manifest without effort by someone? So if such insignificant things require so many tens of thousands of people to conceive, design, plan, produce, ship, stock, sell, buy, and operate… is it not naive to assume that the planets are working so beautifully in tandem and in perfect harmony all by themselves with no controller?

Just because I may not see a controller, is that sufficient evidence to conclude that there is no controller? Isn’t that an absurd conclusion? Sure, a material scientist can say “I don’t know that there is a controller”, but the same scientist would be a blind follower if he said “I know that there is no controller”. Similarly, many scientists who are honest say “I don’t know if there is a God”, we can accept that they are admitting their ignorance, but if they say “I know there isn’t a God”, we would call them a fool and proceed to ignore them, they deserve to be ignored.

So Suryadev, or Vivaswan, and Chandradev, both “are”, not “were”. If you qualify yourself, you can see them face to face, in fact, if you qualify yourself, you can occupy their post too. But why waste your time in the material realm when Krishna is waiting for you to return to Him in the spiritual realm where there is no necessity of sun. moon, stars, where everything and everyone is self-effulgent?

I hope this helps. Setup 1,2, 3 or more alarm clocks in 2-3 minute increments, leave them far from your bed, and then rise early and chant with loving determination

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

every morning, minimum 16 rounds on your garland of 108 beads daily.

And anyone or anything that opposes this program, you can overcome it with every single bit of power you can muster. This is war, for your own sake. Your prayers are already answered – Krishna has sent you Guru, and Krishna has put you in a community where you will be well supported to fulfill your spiritual desires. Krishna has given you all facility.

Dear jiva going by the name of Nikhil, “you” are at stake here. You stand to be liberated from all material bondage if you follow this process. And if you don’t make the right choices, you stand to remain trapped in another birth, another old age, another set of diseases, and yet another death, one after another ad infinitum. And not to mention slavery to the mad mind.

But, little jiva, the choice is yours to make, the consequences of your choices are yours to deal with also.

Now, what will you choose to do?

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 29 October 2017

Thanks Mahabhagvat prabhu for such an illustrative answer.

The whole discussion comes to this: “follow the process and verify the claims yourself made by shastras(Scriptures).”

Though i am still skeptical seeing God face to face ( though i was always fancied from stories of Bhakta Dhruva and Prahlad having darshan of God face to face), still i do realise presence of Him in terms of peaceful state of mind when i read holy-books and chant holy-names or participate in kirtan. May be i taste occasionally Shant-rasa.

Through your advice and process , i would work to change the neuroplasticity of my stubborn mind to get up early in morning and take shelter of hari-naam. Lets see what happens next !

Thank you so much again for the trouble you took to write such a long answer.

Hari-bol.
sincerely
Nikhil

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com.

On Science and Mercy

Bhakti yogis dance in Hare Krishna Kirtan - experiencing the mercy, not possible by intellect alone
Bhakti yogis dance in Hare Krishna Kirtan – experiencing the mercy, not possible by intellect alone – taken at ISKCON Toronto, July 01, 2012

Jagannatha dasa, 02nd August 2011

Hare Krishna prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I sent the following question to Srila Gurudeva.  Both the question I sent, and his answer are copied below.  I hope that this inspires you as it does me.

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

hank you for blessing me with transcendental knowledge and with your example of pure love of God.

It is clear that Krishna consciousness is a science, but is Krishna’s mercy a part of the science, or is it beyond the science?

Please enlighten me with real understanding.

Your servant,

-Jagannatha dasa

My Dear Jagannatha,

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Science is jnana or perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth.  Krishna is that Absolute Truth and His loving mercy is even sweeter than knoweldge of Him. The Brijabasis do not know who is Krishna is.  They think that maybe He is a demigod.

But they love Krishna and have unlimited varieties of loving exchanges with Him.  This position of loving relationship with Krishna is higher than scientific knowledge of Him.

I hope this meets you in the best of health and in an ecstatic mood.

Your ever well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Your servant,

-Jagannatha dasa

Premal, 2nd August 2011

Hare Krishna Prabhu

All glories to Swami Prabhupada

Please accept my humble obeisances

Would the brajvasis not know who is Krishna in spiritual world or only it is in material world due to Yogamaya?

Ys servant

Premal

Rama Sita, 02nd August 2011

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga

Hare Krsna.

Thanks for that response. That is one reason why I subscribe to Sri Sankarshan Adhikari’s list.

regards

rAma

Sri Sri Radha Kshira Chora Gopinatha - the origin of science and givers of mercy - ISKCON Toronto
Sri Sri Radha Kshira Chora Gopinatha – The Origin of science and Givers of mercy – ISKCON Toronto

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 24th April 2012

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I see that your question from 01 Aug 2011 remained unanswered.

Krishna never appears in the material world 🙂 Wherever He goes, is converted to spiritual world, where there is Krishna, that place is completely spiritualized, that is why when we chant Hare Krishna purely then we are not living in material world. So, even in the material world, the Vrindavan here is called “Gokula Vrindavan”, and the original topmost spiritual planet if “Goloka Vrindavan”. The specialty is that only in Gokula Vrindavan Krishna exhibits His baby and childhood pastimes. In Goloka Vrindavan, this is not present.

You mention “spiritual world” below, note that this consists of an unlimited number of spiritual planets, “Vaikuntha”. In all the planets except Goloka Vrindavan, the devotees know that Vishnu or Narayan or Narasimhadeva, They are Supreme Personality of Godhead, and there is a feeling of awe and reverence in those spiritual planets.

In Goloka Vrindavan, the residents are made to forget Krishna’s Supreme position for the sake of His pastimes, and in fact, even Krishna is not in the consciousness of being the Supreme, He is simply reciprocating with the devotees’ loving moods. The Acharyas describe Krishna as simultaneously both “sarvajna” or all-knowing, and “mugdha” or captivated… Krishna is completely controlled by His pure devotees’ desires always, and that is why Srila Gurudeva says that the relationship with Krishna is beyond science.

I hope this answers the question.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

jagannath, baladeva,and subhadra, after Their snana yatra abhishek - ritual bathing - ISKCON Toronto July 01 2012
Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladeva,and Subhadra, after Their snana yatra abhishek – ritual bathing – ISKCON Toronto July 01 2012

Bhakta Jared, 24th April 2012

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

HARI BOL !  Wonderful !  AWESOME ! THANKS SO VERY MUCH,

Your Unprofitable Servant,

Jared

(Oneness=in Purpose)= Bhagavad-gita 18:66

Premal, 24th April 2012

Hare Krishna Prabhuji

All glories to Swami Gurudeva

All glories to Swami Prabhupada

I feel very inspired by your answer.

A question is still in my mind if the pure devotee is always wanting to serve Krishna does he not like living the Goloka Vrindavan topmost planet in spiritual world to come as a acharaya in the material world or does he like to come to get back the fallen souls for Krishna pleasure?

Ys servant

Premal

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 24th April 2012

Dear Premal Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, you are right, a pure devotee is never fallen, even if to untrained materially contaminated eyes, it may appear to be so. For example, the pure devotees who appeared in the western countries, they are sent there to make it easier for those in western material consciousness to accept the way they speak and express themselves. They are not in any way inferior to a pure devotee born in India, though actually pure devotee sees himself as very lowly always, even if he receives respect from others.

For example, it appears that Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura was born in an atheistic family and did not pursue devotional service until his thirties, but He is our Acharya, this means that He is, was, and will always be pure. A pure devotee acting as spiritual master is “Krishna Preshthaya”, that means sent by Krishna.

A pure devotee is not just thinking in the mind, a pure devotees every thought, word, and deed are devotional service, they do not do anything for their own satisfaction, everything only for Krishna’s satisfaction – and how to know if Krishna is satisfied – easy, if our spiritual master is satisfied then we should take that as Krishna being satisfied. If our spiritual master is dissatisfied, then we should understand as Krishna being dissatisfied. So our words and actions are very important.

We should be careful not to see anyone else but ourselves as “fallen” – especially never ever cast any shred of doubt on those who are ahead of us in devotional service in any way, birth, position, knowledge, service, or sincerity. Those who see others, especially other devotees as fallen have every risk of falling down themselves, because that consciousness affects us also.

Krishna confirms this Himself in Bhagavad Gita about persons engaged in devotional service – note Krishna is not saying “thinking” he specifically mentions service to Krishna “bhajate maam”:

api cet su-durācāro

bhajate mām ananya-bhāk

sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ

samyag vyavasito hi saḥ

“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.” BG 9.30

In purport, Srila Prabhupada has explained:

“The word su-durācāraḥ used in this verse is very significant, and we should understand it properly. When a living entity is conditioned, he has two kinds of activities: one is conditional, and the other is constitutional. As for protecting the body or abiding by the rules of society and state, certainly there are different activities, even for the devotees, in connection with the conditional life, and such activities are called conditional. Besides these, the living entity who is fully conscious of his spiritual nature and is engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or the devotional service of the Lord, has activities which are called transcendental. Such activities are performed in his constitutional position, and they are technically called devotional service. Now, in the conditioned state, sometimes devotional service and the conditional service in relation to the body will parallel one another. But then again, sometimes these activities become opposed to one another. As far as possible, a devotee is very cautious so that he does not do anything that could disrupt his wholesome condition. He knows that perfection in his activities depends on his progressive realization of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sometimes, however, it may be seen that a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness commits some act which may be taken as most abominable socially or politically. But such a temporary falldown does not disqualify him. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that if a person falls down but is wholeheartedly engaged in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord, the Lord, being situated within his heart, purifies him and excuses him from that abomination. The material contamination is so strong that even a yogī fully engaged in the service of the Lord sometimes becomes ensnared; but Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so strong that such an occasional falldown is at once rectified. Therefore the process of devotional service is always a success. No one should deride a devotee for some accidental falldown from the ideal path, for, as explained in the next verse, such occasional falldowns will be stopped in due course, as soon as a devotee is completely situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

No one is excluded from experiencing the mercy - proof of the pudding is in the eating!
No one is excluded from experiencing the mercy – proof of the pudding is in the eating!