How to be detached without being callous?

Spiritual Knowledge often stresses Detachment. How can a Mother be detached from her children? Is there something wrong with this instruction? What is the proper understanding?

Rashmi Chhabra 09 Apr 2019

Hare Krishna all.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada

I m at a very beginning stage of Krishna consciousness. Please forgive my offenses.

In a recent class of Srimati Gurumataji, I heard about the weapon of detachment. I have 2 small kids, well whom I love a lot as a mother. And I think they are the only ones with whom I m attached at most in material life. Most rest things don’t matter to me.

My question is, should I start getting less attached to them? Or at least start that process of detachment?

Kindly enlighten.

Thank you all.

Hare Krishna.

Rashmi

Amogha Lila Das, 10 April 2019

Hare Krishna mataji. Please accept my pranams. All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We are all relatively new to Krishna consciousness, some little more some little less.

The idea of detachment can be understood as not deliberate but through the process of bhakti. When we engage our mind, body and intelligence in Krishna bhakti, then gradually we shall lose taste for material mundane things, not by force, but through getting a higher taste.

Arjuna wanted to detach himself from his duties as a kshatriya warrior, but eventually surrendered to the will of the Lord.

By doing our duty keeping Krishna in the center, we can utilize our lives for Krishna.

Every thing belongs to Krishna. Caring for your children is your duty as a mother and love for them is natural.  Raising them in Krishna consciousness will be the best thing you can do as a loving mother, because our aim is to utilize everything that we possess in the service of Krishna.

Hence detachment will come from the understanding that everything is Krishna’s property and we just have to utilize what already belongs to him in his service.

Hope this helps somewhat….

your humble servant,

Amogha Lila Das

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 10 April 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srimate Gurumata

All glories to Srila Prahbupada

Prabhu gave a very nice answer.

For further clarification I suggest you read this book by Sila  Prahbupada, from start to finish.  ‘The teachings of Queen Kunti. ‘  This is a wonderful book which Prabhupada explains your question perfectly.  As you read this book you understanding and realization will increase  step by step so by the end of it everything will be perfectly clear to you.

your servant

Rupa Manjari dd

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 11 April 2019

Dear Mother Rashmi,

Hare Krishna!

Your question is simply wonderful! Many parents must have this question, but may not ask… worse they may keep a misunderstanding within their hearts also. We must educate the whole world on this point.

What Amogha Lila Prabhu and Mother Rupa Manjari have written is truly profound.

To be detached actually means to be attached to Krishna and Krishna’s… To learn to see how Krishna has given you this important service of raising His own dear part-and-parcel souls “mamaivaamsho” is a great exercise in humility and gratitude. Please protect these children from untoward association, especially television, phones, computers, newspapers, food that is not cooked as a loving offering for Krishna, and materialistic association… Please give them Krishna constantly, in a way that they can accept… please make them best friends of Krishna.

Whatever Amogha Lila Prabhu wrote is fully supported by scripture… here it is from SB 10.14, the stealing of the cowherd boys by Lord Brahma, Krishna expanded Himself as all of them. The cowherd boys’ mothers and the calves’ mothers loved the expansions of Krishna appearing like their offspring more than they loved their own offspring – this was surprising, since a mother loves her child more than anyone else, so the Q&A between Maharaja Parikshit and Shukadeva Goswami is below, it is very nectarean, please dive into it prayerfully:

Text 49:

King Parīkṣit said: O brāhmaṇa, how could the cowherd women have developed for Kṛṣṇa, someone else’s son, such unprecedented pure love — love they never felt even for their own children? Please explain this.

Text 50:

Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, for every created being the dearmost thing is certainly his own self. The dearness of everything else — children, wealth and so on — is due only to the dearness of the self.

Text 51:

For this reason, O best of kings, the embodied soul is self-centered: he is more attached to his own body and self than to his so-called possessions like children, wealth and home.

Text 52:

Indeed, for persons who think the body is the self, O best of kings, those things whose importance lies only in their relationship to the body are never as dear as the body itself.

Text 53:

If a person comes to the stage of considering the body “mine” instead of “me,” he will certainly not consider the body as dear as his own self. After all, even as the body is growing old and useless, one’s desire to continue living remains strong.

Text 54:

Therefore it is his own self that is most dear to every embodied living being, and it is simply for the satisfaction of this self that the whole material creation of moving and nonmoving entities exists.

Text 55:

You should know Kṛṣṇa to be the original Soul of all living entities. For the benefit of the whole universe, He has, out of His causeless mercy, appeared as an ordinary human being. He has done this by the strength of His internal potency.

Text 56:

Those in this world who understand Lord Kṛṣṇa as He is see all things, whether stationary or moving, as manifest forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such enlightened persons recognize no reality apart from the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Text 57:

The original, unmanifested form of material nature is the source of all material things, and the source of even that subtle material nature is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. What, then, could one ascertain to be separate from Him?

Text 58:

For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murāri, the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoof-print. Their goal is paraṁ padam, Vaikuṇṭha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step.

All the purport are amazing, just like the verses… everyone should please read these carefully, and this will be the perfection of all our relationships if we can implement properly.

In the purport to SB 10.14.50, we find this (italics mine):

quote

Sometimes modern thinkers become puzzled when they study the psychology of moral behavior. Although every living entity is inclined toward self-preservation, as stated here, sometimes a person voluntarily sacrifices his own apparent interest through philanthropic or patriotic activities, such as giving his money for the benefit of others or giving his life for the national interest. Such so-called selfless behavior appears to contradict the principle of material self-centeredness and self-preservation.

As explained in this verse, however, a living entity serves his society, nation, family and so on only because these objects of affection represent the expanded concept of false ego. A patriot sees himself as a great servitor of a great nation, and thus he sacrifices his life to gratify his sense of egotism. Similarly, it is common knowledge that a man feels great pleasure by thinking that he is sacrificing everything to please his dear wife and children. A man derives great egotistic pleasure by seeing himself as a selfless well-wisher of his so-called family and community. Thus, to gratify his proud sense of false ego, a man is prepared even to lay down his life. This apparently contradictory behavior is yet another demonstration of the bewilderment of material life, which has neither rhyme nor reason, being a manifestation of gross ignorance of the nonmaterial soul.

unquote

And in the purport to SB 10.14.55, we find this (italics mine) :

In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līla, Chapter Twenty, text 162, Śrīla Prabhupāda comments on this verse as follows: “Parīkṣit Mahārāja asked Śukadeva Gosvāmī why Kṛṣṇa was so beloved by the residents of Vṛndāvana, who loved Him even more than their own offspring or life itself. At that time, Śukadeva Gosvāmī replied that everyone’s ātmā, or soul, is very, very dear, especially to all living entities who have accepted material bodies. However, that ātmā, the spirit soul, is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. For this reason, Kṛṣṇa is very dear to every living entity. Everyone’s body is very dear to oneself, and one wants to protect the body by all means because within the body the soul is living. Due to the intimate relationship between the soul and the body, the body is important and dear to everyone. Similarly, the soul, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, is very, very dear to all living entities. Unfortunately, the soul forgets his constitutional position and thinks he is only the body (dehātma-buddhi). Thus the soul is subjected to the rules and regulations of material nature. When a living entity, by his intelligence, reawakens his attraction for Kṛṣṇa, he can understand that he is not the body but part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Thus filled with knowledge, he no longer labors under attachment to the body and everything related to the body (janasya moho ’yam ahaṁ mameti). Material existence, wherein one thinks, ‘I am the body, and this belongs to me,’ is also illusory. One must redirect his attraction to Kṛṣṇa.Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.7) states:

vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ

janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam

By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.’

In the purport of SB 10.14.56, we find this written (italics are mine):

quote

Everything exists within Lord Kṛṣṇa, and Lord Kṛṣṇa exists within everything. Still, the order of progression is always from the energetic to the expanded energy. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original identity, from whom all other identities emanate. He is the supreme energetic, from whom all categories and dimensions of energy become manifest. Thus, our personal bodies, self, family, friends, nation, planet, universe and so on are all manifestations of the Supreme Lord, who expands Himself through His personal potencies. Lord Kṛṣṇa is certainly the supreme object of our love and attraction, and other objects, such as body, family and home, should be secondary objects of our affection. Moreover, a close analytic study of the actual situation will reveal that even the secondary objects of love are also manifestations of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The conclusion is that Lord Kṛṣṇa is our only friend and object of love.

In his Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrīla Prabhupāda comments on this verse as follows: “Without being an expansion of Kṛṣṇa, nothing can be attractive. Whatever is attractive within the cosmic manifestation is due to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is therefore the reservoir of all pleasure. The active principle of everything is Kṛṣṇa, and highly elevated transcendentalists see everything in connection with Him. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is stated that a mahā-bhāgavata, a highly advanced devotee, sees Kṛṣṇa as the active principle in all moving and nonmoving living entities. Therefore he sees everything within this cosmic manifestation in relation to Kṛṣṇa.”

unquote

When you see your children as Krishna’s children and love them as Krishna’s children, and they realize that they are Krishna’s, then your devotion will be perfect, and their lives also will be perfect. All of you will be attached to Krishna’s lotus feet, and there will be no one more happy than Srimati Gurumataji and Srila Gurudeva.

Mahabhagavat Das, dasadas.com

Priya Harinath, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna devotees

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji

What a wonderful question and what glorious answers from Amogha Lila Das Prabhu and Rupa Manjari mataji. Jaya! And what nectar from Mahabhagavad Das Prabhu. Thank you for guiding and enlightening fallen souls like me. Vaisnava association is the highest blessing anyone can get and it is possible only by the mercy of Guru and Krishna. We are indeed fortunate to have this in the form of this online bhagavata academy and devotees group.

Rashmi mataji, your question is wonderful and is in the mind of any parent. I am a mother of two and I have had this question in my mind in various ways every day. Just to add on to all the above wonderful answers, I had asked Srimati Gurumataji in one of the morning online Bhagavatam classes what should I do as a mother to guide my children towards Krishna. And she gave me a straight amazing answer.  She said, “First become fixed in devotion yourself. Work towards become an initiated devotee and then you will automatically become an example for your children to follow.” [Her words in quote].

You will be doing the greatest service to them if you guide them towards Krishna.

your humble servant

Priya

Rashmi, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna everyone

Thank you so much for explaining. It’s really helps

Rashmi

Rashmi Chhabra, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Prabhuji

All glories to Gurudeva and Prabhupad

Thank you so much for guiding. I really need guidance at every step it seems, as I am the most useless person. Sometimes I have so many questions to enquire I myself don’t know where to start.

The ways you have devised to follow for bringing up kids in Krishna consciousness are superb. I was doing something like that, but little. Now i have been guided for the same.

It will definitely take time and patience from my end, but I’ll definitely put my best efforts in it.

Again thank you,

Hare Krishna

From Rashmi

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

“Old” New Discoveries

Do you think the Vedic Scriptures are Mythology? Do you think that modern scientists know better? Did you know that scientists are simply re-discovering whatever was already explained in the Vedic Scriptures?

Sometimes, it is thought that we are making advancement in this world today. It is thought that the Vedic Scriptures are archaic and full of superstition and dogma. In fact, I grew up in India, where I was taught that the Vedic scriptures are “mythology”.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Vedic Scriptures are the most advanced science we have today. But most of the knowledge contained in the Vedic scriptures is not understood by most of us.

The knowledge in the Vedic scriptures require purity and sharp consciousness, not consciousness dulled by repeated sense gratification like meat eating, intoxication, gambling, and illicit sex.

Let us consider one example…

Robert Boyle, an Anglo-Irish son of an Earl, is credited with discovering that sound must travel through a medium in the year 1660. While it is nice that he discovered this, he is not the first to know that sound travels through the air.

Over 5000 years ago, in the Srimad Bhagavatam, here is a verse:

चालनं व्यूहनं प्राप्तिर्नेतृत्वं द्रव्यशब्दयो: ।
सर्वेन्द्रियाणामात्मत्वं वायो: कर्माभिलक्षणम् ॥ ३७ ॥

cālanaṁ vyūhanaṁ prāptir
netṛtvaṁ dravya-śabdayoḥ
sarvendriyāṇām ātmatvaṁ
vāyoḥ karmābhilakṣaṇam

The action of the air is exhibited in movements, mixing, allowing approach to the objects of sound and other sense perceptions, and providing for the proper functioning of all other senses.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/26/37/

But there is a lot more information contained the ancient Vedic knowledge. The great seer His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, writes, in his purport to the above verse…

We can perceive the action of the air when the branches of a tree move or when dry leaves on the ground collect together. Similarly, it is only by the action of the air that a body moves, and when the air circulation is impeded, many diseases result. Paralysis, nervous breakdowns, madness and many other diseases are actually due to an insufficient circulation of air. In the Āyurvedic system these diseases are treated on the basis of air circulation. If from the beginning one takes care of the process of air circulation, such diseases cannot take place. From the Āyur-veda as well as from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is clear that so many activities are going on internally and externally because of air alone, and as soon as there is some deficiency in the air circulation, these activities cannot take place. Here it is clearly stated, netṛtvaṁ dravya-śabdayoḥ. Our sense of proprietorship over action is also due to the activity of the air. If the air circulation is stifled, we cannot approach a place after hearing. If someone calls us, we hear the sound because of the air circulation, and we approach that sound or the place from which the sound comes. It is clearly said in this verse that these are all movements of the air. The ability to detect odors is also due to the action of the air.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Robert Boyle didn’t know all this. So he spent his life re-discovering what was already known. Most modern scientists are fools in that respect, running around re-discovering what was already known, and often making foolish mistakes along the way. But they are proud. They will not accept the Vedic Scriptures. And the rest of us are even bigger fools for trusting them.

The Vedic Scriptures contain everything one can possibly need. But at the end, they say this is not our home. So therefore, it is important to learn to end our material sojourn as quickly as possible, not get caught up in material consciousness.

Please look into the Genuine Vedic Scriptures. Please follow them. Please perfect your life, and go back home, where you belong. By following the Vedic Scriptures under the guidance of the bonafide spiritual master, one can live happily in this world, and at the end of one’s life, be transferred to the spiritual sky.

How may I serve you on your spiritual journey?

Tongue, Belly, Genital Consciousness

How are you living your life? Would you like to relish genuine human life? Or stay on the animal platform?

During a class by my spiritual master, he said this phrase “Tongue, Belly and Genital Consciousness”. When we boil it down to the essential, we see that in this world, practically every one is in the mood of trying to satisfy their tongues, their bellies, and their genitals.

Of course, for creatures other than human, they have no choice but to follow their instinct. The dog must go around and sniff out the urine of other dogs. The birds must peck around and look for that worm. The fish must constantly swim around trying to find something to eat. The male or female of any species must find a mate… eating, sleeping, mating and defending, that’s all animals ever do.

But humans, we have been given a higher consciousness. Yes, to stay alive, we must gratify our senses to some extent. But what happens if we never transcend the urge of the tongue, the pull of the belly, and the itch of the genitals?

We remain animals. Yes, we may travel in the most fancy cars, planes, or yachts, live in the most opulent mansions, wear the most exquisite clothes, but what do we do with all that? Run here and there with our tongues out, trying hard to get some taste, the same taste we have experienced many times, chewing the same old,same old, tongue, belly, genitals. Very polished animals, but animals nevertheless.

Human society is chasing after the next big thing all the time, better clothing, better food, better residences, better conveyances, even wanting to go and live on other planets… what what will we do in all those? Eat, Sleep, Mate, and Defend? Just like the animals.

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु ।
युक्तस्वप्‍नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दु:खहा ॥ १७ ॥

yuktāhāra-vihārasya
yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya
yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā

He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/17/

If someone practices yoga, spirituality, or religion simply to improve their sex life, they are no better than an animal.

The scriptures repeatedly extol us to get out of the grip of this eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.

स एव पुनर्निद्राजगरगृहीतोऽन्धे तमसि मग्न: शून्यारण्य इव शेते नान्यत्किञ्चन वेद शव इवापविद्ध: ॥ २० ॥

sa eva punar nidrājagara-gṛhīto ’ndhe tamasi magnaḥ śūnyāraṇya iva śete nānyat-kiñcana veda śava ivāpaviddhaḥ.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued speaking to Mahārāja Parīkṣit: My dear King, sleep is exactly like a python. Those who wander in the forest of material life are always devoured by the python of sleep. Being bitten by this python, they always remain in the darkness of ignorance. They are like dead bodies thrown in a distant forest. Thus the conditioned souls cannot understand what is going on in life.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/14/20/

But human life means “Nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau” – to conquer over the pressure of sleep, food, and sense gratification.

The famous 6 Goswamis of Vrindavana did this, but this was not their goal, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, Gopala Bhatta Goswami, and Jiva Goswami were so fully absorbed, practically intoxicated, in Krishna and His associates, that they naturally lost all taste for sense enjoyments, and they were able to sustain themselves with about 2 hours of sleep daily, and hardly any food. In such a state, they left behind personal examples and texts that will prove to be the saviour of humanity.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada also followed in the footsteps of the 6 Goswamis of Vrindavana.

If we do this, we can proceed to divine life, otherwise, we will descend back to animal life.

What can you do to rise to the platform of genuine human life? How may I serve you on your journey?

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.

Vishnu & Shiva, who is the Supreme?

Who is Supreme, Shiva or Vishnu/Krishna? The discussion rages on, and some will never accept. But what do the authoritative sources say?

Harish V, 28 Nov 2018

Hare Krishna !
Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I would like to know, how the incarnation of Lord Narasimha came to an end after slaying Hiranyakashipu. I read in SB 7.10.31 that the Lord disappeared after being worshipped by Brahmā,

SB 7.10.31 — Nārada Muni continued: O King Yudhiṣṭhira, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is not visible to an ordinary human being, spoke in this way, instructing Lord Brahmā. Then, being worshiped by Brahmā, the Lord disappeared from that place.

This query was asked by my friend who came across an article which describes the story of Sharabha (Shiva’s form), GandaBerunda (Vishnu’s form) and Pratyankira (Durga’s form). Apparently Lord Narasimha was calmed down by defeat, by Sharabha (Shiva’s form) and Pratyankira (Durga’s form). It is stated that Lord Narasimha became the devotee of Shiva after the fight.

These incidents are described in the literatures relating to Lord Shiva.

He questioned me about the supremacy of Krishna based on this story which I could not effectively answer.

Request your guidance.

your servant,
Harish V

Filip Misic, 29 Nov 2018

Dear Harish,

Your question is very intellectually satisfying and is one worth asking. Even though I myself am not very learned in all the scriptures, especially those relating to the devatas, I shall make an attempt to shed some light into this topic and thus make a ground from which devotees may also further elaborate on the subject.

This story of Lord Nrisimhadeva, becoming calmed down by defeat from Lord Siva and Durga and then praising Lord Siva, is indeed a remarkable story, considering that we as devotees of Sri Krishna worship Sri Nrisimhadeva as the Supreme Lord. But in order to analyse this narration (which will be incomplete because we would have to read the full story to get the full picture), we have to state the facts that we already know from shastras, and in this light observe this narration of Lord Shiva.

Actually, from the narrations of the Bhagavat-Purana, Lord Shiva is known as a pure devotee of Lord Krishna, if not the purest. Just like Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna, and could hereby produce millions of Vaishnavas by his presence, similarly Lord Shiva is a pure Vaishnava. So just see how devoted Shiva must be to Lord Vishnu; in fact, Lord Shiva is often depicted as being fixed in samadhi, meditation. But who or what is he meditating on? He is meditating on Lord Narayana, paramesvara, the Supreme Controller.

We may refer to the prayers given by Lord Shiva to Krishna in the 8th Canto of the Bhagavatam to support these statements. When Lord Shiva heard of the pastimes of Hari where He appered as a woman to captivate the demons and enable the devatas to drink the nectar, he went to meet Lord Hari. After arriving, Shiva offered respect to Vishnu and spoke as follows:
śrī-mahādeva uvāca
deva-deva jagad-vyāpiñ
jagad-īśa jagan-maya
sarveṣām api bhāvānāṁ
tvam ātmā hetur īśvaraḥ
“Lord Mahādeva said: O chief demigod among the demigods, O all-pervading Lord, master of the universe, by Your energy You are transformed into the creation. You are the root and efficient cause of everything. You are not material. Indeed, You are the Supersoul or supreme living force of everything. Therefore, You are Parameśvara, the supreme controller of all controllers.”
This is very remarkable, because Shiva is himself addressing the Lord as the Supreme (sarvesam api bhavanam tvam atma hetur isvaraha): “You are the supreme living force of everything and therefore you may be called isvara.” In a following verse, Shiva also states: (ananda-matram avikaram ananyad anyat) “You are always in transcendental bliss, You are changeless, You are seperated from everything but yet You are everything.” These statements given by Shiva are very significant. Also, it is not that he is speaking allegorically or that there is some hidden meaning to this. No. He is addressing the Lord like this in order to show his position as subordinare to Lord Hari. Remarkably enough, soon after this, wishing to see the beautiful female form of the Lord that he had heard of, Shiva becomes captivated by Mohini-murti. It is actually narrated s follows: “His sense became agitated, Lord Shiva, victimized by lusty desires, began to follow Her, just as a lusty elephant follows a she-elephant.” (SB.8.1.27) How could it be that if Shiva was the source of all material and spiritual, that he becomes captivated by his own energy? This is actually not possible for the Supreme Lord. Shiva was running like a dog after Mohini-murti and he even discharged semen uncontrollably due to the amazing features of Srimati Mohini. Actually it is not that Siva was covered by maha maya, the material energy, because being a pure devotee of Krishna he is firmly fixed in transcendence. Rather, this was a show of Krishna´s yoga-maya, internal energy, which so captivated Siva. After this event Lord Siva understood his position and that of Lord Vishnu completely, and after circumambulating the Lord, Siva took permission and returned to his abode. So there is not really anything unclear about this, Shiva is subordinate to Krishna, who is the source of all that exists.

However, now one may question why this narration of Nrisimhadeva being defeated by Shiva is at all there? If Krishna is the Supreme Lord, how can His expansion become defeated by a jiva? It is actually very simple. Lord Siva is not just any ordinary jiva, but he is a pure Krishna-bhakta. And because Krishna is so pleased by the devotional service of His pure devotees, He is owned by these devotees. Just like in the First Canto Krishna wishes to glorify His devotee Bhishma by allowing Yudhisthira to be perplexed just so he can hear the council of Bhishmadeva and become relieved. In fact, when Krishna arrived at Bhishma´s deathbed with arrows in him, He even bowed down to Him (SB 1.9.4). So Krishna will sometimes allow Himself to be seemingly degraded in order to glorify His pure devotee. So similarly, this narration of Sri Nrisimhadeva and Lord Siva can be examined in this light. Nrisimhadeva put himself in a low position and allowed Siva to conquer Him just in order to glorify Siva. Lord Siva is a greta mahatma and he is know to be the destroyer of cosmic manifestation at the time of annihilation. So his strength is truly remarkable. But even though Sri Nrisimhadeva allowed Hiself to be beaten by Shiva, it does not mean that therefore Siva is higher than Narayana. This would be a conclusion made by somebody who is not receiving the Vedas from a bona fide authority and is concocting his on mental speculations about the narrations of the shastras, while not even studying the Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad-gita. This is a very intimate topic, and we as sadhikas cannot really understand the transcendental relationships between Krishna and his devotees. We have the tendency to analyse stories from a material perspective, when in fact the narrations of the Vedas are transcendental.

Narrations like this are not so much read by Vaishnavaas, but they are very pleasing to devotees of Lord Shiva. Vaishnavas do not read stories like this, beacause they wish to rather read narrations which glorify the Lord. Just like the compiler of the Vedas Sri Vyasadeva arranged the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is filled with topics related to Lord Hari and His devotees. Bhagavatam is considered to be the ripended fruit of Vedic literature. This is the opinion of the great devotee Suta Goswami (nigama kalpa-taror galitam phalam (SB 1.1.3)) and all the acharyas like Ramanujacharya, Vishnu Swami, Madhvcarya, coming down from the disciplic succession started by Krishna Himself. These personalities were situated on the highest platform of transcendence, namely love of God, and therefore we choose to follow in their footsteps. And as for the converstaion you had with your friend, we should be aware with whom we have philosophical discussions. Just like Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advised that we should not associate with mayavadis, because they can illusion our intelligence by their false conclusion of the Vedas. So similarly we should not associate, or at least consult, with people who are not performing sravanam kirtanam (unless we are very learned in shastra and can defeat their arguments). Because without the regulatory chanting of the Lords Holy Names a person should be known to possess a demoniac mentality. In this mentality nobody can come to the perfect conclusion of the Vedic literature (vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo (BG 15.15)), which is to surrender ones life to Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (aham adir hi devanam (BG 10.2)).

I hope my explanation and my view of this matter has not been expressed in too much length. I hold this subject a very important topic amongst devotees of Krishna and therefore have chosen to speak on this matter. I encourage anybody to further elaborate on this.

Hoping this proves to be helpful to you,

your servant, Filip

Harish V Menon, 30 Nov 2018

Hare Krishna Filip Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

Thank you so much for your enlightening explanation !

your servant,
Harish V

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01 Dec 2018
Hare Krishna!

Thank you for the question and the heartfelt answer.

Here is my (short) response:

  1. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead per Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam
  2. Sri Veda Vyasa composed 18 Puranas, 6 are in mode of ignorance, 6 in the mode of passion, and 6 in the mode of goodness
  3. Of the 6 in the mode of goodness, 1, Srimad Bhagavatam is in the mode of pure goodness
  4. Bhagavad Gita is regarded even by Adi Shankara (widely accepted as an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and also with scriptural evidence) as the topmost Upanishad – please read the introduction of Bhagavad Gita As It Is.
  5. Something beneficial can certainly be learned from all Puranas and all Vedic literature, but not the Supreme Absolute Truth, which is available perfectly only in Srimad Bhagavatam
  6. In the Bhagavad gita, it is clearly mentioned about faith in the various modes, how faith in the mode of ignorance accepts religion to be irreligion and irreligion to be religion.

But we don’t want to argue anything with anyone – we follow the authority of the disciplic succession – we are like the soldiers in a minefield walking behind the minesweeper, we step exactly where the soldier in front of us has stepped, we don’t deviate from the realized Acharyas in our disciplic succession. If someone wants to follow, good, otherwise they are welcome to stay in the material world until they come to their senses.

In general, there is one saying I heard from one of our spiritual masters in ISKCON…
“you can lead the horse to the water, you can’t make him drink,
you can lead a man to wisdom, you can’t make him think”.

Urging everyone to please carefully read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavatam ourselves. Or at least this article http://www.krishna.com/brahma-vishnu-shiva

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das
dasadas.com

Filip Misic, 01 Dec 2018
Yes, this is nicely said.

your servant, Filip

Priya Harinath, 01 Dec 2018


Jaya!! Thank you Harish Prabhuji for the wonderful question and thank you Filip Prabhu and Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu for the enlightening and amazing answers. We are really fortunate to be part of this wonderful Vaisnava sanga.

your humble servant
Priya Harinath

Nikhil Mishra, 02 Dec 2018

Hare Krsna
All glories to Srila Guru and vaishnava devotees

It was wonderful to read conversations over this topic. I am unable to stop myself to put my points also here, which are not directly from Srimad Bhagavatam, but somehow I loved them while I researched this topic during my own dilemma.

Kindly forgive me and correct me if you find any discrepancy or offensive here.

Indeed relation between Lord Hari and Lord Shiva is very sweet. Both try to belittle themselves in order to glorify other. And I thoroughly love reading such kathaa/stories.

I see Adi shankaracharya (incarnation of Lord Shiva) saying
“bhaja govindam bhaja govindam govindam bhaja mudha mate”
I.e.
Worship Govinda, worship Govinda,
Worship Govinda, oh fool

And in in another revered scripture “Ram Charit Manas” by Goswami Tulsidas , i read Lord Ram proclaiming
“shiva darohi mama bhagata kahava so nara sapanehu mohi na pava
sankar bimukh bhagati chaha mori so naraki mudha mati thori”

Summary Translation :
one who consider himself/herself devotee of Mine but have repellency from Lord Shiva, such person can not find Me even in his/her dreams. If a person insult Shiva and desires My devotion , then he is a fool and worth going to hell.

So I bow down to Lord Hari and Lord Shiva who play Lila’s which are inconceivable by my little intellect.

Hari bol
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.

When did the Kali Yuga start?

When exactly did the current age we live in, kaliyuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy begin?

Nikhil Mishra, 23 March 2018

Hare Krsna
Humble obeisance unto feet of Guru and Gauranga.

I was reading book ” KRSNA”. In chapter 52, it is stated that King Muchukunda after coming out of cave realised that current yuga was kaliyuga. Therefore he decided to go to badrikashram.

but i had heard that kaliyuga started when King Parikshit left his body.

i think that king muchukunda episode had happened before mahabharat and king Parikshit time was after Mahabharat.

so how to understand when kaliyuga started? Kindly put some light in this matter.

Sincerely
nikhil

Eshwar rao javvadhi, 23 March 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
Please accept My dandavat pranams
All glories to srila prabhupada
all glories to sri guru and gauranga.

My Answer is subjected to seniors corrections prabhuji.

As far as My knowledge is concern, King Muchukunda after fighting a war on behalf of demigods he was very tired and he slept in that cave for a very long time by which the yuga got changed.

Kali yuga started after the death of parikshat maharaja.

Thank you
your servant
Isvara Puri Dasa

Nikhil Mishra, 23 March 2018

yes prabhu ji..he was asleep for long. later woke up by kalyavan and thus angered king muchukunda turned kalyavan into ashes just by mere glacing.
but as i could understand reading upto this chapter 52 , this pastime of Lord is enacted before mahabharat began. thats why i amconfused.
hare krsna

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 24 March 2018

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

You are referring to this passage from the Krishna Book, Chapter 52:

” When Mucukunda, the celebrated descendant of the Ikṣvāku dynasty, was favored by Lord Kṛṣṇa, he circumambulated the Lord within the cave and then came out. On coming out of the cave, Mucukunda saw that the human species had surprisingly been reduced in stature to pygmy size. Similarly, the trees had also been far reduced in size, and Mucukunda could immediately understand that the current age was Kali-yuga. Therefore, without diverting his attention, he began to travel north. “

The Krishna Book is a summary of the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam – when summarizing, it may be necessary to leave out certain details or be unclear about specifics even though the essence was not lost in Srila Prabhupada’s summarization.

On the cosmic scale changes between ages appear like quick cutoffs, but when we are looking at it from our scale, changes happen relatively gradually. Even though there is certainly a specific cut-off time for yugas, the changes are gradual – for example, we are currently in the first 500 years of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Golden Age that will last for another 9500 years… but the full descriptions of this Age are not immediately manifested. So does that mean the Golden Age has not begun? No, not at all.

Elsewhere it is stated that as long as Sri Giri Govardhan is still visible above the ground, the effects of Kali Yuga will not be fully manifested, By Sri Govardhan’s potency… so does that mean that Kali Yuga has not started?

Also, the first years of the Dvapara yuga were not like the last years of Dvapara yuga, for example – it was not homogenous that one fine day everything suddenly changed.

From descriptions of our parents and grandparents, we can understand that times have indeed changed – what was once considered rude is today considered gentlemanly, for example.

For example, an extract from the chapter summary of SB 10.52, is as follows

” King Mucukunda, shown mercy by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, offered obeisances and circumambulated Him. The King then left the cave and saw that humans, animals, trees and plants were all smaller than when he had fallen asleep. From this he could understand that the Age of Kali was at hand. Thus, in a mood of detachment from all material association, the King began worshiping the Supreme Lord, Śrī Hari.”

The specific verse is SB 10.52.2:

saṁvīkṣya kṣullakān martyān
 paśūn vīrud-vanaspatīn
matvā kali-yugaṁ prāptaṁ
 jagāma diśam uttarām

” Seeing that the size of all the human beings, animals, trees and plants was severely reduced, and thus realizing that the Age of Kali was at hand, Mucukunda left for the north.”

In the previous verse 10.52.1:

śrī-śuka uvāca
itthaṁ so ’nagrahīto ’nga
 kṛṣṇenekṣvāku nandanaḥ
taṁ parikramya sannamya
 niścakrāma guhā-mukhāt

” Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King, thus graced by Lord Kṛṣṇa, Mucukunda circumambulated Him and bowed down to Him. Then Mucukunda, the beloved descendant of Ikṣvāku, exited through the mouth of the cave.”

King Muchukunda was personally graced by Sri Krishna, and was highly intelligent.

We can see that he did not want to get infected by the dark effects of the Kali yuga and departed immediately to purify and meditate and be Krishna conscious.

Intelligent man, King Muchukunda, compared to me, who inspite of first-hand observing the ill effects of this age, haven’t fully removed material desires from my heart!

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rahul Mangla, 24 March 2018

Hare Krishna!

It all happened during end of dvaparyuga, when effects of kaliyuga started appearing. We can understand it to be during overlap period ie. dvaparyiga ending and kaliyuga about to start.

Others please may correct.

Sincerely,
Rasika Krishna Das

Nikhil Mishra, 24 March 2018

Hare Krishna
Thank you all devotees and specially Mahabhagvat prabhu for detailed answer and giving me further knowledge regarding relation between Sri GovardhanJi and intensity of kaliyuga.
Translation of following verse written in your mail clears doubts in my mind where it is stated that “Age of Kali was at hand”.
-The specific verse is SB 10.52.2:

saṁvīkṣya kṣullakān martyān
 paśūn vīrud-vanaspatīn
matvā kali-yugaṁ prāptaṁ
 jagāma diśam uttarām

“Seeing that the size of all the human beings, animals, trees and plants was severely reduced, and thus realizing that the Age of Kali was at hand, Mucukunda left for the north.”

thank you so much
your servant
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.

The Dark Well of the Material World

Material existence is compared to a dark well… why such a dark analogy? Well read on!

Vasudevan K, 4 December 2017

Respected devotees,

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisanaces.

All glories to Srila prabhupada

All glories to srila gurudeva and gurumathaji

I have heard that there is a sloka in bhagavatham which describes material world as dark well and living entity who has fallen into the well is catching a creeper and that creeper is constantly chewed by 2 rats – One white and one black. Insdie the darkwell there is a phython with it’s mouth wide open and on top of the well there is a tiger which is ready to devour the living entity if he comes out. At that time some few drops of honey falls on the mouth of the person and he completely forgets his precarious condition.

The creeper is the life span, 2 rats (black and white ) are the day and night, phython is the jaws of death and tiger is the liberation.

Can you please let me know the sloka for it with it’s sloka number?

Always an insignificant servant,

Hare Krishna,

Vasudevan K

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 29 January 2018

Dear Sriman Vasudevan,

Hare Krishna!

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

Sorry for the extreme delay in getting back to you. As a group, we are guilty of ignoring your sincere question and we beg your forgiveness for our tardiness.

The analogies you mention, at least most of them, are included in the later conversation between Jada Bharat, the great realized soul, and Maharaja Rahugana, a-proud-but-receptive-king-turned-disciple.

These analogies are mentioned in the 13th Chapter of the 5th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/13

Summary text of the chapter is as follows:

“The brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata became very kind to King Rahūgaṇa, and to disassociate him from the material world, he spoke figuratively of the forest of the material world. He explained that this material world is like a great forest in which one becomes entangled due to association with material life. In this forest there are plunderers (the six senses) as well as carnivorous animals like jackals, wolves and lions (wife, children and other relatives) who are always anxious to suck the blood from the head of the family. The forest plunderers and the carnivorous blood-sucking animals combine to exploit the energy of a man within this material world. In this forest there is also a black hole, covered by grass, into which one may fall. Coming into the forest and being captivated by so many material attractions, one identifies himself with this material world, society, friendship, love and family. Having lost the path and not knowing where to go, being harassed by animals and birds, one is also victimized by many desires. Thus one works very hard within the forest and wanders here and there. He becomes captivated by temporary happiness and becomes aggrieved by so-called distress. Actually one simply suffers in the forest from so-called happiness and distress. Sometimes he is attacked by a snake (deep sleep), and due to the snakebite he loses consciousness and becomes puzzled and bewildered about discharging his duties. Sometimes he is attracted by women other than his wife, and thus be thinks he enjoys extramarital love with another woman. He is attacked by various diseases, by lamentation and by summer and winter. Thus one within the forest of the material world suffers the pains of material existence. Expecting to become happy, the living entity changes his position from one place to another, but actually a materialistic person within the material world is never happy. Being constantly engaged in materialistic activities, he is always disturbed. He forgets that one day he has to die. Although he suffers severely, being illusioned by the material energy, he still hankers after material happiness. In this way he completely forgets his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

It is risky to read verses or chapter summaries without context – especially without Srila Prabhupada’s purports, so I invite everyone to please read the entire interaction from start to finish.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/10

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/11

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/12

and of course

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/13

and for better understanding, followed by

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/14

However, everyone one of us is meant to study Srila Prabhupada’s books in great detail. To this end, we have the Bhagavata Online Academy, the 2017 class of which is about to stop accepting applications and the 2018 class is about to begin accepting applications.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

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.

Is Krishna Govardhana or Meru? One or the other, or both?

Krishna says He is Meru. Krishna also says He is Govardhan? And in some places it is mentioned that Govardhan is a devotee of Krishna. How is all this possible?

Brajanath Das, 12 November 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

I offer to you my respectful obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

Please help me to understand –

In Bg 10.23 Krishna says “… and of mountains I am Meru.” Then who is Govardhana? Govardhana is Krishna or His devotee?

your servant,
Brajanath Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03 December 2016

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

Wrt. “In Bg 10.23 Krishna says “… and of mountains I am Meru.” Then who is Govardhana? Govardhana is Krishna or His devotee?”

It is incorrect to think that Krishna can be either one or the other. Krishna is unlimited.

In SB 10.24.35, this is the direct statement of Krishna:

kṛṣṇas tv anyatamaṁ rūpaṁ
 gopa-viśrambhaṇaṁ gataḥ
śailo ’smīti bruvan bhūri
 balim ādad bṛhad-vapuḥ

“Kṛṣṇa then assumed an unprecedented, huge form to instill faith in the cowherd men. Declaring “I am Govardhana Mountain!” He ate the abundant offerings.”

The purport states this:

quote
In Chapter Twenty-four of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrīla Prabhupāda writes: “When everything was complete, Kṛṣṇa assumed a great transcendental form and declared to the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana that He was Himself Govardhana Hill in order to convince the devotees that Govardhana Hill and Kṛṣṇa Himself are identical. Then Kṛṣṇa began to eat all the food offered there. The identity of Kṛṣṇa and Govardhana Hill is still honored, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Kṛṣṇa in the temples. The followers of the Krsna consciousness movement may therefore collect small rocks or pebbles from Govardhana Hill and worship them at home, because this worship is as good as Deity worship.”

Lord Kṛṣṇa had induced the residents of Vṛndāvana to assume a significant risk on His behalf. He convinced them to neglect a sacrifice to what is, after all, the powerful government of the universe and to worship a hill called Govardhana instead. The cowherd community did all this simply out of love for Kṛṣṇa, and now to convince them that their decision was correct, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in an unprecedented, huge transcendental form and demonstrated that He Himself was Govardhana Hill.

unquote

Also, in the 10th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is answering these questions by Arjuna:

Bg 10.16 — Please tell me in detail of Your divine opulences by which You pervade all these worlds.
Bg 10.17 — O Kṛṣṇa, O supreme mystic, how shall I constantly think of You, and how shall I know You? In what various forms are You to be remembered, O Supreme Personality of Godhead?
Bg 10.18 — O Janārdana, again please describe in detail the mystic power of Your opulences. I am never satiated in hearing about You, for the more I hear the more I want to taste the nectar of Your words.

The words of Krishna describe His opulences. But His opulences are unlimited, still Krishna wants to give a hint of His greatness.
For example, it is not that Krishna is every shark or every banyan tree, or the Gandharva named Chitraratha…
But we can understand that the opulence of every shark, every banyan tree, that is a spark of Krishna’s splendor.

Srila Prabhupada writes this in the purport to BG 10.40:

“As stated in the Vedic literature, although the opulences and energies of the Supreme are understood in various ways, there is no limit to such opulences; therefore not all the opulences and energies can be explained. Simply a few examples are being described to Arjuna to pacify his inquisitiveness.”

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to BG 10.42:

“The Supreme Lord is represented throughout the entire material universes by His entering into all things as the Supersoul. The Lord here tells Arjuna that there is no point in understanding how things exist in their separate opulence and grandeur. He should know that all things are existing due to Kṛṣṇa’s entering them as Supersoul. From Brahmā, the most gigantic entity, on down to the smallest ant, all are existing because the Lord has entered each and all and is sustaining them.”

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 19 December 2016

Hare Krishna! Brajanath Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
By the mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga, I had a great fortune to go on Vraj Mandal Parikrama this year. On the day of Govardhan Parikrama (22 0ct 2016), all devotees (about 1200 in number) reached Govind Kund. And we had a Srimad Bhagavatam class there. The speaker was His Holiness Prabodhananda Sarasvati Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Radha Raman Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Bhakti Narasimha Swami Maharaj were among the audience.

The question Prabodhanana Sarasvati Swami Maharaj ji put to the audience was

“Is Govardhan- Krishna or Bhakta? Or both?”

Maharaj ji asked us to raise hands. Many hands were in the air for Govardhan is ‘Krishna’. Many hands again for Govardhan is ‘bhakta’. And of the few hands raised for Govardhan is both-Krishna and His devotee, my hand (hesitatingly!) was up too. I remember from a lecture that Govardhan is both Krishna and His devotee but apparently, forgot the details.

Maharaji beautifully explained how Sri Giri Govardhan is both Bhagavan and bhakta.

Inconceivable, but a fact! And this is how we can understand.

[Please note that I am writing on the strength of what I noted down in my journal during the SB class (mentioned above), personal query to His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj and from various lectures I came across (by His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj, His Holiness Giriraj Swami Maharaj, His Holiness Radha Govind Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj)]

Sri Giri Govardhan – Sri Krishna Himself

Mahabhagavat Prabhu has already quoted and given many references to explain this in detail.

Also, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gives a Govardhan shila to Srila Raghunath Das Goswami (with the thumb impression of Mahaprabhu on it) and says, He could see this Giriraj Shila as Brajendra Nandan, Lord Himself. Even today one can visit Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda Temple in Vrindavan and have darshan of this shila. I remember, Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji took all of us to this temple during their Vrindavan visit last kartik (year 2015).

Sri Giri Govardhan – devotee

The simple-hearted Gopi-girls of Vraja say:

hantayam adrir abala hari-dasa-varyo
yad rama-krsna-carana-sparasa-pramodah
manam tanoti saha-go-ganayos tayor yat
paniya-suyavasa-kandara-kandamulaih

“Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krsna and Balarama, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krsna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.” (SB 10.21.18)

Srila Prabhupada translates, hanta, “oh” (expression reflecting how Gopis were so happy and with great joy talking with other Gopi girls) ayam adrir, “this hill (Govardhan)” is hari-dasa-varyah, “the best among the servants of the Lord (Hari)”, “which is touched by the lotus feet of Sri Krishna and Sri Balaram”- rama-krishna-carana-sparasa. And “he appears very jubilant” (pramodah).

So here is a devotee, who descended from Goloka (a wonderful story of Sri Govardhan’s appearance on planet Earth is described in Garga samhita), only to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. And he is considered the best of the devotees of Sri Krishna (hari-dasa-varyo) because he dedicates his entire body in the service of the Lord and His associates (cowherd boys, girls and cows etc.) He supplies them nourishment by providing clean, refreshing drinking water, different varieties of fruits and roots to eat. The caves and green lustrous pastures on the hill became the sporting grounds for the Lord to play with His friends and for herding His cows and calves. And it is very significant to note here that Gopis mention that Sri Govardhan was so happy and joyfully rendering this service (pramodah). The servant is so happy serving his master and the master is so happy that His servant is so happy serving Him as if a transcendental competition is set between the duo.

This wonderful reciprocation between the Lord and his devotee is further seen in the Govardhan lila- the puja of Govardhan followed by the attack by Indra and how Lord lifts Govardhan on His little (pinky) finger and how Govardhan faced the brunt of the ferocious, thunderous attacks by the ‘pralaya’ clouds (I forgot the name of the clouds summoned during the devastation of the material creation) with great joy just for the Lord and to protect His devotees.

So the conclusion is Giriraj is both Sri Krishna and His devotee simultaneously.

Then the obvious question may arise:

What mood we sadhakas should develop so we get full mercy of Sri Krishna or Sri Giri Govardhan?

Being followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who came in the mood of Lord Hari’s servant and taught us gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah, by becoming and serving the servant of the servant of the Lord, we become recipients of Sri Krishna’s full mercy. And sastras show many pastimes of the Lord where a devotee of the Lord exhibited more mercy and compassion.

No doubt, it is equally potent to worship Sri Govardhan as both Sri Krishna or His devotee, but by following the mood of Lord Chaitanya, the mood of the gopis, the mood of becoming the servant of the servants of the Lord we will always get more mercy and please Sri Guru and Sri Krishna is the conclusion of the lecture.


In the same regard, couple of years ago, in a personal meeting (myself with my brother and parents) I had an opportunity to ask a question to His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj.

(The following is based on what little I could remember from the conversation with His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj, on evening walk outside his asrama, at the foot hill of Sri Govardhan, and also from a lecture by His Holiness on Govardhan Puja, this year 2016 at Barsana)

Q: What is the significance of Govardhan Pastime? (My doubt was why this pastime had to take place for 7 days and nights when the All Mighty, Sri Krishna could have stopped it immediately)

A: It gave an opportunity to all the living entities of Vrindavan to have personal and close association of Sri Krishna. They all spent 7 days and nights at the lotus feet of Sri Krishna. And there were many reciprocations between Krishna and every devotee (which of course were very special and unique to each individual.)

And while remembering and writing all this, it suddenly dawned on me what the above answer meant. This pastime clearly shows- when we take shelter of a devotee (Sri Govardhan) we get direct shelter of the Lotus feet of Sri Krishna.

Brajanath Prabhu, I thank you very much and appreciate for asking this wonderful question on this forum, for while attempting this exercise, it helped me drive home with the following message that Indirectly we get the direct benefit of associating with Lord Sri Krishna, when we serve the devotee(s) of the Lord.

Hope this answer is of some help.

And if further inputs or corrections needed in the above, I humbly beg the readers to add/ point them out for better understanding.

Your servant,

Shyamapriya devi dasi


Nashvin, 20 December 2016

Hare Krsna!

Yes, an important aspect of the reason for the Govardhana pastime is that Krsna wanted to associate with all His various devotees. Generally, He associates with different groups of devotees at different times (with cowherd boys during the day, gopis during the night etc). However, during this pastime, He was able to exchange loving glances and feelings with all the residents of Vrndavana, simultaneously.

your servant,
Nashvin

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

What is the difference between occupational duty and prescribed duty?

What is the duty of a human being? What is prescribed? What about our ability? How to ensure that we can do what’s most important, what’s most urgent, and what’s most urgent and important? How to prioritize?

Bhakta Sunil, 06th January 2016

Hare Krishna every one,

Please accept my humble respects
All Glories to Vaishnavas

Please enlighten about occupational duty and prescribed duty , are both same or different?

Thanks in anticipation,
sunil

Prasadj dube, 08th January 2016

Hare Krishna!

Occupational duty means to attend the works of his livelihood. Prescribed duty means doing the eternal service to the Supreme Lord by devotedly chanting his name hare krishna hare krishna .

Prasadj dube

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 08th January 2016

Hare Krishna,

Thank you for this question!

The English dictionary says ‘occupation’ means job or profession and the word ‘prescribed’ means advisable or authorized.

And as per vedic understanding-

Occupational duties or Varnasrama-dharma are duties related to the four divisions of material— (namely brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra) and and spiritual life (brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa).[SB 4.20.9] and

Prescribed duties or Sva-dharma mean duties enjoined according to one’s psychophysical condition, under the influence of three modes of material nature. [Bg 3.35]

Srila Prabhupada, explains more on prescribed duties as follows in the purport of Bg 3.35 :

“One should therefore discharge his prescribed duties in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness rather than those prescribed for others. Materially, prescribed duties are duties enjoined according to one’s psychophysical condition, under the spell of the modes of material nature. Spiritual duties are as ordered by the spiritual master for the transcendental service of Kṛṣṇa. But whether material or spiritual, one should stick to his prescribed duties even up to death, rather than imitate another’s prescribed duties. Duties on the spiritual platform and duties on the material platform may be different, but the principle of following the authorized direction is always good for the performer. When one is under the spell of the modes of material nature, one should follow the prescribed rules for his particular situation and should not imitate others. For example, a brāhmaṇa, who is in the mode of goodness, is nonviolent, whereas a kṣatriya, who is in the mode of passion, is allowed to be violent. As such, for a kṣatriya it is better to be vanquished following the rules of violence than to imitate a brāhmaṇa who follows the principles of nonviolence. Everyone has to cleanse his heart by a gradual process, not abruptly. However, when one transcends the modes of material nature and is fully situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he can perform anything and everything under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master. In that complete stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the kṣatriya may act as a brāhmaṇa, or a brāhmaṇa may act as a kṣatriya. In the transcendental stage, the distinctions of the material world do not apply. For example, Viśvāmitra was originally a kṣatriya, but later on he acted as a brāhmaṇa, whereas Paraśurāma was a brāhmaṇa but later on he acted as a kṣatriya. Being transcendentally situated, they could do so; but as long as one is on the material platform, he must perform his duties according to the modes of material nature. At the same time, he must have a full sense of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” [ Purport Bg 3.35]

From the above reading we understand that, since every living entity (in human form) has acquired a particular nature (under the influence of three modes of nature -goodness, passion and ignorance), the vedic injunction accordingly prescribes one of his duty (through the institution of varna and asrama) by which one can gradually elevate oneself to the stage of transcendence, where one is free from the influence of these three modes.

Now, coming back to your question- both occupational and prescribed duties in vedic sense mean one and the same. i.e the vedic authorities prescribe a living entitiey to take up a certain profession or occupation (as a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra) based on one’s pscho-physical condition (a consequence of three modes of nature). Along with this, it also reminds us to perform such duties not with the motive of material gain but to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead ultimately, then only can one be happy and content.

In conclusion, whatever our occupational or prescribed duties may be, the essence remains the same Jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya dasa. The real occupation duty or Santana-dharma of a spirit soul or a living entity as prescribed by the authorized sources/scriptures like Bhagavad-gita is ultimately to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna by eternally serving Him with love.

I would appreciate if others can fill in the lacunae in the above explanation.

Sincerely,
Shyamapriya devi dasi

Guru Vandana devi dasi, 09th January 2016

Hare Krishna!

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6, Suta Goswami says, “The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.”

Here Srila Prabhupada purposefully translates the word ‘dharma’ as occupation and not as religion. He says the word religion is misunderstood. It is taken as faith which can change but dharma or occupation is which cannot change.

When one is on bodily platform he manufactures some occupation to earn his livelihood according to his body, mind and circumstances. As a medical doctor one may have a livelihood by medical practice, as a civil servant one may serve his country etc.. But these occupations are temporary. It is finished as soon as the body is finished.

The question asked here is to describe about occupational duty. We must now inquire and understand what is our real occupational duty?

In verse 1.2.6 it is mentioned as ‘paro dharma’. Para means transcendental . Suta Goswami explains ‘bhaktih adhoksaje’. Our real dharma is -loving devotional service.

Krishna came to teach us this real occupational duty. The merciful Lord says to just give up all bodily occupation, mental occupation, intellectual occupation and surrender unto Him. It doesn’t mean these occupational duties as an engineer, lawyer, doctor, householder, etc .are not of real consideration and to be given up thinking that devotional service is executed under whatever circumstances we may whimsically decide. Arjuna performed his occupational duty not as a material obligation but as a devotional service.

Prescribed duty- Just like animals if we are simply interested only in eating, sleeping, mating and defending then there are no prescribed duties. But who wants to rise above animal life for him prescribed duties are there. According to the modes of nature Krishna has given prescribed duties in verses BG 18.42, 18.43,18.44

Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness—these are the natural qualities by which the brahmanas work.

Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the ksatriyas.

Farming, cow protection and business are the natural work for the vaisyas, and for the sudras there is labor and service to others.

When I asked Srila Gurudeva what my prescribed duty is , His Grace replied, “Your prescribed duties are what I give you.”

Are both same or different?

One’s occupational duties are prescribed in scriptures and by Guru and Vaishnavas. So for those who are interested in real occupation both occupational duties and prescribed duties are one and the same.

your servant
Guru Vandana devi dasi

Premananda das, 12th January 2016

Thank you for the wonderful question by Bhakta Sunil and beautiful answers by Mother Guruvandana and Mother ShyamaPriya.

your servant
Premananda Das

Premananda das, 13th January 2016

Hare Krishna

My apologies for the major and very careless typo error .I had written But Krishna was married to Draupati and Subhadara.
I was referring to Arjuna.
This is certainly my fault and only due to kindness and due diligence of Mahabhagavata prabhu I am glad to be corrected.Hare Krishna

Occupational duty is the external activities people are engaged for example a traveling monk,student ,businessman,housewife etc.
Prescibed duty means to make the purpose behind these responsibilities one with the purpose of loving God (Krishna).
This becomes natural when we are in association with saintly people who are already doing that.
It means to give up separate motives.
Lord Krishna told Arjuna .”You should surrender unto me .”But Arjuna was a married man.He was married to Draupadi and Subhadra and he had eight children and even grand children.He was a warrior.After hearing Bhagavat-Gita he did not become a sannyasi, a person in the renounced order.
He performed his duty of fighting because he was a military man and he continued to maintain his family.But he did all these in the spirit of service rather than spirit of greed and exploitation .He did it as an expression of love for God.
In this way he rightly oriented his occupation and domestic situation.He did not renounce it but renounced greed,envy pride and lust .
With a pure state of consciousness and a desire to serve he aspired for the ideal love of God through the situation he was in.
In conclusion as Srimati Gurumata and Srila Gurudeva always instructs that all actives should be dovetailed in Krishna consciousness.Krishna is the Centre of all our activities.Krishna is the Supreme enjoyer and we are His servants who are enjoyed by Him.Jivera swarupa Hoya Nitya Krishna Das. Our constitutional position is that we are all servants of Krishna.In this situation only we will be happy.

your servant
Premananda Das

Dra Varni, 15th January 2016

Hare Krsna, Thanks you for all the wonderful insight. For a contribution I would say to remember “you are not this body”

drv

Bhakta Sunil, 17th February 2016

A delayed but hearty Thank you very much! to prasadj dube Prabhu , Shyamapriya devi mataji , Guru Vandana Devi Mataji , Premananda Prabhu , Dra Varni ji and every one who contributed to enlighten on this nectar which at my stage , i could not dive deeply into , and relish as much as it actually is

All Glories to your replies!

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

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

How old is the Universe? When will it all end?

How old is the Universe? When will the Universe end? What transitions take place? Do we have a way beyond speculation?

There is a lot of speculation about the age of the Universe. Every little while, there is some new number, with language like “research suggests”, or “new evidence reveals”, etc. Numbers like 9 Billion years, 13.8 Billion years, etc., are thrown around. All speculative.

Then there’s the Biblican/Abrahamic version, which puts the age of the Universe to just a few thousand years.

There is authoritative information available, however, as to:

  • How old is the Universe presently
  • When will the Universe be dissolved
  • What transitions take place in the Universe
  • How big is the Universe
  • One Universe or more than one Universe

According to the Srimad Bhagavatam https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/11/advanced-view/, which gives information from the perspective of the Creator of the Universe, this particular universe has a total lifespan of approximately 311 Trillion Years. https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/17/

Of that lifespan, approximately 50% is completed. So the present age of the Universe is 155 Trillion Years. http://www.krishna.com/how-he-creates

This Universe is one of innumerable, just like bubbles in the foam of the waves of the ocean.

There is a partial dissolution of the Universe periodically, every 4.32 Billion Years.

No matter how long all this may seem to be, in the context of eternity, this is but a flash in the pan.

Our Universe, The Source of the Universe is practically Infinite. We are each an infinitesimal part of The Infinite. What does that make us then? Why should we be attached to one particular situation on one particular planet in one particular Universe in one particular iteration of the Creation?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.