Srimad Bhagavatam teaches

Quotes-by-Srila-Prabhupada-on-Glory-of-Srimad-Bhagavatam

 


Q: acintya-bhedābheda

Reply : SB 6.16.9

Translation
The living entity is eternal and imperishable because he actually has no beginning and no end. He never takes birth or dies. He is the basic principle of all types of bodies, yet he does not belong to the bodily category. The living being is so sublime that he is equal in quality to the Supreme Lord. Nonetheless, because he is extremely small, he is prone to be illusioned by the external energy, and thus he creates various bodies for himself according to his different desires.

Purport
In this verse the philosophy of acintya-bhedābheda — simultaneous oneness and difference — is described. The living entity is eternal (nitya) like the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the difference is that the Supreme Lord is the greatest, no one being equal to or greater than Him, whereas the living entity is sūkṣma, or extremely small. The śāstra describes that the magnitude of the living entity is one ten-thousandth the size of the tip of a hair. The Supreme Lord is all-pervading (aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham). Relatively, if the living entity is accepted as the smallest, there should naturally be inquiry about the greatest. The greatest is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the smallest is the living entity.
Another peculiar characteristic of the jīva is that he becomes covered by māyā. Ātmamāyā-guṇaiḥ: he is prone to being covered by the Supreme Lord’s illusory energy. The living entity is responsible for his conditional life in the material world, and therefore he is described as prabhu (“the master”). If he likes he can come to this material world, and if he likes he can return home, back to Godhead. Because he wanted to enjoy this material world, the Supreme Personality of Godhead gave him a material body through the agency of the material energy. As the Lord Himself says in Bhagavad-gītā (18.61):
īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.” The Supreme Lord gives the living entity a chance to enjoy in this material world as he desires, but He openly expresses His own desire that the living entity give up all material aspirations, fully surrender unto Him and return home, back to Godhead.
The living entity is the smallest (sūkṣma). Jīva Gosvāmī says in this connection that the living entity within the body is extremely difficult for materialistic scientists to find, although we understand from authorities that the living entity is within the body. The body is different from the living entity.


Q: When this material world is full of misery then why did God created it in the first place ? Why does God visits such a place ?

Reply : It is created to fulfil our desires or sensual satisfaction. He comes to take us back to the spiritual world where we actually belong.

SB 3.21.20

Translation

My dear Lord, although it is not Your desire, You manifest this creation of gross and subtle elements just for our sensual satisfaction. Let Your causeless mercy be upon us, for You have appeared before us in Your eternal form, adorned with a splendid wreath of tulasī leaves.

Purport
It is clearly stated here that the material world is not created by the personal will of the Supreme Lord; it is created by His external energy because the living entities want to enjoy it. This material world is not created for those who do not want to enjoy sense gratification, who constantly remain in transcendental loving service and who are eternally Kṛṣṇa conscious. For them, the spiritual world is eternally existing, and they enjoy there. Elsewhere in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that for those who have taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this material world is useless; because this material world is full of danger at every step, it is not meant for the devotees but for living entities who want to lord it over the material energy at their own risk. Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He allows the sense-enjoying living entities a separate world created by Him to enjoy as they like, yet at the same time He appears in His personal form.

The Lord unwillingly creates this material world, but He descends in His personal form or sends one of His reliable sons or a servant or a reliable author like Vyāsadeva to give instruction. He Himself also instructs in His speeches of Bhagavad-gītā.

This propaganda work goes on side by side with the creation to convince the misguided living entities who are rotting in this material world to come back to Him and surrender unto Him. Therefore the last instruction of Bhagavad-gītā is this: “Give up all your manufactured engagements in the material world and just surrender unto Me. I shall protect you from all sinful reactions.”


Q: where it is stated they Lord accomplished everything through His various energies, specifically Yogamaya ? Does God become Impersonal after creating his world.

Reply :

SB 3.21.19

Translation

My dear Lord, You alone create the universes. O Personality of Godhead, desiring to create these universes, You create them, maintain them and again wind them up by Your own energies, which are under the control of Your second energy, called yogamāyā, just as a spider creates a cobweb by its own energy and again winds it up.

Purport
In this verse two important words nullify the impersonalist theory that everything is God. Here Kardama says, “O Personality of Godhead, You are alone, but You have various energies.” The example of the spider is very significant also. The spider is an individual living entity, and by its energy it creates a cobweb and plays on it, and whenever it likes it winds up the cobweb, thus ending the play. When the cobweb is manufactured by the saliva of the spider, the spider does not become impersonal. Similarly, the creation and manifestation of the material or spiritual energy does not render the creator impersonal. Here the very prayer suggests that God is sentient and can hear the prayers and fulfill the desires of the devotee. Therefore, He is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], the form of bliss, knowledge and eternity.


Q: Who can overcome time and how ?

Reply : a devotee can easily overcome time factor by just taking shelter of Lord Krishna.

SB 3.21.18

Translation
Your wheel, which has three naves, rotates around the axis of the imperishable Brahman. It has thirteen spokes, 360 joints, six rims and numberless leaves carved upon it. Though its revolution cuts short the life-span of the entire creation, this wheel of tremendous velocity cannot touch the life-span of the devotees of the Lord.

Purport
The time factor cannot affect the span of life of the devotees. In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that a little execution of devotional service saves one from the greatest danger. The greatest danger is transmigration of the soul from one body to another, and only devotional service to the Lord can stop this process. It is stated in the Vedic literatures, hariṁ vinā na sṛtiṁ taranti: without the mercy of the Lord, one cannot stop the cycle of birth and death. In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that only by understanding the transcendental nature of the Lord and His activities, His appearance and disappearance, can one stop the cycle of death and go back to Him. The time factor is divided into many fractions of moments, hours, months, years, periods, seasons, etc. All the divisions in this verse are determined according to the astronomical calculations of Vedic literature. There are six seasons, called ṛtus, and there is the period of four months called cāturmāsya. Three periods of four months complete one year…. The time factor, however, cannot touch the lifespan of the devotees. In another verse it is stated that when the sun rises and sets it takes away the life of all living entities, but it cannot take away the life of those who are engaged in devotional service. Time is compared here to a big wheel which has 360 joints, six rims in the shape of seasons, and numberless leaves in the shape of moments. It rotates on the eternal existence, Brahman.


Q: what is the value of aspiring material benefits by practicing Ashtangayoga? What is the result of such practices?

Reply : even people rotting is hell can achieve them. Result is that we could be born in the lower species of life.

SB 3.21.14

Translation
Your lotus feet are the true vessel to take one across the ocean of mundane nescience. Only persons deprived of their intelligence by the spell of the deluding energy will worship those feet with a view to attain the trivial and momentary pleasures of the senses, which even persons rotting in hell can attain. However, O my Lord, You are so kind that You bestow mercy even upon them.

Purport
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, Seventh Chapter, there are two kinds of devotees — those who desire material pleasures and those who desire nothing but service to the Lord. Material pleasures can be attained even by hogs and dogs, whose condition of life is hellish. The hog also eats, sleeps and enjoys sex life to the full extent, and it is also very satisfied with such hellish enjoyment of material existence. Modern yogīs advise that because one has senses, one must enjoy to the fullest extent like cats and dogs, yet one can go on and practice yoga. This is condemned here by Kardama Muni; he says that such material pleasures are available for cats and dogs in a hellish condition. The Lord is so kind that if so-called yogīs are satisfied by hellish pleasures, He can give them facilities to attain all the material pleasures they desire, but they cannot attain the perfectional stage attained by Kardama Muni.
Hellish and demoniac persons do not actually know what is the ultimate attainment in perfection, and therefore they think that sense gratification is the highest goal of life. They advise that one can satisfy the senses and at the same time, by reciting some mantra and by some practice, can cheaply aspire for perfection. Such persons are described here as hata-medhasaḥ, which means “those whose brains are spoiled.” They aspire for material enjoyment by perfection of yoga or meditation. In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated by the Lord that the intelligence of those who worship the demigods has been spoiled. Similarly, here too it is stated by Kardama Muni that one who aspires after material enjoyment by practice of yoga has spoiled his brain substance and is fool number one. Actually, the intelligent practitioner of yoga should aspire for nothing else but to cross over the ocean of nescience by worshiping the Personality of Godhead and to see the lotus feet of the Lord. The Lord is so kind, however, that even today persons whose brain substance is spoiled are given the benediction to become cats, dogs or hogs and enjoy material happiness from sex life and sense gratification. The Lord confirms this benediction in Bhagavad-gītā: “Whatever a person aspires to receive from Me, I offer him as he desires.”


Q: Why should we not seek material benefits from Lord ?

Ans:SB 3.21.14 says because it is available to even those rotting in hell can attain them!

Translation

Your lotus feet are the true vessel to take one across the ocean of mundane nescience. Only persons deprived of their intelligence by the spell of the deluding energy will worship those feet with a view to attain the trivial and momentary pleasures of the senses, which even persons rotting in hell can attain. However, O my Lord, You are so kind that You bestow mercy even upon them.

Purport
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, Seventh Chapter, there are two kinds of devotees — those who desire material pleasures and those who desire nothing but service to the Lord. Material pleasures can be attained even by hogs and dogs, whose condition of life is hellish. The hog also eats, sleeps and enjoys sex life to the full extent, and it is also very satisfied with such hellish enjoyment of material existence. Modern yogīs advise that because one has senses, one must enjoy to the fullest extent like cats and dogs, yet one can go on and practice yoga. This is condemned here by Kardama Muni; he says that such material pleasures are available for cats and dogs in a hellish condition. The Lord is so kind that if so-called yogīs are satisfied by hellish pleasures, He can give them facilities to attain all the material pleasures they desire, but they cannot attain the perfectional stage attained by Kardama Muni.

…..Actually, the intelligent practitioner of yoga should aspire for nothing else but to cross over the ocean of nescience by worshiping the Personality of Godhead and to see the lotus feet of the Lord. The Lord is so kind, however, that even today persons whose brain substance is spoiled are given the benediction to become cats, dogs or hogs and enjoy material happiness from sex life and sense gratification. The Lord confirms this benediction in Bhagavad-gītā: “Whatever a person aspires to receive from Me, I offer him as he desires.”


Q:

Reply SB 3.21.7
Translation
During that period of penance, the sage Kardama, by worship through devotional service in trance, propitiated the Personality of Godhead, who is the quick bestower of all blessings upon those who flee to Him for protection.

Purport
The significance of meditation is described here. Kardama Muni practiced mystic yoga meditation for ten thousand years just to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari. Therefore, whether one practices yoga or speculates and does research to find God, one’s efforts must be mixed with the process of devotion. Without devotion, nothing can be perfect. The target of perfection and realization is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly said that one who constantly engages in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the topmost yogī. The Personality of Godhead, Hari, also fulfills the desires of His surrendered devotee. One has to surrender unto the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, Hari, or Kṛṣṇa, in order to achieve real success. Devotional service, or engagement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the direct method, and all other methods, although recommended, are indirect. In this age of Kali the direct method is especially more feasible than the indirect because people are short-living, their intelligence is poor, and they are poverty-stricken and embarrassed by so many miserable disturbances. Lord Caitanya, therefore, has given the greatest boon: in this age one simply has to chant the holy name of God to attain perfection in spiritual life.


Q: 15 minutes yoga and self realisation achieved. !

ANs nope SB 3.21.6

The great sage Maitreya replied: Commanded by Lord Brahmā to beget children in the worlds, the worshipful Kardama Muni practiced penance on the bank of the River Sarasvatī for a period of ten thousand years.
It is understood herein that Kardama Muni meditated in yoga for ten thousand years before attaining perfection. Similarly, we have information that Vālmīki Muni also practiced yoga meditation for sixty thousand years before attaining perfection. Therefore, yoga practice can be successfully performed by persons who have a very long duration of life, such as one hundred thousand years; in that way it is possible to have perfection in yoga. Otherwise, there is no possibility of attaining the real perfection. Following the regulations, controlling the senses and practicing the different sitting postures are merely the preliminary practices. We do not know how people can be captivated by the bogus yoga system in which it is stated that simply by meditating fifteen minutes daily one can attain the perfection of becoming one with God. This age (Kali-yuga) is the age of bluffing and quarrel. Actually there is no possibility of attaining yoga perfection by such paltry proposals. The Vedic literature, for emphasis, clearly states three times that in this age of Kali — kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva — there is no other alternative, no other alternative, no other alternative than harer nāma [Adi 17.21], chanting the holy name of the Lord.


Q: what is the purpose of ritualistic sacrifices?
Ans: to gradually revive the spiritual realization of the living entities

SB 2.20.51

Translation

They prayed: O creator of the universe, we are glad; what you have produced is well done. Since ritualistic acts have now been established soundly in this human form, we shall all share the sacrificial oblations.

Purport

The importance of sacrifice is also mentioned in Bhagavad-gītā, Third Chapter, verse 10. The Lord confirms there that in the beginning of creation Brahmā created the Manus, along with the ritualistic sacrificial method, and blessed them: “Continue these sacrificial rites, and you will be gradually elevated to your proper position of self-realization and will also enjoy material happiness.” All the living entities created by Brahmā are conditioned souls and are inclined to lord it over material nature. The purpose of sacrificial rituals is to revive, gradually, the spiritual realization of the living entities. That is the beginning of life within this universe. These sacrificial rituals, however, are intended to please the Supreme Lord. Unless one pleases the Supreme Lord, or unless one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, one cannot be happy either in material enjoyment or in spiritual realization.

Q: Does these ritualistic sacrifices in themselves suffice to make us a spiritually realised soul ?

Reply : No

SB 3.20.52 purport

The ritualistic performances of sacrifice are meant for material economic development; in other words, they are meant to keep the body in good condition for cultivation of spiritual knowledge. But for actual attainment of spiritual knowledge, other qualifications are needed. What is essential is vidyā, or worship of the Supreme Lord. Sometimes the word yoga is used to refer to the gymnastic performances of different bodily postures which help mental concentration. Generally, the different bodily postures in the yoga system are accepted by less intelligent men to be the end of yoga, but actually they are meant to concentrate the mind upon the Supersoul. After creating persons for economic development, Brahmā created sages who would set the example for spiritual realization.


Q: Can one enjoy the material world and also become spiritually realised ?
Ans : No

SB 3.20.53

Translation

To each one of these sons the unborn creator of the universe gave a part of his own body, which was characterized by deep meditation, mental concentration, supernatural power, austerity, adoration and renunciation.

Purport

The word viraktimat in this verse means “possessed of the qualification of renunciation.” Spiritual realization cannot be attained by materialistic persons. For those who are addicted to sense enjoyment, spiritual realization is not possible. In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that those who are too attached to seeking material possessions and material enjoyment cannot reach yoga-samādhi, absorption in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Propaganda that one can enjoy this life materially and at the same time spiritually advance is simply bogus. The principles of renunciation are four: (1) to avoid illicit sex life, (2) to avoid meat-eating, (3) to avoid intoxication and (4) to avoid gambling. These four principles are called tapasya, or austerity. To absorb the mind in the Supreme in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the process of spiritual realization.


Q: Who can directly perceives the exact causes of our distress ?

Reply: Only Supreme God.

SB 3.20.28

Translation

The Lord, who can distinctly see the minds of others, perceived Brahmā’s distress and said to him: “Cast off this impure body of yours.” Thus commanded by the Lord, Brahmā cast off his body.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport:

The Lord is described here by the word viviktādhyātma-darśanaḥ. If anyone can completely perceive another’s distress without doubt, it is the Lord Himself. If someone is in distress and wants to get relief from his friend, sometimes it so happens that his friend does not appreciate the volume of distress he is suffering. But for the Supreme Lord it is not difficult. The Supreme Lord, as Paramātmā, is sitting within the heart of every living entity, and He directly perceives the exact causes of distress. In Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ: “I am sitting in everyone’s heart, and because of Me one’s remembrance and forgetfulness occur.” Thus whenever one fully surrenders unto the Supreme Lord, one finds that He is sitting within one’s heart. He can give us direction how to get out of dangers or how to approach Him in devotional service.


Q: What are the five layers of ignorance which covers a Jiva ?

Reply : tāmisra: envy
andha-tāmisra : death to be the ultimate end.
tamas : condition of not knowing anything about the spirit soul.
moha : illusion of the bodily concept of life, me and mine
mahā-moha : to be mad after material enjoyment

SB 3.20.18

First of all, Brahmā created from his shadow the coverings of ignorance of the conditioned souls. They are five in number and are called tāmisra, andha-tāmisra, tamas, moha and mahā-moha.

Purport

The conditioned souls, or living entities who come to the material world to enjoy sense gratification, are covered in the beginning by five different conditions. The first condition is a covering of tāmisra, or anger. Constitutionally, each and every living entity has minute independence; it is misuse of that minute independence for the conditioned soul to think that he can also enjoy like the Supreme Lord or to think, “Why shall I not be a free enjoyer like the Supreme Lord?” This forgetfulness of his constitutional position is due to anger or envy. The living entity, being eternally a part-and-parcel servitor of the Supreme Lord, can never, by constitution, be an equal enjoyer with the Lord. When he forgets this, however, and tries to be one with Him, his condition is called tāmisra. Even in the field of spiritual realization, this tāmisra mentality of the living entity is hard to overcome. In trying to get out of the entanglement of material life, there are many who want to be one with the Supreme. Even in their transcendental activities, this lower-grade mentality of tāmisra continues.
Andha-tāmisra involves considering death to be the ultimate end. The atheists generally think that the body is the self and that everything is therefore ended with the end of the body. Thus they want to enjoy material life as far as possible during the existence of the body. Their theory is: “As long as you live, you should live prosperously. Never mind whether you commit all kinds of so-called sins. You must eat sumptuously. Beg, borrow and steal, and if you think that by stealing and borrowing you are being entangled in sinful activities for which you will have to pay, then just forget that misconception because after death everything is finished. No one is responsible for anything he does during his life.” This atheistic conception of life is killing human civilization, for it is without knowledge of the continuation of eternal life.
This andha-tāmisra ignorance is due to tamas. The condition of not knowing anything about the spirit soul is called tamas. This material world is also generally called tamas because ninety-nine percent of its living entities are ignorant of their identity as soul. Almost everyone is thinking that he is this body; he has no information of the spirit soul. Guided by this misconception, one always thinks, “This is my body, and anything in relationship with this body is mine.” For such misguided living entities, sex life is the background of material existence. Actually, the conditioned souls, in ignorance in this material world, are simply guided by sex life, and as soon as they get the opportunity for sex life, they become attached to so-called home, motherland, children, wealth and opulence.

As these attachments increase, moha, or the illusion of the bodily concept of life, also increases. Thus the idea that “I am this body, and everything belonging to this body is mine” also increases, and as the whole world is put into moha, sectarian societies, families and nationalities are created, and they fight with one another.

Mahā-moha means to be mad after material enjoyment. Especially in this age of Kali, everyone is overwhelmed by the madness to accumulate paraphernalia for material enjoyment.

These definitions are very nicely given in Viṣṇu Purāṇa, wherein it is said:

tamo ‘viveko mohaḥ syād
antaḥ-karaṇa-vibhramaḥ
mahā-mohas tu vijñeyo
grāmya-bhoga-sukhaiṣaṇā
maraṇaṁ hy andha-tāmisraṁ
tāmisraṁ krodha ucyate
avidyā pañca-parvaiṣā
prādurbhūtā mahātmanaḥ


Q: both lives are benefitted by reading SB

SB 3.19.38

Translation
This most sacred narrative confers extraordinary merit, wealth, fame, longevity, and all the objects of one’s desire. On the field of battle it promotes the strength of one’s vital organs and organs of action. One who listens to it at the last moment of his life is transferred to the supreme abode of the Lord, O dear Śaunaka.

Purport
Devotees are generally attracted by the narratives of the pastimes of the Lord, and even though they do not prosecute austerities or meditation, this very process of hearing attentively about the pastimes of the Lord will endow them with innumerable benefits, such as wealth, fame, longevity and other desirable aims of life. If one continues to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is full of narratives of the pastimes of the Lord, at the end of this life, one is sure to be transferred to the eternal, transcendental abode of the Lord. Thus hearers are benefited both ultimately and for as long as they are in the material world. That is the supreme, sublime result of engaging in devotional service. The beginning of devotional service is to spare some time and listen to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the right source. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu also recommended five items of devotional service, namely to serve the devotees of the Lord, to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, to worship the Deity of the Lord and to live in a place of pilgrimage. Just performing these five activities can deliver one from the miserable condition of material life.


Q: how to easily come to spiritual platform ?

SB 3.20.5

Translation

Śaunaka inquired about the conversation between Vidura and Maitreya: There must have been many narrations of the spotless pastimes of the Lord. The hearing of such narrations is exactly like bathing in the water of the Ganges, for it can free one from all sinful reactions.

Purport
The water of the Ganges is purified because it pours forth from the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, Bhagavad-gītā is as good as the water of the Ganges because it is spoken from the mouth of the Supreme Lord. So it is with any topic on the pastimes of the Lord or the characteristics of His transcendental activities. The Lord is absolute; there is no difference between His words, His perspiration or His pastimes. The water of the Ganges, the narrations of His pastimes and the words spoken by Him are all on the absolute platform, and thus taking shelter of any one of them is equally good. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has enunciated that anything in relationship with Kṛṣṇa is on the transcendental platform. If we can dovetail all our activities in relationship with Kṛṣṇa, then we do not stand on the material platform, but always on the spiritual platform.


Q: should we look at the faults of devotees? Example

Reply : Never, repentance of four Kumaras for cursing Jaya and Vijaya.

SB 3.16.25

Translation

O Lord, whatever punishment You wish to award to these two innocent persons or also to us we shall accept without duplicity. We understand that we have cursed two faultless persons.

Purport
The sages, the four Kumāras, now reject their cursing of the two doorkeepers, Jaya and Vijaya, because they are now conscious that persons who engage in the service of the Lord cannot be at fault at any stage. It is said that anyone who has implicit faith in the service of the Lord, or who actually engages in transcendental loving service, has all the good qualities of the demigods. Therefore, a devotee cannot be at fault. If sometimes it is found that he is in error by accident or by some temporary arrangement, that should not be taken very seriously. The cursing of Jaya and Vijaya is here repented. Now the Kumāras are thinking in terms of their position in the modes of passion and ignorance, and they are prepared to accept any kind of punishment from the Lord. In general, when dealing with devotees, we should not try to find faults. In Bhagavad-gītā also it is confirmed that the devotee who faithfully serves the Supreme Lord, even if found to commit a gross mistake, should be considered a sādhu, or saintly person. Due to former habits he may commit some wrong, but because he is engaged in the service of the Lord, that wrong should not be taken very seriously.


Q: Why does Lord worships His own devotees and show submissive behaviour towards then ?

Reply : to show us by example what we should follow

SB 3.26.23

Translation

O Lord, You are the protector of the highest of the twice-born. If You do not protect them by offering worship and mild words, then certainly the auspicious path of worship will be rejected by people in general, who act on the strength and authority of Your Lordship.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport

In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated by the Lord Himself that the acts and character of great authorities are followed by people in general. Leaders of ideal character are therefore needed in society. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared in this material world just to show the example of perfect authority, and people have to follow His path. The Vedic injunction is that one cannot understand the Absolute Truth simply by mental speculation or logical argument. One has to follow the authorities. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Great authorities should be followed; otherwise, if we simply depend on the scriptures, we are sometimes misled by rascals, or else we cannot understand or follow the different spiritual injunctions. The best path is to follow the authorities.

One should worship the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas by offering them all kinds of endowments and sweet words, and if one has no means to offer anything, he must at least use sweet words to pacify them. The Lord personally exhibited this behavior towards the Kumāras.

If this system is not introduced by the leaders, then human civilization will be lost. When there is no protection and special treatment for persons who are devotees of the Lord, who are highly intelligent in spiritual life, then the whole society is lost. The word naṅkṣyati indicates that such a civilization becomes spoiled and is annihilated… If the authorities or the leaders of society do not give special respect to the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas and do not offer them not only sweet words but all facilities, then the path of progress will be lost to human civilization. The Lord personally wanted to teach this, and therefore He offered so much praise to the Kumāras.

Four Kumaras also pray in SB 3.16.24

You are the proprietor of the three creations and the maintainer of the entire universe. Therefore Your potency is not reduced by Your submissive behavior. Rather, by submission You exhibit Your transcendental pastimes.


Q: How to deal if any devotee uses harsh words to us : Lord’s instruction to us on this matter

Reply:
SB 3.16.11
Translation
On the other hand, they captivate My heart who are gladdened in heart and who, their lotus faces enlightened by nectarean smiles, respect the brāhmaṇas, even though the brāhmaṇas utter harsh words. They look upon the brāhmaṇas as My own Self and pacify them by praising them in loving words, even as a son would appease an angry father or as I am pacifying you.

Purport
It has been observed in many instances in the Vedic scriptures that when the brāhmaṇas or Vaiṣṇavas curse someone in an angry mood, the person who is cursed does not take it upon himself to treat the brāhmaṇas or Vaiṣṇavas in the same way. There are many examples of this. For instance, the sons of Kuvera, when cursed by the great sage Nārada, did not seek revenge in the same harsh way, but submitted. Here also, when Jaya and Vijaya were cursed by the four Kumāras, they did not become harsh towards them; rather, they submitted. That should be the way of treating brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. One may sometimes be faced with a grievous situation created by a brāhmaṇa, but instead of meeting him with a similar mood, one should try to pacify him with a smiling face and mild treatment. Brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas should be accepted as earthly representatives of Nārāyaṇa…. the brāhmaṇa should especially be treated as the representative of Nārāyaṇa and should be worshiped like Him. It is specifically said that to pacify the brāhmaṇas, one’s face should be lotuslike. A lotuslike face is exhibited when one is adorned with love and affection. In this respect, the example of the father’s being angry at the son and the son’s trying to pacify the father with smiling and sweet words is very appropriate.


Q: Why is a seemingly simple process of just hearing the glories of Krishna considered so high ?

Ans: Lord Vishnu Himself tells the 4 Kumaras in SB 3.16.6 that

Anyone in the entire world, even down to the caṇḍāla, who lives by cooking and eating the flesh of the dog, is immediately purified if he takes bath in hearing through the ear the glorification of My name, fame, etc. Now you have realized Me without doubt; therefore I will not hesitate to lop off My own arm if its conduct is found hostile to you.

In his purport Srila Prabhupada writes that
Real purification can take place in human society if its members take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is clearly stated in all Vedic literature. Anyone who takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness in all sincerity, even if he is not very advanced in good behavior, is purified. A devotee can be recruited from any section of human society, although it is not expected that everyone in all segments of society is well behaved. As stated in this verse and in many places in Bhagavad-gītā, even if one is not born in a brāhmaṇa family, or even if he is born in a family of caṇḍālas, if he simply takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness he is immediately purified. In Bhagavad-gītā, Ninth Chapter, verses 30-32, it is clearly stated that even though a man is not well behaved, if he simply takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness he is understood to be a saintly person. As long as a person is in this material world he has two different relationships in his dealings with others — one relationship pertains to the body, and the other pertains to the spirit. As far as bodily affairs or social activities are concerned, although a person is purified on the spiritual platform, it is sometimes seen that he acts in terms of his bodily relationships. If a devotee born in the family of a caṇḍāla (the lowest caste) is sometimes found engaged in his habitual activities, he is not to be considered a caṇḍāla. In other words, a Vaiṣṇava should not be evaluated in terms of his body. The śāstra states that no one should think the Deity in the temple to be made of wood or stone, and no one should think that a person coming from a lower-caste family who has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness is still of the same low caste. These attitudes are forbidden because anyone who takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness is understood to be fully purified. He is at least engaged in the process of purification, and if he sticks to the principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness he will very soon be fully purified. The conclusion is that if one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness with all seriousness, he is to be understood as already purified, and Kṛṣṇa is ready to give him protection by all means. The Lord assures herein that He is ready to give protection to His devotee even if there is need to cut off part of His own body.


Q: Why should one be always careful in his behaviour and leanings ?
Ans : because it becomes a scar on Supreme Lord!

SB 3.16.5
Translation
A wrong act committed by a servant leads people in general to blame his master, just as a spot of white leprosy on any part of the body pollutes all of the skin.

Purport
A Vaiṣṇava, therefore, should be fully qualified. As stated in the Bhāgavatam, anyone who has become a Vaiṣṇava has developed all the good qualities of the demigods. There are twenty-six qualifications mentioned in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. A devotee should always see that his Vaiṣṇava qualities increase with the advancement of his Kṛṣṇa consciousness. A devotee should be blameless because any offense by the devotee is a scar on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The devotee’s duty is to be always conscious in his dealings with others, especially with another devotee of the Lord.


Q: Why is offending of devotees considered so harmful in our spiritual life ?
Ans : because Krishna consider it equivalent to neglecting His own Himself!

SB 3.16.2
Translation

The Personality of Godhead said: These attendants of Mine, Jaya and Vijaya by name, have committed a great offense against you because of ignoring Me.

In the purport Srila Prabhupada writes that ‘To commit an offense at the feet of a devotee of the Lord is a great wrong…..The word atikramam used herein indicates that in offending a devotee one neglects the Supreme Lord Himself’.


Can one still fall from Vaikuntha ? What is the difference?

SB 3.16.2
Even when a living entity is promoted to Vaikuṇṭha, there is still the chance that he may commit offenses, but the difference is that when one is in a Vaikuṇṭha planet, even if by chance one commits an offense, he is protected by the Lord.
This is the remarkable fact in the dealings of the Lord and the servitor, as seen in the present incident concerning Jaya and Vijaya.


Why can’t impersonalists and yogis see the personal form of Lord ?

SB 3.15.50 purport

For the impersonalists and the so-called yogīs, the Lord is always hidden by the curtain of yogamāyā. Bhagavad-gītā says that even when Lord Kṛṣṇa was seen by everyone while He was present on the surface of the earth, the impersonalists and the so-called yogīs could not see Him because they were devoid of devotional eyesight. The theory of the impersonalists and so-called yogīs is that the Supreme Lord assumes a particular form when He comes in touch with māyā, although actually He has no form. This very conception of the impersonalists and so-called yogīs checks them from seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is. The Lord, therefore, is always beyond the sight of such nondevotees.


Q: Everything becomes glorified when used in the service of Lord, give example.
Reply:
SB 3.25.49
Translation
O Lord, we pray that You let us be born in any hellish condition of life, just as long as our hearts and minds are always engaged in the service of Your lotus feet, our words are made beautiful [by speaking of Your activities] just as tulasī leaves are beautified when offered unto Your lotus feet, and as long as our ears are always filled with the chanting of Your transcendental qualities.

Purport
These four devotees prayed to the Lord that although they might go to hell because they had cursed devotees, they might not forget the service of the Lord. The transcendental loving service of the Lord is performed in three ways — with the body, with the mind and with words. Here the sages pray that their words may always be engaged in glorifying the Supreme Lord. One may speak very nicely with ornamental language or one may be expert at controlled grammatical presentation, but if one’s words are not engaged in the service of the Lord, they have no flavor and no actual use. The example is given here of tulasī leaves. The tulasī leaf is very useful even from the medicinal or antiseptic point of view. It is considered sacred and is offered to the lotus feet of the Lord. The tulasī leaf has numerous good qualities, but if it were not offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, tulasī could not be of much value or importance. Similarly, one may speak very nicely from the rhetorical or grammatical point of view, which may be very much appreciated by a materialistic audience, but if one’s words are not offered to the service of the Lord, they are useless.


Q: Why there is no difference between hell and heaven for a devotee ?
Reply :
SB 3.15.49
Translation
O Lord, we pray that You let us be born in any hellish condition of life, just as long as our hearts and minds are always engaged in the service of Your lotus feet, our words are made beautiful [by speaking of Your activities] just as tulasī leaves are beautified when offered unto Your lotus feet, and as long as our ears are always filled with the chanting of Your transcendental qualities.

Purport
The four sages now offer their humility to the Personality of Godhead because of their having been haughty in cursing two other devotees of the Lord. Jaya and Vijaya, the two doorkeepers who checked them from entering the Vaikuṇṭha planet, were certainly offenders, but as Vaiṣṇavas, the four sages should not have cursed them in anger. After the incident, they became conscious that they had done wrong by cursing the devotees of the Lord, and they prayed to the Lord that even in the hellish condition of life their minds might not be distracted from the engagement of service to the lotus feet of Lord Nārāyaṇa. Those who are devotees of the Lord are not afraid of any condition of life, provided there is constant engagement in the service of the Lord. It is said of the nārāyaṇa-para, or those who are devotees of Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, na kutaścana bibhyati (Bhāg. 6.17.28). They are not afraid of entering a hellish condition, for since they are engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, heaven or hell is the same for them. In material life both heaven and hell are one and the same because they are material; in either place there is no engagement in the Lord’s service. Therefore those who are engaged in the service of the Lord see no distinction between heaven and hell; it is only the materialists who prefer one to the other.
These four devotees prayed to the Lord that although they might go to hell because they had cursed devotees, they might not forget the service of the Lord.
A devotee is not afraid of going to hell if he has the opportunity to hear the glories of the Lord constantly. This is the advantage of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. One may be put in any condition, but God gives him the prerogative to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. In any condition of life, if one goes on chanting he will never be unhappy.


Q: Can impersonalists or yogis be ever satisfied ? What are the reasons ?

O Lord, we therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto Your eternal form as the Personality of Godhead, which You have so kindly manifested before us. Your supreme, eternal form cannot be seen by unfortunate, less intelligent persons, but we are so much satisfied in our mind and vision to see it.
SB 3.15.50

Ans : No!
Purport

The four sages were impersonalists in the beginning of their spiritual life, but afterwards, by the grace of their father and spiritual master, Brahmā, they understood the eternal, spiritual form of the Lord and felt completely satisfied. In other words, the transcendentalists who aspire to the impersonal Brahman or localized Paramātmā are not fully satisfied and still hanker for more. Even if they are satisfied in their minds, still, transcendentally, their eyes are not satisfied. But as soon as such persons come to realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are satisfied in all respects. In other words, they become devotees and want to see the form of the Lord continually. It is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā that one who has developed transcendental love of Kṛṣṇa by smearing his eyes with the ointment of love sees constantly the eternal form of the Lord. The particular word used in this connection, anātmanām, signifies those who have no control over the mind and senses and who therefore speculate and want to become one with the Lord. Such persons cannot have the pleasure of seeing the eternal form of the Lord. For the impersonalists and the so-called yogīs, the Lord is always hidden by the curtain of yogamāyā. Bhagavad-gītā says that even when Lord Kṛṣṇa was seen by everyone while He was present on the surface of the earth, the impersonalists and the so-called yogīs could not see Him because they were devoid of devotional eyesight. The theory of the impersonalists and so-called yogīs is that the Supreme Lord assumes a particular form when He comes in touch with māyā, although actually He has no form. This very conception of the impersonalists and so-called yogīs checks them from seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is. The Lord, therefore, is always beyond the sight of such nondevotees.


Q: Are Pradhan and Prakriti same ?
Ans: No.

SB 3.26.10

Translation

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: The unmanifested eternal combination of the three modes is the cause of the manifest state and is called pradhāna. It is called prakṛti when in the manifested stage of existence.

purport

The explanation of pradhāna and prakṛti is that pradhāna is the subtle, undifferentiated sum total of all material elements. Although they are undifferentiated, one can understand that the total material elements are contained therein. When the total material elements are manifested by the interaction of the three modes of material nature, the manifestation is called prakṛti.

The actual explanation of pradhāna, however, is given here: when the cause and effect are not clearly manifested (avyakta), the reaction of the total elements does not take place, and that stage of material nature is called pradhāna. Pradhāna is not the time element because in the time element there are actions and reactions, creation and annihilation. Nor is it the jīva, or marginal potency of living entities, or designated, conditioned living entities, because the designations of the living entities are not eternal. One adjective used in this connection is nitya, which indicates eternality. Therefore the condition of material nature immediately previous to its manifestation is called pradhāna.


Lords’s killing is also His mercy

SB 3.14.51

Translation
The sage Maitreya said: Hearing that her grandson would be a great devotee and that her sons would be killed by Kṛṣṇa, Diti was highly pleased in mind.

Purport
Diti was very aggrieved to learn that because of her untimely pregnancy her sons would be demons and would fight with the Lord. But when she heard that her grandson would be a great devotee and that her two sons would be killed by the Lord, she was very satisfied. As the wife of a great sage and the daughter of a great Prajāpati, Dakṣa, she knew that being killed by the Personality of Godhead is a great fortune. Since the Lord is absolute, His acts of violence and nonviolence are both on the absolute platform. There is no difference in such acts of the Lord. Mundane violence and nonviolence have nothing to do with the Lord’s acts. A demon killed by Him attains the same result as one who attains liberation after many, many births of penance and austerity. The word bhṛśam is significant herein because it indicates that Diti was pleased beyond her expectations.

Also in the purport of 3.14.42 SP writes

Diti knew well that the killing of her sons by the Lord would also be His mercy, and therefore she says that the wheel and arms of the Lord are magnanimous. If someone is killed by the wheel of the Lord and is thus fortunate enough to see the arms of the Lord, that is sufficient for his liberation. Such good fortune is not achieved even by the great sages.


Is it possible to see God with our material eyes ?

Yes, a devotee can see Lord both inside and outside.

SB 3.14.50

Translation

Your grandson will be able to see, inside and outside, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose wife is the beautiful goddess of fortune. The Lord can assume the form desired by the devotee, and His face is always beautifully decorated with earrings.

Purport

It is predicted herewith that the grandson of Diti, Prahlāda Mahārāja, would not only see the Personality of Godhead within himself by meditation but would also be able to see Him personally with his eyes. This direct vision is possible only for one who is highly elevated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for the Lord is not possible to see with material eyes. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has multifarious eternal forms such as Kṛṣṇa, Baladeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Aniruddha, Pradyumna, Vāsudeva, Nārāyaṇa, Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Vāmana, and the devotee of the Lord knows all those Viṣṇu forms. A pure devotee becomes attached to one of the eternal forms of the Lord, and the Lord is pleased to appear before him in the form desired. A devotee does not imagine something whimsical about the form of the Lord, nor does he ever think that the Lord is impersonal and can assume a form desired by the nondevotee. The nondevotee has no idea of the form of the Lord, and thus he cannot think of any one of the above-mentioned forms. But whenever a devotee sees the Lord, he sees Him in a most beautifully decorated form, accompanied by His constant companion the goddess of fortune, who is eternally beautiful.

Srila Prabhupada also adds in the purport of SB 3.15.34

In this verse we find the word acakṣatākṣa-viṣayam. The Supreme Lord cannot be seen by ordinary eyes, but He now became visible to the eyesight of the Kumāras. Another significant word is samādhi-bhāgyam. Meditators who are very fortunate can see the Viṣṇu form of the Lord within their hearts by following the yogic process. But to see Him face to face is a different matter. This is only possible for pure devotees. The Kumāras, therefore, upon seeing the Lord coming forward with His associates, who were holding an umbrella and a cāmara fan, were struck with wonder that they were seeing the Lord face to face. It is said in the Brahma-saṁhitā that devotees, being elevated in love of God, always see Śyāmasundara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, within their hearts. But when they are mature, the same God is visible before them face to face. For ordinary persons the Lord is not visible; however, when one can understand the significance of His holy name and one engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord, beginning with the tongue, by chanting and tasting prasāda, then gradually the Lord reveals Himself. Thus the devotee constantly sees the Lord within his heart, and, in a more mature stage, one can see the same Lord directly, as we see everything else.

Then again in SB 3.15.46 Srila Prabhupada stresses :

‘It is said in Bhagavad-gītā that the Lord cannot be seen by our imperfect eyes, He cannot be heard by our imperfect ears, and He cannot be experienced by our imperfect senses; but if one engages in devotional service with faith and devotion, then God reveals Himself.’


Q: Does supersoul influences others Jivas to start liking a pure devotee of the Lord ?
Reply: Yes,

SB 3.14.47

Translation

Everyone will be pleased with him because the Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller of the universe, is always satisfied with a devotee who does not wish for anything beyond Him.

Purport
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated everywhere as the Supersoul, and He can dictate to anyone and everyone as He likes. The would-be grandson of Diti, who was predicted to be a great devotee, would be liked by everyone, even by the enemies of his father, because he would have no other vision besides the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A pure devotee of the Lord sees the presence of his worshipable Lord everywhere. The Lord reciprocates in such a way that all living entities in whom the Lord is dwelling as the Supersoul also like a pure devotee because the Lord is present in their hearts and can dictate to them to be friendly to His devotee. There are many instances in history wherein even the most ferocious animal became friendly to a pure devotee of the Lord.


Q: Why does Krishna comes to the material world?

A: Lord comes just for the sake His to devotees

SB 3.14.41

The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not need to descend in order to kill any strongly built body; He comes down just for the sake of His devotees. Everyone is subject to the miseries offered by material nature, but because the activities of miscreants, such as killing innocent people and animals or torturing women, are harmful to everyone and are therefore a source of pain for the devotees, the Lord comes down. He descends only to give relief to His ardent devotees. The killing of the miscreant by the Lord is also the mercy of the Lord towards the miscreant, although apparently the Lord takes the side of the devotee. Since the Lord is absolute, there is no difference between His activities of killing the miscreants and favoring the devotees.

3.14.42 purport

When Diti heard from her husband that the great souls would be angered by the activities of her sons, she was very anxious. She thought that her sons might be killed by the wrath of the brāhmaṇas. The Lord does not appear when the brāhmaṇas become angry at someone, because the wrath of a brāhmaṇa is sufficient in itself. He certainly appears, however, when His devotee simply becomes sorry. A devotee of the Lord never prays to the Lord to appear for the sake of the troubles the miscreants cause for him, and he never bothers Him by asking for protection. Rather, the Lord is anxious to give protection to the devotees. Diti knew well that the killing of her sons by the Lord would also be His mercy, and therefore she says that the wheel and arms of the Lord are magnanimous. If someone is killed by the wheel of the Lord and is thus fortunate enough to see the arms of the Lord, that is sufficient for his liberation. Such good fortune is not achieved even by the great sages.


Brahman’s son not always a  Brahman

SB 3.14.38

Diti neglected all the principles of scriptural injunction, and therefore, although she was very anxious for auspicious children, she was informed that her children would not be worthy to be the sons of a brāhmaṇa. There is a clear indication herein that a brāhmaṇa’s son is not always a brāhmaṇa. Personalities like Rāvaṇa and Hiraṇyakaśipu were actually born of brāhmaṇas, but they were not accepted as brāhmaṇas because their fathers did not follow the regulative principles for their birth. Such children are called demons, or Rākṣasas. There were only one or two Rākṣasas in the previous ages due to negligence of the disciplinary methods, but during the age of Kali there is no discipline in sex life. How, then, can one expect good children? Certainly unwanted children cannot be a source of happiness in society, but through the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement they can be raised to the human standard by chanting the holy name of God. That is the unique contribution of Lord Caitanya to human society.


Bhagavatam Seva
Om namah bhagavate vasudevaya

I offer my obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva.

narayanam namaskritya
naram chaiva narottamam
devim sarasvatim vyasam
tato jayam udirayet

Before reciting this Srimad- Bhagavatam, which is the very means of conquest, one should offer respectful obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Narayana, unto Nara-narayana Rishi, the supermost human being, unto Mother Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, and unto Srila Vyasadeva, the author.
(SB 1.2.4)

Shrinvatam sva-kathah krsnah
punya-shravana-kirtanah
hridy antah stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti suhrit satam

Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.17)

nashta-prayeshu abhadreshu
nityam bhagavata-sevaya
bhagavaty uttama-shloke
bhaktir bhavati naishthiki

By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.

Srimad Bhagavatam itself inform us

  1. What is the Significance of Srimad-Bhagavatam SB 1.1.3

  2. Who can relish and understand Srimad-Bhagavatam SB 1.1.2

  3. What is the qualification of SB speaker SB 1.1.6

  4. What is the meed of Srimad-Bhagavatm in the Age of Kali SB 1.1.10

  5. What are the glories of the Holy Name name of the Lord SB 1.1.14

  6. How should one relish the glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead SB 1.1.19

Q: Is it possible to see God with our material eyes ?

Yes, a devotee can see Lord both inside and outside.

SB 3.14.50

Translation

Your grandson will be able to see, inside and outside, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose wife is the beautiful goddess of fortune. The Lord can assume the form desired by the devotee, and His face is always beautifully decorated with earrings.

Purport

It is predicted herewith that the grandson of Diti, Prahlāda Mahārāja, would not only see the Personality of Godhead within himself by meditation but would also be able to see Him personally with his eyes. This direct vision is possible only for one who is highly elevated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for the Lord is not possible to see with material eyes. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has multifarious eternal forms such as Kṛṣṇa, Baladeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Aniruddha, Pradyumna, Vāsudeva, Nārāyaṇa, Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Vāmana, and the devotee of the Lord knows all those Viṣṇu forms. A pure devotee becomes attached to one of the eternal forms of the Lord, and the Lord is pleased to appear before him in the form desired. A devotee does not imagine something whimsical about the form of the Lord, nor does he ever think that the Lord is impersonal and can assume a form desired by the nondevotee. The nondevotee has no idea of the form of the Lord, and thus he cannot think of any one of the above-mentioned forms. But whenever a devotee sees the Lord, he sees Him in a most beautifully decorated form, accompanied by His constant companion the goddess of fortune, who is eternally beautiful.

Srila Prabhupada also adds in the purport of SB 3.15.34

In this verse we find the word acakṣatākṣa-viṣayam. The Supreme Lord cannot be seen by ordinary eyes, but He now became visible to the eyesight of the Kumāras. Another significant word is samādhi-bhāgyam. Meditators who are very fortunate can see the Viṣṇu form of the Lord within their hearts by following the yogic process. But to see Him face to face is a different matter. This is only possible for pure devotees. The Kumāras, therefore, upon seeing the Lord coming forward with His associates, who were holding an umbrella and a cāmara fan, were struck with wonder that they were seeing the Lord face to face. It is said in the Brahma-saṁhitā that devotees, being elevated in love of God, always see Śyāmasundara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, within their hearts. But when they are mature, the same God is visible before them face to face. For ordinary persons the Lord is not visible; however, when one can understand the significance of His holy name and one engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord, beginning with the tongue, by chanting and tasting prasāda, then gradually the Lord reveals Himself. Thus the devotee constantly sees the Lord within his heart, and, in a more mature stage, one can see the same Lord directly, as we see everything else.

Then again in SB 3.15.46 Srila Prabhupada stresses :

‘It is said in Bhagavad-gītā that the Lord cannot be seen by our imperfect eyes, He cannot be heard by our imperfect ears, and He cannot be experienced by our imperfect senses; but if one engages in devotional service with faith and devotion, then God reveals Himself.’

Q: Is Krishna being merciful when He is killing the demons ?
Ans : Of course, Yes.
SB 3.14.51

Translation
The sage Maitreya said: Hearing that her grandson would be a great devotee and that her sons would be killed by Kṛṣṇa, Diti was highly pleased in mind.

Purport
Diti was very aggrieved to learn that because of her untimely pregnancy her sons would be demons and would fight with the Lord. But when she heard that her grandson would be a great devotee and that her two sons would be killed by the Lord, she was very satisfied. As the wife of a great sage and the daughter of a great Prajāpati, Dakṣa, she knew that being killed by the Personality of Godhead is a great fortune. Since the Lord is absolute, His acts of violence and nonviolence are both on the absolute platform. There is no difference in such acts of the Lord. Mundane violence and nonviolence have nothing to do with the Lord’s acts. A demon killed by Him attains the same result as one who attains liberation after many, many births of penance and austerity. The word bhṛśam is significant herein because it indicates that Diti was pleased beyond her expectations.

Also in the purport of 3.14.42 SP writes

Diti knew well that the killing of her sons by the Lord would also be His mercy, and therefore she says that the wheel and arms of the Lord are magnanimous. If someone is killed by the wheel of the Lord and is thus fortunate enough to see the arms of the Lord, that is sufficient for his liberation. Such good fortune is not achieved even by the great sages.

Q: Does supersoul influences others Jivas to start liking a pure devotee of the Lord ?
Reply: Yes,

SB 3.14.47

Translation

Everyone will be pleased with him because the Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller of the universe, is always satisfied with a devotee who does not wish for anything beyond Him.

Purport
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated everywhere as the Supersoul, and He can dictate to anyone and everyone as He likes. The would-be grandson of Diti, who was predicted to be a great devotee, would be liked by everyone, even by the enemies of his father, because he would have no other vision besides the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A pure devotee of the Lord sees the presence of his worshipable Lord everywhere. The Lord reciprocates in such a way that all living entities in whom the Lord is dwelling as the Supersoul also like a pure devotee because the Lord is present in their hearts and can dictate to them to be friendly to His devotee. There are many instances in history wherein even the most ferocious animal became friendly to a pure devotee of the Lord.

Q: Are Pradhan and Prakriti same ?
Ans: No.

SB 3.26.10

Translation

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: The unmanifested eternal combination of the three modes is the cause of the manifest state and is called pradhāna. It is called prakṛti when in the manifested stage of existence.

purport

The explanation of pradhāna and prakṛti is that pradhāna is the subtle, undifferentiated sum total of all material elements. Although they are undifferentiated, one can understand that the total material elements are contained therein. When the total material elements are manifested by the interaction of the three modes of material nature, the manifestation is called prakṛti.

The actual explanation of pradhāna, however, is given here: when the cause and effect are not clearly manifested (avyakta), the reaction of the total elements does not take place, and that stage of material nature is called pradhāna. Pradhāna is not the time element because in the time element there are actions and reactions, creation and annihilation. Nor is it the jīva, or marginal potency of living entities, or designated, conditioned living entities, because the designations of the living entities are not eternal. One adjective used in this connection is nitya, which indicates eternality. Therefore the condition of material nature immediately previous to its manifestation is called pradhāna.

Q: Why does Krishna comes to the material world?

A: Lord comes just for the sake His to devotees

SB 3.14.41

The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not need to descend in order to kill any strongly built body; He comes down just for the sake of His devotees. Everyone is subject to the miseries offered by material nature, but because the activities of miscreants, such as killing innocent people and animals or torturing women, are harmful to everyone and are therefore a source of pain for the devotees, the Lord comes down. He descends only to give relief to His ardent devotees. The killing of the miscreant by the Lord is also the mercy of the Lord towards the miscreant, although apparently the Lord takes the side of the devotee. Since the Lord is absolute, there is no difference between His activities of killing the miscreants and favoring the devotees.

3.14.42 purport

When Diti heard from her husband that the great souls would be angered by the activities of her sons, she was very anxious. She thought that her sons might be killed by the wrath of the brāhmaṇas. The Lord does not appear when the brāhmaṇas become angry at someone, because the wrath of a brāhmaṇa is sufficient in itself. He certainly appears, however, when His devotee simply becomes sorry. A devotee of the Lord never prays to the Lord to appear for the sake of the troubles the miscreants cause for him, and he never bothers Him by asking for protection. Rather, the Lord is anxious to give protection to the devotees. Diti knew well that the killing of her sons by the Lord would also be His mercy, and therefore she says that the wheel and arms of the Lord are magnanimous. If someone is killed by the wheel of the Lord and is thus fortunate enough to see the arms of the Lord, that is sufficient for his liberation. Such good fortune is not achieved even by the great sages.

A brahman’s son not always a Brahman

SB 3.14.38

Diti neglected all the principles of scriptural injunction, and therefore, although she was very anxious for auspicious children, she was informed that her children would not be worthy to be the sons of a brāhmaṇa. There is a clear indication herein that a brāhmaṇa’s son is not always a brāhmaṇa. Personalities like Rāvaṇa and Hiraṇyakaśipu were actually born of brāhmaṇas, but they were not accepted as brāhmaṇas because their fathers did not follow the regulative principles for their birth. Such children are called demons, or Rākṣasas. There were only one or two Rākṣasas in the previous ages due to negligence of the disciplinary methods, but during the age of Kali there is no discipline in sex life. How, then, can one expect good children? Certainly unwanted children cannot be a source of happiness in society, but through the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement they can be raised to the human standard by chanting the holy name of God. That is the unique contribution of Lord Caitanya to human society.

Q: What is the supreme dharma for all humanity ?
A: The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord.

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.

SB 1.2.6

Srila Prabhupada explains it further in his purport cc madhya 19.146

The highest form of religion is that by which one becomes fully conscious of the existence of God, including His form, name, qualities, pastimes, abode and all-pervasive features.

Q: Someone may say that aside from devotees, who always seek shelter at the Lord’s lotus feet, there are those who are not devotees but who have accepted different processes for attaining salvation. What happens to them?

A: They fall down.

Srimad Bhagavtam 10.2.32 answers this question

O lotus-eyed Lord, although nondevotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet.

Aside from devotees, there are many others, nondevotees, known as karmīs, jñānīs or yogīs, philanthropists, altruists, politicians, impersonalists and voidists. There are many varieties of nondevotees who have their respective ways of liberation, but simply because they do not know the shelter of the Lord’s lotus feet, although they falsely think that they have been liberated and elevated to the highest position, they fall down. As clearly stated by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (9.3):

aśraddadhānāḥ puruṣā
dharmasyāsya parantapa
aprāpya māṁ nivartante
mṛtyu-saṁsāra-vartmani

“Those who are not faithful on the path of devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of foes, but return to birth and death in this material world.” It doesn’t matter whether one is a karmī, jñānī, yogī, philanthropist, politician or whatever; if one has no love for the lotus feet of the Lord, one falls down. That is the verdict given by Lord brahma in this verse.

There are persons who advocate accepting any process and who say that whatever process one accepts will lead to the same goal, but that is refuted in this verse, where such persons are referred to as vimukta-māninaḥ, signifying that although they think they have attained the highest perfection, in fact they have not.

Q: What is the purpose of all good work ?

Ans : Satisfaction of Lord

SB 3.9.41

Translation

It is the opinion of expert transcendentalists that the ultimate goal of performing all traditional good works, penances, sacrifices, charities, mystic activities, trances, etc., is to invoke My satisfaction.

Purport
There are many traditionally pious activities in human society, such as altruism, philanthropy, nationalism, internationalism, charity, sacrifice, penance, and even meditation in trance, and all of them can be fully beneficial only when they lead to the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The perfection of any activity — social, political, religious or philanthropic — is to satisfy the Supreme Lord.

This secret of success is known to the devotee of the Lord, as exemplified by Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. As a good, nonviolent man, Arjuna did not want to fight with his kinsmen, but when he understood that Kṛṣṇa wanted the fight and had arranged it at Kurukṣetra, he gave up his own satisfaction and fought for the satisfaction of the Lord. That is the right decision for all intelligent men.

One’s only concern should be to satisfy the Lord by one’s activities.

If the Lord is satisfied by an action, whatever it may be, then it is successful. Otherwise, it is simply a waste of time. That is the standard of all sacrifice, penance, austerity, mystic trance and other good and pious work.

Q: Should our develop our attachment to the impersonal Brahman or supreme Lord ?

SB 3.9.43

I am the Supersoul of every individual. I am the supreme director and the dearest. People are wrongly attached to the gross and subtle bodies, but they should be attached to Me only.

In the present verse, stress is given to focusing love upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The word kuryāt is significant here. This means “one must have it.” It is just to stress that we must have more and more attachment to the principle of love. The influence of māyā is experienced by the part and parcel spiritual entity, but it cannot influence the Supersoul, the Paramātmā. The Māyāvādī philosophers, accepting the influence of māyā on the living entity, want to become one with the Paramātmā. But because they have no actual love for Paramātmā, they remain ever entrapped by the influence of māyā and are unable to approach the vicinity of Paramātmā. This inability is due to their lack of affection for the Paramātmā. A rich miser does not know how to utilize his wealth, and therefore, in spite of his being very rich, his miserly behavior keeps him everlastingly a poor man. On the other hand, a person who knows how to utilize wealth can quickly become a rich man, even with a small credit balance.

The eyes and the sun are very intimately related because without sunlight the eyes are unable to see. But the other parts of the body, being attached to the sun as a source of warmth, take more advantage of the sun than do the eyes. Without possessing affection for the sun, the eyes cannot bear the rays of the sun; or, in other words, such eyes have no capacity to understand the utility of the sun’s rays. Similarly, the empiric philosophers, despite their theoretical knowledge of Brahman, cannot utilize the mercy of the Supreme Brahman because they lack affection. So many impersonal philosophers remain everlastingly under the influence of māyā Because, although they indulge in theoretical knowledge of Brahman, they do not develop affection for Brahman nor do they have any scope for development of affection because of their defective method. A devotee of the sun-god, even though devoid of eyesight, can see the sun-god as he is even from this planet, whereas one who is not a devotee of the sun cannot even bear the glaring sunlight. Similarly, by devotional service, even though one is not on the level of a jñānī, one can see the Personality of Godhead within himself due to his development of pure love. In all circumstances one should try to develop love of Godhead, and that will solve all contending problems.

Q: What are the qualifications one need to know God ?
And: only our desire.
SB 3.9.38

Translation
O Brahmā, the prayers that you have chanted praising the glories of My transcendental activities, the penances you have undertaken to understand Me, and your firm faith in Me — all these are to be considered My causeless mercy.

Purport
When a living entity desires to serve the Lord in transcendental loving service, the Lord helps the devotee in so many ways as the caitya-guru, or the spiritual master within, and thus the devotee can perform many wonderful activities beyond material estimation.

By the mercy of the Lord even a layman can compose prayers of the highest spiritual perfection.

Such spiritual perfection is not limited by material qualifications but is developed by dint of one’s sincere endeavor to render transcendental service.

Voluntary endeavor is the only qualification for spiritual perfection. Material acquisitions of wealth or education are not considered.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport of SB 3.9.42

A devotee of the sun-god, even though devoid of eyesight, can see the sun-god as he is even from this planet, whereas one who is not a devotee of the sun cannot even bear the glaring sunlight. Similarly, by devotional service, even though one is not on the level of a jñānī, one can see the Personality of Godhead within himself due to his development of pure love. In all circumstances one should try to develop love of Godhead, and that will solve all contending problems.

Q: How is SB is Krishna himself.

Ans:
“I worship Him, the Original Lord, the reservoir of mercy, who is of the color of a tamala tree, who has descended to benefit all (suhitavataram). He is the Personality of the Bhagavatam, a bridge to cross over the ocean of the endless material existence.

The First and Second Cantos are His two feet (padau);

the Third and Fourth are said to be His thighs (uru);

the Fifth Canto is His navel (nabhih);

the Sixth Canto is His chest (bhujantaram);

the other two [Seventh and Eighth] Cantos are His two arms (dor-yugalam);

O King, the Ninth Canto is His neck (kanthah);

the Tenth C anto is His blossomed lotus face (mukharavindam praphullam);

the Eleventh Canto is His forehead (lalata-pattakam);

and the Twelfth Canto shines as His crown (sirah).”

(Padma Purana)

Q: What is the purpose of cosmic manifestation ?

And: SB 3.9.25

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport:

The whole cosmic manifestation is a chance for all to improve themselves in devotional service to the Lord, and everyone is meant for that purpose.

The Lord expands Himself into many personalities who are either self-expansions or separated expansions.

The personalities of the individual souls are His separated expansions, whereas the self-expansions are the Lord Himself.

The self-expansions are predominators, and the separated expansions are predominated for reciprocation of transcendental bliss with the supreme form of bliss and knowledge.

The liberated souls can join in this blissful reciprocation of predominator and predominated without materially concocted ideas.

The typical example of such a transcendental exchange between the predominator and the predominated is the Lord’s rāsa-līlā with the gopīs. The gopīs are predominated expansions of the internal potency, and therefore the Lord’s participation in the rāsa-līlā dance is never to be considered like the mundane relationship of man and woman. It is, rather, the highest perfectional stage of the exchange of feelings between the Lord and the living entities.

The Lord gives the fallen souls the chance for this highest perfection of life.

Q: should we pray daily to Lord to help remain situated in our spiritual path ?
Ans : Yes
SB 3.9.24
The Lord’s potencies are innumerable. As He lies down in the water of devastation, I am born as the total universal energy from the navel lake in which the lotus sprouts. I am now engaged in manifesting His diverse energies in the form of the cosmic manifestation. I therefore pray that in the course of my material activities I may not be deviated from the vibration of the Vedic hymns.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport:
Every person engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord in this material world is prone to so many material activities, and if one is not strong enough to protect himself against the onslaught of material affection, he may be diverted from the spiritual energy.

In the material creation Brahmā has to create all kinds of living entities with bodies suitable to their material conditions. Brahmā wants to be protected by the Lord because he has to contact many, many vicious living entities.

An ordinary brāhmaṇa may fall from the brahma-tejas, or the power of brahminical excellence, due to his association with many fallen, conditioned souls.

Brahmā, as the supermost brāhmaṇa, is afraid of such a falldown, and therefore he prays to the Lord for protection.

This is a warning for one and all in the spiritual advancement of life. Unless one is sufficiently protected by the Lord, he may fall down from his spiritual position; therefore one has to pray constantly to the Lord for protection and the blessing to carry out one’s duty.

Lord Caitanya also entrusted His missionary work to His devotees and assured them of His protection against the onslaught of material affection.

The path of spiritual life is stated in the Vedas to be like the edge of a sharpened razor. A little inattentiveness may at once create havoc and bloodshed, but one who is a completely surrendered soul, always seeking protection from the Lord in the discharge of his entrusted duties, has no fear of falling into material contamination.

Q: How to remain dear to Lord ?
Ans:
SB 3.9.23

Translation
The Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, is always the benefactor of the surrendered souls. His activities are always enacted through His internal potency, Ramā, or the goddess of fortune. I pray only to engage in His service in the creation of the material world, and I pray that I not be materially affected by my works, for thus I may be able to give up the false prestige of being the creator.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport :
In the matter of material creation, maintenance and destruction, there are three incarnations of the material modes of nature — Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara.

But the Brahmā, who is only an assistant in the modes of creation, wanted to remain in his actual position as an instrument of the Lord instead of becoming puffed up by the false prestige of thinking himself the creator.

That is the way of becoming dear to the Supreme Lord and receiving His benediction.

Foolish men want to take credit for all creations made by them, but intelligent persons know very well that not a blade of grass can move without the will of the Lord; thus all the credit for wonderful creations must go to Him.

By spiritual consciousness only can one be free from the contamination of material affection and receive the benedictions offered by the Lord.

Q: Why does Lord appears in the material world ?

Sb 3.9.19

Translation
O my Lord, by Your own will You appear in the various species of living entities, among animals lower than human beings as well as among the demigods, to perform Your transcendental pastimes. You are not affected by material contamination. You come just to fulfill the obligations of Your own principles of religion, and therefore, O Supreme Personality, I offer my obeisances unto You for manifesting such different forms.

Purport
The Lord’s incarnations in different species of life are all transcendental. He appears as a human being in His incarnations of Kṛṣṇa, Rāma, etc., but He is not a human being. Anyone who mistakes Him for an ordinary human being is certainly not very intelligent, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (9.11): avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam.

The same principle is applicable when He appears as the hog or fish incarnations. They are transcendental forms of the Lord and are manifested under certain necessities of His own pleasure and pastimes. Such manifestations of the transcendental forms of the Lord are accepted by Him mostly to enliven His devotees. All His incarnations are manifested whenever there is a need to deliver His devotees and maintain His own principles.

Q: Why devotees are considered so exalted ?
A: Because
1. Devotees are simply dependent on Krishna ( complete surrender )
2. Devotees are only interested to engage in His transcendental loving service. Cc m 19.216

Lord Shiva told mother Parvati in SB 6.7.18

Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, never fear any condition of life. For them the heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord.

Srila Prabhupada explains further in the same purport that

‘Pārvatī might naturally have inquired how devotees become so exalted. Therefore this verse explains that they are nārāyaṇa-para, simply dependent on Nārāyaṇa. They do not mind reverses in life because in the service of Nārāyaṇa they have learned to tolerate whatever hardships there may be. They do not care whether they are in heaven or in hell: they simply engage in the service of the Lord. This is their excellence. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam: they are liberally engaged in the service of the Lord, and therefore they are excellent.’

‘Lord Śiva pointed out that although Citraketu provided one example of tolerance and excellence, all the devotees who have taken shelter of the Lord as eternal servants are glorious. They have no eagerness to be happy by being placed in the heavenly planets, becoming liberated or becoming one with Brahman, the supreme effulgence. These benefits do not appeal to their minds. They are simply interested in giving direct service to the Lord.’
Q: What are the nine process of Bhakti ?
Ans : SB 7.5.23-24 describes it.

sri-prahrada uvaca
sravanam kirtanam vishnoh smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam

iti pumsarpita vishnau
bhaktis cen nava-lakshana
kriyeta bhagavaty addha
tan manye ‘dhitam uttamam

Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Vishnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) — these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krishna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.

  1. HEARING (sravanam)
    Maharaja Pariksit(the last seven days of his life, he constantly heard the Srimad Bhagavatam).

  2. CHANTING (kirtanam)
    Sukadeva Goswami(spoke the Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit)

  3. REMEMBERING( visnu smaranam)
    Prahlada Maharaja(never forgot Krsna despite constant tortures from his father- Hiranyakashipu)

  4. SERVING THE LORD’S LOTUS FEET (pada sevanam)
    Laxmi, the Goddess of Fortune, is always engaged in serving the lotus feet of the Lord.

  5. DEITY-WORSHIP (arcanam)
    Maharaja Prthu used all of his royal possessions in order to offer them in pure devotion to the Lord.

6.PRAYING (vandanam)
Akura offered prayers to Krsna when he was traveling to Vrndavana in order to see Krsna.

  1. EXECUTING ORDERS (dasyam)
    Hanuman, the intimate servant of Ramacandra executed all of Sri Ramacandra’s orders despite all kinds of difficulties.

  2. SERVING AS A FRIEND (sakhyam)
    Arjuna was so close to Krsna, that the Lord offered Himself to become his chariot driver and serve Arjuna and his brothers in various ways.

  3. COMPLETE SURRENDER (atma nivedanam)
    Bali Maharaja gave Sri Vamanadeva his entire kingdom, his possessions as well as his own body, although his own spiritual master was against it.

Q: Can one advance in Krishna consciousness without the Association of devotees ? What are reasons and benefits is association of devotees ?

Ans: one cannot advance without association of devotees.

satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati. (SB 3.25.25)

In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.

“‘The spiritually powerful message of Godhead can be properly discussed only in a society of devotees, and it is greatly pleasing to hear in that association. If one hears from devotees, the way of transcendental experience quickly opens, and gradually one attains firm faith that in due course develops into attraction and devotion.’ (Cc translation of the same verse)

This beautiful verse is quoted by Caitanya Mahāprabhu to Sri Sanatan Goswami in CC Madhya 23.16 while explaining the process of awakening of one’s original loving relationship with the Lord. Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport

The process of advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service is described here.

  1. The first point is that one must seek the association of persons who are Kṛṣṇa conscious and who engage in devotional service. Without such association one cannot make advancement.

  2. Simply by theoretical knowledge or study one cannot make any appreciable advancement.

  3. One must give up the association of materialistic persons and seek the association of devotees because without the association of devotees one cannot understand the activities of the Lord.

  4. Generally, people are convinced of the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth. Because they do not associate with devotees, they cannot understand that the Absolute Truth can be a person and have personal activities. This is a very difficult subject matter, and unless one has personal understanding of the Absolute Truth, there is no meaning to devotion.

  5. Service or devotion cannot be offered to anything impersonal. Service must be offered to a person.

  6. Non-devotees cannot appreciate Kṛṣṇa consciousness by reading the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or any other Vedic literature wherein the activities of the Lord are described; they think that these activities are fictional, manufactured stories because spiritual life is not explained to them in the proper mood.

  7. To understand the personal activities of the Lord, one has to seek the association of devotees, and by such association, when one contemplates and tries to understand the transcendental activities of the Lord, the path to liberation is open, and he is freed.

  8. One who has firm faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes fixed, and his attraction for association with the Lord and the devotees increases.

  9. Association with devotees means association with the Lord.

  10. The devotee who makes this association develops the consciousness for rendering service to the Lord, and then, being situated in the transcendental position of devotional service, he gradually becomes perfect.

Q: Why does Lord influences the living entity to such consciousness of forgetfulness ?

2.9.1 purport

Now the next question automatically made will be why the Lord influences the living entity to such consciousness and forgetfulness. The answer is that the Lord clearly wishes that every living entity be in his pure consciousness as a part and parcel of the Lord and thus be engaged in the loving service of the Lord as he is constitutionally made; but because the living entity is partially independent also, he may not be willing to serve the Lord, but may try to become as independent as the Lord is. All the nondevotee living entities are desirous of becoming equally as powerful as the Lord, although they are not fit to become so. The living entities are illusioned by the will of the Lord because they wanted to become like Him. Like a person who thinks of becoming a king without possessing the necessary qualification, when the living entity desires to become the Lord Himself, he is put in a condition of dreaming that he is a king. Therefore the first sinful will of the living entity is to become the Lord, and the consequent will of the Lord is that the living entity forget his factual life and thus dream of the land of utopia where he may become one like the Lord. The child cries to have the moon from the mother, and the mother gives the child a mirror to satisfy the crying and disturbing child with the reflection of the moon. Similarly, the crying child of the Lord is given over to the reflection, the material world, to lord it over as karmī and to give this up in frustration to become one with the Lord. Both these stages are dreaming illusions only. There is no necessity of tracing out the history of when the living entity desired this. But the fact is that as soon as he desired it, he was put under the control of ātma-māyā by the direction of the Lord. Therefore the living entity in his material condition is dreaming falsely that this is “mine” and this is “I.” The dream is that the conditioned soul thinks of his material body as “I” or falsely thinks that he is the Lord and that everything in connection with that material body is “mine.” Thus only in dream does the misconception of “I” and “mine” persist life after life. This continues life after life, as long as the living entity is not purely conscious of his identity as the subordinate part and parcel of the Lord.
In his pure consciousness, however, there is no such misconceived dream, and in that pure conscious state the living entity does not forget that he is never the Lord, but that he is eternally the servitor of the Lord in transcendental love.
Right desires will result in what is right for us.

Dhruva Maharaj story teaches us correctly

nūnaṁ vimuṣṭa-matayas tava māyayā te
ye tvāṁ bhavāpyaya-vimokṣaṇam anya-hetoḥ
arcanti kalpaka-taruṁ kuṇapopabhogyam
icchanti yat sparśajaṁ niraye ‘pi nṝṇām. (SB 4.9.9)

Persons who worship You simply for the sense gratification of this bag of skin are certainly influenced by Your illusory energy. In spite of having You, who are like a desire tree and are the cause of liberation from birth and death, foolish persons, such as me, desire benedictions from You for sense gratification, which is available even for those who live in hellish conditions.

Purport
Dhruva Mahārāja repented because he had come to the Lord to render devotional service for material profit. He here condemns his attitude. Only due to gross lack of knowledge does one worship the Lord for material profit or for sense gratification. The Lord is like a desire tree. Anyone can have whatever he desires from the Lord, but people in general do not know what kind of benediction they should ask from Him. Happiness derived from the touch of skin, or sensuous happiness, is present in the life of hogs and dogs. Such happiness is very insignificant. If a devotee worships the Lord for such insignificant happiness, he must be considered devoid of all knowledge.

Comments

Sun without sunshine, sweet without sweetness and fire without light is unimaginable; similarly a soul without desire is unthinkable.

As a soul we are pleasure seekers

– ananda mayo bhyasat –

We can never ever be desireless.

We were originally the residents of the spiritual world but when we developed yearning to become God and enjoy like God then we were sent to this material world to satisfy our non-spiritual desires. Here in this world we fervently search for ways to satisfy our countless cravings. We hopelessly hope that once all our yearnings will get materialized then we would feel deep satisfaction. Unfortunately it never happens.

Insatiable material desires torture us

Our desires are endless, the moment one gets fulfilled, immediately the other pops up. Many a times our yearnings are not for our basic needs, but it is because of social pressure or a longing to prove our worth to others. My car should be bigger than that of my neighbours, my smartphone should be the best, my television set should make people go crazy and so on. Advertisements of today are also tailor made to titillate our egos. Ads like “Neighbors envy owners pride” or “Designed for envy” try to entice people to go after material things. Many think that with age material greed subside. But in reality it doesn’t happen. With age the form of the desires changes but not the yearnings. Many people are so much obsessed with worldly things that they are ready to go extra mile to achieve it. In fact they become the follower of Carvaka Muni, the atheist philosopher, who famously (infamously) said.

rnam krtva ghrtam pibet yavaj jivet sukham jivet

bhasmi-bhutasya dehasya kutah punar agamano bhavet

His philosophy was, “Beg, borrow and steal but enjoy all the pleasures of this world to your heart’s content because once you die everything will be finished and you will not be held accountable for anything.”

But scriptures clearly explain that as souls we are eternal and whatever actions we perform in our life we are answerable for those. So we have to be always extra cautious whenever we pursue any cravings. In fact even though some of our wishes may get fulfilled but still it never satisfies us. And the wishes which remain unfulfilled torture us every moment and make us go crazy. In order to lead a peaceful life it is imperative for us to get rid of our insatiable desires right now. Even Krishna asks us do the same in Bhagavad Gita 2.70. And he does not specify any age limit for this.

Bhagavad Gita 2.70: “A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires – that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still – can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.”

We will be able to overcome the cravings for worldly possessions only by the mercy of the Lord. Just like a touchstone which converts an iron into gold, the Supreme God will spiritualize all our ignoble desires. How this happens have been beautifully explained in Srimad Bhagavatam through the story of Dhruva.

Lord purifies Dhruva’s desires

When Dhruva was humiliated by his step mother and neglected by his father then he was devastated. To his dismay he discovered that none in this world were capable enough to help him to get out of this deplorable situation. His mother too was saddened by Dhruva’s plight but she was also helpless. She then advised Dhruva to seek shelter of Lord Vishnu, the creator of this world. Lord Vishnu being the Supreme Lord could have only fulfilled his desires. Dhruva’s heart was burning with insult, he wanted to get his honour back, he wanted the kingdom and he wanted to become glorious. Although he was just 5 years old but still he courageously took up the challenge to please the Lord. He left the comforts of the palace and went to the forest where he started performing severe austerities to attract the attention of the Lord. In spite of many difficulties and obstacles he remained completely focussed and continued mediating on the Lord for six months. His single minded determination attracted the mercy of the Lord and He personally appeared before him. Lord Vishnu’s effulgent transcendental form immediately attracted Dhruva’s heart. As the sun rises the darkness dissipates. Similarly as the Lord appeared directly before Dhruva all his ignorance immediately disappeared. The material motives which had initially inspired him to worship the Lord no longer looked attractive to him. In fact he felt ashamed of it standing in front of the Lord. The impurities of his heart had completely got cleansed.

In a prayerful mood Dhruva expressed his feelings to the Lord, “Persons who worship You simply for the sense gratification of this bag of skin are certainly influenced by Your illusory energy. In spite of having You, who are like a desire tree and are the cause of liberation from birth and death, foolish persons, such as me, desire benedictions from You for sense gratification, which is available even for those who live in hellish conditions.” SB 4.9.9

We are also having tons of material desires and we are obsessed about it. We even believe that once these get fulfilled then we will experience unlimited happiness. But it is never going to happen. A fish is happy only when it is in the water. If we put the fish in a golden jar thinking that the glitz of gold will satisfy it then it wouldn’t happen. In fact the fish will die there for want of water. Our hunger of heart can be satisfied only when Krishna’s love blossoms in it and not by things of this world. By nature we are spiritual beings and our heart will get satisfied only when our desires are spiritualized.

Dhruva’s heart which was burning because of insult got soothed when he saw the Lord standing in front of him. Similarly our starving heart will experience contentment and fulfilment only when it is filled with Krishna’s mercy.

Spiritual pill to cure material desire

Although Dhruva’s initial motives were non- spiritual but he took the spiritual path to achieve it and so he subsequently achieved the Lord. Likewise we may be having many impurities in our heart but still we should take up the process of Krishna consciousness as Krishna can only transform our consciousness.

Being spiritually sick we also have to continue taking the spiritual pill as this is only going to solve all our problems of life. In this age of Kaliyuga, the age of downfall, chanting the holy names of the Lord like the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is the authorized medicine which simultaneously helps us to develop love of God and also cleanses our hearts of all impurities of lust, great, pride, anger, envy, illusion and false ego. This process has been recommended by none other than Lord Chaitanya – ceto darpana marjanam. Along with chanting we also should hear about the wonderful pastimes of Lord Krishna, about His unlimited glorious and His merciful disposition. Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.17 expounds the benefit of hearing,

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām

“Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”

Unlike jnana marg or ashtanga yoga, Bhakti yoga isn’t troublesome but is indeed very delightful. As we start developing spiritual taste our heart starts experiencing deep fulfilment. Things of this world no longer bother us and neither attracts us. We start understanding the futility of material desires and material pleasures and we develop intense longing for Krishna.

Desire to serve the Lord brings divine joy

When Lord fulfilled Dhruva’s material wish by granting him the benediction to rule the earthly planet for 36000 years then instead of becoming happy Dhruva became morose. He was afraid that worldly possessions would deprive him of love of God. However Lord assured him that he would never forget Him. Dhruva had understood the worth of spiritual life and he expressed his gratitude in these solemn words, “I came into this forest just looking for pieces of broken glass, but instead I have found a great jewel in You, my dear Lord, and now I am completely satisfied and don’t want anything.”

As souls we are pleasure seeking and pleasure is there where Krishna is. Searching for pleasure in this world is like running after a mirage in the desert to quench thirst. The illusion of happiness which this world creates baffles us and binds us in this world. Our innate longing to lord over the world always gets thwarted. But once we come under the shelter of Lord then we develop a thorough understanding of our inner self and our relationship with the Supreme. A sincere and serious devotee of the Lord wants nothing from the Lord but just fervently try to always serve the Lord because he experiences unlimited happiness in doing so. “O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service birth after birth.” Sri Siksastakam, Verse 4.

Lord will send flying chariot from the spiritual world for us

Lord had also promised Dhruva that after ruling for 36,000 years he will become the ruler of the Pole Star, the planet which exists for eternity. And Lord indeed sent the chariot from the spiritual world to take Dhruva to the glowing planet. While embarking on his spiritual journey the death personified appeared in front of him and Dhruva put his feet on death thus conquering the unconquerable death. He then sat on the magnificent chariot to go to the supreme destination. All the renowned sages and the celestial beings had come to witness this spectacular event. They were showering flowers on him and singing songs extolling the glories of the Supreme Lord and His dear devotee Dhruva.

Dhruva’s life demonstrates that how Lord mercifully transforms the lives of those who seek His shelter. We should also try to follow the footsteps of Dhruva and try our best to please the Lord with our devotional endeavour. In all situations and circumstances we should worship Lord with great faith and determination giving up all our hankering for non-spiritual pleasures. Our efforts and right intentions will attract the mercy of the all – attractive Lord. He has assured us that He personally takes interest in delivering His unalloyed devotees from this miserable world.

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

“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I will deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” Bhagavad Gita 18.66.

Devotees of the Lord live happily in this world and become eligible to achieve supreme destination after leaving this world. Scriptures explain that the spiritual world is surrounded with millions of desire fulfilling purpose trees which fulfills all the wishes of the soul. Of course in God’s kingdom a soul just wants to serve the Lord and nothing else. There is supreme satisfaction and inexplicable joy in doing so. If we are willing to forgo our non-spiritual longings and are ready to serve the Lord lovingly then we too will become eligible to go back to the spiritual world. Krishna will in fact send a flying chariot to take us back to His kingdom. Are we ready for it?

Q: What happens to those sages who are very learned but are against the supreme lord ?

Ans: They are stuck in the cycle or birth and death.

Sb 3.9.10 answers this clearly and Prabhupada expands it in his purport

Translation
Such nondevotees engage their senses in very troublesome and extensive work, and they suffer insomnia at night because their intelligence constantly breaks their sleep with various mental speculations. They are frustrated in all their various plans by supernatural power. Even great sages, if they are against Your transcendental topics, must rotate in this material world.

Purport

This verse particularly mentions that even sages who are averse to the principles of devotional service to the Lord are also condemned to undergo the terms of material existence. Not only in this age, but formerly also, there were many sages who tried to invent their own systems of religion without reference to devotional service to the Supreme Lord, but there cannot be any religious principle without devotional service to the Lord. The Supreme Lord is the leader of the entire range of living entities, and no one can be equal to or greater than Him. Even the Lord’s impersonal feature and all-pervading localized feature cannot be on an equal level with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, there cannot be any religion or system of genuine philosophy for the advancement of the living entities without the principle of devotional service.
The impersonalists, who take much trouble in penance and austerity for self-liberation, may approach the impersonal brahmajyoti, but ultimately, because of not being situated in devotional service, they glide down again to the material world to undergo another term of material existence. This is confirmed as follows:

ye ‘nye ‘ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas
tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
patanty adho ‘nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ

“Persons who are falsely under the impression of being liberated, without devotional service to the Lord, may reach the goal of the brahmajyoti, but because of their impure consciousness and for want of shelter in the Vaikuṇṭhalokas, such so-called liberated persons again fall down into material existence.” (Bhāg. 10.2.32)
Therefore, no one can manufacture any system of religion without the principle of devotional service to the Lord. As we find in the Sixth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the initiator of religious principles is the Lord Himself. In Bhagavad-gītā also we find that the Lord condemns all forms of religion other than that which entails the process of surrendering unto the Supreme. Any system which leads one to the devotional service of the Lord, and nothing else, is actually religion or philosophy. In the Sixth Canto we find the following statements of Yamarāja, the controller of all unfaithful living entities:

dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ
na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ
na siddha-mukhyā asurā manuṣyāḥ
kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādayaḥ
svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam
dvādaśaite vijānīmo
dharmaṁ bhāgavataṁ bhaṭāḥ
guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ
yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute

“The principles of religion are initiated by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one else, including the sages and demigods, can manufacture any such principles. Since even great sages and demigods are unauthorized to inaugurate such principles of religion, what to speak of others — the so-called mystics, demons, human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas living in the lower planets? Twelve personalities — Brahmā, Nārada, Lord Śiva, Kumāra, Kapila, Manu, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja, Bhīṣma, Bali, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Yamarāja — are agents of the Lord authorized to speak and propagate the principles of religion.” (Bhāg. 6.3.19-21)

Q: Explain Karma mishrit bhakti ?

Sb 3.9.13
But the pious activities of the people, such as performance of Vedic rituals, charity, austere penances, and transcendental service, performed with a view to worship You and satisfy You by offering You the fruitive results, are also beneficial. Such acts of religion never go in vain.

Translation
Absolute devotional service, conducted in nine different spiritual activities — hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, praying, etc. — does not always appeal to people with a pompous nature; they are more attracted by the Vedic superficial rituals and other costly performances of social religious shows. But the process according to the Vedic injunctions is that the fruits of all pious activities should be offered to the Supreme Lord. In Bhagavad-gītā (9.27), the Lord demands that whatever one may do in one’s daily activities, such as worship, sacrifice, and offering charity, all the results should be offered to Him only.

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform — do that, O son of Kuntī, as an offering to Me.

This offering of the results of pious acts unto the Supreme Lord is a sign of devotional service to the Lord and is of permanent value, whereas enjoying the same results for oneself is only temporary. Anything done on account of the Lord is a permanent asset and accumulates in the form of unseen piety for gradual promotion to the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord. These undetected pious activities will one day result in full-fledged devotional service by the grace of the Supreme Lord. Therefore, any pious act done on account of the Supreme Lord is also recommended here for those who are not pure devotees.

Only the devotees of the Lord are bona fide human beings eligible for salvation.

SB 3.9.17

loko vikarma-nirataḥ kuśale pramattaḥ
karmaṇy ayaṁ tvad-udite bhavad-arcane sve
yas tāvad asya balavān iha jīvitāśāṁ
sadyaś chinatty animiṣāya namo ‘stu tasmai

Translation
People in general all engage in foolish acts, not in the really beneficial activities enunciated directly by You for their guidance. As long as their tendency for foolish work remains powerful, all their plans in the struggle for existence will be cut to pieces. I therefore offer my obeisances unto Him who acts as eternal time.

Purport
People in general are all engaged in senseless work. They are systematically unmindful of the real beneficial work, which is the devotional service of the Lord, technically called the arcanā regulations. The arcanā regulations are directly instructed by the Lord in the Nārada-pañcarātra and are strictly followed by the intelligent men, who know well that the highest perfectional goal of life is to reach Lord Viṣṇu, who is the root of the tree called the cosmic manifestation. Also, in the Bhāgavatam and in Bhagavad-gītā such regulative activities are clearly mentioned. Foolish people do not know that their self-interest is in realization of Viṣṇu.

The Bhāgavatam (7.5.30-32) says:

matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho ‘bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te ‘pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ
naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ
mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-‘bhiṣekaṁ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat

“Persons who are determined to totally rot in false, material happiness cannot become Kṛṣṇa-minded either by instructions from teachers, by self-realization or by parliamentary discussions. They are dragged by the unbridled senses into the darkest region of ignorance, and thus they madly engage in what is called ‘chewing the chewed.’

“Because of their foolish activities, they are unaware that the ultimate goal of human life is to achieve Viṣṇu, the Lord of the cosmic manifestation, and so their struggle for existence is in the wrong direction of material civilization, which is under the external energy.

They are led by similar foolish persons, just as one blind man is led by another blind man and both fall in the ditch.

“Such foolish men cannot be attracted towards the activities of the Supreme Powerful, who is actually the neutralizing measure for their foolish activities, unless and until they have the good sense to be guided by the great souls who are completely freed from material attachment.”

In Bhagavad-gītā the Lord asks everyone to give up all other occupational duties and absolutely engage in arcanā activities, or in pleasing the Lord.

But almost no one is attracted to such arcanā activity. Everyone is more or less attracted by activities which are conditions of rebellion against the Supreme Lord.

The systems of jñāna and yoga are also indirectly rebellious acts against the Lord. There is no auspicious activity except arcanā of the Lord. Jñāna and yoga are sometimes accepted within the purview of arcanā when the ultimate aim is Viṣṇu, and not otherwise.

The conclusion is that only the devotees of the Lord are bona fide human beings eligible for salvation. Others are vainly struggling for existence without any actual benefit.

Q: What is supreme process for achieving loving service unto Lord Krishna ?

A: Lord Krishna Himself gives the process to Uddhava in SB 11.19.20-24

  1. Firm faith in the blissful narration of My pastimes
  2. Constant chanting of My glories
  3. Unwavering attachment to ceremonial worship of Me
  4. Praising Me through beautiful hymns
  5. Great respect for My devotional service
  6. Offering obeisances with the entire body
  7. Performing first-class worship of My devotees
  8. Consciousness of Me in all living entities
  9. Offering of ordinary bodily activities in My devotional service
  10. Use of words to describe My qualities
  11. Offering the mind to Me
  12. Rejection of all material desires
  13. Giving up wealth for My devotional service
  14. Renouncing material sense gratification and happiness
  15. Performing all desirable activities such as charity, sacrifice, chanting, vows and austerities with the purpose of achieving Me

— these constitute actual religious principles, by which those human beings who have actually surrendered themselves to Me automatically develop love for Me. What other purpose or goal could remain for My devotee?

Highlights of this verse

  1. The words mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā are significant in this verse. Abhyadhikā indicates “superior quality.” The Lord is extremely satisfied with those who offer worship to His pure devotees, and He rewards them accordingly. Because of the Lord’s generous appraisal of His pure devotees, worship of the pure devotees is described as superior to worship of the Lord Himself.

  2. The words mad-artheṣv aṅga-ceṣṭā state that ordinary, bodily activities such as brushing the teeth, taking bath, eating, etc., should all be offered to the Supreme Lord as devotional service.

  3. The words vacasā mad-guṇeraṇam indicate that whether one speaks in ordinary, crude language or with learned poetic eloquence, one should describe the glories of the Personality of Godhead.

  4. The words mad-arthe ‘rtha-parityāgaḥ indicate that one should spend one’s money for festivals glorifying the Personality of Godhead, such as Ratha-yātrā, Janmāṣṭamī and Gaura-pūrṇimā. Also, one is herein instructed to spend money to assist the mission of one’s spiritual master and other Vaiṣṇavas. Wealth that cannot be used properly in the Lord’s service and is thus an impediment to one’s clear consciousness should be given up entirely.

  5. The word bhogasya refers to sense gratification, headed by sex enjoyment, and sukhasya refers to sentimental material happiness, such as excessive family attachment.

  6. The words dattaṁ hutam indicate that one should offer to brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas first-class foods cooked in ghee. One should offer the vibration svāhā to Lord Viṣṇu in an authorized sacrificial fire along with grains and ghee.

  7. The word japtam indicates that one should constantly chant the holy names of the Lord.

Q: How can one Transcend the activities mentioned in Vedas and achieve loving devotional service to the Lord ?

Lord Krishna concludes SB 11.19.45

eta uddhava te praśnāḥ
sarve sādhu nirūpitāḥ
kiṁ varṇitena bahunā
lakṣaṇaṁ guṇa-doṣayoḥ
guṇa-doṣa-dṛśir doṣo
guṇas tūbhaya-varjitaḥ

Thus, Uddhava, I have elucidated all of the matters about which you inquired. There is no need for a more elaborate description of these good and bad qualities, since to constantly see good and bad is itself a bad quality. The best quality is to transcend material good and evil.

Thus Lord concludes His analysis by stating that there is no need for further elaboration of these good and bad qualities. Indeed, the purpose of life is to transcend materially good and bad qualities and come to the liberated platform of pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

In next chapter

SB 11.20.1: Śrī Uddhava said: My dear lotus-eyed Kṛṣṇa, You are the Supreme Lord, and thus the Vedic literatures, consisting of positive and negative injunctions, constitute Your order. Such literatures focus upon the good and bad qualities of work.

Purport
At the end of the previous chapter, Lord Kṛṣṇa stated, guṇa-doṣa-dṛśir doṣo guṇas tūbhaya-varjitaḥ: “Focusing upon material piety and sin is itself a discrepancy, since actual piety means to transcend both of them.” Śrī Uddhava now pursues this point so that Lord Kṛṣṇa will give a more elaborate explanation of this difficult subject matter. Śrī Uddhava here states that the Vedic literatures, which constitute the laws of God, deal with piety and sin; therefore, it must be clarified how one transcends activities recommended in the Vedas. According to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Uddhava suddenly understood Lord Kṛṣṇa’s purpose in the words He had just spoken, and to induce the Lord to elaborate upon this interesting point Uddhava outwardly challenged the Lord’s statement.

SB 11.20.2: According to Vedic literature, the superior and inferior varieties found in the human social system, varṇāśrama, are due to pious and sinful modes of family planning. Thus piety and sin are constant points of reference in the Vedic analysis of the components of a given situation — namely the material ingredients, place, age and time. Indeed, the Vedas reveal the existence of material heaven and hell, which are certainly based on piety and sin.

SB 11.20.3: Without seeing the difference between piety and sin, how can one understand Your own instructions in the form of Vedic literatures, which order one to act piously and forbid one to act sinfully? Furthermore, without such authorized Vedic literatures, which ultimately award liberation, how can human beings achieve the perfection of life?

Purport
If one does not accept the necessity of performing pious activities and avoiding sinful activities, it becomes very difficult to understand authorized religious scriptures; and without such scriptures, how can human beings attain salvation? This is the essence of Śrī Uddhava’s question.

SB 11.20.4: My dear Lord, in order to understand those things beyond direct experience — such as spiritual liberation or attainment of heaven and other material enjoyments beyond our present capacity — and in general to understand the means and end of all things, the forefathers, demigods and human beings must consult the Vedic literatures, which are Your own laws, for these constitute the highest evidence and revelation.

Purport
One might argue that while human beings are certainly prone to ignorance, the elevated forefathers and demigods are considered to be all-knowing within universal affairs. If such superior beings would communicate with the earth, then everyone could bypass Vedic knowledge in achieving his personal desire. This concept is denied here by the words vedaś cakṣuḥ. Even the demigods and forefathers have at best an ambiguous conception of supreme liberation, and even in material affairs they are subject to personal frustration. Although the demigods are all-powerful in awarding material benedictions to inferior species such as human beings, they are sometimes thwarted in their personal programs of sense gratification. A rich businessman, for example, may have no difficulty paying the insignificant salary of one of his innumerable workers, but the same wealthy man may be completely frustrated in his dealings with his own family and friends and may also be defeated in his attempts to expand his fortune by further investments. Although a rich man appears to be all-powerful to his subordinate workers, he must personally struggle to fulfill his personal desires. Similarly, the demigods and forefathers encounter many difficulties in maintaining and expanding their celestial standard of living. They must therefore constantly take shelter of superior Vedic knowledge. Even in the administration of cosmic affairs, they strictly follow the guidelines of the Vedas, which are the laws of God. If such fabulous entities as demigods must take shelter of the Vedas, we can just imagine the position of human beings, who are frustrated at virtually every step of their lives. Every human being should accept Vedic knowledge as the highest evidence in material and spiritual affairs. Uddhava points out to the Lord that if one accepts the authority of Vedic knowledge, it is seemingly impossible to reject the concept of material piety and sin. Thus Uddhava persists in examining the Lord’s controversial statement at the end of the last chapter.

SB 11.20.5: My dear Lord, the distinction observed between piety and sin comes from Your own Vedic knowledge and does not arise by itself. If the same Vedic literature subsequently nullifies such distinction between piety and sin, there will certainly be confusion.

Purport
In the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15) Lord Kṛṣṇa states, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ: “By all the Vedas I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I know the Veda as it is.” Vedic knowledge emanates from the breathing of the Personality of Godhead; therefore, whatever Lord Kṛṣṇa speaks is Veda, or perfect knowledge. The Vedic literatures are full of descriptions of piety and sin, but Lord Kṛṣṇa’s statement that one should transcend piety and sin is also to be understood as Vedic knowledge. Śrī Uddhava has understood this point and therefore requests Lord Kṛṣṇa to clear up an apparent contradiction. Ultimately, the material world gives the living entities a chance to satisfy their perverted desires and at the same time gradually achieve the liberation of going back home, back to Godhead. Thus material piety must be considered a means and never an absolute end, since the material world itself is not absolute, being temporary and limited. The Personality of Godhead is Himself the reservoir of all virtue and goodness. Those persons and activities that please the Lord are to be considered virtuous, and those that displease Him are to be considered sinful. There cannot be any other permanent definition of these terms. If one becomes a mundane moralist, forgetting the Supreme Lord, one’s position is certainly imperfect, and one will not achieve the ultimate goal of piety, going back home, back to Godhead. On the other hand, there is great fear among moralists that if the distinction between piety and sin is minimized, people will commit many atrocities in the name of God. In the modern world there is no clear understanding of spiritual authority, and moral men consider any appeal to transcend morality to be an invitation to fanaticism, anarchy, violence and corruption. Thus they regard material moral principles as more important than directly trying to please God. Because this point is controversial, Uddhava is anxiously requesting the Lord to give a clear explanation.

SB 11.20.6: The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Uddhava, because I desire that human beings may achieve perfection, I have presented three paths of advancement — the path of knowledge, the path of work and the path of devotion. Besides these three there is absolutely no other means of elevation.

SB 11.20.7: Among these three paths, jñāna-yoga, the path of philosophical speculation, is recommended for those who are disgusted with material life and are thus detached from ordinary, fruitive activities. Those who are not disgusted with material life, having many desires yet to fulfill, should seek perfection through the path of karma-yoga.

SB 11.20.8: If somehow or other by good fortune one develops faith in hearing and chanting My glories, such a person, being neither very disgusted with nor attached to material life, should achieve perfection through the path of loving devotion to Me.

Lord is in everyone like fire is in every type of wood analogy.

SB 3.9.32

Translation
You will see Me in all living entities as well as all over the universe, just as fire is situated in wood. Only in that state of transcendental vision will you be able to be free from all kinds of illusion.

Purport

Brahmā prayed that he might not forget his eternal relationship with the Lord during the course of his material activities. In answer to that prayer, the Lord said that he should not think of existing without a relationship with His omnipotency.

The example is given of the fire in wood. The fire kindled in wood is always the same, although the wood may be of different types.

Similarly, the bodies within the material creation may be specifically different according to shape and quality, but the spirit souls within them are not different from one another.

The quality of fire, warmth, is the same everywhere, and the spiritual spark, or part and parcel of the Supreme Spirit, is the same in every living being; thus the potency of the Lord is distributed all over His creation.

This transcendental knowledge alone can save one from the contamination of material illusion. Since the Lord’s potency is distributed everywhere, a pure soul, or devotee of the Lord, can see everything in relationship with the Lord, and therefore he has no affection for the outer coverings.

That pure spiritual conception makes him immune to all contamination of material association. The pure devotee never forgets the touch of the Lord in all circumstances.

Lords’s killing is also mercy

SB 3.14.51

Translation
The sage Maitreya said: Hearing that her grandson would be a great devotee and that her sons would be killed by Kṛṣṇa, Diti was highly pleased in mind.

Purport
Diti was very aggrieved to learn that because of her untimely pregnancy her sons would be demons and would fight with the Lord. But when she heard that her grandson would be a great devotee and that her two sons would be killed by the Lord, she was very satisfied. As the wife of a great sage and the daughter of a great Prajāpati, Dakṣa, she knew that being killed by the Personality of Godhead is a great fortune. Since the Lord is absolute, His acts of violence and nonviolence are both on the absolute platform. There is no difference in such acts of the Lord. Mundane violence and nonviolence have nothing to do with the Lord’s acts. A demon killed by Him attains the same result as one who attains liberation after many, many births of penance and austerity. The word bhṛśam is significant herein because it indicates that Diti was pleased beyond her expectations.

Also in the purport of 3.14.42 SP writes

Diti knew well that the killing of her sons by the Lord would also be His mercy, and therefore she says that the wheel and arms of the Lord are magnanimous. If someone is killed by the wheel of the Lord and is thus fortunate enough to see the arms of the Lord, that is sufficient for his liberation. Such good fortune is not achieved even by the great sages.

One thought on “Srimad Bhagavatam teaches

  1. Pingback: A true Vaishnava | For the Pleasure of Lord Krishna

Please write your comments on this blog post