BB Govinda Swami οn the death of the young Indian girl who was gang raped in Delhi

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By BB Govinda Swami

I read, with sadness, of the death of the young Indian girl who was gang raped in Delhi.

My prayers go to that departed soul, to her family, and to her friend who was also beaten and thrown off the bus.

The present perverted culture of India allows rape and molestation of women to take place anywhere and everywhere in the nation.

I have been shocked in hearing the stories of my female students in Vrindavan;

A western lady told me how while standing in front of Radhe Shyam, her eyes closed in prayer, an Indian man approached her, grasp her breasts, touched her buttocks, and rubbed his hand against her private parts.

A forty-ish year old Indian lady told me how on Sri Krishna Janmastami, an Indian man pushed his genitals onto her as everyone was wedged in the crowd trying to have darshan.

I heard tonight on Indian TV that in one political party alone there are 31 accused rapists.

This tragedy stirs me up.

I wish the Indian youth were savvy enough, and courageous enough, to use the social media in the same way that it has been used over the past few years to bring a change to the status quo.

But I think the Indian youth are too afraid of what their parents and society would say. Rather, they use the social media to ape the degraded materialistic culture.

I wish the Indian old elite would do the right thing, step aside, and allow brains that work to develop a structure for the nation in which all the citizens were equal before the constitution.

Yet … a drastic change would bring no good result if there were no Krishna consciousness, God consciousness.

It has been said that the fish rots from the head down.

The world is rotting, India included.

Maybe India is rotting more … for turning away from its ancient spiritual traditions.

Did you ever visit a country of 1,241,491,960 people where over half of the people perform their toilet activities on the train tracks or the sides of the roads daily?

Urination in public is so socially acceptable?

Where people in towns and villages heap their trash in the middle of the national highways?

The rich build huge mansions, high boundary walls, and dump their garbage outside their walls.

Where sacred rivers have been killed, officially declared dead by the World Health Organisation.

Why? Due to the the unrestricted dumping of pollutants from factories and waste from slaughter houses? All run by greedy materialistic men.

A country where over 100,000 people die on the roads yearly, and where hundreds and thousands are left maimed for life.

Where there is noise everywhere, plastic everywhere, smoke and smog everywhere.

And to get the most simple deed accomplished you must give a gift?

As Prabhupada sat and wrote in his rooms at Radha Damodar, he stated that what we are seeing today is simply the burnt remnants of India’s great tradition of culture.

That was 50 years ago.

Yes, a revolution is needed. But, it should be a revolution of consciousness. Krishna consciousness, God consciousness.

These situations make me think, “if I were young I would join a revolution and pull down the rotten machine.”

Now, alas, I am too old to sling stones and could never tolerate gunfire.

But then, when I was young, I did join a revolution. And I am still a small part of it, and I am still trying to pull.

bharata-bhumite hoila manusya janma yara
janma sarthaka kari karo para-upakära

This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission, para-upakara.

His mission is to be very merciful to all people.

So, I will continue in the revolution of Srila Prabhupada and Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

I will continually try to assist my master to change the degraded consciousness of the world.

Please everyone, take the holy names, study the message of Bhagavad Gita, worship Sri Krishna.

By these activities, the degraded material consciousness of this world will change.

One poet said, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.”

Another small Indian man said, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

Together …. Let’s make that change.

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

(See further comments here: http://www.facebook.com/govindaswami108/posts/10151231019968884)

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1 Unregistered

There is always room for a revolution in the material world because fundamentally the root of the problem is squarely that nobody knows their real identity as a spirit soul. And the second natural step henceforward is to have one act as a spirit soul.

If one studies most of Srila Prabhupada’s classes, one will see how much Srila Prabhupada so compassionately preached over and over the same basic message: so simple — “You are not this body, you are a spirit soul”. All of Srila Prabhupada’s books hammer down the same message with more philosophy, but basicically it is all aimed at making one not only to know one’s position but to act accordingly. This is simple enough, is it not?

And even amongst practicing devotees, there is a whole lot of room to check out if one has understood or not this very simple message. In a class in Australia, Srila Prabhupada said about one not being a body but a soul: “This you must realize”.

So people need direction. The whole world needs direction. And it is with devotees who rise above the bodily platform that useful instructions may be given according to place and circumstances and individuals or communities. On a one to one basis there is hope to bring about a change if to begin with, the desired change we would like to see in others we can back it up with our own on-going personal example.

Maharaja, I relish so much your wonderful kirtans. Everyday, I like so much to repeatedly play the kirtan you had at bhakti sangama 2012. No doubt that you are a very sincere devotee and the world needs thousands of such devotees. Thanks so much to express your spirit of compassion in this wonderful, simple and sincere, straight to the point article.

Your humble servant. PVd

Comment posted by Prabhava Vigraha das on December 30th, 2012
2 Kesava Krsna dasa

That young woman who was raped did not just die a physical death, but also a cultural death. In a land where female infanticide and indifference to women’s plights stack up the odds against women, this might have reduced the rape victim’s willingness to live, to face up to further indifferent law and legal procedures. She was about to marry – would her husband-to-be have married her?

Yet, three police officers in Punjab have lost their jobs because of their indifference towards and humiliation of another gang-rape victim. Perhaps there is some hope.

In New York City a woman who hated “Muslims and Hindus” for “What they did on 9/11…” pushes a Hindu man to an oncoming train. Obviously, she, like many other ignorant people thinks that Hindus are the same as Muslims.

Sometimes we as Iskcon identify ourselves as Hindu for understandable reasons. Judging from that lady train-push-killer and others like her, Hindus appear to be in the same league as jihadists and terrorists. It would be wise for Iskcon to educate the public about distinctions between Hindus and Muslims in a none-sectarian way.

On the other hand, many educated people who do know of such distinctions, may also identify Hinduism with all that Maharaja has rightly mentioned in his written piece above. Iskcon would also be wise to further educate the public about our (Iskcon) disassociation with the decadent social ills that besets Indian society. We have a delicate balancing act to perform.

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment posted by Kesava Krsna dasa on December 30th, 2012
3 Shyamasundara Dasa

In India you will meet absolutely the best of the best, the very cream of humanity. But, you will also meet the worst specimens of two legged animals anywhere on this planet.

When I was a very young devotee before I came to India, the land of Rama and Krsna, I had visions of sadhus amidst the coconut trees of the banks of the Ganga. But it didn’t take long after living here that I realized that India is not only the land of Rama and Krsna but also the land of Ravana and Kamsa. Always remember this and never forget it.

dasa dasa anu dasa

Shyamasundara Dasa

www.ShyamasundaraDasa.com

krsne matirastu

Comment posted by Shyamasundara Dasa on December 30th, 2012
4 kavicandra swami

this is very nicely stated. We have so much preaching to do to educate people. Kali is especially attacking India.

“we want a revolution, and we want it now”

we can do more that build big houses in vrndavan.

Comment posted by kavicandra swami on December 31st, 2012
5 Unregistered

Dear Maharaja, Please forgive me for any offence but I must voice my opinion on this.

The present perverted culture of India allows rape and molestation of women to take place anywhere and everywhere in the nation.

What is this perverted culture? I heard it said that India is like an old lady, very ancient. She tries to fit into a tight fitting miniskirt of a younger Western lady. The understanding is that an old lady does not look attractive in a tight fitting miniskirt as she tries to look younger to “fit in”. So India is an old ancient lady trying to imitiate and live Western culture and attain this in an overnight transition. This is impossible, especially with a 1.2 billion population, and millions of rural dwellers migrating into cities every year, trying to fit into tight Western skirts. Hence, the sight of people performing toilet activities on train tracks, uriniting anywhere being acceptable socially, trash thrown anywhere etc. And with material progress, women lose protection of their fathers and brothers because of a desire to be independent. As a result, the govenment needs to give this protection and they do not have the resources for such a large population.

I wish the Indian youth were savvy enough, and courageous enough, to use the social media in the same way that it has been used over the past few years to bring a change to the status quo.

What “status quo” should they change? It would be better if the youth of India were “savvy and courageous” to realise that the ultimate degradation of Western society is fast approaching and to do a U-Turn now and not imitate. The culture of marriage in the West is fast becoming extinct – sexual partners are changed as easy as buying new clothes and it is considered normal behaviour. Women crawl on the streets intoxicated - with barely any clothes on, they vomit and urinate unashamedely on the sidewalks. Sex life becomes perveted, because of over familarity with the opposite sex. Many men no longer look to women as desirous, instead they turn to homosexulity, pedophilia or other perveted forms of sex. It is said that there are special dogs that some women keep as pets which are trained to satisfy their sexual desires. This is because men and women become fed up with each other to the point of hatred.

Comment posted by Nitai dasa on December 31st, 2012
6 Unregistered

Continued from previous:

The change that the “status quo” should bring to the youths of India is how to respect and protect women and go back to simple morals. The sad rape and subsequent death of this young girl who went out at night with her male friend has gained hugh publicity all over the world simply because of the protests over this. The protests in Delhi, in some instances leading to riots, were mostly by youths, spearheaded by young males - university and college students. They were using this incident to demand government protection and freedom for women to do as they please. To facilitate this freedom, the government should protect the women. The subtle desire of these males are simply to make these women loose so they can exploit and enjoy them.

But I think the Indian youth are too afraid of what their parents and society would say. Rather, they use the social media to ape the degraded materialistic culture.

In a way, it is good that the youths of India are still largely respectful to their parents and society. Unfotunately, social media and television is quickly taking the Indian youth down the road of degradation.

I wish the Indian old elite would do the right thing, step aside, and allow brains that work to develop a structure for the nation in which all the citizens were equal before the constitution.

It is a fact the elite abuse power and should step down. However more elderly leaders are preferable, they still hang on to some culture, using “old fashioned brains,” despite the corruption. As we see, the recent preference and popularity of younger leaders in the West has led to quicker moral degradation. Materialistic false equality before a false constitution is only created for explotation. How often did Srila Prabhupada smash the idea of this so called “demon-crazy” (democracy) civilazation. The “structure” needed is to go back to the roots. India is a country where varnasrama or farm community living will be more easily accepted amongst devotees and the rural population.

Continued:

Comment posted by Nitai dasa on December 31st, 2012
7 Unregistered

Did you ever visit a country of 1,241,491,960 people where over half of the people perform their toilet activities on the train tracks or the sides of the roads daily?

We have to understand this in relation to a 1.2 billion Indian population compared to small populations of Western countries. India is trying to fit into the Western miniskirt overnight. Rural people come to the cities for material progress and want this overnight. With Western countries, they had a smaller population and material progress was gradual. Here, we have an old lady squeezing into the tight fitting skirt of a young lady without knowing the rules.
Yes, a revolution is needed. But, it should be a revolution of consciousness. Krishna consciousness, God consciousness.
There seems to be a contradiction of an earlier implication – that the youth should not care so much about what their parents or society would say and should progress towards bringing in a new constitution where all citizens are equal. This would gradually take the protection of women out of the hands of father, brother or husband and be more a responsibility of the State.
A revolution of Krsna consciousness in India would bear fruit if devotees preached not just to the elite such as the rich and college or university students but concentrated more on the rural populations of India. Many of the rural are converting to Christanity and joining rebel movements because they feel abused by the caste system and also want “material” equal rights quickly. The Hare Krsna’s can show how they can also become brahmins or truly be the upperclass of India if they take to Krsna consciousness – no matter whatever varna they feel inclined towards. We have the philopsophy. There is devotee manpower in India. It would not take much planning to spread out to even the remotest of villages and set up little preching centres. No need for big temples, send men and put up temporary inexpensive wood or iron structures. There is ample devotee manpower in India. People should be encouraged not to give up their farms for false happiness. Since the majority of Indians still live off the land, it will be easier to preach with varnasrama in mind.

Comment posted by Nitai dasa on December 31st, 2012
8 Unregistered

Comments 5-7:

Nothing in this world is going on independently of Krishna’s divine plan. India is currently ranked the worst G20 country in the world for women. Modern Indian society subjugates women and denies them personal freedoms, leading to whole sale exploitation. India has been largely influenced by a multitude of foreign invasions with the conquests of Islam and British raj being the most effective. Both invaders set a priority to interpolate dharmasatra as a means to conquer India and influence its people see its historical society as uncivilized and barbaric so that the people would turn to the culture of its invaders. The vast majority of Indian temples that depicted women in the Vedic light were destroyed by Islamic invaders. Due to these invasions and manipulations of history, India today, in it’s social customs (esp. women’s issues), are largely more in line with Islamic customs than historical Vedic society.

In actual Vedic society women freely mixed with men and were not seen as inherently “lesser” than men. Women were not held to obscure and exploitative social customs. If you look at pre-Islamic art, you will see how differently women were seen in India than of today. I would even venture to say that modern Indian society is far less “Vedic” than American society just due to the lack of personal freedoms. Vedic society was a free society that facilitated everyone’s level of spiritual evolution, no matter what occupation, gender, affiliation, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, etc…one occupied. Indian society today is far from that concept of personal liberty and freedom.

If India was able to rid itself of Islamic and British societal influences, it would be a whole different country. But obviously that is not what Krishna currently has planned for India.

Comment posted by bbd on December 31st, 2012
9 Unregistered

In response to bbd

In actual Vedic society women freely mixed with men

This is just your assumption based on modern view or speculation. It is not in line with shastra and has already been proven conclusively in comments to other articles regarding this issue. On the bodily platform, there are different prescribed duties for different people which is favourable for spiritual life. This subject is “chewing the chewed” and I will not go into it.

Nothing in this world is going on independently of Krishna’s divine plan.

I agree but Krsna gave us freewill and we should feel anxiety for the future of Krsna consciousness all over the world and not sit idle. Srila Prabhupada said that his guru maharaja used to say that to preach, you need to have “life”. Without “life”, you cannot preach. Srila Prabhupada translated this “life” to mean enthusiasm. Srila Prabhupada knew Krsna was doing everything, still he showed us how much “life” he had. So we should not sit idle thinking Krsna will do everything. Krsna will be pleased if we act. Presently, due to a comfort zone we have settled into, many devotees have lost this “life” and I have to admit that I am one of them. I pray that Srila Prabhupada gives me some “life”. There is still much enthusiasm in India amongst second genreation devotees to take Krsna consciousness to every rural village and this should be encouraged.

Comment posted by Nitai dasa on January 1st, 2013
10 Unregistered

If all these protests are meant to accomplish is freedom for women to parade in miniskirts at night in relative safety than it’s a revolution going to waste. It would actually facilitate the demise of whatever relics of Vedic culture are still there.

As for equality - there’s never enough of it. There’s always just one more piece of legislation, just one more obstacle to overcome, just one more change in attitudes, paradise is always just around the corner.

Just like modern science it chases an impossible dream.

Comment posted by Sitalatma Das on January 1st, 2013
11 Unregistered

regarding comment #8 by “bbd” (who is bbd?) I would have to whole heartedly agree with Nitai Prabhu’s comment #9 bbd’s comments are complete speculation or wishful thinking and have no support in sastra. It’s as if “bbd” never read any of Srila Prabhupada’s books. Just last night I was reading in Krsna book about the marriage of Usa and Annirudha and the great efforts that were taken by Usha’s father to keep her away from boys. This was not a singularity but the theme of the sastras. So we find it very strange that “bbd” comes to the exact opposite conclusion regarding the mixing of the sexes than that of Vedic culture as explained in sastra and by our acaryas and sadhus.

Regarding the so called influence of Islam and the British regarding mixing of the sexes a study was done which showed that for North Indian girls they began to feel uncomfortable if an unknown male came within 2 meters, whereas in South India where Vedic culture is much stronger because of little Islamic influence because of the Vijayanagar Empire which kept them out the S Indian girls feel uncomfortable if an unknown male comes within 4 meters, twice that of the N Indian girl. So in areas of India where Vedic culture is strongest (S India) there is stronger aversion for free mixing of the sexes.

Comment posted by Somayaji on January 1st, 2013
12 Unregistered

Comments 9 & 11:

If you desire to revisit evidence to the contrary, you can start with comment 57 here:

http://www.dandavats.com/?p=10521

Free will, as you may define it, is not taught in sastra or within traditional Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Actually the opposite is taught…that the very notion of free will, or control over ones destiny, is an illusion of the conditioned jiva. See comments 1-3 here:

http://www.dandavats.com/?p=10623

Comment posted by bbd on January 1st, 2013
13 pustakrishna

HH Govinda Maharaj’s heart and comments are noble are proper.

There has been an effort to try to rationalize the bad behavior of this event and the overall degradation of Indian society to outside influences. In fact, there are many theistic persons who are moral throughout the world in all religious traditions. That includes the US where there are many, many moral people. We cannot judge a society only by its worst elements. Even atheists, if they are at least humanistic, would never consider rape to be an acceptable action. And, having read the Koran myself recently out of curiosity, I am impressed by the overall moralistic tone of the teachings. Rape is not promoted. So, were cannot fault the scriptures. These rapists must also have been at least exposed to the Krishna conscious movement some where along the line having lived in India. That did not leave any impression on them. These crow-like men were deeply servants of the modes of passion and ignorance. Even the parent/s of these beasts could not have promoted such behavior. The three modes of nature are present everywhere in the world and the material universe. But, it is our free will, when misused, that drags the soul through the most horrible filth of the world. People have responsibility. They must be taught that they have responsibility! We are seeing horrible acts throughout the world on a more or less daily basis. This act was publicized but there are probably hundreds of similarly disgraceful acts daily throughout the world. They occur even within the ranks of religion as well. Truly, the Kali-yuga is a battlefield for the conscience.

So when we see this, how are we to react? If we use the terminology of Srila Prabhupad, knowing that we are not the body…and seeing the horrible actions of this age…can we say “Hate the disease, not the patient”. It is very difficult to digest this given the terrible situation. How much compassion can we muster? Is mercy greater than justice? Do we let our own anger and indignation cloud our sense of reality as seen through the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita?

We want to “blame” something but the unfortunate reality is that these souls, and others like them, have misused their minute independence, associating by choice with the lower modes of nature…..we are left with something that Srila Prabhupad would sometimes say to us in his day: “This material world is not a place for a gentleman to live in”.

Pusta Krishna das

Comment posted by pustakrishna on January 2nd, 2013
14 Unregistered

Comment 13:

You said: “The three modes of nature are present everywhere in the world and the material universe. But, it is our free will, when misused, that drags the soul through the most horrible filth of the world. People have responsibility. They must be taught that they have responsibility!”

Yes, that is the teaching for the neophyte. However, as one spiritually evolves to perceive higher truths of reality, he/she sees that Krsna is 100% in control of everything & everyone…at all times. This is the higher truth of reality that is within sastra.

BG 3.27: The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.

SB 11.28.6-7: The Supersoul alone is the ultimate controller and creator of this world, and thus He alone is also the created. Similarly, the Soul of all existence Himself both maintains and is maintained, withdraws and is withdrawn. No other entity can be properly ascertained as separate from Him, the Supreme Soul, who nonetheless is distinct from everything and everyone else. The appearance of the threefold material nature, which is perceived within Him, has no actual basis. Rather, you should understand that this material nature, composed of the three modes, is simply the product of His illusory potency.

SB 11.13.24: Within this world, whatever is perceived by the mind, speech, eyes or other senses is Me alone and nothing besides Me. All of you please understand this by a straightforward analysis of the facts.

BG 6.29: A true yogī observes Me in all beings and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized person sees Me, the same Supreme Lord, everywhere.

BG 6.30: For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.

BG 18.61: 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.

Comment posted by bbd on January 2nd, 2013
15 Unregistered

Cont…

From The Harmonist, May 1932, issue number 11. Article originally titled, Sree Chaitanya in South India. Pages 325-326. By Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur

“The world stands in no need of any reformer. The world has a very competent person for guiding its minutest happenings. The person who determines that there is scope for reform of the world, himself stands in need of reform. The world goes on in its own perfect way. No person can deflect it even the breadth of a hair from the course chalked out for it by providence. When we perceive any change being actually effected in the course of events of this world by the agency of any particular individual, we must know very well that the agent possesses no real power at any stage. The agent finds himself driven forward by a force belonging to a different category from himself. The course of the world does not require to be changed by the agency of any person. What is necessary is to change our outlook on this world. This was done for the contemporary generation by the mercy of Sri Chaitanya. It can only be known to recipients of his mercy. The scriptures declare that it is only necessary to listen with an open mind to the name of Krishna from the lips of a bona fide devotee. As soon as Krishna enters the listening ear, he clears up the vision of the listener so that he no longer has any ambition of ever acting the part of a reformer of any other person, because he finds that nobody is left without the very highest guidance. It is therefore his own reform, by the grace of God, whose supreme necessity and nature he is increasingly able to realize, by the eternally continuing mercy of the Supreme Lord.”

Comment posted by bbd on January 2nd, 2013
16 pustakrishna

In response to comments #14 and #15, one can keep in mind that while the material energy (apara-prakriti) is controlled by Nature (Krishna BG 13.21, actions and reactions are controlled, but happiness and distress are caused by the atma, due to attachment and interaction with the apara-prakriti)….still “man proposes and God disposes”. Eko bahunam yo vidhadati kaman. The jiva souls have will and even desire. Krishna knows the desires of the jiva souls (as fragrance from a nearby flower) and He arranges the situation or environment for the jiva souls. We are not impersonalists! Yes, Krishna is everything. But we, as jiva souls are infinitesimal expansions of Krishna (mamaivamso jiva loke). While we are not part of the material energy (prakritim vidhi me param), we still can know that Krishna’s lila also involves the affairs of this world. The Srimad Bhagavatam contains hundreds of histories of devotees’ lives in Krishna consciousness in this world, and Krishna does have an interest in the development of His devotees Krishna consciousness as the Supreme Guru and Supreme Controller. It is part of the sublime yet inconceivable philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (acintya bhedabheda tattva). Thus, while one can take a “detached” view of the phantasmagoria of the changing material field, it is engagement that Krishna desires of Arjuna, so that Arjuna can become an instrument of the Supreme Friend, Krishna. There can be no doubt that the conditioned jiva souls react to events based upon their association with the various modes of nature, albeit a dreamlike association in the first place. However, if association were not a critical issue, than one could say that association with devotees to glorify Krishna is some kind of phantasmagoria also, but that is not at all the case. AND, THAT IS THE MERCY OF SRI SRI GURU GAURANGA.
Remember that the Bhagavad Gita teaches one of God, the jiva soul, the material nature, time and karma. All are eternal except karma. Preaching Krishna consciousness to the ignorant is essential, otherwise you and I could not have had the opportunity to hear about and learn about Krishna. I cannot be indifferent to that fact of mercy of the Lord and His devotees. I am not proud of everything that I have encountered via my choices in this cycle of human life, but I am supremely grateful. Unless we hanker for Krishna, He may not come to us. Do not discount the power of your desire! Pusta Krishna das

Comment posted by pustakrishna on January 4th, 2013
17 Unregistered

all these horrible things are not new.kali yuga is present where there is no spiritual education and it doesnot matter in India or somewhere else.
specially on the matter of sexe life ,uncontroled mind and senses brings madness, even great world personnalties fall.the only alternative is the teaching of krishna consciousness as it is in the bhagavad gita of srila prabhupada.therefore devotees duty is to go out and preach in order to save the conditional souls from taking lower birth .
your servant , gaura bhakta das

Comment posted by mehenni on January 4th, 2013
18 Paramananda das

There is no need for reformers so we should let the rapists run free? This is not a good quote here…
It is the duty of any gentleman to defend a lady that is attacked in such a brutal way ,I like to share how on Indian soldier recently brawely protected a woman in India from beinfg rapped on a train , killing 3 and fighting 40 single handedly http://artofmanliness.com/trun.....a-khukuri/

Comment posted by Paramananda das on January 5th, 2013
19 Paramananda das

well sometimes it turns out better…http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2011/01/31/the-gurkha-and-the-forty-thieves/

Comment posted by Paramananda das on January 5th, 2013
20 Unregistered

There is no need for reformers so we should let the rapists run free?

It’s a false dichotomy. Rapists should be punished and women shouldn’t venture out at night or wear mini-skirts or left unprotected.

But then, they want to be free from male oppression, they want jobs and careers, they want to feel empowered, they want the state to provide for their safety, who can stop them?

Maybe they know something Krishna doesn’t and can organize a perfect, happy and content society in the middle of the Kali yuga. Maybe this time it will work, let’s just put our brains together and…. waste another human lifeform on this fruitless pursuit.

Comment posted by Sitalatma Das on January 6th, 2013
21 Unregistered

In response to bbd

“The vast majority of Indian temples that depicted women in the Vedic light were destroyed by Islamic invaders. Due to these invasions and manipulations of history, India today, in it’s social customs (esp. women’s issues), are largely more in line with Islamic customs than historical Vedic society.

In actual Vedic society women freely mixed with men and were not seen as inherently “lesser” than men. Women were not held to obscure and exploitative social customs. If you look at pre-Islamic art, you will see how differently women were seen in India than of today. I would even venture to say that modern Indian society is far less “Vedic” than American society just due to the lack of personal freedoms. Vedic society was a free society that facilitated everyone’s level of spiritual evolution, no matter what occupation, gender, affiliation, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, etc…one occupied. Indian society today is far from that concept of personal liberty and freedom.

If India was able to rid itself of Islamic and British societal influences, it would be a whole different country. But obviously that is not what Krishna currently has planned for India.”

It is only the less intelligent persons not well versed in the history of the world who say that observance of separation of female from male is an introduction of the Mohammedan period in India. This incident from the Mahabharata period proves definitely that the ladies of the palace observed strict parda (restricted association with men), and instead of coming down in the open air where Lord Krsna and others were assembled, the ladies of the palace went up on the top of the palace and from there paid their respects to Lord Krsna by showers of flowers.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 1.10.16

Comment posted by Vrindavanchandra on January 7th, 2013
22 Unregistered

(From: Life with the Perfect Master, by Satsvarupa Maharaj)

[At ISKCON Calcutta] I was sometimes bewildered by conditions in the
kitchen. … They did everything in a simple, nonmechanized fashion — like
cutting vegetables while squatting on the floor. … I had to stand by and
observe without any hope of changing things, even when I saw something I
thought wasn’t up to Prabhupada’s standard. …,

“Srila Prabhupada,” I began, “you say that the Indian culture is suci,
cleaner than America which is mleccha, but it appears to me that the kitchen
here is dirty — ”

“You mind your own business!” Prabhupada said sharply. His words were like a
slap and immediately brought me to my senses. There was no need for more
discussion. I left his room and hurried back to the kitchen to get his
lunch, realizing that I had fallen into mundane, pro-Western faultfinding.

Comment posted by Vrindavanchandra on January 7th, 2013
23 Akruranatha

To say that the world stands in no need of any reformer does not mean that everyone should simply sit down and try to be inactive. It is merely a recognition that ultimately even the crimes, horrors and injustices that go on in this quadrant of the Lord’s total creation are under His complete control. He has set aside this duhkhalayam asasvatam as the place where wrong action under the influence of ignorance and wickedness can occur. There must be some place where criminals and demons can ply their trade, so Krishna has given them this God-forsaken material world.

Having come to this place, we all have our duties. One of those duties for many of us may be to participate in society’s wholesome activity of preventing crime and deterring criminals, not only through maintaining cops, courts and jails for catching and punishing them, but also through education and cultural programs and even maintaining a fair and properly-working economic system.

Having knowledge of Krishna’s supreme control over the workings of material nature does not mean we should all go off to the forest to become fake paramahamsas. Krishna never requested Arjuna to go to the forest.

This is the real explanation of free will and action. Material nature is already making all of us act. Some acts, like the pumping of our hearts and the workings of our immune system, are hardly voluntary, but we go on doing them. Expansion and contraction of our chests as we take many breaths every minute of the day is going on, throughout our lives, and even if we can stop it for a minute or two through our volition, it will go on afterwards, by nature. Our mind keeps working throughout the day and even in dreams, and we cannot stop it even though we try (though with suitable practice and detachment it is possible to control the mind in dhyana yoga, by chanting Krsna’s names attentively). And all of us have some occupational duty by which we earn money to buy groceries (or grow food) put a roof over our heads and so on.

We should not try to give up our duties, but try to do them as directed by Krishna. This is the world where rebellious souls go, who do not surrender to Krishna, and who are thus falsely directed and commit crimes and folly.

Our duty is to remind the world of Krishna’s instructions in Bhagavad-gita and to encourage the nonenvious to chant Hare Krishna and practice reawakening their dormant Krsna conscious, to go back to Godhead, where there is no crime.

Comment posted by Akruranatha on January 7th, 2013
24 Unregistered

Comment 21:

You said: “It is only the less intelligent persons not well versed in the history of the world who say that observance of separation of female from male is an introduction of the Mohammedan period in India. This incident from the Mahabharata period proves definitely that the ladies of the palace observed strict parda (restricted association with men)”

This verse you quoted shows no evidence whatsoever that women were forbid to be in the company of men. Besides, it is widely known and documented that the dharma sastras (especially anything dealing with social design) have been thoroughly interpolated throughout the ages. Even the great Epics like the Mahabharata have been interpolated. It’s difficult to stand against the mountains of evidence.

Madhvacarya’s “Mahabharata-Tatparya-Nirnaya” talks about extensive interpolation of the Mahabharata in Ch. 2.

kvacid granthan prakshipanti kvacidantaritanapi |
kuryuh kvacicca vyatyasam pramadat kvacidanyatha || 2.3

3. In some places (of the Mahabharatha) verses have been interpolated and in others verses have been omitted in some places, the verses have been transposed and in others, different readings have been given out of ignorance or otherwise.

anutsanna api grantha vyakula iti sarvasah |
utsannah prayasah sarve kotyamso’pi na vartate || 2.4

4. Though the works are really indestructible, they must be deemed to be mostly altered. Mostly all of them have disappeared and not even one crore (out of several crores of slokas) now exists.

grantho’pyevam viluLitah kimvartho devadurgamah |
kalavevam vyakulite nirnayaya pracoditah || 2.5
harina nirnayan vacmi vijanamstatprasadatah || 2.6
sastrantarani sanjanan vedamscasya prasadatah |
dese dese tatha granthan drishtva caiva prithagvidhan || 2.7

5 – 7. When the original work itself is so altered, What is there to say of its meaning which is intelligible (even) to the Devas only with difficulty. When the work had thus become altered in the Kali age, under the direction of Hari for its clear understanding, I shall state the settled truths having known them through His grace, and also having well known the other (extinct) works and all the Vedas through His grace, and also having examined the various editions existing in several places.

Comment posted by bbd on January 7th, 2013
25 Unregistered

Comment 23:

You said:  ”To say that the world stands in no need of any reformer does not mean that everyone should simply sit down and try to be inactive.”

The Thakur is saying there is no need to reform any person because, a) one cannot because it is not within one’s power, b) everyone is being driven by a force separate from one’s self, and c) no one is left without the highest guidance.  That is what the Thakur is saying.  He is saying the world is in no need of reform, but our outlook/perception of the world is.  In other words, our realization/understanding of how the world operates is in need of reform.  

One cannot sit idle and be inactive unless made to do so by divine will.  It is simply not within our power to do so independently.  That was the ultimate point explained in the Gita.  We always do as Krishna guides us whether we are aware of the truth of God’s control over us or not, we have no choice to help or not help someone, we have no choice to harm or not harm someone, even ourselves — as Krishna told Arjuna:

“You were thinking that you will not fight” - na yotsya iti manyase. “But that is due to your misconception of your self and reality” - yad ahankaram asritya . “That resolution was in vain” - mithyaiva vyavasayas te, “prakriti (Krishna’s universal nature) will engage you (make you fight)” - prakritis tvam niyokshyati.

“Your will not to act is illusory” - kartum necchasi yan mohat. “Bound by actions” - nibaddhah svena karmana, “born of your nature son of Kunti” - svabhava-jena kaunteya, “helpless, you will act” - karishyasy avaso ‘pi tat.

“The supreme controller is at the heart of all beings Arjuna” - isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrid-dese ‘rjuna tishthati, “driving the movements of all living beings” -bhramayan sarva-bhutani, “who are mounted on the machine of His universal potency” - yantrarudhani mayaya

Simply Paraphrased:

“You didn’t want to harm your relatives and thought you could leave and not fight, but that was because you don’t understand the truth of your relationship with me — I am inside you and control you completely because you cannot function without me, you will do what I want you to do, and I want you to fight, so you will fight.”

Then you said:  ” Our mind keeps working throughout the day and even in dreams, and we cannot stop it even though we try (though with suitable practice and detachment it is possible to control the mind in dhyana yoga, by chanting Krsna’s names attentively).”

Comment posted by bbd on January 8th, 2013
26 Unregistered

Sastra has various levels of meaning to facilitate every level of spiritual realization one may be on in their ongoing spiritual evolution.  Sometimes in the Gita there is relative truth, sometimes absolute truth, that’s the progressive nature of the Gita. It presents an evolutionary path of spiritual practice and teaching.  

As you advance, your ability to understand more and complex truth increases, so shastra provides a more advanced teaching for you. It’s the nature of Vedic spiritual teachings in general to sometimes speak lesser truths or relative truths in order to progressively lead someone to the higher or absolute truth. The 6th chapter of the Gita is a perfect example. Krishna is talking about learning how to detach the self from the mind in meditation, but because until you are advanced in spiritual understanding you will identify with the mind as yourself or under your control, Krishna tailors those instructions on learning how to detach the self from identifying with the mind, by using a concept you believe to be true — that you can control your mind.

BG 6.26: From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the self.

Because people are so conditioned from birth to identify with the mind, they need to gradually learn how to detach themselves from that in order to be self-realized & God conscious. One way to do that is by telling them to try to control the mind, to steady it, to try to focus it on silence. What this type of teaching is doing is helping people to detach from identifying with the mind, to see it as different from themselves, as something to observe, which is the real purpose of these teachings.

Krishna is always speaking in ways which have more than one interpretation for teaching people on different levels of spiritual understanding. For example:

BG 6.25: Gradually, step by step, one should become situated in trance by means of intelligence sustained by full conviction, and thus the mind should be fixed on the self alone and should think of nothing else.

This verse is telling us that by our intellect, our understanding, we should be aware of our self as different from the mind by training the mind on the self, to focus our awareness of ourselves as the consciousness, and think of nothing else, i.e. try to be silent & observe yourself as purely the conscious observer, the self experiencing the mind & the body.

Comment posted by bbd on January 8th, 2013
27 Unregistered

It’s also saying something else. The absolute truth is we can’t control the mind, it simply isn’t within our power, it isn’t under our control & never will be. In the 18th chapter Krishna tells Arjuna that it was ahankara, the false ego or wrong conception of ones identity, that was the cause of his thinking he wasn’t going to fight. Krishna tells him that he was delusional to think he could do as he wanted, that in fact he was bound by the nature of his birth as a human, that he has no independence, because Krishna, being situated within him, is the controller of everybody’s actions.

BG 15.15: I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.

BG 18.61: 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.

“All the world’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.”

While Shakespeare intended his speech to refer to people going through life playing various roles, it’s a good analogy of how reality is experienced for a self-realized soul. The world becomes a stage for a play, for a type of lila, with a director, writer, & actor, who are all the same person, God, playing all the parts through God’s total control over everyone. We are the audience who experiences the show & play our parts as well, even though our parts are being orchestrated or played by God also. The point is to develop bhava & rasa through that relationship we experience externally & internally. That isn’t for any type of bhakta, 1st the development of knowledge on how much control Krishna as paramatma has over everyone & everything is required. That amount is 100%, but most bhaktas find it difficult to understand & accept that fact, so they aren’t ready for the higher level of bhava-bhakti until they do. Once they do, then Krishna will start to relate with them, personally & directly, all of the time. It’s not that Krishna is far away, Krishna is always with us, acting as our mind (antaryami), & experiencing every moment of our lives, guiding us to our destiny, which is to awaken to God’s presence.

SB 3.26.28: The mind of the living entity is known by the name of Lord Aniruddha, the supreme ruler of the senses. He possesses a bluish-black form resembling a lotus flower growing in the autumn. He is found slowly by the yogīs.

Comment posted by bbd on January 8th, 2013
28 Akruranatha

“Krishna tells him that he was delusional to think he could do as he wanted, that in fact he was bound by the nature of his birth as a human, that he has no independence, because Krishna, being situated within him, is the controller of everybody’s actions.”

But Krishna also told Arjuna, “yatheccasi tatha kuru” (18.63), and Arjuna said “karisye vacanam tava” (18.73). The living entity is not a stone. Jivas have free will.

The jiva is described earlier as “karta”, the doer, but as only one of the five factors of action (18.14) Therefore one who thinks himself the only doer, not considering the five factors, does not see things as they are (18.16) But one who is free from false ego and has intelligence which is not entangled can act without being bound, even if such actions involve killing others in battle. (18.17)

Such action without bondage is a more complete exhibition of the free will of the soul. He still remains a doer, but he is a liberated doer rather than a bound-up doer. Thus, three kinds of doers, in goodness, passion and ignorance, are explained (18.26-28).

Yes, the surrendered worker, acting in full Krishna consciousness, never feels independent of Krishna. Among the six symptoms of surrender are feelings of complete dependence, and understanding that Krishna is maintaining, sustaining and protecting us. These are symptoms of love. Even a person afflicted with mundane love cannot stop thinking about the beloved.

“…we should always remember the supreme lover, Sri Krsna, and at the same time perform our material duties nicely. A strong sense of love is required here. If we have a strong sense of love for the Supreme Lord, then we can discharge our duty and at the same time remember Him. But we have to develop that sense of love.”

– Introduction to Bhagavad-Gita As It Is

Being surrendered does not mean that one loses free will, inviduality, intentionality, or perception of variety. The surrendered Vaisnavas more fully express their freedom, individuality, intention and variety, because they become free from the bondage of passion and ignorance. They action merges with transcendence, but does not stop.

We may still perform their duties of looking after the duties of government (as Arjuna did), and our highest duty of performing Sri Krishna sankirtan. No servant in this world is or will ever be more dear than such teachers of Bhagavad-gita (18.69)

Comment posted by Akruranatha on January 9th, 2013
29 Akruranatha

Caitanya Candrodaya writes:

“Sometimes in the Gita there is relative truth, sometimes absolute truth, that’s the progressive nature of the Gita. It presents an evolutionary path of spiritual practice and teaching.”

I have never heard Srila Prabhupada say that parts of the Gita are relative truth. What parts are the relative parts, and what are the absolute parts? It all seems very wonderful and consistent to me. Sometimes harmonizing statements that at first blush seem inconsistent is the source of fresh realizations.

I agree with your premise that we are saved, as the Christians say, by grace (prasadam) and not works (karma). The Bhagavad-gita explains this point very thoroughly. The veda-vada-ratas and deva-yajis are performing rituals in order to obtain bhoga and aisvarya, the limited fruits of karma which have an expiration date (ksine punya martya-lokam visanti). The yogis, especially the bhakti-yogis, control their minds and senses by regulated action in Krishna consciousness, and Krishna swiftly delivers them from the ocean of samsara and death by His grace.

“We always do as Krishna guides us whether we are aware of the truth of God’s control over us or not, we have no choice to help or not help someone, we have no choice to harm or not harm someone, even ourselves…”

Your emphasis on our lack of choice just does not seem in keeping with Srila Prabhupada’s or Krsna’s teachings. Yes, it is true that Maya is controlling the universe, and Krishna is controlling Maya (mayadhyaksena prakrti suyate sacaracaram). It is true that in this way the Lord is controlling the wanderings of all beings, who are seated as though on a machine made of Maya.

But Krishna emphasizes that those who surrender to Him cross over the obstacles of material existence by His grace, and that otherwise it is not possible to overcome Maya. He is asking Arjuna to do something, to voluntarily serve Him and think of Him and become His devotee and carry out his prescribed duty of fighting as an offering to Him while fixing his mind and intelligence on Him through buddhi yoga.

Krishna is presenting Arjuna with a choice: yathecchasi tatha kuru. And Arjuna is choosing to surrender to Krsna: karisye vacanam tava.

It is up to us to choose Krishna. It may be that Krishna within us is prompting us to choose Him, but we have to learn to conquer the part of us that directs us to choose ignorance and selfishness.

And we do have duties.

Comment posted by Akruranatha on January 9th, 2013
30 Unregistered

Comments 28 & 29:

You said:  ”Jivas have free will.”

Dictionary.com definition:

free will (noun)
1. free and independent choice; voluntary decision: You took on the responsibility of your own free will.
2. the doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces.

Nowhere is shastra does it teach the concept of free will. As I’ve been referencing, sastra & previous acharyas conclude the opposite to free will.  Every conditioned soul is born under ahankara.  And what is that ahankara, false ego?

SB 3.26.26: This false ego is characterized as the doer, as an instrument and as an effect. It is further characterized as serene, active or dull according to how it is influenced by the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance.

You said:  ”The jiva is described earlier as “karta”, the doer, but as only one of the five factors of action (18.14) Therefore one who thinks himself the only doer, not considering the five factors, does not see things as they are (18.16) But one who is free from false ego and has intelligence which is not entangled can act without being bound, even if such actions involve killing others in battle. (18.17)”

In the 18th chapter, Krsna is summarizing the Gita and it’s progressive stages of realization for the conditioned jiva.  This is Prabhupada’s purport for BG 18:16:

“A foolish person cannot understand that the Supersoul is sitting as a friend within and conducting his actions. Although the material causes are the place, the worker, the endeavor and the senses, the final cause is the Supreme, the Personality of Godhead. Therefore, one should see not only the four material causes but the supreme efficient cause as well. One who does not see the Supreme thinks himself to be the doer.”

BG 18.17: One who is not motivated by false ego, whose intelligence is not entangled, though he kills men in this world, does not kill. Nor is he bound by his actions.

Krishna here is telling Arjuna that one free from ahankara realizes that although he is playing a part in the killing of men, knows that it is actually being orchestrated/controlled by Krsna.  Therefore, there is no real basis for sin, or sinful reactions.  This is the conclusion and deeper understanding of BG 18:66.

“Abandon all varieties of dharma and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.”

Comment posted by bbd on January 10th, 2013
31 Unregistered

cont…

People often don’t understand the full meaning of this verse.  They think it just means that if you accept Krishna as God & guru that the reactions to all your past sins, your karma, will be washed away. The deeper meaning is that if you accept what Krishna says about His supreme control over everyone & everything, you will understand that you have no sins nor sinful reactions because you have no free will, that it’s all been about an evolutionary process to bring you to higher & higher levels of consciousness.

The very concept of free will, as defined above, is actually ahankara, false ego.  One falsely perceives one’s self as the doer, not seeing Krsna as the cause of all causes.

You said:  ”I have never heard Srila Prabhupada say that parts of the Gita are relative truth. What parts are the relative parts, and what are the absolute parts? It all seems very wonderful and consistent to me.”

BG 12.8-12

“Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt.”

“My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way develop a desire to attain Me.”

“If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.”

“If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of Me, then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated.”

“If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.”

This is a good example.  In a very clear fashion, Krishna is giving knowledge relative to one’s level of spiritual realization.

Comment posted by bbd on January 10th, 2013
32 Kulapavana

It might be argued that since Lord Krsna has inherently free will, the atomic jivas - being part and parcel of Him - have an inherent free will as well, however minute. Remember: we are the same in quality and different in quantity. Srila Prabhupada was teaching that we do have a free will. Here are some examples:
Swedish man (3): Is there free will?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. Just like you are sitting here. If you don’t like, you can go away. That’s your free will. There is free will. Because we are part and parcel of God, God is completely free to do anything. And because we are part and parcel of God, therefore we have got minute quantity of freedom. Just like a drop of ocean water, it is also salty, but the quantity of salt in that drop is not equal to the salt in the ocean. Similarly, you have got a little quantity of freedom, but not as freedom as God has got. That is not possible. You are subordinate. Your freedom is subordinate to God’s freedom. Therefore if you misuse your freedom, then you become punishable. The government gives you freedom, but if you misuse your freedom, if you violate the laws, then you are criminal. Yes? >>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 7.1-3 — Stockholm, September 10, 1973

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada? Why God gave to man free will if He knew the man would fall down in the material world?
Prabhupada: If you have no free will, then you are a stone. The stone has no free will. You want to be stone? Then you must be, must have free will. But don’t misuse your free will. But don’t try to become stone. That is not life. >>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 15.15 — August 5, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm)

(to be continued)

Comment posted by Kulapavana on January 10th, 2013
33 Kulapavana

(continued)
Hayagriva: Why can’t we have free will and at the same time…
Prabhupada: Free will means…
Hayagriva: …infallible judgment?
Prabhupada: Free will means that you can act wrongly. That is free will. Unless there is chance of doing wrong or right, there is no question of free will. Where is free will then? If I act only one sided, that means I have no free will. Because we act sometimes wrongly, that means free will.
Hayagriva: A man may know better but still act wrongly.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Hayagriva: Yes.
Prabhupada: But that is free will. He misuses his. Just like a thief, he knows that his stealing, it is bad, but still he does it. That is free will. He cannot check his greediness, so in spite of his knowing that he is doing wrong thing — he will be punished, he knows; he has seen another thief, he was punished, he was put into prison — everything he knows, but still he steals. Why? Misuse of free will. Unless there is misuse of free will, there is no question of free will.>> Ref. VedaBase => Rene Descartes
————–

From these quotes it is rather clear that our natural sense of free will is not a total illusion. We may say that it is a limited free will, because there are inherent limits to our options, yet the opportunity to make various relevant choices in life is really there. Otherwise, how could we be creating good or bad karmic reactions? Our choices may be influenced by many factors, such as the prevailing modes of material nature, yet free will is a reality.
Just like a sailor is not completely free to pick any course he likes, because he is limited by the wind, currents, lay of the land, the type of craft he is sailing, his skill - still, he can steer many different courses, thus affecting his ultimate destination.

Comment posted by Kulapavana on January 10th, 2013
34 Unregistered

Comments 32 & 33:

You said:  ”It might be argued that since Lord Krsna has inherently free will, the atomic jivas - being part and parcel of Him - have an inherent free will as well, however minute. Remember: we are the same in quality and different in quantity.”

Where is that stated in shastra?  The truth is the jiva differs in so many ways, in no way does shastra teach that we are minature versions of God with the same abilities in minute form. For example: we don’t have the ability to control our thought process — we’re not the mind nor in control of it. Shastra teaches that paramatma manifests the mind, and that paramatma controls our thought process through control of memory and computational ability, and through the actual formation of our thoughts — all the work of paramatma, none of which we can do. All we do is hear our thoughts. Shastra also states we don’t even control our body. If we don’t control the mind or the body, whatever will we have is not free because we have no control over what we do or think.

You said:  ”Srila Prabhupada was teaching that we do have a free will.”

Well, in ISKCON we often use some form of the saying that the acharya is teaching people, on various levels of spiritual realization, according to time, place, & circumstance.  This is all relative to the audience’s level of spiritual realization.

You said:  ”We may say that it is a limited free will, because there are inherent limits to our options, yet the opportunity to make various relevant choices in life is really there.”

Bhakti is about purification of desire by the destruction of avidya and ahankara. We don’t have the free will to choose what path we go down in anything we do or experience. By our desire to be independent from the reality of what we are, by our desire to not live under the control of another being, we end up being put into a situation by that being which will eventually purify our desire. We have no other choice but to exist under the control of another being. We simply cannot exist without being under the control of God. We are totally dependent on God for our ability to function as intelligent people. We can’t control our thoughts, our memory, or our actions. We simply do not have the same ability that God has to exist independently.

Comment posted by bbd on January 11th, 2013
35 Unregistered

Cont…

You said:  ”Otherwise, how could we be creating good or bad karmic reactions?”

We don’t have the ability to create anything:

SB 11.28.6-7: “The Supersoul alone is the ultimate controller and creator of this world, and thus He alone is also the created. Similarly, the Soul of all existence Himself both maintains and is maintained, withdraws and is withdrawn. No other entity can be properly ascertained as separate from Him, the Supreme Soul, who nonetheless is distinct from everything and everyone else. The appearance of the threefold material nature, which is perceived within Him, has no actual basis. Rather, you should understand that this material nature, composed of the three modes, is simply the product of His illusory potency.”

People take birth after birth deluded by avidya and ahankara until their desire is purified. Their desire shapes their actions, not by their own free will, but by the will of Paramatma in deciding what the jiva needs to experience in order to become free from aversion to God’s control. Karma is much more complex than people often think. Often karma is seen as a simple action-reaction…you do bad you are punished. The reality is that karma is designed to purify the desire of the jiva. It’s not about vengeance, it’s about changing aversion to acceptance of God’s control.

Comment posted by bbd on January 11th, 2013
36 Akruranatha

““If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.”

This is a good example. In a very clear fashion, Krishna is giving knowledge relative to one’s level of spiritual realization.”

The fact that different people should take to different processes because of their specific situation is being explained by Krishna, but He is not contradicting Himself. Everything He says from start to finish is perfectly true.

Mayavadi interpreters often read verses out of context in order to support their false explanations, but when we read the Gita as a whole and understand that Krishna is all-knowing and teaching truth the whole way through, then we can see the Bhakti-Vedanta conclusion very clearly.

For example, in the second chapter, when Krishna is saying that even considering Arjuna’s particular duties as a Ksatriya he should not squander the opportunity to fight a battle as a warrior for a just cause, there is no contradiction between that statement and His later conclusion that one should abandon all duty and exclusively take shelter in Krishna.

Yes, it may be true that the Ksatriyas to whom such fighting opportunities come unsought (because they open the doorway to svarga) (2.32) are not all equipped with sufficient bhakti to take exclusive shelter of Krishna (18.66), but it is true nonetheless, and it is good advice. It is all of a piece.

Arjuna finds it inconsistent at first that Krsna counsels buddhi-yoga and also warfare, that He counsels jnana and renunciation of action as well as karma-yoga or dedicated action, and he asks questions at the beginning of the Third and Fifth Chapters which lead Krishna to give explanations which harmonize everything.

So yes, Krsna acknowledges that there are different kinds of karmis and yogis doing different kinds of sacrifices and worshiping various demigods or the impersonal Absolute or the universal form, but asserts that ultimately they are all worshiping Him. But there is a difference: Those who worship Him in a wrong way stay in the material world, and those who worship Him with unalloyed bhakti, knowing Him to be the supreme enjoyer and the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices attain the supreme destination, His eternal abode.

The Gita is a coherent, perfect whole.

Comment posted by Akruranatha on January 11th, 2013
37 Akruranatha

Srila Prabhupada spoke so often about the fact that we have “marginal independence”, I know that this explanation must be supported in the Vedanta literature. Srila Prabhupada did not just make stuff up. Everything he said was backed by sastra.

As far as the specific sastric references, at this time I do not know.

“Om purnam adhah purnam idam purnat purnam udacyate” comes to mind. (If we, as emanations from Krsna, do not have qualities such as abhijna and svarat, then how can we be said to be “purnam”, “complete”?

This idea that the jivas actually have no free will really seems inconsistent with the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya. If they have no free will, then how can they be in Maya? How can they turn their back on Krishna? Does Krishna force them to be in Maya? Does he not want them to revive their dormant prema bhakti? Doesn’t He come in different avataras and personally as Lord Caitanya to reclaim the conditioned souls, protect the devotees, destroy the miscreants and restore the principles of religion?

Of course His will is supreme, but aligning our will with His will through bhakti yoga is what we must do. If we try to act independently we will be falsely directed, under the control of His illusory energy, but if we act in devotional service He will accept our offerings and will share a dynamic personal relationship with us.

Some philosophers may propose that if God knows everything, controls everything, and ultimately *is* everything, then it is not possible for Him to have dynamic loving relationships.

I remember some years ago on Dandavats one devotee named Shiva was proposing that since Radharani is also Godhead (his predominated moiety), the loving affairs between Radha and Krishna are illusory (because how can one have a loving relationship with Himself?)

Such philosophers do not take into account the inconceivable nature of Krishna. Through His inconceivable potency, He can be surprised and delighted by His own potencies, though they are nondifferent from Him.

We can be always under His control (directly and indirectly) and yet have the choice whether to voluntarily submit to His control in bhakti yoga, or whether to neglect Him and be falsely directed by His illusory Maya. That choice is ours to make. Hence we have real free will, although under illusion, forgetting the Supreme cause, we have a false sense of freedom.

Real freedom is expressed in loving devotional service.

Comment posted by Akruranatha on January 11th, 2013
38 Kulapavana

bbb:”You said: ”It might be argued that since Lord Krsna has inherently free will, the atomic jivas - being part and parcel of Him - have an inherent free will as well, however minute. Remember: we are the same in quality and different in quantity.”
Where is that stated in shastra? The truth is the jiva differs in so many ways, in no way does shastra teach that we are minature versions of God with the same abilities in minute form. ”
Actually there are many verses in the shastra that say we are brahman, and the philosophy of monism centers on these verses. I don’t think there is a need to quote them. Our tradition follows the achintya-bhedabheda-tattva which speaks of qualitative oneness and quantitative difference. And thus SP says: “Because we are part and parcel of God, God is completely free to do anything. And because we are part and parcel of God, therefore we have got minute quantity of freedom. ”

bbb: “People take birth after birth deluded by avidya and ahankara until their desire is purified. Their desire shapes their actions, not by their own free will, but by the will of Paramatma in deciding what the jiva needs to experience in order to become free from aversion to God’s control.”
So are you are saying that the living entity’s desire for purification, surrender, and service to the Lord is also a product of the will of Paramatma?

Srila Prabhupada’s statements regarding free will are clear and easy to understand. They also match my direct experiences. Your explanations are convoluted and largely contrary to what the acharya has said on this particular point. You dismiss his statements as “relative” and directed at people who are on a lower level of spiritual development. Because his instructions resonate more with my own consciousness I will stick to what he said. Perhaps this is what I need at this particular stage.
Pranams.

Comment posted by Kulapavana on January 11th, 2013
39 Akruranatha

A common theme in many of these discussions (about varnasrama dharma and different duties being prescribed for those with different natures or different levels of conditioning) is that perfect, complete knowledge is not merely knowledge of the ideal or goal (prema bhakti), but also of how to get from here to there in the real world.

If we lived in an ideal world with ideal population, there would be no need for police and courts and jails and schools and legislatures.

There would be no practical need for different religious systems and different prescribed duties for differently-natured people. (There might still be variety for making the pastimes pleasing and interesting, but there would be no practical consideration).

We do not live in the ideal world. We live in the corner of God’s creation set aside for criminals under the sway of passion and ignorance. The practical necessity of religious and social institutions is to engage people properly while simultaneously reforming them, curing the disease of avidya from which nearly all of us are suffering in this material world, the illusion of being independent enjoyers and controllers and proprietors.

In Bhagavad-gita, Krsna advises Arjuna not to try to discourage karmis from activity, but to encourage them to perform their activities in devotion. Even those who are perfect and free from attachment to the fruits of karma can engage in the same pious actions as fruitive workers, but can do so for the pleasure of Krsna and to serve as a good example for the less enlightened.

Even Krsna Himself observes proper regulations and duties. He goes to the Sudharma hall every day and conducts the affairs of government. Even Krsna goes to work every day! So why shouldn’t we?

Part of our work in modern society may mean being responsible citizens, doing our part to insist that our government and education and religious institutions train people in the right way to behave and curb down the criminal element.

Sannyasis remind us that we have purely spiritual duties that should not be neglected. But even Srila Prabhupada took care of managing the preaching institution and looking after the needs of the devotees.

Householders have to look after the needs of their families, and should care about good schools and hospitals and police forces and road and taxes and the rest. Devotees can be good citizens. We expect them to be the best citizens, actually.

Comment posted by Akruranatha on January 11th, 2013
40 Unregistered

Comments 36, 37, & 39:

You said:  ”The fact that different people should take to different processes because of their specific situation is being explained by Krishna, but He is not contradicting Himself. Everything He says from start to finish is perfectly true.”

Everything Krsna says is perfectly true.  However, there are higher and deeper truths revealed as one progresses through sastra & spiritual realization.  Truth is not always one dimensional.

You said:  ”Even Krsna Himself observes proper regulations and duties. He goes to the Sudharma hall every day and conducts the affairs of government. Even Krsna goes to work every day! So why shouldn’t we?”

Krsna has everyone doing exactly what they should be doing at every given moment in time.  Krsna knows exactly everything you’ve done in the past, present, and will do in the future.  So if Krsna knows what you are going to do next, how can you decide otherwise, independent of Krsna’s will?  Krsna has already decided & knows what you are going to do.  Arjuna was Krsna’s instrument in the battle.  Instruments do not perform independent of the instrumentalist.  No logical argument can say otherwise.  

BG 11.26-27: All the sons of Dhrtarāstra, along with their allied kings, and Bhīsma, Drona, Karna — and our chief soldiers also — are rushing into Your fearful mouths. And some I see trapped with heads smashed between Your teeth.

BG 11.28: As the many waves of the rivers flow into the ocean, so do all these great warriors enter blazing into Your mouths.

BG 11.32: The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people. With the exception of you [the Pāndavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain.

BG 11.33: Therefore get up. Prepare to fight and win glory. Conquer your enemies and enjoy a flourishing kingdom. They are already put to death by My arrangement, and you, O Savyasācī, can be but an instrument in the fight.

BG 11.34: Drona, Bhīsma, Jayadratha, Karna and the other great warriors have already been destroyed by Me. Therefore, kill them and do not be disturbed. Simply fight, and you will vanquish your enemies in battle.

Comment posted by bbd on January 12th, 2013
41 Unregistered

Comment 38:

From Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s “Jaiva Dharma”:

“Advaita: My brother, Digambara, please don’t be angry. You have come to see me after such a long time, and I want to satisfy you. Is it a slight to speak of visnu-maya? Bhagavan Visnu is the embodiment of supreme consciousness, and He is the one supreme controller of all. Everything that exists is His potency. Potency is not an independent object (vastu), but rather the functional power inherent within an object (vastu-dharma). To say that sakti (potency) is the root of everything is thoroughly opposed to tattva, metaphysical truth. Sakti cannot exist independent of the object from which it originates. We must first accept the existence of an object that possesses full spiritual consciousness, otherwise accepting sakti by itself is like dreaming of a flower in the sky.

The commentary on Vedanta states, sakti-saktimator abhedah:“There is no difference between the potency and the possessor of potency.” This means that shakti is not a separate object. The Supreme Person who is the master of all potencies is the one truly abiding substance. Shakti is the quality, or inherent function, that is subordinate to His will. You have said that shakti is the embodiment of consciousness, that it possesses will, and that it is beyond the influence of the three qualities of material nature. This is correct, but only insofar as shakti operates fully under the support of a pure conscious entity, and is thus considered identical with that powerful entity. Will and consciousness depend on the Supreme Being. Will cannot exist in shakti; rather, shakti acts in accordance with the will of the Supreme Being. You have the power to move, and by your will to move, that power will act. To say “the power is moving” is merely a figure of speech; it actually means that the person who possesses that power is moving.

Bhagavan has only one sakti, which is manifest in different forms. When it functions in a spiritual capacity, it is known as cit-sakti, and when it operates in a material capacity, it is known as maya, or jada-sakti. It is stated in the Svetasvatara Upanisad (6.8), parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate, “The Vedas say that Bhagavan’s divine sakti is full of variety.””

Comment posted by bbd on January 12th, 2013
42 Unregistered

Cont….

“The sakti that supports the three modes of material nature –sattva, rajah, and tamah – is known as jada-sakti, and its functions are to create and destroy the universe. The Puranas and the Tantra refer to it as visnu-maya, mahamaya, maya, and so on. There are many allegorical descriptions of her activities. For example, it is said that she is the mother of Brahma, Visnu, and Siva, and that she slew the demoniac brothers Sumbha and Nisumbha. The living entity remains under the control of this sakti as long as he is engrossed in material enjoyment. When the jiva is endowed with pure knowledge, he becomes aware of his own svarupa, and this awareness enables him to transcend maya-sakti and attain the liberated status. He then comes under the control of cit-sakti and obtains spiritual happiness.

Digambara: Are you not under the control of some power?

Advaita: Yes, we are jiva-sakti. We have abandoned maya-sakti and come under the protection of cit-sakti.

Digambara: Then you are also a sakta.

Advaita: Yes, the Vaisnavas are true saktas. We are under the control of Sri Radhika, who is the embodiment of cit-sakti. It is only under Her shelter that we render service to Krsna, so who is more of a sakta than the Vaisnavas? We do not see any difference between the Vaisnavas and the real saktas. Those who are only attached to maya-sakti, without taking shelter of cit-sakti, may be called saktas, but they are not Vaisnavas; they are only materialists. In the Narada-pancaratra, Sri Durga Devi explains:

tava vaksasi radhaham rase vrndavane vane

In the forest known as Vrndavana, I am Your internal sakti,
Sri Radhika, who adorns Your chest in the rasa dance.

From this statement of Durga Devi, it is clear that there is only one sakti, not two. That sakti is Radhika when She manifests as the internal potency, and she is Durga when she is manifested as the external potency. In the condition of freedom from contact with the material modes of nature, visnu-maya is the cit-sakti. That same visnu-maya is the jada-sakti when it is endowed with the modes of nature.”

Comment posted by bbd on January 12th, 2013
43 Unregistered

Cont…

“Digambara: You said that you are jiva-sakti. What is that?

Advaita: Bhagavan has said in the Bhagavad-gita (7.4-5):

bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakrtir astadha
apareyam itas tv anyam prakrtim viddhi me param
jiva-bhutam maha-baho yayedam dharyate jagat

My inferior, or material prakrti, is comprised of the eight components: earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intelligence, and ego. These eight elements are under the control of jadamaya. There is however another prakrti which is superior to this jada-prakrti and which consists of the jivas. By it this material world is perceived or seen.

Digambara, do you know the glory of Bhagavad-gita? This sastra is the essence of the instructions of all the sastras, and it resolves all conflicts between the various philosophical ideologies. It establishes that the category of entities known as jiva-tattva is fundamentally different from the material world and is one of Isvara’s potencies. Learned authorities refer to this tattva as the tatastha-sakti. This sakti is superior to the external potency and inferior to the internal potency. Therefore, the jivas are a unique sakti of Krsna.”

Comment posted by bbd on January 12th, 2013
44 Akruranatha

“So if Krsna knows what you are going to do next, how can you decide otherwise, independent of Krsna’s will? Krsna has already decided & knows what you are going to do. Arjuna was Krsna’s instrument in the battle. Instruments do not perform independent of the instrumentalist. No logical argument can say otherwise.”

Krishna knows what you will decide, but does not interfere in your decision. He controls everything, and yet He is controlled by the love of His pure devotees.

It is consistent with Krishna’s will that we should have a choice, though we are never independent. When we decide to misuse our marginal independence by neglecting Him, we come under the control of external energy and have an illusion of independence. When we properly dedicate ourselves to His unalloyed devotional service, we are aware of our complete dependence on Him and yet we have real freedom to surprise and delight Him.

Krishna cannot be bound by logic. When poet O’Grady asked Srila Prabhupada, “Can God create a rock so big that He cannot lift it?” Srila Prabhupada replied, “Yes. And then He’ll lift it.”

There are aspects to Bhagavata philosophy that are trans-logical. The very slogan “acintya bhedabheda” contains the word “acintya”, or inconceivable, which indicates that there are truths that defy our ability to logically comprehend them. Krishna is far greater than our puny intellect.

Admittedly, to rely on the idea of “acintya” as a kind of philosophical “get out of jail free” card would be antithetical to the very enterprise of philosophy. One thing that attracted me to Krishna consciousness was its philosophical soundness. Many Christian teachers rely on the idea of “mystery” to avoid questions they do not have answers for. Gaudiya Vaisnavism’s use of “acintya” is not like that. It recognizes that there are specific limitations on logic, and can give a road map of what those limitations are, and why. To do so is philosophically sound, and will be accepted by philosophers, mathemeticians and logicians as they have accepted the existence of irrational numbers or Gödel’s incompleteness theorems.

Your choice to emphasize Krsna’s complete control leaves out an important part of the equation. There is a normative aspect to Krishna’s instructions to Arjuna. He advises Arjuna to abandon lethargy and egoism. “Do your duty, but understand you are My instrument.” He doesn’t say, “I am in control so it doesn’t matter what you do.”

Comment posted by Akruranatha on January 12th, 2013
45 Akruranatha

Krishna is not telling Arjuna to just sit back and comprehend the reality of Krishna’s tattva as param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam. He is saying, “You have a choice. My advice to you is to get up and fight. Now you have to decide whether you will do what I say or not.” Then Arjuna says, “My illusion is now destroyed. I will do as you say.”

Krishna is only understood through devotional service. Service is active. Such devotional service is on the transcendental platform and is superior to realization of impersonal brahman (”mad bhaktim labhate param”).

The conditioned worker may think, “I have a duty. I have to get up and go to work in the morning, to please my parents, to support my family, to pay my taxes and be an honest citizen.”

One might be tempted to think, “This is ahankara. Who are your parents? Who are your family, your country? You are brahman, so give up this foolish activity. Jaya Gurudeva, nothing’s gonna change my world.”

But Krishna does not counsel Arjuna that way. He says that Arjuna’s arguments against doing his duty of fighting arise from ahankara! He doesn’t say, “I am going to kill Karna and Jayadratha, so you can just sit down and be passive if you want, it doesn’t matter.” He says, “Become my instrument.” He tells Arjuna to choose correctly. It is very important.

To actually act as Krishna’s instrument means one has to strive with determination to do the duties He has assigned. Determination in the mode of goodness is unbreakable and is sustained by yoga practice. Krishna consciousness is not for armchair philosophers. It is a dynamic call to action!

That action may well be to be a reformer. It is not that the world is in need of reform (it is perfectly arranged by Krishna), but Krishna has assigned us duties. He wants us to distribute the message of Krishna consciousness to those capable of receiving it.

We are already striving in so many ways to do the right thing and make the world a better place. Why are we having this conversation if not to influence each other’s perception of philosophical truth? The goal of philosophy should not be to induce us to cease action, but to guide us in acting correctly in full knowledge, free from ignorance and passion.

“The people of the world act ceaselessly in pursuance of some ideal. By meditating on Me by means of those deeds one will obtain devotion characterized by love in the shape of the supreme service.” (B.S. 5.61)

Comment posted by Akruranatha on January 12th, 2013
46 Akruranatha

Just as Krishna has assigned us duties of worshiping the Deities, chanting Hare Krishna, opening and maintaining temples, publishing and distributing books, He has also assigned some devotees various duties of being school teachers, businessmen, politicians, policemen, firefighters and everything else.

Someone is supposed to protect the innocent citizens from rapists and thieves and murderers. The intellectuals or brahmanas have the duty of explaining the truth to all the people so that everyone should be properly engaged in various beneficial occupations and should not become criminals. The active law enforcement workers have the duty of capturing those who do become criminals and sending them to be punished.

The demonic criminals think, “There is no God in control. I can do whatever I want.” The godly people think, “I must do my God-given duty.” To understand that God is in control is not a license to shirk our responsibilities. It is just the opposite. It is a requirement to act in accordance with His will.

“Mam anusmara yudhya ca” means, we should go on performing our God-given assignments in this world while simultaneously practicing Krishna consciousness.

Some very few, liberated saintly people in any society will be given the assignment to just travel and preach, without any possessions, not knowing where their next meal may come from. They show an ideal, of how internal renunciation may be expressed externally in renunciation of mundane work. (And even they are also engaged in acts of sacrifice, penance and charity — they are not inactive.)

Such external renunciation is not required from everyone. Krishna did not ask Arjuna to renounce in that way. He explained that real sannyasa is the internal process of dedicating one’s self to carrying out Krishna’s wishes, in any circumstance, in all walks of life, as ordained by Krishna, even in the course of the battle of Kuruksetra (which Arjuna had originally offered many learned-sounding reasons for abandoning).

Renunciation of prescribed duties may be in passion or ignorance, but renunciation in the mode of goodness consists in performing one’s prescribed duties because they ought to be done, while renouncing material association and attachment to the fruit. (B.G. 18.7-9)

Krishna consciousness is not a nihilistic philosophy or an excuse to act whimsically. It is a mandate to act righteously, in voluntary submission to Krishna’s will.

Comment posted by Akruranatha on January 12th, 2013
47 Unregistered

Comment 44:

You said:  ”Your choice to emphasize Krsna’s complete control leaves out an important part of the equation. There is a normative aspect to Krishna’s instructions to Arjuna. He advises Arjuna to abandon lethargy and egoism. “Do your duty, but understand you are My instrument.” He doesn’t say, “I am in control so it doesn’t matter what you do.””

Krsna tells Arjuna in 11:33, “They are already put to death by My arrangement, and you, O Savyasācī, can be but an instrument in the fight.

Krsna has told Arjuna that the future has already been written, all others will die in battle.  Krsna is giving Arjuna the ability to see, or realize, the role he plays in the battle & death of others, irregardless of his desire not to fight.  Arjuna can now see himself as the instrument, and not the doer.  Krsna is removing ahankara & avidya from Arjuna in this Gita lila.

The jiva-sakti has the free ability to desire.  But, jiva-sakti has zero ability to control it’s manifestation, or lack of, in any way, shape, or form.  

When one realizes & sees Krsna as the supreme controller of everything & everyone at all times, that person then realizes & enters a constant conscious connection with the Supreme…for he/she then sees Krsna everywhere, within his/her own mind…relating with him/her through everything they experience.  Gradually elevating to the platform of seeing Krsna, face to face.  This is the gradual evolutionary process of the jiva-shakti.  Shakti is never separate or independent of shaktiman. Rather, the jiva-shakti is gradually given independent consiousness/awareness of its own self and its relationship with the Supreme Self.

Comment posted by bbd on January 13th, 2013
48 Unregistered

Cont…

BG 6.30: For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.

PURPORT
A person in Krsna consciousness certainly sees Lord Krsna everywhere, and he sees everything in Krsna. Such a person may appear to see all separate manifestations of the material nature, but in each and every instance he is conscious of Krsna, knowing that everything is a manifestation of Krsna’s energy. Nothing can exist without Krsna, and Krsna is the Lord of everything — this is the basic principle of Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is the development of love of Krsna — a position transcendental even to material liberation. At this stage of Krsna consciousness, beyond self-realization, the devotee becomes one with Krsna in the sense that Krsna becomes everything for the devotee and the devotee becomes full in loving Krsna. An intimate relationship between the Lord and the devotee then exists. In that stage, the living entity can never be annihilated, nor is the Personality of Godhead ever out of the sight of the devotee. To merge in Krsna is spiritual annihilation. A devotee takes no such risk. It is stated in the Brahma-saḿhitā (5.38):

premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yaḿ śyāmasundaram acintya-guna-svarūpaḿ
govindam ādi-purusaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi

“I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, who is always seen by the devotee whose eyes are anointed with the pulp of love. He is seen in His eternal form of Śyāmasundara, situated within the heart of the devotee.”

At this stage, Lord Krsna never disappears from the sight of the devotee, nor does the devotee ever lose sight of the Lord. In the case of a yogī who sees the Lord as Paramātmā within the heart, the same applies. Such a yogī turns into a pure devotee and cannot bear to live for a moment without seeing the Lord within himself.

Comment posted by bbd on January 13th, 2013

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