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Forget Me Not

Saturday, 07 June 2008 / Published in Articles, Editorial, Praghosa Dasa / 6,291 views

By Praghosa Dasa

As part of a comment to the ‘Reforming the Reformer’ essay, Kesava Krsna prabhu wrote:

It is enlivening to see a topic put before us, to pass comment, or give our realizations – this is real freedom – Krishna katha. Perhaps this could be a regular feature on Danadavats, what do you think Praghosa prabhu?

So in an attempt to fulfill the above request I would be interested to hear the devotees thoughts on the following. In the 3rd Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam Lord Kapila gives some interesting instructions particularly in relation to the consciousness and thought processes of the fetus in the womb.

“My dear Lord, by Your causeless mercy I am awakened to consciousness, although I am only ten months old. For this causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the friend of all fallen souls, there is no way to express my gratitude but to pray with folded hands” SB 3.31.18

In his purport to the above verse Srila Prabhupada writes:

“This prayer of the child in the womb may be questioned by some atheistic people. How can a child pray in such a nice way in the womb of his mother? Everything is possible by the grace of the Lord. The child is put into such a precarious condition externally, but internally he is the same, and the Lord is there. By the transcendental energy of the Lord, everything is possible” SB 3.31.18 Purport

So everything is possible by the mercy of the Lord, including a child praying in the womb. In the following purport Srila Prabhupada writes:

“The human form of life is supposed to be the highest, for it offers consciousness for getting out of the clutches of birth and death. The fortunate child in the womb of his mother realizes his superior position and is thereby distinguished from other bodies. Animals in bodies lower than that of the human being are conscious only as far as their bodily distress and happiness are concerned; they cannot think of more than their bodily necessities of life-eating, sleeping, mating and defending. But in the human form of life, by the grace of God, the consciousness is so developed that a man can evaluate his exceptional position and thus realize the self and the Supreme Lord” SB 3.31.19 Purport

So the possibility is clearly open for human fetuses to be both aware of their situation in the womb and also to act positively in regards to their plight by praying to the Supreme Lord, as Srila Prabhupada clearly states:

“The fortunate child in the womb”

Presumably not every child in the womb develops the consciousness to realize the precarious and vulnerable situation they are in, certainly some clearly do, those that Prabhupada refers to as ‘fortunate’. I do not know if there are any statistics as to how many new born babies remain Krsna conscious from the moment they are born but anecdotally the de-facto evidence would suggest they are extremely rare such as great souls like Maharaja Pariksit:

“So here, Pariksit Maharaja… This emancipation… Krsna consciousness means emancipation from this material attachment. So he became so much advanced… Because from his childhood, from his birth, from the womb of his mother, he was Krsna conscious” SBL 26th June 1972

Continuing on with the instructions of Lord Kapila the living entity in the womb prays:

“Therefore, my Lord, although I am living in a terrible condition, I do not wish to depart from my mother’s abdomen to fall again into the blind well of materialistic life. Your external energy, called deva-maya, at once captures the newly born child, and immediately false identification, which is the beginning of the cycle of continual birth and death, begins” SB 3.31.20

Later on in the chapter it explains precisely how the living entity forgets Krsna and is again captured by maya. This takes place when the living entity leaves the womb at the time of birth:

“Pushed downward all of a sudden by the wind, the child comes out with great trouble, head downward, breathless and deprived of memory due to severe agony” SB 3.31.23

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to this verse:

When the child comes out of the abdomen through the narrow passage, due to pressure there the breathing system completely stops, and due to agony the child loses his memory. Sometimes the trouble is so severe that the child comes out dead or almost dead. One can imagine what the pangs of birth are like. The child remains for ten months in that horrible condition within the abdomen, and at the end of ten months he is forcibly pushed out. SB 3.31.23 Purport

A little while ago some friends (a married couple, one a doctor and his wife who is a nurse), mentioned to me that more and more births are now carried out by caesarean section and that many times when a child is delivered this way they actually come out of the womb with something resembling a smile. For sure they said the vast majority of caesarean births were light years less stressful and painful for the child. They then asked the question “Given this reality does that mean many more children will now remember Krsna and how they were praying to Him in the womb?”

One answer might be that while the process of the child forgetting would not be as immediate with a caesarean birth as it would be with a regular birth, gradually over time, with all the fuss being heaped on the child and the child being told that it looks like this and that relative etc., it would again forget Krsna. Still after reading the above passages from the Bhagavatam such an answer appears a little lightweight. Also what about devotee children born by caesarean section, surely they couldn’t forget Krsna after being born as they would be surrounded by devotees, kirtan and other Krsna conscious paraphernalia?

Comments?

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17 Responses to “Forget Me Not”

  1. ccd says :

    There seems to be two aspects to this – one personal one (personal doubts) and another is doubts expressed by the audience during preaching.

    On the personal level there is a need for expression of opinion and freedom for Krishna katha (not the same thing, but leading to the same thing if in good association). Both are helpful for dealing with personal doubts. One needs to deal with the issue himself and it often arises, “There are many grounds to express an uncertainty or distrust or lack of sureness of a fact as expressed in the scripture” – how do you resolve it yourself?

    I do not know about others, but for myself I usually doubt only when I do not know or do not have a complete picture, (and when I get some more information the doubt goes away even if the complete picture is contradictory). Somehow a wider picture that in Vaishnava philosophy removes uncertainty or distrust and is surcharged with bhakti.

    However distrust in Bhagavatam is a not quality of a Vaishnava. So unless one has a complete picture on contradictory statements, I had a wise suggestion to avoid rather then concentrate on the issue, unless this issue is of vital importance to my own spiritual development. Some issues are not vital, and do not need to have one and only explanation. Otherwise it could be just a side of being argumentative by nature?
    How do we deal with it during preaching? I found it very effective (on myself), when a 100% conviction is present in a devotee who may not know all the details of the philosophy, and does not know all explanations, but projects this faith, as the brahmana who could not read, Kurma brahmana appreciated by Lord Chaitanya. On the other hand, if asked a controversial question, one can try to adjust to the mentality of the person who is full of doubts – that can be less effective – better to just provide a statement of faith. This statement carries devotion, and even if logically or factually faulty, it conveys the real essence of preaching, transmission of bhakti-lata; faith in ones guru; desire to archive perfection; even if it is not the perfect answer, its perfect by intent which counts. Some issues may not have a perfect logical answer supported by experimental knowledge, by definition, but they can be answered in a way that instills a full faith or at least demonstrates the full faith. Of course it seems you managed to do both, to have experimental support and demonstrate full faith, will anyone doubt it?

  2. pusapati says :

    Isn’t it the fact that miseries are created by the Lord to increase our rememberance (similar to a child calls for mother when in pain or distress)?. Thus in distress the un-born child remembers the Lord and surrenders unto His Lotus Feet. Due to the Lord’s unbounded compassion and mercy He removes the misery. After birth, mother and father as Maya, offers much solice. This could lead to child thinking that miseries are vanquished. Once miseries starts dwindling, remeberence of our relationship with the Lord also dwindles. Thus falling into the mode of ignornance.

  3. Akruranatha says :

    These passages from the Third Canto are very relishable. Whether or not I prayed in the womb, my forgetfulness of Krishna is such that from time to time I remember how I was determined earlier in life to achieve perfection in bhakti yoga, then slipped away again, and now am trying to renew my determination.

    Bhaktivinode Thakur has several songs in which he talks about how the baby or small child is covered by forgetfulness and how this covering of maya takes place at different stages of life. Famously in the song “Jiva Jago” (part 2 of the Arunadaya Kirtan), the Thakur writes that Lord Caitanya is calling, to wake us up, “You came into this world saying ‘My Lord, I will certainly worship You’, but now you have forgotten your promise and have fallen into ignorance.”

    This sense of having already pledged ourselves to Krishna but then having forgotten our promise is a very strong emotion and is healthy [as long as we do think, like an evil, stone-hearted person, that it is okay to break our promise again.]

    [I have been thinking a lot lately about gasping for breath, about the pleasure of getting good air in the lungs after missing it for a long time, whether due to be submerged under water, or when as a small child we cried so hard we could not breathe. That sharp intake of breath filled us with a kind of physical sensation of happiness, of satisfying the deep need for the fresh air of life. ]

    Returning to seriousness in Krishna consciousness after a long detour in maya can be like that, like coming up for real, spiritual air, after breathing only toxic ignorance for so long.

    Anyway, Praghosa Prabhu, I do not think we should reason, from what Srila Prabhupada has written, that it is better to have delivery by C-section. That sounds like a mistaken application of Prabhupada’s instructions. [Can we really imagine him preferring such surgery to natural child birth?]

    The forgetfulness that comes to most children must be part of their destiny, due to the condition of their hearts [very few indeed are like Parikshit Maharaja].

    Krishna is the source of forgetfulness, and He does not need the birth canal to administer it. They may come out smiling, but they do forget Krishna nonetheless. He does not interfere with that desire.

    The way to overcome forgetfulness is by the standard method of bhakti yoga, by chanting and hearing and association. If there was a surgical procedure that would help us, the acaryas would have prescribed it.

  4. Akruranatha says :

    There is a *kind* of surgery that works to uproot the dirty things in our hearts and banish them for good. That is sankirtan.

    Or it is also described as a kind of medicine. Lord Caitanya has brought the medicine to cure the disease of ignorance from which we are suffering: The Maha Mantra. Doctor’s orders. We have to take it, as directed.

    Lord Kapiladeva says that this discussion of His wonderful deeds and qualities (i.e., Srimad Bhagavatam) among faithful devotees acts like a medicine that goes in the ear and purifies the heart, so that progressively faith, attraction and real bhakti can awaken there.

    As for material medicine, we can leave that to the material doctors. Nature works best, but in emergencies modern surgeries or other techniques might be called for. Prabhupada did not ban us from using “western” medicine (although he personally did not seem to have much faith in American hospitals and surgeons, at least for his own treatment)

    [Modern surgeons use all kinds of medicine and materials from slaughtered animals. Should devotees worry about that? Does it make me a non-vegetarian if a surgeon stops my bleeding by applying a gel made out of fibrin mixed with collagen from cows and pigs? I do not think so, but I wonder . . .]

    Anyway, C-sections have been around awhile. British Queen Jane delivered by C-section (but died) in the 1500s. They must have been performed in the Roman Empire (being so-named because a Ceaser was born that way, right?)

    Maybe modern obstetricians overuse C-sections so they can get back to the golf course faster. I don’t know. I’ve heard such criticism. It certainly is an important technique that comes in handy for some pregnancies, at least.

    I just cannot imagine it as a technique to improve the Krishna consciousness of babies.

    The research of Australian dermatologist Ian Stevenson suggests that a number of children actually do remember even past lives (forgetfulness sets in in such cases as the child becomes more rational, but long after learning to talk). Such memories would go back even further than the awakening of consciousness in the womb, to the time before the horrible 9 months of pregnancy, and even before the time of conception.

    Will there be a higher instance of such cases among C-section delivered babies? Scientists like Dr. Stevenson might look into it. Maybe while they are at it they can look into prenatal religious experiences, too.

  5. Akruranatha says :

    I remember an all-night bull session with my college friend Lars, an atheistic philosophy and anthropology student attracted to (yuk) sociobiology. (He actually made me read Richard Dawkins’ “The Selfish Gene”, and I tried to make him read Prabhupada’s books).

    Anyway, this fellow one late night or early morning was quoting some atheist philosopher, endorsing the sentiment, “If God exists, let Him tweek my cheek.”

    In other words, he would not believe in God unless God personally came before him and pinched him and made him believe.

    I told him that he was such a hopeless atheist that even if God did so, he would probably start coming up with reasons to forget it immediately afterwards. He would say, “It was just an hallucination. I was tired. I was dreaming. It is a human psychological response to stress. Etc.” After a short time he might doubt his own memory of what had happened, and after a longer time he would deny it and eventually would have no memory of it at all.

    I then suggested to him that it has already happened to him over and over again, but he has forgotten. (He was intrigued by my argument)

    God does not force us to remember Him. He waits patiently for us to get over our miserable nonsense. But He sends devotees who will come and tweek our cheeks, for sure, if we are lucky. :-)

    I lost touch with Lars when he went to study polyandry on Yap island or something for his Anthro Ph.D. I wonder if he has become a devotee yet. :-)

    Forgetfulness is mysterious. It is amazing how quickly we can forget. We can even forget something so intense and pure as the little glimpses of the spiritual world that we get while chanting. Where is it written (in the Nectar of Devotion somewhere?) that the preliminary practices of sadhana bhakti like hearing Srimad Bhagavatam and worshiping Tulasidevi and chanting the Mahamantra are so powerful that even a beginner can get a glimpse of bhava?

    Even us beginners have had such glimmers, and in times of renewed dedication when they come back to us it is a powerful thing. What stubborn unwillingness or deep-seated envy makes us persist in our material occupations in spite of such precious encouragements?

    We should never forget — we cannot forget — our only real happiness and value in life. Yet, somehow, the power of forgetfullness is uncanny.

  6. Urmila says :

    Please accept my obeisances. All gloires to Srila Prabhupada!

    I am concerned that some elements of the posting could encourage Caesarean Sections, which greately increase dangers for both mother and baby and are already performed far more than is necessary or healthy. It is far more likely for children to remember Krishna if we live our lives as He intended, in a natural way. Prabhupada certainly recommends natural birth:

    “I understand you are now expecting a nice child for raising in Krishna Consciousness. In this connection, you should avoid any spicy foods so long the child is within the womb. So far this soy sauce, I have no personal experience with it. I understand soy beans are nice, but I do not know about this soy sauce. So far natural childbirth is concerned natural delivery is possible if we keep ourselves naturally. And so far I know that a pregnant woman should not eat any pungent food stuffs, she should not move in cars, and she should not sit idly. She should move and do some physical work. These are the general rules and regulations I have seen in India, and they have natural delivery. But so far your country is concerned, and especially the situation of the women here, that is a different thing. I cannot say definitely what is to be done. And under the circumstances, the best thing is to consult a doctor as they usually do. And after all, Krishna is the ultimate master, so if we keep the natural habits and depend on Krishna, then everything will be done nicely without any difficulty.”
    Letter to: Satyabhama — Hawaii 24 March, 1969

    I have attended and assisted with dozens of births of devotee children and would suggest that the best service to do for the child at such a time is for the mother to be focused on Krishna, and to chant to the newly born child.

    Your servant, Urmila devi dasi

  7. Praghosa says :

    Dear Urmila,

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

    My apologies if it came across that I was promoting C-section births, as that was not the intention of the article at all. Rather I was seeking to hear from devotees their thoughts on the central question raised, in the hope that I would get some answers that I hadn’t already thought of. Generally when we are presenting the KC philosophy we receive questions from the audience we are presenting to. The vast majority of questions posed to us we are able to answer to the broad satisfaction of the questioner, the audience and indeed ourselves. Sometimes though, questions are raised that can take us by surprise, particularly if they are questions we had never really considered before. The question of how the child in the womb forgets Krsna, was one such question for me. The emphasis in the Bhagavatam as to how the child forgets is very much on the distress the child experiences as a result of the process of natural childbirth. So as someone has now raised the query as to how the child forgets if they do not go through that process, I would much appreciate having a compelling and comprehensive answer to hand should someone raise it again in the future.

    “So we should not be dumb. If somebody comes to argue with Vedanta philosophy, then we must be prepared. When we are preaching, there will be so many people, different types of people will come” SPC September 11th 1969

    Your servant, Praghosa dasa.

  8. Dear prabhus,

    This is an interesting, if not unusual topic. When we read how the unborn child prays, there is obviously some internal process going on that hovers above the tight squeeze of the womb. But as Srila Prabhupada often said: we are all born as sudras. This blanket quality affects all newborn babies regardless of the method of birth.

    But as with most things in life, there are exceptions to the rule. In fact, despite coming out of the womb into a totally new environment, which is distressing enough, the internal processes continue with many babies. How many of us have noticed our own, or other’s babies stare at some place in the room, smiling and giggling for no apparent reason?

    Elsewhere in the Srimad Bhagavatam, there is mention that some ancestors come to visit the newborn child, unseen by others. Then there is the phenomenon of past life memories, which do not only occur in Hindu culture. Other subtle experiences like natural astral travel, and other psychic phenomenon, is certainly a widespread occurence, but is suppressed due to the inability of certain religions to address such things.

    Some years ago I went preaching into strictly conservative Christian areas in South Africa, before the ‘new’ dispensation. I met one teenaged girl who had this problem of astral travelling, that just spontaneusly happens. When her parents referred her to the priest, he warned that this was the work of the devil.

    When a nitya-siddha devotee takes birth, it is considered a free birth, in spite of the time spent in the womb. We also find that many of these free souls have to be reminded as it were, of their original position in Goloka or Navadvipa. Yet these great souls are never to be considered as conditioned at any time. If they themselves seemingly forget their own nature, even temporarily, then it is certain that everybody else is born into delusion.

    Besides, the Lord and His agents know when a baby is going to be delivered. So whether the birth is natural or otherwise, should hardly catch the supernatural powers by surprise.

    Ys, Kesava Krsna dasa.

  9. Urmila says :

    Dear Praghosa Prabhu,

    Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    I do not think we can offer specific scriptural guidance for the exact process by which children who are born via C-section also forget. Some empirical evidence is that people who remember their C-section births via hypnosis decribe them as far more tramatic when compared to those who describe memories of natural births. The descriptions are of a shock of being ripped from the mother. It is described as terrifying.

    Major life transitions are always difficult, and, generally, when they happen in a gradual way they are easier to deal with. I think most of us would like at least a few moments to prepare for death, for example. Natural birth allows for the child’s body and mind to gradually adjust to a very different environment.

    And, some children do not forget, regardless of the method of birth.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Your servant, Urmila devi dasi

  10. Nitai dasa says :

    Our son was born through caesarean in India, not by choice though. He certainly did not come out smiling or happy. I was standing close by and the first thing I heard was his cry. We wanted a natural birth but almost five hours after my wife’s water broke, there was still no delivery. In fact, our son went further up into the womb and just refused to come out. The doctor put me on the spot to make a decision. I later realised that they did not do enough to induce the child to come out naturally.

    If a child has an expression that resembles a smile after a caesarean birth, it is more likely because of the joy of freedom. The material bliss of finally being freed from the terrible suffering endured for nine months within the womb. Imagine not being able to move freely and living in blood, stool and urine for such a long time. The unborn child also has senses and consciousness. What a helpless situation to be denied any freedom of the senses. This is a very distressed state. Srila Prabhupada compares a child in the womb to a tree. The tree cannot move just as the unborn child cannot move. Actually, the tree, being devoid of almost all consciousness and feeling, is better off; whereas the unborn has some consciousness and feeling so the suffering is greater. Generally, a child who goes through normal child birth is born crying because of the traumatic experience of being forced through the birth canal.

    Being distressed is one of the qualifications to remember the Lord and having no freedom to enjoy the senses or to do anything, the unborn is forced to follow harsh austerities and this favours the child to remember the Lord. He has no other choice but to call out to the Supreme Lord – who else will he turn to. However, a child is not innocent. He carries around his stockpile of karma and as soon as he comes into this world, life in the womb and the distress experienced there are forgotten and their chosen paths are followed. So whether the child comes out crying or smiling, they will follow their path as destined by their karma. Obviously, depending on how spiritually advanced one was in the last life, to that degree, one will remember the Lord outside of the womb as well. So a demon in a previous life may be forced to call out to the Lord in the womb through his distress and austerity but once he is born (natural or caesarean), he will follow his chosen path according to his karma.

  11. Nitai dasa says :

    Caesareans are unnatural and could be traumatic for both the mother and child. The mother is not conscious during a caesarean and having lost control over her childbirth experience, she could suffer guilt. There could be other effects as well. Krsna did not intend for doctors to slit open the stomach and uterus to pull out the unborn child, that is why there is a birth canal in the female body.

    There are other complications as well. During normal delivery, the fluids swallowed by the child within the womb are naturally drained from the lungs as the child’s chest is pressed through the birth canal. In a caesarean, the doctors go through great pains to ensure that the lungs are cleared, sometimes inserting a tube through the nose of the child. There is also a risk that the child may develop breathing problems.

    The operation leaves a scar on the mother’s stomach and the uterus may not fully recover to its original state and there is a danger of rupture during the next pregnancy. The placenta could become displaced and affect the next pregnancy as well. There are many more dangers to both the mother and child.

  12. Krsna Purvaja dasa says :

    Please accept my obeisance. Jaya Srila Prabhupada.

    Perhaps this is not entirely germane to the conversation, but nevertheless it might be worth considering that Srila Jiva Goswami states in Bhakti-sandarbha (Anuccheda 151) that it is in fact very rare that an unborn child remembers the Lord while in the womb. Accounts given in scripture to this effect constitute a generalization of the plight of the conditioned living entity. In this case, the description of the praying fetus is meant to glorify the independent nature of bhakti, which is not hampered under any circumstances and can be performed even in the womb. While this may be true, it is still uncommon that a person actually does so.

    Your servant,
    Krsna Purvaja dasa

  13. Akruranatha says :

    Yes, Krishna Purvaja, bhakti is not checked by material circumstances. “Even a child can do it, and even a dog can do it.”

    And yet, how many dogs have we really seen praying to Krishna? (Prabhupada said he had seen practically, that even a child or dog can do it.) There is also the story of Sivananda Sena’s dog in Caitanya Caritamrta, and the animals who Lord Caitanya induced to chant in Jharikhand forest. And we see many animal-like humans who are being benefitted so much every day.

    Most of us, I expect, when we were kids playing games like backgammon or Monopoly or whatever, prayed to God to help us win, as if our insignificant game and our insignificant prayer would be heeded (and the prayers of our opponents would be disregarded).

    It is so natural to turn to God in times of distress and need, that the common saying goes, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

    But most such prayers take God as order supplier, asking Him to fulfill our needs and wants and even such insignificant matters as not landing on our opponent’s hotels on Boardwalk or Park Place. :-)

    We make prayers and promises so lightly in times of need, and forget them so quickly when we get distracted by something else. We are easily distracted. We see something shiny or pretty and forget our pressing assignment or mission.

    We have heard it said that once someone feelingly prays, “Dear Lord Krishna, from this day forward I am yours,” Krishna takes a special interest in that person. That is a serious prayer. “Guide me to Your lotus feet. Keep me fixed up in Your devotional service. Do not let me again be distracted by the glare of Your maya. I am Your eternal servant.”

    It is not a frivolous prayer like, “let me roll double sixes,” or even, as I remember from one Hemingway short story, “let me not get shot by the sniper today, God, and I promise I’ll go to church every day after the war.”

    But how easily and quickly we forget again.

    When we meet people out on harinama or book distribution, we might well wonder: How many of these people actually have already dedicated themselves at one time or another as Krishna’s surrendered servants, but then became distracted and deviated from the path?

    Preaching is often not so much a process of changing people, but of finding those people who are ready and willing to be encouraged and reminded again of Krishna’s message and of the forgotten promises they made to Him.

  14. Krsna Purvaja dasa says :

    Thank you for your insightful comments, Akruranatha prabhu.

    My initial remarks were made in response to the question as to how devotees field difficult questions, such as the one raised in post seven: how does the child in the womb, having prayed to Krishna, come to forget Him, particularly after experiencing a presumably less traumatic cesarean birth? Srila Jiva Goswami points out that such remembrance of Krishna in the womb applies only to rare individuals. In fact, most living entities do not experience such “prenatal” recollection.

    However, I do appreciate your thoughtful points. Regardless of the circumstances under which one enters this world, we should not lose sight of the instrumental role that devotees play in helping others reestablish their relationship with the Lord. That is paramount.

  15. Akruranatha says :

    Regarding the mercy of devotees:

    In last night’s Sunday Feast lecture Vaisesika was reading from Prabhupada’s purport to S.B. 10.2, the “aruhya krcchena param padam” verse.

    Prabhupada pointed out that jnanis and yogis may achieve impersonal liberation ofter much effort for many lifetimes, but their so-called liberated position is unstable and they will fall again if they have no regard for Krishna’s personal feature.

    He went on to say that to obtain devotional service is made possible only when by good fortune one obtains the mercy of a devotee.

    We were discussing that the book distributors are going out, offering people the chance to get the merciful association of Srila Prabhupada through his books. They are getting the chance to obtain the regard for the Lord’s lotus feet, which evades even the accomplished jnanis and yogis. This is the real mercy that is being liberally offered.

    Sankirtan devotees are giving everyone the opportunity to remember their lost relationship with Krishna, whether they had such relationship in the womb in this life, or whether the relationship was forgotten countless eons ago.

  16. vrajamohan says :

    Please accept my humble obeisances
    Thank you prabhus for all your time and efforts in enlightening us.
    From the story of Srila Sukdev Goswami, we see that he did not want to come out of his mothers womb because he knew that once he did, he would be influenced by Mahamaya’s covering potency. We can also conclude that in the womb, the jiva is under yogamaya. Now for the benifit of the Jiva, it is Krishnas plan that he should forget his past life and activities. Just like how Yogamaya arranges many pastimes in the Spiritual world based on Krishna’s desire, Mahamaya has similarly taken the service of fulfilling Krishnas will in this Material world. In this case, the jiva going through pain and misery during birth is just an arrangement made by Mahamaya to fulfil Krishna’s desire. However, Krishnas desire is not dependent on these material arrangements.
    The intelligence given for C-Section is just another way how Mahamaya covers the Jiva and keeps him away from Krishna. However she never fails to fulfil Krishna’s desire.

    Your Servant

    Vraja Mohana dasa

  17. Akruranatha says :

    A skeptical nondevotee might object, “If Krishna-consciousness is really the eternal dharma of all jivas, then how come, at least until recently, Krishna was largely unknown outside India and some neighboring countries? How come so many people in many parts of the world still hardly know anything about His lila or His instructions to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita?”

    One answer to this objection might be that whatever knowledge anyone has about God or Absolute Truth or “Enlightenment” is some kind of incomplete knowledge about Krishna. Those who worship demigods, the impersonal feature, the universal form, etc. (ekatvena prtaktvena bahudha visvato-mukham), are really worshiping Krishna, but “in a wrong way” (yajanty avidhi purvakam), without full knowledge of His own majestic existence as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

    But another important component of the argument to destroy the above doubt is that it does not take into account the amazing power of forgetfulness, which also comes from Krishna (matah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca).

    Those who do not want to know Krishna can immediately forget Him, or can take up association with others who never think of Him or talk of Him.

    That was the miserable condition of those of us who took birth where topics of Krishna were never discussed, studied, considered, remembered. Due to our bad fortune, arising from our having neglected Krishna in the past, we were sent to such “God forsaken” places.

    Truly, these places are not forsaken by Krishna, who is equally disposed and friendly to all, but based on the state of our hearts and desires He allowed those who wanted to forget and disregard Him to do so.

    Fortunately, now Lord Caitanya has sent his greatly compassionate representative Srila Prabhupada to remind everyone and wake them up.

    Sometimes the atheists argue, “If God is all powerful, then He must be very cruel to have created such a horrible world.” They do not understand that He is so great that He has created unlimited worlds, just to suit the particular mentalities and moods of all beings. We cannot blame Him that we deserved to come to this horrible one.

    Now, by the Divine Grace of Lord Caitanya, we have an opportunity to go back to one of the worlds where everyone is in the constant bliss and harmony of His devotional service.

    Each of our ISKCON communities should be replicas of those worlds, as are the Holy dhamas where He performed His manifested pastimes on the earth.

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