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the Whole Show!
Welcome to the KrishnaSoft’s Electronic Newsletter. This is the November 2001 issue entitled: "Lord Krsna Runs the Whole Show!"
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
This newsletter goes to over 1100 people who either have an interest in Vedic science and/or spiritually entertaining multimedia technology.
Table of Contents:
1. Lord Krsna Runs the Whole Show!
[The following is the 36th of a series of articles to present to the benefits of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Krsna CDROM and the Srimad-Bhagavatam CDROM from Krishnasoft present this great spiritual masterpiece in multimedia format.]
In our October 2001 newsletter, we pointed out how Lord Krsna is beyond space and time:
"Then again, Krsna is the time factor. Therefore, He is all-pervading not only in space but also in time. We have measurements of time, but although we are limited by past, present and future, for Krsna these do not exist. Every individual person can be measured, but Krsna has already shown that although He also is an individual, the entire cosmic manifestation is within His mouth. All these points considered, Krsna cannot be measured. How then did Yasoda want to measure Him and bind Him? We must conclude that this took place simply on the platform of pure transcendental love. This was the only cause." (Bhag. 10.9.13-14)
The devotees see Krsna as the doer of everything whereas the materialists, bewildered by the illusory energy, think themselves as the doers:
"One should understand that no one is independent, for everything is part and parcel of Krsna and is acting and moving by the supreme desire of Krsna. This understanding, this consciousness, is Krsna consciousness." (Bhag. 10.13.53)
"‘The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature.’ As soon as one desires to enjoy his senses, he puts himself under the control of material energy and automatically, or mechanically, is placed into the cycle of birth and death in various life-forms." (Bhag. 4.29.4)
This material nature is controlled by Lord Krsna:
"Anyone denying this surrendering process as recommended both in the Bhagavad-gita and in the Srimad-Bhagavatam— and, for that matter, in all authorized scriptures— will be forced to surrender unto the laws of material nature. The living entity, by his constitutional position, is not independent. He must surrender, either unto the Lord or unto material nature. Material nature is also not independent of the Lord, since the Lord Himself has claimed material nature as mama maya, or ‘My energy’ (Bg. 7.14), and as me bhinna prakrtir astadha, or ‘My separated energy in eight divisions’ (Bg. 7.4). Therefore material nature is also controlled by the Lord, as He has claimed in Bhagavad-gita (9.10). Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sacaracaram: ‘Under My direction only is material nature working, and thus are all things moving.’ And the living entities, being superior energy to matter, have choice and discrimination either to surrender unto the Lord or to surrender unto material nature. By surrendering unto the Lord, one is happy and liberated, but by surrendering unto material nature the living entity suffers." (Bhag. 2.6.36)
"Material advancement of civilization means advancement of the reactions of the threefold miseries due to celestial influence, earthly reactions and bodily or mental pains. By the celestial influence of the stars there are many calamities like excessive heat, cold, rains or no rains, and the aftereffects are famine, disease and epidemic. The aggregate result is agony of the body and the mind. Man-made material science cannot do anything to counteract these threefold miseries. They are all punishments from the superior energy of maya under the direction of the Supreme Lord. Therefore our constant touch with the Lord by devotional service can give us relief without our being disturbed in the discharge of our human duties. The asuras, however, who do not believe in the existence of God, make their own plans to counteract all these threefold miseries, and so they meet with failures every time." (Bhag. 1.14.10)
So a devotee performs his devotional service relying on Krsna for whatever the result may be whereas a materialist thinking himself the doer and thus suffers according to the results. Some people may say materialists also "enjoy" their results, but ultimately all the plans of the materialists fail because no materialist can overcome the laws of material nature such as the threefold miseries of material existence which work under the direction of the Supreme Lord.
"We may superficially see that one is suffering or enjoying because of some external causes, but the real cause is one’s own fruitive activities. Even when someone kills someone else, it is to be understood that the person who was killed met the fruitive results of his own work and that the man who killed him acted as the agent of material nature." (Bhag. 10.4.21)
Devotees are dependent upon the Supreme Lord and are neither attached nor detached to anything material. If something can be used in the service to Krsna, they use it otherwise it is rejected:
"The devotees of the Lord, while delivering speeches and describing the transcendental attributes of the Lord, do not think that they can do anything independently. They think that they can speak only what they are induced to speak by the Supreme Lord, the master of the senses. The senses of the individual being are not his own; the devotee knows that such senses belong to the Supreme Lord and that they can be properly used when they are employed for the service of the Lord. The senses are instruments, and elements are ingredients, all endowed by the Lord; therefore whatever an individual can do, speak, see, etc., is under the direction of the Lord only." (Bhag. 2.4.11)
"We may forget the misdeed for which we may suffer at this present moment, but we must remember that Paramatma is our constant companion, and therefore He knows everything, past, present and future. And because the Paramatma feature of Lord Krsna destines all actions and reactions, He is the supreme controller also. Without His sanction not a blade of grass can move. The living beings are given as much freedom as they deserve, and misuse of that freedom is the cause of suffering. The devotees of the Lord do not misuse their freedom, and therefore they are the good sons of the Lord. Others, who misuse freedom, are put into miseries destined by the eternal kala." (Bhag. 1.8.28)
Devotees are not under the influence of eternal kala (time), but the materialists are under the influence of time and thus are forced to follow the material laws of birth, death, old age, and disease:
"Our duration of life is measured, and no one is able to enhance it even by a second against the scheduled time ordained by the supreme will. Such valuable time, especially for the human being, should be cautiously spent because even a second passed away imperceptibly cannot be replaced, even in exchange for thousands of golden coins amassed by hard labor. Every second of human life is meant for making an ultimate solution to the problems of life, i.e. repetition of birth and death and revolving in the cycle of 8,400,000 different species of life. The material body, which is subject to birth and death, diseases and old age, is the cause of all sufferings of the living being, otherwise the living being is eternal; he is never born, nor does he ever die. Foolish persons forget this problem. They do not know at all how to solve the problems of life, but become engrossed in temporary family affairs not knowing that eternal time is passing away imperceptibly and that their measured duration of life is diminishing every second, without any solution to the big problem, namely repetition of birth and death, disease and old age. This is called illusion. But such illusion cannot work on one who is awake in the devotional service of the Lord." (Bhag. 1.13.17)
"Wherever there is the influence of eternal time, there is this set of tribulations, namely birth, death, old age and death, and all of them are invincible." (Bhag. 1.13.19)
2. Preaching or Blaspheming?
[The following article is based on the Srimad-Bhagavatam.]
Some people have this misconception that as long as one chants the holy name and/or distributes transcendental literatures, he is saintly. This is not always true as we will show in this article. The first point to understand is that spreading the chanting of the holy name (Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare) is non-different from the spreading the transcendental literatures. This was explained in our December 2000 newsletter "Reading Srila Prabhupada’s Books is Also Chanting!"
"The pure devotees hear from the authorities and chant, sing and write of the glories of the Lord. Mahamuni Vyasadeva heard from Narada, and then he chanted in *writing*; Sukadeva Gosvami studied from his father, and he described it to Pariksit; that is the way of Srimad-Bhagavatam. So by their actions the pure devotees of the Lord can render any place into a place of pilgrimage, and the holy places are worth the name only on their account. Such pure devotees are able to rectify the polluted atmosphere of any place, and what to speak of a holy place rendered unholy by the questionable actions of interested persons who try to adopt a professional life at the cost of the reputation of a holy place." (Bhag. 1.13.10)
Since reading transcendental literatures is non-different from chanting the holy name, the quotes we find in the sastras in describing the glories of the holy name apply just as well to the reading of transcendental literatures. For example,
"Anyone who once utters the name of Visnu immediately becomes purified, inside and outside (yah smaret pundarikaksam). Since a devotee constantly chants the Hare Krsna mantra, no contamination of the material world can touch him." (Bhag. 4.21.37)
But not all chanting by any person can be considered the same:
"But the result is that by possessing all these material assets one becomes artificially puffed up, intoxicated by such temporary possessions. Consequently, such materially puffed up persons are incapable of uttering the holy name of the Lord by addressing Him feelingly, ‘O Govinda, O Krsna.’ It is said in the sastras that by once uttering the holy name of the Lord, the sinner gets rid of a quantity of sins that he is unable to commit. Such is the power of uttering the holy name of the Lord. There is not the least exaggeration in this statement. Actually the Lord’s holy name has such powerful potency. But there is a quality to such utterances also. It depends on the quality of feeling." (Bhag. 1.8.26)
Similarly, we find in the sastras that not all reading and hearing by any person can be considered to be the same:
"Attachment for household paraphernalia and for Lord Krsna go poorly together. One attachment is the path of darkness, and the other attachment is the path of light. Where there is light, there is no darkness, and where there is darkness, there is no light. But an expert devotee can turn everything to the path of light by an attitude of service to the Lord, and the best example here is the Pandavas. Maharaja Yudhisthira and householders like him can turn everything to light by dovetailing so-called material assets in the service of the Lord, but one who is not trained or is unable to turn everything to the service of the Lord (nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe) must give up all material connections before he can be fit to hear and chant the glories of the Lord, or in other words, one who has seriously heard Srimad-Bhagavatam for even one day, like Maharaja Pariksit, from a fit personality like Sukadeva Gosvami, may be able to lose all affinity for material things. There is no utility simply in imitating Maharaja Pariksit and hearing Bhagavatam from professional men, even for seven hundred years. To take Srimad-Bhagavatam as a means of maintaining family expenditure is the grossest type of namaparadha offense at the feet of the Lord (sarva-subha-kriya-samyam api pramadah)." (Bhag. 2.4.2)
Sometimes people unknowingly or mockingly chant the holy name of Krsna. While this may be considered good for a person who is otherwise not engaged in devotional service, it cannot be considered on the same level as a pure devotee chanting the holy name of Krsna. In addition to considering the quality of chanting and namaparadha, there is also the more serious consideration of vaisnava-aparadha or gurv-aparadha:
"While describing the system of protection for the creeper of devotional service, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has especially stressed protection from offenses unto the lotus feet of Vaisnavas. Such offenses are called vaisnava-aparadha. Aparadha means ‘offense.’ If one commits vaisnava-aparadhas, all of his progress in devotional service will be checked. Even though one is very much advanced in devotional service, if he commits offenses at the feet of a Vaisnava, his advancement is all spoiled. In the sastras it is found that a very great yogi, Durvasa Muni, committed a vaisnava-aparadha and thus for one full year had to travel all over the universe, even to Vaikunthaloka, to defend himself from the offense. At last, even when he approached the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Vaikuntha, he was refused protection. Therefore one should be very careful about committing offenses at the feet of a Vaisnava. The most grievous type of vaisnava-aparadha is called gurv-aparadha, which refers to offenses at the lotus feet of the spiritual master. In the chanting of the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this gurv-aparadha is considered the most grievous offense. Guror avajna sruti-sastra-nindanam (Padma Purana). Among the ten offenses committed against the chanting of the holy name, the first offenses are disobedience of the spiritual master and blasphemy of the Vedic literature." (Bhag. 4.21.37)
"By chanting the Lord’s holy name, one can derive all the stipulated energy synchronized from all sources. Therefore, one should not equalize the supreme holy name of the Lord with any other name. Brahma, Siva or any other powerful god can never be equal to the Supreme Lord Visnu. The powerful holy name of the Lord can certainly deliver one from sinful effects, but one who desires to utilize this transcendental potency of the holy name of the Lord in one’s sinister activities is the most degraded person in the world. Such persons are never excused by the Lord or by any agent of the Lord. One should, therefore, utilize one’s life in glorifying the Lord by all means, without any offense. Such activity of life, even for a moment, is never to be compared to a prolonged life of ignorance, like the lives of the tree and other living entities who may live for thousands of years without prosecuting spiritual advancement." (Bhag. 2.1.12)
3. Feedback: Miscellaneous
Regarding Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s books in general, a conversation took place with Prabhupada on May 13, 1975:
"Paramahamsa: Srila Prabhupada, I remember once I heard a tape where you told us that we should not try to read the books of the previous acaryas.
"Amogha: That we should not try to read Bhaktivinoda’s books or earlier books.
"Prabhupada: I never said that.
"Amogha: I thought you said that we should not read the previous acarya’s books.
"Prabhupada: No, you should read.
"Amogha: We should. ...
"Prabhupada: We are following the previous acaryas. I never said that."
I hope you are not trying to establish with your quote above that we should all read the previous acaryas’ books because you can find quotes from Prabhupada where he said not to read the previous acaryas’ books. The fact is there is no difference between the works of all acaryas:
"The disciplic succession holds that the Vedas were uttered by Lord Krsna to Brahma, by Brahma to Narada, and by Narada to Vyasadeva, and then by Vyasadeva to Sukadeva Gosvami and so on. So there is no difference between the versions of all authorities. The truth is eternal, and as such there cannot be any new opinion about the truth. That is the way of knowing the knowledge contained in the Vedas. It is not a thing to be understood by one’s erudite scholarship or by the fashionable interpretations of mundane scholars. There is nothing to be added and nothing to be subtracted, because the truth is the truth." (Bhag. 2.2.32)
So by reading any of the acaryas’ works, one can understand the Absolute Truth; however, the reading has to be a devotional service not your own idea:
"The Personality of Godhead said: Knowledge about Me as described in the scriptures is very confidential, and it has to be realized in conjunction with devotional service. The necessary paraphernalia for that process is being explained by Me. You may take it up carefully." (Bhag. 2.9.31)
So if your devotional service is to read the previous acaryas’ works, then read them.
4. Editorial Policy and Product List
Krishna Software Inc. is dedicated to help people become peaceful and happy via spiritual science presented using modern multimedia technology. Our editorial policy as well as our mission is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.37 Purport):
"One should engage in practical service to the Lord. In our Krsna consciousness movement, all our activities are concentrated upon distributing Krsna literature. This is very important. One may approach any person and induce him to read Krsna literature so that in the future he also may become a devotee.... By fully concentrating on distributing books for Krsna, one is fully absorbed in Krsna."
Our newsletters are geared to show you the benefits of the instructions contained in the transcendental books of Srila Prabhupada so you can judge for yourself the value of these books and obtain them in book or CDROM format. We also have video demos of the Gita CDROM and Bhagavatam CDROM available for those without computers or those who want to get a glimpse into what is on the CDROM.
Krishna Software Inc. has produced some multimedia CDROMs and all the details and reviews of these CDROMs can be found at our website http://www.krishnasoft.com. Here is our current list of products:
(a) Multimedia Bhagavad-gita As It Is CD: Lord Krsna’s eternal instructions to Arjuna and the rest of the world about Isvara (Supreme Lord), jiva (the soul), karma (activities), kala (time), and prakrti (nature). This is a 30-hour audio-visual CDROM. Also available with Hindi translations.
(b) Multimedia Srimad-Bhagavatam CD: An encyclopedia on the science of Krsna consciousness. This CDROM deals in detail with bhakti-yoga and covers various subjects— the creation of the universe, Vedic astronomy, transmigration, birth-death, etc. This is about 35 hours of audio-visual presentations.
(c) Multimedia Krsna CD w/Vedic Astronomy: This is a 51-hour audio-visual presentation of the Krsna book and a Vedic Astronomy simulation based on the Srimad-Bhagavatam. All on a single CDROM. Free sample demo downloadable from our website.
(d) Multilingual Word Processor CD [version 4.00]: Type in diacritics, Hindi, Sanskrit, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, and Assamese without knowing the alphabet. This is for those who want to write articles using multiple languages. Free demo downloadable from our website.
All of the above software was tested on various Intel 486 and Pentium processors running Windows 3.1, Windows ‘95, Windows ‘98, Windows Me, and Windows NT (client and server).
Latest information and secure ordering is available at our web site: http://www.krishnasoft.com. Any upgrades can be downloaded from this website as well.
End of Newsletter- written and edited by KSI staff; (c) 1998-2001 Krishna Software Inc.
Our staff consists of: Hari Rama Dasa, Virender Dayal, Rajni Dayal, and volunteers.
Any words appearing in bold in this newsletter are the editor’s emphasis of a particular point.
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All glories to Lord Sri Krsna and His transcendental potencies! All glories to the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the literary incarnation of Lord Sri Krsna!
CHAKRA 2 January 2002
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