Welcome to the KrishnaSoft's Electronic Newsletter.
This is the August 1999 issue entitled: "Krsna Consciousness Is Extremely Simple!".
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This newsletter now goes to over 1100 people who either have an interest in Vedic science and/or spiritually entertaining multimedia technology.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
(1) Devotional Service Is Never Lost!
(2) Krsna Consciousness Is Extremely Simple!
(3) Expired Time Versus Experienced Time
(4) Feedback: There Can Only Be One Absolute Truth!
(5) Editorial Policy and Product List
1. DEVOTIONAL SERVICE IS NEVER LOST!
In the July 1999 issue, we discussed how one can easily attain success by following the orders of the Supreme Lord as received through the disciplic succession:
"If one has unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord and the spiritual master, the essence of all Vedic knowledge is revealed to him." (Bhag. 5.1.6)
This path of success is easy and sublime yet due to misuse of independence, some people engage in devotional service and later give it up:
"A living entity misuses his little independence when he wants to lord it over material nature. This misuse of independence, which is called maya, is ALWAYS AVAILABLE, otherwise there would be no independence. Independence implies that one can use it properly or improperly. IT IS NOT STATIC; IT IS DYNAMIC. Therefore, misuse of independence is the cause of being influenced by maya." (Bhag. 3.31.15)
So when one is VOLUNTARILY engaged in devotional service, he is a devotee; when he is NOT engaged in devotional service, he is a nondevotee and is forced to be in maya. It's one or the other. We already discussed in the previous articles how this judgement cannot be made on the basis of dress, name, color, sex, etc. Devotional service is the function of the dynamic conscious desire of the living entity. So some person can engage in devotional service and later give it up. So what happens to the devotional service that he performed if he leaves his devotional service?
"Service rendered to the Supreme Lord, knowingly or unknowingly, never goes in vain." (Bhag. 8.24.15)
Sometimes people join the Krsna consciousness movement and, after engaging in devotional service for many years, go back to their material ways of life. This should be no reason to mock such personalities since all their devotional service-- chanting, hearing, preaching, etc.-- is an eternal asset.
"Somehow or other, if one is attracted to Krsna, whatever he does in devotional service is a permanent asset. Even if one falls down due to immaturity or bad association, his devotional assets are never lost." (Bhag. 5.14.43)
In the July 1999 newsletter, we proved how a disciple is one who is surrendered [committed] to the instructions of the spiritual master. This is the basis of devotional service. So if one has received the instructions of the Supreme Lord through a personality who at the time was engaged in devotional service, the instructions are STILL VALID although the personality may no longer be engaged in devotional service! Of course, the sadhus and the principles of the Bhagavatam are there to confirm such instructions are in-line with devotional service:
"Without personal service, one would go on speculating like the impersonalists and dry speculators life after life and would be unable to reach the final conclusion. By following the instructions of the bona fide spiritual master in CONJUNCTION with the principles of revealed scriptures, the student will rise to the plane of complete knowledge, which will be exhibited by development of detachment from the world of sense gratification." (Bhag. 2.9.37)
Since the instructions of the bona fide spiritual master are actually Krsna's instructions and not some mortal's concoctions, the instructions are divine. So one should feel appreciation and/or indebtedness to the person who has imparted and explained the divine instructions and thus cleared away our path of spiritual life or brought us from the material platform to the spiritual platform. Although the person may not be physically present or EVEN no longer engaged in devotional service, one should continue to follow his divine instructions [that were imparted while he was engaged in devotional service]:
"When the braahmana asked the woman who the man lying on the floor was, she answered that he was her spiritual master and that she was perplexed about what to do in his absence. At such a time the Supersoul immediately appears, provided the devotee is purified in heart by following the directions of the spiritual master. A sincere devotee who follows the instructions of the spiritual master certainly gets direct instructions from his heart from the Supersoul . Thus a sincere devotee is always helped directly or indirectly by the spiritual master and the Supersoul . This is confirmed in Caitanya-caritaamrta: guru-krsna-prasaade paaya bhakti-lataa-biija. If the devotee serves his spiritual master sincerely, Krsna automatically becomes pleased . Yasya prasaadaad bhagavad-prasaadah. By satisfying the spiritual master, one automatically satisfies Krsna." (Bhag. 4.28.52)
Therefore, in the beginning of the Bhagavatam cover, it is said, "He lives forever by his divine instructions and the follower lives with him." To accept a bona fide spiritual master means to accept his divine instructions. One can pay off the debt to such a personality by following his instructions and going back to Godhead because this guarantees even the deliverance of the spiritual master:
"This incident proves that the siksa- or diksa-guru who has a disciple who strongly executes devotional service like Dhruva Maharaja can be carried by the disciple even though the instructor is not as advanced. Although Suniiti was an instructor to Dhruva Mahaaraaja, she could not go to the forest because she was a woman, nor could she execute austerities and penances as Dhruva Maharaja did. Still, Dhruva Maharaja was able to take his mother with him. Similarly, Prahlaada Maharaja also delivered his atheistic father, Hiranyakasipu. The conclusion is that a disciple or an offspring who is a very strong devotee can carry with him to Vaikunthaloka either his father, mother or siksa- or diksa-guru." (Bhag. 4.12.33)
Some people speculate that one should "RESURRENDER" to another spiritual master and get newer instructions, names, vows, etc. but this is pure mental speculation and can be highly offensive depending on the nature of the "new" instructions received. This idea of "resurrender" is not mentioned anywhere in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Since Srimad-Bhagavatam is the Absolute Truth (complete and nothing lacking), if some principle is not mentioned, it is NOT NEEDED. Krsna does not play games in such serious matters; whatever principles Lord Krsna wants us to follow are in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. For clarification of the same principle, one can refer to Bhagavad-gita and Caitanya-caritamrta which also do not support such a bogus idea:
"The expert spiritual master knows well how to engage his disciple's energy in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and thus he engages a devotee in specific devotional service according to his special tendency. A devotee must have ONLY ONE initiating spiritual master because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden. There is no limit, however, to the number of instructing spiritual masters one may accept. Generally a spiritual master who constantly INSTRUCTS a disciple in spiritual science becomes his initiating spiritual master later on.... There is no difference between the spiritual master's instructions and the spiritual master himself. IN HIS ABSENCE, THEREFORE, HIS WORDS OF DIRECTION SHOULD BE THE PRIDE OF THE DISCIPLE." (CC Adi 1.35)
Some people speculate that if a person stops engaging in devotional service, he was never a Vaisnava, but we see from the Bhagavatam that the state of a devotee is a dynamic condition. To mock the devotional service rendered by a personality no longer engaged in devotional service is very offensive. For example, if a cow is giving us milk to nourish our body and later if the cow becomes diseased and stops giving good milk, that is no excuse to reason that the cow was always bad. Another example is if a teacher instructs you about some subject matter but later gives up the teaching field or becomes unfit to teach, that does not mean all of the students' knowledge will disappear or the teacher's instructions are invalid:
"A devotee's achievement, however is never lost by the influence of time. Even if a devotee cannot completely execute devotional service, in his next life he begins from the point where he left off." (Bhag. 4.24.56)
"In other words, devotional service which is rendered by the devotee in this lifetime can never be destroyed by time. Such spiritual assets remain unchanged, being beyond the influence of time." (Bhag. 4.24.56)
Therefore, all the x-devotees who did devotional service such as artwork, book distribution, book editing, chanting, dancing, Bhakta-training, explaining divine instructions, and Deity worship have not lost anything. Instead, their devotional service has protected them from the most dangerous conditions of the material world and will give them the opportunities to once again take up devotional service and go back to Godhead.
2. KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS IS EXTREMELY SIMPLE!
(1) We are struggling/suffering in the material world because we are engaged in service to matter rather than service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna.
(2) By re-engaging in our natural function of loving devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna, we are correctly situated and become happy and blissful.
(3) Devotional Service transcends matter-- earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and false ego. [So mental speculators (jnanis), yogis, frutive workers, mayavadis, etc. cannot help you.]
(4) The only way we can engage in devotional service is to meet someone who is already engaged in such service and FULLY ASSIST him by serving his instructions. [In rare cases, Krsna Himself gives us our devotional service.]
(5) Once we receive this devotional service by the mercy of the spiritual master and Lord Krsna, we should become fixed in carrying out this service; thus we transcend matter (including mind) and are on our way back to Godhead.
QED. That's it. The sastras are propounding these principles in various ways by many examples and also giving us the knowledge to defeat all the various theories that deviate from these principles. The difficulties are caused by various mental speculators and sahajiyas:
"There are many big leaders, yogis, svamis and so-called incarnations who are very much addicted to mental speculation and who advertise themselves as perfect personalities, but they are not ultimately successful. The path of devotional service is undoubtedly very difficult to follow, but it becomes very easy if the candidate actually wants to follow the path of the mahajana." (Bhag. 5.14.42)
"I offer my obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by whose mercy even an ignorant child can swim across the ocean of conclusive truth, which is full of the crocodiles of various theories." (CC Adi 2.1)
3. EXPIRED TIME VERSUS EXPERIENCED TIME
"By ardent love and devotional service to the Lord, or in other words by spiritual contact with the Lord, everything becomes spiritually reddened like the conchshell in the grip of the Lord, and the paramahamsa, or the SUPREMELY INTELLIGENT PERSON, plays the part of the ducking swan in the water of spiritual bliss, eternally decorated by the lotus flower of the Lord's feet." (Bhag. 1.11.2)
No ordinary person can actually equal or exceed the intelligence of Lord Krsna, but Lord Krsna REVEALS Himself to the devotees (BG 10.10) and thus they are able to understand Him. So it's not by mental speculation but by devotional service that the devotees become SUPER intelligent and can defeat all the puffed-up scientists and scholars propagating fallacious theories.
So, the best thing is to engage in devotional service and accept Lord Krsna's inconceivable energy to reveal everything to us:
"Lord Brahma stressed herein that without accepting the inconceivable energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, ONE CANNOT EXPLAIN THINGS AS THEY ARE." (Krsna book, chapter 14)
For example, here's an example of a statement of the Bhagavatam which may seem unbelievable for some mental speculators to accept simulataneously with other statements:
"The material activity of the living being is beginningless, but it can be rectified by transferral into the spiritual quality." (Bhag. 1.15.27)
How does one understand such a statement with the millions of references elsewhere to our original home being Vaikuntha like:
"My dear gentle friend, both you and I are exactly like two swans. We live together in the same heart, which is just like the Manasa Lake. Although we have been living together for many thousands of years, we are still far away from our original home." (Bhag. 4.28.54)
Devotees accept both statements literally: our original home is Vaikuntha AND our material activity is beginningless. The goal is to go back from where we came, back to Godhead. Krsna is all-powerful and He can do anything. Mental speculators find it inconceivable to their tiny brains how Krsna can do both because they try to bring Krsna within their mental grasp which is impossible. These mental speculators go as far as trying to juggle words and reinterpret the sastras to make the words fit their theory but the sastras are self-evident:
"The Vedic injunctions are self-authorized, and if some mundane creature adjusts the interpretations of the Vedas, he defies their authority....[Vyasadeva's] work, the Vedanta-sutra, is as dazzling as the midday sun, and when someone tries to give his own interpretations on the self-effulgent sunlike Vedanta-sutra, he attempts to cover this sun with the cloud of his imagination." (Bhag. Intro)
One has to accept the entire sastra LITERALLY. Some sahajiyas claim that the author of the text is trying to trick us but this is due to their lack of realization and poor fund of knowledge. There are no tricks or words of jugglery in the sastra; everything must be understood AS IT IS and repeated AS IT IS:
"The guru, or the bona fide spiritual master, is competent to teach the disciple in the right path with reference to the context of all authentic Vedic literature. HE DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO JUGGLE WORDS to bewilder the student." (Bhag. 2.9.37)
The words "material activity is beginningless" is given within the reference of time but the Supreme Lord is the controller of time:
"O my Lord, everything within material nature is limited by time, space and thought . Your characteristics, however, being unequaled and unsurpassed, are always transcendental to such limitations . You sometimes cover such characteristics by Your own energy, but nevertheless Your unalloyed devotees are always able to see You under all circumstances ." (CC Adi 3.89)
So the time we experience and the time that expires is under Lord Krsna's control:
"In one night, therefore, they enjoyed the company of Krsna as their beloved husband, but that night was not an ordinary night. It was a night of Brahma, and lasted millions nad millions of years. Everything is possible for Krsna, for He is the supreme controller." (Krsna book, chapter 32)
Once Lord Brahma stole the calves and cowherd boys from Vrndavana but within a moment when he returned, all the calves and cowherd boys were still there as before playing with Lord Krsna. However, one year had expired in Vrndavana. Bhagavad-gita states that 1000*4,320,000 years is equal to 12 hours of Lord Brahma. There are other examples in Vedic literature where the experienced time in the material world is insignificant in comparison to the expired time:
"I worship Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, whose plenary portion is Maha-Visnu. All the heads of the innumberable universes [the Brahmas] live only by taking shelter of the time occupied by one of His breaths." (Bhag. 3.11.38)
Even on Brahmaloka, Lord Brahma lives only for the duration of time occupied by one breath of Mahavisnu. Mental speculators cannot accept this inconceivable potency of Lord Krsna. For them, we will give one simple example in mathematics how beginningless material activity within time can all be experienced by the living entity within a short time:
Let F(t) be a function defining the relationship between the the expired time t to the fractional experienced time.
Our history of beginningless material activity then means that time t goes from -infinity (-inf) to -1 (zero being our present).
The total experience in the material world of the living entity is then the sum of F(t) for all t from -inf..-1. In calculus this is defined as the integral from -inf..-1 of F(t).
But there are many functions, F(t), with infinite values for t that don't sum to infinity. For example,
F(t) = 1/(t*t), t = -inf..-1
[Note: F(t)>0 for all t, -inf..-1, which is required since there's no such thing as negative experienced time (time machine)].
INTEGRAL(F(t)) = INTEGRAL(1/(t*t)) = -1/t + C
Plugging in the range, t = -inf...-1:
-1/-1 - (-1/-inf) = 1 - 0 = 1
So this is an example where the total experience is equal to one although expired time t is BEGINNINGLESS.
4. FEEDBACK: THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE ABSOLUTE TRUTH!
> I am enlivened by your faith. Can you help to erradicate my doubts? Why can
>there not be more than one truth?
Because Absolute Truth means the ultimate truth about objective reality. Either reality works as described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam or it works according to some other description. Some people may have some facts about reality (like other religions, science, etc.) but unless you have the complete picture, it is NOT a presentation of the Absolute Truth. So if a person has two different Bhagavatams, only one can be the Absolute Truth. Atheists say neither but this [is] due to their lack of realizations or ever having attempted to follow any process. For example, either Kalki-avatar is coming or He is not. What is the reality? When you start searching for reality- athata-brahma-jijnasa, then you have started on the path of self-realization. When you have found the Absolute Truth (janmadya-asya-yatah), there is NO NEED TO CONSIDER ANYTHING ELSE. Either everything else agrees with it or it's bogus/incomplete. Take it logically, if there is more than one Absolute Truth that differ from each other, it follows that the delta between them is either right or wrong (part of the Absolute Truth or not).
> Do you believe all in Srimad Bhagavatam as literaly true? A lot of it
>sounds like tall tales and even though everything is inconceivable when
>broken down, there is little evidence to substantiate that such an advanced
>society existed 5000 years ago.
Everything is conceivable in the Srimad-Bhagavatam in devotional service; everything is inconceivable for the mental speculators. Lord Krsna has the right not to expose Himself to those who have no attitude of loving service toward Him. So one learns the Srimad-Bhagavatam only by devotional service and by hearing from those engaged in devotional service (sadhu-sanga). The revelation is proportional to our degree of surrender. Those who are not surrendered just see contradictions everywhere and ultimately become frustrated and give up. Bhaktya-maam abhijanati. "Only by devotional service, can I be understood as I am."
>There were various questions about our real home being Vaikuntha or if we have always been in the
Vaikuntha is our real original home as directly stated in so many ways throughout the Srimad-Bhagavatam by using the words "Back to Godhead", "revert", "revive", "back home", "original", etc. It's just that some people take a few words out of context and speculate on them and then try to fit everything else into their speculations. We have to accept all the statements simultaneously and since Krsna is inconceivably great, He can do anything, but we can only understand what He reveals to us by rendering devotional service to Him. So follow/explain what you understand and just repeat everything else AS IT IS because although we may not presently realize how it's all true, someone else may. We were originally in the spiritual world AND our material activity in the material world is beginningless! We have shown in this newsletter how these statements are not necessarily contradictory. Here's another reference using the word "lost":
"The human form of life is a chance to get out of this imprisoned life, and as such the only occupation of the human being is to REESTABLISH his LOST RELATIONSHIP with God." (Bhag. 1.5.15)
5. EDITORIAL POLICY AND PRODUCT LIST
"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.
Krishna Software Inc. has produced some multimedia CDROMs and all the details 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.
(b) Multimedia Bhagavad-gita As It Is Hindi CD: Same as (a) but with Hindi and English translations; currently available on CD-R only.
(c) Multimedia Krsna CD w/Vedic Astronomy game: This is a 51-hour audio-visual presentation of the Krsna book and a Vedic Astronomy game based on the Fifth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. All on a single CDROM. Free sample demo downloadable.
(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.
All of the above software was tested on various Intel 486 and Pentium processors running Windows 3.1, Windows '95, Windows '98, and Windows NT (client and server).
Latest pricing and ordering information is at our web site: http://www.krishnasoft.com.
End of Newsletter- written and edited by KSI staff; (c) 1998-1999 Krishna Software Inc.
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