Welcome to the KrishnaSoft's Electronic Newsletter.
This is the December 1999 issue entitled: "Devotional Service is Copyrighted by Lord Krsna!"
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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) Devotional Service is Copyrighted by Lord Krsna!
(2) Vedic Astronomy: Sun-Moon Distances
(3) Feedback: Miscellaneous
(4) Editorial Policy and Product List 1. DEVOTIONAL SERVICE IS COPYRIGHTED BY LORD KRSNA!
In the November 1999 issue, we quoted from the Bhagavatam regarding how one receives his devotional service by the mercy of the spiritual master who is acting under Krsna's authority:
"It is stated in Bhagavad-gita that no one is barred from rendering service to the Lord . Whether one is a woman or a laborer or a merchant, if he engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord he is promoted to the highest perfectional state and goes back home, back to Godhead . The devotional service most suitable for different types of devotees is determined and fixed by the mercy of the spiritual master." (Bhag. 3.25.28)
The empowerment is there in the instructions of the spiritual master to carry out the service. We just need to carry out these instructions to the best of our ability. It should be noted that the devotional service is copyrighted by Lord Krsna so that one cannot just IMITATE someone else's devotional service without being authorized by Lord Krsna through the spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada received the instruction to preach via publishing books so if one imitates this thinking "I will also write many books", the results may not be very good. Imitation means the instructions are coming from one's mental concoction not from a self-realized soul. For example, Srila Prabhupada gave so many different instructions to so many different devotees directly or in the form of letters. These instructions vary depending on the individual. Thus, one cannot just randomly pick up a letter or letters and consider that to be his devotional service as well. That would also fall under the catagory of imitation and there will be no sanction/empowerment from Krsna for the concocted service. One should follow the principles of Vedic scriptures which direct one to receive his particular devotional service from a bona-fide spiritual master. And if one FOLLOWS the instructions of the spiritual master one is acting transcendentally. Arjuna was advised to fight and not just sit down and meditate. Lord Brahma was advised by his spiritual master, Lord Krsna, to create the universe:
"It is said that a single pure devotee of the Lord can deliver all the fallen souls of the world . Thus one who is actually in the confidence of a pure devotee like Narada or Sukadeva Gosvami and thus is empowered by one's spiritual master, as Naarada was by Brahmaajii, can not only deliver himself from the clutches of maya, or illusion, but can deliver the whole world by his pure and empowered devotional strength ." (Bhag. 2.8.5)
Imitation of a transcendental process may be okay for beginners but 100% surrender to Krsna means surrender to Krsna's instructions as received through the bona-fide spiritual master. On the material plane, one has to act according to the dictation of the materialistic mind and on the transcendental plane one acts according to the instructions of Krsna as received through the medium of the bona-fide spiritual master:
"Another bona fide process is to abide strictly by the orders of the spiritual master and engage in the Lord's service. Then the mind will be automatically controlled . S'rii Caitanya Mahaaprabhu has instructed S'riila Ruupa Gosvaamii: Brahmaanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva /guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija. When one receives the seed of devotional service by the mercy of the guru and Kr.s.n.a, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one's real life begins . If one abides by the orders of the spiritual master, by the grace of Kr.s.n.a he is freed from service to the mind ." (Bhag. 5.11.17)
"This Kr.s.n.a consciousness movement directly receives instructions from the Supreme personality of Godhead via persons who are strictly following His instructions . Although a follower may not be a liberated person, if he follows the supreme, liberated Personality of Godhead, his actions are naturally liberated from the contamination of the material nature. Lord Caitanya therefore says: "By My order you may become a spiritual master ." One can immediately become a spiritual master by having full faith in the transcendental words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by following His instructions . Materialistic men are not interested in taking directions from a liberated person, but they are very much interested in their own concocted ideas, which make them repeatedly fail in their attempts . Because the entire world is now following the imperfect directions of conditioned souls, humanity is completely bewildered ." (Bhag. 4.18.5)
Even the holy name of Lord Krsna-- Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare-- which is recommended for everyone in the age of Kali becomes offenseless when chanted under the guidance of the pure devotee:
"To chant the holy name under the direction of a pure devotee is offenseless chanting." (Bhag. 1.18.19)
"As for acceptance of the spiritual master, that is essential, because without the instruction of a bona fide spiritual master, one cannot progress in the spiritual science. One should approach the spiritual master with all humility and offer him all services so that he will be pleased to bestow his blessings upon the disciple. Because a bona fide spiritual master is a representative of Kr.s.n.a, if he bestows any blessings upon his disciple, that will make the disciple immediately advanced without the disciple's following the regulative principles . Or, the regulative principles will be easier for one who has served the spiritual master without reservation ." (Bg. 13.8-12)
2. VEDIC ASTRONOMY: SUN-MOON DISTANCES
The Srimad-Bhagavatam is all-perfect so one should not try to pick and choose and accept only that which tallies with one's imperfect mind and reject other portions. One should accept the entire thing; this is what it means to accept the authority of sastra:
"No one has to discover the nature of the Lord. It is already spoken by the Lord Himself in the Bhagavad-gita especially and in all other Vedic literatures generally. We have simply to accept them IN TOTO and abide by the orders of the Lord." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.36)
We already proved in the November 1999 newsletter that there are no mistakes in the devotional literatures such as the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The lack of speculative material standards are made up by the devotion of the writer and reader. And without devotion, one cannot understand this literature even if it was perfectly composed from the material point of view:
"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)
Sometimes we find some readers doubting certain statements in the Srimad-Bhagavatam on the basis of their own partial empirical observations or blind a priori beliefs. One such myth is the claim by modern science of having taken a spaceship to the moon. Either one accepts the authority of the modern scientists or the authority of sastra:
"There are different lokas or higher planets scattered all over the sky, both material and spiritual. A person can reach them by dint of his work in the present life, as stated in Bhagavad-gita (9.25). No forceful entrace is allowed there. THE TINY MATERIAL SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS WHO HAVE DISCOVERED VEHICLES TO TRAVEL OVER A FEW THOUSAND MILES IN OUTER SPACE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ENTRANCE. That is not the way to reach the better planets." (Bhag. 1.12.5)
So no one can reach the moon in a mechanical spacecraft like that of the material scientists:
"Indra, King of the higher planetary system, has the power to push down any conditioned soul attempting to go from the lower to the higher planets without proper qualifications. The modern attempt to go to the moon is also an attempt by inferior men to go to Svargaloka by artificial, mechanical means. This attempt cannot be successful... To go to the higher planetary system, one needs sufficient good qualities. A sinful person situated in the mode of ignorance and addicted to drinking, meat-eating and illicit sex will never enter the higher planets by mechanical means." (Bhag. 8.11.5)
"The moon is considered one of the planets of the heavenly kingdom. One can be promoted to this planet by executing different sacrifices recommended in the Vedic literature, such as pious activities in worshiping the demigods and forefathers with rigidity and vows. But one cannot remain there for a very long time. Life on the moon is said to last ten thousand years according to the calculation of the demigods. The demigods' time is calculated in such a way that one day (twelve hours) is equal to six months on this planet. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO REACH THE MOON BY ANY MATERIAL VEHICLE LIKE A SPUTNIK, but persons who are attracted by material enjoyment can go to the moon by pious activities. In spite of being promoted to the moon, however, one has to come back to this earth again when the merits of his works in sacrifice are finished." (Bhag. 3.32.3)
It should be understood from the above Vedic evidence that no matter how fast one flies or for how long in a sputnik, one will never reach the moon. That is Krsna's arrangement. No one can override Krsna's plan. However, this should not be confused with the distances of the sun and the moon as mentioned in the Fifth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Fifth Canto states that we are within the region of Jambudvipa and the sun is about 15,750,000 yojanas or 125 million miles away whereas the moon is 300,000 yojanas (2.4 million miles) above the earth (this 300,000 yojanas figure indicates the region of the moon and not an exact radial distance). So the sun is farther away from Jambudvipa than the moon as far as distance goes.
However, the sun is more approachable whereas the moon is not. This is because the moon is in Svarloka which is a heavenly area where only people qualified can enter. So although radially the moon is closer, as far as the planar distance goes the moon is higher up than the sun. The universe is divided into 14 planes from the highest being Brahmaloka down to Patalaloka. Within each plane are different planets and stars. We are in Bhurloka which is the 7th plane, above us is the 6th plane Bhuvarloka and the 5th plane is Svarloka. The moon is in Svarloka. (For a complete list of planes and distances, see September 1999 newsletter.) The sun is said to be located between Bhuvarloka and Bhurloka. The inter-planar distance determines whether you are in heaven, lower planetary systems, or the earthly planetary system. Modern astronomy uses radial distances not planar distances as used by the Bhagavatam.
Some people say that Srila Prabhupada recognized a mistake pointed out by someone regarding some astronomical matters while he wrote the purport to Bhagavatam 8.10.38 and although he asked for it to be removed, it was never removed. However, there was never any mistake in this purport, for a liberated soul never makes mistakes as we proved in the November 1999 newsletter. Srila Prabhupada tried to present the message of Krsna within the standards of the material world; however, the perfection is the message of Krsna and the devotion of presenting it and not the meeting of the mundane standards. So once the purport is offered to Krsna with love and devotion (published), it loses any contradictory qualities:
"Therefore the sounds of benedictions uttered by the learned brahmanas here and there appear to be contradictory in relation with the Absolute Person, but when they are APPLIED to the Absolute Person they lose all contradiction and become transcendental." (Bhag. 1.10.19)
Here is the entire text from 8.10.38:
Because of the impact on the ground of the legs of the demons and demigods and the wheels of the chariots, particles of dust flew violently into the sky and made a dust cloud that covered all directions of outer space, as far as the sun. But when the particles of dust were followed by drops of blood being sprinkled all over space, the dust cloud could no longer float in the sky.
The cloud of dust covered the entire horizon, but when drops of blood sprayed up as far as the sun, the dust cloud could no longer float in the sky. A point to be observed here is that although the blood is stated to have reached the sun, it is not said to have reached the moon. Apparently, therefore, as stated elsewhere in Srimad-Bhagavatam, the sun, not the moon, is the planet nearest the earth. We have already discussed this point in many places. The sun is first, then the moon, then Mars, Jupiter and so on. The sun is supposed to be 93,000,000 miles above the surface of the earth, and from the Srimad-Bhagavatam we understand that the moon is 1,600,000 miles above the sun. Therefore the distance between the earth and the moon would be about 95,000,000 miles. So if a space capsule were traveling at the speed of 18,000 miles per hour, how could it reach the moon in four days? At that speed, going to the moon would take at least seven months. That a space capsule on a moon excursion has reached the moon in four days is therefore impossible." (Bhag. 8.10.38)
The sun is the nearest as far as flying to it via a sputnik is concerned because as the references we gave above show, the moon cannot be reached AT ALL by any mechanical spacecraft no matter how fast you fly or for how long. Here Srila Prabhupada is trying to point out some fallacy with the claim that there has been an excursion to the moon because according to Vedic literature, it's impossible with a mechanical spacecraft. There are many references. There's a better chance that the sun can be reached with a mechanical spacecraft as pointed out in this verse. An editor pointed out some error in the above to Srila Prabhupada, so Srila Prabhupada wanted to remove the purport; however, the error was not moon-sun distances since they are mentioned in so many places in the Bhagavatam. Modern scientists may have a hard time accepting the 1.6 million mile figure above since it is from the Bhagavatam and not from their speculative results. But as we mentioned in our newsletter for November 1999, the pure devotee may not be up to date on the mundane standards of the material world, but he is 100% sure of the message of Krsna and he's trying to express that message within the material standards:
"Our presenting this matter in adequate language, especially a foreign language, will certainly fail, and there will be so many literary discrepancies despite our honest attempt to present it in the proper way. But we are sure that with all our faults in this connection the seriousness of the subject matter will be taken into consideration, and the leaders of society will still accept this due to its being an honest attempt to glorify the Almighty God. When there is fire in a house, the inmates of the house go out to get help from the neighbors who may be foreigners, and yet without knowing the language the victims of the fire express themselves, and the neighbors understand the need, even though not expressed in the same language. The same spirit of cooperation is needed to broadcast this transcendental message of the Srimad-Bhagavatam throughout the polluted atmosphere of the world. After all, it is a technical science of spiritual values, and thus we are concerned with the techniques and not with the language. If the techniques of this great literature are understood by the people of the world, there will be success." (Bhag. 1.5.11)
As we pointed out in previous newsletters, Krsna does reveal Himself to His devotees and Bhagavatam is nondifferent from Him. The perfection of a pure devotee is further clarified by Bhagavatam:
"By knowing the science of Krsna, one can become the MOST PERFECT MAN in the world, and unless one has knowledge in this science, all qualifications and doctorate diplomas acquired by academic education are spoiled and useless." (Bhag. 1.12.4)
3. FEEDBACK: MISCELLANEOUS
>I am asking you this question for the sake of my soul . Are you liberated
>and if not is there someone who you know who is that I may take shelter of
>with full confidence?
One should only take shelter of Krsna with full confidence. A liberated soul is one who is always acting for the pleasure of Lord Krsna. By taking shelter of a liberated soul, you are actually taking shelter of the devotional service which he is able to give you as received from Lord Krsna. This devotional service is the ultimate shelter for the living entity including the liberated soul. If one gives up the devotional service, he is no longer liberated.
>I am specifically referring to the section where you enumerate the reasons why people do not
>take up to devotional service. If we were to accept your %100 failure rate analysis for
>people who get educated and make money, you would have to include Srila Prabhupada and
>Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura. Both of them were educated and both made money to support
We never said, you can't have families or get a job. Some of us have too! We were talking about not taking up devotional service and using the family and job as an excuse. Anyone can take up devotional service in any position of life. You shouldn't judge Srila Prabhupada and Bhaktivinod Thakura to mundane standards. You have no idea what they were thinking of or what their consciousness was while executing their duties.
yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam
Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform-- do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.
Thus, it is the duty of everyone to mold his life in such a way that he will not forget Krsna in any circumstance. Everyone has to work for maintenance of his body and soul together, and Krsna recommends herein that one should work for Him. Everyone has to eat something to live; therefore he should accept the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Krsna. Any civilized man has to perform some religious ritualistic ceremonies; therefore Krsna recommends, "Do it for Me," and this is called arcana. Everyone has a tendency to give something in charity; Krsna says, "Give it to Me," and this means that all surplus money accumulated should be utilized in furthering the Krsna consciousness movement. Nowadays people are very much inclined to the meditational process, which is not practical in this age, but if anyone practices meditating on Krsna twenty-four hours a day by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra round his beads, he is surely the greatest meditator and the greatest yogi as substantiated by the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita.
>At a certain stage in life it may be one's service to Krishna to make money to support his family or get
>educated in order to make money to support a family and his spiritual master's mission.
>The renunciants in Kali Yuga are so unfortunate that they often do not see the mistake of
>criticizing the very hand that could be feeding them (the mercantile section of society).
Sorry Prabhu, anyone can take up devotional service at any stage of life.
>...Lord Chaitanya conquered with love and Beauty. It was Krishna in
>a previous incarnation who demanded surrender as a starting point. I still
>do not know where you come up with the %100 failure rate for people who
>apply themselves more fully to the process of devotional service later on in
We stated in the article [October 1999] that people who do NOT engage in devotional service are 100% failures. This is TRUE. If they take it up later, then it's better late than never. However, for the time they were unengaged, that was totally a waste of time- 100% failure. We are not trying to be heavy-- it's all direct statements from Bhagavatam which maybe heavy for many people to take.
>There are many examples in our scriptures of great souls who retired
>from material affairs later in life and attained the supreme destination. In
>fact the whole Varnasrama system is based on that model. Oh by the way.
Sorry, prabhu; Varnasrama system engages a person in devotional service in all spheres of life- whether married or unmarried; whether working or not working; etc. Without devotional service, Varnasrama system is a waste of time and 100% failure.
4. 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. Also available on CD-R in Hindi version.
(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 game: This is a 51-hour audio-visual presentation of the Krsna book and a Vedic Astronomy game based on 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 information and secure ordering is available 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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All glories to Lord Sri Krsna and His transcendental potencies! All glories to the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the literary incarnation of Lord Sri Krsna!
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