Welcome to the KrishnaSoft's Electronic Newsletter.
This is the January 2000 issue entitled: "Service to Bhagavata Will Stop All Your Miseries!"
WEB: http://www.krishnasoft.com; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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) Service to Bhagavata Will Stop All Your Miseries!
(2) Vedic Astronomy: Sun-Moon Distances, Part II
(3) Feedback: Miscellaneous
(4) Editorial Policy and Product List
1. SERVICE TO BHAGAVATA WILL STOP ALL YOUR MISERIES!
[The following is the fourteenth 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.]
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki
"By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact." (Bhag. 1.2.18)
Here we find the solution to all problems of material existence. Just by rendering service to the book Bhagavata and the person Bhagavata, one can elevate one's consciousness so that all of one's material miseries are mitigated and loving service to Lord Krsna is re-established:
"Here is the remedy for eliminating all inauspicious things within the heart which are considered to be obstacles in the path of self-realization. The remedy is the association of Bhagavatas. There are two types of Bhagavatas, namely the book Bhagavata and the devotee Bhagavata. Both the Bhagavatas are competent remedies, and both of them or either of them can be good enough to eliminate the obstacles.... Bhagavata book and person are identical." (Bhag. 1.2.18)
In general, people have no taste to hear and glorify Lord Krsna due to the contaminated and flickering mind and therefore the message of the book Bhagavata should be received from the person Bhagavata in a mood of service to gain the full benefit:
"The servants of God come to propagate God consciousness, and intelligent people should cooperate with them in every respect. By serving the servant of God, one can please God more than by directly serving the Lord. The Lord is more pleased when He sees that His servants are properly respected because such servants risk everything for the service of the Lord and so are very dear to the Lord.... By serving the servants of the Lord, one gradually gets the quality of such servants, and thus one becomes qualified to hear the glories of God." (Bhag. 1.2.16)
"We have already discussed developing a taste for hearing and chanting the holy sound. It is done through the medium of service to the pure devotee of the Lord." (Bhag. 1.2.17)
This was also explained in the December 1999 article on "Devotional Service is Copyrighted by Lord Krsna!". The devotional service is received through the medium and mercy of the bona-fide spiritual master and once one is fixed in devotional service then rendering service to either book Bhagavata or person Bhagavata will yield full benefits of Krsna consciousness:
"So by pleasing the devotee Bhagavata one can receive the benefit of the book Bhagavata. Human reason fails to understand how by serving the devotee Bhagavata OR the book Bhagavata one gets gradual promotion on the path of devotion." (Bhag. 1.2.18)
Speaking or reading Bhagavatam to gain material fame, followers, wealth, etc. is NOT in the catagory of rendering service to the Bhagavatam. Also some people are on the stage of acquiring knowledge and read or hear with the desire to gain knowledge to serve their minds and intellect. This is the stage of jnana and not bhakti or rendering of service to the Bhagavatam. This stage can help to come to the stage of bhakti provided one eventually takes to bhakti after understanding the knowledge:
"As long as one is engaged in researching the solution of the problems of life, his knowledge is called jnana, or purified knowledge, but on realizing the actual solution of the problems of life, one becomes situated in the devotional service of the Lord." (Bhag. 1.15.27)
"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)
By the mercy of guru, one obtains the seed of devotional service. This process is called initiation. Once situated in devotional service, one can derive the full benefits of the Bhagavatam. Initially, the conditioned soul will not be rendering devotional service to the Bhagavatam in his reading since he will be trying to serve his own senses, mind, and intellect as his material conditioning forces him. Thus, the hearing process (aural reception) will be hampered. So although the Srimad-Bhagavatam is complete and perfect and therefore everything is there to take us back to home, back to Godhead, the conditioned souls disqualify themselves by their desire to lord it over material nature and interpret things according to the influence of material nature. Thus, the need of a person Bhagavata to place the conditioned souls back into devotional service. Obviously, the person Bhagavata must himself be fixed in devotional service in order to help another person engage in devotional service.
Once, Srila Prabhupada remarked "One who reads my books IS ALREADY INITIATED." That is, only a person engaged in devotional service (via the mercy of a guru) will actually render service to the Bhagavatam in his reading and derive the full benefits:
"Simply by receiving the glories of the Lord through purified transcendental ears, the devotees of the Lord are immediately freed from strong material desires and engagement in fruitive activities." (Bhag. 9.24.62)
"When the devotees aurally receive the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as enacted in Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, they immediately achieve a transcendental vision in which they are no longer interested in materialistic activities." (Bhag. 9.24.62)
2. VEDIC ASTRONOMY: SUN-MOON DISTANCES PART II
[The following is a more detailed description of last week's article dealing with sun-moon distances. The multimedia Krsna CDROM and Srimad-Bhagavatam CDROM published by Krishnasoft contain all details in multimedia format including a Vedic Planetarium simulation.]
In the December 1999 newsletter, we mentioned: "So the sun is farther away from Jambudvipa than the moon as far as distance goes." Here we will give sastric evidence for this statement so one does not think this is just a theory or speculation. We also stated that the moon is radially closer to Jambudvipa, but from the perspective of planar distances, it is higher up than the sun. The word "planar" is not some new thing either; it refers to a region of space and it is confirmed in the Fifth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam as we will show in this article.
First, let's look at the statement about the sun being closer than the moon:
"Apparently, therefore, as stated elsewhere in Srimad-Bhagavatam, the sun, not the moon, is the planet nearest the earth... and from the Srimad-Bhagavatam we understand that the moon is 1,600,000 miles above the sun." (Bhag. 8.10.38)
Many more references can also be found to support this statement. However, there are also references in the Fifth Canto of how the sun planet is further away from Jambudvipa than the moon. First let's prove the distance to the sun more precisely:
(a) Verses 5.20.1-30 describe the 7 islands and oceans with their distances. If you add the distance of the first 6 islands and oceans, you get: 50,000 + 100,000 + 200,000 + 200,000 + 400,000 + 400,000 + 800,000 + 800,000 + 1,600,00 + 1,600,00 + 3,200,00 + 3,200,00 = 12,550,000 yojanas. Now verses 5.20.29-30 tell us that the sun is in the middle of this 7th island which is 6,400,000 yojanas wide:
"Outside the ocean of yogurt is another island, known as Puskaradvipa, which is 6,400,000 yojanas [51,200,000 miles] wide, twice as wide as the ocean of yogurt... In the middle of that island is a great mountain named Manasottara, which forms the boundary between the inner side and the outer side of the island. Its breadth and height are 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles]. On that mountain, in the four directions, are the residential quarters of demigods such as Indra. In the chariot of the sun-god, the sun travels on the top of the mountain in an orbit called the Samvatsara, encircling Mount Meru. The sun's path on the northern side is called Uttarayana, and its path on the southern side is called Daksinayana. One side represents a day for the demigods, and the other represents their night." (5.20.29-30)
Thus the sun is about 15 million yojanas away from the center of Jambudvipa.
(b) Another way to confirm this distance is via 5.21.7 or 5.21.19 which mention the circumference of the orbit as 95,100,000 yojanas:
"Sukadeva Gosvami continued; My dear King, as stated before, the learned say that the sun travels over all sides of Manasottara Mountain in a circle whose length is 95,100,000 yojanas [760,800,000 miles]..." (Bhag. 5.21.7)
"My dear King, in his orbit through Bhu-mandala, the sun-god traverses a distance of 95,100,000 yojanas [760,800,000 miles] at the speed of 2,000 yojanas and two krosas [16,004 miles] in a moment." (Bhag. 5.21.19)
If we divide the 95,100,000 by 2*pi (6.28), we get about 15 million yojanas as the distance to the sun from Jambudvipa.
(c) Another way to confirm this is distance is via 5.21.10 which gives the 1/4 of the circumference so divide by 1.57 (pi/2) and you get about 15 million yojanas:
"When the sun travels from Devadhani, the residence of Indra, to Samyamani, the residence of Yamaraja, it travels 23,775,000 yojanas [190,200,000 miles] in fifteen ghatikas [six hours]." (Bhag. 5.21.10)
(d) Another way to confirm this is via 5.21.14 which talks about the 1/4 axle length; multiply by 4 and you get 15,750,000 yojanas. Note that this and along with 5.21.13 also defines the position of Dhruvaloka and Mount Meru (the second axle around which the sun revolves):
"The chariot of the sun-god has only one wheel, which is known as Samvatsara. The twelve months are calculated to be its twelve spokes, the six seasons are the sections of its rim, and the three catur-masya periods are its three-sectioned hub. One side of the axle carrying the wheel rests upon the summit of Mount Sumeru, and the other rests upon Manasottara Mountain. Affixed to the outer end of the axle, the wheel continuously rotates on Manasottara Mountain like the wheel of an oil-pressing machine. As in an oil-pressing machine, this first axle is attached to a second axle, which is one-fourth as long [3,937,500 yojanas, or 31,500,000 miles]. The upper end of this second axle is attached to Dhruvaloka by a rope of wind." (Bhag. 5.21.13-14)
Thus, it should be clear that the distance to the sun is 15 million+ yojanas. The distance to the moon can be taken from Bhagavatam 5.22.11 which makes it clear that the stars are 4,000,000 miles above the earth or 500,000 yojanas. Since the stars are 200,000 yojanas above the moon, that means the moon is 300,000 yojanas above the earth. This is confirmed by chart#3 in the old Fifth Canto. Note however, that the planets mentioned in 5.22.x and 5.23.x revolve around Dhruvaloka and the regional distance is given; for example in 5.23.x intro it says that 1,300,000 yojanas above the 7 stars is Dhruvaloka. Then it says, "In the planetary system of Dhruvaloka are the planets of the fire-god, Indra, Prajapati,..." Thus, the term "planar distance" comes in. The distance is indicating the region where all these planets are not just the distance to the single planet Dhruvaloka. This is also confirmed by chart #3 itself in the old Fifth Canto: "For simplicity, the planets are represented in a straight line, one above another, although the Bhagavatam describes that the sun, the moon and the other planets are actually revolving around the polestar in their own orbits and at various speeds." Thus, it should be clear that the distances can refer to an entire planetary system or region or orbit with the prominent planet being mentioned.
Sukadeva Goswami himself confirms this to Pariksit Maharaja:
"No one in the material world is perfect, and an imperfect person could not describe this material universe accurately, even after continued speculation. O King, I shall nevertheless try to explain to you the PRINCIPLE REGIONS, such as bhu-golaka [Bhuloka], with their names, forms, measurements and various symptoms." (Bhag. 5.16.4)
Therefore, it is correct to say the sun is closer to the earth than the moon when speaking about regions since the sun is only 100,000 yojanas above the earth while the moon is 300,000 yojanas above the earth. However, since the exact orbit and region of the sun is also described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, we can present a more detailed picture using this information.
Some people may accept only one side that the moon is closer to the earth and not the sun while others accept that the sun is closer to the earth and not the moon. However, everything in the Srimad-Bhagavatam is true simultaneously and we have to accept it all:
"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)
3. FEEDBACK: MISCELLANEOUS
[Here is some of the feedback since the last issue:]
>The question is how to tell who's imitating, and who's self-realized. But
>imitation is not bad, necessarily. Misleadng people is however.
Imitation means surrender is not yet present. The devotional service is based on the mind's idea. However, the mind is flickering so it would be difficult to stick to it; however, by the mercy of a devotee, one can surrender to the devotional service easily and give up service to the mind.
>> On the material plane, one has to act according to the dictation of the
>> materialistic mind...
>What about the "spiritualistic mind?"
The mind becomes spiritualized when it is used/dovetailed in following the instructions of Krsna specifically meant for you.
>> "To chant the holy name under the direction of a pure devotee is offenseless
>> chanting." (Bhag. 1.18.19)
>Nectar quotes! But that "direction" is given by Srila Prabhupada throughout his
>books, and he is certainly a pure devotee.
But how will someone encompass the instructions who is a materialist? His mind will prevent him from accepting everything due to the mind's flickering nature.
>> "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)
>No need to speculate. Just take shelter of Prabhupada's books.
Srila Prabhupada's books and devotional service-- both are needed. You can't take complete shelter of Srila Prabhupada's books without devotional service and after you do take shelter of Srila Prabhupada's books you will find out they tell that one must first take shelter of devotional service.
>In fact, that friend
> was so impressed that he wanted to duplicate the CD using his
> CD writer and pay me whatever i said the cost was! But i said since
> it's copyrighted, let's not do that and i asked him to wait for a
> week or so.
I doubt such a friend is TRULY interested in the Bhagavatam. Bhagavatam is meant for pure devotees and those aspiring to be pure devotees. A person aspiring to be a pure devotee would never deride another devotee's preaching work by making illegal copies considering the fact that he has the money to pay for it. It's spiritually copy-protected. Those who deride the devotees (preachers) can not benefit much from the Bhagavatam...nor do they have the purity and the force to preach it.
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.
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 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) 1998-2000 Krishna Software Inc.
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