Tag Archives: Religion

We Want to Hear About All-Attractive Krishna!

SB 1.18.11

The sages said:

Sūta, may your life be smooth, gracious, unending and brilliantly famous! Your glorification of Krishna is just like the nectar of immortality for us mortals.

12

Smoke permeated us, body and mind, and confused our duties. But you are giving us the delicious honey made from the nectar of the lotus flower of Govinda’s feet.

13

What to speak of any mortal desire, not even paradise or enlightenment can compare to a moment’s intimacy with those who are intimate with the All-Attractive.

14

How could anyone who truly understands pleasure ever get enough of discussing he who is the singular haven of the greatest among the great souls? Even the masters of yoga, headed by Śiva and lotus-born Brahmā, cannot comprehend the endless qualities of he who is beyond quality.

15

You are among the greatest of the great souls whose singular haven is the foremost All-Attractive. You possess the knowledge to explain the completely pure and exalted activities of Hari. We are very eager to hear this!

16

Tell us the knowledge spoken by Vyāsa’s son, by which the great devotee Parīkṣit fixed his intellect upon liberation and was carried to the soles of the feet that are adored by the king of birds, Garuḍa.

17

Tell us every meaning of those utterly purifying words, wondrously establishing divine union, brimming with the activities of the Infinite, which magnify the bliss of devotees like Parīkṣit.

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Krishna’s Lust & Divine Ignorance

1.11.34

So, without fighting he inspired the kings (who were creatures that burdened the earth by hording powerful armies) to hate and kill each other, just like fire in the bamboo.

Kṛṣṇa is transcendental. What does that word mean? Trans- means across, -scend means movement, so the word means “a thing which moves across.” Specifically it indicates a thing which operates within a certain boundary, without being bound to or originated by anything within that boundary. When Krishna “incarnates” he operates within a field that ordinary material senses and minds can perceive and comprehend. Although moving within these boundaries, he is not bound within them and does not originate within them.

The wind is transcendental to a forest. It moves through the forest. It can be perceived within the forest. It causes things to happen within the forest, but it is not a product of the forest. In a bamboo forest, many of the reeds get brown and dry. When the winds come, friction between these reeds causes a huge fire. The green reeds survive because the fire burns very quickly. The brown reeds turn to ash and fertilize the ground.

What caused the fire, The wind?

In a sense, yes, but the wind is transcendent to the forest.

Friction?

Perhaps, but friction is dependent on the wind and the density of the dry reeds.

The real cause of the fire is the brownness of the bamboo itself. Similarly the real cause of all the kings dying in the Mahābhārata war is their own foulness. Our own deaths and misfortunes are also not caused by random fate. Fate is merely the friction enabled by the abundance of brown reeds in our mentality. As for God, his part in our suffering or fortune is extremely remote. He is merely the wind that blows impartially everywhere. The real cause of our misfortunes is not being “green bamboo,” not being rooted into the soul of divinity. Misusing our freewill to uproot ourselves from our true nature, we become dry and brown – and it is then only a matter of time before we are burnt.

The theme that Sūta will continue to present is that Kṛṣṇa is transcendental to all the effects caused within human perception.

35

He appears in the human world by his own magic. He enjoys amidst a host of jewel-like women, who are the All-Attractive energy.

Krishna is transcendental to the human world. How then does he fit inside it?

By his own all-powerful magic (sva-māyā).

What does he do in the human world?

He enjoys!

How?

He becomes the cynosure of a necklace made of jewel-like females (strī-ratna-kūṭastha).

Ordinary sexuality!?

Yes and no. Ordinary sexuality dimly reflects the external appearance of this necklace; but in truth these women are the direct All-Attractive Energies (bhagavān-prākṛti), the divine goddesses, eternal manifestations of the fullness of the Absolute All-Attractive Being.

36

Their limitlessly exciting and pure emotions expressed through lovely smiles and flirtatious glances overpower cupid himself, who gives up his bow. But the schemes of these utmost intoxicating women never could overpower his senses.

A human male reflexively drools and stupefies over a highly attractive woman out of an involuntary need to fulfill an inner hunger. The All-Attractive Male does not at any time relate to women in this manner, although his legendary pastimes with women crush any playboy or “Don Juan” into shameful dust. The All-Attractive male is exactly opposite to the material imitation of manhood. The deeds of the All-Attractive result from an overflowing of his inner self-satisfaction, a desire to amplify his pure and natural bliss by sharing it in infinite ways with infinite other beings.

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So many ordinary people think that the unattached is attached. Ordinary people are tied up in ignorance and stupidity, and they think everyone else must be just like them.

38

This is the mastery of the master: Although situated within his energy, he does not merge himself with it but remains always fixed within his true self. This is also true of the wise who take shelter of him.

Godhead can most certainly operate in names and forms and deeds which the human mind can perceive and comprehend, but this does not mean that in doing so he becomes limited to those names, forms, and deeds! There is so much chatter about Krishna from the pens, keyboards and mouths of trolls. Such is not kirtan. We have confidence that we can come to understand and realize the All-Attractive by hearing from Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, not from loudmouths who cannot grasp the simple algebras of transcendence.

39

They think he is weak and foolish, secretly led around by women. Their opinion about The Husband is of no importance! He is the Supreme Master!

This verse has another implication: “Kṛṣṇa’s wives, although knowing that their husband is the supreme controller (bhartuḥ īśvaram matayaḥ yathā), still treat him as if he is a weak, simple, submissive man (abalāḥ mūḍhāḥ strainam ca) as they lead him around in private affairs (anuvratam rahaḥ).

In a philosophy class I once took in college I encountered some sort of Zen saying, “In the beginning a teapot is a teapot. In the middle a teapot is not a teapot. In the end a teapot is a teapot.” It is appropriate here. Fools do not treat Kṛṣṇa as Godhead; the enlightened do; but the most enlightened again do not.

Fools do not treat Kṛṣṇa as Godhead because they are bewildered by ignorance and are so egotistical that they think everyone, including Kṛṣṇa, must be fundamentally just like them. The enlightened are not burdened by this ignorance, so they treat Kṛṣṇa as Godhead. But the fully enlightened become intoxicated by the universal desire to amplify the infinite all-expansive bliss of Kṛṣṇa, and thus submerge themselves into roles within the Divine Play. The Queens of Dvārakā take the roles of Kṛṣṇa’s wives.

Here is another way to understand it. The all-powerful awe-inspiring stature of Godhead is like a huge mountain. Blind men cannot see it. The sighted can. But when there is a flood of divine bliss, the mountain submerges. The greater the divine love, the higher the flood. In the topmost divine lovers the mountain is entirely submerged. The mountain, however, never ceases to exist.


The Futility of Morality and Philosophy

[1.5.12]

Without heartfelt affection for the Infallible there is no beauty even in knowledge that liberates one from all karma. What to speak of laborious duties, be they selfishly intended or not, if they are not done in offering to The Master.

Nārada continues to explain Vyāsa’s failure, revealing why he felt depressed and incomplete even after creating the entire culture of Vedic knowledge. The bulk of Vyāsa’s work focused on duties (karma). A higher but smaller portion focused on philosophy (jñāna). He relatively ignored the most essential subject: heartfelt devotion to the Infallible Master (“acyuta-bhāva”).

[13]

Therefore – O greatly blessed man of perfect vision, famous for your purity, truthfulness and dedication – to liberate the people from bondage you must first enter a trance of constant contemplation upon the deeds of the Supernatural Doer.

Since deeds and knowledge are not satisfying unless connected to heartfelt devotion for the All-Attractive, to remedy his depression and accomplish his goal Vyāsa must make humanity more clearly aware of the beautiful deeds of the All-Attractive. To accomplish this he must first have perfect vision of those deeds, and so must enter a meditative trance upon them.

[14]

Do not discuss anything without connecting it to this. The myriad names and forms of such things will make the heart unsteady like a boat troubled by a storm.

Nārada will explain this concept in a more practical manner:

[15]

The instructions you gave about moral duties are condemnable because they will be completely misappropriated by humanity’s powerful natural attachments. “We are following religion,” they will say – as they completely ignore your prohibitions.

This is a practical explanation of how a storm of problems arises from discussion of anything – even morality and philosophy – without direct connection to heartfelt devotion for the All-Attractive. Vyāsa gave so much guidance on how to be moral and dutiful, how to be “religious.” But the powerful natural inclination of a human being is to exploit whatever we can for our own purposes. Unless this natural inclination is replaced with a natural inclination of divine love, humanity will take any morality and philosophy and twist it to serve our own agendas. While slaughtering men, women and children, and destroying centuries of accumulated study and knowledge we will hold aloft religious symbols and claim that our despicable deeds – great and small – are religious and just, completely ignoring all the parts of our morality and religion that state to the contrary.

Thus promotion of religion is a mistake, and Vyāsa himself made that mistake. To benefit humanity, direct heartfelt devotion for the All-Attractive that must be promoted first and foremost. Morality and philosophy must attend this devotion as loving servants. To reverse this ratio and put morality and philosophy before divine devotion is a catastrophic error – and Vyāsa made this error in his efforts prior to Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.


Divine Love – The Most Important Thing in the World

[1.2.1] Suta was completely satisfied by their good questions. He offered them words of thanks and began the attempt to answer. He began by praising Sukadeva, his guru, whose teachings he decided would fully answer the questions of the sages.

[2]“He instantly ran off to wander as a saint, without even bothering with the formalities of life. Vyāsa cried out after him in the pain of separation, ‘my son!’ The only reply was the trees echoing, ‘my son!’ as if feeling the same pain. To him, who enters the hearts of all living things, I offer my deep respect.

[3] “Without formal education, he understood the unified essence of all the branches of knowledge. Compassionately wanting to eradicate the deep darkness of humanity, his words created the transcendental torchlight of the most confidential spiritual book (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam). To him, Vyāsa’s son and the guru of sages, I offer my deep respect.

[4] “Respecting the Supreme Godhead Nārāyaṇa and the sages, topmost humans, who know Nārāyaṇa; respecting the Goddess of Learning, Sarasvatī, and the great deliverer of knowledge, Vyāsa; thereafter all that we speak with their blessings will be victorious.”

Now, Suta turned his attention directly to the sages and their questions.

[5] “You sages have asked me excellent questions, about topics truly beneficial to the world. To ask meaningful questions about Krishna is the way to fully delight one’s soul!”

Suta begins to answer their questions. They asked him to tell them the essence of all scriptures regarding what is the most beneficial thing for humanity. He says:

[6] “The most important and beneficial thing for a human being,” he said, “is certainly devotion to the Supreme Entity, without ulterior motive and without satiation. This completely delights the soul.”

Among the multitude of sages, many were dedicated to painstaking scientific and philosophical study (jñāna), many others to harsh nihilistic annihilation of material desires (vairāgya), others to the path of morally responsible duty (karma). Hearing that devotion to the Supreme was more important than any of their pursuits, naturally they raised their doubts. Suta now begins to address those doubts.

[7] “Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, is the object of devotional-yoga,” he explained. “Attaining him through devotion automatically and effortlessly produces all other fruits – like philosophical knowledge and detachment for materialism – as a mere side-effect. [8] As for duties and responsibilities,” he continued, “If performance of duty does not generate interest in hearing about Godhead, it is worth only its own sweat and tears, and nothing else!”

The idea Suta presents here is that duties and responsibilities are meant to purify the heart of selfishness. Why? Because selfishness is the antithesis of love. What is the real importance of love? Without it the human soul cannot become delighted and satisfied. What is the supreme satisfaction and delight that love can deliver? That would be known by one who loves to the Supreme Delightful Entity! How does one express and cultivate such love? By talking constantly about the beloved. Thus if duties and responsibilities do not make the heart more lovingly inclined towards people and their source, the Supreme, they are worthless.

Some may argue that there are other important benefits of religiosity, morality and responsibility. Suta addresses that argument now:

[9] “Religion and dutifulness is not meant for creating a paradise or going to enjoy heavenly delights. Nor is it truly meant for making our lives and societies more prosperous. The true purpose of religion is not any such permutation of sense gratification!”

But then, some will wonder, what is the point of prosperity and common pleasures? Our undeniable needs must be met, but such must not be the goal of our endeavors.

[10] “We should not dedicate ourselves merely to pleasing our senses,” Suta said. “Instead we should simply keep them satisfied, peaceful and healthy. This life is meant for discovery the life’s true essence, not for simply acquiring external things and pleasures!”

What is life’s true essence?

[11] “Those who know the essence of life say that it is an entity of pure and undivided awareness. It is understood in three stages: as brahman, all-pervading life-force; as paramātmā, the unifying soul within all things; and as bhagavān, the Supreme Lifeform.”

How does one come to understand such things for oneself?

[12] “A sincerely inquisitive and thoughtful person,” Suta explained, “who has good measure of learning and simplicity can see these truths of life within himself by practicing the yoga of Devotion (bhakti) under good guidance.”

Now Suta concludes:

[13] “So, if the typical religions of social and moral duties are to have any serious value at all, it is only in so far as they eventually lead one towards the only truly important thing: Devotion to the pleasure of Hari (the Supreme Entity). [14] Therefore, ignore what is frivolous in religion and concentrate exclusively on loving devotion for Godhead by constantly hearing about, speaking about, contemplating, and worshipping Hari, the protector of devotees.