Philosophical Articles

When the Transcendental Sound Makes His Appearance

In courting the Love of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya we must not busily equip ourselves with troublesome acquisitions of imperfect manifestations. Rather we must simply undergo an operation to remove our cataract via the beneficial spike of all His good teachings.

Sakhya or Madhurya

Despite the objective superiority of gopi-bhava, the venerable Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami makes it clear the best rasa is the one that is subjectively best for each devotee.

Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupad says…

Preaching which is not backed up with practice should be considered to be nothing more than an aspect of karma.

Sweetest Description of Janmastami

Once upon a time, Bhumi, the predominating deity of the earth, felt overburdened by different demons posing as members of the royal order.

Self Interest or Self Improvement

In India, there is a general notion that even though one may perform sinful actions knowingly or unknowingly during youth, one can attain liberation or Moksha later by dedicating oneself to works of charity, altruism, philanthropy and other such acts of mundane piety.

Although people always think that such activities are religious, in reality those constitute a refined approach to what is known as x84subtle body sense gratification‟. These services are offered by many rich men just to gain popularity, reputation, honour and enhance the prestige of one‟s own family or community in the society. From the spiritual perspective, this situation is identified as the unbridled mind acting in various dangerous ways to keep it entangled in the mundane world of dualities. This is because any action executed in the bodily conception of life cannot be selfless, as such actions are performed due to ignorance. The desire to enjoy the world is so strong that the mind wanders un-controllably and as the hankering increases everyday, a living being becomes more and more involved in the confusing network of unlimited material activities. Just like a caterpillar gets entangled in its self-woven cocoon, a man becomes shackled by his self-made karma.

Sometimes, when a close relative or friend dies, many people are certainly able to perceive the futility of material efforts, realizing the transitory nature of the results obtained. But such sporadic sense of detachment does not last long which is aptly known as x84smashana vairagya‟. Without coming to the point of Krishna consciousness, one‟s renunciation cannot be perfect. Dry abnegation does not help because although outwardly one may renounce, the propensity to enjoy the five senses still remains. What is important is internal cleansing, not external rejection. Hence, unless one develops an aptitude to render loving service to God Vasudeva, x84pritir na yavad mayi Vasudeve‟ he cannot be said to be truly liberated x84na muchyate dehayogena tavad‟.

Owing to abominable addiction to grafication of physical senses since innumerable lifetimes in the past, the living entity, when it receives a human form, by nature, becomes irresistibly attracted to worldly objects and life. Thus, sense-satisfaction becomes its main business. Propelled by lusty desires, it is compelled to strive very hard throughout life to ensure continuous arrangement of luxurious sense objects to enable it to whet its appetite. In this process, it suffers from various miseries. Lord Rishabhhadeva calls it as x84pramattah‟ x96 mad. Why? Because it does not know its real x84svartha‟ or self-interest is to try for liberation. On account of its intelligence being obscured x84gata smritih‟, it is not able to understand that efforts to gratify the senses are useless x84ayatha guneham‟.

Right from the time of the creation of this universe, the attraction between a man and a woman has persisted. According to the Vedic culture, this connection becomes regularized through sanction of marriage. This union is called x84hridaya granthix92, an imaginary knot in the heart. This male-female relationship is the basis of conditioning that deludes the living beings and gives rise to the illusory identities of x84I‟ and x84My‟.

Thus a householder becomes attached to his wife, children, property, and wealth. He does not realize that material life means walking from one catastrophe to another calamity till the end of his life x96 interspersed with a few meaningless so-called pleasures that occasionally satisfy his lusty bodily senses. Being unaware of the transient nature of his material possessions and physical relationships, the householder starts working very hard despite suffering from various disturbances and inconveniences. Thus a fruitive worker or x84karmi‟ is simply wasting his time to improve his standard of material life. This is just like the stupidity of one who has been awarded life imprisonment and starts petitioning the jail authorities to provide amenities like an air-conditioner, a computer and a television. People who are addicted to fleeting and momentary material pleasures certainly lose the power to understand their higher spiritual existence. They are blind, just like Dhristarastra of the Mahabharat. Dhristarastra was not only externally blind but he had also lost his internal vision despite a saintly person, Vidura‟s periodic admonitions and intermittent advice.

Attaining the so-called x84status‟ in the material world like a director of a corporation, the chairman of a sports club, a Mayor or a Member of Parliament or an acclaimed social welfare like President of a Lion‟s club, are pursuits by foolish individuals who imagine themselves to be very important or indispensable. They become increasingly engulfed in mundane activities. They are thus entangled just like a honeybee tragically trapped due to overstay in a lotus flower at sunset.

Forgetting their permanent identity, these ignorant people foolishly become active for impermanent occupations. They do not know that to disengage completely from material dealings is the ultimate goal of human life. These people are further misguided by a class of two-faced men who misunderstand the transcendental purpose of the Vedas and erroneously claim that material fruitive results are the ultimate goals of the Vedas.

Just like innocent children clamoring for repeated rides on a giant wheel in an amusement park, a person is seated on a mechanical wheel of Maya or illusion. After rotating in innumerable lifetimes and sitting on a mechanical wheel of Maya, he experiences imaginary physical enjoyments through various material entrapments. One gains sanity only when he/she sincerely endeavors to dismount from the mechanical wheel of Maya. When the intelligence of living beings becomes perverted, they become active in sense enjoyment and when purified, they become attracted to God.

Lord Rishabhadeva says that when the mind and the imaginary knot in the heart is slackened, one becomes liberated, freeing oneself from the original cause. In other words, the mid is the culprit. Mind is the Maya.

Human life is a combination of matter and spirit, a physical body and a soul. The whole direction of Vedic knowledge is aimed at the liberation of the spirit soul, atma, from the material contamination of Maya. As one takes full shelter in God Krishnax92s lotus feet, one becomes gradually enlightened with regard to onex92s true identity as a spirit soul. One becomes a servant of God when temptations for material enjoyment fail to influence him anymore. Thus the surrendered soul gains consummate transcendental knowledge and is able to perform spontaneous, loving devotional service to Lord Krishna.

Loitering in the corridors of Maya should be completely given up to enter Vaikuntha, the gorgeous palatial spiritual mansion of Sriman Narayana or the sublime transcendental realm Goloka Vrindavana of Sri Govinda.

The Brahmachari And The Chaste Wife

The following story, adapted from the thirteenth chapter of the Nrsimha Purana, illustrates the negative effects of pride and the power of a chaste...

The Glories of Lighting Another’s Lamp During Karttika

Hari-bhakti-vilasa Sixteenth Vilasa, Volume One by Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami Text 126 bodhanat para-dipasya vaishnavanam ca sevanat karttike phalam apnoti rajasuyasvamedhayoh "By serving the Vaishnavas and lighting the lamps they offer during...

Reconciling Seemingly Outrageous Figures

Some of the numbers given in Vedic literatures seem too large to be true. For example, the forty-first verse of chapter ninety of the tenth canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam states: [In Dwarka] the Yadu family [had so many children] that they employed 38,800,000 teachers to educate them.

From Selfishness to Selfless Love of God in Bhagavad-gita’s First Verse

by Swami B. A. Ashram Most readers of Bhagavad-gita may be acquainted with the historic setting of the discourse. As the result of a life-long...

Suddha Bhakti is Inherent in every Jiva

by Srila B.B. Tirtha Goswami Maharaja Sree Sree Guru Gauranga Jayatah! The Supreme Lord is residing in the hearts of every living being and He has...