Christchurch, New Zealand
23 November 2003
ISKCON Christchurch is a nice temple. The Deities (Sri-Sri Nitai-Gaurasundara) are nice, the devotees are nice, and the building that houses Their Lordships and Their servants is nice. But the weather is no longer so nice. It's getting cold and dreary.
I've been a bit ill since Wellington, where it was very cold. My disciple Madhu Pandit Prabhu, bless him, is providing me with natural medicine and fruit juices. So far my activities haven't been too disturbed by the illness; I've been giving morning and evening classes.
Yesterday HH Prahladananda Maharaja gave the Srimad-Bhagavatam class before he departed Christchurch. He mentioned how people worship famous human beings as God, and he gave the example of the pop star Michael Jackson. But now to the disappointment of his fans, Jackson is in trouble; a couple of days ago he was arrested. Apparently he is accused of child molestation. Apart from that, he is in trouble from the time factor, as you can see by going here:
Michael Jackson is God (not!).
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Bhagavad-Gita in Essence
(continued from yesterday)
The First Essence: Tri-sloki Gita
The Essence of Vedanta in Three Verses
Focus on the Purport of Bg 15.18
Now it is clear here that the living entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are individuals.
1. The theme of the eternal individuality of the Lord and the living entities is stressed throughout the whole of the Bhagavad-gita.
Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.
The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!
Bg 13.23, 28:
Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.
One who sees the Supersoul accompanying the individual soul in all bodies, and who understands that neither the soul nor the Supersoul within the destructible body is ever destroyed, actually sees.
The difference is that the living entities, either in the conditioned state or in the liberated state, cannot surpass in quantity the inconceivable potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental, original person, the unborn, the greatest. All the great sages such as Narada, Asita, Devala and Vyasa confirm this truth about You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me. O Krsna, I totally accept all that You have told me. Neither the demigods nor the demons, O Lord, can understand Your personality. Indeed, You alone know Yourself by your own internal potency, O Supreme Person, origin of all, Lord of all beings, God of gods, Lord of the universe!
Arjuna said: O master of the senses, the world becomes joyful upon hearing Your name, and thus everyone becomes attached to You. Although the perfected beings offer You their respectful homage, the demons are afraid, and they flee here and there. All this is rightly done.
The word loke signifies "in the paurusa agama (the smrti scriptures)." As confirmed in the Nirukti dictionary, lokyate vedartho 'nena: "The purpose of the Vedas is explained by the smrti scriptures."
1. The paurusa agama are scriptures such as the Vaisnava Puranas that directly describe the Purusa, the Supreme Person, as the Lord of Sacrifice. Srila Vyasadeva extracted the paurusa agama from the original Yajur Veda so that these scriptures could be specially chanted during sacrificial offerings. They are known as smrti ("that which is to be remembered") because they help the priests engaged in sacrifice remember the Lord to whom they make the offerings.
Vayu Purana 6.16-18 and 21-22:
Originally there was only one Veda: the Yajur Veda. Vyasa divided that single Veda into four, and he also divided the sacrificial duties, so the Vedic sacrifices were conducted by not one, but four, priests. Vyasa assigned the texts of the Yajur Veda to be recited by the priest known as adhvaryu. In the same way the hota priest recited the Rg Veda, the udgata priest recited the Sama Veda, and the brahma priest recited the Atharva Veda. O best of the brahmanas, at that time Vyasadeva, who perfectly understood the accounts of the Puranas, took the stories, conversations, and poems of that original Yajur Veda and compiled the Puranas and histories. Therefore the Puranas and histories are parts of the original Yajur Veda.
2. The Mahabharata Adi Parva 1.268 states "Whoever approaches the Vedas without first studying the smrti (Itihasas and Puranas) frightens Vedic knowledge away" (itihasapuranabhyam vedam samupabrmhayet bibhetyalpasrutadvedo mamayam praharisyati).
3. Satvata Tantra 3.41-48 explains that only those who have faith in devotional service (bhakti-nistha) understand the paurusa agama. They know that Sri Krsna, whose form is of pure goodness and who resides in the spiritual world served by His devotees, is the Supreme Absolute Truth. Those who have faith in speculation (jnana-nistha) follow the Upanisads. They say the highest truth is the impersonal Brahman. And those who are karma-paramah (devoted to pious deeds) follow the three Vedas. They say the Supersoul (Hiranyagarbha) is the highest truth. [NB: according to Bg 6.3, the mystic yoga system includes karma- yoga in its aruruksa or beginning phase; at the arudha or advanced platform, karma is given up and the yogi simply meditates upon the Lord in the heart.]
4. Therefore Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11 states, "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan."
The following verse appears in the Vedas (Chandogya Upanisad 8.12.3): tavad esa samprasado 'mac charirat samutthaya param jyoti-rupam sampadya svena rupenabhinispadyate sa uttamah purusah. "The Supersoul coming out of the body enters the impersonal brahmajyoti; then in His form He remains in His spiritual identity. That Supreme is called the Supreme Personality." This means that the Supreme Personality is exhibiting and diffusing His spiritual effulgence, which is the ultimate illumination. That Supreme Personality also has a localized aspect as Paramatma. By incarnating Himself as the son of Satyavati and Parasara, He explains the Vedic knowledge as Vyasadeva.
1. Krsna's eternal form is the basis of the brahmajyoti.
And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.
2. That Krsna consciousness is beyond Brahman realization is illustrated by Chandogya 8.12.3, quoted in full from Baladeva Vidyabhusana's Vedanta-sutra commentary for Vs IV.4.1.
evam evaisa samprasado 'smac charirat samuttaya param jyotir upasampadya svena rupen abhinispadyate sa uttama purusah sa tatra paryeti jaksan kridan ramamanah stribhir va yanair va jnatibhir sa nopajanam smarann idam sariram sa yatha prayogya acarane yukta evam evayam asmic charire prano yuktah
He through whose grace this released soul, arising from his last body, and having approached the Highest Light, is restored to his own form is the Highest Person (Uttama Purusa). The mukta moves about there laughing, playing, and rejoicing, with women, with carriages, with other muktas of his own period or of the past kalpas. So great is his ecstacy that he does remember even the person standing near him, nor even his own body. And as a charioteer is appointed by his master to drive the carriage, just so it the prana appointed to drive this chariot of the body.
3. Srila Prabhupada's translation of the first line of the Chandogya sloka gives a different viewpoint--that soul who rises from the body into the spiritual sky is the Supersoul. The explanation is found in Satvata Tantra 1.36.
virad-dehe yad avasad
avapa purusah parah
Because He resides (usa) in the home (pur) of the virata-deha (cosmic body of the universal form), the Supreme Lord is called purusa.
Therefore there is no contradiction. Just as the jiva leaves the physical body and passes through the Brahmajyoti on his way back to the abode of the Supreme Lord at the time of liberation, so the Uttama Purusa (Supersoul) leaves the universe at the end of the cosmic manifestation and passes through the brahmajyoti to return to Mahavisnu, the source of the Garbodakasayi and Ksirodakasayi purusa-avatara expansions.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Uddhava, due to the influence of the material modes of nature, which are under My control, the living entity is sometimes designated as conditioned and sometimes as liberated. In fact, however, the soul is never really bound up or liberated, and since I am the supreme Lord of maya, which is the cause of the modes of nature, I also am never to be considered liberated or in bondage. Just as a dream is merely a creation of one's intelligence but has no actual substance, similarly, material lamentation, illusion, happiness, distress and the acceptance of the material body under the influence of maya are all creations of My illusory energy. In other words, material existence has no essential reality. O Uddhava, both knowledge and ignorance, being products of maya, are expansions of My potency. Both knowledge and ignorance are begingingless and perpetually award liberation and bondage to embodied living beings. O most intelligent Uddhava, the living entity, called jiva, is part and parce of Me, but due to ignorance he has been suffering in material bondage since time immemorial. By knowledge, however, he can be liberated. Thus, My dear Uddhava, in the same material body we find opposing characteristics, such as great happiness and misery. That is because both the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is eternally liberated, as well as the conditioned soul are within the body. I shall now speak to you about their different characteristics. By chance, two birds have made a nest together in the same tree. The two birds are friends and are of a similar nature. One of them, however, is eating the fruits of the tree, whereas the other, who does not eat the fruits, is in a superior position due to His potency. The bird who does not eat the fruits of the tree is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who by His omniscience perfectly understands His own position and that of the condi- tioned living entity, represented by the eating bird. That living entity, on the other hand, does not understand himself or the Lord. He is covered by ignorance and is thus called eternal- ly conditioned, whereas the Personality of Godhead, being full of perfect knowledge, is eternally liberated. One who is enlightened in self-realization, although living within the material body, sees himself as transcendental to the body, just as one who has arisen from a dream gives up identification with the dream body. A foolish person, however, although not identical with his material body but transcendental to it, thinks himself to be situated in the body, just as one who is dreaming sees himself as situated in an imaginary body. An enlightened person who is free from the contamination of material desire does not consider himself to be the performer of bodily activities; rather he knows that in all such activities it is only the senses, born of the modes of nature, that are contacting sense objects born of the same modes of nature.
(To be continued tomorrow, focusing on the Purport of Bg 10.8)