September 2011


‘When a living entity is deceived, covered and thrown by the illusory energy [maya], he/she develops desires for material enjoyment, but when he surrenders unto the Supreme Lord, he is uncovered, and freed from the desires for material enjoyment; this is Lord Krishna’s non-duplicitous merciful glance’ – Caitanya Bhagavata A.3.2 Commentary, by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur

Avaranatmika-sakti – covers the living entity with ignorance, thinking ‘I am happy. I am alright’ in his ‘condemned life’ [see Srimad Bhagavatam 3.26.4 Purport, by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.

Praksepatmika-sakti – keeps you in material consciousness [see Teachings of Lord Caitanya by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Ch.10]

Jananivas Prabhu, Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 9.5.7, Sri Mayapur Dhama, 4 April 2002

‘Without illumination, nothing can be seen’. The sun, the moon and fire are ‘illuminating principles’. Discrimination is coming from Sudarshan. Sudarshan is ‘The Lord’s effulgence personified’.

Krishna contacts the material energy in the form of Siva, who is visuddha sattva. How is Krishna the seed-giving father of all living entities? He is the father of all living entities in the form of lord Siva. Siva impregnates Parvati ‘on a universal scale’. There are three creators. Behind the union of Siva and Parvati is Visnu’s desire. Mother and father are the cause of the child, but behind that is the desire to have a child.

‘The whole spiritual world is illuminated with this natural knowledge and religious principles’. This is the principle of “light” – om ajnana timirandhasya. ‘The whole process of Krishna Consciousness is illuminating’. ‘Love of Krishna is already in the heart. It’s already there. Only covered. Come out of the darkness and step into the light’. There is nothing before sunrise. When the sun rises, however, you can see yourself. ‘Illumination reveals everything, namely our consititutional position, our relationship with Krishna’.

‘Our endeavour is to remove the ignorance. That’s all’. We do not have to endeavour separately, like in the yoga process. We simply have to serve and love Krishna. Illumination brings us to the point of faith; and more illumination takes us further (sambhanda, abhideya and prayojana).

Srila Prabhupada’s definition of sama darsana: ‘I see everyone having an equal opportunity to serve Krishna’. He makes the unqualified equal to persons who have this knowledge. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur defined sama darsana as ‘seeing every living entity as a manifestation of his guru‘. The living entities are seen as being able to carry out his guru’s work.

When the Cosmic Manifestation ends, the processes of yoga, jnana etc. cease to exist. Only bhakti yoga exists eternally in the spiritual world. ‘Everyone is liberated. Only you don’t understand that. Why? Because of ignorance. Why is ignorance there? Because you are attached to it’.

‘This Krishna Consciousness Movement is eternal. The activities go on eternally. So we can become part of that also when we realize what’s going on here’.

‘Someone said these sunflowers follow the sun as it moves in the day’

There used to be a Horse Meat Butchery next to the Canberra Cafe – around the corner from our house. I asked my mother why there was a horse meat butchery and she told me that they fed horse meat to dogs. The pavement smelt of blood. We tried to avoid the wet puddles of blood and scabby patches as we walked to the shop. The blood, the flies and the hanging carcasses at the back of the butchery made it unpleasant.

One sultry summer’s day my best friend Craig Ballard and I took a walk to the Canberra Cafe. There was a sheet-metal horse trailer on the kerb filled to a pinnacle with what appeared, from a distance, to be dung. Drawing closer, we could see what the trailer was carrying – decapitated horse heads! Red and sticky with blood. Flies everywhere. I turned around and retched, but nothing came out. I staggered backwards – the way we came – sickened by the horrific spectacle. I wanted to throw up the whole way home.

Some years later my parents sent me and a friend to a farm in the Free State to improve my Afrikaans. The labourers came out one morning in their overalls and gumboots and slaughtered a cow right in front of me. Two men held her down, while a third slit her throat. They also slaughtered a pig, but the pig ran around the farm squeeling before it met a similar fate. I stood and watched, unfazed. Somehow I never connected the killing of these animals to the eating of meat. It was only later that there was a change of heart and I realized, by the grace of God, what exactly it is we are doing when we eat animal flesh.

We only consider harm to human beings as a crime.

The Srimad Bhagavatam is the beautiful book of Sri Krishna, Bhagavan. Srimad Bhagavatam is also called the Bhagavata Purana. It contains the essence of the Ancient Vedic Histories known as the Puranas – the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krishna and His saintly devotees.

Mundane histories describe personalities caught in the grip of birth, death, disease and old age. As Nietsche so cynically said, ‘History is for those who dwell in the graveyards’. Prabhupada described mundane narrations as fit for crows. I have seen crows in India and they are very fond of garbage. The Vedas consider the pastimes of Krishna, however, to be amritaimmortal nectar. These descriptions are for swanlike persons and are full of sac-cid-ananda – eternity, knowledge and bliss. Srila Vyasadeva – the compiler of the Vedas, including Srimad Bhagavatam– calls the Srimad Bhagavatam ‘The ripened fruit of the desire tree of Vedic knowledge’.

The Bhagavad-gita is called the ‘Jewel of the Vedas’. Also known as Gitopanisad, an extension of the Vedic teachings called Upanisads, Bhagavad-gita is the oldest book on the planet – dating some 5,000 years. It is the sacred conversation or song between the saintly prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna. The Gita is a perfect summary of the entire Vedic Canon of knowledge.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes, ‘Bhagavad-gita accepted as it is, is a great boon for humanity; but if it is accepted as a treatise of mental speculations, it is simply a waste of time’. Essentially, Bhagavad Gita As It Is means as it is understood in disciplic succession ie. via a lineage of qualified teachers. Srila Prabhupada has presented the world with wonderful translations of the Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. Even more importantly, he has explained to the public at large the true spirit of these scriptures through his authoritative commentaries or purports.

Krishna Das Kaviraja Maharaja explains in Chapter 2 of Caitanya-caritamrita Adi-lila that Lord Narayana possesses all six opulences in full – sad-aisvarya-purno.  He then distinguishes between Krishna and Narayana:

‘Narayana and Sri Krsna are the same Personality of Godhead, but although They are identical, Their bodily features are different’ [2.28]

‘This Personality of Godhead [Sri Krsna] has two hands and holds a flute, whereast the other [Narayana] has four hands, with conch, wheel, mace and lotus’ [2.29]

Kaviraja Maharaja then quotes Lord Brahma’s prayers to Lord Krishna from the 10th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.14:

‘O Lord of Lords, You are the seer of all creation.  You are indeed everyone’s dearest life.  Are you not, therefore, my father, Narayana?  Narayana refers to one whose abode is in the water born from Nara [Garbhodakasayi Visnu], and that Narayana is Your plenary portion.  All Your plenary portions are transcendental.  They are absolute and are not creations of maya’ [2.30]

Kaviraja Maharaja gives three proofs that Krsna is the source of Narayana from Brahma’s prayers from 2.31 to 2.57.  He establishes that Narayana is the source of the purusa avataras.  The culmination of his reasoning is that Narayana is the vilasa or pastime feature of Lord Krsna [2.58].

He then quotes the maha-vakya verse of the Bhagavatam again.  The maha-vakya verse is the principle verse of a scripture or portion of a scripture.  This verse gives the predominant conclusion of the work.  Jiva Goswami calls this verse the paribhasa sutra or ‘the emperor verse’ of Srimad Bhagavatam.  There is no verse in Bhagavatam that contradicts this verse.  Krsna Das Kaviraja Goswami, therefore, completes his argument by quoting it:

ete camsa-kalah pumsah/krsnas tu bhagavan svayam/indrari vyakulam lokam/ mrdayanti yuge yuge

‘All these incarnations of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the purusa-avataras.  But Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.  In every age He protects the world through His different features when the world is disturbed by the enemies of Indra’ [CC 2.67 from SB 1.3.28]