Hari-katha Articles Who am I? What is this world? What relation have I with...

Who am I? What is this world? What relation have I with this world?

A person who has turned away from the world of sense objects finds an
answer to these three questions. Scriptures and philosophies attempt to answer
these three questions. In our country answers are given by the Vedas, Vedanta,
and other books following the Vedic teachings. Answers are also given by
philosophies that misinterpret the Vedic teachings, philosophies like nyaya,
pseudo-sankhya, patanjala, vaisesika, and karma-mimamsa.

Answers are also given by philosophies that openly oppose the Vedic teachings, philosophies like Buddhism and the philosophy of the atheist Carvaka. In this way many
philosophies give many different answers. In China, Greece, Persia, France,
England, Germany, Italy, and other countries many different philosophies were
preached, philosophies like Materialism, Positivism, Secularism, Pessimism,
Skepticism, Pantheism, and Atheism. Many philosophers used logic to prove the
existence of God. Then again, in other places was preached the idea that one
should simply believe in God and worship Him. In many places were preached
religions that claimed to be originally given by God.

Some religions were rooted in each persons own individual faith in God. In other places it was said that God Himself had given the teachings of religion. Religion rooted in each person s own individual faith is called Theism. Included among the religions with belief-systems
and scriptures given by God are Christianity and Mohammedanism. The answers
to the previously mentioned three questions are truly of two kinds:

  1. the answer given by a soul situated in his original form, and
  2. the great variety of answers given by all others.

Why is not a single answer only given to each of these questions The true answers are given by a pure person situated in his original spiritual form. All persons situated in their original spiritual forms give the same answers. However, the persons who have fallen into the material world are not situated in their original spiritual forms. The material world is not their real home. It is a world born from material illusion. The Supreme Truth (para-tattva)
has a spiritual potency (para-sakti). The shadow of that spiritual potency is the
potency of illusion (maya-sakti). Maya-sakti is the mother of the material world.

The great variety of qualities maya offers are accepted by the souls residing in the
material world as their own qualities. In this way the soul s original qualities are
withdrawn and the specific mixture of qualities and an identity offered by maya
are accepted by the soul. In this way the spirit soul identifies with matter.
Spiritual and material ideas thus become mixed together in many different ways in
the mind of the spirit soul. Each accepting a different mixture of material
qualities, the spirit souls misidentifying with matter each give his own answers to
these three questions.

In this way a great variety of answers is manifest. Influenced by the traditions, activities, associates, foods, language, and thought patterns of the countries where they live, the souls in this world give answers to these three questions. In this way time, place, and circumstance combine to create a great variety of natures. Firstly, the souls come in contact with matter in
different ways. Those different kinds of contact bring one set of variations of
nature. Secondly, their different countries, languages, families, and other
circumstances bring another set of variations of nature. In this way the a great
variety of natures becomes multiplied. Only a person who has traveled to every
country, learned every language, and studied every country’s history can
understand the scope of that variety. Here I will only point in the direction of that
variety. I will not do more. It would be a great trouble.

Of the two kinds of answers given by the living entities, one is the true answer. The other is the great variety of answers according to the views of different philosophies. The great
variety of answers may be divided into two groups. The first group is called
“jnana” and the second group is called “karma”. Here someone may protest:
“When you say the true (yukta) answer you imply that you honor logic (yukti) as
the way to know the truth.

“Why, then, do you not accept the great variety of answers that logic brings?”

To this protest I reply: Spiritual logic does not depend on the material logic that brings a variety of answers. Therefore when I use the words logic (yukti) and t rut h (yukta), I refer to the logic and truth accepted by liberated souls purified of matters touch, logic and truth that properly distinguish between matter and spirit. Logic that is material, that takes shelter of matter, will always lead to a great variety of conclusions. A liberated soul situated in his
original spiritual form can give the true, the genuinely logical answer.

Among the great variety of answers is seen the group called jnana. Employing jnana, the spirit soul in contact with matter tries to distinguish spirit from matter. When it speaks
positively (anvaya), jnana affirms the primacy of matter, saying matter is the
beginning-less root of all that exists. When it speaks negatively (vyatireka) jnana
says that matter cannot be destroyed, for it is merely a transformation of the
Supreme (brahman), who has no potencies (nihsakti). They who follow karma
say God does not exist, and therefore the living entities should engage in material
activities. Pure jnana and karma have their place in true spiritual love and
spiritual activities. They are part of the true answers to our three questions. They
will be discussed later in this book, when devotional service (bhakti) will be
described. Because they are material in nature, words cannot completely describe
the pure spiritual truth…

Excerpted from Tattva-viveka of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Text 3

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Temple of the Heart – 07 Feb 2013 – Govinda-lilamrta

This book Govinda-līlāmṛta establishes the living entities in spiritual perfection, bestowing realization of their svarūpa-siddhi, eternal spiritual form, svarūpa-ānanda, the bliss inherent in that form, and svarūpa-gata-sevā, the service corresponding to that form. This Govinda-līlāmṛta builds the temple. Which temple? The temple of the soul’s eternal form, where ātma-gata-sevā is performed. A temple is where the service of God is performed. Our heart is now impure and full of anarthas, but by hearing this Govinda-līlāmṛta, the swamp of filth present in our heart will be cleansed and a wonderful temple will be constructed. How is this possible? The Vrajavāsīs and Vraja-devīs’ hearts are full of ānanda-rasa, the bliss of pure love. When their hearts melt towards us, and shower us with their affection and mercy, then Govinda’s pastimes, līlā-śakti, will manifest in our hearts, vitalizing us with life. Then our hearts will become a temple where Kṛṣṇa eternally performs His pastimes with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.

06 Oct 2017 Hari-katha a.m. Param Gurudeva


Krsna’s Abhiseka – Govinda-lilamrta

How can living entities cross beyond mundane existence and enter the eternal world? For this purpose, the gosvāmīs in Mahāprabhu’s movement manifested strong connections to the spiritual world. Anyhow, from morning to evening, if one is absorbed in Kṛṣṇa's name, the holy dhāma and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes there, remembering this day and night, he will automatically achieve great benefit, becoming connected to spiritual power. Mahāprabhu came to distribute vraja-prema, vraja-rasa, and vraja-bhakti. There is a barrier between Māyā and Yogāmāya, or the mundane world and Vraja-maṇḍala. It is as if there is a great dam separating the material and spiritual worlds. How can the flow of love from the spiritual world come into the mundane world? Mahāprabhu requested Nityānanda Prabhu to break this dam and freely distribute pure love. Nityānanda Prabhu went everywhere and distributed this vraja-prema, rasa and bhakti. All Mahaprabhu’s associates distributed this in their own unique way. Gadādhara Paṇḍita, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, Vakesvrara Paṇḍita, Haridāsa Ṭhākura—all had specialties. The line is not different, but the process of distribution is unique. With the saṅkīrtana movement, Nityānanda Prabhu went to everyone and took all anarthas from them, and then gave this vraja-prema. Gadādhara Paṇḍita served Gopinātha and anyone who came to him, he gave entrance into the service of Gopinātha and vigraha-sevā. Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita distributed saṅkīrtana rasa. Adavita Ācārya Prabhu gave the conclusions of śāstra, and all spiritual knowledge. He collected the living entities and offered them to the lotus feet of Mahāprabhu. Making them related to Mahāprabhu and giving them respect for Him. The Gosvāmīs, having understood fully the movement of Mahāprabhu, distributed pure love by describing the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. If there is no relation with Kṛṣṇa's pastimes, then attachment will remain for mundane pastimes and activities. Hence, the Gosvāmīs began to distribute vraja-līlā, and vraja-bhakti. Do not think this is mundane or any worldly conception or speculation. If anyone passes along this way, their family members generally do not make their lives into a biography and save it. Kṛṣṇa-līlā, vraja-līlā, is not like this. The Gosvāmīs collected all of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes in Vraja, from dawn to dawn, and distributed it in the form of literature. When one drinks a little bit of this nectar, he realizes how powerful it is and how much benefit comes. Kavirāja Gosvāmī distributes the eternal pastimes of the spiritual world. If anyone wants to enter the holy dhāma and make relationship with the Vrajavāsīs, they must take shelter of līlā-śakti. Līlā-śakti doesn't look at any qualification or disqualification. If a person has greed to enter the dhāma and the eternal pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa then She will give it without condition. If you humbly offer yourself to līlā-śakti, she will not look to see if You have anarthas, or are a sanyasi, Bābājī, brahmacārī or gṛhastha. She does not think about any of this. Līlā-śakti looks only to see if you have some respect. If She sees your desire is pure then She will take you to that world. Therefore, the guru-varga did not give so much emphasis on a person being qualified or unqualified. Once, when Śrīla Gurudeva was the west, some people asked him, "Why did you give dīkṣā to this new person? Why did you not wait for some time to see if he was qualified?" Śrīla Gurudeva said, "The living entities have been moving in this world for millions of lifetimes. They are disconnected from the Lord and their eternal relationship with Him. If they are connected to svarūpa-śakti and līlā-śakti, then they will be pulled out of this endless sea of misery and brought to Kṛṣṇa." If someone bathes in the Gaṅgā or Yamunā, they will feel clean and well. Similarly, the guru-varga brings one to the lotus feet of līlā-śakti. Līlā-śakti comes directly from svarūpa–śakti and svarūpa-śakti has unlimited power, being the personal energy of the Unlimited Himself. By drinking and bathing in the holy waters of the Lords pastimes, automatically one changes. This is the power of līlā-śakti. By one’s own sādhana he cannot cross māyā and come to God. The living entities have no strength. They may have good desire, but they have no strength. Mercy is required. Once, a paṇḍita was speaking on the tenth canto of Śrīmad Bhagvatam before a faithful assembly. The paṇḍita spoke of Kṛṣṇa’s amazing power, His sweet pastimes and also his enchanting svarūpa, decorated by His mother with many ornaments and precious jewels such as the Kaustubha-maṇi. In the large assembly there was a thief who was thinking to steal from anyone who fell asleep or lost themselves in the sweet hari-kathā. “I will steal their necklaces, and their gold right from their pockets,” he thought. This was his nature. However in the course of the thief plan, he heard so much description of Kṛṣṇa’s valuable ornaments that his greed became fixed on those riches alone. Now all he could think was, “How can I steal Kṛṣṇa's wealth?" His clever mind formulated a plan and he suddenly began to cry loudly in the middle of the assembled listeners.


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