Welcome to the KrishnaSoft's Electronic Newsletter.
This is the July 1999 issue entitled: "There Can Only Be One Absolute Truth!".
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This newsletter now goes to over 1100 people who either have an interest in Vedic science and/or spiritually entertaining multimedia technology.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
(1) There Can Only Be One Absolute Truth!
(2) Beware of 'Spontaneous' Sahajiyas!
(3) The Spiritual World-- Our *Original* Home Sweet Home!
(4) Feedback: Revealed Scriptures Are Not Contradictory!
(5) Recent Reviews of the Multimedia Bhagavad-gita As It Is CDROM
(6) Editorial Policy and Product List
1. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE ABSOLUTE TRUTH!
In the June 1999 issue, we proved that the same Absolute Truth (Srimad-Bhagavatam) is passed down through the disciplic succession and presented according to time, place, and circumstances:
"The disciplic succession holds that the Vedas were uttered by Lord Krsna to Brahma, by Brahma to Narada, and by Narada to Vyasadeva, and then by Vyasadeva to Sukadeva Gosvami and so on. SO THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE VERSIONS OF ALL AUTHORITIES. The truth is eternal, and as such there cannot be any new opinion about the truth. That is the way of knowing the knowledge contained in the Vedas. It is not a thing to be understood by one's erudite scholarship or by the fashionable interpretations of mundane scholars. THERE IS NOTHING TO BE ADDED AND NOTHING TO BE SUBTRACTED, BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS THE TRUTH." (Bhag. 2.2.32)
This statement also allows us to filter out bogus commentaries on the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the literary representation of the Absolute Truth. Some people may claim to be presenting the same Absolute Truth according to time, place, and circumstance but since each individual exists in ONLY ONE time, place, and circumstance, it follows that there cannot be two DIFFERING commentaries on the Srimad-Bhagavatam existing at the same time, place, and circumstance. The Absolute Truth is complete [has nothing lacking or missing] so at least one of the commentaries must be bogus or not a presentation of the Absolute Truth:
"The reading matter is so arranged with its original Sanskrit text, its English transliteration, synonyms, translation and purports so that one is SURE to become a God-realized soul at the end of finishing the first nine cantos." (Preface of Bhagavatam)
"Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. THIS BEAUTIFUL BHAGAVATAM, COMPILED BY THE GREAT SAGE VYASADEVA [IN HIS MATURITY], IS SUFFICIENT IN ITSELF FOR GOD REALIZATION. WHAT IS THE NEED OF ANY OTHER SCRIPTURE? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of the Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart." (Bhag. 1.1.2)
Therefore, there is no requirement to research all the scriptures of the world in order to become God-realized. Because the other scriptures are either bona-fide or NOT bona-fide. If they are bona-fide, they are presenting the same message as the Bhagavatam and if they are NOT bona-fide, they will only cause chaos within our devotional life. While it helps to read other bona-fide literatures (like Bhagavad-gita and Caitanya-caritamrta) for clarifying our understanding of the principles of Bhagavatam, the literature must be applicable for our time, place, and circumstance. For example, Lord Buddha taught that the Vedas are imaginary because in that time, place, and circumstance people were abusing the Vedas for slaughtering animals. Since Lord Buddha Himself is the personified Vedas, when people followed Him instead of the Vedas, they still followed the Vedas. It is purifying to read His teachings, but to apply His instantiations of the principles today would be absurd because the circumstances are different. Once one great acarya declared that the Bhagavatam was mythology because Christian missionaries were at the time distorting and rewriting the Vedic scriptures to discredit the philosophy. By declaring that the Bhagavatam was mythology, he saved the Bhagavatam from any unscrupulous modifications. He understood that even if all the other books in the world were destroyed or changed, if only the Bhagavatam remained, NOTHING WOULD BE LOST! This we proved to be true in our June 1999 newsletter about instantiating from the principles of bhakti-yoga.
The whole advice of which scriptures to read and which ones are bona-fide is compactly stated as follows:
"One has to accept, after all, SOME authority. The modern scientists are also authorities for the comman man for some scientific truths. The common man follows the version of the scientist. This means that the common man follows the authority. The Vedic knowledge is also received in that way. The common man cannot argue about what is beyond the sky or beyond the universe; he must accept the versions of the Vedas as they are understood BY THE AUTHORIZED DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION. In the Bhagavad-gita also the same process of understanding the Gita is stated in the Fourth Chapter. If one does not follow the authoritative version of the acaryas, he will vainly search after the truth mentioned in the Vedas." (Bhag. 2.2.32)
So if someone accepts Srila Prabhupada (and/or his bona-fide servant) as an authority for presenting the SAME message of the Absolute Truth coming from Krsna through the disciplic succession, he will not hover mentally from one differing authority to another. If we hover from one differing authority to another, we have not surrendered and have ONLY accepted our MIND as the authority and will remain in the material world. Usually, people who are into mental gratification instead of devotional service jump from one differing authority to another.
Actually, the definition of a disciple is one who is surrendered to the instructions of his guru:
"...the disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps the company with the disciple AS LONG AS THE DISCIPLE FOLLOWS STRICTLY THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER." (Bhag. 4.28.47)
"...a devoted disciple of the spiritual master would rather die with the spiritual master than fail to execute the spiritual master's mission." (Bhag. 4.28.50)
"When one becomes serious to follow the mission of the spiritual master, his resolution is tantamount to seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As explained before, this means meeting the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the instruction of the spiritual master." (Bhag. 4.28.51)
"Instead of being eager to see the Lord in some bush of Vrndavana while at the same time engaging in sense gratification, if one instead sticks to the principle of following the words of the spiritual master, he will see the Supreme Lord without difficulty." (Bhag. 4.28.51)
"Only one who executes his spiritual life under the direction of the spiritual master can achieve the mercy of Krsna. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah. If one desires to advance in spiritual life but he acts whimsically, not following the orders of the spiritual master, HE HAS NO SHELTER." (Bhag. 7.12.11)
By quoting various scriptures written in different times, places, and circumstances and speculating that they are all just as applicable today, much chaos has resulted-- a great disservice to humanity and Lord Krsna's sankirtana mission. The acarya, full of compassion for the conditioned souls, presents things in a simple way so one can easily go back to Godhead but rascals once again complicate and mix things up and confuse the innocent population:
"Unfortunately, when the acarya disappears, rogues and nondevotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce UNAUTHORIZED principles in the name of so-called svamis, yogis, philanthropists, welfare workers and so on. Actually, human life is meant for executing the orders of the Supreme Lord..." (Bhag. 4.28.48)
The fact remains:
"The Personality of Godhead said: Knowledge about Me as described in the scriptures is VERY CONFIDENTIAL, AND IT HAS TO BE REALIZED IN CONJUNCTION WITH DEVOTIONAL SERVICE. The necessary paraphernalia for that process is being explained by Me. You may take it up carefully." (Bhag. 2.9.31)
Only those engaged in devotional service have access to the confidential meanings of scriptures not mental speculators. Since devotional service is defined by the instructions of Lord Krsna or the bona-fide guru (who himself is 100% surrendered to the instructions of his guru), it follows that only a disciple who is surrendered to a bona-fide guru has the opportunity to understand the confidential revealed scriptures:
"If one has unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord and the spiritual master, the essence of all Vedic knowledge is revealed to him." (Bhag. 5.1.6)
For example, since Srila Prabhupada is presenting the SAME message as the predecessor acaryas, one who has surrendered unto him [rendering devotional service to him] will automatically understand all the previous acaryas. On the other hand, one who on his own account tries to delve into the teachings of the previous acaryas will just be licking the outside of the bottle of honey (jnana) and not gain access to any acarya's teachings (vijnana).
2. BEWARE OF 'SPONTANEOUS' SAHAJIYAS!
The various rasas are progressively higher stages of love. When the dasya-rasa increases in intensity of love, one obtains to the higher rasa. But you do not lose dasya-rasa when you reach the higher rasa:
"To explain the topmost quality of conjugal love, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami gives the example of the material elements-- sky, air, fire, water and earth . In the sky (space) there is the quality of sound . Similarly, in air there are the qualities of sound and touch . In fire, there are three qualities-- sound, touch and form. In water there are four qualities-- sound, touch, form and taste. Finally, in earth there are all five qualities-- sound, touch, form, taste and also smell . Now, one can see that the quality of the sky is in all-- namely in air, fire, water and earth . In earth we can find all the qualities of material nature. The same can be applied to the rasa known as madhurya-rasa, or conjugal love. In conjugal love there are the qualities of neutrality, servitorship, fraternity and paternal affection, as well as conjugal love itself. The conclusion is that through conjugal love the Lord is completely satisfied ." (CC Madhya-lila 8.88)
So all the acaryas are 100% following the order of their guru in dasya-rasa although they may be situated in higher rasas! For example, if a mother loves her child she will always be thinking of how to please him. When she goes to the store, she may spontaneously think of buying something for her child that would make him happy although he NEVER asked for it. This is the closest thing in the material world to spontaneous affection. However, if the child is in need of milk and is crying for milk and the mother goes to the store and starts thinking of how to please him by buying him a dress, that is pretension-- sahajiya. This means she has no actual love for the child. She should be immediately rejected as not performing the duty of a mother. So the order of Lord Krsna is coming down through the disciplic succession and one who thinks he is beyond it, he should be immediately rejected as a sahajiya!
Also some sahajiyas say the pure devotee can do anything even contrary to Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of the Absolute Truth, Lord Krsna Himself and the function of a pure devotee is given in the Bhagavatam:
"The complete functional activities of a pure devotee are always enaged in service of the Lord, and thus the pure devotees exchange feelings of ecstasy between themselves and relish transcendental bliss." (Bhag. 2.3.12)
So if a pure devotee is always engaged in the devotional SERVICE of Lord Krsna or the Absolute Truth, his service will never be in defiance of the Absolute Truth or the Srimad-Bhagavatam. One should never see contradictions between what a pure devotee does and what is in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (or other Vedic literature). Even apparently contradictory behavior when offered in loving service to Lord Krsna loses its contradictory qualities:
"Therefore the sounds of benedictions uttered by the learned brahmanas here and there appear to be contradictory in relation with the Absolute Person, but when they are APPLIED to the Absolute Person they lose all contradiction and become transcendental." (Bhag. 1.10.19)
Therefore, the Srimad-Bhagavatam can always be used to detect pretenders (sahijiyas). One should not blindly follow a leader because he juggles words like "Krsna", "bhakti", "devotion", etc. Mayavadis talk about the same subject matter but in defiance of the conclusions of the Srimad-Bhagavatam so they should be rejected. Similarly, the sahajiyas also talk about the same subject matter using mental speculation (not in devotional service or realization) and their association should also be rejected:
"Without serving Krsna according to the vidhi-marga regulative principles of the pancaratrika-vidhi, unscrupulous persons want to jump immediately to the raga-marga principles. Such persons are called sahajiya. There are also demons who enjoy depicting Krsna and His pastimes with the gopis, taking advantage of Krsna by their licentious character. These demons who print books and write lyrics on the raga-marga principles are SURELY ON THE WAY TO HELL. Unfortunately, they lead others down with them. Devotees in Krsna consciousness should be very careful TO AVOID SUCH DEMONS." (Bhag. 4.24.45-46)
Using words like "demons" and "hell" indicates the seriousness of the subject. Serious students of the Bhagavatam and those who have followed our series of articles since December 1998 will see clearly how this is actually true. Here's a summary of how it's true:
(a) We are struggling in the material world because we are not engaged in Krsna's service but instead in the service of our senses and materialistic mind.
(b) By engaging in Krsna's service as received through the disciplic succession, we have a chance to become free from the service to the mind and senses.
(c) Sahajiyas say forget the service you received from the guru via disciplic succession, go to the higher rasa; that is the goal!
(d) As soon as we drop the devotional service, the only thing 'spontaneous' will be our mental concoctions. Consequently, we fall down on the mental plane again and remain in the hellish material world because service received through the disciplic succession applies to a person situated in dasya-rasa or higher!
Thus, in the attempt to becoming a spontaneous lover, we become a 'spontaneous' sahajiya. Best to stick to the advice in the revealed scriptures:
"Sometimes loving ecstasy transcends regulative principles; such ecstasy, however, is completely on the spiritual platform and cannot be imitated. The regulative principles help ordinary devotees rise to the stage of perfect love of Godhead." (CC Adi-lila 4.21-22)
3. THE SPIRITUAL WORLD-- OUR *ORIGINAL* HOME SWEET HOME!
"When the living entities desire to enjoy themselves, they develop a consciousness of duality and come to hate the service of the Lord. In this way the living entities fall into the material world.... The natural position of the living entity is to serve the Lord in a transcendental loving attitude. When the living entity wants to become Krsna Himself or imitate Krsna, he falls down into the material world. Since Krsna is the supreme Father, His affection for the living entity is eternal. When the living entity falls down into the material world, the Supreme Lord, through His svamsa expansion (Paramatma), keeps company with the living entity. In this way the living entity may some day RETURN HOME, BACK TO GODHEAD." (Bhag. 4.28.53)
One may question if we were full of knowledge in the spiritual world, why did we fall down? It's misuse of free will. If free will was determined by knowledge, it would not be free will. And without free will, what is meaning of loving devotional service??? People know fire burns, but that will not stop some of them from putting their finger in the fire anyway. In fact it's happening right now; many people, who have experience that devotional service solves all problems, still choose to remain in the material world.
"By misusing his independence, the living entity falls down from the service of the Lord and takes a position in this material world as an enjoyer." (Bhag. 4.28.53)
However, by re-engaging in the loving service of Lord Krsna, we can go *BACK* to Godhead.
"The *ORIGINAL* home of the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the spiritual world. In the spiritual world both the Lord and the living entities live together very peacefully. Since the living entity remains engaged in the service of the Lord, they both share a blissful life in the spiritual world. However, when the living entity wants to enjoy himself, he falls down into the material world." (Bhag. 4.28.54)
"Actually, it is Krsna who personally advises all living entities to return home, back to Godhead. Sometimes Krsna sends His representative, who, delivering Krsna's very message, canvasses all living entities to return home, back to Godhead. Unfortunately the living entity is so greatly attached to material enjoyment that HE DOES NOT TAKE THE INSTRUCTIONS OF KRSNA OR HIS REPRESENTATIVE VERY SERIOUSLY." (Bhag. 4.28.55)
Practically everywhere we turn to in the Bhagavatam, we are advised to return *BACK* to Godhead:
"The process of Krsna consciousness, by which one always thinks of Krsna, is the transcendental process by which one can revert to his original, spiritual existence." (Bhag. 4.29.75)
4. FEEDBACK: REVEALED SCRIPTURES ARE NOT SELF-CONTRADICTORY!
>CC Madhya-lila: Chapter Six, Text 99
> "In his book Laghu-bhagavatamrta, Srila Rupa Gosvami has enumerated
>the following twenty-five lila-avataras: Catuh-sana, Narada, Varaha,
>Matsya, Yajna, Nara-Narayana, Kapila, Dattatreya, Hayasirsa (Hayagriva),
>Hamsa, Prsnigarbha, Rsabha, Prthu, Nrsimha, Kurma, Dhanvantari, Mohini,
>Vamana, Parasu rama, Raghavendra, Vyasa, Balarama, Krsna, Buddha and
> Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not mentioned as a lila-avatara because
>He is an incarnation in disguise (channa-avata-ra). In this age of Kali
>there are no lila-avataras, but there is an incarnation of the Lord
>manifested in the body of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This has been
>explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam."
The above does NOT allow for a conclusion that there is no Kalki avatar coming at the end of this Kali-yuga. All it is saying is that Kalki is in the list of lila-avatars and there are no lila-avatars coming. One needs to supply more information whether Kalki is ONLY in the list of lila-avatars since there are many many other lists of avatars-- nama-rupa avataras, amsa avataras, sakti-avesa avataras, guna-avataras, etc. Some personalities may be in multiple lists. There are other considerations preventing such a conclusion. Also we have to accept the scriptures entirely especially the Bhagavatam without picking and choosing:
"No one has to discover the nature of the Lord. It is already spoken by the Lord Himself in the Bhagavad-gita especially and in all other Vedic literatures generally. We have simply to accept them IN TOTO and abide by the orders of the Lord." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.36)
So without speculating on a single reference on its own, we can take the direct conclusion as given in the Bhagavatam:
"Here is another foretelling of the advent of Lord Kalki, the incarnation of Godhead . He is to appear at the conjunction of the two yugas, namely at the end of Kali-yuga and the beginning of Satya-yuga. The cycle of the four yugas, namely Satya, Tretaa, Dvaapara and Kali, rotates like the calendar months . The PRESENT KALI-YUGA lasts 432,000 years, out of which we have passed only 5,000 years after the Battle of Kuruks.etra and the end of the regime of King Pariiks.it . So there are 427,000 years balance yet to be finished . Therefore at the end of *THIS* period, the incarnation of Kalki will take place, as foretold in the S'riimad-Bhaagavatam. The name of His father, Vis.n.u Yas'aa, a learned braahman.a, and the village S'ambhala are also mentioned . As above mentioned, all these foretellings will prove to be factual in chronological order . That is the authority of S'riimad-Bhaagavatam." (Bhag. 1.3.25)
Srimad-Bhagavatam is the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Vedic literature, so even if one cannot understand the quotes from other scriptures, one should accept the conclusion of the Bhagavatam.
5. RECENT REVIEWS OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS CDROM
Yesterday I finally took a look at the Gita CD you sent me on a trial
basis. I must admit, my breath was taken away by beauty and quality of your
production." - Sri Rama Dasa
From MediaRes magazine in Australia:
"The Bhagavad Gita is the heart of Hinduism, it offers a condensed view of the primary tenets of the path to the divine expressed through a work that is seen as one of the greatest pieces of literature. It is poetic, full of character and plot and yet transcendent in what it outlines and expresses, it has subtle nuances which carry even the basest mind to contemplation of things beyond. The classic translation of the last decades has been the Bhagavad Gita as it is by Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krsna consciousness. This multimedia edition brings together the full beauty of his unedited translation and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita with over 20 hours of lectures and presentations and over 200 photos. As you explore the text you are presented with multimedia displays, the text chanted in Sanskrit, commentary, introduction and all related materials. This means that your study of the Gita can be enhanced with a full library of options with in practical terms would have included many tapes, books, resources materials etc and yet here they are all co-ordinated in a single, easy to use and aesthetically pleasing production.
"A good solid introduction and background is offered, as well as a biography of Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, bhajans, kirtans and devotional songs, video segments and greetings to the many different deities of the supreme lord.
"This is an easy to use and install product, works well on basic computer systems (even on a 486) and offers everything you need to dive right into the Gita. One of the greatest benefits I can see with this CD is for the isolated devotee or student who wishes to study but also needs association. While nothing replaces a kirtan with others, listening to the CD, the chanting and songs can create an oasis in a quickly degenerating world.
"At the same time it should be said that this is not a text for ISCKCON (International Society for Krsna consciousness) members alone, for anyone with an interest in the Bhagavad Gita it offers one of the most effective ways of studying. You will learn how to pronounce Sanskrit terms and get a good overview of the Vaishnava tradition within the continuum that is Hinduism and maybe even get a taste of the transcendent along the way !
"A highly recommended product available at a very reasonable price."
6. EDITORIAL POLICY AND PRODUCT LIST
"One should engage in practical service to the Lord. In our Krsna consciousness movement, *ALL* our activities are concentrated upon distributing Krsna literature. This is very important. One may approach any person and induce him to read Krsna literature so that in the future he also may become a devotee.... By fully concentrating on distributing books for Krsna, one is fully absorbed in Krsna."
Krishna Software Inc. has produced some multimedia CDROMs and all the details of these CDROMs can be found at our website http://www.krishnasoft.com. Here is our current list of products:
(a) Multimedia Bhagavad-gita As It Is CD: Lord Krsna's eternal instructions to Arjuna and the rest of the world about Isvara (Supreme Lord), jiva (the soul), karma (activities), kala (time), and prakrti (nature). This is a 30-hour audio-visual CDROM.
(b) Multimedia Bhagavad-gita As It Is Hindi CD: Same as (a) but with Hindi and English translations; currently available on CD-R only.
(c) Multimedia Krsna CD w/Vedic Astronomy game: This is a 51-hour audio-visual presentation of the Krsna book and a Vedic Astronomy game based on the Fifth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. All on a single CDROM. Free sample demo downloadable.
(d) Multilingual Word Processor CD [version 4.00]: Type in diacritics, Hindi, Sanskrit, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, and Assamese without knowing the alphabet. Free demo downloadable.
All of the above software was tested on various Intel 486 and Pentium processors running Windows 3.1, Windows '95, Windows '98, and Windows NT (client and server).
Latest pricing and ordering information is at our web site: http://www.krishnasoft.com.
End of Newsletter- written and edited by KSI staff; (c) 1998-1999 Krishna Software Inc.
Our staff consists of: Hari Rama Dasa, Rajni Dayal, Virender Dayal and a few part-time volunteers.
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