Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What Does The Ideal Society Look Like

[Sita-Rama on throne]“Being pleased by the full surrender and submission of Lord Bharata, Lord Ramachandra then accepted the throne of the state. He cared for the citizens exactly like a father, and the citizens, being fully engaged in their occupational duties of varna and ashrama, accepted Him as their father.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 9.10.50)

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Friend1: Do you follow the elections?

Friend2: Just as much as anyone else.

Friend1: It is entertaining, I must say.

Friend2: You find out what all the answers to the focus groups are.

Friend1: What do you mean?

Friend2: From the policy positions. Most of those are focus-grouped. These guys don’t come up with policies out of thin air. They find out what the public is unhappy about. Then they promise to fix those things.

Friend1: I see. Makes sense. What is the spiritual point of view on this?

Friend2: On elections or the promises?

Friend1: The policies. Will the problems be fixed?

[elections]Friend2: Not to keep answering every question with a question, but are you asking if the problems will go away or will the people be happy as a result?

Friend1: Oh, that is a good way of looking at things. I guess you could say these politicians are trying to make everything ideal.

Friend2: There you go. Give me your vision of an ideal society and we’ll see if it makes people happy.

Friend1: Well, it seems like economics is always the major issue. The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting poorer. People need jobs. The cost of things has to go down. The people need help.

Friend2: Now, if the price of something goes down, will people be happy? For instance, they promise a tax credit for childcare expenses.

Friend1: That is really expensive. It makes you wonder. Why are both parents working if so much of their money is going towards caring for the child while they are at work?

Friend2: Say that they get enough money to care for their children. Does that mean they will be happy?

Friend1: I think so.

Friend2: Try to hear the buzzer sound from a game-show. You just gave the wrong answer.

Friend1: How can you assert that?

Friend2: Easy. Compare the childcare issue with what other countries face. In the United States, relatively speaking, there are no poor people.

Friend1: That’s not true at all. You see the horrible conditions some people live in.

Friend2: Horrible in your eyes, but that is paradise to so many people around the world. Poverty means not having enough food to eat. That is the real definition. In America poor people are often more obese than the rest of the population. Not even poverty, just getting what you want in general doesn’t make people happy. Desires change. Material desire is known as kama, which translates to “lust” in Sanskrit. Lust is like a fire. The more you feed it, the higher it gets.

[Sita-Rama on throne]Friend1: Do you have an example of an ideal society? Is it Rama-rajya?

Friend2: There you go. The kingdom of Ayodhya during the reign of Shri Rama is one example. This makes for a very interesting case study. Just see what things are not there.

Friend1: Such as?

Friend2: Equality. There are different occupations. There are different income levels. This starts from the very top of the government. Rama is in charge. If He is in charge, others have to listen to what He says. That means there can never be equality in that kingdom.

Friend1: How are people happy, then?

Friend2: Exactly. It’s not an equality of outcomes. It’s not the same standard of material living. It’s all about service to God in a mood of love. That is why Rama-rajya is ideal. Everyone is connected to the same goal: pleasing Rama.

Friend1: Are you saying that there is no other way to get an ideal society?

Friend2: That is the very definition of ideal. There is varna and ashrama. People are engaged in the varna, or occupation, that best suits them. They follow the four ashramas of spiritual purification, gradually leading up to the point of full liberation prior to death’s arrival.

Friend1: How can there be death in the kingdom of God?

Friend2: In the spiritual world there isn’t death, but time still operates. It just doesn’t have a negative influence. Even in the material world if people take up bhakti-yoga in earnest, death no longer becomes something to fear. Death simply means shifting to a situation better for devotion. If that devotion is already at a high level, then it continues into the future.

Friend1: I see.

Friend2: Think about it. People in communist countries are unhappy. In industrialized nations there is always competition. The poor think the rich are running the show. The rich want to make sure their competitors don’t overtake them. There is always unhappiness when devotion to God is absent. The example of Rama-rajya shows that any person can be happy remaining just where they are. There needn’t be a dramatic shift in occupation. Just change your consciousness. Bhakti-yoga is God consciousness. Think of the all-attractive one, who gives delight to the devotees in a variety of moods. As Shri Rama He plays the ideal king to lead the devoted citizens, who come from all walks of life.

In Closing:

From all walks of life coming,

Not everyone the same becoming.


In Rama-rajya, kingdom ideal,

Bliss of devotion citizens to feel.


Looking not for this solution or that,

Love of Rama keeping everything intact.


Means same happiness can be found today,

Practicing bhakti in current position to stay.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Five Ways Krishna Bewilders The Atheists

[Lord Krishna]“The form which you are seeing with your transcendental eyes cannot be understood simply by studying the Vedas, nor by undergoing serious penances, nor by charity, nor by worship. It is not by these means that one can see Me as I am.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 11.53)

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Shri Krishna had just shown Arjuna the virata-rupa, the universal form. This is the complete everything. Put all things that you can think of, existing in this world and in others, into a single image - that somewhat explains the universal form. The vision is not easy to get; Arjuna needed a special set of eyes granted to him prior to viewing.

Then Krishna showed His four-handed form of Narayana. This is the proof of Divinity for the personalists, those who understand that God is originally a distinct personality. Still, the Supreme Lord returned to His two-handed form and then declared that it was impossible to understand simply through study, penance, charity, and other such mechanical endeavors.

The reason is simple. God is understood by those who want to know and serve Him. Otherwise, He could be standing in front of a person and still not be properly recognized. This is His mercy granted to the non-devoted. Even the atheists are worshipers of God in a sense; they choose to be under the illusion of maya. Krishna keeps them bewildered, honoring their choice to remain in the material energy.

1. Getting punished by mother Yashoda

The origin of the universe, the birth-less one, the source of the amazing universal form - He roamed around the courtyard of mother Yashoda and Nanda Maharaja in Vrindavana. He got hungry like any other child and asked to be fed breast-milk. One time He got angry when Yashoda got up in the middle of feeding Him to tend to a pot of boiling milk in the kitchen.

[Krishna tied to mortar]How can this happen? How can God be someone’s child? For the devotees, the situation is endearing. It brings them closer to God. It brings deeper insight into His true nature. For the atheists, it is the perfect excuse to continue in their futile march towards supremacy in a temporary and miserable world. Krishna got punished by Yashoda for breaking a pot of yogurt in anger. She tied Him to a mortar as punishment. He cried tears when He saw her threatening whipping stick.

2. Tending to calves

What is Krishna doing in Vrindavana, the spiritual world? The answer is always the same. Enjoying. If you have to pin the issue of work down to something, you could say that Krishna tends to calves. But this is like saying a person who takes their beloved dog on a walk is working. Krishna loves the calves and they love Him.

“I cannot understand how you could have selected this cowherd boy, Krishna, and have left aside all these other great personalities. I think Krishna to be no better than a crow - how can He be fit to accept the first worship in this great sacrifice?” (Shishupala speaking to assembly, Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 19)

[Lord Krishna]The atheists will argue that God cannot be reduced to such menial tasks. He should be standing supreme, in all His majesty. He shouldn’t be running around the fields with His friends, enjoying the pristine atmosphere. Later on in Krishna’s earthly pastimes, there were fights with rival kings. They used Krishna’s childhood and link to an agricultural community as a way to disparage Him. These bad characters saw God right in front of them but couldn’t recognize Him.

3. Flees Jarasandha; erects city of gates

One of the opulences in God is power. He must be the strongest if He is to be supreme. Why, then, during Krishna’s pastimes did He flee from a fight? In His adulthood, Krishna was the leader in Mathura. This was after He left Vrindavana. A rival king by the name of Jarasandha attacked one time and was humiliated in defeat. Undeterred, Jarasandha continued to attack, seventeen times in total.

Finally, Krishna and His brother Balarama decided to stop fighting. Jarasandha’s death was slated to come at a different time. This is the way karma works. The consequences don’t always arrive immediately. It is like planting a seed and waiting for the appropriate moment for the plant to rise and give fruits.

Krishna became known as Ranchor when He fled from the battle against Jarasandha. As a result, He had the city of gates erected. Known as Dvaraka, it was protected on all sides by walls, preventing any further attacks from Jarasandha and the like. The atheists will happily point to this incident as a way to put Krishna down. If He was truly God, He would stand His ground in battle. He wouldn’t flee.

4. Missing a spot when applying frumenty

A guest is as good as God. This is the teaching in Vedic culture. There is a story from the Mahabharata which illustrates to what level that principle should be followed. While Shri Krishna was living in Dvaraka with His chief queen Rukmini, Durvasa Muni came on a visit. He ended up being a real pain of a guest. He made one difficult request after another. Krishna and Rukmini did as the sage asked.

One of the requests was for Rukmini and Krishna to smear a payasam paste, something like frumenty, on their body. The couple obliged, but Durvasa noticed that Krishna failed to apply the paste on one spot on His foot. Durvasa explained that the paste protected them from death, but now Krishna was vulnerable in that spot.

Again, this is sufficient grounds for atheists to discount the divinity of Krishna. If He needs protection from a substance applied at the insistence of a sage, then the sage is superior. If Krishna failed to apply it to a certain area, He is imperfect. He became mortal, which goes against the concept of God.

5. The curse of Gandhari; shot by the hunter

Sure enough, the way Krishna left this world was through being shot in the foot by a hunter while lying underneath a tree. The Mahabharata clearly says that Krishna returned to the spiritual world as Narayana, the four-handed form living in Vaikuntha. This was not death; it was leaving the manifest world.

Still, the pastimes unfolded as they did to keep the faith in atheism for the non-devoted. The shot from the hunter arrived at the appropriate time, keeping the curse previously applied on Krishna by Gandhari. She was the grieving mother of the Kauravas, who lost the Bharata War. Seeing the massive carnage and the death of her hundred sons, Gandhari cursed Krishna and His entire dynasty to leave the world.

“All of them - as they surrender unto Me - I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.11)

The Supreme Lord is so kind that He fulfills all desires. As He says in the Bhagavad-gita, everyone follows Him in all respects. He rewards each person accordingly. The atheists get to stay in the land of rebirth. The worshipers in awe and reverence get to stay with Narayana. Those desiring more in their relationship with God get to always enjoy different pastimes with the one full of sweetness, the embodiment of madhurya, Shri Krishna.

In Closing:

All to follow Him in one way,

Even atheists who never to pray.


Strength to them Krishna providing,

Like when from Yashoda’s punishment hiding.


And in the foot by hunter shot,

Fulfillment of curse Gandhari got.


A benefactor to everyone so kind,

Not another like Him ever to find.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Five Problems Krishna Doesn’t Have

[Radha-Krishna]“The spiritual world is called Vaikuntha, which means ‘without anxiety.’ In the material world everything is full of anxiety (kuntha), whereas in the spiritual world (Vaikuntha) everything is free from anxiety.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 7.74 Purport)

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The rule of the material world is duality. No condition is universally ideal. Take the rainfall. For the farmers, it is a godsend. In India especially, the majority of the rain comes during only a few months. That time period thus becomes vital; it is essential for life to continue.

The same rainfall is bad for another person. Their travel gets interrupted. Rain interferes with their plans to enjoy outside. Rain can cause flooding in the basement of a house. Go through the different situations and experiences of material life and you’ll see the same two-sidedness.

As a result, there are always problems. The human being has to face one difficult situation after another. One of the many reasons to seek the shelter of the Divine is that He is without so many of these problems. Since He is atmarama, He is completely satisfied in Himself. Since He is all-attractive, one of His many names is Krishna. Studying the transcendental nature and activities of Krishna, we see how many of the problems common to the world are missing with Him.

1. Loneliness

When something good happens to me, I like to share it with someone else. I saw an amazing ending to that reality show that I watch. There were teams consisting of pairs this season, and my favorite player’s team won. There was a special twist in that the top performer on each team had the option to take all the money or split it with their partner. In one of the all-time dirtiest moves, my favorite player took all the money and left his partner with nothing.

I wanted to share the story with others, but no one I know watches the show. My friends won’t understand at all. This is one indication of loneliness. I need others around to keep me happy to some degree. Even if they get on my nerves from time to time, it’s nice to know they are there as support.

[Radha-Krishna]Shri Krishna never suffers from loneliness because His best friends and well-wishers are always around Him. That is the lone stipulation for entering the spiritual planet of Krishnaloka. Just love Krishna, or God. If you want to go against Him, you fall to the material world. In Krishna’s pastimes, there is sometimes the loneliness of being separated from the dearly beloved Radha, but the situation is always solved through eventual reunion. So even the loneliness is of a different nature. It is blissful.

2. Money

Many of God’s names in the Vedic tradition reference His relationship to the goddess of fortune. Shripati, Madhava, and Radhanatha all describe the Supreme Lord as being the husband of fortune personified. As a result, Krishna never runs out of money. He doesn’t have a cash problem.

The spiritual world is not under the strict laws seen in the material world. Here, if we have a pizza pie there is a fixed amount of slices. Once you take a slice away, the pie becomes smaller. In the spiritual world, one minus one can actually equal two. This is impossible to understand using the logic of the material brain. If Krishna weren’t the richest person in the world, He couldn’t have created everything that we see around us.

3. Boredom

“He who hesitates is lost.” It’s not fun when you don’t know what to do. It is not just that activities should be available, there should be interest. I find watching television for hours on end to be extremely boring, while for someone else the engagement is blissful.

Shri Krishna does not have a boredom problem. There are the calves to play with. In the Vrindavana of the material world there are so many cows owned and cared for by the residents, headed by the king Nanda. In the Vrindavana of the spiritual world, the cows are amazing in that they can grant any wish. Their only desire is to be with Krishna, and He happily obliges.

The area is pristine, with signs of flourishing life everywhere. Krishna and His friends play in the many groves and forests of the land, enjoying everything about the area. There is never boredom, since Paurnamasi and Vrinda Devi work together to create new situations that are fun for Krishna and His dearmost associates, Radha and the gopis.

4. Leisure

I have a problem with leisure since there is so much work to do on a daily basis. Even on my off days I have many responsibilities that warrant attention. I have to purchase supplies for the home. This means going to the discount warehouse store. Since others have the same responsibility, I have to arrive at the store early in the morning.

Then I have to work around the house. I can’t afford a maid, so the cleanup and maintenance are all done by the residents. It seems like the work will never end. My real job keeps me busy enough. I look forward to leisure time, because it is so precious.

As mentioned above, Krishna doesn’t have this problem. There are many forms of the personal God. The Supreme Lord appears and disappears at His will, whenever the conditions are right, as He sees it. The form of Krishna is unique in that there is always madhurya, or enjoyment in sweetness. When asked the question of what is Krishna doing in Vrindavana, the answer is always the same. Enjoying. He has no responsibilities. He is not upholding dharma. He is not fighting with bad guys. He is in leisure. That is the nature of God.

5. Getting what you want

One way to know that we are not God is that we can’t always get what we want. Even the transcendentalist who has merged into Brahman, which is the impersonal spiritual energy, had to work to get the achievement. They couldn’t just will it. Moreover, they have to stay above the duality of the material world in order to maintain their high position.

Krishna can simply think of something and have it appear to Him. He doesn’t have to work for anything. As mentioned before, the cows in the spiritual world fulfill all desires. The trees are the same way. They produce fruits that match any desire. For this reason and more the spiritual world is known as Vaikuntha, which means “free of anxieties.” Any person can go there, as it is the original home. The lone stipulation is desire. If you sincerely want to be there, you will eventually go back. And in that place you will be free of problems, just like Krishna is.

In Closing:

Vaikuntha realm of anxieties free,

Can grant any wish the cow or the tree.


Because Krishna Himself problems without,

Always in sweetness, playing about.


With friends, Radha and gopis too,

Paurnamasi making situations fresh and new.


Same for us, just desire stipulation lone,

Love Krishna and never again be alone.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Five Ways That Human Life Is Like A Junction

[Lord Krishna]“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.9)

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The demons and the demigods. Good and evil. The righteous path and sinful life. These dichotomies have existed since the beginning of time, before anyone can remember. The reason is simple: freedom. Every living being has a small amount of independence granted them by the creator. Indeed, without this independence there would be no existence. Every living thing would be like a robot, preprogrammed to act a certain way. They would be considered dead inside, soulless.

The human life is the chance to consciously choose. There is rational thought. There is a high potential for intelligence. In many ways the human birth is like arriving at a junction or crossroads. Which path should be chosen? What will be the outcome? When you come to the fork in the road, which direction should you go? There are so many such choices made throughout the course of life.

1. School or no school

At first the young child might be excited to go to school. It is a way to get out of the house and meet new people. Discovery is fun. So is imitating the adults, who also leave the house every day. They are going to work, but the child doesn’t really know what that entails.

The child quickly figures out that school isn’t much fun. They force you to sit in a classroom and learn. Learning is difficult. If it were easy, then everyone would want to do it. To go to school is a choice. If the choice is made to skip, then there is little chance of advancing in terms of formal education. The ability to read and write is hinged upon instruction from authority figures. Whether the instruction comes in a formal setting like a classroom or an informal one at home, the result of learning is usually positive.

2. Drugs or no drugs

In the 1980s in America there was a dedicated campaign to curb drug use among young people. The First Lady, the wife of the President of the United States, used a slogan. “Just say no.” If someone asks you to take drugs, don’t even think about it. Don’t give them any excuses. No need for lengthy explanations. Just immediately say that you won’t. This way you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.

Such campaigns are necessary only because so many people say “yes.” There is always a choice, after all. Those who take drugs can get addicted, and from addiction so many bad things can happen. The addiction happens because there is a temporary escape from the senses offered by drugs. Indeed, even those who are not addicted to narcotics might regularly indulge in alcohol, which is also a form of intoxication.

3. Marriage or no marriage

The married man has some humorous advice that he freely offers to the unmarried man.

“Don’t do it. You’ll regret it. You see how much I’m suffering. You see how little enjoyment I have left. I envy you so much. I don’t know who invented marriage, but I can guarantee you that it wasn’t a man. Just turn around and run.”

Married life ideally is a curb on sense gratification, a way to limit sexual desire. Moreover, sex life serves its real purpose: bringing children into the world. That is a whole new set of responsibilities. The human being arrives at this junction in adulthood. They either get married or continue living the single life. Each has its pros and cons, and such a major decision has big consequences for the future.

4. Stay at home or move to a new place

This choice typically comes to the student about to enter college or the professional offered a new job. It is tempting to try living in a new place, but the drawback is that friends and family are left behind. The comfortable surroundings provide a sense of security. At the same time, becoming vulnerable builds character and strength. If I always gave in to my fear of trying new things, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

5. Rebirth or liberation

This is the ultimate choice for the living being. All other choices play a hand in it. The basic difference is material life or spiritual life. Only the human being can consciously make this decision. The animals don’t have the option. Their intelligence isn’t developed enough. They engage only in eating, sleeping, mating and defending.

As spiritual life is vast, complex, and sees years and even lifetimes’ worth of practice, how can this choice be presented so bluntly? Actually, rebirth can stop in a second. The promise is made in the Bhagavad-gita that anyone who thinks of Shri Krishna at the time of death never has to take birth again. Additionally, anyone who knows the transcendental nature of Krishna’s appearance and activities never takes birth again after quitting their body.

“And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.5)

[Lord Krishna]Of course, the difficulty is in remembering Krishna at the time of death. It is difficult accepting that God exists and can have a transcendental form that is all-attractive. It is difficult accepting the fact that Krishna appears in this world, performs amazing activities, and does so at His own will. It is difficult to focus on spiritual life when there are so many critical decisions to make that distract the mind.

Nevertheless, the promise is there. The choice is one that every person makes, if they are aware of it or not. Rebirth happens due to karma, which is fruitive activity. Karma is driven by personal desire. If the desire shifts to the spiritual realm, where the summit is unmotivated and uninterrupted service to the Divine, then karma stops. When the wheel of action and reaction ceases to spin, so does the cycle of birth and death.

In Closing:

When wheel of consequences no longer to spin,

Boon of no more rebirth to win.


Human life of choices a collection,

Like in work, home, and instruction.


Krishna or not choice ultimately made,

Eternal bliss or in material ocean to wade.


Just know His birth or remember at death’s time,

The right path taken, fulfill this destiny of mine.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Five Ways To Properly Understand Evolution

[Stopping rebirth]“Intelligent human beings must always remember that the soul obtains a human form after an evolution of many millions of years in the cycle of transmigration. The material world is sometimes compared to an ocean, and the human body is compared to a solid boat designed especially to cross this ocean.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shri Ishopanishad, 3 Purport)

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“Did we really descend from monkeys? If so, why are monkeys still around? Okay, the fittest of the species evolved to something else later on. Fossil evidence shows the remarkable similarities in the changes that occurred over time. Still, have we seen a species suddenly grow an extra hand? If we’re going off visual evidence, at least there should be an experiment that provides proof. Science is observation and experiment, after all. It is not observation, theory, and then coerced mass acceptance of the theory, lest you be considered crazy.”

Fortunately, there is a way to get a clearer picture on the evolution debate, and it comes from a tradition generally considered to be religious. Sanatana-dharma, which is also known as bhakti-yoga and bhagavata-dharma, is the science of spirituality. Indeed, there are laws to the material nature, and those laws both include and are run by spirit. Studying different aspects of the spiritual science, we gain a better understanding of evolution.

1. Prakriti and purusha

These two combine to make every living thing that we see. Vedic teachings reveal the eye-opening truth of the changing of bodies and the universal similarity of species. Basically, everyone is the same on the inside. The trees are no different than the birds. The birds are the same as the fish. The monkeys are indeed identical to the human being.

If they are the same, why do they go by different names? I know that if I visit a certain region in India, the monkeys might steal my eyeglasses and run away. The trees won’t do that. The human beings likely won’t, either. The monkeys are different. So are the other species.

Prakriti accounts for the difference. The spirit inside is purusha. Spirit is unchangeable, and it cannot be killed. What we know as birth is the entering of purusha into a specific form of prakriti. Death is the same spark of spirit, purusha, leaving prakriti. It moves on to another form.

“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.13)

The soul can evolve into different species. It can move from one set of clothes to another. The clothes themselves don’t evolve. What is described as evolution is really a kind of travel. The elements to create the different bodies have always been there. Both prakriti and purusha come from the original spirit soul, who is the origin of everything in fact.

2. I can’t make my offspring grow an extra hand if I tried

There is simply no way for me to do this. The failure indicates a defect in prakriti. If I need some more living space in my home, I can add an extra room. Taking raw materials and then applying work, the new room appears.

The same can’t be done with the living beings. There is no way for me to guarantee that the people coming in future generations will be a certain way. I want my children to be smarter and more capable than me, but I am at the mercy of nature to decide. Progress is not always there, even if the original species is considered fit. Again, the science of spirituality explains this, as every living being is a combination of prakriti and purusha.

3. We have visual evidence of the misery in the human species

The foundation of the evolution theory is that there is advancement towards a “fitter” species. Yet we see so much suffering in the human being. They get weighed down by daily pressures. There is indulgence in intoxication in order to remove the influence of the senses; albeit only temporarily. There is so much anger that nations go to war, even if they have everything they need to live comfortably. There is suicide, also.

The trees don’t have these problems. The fish are so less advanced in intelligence that they don’t even know what water is. If the human being is more fit, why is there increased misery? This fact alone invalidates the theory that the type of matter assumed is an indicator of fitness.

Vedic teachings say that real evolution is in terms of potential for intelligence, and more specifically, the ability to be conscious of God. The more one connects with Him, in what is known as yoga, the more happy they become. Bliss, or ananda, is the barometer for fitness. The human being is indeed the most advanced, but without meeting the destiny of spiritual awareness, it is no further along than the animal.

4. Evolution is of the spirit soul

The laws of material nature run on intelligence. They are so predictable that if there is the slightest deviation for a period of time, man thinks that he alone is responsible and that he can change the situation. Intelligence is programmed into nature by an intelligent being. We have no evidence of randomness leading to intelligence. The smartphone, the automobile, the physics class - none of these run on randomness.

And so there is intelligence to evolution, which occurs for the individual soul. The intelligence is there in the law of karma, which is inherently fair. Karma dictates where the individual soul will go next. Karma is fruitive activity. There is some independence granted to the living being, and how they behave creates future consequences. The lower species are like temporary stops along a lengthy journey towards the final destination.

“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.9)

[Stopping rebirth]The human body is meant to be the final destination, but there is no guarantee that rebirth will stop from there. The person who is spiritually aware at the time of death gets escape from the cycle of birth and death. No more prakriti for the purusha who is connected to the Supreme Lord.

5. The last stage is to understand things properly and be situated in peace

The human being can find peace, even before death. The proper understanding of things brings some relief, as there is no longer so much concern over the future. The laws of nature operate regardless of our awareness of them. Karma handles fairness, and so we can shift our attention to remaining always aware of the origin of all species.

Since He is a person who is all-attractive, one of His names is Krishna. The real science behind evolution is explained in books such as the Shrimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. The topic is important, but it is not the most necessary thing to know. Rather, if a person understands that there is a God and that He is the best friend of everyone, the supreme proprietor, and the person to whom all activity should be dedicated, then they can achieve peace. Peace is the real boon of a human birth, a birth that is difficult to achieve but auspicious once it comes about.

In Closing:

Difficult, after so much time achieved,

But auspicious when human birth received.


Fittest since potential for intelligence high,

Not for any other reason why.


Evolution theory from misery failing,

Trees, fish, monkeys their plight not bewailing.


Intelligent being in background most important to know,

His loving nature, as our best friend with us to go.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Five Classes You Must Take While Attending The College Of Life

[Krishna swallowing forest fire]“Among all kinds of killers, time is the ultimate because time kills everything. Time is the representative of Krishna because in due course of time there will be a great fire and everything will be annihilated.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 10.33 Purport)

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It’s your first year of college. Everything is brand new to you. From living away from home, having to do your own laundry, walking to a dining hall to eat - you haven’t done these things before. You’re excited, since you’ll broaden your horizons. You’re on your own, but there are still other people there with you. You’ll learn together.

One of the things you’re quickly thrown into is the process of registering for classes. You know what your major field of study is, but it’s not like you’re guaranteed to get the classes you need. There are those that are required. Either for your major or to graduate, you need to take these classes. There are also electives. If you want to branch out of your field of study, you enroll in these classes. They may also help to boost your grade point average.

If the journey through life, from birth to death, were compared to attending a university, there are indeed certain classes that are requirements. These help to bring the human being towards their potential in intelligence. Moreover, they help to make the experience truly rewarding. These classes come down from the authority that is the Vedic tradition. Parampara, fortunately, has plenty of teachers to ensure that the proper topics are covered.

1. My Identity - Spirit or Matter?

Who are you? Does your body identify you or is there something deeper lying within? This course covers the interesting topic in depth, using the Bhagavad-gita as the main text. We look at the individual at each phase of the typical life cycle and what it means. We cover the common types of identification and compare them.

2. History of the universe - From Where Did Everything Come?

How did the universe really come to be? Was it a big bang of chemicals that led to the present variety of life that we see around us? How do we explain the intelligence embedded within nature? Using the Bhagavata Purana as our main source, we take a deeper look at what goes into making the many species we see around us. By the end of this class, you will have a better understanding of what the rishis from ancient times say about what goes into making a universe.

3. Time and Death - Natural Friends or Strange Bedfellows?

Life to death, both for the individual and for the creation at large, features constant change. In this course we study the time factor. The Sanskrit word kala is used for both time and death. Time is what is behind the many changes we see. They say that time heals all wounds, and in this course we study exactly why time is here and what its purpose is. Why is there death? Why can’t we all live forever? These questions and more are answered assertively and without doubt by the rishis of the Vedic tradition.

4. Karma - Good or Bad?

Go deeper into the topic we commonly associate with good and bad things happening to us. How do those results manifest? What exactly is good and bad? Is there a way to know the proper action to follow in all circumstances? Why do some people have it good while others are always struggling? Karma, often translated as “fruitive activity” in English, is mentioned in many different contexts in Vedic literature. We cover the common areas of association, such as prescribed duty, positive and negative consequences, and reincarnation.

5. God - Fact or Fiction?

[Krishna swallowing forest fire]The rich philosophy of the Vedas has no known date of inception. The works themselves don’t say that they came into being at a certain time period. They are sourced in someone who is eternal. He can be known by the term “God,” but there is actually much more to Him. In this class we cover what Vedic philosophy has to say about God, and whether the extra information provided, particularly about His greatness, can help solve the question that has puzzled man for centuries. Does God actually exist?

In Closing:

Life like university entered by you,

Many classes from which to choose.


Vedas knowledge on topics giving,

A variety, so that with intelligence living.


Karma, origin of the universe, and time,

Is God real or just imagination of mine?


In depth, from rishis and Vedic literature store,

Most vital learning, to continue more and more.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Five Instances Where The Sinner’s Fruit Arrived At The Right Time

[Krishna killing Kamsa]“Just as a tree starts to blossom during the proper season, so the doer of sinful deeds inevitably reaps the horrible fruit of their actions at the appropriate time.” (Lord Rama speaking to Khara, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 29.8)

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“It’s not fair. Bad people get away with their crimes. Just look at the leaders of the most powerful nations. They are liars, cheaters and thieves. They lie so many times. The media is in cahoots. They agree with certain policy positions, so they look past these transgressions. No one is honest anymore.

“Spiritual leaders are often no better. They take advantage of women and children. Their organizations then give them a slap on the wrist; only if they get caught. People’s lives get ruined. How can there be a God? How can you say karma is true if so many people skate?”

Indeed, despite what the present manifestation of the material elements conveys, there is always the time factor to fix things. Known as kala in Sanskrit, it is synonymous with death. It is one way that every person meets the Divine. Despite the staunchest obstinacy, the atheist at least acknowledges a higher power, a force over which they have zero control.

In the course of history there have been several notable examples of the fruit of the sinner arriving at the appropriate time. Shri Rama, the Supreme Lord in a famous incarnation, once explained the rule to a person about to receive their due punishment. He compared the timing to how flowers appear during the appropriate season on the trees. Just because things look unfair right now doesn’t mean that the situation won’t change in the future.

1. Hiranyakashipu

Even when learning the truth about the sometimes delayed arrival of punishment, there is an objection.

“Why? Why should not the punishment come immediately?”

One of the reasons is that the gap in time allows for other events to occur. Those events serve a purpose.

Take the example of Hiranyakashipu. He was as wicked as they get. He was a powerful king who had some hints of religious culture in his life. After all, he prayed. He gave up material life for a while, too. But the difference always comes down to consciousness. Though engaged in prayer, his intent was to enjoy separate from God. He received boons that allowed him to amass tremendous strength. He wielded so much influence that the very gods who grant boons were afraid of him.

Hiranyakashipu’s greatest crimes were perpetrated against his son, when the boy was five years of age. Hiranyakashipu tried to kill Prahlada in so many different ways. We speak in the plural because the boy couldn’t be killed. For some reason Prahlada survived every attack. The horrible reward for the king’s bad karma finally came in the form of death personified. The same Shri Rama arrived on the scene in a ghastly half-man/half-lion form. The delayed arrival allowed for the glorification of Prahlada. Through His five year old devotee, the Supreme Lord taught the power of perseverance and how yoga, a strong connection to the Divine in consciousness, transcends the effects of the material body.

2. Khara

This night-ranger was the direct recipient of the instructive words from Shri Rama. The setting was the battlefield, in a forest area known as Dandaka. Khara received these wise words because he and his coconspirators had literally gotten away with murder for a long time. They would attack peaceful and innocent sages in the night. The sages were engaged in yajna, or sacrifice. Yajna is synonymous with Vishnu, who is another form of the singular Divine. The night-rangers would eat the flesh of the sages after killing them.

Now Rama was about to defeat and kill Khara in battle. The ghastly reward was set to come the fiend’s way. Though it arrived at a later time, it came nonetheless. The gap in time allowed the beautiful Rama to appear in the world and show His amazing ability with the bow and arrow. His appearance gave cause for the teachings of dharma, through both action and words.

3. Ravana

Khara and the nishacharas came from Lanka, which was ruled by Ravana. Ravana also ate human beings. Because of this, the species ruling Lanka were known as Rakshasas. Ravana even one time killed a messenger that came to his kingdom. He consumed massive amounts of animal flesh and wine. He had many queens. Still, bent on sinful behavior as he was, he had to go and steal Rama’s wife from the forest.

It looked like the kindest person was getting the worst punishment. Rama’s wife Sita was in Lanka for a while, without any hope of rescue. Still, the appropriate punishment blossomed at the right season. Rama eventually came and Ravana lost everything. The time in between allowed for Rama’s servant Hanuman to gain fame. Hanuman’s amazing journey to Lanka to find Sita is immortalized in the pages of the Ramayana. Hanuman has his own section, known as the Sundara Kand, carved out in that sacred text.

4. Kamsa

This king of Mathura took infants and threw them against a stone slab. This was his version of abortion. It was really no different than the killing of children in the womb that is commonplace today. The reason for this horrible act was fear of death. A voice from the sky had previously told Kamsa that his sister Devaki’s eighth child would be his doom. Kamsa did not take any chances. He made sure every child that was born was killed immediately.

[Krishna killing Kamsa]Ah, but just as karma is inescapable, so is the Divine will. The Supreme Lord was that eighth child, and He was named Krishna. He escaped to Gokula right after birth. Years later He returned to Mathura to kill Kamsa. A swift punch from the all-attractive one ended the king’s life and his persecutions. The time in between allowed for so many things, including Krishna’s adorable pastimes in Vrindavana. In that time the loving mother, Yashoda, had the opportunity to show everyone the perfection of the mood known as vatsalya. In bhakti-yoga, devotional service, there are different moods, or ways to interact with the Supreme Lord.

5. Duryodhana

The kingdom didn’t belong to him. The Pandavas were the rightful heirs. They were family too, related to Duryodhana as cousins. Nevertheless, the leader of the Kauravas would not relent. He took the important land, not caring about righteousness. On top of that, he hatched different plots to have the five Pandava brothers and their mother killed.

He even once attempted to bind Shri Krishna, who came to the city as a messenger of peace. The fiend eventually got his just reward, but it took a while. In the meantime, the perseverance of the Pandavas was shown. The exemplary character of their mother was also prominent. These historical events and more comprise the main storyline of the lengthy book known as the Mahabharata.

Within the Mahabharata is the Bhagavad-gita, which is the song of God. It was originally spoken at the dawn of creation. It gets passed on by saintly kings, and Krishna was reinstituting the disciplic succession by speaking it to Arjuna. The setting was the battlefield of Kurukshetra, just prior to the war that was to give the Kauravas what they deserved. In this way, the time in between allowed for so many good things to happen.

Karma is inherently fair. It cannot be otherwise. The Divine will is even more powerful. That is why the only way to be truly safe is to seek the shelter of the Supreme Lord, who loves His devotees so much that for them He breaks from His general stance of neutrality.

In Closing:

Of righteousness sinners not to care,

Getting away with crimes, life not fair.


Actually, all just a matter of time,

At appropriate moment dharma to shine.


Examples from history like Sita take,

Allowed for Hanuman brave journey to make.


Despite persecutions Kamsa as king still to stand,

Ended with one swift punch from Krishna’s hand.