“Everything is existing within the energy of the Lord, so the Brahma of this universe or the Brahmas of the many other millions and trillions of universes are existing within the energy of the Lord; therefore the Lord is considered to be the mother, and everything existing within the womb of the mother is considered to be the child. And the good mother is never offended with the child, even if he touches the body of the mother by kicking his legs.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 14)Download this episode (right click and save)
The concept of sin needn’t be misunderstood as widely as it is. More basic than doing something and then getting punished for a long time in the afterlife, sin is merely the wrong way. It is the path leading to the destination that is not desired. At the outset it may not seem this way. The patient suffering from stomach problems is told to limit food intake. Yet when eating dinner that night they think it wise to have more and more of what is offered to them. In other times this overeating isn’t sinful, but in this unhealthy condition the situation is reversed.
The sin in this case leads to the negative reaction of continued health problems. In the larger scheme, sin is what keeps the consciousness further away from the Supreme Lord. The association with the Divine is always there. He is around us right now, but we lack the eyes to notice His presence. He is the life of everything that lives. The individual soul animates the dead body, but without the hand of the Supreme Soul we wouldn’t be able to notice that something is alive or dead.
puṇyo gandhaḥ pṛthivyāṁ ca
tejaś cāsmi vibhāvasau
tapaś cāsmi tapasviṣu
“I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.9)
The individual has the Supreme Soul residing next to it. Side by side, like best friends, we are meant to be with God. Though He lives so close to us, there can be a great distance between us. This is due to consciousness. It shouldn’t be that difficult to understand. We can be neighbors with someone for years and still not know their name. Someone who lives much further away can be closer to us since we are in constant contact with them.
Krishna consciousness is the original consciousness. Any other consciousness is the result of sin. More and more sin keeps the consciousness more and more away from its original state. This lack of association with the Supreme Lord due to the desires within the mind is an indirect sort of sin. It is not made directly in front of Krishna the person. It is subtly done, when we think He is not in front of us. To prove that He is the most forgiving, one time Krishna pardoned a great offense made directly to Him.
The sinful act was carried out by Lord Brahma, who is the creator. We are products of Brahma’s work. We are individual soul at the core, so Brahma has no influence over that. But when there is a trace of sin in us, he gets to work at making the bodies we will reside in. These are like uniforms, and they have different features. Brahma uses the three modes of material nature as his ingredients. His work results in up to 8,400,000 different species.
Brahma is empowered by the Supreme Lord. First comes God, then Brahma, who emerges from a stem that grows out of the lotus-like navel of Vishnu. Krishna and Vishnu are the same; just different manifestations of the original personal God. Since Vishnu has this feature on His body, one of His names is Padmanabha, or one with a lotus-like navel.
Even though Brahma is given the task of creation, he too can sin. He did this one time when Krishna appeared on earth in the land of Vrindavana. The area was a farm community, and fitting in with everyone else Krishna would enjoy as a young child. Part of that play included daily trips to the pasturing grounds with the calves. Krishna would go along with His friends who were around the same age.
One day while the boys were taking lunch in the fields, they noticed that their calves had wandered away. Krishna went to look for them, but to no luck. When He came back, He saw that all His cowherd friends were gone. The Supreme Lord knew that this was Brahma’s doing, who wanted to see Krishna work His magic once again. Up until that time, many nefarious characters had come to Vrindavana to try to harm Krishna. Though a small child and thus seemingly no match against more powerful and deceitful demons, Krishna emerged victorious every time.
He would baffle Brahma on this occasion. Krishna simply expanded Himself to make copies of all the calves and cowherd boys. He returned home with them and continued with the game for an entire year. Finally Brahma relented and gave back the boys and the calves, who didn’t notice that an entire year had passed. A contrite Brahma then offered nice prayers.
One of the things he mentioned is that the mother doesn’t mind it if the child in the womb starts to kick a little. In the same way, Krishna should not mind if Brahma played with Him in this way. And of course Krishna forgave Brahma. This offense was made directly at Krishna, involving His beloved friends and calves as well. If He is forgiving of Brahma, who is supposed to know better, He is certainly the same way with the countless living entities who have forgotten Him since time immemorial. He forgives the original sin in a second, provided the desire to regain His association is there. This is one way to explain the potency of the maha-mantra, which removes sin and redeems souls that have lost their way: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Conditioned souls who’ve lost their way,
With sincerity the holy names can say.
Forgiven for everything past transpired,
By pastime with Brahma be inspired.
Friends taken from the field though,
That work of Brahma Krishna to know.
Like mother child’s kicking not minding,
Supreme forgiveness in Padmanabha finding.