|arya||Date: Monday, 19-November-2012, 6:13 PM | Message # 1|
|Brahman is indestructible and eternally existing, and its constitution is not changed at any time. But beyond Brahman there is Parabrahman. Brahman refers to the living entity, and Parabrahman refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The constitutional position of the living entity is different from the position he takes in the material world. In material consciousness, his nature is to try to be the lord of matter, but in spiritual (Krsna) consciousness, his position is to serve the Supreme. When the living entity is in material consciousness, he has to take on various bodies in the material world. That is called karma, or varied creation by the force of material consciousness. |
In Vedic literature the living entity is called jivatma and Brahman, but he is never called Parabrahman. The living entity (jivatma) takes different positions--sometimes he merges into the dark material nature and identifies himself with matter, and sometimes he identifies himself with the superior spiritual nature. Therefore he is called the Supreme Lord's marginal energy. According to his identification with material or spiritual nature, he receives a material or spiritual body. In material nature he may take a body from any of the 8,400,000 species of life, but in spiritual nature he has only one body. In material nature he is sometimes manifested as a man, demigod, an animal, a beast, a bird, etc., according to his karma. To attain material heavenly planets and enjoy their facilities, he sometimes performs sacrifices (yajna), but when his merit is exhausted, he returns to earth again in the form of a man.
In the process of sacrifice, the living entity makes specific sacrifices to attain specific heavenly planets and consequently reaches them. When the merit of sacrifice is exhausted, then the living entity descends to earth in the form of rain, then takes on the form of grains, and the grains are eaten by man and transformed into semen, which impregnates a woman, and thus the living entity once again attains the human form to perform sacrifice and so repeat the same cycle. In this way, the living entity perpetually comes and goes on the material path. The Krsna conscious person, however, avoids such sacrifices. He takes directly to Krsna consciousness and thereby prepares himself to return to Godhead.
Impersonalist commentators on the Gita unreasonably assume that Brahman takes the form of jiva in the material world, and to substantiate this they refer to Chapter Fifteen, verse 7, of the Gita. But this verse also speaks of the living entity as "an eternal fragment of Myself." The fragment of God, the living entity, may fall down into the material world, but the Supreme Lord (Acyuta) never falls down. Therefore this assumption that the Supreme Brahman assumes the form of jiva is not acceptable. It is important to remember that in Vedic literature Brahman (the living entity) is distinguished from Parabrahman (the Supreme Lord).
The physical nature is constantly changing. Material bodies generally pass through six stages: they are born, they grow, they remain for some duration, they produce some by-products, they dwindle, and then they vanish. This physical nature is called adhibhuta. Because it is created at a certain point and will be annihilated at a certain point, the conception of the universal form of the Supreme Lord that includes all the demigods and their different planets is called adhidaivata. The individual soul (jiva) accompanies the body. The Supersoul, a plenary representation of Lord Krsna, is called the Paramatma or adhiyajna and is situated in the heart. The word eva is particularly important in the context of this verse because by this word the Lord stresses that the Paramatma is not different from Him. The Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, seated beside the individual soul, is the witness of the individual soul's activities and is the source of consciousness. The Supersoul gives the jiva an opportunity to act freely, and He witnesses his activities. The functions of all these different manifestations of the Supreme Lord automatically become clarified for the pure Krsna conscious devotee engaged in transcendental service of the Lord. The gigantic universal form of the Lord called adhidaivata is contemplated by the neophyte who cannot approach the Supreme Lord in His manifestation as Supersoul. The neophyte is advised to contemplate the universal form whose legs are considered the lower planets and whose eyes are considered the sun and moon, and whose head is considered the upper planetary system.
In this verse the importance of Krsna consciousness is stressed. Anyone who quits his body in Krsna consciousness is at once transferred to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord. The word smaran ("remembering") is important. Remembrance of Krsna is not possible for the impure soul who has not practiced Krsna consciousness in devotional service. To remember Krsna one should chant the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, incessantly, following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, being more tolerant than a tree, humbler than the grass and offering all respect to others without requiring respect in return. In such a way one will be able to depart from the body successfully remembering Krsna and so attain the supreme goal.
The process of changing one's nature at the critical moment of death is here explained. How can one die in the proper state of mind? Maharaja Bharata thought of a deer at the time of death and so was transferred to that form of life. However, as a deer, Maharaja Bharata could remember his past activities. Of course the cumulative effect of the thoughts and actions of one's life influences one's thoughts at the moment of death; therefore the actions of this life determine one's future state of being. If one is transcendentally absorbed in Krsna's service, then his next body will be transcendental (spiritual), not physical. Therefore the chanting of Hare Krsna is the best process for successfully changing one's state of being to transcendental life.
The Lord does not say that one should give up his prescribed duties or engagements. One can continue them and at the same time think of Krsna by chanting Hare Krsna. This will free one from material contamination and engage the mind and intelligence in Krsna. By chanting Krsna's names, one will be transferred to the supreme planet, Krsnaloka, without a doubt.
In this verse Lord Krsna stresses the importance of remembering Him. One's memory of Krsna is revived by chanting the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna. By this practice of chanting and hearing the sound vibration of the Supreme Lord, one's ear, tongue and mind are engaged. This mystic meditation is very easy to practice, and it helps one attain the Supreme Lord. Purusam means enjoyer. Although living entities belong to the marginal energy of the Supreme Lord, they are in material contamination. They think themselves enjoyers, but they are not the supreme enjoyer. Here it is clearly stated that the supreme enjoyer is the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His different manifestations and plenary expansions as Narayana, Vasudeva, etc.
The devotees can constantly think of the object of worship, the Supreme Lord, in any of His features--Narayana, Krsna, Rama, etc., by chanting Hare Krsna. This practice will purify him, and at the end of his life, due to his constant chanting, he will be transferred to the kingdom of God. Yoga practice is meditation on the Supersoul within; similarly, by chanting Hare Krsna one fixes his mind always on the Supreme Lord. The mind is fickle, and therefore it is necessary to engage the mind by force to think of Krsna. One example often given is that of the caterpillar that thinks of becoming a butterfly and so is transformed into a butterfly in the same life. Similarly, if we constantly think of Krsna, it is certain that at the end of our lives we shall have the same bodily constitution as Krsna.
The foremost point is that He is not impersonal or void. One cannot meditate on something impersonal or void. That is very difficult. The process of thinking of Krsna, however, is very easy and is factually stated herein. First of all, He is purusa, spiritual, Rama and Krsna, and is described herein as kavim; that is, He knows past, present and future and therefore knows everything. He is the oldest personality because He is the origin of everything; everything is born out of Him. He is also the supreme controller of the universe, maintainer and instructor of humanity. He is smaller than the smallest. The living entity is one ten-thousandth part of the tip of a hair, but the Lord is so inconceivably small that He enters into the heart of this particle. Therefore He is called smaller than the smallest. As the Supreme, He can enter into the atom and into the heart of the smallest and control him as the Supersoul. Although so small, He is still all-pervading and is maintaining everything. By Him all these planetary systems are sustained. We often wonder how these big planets are floating in the air. It is stated here that the Supreme Lord, by His inconceivable energy, is sustaining all these big planets and systems of galaxies. The word acintya (inconceivable) is very significant in this connection. God's energy is beyond our conception, beyond our thinking jurisdiction, and is therefore called inconceivable (acintya). Who can argue this point? He pervades this material world and yet is beyond it. We cannot even comprehend this material world, which is insignificant compared to the spiritual world--so how can we comprehend what is beyond? Acintya means that which is beyond this material world, that which our argument, logic and philosophical speculation cannot touch, that which is inconceivable. Therefore intelligent persons, avoiding useless argument and speculation, should accept what is stated in scriptures like the Vedas, Gita, and Srimad-Bhagavatam and follow the principles they set down. This will lead one to understanding.
In this verse it is clearly stated that at the time of death the mind must be fixed in devotion on the Supreme Godhead. For those practiced in yoga, it is recommended that they raise the life force between the eyebrows, but for a pure devotee who does not practice such yoga, the mind should always be engaged in Krsna consciousness so that at death he can remember the Supreme by His grace. This is explained in verse fourteen.
The particular use of the word yoga-balena is significant in this verse because without practice of yoga one cannot come to this transcendental state of being at the time of death. One cannot suddenly remember the Supreme Lord at death unless he is practiced in some yoga system, especially the system of bhakti-yoga. Since one's mind at death is very disturbed, one should practice transcendence through yoga during one's life.
Lord Krsna explains that Brahman, although one without a second, has different manifestations and features. For the impersonalists, the syllable om is identical with Brahman. Krsna here explains the impersonal Brahman, in which the renounced order of sages enter.
In the Vedic system of knowledge, students, from the very beginning, are taught to vibrate om and learn of the ultimate impersonal Brahman by living with the spiritual master in complete celibacy. In this way they realize two of Brahman's features. This practice is very essential for the student's advancement in spiritual life, but at the moment such brahmacari (unmarried celibate) life is not at all possible. The social construction of the world has changed so much that there is no possibility of one's practicing celibacy from the beginning of student life. Throughout the world there are many institutions for different departments of knowledge, but there is no recognized institution where students can be educated in the brahmacari principles. Unless one practices celibacy, advancement in spiritual life is very difficult. Therefore Lord Caitanya has announced, according to the scriptural injunctions for this Age of Kali, that no process of realizing the Supreme is possible except the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krsna: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Since this temporary material world is full of the miseries of birth, old age, disease and death, naturally he who achieves the highest perfection and attains the supreme planet, Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndavana, does not wish to return. The supreme planet is described in Vedic literature as beyond our material vision, and it is considered the highest goal. The mahatmas (great souls) receive transcendental messages from the realized devotees and thus gradually develop devotional service in Krsna consciousness and become so absorbed in transcendental service that they no longer desire elevation to any of the material planets, nor do they even want to be transferred to any spiritual planet. They only want Krsna's association and nothing else. Such great souls in Krsna consciousness attain the highest perfection of life. In other words, they are the supreme souls.
All kinds of yogis--karma, jnana, hatha, etc.--eventually have to attain devotional perfection in bhakti-yoga, or Krsna consciousness, before they can go to Krsna's transcendental abode and never return. Those who attain the highest material planets or the planets of the demigods are again subjected to repeated birth and death. As persons on earth are elevated to higher planets, people in higher planets such as Brahmaloka, Candraloka and Indraloka fall down to earth. The practice of sacrifice called pancagni-vidya, recommended in the Katha Upanisad, enables one to achieve Brahmaloka, but if, in Brahmaloka, one does not cultivate Krsna consciousness, then he must return to earth. Those who progress in Krsna consciousness in the higher planets are gradually elevated to higher and higher planets and at the time of universal devastation are transferred to the eternal spiritual kingdom. When there is devastation of this material universe, Brahma and his devotees, who are constantly engaged in Krsna consciousness, are all transferred to the spiritual universe and to specific spiritual planets according to their desires.
The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahma, and one day of Brahma consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas or ages: Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali. The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yuga lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Treta-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvapara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and this yuga lasts 864,000 years. And finally in Kali-yuga (the yuga that we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically nonexistent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. In Kali-yuga vice increases to such a point that at the termination of the yuga the Supreme Lord Himself appears as the Kalki avatara, vanquishes the demons, saves His devotees, and commences another Satya-yuga. Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahma, the creator god, and the same number comprise one night. Brahma lives one hundred of such "years" and then dies. These "hundred years" by earth calculations total to 311 trillion and 40 million earth years. By these calculations the life of Brahma seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the Causal Ocean there are innumerable Brahmas rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahma and his creation are all part of the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux.
In the material universe not even Brahma is free from the process of birth, old age, disease and death. Brahma, however, is directly engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord in the management of this universe--therefore he at once attains liberation. Elevated sannyasis are promoted to Brahma's particular planet, Brahmaloka, which is the highest planet in the material universe and which survives all the heavenly planets in the upper strata of the planetary system, but in due course Brahma and all the inhabitants of Brahmaloka are subject to death, according to the law of material nature.
When Brahma's day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma's night they are all annihilated.
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Message edited by arya - Monday, 19-November-2012, 6:14 PM