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the self evident vedas which describe the existance of the vedas come down thru the disciplic chain by the mercy of sri hari as amnya vakya. reasoning that is based purely on logic is always crippled when evaluating inconceivable subjeact matters, since logic and argument have no asccessin the realm of the inconcievable. human beings cannot realise transcendental things thru their senses. they can realize only thru vedas. we have the four imperfections which are manifested by the lords mouth: illlusion error and cheating propensity and imperfect senses, but the Lord is beyond all these imp's, therefore the self evident vedas are original pure knowledge, always faultless , always dependable as evidence. Jaiva Dharma p.303 slightly paraphrsed with my error typing

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edit above reading ...They can realize only thru vedas which are manifested from the lords mouth.NOT "We have 4 imperfections which are manifested by lords mouth." please excuse my computer stuff , i really am a beginner, and i can get it right but i have to go so slow and i wanted tohurry and get this on the thread before it goes away, it seemed so appropriate because it came from a question someone asked if they can prove the existance of God...and i thought hmmm, this question is about his souls he creates.

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Here are a few quotes from various sources about the soul and the spiritual body:

<center>Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.71




nehate 'ham iti jJAnaM

mRtyu-prajvArayor api


supti--in deep sleep; mUrccha--fainting; upatApeSu--or in great shock; prANa-ayana--of the movement of the life air; vighAtataH--from prevention; na--not; Ihate--thinks of; aham--I; iti--thus; jJAnam--knowledge; mRtyu--while dying; prajvArayoH--or during high fever; api--also.


When the living entity is in deep sleep, when he faints, when there is some great shock on account of severe loss, at the time of death, or when the body temperature is very high, the movement of the life air is arrested. At that time the living entity loses knowledge of identifying the body with the self.



Foolish people deny the existence of the soul, but it is a fact that when we sleep we forget the identity of the material body and when we awake we forget the identity of the subtle body. In other words, while sleeping we forget the activities of the gross body, and when active in the gross body we forget the activities of sleeping. Actually both states--sleeping and waking--are creations of the illusory energy. The living entity actually has no connection with either the activities of sleep or the activities of the so-called wakened state. When a person is in deep sleep or when he has fainted, he forgets his gross body. Similarly, under chloroform or some other anesthetic, the living entity forgets his gross body and does not feel pain or pleasure during a surgical operation. Similarly, when a man is suddenly shocked by some great loss, he forgets his identification with the gross body. At the time of death, when the temperature of the body rises to 107 degrees, the living entity falls into a coma and is unable to identify his gross body. In such cases, the life air that moves within the body is choked up, and the living entity forgets his identification with the gross body. Because of our ignorance of the spiritual body, of which we have no experience, we do not know of the activities of the spiritual body, and in ignorance we jump from one false platform to another. We act sometimes in relation to the gross body and sometimes in relation to the subtle body. If, by KRSNa's grace, we act in our spiritual body, we can transcend both the gross and subtle bodies. In other words, we can gradually train ourselves to act in terms of the spiritual body. As stated in the NArada-paJcarAtra, hRSIkeNa hRSIkeza-sevanaM bhaktir ucyate: [Cc. Madhya 19.170] devotional service means engaging the spiritual body and spiritual senses in the service of the Lord. When we are engaged in such activities, the actions and reactions of the gross and subtle bodies cease.



<center>Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 24.111


bhakta-deha pAile haya guNera smaraNa

guNAkRSTa haJA kare nirmala bhajana


bhakta-deha--the body of a devotee; pAile--when one gets; haya--there is; guNera smaraNa--remembrance of the transcendental qualities; guNa-AkRSTa haJA--being attracted by the transcendental qualities; kare--performs; nirmala bhajana--pure devotional service.


"When one gets a devotee's spiritual body, he can remember the transcendental qualities of KRSNa. Simply by being attracted to KRSNa's transcendental qualities, one becomes a pure devotee engaged in His service.



SrIla Bhaktivinoda ThAkura has given the following summary of verses 107–111. Transcendentalists on the path of philosophical speculation can be divided into two categories--the pure worshipers of impersonal Brahman and those who wish to merge into the existence of impersonal Brahman. When one is fully absorbed in the thought that one is not different from the Supreme Absolute Truth, one is said to be a worshiper of the impersonal Brahman. The impersonal worshipers of Brahman can again be divided into three categories--(1) sAdhakas, those who are nearing perfect execution of the process of Brahman realization; (2) those who are fully absorbed in meditation on Brahman; and (3) those who are on the brahma-bhUta [sB 4.30.20] platform and have no relationship with material existence. Even though the worshiper of impersonal Brahman can be highly advanced, he cannot attain liberation without discharging devotional service. Anyone who has realized himself as spirit soul can engage in devotional service. This is the verdict of the Bhagavad-gItA (18.54):


<center>brahma-bhUtaH prasannAtmA na zocati na kAGkSati

samaH sarveSu bhUteSu mad-bhaktiM labhate parAm


"One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me."


To attain the platform of pure devotional service, one has to become spiritually pure and attain the brahma-bhUta platform, which is beyond material anxiety and material discrimination. When one approaches pure devotional service after realizing Brahman, one becomes attracted by pure devotional service. At such a time, by rendering devotional service, one gets a spiritual body with purified senses.


<center>sarvopAdhi-vinirmuktaM tat-paratvena nirmalam

hRSIkeNa hRSIkeza-sevanaM bhaktir ucyate

[Cc. Madhya 19.170]


When one's senses are pure, one can render loving devotional service to KRSNa. A pure devotee can only remember KRSNa's transcendental qualities. Remembering them, he fully engages in the loving service of the Lord.



Srimad Bhagavatam 2.2.18 purport

The above-mentioned state of affairs is factual on the transcendental plane, but is factually revealed in a transcendentalist's knowledge of the advanced state of pure consciousness. Such transcendentalists are of two types, namely the impersonalists and the devotees. For the impersonalist the ultimate goal or destination is the brahmajyoti of the spiritual sky, but for the devotees the ultimate goal is the VaikuNTha planets. The devotees experience the above-mentioned state of affairs by attainment of spiritual forms for activity in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. But the impersonalist, because of his neglecting the association of the Lord, does not develop a spiritual body for spiritual activity, but remains a spiritual spark only, merged in the effulgent spiritual rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord is the full-fledged form of eternity, bliss and knowledge, but the formless brahmajyoti is simply eternity and knowledge. The VaikuNTha planets are also forms of eternity, bliss and knowledge, and therefore the devotees of the Lord, who are admitted into the abode of the Lord, also get bodies of eternity, bliss and knowledge. As such there is no difference between one and another. The Lord's abode, name, fame, entourage, etc., are of the same transcendental quality, and how this transcendental quality differs from the material world is explained herewith in this verse. In the Bhagavad-gItA, three principal subjects have been explained by Lord SrI KRSNa, namely karma-yoga, jJAna-yoga and bhakti-yoga, but one can reach the VaikuNTha planets by the practice of bhakti-yoga only. The other two are incompetent in helping one reach the VaikuNThalokas, although they can, however, conveniently take one to the effulgent brahmajyoti, as described above.



Bhagavad-gita 15.7 purport

It is clear, however, in this verse, that the conditioned soul is covered by the material body, with the mind and the senses, and when he is liberated this material covering perishes, but his spiritual body manifests itself in its individual capacity. The following information is there in the MAdhyandinAyana-zruti: sa vA eSa brahma-niSTha idaM zarIraM martyam atisRjya brahmAbhisampadya brahmaNA pazyati brahmaNA zRNoti brahmaNaivedaM sarvam anubhavati. It is stated here that when a living entity gives up this material embodiment and enters into the spiritual world, he revives his spiritual body, and in his spiritual body he can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. He can hear and speak to Him face to face, and he can understand the Supreme Personality as He is. From smRti also it is understood, vasanti yatra puruSAH sarve vaikuNTha-mUrtayaH: in the spiritual planets everyone lives in bodies featured like the Supreme Personality of Godhead's. As far as bodily construction is concerned, there is no difference between the part-and-parcel living entities and the expansions of viSNu-mUrti. In other words, at liberation the living entity gets a spiritual body by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.



<center>Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 1.29-32


prasAda nArikela-zasya dena phelAJA

'rAma' 'kRSNa' 'hari' kaha'----balena hAsiyA


prasAda--food; nArikela-zasya--pulp of green coconut; dena--gives; phelAJA--throwing; rAma--Lord RAmacandra; kRSNa--SrI KRSNa; hari--the holy name of Hari; kaha'--say; balena--SrI Caitanya MahAprabhu says; hAsiyA--smiling.


Furthermore, SrI Caitanya MahAprabhu was throwing remnants of green coconut pulp to the dog. Smiling in His own way, He was saying to the dog, "Chant the holy names 'RAma,' 'KRSNa' and 'Hari.'"


<center>zasya khAya kukkura, 'kRSNa' kahe bAra bAra

dekhiyA lokera mane haila camatkAra


zasya khAya--eats the pulp of green coconut; kukkura--the dog; kRSNa--the holy name of KRSNa; kahe--chants; bAra bAra--again and again; dekhiyA--seeing this; lokera--of all the people; mane--in the minds; haila--there was; camatkAra--astonishment.


Seeing the dog eating the green coconut pulp and chanting "KRSNa, KRSNa" again and again, all the devotees present were very surprised.


<center>zivAnanda kukkura dekhi' daNDavat kailA

dainya kari' nija aparAdha kSamAilA


zivAnanda--SivAnanda Sena; kukkura--the dog; dekhi'--seeing there; daNDavat kailA--offered obeisances; dainya kari'--exhibiting humbleness; nija--personal; aparAdha--offenses; kSamAilA--asked to be forgiven.


When he saw the dog sitting in that way and chanting the name of KRSNa, SivAnanda, because of his natural humility, immediately offered his obeisances to the dog just to counteract his offenses to it.


<center>Ara dina keha tAra dekhA nA pAilA

siddha-deha pAJA kukkura vaikuNThete gelA


Ara dina--the next day; keha--all of them; tAra--of the dog; dekhA nA pAilA--did not get sight; siddha-deha pAJA--obtaining a spiritual body; kukkura--the dog; vaikuNThete gelA--went to the spiritual kingdom, VaikuNTha.


The next day, no one saw that dog, for it had obtained its spiritual body and departed for VaikuNTha, the spiritual kingdom.



This is the result of sAdhu-saGga [Cc. Madhya 22.83]--consequent association with SrI Caitanya MahAprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the VaiSNava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees. By rendering a little service, even by eating prasAdam, what to speak of chanting and dancing, everyone can be promoted to VaikuNThaloka. It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community become pure VaiSNavas, so that by their mercy all the people of the world will be transferred to VaikuNThaloka, even without their knowledge. Everyone should be given a chance to take prasAdam and thus be induced to chant the holy names Hare KRSNa and also dance in ecstasy. By these three processes, although performed without knowledge or education, even an animal went back to Godhead.



Excerpt from a morning walk conversation on May 13 '73 with Srila Prabhupada

Student. Some scientists argue that there are several souls within each body. They use the earthworm as an example. If you cut it in half, both parts will live. They say this proves that two souls occupied the original worm's body.

SrIla PrabhupAda. No. It is simply that a new soul has come to occupy the other half of the worm's body.

Dr. Singh. Must the spirit soul necessarily have a body--either spiritual or material?

SrIla PrabhupAda. The soul already has a spiritual body, which the material body covers. My material body grows upon me--my spiritual body--but my material body is unnatural. The real body is spiritual. I am accepting various bodies that are unnatural to my constitution. My real, constitutional position is to be the servant of KRSNa. As long as I do not come to that position, I remain a servant of matter and get many material bodies according to the laws of material energy. i get one body and then give it up. I desire something else and again get another body. This process is going on under the strict laws of material nature. People think they completely control their destinies, but they are always under nature's law of karma:


<center>prakRteH kriyamANAni

guNaiH karmANi sarvazaH


kartAham iti manyate


"The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities that are In actuality carried out by nature." (Bg. 3.27) The source of this bewilderment is that the living entity thinks, "I am this body."


<center>IzvaraH sarva-bhUtAnAM

hRd-deze 'rjuna tiSThati

bhrAmayan sarva-bhUtAni

yantrArUDhAni mAyayA

[bg. 18.61]


In this verse the word yantra, or "machine," means that in any species of life, we are traveling in bodies that are like machines provided by material nature. Sometimes we are moving to higher species, sometimes to lower species. But if, by the mercy of the spiritual master and KRSNa, one gets the seed of devotional service and cultivates it, he can become free from the cycle of birth and death. Then his life is successful. Otherwise, he has to travel up and down the different species of life, becoming sometimes a blade of grass, sometimes a lion, and so forth.



Excerpt from RAja-VidyA (King of Knowledge) Chapter 6

In the very beginning of Bhagavad-gItA, in the Second Chapter, KRSNa explains that what we accept as birth and death is due to the body, and as soon as we regain our spiritual body and get out of the contamination of birth and death, we should be qualitatively as good as KRSNa. That is the whole process of KRSNa consciousness--the revival of our original sac-cid-Ananda spiritual body. That body is eternal (sat), full of knowledge (cit), and blissful (Ananda). This material body is neither sat, cit, nor Ananda. It is perishable, whereas the person who is occupying the body is imperishable. It is also full of ignorance, and because it is ignorant and temporary, it is full of misery. We feel severe hot or severe cold due to the material body, but as soon as we revive our spiritual body, we become unaffected by dualities. Even while within the material bodies there are yogIs who are impervious to dualities such as heat and cold. As we begin to make spiritual advancement while in the material body, we begin to take on the qualities of a spiritual body. If we put iron into a fire, it becomes hot, and then it becomes red-hot, and finally it is no longer iron, but fire--whatever it touches bursts into flames. As we become advanced in KRSNa consciousness, our material body will become spiritualized and will no longer be affected by material contamination.



Excerpt from A Second Chance: The Story of a Near-Death Experience

AjAmila was now ready to return home, back to Godhead, and thus he gave up his material body and regained his original, spiritual body. As the Lord says in the Bhagavad-gItA (4.9):


<center>janma karma ca me divyam

evaM yo vetti tattvataH

tyaktvA dehaM punar janma

naiti mAm eti so 'rjuna


"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." The result of perfection in KRSNa consciousness is that after giving up one's material body, one is immediately transferred to the spiritual world in one's original, spiritual body to become an associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Some devotees go to VaikuNTha to become associates of Lord ViSNu, and others go to Goloka VRndAvana to become associates of KRSNa.



Discussing Carl Jung

SrIla PrabhupAda: [...] Impersonalists have no knowledge of the spiritual body.

Disciple: The fourth form of rebirth is called renovation, and this applies to "the transformation of a mortal into an immortal being, of a corporeal into a spiritual being, and of a human into a divine being. Well-known prototypes of this change ore the transfiguration and ascension of Christ, and the bodily assumption of the mother of God into heaven after her death."

SrIla PrabhupAda: We say that the spiritual body never dies but that the material body is subject to destruction. Na hanyate hanyamAne zarIre: [bg. 2.20] the material body is subject to destruction, but after its destruction the spiritual body is still there. The spiritual body is neither generated nor killed.

Disciple: But aren't there examples in the SrImad-BhAgavatam of a kind of ascension into heaven? Didn't Arjuna ascend?

SrIla PrabhupAda: Yes, and YudhiSThira. There are many instances--especially KRSNa Himself and His associates. But we should never consider their bodies material. They didn't go through death of any sort, although their bodies traveled to the higher universe. But it is also a fact that everyone possesses a spiritual body.



Discussing Origen, the Original Christian Mystic

SrIla PrabhupAda: The spirit soul is now within this material body, but originally the spirit soul had no material body. The spiritual body of the spirit soul is eternally existing. The material body is simply a coating of the spiritual body. The material body is cut, like a suit, according to the spiritual body. The material elements--earth, water, air, fire, etc.--become like clay when mixed together, and they coat the spiritual body. It is because the spiritual body has a shape that the material body also takes a shape. In actuality, the material body has nothing to do with the spiritual body; it is but a kind of contamination causing the suffering of the spirit soul. As soon as the spirit soul is coated with this material contamination, he identifies himself with the coating and forgets his real spiritual body. That is called mAyA, ignorance or illusion. This ignorance continues as long as we are not fully KRSNa conscious. When we become fully KRSNa conscious, we understand that the material body is but the external coating and that we are different. When we attain this uncontaminated understanding, we arrive at what is called the brahma-bhUta [sB 4.30.20] platform. When the spirit soul, which is Brahman, is under the illusion of the material bodily conditioning, we are on the jIva-bhUta platform. Brahma-bhUta is attained when we no longer identify with the material body but with the spirit soul within. When we come to this platform, we become joyful.


<center>brahma-bhUtaH prasannAtmA na zocati na kAGkSati

samaH sarveSu bhUteSu mad-bhaktiM labhate parAm


"One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me" [bhagavad-gItA 18.54]. In this position one sees all living entities as spirit souls; he does not see the outward covering. When he sees a dog, he sees a spirit soul covered by the body of a dog. This state is also described in the Bhagavad-gItA.


<center>vidyA-vinaya-sampanne brAhmaNe gavi hastini

zuni caiva zva-pAke ca paNDitAH sama-darzinaH


"The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brAhmaNa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste]" [bhagavad-gItA 5.18]. When one is in the body of an animal, he cannot understand his spiritual identity. This identity can best be realized in a human civilization in which the varNAzrama system is practiced. This system divides life into four Azramas (brAhmaNa, kSatriya, vaizya, and zUdra) and four varNas (brahmacArI, gRhastha, vAnaprastha, and sannyAsa). The highest position is that of a brAhmaNa-sannyAsI, a platform from which one may best realize his original constitutional position, act accordingly, and thus attain deliverance, or mukti. Mukti means understanding our constitutional position and acting accordingly. Conditioned life, a life of bondage, means identifying with the body and acting on the bodily platform. On the mukti platform, our activities differ from those enacted on the conditioned platform. Devotional service is rendered from the mukti platform. If we engage in devotional service, we maintain our spiritual identity and are therefore liberated, even though inhabiting the conditioned, material body.



Discussing Thomas Aquinas

SrIla PrabhupAda: The material body is an imitation. It is false. Because the spiritual body has form, the material body, which is a coating, takes on form. As I have already explained, a cloth originally has no form, but a tailor can cut the cloth to fit a form. In actuality, this material form is illusory. The elements of this material form originally have no form. They take on form for a while, and when the body becomes old and useless, they return to their original position. In the Bhagavad-gItA [18.61] the body is compared to a machine. The soul has his own form, but he is given a machine, the body, which he uses to wander throughout the universe, attempting to enjoy himself.



From a lecture

And if you ask: What is the benefit by going to the planet, back to home, back to Godhead? That is assured in the Bhagavad-gItA: mAm upetya tu kaunteya duHkhAlayam azAzvataM nApnuvanti: [bg. 8.15] "If you come to Me, then you won't have to accept again this material body, which is full of miserable conditions. You will remain in your spiritual body."



From another lecture

But KRSNa says, mad-yAjino 'pi yAnti mAm. "Persons who are engaged in My occupational duties, they will come to Me."


So go to God, or KRSNa, means you'll have to acquire your original, spiritual body. The spiritual body is already there, but we are now covered by this material body. So how we are eternal, that is described in the Bhagavad-gItA:


<center>avinAzi tu tad viddhi

yena sarvam idaM tatam

vinAzam avyayasyAsya

na kazcit kartum arhati


The hint is given: the something which is spread all over the body, that is eternal. And what is that something? That something is our consciousness. Here it is stated, avinAzi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaM tatam. In this body there is something. That is consciousness. That is eternal. Just like if you or I pinch my body, I feel pain because the consciousness is there. But when the consciousness will not be there, if I cut my hand or cut your hand, you'll not protest. Even scientists have proved this consciousness is there in the tree also. If you cut the tree, there is sensation, feeling some pain, and this is recorded in the machine. So here it is hinted that this consciousness is spread all over the body, that is eternal. The body is not eternal. As soon as the consciousness is gone, the body is dead. Therefore we should take care of the thing which is cons... That is the soul. On account of presence of the soul, there is consciousness.


So KRSNa further says in this connection, antavanta ime dehA nityasyoktAH zarIriNaH [bg. 2.18]. This body... Deha means body. Antavat, it is by this material body, that is eternal. So that consciousness, or the rays of the soul, is described here. Na jAyate na mriyate vA kadAcit. "This consciousness of the soul is never born, neither it is ever dead." NAyaM bhUtvA bhavitA vA na bhUyaH. The soul and the consciousness has no past, present, or future. It is eternal. Aja. Aja means who does not take birth. Ajo nitya, eternal; zAzvata, ever-existing; ayaM purANa, the oldest. Na hanyate hanyamAne zarIre [bg. 2.20]. When the body is annihilated, the soul and consciousness is not annihilated. Just like when we sleep, our consciousness works in a different body, subtle body: mind, intelligence and ego. That we have got experience every night. We sleep on our bed, but my consciousness goes to other country or other place, and work in a different way. Again, when at the end of the dream we come back to this body, gross body. So death means when the consciousness does not come back again to this gross body and enters another gross body. This period is called death. So the subtle body, mind, is there. I know you have got mind, you know I have got my mind. But I cannot see your mind, you cannot see my mind. So there is intelligence also. I know you have got intelligence, you know I have got intelligence. But you cannot see my intelligence unless it is acted. I cannot see your intelligence unless it is acted. So the soul is covered by two kinds of dresses. Just like we are covered by the shirt and coat. Similarly, the covering of the shirt, or mind, intelligence and ego, this is one covering. And upon this there is a gross covering: earth, water, air, fire, like that. In this way we have got two covers. So our business is, because we are eternal, we should not remain in these temporary coverings. That temporary cov... So long we are bound up or encaged in these coverings, that is called conditioned life. So we are trying to become free from this conditioned life. Just like people are trying to go to the moon planet. The desire is there. But because the life is conditioned, he cannot go. Just like I am a foreigner. I have come to your country. I am conditioned by immigration law. There are so many conditions. One of the conditions is that I cannot live here forever unless it is sanctioned by the government.


So we are conditioned now. In this form of life, covered by the material elements, we are conditioned by the material nature. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gItA:


<center>prakRteH kriyamANAni

guNaiH karmANi sarvazaH


kartAham iti manyate

[bg. 3.27]


We are conditioned in every step by the laws of material nature. Still, foolishly, we are thinking we are free. This is foolishness. We are so much controlled by the material nature, exactly like a small child is pulled by the ear by his mother. "Come here." He comes here. "Go there," and goes. Just like a dog. A dog may feel very freedom, jumping. But as soon as the master says "Come here," he comes and immediately chained. This is our position. So that is our position, that we are completely under the clutches of material nature, and according to the modes of material nature, we are acting and changing our body in different species of life. So our real business in this human form of life is to get, try to accept the process by which we can get free from this conditioned life. The process is that we have to give up all our false consciousness. We are, under false consciousness, I am thinking, "I am Indian," you are thinking you are German, and the dog is thinking "I am dog," and cat is thinking "I am cat." So this bodily consciousness, bodily concept of life, will keep us conditioned within the material nature. Therefore our first business is how to get free from all these designations. Just like I am putting on this saffron cloth, but I am not saffron cloth. Or you are putting a red cloth or black coat, you are not that cloth. Within the coat, you are the person. Similarly, within the dress, I am the person. So at the present moment we are on the dress consciousness. "I am German dress,I am Englishman dress,I am Indian dress.I am male dress,I am female dress." So this is called conditioned life. So in this conditioned life we are accepting one type of body, and we are dying. Dying means giving up and being transmigrated, transferred to another body by the laws of material nature. It is not under my control. You cannot say that "After giving up this German body, I shall accept again another German body." That is not in your hands, sir. It is under the laws of nature. You cannot propose. You cannot force material nature. After this body I can get any other body. That is stated here. TathA dehAntara-prAptiH [bg. 2.13]. Another form of body. That form of body may be any one of the 8,400,000 forms of body. Therefore, if we are actually intelligent, we should try for being awakened, or placed in our original body, the spiritual body. That will stop this constant change of body.


So the simple process is, as we are preaching in this KRSNa consciousness movement, that if you try to understand only what is KRSNa... KRSNa or Christ, the same thing. Then you get your original spiritual body. This KRSNa consciousness can be awakened simply by chanting the mahA-mantra, Hare KRSNa, or the holy name of God. So keep yourself aloof from four kinds of sinful life and keep always in touch with KRSNa, and (or) God, then you go back to home, back to Godhead. This advantage is possible in this human form of life. Otherwise, we are missing the chance. We may be again put in the cycle of that 8,400,000's forms of body. The process is very simple and easy because you can remain in your occupation, in whatever position you are. Simply you chant the holy name of God. Not only Hare KRSNa. You can chant the holy name of God, Christ. Christ is also the same as KRSNa. So do it. There is no expenditure, but the profit is very, very great.


So the conclusion is we should not put ourself in the cycle of birth and death continually in 8,400,000 species of life. To stop it and go back to home, back to Godhead, and regain your original spiritual life. (aside Posted Image I can stop it? So thank you very much. If you have got any question on this subject matter, you can ask.


From another lecture



<center>vedAvinAzinaM nityaM

ya enam ajam avyayam

kathaM sa puruSaH pArtha

kaM ghAtayati hanti kam

[bg. 2.21]


"O PArtha, how can a person who knows that the soul is indestructible, unborn, eternal and immutable kill anyone or cause anyone to kill?"


<center>vAsAMsi jIrNAni yathA vihAya

navAni gRhNAti naro 'parANi

tathA zarIrANi vihAya jIrNAny

anyAni saMyAti navAni dehI

[bg. 2.22]


"As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones."


So this is another way of convincing that... Very simple thing. Anyone can understand. VAsAMsi jIrNAni yathA vihAya [bg. 2.22]. As our garments, coats and shirts, when they are old, rotten, no more usable, so we throw it away and get a new garment, shirt, coat. Similarly, the soul is changing garment from childhood, from babyhood. Just like a baby has got a shoe, but when he gets the child's body the shoe does not fit. You have to take another shoe. Similarly, when the same child grows or changes body, he requires another shoe. Similarly, the soul is changing his body exactly as we change our garments. VAsAMsi jIrNAni. JIrNAni means when it is old enough, not fit for use, yathA vihAya, as we give it up... VihAya means give it up. NavAni, new garment. NaraH aparANi gRhNAti. Now the body has been compared herein as the garment. Just like coat and shirt. The tailor cuts the coat according to the body. Similarly, this material body, if it is shirt and coat, then this is cut according to the spiritual body. The spiritual body is not nirAkAra, without form. If it is without form, then how the garment, the coat and shirt, has got hands and legs? It is common sense. The coat has got hand or the pant has got legs because the person who is using the coat, he has got hands and legs.


So this proves that the spiritual body is not impersonal. It is not a zero, it is, it has got form. But the form is so minute, aNor aNIyAn mahato mahIyAn: one form is lesser than the atom. ANor aNIyAn mahato mahIyAn. Two forms are there spiritual. One is the Supreme Lord's form, virAD-rUpa, mahato mahIyAn, and our form, aNor aNIyAn, lesser than the atom. That is stated in the KaTha UpaniSad. ANor aNIyAn mahato mahIyAn AtmAsya jantor nihito guhAyAm. Nihito guhAyAm, guhAyAm means in the heart. Both of them are there. Now find out modern science. Both the soul and the Supersoul, they are situated within the heart. IzvaraH sarva-bhUtAnAM hRd-deze [bg. 18.61]. It is not said that "Anywhere in the body it is sitting." No. HRd-deze, in the heart. And actually, by medical science, the heart is the center of all activities of the body, office. And the brain is the manager. The director is there, KRSNa. He says also in another place, sarvasya cAhaM hRdi sanniviSTaH. Everything is clear.


<center>Sarvasya cAhaM hRdi sanniviSTaH,


"I am sitting in everyone's heart."


Find out God, find out KRSNa. In several places, all Vedic literature, guhAyAm. GuhAyAm means in the heart. Sarvasya cAhaM hRdi sanniviSTo mattaH smRtir jJAnam apohanaM ca [bg. 15.15]. The supreme director, KRSNa, is sitting there, and He is directing, "Now this living entity wants to fulfill his desire in this way." He's giving direction to the material nature. "Now, prepare a vehicle, body, for this rascal in this way. He wants to enjoy. All right, let him enjoy." This is going on. We are all rascals, we are manufacturing our different ways of life. "I think." So you are thinking. As soon as you are thinking... But we cannot fulfill our desires without sanction of God. That is not possible. But because we are persisting, that "I want to fulfill my desire in this way," KRSNa is sanctioning, "All right." Just like a child persists to possess something. The father gives, "All right, take it." So all these bodies we are getting, although by the sanction of the Supreme Lord, but He is sanctioning with reluctance that "Why this rascal is wanting like this?" This is our position. Therefore, at last KRSNa says, sarva-dharmAn parityajya, [bg. 18.66] "Give up this rascaldom, 'I want this body, I want that body, I want to enjoy life in this way'--give up all this nonsense."



From another lecture

PrabhupAda: The body of man is not exactly body of God. There is no difference between the body and soul of God because it is spiritual. The soul is spiritual, the body is spiritual. Just like if you have got your golden body and golden soul, there is no difference between the soul and body. But in our case, we, as we are, we are spirit soul but this body is material, therefore I am different from this body. But when you are liberated, we get spiritual body, similar, at that time, as KRSNa has no difference between His body and soul, similarly, we also have no difference between body and soul. But at the present moment we have got difference with the body and soul. Therefore as soon as the soul goes away from this body, the body being matter, "Dust thou art, dust thou beist." It mixes with the matter. The soul takes another body. The whole problem is that we have to stop this repetition of migration from one material body to another material body. That is the highest perfection of life.



From another lecture

And what is the real thing? That is explained by KRSNa: sarva-dharmAn parityajya mAm ekaM zaraNaM vraja [bg. 18.66]. You take this mission, "My dear sir, you give up everything nonsense. You simply surrender to KRSNa." Then you become guru. Is it very difficult to become guru? No. But we shall not take this business. We shall talk all nonsense and become guru and incarnation and God and so on, so on, and cheat others and cheat oneself. This is going on. Otherwise, to become guru is not at all difficult. Simply you surrender yourself to KRSNa. You become abhayaM sattva-zuddhiH. You become fearless, "Yes, I am now under the protection of KRSNa. I have no more fear. I don't care for anyone. I simply take to KRSNa." Akuto-bhayam. Akuto-bhayam. This is said by Kapiladeva also, all zAstra says like that, and KRSNa also says the same thing in the Bhagavad-gItA. BhaktyA mAm abhijAnAti: [bg. 18.55] "If you want to know Me, then it is through bhakti, not your so-called jJAna and karma and yoga." You will never be able to understand. You will never be able to understand. NAhaM prakAzaH sarvasya yoga-mAyA [bg. 7.25]. You will be simply covered by yoga-mAyA. This is not possible. Bhakti means surrender.


So without surrendering to KRSNa, you cannot understand. KRSNa reserves the right not being exposed to the fools and rascals. He is simply for the devotees. BhaktyA mAm abhijAnAti [bg. 18.55]. He never said, "By jJAna mAm abhijAnAti, by karma mAm abhijAnAti, by yoga mAm abhi...," no. He rather says,


<center>yoginAm api sarveSAM


zraddhAvAn bhajate yo mAM

sa me yuktatamo mataH

[bg. 6.47]


"He's the first-class yogi who is always thinking of Me.' And who always thinks of KRSNa unless he is a devotee? Therefore you cannot understand KRSNa without becoming a devotee. In the beginning of Bhagavad-gItA He says to Arjuna, bhakto 'si priyo 'si me: "I am talking to you the same old system of yoga, Bhagavad-gItA, because you are My devotee." So if you actually want liberation or fearlessness, no more fear, and if you want actually to become immortal, no more birth, death, old age, and disease, then you have to accept the words of KRSNa. As He says, sarva-dharmAn parityajya mAm ekaM zaraNaM vraja [bg. 18.66]. That is bhakti. That is bhakti. So you have to take.


Here it is, same thing is said: jJAna-vairAgya-yuktena bhakti-yogena. Unless you have got full knowledge, jJAna, and vairAgya, full renunciation... "No more material life." This is called renunciation. And no more sense gratification. Material life means sense gratification. Everyone is working so hard day and night. Why? For sense gratification. Yan maithunAdi-gRhamedhi-sukhaM hi tuccham [sB 7.9.45]. GRhamedhi, those who have accepted this body or the society or the family or the nation, all this gRha... It is called gRha. Or gRhamedhi, those who are attached to all these things, gRhamedhi. Their only happiness: yan maithunAdi, sexual intercourse, that's all. Yan maithunAdi-gRhamedhi-sukhaM hi tuccham. Very insignificant, very abominable combination of man and woman. And they are working so hard day and night. That is the only pleasure. So vairAgya means when you will be detestful to this sex pleasure. That is called vairAgya. "No more." Yad-avadhi mama cetaH kRSNa-padAravinde. That is possible only when you are perfectly KRSNa conscious. Otherwise it is not possible.


Therefore KRSNa's name is Madana-mohana, and the material is madana-dahana. In the material world everyone is suffering by the piercing arrow of Cupid, man or woman. The Madana, Cupid, is piercing the arrow to man and woman, and the woman is mad after man, and man is mad after woman. But when you see KRSNa actually, then you see Madana-mohana. Then there will be no more suffering of the piercing arrow of the Cupid. That is called akuto-bhayam, no more fear. No more fear. Now you become fearless. And when... If you want to become fearless, akuto-bhayam, then KRSNa says that, Kapiladeva says, pravizanty akuto-bhayam. He enters, bhakti-yogena, when one is actually in bhakti-yoga, full knowledge, and vairAgya, renunciation of the material world, then he is able to enter. BhaktyA mAm abhijAnAti yAvAn yaz cAsmi tattvataH [bg. 18.55]. KRSNa says in the Bhagavad, tato mAM tattvato jJAtvA.


In this way, when one understand what is KRSNa in truth, that is called knowledge. JJAna-vairAgya-yuktena [sB 3.25.18]. Tato mAM tattvato jJAtvA vizate tad-anantaram. He is allowed to enter into the spiritual kingdom, not before that. Not before that, without bhakti. And bhakti, by bhakti, you will automatically attain the stage of jJAna-vairAgya. Just like if you take one very nice digestive pill, so whatever you have eaten, even stone, it will be digested. It will be digested. Similarly, as soon as you take to bhakti immediately your gross and subtle body is digested. You will live in the spiritual body. Sa guNAn samatItyaitAn brahma-bhUyAya kalpate [bg. 14.26]. Brahma-bhUyAya means that spiritual body. We are already Brahman--ahaM brahmAsmi--but it is covered by the material body, the gross body, kSitir ApaM tejo marud vyoma: fire, water, earth, air, like that, and mano buddhiH ahaGkAra, the subtle body, mind, intelligence, and ego. So we are covered by this subtle body and gross body. This is our impediment. But the... By karma-yoga you try to get out of this gross body. By jJAna-yoga you try to get out of this subtle body. But bhakti-yoga--you directly you cross over this subtle body and gross body. You are immediately situated in the spiritual body. JJAna-vairAgya-yuktena. Sa guNAn samatItyaitAn [bg. 14.26].


So long you are in the subtle body and gross body, then you are suffering under the three modes of material nature. The body is created by the three modes of material nature according to... KAraNaM guNa-saGgo 'sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu [bg. 13.22]. We get different types of body on account of association with these material modes of nature, sattva-guNa, rajo-guNa, tamo-guNa. But if you are situated in the devotional service of the Lord, you immediately become on the platform of brahma-bhUtaH prasannAtmA [bg. 18.54], immediately. AhaM brahmAsmi--this is simply theoretical. That is theoretical knowledge, that "I am brahma." But when you are actually in devotional service, then that is practical. You are no more in the material platform. You are on the Brahman platform.


<center>brahma-bhUtaH prasannAtmA

na zocati na kAGkSati

samaH sarveSu bhUteSu

mad-bhaktiM labhate parAm

[bg. 18.54]


So by situated, being situated on the spiritual platform, automatically you achieve your original status, constitutional position, brahma-bhUtaH prasannAtmA [bg. 18.54]. Then you are able to enter into the kingdom of God, or the spiritual world. Tato mAM tattvato jJAtvA. Here also it is said, pravizanty akuto-bhayam. Pravizanti. You have to enter. You are not destroyed. Just like we are pravizanti in different types of body in material existence, tathA dehAntara-prAptiH [bg. 2.13], so when you are free from this material contamination, then you pravizanti in the spiritual world. The pravizanti is there. In the material world you are pravizanti from one body to another, and you are suffering.


So long you get this body, you must suffer. Either you get the king's body or the cobbler's body or ant's body or dog's body, to accept material body means suffering. There cannot be akuto-bhayam. Unless you enter in the spiritual world with your spiritual body, there is no question of akuto-bhayam. So that akuto-bhayam is possible when you are practiced to bhakti-yogam.


<center>vAsudeve bhagavati

bhakti-yogaH prayojitaH

janayaty Azu vairAgyaM

jJAnaM ca yad ahaitukam

[sB 1.2.7]


If you engage yourself in the devotional service of VAsudeva, KRSNa, VAsudeva, oM namo bhagavate vAsudevAya, if you enter, then vAsudeve bhagavati. VAsudeva means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhakti-yogaH prayojitaH [sB 1.2.7]. If you apply yourself, engage yourself in bhakti-yoga, then janayaty Azu vairAgyam, cause and effect. As soon as you engage yourself in devotional service of VAsudeva under the direction of zAstra and spiritual master, then janayaty Azu vairAgyam. As you are practically experiencing that since you have come to KRSNa consciousness movement you have no more interest material activities no more interest, that is vairAgya. You are simply meant for service of KRSNa. That is jJAna. In this way, if you want actually to be fearless and enter into the spiritual life, or spiritual kingdom, back to home, back to Godhead, then you have to accept this bhakti-yoga process, and it is very easy, and then you become fearless, and your life is successful.


Thank you very much. (end)



From another lecture

That spiritual body... SanAtana GosvAmI has said that those who are being liberated from this material world, they are offered a spiritual body where KRSNa-lIlA is going on. KRSNa's pastimes, VRndAvana-lIlA, or as KRSNa manifested His different pastimes when He was present, that is going on eternally. As soon as He leaves this universe, in another universe His lIlA becomes manifest. KRSNa is born... KRSNa is born here at JanmASTamI, and as soon as KRSNa is taken to Gokula by Vasudeva, KRSNa is seen in another universe, born again. Just like our sun. As soon as it rises at six o'clock or, say, five o'clock... So as soon as here five o'clock finished, in another place five o'clock begins. But it is going on. Ananta-cakra. The five o'clock is permanent. Anywhere, there must be some five o'clock. Anywhere, there must be six o'clock. Anywhere, there must be seven o'clock. Just like the twenty-four hours is going on. You cannot say that the sun's rising at five o'clock, because it is finished within your view, it is finished. No. It is not like that. The five o'clock is permanent to the sun. If it is so possible to a material thing, why not KRSNa? Therefore it is called nitya-lIlA. Nitya-lIlA means eternally JanmASTamI is going on. Eternally everything is going on, eternally. So one who is liberated from this world and he is given the spiritual body, he's immediately transferred to the place where KRSNa's lIlA is going on. Just like in VRndAvana, when KRSNa was present, all the VRndAvana-vAsIs, they were not ordinary men; they were liberated. They transferred to associate with KRSNa, practice. And after this complete practice, they were transferred to the Goloka VRndAvana. So therefore, Sukadeva GosvAmI says about the boys, cowherd boys, playing with KRSNa, kRta-puNya-puJjAH. KRta-puNya-puJjAH. "Oh, how much these boys have accumulated their pious activities! Now they are transferred here to play with KRSNa." KRta-puNya-puJjAH.


<center>itthaM satAM brahma-sukhAnubhUtyA

dAsyaM gatAnAM para-daivatena

mAyAzritAnAM nara-dArakeNa

sAkaM vijahruH kRta-puNya-puJjAH

[sB 10.12.11]


"Oh, these boys, it appears that they are cowherd boys playing with KRSNa," appreciating, Sukadeva GosvAmI. "Oh, how much they have accumulated their pious activities so that now they have got chance to play with KRSNa personally!" They are not ordinary cowherd boys. So, similarly, all the gopIs, all the cowherd boys, they are not ordinary men. They've given chance after many, many births accumulating the devotional service. Devotional service so nice. In one life they can be benefited with that position as cowherd boy, as he likes--as friend, as gopIs. That is possible. Therefore, the devotees are so much austere, so much, I mean to say, penanceful, that "This life we shall attain this position." One is hoping to be KRSNa's friend, one is hoping to be gopI, one is hoping to be friends of YazodA. So everything is possible, paJca-rasa, the five rasas in VRndAvana. One is hoping to be a tree there, a grass there, a flower there.


So this is possible. So... And KRSNa says, mad-yAjino 'pi yAnti mAm. YAnti deva-vratA devAn pitRRn yAnti pitR-vratAH mad-yAjino... [bg. 9.25]. "Those who are cultivating KRSNa consciousness, they come to Me. They come to Me." So where is the difficulty to understand the whole philosophy of KRSNa consciousness? It is very simple. Everything is there. We have to understand, and we have to be very serious and sincere. The thing is there.


Thank you very much.



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PART 1 of 2


Excerpt from The Teachings of Lord Caitanya by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami:

<center>Explanation of the AtmArAma Verse in SrImad BhAgavatam</center>


Lord Caitanya next explained a very famous verse known as the AtmArAma verse, which appears in SrImad-BhAgavatam as follows:


<center>AtmArAmAz ca munayo

nirgranthA apy urukrame

kurvanty ahaitukIM bhaktim

ittham-bhUta-guno hariH


This verse indicates that those who are liberated souls and are fully self-satisfied will eventually become devotees of the Lord. This injunction is especially meant for the impersonalists, for the impersonalists have no information of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They try to remain satisfied with the impersonal Brahman, but KRSNa is so attractive and so strong that He attracts their minds. This is the purport of this verse.


This verse had been previously explained to a great VedAntist known as SArvabhauma BhaTTAcArya. After taking lessons from Lord Caitanya, SanAtana GosvAmI referred to this incident and prayed to the Lord to again explain the AtmArAma verse. KavirAja GosvAmI, the author of Caitanya-caritAmRta, appreciating the Lord's explanation of the AtmArAma verse, has also glorified Lord Caitanya in his prayers. Falling flat at the feet of Lord Caitanya, SanAtana GosvAmI requested Him to explain the verse as He had formerly explained it to SArvabhauma BhaTTAcArya. SanAtana explained his eagerness to hear the same explanation in order that he might be enlightened. Being thus requested by SanAtana, the Lord replied: "I do not understand why SArvabhauma BhaTTAcArya so much appreciated My explanation. As far as I am concerned, I don't even remember what I said to him. But because you are asking this of Me, I shall, with the help of your association, try to explain whatever I can remember." Thus the speaker and the audience are very intimately connected; the speaker is enlightened by the presence of the audience. The speaker, or master, can speak very nicely on transcendental subject matters before an understanding audience; therefore Lord Caitanya said that He did not know how to explain the Sanskrit verse but that since He was in the association of SanAtana He would try to explain it.


The Lord then went on to point out that there are eleven items in the AtmArAma verse: (1) AtmArAmAH, (2) ca, (3) munayaH, (4) nirgranthAH, (5) api, (6) urukrame, (7) kurvanti, (8) ahaitukIm, (9) bhaktim, (10) ittham-bhUta-guNaH, (11) hariH. The Lord then began to explain each and every one of these items. As far as the word AtmArAma is concerned, the Lord explained that the word AtmA is used to indicate: (1) the Supreme Absolute Truth, (2) the body, (3) the mind, (4) endeavor, (5) conviction, (6) intelligence, and (7) nature. The word ArAma means enjoyer; therefore anyone who takes pleasure in the cultivation of the knowledge of these seven items is known as AtmArAma. The Lord then explained about the different kinds of AtmArAmas, or transcendentalists. As for the word munayaH, or muni, those who are great thinkers are called munis. Sometimes the word muni is also applied to a person who is very grave. Great sages, great austere persons, great mystics and learned scholars are also called munis.


The next word, nirgrantha, indicates freedom from the bondage of illusion. Nirgrantha also means "One who has no connection with spiritual injunctions." Grantha means revealed scriptures, and nir is an affix which is used to mean "no connection,constructing," and also "prohibiting." There are many instructions for spiritual realization, but persons who have no connection with such scriptural injunctions are also known as nirgrantha. There are many people who are foolish, low-born and misbehaved and who have no entrance into the revealed scriptures and injunctions, and therefore they are called nirgrantha. Because grantha is also used for the purpose of collecting riches, the word nirgrantha also indicates a poor man, bereft of all riches, who is attempting to collect riches.


The word urukrama is used to indicate a highly powerful person. The word krama is used to indicate the act of stepping, and the word urukrama indicates one who can step forward very far. The greatest step forward was taken by Lord VAmanadeva, who covered the whole universe in two steps. Thus the word urukrama indicates the Supreme Lord VAmanadeva. This extraordinary feature of Lord VAmanadeva is thus explained in SrImad-BhAgavatam (2.7.40).


<center>viSNor nu vIrya-gaNanAM katamo 'rhatIha

yaH pArthivAny api kavir vimame rajAMsi

caskambha yaH sva-raMhasAskhalatA tri-prSThaM

yasmAt tri-sAmya-sadanAd uru-kampayAnam


"No one can estimate the inconceivable potencies of Lord ViSNu. Even if one can count the number of atomic combinations in this material world, he still cannot count the different energies of the Supreme Lord. As VAmanadeva, the Lord was so powerful that simply by stepping forward He covered the whole universe from Brahmaloka down to PAtAlaloka."


The inconceivable energies of the Lord are spread throughout the creation. He is all-pervading, and by His energy He sustains all planetary systems, yet through His pleasure potency He remains situated in His personal abode known as Goloka. By the expansion of His opulence, He is present in all the VaikuNTha planets as NArAyaNa. By expanding His material energy, He creates innumerable universes with innumerable planets within them. Thus no one can estimate the wonderful activities of the Supreme Lord, and therefore the Supreme Lord is known as urukrama, the wonderful actor. In the VizvaprakAza dictionary, the word krama is defined as "an expert display of energies," as well as "stepping forward very quickly."


The word kurvanti is used to mean "working for others." There is another word similar to this which is used when one's activities are done for one's own personal sense gratification, but the word kurvanti is used when activities are performed for the satisfaction of the Supreme. Thus in this verse the word can only indicate the rendering of transcendental service to the Lord.


The word hetu is used to indicate the reason or cause. Generally people are engaged in transcendental activities for three reasons: some want material happiness, some want mystic perfection and some want liberation from material bondage. As far as material enjoyment is concerned, there are so many varieties that no one can enumerate them. As far as perfections in mystic power are concerned, there are eighteen, and as far as types of liberation from material bondage are concerned, there are five. The state of being where all these varieties of enjoyment are conspicuous by their absence is called ahaitukI. The ahaitukI qualification is especially mentioned because by the ahaitukI service of the Lord, one can achieve the favor of the Lord.


The word bhakti can be used in ten different ways. Out of these ten, there is sAdhana-bhakti, or occupational devotional service. The other nine are called prema-bhakti, love of Godhead. Those who are situated in the neutral position attain perfection up to love of Godhead. Similarly, those who are situated in the relationship of master and servant attain love of Godhead to the stage of attachment. Those who are related in friendship attain love of God to the point of fraternity. Those who are in love with God as His parents are elevated to the point of transcendental emotion. But only those who are related with the Supreme in conjugal love can experience the highest of ecstasies. Thus there are different meanings for the word bhakti.


The Lord next explained the different meanings of ittham-bhUta-guNa. Ittham bhUta indicates fully transcendental pleasure before which the transcendental pleasure known as brahmAnanda becomes like straw. In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (14.36), a devotee says:



vizuddhAbdhisthitasya me

sukhAni goSpadAyante

brAhmANy api jagad guro


"My Lord, O Supreme, simply by understanding You or seeing You, the pleasure which we derive is so great that the pleasure of brahmAnanda becomes insignificant." In other words, the pleasure derived by understanding KRSNa as He is--as the all-attractive reservoir of all pleasures and the reservoir of all pleasure-giving tastes with all transcendental qualifications--attracts one to become His devotee. By virtue of such attraction, one can give up fruitive activities and all endeavors for liberation and can even abandon the intense desire to achieve success in yoga mystic power. The attraction of KRSNa is so intense that one can lose respect for all other means of self-realization and simply surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


The Lord also explained the word guNa in all its different meanings. GuNa indicates the unlimited transcendental qualities of KRSNa, primarily His sac-cid-Ananda form. In His transcendental blissful knowledge and eternity, He is fully perfect, and His perfection is increased when He is controlled by the attention of His devotee. God is so kind and merciful that He can give Himself in exchange for the devotional service of the devotee. His transcendental qualities are such that the perfection of His beauty, His perfect reciprocation of love between Himself and His devotees, and the flavor of His transcendental qualities attract different kinds of transcendentalists and liberated souls. For example, He attracted the mind of Sanaka KumAra simply by the aroma emanating from the flowers offered to Him. The mind of Sukadeva GosvAmI was attracted by the transcendental pastimes of Lord KRSNa, and the minds of the damsels of VRndAvana were attracted by His personal beauty. RukmiNI's attention was attracted by His bodily features and transcendental qualities, and the mind of the goddess of fortune was attracted by His flute playing and other transcendental features. Lord KRSNa attracts the minds of all young girls and elderly ladies by His childlike activities. He also attracts the minds of His friends by His friendly activities. When He appeared in VRndAvana, He even attracted the birds, beasts, trees and plants. Indeed, everyone became attracted in love and affection for KRSNa.


The word hari has different meanings, of which two are foremost. Hari means that He takes away all inauspicious things from the devotee's life and that He attracts the mind of the devotee by awarding him transcendental love of Godhead. KRSNa is so attractive that anyone who can remember Him in some way or another becomes freed from the four kinds of material miseries. The Lord gives special attention to His devotee and banishes the devotee's various sinful activities, which are stumbling blocks for the advancement of devotional service. This is called routing the influence of ignorance. Simply by hearing about Him, one develops love for Him. That is the gift of the Lord. On one side He takes away inauspicious things, and on the other side He awards the most auspicious things. That is the meaning of hari. When a person is developed in love of Godhead, his body, mind and everything else are attracted by the transcendental qualities of the Lord. Such is the power of KRSNa's merciful activities and transcendental qualities. He is so attractive that out of transcendental attachment, a devotee will abandon all four principles of spiritual life--religiosity, economic development, regulation of sense gratification and salvation.


The words api and ca are adverbs and can be used for virtually any purpose. The word ca, or "and," can render seven different readings to the whole construction.


The Lord thus established the import of the eleven words in the AtmArAma verse, and then He began to explain the import of each item as follows. The word brahman indicates the greatest in all respects. The Lord is the greatest in all opulences. No one can excel Him in wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. Thus the word brahman indicates the Supreme Personality of Godhead, KRSNa. In the ViSNu PurANa (1.12.57) the word brahman is given to indicate the greatest of all; the Supreme Lord is the greatest, and there is no limit to His expanding as the greatest. One may conceive of Brahman's greatness, yet this greatness grows in such a way that no one can estimate how great He actually is.


The Supreme Personality of Godhead is realized in three aspects, but they are all one and the same. The Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality, KRSNa, is everlasting. In SrImad-BhAgavatam (2.9.33) it is said that He exists before the manifestation of this cosmic world, that He exists during its continuance, and that He continues to exist after its annihilation. Therefore He is the soul of everything great. He is all-pervading and all-witnessing, and He is the supreme form of everything.


There are three different kinds of transcendental processes mentioned in Vedic literature by which one can understand and achieve that supreme perfection of the Absolute Truth. They are called the process of knowledge, the process of mystic yoga, and the process of devotional service. The followers of these three processes realize the Absolute Truth in three different aspects. Those who follow the process of knowledge realize Him as impersonal Brahman; those who follow the process of yoga realize Him as the localized Supersoul; and those who follow the process of devotional service realize Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, SrI KRSNa. In other words, although the word Brahman indicates KRSNa and nothing else, still, according to the process that is followed, the Lord is realized in three different aspects.


As far as devotional service is concerned, there are two divisions. In the beginning there is vidhi-bhakti, or devotional service with regulative principles. In the higher stage there is rAga-bhakti, or devotional service in pure love.


The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Absolute Truth, but He is manifested by the expansions of His different energies also. Those who follow the regulative principles of devotional service ultimately attain the VaikuNTha planets in the spiritual world, but one who follows the principles of love in devotional service attains to the supreme abode, the highest planet in the spiritual world known as KRSNaloka or Goloka VRndAvana.


Transcendentalists can also be divided into three categories. The word akAma refers to one who does not have any material desires. MokSa-kAma refers to one who seeks liberation from material miseries, and sarva-kAma refers to one who has the material desire to enjoy. The most intelligent transcendentalist gives up all other processes and engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord, even though he may have many desires. It is not by any kind of transcendental activity--neither fruitive action, nor the cultivation of knowledge, nor cultivation of mystic yoga--that a person can achieve the highest perfection without adding a tinge of devotional service. But for devotional service, all other transcendental processes are just like nipples on the neck of a goat. The nipples on a goat's neck may be squeezed, but they do not supply milk. If one is to derive actual perfection from his process, he must take to the devotional service of KRSNa. In Bhagavad-gItA it is stated:.


<center>catur-vidhA bhajante mAM

janAH sukRtino 'rjuna

Arto jijJAsur arthArthI

jJAnI ca bharatarSabha


"O best among the BhAratas [Arjuna], four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me--the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute." (Bg. 7.16)


When these four types of people amass righteous activities, they come to the devotional service of the Lord. Out of these four, those who are distressed and those who desire wealth are called devotees with desires, whereas the other two, the inquisitive and the searcher for wisdom, are seekers of liberation. Because they worship KRSNa, they are all considered to be very fortunate. In due course of time, if they give up all desires and become pure devotees of the Supreme Lord, they can be considered most fortunate. Such fortunate beginners can develop only in the association of pure devotees of Lord KRSNa. When one associates with pure devotees, he becomes a pure devotee himself. This is confirmed in SrImad-BhAgavatam (1.10.11):


<center>sat-saGgAn mukta-duHsaGgo

hAtuM notsahate budhaH

kIrtyamAnaM yazo yasya

sakRd AkarNya rocanam


"A person who is actually intelligent is able--by association of pure devotees--to hear about Lord KRSNa and His activities." These activities are so attractive that when one hears of them, he does not give up his association with the Lord.


But for the association of pure devotees, all other association is kaitava, or cheating. This is confirmed in the First Canto of SrImad-BhAgavatam wherein it is stated that all cheating processes which obstruct transcendental realization are to be thrown off. By SrImad-BhAgavatam one can understand reality as it is, and such understanding helps one transcend the three kinds of material miseries. SrImad-BhAgavatam is compiled by the greatest sage, VyAsadeva, and it is a work coming out of his mature experience. By understanding SrImad-BhAgavatam and rendering devotional service, one can immediately capture the Supreme Lord within his heart.


Lord Caitanya then explained that the word projjhita means"desire for liberation." One great commentator explained that desire for liberation is the most obstructive stumbling block on the path of God realization. Somehow or other, if one comes to KRSNa and begins to hear about Him, KRSNa is so kind that He awards him His lotus feet as a center. Having such a focal point, a devotee or transcendentalist forgets everything and engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord. When one comes to the Lord in devotional service, or in full KRSNa consciousness, the reward is the Supreme Himself. Once engaged for the Supreme, one no longer asks for anything, as do the distressed man and he who desires material possessions. The method of devotional service, the service itself, association of pure devotees and the causeless mercy of the Lord all act so wonderfully that one can give up all activities and become absorbed in KRSNa, even if he is distressed, in want of material possessions, inquisitive or is actually a wise man cultivating knowledge.


In summary, KRSNa is the meaning behind all the words in the AtmArAma verse. Up to this point Lord Caitanya spoke only of the introduction to the AtmArAma verse. Next He explains its real position.


In the cultivation of knowledge there are two kinds of transcendentalists. One of them worships the impersonal Brahman, and the other desires liberation. Since monists worship the impersonal feature of Brahman, they are therefore called worshipers of Brahman. These Brahman worshipers are further divided into three categories: the neophyte, one who is absorbed in Brahman realization, and one who has actually realized himself as Brahman. If devotional service is added, the knower of Brahman can then become liberated; otherwise there is no possibility of liberation. Anyone who is fully engaged in devotional service in KRSNa consciousness is understood to be already realized in Brahman. Devotional service is so strong that one is attracted to KRSNa even from the platform of Brahman worship. The Lord awards the devotee the perfection of a spiritual body, and he eternally engages in the transcendental service of KRSNa. It is when the devotee understands and becomes attracted by KRSNa's transcendental qualities that he wholeheartedly engages in devotional service. For instance, the four KumAras and Sukadeva GosvAmI were liberated from the beginning, yet in their later life they became attracted to the pastimes of KRSNa and became devotees. Sanaka KumAra was attracted by the aroma of the flowers offered to KRSNa, and the other KumAras were attracted by the transcendental qualities of the Lord and thus engaged in His devotional service. The nine mystics mentioned in the Eleventh Canto of SrImad-BhAgavatam are understood to have been transcendentalists from birth by virtue of hearing of the transcendental qualities of KRSNa from BrahmA, Lord Siva and NArada.


Sometimes one becomes attracted to KRSNa and His transcendental qualities simply by looking upon the beautiful features of His transcendental body, in which case one abandons the desire for liberation and engages in His devotional service. The devotee regrets his loss of time in the so-called cultivation of knowledge and becomes a pure devotee of the Lord.


There are two kinds of liberated souls having material bodies: the soul liberated by devotional service and the soul liberated by the cultivation of knowledge. The liberated soul in devotional service, attracted by the transcendental qualities of KRSNa, becomes more and more elevated, whereas those who engage in dry speculation and simply cultivate knowledge without devotion fall due to their many offenses. This is confirmed in SrImad-BhAgavatam (10.2.32) where it is stated:


<center>ye 'nye 'ravindAkSa vimukta-mAninas

tvayy asta-bhAvAd avizuddha-buddhayaH

Aruhya kRcchreNa paraM padaM tataH

patanty adho 'nAdRta-yuSmad-aGghrayaH


"O Lord, the intelligence of those who think themselves liberated but who have no devotion is not pure. Even though they rise to the highest point of liberation by dint of severe penances and austerity, they are sure to fall down again into this material existence, for they do not take shelter at Your lotus feet." This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gItA:


<center>brahma-bhUtaH prasannAtmA

na zocati na kAGkSati

samaH sarveSu bhUteSu

mad-bhaktiM labhate parAm


"One who is transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state, he attains pure devotional service unto Me." (Bg. 18.54)


Thus one who is actually situated in Brahman realization has no reason to lament or desire. He is equal to everyone and is thus eligible for devotional service. This was also accepted by BilvamaGgala ThAkura, who, in his later life, lamented: "I was situated as a monist in order to become one with the Supreme, but somehow or other I contacted a naughty boy and became His eternal servitor." In other words, those who attain self-realization by the execution of devotional service attain a transcendental body, and, being attracted to the transcendental qualities of KRSNa, engage fully in pure devotional service.


Anyone who is not attracted to KRSNa is understood to be still under the spell of the illusory energy (mAyA), but one who is attempting to be liberated by the process of devotional service is actually liberated from the spell of mAyA. In the Eleventh Canto of SrImad-BhAgavatam there are many instances recorded of devotees who became liberated in this life simply by engaging in devotional service.



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[This message has been edited by gHari (edited 03-21-2002).]

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PART 2 of 2


Excerpt from The Teachings of Lord Caitanya by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami:

<center>Explanation of the AtmArAma Verse in SrImad BhAgavatam</center>


There are those who simply desire liberation, those who are liberated already, even while in this material existence, and those who are actually self-realized. There are many persons in this world who desire liberation, and sometimes they engage in devotional service for this purpose. It is corroborated in SrImad-BhAgavatam (1.2.26) that those who actually desire liberation abandon worship of the demigods, and, without envy, concentrate their minds in the worship of NArAyaNa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When such persons come in contact with a pure devotee, they engage in the devotional service of KRSNa and abandon the idea of liberation. In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya it is stated:


<center>aho mahAtman bahu-doSa-duSTo

'py ekena bhAty eSa bhavo guNena

sat-saGgam Akhyena sukhAbahena

kRtAdya no yena kRzA mumukSA


"O great soul, although there are many flaws within this miserable life, there is yet one glory--the association of pure devotees. Cultivate such association. By it our desire for liberation diminishes."


In SrImad-BhAgavatam (11.2.37) it is stated that man's fear is due to his material conception of life and to his forgetting his eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord. Consequently he finds himself having only perverted memories. This occurs due to the spell of material energy. One who has sufficient intelligence will engage himself in full devotional service and regard the Supreme Lord as his spiritual master and worshipable God. The conclusion is that no one can attain a revolution in consciousness without engaging in devotional service to the Lord. When one is actually free from material contamination, he can fully engage himself in KRSNa consciousness.


In SrImad-BhAgavatam (10.14.4) it is again clearly said that one who engages in spiritual life to understand things as they are but who lacks all intentions of engaging in KRSNa consciousness, simply achieves trouble for his undertaking. There is no substance to his life. Every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, and therefore it is the duty of every living entity to serve that supreme whole. Without such service, the living entity falls into material contamination.


Lord Caitanya concluded His teachings to SanAtana GosvAmI by pointing out that the six kinds of AtmArAmas engage in some kind of devotional service to KRSNa. In other words, at some time or another all the transcendentalists ultimately come to understand the necessity of rendering devotional service to KRSNa and become fully KRSNa conscious. Even if one is very learned or extravagant, he can still engage in the devotional service of the Lord.


The transcendentalists can be categorized into six basic types: the neophyte transcendentalist, the absorbed transcendentalist, one who is actually situated in transcendence, one who actually desires liberation, one who is actually liberated, and one who is actually engaged in activities in his constitutional position. All of these are called AtmArAma. When a person becomes AtmArAma, or a great thinker in KRSNa consciousness, he fully engages in devotional service. According to the grammatical rules, there are many AtmArAmas, but one sense of the word is sufficient to represent the others. In the collective sense, all the AtmArAmas are inclined to worship the Supreme Lord KRSNa.


The mystic who worships the Supersoul within himself is also called AtmArAma. The AtmArAma yogIs are of two kinds: sagarbha and nigarbha, It is stated in SrImad-BhAgavatam (2.2.8): "Some yogIs meditate within their heart on the localized ViSNu, who is four-handed and who holds four symbols: conch, disc, mace and lotus." The yogI who thinks of the four-handed ViSNu becomes absorbed in devotional ecstasy and evinces the symptoms of that state. Sometimes he cries, and sometimes he feels separation. In this way he merges in transcendental bliss. The result of all this is that he becomes entrapped like a fish.


The sagarbha and nigarbha yogIs can be further divided into three categories: the beginner, the ascendent, and he who has already attained perfection. These yogIs are described in the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gItA. Those who are trying to ascend on the path of mystic yoga are called ArurukSu. In ArurukSu yoga, various sitting postures are practiced, and the mind is concentrated. But when one has already ascended to the path of yoga, meditation and detachment are the goals, and when one is no longer attached to working for sense gratification, he gradually becomes free. At that time he also attains a state of ecstasy called yoga ArUDha. If these mystic yogIs somehow or other come in contact with a saintly person, they become devotees of KRSNa. The word urukrama indicates the Supreme Lord. All the AtmArAmas are engaged in devotional service to Urukrama. Before engaging in devotional service, such transcendentalists are called zAntas, or pacified devotees. The word AtmA, or self, is sometimes translated as "mind." Sometimes mental speculators present philosophical theories in different ways, but when they come in contact with saintly persons engaged in devotional service, they also become devotees.


SrImad-BhAgavatam (10.87.18) describes the two classes of yogIs (sagarbha and nigarbha) as follows: "The yogIs begin their practice of yoga by worshiping the abdomen, and they try to concentrate their attention on their intestines. Gradually their meditation rises to the heart and concentrates on the mind and the heart. Then their attention rises to the top of the head, and one who can rise to that position is understood to have become perfect and to be no longer subjected to birth and death." Even if such yogIs come in contact with pure devotees, they also render causeless devotional service to the Lord.


The word AtmA also means "to endeavor." In every practice there is some endeavor, and the ultimate endeavor is the endeavor to reach the highest perfectional stage of devotional service. In SrImad-BhAgavatam (1.5.18) it is stated that one should try to attain the highest goal, which cannot be attained either in the higher or lower planetary systems. The idea is that material happiness and misery are available in all planetary systems in the course of time, but the highest achievement, devotional service, cannot be attained anywhere without endeavor. Therefore in the BRhan-nAradIya PurANa it is said that one who is serious about understanding the highest perfectional stage of devotional service can become successful in everything simply by his endeavor. One cannot attain the highest perfectional stage of devotional service without personal endeavor. As KRSNa states in Bhagavad-gItA:


<center>teSAM satata-yuktAnAM

bhajatAM prIti-pUrvakam

dadAmi buddhi-yogaM taM

yena mAm upayAnti te


"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me." (Bg. 10.10)


The word AtmA also means patience and perseverance. By patience and perseverance one can achieve the highest stage of devotional service.


As far as the word muni is concerned, there are additional meanings. The word also refers to a bird and a large black bee. Another meaning of the word nirgrantha is "a foolish person." Thus even birds, bees and foolish people engage in the service of the Supreme Lord when they are favored by the pure devotee. Indeed, it is stated in SrImad-BhAgavatam (10.21.14) that the birds are devoted to the service of the Supreme Lord. It is also stated there (10.15.6) that black bees always follow KRSNa and BalarAma. Concerning this, SrI KRSNa even described the devotional service which the bees and wasps were rendering unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord KRSNa said:


<center>ete 'linas tava yazo 'khila-loka-tIrthaM

gAyanta Adi puruSAnupadaM bhajante

prAyo amI muni-gaNA bhavadIya-mukhyA

gUDhaM vane 'pi na jahaty anaghAtma-daivam


"O supremely virtuous one, O Personality of Godhead [balarAma], just see how these bees and wasps are following You, glorifying Your transcendental fame and worshiping You. Actually these wasps and bees are not as they appear; they are great sages who are taking this opportunity to worship the supreme soul. Although You are not known by ordinary persons, they know You, and they are following and glorifying You." There is a similar verse in SrImad-BhAgavatam (10.15.7) which describes the reception given to BalarAma and KRSNa by the peacocks of VRndAvana. "O worshipable one, just see how the peacocks that are returning to their nests are receiving You with full pleasure. These peacocks are just like the damsels of Vraja. The cuckoos on the branches of the trees are also receiving You in their own way. The residents of VRndAvana are so glorious that everyone is prepared to render devotional service to the Lord." It is stated in another verse of SrImad-BhAgavatam (10.35.11): "O just see how the cranes and swans on the water are singing the glories of the Lord! Indeed, they are standing in the water meditating and worshiping Him." It is stated elsewhere in SrImad-BhAgavatam (2.4.18): "Even the aborigines and uncivilized human beings like KirAtas, HUNas, Andhra, Pulinda, Pulkaza, AbhIra, Sumbha, Yavana and Khasa, as well as many other human beings in the lower species, can all be purified simply by taking shelter of the pure devotees." Therefore Sukadeva GosvAmI offered his respectful obeisances unto Lord ViSNu, whose devotees can work so wonderfully.


Another meaning of the word dhRti is "to realize oneself as elevated." When one realizes his own elevation, he feels that he is free from all miseries and is elevated to the highest platform of life. All devotees of KRSNa in full KRSNa consciousness are free from all kinds of material pleasures and miseries. They are fully absorbed in the service of the Lord, and they are always jolly by virtue of their engagement in His transcendental service. They are experienced men of happiness. Indeed, they are so happy that they do not even wish to be promoted to the spiritual planets, for they are happy in every sphere of life. Being full in the transcendental service of the Lord, they desire neither material objects or material sense pleasures. As stated by the GosvAmIs: "Persons whose senses are fixed in the service of the Supreme Lord can be called peaceful."


Thus the word AtmArAma indicates that even birds, beasts and fools--in short, everyone--can become attracted by the transcendental qualities of KRSNa, engage in His service and become liberated.


Still another meaning of AtmA is "intelligence." One who has special intelligence is also called AtmArAma. The AtmArAmas with special intelligence are of two kinds. One is the learned sage, and the other is the fool without book knowledge. Both of these can have an opportunity to associate with the pure devotee. Even the foolish AtmArAmas can give up everything and engage themselves in KRSNa consciousness in pure devotional service. In SrImad-BhAgavatam it is stated that the Lord is the origin of everything and that everything emanates from Him. Anyone who is actually intelligent can understand that the Supreme Lord KRSNa is the source of everything and thus engage in His service. As stated in SrImad-BhAgavatam (2.7.46): "What to speak of persons who are intelligent enough to study the Vedas--even less intelligent persons like women, laborers, the HUNa, Sabara, and the birds and beasts can achieve the highest perfectional stage of life." As previously quoted, Bhagavad-gItA (10.10) also indicates that when a person becomes highly intelligent and engages in KRSNa consciousness, KRSNa reciprocates by giving him the intelligence by which he can be promoted to the abode of the Supreme Lord.


The Lord then told SanAtana GosvAmI that the association of good devotees, engagement in the transcendental service of the Lord, the understanding of SrImad-BhAgavatam, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, and residence in a holy place like VRndAvana or MathurA are all very important for elevation to the transcendental plane. One need not attain all five of these items; if one is expert in just one of them, he will, without fail, be elevated to the stage of love of Godhead. One who is actually intelligent gives up all material desires and engages in the transcendental service of KRSNa. The influence of devotional service is such that when a person engages in it, he gives up all material desires and becomes fully attached to KRSNa, being inspired by the transcendental qualities of the Lord. Such is the beauty of the Lord in the eyes of His devotee.


Another meaning of the word AtmA is "nature." In this case the word AtmArAma indicates that everyone is enjoying the particular nature he has acquired. However, the ultimate nature, or the perpetual eternal nature of the living entity, is to serve the Supreme Lord. One who attains to the perfection of understanding his real nature--as eternal servant of the Lord--gives up his designative (material, or bodily) conception of life. That is real knowledge. Those who are in pursuit of knowledge and who get the opportunity to associate with a pure devotee also engage in the devotional service of the Lord. Sages like the four KumAras, as well as fools and birds, can engage in the Lord's transcendental service. By being favored with KRSNa's causeless mercy, anyone and everyone can be elevated to the platform of KRSNa consciousness.


When one becomes attracted by the transcendental qualities of KRSNa, he begins devotional service. SrImad-BhAgavatam (10.15.8) glorifies the land of VRndAvana in this way:


<center>dhanyeyam adya dharaNI tRNa-vIrudhas tvat-

pAda-spRzo druma-latAH karajAbhimRSTAH

nadyo 'drayaH khaga-mRgAH sadayAvalokair

gopyo 'ntareNa bhujayor api yat-spRhA zrIH


"This land of VrajabhUmi is glorified by the touch of Your feet. Being touched by Your fingers, the creepers also glorify You. When You look on the hills, rivers and lower animals, they are all glorified, and the gopIs, being embraced by Your transcendental arms, are also glorified." The gopIs (cowherd girls) glorified VRndAvana in the following words: "Dear friends, all these inhabitants of VrajabhUmi--including birds, beasts, and trees--are glorified when they see Lord KRSNa going to the pasturing ground with His friends and BalarAma."


The word AtmA also means "this body." The yogIs who practice bodily exercises, considering the body to be the self, are also elevated to the transcendental service of the Lord if they associate with pure devotees. There are many people who believe the body to be the self, and they are engaged in many fruitive activities, including bathing rituals and ordinary worldly activities. However, when they come in contact with a pure devotee, they also engage in the transcendental service of the Lord.


In SrImad-BhAgavatam (1.18.12) it is stated: "O my dear SUta GosvAmI, even though we have become darkened by the sacrificial smoke of fruitive activities, you have given us the nectar of KRSNa's lotus feet." It is also stated in SrImad-BhAgavatam (4.21.31): "The waters of the Ganges flow from the tip of the lotus feet of KRSNa, and by bathing in that water, everyone--including fruitive actors and all sages--can wash dirty things from the mind.


Even those who believe that the body is the self, or those who are full of material desires, are also, in a sense, AtmArAma. When they associate with the pure devotees of the Lord, they give up their material desires and become perfect in the service of the Lord. The best example of this is found in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (7.28), wherein Dhruva MahArAja said:


<center>sthAnAbhilAsI tapasi sthito 'haM

tvAM prAptavAn deva-munIndra-guhyam

kAcaM vicinvann api divya-ratnaM

svAmin kRtArtho 'smi varaM na yAce

[Cc. Madhya 22.42]


"My dear Lord, I came to worship You because I desired some land on this earth, but fortunately I have attained You, who are beyond even the perception of great sages and saintly persons. I came to search out some particles of colored glass, but instead I found a very valuable gem like You. I am satisfied, and I do not desire to ask anything of You."


There is also another meaning to the word nirgrantha. The word can also mean "foolish hunter," or "wretched poor man." There is one instance of a hunter who attained salvation and engaged himself in the devotional service of the Lord simply by associating with the pure devotee NArada. Indeed, Lord Caitanya told SanAtana GosvAmI the following story of the hunter's meeting with NArada.


Once there was a hunter in the forest of PrayAga who was fortunate enough to meet NArada Muni when the great sage was returning from VaikuNTha after visiting Lord NArAyaNa. NArada came to PrayAga to bathe in the confluence of the Ganges and YamunA. While passing through the forest, NArada saw a bird lying on the ground. The bird was half-killed, being pierced by an arrow, and it was chirping pitifully. Further on, NArada saw a deer flopping about in agony. Further, he saw that a boar was also suffering, and, in another place, he saw a rabbit twitching in pain. All this made him very compassionate, and he began to think, "Who is the foolish man who has committed such sins?" Devotees of the Lord are generally compassionate upon the miseries of living entities, and what to speak of the great sage NArada? He became very much aggrieved by this scene, and after proceeding a few steps, he saw the hunter engaged in hunting with bow and arrows. The hunter's complexion was very dark, and his eyes were red. It appeared to be dangerous just to see him standing there with his bow and arrows, looking just like an associate of YamarAja, death. Seeing him, NArada Muni entered deeper into the forest to approach him. As NArada Muni passed through the forest, all the animals who were caught in the hunter's traps fled away. The hunter became very angry at this, and he was just about to call NArada vile names, but, due to the influence of saintly NArada, the hunter could not utter such blasphemies. Rather, with gentle behavior, he asked NArada: "My dear sir, why have you come here while I am hunting? Have you strayed from the general path? Because you have come here, all the animals in my traps have fled."


"Yes, I am sorry," NArada replied. "I have come to you to find my own path and to inquire from you. I have seen that there are many boars, deer and rabbits on the path. They are lying on the forest floor half-dead and flopping about. Who has committed these sinful acts?"

"What you have seen is all right," the hunter replied. "It was done by me."

"If you are hunting all these poor animals, why don't you kill them at once?" NArada asked. "You half-kill them, and they are suffering in their death pangs. This is a great sin. If you want to kill an animal, why don't you kill it completely? Why do you leave it half-killed and allow it to die flopping around?"

"My dear Lord," the hunter replied. "My name is MRgAri, enemy of animals. I am simply following the teachings of my father who taught me to half-kill animals and leave them flopping about. When a half-dead animals suffers, I take great pleasure in it."

"I beg one thing from you only," NArada implored. "Please accept it."

"Oh, yes sir, I shall give you whatever you like," the hunter said. "If you want some animal skins, come to my house. I have many skins of animals, including tigers and deer. I shall give you whatever you like."

"I do not want such things," NArada replied. "However, I do want something else. If you kindly grant it to me, I shall tell you. Please, henceforth from tomorrow, whenever you kill an animal, please kill it completely. Don't leave it half-dead."

"My dear sir, what are you asking of me? What is the difference between half-killing an animal and killing it completely?"

"If you half-kill the animals, they suffer great pain," NArada explained. "And if you give too much pain to other living entities, you commit great sin. There is a great offense committed when you kill an animal completely, but the offense is much greater when you half-kill it. Indeed, the pain which you give half-dead animals will have to be accepted by you in a future birth."


Although the hunter was very sinful, his heart became softened, and he became afraid of his sins by virtue of his association with a great devotee like NArada. Those who are grossly sinful are not at all afraid of committing sins, but here we can see that because his purification began in the association of a great devotee like NArada, the hunter became afraid of his sinful activities. The hunter therefore replied: "My dear sir, from my very childhood I have been taught to kill animals in this way. Please tell me how I can get rid of all the offenses and sinful activities which I have accumulated. I am surrendering unto your feet. Please save me from all the reactions of my sinful activities which I have committed in the past, and please direct me to the proper path so that I can be free."


"If you actually want to follow my directions, I can tell you the real path by which you can be freed from sinful reactions."

"I shall follow whatever you say without hesitation," the hunter agreed.


NArada then told him to first break his bow; only then would he disclose the path of liberation.


"You are asking me to break my bow," the hunter protested, "but if I break it, what will be the means of my livelihood?"

"Don't worry about your livelihood," NArada said. "I shall send you sufficient grains in order to live.',


The hunter then broke his bow and fell down at the feet of NArada. NArada got him to stand up, and he instructed him: "Just go to your home and distribute whatever money and valuables you have to the devotees and the brAhmaNas. Then just come out and follow me wearing only one cloth. Construct a small thatched house on the river bank and sow a tulasI plant by that house. Just circumambulate the tulasI tree, and every day taste one fallen leaf. Above all, always chant Hare KRSNa, Hare KRSNa, KRSNa KRSNa, Hare Hare/Hare RAma, Hare RAma, RAma RAma, Hare Hare. As far as your livelihood is concerned, I shall send you grains, but you will only accept as much grain as you require for yourself and your wife."


NArada then relieved the half-dead animals, and, getting freed from their dreadful condition, they fled away. Upon seeing NArada execute this miracle, the dark hunter was struck with wonder. After taking NArada to his home, he bowed down again at his feet.


NArada returned to his place, and the hunter, after returning home, began to execute the instructions NArada had given him. In the meantime, news spread amongst all the villages that the hunter had become a devotee. Consequently the residents of the villages came to see the new VaiSNava. It is the Vedic custom to bring grains and fruits whenever one goes to see a saintly person, and since all the villagers saw that the hunter had turned into a great devotee, they brought eatables with them. Thus every day he was offered grains and fruit, so much so that no less than ten to twenty people could have eaten there. According to NArada's instructions, he did not accept anything more than what he and his wife required for sustenance.


After some days had passed, NArada told his friend Parvata Muni: "I have a disciple. Let us go to see him and see if he is doing well."


When the two sages, NArada and Parvata, went to the hunter's home, the hunter saw his spiritual master coming from the distance, and he began to approach him with great respect. On his way to greet the great sages, the hunter saw that there were ants on the ground before him and that they were hindering his passage. When he reached the sages, he tried to bow down before them, but he saw that there were so many ants that he could not bow down without crushing them. Thus he slowly cleared away the ants with his cloth. When NArada saw that the hunter was trying to save the lives of the ants in this way, he was reminded of a verse from the Skanda PurANa: "Is it not wonderful that a devotee of the Lord is not inclined to give any sort of pain to anyone, not even to an ant?"


Although the hunter formerly took great pleasure in half-killing animals, since he became a great devotee of the Lord, he was not prepared to give pain even to an ant. The hunter received the two great sages at his home and offered them a sitting place, brought water, washed their feet, took water to them to drink, and finally both he and his wife touched the water with their heads. After this, they began to feel ecstasy and began to dance and sing Hare KRSNa, Hare KRSNa, KRSNa KRSNa, Hare Hare/Hare RAma, Hare RAma, RAma RAma, Hare Hare. They raised their hands and danced with their clothes flying. When the two great sages saw this ecstasy of love of Godhead manifest in the body of the hunter, Parvata Muni told NArada: "You are a touchstone, for by your association even a great hunter has turned into a great devotee."


There is a verse in the Skanda PurANa which states: "My dear DevarSi [NArada], you are glorious, and by your mercy, even the lowest creature, a hunter of animals, also became elevated to the path of devotion and attained transcendental attachment for KRSNa."


At length, NArada inquired of the hunter-devotee: "Are you getting your foodstuff regularly?"


"You send so many people," the hunter replied, "and they bring so many eatables that we cannot begin to eat them."

"That's all right," NArada replied. "Whatever you are getting is all right. Now just continue your devotional service in that way."


After NArada had spoken this, both NArada and Parvata Muni disappeared from the hunter's home. Lord Caitanya recited this story in order to show that even a hunter can engage in the devotional service of KRSNa by the influence of pure devotees.


Continuing to explain the AtmArAma verse, Lord Caitanya pointed out that the word AtmA also indicated all varieties of the Personality of Godhead. Generally the Personality of Godhead Himself, KRSNa, and His different expansions are all known as the Personality of Godhead.


Anyone who is engaged in the devotional service of any form or extension of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also called AtmArAma. All such devotees engage themselves either in the regulative principles of devotional service or in devotional service in transcendental love. These devotees are also divided into three categories: the associates, those perfected in devotional service, and those newly engaged in devotional service. Newly engaged devotees can be divided into two: those who have already attained attachment for the Lord and those who have not attained such attachment. When considered according to the two divisions of devotional service (namely regulative--and attachment in transcendental love) these classes of devotees become eight in number. By following the regulative principles of devotion, the perfect associates of the Lord are further divided into four classes: the servants, the friends, the parental superiors and the fiancees.


Just as some devotees are perfected by the execution of devotional service, so some of them are eternally perfect. Of those following the regulative principles of devotional service, there are the advanced and the beginners; and in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, there are sixteen types of devotees. Thus the AtmArAmas can be considered to exist in thirty-two divisions. If the words muni, nirgrantha, ca and api are applied to the thirty-two classes, then there are fifty-eight different types of devotees. All these devotees can be described by one word: AtmArAma. There may be many different kinds of trees standing in the forest, but the word "tree" describes them all.


Thus the Lord gave sixty different meanings to the word AtmArAma. In addition, He said that AtmA means "the living entity, beginning from the first living creature, BrahmA, down to the ant." He cited a verse from the Sixth Chapter of ViSNu PurANa in which it is stated that all the energies of the Lord are spiritual. Although this is the case, the energy which is known as the source of the living entity is called spiritual, but the other energy, which is full of ignorance and is manifested in material activities, is called material nature. Even in the material creation, the living entities are innumerable. If by chance a living entity in the material world can associate with a pure devotee, he can engage in the pure devotional service of KRSNa. "Formerly I thought of sixty different meanings for the word AtmArAma," the Lord told SanAtana GosvAmI, "but here another meaning comes to My mind by your association."


After hearing the different explanations of the word AtmArAma, SanAtana GosvAmI was struck with wonder, and he fell down in devotion at the feet of Lord Caitanya. "I understand that You are personally the Supreme Personality of Godhead, KRSNa," SanAtana said, "and with Your breathing there are many manifestations of Vedic literature. You are the teacher of SrImad-BhAgavatam, and You best know the meanings of the verses of SrImad-BhAgavatam. It is not possible for others to understand the confidential meanings of SrImad-BhAgavatam without Your mercy."


"Do not try to praise Me in that way," the Lord told SanAtana. "Just try to understand the real nature of SrImad-BhAgavatam. SrImad-BhAgavatam is the sound representation of the Supreme Lord KRSNa; therefore SrImad-BhAgavatam is not different from KRSNa. KRSNa is unlimited, and similarly, each word and letter of SrImad-BhAgavatam has unlimited meanings. One can understand these meanings through the association of devotees. Don't, then, say that BhAgavatam is simply a collection of answers to questions."


There were six questions put by the sages of NaimiSAraNya to SUta GosvAmI, and SUta GosvAmI explained or answered the six questions in SrImad-BhAgavatam. There is a verse in the Vedic literature in which Lord Siva says, "As far as BhAgavatam is concerned, I may know it, or Sukadeva or VyAsadeva may know it, or we may not know it--but actually BhAgavatam is to be understood by devotional service and from a devotee, and not by one's own intelligence or by academic commentaries." At the beginning of SrImad-BhAgavatam (1.1.23) the sages of NaimiSAraNya asked,


<center>brUhi yogezvare kRSNe

brahmaNye dharma-varmaNi

svAM kASThAm adhunopete

dharmaH kaM zaraNaM gataH


"My dear Sir, kindly tell us whether the principles of religion have gone with the Lord, after His departure for His own abode. How can we find such principles after His departure?"


The reply was (1.3.43):

<center>kRSNe sva-dhAmopagate

dharma-jJAnAdibhiH saha

kalau naSTa-dRzAm eSa

purANArko 'dhunoditaH


"After KRSNa departed to His abode with all religious principles, His representative, the SrImad-BhAgavatam, the MahA-PurANa, remains as the blazing, illuminating sun."


Lord Caitanya then told SanAtana GosvAmI: "I was just like a madman in describing this AtmArAma verse in so many ways. Do not mind if I have said something mad. But if someone becomes a madman like Me, he can understand the real meaning of SrImad-BhAgavatam as I have explained it."



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The Soul of George W. Bush


March 23, 2002


About a year ago, The Economist published an article under the smirky headline "George Bush, homme sérieux." The British newsweekly argued that despite the new president's apparent intellectual weightlessness, the administration had in fact come to town with some serious thinkers in its entourage and some interesting ideas on its program. There might be more to the C-student president than we expected.


In the flush of patriotic solidarity after Sept. 11, no one questions whether Mr. Bush is a serious man, meaning resolute and full of purpose. But what, besides defending us from villains, is he about? This is not a bad moment to subject Mr. Bush's White House to an intellectual wanding. He has logged 400 days of on-the-job training. He has begun to trust his own instincts more. And he has, by virtue of the terrorist threat, acquired the political standing to get away with saying what he really thinks. So is there an emergent Bush philosophy that suggests what we might expect for the remainder of his presidency?

I think there is, and it is very different from what many on the right and left expected, although it is easy to miss for three reasons.


The first, of course, is the war on terror, which consumes Mr. Bush, defining him in some ways but obscuring him in others by overshadowing everything else on his agenda.

The second is that, to put it generously, Mr. Bush is not himself an intellectual. The sometimes skillful work of his speechwriters, which he sometimes delivers with conviction, cannot disguise the fact that he is not a deep thinker, a student of ideas, or even a very curious man. For all the spoon-fed portraits of the president exuding new gravitas since the war began, President Bush is still an easy man to take lightly.


Another confounding factor is the administration's extraordinary discipline in the cause of political longevity. This is a president who has no intention of dying the one-term political death of his father, even if that means selling out principles from time to time. Free-traders, who thought they had Mr. Bush's allegiance, are horrified by his imposition of tariffs on imported steel, for example, a naked move to shore up Republican support in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. And a few conservatives swallowed their gum when they heard of the president's performance at the annual Gridiron dinner. Teasing Senator Tom Daschle about his presidential ambitions, Mr. Bush joked (or not): "What are you going to run on, Tom? Patients' bill of rights? I'm for it. Enron? I'm against it. Campaign reform? I'll sign it. Child care? Tom, I'm gonna expand child care to those who don't even have children."


Leave aside style and political expediency, and what is left at the core? On the theory that it takes one to know one, I spent a few days talking to right-of-center thinkers from various camps. Whether or not you share their ideology, their sense of the president is often shrewd and well informed, and it is remarkably consistent across the right wingspan.


To begin with, Mr. Bush is emphatically not from the libertarian school of conservative thinking. A year ago, at libertarian strongholds like the Cato Institute - which favors minimalist government, a non-interventionist foreign policy and free markets - hopes flickered that Mr. Bush might be the first true leave-us-alone president. They loved the big tax cut, on the principle that cutting off the oxygen of taxes is the most reliable way to cripple government. But the libertarians have grown deeply disenchanted. It turns out that Mr. Bush is an activist, deficit-spending, interventionist president.


Early on, the president's determination to expand the federal role in education hinted at this. Now the war at home and abroad has demanded big budgets, which Mr. Bush has allowed to become a pretext for copious pork-barrel spending in the guise of "stimulus." The president's instinctive readiness to curtail civil liberties was another wartime cause of libertarian alarm. Abroad, the man who as a candidate advocated "humility" in our dealings with the world has developed a passion for upending foreign governments and rebuilding damaged nations.

Nor can Mr. Bush be claimed by the culture warriors of the Christian right, although he gave them John Ashcroft and occasionally throws them a steak. The president is not a bigot, or a pessimist. He created an office to promote faith-based social services, but has let it languish.


He is not quite a classic big-business conservative, either, although he and corporate America vibrate to the same tuning fork and he has stocked his administration with former C.E.O.'s. He is reflexively pro-development, and he regards environmentalists as whinging elitists.

But Mr. Bush brings something to the job that makes country-club conservatives quiver with unease. He is a moralist. I think this was true before Sept. 11, but the attacks have galvanized his inner missionary. More precisely, Sept. 11 confirmed for him that God had chosen him for a purpose, and showed him what that purpose is.


On the domestic front, his moral streak is summed up in his persistent rhetoric about "a new culture of responsibility." Remember that Mr. Bush is a convert - from alcohol and wild living to God and domesticity - and he has a convert's faith that anyone else can do likewise. Although his faith is Christian, this is a moral outlook that sits comfortably with Jewish and secular conservatives.


Look at his tough-standards education program, and especially at his new proposals to escalate the assault on welfare, and you see a Republican who is troubled by the legions of poor and prospectless but believes that what the government should offer them is self-reliance, a prosperous economy in which they can find a place, and a sermon about premarital sex. He proposes to add $300 million to the budget to, somehow, push unwed mothers into marriage, but nothing for day care so that single mothers can get to their mandatory jobs. If you've been wondering what "compassionate conservative" means, there you have it. It is not the liberal safety net or the noblesse oblige of the first President Bush, but the compassion of the strict parent who says, "This is for your own good." Or the drill sergeant who says, "Suck it up!"

"The message is a moral message: Let's cut the victimology, this is the land of opportunity," said Myron Magnet, editor of the neoconservative magazine City Journal and an early Bush policy tutor. "Of course everyone can succeed. The bars to success are now much more internal than external."


Mr. Bush's moralism is more ambitious, sometimes verging on messianic, when it comes to the world beyond our borders. It is encapsulated in two bits of presidential oratory that were widely written off as careless rhetorical flourishes - the glib "axis of evil" and the Islam-offending description of America's "crusade," which the White House later retracted. Read Mr. Bush's lips, and he seems deeply convinced that America's great project is to combat evil and implant what he calls "universal values" throughout the world. Foreign policy is not just about defending oilfields.

In the tug of war between the go-get-'em, nuke-brandishing civilians of the Pentagon and the coalition-minded pragmatists of the State Department, conservatives are now convinced Mr. Bush's sympathies are gung-ho. The Weekly Standard, which has overcome personal strains with Mr. Bush to become something like the president's conservative superego, has taken to calling this "The Bush Doctrine."


"On tactics, he may be listening to Colin Powell," said Norman Podhoretz, the influential conservative editor and author. "But he's very clear as to his strategic objectives - not just to clean up Al Qaeda cells but to effect regime changes in six or seven countries and to create conditions which would lead to internal reform and modernization in the Islamic world."

Whether the president will, in the end, take us to a multitude of wars in the cause of liberating the world from evil, or whether the mission will lose some of its energy when the cost (literal and political) grows, I can't tell. But I think Mr. Podhoretz correctly reads the president's heart.

If you were hoping for the right-of-center moderate Mr. Bush campaigned as, or if you shared the patronizing view of the president as a good-natured boob tugged along by avuncular ideologues, this may strike you as chilling. But have no doubt, it is très sérieux.

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While soul may not be logically proved, as most devotees here have shown it can be established through reason. The difference is that logic sounds deterministic whereas reason recongnizes indeterminate nature of reality.


As devotees here have pointed out,

Death, Consciousness, NDE, OBE, a sense of difference of the self from the body, subconscious linguistic expressions, sleep and coma states, transformations of the body, ability to differentiate ourselves from the mind through meditation, spiritual experiences, the joy of devotion are all proofs for existence of the soul.


What else ?


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  • 4 years later...
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Proving the existence of the soul is among the easiest, in my opinion. Any intelligent man will agree that the individual constituents of the body are lifeless. The bones, the muscles, the tissues etc when separated from the body exhibit no life. Then how is it that when all these lifeless constituents are put together, the symptoms of life appear? That is because of the presence of the soul.



It is possible to accept the existence of the soul via the scriptures. But while preaching one may want to use sheer reasoning to prove and if some one is interested throw in your points.
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It is possible to accept the existence of the soul via the scriptures. But while preaching one may want to use sheer reasoning to prove and if some one is interested throw in your points.


if u dont whant to relay on shastras or on sadhus, then meditate on ur heart like all holy men have done and live like them and u will realize this..


also what do u mean by reason? it is reason to say that a explotion created so that i like some music and colours? is that reason? if u deny spiritual matters and whant to take a scientific approach, then u must listen for example what einstein said about energy etc, he said that all energy is constant and cant be destroyed, therefor u can understand that u will never really die, because u are energy and so are ur mind.. one whom is ateistic and say that he follow science only follow the outer circles of it, ´cause einstein told us that no energy can be destroyed.. also he said that science without faith is blind, and faith without science is fundamentalistic..


also, how should u scientific prove the soul, when u cannot take a photograph of atoms or even smaller things? how then could u with science prove the soul? the soul is metaphysic and u most take metaphysic approach then to the soul.. my addvice, meditate on ur soul.. like sadhus

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