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Jahnava Nitai Das

'Why Vishnu lays on a snake?' and other questions.

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Why does Lord Vishnu choose to rest on "sesha naga".

Sesha Naga is an expansion of Lord Vishnu who assumes the form of a snake for the Lord to rest on. The snake is a representative of time. Sesha means "what remains" or "balance". In the Lord's lilas, all the related paraphernalia is a form of His expansion as Sesha. Thus everything, from the Lord's bed to His umbrella and shoes, are all Sesha. Why Sesha takes the particular form of a snake for the Lord to lay on is because a snake represents time; and as the controler of time the Lord is situated beyond it. This is shown by the Lord laying on a snake.


Why should a particular deity or form be worshipped when it is said that:"you are god...I am god..."

The statement you have quoted above is not found in any authoritative scriptural text such as Bhagavad Gita. In the Gita the Lord clearly states that He is the cause of all causes and the source of all that exists:


aham sarvasya prabhavo

mattah sarvam pravartate

iti matva bhajante mam

budha bhava-samanvitah


"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts."


Elsewhere, He states that He is situated beyond both the fallible and the infallible, and thus He is the Supreme Person (purushottama).


yasmat ksharam atito 'ham

aksharad api cottamah

ato 'smi loke vede ca

prathitah purushottamah


"Because I am transcendental, beyond both the fallible and the infallible, and because I am the greatest, I am celebrated both in the world and in the Vedas as that Supreme Person."


The living entities are not God, but His eternal fragmental parts and parcels:


mamaivamsho jiva-loke

jiva-bhutah sanatanah


prakriti-sthani karshati


"The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind."


For this reason, Lord Krishna instructs us in the Gita that we must surrender to Him and take Him as our "only shelter":


sarva-dharman parityajya

mam ekam sharanam vraja

aham tvam sarva-papebhyo

mokshayishyami ma shucah


"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear."


The words "mam ekam sharanam vraja" mean that we should accept Lord Krishna as our only shelter. This is the conclusion of Bhagavad Gita.



How can Krsna be accepted as God if He is always surrounded by women or Gopis?

Lord Krishna is always surrounded by His devotees, both male and female. He is the Absolute Truth, and as such everything is present in Him in full. It is foolish to limit God by our own mundane conceptions of morality and spirituality. The loving exchanges between the Lord and His devotees are purely spiritual, without any tinge of material lust. Those with mundane conceptions of God are not able to distinguish between the 'love' of the spiritual realm and the 'lust' of the material world. Great devotees such as Narada, Bhishma, Vyasa, and Arjuna knew Lord Krishna by direct experience. They understood the spiritual lilas of the Lord, and never confused them for mundane, material activities.


Yours in service,


Jahnava Nitai Das,

Bhaktivedanta Ashram


[This message has been edited by jndas (edited 08-29-2001).]

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