Bhagavad-gita 9.2 The Most Confidential Knowledge
pavitram idam uttamam
su-sukham kartum avyayam
raja-vidya--the king of education; raja-guhyam--the king of confidential knowledge; pavitram--the purest; idam--this; uttamam--transcendental; pratyaksa--directly experienced; avagamam--understood; dharmyam--the principle of religion; su-sukham--very happy; kartum--to execute; avyayam--everlasting.
This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.
This chapter of Bhagavad-gita is called the king of education because it is the essence of all doctrines and philosophies explained before. There are seven principal philosophers in India: Gautama, Kanada, Kapila, Yajnavalkya, Sandilya, Vaisvanara, and, finally, Vyasadeva, the author of the Vedanta-sutra. So there is no dearth of knowledge in the field of philosophy or transcendental knowledge. Now the Lord says that this Ninth Chapter is the king of all such knowledge, the essence of all knowledge that can be derived from the study of the Vedas and different kinds of philosophy. It is the most confidential because confidential or transcendental knowledge involves understanding the difference between the soul and the body. And the king of all confidential knowledge culminates in devotional service.
Generally, people are not educated in this confidential knowledge; they are educated in external knowledge. As far as ordinary education is concerned, people are involved with so many departments: politics, sociology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, etc. There are so many departments of knowledge all over the world and many huge universities, but there is, unfortunately, no university or educational institution where the science of the spirit soul is instructed. Yet the soul is the most important part of this body; without the presence of the soul, the body has no value. Still people are placing great stress on the bodily necessities of life, not caring for the vital soul.
The Bhagavad-gita, especially from the Second Chapter on, stresses the importance of the soul. In the very beginning, the Lord says that this body is perishable and that the soul is not perishable. That is a confidential part of knowledge: simply knowing that the spirit soul is different from this body and that its nature is immutable, indestructible and eternal. But that gives no positive information about the soul. Sometimes people are under the impression that the soul is different from the body and that when the body is finished, or one is liberated from the body, the soul remains in a void and becomes impersonal. But actually that is not the fact. How can the soul, which is so active within this body, be inactive after being liberated from the body? It is always active. If it is eternal, then it is eternally active, and its activities in the spiritual kingdom are the most confidential part of spiritual knowledge. These activities of the spirit soul are therefore indicated here as constituting the king of all knowledge, the most confidential part of all knowledge.
This knowledge is the purest form of all activities, as is explained in Vedic literature. In the Padma Purana, man's sinful activities have been analyzed and are shown to be the results of sin after sin. Those who are engaged in fruitive activities are entangled in different stages and forms of sinful reactions. For instance, when the seed of a particular tree is sown, the tree does not appear immediately to grow; it takes some time. It is first a small, sprouting plant, then it assumes the form of a tree, then it flowers, bears fruit, and, when it is complete, the flowers and fruits are enjoyed by persons who have sown the seed of the tree. Similarly, a man performs a sinful act, and like a seed it takes time to fructify. There are different stages. The sinful action may have already stopped within the individual, but the results or the fruit of that sinful action are still enjoyed. There are sins which are still in the form of a seed, and there are others which are already fructified and are giving us fruit, which we are enjoying as distress and pain, as explained in the twentieth verse of the Seventh Chapter.
A person who has completely ended the reactions of all sinful activities and who is fully engaged in pious activities, being freed from the duality of this material world, becomes engaged in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. In other words, those who are actually engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord are already freed from all reactions. For those who are engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all sinful reactions, whether fructified, in the stock, or in the form of a seed, gradually vanish. Therefore the purifying potency of devotional service is very strong, and it is called pavitram uttamam, the purest. Uttamam means transcendental. Tamas means this material world or darkness, and uttamam means that which is transcendental to material activities. Devotional activities are never to be considered material, although sometimes it appears that devotees are engaged just like ordinary men. One who can see and is familiar with devotional service, however, will know that they are not material activities. They are all spiritual and devotional, uncontaminated by the material modes of nature.
It is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived, and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Krsna (Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare) in course of time feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all material contamination. This is actually seen. Furthermore, if one engages not only in hearing but in trying to broadcast the message of devotional activities as well, or if he engages himself in helping the missionary activities of Krsna consciousness, he gradually feels spiritual progress. This advancement in spiritual life does not depend on any kind of previous education or qualification. The method itself is so pure that by simply engaging in it one becomes pure.
In the Vedanta-sutra this is also described in the following words: prakasas ca karmany abhyasat. "Devotional service is so potent that simply by engaging in the activities of devotional service, one becomes enlightened without a doubt." Narada, who happened to be the son of a maidservant, had no education, nor was he born into a high family. But when his mother was engaged in serving great devotees, Narada also became engaged, and sometimes, in the absence of his mother, he would serve the great devotees himself. Narada personally says, "Once only, by their permission, I took the remnants of their food, and by so doing all my sins were at once eradicated. Thus being engaged, I became purified in heart, and at that time the very nature of the transcendentalist became attractive to me."(Bhag 1.5.25) Narada tells his disciple Vyasadeva that in a previous life he was engaged as a boy servant of purified devotees during four months of their stay and that he was intimately associating with them. Sometimes those sages left remnants of food on their dishes, and the boy, who would wash their dishes, wanted to taste the remnants. So he asked the great devotees whether he could eat them, and they gave their permission. Narada then ate those remnants and consequently became freed from all sinful reactions. As he went on eating, he gradually became as purehearted as the sages, and he gradually developed the same taste. The great devotees relished the taste of unceasing devotional service of the Lord, hearing, chanting, etc., and by developing the same taste, Narada wanted also to hear and chant the glories of the Lord. Thus by associating with the sages, he developed a great desire for devotional service. Therefore he quotes from the Vedanta-sutra (prakasas ca karmany abhyasat): if one is engaged simply in the acts of devotional service, everything is revealed to him automatically, and he can understand. This is called prakasah, directly perceived.
Narada was actually a son of a maidservant. He had no opportunity to go to school. He was simply assisting his mother, and fortunately his mother rendered some service to the devotees. The child Narada also got the opportunity and simply by association achieved the highest goal of all religions, devotional service. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that religious people generally do not know that the highest perfection of religion is the attainment of the stage of devotional service. Generally Vedic knowledge is required for understanding of the path of self-realization. But here, although he was not educated in the Vedic principle, Narada acquired the highest results of Vedic study. This process is so potent that even without performing the religious process regularly, one can be raised to the highest perfection. How is this possible? This is also confirmed in Vedic literature: acaryavan puruso veda. One who is in association with great acaryas, even if he is not educated or has not studied the Vedas, can become familiar with all the knowledge necessary for realization.
The process of devotional service is a very happy one. Why? Devotional service consists of sravanam kirtanam visnoh, so one can simply hear the chanting of the glories of the Lord or can attend philosophical lectures on transcendental knowledge given by authorized acaryas. Simply by sitting, one can learn; then one can eat the remnants of the food offered to God, nice palatable dishes. In every state devotional service is joyful. One can execute devotional service even in the most poverty-stricken condition. The Lord says, patram puspam phalam: He is ready to accept from the devotee any kind of offering, never mind what. Even a leaf, a flower, a bit of fruit, or a little water, which are all available in every part of the world, can be offered by any person, regardless of social position, and will be accepted if offered with love. There are many instances in history. Simply by tasting the tulasi leaves offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, great sages like Sanat-kumara became great devotees. Therefore the devotional process is very nice, and it can be executed in a happy mood. God accepts only the love with which things are offered to Him.
It is said here that this devotional service is eternally existing. It is not as the Mayavadi philosophers claim. They sometimes take to so-called devotional service, and as long as they are not liberated they continue their devotional service, but at the end, when they become liberated, they "become one with God." Such temporary time-serving devotional service is not accepted as pure devotional service. Actual devotional service continues even after liberation. When the devotee goes to the spiritual planet in the kingdom of God, he is also engaged there in serving the Supreme Lord. He does not try to become one with the Supreme Lord.
As it will be seen, actual devotional service begins after liberation. So in Bhagavad-gita it is said, brahma-bhuta. After being liberated, or being situated in the Brahman position, one's devotional service begins. By executing devotional service, one can understand the Supreme Lord. No one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead by executing karma-yoga, jnana, or astanga-yoga or any other yoga independently. Without coming to the stage of devotional service, one cannot understand what is the Personality of Godhead. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is also confirmed that when one becomes purified by executing the process of devotional service, especially by hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gita from realized souls, then he can understand the science of Krsna, or the science of God. Evam prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti yogatah. When one's heart is cleared of all nonsense, then one can understand what God is. Thus the process of devotional service, of Krsna consciousness, is the king of all education and the king of all confidential knowledge. It is the purest form of religion, and it can be executed joyfully without difficulty. Therefore one should adopt it.
Srimad Bhagavatam 2.4.8 The Process of Creation
nunam bhagavato brahman
kavibhis capi cestitam
nunam--still insufficient; bhagavatah--of the Personality of Godhead; brahman--O learned brahmana; hareh--of the Lord; adbhuta--wonderful; karmanah--one who acts; durvibhavyam--inconceivable; iva--like that; abhati--appears; kavibhih--even by the highly learned; ca--also; api--in spite of; cestitam--being endeavored for.
O learned brahmana, the transcendental activities of the Lord are all wonderful, and they appear inconceivable because even great endeavors by many learned scholars have still proved insufficient for understanding them.
The acts of the Supreme Lord, in the creation of just this one universe, appear inconceivably wonderful. And there are innumerable universes, and all of them aggregated together are known as the created material world. And this part of His creation is only a fractional portion of the complete creation. The material world stands as a part only (ekamsena sthito jagat). Supposing that the material world is a display of one part of His energy, the remaining three parts consist of the vaikuntha jagat or spiritual world described in the Bhagavad-gita as mad-dhama or sanatana-dhama, or the eternal world. We have marked in the previous verse that He creates and again winds up the creation. This action is applicable only in the material world because the other, greater part of His creation, namely the Vaikuntha world, is neither created nor annihilated; otherwise the Vaikuntha-dhama would not have been called eternal. The Lord exists with dhama; His eternal name, quality, pastimes, entourage and personality are all a display of His different energies and expansions. The Lord is called anadi, or having no creator, and adi, or the origin of all. We think in our own imperfect way that the Lord is also created, but the Vedanta informs us that He is not created. Rather, everything else is created by Him (narayanah paro 'vyaktat). Therefore, for the common man these are all very wonderful matters for consideration. Even for great scholars they are inconceivable, and thus such scholars present theories contradictory to one another. Even for the insignificant part of His creation, this particular universe, they have no complete information as to how far this limited space extends, or how many stars and planets are there, or the different conditions of those innumerable planets. Modern scientists have insufficient knowledge of all this. Some of them assert that there are one hundred million planets scattered all over space. In a news release from Moscow dated 2.21.60, the following piece of knowledge was relayed:
"Russia's well-known professor of astronomy Boris Vorontsov-Veliaminov said that there must be an infinite number of planets in the universe inhabited by beings endowed with reason.
"It could be that life similar to that on earth flourishes on such planets.
"Doctor of Chemistry Nikolai Zhirov, covering the problem of atmosphere on other planets, pointed out that the organism of a Martian, for instance, could very well adapt itself to normal existence with a low body temperature.
"He said that he felt that the gaseous composition of Martian atmosphere was quite suitable to sustain life of beings which have become adapted to it."
This adaptability of an organism to different varieties of planets is described in the Brahma-samhita as vibhuti-bhinnam; i.e., each and every one of the innumerable planets within the universe is endowed with a particular type of atmosphere, and the living beings there are more perfectly advanced in science and psychology because of a better atmosphere. Vibhuti means "specific powers," and bhinnam means "variegated." Scientists who are attempting to explore outer space and are trying to reach other planets by mechanical arrangements must know for certain that organisms adapted to the atmosphere of earth cannot exist in the atmospheres of other planets (Easy Journey to Other planets). One has to prepare himself, therefore, to be transferred to a different planet after being relieved of the present body, as it is said in the Bhagavad-gita (9.25):
yanti deva-vrata devan
pitrn yanti pitr-vratah
bhutani yanti bhutejya
yanti mad-yajino 'pi mam
"Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods, those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings, and those who worship Me will live with Me."
Maharaja Pariksit's statement regarding the workings of the creative energy of the Lord discloses that he knew everything of the process of creation. Why then did he ask Sukadeva Gosvami for such information? Maharaja Pariksit, being a great emperor, a descendant of the Pandavas and a great devotee of Lord Krsna, was quite able to know considerably about the creation of the world, but that much knowledge was not sufficient. He said therefore that even greatly learned scholars fail to know about that, even after great effort. The Lord is unlimited, and His activities are also unfathomed. With a limited source of knowledge and with imperfect senses, any living being, up to the standard of Brahmaji, the highest perfect living being within the universe, can never imagine knowing about the unlimited. We can know something of the unlimited when it is explained by the unlimited, as has been done by the Lord Himself in the unique statements of the Bhagavad-gita, and it can also be known to some extent from realized souls like Sukadeva Gosvami, who learned it from Vyasadeva, a disciple of Narada, and thus the perfect knowledge can descend by the chain of disciplic succession only, and not by any form of experimental knowledge, old or modern.
SB 3.11.14 Calculation of Time, from the Atom
ida-vatsara eva ca
anuvatsaro vatsaras ca
samvatsarah--orbit of the sun; parivatsarah--circumambulation of Brhaspati; ida-vatsarah--orbit of the stars; eva--as they are; ca--also; anuvatsarah--orbit of the moon; vatsarah--one calendar year; ca--also; vidura--O Vidura; evam--thus; prabhasyate--they are so told.
There are five different names for the orbits of the sun, moon, stars and luminaries in the firmament, and they each have their own samvatsara.
The subject matters of physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, time and space dealt with in the above verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam are certainly very interesting to students of the particular subject, but as far as we are concerned, we cannot explain them very thoroughly in terms of technical knowledge. The subject is summarized by the statement that above all the different branches of knowledge is the supreme control of kala, the plenary representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nothing exists without Him, and therefore everything, however wonderful it may appear to our meager knowledge, is but the work of the magical wand of the Supreme Lord. As far as time is concerned, we beg to subjoin herewith a table of timings in terms of the modern clock.
One truti - 8.13,500 second
One vedha - 8.135 second
One lava - 8.45 second
One nimesa - 8.15 second
One ksana - 8.5 second
One kastha - 8 seconds
One laghu - 2 minutes
One danda - 30 minutes
One prahara - 3 hours
One day - 2 hours
One night - 12 hours
One paksa - 15 days
Two paksas comprise one month, and twelve months comprise one calendar year, or one full orbit of the sun. A human being is expected to live up to one hundred years. That is the way of the controlling measure of eternal time.
The Brahma-samhita (5.52) affirms this control in this way:
yac-caksur esa savita sakala-grahanam
raja samasta-sura-murtir asesa-tejah
yasyajnaya bhramati sambhrta-kala-cakro
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, under whose control even the sun, which is considered to be the eye of the Lord, rotates within the fixed orbit of eternal time. The sun is the king of all planetary systems and has unlimited potency in heat and light."
SB 4.29.69 Talks Between Narada and King Pracinabarhi
sattva-eka-nisthe--in full Krsna consciousness; manasi--in a mind; bhagavat--with the Supreme Personality of Godhead; parsva-vartini--being constantly associated; tamah--the dark planet; candramasi--in the moon; iva--like; idam--this cosmic manifestation; uparajya--being connected; avabhasate--becomes manifest.
Krsna consciousness means constantly associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in such a mental state that the devotee can observe the cosmic manifestation exactly as the Supreme Personality of Godhead does. Such observation is not always possible, but it becomes manifest exactly like the dark planet known as Rahu, which is observed in the presence of the full moon.
It has been explained in the previous verse that all desires on the mental platform become visible one after another. Sometimes, however, by the supreme will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the whole stockpile can be visible all at one time. In Brahma-samhita (5.54) it is said, karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam. When a person is fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, his stockpile of material desires is minimized. Indeed, the desires no longer fructify in the form of gross bodies. Instead, the stockpile of desires becomes visible on the mental platform by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In this connection, the darkness occurring before the full moon, the lunar eclipse, can be explained as being another planet, known as Rahu. According to Vedic astronomy, the Rahu planet, which is not visible, is accepted. Sometimes the Rahu planet is visible in the presence of full moonlight. It then appears that this Rahu planet exists somewhere near the orbit of the moon. The failure of modern moon excursionists may be due to the Rahu planet. In other words, those who are supposed to be going to the moon may actually be going to this invisible planet Rahu. Actually, they are not going to the moon but to the planet Rahu, and after reaching this planet, they come back. Apart from this discussion, the point is that a living entity has immense and unlimited desires for material enjoyment, and he has to transmigrate from one gross body to another until these desires are exhausted.
No living entity is free from the cycle of birth and death unless he takes to Krsna consciousness; therefore in this verse it is clearly stated (sattvaika-nisthe) that when one is fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, in one stroke he is freed of past and future mental desires. Then, by the grace of the Supreme Lord, everything becomes simultaneously manifest within the mind. In this regard, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura cites the example of mother Yasoda's seeing the whole cosmic manifestation within the mouth of Lord Krsna. By the grace of Lord Krsna, mother Yasoda saw all the universes and planets within the mouth of Krsna. Similarly, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, a Krsna conscious person can see all his dormant desires at one time and finish all his future transmigrations. This facility is especially given to the devotee to make his path clear for returning home, back to Godhead.
Why we see things not experienced in this life is explained herein. That which we see is the future expression of a gross body or is already stocked in our mental stockpile. Because a Krsna conscious person does not have to accept a future gross body, his recorded desires are fulfilled in a dream. We therefore sometimes find things in a dream never experienced in our present life.
SB 5.1.30 The Activities of Maharaja Priyavrata
yavad avabhasayati sura-girim anuparikraman bhagavan adityo vasudha-talam ardhenaiva pratapaty ardhenavacchadayati tada hi bhagavad-upasanopacitati-purusa-prabhavas tad anabhinandan samajavena rathena jyotirmayena rajanim api dinam karisyamiti sapta-krt vastaranim anuparyakramad dvitiya iva patangah.
yavat--so long; avabhasayati--illuminates; sura-girim--the Sumeru Hill; anuparikraman--by circumambulating; bhagavan--the most powerful; adityah--sun-god; vasudha-talam--the lower planetary system; ardhena--by half; eva--certainly; pratapati--makes dazzling; ardhena--by half; avacchadayati--covers with darkness; tada--at that time; hi--certainly; bhagavat-upasana--by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead; upacita--by satisfying Him perfectly; ati-purusa--superhuman; prabhavah--influence; tat--that; anabhinandan--without appreciating; samajavena--by equally powerful; rathena--on a chariot; jyotih-mayena--dazzling; rajanim--night; api--also; dinam--day; karisyami--I shall make it; iti--thus; sapta-krt--seven times; vastaranim--exactly following the orbit of the sun; anuparyakramat--circumambulated; dvitiyah--second; iva--like; patangah--sun.
While so excellently ruling the universe, King Priyavrata once became dissatisfied with the circumambulation of the most powerful sun-god. Encircling Sumeru Hill on his chariot, the sun-god illuminates all the surrounding planetary systems. However, when the sun is on the northern side of the hill, the south receives less light, and when the sun is in the south, the north receives less. King Priyavrata disliked this situation and therefore decided to make daylight in the part of the universe where there was night. He followed the orbit of the sun-god on a brilliant chariot and thus fulfilled his desire. He could perform such wonderful activities because of the power he had achieved by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
There is a Bengali saying which describes that someone is so powerful that he can make the night day and the day night. That saying is current because of the prowess of Priyavrata. His activities demonstrate how powerful he became by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Krsna is known as Yogesvara, the master of all mystic powers. In Bhagavad-gita (18.78) it is said wherever there is the master of all mystic powers (yatra yogesvarah krsnah), victory, fortune and all other opulences are present. Devotional service is so powerful. When a devotee achieves what he wants to accomplish, it is not by his own mystic power but by the grace of the master of mystic power, Lord Krsna; by His grace, a devotee can accomplish wonderful things unimaginable even to the most powerful scientist.
From the description in this verse, it appears that the sun moves. According to modern astronomers, the sun is fixed in one place, surrounded by the solar system, but here we find that the sun is not stationary: it is rotating in a prescribed orbit. This fact is corroborated by Brahma-samhita (5.52). Yasyajnaya bhramati sambhrta-kala-cakrah: the sun is rotating in its fixed orbit in accordance with the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. According to Jyotir Veda, the science of astronomy in the Vedic literature, the sun moves for six months on the northern side of the Sumeru Hill and for six months on the southern side. We have practical experience on this planet that when there is summer in the north there is winter in the south and vice versa. Modern materialistic scientists sometimes present themselves as knowing all the ingredients of the sun, yet they are unable to offer a second sun like Maharaja Priyavrata's.
Although Maharaja Priyavrata devised a very powerful chariot as brilliant as the sun, he had no desire to compete with the sun-god, for a Vaisnava never wants to supersede another Vaisnava. His purpose was to give abundant benefits in material existence. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks that in the months of April and May the rays of Maharaja Priyavrata's brilliant sun were as pleasing as the rays of the moon, and in October and November, both morning and evening, that sun provided more warmth than the sunshine. In short, Maharaja Priyavrata was extremely powerful, and his actions extended his power in all directions.
SB 5.23.4 The Sisumara Planetary Systems
kecanaitaj jyotir-anikam sisumara-samsthanena bhagavato vasudevasya yoga-dharanayam anuvarnayanti.
kecana--some yogis or learned scholars of astronomy; etat--this; jyotih-anikam--great wheel of planets and stars; sisumara-samsthanena--imagine this wheel to be a sisumara (dolphin); bhagavatah--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vasudevasya--Lord Vasudeva (the son of Vasudeva), Krsna; yoga-dharanayam--in absorption in worship; anuvarnayanti--describe.
This great machine, consisting of the stars and planets, resembles the form of a sisumara [dolphin] in the water. It is sometimes considered an incarnation of Krsna, Vasudeva. Great yogis meditate upon Vasudeva in this form because it is actually visible.
Transcendentalists such as yogis whose minds cannot accommodate the form of the Lord prefer to visualize something very great, such as the virat-purusa. Therefore some yogis contemplate this imaginary sisumara to be swimming in the sky the way a dolphin swims in water. They meditate upon it as the virat-rupa, the gigantic form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Adi 3.8 The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya' s Appearance
ekattara catur-yuge eka manv-antara
caudda manv-antara brahmara divasa bhitara
ekattara--seventy-one; catuh-yuge--in cycles of four ages; eka--one; manu-antara--period of a Manu; caudda--fourteen; manu-antara--periods of Manu; brahmara--of Lord Brahma; divasa--a day; bhitara--within.
Seventy-one divya-yugas constitute one manv-antara. There are fourteen manv-antaras in one day of Brahma.
A manv-antara is the period controlled by one Manu. The reign of fourteen Manus equals the length of one day (twelve hours) in the life of Brahma, and the night of Brahma is of the same duration. These calculations are given in the authentic astronomy book known as the Surya-siddhanta. This book was compiled by the great professor of astronomy and mathematics Bimal Prasad Datta, later known as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, who was our merciful spiritual master. He was honored with the title Siddhanta Sarasvati for writing a commentary on the Surya-siddhanta, and the title Gosvami Maharaja was added when he accepted sannyasa, the renounced order of life.
Adi 5.14 The Glories of Lord Nityananda Balarama
prakrtira para 'paravyoma'-name dhama
krsna-vigraha yaiche vibhuty-adi-gunavan
prakrtira--the material nature; para--beyond; para-vyoma--the spiritual sky; name--in name; dhama--the place; krsna-vigraha--the form of Lord Krsna; yaiche--just as; vibhuti-adi--like the six opulences; guna-van--full with transcendental attributes.
Beyond the material nature lies the realm known as paravyoma, the spiritual sky. Like Lord Krsna Himself, it possesses all transcendental attributes, such as the six opulences.
According to Sankhya philosophy, the material cosmos is composed of twenty-four elements: the five gross material elements, the three subtle material elements, the five knowledge-acquiring senses, the five active senses, the five objects of sense pleasure, and the mahat-tattva (the total material energy). Empiric philosophers, unable to go beyond these elements, speculate that anything beyond them must be avyakta, or inexplicable. But the world beyond the twenty-four elements is not inexplicable, for it is explained in the Bhagavad-gita as the eternal (sanatana) nature. Beyond the manifested and unmanifested existence of material nature (vyaktavyakta) is the sanatana nature, which is called the paravyoma, or the spiritual sky. Since that nature is spiritual in quality, there are no qualitative differences there; everything there is spiritual, everything is good, and everything possesses the spiritual form of Sri Krsna Himself. That spiritual sky is the manifested internal potency of Sri Krsna; it is distinct from the material sky manifested by His external potency.
The all-pervading Brahman, the impersonal glowing ray of Sri Krsna, exists in the spiritual world with the Vaikuntha planets. We can get some idea of that spiritual sky by a comparison to the material sky, for the rays of the sun in the material sky can be compared to the brahmajyoti, the glowing rays of the Personality of Godhead. In the brahmajyoti there are unlimited Vaikuntha planets, which are spiritual and therefore self-luminous, with a glow many times greater than that of the sun. The Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, His innumerable plenary portions and the portions of His plenary portions dominate each Vaikuntha planet. In the highest region of the spiritual sky is the planet called Krsnaloka, which has three divisions, namely Dvaraka, Mathura and Goloka.
To a gross materialist this kingdom of God, Vaikuntha, is certainly a mystery. But to an ignorant man everything is a mystery for want of sufficient knowledge. The kingdom of God is not a myth. Even the material planets, which float over our heads in the millions and billions, are still a mystery to the ignorant. Material scientists are now attempting to penetrate this mystery, and a day may come when the people of this earth will be able to travel in outer space and see the variegatedness of these millions of planets with their own eyes. In every planet there is as much material variegatedness as we find in our own planet.
This planet earth is but an insignificant spot in the cosmic structure. Yet foolish men, puffed up by a false sense of scientific advancement, have concentrated their energy in a pursuit of so-called economic development on this planet, not knowing of the variegated economic facilities available on other planets. According to modern astronomy, the gravity of the moon is different from that of earth. Therefore one who goes to the moon will be able to pick up large weights and jump vast distances. In the Ramayana, Hanuman is described as being able to lift huge weights as heavy as hills and jump over the ocean. Modern astronomy has confirmed that this is indeed possible.
The disease of the modern civilized man is his disbelief of everything in the revealed scriptures. Faithless nonbelievers cannot make progress in spiritual realization, for they cannot understand the spiritual potency. The small fruit of a banyan contains hundreds of seeds, and in each seed is the potency to produce another banyan tree with the potency to produce millions more of such fruits. This law of nature is visible before us, although how it works is beyond our understanding. This is but an insignificant example of the potency of Godhead; there are many similar phenomena that no scientist can explain.
Everything, in fact, is inconceivable, for the truth is revealed only to the proper persons. Although there are varieties of personalities, from Brahma down to the insignificant ant, all of whom are living beings, their development of knowledge is different. Therefore we have to gather knowledge from the right source. Indeed, in reality we can get knowledge only from the Vedic sources. The four Vedas, with their supplementary Puranas, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and their corollaries, which are known as smrtis, are all authorized sources of knowledge. If we are at all to gather knowledge, we must gather it from these sources without hesitation.
Revealed knowledge may in the beginning be unbelievable because of our paradoxical desire to verify everything with our tiny brains, but the speculative means of attaining knowledge is always imperfect. The perfect knowledge propounded in the revealed scriptures is confirmed by the great acaryas, who have left ample commentations upon them; none of these acaryas has disbelieved in the sastras. One who disbelieves in the sastras is an atheist, and we should not consult an atheist, however great he may be. A staunch believer in the sastras, with all their diversities, is the right person from whom to gather real knowledge. Such knowledge may seem inconceivable in the beginning, but when put forward by the proper authority its meaning is revealed, and then one no longer has any doubts about it.
LON 1 God and The Law of Karma
There is no knowledge comparable to that contained in the Vedic literature--not only spiritual knowledge, but material knowledge also. The Vedas discuss astronomy, mathematics, and many other subjects. It is not that in ancient times there were no airplanes. They are mentioned in the Puranas. These airplanes were so strong and swift that they could easily reach other planets. It is not that there was no advancement of material knowledge in the Vedic age. It was there. But the people then did not consider it so important. They were interested in spiritual knowledge.
So, one should know what knowledge is, and what nescience is. If we advance in nescience, or material knowledge, we will have to undergo repeated birth and death. Moreover, there is no guarantee what your next birth will be. That is not in your hands. Now you are happy being an American, but after quitting this body you cannot dictate, "Please give me an American body again." Yes, you may get an American body, but it may be an American cow's body. Then you are destined for the slaughterhouse.
So, cultivating material knowledge--nationalism, socialism, this "ism," that "ism"--is simply a dangerous waste of time. Better to cultivate real knowledge, Vedic knowledge, which leads one to surrender to Krsna. As Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita (7.19), bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate. After many, many births, one who is in genuine knowledge comes to Krsna and surrenders to Him, realizing, "O Krsna, You are everything." This is the culmination of all cultivation of knowledge.
N98:KCSB 2 Perceiving the Existence of the Supreme Scientist, Lord Sri Krsna
Now let us look into a few samples from the Lord's creation, and upon contemplating these exemplary aspects, one should develop a better understanding and appreciation of the existence of the most powerful brain, Lord Sri Krsna. The sun that we see daily is the nearest star. It is one hundred earth diameters across and is ninety-three million miles away from the earth. Every day the sun supplies the solar system with a tremendous amount of heat, light and energy. "The very tiny fraction of the sun's energy that falls on the earth--estimated at about five parts in a hundred million million--is about I 00,000 times greater than all the energy used in the world's industries. The total energy the sun emits in a single second would be sufficient to keep a one kilowatt electric fire burning for 10,000 million million years. Put in a different way, the energy the sun emits in one second is greater than the whole amount of energy the human species has consumed throughout its entire history."Fred Hoyle, Astronomy (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1962), p. 232.2 Yet it is only one of the countless number of stars floating in the sky in every direction. With the material scientific brain, the thermal, electrical and nuclear powerhouses have been made. These can supply heat, light and energy to a small, limited extent, but Lord Krsna is supplying the whole planet with an unlimited source of energy just from one sun. Krsna says: "The splendor of the sun, which dissipates the darkness of this whole world, comes from Me. And the splendor of the moon and the splendor of fire are also from Me." [Bg. 15.12] The planets are revolving in a systematic path around the sun. Even within the smallest atom, the electrons are orbiting around the nucleus in a perfect manner.
Thus, from the submicroscopic realm of the atom to the expanding reaches of the galactic objects, this material universe is running like intricate, well-oiled clockwork according to great natural physical laws and principles. Scientists have gained great acclaim for making a few spaceships, whereas Krsna effortlessly produces gigantic spaceships, such as planets and stars, which are perfectly equipped and maintained. In Bhagavad-gita Krsna says, gam avisya ca bhutani dharayamy aham ojasa: "I enter into each planet, and by My energy they stay in orbit." [Bg. 15.13] The laws made by the supreme brain always remain perfect; they are never violated. We never see the sun rising in the west and setting in the east. The colorful rainbow that we observe when the sun is shining during a shower is only visible when the sun is behind the observer, due to the laws of refraction. Also, each year the seasons change quite periodically, producing symptoms unique to each season.
Now let us look into some aspects of the Lord's creation at the molecular level. Chemists find that the different colors in flowers are due to chemicals called anthocyanins, and the different aromas are mostly due to chemicals called terpenes and terpenoid compounds. The molecular frameworks for these compounds range from very simple structures to very complex networks. Camphor, for example, is a terpenoid compound, and the characteristic odor of lemons is due to the molecule called limonene, which is one of the simple terpenes. Similarly, the characteristic colors in carrots and tomatoes are due to molecules called carotenoids, which are higher forms of terpenes. The molecular framework for each definite color or aroma is wonderfully unique. A little change in position of a few atoms in the molecule, a little variation in the geometry of the molecule or a slight change in the size of the molecule can cause a color to change from orange to red, a mild, pleasing aroma to become repellent and pungent, and a flavor to change from sweet to bitter. On one extreme we find the smallest molecule, the hydrogen molecule, which contains only two atoms of hydrogen. On the other extreme we find giant molecules such as the proteins and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), the building blocks of all living material bodies, which contain innumerable atoms made for a definite function. Similarly, the crystalline pattern of each different molecule is unique. The geometrical shape for sodium chloride (common salt), for example, is cubical. Charcoal, graphite and diamonds are all derived from the same element, carbon, and yet the shining and transparent diamond is extremely hard, whereas graphite is soft, black and opaque. This is due to the difference in the crystalline forms of these molecules. In the crystal lattice of the diamond, each carbon atom is tetrahedrally surrounded by four other carbon atoms at a distance of 1.54 angstroms (one angstrom = 10<-8> cm.). In graphite, by contrast, the three bonds of each carbon atom are distorted so as to lie in the same plane, the fourth bond being directed perpendicularly to this plane to link with a carbon atom of the neighboring layer.
In this way we can cite innumerable examples of molecular networks so fantastically and delicately arranged that chemists cannot but wonder about the most expert hand and brain who is making all these wonderful artistic arrangements in His laboratory. Indeed, the intelligence and ability of the supreme scientist, Sri Krsna, are inconceivable (acintya). There is no scientist who can deny it. How then can any chemist abstain from appreciating the wonderful works of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna? In Bhagavad-gita we find: "One should meditate upon the Supreme Person as the one who knows everything, as He who is the oldest, who is the controller, who is smaller than the smallest, who is the maintainer of everything, who is beyond all material conception, who is inconceivable, and who is always a person. He is luminous like the sun and, being transcendental, is beyond this material nature." [Bg. 8.9]
At best, scientists can only try to imitate the wonderful artistic works of the Supreme Lord. They cannot even do this properly, and most of their attempts lead to failure and disappointment. Even when they are partly successful, it is only with the greatest difficulty. For example, Professor R.B. Woodward of Harvard, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry (1965) and Professor A. Eschenmoser of Zurich took eleven years to synthesize the vitamin B12 molecule. Altogether, ninety-nine scientists from nineteen different countries were involved just to accomplish this one small task.James H. Krieger, Chemical and Engineering News, March 12, 1973, p.16.6 Yet Krsna is making all these complex molecules at will.
Interestingly enough, when scientists fail again and again in their attempts to make something, they consciously or unconsciously pray to God for help. Does this not indicate the existence of the supreme scientist, Lord Sri Krsna, and the natural subordinate position of all other living entities? A crude example is the explosion that occurred inside the Apollo 13 spacecraft during its attempt to land on the moon on April 11, 1970. The Apollo capsule was made by hundreds of scientific and technological brains and cost millions of dollars. No one could predict that there would be an explosion. When it happened, however, and the lives of the three astronauts were in danger, those involved in the mission requested all the people on earth to pray to God for the safe return of the astronauts. Such is the situation. At times of danger, most people tend to remember God, although at other times they forget Him.
Now, let us look into some very simple and graphic examples of the artistry of the Lord's creation. We see that among the lower forms of living entities, social organization is very smoothly maintained. For example, in a bee colony the queen bee is nicely taken care of by the drones (male bees), while the workers collect nectar from flowers all day long. It is quite amazing to consider how the bees, with their tiny bodies, can collect such a great amount of honey for themselves as well as for other living entities. In this way, the colony is maintained with beautiful order. Similarly, the loving relationship between a mother and her baby is quite clearly visible even in very small forms of living entities. During the monsoon season in tropical countries, when there are torrents of rain, the small ants run to find shelter, carrying their eggs on their heads. The spider makes its wonderful webs with great architectural skill to serve as a shelter as well as to catch its prey for survival. Silkworms spin hundreds of yards of fine threads to form cocoons for their shelter during the pupa stage. Inside a tiny seed, smaller than the size of a mustard seed, the whole potency of a big banyan tree is present. In this way, we can see the wonderful arrangements of the Supreme Lord, who is creating, maintaining and guiding all living entities, small or big. Krsna says: "Furthermore, O Arjuna, I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being--moving or unmoving--that can exist without Me." [Bg. 10.39]
The main trouble with material scientists is that they generally neglect the most important and fundamental aspect of their inquiries. For example, when Newton saw the falling of the apple, he asked why and how the apple fell. However, he did not inquire who caused the falling of the apple. As an answer to his inquiry, he discovered the laws of gravitation. His answer was that the apple fell because of the laws of gravitation. But who made the laws of gravitation? Srila Prabhupada kindly explains that the apple did not fall while green but while ripe. Therefore Newton's gravitational theory was not enough to explain the falling of the apple. There is some other cause behind the total scene of the falling and, thereby, behind the law of gravitation. That cause is Lord Sri Krsna. In Bhagavad-gita we find, vasudevah sarvam iti: "Krsna is the cause of all causes." [Bg. 7.19] Furthermore, scientists have to know that the little ability they have is also given by the Lord. Krsna says, paurusam nrsu. "I am the ability in man." [Bg. 7.8]
By various mechanical means (telescopes, etc.), assumptions, empiric theories and conceptual models, cosmologists and astronomers are trying with tremendous vigor to understand what the universe is, what its size is, and the time scale of its creation. At the present time they are speculating that there may be a tenth planet in the solar system, and they are trying to locate it.D. Rawlins and M. Hammerton, "Is There a Tenth Planet in the Solar System?" Nature, December 22, 1972, p. 457.10 How far they will be successful in finding a real answer to their attempts only time can tell. But the fact is that they will never be able to fully discover the secrets of nature, which is the product of creation of Krsna, the supreme scientist. Any thoughtful person can understand how foolish he is even to dream of measuring the size of this universe, since he does not know completely the nature of the sun, the nearest star. Srila Prabhupada cites the example of the philosophy of Dr. Frog, who lives in a well of three feet and has no idea how vast the Pacific Ocean is but who speculates that the Pacific Ocean might be five feet wide, ten feet wide, etc., comparing it to his well. The point is that comprehending the unlimited knowledge beyond by our limited means is simply a waste of time and energy. All the knowledge is already there in the authorized scriptures, the Vedas. One simply has to take the knowledge from the supreme authority, Krsna.
The details of the creation of this material universe and the living entities like demigods, men and others have been given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Chapter Three, verses 1-5. The description of the material and spiritual universes is completely given in the Brahma-samhita, Fifth Chapter, and from Bhagavad-gita we get the clear information that the entire material universe is only one fourth of the creative energy of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. The other three fourths of the creative energy of the Lord are manifested in the spiritual sky, called the Vaikunthaloka.
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the golden avatara (incarnation) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, clearly explained to Sanatana Gosvami, one of the Lord's intimate disciples, about the nature of these universes. The Lord explained that the material universes have a limited length and breadth, whereas no one can measure the length and breadth of all the Vaikuntha planets. These Vaikuntha planets are like the petals of a lotus flower, and the principal part of that flower is the center of all the Vaikunthas. This part is called Krsnaloka, or Goloka Vrndavana. The Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, has His original eternal abode on this planet. The other Vaikunthas are also inhabited by residents who are full with six opulences--wealth, strength, knowledge, beauty, fame and renunciation--and in each and every Vaikuntha planet a different expansion of Krsna has His eternal abode.Prabhupada, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, pp. 82~83.11 Material scientists have no information of this vast knowledge.
Certainly, the secrets of the universe cannot be unfolded by the tiny brains of material scientists. We should agree without a doubt that man's vision in all directions is extremely limited by the inadequacies of his senses, his technology and his intellect. None can deny the existence of the supreme scientist, Sri Krsna. He is the proprietor and knower of everything. Krsna says: "O son of Prtha, know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men [Bg. 7.10] ...O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread." [Bg. 7.7] Only fools would argue about the existence of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. In Bhagavad-gita, Sri Krsna says: "Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me." [Bg. 7.15]
Therefore, instead of denying and challenging the existence of the supreme scientist, Lord Sri Krsna or God, it should be the prime duty of all our scientist friends to appreciate the inconceivable brain of the Lord and His wonderful manifestations everywhere. One may falsely claim the credit for the discovery of radio, television, computers, penicillin, etc. But the fact is that everything was already there because nothing can come out of nothing. If someone claims that anything belongs to him, he is the greatest thief. He is stealing property from the supreme father, Sri Krsna, and claiming it to be his. Nothing belongs to us. Everything belongs to Krsna. Sri Isopanisad says: "Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one must not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.isavasyam idam sarvam yat kincat jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjitha ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam (Iso. 1)15