Lord Rsabhadeva’s Teachings to His Sons

Lord Rsabhadeva

 

This morning by chance, I happened upon the teachings of Lord Rsabhadeva to His sons.  It was in an old notebook that I opened just to see what was inside.  Inside were prayers from the Vaisnava Songbook, the Brahma-samhita, Teachings of Pralada Maharaja, and these teachings of Lord Rsabhadeva.  It was someones old study notebook, and what they were studying 30 years ago was very useful and timely today.  It was just what I needed to read this morning and I share it with you today.  It is verses 1-27,  from the Fifth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter five.

 

Lord Ṛṣabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.

 

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Vedic Culture: Varṇāśrama-dharma

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 2, Vedic Culture: Varṇāśrama-dharma
February 28, 1972

Bob: I’ve asked devotees about how they feel towards sex in their relations, and I see the way they feel, but I can’t see myself acting the same way. See, I’ll be getting married at the end of this summer.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Hm-m?

Bob: I’ll be getting married at the end of this summer, in September or August when I return to America. And the devotees say that the householders only have sex to conceive a child, and I cannot picture myself at all in such a position, and—What kind of sex life can one lead, living in the material world?

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Krishna Consciousness is for Everyone

…In order for his movement to be successful, Srila Prabhupada emphasized that there is no room for politics in Krsna consciousness: “Politics means planning for one’s own happiness. That is politics. So in our society there should be no diplomacy, no politics. Everyone should be eager how to do good for others. That is Vaisnava.”

Krishna Consciousness is for Everyone
By Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

Oftentimes those who are practicing Krsna consciousness are challenged that merely tending to spiritual life can’t possibly solve one’s problems in the real world. How can chanting Hare Krsna help someone who is constantly worried about putting food on their dinner table? So-called spiritual solutions seem vague and impractical. However, if we make the effort to study Srila Prabhupada’s teachings in full, we soon discover that he was always down-to-earth along with being committed to living and preaching a godly life.

In early 1974, Srila Prabhupada instructed his leading disciples to start organizing his movement according to the principles of varnasrama-dharma: “Everywhere, wherever we have got our centers, a varnasrama college should be established to train all divisions: one class brahmana, one class ksatriya, one class vaisya, and one class sudra” (Srila Prabhupada, Vrindavan, March, 1974). These four divisions of society are described in the 18th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita where Lord Krsna states that such divisions are naturally “in accordance with the modes of nature” (B.G. 18.41). In the varnasrama system, the brahmanas are the priests, the ksatriyas are the administrators, the vaisyas are the producers of food and the sudras are the workers. By co-operating together, these four parts of the social body are able to maintain a healthy and well functioning society. On the basis of Vedic scripture, Srila Prabhupada guaranteed that there would be no scarcity if the principles of varnasrama were properly established in human society. “Come and join us,” he said. “We shall give you food, shelter, everything. This is Krsna consciousness.”

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Varṇāśrama-dharma

Here are two verses (one from the Srimad Bhagavatam; 1.2.13, and one from the Bhagavad-gita; 4.13) describing the importance of the varṇāśrama institution.

…the highest aim of life or the highest perfection of the institution of the varṇāśrama-dharma is to cooperate jointly for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By is Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami PRabhupada
Canto One, Chapter 2, Text 13

ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam

O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one’s own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead.

Human society all over the world is divided into four castes and four orders of life. The four castes are the intelligent caste, the martial caste, the productive caste and the laborer caste. These castes are classified in terms of one’s work and qualification and not by birth. Then again there are four orders of life, namely the student life, the householder’s life, the retired and the devotional life. In the best interest of human society there must be such divisions of life, otherwise no social institution can grow in a healthy state. And in each and every one of the abovementioned divisions of life, the aim must be to please the supreme authority of the Personality of Godhead. This institutional function of human society is known as the system of varṇāśrama-dharma, which is quite natural for the civilized life. The varṇāśrama institution is constructed to enable one to realize the Absolute Truth. It is not for artificial domination of one division over another. When the aim of life, i.e., realization of the Absolute Truth, is missed by too much attachment for indriya-prīti, or sense gratification, as already discussed hereinbefore, the institution of the varṇāśrama is utilized by selfish men to pose an artificial predominance over the weaker section. In the Kali-yuga, or in the age of quarrel, this artificial predominance is already current, but the saner section of the people know it well that the divisions of castes and orders of life are meant for smooth social intercourse and high-thinking self-realization and not for any other purpose.

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Divine Culture

…When Lord Caitanya talked with the great devotee Ramananda Raya, the Lord asked him, “What is the basic principle of human life?” Ramananda Raya answered that human civilization begins when varnasrama-dharma is accepted. Before coming to the standard of varnasrama-dharma there is no question of human civilization. Therefore, the Krsna consciousness movement is trying to establish this right system of human civilization, which is known as Krsna consciousness, or daiva-varnasrama—divine culture.

Divine Culture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead 1974, Vol 1, No. 68

There is a misconception that the Krsna consciousness movement represents the Hindu religion. In act, however, Krsna consciousness is in no way a faith or religion that seeks to defeat other faiths or religions. Rather, it is an essential cultural movement for the entire human society and does not consider any particular sectarian faith. This cultural movement is especially meant to educate people in how they can love God.

Sometimes Indians both inside and outside of India think that we are preaching the Hindu religion, but actually we are not. One will not find the word “Hindu” in Bhagavad-gita. Indeed, there is no such word as “Hindu” in the entire Vedic literature. This word has been introduced by the Muslims from provinces next to India, such as Afghanistan, Baluchisthan and Persia. There is a river called “Sindhu” bordering the northwestern provinces of India, and since the Muslims there could not pronounce “Sindhu” properly, instead they called the river “Hindu,” and the inhabitants of this tract of land they called “Hindus.” In India, according to the Vedic language, the Europeans are called mlecchas or yavanas. Similarly, “Hindu” is a name given by the Muslims.

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