Heaven or Hell

I often marvel at how we can find on this material planet, Earth, examples of both Heaven & Hell. Some people and animals are living in “Heavenly Luxury”, while others are suffering what can only be described as “Hellish Conditions”. Someone once told me, that within every man is the keys to the gates of Heaven, but also the keys to the gates of Hell. Or as I sometimes like to joke, its either Rama or Drama.

Lord Kapila continued: My dear mother, it is sometimes said that we experience hell or heaven on this planet, for hellish punishments are sometimes visible on this planet also.(SB 3.30.29)

A Vaisnava is addressed as maha-bhaga, which means “fortunate.” One who becomes a
Vaisnava and is God conscious is understood to be greatly fortunate. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu , the chief exponent of Krsna consciousness in this age, has explained that the living entities in various planetary systems all over the universe are rotating in different species of life. A living entity can go wherever he likes—to heaven or to hell—simply by preparing himself for either place. There are many heavenly planets, many hellish planets, and many species of life. Padma Purana estimates the species of life to be 8,400,000, and the living entity is rotating or wandering through these species and creating bodies according to his mentality in his present life. “As you sow, so shall you reap,” is the law that governs here. Catanya Mahaprabhu says that out of these numberless living entities who are transmigrating in the material world, one may be fortunate enough to take to Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is being distributed freely everywhere, yet not everyone takes to it, especially in this age of Kali. Because of this, Śrīmad-Bhagavatam characterizes people in the age of Kali as unfortunate. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that only those who are fortunate take to this Krsna consciousness and thus attain a pleasant and blissful life of knowledge. (The Matchless Gift, from chapter 2)

The Transcendental Matter and Supreme Yogī

Lord Kapila1

…Anyone who is associated with the Supreme Lord is accepted as a first-class yogī.

…people are unaware of the miserable conditions of material life. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (13.9), janma-mṛtyu jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam. Real knowledge means knowing that however great one may be, the four principles of material life are present: birth, old age, disease and death.

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is an attempt to make people fortunate. In this age, everyone is unfortunate (manda-bhāgyāḥ), but now we are trying to reverse the situation.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Two

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Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti (Foreword)

Teachings of Lord Kapila

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Foreword

Kapila Muni, a renowned sage of antiquity, is the author of the philosophical system known as Sāṅkhya, which forms an important part of India’s ancient philosophical heritage. Sāṅkhya is both a system of metaphysics, dealing with the elemental principles of the physical universe, and a system of spiritual knowledge, with its own methodology, culminating in full consciousness of the Supreme Absolute. Kapila, however, is not an ordinary philosopher or sage. According to Vedic tradition, the tradition of India’s ancient scriptural literature, He Himself is an avatāra (incarnation) of the Supreme Absolute Truth.

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