More Attractive than the Hymns of the Vedas

gopis

Yesterday, I took a few moments to sit in the sun with a good book. I grabbed a book at random…it was the first Canto, Vol. 3 of the Srimad Bhagavatam. I adjusted my reading glass’s on my face, opened the book at random…and began to read

Absorbed in the thought of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, who is glorified in select poetry, the ladies on the roofs of all the houses of Hastināpura began to talk of Him. This talk was more attractive than the hymns of the Vedas. (SB 1.10.20)

…The ladies, who were all absorbed in the thought and actions of the Lord, developed the consciousness of Vedic wisdom by the grace of the Lord. And therefore although such ladies might not have been very learned scholars in Sanskrit or otherwise, still whatever they spoke was more attractive than the Vedic hymns. (from purport to SB 1.10.20)

…The ladies talking about this Vedic truth must have heard it from authoritative sources. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. (from purport to SB 1.10.21)

I was only able to read these two translations and purports before the rains came and I had to flee inside the house…but so moved by these two verses, I have thought of nothing else since. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

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Anomalies in the Kali Age

Srimad Bhagavatam

The great sage Vyāsadeva saw anomalies in the duties of the millennium. This happens on the earth in different ages, due to unseen forces in the course of time.

The great sages like Vyāsadeva are liberated souls, and therefore they can see clearly past and future. Thus he could see the future anomalies in the Kali age, and accordingly he made arrangement for the people in general so that they can execute a progressive life in this age, which is full of darkness. The people in general in this age of Kali are too much interested in matter, which is temporary. Because of ignorance they are unable to evaluate the assets of life and be enlightened in spiritual knowledge.

…The unmanifested forces of time are so powerful that they reduce all matter to oblivion in due course. In Kali-yuga, the last millennium of a round of four millenniums, the power of all material objects deteriorates by the influence of time. In this age the duration of the material body of the people in general is much reduced, and so is the memory. The action of matter has also not so much incentive. The land does not produce food grains in the same proportions as it did in other ages. The cow does not give as much milk as it used to give formerly. The production of vegetables and fruits is less than before. As such, all living beings, both men and animals, do not have sumptuous, nourishing food. Due to want of so many necessities of life, naturally the duration of life is reduced, the memory is short, intelligence is meager, mutual dealings are full of hypocrisy and so on.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto One, Chapter 4, Texts 16, 17-18

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The Glories of Purusottama Month

Purusottama Month begins Saturday, August 18, 2012

…Once upon a time, thousands of sages came together in the holy place called Naimisaranya to perform sacrifice. To their very good fortune the great sage Suta Goswami, who had been traveling to different pilgrimage sites, arrived there along with his disciples. The sages present were very enlivened to see him. They all stood up immediately to pay their respects to the great sage, offered him a very nice Vyasasana, and requested him with folded hands to sit down on it.

The sages of Naimisaranya said to Suta Goswami with folded hands, “O Sutaji! We humbly request you to tell us something about the wonderful activities and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many thousands of such narrations, but we want to hear the most perfect one, by following which we can all be delivered from this Material Ocean and return back to Godhead.

Simplified Recommended Worship for the Purushottama month:

* Establish the Deity or Picture of Sri Sri Radha Krishna in your home and worship Them with love and devotion.

* Offer daily puja and by chanting the mahamantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

* Study Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad gita, especially Chapter Fifteen, Purushottama Yoga.

* Daily offer a ghee lamp to Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

* Give charity to qualified Brahmanas. Engage in Go Seva and distribute prasadam.

* Bathe in the holy rivers and associate with saintly devotees.

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Teachings of the Vedas

…The Vedas are not compilations of human knowledge. Vedic knowledge comes from the spiritual world, from Lord Krsna.

“Teachings of the Vedas” 

[Delivered as a lecture by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on October 6, 1969, at Conway Hall, London, England.] 

Ladies and gentlemen, today’s subject matter is the teachings of the Vedas. What are the Vedas? The Sanskrit verbal root of veda can be interpreted variously, but the purpose is finally one. Veda means knowledge. Any knowledge you accept is veda, for the teachings of the Vedas are the original knowledge. In the conditioned state, our knowledge is subjected to many deficiencies. The difference between a conditioned soul and a liberated soul is that the conditioned soul has four kinds of defects. The first defect is that he must commit mistakes. For example, in our country, Mahatma Gandhi was considered to be a very great personality, but he committed many mistakes. Even at the last stage of his life, his assistant warned, “Mahatma Gandhi, don’t go to the New Delhi meeting. I have some friends, and I have heard there is danger.” But he did not hear. He persisted on going and was killed. Even great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, President Kennedy — there are so many of them — make mistakes. To err is human. This is one defect of the conditioned soul.

Another defect: to be illusioned. Illusion means to accept something which is not: maya. Maya means what is not. Everyone is accepting the body as the self. If I ask you what you are, you will say, “I am Mr. John; I am a rich man; I am this, I am that.” All these are bodily identifications. But you are not this body. This is illusion.

The third defect is the cheating propensity. Everyone has the propensity to cheat others. Although a person is fool number one, he poses himself as very intelligent. Although it is already pointed out that he is in illusion and makes mistakes, he will theorize: “I think this is this, this is this.” But he does not even know his own position. He writes books of philosophy, although he is defective. That is his disease. That is cheating.

Lastly, our senses are imperfect. We are very proud of our eyes. Often, someone will challenge, “can you show me God?” But do you have the eyes to see God? You will never see if you haven’t the eyes. If immediately the room becomes dark, you cannot even see your hands. So what power do you have to see? We cannot, therefore, expect knowledge (veda) with these imperfect senses. With all these deficiencies, in conditioned life, we cannot give perfect knowledge to anyone. Nor are we ourselves perfect. Therefore we accept the Vedas as they are.

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