The Four Defects of the Conditioned Soul

srila-prabhupada

 

I woke up this morning thinking about the recent election and how we have a new leader, and we have no idea the direction we as a country will go. I would feel better if he was an enlightened, self realized person, with Godly qualities. This however is not the situation, which lead me to review the four defects of the conditioned soul.

A foolish person who manufactures his own ways and means through mental speculation and does not recognize the authority of the sages who lay down unimpeachable directions is simply unsuccessful again and again in his attempts. (SB 4.18.5)

…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.

Another defect: to be illusioned. Illusion means to accept something which is not: māyā. Māyā 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. (from the introduction to the Sri Isopanisad by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda)

… Presently people are so fallen that they cannot distinguish between a liberated soul and a conditioned soul. A conditioned soul is hampered by four defects: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to become illusioned, he has a tendency to cheat others, and his senses are imperfect. Consequently we have to take direction from liberated persons. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement directly receives instructions from the Supreme Personality of Godhead via persons who are strictly following His instructions. (SB 4.18.5)

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Vyasa-Puja 2016

Decorations by Lokadrsti Devi Dasi

Decorations by Lokadrsti Devi Dasi

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Yesterday we celebrated Vyasa-Puja at New Vrindaban. The Vyasasana there was freshly re-upholstered and decorated, thanks to the efforts of Lokadrsti devi and Malati devi (who provided the fabric.) It was a very nice day with a good kirtan, dancing and feasting, all centered around Srila Prabhupada!

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“Chant, dance, take prasadam, live very happily, and look very brilliant, and next life go to home, back to Godhead.” (Srila Prabhupada lecture, August 3, 1975)

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