Lord Krishna’s Appearance Day Lecture

Lord Krishna’s Appearance Day Lecture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(London, August 21, 1973)

Prabhupāda: His Excellency, the High Commissioner; ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your coming here and participating in this ceremony, Janmāṣṭamī, advent of Kṛṣṇa. The subject matter I’ve been ordered to speak on is advent of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā,

janma karma me divyaṁ
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya
(BG 4.9)

This fact, that we can achieve such a stage of life when we can stop our birth and death… Sa ‘mṛtatvāya kalpate. This morning, I was explaining this verse:

yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete
puruṣaṁ puruṣarsabha
sama-duḥkha-sukhaṁ dhīraṁ
so ‘mṛtatvāya kalpate

Amrtatva means immortality. So the modern civilization, they have no idea, either the great philosopher, great politician or great scientist, that it is possible to attain the stage of immortality. Amṛtatva. We are all amṛta. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, na jāyate na mrīyate vā kadācin. We living entities, we never die, never take birth. Nityaḥ śāśvato yaṁ, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). Every one of us, we are eternal, nityaḥ śāśvato; Purāṇa, the oldest. And after annihilation of this body, we do not die. Na hanyate. The body is finished, but I have to accept another body. Tathā dehāntara prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati. Dehino ‘smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā (BG 2.13).

This simple thing, at the present moment, they are lacking knowledge, that we, all living entities, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we are eternal, we are blissful, and we are cognizant. Kṛṣṇa is described in the Vedic śāstras:

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Chanting Hare Krsna

visnujhana swami

It seems there is world wide fear over the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, such as myself , and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. But I refuse to live in fear, although we have accepted a self imposed quarantine, I have gone about my business working alone in my woodworking shop, and chanting the holy name. Hare Krishna! -V

Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, which is feared by fear personified. (SB 1.1.14)

… It is stated herein that the name of Kṛṣṇa is feared even by fear personified. This indicates that the name of Kṛṣṇa is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the name of Kṛṣṇa is as powerful as Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. There is no difference at all. Anyone, therefore, can take advantage of the holy names of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa even in the midst of greatest dangers. The transcendental name of Kṛṣṇa, even though uttered unconsciously or by force of circumstances, can help one obtain freedom from the hurdle of birth and death. (from purport)

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The Evolutionary Process

The evolutionary process

The evolutionary process

In the course of the evolutionary process, which is caused by fruitive activities due to undesirable material sense gratification, I have received this human form of life, which can lead to the heavenly planets, to liberation, to the lower species, or to rebirth among human beings. (SB7.13.25)

…All living entities within this material world are undergoing the cycle of birth and death according to the laws of nature. This struggle of birth and death in different species may be called the evolutionary process, but in the Western world it has been wrongly explained. Darwin’s theory of evolution from animal to man is incomplete because the theory does not present the reverse condition, namely evolution from man to animal.

Human life, which is obtained in the course of the evolutionary process, is a chance for elevation (svargāpavarga) or for degradation (tiraścām punar asya ca). If one uses this human form of life properly, he can elevate himself to the higher planetary systems, where material happiness is many thousands of times better than on this planet, or one may cultivate knowledge by which to become free from the evolutionary process and be reinstated in one’s original spiritual life. This is called apavarga, or liberation. (from purport to SB 7.13.25)

Some years back I was reading from one book and the author was explaining how within each of us, we have the Keys to the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven, and we also have the Keys to the gates of Hell. It is our choice at every moment which we choose to use. Or as the saying goes “It is Rama, or it is Drama”.

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The Living Entities (Prajā)

Prajah, living entities who take birth in the material universe

Here is a word for your vaisnava vocabulary; Prajah.

Prajā means the living being who has taken his birth in the material world. Actually the living being has no birth and no death, but because of his separation from the service of the Lord and due to his desire to lord it over material nature, he is offered a suitable body to satisfy his material desires. In doing so, one becomes conditioned by the laws of material nature, and the material body is changed in terms of his own work. The living entity thus transmigrates from one body to another in 8,400,000 species of life.

As Krishna points out in the Bhagavad-gita:

It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father. (Bg 14-4)

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Black Friday / Material Fever

Consumerism is a kind of Material Fever

The problems of material existence-birth, old age, disease and death-cannot be counteracted by accumulation of wealth and economic development. In many parts of the world there are states which are replete with all facilities of life, which are full of wealth, and economically developed, yet the problems of material existence are still present.

If economic development and material comforts could drive away one’s lamentations for family, social, national or international inebrieties, then Arjuna would not have said that even an unrivalled kingdom on earth or supremacy like that of the demigods in the heavenly planets would not be able to drive away his lamentations. He sought, therefore, refuge in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that is the right path for peace and harmony.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 2, Text 8

na hi prapaśyāmi mamāpanudyād
yac chokam ucchoṣaṇam indriyāṇām
avāpya bhūmāv asapatnam ṛddhaṁ
rājyaṁ surāṇām api cādhipatyam

na—do not; hi—certainly; prapaśyāmi—I see; mama—my; apanudyāt—they can drive away; yat—that; śokam—lamentation; ucchoṣaṇam—drying up; indriyāṇām—of the senses; avāpya—achieving; bhūmau—on the earth; asapatnam—without rival; ṛddham—prosperous; rājyam—kingdom; surāṇām—of the demigods; api—even; ca—also; ādhipatyam—supremacy.

Translation

I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to destroy it even if I win an unrivalled kingdom on the earth with sovereignty like that of the demigods in heaven.

Purport

Although Arjuna was putting forward so many arguments based on knowledge of the principles of religion and moral codes, it appears that he was unable to solve his real problem without the help of the spiritual master, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He could understand that his so-called knowledge was useless in driving away his problems, which were drying up his whole existence; and it was impossible for him to solve such perplexities without the help of a spiritual master like Lord Kṛṣṇa. Academic knowledge, scholarship, high position, etc., are all useless in solving the problems of life; help can only be given by a spiritual master like Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the conclusion is that a spiritual master who is one hundred percent Kṛṣṇa conscious is the bona fide spiritual master, for he can solve the problems of life. Lord Caitanya said that one who is master in the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, regardless of his social position, is the real spiritual master.

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