The Laws of Nature

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This morning I was looking through our bookshelf at some of the small paperback books we used to distribute at preaching programs. I always had a fondness for these small books, because it was the small books published by the BBT in the early days, that brought so many of us to the movement. Although I very much appreciated the original Bhagavad-gita As It Is when I first received it back in the early 70’s, it was too much information for me to process at the time, but the small paperback books were something I could read cover to cover, and thus my spiritual life took shape.

We have posted just the first chapter of this small book entitled “God and the Law of Karma”, but have also included a link at bottom of post where you can download the entire book.

This book explains the laws of karma and how these unseen but inescapable laws control the conditioned soul. One will also learn how to rise above these laws of karma through the powerful transcendental process of Krishna consciousness. It was compiled from the lectures and books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The Laws of Nature: An Infallible Justice
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 1

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Forgetfulness of God

hogs

Back when I was a new aspiring devotee, and was hearing and learning the stories from the Srimad-Bhagavatam for the very first time, the story of King Indra cursed to take birth as a hog, was without a doubt one of my favorites. I first read it in the Raja-Vidya, then heard it repeated so many times in Srimad-Bhagavatam class’s, and it became more relishable with each hearing.

…At one time, Indra, the king of heaven, committed an offense at the feet of his spiritual master, and his spiritual master cursed him to take the birth of a hog. Thus the throne of the heavenly kingdom became empty as Indra went to earth to become a hog.

Seeing the situation, Brahma came to earth and addressed the hog: “My dear sir, you have become a hog on this planet earth. I have come to deliver you. Come with me at once.” But the hog replied:. “Oh I cannot go with you. I have so many responsibilities—my children, wife and this nice hog society.”

Even though Brahma promised to take him back to heaven, Indra, in the form of a hog, refused. This is called forgetfulness. Similarly, Lord Sri Krishna comes and says to us, “What are you doing in this material world? Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66].

Come to Me, and I’ll give you all protection.” But we say, “I don’t believe You Sir. I have more important business here.” This is the position of the conditioned soul—forgetfulness. This forgetfulness is quickly dissipated by following in the path of disciplic succession.

We become so attached to our so-called material enjoyment, but what is this enjoyment? Our situation is not always so good, and there is birth, death, disease, and old age, but still we are attached; to my hog wife, my hog children, my hog pen. Lol, this seems to be our situation.

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Karma and Karma-yoga

karma

Sometime back one of our readers asked the question; “What is the difference between karma and karma-yoga?” I answered his question in some length, I recall, referring to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is as reference. But just this morning, I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, and I read this very short and concise explaination.

“There is a difference between karma and karma-yoga. Karma is regulated action for the enjoyment of the fruit by the performer, but karma-yoga is action performed by the devotee for the satisfaction of the Lord. Karma-yoga is based on bhakti, or pleasing the Lord, whereas karma is based on pleasing the senses of the performer himself.” (from purport to SB 1.3.4)

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A Player and His Playthings

Game of Chess

As a player sets up and disperses his playthings according to his own sweet will, so the supreme will of the Lord brings men together and separates them. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.43)

…Generally the law of karma is that one is awarded the result of one’s own actions…A rich man gets his son born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but the child who came as the rich man’s son deserved such a place, and therefore he is placed there by the will of the Lord… but in special cases, by the will of the Lord, such resultant actions are changed also. But this change can be affected by the will of the Lord only, and no other. Therefore, the example of the player cited in this verse is quite appropriate, for the Supreme Will is absolutely free to do whatever He likes, and because He is all-perfect, there is no mistake in any of His actions or reactions. These changes of resultant actions are especially rendered by the Lord when a pure devotee is involved. (from purport)

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Why Be Vegetarian?

Great Vegetarians

…On the spiritual path, there are several reasons why a person is recommended to be vegetarian. One primary reason is that we need to see the spiritual nature within all living beings, and that includes the animals and other creatures as well. Universal brotherhood means nonviolence to both humans and animals. It consists of understanding that animals also have souls. They are alive, conscious, and feel pain. And these are the indications of the presence of consciousness, which is the symptom of the soul.

…Isaac Bashevis Singer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, asked, “How can we pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy? How can we speak of rights and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood?” He went on to say, “I personally believe that as long as human beings will go shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace.”

…The Buddhist scripture (Sutta-Nipata 393) also advises: “Let him not destroy or cause to be destroyed any life at all, or sanction the acts of those who do so. Let him refrain from even hurting any creature, both those that are strong and those that tremble in the world.” It is also said in the Buddhist scripture, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, “The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.”

Why Be Vegetarian?
By Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa)

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Attaining the Supreme

Plate 27

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 8

Attaining the Supreme

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Karma-Yoga


Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 3

TEXT 1
arjuna uvāca
jyāyasī cet karmaṇas te
matā buddhir janārdana
tat kiṁ karmaṇi ghore māṁ
niyojayasi keśava

arjunaḥ—Arjuna; uvāca—said; jyāyasī—speaking very highly; cet—although; karmaṇaḥ—than fruitive action; te—your; matā—opinion; buddhiḥ—intelligence; janārdana—O Kṛṣṇa; tat—therefore; kim—why; karmaṇi—in action; ghore—ghastly; mām—me; niyojayasi—engaging me; keśava—O Kṛṣṇa.

TRANSLATION

Arjuna said: O Janārdana, O Keśava, why do You urge me to engage in this ghastly warfare, if You think that intelligence is better than fruitive work?

PURPORT

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa has very elaborately described the constitution of the soul in the previous chapter, with a view to deliver His intimate friend Arjuna from the ocean of material grief. And the path of realization has been recommended: buddhi-yoga, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa consciousness is misunderstood to be inertia, and one with such a misunderstanding often withdraws to a secluded place to become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious by chanting the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa. But without being trained in the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is not advisable to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa in a secluded place where one may acquire only cheap adoration from the innocent public. Arjuna also thought of Kṛṣṇa consciousness or buddhi-yoga, or intelligence in spiritual advancement of knowledge, as something like retirement from active life and the practice of penance and austerity at a secluded place. In other words, he wanted to skillfully avoid the fighting by using Kṛṣṇa consciousness as an excuse. But as a sincere student, he placed the matter before his master and questioned Kṛṣṇa as to his best course of action. In answer, Lord Kṛṣṇa elaborately explained karma-yoga, or work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in this Third Chapter.

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The Law of Karma

This begins a new series on Karma (cause and effect) which was compiled by Urdhvaga Prabhu, based on the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Urdhvaga Prabhu has kindly allowed us to reprint it here.

The Law of Karma – cause and effect 

Karma is the great law of “cause and effect”, of “action and reaction”, which controls the destiny of all living entities.

This great law functions on the principle, that any action performed produces an equal and opposite reaction, which directly influences our very existence.

Karma, like time and gravity, is a universal principle and every one is effected by its influence. While the law of physics applies to the interaction of material objects only, the law of karma however, applies to any action performed by living entities and governs the interrelations of all living beings. The state laws for example, are grossly observed; but the law of material nature [karma] being subtle to our gross understanding, cannot be experienced grossly or understood by mental speculation.

The law of karma states, that every action performed in life creates another reaction which in turn produces a new counter action. Thus an endless chain of actions and reactions is produced which binds the living entity to his good and bad deeds. This is the way how karma works. It creates an action and another reaction simultaneously and this increases the chain of material activities, keeping the performer in material bondage.

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Action in Knowledge of Kṛṣṇa

…We must understand the meaning of relationships with Kṛṣṇa. In this material world we have many relationships as father, mother, wife or husband. Whatever relationship we find here is but a perverted reflection of the relationship we have with the Supreme Lord. Whatever we find in this material world is born of the Absolute Truth, but here it is pervertedly reflected in time. Whatever relationship we have with Kṛṣṇa goes on. If we have a relationship in friendship, that friendship is eternal and continues from life to life. In the material world, a friendship exists for a few years and then breaks; therefore it is called perverted, temporal, or unreal. If we make our friendship with Kṛṣṇa, it will never break. If we make our master Kṛṣṇa, we will never be cheated. If we love Kṛṣṇa as our son, He will never die. If we love Kṛṣṇa as our lover, He will be the best of all, and there will be no separation. Because Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, He is unlimited and has an unlimited number of devotees. Some are trying to love Him as lover or husband, and therefore Kṛṣṇa accepts this role. In whatever way we approach Kṛṣṇa, He will accept us, as He states in Bhagavad-gītā.

ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

“All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.” (Bg. 4.11)

Raja-Vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 8

Action in Knowledge of Kṛṣṇa

na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti
na me karma-phale spṛhā
iti māṁ yo ’bhijānāti
karmabhir na sa badhyate

“There is no work that affects Me; nor do I aspire for the fruits of action. One who understands this truth about Me also does not become entangled in the fruitive reactions of work.”(Bg. 4.14)

The whole world is bound by karma. We all know of the existence of microbes or germs which exist by the million within the measurement of one millimeter. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that beginning with the microbe, which is called indragopa, up to Indra, the king of the heavenly planets, all are bound by karma, the reaction of work. We all have to suffer or enjoy the reactions of our work, be they good or bad. As long as we have to suffer or enjoy these reactions, we are bound to these material bodies.

By nature’s arrangement the material body is given to the living entity for his suffering or enjoying. Different types of bodies are acquired for different purposes. The body of a tiger is made for killing and eating raw meat. Similarly, the hogs are made in such a way that they can eat stool. And as human beings our teeth are made for eating vegetables and fruits. All of these bodies are made according to the work done in past lives by the living entity. Our next bodies are being prepared according to the work which we are now doing, but in the previously quoted verse Śrī Kṛṣṇa indicates that one who knows the transcendental nature of His activities becomes free from the reactions of activities. Our activities should be such that we will not again become entangled in this material world. This can be made possible if we become Kṛṣṇa conscious by studying Kṛṣṇa, learning of the transcendental nature of His activities, and understanding how He behaves in this material world and in the spiritual world.

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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