Natural Disasters: Adhidaivika

All schemes are only useless scraps of paper in the face of war, famine, earthquakes and other disasters. All these disasters are warnings from Mother Durga, and by them she confirms her eternal superiority over the illusioned planmakers.

[Excerpt from Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Ch 3]

It is the duty of a disciple approaching a spiritual master to inquire about his constitutional position. In conformity to that spiritual process, Sanatana has already asked, “What am I, and why am I suffering from the threefold miseries?”

The threefold miseries are called adhyatmika, adhibhautika, and adhidaivika. The word adhyatmika refers to those miseries caused by the mind and body. Sometimes the living entity suffers bodily, and sometimes he is distressed mentally. Both are adhyatmika miseries. We experience these miseries even in the womb of our mother. As we well know, there are many types of miseries that take advantage of the delicate human body and give us pain. Miseries inflicted by other living entities are called adhibhautika. These living entities need not even be large, for there are many—such as bugs—that can make us miserable even while we are sleeping in bed. There are many insignificant living entities, like cockroaches, that sometimes give us pain, and there are also other living entities who are born on different kinds of planets and who give us miseries.

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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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Lord Rsabhadeva’s Teachings to His Sons

Lord Rsabhadeva

 

This morning by chance, I happened upon the teachings of Lord Rsabhadeva to His sons.  It was in an old notebook that I opened just to see what was inside.  Inside were prayers from the Vaisnava Songbook, the Brahma-samhita, Teachings of Pralada Maharaja, and these teachings of Lord Rsabhadeva.  It was Sri Gandhari’s old gurukula study notebook, and what she was studying 30 years ago was very useful and timely today.  It was just what I needed to read this morning and I share it with you today.  It is verses 1-27,  from the Fifth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter five.

 

Lord Ṛṣabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.

 

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The Threefold Miseries

Les Miserables poster

[*Note; Les Misérables (“The Miserable Ones”); translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims]

Often while reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, he talks about getting free from the miseries of life, or the threefold miseries. For instance in this purport it is described:

…One who is Kṛṣṇa conscious is a perfect yogī; he is aware of everyone’s happiness and distress by dint of his own personal experience. The cause of the distress of a living entity is forgetfulness of his relationship with God. And the cause of happiness is knowing Kṛṣṇa to be the supreme enjoyer of all the activities of the human being. Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor of all lands and planets. The perfect yogī is the sincerest friend of all living entities. He knows that the living being who is conditioned by the modes of material nature is subjected to the threefold material miseries due to forgetfulness of his relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Because one in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is happy, he tries to distribute the knowledge of Kṛṣṇa everywhere. Since the perfect yogī tries to broadcast the importance of becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, he is the best philanthropist in the world, and he is the dearest servitor of the Lord.

I thought we could do a short post on just what are the threefold miseries, and how can one become free from them.

The threefold miseries are:

(1) Those miseries which arise from the mind and body

(2) Those miseries inflicted by other living beings

(3) Those miseries arising from natural catastrophes over which one has no control.

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The Formula for Peace

Raja-vidya

This is a combined post from my reading this morning, from the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.11.33 and Bhagavad-gita 5.29, wherein Srila Prabhupada is describing the factual formula for peace in this material world. Very interesting.

…In the material world no one is permanently fortunate, however clever one may be. There have been so many big empires in different parts of the world, there have been so many powerful kings all over the world, and there have been so many fortunate men, but all of them have been liquidated gradually. This is the law of material nature. But spiritually it is different. The spiritual relation with the Lord is so enlivening and resourceful that no one can leave the company of the Lord, once having taken shelter of Him. (SB 1.11.33 purport)

…The conditioned souls within the clutches of illusory energy are all anxious to attain peace in the material world. But they do not know the formula for peace, which is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. The greatest peace formula is simply this: Lord Kṛṣṇa is the beneficiary in all human activities. Men should offer everything to the transcendental service of the Lord because He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereon. No one is greater than He…Under the spell of illusion, living entities are trying to be lords of all they survey, but actually they are dominated by the material energy of the Lord. The Lord is the master of material nature, and the conditioned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Kṛṣṇa consciousness: Lord Kṛṣṇa is the supreme predominator, and all living entities, including the great demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Bg 5.29 purport)

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The Earth is Never Overburdened.

…The earth is never overburdened. The heaviest mountains and oceans on the face of the earth hold more living entities than there are human beings, and they are not overburdened. If a census were taken of all the living beings on the surface of the earth, certainly it would be found that the number of humans is not even five percent of the total number of living beings.

…The material creation is meant for fulfilling the desire of the Lord, and His desire is that the conditioned souls who are unfit to enter into the kingdom of God have a chance to improve their conditions for entering. The entire process of cosmic arrangement is intended just to give a chance to the conditioned souls to enter the kingdom of God, and there is an adequate arrangement for their maintenance by the nature of the Lord…

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Third Canto, Chapter 3, Text 14

kiyān bhuvo ’yaṁ kṣapitoru-bhāro
yad droṇa-bhīṣmārjuna-bhīma-mūlaiḥ
ṣṭādaśākṣauhiṇiko mad-aṁśair
āste balaṁ durviṣahaṁ yadūnām

kiyān—what is this; bhuvaḥ—of the earth; ayam—this; kṣapita—abated; uru—very great; bhāraḥ—burden; yat—which; droṇa—Droṇa; bhīṣma—Bhīṣma; arjuna—Arjuna; bhīma—Bhīma; mūlaiḥ—with the help; aṣṭādaśa—eighteen; akṣauhiṇikaḥ—phalanxes of military strength (vide Bhāg. 1.16.34); mat-aṁśaiḥ—with My descendants; āste—are still there; balam—great strength; durviṣaham—unbearable; yadūnām—of the Yadu dynasty.

[After the end of the Battle of Kurukṣetra, the Lord said:] The abatement of the earth’s great burden, eighteen akṣauhiṇīs, has now been effected with the help of Droṇa, Bhīṣma, Arjuna and Bhīma. But what is this? There is still the great strength of the Yadu dynasty, born of Myself, which may be a more unbearable burden.

Purport

It is a wrong theory that due to an increase in population the world becomes overburdened and therefore there are wars and other annihilating processes. The earth is never overburdened. The heaviest mountains and oceans on the face of the earth hold more living entities than there are human beings, and they are not overburdened. If a census were taken of all the living beings on the surface of the earth, certainly it would be found that the number of humans is not even five percent of the total number of living beings. If the birthrate of human beings is increasing, then the birthrate of other living beings is increasing proportionately. The birthrate of lower animals—beasts, aquatics, birds, etc.—is far greater than that of human beings. There is an adequate arrangement for food for all the living beings all over the earth by the order of the Supreme Lord, and He can arrange more and more if there is actually a disproportionate increase of living beings.

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