The Killing of Kamsa

Killing of Kamsa by Krishna1

The Killing of Kamsa
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Volume 01, Number 67, 1974
by Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswāmī

Bhagavad-gita states that Lord Krsna descends to this world to vanquish miscreants and rescue His devotees. Once when the world was overburdened with demoniac forces, the demigods prayed for the appearance of the Lord. Lord Krsna accepted the prayer, and He decided to appear as the son of two pure devotees, Vasudeva and his wife, Devaki. Years before Krsna’s actual advent, on the day Devaki and Vasudeva were married, Kamsa, the brother of the bride, was driving the couple to Vasudeva’s home. In the middle of the joyous procession, a voice suddenly rang out from the sky. “Kamsa,” the voice said, “you are such a fool! You are driving the chariot of your sister, but you do not know that the eighth child of your sister will kill you!”

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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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Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā (The Govindam Prayers)

Govinda

The Govindam Prayers
From Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā
By His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura

This collection is taken from the fifth chapter of the Hymns of Brahma, and includes verse 1, and 29-56. There were 100 chapters in the Brahma Samhita. This 5th chapter of the Brahma Samhita was discovered by Lord Caitanya during His appearance. The other chapters have not yet been revealed.

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Dedication to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Today is the Disappearance day of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Srila Prabhupada had this to say about the disappearance of Vaisnavas:

“As Lord Krsna’s appearance and disappearance are all spiritual, transcendental, they are not ordinary things, similarly, Lord Krsna’s devotee, His representative, who is sent to this material world for preaching the glories of Lord Krsna, their appearance and disappearance is also like Krsna’s. Therefore, according to Vaisnava principles, the appearance and disappearance of Vaisnava is considered all-auspicious.”

Dedication to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 13, 1-2, 1978

Around the turn of the century, the great spiritual master Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura made this prediction:

“Soon there will appear a personality who will preach the holy name of Hari [Lord Krsna] all over the world.”

As we have witnessed for the past twelve years, that personality was His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Throughout his life, Srila Prabhupada prepared himself for his great mission, and from his arrival in America on September 18, 1965, to his passing on November 14, 1977—through some seventy books and thousands of letters, interviews, and lectures-he gave the world the holy names of Krsna and the Vedic science of self-realization.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura also wrote a short stanza about the influence that a Vaisnava (a pure devotee of the Lord) carries in this world even after his passing:

“He reasons ill who tells that Vaisnavas die When thou art living still in sound! The Vaisnavas die to live, and living try To spread the holy name around!”

So, while it is natural for us to be sorrowful that Srila Prabhupada has passed away, we can know for sure that he will never pass away, for he is “living still in sound.” As he himself said, “I will never die. I will live forever in my books.” In the days and years to come, may everyone come to remember Srila Prabhupada in the same way that he remembered his spiritual master:

“He lives forever by his divine instructions, and the follower lives with him.”

(c) The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.

Ganges water of the Bhagavad-gītā

One cleanses himself daily by taking a bath in water, but one who takes his bath only once in the sacred Ganges water of the Bhagavad-gītā cleanses away all the dirt of material life. Because Bhagavad-gītā is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one need not read any other Vedic literature. One need only attentively and regularly hear and read Bhagavad-gītā. In the present age, mankind is so absorbed with mundane activities that it is not possible to read all of the Vedic literatures. But this is not necessary. This one book, Bhagavad-gītā, will suffice because it is the essence of all Vedic literatures and because it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is said that one who drinks the water of the Ganges certainly gets salvation, but what to speak of one who drinks the waters of Bhagavad-gītā? Gītā is the very nectar of the Mahābhārata spoken by Viṣṇu Himself, for Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original Viṣṇu. It is nectar emanating from the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Ganges is said to be emanating from the lotus feet of the Lord. Of course there is no difference between the mouth and the feet of the Supreme Lord, but in our position we can appreciate that the Bhagavad-gītā is even more important than the Ganges.

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Prayers Offered by Lord Brahmā to Lord Kṛṣṇa

During the Purusottama Month, it is important to Hear and Chant more. With this in mind we are posting the 14th Chapter of Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, with Lord Brahma praising the Glories of Krishna (Purusottama) The Supreme Personality.

“My dear Lord, there are many instances in the history of human society where a person, after failing to achieve the transcendental platform, engaged himself in devotional service with his body, mind and words and thus attained the highest perfectional state of entering into Your abode. The processes of understanding You by speculation or mystic meditation are all useless without devotional service. One should therefore engage himself in Your devotional service even in his worldly activities, and one should always keep himself near You by the process of hearing and chanting Your transcendental glories. Simply by being attached to hearing and chanting Your glories, one can attain the highest perfectional stage and enter into Your kingdom. If a person, therefore, always keeps in touch with You by hearing and chanting Your glories and offers the results of his work for Your satisfaction only, he very easily and happily attains entrance into Your supreme abode. You are realizable by persons who have cleansed their hearts of all contamination. This cleansing of the heart is made possible by chanting and hearing the glories of Your Lordship.”

“In the Upaniṣads it is stated that the Supreme Brahman is as effulgent as the sun and is the origin of everything, and anyone who can understand that original person becomes liberated from the material conditional life. Anyone who can simply be attached to You by devotional service can know Your actual position, Your birth, appearance, disappearance and activities. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, simply by understanding Your constitutional position, appearance and disappearance, one can be immediately elevated to the spiritual kingdom after quitting this present body. Therefore to cross over the ocean of material nescience, an intelligent person takes shelter of Your lotus feet and is easily transferred to the spiritual world.”

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Mad Elephant Offense (Vaiṣṇava-aparādha)

Sometimes we see that devotees, even though they are following the rules and regulations, appear not to be making very much spiritual advancement. Often we see that they appear to be going backwards rather than forward in their devotional lives. This is often the case of “the mad elephant offense” or vaisnava-aparadha, which can stop or destroy their devotional career, and should be carefully avoided. We have included a few select verses from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam which support this statement.

…To commit an offense against a devotee is very dangerous in devotional service. Lord Caitanya therefore said that an offense to a devotee is just like a mad elephant run loose; when a mad elephant enters a garden, it tramples all the plants. Similarly, an offense unto the feet of a pure devotee murders one’s position in devotional service…

…One’s pure intelligence, or pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness, becomes polluted by material activities. Pure consciousness can be revived by the process of sacrifice, charity, pious activities, etc., but when one pollutes his Kṛṣṇa consciousness by offending a brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava, it is very difficult to revive. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has described the vaiṣṇava-aparādha, or offense to a Vaiṣṇava, as “the mad elephant offense.” One should be very careful not to offend a Vaiṣṇava or a brāhmaṇa…

Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.39

kṛtsna-prasāda-sumukhaṁ spṛhaṇīya-dhāma
snehāvaloka-kalayā hṛdi saṁspṛśantam
śyāme pṛthāv urasi śobhitayā śriyā svaś-
cūḍāmaṇiṁ subhagayantam ivātma-dhiṣṇyam

The Lord is the reservoir of all pleasure. His auspicious presence is meant for everyone’s benediction, and His affectionate smiling and glancing touch the core of the heart. The Lord’s beautiful bodily color is blackish, and His broad chest is the resting place of the goddess of fortune, who glorifies the entire spiritual world, the summit of all heavenly planets. Thus it appeared that the Lord was personally spreading the beauty and good fortune of the spiritual world.

Purport
When the Lord came, He was pleased with everyone; therefore it is stated here, kṛtsna-prasāda-sumukham. The Lord knew that even the offensive doormen were His pure devotees, although by chance they committed an offense at the feet of other devotees. To commit an offense against a devotee is very dangerous in devotional service. Lord Caitanya therefore said that an offense to a devotee is just like a mad elephant run loose; when a mad elephant enters a garden, it tramples all the plants. Similarly, an offense unto the feet of a pure devotee murders one’s position in devotional service. On the part of the Lord there was no offended mood because He does not accept any offense created by His sincere devotee. But a devotee should be very cautious of committing offenses at the feet of another devotee. The Lord, being equal to all, and being especially inclined to His devotee, looked as mercifully at the offenders as at the offended. This attitude of the Lord was due to His unlimited quantity of transcendental qualities. His cheerful attitude towards the devotees was so pleasing and heart-touching that His very smile was attractive for them. That attraction was glorious not only for all the higher planets of this material world, but beyond, for the spiritual world also. Generally a human being has no idea of what the constitutional position is in the higher material planets, which are far better constituted in regard to all paraphernalia, yet the Vaikuṇṭha planet is so pleasing and so celestial that it is compared to the middle jewel or locket in a necklace of jewels.

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Liberation from the Material World

…Of course, the world is full of dangers. But Kuntīdevī says, “Because Devakī is Your devotee, You saved her from the distresses imposed upon her by her envious brother.”

…For sense gratification we have fallen into this material condition and are suffering in different varieties of life. Because this is the material world, even Kṛṣṇa’s mother was put into suffering. Devakī was so advanced that she became the mother of Kṛṣṇa, but still she was put into difficulties by her own brother, Kaṁsa. That is the nature of this material world. The living entities in this world are so jealous that if one’s personal interest is hampered, one will immediately be ready to give trouble to others, even to one’s nearest relatives.

“A person who acts in the service of Kṛṣṇa with his body, mind, intelligence, and words is a liberated person, even within the material world.”

Teachings of Queen Kunti
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6

The Master of the Senses

yathā hṛṣīkeśa khalena devakī
kaṁsena ruddhāticiraṁ śucārpitā
vimocitāhaṁ ca sahātmajā vibho
tvayaiva nāthena muhur vipad-gaṇāt

O Hṛṣīkeśa, master of the senses and Lord of lords, You have released Your mother, Devakī, who was long imprisoned and distressed by the envious King Kaṁsa, and me and my children from a series of constant dangers.

—Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.23

Devakī, the mother of Kṛṣṇa and sister of King Kaṁsa, was put into prison along with her husband, Vasudeva, because the envious King was afraid of being killed by Devakī’s eighth son (Kṛṣṇa). The King killed all the sons of Devakī who were born before Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa escaped the danger of child-slaughter because He was transferred to the house of Nanda Mahārāja, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s foster father. Kuntīdevī, along with her children, was also saved from a series of dangers. But Kuntīdevī was shown far more favor because Lord Kṛṣṇa did not save the other children of Devakī, whereas He saved the children of Kuntīdevī. This was done because Devakī’s husband, Vasudeva, was living, whereas Kuntīdevī was a widow and there was none to help her except Kṛṣṇa. The conclusion is that Kṛṣṇa bestows more favor upon a devotee who is in greater dangers. Sometimes He puts His pure devotees in such dangers because in that condition of helplessness the devotee becomes more attached to the Lord. The more the attachment is there for the Lord, the more success is there for the devotee.

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You Can Live With Krsna, Even in This Life

Photo by Damaghosa Prabhu

“If you become devotee of Krsna, then you can live with Krsna, even in this life. Even in this life. Because Krsna is omnipotent, if you are really devotee of Krsna, He will talk with you, He will dance with you, He will eat with you, everything.”

Lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
December 25, 1973, Los Angeles
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.47-48

Pradyumna: “Thus by pure consciousness due to constant devotional remembrance, they attained the spiritual sky, which is ruled by the Supreme Nārāyaṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa. This is attained only by those who meditate upon the one Supreme Lord without deviation. This abode of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, known as Goloka Vṛndāvana, cannot be attained by persons who are absorbed in the material conception of life. But the Pāṇḍavas, being completely washed of all material contamination, attained that abode in their very same bodies.” [SB 1.15.47-48]

Prabhupāda: Tad-dhyāna udriktayā. Dhyāna means meditation. So the Pāṇḍavas, always they were thinking of Kṛṣṇa. While they were eating, they were sitting, they were sleeping, they were talking, they were fighting-Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When Arjuna was fighting, so there was also Kṛṣṇa. When they were dealing in politics with Duryodhana, there was Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is his friend, always talking with him, staying with him, sleeping with him, eating with him.

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Giving Shelter to Others

They have dedicated their lives to the welfare of others. They are the perfect example of noble life.

One may take excellent lessons from the pious trees, who offer innumerable benefits, such as fruits, flowers, cooling shade and medicinal extracts. Even when a tree is suddenly cut down and dragged away, the tree does not protest but continues to give service to others in the form of firewood. Thus, one should become the disciple of such magnanimous trees and learn from them the qualities of saintly conduct. (Srimad Bhagavatam)

Taking shelter of the shade of the trees, Kṛṣṇa became very happy. While walking He began to address the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. “My dear Stokakṛṣṇa, My dear Varūthapa, My dear Bhadrasena, My dear Sudāmā, My dear Subala, My dear Arjuna, My dear Viśāla, My dear Ṛṣabha–just look at these most fortunate trees of Vṛndāvana. They have dedicated their lives to the welfare of others. Individually they are tolerating all kinds of natural disturbances, such as hurricanes, torrents of rain, scorching heat and piercing cold, but they are very careful to relieve our fatigues and give us shelter. My dear friends, I think they are glorified in this birth as trees. They are so careful to give shelter to others that they are like noble, highly elevated charitable men who never deny charity to one who approaches them. No one is denied shelter by these trees. They supply various kinds of facilities to human society, such as leaves, flowers, fruit, shade, roots, bark, flavor extracts and fuel. They are the perfect example of noble life. They are like a noble person who has sacrificed everything possible–his body, mind, activities, intelligence and words–in engaging in the welfare of all living entities.”

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Lord Krsna’s Friend Sudama

…It is related that by his constant association with the Lord, Sudama had wiped away from his heart whatever contamination was remaining, and he was very shortly transferred to the eternal spiritual kingdom, which is the goal of all saintly persons in the perfectional stage of life. It is stated in the Krsna Book that whoever hears this history will become qualified like Sudama and will be transferred to the spiritual kingdom of Lord Krsna.

Lord Krsna’s Friend Sudama
Published in Back to Godhead Magizine 1971 Vol. 1, Number 49
By Satsvarupa dasa adhikari

The wonderful history of Krsna and His friend Sudama is told in its entirety in the Krsna Book, Volume II, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is kindly presenting to the western world the pastimes of Lord Krsna, which can act as a merciful shower upon the hearts of all of us. It is true that we have forgotten our eternal, blissful and loving relationships as servants of Krsna or God. The remedy to forgetfulness or ignorance of God is to hear about Him from the lips of His pure devotee. This is the view of authorized scriptures.

When Krsna descends from His eternal abode in the spiritual world and appears to this mundane world, as He did 5,000 years ago, He engages with others just as if He were an ordinary human being. Although He is unborn, He appears to have a mother and father. In the village of Vrndavana Krsna plays as a cowherd boy. He enacts these pastimes for His own transcendental pleasure and to attract all the suffering living entities back home, back to Godhead. Sudama was among those devotees who were childhood friends with Krsna, and Sudama was also His intimate school friend.

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Srimad Bhagavatam Compact 30 Vol 1977 Edition

Srimad Bhagavatam Compact 30 Vol 1977 Edition
Cantos 1-9, plus the Original Krsna Book in 3 Volumes comprising the 10th Canto

This 12,000 page, 30 vol. set, comes in High Quality Hard Bound 5×7 size. with over 600 beautiful full color plates.
For a limited time selling at the reduced Wholesale rate of $149.95
No home library is complete without a set.
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And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the summum bonum of life, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa personified. We must therefore accept Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as the direct representation of Lord Kṛṣṇa. One who can see Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam can see also Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in person. They are identical.

Srimad Bhagavatam
Canto 1, Chapter 3, Text 43
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

kṛṣṇe sva-dhāmopagate
dharma-jñānādibhiḥ saha
kalau naṣṭa-dṛśām eṣa
purāṇārko ‘dhunoditaḥ

SYNONYMS
kṛṣṇe—in Kṛṣṇa’s; sva-dhāma—own abode; upagate—having returned; dharma—religion; jñāna—knowledge; ādibhiḥ—combined together; saha—along with; kalau—in the Kali-yuga; naṣṭa-dṛśām—of persons who have lost their sight; eṣaḥ—all these; purāṇa-arkaḥ—the Purāṇa which is brilliant like the sun; adhunā—just now; uditaḥ—has arisen.

This Bhāgavata Purāṇa is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purāṇa.

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The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1:”Creation”
SB 1.19: The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami

The great sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī was certainly inspired by Lord Kṛṣṇa to appear voluntarily before Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the great devotee of the Lord, just to give him the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. One can achieve the nucleus of the devotional service of the Lord by the mercy of the spiritual master and the Personality of Godhead. The spiritual master is the manifested representative of the Lord to help one achieve ultimate success. One who is not authorized by the Lord cannot become a spiritual master. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī is an authorized spiritual master, and thus he was inspired by the Lord to appear before Mahārāja Parīkṣit and instruct him in the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Simply by such questioning and hearing, one can achieve the highest perfectional stage of life.

Text 37
You are the spiritual master of great saints and devotees. I am therefore begging you to show the way of perfection for all persons, and especially for one who is about to die.

Purport
Unless one is perfectly anxious to inquire about the way of perfection, there is no necessity of approaching a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not a kind of decoration for a householder. Generally a fashionable materialist engages a so-called spiritual master without any profit. The pseudo- spiritual master flatters the so-called disciple, and thereby both the master and his ward go to hell without a doubt. Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the right type of disciple because he puts forward questions vital to the interest of all men, particularly for the dying men. The question put forward by Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the basic principle of the complete thesis of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Now let us see how intelligently the great master replies.

Text 38
Please let me know what a man should hear, chant, remember and worship, and also what he should not do. Please explain all this to me.

Text 40
Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: The King thus spoke and questioned the sage, using sweet language. Then the great and powerful personality, the son of Vyāsadeva, who knew the principles of religion, began his reply.

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Ecstasy

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is also said that such fallen devotees are given a chance to take birth in a family of highly qualified brāhmaṇas or in a rich mercantile family. A devotee in such a position is not as fortunate as one who is chastised by the Lord and put into a position seemingly of helplessness. The devotee who becomes helpless by the will of the Lord is more fortunate than those who are born in good families. The fallen devotees born in a good family may forget the lotus feet of the Lord because they are less fortunate, but the devotee who is put into a forlorn condition is more fortunate because he swiftly returns to the lotus feet of the Lord, thinking himself helpless all around.

Srimad-Bhagavatam [Canto 1, Ch.5, Text 20] 1977 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

My dear Vyāsa, even though a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes falls down somehow or other, he certainly does not undergo material existence like others [fruitive workers, etc.] because a person who has once relished the taste of the lotus feet of the Lord can do nothing but remember that ecstasy again and again.

Purport
A devotee of the Lord automatically becomes uninterested in the enchantment of material existence because he is rasa-graha, or one who has tasted the sweetness of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa. There are certainly many instances where devotees of the Lord have fallen down due to uncongenial association, just like fruitive workers, who are always prone to degradation. But even though he falls down, a devotee is never to be considered the same as a fallen karmī. A karmī suffers the result of his own fruitive reactions, whereas a devotee is reformed by chastisement directed by the Lord Himself. The sufferings of an orphan and the sufferings of a beloved child of a king are not one and the same. An orphan is really poor because he has no one to take care of him, but a beloved son of a rich man, although he appears to be on the same level as the orphan, is always under the vigilance of his capable father. A devotee of the Lord, due to wrong association, sometimes imitates the fruitive workers. The fruitive workers want to lord it over the material world. Similarly, a neophyte devotee foolishly thinks of accumulating some material power in exchange for devotional service. Such foolish devotees are sometimes put into difficulty by the Lord Himself. As a special favor, He may remove all material paraphernalia. By such action, the bewildered devotee is forsaken by all friends and relatives, and so he comes to his senses again by the mercy of the Lord and is set right to execute his devotional service.

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