Arjuna Teaches Us How to Serve the Spiritual Master in His Absence

Krishna on battlefield

I ran across this interesting compilation of quotes this morning on the Prabhupada News website, by Vidura Prabhu. This is a nice reminder that Krsna is present today, through His spoken words on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, and by chanting his holy names. And that Srila Prabhupada is also present today, through his words and instructions. I have done some slight editing (highlighting), and have included the full text and purports to SB 1.15.27-31 at bottom of post. -Vyasasan das

Arjuna Teaches Us How to Serve the Spiritual Master in His Absence
by: Vidura dasa

Oct 23 2011, USA — “The Lord left behind Him the instructions of the Bhagavad-gita not for the benefit of Arjuna alone, but also for all time and in all lands(1). […]The problem which arose in the heart of Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra was solved by the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. […]The merciful Lord left behind Him the great teachings of the Bhagavad-gita so that one can take the instructions of the Lord even when He is not visible to material eyesight(2). […] Thus the Bhagavad-gita, or any authentic scriptural sound representation of the Lord, is also the incarnation of the Lord. There is no difference between the sound representation of the Lord and the Lord Himself. One can derive the same benefit from the Bhagavad-gita as Arjuna did in the personal presence of the Lord.” (SB 1.15.27)

“Arjuna began to think of the Lord’s instructions to him on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Only those instructions began to eliminate the tinges of material contamination(3) in the mind of Arjuna.” (SB 1.15.28)

“As soon as Arjuna turned his attention towards the instructions of the Lord, as they are inculcated in the Bhagavad-gita, his true color of eternal association with the Lord became manifest, and thus he felt freed from all material contaminations.” (SB 1.15.29)

“As soon as Arjuna took up the instructions of the Bhagavad-gita, expert as he was, he could at once eradicate the material conception of Lord Krishna, his eternal friend. He could realize that the Lord was still present before him by His instruction(4), by His form, by His pastimes, by His qualities and everything else related to Him. […] One is not able to feel the presence of the Lord in all circumstances until one is endowed with the required transcendental vision made possible by devotional service prescribed in the revealed scriptures. Arjuna had attained this stage long before on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, and when he apparently felt the absence of the Lord, he at once took shelter of the instructions of the Bhagavad-gita(5), and thus again he was placed in his original position*.” (SB 1.15.31)

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Bhagavad-gītā As It Is

Raja-vidya

Somehow while reading the Srimad Bhagavatam the other day, I was reminded again that all the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is contained in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It is such an important book. The song of God, sung by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Himself. Hare Krishna!

Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is to be understood as the knower of everything, and he therefore engages himself in full devotional service, O son of Bharata (Bg 15.19)

This is the most confidential part of the Vedic scriptures, O sinless one, and it is disclosed now by Me. Whoever understands this will become wise, and his endeavors will know perfection. (Bg 15.20)

The Lord clearly explains here that this is the substance of all revealed scriptures. And one should understand this as it is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus one will become intelligent and perfect in transcendental knowledge. In other words, by understanding this philosophy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and engaging in His transcendental service, everyone can become freed from all contaminations of the modes of material nature. Devotional service is a process of spiritual understanding. Wherever devotional service exists, the material contamination cannot coexist. Devotional service to the Lord and the Lord Himself are one and the same because they are spiritual—the internal energy of the Supreme Lord. The Lord is said to be the sun, and ignorance is called darkness. Where the sun is present, there is no question of darkness. Therefore, whenever devotional service is present under the proper guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, there is no question of ignorance. (from purport to Bg 15.20)

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The Causeless Mercy of Lord Caitanya

the Causless Mercy of Lord Caitanya

By the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, even a foolish child can fully describe the real nature of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the enjoyer of the pastimes of Vraja, according to the vision of the revealed scriptures. (Ādi-līlā Chapter 4, Text 1)

This month as we explore the childhood pastimes of Lord Krsna in Vrndavan, it is important to keep in mind that, it is due to the mercy of the spiritual master and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that we are able to enter into the sublime understandings of the Lord. As is mentioned in the purport to the above sloka;

One can ascertain the meaning of this Sanskrit śloka only when one is endowed with the causeless mercy of Lord Caitanya. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, being the absolute Personality of Godhead, cannot be exposed to the mundane instruments of vision. He reserves the right not to be exposed by the intellectual feats of nondevotees. Notwithstanding this truth, even a small child can easily understand Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His transcendental pastimes in the land of Vṛndāvana by the grace of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. (purport to Adi. 4.1)

but the real reason for this post is to remind out readers about the causeless mercy of Lord Caitanya

“May that Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacīdevī be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.” (Ādi-līlā Chapter 3, Text 4)

PURPORT

This is a quotation from the Vidagdha-mādhava, a drama compiled and edited by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.

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Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

That Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, is the only object of worship is confirmed in these two ślokas.

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter Two, Text 28-29

TEXTS 28-29

vāsudeva-parā vedā
vāsudeva-parā makhāḥ
vāsudeva-parā yogā
vāsudeva-parāḥ kriyāḥ

vāsudeva-paraṁ jñānaṁ
vāsudeva-paraṁ tapaḥ
vāsudeva-paro dharmo
vāsudeva-parā gatiḥ

vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—the ultimate goal; vedāḥ—revealed scriptures; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—for worshiping; makhāḥ—sacrifices; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—the means of attaining; yogāḥ—mystic paraphernalia; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—under His control; kriyāḥ—fruitive activities; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; param—the supreme; jñānam—knowledge; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; param—best; tapaḥ—austerity; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; paraḥ—superior quality; dharmaḥ—religion; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—ultimate; gatiḥ—goal of life.

In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion [dharma] is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life.

Purport
That Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, is the only object of worship is confirmed in these two ślokas. In the Vedic literature there is the same objective: establishing one’s relationship and ultimately reviving our lost loving service unto Him. That is the sum and substance of the Vedas. In the Bhagavad-gītā the same theory is confirmed by the Lord in His own words: the ultimate purpose of the Vedas is to know Him only. All the revealed scriptures are prepared by the Lord through His incarnation in the body of Śrīla Vyāsadeva just to remind the fallen souls, conditioned by material nature, of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. No demigod can award freedom from material bondage. That is the verdict of all the Vedic literatures. Impersonalists who have no information of the Personality of Godhead minimize the omnipotency of the Supreme Lord and put Him on equal footing with all other living beings, and for this act such impersonalists get freedom from material bondage only with great difficulty. They can surrender unto Him only after many, many births in the culture of transcendental knowledge.

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