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Not Of This World

Posted by krishnasmercy on March 25, 2012

$(KGrHqIOKk!E5CWdCtGDBOTOVH7omg~~48_3“The kissing of the Lord, either by His wives or His young girl friends who aspired to have the Lord as their fiancé, is not of any mundane perverted quality. Had such things been mundane, a liberated soul like Shukadeva would not have taken the trouble to relish them, nor would Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu have been inclined to participate in those subjects after renouncing worldly life.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.10.28 Purport)

If you’re on a diet or if you’re bedridden with an illness, will you want to hear about how others are enjoying themselves? Especially if they are eating nice food and going out here and there, the stories will make you long for the day that you can get out of your depressed condition and resume the pursuit of happiness. If you take the same concept and apply it to the exalted rishis of the Vedic tradition, you’ll see that they had no interest in hearing about the loving affairs of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from the perspective of normal amorous relations. These respected personalities were fully renounced from material life, so what would they have to gain from hearing about a boy kissing a girl or a husband kissing his wife? Rather, when these activities are enacted by the Supreme Person they take on a spiritual nature and thus enthrall the hearts of the liberated souls.

Why do the rishis renounce material life? Typically, renunciation is done to fix a broken condition. For instance, if I have an injury to my arm or foot, I will refrain from using those body parts until they are healed. If I have overeaten on a particular day, I will try to take it easy with food intake the next day. If I have worked too hard on a particular day, I will try to rest in the immediate aftermath. In this way restraint helps to avoid activities which caused some type of harm or which further exacerbate an existing ailment.

“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.20)

Krishna speaking to ArjunaIn the larger scheme, contact with material nature has an inhibiting influence on the development of consciousness. The steady stream of thoughts doesn’t begin with the time of birth nor does it cease at the time of death. Try to stop thinking for even a second. You can’t do it. The mind has been working nonstop since you can remember and it will continue to act going forward. Purifying those thoughts, targeting them in the proper direction, can only lead to benefits. Thoughts are formed off of experiences, so if I adopt the right set of activities, my mind will have sweet nectar on which to contemplate while it continues to operate.

So why the mode of renunciation specifically? Why do famous spiritualists give up home and family to live as mendicants? The initial reason is to give up thoughts relating to illusion. We are illusioned by something if we take it to be something that it is not, sort of like a mirage in the desert. It’s so hot that we want to drink some water, so when we see the mirage we think it’s an oasis. But it’s really just the heat waves rising from the surface of the ground. If we anticipate drinking so much water while approaching this image, we will obviously be affected by illusion.

mirageThe illusion engulfing the spirit soul at the time of birth relates to identity. My hands, legs and other bodily features had to develop over time, yet somehow I always take my identification off of them. The abilities of these features also serve as the foundation of my self-esteem. If I can do complex math equations and write intricate computer programs, I will think that I am very smart. If I can hit a baseball very far or run a marathon I will think that my physical abilities are better than average. While these attributes are certainly noteworthy, they don’t relate to the real identity of the individual. The bodily features are aspects of matter, which can only act when directed by the superior force of spirit.

To better understand spirit and its purpose is the real justification for renunciation. As long as I am deluded by false concepts, my steady immersion in a world full of duality will not help to develop my consciousness. What is so bad about having an attachment to family? What is wrong with remaining in the world instead of renouncing it? As long as the mind’s progress is halted, the human being remains no different than the animal. We don’t think the animal to be a superior species, do we? Yet in the life of material sense gratification they are more efficient. In terms of a machine they require less energy and specific conditions to meet their sense demands, whereas the human being has to suffer through so much mental turmoil to enjoy what are the equivalent of morsels of stale food thrown in the trash.

Just as money is the mother’s milk of politics, so sex life fuels the forces of illusion. Attraction to the opposite sex is borne strictly off of bodily features, which we know don’t form the identity of the individual. Indeed, with the passage of time, those same attractive features will cease to be appealing, a fact known to the observer at the time of infatuation. Nevertheless, sex life and the lack of control within it form the largest impediment towards spiritual enlightenment. Therefore in the renounced order the number one requirement is to abstain from any kind of sexual relations.

Famous personalities like Shukadeva Goswami and Lord Chaitanya renounced material life and lived like mendicants. They had no ties whatsoever to sex life, yet the subject matter they relished the most dealt with a young boy kissing young girls and a young prince happily enjoying the company of His many wives. How can this be? Did these saints miss material life and all that it has to offer? Did they want to think about sex life just for the fun of it?

Radha and KrishnaOn the contrary, the subject matter they enjoyed had nothing to do with ordinary sexual affairs. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the origin of both spirit and matter, and so His actions are the very embodiment of truth. There is no illusion in His direct dealings, so when one hears about His pastimes through authorized sources, even interactions which outwardly appear material have a positive influence on the consciousness. For instance, under the influence of illusion, hearing about sexual affairs leads the mind to contemplate illicit connection with women. On the other hand, hearing about the same subject matter in relation to Krishna’s dealings keeps the mind focused on thoughts of the all-attractive Shyamasundara, who will do anything to please those who are fully surrendered to Him.

Krishna’s many girlfriends in the town of Vrindavana are considered the topmost yogis. Though they didn’t outwardly renounce the world, mentally they were totally given over to Krishna. Since they loved Him so much, the Lord would give them whatever they wanted. If they desired to dance with Him individually, Krishna would expand Himself into many forms just so that each gopi could feel the pleasure they desired. If 16,000 princesses were rescued by Krishna and desired to have Him as their husband, Krishna would oblige. Why would He let the mundane rules of society get in the way of divine love? In fact, the established law codes of dharma are meant for creating conditions where eventually the mind always thinks of Krishna. One who has already reached the highest platform of thought isn’t required to follow the ordinary rules and regulations, though they make every effort to for setting a good example.

Those who are not renounced from material attachment will often try to hear about Krishna’s intimate pastimes with the gopis. But since they are not fit for understanding, they will be guided by illusion and consider Krishna to be one of them. Either that or they will consider Krishna’s example to be a license to follow the same behavior in their own lives. Yet from the joy felt by Shukadeva Gosvami and Lord Chaitanya we know that Krishna’s intimate pastimes are meant for the ears of the liberated souls, those who have no desire for material association. Lord Chaitanya was Krishna Himself in the form of a preacher, so He set the example to follow in bhakti. He spread the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”, throughout the world and declared the sacred Shrimad Bhagavatam to be the crown jewel of Vedic literature.

Not meant for the passers by interested in steamy details, the intimate pastimes of Shri Krishna are safely placed in the tenth canto of the Bhagavatam, with the first nine cantos describing Krishna’s position as the Supreme Lord. From the words of this sacred work and the quality of the people who take it to be their life and soul we can understand just how wonderful Krishna’s pastimes are and how everything He does is for the benefit of the devotees.

In Closing:

When Krishna and His beloved Radha meet,

Their happiness and affectionate dealings so sweet.

 

Mode of renunciation the Vaishnava saints choose,

The paths of karma, jnana and yoga they eschew.

 

For sannyasi, controlling sex desire is key,

A woman alone he should not even see.

 

Then why about Krishna and gopis would they like to hear?

Did not rise of illicit desires Chaitanya fear?

 

Not like ordinary affairs, from hearing kama does perish,

Thus liberated souls Krishna’s pastimes they cherish.

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The Inconceivable

Posted by krishnasmercy on July 20, 2009

Krishna lifting Govardhan Hill “Just like Krishna is lifting the hill, then what is the difficulty for God to lift a hill if He is all-powerful? But as soon as they read it, that Krishna is lifting hill, they will take it as mythology. So when God shows that "I am God," that is mythology, and they imagine God. That is rascaldom. When God comes and shows His godly power, they take it as myth, mythology. And they imagine God according to your definition. Is that sanity?” (Shrila Prabhupada)

Comment: The scriptures shouldn’t be interpreted literally but should be looked at more for their inner meaning and symbolism.

Response: The Vedas, Mahabharata, and Puranas are all retellings of historical events that took place on this planet and others. Not only past events are covered, but even events that have yet to occur are discussed in detail in these wonderful books, such as the Bhavishya and Kalki Puranas. Since these books contain direct quotations from conversations between great personalities, demigods, and even God Himself, they must be taken literally. We shouldn’t try to imagine the true meaning behind someone’s quote, or even think that these events didn’t take place.

Conversations are conversations. When we talk with our friends in person, on the phone, or through email, they are exchanges of ideas and comments. Very simply put, what we say is what we say. We may go back and not like some of the things we have said, but it doesn’t mean that we didn’t say them. In the same way, the Vedic literatures have conversations between God and His associates, and also conversations between spiritual masters and their disciples. These conversations were specifically chronicled in written form for the benefit of current and future generations of man. The science of self-realization described in the original Vedas and the Vedanta-sutras can appear to be very complicated to many, for it has various aphorisms and postulates that neophytes will have trouble understanding. For this reason, the Puranas, Ramayana, and other great works contain those same teachings but told in the form of stories and conversations.

There are many instances described in the Vedic texts that may seem extraordinary to us. Lord Rama killing 14,000 Rakshasa demons all by Himself, Lord Krishna as a small child lifting a hill with just one finger, Gandhari giving birth to 100 sons…all these seem extraordinary to the common man, for we can’t fathom someone doing these things. God is great. This is the belief of people of all faiths. Yet the Vedas go one step further by trying to describe just how great He is. Of course, God’s greatness is inconceivable. His is described as paramam or Supreme because He possesses six opulences in full and simultaneously. We don’t know any single person who is the wealthiest, most beautiful, most famous, the strongest, the most knowledgeable, and the greatest renunciate at the same time. Yet Krishna possesses all of these attributes, and for this reason He is God. Just because we don’t know anyone capable of performing these great feats, we shouldn’t think that these incidents are merely fabrications of someone’s mind. These sages who composed the Vedic literature were all perfect souls. Having surrendered everything for the service of Krishna, they were given the divine vision to see all these things happen and then be able to write about them. The great Maharishi Valmiki described the events of the Ramayana before they even occurred.

Scene of Bhagavad-gita If we think that these incidents are just mythology, then we lose our ability to understand God. In actuality, we can never truly understand God for His is beyond our comprehension. However, through faithfully studying the scriptures under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, we can start to understand Him to some extent. The Lord and His spiritual master must be approached in a humble manner. We all at some point in our life have prayed to God for something. “Please God give me this, give me that, make sure my family is healthy, etc.” The understanding that God is great is something inside of us, part of our core. If we challenge Him, or start thinking that His scriptures are mere mythology, then we are cheating God. We may cheat our friends, coworkers, or enemies and be able to get away with it, but cheating God never pays. He knows and sees all, so if we cheat Him, we are only cheating ourselves. The Bhagavad-gita is probably the most famous Vedic literature, detailing the conversation that took place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra between Lord Krishna and Arjuna some five thousand years ago. There are many high scholars and philosophers who have commented on the Bhagavad-gita, all with the purpose of advancing their own opinions. Many of them have postulated that the events of the Gita actually never happened and that we should study it simply for its symbolism. The ultimate conclusion of the Gita is that people should surrender unto Krishna or God and become His devotee. The flowery language that precedes that is all meaningless unless one comes to the proper conclusion as stated by the Lord Himself. Those who extract any other meaning from the Gita are only cheating God. He has given us such a nice book for us to learn from, so we shouldn’t dishonor Him by making false conclusions.

The Vedic literature should be heard from devotees, otherwise we become prone to believing some of these false theories put forward by mental speculators and pseudo-yogis. Shukadevi Goswami, Vyasadeva, Narada Muni, etc. are all great devotees who presented these works in a mood of devotion. The various quotes and teachings found in the Vedas should also be understood in the proper context. One can pull out quotes to buttress their positions, but these statements should be understood with the full context presented at the same time. For example, there are many conversations in the Vedas where women are criticized for having various shortcomings. However, these faults don’t exist in people who are great devotees, be they men or women. The material world is full of dualities, so any mundane argument will naturally have a counterargument. There may be different teachings presented due to time and circumstance and the ability of the people at the time to grasp Vedic wisdom, but the end goal is always the same. The purpose of the Vedas is to present everything in relation to Krishna, who is the Supreme Absolute Truth. Since He is completely spiritual, mundane dualities don’t exist when discussing topics relating to Him.

It is natural that occasionally certain statements in the Vedas will rub us the wrong away. However, just because we might not agree with them at the time, doesn’t mean that the Vedas are at fault. When we were younger, our parents prohibited us from taking part in many activities. These rules and regulations angered us very much and we thought our parents were in the wrong for imposing such restrictions. However, as we got older, we not only realized that our parents were correct, but we started imposing the same rules on our children. In the same way, the Vedas represent perfect knowledge. The rules and regulations prescribed are those coming down from God Himself, so they cannot be faulty. We may disagree with them, but that is our problem, not God’s. If Krishna or one of His associates say something, we must accept it as fact.

Shrila Prabhupada The great founder-acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, summarized all of the Vedic teachings in his numerous books and recorded lectures. One simply needs to consult his teachings in order to gain a firm grasp on the Vedic tenets. Since he was a pure devotee, his explanations and commentaries are perfect. We may not agree with everything in the beginning, but if we continue reading and stay connected with Prabhupada, then we will become perfect devotees.

Posted in bhagavad-gita, krishna, lord rama, mahabharata, narada, prabhupada, ramayana, shukadeva goswami, spiritual master, valmiki, vyasadeva | Leave a Comment »

The Humble Genius

Posted by krishnasmercy on July 14, 2009

Radha Krishna “The grammatical word jugglers cannot bewilder a devotee who engages in chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Simply addressing the energy of the Supreme Lord as Hare and the Lord Himself as Krishna very soon situates the Lord within the heart of the devotee. By thus addressing Radha and Krishna, one directly engages in His Lordship’s service.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila 7.73 Purport)

The formulaic cable television shows now regularly feature debates between so-called experts in various fields. With the debates usually dealing with issues of politics and public policy, these guests attempt to make clever arguments in favor of their position, trying to sound very erudite in the process. Most of these experts are in fact lawyers by trade, chosen to be on television more for their speaking ability than their actual knowledge of the field they are discussing.

We have all been to parties and other social gatherings where we have encountered the resident “expert”. This person has an opinion about everything and can’t stop talking. They are thoroughly convinced of their ideas but they are more or less blowing hot air. When we hear someone who isn’t an expert discussing issues that we know a lot about, we get insulted very easily. “Who does this person think he is? He is speaking nonsense. He has no idea what such and such really involves.” Whether it involves sports, news, or issues relating to our occupation, we all have intimate knowledge of the things that we are passionate about.

According to Vedic philosophy, true knowledge involves the theoretical and the practical, referred to as jnana and vijnana in Sanskrit. Theoretical knowledge forms the foundation, but it is through practical experience that we truly begin to understand something. The same way that many people pretend to be experts in various subjects, many people pretend to be experts in matters of religion. They have all these dreamed up ideas, but they don’t practice any sort of service to God. They develop their own ideas of God and what happens to us after we die. This sort of mental speculation will always lead us down the wrong path since our material minds aren’t capable of understanding God on our own. Simply being able to speak well doesn’t make one an expert either. The Mayavadis are very expert at using word jugglery to argue their position that God is impersonal and that we are all God. They quote from the Vedanta-sutras and use high class words in their arguments, but their knowledge is nevertheless useless since they fail to recognize Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

To truly understand God, we have to take instruction from a real expert in the field, a bona fide spiritual master. A spiritual master, or guru, is one whose only passion is Krishna and who devotes his whole life to Him. He has learned theoretical knowledge through studying the Vedas and by following the instructions from his own spiritual master, and he has acquired practical knowledge through practicing the principles of devotional service. In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna, God Himself, instructs His dear friend Arjuna to seek out a spiritual master.

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” (Lord Krishna, BG 4.34)

The key is to enquire submissively. If we are hostile towards our spiritual master, then we will never learn anything. We encounter these situations often when engaging in friendly talks with others. If we state a strongly held belief or opinion, many people question us or take the opposite position simply as a way of starting an argument. This is called playing devil’s advocate, which Wikipedia defines as:

"In common parlance, a devil’s advocate is someone who takes a position he or she disagrees with for the sake of argument. This process can be used to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure."

Shukadeva Goswami instructing Parakshit Taking this sort of approach with a spiritual master isn’t a good idea. A devotee of Krishna is very kind by nature and readily willing to impart instruction to those who sincerely seek it. However, if a guru notes a tone of hostility in a person, they will not be likely to continue instructing them. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pose questions to our guru, but these questions shouldn’t be in a challenging spirit. Questions should be relevant to the topics being discussed and they should be asked with the intention of furthering one’s knowledge of the Vedas. The Puranas, Mahabharata, and Ramayana all have great examples of how one should conduct themselves in front of a spiritual master. In the Bhagavata Purana, known as the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Maharaja Parikshit, a great king descending from the Pandava family, takes instruction from Shukadeva Goswami. In a very submissive manner, asking questions very nicely, Parikshit shows us that if we respect our spiritual master, then he will reward us with the highest knowledge. The Bhagavatam details the life and pastimes of Lord Krishna when He descended to earth. It was due to Parikshit’s inquisitiveness and service to Shukadeva Goswami that we are able to benefit from such stories today.

In the Ramacharitamanasa, an incident is described where Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Krishna, visits the hermitage of Maharishi Valmiki in the forest. Along with His wife Sita and younger brother Lakshmana, the Lord was wandering through the forest serving an exile period ordered by His father. Now Rama was God Himself, yet when He saw Valmiki, the Lord immediately prostrated Himself before the great sage and asked him very nicely where He and His family could go and set up a cottage. Valmiki was very pleased with Rama, for he knew His divinity. Instead of telling them where to set up camp, Valmiki gave a beautiful description on the qualities of a devotee, stating that Sita, Rama, and Lakshmana should always live in the hearts of such people. If the the Lord Himself submits to a spiritual master, then we should also follow suit.

Knowledge of Krishna and the Vedas has been passed down from time immemorial through the guru-disciple relationship. In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna explains that He first imparted spiritual knowledge to the sun god at the beginning of creation, and that same knowledge was then passed down through the chain of disciplic succession, or the parampara system. Periodically this chain gets broken and Krishna Himself comes to reinstitute it.

Shrila Prabhupada Lord Krishna is the original guru, but He Himself has told us to take instruction from a spiritual master, so we should heed His advice. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the spiritual master for this age. Though we cannot personally approach him, he left behind a wealth of knowledge in his books and recorded lectures. One can find answers to all of life’s questions by steadily reading and rereading these wonderful books. Following the instructions of the spiritual master, we can become the greatest experts in the most important science, the science of devotional service.

Posted in bhagavad-gita, chaitanya charitamrita, devotional service, krishna, lakshmana, lord rama, parikshit, prabhupada, shukadeva goswami, sita, spiritual master, valmiki | Leave a Comment »

Mega Memory

Posted by krishnasmercy on July 6, 2009

Vyasadeva narrates Mahabharata to Ganesha “Formerly, before Vyasadeva, say, five thousand years ago, before that time there was no need of written literature. People were so sharp in their memory that whatever they would hear from the spiritual master they would remember for life. The memory was so sharp. But in this age—it is called Kali Yuga—we are reducing our bodily strength, our memory…” (Shrila Prabhupada, Lecture, 790902.VP.NV)

According to the shastras, or Vedic scriptures, the earth doesn’t come into being just once, but rather is created and destroyed in repeating cycles. Each creation exists for a fixed time period, which is divided into four ages known as Yugas. The four Yugas are Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali.

Satya Yuga is the first time period beginning at creation. Satya means “truth” so the people living in this age are known for being strictly dedicated to dharma. Dharma means occupational duty or religion, and people abide by it at almost a one hundred percent level in the Satya Yuga. Which each successive Yuga, dharma diminishes in strength by one quarter, thus causing a rise in irreligion. We are currently living in the last Yuga, known as Kali. Kali Yuga is famous for the widespread presence of adharma, or activity which is against the scriptural injunctions. Dharma exists only at one fourth its original strength in the Kali Yuga.

In the classic Vedic system, society is to be managed according to varnashrama dharma. There are four varnas, or societal divisions based on a people’s qualities. The brahmanas are the religious class of people, who are viewed as the highest class members of society. Kshatriyas serve as the warriors and administrators, providing protection to the other three classes of society. Vaishyas are the merchants and businessmen who are entrusted with cow protection, farming, and general economic development. The shudras are the last group, and since they receive no formal training from a spiritual master, their duty is to serve the other three varnas. Shudras are traditionally those of the laborer class. Just as there are four varnas, there are also four ashramas, or stages in one’s life. The first ashrama is known as brahmacharya and it is the time period when one is living a life of complete celibacy and taking instruction from a spiritual master. After completing one’s training under a guru, one then enters the grihastha ashrama, which is married householder life. Then after twenty five years, one retires from family life and enters the vanaprastha ashrama. Finally, the last stage of life is known as sannyasa, where one completely renounces all family attachments and material possessions and lives completely at the mercy of God.

In the Kali Yuga, this system is virtually nonexistent. Shudras are praised and held in high regard, while brahmanas are vilified. The most sinful among us serve as our exalted leaders, preaching irreligion as a way of life. We see evidence of this everywhere today, especially with the widespread practices of animal slaughter and abortion. One of the most harmful side effects of Kali Yuga is the overall loss of intelligence and brain power in people. Though we may think that the overall life expectancy is rising, in actuality in previous Yugas the average duration of life was much greater than it is today. This is all a result of overindulgence in sense gratification. When one is constantly hankering after satisfying the needs of the stomach and the genitals, intelligence will be clouded. One is left no time to contemplate the real problems of life, which are birth, old age, disease, and death. When people’s lives revolve around eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, then naturally their intelligence will suffer.

One need only look to the advent of the teleprompter to see a glaring example of how the brainpower of man has rapidly declined. Used by everyone from politicians to television reporters, the teleprompter is a device that provides an electronic visual of the text of a speech given by a speaker. With a teleprompter, one isn’t required to commit a speech to memory. One need only focus their attention on the device while making a speech, for the prompter will scroll through the text at the speaker’s pace, guaranteeing that the speaker will never forget what to say next. Teleprompters are positioned in such a way that the audience usually can’t tell that the speaker is using it. For speeches that are delivered to television audiences, the prompter is usually aligned with the television camera, so the speaker can read the text of the speech while pretending to look directly at the audience watching on their televisions at home.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with teleprompters, since they allow for the smooth delivery of speeches. However, what has happened is that speakers have become lazy as a result of using them. One doesn’t even have to be familiar with the subjects they are talking about since they can just read whatever is put in front of them. As recently as twenty years ago, speakers at least had to memorize the speeches they gave, thus allowing the subject matter to be retained in their minds where it could be processed and pondered over. Today, many speakers, including the President of the United States, have committed embarrassing blunders such as reading the wrong speech or talking out of order due to malfunctions with the teleprompters. There are many world leaders who are great at delivering speeches, but when asked questions on policy in interviews, they stutter and stammer due to lack of knowledge on the subjects they are being questioned on.

Valmiki instructs Lava and Kusha In previous Yugas, people’s brains were so sharp that they could memorize millions of Sanskrit verses after only hearing them once. The great Maharishi Valmiki committed the entire Ramayana to memory and would recite it perfectly to others. He even taught it to Lord Rama’s two sons, Lava and Kusha, who would regularly recite it in front of gathered assemblies in their father’s kingdom. Vyasadeva, Lord Krishna’s literary incarnation, authored eighteen Puranas, the Vedanta-sutras, and the Mahabharata all from memory. The Mahabharata itself is probably the longest book ever written so it is amazing to think that one man could commit that entire work to memory. But it wasn’t only Vyasadeva, for he had many disciples who also became expert orators. The Shrimad Bhagavatam, also known as the Bhagavata Purana, was recited by Shukadeva Goswami, Vyasadeva’s son. These people were all exalted brahmanas, who had dedicated their lives to serving Krishna, or God. Their intelligence was top notch as a result. These sages didn’t limit themselves to just memorization, for they had a deep understanding of the topics and stories they would recite.

There is no denying that Kali Yuga is in full force, with its effects seen everywhere. Obviously it is not possible for people to commit such great works to memory anymore. Luckily for us, all hope is not lost. In this age, all the wisdom of the Vedas has been summarized into one short phrase, the maha-mantra:

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”

Krishna and Rama are names of God, and Hare is His energy. There is no knowledge or truth higher than God. Committing this mantra to memory and regularly reciting it in the presence of others will make us the greatest of orators.

Posted in krishna, kusha, lava, lord rama, mahabharata, memory, prabhupada, ramayana, shrimad-bhagavatam, shukadeva goswami, spiritual master, valmiki, varnashrama dharma, vyasadeva | Leave a Comment »