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Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 1

‘Essence of Bhagavad-gita’ series, Course - 1

‘Spiritual Scientist’
(also ‘Discover Your Self’)
The course helps one to scientifically discover one’s real identity and
one’s relationship with the Supreme. A material scientist knows only
the atom; a spiritual scientist knows the soul, which is spiritual. This
knowledge helps him find goal, mission and vision of life.

Course 1 : ‘Spiritual Scientist’ (Discover your self)


Course 2: ‘Positive Thinker’ (Spirit of Bhagavad gita)
Course 3 : ‘Self Manager’ (Basics of Bhagavad gita)
Course 4: ‘Proactive Leader’ (‘Secret of Bhagavad gita)
Course 5: ‘Personality development’ (‘Essence of Bhagavad gita)

Compiled by: Radheshyam Das, M.Tech., IIT, Mumbai

Rekindling Wisdom, Reviving Love

Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture and Education (VOICE)


ISKCON, 4, Tarapore Road, Pune-1,
Phone: (020) 2633 2328, 2636 1855,
Email: books@voicepune.com, iyfpune@vsnl.com
For audio lectures on topics of this book, please visit us on our websites:
http://BACELectures.com, www.VOICELectures.com
2 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Readers interested in the subject matter of this book are invited by the Vedic Oasis for
Inspiration, Culture and Education (VOICE) to correspond with our Secretary or Sales Manager
at the following address:
Sales Manager: Krishnakishore das
A-102, Bharati Vihar, Katraj, Pune – 411 046
Phone: +91-020-24306330
Email: krishnakishoredas@gmail.com
Web: www.iskconpune.com
Edited by: Chaitanya Charan das, Bamsigopal das, Haresh Daswani, Krishnan, kundananda das

Cover design by: Jagannath Kirtan das

First Printing: July 2007 / 2000 copies


© 2005, Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture and Education (VOICE), Pune
All rights reserved.
VOICE Pune expresses its gratitude to the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) for the use of verses, purports
and pictures from the books of Srila Prabhupada. All such verses, purports and pictures are © BBT.
Radheshyam das: Radheshyam das brahmacari finished his M.Tech. from IIT, Powai, Bombay
and joined Thermax as a Senior Design Executive. His Krishna consciousness was awakened
by the inspiration of His Grace Devamrita prabhu, his siksha guru and His Holiness Radhanath
swami who initiated him in 1993. The following year he joined ISKCON as a fulltime celibate at
ISKCON, Chowpatty temple for preaching the sublime message of Bhagavad-gita, and was
subsequently deputed to preach at Pune. He began the Youth Forum in Pune in 1996, which
later took shape as in Pune and many other parts of India. His main focus is preaching to youth
and children, and publishing books and notes materials for the preachers of Krishna
consciousness. He was conferred by ISKCON the ‘Global Excellency’ award in 2004 for youth
preaching and ‘Jiva Goswami’ award in 2005 for innovative youth preaching. Besides preaching
at Pune, he travels to oversee the VOICEs at IITKGP, ITBHU-Varanasi, NIT Warrangal, NIT
Suratkal, NIT Jamshedpur, etc. Currently he is the President of ISKCON, Pune and the Director
of VOICE, Pune. This book is a result of his ripe experience in preaching, counseling and guiding
people in Krishna consciousness over a decade.

Cover Page: It is concluded in Bhagavad-gita itself that, “Wherever there is Shri Krishna, the
master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly
be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality.” Also it is said, ‘jayas tu Pandu
putranam yesham pakshe Janardhana’ - ‘All victory will go to the Pandavas on whose side the
Supreme Lord Krishna is personally present’. We wish all our readers opulence, victory,
extraordinary power and morality in their lives by reading and applying this book. The back
cover of the book shows a sample of readers and users of the book. Srila Prabhupada, Founder
Acharya of ISKCON is the exponent who presented Krishna conscious knowledge for the
suffering people of Kaliyuga. Thus if the reader finds Krishna consciousness awakened in his or
her heart by reading this book, all glory should be given to Srila Prabhupada.

Published by Radheshyam das, Director, VOICE, Pune. Ph: 2633 2328


Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 3

For whom is this book meant?

& For housewives, it is a homestudy course.


& For Youth Forum boys, to be used in weekend meets.
& For Youth Forum girls, to be used in weekend meets.
& For preachers who want to conduct Bhaktivriksha.
& For students or corporate executives who would like to start a ‘Bhagavad-gita study
circle’, or ‘Bhagavad-gita club’, in hostels, companies, housing society, etc.
& For parents, to learn the basics of Hindu religion or Sanatana Dharma, and teach their
children convincingly.
& For Principals of schools or Colleges, to organize weekly classes and invite students
who voluntarily show interest in Personality development and Character build-up.
& For Temple Presidents, Congregation Leaders and Counselors who want to set up two
one-year Courses in the temple for training the brahmacaris, or congregation
members, before recommending them for first initiation.
& For anybody above 13 years of age, who sincerely wants to know the meaning of life
and obtain knowledge of God, our relationship to God, and our duty towards Him.

Note : In the past, we have been calling our different groups as BACE (Bhaktivedanta
Academy for Culture and Education). We have recently renamed it as VOICE (Vedic
Oasis for Inspiration, Culture and Education). In future we will be calling our different
wings as Boys VOICE, Girls VOICE, Childrens VOICE, Corporate VOICE, Young
couples VOICE, Senior citizens VOICE etc. This is done for simple understanding of
anyone. A detailed note is given in the Appendix.
4 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Acknowledgements
My first salutations at the lotus feet of my spiritual master, His Holiness Radhanath
Swami Maharaj and to my grand spiritual master, Founder Acharya of ISKCON, His
Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, for their blessings, inspiration and
empowerment, without which I would have had no substance in my life. Their mercy has
opened my eyes of knowledge and brought me out of the dark region of multiple
philosophies, contradictions, arguments and opinions, and placed me on the path of
unmotivated loving devotional service to the lotus feet of Shri, Shri Radha Kunjabihariji.
I have compiled this book only to show the lucidity, clarity, and beauty of their teachings
coming directly from Lord Shri Krishna in the authorized disciplic succession of
Brahma–Madhva–Gaudiya sampradaya. My respects are also to my siksha gurus – His
Grace Devamrita prabhu, His Grace Radha Gopinath prabhu, His Grace Shyamananda
prabhu, His Grace Govinda prabhu, His Grace Rasaraja prabhu, His Grace Mukunda
Madhava prabhu, and His Grace Kapila prabhu, from whose lectures I have obtained
much of the valuable information that I have presented in this book. My special respects
are to His Holiness Gopalakrishna Goswami, His Holiness Lokanath Swami, His
Holiness Bhaktiswarupa Damodar Swami, His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami, His Holiness
Romapada Swami, His Holiness Bhaktivikas Swami, His Holiness Bhakticaru Swami,
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, His Holiness Mahanidhi Swami, His Hoiness Radha
Govinda Swami, His Holiness Navayogendra Swami, His Holiness Sukadeva Goswami,
His Holiness Vedavyaspriya Swami, His Holiness Bhakti Purushottam Swami, Jananivas
prabhu, and Krishnasmarana prabhu, whose constant encouragement in my preaching
activities inspired me to come up with this publication. Any credit given for this
compilation should be given to all these personalities, since I have but just repeated, like
a child, what I have learnt and assimilated from them.

This book is aims-driven and focused on teaching the concepts through groupwork,
quizzes, dramas, comprehension writing, etc. The credit for this goes to my teachers His
Grace Rasamandala prabhu and His Grace Atul Krishna prabhu, who taught me at
Teachers Training Courses (TTC1, TTC2 and Bhakti Sastri TTC), and whose teaching
completely changed my outlook to learning. I thank His Grace Janmashtami prabhu who
organizes these courses at Shri Mayapur dham.

The book has come out successfully by the sincere efforts of many devotees. Hard
working Jagannath Kirtan prabhu has conceived and designed the fascinating cover page.
Our special thanks to Bhakta Dasharath for assisting in layouting the book. Bhakta
Hitesh, Her grace Radhika mataji and Her grace Radhapadadhuli mataji have contributed
photos to the cover page. Special thanks are due to Jagannath kirtan prabhu, Bhakta
Arulnath, and Sankirtan Anand prabhu for their unflinching dedication in bringing out
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 5

this book by doing all the taxing computer work. Chaitanya Charan prabhu, Bamsigopal
prabhu, Bhakta Haresh, and Mukundananda prabhu deserve special appreciation for their
valuable proofreading and editing. I express my gratitude to Sundari mataji,
Shrivatsachandra prabhu and Vaishali mataji who gave ideas for improving the book.
My special thanks to Shriman Ramnath Lakshman for his kind contribution in bringing
out this book. I also express my heartfelt gratitude to the many other devotees to whom I
could not pay personal attention and who tolerated me in my busy schedules of preparing
the book. My gratitude to Dr. Jitendra Arya and his ‘Institute of Nature Cure and Yogic
Sciences’, where he offered me a serene atmosphere in the mode of goodness for
completing this work.

Radheshyam Das,
VOICE, Pune.
6 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Introduction
In modern days, people have very little time for joining spiritual courses. When I had
released ‘Essence of Bhagavad gita’ as a jumbosize book, many preachers had difficulty
enrolling candidates for a year-long course. Keeping this in mind, I have now made it
into five small courses. Hope this idea will help preachers set up short-term courses that
will attract hundreds of candidates. Each course has a ‘material name’ and a ‘spirtiual
name’. Thus the participants will be awarded two certificates upon completion of each
course, that they can use in material and spiritual circles.

The Vedic texts are the panacea for all problems, for all times. They give a crystal clear
understanding of all the fundamental and essential truths of life including who we are,
what the true goal of life is, and how we can attain permanent happiness.

The books published earlier were meant for engineering college students. The
congregation, however, always felt a need for a simpler book that would present the
teachings of Srila Prabhupada with simple examples, stories and illustrations. This book
addresses the need of the Congregation devotees as well as the Youth preachers. (The
preacher could make the audience sit in a circle and speak after asking one of them to
read a para; expert preachers may prepare charts, slides or go for interactive discussions
on the themes covered in the book).

For the past several years, the congregation devotees at Pune have been feeling a need for
systematic courses to train and educate them in Siddhanta (philosophy), Sadhana
(regulated spiritual practice), Sadachar (etiquette and behavior) and Seva (devotional
service). To meet those needs we have come up with this course book after referring to
VTE (Vaishnava Training and Education) manual’s approach and MTE (Manor Training
and Education) manual, London, which have thoroughly researched from Srila
Prabhupada’s books on the most essential items to be learnt by a beginner. We have also
referred to VOICE, Pune, syllabus used for training youth over several years now.
We were always looking for some method of evaluation in recommending people for
Diksha or Initiation. When one conducts an interview to evaluate fitness of a candidate
for the first initiation, both the candidate and the interviewer are perplexed. The
candidate is afraid of the interview as to what will be asked? And the interviewer is not
completely sure whether the candidate, who appears to be an average candidate, can be
sent at this stage for initiation. Offering courses like in this book will ensure that the
candidate has been undergoing training for a year or two that he/she has digested the
philosophy over a period of time, and is applying Vaishnava etiquette in everyday life.
Thus, the selection of candidate by President, or the authorities, becomes easy. Those
who do not want to undergo the course, owing to time constraints, etc., but want to go for
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 7

initiation, could be asked to fulfill the basic criteria of Quiz submission, giving the
required Written Tests for these courses and completing the basic requirements.

The preachers, in their respective areas or temples, could invite youths and the
congregation to join the BHAGAVAD-GITA STUDY CIRCLE that can operate once a
week, on a Saturday or Sunday, or a day convenient to the majority of participants. It is
basically a ‘Bhakti Vriksha’ type of group, but using the name ‘BHAGAVAD-GITA
STUDY CIRCLE’ is more appealing to the new people. If youth feel that ‘Bhagavad-
gita’ name may put off the newcomer youths, they could call it as ‘SPIRITUAL
SCIENTISTS STUDY CIRCLE’. The subject most appreciated by great spiritual
scientists like Einstein, Openheimer, etc., is Bhagavad-gita.

Sometimes the facilitation part in ‘Bhakti Vriksha’ meetings becomes a great challenge
for a new preacher who has not yet developed confidence in the philosophy of Krishna
consciousness. This book gradually and systematically develops the subject of
Bhagavad-gita philosophy.

This book has to be used along with ‘Bhagavad-gita As It Is’ by Srila Prabhupada, as the
reader will need it for the ‘slokas for memorization’ section, as well as ‘Bhagavad-gita
As It Is Quiz’ section, and to refer to the sloka references given in the lessons marked
with letters ‘BG’.
This book is a crash course on our five-volume edition, ‘Spirituality for Modern Youth’
consisting of: ‘Discover Your Self’, ‘Your Best Friend’, ‘Your Secret Journey’, ‘Victory
over Death’, and ‘Yoga of Love’. As these books are exhaustive, many preachers may
feel that it takes several years to complete them. The teacher could use the above series
as reference books, while the student could use the ‘Essence of Bhagavad-gita’ book for
study and reference.

For ‘Sadhana and Sadachar’ (‘Devotional practice’ and ‘Vaishnava etiquette and
behavior’), we have given the syllabus and reference books. Thus the teacher could
conduct these courses on philosophy blended with practical Vaishnava behavior, to
ensure that the students’ knowledge does not remain theoretical, but is practically applied
and digested.
There are quizzes at the end of each lesson in this book. There are also quizzes based on
‘Bhagavad-gita As It Is’ by Srila Prabhupada. This is to ensure that the student gets the
advantage of Prabhupada vani.
About a decade ago, we had brought out a book with the same title for a six-session
course on ‘Essence of Bhagavad-gita’. This book is more exhaustive so as to help
preachers conduct courses for a period of one to two years. One could also pick some of
the titles to give a six-session course.
8 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

We will consider our humble efforts successful if this endeavor can assist in fulfilling the
pure desire of our acharyas to flood the entire world with Krishna consciousness.

Radheshyam Das
Director, Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture and Education (VOICE), Pune
President, ISKCON, Pune.
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 9

Essence of Bhagavad gita


Five short-term Certificate courses
Through Weekly Study Circle

Course books:
1. ‘Essence of Bhagavad-gita’ five courses series, for ‘Siddhanta’ or philosophy
2. Vaishnava Etiquette Manual published by ISKCON, Shri Shri Radha Gopinath
mandir, Near Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 7, K.M.Munshi marg, Chowpatty, Mumbai-
400 007 Phone: (022) 2369 7228, rgsevaka@vsnl.net
3. ‘Devotional Practice’ and ‘Vaishnava Culture’, Introductory Course Student
Handbook, Contact: Sita Rama prabhu, Bhaktivedanta Manor, Hilfield Lane,
Aldenham, Watford WD25 8EZ, U.K.

I. Spiritual scientist (Discover Your Self)


Duration: 3 weeks, weekly twice

The course helps one to scientifically discover one’s real identity and one’s
relationship with the Supreme. A material scientist knows only the atom; a spiritual
scientist knows the soul, which is spiritual. This knowledge helps him find goal,
mission and vision of life.
.

1. Introduction to Bhagavad gita


Sadhana and Sadachar topics
2. Material problems, Spiritual solutions
3. Getting the eyes of Knowledge
--------- NIL ------------
4. Vedas – the privelege of Humanity
5. Science of Soul
6. Different platforms of Worship

II. Positive Thinker (Spirit of Bhagavad gita)


Duration: 4 months, weekly once

This course helps one with the Positive spirit needed to tap the powerful message of
Gita. It helps one to identify a divine guide in your life and to obtain the necessary
qualifications to become a cheerful positive thinker in life by knowing the sublime
truths.
1. Identifying my divine guide Sadhana and Sadachar topics
2. Spirit of Bhagavad gita 1. Practical Devotional Service
2. Etiquette within the Temple
3. Qualifications of an ideal Disciple
3. Habits and Behavior
4. Reincarnation – fact or fiction?
4. Four Regulative Principles
5. Evolving towards Perfection 5. The Four Don’ts to Freedom
10 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

III. Self Manager (Basics of Bhagavad gita)


Duration: 6 months, weekly once

This course teaches not the art of managing men, machine, material, market and
money, but managing ones own life by a holistic approach that combines knowledge
of God’s position and practical application of mantra meditation.

Sadhana and Sadachar topics


1. Peace Formula 1. Hearing and Chanting
2. Who should be the object of my worship? 2. Deity Worship
3. God and gods 3. Tulasi Worship
4. Is God Personal or impersonal ? 4. Learning Meaning of Morning
5. The Art of Self Management program Songs
5. Holy Days
6. Serving and Honoring Prasadam
7. Dress and Appearance
8. Missionary Activities
9. Dealing with Parents, Relatives
and Friends

IV. Proactive Leader (Secret of Bhagavad gita)


Duration: 6 months, weekly once

This course prepares one to become a Proactive Leader. All of us at some moments
or the other, become victims to anger, lust and pride and feel sorry for our un-
exemplary behaviour. The Proactive Leader is a thoughtful person who gives a
positive spiritual response, by knowing what is illusion opposed to reality and the
resultant effects of all types of action.
Sadhana and Sadachar topics :
1. The three ropes that bind us
2. Surpassing Maya 1. ISKCON’s Cultural Identity and its
3. Our lost home – Kingdom of God connection to the Vedas
4. Karma – the law of infallible justice 2. Varnasrama Dharma
3. Ethics and Morality
4. Sadhana
5. Position of women in Vedic culture
6. Relating to Devotees with Due
Respect
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 11

V. Personality Development (Essence of Bhagavad gita)


Duration: 6 months, weekly once

Personality development is not a superficial change. We are generally covered over


superficially by our acquired qualities like Experiences, Abilities, Memories, Learning,
Habits and Beliefs etc. But the innate qualities of the soul like Peace, Love, Truth,
Happiness, Humility, Tolerance are hidden. When we awaken the innate qualities of
the soul, they come out in the 4 R’s of our life-- in the various Roles that we have to
play, the different Routines that we go through, the Responsibilities we have to
shoulder, and the various Relationships that we care for. The innate qualities are
brought out when one’s personality is truly developed.

Sadhana and Sadachar topics :

1. Relating to Seniors, Juniors and


1. Essence of Bhagavad gita
Peers
2. Creation and Universal Time
2. Three levels of Devotees
3. Different types of Yoga system 3. Dealings with Guests
4. Practical Application of Bhagavad gita 4. Offenses to the Vaishnava
5. Passing the Final Exam 5. Twenty-six Qualities of a Devotee

Bhagavad-gita
‘Slokas for Memorization’ Syllabus

Sloka numbers from


Spiritual Scientist (Discover Your Self)
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
Chapter Headings

01. Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 1.1, 18.78, 18.69

3.9, 3.31, 3.32, 3.36, 3.37,


02. Material problems, Spiritual solutions 3.41, 3.42, 16.7, 16.8, 16.9,
16.23, 16.24
03. Getting the eyes of Knowledge 4.40, 7.3, 9.2, 9.3, 13.8-12
04. Vedas – the privilege of Humanity 4.1, 4.5, 4.6, 15.19
2.13, 2.23, 7.4, 7.5, 15.7,
05. Science of Soul
15.10, 15.16-18
06. Different platforms of Worship 4.7, 7.16, 7.19

* * * * *
12 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Method of Evaluation and Reward

1) The marking will be done as follows :

50% weightage for the marks obtained from


EBG Course Quiz, BG As It Is Quiz, Story Quiz, etc.

30% weightage for the Final Exam

20% for Practical lifestyle and behavior, Attendance, Punctuality and


Participation in the weekly classes

2) Certificates could be issued based on the following criteria:


Passing marks : 60%,
Distinction : 80% and above
Honors : 90% and above,
High Honors : 95% and above

Candidates who get 60% and above will receive a Certificate of Recognition.

CONTENTS
Course Syllabus and Slokas for Memorization

Ch. No. Name of Chapter Pg. No.


1 Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 1
2 Material Problems, Spiritual Solutions 15
3 Getting the Eyes of Knowledge 35
4 Vedas – the Privilege of Humanity 51
5 Science of th Soul 65
6 Different platforms of Worship 89
Appendices 109
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 13

Chapter 1

Introduction to
Bhagavad-gita
14 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Chapter Contents

Sr. No. Contents Page No.

Background of the Bhagavad-gita 3


1
Transformation after hearing Bhagavad-gita 4

2 How are You Special? 5

3 The Special Prerogative of the Human Body 7

4 What is the Actual Destination of Life? 8


Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 15

Introduction to Bhagavad-gita

dhåtaräñöra uväca
dharma-kñetre kuru-kñetre samavetä yuyutsavaù
mämakäù päëòaväç caiva kim akurvata saïjaya

TRANSLATION
Dhrtarashtra said: O Sanjaya, after my sons and the sons of Pandu assembled in the place of
pilgrimage at Kurukshetra, desiring to fight, what did they do? [BG 1.1]

* * * *

Background of the Bhagavad-gita


The historical background of the Bhagavad-gita
comprises of the events that happened over five
thousand years ago in the Kuru dynasty that was then
ruling the whole world. As Dhrtarashtra was blind,
Pandu ascended the throne, but he died prematurely.
At that time, the sons of Pandu were too young to take
up the throne. So Dhrtarashtra ascended the throne and
was supposed to act as the King till the Pandavas
became old enough. But when the Pandavas grew up,
Dhrtarashtra did not return the kingdom to them.
Rather, they were tricked in a gambling match and
driven off to the forest for fourteen long years. The
Kauravas, the sons of Dhrtarashtra, were very attached
to the kingdom and were demoniac. The agreement
was that if the Pandavas completed their tenure in the
forest and passed the last year incognito, then the
kingdom would be returned to them. The Pandavas, by
the Lord’s mercy, fulfilled this criterion. Despite this, the Kauravas were not ready to
give them even that much land as would fit on the tip of a needle, what to speak of their
kingdom. Shri Krishna went on a peace mission, but instead of agreeing for peace,
Duryodhana, the chief among the Kauravas, attempted to arrest Krishna with thousands
of soldiers. Krishna manifested His Vishwarupa, The Universal Form, which established
His identity as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still foolish Duryodhana remained
determined for a war to vanquish the Pandavas. Now the Kurukshetra war was
inevitable.
16 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

The setting of the Gita is the battlefield of Kurukshetra, where millions of soldiers have
assembled for the war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Just when the opposite
parties blow their conchshells indicating the start of the war, Arjuna becomes confused
about his duty. He has doubts about fighting with his own relatives for gaining a
kingdom. He presents his doubts to Krishna and surrenders to Him as a disciple. Lord
Shri Krishna thus speaks the Bhagavad-gita on the battlefield clearing all the doubts of
Arjuna and instructing him to carry out his duty. Arjuna fights as per Krishna’s
instructions, and as Lord of Dharma, Krishna is on the side of the Pandavas, therefore
they emerge victorious.

Just as unnecessary weeds in the paddy


field are taken out, so it is expected
from the very beginning of the Gita
that in the religious field of
Kurukshetra, where the father of
religion, Shri Krishna Himself was
present, the unwanted weeds like
Dhrtarashtra’s son Duryodhana and
others would be wiped out and the
thoroughly religious persons, headed
by Yudhisthira, would be established by the Lord.

[T : Brainstorm] Q : What is the difference between studying Bhagavad-gita and


studying material subjects in schools/colleges?
Transformation after hearing Bhagavad-gita

At the start of the war, Arjuna saw his friends and relatives arrayed on the opposite side.
Although they were on the side of irreligion, Arjuna felt weakness of heart in fighting
and killing them. He became so overwhelmed with
grief that he put his famous Gandiva bow down, his
lips started quivering, his skin started drying up, his
body started shivering and tears started brimming in
his eyes. He became totally confused about his duty
and sat down on the chariot. This is the condition of
all of us too. Playing various roles, harboring various
goals, we are sometimes weeping and sometimes
laughing in the drama stage of the material world, not
knowing who we are and what will bring forth
ultimate good in our lives.
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 17

Arjuna then accepted Shri Krishna as his guru and heard the divine instructions from Him
and became enlightened. At the end of Bhagavad-gita, we find Arjuna enthusiastic to
perform his duty of fighting with full confidence and in divine consciousness. It is
expected that at the end of our course on the Bhagavad-gita, we will become crystal clear
about the purpose of our life and the duty that we have to perform in divine
consciousness. This is the blessing of the Bhagavad-gita.

Within Bhagavad-gita itself, Lord Shri Krishna proclaims this knowledge to be Raja
vidya or King of all knowledge. This knowledge teaches us who we are, who God is,
what our relation with Him is, and how to get out of all sufferings by re-establishing our
lost connection with God. When this knowledge is understood and practiced it brings
about a transformation of the heart. Just remembering statistics to acquire a degree,
cramming profuse information, and having no practical wisdom or direction in life as in
the modern educational scenario is not real education. The supremely divine words of
Bhagavan Shri Krishna, in the form of Bhagavad-gita, have touched and transformed the
lives of millions of people all over the world including philosophers, scholars, scientists,
religionists, etc.

[T : Brainstorm] Q: What is the difference between animals and human beings?

How are You Special?


Have you ever wondered how a man is
superior to an animal? Animals do activities
similar to those of humans - eating, sleeping,
producing children, defending themselves, etc.
In what respect are human beings higher than
animals?

Someone may reply ‘Reasoning Power’ or


‘Rational Thinking’. But reasoning power is
there even in lower animals like dogs and cats.
Suppose a dog comes up to you and you say,
“Hut”, he will understand that you don’t want
him. So, he has some reasoning power.
Similarly if a cat wants to steal some milk
from your kitchen, she has very nice reasoning
power; she will wait till you go out so that she
can drink the milk without being detected.
So the four propensities of animal life – eating, sleeping, mating and defending –
indicate that there is reasoning power even in the animals. Then, what is the special
prerogative of men over animals?
18 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Can we compete with an elephant in eating? Can we


compete with an eagle in seeing objects that are
miles away? Can we compete with a dog in smelling
and detecting thieves? Can we imitate a pigeon that
can have sex a dozen times in one hour? Can we
compete with a kangaroo in high jump? Can we
compete with a horse in athletics? If we are proud of
producing offsprings, a dog can beget dozens of
puppies and a mosquito can produce thousands of
offspring in a short time. Humans cannot reproduce
more than one child per year.Animals are much
better than humans in these activities. In fact, these
abilities are in-built in their system by the
arrangement of God. If it is so, what is the special ability awarded in a human body? If
we are proud of social organization, even honeybees have a social set up where the
worker bees go for collecting honey (and they never go on strike like their human
counterparts!), while the drones take care of the queen who begets offspring.
In eating, sleeping, mating and defending, animals are better human beings.

[T: Brainstorm] Q: If animals are better than men in so many ways, then what makes
human beings special?
A modern man may claim that he is very sophisticated in
his living. An animal eats filth and garbage in a street;
man may eat on the top floor of a five-star hotel in a
rotating room, enjoying the scenery all around. An animal
may sleep in the corner of a street; man may sleep on a
Dunlop mattress or on a waterbed. An animal may mate
without shame in the middle of the street; man may have
sex in a posh apartment in a skyscraper. An animal may
defend with claws and teeth; man may defend with bombs
and missiles.

If human beings use scientific, philosophical, cultural and


religious advancement just to perform these four activities
better, then such a human civilization is no way superior to
animal civilization.

If modern man is proud of his sophistication in eating and sleeping, he can only be
called a sophisticated animal.
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 19

The Mahabharata clearly illustrates the difference between animals and human beings:

ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam cha, samanyam etad pashubhir naranam


dharmo hi tesham adhiko vishesho, dharmena hina pashubhih samanah

“The activities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending are common in animals and
human beings. The human beings are considered superior only when they inquire about
the Absolute Truth, otherwise they are considered just like animals.”

Thus what distinguishes a human being from an animal is his performance of dharma or
duty towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The dharma of every human being is
to understand who he is, who God is, the relationship between him and God, and to
engage in rendering loving service to God.

The Special Prerogative of the Human Body


A human being differs from an animal in his ability to ask questions like, “Who created
this world? Who is God? Who am I? What is my relation with God? Why is this world
created? Where do I come from and where will I go? Why are all people suffering from
varieties of problems? Is there no end to these oceanic sufferings? What am I supposed
to do in life?” This is called ‘athato brahma jijnasa’. The Bhagavad-gita says that out of
many thousands of people, someone may develop this reasoning power.

“Why am I suffering?” Everyone is full of anxiety


despite possessing money, comforts and luxuries.
Everyone wants to increase happiness unlimitedly and put
a stop to all sufferings. Despite their hard endeavor day
and night, people only find their problems increasing.
Why? The Western countries have reached the summit of
material civilization – mobiles, computer systems, broad
highways, fine cars, fast flights, and machines for
everything – but people are still dissatisfied. The divorce
rate, suicide rate, mental related illnesses, crime rate, etc., all of which are ever increasing
in America, are not a sign of happiness. The government has difficulty controlling
crimes, drug addiction, adultery, etc. Why is man unhappy even after possessing
practically everything necessary for a comfortable and luxurious living? Why can’t we
stop suffering altogether?
“What is my actual destination?” One should know the goal of one’s life. Suppose a
person is driving a car very fast. Another person asks him, “My dear friend, you are
driving so fast. Where are you going?” And if the first person replies, “No, No, don’t
20 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

disturb me. I want to go very fast. I don’t want any disturbance. I want to keep on driving
very fast”, he will be considered crazy. Of course, going very fast to the destination is
good but one should know what one’s destination is, where one wants to go. Nowadays,
people lead very fast lives - fast food, high-speed cars and planes, instant tea, mobiles,
laptops & palmtop computers, etc. But where is this fast life leading us? Are we aware
that we have to wind up our business and die one day leaving behind all that we have
accumulated throughout our lives? Where do we go after death? Without knowing the
destination, if a person is busily running here and there mindlessly all his life, he will be
considered a mad man. Therefore one should know: Why am I born into this world?
What is death? And what happens after death? Who is God? Who is the controller of the
world? One should seek the answers to all these
questions.
The human body is compared to a solid boat,
which can help one cross the ocean of the
material world and take one to the kingdom of
God. The Vedic scriptures are compared to
favorable breezes. The spiritual master is
compared to an expert captain who can monitor
the boat and take it to the desired destination. A
human being who does not take advantage of this
opportunity for achieving unending spiritual bliss
is cheating himself and is a killer of his own soul.

Thus, in a human body, the cause of suffering and the actual destination of life are proper
subjects of enquiry. This is what distinguishes a human from an animal.
[T] If you have senior students who can put up the following story in the form of a drama, that would have a
greater impact on the new students.

What is the Actual Destination of Life?

Why a human being should not die like cats or dogs without knowing the aim of life is
illustrated in the following story.
Once upon a time, there was a very wealthy king. He had a big kingdom, many queens, a lot of
wealth and hundreds and thousands of followers and soldiers. He was living a very happy life
and he became so attached to his property, position, prestige and status that he completely
forgot God, and his duty towards God.
One day a sadhu came to his court. Sadhus visit people to enlighten them about God and the
goal of life. The sadhu wanted to enlighten the king, but the king was not at all interested. The
sadhu contemplated for a while and made a plan. He told the king, “My dear king, you are so
eager to wash my feet, and bow down to me, and give me so much donation but you are not
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 21

interested in hearing about God. So, I have a request for you. If you fulfill that request, then you
will satisfy me.”
The king immediately agreed and asked, “What can I do for you, Sir?” The sadhu told him, “My
dear king, send out your men throughout your country and find out the best among mad people
(murkha) in your country. Then call him over to your court, hand over a stick to him and ask him
to go around the city every single day for the rest of his life. Pay him some salary every month
for this service.”
The king obeyed the sadhu’s order and got a ‘murkha’ to go around the city carrying a stick in
his hand. The ‘murkha’ continued his service. Days, months and years passed by. The king
spent all his time in material enjoyment and gradually became old. In his old age, he became
afflicted by a fatal disease.
When the king was on his deathbed, he called all his relatives, friends and near and dear ones.
He met all of them one by one. All of them were weeping as the king was very soon going to
leave this world. In this way while the king was meeting all his relatives one by one to satisfy
himself, in his mind, he had a feeling, “I have not met somebody whom I know very well.” Then,
the thought of the ‘murkha’ came to his mind and he called for the ‘murkha’.
When the ‘murkha’ came to see the king, the king told him, “My dear fool, now I have to go to a
very far off place. I am taking leave of every one, so I thought I may call you and talk to you.”
The ‘murkha’ immediately replied, “O king, you are going to a distant place. Please why don’t
you take me along with you?”
The king replied, “O fool, you cannot come with me. It is not possible.”
The ‘murkha’ replied, “O, now I understand the secret. You want to go with your queens. That
is why you don’t want to take me with you.”
The king said, ”O ‘murkha’, you are proving to be a fool. I cannot take my queens with me, nor
can I take my sons, nor any of my relatives – it is not possible”. Then the ‘murkha’ said, “It is
alright. Whatever it is I will arrange for a strong horse and a chariot for you so that you can go
comfortably.” The king said, “O fool, I can’t take a chariot and horses with me.”
Then the ‘murkha’ asked, “O, that means you will walk all the way? Will your legs not pain?
How long can you walk? My dear king, if it is your desire to walk, at least carry some eatables
and some money, which you can use on the way. I will tell the minister to arrange for a big
amount of money from the treasury.” The king replied, “O fool, you cannot understand. I cannot
carry a single gold coin with me. Although I have so much wealth amassed within my treasury, I
can’t carry anything with me. O fool, why don’t you understand?”
The ‘murkha’ asked, “My dear king, you can’t carry your accumulated wealth, you can’t take
your wives and your children with you, nor can you take any property from your kingdom. It is a
great wonder for me.”
Then the king told the ‘murkha’, “Enough of all your talks. Now, I will tell you something. You
have done the service of being a fool, going around the city for so many years, faithfully. So I
would like to reward you. You should now retire from your job. You will be given pension and
22 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

you need not work anymore. But before you retire, find another fool just like yourself and hand
over this stick to him. Let him too go around the city and he will also be paid a salary every
month.” Then the ‘murkha’ asked, “O, my dear king, do I have to find a greater ‘murkha’ than
me to hand over this stick?” The king said, “Yes, that’s right.”
Immediately, the fool took the stick and handed it over to the king, and said, “O ‘maha murkha’!
Take this stick and keep it with you.” The king was enraged. He shouted, “You fool, how dare
you give this stick to me. Do you mean I am a greater fool than you?”
The ‘murkha’ laughed and told the king, “Yes, My dear king, you are right. You are certainly the
‘maha murkha’ in this world. Do you know why? You just told me that throughout your life you
amassed so much of wealth in your treasury by conquering so many kings all around the world,
but you told me that you couldn’t carry a single farthing with you.
You married so many beautiful queens and begot so many children and you just now told me
that you couldn’t take any of them with you.
My dear king, you led such a lavish life full of luxuries and comfort. Did you not know that death
would come one day, and at the time of death you would have to give up your wife, children,
property and all that you accumulated? And did you not know that even a useless broken needle
without a hole would not accompany you after death? Did you not know these things when you
were a king? You knew them well; but you were such a big fool that you never inquired about
the goal of your life. You never inquired about where you would have to go after death. You
didn’t inquire: who is God? Why has He put me in this world? What is my duty towards Him?
You never thought of these questions. You were completely infatuated in enjoying all the
material comforts and facilities of this world when you were a king, and you were completely
blind to the path of self-realization. This was your greatest mistake and now, at the time of
death, you are lamenting and mourning that you have to leave everything behind. So that is why
you are considered the greatest fool.”

When the king heard all this, he quickly realized that this fool was not actually a fool; he was a
great saintly person. The king immediately fell at the feet of the so-called ‘murkha’, cried
piteously and begged him to reveal his identity. The king asked him, “My dear great soul, please
tell me who are you? How are you so knowledgeable about all these things? We were
considering you to be a great fool. That was our foolishness. Please tell me how I can become
perfect at this last hour of my life.”
The ‘murkha’ told him, “Actually I am a disciple of that great sadhu who had visited your court
many years ago. At that time you didn’t show any interest in spiritual life. So my guru asked me
to play this role so that I could deliver you at the right time. Hear attentively from me.” In this
way the sadhu’s disciple started enlightening the king about the knowledge of the soul and the
relationship between the soul and God.
The king understood how God loves every living being, and how the ultimate goal of life is to
purify one’s heart and achieve the kingdom of God, and not just get entangled in worldly affairs.
The king became enlightened with this knowledge. He wholeheartedly accepted the instructions
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 23

of the sadhu’s disciple and started chanting the Holy Names of God. In this way, by the
association of the sadhu’s disciple he was able to perfect his life.
[T: Brainstorm] Q: So, what all lessons did we learn from this Drama (or Story)?
Through the story of the ‘maha murkha’, we understand that we all are living in this
world and all of us are busy performing many activities from morning to night. We want
to do our studies, we want to take up a good job, we want to earn money, and we want to
live a very happy and luxurious life. But in this way, if we keep on spending all our time
without giving even a moment for God, then we will also be considered like the foolish
king, a ‘maha murkha’.
This is similar to the foolish lady who
spent all her time polishing her golden
cage, but neglected the bird within that
was starving. Our body is like a cage and
the soul within the body is like the bird in
the cage.
The body is compared to a shirt in
Bhagavad-gita. We may wear one shirt
today and tomorrow-another one.
Similarly the material body gradually
grows from childhood to youth, to old age
and perishes one day, while the eternal
soul passes from one body to another. Foolish people pamper the material body ignoring
the needs of the soul.
Surely a car needs petrol for functioning, but if one does not feed the driver of the car,
then the driver cannot drive the car to the desired destination. In the same way, we need
to take care of the body, but not indulge in such luxury that we forget the needs of the
soul within the body. The soul or atma is the real driver of the body and the body is like
a vehicle for the soul. Everyone knows how to give food to the bodily vehicle, but one
should know that studying Bhagavad-gita, applying the instructions of the Lord in our
lives, and chanting the Lord’s holy names is the actual way of giving food to the soul.
This can rekindle our dormant Krishna consciousness in our hearts, which are now
covered by impurities like lust, pride, anger, illusion, etc.

* * * * *
24 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

‘Spiritual Scientist’, Quiz: 1


Introduction to Bhagavad-gita

Part A (to be answered by All)


Answer the following questions in TWO or THREE sentences on separate sheets: (10 x 2 = 20 marks)

1. What was Duryodhana’s foolishness?


2. What are the weeds, the paddy and the farmer working on the field compared to?
3. What should be desired when one begins to read Bhagavad-gita?
4. What makes human beings different from animals according to the scriptures?
5. Modern man has so many facilities – mobiles, computers, fridges, high-speed
vehicles, rockets, etc. No animal can dream of inventing any of these things. Is this
what makes humans special?
6. Can you explain what is wrong with leading fast lives?
7. Can you think of any five problems in the life of modern man?
8. What two questions can a wise human being ask that an animal cannot ask?
9. In the story of ‘Maha murkha’ who was the ‘murkha’ in truth?
10. Why did the ‘murkha’ call the king ‘Maha murkha’?

Part B (only for married and Below 50 years)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)

1. What was the unreasonable behavior on the part of Duryodhana that caused the war?
2. Say a married couple lives a decent life together. The wife cooks, the husband
purchases a decent apartment to live in, they have two children, and the husband goes
to office and earns a decent salary monthly to run the family. The only thing they
have no idea about is God. What would you say about that family?

Part C (only for College students)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)

1. What is the meaning of real religion? In this connection, what is wrong with the
modern educational scenario?
2. If one of your friends says that he is not interested in spiritual life or God, what three
things will you tell him to inspire him to take to God consciousness?
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 25

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Quiz : 1
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita

For answering the following questions you will need a copy of ‘Bhagavad gita As It Is’
by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. You can purchase it from a
nearest ISKCON Hare Krishna temple.

Please note that for every question given below, there is a sloka number given in the
brackets. For example, 1.1 means, Chapter 1, Sloka 1. Read the particular purport of a
verse number given in brackets against each question and then answer them.

Answer the following questions in ONE or TWO sentences on a separate sheet: (1 x 20 = 20 marks)

Syllabus for the following Quiz: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Chapter 1

1. What are the three conditions to be taken note while reading Bhagavad gita? (1.1)
2. Who is considered a fortunate person? (1.1)
3. What is the specific standard of Bhagavad-gita? (1.1)
4. Why did Dhrtarashtra become fearful? (1.1)
5. What is the significance of the word ‘dharma ksetre kuru ksetre’ apart from their
historical and Vedic importance? (1.1)
6. What did the sounding of the conchshells indicate? (1.14)
7. How does the Lord get different names like Parthasarathi, Devakinandana etc? (1.15)
8. What was the message announced by the sound of conchshells? (1.15)
9. What is the reason for Arjuna to have no cause to fear any enemies? (1.20)
10. What gives Lord Sri Krishna greater transcendental pleasure than anything? (1.22)
11. What two things could Arjuna conquer? How did he achieve
this special position? (1.24)
12. What is the meaning of ‘samadhi’ ? (1.24)
13. Was Arjuna becoming overwhelmed by seeing his relatives in the battle due to
weakness of heart? What was the reason? (1.28)
26 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

14. What is typical calculation of material life? (1.35)


15. Who are the six kinds of aggressors who deserve to be killed? (1.36)
16. Who is required to perform such rituals as ‘pinda kriya’? Who is not required to
perform the same? Why? (1.41)
17. What is the right way of receiving real knowledge? (1.43)
18. Arjuna thought he is fighting the war being ‘Driven by the desire to enjoy royal
happiness’? Say whether his thought was right or wrong and give your explanation.
(1.44)
19. What is the reason for Arjuna to think that he can be ready to be attacked unarmed by
the enemies? (1.45)
20. Who is fit to receive self-knowledge? (1.46)

* * * * *
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita 27

Chapter 2

Material Problems and


Spiritual Solutions
28 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Chapter Contents

Sr. No. Contents Page No.

1 Understanding the Real Problems of Life 17


• Death 17
• Old age 18
• Disease 18
• Birth 18

2 The Need to Approach God 20

3 Let’s Find Out the Solution to the Problems of Life 21

4 Perceiving the Master of the Universal Government 23


• Did everything start from a ‘Big bang’ or a ‘Big brain’? 23
• What is the cause of suffering? 26
• Returning to Harmony 26
• Material Problems, Spiritual Solutions 27
Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions 29

Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions


yaù çästra-vidhim utsåjya vartate käma-kärataù
na sa siddhim aväpnoti na sukhaà na paräà gatim

TRANSLATION
He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither
perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination. [BG 16.23]
* * * *

Understanding the Real Problems of Life


[T: GROUP QUIZ]: A problem can be considered real if it fulfils the following three criteria:
1) It is common to all; 2) Nobody wants it; 3) Nobody can avoid it. Can you identify the four real
problems of life that fulfill the above three criteria written on the board?

People lament that they do not have water supply in their apartment, or that they do not
have a nice car, or a high paying job, or a palatial bungalow. Being caught up in the
immediate problems of life, they hardly think of the real problems that every one of us
has to face in life. If we do not find solutions to these problems, we will have to suffer
perpetually in this world of birth and death. All the petty problems that we face in our
day-to-day lives are a subset of these four real problems of life. The problems that fulfill
the above three criteria are explained below. Check whether you have rightly identified
them.
Death: No one wants death. In the Garuda Purana, one of the ancient Vedic scriptures, it
is mentioned that death is extremely painful and the dying
person experiences a pain that is equivalent to forty thousand
scorpions biting simultaneously. The great sage Kapiladev
informs about the ghastly nature of the experience of death, “In
that diseased condition the dying person’s eyes bulge due to the
pressure of air from within, and his glands become congested
with mucus. He has difficulty in breathing, and there is a rattling
sound within his throat…Thus he dies most pathetically.” (SB
3.30.16-18). The soul is so habituated to living in the body that
he must be forced out by the laws of nature at the time of death.
Just as a person suffers greatly when he is evicted from his
home, similarly the soul suffers immensely when he is forcibly
kicked out of the body. In nature, we see that even the tiniest creatures display amazing
abilities and techniques for escaping death when their lives are threatened. But death is
inevitable for all living beings and everyone has to face it one day, though it is fearsome
and painful.
30 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Old age: No one wants to get old. An American millionaire


spent millions of dollars employing several doctors to find out
whether he could stop getting old and remain youthful forever.
But the doctors realized that, even if they were to understand the
mechanism of ageing, they wouldn’t be able to do anything about
that, just as they couldn’t stop the rising and setting of the sun.
Thus the inevitable Time does not spare anybody. We were all
children some years ago, we grow to youth and eventually to old
age. People capture ‘sweet memories’ because they know that
when they are forced to grow old - helplessly, their appearances
won’t look sweet anymore. The cosmetic industry is flourishing due to fear of old age.
Disease: No one wants any disease. There are so many different
kinds of diseases and medical science is trying to find out
remedies for them. But medical history shows that by the time
science finds the cure for one disease, another even more deadly
disease comes up, as has happened in the case of cancer,
syphilis, gonorrhea, AIDS, etc. We may cure one disease for
some time, but we cannot eradicate all diseases. The pain
suffered through disease is a common experience for everyone
and needs no explanation. Rockefeller, one of the richest men in
the world, had chronic indigestion and consequently all he could eat lifelong was only
vegetable soup. Another rich man suffered severe pain while urinating. Once, when a
TV reporter asked him what he feared the most in life, he replied, “The next moment of
passing urine!”
Birth: No one wants to suffer the pain of birth. Birth is an
extremely painful experience for the living entity. For nine long
months, the human fetus lies cramped within the darkness of the
womb, suffering severely, scorched by the mother’s gastric fire,
continually jolted by sudden movements, and feeling constant
pressure from being contained in a small sack which surrounds
him in the womb. This tight, constricting packet forces the
child’s back to arch constantly like a bow. Furthermore, hungry
worms in the abdominal cavity torment the child. The child
passes stool and urine in the same packet. Such is the misery of
birth.
Thus Lord Shri Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita that it is very important for every sane
human being to perceive the evils of birth, old age, disease and death and find out the
permanent solution for them.
Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions 31

Some people may argue, “The problems of birth, old age, disease and death come only
once in a while. We can just ignore them and enjoy life for the remaining time.” But at
every moment everyone is suffering due to at least one of the following threefold
miseries:
1. Miseries caused by one’s own mind and body (adhyatmika
klesha): The body and the mind give rise to innumerable
problems. According to World Health Organization (WHO)
statistics, in the year 2000, in America, 19 million youths were
suffering from mental-related illness; everyday 1200 youths
were attempting to commit suicide and one tenth of them were
successful. Thus sometimes people are driven to the point of
suicide due to mental frustration. In old age, the deteriorating
body gives varieties of problems. For example, once a person
grows beyond 80 years, generally he can’t even sit or stand
without back-pain.

2. Miseries caused by other living entities (adhibhautika


klesha) : Even if we have a healthy body and mind,
others will not let us live in peace. Even if everything is
nicely arranged in our life, some other living entity, such as
our enemy, boss, colleague, relative, family member or
friend, terrorists or, if no one else, then a mosquito or a virus,
is sure to make our life miserable.

3. Miseries caused by nature (adhidaivika klesha):


Floods, droughts, famines, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc
are devastating calamities imposed upon us through the
agency of nature. A volcanic eruption at Pompeii
devoured 20,000 people under a 20 ft high lava layer.
The recent tsunami tidal wave disaster swallowed
3,80,000 lives in a few minutes. Even if these come
only occasionally, they wreak havoc whenever they
come. And moreover, we are being constantly
tormented by the changes in the weather such as scorching heat, freezing cold and
untimely rains.

Who can say that he is not being harassed constantly by these problems? The very fact
that more than a dozen tranquilizers or painkillers are advertised on TV shows that there
must be some suffering. Everyone is spending every moment to preserve his life,
belongings, kith and kin, job or post, reputation etc. But the world we live in takes away
all these eventually, despite our efforts to hold on to them. Thus a wise person should
32 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

wonder, “Why should our lives be ridden with the anxiety of facing and tackling one
problem after another? Is it all life is meant for? Or is there a life of eternal joy that is
never inhibited by sufferings?”

The Need to Approach God


[T] Q: What is the need to search for God? Why can’t I just be a good person?

In modern times, we see youngsters work over fourteen or sixteen hours in a software
company and spend the rest of the time in restaurants or clubs; the old people spend their
time watching TV, reading newspapers, playing cards, playing golf and discussing
useless socio-political topics. Whenever someone starts talking about God, people tend
to put off the subject by saying, “What is the need to know anything about God – whether
He exists or not, who is He? I am not interested; I have many other things to do in life.”
But actually knowledge of God is not a matter of interest or intellectual gratification – it
is an absolute necessity for every sane human being.

To understand why spiritual knowledge is necessary, we have to first understand that all
of us are searching for happiness at every moment in our lives. But unfortunately, this
world is a place where our attempts to become happy are repeatedly frustrated. God is
the source of everything. The universe is a cosmic machine designed and manufactured
by God. He knows why He has created it, why He has put us all here, what He wants us
to do, what He wants us to avoid, and there is no one better than Him to tell us why we
exist and why we suffer in this world. He has the key to release us from this world of
sufferings and take us beyond to the world of everlasting bliss. Then why not surrender
to God and ask Him, “Please tell me what should I do?”

Can you confidently say: ‘I get what I want’ and ‘I don’t get what I don’t want’?
When we are waiting for a particular bus, all other buses come and go except the one that
we are waiting for! What else can we do other than become frustrated? One thing that
we could realize is, “I am not God—the supreme controller of situations or things, nor
even of our local buses. It is He who puts us in sufferings and happiness in this world
according to our karma.”
Napoleon Bonaparte was such a famous king of his times that there was a statue of
Napoleon in Paris with the slogan, ‘Napoleon is France, France is Napoleon’. Although
one may be proud of accomplishing many great things in life, one cannot be a hero
forever. During the last part of his life, Napoleon was kept under arrest at St. Helena and
was forcibly fed horse urine with a sword at his neck.
Chris Reeves acted as Superman in a movie of the same name. In this movie he
performed miraculous and amazing feats that had made people worship him like God. In
Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions 33

1995, he met with an accident – he was thrown off a horse - and was crippled neck down
for life. Thus it may be nice to dream of being Superman ourselves, but the truth is that in
this world we are like the helpless ant in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean.
The only son of one of the richest men was eaten alive by cannibals on an island, when
he had gone for researching on tribal culture. A boatload of assistants were following
him, but they reached too late. On hearing the sad news, the devastated Rockefeller said,
“From today till death, I’ll have no peace”.
Mohammed Ali, the famous World heavyweight-boxing champion
who was practically undefeatable, proclaimed himself as, “The
greatest”. Later when he got Parkinson’s disease, his hands became
invalid and he could not even lift a cup of coffee. When someone
reminded him about his earlier slogan, ‘I am the greatest’, he
replied, “Yes, I am the greatest – the greatest fool, because no one
can claim to be the greatest other than God.”
Why do even such great personalities suffer from problems? God is
the root of all existence and if we can get to know Him we can find
a permanent solution to all these problems of life. Only in human
life are we endowed with the intelligence to inquire, “Why is
everyone suffering? Why am I suffering? Is there no permanent
solution to these problems? Should I cry in vain and die in pain? Or
can I do something about it?”
The first aphorism of the Vedanta-sutra says: athato brahma jijnasa "Now that you have
achieved a human body, you should inquire about the Absolute Truth."

Let’s find out the Solution to the Problems of Life


[T] : Q: Can Scientific Advancement put a full stop to all suffering?

All the advancements in science and technology - whether in the form of a grinder, fan,
car or washing machine – are oriented towards eliminating or reducing the problems of
life. Everyone is struggling to increase happiness unlimitedly and eliminate all suffering.
But despite all of man’s efforts, he is increasing his sufferings unlimitedly and scarcely
able to trace happiness in the rat race.
Have we become successful in counteracting the real problems of life -- birth, old age,
disease and death? We have only become experts in covering up the reality. In fact,
‘scientific advancement’ means ‘newer and more ingenuous ways of covering up the
reality’.
34 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Once a man became allured by the beauty of a young


girl who seemed to be in her teens; she was tall, had
long hair and wore stylish sunglasses. He followed her
all the way to her house in order to get to know more
about her. When she entered her house, he peeped in
through the window. He found her removing her high
heels and her height reduced drastically. She removed
her wig and her white hair showed up. She removed
her sunglasses and her eyes sunken within their
sockets were exposed. She removed the make up and her skin showed ugly wrinkles. She
removed her dentures and her actual age stood exposed – as sixty and not sixteen.
Similarly modern science has come up with many sophisticated technological gadgets,
which give a superficial covering of comfort and advancement to life. But actually when
one gets a deeper understanding, one learns that below this razzle-dazzle, the problems of
life still persist; we still have to suffer due to old age, disease and death.
Man is trying to create a heaven on hell, but his ‘covering up the reality’ business will
very soon be exposed. Washington once said, “You can cheat some people all the time,
all the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time.” Anybody with a little
common sense can understand that science has hardly begun to address the real
problems of life! Science gives only patch up solutions to cover up problems, but does
not help solve problems.
Many scientific inventions have apparently increased the
comforts of man, but they have given rise to secondary
problems that never existed before. What is a solution today
is the cause of a problem tomorrow. For example when the
automobile was introduced the first time, everyone rejoiced,
thinking that they could now cover large distances in a short
time. But the situation today is highlighted by a World Bank
Research report dealing with the Bombay city pollution
problem –

¾ 97% Bombayites are affected by pollution beyond the danger level


¾ Every Bombayite is inhaling smoke equivalent to 2.5 cigarette packets a day
¾ The life of every Bombayite will be reduced by 10 years due to this pollution

Thus despite his much-touted technological growth, man has not become happy because
the problems created by technology keep tormenting him, neither has he found the
technology helpful in solving the real problems of life.
Based on one principal law such as electricity or electro-magnetic radiation, thousands of
appliances such as fan, grinder, washing machine, mobile, TV set, etc., are floated
Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions 35

amongst the masses. The gullible masses forget God, who created the principal laws of
electricity, electro-magnetic waves etc and become falsely proud by possessing these
appliances. Without such fundamental laws made by the supreme lawmaker, God, all our
mobiles and TVs would be rendered useless. Therefore Srila Prabhupada said, “Give God
the Nobel prize”. But the so-called advancement in Science and Technology has not been
able to solve the real problems of life. It has only intoxicated man to become godless,
ignoring his prime duty of Krishna consciousness. A powerfully built, blind and crazy
man who is equipped with a knife is certainly dangerous. Similarly the spiritually
ignorant and materially infatuated modern man who has the advanced human intelligence
and the knowledge of science is certainly a curse.
Unfortunately the modern educated man is purchasing the attractive comforts of the
materialistic civilization at the expense of ignoring knowledge of the soul and God.
Such a life with no proper direction will only make one miserable now and in the
future too.
Fortunately there is a perfect solution -- Krishna consciousness. By understanding: Who
am I? Who is God? What is my relationship with God? and acting in accordance with
that wisdom, we can not only get rid of the real problems of life, but also attain an eternal
life, full of bliss and knowledge.

Perceiving the Master of the Universal Government


Did everything start from a ‘Big bang’ or a ‘Big brain’?

If you ask someone how this universe began, people simply murmur, ‘big bang’.
Whenever there is a big bang due to some bomb blast in your town or train, you can be
sure of two things:
• People would be curious to know who created the explosion – whether terrorists or
soldiers;
• The explosion might have caused only damage and destruction and nothing good or
valuable must have come out of it.
The universe we live in, is not some lump of floating material, but a perfect residence
(with arrangement for food, water, heat, light, medicine, etc.) for all living beings to live
in harmony. No one would expect a beautiful multi-storied housing apartment replete
with all the facilities for food, water supply, lighting and electricity, hospital facility, etc.,
to spring up from a ‘big bang’ explosion. If someone is adamant in arguing on this point,
he might be told to start a ‘small bang construction company’ and create housing
apartments based on his ‘big bang’ belief; because according to him such a great universe
came from a big bang, at least he can hope to create some apartments through a ‘small
bang’ explosion!
36 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Encyclopedia Britannica admits, “It should be emphasized that no theory of the origin of
the solar system has as yet won general acceptance. All involve highly improbable
assumptions.” Thus, with such “highly improbable” theories the atheists try to deny God
as the origin and controller of the universe.
According to the ‘big bang’ theory, everything began from ‘a point of infinite
temperature, infinite density, infinitesimal size that is physically indescribable,
mathematically unverifiable, beyond all conceptions of space and time.’ Does it sound
like a scientific theory? Now where did that ‘point’ come from? Here the scientists face
the same difficulty as the religionists they taunt with the question, “Where did God come
from?” And just as the religionists respond with the answer that God is the cause of all
causes, the scientists are faced with the prospect of declaring a mathematically
indescribable, physically unrealizable point of infinite density and temperature, of
infinitesimal size, existing before all conceptions of time and space, as the cause of all
causes. The choice is yours – whether you want to accept God or a ‘point’ as the
Supreme cause of all causes!
Thus, believing in an empirical (or physical) scientific theory requires just as much faith
as in believing that a personal God creates and maintains the universe. Scientists
generally claim that nothing is accepted in the field of Science without proper
experimental evidence. We can challenge, “Where is the proof that such a point existed?
It is more wise to assume that God, The Supreme Truth, endowed with unlimited
energies is the cause of all causes, than to assume a ‘point’ as the Supreme Truth.”

God is not an assumption, but a tangible reality. When


we think calmly and carefully about this wonderful
universe, we can see that everything is working under the
control of a supreme brain. The arrangements in nature
are perfectly ordered. Things would be at random
without the careful planning of a highly ‘scientific and
engineering brain’. It is a common understanding that
there is a cause behind each action. A machine cannot
run without an operator. Modern scientists are very proud
of automation, but there is a scientific brain behind
automation also. Even Albert Einstein agreed that there is
a perfect brain behind all the natural physical laws.
Dr.Albert Einstein said,“I believe in God – who reveals
himself in the orderly harmony of the Universe. I believe that intelligence is manifested
throughout all Nature. The basics of scientific work is the conviction that the world is an
ordered and comprehensible entity and not a thing of Chance. When I sit here and watch
the mighty ocean, I can imagine the treasures hidden below the bed of the sea, when I see
the clear blue sky above, I feel sky is the limit. When I cast my eyes around I see the
Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions 37

wonders and beauties of Nature. Science must learn to live in Harmony with all these
magnificent gifts of God to Humanity.".

Even with empirical understanding, we can easily appreciate the presence of God in this
universe when we complete the following exercise:

[T]: GROUP QUIZ: Make a comparison between the Government of your country and
the Universe. Find out what are the duties of the government towards people and
what you observe is happening in the universe? You will see an amazing similarity.
When you begin the task, hide the right side column named ‘Universal Government’.
After the group discussion, verify how many of your answers tally with the answers
given under the heading of ‘universal government’?

GOVERNMENT OF ANY COUNTRY UNIVERSAL GOVERNMENT

Laws of nature-As you sow so shall you


reap Illicit sex – AIDS, Smoking-Cancer
1 Home Ministry (Law and order)
Drinking-Liver problem, Tobacco-
Bronchitis
2 Supplying medicines for diseases Ayurvedic herbs
Industrial and domestic water needs
3 Rains
supply by Municipality
Air, water, grains, milk – all supplied
Ministry of Social Welfare (Supply of food
through mother nature; God is the Father,
4 grains, vegetable, milk for the physical well
Nature is Mother. A mother cannot
being)
produce anything without father.
5 Ministry of Energy (Electricity and Lighting) Sun and moon
6 Finance Ministry (Currency or wealth) Gold, silver, nava ratnas, diamonds, etc.
7 Health Ministry (Hygiene and sanitation) Sun and rain keep cleanliness
Ozonosphere protects living beings on
8 Defense Ministry (Protection from dangers)
earth
9 Education Ministry (Education for citizens) Vedas, Bible, Quran
Benefits of Yoga, Meditation, etc., for
10 Reward for best citizens those who follow God’s laws and
scriptures

[T]: Oral Quiz: What did you learn after completing the table?
1. The universe we are living in is owned and controlled by the Supreme Lord.
2. Just as there is a Prime Minister for any government, similarly there is the Supreme
Lord who is the presiding authority of the whole universe.
38 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

3. When we ignore the laws of any government or Prime minister, one invites
punishment; similarly by ignoring God and the laws of nature, modern man is
inviting more and more sufferings in this world.
4. The sufferings we undergo are proof that we are going against the will of God and
some steps need to be taken to rectify our wrong mentality. The reform is to give up
selfish, exploitative, enjoying, grabbing approach and to adopt the selfless,
extending, serving, and giving nature.
5. We should learn from the manual of God – Bhagavad-gita – to know how we can
again harmonize our lives according to His will.
What is the cause of suffering?
Why should God, the Supreme, give us suffering if He is an all-loving father? Suffering
is caused not by God but by our own desire to enjoy separately from God. A child who
wants to leave the safety of his parents’ hands and cross the busy road alone will
undoubtedly feel frightened by the huge cars and trucks making screeching sounds
as they go by.
If we live our life in harmony with God, like a citizen living in harmony with the state,
then we can certainly achieve happiness. Originally we are all servants of God. It is
very natural for us to love Him and serve Him. Owing to our desire to enjoy separately
from Him, we have come to this world, leaving our original home, the spiritual world.
As we have turned away from God, we are experiencing varieties of sufferings. It is
like Ravana’s situation. Ravana wanted a kingdom of God without God. When we give
up our nature of being servant and co-operator of God’s plan and try to foolishly become
the controller, competitor and enjoyer, then we invite unlimited suffering. Simply by
turning towards Him and obeying His good instructions given in the scriptures, we can
again reinstate ourselves in the position of everlasting happiness.
Returning to Harmony
The symptom of suffering is good, because it gives us an
opportunity to look for the root cause. Every suffering has a
purpose behind it. A thief is beaten so that he gives up his
stealing propensity. When our bodily system is disturbed, it
gets heated up showing fever, bitterness in tongue, restlessness
of mind and body, so that we can take immediate remedial
action. Thus these symptoms of bodily heat or pain are not
bad, as they intimate us at the appropriate time to take action
for rectifying the bad situation in the system.
Similarly we find that in this world, despite our prolonged
endeavors for happiness, suffering persists. This indicates that
we are in a foreign atmosphere. A fish out of water with all
Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions 39

comforts and luxuries can never enjoy, nor can a man feel as safe and comfortable
high up in the airplane or in the midst of the vast Atlantic Ocean as much as he feels
on land. Thus our place is not in this world, where there is danger at every step, but in
the spiritual world that is beyond this world of suffering. When students stay in hostels
far away from their hometown, they feel ‘homesick’ and their heart craves to meet their
parents. In the same way we all are feeling homesick because of being away from our
real world, the spiritual world and being away from our real parent, our eternal friend and
master, God.
In order to become free from suffering, we have to learn the art of living in harmony with
God’s teachings. Then we can become happy even while being in this world and can
eventually be reinstated in our original position in the spiritual world. The Bhagavad-gita
teaches us about the purpose of life and the purpose of this creation and also tells us
about right and wrong action, exactly like a manual that shows us how to use a particular
equipment.
Some simple steps for harmonizing our lives with God and nature:

1. Count the blessings of God in your life and thank the


Lord for all that He has done for you. Pray to Him to
offer you love, mercy and service.
2. Chant the Holy Names of the Lord everyday:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
3. Thank the Lord before eating your food.
4. Remember the Lord as soon as you get up in the
morning and ask the Lord to help you get one step closer to Him that day by extending
your services to Him.
5. Tell one of your friends about what you have learnt from Bhagavad-gita and teach
him/her mantra meditation.
6. Sin is disobedience to God. Learn from authorized scriptures and the faithful followers
of God about the wrong things that should be avoided. Make a program for giving up
sinful activities. This will purify your heart.
Material Problems, Spiritual Solutions
Given below is a table illustrating a sample of the problems faced by modern man along
with their causes and spiritual solutions. Modern man has practically failed in his
repeated attempts to solve these problems by material means and is feeling hopeless. But
the scriptures, which are the words of God, have perfect solutions to all these problems.
We have given you spiritual solutions. But think deeply about what material solutions
scientists or modern people would offer? What do you think about those material
solutions? Do you feel the material solutions will be able to curb the problem totally?
40 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

S.R. Material problems Causes Spiritual solutions

1 Thievery, Crime Selfishness, Lack of law and Chivalrous, exemplary


order leader guided by
Vaishnavas or brahmanas.

2 Shooting by TV murder scenes, Frustration Value education from


children in schools childhood as in a gurukul.

3 Suicide Depression, Inferiority complex, Mantra meditation gives


Perceived failures in life, peace of mind, inner joy,
Dissatisfaction, Being over self-confidence and love for
ambitious God.

4 Famine and Non-cooperation from Performing sankirtan yajna


drought nature,Misuse of natural in this age to please God;
resources when the Lord is satisfied,
He will bestow prosperity
through nature.

5 Divorce Broken relationships, Seeing the partner as a


Compounded misunderstanding, part-and-parcel of God;
Intolerance, Unlimited Learning tolerance through
expectations chanting.

6 Rat race Cut-throat competition for money Learning contentment by


civilization loving and serving God.

7 Pollution Factories releasing poisonous Removing the pollution of


gases, acids, etc., without the mind by chanting Hare
bothering about the effect on the Krishna. Since people’s
poor public minds are polluted by lust,
greed, pride, envy, anger,
illusion etc that manifest
externally as trouble
caused by one living being
towards another.

8 Bribery and Greed for quick money Learning about the Truths
cheating of life and life’s actual goal
– Krishna Consciousness.
Learning about the laws of
Karma, i.e., consequences
of ones actions.

9 Stress and Working for 16 hrs or more per Giving up workaholic


Hypertension day, Trying to do too many things passion; experiencing real
freedom by calming the
mind by chanting Hare
Krishna.
Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions 41

10 Food shortage Greed for producing tobacco Producing grains and


(man will not die without a leading a God-centered life;
cigarette but he will die without Giving up greed for
grains) and similar unnecessary producing things that harm
items in the fields that are meant the body.
for producing paddy.

11 AIDS Illicit sexual relationships due to Following the laws of God;


free mixing of men and women practicing seeing other
men’s wives as one’s
mother (‘matravat para
dareshu…’).

12 Loneliness and Lack of love, care and attention; Learning about the goal of
boredom Meaninglessness in life human life; rejoicing in the
company of loving devotees
in varieties of Krishna
conscious engagements.

13 Conflicts and ego- Craving for position and fame, Learning that God is the
clashes Dominating mentality, considering real master and center of
oneself the center of the whole everyone’s love, worship
world and service.

14 Wars Greed for power, resources, Stopping slaughterhouses


domination, revenge etc. where cows are killed in
millions; Stopping abortion
which is no less than
murder.

15 Ill treatment of Old men and women are seen as Reviving the spiritual
senior citizens useless burden on society culture that has mutual
respect, love and trust,
specifically respect for the
elders.

16 Ill treatment of Lack of governmental control in Protect women, disallowing


women enforcing law and order; free mixing of man and
Aggression and passion of men; woman, learning Krishna
Lust conscious spiritual culture
to transcend bodily
consciousness.

17 Disease Unregulated eating (junk foods, Being regulated in eating,


drinks), sleeping at odd sleeping and recreation and
hours(working on changing chanting Hare Krishna to
shifts), recreation habits attain purity.
(smoking, drinking, excessive TV
watching etc)
42 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

18 Poverty Greed for accumulating wealth, Krishna conscious


Usurping the resources meant for communism can create the
the under-privileged best rule.

Think of more problems that you can add to the list. Find out, based on your discussion
with devotees, a Vedic solution for the problems listed by you.

The Vedic program is a perfect program oriented towards the well being of body, mind
and soul. By learning to live a life of Krishna consciousness, we can become a part of the
solution, rather than be a part of the problem of this world. By following the most
auspicious path of Krishna consciousness, we can be happy in this world, we can make
others happy and, after leaving the body, we can return back home, back to Godhead.

* * * * *

‘Spiritual Scientist’, Quiz: 2


Material Problems and Spiritual solutions

Part A (to be answered by All)


Answer the following questions in TWO or THREE sentences on a separate sheet : (10 x
2 = 20 marks)

1. What are four real problems of life? What are the threefold miseries of life?
2. It seems rich people don’t have any problems. Can you refute this with two
examples?
3. Can you say in one sentence, what is the need of approaching God?
4. “Just see! Modern scientists have given us grinders, washing machines, TVs,
mobiles and so many things, and have practically solved all our problems.” says your
friend. Give your comment.
5. List two things that convinced you the most that this universe is actually created and
maintained by God.
6. What is the proof that man is going against God’s laws?
7. What did you learn from the fish out of water example?
8. What is the cause of our suffering in life?
Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions 43

9. Write one material problem and its cause; suggest a material solution to it and
indicate the uselessness of that solution. Suggest a spiritual solution and its result.
10. What two practical steps are you going to take to harmonize your life with God and
nature?

Part B (only for married and Below 50 years)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)
1. Why do people want to capture their ‘sweet memories’ in photograph?
2. You have read about Napoleon, Superman Chris Reeves and Rockefeller in this
lesson. Give one similar example of some great personality who suffered. After
hearing about all these examples what are we supposed to do?

Part C (only for College students)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)

1. Give the equivalents of the words blind, crazy, powerful man with knife? What would
he do?
2. ‘Many scientific inventions have apparently increased comforts of man, but they have
also given rise to secondary problems that never existed before.’ Comment. Give
one example other than the automobile example.
44 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Quiz : 2
Material problems and Spiritual solutions

Answer the following questions in ONE or TWO sentences on a separate sheet: (1 x 53 =


53 marks)

Syllabus for the following Quiz: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 2.54, 2.55, 2.56, 3.9-14, 3.30-34, 3.36-42,
16.7-10, 16.23-24

1. On what basis can we know the quality of: a) any man b) one in Krishna
consciousness? (2.54)
2. What is: a) wrong way b) right and automatic way - of stopping sense desires?
(2.55)
3. What is the difference between a ‘muni’ and ‘sthita-dhir muni’? (2.56)
4. How does a sthita-dhir muni respond when put into the following different
situations: a) threefold miseries b) happiness? (2.56)
5. A retired Army officer goes every Saturday to feed the orphan children. What
would be the result of his good work? (3.9)
6. List three things by which one can act diligently to save one from the reaction of
work and to elevate one to love of God? (3.9)
7. What are the two results of performing yajna for the satisfaction of Lord Vishnu?
(3.10)
8. What is the best form of yajna for the current age of kali yuga? Who introduced it?
(3.10)
9. Draw a flow chart to show how the performance of yajna ultimately leads to
liberation. (3.11)
10. For whom is sacrifice to demigods recommended? (3.12)
11. ‘A society of thieves cannot be happy’. Explain who is a thief? (3.12)
12. Eatables, necessities of life, raw materials – which of them are manufactured and
which are not? Those that are not manufactured, how are they supplied in nature to
humans? (3.12)
13. Who are thieves and eaters of all kinds of sins? (3.13)
Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions 45

14. How can one become immune to the contamination of the material world? (3.14)
15. Who will be liberated and who will not be liberated? (3.31)
16. What is the result of disobedience to the order of God? Explain with an example.
(3.32)
17. What is said about theoretical knowledge? (3.33)
18. What is the cause of material encagement? Give an example for ‘unrestricted’.
(3.34)
19. What is ‘danger even on the safest road’? (3.34)
20. What is the best way to detach oneself from all kinds of sensory activities? (3.34)
21. If the soul is originally pure, then why do humans indulge in sin? (3.36)
22. Explain with an example what happens to the living entity when he comes in contact
with material creation? (3.37)
23. How can one utilize the mode of passion positively? (3.37)
24. Illustrate the three examples with equivalent bodies in material nature. (3.38)
25. In what way is a person shackled like criminals in this world? (3.39)
26. What mistake does the spirit soul commit? What is the cause of this? (3.40)
27. What is the danger of allowing lust to grow? What is the Lord’s advise to Arjuna?
(3.41)
28. When can love of God not deteriorate into lust? What happens when it deteriorates?
(3.41)
29. When should one begin regulating the senses in Krishna consciousness? (3.41)
30. Why is the mind considered superior to the senses? (3.42)
31. What happens when the soul is directly engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord?
(3.42)
32. What solves the whole problem of lust? (3.42)
33. Explain the illustration of serpents with broken fangs. (3.42)
34. Who are supposed to be demons? (16.7)
35. How should one keep external and internal cleanliness? Who does not like
cleanliness? (16.7)
46 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

36. How is a woman to be protected at every stage of life? (16.7)


37. Some people argue that Vedic life promotes suppression of woman. Is that true?
Explain your answer based on the purport. (16.7)
38. What is the theory of the demonic about the world? (16.8)
39. Which words of Lord Krishna do the demons not believe? (16.8)
40. ‘They do not believe in a standard understanding of the scriptural injunctions.’
Explain. (16.8)
41. What are the four points that Prabhupada notes about the nature of knowledge of
creation of the world amongst demons? (16.8)
42. What do the materialists think about themselves? What is the opinion of Bhagavad-
gita about them? (16.9)
43. What is the result of materialistic inventions? (16.9)
44. In BG verse 16.9, what do the words ‘unbeneficial, horrible, meant to destroy the
world’ etc indirectly point to?
45. What is the cause of invention of weapons in human society? (16.9)
46. What are the ‘asuci vratah’ or ‘unclean vows’? (16.10)
47. Sometimes we even find such people practicing some ‘religion’. What type of
‘religious practices’ do they adopt? What drives them? How are they to be seen in
relation to Vedic principles? (16.10)
48. What is expected of one in the human form of life? (16.23)
49. Whose knowledge becomes spoiled? (16.23)
50. Whose attempts are spoiled? (16.23)
51. Who is called ‘whimsical’ or ‘kama karatah’? What is the destination of such
people? (16.23)
52. Who can be understood to have studied all Vedic literature? (16.24)
53. What is the cause of falldown in human society? What are some of the defects of
human society that lead to the demoniac status of life? (16.24)

* * * * *
Material Problems and Spiritual Solutions 47

Chapter 3

Getting the Eyes of


Knowledge
48 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Chapter Contents

Page
Sr. No. Contents
No.
1 Pratyaksha Praman (direct sensual perception) 37
Imperfect senses 37
Tendency to be illusioned 38
Tendency to commit mistakes 38
Tendency to cheat 39

2 Anumana Praman (hypothesizing based on evidence) 39

3 Story: ‘Blind Men and the Elephant’ 39

4 See Through the Eyes of Scriptures 41

5 Shabda Praman (Hearing from a bona fide authority) 42


Remembering the Goal of attaining education 42
Even material creation of God is unfathomable 43
The knowledge that is free from any defect 44
Getting the Eyes of Knowledge 49

Getting the Eyes of Knowledge


jïänaà te ’haà sa-vijïänam idaà vakñyämy açeñataù
yaj jïätvä neha bhüyo ’nyaj jïätavyam avaçiñyate
TRANSLATION
I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being
known, nothing further shall remain for you to know. [BG 7.2]
* * * *

Where can one get knowledge about harmonizing our lives with nature and God? There
are millions of books, magazines, periodicals – that talk about varieties of knowledge –
science, history, geography, maths, economics, etc. Which is the best source of
information that can actually enlighten us about the ultimate solution to all our
sufferings? Where to inquire from? Can our grandmother or grandfather help us? Can
our textbooks on science or engineering or medicine help us? Can books on naturopathy
or ayurveda or natural farming help us?
There are three ways of gaining knowledge. Let us see which one of them can help us
know how we can harmonize our lives with nature and God, the Absolute Truth.

Pratyaksha Praman (direct sensual perception)


Pratyaksha praman is the knowledge obtained by direct sensual perception of form, taste,
touch, smell, and sound. “Seeing is believing” is a famous dictum of people arguing
about God's existence. But we can give so many simple counter arguments to defeat this
misconception:
• Is the sun just a plate of half-a-meter diameter as we see it with our eyes?
• A stick appears broken when we insert half of it into water (Refraction)
• Why do our faces look ghostly in a concave mirror? (Is seeing believing?)

PRATYAKSA PRAMAN
The knowledge we achieve through direct perception is
limited and not reliable. The very fact that the theories in
science are changed, updated and modified everyday is
proof that we are attaining higher and higher imperfect
relative truths by the pursuit of our scientific research. The
Absolute Truth, however, is fixed. It never changes. We
WE CANNOT ACQUIRE ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE
THROUGH MATERIAL SENSES.
OUR SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE IS RELATIVE cannot understand the Absolute Truth through our blunt
material senses because of the following four defects:
50 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Imperfect senses: Our senses have a very limited range of perception. Our eyes can
neither see distant objects, nor the objects closest to them - our own eyelids; we cannot
see beyond the wall. How can we be proud of the eyes made of flesh, blood and water,
and expect to see the truths beyond matter, when we cannot see even the things of this
world properly? Our ears have a range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. If we blow a dog’s whistle,
we ourselves cannot hear it, although all the street dogs will be able to hear it and will
come running. Thus every one of our senses have inherent limitations.

For example, eyes select/discard some portion of an object


(Figs.1&2), eyes try to interpret according to context
(Fig.3), eyes give data of what is not present in the picture
(Fig.4).So our senses are imperfect. Even if
amplified/refined by instruments, any knowledge based on
sense perception is no more perfect than our imperfect
senses.

Fig.1. Do you see ‘One cup’ or ‘Two faces’?


Fig.2. Find the ‘old lady’ and the ‘young girl’
Fig.3. What is in the middle? ‘13’ or ‘B’
Fig.4. Eyes are able to imagine a white triangle, although
it is not present!
THE IMPERFECTION OF OUR EYES

Tendency to be illusioned: When one takes a pain killer


medicine, one thinks in illusion, “I am alright now. My disease
is gone.” But the painkiller tablet does not cure the disease. It
just temporarily suppresses the pain. As the effect of the
painkiller goes down, one feels the pain again and observes the
same old symptoms of disease, and then one realizes that the
medicine has just covered the problem temporarily, like
covering an untidy room with a blanket to make it look nice.
Tendency to commit mistakes: We may mistake a rope for a snake due to illusion.
Science, with all its dramatic successes, has from its beginnings also generated wildly
incorrect accounts: the brain was considered to be an organ to cool the blood just as there
is a radiator in a car to cool the hot water. This is a dramatic deviation from what we
now see as truth. It is said that once Sir Isaac Newton had made a hole on the wall of
his room for his cat to go in and out of his room. When the cat begot a kitten, Newton
made another small hole for the kitten. Then he observed that both cat and kitten were
using only the bigger hole and there was no need for the smaller hole for the kitten. He
laughed at his own folly. Thus the saying goes, ‘To err is human’. Think of a mistake
that you committed, realised it later and you laughed at yourself!
Getting the Eyes of Knowledge 51

Now when scientists commit a mistake, it can affect millions of people who faithfully
follow them. During the Bubonic plague in Europe, scientists found the cause of the
spreading of plague to be the cat. The government at once ordered all the cats in the
whole country to be caught and killed to avoid the spreading of the epidemic. But within
a few days after that the scientists realized their folly – the cause of plague was not cats,
but rats! But it was too late. The rats started multiplying in large numbers as cats were
wiped out.
Tendency to cheat: ‘To err is human’, the saying goes.
But unfortunately, humans sometimes go beyond innocent
error and deliberately propagate untruths. Scientists are not
immune to this shortcoming. For many years, textbooks
on evolution routinely cited the Piltdown man as evidence
that human beings have descended from an ape-like
ancestor. In 1912, archaeologists excavated a humanlike
skull and an apelike jaw from a gravel pit at Piltdown, in
the British Isles. The bones were deemed part of the same
creature, which was duly reconstructed in full and placed
in the British Museum as an example of a transitional
phase between ancient ape and modern man. In 1953,
however, investigators discovered that the jawbone of the
Piltdown man was actually of very recent origin and had simply been filed to look like a
fossil. In other words, the Piltdown man was a fraud, apparently engineered by one of
the original ‘discoverers’.
Anumana Praman (hypothesizing based on evidence)
Anumana praman is like seeing a black box and guessing what could be inside it. For
instance, if you hear a loud noise coming out of a room, which is closed on all sides, it
could be anything. You can make say three wild guesses: maybe some fight is going on,
maybe the TV is on, or maybe the radio is on. When you open the room, you will come
to know that some people are practicing some rehearsal for a drama presentation! Thus
the actual reality can be totally different.
A practical example of anumana praman, or wild speculation, is
Darwin’s Theory that proposes the idea that human beings might have
evolved from apes. Darwin tried to find out how life came in this
universe. With all his researches, when he could not make out, he
admitted that he resorted to wild imaginative speculation. This he
himself says in the introduction to his book, ‘Origin of Species’.
Before Charles Darwin published his Theory of Evolution in 1859, he frequently
corresponded with A.R. Wallace, one of his contemporary naturalists. In one of his letters
52 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

to A.R. Wallace (December 22, 1857), Darwin wrote, "... I am a firm believer that
without speculation there is no good and original observation....'. Thus, one does not
need to make an extensive study in order to understand his theory. His theory was
completely based on his own speculation and mental manipulation, based on some data
collected during his "Voyage of the Beagle" (1831-1836).
How he developed his theory is given in his own words: "…After five years work I
allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I
enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which seemed to me probable...”
(Origin of Species)
For instance, he proposed the idea about how the sea whale originated. He said how
once upon a time, a bear entered into the sea with wide-open mouth for catching some
flies, stayed long in the water and turned into a sea whale! Such speculative theories are
propagated by scientists, taught as solemn truths in schools and universities and
discarded later like disposable napkins, only to be replaced by another speculative theory.
The same theory says that your great, great grandfather was a monkey. Now you decide
whether your family descended from Lord Brahma or from monkeys. Although the
origin of man according to Darwin is 40,000 years, the fossil records have now shown
decisively that humans and apes have co-existed for millions of years and that humans
have not evolved from apes. Thus Anumana praman is misleading and cannot assure one
of the actual truths.
Story: ‘Blind Men and the Elephant’

Once six blind men came across an


elephant for the first time in their
lives. After touching different
parts of the elephant, every one of
them started describing
enthusiastically what they thought
the elephant was like.
One man who had touched the side
of the elephant exclaimed, “It is
like a wall, which appears that it
may fall anytime”. The second man
who had touched the tusk said, “O!
It is so very round, smooth and
sharp. The elephant is like a
spear”. The third man who had
touched the trunk said, “Don’t you understand that the elephant is like a snake?”
Getting the Eyes of Knowledge 53

The fourth man who had grasped one of the legs of the elephant felt that the elephant was like a
tree. The fifth man had touched one of the ears of the elephant and stated that it was like a fan.
The sixth man who had caught hold of the swinging tail of the elephant commented, “Why don’t
you all understand that the elephant is like a rope!”
In this way, they went on arguing until they resorted to the help of a learned man with proper
eyesight. The learned man felt pity for them and told them the complete description of the
elephant and then all the six blind men felt satisfied.
Just as the blind men could not understand the elephant completely just by their endeavor because
of their blindness, we cannot understand the material world or the Absolute Truth completely and
correctly by any amount of personal endeavor because our senses are defective and limited. Just
as one of the blind men grabbed on to the tail and called the elephant a rope, sometimes we may
grab on to a particular part of the truth and our understanding may even be correct; still our
limited understanding does not give us the complete truth.
We have to approach a spiritual master whose (spiritual) eyes are wide open and only such a
person can deliver the truth to us because he is perceiving the truth himself. Hearing from such a
bona fide authority with faith, and putting what we hear into practice, will bring us to the point of
perceiving and realizing all the truths.

See Through the Eyes of Scriptures

By hearing the spiritual sound vibration of the


scriptures, one’s heart becomes cleansed of all sinful
propensities like lust, envy, anger, etc. Thus when one
learns to see things as per the direction given in
scriptures, then one can see things as they are. This is
called ‘Shastra Chakshu’.
Only one who hears from authoritative sources can
know the science of God. If one has been an
automobile specialist for twenty years and knows the
science of automobiles, he can judge the condition of a
vehicle as soon as he drives it even for a minute.
Similarly one who knows the science of God can
immediately see the hand of God in every single aspect
of the cosmos – from the microscopic to the
macroscopic. But one who has no knowledge of the
science of God cannot understand anything about the
working of the world.
That is why hearing the science of God from great saintly persons is called as ‘darshan’.
‘Darshan’ means ‘sight’ as well as ‘philosophical insight’ or ‘discourse’. Thus by
54 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

hearing from great saintly persons who are devotees of God, we can come to see and
realize the ultimate truth. If Mr. Ford is sitting in a group meeting with you, you will not
know his greatness, until you hear from someone about who he is. Similarly, God’s
greatness has to be heard from His pure devotees; then we can get the eyes to see God.
Shabda Praman (hearing from a bona fide authority)
The Vedas assert that objects beyond material nature cannot be known experimentally.
These objects are therefore called achintya. That which is achintya cannot be known by
speculation or by argument but only by shabda, the process of hearing from Vedic
literature. This knowledge attained through shabda, directly from God, is free from all
four defects.
Remembering the Goal of attaining education
The present day educational system teaches students in schools and colleges, the
knowledge obtained by Pratyaksha and Anumana, which is about the changing relative
truths. This material knowledge may be good for filling our bellies, but it cannot provide
any solution to the ultimate questions of life: Why am I suffering? What is the ultimate
destination of my life? How to become truly happy?
The following story told by Srila Prabhupada conveys the shallowness of modern
education and how it fails to address the most important need of human life:

Story: ‘Boatman and Scientist’


In India, especially in Bengal, there are many rivers…. One student of technology was going
home, and he was on the boat. So the student was asking the boatman, "Do you know what
are the stars?" The boatman said, "Sir, we are ordinary boatmen. What do we know about
these stars?" "Oh. Then fifty percent of your life is wasted, useless." Then he was asking, "Do
you know what are these trees? Do you know any science of botany?" He said, "Sir, we are
ordinary laborers. What do we know about botany?" "Oh. Then seventy-five percent of your
life is useless." In this way the student of technology was asking the boatman, "Do you know
this? Do you know that?" And he said, "I am ordinary man. What do I know about all these
things?" Then all of a sudden there was a black cloud, and there was a storm, the river began
to be inflated, and the boatman said, "My dear sir, do you know swimming?" "Oh," he said,
"No." Then the boatman said, "Then your cent percent knowledge is spoiled. Now you have to
go down in the river. Your life is finished." In this way they dropped in the river, and the
technological student, because he did not know how to swim, was drowned by the waves.
Moral of the story:
“The idea is that we are making progress, certainly, in technology, in economics, in so many
other departments of human necessities. But Bhagavad-gita says that the real problem of this
world, or real problem of our life, it is said in the Bhagavad-gita: janma-måtyu-jarä-vyädhi-
duùkha-doñänudarçanam [Bg. 13.9]. If you are intelligent enough, then you should see the
Getting the Eyes of Knowledge 55

real problem is birth, death, old age and disease. Janma means birth, and måtyu means
death. Janma-måtyu-jarä. Jarä means old age, and vyädhi means disease. So actual material
problem is this, janma-måtyu-jarä-vyädhi. We have forgotten that, "In the abdomen of my
mother, what a precarious condition I was living in." Of course, we can know from the
description of medical science, or any other science, how the child is packed up there and
how much suffering is there. The worms bite the child and he cannot express; he tolerates
the suffering. Similarly, the mother eats something and the pungent taste also gives him
suffering. So these descriptions are there in the sastras, in the scriptures and authentic Vedic
literature, how the child suffers within the abdomen of the mother. So these are the
sufferings of birth. The child has to remain in that air-packed condition at least for ten
months. Now just imagine if you are put into that air-packed condition for three minutes, you
will immediately die. But actually, we had that experience to remain in the mother's womb in
that air-packed condition for ten months. So suffering was there, but because the child was
incapable of expressing, therefore... Or his consciousness was not so elevated. He could not
cry, but the suffering was there. Similarly, at the time of death there is suffering. Similarly,
old man. Just like us, we have got so many complaints, bodily complaints. Because now
everything, the anatomical or physiological condition, is deteriorating. The stomach is not
digesting foodstuff so nicely as when I was young I could digest. So the sufferings are there.
Similarly, disease. Who wants disease? So modern technology, they have advanced
undoubtedly, but there is no remedy for, I mean to say, to stop birth, death, old age and
disease. This is real problem. But because these problems cannot be solved by the modern
scientific advancement of knowledge, they have practically set aside or neglected because
they cannot solve it.”
The poor technologically advanced atheist had to drown despite his much-boasted
education and knowledge of astronomy, botany, computers, politics, etc. In the same
manner, there is no use of our education if we learn so many things in our life without
knowing how to cross over this ocean of the material world, and return to the spiritual
world safely after death. That most important wisdom can be got only in the Vedas – not
from our school or college textbooks that simply teach about dead matter—solids,
liquids, gases, etc.
Even material creation of God is unfathomable

Why can’t we conduct research on God and obtain knowledge


about Him ourselves? We are too insignificant to fathom even the
tiny material creation of God. After years of research and study
this is what Sir Isaac Newton had to say, “I do not know what may
appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been like a boy
playing by the sea shore, and diverting myself now and then
finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst
the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” Scientists
56 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

of today have begun to realize that the knowledge and ability they have is extremely
limited and in fact quite insignificant.

The great scientist, Albert Einstein admires the Supreme God and
manifestation of His powerful energies in his writing, ‘The world
as I see it’: “The most beautiful and most profound emotion we
can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of
all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can
no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To
know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting
itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our
dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms—this
knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”
What to speak of the vast antimaterial world or spiritual world that has multidimensions!
Our visible range in electromagnetic spectrum is very narrow and we are practically blind
to micro and macro-level truths that exist around us. We need someone free from the
four defects to give us perfect knowledge.
The knowledge that is free from any defect
Who is the person who has no defect? Only God. The
Vedas proclaim that the truth contained in the Vedas is
word of God. Thus if God has spoken, and if those pure,
absolute, divine words are handed over from one to another,
without any addition or subtraction, then the wisdom is
unadulterated.
We may consider ourselves to be great and vastly learned
scholars or scientists, but our situation is exactly similar to
that of a small frog in a well. All he knows is the small well
and he has no information about the Atlantic Ocean.
If another frog comes to tell him the truth about the Atlantic
Ocean, he will not pay any heed to his words. He will take
out his scale and ask his friend how many times the measure of his scale is the Atlantic
Ocean. Because he is used to measuring the diameter of his well with his tiny scale, he is
foolishly convinced that the same logic can be applied for studying the fathomless
Atlantic Ocean. Modern atheistic scientists who foolishly challenge God and the
spiritual world are compared to Dr. Frog.
The Vedas are word of God. They can enlighten us on ultimate questions of life that
cannot be answered by speculative research. Great personalities like Gandhi, Thoreau,
Emerson etc have understood their insignificant position and have submitted themselves
Getting the Eyes of Knowledge 57

to the Vedic wisdom. Thoreau writes, “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the
stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which
our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial.”

Individual Quiz: Either read the following conversation yourself or preferably take
the roles of Dr. Benford and Srila Prabhupada with one of your friends and rehearse
the conversation given below as a dialogue. After the conversation, write five
conclusions that you learnt from it. Amongst them, identify the one that is stressed
the most by Srila Prabhupada.

Dr. Benford: Why does a person like me – someone who is trying to understand the world
rationally - seem to find no way in which to do it?
Srila Prabhupada: You are trying to know things rationally, but you are not going to the proper
teacher.
Dr. Benford: But I feel that by studying the world I can acquire knowledge, and there is a way to
check that knowledge. You formulate hypotheses, you perform experiments, you verify your
ideas; and then you see if you can use these ideas in the practical world.
Srila Prabhupada: That is one kind of ignorance - because you do not know that you are
imperfect.
Dr. Benford: Oh, I know that I’m not perfect.
Srila Prabhupada: Then what is the use of your trying to study the world this way and that way?
If you are imperfect, the result will be imperfect.
Dr. Benford: That's true.
Srila Prabhupada: So why waste your time?
Dr. Benford: But there doesn't seem to be any other way of finding knowledge.
Srila Prabhupada: Even for material knowledge, you have to go to the university and consult a
professor. Similarly, when you want to learn spiritual knowledge - perfect knowledge – then you
have to approach a perfect teacher. Then you will get perfect knowledge.
Dr. Benford: But how does one know when the teacher is perfect?
Srila Prabhupada: It is not difficult. A perfect teacher is one who has learned from another
perfect teacher.
Dr. Benford: But that merely removes the problem a step.
Srila Prabhupada: No, there is one perfect teacher – Krishna, who is accepted by all classes of
teachers. In India we still find the Vedic culture, which is taught by Vedic scholars. And all these
Vedic teachers accept Krishna as the supreme teacher. They take lessons from Krishna and
teach that.
Dr. Benford: So anyone I meet who accepts Krishna as the perfect teacher - he is a perfect
teacher?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Anyone who is teaching the teachings of Krishna - he is a perfect
teacher.
Dr. Benford: Then all the devotees here are perfect teachers?
58 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, because they are teaching only Krishna’s teaching, that’s all. They may
not be perfect. But whatever they are speaking is perfect, because it is taught by Krishna.
Dr. Benford: Then you are not perfect?
Srila Prabhupada: No, I am not perfect. None of us claim that we are perfect – we have so many
defects. But because we don’t speak anything beyond Krishna’s teachings, our teaching is
perfect. We are just like the postman who brings you a money order for one thousand dollars. He
is not a rich man, but if he delivers to you the envelope as it is, you are benefited. He is not a rich
man, but his perfect dealing – his honest dealing – is perfect. Similarly we are not perfect; we are
full of imperfections. But don’t go beyond the teaching of Krishna – that is our process – and
therefore our teachings are perfect.
* * * * *

‘Spiritual Scientist’, Quiz: 3


Getting the eyes of Knowledge

Part A (to be answered by All)


Answer the following questions in TWO or THREE sentences on separate sheets: (10 x 2 = 20 marks)

1. What are the three types of ways to gain knowledge? Give one example for each.
2. What are the four defects of human beings?
3. What is the purpose of discussing about the four defects in humans?
4. What two morals do we learn from the story of the six blind men and the elephant?
5. Can we know God by our own efforts? Give the answer based on the story of the six
blind men.
6. What did you learn from Mr. Ford’s example?
7. What are objects beyond material nature called?
8. What is the difference in benefits obtained from material knowledge and spiritual
knowledge?
9. What lesson did you learn for yourself from the atheist and boatman’s story?
10. What is the mistake of Dr. Frog? What suggestion would you like to give him?

Part B (only for married and Below 50 years)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)
1. Can you think of two or three dangerous after-effects of Darwin’s wrong speculative
theory?
Getting the Eyes of Knowledge 59

2. Why should we accept Shabda or Vedas? Why can’t we conduct research on God
ourselves?

Part C (only for College students)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences : (2 + 3 = 5 marks)

1. Can you give an example from this lesson about how even the scientists can
deliberately speak untruths?
2. Write the five conclusions that you learnt from Dr. Benford and Srila Prabhupada’s
conversation. Identify the one that is stressed the most by Srila Prabhupada.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Quiz : 3
Getting the eyes of Knowledge

Answer the following questions in ONE or TWO sentences on a separate sheet : (1 x 50 =


50 marks)

Syllabus for the following Quiz: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Introduction, Pages 15 To


16 4.33, 4.36-40, 5.16, 7.2-3, 9.2-3, 10.1-3, 13.8-12

1. When is the performer of sacrifices considered more advanced? (4.33)


2. Why is the material world compared to an ocean? (4.36)
3. Which knowledge burns up all reactions to pious and impious activities? (4.37)
4. Who can enjoy peace within himself? (4.38)
5. Who is called a faithful man? (4.39)
6. Which persons are considered to be like animals? (4.40)
7. Write down the three types of people who lack complete faith and eventually fall
down. (4.40)
8. Who makes no progress in Krishna consciousness at all? (4.40)
9. Where do the men without faith in God find happiness? (4.40)
10. How can faithless and doubtful people attain success in spiritual emancipation?
(4.40)
60 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

11. Who is bewildered? When is perfect knowledge achieved? (5.16)


12. What is the unceremonious thought? (5.16)
13. If someone claims to be God, how will you challenge him based on this purport?
(5.16)
14. What is the way to gain real knowledge? (5.16)
15. Even if one knows about the soul, what problem might he face? (5.16)
16. What does a representative of God not do? (5.16)
17. What does Lord Krishna say about individuality of God and soul? (5.16)
18. Why do some people declare, ‘Everything is one’. Defeat this misconception.
(5.16)
19. What is complete knowledge? (7.2)
20. Who alone can achieve complete knowledge? (7.2)
21. Who is considered intelligent enough? (7.2)
22. Who is confused in understanding Krishna? What is easier than understanding
Krishna? (7.3)
23. What is Srila Prabhupada’s challenge to non-devotees who declare that the path of
bhakti is very easy? What does he say about “so-called bhakti”? (7.3)
24. What two things does Krishna say about knowing Himself? Give the Sanskrit
shloka with translation. (7.3)
25. The ninth chapter is king of all such knowledge.What does ‘all such knowledge’
denote? (9.2)
26. What is most unfortunate about huge universities? (9.2)
27. What is the most confidential part of knowledge? (9.2)
28. When does a person “feel gradual spiritual progress”? (9.2)
29. How did Narada acquire the highest results of Vedic study without going to the
school of any guru and without education in Vedic principles? (9.2)
30. Give three reasons why the process of devotional service is a very happy one? (9.2)
31. Explain what is the temporary-time-serving devotional service of Mayavadis? (9.2)
Getting the Eyes of Knowledge 61

32. How is Faith created? (9.3)


33. What is said about faith in Chaitanya Caritamrita? (9.3)
34. What conclusion should one promptly arrive at after reading Bhagavad-gita? (9.3)
35. Who are the three divisions of Krishna conscious men? Write one sentence for each
division. (9.3)
36. What do people with some hidden motive do eventually? (9.3)
37. How can one become fixed up in devotional service? (10.1)
38. Which qualification is not necessary to understand Krishna? (10.2)
39. What conclusion is reached by those who speculate about God with imperfect
senses? (10.2)
40. What conception of God can those in this inferior material energy reach? Why so?
Then who can understand the Supreme Personality Krishna? How do they
understand? (10.2)
41. How is Krishna different from even great demigods like Brahma and Shiva? (10.3)
42. What happens to those who know Krishna as the one who is different from
everything that is created? (10.3)
43. What is humility? (13.8-12)
44. What is nonviolence? (13.8-12)
45. What is tolerance? Give an example. (13.8-12)
46. How much can the senses be gratified? (13.8-12)
47. What are False ego and Real ego? (13.8-12)
48. How can one make his home a very happy place? (13.8-12)
49. What is considered of no value or nonsensical research conducted by research
scholars or philosophers? Which subject is fit for research? (13.8-12)
50. Who will be frustrated in the pursuit of spiritual knowledge? (13.8-12)

* * * * *
62 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Chapter 4

The Vedas – The Privilege


of Humanity
The Vedas – The Privilege of Humanity 63

Chapter Contents

Sr. No. Contents Page No.

1 What Are the Vedas? 53


The Four Material aspects of the Vedas 54
The Vedic Tree of Knowledge 54
The threefold revelation of the Vedas 54
The Three Spiritual Aspects of the Vedas 55

The Origin of the Vedas 55


2
How they came to be written 55

3 Who Recorded the Vedas? 56

4 Vedas: The Manual for Mankind 56

5 Can We Put Faith in the Vedas? 57

Disciplic Succession - The Guru Parampara /


6 58
Sampradaya

7 Parallels in Vedas and Modern Science 59

8 Vedic Predictions That Have Come True 60

The Inductive and Deductive Approach to Know the


9 61
Truth

10 The Vedic Process of Learning 62


64 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

The Vedas – The Privilege of Humanity


karma brahmodbhavaà viddhi brahmäkñara-samudbhavam
tasmät sarva-gataà brahma nityaà yajïe pratiñöhitam
TRANSLATION
Regulated activities are prescribed in the Vedas, and the Vedas are directly manifested from the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. Consequently the all-pervading Transcendence is eternally
situated in acts of sacrifice. [BG 3.15]
* * * *

What Are the Vedas?


The word ‘veda’ means knowledge. One cannot put a date to wisdom. The Vedic
literature is a vast body of knowledge comprising of about hundred billion Sanskrit
verses. The Vedas are compared to a desire tree because they contain all things knowable
by man. They deal with mundane necessities as well as spiritual realization. The Vedas
contain regulated principles of knowledge covering social, political, religious, economic,
military, medicinal, chemical, physical, metaphysical, and other subject matter and above
all specific directions for spiritual realization.
According to Bhavishya Purana, one of the supplementary Vedic texts, “The Rig Veda,
Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, Mahabharata (which includes the Bhagavad-
gita), Pancaratra, the original Ramayana and the Puranas are all considered Vedic
literature.” The Chandogya Upanishad (7.1.4) mentions the Puranas and Itihasas, which
are generally known as histories, as the fifth Veda. There are eighteen major Puranas. Of
all the Puranas, the Bhagavata Purana (Shrimad Bhagavatam) is considered the most
important and is the direct commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, since Vyasadeva is the
author of both.
The Vedas deal with three departments of activities.
Karma-kanda: elevation to heavenly planets or achieving material benefits through
performance of yajna (sacrifices) for demigods, dana (charity), tapa (penance). This is
called pravritti marg.
Jnana-kanda: Decreasing material involvement and understanding the Supreme Truth
through speculative knowledge. This is called nivritti marg.
Upasana-kanda: Decreasing material involvement through worship of the Supreme.

Amongst all types of upasana or worship, the worship of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Vasudeva or Krishna, is considered the topmost and is vividly described in
Shrimad Bhagavatam. This elevates one to the platform of pure love of Godhead that is
without any motivation or interruption.
The Vedas – The Privilege of Humanity 65

The Four Material aspects of the Vedas


The four material aspects of the Vedas called as Purusharthas are prescribed to elevate
human beings to the transcendental platform while allowing them to fulfill their material
desires within the Vedic guidelines.
Dharma is religiosity for gaining good karma to become eligible for…..
Artha, the economic development for a comfortable life. Then one can gain
opportunities for….
Kama, sense gratification; having enjoyed enough sense gratification after having gone
through all the purifying processes of the Vedas, one may start to desire…..
Moksha or liberation. From this level one can more easily approach the transcendental
subject matters.
The Vedic Tree of Knowledge
a) Branches - Karma-kanda, Jnana-kanda, Upasana-kanda
b) Flowers – dharma, artha, kama
c) Unripened fruit – Upanishads and Vedanta-sutra
d) Ripened fruit – Shrimad Bhagavatam (refer SB.1.1.3)
The law codes to be memorized by a lawyer are generally too brief to understand and
difficult to remember. When the same codes are explained with practical case studies of
some situations, then the codes become easy to understand and digest. Similarly, the
Vedanta-sutra contains codes or sutras like ‘raso vai sah’, ‘athato brahma jijnasa’.
Shrimad Bhagavatam is a natural commentary of Vedanta-sutra written by the same
author of Vedanta, Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva. Thus the Vedanta-sutra and its
conclusion can be best understood by studying Shrimad Bhagavatam. Shrimad
Bhagavatam is about Lord Krishna; Bhagavad-gita is spoken by Lord Krishna.
The threefold revelation of the Vedas

Shruti Hearing - 4 Vedas, 108 Upanishads Knowledge is revealed in the heart


by hearing and accepting
Nyaya Logic – Vedanta-sutra When hearing alone is not enough,
knowledge can manifest in the
heart through logic
Smrti Remembering - Puranas, Itihasas, Histories about realized souls
Mahabharata whose example we can follow
66 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

The Three Spiritual Aspects of the Vedas


The Vedic literatures are voluminous, yet grave and deep in their meaning. If one has to
find a particular type of medicinal herb in a forest that is full of thick vegetation, one may
get lost. Similarly, without the aid of a bona fide guru, one may not be able to understand
the purpose of the Vedas by one’s own endeavor. The Vedas may be vast and
exhaustive, but their ultimate purpose and essence is succinctly given on three spiritual
aspects as below:
• Sambandha: Relationship: “Who am I? Who is God? What is my relation with
God?”
• Abhideya: The process for elevation, bhakti, devotional service.
• Prayojana: The supreme goal of life, prema, love of God.

Thus the three subject matters described in the Vedic literature are:
• The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the central point of all relationships.
• Acting in devotional service to Him is one’s real occupation.
• Attainment of love of God is the ultimate goal of life.

The Origin of the Vedas


Srila Vyasadeva, who is a literary incarnation of Lord Vishnu, compiled the Vedic
literatures. If one wants to be protected from ignorance even in this age of Kali, one may
consult the books left by Srila Vyasadeva: the Upanishads, Vedanta-sutra, Mahabharata,
Shrimad Bhagavatam Maha Purana, and the other seventeen Puranas. (SB 6.8.19p)

How they came to be written


Krishna first reveals the Vedic knowledge to Brahma
(SB 2.9.5-37)
Brahma seeks his origin and is instructed to perform penance
Krishna is pleased and reveals His transcendental realm
Brahma inquires from Krishna
Krishna reveals the answers
Brahma passes the Vedas to Narada, who passes them to Vyasa (SB 2.9.44-45)
Vyasa compiles the four Vedas (SB 1.4.15-25)
Vyasa foresees the degradation of Kali yuga
He divides the Vedas into four parts: Rig, Sama, Yajur, Atharva
The 108 Upanishads: philosophical discourses are part of the Vedas
The 5th Veda: the 17 Puranas (except SB) and Mahabharata (includes Bhagavad-gita)
The Vedas – The Privilege of Humanity 67

Vedanta-sutra, the essence of the philosophy (SB 1.5.4.)


Shrimad Bhagavatam, the ripened fruit, the natural commentary on Vedanta-sutra
(SB 1.5)

Vedic knowledge does not come from any materially conditioned person but from the
Supreme Lord. According to the Vedic tradition, the Vedas are absolute and self-
authoritative. They depend on nothing but themselves for explanation. The same thing is
confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (3.15) “The Vedas are directly manifested from the
infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead.” The Atharva Veda states that Lord Shri
Krishna, who in the beginning instructed Brahma, disseminated Vedic knowledge in the
past.

Who Recorded the Vedas?


People in the previous ages were so intelligent and had
such sharp memories that by hearing once from the
spiritual master they would understand and remember
everything. They were therefore known as shrutidhars
(those who are capable of remembering by hearing just
once). Shukadeva Goswami heard Shrimad Bhagavatam
(18,000 verses) once from his father Vyasadeva. He could
easily recollect and repeat the same to Parikshit Maharaj at
a later time.
But the present age of iron, Kali Yuga, began 5,000 years
ago. The scriptures state the symptoms of the general
people in the age of Kali mandah sumanda matayoh
manda bhagya hy upadritah “People in this age are lazy
for spirituality. They are short-lived, have poor memories,
are unlucky and are always disturbed.” People in Kali Yuga are lazy for spiritual life and
they have poor memories. So, keeping in mind the people in the age of Kali, Vyasadeva
recorded all the Vedas in writing about 5000 years ago.
Vedas: The Manual for Mankind
Why should we accept the Shabda Praman (Vedas) to be true? The
Vedas are directly the word of God revealed at the time of creation.
When you buy a motorcycle, you get an
instruction manual explaining how to use
it. Similarly, at the time of creation, God
gives us the Vedic scriptures for direction
on how to behave in this world, which is like a complicated
68 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

machine. If you fail to study the manual before using the motorcycle, you can expect an
accident. In the same way, people who fail to study the Vedas, which are the word of
God, but lead life dictated by their own minds, find themselves in a total mess. Modern
man has made a messy world due to neglecting the manual supplied by God.

Can We Put Faith in the Vedas?


At every step in life we put faith, but only after making sure that the authority is reliable.
For example, when we buy a railway ticket from any ordinary person on the platform we
are hesitant and doubtful, but if we buy it from the ticket counter we are confident.
Similarly if we want to locate an address we have to approach a proper authority,
otherwise we may be misled.
Similarly, if we want to know the fundamental truths of life, we
need to find an authoritative source of information.
For a source of information to be accepted as authoritative,
• It should be infallible (never disproved) and
• It should have stood the test of time (never amended).

This is true only with Vedic knowledge.


Does modern science meet this criterion? No, because it is
always being revised, updated and modified. Thus nothing in
modern science is a certain truth; today’s fundamental principles
may become obsolete tomorrow. For instance, three astronomers
recently discovered a significant mistake in the Hubble Constant, a value used as a
cosmic yardstick to measure enormous distances in the universe. The Hubble Constant –
named after astronomer Edwin P. Hubble – has undergone so many corrections since he
first formulated it that many astronomers now laughingly call it the ‘Hubble Variable’!
Clearly, with our imperfect senses and our illusion-prone mind, mistakes are inevitable.
So advancement in science means, defeating the old mistaken idea and proposing a new
mistake, which may need a revision sooner or later. Not only that, modern science studies
only matter and so cannot give us any information about spiritual truths. Therefore the
only authoritative source of information is the Vedic literature.
Shabda pramana is based on hearing from Vedic authority. The knowledge of the Vedas
is coming down the ages since the dawn of creation. But the truths in the Vedas have
never been amended. The Vedic truths are like lines drawn on a stone. They have stood
the test of time. Modern science is finding newer and newer information that is
confirming the Vedic truths and thus scientists have to amend their books. But the Vedas
never had to amend anything to suit the modern scientific discoveries.
The Vedas – The Privilege of Humanity 69

Disciplic Succession -- The Guru Parampara / Sampradaya


The Vedic truth reaches the student by the descending process from the Vedas and
through the guru. This chain of transmission is called Guru Parampara, the disciplic
succession. In Bhagavad-gita [B.G.4.2] Krishna tells Arjuna, ‘evam parampara-
praptam’: “This Supreme science (bhakti yoga, knowledge through devotional service)
was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession”. Thus, the student’s
relationship is not just with his own spiritual master, but also with the spiritual master of
his spiritual master, and the spiritual master of that master and so on, in an unbroken
chain of spiritual masters. This chain of spiritual masters in which a particular guru hears
and speaks the truth is called his Sampradaya.
For instance, in the Brahma Sampradaya (ISKCON comes under
this Sampradaya), Vedic knowledge descends from Brahma.
Brahma gave this knowledge to Narada. Narada delivered it to
Vyasa and so on. This disciplic succession comes down without
any break and even today it is continued by the disciples of the
founder acharya of ISKCON, His Divine Grace
A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It is mentioned in
Padma Purana:
sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah
atah kalau bhavisyanti chatvarah sampradayinah
shri-brahma-rudra-sanaka vaisnava ksiti pavana
chatvaras te kalau bhavya hy utkale purusottama
ramanujam-shrihi-svichakre madhvacaryam-chaturmuhash
shri vishnuswamino-rudro nimbadityam chatuksanaha
The above verse explains that if one is not connected with a bona fide disciplic
succession namely – Shri, Brahma, Rudra, and Kumara sampradayas – whatever mantras
he chants will not bring the desired result. Originally the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Krishna, delivered the message of Vedas to Shri (Lakshmiji), Brahma, Rudra
(Shiva), Kumara (Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanatkumar, Sananda) and this message in Kali
Yuga (present age) was carried on by Ramanujacarya (Shri sampradaya), Madhvacarya
(Brahma sampradaya), Vishnuswami (Rudra sampradaya) and Nimbarka swami (Kumara
sampradaya). These four Sampradayas are the accredited institutions which deliver the
pure un-adulterated message of the Vedas. Because the source of this knowledge is
Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Himself, who is free from all defects or
imperfections, any spiritual master coming in any of these four sampradayas is called as a
bona fide spiritual master. One should therefore hear Bhagavad-gita from such a bona
fide spiritual master.
70 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Accepting information from a bona fide authority is thus beneficial and necessary – it is
safe, it saves time and we have no choice. God cannot be understood by our blunt
material senses or our intellectual capacity. God can be understood only when He
reveals Himself through the scriptures and through great saintly persons who live their
lives according to scriptural injunctions.

Parallels in the Vedas and Modern Science


We can cite innumerable instances from the Vedas, which illustrate concepts similar to
concepts from modern science. Modern scientists are wonder-struck on seeing these
striking similarities and they cannot even imagine how such great truths were written
down at a time when there were no sophisticated instruments. A few examples showing
similarities in the knowledge obtained from modern science and the Vedas are:
• The Mahabharata describes how once, when Gandhari was pregnant, in a fit of anger,
she struck her womb and consequently had a miscarriage. The lump of flesh that came
out of her womb was cut into 100 pieces. The great sage Vyasadeva instructed her to
place these pieces in 100 ghee pots. And that is how the Kauravas were born. (“The
Mahabharata actually describes how Vedavyasa created the Kauravas from a single
embryo from Gandhari” states Dr. B.G. Matapurkar, a surgeon with Maulana Azad
Medical College, New Delhi. Dr. Matapurkar holds a US patent on an organ
regeneration technique that he developed ten years ago. He further states, “They not
only knew about test tube babies and embryo splitting but also had the technology to
grow human fetuses outside the body of a woman — something that is not known to
modern science.” - THE TIMES OF INDIA, 5 May 2002, THE INDIAN EXPRESS, 4
May 2002).
• In the Ramayana, it is described how Ravana would fly from one place to another in a
vimana (The Wright brothers were thus not the original inventors of the airplane).
• In the Mahabharata, Ashvatthama sent a brahmastra at Uttara, which targeted the fetus
in her womb without causing any injury whatsoever to her. (The brahmastra is far
more powerful and accurate than the nuclear missiles of today).
• The Kurukshetra war involved many subtle celestial weapons like shabdabhedi,
vayavya, parthavya, bhaumya, anthardana etc., which are far more sophisticated than
the gross weapons known to scientists today!
In addition to these similarities, there are many facts which were stated in the Vedas
since time immemorial, but which modern science has started discovering only recently.
Some of them are:
• Using a variety of complicated instruments, gynecologists have gradually come to
know how the embryo grows during the period of pregnancy. But the Shrimad
Bhagavatam, 3rd Canto, 31st Chapter, gives a vivid description of the growth of the
The Vedas – The Privilege of Humanity 71

embryo in the mother’s womb. If we compare the information given therein with the
information given in a standard medical textbook, such as the embryology section of
Gray's Anatomy, there are incredible similarities in the information obtained from the
two sources.
• The Vedas state that cow dung, in spite of being the stool of an animal, is pure. It was
only in 1940 that the antiseptic qualities of cow dung were discovered.
• The Vedas have stated since time immemorial that plants have life. But till Jagadish
Chandra Bose proved that plants have feelings, scientists believed that they were
inanimate.

Vedic Predictions That Have Come True


The Vedas also make accurate predictions about the appearance of incarnations or great
personalities. Some of the personalities predicted (along with the text in which they are
predicted) are given below:
• Buddha (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.3.24)
• Chanakya (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.1.11)
• Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Mahabharata 127.92.75, Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32)
• Chandragupta and Emperor Ashoka (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.1.12)
• Jesus & Mohammed (Bhavishya Purana, Atharva Veda, Kanda 20, Shukta 127,1-3)
There are also vivid predictions about the degradations that will occur in Kali Yuga (the
current age). Some of them are:
• Food will be sold publicly in market places. (In the past, food was never sold; it was
only given in charity. But nowadays every third shop sells food items).
• People will eat the flesh of their own fetus. (In the past, the child would be revered and
loved as a gift of God. But nowadays in China, Japan and several other countries,
people consider the aborted fetus a special delicacy and eat it with a bestial relish).
• Man-woman relationship will be based only on sex and not on any other higher goal.
(Previously marriage was considered a sacred duty meant not for enjoyment but for
increasing one’s service to God. But one can note the growing frequency of marriage
without any actual ceremony or agreement and of 'living together'. Both of these are
becoming increasingly and alarmingly common).
• ‘lavanyam kesha dharanam’ “Men with long hair will be considered beautiful.”
• ‘vipratve sutrameva hi’ “A brahmana will be known just by his wearing a thread”. (A
real brahmana is one who actually possesses the qualities of a brahmana such as self-
control, austerity etc)

If the Vedas are of mundane origin, then how is it possible for them to state profound
truths which modern science has only recently started discovering? And how can they
72 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

make accurate predictions about future happenings? The conclusion is unmistakably


obvious: the Vedas are coming from a person who is all knowing, who knows the past,
the present and the future. In other words, the Vedas are the word of God.

The Inductive and Deductive Approach to Know the Truth


Inductive / Ascending Method: Inductive/Ascending method means not accepting any
authority and trying to find the truth by one’s own endeavor or speculation. For example:

• If you want to find out by yourself who your father is, you may have to test every man
on earth. Even one’s entire life may not be sufficient to evaluate one’s father by this
method.
• Everyone says man is mortal. If you want to research to find out whether man is
mortal or not, you have to study each and every man on earth, and still you may come
to think that there may probably be some man who will not die, but you have not seen
him yet.
That is Inductive/Ascending method in which one depends on finding out truth by
speculation. This is the approach in science and thus the field of science remains a trial
and error. They cannot confidently say, “This is the truth”. They are caught up in ‘may
be’ ‘could be’ and are unsure of the truth. They cannot lead us to God and ultimate
salvation, or ultimate happiness.
Deductive / Descending Method: Vedas are also called as Shruti. Shruti refers to that
knowledge which is acquired by hearing. It is not experimental knowledge. Shruti is
considered to be like a mother. For example:

• If you want to know who your father is, you have to accept your mother’s authority.
The version of mother, regarding our father, brothers, sisters, etc., has to be accepted
as the truth. There is no question of experimenting. If you make an experimental
endeavor, you will come to the same conclusion, but just to save time you should
accept. Similarly, if you want to know something beyond your experience, beyond
your experimental knowledge, beyond the activities of the senses, then you have
to accept the Vedas. So the Vedas are like a mother for all human beings. They
point to the Supreme father, God, and help us reach Him.
• From deductive knowledge, you accept that man is mortal. Your father says man is
mortal, your sister says man is mortal, everyone says man is mortal-- you do not
experiment. You accept it as a fact that man is mortal.
That is deductive knowledge. One should intelligently choose to accept Vedic
knowledge by Deductive/Descending method. If we want to attain knowledge by any
personal endeavor, by exercising our imperfect senses, we will never come to the right
conclusions.
The Vedas – The Privilege of Humanity 73

The Vedic Process of Learning


Every field of science has got authoritative books that have earned the credibility of the
readers. For example, if two students of Electrical Engineering have a difference of
opinion about solving an electrical engineering problem, they can come to a conclusion
by quoting or citing from B. L. Theraja’s electrical engineering book. Similarly spiritual
science has got authoritative Vedic texts, which have been understood, practiced and
proven since time immemorial.
In material science, we have professors to teach the subject and these professors have
learnt the subject from their teachers. Similarly the knowledge of spiritual science has
been coming down in disciplic succession, and all the Vedic professors have learnt the
knowledge from their gurus.
In material science, we seek admission in an authorized or reputed college where we can
be confident of gaining knowledge in the subject. The same holds true for the Vedas.
So, if anybody genuinely wants to understand God and practice religion, he should first
know that there are Vedic textbooks, teachers to teach from these books, and authorized
schools available.
Aural reception of transcendental knowledge from authority is the Vedic standard.
Whereas material knowledge pertains to things within the material universe,
transcendental knowledge pertains to things beyond this universe. The Vedas point to a
supreme original truth unknowable either by direct perception (Pratyaksha) or by
inductive method (Anumana). The Shabda (hearing from an authority) opens up a realm
of knowledge beyond scientific methodology. The Shabda is the only process by which
we can know what is unknowable in our present conditioned state.
If a person can learn from someone who has received perfect knowledge, he can become
free from all misery. “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master…”
Bhagavad-gita (4.34) enjoins, “Inquire from him submissively and render service unto
him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the
truth.” In addition, the Mundaka Upanishad (1.2.12) enjoins that a sincere student has to
approach the ideal guru to receive transcendental knowledge and enlightenment.

* * * * *
74 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

‘Spiritual Scientist’, Quiz: 4


The Vedas – The privilege of humanity

Part A (to be answered by All)


Answer the following questions in TWO or THREE sentences on separate sheets: (10 x 2 = 20 marks)

1. What are the four material aspects of the Vedas? What are the three spiritual aspects
of the Vedas?
2. What is the difference between the above two categories?
3. What is the origin of the Vedas according to the third chapter of Bhagavad-gita?
4. Who is a ‘Shrutidhar’? What are the five disqualifications of the people of Kali yuga ?
5. What two reasons do you think make us put complete faith in the Vedas? What about
science?
6. Write the phrase used by Lord Krishna in Chapter Four of Bhagavad-gita for ‘disciplic
succession’.
7. List the names of the four sampradayas. What is so special about receiving knowledge
through them?
8. How is accepting knowledge from a bona fide authority beneficial? Give three
reasons.
9. Give one example for inductive approach in acquiring knowledge?
10. What gives you firm faith that the Vedas must be true?

Part B (only for married and Below 50 years)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)

1. Why should we be surprised about the description of growth of a baby in the mother’s
womb given in Shrimad Bhagavatam ?
2. What do the Vedas say about the basis of man-woman relationship in Kali yuga?

Part C (only for College students)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)

1. Give an example for Deductive approach? Why can’t we use Inductive approach to
this?
2. What would you tell a friend who says that he doesn’t have any faith in the Vedas?
How would you convince him in a few minutes with this lesson? Write a maximum
of five sentences.
The Vedas – The Privilege of Humanity 75

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Quiz : 4
The Vedas – the privilege of humanity

Answer the following questions in ONE or TWO sentences on a separate sheet : (1 x 20 = 20 marks)

Syllabus for the following Quiz: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 3.15, 4.1, 4.5-6, 4.8, 15.19

1. What is ‘vikarma’? (3.15)


2. How could the Vedas be ‘breathed out’ by the Supreme Lord? (3.15)
3. What is the most important form of protection that a king is expected to offer to the
citizens? (4.1)
4. How are the executive heads of states and planets supposed to impart spiritual
knowledge to the citizens? (4.1)
5. Who was the first disciple of Lord Krishna to understand the science of Bhagavad-
gita? (4.1)
6. When was Bhagavad-gita spoken to Vivasvan? What do you infer from this
information? (4.1)
7. What is the difference between Lord Krishna and Arjuna? (4.5)
8. What is the meaning of the word ‘acyuta’? (4.5)
9. Why can a nondevotee or demon not understand the divine nature of Krishna? (4.5)
10. What is the reason for the living entity’s forgetfulness? How is the Lord free from it?
(4.5)
11. What is the difference between our birth and the Lord’s appearance in this world?
(4.6)
12. Why is Krishna called ‘unborn’? (4.6)
13. Explain the analogy of the sun’s rising and setting with respect to the Lord’s
appearance and disappearance. (4.6)
14. Why does the Lord appear in His original form in this material world? (4.6)
15. Who is ‘dushkritam’? Compare the ‘dushkritam’ with a sadhu or a devotee of the
Lord. (4.8)
16. What is the primary purpose of the Lord’s appearance? Give an example. (4.8)
17. Who is Lord Chaitanya? What did He do? (4.8)
18. What paths are adopted by the imperfect knower and the perfect knower? (15.19)
19. Who knows the purpose of the Vedas and who does not know it? (15.19)
20. Who has understood all the Vedic knowledge? (15.19)

* * * * *
76 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Chapter 5

The Science of the Soul


The Science of the Soul 77

Chapter Contents

Sr. No. Contents Page No.

1 The ABC of Bhagavad-gita 67

Scientific Proof of the Soul’s Existence 68


Common Sense 68
Intuitive Understanding 69
2
Awareness, Thinking, Feeling and Willing 69
Near Death Experience (NDE) 70
Past Life Memories 71
Practical Benefits of the knowledge of the soul
71
Acquiring Divine Assets and
71
Freedom from Demoniac nature
72
Freedom from Lamentation, Fear and Illusion
3 72
Universal Brotherhood
72
Positive Outlook and Attitude to life
73
Art and Science of Mantra Meditation
74
Right use of Resources
A Clear Understanding of Life and Death 74
4
The Gross Body and the Subtle Body 75
The Nature of the Soul 76
The Soul is Indestructible 76
The Soul is an Individual 76
The Soul has Form 76
Matter is Formless – Spirit gives Form to Matter 76
5
The Soul Is Eternal 76
The Soul has a Form of Eternity (sat)- 77
Knowledge (cit)- Bliss (ananda)
The Soul is Situated in the Region of the Heart 77
The Size of the Soul 77
6 Are we Gods or God’s? 78
7 Individual Task: ‘Complete the poem on Soul and God’ 78
Individual or GD Task: ‘Learning about the soul’
Story:
8 79
The Prince Who Brought Jubilation and
Lamentation
78 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

The Science of the Soul

na jäyate mriyate vä kadäcin näyaà bhütvä bhavitä vä na bhüyaù


ajo nityaù çäçvato ’yaà puräëo na hanyate hanyamäne çarére

TRANSLATION
For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not
come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He
is not slain when the body is slain. [BG 2.20]

* * * *

The ABC of Bhagavad-gita


The first and most fundamental knowledge that a disciple learns from a guru is, “You are
not the body; you are a spirit soul.” This knowledge is the ABC of Bhagavad-gita and
one of the first instructions that Lord Krishna gave Arjuna, when Arjuna surrendered to
Him [BG 2.13]. Let us understand this fundamental knowledge of the scriptures in this
lesson.
Doctors dissect and study a dead body. What
makes a living body possess emotions and
feelings like pain, pleasure, happiness, distress,
etc? The soul is the spark of life that makes the
body appear alive and when the soul leaves the
body, we say the person is dead.
According to the Vedic knowledge, the body is
always dead. For example, a microphone is made
of metal. When electric energy passes through
the microphone, the sound is broadcast over
loudspeakers. But when there is no electricity in
the system, nothing happens. Whether the
microphone is working or not, it remains nothing
more than an assembly of metal, plastic, etc.
Similarly, the human body works because of the
living force within. When this living force leaves
the body, it is said that the body is dead. But
actually it is always dead. The living force is the
important element; its presence alone makes the
body appear to be alive.
The Science of the Soul 79

But “alive” or “dead,” the physical body is nothing more than a collection of dead matter.
Direct experience, inference, logic, empiric observation and religious faith all concur:
some sort of conscious self-energy exists within the body. The body is an instrument; the
conscious energy, soul is the user of that instrument. Say, I use a bicycle to travel from
one place to another. If my cycle is destroyed, I will have to get another one to ride – or I
will have to stop using a bicycle altogether. But I exist apart from the bicycle.
Analogically, if my body is destroyed, I, the soul, am not destroyed with it. I continue to
exist as much as the bicycle driver continues to exist after the destruction of the bicycle.
One bicycle may breakdown, but I can get a new one. One body may grow from
childhood to youth to old age and die one day; but I can get another body. If one has a
desire to drive a scooter, then one might change from a bicycle to a scooter. If one can
pay a higher price and wants to drive a car to save himself from the chasing dogs, then
one may give up a scooter and buy a car, etc. The vehicles may change, but the driver is
the same. Similarly, the soul, in order to satisfy his unfulfilled desires, leaves the
material body at death and acquires a new material body – be it human or animal or
demigod/devata – depending on his karma and desires.

Scientific Proof of the Soul’s Existence


When people hear about the soul, the first thing they ask is, “Can you show me the soul?”
or “What is the proof of the soul’s existence?” For gaining awareness of any knowledge
we need an appropriate instrument. For example, the ears cannot see a picture, nor can
the eyes hear the sound of music. The soul is not made up of matter. It is beyond matter.
Is it possible to perceive the soul? A Physicist, or an Electronics Engineer, cannot
capture an electron with his fingers or hands, nor can he see it with his eyes; but he can
see the light reflection coming from an electron on the CRT screen. This is the proof of
existence of the electron. You cannot see X-rays with your eyes, but you can understand
the presence of X-rays by seeing the effect it produces on a X-ray photograph sheet,
when the X-rays are passed through a body. This is called ‘inferential logic’. Using the
same logic the presence of the soul in a living body can be easily proved. The following
points may help us better understand the presence of the soul empirically.
Common Sense
Prof. Durckheim: Why does it appear to be so difficult to understand that one is different from the body?
Srila Prabhupada: It is not difficult. You can experience it. It is only because of foolishness that people
think differently; but everyone really knows, “I am not this body.” This is very easy to experience. I am
existing. I understand that I have existed in a baby’s body, I have existed in a child’s body, and also in a
boy’s body. I have existed in so many bodies, and now I am in an old man’s body. Or, for example, say you
have now put on a black coat. The next moment you may put on a white coat. But you are not that black or
white coat; you have simply changed coats. If I call you “Mr. Black Coat,” that is my foolishness. Similarly,
in my lifetime I have changed bodies many times, but I am not any of these bodies. This is real knowledge.
80 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

When a person dies we say, “He has passed away.” Now who has passed away? The
body of the person still lies there. The fact is that the source of life, the soul, has passed
away from the body and therefore the person is now called dead.

Intuitive Understanding
Prof. Durckheim: Consider this. One of your students might say, “I am spirit,” but he might not be able to
experience it.
Srila Prabhupada: How can he not experience it? He knows that he is the active principle. Everyone
ultimately knows that they are not the body. Even a child knows it. We can observe this by examining the
way we speak. We say, “This is my finger.” We never say, “I finger.” So what is that “I”? This is self-
realization—“I am not this body.”
We have an intuitive understanding that the real self, the ‘I’, is distinct from the body,
mind and intelligence. We speak in terms of ‘my hand’, ‘my head’, ‘my suitcase’, etc.
This indicates that these things – hand, head, suitcase – belong to somebody, an owner.
The eyes, ears and brain are merely organs, through which we see, hear or think. These
organs in themselves cannot do any activity. There are eyes, ears and brain even in a dead
body. The activities have stopped because the driver, the soul, has left the body.

Awareness, Thinking, Feeling and Willing


Someone may argue, “But the soul can’t be perceived in any way or measured with any
instrument. Why should we believe in a hypothetical entity for which there is no
evidence?” Actually, you can see the soul; it is just a matter of training, just as you must
study in the university for many years to see how an atom exists. The soul is like a
spiritual atom. The symptom of its presence is consciousness.
There is consciousness in a living body. Just like the sun spreads heat and light all
around, the soul spreads consciousness all around the body, from the tip of the toes and
fingers to the top of the head. It is this consciousness that enables us to think, feel, move
and so on. Thus, consciousness is the symptom of the soul. Consciousness is what
distinguishes a dead body from a living one.
By a combination of servomotors and microprocessor, you can easily make a robotic
machine perform aratik ceremony for Lord Vishnu using incense sticks and a ghee lamp.
You also perform aratik for the Lord everyday. What is the difference? You have loving
feelings for the Lord in the heart, while a robot has no consciousness or awareness of
itself or the Lord. When you appreciate a tape recorder for broadcasting a sweet music,
it feels no emotions; but when you appreciate your friend who sings sweetly, you will
find a smile on his/her face. This is consciousness – the ability to be aware of one’s
existence, to think, to feel and to will. As Thomas Huxley rightly said, “There is a third
thing in the universe, to wit, consciousness, which I cannot see to be matter or force.”
Consciousness gives the proof of the soul.
The Science of the Soul 81

Near Death Experience (NDE)


NDEs, as the name suggests, involve people who have a close
call with death. Many people having NDEs also have Out-of-
Body Experiences (OBEs) in which they report observing
their physical body and events relating to it from a perspective
outside the body during severe illness or physical trauma
resulting in unconsciousness. A typical case might involve a
person who is resuscitated from a heart attack and reports that
he observed, from a point outside his body, the medical
personnel endeavoring to revive him. At such times, according
to standard medical opinion, the normal functioning of the
brain, as indicated by certain brain waves, is impaired, and the
patient should be unconscious, if indeed consciousness is a
manifestation of the brain.
A real life NDE of a boy who had a brush with death can be presented as an example. Once a boy sitting
in a rickshaw was relaxing carefree while a bullock cart carrying reinforced steel bars was ahead of the
rickshaw. Owing to the dark night, the rickshaw driver did not notice one of the bars that was protruding.
As he drove ahead, the rod entered right into the abdomen of the boy in the rickshaw who screamed and
gasped for life as the rod pierced his stomach and came out from his back. He was rushed to the
emergency ward and to the operation theatre. He was almost dead, while the nurses operated on his
abdomen. When he recovered, he could recollect each and every instrument used by the nurses for
operating on him, as well as the talks that went on between the doctor and the nurses. The greatly
surprised hospital officials inquired from him as to how an unconscious person, whose brain waves were
flat, could remember everything that had happened during the operation. In response the boy said that
he was out of his body, at a point four feet above the body observing everything happening to his own
material body. This is a classical example of an NDE case.
The book ‘Into the Unknown’ published by ‘The Readers Digest’
even gives evidences of people who had OBEs or Out-of-Body
Experiences. Such people who could perform OBE, were made to
lie on a bed closing their eyes, go out of the body, observe the
different types of objects like triangular prism, rectangular, circular
plates, etc., kept on a loft, again return into the body and draw the
objects that they saw on the loft on a sheet of paper. Such drawings
perfectly matched with the objects kept high up on the loft that no
one could observe from the ground level. This is called OBE or
Out-of-Body Experience.
There is enough research work in NDE and OBE presented by
individuals with impeccable scientific credentials. For example, Dr.
Michael B.Sabom, a cardiologist and professor at the Emory
University Medical School, was openly skeptical of NDEs but changed his mind after
investigating them.
82 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Past Life Memories


Rigorous, unbiased studies have been carried out by serious
researchers on past-life memories. Ian Stevenson, Carlson Professor
of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, has extensively
investigated spontaneous reincarnation memories recounted by
children. In such cases he has been able to positively corroborate what
the child has claimed by thoroughly investigating details of the place
and people they describe, including the dead person they claim to
have been. Stevenson has assembled numerous accounts of over 3000
cases of reincarnation and verified them, always taking great care to
screen out fabrications. His studies give convincing evidence that the
conscious self can travel from one physical body to the next.
Clearly, when one body dies, the contents of its brain are destroyed, and there is no
physical process by which they can influence the contents of another brain. The logical
interpretation is that the conscious self must be an entity distinct from the brain.
Practical Benefits of the knowledge about the soul
The knowledge and realization of the soul, as explained in Bhagavad-gita by Lord Shri
Krishna to Arjuna has several practical benefits for one even in the modern age as
outlined below:
Acquiring Divine Assets and Freedom from Demoniac nature: To live a life with the
consciousness, ‘I am not this material body; I am pure spirit soul’ directs one to cultivate
divine qualities as humility, contentment, tolerance, patience, sweetness, equipoise,
universal love, honesty, sincerity, etc. Cultivation of such qualities brings peace and
happiness now, and at the same time leads one to the world of eternal joy. On the other
hand the qualities normally found in those leading a life of bodily consciousness are
selfishness, intolerance, craving for flickering pleasures, arrogance, false pride, anger,
etc., which take one away from harmony with nature and God.
People who think that everything is finished at death try to selfishly accumulate as much
as they can without caring for others, like Duryodhana. Ignoring God, considering
themselves to be the ultimate controller and center of everything, they consider
everything as objects of their enjoyment. If you draw millions of circles with a common
center, there will be no clash; similarly when one understands God to be the center of the
universe, then all living beings can live without quarrel. When everyone considers, ‘I am
the center’ then it is like drawing multiple circles with different centers all clashing with
one another.
Freedom from Lamentation, Fear and Illusion: Everyone in this world laments when
some near and dear ones pass away. We have seen once when the wife of a big
The Science of the Soul 83

government officer died, he lamented like a child flapping his hands and legs on the
ground. When one knows the knowledge of the soul, one can understand that the soul
has passed away to the next body, and that death is nothing but the transfer of the soul
from one body to another. When old age sets in, people fear that death may come at
anytime. But one who knows that he is different from the body, does not fear death,
rather prepares his consciousness to achieve the blessings of God’s remembrance at the
time of leaving the body. When bombs were being dropped during the second world war,
Srila Prabhupada was making kachoris singing Hare Krishna happily. A devotee has no
fear, because he chants God’s names when he is alive and returns with his spiritual body
to God’s kingdom when he dies.
One who thinks, ‘I am the body’ spends all the time in illusory enjoyment like smoking,
drinking and activities that degrade the body, mind and soul. In modern times there are
hundreds of varieties of shoes, coats, suits, hairstyles, cosmetics, soaps, hair oils, etc. –
all meant for pampering the dying material body. Such an attempt is compared to the
efforts of the lady who polished the cage, but forgot to feed the parrot within the cage.
Modern man is pampering the material body due to illusion, forgetting the soul within.
But one who knows that the actual self is the soul, and that the body is like a mere dress,
acts on the spiritual platform according to the good instructions of the scriptures. This
leads to the benefit of body, mind and soul.
Universal Brotherhood: The above qualities bring about universal brotherhood under
the Fatherhood of one Supreme God. A spiritualist endeavors to stabilize his awareness
of the soul and strengthen his loving relationship with God and all other living beings.
This leads to peace, happiness, purity, knowledge for the welfare of everyone. In other
words the ‘Vaikuntha’ (place of no anxiety) atmosphere can be created even in this world
when God is kept in the center of everyone’s life, and the knowledge of the soul in
relation to God is understood and practiced by all.
Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in gas chambers, considering them his enemies.
The quarrel between whites and blacks is simply based on superficial skin identity. All
these quarrels can be stopped at once as soon as one understands the soul. Man against
man, family against family, country against country have quarrel simply on the basis self-
imposed, demarcated, false superficial identities. When one understands the real identity
as the soul, then not only other humans, but even animals, birds, trees all become our
brothers under the protective shelter of God. This can put an end to mass scale slaughter
of innocent cows and abortion of millions of children in the womb.
Positive Outlook and Attitude to life: Understanding the knowledge of the soul
changes man’s outlook and attitudes, and helps one act correctly while facing different
situations in life. The attitude transformation and spiritual upliftment that one gains by
the knowledge of the soul proves that there is potentiality of goodness in man, and it can
be awakened by loving service to God and by removing the negativity of the enjoying
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mentality. The transformation of heart leads to the attitudes of goodwill, co-operation,


sympathy, love and serving others with humility.
When one understands the knowledge of the self, then one gains self-awareness that can
lead to self-management. We can observe ourselves, our chemistry or nature, our right
and wrong behavior, our strengths and weaknesses and where we need to improve. Just
as we have the courage to direct others as to what they should be doing, why they should
be doing it and how they should be doing it, similarly, we are able to direct our sense
organs with proper understanding of these aspects. For example, the tongue has no
bones, but it can break bones if not managed properly. On most occasions, the
information slips through the tongue in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in front of the
wrong person, and one cannot avoid the consequences that arise. This is the difficulty in
managing oneself. If I am not able to take the responsibility of managing my own sense
organs, how can I take up the responsibility of managing my life, my family or my
workplace, and maintain a balance in all the different areas of my life ? In short,
therefore, we need the courage to manage our own selves. This is so helpful in our
practical life situations – both in the family and in the office.
If I really want to improve my situation or relationship with a partner, I can work on the
one thing over which I have control – myself. I can stop trying to shape up my
wife/subordinate/friend and work on my own weaknesses. I can focus on being a great
partner, and a source of unconditional love and support. Hopefully, that person will feel
the power of my example and respond in kind. But whether that person does or doesn’t,
the most positive way I can influence my situation is to work on myself, on my BEING.
There are so many ways to improve our life – to BE a better listener, to BE a more loving
marriage partner, to BE a better student, to BE a more co-operative employee.
Such a positive attitude is possible only with one who has a high Spiritual Quotient (SQ).
The knowledge of the soul can help one conquer the problems of negative thinking that
arise from previous experiences stored in the mind, and help one live a life happily as a
detached witness or observer. This is a very essential quality for the common people as
well as for those in high responsible positions. A lack of this attitude can lead to stress,
depression, revenge, grudge, boredom, defensiveness, etc.
Art and Science of Mantra Meditation: One who studies the soul also studies about
the mind. The mind is a storehouse of varieties of plans and desires for enjoyment. The
mind constantly keeps accepting and rejecting various desires and this causes the
individual to suffer from stress, tension, depression, inferiority complex, etc. But the
knowledge of the soul as a non-material spiritual being combined with Mantra
Meditation, ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare
Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare'’(see Appendix for more information), can offer one
freedom from all mental problems to begin with and eventually pure love of God.
The Science of the Soul 85

Mantra Meditation is done with the understanding that as tiny souls we are helpless; God
being the Supreme father of the living being is eager to help us. Chanting is a loud call
from the core of the heart to the Supreme Lord to kindly elevate us from this suffering
situation and to be placed in His loving company. Thus the understanding of the soul
offers one complete protection from all dangers and worries of this world. One can
simply hand over the charge of one’s life to God by such focused meditation on the Holy
names of God. On the other hand, there are those who consider themselves to be their
own body and avoid meditation, thinking of it as a waste of time. They are made to run
from pillar to post by their minds that hanker for practically everything in the world from
a hamburger to the most costly independent bungalow. Furthermore, they suffer from
loneliness and boredom, with no knowledge of the soul and its loving relationship with
God.
Right use of resources: When people are conscious of the soul, they are aware that the
material body is temporary, and that the material world is a temporary place of suffering
designed by God to reform and purify us and prepare us to return to the eternal Kingdom
of God. Thus they live a life socially, politically, culturally and economically centered
around God. This brings purity, peace, and prosperity, health, wealth and happiness, all
aimed at pleasing the Supreme Lord. Modern man absorbed in bodily consciousness
believes in ‘survival of the fittest’, and thus does not worry how he harms others in his rat
race to ‘eat, drink and be merry’. Claiming his forefathers to be apes, the origin of the
universe to be a big bang, modern man imagines himself to be no more than a bunch of
chemicals or atoms colliding with one another. Such a blunt, blind, superficial material
outlook to life renders life meaningless, making the world purposeless, and is neither
useful to the individual nor beneficial to others in the world. The Vedic life that centers
around the awareness of the soul and its loving relation with God and all fellow beings,
teaches one to consider another man’s wife as a mother, other people’s wealth as
garbage, and to warmly treat others in the same way as one would want to be treated by
others. Thus spiritual life is based on the firm foundation of co-operation of all, welfare
for all, proper utilization of God-given resources, and freedom from greed and
selfishness.
A Clear Understanding of Life and Death
The empirical evidences confirm that a conscious self is present in the material body.
But if one has to wait for science to provide complete understanding of the nature of the
soul, and its qualities, one may probably have to wait a million years. The attempt to
understand reality by science, with its inherent limitations, is like a child’s exploration of
the vast expansive universe around him. Vedic knowledge on the other hand is the
timeless mature voice of the Supreme Father, God, coming since time immemorial. We
can get clear information about what is life and what is death from the scriptures directly
without any mental speculation.
86 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

The Gross Body and the Subtle Body


Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (2.17):
avinasi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam
vinasam avyayasyasya na kascit kartum arhati
“That which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one can destroy the
imperishable soul.”
The Lord also says in the Bhagavad-gita (7.4) :
bhumir apo nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakrtir ashtadha
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego are My eight separated
inferior energies”.
These eight energies are always subject to change.
The gross body, also known as the ‘sthula sharira’ is made up of five elements - earth,
water, fire, air and ether – often known as ‘pancha maha bhuta’. Earth represents all
solids, water represents all liquids, fire represents heat, air represents all gases and ether
represents space and sound in our body.
The Mind, Intelligence and False Ego constitute the subtle body. The subtle body is also
called as the ‘sukshma sharira’. ‘True Ego’ is to understand that ‘I am spirit soul, eternal
servant of God’. ‘False Ego’ is to think in illusion that, ‘I am this body’. The subtle body
and the gross body are coverings upon the soul. Such a soul entrapped in these subtle and
gross bodies is called a ‘Conditioned Soul’. One who becomes free from these coverings
and attains spiritual consciousness is called a ‘Liberated Soul’.
In the next verse, the Lord says:
apareyam itas tv anyam prakritim viddhi me param
jiva bhutam maha baho yayedam dharyate jagat
“Besides this inferior nature, there is a superior energy of Mine, that are all living entities
who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe” (Bhagavad-gita
7.5).
Both inferior energy (matter: gross and subtle) and superior energy (spirit soul: sat-cit-
ananda) are subordinate to the Supreme Lord. The soul is life and the body is always
dead. Just as when you wear gloves on the hand and move the fingers, the gloves may
appear to have life, similarly the soul moves the body. The body is always dead even
when the spirit soul is present in it, because the body is after all made up of dead matter –
The Science of the Soul 87

earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego; which have no life in
themselves.
The Nature of the Soul
The Soul is Indestructible
As soon as scientists come to know of any substance they want to study its physical and
chemical properties. Thus Lord Shri Krishna explains to Arjuna that the soul is not made
up of matter like solids, liquids, or gases.
“The soul cannot be cut to pieces by any weapons; it cannot be burned by fire; it cannot
be dried by wind; nor can it be moistened by water.” [BG 2.23]
The Soul is an Individual
Each soul is a separate individual with separate consciousness. You are aware of your
body, mind, intelligence and false ego. I cannot perceive your headache and you cannot
know what I am thinking. But God is aware of every particle of this creation. [Read
purport to BG2.12, BG15.7]
The Soul has form
The spirit soul is not some ‘impersonal light’ or ‘void’ as some people wrongly think.
The soul is a beautiful personality whose body is made up of sat-cit-ananda (eternity-
bliss-knowledge).
Matter is formless – Spirit soul gives form to Matter
Matter in itself has no form. Matter acquires a
form only when a spirit soul enters it. For
example, if you take a plain cloth it may be
formless, but if you put your finger inside
then it assumes a form. When you remove
your finger then it loses its form. Similarly,
matter (the eight elements that constitute the
body) assumes a form when the soul enters it.
At death, when the soul leaves the body, the
body decomposes, disintegrates and loses its
form. So matter is formless, only the spirit
gives form to matter. A table or chair may have a form, although it is dead matter. Matter
can assume form only when a soul manipulates it. For example, a table has been given a
form by a soul (carpenter).
The Soul Is Eternal
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“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.” [BG 2.20]
The Soul has a form of Eternity (sat)- Knowledge (cit)- Bliss (ananda)
The soul comes from the Kingdom of God and he has a spiritual body of eternity,
knowledge and bliss to relate with the Lord. But when the soul desires to become an
independent enjoyer, he is dispatched to the material world, where he is entrapped in a
material body. Why do we suffer? Because the ‘sat-cit-ananda’ soul is entrapped in an
‘asat-acit-nirananda’ (temporary-ignorant-miserable) body, there is a great amount of
incompatibility that causes suffering. We all can easily see that we are seeking
knowledge by going to schools and colleges. We want to live forever, and in order to do
that we go to a doctor to set right the bodily problems, and also we always try to protect
the body from all possible dangers. We want to increase happiness unlimitedly and put a
full stop to all pains. Our advancement in the use of modern comforts shows that we
want to make life always enjoyable and without any sufferings or worries. These three
aspirations can be fulfilled when one realizes, “I am not the body, I am the soul.”
The Soul is Situated in the Region of the Heart
The soul pervades the body with consciousness as a lamp fills a room with light. The
lamp that gives light to the entire room may be in one corner of the room. Similarly the
soul is situated in the region of our heart. The soul is not removed during heart
transplantation, as he is spiritual. For example, when the stepney / radiator of a car is
changed, nothing happens to the driver.

Similarly one heart (which is just like a radiator pumping blood) may be replaced by
another, but that does not affect the soul. If somebody undergoes a heart transplant, do
you see his intrinsic behavior or nature change after the operation? No. Thus the soul,
the owner of the body does not change when any transplant is done.
The Size of the Soul
The Upanishads and the Shrimad Bhagavatam describe the size of the soul (seed form):
“If you divide the tip of the hair into 100 parts, and if you further divide one of those
parts into 100 parts - that 1/10,000 part of the tip of the hair is the size of the soul.”
(Svetasvatara Upanishad 5.9)
This is the size of the soul in the seed form, in which he wanders in the material universe.
But the soul has an original, beautiful, spiritual sat-cit-ananda form in the spiritual world,
which is known as svarupa (spiritual constitutional position). The soul has an eternal
sweet relationship with God in this svarupa.
The Science of the Soul 89

Are we Gods or God’s?


God, by definition, is supremely independent and is never
controlled; He is the supreme controller. In the Isopanisad, the
word ‘isha’ is used to describe the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. ‘isha’ means ‘controller’. Is there any person
anywhere within this universe who is not controlled? Can anyone
say, “I am not controlled”? Nobody can say that. None of us
wants to grow old, get diseased and die; yet it is happening to us
all the time and we have no control over it whatsoever. No one
wants to suffer, but sufferings are constantly coming in our lives
and we have no control to stop them. Thus we are thoroughly
controlled by the stringent laws of nature. Mayavadi
impersonalists claim, “I am God, you are God, everyone is God.”
But when they get a toothache it controls them so much that they
can do nothing about it except moan in pain. So if they are
controlled, how can they be God? Does this make any sense? God is never controlled; He is
the supreme controller. So if somebody is controlled, immediately we should know that he is
not God.
Now, this is not to say that the living entities are not controllers to some extent. In the
Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says that the living entities are His superior energy. The
living entities are superior because they are conscious, whereas material energy is not
conscious. Therefore the living entities can control the material energy to some extent.
For example, a scientist may produce and pilot a plane to fly great heights, but when the
fuel is finished the aeroplane must come down. Thus living entities have limited freedom
to manipulate matter. But when they manipulate matter for their own selfish enjoyment,
then the material energy dominates them and makes them suffer.
Thus the superior spiritual energy can have some control over the inferior material
energy. But we have forgotten that, although we are superior to matter, we are still
subordinate to God. And so that superiority is being misused to exploit matter for sense
gratification. This is the cause of our suffering.

Individual Task: ‘Complete the poem on Soul and God’

Read the following poem and fill in the words given below in appropriate blanks to complete the
poem. Now make a table with two columns, one for Krishna (God) and another for jivatma
(soul) and list the differences. Submit your two answers along with EBG Quiz answers.
Remember to mention on the top of your sheet ‘Lesson 8: Science of Soul, Individual task:
Poem’ along with your name:
a) Just write the words from 1 to 14 based on how you have filled up the blanks below
b) Write the table differentiating between God and the soul:
90 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Agony Lord planets omniscient servants protect punish

Opulences unlimited dome light greatest with joy imitator pain

I am a tiny jiva, not the ultimate God,


but a tiny part and parcel, servant of the ______(1)_____,
Leaving the Lord’s company, forced to be born in ___(2)_______
In the world filled with ____(3)_____, again and again.

Krishna is my Lord, the source of all existence.


His form is imperishable, full of six ______(4)__________.
He pays a visit to this world, out of His own sweet will
To please and____(5)______ His devotees, and _____(6)________ the evil.

I am only Brahman, But Krishna is Para Brahman.


My power is limited; His potencies are ______(7)______.
I can make a swimming pool, Krishna creates Oceans.
I can fly a rocket, but Krishna floats huge ______(8)___ ______.

I can invent a _____(9)______, but Krishna creates moonlight.


We make ordinary dolls, but Krishna makes us all.
The Lord is the actual doer, I am just an _______(10)_______.
The Lord is omnipresent, omnipotent and ______(11)_______.

I am a tiny jiva cast in this oceanic material world.


The Lord is the ______(12)______ of all, Let’s accept this fact at
heart,
Who deserves everyone’s love and humble devotional service?
We’re His tiny ______(13)________, Let’s realize and serve Him
______(14)_________.
Individual or GD Task: Learning about the soul
If you are in a class room, then your teacher will make groups of 4 or 5 students; if you are
reading this book alone, you can do it as an individual task. The story given below
illustrates how a great king along with his relatives came to realize the fundamental truths
about life. The soul is a spiritual entity different from the body. He does not die at the time
of death but goes to another destination. Read the story carefully. Each member of your
group can read one title given below. Discuss the answer for the questions inserted in
between the story amongst yourselves and answer the questions on a separate sheet. Submit
your answers along with the EBG Quiz answers. Remember to mention on the top of your
sheet ‘Lesson 8: Science of Soul, Individual or Group Task’ along with your name or name
of group members.
The Science of the Soul 91

The Prince Who Brought


Jubilation and Lamentation
Once the world was ruled by a powerful king named Chitraketu. King Chitraketu had
many beautiful wives, but he did not receive a child from any of them, as they were all
barren. Upon the advice of Angira muni, king Chitraketu arranged for a special sacrifice
to the demigods and then offered the remnants of the sacrificial food to one of his queens
named Krtadyuti. At the end of the sacrifice, Angira muni told him, “O great king, you
will now have a son who will be the cause of both jubilation and lamentation.” Chitraketu
was overjoyed to know that he would finally get a son, but he wondered about the sage’s
last words. He thought, “Angira must have meant that I will be greatly happy when my
son is born. But what did he mean by the child being the cause of lamentation? Of course,
being my only son, he will automatically become the heir to my throne. Therefore, he
might become proud and disobedient. That might be a cause for lamentation. But a
disobedient son is better than no son at all.”
In due course of time, Krtadyuti begot a son. King Chitraketu could not contain his joy.
He raised his infant son carefully and his affection for queen Krtadyuti increased daily.
The other wives, who felt neglected, burned with anger and envy. As their envy
increased, they lost their intelligence, and their hearts became hard like stone. They met
secretly and decided that the only way to regain the love of their husband was to poison
the child.

Q1: What was the result of Chitraketu’s affection for Krtadyuti?


Q2: What makes one act in deadly ways to cause harm to others?

Death of the Prince


One afternoon, as queen Krtadyuti walked in the courtyard of the palace, she thought of
her son sleeping peacefully in his room. Because she loved the child dearly and could
hardly bear to be without him for a moment, she ordered the nurse to awaken him from
his nap and bring him to the garden. But when the maidservant approached the child, she
saw that his eyes were turned upwards, and there were no signs of life. Horrified, she
held a swab of cotton beneath the boy’s nostrils, but the cotton did not move. In great
agitation, she struck her breast with both hands and wept loudly.
Some time passed, and the anxious queen approached the child’s bedroom. Hearing the
nurse’s wailing, she entered the room and saw that her son had passed away from this
world. In great lamentation, her hair and dress in disarray, the queen fell to the ground
unconscious. When the King heard of his son’s death, he became nearly blind with grief.
His lamentation grew like a conflagration, and as he ran to see the dead child, he
repeatedly stumbled and fell.
92 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Q3: Read the verse Bhagavad-gita 2.7 ‘karpanya dosho..’ purport and write two
points that caused the king and queen to behave the way they did.
Q4: Can you think of the death of some near and dear ones in your family? How
did it affect you?

Surrounded by his ministers and court officers, the king entered the boy’s room and
collapsed unconscious at the child’s feet, his hair and dress scattered. When he regained
consciousness, he was breathing heavily, his eyes were filled with tears and he was
unable to speak.
When the queen saw her husband’s suffering and again viewed the dead child, her grief
increased all the more. This increased the pain in the hearts of all the residents of the
palace. The queen’s flower garlands slipped from her body, and her smooth jet-black hair
became tangled. Falling tears smeared the cosmetics beneath her eyes. She began to curse
the Supreme Lord, “O Providence! During the lifetime of the father, you have caused the
death of his son. You are certainly the enemy of the living beings and are not at all
merciful.” Turning to her beloved child, she said, “My dear son, I am helpless and
aggrieved. You should not give up my company. How can you leave me? Just look at
your lamenting father! You have slept for a long time. Now please get up. Your
playmates are calling you to play. You must be very hungry, so please get up
immediately and take your lunch. My dear son, I am most unfortunate, for I can no longer
see your sweet smiling. You have closed your eyes forever. You have been taken from
this planet to another place, from which you will not return. My dear son, unable to hear
your pleasing voice, I can no longer maintain my life.”
The king began crying loudly. As the mother and father lamented, all their followers
joined them, bemoaning the untimely death of the child. Because of the sudden demise of
the prince, all the citizens of the kingdom were also grief-struck.
Q5: What realizations come to your heart when you see people crying loudly in
front of a dead body? Relate your realizations with scriptural quotes from
the Bhagavad-gita or the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
Q6: Can you prepare a lecture (approx. ten to twenty sentences) for a group of
people who have come to attend a condolence meeting after the death of
one of their acquaintances? The contents should include knowledge about
the soul and God and the purpose of life.
Arrival of Angira Muni and Narada Muni
When the great sage Angira understood that the king was almost dead being immersed in
an ocean of sorrow, he went there with his friend, the saint Narada. The two sages found
the king, overwhelmed by lamentation, lying like a dead body beside the dead body of his
son. Angira addressed the king sharply, “Wake up from the darkness of ignorance, O
king! What relationship do you have with this child? You may say that you are now
The Science of the Soul 93

related as father and son, but do you think that this relationship existed before his birth?
Does it truly exist now? Will it continue now that he is dead? O King, as small particles
of sand sometimes come together and are sometimes separated due to the force of the
ocean’s waves, living entities who have accepted material bodies sometimes come
together and are sometimes separated by the force of time.” Angira wanted the King to
understand that all bodily relationships are temporary.
Q7: We are related to one another as mother, father, son, daughter, husband,
wife, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, grandfather, grandmother, etc. What did you
learn about these relationships in life?
Q8: What is the purpose of great sages like Angira and Narada in associating
with great kings?

Narada Muni Invites the soul back into


the Body of the Prince
Then, Narada Muni, by his mystic power, brought the
soul of the prince back into the dead body. Narada
said, “O living entity, all good fortune unto you. Just
see your father and mother. All your friends and
relatives are overwhelmed with grief because of your
death. Because you died untimely, the balance of your
life still remains. Therefore, you may enjoy the
remainder of the years allotted to you in this body
with your friends and relatives, and later you may
accept the royal throne and all the opulences given by
your father.”
The Child gives a Transcendental Message
The child who had been dead sat up and began to
speak, not with the childishness of a young boy, but
with the full knowledge of a liberated soul, “According to the results of my material
activities, I, the living being, transmigrate from one body to another, sometimes going to
the species of the demigods, sometimes to the species of lower animals, sometimes
incarnating among the vegetables, and appearing sometimes in the human species. In
which birth were these two people my father and mother? No one is actually my father
and mother. I have had millions of so-called parents. How can I accept these two people
as my father and mother?”
The Vedas teach that the eternal living being enters a body made of material elements.
Here we find that such a living being entered a body produced by King Chitraketu and
his wife. Actually, however, he was not their son. The living entity is the eternal son of
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but because he wants to enjoy this material world,
94 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

God gives him a chance to enter various bodies. Yet the pure living being has no true
relationship with the material body he gets from his father and mother. Therefore, the
soul who had taken the body of Chitraketu’s son flatly denied that the king and queen
were his parents.

Q9: Why did the boy deny the king and queen to be his parents?
Q10: Give at least two quotes from Bhagavad-gita where Lord Krishna declares
that He is the ultimate father of every living being. In case you find this
question difficult, here is a clue. Refer BG chapters 9 and 14.

In the Material World, We come together as a Family,


Stay together Temporarily, and get Separated,
Never to Meet Again
The soul continued, “In this material world, which is like a swiftly flowing river, all
people become friends, relatives and enemies in due course of time. They also act
neutrally and in many other relationships. But despite these various transactions, no one
is permanently related.”
Millions of living entities come to this world, and all of them are given a certain type of
body. A few living entities, say five or six, are put in a group called a family and they
stay together for a period of time. They are then separated by death, never to meet again.
It is like meeting somebody in a train journey from one place to another. During the
journey you make friends with him, but once the destination comes, you go your way and
he goes his way. This is the case with families also. But once a living entity is put in a
particular family he becomes attached to others as father, mother, brothers, sisters, etc.,
because of falsely identifying himself with the body. This attachment makes the living
entity undergo the cycle of repeated birth and death.
Q11: Explain how our life is like a journey.

Krishna Is The Real Father


The soul continued to speak, “Just as gold and other commodities are continually
transferred from one place to another through buying and selling, so the living entity, as a
result of his karma, wanders throughout the universe, being injected into various bodies
in different species of life through the semen of one father after another.”
The Bhagavad-gita explains that it is not by any father or mother that the living entity is
given birth. The living entity’s true identity is completely separate from the so-called
father and mother. By the laws of nature, the soul is forced to enter the semen of a father
and is injected into the womb of a mother. He cannot directly control the kind of father
he will get; this is automatically determined by his activities in previous lives. The laws
The Science of the Soul 95

of karma force him to go to different fathers and mothers, just like a commodity that is
bought and sold.

The living entity sometimes takes shelter of an animal father and mother, and sometimes
a human father and mother. Sometimes he accepts a father and mother among the birds,
and sometimes he accepts a demigod father and mother in the heavenly planets. As the
soul transmigrates through different bodies, everyone, in every form of life – be it human,
animal, tree, or demigod – gets a father and mother. This is not very difficult. The real
difficulty is to obtain a spiritual father – a bona fide spiritual master. Therefore, the duty
of a human being is to search out such a spiritual master, for under his guidance one can
become free from the cycle of reincarnation, return to his original home and attain the
original father, Shri Krishna, in the spiritual world.
Q12: How can we understand that Krishna is our real father?
Q13: Which father is the most difficult to achieve?
Q14: What is the duty of a human being?
“The living being is eternal”, the pure soul continued, “and has no relation with so-called
fathers and mothers. He falsely accepts himself as their son and acts affectionately. After
he dies, however, the relationship is finished. Under these circumstances, one should not
be falsely involved with jubilation and lamentation. The living entity is eternal and
imperishable; he has no beginning and no end, nor does he take birth or die. The living
being is equal in quality to the Supreme Lord. Both are spiritual personalities. But
because the living entity is so small, he is prone to be illusioned by the material energy,
and thus he creates bodies for himself according to his different desires and activities.”
The Vedas tell us that the soul is responsible for his lives in the material world, where he
is trapped in the cycle of reincarnation, getting one material body after another. If he
likes, he can remain suffering in the prison house of material existence, or he can return
to his original home in the spiritual world. Although God arranges, through the material
energy, to give the living beings the bodies they desire, the Lord’s true desire is that the
conditioned souls get off the miserable Ferris wheel of material life and return home,
back to Godhead.
Suddenly the boy became silent, as the pure soul left the body of the child, and the body
fell lifeless to the floor. Chitraketu and the other relatives were astonished. They cut the
shackles of their false attachments and gave up their lamentation. Then they performed
the funeral ceremony, cremating the body. Because King Chitraketu and his queen had
become fully cognizant of spiritual knowledge, including the science of reincarnation,
they easily gave up the material attachment that leads to pain, fear, grief, and illusion.
Q15: What causes the creation of bodies one life after another for a living entity?
Q16: Write 5 examples or analogies mentioned in the above story and also
explain the connection in which they were used.
96 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

‘Spiritual Scientist’, Quiz : 5


The Science of the Soul

Part A (to be answered by All)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (10 x 2 = 20 marks)

1. How can we say that the body is always dead, when a person is talking, walking or
gesturing?
2. What is real Knowledge?
3. What did you understand from the example of the black coat?
4. What is the symptom of the soul?
5. Differentiate between your performing aratik for the Lord and a robot machine doing
the same?
6. What is inferior and superior energy? What are their positions in relation to the
Supreme Lord?
7. Some people say all souls are one. They proclaim, ‘I am you, you are me’. What do
you say?
8. Prove with an example that matter is formless and spirit soul has form.
9. What is the incompatibility that leads to suffering in this world?
10. What is Svarupa?

Part B (only for married and Below 50 years)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)

1. Your family people have been going to meet a particular old and invalid sadhu who
claims to be God. Based on your knowledge now, what do you understand? What
will you do?
2. List and explain in a couple of sentences at least three advantages of knowing, “I am
not the body; I am pure spirit soul”?

Part C (only for College students)


Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)

1. What difficulty do doctors face in explaining about NDE without acknowledging the
existence of the spirit soul?
2. The soul can’t be perceived in any way or measured with any instrument. Why
should we believe in a hypothetical entity for which there is no evidence?
The Science of the Soul 97

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Quiz : 5
The Science of the Soul
Answer the following questions in ONE or TWO sentences on a separate sheet: (1 x 50 = 50 marks)

Syllabus for the following Quiz: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Introduction, Pages 8 to 14


2.13, 2.16-17, 2.20-21, 2.23-24, 2.26, 2.29, 5.16, 7.4-6,13.1-3, 15.7, 15.10-11, 15.16-18

1. Somebody says, “I am not controlled. I am free.” What can you know about him?
2. ‘It is childish not to consider the controller of nature.’ Give an example.
3. Under whose direction is everything working?
4. The jiva souls are similar in quality to the Lord. Give two examples.
5. Some people think because we are parts of God, we are also supreme. How would
you refute this misunderstanding with your knowledge of ‘Prakriti’?
6. Mention one similarity and one difference between matter and spirit soul?
7. Some people say that this world does not exist. It is just illusion. Dispel this
misunderstanding with an example.
8. Amongst the five items dealt with in Bhagavad-gita – ishwara, jiva, prakrti, kala, and
karma – which of them are eternal? Which of them are temporary?
9. What is the meaning of Mukti? What is the definition of Mukti given in Shrimad
Bhagavatam? Give the quote along with the meaning.
10. What is the meaning of purified consciousness?
11. ‘The soul is neither the creator nor the enjoyer but a co-operator.’ Explain with an
example.
12. Some people argue that we souls are nothing but the Supreme soul cut into many
pieces. Refute this statement philosophically with an example. (2.13)
13. What is the difference between matter and spirit? (2.16)
14. What does removal of ignorance involve? (2.16)
15. What is the proof of the presence of the soul? (2.17)
16. What two things can even a layman understand? (2.17)
17. Some scientists feel that consciousness has suddenly arisen from matter at some
point of time. Refute this statement. (2.17)
18. What can be understood from the observation of Medical scientists that the heart is
the seat of all the energies of the body? (2.17)
98 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

19. If one does not find the soul within the heart, how can one still understand its
presence? Give an example. (2.20)
20. ‘Violence has its utility’. Give an example for the right use of violence. From your
experience give an example for the misuse of violence in modern times. (2.21)
21. Which weapons of Vedic times are unknown to modern scientists? (2.23)
22. What does Varaha Purana say about the souls? (2.23)
23. Explain with an example, how the soul became covered by illusory energy? (2.23)
24. What two options does the soul have after liberation? (2.24)
25. What is the proof that there must be living beings even in the sun planet? (2.24)
26. Read the translation of this verse and explain its meaning in two lines based on your
understanding of the Purport. (2.26)
27. Why is the soul amazing? Give examples. (2.29)
28. Despite the knowledge of the soul that one acquires by attending lectures, how can
one be misguided? (2.29)
29. What is the easiest process of understanding the knowledge of the soul? (2.29)
30. What is the qualification required to accept Krishna as the Supreme? (2.29)
31. How can a person, who has a sinful background, who has never performed any
austerity, be benefited by knowledge of Krishna’s supremacy? (2.29)
32. What is Srila Prabhupada’s challenge to those who equate the living entity to God?
What is one special symptom of a representative of God? (5.16)
33. Give a fitting example from the purport, to show that only a person in ignorance will
consider the Lord and the living being as one. (5.16)
34. What does a person who is unaware of the science of God assume? What is the
opinion of Bhagavad-gita on this idea? (7.4)
35. How does the material world function? (7.5)
36. ‘Energies are always controlled by the energetic’. What can be concluded from this
about God, the living entity and matter? (7.5)
37. What is the reason for the forgetfulness of the true identity of the soul? How does
the soul bring himself to this position? (7.5)
38. Give two examples from the purport to differentiate between the ‘big’ soul and
‘small’ soul. (7.6)
39. How has the material world manifested? (7.6)
40. Compare the growth of a living body to the universe and write what lesson is to be
learnt from this information. (7.6)
The Science of the Soul 99

41. Explain the terms ‘Ksetra’ and ‘Ksetrajna’. (13.1-2)


42. What is the significance of the word ‘ca’ in this verse? (13.3)
43. Give an example to show that the individual soul only knows the body in which he is
sitting, while the Supersoul knows all the bodies. (13.3)
44. ‘One should not confuse the Painter, Painting and the Easel’. Write the equivalents
of these three words and explain how they interact. (13.3)
45. Explain the significance of the words ‘eternally fragmented’. (15.7)
46. What is explained in ‘Maadhyandi naayana Sruti’ about a living entity who gives up
the material body and enters into the spiritual world? (15.7)
47. What misconception do people often get when they hear the word ‘mamaivamsah’ in
this verse? Clarify the misconception. (15.7)
48. What is the meaning of the word ‘karshati’? Explain. (15.7)
49. What should one be trained to perceive? What is the benefit of gaining such
perception? (15.10)
50. What are most of the modern yoga societies satisfied with? What do they need to
include to give meaning to all their endeavors? (15.11)

* * * * *
Meditation for Modern Age 109

Chapter 6

Different Platforms of
Worship
110 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Chapter Contents
Page
Sr. No. Contents
No.
If God Is One, Why Do People Follow Different Religions? 91
Religions presented according to the ability
1 of the audience to digest the Truth 91
Depth of verifiable and inconceivable 92
information

2 Different Religions, Same Message 93

Our Relationship with God – Ascending from Fear to


3 95
Love
Difference between the Platform of Love and the Previous
4 Platforms 97
Story: ‘The tender Feelings of Selfless Love’
Individual or GD Task: 97
5 Learning about Love of God
Story: Bhakta Prahlada, the Pure Devotee of the Lord 99
How is Awakening Love of God Superior to Doing Social
6 103
Service?

7 The Divine and the Demoniac 104


Meditation for Modern Age 111

Different Platforms of Worship


teñäà satata-yuktänäà bhajatäà préti-pürvakam
dadämi buddhi-yogaà taà yena mäm upayänti te
TRANSLATION
To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which
they can come to Me. [BG 10.10]
* * * *
If God Is One, Why Do People Follow Different Religions?

There are people who are not atheistic, but accept that there is some Supreme God who is
the Supreme Controller and Proprietor. But they still have a difficulty as to which path to
follow? They wonder why God has created so many religions, if He is only one? Which
could be the right path? Are all paths right? Do they all lead to the same destination? Do
they lead to different destinations? Why are there different names of God, forms of God,
worship of God, rituals and rites, customs and etiquettes? Is there any path that is the
synthesis of all these religions? Is there one ultimate goal behind all these religions?
These questions are genuine and have answers that will be covered in this lesson and the
subsequent lessons.
Religions presented according to the ability of audience to digest the Truth
God gives His message, either directly or through His messenger, according to the
capacity of the individuals who receive it. If the message is for the spiritually advanced,
then it may be given in an undiluted pure form. If the message is for the morally and
spiritually degraded it is suitably modified to preclude rejection and yet help them make
limited spiritual progress. Unawareness of this fundamental principle, which underlies
and unifies the diverse religions of the world, has resulted in religious conflicts,
confrontations, wars and so on throughout history. An example will help in
understanding this better.
In elementary school Mathematics, a child is taught basic addition and subtraction such as 5 -
2 = 3. But if he is asked, “What is 2 - 5 ?”, he will say that it is not possible to subtract a
bigger number from a smaller number. But when he goes to high school, he learns 2 - 5 = -3.
That is also Mathematics. When he goes to college, he learns differential calculus, integral
calculus etc. which is also Mathematics. Although the knowledge he has acquired at each
level comes under the subject of Mathematics, still there is a difference of standard between
elementary school Maths and M.Sc. Maths. The teacher may himself be a Ph.D. in Maths, but
he teaches according to the level of understanding of the student, depending on whether he is
in an elementary school, high school or college.
112 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

The prophets and messiahs have always given their message after assessing the ability of
their audience to digest and follow the teachings. We can understand that when Prophet
Mohammed preached the message of the Koran as revealed to him, his audience
consisted of degraded people. This is apparent from the nature of the instructions given in
the Koran. For example, in the 4th Surah, verse 23-24, the Koran says, “Do not have sex
with your mother and sister.” If Mohammed had
been speaking to civilized people, such an
injunction would have been unnecessary.
Mohammed himself was a God realized soul and
had been selected by God to be a prophet. But
since he was speaking to perverted tribesmen of
that desert land, who were engaging in such
sexual practices, he had to give such instructions.

Jesus was preaching to fishermen whom he


addressed as, “O ye of little faith”. One of his
intimate twelve apostles, Judas, sold his master
for thirty pieces of silver, and Peter denied that
he had ever seen him. Also, most religions first
try to teach people to go to God for bread and butter, or material assets, thereby teaching
obedience to the authority of God. Thus they use God more or less as an order-supplier
or problem-solver.
Real religion has nothing to do with making material demands upon God in order to
fulfill one’s own selfish desires. For example, Lord Krishna spoke Bhagavad-gita to
Arjuna, an individual of spotless character and a product of Vedic civilization when it
was at its zenith. Bhagavad-gita teaches absolute surrender to the will of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, without any reservations. The audience for the
narration of Shrimad Bhagavatam consisted of the greatly liberated sages of
Naimisharanya, who sought the welfare of all living beings in the world. Shrimad
Bhagavatam teaches the path of unmotivated, uninterrupted, pure love of God, where a
devotee rejoices remembering and reciting about God twenty-four hours a day out of love
for Him, without expecting anything in return.
Depth of verifiable and inconceivable information
Besides the loftiness of the quality of devotion to God, the Vedic literatures also give
vivid descriptions of all types of information, whether it be material or spiritual. For
example, while the Bible teaches, “God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light.
God said, ‘Let there be earth’, and the earth was created. Although this fact is true, such
scriptures do not give a detailed account of the Creation of the universe. Srimad
Bhagavatam on the other hand, gives step-by-step information of how the Creation of the
Meditation for Modern Age 113

universe, as well as all living beings, takes place. From sound comes air, from air comes
fire, from fire comes water, and from water comes the grossest of all elements, earth.
The sankhya (or ‘count’) philosophy of twenty-four elements of the universe given in
Vedic scriptures is scientifically explainable and provable. This is just a sample. The
Vedic literatures stand out from all world religions when it comes to the depth of
information in hundreds of areas, as well as the loftiness of intimacy in approaching
God.
Different Religions, Same Message

Veda Vyasa, Jesus Christ and Mohammed were all divinely empowered and inspired.
Yet with divine discretion they revealed only as much as their audience could digest.
The essence of all the major religious scriptures is the same as listed below. Compare the
following statements :
1. All scriptures recommend the chanting of the holy names of God.
• The Bible states: O Lord, Thou art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
• Islam teaches the regular chanting of the 99 names of Allah.
• The Mahabharata recommends the chanting of 1000 names of Vishnu (Vishnu-sahasra-
nama).
2. All religions teach that love of God is the ultimate perfection.
• The Bible states: Love Thy God with all Thy soul and all Thy heart.
• The very word ‘Islam’ means ‘complete surrender’.
• The Bhagavad-gita (18.66) states: sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam sharanam vraja-
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.”
3. One can easily observe the amazing similarity of descriptions given in different scriptures
about various subjects, for instance, regarding ‘Returning to the Kingdom of God’, as
shown in the next page.

An analysis of the various religious scriptures reveals the following common essential
principles:

1) There is only one God and He is the supreme object of our love.
2) Obedience to God is the ultimate religious principle.
3) Service to God is the nature of all living entities.
4) The Kingdom of God is the ultimate shelter for everyone.
5) To approach God, sinful activities must be given up.
6) Chanting the Holy Names of God is the easiest way of reviving God consciousness.
7) One should renounce flickering material pleasure to experience everlasting spiritual
happiness.
8) One needs the guidance and the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master to achieve God.
114 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Christianity
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the
Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign forever and ever. [Rev.:22.5]
Hinduism (as known to people) or Sanatana Dharma
That abode of mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches
it never returns to this material world. [BG15.6]
There the sun does not shine, neither do the moon and the stars; nor do these flashes of
lightning shine. What to speak of fire? He (Lord) shining, all these shine; through His luster
all these are variously illumined. [Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:14]

I worship that transcendental seat, known as Svetadvipa where, as loving consorts, the
Laksmis in their unalloyed spiritual essence practice the service of the All-Attractive Lord
Krishna as their only lover - where the soil is the purpose gem, all water is nectar, every
word is a song, every gait is a dance, the flute is the favorite attendant, effulgence is full of
transcendental bliss and the supreme spiritual entities are all enjoyable and tasty, where
numberless milk cows always emit transcendental oceans of milk; where there is eternal
existence of transcendental time, who is ever present and without past or future and hence
is not subject to the quality of passing away even for the space of half a moment. That
realm is known as Goloka only to a very few self-realized souls in this world. [Brahma
Samhita 5.56]

Islam

Every soul will have taste of death. The life of this world is but comfort of illusion. But those
who keep their duty to their Lord, for them are Gardens underneath which rivers flow,
wherein they will be safe forever.

Sikhism

By one-pointed love and devotion to God, one attains to that place which is eternal,
changeless and where there is pure happiness. There one enjoys the qualities and
pastimes of the Lord. There exists an eternal kingdom of the Lord. In that place there is no
fear, no illusion nor bewilderment, no miseries. And there, there is no birth and death.
There is only pure eternal spiritual bliss in that abode. The devotees of the Lord in that
abode subsist on the glories of the Supreme Soul, God.
[GGS RagGaud Guarerei Mahala 5 Asatapadiaa 4]

Zoroastrianism

Vohuman says to that soul, “From the mortal world (you have come). You are welcome
here in this blissful eternal world”. Vohuman tells the soul, “Oh Holy one! You are welcome
in this world full of happiness having come from the world of misery”. [A.G.Z.R., Ch.2
p.85]

Let us now try to understand the seeming differences in the various religious scriptures.
For example, consider what different religions say about meat-eating. In every religion
Meditation for Modern Age 115

there are restrictions against meat eating. In Islam, all animals may be eaten after ritual
sacrifice except the pig and the dog. The Roman Catholics used to take meat every day
except Friday. Today, because people are unwilling to follow even this minimal
restriction, it no longer exists. In Shrimad Bhagavatam, on the other hand, it is clearly
stated that meat-eating is a pillar of sinful life, and that true spiritual life cannot begin
until we show mercy towards all the children of God.
How does one explain these differences? It is very simple. Although all empowered
messengers of God have the same message, they restrict their teachings to what their
audience can digest. For the little that Mohammed taught, he had to flee from Mecca
due to threat to his life. For the three years that Jesus preached, he was crucified. Little
wonder therefore that in the Bible, He says: "There is much that I have to tell you but
you cannot bear it now." But on the other hand, Lord Shri Krishna tells Arjuna in the
Bhagavad-gita that He is giving him complete knowledge: "I shall now declare unto
you in full this knowledge both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing
further shall remain for you to know.” (BG 7.2)
Thus all religions are ultimately meant to gradually elevate the follower to the highest
platform of love of God. This higher understanding of the common purpose of all
religions – love of God – resolves the superficial contradictions among them.
Consider two dictionaries – a small pocket dictionary and a big bulky Chamber’s
dictionary. Just as small words like ‘come’, ‘go’, ‘eat’, etc. can be found in both the
pocket and the Chamber’s dictionaries, similarly basic instructions in the mode of
goodness like ‘Do not steal’, ‘Love everyone’, ‘Forgive your enemy’, ‘Always do good
to others’, may be found in all religious scriptures. And just as big words like
‘cataclysm’, ‘corroborate’ will not be found in the pocket dictionary, but can be found
only in the Chamber’s dictionary, similarly instructions in the mode of pure goodness,
like ‘Surrender to the will of the Lord out of unmotivated, uninterrupted love’, ‘Think of
God and serve Him twenty-four hours a day’, and ‘Renounce all worldly pleasures and
have a desire to serve God birth after birth without desiring even liberation’ can be found
only in the most advanced scriptures. Therefore authorized religions like Christianity,
Islam, etc. are like pocket dictionaries (where there is a partial revelation of the Truth
according to the level of the audience), and the scriptures like Bhagavad-gita and the
Shrimad Bhagavatam are like the Chamber’s dictionary (which give complete knowledge
after knowing which nothing further remains to be known).
Our Relationship with God – Ascending from Fear to Love
Although we understand that God is one Supreme, still different religions approach Him
at different levels. Understanding these levels will help us to become more focused in
our approach to God and will reveal the highest goal that one should aspire for. At the
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same time one will develop a respectful attitude and appreciation towards the other
religions that may take their followers to a certain level of relationship with God.
Consider the example of the Prime Minister of a country. A police constable works
under the police department that is one of the energies of the Prime Minister. That is the
way he is related to the Prime Minister. A Member of Parliament can see the Prime
Minister face to face, but has a relation in the mood of awe and veneration. But a son, or
wife, or mother of the Prime Minister has the most intimate relation with the Prime
Minister. They are so intimately related to him, that they do not even see him as a Prime
Minister but as a very near and dear lovable object. They know his likes and dislikes,
interests and concerns, moods and mission, etc. In the same way, different religions take
us to different levels of intimacy with God. As long as the relationship is out of fear,
desire, or duty it cannot be considered intimate. When love for the Lord awakens in
one’s heart, one can experience the real sweetness of the Lord’s reciprocation.
1) Bhaya (out of fear): The majority of religions teach worship on the platform of fear.
They portray God as the all powerful, grave chastiser of wrongdoers, the one who
casts the atheists in the blazing fire of hell for eternal damnation. God sits on a highly
elevated chair and on the ‘Day of Judgement’, often called by people as ‘Doomsday’,
He hears the activities of every living being and sends them to heaven or casts them
in eternal hell. In other religions there are very strict rules regarding covering the
body of women, and severe punishments for those who act mischievously with
women. These rules are certainly to be appreciated as they help people to give up
sinful or prohibited behavior. But they are not enough in themselves. In some
countries, people who face such restrictions, go to the neighboring country to enjoy
whatever they want and come back. Thus fear is not a great motivator for practicing
religion. Persons who worship the Lord out of stimulation of fear, ‘bhaya’, include
those who are afraid of hell, poverty, pain, and death. This understanding of God as a
frightening person is not a very advanced level of understanding because it focuses
on only one small aspect of God; but God is much more than that.
Still, we do not criticize such religions, as there is some kind of subordination to the
Supreme God. While respecting every religion that teaches accepting the authority of
God, we have to also objectively view the methods of practice, the goal of the
practitioner, the depth of relationship and intimacy with God, its practicability, the
quality of realizations that it brings to the practitioner, etc. By doing this, we can
appreciate the finer aspects of the ultimate religion, while treating all people as
children of God with different levels of understanding and realization of the same
Supreme God.
2) Asha (for satisfying material aspirations): At a higher stage, a person begins to
realize that all of his desires can be fulfilled only by pleading to a higher authority.
When he understands that the sanction of the Lord is required to achieve his desired
Meditation for Modern Age 117

end, he begins to follow the injunctions of the scriptures by performing sacrifice,


giving charity, taking to strict vows and austerities for the fulfillment of one’s desires.
One may thus aspire for material benefits like bountiful harvest, abundant wealth,
progeny, or elevation to heavenly planets to enjoy for a long duration. For example,
Dhruva aspired for a kingdom greater than his great-grandfather, Brahma, and thus
performed severe austerities at Madhuvan. After he achieved the darshan of Lord
Vishnu all his material desires were vanquished. He lamented about himself, how
foolish he had been in going to the Lord with such petty material desires.
3) Kartavya buddhi (out of a sense of duty): There are those who worship the Lord
with feelings of gratitude arising from conceiving of Him as God, the creator and
supplier of everything. The sense of duty makes them acknowledge the authority of
God and be grateful to Him for providing all the necessities of life – food, grains,
fruits, air, water, sunlight, minerals, etc., so that we may live happily in this world.
This type of worship, out of a sense of duty, is certainly superior to worship out of
fear or desire because, on this duty-bound platform, a person understands God to be a
loving father who provides him all that he needs for his sustenance and protection.
4) Raga (out of genuine attraction to the Lord): The real platform of religion,
however, is love of God where one worships God only out of love for Him. Such a
devotee does not consider God to be an order-supplier; rather he offers everything he
has to God out of unmotivated and uninterrupted love. It is immaterial whether one is
a Hindu, Muslim or a Christian, or belonging to any other religious denomination.
The ultimate goal of any true religion is to achieve pure love for God.
This love is characterized by selflessness, for we are not speaking of the love one feels
toward someone who has satisfied one’s senses or needs. It is actually the opposite; this
love is an expansion of oneself, an outward flow marked by selflessness in action, speech
and thought. It seeks no reward in return; the devotee only desires to satisfy the senses of
the Lord. The more one practices this type of love for God, the more one achieves
complete freedom from all bondage and develops an intimate relationship with God.
Difference between the Platform of Love and the Previous Platforms
Selflessness even on the material platform gives us some inner joy, what to speak of
selflessness on the spiritual platform!
Story : ‘The tender Feelings of Selfless Love’
Once a devotee from Bombay was traveling by car through a village. Suddenly one of the tyres of the car
got punctured. As the sun was about to set, and the repair would take considerable time, the devotee
started searching for a place to stay that night. A passing farmer was friendly and kind enough to invite
him to his home. The farmer happily accommodated him and gave necessary ingredients for cooking
prasadam. The next morning, while taking leave, the devotee, wanting to express his gratitude, took out
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a hundred-rupee note and offered it to the farmer. The farmer smiled and politely refused to accept it
saying, “I should thank you for giving me an opportunity to serve a guest like you. For us guests are like
gods. Visit us again.” Saying this, he did not accept the money. The devotee insisted, but the farmer
with a beaming smile on his face would not accept at all. At last the devotee asked him, “Do you ever
come to Bombay for any work?” The farmer in his rustic language replied, “Yes, sometimes when my
motor bearings are worn out, I go to the city to buy new bearings.” The devotee felt some kind of
intimacy when he stared at the innocent, simple, child-like face of the farmer. The devotee took out his
visiting card and gave it to him saying, “Okay, when you come to Bombay, please visit me. I will take the
opportunity to host you”. Then the devotee took leave of him, thanking him once again, and the farmer
waved his hands as a sign of a warm send-off, while the car, raising the dust of the village, disappeared
in the horizon.
Now ask yourself this simple question: If this devotee had gone to a hotel, had his dinner
there and paid the bill at the table, do you think he would have offered his visiting card to
the hotel owner with such a loving exchange as seen above in the case of the farmer? No.
Because that transaction would have been motivated, not by love, but by business.
In the same way, a pure devotee of the Lord does not expect anything in return from the
Lord for his loving service. This makes him very close to the heart of the Lord. Ask
yourself: Is there not a difference between your mother serving you food and a hotel
waiter serving you food? Even if the hotel waiter puts on a big smile while serving you,
you know the reason behind his smile. In the same way, the Lord has special
appreciation for the pure devotees who serve Him simply out of love, without any other
motivations.
The following pastime about Prahlada and his pure devotion to the Supreme Lord can
give us an understanding of what this platform of Love is.

Individual or GD Task: Learning about Love of God

If you are in a classroom, then your teacher will make groups of 4 or 5 students; if
you are reading this book alone, you can do it as an individual task. The following
pastime about Prahlada and his pure devotion to the Supreme Lord can give us an
understanding of what this platform of Love is. It also illustrates how the Lord is
anxious to protect those pure devotees who serve Him simply out of love, without
any other motivations. Read the story carefully. Each member of your group can
read one section given below. Discuss the answers for the questions inserted in
between the story amongst yourselves and answer the questions on a separate sheet.
Submit your answers along with the EBG Quiz: 12 answers. Remember to mention
on the top of your sheet ‘Lesson 12: Different platforms of worship, Individual or
GD Task’ along with your name or names of group members.
Meditation for Modern Age 119

Bhakta Prahlada, the Pure Devotee of the Lord


(Adapted from the chapter summaries of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Canto 7, by Srila Prabhupada)
Prahlada was the saintly son of the demon Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu performed
severe penances to please Brahma with the desire to become the master of the whole
universe, and to reverse the results of pious and impious activities. He wanted to become
immortal and take up the role of Vishnu as the Supreme enjoyer. Hiranyakashipu was an
extremely powerful demon, as he even controlled natural forces like heat, rain, wind, yield
of earth, etc. Even the devatas feared him. On the other hand, Prahlada was a great
devotee of the Lord by the mercy of Narada who preached to him the principles of bhakti
when Prahlada was still in his mother’s womb.
Hiranyakashipu's spiritual master, Sukracharya, had two
sons named Sanda and Amarka, to whom Prahlada
Maharaja was entrusted for education. Although the
teachers tried to educate the boy Prahlada in politics,
economics and other material activities, he did not care for their instructions.
Instead, he continued to be a pure devotee. Prahlada Maharaja never liked the
idea of discriminating between one's friends and enemies. Because he was
spiritually inclined, he was equal toward everyone.

Q1: What was the power of Hiranyakashipu?


Q2: Why did Prahlada not care for the instructions of his teachers on politics and
economics?
Once upon a time, Hiranyakashipu inquired from his son as to what was the
best thing he had learned from his teachers. Prahlada Maharaja replied that
a man engrossed in the material consciousness of duality, thinking, "This is
mine, and that belongs to my enemy," should give up his householder life and
go to the forest of Vrindavana to worship the Supreme Lord.
When Hiranyakashipu heard from his son about devotional service, he decided that
some friend in school had polluted this small boy. Thus he advised the teachers to
take care of the boy so that he would not become a Krishna conscious devotee.
However, when the teachers inquired from Prahlada Maharaja why he was going
against their teachings, Prahlada Maharaja replied that the mentality of ownership
is false, and that he was therefore trying to become an unalloyed devotee of Lord
Vishnu. The teachers, being very angry at this answer, chastised and threatened the
boy with many fearful conditions. They taught him to the best of their ability and
then brought him before his father.
Hiranyakashipu affectionately took his son Prahlada on his lap and then
again inquired from him what was the best thing he had learned from his teachers. As usual, Prahlada
Maharaja began praising the nine processes of devotional service, such as sravanam and kértanam. Thus
the King of the demons, Hiranyakashipu, being extremely angry, chastised the teachers, Sanda and Amarka,
for having wrongly trained Prahlada Maharaja. The so-called teachers informed the King that Prahlada
Maharaja was automatically a devotee and did not listen to their instructions. When they proved themselves
innocent, Hiranyakashipu inquired from Prahlada where he had learned Vishnu-bhakti. Prahlada Maharaja
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replied that those who are attached to family life do not develop Krishna consciousness, either personally or
collectively. Instead, they suffer repeated birth and death in this material world and continue simply
chewing the chewed. Prahlada explained that the duty of every man is to take shelter of a pure devotee and
thus become eligible to understand Krishna consciousness.
Q3: What did Hiranyakashipu instruct the teachers to do with Prahlada?
Q4: What method did Prahlada suggest his father?
a) that would not make him Krishna conscious
b) to become eligible to understand Krishna consciousness?

Enraged at this answer, Hiranyakashipu threw Prahlada Maharaja from his lap.
Hiranyakashipu felt that Prahlada was so treacherous that he had become a devotee
of Vishnu, who had killed his uncle Hiranyaksha. So Hiranyakashipu asked his
assistants to kill Prahlada. The assistants of Hiranyakashipu struck Prahlada with
sharp weapons, threw him under the feet of elephants, subjected him to hellish
conditions, threw him from the peak of a mountain and tried to kill him in thousands
of other ways, but they were unsuccessful. Hiranyakashipu therefore became
increasingly afraid of his son Prahlada Maharaja and arrested him. The sons of
Hiranyakashipu's spiritual master, Sukracharya, began teaching Prahlada in their own
way, but Prahlada Maharaja did not accept their instructions. While the teachers
were absent from the classroom, Prahlada Maharaja began to preach Krishna
consciousness in the school, and by his instructions all his class friends, the sons of
the demons, became devotees like him.
Following the instructions of Prahlada Maharaja, all the sons of the demons became
attached to Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When this attachment
became pronounced, their teachers, Sanda and Amarka, were very much afraid that
the boys would become more and more devoted to the Lord. In a helpless condition, they approached
Hiranyakashipu and described in detail the effect of Prahlada's preaching. After hearing of this,
Hiranyakashipu decided to kill his son Prahlada. Hiranyakashipu, as a typical demon, began to advertise
himself as being greater than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Prahlada Maharaja challenged him,
saying that Hiranyakashipu was not God, and began to glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
declaring that the Lord is the Supreme and that everything is under Him, and that no one is equal to or
greater than Him. Thus he requested his father to be submissive to the omnipotent Supreme Lord.

Q5: What two follow-up actions did Hiranyakashipu take after all his attempts to
kill Prahlada were unsuccessful?
Q6: What did Prahlada do in the absence of his teachers with his friends?
Q7: What did Prahlada say when his father declared himself to be God?

The more Prahlada Maharaja glorified the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the more angry and agitated
the demon became. Hiranyakashipu asked his Vaisnava son whether his God existed within the columns of
the palace, and Prahlada Maharaja immediately accepted that, since the Lord is present everywhere, He
was also present within the columns. When Hiranyakashipu heard this philosophy from his young son, he
derided the boy's statement as just the talk of a child and forcefully struck the pillar with his fist.
Meditation for Modern Age 121

As soon as Hiranyakashipu struck the column, there issued forth a tumultuous


sound. At first Hiranyakashipu, the King of the demons, could not see anything
but the pillar, but to substantiate Prahlada's statements, the Lord came out of the
pillar in His wonderful incarnation as Narasimha, half lion and half man.
Hiranyakashipu could immediately understand that the extraordinarily wonderful
form of the Lord was surely meant for his death, and thus he prepared to fight
with the form of half lion and half man. The Lord performed His pastimes by
fighting with the demon for some time, and in the evening, on the border
between day and night, the Lord captured the demon, threw him on His lap, and
killed him by piercing his abdomen with His nails. The Lord not only killed
Hiranyakashipu, the King of the demons, but also killed many of his followers.
When there was no one else to fight, the Lord, roaring with anger, sat down on
Hiranyakashipu's throne.
The entire universe was thus relieved of the rule of Hiranyakashipu, and everyone was jubilant in
transcendental bliss. Then all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, approached the Lord.

Q8: Even a small boy like Prahlada could see that the Lord is present
everywhere. Then why could Hiranyakashipu, who performed such severe
penances, not believe in this fact?
Q9: Why did the Lord appear as Narasimha?
Q10: List at least three teachings that you learnt from this pastime.

After Hiranyakashipu was killed, the Lord continued to be very angry, and the demigods, headed by Lord
Brahma, could not pacify Him. Even mother Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, the constant companion of
Narayana, could not dare come before Lord Narasimhadeva. Then Lord Brahma asked Prahlada Maharaja to
go forward and pacify the Lord's anger. Prahlada Maharaja, being confident of the affection of his master,
Lord Narasimhadeva, was not afraid at all. He very gravely appeared before the Lord's lotus feet and offered
Him respectful obeisances. Lord Narasimhadeva, being very much affectionate toward Prahlada Maharaja,
put His hand on Prahlada's head and, because of being personally touched by the Lord, Prahlada Maharaja
immediately achieved spiritual knowledge. Thus he offered his prayers to the Lord in full spiritual knowledge
and full devotional ecstasy. The instructions given by Prahlada Maharaja in the form of his prayers are as
follows:
Q11: Who all could not pacify Lord Narasimhadeva? Finally who pacified Him?
Q12: Why was Prahlada not afraid to approach Lord Narasimhadeva?
Q13: How did Prahlada offer prayers to Lord Narasimhadeva?
Prahlada said, "I am not proud of being able to offer prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I
simply take shelter of the mercy of the Lord, for without devotion one cannot appease Him. One cannot
please the Supreme Personality of Godhead simply by dint of high parentage or great opulence, learning,
austerity, penance or mystic power. Indeed, these are never pleasing to the Supreme Lord, for nothing can
please Him but pure devotional service. Even if a nondevotee is a brahmana qualified with the twelve-
brahminical symptoms, he cannot be very dear to the Lord, whereas if a person born in a family of dog-
eaters is a devotee, the Lord can accept his prayers. The Lord does not need anyone's prayers, but if a
devotee offers his prayers to the Lord, the devotee benefits greatly.
Q14: What things do not please the Lord? What alone pleases the Lord?
122 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Q15: Who is dear to the Lord and who is not dear to Him?
Q16: Why does the Lord accept prayers from people? Is accepting glorification
about oneself from others not considered a sign of false pride?
Lord Narasimhadeva appeared for the benefit of all human society, not only for Prahlada's personal benefit.
The fierce form of Lord Narasimhadeva may appear most awful to a nondevotee, but to the devotee the Lord
is always as affectionate as He is in other forms. While Prahlada said that he was not afraid of the fierce
form of Lord Narasimhadeva, he said that he was extremely afraid of association with materialistic demons,
who are always engrossed in enjoying the temporary things of this world. Indeed, a devotee is not afraid of
anything else. Although there are so-called material protectors like Lord Brahma and the other demigods,
or even one's own father, they are unable to do anything if one is
neglected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, one who has
fully taken shelter of the Lord's lotus feet can be saved from the
onslaught of material nature. Therefore, every living entity should not be
attracted to so-called material happiness, but should take shelter of the
Lord by all means. That is the mission of human life. To be attracted by
sense-gratification is simply foolish. Whether one is a devotee of the Lord
or is a nondevotee does not depend upon one's birth in a high or low
family. The Lord's mercy is bestowed equally upon everyone, regardless
of whether one is high or low. Because Narada Muni blessed Prahlada
Maharaja, Prahlada became a great devotee.
Prahlada Maharaja thus offered his prayers to the Supreme Lord, begging
His mercy at every step. Lord Narasimhadeva was pacified by Prahlada
Maharaja’s prayers and wanted to give him benedictions by which
Prahlada could procure all kinds of material facilities. Prahlada Maharaja,
however, was not misled by material facilities. Prahlada Maharaja said [SB 7.10.4]: “One who desires
some material benefit in exchange for devotional service cannot be Your pure devotee. Indeed, he is no
better than a merchant who wants profit in exchange for service”. Prahlada wanted to remain always a
servant of the servant of the Lord. Thus he prayed to Lord Narasimhadeva, “O my Lord, best of the givers of
benediction, if You at all want to bestow a desirable benediction upon me, then I pray from Your Lordship
that within the core of my heart there be no material desires”. [S.B.7.10.7]
Q17: What was Prahalada afraid of and what was he not afraid of?
Q18: Who cannot offer protection?
Q19: What is the mission of human life?
Q20: What is the specialty of the Lord’s mercy?
Q21: How could Prahlada become such a great devotee?
Q22: What did Lord Narasimhadeva want to offer Prahlada? How did Prahlada
respond to that?
Q23: If one wants something in return for his worship of the Lord, what does
Prahlada compare such a person to ?
Q24: What position did Prahlada aspire for?
Q25: What is Prahlada’s most “desirable benediction” ? What do you understand
by this?
Meditation for Modern Age 123

On the previous platforms of Fear, Desire and Duty, the worshipper is interested in God
mainly as a facilitator of his material life, but on this platform, one serves God simply out
of love without expecting any material benefit. It is this pure philosophy of unmotivated
love of God that the Shrimad Bhagavatam teaches: “The supreme occupation (dharma)
for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the
transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to
completely satisfy the self.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6)
The only aspiration of the devotee of the Lord
Thus the spiritual bliss the devotee feels on this platform of love is not because the Lord
has satisfied his senses by offering him the objects of enjoyment that he desired, but
because the devotee is given the opportunity to serve the Lord. Such a devotee considers
opportunity for service to the Lord as a great privilege. A devotee does not care whether
he may get his next birth in heaven or hell. He only desires to go on rendering service to
the Lord birth after birth. Given a chance to become Brahma, the greatest living entity in
the whole universe, a devotee will not accept it if that post will make him forget the Lord.
On the other hand, a devotee will gladly accept even the body of a worm if in that body
he could live in the house of a devotee. Because in the house of a devotee he can get the
dust of the feet of the Lord’s devotees and eat the remnants of prasadam, the sanctified
food offered to the Lord. A devotee has no ambitions in life that will not be pleasing to
his guru and Krishna. He never harbors desires or hankerings that will be detrimental to
his Krishna consciousness. Thus, making the satisfaction of guru and Krishna to be the
ultimate goal of his life, the devotee can go on serving in this way, and be joyfully
situated perpetually.

How is Awakening Love of God Superior to Doing Social Service?

If one loves God purely, then one can love every living being and know how to
administer good to them. Just as in a house, if you switch on the master switch then all
the bulbs, fans, fridge, TV – all of them - get switched on. In a car, when you lock the
master lock all the windows and doors get locked. Similarly, if one learns to love the
supreme master, Shri Krishna, then one naturally loves all living beings. Bhakta
Prahlada, the exalted devotee of Lord Narasimhadeva, remained unshaken even in the
face of great adversities and desired the good of his father, the demoniac Hiranyakashipu,
though the latter tried to brutally murder him in numerous ways.
In modern times people have coined a new slogan, “service to man is service to God”.
Actually the opposite is true. When you give food, clothing and shelter to a man, his
greed for getting more and more never stops. When you give money, a man may misuse
it for sinful activities like smoking and drinking. When you build a hospital to cure the
diseased, men may continue their sinful habits after getting cured of the previous
diseases. But when one is taught to love God by chanting the holy names, one gets the
124 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

association of God – the Supreme pure; thus one gives up all sinful propensities and
becomes a friend of every living being. A simple illustration is of Valya, the highway
robber who, by the mercy of Narada muni, became the great devotee of Lord Rama,
Valmiki. He later recorded the world-famous ‘Ramayana’, the narration of the pastimes
of Lord Rama.
The Divine and the Demoniac

A Wise man – (from Mahabharata)


• Acts in accordance with religion, pursuing a course that benefits him in this life and
the next, rather than one that offers immediate pleasure
• Does not lament for what is lost (that which we leave behind at the time of death)
• Nor does he hanker for the unattainable (wealth, position, fame, etc.)
• Rejoices in virtuous deeds and shuns sin (yajna, dana, tapa, dharma, japa, worship,
etc.)
• Understands the world as a temporary place full of sufferings to reform the
conditioned souls
• Understands and recognizes God’s supremacy and his own position as a servant of
God
• Directs all his actions towards pleasing God and attaining His abode

A foolish man – (from Mahabharata)


• Is proud, even though ignorant (like Duryodhana, Hiranyakashipu or Ravana)
• Tries to prosper through sin (Duryodhana’s plot to take over the kingdom through
gambling)
• Hankers after other’s property (Duryodhan hankering for the Pandava’s property)
• Resorts to deceit and violence; hurts others to achieve his own nefarious ends
• Forsakes that which should be obtained (divine qualities)
• Desires that which should not be desired (Ravana desiring Sita)
• Remains faithless, makes no offerings to the Lord, but worships only himself
(Hiranyakashipu)
• Speaks arrogantly, angrily, with harshness of speech (Hiranyakashipu rebuking
Prahlada)
• Befriends those who should be foes, while hating those worthy of friendship
• When he fails in his endeavors, he blames others and punishes the innocent
Thus, irrespective of which religion, caste, creed, color, nationality a person belongs to,
all human beings can be divided into two classes -- ‘Vishnu bhakta smrto daiva asuras
tad viparyayah’ -- ‘The devotees of the Lord are devas and all those opposed to the plan
of the Lord are demons’.
Meditation for Modern Age 125

The demons do not know the laws of God; nor are they
interested to know the laws of God. They thrive on sinful
activities by deliberately disobeying God and disregarding His
proprietorship of everything. Sometimes they concoct
something about the unfathomable God with their few grams of
brain substance and mislead the general populace from the path
of His instructions.
A devotee, on the other hand, accepts the authority of God and
follows His instructions according to the authorized scriptures.
Therefore, for a seeker of truth, the first step is to accept the
authority of God. Then he can understand the different
platforms of worshipping God, namely, fear, desire, duty and
love. Thus the real purpose of religion is to ultimately elevate
the follower gradually to the highest platform of love of God.

* * * * *

‘Spiritual Scientist’, Quiz: 6


Different Platforms of Worship

Part A (to be answered by All)

Answer the following questions in TWO or THREE sentences on a separate sheet : (10 x
2 = 20 marks)

1. What is the cause of religious confrontations or wars?


2. What similarities did you find amongst the religions in the topic ‘Returning to the
Kingdom of God’?
3. What did you understand from the example of pocket dictionary and big dictionary?
4. While Muslims are allowed to eat meat, Hindus are not allowed to do so as per their
scriptures. How do we explain these apparent differences?
5. Why is understanding of God on the platform of fear considered not very advanced?
6. Is worshipping the Lord for satisfying our desires good or bad? Give reasons for
your answer.
7. What do you consider the most important turning point in Dhruva’s life?
126 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

8. Whenever my friends agree to my ideas I feel love for them. But I also have
enemies who are foolish, because they don’t take my ideas seriously. What do you
think about my love?
9. What is the difference between a business transaction and a loving transaction?
10. What makes a devotee very close to the heart of the Lord?

Part B (only for married and Below 50 years)

Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)

1. Write from your experience (without quoting any names if it involves close
relations) where you could clearly see and understand that: a) the relationship of
that person with you or your family is motivated, b) the worship of that person to
some God is motivated by fear, duty or desire?
2. Who are counted as devas and who are counted as demons?

Part C (only for College students)

Answer the following questions within TWO or THREE sentences: (2 + 3 = 5 marks)

1. How much does one’s high birth or low birth matter in one becoming a devotee or a
nondevotee?
2. Refute the argument: “Service to man is service to God”.
Meditation for Modern Age 127

Bhagavad Gita As It Is Quiz : 6


Different platforms of worship

Answer the following questions in ONE or TWO sentences on a separate sheet: (1 x 30 =


30 marks)

Syllabus for the following Quiz: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.7, 4.12, 7.16-19, 16.6,
17.11-13, 17.17-19

1. Who can manufacture a system of religion? (4.7)


2. What is the purpose of the Vedas? (4.7)
3. What happens when religious principles are disturbed by demons? (4.7)
4. In every incarnation the Lord speaks according to the level of the people and
circumstances. But what is the similar mission behind all these incarnations? (4.7)
5. Explain what is ‘higher and lower Mathematics’ with respect to incarnations. (4.7)
6. What is the great misconception that people have about demigods? What is the
correct understanding? (4.12)
7. What is the relationship between the Supreme Lord and Siva or Brahma? (4.12)
8. What does Shankaracarya say about Narayana or Krishna? (4.12)
9. What is wrong with going to demigods and achieving benedictions? (4.12)
10. What can: a) demigods b) Krishna -- offer to their worshippers? (4.12)
11. Who are the four types of people who approach the Supreme Lord? (7.16)
12. Are these four types of people pure devotees? Give reasons. (7.16)
13. How can these mixed devotees become pure devotees? (7.16)
14. What are the characteristics of miscreants mentioned in this purport? How can they
become pure devotees? (7.16)
15. What does one realize when one is fully purified? (7.17)
16. If one is situated in pure knowledge of Krishna’s divine nature, how does the Lord
protect him? (7.17)
128 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

17. Why does the Lord call the mixed devotees as magnanimous souls? (7.18)
18. What type of intimacy exists between the Supreme Lord and His devotee? (7.18)
19. What does one realize in the beginning stage and in the mature stage of spiritual
realization? (7.19)
20. List the six things mentioned in the purport that one understands when one becomes
attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and surrenders to Him? (7.19)
21. Which mentality is called divine? (16.6)
22. Who is called demoniac or asuric? (16.6)
23. What is the only criterion that marks the line between the divine and the demoniac?
(16.6)
24. What is the difference between demigods and demons? (16.6)
25. Can you think what could be the purpose of Lord Krishna describing elaborately the
nature of demons? (16.6)
26. Which type of worship will place one in the mode of goodness? What do the general
people think about going to temple? (17.11-13)
27. Why do some people worship some demigod? (17.11-13)
28. What is penance performed without any desire for material benefit, but only for the
sake of the Supreme, categorized as? (17.17-19)
29. What type of penances a person in mode of passion perform? (17.17-19)
30. What is the nature of penance in the mode of ignorance? Give an example. (17.19)

* * * * *
Meditation for Modern Age 129

Appendix 1

Meditation for
Modern Age
130 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Meditation for Modern Age


The different methods of yoga like ashtanga yoga, hatha yoga, jnana yoga are not
prescribed for this age of Kali yuga. This age is characterized by short life span, fast
paced life, little time and intelligence to undergo Vedic study etc. The scriptures
prescribe a very simple form of meditation—chanting of Hare Krishna maha mantra. The
sixteen Sanskrit words Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare
Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare constitute a mantra, or transcendental sound
formula. This powerful mantra, known as the mahamantra, has been prescribed by the
great spiritual authorities as the easiest and most effective method of attaining self-
realization in the present age.
Regular chanting of this maha mantra and hearing this transcendental sound vibration
purifies the heart of the chanter and establishes pure love for God in his heart.
Our entanglement in material affairs begins from material sound. Each day we hear
material sounds from radio and television, from friends and relatives, and according to
what we hear, we think, desire, feel and act materially. Thus we remain within the
material sphere of existence, taking on one material body after another and undergoing
the miseries of birth, death, old age and disease. But, as Srila Prabhupada points out,
“There is sound in the spiritual world also. If we approach that sound, then our spiritual
life begins.”

The living being in material life is likened to a dreaming man, who accepts the situations
of happiness and distress within his dream as ultimate reality. He dreams of finding a
treasure, but in truth he is not a penny richer. He dreams of being attacked by a tiger, but
he is not actually in danger. When he is awakened by the sound of his alarm clock, he
realizes his actual situation. In the same way, one who chants the transcendental sounds
of the name of Krishna gradually wakes up from the dreamlike condition of material life
to his original spiritual position.
Spiritual sound has special qualities. Hearing the sound “water” reminds us of the taste of
the water and its qualities. But because of the distinct difference between material sound
and its object, the sound “water” cannot quench our thirst. The name Krishna however is
absolute sound vibrated from the spiritual platform and is therefore non-different from
Krishna. And because Krishna is omnipotent, His transcendental energies are manifested
within the sound of His name. The vibration “Hare Krishna” has the power to purify the
mind and the consciousness. Since every living being is eternally related with Krishna,
the chanting of His names is often compared with the natural call of a child for his
mother.
Meditation for Modern Age 131

The word mantra means that which delivers the mind (man “mind”, tra “that which
delivers the mind from material illusions and anxieties”).
Chanting purifies the mind just as medicine prescribed for a bodily ailment gradually
restores the body to its natural, healthy condition. One who engages in this practice,
known as mantra meditation, gradually develops great mental control and attains a
heightened sense of awareness. In this pure state of spiritual consciousness, free from
inebrieties such as tension, confusion, depression, and feelings of envy and hatred, one
experiences real peace of mind.

How to chant

Take the japa-mala in the right hand, holding it between the thumb and the middle finger.

The index (first) finger is not used, as it is considered


contaminated.
Start at the bead next to the head bead (the biggest
bead).
Before the Hare Krishna maha-mantra japa, chant the
Panca-tattva maha-mantra:

sri krishna-caitanya prabhu nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara


srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda.

Chanting these names of Lord Chaitanya and His principal associates helps us to become
free from offences in chanting Hare Krishna maha mantra.
Now chant the complete maha-mantra on the first bead. Then move your thumb and
middle finger onto the next bead. After chanting 108 times, you will again reach the head
bead and will then have completed one mala or “round”. Now turn the whole set of beads
around in your hand without crossing the head bead and start another round by again
chanting the panca-tattva mantra followed by the Hare Krishna maha manta.
Chanting is simple but should be performed properly for best results. Chanting should be
at least loud enough that a person next to the chanter can hear it. While chanting,
concentrate on hearing the maha-mantra. This concentration is mantra-meditation and is
powerful for cleaning our hearts. It is difficult to stop the mind wandering but, as with
132 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

anything else, practice makes perfect. Note that the mantra should be chanted distinctly
so that each syllable can be clearly heard.

The best time to chant is early in the morning (during the brahma-muhurta, the auspicious
period before sunrise). One can chant in any situation – on a train, while going to work or
walking on the street – but it is best to finish our fixed quota of chanting with full
concentration early in the morning, before starting one’s routine daily activities.

Mahamantra

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare


Hare |

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ||


Srila Prabhupada – The Ambassador of the Kingdom of God 133

Appendix 2

Srila Prabhupada –
The Ambassador of the
Kingdom of God
134 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Srila Prabhupada – The Ambassador of the Kingdom of God

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of ISKCON,
appeared in this world in Calcutta in 1896 on Nandotsav day, the day following
Janmashtami. In his youth in 1922, he met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Saraswati Thakura, who convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge,
especially in the English language.

In 1944, he single-handedly started Back to Godhead, an


English fortnightly magazine. Though practically
penniless, his faith in the order of his spiritual master
took him to New York in 1965 at the advanced age of 70.
After a year of intense struggle, in July 1966, he
established the International Society for Krishna
Consciousness (ISKCON) with its first center in New
York. During the next eleven years, before his passing
away on November 14, 1977, he undertook vigorous
preaching tours that took him round the globe fourteen
times. Under his guidance, he saw the society grow to
over 108 centers. ISKCON continues to expand even
now with over 600 centers all over the world. He taught
the individual and the congregational chanting of the
Holy Names of Lord Krishna as the topmost form of
yoga and meditation and millions of people all over the
world have adopted this mantra meditation as an integral part of their lives.
In 1968, Srila Prabhupada created New Vrindavana, an experimental Vedic community
in the hills of West Virginia. In 1972 His Divine Grace introduced the Vedic system of
education in the West by founding a gurukula in Dallas, Texas. Srila Prabhupada inspired
the establishment of a forum of leading God-conscious scientists named, the
Bhaktivedanta Institute (BI). He established international cultural centers in Sridhama
Mayapur, Vrindavana, Mumbai and other places. He also took India’s festivals,
especially Rath-Yatra, to the West.
Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contribution is his books - 70 authoritative renditions
of ancient Indian classics, including Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, the most widely read edition
of the Bhagavad-Gita in English and a multi-volume commentated translation of the
eighteen thousand verse Shrimad Bhagavatam. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica noted,
“A C Bhaktivedanta Swami astonished scholars by his prolific writing “ .
Srila Prabhupada – The Ambassador of the Kingdom of God 135

“Poverty means poverty of knowledge,” Srila Prabhupada would often say. His
conviction was that humanity was lacking in spiritual knowledge, which was essential for
achieving real happiness in life. His vision therefore was that of a global East-West
synthesis, based on the proverbial blind man-lame man story. India has the divine vision
of spiritual wisdom, but is financially crippled due to centuries of foreign exploitation
and so is like the lame man. USA has financial and technological resources but is lacking
in spiritual knowledge and so is like the blind man. If the blind man and the lame man
join forces, both of them can reach the destination. Similarly, Srila Prabhupada brought
together Indian spiritual wisdom and American technology to revive God consciousness
all over the world through ISKCON. With this in mind, he trained thousands of disciples
to live a life of pure spiritual principles in the modern world.
Srila Prabhupada preached that the chanting of the holy names of God, especially the
Hare Krishna maha mantra, is a practical and powerful way to raise spiritual
consciousness – individually and globally. He demonstrated the liberating potency of
mantra meditation by freeing hundreds of hippies from self-destructive drug addictions
during the period of the counter-culture in USA in the 1960s and 1970s, a feat that was
recognized even by Western scholars and sociologists. Srila Prabhupada would stress,
“Without the awakening of divine consciousness, there is no use of crying for world
peace.”
Srila Prabhupada will always be remembered for the selfless saintly compassion with
which he gave the light of genuine spiritualism in the darkness of materialism. Thus he
built a house in which the whole world can live.
136 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Appendix 3

Vedic Oasis for Inspiration,


Culture & Education
(VOICE)

Rekindling Wisdom, Reviving Love


Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture & Education(VOICE) 137

BACE becomes VOICE

B.A.C.E. (Bhaktivedanta Academy for Culture and Education) has been a name we
have been using for all our preaching activities -- mostly youth, but also children,
girls, corporate etc. We have been having different names for each of these wings
under BACE such as ISKCON Youth Forum - boys/girls wing, Bhakta Prahlad
School for children wing etc.
In order to have a simplified name that can be commonly used by all these wings,
we have finalized the name VOICE with the blessings of His Holiness
Gopalakrishna goswami and His Holiness Radhanath swami maharajas.
******************************************************************
V.O.I.C.E = Vedic Oasis for Inspiration Culture and Education
******************************************************************
VOICE represents 'Spiritual Sound of Vedas' 'Shabda brahma' or 'Voicing
concern'.

Modern world is facing great degradation of character, culture and values. For a
sincere human being to live a life of pure principles is a great challenge. The
'Vedic Oasis' conveys the idea that it is 'life-giving' centre in a 'stress-ridden fast-
paced rat race society' that is like a desert. Also 'Oasis' helps to avoid the
'Academy' that comes in BACE; thus the people don't see it just as a education
centre alone but a centre for inspiration, culture and education. Thus VOICE will
provide a facility like an Oasis in the middle of desert to keep oneself charged in
remembrance of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna always. The inspiration is
spiritual inspiration to perform devotional service with full enthusiasm.
We will be calling our different wings as
• CHILDREN VOICE (for children, Age group 5 yrs to 12 years),
earlier called as Bhakta Prahlad school
• TEENAGE BOYS VOICE (for teenage boys, Age group 13 to 19),
earlier called as ISKCON Junior Youth Forum
• TEENAGE GIRLS VOICE (for teenage girls, Age group 13 to 19),
• BOYS VOICE (for the college students, Age group 19 and above ),
earlier called as ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF) or BACE
• GIRLS VOICE (for the college girls, Age group 19 and above),
earlier called as IYF – Girls wing
• CORPORATE VOICE (for the company-going men and women),
138 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture & Education


(VOICE)

VOICE, the Vedic Oasis for the stressed mind of modern age

Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture & Education (VOICE) touches the hearts and lives
of children, teenagers, adolescent youth, corporates, families. Its motto is rekindling
wisdom and reviving love.

VOICE represents 'Spiritual Sound of Vedas' 'Shabda brahma' or 'Voicing concern'.


Modern world is facing great degradation of character, culture and values. For a sincere
human being to live a life of pure principles is a great challenge. The 'Vedic Oasis'
conveys the idea that it is 'life-giving' centre in a 'stress-ridden fast-paced rat race society'
that is like a desert. Thus VOICE will provide a facility like an Oasis in the middle of
desert to keep oneself surcharged in remembrance of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna
always. The inspiration is spiritual inspiration to practice devotion to God with full
enthusiasm.

We have different wings of VOICE catering to the needs of different sections of society :

Children VOICE (for children between 5 yrs to 12 years),


Teenage Boys VOICE (for teenage boys, Age group 13 to 19),
Teenage Girls VOICE (for teenage girls, Age group 13 to 19),
Boys VOICE (for the college students, Age group 19 and above ),
Girls VOICE (for the college girls, Age group 19 and above),
Corporate VOICE (for the company-going men and women),
Senior Citizens VOICE (for members above 50 years of age)

Our Motto

The motto of VOICE is ‘Rekindling Wisdom, Reviving Love’.

Intellectual education influences the head and value-based education influences the heart.
In fact, education that does not train the heart can be dangerous. If we want to build
character in our offices, homes and society, we must have the wisdom to live a principle-
centered life based on honesty, compassion, courage, responsibility etc. Steven Muller,
President, Johns Hopkins University said : “Universities are turning out highly skilled
barbarians because we don’t provide a framework of values to young people, who more
and more are searching for it.” Winston Churchill said, “The first duty of a university is
to teach wisdom, not trade; character, not technicalities.” Educated persons are those
Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture & Education(VOICE) 139

who can choose wisely and courageously under any circumstances between good and
bad, between virtuousness and vulgarities regardless of the academic degrees they have.
The goal of VOICE is to rekindle the innate wisdom about meaning and purpose of life.

Peter R.Schemm in his book entitled, ‘Love: Impact on Physical and Mental Health’
explains that people who live in relationships in which they do not feel loved, protected,
happy or secure are ten times more susceptible to chronic disease and five time more
susceptible to mental illness. Also studies prove that love heals diseases. Community,
security, protection, sharing, care and concern for one another – all these are possible
only when people learn to lead a selfless God-centered life. Such a life awakens the
dormant love in our hearts that manifests as respect for elders, compassion for the
youngers, friendliness towards equals, surrender to the laws of God that matures as love
for God and towards all.

Objectives

1. Creating a class of people of high character and competence.


2. Saving teenagers from self-destructive habits.
3. Creating communities for counseling and growth in self-excellence skills as well as
spirituality.
4. Use Arts, Culture, Music and Media to propagate the message of Wisdom literatures.
5. Creating a class of people who respect, trust and love each other, living as vehicles of
wisdom.
6. Use talents for propagating love of God and love for all, through the divine Voice of
God.
7. Distributing spiritual literature at subsidized prices.
8. Training in Science of God, etiquettes and behaviour, prayer and practices, practical
services to God.
140 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Specialised training for


children, teenagers, youths and corporates

Children VOICE

Advisors : Radheshyam das, Radhika devi dasi, Hemangigopi devi dasi


Co-ordinators : Rasasundari devi dasi, Krishnakishore das,
Assistant Co-ordinators : Ramananda das, Yashodarani devi dasi, Parthahari das

Children are trained in story telling, creative


exercises, singing, dancing, dramas, painting,
sloka recitation, fancy dress competition, etc.
There are books exclusively published for
these children like ‘Getting to know Krishna’
‘Wonderful Krishna’ etc that are taught by
expertly trained teachers to imbibe good
samskars -- character and values in children.
There are quarterly ‘Balotsav’ programs
where these children get opportunity to
display their talents through drama, art, singing, dancing, performances, display booths –
that is open for thousands of visitors. During summer vacations, special children camps
are organized for fun and learning experience of the children. There are over ten children
VOICEs all over Pune that operate once a week for a couple of hours, generally in the
week end. Generally about 25 children attend each of these programs. The course
registration generally starts from June.

Teenage Boys VOICE


Advisors : Govinda prabhu (Chowpatty), Radheshyam das, Caitanyacharan das
Co-ordinators : Tulsi das, Varadaraj das

Modern teenagers are attacked by the money


thirsty media programs that impel them to buy
costly mobiles, bikes, sports shoes, pants and
wears etc. The movies present perverted themes
and cause teenagers to indulge in drugs and
drinks, smoking and sex-partners – considering
themselves ‘free birds’. But all this craze ends in
Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture & Education(VOICE) 141

self-destructive addictions, depression, failure in academics or social responsibilities,


psychological traumatic experiences often ending in suicide. Our programs are oriented
to train them in patience, maturity, self control, clean habits, tolerance, respect for elders,
meditation to calm the raging mind etc. The teenagers perform skits, sing, play
instruments, join the spiritual dance, meditate and go for spiritual picnics. They also
learn public speaking, studying effectively, developing concentration and avoid bad
habits.
Boys VOICE
Director : Radheshyam das, M.Tech. IIT, Mumbai
VOICE Governing Body (VGB):
Acharya Ratna das,B.E.Comp, 9434047299 ,
Bal Govind das, B.E. Mech., 9325502474
Shyamrupa das, B.E. Mech. 9422079881
Ram Priya das, MBBS, (MD), 9373322501
VOICE Executive Committee (VEC):
Gopal Champu das, B.E.Comp , Ankur Gupta,B.Tech. IITKGP,
Rajshekar, M.Tech, IITKGP, Gyanprakash,B.Tech, IITKGP,
Veerayyah, B.Tech, NITK, Sripad, M.Tech, NIT Warrangal and
Chandramouli, B.Tech, IITKGP
Publications and Sales Manager :
Krishnakishore das, M.E. Comp., Asst Prof, VIT college. 09822451260

Boys VOICE has been preaching to youth community since 1996 and over 10,000
students have participated in different courses. Boys VOICE also has over a dozen youth
hostels across the country close to the colleges like IITKGP, NITWarrangal,
NITSuratkal, NITJamshedpur, BVPCOE, Pune, SIT, Pune etc for offering the following
training program to empower the modern youth.
142 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Personality Development and Character Build Up


• Training the students in the application of philosophy, values and principles in their
personal life.
• Rising early, sleeping early, morning mantra meditation, GD and interactions
• Training in etiquettes, manners and proper behavior to be followed while living in
society.
• Training in dealing with equals, juniors, seniors, elders in the family, parents, teachers.
• Training in integrity, truthfulness, simplicity, trustworthiness, non-envy, maturity,
humility etc
• Training in self-excellence skills like giving presentations, conflict resolution,
empathic listening etc
Yoga, Meditation and Nutritious Diet
• Vibrant health, peaceful mind, and satisfying
loving relationships are essential for a life of
quality.
• People poison their digestive tract with meat,
alcohol,drugs, sleeping pills and junk-food.
• The purpose of food is to increase the
duration of life, purify the mind and aid
bodily strength.

At VOICE, the students get Prasadam, sanctified lactovegetarian sanctified diet. It is


wholesome, nutritious, satisfying and nourishing to body and soul.

Mantra Meditation
• Modern man filled with fear, tension, anger, defensive attitude etc leading to stress.
• The adrenaline hormone secretion leads to disorders like indigestion, back pain, blood
pressure rise etc.
• Mantra Meditation is a powerful tool to alleviate stress and attain peace of mind.
• It provides one inner strength, patience, tolerance, vigor, confidence, power to make
decisions etc.
• VOICE Students regularly perform mantra meditation and lead cheerful stress-free
lives.

Topping in Academics
• Spirituality and Academics are given equal importance for VOICE students.
• During JAN/FEB/MAR and APR/MAY/JUN, the students study 10-13-16 hours per
week.
Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture & Education(VOICE) 143

• They fill Study cards and report to their Counselors for perusal and subsequent
instruction.
• The alumni student or professor devotees help the younger students by coaching.
• For a devotee student, his college studies are not material. It is Krishna’s service.

Public Speaking and Discussion (PSD)


• Students are trained how to deliver lecture presentations.
• They are taught to face challenges from the audience
without losing temper.
• They are assessed on the basis of ten criteria and room
for improvements are offered to them.
• A seasoned preacher gives clarifies all the lingering
misconceptions.

Team Playing and Synergising


• Group Discussion Camps (GDC) teaches the students to work cooperatively in a team.
• They learn to value others opinions, to pool up the talents of many, to be confident etc.
• They prepare one of their team members to give a presentation, make a display, put up
a skit etc.

Devotional Qualifications
• They are trained in cooking, cleaning, washing, worshiping, performing arati,
• singing, playing instruments like mridanga, kartals, harmonium,
• purchasing things from market, handling accounts, managing different departments
like kitchen, etc.
• This foundational training is greatly helpful now and in the future.

Personal Care and Counseling


• Every VOICE student has a Counselor who acts in his life as a Philosopher, Friend
and Guide.
• He answers the student’s questions and shares his experiences.
• He helps him tackle physical, mental, and spiritual problems and trains him to face
future challenges.
• The counselees fill up a sadhana card that acts as a report card filled up by the
candidate.
• The Counselor-counselee meetings are held fortnightly or monthly to bring about a
family atmosphere..
• There are committees that extend their help — marriage bureau, placement committee,
etc.
144 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

Preaching Activities

One-time slide show seminars like ‘Stress Management’ ‘Time Management’ for
awareness.

’Bring out THE LEADER in you’ Course trains the youth in Character and
Competence skills. It is meant to be a credit course prescribed by any college for
grooming their students in values and ethics.

Six-session slide show course called ‘Discover Your Self’ for learning basics of
spirituality.

Weekly Study Circles Three courses each lasting for 4 months are offered for the Boys
VOICE, Girls VOICE and Corporate VOICE members -- ‘Spiritual scientist’, ‘Positive
Thinker’, ‘Self Manager’

Advanced courses : Those who complete the above can join ‘Proactive leader’ and
‘Personality Development’ courses. Beyond this one is eligible to join the ‘Bhakti Sastri’
course.

Weekend meeting on Saturday evening is open for all boys between 17 to 30 years of
age. It is a gathering addressed by special speakers on themes relating to modern world
and solution from Vedas.

Cultural Activities: Dramas, Nam rock, Debates, Music, Dance and Spiritual Camps and
picnics.

Prerana Youth Festival : The Boys VOICE organizes a monthly special youth festival
for boys called ‘PRERANA’ where over a thousand boys participate in program
consisting of a seminar, kirtans, dancing and Prasadam. Special eminent speakers are
invited for this program.

(Teenage) Girls VOICE

Advisors : Radhika devi dasi, Vishaka devi dasi , Kishori devi dasi
(Mumbai),
Radheshyam das, Jaigopal das
Co-ordinators : Anangamohini devi dasi, Vidya patham,
Brajavallabhi devi dasi and Yugalapriya devi dasi.
Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture & Education(VOICE) 145

The teenage boys and girls are trained


separately by male and female teachers
respectively. As the psychology of boys and
girls are different their training programs are
also made suitable to their needs. Woman has a
vital role to play in any family, in the life of her
husband, children, and in laws and others. It is
said that the hand that moves the cradle can
make or mar the world. Great leaders have
had great mothers. Keeping this in view, the
girls are trained in various activities to become a ideal wife, a loving mother and a chaste
and exemplary housemaker to benefit home, nation and all humanity.
Objectives of Teenage Girls VOICE
Training girls to
• Learn Values like politeness, truthfulness, being prayerful, love in action, positive
attitude etc
• Learn Self-Excellence skills like Power of
Habits etc
• Understand the importance of Dos and Don’ts
• Learn the basic philosophy of KC and develop a
taste for chanting, hearing and seva
• Learn the danger of free mixing, glamour,
romance, blue film watching, internet and media
etc.
• Developing Good habits, behaviour, friendships with fellow devotees etc.
• Sloka recitation from BG chapters 7, 9 and 12
• Assisting in Children VOICE teaching
Objectives of Girls VOICE
Training girls to
• Learn the basic philosophy of KC and develop a taste for chanting, hearing and seva
• Values like Overcoming Greed, Anger, Depression, Fear, Inferiority complex
• Perform devotional activities like offering puja, maintaining deity, making garland,
pure habits etc
• Cultural activities like singing, playing instruments, cooking, put rangoli etc.
• Live a life of chastity, character, modesty, simplicity and similar values
• Learn to be a ideal wife, mother, daughter-in-law, -in-law etc
• Dealing with guests, elders, family members and others
• Learn to celebrate festivals at home
• Teaching Children VOICE students
146 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

The Girls VOICE organizes a quarterly special youth festival for girls called
‘CHETANA’ where hundreds of girls participate in program consisting of a seminar,
kirtans, dancing and Prasadam. Special eminent speakers are invited for this program.

Their special activities are :


• Seminars like ‘Role of woman in Vedic society’ by senior ladies
• Group presentations on topic of “Six anarthas”,
• Doing Arati to the Lord,
• Candle making and Pots decoration,
• Garland making
• Singing Bhajans and Kirtans,
• Cooking recipes,
• Slide show presentations
• Outdoor spiritual picnics and camps

One of the satellite centers of Pune Girls VOICE is at NIT Warrangal run by a devotee
professor’s wife.

Corporate VOICE

Corporate Preaching Board members

Chairman - Radheshyam das


Executive Chairman - Vamshi Vadan das
Executive Vice-Chairman (CFP) - Anantashesh das (mobile: 9850881105)
Executive Vice-Chairman (CYP) - Gopal Champu das (mobile: 9325070111)
Executive Secretary (CFP) - Amit Relkar
Executive Secretary (CYP) - Revati Pati das
Lead Trainer - Bala Govinda das

In today’s fast paced and competitive corporate


world, the executives, managers and team
leaders usually have more mental work than
physical which gives rise to many stress born
diseases like hypertension, etc and thus cause a
great loss to their health in personal life and
leads to loss of efficiency, cleavage in
relationships, etc in professional life.
Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture & Education(VOICE) 147

Corporate VOICE offers seminars and courses to help them learn :

• To bring balance between personal and professional life.


• How to achieve peace of mind to focus on their duties properly.
• Unique techniques to eliminate stress and negativity.
• Simple tips to resolve inner conflicts and improve physical and mental health.
• Changing attitude and outlook to life for converting distress to eustress.
• Meditation techniques to go beyond depression and avoid hypertension
• Developing calm, clear and creative thinking.
• Secret of Happiness and improving performance.

We have three types of programs to cater to the needs of corporate people :

1. Corporate Family Programs (CFP) - Age group : after marriage


2. Corporate Youth Programs (CYP) - Age group 22 to 30 years
3. Company Seminars and Workshops (CSW) - organized by the company

1. CFP (Corporate Family Program) – These weekly programs are conducted in the
following areas: Range hills ( Atharva ), Prabhat Road, Wanowrie, Wanowrie
(Sacred Heart Town ), Camp, Kalyani Nagar, Koregaon Park, Wakad, Lullanagar,
Salisbury Park, Kothrud, Aundh, Magarpatta city, Viman Nagar, Pashan
2. CYP (Corporate Youth Program) – These programs are intended for unmarried
corporate youths. Over 20 such programs are held in the weekends, mostly at the
temple.
3. YOGA (Youth Of Gods Abode) are Corporate VOICE youth hostels where working
youths live together in software park areas and practice Krishna consciousness.
Contact Gopal Champu prabhu (9325 070111) for more details.
4. Company Seminars and Workshops – Seminars such as ‘Stress Management’
‘Time Management’ involving presentations and activities lasting for about three
hours are held in various companies in and around Pune. We have already conducted
programs in Finolex (170 delegates), Tech Mahindra (Formerly know as MBT for 140
delegates), Concentric (top 12 managers attended), Hotel Sagar Plaza (40 delegates)
and Zensar (20 delegates).
148 ‘Spiritual Scientist’, Course-1

‘Bring out the LEADER in you’ Seminars on Leadership For Corporates –


Overview

VOICE offers seminars on topics given below. The pocket books on all these topics is in
pipe line and likely to be completed before the end of this year.
Seminars :
1. Stress Management
2. Time Management
3. Art of Self Management
4. Power of Habits
5. Secret of Concentration
6. Mind your Mind
7. Positive mental attitude
8. Team playing and winning trust of others
9. Overcoming Inferiority complex
10. Constructive criticism – How to give it or take it?
11. Fate and Free will
12. Karma – the Law of Infallible justice
13. Key to Real Happiness
14. Conflict Resolution
15. Eight Qualities of an Effective Leader
16. Managing our Anger
17. Self Development (flowing of consciousness)
18. Personality development and Character buildup
19. Proactive Leadership
20. Art of Living and Leaving

# All the seminars are designed for a duration of approx 3 hrs session, making it
concise & convenient for corporates to squeeze in their working hours or to make it after
office hrs also.

## These modules also offer great flexibility & could be “tailor-made” to suit an
organization’s particular needs.

For more details you may contact our Executive Vice Chairman,
Mr.Anant (mobile: 9881401814).
VOICE Publications

Youth VOICE Publications - Spirituality for the Modern Youth


This series explains systematically and scientifically how spiritual life is for the truly
intelligent - those who want the best in life. An eye opener for those who think that
spirituality is the resort of sentimentalists, escapists and oldies.

Discover Your Self: Make the one discovery that can fill your life with
happiness forever: Who am I?
57 pictures, soft bound, 192 pages.
(For preachers who want to use Discover Your Self as a course book for
youth, we also have l84 attractive color slides - both hard & soft copies
l Audio tapes for all sessions)

Your Best Friend: Can you understand and develop a relation with the
one Supreme Truth that stands eternally beyond all barriers of caste,
creed, color, nationality and religion? Your Best Friend is the key to a
scientific understanding of God. 62 pictures, soft bound, 336 pages

Your Secret Journey: Modern scientists, humbled in their attempts to


create a humanoid robot, are wondering how a human being is different
from a robot. Is there a spiritual paradigm to explain the mystery of life?
Scientific proof of past life memories shows that we survive after death.
In fact, we go through a journey from one body to another until we attain
perfection. Your Secret Journey explains the secret of action that can free
us from all problems. 86 pictures, soft bound, 322 pages

Victory Over Death: Everyone has to face death one day. Although you
cannot avoid death, you can conquer it. Victory Over Death explains how
to cultivate life so that you can die triumphantly.
97 pictures, Soft bound, 394 pages

Yoga of Love: The highest form of yoga is simultaneously simple,


sublime and safe. Moreover it is full of love and joy. Empower yourself
with the Yoga of Love (Coming soon)Pocket Books.
ii

Pocket Books:

Stress Management: Stress is neither a germ nor a bacteria to be treated


by antibiotics. It is your outlook to life, a problem of the mind that needs
a holistic solution at the level of body, mind, intellect and soul. Read this
book for practical tips to tackle the stress problem.

Art of Harnessing Mind Power: What is the mind? How does it operate?
Can I use it to my advantage to do positive things in life? Find out in the
Art of Mind Control. 19 pictures, 48 pages
Audio tape and color slides (hard and soft copies) also available

Practical Tips to Mind Control: What should you do when the whole
world appears to have come to an end - everyone appears an enemy,
providence appears cruel, future appears bleak and life appears not worth
living? Open the doors to a new life full of joy by applying the Practical
Tips to Mind Control.
10 pictures, 88 pages

Can I Live Forever?: A concise pocket book that gives scientific


understanding of life and death. It also explains an easy and effective way
to end all suffering and attain eternal happy life. Read and empower
yourself to control your present and determine your future. 12 pictures,
54 pages

Misdirected Love: One out of every three love marriages in the West
ends in divorce within three years of marriage. Why? Love - What
exactly it is? Love is an emotion that promises to bring the highest
happiness but often brings the greatest pain. Read Misdirected Love and
find new direction to your love and life.
9 pictures, 48 pages
Audiotape and color slides (hard and soft copies) also available.

Other Books
Horizon: A compilation of selected Spiritual Scientist articles. Contains
scientific findings about spirituality & health, systematic answers to the
fundamental questions of life and spiritual solutions to contemporary
problems. 100 pages, soft bound
iii

The Spiritual Scientist - Selected Newspaper Articles:


Make your daily breaks spiritually refreshing!
During Tea break, Lunch break, Travel …
Browse these brief and Power-packed Articles
Published in
• Times of India, The Speaking Tree
• Maharashtra Herald, The Soul Curry
• Deccan Chronicle, Festival Message
And rediscover the missing spiritual dimension of life. The
memorable examples, the soothing language, the eloquent words, the convincing logic,
all add spice to the refresher.

Essence of Bhagavad-gita: A condensed version of the Spirituality for


the Modern Youth series. Now the same book is going to appear in a easy-
to-handle course book format in 5 Courses with the following
titles :

1. Spiritual Scientist (Discover your self)


2. Positive Thinker (Spirit of Bhagavad gita)
3. Self Manager (Basics of Bhagavad gita)
4. Proactive Leader (Secret of Bhagavad gita)
5. Personality development (Essence of Bhagavad gita)

Bhagavad-gita 7-Day Course: Brief point-wise notes for conducting 7 day course on the
Bhagavad-gita. Spiral bound, 100 pages

Youth Preaching Manual: A practical and detailed guidebook on how to present the
wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita to the youth. 13 color photos, spiral bound, 127 pages

Value Education: Vital values for teenagers and children explained lucidly through
Vedic stories, modern anecdotes and everyday examples.

Smiling Faces Crying Hearts: Concise Spiritual Scientist articles


exposing superficial modern civilization & glorifying timeless Vedic
wisdom.
iv

Children VOICE Books

These books were conceived to help children understand and appreciate the timeless
wisdom and culture of Vedas. You will find stories, songs, scripts for dramas and
puppet shows, art and craft activities that thrill the children. The books offer thought-
provoking quizzes that relate to their practical day-to-day life.

My first Krishna Book: The child's first introduction to Krishna. Read-


aloud rhymes and attractive pictures to color. 24 pictures, 22 pages

Getting to know Krishna: Children are naturally curious. Their little


minds want to explore the world around them. Who is God? Why do we
go to the temple? Nurture your child's interest and help him take his first
steps in discovering Krishna Consciousness. 124 pictures, 47 pages

More about Krishna: Lead the child into the amazing world of Krishna
's pastimes. Enjoyable activities and thought provoking discussions
enliven the children and help them to inculcate good values. 187 pictures,
85 pages

Devotees of Krishna: Packed with stories, dramas and poems, this book
will appeal to older children. Many basic concepts are made clear through
games, discussions and activities. 86 pictures, 76 pages

Wonderful Krishna: Exciting adventures of Krishna, the protector of


His devotees. Group projects and comprehension exercises suitable for
the growing child. Many fun filled activities add to their enjoyment.
82 pictures, 76 pages.

Krishna's Childhood Pastimes: Sweet and simple description of


Krishna's childhood pastimes. Plus exciting activity sheets important
Bhagavad-gita verses, prayers, Vaishnava songs and Vaishnava
etiquette.113 pictures, 190 pages
v

References

1. Bhagavad-gita, Shrimad Bhagavatam, Coming Back and other books by His Divine
Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

2. Life – How did it get here? International Bible Students Association.

3. Forbidden Archeology, Michael Cremo & Richard L Thompson.

4. Origins – Higher Dimensions in Science, Bhaktivedanta Institute, ISKCON, Hare


Krishna Land, Juhu, Bombay.

5. Consciousness – The Missing Link, BBT.

6. The Scientific basis of Krishna Consciousness, H.H. Bhaktisvarupa Damodara


Swami, Ph.D.

7. Darwin’s Secret Identity, David Webb.

8. The Spiritual Scientist, No. 2 Vol. 3, article from Scientific Evidences for the
Existence of the Soul by Benitto F Reyes.

9. The Reincarnation Controversy by Steven Rosen.

10. Twenty cases suggestive of Reincarnation by Dr. Ian Stevenson.

11. Vedic Paradigm by Danavir Swami, Rupanuga Vedic College.

12. A Homestudy in Krishna Consciousness by Rohininandan das.

13. Back To Godhead magazine articles.

14. Song of God by Vishakha devi dasi