Advanced Embryology in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam

The Hare Kṛṣṇa movement transplanted from the timeless vedic tradition into the western world by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda is based on authorized revealed scriptures, of which Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the formost. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam written down by Śrīla Dvaipāyana Vyāsa is the natural commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra, which in turn is the summary of the four VedasṚg, Yajur, Sāma and Atharva. Śrīla Prabhupāda summarizes the importance and purpose of vedic literature in one of his purports:

“The Vedas are compared with the desired tree because they contain all things knowable by the human being both for mundane necessities as well as spiritual realisation. The Vedas contains regulated principles of knowledge covering social, political, religious, economical, military, medical, chemical, physical, metaphysical and all that may be necessary for the proper up keep of the body and the soul together and above all there is specific direction for spiritual realisation also. Regulated knowledge means to raise the living entity gradually to the spiritual plane and the highest spiritual realisation is to know the Personality of Godhead as the reservoir of all mellows (Rasas).” (SB 1.1.3 purport)

Fools often object: “These are some fairy-tales of primitive people who were freaking out because there were lightning and thunders in the sky…” Unfortunately for them, it will not be so easy to prove this assumption. In the light of modern science, the statements and mind-blowing details of different aspects of material nature (to start with) described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam call for attention of serious Absolute Truth seekers who are willing and ready to go beyond the limited range of sense perception, mental speculation, intellectual acrobacy and egotistical “I know everything” self-deception.

One astonishing description, amongst many, is the profound and extremely accurate account of the development of a human, from the stage of gametes (ovum and sperm), through the stages of an embryo and fetus within mother´s womb up to the point of delivery and after.

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The Acharya Is Self-effulgent.

There have always been two types of transcendentalists: the impersonalists and the personalists. Both of them seek liberation from the illusory identification with the body in their respective ways.
The impersonalists’ idea of liberation beyond the body means annihilation of an individual self and merging with the Brahman, which is the all-pervading aspect of the Supreme Absolute Truth. The personalists, however, do not want to give up their individuality. Quite the opposite, the perfection of the personal path is brought about by full revival of individuality without any trace of material contamination and engaging the pure self in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The following example illustrates the distinct differences between the two types of transcendentalists.

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Why Are The Original Books Changed?

For many years we have been developing a more clear understanding in regards to the controversy that has arisen around the books of our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. This article is the result of that endeavor. Those who sincerely try to follow his instructions cultivate and fully accept the idea that his vāṇi cannot be adulterated, because the pure message descending from the ācārya on his disciples is the essence of the paramparā, disciplic succession.

Let me say a bit about my personal history. When I first heard that Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books have been changed without his authorization, I was alarmed. Over the years, in my humble endeavour to preserve Śrīla Prabhupāda´s books as they are I have collected the complete set of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam printed before 1978, the complete set of 1975 Ś Caitanya-Caritamṛta, the 1972 Bhagavad-gītā, the 1974 Kṛṣṇa trilogy, the 1970 Nectar of Devotion and many of the small books (first printings). I have also translated a few of them into my native Slovak language, including the 1972 Bhagavad-gītā, 1969 Ś Īśopaniṣad, Beyond Birth and Death, Perfection of Yoga, Elevation to Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, Rāja-vidyā, The Nectar of Instruction etc. My understanding at that time was that the editing of the original text for the sake of translation should be nil or as minimal as possible even at the risk of compromising the clarity of the text. So I fanatically stuck to the English wording and although the Slovak result was often an awkward material to read, I just couldn´t allow myself any sort of compromise, fearing the inevitable changing of the sacred text in the process of translation to another language. When I look back at these first Slovak translations, they bring smile to my face. They blend innocence on one side, which is always appreciated but naiveté on the other, which may not necessarily lead to desired progress in our undertakings. Realizations developed and in the light of research we see the shadows of, for many, unpalatable facts. The reason why I am stating this is to emphasize that the following exposé is not a mere theoretical, political, or a social media type of viewpoint. I am speaking from a position of a translator who is trying to approach this problem from a practical side.

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Only by Devotional Service…

There is one śloka in the Bhagavad-gītā, which is essential in regards to understanding the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. He says:

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti

yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ

tato māṁ tattvato jïātvā

viśate tad-anantaram

“One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.” (Bg. 18.55)

The whole secret on going back home, back to Godhead is explained here. Lord Kṛṣṇa says in another place:

janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvata

tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna

“When one understands the transcendental nature of My birth or appearance the nature of my appearance activities disappearance their transcendental nature you are eligible to enter the kingdom of God, you will come back to Me and you don’t have to take another birth in the material world.” We have to understand about Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa’s nature. And how to understand? That is explained here, in this śloka:

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This Body Is Today Or Tomorrow Finished

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated February 21st, 1977, and I thank you for the check as well as the nice sentiments you have expressed. In the beginning you also gave me $5,000 and now again you have sent.

This body is today or tomorrow finished. We should not be very much bothered about the body. Trees also live for thousands of years but that does not mean a successful life. A successful life is one of Krishna consciousness. By the grace of Krishna from the very beginning you are a devotee and that is the real profit of your life.

I thank you for your check, but I would prefer that you may require the money for your treatment. So if you like I can return it. But I hear that you have some income. I pray to Krishna for your more advanced Krishna conscious life.

About a sadhu it is said, “jiva va mara va,” a sadhu may live or die, it doesn’t matter. While living he is engaged in Krishna Conscious business and when dying he goes back home back to Godhead.

Hoping this finds you improving in your health.

Your ever well-wisher,

By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Letter to Jayananda — Mayapur 26 February, 1977

Who Can Give Diksa?

Traditionally, acarya must comment on the Vedanta sutra otherwise he is not recognized. In the past all the Vaisnava acaryas were vastly learned scholars who understood Vedanta philosophy fully, for unless one knows Vedanta philosophy he cannot be an acarya. To be accepted as an acarya among Indian transcendentalists who follow the Vedic principles, one must become a vastly learned scholar in Vedanta philosophy, either by studying it or hearing it.

For example, Srila Prabhupada has shown his vast knowledge of the Vedanta by giving a commentary on the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is the essence of the Vedanta sutra written by the author of the Vedanta Sutra itself Srila Vyasadeva. But this is not enough. He must be also conversant with all the other systems of philosophy. Srila Prabhupada writes:

Theism in complete is explained in the Vedanta Sutra whereas in other system of philosophical speculations, practically no importance has been awarded to the ultimate cause of all causes. One is there expected to sit on Vyasa Asana after being conversant with all the systems of philosophy so that one can present fully the theistic views of Bhagwat in defiance of all other system.

SB 1.1.7 purport

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I Have My Own Way (How to Be Controlled)

It is a very common and fashionable slogan to say: “everyone has his own way”. Majority of people in our society have become totally disillusioned with absolutes. Absolute is just not cool anymore. As soon as science came on the scene with its new discoveries challenging the Bible’s teachings, the absolute went out of fashion. Science then completely replaced religion and unofficially brought a new absolute ideal –revolution, evolution, progress and technology. Science became the alpha-omega. Keep Reading

Defining Dogma Properly: “I am God”

The originator of the yatha mat tatha pat -”all paths lead to the same goal”doctrine is a so-called Indian incarnation. Born in the 19th century, this person proclaimed to become the Supreme God, the cause of all causes and foolish persons lacking mature discrimination believed him. Any sane reasonable man will ask though: “If God is eternal and absolute, how can He ever become God? What was before He became God and who gave birth to such a cheap God?” Only a fool can accept an ordinary man, who is subjected to the laws of nature as God. Nevertheless the rascal philosophies of these so-called incarnations of God are confusing people until this day. Although completely off from the conclusions of the Vedic scriptures(which are considered to be the top most authority in the matter of India’s rich and deep spiritual knowledge), these twisted nonsense conceptions have actually become the fundamental basis of the Western society’s excuse for spiritual life.

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Perception of Time in the Vedas

The following is an interview between Craig MacKie(I), a sociologist from Concordia university and Purujit Dasa(P), a devotee of Krsna about how time is viewed upon from the perspective of the Vedic civilization.

I: Okay, so, ah, first, um, do you mind if I ask you some questions about your perception of time and your opinions about the end of time? Or whether or not you believe in it?
P: …the second part of the question?
I: Ummm, whether the…okay, so…about your perception of time? So how you see it? And then your opinions about the end of time, whether you believe in the end of time or not, why or why not, those kind of questions.
P: Well, see we don’t follow what is called the ascending process of acquiring knowledge. Ascending means by your limited mind and so on, and so on. We accept the Vedic authority, the Vedas, you know? The spiritual master and so on and so on and we are acquiring knowledge by the descending process, the knowledge is already perfect and it descends through a disciplic line so we don’t actually accept things like “my individual perception” or we don’t accept them as perfect, you see? So, what we accept as the time…there are two types of time. One time is eternal, the time is eternal, it’s coming from Krishna, from the Supreme Absolute Truth and the other time is, that’s the absolute time, the absolute time…the other time is the relative time. Relative time is related to our body, you know? Like in the body whatever you perceive as past, present, future is because we are in the body. As soon as you become liberated from the bodily conception there is no past, present, future and this is the beginning of spiritual realization to understand that you are not this body. So Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, He says that dehino smin yatha dehe kaumara yauvana jara tatha dehantara praptih dhiras tatra namuhyanti” He says that as you had a body of a small boy in the beginning, then later on you had a body of a teenager now you have a grown-up body, similarly you will have an old body. The body changes but you, the observer of the changes, you don’t change. Your body changes, your mind changes, your intelligence changes, but you, the pure you, behind all these coverings, you know, we have different coverings, the body conception, you know? People think I’m the body, man, woman, ugly, beautiful, American, Canadian, this is illusion. Similarly, a little bit more elevated, mental speculators, intellectuals, they identify with the mind, mental.

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Vishnujana Swami: Physical Presence of the Guru Is Not Essential

So only one who has Krishna riding in his chariot and giving him instructions: “You shoot here,” “You do this now,” “You go here now,” “You get married,” “You don’t get married,” “You do this” — only he is able to know what is to be done, what is not to be done. Others, they only do the wrong thing, always do the wrong thing. Krishna consciousness is not artificial. Either we come to the point of having that Krishna-sun arisen in our heart, thereby being able to understand Krishna’s desire and the relative and absolute, or we have to remain on the mental platform, speculating what is to be done, what is not to be done.

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The Bhaktivedanta Lives in Sound Society Manifesto

If we were to name one single book, which connects all the devotees of Krsna in the world, it would be the Bhagavad-gita. Spoken 5000 years ago, on a battlefield, it is a recorded conversation between Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Arjuna, his confidential associate. In the Second Chapter of this exalted literature. Lord Krsna explains the fundamental teaching of spiritual knowledge:

As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.
(Bg 2.13)

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We Have To Rectify, Purify Our Existence

In the Kali-yuga there is no yajña. Therefore there is anāvṛṣṭi, anāvṛṣṭi. The Kali-yuga people will forget performing yajña. They will be busy in ghora-rūpa activities, horrible and fierceful activities, not yajña. They will neglect yajña. So then how your these bolts and nuts and rubber tires will help you? Therefore there is scarcity of anna. That will increase more and more. It will so increase that now you are getting anna by paying high price, but time will come when even if you are prepared to pay price, there will be no more anna. That time is coming. Naturally, what people will eat? They will eat māṁsa and roots and seeds. No milk. No sugar. No wheat. These things will be stopped. As we are becoming entangled in ghora-rūpa activities or mūḍha activities, then the more we shall be entangled with sufferings of material existence. They do not know what is the actually interest. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31).

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