krishna.com | iskconnews.org | bbt.org

Bhaktiyoga - practical VII.

Sincerity
When Krsna is pleased, sin becomes dharma
Speculation
Vedic Personality Inventory
Vedic Universe - Arrangement of Planets
Evil thoughts and lust, devotee and Maya

Sincerity

(Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1968, 680112SB.LA)

Now, how this realization takes place? Not by academic education, but by sincerity. If one is very sincere, that he wants to know what is spiritual science, what is God, what is self, what is Superself, what is this world, what is spiritual world - there are so many questions. Unfortunately, we are not inquisitive. And one who is not inquisitive, for him there is no need of accepting a spiritual master. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is directed, tasmad gurum prapadyeta: ``One should surrender to a spiritual master.'' Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh. Who will surrender? Who has become very inquisitive, ``What is God?'' Take for example, ``What is God? What I am?'' Now, unless one is very seriously inquisitive about this subject matter, there is no need of spiritual master. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh. Jijnasuh means very inquisitive.

(Questions & Answers, Hawaii, January 17, 1974, 740117QA.HAW)

Prabhupada: That is not our life, to become an impostor. It must be real person. By training, yah sastra-vidhim siddhih, by training under the teaching of a bona fide spiritual master, the sastra, and then you'll automatically [become sincere], the more you become a sincere, I mean to say, servitor of the spiritual master, the more you become qualified to become a teacher in the future.

(Letter to Vaikunthanatha 72-12-29 Bombay)

For the time being, you are having little difficulty, so I think you will require the regulated household life as you are suggesting. But unless the basic determination to become successful in Krsna consciousness is there, any type of occupation or any place where you are serving Krsna will similarly become a source of restlessness and troubling of your mind. Therefore, my advice to you is simply this: that you search out in yourself whether that basic determination and faith in our Krsna consciousness program is strong in you, and whether if, by going here or going there or doing this or doing that, this determination and faith will be enhanced. Sometimes Krsna may put us into some difficulty just to purify us and force us to advance in Krsna consciousness. The devotee should always see his difficulty in this light, that Krsna is so kind upon me for creating this condition of struggling, thus He is relieving me of so many billions of lifetime of sinful reactions by this very insignificant and temporary condition of suffering something.

How to become sincere

- Sincerity is the opposite of duplicity:

In spiritual life, sincerity is the first qualification. Arjavam. Arjavam saralaksa (?). Arjavam. Satyam saucam arjavam. These are the brahminical qualifications. One should be very sincere. Duplicity may be very good qualification for this material world, but duplicity in spiritual life is no qualification. (710822in.lon)

- By association with the sincere ones:

In Melbourne, during his 1975 visit, Srila Prabhupada was asked, "How can I become sincere?" His answer: "How can you become a drunkard? If you want to become a drunkard, you associate with drunkards. If you want to become sincere, associate with these devotees. They are sincere." (Bhurijana dasa, As They Surrender Unto Me 16)

...The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom, first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.

Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their states were rightly governed. Their states being rightly governed, the whole kingdom was made tranquil and happy. (Confucius: The Great Learning)

...There is a way to the attainment of sincerity in one's self; - if a man do not understand what is good, he will not attain sincerity in himself.

He who possesses sincerity is he who, without an effort, hits what is right, and apprehends, without the exercise of thought; -he is the sage who naturally and easily embodies the right way. He who attains to sincerity is he who chooses what is good, and firmly holds it fast.

...To this attainment there are requisite the extensive study of what is good, accurate inquiry about it, careful reflection on it, the clear discrimination of it, and the earnest practice of it.

...When we have intelligence resulting from sincerity, this condition is to be ascribed to nature; when we have sincerity resulting from intelligence, this condition is to be ascribed to instruction. But given the sincerity, and there shall be the intelligence; given the intelligence, and there shall be the sincerity.

...Next to the above is he who cultivates to the utmost the shoots of goodness in him. From those he can attain to the possession of sincerity. This sincerity becomes apparent. From being apparent, it becomes manifest. From being manifest, it becomes brilliant. Brilliant, it affects others. Affecting others, they are changed by it. Changed by it, they are transformed. It is only he who is possessed of the most complete sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can transform. (Confucius: The Doctrine of the Mean)

What is good defines dharma. Ability to discriminate between good and bad is called viveka, a characteristic of intelligence (SB 3.26.30).

When Krsna is pleased, sin becomes dharma

tatraiva sri-bhagavad-vakyam
man-nimittam krtam papam api dharmaya kalpate
mam anadrtya dharmo 'pi papam syan mat prabhavatah

(In the Padma Purana the Supreme Personality of Godhead said:) "If one sins for My sake his sins become pious deeds. If one refuses to worship Me, then by My power his pious deeds become sins."

yatah padme
arir mitram visham pathyam adharmo dharmataam vrajet
su-prasanne hrsikese viparite viparyayah

In the Padma Purana it is said: When Lord Krsna is pleased, enemies can become friends, poison can become healthy food, sin can become saintliness. Everything can become its opposite.

Speculation

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

tan anadrtya yo 'vidvan
arthan arabhate svayam
tasya vyabhicaranty artha
arabdhas ca punah punah

tan - those; anadrtya - neglecting; yah - anyone who; avidvan - rascal; arthan - schemes; arabhate - begins; svayam - personally; tasya - his; vyabhicaranti - do not become successful; arthah - purposes; arabdhah - attempted; ca - and; punah punah - again and again.

A foolish person who manufactures his own ways and means through mental speculation and does not recognize the authority of the sages who lay down unimpeachable directions is simply unsuccessful again and again in his attempts. (SB 4.18.5)

PURPORT:

At the present moment it has become fashionable to disobey the unimpeachable directions given by the acaryas and liberated souls of the past. Presently people are so fallen that they cannot distinguish between a liberated soul and a conditioned soul. A conditioned soul is hampered by four defects: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to become illusioned, he has a tendency to cheat others, and his senses are imperfect. Consequently we have to take direction from liberated persons. This Krsna consciousness movement directly receives instructions from the Supreme personality of Godhead via persons who are strictly following His instructions. Although a follower may not be a liberated person, if he follows the supreme, liberated Personality of Godhead, his actions are naturally liberated from the contamination of the material nature. Lord Caitanya therefore says: "By My order you may become a spiritual master." One can immediately become a spiritual master by having full faith in the transcendental words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by following His instructions. Materialistic men are not interested in taking directions from a liberated person, but they are very much interested in their own concocted ideas, which make them repeatedly fail in their attempts. Because the entire world is now following the imperfect directions of conditioned souls, humanity is completely bewildered.

Vedic Personality Inventory

This test was designed by Dhira Govinda das, the Director of ISKCON Office for Child protection (Alachua, Florida).

You can check which guna predominates your habits.

*Scoring key is at the bottom

Underline the number under each statement which corresponds the statement about you.

1 Very Strongly Disagree
2 Strongly Disagree
3 Somewhat Disagree
4 Neutral
5 Somewhat Agree
6 Strongly Agree
7 Very Strongly Agree

1. I am straightforward in my dealings with other people.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

2. I have very little interest in spiritual understanding.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

3. I am satisfied with my life.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

4. Fruits and vegetables are among my favorite foods.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

5. All living entities are essentially spiritual.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

6. In conducting my activities, I do not consider traditional wisdom.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

7. I often act without considering the future consequences of my actions.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

8. I usually feel discontented with life.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

9. I become happy when I think about the material assets that I possess.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

10. I am good at using willpower to achieve goals.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

11. I enjoy spending time in bars.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

12. Cleanliness is very important to me.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

13. Others say that my intelligence is very sharp.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

14. I often feel depressed.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

15. I often put off or delay my responsibilities.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

16. I greatly admire materially successful people.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

17. When I speak, I really try not to irritate others.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

18. I believe life is over when the body dies.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

19. I often feel helpless.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

20. I enjoy foods with strong tastes.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

21. I am constantly dissatisfied with my position in life.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

22. Having possessions is very important to me.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

23. When things are tough, I often bail out.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

24. I often feel like a victim.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

25. I feel that my knowledge is always increasing.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

26. I prefer city night life to a walk in the forest.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

27. For me, sex life is a major source of happiness.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

28. I take guidance from higher ethical and moral laws before I act.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

29. I enjoy intoxicating substances
(including coffee, cigarettes and alcohol).
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

30. I often feel greedy.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

31. I become greatly distressed when things don't work out for me.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

32. I am often angry.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

33. I often feel fearful.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7
34. I do not have doubts about my responsibilities in life.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

35. I often feel emotionally unbalanced.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

36. I enjoy eating meat.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

37. I am self-controlled.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

38. I am very dutiful.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

39. When I give charity, I often do it grudgingly.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

40. Self-realization is not important for me.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

41. I often feel grudgingly.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

42. I carry out my responsibilities regardless of whether there is success or failure.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

43. I often neglect my responsibilities to my family.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

44. I am easily affected by the joys and sorrows of life.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

45. I often whine.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

46. Regardless of what I acquire or achieve, I have an uncontrollable desire to obtain more.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

47. I am currently struggling with an addiction, physical or psychological, to some type of intoxicant (including caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol).
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

48. I often envy others.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

49. My job is a source of anxiety.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

50. I never think about giving up my wealth and position for a simpler life.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

51. It often happens that those things that brought me happiness later become the source of my suffering.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

52. I often feel mentally unbalanced.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

53. I don’t have much will power.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

54. I often neglect my responsibilities to my friends.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

55. I often act violently towards others.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

56. I am good at controlling my senses and emotions.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

SCORING KEY FOR VPI

Instruction: Add up the numbered responses for all the items for a particular guna. Then divide the guna raw score by the total possible score for that guna (number of items in the guna subscale multiplied by 7) and multiply by 100. This will give the percentage score for that guna. Do this for all 3 gunas and you will see what guna is predominant in your life.

Numbers for statements corresponding each guna:

Sattva
1,3,4,5,10,12,13,17,25,28,34,37,38,42,56.
Rajas
8,9,16,18,20,21,22,23,26,27,30,31,39,44,46,48,49,50,51.
Tamas
2,6,7,11,14,15,19,24,29,33,32,35,36,40,41,43,45,47,52,53,54,55

Related:
Three gunas

Ayurveda

Vedic Universe - Arrangement of Planets

Q: How the Vedas describe this universe?

A: There are 7 lokas above Earth (included) and 7 talas under the Earth. They are planes, levels or dimensions with specific life forms and standard of life. From the top to the bottom of the universe they are (Srimad Bhagavatam 5.23-24):

Satyaloka (Lord Brahma and the most advanced sages)
Tapoloka (even more advanced sages)
Janaloka (more advanced sages)
Maharloka (sages)
Svar(ga)loka (devas)
Bhuvarloka (lesser devas, ghosts)
Bhu(r)loka (humans)
Atala (demons)
Vitala (Lord Shiva and Bhavani with their associates)
Sutala (Lord Vamanadeva with Bali Maharaja and other demons)
Talatala (Maya Danava and other demons)
Mahatala (serpents)
Rasatala (demons)
Patala or Nagaloka (serpents)

Below Patala is the Garbha ocean (Garbhodaka) filling half of the
universe on which Garbhodakasayi Vishnu lies on Ananta Shesha and from His navel grows a lotus. In the stem of this lotus are situated all the planetary systems (SB 3.28.25, etc.).

Outside this universe Maha-Vishnu is lying on the Causal Ocean and while He is exhaling, millions of universes are coming as bubbles from His body and they are developing again. And when He is inhaling, millions of universes are going within Him. Thus these material universes are being created and again annihilated.

"The Maha-Vishnu, into whom all the innumerable universes enter and from whom they come forth again simply by His breathing process, is a plenary expansion of Krishna. Therefore I worship Govinda, Krishna, the cause of all causes." (Brahma-samhita 5.48)

Related:
Vedic cosmology

Q: Srimad Bhagavatam, Fifth canto, speaks of an arrangement of planets in our solar system that places the Earth's moon further away in space from the Earth than is the Sun. If this is true then we would never see a solar eclipse when the moon partially blocks the light of the Sun and casts a shadow on the Earth. Obviously,the moon must be closer to the Earth than is the Sun if it comes between the two to cause an eclipse. If the Bhagavatam is correct in the description of the fabulously complex workings of the Creation then how can something as simple as a map of our solar system be wrong?

A: Srila Prabhupada said that one should rather ask _how_ the Vedas should be understood, not _if_ they give true info or not. This is the basic trust in the scripture we need to even start our spiritual path.

This is elaborately dealt with by Sadaputa Prabhu (Dr. Richard Thompson) in his book Vedic Astronomy and Cosmography and recent one Mysteries of the Sacred Universe (accompanied by a CD with visual simulation).

Short answer would be that Moon is higher than the Sun - measured above the plane of ecliptic (Bhu-mandala) - and thus 'further away'. Eclipses are caused not by Moon but by Rahu/Ketu grahas (a kind of 'planet') which correspond with northern and southern lunar node, points where eclipses occur.

Q: My distress over this apparent flaw is complicated by the fact that I have had a small glimpse of Paramatma; the ' visual ' aspect of the realization was exactly as described in the scriptures and I am left asking 'How can the scripture be simultaneously right and wrong?'

A: Yes, the Lord let's see Himself when He is pleased with us or when we need encouragement. As I said, scripture is right, but we may not be fully able to understand it now.

Evil thoughts and lust, devotee and Maya

Five methods of expelling evil thoughts: (Majjhima Nikaya 20)

1. gain another, wholesome object in mind (instead of one which caused these evil thoughts)
2. reflect on misery of these thoughts as unwholesome, blamable, leading to pain
3. pay no attention to them
4. consider the compound nature of them (analysis)
5. suppress and root them out with force of mind, teeth clenched, tongue pressed against the gums

Lust arises through unwise thinking on the allegedly agreeable and delightful: "One who accepts material sense objects as desirable certainly becomes attached to them. From such attachment lust arises, and this lust creates quarrel among men." (SB 11.21.19)

Methods of suppression:

1. Fixing the mind on an idea that arouses disgust
2. Contemplation of the loathsomeness of the body
3. Controlling one's six senses
4. Moderation in eating
5. Friendship with wise and good men (sandhu-sanga)
6. Right instruction
7. Praying for others (James 5:16)

Devotee and Maya

Devotee: Should we not be respectful to maya as the energy of Krsna?

Prabhupada: If you are respectful to Krsna, you are respectful to everyone. That is the qualification of a devotee. You are respectful even to an ant and what to speak of maya? Maya is one of the important energy of Krsna. Why should you not respect maya? Maya, Durga, we pray, "Durga" - srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka chayeva yasya [Bs. 5.44] - when we pray Durga, we pray Krsna immediately. Because we have to see Krsna everywhere. We see the activities of maya. So we have to see Krsna immediately - "Oh, this maya is acting so nicely under the direction of Krsna." So offering to the police officer means offering respect to the government. So long the man is in the office, we offer respect. And without office. A gentleman offers respect either in office or not office. That doesn't matter. But actually if you offer to a policeman, maya means acting as police force. That means you offer to the government, respect to the government. This is the offering of respect. (Bhagavad-gita 6. 46-47 -- Los Angeles, February 21, 1969)

So we are praying to Krsna and Krsna's energy. If we pray to Krsna's energy, she is Krsna's energy, she will understand, "Now, he is now correct." So she gives facilities. She gives facilities, "Yes, now you can serve Krsna. I give you... I give you freedom. You are no more under my clutches." Mayam etam taranti te. Immediately you surrender to Krsna, you are immediately liberated. We haven't got to search out liberation separately. Immediately surrender to Krsna, immediately you are liberated, immediately, simultaneous. Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg. 9.13]. At that time maya takes another feature. That is called yoga-maya. The same maya. Just like the same government laws acting in the prison house differently, and acting in the university differently. But the potency is the same. If we take protection of the civil laws, then you are happy. And if we take protection of the criminal laws then you are unhappy. That's all. So Krsna consciousness movement is that you have to take shelter of one of the potencies of Krsna. Better take the shelter of the spiritual potency. Then you become happy. You cannot be free. That is not possible. Just like you cannot defy the government laws. That is not possible. If you defy civil laws then you become subjected to the criminal law. You cannot say that "I defy government." That is not possible. Similarly, you cannot defy Krsna and Krsna's potencies. Better you take shelter of Krsna's spiritual potency and be happy. Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg. 9.13], that is mahatma, who takes shelter of the spiritual potency of Krsna. And what is the sign? Bhajanty ananya-manaso. That is mahatma. He has no other business than to serve Krsna twenty-four hours. Then he is immediately mukta. That is not difficult. (Lecture on Science of Krsna -- Hyderabad, April 14, 1975)

Maya is very strong (BG 7.14). Who can fight with her? We will be defeated. But if we pray to her she will release us. Maya-sakti is an expansion of Sri Radha and we should pray also to Radha and Krsna for the same. This is the meaning of Hare Krsna mahamantra: to be removed from Maya's service and to enter Their service. Its influence depends on the depth of our realization. A renunciate especially should also have a respectful attitude to women understanding them to be representatives of Laksmi (married ones) (as per Manu samhita 9.26) and Devi (unmarried ones). Their blessings keep him free from maya, disrespect toward them causes his falldown.

page url: http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/bhaktiyoga/bhaktiyoga-7.htm
Please support us:  
 
2001 - 2017 VEDA - Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Krishna.com, authors. CC-BY-SA Jan Mares (contact)