What is Hare Krishna?
Hare Krishna Mantra
Personality of Godhead
A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
January 25, 2007]
"Who is my Father? Who is my Mother?"Hansadutta das
(CBS) Anna Mae was left in the United States by her Chinese parents when she was just 2 years old. Since then, she has lived with foster parents in Tennessee and is about to turn 8.
After a long legal battle, the Tennessee Supreme Court cleared the way for her to be reunited with her biological parents, Shaoqiang and Qin Luo He.
The Hes left Anna Mae with the Bakers after her father, a student at the University of Memphis, lost a scholarship and student stipend over a sexual assault charge for which he was ultimately acquitted.
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Timeline of the Hes' struggle to retrieve their child
connection with this verse, there is a very instructive story in the
Sixth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam about a king named
Chitraketu. King Chitraketu married millions of wives in hope of
begetting a son, but because he was not destined to have any children,
all his wives proved to be barren. Therefore the King was very unhappy.
Generally, those in the royal order are very keen on leaving behind an
heir to the throne. But King Chitraketu was unfortunate. He could not
beget any children, and he was very unhappy. One day, whilst he was
lamenting, the great sage Angira Muni happened to pass through the
kingdom and paid the King a visit. Angira Muni saw that the King was
very unhappy, and he inquired from him what the cause of his
lamentation was. The King admitted, "I am not happy. Although I have
everything desirable, I have no son. Please bless me that I may have a
In due course of time, one of his queens became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Naturally, the King was very happy, and he became attached to his son more and more every day. But the other queens were jealous of Queen Kritadyuti, who bore the son of King Chitraketu and thus became the object of the King's affection since all the other queens were without children. Out of envy, the other queens conspired and poisoned the child. When the King and the Queen found the child dead one morning, they were overwhelmed with grief and lamentation, and the King lost all composure.
How to Stop the Tears of Grief
It so happened that at that time Narada Muni and Angira Muni were passing through the kingdom. They visited the King and beheld his lamentation. When they understood what had happened, they began to instruct the King in the following way:
While King Chitraketu, overcome by lamentation, lay like a dead body at the side of the dead body of his son, the two great sages, Narada and Angira, instructed him about spiritual consciousness, as follows:
The Permanent and the Transitory
These are the first instructions that Angira and Narada gave to the King:
As grains of sand are brought together and then separated by the waves of the ocean, similarly, material bodies are brought together and then again dispersed by the waves of time.
In another part of Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that just as travelers at an inn meet for some time during their meal and when their meals are finished again go their separate ways, similarly, living entities are brought together by the force of karma in family relationships, communal relationships and national relationships and then are again separated by time. All the relationships in connection with this temporary material body are also temporary. Our permanent identity is in connection with Krishna. Every living entity is an eternal servant of God, but in the material condition we have rejected that eternal relationship. We are falsely trying to establish our own independent relationships of master and servant. This is called maya (illusion). Although it exists for some time, the body is ultimately temporary, and therefore it is known as maya (unreal).
Happiness and Distress--Two Sides of the Same Coin
After Narada and Angira instructed the King, the King was still feeling unhappy. He wanted to see his son just one more time and he requested the sages, "Please allow me to associate with my son just once more." The sages, because of their perfection in mystic power, were able to recall the dead son, or the departed soul of King Chitraketu's son. That is explained as follows:
"My dear King, now you are actually experiencing the misery of a person who has sons and daughters. O King, owner of the state of Surasena, one's wife, house, the opulence of his kingdom and his various other opulences and objects of sense perception are all the same inasmuch as they are temporary. One's kingdom, military power, treasury, servants, ministers, friends and relatives are all causes of fear, illusion, lamentation and distress. They are like a gandharva-nagara, a non-existent palace that one imagines to exist in the forest. Because they are impermanent, they are no better than illusions, dreams and mental concoctions." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.15.21-23)
The two sages instructed King Chitraketu that in fact all kinds of material possessions—sons, daughter, kingdom, treasury, horses, friends, relatives--are always sources of misery, lamentation, illusion, fear and distress, because all these objects, although externally very attractive, have no permanent existence in time and space.
Attachment—the Cause of All Sufferings
basic principle of material existence is attachment. Attachment is the
cause of all our distress and suffering because all attachments must
eventually be broken due to the fact that every material object is by
nature temporary, however attractive it may be. We have seen in the
past five thousand years empires have come and gone, just as daisies
come up in the spring in the fields and again vanish when the season
"These visible objects like wife, children and property are life's dreams and mental concoctions. Actually, what we see has no permanent existence. It is sometimes seen and sometimes not. Only because of our past actions do we create such mental concoction, and because of these concoctions we perform further activities." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.15.24)
Testimony of the Living Dead
When the sages called the child back into the dead body, the living entity re-entered his dead body for a short time and spoke in reply to Narada Muni's request. The living entity said:
"According to the results of my fruitive activities, I, the living being, transmigrate from one body to another, sometimes going to the species of lower animals, sometimes going to the species of lower animals, sometimes among the vegetables, and sometimes to the human species. Therefore, in which birth were these two my mother and father? No one is actually my mother and father. How can I accept these two people as my parents?" (Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.16.4)
The King and Queen were in illusion, thinking that their son was their property, just as all conditioned souls think of their children as their particular property—my son, my daughter, my wife, my husband. Everyone thinks in terms of proprietorship. But here, we hear the son of King Chitraketu exclaim,
"In every birth I have had a father and mother. Sometimes I was born in the animal kingdom, sometimes I was born in the demigod's society, sometimes in the vegetable kingdom. In which birth were these two people my parents?"
Then he goes on to say:
"In fact, I have no parents. I am actually an eternal part and parcel of the Supreme living entity, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna."
Then the living entity spoke further:
"In this material world, which advances life a river that carries away the living entity, all people become friends, relatives and enemies in due course of time. They also act neutrally, they mediate, they despise one another, and they act in many other relationships. Nonetheless, despite these various transactions, no one is permanently related."
"Who is My Father? Who is My Mother?"
In the Third Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.31.1) it is said:
karmana daiva netrena
Although we are conceived by the combination of mother and father, or male and female, the living entity, in fact, is not the son or daughter of anyone. The living entity is by nature spiritual. The mother and father are just incidental. They create a favorable condition in which the soul takes shelter and then expands to develop a particular kind of body according to his past pious or impious actions. In this particular life we have a mother and father. But before this life we also had a mother and father, and when this life is finished, we shall have another mother and father. As living spirit soul, we are actually part and parcel of Krishna. The mother and father are just temporary. Mother and father are also subject to the miseries of birth, death, old age and disease. Although the mother and father act as the guardians of the children, they cannot really give any relief to the children from the problems of material existence—birth, old age, disease and death. Therefore, in the human life there are books of knowledge (shastras) which are for helping the conditioned soul to get out of the cycle of birth and death. The value of human life is that one we revive our original consciousness and relationship with God and be released from the illusory existence in relationship to this body.
You are One Without a Second
Then the son of King Chitraketu spoke as follows:
"A few living entities are born in the human species and others are born as animals. Although both are living entities, their relationships are impermanent. An animal may remain in the custody of a human being for some time, and then the same animal may be transferred to the possession of another human being. As soon as the animal goes away, the former proprietor no longer has a sense of ownership. As long as the animal is in his possession, he certainly has an affinity for it, but as soon as the animal is sold the affinity is lost.
Spirits in the Material World
are just witnessing the transformation of different modes of nature, of
which this material body—composed of earth, water, fire, air, ether,
and so on—is just a fragment, as a drop of water is just a fragment or
part of the great ocean. Similarly, this material body is just a
fragment of the entire body of this material universe. The universe is
like a great machine, each part interacting with every other part. The
living entity, however, is not a product or creation of the universal
machine but is a spiritual spark within the material world.
Hear Spiritual Sound— Dispel Foggy Consciousness
cannot counteract material misery by material activity because the
cause of our misery is acceptance of the material atmosphere as
all-in-all, whereas in fact it is just a kind of shadow.
The Turtle Principle: How to Withdraw the Consciousness
For everyone in material life, his wife, children, friends, countrymen, money, property and prestige are very important considerations. But if we hear from Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Vedic literatures, we can get relief from the anxiety which accompanies our attachment to material things. It is not exactly that we have to give up our wife, children and money, but we have to know the real nature of these things. We have to know that they are, after all, temporary objects of this world. As long as we have to move in the temporary world, we should do the needful, but we should simultaneously understand that we have to give them up sooner or later. Our time should be spent in understanding our eternal nature so that at the time of death we can withdraw our attachment and consciousness, as a turtle withdraws its limbs during a time of danger. When we can withdraw our consciousness, attachment and our intelligence from temporary objects, then we shall be situated in our eternal constitutional position as servants of Krishna. Hare Krishna.
Sri Guru and Gauranga
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A Case of Mistaken Identity
The Greatest Barrier to Spiritual Life
Parents and children