this story to a friend
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter
dated the third of March, 1969, and I think I shall be able to go to
your center from Boston. There is an important engagement in Boston on
the 24th April, and perhaps next on the 29th and I think after
finishing these I can go to your place. So you can fix up your program
in consultation with Satsvarupa. The idea of inviting everyone to
Sankirtana in a larger meeting hall is very good. Instead of attending
small groups of meeting, we can arrange to assemble them at one
place--that will be less laborious and more convenient for us.
has sent me a check for $30 towards my book fund and I am very much
thankful to him. I am enclosing the reply of his letter herewith.
your questions: The spark soul has certainly form which means hands,
feet, etc. This we learn from Bhagavad-gita. The body is
described there as Vasamsi, which means dress. So unless one has got
originally hands and legs, how the dress, coat and pants and shirt,
takes such form? Therefore the spirit soul has original form. When he
is in the material energy the dress is evolved materially and when he
is in the spiritual energy, the dress is evolved spiritually. This is
also not very difficult to understand, as our students before coming to
my contact, he was supposed to be materially dressed, attached to sense
gratification, and after devoting himself in Krishna Consciousness, he
is gradually developing a spiritual dress. That means attached to
satisfying the senses of the Supreme.
question, how the impersonalists mistake the difference between the
soul and the Supersoul--The mistake is due to their obstinacy. The
impersonalists masquerade as Vedantists, but actually they are defying Vedanta.
In the Vedanta it is clearly said, the Original Source of
all being; in the Upanisads it is clearly said that the
Supreme is the Supreme being of all living beings. So all the Vedas
affirm it vehemently that the Supersoul and the soul are two different
identities, although qualitatively one. But the impersonalists they
accept Vedas as authority, but they go against the
verdict of the Vedas
. Lord Caitanya has depicted this impersonalist class of men as more
dangerous than the Buddhists. The Buddhists plainly declare that they
do not accept the authority of the Vedas, but the
impersonalists masquerade themselves as followers of Vedas,
but actually they are hidden Buddhists. The idea is, if a person is
actually fast asleep, it is easier to awake him but if a person
pretends to be sleeping but actually is awake, then it is very
difficult to wake him up. So from all Sastric point of view, the living
entity and the Supreme Lord, or the Supreme Living Entity are always
simultaneously different and one. One in quality, and different in
quantity. this simple thing is understandable by any common man, but
these impersonalists, they will simply invent jugglery of words to
mislead innocent people. Therefore Lord Caitanya has warned not to
associate with these impersonalist mayavadis because they will
spoil one's life by diverting one from devotional service.
It is very
difficult to bring to reason the obstinate impersonalists. For example,
Prahlada Maharaja, such a great authority, could not convert his father
to devotional service, who preferred death, and still did not agree to
accept that God is different from him. So better to avoid the
impersonalists as far as possible.
your third question--"Why are there apparent time-gaps in the line of
disciplic succession as listed in the Bhagavad-gita? Is
Arjuna an instructor Spiritual Master and not an initiator Spiritual
Master and therefore not listed?" The time gap mentioned by you is
inevitable, because the disciplic succession sometimes becomes
disconnected, as we find from the Bhagavad-gita. This is
the influence of material energy, and to link it up again, it takes
some time. That some time may appear to our calculation a big gap, but
in relation with the eternal time, it is not even as instant. So this
big gap or small gap of time is relative. Just like our 24 hours and
Brahma's 24 hours, there is much difference. Our 24 hours is not even a
fraction of his second.
question, about the "life force" mentioned in Chap. 4 of the Bhagavad-gita;
I do not find that page. Please send me the page number in your next
letter and I will explain.
question, "Is this understanding of verse 18, chap. 4, correct; that
the sage sees material activities as zero (inaction in action) and sees
the devotee seated chanting as eternally active (action in inaction)?"
Yes, action in inaction--action means to do something of which the
result is enjoyed by the doer; that is action. But when things are done
for Krishna, the result is enjoyed by Krishna. When we put ourselves in
the position of enjoying good or bad reaction, then we suffer or enjoy.
But action in Krishna Consciousness has nothing to do with such
material suffering or enjoying. Therefore action in Krishna
Consciousness is inaction, whereas a person doing nothing materially
may appear to be inaction to others, but actually he is doing something
for Krishna. In other words, the materialist thinks of the devotees as
inactive. Similarly, the devotees think of the karmis as
inactive--simply spoiling time, building sandcastles.
"Is it that the Supersoul controls every movement in this world through
the agency of Maya and the inferior energy according to the desires of
the dreamer-jiva?" Yes.
question, "How is it that there is so much material "advancement" in
the USA even though there is no formal demigod worship? Is a man after
economic development automatically worshipping Lord Siva whether he is
making Yajna or not?" Actually there is no material advancement in the
USA. Material advancement means there is amply opportunity for eating,
sleeping, mating, and defending. Superficially, it appears that in the
USA there is sufficient provision of eating, sleeping, mating and
defending, but actually nobody is safe even in his good apartment. I
have got practical experience in New York. Several times my typewriter
and tape recorders were stolen and the police could not take any
action. There are many persons in the Bowery Street, they have no
shelter to live. So if a certain fraction of the people are supposed to
be very materially happy at the cost of others, that is not material
advancement. Had it been so, then why there are so many persons
confused and frustrated? So actually there is no material advancement
here. Here, I am seeing practically that Gaurasundara, such a nice
intelligent and qualified boy, he has to work hard 12 hours simply for
his subsistence. I think there are many instances like that, so this is
not material advancement. You can call it capitalist advancement, and
the reaction for such advancement is communism. Such movement is simply
suppressed in your country, but actually the reaction is this. So the
Western type of civilization, industrialism and capitalism, is no
material advancement. It is material exploitation. When one gets the
bare necessities of life, namely peaceful home, sumptuous eating,
necessary sex life, and feeling of security, then it is called material
advancement. In the absence of such four preliminary necessities of
life, it is not at all material advancement--just try to understand.
According to Vedic civilization, a man is supposed to be rich when he
has got sufficient grains and cows. Here we have neither sufficient
grains or cows, but you have got sufficient quantity of papers
only--falsely thinking that it is money. When there is some
catastrophe, this bunch of papers will neither supply milk or grain.
They will be seen only and the man will starve.
"How can I explain how the light and heat from the single sun in this
universe is able to reach so far? Is it a question of the receptivity
of different planets?" We can see one sun only. So it is simply
speculation whether there is one or more suns. But we get from
authority of Sastra that there is one sun, in each universe, and the
stars and moon reflects the light of this sun. There is one sun in the
daytime, and it illuminates so nicely that all darkness is gone. But at
night, you may argue, if these stars are so many suns, then why the
darkness is still there??
"You once said that in case of a strong rush of sex desire to think of
the Gopis, the Dearmost to Lord Krishna. Is there another help in case
of anger or harshness?" Yes, think of Krishna, how He was angry on
Hiranyakasipu and nobody could pacify Him, even Brahma with beautiful
hymns. In anger also we can think of Krishna.
I hope this
meets you all in good health, and I shall be looking forward to seeing
Mr. Eric very soon, how nicely he is chanting and dancing. Your
appreciation of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is is very much
encouraging to me, and I thank you. Hope you are all happy,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami