A great mystery is being understood, Srila Prabhupada explains here that the natural chronological order of the 4 millenniums is – Satya-Yuga, Dvarpara-Yuga the 2nd age and Treta-Yuga age 3rd age and then Kali-Yuga. But it is being explained here that during the 28th round of this particular Yuga cycle of the 4 millenniums, the 3rd millennium appears before the 2nd and in that particular millennium Lord Sri Krishna also descends and because of this there was some particular alteration. There are many wonderful stories in this regard. Of course, we understand that this takes place during Brahma’s life slot time at certain intervals.
Radhanath swami explains how Curses of great sages are always blessings:
There is that story, Gautama Rishi, his wife chaste, beloved companion Ahalya, who was so very beautiful, who was approached by Indra, when Gautama Muni was away. Gautama Rishi when he discovered this, in order to teach these two souls a good lesson, he condemned Indra with a curse and Indra being very mortified by that particular curse, he pleaded the mercy of Gautama Muni and Gautama Muni cursed that modification that his body would be covered with eyes.
Of course, at the time when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared after the deliverance of Jagai and Madhai, when Indra came to see the beautiful form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he was from his hearts of hearts, he was thanking Gautama Muni, that he gave him 1000’s of eyes to see the beautiful form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So ultimately, the curses of great sages are always blessings, when we come in contact with Lord Sri Krishna.
Change in the chronological order of the yugas:
Ahalya was cursed to become a piece of stone. This took place in the Satya-Yuga and Ahalya was also pleading with her husband that it wasn’t such a serious mistake, just a victim of circumstances, please be kind upon me and Gautama Rishi said, “Yes, during the Treta-Yuga the Supreme Personality of Godhead in his avatar of Rama will place his lotus foot on you in the form of a stone and he will cleanse you of all unwanted desires and he will bestow upon you, love of God and return you back to your original form. So she was very unhappy because it was such a long time till the 3rd age would come, so she begged, “Will you kindly make this benediction come sooner?”
The Lord although he arranges certain lilas in a certain way, he simultaneously gives a nice reason for it to be. So Gautama Rishi said, “Yes, then the Dvarpara-Yuga will come after Treta-Yuga. Treta-Yuga will come next to speed up the process.”
Shortly after that, Rama stepped upon the head of Ahalya and she was delivered and then the 2nd Yuga came after the 3rd.
Results of living in harmony and in disharmony with Krishna:
For the Supreme Personality of Godhead and those empowered devotees of the Lord, there is no limitations, that they are bound by because ultimately, Krishna is the Supreme controller of all controllers, he is the Absolute Truth and all relative truths are depending on his sweet will and whatever the Absolute Truth decides must be done and all relative existence is simply coordinated and orchestrated according to his sweet will. So there are no laws that bind Krishna. He sets up the universe in a certain way but in any time and any place, he can intervene
Krishna says that this entire material creation is working under my direction. So similarly, just as Krishna can change at his sweet will the chronological order of the particular Yugas, if he so desires. Also the principles of what we would call morality, which must be explicitly and strictly followed by all civilized human beings, especially devotees of the Lord. For Krishna if he wants to intervene with these relative moral ideas, he can intervene and it becomes the highest type of morality because he is the Absolute Truth. Morality means to live in harmony with the will of the truth and immorality means essentially to be in disharmony with the truth.
Morality and immorality is decided by Krishna
Why is intoxication immoral? Because Krishna has said it is immoral, there is no other reason and because he is the Absolute Truth and he has said, it is immoral, it is sinful and there will be terrible karmic reaction. What makes is immoral, is it is against the will of God. Why is illicit sex, considered immoral? Not that the act itself is relevantly moral or immoral, it is the principle that because the Lord has forbid it, that is what makes it immoral. It is against the will of God and because it is against the will of God, there will be tremendous degree of suffering, karmic reaction for anyone who engages in such an activity. The same for eating of meat, if Krishna says, “Eat meat.” It is not immoral, there is no karmic reaction but if Krishna says, “Do not eat meat, these are my children, don’t hurt them, don’t cause them pain.”, then because it is against the will of Krishna it is in disharmony with Krishna’s desire, it is sinful and similarly for gambling.
Reactions for living against the laws of nature by Radhanath Swami:
We have to understand that the root of all sins is to live in disharmony from the will of Krishna that is what makes it sinful, that is betraying God. Krishna has created this entire material existence so that there are laws of karma and those laws of karma are based on his will. What is his will is the law of nature and if you go against his will, you go against the law of nature and there will be a reaction. But at the same time when Krishna appears in this world, he comes to display tribhir guëamayair bhävaiù: that He is beyond all these laws of nature. When He came as Lord Sri Rama, He came in such a way that He was perfectly following all the laws that He created on every level- socially, culturally, morally, scripturally, He was obedient son, He was thoroughly honest, highest repute, always humble to all the sages and to parents but He defied other laws of nature, when it came to protecting his devotees, He was able to do super human feats, that were beyond the limitations of anyone or anything. As Krishna, in Krishna’s lila He appeared in such a way to show everyone that I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead and whatever I do is perfect because I am Absolute and whatever I do is the highest principle of morality because it is my will. Morality means the will of God, immorality means against the will of God. Whatever is the will of God is the highest principle of morality. If Krishna wants to steal butter, that stealing is the highest principle of morality because it is pleasing him. If Krishna wants to have wonderful loving relationships with the Gopis of Vraja in the middle of the night in the forest that is the highest principle of morality because it is his will. And the Gopis didn’t in no way acted immoral, in fact, they were acting according to that super most supreme highest principles of morality because they were simply surrendering to Krishna’s will. They were pleasing Krishna.
Krishna is beyond all laws of nature:
Krishna asked Yudhistira to lie and even Krishna himself, in the Bhagvatam it doesn’t say Krishna ate dirt or not, but in the Garga-samhita it actually says He did but Krishna said, “I didn’t do it.” Sometimes He would steal the butter and yogurt from Gopis He would say,
“No, Mataji I didn’t do it, why would I do it, you feed me so much, why would I want to go to their houses to steal?”
Is this lying? Not the slightest bit lying, it is the Absolute Truth. So whatever emanates from his mouth is the Absolute Truth, whatever his desire is, is the Absolute Truth. For us to try to be truthful in this material world on a material level is still a lie. We should understand this, when people who are not Krishna consciousness, who are not surrendering to Krishna, when they are very honest in this world, they are lying. Their honesty is a lie, why? Because the constitutional position of their soul is (Cc. Madhya 20.108) jévera svarüpa haya nityera kåñëa däsa that they are servants of Krishna and if they are not being honest to please Krishna in harmony with Krishna, then they are actually in disharmony with Krishna’s will. That is immoral because the basis of their so-called truth is a misconception an illusion a lie. The lie is that they are this bodies, the lie is that they are thinking that they are the enjoyers, the lie is that they are thinking that they are the controllers and on the basis of all of these mountains of lies, they tell what they call the Truth. This is not real truth but what Krishna says is the Absolute Truth and Krishna desires, is the Absolute Truth. And therefore, Krishna says,
mām ekaḿ śaraṇaḿ vraja
ahaḿ tvāḿ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender to me. That means surrender to Krishna means to surrender to his will, surrender to his desire, Krishna told this to Arjuna. Arjuna was asked by Krishna on that battlefield to fight and to kill and it was the highest morality. It was the purest goodness for him to kill because that was the desire of Krishna. In his bout of combat with Karna, Krishna asked him to cheat and go against moral codes of Kshatriya fighting but because it was the will of Krishna, it may have been against materialistic codes which create bondage in this world but it was actually the highest principle or morality. It was based on the highest code of conduct to live in harmony with the will of Krishna and that’s why Krishna says, ahaḿ tvāḿ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ if you surrender to me, there is no sin. He will protect you from all sins. To forget Krishna, to do anything out of devotion or service to Krishna, in the highest sense is sinful.
Parasara Muni a great personality living by the highest principles:
Here we find something that materialistic people who read the Vedas according to the principles of artha, kama, dharma and mokña they are not coming to understand the Vedas for its essence (Bg. 15.15)
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
Krishna says, “I am the compiler of the Vedas, all the Vedas are Vedanta, the conclusion of all Vedanta is to know me.”
But when we approach Veda with the desire for economic development, religiosity, sense gratification or liberation then our whole conception of the Vedic literature is based on material principle. And for those people, they find it very confusing, how Parasara Muni and Satyavati the daughter of Vasu came together in such an apparently controversial way, to give birth to Vedavyasa. Here it is explained Parasara Muni was a great yogi a great sage a liberated soul. But it appears that he engaged in an immoral activity. There was nothing immoral, not even a tinge of immorality in what he had done because Vedavyasa is an incarnation of Krishna himself and whatever the Lord wants is morality. He wanted to appear in this way, to show the world that He is above and beyond the questions, the doubts and the limitations of all material conceptions. He is totally transcendental and pure.
Approach Vedas through spiritual master in desciplic succession:
So of course, unscrupulous rascal people who are not properly trained under a bonafide spiritual master, they use the various pure transcendental sections of the Vedas to justify their own illicit activities and desires. Just like in Vrindavan, in Bengal there are many so called great yogis, gurus, sadhus, babajis who perform various rasa lila exchanges with young girls, sometimes young men and they explain that ‘Sri Krishna has done and I am his empowered representative, so I have the power of attorney to do as he has done and this is all reciprocation of love, this is intimacy I am sharing with you, it is very confidential should not tell anyone, they will never understand it.’ In this way they cheat people on the basis of ‘Krishna has done in the scripture’.
Therefore, it is said that one must understand the Vedas through the grace and the blessings of a bonafide spiritual master tad-vijïänärthaà sa gurum eväbhigacchet means absolutely necessary emphatically you must approach the Vedas through a proper spiritual master in disciplic succession. If you try to read the Vedas on your own, you will be bewildered and confused and instead of bringing you to higher principles of elevation it may even degrade you. So similarly the great acaryas they explain in such simple wonderful terms with great confidence how wonderful Parasara Muni is. He is the speaker of the Vishnu Purana which is most important of all the scriptures.
One can not imitate the Supreme Personality of Godhead:
Srila Prabhupada and all the acaryas in our line they are always quoting that beautiful verse more than any other verse perhaps:
(Viñëu Puräëa 6.5.47)
véryasya yaçasaù çriyaù
ñaëëäà bhaga itéìganä
This establishes – who is Bhagwan, what are the qualifications of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? That he possess all opulence’s in full, completely beauty, knowledge and strength and wealth and fame and renunciation. They are quoting Parasara Muni as one of the greatest authorities. Srila Prabhupada used to say, “If you want to dance with young girls, first lift Govardhana Hill with a little finger of your left hand and hold it up for 7 days and 7 nights.”
Krishna lifted the Govardhana Hill before he performed the Rasa Lila. Also Krishna killed Putana, Trnavarta, and Aghasura. Krishna also showed the entire universe within his very little mouth to his mother.
“You do all these things, prove yourself to be the Supreme Absolute Truth –Bhagwan then you can consider dancing with young ladies, and similarly, Parasara Muni – If you can have the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the product of your loving exchange with a woman then you can have it but it is a big risk. What if Vyasadeva isn’t born, then you have to suffer terrible hellish sinful reactions and you cannot escape it.”
So we understand that these great personalities, they were not the slightest bit immoral. They were actually living by the highest principles of code and conduct because they were surrendered to the sweet will of Krishna.
Scriptures must be understood under the guidance of great acaryas:
Srila Vedavyasa was a literary incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What he has given to the world and such a wonderful way in which he appeared in this world, just to prove to us, we could say, that he is completely transcendental. He is above and beyond question and we worship Satyavati and we worship Parasara Muni for their pure unalloyed devotion. So these things must be understood very carefully in the association of serious devotees under the guidance of such acaryas: Bhakti Vinod Thakur, Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Srila Prabhupada and we must simply repeat those words and accept those words as true as Absolute Truth.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he accepted Vedavyasa, he accepted Krishna but in his own life he was so strictly following all the principles as a sanyasi, as a grihastas to teach that ‘don’t think that you can get away with immoral things. Understand the transcendental revelation of the scriptures but don’t try to imitate, follow the instruction.’ If you imitate Parasara Muni, you will go to hell but if you follow what he says in the Vishnu Purana, you will go back to Godhead because he was purely a liberated soul.
But does this mean that a guru can say, “Do what I say but not what I do.” Absolutely not, acaryas means one who teaches by example, his life must be one with his words and his words must be one with Krishna’s words but such extraordinary unique personalities who are directly involved personally with the advent and lila of the Lord, they are exceptional and they must be understood as exceptional.
Question and answers:
Lord Krishna himself says in Bhagvad Gita that whatever the great men do the common men follow. On one side he says on that basis but on the other side, if you see all the 4 regulative principles like no illicit sex, no gambling, no intoxication, if you talk about no intoxication itself, now Lord Balaram who is the first an incarnation of Lord Krishna, we always see in Bhagvatam, he takes Varuni that is about intoxication. Talking about illicit sex also on a gross level, Lord Balaram as well as Lord Krishna they used to have dance with the Gopis even in gambling Yudhistira Maharaj, who is considered as one of the most pure devotee, he too is engaged in gambling. Now on this basis we are completely on a neophyte angle. We always have one thing on our mind that whatever the great man does the common man has to follow. Now when we see all these things, our mind gets disturbed. So how to get convinced that this thing is completely different, I have to follow only the 4 regulative principles.
Radhanath Swami Maharaj:
First of all according to moral codes, for a king and a Kshatriya gambling is not immoral. It is part of their chivalries rights. So Yudhistira was not immoral in what he did. But as far as Balaram and Krishna, they were revealing the transcendental realm of the spiritual world and this material world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. Everything that Krishna does and everything that takes place in the spiritual world is absolutely pure and perfect, there is no exploitation. But perverted reflection means when those same activities take place in this material world, they are done out of lust and pride and ignorance and passion.
In the Bhagvad Gita, Krishna explains that the banyan tree on the bank of the body of water what is highest is the lowest in the reflection and vice versa. So all of the tendencies that we have, their origin in its purest form is in the spiritual world. Why we have a tendency for intoxication? If Krishna didn’t have that tendency, we wouldn’t. We are part and parcel of Krishna. Balaramji drinks varuni and becomes very happy. But we must know that, that intoxication is without the slightest tinge of exploitation in the spiritual world. In this material world, intoxication doesn’t make our consciousness more aware, more ecstatic and more blissful spiritually. It destroys our spiritual sentiments, it dulls our mind and it destroys our body. So we must understand according to Sukadeva Goswami, we must understand the Bhagvad Gita and the first 9 Cantos of Srimad Bhagvatam very carefully, before understanding the completely pure transcendentally nature of Krishna and Balaram in their activities. Balram is the supreme enjoyer and everything is meant for his enjoyment and that is perfectly moral because it’s true. Krishna is Bhoktäraà yajïa-tapasäà sarva-loka-maheçvaram.
Krishna is the proprietor and everything that has been created materially and spiritually was created for his enjoyment ONLY. So whatever he wants to enjoy it’s not immoral because it’s meant for him. But the jivatmas is meant for his enjoyment, the jivatma is not the proprietor of anything, therefore, if we try to enjoy anything of this world apart from Krishna’s desire, it is sinful and immoral. So we must know the distinction between the jivatma and the paramatma. For us to take intoxication is for our own personal sense gratification, it is sinful because we are not the enjoyers, we are not meant to enjoy these matters but Krishna is meant to enjoy everything.
Therefore when Balaram drinks varuni, even the greatest sanyasis, who have given up every type of sinful activity to the minutest detail, they weep tears of ecstasy and raise their arms and chant – Jai Baladeva, when they hear about him drinking varuni because they understand that he has the right to enjoy everything because he is the supreme enjoyer and his enjoyment is transcendental to the base qualities of material consciousness. It is pure and perfect.
But in our imperfect state we want to imitate God and that is the problem. Every jivatma in this world misusing their independence, rebellious against the will of God in their own ways they want to imitate the Supreme Lord. They want to be the enjoyer and the controller and to the degree they want to do like this to that degree they suffer bondage. You cannot imitate Krishna. That is the original sin. We are eternally the servants of Krishna we are eternally for the enjoyment of Krishna and Balaram. The spiritual literatures of the Western World, they cannot take people to such a high level of transcendental understanding, therefore, they are basically just crashing down with moral principles which is important. But these highest principles of the Vedas, they are teaching us the transcendental nature of Krishna, to the highest knowledge. But unless you are strictly following the 4 regulative principles, unless you are strictly following the rules and regulations of the great acaryas – yama and niyama, it is impossible to have the slightest access of any understanding of the transcendental nature of Krishna. It is cheap, it is sahajiya and it must be thrown away. You can have nothing to do with such a consciousness. Does that answer your question?
Parasara Muni, if the great devotees…..
Radhanath Swami Maharaj:
Understand if you try to see it materially you will be bewildered. This was the pastime of the Supreme Personality of Godhead adventing in this world which is a totally pure transcendental activity. If you try to compare it to any type of material consideration, you will never understand. Do not think that just by chance Vedavyasa appeared through this exchange. From the beginning to the end of this exchange, it was a purely transcendental activity of the appearance of the Lord in this world. And those who understand from the point of view of Bhagvatam, they see it this way. Those who simply read the Mahabharata, who are mostly karma-kandis, they are confused about the whole thing. They explain it in different way. So don’t commit the offense to such a great soul by making any connection between the transcendental appearance of the Lord enacted by the Lord himself through his devotees and the materialistic activities of people who cannot control their senses. Don’t even try to make the slightest connection between the two because they have nothing to do with it.
Krishna is so merciful that he allows everyone to have their justifications to engage in sinful life. So people who want to engage in sinful life on the basis of misconceiving the scriptures, Krishna gives them so many nice evidences by which they can be rascals. Those who want the truth Krishna presents the most ambrosial necterean pastimes which reveal the highest truths.
Yesterday, the question was asked about ‘we know that you are expert in the meaning of all subjects except some portions of the Vedas’. So then the answer was given that he was not well versed in certain parts of the Vedas. But here we see in the chapter 1 text 7 it is said that ‘you are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious lives and the Puranas and the histories as well’. So in this whole chapter they are praising Suta Goswami or an acarya sitting on the vyasasan, unless one is complete well versed in the scriptures. So what exactly was he not well versed much.
Radhanath Swami Maharaj:
To be well versed in the scriptures means to have understood and realized the conclusion of the scriptures the Siddhanta. Srila Prabhupada was given the title by his God brothers: Bhakti Vedanta. The anta the final conclusion of all the Vedas is bhakti (Bg. 7.19)
bahūnāḿ janmanām ante
jñānavān māḿ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
One who after many births following religious principles comes to the point of real knowledge, they surrender to Vasudeva, knowing him to be the cause of all causes and all that is.
In fact, it is said that one who is sincerely chanting the holy names is already gone through all of the proper understandings of the Vedas because that is the conclusion, to take shelter of Krishna as the Personality of Godhead through the chanting of his names, so one who is actually well versed in the Vedas, is one who is well versed in the conclusion of the Vedas. Within the 18 Puranas there are 6 for those in the mode of ignorance, 6 for those in the mode of passion and 6 for those in the mode of goodness.
Have you ever heard the great Gaudiya Vaisnava Acaryas quoting the scriptures for those in the mode of ignorance? How to slaughter goats and buffaloes, it is also in the Vedas? How to highlight the pleasure of your sex life that is also in the scriptures for those in the mode of passion? But great acaryas not only do they not care for anything for those Vedas, most likely they really don’t know them at all for they don’t care about them. They are not well versed in those scriptures because they are not revealing the conclusions the Siddhanta. Karma-kanda, jnana-kanda, astanga-kanda Vedas are filled with that and the bhaktas generally, they don’t even know about those things.
They just know in principle that it is kaitava-dharma why waste our time with it (S.B. 1.1.2) dharmaḥprojjhita kaitavo ‘tra Bhagvatam says, we kick out all these Vedas, we kick them out, we don’t want them. Now there are certain brahmanas who don’t understand the conclusions of the Vedas, they meticulously try to understand the rituals and the philosophies and the teachings of all but when we come to the point of view of Srimad Bhagvatam we kick away all these things. We don’t care for them. We know in principle that it is kaitava dharma it is cheating religion (Bg. 2.45)
Krishna says himself that “The Vedas mainly deal with the 3 modes of material nature, give them up Arjuna, kick them out, be established in the self, always think of me, surrender to me.”
So great acaryas, it is not required that they are well versed in all the sections of the Vedas. They understand the essential Vedas and they understand the conclusion of all the Vedas. (Bg. 7.19)
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
Surrender to Krishna and that is all required. This is the position of Suta Goswami.
Suta Goswami heard from Sukadeva Goswami. Sukadeva Goswami kicked out all kaitava dharma and only gave the cream of all Vedic literature and that was Suta Goswami was repeating. Therefore, he is considered the foremost scholar of the Vedas because he understood the conclusion and he may not be well versed in all of the other lesser aspects. You have to be a Sanskrit scholar it is not that you have to chant slokas with perfect grammar, rhythm and pronunciation. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was in Rangaksetra, he met that brahmana and his recitation of the Bhagvad Gita was not correct at all. Not only that, he couldn’t even understand what he was reading but because he was so obediently and humbly serving the order of his guru, by his guru’s grace he was seeing Krishna directly in each word and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “You are the foremost authority and scholar of the Gita because you have understood the conclusion of the Gita.”
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru
To always thing of Krishna, to always be with his devotee, to worship him and offer your homage to him. That is the difference between as Prabhupada said, between a brahmana and parivrajakacarya. A parivrajakacarya is one who preaches the essence. He may not know all the slokas, he may not know all of the rituals, he may not know all of the mantras but he knows the conclusions and he knows those parts of the Vedas that substantiate and establish that conclusion. He doesn’t care for the other, he doesn’t want to substantiate or establish jnana-kanda, karma-kanda, or astanga-kanda. He takes only those sections of the Vedas that establish upasana-kanda- pure bhakti. And he is learned to establish that.