Questions for the Welfare of the World, Part 3

BY: SUN STAFF - 5.9 2023


By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Back To Godhead Vol. 10, No. 5/6, May 1, 1975.

A discourse delivered at the New Vrndavana spiritual community in West Virginia

Our Natural Position

Since the living entity is part and parcel of God, he has a natural position. For instance, one's finger is part and parcel of the body, and as such it has a natural position. That is, it works in accordance with the rest of the body. The finger may pick up a piece of cake, but the finger itself does not use it. It takes it to the mouth. In this way the finger serves the whole body. Similarly dharma indicates that the living entity, being part and parcel of God, must serve Him. The attitude of service is present in every living entity, but one person is serving himself, another is serving his family, another is serving his society or country. In any case, service is there, and if one has nothing to serve, he will sometimes take on a dog or cat to serve.

However, it should be noted that service to anything other than the Supreme Lord is maya, illusion. Service is actually meant for God, but because we have forgotten Him, we are rendering service to so many forms of maya. Consequently when God comes He establishes dharma. When Krsna came to this earth, He proclaimed His manifesto in Bhagavad-gita in this way:

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge

"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion at that time I descend Myself. To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium." (Bg. 4.7-8)

Thus Krsna came to establish real religion. Krsna sages assembled at Naimisaranya knew the mission of Krsna. They knew that He came to establish religion, and they were wondering, since Krsna was no longer on the planet, under whose care religion was entrusted. Dharmah kam saranam gatah. As long as Krsna was present, He was discharging real religion. How was that? Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam: He was killing demons and giving protection to His devotees. Since Krsna is absolute, both His killing and protecting are the same. This, then, is the main question of the sages of Naimisaranya, and it is answered first by Sukadeva Gosvami's disciple, Suta Gosvami.

"Dear sages," Suta Gosvami replied, "you have asked questions concerning Krsna, and these questions are very nice." The word sadhu means very nice or perfect. Bhavadbhir loka-mangalam: "These questions," Suta Gosvami continued, "are asked for the good fortune of the entire world, for they concern Krsna, in whom the real principles of religion abide. If we ask questions about Krsna, try to understand Him and discuss Him, our lives become perfect."

Simply by trying to understand Krsna, one's life can be perfect. The perfection of life means getting out of this material condition and attaining our constitutional position in our original spiritual life. Originally we are all spiritual sparks not only we, but all other living entities as well trees, plants, aquatics, insects, microbes and so on. Wherever we find living symptoms we should know that there is a living entity, and that that living entity is part and parcel of God. According to karma, or according to pious and impious activities, the living entity is obliged to accept a certain type of body. The acceptance of that body is in the hands of nature; science will not help. This is the verdict of Bhagavad-gita:

prakrteh kriyamanani
gunaih karmani sarvasah
kartaham iti manyate

"The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature." (Bg. 3.27)

We may theorize about so many things, and we may be great scientists, but when death comes, we cannot protect ourselves.

jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyur
dhruvam janma mrtasya ca

"For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain." (Bg. 2.27)

Nature's Control

We may be puffed up by advancement of scientific knowledge, but we must be under the control of birth, old age, disease and death. This is prakrti, nature, and nature is controlled by God. This is also stated in Bhagavad-gita:

mayadhyaksena prakrtih
suyate sacaracaram
hetunanena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate

"This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again." (Bg. 9.10)