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Write to BACK TO GODHEAD
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The rural public in India is still purer, kinder, and more inclined to nonmaterialism, though poor and illiterate. To get more honest people involved in Krsna consciousness, rural India is the best. This factor might not have been hinted by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, or the ISKCON GBC [Governing Body Commission] has not yet got this idea. I request you to try to concentrate in small towns and villages.
Dr. Mure Venkata Narayana Reddy
Ghittoor, Andhra Pradesh. India
OUR REPLY: Since ISKCON is trying to give everyone a chance to take to Krsna consciousness, naturally we also include Indian villagers in our preaching plans. Srila Prabhupada clearly understood the potential for spreading Krsna consciousness in rural India. He showed this by requesting his disciples to organize a pada-yatra (walking pilgrimage) to spread Krsna's message throughout India. ISKCON's pada-yatra has already traveled more than fifteen thousand kilometers. ISKCON also has the Nama Hatta program, which sets up and oversees centers for Krsna consciousness in thousands of Indian villages. These centers are run by the villagers themselves. This program has especially blossomed in West Bengal. but it is also going on in other parts of India.
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Recently I went to the Epcot Center in Florida with a friend, where we saw a 3-D motion picture presented by Kodak. Before we entered the theatre we were given special glasses to view the 3-D picture. I was immediately reminded of Lord Krsna's giving divine eyes to Arjuna (Bhagavad-gita 11.8) so that he could see His universal form. During the last decades man has made tremendous progress in science and technology. I am wondering whether it would ever be possible to invent such glasses so that common men with. of course, some minimum spiritual qualifications could see the universal form of Lord Krsna. Or is it a hundred-percent spiritual matter?
Professor A. K. Agarwal
Department of Mathematics
Pennsylvania State University
Mont Alto. Pennsylvania
OUR REPLY: You have asked an interesting question, and the answer is fairly simple: one cannot see Krsna's universal form unless Krsna shows it to him. In other words, that form is not always manifest or available for us to see. From the scriptures we learn of only a few instances when the Lord showed it. For example, Lord Vamanadeva showed it to Bali Maharaja, and Lord Krsna showed it to Arjuna. It is not an eternal form of Krsna but a temporary demonstration of His opulence, so it is not simply a matter of having a certain ability or technology to see it. It's not there unless the Lord wants to show it. And when He does show it only those whom He chooses to see it are able to do so. So that is the spiritual qualification required: one must receive Krsna's benediction.
On the other hand, there is another universal form that is mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. One can "see" that form with practice. It is not a real form, however, but a way of conceptualizing the universe as having a form. One is encouraged to think of the mountains as the Lord's bones, the rivers as His veins, the trees as the hairs on His body, and so forth. The Bhagavatam tells us that even though this form is imaginary, we can think of the universe in this way to help us get used to the idea that God has a form—but God's form is transcendental, or spiritual, not material. Imperfect philosophies and our own limited intellects tend to make us think of God as formless. So the Bhagavatam suggests that we meditate on the universe in this way to advance toward an understanding and appreciation of the personal form of God.