The three articles written each by Caitanya Carana Dasa, Ananda Vrindavana Dasa, and S.K.Subramanian (April 2009) on “Recession” offer an interesting reading. As these excellent articles suggest, the spiritual concept identified, guided, and practiced by the divine premise ISKCON has the solution for everything and everyone. Whether it is a single person entangled in maya, or a society of people dwelling uncared for in atheism, or a country undergoing economic recession, ISKCON has the real answer for relief.
Material bondage breeds sense gratification which compels persons to earn more and more money so as to spend lavishly and quench their insatiable appetite for material enjoyment, which leads them ultimately to distress, pain, and agony. We should, therefore, relieve our minds from the clutches and control of the powerful senses and abandon their attachment to materialism.
Minimum food, ordinary clothing and a four-walled shelter are the only basic needs of all human beings. We eat to live and to be healthy. We wear clothes lest our bodies be bare, and we need shelter to sleep. Then why should one covet a palatial bungalow to live in? Why should one yearn for luxurious clothes and costly jewellery to wear? Why should one eat gluttonously? It is because people in the mode of passion are unflinchingly attached and attracted towards kama and lobha. Their minds need to be diverted from the perversities of maya and directed towards the mode of goodness.
A Krishna devotee lives in the mode of goodness and so he is not enamored by material desires. Chanting the maha-mantra is the simplest way to gain liberation from the cycle of birth and death and reach Lord Krishna’s abode, Goloka Vrindavana.
What has the international community contributed to overcome the crisis of recession? What has it achieved over the past five decades since a man, reportedly, landed on the moon? Have the scientists of the world really succeeded in conquering nature? Have they found devices to eradicate earthquakes, eliminate tsunamis, storms, and twisters? Have they devised methods to quell poverty, hunger, and diseases? The answer being a big NO, the billions of dollars being wasted negatively spell the dual dangers of driving the world into economic recession and the humanity into spiritual recession.
If countries the world over learn to spend money positively and frugally channeling the people to live a simple life of devotion and serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a spiritual boom will sprout out that would entail and promise economic boom as well.
(R. M. Manoharan,Chennai)
Self-Discovery on Moon
I agree that visiting to moon is a costly affair, eroding millions of dollars of public taxes, but can’t this exercise be take as an advancement of man’s step towards an enquiry about one own self?
Technological advancements are the need of the day with which we communicate more efficiently, and they are also adopted by every human being now.
The recent developments regarding the space journey of the path-finder and the voyager to different planets like mars are an outstanding achievement of man. Can’t these things be added as accolades for human for self discovery?
Our Reply: For answer see the article “Redefining Progress” by Caitanya Carana Dasa.
When Krishna was spending joyous days in Vrindavana, king Kamsa of Mathura had sent many demons like Putana, Trnavarta, Aghasura etc., to kill Balarama and Krishna. But putting these demons to death proved to be child’s play for the teenage boy Krishna. Such feats were godly indeed.
But Krishna mindlessly killed an ordinary washerman of Kamsa, the washerman’s only fault being that he refused to part with the king’s garments for Balarama and Krishna to wear. The washerman was duty bound and he shouldn’t have been killed. It seems even gods commit sinful errors sometimes, don’t they?
(P. K. V. Menon,Kerala)
Our Reply: Being situated in everyone’s heart, the Lord is cognizant of all of our intentions and He may decide to reciprocate accordingly.
In the case of the washerman, Krishna and Balarama approached the washerman politely, requesting him for some suitable garments for dressing Themselves. Krishna even assured the washerman of the greatest benefit if he would do so. The advantages for the washerman were clearly spelled out before the washerman had to take a decision. The washerman could have given some of the clothes even as an act of charity. But the washerman shot back in anger, insulting Krishna and Balarama as forest dwellers daring to ask for the king’s clothes. He even threatened Krishna and Balarama with punishment at the hands of the king’s servants. Witnessing his audacious behavior, Krishna acted in a fitting manner and killed him.
Now was the washerman right in doing his duty to the king? Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.13) states, “. . . the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one’s own occupation . . . is to please the Personality of Godhead.” Therefore, although one is dutybound to serve his master in the material world, still the highest duty is to serve God. In case of a conflict, it is always the service to God that gains an upper hand. The washerman could have perfected his duty by serving Krishna, but instead he chose to insult Him.
A entirely opposite approach was shown a little later by Trivakra (Kubja), who too worked for Kamsa. When requested by Krishna and Balarama, she immediately parted with generous amounts of cosmetic ointments originally meant for Kamsa, and Krishna and Balarama decorated Themselves with it.
One can approach Krishna after performing many austerities, giving charity, by rigorous study of scriptures etc. But, sometimes, He presents Himself directly and the person gets an opportunity to bypass all the systematic but time-consuming processes and directly surrender at Krishna’s lotus feet. Both the washerman and Kubja got this opportunity and while Kubja understood very well the perfection of life and acted in loving devotion, the washerman blew up his chance.
Coming to the question of sin. Religious principles are enacted by God Himself dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam (Bhag. 6.3.19). Any activity contrary to these principles is defined as sin. There is no sin for the Lord, because He, being the creator of the world, is not subjected to the laws operating here (Bg. 4.14). Therefore, everything that God does is all-good. So, when God the supreme-father slaps His impudent child, the apparently harsh act is actually a benediction for the living entity.
Thus, far from being a “mindless killing” of an “ordinary washerman” in an act of “sinful error,” it was an expression of the Supreme Lord’s ability to reciprocate accordingly with a living entity’s particular mood. The washerman w illfully tried to denigrate the position of Krishna by siding with the demon Kamsa, and as a result was killed. Of course, it is a well-known fact that God being Absolute, His blessing and His killing are non-different.
Reply to the letter was written by Nanda Dulala Dasa.
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