Love or Lust?
It is said that when we start chanting Hare Krishna, we automatically start reviving our love for Krishna. Gradually, we start loving all other beings as they are children of Krishna Himself. But it is also said that there is no love in this material world; there is only lust. How do we know then that the feeling of sympathy we experience towards other living beings due to chanting is love or lust? – Vishant Naik
Our reply: The living entity is originally a resident of the spiritual world. Quitting its constitutional position of blissful service to Krishna, it has come to the material world since time immemorial with a hope to enjoy matter. Chanting Hare Krishna purifies us of this unnatural attachment to matter and reminds us of our original spiritual state in relation to Lord Krishna. By chanting Hare Krishna sincerely we will start experiencing pure emotions and slowly come out of the realm of mundane emotions. Simply put, pure emotions are those emotions that would be in connection with our original spiritual state and mundane emotions would be those that would be in connection with our present acclimatized state.
When it is said that there is no love in the material world, it is a pointer to the fact that ordinarily the material world is inhabited by rebellious living beings, who in their state of subjugation to the three modes of nature in the material world, just do not harbor the requisite purity to experience pure emotions viz. love etc. However, a pure devotee of the Lord can experience the purest of emotions while still in the physical limits of the material world. The pure devotee’s consciousness is always fixed at the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and thus he is unaffected by the contaminations of this world.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in his book Jaiva Dharma writes, “The tenderness of the heart experienced toward Krishna is known as bhakti. All other jivas (living entities) are servants of Krishna. When one experiences tenderness of heart toward them, it is known as daya, compassion. Therefore, compassion is included within bhakti.”
Thus, one can understand that pure emotions based on love are accessible to us to the extent to which we develop our attraction to Krishna and purify ourselves. In other words, as we advance in chanting Hare Krishna, the feeling of sympathy that we feel towards other living entities is indeed “love” rather than “lust.”
Reply to the above letter was written by Nanda Dulal Dasa
ISKCON and the Vedas
Why don’t we ISKCON devotees study the Vedas as a book? Instead we study “Vedic” literatures such as the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, etc. Do the Vedas contain flaws? – Aryan Kash,
Our reply: ISKCON devotees are followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and He emphasized the unique authority of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the Tattva-sandarbha, Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s follower Jiva Goswami, one of the greatest philosophers of India and one of the Six Goswamis of Vrindavana, discusses why the Bhagavatam is our primary evidence. His argument is fairly extensive, but the gist of it is this: For various reasons, the Vedas are extremely difficult to understand in our age, but they can be understood through the Puranas, and the purest and most authoritative Purana is the Bhagavata Purana, or Srimad-Bhagavatam.
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) will soon publish the Tattva Sandarbha, the first of Jiva Goswami’s six sandarbhas, or treatises. The BBT edition will include a commentary by Gopiparanadhana Dasa based on the eighteenth-century commentary of Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Jiva Goswami establishes the supremacy of the Srimad-Bhagavatam and then uses it as the authority for Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy (ISKCON’s philosophy), which he explains in the other sandarbhas.
Reply to the above letter was written by Krishna.com’s Live Help volunteer.
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