Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON ; SPIRITNET

Beans, Bullets, and Bhagavad-gitas

Chapter Three: Text 15:

Please read text 15 of chapter three along with the purport, and then read the following commentary.  Afterwards, each participant should offer a thought or comment on this passage. As you do so, please consider these study questions:

 

  1. What is the importance of the Vedas?
  2. How are humans different in the Kali-yuga from other yugas?

karma brahmodbhavam viddhi
brahmaksara-samudbhavam
tasmat sarva-gatam brahma
nityam yajne pratisthitam

The Vedas instruct us on our duties, and Krsna is the source of the Vedas, so “the all-pervading Transcendence is eternally situated in acts of sacrifice” (p.153).

          As we have been discussing, Yajnartha-karma implies work done for Krsna without personal attachment. This passage states that one should not perform actions seeking the fruits of those actions, but rather that one should only perform actions with the intent of pleasing the Lord. Duties should be performed for the benefit of the Supreme Enjoyer alone. The Vedas give detailed instruction with regard to those duties and regulated activities. When we act in accordance with these instructions then we are acting correctly, but when we act contrary to or without instruction from the Vedas, then our actions are sinful. This is called vikarma, or unauthorized work.

          The Vedas are a direct emanation from Krsna. He breathed them into existence through His omnipotence. As a result, we can know that the Vedas themselves are infallible. The interpretations of the Vedas by some humans is certainly a corruption, but the Vedas themselves are not. As conditioned souls, we long to return to Godhead (even though we may not realize it due to the allure of the material world), and the Vedas give very clear instruction which will lead us to that purpose.

          The Vedas are ancient beyond our imagining, perhaps we should say they are primal. People of the earlier yugas were closer to dharma than we of the Kali-yuga are, and they lived for a much longer period of time. In addition, they had wonderful recall of memory. All that was needed was to hear something once and it was known. Therefore, the Vedas, despite their great length and complexity could be studied in their entirety, and once heard was known and could be followed. The means of attaining liberation were very hard.

          In our present age, people live much shorter lives which are filled with all sorts of material distractions and we no longer have such a good memory. In fact, it is said that modern humans must hear something five times before it enters into even short term memory. This is why at the beginning of the Kali-yuga, Sri Krsna delivered the Bhagavad-Gita as a summary of the Vedas. Its central message being very simple to implement and follow: take refuge in the Lord. If one does so, then one can find liberation even without following the Vedas. This simplicity is the beauty of Krsna Consciousness.

          When Sri Krsna appeared as His own devotee, Lord Caitanya, he initiated the sankirtana-yajna. All of the yajnas of the Vedas can be replaced by the regular chanting of the Holy Names and the following of a few basic regulative principles. A person should avoid the eating of meat, fish, or eggs; avoid gambling; avoid taking in intoxicants; and avoid illicit sex. In addition, one should commit to a minimum of 16 rounds of japa each day. One will be able to make one’s way back to Godhead through the following of these basic regulations and most importantly the chanting of the Holy Names: HARE KRSNA, HARE KRSNA, KRSNA KRSNA, HARE HARE/ HARE RAMA, HARE RAMA, RAMA RAMA, HARE HARE.

          The practice of sankirtana is the simplest way to take refuge in Krsna. Remember that anything which takes the form of God, including the name, is identical to God. So by chanting the Holy Names, one is taking refuge in the Names and being engulfed in the love of God. By simply becoming Krsna Conscious, one may attain what those of the earlier yugas worked and sacrificed extremely hard for. So, Chant HARE KRSNA and BE HAPPY!!!

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Replies to This Discussion

  1. What is the importance of the Vedas?
  2. How are humans different in the Kali-yuga from other yugas?

Such simple questions! lol; not

The Vedas are the cream of historical and cyclical knowledge of events within this Brahmanda, with corrolaries in every universe, unlimited. Just as Lord Ananta Sesa with His thousands of heads, has been singing the glories of the incarnations of Godhead, and never repeating Himself once even yet,so the Vedas, being recorded histories, also know no limits, yet the themes are common throughout the creations. 

All actions and directions are predicated upon comprehensible laws, and knowledge of them is necessary for things to work nicely. The Vedas supply an adequate depth and span of knowledge, as humans can grasp, to enable the person to liberate themself from material entanglement and conditioning, thus to reattain eternal spiritual existence, so yes, they are kind of important, for humans. Animals, maybe not so much...

Speaking of which, in the cycle of 4 ages, Jacobite style we have the clay feet, iron legs, silver torso, and golden head. ie Vedas describe four ages, from grosser at current, to more refined in future, or if we go back to the beginning of this same cycle of four. Satya, Dvapara, Treta, and Kali yuga, age. In this cycle, there is a perturbation, and Treta occurs before Dvapara, the exception.

Humans in this darker confused difficult age of Kali are shorter lived, have shorter memories, and are shorter. They are shorter of temper, a bit short of austerity, cleanliness and mercy comparatively,  and hence always anxious or harassed, with little mystic power or none, broken or demonic traditions, partial knowledge or outright lies pushed by a diverse plethora of selfish perverts being the pandemonium of the masses.

In past, humans were healthier, longer lived, and of good character, increasingly so as we progress back from Kali yuga to Satya yuga. This site has many videos and references to ancient Vedic culture, and is in fact based upon the ancient, and current, Vedic literatures.

Any knowledge directly revealed by Godhead is Veda, sruti, as is the revelations of the pure saints, smrti. They provide the needed direction; "Unto those who are steady in their devotion unto Me, I give the knowledge by which they can return to Me" - Paraphrase

Hare Krishna!

Vedas are known as Shabda Brahma. They are the words spoken by Lord Krishna at the beginning of Time. He has given all the duties that are prescribed to be performed by living beings, in the Vedas, with selfless attitude, which means that perform with the understanding that he is not the doer but the Prakriti (nature) is the performer and he, the living entity, is the witness.

If one works with such an attitude of performing his/her duties a sacrifice to Lord Krishna, he is free from the reactions of both good and bad and thus he is said to have performed an act of Yog. One who lives every moment with complete awareness that his whole life is a service and a sacrifice for Krishna, He is a true Yogi, a true Sannyasi and not one who lights no fire nor does no work (BG 6.1)

Regarding humans are different in Kaliyug in a sense that in the Satyuga the wars fought were inter-galactic wars between Hiranakshya and Lord Varaha, in the Treta-yuga the wars were fought on different continents - Ravana in Lanka and Lord Rama in Bharatvarsha, in the Dvapara Yuga the wars were fought in the same country and city, between Kamsa and Lord Krishna. But in Kaliyug, the war is fought within the same person. The good and evil are trying to overcome one another within oneself.

 

While in Satyug, elaborate Yagyna (sacrifices) used to be performed for personal salvation.

In Tretayug, elaborate austerities had to be performed.

In DvaparaYug performing worship in temples all day were to be performed.

While in Kaliyug, since human life is short and man has short and dull memory.

Arjuna once asked Krishna what method for salvation and freedom form cycle of birth and death, the human being of Kaliyug have? How will they remember You after you return to the spiritual world?

And Krishna replied, " though I am all pervading and seated within the heart of every being, the living being in Kaliyug will have it very easy to attain Me. I shall be very easily available in these five places.

1. I shall be available in the form of My Holy Name. Whoever chants My name in all humility and selflessly shall attain Me

2. I shall be available in the form of Holy Books, by reading my pastimes and message can one easily attain Me.

3. I shall be available in a Holy place of pilgrimage.

4. I shall be easily accessible in the form of a Deity.

5. And lastly and most importantly, I shall be available in the association of saintly people. Wherever two or more gather in my name, there I shall be among them."

So, we human beings in Kaliyug have it very easy but we don't know it. And the job of every teacher, every awakened soul, is to wake up as many souls who have forgotten the way, the path, is to reconnect them to Krishna through any or all of these six methods which includes performing their God given duties.

Hare Krishna!

The Vedas are important as our Direct Line to God, spoken by God Himself. Humans are different in Kali-yuga because we are less intelligent, less strong, less capable of EVERYTHING than previous ages.

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