Questions for the Welfare of the World, Part 2

BY: SUN STAFF - 4.9 2023

The Problem they Discussed was What To Do at the Time of Death

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

Universal Brotherhood

Sarva-yonisu indicates that Krsna is the father of all species of life of aquatics, trees, plants, insects, birds, animals and so on. In Padma Purana it is stated that there are 8,400,000 species of life, and it should be understood that all of them whether in the air, sea or land are sons of God. This is real universal brotherhood.

We cannot think in terms of the brotherhood of all living entities because the central point is missing. The central point is God, but people are making themselves, their families, their society, their nation or even the whole human race the central point. In other words, they are trying to elevate these things to the position of God. However, these things are all imperfect. Unless we can see all living entities with an equal eye, we cannot be considered learned. As stated in Bhagavad-gita:

brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva svapake ca
panditah sama-darsinah

"The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste]." (Bg. 5.18)

Thus according to Vedic culture the gentle and sober brahmana sees everything equally. Unless one is gentle and sober, he cannot be learned. That is the test of education. A demonic man cannot really be considered educated; he must be sama-darsi.He must see all with an equal vision. There are many elevated living entities, but the learned brahmana is considered to be the topmost. Although there are many varieties of living entities, one who is pandita, learned, sees all of them on the same platform. How is this? He does not see the outward covering; he sees the soul within everyone. Having such a vision, what is his situation? This is also described in Bhagavad-gita:

brahma-bhutah prasannatma
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param

One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me." (Bg. 18.54)

That Brahman vision is possible when one is actually in contact with Brahman, the Supreme. If the central point is missing, this is not possible. At present everyone is manufacturing his own system of knowledge, and consequently the entire world is in turmoil and confusion. Consequently, at the advent of this age of chaos, shortly after the departure of Lord Krsna from the world, the great sages assembled at Naimisaranya to discuss Srimad-Bhagavatam. Lord Krsna was present on this planet five thousand years ago, and after His departure the sages assembled, and their question was:

bruhi yogesvare krsne
brahmanye dharma-varmani
svam kastham adhunopete
dharmah kam saranam gatah

"Now that Sri Krsna, the Absolute Truth, the master of all mystic powers, has departed for His own abode, please tell us by whom religious principles are presently protected." (Bhag. 1.1.23)

This was the main question. It is significant that Krsna is mentioned here as Yogesvara. The word yoga is very popular in the West. Generally the word yoga means mystic power, for if one actually becomes a yogi, he attains many mystic powers. A yogiwho has actually attained perfection can become smaller than the smallest and can fit himself into the smallest compartment. If he is imprisoned, he has the ability to come out through the smallest hole imaginable. This is called anima-siddhi. Similarly, bylaghima-siddhi, a yogi can float in the sky just like a cottonflower, and by other powers he can produce whatever he desires on the spot. There are in this way many siddhis, or perfections. Indeed, the very powerful yogis can even manufacture a planet. Visvamitra Muni, for instance, produced men from trees. Thus yoga is not simply a matter of pressing one's nose and holding the breath; yoga is practiced by real yogis to get material power. There are many yogis who can perform such magical feats, but all of these accomplishments are quantitatively small when compared to the powers of the Lord. A yogi may be able to float himself in air, but God, by His yogic power, can float millions and trillions of planets in space. The supreme yogi is Krsna; therefore it is said, bruhi yogesvare krsne. Isvara means controller. There are many yogic powers and yogis, but Krsna is the supreme controller of all. Thus it is mentioned in this verse that the master of all mystic powers, Krsna, has left the planet.

Brahmanye dharma-varmani. Dharma-varmani refers to Him who embodies religious principles. The Sanskrit word dharma actually refers to God or Krsna. Generally dharma is translated into English as religion, but this is not a perfect translation, for dharma is different from religion. Religion is usually defined in a dictionary as a kind of faith, but dharma is not really a faith. Faith can be changed. Today a man may be a Hindu, and tomorrow he may be a Moslem or Christian. Faith is not, then, actuallydharma, for dharma refers to that which cannot be changed. Water is liquid and cannot be changed into a solid. One may argue that water may become solid as ice, but that is not its natural condition. That is artificial. The solidity of water as ice is temporary, and as soon as the temperature rises, the water returns to its natural condition. As liquidity is the natural state of water, similarly dharma is the natural state of the living entity.