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Snake, Swallows Snake
1) 1) Nirvishesh said: From the performance of what good deed accidentally executed in an obscure past birth did I receive the good fortune of today hearing the Absolute Truth from the lips of a realized devotee? Or is this simply the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord who speaks through you to me? Can even a sinner such as I become purified through Krishna consciousness? Please explain to me this divine wisdom in detail for I wish to surrender unto the lotus feet of the Lord.
2) 2) Krishna das replied: Listen carefully to a story that was told by Madhvachary ,the great vaishnava preceptor.Once awise astrologer named Sarvajna was approached by a man deeply troubled by poverty. After carefully examining this pauper's planets, the astrologer was surprised. He explained, "Your father has left you a vast fortune, but because he died in a foreign land he could not tell you where it is buried. You must dig for this treasure only on the eastern side of your house. If you dig on the southern side there is danger from a poisonous wasp. Trouble can also be found to the west, where there is a treasure guarded by Yaksha, a demon who kills anyone searching in that area. To the north you will find a large serpent swallowing a smaller one. Therefore, I say, look to the east." Now the wasp in the south represents troubles encountered when looking to the Vedic karmakanda rites as ultimate perfection. Sometimes a priest is paid to perform uspicious rituals in hope that the worshipper will be rewarded with fruitive gain not only here but in the next world. The result is that these materialistic persons become entangled in the almost unbreakable law of karma and they simply waste their lives chasing the will-o'-the-wisp of illusory happiness.
Yaksha, the demon to the west, represents the frustrating snares met by mental speculators of the school of jnana. They become puffed up with empirical knowledge and simply waste their lives without caring for the real authority of disciplic succession. On the northern side the large serpent swallowing the smaller one represents the troubles felt by those who follow the path of yogic meditation seeking liberation. Ensnared by a desire to save only themselves, they'are compared to serpents, and their so-called liberation of merging into God is compared to being swallowed up by a larger serpent. To the east where the Sun rises, real wealth will be found. That treasure is pure devotional service to Bhagavan Shri Krishna, the possessor of all opulences. As parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, each of us is the son of the most wealthy father. We are all therefore entitled to inherit the right to serve the Lord through love and devotion. Prabhupada says, "Dry speculations and impersonal interpretations are all useless."
(3) Now allow me to explain the purpose of the appearance of Buddha and Shankaracharya who, by the will of the Supreme Lord, propagated impersonal doctrines, the mayavadi's philosophy. Once upon a time a farmer found that a huge goiter had appeared within the throat of one of his horses. He called the veterinarian who, upon diagnosing the problem, took a hammer and sharply struck the swelling. Almost miraculously, the horse was completely cured.
Within a few days, several other horses developed what appeared to be the same problem. The farmer wished to avoid paying the vet again, so he thought to himself, "I have seen this problem cured before. Let me deal with this myself." With that the farmer took a hammer and began smashing the poor creatures on the throats exactly as the vet had done. Sadly enough, the horses fell down in terrible agony. Frantically, he called the horse doctor once again. When the vet arrived, he scolded the farmer, "The first horse of yours had swallowed a whole gourd which had become stuck in its throat. By striking and smashing the gourd, the horse was able to swallow it easily. But these other horses of yours have developed goiters due to a dietary deficiency. Your unauthorized treatment of the problem will only result in killing your own horses."
The lesson to be learned is that each situation, although outwardly similar, is unique and requires a different treatment as prescribed by an expert. Similarly, the Supreme Authority, Lord Shri Krishna sent His representatives Buddha and Shankarachaiya in order to explain the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth during exceptional times and circumstances. The teachings of these powerful incarnations were presented with the ultimate aim of bringing a fallen humanity a step closer to the Krishna conscious goal Time and circumstance no longer require the dry impersonal approach to the Absolute Truth. Accordingly, Shri Krishna appeared as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to present this most simple and sublime chanting of the holy name as the quickest means to spiritual perfection. The Lord's message of chanting Hare Krishna has been handed down through an unbroken chain of disciplic succession to us through Shrila Prabhupada.
(4) You are assured that your physician is genuine by the diploma on his office wall. Since bona fide teachers with bona fide credentials are required for mundane sciences like medi cine, then how much more true must this be for the spiritual science of the soul? The expert spiritual master knows the pre scription for spiritual life based upon time and circumstances.
(5) Brihad Naradiya Purana states harer noma harer noma harer noma eva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. "Chant the holy name, chant the holy name, chant the holy name. During the age of Kali there is no other way, no other way, no other way to reach the goal." This verse repeats harer noma—the holy name—and nasty eva—no other way—thrice each for emphasis. The people of this age are plainly less intelligent and—like foolish children—require repeated instruction. Because Kali Yugans are likely to put forward karmajnana,or yoga as the means to the end, this verse deftly nips in the bud any false ideas, and emphatically places the chanting of the holy name of the Lord as the supreme means above all other processes. Nirvishesh, always and everywhere chant
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
(6) Twenty-five hundred years ago when many had misconstrued a few obscure Vedic passages to rationalize the killing and eating of animals, the Lord appeared as Buddha to put an end to their folly. There are a few Vedic passages meant for controlling those in the mode of ignorance who will eat meat at all costs. These explain that one who desires to eat meat should kill a black goat on the dark moon night in a secluded place where its agonizing cry cannot be heard. The following words are spoken in the goat's ear: "My dear goat, I am now going to kill you. I realize that in a future birth you can do the same to me."
The meat-eater risks a future life role reversal. The goat's meat is called mamsa, literally "me this." Thus the purpose of this mantra is to show the performer the uselessness of animal sacrifice. Furthermore, a true Vedic animal sacrifice was no sacrifice at all for the beast was actually given new life by the potency of mantras properly intoned. It is the Vedic intent to elevate one from ignorance to passion and from passion to goodness. One in the mode of goodness easily learns the science of devotional service. Lord Buddha knew that it would be impossible to reason with ignorant fools who had twisted the meaning of even the most elementary Vedic instructions. The meat-eater cannot easily understand the doctrines of spiritual life. Therefore, Lord Buddha preached the principles of a common sense religion, that of non-violence, ahimsa. Through his intelligence or buddhi, he turned people away from sinful activities like animal sacrifice and forced them to progress spiritually by accepting his instructions. He led his followers to disregard the Vedas for he knew that sacred shastras were beyond their reach. He did not teach in detail of spiritual form as it exists in the spiritual sky called Vaikuntha. Rather, he taught of a void or shunya after death. But Lord Buddha was a true devotee, a "covered Vaishnava," who applied sub-religious principles during an extraordinary period for social upliftment.
(7) It was due to Lord Buddha's influence that imper-sonalism became widespread in India. The Lord of the Universe wanted the Vedic teachings re-established, so He ordered His greatest devotee, Lord Shiva, to appear on earth in the guise of a brahmana named Shankaracharya. To appeal to voidist concepts, he preached clouded Buddhism, the impersonal—or Brahman—conception of the Absolute. The difference was that Adi-Shankaracharya taught that impersonalism is a Vedic conclusion. In this way he simultaneously refuted the Buddhistic notion of rejecting the Vedas, and he re-established the Vedas once again.
By his kind endeavor, the greatest devotee—Lord Shiva— prepared the world for the advent of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord, who taught the actual Vedic conclusion of loving service to the Personality of Godhead in His most intimate feature as Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. Lord Chaitanya converted hundreds of thousands of mayavadis and submerged them one and all beneath His tidal wave of love of God through singing the Lord's holy name. To this day His followers carry out this work by taking this sankirtana movement to every town and village on earth. Through Shrila Prabhupada's efforts, Hare Krishna is now a household word around the world.
(8) Lord Shri Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, "I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas 1 am to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.n (BG 15.15)
(9) Yogis and philosophers who emphasize
this or that portion of the Vedas show the scriptures as a flower in partial
bloom. But by the grace of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the lotus of the Vedas
opened full and wide and the essential truths of Krishna consciousness were
made available to every sincere soul. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, a great 19th
century acharya, predicted that a world teacher would some day appear
and freely deliver the message of Lord Chaitanya to every land upon the earth.
Today this prophecy has been fulfilled by our spiritual master, His Divine
Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who has not only tirelessly
message himself but who has also empowered thousands of others to take up the task.