Special reasoning power of the human being The Bhagavad-gita says that out of many thousands of human beings, one may try to make perfection of his life. Man is an animal, but he has one special prerogative, rational thought. What is that rational thought? Reasoning power, argument.
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The point is that one has to counteract such a life. There are various ways in which sinful activities can be committed. One is by the mind.
If a person thinks of committing some sinful activity and thus makes a plan--"I shall kill that man"--that is also considered to be sinful. When the mind is thinking, feeling and willing, then there is action. In certain areas of the United States, a dog owner is responsible according to law if his dog barks at someone passing on the road.
Although the dog simply barks, the owner is held responsible. The dog is not responsible because it is an animal, but because the owner of the animal has made the dog his best friend, he is responsible by law.
Similarly, just as the barking of a dog may be considered unlawful, offensive speech may also be considered sinful, for it is just like barking.
The point is that sinful activities can be committed in so many ways--one may think of them, or one may speak sinfully, or one may actually commit a sin. In any case, they are all considered sinful activities. Dhruvam sa vai pretya narakan upaiti: One has to suffer punishment for such activities. People do not believe in a next life because they want to avoid botheration and punishment, but the next life cannot be avoided. It is a well known fact that we must act according to law, or we will be punished.
If one commits criminal activities, the state will punish him. One can cheat others, commit theft and hide, thereby saving himself from the punishment of the state, but one cannot save himself from the superior law, the law of nature.
It is very difficult because there are many witnesses: the daylight is witness, the moonlight is witness, and Krsna is the supreme witness. Thus one cannot say, "I am committing this sin, but no one can see me. If one wants to do something in order to satisfy his senses, Krsna gives all facility. This is stated in Bhagavad-gita. If we want to enjoy life forgetting Krsna, forgetting God, Krsna will give us all facility so that we can forget, but if we want to enjoy life in Krsna consciousness, Krsna will give us the chance to make progress.
That is up to us. If we think that we can be happy without Krsna consciousness, Krsna does not object to that. Yathecchasi tatha kuru. After advising Arjuna, He simply said, "Now I have explained everything to you.
Whatever you desire, you can do. God does not interfere with our tiny independence. If we want to act according to the order of God, then He will help us. Even if one falls down sometimes, if one becomes sincere, thinking, "From this time I shall remain Krsna conscious and execute His orders," then Krsna will help him.
In all respects, even if one falls down, he will be excused and given more intelligence. Now go on with your duty. Pariksit Maharaja said: "It is not that if I say there is no God that there will be no God or that I will not be responsible for what I do. If they thought that there were a God, they would shudder at the thought of punishment; therefore they deny His existence. When rabbits are attacked by larger animals, they close their eyes and think, "I am not going to be killed," but they are killed anyway.
Similarly, we may deny the existence of God and His laws, but still God and His laws are there. If one denies the state law, he will be put into prison and duly punished. Similarly, one may foolishly decry the existence of God by various means "There is no God," or "I am God" , but ultimately one is responsible for all his actions, both good and bad.
According to the law of karma, or the law governing activities, if we act properly and perform pious activities, we are awarded by good fortune, and if we act sinfully we have to suffer. Therefore Sukadeva Gosvami says: tasmat puraivasv iha papa-niskrtau dosasya drstva guru-laghavam yatha bhisak cikitseta rujam nidana-vit "You should know that you are responsible, and, according to the gravity of your sins, you should accept some type of atonement as described in the sastras or scriptures.
There are different types of atonement. If a person commits a sin and counteracts it by penance, that is atonement. There are examples of this in the Christian Bible. Sukadeva says that one has to execute the prescribed atonement according to the gravity of his sinful activities. A physician may prescribe an expensive medicine or a cheap medicine according to the gravity of the disease. For a headache, he may simply prescribe an aspirin, but if there is some severe illness he may prescribe a surgical operation which will cost thousands of dollars.
Similarly, sinful activities are diseases, so one should follow the prescribed cures to become healthy. By accepting the chain of birth and death, the soul accepts a diseased condition. The soul is not subject to birth, death or disease because it is pure spirit. In Bhagavad-gita Krsna says that a soul has no birth na jayate and that it has no death mriyate. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.
In actuality the present educational system is most defective because unless one knows what happens after death, one dies like an animal. An animal does not know that he is subject to death or that he is going to have to take another body. Human life, however, should be more elevated. One should not simply be interested in the animalistic functions of eating, sleeping, defending and mating.
A living entity may have an abundant supply of food for eating, or many nice buildings for sleeping, or good arrangements for sex life, or a good defense to protect him, but this does not mean that he is a human being. A civilization which is based on these activities should be known to be animalistic.
Since animals are also interested in these functions, what is the difference between human life and animal life if a human being does not go beyond them? The distinction can be made when a human being becomes inquisitive and asks, "Why have I been put into this miserable condition? Is there any remedy for it? I do not want to die, nor do I want to suffer. I want to live very happily and peacefully. Is there a chance for this?
What is the method or science by which this can be achieved? If the questions never arise, then that civilization should be known as animalistic. Animals and animalistic human beings are simply interested in continuing the process of eating, sleeping, mating and defending, but in actuality this process is forced to break down. The fact is that there is no real defense because no one can protect himself from the hands of cruel death.
For instance, Hiranyakasipu, who wanted to live forever, underwent severe austerities, but he was foiled in the end by the Lord Himself in the form of a lion-man, Nrsimhadeva, who killed Hiranyakasipu with His claws.
So-called scientists are now claiming that some time in the future we shall stop death by scientific methods, but this is simply another crazy utterance. Stopping death is not at all possible. We may make great advancements in scientific knowledge, but there is no scientific solution to the fourfold miseries of birth, death, old age and disease. One who is intelligent should be eager to solve these four principal problems--birth, death, old age and disease. No one wants to die, but there is no remedy.
Everyone has to die. Everyone is very anxious to stop the skyrocketing increase of population by employing contraceptive methods, but still birth is going on. There is no stoppage of death, and there is no stoppage of birth.
Nor can diseases be stopped, nor can old age, despite all of the latest inventions in medicine. One might think that he has solved all the problems of his life, but where is the solution to these four problems of birth, death, old age and disease?
That solution is Krsna consciousness. Every one of us is giving up his body at every moment, and the last phase of giving up this body is called death.
Mam eti--He returns to Krsna. If we are to go to Krsna, we must prepare a spiritual body. That preparation is the process of Krsna consciousness. Chapter Three Learning to love Contamination from sinful activity requires proportionate atonement. That is the prescription of the scriptures.
Sukadeva Gosvami says that if one accepts atonement before death, in his next life he will not fall down. If he does not atone, he will carry with him the resultant reactions of his sinful activities and will have to suffer. According to law, if a man kills someone he must himself be killed. The idea of a life for a life is not a very new concept but can be found in the Manu-samhita, the Vedic lawbook for mankind, where it is stated that when a king hangs the murderer, the murderer is actually benefited, for if he is not killed, he will carry the reaction for his murder and will have to suffer in so many ways.
The laws of nature are very subtle and are very diligently administered, although people do not know it. In the Manu-samhita the concept of a life for a life is sanctioned, and it is actually observed throughout the world. Similarly, there are other laws which state that one cannot even kill an ant without being responsible. Since we cannot create, we have no right to kill any living entity, and therefore man-made laws that distinguish between killing a man and killing an animal are imperfect.
Although there are imperfections in man-made laws, there cannot be defects in the laws of God. According to the laws of God, killing an animal is as punishable as killing a man. Those who draw distinctions between the two are concocting their own laws.
Even in the Ten Commandments it is prescribed, "Thou shall not kill. God is considered the one supreme father.
The Matchless Gift
Similarly, in New York City, great hordes of people travel from one island to another by ferry boat or wait for subways in order to go to the office for the purpose of finding food. How is this an advancement over animal life? Although the ferry and subway are always crowded, and many people have to travel forty or fifty miles for bread, the birds are free to fly from one tree to another. One may learn about his relationship with God by any process--through Christianity, through the Vedic literatures or through the Koran--but in any case it must be learned. The purpose of this Krishna consciousness movement is not to make Christians into Hindus or Hindus into Christians but to inform everyone that the duty of a human being is to understand his relationship with God. One must learn this, otherwise he is simply wasting his time by engaging in animalistic propensities.
Krishna Consciousness — The Matchless Gift PDF Download
Published on June 30th, by hayagriva-dasa Full size image 9 Matchless Gifts Like so many downtown New Yorkers, we had been reading books on Eastern philosophy and religion, burning lots of candles and incense and taking ganja, peyote and LSD as aids to meditation. Actually it was more intoxication than meditation; meditation was a euphemism that somehow connected our highs with our readings. I walked around the corner with him, and he pointed out a small storefront building between First and Second Streets, next door to a Mobil filling station. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I felt there was never a time I did not know him. At the time, I was hurrying from my Mott Street apartment, which had become a refuge for psychedelics, to a much quieter apartment on Fifth Street where I hoped to get some peace. I was walking down Houston Street and across Bowery, past the rushing traffic and stumbling derelicts, and after crossing Bowery, just before Second Avenue, I saw His Divine Grace jauntily strolling down the sidewalk, his head high in the air, his hand in a beadbag.