Saturday, June 1, 2013

Chapter Sixteen:

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.8.33
apare vasudevasya
devakyāḿ yācito 'bhyagāt
ajas tvam asya kṣemāya
vadhāya ca sura-dviṣām

apare — others; vasudevasya — of Vasudeva; devakyām — of Devakī; yācitaḥ — being prayed for; abhyagāt — took birth; ajaḥ — unborn; tvam — You are; asya — of him; kṣemāya — for the good; vadhāya — for the purpose of killing; ca — and; sura-dviṣām — of those who are envious of the demigods.


Others say that since both Vasudeva and Devakī prayed for You, You have taken Your birth as their son. Undoubtedly You are unborn, yet You take Your birth for their welfare and to kill those who are envious of the demigods.


Srila Prabhupada speaks on the term "Dharma" in this chapter. He uses this definition: The word dharma means "duty." Although the word dharma is often translated as "religion" and religion is generally defined as a kind of faith, dharma is not in fact a kind of faith. Dharma means one's actual constitutional duty. It is one's duty to know the needs of the soul, but unfortunately we have no information of the soul and are simply busy supplying the necessities for bodily comfort.

He speaks of our need for balance in life; In human society there must be a proper balance between spirit and matter. We are actually spirit soul, but somehow or other we have been encaged within material bodies, and as long as we have these bodies we have to accept the bodily necessities of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, although the soul itself does not need these things. The soul does not need to eat anything; whatever we eat is for the upkeep of the body. But a civilization that simply looks after these bodily necessities and does not care for the necessities of the soul is a foolish, unbalanced civilization. Suppose one merely washes one's coat but does not take care of one's body.

He gives us the solution; When one is diseased, he must be given the proper diet and the proper medicine. Both are required. If he is simply given medicine but not a proper diet, the treatment will not be very successful. Therefore the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant to give both the proper medicine and the proper diet for the soul. The diet is kṛṣṇa-prasāda, food that has first been offered to Kṛṣṇa, and the medicine is the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.

And some hope; The material world is the world where swans have become crows. In the material world the living entity is encaged in a material body, and he tries to gratify his senses in one body after another. But the reestablishment of dharma will gradually turn crows into swans.

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