Just after the 12 years of exile of the Pandavas was completed, they were considering where to spend the remaining 1 year incognito. While still in the forest, a brahmana came to them and reported that the sticks which he used for igniting his sacrificial fire had somehow gotten entangled in the antlers of a deer, and the sticks were now gone. The sage asked the Pandavas to see if they could possibly return the sticks. In a search for that deer, a very unusual event took place. They could not find the deer, but instead became overwhelmed with thirst (much like what happened to Maharaja Pariksit).

Raghunath das Goswami.JPG
September 10, 2006

Summary: In the ordinary course of executing devotional service, one should strictly follow the codes of theistic conduct. Are there exceptions to this rule? The classic case of "not speaking the truth, under the order of Krishna" is of course the request made by Krishna of Maharaja Yudhisthira to inform Dronacarya that Asvatthama was dead. Of course, the under-the-breath statement that the elephant name Asvatthama was being referred to was intended to protect Yudhisthira's religious principle of truthfulness. However, the outstanding transcendental lesson of this episode, according to our acaryas is twofold:

1) Whatever Krishna declares, *THAT* is one's duty, THAT is dharma!

Krsna in Vrindavan.JPG
January 25, 2009

In his Caitanya Caritamrita commentary, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, in a purport listing various types of sins, includes cutting of green trees for fuel as one. Below are some additional scriptural references which express similar injunctions or teachings.

Reading Assignment

Manu samhita

5.40 Herbs, trees, cattle, birds, and (other) animals that have been destroyed for sacrifices, receive (being reborn) higher existences.

8.285 According to the usefulness of the several (kinds of) trees, a fine must be inflicted for injuring them; that is the settled rule.

8.330 For flowers, green corn, shrubs, creepers, trees, and other unhusked (grain) the fine (shall be) five krishnalas.

From Mahabharat
January 6, 2012

Summary: During a fight which Duryodhana had with a Gandharva, Arjuna rescued him. A promise was made by Duryodhana, and Arjuna offered his reply. [See attached file.]

Later the promise made by Duryodhana was taken by Arjuna: "Please give me the five arrows which Bhisma has just given you to hold for him." These five arrows were to be used to kill the Pandavas during the next day's battle!


January 8, 2013

Reading Assignment Mahabharata by K.M.Ganguli
Vana Parva, Chapter 231

Vaisampayana said, "After those brahmanas and the illustrious sons of Pandu took their seats, Draupadi and Satyabhama entered the hermitage. With joyful hearts the two ladies laughed merrily and comfortably seated themselves. O king, those ladies, who always spoke sweetly to each other, having met after a long time, began to speak about various delightful topics arising from the histories of the Kurus and the Yadus. In private, the slender-waisted Satyabhama, the favorite wife of Krishna and daughter of Satrajit, asked Draupadi these questions.