The three modes of nature - goodness, passion, ignorance

Summary: How to be saved from a life of suffering? Be situated in goodness, shun irreligion, have compassion upon the soul trapped in ignorance and give them transcendental knowledge.

Reading Assignment

a) Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.5

sangrahena mayakhyatah pratisargas tavanagha trih srutvaitat puman punyam vidhunoty atmano malam

SYNONYMS sangrahena in summary; maya by me; akhyatah is explained; pratisargah cause of devastation; tava your; anagha O pure one; trih three times; srutva having heard; etat this description; puman one who; punyam piety; vidhunoti washes off; atmanah of the soul; malam contamination.

A soul carried away by his senses cannot understand Krishna

Summary: Twice in Chapter 5 of Canto 7, Hiranyakasipu asked his son a very similar Question."My dear son, please let me know what you think is the best of all the subjects you have studied from your teachers." In both cases, the fundamental message of atma-tattva, or we are not this body, is expressed by Prahlad to Hiranyakasipu. In the first expression of this message, Prahlad advises the path of detachment from bodily consciousness, beginning with Hiranyakasipu's acceptance of vanaprastha life, or rejecting the embarrassment of his covered and attached consciousness by undergoing austerities in the forest.

Different kinds of living entities
December 8, 2006

Summary: In very clear and simple language, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura describes the fall of the jiva. Of course, Srila Prabhupada's statement are quite sublime: "Unless one develops full devotional service to Krsna, he goes up only up to brahmasayujya but falls down. But after millions and millions of years of keeping oneself away from the lila of the Lord, when one comes to Krsna consciousness this period becomes insignificant, just like dreaming.

Banyan tree of this material world is a pale reflection of the Reality
February 11, 2007

Summary: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was called 'a vaikuntha man'. He loved the spiritual world, and sternly cautioned all thoughtful men to NOT accept the pale worldly reflection to be the Reality. His examples in this excerpt below are vivid, his application of the principles which these examples expose is forceful, and his compelling conclusions are NOT how ordinary pious souls view the world. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura insisted on exposing illusion, simply for the sake of inviting others to consider and experience the Reality. The message is "there is an alternative to illusion." Please consider yourself invited!

Reading Assignment

Turning our attention to the Supreme, in full devotion
September 14, 2007

Summary: Srila Jiva Goswami states in his Bhakti Sandarbha that if we can understand how we got into this material world, then it will become very easy to retrace our steps and enter onto our path back to Godhead. Within the following purport we find Srila Prabhupada revealing the root cause of our entering material existence, which in turn is the fountainhead of all our problems once within material existence.

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.7.4-5 is the reference mentioned in the first paragraph of the purport: Vyasa's realization of the external energy of the Supreme Lord being under His control, and in turn how the living entities are controlled by His external energy.

Where is the soul?

Question: 1) "Where is the soul situated in a body without a heart? Where is the soul of something tiny like an amoeba? I have heard that the soul in the body of a tree is just below ground level; the tree body is like a man buried up to his waist, with his legs like the roots and his arms the branches. But where is the soul located in amoebas and other tiny living entities?"

Reading Assignment a) Bhagavad-gita 4.5 lecture - Montreal, June 10, 1968