680617 - Letter to Sacisuta written from Montreal
ISKCON RADHA KRISHNA TEMPLE
3720 Park Avenue
Montreal 18, Quebec, Canada
June 17, 1968
My Dear Sacisuta,
Please accept my blessings. I am very much thankful to you for your letter dated June 12, 1968. The science of Krishna Consciousness is transcendental science which is never understood by materialistic persons. Therefore, the Vedas order is that one must approach a spiritual master to understand that transcendental science. And the qualification of a spiritual master is that he has to have received the knowledge similarly from a bonafide spiritual master, and the result is that a spiritual master is completely convinced of the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he is fixed. That is the qualification of the spiritual master. In other words, this science is appreciated by service attitude only. It is never understood by any challenging spirit. One who is submissive and ready to give aural reception of the transcendental message, to him only the transcendence becomes revealed. So the more you become in service attitude for Krishna, Krishna will reveal Himself to you. Krishna is within you and He is awaiting your surrender and service, and as soon as He sees that you are seriously in serving mood, you will understand everything about Krishna—His qualities, His form, His pastimes, His entourage, and His abode. I am very glad to know that you are gradually stepping upwards by your service attitude and I would request you to prolong this attitude eternally, and Krishna will reveal Himself unto you continually. In other words, Krishna is unlimited, but the more we advance in service attitude, we appreciate Him in newer and newer features. There is a verse spoken by Yamuna Acharya. He says, since I have begun to realize the newer and newer features of Krishna, I have forgotten more and more about material enjoyment. And the summit of material enjoyment is sex. And Yamuna Acharya says that whenever I think of sex, I spit on it. This is the state of Krishna Consciousness. The more you forget about nonsense material enjoyment, you must know you are advancing in Krishna Consciousness. You haven't got to ask anybody how you are making progress, you will realize yourself by this test. Just like a person taking lunch, he will feel satisfied of hunger and strength, himself. Similarly, the more you serve Krishna, you will forget material hankerings and get spiritual strength. This is the test.
I am glad to know you are feeling like that, and keeping chanting Hare Krishna and the answer is already received by you. Thank you very much.
Regarding your question, how Krishna can become a male: (your question,". . . I read from Srimad Bhagavatam, chap. 11, text 7, 'Oh, Creator of the Universe, You are our mother, well wisher, Lord, father, the spiritual master and worshipable deity.' I was asked, 'How can Krishna be mother if He is the Supreme Male?' ") You have to forget always material concepts of existence for Krishna. Krishna is totally different from anything of material concept. In the material idea, we think that how a male can be a female, or how a female can become a male. This is material. But you know the picture that Krishna as Garbhodakasayi Visnu is lying on the sea, and a lotus stem is growing out of His abdomen navel, and Brahma is born there. Visnu's wife, Laksmi, was present there. She was just massaging the Lord's leg, and the Lord avoided her and produced a child. Here in the material world, without the assistance of the wife, nobody can produce a child. But there is the tangible example, that Visnu, without any sex life with wife He produced a child. In the material sense, we cannot conceive how a child can take birth without being born through the abdomen of one woman. Therefore, Krishna being both father and mother, He can be addressed also as mother. That is His all-powerful strength. He is full in Himself. He does not require anyone's help, therefore, He is both father and mother. I think this will clear your idea.
It is our material thinking that is hindering us. You are thinking male, of the material world, and a male in the material world cannot produce a child. And if you think also that Krishna is mother, again you are thinking with material conception. So we have to avoid using our material thinking and material concepts when we think about Krishna. Therefore, we have to approach a bonafide spiritual master in order to understand.
Another example is explained in the Bhagavad Gita, that Krishna begets the living entities, within the womb of material nature. The material nature is also expansion of Krishna's potency. The potency is not different from the potent. Just like the heat is not different from the fire. In other words, heat and fire is the same thing; so if we talk in that way, the material nature is the mother and Krishna is the father. But material nature being non-separable from Krishna, Krishna becomes both father and mother at the same time. The heat is fire and the fire is heat. Although you can bear the intensity of heat, but if you put into the fire, you will be burned. The heat and fire are simultaneously one and different. That is the philosophy of inconceivably one and different, expounded by Lord Chaitanya. Try to understand in that way.
Your next question, ("In Srimad Bhagavatam, chap. 9, text 1, 'Suta Goswami said, thus being afraid of the act of killing the subjects in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Maharaj Yudhisthir went to that place of massacre where Bhismadeva.. was lying on a bed of arrows for passing away. Bhismadeva.. was endowed with the power of leaving his material body at his will and his lying down on a bed of arrows was his own choice.' Did Bhismadeva.. get wounded by arrows at the battle of Kuruksetra, or did he simply chose to leave his mortal body and thus lay down for passing on a bed of arrows") Bhismadeva.. was surely wounded by the arrows of Arjuna. But wounding is not always the cause of death. In our own practical experience we know that many soldiers become wounded in battlefield, sometimes very severely, but still one is not dead—he recovers in the hospital. So Bhismadeva.. was certainly such severely wounded, but that was not the cause of his death. He preferred to lie down on the bed of arrows and all Pandavas and Krishna arrived there to see his passing away. So his passing away was just on his own will—that was the benediction given by his father. In the battlefield Bhismadeva.. also wounded very severely Krishna. He was a great devotee of Krishna. And Lord Krishna accepted those arrows piercing His body as if somebody is worshiping with soft rose flowers. That is Krishna's transcendental body. But those who are materialists, they are cheated by Krishna that He is wounded. The materialists will think that Krishna was wounded, but one who knows what is Krishna, knows also that He is worshiped by the arrows. So in the battlefield, neither Krishna was wounded, neither Bhismadeva.. died due to the injuries out of the wounds. He decided to pass away at that time, therefore he died. These things will be more and more clear when you understand Krishna by revelation. I think if you make progress in your present attitude, you shall soon know all these intricacies of spiritual and material living conditions.
I am very glad to learn that you are at Los Angeles temple. Please try to improve the condition of the temple conjointly, and this service will be very much appreciated by Lord Jagannatha. Just now I received one telephone message from San Francisco that a girl baby is born of Malati and Syamasundar. And they asked me for registration of the baby's name, and she is named by me as Sarasvati devi. Please pray for the newly born baby in Krishna Consciousness. Hoping you are all well.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami