Science grass growing in a crack in a rock

Published on October 29th, 2015 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image


There are Seeds of Living Entities in Water

In the water, the living seeds are there. The other day I was showing our other devotees how from the stone the grass is coming. There is a crack in the stone, and the grass is coming out. How it is? Nobody has gone to put some seeds within the cracking of the stone. How the grass is coming? The grass is coming because the water penetrates within the crack, and as soon as it gets in touch with the earth, it sprouts. That means within water there are seeds of living entities.

Sri Brahma-samhita, Verse 32 — New York, July 26, 1971


angani yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti
pasyanti panti kalayanti ciram jaganti
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

[Bs 5.32]

(aside:) Why not sit comfortably? Please. There is ample space in the front. You can move. So Govinda, angani yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti [Bs 5.32]. Angani, angani means the limbs of the body. Just like hands, legs, ear, nose, they’re different parts of our body. The distinction between this material body and spiritual body is that just like this hand is made for particular purpose—you can pick up something, you can touch something, but you cannot taste something. If you want to taste something, then the hand will bring that food to your mouth and will touch your tongue. Then you can know that it is bitter or sweet.

But simply by touching the hand it is not possible to understand what is the nature of that particular… Therefore God’s body is described here that angani yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti [Bs 5.32]. Each and every part of the body has got the capacity for other parts of the body. Just like if you want to eat, we have to taste it through the tongue, through the mouth, but Krsna, or God, if He simply sees only, He can eat, simply by seeing. This is spiritual body. Angani yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti, pasyanti panti kalayanti ciram jaganti [Bs 5.32]. In another sense, this whole cosmic manifestation is also the body of God; therefore you cannot hide anything from God’s vision.

In the Brahma…, the same Brahma-samhita, it is said that yac-caksur esa savita sakala-grahanam. Savita. Savita means the sun, the sun-god, or the sun planet, is the eye, one eye of God. And the other eye is the moon. So He can see all things, what is happening within this universe—in daytime with His eye called the sun, and at night with moon. And in the Bhagavad-gita it is confirmed. Krsna says, prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh. Prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh: “I am the sunshine and the moonshine.”

So people who deny existence of God, they say that “Can you show me God?” You are seeing God. Why you are denying? God says that “I am the sunshine. I am the moonshine.” And who has not seen the sunshine and moonshine? Everyone has seen. As soon as there is morning, there is sunshine. So if sunshine is God, then you have seen God. Why do you deny? You cannot deny. Krsna says, raso ’ham apsu kaunteya: “I am the taste of the water.” So who has not tasted water? We are drinking, daily, gallons of water. We are thirsty, and the good taste which quench our thirst, that is Krsna.

So you have to see God, or Krsna, in this way. Then you’ll advance, make advance. This is Krsna consciousness. We have to see in everything, Krsna. As soon as we see living entity… Never mind whether he’s a human being or animal or insect or bird or plant or aquatic; they’re all living entities. In the sea, there are nine hundred thousand species of living entities. Jalaja nava-laksani. These are the statements in the Vedic scriptures. Exactly stated: jalaja nava-laksani. It does not say ten hundred thousand; it says nine hundred thousand. Exact calculation. Now bring any biologist to calculate how many species are there in the water. They cannot say. But here, in the Padma Purana, Vedic literature, you get exact information how many species of living entities are there within the water. Everyone knows that there are living entities, full of living entities. We are catching fish, but small fishes. We have not seen. Even if we have seen the biggest fish, that is, whale… Sometimes they are as big as one big ship. But there are other fishes, we get information, they are called timingila.

The big fish, the whale fish, and timingila means there is another big fish which swallows this timingila, this whale just like anything. These informations are there. And in Calcutta Museum, in our childhood—it may be still existing—we saw one skeleton of a fish that is bigger than this room, a skeleton. It is hanging on the ceiling. So there are very, very big, big fishes. Jalaja nava-laksani. You get immediately information, without being a biologist, scientist, you can get information. The Darwin’s theory, in most perfection, there is in the Padma Purana: jiva-jatisu. The evolutionary theory is there. But Darwin is missing the real point: Who is, who is evolving? He’s missing the spirit soul. He cannot explain. That is imperfect.

But in the Vedic scripture you have got perfect knowledge, how a living entity is developing different types of body. Jalaja nava-laksani. First of all, nine lakhs’ species of living entities within water. In the water, the living seeds are there. The other day I was showing our other devotees how from the stone the grass is coming. There is a crack in the stone, and the grass is coming out. How it is? Nobody has gone to put some seeds within the cracking of the stone. How the grass is coming? The grass is coming because the water penetrates within the crack, and as soon as it gets in touch with the earth, it sprouts. That means within water there are seeds of living entities. Some of them fall down from the higher planetary system. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: ksine punye martya-lokam visanti [Bg. 9.21]. As soon as their period of enjoyment is finished, they are again brought down on this earthly planet. Just like in your country the immigration—every country—the immigration department, if somebody has come, he has got a visa for six months or one year, or something like that. As soon as it is finished, immediately the immigration department notifies: “Please get out. Please get out.” Similarly, in other planets also, there are higher planetary systems where material comforts are many thousand times better than in your USA.

Your United States is considered to have the best facilities, comfortable materialistic way of life. That is the calculation outside. So supposing that you have got the best facilities for material enjoyment. In higher planetary system there are many thousand times better facilities. You can go there. The living entities are therefore called sarva-gatah. A living entity can go anywhere he likes, but he requires qualification. Any country, when one is admitted, he must have visa, he must have passport, he must have required money to stay in a foreign country. So many rules and regulations are there. Similarly, in the higher planetary system also, where you get ten thousand years of duration of life, and their one year is far, far greater than ours. That is scientific.

So these, this material world is also the virat-rupa, universal form, of the Lord. Angani yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti [Bs 5.32]. I’m just trying to explain what is the body of the Supreme Lord. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna was shown the virat-rupa, the universal form of the Lord. Now why Arjuna wanted to see the universal form of Krsna? The reason is that Arjuna knew it very well… Because in the Tenth chapter Arjuna accepts Krsna that param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan: [Bg. 10.12] “You are the Supreme Lord, param brahma, and pavitra, the purest.” So Krsna…, Arjuna knew that Krsna is the Supreme Lord, and still, in the Eleventh Chapter he requested Krsna that “If You’ll kindly show me Your universal form.” Try to understand. Arjuna knew it very well that Krsna is the Supreme Lord. Why he wanted to examine Krsna? Not for himself, but for others. Because Arjuna knew it very well that in future so many false Gods would appear: “I am God.” So before accepting anyone as God, imitating Krsna, one should inquire from him “Whether you can lift a hill? Whether you can show the universal form? Whether you can kill such and such demons? Then I shall accept.” That is intelligence. Don’t accept a foolish man, declaring himself as God, and you accept also God. God is not so cheap. You should know what is God. These descriptions are there. No more, no man, no living entity is greater than God. Therefore God is said: “God is great.” Great means nobody can be greater than Him, nobody can be equal to Him. That is greatness. Six opulences. That is analytical study what is God.

So these things are being taught from authoritative scripture and…, what is God, what is our relationship with Him, and what is our function in that relationship. We should know it. Unless we try to know it, simply we waste our time in frivolous activities, that is not proper utilization of human form of life. We are simply requesting people that “You don’t waste your valuable time.” Our time is so valuable. It has been calculated by Canakya Pandita. Canakya Pandita was a great politician, prime minister, in India, about three thousand years ago, when Candragupta was the emperor. It was about contemporary to Alexander the Great in the Greek history. So Canakya Pandita was there. He was a great diplomat. He has calculated the value of our life. He says… It is very practical. Anyone can calculate.

ayusah ksana eko ’pi
na labhya svarna-kotibhih
na cet nirarthakam (nitih)
ka ca hanis tato ’dhika

He says, ayusah ksana. Even one moment of your life cannot be returned even you spend millions of dollars. One of our friends in India, he was at that time fifty-four years old, but he was dying. So he was requesting the doctor, “Doctor, kindly give some medicine so that I may live for another four years. I have got so many things to do.” Just see, the crazy fellow. You see. This is called ignorance. He does not know that “What to call…, what to say of four years, the doctor cannot give me four minutes prolongation of life.” When the life is ended, it is ended. Nobody can… Any medicine, any physical, physiological treatment will not help. That is not possible. You have got a duration of life, say, fifty years, sixty years, seventy years—a hundred years, utmost. You cannot increase it by paying money. What to speak of four years; you cannot increase four seconds. So just try to understand how much our life is valuable. A second of our life we cannot purchase by paying millions of dollars. And if that second is wasted without any utilization, then how much money we are losing. This is the calculation.

So our, this Krsna consciousness movement is only to remind people that “Please do not waste your time, valuable time, life. Utilize it. This is the opportunity to make a solution of all the problems of life.” There is means, there are ways, how to do it. That we are describing. Yesterday we discussed tapasa, by austerity; brahmacaryena, by celibacy; samena, by controlling the mind; damena, by controlling the senses; tyagena, by giving in charity your money. That is called tyaga. Suppose you have got millions of dollars. Don’t keep it. So long it is within your jurisdiction, spend it for Krsna. Yes. That is the proper utilization.

Because actually the money is not yours, because you cannot carry this money with your death. As soon as you quit this body, or death, so your money and everything, what you collected with this body, with the finishing of this body, everything is finished. But you go. You are spirit soul. You transmigrate to another body. So your money which you earned previously, in your previous body, that you do not know where it is kept, or how it is being spent up. During your lifetime, you may make very nice deed, how the money should be spent by your sons or by your heirs, but now, suppose you left in your last life ten thousand millions of dollars somewhere, but you have nothing, no claim for that money. Therefore so long it is in your hand, spend it. Tyagena, tyagena. Spend for good purpose, not for… This money, if you spend for bad purposes, then you become entangled. If you spend for good purposes, then you get good return. That’s a fact.

These things are very nicely, clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gita. This dhana, charity—the Bhagavad-gita says there are three kinds of charities. One charity is in the mode of goodness, one charity is in the mode of passion, and one charity is in the mode of ignorance. So mode of goodness charity means you should know where charity is to be given. Datavyam: here charity is to be given. So where charity is given? First-class charity, in goodness? That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Krsna says, yad karosi yad asnasi yat tapasyasi dadasi yat, tat kurusva mad-arpanam: “Whatever you are eating, whatever you are undergoing, austerity, whatever you are doing, whatever you are giving in charity, give it to Me.” Krsna’s not in want of money, because He’s the original proprietor of everything, isavasyam idam sarvam. But still He’s asking from you money. Just like Krsna went to beg something from Bali Maharaja in the shape of a Vamana, a dwarf brahmana. So He is the sarva-loka-mahesvaram. He’s the proprietor of all the planets. And still He’s saying that dadasi yat kurusva mad-arpanam: “Whatever you are giving in charity, please give it to Me.” Why? It is for your interest, because the sooner you return Krsna’s money to Krsna, you are better situated. In, in, of course, it will not be very palatable to hear, but actually we are all thieves. We have stolen God’s property. That is material life. Anyone who has got anything without sense of God, it is to be understood that he has stolen the property. If you very cool-headed think over this matter, that you are… If we do not understand God, if we do not understand whose property we are using, and if you come to the real knowledge: without Krsna consciousness, whatever we possess, that is stolen property, stolen property… Stena eva sah ucyate.

It is clearly said in the Bhagavad-gita. If one does not expend his money for yajna, then he is to be understood… Just like there is many, many instances… Just like you have earned so much money. If you hide income tax, then you are criminal. You can say, “I have earned money. Why shall I pay income tax, government?” No. You must pay. And there is a limit, that if you have earned so much money, practically the whole money will be taken as income tax, super tax. So as everything you earn, it is the property of the government, similarly, why not everything, whatever you got, it is Krsna’s or God’s? Is it very difficult to understand? Actually it is so. Suppose you have constructed a very nice building. So the building requires so many stone, wood, earth. Wherefrom you have got it? You have not produced the wood. It is God’s property. You have not produced the metal; you have taken it from the mine. That is God’s property. The earth, also, the bricks also, which you have made you have simply given your labor. That labor is also God’s property, because you work with your hand, but it is not your hand; it is God’s hand. If it is your hand, then when it is paralyzed, you cannot use it. When the power of using your energy of the hand is withdrawn by God, you cannot work.

So these are the things to be studied in Krsna consciousness. Don’t be frivolous. Don’t waste your time. This is the greatest opportunity, human form of life. We have to understand all these things. They are mentioned in the authoritative books, Vedic knowledge. Just we are reading, Srimad-Bhagavatam, before you. So Sukadeva Gosvami’s recommending that prayascittam vimarsanam. Real atonement is to be thoughtful, sober, think over… That is called meditation. You think over whether your body, or if you are something else, transcendental to body, what is God. So if you want to know all this knowledge, then you have to practice austerity, tapasya. And the beginning of tapasya is brahmacarya. I’ve explained yesterday: brahmacarya, celibacy, or restricted sex life. Not unrestricted. That’s not good. Then you forget yourself. This material attraction is sex life. Not only human society—in animal society, in bird society, everywhere. You have seen the sparrows, the pigeons, they’re having sex life three hundred times daily, you see, although they are very vegetarian. Yes. And the lion is not vegetarian, but it has got sex life only once in a year. So it is not the question of vegetarian or nonvegetarian. It is the question of understanding higher standard of knowledge. When one comes to the standard of high elevated knowledge, naturally he becomes vegetarian. Because panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. Pandita means one who is very highly learned, pandita. Sama-darsinah. Sama-darsinah means he does not distinguish between a man, learned man…

brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah

[Bg. 5.18]

A pandita is sama-darsi. He sees equally, who? A very learned scholar, brahmana; and a elephant; and a dog; and a cow. How he’s sama-darsi? How his vision is equal to all of them? Because he does not see the body; he sees the soul. Brahma-bhutah. He sees the Brahman, spark, that “Here is a dog, but it is also a living entity. By his past karma, he has become a dog. And here is a learned scholar. He’s also living spark. But he has got this nice opportunity for his past karma.” So he does not see the body. He sees the spirit soul, spark. So when one comes to that position, he does not make any distinction between this living entity to that living entity.

So our proposition: If you inquire, “Then why you restrict, “No meat-eating’?” The answer is that actually we do not make any distinction between the meat-eaters and the vegetable eaters, because the cow or the goat or the lamb has got life, and the grass, it has also got life. But we follow the Vedic instruction. What is that? Now, isavasyam idam sarvam yat kincit jagatyam jagat, tena tyaktena bhunjitha: everything is the property of the Supreme Lord, and you can enjoy whatever is allotted to you. Ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam. You cannot touch others’ body, others’ property. You cannot touch. That is Vedic life. So in all scriptures it is stated that man should live on fruits and vegetables. Their teeth are made in that way. They can eat very easily and digest. Although jivo jivasya jivanam: one has to live by eating another living entity. Jivo jivasya… That is nature’s law. So the vegetarian also eating another living entity. And the meat-eater, they’re also eating another… But there is discretion. Discretion means that these things are made for human being. Just like fruits, flowers, vegetables, rice, grains, milk—the animals do not come to claim that “I shall eat this.” No. It is meant for man. Just like milk. Milk is an animal product. It is the blood of the cow changed only. But the milk is not drunk by the cow. She is delivering the milk, but she’s not taking, because it is not allotted for it. By nature’s way. So you have to take. Milk is made for man, so you take the milk. Let her live and supply you milk continually. Why should you kill? Follow nature’s law. Then you’ll be happy. Tena tyaktena bhunjitha. Whatever is allotted to you, take. You live comfortably. So our, in temple, in this temple, we take fruits, flowers, milk because they’re allotted, and Krsna says: patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati. Krsna does not say that “You give Me meat.” Krsna says, “You give Me fruits, flowers, vegetables, milk.” So we prepare nice preparations out of these things, we offer it to Krsna, and we take it. If Krsna would have said that “Give Me eggs and meat,” then we would have given and eaten it. But because we are Krsna conscious, we do not take anything which is not accepted by Krsna.

So in this way, this is called sama dama. We have to learn this art of elevation. Tapasya. That is called austerity, regulative principle; brahmacaryena, by celibacy, or by restricted sex life; samena, by controlling the mind; damena, by controlling the senses; tyagena, by giving charity. The charity… Charitable disposition of mind is there in everyone’s heart, but one does not know how to make the best use of charity. Best use of… Not only charity—whatever you spend, you must spend for Krsna. That is the best way of spending. You are not loser. Just like you are spending for Krsna, earning for Krsna. Suppose we are offering nice dishes to Krsna. Krsna is so kind. He keeps it as it is: you eat. It is for you. But simply by offering to Krsna you become Krsna’s devotee. That’s all. For nothing. You don’t spend anything, not a farthing even. Everything is Krsna’s, but if you offer it to Krsna, you elevate. That’s all.

Thank you very much. (end)

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7 Responses to There are Seeds of Living Entities in Water

  1. Trupti says:

    If a man is cheated in his business should he think this misery is because of my past karma, may be i had cheated him n keep quite or think in this life he has cheated me so in next life he l be cheated by me? n do our present relations got anything to do with our past relations? lik i know my mom did i have any relation with her in past?

  2. Bhargava Kulkarni says:

    Namaskar Hari OM!!!

    I think of serving Krishna by chanting his name, serving parents, sister and country properly. But, these thoughts dont come from my heart. I should always force myself towards Krishna. I pray to Krsna, but I dont feel that happiness to/while praying. Like I dont’t pray with Bhakthi, rather I pray by fear/force!

    My mind always diverts me to unneccessary things. I feel pleasurous when some women speak sweetly to me and vice-versa. These thoughts upset me very much. I’m unable to concentrate on Job properly. All the bad thoughts engulf me into typical situation and I fall into deep sleep..

    Please, help me..

    • Hare Krishna Bhargava

      We have to come closer to Krishna. As we come closer to Krishna maya will become less attractive to us. And the only practical way to come closer to Krishna in this age, Kali-Yuga is by chanting the holy names of Krishna:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      We have to do this at least 16 rounds a day and in the beginning it may be mechanical and we may not feel so much spiritual connection with Krishna. But as we chant Hare Krishna more and more then we will become purified and our material desires will reduce and we will develop love for Krishna. But we have to go through the initial stages when chanting Hare Krishna seems to us like an austerity. In the beginning it seems that we are spending all this time chanting Hare Krishna and we are not getting much benefit from it. But we are always getting an immense benefit every time we chant Hare Krishna.

      The example that Srila Prabhuapda gives to explain this is the man who has the disease jaundice. The cure for this jaundice disease is for the man to take sweet things but because of the jaundice the man has no taste for sweet things. Sweet things taste very bitter to him and he does not like to eat them. But that is the medicine. And actually it is very sweet. But because of his disease sweet things seem bitter to him. Similarly for us in our materially diseased consciousness. Material pleasures like associating with a beautiful women seem very sweet to us and sitting down and chanting Hare Krishna seems very bitter to us. But in reality there is an ever increasing ocean of transcendental pleasure contained in the Hare Krishna mantra. But because we are diseased we can not taste that pleasure. Rather the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra seems like poison to us and the real poison, the things that will cause us to become more and more implicated in the material world, that things that will separate us for Krishna more and more, seem very sweet to us.

      So the main point is keep chanting the Hare Krishna maha mantra at least 16 rounds a day every day no matter what happens in your life and in time that will purify all the material things in your heart and then you will be floating in the ocean of transcendental bliss that is Krishna consciousness…

      It is not so easy to get to this platform. Like the jaundice diseased man. He does not have any taste for eating the sweet things, but that is the cure for his disease, so if he wants to get well he has to eat the sweet things. Even though they taste very bitter to him.

      Similarly we have to keep chanting Hare Krishna mantra and following the regulative principles, even though we don’t want to spend all this time chanting Hare Krishna and we want to break the principles… It requires tapasya. Tapasya means voluntarily giving up something that we want to do for the purpose of making advancement in spiritual life. So we have to voluntarily agree to spend the time to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and follow the four regulative principles. And this will sometimes be difficult to do. We have to become determined to continue with this inspite of all difficulties. And in the end the result will be very wonderful…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  3. Anurag says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa,

    Thanks for your reply. I think if we believe in the concept of past lives then this is the correct explanation but I have a question.

    Think of someone who has done only pious activities in this life but suddenly suffers lot of stress say due to loss of loved ones. How will that poor soul know that this is due to my past karma. Assuming that he was a devotee, he may loose faith all the more. He may think that past life and all is mere vehicle of consoling ourselves. If GOD is there why does he not let me remember my past bad karma in a previous life. At least that would reduce the suffering to a lot of extent.

    I think this is too harsh a rule of the Creator to punish in another life for sin of some other life.

    Awaiting your reply,

    • Hare Krishna Anurag

      There is no question, this karma is the correct explanation of these things. It does not matter what we believe or if we like it or don’t like it, if we want to know the truth, this is the truth. If someone is a devotee he will not lose faith. Actually a devotee’s faith becomes even stronger in times of difficulty. He expects the difficulty. A devotee knows that this world is a place of misery. He knows that the temporary relationships we have with loved ones are very transient.

      It is described that we are, in this life, like leaves and twigs floating down a river. For some time we may be floating down the river with a certain collection of leaves and twigs but at any moment there can be some disturbance of the water in the river and all the leaves and twigs are separated, never to meet again. So a devotee knows this. He is not surprised when loved ones pass away. It is quite natural, he expects these things.

      As far as why Krishna allows us to forget our past lives, that is His mercy. We have come here to this material world to try and be happy separately from Krishna, but actually this is not possible. As long as we remain separate from Krishna we will simply be full of anxiety, full of ignorance, we will become attached to these temporary material bodies that are getting old, getting sick and dying, and this will all cause us so much suffering. We are always experiencing the three types of miseries, miseries from the mind, miseries caused by the demigods, and miseries caused by others. So a devotee does not expect anything good in this world.

      The only way to be happy is to realize we are not these material bodies and get off the bodily platform, become free from the bodily concept of life.

      And the process of how to do this is the saddhana bhakti process of Krishna consciousness. Following the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling, no intoxication, and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha mantra daily.

      Of course there are many other aspects to saddhana bhakti, it is a great science, so we need to learn it, that is the only way we can be happy.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

  4. Anurag Goel says:

    Hare Krishna,

    Had one query on the duration of life. If we say that it is fixed, then what about those who are about to commit suicide. I mean its so much in their hands at that point in time to end life or live longer. Similarly there are people who contract diseases due to say smoking, drinking etc. what about them. can we say that duration of life is fixed.

    What about many 100s who get killed at one go in a terrorist attack. Wasnt their duration of life more dependent on terrorist’s will.


    • Hare Krishna Anurag

      It is a complicate thing, Karma. But nothing happens by chance. The world is not working on the basis of the terrorist’s will at all. In the conditioned state of life we are all forced to do things as a result of our Karma. And others are suffering and enjoying, not because of our acts actually, but because of their Karma. It is all Karma. The terrorist’s karma is to kill and the victim’s karma is to be killed. Neither the victim nor the terrorist is free in this regard. Both are victims of their past karma.

      People are also being forced into situations where they feel they must commit suicide. They are not in control, they feel they have to do these things, they are forced to do them, by their Karma.

      There is a lot less independence in this world than we would like to think. It is not that we are being forced by Krishna to do these things, we are being forced by the reactions to our own actions in the past, in this life and also in previous lives. We do not know what we have done in previous lives but still we have to suffer the bad reactions for our sinful activities and enjoy the “good karma” that results from our past pious activities.

      The example is give of a seed. You plant a seed in the ground, water it, and in time the plant will grow to maturity and produce fruits in due course of time. So when we perfom the initial sinful or pious activity that is like planting the seed of the karma in our hearts. And that seed will gradually grow into a big plant and produce fruits. It is only when it produces fruits that we actually experience the suffering or the enjoyment that is the reaction to our past good or bad activities. There may be a very long time between performing the sinful action and getting the bad reaction to it. It may take many, many lifetimes. The person may no longer be performing the sinful activities, he may be acting very piously in this life, but at the appointed time, because of that sinful activity in his past, he is forced to be in that building at the very moment when the terrorists blow it up. It is not by chance that he is killed. It is by karma.

      Krishna has created an amazing network of karma in this world so that by every action all the participants are getting their “just deserts.” It is fair, and we are really suffering and enjoying as a result of our own past good and sinful activities. But because people do not believe in previous lives, when they see a child is killed they think the child is innocent. But the child is not innocent. He has done so many things in his past life. Of course in a child’s body he appears innocent as he can not express much through the child’s consciousness. But this illusion of passing from a child’s body to a boy’s body to a man’s body to an old man’s body then to “death” is just an illusion. We are the soul, the passenger within the body, and we have nothing to do actually with the changes of the body.

      So none of these people are independent. They are all forced to act because of their past sinful or pious activities. That is the problem of being a conditioned soul in the material world. You have no independence actually. You are simply tangled up in the web of karma, actions and reactions, and the more you struggle to get out of it the more you become entangled.

      The only way out of this mess is spiritual life. Our only free will actually is to choose between serving Krishna and serving Maya. We can not avoid serving. You can study everyone in this world, you will find everyone is serving someone. So the actual release from this bondage of action and reaction, karma, is to transfer that service to serving God, Krishna. And how to do that exactly you have to find out from a bona fide Spiritual Master. A self realized soul who has already himself become free from the entanglement of the material world, so because he is himself free he can guide you how you can also become free…

      Let me know what you think. For some people these are not very popular ideas, but actually this is the truth.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

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