Implementing A Vedic Society – Part Two
…This is not to say that other books of knowledge are also not spiritual such as the Bible, Koran, Talmud or even the Book of Mormon. These literatures do have codes of religious conduct and it is admitted that in each and every one of them there is a Messiah or savior if you will be it Jehovah, Allah or Jesus et al. The Vedas however, go many thousands of steps
In my last article “Implementing a Vedic Society-Part One” I tried to briefly outline the steps necessary for implementing a Vedic or Krishna conscious society or culture. They were the inextricable laws of karma, the awakening to and knowledge of God or Krsna, as a concrete principle and that a Supreme Being actually exists as well as the authority of the Vedas as our only real evidence in regard to the reality of an Absolute Truth, His personhood and the establishing of a “World Religious Congress”. I also briefly touched upon the primary duty of the king or an executive head of state according to Vedic law in order that the citizens of all nations may live in peace and harmony free from anxiety and oppression.
While it would be impossible to explain in great detail the intricacies of the Vedic conclusions, it is hoped that people in general will avail themselves of these sublime Vedic literatures that will be glossed over in this last article. While devotees of Krsna are already familiar with these Vedic truths it is hoped the general mass of people who have no familiarity with Vedic thought whatsoever will also read this.
In doing so, I will attempt to bring the various conclusions of these ancient texts to their lowest common denominator in the hopes that the common man or woman will more easily understand its import. In short, while the Vedas themselves may seem somewhat foreign to most westerners, there is literally something for everyone.
VEDIC HISTORY and VEDIC AUTHORITY
To recap my previous article, “Veda” means knowledge. This is not the kind of knowledge that is based on a material conception but one that is transcendental, that is, absolute and final. Its source comes to us from a “spiritual” realm and therefore does not suffer the material inebrieties that are so common with so-called mundane material knowledge.
This is not to say that other books of knowledge are also not spiritual such as the Bible, Koran, Talmud or even the Book of Mormon. These literatures do have codes of religious conduct and it is admitted that in each and every one of them there is a Messiah or “savior” if you will be it Jehovah, Allah or Jesus et al. The Vedas however, go many thousands of steps further in not only delineating every aspect of embodied life but more importantly, defining the very nature of God, or Krsna, and our eternal relationship with him. To put it more bluntly, we know who Jesus Christ is…now who is God? He definitely exists and possesses personhood. There is nothing unknown to Him and he is the “root” or “fountainhead” of everything that be. In that sense, he is “isvaram” which means the Supreme controller. The Vedas even state that not a blade of grass moves without His sanction. Rather than place our blame on God, what we perceive as “good and bad” within this material world is based solely on our perception according to time and place. God is all good all the time. Even He Himself has certified this material world to be a place of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. No one can deny that death is certain and built into that is the nature of suffering. The Vedas have a program however for getting the living entity out of this material world where one can factually experience a state of eternal bliss. There is a process.
Just as the President of the United States has his representatives to perform various functions of the state, God also has His representatives and any representative is as good God or the executive head of state.
The Vedas are very vast. It is stated by the late Srila Jiva Goswami, a great 15th Century renunciate and pure “Vaisnava”, a Vaisnava is one who is a devotee of Lord Sri Krsna, that there are some 527,000 verses of Veda extant on planet earth and 1 billion verses on the planets of the demigods. Demigods are empowered representatives of Krsna whose primary function is to conduct the material affairs of the universe and they too have “abodes” or planets and places of residence. Needless to say, these demigods remain invisible to us but exist nevertheless. This is corroborated in the Vedic literatures. The demigods are Brahma, the secondary creator of the entire material cosmos, Vishnu the maintainer and Siva the final destroyer of the material world after billions upon billions of earth years.
The Vedas were originally one and then broken down into four parts, the Rg, Sama, Atharva and Yajur Vedas. Srila Vyasadeva, 5,000 years ago, to show mercy to the less intelligent class of people decided to compile and condense so to speak, all these books of knowledge and therefore the Srimad-Bhagavatam was put to write after his son, Sukadeva Goswami spoke the entire text orally to a gathering of sages. This was at the end of a previous “yuga” or age known as the Dvapara-yuga. There are four yugas and they are continuously cyclical like the winter and summer seasons etc. Each yuga is shorter in duration than the previous and with each yuga the “legs of religion” become shorter and shorter so that today which is known as the “Kali-yuga” or the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, most people are born into an atmosphere of atheism disguised in the form of “organized religion” or so-called “safe” religions that in essence hide or subvert the “real” religion. All the world’s great religions therefore are basically “watered-down” versions of the actual religion which is known as “Vaisnavism.” The Vedas state that only God or Krsna can create the principles of religion. He or his pure representative can do this because they are free from the four material defects in that human beings are sure to commit mistakes, sure to cheat, sure to be illusioned etc. It may also be noted for general reference that Kali-yuga last 432,000 years and we have already passed 5,000 of those years with 427,000 years remaining. The good news? We are entering the “golden age” which will last 10,000 years before it reverts to the dark side again.
First and foremost, unless one were to venture into the continent known as India thousands of years ago or even today and assuming one were fortunate enough to meet an ideal preacher of the Vedas, one would still not be able, unless formerly educated, understand or read Sanskrit texts. Therefore in the west, particularly in America prior to 1966, the Vedas themselves had been lost or virtually “hidden” from the masses. The Vedas are considered by great sages and teachers of the Vedic path to be the real or original religion or to put it another way, the natural constitutional position of the soul, known in Sanskrit as the “jiva” proper. The soul’s “dharma” then is one’s eternal occupation, service to Krsna. The soul has it’s own form known as “rupam” and separate or transcendental senses that has nothing whatsoever to do with material life. It is therefore, “embodied” or encased within the heart, thus it never dies like the demise of the body. We identify only with our body and the land of our birth but this is all transient at best because tomorrow I may have another body and take birth from the womb of a mother at some other historical period on some other planet according to karma. (See my first article) These are transcendental facts now whether we accept it or not. Even scientists and parapsychologists are beginning to research and admit the fact that children as young as 4 years old have some memory of past lives that are irrefutable. (See Discovery Channel’s “Past Lives” segment).
Again, one has to give up any notion of geographical demarcations when we talk of India as America itself has its roots stemming back less than 400 years. India, with it’s great religious history and heritage goes back many thousands of years, and the Vedas themselves are considered eternal in that they have no specific historical date of being delivered to human beings except to say, that for historical purposes, the Bhagavad-gita and more importantly the cream or “ripened fruit” of all the Vedic literatures known as the “Srimad-Bhagavatam” were compiled 5,000 years ago by Srila Krsna Dvapayana Vyasadeva. The Srimad-Bhagavatam consists 0f 18,000 Sanskrit verses and is complete in 12 cantos. While the Bhagavatam targets Lord Sri Krsna as the Absolute Truth, God almighty Himself, the Bhagavad-gita is spoken by Lord Krsna Himself on a battlefield to his friend and warrior, Arjuna. This massive battle known as the battle of Kuruksetra lasted 18 days and 640 millions soldiers were slain. The Bhagavad-gita itself is the “crown jewel” of a much larger work known throughout the world as the great Indian epic, “Mahabharata” and consists of 100,000 verses. If America is to continue as a great nation and leader of the world they must familiarize themselves with these books of knowledge and thereby create this Vedic society that is so much needed now. (see part one).
The Bhagavad-gita was originally spoken some 120 millions years ago (by Vedic calculation) as inconceivable as that may sound to us and has been extant in human society for 2 million years. These are facts now. To corroborate this, the late A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada the Founder-acarya of The International Society For Krishna Consciousness more commonly known as the “Hare Krishna” movement and a great authority, commentator and translator states in his purports on the historical relevance and authority of these ancient Sanskrit texts: (SB-1-3-41)
“Men with a poor fund of knowledge only accept the history of the world from the time of Buddha, or since 600 B.C., and prior to this period all histories mentioned in the scriptures are calculated by them to be only imaginary stories. That is not the fact. All the stories mentioned in the “Puranas” (Vedic histories of the universe) and the Mahabharata, etc., are actual histories, not only of this planet but also of millions of other planets within the universe. Sometimes the history of planets beyond this world appear to such men to be unbelievable. But they do not know that different planets are not equal in all respects and that therefore some of the historical facts derived from other planets do not correspond with the experience of this planet. Considering the different situation of different planets and also time and circumstances, there is nothing wonderful in the stories of the Puranas nor are they imaginary. The great “rsis” like Vyasadeva had no business putting some imaginary stories in their literatures.”
Srila Prabhupada continues:
“In the Srimad-Bhagavatam historical facts selected from the histories of different planets have been depicted. It is therefore accepted by all the spiritual authorities as the “maha-Purana”. (maha means great). The special significance of these histories is that they are all connected with the activities of the Lord in a different time and atmosphere. In the Bhagavad-gita the Lord says that the purpose of all the Vedas is to know Him (Lord Krsna), and Srimad-Bhagavatam is Lord Sri Krsna Himself in the form of recorded knowledge. Therefore, it is the cream of all the Vedas, and it contains historical facts of all times in relation with Sri Krsna. It is factually the essence of all histories.”
Now that we have presented the authoritative nature of the Vedas let us briefly consider those person authorized to deliver its message.
DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION – PARAMPARA
In ancient times or millenniums ago prior to the printing press and the mass distribution of literature as we have come to know it today, the Vedas were primarily received orally through the medium of the spiritual master or “acarya” meaning one who teaches by example to his students and disciples. This is known in Sanskrit as “sravanam” or hearing. The acarya then was not only expert in being able to deliver his disciple from illusion and materialism but had also assimilated the Vedic texts and realized them directly and was therefore considered a “pure” vaisnava, devotee of Krsna. There were no doubts about the Personality of Godhead and the acarya was able to deliver these Vedic truths according to time and place. In addition, he did this without any material motive for his own self-aggrandizement. The Vedas themselves are very explicit about how one can study the character of the spirtual master as it was accepted there would be many “bogus” gurus and commentators who would use the original Vedic texts as a stepping stone for their own nefarious means or as a way of making a livelihood.
The real “guru” then was he who could transmit this pure knowledge to the people at large, free of charge so that they too would become Krsna conscious and attain spiritual liberation culminating in the souls ultimate destination to any number of spiritual planets wherein birth, death, diseases and old age do not take place. Again, this is a very deep subject matter and the Vedas explain these truths in a very deliberate and detailed fashion. There is no mystery to the “science of God” and the Vedas were primarily delivered to human society for the benefit of those souls suffering in the material world or had forgotten their relationship with God.
SCIENCE: WHY CAN’T THEY GET IT RIGHT?
It should be quite obvious to those following the gist of this article that when we speak of things spiritual we naturally negate the material. Material means that which is subject to death and decay, including the human body, while spiritual denotes unlimited, eternal energy or that which never dies. For most people and especially in the west, this is a great mystery. After all, we are conditioned to accept the world in which we live as the all in all and we know that everyone around us has died or will be dead, if not today then tomorrow or 100 years from now.
Since we know that death is certain and the soul remains eternal, we turn to the Bhagavad-gita and read what Lord Sri Krsna Himself says about the nature of the soul. (Bg. 2.13-2.17-2.20-2.22-2.23-2.24-2.25)
“As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.”
“That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.”
“For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”
“As a person puts on new garments, giving up the old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.”
“The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, it can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same. It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.”
Thus, Krsna, who is God almighty Himself playing the role of a human being agrees to appear here and give the world this knowledge as to not only the nature of the soul as being deathless, but as to our duty regarding surrender and service to this same Absolute Truth. Why and how Lord Krsna appears to play like a human being is also elaborately discussed in the Vedic scriptures.
Scientists therefore while using material technology to measure that which is already material will never come to the proper understanding as to the nature of the soul through material solutions. This is why almost everyday scientists change their opinions and perspectives about the nature of the universe and all other fields of endeavor including the health sciences. In actuality, the real desire of the scientists is to discover the existence of God but until they turn their research to the study and practice of Vedic truths their attempts at realizing God and other altruistic endeavors will be futile. Thus, not only the scientists, but also world governments who yearn for peace will never solve the enmity between nations that currently exist unless and until they take advantage of these Vedic law books. It is imperative then that world leaders take to these Vedic truths and at least “hear” so that society can progress spiritually and materially. Srila Prabhupada once said that if America adopts these Vedic principles the whole world will follow.
ACCEPTING and REJECTING
It is the nature of the mind to accept and reject. Human beings are doing this constantly on a daily basis. Therefore, it is not surprising that even when these Vedic truths are being presented to human beings there is a tendency to reject what has been read or heard. The reason for this is doubts. That we are conditioned and have preconceived notions as to the nature of life inculcated from birth, be it cultural or religious, we naturally tend to be suspicious of any knowledge that may not sit well with our present mindset. This of course has more to do with societal peer pressure than anything else and which culminates in fear of being ostracized. Krsna constantly talks about the nature of one’s mind as being one’s friend or enemy. In other words, by controlling our mind (goswami) one can either elevate their soul at the moment of death or degrade it and enter the hellish planets. We have that minute independence or free will.
In a world obsessed with death be it on television, news, novels and the media at large, the mass of people are being brainwashed every day with propaganda that runs contrary to realizing any spiritual truth. Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to find any real topics of a religious nature that is not fanatical or that suppresses these Vedic truths and therefore the masses are being cheated much to their chagrin. Therefore, the people in general are moving about in a haze of ignorance as to their real spiritual self-identity. The jiva or soul.
REINCARNATION – HIGH AND LOW
For most people, assuming they do believe in an “afterlife,” they think that when they die they will go to hell for being sinful (a start anyway), and heaven if the are “good.” The good news is…they are half-right. That human beings have a conception of heaven and hell no matter what their religious beliefs and that they have some concept of God or a Supreme Being no matter how misinformed, is due to what has been termed by certain Vedic scholars as “ancient memory.” It would be uncommon to get through a single day in America without hearing the expression, “Oh, my God!” or “God help us!” or “Who do you think you are, God?” And it is in these expressions that there is a basis in truth. The bad news? According to one’s works, remember karma from part one? The soul can either go upward to the heavenly planets (there is birth and death there also), enter the deathless spiritual planets known as “Vaikunthalokas” or, and this is what separates the believers from the non-believers, transmigrate, that is, fall into a lower species of life. This is decided by a higher authority according to one’s karma. What? You say you don’t believe it? Read on.
The Vedas declare that the living entity, soul, is one ten-thousandth the size of a tip of hair. Therefore it is “anu” or atomic in size. Yet, it is what gives the body, all bodies, consciousness and animation. The soul is so minute it is invisible to the human eye for all intents and purposes, but without it, it would be a dead body. This should be very easy for most people to realize when they really think about it. Naturally, since anything that lives has a soul we must also accept that animals, birds, aquatics and yes, even the trees that grow and bear fruit are also “living things.” Once we have accepted this truth we can now move closer to the concept of reincarnation as an actual fact. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krsna says to Arjuna: (Bg.4.5)
“The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!”
“Bahuni” in Sanskrit means “many”. When Krsna says that Arjuna has passed many, many births we of course are talking about births that may have been hundreds or thousands or even millions. Krsna however is never subjected to the laws of karma because he is the creator of such laws. We have to accept this statement of Krsna and until we realize that He is indeed God, His statements regarding the nature of the soul etc. will always remain a mystery to the atheists. It is interesting to note that Krsna also states that He remembers all those births being almighty. This is one of the features of God. All-cognizant and omnipotent
Of course, one cannot have reincarnation unless there is a “witness”, that is, one who sees ones actions be they pious or sinful otherwise there is no meaning to the idea of higher and lower births. This witness is known as “Paramatma” or “supersoul” which in fact sits within the heart of every living entity and accompanies the living entity in birth after birth as impartial witness. It too cannot be seen with the eye but exists nevertheless. Therefore, the soul proper is of the same “quality” as the supersoul but not in quantity since God is full within Himself and unlimited. This expansion of Krsna as Paramatma is one of the primary plenary expansions also known as “Maha-Vishnu.” Again, these and other topics pertaining to the soul, reincarnation, one’s duty and the nature of God, His eternal abode in the spiritual world, His consort and pastimes known as “lilas” are all elaborately described in the great Sanskrit texts and brilliantly translated by the late Srila Prabhupada and one need only take the time to hear or read these sublime literatures to enhance ones spiritual proclivities.
Okay, you say this all makes sense even though you still have doubts and questions regarding these Vedic truths. You say that you’re coming to grips with the realization that your body is separate from your soul and you’re even thinking of becoming a vegetarian as a definite way of showing your mercy to every living creature…great! What’s the next step?
This is where one will have to suspend their notion of what does and does not constitute religious practice as we in the west have come to be familiar with. That is, going to church once a week on Sunday, singing a few songs and listening to a sermon from our neighborhood priest, minister or rabbi.
DEITY WORSHIP – IDOL WORSHIP?
So you finally made it to the Hare Krishna temple in your area for the Sunday feast and of course it’s your first time. Perhaps you came with a friend. You enter the temple after taking off your shoes and see other Indians and Americans standing about and singing before two or more beautifully decorated Deities of the Lord. You smell the flowers and the incense. It’s something you’ve never really experienced before and certainly never on Sunday. Let’s face it, you feel somewhat uncomfortable. You think it’s strange and or even a “cult” and you’re wondering why you agreed to come. Maybe you’re even thinking of a way to make a fast getaway before the devotees converge upon you later talking about the Vedas and Krsna. But you decide to stick it out and take your chances. Besides, you heard the vegetarian feast was great and you’re very hungry. You’ve always been open-minded about things so now you’re wondering if this deity worship is idol worship and hope Father O’Malley at the local Parish doesn’t get wind of this.
Okay, so what is the purpose of this deity worship known as “arati?” This topic could make for another entire article and Deity worship was the primary sacrifice and very opulent in the previous yuga known as “treta”. It should also be noted that Lord Krsna is worshipped in each of the four yugas according to time and place. In satya-yuga as well. The point being, knowledge of Krsna as God almighty Himself is not a “new-age” phenomenon and again, this knowledge of Krsna becomes lost from time to time due to a break in the Parampara system and then it is revived again. With the arrival of HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on American shores in 1965 the Vedas would again be revealed.
With Deity worship the Lord agrees to appear before us in a form suitable to us as a way of rendering devotional service and as a tangible way of reciprocating a relationship or exchange of love. As Srila Prabhupada stated often, this love of God is the supreme goal of human life.
So at first, this Deity worship may seem somewhat uncomfortable because it is an essential ritualistic practice that we are not accustomed to. Since Krsna is not only within the hearts of all living entities as Paramatma, He also states that he is within each atom therefore He agrees to enter into forms made of wood, metal, paint, jewels, sand and even the mind. Again, while there are virtually unlimited quotes from the Vedic literatures, perhaps the best way to convey it’s true meaning is to quote the authority of Srila Prabhupda who states (SB.1-Intro. Pg. 17)
“He (Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu) wanted to impress upon the atheists that the worshipable Deities in the temple approved by the great acaryas are not idols, as alleged by men with a poor fund of knowledge. The Deity in the temple is the arca incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, and thus the Deity is identical with the Lord in all respects. He responds to the proportion of the devotee’s affection for Him.”
Elsewhere, in the 11th canto of Srimad-Bhagavtam Lord Krsna Himself talks about the worship of His own Deity form to His friend and confidential servant, Uddhava, just prior to the Lords winding up His pastimes here on earth and just at the dawn of the Kali-yuga 5,000 years ago. We will now briefly mention the sacrifice for the age of Kali and one practice that seems to perplex people coming to Krsna consciousness more than any other.
CHANTING THE HOLY NAMES OF GOD-THE MAHA-MANTRA
This in fact is not only the most essential practice for the age but is considered a “yajna” or sacrifice. So what is chanting known as “japa” or quiet chanting to one’s self? What does it do? It feels strange. Is there some mystical benefit? Why is it my duty to chant 16 rounds per day? This takes me at least 2 hours and I’m a busy person. So, what’s the story? I pray to God. In other religions I don’t have to chant. The Zen Buddhists don’t chant. Can’t I get the same benefits if I just sit and meditate several hours a day?
The answer is no. While sitting meditation according to the Vedas was a method in previous yugas, it is a difficult proposition today as the masses are in too much anxiety and are short-lived. In previous yugas life spans were of a much longer duration, even up to thousands of years. While some individuals can practice this form of yoga strictly, most cannot. Yoga means to link up with God. And what are the meditators meditating on? Usually, money, wine, women, fame and fortune. Not all but most. I know. I did it in the 70’s. Whew! Even hatha-yoga that most Americans are familiar with while an excellent practice for longevity and health-related issues, it will not deliver the jiva-soul at the precise moment of death.
Srila Prabhupada often stated that we are only here to prepare for our next birth and that everything will be tested at the moment of death. Taking those statements seriously the living entity cannot wait forever to come to the point. Therefore, the chanting of the Lord’s holy names; Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare, Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare helps one in due course of time realize Vedic truth, obtain insights into the nature of the self (soul) and helps one to remember Lord Krsna daily. In fact, with sincere effort, one will eventually realize that there is absolutely no difference between Lord Krsna, the Vedas and His holy names. In other words, it may be that the individual may have a realization that is as good as SEEING God, Lord Krsna, face to face. Srila Prabhupada states: (SB. – 1.1. Intro, Pgs. 6-7)
“It is recommended in the sastras (revealed scriptures), that offenseless chanting of these holy names of the Lord can deliver a fallen soul from material bondage. There are innumerable names of the Lord both in India and outside, and all of them are equally good because all of them indicate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But because these sixteen (the above mantra) are especially recommended for this age, people should take advantage of them and follow the path of the great acaryas who attained success by practicing the rules of the sastras.”
One can chant these holy names in the privacy of their home by setting aside a time to do so. Even if it’s one or two rounds. A round is the names of Krsna on 108 beads. Yes, if someone catches you chanting or hears you -you may feel self-conscious but give it a try anyway. Try to do a fixed number each day. Even if it’s one whole round. In fact, in my opinion if most of the world’s population were to just chant one round of Hare Krsna everyday, I believe we would see immediate results in due course in the current world’s atmosphere in every way. This may sound like a difficult and impossible solution but it’s one that has already been prophesied to take place. Which brings us to the conclusion.
LORD CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU and THE SANKIRTANA MOVEMENT
By now, most people in the world and especially in America since the 1960’s have seen Hare Krishna devotees chanting and dancing in the streets. What is this and what does it mean? Do I have to shave my head, wear a dhoti and jump up and down? The answer is no, unless you come to that decision in your life and would like to make a full-time commitment and many have. Or one may desire to become a congregational member of ISKCON or a friend of Krsna and help. There is no loss. However, and this should be stressed, Krsna is definitely God. He was God yesterday, He is God today and He will remain God long after the demise of our bodies. Guru, the Vedas and Krsna will always remain.
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, a direct incarnation of Lord Sri Krsna Himself and playing the role of a devotee of the Lord appeared in the city of Navadvipa, Bengal in the year 1486. His life is documented in a mammoth 17-volume edition translated by Srila Prabhupada on His life and precepts and required reading for those souls thirsty for real spiritual knowledge. It is He, Lord Caitanya, who inaugurated what is known as “sankirtana” or the congregational chanting of the holy names of God, Krsna. He did this for two primary reasons. By broadcasting loudly the Lord’s holy names it would not only draw the attention of the masses to the Vedic philosophy, but by hearing these holy names the people would get immediate benefit as the holy names are non-different than Krsna Himself in the form of “sabda” or transcendental sound. It was Lord Caitanya, 500 years ago, who predicted that the chanting of the holy names would spread to every town and village. This was at a time when Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci were seeking new worlds and the eventual discovery of America. Lord Caitanya’s prophecy became fulfilled with the establishment in of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in 1966.
People love predictions. They carry a mystical edge and probably the most credible prophets have been Nostradamus and the late Edgar Cayce. They are very credible and perhaps the most noted translator of the Nostradamus quatrains is a man by the name of John Hogue who has written extensive books on the subject as well as translations and commentary. Nostradamus who lived 300 or more years ago predicted events into the future with great accuracy. Even 7,000 years ahead of his time.
In one such prediction, Nostradamus wrote that a religion from the East would move West shifting the spiritual axis of humanity. Although I cannot go into much detail here as I am still researching these quatrains, there is mention of a “master” also from the East that would herald a “golden age.” It is my humble opinion that this it is Srila Prabhupada and none other than Krishna consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada also made some predictions very matter-of-factly in room conversations etc. I will just mention those that I can remember:
“This Krsna consciousness (or movement) will save America in it’s darkest hour.”
“Your children’s children will be pure devotees.”
“The preaching will go better after the next war.”
“First they’ll laugh at us, then they’ll be afraid of us, then they’ll embrace us.”(referring to the Hare Krishna movement in America).
“The next big war would begin with (or near) Pakistan.”
While I may be off with a word or two this is the basic gist of some of the many, many things this pure devotee said in his 12 year preaching mission throughout the world. His powerful biography “Prabhupada” by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami is also another glimpse into the life of a great religious scholar and teacher and extremely inspiring.
For those individuals who would like to broaden their understanding of the Vedas they may contact their local Hare Krishna temple or The International Society for Krishna Consciousness pertaining to books mentioned in this article.
Bhakta Wallace (Vaikuntha) is a writer living in Colorado-USA firstname.lastname@example.org