Mahabharata: The Great War and World History

The topic of this issue is the Mahabharata war in relation to world history and culture. We will begin the topic with a question we received sometime back:

“In the Mahabharata, the war seemed to have affected the whole world. We don’t find so many references to such of a huge event in other cultures. Why are there no references to a great world event?”

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The Vedic Conception of Sound in Four Features

Welcome to the seventh issue of Tattva Prakasha. This week our main topic of discussion will be the Vedantic conception of sound. If you are a new subscriber to Tattva Prakasha, I would like to mention that though most of our articles deal with general philosophy, this issue will be a little more technical due to the importance of the subject. Since the topic is technical, we have included a small glossary of Sanskrit words at the end of this issue. If you get confused while reading, you can refer to the glossary to put everything in proper context.

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The Ten Subjects of Srimad Bhagavatam

The Bhagavata Purana, commonly referred to as the Srimad Bhagavatam, is considered the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge. Sri Vyasa Muni, the compiler of the Vedic texts, advises us as follows:

nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
shuka-mukhad amrita-drava-samyutam
pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam
muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah

“O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Shuka Muni. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.”

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Peace, Happiness and the Perplexities of Life

The Absolute Necessity of a Spiritual Master

Many times people have written to me about their difficulties and despondency in life. Usually they ask how they can attain peace and happiness. Nowadays peace is a very rare commodity in the world. Everyone is looking for it, whether one is an individual, or a nation.

On the individual level we find many people are experiencing turmoil and confusion from within, which prevents them from experiencing any happiness and peace.

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Incarnation for the Modern Age

Who was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?

Sri Chaitanya is the Kali-yuga avatara, and He descended for the purpose of establishing the yuga dharma, which in this age is the chanting of Lord Krishna’s names. He appeared in the guise of a devotee to perfectly show how the process of devotion should be followed and applied. It is something like a teacher drawing on the black board “A B C”. We should not think the teacher is himself learning the alphabets, but he is doing it to show us how to write properly.

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From Death to Immortality

What will happen to me after death? In the second chapter of Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna explains this subject to Arjuna in great detail. Arjuna was faced with a situation where, in order to uphold dharma, he had to fight and kill people who were very dear to him, his own relatives and friends. As one might expect, it caused great disturbance to Arjuna, and when he finally saw the people with whom he was going to fight, he lost all composure and began to cry.

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Siddhis, Riddhis and Mystical Experiences

It has become quite popular nowadays to speak about mystical experiences and “siddhis”. Most yoga and meditation groups speak of them, along with other esoteric blabber such as the raising of kundalini, opening of chakras, and other things which no one has actually experienced. On one side we have new age gurus speaking of siddhis very cheaply as though they are as common as sand on a beach, and on the other hand we have “rationalists” who discount siddhis all together as mere fantasy.

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Gods, Demigods and Incarnations

A question someone wrote to us: In Srimad Bhagavatam 5.17.12, Srila Prabhupada explains that people have sex in the spiritual world and there is no possibility of conception there. How is sex possible between different persons in the spiritual world and how can they be Krishna conscious at the same time?

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Human Life – Its Definition and Goal

That the human form of life is special and unique in comparison to other species is accepted in practically all fields of scientific and philosophical knowledge. But what makes the human species so uniquely different from everything else is often lost in the whirlpool of academic pursuit. And because of this, one may sometimes feel that, since the fundamental distinguishing characteristic of man is so often missed by great philosophers and thinkers, it must therefore be an infinitely intricate and complex truth. But to the contrary, one may be surprised at the utter simplicity of this distinguishing trait of man, that due to is very simplicity, has caused it to remain a great mystery to many tremendous thinkers throughout history down to our present day.

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