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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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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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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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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Prophecy of the Golden Age from Brahma Vaivarta Purana

The following are ten verses from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana that were spoken by Lord Krishna to Mother Ganga just before the beginning of Kali yuga (the age of quarrel and strife). Kali yuga began approximately five thousand years ago, and it has a duration of 432,000 years, leaving us with 427,000 till the end of the present age. [For a description of Kali yuga, please read the related article “Predictions for the age of Kali”.] Within this 432,000 year period, there is a period of 10,000 years that will be a golden age. That golden age is being described below by Lord Sri Krishna. This text is taken from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana

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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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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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Simple Living and High Thinking

If one is truly serious about achieving the ultimate goal of human life by perfecting his spiritual inquiry, he must adopt a life style that is conducive to the cultivation of self-realizing knowledge. This life style can be beautifully summarized in the phrase ‘simple living and high thinking’. Here simple living is in relation to maintenance of the body, and high thinking is in relation to the aim of one’s intellectual pursuits.

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Why save the Cows?

The Vedic literatures [Hindu scriptures] state that protection must be given to weak and helpless living entities by the stronger members of society. It is the duty of a householder to protect and provide not only for one’s family, but even for the ants that live within one’s house; what to speak of higher living entities like the cow, who are at the mercy of their owners. The scriptures state that the cow is our mother. We drink the milk from the cow, therefore we must accept her as our mother and protect her. As such how can a civilized society allow violence to come to such helpless living entities, who sustain us all with their milk.”

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Food For Life or Food For Death?

(This was originally written sometime around 2001.)

The following article has been written in response to claims by several senior ISKCON leaders that distribution of prasadam to poor people is an offense to Srila Prabhupada and is against his wishes (hence they have given it the name “Food For Death”). For those who do not have the time to go through the entire article, I have included a few quotes at the top to at least balance the accusations made by these people. For anyone who is interested to know the truth of the matter, I request you to read through this entire article, as these ISKCON leaders have been using deception to mislead the public on this subject.

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