Truth and Beauty

Liquid Beauty

Liquid Beauty

A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA – There may sometimes be arguments about whether “truth” and “beauty” are compatible terms. One would willingly agree to express the truth, one might say, but since truth is not always beautiful—indeed, it is frequently rather startling and unpleasant—how is one to express truth and beauty at the same time?

In reply, we may inform all concerned that “truth” and “beauty” are compatible terms. Indeed, we may emphatically assert that the actual truth, which is absolute, is always beautiful. The truth is so beautiful that it attracts everyone, including the truth itself. Truth is so beautiful that many sages, saints, and devotees have left everything for the sake of truth. Mahatma Gandhi, an idol of the modern world, dedicated his life to experimenting with truth, and all his activities were aimed toward truth only.

Why only Mahatma Gandhi? Every one of us has the urge to search for truth alone, for the truth is not only beautiful but also all-powerful, all-resourceful, all-famous, all-renounced, and all-knowledgeable.

Unfortunately, people have no information of the actual truth. Indeed, 99.9 percent of men in all walks of life are pursuing untruth only, in the name of truth. We are actually attracted by the beauty of truth, but since time immemorial we have been habituated to love of untruth appearing like truth. Therefore, to the mundaner “truth” and “beauty” are incompatible terms. The mundane truth and beauty may be explained as follows.

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Individuality of the Soul

Light of the Bhagavat

Light of the Bhagavata

“The Lord reciprocated the feelings of the inhabitants of the forest of Vrindavana. When there was rainfall, the Lord took shelter at the feet of the trees or in the caves and enjoyed the taste of different fruits with his eternal associates the cowherd boys. He played with them, sat with them, and ate fruits with them.”

A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA (from The Light of the Bhagavata) – Becoming one with God does not always indicate that a living being merges into the existence of the Lord. To become one with God means to attain one’s original, spiritual quality. Unless one attains one’s spiritual quality one cannot enter into the kingdom of God. The members of the impersonalist school explain their idea of oneness by the example of the mixing of river water with the seawater. But we should know that within the water of the sea there are living beings, who do not merge into the existence of water but keep their separate identities and enjoy life within the water. They are one with the water in the sense that they have attained the quality of living within the water. Similarly, the spiritual world is not without its separate paraphernalia. A living being can keep his separate spiritual identity in the spiritual kingdom and enjoy life with the supreme spiritual being, the Personality of Godhead.

In Vrindavana all the spiritual entities—the cowherd boys, the cow maids, the forest, the trees, the hills, the water, the fruits, the cows, and all others—enjoy life spiritually in association with the Lord, Sri Krishna. They are simultaneously one with and different from the Lord. But ultimately they are one in different varieties.


Stephen Knapp

Stephen Knapp
(Sri Nandanandana dasa)

STEPHEN KNAPP – Reincarnation is called samsara in the classic Vedic texts of India. The wordsamsara is Sanskrit and means being bound to the cycle of repeated birth and death through numerous lifetimes. How this works is that those who are materially conditioned transmigrate through different bodies according to one’s desires and past activities (or karma) and familiarities. Their desires, if materially motivated, requires a physical body to enable them to continue to work out their material longings in various conditions of life.

Generally, in the Eastern traditions it is considered that all forms of life or species have souls, which is the entity who reincarnates. Previous to when an entity is ready to incarnate as a human being on Earth, the soul may have gone through a whole series of lives in order to experience various levels of existence and consciousness. The principle is that an entity may actually progress through the different species of life, gradually working their way up until they reach the human form. Of course, the body is only the covering of the soul in which it appears. The living being will continually move upward in its cycles of reincarnation until it has experienced all the main varieties of existences that the material realm has to offer. This way the living being is fully experienced in working out material desires or longings in all kinds of forms by the time it reaches the human stage. Of course, not every being may have to go through all of this.

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False Identification with Matter

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“At night, by the grace of the moonlight, the clouds in the sky can be seen moving. Yet the moon itself also appears to be moving, just as a living being appears to be moving because of false identification with matter.”

A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI (from The Light of the Bhagavata) – At night in the rainy season the moving clouds reflecting the moonlight make the moon appear to be moving. This is called illusion. The spirit soul, or the living being, is the root of all the activities of the material body, but because of illusion the spirit soul remains covered by the gross and subtle material bodies. Thus covered, the conditioned soul identifies with the material body and becomes subject to the sense of false ego.

This false ego obliges a living being to consider his material body to be his self, the offspring of the body to be his children, and the land of the birth of the body to be an object of worship. Thus the living being’s conception of nationalism is another type of ignorance. Because of ignorance, a living being identifies himself with the land of his birth and moves with the misconceptions of national ideas. In fact, however, a living being does not belong to any nation or species of life. He has nothing to do with the body, as the moon has nothing to do with the moving clouds.

Glowworms or the Moon and the Stars?

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A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI (from The Light of the Bhagavata) – As there are seasonal changes within a year, so there are changing ages in the duration of the manifest cosmic world. These changing ages are called yugas, or periods. As there are three modes of nature, there are also various ages dominated by these three modes. The period dominated by the mode of goodness is called Satya-yuga, the period of passion is called Treta-yuga, the period of mixed passion and ignorance is called Dvapara-yuga, and the period of darkness and ignorance (the last period) is called Kali-yuga, or the age of quarrel. The word kali means “quarrel.” Kali-yuga is compared to the rainy season because many difficulties in life are experienced during this damp season.

In Kali-yuga there is a dearth of proper guidance. One may take guidance in the evening from the stars and moon, but in the rainy season the light of guidance comes from insignificant glowworms. The real light in life is the Vedic knowledge. Bhagavad-gita affirms that the purpose of the Veda is to know the all-powerful Personality of Godhead. But in this age of quarrel there are quarrels even over the point of the existence of Godhead. In the godless civilization of the age of quarrel there are countless religious societies, them trying to banish God from religion. Glowworms want to be prominent in the absence of the sun and the stars, and these small groups following various religious conceptions are like glowworms trying to be prominent before the eyes of the ignorant mass of people. There are now a number of self-made incarnations people follow without authority from the Vedic literatures, and there is regular competition between one incarnation’s group and another’s.

The Vedic knowledge comes in a tradition from the spiritual master through the chain of disciplic succession, and the knowledge must be acquired through this chain, without deviation. In the present age of quarrel the chain has been broken here and there, and thus the Veda is now interpreted by unauthorized men who have no realization. The so-called followers of the Vedas deny the existence of God, as in the darkness of a cloudy evening the glowworms deny the existence of the moon and stars. Saner people should not be waylaid by such unscrupulous men. Bhagavad-gita is the summary of all Vedic knowledge because it is spoken by the same Personality of Godhead who imparted the Vedic knowledge into the heart of Brahma, the first created being in the universe. Srimad-Bhagavatam was especially spoken for the guidance of the people of this age, which is darkened by the cloud of ignorance.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare  ॐ हरे कृष्णा हरे कृष्णा कृष्णा कृष्णा हरे हरे। हरे रामा हरे रामा रामा रामा हरे हरे॥ ॐ