“It appears here that the homosexual appetite of males for each other is created in this episode of the creation of the demons by Brahmā. In other words, the homosexual appetite of a man for another man is demoniac and is not for any sane male in the ordinary course of life.”
Yet, we have heard that the famed “anti-psychiatrist” psychiatrist, R. D. Laing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._D._Laing, commented that insanity is usually a sane reaction to an insane situation. You add to this that we saw a documentary on overpopulation of rats, wherein rats were put in a large colony cage and allowed to reproduce with sufficient food without limit, and eventually, cannibalism of the babies, catatonia and homosexuality manifest. Also we add to this that there is indication that there is a natural mechanism for homosexuality in the human psyche under certain circumstances and we have the hypothesis that:
Homosexuality may be a sane reaction to the insane situation of overcrowded conditions in modern citys. It makes sense from one perspective. Mother Nature sees that there are too many people. So if some become homosexual then there will be less people. If we take shelter of Srila Prabhupada we can become sane. He recommended to one devotee, Lalitananda Das, with this madness (there are other types of madness) to immediately get married; and of course follow four principles and chant Hare Krsna. This is a hypothesis and requires more research to have more strength, but we would expect that the more we develop rural Vedic life, the more we expect to see these types of madness diminishing.
Essay Four: Pada-padma: Details of Cantos One and Two
“So purification means getting free gradually from sex desire, and this is attained by meditation on the person of the Lord as described herein, beginning from the feet. . . . those who are still entrapped by sex indulgence should never progress to meditation above the feet of the Lord; therefore recital of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by them should be restricted to the First and Second Cantos of the great literature.” SB 2.2.12
“The First and Second Cantos of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are called the two lotus feet of the Lord. It is therefore suggested by Lord Śiva that one should first try to see the lotus feet of the Lord. This also means that if one is serious about reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, he must begin by seriously studying the First and Second Cantos.” SB 4.24.52 Let us first submit the two following graphics which show a chapter and verse-group analysis of the Pada-padma, the first two Cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam. Reviewing it we feel that it is pretty nice, complete, accurate, useful, but of course has room for improvement. Suggestions for improvement appreciated.
In general, as cited above, SB is the literary incarnation of God and the first two Cantos are His lotus feet. One may be a sincere devotee but may not have been trained in following the four regulative principles and thus still be conditioned to a neccesity to indulge in illicit sex. The madhayma-adhikari should still deliver the medicine of SB to him, but only from the first two Cantos. The third Canto becomes much more intense and if you are not ready for it, it may cause an adverse effect.
We see the first Canto as a preface. We read in one writer’s guide that a preface is supposed to tell us:
The purpose of the book,
Under what circumstances it was written,
The character of the writer and
The character expected of the reader.
All these things are in the first Canto. We meet Maharaja Pariksit and Sukadeva Goswami. Krsna’s mission of incarnation has finished. Thus we see His departure along with his associates. Then we need another incarnation to protect the devotees in the Kali-yuga, that is SB and it is born from the conversations of Sukadeva Goswami and Maharaja Pariksit, whose lives and qualifications are introduced. In more detail the first Canto describes how Vyasadeva saw all these antecedants after his Guru’s depature.
In the second Canto we see Suka-deva Goswami beginning to teach his student, Maharaja Pariksit. We se a regular sequence in all the sessions: Someone is in distress, he encounters Guru. Guru explains what is this world, the spriritual world, their connection. Guru may ask if there are any more question, which often there are. If not, he tells his disciple to “go on Sankirtana”, explain what he has understood to other.
Thus we see Srimad Bhagavatam being presented five times in detail:
Visnu to Brahma, SB 2.8-10
Brahma to Narada, SB 2.4-7
Narada to Vyasa, SB 1.4-6
Sukadeva to Pariksit (Suta), SB 2.1-3
Suta to Saunaka et al, SB 1.1-3
The other chapters of the first Canto majorily deal with the background conditions that Vyasa saw as he began to compose Srimad Bhagavatam.
There are many other interesting features to Pada-padma, but one thing that strikes us as important is that the flow of sequences seems to be reversed in Canto One. It describes the birth ceremony of Maharaja Praiksit and horse sacrifices of Maharaja Yuddhisthira after it describes the departure of Krsna for Dvaraka. It seems to us that these events actually took place in Hastinapura before Krsna left for Dvaraka. He stayed to see these things properly coming to pass before He went home to Dvaraka.
There are many nice prayers in the first two cantos that can be the subject of specific seminars and study:
Queen Kunti - 1.8.18-43
Bhismadeva - 1.9.32-43
The Kula-stri - 1.10.20-31
Sukadeva Goswami - 2.4.11-25
There are topical discussions on cosmology, science, creation of the universe, social philosophy and many nice biographys and historys. Srila Prabhupada says someplace that even the Gopis, when they start to think of Krsna they start with his lotus feet. It seems practical to us that the higher you want to build your edifice the deeper and stronger has to be your foundation. Thus, if we want to rise up to Krsna’s smiling face in the Tenth Canto, then we have to study, recite, take to heart, these first two cantos again and again.
Pref Intro Suta to Sages
3 Narada -Vyasa
15 App. SB
Preface-A preface explains the goal of the book, qualifications of the author, under what circumstances the book was written, how to read it and qualifications expected of the reader.
Introduction-It begins with a contrast of God as Supreme Controller and Cause of all Causes. The rest a is biography of Lord Caitanya.
Ch. 1: Verses 1-3, are Prelude to SB then at Naimisaranya, the Sages ask Suta Goswami (StG) six questions (4-22)
Ch. 2: StG answers, first glorifying the acharyas of SB and the questions (1-6). Then he answers most of their questions (7-38) and...
Ch. 3: ...completes his answers by describing the Purusa Avataras (3.1-5), Lila and other Avatars (6-25). He then describes the general principles of Avatars, the transcendental situation beyond them (26-39) and presents SB as the current Avatar.
Ch. 4: Sages want to hear the history of SB (4-13). StG describes how Veda Vyasa (VV) wrote the Vedas (14-25) but still was not satisfied (26-31) then his guru, Narada Muni (NM) arrived (32).
Ch. 5: NM questions VV(2-4) who confesses his sadness (5-7). NM diagnoses the cause of VV disease (8-22), describes his contact with his own gurus (23-30), his own realization (31-33) and orders VV to write SB (40).
Ch. 6: VV asks for more detail of NM self-realization (1-4). NM described these (5-35), his renunciation of home (5-15), stages of developing love of God (16), vision of Lord Visnu (17-25), further wanderings, his death, and eternal life (26-29). Epilog and summary by SG (30-37).
Ch. 7-11 K > Dvaraka, 12-15 Dis. of K & App. of associates of SB.
Ch. 7: How VV wrote SB (1-13) beginning with a description of Asvattama's releasing a Brahmastra weapon at Arjuna (14-57) and ...
Ch. 8:… oblations for the departed warriors (1-8), K saves Uttara and Pariksit (P) (11-17). Queen Kunti's wonderful prayers (18-43) and Yuddhisthira (Y) lamentation over all the death (44-52).
Ch.9: Departure assembly for Bhisma (1-12): B pacifies Y (13-21), considers his own departure (22-24), instructs Y on political science (25-28), prepares to leave (29-30), offers wonderful prayers (32-42) and departs (43-45) as well as all assembled (46-49).
Ch. 10: Y rules the earth (1-6), K leaves for Dvaraka (D)with feelings of separation (7-20), the ladies offer beautiful prayers (21-30)and the trip to D is described (31-36).
Ch. 11: Feelings of yoga as K approaches D (1-5), prayers by the D folk (6-10), public ceremonies of reception (10-27) and intimate family reception and peaceful pastimes (28-39).
Ch. 12 More questions by the Sages (1-3), the glories of Y’s reign (4-6), P situation in the womb (7-11), his birth (12-15), predictions of his life (16-28) and his growth to maturity (29-36).
Ch. 13 Vidura's (V) returns to Hastinapur (1-17), delivers Dhrtarastra (DH) (18-28), who leaves home (29-30), discovering which Y is plunged into lamentation (31-38), Narada Muni calms him and.describes hoa DH & Gandhari will quit their bodies (39-60).
Ch. 14: Y sees ill omens portending departure of K (1-22). At that time Arjuna returns from D and Y asks about Arjuna’s depression suspecting K’s departed (23-44).
Ch. 15: Arjuna steadies his mind by remembering K (1-21), gives the sad news of K and Yadu dynasty (22-26), Y et al depart (27-51).
Ch. 16-19, P Meets Sukadeva Gosvami (SG)
Ch. 16: P assumes the throne, meets Kali-Yuga (1-4), Sages are astonished that P did not kill Kali (5-9), P tours his empire (10-17) and concurrently Earth and Religion talk (18-36).
Ch. 17: P, Kali, Earth & Religion meet (1-16), P asks for a complaint, Religion declines discussing destiny with P(17-27), then P severely limits Kali (28-41)and P’s reign is described.
Ch. 18: More description P’s reign (1-11), Sages ask for more talks of K (12-17), StG glorifies their request (18-23), describes the insult to Samika Rsi by P, subsequent cursing by Srngi, (24-40) and Samika's lament upon hear this (41-50).
Ch.19: P laments over his unfortunate action (1-3), assembly on bank of Ganges (4-13), P welcomes them (14-26) asking them to engage in Krsna-katha (32-24), SG appears (25-31) and P asks him two questions (37-38): What is the duty of a man during his life and especially at the time of death?
Suka to Pariksit
Brahma to Narada
7 Visnu to Brahma
Available as Power Point at: www.jayarama.us/archives/pdp-1-2-canto-sum.ppt
Ch. 1-3, SB by SG to P
Ch. 1: P’s question is most essential topic, not discussed we go to hell, hear krsna-katha, (KK) to get liberation and more (1-10), it is self-sufficient but there are favorable rituals (14-21), P asks for details of the object of meditation, KK, the 'virat-rupa' (VR), cosmic form of God (22-39).
Ch. 2: Brahma (B) got liberation, devotional service, by VR meditation, Vedas also offer illusion, but live simply (1-7), there is Supersoul meditation if you serve the VR (8-14), through a few stages go to the Supreme directly (15-21) or visit different material places as you leave (22-32).
Ch. 3: StG repeats the answers (1-13), Sages want more SG talks to Prema, not rubbish talks (13-23).
Ch. 4-7, SB by Lord Brahma to Narada Muni
Ch. 4: P is purified by Ch. 1-3 but wants more, how K creates, maintains and destroys the universe (1-10). SG glorifies K then begins to cite B to Narada (12-24).
Ch. 5: NM asks B same questions (1-8), B gives a general description of K position (9-21) and then specifically describes creation of the material ingredients (22-31) and then the form of the Lord as the cosmos (VR) (32-42),…
Ch. 6: …the opulences of the VR (1-17), K beyond the VR (18-22), applied science, engineering, (23-32), summarizes his lecture (33-45) and says he will explain the incarnations of God.
Ch. 7: B describes avataras (1-38), and how to recognize them (39-46). He describes how K is transcendental (47-49) and instructs NM to go and preach (50-53).
Ch. 8-10, SB by Lord Visnu to Brahma
Ch. 8: P asks many more questions(1-26) and SG prepares to respond (26-29) explaining that this topic was originally explained by the Lord Visnu (V) to B (28).
Ch. 9: How soul becomes entangled and liberated (1-3), B sees Kingdom of V (4-19), V summarizes SB and B asks how V relates to Maya and how he can avoid it (20-30), SB in FOUR ORIGINAL VERSES (31-37), the Professors of SB:V to B to NM to VV to SG to STG & P.
Ch. 10: SG again explains the VR, how the VR experiences creation Itself (17-39) and transcendental nature of K, then the sages ask about Vidura (47-51).
Epistemology (Essay Two)
Write an essay on epistemology including your Personal Index notes.
From the Random House Dictionary we can find epistemology defined as a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge. We prefer another definition that we remember that epistemology is that branch of philosophy which considers critically the method, content and validity of any system of knowledge.
Of course, in Bhakti-sastri we had advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s Introduction to the Isopanisad which we see as the best summary of our epistemology in any of Srila Prabhupada’s books. Furthermore, we have heard that this is a summary of the content of Srila Jiva Goswami’s Tattva-sandarbha which we might argue as the best explanation of epistemology from any source. To summarize the Isopanisad explanation: We can acquire knowledge by direct perception, mental speculation through inductive reasoning, and hearing from the authoritative Vedas. When we discuss Guru-tattva we can talk more about hearing from disciplic succession.
During our Bhakti-vaibhava readings we noted several things of relevance to our Sankirtan. First, we saw some interesting citations on sources of bona fide knowledge other that of hearing from the Vedic sources:
There are different levels of acquired knowledge — direct knowledge, knowledge received from authorities, transcendental knowledge, knowledge beyond the senses, and finally spiritual knowledge. When one surpasses the stage of acquiring knowledge by the descending process, he is immediately situated on the transcendental platform. Dhruva Mahārāja, being liberated from the material concept of life, was situated in transcendental knowledge and could perceive the presence of a transcendental airplane which was as brilliant as the full moonlight. This is not possible in the stages of direct or indirect perception of knowledge. Such knowledge is a special favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can, however, rise to this platform of knowledge by the gradual process of advancing in devotional service, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. SB 4.12.19
Every devotee wants to chant the transcendental qualities of the Lord. Devotees are always interested in hearing about the Lord's transcendental qualities, and they are always eager to glorify these qualities, but sometimes they feel inconvenienced by humbleness. The Personality of Godhead, being situated in everyone's heart, specifically gives a devotee intelligence to describe Him. It is therefore understood that when a devotee writes or speaks about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his words are dictated by the Lord from within. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā, Tenth Chapter: to those who constantly engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, the Lord, from within, dictates what to do next in order to serve Him. When Dhruva Mahārāja felt hesitant, not knowing how to describe the Lord for want of sufficient experience, the Lord, out of His causeless mercy, touched His conchshell to Dhruva's forehead, and he was transcendentally inspired. This transcendental inspiration is called brahma-maya because when one is thus inspired, the sound he produces exactly corresponds to the sound vibration of the Vedas. This is not the ordinary sound vibration of this material world. Therefore the sound vibration of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, although presented in the ordinary alphabet, should not be taken as mundane or material. SB 6.9.4
A significant word used in this verse is trayī-gātra, which means that the transcendental form of the Lord is the Vedas. Anyone who engages in the worship of the Deity, or the form of the Lord in the temple, is understood to be studying all the Vedas twenty-four hours a day. Simply by decorating the Deities of the Lord, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, in the temple, one very minutely studies the injunctions of the Vedas. Even a neophyte devotee who simply engages in the worship of the Deity is understood to be in direct touch with the purport of Vedic knowledge. SB 4.7.46
The devotees express their minds before the Deity, and in many instances the Deity also gives answers. But one must be a very elevated devotee in order to be able to speak with the Supreme Lord. Sometimes the Lord informs the devotee through dreams. These exchanges of feelings between the Deity and the devotee are not understandable by atheists, but actually the devotee enjoys them. Kapila Muni is explaining how the devotees see the decorated body and face of the Deity and how they speak with Him in devotional service. SB 3.25.35 Second, passing back to the process of descending knowledge, we noted the three following references. They explain relative positions of Sruti, Smrti, Bhagavatam, Gita and the Vedic dictionaries:
Vedic civilization takes advantage of the perfect knowledge presented in the Vedas and presented by great sages and brāhmaṇas for the benefit of human society. Vedic injunctions are known as śruti, and the additional supplementary presentations of these principles, as given by the great sages, are known as smṛti. SB 4.18.3 The Vedic literatures give different directions for the human civilization, including the civilization of the senses, of the mind, of the intelligence, and of the soul proper. The Bhagavad-gītā primarily deals with the intelligence of man, leading one to the progressive path of civilization of the spirit soul. And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the complete human civilization dealing with the subject matter of the soul proper. SB 2.7.18 The Amara-kośa is the most authorized dictionary in the Sanskrit language, SB 6.3.24 Third, we noted some citations about the limits of knowledge:
The title Ph.D. can also be interpreted as Plough Department, a title meant for the tillers in the paddy field. The attempt of the tillers in the paddy field to understand the cosmic manifestation and the cause behind such wonderful work can be compared to the endeavor of the frog in the well to calculate the measurement of the Pacific Ocean. SB 3.6.10
Of course, modern human civilization has no chronological history of the world or the universe, and it cannot present actual historical facts older than three thousand years. SB 4.2.31 In Bhagavad-gītā the Lord has explained His position clearly, but the demoniac atheistic student squeezes out an interpretation to suit his own purpose and misleads unfortunate followers into the same mentality. Such unfortunate persons merely pick up some slogans from the great book of knowledge, but are unable to estimate the Lord as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. SB 3.2.22 It is also not possible to repeat all that one has heard from his spiritual master, but one can narrate as far as possible by one's honest endeavor. SB 3.6.36 The subject matters of physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, time and space dealt with in the above verses of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are certainly very interesting to students of the particular subject, but as far as we are concerned, we cannot explain them very thoroughly in terms of technical knowledge. SB 3.11.14
Fourth, finally a citation about the technical aspects of knowing.
Thus [brahmacari] students who simply hear Vedic instructions once from their teacher could remember them verbatim without needing to read books, which therefore did not exist in former times. SB 5.1.26
Srila Prabhupada, the Bhagavatam, are always discussing epistemology. There are so many ways to acquire knowledge or nescience parading as knowledge, so we have to keep our intelligence Sharp by continuallying bringing the techniques of pure knowing to the center.