Bhagavad-Gita Thematic #17

This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 2 and consists of 101 lectures, available on:

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/classes/bhagavad-gita-thematic

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, November 2011-April 2012

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • We should not think that if someone above us fell down then what’s our chance. Everyone is different.
  • One’s level in devotional service is determined by one’s faith, not by whether one has accidentally fallen down or not.

  • At the stage where one is battling Maya, Maya will sometimes win some battles, but if we persevere we will win the war.
  • We should not be surprised that sometimes things don’t go so well for the second generation because generally they are devotees who previously fell down.
  • ‘Quickly becomes righteous’ refers to one lifetime. One lifetime for going back to Godhead is quick.
  • By being fixed in chanting one can avoid all falldowns, but if they come, one should simply stay fixed in chanting and all problems will go away. If one doesn’t maintain steadiness in chanting, one’s progress will be slow.
  • Is it important to try to increase our chanting beyond minimum? Only if it is already our practice and comes naturally.
  • Chanting 64 rounds. We chant 16 rounds on beads and 48 rounds by our service.
  • 19:00 Womens’ less intelligence. Principle can be understood by everyone, the amount of details vary. For women emotional satisfaction is more important than intellectual satisfaction.
  • Less intelligence does not mean less academic or professional ability. The liberated sages have no desire to control and enjoy women, so their definition of less intelligence is not how most people understand it nowadays.
  • The men should create an environment where whatever the women do is connected to Krishna.
  • Feminine nature is a disadvantage only when it is applied in the men’s world because the men’s world is without emotion, and they would have to search for emotion elsewhere.
  • Just like the brahminical occupation is the easiest to connect to Krishna, a woman’s duties within her ashrama are so much easier to connect to Krishna.
  • Women who don’t like men have authority issues, but they still remain personal in it, never impersonal.
  • Something is okay or not okay according to the different senses that we have.
  • We have the conditioning we have, but it can be purified.
  • 48:30 Women, vaishyas and shudras are some examples of lower birth, but there are many others, any position that is not ideal for progress in the spiritual life. So when the Lord comes and propagates the devotional service, all such unfortunate positions are eligible to take shelter of the Lord and attain highest position in life.
  • 52:20 However, even when one takes shelter of Krishna, one’s material qualifications remain the same.
  • Even though those with degrees in philosophy may know so many more technical details, they don’t know the conclusion of philosophy, which even a very simple devotee knows.
  • 62:00 Strong things about women in shastra are always stated by women.
  • All occupations can be connected in Krishna’s service.
  • 66:40 The expert shaver devotee who was a butcher.
    Adhikarana 5
  • Shastras mostly explain the duties of brahmanas. Kshatriyas are described less, vaishyas much less, and shudras only a couple of sentences. The duty of shudra is chastity.
  • Vaidhi bhakti means Pancaratra. Those fully engaged in Pancaratra don’t need to worry about varnashrama. But once one goes outside of that, one has to follow varnashrama, otherwise one only follows one’s own conditioned background.
  • Most don’t catch that varnashrama is just religion. Devotees are Vaishnavas by philosophy, but by religion they are often protestants, or less common, Catholic, Jew, Orthodox etc. But we are actually supposed to be Vaishnava by philosophy and Vaishnava by culture also.
  • Mleccha culture was never designed to be fully connected to Krishna. The best of mlecchas will occasionally pray, but many aspects of life are left out of that.

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