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September 15, 1999   VNN4729  Comment on this storyAbout the AuthorOther Stories by this Author

Q&A: 'By Affection's Force'


EDITORIAL, Sep 15 (VNN) — (from: "Sanga" wfd@efn.org)

"The reality is that relationships are measured on the scale of affection.

The affection of Yasoda for Krishna is transcendentally greater than that of Devaki. Thus by affection's force, Krishna is her son more than he is the son of Devaki."

Q u e s t i o n: RE: your Janmastami article ' a beautiful dark son', Sanga 9/1/99, I am totally confused. Krishna was really the son of Nanda and Yashoda!? As he was born in the womb of Yashoda? What about the switch? (Dushyant)

A n s w e r: Yes, as confirmed in Padma Purana and the Bhagavatam as well! This refers to 'svayam bhagavan' Nandanandana Krishna, who never leaves Vrindavana. This is the deeper consideration of Gaudiya Vaisnavism as per our Goswamis. It has been brought out in Sanantan Goswami's Vaisnava Tosanai tika on Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Jiva Goswami's Gopal Campu, as well as in other Goswami literature.

My Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has also brought it out, although less explicitly, in his commentary on the 10th canto of the Bhagavatam. He says in his commentary on SB 10.4.9 'The word anuja, meaning 'the younger sister, ' is significant. When Visnu, or Krsna, took birth from Devaki, He must have simultaneously taken birth from Yasoda also. Otherwise how could Yogamaya have been anuja, the Lord's younger sister?'

RE: the second part of your question, 'What about the switch?'

Vasudeva Krishna appeared in Mathura. He is an expansion of svayam bhagavan, who sometimes exhibits four arms and sometimes two. When his father, Vasudeva, brought him to Vrindavana, he merged back into svayam bhagavan, Nandanandana Krishna. Later he again became manifest for the Mathura pastimes.

According to the hidden language of Srimad Bhagavatam, Yasoda gave birth to a son and daughter. The son came first and everyone was overjoyed, but thereafter, unknown to anyone, a daughter was also born, Yogamaya, who has the power to delude for the sake of the lila. When Vasudeva brought his son to Vrindavan, he exchanged her for the daughter, not seeing the son in whom Vasudeva Krishna merged.

Other than the above reasoning and scriptural interpretation, the reality is that relationships are measured on the scale of affection. The affection of Yasoda for Krishna is transcendentally greater than that of Devaki, and thus by affection's force Krishna is her son more than he is the son of Devaki. Although, to make matters even more confusing, according to the Puranas, Devaki is another name for Yasoda, as Vasudeva is for Nanda.

Q u e s t i o n: I've heard some say that we cannot act without the grace of God. We are 100% dependent on Him (e.g., 'not a blade of grass moves, but for His will') A misunderstanding of this concept could lead one to think we are not responsible for our actions in this world - that temptation, pain, and blessings are all the result of God's grace, not our free will (people in general might tend towards hedonism, and they might blame God for the 'unfairness' of life).

If this is true then where is the scope for the individual's free will? How much of our actions and their reactions in this world are we responsible for? (W.H.)

A n s w e r: We are responsible for all of our actions and the subsequent reactions. God is not to blame for any of this. Krishna mentions this in the Gita.

'God does not create either the means of action (the ignorance of false proprietorship) nor the actions of people, nor does he cause the result.

This is done by material nature (when beings identify with it through desire).' (BG 5:14)

'The fully self-satisfied Godhead does not accept (responsibility for) the good or evil deeds of anyone. Beings are deluded because their knowledge is covered by ignorance.' (BG 5:15)

Central to this concept of God's noninvolvement is the principle of free will inherent in the finite soul, as is the principle of beginingless karma. God does not create the agency for action. It is the individual soul's own nature in ignorance arising from beginingless karmic implication that is the agent of action. God engages the world of beings who are disposed towards such action through the influence of desire arising from timeless ignorance, but he does not create that agency himself.

Because God is self-satisfied, he does not direct the living beings for the fulfillment of his selfish desire. He directs in accordance with the living beings' previous actions. He does this through the power of his illusory energy (maya). In doing so, he acquires no sin or virtue, as do the living beings.

The evil of the world is a result of anadi (beginingless) karma. At the same time, all is going on by the grace of God (his sanction), who defers to his own law of karma, the principle of justice. If he did not do so, he would be blamed for chaos. Becasue he does do so, there is scope for mercey, which involves occasionally overriding justice.

Just how one reacts to his or her 'prarabdha karma' (the karma that forms one's present body and life) determines one's future karmic reactions. If owing to frustration resulting from one's prarabdha karma a person kills another, this act of killing is not his prarabdha karma. It is an action that will bear the fruit of karma in the future.

When we experience the pain of children being killed in school, this pain and the death of the children is our and their prarabdha karma respectively. However, it is not correct to think that the killer is merely acting in accordance with his prarabdha karma and thus no one is to blame.

The killer is responsible for his action, and he will get the result in the form of future karma. This is called 'agamini karma phala', the result of actions performed in the present life that will accrue in the future.

[Reprinted with permission from Sanga 9/11/99 http://www.swami.org]

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