2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Steven H Propp
- Published on Amazon.com
Abhay Charanaravinda (A.C.) Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977) was the Founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON; the "Hare Krishna Movement"). He wrote many books/booklets, such as Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, The Path of Perfection, Yoga for the Modern Age, The scientific basis of Krsna consciousness, The Perfection of Yoga, Perfect Questions Perfect Answers, Beyond Birth and Death , etc., and translated many East Indian scriptures, such as Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, etc. His "authorized" biography is: Prabhupada: He Built a House in Which the Whole World Can Live.
He says, "Srila Kapiladeva... states that there are six characteristics of pure devotional service, which are as follows: 1) Pure devotional service brings immediate relief from all kinds of material distress. 2) Pure devotional service is the beginning of all auspiciousness. 3) Pure devotional service automatically puts one in transcendental pleasure. 4) Pure devotional service is rarely achieved. 5) Those in pure devotional service deride even the conception of liberation. 6) Pure devotional service is the only means to attract Krsna. Krsna is all-attractive, but pure devotional service attracts even Him. This means that pure devotional service is even transcendentally stronger then Krsna Himself, because it is Krsna's internal potency." (Pg. 1-2)
He suggests, "The Krsna consciousness movement, however, is so nice that it can render the highest benefit to the entire human race. Everyone can be attracted by this movement, and everyone can feel the result." (Pg. 7) He cautions, "there may be many liberated persons who might have merged into the existence of the impersonal Brahman, but a devotee of the Supreme Personality of the Godhead... is very, very rare. Even out of millions of liberated persons, only one is fortunate enough to become a devotee." (Pg. 43)
He asserts, "Lord Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of Krsna in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, but in the same Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that Lord Buddha appeared in order to bewilder the atheist class of men. Therefore his philosophy is meant for bewildering the atheists and should not be accepted.... The so-called religionists were falsely using the Vedas to justify such violent acts as meat-eating, and Lord Buddha came to lead the fallen people away from such a false interpretation of the Vedas. Also, for the atheist class, Lord Buddha preached atheism so that they would follow him and thus be tricked into devotional service to Lord Buddha, or Krsna." (Pg. 61)
He says, "The spiritual master as the visible manifestation of Krsna is necessary, therefore, to direct the devotee on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead... A devotee is naturally nonviolent and therefore doesn't have to practice nonviolence separately. Some people seek purification by joining a vegetarian movement, but a devotee is automatically a vegetarian. He doesn't need to practice separately in this matter or to join any society for vegetarians. He is automatically a vegetarian." (Pg. 117)
He points out, "Srila Rupa Goswami states that although Lord Krsna is the reservoir of unlimited pleasure and the greatest leader of all, He is still dependent upon His devotees in three ways.... When He exhibits Himself in fullness, He is appreciated by great learned scholars as most perfect. When He exhibits Himself in lesser degrees, He is called very perfect. And when he exhibits still less, He is called perfect. This means that Krsna is appreciated for three degrees of perfection... If one asks how a personality can be beheld in four quite opposing ways, the answer is that the Lord is the reservoir of all transcendental qualities and activities... there is no contradiction." (Pg. 200)
He admits, "A pure devotee's attraction to Krsna in conjugal love is called devotional service in conjugal love. Although such conjugal feelings are not at all material, there is some similarity between this spiritual love and material activities. Therefore, persons who are interested only in material activities are unable to understand this spiritual conjugal love, and these devotional reciprocations appear very mysterious to them." (Pg. 360)
Prabhupada's books will be of great interest to anyone interested in the Krishna movement.