The devotional books that are the gems of India – A review!
A Girl devotee asked like this requesting anonymity:
Jai shree krsna……….Jai srila prabhupada……….Hare krsna prabhuji………My humble obeiseiances to you……Myself…… am a girl who longing for attaining perfection in devotion …..I read your daily posts…. your page is much informative and educative and dissolves many people’s sufferings and doubts….. Thanks a lot prabhuji…… Already i mailed aacharyas to clear up my doubts….. but i never get satisfied reply….. My feelings are go by pages but they just give me one line answers……
FOR WHAT REASON AM MENTIONING THESE ……… NOT TO FIND FAULTS IN OTHERS…..MAY BE THOSE PEOPLE HAD NO TIME TO GIVE EXACT ANSWERS…… LEAVE IT……. but here what i mean is YOU ARE THE ONE AND ONLY ONE PERSON WHO COME DOWN TO THE PEOPLES MINDSET AND ANALYZING THEIR PROBLEMS FULLY AND GIVE SATISFIED REPLIES.YOUR ANSWERS ARE COMPLETE AND UNCOMPARABLE………KRSNA FEELS HAPPY AND PROUD ABOUT YOU PRABHUJI……
( am not that much qualified to value your answers and great you and analyzing your qualifications…… however every words came from my heart……)
Here I had no doubts or problems to ask you…. Prabhuji, i read bhagavadgita, srimad bhagavatam, listening upanyasam, do chanting, visiting temples regularly………
Much interested in listening upanyasams (speeches), whenever i heared it, it fills my eyes with tears, it overloads my heart with love towards krsna as well as dear most devotees of krsna (alwars)……. Their feelings, thoughts, descriptions about bhagavan and his leelas too….. everthing are mesmerising…….. and enhances devotion to the lotus feet of lord Sri Krsna…….
Which story (in ithikasa or purana) , lines (said by bhagavan), verses (describe about bhagavan), thoughts (of a devotee about lilas of bhagavan), speeches or quotes (related to bhagavan’s love for jivatma), lila of bhagavan affects u much…………….bring tears in your eyes because of overwhelming of devotion, overloads your heart with love towards krsna……….. Somewhat it is a personal question, ……………… Pls consider me as your child (asking questions to you)……….. reply me……….
This is my personal mail to you Prabhuji………. so i request if you post my question in your page……….. post my words about your page and my question alone………… hide another things and my name too…………..
Our every scripture has great messages in them. So, how to classify them according to my tastes? It is a difficult task because for a devotee every word of praise about Lord must make him excited.
At the same time, there are devotees who are not much interested much in the lilas, achievements, etc of Krishna. They concentrate only in the preaching given by Lord and acharyas for the betterment of our life. For example, Some great acharyas have not spoken much about the lilas of Krishna with Radharani because it can’t be understood by all. They speak only about devotion and preaching of Krishna.
I am also one of that category. I am an addict of reading the books on various topics and my library is big with almost all the spiritual titles and science, health, education, etc.
In my service to the Lord, I give importance for the reformation side of the devotees and hence write more about the preaching of Krishna.
The aspects that I like in every scripture is:
(1) ITIKAS: VALMIKI RAMAYANA:
In Ramayana, the humbleness of Lord Rama towards parents, seniors , guru, etc. Obeying all His brothers to His words. The true example for a humble wife – Sita. If all husbands and wives are like that, how this world will be? Oh, unimaginable. And, the fall of a king though he is a learnt devotee of Lord Shiva. Rama’s acceptance of Vibeeshana. The role of birds, animals, etc to serve Lord Rama. The role of Hanumanji as a perfect example for a humble devotee who is always in the service of his master Rama. The approach of all other characters towards Sita – great. So, Ramayana is always great to learn how to lead a life full of dharma and peace.
(2) ITHIKAS: MAHABHARATHA:
This is full of the preaching of dharma with interesting incidences. In the full version of Mahabharatha, I have wondered an aspect that many do not reveal outside. Though Krishna who is the Supreme Lord was present in person, the kshatriyas, gopis, etc, worshiped Lord Shiva, Kali, etc in so many places. They did not shy to worship other gods though they were living with Krishna’s association. Even gopis worshiped Shiva and Durga to get the association of Krishna. How wonderful this is! If we follow this culture shown in Mahabharatha, we will never insult Lord Shiva or Durga Devi or any other gods. This culture was established by Krishna in His Bhagavad Gita by explaining His vibhoodhis that He Himself comes in the form of Shiva, Karthikeya, etc.
So, the credit of Mahabharatha is UNITY IN DIVERSITY AND NO HATRED AMONG WORSHIPPING GODS.
(3) Every devotee should also read the books such as Bakthi Rasamruta Sindhu (Nectar of Devotion), Sri Caitanya Caritamruta, Srila Prabhupada Lilamruta, etc that will touch the hearts and make them advanced in devotion.
Then, you have asked about Puranas. I have some reservations about Puranas because, there are serious doubts about the original scripts of puranas.
Firstly, there are two sets of puranas:
(i) By VYASADEVA:
These are the eighteen Puranas like Shiva Purana, Agni Purana, Bhagavatha Purana, Vayu Purana, etc. These 18 puranas are the original puranas of vedic period. These 18 puranas were written to establish the devotion of different people on different gods based on their gunas.
(ii) INTERMEDIATE PURANAS:
These puranas were written by many rishis/ acharyas in different periods and they do not come under the original bonafide puranas of vedic period.
Some puranas have been written even 500 years ago. There are puranas that have been written with some points for a particular purpose and they have been added with some points to satisfy the kings/ rulers.
Eg: Markandeya Purana, Brahma vaivasvatha Purana, etc.
The original scripts have been added with many interpretations, additions etc in later stage during Mohammedan or English period by some learnt brahmanas. Because, it is doubted that some predictions were believed to have been added after those incidents happened to show their authenticity. Because, these puranas are existing for hundreds of years ONLY THROUGH ORAL PREACHING, not in writing. So, many zonal brahmanas were believed to have added some extra and favourable descriptions in them. Saivaites, Vaishnavaits, and loyalists of British rule added some additions giving superiority to their beliefs/ paths. These additions stopped only after Printing technology was started to be used because they were recorded.
In spite of these doubts, we have to take the positive side of puranas. The puranas never encouraged conflict among different beliefs. Every purana was written to glorify a particular deity to keep the people engaged with that particular god and then come up in their devotional status.
Puranas are just the simplified versions of Vedic preaching. So, we need not bother about the doubts related to them. However, we can’t deny that the parts of puranas could have been fabricated. Let it be. Let us get the extract of the message revealed by Puranas – Unity in diversity.
So, If you like to follow Krishna, do not read all the puranas that will confuse you. Just read Srimad Bhagavatham that is the king of all the puranas and whose contents are final.
(5) VEDAS & UPANISHADS:
However, Four Vedas and the Upanishads that vedas contain remain without much fabrication even now though many parts of vedas have been lost. I just went through the contents of Vedas that made me wonder. Why?
Because, the people are fighting among themselves claiming that only their god is supreme. But, Vedas, that are considered to be real authorities of the creations, creator, supreme truth, etc, and that gives both positive as well as negative effects of our every action, speak in a voice that will ensure peace in the society.
Vedas try to create a humble mindset because they praise every member of this creation like Agni, Trees, Sky, Water, Seas, Vayu, etc. This creates harmony in our approach towards the creations and creators.
Yes. Instead of getting confused, just read this PRIMARY ADVICE OF VEDAS that appears in both Rig and Sama vedas:
“SUPREME TRUTH IS “ONE”. THE PEOPLE CALL IT IN DIFFERENT NAMES.”
Wow….How wonderful this is! Why should not we follow this ultimate conclusion of vedas? This will avoid misconceptions, hatred, etc in the process of spiritual practices.
So, you are calling that Supreme Truth as Krishna. Be relieved. Do not ill-speak about other names.
Because, if we speak against others’ beliefs, it is clearly against the ultimate vedic instruction mentioned above.
So, though vedas describe some fruitive sadhanas, as far as Supreme Truth is concerned, they tell in a single voice: Supreme truth is One.
I like this particular aspect in Vedas though I discourage following some of their fruitive advices. That is why, I never write against any other Gods, beliefs and paths.
When I read this conclusion again and again, I feel a kind of PEACE in my heart.
(6) As far as your other references are concerned, there are thousands of writings about spiritual practices by different acharyas. Though they give bliss while reading I get peace while reading the conclusion of vedas that is final.
Yes, Vedas speak about so many things, but, their conclusion is this:
SUPREME TRUTH IS “ONE”. THE PEOPLE CALL IT IN DIFFERENT NAMES.
Let us follow it because, vedas are authorities based on which all puranas originated.