Vedic Perspective Editorial Commentary 3-12-87 When we talk of spiritual topics as we do o

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Vedic Perspective Editorial Commentary 3-12-87 When we talk of spiritual topics as we do on this Hare Krishna program, we are only speaking of that knowledge that has been given us by our guru, our spiritual teacher, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is unique because he taught all over the world that the Vedic literatures like the Bhagavad-gita and the Bhagavat Purana should be accepted exactly as they are without any undue interpretation or change. This might not seem very astonishing to the casual student of the Vedic literatures if there are such persons at all, but actually people who do have some knowledge about the ancient book known as the Bhagavad-gita generally do not realize that the Gita is factual history, not mythology. We are sorry to say that some great personalities, even the late, great "Mahatma" Gandhi did not actually think that the Gita was historical but he felt that the Gita was allegorical. And even today in a recent India Tribune Newspaper article, the author makes reference to the Hindu culture which, in his opinion, is held together by the belief in the mythological King, Lord Rama. Why are they taking the knowledge of the great Vedic literatures as mythology? The great books known as Mahabharata written by Shrila Vyasadeva and the Ramayana written by the sage Valmiki are actual historical works recounting the glorious days when the Supreme Lord actually walked on the Earth as common men do, but by His uncommon activities, that Supreme Lord showed His supreme position. For example, Lord Ramachandra built a bridge from the mainland of India to the island of Shri Lanka by floating huge boulders in the water. This is not very astonishing for God. We give God credit for creating the entire universe with its countless number of planets of different varieties and He floats such huge planets in the vast ocean of outer space just like balloons in the air. So why can't he float some small rocks in the ocean to build a bridge from India to Shri Lanka? Not only Lord Rama but other agents of God like Lord Jesus Christ displayed many astonishing spiritual powers which are the characteristics of such great personalities. So when people start to minimize the powers of God and the historical events surrounding His appearance on earth, they become increasingly faithless and degraded. Just like Robert Sherman, local atheistic activist, he and his athiestic friends protested recently on a college campus holding signs that read, "God is make believe." So sure, it's not at all easy to accept the existence of a person you can't even see who displays such uncommon and unbelievable powers that when we hear of them we think that such so-called historic accounts as found in the Vedic literatures are merely the creation of a fertile imagination. We should turn our attention to more important and down-to- earth concerns like how to work hard to make our weekly salaries. Of course not. Our spiritual life should have first priority. We admit, understanding God takes a great deal of humility, a commodity that's rare in these days. But as long as we are skeptical about the unconcievable powers of the Lord as given in the Vedic literatures, we cannot make any advancement in spiritual understanding. Another thing, this Krishna movement is not only for the Indians or Hindus as they like to refer to themselves, but it is meant for all humanity. But if the Hindus simply prefer to neglect the validity of the Gita and Ramayana, they'll have to remain athiestic despite their outward display of religious culture. They have just begun to get absorbed in the degraded Western culture which is foreign to the values of their native India where there is still some remanants of the ancient Vedic civilized life. In that way of life, they used to work hard to understand God, but in Western life, God is being reduced to mythology. --Vaishnava dasa

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