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Towards Varnashrama Dharma: A Constitution for ISKCON

By: on Nov. 10, 2021
Opinion

image source; BBT 

One rather awkward problem of today’s times is that of societal organization. There have been considerable difficulties and dissatisfaction in pretty much all societies, whether capitalist, socialist, communist, autocracies, democracies, theocracies or whatever. Nothing seems to be working too well. I think the term that might best describe most of them is ‘muddling along', but many seem to be teetering on the brink of collapse, and some in recent history have already gone down that route.

So, what spiritual solutions have we, as devotees of Krishna, got to offer? Can we show anything better? ISKCON, for example, is an institutional society, so what about its organization? Is it distinct and different from what we see in greater society? Is it something we can show the world as the ideal? Do we even want to have the type of organization seen in nation states? Is it appropriate, or should we be content to conduct our missionary business as an integral group existing within the broader state, subject to its laws and moral codes? Sometimes we even hear the argument that ISKCON is an organization held together by a philosophical accord and ‘love and trust’; that anyone who accepts Srila Prabhupada as their guide is an ‘ISKCON member.’ In any case, how can we get involved with the societal organization on a broader scale, offering solutions to the knotty problem of creating peaceful, sustainable societies? Prabhupada told us that Krishna consciousness is the answer to all dilemmas, so let us see what we have to offer.

ISKCON’s Organization 

I would like first to examine ISKCON’s own internal organization. What is the present framework and is it what we want? We find specific directions about how to manage ISKCON given by Srila Prabhupada, although not so much in our main canon. It was mostly in his discussions with ISKCON leaders and in his letters and finally in his will that he spoke more directly about ISKCON management. The first consideration in organizing society is its leadership, and for this Prabhupada formed the Governing Body Commission (GBC). This was in pursuance of the order of his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who had asked for such an entity to be formed within his own earlier organization, the Gaudiya Math. I shall not trace the history of the Gaudiya Math here but suffice it to say that they failed to form a GBC body, and the mission did not succeed as desired by Bhaktisiddhanta. We find this stated by Srila Prabhupada.

“Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next acharya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of acharya, and they split in two factions over who the next acharya would be. Consequently, both factions were asara, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master’s order to form a governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gaudiya Matha, the two unauthorised factions began litigation that is still going on after forty years with no decision.”(1)

Therefore, Prabhupada formed a GBC body early in ISKCON’s development. Even during his presence, he wanted to transfer the responsibility for managing ISKCON to the GBC. He defined the precise function of this body to some degree, and since his departure, the GBC itself has further refined that definition. Perhaps the nearest thing to a full definition was made back in 1987 by a large group of Prabhupada’s disciples. Perceiving that there may be a lack of confidence in its leadership, the GBC body empowered a 50 person committee, comprising senior ISKCON devotees, to review, revise and even reform the GBC.

This committee published a short paper that detailed the requisite qualities and roles of the GBC and its representatives. They based their paper upon extensive research into Prabhupada’s instructions, some of which I will quote here. The most significant item mentioned for the GBC body was the first one: ‘To be the ultimate managing authority’(2) This statement is enshrined in Prabhupada’s last will and testament. There followed a list of many other functions for the GBC, both collective and individual. One of those, which I would like to focus upon, and which I feel could ultimately contain all other definitions of functions and roles, was, ‘To formulate a constitution based upon Prabhupada’s indications and to be held accountable to it’.(3)

This, I feel, is a critical point. A constitution should be, as far as may be possible, a full definition of structure, organization, and managerial procedures within ISKCON. There are already some definitions of these items throughout the resolutions of the GBC body, but these have yet to be compiled into a single working document, or constitution. Such a document is surely essential for the coherence and integrity of ISKCON. The GBC body has therefore delegated a group of devotees to work on forming a constitution.

The Ultimate Authority

Where then should it begin? We know at least that the GBC body is the ‘ultimate managerial authority’, so everything else should flow from how this statement is interpreted. What is the remit of this ultimate authority? To whom should it apply and how? What are the GBC’s main duties? And so on. We find a few directions from Prabhupada. “The management of our different centres is made by three officers, namely a president, secretary, and a treasurer.”(4) “So far the practical management is concerned, that is required, but not that we should become too much absorbed in fancy organization....so whatever organization needs to be done, the Presidents may handle and take advice and assistance from their GBC representative.”(5) So a quite simple structure was defined and that has endured to the present day.

Srila Prabhupada also gave directions on how the GBC should function. “To map out global preaching strategy for the worldwide society, while leaving details of local preaching to the local management.”(6) “To chalk out yearly plans and then execute without change.”(7) “To ensure that current policies and regulations of the GBC Body are upheld in (the GBC member’s) zone.”(8) “To supervise and advise, not dictate, in all the above.”(9)

The overall instruction is that the GBC should have the ultimate power in ISKCON but should not wield that in a hands-on fashion to manage the society. Day-to-day management should be localized. Policies and standards, both managerially and spiritually, are set by the GBC, but local managers implement them. The GBC simply acts as an overseer, although it holds the power of veto.

This raises an interesting point. Within societal structures, power should be joined with accountability. Rights or privileges must be commensurate with responsibility. Have you ever been in the awkward position of being entrusted with a task, but without being handed, from your boss, sufficient authority to carry it out? Or perhaps as a leader, you may have experience of being the person where the ‘buck stops’, but you don’t have any control. And we all know the havoc that can ensue when a leader runs amok, acting as a law unto himself. It should be clear that to affect the organization we require in ISKCON, giving ultimate power to the GBC, while freeing them of the responsibility for day-to-day management, and at the same time building in certain checks and balances, will require a carefully thought out constitution.

It is also of interest to note that the GBC body has the responsibility to ‘appoint, suspend and expel GBC members.’(10) The GBC is an oligarchy. It is not open to voting or election for membership, outside of its own members. This was how Srila Prabhupada defined them. They really are the final authority in ISKCON. The only way there can be accountability for such bodies is to have a constitution to which they are accountable. Even that is no guarantee against serious abuses of power with such a model. Short of revolutions, nothing can stop tyrannical and despotic leadership. However, we would certainly not expect such things to occur within a spiritual society, where the top leadership is always likely to be the most spiritually mature individuals. A constitution would surely provide adequate controls and restraints. Especially as ISKCON is a voluntary organization. Its members at least have the power of voting ‘with their feet’.

Another point to consider in formulating a structure is the need for democratic representation. As ISKCON increases in size and scope, there are more and more distinct groups, beyond just the core full-time membership, involved in its operation. Different levels of committed supporters form ISKCON’s growing congregation and they, in return for their support, will want a voice in influencing how ISKCON is run. Srila Prabhupada did at times indicate that democracy has a place in ISKCON. For example, in 1974, he instructed the devotees not to change the temple president at Bhaktivedanta Manor without a vote amongst temple membership. He said that even the GBC could not change the president without a local vote.(11)

What do Prabhupada’s books say?

So, what kind of structure can we devise for ISKCON which will take into consideration all the above points? Perhaps for guidance, we should now turn to the ISKCON canon, our body of literature, rather than letters and conversations with Srila Prabhupada. After all, instructions in the latter were often subject to considerations of time, place, and circumstance. For example, the statement I quoted above that ‘whatever organization needs to be done, the Temple Presidents can handle’, was made in 1972. In that same letter, it was also said that ‘The formula for ISKCON organization is very simple...The world is divided into twelve zones. For each zone, there is one zonal secretary appointed by Srila Prabhupada.’ However, we have moved on since then and these instructions are no longer appropriate. ISKCON is already larger and more complex, having many more than just twelve GBC zonal secretaries. Thus, we need to consider such instructions carefully in terms of their current relevance. The instructions written in our scriptures are more enduring, at the top of our epistemological hierarchy.

Indeed, our understanding is that the Vedas and Vedic knowledge are eternal. Srila Prabhupada’s instructions in his purports to the Vedas have universal application. How to apply them according to time and situation needs to be carefully considered but Vedic scriptures give unchanging principles. So, what instructions about the principles of societal organization can we find in scripture?

In the Vedas, any discussion on how to organize and manage society centres on the varnashrama system; the four social and four spiritual orders. Before I look at that, I want to first address a common misconception about the system of varnashrama dharma. From my experience in speaking on Hinduism in schools and colleges, I found that whenever I discuss Vedic society, I always had to begin by addressing the doubt that varnashrama dharma means something like the present caste system seen in India. The caste system, however, is a serious corruption of varnashrama.

There are many points of variance, but perhaps the most critical difference between casteism and varnashrama is that in the latter one’s designation depends upon personal qualities, whereas in the former it depends solely upon birth. In Vedic varnashrama, if you were born in a working-class, or shudra, family, but had the quality of a scholar, or brahmana, then you could become a brahmana despite your birth. Or vice versa. This should be an obvious point; will the son of a high court judge necessarily be himself a judge? Or the son of a doctor also become one? Social mobility is thus there in varnashrama dharma, although in today’s caste system that tends not to be the case, and hence there are many problems. So, in speaking about varnashrama dharma, I am speaking about something which is hardly seen today, even in India.

In Prabhupada’s books, there are strong statements about the necessity for varnashrama dharma, such as the following:

‘To maintain proper social order and help the citizens gradually progress toward the goal of life- namely spiritual understanding-the principles of varnasrama-dharma must be accepted...It is said that unless human society is regulated by varnasrama-dharma, it is no better than a bestial society of cats and dogs.’(12)

‘Materialistic activities are regulated by the institution of varnasrama-dharma. Without varnasrama-dharma, materialistic activities constitute animal life.’(13)

Similar statements are numerous throughout Prabhupada’s instructions. Varnashrama dharma is the only social system described in the Vedas. We should note though that varnashrama is a broad style of organization that incorporates several of the societal systems we see today. More about that shortly, but according to Vedic direction, if any society is worthy of being called ‘organized’ and indeed ‘civilized’, it must be arranged according to the divisions of varnashrama. It is a scientific system, perfectly arranged and balanced, which has the feature of leading society towards the goal of life, God realization.

Within ISKCON society at present, varnashrama is gradually emerging. We have the four ashramas, brahmachari, grihastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa (Celibate student, householder, retirees, and renounced preachers). We do not yet have any clear definitions of the four varnas. There has been some controversy over the years within our society whether such designations should even apply to Vaishnavas, followers of Lord Krishna. We can find statements to the effect that such persons are ‘transcendental’ to external material designations and can act in any capacity according to the need of the moment. I will briefly discuss the spiritual technicalities of this argument shortly. For now, I would like to continue the discussion of the organizational structure of society.

Whatever our views on the spiritual relevance of varnashrama dharma to Vaishnavas and ISKCON, we must consider the fact that it is the only system of societal organization recommended by the Vedas. From Bhagavad-gita we learn that Krishna created this system, and it is therefore eternal. (14) Thus, its application is always relevant in any society. We could even say that any other system of organization, being temporary and unsustainable, will eventually fail. As I began by pointing out, looking at any society today, we could well say quod erat demonstrandum to that.

Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities

What, you might ask, has this got to do with ISKCON’s constitution? Well, varnashrama dharma provides a structure for the society that clearly defines the rights and responsibilities of every individual. It describes how the interaction between all classes of persons should take place. These are the very definitions and descriptions that are required in a constitution. We are presently trying to define our structure, presumably using terms such as ‘GBC’, ‘Temple President’, ‘Secretary’, ‘Treasurer’, ‘Director’, ‘Manager’, etc, but when we look through our ISKCON literature, we rarely find these terms mentioned.

However, there is much discussion about the roles and duties of individuals within varnashrama dharma. We cannot discover from the Vedas exactly how a temple president should act, but we can learn, for instance, that a brahmana’s duty is to be learned in scripture, to teach, to be simple, to guide the administrative leaders, and so on. In return for that, the brahmana may accept charity or even a state stipend. The duty of the kshatriya, the administrative head, is to protect the citizens and manage state affairs, and he may collect taxes from the people. The relationship between these two orders is also defined, as well as those between them and all the other orders. In this way, the Vedas describe a definite framework for organizing society.

Within a properly functioning varnashrama society, there is complete interdependence. The rights of one order are the responsibilities of another. The brahmanas are protected and supported by the kshatriyas, who are guided and counseled by the brahmanas. The vaishyas are given, by the kshatriya leaders, the facilities for food production and in return they pay taxes. All the orders require the labour of the shudra or working class. Varnashrama dharma is analogised by the social body. Brahmanas are the head, kshatriyas the arms, vaishyas the belly, and shudras the legs. All are required for a healthy body.

Similarly, there are duties incumbent upon the various ashramas. The grihasthas, for example, should earn wealth and support all the other ashramas. The brahmacharis should receive spiritual education and training. The sannyasis should act as the spiritual masters of all the other orders. In this way, we again find interdependence in the ashramas.

Perhaps at this point, I could address the question of democracy. It is another doubt regarding varnashrama, that it disallows democratic freedom. This question is quite relevant to the points above about interdependence. As I mentioned, it seems Srila Prabhupada was not entirely averse to democracy, although the traditional model of Vedic society is one of autocratic monarchy. What though is democracy? Essentially, it is an attempt to give a voice and at least some power to the people. Everyone in any society should have certain rights and some recourse if they are abused. If we examine varnashrama dharma, we see that the rights of the individual are a key feature in role definitions. Leaders must protect the people, even to the point of going out to tackle subversive elements in society, such as robbers. Or by being at the head of the army which confronts hostile forces attacking the kingdom. There are innumerable examples of such leadership in the Vedas. If one does not fulfil the duties incumbent on the role, then one cannot expect to remain in that position and enjoy its privileges. In the leader’s case, the oversight comes from the brahmanas. Woe betides the monarch who, carried away with his position and power, neglects their counsel. (See the story of King Vena in the Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 4, chapter 14).

The qualified brahmana counselors, with no vested personal interests in the state, are the well-wishers of the entire populace. If any brahmanas are not qualified, then either other brahmanas will check that, or even the monarch himself, who has the responsibility of ensuring that everyone in society properly performs their duties. We see then that the careful balance of individual rights within a properly functioning varnashrama society largely obviates the need for voting systems. It still has some application, however, and I will return to that shortly.

Applying Varnashrama to ISKCON

I would suggest then that we connect the various roles within our society to varnashrama. For example, the GBC, how would that relate? The top, visionary, policy-making, leadership role seems to be very much in accord with that of the brahmana. Especially when we also consider that they should not be hands-on managers. If we, therefore, say that the GBC is a brahminical body, then we need to consider what other responsibilities are incumbent upon them. What are the full duties of the brahmanas? Are they performing all those? What also are the privileges of brahmanas within society? Do they have those? Again, what is a temple president? Is he also a brahmana, or perhaps a kshatriya? In this way, we can examine various existing roles in ISKCON and see how they line up with the varnashrama system.

This is more than an interesting exercise. As I mentioned, from the Vedas we know that varnashrama dharma is the only system of societal organization recommended for human society. Unless we define our own organization in varnashrama terms, we may well be heading for problems. There is mention in the Vedas of paradharma. This means when a member of a particular order in society performs the duties of another order. In varnashrama, this is considered anathema. Social order is maintained by everyone performing their own duties. Again, in varnashrama, there is complete interdependence. The Bhagavad-gita is strong on this point: ‘To follow another’s path is dangerous.’(15) ‘It is better to engage imperfectly in one’s own occupation than perfectly in another’s.’(16)

I do not wish to engage in a deep discussion of varnashrama dharma, but one should know his or her duty and properly perform that rather than another’s duty. If someone works half as a brahmana and half as a kshatriya then there will be problems. Or if one enjoys the status and privileges of a brahmana, then it would be anomalous to accept only the responsibilities incumbent upon a shudra or vaishya. If therefore, we define the temple president as a brahminical post, then it should be fully performed as such. Those engaged in that duty should have brahminical qualities and should be careful not to embrace the duties of another order. They should also ensure that they properly observe the responsibilities incumbent upon a brahmana.(17) One could not be a brahmana within the varnashrama system and be employed by another, or desire an opulent lifestyle, or neglect the duty of studying and teaching scripture. These things may be appropriate or acceptable in other orders, but not for brahmanas.

If we have a post identified as a kshatriya, then again, other responsibilities are there. Unlike brahmanas, kshatriyas cannot accept charity but they can live a more luxurious lifestyle. They can exact taxes, but they must be chivalrous and powerful. And so on. Paradharma is only one anomaly that may occur, there are many others, which will all cause the ultimate breakdown of societal order. The only way to avoid such problems is to define and work within a varnashrama structure based on scriptural direction.

Can There be Democracy?

As I suggested above, we find some of the societal systems seen today present within varnashrama, such as democracy. This should only be applied among equals. There is a story in one Vedic text of how the lions, traditionally the powerful leaders of the animal community, once decided to become more democratic. The jackals approached them and asked to be involved in selecting the leader. The lions liberally agreed. ‘We lions have always been running things amongst ourselves,” they said. “Let us give these jackals a fair say in things. We shall all have a vote and thus decide who shall lead.” When the vote was called, the jackals, who far outnumbered the lions, selected the best jackal to be the leader of all the animals. Having for its leader an unqualified and weak animal, there was chaos amongst the animal community. So, we must carefully apply democracy in its proper context.

As varnashrama dharma is a system designed by and directed toward God, this raises one other point regarding the flaws inherent in democracy. We see today that within modern democracies, a leader’s qualities are determined by public whims. The leaders try to determine what the people want and then simply offer that in their manifestoes. In varnashrama, the leader represents God and protects the people (and the animals). As the father knows what is in the best interests of the child, even though the child may desire something else, so God knows what is best for society. The parents will never allow the child to eat only sweets, or stop going to school because they know that this will only cause the child’s ultimate suffering. Similarly, the leader should lead according to the directions of the supreme father, God, and thus really benefit the people.

To allow intoxication, gambling, pornography, and the like, may be popular, but does it conduce to society’s stability and happiness? We can see how modern democracy fails by witnessing how we constantly change the leaders. Although they promise economic and material gains, which most people believe will make them happy because they neglect divine directions, no one is happy, and society is a mess. In varnashrama dharma, the leadership directs society towards the spiritual goal of life, an unchanging direction given by God, which gives everyone complete happiness.

Another prominent feature of today’s societies, also found in varnashrama, is capitalism. This is seen among vaishyas. Again though, it cannot be taken out of its specific context and broadly applied to the whole of society. The brahmanas, for example, cannot concern themselves with material acquisition and gain. They must remain materially aloof in order to keep their position of independence and spiritual power. Witness the endless scandals involving corruption among the leaders, who so often have personal vested interests over and above those of the people they should be protecting. In varnashrama dharma, there is also theocracy and autocracy, but, as already discussed, these are mutually self-balancing.

The whole varnashrama society designed by God is meant to please him; which means everyone is satisfied, as we are all parts of him. In this sense, there is even, across the whole of society, communism, as every individual works with God at the centre, for the good of the whole. Everyone is a part of that whole and therefore benefits. Srila Prabhupada would often compare Vedic society with communism, saying that the only difference is that we have Krishna at the centre rather than the state. The moral instructions of the Vedas regarding societal organization also require that everyone is always considerate of others’ welfare.

Understanding varnashrama dharma and its application is, I feel, the only way we can create an effective structure for ISKCON. One that will work and endure. Although we need not abandon the use of terms such as GBC, Temple President, etc., we need to classify them in terms of the varnashrama model. Then we will understand how our relationships should work. At least this could be the basis. By defining the various varnashrama roles, we will have the basic framework onto which we could place all our other terms and definitions. Such a framework really would be a ‘house in which the whole world can live,’ as Prabhupada desired. Within that structure, we could have other institutions. For example, within varnashrama society, we find separate and distinct communities for all the various orders of life, each having their own leadership and organization, but their individual duties and inter-relationships are defined, integrating them all into a complete society.

Spiritual Questions and Solutions

Perhaps here I should, as promised, briefly examine some of the spiritual questions which my essay may have posed. Should Vaishnavas accept designations within varnashrama dharma? Can they, being ‘transcendental’ to varnashrama dharma, do anything according to their needs? To some, this may sound foolish, but I do feel that this fundamental doubt exists and needs to be cleared up. I personally cannot see any problem with accepting the various varnashrama epithets. We already accept designations within ISKCON according to our roles. That does not mean that we are not Vaishnavas. The designation is accepted purely to denote one’s duty and to facilitate organization. That is also the case with varnashrama designations. Besides which, we already accept the ashrama designations, so why not varna as well?

“Although the Krishna consciousness movement is a movement of brahmanas and Vaishnavas, it is trying to re-establish the divine varnashrama institution, for without this division of society there cannot be peace and prosperity anywhere.”(18)

“The grihasthas, vanaprasthas, brahmacaris and sannyasis should endeavour together with their total energy to become Krishna conscious. This type of civilisation is called daiva-varnasrama. One of the objectives of the Krishna consciousness movement is to establish this daiva-varnasrama, but not to encourage so-called varnasrama without scientifically organized endeavour by human society.”(19)

The notion that we can freely switch from one order to another is rather more worrying. I feel it needs a more thorough analysis than is within the scope of this essay. I would argue strongly that, outside of emergencies and exceptional cases, this is unacceptable. Obviously, if we have a society of such persons, who feel they owe no allegiance to any set of duties and can choose and change as they please, then we will find societal organization very difficult indeed. It is a formula for chaos.

To conclude then, the answer to my first question should be clear. Our spiritual solution to the problem of societal organization is varnashrama dharma. As we are now seeing a growing need to define our own structure and organization within ISKCON, I suggest we look at defining varnashrama roles. By doing this, we will not only address the problem of organizing ourselves, but we will also start showing a practical example of an answer to a pressing material problem.

Outside of varnashrama dharma, what could we possibly adopt as our system? If we do not adopt it within ISKCON, then how shall we present it to the wider society? For whom is it meant if not ourselves? This latter point is especially pertinent if we consider the fact that, according to the Vedic direction, varnashrama only has application in a society where basic religious principles—such as those followed within ISKCON—are observed. (20) It has no scope in an irreligious society.

This essay is hardly conclusive; I am just offering a few thoughts for discussion and I think only scratching at the surface of a complex subject. Applying varnashrama in today’s climate will not be easy. In ISKCON, we generally think that it means establishing self-sufficient communities. I would suggest that we also see varnashrama as the means to organize ourselves throughout our entire society and, hopefully in time, throughout the whole of human society. I would like to end with a passage from Srila Prabhupada.

‘The first principle for good government is that it must institute this varnashrama system. The purpose of varnashrama is to enable people to become God conscious. Varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman visnur aradhyate. The entire varnashrama scheme is intended to enable people to become Vaishnavas.Vishnur asya devata. When people worship Lord Vishnu as the Supreme Lord, they become Vaishnavas. Thus people should be trained to become Vaishnavas through the system of varna and ashrama, as they were during the reign of Lord Ramachandra, when everyone was fully trained to follow the varnashrama principles.

Simply enforcing laws and ordinances cannot make the citizens obedient and lawful. That is impossible. Throughout the entire world, there are so many states, legislative assemblies, and parliaments, but still, the citizens are rogues and thieves. Good citizenship, therefore, cannot be enforced; the citizens must be trained. As there are schools and colleges to train students to become chemical engineers, lawyers, or specialists in many other departments of knowledge, there must be schools and colleges to train students to become brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas, shudras, brahmacharis, grihasthas, vanaprasthas, and sannyasis. This will provide the preliminary condition for good citizenship (varnashrama-gunan-vitah). Generally speaking, if the king or president is a rajarshi, the relationship between the citizens and the chief executive will be clear, and there will be no possibility of disruption in the state because the number of thieves and rogues will decrease. In Kali-yuga, however, because the varnashrama system is neglected, people are generally thieves and rogues. In the system of democracy, such thieves and rogues naturally collect money from other thieves and rogues, and thus there is chaos in every government, and no one is happy. But here the example of good government is to be found in the reign of Lord Ramacandra. If people follow this example, there will be good government all over the world’.(21)

Bibliography

  1. Caitanya Caritamrta Adi Lila 12.8 Purport.

  2. Qualities of the GBC (Published 21 March 1987) 1(a).

  3. Ibid. 1(f).

  4. Srila Prabhupada Letter (SPL) to H.P.Poddar 70.02.05.  

  5. SPL to ‘Prabhus’ 72.04.22.

  6. ‘Qualities of the GBC’ 1(d)

  7. Ibid. 1(l).

  8. Ibid. 2(e).

  9. Ibid. 2(g).

10.Ibid. 1(k).

11.SPL Mukunda dasa 74.09.29.

12.Srimad Bhagavatam 5.1.29 Purport.

13.Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.36 Purport. 

14.Bhagavad Gita 4.13.

15.Bhagavad Gita 3.35. 

16.Bhagavad Gita 18.47.

17.Bhagavad Gita 18.42

18.Srimad Bhagavatam 7.11.21 Purport. 

19.Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.11 Purport.

20.Srimad Bhagavatam 7.11.8-12. See also the purport to 7.11.13.

21.Srimad Bhagavatam 9.10.50 Purport.

(An earlier version of this article appeared in the ISKCON Communications Journal Vol 2 No. 2 Decem

 

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