Teens And Celibacy

Teens And Celibacy

By Urmila Devi Dasi

CELIBACY IS SUCH an important part of Vedic education that the Sanskrit word for student is brahmacari (“celibate”). The pressure to give up celibacy begins, of course, in adolescence, the most dangerous ageand often the turning point of one’s life. Young adults need guidance before and during the teenage years to recognize and follow the right path.

Celibacy trains adolescents for self-restraint, whether they stay single or get married. It develops their inner strength, self-control, and good character. It also fosters good health and a fine memory.

Without celibacy we can never realize that we are spirit soul, distinct from the body. Sex reinforces the illusion that we are these bodies. Sexual attraction and its extensions in family and society are the main knots that bind us to material identification. Vedic education aims to free the child from these knots so the adolescent can act on the spiritual plane. Children, of course, have no knowledge of sex. How do we train them to value celibacy before they reach puberty? By association and environment.

Modern educators know well how children’s early impressions influence their later moral behavior. And these educators are passing on their decadent moral values to our children. For example, the New York City public school board recently introduced textbooks in the first grade that show families with two “mommies” or two “daddies,” to get children used to homosexuality.

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The Punishment of Yamaraja for Sinful Person

The Punishment of Yamaraja for Sinful Person

Dhirasanta Das Goswami: Yamaraja has instructed his servants the Yamadutas, “Swan-like persons are exalted persons who have no taste for material enjoyment and who drink the honey of the Lord’s lotus feet. My dear servants, bring before me for punishment only persons who are averse to the taste of that honey, who do not associate with the swan-like devotees and who are attached to family life and worldly enjoyments. 

Bring to me those persons who do not use their tongues to chant the Holy Name and qualities of Krishna, whose hearts do not remember the lotus feet of Krishna, and whose heads do not bow down even once before the Lord.”

At the moment of death, if the person is impious and quite sinful, the messengers of Yamaraja who are fierce, horrible looking persons with twisted features, copper red flaming hairs that stand on end and frightening to behold, appear at the deathbed of the person and forcibly drag him from his body with ropes. In the scriptures one may find detailed descriptions – it is said that the hounds of hell come ahead several days before to sniff out those very sinful persons about to die. Such experiences frighten the person so much that he dies of fright. Here are some accounts:

Michael who fell from a crane and hit his head was in the hospital and almost died there that night in intensive care. He explained afterwards, “I was attacked by 5 horrible-looking monsters that came in through the window. They said they had come to get me.” He even mentioned that one appeared to have a rope. He was so frightened by their appearance that he threw a chair at the window and four nurses had to restrain him.

In another encounter a devotee was looking after her father during the last moments of his life. The last day before he died, he said there were big dogs in the room and ugly persons floating outside the window. Hours before he left this world he became terrified over something he was experiencing whilst lying in his hospital bed. He was saying, “I beg you, let me loose, please let me loose.” He was “thrashing” around like a madman. I came and asked him, “What’s happening?” He said, “O Sue, I tried to get away, but they got me.” He cried out again and again, “O for God’s sake let me rest, just for ten minutes let me rest. Please, I beg you.” I said to my dad, “Do you want me to hold your hand and chant?” “Yes, yes.” he said. I held him tight for the next three hours while chanting and at one point I asked him, “Have they still got you?” “No, they have let me go.” I continued chanting until he breathed his last.

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Triguna (Three Modes of material Natures)

Triguna (Three Modes of material Natures)

By Padma Devi 

Understanding the Three Modes

The Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam both contain extensive descriptions of the three material modes, also referred to as the three qualities of material nature. Fundamentally, the three qualities compose a tripartite system of influence on all materially embodied beings, as well as on all aspects of the material creation. This includes the bodies and the mental and intellectual capacities of human beings, demigods, and all other living beings.

In the Bhagavad-gita (3.27) Lord Krishna says, prakriteh kriyamanani: one acts according to the particular modes of nature he has acquired. And in Message of Godhead Srila Prabhupada writes, “As long as the living entity remains conditioned by material nature, he has to act according to his particular mode of nature.” The influence of the three material qualities on the materially embodied individual is both psychological and biological. But while the three modes influence the body and mind of the embodied soul, they never change the soul itself.

Within the hierarchy of the three, sattva-guna, the mode of goodness, is superior to the modes of passion (raja-guna) and ignorance ( tamo-guna). The mode of ignorance is inferior to the mode of passion. This hierarchy is necessarily so, as the characteristics of the mode of goodness enable a person to peacefully focus on higher spiritual goals. In the mode of passion, one fervently endeavors to attain material prosperity to increase one’s sense gratification, thus to focus on spiritual goals is extremely difficult. In the mode of ignorance there is no interest in spiritual goals, what to speak of any favorable circumstances within which to cultivate such interest. As such, characteristics of the material mode of goodness endow one with a higher quality of consciousness than do the modes of passion and ignorance.

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