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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 12, Verse 5

Chapter 12: Devotional Service
Verse: 5
kleso 'dhikataras tesam
avyakta hi gatir duhkham
dehavadbhir avapyate

For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied.

This is an important verse since it conclusively establishes the superiority of the personal form of Krishna over that of His impersonal form.

Krishna talks about the "embodied" souls – in other words souls that have been forced to accept a material body because of the force of karma. With a material body, comes senses and with the senses come a desire to satisfy the senses. For a conditioned soul to suppress the sensual urges is very difficult. The soul is active by nature and requires some engagement. Forcibly stopping all activities and suppressing the demands of the senses require an immense degree of intellectual conviction and determination. History is replete with instances of great personalities that have attempted to control their and failed repeatedly. But the devotee who is meditating on the personal form of Krishna does not have to face these troubles, thus progress for him is easier and assured.

One may question that even the devotee needs to control the senses and actions. However, as Srila Prabhupada as elaborately explained in his purport, that the devotee does not need to stop the flow of the senses and activities. Rather, he needs to simply change the focus. The tongue needs to taste and eat – a devotee speak about Krishna and eats Krishna prasadam. The mind needs to meditate on some thing – this could be the name, form or a pastimes of the Lord. Krishna mercifully appears in the material world in His deity form to accept service from His devotees. An established and properly worshipped idol of the Lord becomes His deity and thus is non-different from Him. The deity form can be decorated, fed, bathed and cared for in a loving mood to allow engagement of all the senses of the devotee on the form of the Lord.

The jnanis may comment that the deity form of the Lord is useful as a stepping stone to the path of impersonal realization. For a new devotee who finds it difficult to meditate on the absolute, the deity form allows a tangible object to meditate until they become practiced in the art of meditation. However, this line of thought has already been rejected by Krishna. In 9.11 He states that "Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be."

Srila Prabhupada summarizes, "Therefore an embodied soul is always in difficulty with the unmanifest, both at the time of practice and at the time of realization. Every living soul is partially independent, and one should know for certain that this unmanifested realization is against the nature of his spiritual blissful self. One should not take up this process. For every individual living entity the process of Krishna consciousness, which entails full engagement in devotional service, is the best way. If one wants to ignore this devotional service, there is the danger of turning to atheism. Thus the process of centering attention on the unmanifested, the inconceivable, which is beyond the approach of the senses, as already expressed in this verse, should never be encouraged at any time, especially in this age. It is not advised by Lord Krishna."

Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.

You can view the previous verses at the following address:http://groups.google.com/group/sloka-a-day

LET US NOT MAKE OUR STOMACH A GRAVEYARD. LET US NOT EAT FLESH. LET US BE VEGETARIANS AND STAY HEALTHY. Animals are to be loved, not eaten. Eating flesh is good neither for the mind nor for the intellect, not even for the body. It distorts the basic character of human. Think Soul is Soul and it came from the Supreme Soul…God Head Krishna
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

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