hare krsna, i was asked by a devotee friend and my curiosity is that did buddha followed krsna teaching..like his teaching says not to do bad karma, do good for others etc.. his teaching are found in our sastra also..did buddha followed sastra or teaching that we are following??

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  • Nectar of Devotion Chapter 7 Excerpt

    Following in the Footsteps of Saintly Persons In the Skanda Purana it is advised that a devotee follow the past acaryas and saintly persons, because by such following one can achieve the desired results, with no chance of lamenting or being baffled in his progress. The scripture known as Brahma-yamala states as follows: "If someone wants to pose himself as a great devotee without following the authorities of the revealed scriptures, then his activities will never help him to make progress in devotional service. Instead, he will simply create disturbances for the sincere students of devotional service." Those who do not strictly follow the principles of revealed scriptures are generally called sahajiyas—those who have imagined everything to be cheap, who have their own concocted ideas, and who do not follow the scriptural injunctions. Such persons are simply creating disturbances in the discharge of devotional service. In this connection, an objection may be raised by those who are not in devotional service and who do not care for the revealed scriptures. An example of this is seen in Buddhist philosophy. Lord Buddha appeared in the family of a high-grade kshatriya king, but his philosophy was not in accord with the Vedic conclusions and therefore was rejected. Under the patronage of a Hindu king, Maharaja Asoka, the Buddhist religion was spread all over India and the adjoining countries. However, after the appearance of the great stalwart teacher Sankaracarya, this Buddhism was driven out beyond the borders of India. The Buddhists or other religionists who do not care for revealed scriptures sometimes say that there are many devotees of Lord Buddha who show devotional service to Lord Buddha, and who therefore should be considered devotees. In answer to this argument, Rupa Gosvami says that the followers of Buddha cannot be accepted as devotees. Although Lord Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of Krishna, the followers of such incarnations are not very advanced in their knowledge of the Vedas. To study the Vedas means to come to the conclusion of the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead. Therefore any religious principle which denies the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead is not accepted and is called atheism. Atheism means defying the authority of the Vedas and decrying the great acaryas who teach Vedic scriptures for the benefit of the people in general. Lord Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of Krishna in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, but in the same Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that Lord Buddha appeared in order to bewilder the atheistic class of men. Therefore his philosophy is meant for bewildering the atheists and should not be accepted. If someone asks, "Why should Krishna propagate atheistic principles?" the answer is that it was the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to end the violence which was then being committed in the name of the Vedas. The so-called religionists were falsely using the Vedas to justify such violent acts as meat-eating, and Lord Buddha came to lead the fallen people away from such a false interpretation of the Vedas. Also, for the atheists Lord Buddha preached atheism so that they would follow him and thus be tricked into devotional service to Lord Buddha, or Krishna.

    Light of Bhagavata


    20. Fierce torrents of rain break over the strands and the partition walls of the paddy field. These disturbances resemble those created by the seasonal opponents of the standard principles of the Vedas, who are influenced by the age of Kali.

    Originally the path of self-realization was established by the standard direction of the Vedas. Srila Vyasadeva divided the original Veda into four divisions, namely Sama, Atharva, Rig, and Yajur. Then he divided the same Vedas into eighteen Puranas (supplements) and the Mahabharata, and then again the same author summarized them in the Vedanta-sutras. The purpose of all these Vedic literatures is to realize one's self to be a spiritual being, eternally related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the all-attractive form (Sri Krishna).
    But all these different Vedic literatures were systematically distorted by the onslaught of the age of Kali, as the walls of the paddy field and the strand of the river are distorted by the onslaught of heavy rains. The attacks of distortion are offered by atheistic philosophers who are concerned only with eating, drinking, being merry, and enjoying. These atheists are all against the revealed scriptures because such persons are intimately attached to sense pleasures and gross materialism. There are also others who do not believe in the eternity of life. Some of them propose that life is ultimately to be annihilated and that only the material energy is conserved. Others are less concerned with physical laws but do not believe anything beyond their experience. And still others equate spirit and matter and declare the distinction between them to be illusory.
    There is no doubt that the Vedas stand as the most recognized books of knowledge, from every angle of vision. But over the course of time the Vedic path has been attacked by philosophers like Carvaka, Buddha, Arhat, Kapila, Patanjali, Sankara, Vaikarana, Jaimini, the Nyayakas, the Vaiseshikas, the Sagunists, the empiricists, the Pasupata Saivas, the Saguna Saivas, the Brahmas, the Aryas, and many others (the list of non-Vedic speculators grows daily, without restriction). The path of the Vedas does not accord with any principle devoid of an eternal relation with God, attainment of His devotional service, and culmination in transcendental love for Him.



    PRANAM! LORD Buddha is certainly a shaktyesvara avatara. His philosophy was needed at that time when killing of animals was encouraged under vedic sacrifices. But as far as Vaisnava dharma is concerned, its philosophy is very distinct from nirvana of Buddha. also, highest morality is to surrender unto Krsna but Buddha preached common sense principles. He paved way for gradual elevation. But we cannot compare those teachings of Buddha with Ultimate teachings of Vaisnava dharma.

    • 660725BG.NY


      Now, in the next sloka Krishna says that
      man-maya mam upasritah
      bahavo jnana-tapasa
      puta mad-bhavam agatah
       [Bg. 4.10]
      Krishna says that "Arjuna, in the past there were many sages who," vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah, "after surpassing three stages of existence, when they came to Krishna consciousness, they were liberated." Vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah. Now, what is this raga? Raga-bhaya-krodhah. Raga means attachment, attachment. And vita-raga-bhaya. Bhaya means fear, and krodha means anger. So these three stages are there in our life.
      And what are these? Raga, attachment. In the lowest stage of our life, when we do not know what I am, I consider this body myself. This deluded conception of life, that "I am this body," this is deluded conception. And when we have got too much attachment for this deluded conception of life, that is called raga. Raga. Mostly people, generally, they are acting in this material world with this conception of life, that "I am this material body." So they are working whole day and night for making a comfortable life of this material body. So they are called in the stage of raga, attachment. Attachment.
      And the next stage is bhaya. Bhaya. And what is that bhaya? Fear. Now, that... (aside:) Please don't talk. Bhaya means that... There are persons, transcendentalists, who are culturing transcendental knowledge, but they are very much afraid of conceiving that there is another world which is spiritual world, and that is also similar like this world, and the Personality of Godhead is there, and we have to go there, and we have to live as His servitor. So we carry the ideas of this world to that world. Therefore we are afraid. There are many transcendentalists who like the impersonal conception of the Supreme Truth. As soon as personal conception of the Supreme Truth is presented there, they are afraid of: "Oh, it is something material. It is not real." This is called bhaya. But actually it is not that.
      Actually this material world is described in the Bhagavad-gita as the perverted reflection of the actual spiritual world. You will find in the Fifteenth Chapter that this material world is described as the obverted tree whose root is upwards and the branches are downwards. Have you have experience of this obverted tree whose root is upward and the branches and the leaves are downwards? Have you seen any tree like that? You have seen it, but you have forgotten. You have seen... When you see a tree on the bank of a river or bank of a reservoir of water, you find the reflection of the tree, just the opposite number. So similarly, this world, in the Fifteenth Chapter it is described there, the obverted tree. That means the real tree is there. The real tree is there.
      Just like the example is given... I have several times..., that the impersonalists, they describe this world as false, as false. But simply describing this world as false is not sufficient. What is the reality we must know. The... Generally the example is cited that in the darkness when you see a curling rope, you misunderstand it that it is a snake. But actually it is not the snake. Now, this conception of a snake comes wherefrom? Unless there is a real snake, how you can see that it is a snake? That rope is false. That's all right. That rope is not snake, but there is real snake. Otherwise, how you get the conception of the snake? Just try to follow it. Without having the real snake, you cannot get this conception of snake.
      Similarly, we say that this world is false, or shadow. The shadow, without being the reality, how there can be possibility of shadow? If there is no reality of my hand, how the shadow of the hand can be there? So this world is temporary shadow. That is accepted. But there is the real world which has no destruction. This world is destructive. It will be dissolved. Just like our body is temporary, but it will be dissolved. Anything material that has got a birth, a stay for some time, a byproduct, a growth, a dwindling, and then vanish. That is the nature, anything. Just like this body. It was born from the mother's womb at a certain time, and it is staying for some time. It is staying for some time, and the body has got some byproducts, like children. We have got some children, the byproducts. Then it is dwindling. Just like I am getting older. Anyone, everyone, we are getting older. And at the last, it will vanish. Similarly, the whole material world, it has a time of its appearance, it grows, it makes so many varieties of byproducts, it dwindles and again vanishes.
      But Bhagavad-gita gives you information, paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktat sanatanah [Bg. 8.20]. Beyond this material world which is subjected to these rules of six changes, there is another world which is sanatana. Sanatana means which is eternal. So actually there is existence of an eternal nature, like this nature which you are experiencing. And that nature, transcendental nature... The whole Bhagavad-gita scheme is to take you back to that transcendental nature. Because you are transcendental, you are eternal, you are blissful, you are full of knowledge... Now we are covered. Now we have to go back to that eternal world, which is full of knowledge, full of bliss. So we have to prepare in that way. That is the policy of the human life.
      Krishna says, vita-raga. Vita-raga. Vita means one who has been able to give up this attachment. Raga means the attachment of this material world. And bhaya, one who has developed this transcendental sense... The impersonalists, their philosophy is that they want to merge into the impersonal existence of the Absolute Truth. They are afraid of the life of variegatedness. Because they have got a very bitter experience of this life of variegatedness, therefore they want to make a negation of this variegatedness and they want to turn themselves into the impersonal feature. So these things are there. So vita-raga. So one has to give up this attachment and detachment also. Vita-raga-bhaya and krodha.
      Krodha means there are other persons who are neither impersonalists nor personalists. They are what are called more or less atheists. Atheist means they don't believe in any transcendental nature. Even they do not believe in the existence of the soul. They simply concern themselves with this material body. Just like Buddha philosophy. Buddha philosophy does not accept the existence of the soul. Buddha philosophy says that this material body is a combination of matter. Now, as soon as the matter is dissolved, then the feelings of happiness and distress is gone. But according to Bhagavad-gita, the existence of soul is accepted in the Vedic literature.
      Just like after Lord Buddha, Sankaracarya, Sankaracarya came. He gave hint about the spiritual nature of the soul, and he said, brahma satyam jagan mithya: "This matter is false and temporary, but spirit is eternal." And other acaryas, just like Ramanujacarya and Madhvacarya, they came after Sankaracarya, and they established that in the spiritual world there is also life like this, but that is eternal, blissful and full of knowledge.
      So here Krishna also give us instruction that vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah [Bg. 2.56]. There are persons who are too much attached to these material activities. They are called raga. They are in the atmosphere of raga. And there are persons who are atmosphere of fear: "Oh, again we have got to..., a personal life?" They are afraid of personal life. They want to make impersonal everything. That is called bhaya. And the first, second... And the third is krodha. They do not believe in any philosophy. "Let us commit suicide. Let us annihilate all this material existence." So we have to surpass. We have to surpass these three stage of attachment and fearfulness and krodha, and anger. When he is disgusted with this life, he commits suicide. That is called krodha, by anger. So we have to surpass all these stages. So Lord Krishna says, vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah: "After surpassing these three stages of life," vita-raga-bhaya-krodha man-maya mam upasritah [Bg. 4.10], "one who is constantly conscious of Me," man-maya, and mam upasritah, "and accepting the shelter of My protection," mam upasritah, bahavo jnana-tapasa, "there were many sages who by culture of knowledge and penance," bahavo jnana puta, "purified by that process," mad-bhavam agatah, "they attained My superior nature, My superior nature."
      Just like the same example, just like putting the iron rod in the fire, and the iron rod becomes hot, red hot, gets the nature of fire, similarly, if we constantly in Krishna consciousness, being transcendental to these stages of bhaya, fear, and attachment, and krodha, anger, if we put ourself, completely under Krishna consciousness, then it will be very easy to attain the superior nature of Krishna. That is the formula given here, that superior, how to attain that superior nature. Vita-raga-bhaya-krodha man-maya mam upasritah [Bg. 4.10]. Mam upasritah. That is the main thing. One has to take shelter of Krishna. Mam eva ye prapadyante. This very thing, everywhere we will find, this Bhagavad-gita, that Krishna is stressing on His personal feature. Mam eva ye prapadyante: "Anyone who takes shelter of Me..." "Anyone who thinks of Me," man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah... So these things are there. Simply we have to take up this thing, Krishna. Then everything, the whole solution is there.

      • 740331BG.BOM


        Just like Lord Buddha preached his philosophy, sunyavada philosophy, nirvana philosophy, because it was needed at that time. It is not permanent philosophy. Any philosophy except Krishna philosophy... Nothing is permanent. They are temporary. They have got temporary use. The real use is Krishna philosophy. Real use, Krishna philosophy. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam... [Bg. 18.66].
        So when there was... People may question that "Lord Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of Lord Krishna." Kesava dhrita-buddha-sarira jaya jagadisa hare. "Then why he preached atheistic philosophy?" He preached, "There is no God." Sunyavada. But there was necessity at that time. Why? That is explained by Jayadeva Gosvami:
        nindasi yajna-vidher ahaha sruti-jatam
        sadaya-hridaya darsita-pasu-ghatam
        kesava dhrita-buddha-sarira jaya jagadisa hare
        At that time, people were killing animals like anything in the name of yajna. In the Vedas there are prescriptions that in the yajna a pasu can be, an animal can be slaughtered. In some yajna, not all. Tamasika-yajna.
        Anyway, Vedic injunction is there. So when Lord Buddha started this nonviolence, ahimsa paramo dharmah, the Vedic scholars approached him that "How you can prescribe this ahimsa? There is already sanction in the Vedas, pasavo vadhaya srishtah... How you can stop it?" So Lord Buddha said, "I don't care for your Vedas." Therefore he is considered as atheist. Anyone who doesn't care for Vedas, they are technically called as atheist. Veda na maniya bauddha haila nastika. Nastika means atheist.
        Anyway... Then Sankaracarya came. Sankaracarya wanted... Because by the propagation of Lord Buddha, whole India became Buddhist. And Sankaracarya wanted to establish Vedas again. So they were temporary necessities, for certain reason. Because people were addicted so much in violence, in killing the animals, therefore Buddha philosophy was needed. Again, this Buddha philosophy was driven out. The Sankara, impersonal philosophy was established. But again, the acaryas, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya and other Vaishnava acaryas.. . At last, Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They established that brahma satyam means brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. Both, three, Absolute Truth.
        So these are the philosophical development. So Krishna is summarizing this philosophical development here in this one line, that mama vartmanuvartante manushyah partha sarvasah. Either you follow Buddha philosophy or Sankara philosophy or Vaishnava philosophy, the ultimate goal is Krishna. Mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7]. So you have to approach Krishna through these different types of philosophy. They are partial realization. Just like Brahman realization means eternity realization. Paramatma realization means eternity and knowledge. And Bhagavan realization means eternity, knowledge and blissfulness. Sac-cid-ananda. Isvarah paramah krishnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. If you realize Krishna, then you realize simultaneously... Kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. You realize Brahman, you realize Paramatma, and you realize Bhagavan.
        That is our duty. Therefore Krishna says, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. Because ultimately Krishna. Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate, aham sarvasya.. [Bg. 10.8]. And Krishna says... Vedanta says also, janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. Brahman, Paramatma, they are expansion of Krishna. Krishna is the original. Mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7]. This is the truth. Therefore Krishna says that either you follow the Brahman path or Paramatma path, either as a jnani or yogi or as a bhakta...
        Therefore Krishna says, mama vartmanuvartante manushyah partha... Anyone actually who is seeking after self-realization, there are three divisions. Either you have to realize as impersonal Brahman or as localized Paramatma or as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But if you realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then automatically you realize impersonal Brahman and Paramatma also. Just like if you have got one crore of rupees, then one hundred rupees, ten rupees or one thousand rupees or one lakh of rupees, they're all included, similarly, if you realize Krishna...
        Therefore Krishna says, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. That everyone is trying to realize the Absolute Truth. Either in the shape of Brahman or Paramatma or nullifying these material varieties, sunyavada, they are trying to approach Krishna. So Krishna is so kind that He's giving direct opportunity, direct opportunity that "You can surrender unto Me, and I'll take charge of you." Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo mokshayishyami [Bg. 18.66].
        So why not take this opportunity. Our Krishna consciousness movement is to preach or to train people how to approach directly. It is possible. One may say that "If it is so difficult subject matter, how one can approach Krishna directly?" No. That is Krishna's grace. You can... Just like in a building, high building, there are two ways. The staircase is there and the lift is there. You can take either of them. If you go to the topmost flat step by step, you can go. But if... Why don't you take this opportunity of taking the lift and go immediately, within a minute?
        So Krishna consciousness is that. If you are actually serious to go to the spiritual world, take the bhakti-yoga process. Therefore Krishna is preaching personally bhakti-yoga. Mayy asakta-manah partha yogam yunjan mad-asrayah. So take opportunity of this Krishna consciousness movement. It is very, very easy. And anyone can take it. You have seen that our process, chanting, this process is accepted even by a small child. He also dancing, he's also chanting. Don't think that these things will go in vain. The small child who is dancing and chanting, it will be recorded in his history. Punji-budha. Krita-punya-punjah [SB 10.12.11]. This is called ajnata-sukriti. The center is open to give chance people to hear about Krishna, to chant about Krishna, to see Krishna, to take prasadam of Krishna. So we request, take advantage of these facilities and be fully Krishna conscious and make your life successful. Thank you very much. (end)

        • Letter to: Aniruddha

          Los Angeles
          14 November, 1968

          My Dear Aniruddha,
          Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated Nov. 7, and I am very glad to know that you are working in San Francisco equally with the same enthusiasm as I saw you here when I was in Los Angeles last year. Perhaps you have heard it that for the time being we have no temple. The landlord in Hollywood Blvd. did not like our devotees to stay there, and he returned $450 so that we would move our articles there from the storefront. So the Deities are here in my apartment, so I do not know how we shall find out a suitable place. And when there is a nice suitable place for our temple, then I shall consider whether you are to come back. For the mean time, you work in San Francisco, and try to organize sales of our Back To Godhead as many as possible. I have not heard anything from Cidananda since a long time, and I hope he along with the other devotees are all well. I understand that on the average you are collecting $22 a day, so this is nice, just go on trying to increase.
          Whenever the Indian community invites you to go and take Prasadam, be always kind with them, and go there and chant Hare Krishna. They are vegetarian, so whatever Prasadam they prepare you offer to the Deity and enjoy it.
          Regarding your questions: Your first question, "Are great sages put under yogamaya or maya? Also are all the eternally liberated souls under yogamaya?'' Yogamaya means the mercy of the Supreme Lord which connects a devotee in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and mahamaya means the external potency of the Lord which puts a conditioned soul into illusion that he will be happy by material adjustment. So great sages who are impersonalists are also under the spell of mahamaya, because a conditioned soul in the material world wants to improve his material position as exalted as possible, and the concept of becoming one with the Supreme Lord is the greatest illusion for them. Because it is a fact that nobody can be equal or greater than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such, anyone desiring to become one with the Supreme means that he is still in the trap of maya. On the other hand, a humble devotee who may not be a great sage, but simply by his implicit acceptance of the Lotus Feet of the Lord as the goal of his life means that he is under the protection of yogamaya. I think this will clear the idea.
          Your next question, "Is there a difference between Arjuna's body and his soul, and how does this apply to all Krishna's eternally liberated souls described in the scriptures. Is Arjuna always the same in his appearances with Krishna or is a new soul taking his body each time?'' Yes, there is difference. Therefore he forgets his past activities. Just like we forget ourselves while dreaming because our subtle body acts at that time differently from the gross body. Similarly, by changing this body or transmigrating from one body to another, we forget all the activities of our previous body. The associates of the Lord, even though they have a different body, or even though they forget the activities of their past body, still they are associates of the Lord. These explanations are given in the Bhagavad-gita as it is.
          Your next question, "Is a pure devotee eternally liberated and if so is he at any time a conditioned soul? We are eternally conditioned, but as soon as we surrender to Krishna do we then become eternally liberated? When Lord Christ appeared he seemed to be conditioned in his growth. Was he a specific incarnation or a conditioned soul who became liberated?'' You are not eternally conditioned. You are eternally liberated but since we have become conditioned on account of our desire to enjoy materialistic way of life, from time immemorial, therefore it appears that we are eternally conditioned. Because we cannot trace out the history or the date when we became conditioned, therefore it is technically called eternally conditioned. Otherwise the living entity is not actually conditioned. A living entity is always pure. But he is prone to be attracted by material enjoyment and as soon as he agrees to place himself in material enjoyment, he becomes conditioned, but that is not permanent. Therefore a living entity is called on the marginal state, sometimes this side, sometimes that side. These are very intelligent questions. And I am very glad that you are putting such intelligent questions and trying to understand it. It is very good. But best thing is that one should know he is in conditioned life and try to cure it. When a man is in diseased condition he should try to get out of diseased condition without harassing his brain when the disease has begun. But it is to be understood that the disease is not our constant companion, it is temporary. So the best thing is to cure the disease, and not waste our time to find out the date when it began. Forgetfulness of Krishna is the disease, so let us keep ourselves always in Krishna Consciousness, and get out of the disease, that is healthy life. Yes, Lord Jesus was jivatattva. He is not Visnu tattva. When a jiva tattva becomes specifically empowered by the Lord, he is called saktyavesa avatara. Lord Buddha and Lord Jesus Christ were in this group of saktyavesa avatara.. But they were not in conditioned state when they appeared; they came to teach here.
          You should all read very carefully Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, and you should be able to answer all questions like this, and only in rare cases approach me. But it is important that our students must be able to answer all questions for becoming preachers.
          Arati is performed at 1 1/2 hour before sunrise to awaken the Deities. Each offering is made by moving it in 7 big circles, starting at the Lotus Feet of the Lord, and going clockwise round. First of all, burning camphor or ghee (5 fires if possible) is offered in this way, slowly circling them before the Lord. With left hand bell is being rung, and with right hand the offerings are made by circling. Next burning dhupa is offered. Then water is offered in a conchshell. Then a nice handkerchief is offered. Then a nice flower, as a rose. Then the Deities are offered a fan, nice peacock feather fan. And the last item is the blowing of the conch shell three times. Throughout arati there is bell ringing, cymbals, mrdanga, gong, harmonium, etc.
          Hope you are all well, and please keep me informed on the progress of the temple there.
          Your ever well-wisher,
          A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

          • A Second Chance

            Chapter 11


            Pain and Pleasure
            Actually, there is no pleasure in the material world; everything is painful. Everyone is trying to be happy by sensual activity, but the result is unhappiness and frustration. This is called maya, illusion.
            Lord Buddha understood the nature of material pleasure. In his youth he was a prince, enjoying great opulence and sensual pleasures, but he renounced it all. Sitting down in meditation, he stopped all sensual activities, which subject one to the pains and pleasures of this material world. He gave up his kingdom just to teach that sensual activities do not help us attain salvation. Salvation means to get out of the clutches of the pleasure and pain of this world.
            Buddhism is concerned largely with the predicament of the body. Due to the interactions of the three modes of material nature, which are acting on our material bodies, we experience various pains and pleasures. Buddhism teaches that one can be relieved of these pains and pleasures as soon as one dismantles the combination of the material elements in the shape of the physical body. Nirvana, the goal of Buddhism, is the state attained when a person has finished with the material combinations. After all, pains and pleasures are due to possessing this material body. However, Buddhist philosophy does not provide information about the soul, the possessor of the body. Thus Buddhism is imperfect.
            Buddhist philosophy is incomplete, but that does not mean Lord Buddha did not know the complete truth. A teacher may have received his Masters degree, yet he still teaches the ABC's to his students. It is not that his knowledge is limited to the ABC's. Similarly, any especially empowered incarnation (saktyavesa avatara) will preach God consciousness according to time, place, and circumstances. The teacher holds his Masters degree, but the students may not be qualified to receive the high instructions that the teacher is competent to teach.
            Therefore there are different schools of religion, like Buddhism and Sankaracarya's Mayavada philosophy. Both the Buddhists and the Mayavadis encourage their followers to try to get free of pain and pleasure, which are due to sensual activities. No genuine philosopher urges his followers to pursue sensual activities. Buddha finishes with matter: to achieve nirvana one must first dismantle the material combination of the body. In other words, the body is a combination of five material elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether, and this combination is the cause of all pain and pleasure; so when the combination is at last dismantled, there will be no more pain and pleasure.
            Sankaracarya's philosophy is to get out of this combination of material elements and become situated in our original, spiritual position. Thus the Mayavadis' motto is brahma satyam jagan mithya: "Brahman, the Absolute, is true, and this material creation is false." Sankaracarya rejected Buddha's philosophy, which gives no information concerning the spirit soul. Buddha's philosophy deals only with matter and the dissolution of matter; thus the goal of Buddhism is to merge into the voidness.
            Both Buddhism and Mayavada philosophy reveal only partial truth. Sankaracarya's Mayavada philosophy accepts Brahman, spirit, but does not describe spirit in its fullness. Mayavada philosophy teaches that as soon as we become cognizant of our existence as Brahman (aham brahmasmi), then all our activities come to a stop. But this is not a fact. The living entity is always active. It may seem that in meditation one can stop all sensual activity, but still one is meditating, and that is also action.
            While meditating on Brahman, the Mayavadi thinks, "I have become God." In one sense, of course, it is correct to think, "I am one with God," for as spirit souls we are all one with God in quality. But no one can ever become quantitatively one with God. In the Bhagavad-gita (15.7) Krishna declares that the living entities are "part and parcel of Me." Krishna is completely spiritual (sac-cid-ananda), so each particle of spirit must also be sac-cid-ananda, just as a gold earring is qualitatively one with the gold in a gold mine. Still, the gold earring is not the gold mine.
            So the Mayavadis' mistake is to think that the part can become equal to the whole. They presume that because they are part and parcel of God, they are God. Therefore the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.32) describes the impersonalists as avisuddha-buddhayah: "Their intelligence is impure; they are still in ignorance." Mayavadis believe that by accumulating knowledge they become one with God, and thus they address one another as "Narayana." That is their great mistake. We cannot become Lord Narayana. Narayana is vibhu, which means "very big" or "infinite," whereas we are anu, infinitesimal. Our spiritual magnitude measures one ten-thousandth of the tip of a hair. Therefore how can any sane man claim that he has become God?
            Sankaracarya gave a hint about Brahman, teaching everyone to think, aham brahmasmi, "I am the spirit self, not the material body." The Vedas agree. One who is situated in mukti, or liberation, understands perfectly, "I am not this body; I am pure spirit soul." But that is not the end of self-realization. Next one has to ask, "If I am an eternal spirit soul, what is my eternal spiritual activity?" That eternal activity is devotional service to Krishna.
            In the Bhagavad-gita (18.54) Lord Krishna describes how Brahman realization leads to devotional service:
            brahma-bhutah prasannatma
            na socati na kankshati
            samah sarveshu bhutesu
            mad-bhaktim labhate param
            "One who is transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me."
            Often big svamis talk about attaining "Brahman realization" but do not remove themselves from worldly pleasures and pains. They involve themselves in humanitarian activities, thinking, "My fellow countrymen are suffering; let me open a hospital" or "They are uneducated; let me open a school." If someone is really on the platform of brahma-bhutah, why would he accept any particular place as his country? Actually, as spirit souls we do not belong to any country. We get a body, and as soon as the body is finished, the connection with a particular country is also finished. The symptom of lamentation reveals that the so-called liberated person has not been cured of his attachment to worldly pleasure and pain. That means he has not become joyful, because one who is joyful does not lament. So many learned sannyasis have fallen down to material activities because they have not in fact realized Brahman. It is not so easy. As already explained, the influence of the modes of nature is very strong. The living entity entangled in different types of fruitive activity is like a silkworm trapped in a cocoon. Getting free is very difficult unless one is helped by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.



            Therefore a sane man's duty is how to stop the process of accepting this material body. This is intelligence. He should realize that "I am always in distresses, and I am not this body, but I am put into this body. Therefore right conclusion is that I am not this body. If, somehow or other, I can live without this body, then my distresses are over. This is common sense. That is possible. Therefore Krishna comes. Therefore God comes, to give you the information that "You are not this body. You are the soul, spirit soul. And because you are within this body, you are suffering so many distresses." Therefore Krishna advises that "These distresses are due to this body." Try to understand. Why you are feeling pains and pleasure? It is due to the body.
            Therefore Buddha philosophy is also same thing, that you finish this body, nirvana, nirvana. Nirvana means... Their philosophy is that your feeling of pains and pleasure, it is due to this body. They also accept. Now what is this body? This body is combination of matter. Combination of earth, water, air, fire, ether, mind, intelligence, ego—eight material elements, five gross and three subtle. This body is made of that. So the Buddha philosophy is that you dismantle this body, nirvana. Just like this house is made of stone, brick and wood and so many. So you break it, and there is no more stone and no more brick. This is distributed to the earth. Throw it on the earth. Then there is no house. Similarly, if you become zero, no body, then you are free from pains and pleasure. This is their philosophy, nirvana philosophy, sunyavadi: "Make it zero." But that is not possible. That is not possible. You cannot... Because you are spirit soul... That will be explained. You are eternal. You cannot be zero. That will be explained, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20], that we are giving up this body, but immediately I have to accept another body, immediately. Then where is your question of dismantling? By nature's way you will get another body. Because you want to enjoy, you have come here in this material world. There is no question of asking. Everyone knows that "I am in this material world. I must enjoy to the fullest extent." One who is unaware of the fact that "I am going to take another life," he is thinking, "This is a combination of this matter—earth, water, air, fire. So when it will be broken, then everything will be finished. So so long I have got this opportunity, let me enjoy to the fullest extent." This is called material mentality, atheist, atheist, who does not know that we are eternal soul, we are changing body only. The atheists think that after finishing...
            Here in the Western country, big, big professor, they are also under the same impression, that when the body is finished, everything is finished. No. That is not. Therefore that is the beginning of instruction. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara [Bg. 2.13]. You are changing different bodies. By finishing the body, you are not finished. You are not finished. We can understand with little thinking that in this body I am..., even in this life. At night I get another body. I dream. I dream there is tiger. I go to the forest, and there is a tiger, and it is coming to kill me. Then I am crying, and actually I am crying. Or, in other way, I have gone to some beloved, man and woman. We are embracing, but the bodily action is going on. Otherwise why I am crying? And why there is discharge of semina? So people do not know that I am leaving this gross body, but I am entering into subtle body. Subtle body is there, not question of inside. We are packed up. Just like this body is packed up with shirt and coat, so the coat is the gross body, and the shirt is the subtle body. So when this gross body is resting, the subtle body is working. The subtle body is there. The foolish men, they cannot understand that "I am compact in some body, either subtle body or gross body." One who is too sinful, very much sinful, he does not get the gross body. He remains in the subtle body, and that is called ghost. You have heard. Some of you might have seen. There is ghost. Ghost means he doesn't get. He is so sinful that he is condemned to remain in the subtle body. He does not get the gross body. Therefore, according to Vedic system, there is sraddha ceremony. If the father or relative has not gotten the gross body, by that ceremony he is allowed to accept a gross body. That is the Vedic system.
            So anyway, we can understand that "I am sometimes in this gross body, and I am sometimes in the subtle body. So I am there, either in the gross body or in the subtle body. So I am eternal. But when I work with the subtle body, I forget this gross body. And when I work with this gross body, I forget this subtle body. So either I accept the gross body or subtle body, I am eternal. I am eternal. Now the problem is how to avoid this gross body and subtle body. That is problem. That means when you remain in your original body, means spiritual body, and do not come to this gross or subtle body, that is your eternal life. That is... We have to achieve. This human life is a gift by the nature or by God. Now you realize that you are changing your different condition, distress and happiness, being forced to accept some kind of gross and subtle body. That is the cause of your pains and pleasure. And if you get out of this gross and subtle body, remain in your original, spiritual body, then you are free from these pains and pleasure. That is called mukti. Mukti. There is a Sanskrit word. Mukti means liberation, no more gross body, no more subtle body. But you remain in your own original spiritual body. This is called mukti. Mukti means... It is described in the Bhagavatam, muktir hitva anyatha rupam sva-rupena vyavasthitih. That is called mukti. Anyatha rupam. Anyatha rupam means in otherwise, staying or living in otherwise. Otherwise means that I am spirit soul. I have got spiritual body. But some way or other, circumstantially, on account of my desire, I get sometimes human body and sometimes dog's body, sometimes cat's body, sometimes tree's body, sometimes demigod's body. There are different, 8,400,000 different forms of body. So I am changing according to my desire. And according to my infection, karanam guna-sangah asya, and according to my... These are the subtle things. That is the real knowledge of human being, not to invent something for temporary happiness. That is foolishness. That is foolishness, wasting time. If we invent something for the comforts of this present body and I shall live very comfortably, but "You will not be allowed, sir, to live comfortably." First of all you know it. Suppose a man is constructing very nice house, very strong house. It will never fall down in any circumstances. But that's all right, but what you have done for yourself that you will never die so that you will enjoy this? "No. Let it be. Let me have a very strong-built house." So house remains. You go there. Strong-built nation. Just like Napoleon constructed strong-built arches, but where he has gone, nobody knows. So therefore Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, sings, jada-bidya jato mayara vaibhava tomara bhajane badha. The more we advance in so-called material happiness or material advancement, the more we forget our real identity. This is the result.
            So we should understand that we have got a separate business, real business. That is called self-realization, that "I am not this body." This is self-realization. That is being instructed by Krishna in the beginning, that "You are not this body." The first understanding, first knowledge, is to understand that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul. I have got a different business." It is not that this temporary actions or activities like as a dog, or as a human being, or as a tiger or as a tree or as a fish, there are activities. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca. The same principle of bodily necessities. Eating, sleeping, sex life and defense. But in the human form of life, I have got a separate business, self-realization, to get out of this bodily entanglement. And that is called knowledge. Without this knowledge, anything we are advancing in knowledge, that is foolishness, that's all. Srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. Srama eva hi kevalam. Srama eva hi kevalam means simply working uselessly and wasting time. You cannot check the nature's law. Suppose in this life you are very big leader, prime minister, and everything. That's all right, but according to your mentality, you are creating next life. So in this life you remain a prime minister, and in next life you become a dog. Then where is the benefit? There is not... Therefore these atheist fools, they want to deny next life. That is very horrible for them. That is very horrible to them. If they accept next life... They know their life is very sinful. Then what life they are going to get by the laws of nature? When they think of it, they shudder. "Better deny it. Better deny it." Just like a rabbit. Enemy is in his front, and he is going to die, but the thinks, "Let me close my eyes. I am out of danger." This is atheistic view, that they are trying to forget that there is... Therefore they deny, "There is no life." Why not? Krishna says that "You had a childhood body. You had a baby... Now you have... Where is that body? You have left that. You are in different body. Similarly, this body you'll change. You will get another body." And who says? Krishna says. The most superior authority, he says. I may not understand, but when He says... This is the process of our knowledge. We accept knowledge from the perfect person. I may be fool, but the knowledge received from the perfect person is perfect. This is our process. We don't try to speculate. That may or may not be successful, but if you accept knowledge from the perfect authority, that knowledge is perfect. Just like we are speculating, "Who is my father?" You can speculate who is your father, but that speculation will not help you. You will never understand who is your father. But you go to your mother, the supreme authority. She'll immediately, "Here is your father." That's all. And you cannot know father in any other way. There is no other way. This is practical. You cannot know your father without the authoritative statement of your mother. Similarly, things which are beyond your perception, avan manasa-gocara, you cannot think of, you cannot speak of. Sometimes they say, "God cannot be spoken. God cannot be thought of." That is all right. But if God Himself comes before you and says, "Here I am," then where is the difficulty? Where is the difficulty? I am imperfect. I cannot know. That's all right. But if God Himself comes before me...
            So this Krishna consciousness movement is to know everything perfectly from the supreme authority, Krishna. This is the process. Tad vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. In order to understand subject matter which is beyond our perception, you have to approach such authority who can inform you. Exactly in the same way: to understand who is my father is beyond my perception, beyond my speculation, but if I accept the authoritative statement of my mother, this is perfect knowledge. So there are three kinds of processes to understand or to advance in knowledge. One is direct perception, pratyaksha. And the other is authority, and the other is sruti. Sruti means by hearing from the Supreme. So our process is sruti. Sruti means we hear from the highest authority. That is our process, and that is very easy. Highest authority, if He is not in default... Ordinary persons, they are in default. They have got imperfection. The first imperfection is: the ordinary man, they commit mistake. Any great man of the world, you have seen, they commit mistake. And they are illusioned. They accept something as reality which is not reality. Just like we accept this body as reality. This is called illusion. But it is not reality. "I am soul." That is reality. So this is called illusion. And then, with this illusory knowledge, imperfect knowledge, we become teacher. That is another cheating. If you have not... They say, all these scientists and philosophers, "Perhaps," "It may be." So where is your knowledge? "It may be" and "perhaps." Why you are taking the post of a teacher? "In future we shall understand." And what is this future? Would you accept a post-dated check? "In future I shall discover, and therefore I am scientist." What is this scientist? And, above all, our imperfectness of senses. Just like we are seeing one another because there is light. If there is no light, then what is the power of my seeing? But these rascals they do not understand that they are always defective, and still, they are writing books of knowledge. What is your knowledge? We must take knowledge from the perfect person.


  • The most imporant thing Buddha did was not stopping animal killing, nor was it teaching people on (lower grade) level God. Though those are correct as well. The most important thing he taught was. "you are all buddhas" if, then, Buddha was an incarnation and we are all Buddhas, this will then beg a higher question. Actually this truth has been taught in all the religions. The vedas and Buddha have a unique way of kind of saying "this is what you do" as opposed to the western religions which have the same goal and the same truths. But they are built mostly from prophecy and hidden things, such as certain mathematical formulas hidden within scripture. In the west it is a process of digging really deeply into the scriptures not at face value, and sometimes that really hard potent search does more for a person then the actual information its self. None of it is pointless.

    God Bless

  • Hare Krishna Abhijeet Prabhuji. Dandvat! Pamho! AGTSP! Radhey! Radhey!

    Prabhuji iam fully agree from the reply of Hemlata mataji, Adam Stienberg Prabhuji and Bhakti Maral Mataji. They have given absolutely correct information. Mahatma Budha is the 24 incarnation of Lord Krishna as per mentioned in the Sri Mad Bhagwatam. As per Hemlata Matajis said buddha is considered as the 24th avatar of lord vishnu? then Adam prabhuji said i think Buddha did not comment on this. Buddha would most probably have believed in God. Though his path was not directed toward God at face value. The path of Buddhism is put in a more "practical" way stressing certain philosophies and practices. Once someone participates in these, absolute truth will be the inevitable outcome. But his teachings are great, because those who don't believe in God, or those who have a different form of God ultimately can take part in these teachings and awaken. It does not matter how one arrives at the goal, only that one gets there. His teachings were direct and on a "human" level so that anyone could take part in beginning their spirituality. The end result being oneness. Which each person has a perception of based on their understanding. We experience the absolute subjectively, then Bhaktin Maral Mataji said Hare Krishna dear Devotees, please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
    Lord Buddha came for the sake of animals. Because those days under the name of Vedic knowledge people started to kill animals cruelly calling that as a sacrifice. So Lord Buddha had to reject the authority of Vedas just for the sake of protecting animals.
    Because it is true in Vedas there are animals sacrifices but they should be done by qualified brahmanas who can pronounce mantras correctly and purely and this way live human body to each animal killed in the sacrifice. But people were not true brahmanas and were not able to give human body to them later so there was no need to kill animals.
    Later Lord sent Shankaracharya, when animal killing pacified little bit. And Shankaracharya had again to establish the authority of Vedas. But because the consciousness of people were not so high to accept personal form of God he preached about impersonalism.
    Then came Madhvacharya and tough that God is a Person.

    So this all process happend by the wish of Lord Krishna and Lord Krishna appeared as Buddha because the animal killing was full mode and that was also done by the so-called brhamin of that age who were killing the animals for the sake of tounge and they were giving the reference of vedas but in vedas & shastra animal killing is mentioned but not for peronsal grattitude that is for giving the liberation to that animal through puja vidhi.

    Hare Krishna
    Your Humble Servant
    Bhuwan Dutt Bawadi

  • i have read in the BG as it is that Buddha was an avatar of Krishna, but the people were far too ignorant to understand god so him gave them something they could understand.

  • Volunteer

    Hare Krishna dear Devotees, please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    Lord Buddha came for the sake of animals. Because those days under the name of Vedic knowledge people started to kill animals cruelly calling that as a sacrifice. So Lord Buddha had to reject the authority of Vedas just for the sake of protecting animals.

    Because it is true in Vedas there are animals sacrifices but they should be done by qualified brahmanas who can pronounce mantras correctly and purely and this way live human body to each animal killed in the sacrifice. But people were not true brahmanas and were not able to give human body to them later so there was no need to kill animals. 

    Later Lord sent Shankaracharya, when animal killing pacified little bit. And Shankaracharya had again to establish the authority of Vedas. But because the consciousness of people were not so high to accept personal form of God he preached about impersonalism. 

    Then came Madhvacharya and tough that God is a Person.

    Your servant,  

    • yes, sounds about right Bhaktin. Its not that Buddha made it attractive. That was just its sideeffect. He was more concerned with outlining the path rather then the end goal. And in the end it is a path that certainly works. Depending on where you live and your understanding you can find absolute truth in a variety of ways.

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