Near Death, Devotee’s Anger, Varna
Questions & Answers

Near Death, Devotee’s Anger, Varna

Hand, Hindu, Death

Question: When someone goes through a near-death experience, he vividly remembers what he felt, saw, and experienced while the body was medically dead. Does this mean that our subtle or mental body can be active without a physical body? In this situation, people may experience feelings of calmness and happiness akin to bliss. As the ātmā cannot have such an experience without the mind, what is happening in such cases?

Answer: We know of three states of consciousness: wakeful, dream, and dreamless. In a wakeful state, we perceive things with our external senses. In a dream state, we perceive through the mind but perceive only inner dream objects. However, there is another state where a person can perceive outer objects without using the external senses. This state is called yogaja-pratyakṣa. The yogīs and mediums can see things that are not within the range of their external senses. I think this is what happens to a person as described by you. The senses are part of the subtle body and function with the help of sense organs that are part of the gross body. But it is possible for the senses to contact external objects without using the external sense organs. In such a case, the senses are not limited by the limitation of the external sense organs. Therefore, mediums and qualified yogīs can see things far away and in the future.

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Question: In Bhāgavata Purāṇa (3.9.35), Nārāyaṇa assured Brahmā: “You are the original ṛṣi, and because your mind is always fixed on Me, even though you will be engaged in generating various progeny, the vicious mode of passion will never encroach upon you.”

How then is it possible that upon his sons’ refusal to obey his order, there was so much anger generated in the mind of Brahmā? (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 3.12.16)

Answer: A devotee’s anger is not from the guṇa of passion; it is a manifestation of bhakti-śakti. Just as when Kṛṣṇa becomes angry, He is not under the influence of rajo-guṇa, in the same way, when devotees like Brahmā or Nārada become angry, it is not rajo-guṇa. Their anger is caused by some obstacle to their bhakti.

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Question: Does SB 7.11.35 imply that if a child born in a particular varṇa shows the symptoms of another varṇa, then based on those symptoms, their varṇa must be determined, and they should perform the prescribed actions? Or does it imply only the giving of respect, etc.?

Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura comments that a śūdra with brahminical qualities is respected like a brāhmaṇa but still not entitled to perform sandhyā-vandana, etc.

Answer: As you have cited, Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura makes it clear that a person born in a lower varṇa who exhibits the qualities of a higher varṇa should be given respect due to the higher varṇa but not take the occupation.

The primary consideration here is: Who will decide? Who will give a certificate that a person has the qualities of such and such varṇa?

 

 

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