Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.16.4
kalim digvijaye kvacit
ghnantam go-mithunam padā
nijagrāha — sufficiently punished; ojasā — by prowess; vīrah — valiant hero; kalim — unto Kali, the master of the age; digvijaye — on his way to conquer the world; kvacit — once upon a time; nrpa-lińga-dharam — one who passes in the dress of a king; śūdram — the lower class; ghnantam — hurting; go-mithunam — a cow and bull; padā — on the leg.
by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Once, when Mahārāja Parīksit was on his way to conquer the world, he saw the master of Kali-yuga, who was lower than a śūdra, disguised as a king and hurting the legs of a cow and bull. The King at once caught hold of him to deal sufficient punishment.
The purpose of a king’s going out to conquer the world is not for self-aggrandizement. Mahārāja Parīksit went out to conquer the world after his ascendance to the throne, but this was not for the purpose of aggression on other states. He was the Emperor of the world, and all small states were already under his regime. His purpose in going out was to see how things were going on in terms of the godly state. The king, being the representative of the Lord, has to execute the will of the Lord duly. There is no question of self-aggrandizement. Thus as soon as Mahārāja Parīksit saw that a lower-class man in the dress of a king was hurting the legs of a cow and a bull, at once he arrested and punished him. The king cannot tolerate insults to the most important animal, the cow, nor can he tolerate disrespect for the most important man, the brāhmana. Human civilization means to advance the cause of brahminical culture, and to maintain it, cow protection is essential. There is a miracle in milk, for it contains all the necessary vitamins to sustain human physiological conditions for higher achievements. Brahminical culture can advance only when man is educated to develop the quality of goodness, and for this there is a prime necessity of food prepared with milk, fruits and grains. Mahārāja Parīksit was astonished to see that a black śūdra, dressed like a ruler, was mistreating a cow, the most important animal in human society.
The age of Kali means mismanagement and quarrel. And the root cause of all mismanagement and quarrel is that worthless men with the modes of lower-class men, who have no higher ambition in life, come to the helm of the state management. Such men at the post of a king are sure to first hurt the cow and the brahminical culture, thereby pushing all society towards hell. Mahārāja Parīksit, trained as he was, got the scent of this root cause of all quarrel in the world. Thus he wanted to stop it in the very beginning.
Filed under: Vedic Ecology
“The mountains, although being struck by torrents of rain during the rainy season, are not shaken, just as those whose hearts are dedicated to the transcendental Personality of Godhead are never disturbed, even when harassed by great misfortune.”-Light of the Bhagavata, Verse Twelve
Filed under: Land Conservation
The Sacred Land project was begun in 1997 to rehallow sites of spiritual significance throughout Britain. Though it was initially only intended to run for three years, its phenomenal success has led to it continuing indefinitely. The project’s artist, Rebecca Hind (pictured above), lives in Dorchester on Thames and the Door’s editor Rebecca Paveley spoke to her about her work, and the sacred sites all around us in the diocese.
By Rebecca Paveley, The Diocese of Oxford Reporter
‘If we know something of the landscape’s past it might mean we have more respect for its future,’ says Rebecca Hind.
Rebecca, who has spent her life painting watercolours, is the artist for the Sacred Land project, which aims to bring back to use sacred sites throughout Britain. These sacred sites may be pilgrimage walks, gardens, buildings or wells: the only criteria being that they were once revered by people, but are now all but forgotten.
The Sacred Land project is funded by the World Wildlife Fund and it was set up by the former Archbishop of Canterbury with the aim of reviving and creating sacred sites in Britain and overseas. Everyone, they say, lives within ten miles of a sacred site.
It involves Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and secular communities in creating and renewing inner city and community gardens, conserving holy wells, renewing pilgrimage trails and celebrating sacred places with art and poetry.
Sacred Land has set up a garden on the Holy island of Lindisfarne which replicates the garden which existed 1300 years ago when the monks were creating the Lindisfarne gospel; in Wales, it has created a pilgrimage route connecting all 18 Cistercian Abbeys; and on the Welsh Borders it is working with the local community to get the sacred site of the Lady Mary Well officially recognised, after it was destroyed by a local farmer in the 1990s.
Though there are no projects underway in our diocese, we have many sacred sites that have been painted by Rebecca. These include Wittenham Clumps, which is on the ‘pilgrimage route’ to Dorchester Abbey, the Abbey itself, Rycote chapel near Thame, Christ Church Cathedral and the pre-Christian site of the White Horse at Uffington. She has also painted the Rollright Stones and the Dyke Hills, which are also pre-Christian sites.
Rebecca says: ‘Many places have become overgrown and their spiritual significance has been forgotten.
‘I know of sites in the Diocese that have been virtually forgotten but could be reclaimed.
‘In Kingston Road in Oxford there was a sacred well, in the grounds of what was a natural health clinic. We know that it was there and that it had been a revered place. There is also a well in Binsey church, but nothing has been made of it.
‘And in Brightwell cum Sotwell for example there must have been wells that have been revered in the past, but we don’t know anything about them, or even where they are.’
Sacred Land does not impose ideas for projects on the local community, but works through local people. It is up to locals to decide they want to regenerate a site. The intention is to motivate people to think about the landscape that surrounds them.
‘Opening up’ could mean anything from having just a day a year to allow people to visit to full time open access to the sacred site.
Rebecca says: ‘Perhaps for example local people remember that there used to be a healing well there, but it has gone stagnant and they tell the project about it and we think of ways of bringing it back into use. The intention is to allow local people to recognise the spirituality of their landscape.’ Continue reading
“In the rainy season, when the rivers swell and rush to the ocean, and as the wind blows the waves about, the ocean appears to be agitated. Similarly, if a person engaged in the mystic yoga process is not very advanced in spiritual life, he can be affected by the modes of nature and thus will be agitated by the sex impulse.”
–Light of the Bhagavata, Verse Eleven