About the Book
"In these troubled times, we can look to the sages of ancient inida for advice.
Srila vyasadeva compiled the Puranas for the guidence of mankind, and his
writtings are timeless and meant for our welfare. Surely you will find in
this book words of wisdom that will help elevate you to higher platform of existence".
Earlier this year, while going through the summaries of the twelve
Puranas I had written, I was pleased to see how there were many
stories that devotees would find very interesting. I also found that
there were numerous instructions given by great personalities that
were full of wisdom and presented with crisp clarity. Because I always
like to keep my days filled with writing something in relation to Krsna
consciousness, I began this compilation of words of wisdom
from the Puranas.
You will find that most of the instructions or bits of information
given here are in line with those given by Srila Prabhupada, but there
are also many things that are new and interesting. An example of this
is the description of the different paths leading to the abode of
Yamaraja traversed by those who are sinful and those who are pious.
lt must also be noted that these Puranas generally record
conversations that took place long ago, in previous ages, when men
lived much longer, were far more pious, and possessed superior
prowess. Because of this, the instructions given are not always
suitable for today’s world. It must be remembered that the principles
of Vedic culture must be applied under the guidance of an acarya
who knows how to do so according to time, place,
It is fascinating, as we read these instructions, to note how
precise and painstaking the practices were in the Vedic age. For
example, there is a section where it is described how one should
observe sixty-six parts of a girl’s body to decide if she is a suitable
prospective bride. If we simply imagine putting this into practice
today, we will certainly laugh.
Therefore, I must say, that this book is not so much intended for
providing instructions on how to mold our daily activities, but more to
give us an insight into how the Vedic society was molded so that
everyone would be rightly directed, with no scope for the nonsensical
things that pervade modern society.
A common theme of the Puranas is that a person’s present life
is the result of his or her previous actions, and it is one’s present
actions that determine one’s future birth. Thus, we find in the
Puranas many instructions encouraging us to act in such a way that
our future becomes very bright. We are also taught that our present
condition of life is the result of our previous acts, and so hopefully,
we will give up the tendency to blame others, and even God, for
In this book you will find some harsh characterizations of
women, and I hope that my female readers will not be offended. Let
us just say that such instructions are given to bolster the
determination to remain detached from the association of women of
those who are eager to cross over this ocean of material existence
and attain service at the lotus feet of the Lord in the spiritual world.
Don’t forget, the glories of chaste women are also loudly sung
in the Puranas.
You will find in this book some really nectarean descriptions of
the benefit of chanting the holy name of Lord Krsna and reading
Srimad-Bhagavatam, which I am sure will be pleasing to all of
There are so many picayune instructions about which direction
to face while doing various things, and the horror of even brushing up
against low-class persons. Let us not take these too seriously and thus
get caught up in one of the six things that Rupa Gosvami describes in
his Upadesamrta as spoiling our devotional service. This is the fourth
thing: Practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake
of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or
rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working
independently or whimsically (italics mine).
You will find a few descriptions of Kali-yuga, which I always find
interesting, because they pinpoint the faults of the present age that
we see all around us.
Sometimes, while reading the descriptions of the daily activities
of a brahmana, and the duties of the four varnas and four asramas,
you might become depressed, thinking, "Oh, my God! I could never
follow all these rules and regulations!"
Don’t despair, because these instructions are for those who are
within the varnaSrama society, and specifically not for devotees of
the Lord. In this regard, the following verse is found in Padma
Purana, which was quoted by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami in
smartavyah satatam visnur
vismartavyo na jatucit
sarve vidhi-nisedhah syur
etayor eva kinkarah
"Krsna is the origin of Lord Visnu. He should always be
-emembered and never forgotten at any time. All the rules and
srohibitions mentioned in the Sastras should be the servants of these
As often stated by Srila Prabnupada, Krsna consciousness is
eery simple. Just chant, dance, and take Krsna prasadam, and
Summing up all these instructions, I would say that the
oredominant message is that human life is meant for understanding
sur eternal nature, and for getting out of the miseries of material
existence, which are felt by us at all times and at all places, we should
sincerely worship the Lord and minimize our attachments to the
objects of the senses.
**Contents and Sample Pages**