By Urmila Devi Dasi
IT IS FASHIONABLE in modern secular societies to regard sacred literature as the mythological musings of undeveloped people. Schools teach that with our current understanding of physics, medicine, psychology, democracy, and so on, we have little use for such writings except as literary art. Those who take scripture literally are pegged with pejorative terms such as “fundamentalists.” It may be stylish to borrow ideas from the Vedic scriptures-yoga, meditation, mantra chanting. But living by the laws of scripture is seen as outmoded and simplistic. To get the spiritual benefit of chanting Krsna’s names, however, requires a reverence for Krsna in all His forms, including His scriptures. Krsna appeared on earth in His original form about five thousand years ago. After He departed to His eternal abode, His “literary incarnation ,” Vyasadeva, compiled the cream of Vedic scripture, Srimad-Bhagavatam. Srila Prabhupada wrote that reading this scripture is identical to seeing Krsna in person. Because the words of the Bhagavatam describe Krsna, they are spiritually identical to Him. If we blaspheme the Bhagavatam, other Vedic books, or literature in pursuance of the Vedic version, we offend the holy name, greatly impeding our progress in chanting.