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The Yoga Dictionary

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The Sanskrit language is rich in words to communicate ideas about spiritual life, yoga, and God realization. This dictionary, appearing by installments in BACK TO GODHEAD, focuses upon the most important of these words (and, occasionally, upon relevant English terms) and explains what they mean.

Causal Ocean—The spiritual ocean that forms the boundary between the material and spiritual worlds. The Bhagavad-gita tells us that beyond the temporary, material world in which we live is the eternal, spiritual world, the kingdom of God.

The spiritual world is like a vast effulgent sky, and in that spiritual sky there are innumerable spiritual planets. But one small corner of that spiritual sky lies under a cloud, known as the mahat-tattva. Within the mahat-tattva are the waters of the Causal Ocean.

Lying on the Causal Ocean is an expansion of Lord Krsna known as Maha-Visnu. While Maha-Visnu sleeps in a mystic trance, innumerable universes emanate from His gigantic body like bubbles. These are the material universes, such as the one in which we live. They float on the waters of the Causal Ocean, which is also sometimes called the River Viraja.

The geography of the material and spiritual domains is further described in Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Christ—The devotees of the Hare Krsna movement accept Jesus Christ as the son of God. In technical language, he is called a saktyavesa-avatara. This means that he is an ever-liberated servant of God who descends from the spiritual to the material world at God’s behest.

In Bhagavad-gita, Krsna says that in age after age He descends to the material world to protect the godly, vanquish the demonic, and reassert the principles of religion. Sometimes He Himself descends, and sometimes He sends His empowered messenger from the spiritual kingdom. Jesus Christ is such an empowered spiritual messenger of God.

The Bible speaks of Jesus Christ as the son of God, and the Vedic scriptures speak of Lord Krsna as God Himself. So Jesus Christ is the son of Lord Krsna.

The father and son are one in purpose. Lord Krsna descends and tells us, “Love Me. Always think of Me. Devote yourself to Me.” And Jesus Christ tells us, “Love my father.” So one who fully devotes himself to the service of Krsna is a perfect Christian.

Cintamani—A spiritual gem. As the land in the material world consists mostly of dirt and clay, the land in the spiritual world is made of cintamani. And unlike the lifeless stones beneath our feet, the cintamani gems are fully conscious. In the spiritual world, everything is fully conscious; unconsciousness doesn’t exist.

By the grace of the cintamani, the residents of the spiritual world can freely have whatever they desire. But these spiritual residents desire nothing for themselves—they desire only to please Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Cintamani was also the name of a prostitute who became the spiritual master of the great devotee Bilvamangala Thakura. Before becoming a devotee, he was enamored of this prostitute, and on one occasion he underwent all sorts of difficulties to reach her home in the midst of a torrential storm. When she opened the door and learned of the troubles he’d gone through, she said, “Oh, if you only had this kind of attraction for Krsna instead of for me, how wonderful your life would be!” These words awakened his spiritual consciousness, and he renounced materialistic life to become a pure devotee. He honored Cintamani as one of his spiritual masters because it was she who had turned him to the spiritual path.

Citraketu—Citraketu, a great king, had many wives but no children. By the blessings of the sage Angira, one wife finally gave birth to a son. But the other wives became envious and killed the child with poison.

Angira then appeared again before Citraketu with the sage Narada, who by mystic power revived the child long enough for the child to enlighten the father by speaking words of spiritual instruction.

Thereafter, Citraketu became an enlightened soul, but later he was cursed to undergo birth as a demon. But even in this demonic life he retained his enlightenment, and when finally killed in battle he returned to the kingdom of God.

The history of King Citraketu appears in the Sixth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

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