Translation and commentary by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This book is based on one chapter from the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Queen Kunti, a tragic and heroic figure, emerges from an explosive era in the history of ancient India. She was a central figure in a complex political drama that led to a bloody fratricidal war for the Indian throne. Yet through all her sufferings she found an inner wisdom and strength that carried her people through the time of crisis.
Queen Kunti's teachings are the simple and illuminating outpourings of the soul of a great and saintly woman, revealing the deepest transcendental emotions of the heart and the deepest philosophical and theological penetrations' of the intelect.
Here the world's most distinguished teacher of Vedic culture and philosophy, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada presents The Teachings of Queen Kunti with startling clarity and power.
"So we are unhappy? In the Western countries there is no scarcity of wealth, no scarcity of food, no scarcity of cars, and no scarcity of sex. Everything is available in full abundance. Then why is there still a section of people who are frustrated and confused? Why? Because there is no balance. We are taking care of the necessities of the body, but we have no information of the soul and its neccessities. The soul is the real substance, and the body is only a covering. Therefore neglect of the soul is a form of pollution of duty...
"Bodily comfort, however, is not enough. Suppose a man is very comfortably situated. Does it mean he will not die? Of course not. We speak of a struggle for existence and survival of the fittest, but bodily comforts alone cannot enable anyone to exist or survive permanently. Therefore, taking care of the body only is called a pollution of one's duty.
"One must know the necessities of the body and also the necessities of the soul. The real necessity of life is to supply the comforts of the soul, and the soul cannot be comforted by material adjustments. Because the soul is a different identity, the soul must be given spiritual food, and that spritual food is Krishna consciousness.
"When one is diseased he must be given the proper diet and the proper medicine. Both are required. If he is simply given medicine, but not a proper diet, the treatment will not be very successful. Therefore the Krishna consciousness movement is meant to give both the proper medicine and the proper diet for the soul. The diet is food that has been first offered to Krishna and the medicine is the Hare Krishna mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
(from The Teachings of Queen Kunti)
About the Author:
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was born in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes) in India, liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge.
Srila Prabhupada became his student and, in 1933, his formally initiated disciple. At their first meeting Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested Srila Prabhupada to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work, and, in 1944, started Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly magazine. Single-handedly, Srila Prabhupada edited it, typed the manuscripts, checked the galley proofs, and even distributed the individual copies. The magazine is now being continued by his disciples.
In 1950 Srila Prabhupada retired from married life, adopting the vanaprastha (retired) order to devote more time to his studies and writing. He traveled to the holy city of Vrindavana, where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic temple of Radha-Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep study and writing.
He accepted the renounced order of life ( sannyasa ) in 1959. At Radha-Damodara, Srila Prabhupada began work on his life's masterpiece: a multivolume commentated translation of the eighteen-thousand-verse Srimad-Bhagavatam ( Bhagavata Purana ). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.
After publishing three volumes of the Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada came to the United States, in September 1965, to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master. Subsequently, His Divine Grace wrote more than fifty volumes of authoritative commentated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India.
When he first arrived by freighter in New York City, Srila Prabhupada was practically penniless. Only after almost a year of great difficulty did he establish the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in July of 1966. Before he passed away on November 14, 1977, he had guided the Society and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred ashramas, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities.
Srila Prabhupada also inspired the construction of several large international cultural centers in India. The center at Sridhama Mayapur is the site for a planned spiritual city, an ambitious project for which construction will extend over many years to come. In Vrindavana are the magnificent Krishna-Balarama Temple and International Guesthouse, a school, and Srila Prabhupada Memorial and Museum. There is also a major cultural and educational center in Bombay. Major centers are planned in Delhi and in a dozen other important locations on the Indian subcontinent.
Srila Prabhupada's most significant contribution, however, is his books. Highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, they are used as textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into over seventy languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972 to publish the works of His Divine Grace, has thus become the world's largest publisher of books in the field of Indian religion and philosophy.
In just twelve years, despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. Yet this vigorous schedule did not slow his prolific literary output. His writings constitute a veritable library of Vedic knowledge, philosophy, religion, literature, and culture.