We hope the excerpt below will serve as an appetizer to beckon you to partake in the full feast available via our Srila Sridhara Maharaja media files. — bkg
Guru Maharaja: Chitragupta, he’s the record keeper of Yamaraja. What do you now want to say?
Devotee: Does he have some special connection with Paramatma? His recording system is so intricate he must have some connection with Paramatma.
Guru Maharaja: Some sort, because he must have eligibility of recording of reading all the movements in this mundane world. By the vibration, whatever is happening he can record it, his heart automatically, that real vibration he touches or it beats in his heart, ‘that this is happening there.’ According to that vibration, Paramatma can control, can have independence. But this man is keeping with that, like a computer he can record all vibrations of different type that are taking place in this mundane plane, in this mortal world. And he’s not a record keeper of Svarga; Svarga-loka, Maha, Jana, Tapa, not: but only this human [plane] where the free action has got to be recorded for his future punishment or reward, something. That type of computer, his heart.
Whenever he has got any doubt he refers to Brahma, “I can’t understand this vibration of the telegraphic movement, I can’t read this. What is that there?” The Brahma will come and he will say, “This is the record, keep it.” He will consult with Yamaraja. And from Yamaraja, if he also cannot find out, it goes over to Brahma and they will come and accept things. And mainly with the human section, neither the beasts etc, nor the gods etc, the siddha’s, rsis, all these things. He’s only a departmental charger of these humans that have got free action, possibility of going three worlds, lower world, higher world, and also movement towards general emancipation, mukti or krsna–bhakti. In the background of that he’s keep the record.
The Vishnu-dhutas charged against him, Chitragupta, and even Yamaraja, that, “They have not taught you this lesson that when the jurisdiction changes? They have taken the name of Narayana and immediately the jurisdiction has been changed. Your Chitragupta and Yamaraja no longer within his [their] jurisdiction. He will have to have his charges from Vaikuntha, whatsoever, but not from your office. Because he has taken the name of Narayana, namabhasa has occurred here. And your officers did not teach you all these things?” This charge was brought by the Vishnu-dhutas against the Yama-dhutas. “Your guiding officers they have not instructed you in this thing? What do you say?”
Then they returned to Chitragupta and Yamaraja, “That we are charged, being blamed against you.”
“Yes, they are right. Such case occurs very rarely, so I did not find it necessary to inform you that [when] such things occur you will leave the culprit and come away. I did not say because very rarely such occurrences are here.” Yamaraja answered in this way.
So in a limited circle he’s working. After the death of …………. immediately within twenty-four hours he is to be present in the court of Chitragupta and, recording his name he’ll be left for one year. Come after one year, the date will be fixed and that date his case will be taken up and final decision — “Go for these years to hell, or these years to heaven, or this plane.” After one year, this is Pretaloka, the one year the soul he will be like on bail for one year, he’s left outside. After death, within twenty-four hours, he is to present himself and record his name, “I am dead, I have left that period of my duty and now what to do?” Then Chitragupta will say, “Come, your date fixed after one year.” Then so long as a preta [ghost] he will move.
Devotee: Preta is like a bhuta, like a ghost.
Guru Maharaja: Like a ghost, of different disposition but like a ghost. It is general, a special case there may be, but general case one year is given to him and he’s allowed to move. When the criminal is keep in custody, before final decision he’s kept on bail and released for one year and after one year he will present himself. “And final decision, “We have calculated your right and wrong deed, or your wrong doing is so much so you will have to go first to suffer into the hell for such years. Then you will be transferred to the heaven for your good activity and then you will come again in the Pretaloka. And, if you will be asked, to go again to the working field to get some birth from some karma.”
Devotee: In his lecture The Bhagavata Bhaktivinoda Thakura he says that the hellish planets are to be considered imaginary, that the hell is imaginary. He said some place in the Bhagavatam it says that the hell is an imaginary thing.
Guru Maharaja: That may be formally, that is not absolute. Imaginary, the mind is also imagination, just as mentally we can suffer and we can enjoy also. In dream there may be a bad dream where we can suffer and there may be a good dream, we may be pleased. So when that mental system, which we find ourselves in dream, that will be out and the suffering and enjoying in that mental body, mental system. The soul is interred, doesn’t touch them. Do you follow? And that is imagination, imagination is a part of mind; our existence, it is not up in the sky, it is within us, imagination. Imagination means our mental function, not this body. The hell does not exist in any part of this physical globe, it is imagination, it is in the mental world, but mental world we cannot ignore to be false, it is there.
But this concrete physical world is the outcome of that mental world, one makes karma in mental, mental feelings helps us to do any karma bad or good, so it is the causal conception; and this is effect, what we find floating before our physical senses that is the outcome of the mental product. The karma is in the mind within and that, when ripe, it comes outside. But that is more real, our mind is more real than this body. Do you follow? Understand that mind is more real than this body? It is a product of the mind, mental activity. So the whole globe what we find in the experience of our senses that is a product and the cause is in the mental world within. Do you mind? Ideal realism, Hegel; first idea, then the action. So what we see floating in the plane of our sense experience, that is external, out; and inner is more real, that is within, in the mind, everywhere. “I have a mind to kill you.” I finished that and then I am going to be hanged. The conception first in the mental and then it’s translated into external activity. So that mental world is more important to all of us. What is within the mind that will come out in the next time.
So Bhur, Bhuvah, Svah, Maha, Jana, Tapa, Satya, more subtle, gradual and more real. And Bhuvaù that is in the surface which we feel by our senses, that is a partial conception of the truth.