Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 8th June 2011
As you may know, the very basic essential activities of the students, grand-students, and great-grand students of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, are:
1. Following the 4 regulative principles
2. Chanting 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra on beads every day
Even though this is the very beginning, absolute minimum, for most of us in material conditioning this is incredibly difficult to get there.
I will give you my own example. From the day I started chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra every day, somehow or other, by the grace of my spiritual master, I was able to chant my then-minimum rounds everyday, BUT, it took me nearly 4 years to get to chanting 16 rounds every day! However, when I got there, I was thinking why I didn’t get there sooner. Quite simply there is a kind of sweetness, even if there is sometimes a struggle, in following the instructions of the spiritual master. Even so, I feel that having individual guidance and regular followup will help.
Anyways, the reason for this email is:
1. Are you having any difficulty following the 4 regulative principles of human life? Do you know what they are?
2. Are you on the platform of chanting a minimum of 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra on your beads every day?
If there is any difficulty, then this is one of the purposes of this group, to help one another in following the instructions of the spiritual master.
Please remember, the discussions on this group are confidential and are in the spirit of mutual trust. If anyone discloses any personal detail or information from the heart, then this confidentiality MUST be maintained, that is our duty, even if we cannot help the person, we should keep the confidentiality. For example, no one should forward any email that may contain group members’ email addresses, personal details, difficulties, etc. That said, be careful in stating questions that include too many such details, because, after all, this is an international email group, we don’t know each other personally, at least, not yet.
All replies must be respectful and be in line with guru, sadhu, and shastra.
If however, your questions are of a confidential nature, then please ask offline, so that we may determine who the best person to answer is, and pair you up with that person who can help you most.
Janardan Mali, 08th June 2011
Please state the 4 regulative principles of human life.
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 08th June 2011
The 4 regulative principles that elevate us to a human platform of life are:
1. No meat eating, including fish and eggs
2. No intoxication, including tea, coffee, cigarettes, tobacco, etc.
3. No illicit sex
4. No gambling
Each principle is linked to a core value. Most simply though, the regulative principles free us from so much nonsense, and allow us to take to spiritual life properly.
Divyapriya M, 08th June 2011
Hare Krsna Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu.
I think the biggest of challenges for most people is generally faced is in the “No Intoxication” part. Even though most of them might not have the smoking or drinking habit, leaving coffee or tea itself is an Herculean task, especially for people like me who were brought up drinking strong coffee.
However, after several failures, by the grace of Krsna, I’ve successfully left the habit now.
Prabhu, what is your advice for people who find it difficult to come out of such addictions which they have acquired right from their childhood? How do we build in so much perseverance within ourselves?
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 09th June 2011
Hare Krsna Divya Mataji,
Congratulations on giving up coffee! You have certainly taken a HUGE step towards your own spiritual welfare.
Yes, you are right, our conditioning is the main reason why we find ourselves addicted to certain things. But one can get addicted to such things at any time… for example, I was not brought up drinking tea or coffee, but when I started working as a software developer, the company I worked for provided 24-hour caffeinated beverages including carbonated drinks, tea, coffee, etc., and of course they did it so people could get more and more into the mode of passion and ignorance and work harder and longer hours fuelled by these artificial stimulants…
For some people, illicit sex is the conditioning, especially for those who were brought up in an environment where it was easily available or even “expected”, for others it is gambling, and for others they were born in families where meat-eating was the norm. All this is not important.
One can understand that intoxicants are not actually containing any nutrients – simply they are temporarily altering our body chemistry so that we cannot listen to what the body may be telling us, things like “I am tired”, or “I don’t really like this environment or activity”. Also, every addictive substance is a pollutant, putting in unnecessary things, and altering our consciousness and health state… people cannot “wake up” without a coffee? The substance makes us more and more dependent on it, until we are a complete slave to it. All addictions to material things are simply coming from a strong desire to enjoy material things.
One can practically see that such things are totally unnecessary. For example, the pure devotees, so many of them are constantly travelling all over the world. Srila Gurudeva – one time zone to another time zone every other day. But every day he wakes up at 2:30 AM in the local time zone, and chants his minimum 16 rounds before Mangala Arati. Full day of service, lectures, hundreds of emails, phone calls, co-ordination, encouragement, writing. Have you seen his eyes? They shine with the enthusiasm of a 16-year old boy! And in this body, he is over 60 years old! He doesn’t need any coffee to wake him up. How does he do it?
Because Srila Gurudeva has developed a higher taste for the holy names of Krishna, and because the Holy Names and Krishna Katha are ever enlivening, such energy is seen and is spontaneously generated.
So it is a question of awakening the higher taste for the highest of higher tastes… Krishna. For example, to stay entertained, a dog simply needs a bone, but a man or woman, how long can they amuse themselves with a bone? To the dog, the bone is very high pleasure, but to the human being, it is useless.
Similarly, one has to very sincerely try to engage oneself in devotional service, beginning with hearing and chanting, that is all that is needed. Simply by developing the higher taste, all lower tastes are automatically forgotten.
śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted. SB 1.2.17.
Please read this purport: http://vanisource.org/wiki/SB_1.2.17
When such a taste is developed, then even when someone may have been addicted once upon a time, they will never engage in such activities again, knowing the true nature of such things. It is a gradual process though, and Krishna personally helps. What else could one ask for?
Please let me know if your question is answered.
Divyapriya M, 09th June 2011
Wow! This is just so true 🙂
Prabhu, as you had mentioned, I understand this is a gradual process, but with consistent efforts, I think the distance can definitely be surpassed.
When I read those lines “Krsna personally helps”, it gave me a craving to be noticed by Krsna. I think, being fixed upon that craving by itself would render enough perseverance to experience only the higher joy. Please correct me if I’m wrong 🙂
Prabhu, Thank you so much for making an effort to enlighten fallen souls like me.
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 09th June 2011
Yes, another great devotee, HH Bhaktimarga Swami (www.thewalkingmonk.org), also a Godbrother of my spiritual master, says often, “Devotee means one who keeps trying, so just keep trying and then you are a devotee”. Yes, Krishna is “Achyuta” which means “infallible”. We may fail to notice what He does for us, but He never fails to notice even the tiniest little bit of service anyone has rendered unto Him. Yes, please simply continue to serve Him by serving His devotees wholeheartedly.
Are you chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra sincerely for a minimum of 16 rounds every day?
Also, please don’t misunderstand my position, I am a fallen soul myself, but by the mercy of the spiritual master, some little bit of knowledge has percolated through my thick veil of ignorance.
Divyapriya Muthukumaran, 09th June 2011
Thank you for those words Prabhu. They were truly enlightening 🙂
Sandeep Kumar, 15th June 2011
Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Das Pr Ji ,
All Glories to Sri Guru and Krishna,
That was very very nice discussion. Really Helped me.
Your Aspiring Servant,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare |
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare||
………………………………………..and Be Happy.
The problems of material existence–birth, old age, disease and death– cannot be counteracted by accumulation of wealth and economic development. In many parts of the world there are states which are replete with all facilities of life, which are full of wealth and economically developed, yet the problems of material existence are still present. They are seeking peace in different ways, but they can achieve real happiness only if they consult Krsna, or the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam–which constitute the science of Krsna–or the bona fide representative of Krsna, the man in Krsna consciousness.
“Chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra and be happy”