Penn State or State Pen?

Governments fund Universities and the same Governments fund prisons too. Where would you rather be? For 4 years or 80? For this lifetime or eternity?

Some of my nephews, nieces, children of friends, and even new friends recently started with their post-secondary studies. Some are going to trade schools, some to Universities. Some are staying with their parents in their home towns, some are moving to another city, some to another country… some of these students are moving continents.

Even though this is 2020, and many of these studies are happening online, still the students are all free to learn, to make friends, to have new experiences they never had before. They are free to explore and to grow. They have the freedom of choice.

While many of these students or their parents have paid varying amounts in various fees etc., it is understood that most of these educational institutions have been funded by the governments in those places… local governments, state or provincial governments, even national governments.

So, much of what the students are enjoying is paid for by the government.

There are other people, also in the same range as those young people going to colleges and universities. They live in funded facilities too, but their freedom is strictly restricted. They must eat whatever is given to them. They must stay in a cell. They must wear a uniform and follow a certain regime. They may not visit others, and others may visit them in strictly restricted environments… these are inmates in various jails, prisons, penitentiaries, and so on.

While the students have a lot of freedom, the inmates do not.

Why this this?

One set of people have decided to stay on one side of the government’s system, and many of them are practically enjoying the government’s largesse. Another set of people have made choices that lands them in another set of restrictive circumstances.

Is it that the government builds prisons because it wants citizens to go there?

ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूत: सनातन: ।
मन:षष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति ॥ ७ ॥

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/15/7/

Similarly, Krishna creates the material world for those who make the choice to go against the laws He makes. He does not want any soul to come to the material realm, but they do, by their own choice. Once they do get here, Krishna diligently tries to help them out. He expands into their hearts, comes Himself personally, He sends His messengers, they leave their personal examples, books, societies and associations behind for those trapped in the material realm.

नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभु: ।
अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तव: ॥ १५ ॥

nādatte kasyacit pāpaṁ na caiva sukṛtaṁ vibhuḥ

ajñānenāvṛtaṁ jñānaṁ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ

Nor does the Supreme Lord assume anyone’s sinful or pious activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance which covers their real knowledge.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/15/

It is up to us, the conditioned souls living in the material realm to accept these facilities, get rid of all material contamination and go back home, back to Godhead, where we belong.

Governments fund Universities and the same Governments fund prisons too. Where would you rather be? For 4 years or 80? For this lifetime or eternity?

How may I serve you?

People must care for people

Spiritual organizations are great. But personal care to a soul can only be given by another soul. Individuals must take care of individuals, regardless of any organizational systems in place…

Are you on the spiritual journey? Maybe you even belong to some spiritual organization? A church? A mosque? A temple? Some other spiritual society or religious association?

Do you have people around you on your path? You need to take care of them, you can’t expect your organization to. Why is that?

Have you ever read a scripture or spiritual text from any tradition where individuals were not directly mentioned? Was there ever an organizational body that interacted in a touching way with an individual? There’s a reason for that! Organizations are good for building processes, providing infrastructure, and many other nice organizational things. But no organization can connect to a soul. A soul can connect to a soul though.

There is no doubt that organizations are very useful. They allow propagation of spiritual ideals in a systematic manner. While not all organizations are necessarily “ideal” though they may well be based on some lofty ideals, they make for effective vehicles to convey the vision, mission, and work intended.

Organizations are usually full of people, no? Yes, organizations do not, cannot, and ultimately will not take care of people in a personal way. Organizations are designed to take care of themselves, to self-propagate. This is necessary of course, because an organization that does not take care of itself usually disappears very quickly. Even when organizations try to take care of people, they do so only to protect or grow the organization itself. So does that mean organizations are evil?

While some organizations may indeed be evil, it is not necessarily evil for an organization to take care of itself. After all, if the organization does not remain, how on earth can it spread the purpose it came into being for?

The people within the organization, especially the ones in management positions often cannot see the individuals for who they are. So, what can be done about this?

Well, souls are uniquely enabled take care of other souls. Whether you are just a layperson in the organization or an office-bearer… don’t forget, you need to put aside your organizational/management hat and be a human to be able to take care of someone. To really take care of someone, you need to be on the pure spiritual platform, to see others as spirit souls, and not just theoretically.

After all, the ultimate purpose of the spiritual organization is to servr souls, but to do so in a personal, relatable way takes personal effort from individuals.

This may mean taking a phone call in the middle of the night, or attending bail hearings. It may mean organizing funerals or taking some meals for someone. It may mean offering a shoulder to cry on or a safe spot for someone to vent their anger. It may mean buying groceries for someone, or arranging to take someone to a doctor’s appointment. It may mean connecting souls to each other.

No matter how accomplished of a spiritual leader you may be, how enlightening or inspiring your talks might be – you need to take the time to individually care for people, really serve them in a personal way.

I remember that my spiritual master and mentors have given me that care. They went above and beyond organizational mandates and made time to help me at the level I was at. It made a BIG difference to me!

ye me bhakta-janāḥ pārtha na me bhaktāś ca te janāḥ

mad-bhaktānāṁ ca ye bhaktās te me bhakta-tamā matāḥ

“[Lord Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna:] ‘Those who are My direct devotees are actually not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My servant are factually My devotees.’

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/11/28/

My desire is to be a humble personal servitor of the people in my spiritual organization. I wish to establish personal relationships with them. Because, my organization, however amazing, certainly cannot and will not. Neither will yours. Yes, it is inconvenient to go out of your way, but if not you, then who?

Please be that ambassador of God and care for His souls. Individually and personally, just as God is taking care of you.

Praying to see everyone else ahead

Can you find someone who is better than you? What about someone who is worse than you? Which is easier?

Once, two brothers, cousins really, Duryodhana and Yudhishtira were asked to accomplish the following challenges, and they both returned empty-handed.

Duryodhana was told to find someone better than himself.

Yudhisthira was told to find someone worse than himself.

Both went out and searched.

Duryodhana, in his pride, saw everyone as being inferior to himself, indeed he didn’t find one soul who had one quality better than in himself.

Yudhisthira, the saintly soul, went around and in every soul he saw at least one quality better than in himself!

In the modern world, especially where everyone is celebrating the “pride” of being this or that, it is worthwhile for a spiritualist to retain the sense of humility as the greatest asset. Why is that?

ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूत: सनातन: ।
मन:षष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति ॥ ७ ॥

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke
jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi
prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/15/7/

When every single living entity who exists, is a part-and-parcel of God, then is it any wonder that every soul has something special that is better than in ourselves?

अथवा बहुनैतेन किं ज्ञातेन तवार्जुन ।
विष्टभ्याहमिदं कृत्स्नमेकांशेन स्थितो जगत् ॥ ४२ ॥atha vā bahunaitena
kiṁ jñātena tavārjuna
viṣṭabhyāham idaṁ kṛtsnam
ekāṁśena sthito jagat

But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/42/

Every single fragmental part of the Supreme is incredibly amazing!

We should celebrate this and remain this mood…

tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/adi/17/31/

In the purport, Srila Prabhupada writes “The grass is specifically mentioned in this verse because everyone tramples upon it yet the grass never protests. This example indicates that a spiritual master or leader should not be proud of his position; being always humbler than an ordinary common man, he should go on preaching the cult of Caitanya Mahāprabhu by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.

My spiritual master His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari once said “we should be praying to see everyone ahead of ourselves!”.

Amen.

How may I serve you on your spiritual journey? Please let me know!

Importance of Ramayan in the Hare Krishna movement

What is the Importance of the Ramayana to the Hare Krishnas? To the Christians? To the Muslims? To the Sikhs? The Jains? The Buddhists? The Atheists?

Chandrika, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna

I have not been able to receive an answer to my question. It’s been constantly deferred.

My question is what is the relevance and importance of the Ramayan in the Hare Krishna organization?

I know that in orthodox Hindu teachings it is treated with great reverence

Regards
Chandrika

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 7 September 2018

Dear Mother Chandrika,

Hare Krishna!

I am hoping that the community of volunteers here has served you to your satisfaction in answering this question comprehensively.
We are here to serve you unlimitedly within the bounds of our own personal limitations. Since we are volunteers, we do ask for your kind patience and understanding.

First of all, the Ramayana is of great importance to everyone, no matter whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or Buddhist. Whether they recognize the importance of the Ramayana is dependent on their own fortune or misfortune. This is because the principles in the Ramayana are Universal.

This eternal religion is understood as an example of water – its wetness and its ability to quench thirst. Anything that does not have these two basic principles is not water, therefore the religion of water can be said to be wetness and its power to quench thirst of living entities. Similarly, the religion of fire is said to be heat and light. Anything that claims to be fire must exhibit these two qualities, and even when a red hot iron exhibits these two qualities, it is of the nature of fire – anyone touching it will get burned even though there are no flames etc. There is no Hindu water or Christian fire. Fire is fire and water is water. Similarly, the eternal religion of the jiva, the spirit soul, is loving devotional service to the Supreme, in His unlimitedly variegated names and forms as He manifests, Krishna, Govinda, Allah, Rama, Jehovah, Buddha… They are ONE.

Next, we don’t give too much importance to sectarianism – we don’t recognize so-called Hinduism, so-called Buddhism, so-called Christianity, and so-called Islam as bona fide religion. The real principled essence of all these great religious traditions is Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion of the living entity. To the extent that followers of different traditions do not deviate from the original universal principles of Sanatan Dharma, we recognize them as genuine, and to the extent they do deviate, we recognize them as “politics”. Srila Gurudeva once said “Religion is one, “religions” means politics”. In other words, there is only one God, and to rekindle our lost love for that One God is the essence of religion. Like Srila Gurudeva said, as Jesus Christ prayed “God, let thine will be done, not mine”.

In that mood, we accept and revere Prophet Mohammad, Lord Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak, and all other great teachers as having taught the same principles of Sanatan Dharma according to the time, place and circumstance, especially the ability of their followers to understand. Some of their followers do understand, and we do accept them as genuine, and some of their followers are caught up in externalities, and we understand them to be immature as yet.

Now, as far as the Ramayana is concerned, there are many versions, and Srila Prabhupada gave us two versions as bona fide – the 2-chapter summary in the 9th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, and also the original Ramayana by the great pure devotee sage Valmiki. There may be value in the other versions, but for us these two are sufficient.

I pray that this is useful.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rasika Krishna Das, 7 September 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

Where exactly mentioned in the 2 chapter summary of Canto 9? I couldn’t find it.

Your servant,
Rasika Krishna Das

Mahabhagavat Das, 7 September 2018

See these two chapters:

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/10/

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/11/

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rasika Krishna Das, 7 October 2018

Thank you Prabhuji, Hare Krishna 🙂

Rasika Krishna Das

Ikshvaku Das, 7 October 2018

Hare Krishna Mahabhgavat prabhu – great answer – thanks.

Ikshvaku das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com.

Vishnu & Shiva, who is the Supreme?

Who is Supreme, Shiva or Vishnu/Krishna? The discussion rages on, and some will never accept. But what do the authoritative sources say?

Harish V, 28 Nov 2018

Hare Krishna !
Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I would like to know, how the incarnation of Lord Narasimha came to an end after slaying Hiranyakashipu. I read in SB 7.10.31 that the Lord disappeared after being worshipped by Brahmā,

SB 7.10.31 — Nārada Muni continued: O King Yudhiṣṭhira, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is not visible to an ordinary human being, spoke in this way, instructing Lord Brahmā. Then, being worshiped by Brahmā, the Lord disappeared from that place.

This query was asked by my friend who came across an article which describes the story of Sharabha (Shiva’s form), GandaBerunda (Vishnu’s form) and Pratyankira (Durga’s form). Apparently Lord Narasimha was calmed down by defeat, by Sharabha (Shiva’s form) and Pratyankira (Durga’s form). It is stated that Lord Narasimha became the devotee of Shiva after the fight.

These incidents are described in the literatures relating to Lord Shiva.

He questioned me about the supremacy of Krishna based on this story which I could not effectively answer.

Request your guidance.

your servant,
Harish V

Filip Misic, 29 Nov 2018

Dear Harish,

Your question is very intellectually satisfying and is one worth asking. Even though I myself am not very learned in all the scriptures, especially those relating to the devatas, I shall make an attempt to shed some light into this topic and thus make a ground from which devotees may also further elaborate on the subject.

This story of Lord Nrisimhadeva, becoming calmed down by defeat from Lord Siva and Durga and then praising Lord Siva, is indeed a remarkable story, considering that we as devotees of Sri Krishna worship Sri Nrisimhadeva as the Supreme Lord. But in order to analyse this narration (which will be incomplete because we would have to read the full story to get the full picture), we have to state the facts that we already know from shastras, and in this light observe this narration of Lord Shiva.

Actually, from the narrations of the Bhagavat-Purana, Lord Shiva is known as a pure devotee of Lord Krishna, if not the purest. Just like Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna, and could hereby produce millions of Vaishnavas by his presence, similarly Lord Shiva is a pure Vaishnava. So just see how devoted Shiva must be to Lord Vishnu; in fact, Lord Shiva is often depicted as being fixed in samadhi, meditation. But who or what is he meditating on? He is meditating on Lord Narayana, paramesvara, the Supreme Controller.

We may refer to the prayers given by Lord Shiva to Krishna in the 8th Canto of the Bhagavatam to support these statements. When Lord Shiva heard of the pastimes of Hari where He appered as a woman to captivate the demons and enable the devatas to drink the nectar, he went to meet Lord Hari. After arriving, Shiva offered respect to Vishnu and spoke as follows:
śrī-mahādeva uvāca
deva-deva jagad-vyāpiñ
jagad-īśa jagan-maya
sarveṣām api bhāvānāṁ
tvam ātmā hetur īśvaraḥ
“Lord Mahādeva said: O chief demigod among the demigods, O all-pervading Lord, master of the universe, by Your energy You are transformed into the creation. You are the root and efficient cause of everything. You are not material. Indeed, You are the Supersoul or supreme living force of everything. Therefore, You are Parameśvara, the supreme controller of all controllers.”
This is very remarkable, because Shiva is himself addressing the Lord as the Supreme (sarvesam api bhavanam tvam atma hetur isvaraha): “You are the supreme living force of everything and therefore you may be called isvara.” In a following verse, Shiva also states: (ananda-matram avikaram ananyad anyat) “You are always in transcendental bliss, You are changeless, You are seperated from everything but yet You are everything.” These statements given by Shiva are very significant. Also, it is not that he is speaking allegorically or that there is some hidden meaning to this. No. He is addressing the Lord like this in order to show his position as subordinare to Lord Hari. Remarkably enough, soon after this, wishing to see the beautiful female form of the Lord that he had heard of, Shiva becomes captivated by Mohini-murti. It is actually narrated s follows: “His sense became agitated, Lord Shiva, victimized by lusty desires, began to follow Her, just as a lusty elephant follows a she-elephant.” (SB.8.1.27) How could it be that if Shiva was the source of all material and spiritual, that he becomes captivated by his own energy? This is actually not possible for the Supreme Lord. Shiva was running like a dog after Mohini-murti and he even discharged semen uncontrollably due to the amazing features of Srimati Mohini. Actually it is not that Siva was covered by maha maya, the material energy, because being a pure devotee of Krishna he is firmly fixed in transcendence. Rather, this was a show of Krishna´s yoga-maya, internal energy, which so captivated Siva. After this event Lord Siva understood his position and that of Lord Vishnu completely, and after circumambulating the Lord, Siva took permission and returned to his abode. So there is not really anything unclear about this, Shiva is subordinate to Krishna, who is the source of all that exists.

However, now one may question why this narration of Nrisimhadeva being defeated by Shiva is at all there? If Krishna is the Supreme Lord, how can His expansion become defeated by a jiva? It is actually very simple. Lord Siva is not just any ordinary jiva, but he is a pure Krishna-bhakta. And because Krishna is so pleased by the devotional service of His pure devotees, He is owned by these devotees. Just like in the First Canto Krishna wishes to glorify His devotee Bhishma by allowing Yudhisthira to be perplexed just so he can hear the council of Bhishmadeva and become relieved. In fact, when Krishna arrived at Bhishma´s deathbed with arrows in him, He even bowed down to Him (SB 1.9.4). So Krishna will sometimes allow Himself to be seemingly degraded in order to glorify His pure devotee. So similarly, this narration of Sri Nrisimhadeva and Lord Siva can be examined in this light. Nrisimhadeva put himself in a low position and allowed Siva to conquer Him just in order to glorify Siva. Lord Siva is a greta mahatma and he is know to be the destroyer of cosmic manifestation at the time of annihilation. So his strength is truly remarkable. But even though Sri Nrisimhadeva allowed Hiself to be beaten by Shiva, it does not mean that therefore Siva is higher than Narayana. This would be a conclusion made by somebody who is not receiving the Vedas from a bona fide authority and is concocting his on mental speculations about the narrations of the shastras, while not even studying the Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad-gita. This is a very intimate topic, and we as sadhikas cannot really understand the transcendental relationships between Krishna and his devotees. We have the tendency to analyse stories from a material perspective, when in fact the narrations of the Vedas are transcendental.

Narrations like this are not so much read by Vaishnavaas, but they are very pleasing to devotees of Lord Shiva. Vaishnavas do not read stories like this, beacause they wish to rather read narrations which glorify the Lord. Just like the compiler of the Vedas Sri Vyasadeva arranged the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is filled with topics related to Lord Hari and His devotees. Bhagavatam is considered to be the ripended fruit of Vedic literature. This is the opinion of the great devotee Suta Goswami (nigama kalpa-taror galitam phalam (SB 1.1.3)) and all the acharyas like Ramanujacharya, Vishnu Swami, Madhvcarya, coming down from the disciplic succession started by Krishna Himself. These personalities were situated on the highest platform of transcendence, namely love of God, and therefore we choose to follow in their footsteps. And as for the converstaion you had with your friend, we should be aware with whom we have philosophical discussions. Just like Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advised that we should not associate with mayavadis, because they can illusion our intelligence by their false conclusion of the Vedas. So similarly we should not associate, or at least consult, with people who are not performing sravanam kirtanam (unless we are very learned in shastra and can defeat their arguments). Because without the regulatory chanting of the Lords Holy Names a person should be known to possess a demoniac mentality. In this mentality nobody can come to the perfect conclusion of the Vedic literature (vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo (BG 15.15)), which is to surrender ones life to Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (aham adir hi devanam (BG 10.2)).

I hope my explanation and my view of this matter has not been expressed in too much length. I hold this subject a very important topic amongst devotees of Krishna and therefore have chosen to speak on this matter. I encourage anybody to further elaborate on this.

Hoping this proves to be helpful to you,

your servant, Filip

Harish V Menon, 30 Nov 2018

Hare Krishna Filip Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

Thank you so much for your enlightening explanation !

your servant,
Harish V

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01 Dec 2018
Hare Krishna!

Thank you for the question and the heartfelt answer.

Here is my (short) response:

  1. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead per Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam
  2. Sri Veda Vyasa composed 18 Puranas, 6 are in mode of ignorance, 6 in the mode of passion, and 6 in the mode of goodness
  3. Of the 6 in the mode of goodness, 1, Srimad Bhagavatam is in the mode of pure goodness
  4. Bhagavad Gita is regarded even by Adi Shankara (widely accepted as an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and also with scriptural evidence) as the topmost Upanishad – please read the introduction of Bhagavad Gita As It Is.
  5. Something beneficial can certainly be learned from all Puranas and all Vedic literature, but not the Supreme Absolute Truth, which is available perfectly only in Srimad Bhagavatam
  6. In the Bhagavad gita, it is clearly mentioned about faith in the various modes, how faith in the mode of ignorance accepts religion to be irreligion and irreligion to be religion.

But we don’t want to argue anything with anyone – we follow the authority of the disciplic succession – we are like the soldiers in a minefield walking behind the minesweeper, we step exactly where the soldier in front of us has stepped, we don’t deviate from the realized Acharyas in our disciplic succession. If someone wants to follow, good, otherwise they are welcome to stay in the material world until they come to their senses.

In general, there is one saying I heard from one of our spiritual masters in ISKCON…
“you can lead the horse to the water, you can’t make him drink,
you can lead a man to wisdom, you can’t make him think”.

Urging everyone to please carefully read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavatam ourselves. Or at least this article http://www.krishna.com/brahma-vishnu-shiva

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das
dasadas.com

Filip Misic, 01 Dec 2018
Yes, this is nicely said.

your servant, Filip

Priya Harinath, 01 Dec 2018


Jaya!! Thank you Harish Prabhuji for the wonderful question and thank you Filip Prabhu and Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu for the enlightening and amazing answers. We are really fortunate to be part of this wonderful Vaisnava sanga.

your humble servant
Priya Harinath

Nikhil Mishra, 02 Dec 2018

Hare Krsna
All glories to Srila Guru and vaishnava devotees

It was wonderful to read conversations over this topic. I am unable to stop myself to put my points also here, which are not directly from Srimad Bhagavatam, but somehow I loved them while I researched this topic during my own dilemma.

Kindly forgive me and correct me if you find any discrepancy or offensive here.

Indeed relation between Lord Hari and Lord Shiva is very sweet. Both try to belittle themselves in order to glorify other. And I thoroughly love reading such kathaa/stories.

I see Adi shankaracharya (incarnation of Lord Shiva) saying
“bhaja govindam bhaja govindam govindam bhaja mudha mate”
I.e.
Worship Govinda, worship Govinda,
Worship Govinda, oh fool

And in in another revered scripture “Ram Charit Manas” by Goswami Tulsidas , i read Lord Ram proclaiming
“shiva darohi mama bhagata kahava so nara sapanehu mohi na pava
sankar bimukh bhagati chaha mori so naraki mudha mati thori”

Summary Translation :
one who consider himself/herself devotee of Mine but have repellency from Lord Shiva, such person can not find Me even in his/her dreams. If a person insult Shiva and desires My devotion , then he is a fool and worth going to hell.

So I bow down to Lord Hari and Lord Shiva who play Lila’s which are inconceivable by my little intellect.

Hari bol
Nikhil


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Seeing Krishna face to face sounds like a strange idea!

Here we are in the material world… the promise is that we will see Krishna face to face when we are spiritually perfect. How to trust that? How to overcome the doubts of the mind?

Nikhil Mishra, 18 September 2018

Hare Krsna
Please accept my humble obeisance.

I am cultivating the benefits of following whatever principles i could follow of Krsna consciousness. I feel that i would become more calm and happy person if i advance more on this path.

But seeing someone known as Krsna face to face still looks an alien idea and fabricated promise to my mind

Devotees can kindly share their opinions, experiences and guide me.

Sincerely
Nikhil

Shridhar Das, 18 September 2018

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisance,

All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga!
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

In my understanding from my superiors, to simply have the desire to advance further is such a blessing in Krishna Consciousness. Srila Gurudeva also emphasizes this point of desiring and hankering for advancing in Krishna Consciousness. It’s a great fortune!

We are fully surrounded by material atmosphere in our practice of Krishna Consciousness and our practice has been few years only, so it is not astonishing for us to have such concerns.

If we base our experience on feelings, it needs to be given time as our senses are so much impure currently. They are filled with so many material contaminations namely lust, anger, greed, envy, etc. So our impure senses and mind cannot be trusted esp. when their major input is association of those who have no substantial faith in existence of soul, spiritual world, God as a loving person.

Therefore, we can begin with the step of at least theoretically accepting such facts by basing faith in personalities like Srila Prabhupada and his staunch followers.
When I was 1 year in Krishna Consciousness, a devotee shared that when doubts in process and Krishna trouble us, we should take shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s words for no one can possibly doubt his character and genuineness.

Also, we must maximize our association amongst Krishna Conscious devotees.

We should always remember that faith is an infectious disease and best way to cultivate faith is to hear from faithful devotees and serve under their guidance. We are so fortunate to have direct association of Srila Gurudeva & Srimati Gurumata personally in physical and vani form. And if we stay near temple so many senior association becomes avail. Also, daily dose of sticking to hearing and reading from Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada powders such doubts as you have mentioned.

your servant
Shridhar das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01 October 2018

Dear Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

What you are experiencing is called “withdrawal symptoms”. Whenever a drug addict tries to give up their drug habit, they experience horrible withdrawal symptoms, so much so that many addicts fall back into their addition rather than fight the symptoms.

Everyone in the material world who is not a pure devotee is a recovering atheist. When we try to become a devotee, then our “drug habit” of atheism often rears its ugly head.

And therefore, now your mind is throwing withdrawal symptoms at you, in the form of ” But seeing someone known as Krsna face to face still looks an alien idea and fabricated promise to my mind.”

This matter was discussed in this group, as you can see in this posting… https://dasadas.com/2017/03/08/how-to-get-free-of-miseries-given-by-our-own-mind/

The clear solution to your problem is given in this transcribed ecture of Srila Gurudeva http://spiritual-revolutionary.com/Lecture_transcriptions/Bg10.10_Bangalore_13_November_05.htm

quote
Any more questions?

Q2 –

In preaching and practice, there’s always a gap involved. How can one practice and preach . . .

A2 –

You’re saying that there’s a credibility gap between practice and preaching?

Yes, when neophyte devotees come . . .

Yes. The answer is given by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. When you get up in the morning, you take shoes and beat your mind one hundred times. In the evening, you beat your mind with a broomstick one hundred times. And we need to find devotees – associates – from whom we can take chastisement. Everybody should have someone who can chastise them and from whom they can take it, where they really try to rectify themselves. Everyone should really have someone by whom they can be corrected on a regular, daily basis. We need to have that. Because we all have our faults; let’s face it. So you need to have someone from whom you can take instruction and be chastised and corrected and not argue with them about it. We need to find that kind of association, because there is a gap. We do have our impurities, but at the same time we’re meant to preach pure bhakti. So we have to understand that, and we have to constantly be bringing ourselves under control.

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhira
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

[Nectar of Instruction 1]

We can’t let up our guard. At all times, in all situations and in all places, we have to push ourselves to be gosvamis, understanding “I’m not, but I must become.”

unquote

So, who do you have who can chastise you and who can beat sense into that mind of yours?

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 02 October 2018

Thanks Mahabhagvat Prabhu for your valuable mail. It really really helps.

Somehow i , myself as well as my circumstances have beaten my mind enough and any further beating with shoes (forcibly controlling my brain) won’t help me and can make me even sick.

So association of devotees, writing mail to this group and always praying to Personality of Godhead to engage me in His devotional services should help me.

I deeply pray unto the feet of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur that i could really grasp the essence of his words ” beating the mind with shoes and broomsticks” in my perspective and can receive his mercy.

Also as you mentioned Srila BhaktiVinoda Thakur, one old question raised in my mind i.e.-
I read that he had many children while in Krsna Consciousness, i find practicing abstinence is required and encouraged .So how do i understand it? Kindly share your views.

Thank you again for your timely interventions.

Sincerely
Nikhil

Nikhil Mishra, 02 October 2018

Hare Krsna

In my previous mail, i mistakenly wrote Srila Bhaktivinoda thakur in place of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati thakur in context of controlling the mind . Please accept my apologies.

However i hope, that in my second question , i correctly mentioned the name of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur.

Sincerely
Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 02 October 2018

Dear Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

There are two sides as Srila Gurudeva says… one is “bhajahu re mana sri nanda nandana…” or “my dear mind, see how loving and attractive and perfect Krishna is, the son of Maharaja Nanda”, and the other side is beating the mind. This is exactly how good parents bring up their children, they have both sides, soft as a rose and hard as a thunderbolt. The intelligent parent knows how to apply which, and the spiritual master is the most intelligent parent possible.

“beating the mind” is not some crazy violent thing, but a firm silencing of the ranting of the monkey mind with higher authoritative knowledge – this is what is translated as having “Krishna conscious association”. For example, if you read this explanation by Srila Gurudeva in the Q&A of how there must be a God, you can clearly see that God exists and God is a person…

http://www.sda-archives.com/tftd/tftd/2017/sep/tftd_091617.html

The mind is what has kept me in bondage for millenia, and it is amazing that anyone would trust the mind with anything other than menial service, how can I take instruction from my cruel captor?

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura answered the question you asked about “how can a saintly man have so many children”, in the following way “if I could make a Krishna conscious child, then I would have a hundred children”. In other words, he felt unqualified to be able to bring forth a Krishna conscious child. That was his humility, because spiritually he

Krishna begot 161080 boys and 16108 girls in His wives. Veda Vyasa had several children too. Maharaja Bharat had many children. Lord Rishabhadeva had many children… Having children in the right consciousness “dharma aviruddho kaamosmi” is a Krishna conscious act of sacrifice.

It is actually a wonderful thing if saintly persons were to have many children – that would give so much opportunity for the souls to develop in a saintly environment, and it would also increase the number of “krishna conscious from childhood” souls in this world.

This is what Srila Prabhupada says about children born to devotees:

“Regarding your question: “What is the correct sexual etiquette for a strict Grhastha; and what is spiritual family planning?” Unless one wants to beget a child, there should not be any sex life. The best thing is to forget sex, but it is not possible immediately or all of a sudden, especially in the Western countries where sex life is so liberal. So under the circumstances, one should try to have sex life only for children, not for any other purpose. Spiritual family planning is that one should be determined to train up children in Krishna Consciousness. According to Bhagavata, the spiritual family planning is that one should not become a father or one should not become a mother, unless he is able to maintain their children to the extent of liberation. It is the duty of the parents to see that the children are growing luxuriantly not only materially, but spiritually also. So spiritual training should be given from the very beginning. Kaumaram acaret prajna—In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Prahlada Maharaja has instructed that spiritual consciousness or Krishna Consciousness should be taught to the children from the very beginning as they are given education from early childhood. ” – Srila Prabhupada letter to Dayananda & Nandarani dated 24 AUG 1968

So yes, become perfectly Krishna conscious, and in perfect Krishna consciousness, either transform the fallen souls into elevated saints, or bring forth lots of Krishna conscious children, either way is good, and both ways take a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears.

But it is a personal guarantee of my spiritual master that I will see Krishna face-to-face, and to be honest, I have seen and personally experienced Krishna in so many other ways already that I find it impossible to not trust my divine spiritual master’s personal assurance.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 03 October 2018

Hare Krishna

Thank you so much Mahabhagvat prabhu for sharing your thoughts.
I am happy that i got association of Srila Gurudeva and this wonderful group where i can discuss my doubts.


And that is i take a definite sign of the mercy of God on me.😊

Haribol
Nikhil


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Surrender: ain’t no bad word

Surrender- gets a bad rap. Why do the spiritualists talk so much about Surrender?

The word surrender, in a dictionary, states… “cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority”. No wonder the word gets a bad rap? Who wants to cease resistance to an enemy or an opponent?

No one wants to capitulate, to give up, to submit oneself to the whims of an enemy!

So when the ancient spiritual texts say “surrender”, anyone with some intelligence rebels against the concept. What do you mean surrender? Naah! Nope, this spiritual stuff is not for me.

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा श‍ुच: ॥ ६६ ॥

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/66/

So then, reading something like the above, atheists, either staunch ones or newly minted ones, or even recovering ones, sometimes say, “NO THANKS!”.

Even though surrender means defeat in the material sense, still surrender to God is the Ultimate victory! Why so? Boy, those spiritual types must be bonkers, no?

Let’s consider the example of a person who has somehow or other landed in the midst of an ocean – no matter how great of a swimmer they may be, they have no chance of swimming home. A watery death is certain if no help arrives in time. This material world is regarded as an ocean of birth and death. No one who is born here gets out of here alive, is that not true?

In addition to birth and death, there is always old age and disease, to make it more of a bummer. Now add to it miseries caused by other living entities, all the way from little mosquitoes, viruses, to cruel criminals and despots in the guise of certain powerful personalies… Add to this the miseries caused by factors outside our control- earthquakes, floods, famine, and so on… and finally miseries caused by our own mind and body! No one has a chance against these miseries.

Generally speaking, the more powerful a personality is, the less they want to surrender, but here is a most powerful personality, Lord Jesus Christ, who said “Not my will, but Thine, be done”. Jesus Christ is pretty powerful. In fact, his power has transcended most others who strive so hard to be powerful.

Why did Jesus Christ surrender?

Because God is not our enemy! God is not our opponent!

God is our best well-wisher!

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।
सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ २९ ॥

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/29/

Just like the lifeboat or the coastguard or sea rescue, God and His representatives the great spiritual masters, are coming to help us back to shore, back to our home. Surrender simply means accepting help from someone more competent.

I have a Most Powerful Friend. He is my Best Well-Wisher. He wants me to be in a better place, while I am still here in this world of birth, death, old age, and disease, and forever beyond.

I will let My Best Friend help me. Won’t you?

When did the Kali Yuga start?

When exactly did the current age we live in, kaliyuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy begin?

Nikhil Mishra, 23 March 2018

Hare Krsna
Humble obeisance unto feet of Guru and Gauranga.

I was reading book ” KRSNA”. In chapter 52, it is stated that King Muchukunda after coming out of cave realised that current yuga was kaliyuga. Therefore he decided to go to badrikashram.

but i had heard that kaliyuga started when King Parikshit left his body.

i think that king muchukunda episode had happened before mahabharat and king Parikshit time was after Mahabharat.

so how to understand when kaliyuga started? Kindly put some light in this matter.

Sincerely
nikhil

Eshwar rao javvadhi, 23 March 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
Please accept My dandavat pranams
All glories to srila prabhupada
all glories to sri guru and gauranga.

My Answer is subjected to seniors corrections prabhuji.

As far as My knowledge is concern, King Muchukunda after fighting a war on behalf of demigods he was very tired and he slept in that cave for a very long time by which the yuga got changed.

Kali yuga started after the death of parikshat maharaja.

Thank you
your servant
Isvara Puri Dasa

Nikhil Mishra, 23 March 2018

yes prabhu ji..he was asleep for long. later woke up by kalyavan and thus angered king muchukunda turned kalyavan into ashes just by mere glacing.
but as i could understand reading upto this chapter 52 , this pastime of Lord is enacted before mahabharat began. thats why i amconfused.
hare krsna

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 24 March 2018

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

You are referring to this passage from the Krishna Book, Chapter 52:

” When Mucukunda, the celebrated descendant of the Ikṣvāku dynasty, was favored by Lord Kṛṣṇa, he circumambulated the Lord within the cave and then came out. On coming out of the cave, Mucukunda saw that the human species had surprisingly been reduced in stature to pygmy size. Similarly, the trees had also been far reduced in size, and Mucukunda could immediately understand that the current age was Kali-yuga. Therefore, without diverting his attention, he began to travel north. “

The Krishna Book is a summary of the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam – when summarizing, it may be necessary to leave out certain details or be unclear about specifics even though the essence was not lost in Srila Prabhupada’s summarization.

On the cosmic scale changes between ages appear like quick cutoffs, but when we are looking at it from our scale, changes happen relatively gradually. Even though there is certainly a specific cut-off time for yugas, the changes are gradual – for example, we are currently in the first 500 years of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Golden Age that will last for another 9500 years… but the full descriptions of this Age are not immediately manifested. So does that mean the Golden Age has not begun? No, not at all.

Elsewhere it is stated that as long as Sri Giri Govardhan is still visible above the ground, the effects of Kali Yuga will not be fully manifested, By Sri Govardhan’s potency… so does that mean that Kali Yuga has not started?

Also, the first years of the Dvapara yuga were not like the last years of Dvapara yuga, for example – it was not homogenous that one fine day everything suddenly changed.

From descriptions of our parents and grandparents, we can understand that times have indeed changed – what was once considered rude is today considered gentlemanly, for example.

For example, an extract from the chapter summary of SB 10.52, is as follows

” King Mucukunda, shown mercy by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, offered obeisances and circumambulated Him. The King then left the cave and saw that humans, animals, trees and plants were all smaller than when he had fallen asleep. From this he could understand that the Age of Kali was at hand. Thus, in a mood of detachment from all material association, the King began worshiping the Supreme Lord, Śrī Hari.”

The specific verse is SB 10.52.2:

saṁvīkṣya kṣullakān martyān
 paśūn vīrud-vanaspatīn
matvā kali-yugaṁ prāptaṁ
 jagāma diśam uttarām

” Seeing that the size of all the human beings, animals, trees and plants was severely reduced, and thus realizing that the Age of Kali was at hand, Mucukunda left for the north.”

In the previous verse 10.52.1:

śrī-śuka uvāca
itthaṁ so ’nagrahīto ’nga
 kṛṣṇenekṣvāku nandanaḥ
taṁ parikramya sannamya
 niścakrāma guhā-mukhāt

” Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King, thus graced by Lord Kṛṣṇa, Mucukunda circumambulated Him and bowed down to Him. Then Mucukunda, the beloved descendant of Ikṣvāku, exited through the mouth of the cave.”

King Muchukunda was personally graced by Sri Krishna, and was highly intelligent.

We can see that he did not want to get infected by the dark effects of the Kali yuga and departed immediately to purify and meditate and be Krishna conscious.

Intelligent man, King Muchukunda, compared to me, who inspite of first-hand observing the ill effects of this age, haven’t fully removed material desires from my heart!

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rahul Mangla, 24 March 2018

Hare Krishna!

It all happened during end of dvaparyuga, when effects of kaliyuga started appearing. We can understand it to be during overlap period ie. dvaparyiga ending and kaliyuga about to start.

Others please may correct.

Sincerely,
Rasika Krishna Das

Nikhil Mishra, 24 March 2018

Hare Krishna
Thank you all devotees and specially Mahabhagvat prabhu for detailed answer and giving me further knowledge regarding relation between Sri GovardhanJi and intensity of kaliyuga.
Translation of following verse written in your mail clears doubts in my mind where it is stated that “Age of Kali was at hand”.
-The specific verse is SB 10.52.2:

saṁvīkṣya kṣullakān martyān
 paśūn vīrud-vanaspatīn
matvā kali-yugaṁ prāptaṁ
 jagāma diśam uttarām

“Seeing that the size of all the human beings, animals, trees and plants was severely reduced, and thus realizing that the Age of Kali was at hand, Mucukunda left for the north.”

thank you so much
your servant
Nikhil

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com.

"Momentum" is made up of many Moments

Feeling discourged? Are you struggling to build momentum in spiritual life? Are you failing to recognize the progress you have made? You have made progress! Just look back on yourself!

Spiritualists of all paths have one obstacle in common – the difficulty in building up momentum.

You know, that momentum, when you are humming along, making progress, learning and discovering more and more, having those experiences that brought us to the spiritual path in the first place!

But quite often, we see ourselves or others struggling. Struggling with the basic principles of spiritual life, struggling to keep up with the practice, struggling to maintain enthusiasm. Some obstacles are momentary, like a lapse in judgment, and some others are persistent, like the craving to satisfy those old, material itches… we may keep scratching, and scratching, and scratching, and we may lose momentum.

It’s really important to remember that “momentum” can be seen to be made of many Moments.

How do we know if we are making progress?

आयुर्हरति वै पुंसामुद्यन्नस्तं च यन्नसौ ।
तस्यर्ते यत्क्षणो नीत उत्तमश्लोकवार्तया ॥ १७ ॥

āyur harati vai puṁsām
udyann astaṁ ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta
uttama-śloka-vārtayā

Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/17/

All of us know that with every passing moment, every day, every night, as the sun and the moon move in the sky, we are getting old. But when we look at ourselves in the mirror, say, now, do we see ourselves getting old? No. We see that our bodies have gotten old when we see a picture from say 5, 10, or 20 years ago.

We don’t notice ourselves getting old in the present, even though we clearly are… but we get discouraged when we don’t see ourselves making spiritual progress in the present moment?

My dear spiritualist, look back. Look back to say 10 years or 20 years, or less, depending on how long you have been on a spiritual path. Look back and compare your life then with your life now. Are you following your principles more now than back then? Are those old materialistic places, habits, people even a part of your life today? Have you moved in the right direction? I’ll hazard to say yes, you have moved forward.

When you look back, you will see how far you have come. And when you see that you have come thus far, you can easily find the motivation to keep moving forward.

Sure, there may be some missteps, there may be some false starts – maybe you’re not where you’d like to be, comparing yourself to some great saint, for example.

Look at a little child learning to walk… the child falls many many times and is unsteady for many days, weeks, months. But the child doesn’t give up.

And so you should not give up.

Every moment is a moment we can choose to choose, to “flex our choice muscles” as one of my teachers Devamrita Swami says. We can choose to act according to our conditioned instinct, or we can choose to act differently, on a higher spiritual plane.

And when you make that choice, take a moment to reflect that you did make the right choice, and rejoice. Momentum is made of many moments, and you just made this moment count.

In spiritual life, we often struggle with gaining momentum, when a spiritual lifestyle becomes easy… but it is important to remember that many moments make momentum. Each and every choice, however small, propels us further… don’t be discouraged. Make a choice, flex that choice muscle now, and do something that will help you advance spiritually, right here, right now.

How Krishna reveals Himself

How Krishna reveals Himself! Get out of your Comfort Zone! Or at least expand it. Learn to get comfortable outside your comfort zone…

Arci devi dasi, 27 February 2018

From Sacinandana Swami’s “The Art of Transformation ” – A cozy, material, comfortable life does not go together with wanting to have experiences of Krishna. You sometimes have to go to the risk zone, so that Krishna can reveal Himself. By our nature we always go to the places of most comfort. But if we want to arrange our life as comfortably as possible, how is it possible for Krishna to reveal Himself and help us? It is usually seen that Krishna reveals Himself when you are out of your comfort zone, when you are in need, when you are at a little risk. But our material tendency is to go too much into these illusory comfort zones. Then you check everything so that Krishna cannot reveal Himself Try to do some seva, try to step out from your normal life, and Lord Krishna will surely help.

your servant,
Arci devi dasi

Hare Krishna!

Bhakta Sunil, 28 February 2018

In this context, found this ‘Thought for the day’from http://www.backtohome.com dated 15 January 2016

How to Expand Your Comfort Zone

uploaded from ISKCON Houston, Texas USA

We tend to limit ourselves regarding how much we can do or accomplish for Krishna. This limitation we place on ourselves is called our comfort zone. To advance steadily in Krishna consciousness toward the ultimate goal of pure love of God we need to always try to expand our comfort zone. In this way we will become more and more fixed in Krishna consciousness and in our ability to successfully give Krishna to others. Thus we should train ourselves to feel comfortable outside of our comfort zone and uncomfortable in our comfort zone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
http://www.backtohome.com

15 January 2016

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

Filip Misic, 28 February 2018

Thank you Arci devi dasi for reminding us! This is an important point.

your servant, Filip

Brajanath Das, 3 March, 2018

Pranams devotees for enlightening me with your wonderful answers.

your servant,
Brajanath Das

Sacinandana Das

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you Arci Mata ji and Bhakta Sunil for sharing the nectar.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das


Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com.