The weapon guaranteed to backfire

If you had a weapon that was guranteed to backfire each time you use it, would you ever employ it? But we routinely do! What is this weapon that is guaranteed to hurt the owner?

Suppose you had a weapon. And you felt a reason to use it too. But every time you loaded it up, pointed at the target, and fired, the weapon would fire back at you. Your weapon was guaranteed to hit you every time you tried to use it.

Would you use such a weapon? Would you not throw it away?

But most of us diligently maintain and regularly use exactly such a weapon! And we repeatedly get hurt by this weapon of ours, but we continue to use it. Over and over again.

What does that sound like?

It’s called envy. Jealousy is another word that is sometimes used as a synonym. Sometimes, envy is perceived as being greater than jealousy. In any case, both are harmful.

Envy is an emotion which “occurs when a person lacks another’s
superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or
wishes that the other lacked it”. Aristotle defined envy as pain at the
sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we
ought to have.”

Wikipedia

Very often, the target of the envy does not even know about the resentment someone bears towards them.

Envy is a weapon that’s guaranteed to burn the bearer.

Sometimes, like in the case of people eating meat (you die so I can enjoy) or assaulting (your pain is my pleasure) others, or a community or a nation waging war (let’s attack them, even if they haven’t harmed us, just think, it would set them back at least by 30 years), it does also hurt the target, but not without hurting the bearer of envy first.

Envy of other living entities forms the basis of eternal life in the material world. Anyone who is envious is guaranteed to remain here.

Envy is the fundamental characteristic of a conditioned soul trapped in the material world.

Would you like to do a quick test whether you are conditioned or liberated?

Here we go!

To want to enjoy anything for ourselves, to take credit, to claim proprietorship – this means we are conditioned. Even in spiritual life, to compete, to not co-operate, this is envy… we’re secretly hoping someone ahead of us will fall down, so others will see someone is not as good as I am! Condescension, Holier-than-thou, all this is envy!

Envy is a weed

Where does this envy spring up from?

Ultimately, Envy damages our relationships.

  • In an ideal relationship, there is reciprocation
  • In an imbalanced relationship, there is exploitation
  • Where there is envy, one tries to cause damage to the other
  • Envy is exploitation taken to the maximum!
  • No possibility of happiness for the envious.
  • We need to recognize envy, understand its source, and overcome it

This is the root cause of all evil. It is the original sin of being envious of God.

God, or The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, as I know Him, but also called variously as Allah, Jehovah, Rama, Yahweh and countless other names, is the Supreme Enjoyer.

Material consciousness line of thought…

  • I want all the pleasure, the greatest pleasure, all for me
  • Even if others have to die, let them, me first!
  • Who has the greatest pleasure right now?
  • Krishna has the greatest pleasure
  • Therefore, I want Krishna to not be Krishna
  • I want to be Krishna instead
  • Let me kill Krishna and take Krishna’s place

This is material conditioning!

The spiritual world is a place where everyone is trying to increase God’s pleasure. The material world is a place where everyone is trying to be #1, trying to be God.

We see this everywhere, on the streets, in traffic, in the social fabric, in lifestyles, envy rears its ugly head with saddening regularity.

Envy of God translates to Envy of God’s!

  • An envious person tries to kill God
  • By Science, by Politics, or by Religion, the envious person tries to kill God
  • Many tried, Ravana, Hiranyakashipu, Duryodhana, and many others
  • An Atheist is necessarily envious of God, even just the very idea
  • If an envious person gets frustrated by not being able to kill God, then?

Envy everyone else!

Envy, disguised

  • Hunting comes from envy, Fishing from envy
  • Meat Eating comes from envy
  • Economic Exploitation comes envy
  • Abuse (Physical, Emotional, Mental) comes from envy
  • Hedonism (avoid pain, seek pleasure at all costs) comes from envy
  • Insensitivity comes from envy
  • Discord in relationships, family, society, nations, all comes from envy
  • Essentially all problems in human society come from one root cause!
  • Religious Extremism comes from Envy too!
  • ENVY IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF ALL EVIL!

What is interesting to note is that when we envy someone, anyone, no matter whether it is for their possessions, relationships, beauty, fame, knowledge or any other quality… we actually envy God!

Why is that? Because anything that anyone has is by the direct sanction of God! Lord Rishabhadeva offers a most insightful instruction to his sons, meant for the benefit of all of us…

सर्वाणि मद्धिष्ण्यतया भवद्भ‍ि-
श्चराणि भूतानि सुता ध्रुवाणि ।
सम्भावितव्यानि पदे पदे वो
विविक्तद‍ृग्भिस्तदु हार्हणं मे ॥ २६ ॥

sarvāṇi mad-dhiṣṇyatayā bhavadbhiś
carāṇi bhūtāni sutā dhruvāṇi
sambhāvitavyāni pade pade vo
vivikta-dṛgbhis tad u hārhaṇaṁ me

My dear sons, you should not envy any living entity — be he moving or nonmoving. Knowing that I am situated in them, you should offer respect to all of them at every moment. In this way, you offer respect to Me.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/5/26/

In other words, if, by offering respect to everyone, we respect God by respecting His creation, then by envying any living entity, we actually envy God!

How to be free from envy?

There are direct and indirect methods of getting free from envy.

Krishna, for example, advises us thus:

But if one happens to meet a great devotee, a mahātmā who is a representative of the Personality of Godhead, one is immediately purified. To become purified, one isB enjoined to worship the fire, the sun, the moon, the earth, the water, the air, the sky and the mind. By worshiping all the elements and their predominating deities, one can gradually become free from the influence of envy, but all the sins of an envious person can be nullified immediately simply by serving a great soul.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/kb/84/

Love is the only antidote to envy!

And what is Love? That is discussed in these articles…

Living based on Envy

Unfortunately, there are actually many “religious” systems and organizations that are actually based on envy…

How can a religious system that produces envy of one’s self
and of others be beneficial for oneself and for them? What is
auspicious about following such a system? What is actually to
be gained? By causing pain to one’s own self due to self-envy
and by causing pain to others, one arouses Your anger and
practices irreligion.


Any religious system but the process of bhāgavata-dharma —
service as an eternal servant of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead — is a system of envy of one’s own self and of
others.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/16/42/

What is the use of following such a religious system that does not breed love but envy and hatred?

धर्म: स्वनुष्ठित: पुंसां विष्वक्सेनकथासु य: ।
नोत्पादयेद्यदि रतिं श्रम एव हि केवलम् ॥ ८ ॥

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam

The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/2/8/

Here is one way…

O King Parīkṣit, anyone who
aurally receives the narrations
concerning the characteristics of
Lord Rāmacandra’s pastimes will
ultimately be freed from the
disease of envy and thus be
liberated from the bondage of
fruitive activities.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/9/11/23

Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes…

Here in this material world, everyone is envious of someone else. Even in religious life, it is sometimes found that if one devotee has advanced in spiritual activities, other devotees are envious of him. Such envious devotees are not completely freed from the bondage of birth and death. As long as one is not
completely free from the cause of birth and death, one cannot enter the sanātana-dhāma or the eternal pastimes of the Lord. One becomes envious because of being influenced by the designations of the body, but the liberated devotee has nothing to do with the body, and therefore he is completely on the transcendental platform. A devotee is never envious of anyone, even his enemy. Because the devotee knows that the Lord is his supreme protector, he thinks, “What harm can the so-called enemy do?” Thus a devotee is confident about his protection. The Lord says, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham: “According to the proportion of one’s surrender unto Me, I respond accordingly.” A devotee must therefore be completely free from envy, especially of other devotees. To envy other devotees is a great offense, a vaiṣṇava-aparādha. A devotee who constantly engages in hearing and chanting (śravaṇa-kīrtana) is certainly freed from the disease of envy, and thus he becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/11/23/

What is the ultimate solution?

A devotee who constantly engages in hearing and chanting (śravaṇa-kīrtana) is certainly freed from the disease of envy, and thus he becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead.

In conclusion… Recognize Krishna, and Krishna’s…

  • Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer
  • Anything anyone else has is also given by Krishna
  • Krishna is our best friend
  • If Krishna doesn’t give something, good reasons…
  • I should do everything to please Krishna
  • When you’re looking in the mirror, when you decorate yourself, the reflection
  • in the mirror also gets decorated
  • Turn to Krishna, serve Krishna, Please Krishna.
  • Love me, love my dog
  • Who is not Krishna’s?

Recognize envy, and root it out!

  • The roots of a weed can be deep, and not pulling out the roots
  • can result in the weed growing back
  • The root of all evil is envy towards Krishna
  • Recognize sense gratification as a mirage
  • Recognize that the way to nourish the plant is to water the root
  • Krishna is our root

स वै पुंसां परो धर्मो यतो भक्तिरधोक्षजे ।
अहैतुक्यप्रतिहता ययात्मा सुप्रसीदति ॥ ६ ॥

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati

The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/2/6/

Praying for our success! Hare Krishna!

Did Arjuna always know that Krishna is actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Arjuna addressed Krishna as Madhusudana in BG 1.35, before Krishan revealed Himself as The Supreme Personality of Godhead. So how did Arjuna know that Krishna was Hayagriva before?

Brajanath Das, 01 March 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

While reading Bhagavad-Gita 1.34 where in Arjuna calls Krishna as Madhusudana, “the killer of the Madhu demon,” I got the following doubt –

Madhu was killed by the avatar of Hayagriva, who came before the Krishna avatar. Since Arjuna did not know that Krishna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead at that time, so how did he know that Madhusudana was Krishna? Did Arjuna know that Hayagriva and Krishna are the same? If so, how?

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 02 March 2016

Dear Sriman Rao,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Arjuna knows Krishna’s identity very well, his apparent “illusion” was a device by Krishna to make Arjuna the recipient of knowledge intended for us.

In the Mahabharata, for example, in the assembly of Kurus where great sages like Narada Muni were present, during the Rajasuya Yajna performed by Maharaja Yudhisthira, Krishna was unanimously (except for Shishupala who was then delivered by Krishna) chosen as the head of the assembly in the presence of so many exalted personalities.

See https://vedabase.io/en/library/kb/74/

It is best if we all read the entire chapter, as the Krishna Book of Srila Prabhupada is the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

There are many other indications, for example Arjuna’s choice of Krishna over Krishna’s army which went to Duryodhana… from Srila Prabhupada’s lecture “Arjuna was satisfied with Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. Kṛṣṇa also divided Himself. Because it is family quarrel. So He said, “I cannot take part with anyone and even if I take part, side, of any of you, I shall not fight. Directly I shall not fight. I may be on your side or that side, but I’ll not fight.” Still, Arjuna was satisfied. So Kṛṣṇa, in order to satisfy Arjuna, that “I shall not fight, but I shall become your charioteer. I shall drive your chariot.”” Source http://vanisource.org/wiki/Lecture_on_BG_1.2-3_–_London,_July_9,_1973

Actually it was an openly known fact that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but still, many people did not choose to accept Him as such.

“So here, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, he is jealous. He cannot give any good government. Kṛṣṇa knew it. Kṛṣṇa sent a messenger, Akrura. You have read in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Before this Battle of Kurukṣetra from Dvārakā, He sent His uncle Akrūra: “Just go to Hastināpura, New Delhi, and see what is the situation.” So Akrūra understood that Dhṛtarāṣṭra was planning something. So he talked with him that “Why you are implicated in such planning? Kṛṣṇa does not want it.” Although Dhṛtarāṣṭra knew that Kṛṣṇa was the Supreme Personality of Godhead… So Dhṛtarāṣṭra said that “I know that what I am planning, that is not good. I know Kṛṣṇa—the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And He has requested me. But I tell you frankly, I cannot do without it. So when Kṛṣṇa will be pleased upon me, I may be.”

So this is the position of the materialistic person. A materialistic person knows that he is sinful. A materialistic person knows that whatever he is doing is wrong, but he cannot check. Just like the thief. A thief knows that if he commits stealing, he will be arrested, he will be punished. He knows. Because he heard from law books, from other sources, and he has also seen that a thief is arrested and he is taken by the police for being punished. So we have got two kinds of experiences: by hearing and by seeing directly. In Bengali it is called dekhā-śunā. In India it is called. The two kinds of experience: one by seeing, practically experiencing, hand to hand; another by hearing. So one who is intelligent, he gets his experience simply by hearing from the right source.” Source http://vanisource.org/wiki/730707_-_Lecture_BG_01.01_-_London

By corollary, the devotee can recognize Krishna as He is always.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.ecstaticmedia.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

Did Arjuna disobey Krishna’s orders in regards to Ashwatthama?

Ashwatthama murdered little children in their sleep. Krishna ordered him killed. But Arjuna spared his life. So did Arjuna disobey Krishna?

Todd, 23 August 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my greetings.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Can you help understand more clearly how it is that Krishna’s word is not followed by Arjuna in regards to Asvatthama’s death?

In 1.7.53-54 Krishna says he must die, correct? Is it that the Lord meant figuratively the whole time? 

Then 1.7.57 is also confusing to me.

Please help me to understand more clearly.

Thank you in advance

Sincerely,

Todd

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 August 2016

Dear Sriman Todd,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your question.

Some context is in order, for those who may not be familiar with the full picture.

Ashwatthama is the son of Dronacharya, the military teacher of both the Pandavas and the Kauravas, the two sides of the mighty war of Kurukshetra 5000 years ago, where Srila Prabhupada says 640 million warriors fought and we know hardly anyone went back home.

Dronacharya and his son Ashvatthama fought on the Kauravas side. The Kauravas lost and were killed. Dronacharya was killed also. Ashvatthama survived. He did not like the way his father was killed in battle and as revenge, vowed to wipe out the Pandavas dynasty, and hence he killed the 5 sons of the Pandavas who were all children at the time, and this was done while they were sleeping also.

Now, the conundrum was that Ashvatthama was the son of a Brahmana (priestly and intellectual class of society), or the son of their teacher, and therefore meant to be revered. But he had done this abominable thing of killing defenseless children in their sleep.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto (which our Bhagavata Online Academy of 2011 will start reading shortly, but it took 5 years of preparation to get there… all classes of Bhagavata Online Academy will get there, and more details to follow from Hemanga Prabhu…), this incident is described in some detail in the chapter “The son of Drona punished”, which readers can access at https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/7/

The verses in question are:

SB 1.7.53-54 — The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: A friend of a brāhmaṇa is not to be killed, but if he is an aggressor he must be killed. All these rulings are in the scriptures, and you should act accordingly. You have to fulfill your promise to your wife, and you must also act to the satisfaction of Bhīmasena and Me.

SB 1.7.55 — Sūta Gosvāmī said: Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā.

SB 1.7.56 — He [Aśvatthāmā] had already lost his bodily luster due to infanticide, and now, moreover, having lost the jewel from his head, he lost even more strength. Thus he was unbound and driven out of the camp.

SB 1.7.57 — Cutting the hair from his head, depriving him of his wealth and driving him from his residence are the prescribed punishments for the relative of a brāhmaṇa. There is no injunction for killing the body.

Arjuna, being a pure devotee, never fails to follow Krishna’s word, but not in a mood of slavery, but in the mood of clear understanding and harmony with Krishna.

Krishna often uses situations involving his dearest devotees, such as Narada Muni, the Gopis, and Arjuna, to illustrate important points and create situations that may be bewildering to some but the way that those devotees behave sets exemplary precedent for others to follow.

This can be roughly compared to modern courts, which rely on precedence – judges presiding over court cases even today base their judgements from precedents set by other landmark cases elsewhere… in fact, it can be roughly generalized that the practice of law is to know the law, know case law precedence, and apply logical and ethical arguments judiciously using that knowledge. Great lawyers and great judges are those that set precedent in difficult situations.

Similarly great devotees are those who set precedence, for example, Srila Prabhupada’s application of scriptural knowledge is exemplary in the history of the world.

So here was the conundrum:

1. A Kshatriya (or anyone else, for that matter) shall not kill a Brahmana, no matter what, unless of course, a Brahmana is trying to kill a Kshatriya, which Ashvatthama did do, he killed the pandavas’ minor children while they were sleeping

2. Krishna is “go brahmana hitaya cha” – protector of cows and the Brahmanas

3. But Krishna is ordering Arjuna (a Kshatriya) to kill Ashvatthama (a Brahmana), is Krishna, as Supreme Personality of Godhead, inconsistent with His own principles?

4. Bhima, Arjuna’s elder brother is going with a particular understanding of scriptural law, and as he is elder, Arjuna is duty-bound to follow his instruction

4. Draupadi is pleading with Arjuna not to kill Ashvatthama out of compassion for his mother and respect for the individual, even though her own children were the ones Ashvatthama killed, and Arjuna is also duty-bound to fulfill his wife’s lawful and reasonable wish.

5. Arjuna is the devotee who must apply scripture, Krishna’s words, and also carry out his elder brother’s instruction and wife’s desire

In the Bhagavad Gita it is clearly stated that for an honorable person, dishonour is worse than death – BG 2.34 “People will always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonor is worse than death.”

So Arjuna fulfilled all requirements by taking away Ashvatthama’s respectable signs, his hair, and the jewel attached to his head from birth.

1. Ashvatthama, being an illustrious warrior, and a member of the Brahmana class, was certainly respectable (until he committed this crime).

2. To be humiliated in this way is worse than death, and yet, he was not killed

So, Ashvatthama was killed and not killed, in fact he lives to this day trying to heal/fill the raw wound open gaping hole in his head caused by the forced removal of the jewel by Arjuna, but no one wants to associate with him and thus he is in a very abominable situation – neither living nor dead.

All of this is confirmed by the verse and Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 1.7.55

quote

Sūta Gosvāmī said: Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā.

Purport: Contradictory orders of different persons are impossible to carry out. Therefore a compromise was selected by Arjuna by his sharp intelligence, and he separated the jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā. This was as good as cutting off his head, and yet his life was saved for all practical purposes. Here Aśvatthāmā is indicated as twice-born. Certainly he was twice-born, but he fell down from his position, and therefore he was properly punished.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in SB 1.7.55

We are often in a situation where instructions given by different respectable individuals can be apparently contradictory, and we follow the example of expert devotees who follow perfectly while resolving apparent contradictions through their behaviors.

Does this help?

Devotees, please feel free to add your understanding and perspectives to this question as it is a wonderful example of trying to understand Srila Prabhupada’s books extensively and very much an example of how Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva want us to study Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.esctaticmedia.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

Why not eat flesh, if vegetables have life too?

If vegetables have life and vegetarians eat them, then what’s the harm in eating flesh of birds and animals?

Rathin, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I will humbly request all of you to enlighten me on this subject.

When I talk to my friends about non-veg. The very common excuse is that vegetables also have life.

Telling them about the consciousness of the body and offering food to Sri Krishna, is something beyond their comprehension.

I will like to ask you all, what else can be said in layman terms to help them understand their ignorance.

your servant

Rathin

Delicious Meal of Krishna Prasad – Pure Vegetarian Food Cooked With Love and Offered to Krishna

Sridhar Das, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji!

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

If we read Srila Prabhupada books, especially The Hare Krishna challenge book, it clearly explains there. Jivo jivasya jivananam. In other words, the material nature is so designed that one living entity is food for the other. So therefore kill we have to. Howsoever, an intelligent human will prefer to commit necessary violence or take whatever is necessary from nature as goes the saying – one must consume as per one’s need rather than one’s greed.

The Hare Krishna Challenge

In fact animals are already doing that. So human has to commit violence. But if one can, more than maintain one’s life from such a variety of vegetarianism then why kill animals? We agree violence has to be done, but why commit unnecessary violence?

I find it important to make them realize through an example. Everyone can use their own and I generally say – if a thief hijacks your family one night and points the gun on your head and demands – your phone, money, jewellery, all valuables now or I shoot one or more of your family members, choose one!

There can be many versions. Some friend preached a family of 5 with a dog, the option being, one has to be shot down, choose one.

Now of course an intelligent person won’t let his/her parents off. He/She will prefer that which is less violent and more tolerable to the mind relatively.

Similarly, one should intelligently choose to kill plants (still unintelligent because this is also sinful and thievery, if consumed without thanking Krishna through the offering process).

Actually, if one performs proper farming then there is no killing incurred. The grains, fruits, etc. if pluck on the right time after a specific time period, there is no killing incurred and the quality is best too! Besides that, you take one and very easily we get another fruits from same tree. But if they take an animal, where do they get another so easily? Can they grow animals so easily like fruits? Why do they want to deprive animals of life? Why do they consider them devoid of emotions?  A cow or any other bird feels same anxiety as a human does when their children are lost. If it’s all the same then why don’t they offer their own children for slaughter?

Sometimes they will say – we eat meat to become like a strong bull.  But then where did the bull get all its nutrients from? Grass!!

Another point, if we study the nature and body of herbivores and carnivores ( intestine length, acid strength, teeth architecture, claws/nails, etc as given in Hare Krishna cookbook) it’s evident what we are meant to consume.

Moreover I was reading Back to Godhead magazine’s Jan/Feb issue where an aspiring devotee said that his wife forced their child to take meat for proper protein value, is that true? The answer was such people neglect the fact that along with protein, excess cholesterol and animal fat are also ingested into the human system resulting in fatal diseases as per many doctors. Also, to keep up the meat business, many industries drug the poor animals for better meat quality (I have watched many documentaries like “From farm to fridge”. Just imagine what effect this will have on consumers? Greenhouse is another result. Point is that nature provides sufficient milk, lentils, grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and what not for a healthy human diet (includes proteins). Excess protein rather leads to severe body damage and damage to it’s immunity system.

Back to Godhead Magazine. Do you have a subscription?

If they love God or nature, if they respect all, they will respect God’s other equal children too than depriving them of rights to live on the same land just because they can’t speak human language or just because they can manage their living without working hard in coats and suits. 

If they continue to keep slaughtering like this sinfully then as per nature’s law nature will also continue to slaughter them as Srila Prabhupada concludes through world wars/crimes going on day after day.

Slaughtered Slaughterer, or karmic reactions from killing

So, there are many such points that can be spoken strongly with faith and confidence, to the extent we are convinced about the disgusting nature of animal slaughtering and also to the extent we take shelter of Prabhupada’s teachings faithfully.

But if they can often be fed with sumptuous Krishna Prasadam, then that alone will act as the best counter, trust me!

your servant

Sridhar Das

Nashvin, 28/04/2015

Hare Krsna Rathin Prabhu!

If they do not see the spiritual perspective of offering food etc, you can propose something to them:

Living entities all survive by consuming the bodies of other living entities (either animals or plants).  So, would they like to kill other animals themselves and eat them, or harvest some crops instead?  There is a reason that families go pick strawberries together, but do not have excursions to the slaughterhouse…

your servant,

Nashvin

Premananda Das, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna

In layman terms it is fact that “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”When it rains the umbrella shopkeeper is happy that it keeps raining as more  more umbrellas  sells and he makes profit but the people who buy wish it does not rain.This is law of nature each person is dependent on someone one whether he likes it or not.

One Man’s Food, Another Man’s Poison

Similarly Krishna says in BG 9.26 :

patram puspam phalam toyam

yo me bhaktya prayaccati

tad aham bhakty-upahrtam

asnami prayatatmanah

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf,a flower,fruit or water,I will accept it.

It is clearly mentioned in this verse that without offering to Him every mouthful of food will keep the person entangled in birth and death. Krishna mentions leaf,fruit,flowers and water this He will accept.He does not mention meat ,fish and eggs.

Another point is when you have not created anything that means you are not the Supreme controller or owner.As Krishna is the Supreme proprietor we must agree to what He says in Bhagavad Gita as it is without interpretations.

In BG 3.13

yajna-sistasinah santo

mucyante sarva-kilbisaih

bhunjate te tv agham papa

ye pacanty atma-karanat

The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice,others who prepare food for sense enjoyment verily eat sin.

The most important point in this verse is that these performances keep them aloof from all kinds of contamination of sinful association in material world.

Therefore in order for people to be happy they must be taught to perform the easy process of sankirtana-yajna,in full Krishna consciousness.Otherwise there can be no peace and happiness in the world.

You try your best to explain to him the method of real happiness and if he accepts it is the best welfare activity.

your servant,

Premananda Das

Manian VB, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna prabhu: 

Vegetable food also is a living being, but when offered to Krishna, the sin of eating it is removed and it gets purified. This is what our Guruji has said. Chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Manian VB

Nishima, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna

Sripad Sankarshan Das Adhikari

The same question was being asked by me to HH Sankarshan Maharaj ji and He gave me the following answer:

My Dear Nishima, 

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I am absolutely delighted to learn that our daily Krishna conscious broadcast, “Thought for the Day”, is enabling you to have Krishna conscious day every day. This is dream come true for me that I can be helping others in this way. It is surely the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna.

Regarding your question, Krishna orders us in the Bhagavad-gita that we can only take foods which have been first offered to Him. Since Krishna is a vegetarian, He will not accept any offering of meat. Therefore as the eaters of only Krishna prasadam we have no choice but to be vegetarians also. So actually we are not vegetarians; we are Krishnatarians, those who eat only the remnants of what has been offered first to Krishna.

I hope this meets you in the best of health

and in an ecstatic mood.

Your ever well-wisher, 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Nishima

Mahabhagavat Das, 28/04/2015

Dear Sriman Rathin Mandal,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Your question is nice because I know that you are not unaware of the various reasons why meat is not recommended food. I also read with interest all the answers and was happy to read them, thank you to all who responded to Rathin’s request.

I was thinking you were asking “what might appeal to a person who is arguing only for the sake of arguing” or “what might convince a person who does not care about another living entity’s suffering”.

What’s in it For Me? This is what materialists care about.

My personal experience is that speaking  to a materialist, pointing out what is in it for them has the greatest effect. Everyone is interested in “What’s in it for me” – “WIIFM”. So you can focus on health, how the educated and wealthy elite worldwide are switching to a vegetarian diet while the poor and uneducated are eating meat, how eating meat causes so many diseases like heart disease, hypertension, cancer etc., and so on, you can talk about the toxins released in the body as a response to fear of death, how those toxins cannot be removed from meat, etc.

All the arguments are there in the book “Higher Taste”, just familiarize yourself, and see which one works best with which person.

The Higher Taste. Get a Copy!

Above all the arguing etc. though, the best thing would be to give them the actual taste of Krishna Prasada, this works wonders, Srila Prabhupada starting the Hare Krishna movement by his Kirtan, classes, and his lovingly cooked Sunday feasts. The person who cooks your food influences your consciousness greatly, so why not take an indirect approach to increasing the spiritual intelligence of the poor meat eaters by giving them Krishna Prasada without necessarily telling them all about it?

Many advanced devotees have done this, and I was also a recipient of such mercy myself.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna

My respects to all readers

Regarding this topic , i had a debate with a social media contact and to convince him about importance of vegetarian food , i researched and gave him the following reply after which he did not debate further and was friendly too

——–

Dear , it is very nice that there is a tendency to not give pain to animals. But kindly note that denying the right to live defies mercy , irrespective of giving pain or not. For example , the punishment to a criminal for homicide is same irrespective of whether the homicide involves pain or not.

That one can eat plants does not imply that one can eat animals. Yes plants are also living entities.

Kindly note that meat is food in mode of ignorance.

Meat is also not easy on the GIT , as is known to medical science. Medical science provides documentation that Humans are biologically Herbivores. As pointed in the bottom line of the following article link by Physician (wonders never cease!) named Milton R. Mills : “Here’s another piece of information to digest: plant foods leave the body in 2 – 4 days; flesh foods leave the body in 5 – 7 days. If a clump of rotting flesh sits in your body for a minimum of 5 days, where do all the poisons, chemicals, and excessive hormones that flood the animal’s body at the time of death go? And we wonder why we suffer from degenerative diseases!”

Refer to http://blogs.naturalnews.com/humans-are-biologically…/

“Clean India Campaign” can be linked linked to meat eating because cleanliness is not only physical but also internally of habits , of which meat eating habit is predominant

Meat eating in long run develops animalistic propensities of terrorism , violence , cruelty to fellow beings. No Meat= No killing = No mentality of violence = No terrorism/No violence

Refer to this article : http://www.veggieboards.com/…/121433-meat-eating-leads…

Vegetables , fruits , grains , milk are foods in mode of goodness and make one feel energetic and fresh

Yes eating vegetables is violence, and vegetarians are also committing violence against other living entities because vegetables also have life. But here, significantly, it is stated that every living entity has to live by killing another entity; that is the law of nature. One living entity is the life for another living entity. But for a human being, that violence should be committed only as much as necessary. Extra violence is against the law of nature.

If we will have mercy on the animals, mercy will be given to us. What goes around comes around. We should be merciful to the animals by not slaughtering them and giving them all protection. We should allow them to live peacefully and happily. The more we give mercy to others, the mercy will be given to us.

———

in a humble mood,

Bhakta Sunil

Sulakshana devi dasi, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Yes, vegetables also have life. Therefore Vaishnavas offer their eatables to Krishna before they partake it. By offering the food to Krishna the food is sanctified and we are free from all the sin.

Krishna Lifts Govardhan
Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, lifts Govardhan Hill

The fruits and the grains when they are taken from the tree or a plant do not kill the tree. Typically when the grains are harvested the plant is usually dried up so in other words there is no killing of the plant or tree there. Of course every living entity subsists by killing another living entity. The consciousness in the plant life is very dormant compared to other higher moving living entities. Consuming animal flesh for one’s sustenance is much more sinful than consuming vegetarian meal. Also Lord Krishna says in BG that He will accept a flower or a leaf or fruit or water if one offers Him with love but He does not say that He will accept animal products.

your humble servant,

Sulakshana devi dasi

Nashvin, 30/04/2015

Hare Krsna!

Another thing you can query is:

If eating animals is equivalent to eating plants, why not eat humans as well then? 🙂

your servant,

Nashvin

Rathin Mandal, 03/05/2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you everybody for giving me so many wonderful answers.

This enlightened me to a great extent

your servant

Rathin

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

Celebrate Humility, not Pride

Pride is celebrated these days. Be proud of this or that, we are told. But what is the price of pride? And why is humility better? How to be humble? What is the big deal about humility? Why not celebrate humility for a change?

Recently there have been a number of festivals focusing around pride. Different kinds of pride, but all material in nature. For example someone is proud that they are heterosexual in their preference, and yet others are proud that they are homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, trans-sexual or queer.

It is fashionable to celebrate pride these days

Yet others are celebrating their pride of being of a certain colour skin, or others are celebrating their profession or nationality or ethnic origin.

It is another matter that in the kaliyuga, or the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, everything is mixed up… souls are born in the body of a man, but the consciousness of a woman… or the body of a woman but the consciousness of a man. This is due to incomplete karmic accounts, and these mixed-up births are actually a form of punishment, but the spirit souls are trying to turn them into perverse enjoyment.

They parade these material designations, and the various festivals involve getting inebriated, and having some silly sense indulgences which bind them further into their attachments, causing yet another painful material death, and leading to many more such materially designated lives.

All of these are essentially material designations. And we should be ashamed of material designations. OK, this is not just a matter of sentiment, but we should know that these material designations are the cause of all of our sufferings.

I am not this body, I am a spirit soul. You too, dear reader, are a spirit soul.

So why should we adopt all these material designations? Why should we make the mistake of thinking we are these bodies? Why should we identify with some temporary thing that comes and goes? Today you might be a heterosexual, and tomorrow you might become a homosexual! Today you might be Chinese or American or Russian or Indian, but what were you before were born into this body?

Instead however if we realize that we are spirit souls, we then inquire into the activities of the spirit soul, which are spiritual in nature, and which give the spirit soul great joy “ananda” bliss. In fact, we are composed of “sat” (eternality) “chit” (knowledge), and “ananda” (bliss).

In the material condition, we are simply trying to find that bliss but not at all finding it, and hence, the lawyer becomes a politician, the heterosexual becomes lesbian, the lesbian becomes straight, the businessman becomes a philanthropist, the Hindu becomes Muslim, the Muslim adopts Christianity, and yet, as life wanes and death nears, there is a sense of disgust, frustration, and dissatisfaction, which is usually hidden under a veneer of distraction, such as attempts at sense gratification, intoxication and so on.

People identify with different religious symbols, which become another material designation

What is the solution to this problem?

To free ourselves of all designations of course!

Krishna says the following in the Bhagavad Gita…

अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्र: करुण एव च ।
निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: समदु:खसुख: क्षमी ॥ १३ ॥
सन्तुष्ट: सततं योगी यतात्मा दृढनिश्चय: ।
मय्यर्पितमनोबुद्धिर्यो मद्भ‍क्त: स मे प्रिय: ॥ १४ ॥

adveṣṭā sarva-bhūtānāṁ
maitraḥ karuṇa eva ca
nirmamo nirahaṅkāraḥ
sama-duḥkha-sukhaḥ kṣamī

santuṣṭaḥ satataṁ yogī
yatātmā dṛḍha-niścayaḥ
mayy arpita-mano-buddhir
yo mad-bhaktaḥ sa me priyaḥ

One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me – such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/12/13-14/

All these material designations qualify as “false ego”. “ego” means identity. Then what is “true” ego?

What is our true identity?

True ego means to realize oneself as an eternal part-and-parcel of Krishna.

jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya — kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’
kṛṣṇera ‘taṭasthā-śakti’ ‘bhedābheda-prakāśa’

sūryāṁśa-kiraṇa, yaiche agni-jvālā-caya
svābhāvika kṛṣṇera tina-prakāra ‘śakti’ haya

“It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa because he is the marginal energy of Kṛṣṇa and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Kṛṣṇa has three varieties of energy.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/20/108-109/

Krishna claims all souls to be His own too.

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/
Krishna Lifts Govardhan
Krishna Lifts Govardhan, to protect from the deluge sent by Indra, and the residents of Vrindavan enjoy close proximity with Him

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport:

Every living entity, as an individual soul, has his personal individuality and a minute form of independence. By misuse of that independence one becomes a conditioned soul, and by proper use of independence he is always liberated. In either case, he is qualitatively eternal, as the Supreme Lord is. In his liberated state he is freed from this material condition, and he is under the engagement of transcendental service unto the Lord; in his conditioned life he is dominated by the material modes of nature, and he forgets the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As a result, he has to struggle very hard to maintain his existence in the material world.

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

There you go. Instead of being proud of the material designations, we should feel humbled that such an exalted spirit soul is now in illusion and anxiety as some idiotic little temporary designation.

And when the soul feels humble, then that is cause for celebration. Why is that? And how to accomplish this freedom from material designations?

सर्वोपाधि विनिर्मुक्तं तत्परत्वेन निर्मलं
हृषिकेन हृषीकेश सेवनम् भक्तिरुच्यते

sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ
tat-paratvena nirmalam
hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate

 Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/19/170/

And what is the big deal about Bhakti? That is our natural identity. So we can know who we are, and be who we are.

One of the most humble souls I know, and naturally ecstatic!

Don’t you want to be yourself?

No reason for hopelessness, despair, and negativity

Sometimes there is hopelessness, despair, negativity in our life. Sometimes we don’t understand what’s going on and why. But spiritual life is a scientific process. A scientific process produces a repeatable results each time. So, always remember Krishna (GOD) and never forget Krishna (GOD). But how practically?

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 August 2020

Hare Krishna!

Some of us have received messages to the group or to individuals which convey a sense of hopelessness, despair, and negativity. This may be natural at a time like this, but please know that there is no reason for all that.

Simply striving to understand the process of Krishna consciousness, follow it as best as one can, and find ways to render spiritual service to everyone around us will both gradually and immediately remove all causes of negativity in our lives.

1. You all are already part of the eCourse. Please read the daily message carefully and try to imbibe it deep inside your consciousness – those messages are truly effective. I have been receiving them since 2004, so I have 17+ years experience now. Even though we might not remember the details of each message, it is like a meal packed with nutrients and love and pure spiritual power – even if you don’t remember specifically what you had 10 days ago, it has still made you stronger.

2. You all have access to the daily live lectures, broadcast twice a day. I can rarely attend the lectures, but when I do manage to, I feel very enlivened and energized. Just this morning, an answer to my question by Gurumataji pulled me out of some grave misunderstandings!

3. We have a dedicated team of souls helping to imbibe Srila Prabhupada’s books in an organized fashion… Bhagavata Online Academy – if you are not already on one of those groups, then let me know – we will be soon creating a new group… if you are, then please read those messages, even if you cannot read the actual book, just that message alone is packed with positive energy!

4. Please chant Hare Krishna as much as you can, take Krishna Prasada as much as you can, and serve Krishna and His dear ones as much as you can.

The process of Krishna consciousness works. I have sincerely (and mostly imperfectly) tried it for over 20 years. The only time something goes awry is when I slip on following the process diligently.

If there are any relevant questions, please ask the group – please follow the group guidelines carefully – only messages that follow the guidelines are posted to the group.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Maxine, 27 August 2020

Hare Krishna thank you I will be doing so as you said I should do I ask you to please add me to the group you have coming up I tried to sign up for a group but I received no email from the action I am thankful  for your words and I look forward to do as you say and want to be in a group I want to learn all of Lord Krishnas words and follow and serve him thank you again the material body  I am in is I’ll at the moment but my soul and mind are fine and I am listening to all you teach and all I can read I will follow your words I know we can save all and make this world for Krishna your humble servant maxine

Maxine

Araon Joy, 27 August 2020

And, if I may add what I tell people and keeps me not being hopeless:

God, Lord Krishna, never abandons us and never forgets us (nor do I believe God is sitting back laughing at us as we fail/pass his tests, as I had one Christian tell me earlier this year). We just don’t see the big picture. We don’t see God’s divine plan for our lives or the world. We do not see always how God is constantly working in the world. If I have a moment of fear, as I do not know what is next, I remind myself that somebody else knows what is next and has my best interests at heart (or a really good lesson or something I need in my life) and I trust Krishna completely. Completely.

While I keep doing what I feel moved to, and what dreams I have I continue to pursue, and what art/creativity I want to create I continue to create.

Srila Prabhupada said to Bob Cohen (in the booklet “Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers”) in a series of conversations that miracles are simply things we do not understand. Someone might think a chemical reaction is a miracle, but for a scientist who knows the process it makes sense. We do not understand God’s process in the world. It may seem like miracles or a lack of miracles, but we simply don’t understand the process that has been put in play by the greatest scientist. I trust that scientist. Have faith. Read Gita and Prahbupada’s books. Associate with those of us who are like minded. Remember Krishna daily.

Just my few thoughts.

Hare Krishna

Aaron Joy

Portland Maine USA

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.ecstaticmedia.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

Ascending vs. Descending Process of knowledge

What is knowledge? What is ignorance? How do we acquire knowledge? Which method actually works? Finding out things the ascending way, or hearing from an authority? How to acquire perfect knowledge beyond all doubt?

Knowledge is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

Are these people getting anywhere? Are they “progressing”?

With knowledge, comes power. Power to do good, and also power to do evil. Knowledge can be a liberator, but also can be a tool for enforcing bondage.

Also, what qualifies as knowledge anyway? If, for example, a person acquired some knowledge on “how to rob a bank” and applies that knowledge, landing in prison, or even if they escape somehow, was that really knowledge? Or was it ignorance?

There are 2 main types of knowledge:

  1. Knowledge of the material world -material knowledge
  2. Knowledge of what lies beyond this material world through the scriptures – spiritual knowledge – In Sanskrit “परोक्ष” or “parokṣa”

There are many means of acquiring knowledge:

  1. By Direct experience or perception – In sanskrit “प्रत्यक्ष” or “pratyakṣa”
  2. By hypothesis/logic/conjecture/guessing – In sanskrit “अनुमान” or “anumāna”
  3. By hearing from a higher authority – In Sanskrit “शब्द” or “śabda”

Ultimately, there are 2 fundamental processes of acquiring knowledge:

  1. Ascending Process – build up knowledge from building blocks – In Sanskrit “आरोहपन्था” or “ārohapanthā
  2. Descending Process – Knowledge descending directly from God and His messengers – In Sanskrit “अवरोहपन्था” or “avarohapanthā

In an article, with an example of an ant who wanted to map the Universe, I discussed the futility of the ascending process of knowledge, especially about items that are outside of our realm of perception.

Much of what we know exists, is actually too subtle to perceive.

These are the material elements, listed in the Bhagavad Gita:

Gross Material Elements:

  1. Earth
  2. Water
  3. Fire
  4. Air
  5. Ether (Space/Sky)

Subtle Material Elements:

  1. Mind
  2. Intelligence
  3. False Ego

BG भूमिरापोऽनलो वायु: खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च ।
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा ॥ ४ ॥

bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego – all together these eight constitute My separated material energies.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/4/

The Material-Spiritual Disconnect

Earth is the most gross of the material elements, more subtle is water, even more subtle is air, and ether is quite subtle, you can’t touch or feel space, but we can still perceive it. Now, when we get to the mind, that is even more subtle. Intelligence is still more subtle, and the most subtle material element is false ego, our sense of identity.

However, none of the material elements can directly approach that which is non-material, namely the spiritual is outside of the realm of material elements, even subtle.

If we see our material means of acquiring knowledge, the mind, intelligence, and our sense of identity are all material in nature, and therefore, the ascending process of acquiring knowledge cannot possibly extend to the spiritual realm.

There is another main reason why the ascending process of knowledge is flawed… all of us who are “conditioned” to accept a material identity, have 4 defects:

  1. Tendency to be illusioned (In Sanskrit “भ्रम”or “bhrama”) – we often misunderstand facts and are illusioned about things as they are
  2. Tendency to make mistakes (In Sanskrit “प्रमाद” or “pramāda”) – there is no conditioned souls who can say they never make mistakes
  3. Tendency to cheat others (In Sanskrit “विप्रलिप्सा”or “vipralipsā”) – this is a great weakness, to want to appear better than we are, or know something we don’t, etc.
  4.  We possess imperfect senses (In Sanskrit “करण पाटव” or “karaṇa-pāṭava”) – all our senses are quite imperfect, and we miss a lot from our senses

So, with these 4 defects, it is impossible to acquire perfect knowledge using only our senses. Why is that? It is because with an imperfect instrument, you cannot make something that is perfect. No matter how hard we try, our imperfections stand in the way.

The common example is if we’re doing some mathematical calculation or solving an equation… a tiny mistake somewhere along the way can get us a wrong answer.

Let’s say, for example, someone didn’t know who their father was… they can do some detective work, or a DNA test of every man in the world, or they can take the answer from their mother. The mother’s answer is authoritative and a lot easier too.

Reconnecting Material to the Spiritual

The only way to acquire perfect knowledge, then, is through the descending process, “avarohapantha”. In this process, the Supreme Absolute Perfect (generically called God, specifically named Krishna, Allah, Rama, Govinda, Buddha, Jehovah, Yahweh, etc.) conveys the perfect knowledge, and whoever hears this knowledge passes it on without addition or subtraction.

Perfect Knowledge means something that never changes. Compare this to our ascending process of knowledge. Researchers make a career out of making mistakes! First they publish one paper hypothesizing (and sometimes also offering “proof”) one particular thing… the laypeople accept that as the truth, and then a little while later, that or another researcher publishes another paper contradicting the original hypothesis or proof. In this way, the so-called philosophers and scientists bumble about, going from imperfection to imperfection. This is not called knowledge, this is called nescience, or ignorance.

Why is that? Because material knowledge gives the impression of advancement, whereas it actually traps us in bigger and bigger problems, requiring more and ever more complexity. A material “solution” is only another problem in disguise… it is simply creating one problem in place of another. Therefore, material knowledge is not called knowledge, but ignorance. And those who pursue material knowledge excessively are said to be ignorant.

So therefore, spiritual knowledge is worth pursuing, and such knowledge cannot be “discovered/created/invented” by anyone else other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

धर्मं तु साक्षाद्भ‍गवत्प्रणीतं
न वै विदुऋर्षयो नापि देवा: ।
न सिद्धमुख्या असुरा मनुष्या:
कुतो नु विद्याधरचारणादय: ॥ १९ ॥

dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ
na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ
na siddha-mukhyā asurā manuṣyāḥ
kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādayaḥ

Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/19/

But, one may ask, it’s not like the Supreme Personality of Godhead is directly perceivable to a materially conditioned soul. So what is to be done?

Fortunately, there is a clear way…

स्वयम्भूर्नारद: शम्भु: कुमार: कपिलो मनु: ।
प्रह्लादो जनको भीष्मो बलिर्वैयासकिर्वयम् ॥ २० ॥
द्वादशैते विजानीमो धर्मं भागवतं भटा: ।
गुह्यं विशुद्धं दुर्बोधं यं ज्ञात्वामृतमश्नुते ॥ २१ ॥

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam

dvādaśaite vijānīmo
dharmaṁ bhāgavataṁ bhaṭāḥ
guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ
yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute

Lord Brahmā, Bhagavān Nārada, Lord Śiva, the four Kumāras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahūti], Svāyambhuva Manu, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja, Grandfather Bhīṣma, Bali Mahārāja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and I myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhāgavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/20-21/

Now, at least some of those personalities have established disciplic successions on this planet.

There are 4 main authorized disciplic successions to receive perfect knowledge in discipic successions. A disciplic succession is known as “Sampradaya” or “That which gives completely”.

A mango, intact, passed down

A useful example is that if a ripe mango is high in a tree, then if the mango is handed from person to person from those who are at various heights pass the mango down from hand to hand, vs. trying to throw the mango down to the ground…

A Sampradaya delivers spiritual knowledge perfectly, without addition or subtraction
  1. Brahma Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Madhva, Lord Chaitanya, and their followers.
  2. Rudra Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Vishnu Swami and his followers.
  3. Sri Sampradaya and its branches, begun by Lakshmi devi, the Goddess of Fortune, consort of Lord Narayana, and especially expounded by the great teacher Sri Ramanuja and his followers.
  4. Kumara Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Sri Nimbarka and his followers.

What about the rest?

To the extent the teachings of others are in line with one of these descending lines of discipic succession, they are valid, and anything outside of these is at best a stepping stone to one of these 4 lines of disciplic succession. In the worst case, it is a materialistic business masquerading as a genuine spiritual tradition.

Those who claim to be part of a certain tradition but add or subtract from the fundamental principles or twist the teachings are called “apasampradayas” or “anti disciplic successions”.

His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

By the mercy of my parents and then my spiritual master His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari who is a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada The Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, even though personally unworthy, I am connected to one of these lines of disciplic succession, called the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, and seeking to pass on those pure instructions to whoever may want to follow, without adding or subtracting any principle, only, if need be, adjusting details to suit the individual and times.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

And what is a principle and what is a detail? That, Srila Prabhupada said, requires some intelligence. I pray for this intelligence, which in my case, I simply ask my spiritual master with a clear description of context.

Ultimately however, knowledge coming from the scriptures and the spiritual master in disciplic succession must be realized in the heart through a process of personal effort (sadhana) and purification. Then the paroksha jnana or scriptural knowledge through scripture, becomes “aparoksha” or that which is beyond the reach of the material senses. In order to experience such knowledge in action, one’s senses must be spiritually awakened, or re-spiritualized.

Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Pure devotional service to Krishna is the Ultimate goal of all knowledge, and anything besides this is a waste of time.

Questions? I remain your servant on your spiritual journey! Hare Krishna!

Sankirtan Adventures – Old City Hall, Guelph, Online, Janmashtami

Sankirtan during the Pandemic, a look back at 2020…

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21 August 2020

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I pray that you are all well and in good health and spirits.

By your blessings I am able to participate in this Hare Krishna movement, despite my disqualifications. Thank you!

Summary:

14 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

16 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

19 Jul 2020 Downtown Guelph Harinam

23 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

23 Jul 2020 Walking Harinam Old City Hall to ISKCON Toronto

28 Jul 2020 Email/WhatsApp Sankirtan

11 Aug 2020 Janmashtami Sankirtan

21 Aug 2020 Old City Harinaam

————————————-

Total 8 Outings

It has been a very nice summer generally. The Pandemic is a pity, because it is really hard to meet Canadians at close quarters when it gets cold. Yes, there is the phone, email, WhatApp, zoom, etc., Sankirtan, but a majority of “laying the groundwork” happens out there, on the street, in summer festivals, knocking on doors… The devotees have been largely absent from public consciousness.

As the Pandemic wears on, the attention to social media has waned, and many are not as receptive to online platforms as they were before. So, at least based on the reception we’re getting outside, the devotees should cautiously resume outdoor Harinaam Sankirtan, even though it will probably not immediately result in a lot of books distributed. Right now, we are circling amongst ourselves, preaching to ourselves, which, no doubt,needs to be done, but we also need to distribute the mercy outside of those we know presently.

I had some really nice experiences, in Guelph with Paramahamsa Prabhu, on Janmashtami, with Yogesh who had never been out on Harinam Sankirtan before. He took many books home with him, especially the smaller ones we don’t seem to be distributing a lot of these days. What is more, he is a customer for books that we could not distribute because they were “old looking”! 🙂 And Yogesh is reading those books intently – Mahaprabhu has already brought Yogesh into His tidal wave.

Especially now, the people are very needy for Harinam Sankirtan, while a lot of Harinam may be going on behind closed doors and behind virtual closed doors like Facebook and Zoom, we do need to get out there.

Especially in Toronto – the restaurants are open, the bars are open, the cinemas are open, the liquor shops are open and liquor is now being sold in the grocery stores. The brothels are open, the casinos are open, the malls are open, the offices are open. But the devotees are indoors. Harinam Sankirtan is a closed club. It is indeed a cause for concern that those who know we are not the body but spirit souls are sitting indoors even when the risk has gotten so low. We are supposed to be the fearless Hare Krishnas. Where is our “abhayam”? We are supposed to be surrendered to the Lotus Feet of Sri Abhaya Charanaravinda, where is our Abhaya?

Where possible, I’m urging devotees to get out there and not be lazy/afraid/overly cautious. Please, the world needs us and what we have.

Writing about one experience from yesterday, though there were many more…

I was on Harinam yesterday… Many were responding, many were not, but one man, unsteady on his feet due to being inebriated, cigarette in hand, came close. He asked “Indian song?” I said “yes I am from India but this is the song of the heart”. He listened really intently, thankfully he kept his distance. But I felt somewhat uncomfortable… I  mean, it is easier to be ignored than to be scrutinized like that. He then started singing, suddenly asked me, “Do you need some change”, I asked him “Do you need a book”, so he took 2 books, one by Srila Prabhupada and one by my spiritual master Sankarshan Prabhu. He gave me a donation and immediately started reading the book. He did say “Always Christ” and I said “All the way my brother”. I was intensely praying to Lord Chaitanya “please give this man your mercy and the Lord did shower His mercy upon that soul! So we can see how one can get instant feedback while out on Sankirtan.

Go out where you can. Go out when you can. Go out in ones or twos. Go out with a mask if you have to. Stay outdoors. Wash your hands, stay far away from others, but let the sound of your voice become the humble vehicle for the Holy Name to go out there and do His magic. There is no other way, no other way, no other way, except Harinam Sankirtan Harinam Sankirtan Harinam Sankirtan.

I reported my Sankirtan outing this morning and my spiritual master was pleased. So, dear devotees, please let us please our spiritual masters.

quote

So we have to be very careful. The age is very bad, the Kali-yuga. You are experiencing. We have to simply take shelter of krsna and always cry,

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, he!

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, he!

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, raksa mām!

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, pāhi mām!

krsna, keśava, krsna, keśava, krsna, keśava, raksa mām!

rāma rāghava, rāma rāghava, rāma rāghava, pāhi mām!

Like that, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught us. The time is very dangerous. And still, in this dangerous time… Just like in epidemic condition where every people is being contaminated and dying, still, the doctors appointed by the government, they have to go into the epidemic area and try to treat the person and save them. Our duty is like that. The whole atmosphere is epidemic, whole atmosphere, this Kali-yuga. And still, by the superior orders we have to preach this krsna consciousness movement. Therefore our only shelter is krsna. krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, raksa mām. Very dangerous position. The foolish people, they are thinking that “We are very happy and we are very safe.” But nobody is safe. Nobody is safe. So we have to deal with persons very carefully, and at the same time, we have to push our missionary activities. Aho kastam dharma drsam.

– from SB 6.2.1-5 in Calcutta, India

unquote

My 2020 goal is 108 outings, and I have 88 left to go, with just over 130 days left. Please bless me that I may humbly perform this service. I am very greedy for your blessings. In fact, I am 100% convinced that I can only go out on Harinam Sankirtan because of your blessings, because otherwise I am just a useless fool.

Praying to be always out on Harinam Sankirtan, or at least be in Harinam Sankirtan consciousness 24X7, this is my humble desire, though I must admit that unfortunate as I am, I still maintain all sorts of material attachments.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

dasadas.com

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.ecstaticmedia.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

The Ultimate Synthesis of Advaita & Dvaita – achintya bheda abheda

There are a lot of different philosophies in the world. Some are just absurd, but some are partial truths. Instead of fighting over philosophies, one should try to understand the ultimate synthesis of philosophies – if you haven’t heard of it before, it’s called “Simultaneous Inconcievable Oneness and Difference” – the philosophy of Lord Chaitanya.

When it comes to philosophies, there are an infinite variety.

Some philosophies apply to life in the material world, and don’t extend to the spiritual realm. We will discard these philosophies, because they pertain to the temporary. It is not that they are devoid of value, but that for a spiritualist they are not of too much consequence in the long run, from the perspective of eternity.

Often, followers of various philosophies debate, quarrel, bicker, and disagree with each other in mild and severe forms. Sometimes, a difference in philosophy results in quarrels, enmities, violence, murder, and even war!

This article does not claim to list and explain all the different philosophies, but simply summarizes the chief ideas.

I wrote before about the chief philosophies that drive our modern world, such as voidism and randomness, which are merely imaginations.

Actually, when thinking of philosophies, one should consider the tale of the 6 blind men and the elephant.

Once upon a time, 6 blind men were taken to “see” an elephant… those who are blind in vision use their other senses to “see”… we don’t mean any offense to blind readers of this post, but this is how the story goes.

6 blind men and the elephant

One touched the side of the elephant.

The second touched the tail

The third touched the tusk

The fourth touched the trunk

The fifth, the ear of the elephant.

The sixth, the leg of the elephant.

Then they all came out and began to tell each other what the elephant is like. One said the elephant is like a wall (side), the second said it is like a stiff rope (tail), the third said it is just like smooth spear, and the fourth said it is like a snake (trunk). The fifth said it is like a smooth tray (ear) and the sixth said it is just like a tree trunk (leg).

All of them began to disagree with each other, and eventually got into an argument about what the elephant is like.

All the blind men were partially right, but could not synthesize their partial truths into one consistent whole.

Scholars looking at philosophies are just like those blind men.

In particular, there are 2 main spiritual philosophies

Advaita – This philosophy describes that all is one, and there are variants of these philosophies all the way from Kevaladvaita, Shuddhadvaita, Vishishtadvaita. This philosophy encapsulates practically all of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

Dvaita – This philosophy describes that God is one and the living entities are separate from God… and in some remaining ways describes the key difference between God and the living entity, between God and nature, and so on.

And scholars have fought over this for thousands of years.

So many philosophies… is there one that encapsulates and synthesizes them all?

Only God can establish something perfect…

धर्मं तु साक्षाद्भ‍गवत्प्रणीतं
न वै विदुऋर्षयो नापि देवा: ।
न सिद्धमुख्या असुरा मनुष्या:
कुतो नु विद्याधरचारणादय: ॥ १९ ॥

dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ
na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ
na siddha-mukhyā asurā manuṣyāḥ
kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādayaḥ

Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/19/

In the 16th Century, God Himself appeared in the form of Lord Chaitanya and described the ultimate synthesis of all valid philosophies.

कृष्णवर्णं त्विषाकृष्णं साङ्गोपाङ्गास्त्रपार्षदम् ।
यज्ञै: सङ्कीर्तनप्रायैर्यजन्ति हि सुमेधस: ॥ ३२ ॥

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ
sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ

In the Age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Kṛṣṇa. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/11/5/32/
Lord Chaitanya with His associates

Lord Chaitanya’s philosophy is as follows:

achintya bheda abheda – simultaneous inconceivable oneness and difference.

This philosophy is different from all the valid and invalid philosophies, but beautifully synthesizes the correct aspects of all valid philosophies.

I am just a humble servant of the servant of the servant ad infinitum of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. If anyone wishes to understand this in more detail, they are invited to thoroughly study the books of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (ask me how), and then, after understanding Srila Prabhupada’s books, into the famous writings of Srila Jiva Goswami, the 6 Sandarbhas.

How George Harrison found complete satisfaction

Why can we not find satisfaction? A poor person, middle class person, and rich person all are dissatisfied. Even the richest person sometimes wants a carefree life of the poor… how to get satisfaction in life?

Nisarga, 30 June 2020

When a poor man sees a middle class person he wishes that if I atleast have a life like him I will be satisfied. Similarly that middle Class person will find his happiness in a rich person’s life and the rich person also won’t be that satisfied or happy in his life…he will sometimes wish that he had a life to live like that poor man without any worries .why does this happen and how do we break this loop and find satisfaction and happiness within oneself.

Nisarga

Mahabhagavat Das, 08 September 2020

Dear Nisarga,

Hare Krishna!

A spirit soul is purely spiritual. But when the spirit soul identifies with matter, then the soul seeks satisfaction in material sense gratification. But because the soul is spiritual, everything material does not satisfy.

Actually, the spirit soul is in search of Krishna, as said perfectly by George Harrison…

quote

Everybody is looking for KRISHNA. Some don’t realize that they are, but they are.

KRISHNA is GOD, the Source of all that exists, the Cause of all that is, was, or ever will be. As GOD is unlimited HE has many Names. Allah-Buddha-Jehova-Rama: All are KRISHNA, all are ONE.

God is not abstract; He has both the impersonal and the personal aspects to His personality which is SUPREME, ETERNAL, BLISSFUL, and full of KNOWLEDGE. As a single drop of water has the same qualities as an ocean of water, so has our consciousness the qualities of GOD’S consciousness… but through our identification and attachment with material energy (physical body, sense pleasures, material possessions, ego, etc.) our true TRANSCENDENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS has been polluted, and like a dirty mirror it is unable to reflect a pure image. With many lives our association with the TEMPORARY has grown. This impermanent body, a bag of bones and flesh, is mistaken for our true self, and we have accepted this temporary condition to be final.

Through all ages, great SAINTS have remained as living proof that this non-temporary, permanent state of GOD CONSCIOUSNESS can be revived in all living Souls. Each soul is potentially divine. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita: “Steady in the Self, being freed from all material contamination, the yogi achieves the highest perfectional stage of happiness in touch with the Supreme Consciousness.” (VI,28)

YOGA (a scientific method for GOD (SELF) realization) is the process by which we purify our consciousness, stop further pollution, and arrive at the state of Perfection, full KNOWLEDGE, full BLISS.

If there’s a God, I want to see Him. It’s pointless to believe in something without proof, and Krishna Consciousness and meditation are methods where you can actually obtain GOD perception. You can actually see God, and Hear Him, play with Him. It might sound crazy, but He is actually there, actually with you.

There are many yogic Paths–Raja, Jnana, Hatha, Kriya, Karma, Bhakti–which are all acclaimed by the MASTERS of each method. SWAMI BHAKTIVEDANTA is as his title says, a BHAKTI Yogi following the path of DEVOTION. By serving GOD through each thought, word, and DEED, and by chanting HIS Holy Names, the devotee quickly develops God-consciousness. By chanting:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna – Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama – Rama Rama, Hare Hare

one inevitably arrives at KRISHNA Consciousness. (The proof of the pudding is in the eating!)

I request that you take advantage of this book KRISHNA, and enter into its understanding. I also request that you make an appointment to meet your God now, through the self liberating process of YOGA (UNION) and GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (KRISHNA) HARI BOL.

GEORGE HARRISON 31/3/70

unquote

The only satisfaction is in pure Krishna Consciousness.

Does this help?

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Nikhil Mishra, 08 September 2020

Jai..Hari Bol. Thanks for quoting George Harrison.

I guess Swami Prabhupada must be very pleased with the services of

George Harrison. I have heard that in his last days, Prabhupada asked

caretaking devotees to give his ring to Mr. (Bhakta) George Harrison.

Sincerely

Nikhil

Reason and Love : “Reason helps Love to maintain its proper bounds in the Spiritual world. Love often tends to degrade itself by exercising its function on objects other than God and converts itself into lust for women, wine, meat and gold. Here Reason advises her to rise higher till she reaches her proper sphere above.”

– Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Mahabhagavat Das, 09 September 2020

Yes, George Harrison is a great Vaishnava. He has done tremendous services in the Krishna Consciousness movement when it was needed the most. He chanted Hare Krishna right till the end of his body. Srila Prabhupada surely has arranged for his onward journey. Now it is time for us to strive hard, get out of complacency and be truly Krishna conscious, and give this one life to Krishna. What are we waiting for? 

Mahabhagavat Das, dasadas.com

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.ecstaticmedia.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

%d bloggers like this: