Muslim Brahmin in Hyderabad

Can a Muslim be a Brahmin? Can a Vaishnava be as good as a Mullah or Rabbi or Christian priest? Here are some great insights from a Maulvi in Hyderabad!

Not long ago, I was out on the street distributing the Bhagavad Gita in the South Central Indian City of Hyderabad. Hyderabad, like most cities in India, is a beautiful confluence of many cultures. Specifically, in Hyderabad, there is a significant mix of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian populations, and the history of the city has a strong Muslim flavour. For the most part, people have lived in harmony for hundreds of years. There have been flash-points and incidents of hatred, but relatively rare.

One day, as I stood on the street, I saw an elderly gentlemen, clearly Muslim from his long white beard with moustache shaved off, a baggy light-coloured Salwar Kameez, and a distinctive skull cap. He walked slowly, with a walker, that he gently placed in front of him, and then moved his legs closer to the walker, shuffling by slowly. I respectfully made way for this gentleman and greeted him with a little bow.

He passed back-and-forth a few times, and seeing his friendly countenance, I asked him if he would read the Bhagavad Gita. He said he most certainly would, if I had a Hindi version available. He then told me that he had been to the ISKCON Radha Madan Mohan temple in Abids, Hyderabad several times for the Sunday feast program, and had participated in Harinam Sankirtan, and taken Prasad many times at the temple. The surprise must have been clear on my face, because he then said “Do you know that I am a Brahmin?”.

He then explained “I am the Maulvi of this mosque around this corner. I have dedicated my life to Allah. I don’t eat meat and I don’t drink alcohol. I teach the scripture. So how am I not a Brahmin?”. He then added “The Gita was spoken by Allah and the Q’uran was spoken by Allah, so why would I read one but not the other?“. I was very much gladdened by his mature understanding. This is exactly our Vaishnava understanding too.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna describes the qualities of a Brahmin…

शमो दमस्तप: शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च ।
ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ॥ ४२ ॥

śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
brahma-karma svabhāva-jam

Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness – these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/42/

So, if we see any living entity from any cultural background or any religious orientation who has these qualities, we must accept them as good as Brahmins. Of course, Krishna also says that Brahmin is not only by quality, but also by the work they do…

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः ।
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ॥ १३ ॥

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ
tasya kartāram api māṁ
viddhy akartāram avyayam

According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/13/

Srila Prabhupada describes the 6 duties of a Brahmin…

Brāhmaṇas are supposed to acquire six kinds of auspicious qualifications: they become very learned scholars (paṭhana) and very qualified teachers (pāṭhana); they become expert in worshiping the Lord or the demigods (yajana), and they teach others how to execute this worship (yājana); they qualify themselves as bona fide persons to receive alms from others (pratigraha), and they distribute the wealth in charity (dāna).

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/17/11/

Based on instructions from the Vaishnava Acharyas, the great saintly teachers, we accept that Prophet Muhammad is an empowered messenger sent directly by God, practically, speaking a “shaktyavesha avataar” or a living entity but with the power to act in a way empowered by God. We accept that Jesus Christ is the son of God, a pure devotee fully dovetailed with the desire of God. We accept that there is only one God, known by different names and different degrees of understanding, as an impersonal spirit (Brahman), as a localized supersoul (Paramatma), and as the Personality of Godhead (Bhagavan).

When our constitutional position, or dharma, is deteriorated due to the contaminations of matter, the Lord Himself comes as an incarnation or sends some of His confidential servitors. Lord Jesus Christ called himself the “son of God,” and so is a representative of the Supreme. Similarly, Mohammed identified himself as a servant of the Supreme Lord. Thus whenever there is a discrepancy in our constitutional position, the Supreme Lord either comes Himself or sends His representative to inform us of the real position of the living entity.

On the Way to Krishna, Chapter 2

I offered my deepest respects to that great Maulvi, that Muslim priest, who has realized the essence of Allah Consciousness in principle. Surely, he is very very close to Allah. By speaking his sweet realized words, he gave me hope that this world can be rectified from its current sectarian path.

In the same way, all the Muslims should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own Maulvis and Hazrats.

The Christians should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own nuns, monks, and priests.

The Jews should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own Rabbis.

This is the principle. One God. Many scriptures according to time, place, and circumstance.

So, what was our conclusion as we parted ways? We concluded that the genuine mature follower of any genuine faith tradition is very similar, they love God, and they love all of God’s creation. They see God everywhere, and see everyone as God’s children, to be loved and served. But the follower-in-name, a materialist or religion-politician of any faith is equally sectarian or in many cases, inhuman, and unfortunately, also evil.

How Popular is Krishna?

Krishna is mentioned as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. So why is it that apparently more people worship Ganesha, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Shiva, etc. than Krishna?

Ajanta Rao, 5 May 2015

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva!

I have a question about the worship of several demigods in Hindu religion. I have read in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam that the essence of all vedas and scriptures is Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then why has Lord Krishna not become the most popular Hindu God? There are more number of people worshipping or having Ganesha or Hanuman or Lakshmi etc as their favorite God. I appreciate anyone helping me understand this concept. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ajanta Rao

Jayakrishna, 5 May 2015

Hare Krishna!

May I try to answer the question based on the lessons I learned from my great senior devotees?

We must understand that God is one and is Krishna, the so called gods (or more accurately demigods)are several and are in fact servants of Krishna,and are the heads of different energies of the master.

 The current day religion of Hinduism is a loose confederation of different systems where even atheists are accepted as Hindus,not to say of polytheists who worship demigods as equal to Krishna, the God,and we can’t accept this.

But Vaishnavas or the devotees of Krishna are humble and are ready to pay obeisances to the demi gods also, but their approach is different, the pure devotees(called so as they have no material aims behind their service) never worship demigods as equal to Krishna but respect demigods as the servants of Krishna,Let us take the demigods separately, who is Sri Hanuman? the greatest devotee of Sri Rama, the supreme personality of godhead, and himself Sri Hanuman is none other thanLord Shiva.Lord Shiva is not a jivatma like us,a guna avatara of Krishna though he is not Vishnu tatwa like Sri Rama or Nrsimha deva. Lord Brahma is the highest jivatma who got this post by the mercy of Krishna. Thus analysing one by one we can understand that each demigod is connected to the lord in different ways.

Then, ‘Why are people attracted to demigods?’  simple, they are doing a business by serving demigods, their philosophy is just give and take. That is not devotion at all.

However, I understand it that Krishna is the most favourite god for most Hindus irrespective of their sects and castes.,even  atheists and communists are loving Krishna!( I know many such people personally)

your servant

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Srivatsa Das, 6 May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

The answer for demigod worship is also explained in Bhagavad Gita.  Krishna says that the mode of worship by the individual is according to the acquired mode of nature by that individual.  It is a journey of the individual back to home back to Godhead. At the end the individual will come back to Krishna. 

 The essence of the Vedas is to know Krishna.   Thanks to Lord Chaithanya’s Sankirtana movement and Srila Prbhupada’ s devotional service in translating various scriptures to English language, we are able to understand the purpose and meaning of these scriptures.  We are also lucky to get the opportunity to get associated with the direct devotees of Srila Prabhupada like Srila Gurudeva who has dedicated his life for the spreading of this knowledge and thus remove the ignorance from this material world.  We must dedicate our life and strongly align in strengthening this mission and thus eradicate the ignorance from society. That is the best we can do at this moment I believe.

your servant

Srivatsa Das   

Priya Harinath, 6 May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Ajanta Rao Mataji, The answer to this question is given by Krishna Himself in the Bhagavad Gita 

bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate

vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/19/

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah

bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ‘pi mam

Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/25

Even Sripad Sankaracharya the great exponent of the Advaita philosophy and who organized the panchopasana worship of Ganesha, Durga, Shiva, Surya and Vishnu has himself stated in his Bhagavad gita bhashya that the Supreme Being is “Vishnu, the one known by the name nArAyaNa, the primordial Creator” (Adi kartA nArAyaNAkhyo viShNuH), that He is “beyond the material universe” (nArAyaNaH paro.avyaktAt) and that He is the original Creator of the universe (sa bhagavAn sRShTvedaM jagat).

Srila Prabhupada’s purport to the above Gita verses are the ultimate authority and one need not to look anywhere else for understanding the knowledge imparted by the Supreme Lord Himself and which has been passed down by the great acharyas and devotees in the disciplic succession. Yet even Srila Sankaracharya  in his purport to the above verse [Bg 9.25] criticizes those who do pUja to other deities, stating that the labor involved is same, but that the results are miniscule.

Again on the question as to why so many people are involved in demigod worship is because everyone desires instant material gratification being deluded by ignorance of their original nature. They do not look beyond their bodies and consider satisfaction of material senses as the purpose of life. But eventually after being tossed repeatedly in the cycle of birth and death they will have to come to the understanding that Krishna is the soul of even of the demigods who are His appointed agents to run this material universe.

This is what  makes it so important to have constant devotee association and surrender to a bonafide spiritual master who alone can guide us in the right path and clarify all our doubts and confusions. We are indeed fortunate to be a part of this wonderful group of devotees.

May Krishna always bless us eternal devotion and service to His Lotus feet and to His devotees.

your humble servant

Priya

Shridhar Das, 7 May 2015

Hare Krishna Ajanta Rao ji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji!

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Your realization hence concludes the domination of Kali Yuga, where, people choose to remain surrendered to their senses and hence submit to mode of ignorance or passion. Very selected few may even strive for goodness but none even have any clue about pure goodness even if situated on goodness or midway between pure goodness and goodness (impersonal liberation) for real transcendence means Krishna, The Supreme Individual.

Covered by passion and ignorance in general, people nowadays deprive themselves of real freedom or satisfaction and choose to embrace some momentary pleasures that merely leads to countless cycle of birth and death. Why? Because ignorance to them is bliss. They somehow like that way.

This or many explanations lie but we cannot put further whys o because it will again boil down to ignorance motivated by material desires as confirmed in Bhagavad Gita:

kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ

prapadyante ’nya-devatāḥ

taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya

prakṛtyā niyatāḥ svayā

“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/21

Because you, me or anyone is looking for satisfaction even at this very moment as well, let’s then focus what will satisfy us ultimately in this situation:

The best solution is as suggested above, to strive for pure devotional service and obtain compassion for the ignorant or become representative of the compassion of the compassionate acharyas by becoming dedicated to this movement that is meant for lifting the fallen mystically through its bona fide process. Your question which concludes the suicidal state of conditioned soul is the pain of our acharyas, and their mission is to save them from this repeated suicide. Anyone who becomes their representative awaits their ocean of mercy which is complete in itself with all the Vaishnava qualities.

However, charity begins at home. Therefore lets strive to spread this movement to best of our capacities that helps the so-called Hindus realize the Universal status of Krishna which His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada has already revealed. Let’s associate more with pure devotees as recommended above without whom we are helpless too.

your servant

Shridhar Das

Sacinandana Das, 13 Jun 2015

Hare Krsna Mataji,

Dandavat Pranam.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Krsna is not popular because there are less devotees. We have to flood this whole world with Krsna Bhakti and one of the most easy things we can do is to ask everyone to join Ultimate Self Realisation e course. We can request people in our offices to join this e course. We can take their email address and register it in http://www.joincourse.com If we want to make Krsna popular then we can increase the number of subscribers of Ultimate Self Realisation e course.

your servant,

Sacinandana Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28 Jul 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Sorry, I read this now and wanted to avoid any misunderstandings… We clearly state that indeed when we measure across time and space, Krishna is indeed Supremely powerful. This is the conclusion of Srila Veda Vyasa’s father Parasara Muni.

If I close my eyes in broad daylight and then claim that it is now dark, is it really dark, or are my eyes closed?

So, Krishna is indeed most popular and most famous, but we may not know the extent of His popularity and fame.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings archived at https://archive.aweber.com/newsletter/usr_course), 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 myth of the increasing human lifespan

They say, that due to advances in science and medicine, the average human lifespan is steadily increasing. But is this really true? Could it be that the advances in science and medicine are actually decreasing our life expectancy?

Many souls in the medical field propagate the view that our average lifespan as humans has been increasing, thanks to advances in science, technology, and medicine.

Take for example this projection by the United Nations, for the United States (U.S.).

UN Projection of US Life expetancy, with historical data from 1950-2020, effects of COVID-19 not included

Looking at the graph above, we see that the average life expectancy was 68 years in 1950, is 79 currently, and is expected to go up to 89 by the year 2100.

However, I beg to differ, because the data does not take into account 2 major factors. One is, contraception, which prevents life from taking root, and the other is abortion, which prevents a soul from taking birth despite having got a start in a mother’s womb.

In this post, I’m not looking to get into a discussion about contraception or abortion itself, I just want to point out that with modern science and medical advances, the average human lifespan has actually decreased, not increased.

Here is a rough calculation to illustrate my point.

The current life expectancy in the US is approximately 79 years. The average human in the U.S. is expected to live 79 years today. There are about 334 Million humans in the US today, so collectively we are expecting to see about 26,386 million “human years” of life lived.

From 1973 to 2018, over 62 million babies were aborted by surgical means, according to the American Life League. So, if these babies had not been aborted, they would be still alive, or the oldest babies, from 1973, would be about 48 years of age now. Of course, babies were being aborted before 1973 also, but I am not in possession of those statistics.

However, from the same source, when we include the chemical abortions (the pill method), from 1965 to 2009, over 610 million abortions have been conducted. In 1965 the average life expectancy in the U.S. was 70 years. In other words, on average, everyone born in 1965 is expected to be still alive today.

Each of these babies, if given a chance at life, could have expected to live a minimum of more than zero years… whatever the lifespan would have been, it would have been unlikely to be zero years for all the babies.

Roughly, taking into account all the humans who died before birth, or reaching the age of zero, we are looking at a U.S. population of 334 Million (current) + 610 million (killed by contraception or abortion). A total of 943 Million.

If we divide the total of 26,386 million human years by 943 million humans, we get an actual average life expectancy of about 28 years. The 79 years number is just for someone who somehow made it past the risk of murder before birth! So it is a false statistic, a classic statistical trick (change your denominator) to make a number look more rosy.

In other words, when we take into account the actual count of souls who got a start in a human mother’s womb, the current life expectancy is actually 28 years only.

My calculations are not exact, they are just rough back-of-the-envelope numbers. But they are directionally correct. And I haven’t even calculated a model for non-chemical contraception, using physical methods like condoms and so on. The actual life expectancy numbers will be much lower, taking those factors into account.

श्रीशुक उवाच
ततश्चानुदिनं धर्म: सत्यं शौचं क्षमा दया ।
कालेन बलिना राजन् नङ्‌क्ष्यत्यायुर्बलं स्मृति: ॥ १ ॥

śrī-śuka uvāca
tataś cānu-dinaṁ dharmaḥ
satyaṁ śaucaṁ kṣamā dayā
kālena balinā rājan
naṅkṣyaty āyur balaṁ smṛtiḥ

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Then, O King, religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, duration of life, physical strength and memory will all diminish day by day because of the powerful influence of the Age of Kali.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/12/2/1/

In the purport, the disciples of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada write:

Because of all these self-destructive practices and the powerful influence of time, the average life span (āyur) is decreasing. Modern scientists, seeking to gain credibility among the mass of people, often publish statistics supposedly showing that science has increased the average duration of life. But these statistics do not take into account the number of people killed through the cruel practice of abortion. When we figure aborted children into the life expectancy of the total population, we find that the average duration of life has not at all increased in the Age of Kali but is rather decreasing drastically.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/12/2/1/ purport

This should be noted and pointed out to the scientists, doctors, and others arguing that our average lifespans are actually decreasing.

Please read the glorious literature, the Srimad Bhagavatam and enlighten yourself about the actual solutions to the problems of the world. If you would like to read, and get a copy for yourself, please let me know!

What should we pray to God for?

What should we pray to God for? Bread? Comfort? What is the best prayer to offer to God?

Kaspars, 3 Dec 2015

Hare Krishna!

1. When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty.

2. Maybe early christians were in great difficulty of food, Jesus taught them to pray for bread, or see food as God’s mercy.

3. Why does everyone in Krishna consciousness criticize christians about praying for daily bread? Jesus himself taught that. I think we should not criticize other religions prayer, we should not criticize Jesus? That whole christian prayer is all good. It is saving people from all bad.

Kaspars

Premananda Das, 3 December 2015

1) All material difficulties are due to our lack of Krishna consciousness, no external suffering.

2 & 3) Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness means to follow the order as it is without interpretations.

your servant

Premananda Das

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

Shridhar Das, 3 December 2015

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Your question has been answered here:

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

yajeta puruṣaḿ param

“A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.”

SB 2.3.10

So we must somehow or other develop the practice of always praying and remembering God. Should we be silent?

Krishna says in 4.11: As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.

So not advisable as a callous/impersonal approach.

Regarding patience, that’s very pleasing to Krishna and we must if we can but this quality manifests in advancing stages of devotional path automatically and needn’t be imitated artificially.

In BG 18.58 Krishna says:

mac-cittaḥ sarva-durgāṇi

mat-prasādāt tariṣyasi

atha cet tvam ahańkārān

na śroṣyasi vinańkṣyasi

“If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.”

BG 18.58

In fact Krishna emphasizes in BG 18.65:

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto

mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru

mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te

pratijāne priyo ‘si me

“Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.”

BG 18.65

So it is a very good practice to always pray and remember God. This is possible when we know who is God, how is God, what are His qualities, just as we cannot love a person in air blindly. We need to be aware of their qualities and features before devoting to any person.

Regarding question 2, I am curious about ‘maybe’. But in general, whenever God or His emissaries like Jesus, the son of Christ descend, their only mission is to take the fallen stuck up souls back to Godhead by developing their attachment for God. In fact, in our Krishna Consciousness we also pray sarira avidya jal prayers thanking God for not only giving us food but for sanctifying. The thanks is extended by offering food to the source of food, God, begging him to kindly take away the sinful reactions from that food and bless it with His love and devotion. And then this is distributed in mass for what is that love centered around personal liberation?

However, although the practice of praying to God for bread is glorious, if the end result is attachment to food instead of God, then such a process is not topmost. Hence, whenever the prayers aren’t fulfilled, people in general become atheist.

Not only food, Krishna in the 10th chapter of Bhagavad Gita tells us He is the taste of the water, He is light of sun, of senses He is mind and so many things.

His mercy is not limited to food, it’s beyond our imagination. In one of the lectures by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada that I was recently hearing, it was stated that it’s a fact that our existence at every moment is Lord’s kindness. If we’re existing, it means it is the personal will of the Lord at every moment. What can be the ultimate mercy than God Himself descending to show us the guiding light? How can one not feel loved and purchased when we see Lord has given His Holy Names as the means to attain Him? Lord is Himself directly present in His Holy Names simply for our deliverance and is constantly sending His representatives time after time in this unbroken lineage. So our vision must stretch beyond food, water and material products.

Before answering the next question I wish to first clarify that the conception of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jew,… as religions is incorrect. These are mere labels. Just as son of a lawyer cannot be rubber stamped as lawyer, a daughter of a doctor as a doctor, similarly no living entity can be labelled anything other than servant of God and ultimate religion being to love God by addressing Him as Krishna, Christ, Allah, Ram, Jehovah, wherever one’s devotion flows…

If someone criticizes a sect simply to satisfy one’s own senses or false ego, that’s displeasing to God. This is against austerities of speech clearly stated in the Bhagavad Gita. However, it’s very honest of you for having inquired the same sincerely.

What real religion is, in truth, is explained here:

“Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart.”

SB 1.1.2

In a lecture on this same verse Srila Prabhupada says:

“So we should not approach God for economic satisfaction or for bread or for wood or for anything necessary for our life. God has arranged food for everyone, the aquatics, the birds, the beasts, the trees, the elephants or the other, four-legged animals, and why not for human being? Human being also, those who are uncivilized, still living in the forest, they have no arrangement for economic development, or they do not know, but they have got also food. Therefore sastra says,

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido

na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhaḥ

tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ

kalena sarvatra gabhira-raṁhasa

[SB 1.5.18]

“One should try for developing God consciousness, not for anything else, because happiness and distress, they come automatically.” We haven’t got to try for it.

Happiness, everyone aspires for happiness. Nobody aspires for distress, but distress is forcibly come upon you. Similarly, the sastra says, “As distress comes without any desire, similarly, happiness also will come without any endeavor.” So long we are in the material world, the so-called happiness and distress will come and go, but our, the human life, the endeavor should be how to find out or revive our relationship with God. That is our main business.” [Unquote]

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Therefore, the verse states, any faith or sect that has taught their follower how to love God, how to depend on God, how to remain satisfied, in bliss, undisturbed, amidst of all difficulties and miseries, simply by taking shelter of God is a successful religion, else it has failed. For the same reason our prayers, devotion, love, happiness, distress, everything should be aimed for the satisfaction of God, not personal satisfaction only.

Last point I wish to add is whatever the faith be but it must teach their followers to expand their vision to see God as an ever youthful all-perfect person, who is not aristocratic but all loving, indiscriminately. A true lover of God sees all the living entities as part and parcel of God including animals, insects, birds, trees, worms, aquatics and not without soul. Therefore, real love of God means loving all living entities. Most of them I meet while preaching conclude they love God but then they also love torturing their brothers and sisters by killing and eating them, which is very demoniac and sinful irrespective of one following Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, etc, as laws are universal just as 1+1=2 everywhere. Rather, in the ten commandments, the merciful Jesus, who is often cited as an ideal example in our movement, as Lord’s devotee, in whose foot steps we follow, has clarified “Thou shalt not kill”.

The Krishna Consciousness movement is not criticizing anyone rather my spiritual master has stated often, that the aim of the movement is to help everyone become a true lover of God. If one is a Christian, then a very ideal Christian, if Islam then a true one, if a Sanatana Dharmi, then a genuine Sanatana Dharmi or follower of Vedas.

Hence the movement is aimed around harmonizing all souls under the universal love of God.

What seemed as criticism to you against Christianity can be properly understood by Lord Jesus’s statement: Hate the sin, not the sinner.

So that pointing out was a merciful correction on an improper attitude of “Give me, give me, give me” whereas the mood of a devotee must be of “Giving giving giving”. 

It is the duty of an acharya to point out the fallacies in a system established by other acharyas (Lord Jesus here) if they are being misinterpreted. The acharyas share a common consciousness, love of Godhead. They are not to be understood like us for they are free of hatred, envy, lust and other such mundane qualities. Their vision is centered around God, not nation, body, society, sect and so on.

Hope this satisfies you!

your servant

Sridhar Das

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Kaspars Gulbis,

Please accept my greetings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thankyou for your humble inquiries.

1. I would say why not?

“..Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ..” In SB 10.14.58 this material world has been described as a place full of miseries and danger lurks at every step. So why not pray to God in all circumstances. Whether in happiness or distress we should always try to remember God and never forget Him.

2. Indeed the food offered to lord is also known as “Prasadam” in Sanskrit, which in literal sense means “mercy”. The food we offer to the Lord with love and devotion is transformed into Lord’s mercy and when we honour such transformed food stuff it has a great spiritual impact on our consciousness.

3. Also, a truly Krishna conscious person would never criticize anyone. Infact, in the conversations of Srila Prabhupada, we can see him addressing Jesus Christ as a vaisnava. A vaisnava is actually a para dukha dukhi, one who can not tolerate the suffering of others. Therefore, we have great respect for Jesus Christ who was preaching the message of the God, as per time, place and circumstances to relieve the living entities from the miseries of this material world. 

 Coming back to your question: praying for daily bread seems insignificant when we see that even a tiny ant gets its daily food without praying, What to speak of thousands of Elephants roaming on Earth eating tonnes and tonnes of food daily. Atleast, I never saw them praying for food. Who provides them all the required food? God. God is all merciful. Since we are in the human form of life with a developed consciousness compared to other forms of life, it only seems wise to capitalize on this unique opportunity and pray for something very rare, very precious, something which is inconceivably priceless- and that is Pure love of God.

I hope this helps. However, it would be enlightening to hear more from other readers as well.

Sincerely,

Shyamapriya devi dasi

Lalit, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

I share my learning.

If we are in Krishna consciousness, we will not be in need of any prayer for “anything”.

With awakened consciousness,we can see things as they are and not as we perceive.

Pain or suffering is there till we are attached to it, the moment awakening happens we realize that everything is like a dream which shall pass.

We do not feel the pain of injury in dreams on waking up.

Many great saints suffered from ailments but their awakening helped them realize that suffering was for the physical body and not aatma (soul) or jeev.

Everything is temporary here, so enjoy as it comes, without any attachment.

Lalit

Sunil, 3 December 2015

Dear Kaspars,

—–

From introduction to Gita :  Just what is the Bhagavad-gita? The purpose of Bhagavad-gita is to deliver mankind from the nescience of material existence. Every man is in difficulty in so many ways, as Arjuna also was in difficulty in having to fight the Battle of Kurukshetra. Arjuna surrendered unto Sri Krishna, and consequently this Bhagavad-gita was spoken.

From the book “Science of Self Realization” :

Whoever teaches how to know God and how to love Him—he is a spiritual master. Sometimes bogus rascals mislead people. “I am God,” they claim, and people who do not know what God is believe them. You must be a serious student to understand who God is and how to love Him. Otherwise, you will simply waste your time. So the difference between others and us is that we are the only movement that can actually teach one how to know God and how to love Him. We are presenting the science of how one can know Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by practicing the teachings of theBhagavad-gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam. They teach us that our only business is to love God. Our business is not to ask God for our necessities. God gives necessities to everyone—even to one who has no religion. For example, cats and dogs have no religion, yet Krishna supplies them with the necessities of life. So why should we bother Krishna for our daily bread? He is already supplying it. Real religion means to learn how to love Him.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6) says,

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo

yato bhaktir adhokshaje

ahaituky apratihata

yayatma suprasidati

First-class religion teaches one how to love God without any motive. If I serve God for some profit, that is business—not love. Real love of God is ahaituky apratihata: it cannot be checked by any material cause. It is unconditional. If one actually wants to love God, there is no impediment. One can love Him whether one is poor or rich, young or old, black or white.

Science of Self Realization by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

From book “Teachings of Queen Kunti” :

Christians and Muslims are also Vaishnavas, devotees, because they offer prayers to the Lord. “O God,” they say, “give us our daily bread.” Those who offer this prayer may not know very much and may be at a lower stage, but this is a beginning, because they have approached God. Going to a church or mosque is also pious (catur-vidha bhajante mam janah sukritino ‘rjuna [Bg. 7.16]). Therefore those who begin in this way will one day become pure..

Teachings of Queen Kunti, by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Jayendran C, 3 December 2015

Thank you devotees for the wonderful answers. Here is a wonderful shloka from the Bhagavatam that would be relevant.

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

 mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

 yajeta puruṣaṁ param

Translation

A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead

Purport

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is described in the Bhagavad-gītā as puruṣottama, or the Supreme Personality. It is He only who can award liberation to the impersonalists by absorbing such aspirants in the brahmajyoti, the bodily rays of the Lord. The brahmajyoti is not separate from the Lord, as the glowing sun ray is not independent of the sun disc. Therefore one who desires to merge into the supreme impersonal brahmajyoti must also worship the Lord by bhakti-yoga, as recommended here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhakti-yoga is especially stressed here as the means of all perfection. In the previous chapters it has been stated that bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal of both karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga, and in the same way in this chapter it is emphatically declared that bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal of the different varieties of worship of the different demigods. Bhakti-yoga, thus being the supreme means of self-realization, is recommended here. Everyone must therefore seriously take up the methods of bhakti-yoga, even though one aspires for material enjoyment or liberation from material bondage.

Akāmaḥ is one who has no material desire. A living being, naturally being the part and parcel of the supreme whole puruṣaṁ pūrṇam, has as his natural function to serve the Supreme Being, just as the parts and parcels of the body, or the limbs of the body, are naturally meant to serve the complete body. Desireless means, therefore, not to be inert like the stone, but to be conscious of one’s actual position and thus desire satisfaction only from the Supreme Lord. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has explained this desirelessness as bhajanīya-parama-puruṣa-sukha-mātra-sva-sukhatvam in his Sandarbha. This means that one should feel happy only by experiencing the happiness of the Supreme Lord. This intuition of the living being is sometimes manifested even during the conditioned stage of a living being in the material world, and such intuition is expressed in the manner of altruism, philanthropy, socialism, communism, etc., by the undeveloped minds of less intelligent persons. In the mundane field such an outlook of doing good to others in the form of society, community, family, country or humanity is a partial manifestation of the same original feeling in which a pure living entity feels happiness by the happiness of the Supreme Lord. Such superb feelings were exhibited by the damsels of Vrajabhūmi for the happiness of the Lord. The gopīs loved the Lord without any return, and this is the perfect exhibition of the akāmaḥ spirit. Kāma spirit, or the desire for one’s own satisfaction, is fully exhibited in the material world, whereas the spirit of akāmaḥ is fully exhibited in the spiritual world.

Thoughts of becoming one with the Lord, or being merged in the brahmajyoti, can also be exhibitions of kāma spirit if they are desires for one’s own satisfaction to be free from the material miseries. A pure devotee does not want liberation so that he may be relieved from the miseries of life. Even without so-called liberation, a pure devotee is aspirant for the satisfaction of the Lord. Influenced by the kāma spirit, Arjuna declined to fight in the Kurukṣetra battlefield because he wanted to save his relatives for his own satisfaction. But being a pure devotee, he agreed to fight on the instruction of the Lord because he came to his senses and realized that satisfaction of the Lord at the cost of his own satisfaction was his prime duty. Thus he became akāma. That is the perfect stage of a perfect living being.

Udāra-dhīḥ means one who has a broader outlook. People with desires for material enjoyment worship small demigods, and such intelligence is condemned in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.20) as hṛta-jñāna, the intelligence of one who has lost his senses. One cannot obtain any result from demigods without getting sanction from the Supreme Lord. Therefore a person with a broader outlook can see that the ultimate authority is the Lord, even for material benefits. Under the circumstances, one with a broader outlook, even with the desire for material enjoyment or for liberation, should take to the worship of the Lord directly. And everyone, whether an akāma or sakāma or mokṣa-kāma, should worship the Lord with great expedience. This implies that bhakti-yoga may be perfectly administered without any mixture of karma and jñāna. As the unmixed sun ray is very forceful and is therefore called tīvra, similarly unmixed bhakti-yoga of hearing, chanting, etc., may be performed by one and all regardless of inner motive.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/10/

Bhagavatam had many instances where people depended on Krishna for their material miseries. King Gajendra depended on Krishna to save his life, Draupadi to protect her chastity, Uttara to save her womb from being destroyed, Dhruva to save his pride after being insulted. In this way, the Bhagavatam in my humble understanding states whoever comes to Krishna is never turned away and is purified even from the material desire they came for.

your humble servant,

Jayendran C

Kaspars Gulbis 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. Please excuse my offenses.

All your kind answers are very nice! I understood that in real Krishna consciousness one doesn’t need to pray for ”anything”. That one has to expand his needs beyond bread and accept love for God that only our Krishna consciousness movement gives. Jesus is a Vaisnava and preached according to that place and circumstance. Also I understood that we can pray to Krishna anytime and must remember Him always. Is it all right?

Thank you!

Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das, 3 December 2015

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you to all of you who participated in this wonderful Q&A. Indeed, this is the main purpose of this sda_students group, to ask questions, receive answers, help us all strengthen our faith, kill the doubts, and become gradually purified with this hearing and chanting about Krishna.

In a gathering, there needs to be a sincere question, and loving, knowledgeable authoritative answers from devotees who truly care.

Both are in abundance in this group of sincere spiritualists from all over the world.

Let the questions flow! Let the answers illuminate! Let us all hear and chant about Krishna and thus be fully engaged in body, intelligence, word and mind, let us enter into the spiritual dimension.

So what are we waiting for?

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Vidaa Joon, 9 December 2015

Great answers, thank you. I agree and wish not to subtract anything from the answers but would like to add that for me another verse that comes to mind regarding the first question is BG 12.13-14, one of my favourites: 

One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me-he is very dear to Me.

I love it because, sure, we sometimes feel a need to pray for help with our problems, and who better than Krishna to be the recipient of our prayers, but if we keep in mind what the above verse says, even our problems will seem to vanish as we put things into perspective, and not only that -it’s exciting to hear how this attitude makes us dear to Krishna! 

Also, I believe one should seek guidance from guru, sadhu, shastra when faced with difficulties, not that one has to suffer blindly. 

your humble servant

Vidaa

Yamini Narang, 9 December 2015

Hari Hari!

Dear devotees,

Thank you very much for the wonderful Q&A discussion! So enlightening! Thank you so much! All glories to all of you! Jai Gurudev! Jai guru Mataji! Jaya Srila prabhupada! 

your grateful and aspiring servant,

Bhaktin Yamini

Rathin Mandal, 9 December 2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your questions. They are very good and important at the same time.

1. When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty.

When in a difficult situation we should remember Sri Krishna. Actually we should remember Him all the time. And yes, we should keep patience too. It should be understood that material and psychological problems are due to our own doing, our own past karma. One should understand that by present suffering one is burning his past karma. One should approach a senior devotee and discuss what Krishna Conscious activities he can do to lower his suffering and remember Sri Krishna more.

2. Maybe early christians were in great difficulty of food, Jesus taught them to pray for bread, or see food as God’s mercy.

3. Why does everyone in Krishna consciousness criticize christians about praying for daily bread? Jesus himself taught that. I think we should not criticize other religions prayer, we should not criticize Jesus? That whole christian prayer is all good. It is saving people from all bad.

I assure you, no one is criticizing Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus is a great Spiritual Master and taught us by his exemplary act as how to remember God at all times. 

What may be confusing you is this, among the 10 commandments, one commandment says ‘Thou shall not kill’. Today christians are opening slaughterhouses to eat meat. Is that what following commandments mean? 

Christians are praying for bread but are they offering the bread to Lord Jesus first. If Lord Jesus is providing them bread then the first share belongs to Lord Jesus. Just like the head of the family gets the first share. The better process would be to pray to Lord Jesus, thank Lord Jesus, offer Lord Jesus and then take what’s remaining.

your servant

Rathin

Kaspars Gulbis, 9 December 2015

Dear devotees,

All glories to all of you!

Every answer is wonderful and nice teaching. Thank you!

Serious Christians do offer prayers before eating, thanking the Lord for food and welcoming Jesus to join the meal with them. Although usually there is meat also having no idea of killing. They say animals have no soul, only humans have. There are also some serious people who strongly preach about vegetarianism and not killing.

Sincerely,

Kaspars

Tirtharaja Das, 11 December 2015

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Jai Sri Sri guru gauranga

Thanks prabhu for this touchy aspect of the nine processes of devotional service.

To humbly respond to the first enquiry, yes devotees should approach the Lord for everything, thus by so doing we learn to completely and entirely depend on the Lord. In the advanced stage from the kanistha mentality we should aspire to not only imitate but to pray like queen Kunti. (Refer to Prayers of Queen Kunti).

In humble submission to 2 & 3, the Lord’s prayer as taught by Christ Jesus contains more than supplication for daily bread and for one to appreciate the depth of the prayer itself, it has to be taken in its entirety lest we seem to be like the blind men describing what is an elephant by the parts of an elephant they can touch.

For my own edification, I quote the same prayer and humbly entreaty all of us who can to meditate on the words of the prayer as vaishnavas and let it speak to our hearts.

Jesus Himself said (in Matthew 6: 8 – 13) … “Your Father already knows what you need before you ask Him. This then is how you should pray:

“Our Father in heaven;

May your Holy Name be honoured;

May your Kingdom come;

May your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us day by day the food we need.

Forgive us the wrongs we have done,

as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

Do not bring us to hard testing,

but keep us safe from the Evil One.

Matthew 6: 8 -13

In verse 31 He further advises “So do not start worrying: ‘Where Will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes? (These are the things the pagans (atheists, Asuras,) are always concerned about). Your Father in Heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you…”

I ask forgiveness if I have offended anybody by quoting from a different scripture but just like Srila Prabhupada would quote Canakya Pandit saying that “a wise man should be able to collect gold from a rubbish damp” …..

Regards,

your lowly servant

Tirtharaja Dasa.

Mahabhagavat Das, 11 December 2015

Dear Tirtharaja Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you so very much Prabhu, for your insights!

Srila Prabhupada and all the Vaishnava Acharyas taught us to respect all the scriptures.

The only caution was to stick to those scriptures we study and understand thoroughly.

Srila Prabhupada`s statements, if not understood properly can cause misunderstandings.

Here are some quotes to help us appreciate context that Srila Prabhupada never criticized the Christians for this prayer, though it can be misunderstood that he criticized them, actually he was explaining the broader principle:

`There are different kinds of love or worship in the world. The beginning is, “O God, give us our daily bread.” This is the beginning. When we are, I mean to say, taught to love God, we are instructed that “You go to temple, go to church, and pray to God for your necessities, for your grievances.” That is the beginning. But that is not pure love. Pure love, perfection of pure love, can be found amongst the gopīs. That is the example.`

Srila Prabhupada lecture, Seattle Sep 30, 1968

`Yes. For the leaders. They are seeing this poor man is going to church or to temple for asking God, “God give us our daily bread.” They are taking the opportunity to spread atheism. They say, “Well, you have prayed for your bread in the temple or in the church. Have you got the bread?” They say, “No. Not yet.” “All right. Come to me. You ask me bread.” “Yes.” They are innocent, “Yes, Mr. such and such, give me bread,” and he gives bread. “Take this bread.” Then they are convinced, “Oh, God cannot give us bread. Our political leader can give bread.” This is, propaganda is going on.`

SB 1.1.2 lecture, London, Aug 18, 1971

`Those who are following the Vedic principles, they think like that. Not only they, others also, the so-called religious system, they also think like that. Just like the Christians. They go to church, “O God, give us our daily bread.” So this bread-supplying business is like that: “God simply supplies bread, and we eat and we enjoy.” Similarly, the Hindu system also there is: “O God, give me some money. I am very poor. I am suffering from disease. Please cure it.” And so everywhere you will find some motive in religiosity. So religion does not mean to solve the economic problem. `

Lecture SB 1.1.2, Caracas, Feb 23, 1975

`The Christian religion also, they say, “O father, give us our daily bread.” So God is accepted, actually He is the father. Must have. We must have original father. You cannot say there is no God. If you are existing, you are existing because of your father. Your father is existing because of his father, his father, his father. There must be somebody original father. That is logical conclusion, not that “I am born out of air” or “My father is born out of air, my grandfather is born…” No. There must be somebody—father. `

Lecture SB 1.2.1, New Vrindaban, Sep 1, 1972

Just like people generally go there like that, “O God, give us our daily bread.” Well, why you are asking God for daily bread? Daily bread is already given to everyone, even birds and bees. Your bread is also there. But people do not know that “My bread is already there. Why I shall bother God for daily bread? Let me learn how to love God.” God is giving us so many things without asking. God is giving us light, God is giving us water, God… Bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhiḥ… (BG 7.4). Everything He is giving you, without which cannot live. 

Lecture SB 1.2.6 Delhi Nov 11, 1973

Dharma is not meant for that purpose.” People have become materialistic more and more because, just like in our country, “If you want economic development, then why you should go to temple?” The communist theory is also like that, that “If you want material happiness, why you are going to church and accepting, ‘O God, give us our daily bread’? The bread, you manufacture. You just work for it.” In one side, it is good. But this is also fact, that without God’s mercy, you cannot get even bread. Although bread you can manufacture, but the ingredients of the bread, the wheat, that is not in your hand.

Lecture SB 1.2.9-10, Delhi, Nov 14, 1973

In this case, the Bible is very much a hallowed scripture, your understanding of this scripture is clearly a most exemplary Vaishnava understanding, and Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva both quote from the Bible.

In fact, Srila Gurudeva loves King David`s prayer “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff…`

So thank you Tirtharaja Prabhu for adding your perspective. I pray that we may receive more of your association in this group.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Guru Vandana Devi Dasi, 19 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I would like to add one more reference to this question:

When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty

Our real goal of life is to become a pure devotee of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada explains in his introduction to Nectar of Devotion that any desire except for service of the Lord is material desire. Then does it sound as though Uttama Bhakti is not for us and restricted to particular group or sect who do not have any desires at all? No, pure devotional service is not too exclusive . When Srila Rupa Goswami  gave the definition for Uttama Bhakti, he did not write” anya abhilasa sunyam”, he gave it as ” anya abhilasita sunyam”. This means “void of any desires for sense gratification”. 

We have integral desires for our survival, for self preservation but still we are not out of the realm of pure devotional service. When we face difficulty we pray, “Oh Krishna please help me” .It is a personal desire for existence still we are not excluded from pure devotional service.We have to be very careful to be pure in our desires, our motive should be pure without any personal agenda for sense gratification.

Out of six principles which Srila Rupa Goswami explains which assure complete success in pure devotional service, being patient (dhairyat) is one of them.

your servant

Guru Vandana devi dasi

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Be careful what you think around saintly persons!

When we visit the great saints, and when we pray to them, are our prayers heard? Is there any reciprocation? How do we know it was not our imagination?

In various pilgrimages to visit saintly persons, I have had the good fortune to get much reciprocation.

With a saintly person who is yet in flesh, reciprocation is easy to get, they will convey that to you in word and deed, sometimes they will put that in writing too.

But what about the saintly persons in “samadhi” or trance, who are physically entombed (sometimes while still alive, at their instruction), but who are clearly not dead and gone.

What to speak of death for a saintly spiritually perfected being, there is no death even for all of us – we don’t die, we just carry on in some other guise. For someone like me, there may be positive and negative consequences of our actions in a future lifetime… but for a genuinely saintly person, they are eternal residents of the Kingdom of God, while still being available by prayer to the likes of me.

But in prayer and meditation, how to know if what we have received is actually from that saintly person and not a concoction of the mind? After all there are so many who claim to “speak to God” and yet do despicable things. I am personally not comfortable sharing my inner feelings here in this article, but I do have one recent experience with a great saintly soul which was a very sweet interaction, if somewhat painful for me! 🙂

Recently, I visited Mantralayam, in South Central India, the place where Sri Raghavendra Swami, a great 17th century saint, resides in samadhi. Thousands of pilgrims throng his shrine, and ask for all sorts of things. In my previous visit in 2019, I had asked “How may I serve you” and the inspiration came “Help people understand what to ask of me”… so I dedicated my time there to distributing spiritual literature from the 20th century saint Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I was summoned to the administrator’s office, interrogated, and then the administrator, satisfied with my responses, took some books for himself and gave me permission to distribute books there anytime… More about those experiences at another time.

Raghavendra Swami is a great saint who taught about Krishna and in order to attract attention and seriousness to his teachings, he performed some miracles… a lot of people have forgotten his actual instructions and are fully enamored of the miracles, and go asking for mundane temporary blessings that are surely taken away by all-devouring death. But such a great saint can give complete relief from all material misery by granting the ultimate spiritual perfection!

I have had many other interactions with him, but I will keep that private for now… here is one, where I got a gentle fatherly slap from him!

The day we arrived, I was very hungry, having fasted all day during the long bumpy journey, but the Prasada (sanctified food) served in the temple was somewhat scanty and I went to bed hungry… in my childish impudence on my way back from the temple, I happened to “complain” silently in my mind to Raghavendra Swami that his assistants didn’t ask me if I wanted more, rushed me out, and so I went hungry. I was like, how is it that someone, one of your servitors, comes to your place and goes hungry.

The next day, I rose early well before sunrise, took my bath, meditated at the temple doors before they opened, then performed my mantra meditation right at the shrine, and later that morning, went again to obtain more Prasada (literally food received as Krishna’s mercy)… and was secretly worried that I might go hungry once again! So, in the second course, I rushed to asked for more. The serving priest took one look at me, and gave me a MASSIVE glob of rice, and I was satisfied that this time I would be just fine, my quota was met, and I had enough.

But poor little me, I had not factored in the remaining courses coming, all different varieties of very delicious rice preparations with sides! One course, two courses, three, four… a total of 8 courses were served, and each one was a fresh surprise to me, and before I could react, the item was served on my banana leaf plate with great speed, the next course arriving while I was heads down, before I could finish what was on my plate.

I have a vow of never wasting any Krishna Prasada I have been served on my plate, so I put it all away somehow, with great difficulty, laughing to myself at the same time at the transcendental trick that was played on me.

I was barely able to stand up and walk on my way to washing my hands and mouth! Needless to say, I didn’t need anything to eat for a long time to come!

It was almost as if “Oh, you say you went hungry yesterday, so let’s see how much you can eat!” a light-hearted challenge from Raghavendra Swami! And I must happily say that he won, and I lost. He could, that powerful personality, from his Samadhi, arrange to supply me with more than I could possibly eat, not a word said to anyone!

After all, what does it matter a little less to eat once in a while, I did get food enough to survive, did I not? So clearly even though my original complaint was quite childish, Sri Raghavendra Swami did hear it, and acted on it, if only to give me a gentle slap in my face. And miraculously enough, even though I had eaten probably 5-6 times of my usual quota, I did not suffer from a stomach upset that day!

This was just one of many experiences I have had with the great saints, and thanks to their causeless mercy, I carry on in spiritual life. I am grateful for all the mercy I have received undeservedly, whether it was encouragement, or chastisement, and often, slaps in my face to set me straight.

So, when you’re around a saintly person, be careful of what you think, you might just get way more than you bargained for!

How to go deep into meditation

How to go deep into meditation? How to overcome the tyranny of the mind? What can we do to improve the quality of our meditation?

Kaspars, 30 January 2016

Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Gurudeva and Gurumata! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

How to go deep in meditation? Our Gurudev Sankarshan Maharaj mentions that tamasic / rajasic mood will not help. Ok. Then what helps to deepen the meditative moods of bhakti to Krishna in devotion. Please, dear devotees, kindly give some glimpse about your practice of meditational state of mind and how you get that and how you keep being like that.

Thank you.

Kaspars

Seba, 30 January 2016

Sir, 

I am chanting the Hare Krishna mantra daily on the beads still I feel difficulty in deep meditation, my thoughts are in tandem to my repetition to the mantra. 

Kindly help

Thanks

Seba

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 30 January 2016

Hare Krishna Bhakta Kaspars,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your questions.

Just for comparison, my current condition is like that of a surfer, who is struggling to balance on the surfboard. I am constantly battling with the turbulent waves of thoughts in my mind, which try to push me off the board and I have to again and again try to get back on my board and try to listen to the names. This happens almost everyday. And just like the surfer has to check the time of high tides and low tides during a day before venturing into the sea, to deepen our meditation – the time of the day plays a significant role. And Srila Gurudeva gave the key to dive into that deep meditation. 

The following is an excerpt from Srila Gurudeva’s book ‘Truth Works'(Questions and Answers for reviving your divine existence, Vol.1 (page 137) 

“The key to focused japa chanting is to rise early in the morning and finish one’s daily quota of japa chanting before sunrise. This time of the day is known as brahma-muhurta. It is a very spiritual time of the day when it is very easy to keep one’s mind fixed on the holy names. At this time of the day the mode of goodness predominates. This is why it is so easy to chant during this time period. Once the sun comes up, the atmosphere shifts into the mode of passion, a time for activity and productivity; then it becomes very difficult to sit and peacefully meditate on the holy names. If for some reason you cannot complete your japa before sunrise then you must finish it before you take your morning meal. If you make this serious commitment and stick to it every day, you will be able to train your mind to stay absorbed nicely during your japa chanting. It is simply a matter of training and practise.” 

Almost everyone of us here must have experienced the difference in meditating on japa at different times of the day- early morning, noon or evening or night time. And as recommended by the acaryas and with experience we can see that early morning hours, before the sunrise is the best time to practise and help deepen our meditation on mantra. It is also recommended to try to focus the mind on hearing the syllables of Hare Krishna mantra by pronouncing each word of the mantra clearly.

Time is just one of the factors. If we go further then there are ten offenses one must avoid which will further help to deepen our meditation and so on. I am sure some wonderful realizations of the devotees in the group will follow up this post for the benefit of everyone.

Sincerely,

Shyamapriya devi dasi

Guru Vandana devi Dasi, 30 January 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Gurudeva’s Thought for the day Jan 28, 2016  is very inspiring:

“As within, so without.In other words, whatever consciousness you cultivate within your heart is the atmosphere that you will create or manifest in the world that surrounds you. So now decide what kind of atmosphere you would like to live in and seriously cultivate that atmosphere within your heart. In other words, if you want to live in a peaceful, God conscious or Krishna conscious environment, you must always hear about, speak about and think about Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The magic of this is that by doing so you will exert an uplifting influence on your surroundings.”

“Whatever consciousness you cultivate within your heart is the atmosphere that you will create” My practical experience for chanting 2 hours of 16 rounds is to prepare our consciousness for 22 hours for it.   When we think of nonsense for 22 hours ,   there is no focus on the Holy name during those 2 hours.

Rajasic and Tamasic moods will not help because the mind is not peaceful.

Some of these prayers help and keep praying always..

” O Krishna, please help me connect with You in my chanting. O compassionate Krishna please help me to realize that Your Holy name is non different from you. Inspire me to listen to Your Holy name as carefully as I listen to a message from a loved one”

Speak to our mind

” My dear mind please call Krishna, then don’t ignore Him. My dear mind please don’t ignore the presence of the Lord while chanting please, please, please”. 

In nectar of Instruction Verse 8, Srila Prabhupada writes about stages of perfection,

“In the neophyte stage one should always engage in hearing krsna-katha. This is called sranava-dasa, the stage of hearing. By constantly hearing the transcendental holy name of Krsna and hearing of His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, one can attain to the stage of acceptance called varana-dasa. When one attains this stage, he becomes attached to the hearing of krsna-katha. When one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of smaranavastha, the stage of remembering. Recollection, absorption, meditation, constant remembrance and trance are the five items of progressive krishna-smarana. At first, remembrance of Krishna may be interrupted at intervals, but later remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is uninterrupted, it becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When meditation expands and becomes constant, it is called anusmrti. By uninterrupted and unceasing anusmrti one enters the stage of samadhi, or spiritual trance. After smarana-dasa or samadhi has fully developed, the soul comes to understand his original constitutional position. At that time he can perfectly and clearly understand his eternal relationship with Krishna. That is called sampatti-dasa, the perfection of life.”

Thank you for this wonderful question, this makes me remember to take up Krishna consciousness seriously.

your servant

Guru Vandana devi dasi

Alakananda Devi Dasi, 31 January 2016

Hare Krishna devotees,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumataji

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Thank you all for your wonderful insights on how to perfect the chanting of the mantra on japa beads. The information given inspires me to become a better devotee of guru and Lord Krishna.

yours humbly,

Alakananda Devi Dasi

Mahabhagavat Das, 02 February 2016

Dear Bhakta Bushanlal Raina,

Hare Krishna!

Your choice is whether to pay attention to your thoughts or to your chanting. If you pay no attention to the thoughts, the mind will automatically come and listen to the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, of course, it will try to distract you with thoughts, but again, your choice to pay attention makes the difference. Try it out.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Mahabhagavat Das, 02 February 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

This desire you have is a very wonderful desire, and if you repeatedly beg Krishna, He will fulfill your desire.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Haresh Bakshi, 03 February 2016

Hare Krishna bhakta-s, 

Based on my own experience, I can say that chanting is as easy as it is effective. In this age, it is the easiest path to realization.

Thanks and namaste

Haresh Bakshi

Shridhar Prabhu, 17 February 2016

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva !

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Gurudeva!

Meditation means absorption (in Lord or His Absolute aspects). Absorption comes from intense desire (tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam). Intense desire shall arise when we are convinced of the ultimate goal of life single pointedly, without doubt. 

Therefore we must first strengthen our faith in the ultimate goal of life being devotional service to Krishna,

that there is nothing in this whole material world that is worth comparing to devotional service of the Lord. That devotional service 

is unlike any mundane service which instead of demanding a pay (salary), rather deserves a pay to be allowed to be performed. 

Once our faith gets more and more narrowed and firm in this process then we’ll also realize that material nature will keep tossing us into ignorance and passion helplessly, which we cannot fight on our own strength. Due to our anarthas always appearing at any and every time, distancing us away from Lord(through service, His devotees, His pastimes, His qualities, His form, Holy Names, etc..), we feel separation. The longing/hankering of the soul to relish that devotional engagement multiplies, and results into meditation. 

Therefore faith needs to be strengthened, which happens by sincerely striving for practicing a regulated life in the association of devotees and under the guidance of seniors. Association of devotees is explained in Nectar of Instruction, text 4. Hearing from seniors is very important.

The importance of following a regulative life as instructed by the spiritual master has been emphasized in the Preface to Nectar of Instruction. My favorite paragraph from Preface is:

“In all spiritual affairs, one’s first duty is to control his mind and senses. Unless one controls his mind and senses, one cannot make any advancement in spiritual life. Everyone within this material world is engrossed in the modes of passion and ignorance. One must promote himself to the platform of goodness, sattva-guṇa, by following the instructions of Rūpa Gosvāmī, and then everything concerning how to make further progress will be revealed.”

Therefore, while encountering the unavoidable limitless ignorance and passion in the path of devotional service, we may often face despondency and despair. But somehow or the other ignoring these symptoms we must, dutifully and faithfully, if not meditatively, execute devotional service aiming for improvement. Then meditation shall come. 

Also, of the 9 processes of devotional service, visno-smaranam or remembrance of the Lord is 3rd and comes after sravanam and kirtanam, indicating, the automatic result of proper hearing and chanting/preaching is – smaranam (or meditation).

your servant

Shridhar Das

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Human Animal Farm

George Orwell’s Animal Farm describes a horrifying story of how “equals” exploit other equals… There are so many different social systems being tried out, communism, capitalism, socialism, and so on, but practically all of them are animalistic. Is there an ideal social system?

There is a famous book by George Orwell, Animal Farm. It is a satire on communism.

In the book, the oppressed animals on a farm overthrow their human farmer and try to create a society based on egalitarian principles, but they end up in a situation much worse than before, under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon.

But have you considered any other competing “ism”, such as, say “Capitalism”?

Capitalism, where money rules the roost

Is any materialistic ideology different from any other materialistic ideology when implemented in human society?

Is the end result any different?

Let’s take the case of any “democratic” country… take for example Canada, where I live presently… Canada is high up on the list when it comes to social liberty and freedom, with its famous Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and so on… but even in Canada, let’s take, say, the Prime Minister of Canada – does anyone feel that such a person is “equal” to the rest of us living in Canada? OK, let’s leave the top powerful people aside… let’s take an ordinary police officer… there was recently a case in which a Toronto Police Officer accessed a database, gave his son the name and address of an individual who drove a car with a certain license plate, and the individual ended up dead because of that.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

And if you want to exclude that type of power from the equation, let’s take the case of the Native Canadians! The original first nations people of Canada – where are they? I have mostly seen them destitute and begging on the streets. How on earth did Canadian society engineer that injustice?

Canadian Beggar

There are extreme examples, for example communism is supposed to be a classless society in which everyone is equal, has access to common prosperity, and equal opportunity for the best possible life. What is the reality though? The children of communist leaders study in the top schools, go to the top universities, and the children of the rural citizens? They are not even allowed to get off the farm, because then, who will feed the cities cheap food? This is institutionalized with many systems, such as the Hukou system. We see leaders trying to hold on to power until their dying breath, Stalin, Lenin, and Mao are all examples of that. There are any number of present leaders who want to entrench themselves for the duration of their lives!

Communism is based on materialistic ideals

But lest you think that some other competing system like democratic capitalism is better, just look around us – some people have no access to clean drinking water, food, and opportunity in life, just by the compounded effect of generations of exploitation. Some people have what is known as “inter-generational wealth”, and others struggle to pay their rent, living in buildings owned by REITs funded by, guess who, those with inherited wealth! Of course, who ends up born in better or worse material circumstances depends on the past karma of every individual.

Homeless person in Toronto, Canada

Ultimately no materialistic or man-made system can be perfect. The only perfect system is the one that is created by the Creator of all Natural Systems, variously referred to as Allah, Jehovah, or Krishna but referring to the same one Person.

Krishna, the Perfect Creator of the Perfect Society

It is called “Varnashrama”, which is a combination of 2 words “Varna” and “Ashrama”… Varna means occupation, Ashrama means “Life Status”…

The system is organized as follows – there are 4 main Varnas, and 4 main Ashramas, which gives rise to a combination of 16 different categories of people, which are a natural order of society.

The 4 Varnas are:

  • Brahmana” – the intellectual class
  • Kshatriya” – the administrator class
  • Vaishya” – the mercantile class
  • Shudra” – the worker class

The 4 Ashramas are:

  • Brahmacharya” – the student class
  • Grhastha – the householder class
  • Vanaprastha” – the retired class
  • Sannyasa” – the renounced class

Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः ।
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ॥ १३ ॥

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ
tasya kartāram api māṁ
viddhy akartāram avyayam

According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/13/

Ah, there you go, you might say, here comes the infamous Indian caste system, which has resulted in so much suffering, so much inequity, so much bias, and so much violence and exploitation.

The present-day Indian caste system is demonic

Two words are key here, one is “guna” and the other is “karma”.

The present Indian caste system is based on birth, which is called “janma”… basing the caste system on birth is like saying that all doctors’ children will be ever forevermore doctors, or that all of the judges’ children will be anointed judges. Yes, if you are born in a technical or a medical or a business family, it is very likely you will take up the same line because the whole atmosphere is steeped with that particular mood, but you still have to go to medical school or law school or learn to operate a business!

A doctor must be properly qualified

So therefore, the caste system based on birth alone is rejected… instead, every person is analyzed according to their qualities and the work they do.

If for example, someone is born in a family of doctors cannot clear high school or medical school, they will not get the degree and will not be allowed to practice. So why then is someone born in the family of a Brahmana but has the mindset of a worker still demand the social position of a Brahmana?

A judge must be duly qualified

This degraded practice alone has completely destroyed the original social system in India, and is responsible for the destruction of the high class Vedic culture. After all, just like in the famous book by George Orwell, if you make a pig the leader of society, the position will not alter the fact that the pig is, at the root of it, still a pig!

A pig in a suit is still a pig!

The 4 orders are compared to the various parts of the body – the Brahmanas to the head, the Kshatriyas to the hands, the Vaishyas to the stomach, and the Shudras to the legs. This is not derogatory, the head alone cannot get much done, and neither can the hands, stomach, or legs on their own.

The different sections of society must work together, just like the parts of our bodies

Imagine the legs running around without a head, or the hands flailing about in one place, or the stomach starving for the want of food! Our society is presently just like that.

So, in modern day society, we see that the humans are actually divided into 4 categories, represented by animals.

श्वविड्‍वराहोष्ट्रखरै: संस्तुत: पुरुष: पशु: ।
न यत्कर्णपथोपेतो जातु नाम गदाग्रज: ॥ १९ ॥

śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ
saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ
na yat-karṇa-pathopeto
jātu nāma gadāgrajaḥ

Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the deliverer from evils.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/

Why dogs, hogs, camels, and asses? Do we have some kind of hatred for these animals? No, we respect every living entity, but we lament the lost opportunity when a living entity who has achieved a human form of life descends to lower species in life…

Dogs will be dogs

Why and how are humans like dogs?

Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality with which to accept the service of a greater master. After finishing a so-called education, the so-called educated persons move like dogs from door to door with applications for some service, and mostly they are driven away, informed of no vacancy. As dogs are negligible animals and serve the master faithfully for bits of bread, a man serves a master faithfully without sufficient rewards.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
A pig will eat anything, practically

Why hogs?

Persons who have no discrimination in the matter of foodstuff and who eat all sorts of rubbish are compared to hogs. Hogs are very much attached to eating stools. So stool is a kind of foodstuff for a particular type of animal. And even stones are eatables for a particular type of animal or bird. But the human being is not meant for eating everything and anything; he is meant to eat grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, sugar, etc. Animal food is not meant for the human being. For chewing solid food, the human being has a particular type of teeth meant for cutting fruits and vegetables. The human being is endowed with two canine teeth as a concession for persons who will eat animal food at any cost. It is known to everyone that one man’s food is another man’s poison. Human beings are expected to accept the remnants of food offered to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the Lord accepts foodstuff from the categories of leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. (Bg. 9.26). As prescribed by Vedic scriptures, no animal food is offered to the Lord. Therefore, a human being is meant to eat a particular type of food. He should not imitate the animals to derive so-called vitamin values. Therefore, a person who has no discrimination in regard to eating is compared to a hog.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
A camel eats thorns, and thinks they are tasty whereas it tastes its own blood as the thorns cut the insides of its mouth

Why camels?

The camel is a kind of animal that takes pleasure in eating thorns. A person who wants to enjoy family life or the worldly life of so-called enjoyment is compared to the camel. Materialistic life is full of thorns, and so one should live only by the prescribed method of Vedic regulations just to make the best use of a bad bargain. Life in the material world is maintained by sucking one’s own blood. The central point of attraction for material enjoyment is sex life. To enjoy sex life is to suck one’s own blood, and there is not much more to be explained in this connection. The camel also sucks its own blood while chewing thorny twigs. The thorns the camel eats cut the tongue of the camel, and so blood begins to flow within the camel’s mouth. The thorns, mixed with fresh blood, create a taste for the foolish camel, and so he enjoys the thorn-eating business with false pleasure. Similarly, the great business magnates, industrialists who work very hard to earn money by different ways and questionable means, eat the thorny results of their actions mixed with their own blood. Therefore the Bhāgavatam has situated these diseased fellows along with the camels.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
An ass carrying a heavy load, all for a little grass

And why asses?

The ass is an animal who is celebrated as the greatest fool, even amongst the animals. The ass works very hard and carries burdens of the maximum weight without making profit for itself.* The ass is generally engaged by the washerman, whose social position is not very respectable. And the special qualification of the ass is that it is very much accustomed to being kicked by the opposite sex. When the ass begs for sexual intercourse, he is kicked by the fair sex, yet he still follows the female for such sexual pleasure. A henpecked man is compared, therefore, to the ass. The general mass of people work very hard, especially in the Age of Kali. In this age the human being is actually engaged in the work of an ass, carrying heavy burdens and driving ṭhelā and rickshaws. The so-called advancement of human civilization has engaged a human being in the work of an ass. The laborers in great factories and workshops are also engaged in such burdensome work, and after working hard during the day, the poor laborer has to be again kicked by the fair sex, not only for sex enjoyment but also for so many household affairs.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/

What happens when humans who are just like hogs, dogs, camels, and asses go to the election? The dogs vote for a big dog, the hogs vote for a big hog, the camels vote for a big camel, and the asses vote for a big ass.

We end up with a civilization of dogs, hogs, camels, and asses!

And we get a leadership that is full of such dogs, hogs, camels, and asses!

And what will such leaders do in society? They will promote animalism, they might spout big ideals just like the hogs in George Orwell’s book do, but quietly or openly promote animalistic civilization.

Srila Prabhupada once called democracy as “demon crazy”! In other words, the democratic process does not get us the best leaders, only the lowest common denominator.

An ideal society without God in the Centre is not possible

Take your pick, the system created by God or the system created by animals masquerading as humans.

Krishna, the Creator of the Perfect Social Order

What is your choice?

Understanding Lord Rama

Why was He exiled for 14 years? Why did Lord Rama act the way He did? Why did He kill Vali like a hunter kills a wild animal? Why did Lord Rama send Sita to the forest?

K V Rao, 31 Mar 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to your devotional service!

Please help me to understand why did- 

Lord Rama hid behind a bush and shot arrows at Vali?

Lord Rama sent mother Sita to forest based on the comment made by a washerman?

Kaikayee asks King Dasaratha to send Lord Rama for 14 years of vanavas (exile). What is the significance of number “14”?

Haribol!

your servant,

K V Rao

Ravichanthran, 6 Apr 2015

Hare Krishna.  Dandavat Pranam.

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Sankarshan Prabhu!!

Recently I heard about Lord Rama hide behind a bush and shot arrows at Vali question during a recent discourse:-

1. First reason behind is anyone who confronts Vali and fight will have to forego half of his strength to Vali.

2. Ayodhya kingdom encompasses even Vali’s area and being an animal, as per the Shastra, can be killed if the animal does crime to others.  So he was killed by Rama, and every one know how an animal is killed during hunting.

3. By attempting to kill Sugriva (even after accepting his mistake and offering sharanagati )  and taken his wife as Vali’s wife Vali done a crime.

Significance of 14 years:-

As per the sanatana dharma if a person is not available for 14 years, he cannot claim his rights.  Probably, Kaikeyi kept this mind while telling Rama to go on exile.  The rights of a son of Maharaja, namely the kingdom.

Lord Rama send mother Sita to forest based on the comment made by a washerman?

Actually Sita herself wanted to give birth to her sons amidst serene and spiritual environment and accompaniment of Rishis and Munis in forest, which she expressed to Lord Rama personally.  Lord Rama only gave that boon to Sita.

These were from what I heard during various Ramayana discourses by me.  Anyone is welcome to add and correct my these understandings.

Ravichanthran

Mahabhagavat Das, 6 Apr 2015

Dear Sriman Rao,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Wonderful answers by Sriman Ravichanthran Ramachandran. I appreciated those answers very much. Thank you!

Re your second question below, “Lord Rama send mother Sita to forest based on the comment made by a washerman?”, this is my understanding, based on reading from the Acharyas’, hearing from the devotees, and reflecting on what I have gathered:

1. The Lord acted in an exemplary fashion acting as a leader, a ruler must be above reproach – even the hint of suspicion must not be there. This is unfortunately not understood by our modern leaders who are covered with all kinds of scandals and still cling to power.

2. The Lord did not want ordinary fools to incur the sinful reaction of blaspheming Him. For a similar reason, for example, Lord Chaitanya took Sannyasa, or the renounced order of life, to avoid increasing the offenses of the Lord.

3. Lord Ramachandra can never be separated from Sitadevi, as Their eternal pastimes continue in the spiritual Ayodhya planet, however, to give and to experience the highest pleasure of “viraha” or loving in separation, the Lord and Mother Sita enacted this pastime to experience that highest ecstasy. This is contrary to material experiences, but we know that this is the reason why Shyamasundara Krishna apparently (but really never did) left Vrindavana.

4. After Mother Sita disappeared from this planet, Lord Ramachandra observed strict celibacy, perfomed Agnihotra yajna for thirteen thousand years, while continuing to rule as the ideal monarch.

5. The Lord, through His pastimes, showed how the attraction between man and woman in a material way, produces only misery. Even though there is no misery for the Lord, still, the Lord enacted these pastimes to show us to get out of this terrible material attraction (note that serving as husband and wife in devotional service is not abominable, but still the troubles are there for all who are attached to the opposite sex).

6. It is to be noted that if the Lord desired to abandon Mother Sita due to some kind of suspicion, He could have done so in the forest, He had no need to go through so much trouble to defeat Ravana etc.

7. There was no question of Sita being in another man’s home or being unchaste – as described in the Chaitanya Charitamrita as seen in the Kurma Purana… Lord Ramachandra is an expansion of Krishna, He has no illusion, but still see how He behaves in accordance with Vedic etiquette…

CC Madhya 9.201 — Śrīmatī Sītādevī is the mother of the three worlds and the wife of Lord Rāmacandra. Among chaste women she is supreme, and she is the daughter of King Janaka.

CC Madhya 9.202 — When Rāvaṇa came to kidnap mother Sītā and she saw him, she took shelter of the fire-god, Agni. The fire-god covered the body of mother Sītā, and in this way she was protected from the hands of Rāvaṇa.

CC Madhya 9.203 — Upon hearing from the Kūrma Purāṇa how Rāvaṇa had kidnapped a false form of mother Sītā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became very satisfied.

CC Madhya 9.204 — The fire-god, Agni, took away the real Sītā and brought her to the place of Pārvatī, goddess Durgā. An illusory form of mother Sītā was then delivered to Rāvaṇa, and in this way Rāvaṇa was cheated.

CC Madhya 9.205 — After Rāvaṇa was killed by Lord Rāmacandra, Sītādevī was brought before the fire and tested.

CC Madhya 9.206 — When the illusory Sītā was brought before the fire by Lord Rāmacandra, the fire-god made the illusory form disappear and delivered the real Sītā to Lord Rāmacandra.

CC Madhya 9.207 — When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard this story, He was very pleased, and He remembered the words of Rāmadāsa Vipra.

CC Madhya 9.208 — Indeed, when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard these conclusive statements from the Kūrma Purāṇa, He felt great happiness. After asking the brāhmaṇas’ permission, He took possession of the manuscript leaves of the Kūrma Purāṇa.

CC Madhya 9.209 — Since the Kūrma Purāṇa was very old, the manuscript was also very old. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took possession of the original leaves in order to have direct evidence. The text was copied onto new leaves in order that the Purāṇa be replaced.

CC Madhya 9.210 — Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to southern Mathurā [Madurai] and delivered the original manuscript of the Kūrma Purāṇa to Rāmadāsa Vipra.

CC Madhya 9.211-212 — “When he was petitioned by mother Sītā, the fire-god, Agni, brought forth an illusory form of Sītā, and Rāvaṇa, who had ten heads, kidnapped the false Sītā. The original Sītā then went to the abode of the fire-god. When Lord Rāmacandra tested the body of Sītā, it was the false, illusory Sītā that entered the fire. At that time the fire-god brought the original Sītā from his abode and delivered her to Lord Rāmacandra.”

CC Madhya 9.213 — Rāmadāsa Vipra was very pleased to receive the original leaf manuscript of the Kūrma Purāṇa, and he immediately fell down before the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and began to cry.

CC Madhya 9.214 — After receiving the manuscript, the brāhmaṇa, being very pleased, said, “Sir, You are Lord Rāmacandra Himself and have come in the dress of a sannyāsī to give me audience.

Specifically, verses Madhya 9.211-212 are taken directly from Kurma Purana.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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Marriage and Celibacy

What is Celibacy? Is it mutually exclusive with Marriage? What is Celibacy in Marriage? Is there something higher than sex pleasure?

Filip Misic, 19 November 2017

Hare Krishna everyone, please accept my humble obeisances.

I was wondering, why are there so many married people in ISKCON temples? Is celibacy good if one feels like it is not a huge difficulty for him? Please enlighten me.

your humble servant, 

Filip

Rakesh, 20 November 2017

Hare Krsna Filip prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances

That is a wonderful question. As far as I know, Srila Prabhupada said something like that if one can stay a celibate, one should stay like that. Can’t say if it is good or not  because your question has a conditional answer.

Celibate life is blissful and those who can stay like that are very fortunate because of the wonderful opportunity of service and association that they get. 

Coming to the first question, it is not easy to stay Brahmachari. I heard from one senior brahmachari that it is not easy even to decide to join Brahmachari ashram, what to stay of staying a celibate lifelong. Also, even if one joins brahmachari ashram, Maya Devi is always trying to lure him somehow or the other. As I heard from one another devotee, the envy of the jeeva against Krsna is Why Krsna is the enjoyer and the desire is that s/he wants to be Krsna. So that envy and desire is there in living entities’ hearts unless they are pure. Since living entities’ have been in this material world since millions of lifetimes, the conditionings are strong. 

Many brahmacharis change their ashram for many different reasons. It is difficult to say what exactly may be the reason. 

Hope I have been able to answer in some way.

your insignificant servant

Rakesh roshan

Filip Misic, 20 November 2017

Hare Krishna Rakesh Roshan prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances

Thank you for your answer, especially for enlightening me about how I should not let my guard down. As a university student I can say that I feel Maya breathing down my neck every day. Therefore I would like to humbly ask you to please pray for me so that I get more strength. 

your humble servant, 

Filip

Nikhil Mishra, 20 November 2017

Hare Krsna

I heard in one of the audios of Srila Prabhupada lecture that if one can live a celibate life easily then he should live else he should marry.

He says that Marriage is not prohibited in our movement but hypocrisy is !

Rest, personally, with experience i have understood that to overcome maya , one’s efforts are just not sufficient, grace of Krsna is also required.

My philosophy has been to eat well, stay healthy, do prayers, avoid extremes and keep exploring truths behind words said by Guru and shastras. Thankfully I am getting helped. God seems to listen to my prayers.

wishing you best

not so advanced in krsna Consciousness –

Nikhil

Filip Misic, 20 November 2017

Hare Krishna Nikhil

Thank you for your great advice. 

Even less advanced in Krishna consciousness, 

Filip

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 November 2017

Thank you for a great conversation everyone!

Hare Krishna!

Would like to bring to your attention that marital status and celibate status are not mutually exclusive.

Srila Gurudeva is married for over 30 years, but celibate for over 47 years.

I am married, but celibate also. The Krishna consciousness movement is full of such people who are married but also celibate. Of course, not all married couples within ISKCON are celibate, but if at least one of the couple is formally initiated as a disciple of a spiritual master, then celibacy is required.

The essence of the matter is this, from the Thought For the Day 26th Nov 2017:

Question: Sex Outside of Procreation?

My husband and I have been married for many years. Because of health problems, I can’t have any children. Is it illicit if we have sex?

Your student

 Answer: It is Illicit

In this case, you must practice celibacy. Don’t sleep together. Sleep in separate rooms, if possible, or at least in separate beds. Non-procreational sex is illicit. It is a waste of valuable energy that should be engaged in Krishna service, where you will get unlimited benefit instead of temporary titillation of the gross material senses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

In Vedic society, marriage is for a gentle society… most men can’t go through life alone, they need the kind of support and encouragement that only members of the female gender can provide. And most women need protection, at the very least to stave off unwanted attention from animal-like men. When a man and woman work together, they can do much more together than the man or woman individually.

In Vedic society, there are 4 Ashramas, or “positions of shelter” – Brahmacharya or unmarried life, Grihastha, or householder life, Vanaprastha, which could be single or married, but focused on spiritual advancement, and Sannyas, or the renounced order of life. In all the orders of life, one is expected to remain Brahmachari, or celibate, except that the householders have a license to engage in sex for procreation and also some more facility for somewhat luxurious life – because the Grihasthas technically work hard to support the other 3 orders – none of the other orders work for a living, the Grihastha is meant to support them all.

The married householder who lives for the sake of sense gratification is not known as a Grihastha, such persons are known as Grihamedhi, or a person who meditates on sense gratification.

Regardless of external status, one is meant to be internally always in Krishna consciousness, where celibacy is a natural by-product.

Srila Prabhupada quotes this verse in many places, but here it is from the purport to SB 9.19.16:

Therefore, by the practice of bhakti-yoga, one should give up his lusty desires. As explained by Śrī Yāmunācārya:

yadavadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde

 nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt

tadavadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne

 bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu-niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca

When one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, he gets more and more happiness by discharging duties for Kṛṣṇa. Such a person spits on sense gratification, especially that of sexual enjoyment. An experienced, advanced devotee is no longer interested in sex life. The strong desire for sex can be subdued only by advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/19/16/

And he repeats that verse here too, in the purport to BG 2.60

quote

Without engaging the mind in Kṛṣṇa, one cannot cease such material engagements. A practical example is given by Śrī Yāmunācārya, a great saint and devotee, who says:

yad-avadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde

nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt

tad-avadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne

bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca

“Since my mind has been engaged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and I have been enjoying an ever new transcendental humor, whenever I think of sex life with a woman, my face at once turns from it, and I spit at the thought.”

Kṛṣṇa consciousness is such a transcendentally nice thing that automatically material enjoyment becomes distasteful. It is as if a hungry man had satisfied his hunger by a sufficient quantity of nutritious eatables.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/60

Please note that sometimes that quote is misunderstood as a misogynist view that Yamunacharya is spitting at women an Srila Prabhupada is endorsing such a thought, no, Srila Yamunacharya is spitting at the thought of sex indulgence because of his deep Krishna consciousness which provides him with the highest pleasure, and Srila Prabhupada is encouraging us to be fully Krishna conscious.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Filip Misic, 27 November 2017

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Prabhu,

Thank you for your answer. Although I am sure all these answers do not only help me, but others as well. 

your humble servant, 

Filip

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Did we or did we not land on the Moon?

Some say humans landed on the moon, saw that it was a barren world, collected some rocks, took some pictures and videos, and then returned. But Srila Prabhupada, a spiritually enlightened person says that this was a collosal hoax… and he is no conspiracy theorist? How to understand this?

Nikhil Mishra, 14 December 2017

Hare Krsna

Can any one kindly explain to me the controversy associated with moon landing? 

read in an email that Srila Prabhupada says that landing on the moon was a false propaganda and it actually did not happen!

humbly exploring truth and seeking surrender unto lotus feet of Lord.

Nikhil

Janis, 14 December 2017

Hare Krishna!

Indeed in the Chitralekha devi dasi Harrychund “Srila Prabhupada said…………!!!” email series this is mentioned. Would you please explain this to me also how the moon landings did not happen if nowadays many independent (or so it is said) investigators with high resolution photographs confirm traces such as lunar rovers, camping sites etc.

Humbly your servant,

Janis

Filip Misic, 14 December 2017

Hare Krishna!

I was also disturbed with this matter some time ago. But after researching why Srila Prabhupada said something like this, I found out, that this statement that the moon landing is not real, is originated from the shastras. I don’t know fully what the shastras say about this subject, but I think they must be saying that no human from our planet is able to physically go to the moon, because our bodies are not suited for this. Also, the modern day science´s descriptions of the moon say that it is completely deserted and only has hills, is quite strange. In the shastras there are many descriptions of the moon and the inhabitants of the moon.

 I am not at all familiar with these exact statements nor am I authoritative to speak on this, but I only wished to help clear your doubts. Maybe some more experienced devotee could help. Just know that Srila Prabhupada has so often emphasized how the shastras are flawless, and in fact they are. So please have faith in the shastras, not atheistic scientists of the Kali-yuga.

your humble servant, 

Filip

Sudarshan Das, 14 December 2017

Hare Krishna,

Yes, the moon landing was a hoax. Srila Prabhupada said that very clearly. 

Here is a reference: https://www.vaniquotes.org/wiki/Prabhupada,_when_they_said_they_went_to_the_moon_and_they_showed_films_of_them_landing_and_walking_on_the_moon,_was_this_all_a_bluff%3F…_They_all_made_it_up%3F

Actually, without even referring to Srila Prabhupada’s quotes, I still don’t believe that the moon landing ever happened. The modern day scientists also challenge it with a lot of arguments. They have found irregularities in the photos and videos that are shown to us.

When we refer to Vedic scripture the belief is cemented. Each planet has souls living there and they have bodies that are suitable to live on that planet. We who are the residents of earth cannot enter into these planets with our present material bodies. 

In one place (Sorry I could not find the reference), Srila Prabhupada explains that even if humans are able to devise material means to reach these higher plants such as the moon, they will not be able to enter it. He gives the example saying that one may take a flight to the US, but they cannot enter into the country without a Visa. They will land in the US, but will be sent back from the immigration counter. So they don’t practically enter and see or understand the US. The scientists’ efforts to enter higher planets are similar.

In another conversation Srila Prabhupada says that actually Moon is further away than the Sun. 

https://vaniquotes.org/wiki/Moon_planet_is_further_(than_the_sun)%3F

So what the scientists are referring to and targeting for is not even moon 😊

There is another conversation also regarding the same where he quotes a verse about this.

All in all, the conclusion is moon landing never happened. Getting to the moon planet is not even our goal. We have a higher mission, Prema, the loving service to Krishna. We should focus on that.

Hope this helps.

your servant,

Sudarshan Das 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15 December 2017

Hare Krishna!

I am giving an example to illustrate…

Canada is a “heavenly” country from many perspectives, especially if someone is coming from a war-ravaged or terrorized country.

BUT, if someone enters into Canada without a valid visa, then all they will see of Canada is the inside of a jail cell, and if they go back to their country, they could say “Oh, Canada, its basically a big jail”.

Another example…

When my son was a baby, he wanted to “go” somewhere even when it was not convenient to go, like late at night, or early in the morning. I sometimes used to take him around, swing him, make some sounds with my mouth, take him from this room to that room, back to same room, and he thought he went someplace else and was quite happy.

Many agencies can make someone believe something happened. Memories can be implanted, consciousness can be altered and “experiences” can be inserted into someone’s consciousness.

The demigods who live in the higher planets, they are very powerful.

If a puny impudent little human being tries to exceed their authority, the demigods can easily do whatever they want with the person, such as forcibly stop them, redirect them, etc.

The Vedic view of the “moon landing”, if they ever left the Earth, is that they visited one of the dark planets Rahu or Ketu, which are somewhere between us and the Moon.

Prabhupāda: Yes. How can you say there is no life?

Paramahaṁsa: But the scientists are saying, though, that the nearest star to our… You know, they consider the sun a star. And that the nearest star to ours is four light years away. Which means that it’s… They do not believe that there’s life in this entire solar system, in the planets nearest us, the moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Neptune, Jupiter. They assume it’s either too cold…

Prabhupāda: No, we say in the sun there is life. Otherwise how Kṛṣṇa says, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). “I spoke this Bhagavad-gītā science to the sun-god.” So? Sun-god is dead stone, and Kṛṣṇa spoke to him?

Bahulāśva: They’re very convinced, though, that they went to the moon, the scientists.

Devotee (3): I was going to ask you, Prabhupāda, is that the moon planet that we see, is that the same moon planet that’s mentioned in the śāstras? The same planet?

Prabhupāda: Yes, same one. But the moon planet where they went, that is a dark planet. That is not moon planet.

Morning Walk — July 21, 1975, San Francisco

Bottom-line, we trust our Acharyas who have nothing material or spiritual to gain from us. We don’t trust the so-called scientists who need to create an illusion of progress in order to gain more and more funding dollars to maintain themselves.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 16 December 2017

ahh….whatever it is…it keeps me wondering about mysteries i see in life with my gross eyes and things written in shastras. 

All I want to pray is (while keeping my inquisitive spirit alive)..

Oh Lord! I know You are there, You must be there and Theory propounded by Chaiyanya Mahaprabhu makes sense to my intelligentsia. 

Help me out to know You and to appreciate You. Glance your causeless mercy because due to restless senses,i am unable to upgrade myself upto the standard set for a true devotee.Give me attachment to Your namarita.

Hare Krsna

Sincerely

Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16 December 2017

Dear Nikhil,

That’s called free will. Krishna will never force you but give you a choice at every mentioned to Love Him or Leave Him.

Yes no one can uncover the truth simply by relying on their material senses or vibrating their brain… The mysteries of the Universe don’t give themselves up so easily.

Your prayer is nice.

He gives this choice to the Atheist, and He gives this choice to the Devotee. He loves us all, and His love is unconditional. The only difference is that the devotee accepts Krishna’s love and the Atheist rejects Krishna’s love.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Filip Misic, 17 December 2017

Hare Krishna Nikhil,

That’s the spirit!

your servant, Filip

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