Dear Pope Francis, how many apologies to go?

Recently, Pope Francis apologized for the abuse and killing of Inuit children in residential schools in Canada. But is an apology enough? Does the faith he profess even understand what “spirit soul” means? I challenge all Christians to read and understand the Bhagavad Gita, so they can actually be Christians one day.

I live in Canada, which was once only inhabited by Native Canadians of various tribes. Then the European settlers came, and now, only a few hundred years later, you hardly see any Native Canadians. They are mostly relegated to faraway remote reserves, and reduced to a tiny minority. The few Native Canadians are often seen in cities, in terrible shape, drugged, drunk, and in a really difficult situation. Their culture stands decimated, and their age-old customs are all but destroyed. They don’t possess much either, having been mostly tricked or cheated out of their land, their rights, their heritage.

Among other things that contributed to their misery, there was this strategy of conversion to Christianity without due respect to their culture and rights as souls. Their free will was trampled willy nilly.

Sometimes the force was overt, and sometimes it was insidious and downright criminal. For example, one strategy adopted by the Government of Canada and the Christian Church was that of forcibly separating young Native Canadians from their families and putting them into residential schools, where they were to be reformed of their “heathen culture” and made into proper Christians.

Kamloops Indian Residential School

But in these schools, many children were abused and tortured by their Christian teachers and the Christian priests, and many even died. Think about it, imagine what it is like for a child to go to school to be “civilized” and be killed by the Christians. Their little friends were then often made to dig graves and bury the dead children. Can you even imagine the horror?

These souls were shot dead due to “overcrowding”

So far, in Canada, thousands of graves have been uncovered, and more are yet to be uncovered. This has shocked the nation beyond words. Whatever happened to “Thou Shalt Not Kill”?

Mass grave of 182 buried children’s bodies, at a residential school in British Columbia, Canada

Similar abuse was perpetrated in the United States of America also, and in most parts of North and South America.

So why did this happen? Well, there are many reasons, but there is one particular main reason.

In Christianity, there is an idiotic concept that only certain types of humans “have souls” and all the other types of humans (such as natives or aborigines, or, anyone who is not European or Christian), animals, birds, insects, and plants have no souls. I wrote about Descartes being in ignorance about the nature of consciousness and life. This is continuing to cause havoc all over our planet, including mass slaughter and all kinds of exploitation.

What I found shocking though, is that the root cause of the injustice heaped upon native people in various parts of the world, including India, Asia, and Africa, are doctrines published by the Church!

The Doctrine of Discovery dehumanized humans

There is something called the “Doctrine of Discovery“, which are Papal Bulls, or decrees by the Pope, issued, starting in the 1100s, and then later in 1455 and 1493 by the Pope of the time. What they said, in essence, was that the native population of “discovered lands” were not “human” and could therefore not possibly possess a right to any land or property, and that essentially everything that the European explorers “discovered” was theirs to claim!

I grew up in India, where Christian preachers routinely denounced the ancient Vedic culture as barbaric and uncultured. In effect they preached that the followers of any culture or religion that is not European in origin were “heathen”, people bereft of souls, or worse, souls claimed by the devil. These poor creatures, then, in essence, were meant to be “saved” by trampling over, destroying their culture, appropriating their land and wealth, and somehow or other converting them to Christianity, even if what they were following was higher than what the missionaries were preaching.

A Christian Preacher

But unfortunately, even today, the Pope and most of his followers are in the deepest, darkest ignorance.

Thomas Paine, American Thinker

There are fundamental truths that the Pope needs to learn from the Bhagavad Gita, that life cannot exist without spirit. Wherever there is life, there is a spirit soul underlying… the only difference, as I discussed in a previous article is that of the degree of awakening of consciousness. In short, a drunk man and a sober men are both human, but the drunk man may act just like an animal… doesn’t make him “not a soul”, just a soul under the influence of an intoxicant! Similarly, an animal may be less intelligent than a human, but is still a spirit soul!

Read the Bhagavad Gita to get a clearer understanding of the Holy Bible

As a result of this terrible ignorance that continues to be perpetrated, among other atrocities, for example, there is large-scale slaughter of animals and birds going on, sanctioned by the Christian church, under the doctrine that only humans have souls!

Dear Pope Francis, humans don’t “have” souls, but are souls! So are all the other living entities, including the tiniest germ… they are simply wearing different clothes, just like you wear your robes, and someone might dress in a pair of jeans and a shirt… Both of you are humans, just wearing different clothes.

These material bodies are simply clothes, that are changed at the time of death.

All living entities are spirit souls, experiencing a particular material experience

So recently, Pope Francis apologized for the crimes committed at the Canadian residential schools, and previous Popes have apologized for the slave trade, for crimes against women, against Jews, for sexual abuse, to Orthodox Christians, and for sure, there will be many more apologies. But what good are these apologies? The wrongs have been done, many souls have suffered, and the perpetrators are suffering the effects of following a flawed authority. And what is worse, the atrocities based on ignorance continue!

But if the Pope, meant to be God’s direct representative on this planet does not know the Supreme Absolute Truth, and has a need to apologize for their predecessor’s mistakes, then how pure is that connection to God? How deep is the spiritual understanding of the Pope? Is there any sense in following someone who is spiritually blind?

न ते विदु: स्वार्थगतिं हि विष्णुं
दुराशया ये बहिरर्थमानिन: ।
अन्धा यथान्धैरुपनीयमाना-
स्तेऽपीशतन्‍त्र्यामुरुदाम्नि बद्धा: ॥ ३१ ॥

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te ’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ


Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/7/5/31/

No disrespect to the blind, but the blind leading the blind in unknown territory is not such a good idea. Everyone ends up in a ditch sooner or later. The Pope must admit his ignorance and surrender to someone who does know the truth, for example, a spiritual descendant of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, such as my spiritual master!

To the Pope, or any of his followers reading this, these are some fundamental truths about life spoken by God in the Bhagavad Gita (The Song of God), please understand them, accept them, and be perfect.

Krishna is God the Father, in other words, the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ. These are the words of God the Father.

Krishna, the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, a True Son of Krishna

अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो मत्त: सर्वं प्रवर्तते ।
इति मत्वा भजन्ते मां बुधा भावसमन्विता: ॥ ८ ॥

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/8/

Everything rests upon Krishna, and therefore He is the Supreme Authority, even of Jesus Christ, what to speak of a Pope who must apologize for the sins of his predecessors.

मत्त: परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय ।
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव ॥ ७ ॥

mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
kiñcid asti dhanañ-jaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ
sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

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

Because Krishna is the Supreme Authority, His words, which are above sectarian division like Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, should be accepted as the Supreme Absolute Truth.

वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि ।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा-
न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ॥ २२ ॥

vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro ’parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī

As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/22/

You are not this body. You are a spirit soul, and so is every living entity. You should not discriminate against a particular living entity just because of the clothes they wear.

सर्वयोनिषु कौन्तेय मूर्तय: सम्भवन्ति या: ।
तासां ब्रह्म महद्योनिरहं बीजप्रद: पिता ॥ ४ ॥

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/14/4/

Every single species of life originates from God, is a soul, just like you and me. In other words, every living entity is our brother or sister, no less than anyone else.

पिताहमस्य जगतो माता धाता पितामह: ।
वेद्यं पवित्रम् ॐकार ऋक् साम यजुरेव च ॥ १७ ॥

pitāham asya jagato
mātā dhātā pitāmahaḥ
vedyaṁ pavitram oṁ-kāra
ṛk sāma yajur eva ca

I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable oṁ. I am also the Ṛg, the Sāma and the Yajur Vedas.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/17/

God is the Father of all of us, not just some of us!

Instead of making mistakes, which is all too human, while spuriously claiming divine revelation and a direct connection to God, it is better to take a humble position, admit our ignorance, follow the right authority, and come to the light.

Dear Pope Francis, you did the right thing by apologizing, but this is not enough. Now, please continue to do the right thing, please follow the Bhagavad Gita, and save yourself and your millions of followers from a dark and dangerous future, beginning with a long time in hell. Please, heed my humble plea.

Here are 2 formulas for Ultimate Perfection:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moving homes – painful business

Have you ever moved? Moved a home? Moved a job? Moved to another city? Moved to another country? Moving is painful, is it not? What about the ultimate move we will be forced to make at the end of our lives? That moment when our soul is ripped from all its current attachments? How to deal with that?

Have you ever moved from one home to another? Moving is a pain. It can be exciting, but usually it is a big hassle, and takes a lot of effort. The bigger the move, the more the pain.

So what about THE BIG MOVE?

You may or may not have moved, or maybe your moves were smooth and painless, but there is one move that is so big and so painful that almost everyone is afraid of it.

That’s right, the biggest ever move of our lives. It is called death. Death. DEATH.

Some call death the grim reaper, and for good reason! Every single attachment we have, to our body, our family, our friends, our home, our profession, our city, country, culture, all of that is ripped out in a moment.

Just as moves are painful, but transient, and usually forgotten once we are in our new home, death is not to be feared.

Why is that?

The jaws of a cat are death for a mouse, but to a kitten, the jaws of his mother is just “hey, my Mom is taking me for an adventure”.

Depending on how we have lived our life, death can be a relief, a cause for great anxiety, or of no consequence whatsoever.

वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि ।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा-
न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ॥ २२ ॥

vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro ’parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī

As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/22/

Once upon a time there was a saintly person and his disciple.

They went around meeting different people during their travels…

One day, the saintly person met 3 souls.

One was a person of really poor character… he was very wealthy, charismatic, powerful and influential, but lied, cheated, plundered, and murdered for profit and convenience. But as the saintly person had nothing of value that the crook could possibly want, and was such a pleasant personality to be around, the wicked crooked person did not harm the saintly person. To this man, the saintly person gave the blessing “may you live long” and the person was naturally very happy to receive this blessing.

Another person was extremely good in character, always willing to extend a helping hand, kind, and generous too, but he was suffering like you cannot imagine… he had health issues, was very poor, and barely had enough to eat, no proper clothes to wear, and a dwelling that wasn’t even fit for an animal to live in. To this person the saintly person gave the blessing “may you die shortly”.

The third person that the saintly person and his disciple met was a pure Lover of God, and spent every waking moment in the service of God. His every breath resonated the Names of God, and his every action was done in loving communion with God, for the sake of God’s pleasure. He loved every creature, served them as children of God, and was in general very happy and jolly. This person was neither too rich nor too poor, neither too famous, nor unknown. He was neither too beautiful, nor was he very powerful. He was plain and simple, and you couldn’t spot him in a crowd for the most part, but he was just completely satisfied and content, happy to serve God in every possible way. The saintly person blessed him with “live as you are, or die as you are, be as you are”.

Now at the end of the day, when the disciple was serving his spiritual master and asked about the different blessings given during the day, the blessing of a long life to the wicked, the blessing of death to the miserable, and an indifferent blessing to the pure devotee of God. The disciple was somewhat shocked and perplexed at his spiritual master’s different blessings, some of which were seemingly unfair.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari, the author’s spiritual master, enthralls his disciples with transcendental knowledge

The spiritual master, the saintly person, explained…

The person acting wickedly today is reaping the result of his past good activities from the past – good karma. When he dies, then he will reap the results of his present sinful activities – bad karma. So to the wicked man, death would be quite the terrible thing because then the karmic reactions would come home to roost. Instead, if he lives longer and changes his ways, he may have a chance to redeem himself.

Life in the material world is just like a Ferris Wheel

The person in a miserable situation today is reaping the result of his past bad activities, bad karma. When he dies, then he will reap the results of his present kindness – good karma. So to the gentleman, death would be a welcome respite from his suffering and would give him pleasure, and hopefully continue his kind ways.

And to the pure devotee of God, whether he lives or dies makes no difference to the soul – all the reactions to his past karmic actions, whether good karma or bad karma are burned off… he is ecstatic now and he will be forever ecstatic in the service of God, whether here in the material world, or back in the spiritual realm, the person will be eternally happy and satisfied, so he has no need of any blessing for me.

किं कर्म किमकर्मेति कवयोऽप्यत्र मोहिताः ।
तत्ते कर्म प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽश‍ुभात् ॥ १६ ॥

kiṁ karma kim akarmeti
kavayo ’py atra mohitāḥ
tat te karma pravakṣyāmi
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ’śubhāt

Even the intelligent are bewildered in determining what is action and what is inaction. Now I shall explain to you what action is, knowing which you shall be liberated from all misfortune.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/16/

Death is a mere transition, a mere move from one home to another one.

If you have been good or bad in the material sense, you surely will have fear, anxiety or lamentation over death. But if you are in the transcendental stage, then death is, in the words of my spiritual master “closing your eyes in sleep and waking up with Krishna, in Krishna’s pastimes”.

Krishna’s devotees live and play with Krishna eternally

While moving homes may be painful for someone who has a lot of baggage, moving is not painful to the person who has no baggage!

How to get free of baggage?

aprārabdha-phalaṁ pāpaṁ
kūṭaṁ bījaṁ phalonmukham
krameṇaiva pralīyeta
viṣṇu-bhakti-ratātmanām

For those who are engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all sinful reactions, whether fructified, in the stock, or in the form of a seed, gradually vanish.

Padma Purana – quoted in https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/2/

So you can take your pick… you can remain on the level of karmic actions and reactions, or you can make your activities completely transcendental to all material reactions, and burn off any remaining reactions.

You cannot choose whether to surrender or not – you are already surrendered, either to the material energy or to the spiritual energy. You are controlled at every moment, in every respect (but more about that another day). You can choose to act transcendental to the material energy.

How to make your actions transcendental? Glad you asked! Join this course!

Surrender yourself, with your intelligence

In spiritual life, we often hear the term “surrender”, and surrender we should. But dear reader, never surrender your intelligence!

In spiritual life, one of the key tenets is surrender to God. Without surrender to the will of God, spirituality has no meaning. But since most of us are not at a level where we can surrender directly to God, because it is hard to differentiate between the ranting of the mind and the voice of God within the heart, we often offer our surrender to a representative of God.

Now, it is required that any representative of God is of pure heart, simple, clean, and honest. But since we are all here in the material world, and the illusory energy of God is extremely strong, it is possible that even the most dedicated servant of God can come under the sway of illusion, even if momentarily.

Therefore, it is extremely important never to surrender our intelligence. In other words, while we surrender to the authority of the representative of God, a priest, a Rabbi, a Mullah, an Imam, a Guru, or a Pastor by any other name, we need to constantly remain on guard and not suspend our common sense and intelligence.

Not doing this, in other words, surrendering our common sense and intelligence has resulted in horrific abuses, including sexual abuse of children, abuse of poor and vulnerable people, and the destruction of faith in many a venerable religious organization. Such a loss is lamentable, because then, the purpose for which the spiritual tenets were coalesced to form a religious organization is lost.

My spiritual master instructed me “Surrender with your intelligence”.

What does this mean? If the actions of a superior in spiritual life are somehow incongruous, or going against our common sense or clear knowledge not tainted with opinions, then it is important to distance those from our surrender.

On the one hand, real spirituality is pure, but to take the essence of that spirituality to a large population, it is necessary to organize… And organization brings about its own sets of risks.

In a religious organization, managerial authority is often conflated with spiritual authority. It often happens that a person with spiritual authority is also given significant managerial authority. In such cases, the person may wear different hats at different times… or their actions while wearing one hat may conflict with their actions while wearing with the other. While it is extremely difficult to contest an instruction given under spiritual authority, every member of every religious organization has the right to carefully assess every single instruction given under managerial authority with their common sense and intelligence.

Doing so with small and big things is absolutely critical to preserve the spiritual purity of an organization. It is impossible to avoid dynamics of sycophancy, groupism, nepotism, politics, and positional power in any organization. That is the definition of the material world… A religious organization is still an organization in the material world, though its core is spiritual.

We deal with these types of political issues in business, Government, at Universities, in Hospitals, and all types of institutions, even Religious Institutions. But while all other types of organizations give an individual a choice to walk away from a job or a contract, in religious institutions, the situation is very different. A spiritual person associated with a religious institution often finds that their entire personal and social life is intertwined with the facilities afforded by that religious institution! And the leaders in those organizations know this very well. So it becomes extremely difficult for an ordinary member to “walk away”. Because walking away means leaving a big part of your life behind. And this becomes the reason for perpetration of all kinds of issues.

Abuse can range all the way from the innocuous to “I can do whatever I want and face no consequence”. And because powerful people are often surrounded by sycophants who, in order to fulfill their own personal agendas, will not speak the truth to the powerful, it is important for those of us with a conscience to reject nonsense when we see it.

Recently, I was in a situation where a very powerful individual tried to use their influence to “rewrite” facts. They had done something that was irresponsible, and they wanted to spin their actions as being reasonable, and wanted me to accept their version of the “alternative” facts. They were very angry with my refusal to “believe” their version which went against all reason and fundamental facts. I had to resist with all my might. I struggled with emotions like fear, guilt, and shame. They told me “I had a lot of respect for you, but I must say that it has diminished greatly”.

There may be material consequences in the short and long term, for example, I may not be in the “inner circle of confidantes” of this particular powerful person. And maybe I may remain far removed from positions of power within that religious organization. But as my spiritual master has instructed me to always remain focused on the spiritual essence, to be a pure devotee of Krishna, I must remain careful not to become a sycophant.

But what do I care about material consequences? My goal is pure devotional service to the lotus feet of Sri Krishna. If I had to endure a million material miseries for millions of times, it would be worth it to be a pure devotee of Krishna.

Another instruction my spiritual master gave was on the definition of intelligence. He said “the intelligent person is one who can hold two opposing sides of an argument or a concept, and not be disturbed by either of them“. So that was an interesting instruction.. what this means in this case is that while a person may have made a mistake on one aspect – the managerial side, the other aspect, the spiritual side does not automatically get diminished…

However, this very same person has indeed helped me in my spiritual life for many years. I need to learn to distinguish between the same person acting in a spiritual capacity, and the same person acting in a managerial capacity. So while I reject the erroneous actions and attitude of the managerial side, I still retain my respect and love for the spiritual side of the same person. So therefore, while I reject that person’s heavy-handedness and accept the consequences of doing so, I cannot discount the contribution of that person to my spiritual journey.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, there is an instructive exchange between Maharaja Parikshit, the ideal example of a ruler, and Dharma, the personality of religion… https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/17/ and I will excerpt a couple of key passages…

न वयं क्लेशबीजानि यत: स्यु: पुरुषर्षभ ।
पुरुषं तं विजानीमो वाक्यभेदविमोहिता: ॥ १८ ॥

na vayaṁ kleśa-bījāni
yataḥ syuḥ puruṣarṣabha
puruṣaṁ taṁ vijānīmo
vākya-bheda-vimohitāḥ

O greatest among human beings, it is very difficult to ascertain the particular miscreant who has caused our sufferings, because we are bewildered by all the different opinions of theoretical philosophers.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/17/18/

केचिद् विकल्पवसना आहुरात्मानमात्मन: ।
दैवमन्येऽपरे कर्म स्वभावमपरे प्रभुम् ॥ १९ ॥

kecid vikalpa-vasanā
āhur ātmānam ātmanaḥ
daivam anye ’pare karma
svabhāvam apare prabhum

Some of the philosophers, who deny all sorts of duality, declare that one’s own self is responsible for his personal happiness and distress. Others say that superhuman powers are responsible, while yet others say that activity is responsible, and the gross materialists maintain that nature is the ultimate cause.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/17/19/

अप्रतर्क्यादनिर्देश्यादिति केष्वपि निश्चय: ।
अत्रानुरूपं राजर्षे विमृश स्वमनीषया ॥ २० ॥

apratarkyād anirdeśyād
iti keṣv api niścayaḥ
atrānurūpaṁ rājarṣe
vimṛśa sva-manīṣayā

There are also some thinkers who believe that no one can ascertain the cause of distress by argumentation, nor know it by imagination, nor express it by words. O sage amongst kings, judge for yourself by thinking over all this with your own intelligence.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/17/20/

In other words, whatever happens to us is by the direct sanction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead! We are meant to learn something from every experience, and without casting blame, we must intelligently figure out what is to be learned, learn that lesson, and move on.

The above two verses were spoken by Dharma, in the form a bull whose 3 legs had been broken by Kali, the personality of the age of quarrel and hypocrisy we live in Kaliyuga-not to be confused with Kali devi, the fierce form of the material nature. Maharaja Parikshit, who was responsible for the welfare of all, especially Dharma, inquired who was responsible for this violence, but Dharma stayed silent and did not incriminate Kali

And by applying the instructions of my spiritual master to every situation intelligently, I shall be always happy by his grace.

So, dear spiritualists, without getting bewildered by these tests of our faith, let us remain committed to the truth, and nothing but the Supreme Absolute Truth Sri Krishna and remained surrendered to Him at all times, places, and circumstances!

Bodily Consciousness, Miss America, and Suicide

Recently, an accomplished young lady committed suicide. What is the root cause of it? What is the consequence of it? What can we do to stop this?

In recent classes on the Srimad Bhagavatam, my spiritual master mentioned this sad news.

Why did a beautiful, young, highly educated young lady, crowned as Miss America recently commit suicide? Yes, Cheslie Kryst, former Miss America, an attorney, committed suicide on Jan 31, 2022! This was incredibly sad that such a gifted person thought it fit to end her valuable human life in this way.

Not long ago, a young school girl, Mallory, just 12 years of age, committed suicide too.

These are just two sad examples of many, many.

Some people are faulting social media, and Big Tech. The argument goes that these platforms are designed and created to be addictive, and these platforms don’t enforce discipline or proper behavior among the users, and so, harassment from others is the cause of the suicide. There is some truth to this.

But just like all other material solutions to material problems, it is only a partial truth. Partial truths only create more problems further down the road.

It is true that platforms like Facebook and Instagram are designed to be addictive. In Mathematics, there is a concept called “necessary and sufficient condition”… sometimes a condition is “necessary” but not “sufficient”. This means that unless all the necessary and the sufficient conditions are met, a certain statement is not true.

The fact is that there are a lot of different causes that cause this problem. If you start analyzing the problem, you will find that our entire social order, our systems, our institutions, and our societies each contribute to this problem. But how to attack the problem at it’s root?

When we examine harassment on social media, negative body image, resulting depression, and reduction of self-confidence to the extent of committing suicide, the primary condition to cause all the other problem is bodily consciousness.

What is “Miss America”? It is an external material designation, awarded to someone almost arbitrarily, on the basis of their body, and to some extent, their mind. So, the very “achievement” deepens and locks someone into bodily consciousness. So this Miss America thing is a big part of the problem, because of course, every idiot has their own idea of what is beautiful and what is not. Everyone who organizes it, everyone who participates in it, everyone who watches it, and everyone who attaches any value or any importance to it is a victim of this terrible disease of bodily consciousness.

Yes, bodily consciousness. Thinking that we are these bodies is the fundamental root cause of the problem.

We are spirit souls, or “Atma”. We are completely non-material.

In fact, the spirit soul wears two bodies, just like we wear outwear and underwear… The “outerwear” in the case of the spirit soul, is these gross material body. And the “underwear” in the case of the spirit soul is the subtle material body, consisting of mind, intelligence, and false ego.

What is false ego? Exactly the very root of the problem. False ego means “I am this body, I am this mind”. To confuse and conflate the identity of the pure spirit soul with temporary identities like the gross and material bodies is the pastime of fools like Descartes. And due to these very smart and clever fools, innocent people are being misled, even to the point of suicide.

In the material energy, the principal manifestations are eight, as above mentioned. Out of these, the first five manifestations, namely earth, water, fire, air and sky, are called the five gigantic creations or the gross creations, within which the five sense objects are included. They are the manifestations of physical sound, touch, form, taste and smell. Material science comprises these ten items and nothing more. But the other three items, namely mind, intelligence and false ego, are neglected by the materialists.

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

Spiritual life begins at the point when we realize our identity as spirit soul. Any religious, philosophical or scientific tradition which does not clearly help us understand this is purely material in nature.

It is extremely sad that violence is being committed upon God’s dear souls every single day. And one should be extremely angry with those who are perpetrating this violence?

What is violence and what is non-violence? Violence means denying someone their right. If you have a right to be somewhere, and someone denies you that right, then that is violence against you.

Dear Spirit Soul, you are not this body, you are spirit soul, an eternal associate of God. Why are you accepting this horrible violence being perpetrated on you, making you believe that you are this body, you are this mind?

Wake up! Free yourself from these shackles! And the moment you do, you will no longer be fodder for those peddling sense gratification. You will not be addicted to Wordle, you will not be addicted to Facebook, you will not be addicted to Instagram, you will not be addicted to LinkedIn, and you will never have a negative thought about yourself for all of eternity.

Because you will know who you are, and you will be who you are. Eternal, Full of Knowledge and Ever-increasing Bliss – these are your qualities as a spirit soul.

You will then participate in the most enlivening, adventurous, loving interactions, together with other spiritually perfected beings, in the service of God.

Are you struggling with any negativity because of being misled like these unfortunate souls? Do you know someone suffering like this? Send them this article! Let me know, I will gladly point in the right direction, and you will be ever-increasingly happy.

To the gross materialist who cannot see anything beyond the gross material body, there is nothing beyond the senses. Therefore his occupational activities are limited to concentrated and extended selfishness. Concentrated selfishness centers around the personal body—this is generally seen amongst the lower animals. Extended selfishness is manifested in human society and centers around the family, society, community, nation and world with a view to gross bodily comfort.

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

At the minimum, you should know the consequence of committing suicide… when someone kills their gross material body, they are not released from their subtle material body. So, the soul, because it is not yet time to acquire a new gross material body, has to remain in the subtle material body till the allotted lifetime is finished.

This is called, remaining on as a ghost. The ghosts, they do not possess a gross material body or senses, though they have many material desires for sense gratification. Just imagine how frustrating it is to want to drink water but have no hands, no tongue, no throat, and no stomach! Such is the fate of the ghost. In order to enjoy material experiences, ghosts have a need to inhabit other material bodies… and this happens when a person becomes intensely angry, or unspeakably morose, drunk, drugged, or otherwise inebriated. When this happens, a ghost finds it easy to enter such a body, and act through that body.

Ghosts are bereft of a physical body because of their grievously sinful acts, such as suicide. The last resort of the ghostly characters in human society is to take shelter of suicide, either material or spiritual. Material suicide causes loss of the physical body, and spiritual suicide causes loss of the individual identity. 

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/14/24/ purport

This is why we find instances of perfectly normal people doing things they would have never dreamed of doing. For example a gentle schoolteacher might murder someone, a devoted mother might abuse their child, a policeman may end up committing a most heinous crime. Of course, the ghost cannot be punished in a human court of law!

So it is all very very sad. This intense bodily consciousness and the resultant side effects must be stopped.

How can you stop this? First you have to perfect yourself. How can you do it?

Here is a start, chant this Mantra as much as you can:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Mahamantra

And to understand who you really are, read this book carefully The Bhagavad Gita As It Is. To be free is your right, don’t surrender it! I can help you get your own copy!

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.

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!

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!

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?

Why don’t I remember my past lives? And were all the species created in a moment?

If I had a past life, then why don’t I remember it? And how were the species created?

Janis, 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna!

I would like to ask two following questions, if I may.

First – why cannot we remember our past lives? If we have lived billions of lifetimes (and even at least one as a Brahma), why cannot we remember a single detail of these lives? I have asked this question on this forum before and received answers – because the experiences of death were too traumatic and such memories would cause mental issues related to multi-identity. Yet still billions of years is a very long time and I think at least something memorable enough should have happened.

Second – how did the species of Earth originate? Did Brahma create them momentarily or did he do the evolution of single cell->multi-cell organisms->fishes->reptiles->mammals->humans?

Thank you!

your servant,

Janis

Chakravarthy, 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna.

My understanding for your first question is as follows.

We are here in the first place since we wanted to enjoy ourselves separately from the Lord and due to His kindness, he arranged us the material body on this planet. All living beings are attached materially to several things, the foremost being the immediate family, friends, and so on. If one were to remember his past life(s), it would be difficult to enjoy the current life due to the past attachments and unfulfilled desires.

If one were to remember or know prior spouses and kids as an example, it would be impractical to his current and prior relations. Where will one’s interest lie due to multiple identities? Imagine having a million(s) kids in all different species. This would not be an enjoyable situation. So, due to His kindness, he takes our memory away facilitating the false happiness we came in for. Similarly, we are able to get past the traumatic experiences in this current life by forgetting them. In this material world where reality is true only when one perceives through the five senses, should one know his past life and death and acquiring a new body after (with certainty), will he be able to enjoy in his current body? To my mind, it seems impossible as fear will dominate of the impending death. We are able to enjoy because we don’t think death is around the corner.

Hope this helped.

Respectfully,

Chakravarthy

Brajanath Das, 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva!

Regarding – Why can’t we remember the past lives?

Imagine the hardships of trying to live one life while plagued with memories of another. If we were to remember the hell we went through in our previous births, we would be suffering from a severe case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and would not be able to function properly in this present life. So the forgetfulness of our previous hellish suffering is Krishna’s kindness upon us so that we can live this life peacefully and cultivate Krishna consciousness in a happy mood in preparation for going back to home, back to Godhead.

I hope that helps.

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Dra Varni, 3 January 2018

Hare Krsna!!  Good Question

REMEMBERING OUR PAST LIVE: My first question for a person who has been born. Is why do you want to remember your past life? Secondly, how do you know that you weren’t born into your past life?  What you do know is, you were born into material reality. A question such as: What if I was not born into material reality. What would I know then about myself?  

Dra Varni

Janis, 4 January 2018

Hare Krishna!

Thank you very much for your answers! I had an approximate idea that it is Krishna’s inconceivable kindness to erase our memories, otherwise they would break our mind. But I was hoping – maybe someone knows more details about the mechanism how the memories are erased.

To answer Dra Varni questions:

1) because the idea of reincarnation fundamentally changes the way I understand how my memory works. I can look back a few years and am able to remember (or at least think I remember) events of my life. If reincarnation exists and I try to look back prior to my birth, I have zero memories. So it raises the question – why?

2) regarding how I know I was not born before – I don’t have memories about that time, so I don’t know anything about it.

Reincarnation is the biggest issue I have with spiritual faith. I believe, when I die, I simply cease to exist. And theory of reincarnation confirms it, because it erases my memories – and since I identify me with my memories, it destroys me.

On a side note – I was thinking about the purpose of hellish planets and paradise planets. For example, from samsara point of view, hell is important step for degrading soul’s intelligence until it is fit to enter less intelligent body. But from functional point of view – if purpose of hell is punishment as means of teaching the soul – what is the point of this punishment, if you cannot remember what you have learned?

Humbly asking for enlightenment.

your servant,

Janis

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 4 January 2018

Dear Janis,

Hare Krishna!

I do appreciate your sincerity.

Past life memories are available to be dredged up – any number of “past life therapists” are doing good business all over the world. There are even books like “Many Lives Many Masters” which claim to have revived past life memories in individuals. But we cannot endorse any of those because of several reasons – we feel it is unnecessary, and also that it is a distraction from genuine spiritual life.

Srila Prabhupada says (paraphrased) that when you have an arrow in your back, your first duty should be to get out that arrow, instead of beginning an investigation as to where that arrow came from and who shot it.

So coming to your question – how are the memories erased?

The memories are not erased from our subtle mind, they are simply not present in the gross mind. The entrapped spirit soul wears 2 bodies, the subtle material body consisting of mind, intelligence, and false ego, and the gross material body which we can perceive with our gross material senses. One indication of past life memories is “inclination”. A naked person of the opposite gender may be available to 2 individuals, one is enamoured, and the other is unaffected, similarly other things like drugs, or sports, or even philosophical speculation.

The subtle mind is projected onto the material body and the brain consisting of its neurons, is an “interface” – it is not actually the mind.

One example is that at the same time as I am writing this, the radio signals and television signals and wireless radio channels of thousands of sources are present in the space where I am sitting. But I don’t hear any of them. Doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, just means that I don’t have the equipment to tune into those signals. With the right receiver, I can receive all those channels, simultaneously if I want to.

Another example of how memories get erased – ask a woman who has given birth to a child how much pain she felt during childbirth – she cannot tell you. Ask a child how much pain she felt when she was being born. She cannot tell you. Intense experiences do get blotted out, and we have many such experiences. I was present when my wife gave birth to my son. Both of them were in intense pain, I could see them both in their intense agony. But both of them don’t remember any of the pain.

The experience of birth, and death, is extremely intense.

The Srimad Bhagavatam 11th canto describes birth thus:

O most charitable Uddhava, what is called birth is simply a person’s total identification with a new body. One accepts the new body just as one completely accepts the experience of a dream or a fantasy as reality. SB 11.22.40 (https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/11/22/40)

The very next verse states this “Just as a person experiencing a dream or daydream does not remember his previous dreams or daydreams, a person situated in his present body, although having existed prior to it, thinks that he has only recently come into being.”

And then ” Because the mind, which is the resting place of the senses, has created the identification with a new body, the threefold material variety of high, middle and low class appears as if present within the reality of the soul. Thus the self creates external and internal duality, just as a man might give birth to a bad son.”

I do invite you to experience this reality, but it is an experience, you cannot theoretically understand it.

You can experience this yourself only by practicing Krishna consciousness fully and wholeheartedly, just like you can feel the water in a lake only by jumping into it, and no one can define what salty is, what sweet is, you need to put substances which taste salty and sweet into your mouth.

Re your belief that you cease to exist upon death, no one can stop you from believing whatever you want to believe, but just think – you didn’t start with a clean slate, you started with a specific set of circumstances that others don’t share exactly with you. Why do you have special circumstances that are different from others’? That line of thinking leads you to believe that you are just a bunch of chemicals, at which point I ask you, when did a bunch of chemicals ever worry about their existence or heaven or hell.

Re what is the purpose of heaven and hell when you cannot remember the punishments? Maybe you cannot remember right now, but I have met people who have nightmares that resemble the various punishments in hellish planets. Those dreams are vividly real and one man was asking me if he would have to go back there. I also have met people for whom the standard of sense gratification here is very low, they seem to recollect that there is a higher standard of enjoyment elsewhere, and they determinedly pursue that enjoyment without giving into lower forms of enjoyment here.

You don’t necessarily have to remember what you learned – after experiencing hellish or heavenly planets, one is put into a situation that constrains one to that situation from where one came from. It is natural.

It is like I am qualified as an electrical engineer. I have probably forgotten 95% of electrical engineering because I now work in the computer software industry for the last 20 years. But I still get paid as much as an engineer would ordinarily get paid, maybe more. One may argue what is the use of going to university to study electrical engineering, but one can also see that I am reaping the rewards of the penance of working hard whilst in university.

God creates a situation in which both the atheist and theist can both exist by their own free will. If you want to be an atheist, you are given full freedom to follow that path. But you are not free from your actions and their subsequent reactions, which you will reap in due course of time.

If for example, reincarnation was provable by gross material means, how would the atheists remain in their own concoctions? That would be taking away the atheists’ free will to be as they want to be.

Ultimately however,

tarko ‘pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā

nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam

dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ

mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “‘Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.’”

CC Madhya 17.186 (https://www.vedabase.com/cc/madhya/17/186)

We are on that path of the progressive path of the great self-realized souls, and we can experience our progress by a progressive disappearance of our confusions, but only if we truly follow.

I pray that this is in some way shape or form helpful to you.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Janis, 5 January 2018

Dear Mahabhagavat,

Hare Krishna! Thank you very much for your answers!

The following two points answered my question very nicely:

1) people have “unexplainable” inclinations since their birth

2) analogy of a soul transmigrating bodies with a person dreaming. The soul – still identifying itself with false ego/intelligence/mind – accepting the next body (not able to remember previous life) is similar to a regular person falling asleep in current life (cannot remember previous dream).

I have issues understanding the following:

1) blocking painful experiences – I agree that in psychology there are such phenomena, however I am able to remember many painful experiences of my current life.

2) identifying myself with a bunch of chemicals and worrying about heaven or hell – there can be chemical reactions in my neurons that result in these worry processes in my brain.

On a theoretical side note – why only human-like species have suitable intelligence to be able to choose God over matter? Maybe it would be too lenient from Krishna’s side to constantly provide this opportunity for all life forms, but still – why not have a constant chance for everyone to be able to learn?

I also would be grateful if you could explain how evolution is compatible with Vedic history – for example dinosaur fossils, carbon dating. Oldest traces of human species are dated approx. 500 000 BC opposed to the age of humankind being approx. 4 million years according to Vedas (adding up the three previous yugas).

I understand that without practice (which I do not have at the moment) I have small chances of realizing non-material processes, because I have material consciousness and these realizations can only be bestowed by Krishna if He wants to. I plan to resume my practice in approx. two years, when I have finished my studies.

Sincerely,

Janis

Abhay Charan Das, 5 January 2018

Nice question by Janis and wonderful answers in the group.  Srila Prabhupada speaks about life after death, putting a part of the morning May 9, 1975 in Perth

Quote Start

Paramahamsa: Many of them say we cannot prove there is any life after death.

Prabhupäda: Yes, this if proof. Just as the boy is there and the father is there, the boy is going to become father. This is future. Both of them are there. The boy is going to be the father, and the father is going to be the grandfather. Where there is no future? The rascals, they do not know, say that, but there is future. How can you stop it? The boy is going to be father, the father is going to be grandfather. This is future.

Amogha: But then he dies, and they cannot see any future after that.

Prabhupäda: Your seeing has no power. This is no argument, “I cannot see.” I cannot see the other side. That does not mean there is nothing. This is all rascaldom. He has become authority “I want to see.” What you can see? Now this is Indian Ocean. On the other side there is India, and other islands, but you cannot see it. Does it mean there is nothing? So, these are foolish questions. Because they are rascals they put such questions and nonsense. That is the proof that they are rascals. They are simply taking authority his little vision. That’s all. What is your vision? Why don’t you see what is the other side? But does it mean there is nothing because you cannot see? When one says “I cannot see,” that means he is a rascal number one. He’s believing so much upon his seeing. He does not know that he is a most insignificant person, so there is no value of his seeing. That he does not know. Therefore he is a rascal. Is it not? He’s believing his eyes so greatly that “I cannot see.” And what is the value of your seeing? What you can see?

Conversation with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Quote End

Irrespective of whether we remember or not of our past life, the very fact we want to live forever is the proof that we are eternal and the very fact that we have a temporary body now is the proof that we must have had different bodies before, since we are eternal. Because we do not remember we take the help of Shastra to learn the truth.

Bg 2.22 — As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

And in SB

kecit kevalaya bhaktya                vasudeva-parayanah

agham dhunvanti kartsnyena      niharam iva bhaskarah

Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Kṛṣṇa can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will revive. He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays.

SB 6.1.15

By executing our Devotional service our understanding gradually becomes solid over a period of time.

And to understand how Species originate this is a good book http://www.humandevolution.com/ where the proofs are given using both Modern Science Methods and the Shastras.

Hope this helps. 

At your Service

Abhay Charan das

Sacinandana Das, 5 January 2018

Thank you for sharing Srila Prabhupada’s conversation Prabhu ji. It was amazing to read it.

your servant,

Sacinandana Das.

Filip Misic, 8 January 2018

Dear Janis,

You have very smart questions, which is good, because they are signs of intelligence. You mentioned that your studies are disabling you from doing spiritual Krishna Conscious practice. But please know, that it is actually not so hard to be Krishna Conscious and lead a spiritual life while simultaneously living a material life. It is possible to balance these two, that is, if one really wants to. 

Krishna explains thoroughly in the Bhagavad Gita, how one can be Krishna Conscious at all times.

First He says to his dear friend Arjuna (12.8):

mayy eva mana ādhatsva

mayi buddhiṁ niveśaya

nivasiṣyasi mayy eva

ata ūrdhvaṁ na saṁśayaḥ

 “Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt.” However, to reach this stage of devotion and love towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not accomplished easily. Therefore, taking this in to notice, Krishna goes on to speak (12.9):

atha cittaṁ samādhātuṁ

na śaknoṣi mayi sthiram

abhyāsa-yogena tato

mām icchāptuṁ dhanañ-jaya

 “My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way develop a desire to attain Me.”

If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.” How you can Janis practice bhakti-yoga and work for Krishna, is nicely described by Srila Prabhupada in his purports. Because Krishna is so merciful, He goes further on to say (12.10):

abhyāse ’py asamartho ’si

mat-karma-paramo bhava

mad-artham api karmāṇi

kurvan siddhim avāpsyasi

“If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.”

then further (12.11)…

athaitad apy aśakto ’si

kartuṁ mad-yogam āśritaḥ

sarva-karma-phala-tyāgaṁ

tataḥ kuru yatātmavān

“If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of Me, then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated.”

and even further (12.12)

śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj

jñānād dhyānaṁ viśiṣyate

dhyānāt karma-phala-tyāgas

tyāgāc chāntir anantaram

“If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/12

To better understand how to be Krishna Conscious and spiritual by following the above mentioned instructions given by Krishna himself, I would suggest to you Janis that you get to know Srila Praphupadas commentaries on these verses, as well as the  entire Bhagavad Gita. Srila Prabhupada is the authority on the Krishna Conscious- science, and all the knowledge we get comes from him, which originally comes down from the disciplic succession Guru Parampara. 

The point I am trying to make, is that you can easily practice spiritual life, nevertheless your current situation as a student. You see, I am also a university student and have much work to do, but I also read Prabhupada’s books and visit a Hare Krishna temple often. So I think you can consider visiting a temple, where you can get answers to every question you have. So I truly hope that you turn your “material consciousness” into a more spiritual and blissful consciousness Janis and i don’t think anyone should wait 2 years for that when given the rare opportunity. 

I write to you in an uttermost friendly way 🙂 

your servant, 

Filip.

Sacinandana Das, 8 January 2018

Wonderful answer Bhakta Filip. You are very lucky that you came into Krishna Conscious during your university studies. It is Krishna’s unlimited mercy upon you.

I heard in Srila Gurudev’s lecture in Iskcon Greater Noida bace where Srila Gurudev likes going very much to a student. Srila Gurudev said finish your 16 rounds and then you can study(Not exact words but gist is the same)

your servant,

Sacinandana Das.

Filip Misic, 8 January 2018

Hare Krishna Sacinandana Prabhu,

Very nice. I will try and live up to that standard 🙂

your servant, Filip

Janis, 10 January 2018

Dear Filip,

Thank you for your encouragement! I will try to increase my practice sooner than within two years 🙂

your servant,

Janis

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The origin of western religion

What is it with those who claim to have the one and only true eternal religion? And why do they spew hatred? Would you like to understand the origin of the western religious traditions?

Many Western Religions, that is religious traditions that originated in the Middle East, such as Islam and Christianity, claim to be the “One and Only Original True Religion”. I have had people tell me I’m going to hell because I’m not following their particular denomination.

You know, it is really sad to see one type of Muslim denouncing another type of Muslim (for example Shias and Sunnis), or one type of Christian denouncing another type of Christian… Is that not the fundamental anti-thesis of the life of Lord Jesus Christ? Did Prophet Mohammad teach hatred?

But when I converse with them about their own religious tradition, they descend into unreasonable hatred towards others very quickly without actually expressing any understanding about God Himself. I cannot accept that such a soul has any proper understanding of religion which means to re-connect.

So, when I do meet such a person, I follow this advice, and try to get away as soon as possible. What is the use of discussing politics when I want to discuss God?

Of course, there are the pious souls who follow a religious tradition just so they can use God as an order-supplier. For such souls, I strive to encourage them to go deeper into their own understanding of their own faith, so they can reach the essence of their tradition, at minimum, in this lifetime.

God is One without a second, and has absolutely no competition. I would accept your acceptance of your tradition as genuine if you actually know something about God and you actually love God, and by corollary, every single living entity. I could accept your acceptanc of your faith if you know yourself and if you are yourself, meaning, without external material designation.

Every genuine religion tradition has come into being because the great teacher, messenger of God, had something of value to share, and they had to share it in the particular time, place, and circumstances that they were in. Giving undue importance to the details originating from the specific time, place, and circumstance and losing the essence of the teaching is the pastime of fools.

So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s movement is, the starting point is, the spirit soul. And automatically, unless… In the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord said the sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “You give up the so-called man-made duties or occupation or dharma. You just surrender unto Me.” So actually this is dharma, or religion, to surrender to God. God is one. He is neither Hindu nor Muslim nor Christian. God is one. If there is another God, then there is competition. God cannot be two. God is one. Eko brahma dvitīya nasti. That is the Vedic injunction. So God is one. So either you become Hindu or Muslim, the God is one. This is to be understood. So the science of God, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You try to understand scientifically what is meant by God, what is meant by religion. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s preaching. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. He begins His teaching on this principle, that every living being is eternal servant of God. That’s all. And this is religion. Religion does not mean stamping in different way. Religion means to know God the great and we are subordinate, maintained by God. This is religion. If anyone knows these two things only—God is great, and we are subordinate; our duty is to abide by the orders of God—that is religion. So unity can be established on the spiritual platform.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Recently, I came across this interesting article on the website of His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami on the Origin of Western Religion – it is worth a read!

https://www.bhakticharuswami.com/2014/01/the-origin-of-western-religions/

I won’t repeat what’s in this insightful article, but I encourage you to go and take a read yourself!

As always, if I may assist you on your spiritual journey please let me know!

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