Difference between Vedanta and Sankhya

What is Sankhya, and what is Vedanta?

Premananda das 20 November 2015

Hare Krishna prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

What is difference between Vedanta and Sankhya?

Are these different traditions mentioned in Vedas?

your servant
Premananda das

Sridhar Das, 20 November 2015

Hare Krishna Premananda Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances!
Jai Srila Prabhupada!

From my limited understanding, I’ve always been able to connect Vedanta with Vedanta-sutras or the whole Vedic literature treasure. Sharing from what I recently had heard in a lecture from our founder acharya His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada:

So actually the Vedanta-sutra, everything is bhakti. But unfortunately, people have taken Vedanta in a different way, after the Sariraka-bhaṣya. But all the acaryas, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, they have all, they have commentated on the Vedanta-sutra. So Vedantist does not mean simply the Mayavadis. Actually Vedantists are the devotees. Because veda anta. Veda means knowledge, and anta means the last word. The last word is bhagavan. That is Vedanta. Here it is said, brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. If you understand by studying Vedanta simply Brahman realization, that is not perfect. If you understand Paramatma realization by studying Vedanta, that is also not perfect. When you come to understand Bhagavan, that is perfect. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita: vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. By studying Vedanta or all Vedic literatures, if you do not understand Krṣṇa, then srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8].

(Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.12, Oct 23rd, ’72,Vrindavan)

Because the best I could remember of Sankhya was from 13th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, I searched that and am quoting that. Sankhya refers to authentic Sankhya philosophy as per Vedas:

The Sankhya philosophers analyze this material world into twenty-four elements, and they place the individual soul as the twenty-fifth item. When they are able to understand the nature of the individual soul to be transcendental to the material elements, they are able to understand also that above the individual soul there is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the twenty-sixth element. Thus gradually they also come to the standard of devotional service in Krishna consciousness. (BG 13.25 purport)

Conclusion: From my limited understanding based on above, both are aimed at Bhakti yoga. Both are Vedic ‘subjects’ but Vedanta covers the whole Absolute Truth just from its first verse – janmady asya yatah. Sankhya is a subset of Vedanta hence.

Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyante, after many many births such souls, who have adopted Sankhya philosophy, may come to the conclusion of the existence of even transcendental existence beyond matter. May.

I remember Srila Prabhupada quoting elsewhere the scientists of the modern world and comparing them with Sankhya philosophers. And we can see how many are able to conclude even the Brahman aspect what to speak of Bhagavan.

To even attain Brahman platform is an applaudable success of human birth although partial.

If the scientists succeed to conclude also, it will take mercy of a devotee to make them conclude the Bhagavan aspect of the Absolute Truth for they will be attracted and stuck in the gyana process which itself is impractical for this age of Kali but considerable for some spiritual progress.

your servant
Sridhar Das

Premananda das, 20 November 2015

Thank you Sridhar prabhu .The meaning of Vedanta is meaningful. Veda means knowledge and anta means last word that is Bhagavan

your servant
Premananda das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 20 November 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please take some time to read the various contexts in which the words Sankhya and Vedanta are used.

This may help:

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Premananda das, 22 November 2015

Thank you Mahabhagavat prabhu indeed one word in sanksrit but different meaning and used in different contexts .

Indeed sanksrit language is a poetry and so beautiful.

your servant
Premananda das

Jayendran, 20 November 2015

Hare Krishna Premananda Prabhu,
Dandavat Pranams,

When Sankhya is spoken along with Vedanta, it refers to a different darsana. In earlier times, there were many darsanas. There were 6 in number namely, Nyaya, Purva Mimamsa, Yoga, Sankhya, Vaisesika and Vedanta(Uttara Mimamsa).

Nyaya, Purva Mimamsa, Vaisesika are all different varities of atheism as they do not believe in a Isvara who is in charge of this world . Vaishnavas have used these elements in their philsoophy to promote Vaishnava Siddhanta. Like we read Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as Nimai Pandit was a great Naiyayika. But they do not agree with the tenets of the Nyaya shastra in of itself. Purva Mimamsa believes by doing different sacrifices to devatas(demigods) one can attain a certain fruit. Many Asuras believe in Purva Mimamsa. In Srimad Bhagavatam, we see King Pracinabarhis who believes in this philosophy and then Narada convinces him of the futility of this philosophy.

The original sankhya is theistic as it was given by Kapiladeva, an incarnation of Krishna. The more popular one is the atheistic Sankhya. The atheistic Sankhya does not believe in an Isvara. It mentions that there are many Purushas(living entities) and Prakrti. By combination of Purusha and Prakrti the world is carried forward. Suffering is because the Purusha misidentifies with Prakrti. As soon as the Purusha understands it is spiritual, transcendental to the 24 elements, it attains liberation. The method to do this is through one’s buddhi. It does not bring Krishna into the picture.

Krishna talks about this in the latter part of the 2nd chapter. The version Krishna speaks is the theistic Sankhya. Usually, when we hear people talking outside the devotee circle about Sankhya, it refers to the atheistic one . Hope that helps prabhu! 🙂

your servant,
Jayendran

Premananda das, 22 November 2015

Thank you Jayendran prabhu it is interesting that 3 of 6 different traditions are atheistic but Sankhya originally was theistic.

your servant
Premananda das


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Science vs Scriptures

Is it science vs. scripture? Could ancient scripture be so advanced that modern science cannot yet understand it?

Nikhil Mishra, 16 October 2017

Hare Krsna devotees

Please accept my humble obeisances

Though this is true that my heart feel peace when i sing glories and pastimes of Lord yet there arise confusions in my mind when we read in shastras that Suryadev and Chandradev were demigods while science says them to be just planets and similar other such confusions.

Only thing that is left in such confusions is to beg from Lord to keep my mind hooked into His names and reveal His merciful presence in my heart.

May be at some later stage, i would be able to understand all this better.

Hari Bol
nikhil

Bhakta Sunil, 16 October 2017

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble respects

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Vedic science comes long before the mundane science and is constant whereas theories of mundane science keeps changing because mundane science is based on our Limited senses

The following thought for the day based on the vedic version helps us to understand this :-
Life Did Not Explode Out of Nothing — 17 July 2011

Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA

There is no doubt that we’ve been given the most challenging assignment imaginable. Our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has ordered us to deliver everyone from illusion by teaching them what is their origin and how to perfect their relationship with that origin. At the present moment the popular theory is that life has evolved from a random combination of chemicals, which originally exploded out of nothing. It’s no wonder that people are so bewildered and frustrated when such an empty, meaningless and dogmatic cosmology is being crammed down their throats. Therefore out of compassion upon these poor suffering fellows we must constantly tax our brains to how to drive away this cosmological cloud of illusion with the brilliant sun of transcendental knowledge so that everyone will understand who they are and how to be who they are and thus become unlimitedly happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

www.joincourse.com

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Nikhil Mishra, 19 October 2017

Thank you so much sunil prabhu for your answer. I beg mercy of exalted vaishnavas so that i can calm down my argumentative mind in light of realisation (which does occur in glimpses but then fades away).
thanks again

nikhil

Manoj Tripathi, 19 October 2017

Hare Krsna Prabhujis and Matajis,

There are several articles, books, lectures and videos by HG Sadaputa Prabhu (Dr. Richard L. Thompson) and other devotees which are very good at removing the conditioning caused by the modern so-called-scientific dogma.

Some things that I remember from his books:
One of the greatest problem with the modern world-view is that a model for understanding the things around us is taken to be the reality. This model assumes that

  1. The laws valid around us are applicable at all points in space and time (that is how they talk about things happening in distant stars and black holes etc.)
  2. These laws are simple mathematical statements, and all phenomena is reducible (that is why modern scientists tend to assume that consciousness is “made up of” constituent material elements, although the vedic version is that the soul which causes consciousness is irreducible)
  3. That which exists is observable (observable by their choice of methods. If we say, chant Hare Krsna and you will see Krsna face to face, they won’t accept this method of observation).
    As Srila Prabhupada said, this modern science is atheism in the garb of science.

May we develop more and more faith in Srila Prabhupada’s words and his pure representatives’ words.

Please forgive me and correct me if anything is incorrect/not in parampara.

Nikhil Mishra, 21 October 2017

Thanks manoj prabhu for carry forwarding the discussion.

Somehow besides having faith in shastras , some stuff keep appearing in mind. for example, now when i see sun, i dont say that suryadev has arrived on his chariot but mind thinks , so here comes another rotation of earth on its axis and a new day starts.

i also understand that mind enjoys such intellectual thoughts but avoid real work. when it comes to wake up early and chant hari-naam, it does not obey. if i have a flight at 5 am, i wake up but for hari naam, no!!

i beg mercy of all vaisnavas and creator of this world to kindly remove tamo and rajo guna from my inside.and let Krsna in my heart propel me towards His will.

sincerely
nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 October 2017

Dear Nikhil, Sunil, and Manoj,

Hare Krishna!

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

Sriman Nikhil, thank you for breaking a long drought. The last question asked in this forum was who knows when! 🙂

Also, thank you both Sriman Sunil and Sriman Manoj for encouraging a healthy understanding of this subject matter! This is what this group is for – Srila Prabhupada said “discuss it threadbare” and Srila Gurudeva encourages us to have these discussions, and that is why this group exists.

This is what I have gathered…

Positioning science “vs” shastras is not beneficial to anyone. I learned this from Chaitanya Charan Prabhu in detail. They are complementary – Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada maintain that the genuine scientist will end up at the lotus feet of Krishna eventually, even if it takes longer than necessary.

But as Vaisesika Prabhu taught me “you can take a horse to the water – you cannot make him drink, you can lead a man to wisdom – you can’t make him think”.

For example, science can tell you that when the trigger of a gun is pulled when the gun is loaded with
ammunition, a projectile bullet will accelerate and proceed at a certain velocity in a certain trajectory. It can also tell you what will happen when that bullet hits the body of a human being in terms of physics and biology. However, science cannot say “should that trigger be pulled?”, and “what will be the future consequence of that trigger pull?” and “why was that trigger pulled”.

Shastra is meant to give us understanding of that which is essentially beyond our understanding materially speaking. For example, take the modes of material nature, 3 in number. When those 3 combine, they make 9 combinations. When the 9 combinations of those combine, they make 81 variants. When the 81 variants combine, they make 6561 variables, and when they combine, they make 43,046,721 combinations. This combination continues infinitely, and each of us is governed by the specifics of the modes of material natures we have acquired over billions of lives. For the sake of discussion, let’s stop here for now – now, when two individuals each governed by 43 million variables interact with each other, their interactions are governed now by 1,800 trillion variables, plus the results of each person’s past karmic reactions and karmic debts to others and each other. When we get to that level of complexity, no material science can help you to understand what is exactly going on. Surely, we can speculate, but we cannot find a solution to this ever-endingly increasing complexity, seen as “chaos” or “randomness” by those who can’t see the nuances.

But, the intelligent person will ask, OK, how can I dissolve the modes of material nature acting upon me? Devotional service is the only way. The shastra or scripture does not waste time in useless frivolous pursuits like trying to categorize the millions billions trillions of combinations of the modes of material nature, but tells us how to get rid of them altogether, and we can experience our lives getting simpler and simpler when we practice devotional service. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

apraarabdha phalam paapam
kutam bijam phalonmukham
kramenaiva praliyeta
vishnu bhakti rataatmanaam

From Padma Purana – the complexities of karmic actions and reactions, lying in the form of hidden seeds, sprouting plants, and those flowering and bearing fruit, can all be systematically countered by executing vishnu bhakti

Think about a banyan tree which gives thousands of fruits with hundreds of seeds inside each fruit. Material science can never answer the question “how many trees are inside this seed”, but spiritual science can just fry that seed and ensure zero trees inside the seed.

Now for example, your question about the planets… take this passage from Srila Prabhupada’s introduction To the Bhagavad Gita As It I:

For instance, the Lord has control over the universal affairs of material nature, as will be explained in the later chapters of Bhagavad-gītā. Material nature is not independent. She is acting under the directions of the Supreme Lord. As Lord Kṛṣṇa says, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram: “This material nature is working under My direction.” When we see wonderful things happening in the cosmic nature, we should know that behind this cosmic manifestation there is a controller. Nothing could be manifested without being controlled. It is childish not to consider the controller. For instance, a child may think that an automobile is quite wonderful to be able to run without a horse or other animal pulling it, but a sane man knows the nature of the automobile’s engineering arrangement. He always knows that behind the machinery there is a man, a driver. Similarly, the Supreme Lord is the driver under whose direction everything is working.”

Is there a single instance of any machine we have created that works on its own without direction? Even the most advanced machine learning systems need someone to set up the test set, the training set, the specific implementation of some algorithms, and a feedback network… does any computer suddenly manifest out of thin air without someone trying to make it come about? Does a cell phone just manifest without effort by someone? So if such insignificant things require so many tens of thousands of people to conceive, design, plan, produce, ship, stock, sell, buy, and operate… is it not naive to assume that the planets are working so beautifully in tandem and in perfect harmony all by themselves with no controller?

Just because I may not see a controller, is that sufficient evidence to conclude that there is no controller? Isn’t that an absurd conclusion? Sure, a material scientist can say “I don’t know that there is a controller”, but the same scientist would be a blind follower if he said “I know that there is no controller”. Similarly, many scientists who are honest say “I don’t know if there is a God”, we can accept that they are admitting their ignorance, but if they say “I know there isn’t a God”, we would call them a fool and proceed to ignore them, they deserve to be ignored.

So Suryadev, or Vivaswan, and Chandradev, both “are”, not “were”. If you qualify yourself, you can see them face to face, in fact, if you qualify yourself, you can occupy their post too. But why waste your time in the material realm when Krishna is waiting for you to return to Him in the spiritual realm where there is no necessity of sun. moon, stars, where everything and everyone is self-effulgent?

I hope this helps. Setup 1,2, 3 or more alarm clocks in 2-3 minute increments, leave them far from your bed, and then rise early and chant with loving determination

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

every morning, minimum 16 rounds on your garland of 108 beads daily.

And anyone or anything that opposes this program, you can overcome it with every single bit of power you can muster. This is war, for your own sake. Your prayers are already answered – Krishna has sent you Guru, and Krishna has put you in a community where you will be well supported to fulfill your spiritual desires. Krishna has given you all facility.

Dear jiva going by the name of Nikhil, “you” are at stake here. You stand to be liberated from all material bondage if you follow this process. And if you don’t make the right choices, you stand to remain trapped in another birth, another old age, another set of diseases, and yet another death, one after another ad infinitum. And not to mention slavery to the mad mind.

But, little jiva, the choice is yours to make, the consequences of your choices are yours to deal with also.

Now, what will you choose to do?

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 29 October 2017

Thanks Mahabhagvat prabhu for such an illustrative answer.

The whole discussion comes to this: “follow the process and verify the claims yourself made by shastras(Scriptures).”

Though i am still skeptical seeing God face to face ( though i was always fancied from stories of Bhakta Dhruva and Prahlad having darshan of God face to face), still i do realise presence of Him in terms of peaceful state of mind when i read holy-books and chant holy-names or participate in kirtan. May be i taste occasionally Shant-rasa.

Through your advice and process , i would work to change the neuroplasticity of my stubborn mind to get up early in morning and take shelter of hari-naam. Lets see what happens next !

Thank you so much again for the trouble you took to write such a long answer.

Hari-bol.
sincerely
Nikhil

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The Dark Well of the Material World

Material existence is compared to a dark well… why such a dark analogy? Well read on!

Vasudevan K, 4 December 2017

Respected devotees,

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisanaces.

All glories to Srila prabhupada

All glories to srila gurudeva and gurumathaji

I have heard that there is a sloka in bhagavatham which describes material world as dark well and living entity who has fallen into the well is catching a creeper and that creeper is constantly chewed by 2 rats – One white and one black. Insdie the darkwell there is a phython with it’s mouth wide open and on top of the well there is a tiger which is ready to devour the living entity if he comes out. At that time some few drops of honey falls on the mouth of the person and he completely forgets his precarious condition.

The creeper is the life span, 2 rats (black and white ) are the day and night, phython is the jaws of death and tiger is the liberation.

Can you please let me know the sloka for it with it’s sloka number?

Always an insignificant servant,

Hare Krishna,

Vasudevan K

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 29 January 2018

Dear Sriman Vasudevan,

Hare Krishna!

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

Sorry for the extreme delay in getting back to you. As a group, we are guilty of ignoring your sincere question and we beg your forgiveness for our tardiness.

The analogies you mention, at least most of them, are included in the later conversation between Jada Bharat, the great realized soul, and Maharaja Rahugana, a-proud-but-receptive-king-turned-disciple.

These analogies are mentioned in the 13th Chapter of the 5th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/13

Summary text of the chapter is as follows:

“The brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata became very kind to King Rahūgaṇa, and to disassociate him from the material world, he spoke figuratively of the forest of the material world. He explained that this material world is like a great forest in which one becomes entangled due to association with material life. In this forest there are plunderers (the six senses) as well as carnivorous animals like jackals, wolves and lions (wife, children and other relatives) who are always anxious to suck the blood from the head of the family. The forest plunderers and the carnivorous blood-sucking animals combine to exploit the energy of a man within this material world. In this forest there is also a black hole, covered by grass, into which one may fall. Coming into the forest and being captivated by so many material attractions, one identifies himself with this material world, society, friendship, love and family. Having lost the path and not knowing where to go, being harassed by animals and birds, one is also victimized by many desires. Thus one works very hard within the forest and wanders here and there. He becomes captivated by temporary happiness and becomes aggrieved by so-called distress. Actually one simply suffers in the forest from so-called happiness and distress. Sometimes he is attacked by a snake (deep sleep), and due to the snakebite he loses consciousness and becomes puzzled and bewildered about discharging his duties. Sometimes he is attracted by women other than his wife, and thus be thinks he enjoys extramarital love with another woman. He is attacked by various diseases, by lamentation and by summer and winter. Thus one within the forest of the material world suffers the pains of material existence. Expecting to become happy, the living entity changes his position from one place to another, but actually a materialistic person within the material world is never happy. Being constantly engaged in materialistic activities, he is always disturbed. He forgets that one day he has to die. Although he suffers severely, being illusioned by the material energy, he still hankers after material happiness. In this way he completely forgets his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

It is risky to read verses or chapter summaries without context – especially without Srila Prabhupada’s purports, so I invite everyone to please read the entire interaction from start to finish.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/10

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/11

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/12

and of course

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/13

and for better understanding, followed by

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/14

However, everyone one of us is meant to study Srila Prabhupada’s books in great detail. To this end, we have the Bhagavata Online Academy, the 2017 class of which is about to stop accepting applications and the 2018 class is about to begin accepting applications.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

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Celibacy – what is it exactly?

What is celibacy? Why is it important? Is it possible to be happily married and celibate?

Filip Misic, 19 November 2017

Hare Krishna everyone, please accept my humble obeisances.

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

your humble servant, Filip

Rakesh, 20 November 2017

Hare Krsna Filip Prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances

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

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

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

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

Hope I have been able to answer in someway.

your insignificant servant
Rakesh roshan

Filip Misic, 20 November 2017

Hare Krishna Rakesh Roshan prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances

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

your humble servant, Filip

Nikhil Mishra, 20 November 2017

Hare Krsna

I heard in one of audios of Srila Prabhupada lecture that if one can live a celibate life easily then he should live else he should marry.
He says that Marriage is not prohibited in our movement but hypocrisy is!

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

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

wishing you best

not so advanced in krsna Consciousness –
Nikhil

Filip Misic, 20 November 2017

Hare Krishna Nikhil

Thank you for your great advice.

Even less advanced in Krishna conciousness,

Filip

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 November 2017

Thank you for a great conversation everyone!

Hare Krishna!

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

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

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

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

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

Your student

Answer: It is Illicit

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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

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

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

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

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

quote

Therefore, by the practice of bhakti-yoga, one should give up his lusty desires. As explained by Śrī Yāmunācārya:
yadavadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde
 nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt
tadavadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne
 bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu-niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca

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

unquote

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

quote

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

yad-avadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt
tad-avadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne
bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca

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

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

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

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Filip Misic, 27 November 2017

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat das,

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

your humble servant, Filip


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Prayer not answered

A person faithful to God will sometimes pray, and sometimes that prayer may not be answered in the way we expect. What gives?

Filip Misic, 24 July 2017

Hare Krishna. I recently had prayed to Krishna for a materialistic desire. Long story short, I went on a train journey and I didnt have a certain document needed to verify that I am a student, which would give me a small discount for the ticket. So I prayed to Krishna that the conductor wouldn’t ask for the document just like the conductor did the previous time I traveled.
It turned out that what I prayed for did not come true. I am now very confused and I feel betrayed by Krishna. Isn’t Krishna supposed to be merciful, especially to those who serve and love him. Why is it then that he couldn’t fulfill a minor desire even though I trusted him. Could someone please give me an explanation?

Hare Krishna
Sincerely,
Filip

Naresh Poondla, 24 July 2017

Hare Krishna. Lord krishna is testing your devotion towards him. Some people will not pray to Lord Krishna if something does not happen as expected. So, don’t lose hope and keep on praying to Krishna. He is very merciful. Lord krishna is also teaching you how to handle such situations.

Hare Krishna
Naresh

Filip Misic, 24 July 2017

Thank you. Hare Krishna.

Sincerely,
Filip Misic

Manoj Tripathi, 24 July 2017

Hare Krishna,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Maybe some advanced devotee can give a better answer to this question, for example, HG Mahabhagavat Prabhu.

However, as I have heard from senior devotees, a devotee sees even a misery as a blessing from Krishna.
Actually, everything that happens with us is a blessing from Krishna as He is “suhrdam sarva bhutanam”.

There is a little story that I read in this connection:
A bird was building a nest in a place which was in the reach of cats and dogs. When a devotee saw this, out of mercy, he removed the grass from there so that the bird goes somewhere else to build her nest. However, the bird came again with some grass at the same spot. The devotee again removed the grass from there. Ultimately the bird went away from there searching for another place.

The bird may not be knowing the intention of the devotee or the reason why “such a bad thing” was happening to her. But it was for her ultimate welfare (the material examples to explain spiritual reality are always limited, so assume that saving her eggs and herself are analogous to saving the soul).

Devotees know this fact, and consider everything to be the mercy of Krishna.

So, please have faith in Krishna and know that this was for your and everyone else’s ultimate welfare.

Please forgive me (and correct me) if anything I wrote is not according to Shastras and in guru-parampara.

Hare Krishna.

Manoj Tripathi

Filip Misic, 25 July 2017

What a beautiful example. Thank you.
Hare Krishna

Sundar Gopal Das, 25 July 2017

Hare Krishna,
Dear Filip,

Pls accept my pranam.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

First of all I would like to appreciate your honesty to ask such nice question with the simplicity of your heart.

Also would like to thank for the nice answers by Manoj Prabhu and Naresh Prabhu.

Though i am just a practicing struggling neophyte devotee, I would like to humbly attempt to add some additional points to the answer of the question.

  1. From your question it seems that you have been spared previously in similar situation. But not the second time. Have you pondered over it?
  2. Krishna is the all cognizant Supreme Personality of Godhead. He knows perfectly all our in and out situations, even infinitely better than us. That’s why His disposal of some of our proposals are actually for our ultimate benifit only which we realize later.
  3. On the subject line you have written “Prayers not answered”. Is it true?? Or you actually mean “Prayers are not answered as per my desire or expectations”. Please think over it. What should be our prayer?? Is Krishna suppose to response according to our desire?? By this don’t we mean that Krishna’s response should be dependent on our expectations?? Then how come Krishna is independent?? Please think over this.
  4. Practicing Krishna consciousness doesn’t mean we should be irresponsible towards discharging our occupational duties. Krishna never approves such concept. He sung the Bhagavad Gita just to engage Arjun to his administrative duty with proper Krishna consciousness. So as a student you should carry the relevant documents along with you to get necessary student discount while traveling by train. A devotee means one should be perfect gentleman and his or her behavior and dealings with everyone should be exemplary. This is a real preaching of Krishna consciousness.
  5. Lastly, one should not desire any thing material from Krishna. Let me give an example: Suppose you want to collect donation for celebrating Rathayatra in your local Iskcon temple. And you got an opportunity to approach say, Bill Gates and now you ask him : “sir kindly give a 100/ donation for our Rathayatra celebration.” How would Bill Gates feel?? Bill Gates is capable to donate the entire expenses of the Rathayatra. Similarly, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He can bestow the highest gift i.e. deliver you from the vicious cycle of birth and death and transfer you to our original sweet home full of eternal bliss and knowledge free from all sorts of sufferings. Just think yourself, is it justified to pray for such petty trivial things from Krishna. As Krishna loves you and everyone of us He can take care ( again remember in His own way ) of such things without even praying to Him. But again it is always good to pray to Krishna only. Because in due course He will enlighten you from within.

I don’t know how far it is helpful to answer your question. Devotees may correct me if i am wrong in my attempt.

Thanking you,

With regards,
Sundar Gopal Das.

Sacinandana Das, 25 July 2017

Hare Krishna Bhakta Filip,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

It was your mistake, you should have carried your documents. We should not bother Krishna for our material desires. He is not our servant. Infact we are His servant. He is not our order supplier. There is a story. One lady was going through a forest with a log of wood and suddenly it fell down and she said oh God please help me. God came and she asked please put this wood back on my head. God put it up and left. What a waste. She could have asked for better things. Similarly we should ask God to engage us in His service.

We have betrayed Him but He is so merciful that He is with us from million and billions of lifetimes in our heart.Do you have any friend who will go with you in jail for 20 years? God does everything for our own good.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das.

Filip Misic, 25 July 2017

This was very helpful indeed. Thank you.
Hare Krishna

Nuria K, 25 July 2017

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada,

Hari bol,

thank you Bhakta Filip for sharing your story … I am also thinking the same like you … but the fact is that Krsna always listening us. Krsna consciousness is a science and He is like the sun and the moon, even if you cannot see them they are still there.
One example is if we think of the moon phases, for example in the waxing moon the leaves of the plants are growing, but when there is a waning moon something else is growing in another direction, and it is the roots of the plants.

Sincerely,
Nuria

Nashvin, 25 July 2017

Dear Filip,

Hare Krishna!

Co-incidentally, I was just reading this yesterday, which can apply to your situation:
https://www.vedabase.com/en/kb/88

“Lord Viṣṇu is very considerate. Whenever a devotee wants something from Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu first considers whether such a benediction will ultimately be good for the devotee. Lord Viṣṇu never bestows any benediction which will ultimately prove disastrous to the devotee. By His transcendental nature, He is always merciful; therefore, before giving any benediction, He considers whether it will prove beneficial for the devotee. Since the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always merciful, even when it appears that He has killed a demon, or even when He apparently becomes angry toward a devotee, His actions are always auspicious. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is therefore known as all-good. Whatever He does is good.”

your servant,
Nashvin

Brhadnath dasa, 25 July 2017

Hare Krishna Bhakta Filip,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

Similar type of question was asked during a class at Sri Vrindavan dham by H.H. Dheer Damodar swami. Maharaja gave an example of two devotees walking through a forest and faced with a bear. One of them was able to climb a tree and offered his help to the other. But the other was too overtaken by the fear to grab the helping hand. He cried for Krishna and the bear went in other direction. The question , who did the right act ? After listening to different answers, Maharaja concluded that the person climbing the tree did the right. Because, we should always remember Krishna, but not call for His help every now and then. If Krishna has given us some quality and capability then better to use the same. This discussion took place a long time back and I have just shared it from my noting. So asking for Krishna`s help for such a petty thing is just lack of experience that may come with the association of devotees.

your servant ,
brhadnath das

Filip Misic, 26 July 2017

Thank you. Hare Krishna.

Thunduparambil Jayaprasad, 30 July 2017

Hare krishna

Dear brother, You cannot understand by small acts, he is ever merciful for devotees like Kuchela, Bali Maharaja, Parikshit Maharaj etc. If your desires are sincere and takes you to the right path it will be fulfilled. Since you want a discount without card is not an honest desire if you you have money to pay full . Lastly krishna will not interfere to redeem your karmas , but he will give enough strength to withstand suffering brought by the karma which helps you to elevate your consciousness to a higher level.

Sincerely,
Thunduparambil

Filip Misic, 30 July 2017

Thank you. Hare krishna

Sincerely,
Filip

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 31 July 2017

Dear Filip and all other devotees who participated by reading, answering, or acting as a well-wishing friend silently,

Hare Krishna!

I am very enlivened by this Q&A session, to know that we have such wonderful devotees in our sda_students group.

Dear Filip, your experience has turned into a blessing not only for yourself but for all of us! How fortunate we are to be in your association dear Filip!

May I request each of you who participated to consider participating at least once? By discussing spiritual subject matters in a positive and respectful manner, we are contributing to becoming the solution to the world’s problems, the breath of fresh air, the surgeon’s merciful scalpel, the soothing balm to the problems of the world.

Any place where topics concerning Krishna are concerned becomes a place of pilgrimage for saints of the entire Universe.

Please could you help by personally participating enthusiastically?

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das


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Fight for justice or tolerate?

When faced with injustice, should we fight or tolerate?

Brajanath Das, 23 May 2017

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

Please help me to understand whether a devotee can fight for justice (material things) or leave it to Krishna!

your servant,
Brajanath Das

Rasika Krishna Das, 23 May 2017

Hare Krishna prabhuji!

Please find below answer from Srila Gurudev:

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:
Question: Whether to Fight or to Tolerate?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Could you please tell me what is the right thing to do, when faced with an unrighteous material situation whether to fight for the right no matter whatever outcome would be, or to just keep silent and safe from further unknown problems.

Your devotee,
Jaanvi

Answer: Pick Your Battles Wisely

Pick your battles wisely. Wherever you can effectively rectify an unrighteous situation you must act boldly and decisively to do so. And wherever you are not able to be effective at rectifying the situation you should be tolerant. By always maintaining a sincere desire to humbly serve the mission of the Lord, Krishna will give you the intelligence to know when you should fight and when you should tolerate.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

your servant,
Rasika Krishna Das

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What is the Vedic Significance of New Years’ eve?

Bhakta Sunil, 9th January 2017

Hare Krishna

Is there a significance of staying awake till midnight of 31st December , as i understand that this is factually English new year?so is it necessary to stay awake till midnight of 31st December?

Regards,
Sunil

Deepak,9th Jan 2017

As far as i understand there is no significance to awake all night, but if you want chant what can be best than that. we do it for our piece or i can say not to feel embarrassed in society, in other words where people are doing many illicit things on that day, we enjoy and relish it by chanting or by associating with devotees.

Sorry if something wrong I said

your servant
Deepak

Dhrishtadyumna Das, 9th January 2017

Hare krishna
Please accept my humble obesiance

Srila prabhupada told , For us everyday is new year because krishna is everfresh & evernew & we are celebrating him , but these materialist people need to drink this poison to forget all the frustrations, misgivings of past year , we dont need to celebrate by being intoxicated as that is pleasure in mode of ignorance, we can celebrate by being intoxicated in holyname.
Morever this is not new year according to vedic tradition, as per vedic calendar the new year comes on diwali where we light candles, do puja , distribute sweets , gifts, buy new clothes & celebrate on the other hand if u see the way nowadays the people celebrate by getting drunk , vomiting sleeping till next day thus they welcome the new year in hangover, bcos that is the western culture of celebrating things by getting drunk to forget all miseries, people celebrate new year according to english calendar bcos all countries were ruled by british, europeans , thus they passed on their dirty culture to us .
A vaisnava can meditate that i have got a limited time to fulfill my goal to achieve krsna & i am one year closer to death , i should become more serious, sincere , determined & bring urgency in my chanting, taking shelter of srila prabhupada books, , we can welcome the new year by attending mangal arati,chanting in association of devotees, visiting the nearest temple or hearing a tape of our guru maharaj or srila prabhupada.

your servant
Dhrishtadyumna Das

Dra Varni, 9th January 2017

Hello & Hare Krsna! The tradition of ringing in the new year is “eternal time at work” The idea is a cultural tradition born out off cultural satisfaction through participation.

Sincerely,
dra

Naresh Poondla, 9 January 2017

Hare Krishna,
Yes, there is significance of awakening on 31st Dec midnight only

  • if you go to Hare Krishna temple for midnight mangala arthi and listen to kirtans and to be associated with devotees. You whole year will be glorified with the mercy of sri krishna.

Thanks
Naresh

Hemanga Das, 10th January 2017

Hare Krishna !

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudev
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

I am part of Toronto congregation, every year we go along with our own Bhakti Marga Swami to Toronto downtown at midnight to share the mercy of Holy names with locals.You will be surprised how many souls get attracted to Harinam! Some come to temple that night with us after their party, chant some rounds and go back home. Can you imagine how much benefit they might have made?

I was one among many lost souls aimless roaming on streets on Dec. 31st night. Vaishnava’s came and saved me. There are many like me just waiting for mercy! Please spread the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. Every town and village

your servant,
Hemanga Das

Dra Varni, 10th January 2017

Hare Krsna, Yes, importance can be a memory attachment to time and other significant action on that day. Chanting rounds on this day can be the best action.

Thank You dra

Bhakta Sunil, 12th January 2017

Thanks again and again to each one for conversing on this topic which i relished

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

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