Sri Guru and Gauranga – what does this mean?

If you have ever been to a Hare Krishna program, there is this time when one person begins to chant some prayers, and everyone else drops to the floor and offers obeisances periodically saying “jay”, “jay”. This can be confusing to someone who doesn’t know what’s going on, this article describes what they are doing… quite profound.

Premananda das, 20th August 2016

Hare Krsna Devotees

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

I hear in the Prema dhvani several times “All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga “
What does Sri Guru represent only spiritual masters in discipline succession or other meaning too.
What does Sri Gauranga stand for in this context ,only Sri Krsna or His unlimited expansion or some other meaning too.
Kindly give your understanding on Sri Guru and Gauranga.

your servant
Premananda Das

Sacinandana Das, 21st August 2016

Hare Krishna Prabhu ji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

Sri Guru means the Spiritual Master and Gauranga means Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Krishna could not understand how her devotee Srimati Radharani who is also known as Gaurangi is getting more pleasure than him. Krishna thought I am the Supreme Enjoyer and my devotee Srimati Radharani is getting more pleasure than me. So He came as Gauranga to understand the mood of Srimati Radharani. This is very intense mood. Love in seperation. Vipramlamba Bhav. We can take a mundane example a girlfriend and boyfriend who are different cities when the love letter each other it is very very intense. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is feeling seperation from Krishna like Radharani and Brijwasi’s felt when He was not in Vrindavan. They were almost about to die. This is the mood of Gauranga.It is very very intense. Mahaprabhu ia known as Gauranga because Her bodily colour is golden like Srimati Radharani.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das

Premananda das, 22nd August 2016

Hare Krsna

All glories to Srila Gurudeva
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Thank you Sacinandan prabhu for clear answer to Sri Guru and Garuanga.

your servant
Premananda Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 22nd August 2016

Dear Premananda Prabhu,

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

Thank you for the nice question, and also Sacinandana Prabhu thank you for the nice answer.
The Prema Dhvani prayers, which are an expression of gratitude and glorification, are usually recited after an Arati and also sometimes after a Kirtan or before a class.
These prayers, for those unfamiliar go something like written below, usually the seniormost person or the person who did the Kirtan or who is giving the class recites these prayers.

Everyone else present bows on the ground and says “Jaya” in unison after each of these are recited.

There are no hard-and-fast scripts for these, other holy personalities, special days, festivals, activities, etc., can also be glorified.

1.Jaya-nitya-lila-pravishta om Vishnu-pada paramahamsa parivrajakacharya ashtottara-shata Shri Srimad His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja Prabhupada ki jaya.
2.Jaya om Vishnu-pada paramahamsa parivrajakacharya ashtottara-shata Shri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada ki jaya.
3.Iskcon founder acharya Srila Prabhupada ki jaya.
4.Ananta-kotivaishnava-vrinda ki jaya.
5.Namacharya Haridasa Thakura ki jaya
6.Premse kaho Shri-Krishna-Caitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Shri Advaita, Gadadhara, Shrivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrinda ki jaya.
7.Shri-Shri-Radha-Krishna Gopa-Gopinatha, Shyama Kund, Radha Kund, Giri Govardhana ki jaya.
8.Vrindavana-dhama ki jaya.
9.Mathura-dhama ki jaya.
10.Navadvipa-dhama ki jaya.
11.Jagannatha-puri dhama ki jaya.
12.Ganga-mayi ki jaya
13.Yamuna-mayi ki jaya.
14.Tulasi-devi ki jaya.
15.Bhakti-devi ki jaya.
16.Harinam Sankirtan ki jaya.
17.Srila Prabhupada book distribution ki jaya.
18.Samaveta-bhakta-vrinda ki jaya.
19.Gaura-premananda Hari Hari bol,
20.All glories to the assembled devotees. (Hare Krishna) All glories to the assembled devotees. (Hare Krishna) All glories to the assembled devotees. (Hare Krishna)

  1. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Sri Guru refers not only to one’s own initiating spiritual master but to all spiritual masters. Primarily of course it refers to the original spiritual master, Lord Balaram, also known as Lord Nityananda. All spiritual masters are expansions of the original spiritual master. It also refers to Krishna as Paramatma, who, as supersoul, guides all wayward souls lost in the material world back to their homes in the spiritual world. This refers to all spiritual masters in disciplic succession, but also all spiritual masters who contributed to us getting to the point of devotional service, so it refers also to our parents and other teachers who made us fit to sit and hear from Sri Guru. Not only did we have spiritual masters in this life, but also we had spiritual masters in previous lives, so this expresses gratitude to all of them. And this also includes those spiritual masters we don’t remember consciously today but who have helped us get to where we are today in the service of Krishna.

When we glorify Krishna, who is the source of all the incarnations of God, or Lord Gauranga, who is Krishna Himself in the mood of His devotee Srimati Radharani, we automatically glorify all the incarnations of God. In the Chaitanya Charitamrita, there is a description of Avatara and Avatari as follows:

sṛṣṭi-hetu yei mūrti prapañce avatare
sei īśvara-mūrti ‘avatāra’ nāma dhare

“The form of the Lord that descends into the material world to create is called an avatāra, or incarnation.

māyātīta paravyome sabāra avasthāna
viśve avatari’ dhare ‘avatāra’ nāma

“All the expansions of Lord Kṛṣṇa are actually residents of the spiritual world. But when they descend into the material world, they are called incarnations [avatāras].

This is from Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya Lila verses 264-265, further verses quote reference from Srimad Bhagavatam first and second canto.

So yes, when we glorify Lord Gauranga, who is Krishna, all other incarnations of Krishna are automatically glorified.

And by glorifying the Guru Tattva, all those who have helped us get to where we are in spiritual life are glorified.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rantideva das, 23rd August 2016

My dear Mahabhagavat Das,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I trust that you are well.

This discussion brings up a question of proper grammar. I’ve seen all three of these but I’m not sure which one would be most proper;

Sri Guru and Gauranga
Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga

I personally use the second as you can see above. The third doesn’t seem grammatically correct to me, and the first I’m not sure of. Are they all correct or is any one more so than others? Just something I’ve been curious about, but never thought to ask anyone until this topic showed up here.

I remain your worthless servant,

Rantideva das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 23rd August 2016

Dear Rantideva Prabhu,

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

“Sri” is an honorific that is prefixed in front of honorable personalities endowed with opulence of any kind… for example a person may be wealthy or beautiful or wise or renounced or any kind of opulence such as the possessor of a good family and so on. Literally “Sri” means “Goddess of Fortune” or “Lakshmidevi”, and in this context, means “One who is blessed by Good Fortune”.

One can say “Krishna” or “Sri Krishna” or “Lord Krishna”, and all of them are grammatically correct, it comes down to context and one’s understanding of what is etiquette.

Generally though, we understand that both Guru and Gauranga are honorifics in themselves. It is technically redundant (but we can and do say Sri even 108 times before in the “astottara sata sri”) to say “Sri” to Guru because obviously no one could be Guru without being endowed with the opulence of devotional service, and who can be more opulent than Krishna Himself as we know Gauranga is?

So then it comes down to a matter of personal preference in this case, there are no hard-and-fast rules for this.

Of course, some might argue over this, but we have bigger problems in life 🙂 Or maybe that’s just me.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Shridhar Das, 23rd August 2016

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisance!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I always wish to thank the devotees who question, which gives us all an opportunity to test our understanding and improve it by research by dwelling into the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, as desired by Srila Gurudeva.

I had concluded the following from my research which is already concluded by His Grace Mahabhagavat Prabhu. The most important part is what Srila Prabhupada originally said.

Guru means teacher in any sense. In material world the relationship of disciple and guru takes place even in terms of musical lessons, Sanskrit classes, etc. Shastra asks us to see the guests of Krishna as God Himself. Wife is also asked to see the husband as guru. Even when we guide someone on the basis of received experience and clarity on a subject matter, we act as guru. But every guru in reality is expected to be a deliverer of his dependents:

gurur na sa syāt sva-jano na sa syāt
 pitā na sa syāj jananī na sā syāt
daivaṁ na tat syān na patiś ca sa syān
 na mocayed yaḥ samupeta-mṛtyum

One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod. (SB 5.5.18).

Confirming the conclusions shared by Prabhuji from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings:

Who is a Guru?

Prabhupāda: And Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa, He says, yei kṛṣṇa tattva vettha sei guru haya: “Anyone who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa, he’s guru.” And what is the guru’s business? Yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa: (CC Madhya 7.128) “Whomever you meet, you just try to impress upon him about the instruction of Kṛṣṇa.” Sarva-dharmān parityaja… So in this way, if we take it up, very seriously—”This is my duty”—then you are a sannyāsī. That’s all. (Conversation with Devotees — April 12, 1975, Hyderabad)

Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: yei kṛṣṇa-tattva vetta sei guru haya (CC Madhya 8.128). Guru does not become. Guru is not so cheap thing. One must know what is kṛṣṇa-tattva. One must know what is Kṛṣṇa. (Lecture on Brahma-samhita, Lecture — Bombay, January 3, 1973)

When we say Guru, it is a very deep purport as Prabhuji has revealed already.

Guru tattva

Guru cannot be different. Guru is one, one who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa. (Room Conversation — January 31, 1977, Bhuvanesvara)

Elaboration on above concept…

Therefore the guru is offered first the respectful prayers, vande gurūn. And gurūn, bahu-vacana, plural number, that many gurus. But they are not many; they are one, guru-tattva. Just like Kṛṣṇa has many forms, but that does not mean Kṛṣṇa is different. No. Kṛṣṇa is one. Similarly, guru, there may be many gurus, it doesn’t matter, but their philosophy must be one: to teach everyone that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So there may be thousands of gurus, but the guru’s business is to teach the disciple that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (Lecture on CC Adi-lila 1.1 — Mayapur, March 25, 1975)

Srila Gurudeva has often clarified, that Guru is one but that doesn’t mean all gurus are one. Then it is like Mayavada philosophy. One in purpose, difference in individuality. Srila Prabhupada further clarifies:

Sometimes a dīkṣā-guru is not present always. Therefore one can take learning, instruction, from an advanced devotee. That is called the śikṣā-guru. Śikṣā-guru does not mean he is speaking something against the teachings of the dīkṣā-guru.( Lecture on BG 17.1-3 — Honolulu, July 4, 1974)

Balarāma means guru-tattva. Balarāma represents guru. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. If we want to understand Caitanya Mahāprabhu, if we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then we must take shelter of Balarāma. (Lord Nityananda Prabhu’s Avirbhava Appearance Day Lecture — Bhuvanesvara, February 2, 1977)

But offering gratitude in a menial mood, as a fallen servant as Srila Gurudeva has often instructed, to spiritual master is sufficient to offer it to all in parampara. And now and very often in services, we must offer to Lord Nityananda, Gauranga whomever we may have recently heard the glories of. But we perceive Krishna more directly through the medium of Guru, so we must definitely be attached to Sri Guru, in my opinion. Srila Prabhupada clarifies:

Many of our Temples are now requiring pictures of Pancatattva and Acaryas, principally your Spiritual Master and my Spiritual Master, for their Guru Gauranga worship. (Letter to Vasudeva — Tokyo 15 August, 1970)

Regarding Guru & Gauranga, this is the actual purport/importance

That is His mercy. So by the mercy of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, so many people are becoming vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ. But otherwise, it is not possible. Therefore we first offer our obeisances to Guru-Gaurāṅga, by whose mercy we get Kṛṣṇa. This is the system. Adau gurvāśrayam. (Lecture on SB 6.1.15 — Los Angeles, June 27, 1975)

Since everyone within this material world is more or less influenced by sinful activities, in the beginning it is essential that one take to the worship of Guru-Gaurāṅga and ask their favor, for thus despite all his disqualifications one will very soon become qualified to worship the Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa vigraha. (CC Adi 8.31, Purport)

Irregularity in worshiping Guru and Gauranga can be tolerated, as they are always kind and forgiving, but irregularity in worshiping Lord Jagannatha and Sri Sri Radha Krishna is not good. (Letter to Karandhara — Calcutta 19 September, 1970)

your servant
Shridhar Das

Premananda das, 23rd August 2016

Hare Krsna

All glories to Srila Gurudeva
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga

Thank you Sacinandan prabhu,Mahabhagavat prabhu,Rantindeva prabhu and Shridhar prabhu.
The answers were all enlightening and inspiring to understand Sri Guru and Gauranga.

your servant
Premananda Das

Ekanga Radha Devi Dasi, 21st December 2016

Hare Krishna Dandavats Pranam,

Very Good explanation Prabhu

Sincerely yhs
Ekanga Radha Devi Dasi

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Who was “Asita” from the Gita?

Who was the “Asita” mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita 10.12-13?

Prahlada, 01 Sep 2016

Who was Asita – mentioned in Bhagavad Gita 10.12-13?

Kind Regards,
Prahlada

Madu, 02 Sep 2016

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to Guru and Gauranga!

Hare Krishna!

Srila Prabhupada talks about who Asita rsi is in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam canto 1 chapter 9 text 6-7. I have copied this extract from vedabase.com for your reference:
” Asita: There was a king of the same name, but herein the Asita mentioned is the Asita Devala Ṛṣi, a great powerful sage of the time. He explained to his father 1,500,000 verses from the Mahābhārata. He was one of the members in the snake sacrifice of Mahārāja Janamejaya. He was also present during the coronation ceremony of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira along with other great ṛṣis. He also gave Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira instructions while he was on the Añjana Hill. He was also one of the devotees of Lord Śiva.”
The link for this is : http://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/1/9/6-7.

Thanks,
Madu

Prahlada, 04 Sep 2016

Thank you very much Madu.

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Are Krishna and Rama mentioned in the Vedas?

Are Krishna and Rama even mentioned in the Vedas? Is this worship of Rama and Krishna somehow new and concocted by modern religious teachers? What about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? Is this just a case of a man masquerading as God?

Nikhil Mishra, 02nd August 2016

Hare Krsna devotees

All glories to guru and gauranga.

Humble obeisance to all of you.

A question came in my mind. That ” was reference of krsna or ram mentioned in any of the four vedas “? Kindly enlighten me on this matter.

Sincerely
Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 04th August 2016

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

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

This is an important question. Thank you for asking.

Many persons from other traditions question Vaishnava practices on the plea that the Vedas are bona fide literatures, the other Vedic literature is not, therefore the tradition of accepting Lord Rama or Lord Krishna as the Supreme is wrong. Many preachers actually attempt to use this argument to discredit the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam as authoritative.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

First of all, yes, Lord Vishnu is mentioned in the Vedas directly, several times. The Rig Veda alone mentions Lord Vishnu and established Him as the Supreme at least 9 times.

I humbly quote my spiritual master Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari’s writing from 31st January 2010:

quote

Question: Is Krishna a Form of Vishnu or Vishnu a Form of Krishna?

I have a question about something you said the other day in your “Thought for the Day” Q&A section. You quoted the following verse:

“Those who are actually learned in the Absolute Truth look to the abode of and worship only the Vishnu form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in any of His various forms such as Krishna, Rama, etc.”–Rig Veda (1.22.20)

This verse states that Krishna is a form of Vishnu. I don’t understand how this verse supports Krishna as the original Personality of Godhead. This verse seems to disagree with Krishna’s own statements in the Bhagavad-gita. I am very perplexed by this. How can I know if Vishnu is a form of Krishna or Krishna is a form of Vishnu? Please help me understand. Thank you very much.

Humbly,

C.B.


Answer: Since Krishna is the Original Vishnu, Both Are Correct.

Srila Prabhupada explains Rig Veda (1.22.20) in his Srimad Bhagavatam purport to SB 3.16.4 that the qualified brahmanas worship only the Vishnu form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which means Krishna, Rama and all Vishnu expansions.

What is confusing you is that the term Vishnu is used in two different ways. Sometimes Vishnu is used as the name of the category of the Supreme Lord in any one of His unlimited forms. And sometimes it used for a specific four-armed form of the Supreme Lord such as Maha-Vishnu. When we speak of the Vishnu category of beings we understand that the original Vishnu is Krishna and that all the other Vishnu category personalities are emanating from Him. This is why devotees of Krishna are known as Vaisnavas, which means “devotees of Vishnu.”

So in summary, since Krishna is the original Vishnu from whom all other Vishnus expand, we can say both that Vishnu is a form of Krishna and that Krishna is a form of Vishnu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
unquote

Finally, to support my claim of how the text Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam are equally or more important than the Vedas, I invite you to please read this exchange between Sri Narada, and Sri Veda Vyasa, two foremost Vedic authorities:

http://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/1/5

Specifically, this part which involves the disciple Veda Vyasa, asking a question to his Guru Sri Narada:

SB 1.5.5 — Śrī Vyāsadeva said: All you have said about me is perfectly correct. Despite all this, I am not pacified. I therefore question you about the root cause of my dissatisfaction, for you are a man of unlimited knowledge due to your being the offspring of one [Brahmā] who is self-born [without mundane father and mother].

SB 1.5.8 — Śrī Nārada said: You have not actually broadcast the sublime and spotless glories of the Personality of Godhead. That philosophy which does not satisfy the transcendental senses of the Lord is considered worthless.
SB 1.5.9 — Although, great sage, you have very broadly described the four principles beginning with religious performances, you have not described the glories of the Supreme Personality, Vāsudeva.
SB 1.5.10 — Those words which do not describe the glories of the Lord, who alone can sanctify the atmosphere of the whole universe, are considered by saintly persons to be like unto a place of pilgrimage for crows. Since the all-perfect persons are inhabitants of the transcendental abode, they do not derive any pleasure there.
SB 1.5.11 — On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.
SB 1.5.12 — Knowledge of self-realization, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible [God]. What, then, is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilized for the devotional service of the Lord?

Also, Sri Krishna describes the Vedas and their purpose thus:

http://www.vedabase.com/bg/15/1

And finally, Krishna derides the ritualistic followers of the Vedas thus also:

yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ
pravadanty avipaścitaḥ
veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha
nānyad astīti vādinaḥ
kāmātmānaḥ svarga-parā
janma-karma-phala-pradām
kriyā-viśeṣa-bahulāṁ
bhogaiśvarya-gatiṁ prati
Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this. BG 2.42.43

I hope that this is useful and helpful.

Thank you again for asking this important question! Devotees feel free to add to the answer if I have missed out anything and enrich this conversation and our collective understanding.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 04th August 2016

Thank you very much Mahabhagavat prabhu for taking out your time and address my question. Terming it as ‘ important’ , gives me a sense of humility and pride simultaneously.

Your answer makes sense to my cluttered mind.

I beg mercy of you and all devotees to overcome my physical , mental inertia so that i can start performing bhakti yoga in more sincere , regular way .

Hare krsna
Nikhil

Shreyas, 04th August 2016

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisance!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I would like to add that – It is astonishing that Lord Chaitanya’s appearance, who is the source of our Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya, Krishna Himself, has been prophesied in many numbers throughout shruti and smriti. As far as 4 Vedas are concerned, the below verses confirm the same:

In the Atharva-Veda; Purusa-Bodini-Upanisad, it is said:

saptame gaura-varna-visnor ity aena sva-saktya
caikyam etya pratar avatirya saha svaih sva-manum siksayati

“In the seventh manvantara, in the beginning of the Kali-Yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will, accompanied by His own associates, descend in a golden form to the earth. He will teach the chanting of His own names.”

In the Atharva Veda, the Supreme Person says:

itotham krta sannyaso’vatarisyami sa-guno nirvedo
niskamo bhu-girvanas tira-atho’ lakanandayah kalau
catuh-sahasrabdhopari panca-sahasrabhyantare
gaura-varno dirghangah sarva-laksana-yukta isvara
prarthito nija-rasasvado bhakta-rupo misrakhyo
vidita-yogah syam

“I will descend on the earth after the passage of four thousand years in the Kali-Age, [kalau chatuh sahasrabdhopari] and before the passage of five thousand years [pancha sahasra abhyantare].”

“I will come on the earth on the bank of the Ganges, [tira-sthah alakanandayah]. I will be a tall and saintly Brahmana devotee. I will have all the auspicious symptoms of an exalted person [dirghangah sarva-laksana-yuktah].”

“I will exhibit renunciation. I will have all auspicious signs. I will be a devotee, practicing bhakti yoga. I will taste the rasa of My own devotional service.”

In the Sama Veda, the Supreme Lord says:

tathaham krta sannyaso bhu-girvano ‘vatarisye
tire’lakanandayah punah punah isvara-prarthitah sa-
parivaro niralambo nirdhuteh kali-kalmasa-kavalita-
janavalambanaya

“I shall come to the earth, accompanied by My associates, in a place by the bank of the Ganges. I will advent to save the people who are afflicted and devoured by the sins of the age of Kali. I will manifest as an Avadhut Brahman Sannyasi.”

The descriptions of Lord Chaitanya’s descent are many throughout Upanishads, Mahabharata, Puranas, etc. However, I have only mentioned from 4 Vedas.

your servant
Shridhar Das

Todd Eberwine, 04th August 2016

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisance!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I just wanted to express my gratitude for these answers. I don’t often contribute to the conversations here but I am always following along, reading and learning from those more learned than I. Many thanks to all of you who take the time to give such wonderful answers to these wonderful questions.

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The Hare Krishnas are not pessimistic, optimistic, or realistic – we are simply joyful!

Are the Hare Krishnas pessmistic? Are they realistic? Why do they keep talking about death and the futility of the material pursuit? Could it be, could they be, simply… joyful?

Brajanath Das, 20th February 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 how to explain if someone says that the Hare Krishnas are not realistic but pessimistic

your servant
Brajanath das

Bhaktarupa Das, 21st February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

You have asked what if someone questions why Hare Krishna’s are pessimistic. You wanted to explain to them that we are realistic and not pessimistic.

One of the dictionary meaning of “pessimistic” is
“tending to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen”.

Dictionary meaning of “optimistic” is
“hopeful and confident about the future.”

If we introspect ourselves, as devotees we follow the regulative principles and chant at least 16 rounds of mahamantra every day.
Generally for non-devotees, following them every day is very austere and difficult. In fact even for devotees in the beginning it is very austere and difficult. But still why do we try to follow them strictly? If there is no benefit in doing so, why do we still do it? The fact is there is immense benefit.

A student who is serious to graduate from school, undergoes severe austerities in studying the subjects thoroughly by spending long hours, sacrificing other recreational activities like watching movies, TV, passing time in browsing internet, Facebook, whats-app, etc. which the student would have engaged in these recreational activities if not serious about graduating from the school. Such taking up of austerities by the student should be criticized as being pessimistic? or appreciate the student as being optimistic who spends time in recreational activities by neglecting to prepare for the graduation?

The sincere student who takes up austerities for graduating is the one who is actually optimistic about the life. The student sees a very bright future and enjoy bigger happiness by taking up these austerities. But the student who does not see the value of graduating from school and spends time in immediate recreational activities is the one who is actually pessimistic. Because the student is pessimistic, looks for all those things that can give immediate sense enjoyments rather than taking up austerities now for a bigger and lasting happiness in the future.

Similarly we “sadhakas” or practicing devotees, also take up austerities now because we are optimistic about our future. We wanted to taste lasting happiness, we realize that the happiness or pleasures provided by the immediate recreational activities did not give us lasting happiness, which every one of us are looking for. This is the exact same thing Lord Sri Krishna and the saintly devotees in the line of disciplic succession are teaching us. We are infected with the disease of ignorance, which hides our original identity, nature and relationships. They teach us on how to get rid of the disease and rise above and situate in the platform of pure last happiness. That process is called Krishna Consciousness. In the beginning these austerities might seem to be very bitter. But Krishna explains that happiness which is bitter in the beginning and becomes nectar in the end is in the mode of goodness. Scriptures explain that this is called “shreyas”, but that happiness which is like nectar in the beginning and becomes bitter in the end is in the mode of passion, called as “preyas”. The sense pleasures provided by the recreational activities are in the mode of passion. It will appear nectar in the beginning but it will turn to be bitter or even poison in the end.

Optimistic people take up austerities to obtain lasting happiness; but pessimistic people settle with immediate temporary pleasures, not seeing the optimistic future. Therefore the Hare Krishna devotees are not only realistic but in fact they are optimistic.

Hare Krishna!

your servant,
Bhaktarupa Das

Dra Varni, 21st February

Hare Krsna!!! Very optimistic, destination and a vehicle for departure. dra

Dra Varni

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 22nd February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

Thank you for the question, and a rare and wonderful response from Bhaktarupa Prabhu! Thank you!

Such questions really should be answered in the same vein as they are asked – most people asking such questions about Hare Krishnas are really not serious about understanding spiritual life – why should we justify anything to anyone? We don’t owe casual askers anything. When someone is serious, then they ask questions differently, and they accompany their question with actions too, trying to do something about their spiritual progress. So we should know when to answer and when not to answer directly.

Actually, we are truly pessimistic about anyone’s chances in the material world, everyone who was born in the material world eventually dies. And everyone who tries to make some nice situation here fails, at minimum, at death, but mostly everyone fails at other times too. We challenge anyone on this point – so many empires have come and gone, so many people have come and gone, so many great people are totally forgotten – what is the value of material efforts? Zero, it all comes to nought.

And we are immensely optimistic about Krishna’s mercy, in fact, we are not just optimistic, but we are experiencing it every day, so we have got direct confidence by personal experience.

The best answer I got to such questions was “try it and see for yourself”. If someone chants Hare Krishna even just once they will benefit more than anything I can say to them for all my lifetime:

https://www.vedabase.com/bg/9/2

rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ
pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed. BG 9.2

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport:

“Generally, people are not educated in this confidential knowledge; they are educated in external knowledge. As far as ordinary education is concerned, people are involved with so many departments: politics, sociology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, etc. There are so many departments of knowledge all over the world and many huge universities, but there is, unfortunately, no university or educational institution where the science of the spirit soul is instructed. Yet the soul is the most important part of the body; without the presence of the soul, the body has no value. Still people are placing great stress on the bodily necessities of life, not caring for the vital soul.”

Then he writes: “It is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived, and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Kṛṣṇa (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) in course of chanting without offenses feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all material contamination. This is actually seen. Furthermore, if one engages not only in hearing but in trying to broadcast the message of devotional activities as well, or if he engages himself in helping the missionary activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he gradually feels spiritual progress. This advancement in spiritual life does not depend on any kind of previous education or qualification. The method itself is so pure that by simply engaging in it one becomes pure.”

And finally, to conclude (purport continues but for this point – this is sufficient):

“The process of devotional service is a very happy one (su-sukham). Why? Devotional service consists of śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, so one can simply hear the chanting of the glories of the Lord or can attend philosophical lectures on transcendental knowledge given by authorized ācāryas. Simply by sitting, one can learn; then one can eat the remnants of the food offered to God, nice palatable dishes. In every state devotional service is joyful. One can execute devotional service even in the most poverty-stricken condition. The Lord says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam: He is ready to accept from the devotee any kind of offering, never mind what. Even a leaf, a flower, a bit of fruit, or a little water, which are all available in every part of the world, can be offered by any person, regardless of social position, and will be accepted if offered with love. There are many instances in history. Simply by tasting the tulasī leaves offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, great sages like Sanat-kumāra became great devotees. Therefore the devotional process is very nice, and it can be executed in a happy mood. God accepts only the love with which things are offered to Him.”

We are not even realistic, we are simply joyful! 🙂

Srila Prabhupada’s final words in that purport?

“Thus the process of devotional service, of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the king of all education and the king of all confidential knowledge. It is the purest form of religion, and it can be executed joyfully without difficulty. Therefore one should adopt it.”

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

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Bible and Bhagavad-gita

A discussion on the similarities and differences between the Bhagavad Gita and the Holy Bible…

Kaspars, 06 August 2016

Dear devotees.
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumata.

Yesterday I was reading Bible and found an amazing similarity with Bhagavad gita. Every text of these quotes, goes in the same meanings and in the same order. Further in both scriptures, devotional service is explained. What do you think about it?

Bible Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. 3 You turn man back into dust And say, “Return, O children of men.” 4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night. 5 You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew. 6 In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades and withers away. 7 For we have been consumed by Your anger And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.

Bhagavad gita Chapter 8

8.15 — After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.
8.16 — From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again.
8.17 — By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together form the duration of Brahmā’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.
8.18 — At the beginning of Brahmā’s day, all living entities become manifest from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls, they are merged into the unmanifest again.
8.19 — Again and again, when Brahmā’s day arrives, all living entities come into being, and with the arrival of Brahmā’s night they are helplessly annihilated.

Hare Krishna
Thank you.
Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 08 August 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

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

Thank you for this nice reflection.

There are some similarities and differences too, for example, the reference to thousand years in Moses’ prayer and thousand ages in Krishna’s precise instruction, are quite different in their meaning.

Once we read Srila Prabhupada’s books though, we begin to see all scriptures in the light of Srila Prabhupada’s purports.
I began studying The Holy Bible when I was 10 years of age, and I did a very detailed course with Q&A reviewed by teachers etc., and I have come across so many wonderful passages from the Bible over the years also.

But I understood more from all the scriptures (Vedic and otherwise) I had read after I read Srila Prabhupada’s books. And I got a very non-sectarian understanding of religion, so much so that I have begun to say whenever someone asks me which religion I follow, that “I am past the labels at this point”, which typically leads to a positive discussion in more togetherness.

Consequently now though, having seen that the Vedic scriptures are the source of all the scriptures in the world, I don’t spend time studying other scriptures, but focus my energies on studying Srila Prabhupada’s books in a deeper way.

Other devotees should contribute their reflections and perspectives to make this a rich and useful conversation.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 8 August 2016

Hare Krsna Kaspars Prabhu

Thats indeed a very nice comparison. And i am sure, you will end up finding many many other similarities if you research more.
Long time back, i read Paramhamsa Yogananda ji and he also compares Bible and Gita beautifully.

Srila prabhupada as well as Srila gurudeva says, essence of all religions is to know and love God .So you see , to a sincere seeker like you, lines of Holy Bible are making so much sense .

Wishing you more bhakti(devotion) and Gyan(knowledge) and begging the same for me..

Hari bol. Praise the Lord.

Nikhil

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu.
Hare Krishna.
Athough there are difference between thousand years and thousand ages, still the way they are compared… like a one day to God, and then again, to night. Every text and meanings goes in the same order in both scriptures, and I understand from this, that Moses knew Bhagavad gita. Its obvious.

As Prabhupada said, Bible is like small pocket dictionary, Bhagavad gita and Srimad Bhagavatam is like big dictionary, where every smallest thing is explained. We now can actually understand Bible better. I think nothing bad reading Bible. With the mercy and help of our beloved Gurudev and Prabhupada, we can now understand the true meaning of scripture. As our Gurudev teaches, we can remain in our religions, and with the help of Krishna consciousness, we can be better Christians, better Muslims, better Buddhists. The universal principle of love of God still remains the same. In one of the recent Thought for The Day Gurudev declared, that he is actually a Christian, who is following the will of God, and that was especially important sign to me personally, because I want to remain close contact with Cristianity and Christians, and Jesus. Because was not Jesus, we would be nowhere. Mlechas would be nowhere. Jesus is the way. Christianity shows the way of holy life, they teach that there IS God. And from that we can ask, Who is God? I think many people then are curious, if there is God, how does He look like. And true Christians with open heart will deffinetely meet a devotee with Prabhupadas books. And I heard a story that one Cristian has actually seen Paramatma as we just know from our books. And now this Cristian would offer full dandavats if he sees Harinama party singing, even if it is raining, wet and dirty ground.

Please comment.
Everyone is welcome to say something.

Thank you
Kaspars

Chenthil Piruthu, 09 August 2016

Respected Kaspars Prabhu

Hare Krishna.

Thank you so much for your mail, your conviction is truly inspirational.

Thanks,
Chenthil.

Premananda das, 09 August 2016

Hare Krsna Bhakta Kaspars
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Whether one is a Christian,Hindu,Muslim,Jain,Buddist etc the essence of religion is to become a lover of God.The original constitutional position of living entitiy is to be a servant of servant of servant of the servant of Krsna.Krsna has unlimited names and incarnates in many forms like Rama,Nrsimha,Vishnu,Vamana ,Varaha,etc but the original form is the beautiful form of Krsna a blusih boy with two -handed form and playing a flute.In Brahma-samhita Lord Brahma mentions that Krsna is original cause of all the causes and has an eternal body full of knowledge and bliss.He is unborn,original and maintainer of all living entities.
In Bhagavat Gita 8..14 it is mentioned Krsna has various plenary expansions and incarnations such as Rama,Nrisimha ,Varaha etc and a devotee can choose to fix his mind in loving service on any of his transcendental forms of the Supreme Lord ,such a devotee does not meet other problems that plague the practitioners of other yogas.Bhakti yoga is very simple,pure and easy to perform.It starts with simply chanting Hare Krsna.It is mentioned that the lord is merciful to all but one who serves Him with exclusive devotion without deviation is helped by Krsna.
A pure devotee can not forget Krsna for a moment and similarly the Supreme lord cannot forget His pure devotees for a moment.
This is the great blessings of Krsna conscious process that by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra-Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare one becomes freed from all material contamination and attains to his natural position as a servitor to Krsna.

your servant
Premananda Das

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Thank You, Chenthil Prabhu,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes lets try to share some inspiration when ever this is possible. May our Gurudev be pleased. I think every one of us has some story, lets share in this group and discuss..

With love
Kaspars

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Thank You Premananda Prabhu,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
This is wonderful short inspirational essence explained by you, to know who we are, to know who God is, original God Krishna, in His various forms, and wonderful process of chanting His names.

Thank you
Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 09 August 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

You are right about Lord Jesus Christ, if you recall, he helped me a lot and is helping me to this day 🙂 Srila Prabhupada mentions him as a Shaktyavesha Avataar, or empowered incarnation of God.

“Now, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, perhaps in the Third Chapter in the First Canto, you’ll find there is description of different incarnations, principal incarnations—not all the incarnations, principal, in different yugas. So in that list of incarnations you’ll find Lord Kṛṣṇa’s name also, Lord Rāma’s name also, Lord Buddha’s name also. Lord Buddha is mentioned in that list. So we, Vaiṣṇavite, we respect Lord Buddha as incarnation, incarnation. So do not think that the Hindus, they have got disregard for Lord Buddha or for Lord Jesus Christ. No. They have all regard. Anyone who comes as representative of God, or as God, as powerful incarnation, they are all welcome. According to time, according to place, according to the audience, they may speak, speak something which is, which may be different from the Vedic conclusion, but they are accepted as powerful incarnations. ” Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.154-157 — New York, December 7, 1966

Srila Prabhupada and the other Acharyas in disciplic succession from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are for everyone, including myself, who could easily be seen as worse than a mleccha (uncultured uncivilized person who does things like kill the mother cow).

I do agree with you in general, but there is no authoritative information to agree on the details at this point. For example, the 1000 ages Krishna mentions are not even a day of “God”, they are simply one day of Brahma, who is not God – God’s time scale has no days and no nights, simply the eternal ever-present. We do accept that all great prophets and teachers around the world across ages know the same Absolute Truth in varying degrees of understanding, realization, and detail.

Re “It is obvious”, we don’t argue on the basis of personal opinions in this tradition. We can certainly accept that certain devotees have certain realizations, and we don’t begrudge them their realizations, but that is not always accepted as the Parampara understanding of a particular situation.

I am not saying someone should not do this or that – you please do as your spiritual master instructs you. I was simply expressing my own situation. My spiritual master has instructed me to carefully study Srila Prabhupada’s books and share them with the whole world, and I feel that this one lifetime will not be enough for that purpose. If, during that attempt and process, I get to read certain other sacred texts, wonderful.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Jayendran C, 10 August 2016

Hare Krishna Kaspar prabhu
Dandavats Pranams

All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to the assembled devotees
I have attached an excerpt from Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava which depicts Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakuras, views on the Bible and Christianity . I hope this adds constructively to the discussion.

“Christ’s message in its pristine and fully blossomed form is included in Lord Caitanya’s philosophy, for Mahāprabhu’s gifts are of an altogether higher dimension than the acceptance of God’s existence, the promises of reward and threats of punishment, and the moral injunctions that form the basis of Christianity; and whereas Christianity expounds the fatherhood of Godhead, Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava dharma goes further, to the transcendental son-hood and consort-hood of Godhead.

Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura described that to consider the Lord our parent entails “the rotten concept that He is our servitor and we the enjoyers.”. As he told the challenging Professor Suthers, “We claim to be greater and better Christians than Westerners.”While lauding Jesus as a śaktyāveśa-avatāra3who “did not teach the ‘eat, drink, and be merry’business,”
Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura clearly delineated the superior position of Gaura-bhaktas over that of Lord Jesus: In the Western countries, Christians believe that the magnanimous Lord Jesus Christ is the only guru, who appeared in this world to accept the burden of all sins of the jīvas. But associates of Śrī Gaura like Śrī Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura and Śrī Haridāsa Ṭhākura are unlimitedly millions of times more advanced and liberal than Jesus Christ, because they taught Vaiṣṇava prema-bhāva to benefit all people in the universe.

In Śrī Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura, selflessness by relinquishing mundane self-interest, and others’ and one’s own spiritual welfare in the form of serving Viṣṇu, are superbly harmonized. Recognizing Śrī Gaurasundara as the ultimate reality devoid of all illusion and the original Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva Datta bore on his shoulders the burden of the material disease of all jīvas—their indifference to Kṛṣṇa—and not only their sins, but superlatively more formidable, their multitudinous terrible offenses. Thus he sincerely prayed with mind, body, and words to free the jīvas from the malady of material existence. This example of compassion is far beyond the imagination of the greatest karmīs and jñānīs, not only in this world, but in all the fourteen worlds. Since the jīvas, prone to violence because of seeing differences arising from false identity due to illusion, revere and idealize karma and jñāna in the world of duality, most of them become bad karmīs and bad jñānīs. On hearing of the desire of Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura, the servant of the spiritual world, to suffer in hell for these jīvas, such persons, who are impelled by innate malice and a dualistic outlook, give him great respect, seeing him as a regular pious karmī or jñānī. But Datta Ṭhākura’s compassion for the jīvas is unlimitedly millions of times greater than that conceivable by bad karmīs and bad jñānīs. This is not highly prejudiced exaggeration or interpretation, but straightforward elucidation of the truth. Verily, the world is blessed by the coming of such servants of Gaura, by whom not just this earth, but all jīvas everywhere, have become fortunate. Eloquent speakers’ tongues reach perfection by glorifying the qualities of such devotees of Lord Caitanya. And the pens of poets and historians who have forsaken mundane research attain their highest success in describing the qualities of these mahā-bhāgavatas imbued with selfless devotion to the Lord. Such is the “greatness among greats”and “gloriousness among the glorious”of the servants of the abundantly magnanimous Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī detected the flaw in philosophically attempting either to humanize God or deify man, which albeit present in perverted Hinduism in a conceptually quite different manner, was the very foundation of Christianity. When some Christian priests proposed to him that mādhurya-rasa is also an aspect of Christianity, as evidenced by those medieval mystics who sought unity with Christ as their bridegroom, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī rejected that claim, for such esoteric endeavors were focused on the son of Godhead rather than directly on the Supreme Lord Himself. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura shed the light of Gauḍīya siddhānta on certain Biblical teachings. He equated Jesus’ famous submission “Thy will be done,”spoken from the position of a devotee, to the similarly well-known conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (Abandon all varieties of dharma and just surrender unto Me), uttered from the standpoint of Godhead. He cited Biblical instructions to chant the names of God as being in accord with the saṅkīrtana movement, and stated that if offered in unmixed devotion, church prayers are also kīrtana. He deemed the supplication “Give us our daily bread”as being far from true devotion, for God should not be regarded as a servitor to be called upon to provide corporal demands; rather, one should request food for the soul. He would often quote the commandment “Do not take the name of the Lord in vain”and comment that it had been misinterpreted by “pseudo-teachers”; God should not be called upon for supplying temporal needs, and thus to not take His name in vain means to chant without anyābhilāṣa (motive other than pure devotion): Pure devotees do not chant the Lord’s names to counteract sinful reactions, accumulate piety, or attain supernal pleasures, nor to mitigate famine, pestilence, social unrest, civil insurrection, or disease, nor to obtain wealth, an earthly kingdom, or any other object of personal enjoyment.

Since the name of Bhagavān is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to ask Him to fulfil our wishes is to consider Him, the supremely worshipable, our servant. This is an offense. Therefore, calling the Lord’s names for any reason other than to attain His devotional service is useless. Jesus Christ told us not to take the Lord’s name in vain, or uselessly. Yet this doesn’t mean that we do not need to chant the Lord’s names constantly—while sleeping, while dreaming, while eating, or when walking about. To chant the Lord’s name, begging for His service, is not a useless activity; it is our only duty. But to make a show of chanting for some other purpose, for actualizing our own desires, is useless. We should not take up chanting the Lord’s names in vain. We should not chant to attain dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa. Instead, we should always chant to attain service to Bhagavān. Do not chant the name for elevation or salvation, whereby you will entangle yourself instead of attaining service to the Absolute.

In Christians’ emphasis on mundane charitable works, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī perceived ignorance of the rudimentary spiritual principle of difference between body and soul. And he detected aversion to Godhead in the concept of a Beelzebub, or a rival of Godhead. He declared that hearing and chanting of Hari-kathā is the actual method for purgation of sins, and that the Western system of confession is hypocritical.He stated that through the misconceptions that there can be only one guru in the total course of history, and that the soul has only one birth, Semites had introduced many obstacles to legitimate spiritual understanding, and that such misunderstandings must be dispelled.* He also warned that if the semitic psychology, represented by the notion of an undefinable Supreme Being, was tantamount to asserting that God is formless, then it struck at the very root of all genuine spiritual activity.10 Similarly, he found a whiff of voidism in the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo. And in a letter sent to Saṁvidānanda Prabhu in London, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī confided that because the outlook of Westerners was based one hundred percent on sense enjoyment, their belief in God was not solid, but tenuous and blurred.

The Harmonist analyzed Christianity and mundane empiricism as concordant, inasmuch as both “justify the life of refined eating and drinking,” and also deemed: “The Bible contains some indirect references to transcendence hopelessly mixed up with precepts of mundane ethical expediency.” Further: The questions that will require to be discussed in connection with the teaching of the Bible, as it is current among the Christians of our day, will be as follows: Nebulous conception of the Personality of Godhead. Mundane and numerically limited conception of saviorship (guru). Confusion between conditioned and free spiritual functions. Overvaluation of hollow mundane morality. Confusion between so-called moral and spiritual conduct. Mundane organization of the Christian church. Superstitious rituals and doctrines opposed to philosophical and scientific experience.

Circa 1903 Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī was traveling with Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura by train from Ranaghat to Krishnanagar when a Christian dignitary, Reverend Butler, entered their coach. Seeing the japa-mālās in their hands he inquired about their identity, to which Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī replied, “Like you, we are missionaries. We are preachers of Śrī Caitanya’s dharma.”Immediately the priest challenged that the dharma of Śrī Caitanya consisted of idol worship and taking the Lord’s name in vain. After hearing Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī’s protracted response, Reverend Butler declared that previously he had discussed the same topics with many reputed paṇḍitas and religious leaders of Navadvīpa, but unlike Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī, none had been able to give an intelligent response.When told that no one in Vṛndāvana could proffer a satisfactory rebuttal to a visiting Christian priest who had accused Kṛṣṇa of flouting Vedic principles by dancing with others’ wives, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī commented that Vṛndāvana is inhabited by neophyte devotees. Christians who came in contact with Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism tended to become perplexed at how a doctrine so theistic and devotional could yet be founded on what they considered indelicate tales of the adulterous liaison between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. They invariably made the seminal miscalculation of ascribing the abysmal condition of contemporary Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava dharma to an intrinsic amorality, an opinion that modern-thinking Hindus typically dittoed. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and his followers invested tremendous energy to refute such claims and establish Kṛṣṇa’s purity as far beyond that imaginable by mundane moralists, whose insistence that Godhead must conform to behavioral standards was actually an impertinent imposition on His absolute freedom. “

your servant,
Jayendran

Kaspars Gulbis, 11 August 2016

Dear Jayendran Prabhu

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Reading your wonderful explanation I got Perfect understanding of bad faults in so called Christianity, and understood, many good ideas how to improove in pure devotional motives, attitude, pure prayer, pure devotional actions, and many subtle details.

Thank you so much.
Kaspars

Jayendran C, 22 August 2016

Hare Krishna Kaspers prabhu,

This was one of the excerpts I distinctly remembered that we had read in our local center on the occassion of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswat Thakur’s appearance day. All glories to HH Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami who compiled all this ! 🙂

your servant,
Jayendran

Kaspars Gulbis, 23 August 2016

Dear Nikhil

Hare Krishna

Thanks for your inspiring words, encouragement and blessings, your words means so much to me.

Thank you
Kaspars

Bhakta Sunil, 23 August 2016

Hare Krishna dear Kaspars Prabhu,

Please accept my humble respects,
All Glories to Vaishnavas,

Nice points you noticed and nice answers too,

Jesus Christ is a great Vaishnava, thus we notice so many similarities between the Scriptures,

In this connection , i would like to share a very recent “thought for the day” of 2nd August 2016, via http://www.backtohome.com which helps us to understand Jesus Christ’s teachings in it’s original pure form including the knowledge which Jesus has not revealed yet :

Which Path to Follow?
uploaded from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Often times people are baffled in their attempt to understand which path they should follow. But the answer is very simple. In which scriptures has God most fully revealed Himself? In the Bible Jesus says that there is more knowledge that he has not revealed yet. But in the Bhagavad-gita 7.2 Krishna says, “

jñānaṁ te ‘haṁ sa-vijñānam
idaṁ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ
yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo ‘nyaj
jñātavyam avaśiṣyate

“I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know.”

There are no scriptures in the world in which God is more fully revealed than in the Vedic wisdom. From the Vedas we learn about His names, His qualities, His pastimes, His abode, His associates, etc. No other scriptures give us such complete information. So considering this, it doesn’t take half a brain to understand that one should obviously follow the path of the Vedas, which culminate in understanding the Supreme Lord as Krishna, if he wants to have the highest level understanding and realization of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Sincerely,
Bhakta Sunil

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

God and The Absolute Truth

Who is God? What is the Absolute Truth? Does all God do is work to keep us all in line? What gives?

J Raul C, 12th November 2016

Hare Krishna!!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva!!

vancha-kalpa-tarubhyashcha

kripa-sindhubhya eva cha

patitanam pavanebhyo

vaishnavebhyo namo namaha

Dear devotees,

Please help me to understand the conception of God and the conception of Absolute Truth.

I have read and heard so many times in the scriptures and purports that God is Krishna and at the same time we talk about Absolute Truth as the supreme person or param satyam also we know Krishna as the Supreme Person

Please elaborate as God and Absolute Truth are not on the same level.

Thank you kindly,
J Raul C.

Premananda das, 12th November 2016

Hare Krsna Vaisnavas

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

God means controller and Absolute Truth means the source and end of everything and all the energies that exist.

Actually the conception of Absolute Truth is way beyond God.

Absolute Truth actually makes an impression on the mind that it is not just a religious enthusiasm but profound philosophy.
It answers the most important question that He is the origin and destination of everything.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1.1.1 it is explained that Krsna is beginning and end of everything and it also defeats the idea that matter is the source of creation which is prominent in today’s modern world.

It is not only om namo bhagavate not vague but it is Vasudevaya son of Vasudeva and Devaki primeval Bhagawan.

This list is check point of whether someone is God and Absolute Truth.

Absolute Truth is Sri Krsna son of Vasudeva and Devaki.

oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
 tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mṛṣā
 dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.

He is the source and end of everything.
He is supremely conscious and independent.
He is the original source of all knowledge.
He is the original source of bewilderment.
He makes the three worlds appear real like mirage.
He resides in the eternal abode free from illusion.
He is the highest Truth to be mediated upon.(Son of Vasudeva)

your servant

Premananda Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16th November 2016

Dear Sriman Raul,

Hare Krishna!

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

Who is “God” – this is the generic name for some kind of administrative and executive function/position in the creation, maintenance, and dissolution of the manifestation. Actually Krishna is greater than “God”, because Krishna is the source of “God”.

It is like saying “Man”, does not identify a specific individual but a class of individual.

This is why Srila Prabhupada used the phrase “Supreme Personality of Godhead” to describe Krishna, though he did call Krishna God in some specific contexts, like when he explained the phrase “krishnas tu bhagavan svayam”.

There are many “gods”, like for example each of us control something in our own and others’ lives… and because Krishna expands Himself unlimitedly in Vishnu Tattva expansions actually one can say that there are also many “Gods”… but the “gods” and “Gods” are all servant Gods, and everyone is ultimately serving Krishna in some way or another.

A riverhead is the source of a river. A river is a continuously flowing stream of water… even though we say “here is a river”, it is not the same at any two moments – the water in it is different at every moment practically.

Similarly, “God” is a concept that is impossible to explain materially, and is dynamic. Krishna is the source of that infinite dynamism, the source of the power of all powers, all energies, all living entities. If the word Godhead is considered, then that Godhead is the Source of “God”, but that Source of God has many many personalities, like Balarama, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and then the second set of those, Maha Vishnu Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, Kshirodakashayi Vishnu, etc.

We read from the Srimad Bhagvatam how Krishna expands “bahu syam” (I shall be many) into different types of expansions, “svamsha” or Vishnu Tattva expansions, and “vibbinamsha” or separated jiva expansions. Then there are the shaktis, the shiva tattva. There are the potencies of hladini, sandhini, samvit, and so many further expansions and so much complexity in the spiritual and material manifestation.

But in the end, Krishna has nothing to do, He simply plays His flute, and enjoys pastimes with His associates, no “duty” to do, like having to keep track of who is doing what, punishment and reward, that is the “God” function which is played by His arrangements in so many elaborate ways.

I hope this helps.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

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

Ikigai – What keeps you going in Krishna Consciousness?

What is your ikigai, your raison-de-etre, your reason for being? Especially when you are following a spiritual path, why are you on the path? Why are you (trying to be) in Krishna Consciousness?

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26th April 2016

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Welcome everyone!

This group has been active since May 2011, and we have done some amazing things in this group, and we will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Recently, I came across the Japanese word Ikigai (pronounced ‘icky guy’, but doesn’t mean the same). Roughly translated, Ikigai means “a reason for being”. Of course, on the deepest level, we are because Krishna is.

But still, it can be understood as the reason we start something, stick to something or even just get out of bed.

So, I am curious to hear, and I beg you to dig deep within your hearts and minds… what is your “ikigai”, what is your reason for being in Krishna consciousness in any way?

I mean, some of you are experimenting with Krishna consciousness. Others know it theoretically but yet to fully embrace, and others you live and breathe Krishna consciousness, everything is you do is so you can somehow be Krishna conscious.

I’d like us to get a feel of what the members feel is their “Ikigai” in Krishna consciousness?

Please don’t hold back, please write, this will inspire and encourage us all.

What say, dear fellow travellers on the road to Ultimate Self Realization?

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Hitesh Patel, 26th April 2016

My reason for being in Krishna Consciousness is to get away from the trouble of the material world and be in kirtan. Sunday 8 o clock arati is my favorite time of the week because I can take all the stress that’s accumulated throughout the work week and let it out on the mridanga drum. Sometimes I hit the drum so hard that my hands hurt. It’s a great feeling.

Hare krishna!!

Sincerely,
Hitesh Patel

Ned frazee, 26th April 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupad!
All Glories to Guru-dev and Guru-Mata!
All Glories to the assembled devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances. This is a wonderful letter and I would like to participate in the discussion.

What I feel mostly as my “reason for being” in Krishna Consciousness is endeavoring each day, moment to moment, for a drop of mercy. You see, I am the most fallen and very unqualified for this Bhakti-yoga. Although, I am most fortunate to have come into contact with His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari.

I feel when I endeavor to take Guru association in my heart, if not physically present, then this gives me the opportunity to take hold of Krishna’s lotus feet within my mind.

Through his transcendental instructions emanating from his lotus mouth, he delivers the whole world from the ocean of birth and death.

There are so many drops of mercy that we get from so many great personalities. I pray Lord Krishna will give me the intelligence to drink this transcendental nectar through my ears and if there is any bit of interest of anyone to hear, I may fan this spark.

Yours eternally,

Sincerely,
Ned

Vasudevan.k, 27th April 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupad!

All Glories to Guru-dev and Guru-Mata!

All Glories to the assembled devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances. This is a wonderful letter and I would like to participate in the discussion.

What I feel mostly as my “reason for being” in Krishna Consciousness is endeavoring each day, moment to moment, for Prasadam.

Always an insignificant servant,
Vasudevan K

Gita ajith, 27th April 2016

Hare Krsna Devotees

My Personal reason for being in Krsna conscious is that it relieves me from all worldly stress and strain.

Whenever I am in a conflicting situation or depressed mental state I start chanting the Maha Mantra and start feeling the mercy of lord by feeling very light and my thought moving towards Krsna and nothing else. There are so many things keeps me going in Krsna consciousness especially almost all the writings of Srila Prabhupada about Krsna ….especially his book KRSNA which I love to read again and again especially when I read the chapter about Sudama visiting his friend Lord Krsna one of the beautiful chapter which enlightens me a lot .

Every single thought that comes to my mind about all attractive Krsna has a great feeling and keeps me moving further…..Hare Krsnaaaa!!!

Sincerely,
Gita

Manjula Nellore, 27th April 2016

Hare Krishna,

My pranams to the Acharyas and Gurus.

My best wishes to all.
Being associated with Krishna Consciousness is a journey which I wish to travel sharing experiences of one another, which would in turn help all of us to get closer to the lord himself.

yours,
Manjula.

Manian VB, 27th April 2016

Hare Krishna Hare Rama.

Being associated with Krishna consciousness is a wonderful; experience. we cone to know of the Supreme being and practicing Krishna Consciousness gives us peace of mind and takes us away from the material contamination.

your unworthy servant,
Manian VB

Sarvasakti devi dasi, 27th April 2016

Dear Devotees
Hare Krishna

My reason for being in krishna consciousness is to get rid of all material attachments. To be honest whenever am in the temple busy with my services and surrounding with devotees really feels amazing and that happiness and peace i get is just wonderful. Once I go out of temple I get so sad , people’s words just keeps hurting me. For me I love serving and helping everyone. During week days we have harinam here in fiji island and that’s the best part of my life . I get to meet so many people to talk to about lord krishna. Book distributions , dancing and delicious prasadam.

This is just a short reason I have shared .

All glories to srila prabhupada
All glories to srila gurudev

yours servant
Sarvasakti devi dasi

Kamal Caran Das, 27th April 2016

Hare Krsna.

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Sri Sri Gaur Nitai.

I was and I am an extremly fallen soul. Very arogant, egoistic and unfaithful one. And I could understand that this is the reason of all the pity situations in my material life. I could sense that Krsna Consciousness movement initiated by Srila Prabhupada is the only way out of such a horible condition. This was the only and only “ikigai” to start with ISKCON.

But now, after almost EIGHT year of association of Harinam & devotees of Krsna & Krsna in the form of almost everything, the “ikigai” is to realize Krsna in every happenings in the life – mine & others.. and to learn more and more abuot how beautifully & mysteriously Krsna performs.. Krsna says.. Mayadhyakshen prakrutihi.. hetunanen kauntey, jagat viparivartate.. How prakruti works on us and how we fool behave under the clutches of maya — though we consider ourselves in Krsna consciousness.. Suddenly a spark comes in the mind and we realize — “oh, i got trapped again..!” its wonderful.. and adventurious and delicious…and so on..

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare,
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare….!

your servant..
Kamal Caran Das

Nirmala Devaki Devi Dasi, 27th April 2016

HARE KRISHNA

Please accept my humble obeisances…

For me KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS is everything….Sometimes i feel if i would not be there in this KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, how boring my life would be.

I feel very fortunate that i get to know about this KRISHNA consciousness.

Yadi Prabhupada na hoito tabe ki hoito ye jeevan bahita kishe……

Its really a fact that association of devotees can’t be compared 2 anything valuable in this world..i feel each moment to be very precious that is being spent with the devotees.

Every sunday, every yatra gives more and more bliss to our life.

Srila Prabhupada books are the source of life.

And the Ultimate self realization course everyday make me realise the urgency for being KRISHNA CONSCIOUS every moment.

Thanks.

yours insignificant servant
Nirmala Devaki Devi Dasi

Sadhna bhim, 27th April 2016

Hare Krishna to all

All glories to Srila Prabhupad!

My reason for being a devotee is, always I wanted to know what is the purpose of our life. is there anything that after birth and death is there anything beyond that. I found my answer in Srimad Bhagwatam. We must prepare ourself for a spiritual body to go back to God head. In this material world we must use everything for Krishna. My wish is what can I do to help everyone to become Krishna consciousness’ especially our family members which is very difficult to preach them.

servant of the servant of the servant
Sadhna

Jayapal M, 27th April 2016

Dear devotees,

Hare krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,

My reason for being in Krishna Consciousness is that I strongly believe and being experienced of Chanting Holy Name as the simplest way of doing continuous service to Krishna, Supreme Personality of Godhead. Chanting and sticking to 4 regulatory principles are the most enjoyable and self purifying activities of my life now, though it was found to be very difficult once upon a time.

Looking for devotees’ merciful; blessing to continue in Krishna consciousness forever.

your humble aspiring servant,
M. Jayapal.

Premananda das, 27th April 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories o Srila Prabhupada

Krishna consciousness or the reason of my being in Krishna consciousness are as follows:

1)To be a servant of Guru,Krishna and Vasinavas
2)To take risks for Krishna and explore the journey as I understand if you love someone you will sacrifice and give your best eat to please that person.Similarly to please Krishna’s pure devotees and become an instrument in Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya mission.
3)Hearing Srimad Bhagavatam lectures and purifying myself,for furthering scriptural understanding and developing my love for Krishna .
4)Srila Prabhupada has given an spiritual institution Iskcon to assist in the local temple by asking higher authorizes in the temple.Srila Prabhupada mentions that if anyone wants to please him they must follow his instructions .He said that co-operation between devotees will please him.I wish to develop that mood as the goal is for the pleasure of Krishna ,services could vary from devotee to devotee.
5)To remember Krishna and never forget Him.Just as tripod stands on three legs.Guru ,sadhus and scriptures are require even one leg missing will not make the camera stand on tripod.Association of devotees and exchanging loving exchanges between devotees is another aspect of my being in Krishna conscious. This is my Ikigai.

Thank you Mahabhagavat prabhu for this wonderful book club where I learn so much with realization and experiences from devotees and reading and relishing the nectar of different books of Srila Prabhupada.

your servant
Premananda Das

Amogha Lila Das, 27th April 2016

Hare Krishna prabhu’s and mataji’s. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Gurudeva. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I would say my ‘ikigai’ in Krishna consciousness is the realization that there is nothing else real even though how much real it may seem. Krishna consciousness helps me to look forward to weekends and events where I can get devotee association. And this in turn makes all other seemingly mundane activities somewhat meaningful.

your servant,
Amogha Lila Das

Vandana Neeraye, 27th April 2016

Hare krsna

Please accept my humble obeisance

All glories to Shrila Prabupada

All glories to Shrila Gurudev and Guru mataji

Krsna consciousness makes me realize that we are all part and parcel of lord krishna, He resides in our heart and we are His eternal servants.

Being in krsna consciousness also gives me immense pleasure to serve the devotees, to do my japas, to read Srila Prabupada books and to associate with devotees and discuss Sri krsna pastimes

your servant,
Vandana

Jayakrishna, 29th April 2016

Hare krishna dear devotees!

I dont know it, but i think i am special to Krishna,and i feel He loves me as his dearest! just like i feel that i am special to my mother! But i know as a father that i love my children equally:-) Regarding ISKCON,i appreciate them only because they serve Krishna better than anyone, and regarding Srila Prabhupada, i dont know a man more dedicated to the mission of Krishna and a Guru who distributed the priceless benediction of krishna to the whole world lavishly in modern days.

with dandavats,

Jayakrishna

Damodar Vilas das, 29th April 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisance
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Thanks for very introspective question :-

Q. what is your reason for being in Krishna consciousness in any way?

Ans. Reason for me for being in Krishna Consciousness

  1. Being able to derive inspiration from the association of the devotees who are living with teachings of an Acarya who taught by His own example. Our ISKCON founder acarya Srila Prabhupada!!!
  2. Relationship with the spiritual preceptor/Guru Maharaja. Who are extending the most sublime teaching & love of entire disciplic succession.
  3. Bhakti perform under guidance of these teaching gives provide immense happiness to keep going. Also Vaishnava Seva.

your servant,
Damodar Vilas das

Paramraj bhatt, 29th April 2016

Hare Krishna !

Please accept my humble obeisances .

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada !
All Glories to Srila Gurudev !

First off all thank you prabhuji for bringing up this question it really made me ponder a lot about it “Ikigai ” I mean what is my reason for being ?

Even though I knew that I was in Krishna consciousnesses for ” Athato Brahma Jigyasa”, which shares some what similar meaning to Ikigai ,I think reason for my being is to understand exactly why do I have to be ?

Understanding the importance of doing things and how to do them perfectly .The feel of having an intense desire to know or have that curiosity (jigyasa ) is what keeps me going.

your servant,
Paramraj

Ajanta Rao, 29th April 2016

Hare Krishna devotees,
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Gurumataji
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Thank you Mahabhagavat Prabhu for asking the question. The reason that I am Krishna conscious is that it makes me feel truly peaceful, blissful, clean, healthy, and normal. I feel lost and confused if I’m not Krishna conscious. The material world is so corrupted by maya/illusion that nobody knows who they actually are and what their true purpose in life is. Everybody is busy trying to boost their false egos and indulge in sense gratification which doesn’t make sense to me. On the other hand, Krishna consciousness makes complete sense because it is based on Bhagavad-Gita, the teachings of Lord Krishna who is the Supreme Lord of the Universe. Reading Srila Prabhupada’s “Bhagavad-Gita as it is” was an epiphanous moment for me. It awakened me and enlightened me about my true nature and the true purpose of my life. I realized that I am actually an eternal servant of Lord Krishna and my duty is to serve Him with love and devotion. Ever since I started practicing Krishna consciousness- by doing japa, mangala-aarathi, associating with devotees, following Gurudev’s and Gurumataji’s instructions, cooking and serving Krishna prasadam, serving in the temple, and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, I was gradually cleansed of material contamination and felt increasingly blissful. I know there is more and more cleansing required for this fallen soul and hence I shall continue to be Krishna conscious forever.

I enjoy participating in the online book reading because it helps to improve my knowledge and strengthens my Krishna consciousness. Thank you to all the devotees for their valuable insights and mercy.

yours humbly,
Ajanta Rao

Bhakta Sunil, 29th April 2016

Hare Krishna,

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

my Ikigai for being in Krishna Consciousness is :

a) Getting the association of persons who are your true friends,

b) automatically avoiding abominable mundane habits because of higher taste,

c) the satisfaction of serving and doing good for some one is immense,

d) eating sanctified food,

e) experientially feeling the purification in the heart,

f) being aware that this is the Absolute Truth, and this is the topmost lifestyle for a human being,

g) being sure that even in difficulty God is helping , so simply to depend on Lord and His representatives,

this is my humble realization,

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

Shridhar Das, 02nd May 2016

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
Please accept my humble obeisance!
All glories to Srila Gurudeva!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I also heartily thank His Grace Mahabhagavat Prabhu for giving an opportunity to dig deep into “whys”. My counsellor once spoke if “what?” and “why?” of our life’s goal is clear, then “how?” shall automatically be known. Stronger the why, better the how.

Honestly sharing, my mind is mixed up. Above ikaigais however helped me.

I had given myself to this movement because I was eager to experience the mystery if really there is a person who knows me, understands my feelings and shall guide accordingly, because I couldn’t ever find such a person in material world. No one would reciprocate properly. Those whom I considered my best friends were best of worst bargain to keep myself going in life. I felt I was odd one out in this world. I was disappointed to see flaws in all relations.

Today my spiritual master, other vaishnavas and Krishna have taken that place and answered my mystery.

Having gone through permutations of combinations of all experimentations to remain happy, I have concluded reason or no reason, nothing except Krishna Conscious will satisfy. So this is one thing. I know this is Absolutely “The One”, no choice.

The main impetus or ikigai to practice the Krishna Consciousness regularly is anything that will help me to become established in my real identity beyond conflicts and bewilderment and the other ikigai is to become qualified to live up to the expectations of my spiritual master from me.

Eager to know Prabhuji’s “ikigai”.

your servant
Shridhar Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 02nd May 2016

Hare Krishna!

My “Ikigai”… I know that all problems are caused by a lack of Krishna consciousness. I know I am not Krishna conscious. Thus I have no other hope other than to be truly Krishna conscious, and I know only too well how much I am lacking in every single area of my attempt, so truly, no other hope other than to trying being truly and genuinely Krishna conscious.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Brhadnath dasa, 04th May 2016

Hare Krishna,

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

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

I could not believe that this thought has been echoed by YG, my idol. “I know I am not Krishna conscious” Prabhuji, these words are to be found in the minds of neophytes like me who do not care to utter but cannot be adduced to YG .Could be a slip of some keys on the board.
I took to Krishna consciousness in the autumn of my life after going to so many places of so called godly consciousness. When I read BG as it is for the first time, Srila Prabhupada just mesmerized me with altogether different purports. I had been reading BG(some other editions) for long but could not proceed beyond Ch-2 and that too without fully going through Ch-1, thinking that the Lord appears in Ch-2 But when I started reading ‘BG as it is’ and came to verse 1/41, I read the purport several times. Prabhuji,we observe shradha kriya and perform certain rituals with the help of brahmanas and then offer food and other articles to them. But Srila Prabhupada’s instructions to offer remnants of prasadam to ancestors and virtually uplift them struck me and with half reluctant family members we followed Srila Prabhupada. The brahmins were also offered the usual money etc with prasadam, but without performing ritualsetc. This is still being followed in our family and some other relatives. This way Srila Prabhupada entered our life. we would listen to lectures and try to understand with the help of devotees. I started chanting 16 rounds within a fortnight. Yadi prabhupada na hoite, then what would have happened.Srila Prabhupada ki jai. As earlier shared, my punishment at work became a wonderful sojourn to some other world. But the real take off was after joining the “ultimate self-realization” course. Srila Gurudeva is really from Golokadhama showering mercy profusely on sinful souls like me. Reading Prabhupada books with the group is another experience. I’m learning the steps to Krishna consciousness due to your mercy and think myself on the stage of bhajan-kriya. Srila Prabhupada in one lecture has said that,”as you are more and more engaged in spiritual activities, so, proportionately, your material activities and affection for material activities will diminish. Counteraction. When you engage in the spiritual activities, your material activities diminishes.” HH Gopal Krishan Goswami, once said that if you attain the stage of anartha nivriti during this life time then the achievement is more than sufficient , may be His Holiness had householders like me under reference. I also take solace from reading SB 11.20/27,28 and repent on my occasional bursts of anger and other material activities and taking shelter of the group.
My “Ikigai” is to attain the stage of “anartha-nivritti” with the help of the group, but if not in this life due to previous / or present sinful actions may be in the next, and I’ve no regrets.

Brhadnath dasa

Sundar Gopal Das, 04th May 2016

Hare Krishna!
Dear devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisance.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All Glories to Srila Guru and Gauranga

First of all hats off to HG Mahabhgavat Prabhuji for coming up with such an brilliant idea to instigate all of us to ponder over the ‘ikigai’ factor of our Krishna Consciousness at individual level.

I can summarize my ‘ikigai’ of Krishna conscious as- a truly and significantly purposeful progression of life towards an eternal and blissful reality.

A brief break-up can be as follows :

Incredible HD Philosophy: Before coming to Krishna consciousness I (and all of us) knew “Man is mortal”. Whereas here the rudimentary foundation of Krishna Consciousness is based on “Every living entity is immortal”. The na hanyate hnaya mane sarire revolutionize the entire definition of our so-called life and take us towards a resolution of Higher Dimensional (HD) existence of eternity, knowledge and bliss.

Elixir of life : The process of chanting of Holy Name
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
and sravanam i.e. hearing of Krishna Katha for the natural revival of our innate divine nature is simple, but at the same time so necterean that I can’t help but keep on experiencing the exponentially increasing bliss -anandambudhi bardhanam-by the mercy of my spiritual masters and vaishnavas.
Enlightening Variegatedness : Previously I had a misconception that religiosity or spirituality means some ritualistic activity or just om shanti om type inactivity. But here Srila Prabhupada has presented the real essence of spiritual culture with so much enlightening engagements that soul’s instinctive dynamism is perfectly aligned to dovetail the wandering senses at the service of their true master- hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170) .

That’s all about a brief sketch of my ‘ikigai’ of Krishna consciousness…..

With regards,
Sundar Gopal Das

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