Love or Lust, take your pick

Radha Krishna, our Best Friend and Supreme Well-Wisher

Love, Love, Love!

Who doesn’t want to love and who doesn’t want to be loved!

Much desired, much discussed, fantasized about, hankered for, in songs, literature, poetry, even science.

Here is what a great saint says about Love:

ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā — tāre bali ‘kāma’
kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma

The desire to gratify one’s own senses is kāma [lust], but the desire to please the senses of Lord Kṛṣṇa is prema [love].https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/adi/4/165/

Looking at it deeper, it means that whenever one desires someone or something for one’s own pleasure, that is not Love, that is Lust.

When we reflect on everything that has been given to us, air, water, this body, the ability to reflect, consciousness, the freedom to act, sunshine, food, and relationships… everything under the sun and beyond, we see that the source of it all deserves gratitude, and Love.

Krishna is the name for that Supreme Source, and Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, Rama, Yahweh, all refer to that one Supreme Soul, the Source of Everything that exists.

It is alright if you take exception to the above statement and disagree with me there. No matter what your own nomenclature for the Single Supreme Source of All is, whether it be Allah, Christ, Jehovah, Buddha, or some other name… When you try to gratify that Supreme Being’s senses, that is Love, and everything else is merely Lust.

All those love songs, all of those poems and ballads, dramas and theatre, perfumes and fantasies, they are actually of Love only when directed to the Supreme Divine, and lust otherwise.

I had a wonderful experience of this, traveling once with a sincere, loving, generous and humble saint, His Holiness Amala Bhakta Swami, from Toronto to Los Angeles, and he was clearly in ecstasy about something he was listening to. When I looked at him inquiringly, he took out one of his ear buds connected to his phone, and gave it to me… and he pressed play, I heard this song for the very first time in my life…

Unforgettable, that’s what you are
Unforgettable though near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more

Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why, darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why, darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

-Nat King Cole (also performed by Barbara Streisand and others)

Think about this. While one can be forgiven for being carried away by temporary waves of emotion for our “TSO” – “temporary significant other” (phrase courtesy His Holiness Devamrita Swami), that song only consistently and forever makes sense when in relation to God. Because God stays in our heart and keeps us alive, gives us consciousness, even if we may have chosen to forget. Even though we may forget God, God never ever forgets us. I will never forget Amala Bhakta Swami Maharaja’s gift to me, in being able to relate everything wonderful and unforgettable back to the Supreme Divine, Krishna.

In fact, life after life, God travels in our heart, in His expansion as “Super Soul” or “Paramatma”

ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति । भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ १८.६१ ॥ īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy. –https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/61/

No matter if a soul is in the body of a worm, an ant, a fish, a vulture, a hog, a dog, a camel, or an ass… or a human being, the Supreme Divine accompanies us all.

That is Love.

And to express affection back, and to render service to He who has never abandoned me, despicable me, who let my Best Friend and Well-Wisher down originally, and over and over again, but not again now, is worthy of my Love. Not “gimme this gimme that gimme gimme gimme” but “What can I do for you my dearest friend?”

Love or Lust, what will it be for you?

Love is what I seek to give, so please help me God.

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Why did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu come as a Secret Incarnation of God?

Hemanga Das, 23rd March 2014

Hare Krishna Devotees,

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

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to spread the love of God to everyone irrespective of cast and religion. My question is why does he has to come as a secret avatar if he wants to give mercy to everyone?

your servant,
Hemanga Das

Srivatsa Das SDA, 28th March 2014

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

The three principal purposes of the appearance of Lord Caithanya were the following:
The first purpose was that Shri Krishna wanted to relish the objectivities of Shrimat Radharani Who is prime reciprocator of transcendental love of Shri Krishna. He wanted to relish the loving mellow in the position of Radharani.
Shri Krishna wanted to enjoy such ecstacy of loving service in the position of Radharani who enjoyed the transcendental beauty of Shri Krishna.
Shri Krishna wanted to know Himself as such why He was so enjoyable by Shrimati Radharani. He thought it wisely that there must be something in Him which was so much enjoyable by Shrimati Radharani and by which Radharani’s achievement of transcendental mellow, was far more greater than Shri Krishna. As Shri Krishna it was impossible for Him to enjoy in the position of Shrimati Radharani because it was completely foreign to Him.
Since the above three were the main objective of Lord Caithanya, The Lord came as a secret Avatar.  The other purposes of the appearance were secondary.

This might be the reason of the Lord to appear secretly.

your servant
Srivatsa Das

Bhakta Sunil, 31st March 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Respected Hemanga Prabhuji I understand that reason for secret incarnation is that if Lord would Himself say that He is Lord then many may not beleive and may therefore not accept the teaching and mercy

Also the reason for secret incarnation can be to teach that one is not His devotee , but the devotee of His devotee is His devotee

Thus it can become easier to give mercy as secret incarnation

humble regards from Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01st April 2014

Dear Hemanga Prabhu,

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

This is a very nice question, and nicer answers also.

The Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi Lila Chapters 3 (The External Reasons for the Appearance of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu) and 4 (The Confidential Reasons for the Appearance of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu) gives more detail about this.

One reason, after reading those chapters, appears to be that the more advanced a devotee is, the more confidential their service and activities are. Srimati Radharani is The Supremely Advanced Devotee, no one more advanced than Her. So therefore, as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the mood of Srimati Radharani, He acted in very confidential ways befitting Srimati Radharani’s moods.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Shashank, 01st May 2014

Hare Krishna Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All Glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All Glories to Devotees.

Krishna wanted to know how Radharani is enjoying more than Himself, so He came as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as a devotee of Himself.

your servant,
Bhakta shashank.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03rd May 2014

Dear Devotees,

I just read this thought for the day which I had before missed… where Srila Gurudeva His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari quotes very concisely and perfectly, from Srila Prabhupada’s purports “Lord Caitanya knew that in Kali-yuga there would be many bogus incarnations pretending to be God, and therefore He avoided asserting Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

This is from thought for the day dated 14th March 2014, copied below.

quote

Lord Caitanya is the hidden incarnation of Godhead described by the term channah, which means covered, in the Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.38 as follows:

itthaṁ nṛ-tiryag-ṛṣi-deva-jhaṣāvatārair
lokān vibhāvayasi haṁsi jagat pratīpān
dharmaṁ mahā-puruṣa pāsi yugānuvṛttaṁ
channaḥ kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo ‘tha sa tvam

“In this way, my Lord, You appear in various incarnations as a human being, an animal, a great saint, a demigod, a fish or a tortoise, thus maintaining the entire creation in different planetary systems and killing the demoniac principles. According to the age, O my Lord, You protect the principles of religion. In the age of Kali, however, You do not assert Yourself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore You are known as Triyuga, or the Lord who appears in three yugas.”

Srila Prabhupada wonderfully explains the appearance of Lord Caitanya in his purport to this verse as follows:

“As the Lord appeared just to maintain Lord Brahma from the attack of Madhu and Kaitabha, He also appeared to protect the great devotee Prahlada Maharaja. Similarly, Lord Caitanya appeared in order to protect the fallen souls of Kali-yuga. There are four yugas, or millenniums–Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. In all the yugas but Kali-yuga, the Lord appears in various incarnations and asserts Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but although Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who appears in Kali-yuga, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He never asserted Himself as such. On the contrary, whenever Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was addressed as being as good as Krishna, He blocked His ears with His hands, denying His identity with Krishna, because He was playing the part of a devotee. Lord Caitanya knew that in Kali-yuga there would be many bogus incarnations pretending to be God, and therefore He avoided asserting Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, in many Vedic literatures, especially in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.32):

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ
sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ

In Kali-yuga, intelligent men worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is always accompanied by His associates such as Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara and Srivasa. The entire Krishna consciousness movement is based on the principles of the sankirtana movement inaugurated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore one who tries to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the medium of the sankirtana movement knows everything perfectly. He is sumedhas, a person with substantial intelligence.”

So if we are intelligent, we will take advantage of the most sublime process of self-realization given in this age by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God.

unquote

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nashvin, 04th May 2014

Hare Krsna!

I don’t know whether this a bona fide realization, but I think that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was also a secret incarnation because he wanted to promote the holy name of the Lord as the incarnation for this age:

http://vedabase.com/cc/adi/17/22/en
“kali-kāle nāma-rūpe kṛṣṇa-avatāra”
“In this Age of Kali, the Holy name of the Lord, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, is the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa.”

your servant,
Nashvin

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How is Parashuram in both Ramayana and Mahabharata?

Meenakshi, 22nd November 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Ramayan dates back to Treta yuga (editor:over 2 million years ago) and Mahabharat dates to Dwapar yuga (editor:5000 years ago)…but in both there is mention of Parashuram…so what’s the time lag between Ramayan and Mahabharat and what’s age of Parashuram…to be part of both?

your humble servant
Meenakshi

Rathin Mandal, 23rd November 2013

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I can attempt to give the answer to first part of the question.
The four yugas make up a cycle which lasts 4,320,000 years. The duration of each yuga is:
SATYA YUGA:     1,728,000 years
TRETA YUGA:        1,296,000 years
DVAPARA YUGA:    864,000 years
KALI YUGA:        432,000 years

Mahabharata was towards the end of Dvapara yuga. So according to earthly time, Paraśurāma has a very long life.

But Lord Brahma’s one day is of 4,300,000,000 years, so the yuga time periods are very small compared to one day of Lord Brahma.

your Servant
Rathin

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 23rd November 2013

Hare Krishna Mataji,

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

Also, Lord Parashurama is a shaktyavesha avataar, an empowered incarnation of Krishna who appears in the material world for a specific reason, so there is no ordinary limitation of birth, death, old age, and disease for Him.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Harish, 23rd November 2013

Hare Krsna !
Rathin Prabhu due to oversight has written “The four yugas make up a cycle which lasts 4,320,000 years.” But then he had classified the yugas properly.

Not only Lord Parshuram, but also devotee of Lord Rama – Jambavanta, the king of bears appears in both the yugas.

thank you.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 25th November 2013

Yes, I missed that myself also. One thousand cycles of 4 yugas (1000 X 4.32 million years) make up one day of Brahma, and Lord Brahma’s one night is equal to the same period.
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Anger and Thoughts

With a sudden surge of anger, things go completely wrong… and sometimes thoughts just get into the mind and they keep on going in circles – how to get back on track?

Rathin Mandal, 30th May 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

There are sometimes situation when there is a sudden surge of anger. And in that condition things go completely wrong.
Or there are circumstances when some thoughts just get into mind and they keep on going in circle and circle. And it becomes difficult to get them out of mind.

If I understand these correctly, these are only sign of mode of ignorance.
How should one control this kind of material mood swing.

your Servant
Rathin
Sanil Kumar, 30th May 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

Yes Prabhuji, It is due to lack of knowledge.  This is what I understood from the following verse.

BG 4.36
api ced asi päpebhyaù
sarvebhyaù päpa-kåt-tamaù
sarvaà jïäna-plavenaiva
våjinaà santariñyasi
TRANSLATION

Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.

PURPORT

Proper understanding of one’s constitutional position in relationship to Krishna is so nice that it can at once lift one from the struggle for existence which goes on in the ocean of nescience. This material world is sometimes regarded as an ocean of nescience and sometimes as a blazing forest. In the ocean, however expert a swimmer one may be, the struggle for existence is very severe. If someone comes forward and lifts the struggling swimmer from the ocean, he is the greatest savior. Perfect knowledge, received from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the path of liberation. The boat of Krishna consciousness is very simple, but at the same time the most sublime.

In a recent Thought of the day, Srila Gurudeva was answering to a question that – let these kind of thoughts and worries come and go, we need not bother much, we must continue our Krishna Conscious activities without hindrance.

your servant
Sanil kumar
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 31st May 2013

Srila Gurudeva answered this question on a lecture available on the CD, I think question was asked by Bhakta Virendra and the answer is very nice. Check out Lecture number 25 on the CD 🙂 If someone does not have the CD, then let us know, we will figure out a way to get the CD to you., it has 30 wonderful lectures.

Generally, try to get into spiritual vibration, that is the only solution to get out of the rut of material vibration… like read, chant, hear someone else read, read together, listen to a class, something of that kind helps.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Bhakta Sunil, 02nd June 2013

Hare Krishna to all!

Dear Rathin Prabhu

I have been reading your posts since many days
You have shared a lot of nectar of transcendental knowledge here

So this question is an opportunity to associate with you

Q.) There are sometimes situation when there is a sudden surge of anger. And in that condition things go completely wrong.
Anger cannot be totally stopped but controlled and utilized in service of Lord Krishna as Hanuman did for “Lord Krishna’s avtaar as
Lord Rama”.  As a spontaneous reaction in heat of situation , with agitation of mind anger comes out but if it is for wrong reasons and not controlled then one feels consciousness has got degraded and dejected which I guess is what you imply by “And in that condition things go completely wrong.”

But as one advances in devotional practice and learns from senior and pure devotees one better reacts to anger provoking situations. I understand it requires and demands lot of self-determination but”Perseverance furthers”.

If anger is not required one curls in with the emotions of anger and mind comes out of topic of anger. One can chant intensely the mahamantra and with each moment the anger heat dips and dips until after some time you feel peaceful and relaxed. So the situation acts as an opportunity to chant the mahamantra and one furthers in self-cleansing process.

The processes of trying divert mind from topic of anger to chanting helps not only to control anger but also helps to improve chanting. Thus one gets double benefit.

If one does not further react to the provoking situation then gradually but surely one gets over the state of mind.

Incorrect anger can be said to be an occasional show of worldiness. But it is said that if one is on the right path then an occasional show of worldliness is forgiven and one gradually but surely reaches pure devotional stage

This process as mentioned is for anger when it should be avoided.

But if anger is for correct reason and can be utilized in service of Lord then with anger one serves the Lord as when getting angry
towards one who blasphemes Lord or His Devotees

Q.) Or there are circumstances when some thoughts just get into mind and they keep on going in circle and circle. And it becomes difficult to get them out of mind.
Few days earlier a similar topic with it’s answer has been discussed in Ultimate Self-Realization E-mail Course as copied and pasted below.
I understand that one should not react to negative thoughts and with time the thoughts automatically go away

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:
Question: How to Conquer Mental Distractions?

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

Thank you for opening my eyes through your Ultimate Self Realization Course with the dailythoughts and questions and answers. I really need your help to progress in Krishna consciousness, which I am very determined about.

I am chanting about 6 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha mantra every morning, have started offering food to Krishna, reading Srila Prabhupada’s books almost every night, listening to your lectures CD, associating with devotees, thinking of Krishna as much as possible during the day, etc. But still at times (sometimes even during chanting), some really sinful thoughts/unwanted fears or distractions come to my mind which I immediately realize as bad and try to stop and instead focus my mind on the maha mantra or Radha Shyamasundar’s form. Please advise me how I can overcome these miserable mental distractions. Should I just ignore the nonsensicalthoughts every time they come up, avoid contemplating them and beg Krishna’s mercy every time that happens?  How to get free from them?

I am completely dependent on your mercy. Please help me and bless me.

Your undeserving servant,
M.
Answer: Ignore Them Like an Unwanted Guest

Don’t be disturbed by the sinful thoughts by thinking and/or feeling that you must act on them. Just as they came flowing into your mind unimpeded, you should allow them maintain their flowing momentum and unimpededly flow out of your mind, just as by ignoring an unwanted guest he will eventually go away.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Hope this helps

Regards,
Sunil
Rathin Mandal, 04th June 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

Thank you very much Sanil Prabhu, Sunil Prabhu and Mahabhagavat Prabhu for guidance. It do happens that I end up doing things incorrectly.

Sanil Prabhu and Sunil Prabhu I have often seen you referring wonderfully with the quote from Gurudeva. How do you do that? I am so sinful that I do not even remember what was yesterday’s quote.

Mahabhagavat Prabhu, I am surely hear lecture 25 again and present my understanding.

your servant
Rathin

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Why avoid mushrooms?

Priyesh Shah, 13th November 2011

Hare Krishna,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada
All Glories to Guru and Gauranga

I was just wondering why is advisable to avoid consuming mushrooms?

your servant,
Priyesh

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 13th November 2011

Hare Krishna!
We only eat that which Krishna and the spiritual masters eat, we take their remnants. Prasadam. They unanimously like foods in the mode of goodness – sattvik or sattva guna.

We don’t eat mushrooms because Krishna doesn’t eat them. Mushrooms are in the mode of darkness, “tamasik” or of “tamo guna”. The spiritualmasters also don’t like them because of this reason.

They grow in the dark, musty and in rotten environments.

Many types of mushrooms are highly poisonous and can kill – others are used as intoxicants by many – all intoxicants are actually poisons.The edible mushrooms are also poisonous even if mildly so.

Eating mushrooms makes us dull and it becomes difficult to perform devotional service, especially hearing and chanting. It would be like trying to light a fire (attain to pure bhakti) and then pour water (not follow regulative principles).

Hope this helps.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Priyesh Shah, 13th September 2011

Thank you for clearing my doubt Prabhu

your servant
Priyesh

Harendra Modak, 15th November 2011

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada
All Glories to Guru and Gauranga

In one of the conservation of Prabhupada and his disciples(I do not have the exact reference). I read that prabhupad advised not to eat mushrooms because they grow in dirty places and so they are in the mode of
ignorance but when the disciple asked could they eat the mushroom grown in New Vrindavan? Prabhupada replied Yes. I want to say even though mushrooms are not eaten by Vaishnavas but Prabhupada never banned mushrooms, masoor dal and
urad daal even though they are also not eaten by Vaishnavas.

I just want to clarify my doubt so please help me.

Hare Krishna.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15th September 2011

Hare Krishna Harendra Prabhu,

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

I have a question for you Prabhu.

Are you planning to to strictly abide by each and every one of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, or you are only seeking to pick and choose a few here-and-there according to your own preferences?

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Harendra Modak, 16th September 2011

Please accept my humble obeisances.
Sri Guru Gauranga Jayate!
Jai Srila Gurudeva!
.
Thank you prabhu ji for rebuke. I pray it purifies me. I do not eat mushrooms.

There are so many rules for eating , sleeping, cleansing ourselves which a vaishnava should follow according to Hari Bhakti Vilas. But Prabhupad has eased the rules seeing the present degradation of the material world.
So if he has permitted us or have not restrict us from eating something then why not we should eat that? In Iskcon temples also now a days they are cooking urad daal since Prabhupad never banned it but it  is not
allowed for vaishnavas. Likewise, In Ekadashi we are not supposed to eat any fruits and vegetables which contain SEEDS like apple, watermelon, guava, brinjal, gourds, tomato, chillies, coriander leaves (as its top part contain seeds) etc.
but since Prabhupada never banned these things so we are using it in Ekadashi days. So why cant we use mushrooms which Prabhupada has allowed us to eat provided it has been grown in clean places  (like family gardens or farm houses)?

I mean to say why we are going back to old rules of Vaishnavas which Prabhupada never gave so much importance? Do we know more than Prabhupada or we ourselves can make individual independent new standards for purifying us
rejecting the easy standards made by Prabhupada? I think Srila Prabhupada was better knowing that which rules should be followed by future generarions in ISKCON . So I just desire to follow what Prabhuapada , the great acharya
in milleniums, said rather than going back to standard rules of Vaishnava because of which Vaishnavism almost got lost from Indian map and all new generations of gaudiya, madhva and shri vaishnavas have become
averse to Vaisnavism because of it lengthy, peculiar, strict rules and regulations. I think its better we just follow what Prabhupada said rather than adding old rules in ISKCON by exploring old Vaishnava books which are
now tough to follow  word by word. I have seen as well as seeing everyday the aversion of all new generation vaishnavas(gaudiya, madhava and sri sampradaya) to their old rules and regulations and I am seeing them going to bars,
brothels and butcher shops.

Let not add extra rules in ISKCON otherwise it will also meet the same fate what other sampradayas are facing now.

Please forgive me for my straight forwardness.

Jai Srila Prabhupada!

Hare Krishna.

A well wisher of ISKCON and trying to humble servant,
Harendra

Vishal, 16th November 2011

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Praphupada
All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga

I am merely a neophyte in Krsna Consciousness so please forgive me for my ignorance on the subject matter.

However what I know is that Srila Prabhupad’s formula is service now samadhi later.  It is by his mercy and out of love for fallen souls like us that he has eased the rules of vaishnavism to a larger degree not only about eating habits
but also in other departments of vaishnavism for e.g. it was mandatory and as a purificatory process that women were never allowed to go and stay in the temple.  They were contrained only to be inside the house and take care of the family.  The women were supposed to take head bath every day else they were considered muchi (untouchable or not in proper condition to do service) which in fact is even followed traditionally in the old house of south India.

There is much more – Srila Prabhupad wanted people to offer service to Krsna and accommodated everyone down from a drug addict to a saintly brahminically brought up boy in his movement.  He did not get bog down by the rituals and
other traditionally followed concepts due to their strictness. Had he introduced too much rigidness in this movement, people would never have come into it saying it is another of formal religion; hence the slow death of vaisnavism.
However he did not compromise on his personal following and adherance to the 4 regulative principles and chanting of the holy name.  By his approach he has revived Vaishnavism.

In relation to the point on ekadasi – yes, ekadasi means nirjal (no water fast) it was for all the brahminical class, vaishnvas, shaivites also ,the smartas also followed it strictly but as  said earlier, the point was not to brood over
food instead eat well with some regulated way of taking fruits and do your service with meditation on the Lord’s lotus feet.  Some of the items like carrot, tomatos were never used in traditional house even now because they
came in from the western world; the most used food items were – raw banana, flowers, and green leafy spinach not more than that..

Urad dhal is considered highly protein so during chaturmasya it was not taken, but in  south India, they used to offer the deities idli and dosas which are made up by urad dhal. Even now they offer beautiful dosas made with
pepper to Lord Ranganath in Srirangam.  So the answer is that urad dhal was not forbidden in past, but subject to restricted usage.

In relation to the mushroom discussion, please forgive my ignorance but I have not come across any books or discussion of Srila Praphupada that if mushroom is grown in a clean place, it can be consumed. Mushroom is a
product of ignorance, it is fungus so Vaishnavas don’t take it or nor it is offerable to the Lord.

In a nutshell ISKCON devotees do not add or substract what Srila Praphupada has taught.

your menial servant
Sanjeev Prabhu

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 17th November 2011

Dear Harendra Prabhu,

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

I am grateful to you that you have not taken offense.
I am also grateful to Sanjeev Prabhu’s response.

I sensed that this was not about mushrooms, so my question (not intended as a rebuke) was intended to provoke the
heart of the issue to come out.

You are obviously sincere and clearly you are honest also. Regarding Mushrooms, Jagannatha Prabhu has posted the references elsewhere on this group recently. It is clear from
that reference that mushrooms should not be offered to the Lord. Sometimes, just to encourage the disciple and out of fathomless mercy, a spiritual master may accept some things (example, pasta, tofu, etc) that the Lord would not.
But I doubt that any bona fide spiritual master would find the foul-smelling mushrooms palatable.

Your intent of not adding or subtracting anything from what Srila Prabhupada has taught us is certainly the mood that Srila Gurudeva, Sankarshan Das Adhikari has a deep and abiding dedication to. If one attends programs at the
Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, TX, or interacts with Srila Gurudeva or Gurumata in any way, one can get that sense. They would never deviate from Srila Prabhupada.

At the heart, Srila Prabhupada emphasized time, place, and circumstance. For example, he stressed that everyone should chant Hare Krishna, BUT, he also agreed and allowed the father of one of his disciples to go to the forest and chant “Om”. One cannot take one instruction out of context, or the lack of a very specific instruction to prove that this is the only way or not. Instead, we should take shelter of his disciples, because they were personally trained by him.

For example, my spiritual master is traveling all over the world using the Internet to spread Krishna consciousness. Someone may say, well, there is no specific instruction from Srila Prabhupada that the Internet should be used for
sharing Krishna consciousness. But Srila Prabhupada used letters and printing presses – the Internet is another way in the same line… this is vijnana – application of the knowledge. The spiritual master’s instructions give us “jnana”,
but how to apply, “vijnana” comes from personal practical training under an advanced devotee, otherwise our knowledge remains theoretical. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is intended for that purpose. Otherwise what
is the need for a society of devotees? Someone can read books and follow in their own way? Because time and circumstances are changing all the time, we have to follow Srila Prabhupada’s example without compromising on principles but staying open to sometimes sacrificing details, but we cannot do this whimsically.

Once I attended a program for newcomers, a day retreat, by one of my shiksha gurus, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, His Holiness Bhaktimarga Swami Maharaja. By the end of the evening, he had the newcomers, a mix of materialists,
demigod worshipers, impersonalists, even Mayavadis, offering a lamp to an image (not a deity) Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. At that time I was inexperienced so I was disturbed, because people were offering a petroleum wax candle, without
being clean (bath, achamana, etc.), and what is more, the persons were offering the lamp to Srila Prabhupada, then to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, and then generally to the others, handing the lamp to next person, and each
person was doing the same. If this was done on temple or home altar, it would be a great offense to re-offer anything to Sri Sri Radha Krishna that was already offered to others. But here, this was a little log cabin far from the city,
all day, the persons had chanted Hare Krishna, heard from Srila Prabhupada’s books, taken Prasadam, participated enthusiastically in Kirtan, served the devotees, each other, and Krishna, and were now for the very first time taking
baby steps towards deity worship. In this case, the principle was upheld – shravanam kirtanam vishnoh smaranam paada sevanam archanam vandanam daasyam sakhyam aatma nivedanam.

For one day the people had given up their time and money and personal comforts to engage in devotional service exclusively. So the details weren’t that important. But I realized this only after some months after that event,
with direction and guidance from more of my shiksha gurus.

Once, Srila Prabhupada handled some situation in an novel way. Afterwards he was explaining the difference between principle and detail. Principles are important, he said, details are less important, and sometimes, details may be
ignored in favour of the principle. So one disciple asked him how to know the difference between principle and detail,and he replied “That requires some intelligence”.

My personal way whenever I come across something I see as a deviation is as follows:
1. Discuss with my wife, who is not yet initiated but definitely a devotee at heart
2. Discuss with fellow devotees in temple community, Vrindavan Prabhu (BMS), Radha Mohan Prabuhu (DS), Shyama Mohini Mataji (BCS), Mangal Aarti Mataji (DS), Keshav Sharma, and others – in appropriate setting, sometimes privately speaking with them
3. Discuss with my shiksha guru His Grace Rupanuga Prabhu (GKG)

If all these steps fail to resolve the matter, then I ask Srila Gurudeva. His instruction on the matter is the final word. I accept his authority as my lord and master.

You are well-wisher of ISKCON, then what are you still doing outside the organization? Come on in! Get initiated and take up some practical services. ISKCON is among the most open organizations in the whole world, spiritual or otherwise.
Any member of ISKCON can approach the GBC through due process and be heard.

So my humble appeal to you is to decide who is the person who is now a spiritual master amongst Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, who have not deviated in any way, who connects you to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna best, then seek that
person’s shelter fully and completely, become that Guru’s disciple, serve your Guru and the disciplic succession, and gradually qualify yourself to see the difference between principle and detail. It is a lifelong process.

I pray this helps Prabhu, with this question and other similar questions you may have.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Divyapriya Muthukumaran, 17th November 2011

Hare Krishna Prabu, the elaborate explanation really helped. Thank you very much. Hari bol.

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Why Krishna likes Raas leela?

Pradnya, 15th September 2011

Hare Krishna,

Why Krishna likes Raass Leela?

Pradnya

Ashutosh pandey, 15th September 2011

Hare Krsna!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Krsna likes Rasa Leela because it gives pleasure to His devotees which is perhaps the source of Krsna’s pleasure Himself.

your servant,
Ashutosh

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15th September 2011

Hare Krishna Mataji,

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

Why does anyone like anything? Because it gives them pleasure. Every thing, for example, the color of clothes they wear on a given day, has an element of personal choice involved.

Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer, Raas Leela is Supreme Enjoyment, therefore Krishna likes Raas Leela. But don’t think that any mundane person can enjoy this pleasure… Even though Krishna enjoys this pleasure, still He is always fully renounced, always Brahmachari. There is no mention of breakups and divorces and unwanted pregnancies and abortions and custody rights in the spiritual world. The attraction between boy and girl, man and woman in this material world is a perverted reflection of the pure unadulterated Love between Krishna and Radha, Krishna and the Gopis.

No mundane materialistic person can ever understand Rasa Leela, they can only misunderstand and they do. To understand Rasa Leela as interactions between ordinary boys and girls is the worst mistake one can make.

On a humble note, Srila Vyasadeva did not in fact consider Himself qualified to discuss Rasa Leela very much in detail, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu only discussed Rasa Leela in the private company of pure devotees like Raya Ramananda.

Sometimes the spiritual masters give us a glimpse into this rare and mystical spiritual experience, for example, Srila Prabhupada has described this in his Krishna book, but it is an undeserved gift, and must be gratefully accepted with great endeavor for purification by trying to chant attentively and hearing the sound of the Mahamantra, following the regulative principles and hearing the vani of the spiritual master and following the spiritual master’s instructions carefully.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Ikshvaku das, 23rd September 2011

Hare Krishna , Prabhu, to you and all other revered devotees on this group , or anywhere else,
All Glories to Shri Shri Guru and Gauranga!
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Please accept my humble obeisances

I am very pleased that I could participate in this group and reading discussions here really makes my day, and want to thank to all participating devotees.

Just 2 minutes ago , I sent one letter to another group of devotees dedicated to studying Bhagavad Gita As It Is
Few hours before , I read the your question thread here and wanted to say something , but was not sure what it was.

And it is this : the essence of Rasa Leela is hearing about Krishna in the company of devotees – just like this group offers. Or any other group of pure devotees offers. These groups are not something material that ends with death. The
friendship established here goes on eternally , ever sweeter , ever increasing Ocean Of the Transcendental Bliss of Sankirtana , As Lord Chaitanya describes in His Sikshastika.

Now to mundane eyes, the Rasa Leela appears like young boy dancing with young girls. But what mundane eyes fail to see is – what is THE BOY discussing with the girls. In the material universe , discussion during the dance is sex. But what
about Krishna and the Gopis discussing while they dance and kiss and hug each other : Sankirtan – Pure devotional Service. The essence of every kiss or hug between them , you also get in the gathering of devotees who engage in pure
hearing of Krishna. As Bhaktivinoda Thakura describes the development of Pure Bhakti from Shraddha to Prema, compared to sugar candy production : 1st it is molasses and in the end after several processes , it’s very concentrated sweetness.

Or the other example , The wings of Garuda. The sound of his wings is vedic hymns. In the same way , every Kiss of Krishna is very concentrated Sankirtan topics and emotions connected with the service which the Pure Devotees
render to Him. And who are the Gopis – The Gopis are the highest pure devotees.

Srila Prabhupada describes in Krishna Book that that night of Rasa Lila was the duration of Lord Brahma’s night – 4320000000 earthly years. But the topics the Gopis discussed with Krishna during this night of dance, the
hugs and the kisses between them were so sweet  , that to them , it felt just like an ordinary night. Does the mondane sex possesses such sweetness? no it ends in just few feeble seconds – Like Srila prabhupada said – Psh, psh, psh.

Srila Prabhupada further explains that there is original taste of Sex – Adirasa , which comes from the Spiritual world.
But in the spiritual world the nasty mundane process of sex is completely absent , although there are hugs and kisses.

Of course how can I disscuss the Rassa lila Dace properly , but but somehow your question evoked in me , a systematic picture , from what I have heard from the Guru Prampara so far. Although information given from them is surely unique , it’s
highly possible that due to my own missunderstanding , I’m not able to present it correctly. That’s why ,  that’s why- this is not directly an attempt to answer question ,
but it’s an attempt to present what I have understood this far , which may be be corrected or further described

your servant
Ikshvaku das
Sofia , Bulgaria

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When and How did the Soul Arrive in the Material World?

Sanjeev, 12th September 2011

Hare Krsna Vaisnavas

Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Praphupada

All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

We learn from the Sastras that because of our past deeds in the spiritual world we, as spirit souls, have obtained this material body and have been put into the material world. Do the Sastras say when and how the conditioned souls accepted the material body?

your eternal servant

Sanjeev

Ashutosh Pandey, 13th September 2011

Hare Krsna!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

We have been captured in this material world since time immemorial….even if someone tells you your exact date of entry into this material world…. how is it going to help you?? What benefit will you get from this information?? Is it going to bring back your forgotten relationship with Krsna without following what others devotees are following??

More intelligent approach is that now you have realised or say know, you are entangled into this material world because of your own sins against Lord Krsna, better accept fault, get surrendered, approach a bonafide guru, follow the instructions and devote this life to serve the Vaishnavas……you have already taken millions and millions of birth for sense gratification..just devote one life for Krsna….

Even though to quench your inquisitiveness: Shastras are meant for God realisation and hence they mention those characters from whose life one can learn a lot to progress in spirituality. Even if one talks about the day he entered into this material world, the time is not going to be same for every one.

Hope this answers your question

your servant,

Ashutosh

Uddhava Presta Das, 13th September 2011

Hare Krsna

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga

An apt answer….

your servant,

uddhava presta das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 13th September 2011

Hare Krishna Sanjeev Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhu, your question is valid, and it is a nice question also. Ashutosh Prabhu is right that it is not useful to know when exactly.

However, in the spirit of understanding things as they are as per Guru and Shastra, here are a few points to add to Ashutosh Prabhu’s explanation.

Srila Gurudeva has written on this topic also, please read here – switch to the Q&A section – I am not quoting because it is lengthy:

http://www.sda-archives.com/tftd/2009/nov/tftd_110409.html

1. In the spiritual world, time is eternal also, but not like in the material world, in spiritual world, there is no concept of “passing away” – this is mentioned in Brahma Samhita also, Tirtharaja Prabhu had posted on another thread…

“…where there is eternal existence of transcendental time, who is ever present and without past or future and hence is not subject to the quality of passing away even for the duration of half a moment….”

2. In the material world, there is a start and finish to everything, and being materially conditioned, we cannot imagine timelessness. So we want to know, when, where, etc. It is out of scope for us, unless we are spiritually advanced. Mundane example is that it is like an ant trying to imagine the extent of our roads and railways and airways and shipping routes.

3. We have been coming and going higher and lower, on different planets, different universes, different bodies, since time immemorial… in other words, practically we have been here so long that it is more than 1000, 10,000, million, billion years. For example, it is said that every living entity starts off as Brahma in a particular universe… one day of Lord Brahma lasts 4.32 billion of our years. Lord Brahma lives for 100 of such years. It is just totally inconceivable for us, right?

4. We have been on and off in 8.4 different million species over and over again.

5. In this lifetime, we have the mercy of Guru and Krishna and have received the seed of Bhakti which has been planted in our heart.

brahmānda bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva

guru-krsna-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja

“”According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.” CC Madhya 19.151

Please read the purport here:

http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/19/151/

I hope this helps. Please let us know if there are any questions, this is a nice topic and should be understood thoroughly. Just the endeavour to understand helps us to advance spiritually, whether we actually understand or not.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Sanjeev, 13th September 2011

Hare Krsna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Praphupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.

Many Thanks for the very intuituive answers from Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu and Ashutosh Prabhu. This forum is so spiritually enlivening.

May Krsna bless this forum. Hari Bol.

Adding a thread to this question, if the living entity by the process of bhakti yoga gets a second chance to go back to Godhead, will the living entity have learnt his lessons or is there any chance for him to again rebel against the authority of the Supreme Lord and will want to try to enjoy outside his relationship with the Lord once more – meaning coming back to the material world? Will this not then mean that there is no guarantee that the living entity will stay eternally in the spiritual world – it will all depend on his actions there also?

Please forgive my ignorance.

your eternal servant

Sanjeev

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 13th September 2011

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for the appreciation. Actually you are making it so nice with your sincere desire to learn and share. Our mission is to know Krishna and make Him known, and this is best done if as many as possible individuals learn properly from bona fide sources and then go out there and teach in words and deeds.

On Friday 31 Oct 2008, Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari wrote:

“Once having tasted the miseries of this material world and then having regained your original position in the spiritual world you will not make the same mistake twice. Once burned, twice shy. You will not come here again. So now take your human form of life seriously and finish up your business once and for all.”

Then again on 2 Aug 2009, he wrote:

“All of us here in this material world were originally with Krishna in the spiritual world serving Him as His devotees. By misuse of our minute independence we fell down into the cycle of birth and death. Just as it is sometimes said, “Once burned, twice shy,” if we realize our mistake and go back to Godhead, we will not make the same mistake twice. Of course, since we have free will eternally we could fall a second time. But who would stick their hand in the fire a second time after already being burned once?”

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Vishal, 13th September 2011

Hare Krsna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Praphupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.

Very philosophical answer. The quotes from Srila Gurudeva are indeed very deep thinking. No doubt this forum is helping, I am sure, everybody to learn a lot.

I read a quote from Srila Praphupada (Hawaii, 1969) where he said that in this age of Kali, it is more important to create devotees than to construct temples. So your comments are very valid Praphu – we should learn from bona fide sources before being able to teach others as recommended by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprahu.

Hari Bol

Your eternal servant

Sanjeev

Bhaktarupa Das, 14th September 2011

Dear Mahabhagavat prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeissances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for reminding Srila Gurudeva’s wonderful thought for the day. Infact this reminded me of Srila Gurudeva’s another amazing Thought for the Day titled – “Time Went Backwards” published on Friday 2 January 2009.

http://sda-archives.com/tftd/tftd/2009/jan/tftd_010209.html

Quote:

Today on 31 December 2008 I arrived in Santiago, Chile at 12:55pm flying in from Auckland, New Zealand. The most amazing thing about this journey was that I left Auckland at 5:25pm on 31 December 2008, which is 5 1/2 hours after I arrived in Santiago. I arrived in Santiago before I left Auckland. In other words time went backwards. If I told this to someone who is not familiar with what happens when one crosses the international date line, he would think that I had lost my marbles, that I was crazy. Crossing the international dateline always does uncanny things to one’s calendar no matter which way he crosses it.

There is another crossing point known as the Viraja River, which is the crossing point between the spiritual and material worlds. It acts in ways that are even more amazing and inconceivable than the international date line. On one side of the Viraja, the material side, is the realm of past, present, and future. And on the other side of the Viraja, the spiritual side, there exists the realm of timelessness, described as follows by Srila Prabhupada:

“In the transcendental realm there is no creation and no destruction, and thus the duration of life is eternal unlimitedly. In other words, everything in the transcendental world is everlasting, full of knowledge and bliss without deterioration. Since there is no deterioration, there is no past, present and future in the estimation of time. It is clearly stated in this verse that the influence of time is conspicuous by its absence.”

This means that even though we fell from the spiritual world into the material world (due to our envy of the Lord) because there is no time in the spiritual world there is no time that we fell into this material world. And when we become purified by the process of Krishna consciousness and reawaken our original love for the Supreme Lord there will be no time when we returned. We will always have been there.

Just as time goes backwards when one crosses the international date line from Auckland to Santiago, time also goes backwards when the jiva crosses the Viraja on his return trip back to home, back to Godhead. Time will go back to that moment when he fell from the spiritual sky. In other words, he will never have fallen. This is why it is sometimes said that no one falls from the spiritual world even though countless numbers of jivas have fallen into this material existence due to misuse of their minute independence by desiring to take the position of being the center of existence.

Some may argue that time cannot go backwards. But if the Lord has true supremacy over everything within existence, He must have the power to fast forward, rewind, or freeze time. And he can do it differently for each individual person. It’s not that everybody has to be on the same program. This is why some souls exist in the timeless spiritual realm as nitya-siddhas, eternally liberated souls, and some souls exist in the material realm of past, present, and future as nitya-baddhas, eternally conditioned souls.

unquote.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

I had these type of questions in my heart unanswered for a long time. But when I started subscribing to Srila Gurudeva’s emails, all these questions were answered convincingly without me even having to ask them.

Hare Krishna,

your servant,

Bhaktarupa das

Rahul Mangla, 14th September 2011

Hare Krishna,

What a wonderful explaination by Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari Maharaj. I suppose this should clear all doubts.

Hari Bol,

Rahul

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