How to Manage Work Life without compromising principles

Harish V Menon, 15th January 2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Request your guidance in managing work life. We work with various types of people with different mentalities. When working with colleagues who are having selfish intentions, back biting attitudes and doing politics, how should a person in KC react. I try to be good to everyone, but sometimes end up retaliating to their behaviors and I later repent

Please advise how to handle such type of situations

your Servant,
Harish V

 

Brhadnath dasa, 15th January 2015

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

When I joined at a new place among unknown colleagues, I faced one typical problem, our incharge would thrust work related to other seats to me in addition to my own work. My feeble protests were brushed aside. I also approached devotees, most of them advised to refuse, but that was not my forte. One devotee told me to strengthen my sadhana, viz. attentive chanting in the early hours,devote more time to listen to lectures. I followed and also shared the nectar from the lectures with my colleagues. Within one month the whole scenario changed. Now the additional work load got offloaded, and person concerned would come to me for guidance and I started sharing Prabhupada with them, by gifting them Bhagavad Gita As It Is

I suggest, to share the concerns of your colleagues, (whatever it is), don’t go into the shell and share Prabhupada with them. their is too much scope to reform some persons. Moreover, this will help you to empower yourself to practice bhakti consistently, irrespective of circumstantial feelings

Hope I make some sense

your servant,
Brhad nath dasa

 

Sacinandana Das, 16th January 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All Glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The more we give Krishna, the more we get Krishna. By giving Prasadam to our colleagues we are making them Krishna Conscious. We can ask them to chant Hare Krishna and taste the ultimate bliss. We also have to be careful to not let them know that Bhakti is more important to us than anything else.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das

 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16th January 2015

Dear Sriman Harish,

Hare Krishna!

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

Your question is very pertinent. Many of us face this same situation every single day.

It is important not to get too emotionally invested with materialistic persons either lovingly or in distaste, because if we do, we will be dragged into material consciousness one way or the other.

In my personal work life, I try to stick to business only, but strive to be very professional and friendly without getting involved in their activities, for example, if we have some celebration, I don’t go with the colleagues to the bar, though I will stay in the office and clap and pat people on the back for a job well done.

Not everyone is ready for spiritual advice either, in fact, you can jeopardize your broader Krishna conscious service if you endanger your job by preaching inappropriately.

So, look at this… stay away from the envious, try to gently preach to the innocent…

If we are always exemplary, people will naturally come to us when they need spiritual guidance. It is not easy to change from one day to the next, but I can say that the process of devotional service, rising early, chanting our rounds, Mangal Arati, reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, taking only Krishna Prasada as far as possible, following regulative principles, etc., purifies us gradually and almost imperceptibly, but I can see many differences from years ago and today.

If sometimes, we fail, we should pick ourselves and try again without getting discouraged either.

Hopefully this helps!

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

 

Bhakta Sunil, 17th January 2015

Hare Krishna Harish Prabhu

Dandavat Pranams!

The earlier answers have provided best possible answers ,but to indulge in this topic i humbly put forth the answer in different words :

Dealing and associating are different. At work place you deal with non-devotees but do not take their association and where favorable , give your association

One point I remember about retaliating or not retaliating from Ultimate Self Realization emails , is that one choose one’s battles wisely ; if one can fight or correct then retaliate or else not to retaliate

If one is tolerant and could successfully ignore , then the back biters would get tired of the dirty politics and would soon stop. It is like test of getting agitated or not.

Regarding persons who are envious , backbiting , playing politics and blasphemous ; i remember a recent email from Ultimate Self Realization Emails as forwarded below , which I hope would help :

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:
________________________________

Question: How to Handle Blasphemers?

________________________________

What should a Krishna consciousness person do if someone blasphemes against Lord Krishna or His devotees? Please guide me on ways to handle this especially when the person is unavoidable, like at home or in the office.

There’s another religion where even the slightest blasphemy would mean ghastly acts of terror by its followers and all this killing is justified. Isn’t it wrong to resort to such violent acts if someone blasphemes God?

Regards,
Kaushik

________________________________

Answer: Defeat Them, Leave the Place, or Tune Them Out

________________________________

If someone blasphemes Krishna or His devotee the best thing to do is defeat them philosophically. Convince them they are completely wrong to say such nonsense so that they will feel remorse and apologize. If this is not possible, one should immediately leave that place, because by hearing blasphemy one’s devotion to Krishna will be destroyed. If you are stuck with them like at home or in the office and you cannot convince them that they are wrong, you should block your hears rather than be polluted by hearing blasphemy. For example you can get a headset for hearing Krishna conscious lectures and Hare Krishna kirtan. In this way by tuning into Krishna katha you can tune them out. If you cannot tune them out with a headset, you should tune them out simply by putting your mind somewhere else.

Committing blasphemy is certainly a greatly sinful act. Even though even our scriptures say that blasphemers should be killed, this should NOT be taken literally in this age. This is so because on the plea of Lord Nityananda Lord Caitanya forgave the blasphemers Jagai and Madhai rather than killing them. In this age of Kali because everyone is a blasphemer, if we were to kill the blasphemers, we would have to kill everyone. So the conclusion is that instead of killing the blasphemers, we should kill their blasphemous mentality by the wide scale distribution introduction of Hari nama sankirtan (the congregational chanting of they holy names of God) and the wide scale distribution of transcendental literatures such as the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. This will bring about the much desired peace and happiness for the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
http://www.backtohome.com
———————————————-

Sincerely,
Sunil

 

Balaji Shanmugam, 19th January 2015

Hare Krishna everybody,

Please accept my humble respects.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Our Gurudeva.

I to faced similar problem and in my case it happened to be bit intense. So I wrote our gurudeva. The instruction given by our Gurudeva is available in the following link.

http://sda-archives.com/tftd/tftd/2004/may/tftd_051204.html#W

Hari bol,

S.Balaji.

 

Acharya Das, 19th January 2015

Dear Harish Prabhu,

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

I have also faced myself such situations some suggestions from my side would be identify and be aware of these kind of people while working. Do your duty to the best of your ability and have a good relationship with your superior.Keep focusing on your task don’t react too much to there politics, back bitting etc but keep a watch on their activities. Distribute Prasad if possible but dont preach too much.

yours Sincerely,
Acharya Das.

 

Harish V Menon, 19th January 2015

​Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you all for your wonderful guidance.

Haribol!​

your Servant,
Harish V

 

Haladhar Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krsna Harish ji,

Thank you for the nice question which definitely everyone goes through in his office life and beautiful answers given.

Just wanted to take the opportunity to add a little to already clarified discussion.

One thing is setbacks small or big, steadies or rather enhances one faith in sadhu, guru, shashtra like Lord Krsna already confirming this material world to be dukhalayam asasvatam temporary and full of miseries. And Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakur ji citing “This place is not fit for the gentleman”. So we should take all the negativity or unfavourable circumstances as sweet reminder to concentrate on the goal of human form of life, going back to Godhead.

e dhana, yaubana, putra, parijana
ithe ki ache paratiti re
kamala-dala-jala, jivana talamala
bhajahu hari-pada niti re

“What assurance of real happiness is there in all of one’s wealth, youthfulness, sons, and family members? This life is tottering like a drop of water on a lotus petal; therefore you should always serve and worship the divine feet of Lord Hari.”

Second thing is we have to understand and properly analyze through the eyes of scripture our favourable position vis-a-vis the position of non-devotees or materialists. We should have mercy on them and if feasible try to find out means to save them from their precarious position.

“Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature, therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.” (BG 3.5)

So having mercy on the poor souls, trying to find out the means for utilizing a unfavourable circumstance in a favourable way. Like Srila Gurudeva HG Sankarshan Das Adhikari ji says a good sailor by adjusting his sails can sail against the wind also. Or a intelligent businessman makes profit in any circumstances, when the price is low, he buys and when the price is high, he sells.

Reading Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta helps a lot in keeping the devotional spirits high while dealing in such unfavourable or so called horrible situations, as after going through it (although its not mentioning every moment), we can know what a unfavourable situation means actually.

Hope it helps.

thank you.

your servant,
Haladhar Das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at 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.backtohome.com

How to Balance Spiritual Practice in Family Life

Advaitakrishna das, 6th May 2013

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble Obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

WE all hear that chanting is the most important aspect of our spiritual life. We also hear that Srila Prabhupada mentioned that 99% of our spiritual advancement depends upon chanting and also that it took him some 28 or 30 years to bring it to perefction.

May I request to kindly advise on this and oblige.
Making an effort to be in the service of Srila Prabhupada
Your servant
Advaita KrsnaDas

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 6th May, 2013

Dear Advaita Krishna Prabhu,

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

Thank you for reminding us! Yes, you are right, indeed, chanting Hare Krishna is our main activity. Why 99%, one an say that 100% of spiritual advancement depends on chanting Hare Krishna sincerely.

I haven’t heard that statement by Srila Prabhupada that it took him 28-30 years to perfect chanting Hare Krishna. But we can understand that Srila Prabhupada is very very humble and surrendered and doesn’t think himself to be a great devotee. But, we understand Srila Prabhupada to be a Nitya Siddha, so there was never a time when he was not perfect, even when he was a little child, or acting as a Grihastha.

However, in order for a person to chant effectively, there are so many important things, to take only Krishna Prasada, and to follow the instructions of the spiritual master, and to avoid the ten offenses against the holy name, and to follow the four regulative principles and serve the Vaishnavas carefully. A person who is chanting well is understood to be doing those things effectively also, and a person doing those things sincerely, can expect to advance in the matter of chanting nicely.

Group members, please let us share our feedback on this important point.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Sanil, 6th May 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

What I understood from the teachings of Srila Gurudeva is that we should totally avoid material activities and whatever spiritual activities done by us shall be as recommended by scriptures and shall be done as a service to Guru and Krishna and not for our enjoyment. Doing things for our enjoyment is miserliness. Srila Gurudeva always advice us to be selfless.

your servant,
Sanil kumar

Advaitakrishna das, 07th May 2013

HARE KRSNA
Please accept my humble Obeisances Prabhuji,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Sorry but my note was not intended at “reminding anyone”.
Please forgive me if it sounded like that. My apologies.

Just one question ,if you could kindly advise.
In Grahastha ashram there are so many distractions,could be social obligations,family responsibilities and other distracting issues of sense gratification.

How do we keep our sadhana standards strong enough so as to protect ourselves from not getting carried away and progress in Bhakti?

your servant
Advaita Krsna Das.

Sanil, 7th May 2013

Hare Krishna

I just want to add some more points to avoid any misunderstanding. All spiritual activities shall be done as a loving service to Guru and Krishna and not for our benefits or enjoyments. When Guru and Krishna are pleased not only us , but the entire world will be pleased. We can offer everything to Krishna except, meat, onions, coffine, intoxicants, etc. The most important requirement is bhava (the feeling). It shall be done as a loving service. Krishna had even ate the peelings of banana when accidentally offered but with love. The basic bhava required is love. We must do everything including our material duties as a loving service to Krishna and offer it to Him and the result (prasadam) thus obtained shall be used Krishna consciously for spiritual activities and not for our sense enjoyments

Thanks a lot to Srila Gurudeva and all glories to His noble mission of revolutionising the world with Krishna consciousness

your servant
Sanil kumar

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 07 May 2013

Dear Advaita Krishna Prabhuji,

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Well, you did not intend to remind, but due to your email I personally remembered that chanting Hare Krishna is our primary service, so I didn’t take it in a negative way but positive. I was thinking “Advaita Krishna Prabhu is thinking of this chanting Hare Krishna and he is revealing his mind in confidence to us, this is a good reminder to all of us to refocus back on chanting Hare Krishna”. So please kindly do not worry Prabhu. I am a Grihastha myself, so I see what you mean and I understand that.

Once I heard a class by His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja in Toronto, Canada… someone asked a similar question. His exact answer I am not able to quote, but I will paraphrase it. He said that yes, in Brahmachari life, Vanaprastha life an Sannyas life, surely disturbances can be less, Grihastha Ashrama is like flying in a plane at low altitude, and therefore the turbulence is experienced more. But he went on to say that in Grihastha Ashram it is possible to be perfect pure devotee. If he says so, then it must be true. There are so many pure devotees, Arjuna, Maharaja Parikshit, Prahlada Maharaja, Dhruva Maharaja, Ambarisha Maharaja, even Srila Prabhupada, did you know he was in Grihastha Ashram for more than 36 years? And so many others all over the world even today, pure devotees in Grihastha Ashram.

Then I heard several lectures by my spiritual master Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari, many persons ask this kind of question… and he says that the critical thing for Grihastha is to maintain the four regulative principles strictly. He said that if we prioritize chanting 16 rounds and strictly follow regulative principles, and maintain diet strictly ONLY on Krishna Prasadam, then 99% of the problems will be resolved by themselves, because the Grihasthas become strong and clear-headed. The main thing is to remain Brahmachari even in Grihastha life… He says that to supercharge spiritual life, one should try to be up for Mangal Arati every morning. I am personally yet to fully implement that instruction but I am sure that it will be possible soon.

Ultimately, the only way to do something is to actually do it, you know what I mean? Chanting minimum 16 rounds can be done only by actually chanting minimum 16 rounds somehow (yena kena prakaarena – somehow or other). Reading Srila Prabhupada’s books can only be done by actually reading Srila Prabhupada’s books… BTW, we have book clubs here, you can join our 2013 book club which now has 70+ members. There is another 2011 book club for which membership is already closed because “class full” 🙂 In this way we can organize such projects ourselves in our own small way, increase the spiritual vibration, and create a revolution in consciousness, and usher in the golden age within this age of kali.

Primarily, the thing to remember is that Grihastha Ashram is the best Ashram to spread Krishna consciousness. I can work in the corporate/business world, a Sannyasi cannot work in that kind of environment… so I get to serve with the money I earn, and I get to meet all these people, give them Krishna Prasadam, trick them into saying Krishna’s name, like I met one person at the water filter today, and I asked her what she was doing on the weekend, and she said she was going to her cottage, I said I had a seminar coming up at the Hare Krishna temple… she asked me where is the Hare Krishna temple, so she said Hare Krishna and heard Hare Krishna. People see my Tilak (it is fainter than at the temple, but it is there), and ask me about it… Grihasthas can go to all these social gatherings dressed in full Vaishnava attire and talk about Krishna, relate everything back to Krishna. I only eat fruits or s salad in such events and that too just namesake, I take full Prasadam from home just before entering the party so I am not hungry. Grihasthas can distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books personally and follow up in a way that a traveling preacher cannot do. Prabhu, we have to do our share and support the Sannyasis, Vanaprasthas, and Brahmacharis in their service also.

Read books, hear lectures, take on responsibilities, incorporate hearing and chanting into family time, do what it takes Prabhu… you have surely done it at some point, and you can look at your present situation and see where you can make some adjustments.

Prabhu, Grihasthas are the future of the Krishna consciousness movement because 99% of the population will be in that status of life, whether officially or not. Without active and strong spiritually surcharged Grihasthas, there will be no spreading of Krishna consciousness movement on this planet.

So Prabhu, please immediately without wasting another moment, get back to full enthusiastic mode, chant, read, let there be an overflow of spiritual vibrations in your heart, and without fear share this overflow of Krishna consciousness with one and all. You can surely do it. And with your blessing I can also do it.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Sanil, 07th May 2013

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

If we read carefully, the answer to keep our sadhana strong is already mentioned by Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu :
Quote

” in order for a person to chant effectively, there are so many important things, to take only Krishna Prasada, and to follow the instructions of the spiritual master, and to avoid the ten offenses against the holy name, and to follow the four regulative principles and serve the Vaishnavas carefully. A person who is chanting well is understood to be doing those things effectively also, and a person doing those things sincerely, can expect to advance in the matter of chanting nicely.”
Unquote

Regarding sense gratification, it is a material activity. The pleasure obtained by sense gratification is not the real pleasure, it is temporary. The permanent and real pleasure is possible only in spiritual mode. We must offer all our activities in the Grihasta ashrama to Krishna and must carryout upto His satisfaction since He is the Supreme Enjoyer and we need to strictly follow the regulative principles to advance strongly in devotion as a loving service to guru and Krishna. The result thus obtained shall not be used for sense gratification. Anything we consume over and above our necessities incur sin (As confirmed by the Lord). Thus by taking only Krishna prasadam and fully involved in other Sadhanas we can be fully in spiritual mode and gradually elevate ourselves further.

your servant,
Sanil kumar

Ashok-Sahu, 08th May 2013

Hare Krishna Advaita Krishna Das Prabhu,

Please accept my humble Obeisances Prabhuji,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

As a grihastha myself, I too have the similar feeling to share with you.
But what I have understood is, It is our own drive towards our own spiritual perfection and the drive or responsibility we own to bring others into pure Krishna Consciousness is the key for us. If we have the strong desire and drive to progress in spiritual life, we will definitely progress irrespective of in what situation we are in. It may happen that we will progress two steps forward and one step backward in certain situation, nevertheless we are progressing. However, If we are determined to maintain the standard of Krishna Consciousness gradually with our own determined effort and by the mercy of Guru, Krishna, Vaisnava we will definitely reach our goal sooner or later.

We just have to keep moving, feel suffocated if we are not in Krishna or devotees association in any of the form like Prasada, deity, books etc,

This Intense desire to reach spiritual perfection can take one towards perfection

Hare Krishna
Ashok

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at 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.backtohome.com.

How to balance Spiritual life with Material Life

Siddesh JM, 09th May 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada,

I have one question how to manage Material life and Spiritual life?
Please answer me

*Best Regards *
* Siddesh JM
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 09th May 2013

Dear Siddhesh,

Hare Krishna!

This is very good. Only a sincere devotee asks such questions.

For a devotee, there is no such thing as “material life”, everything a devotee does is meant to faciliate spiritual life. Some of it is direct devotional service, like chanting Hare Krishna every day, serving Guru and the Vaishnavas, but some items are indirect… for example, I work in the corporate world so that I can maintain my bodily needs and the needs of my family and serve the local temple, Guru and various projects around the world.

If you prioritize your spiritual life, then the material aspects of your life will automatically be taken care of. Krishna promises this in Bhagavad Gita 9.22

ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham

But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form — to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have. BG 9.22.

Please keep trying – participate fully in this group’s activities, the book clubs, etc., study and work for full excellence but prioritize your spiritual practice first thing in the morning every single day and the last thing you do every night.

Devotees, please add your perspectives to help and encourage Siddhesh and help him become the real master of all achievements (Siddha(perfected)+ Isha(lord)), by helping him become a pure servant of Krishna.
Also, a personal request to all group members, please do not include your cell number, your website, etc., in your email signature. This is our group policy.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Sanil, 10th May 2013

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

This is a very vast subject.  I am still trying to understand what is material life and what is spiritual life.  To manage the material life and spiritual life, firstly, I realised that I need to have a clear idea about what is material life and what is spiritual life.  I had a totally wrong concept about spiritual life, since I was flooded with wrong information from media and from different in appropriate sources.  When I got an opportunity to go through Bhagavad Gita As it is and when I got in touch with Srila Gurudeva, and all these devotees through this platform, what I understood is I need to change my present consciousness to Krishna consciousness.  The starting point what I understood is chanting 16 rounds of the mahamantra, strictly adhere to four regulative principles and surrender to a bonafide spiritual master, listen to his teachings and reading of Bhagavad Gita repeatedly and understand thoroughly.

your servant,
Sanil kumar
Siddesh Jm, 10th May 2013

Thanks prabhu
Jayakrishna, 10th May 2013

Hare Krishna!
JAYA SRILA PRABHUPADA!
JAYA SRILA GURUDEVA!
My humble obeisance at the lotus feet of devotees,

on this subject,what i learned from my beloved senior devotees can be summarised like this,

‘Any thing when connected with Krishna is spiritual,just like a wire connected to electricity is representing electricity’ thus if we do any thing favourable for
Krishna conciousnes,its spiritual,no doubt.

I think that by starting a discussion like this, siddhesh prabhuji is also doing a service to krishna by helping us to discuss and learn more on Krishna.

Please correct me,

your humble servant,
Jayakrishna
Harish, 11th May 2013

Hare Krsna Prabhu,

Thank you very much for asking this question. This question how to manage material life and spiritual life always remain somewhere in the psychic of the devotee till he fully surrenders to Krsna (gets completely purified from all material desires).

Nectar Of Devotion (1.1.11)
anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena Krsnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama

“‘When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive action. The devotee must constantly serve Krsna favorably, as Krsna desires.’

Discussing topics related to Krsna depicts one’s shraddha/faith in the process but one has to further enhance their shraddha/faith with devotees association, chanting and hearing more about Krsna from fully realized souls and serving them. Gradually gradually the shraddha will ripen and one is sure of Krsna’s protection in any situation like a child feels always protected under his parents shelter.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta (Madhya 22.62)
sraddha-sabde – visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya
Krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

TRANSLATION
Sraddha is confident, firm faith that by rendering transcendental loving service to Krsna one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is favorable to the discharge of devotional service.

PURPORT (shortened)
Firm faith and confidence are called sraddha. When one engages in the Lord’s devotional service, he is to be understood to have performed all his responsibilities in the material world. He has satisfied his forefathers, ordinary living entities, and demigods and is free from all responsibility. Such a person does not need to meet his responsibilities separately. It is automatically done.

Bhagvad Gita 18.61
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.

jivera svarupa haya – Krsnera nitya-dasa
“It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna.

A person is never independent.  Being eternal servant of Krsna, we have to act under Him, either under His internal energy or under his external illusory energy. That free will we have in the human form. Now it’s in our hand under whose control we want to act, which will decide where/how we would be acting in next birth, whether we want to serve our senses under the influence of external energy and remain entangled in the cycle of birth and death or by serving Krsna under protection of internal energy and get liberation.

Bhagvad Gita 3.27
The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.

Sri Isopanishad (1) :
isavasyam idam sarvam
yat kinca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhuntitha
ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam

Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.

So we need not unnecessary bother about our material needs as they are already there and automatically fulfilled due to our previous births activities (karmas). As Krsna says that a living entity in any species before he takes birth, all the arrangement of his livelihood is being already arranged by Him [Sri Isopanishad (1) mentioned above].

Hence persons who are actually intelligent and philosophically inclined should endeavor only for that purposeful end which is not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet (Brahmaloka) down to the lowest planet (Patala). As far as happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned, it can be obtained automatically in course of time, just as in course of time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire them. (SB 1.5.18)

But it does not mean that we start thinking that when everything is already there then why should I unnecessary endeavor at all. Let me sit at one place and chant like Sri Haridas Thakur. We should not artificially position ourselves as advances Vaishnavas or intimate the acaryas, we will immediately fall down with no chance of return.

As mentioned before, our constitutional position is such that we have to act either under the modes of nature satisfying our own serpent like senses or serving the senses of Krsna under His internal energy. So we should rather stick to our position and try to whole heartedly work for Krsna offering the results unto Him. This way both our material and spiritual obligations would be fulfilled. And same thing Krsna says – Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform — do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me. (BG 9.27)
And in the same verse purport, Srila Prabhupada guides that it is the duty of everyone to mold his life in such a way that he will not forget Krsna in any circumstance.
And we understand by doing so one will remember Krsna at the time of death too and will go back to Godhead.

Thank you,

your servant
Harish
Harish, 11th May 2013

A related answer from Srila Gurudeva.
Jai Srila Gurudeva…

All glories unto You.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

15 January 2008
in New Dwarka, Los Angeles, California
—————————————————————–

A question I am often asked by devotees who are working jobs is “How do I remain Krishna conscious while I am in the material atmosphere of non-devotees at my job?”

The answer is that we should always see Krishna as the proprietor of everything and thus engage everything in His service. As long we consider ourselves to be the proprietors of anything within this material world we are setting ourselves up for being contaminated and bewildered by the influence of the Lord’s illusory energy. The key to always remaining in ecstatic Krishna consciousness is to always remain in the mood of service. In other words we have to always remain careful not to get carried away by the spirit of enjoyment that since I am working this job, this money belongs to me and I can spend it in any way I want for my enjoyment. As soon as we start thinking that we are the proprietors, immediately we lose our Krishna consciousness and our transcendental happiness goes away. But by always remembering that Krishna is the proprietor and engaging everything in His service, we can always feel great satisfaction within our hearts at every minute in all varieties of circumstances.

Another important point is that in the association of non-devotees we should never feel that we have to be like them. Rather we should conduct ourselves in such a way that they would like to become like us. This is known as leading by example. In all spheres of activity devotees are meant to be the leaders, who can guide everyone how to live perfect lives full of peace and happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Divyapriya M, 13th May 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

I got reminded of a similar question asked to a senior devotee very recently at my local temple, and here is what the devotee replied, “Suppose you are in real need of money and someone says they have a lakh rupees and he is ready to give it away to you for free. No loan, no interest, nothing. Just free. You can simply go to his house and collect it. But however, he tells that and leaves. He leaves without mentioning his house address from where you can collect the cash. So, what will you do? Somehow or the other, hook or crook, day or night, you will gather all your contacts, and find his house address and go and collect the money, right? This is exactly the craving we should have for finishing this birth and going to Krishna. If you are determined, come what may, you will manage your daily affairs. Definitely, you will manage.”

Also, one other time, I remember HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami Maharaja mentioning something similar to this. He was giving the example of how in different stages of even our material lives, we are so obsessed with so many things and we work so very hard to obtain them. For example, when I was in high school, I had such an hectic schedule. School from morning 8 am to 4 pm and tuitions till 8:30 pm, and then had to come back home and study. So, typically, at least in the Indian education system, any diligent ambitious high school kid would work hard like anything to get into a premier university. Same in other phases of life. We have so many competitive exams like GMAT and CAT where people work like so so so hard to win over others by meager percentiles. They know it is very hard. For example, one of the competitive exams has around 8 lakh students appearing every year for just 3000 seats!! The candidates themselves know it is humanly impossible for everyone to get through, still they endeavor so hard!

Now, relating this to Krishna consciousness, ours comes with so much mercy! If only, even one day, we do diligent sadhana, our Guru and thereby Krishna get so pleased that They are ready to do anything for us. Compare this with the material exam obsession where you almost lose everything even when you sit back for a week
because you were genuinely ill. When the materialists are ready to put in so much effort on something they know for sure cannot be grabbed by everyone, and everyone has so much confidence that he/she WILL fall under the 3,000/8Lakh margin, and that too for a material education that would go away in a *bleep* (Gurudev style :D),
why can’t we struggle a little bit for something we know, for sure, will happen, and will stay with us eternally, given the most authentic words of Guru, sadhu and sastra? At least as neophytes, it is sure that we struggle, because we are not yet completely out of our material ambitions and a related schedule. But if we can remember the importance and dire need for Krishna consciousness in our lives, through the association of devotees, my intellect says it must be possible.

One devotee once told that, as devotees, sometimes, we do not have enough faith in Krishna as the materialists have in Maya. I’m also telling this to myself, but I’m very convinced that if only I always remember that, and feel inspired by how the materialists work hard (in a positive way, to work for Krishna), I can definitely work that extra bit and place myself safely in good sadhana and service, despite all my personal responsibilities and commitments (also given that I do not keep adding material commitments just because I will anyway somehow manage both).

I pray that I remember this and am always ready to work hard with a positive obsession for Krishna consciousness.

your servant,
Divyapriya

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at 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.backtohome.com.