Human Animal Farm

George Orwell’s Animal Farm describes a horrifying story of how “equals” exploit other equals… There are so many different social systems being tried out, communism, capitalism, socialism, and so on, but practically all of them are animalistic. Is there an ideal social system?

There is a famous book by George Orwell, Animal Farm. It is a satire on communism.

In the book, the oppressed animals on a farm overthrow their human farmer and try to create a society based on egalitarian principles, but they end up in a situation much worse than before, under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon.

But have you considered any other competing “ism”, such as, say “Capitalism”?

Capitalism, where money rules the roost

Is any materialistic ideology different from any other materialistic ideology when implemented in human society?

Is the end result any different?

Let’s take the case of any “democratic” country… take for example Canada, where I live presently… Canada is high up on the list when it comes to social liberty and freedom, with its famous Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and so on… but even in Canada, let’s take, say, the Prime Minister of Canada – does anyone feel that such a person is “equal” to the rest of us living in Canada? OK, let’s leave the top powerful people aside… let’s take an ordinary police officer… there was recently a case in which a Toronto Police Officer accessed a database, gave his son the name and address of an individual who drove a car with a certain license plate, and the individual ended up dead because of that.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

And if you want to exclude that type of power from the equation, let’s take the case of the Native Canadians! The original first nations people of Canada – where are they? I have mostly seen them destitute and begging on the streets. How on earth did Canadian society engineer that injustice?

Canadian Beggar

There are extreme examples, for example communism is supposed to be a classless society in which everyone is equal, has access to common prosperity, and equal opportunity for the best possible life. What is the reality though? The children of communist leaders study in the top schools, go to the top universities, and the children of the rural citizens? They are not even allowed to get off the farm, because then, who will feed the cities cheap food? This is institutionalized with many systems, such as the Hukou system. We see leaders trying to hold on to power until their dying breath, Stalin, Lenin, and Mao are all examples of that. There are any number of present leaders who want to entrench themselves for the duration of their lives!

Communism is based on materialistic ideals

But lest you think that some other competing system like democratic capitalism is better, just look around us – some people have no access to clean drinking water, food, and opportunity in life, just by the compounded effect of generations of exploitation. Some people have what is known as “inter-generational wealth”, and others struggle to pay their rent, living in buildings owned by REITs funded by, guess who, those with inherited wealth! Of course, who ends up born in better or worse material circumstances depends on the past karma of every individual.

Homeless person in Toronto, Canada

Ultimately no materialistic or man-made system can be perfect. The only perfect system is the one that is created by the Creator of all Natural Systems, variously referred to as Allah, Jehovah, or Krishna but referring to the same one Person.

Krishna, the Perfect Creator of the Perfect Society

It is called “Varnashrama”, which is a combination of 2 words “Varna” and “Ashrama”… Varna means occupation, Ashrama means “Life Status”…

The system is organized as follows – there are 4 main Varnas, and 4 main Ashramas, which gives rise to a combination of 16 different categories of people, which are a natural order of society.

The 4 Varnas are:

  • Brahmana” – the intellectual class
  • Kshatriya” – the administrator class
  • Vaishya” – the mercantile class
  • Shudra” – the worker class

The 4 Ashramas are:

  • Brahmacharya” – the student class
  • Grhastha – the householder class
  • Vanaprastha” – the retired class
  • Sannyasa” – the renounced class

Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः ।
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ॥ १३ ॥

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ
tasya kartāram api māṁ
viddhy akartāram avyayam

According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/13/

Ah, there you go, you might say, here comes the infamous Indian caste system, which has resulted in so much suffering, so much inequity, so much bias, and so much violence and exploitation.

The present-day Indian caste system is demonic

Two words are key here, one is “guna” and the other is “karma”.

The present Indian caste system is based on birth, which is called “janma”… basing the caste system on birth is like saying that all doctors’ children will be ever forevermore doctors, or that all of the judges’ children will be anointed judges. Yes, if you are born in a technical or a medical or a business family, it is very likely you will take up the same line because the whole atmosphere is steeped with that particular mood, but you still have to go to medical school or law school or learn to operate a business!

A doctor must be properly qualified

So therefore, the caste system based on birth alone is rejected… instead, every person is analyzed according to their qualities and the work they do.

If for example, someone is born in a family of doctors cannot clear high school or medical school, they will not get the degree and will not be allowed to practice. So why then is someone born in the family of a Brahmana but has the mindset of a worker still demand the social position of a Brahmana?

A judge must be duly qualified

This degraded practice alone has completely destroyed the original social system in India, and is responsible for the destruction of the high class Vedic culture. After all, just like in the famous book by George Orwell, if you make a pig the leader of society, the position will not alter the fact that the pig is, at the root of it, still a pig!

A pig in a suit is still a pig!

The 4 orders are compared to the various parts of the body – the Brahmanas to the head, the Kshatriyas to the hands, the Vaishyas to the stomach, and the Shudras to the legs. This is not derogatory, the head alone cannot get much done, and neither can the hands, stomach, or legs on their own.

The different sections of society must work together, just like the parts of our bodies

Imagine the legs running around without a head, or the hands flailing about in one place, or the stomach starving for the want of food! Our society is presently just like that.

So, in modern day society, we see that the humans are actually divided into 4 categories, represented by animals.

श्वविड्‍वराहोष्ट्रखरै: संस्तुत: पुरुष: पशु: ।
न यत्कर्णपथोपेतो जातु नाम गदाग्रज: ॥ १९ ॥

śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ
saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ
na yat-karṇa-pathopeto
jātu nāma gadāgrajaḥ

Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the deliverer from evils.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/

Why dogs, hogs, camels, and asses? Do we have some kind of hatred for these animals? No, we respect every living entity, but we lament the lost opportunity when a living entity who has achieved a human form of life descends to lower species in life…

Dogs will be dogs

Why and how are humans like dogs?

Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality with which to accept the service of a greater master. After finishing a so-called education, the so-called educated persons move like dogs from door to door with applications for some service, and mostly they are driven away, informed of no vacancy. As dogs are negligible animals and serve the master faithfully for bits of bread, a man serves a master faithfully without sufficient rewards.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
A pig will eat anything, practically

Why hogs?

Persons who have no discrimination in the matter of foodstuff and who eat all sorts of rubbish are compared to hogs. Hogs are very much attached to eating stools. So stool is a kind of foodstuff for a particular type of animal. And even stones are eatables for a particular type of animal or bird. But the human being is not meant for eating everything and anything; he is meant to eat grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, sugar, etc. Animal food is not meant for the human being. For chewing solid food, the human being has a particular type of teeth meant for cutting fruits and vegetables. The human being is endowed with two canine teeth as a concession for persons who will eat animal food at any cost. It is known to everyone that one man’s food is another man’s poison. Human beings are expected to accept the remnants of food offered to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the Lord accepts foodstuff from the categories of leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. (Bg. 9.26). As prescribed by Vedic scriptures, no animal food is offered to the Lord. Therefore, a human being is meant to eat a particular type of food. He should not imitate the animals to derive so-called vitamin values. Therefore, a person who has no discrimination in regard to eating is compared to a hog.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
A camel eats thorns, and thinks they are tasty whereas it tastes its own blood as the thorns cut the insides of its mouth

Why camels?

The camel is a kind of animal that takes pleasure in eating thorns. A person who wants to enjoy family life or the worldly life of so-called enjoyment is compared to the camel. Materialistic life is full of thorns, and so one should live only by the prescribed method of Vedic regulations just to make the best use of a bad bargain. Life in the material world is maintained by sucking one’s own blood. The central point of attraction for material enjoyment is sex life. To enjoy sex life is to suck one’s own blood, and there is not much more to be explained in this connection. The camel also sucks its own blood while chewing thorny twigs. The thorns the camel eats cut the tongue of the camel, and so blood begins to flow within the camel’s mouth. The thorns, mixed with fresh blood, create a taste for the foolish camel, and so he enjoys the thorn-eating business with false pleasure. Similarly, the great business magnates, industrialists who work very hard to earn money by different ways and questionable means, eat the thorny results of their actions mixed with their own blood. Therefore the Bhāgavatam has situated these diseased fellows along with the camels.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
An ass carrying a heavy load, all for a little grass

And why asses?

The ass is an animal who is celebrated as the greatest fool, even amongst the animals. The ass works very hard and carries burdens of the maximum weight without making profit for itself.* The ass is generally engaged by the washerman, whose social position is not very respectable. And the special qualification of the ass is that it is very much accustomed to being kicked by the opposite sex. When the ass begs for sexual intercourse, he is kicked by the fair sex, yet he still follows the female for such sexual pleasure. A henpecked man is compared, therefore, to the ass. The general mass of people work very hard, especially in the Age of Kali. In this age the human being is actually engaged in the work of an ass, carrying heavy burdens and driving ṭhelā and rickshaws. The so-called advancement of human civilization has engaged a human being in the work of an ass. The laborers in great factories and workshops are also engaged in such burdensome work, and after working hard during the day, the poor laborer has to be again kicked by the fair sex, not only for sex enjoyment but also for so many household affairs.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/

What happens when humans who are just like hogs, dogs, camels, and asses go to the election? The dogs vote for a big dog, the hogs vote for a big hog, the camels vote for a big camel, and the asses vote for a big ass.

We end up with a civilization of dogs, hogs, camels, and asses!

And we get a leadership that is full of such dogs, hogs, camels, and asses!

And what will such leaders do in society? They will promote animalism, they might spout big ideals just like the hogs in George Orwell’s book do, but quietly or openly promote animalistic civilization.

Srila Prabhupada once called democracy as “demon crazy”! In other words, the democratic process does not get us the best leaders, only the lowest common denominator.

An ideal society without God in the Centre is not possible

Take your pick, the system created by God or the system created by animals masquerading as humans.

Krishna, the Creator of the Perfect Social Order

What is your choice?

Descartes did not understand Consciousness

Many believe that animals and other species in other bodies outside of humans are not souls, that they are mere automations. The misunderstanding can be traced back at least to Descartes’ “cogito ergo sum”, where he sadly misunderstood something very important…

René Descartes was a great thinker, an eminent Christian scholar, and his thoughts have arguably shaped the foundations of Christianity.

Unfortunately, he got at least one basic thing wrong, “cogito ergo sum” – translated as “I think, therefore I am”. This statement shows Descartes’ ignorance. Consciousness is not dependent on “thinking”.

Consciousness is the fundamental symptom of life – all living entities have lower or higher consciousness, some can think at a more advanced level based on how evolved their consciousness is, and some at a less advanced level.

Who am I to be criticizing the great Descartes? Yes. I must admit that I am not even a tiny fraction of that mighty thinker. I am just a little recovering atheist. But my knowledge, that is not mine, it is not original. I am not speaking on anything that I have come up with myself, but relying on the words of God Himself. The Bhagavad Gita is quite literally “The Song of God”. I rely on the Bhagavad Gita. But there are way too many mis-translations and misinterpretations of this Divine Book unfortunately, which have been written by speculators with a poor fund of knowledge.

So I rely on the great Acharyas, teachers who received this knowledge in disciplic succession from God. If I threw a mango from the top of a tree to the ground, it would smash, and become unfit to consume, but if I organized a chain of people from the topmost branch of the mango tree to the ground, with ladders and so on, as needed, then the mango could make it safely into my hands.

In the disciplic succession, Parampara, each person in the chain acts as an honest messenger – they repeat everything exactly in line with what their predecessor did, without any addition or subtraction – and you can verify what they said by checking up on what their spiritual master said. So, even if a particular link in the chain may be accepted as ordinary (though none of them can actually be ordinary, that is a matter for another day), still, the message is pristine and perfect.

So I rely on the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is 32nd (from Krishna, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead), 28th(from Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa, the Literary Incarnation of Krishna), or 11th(Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna Himself, appearing as His devotee to show us how to be one) link in the chain originating from God Himself. And even though I have not met Srila Prabhupada personally, I am a disciple of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari, who is a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada, which makes my spiritual master 33rd, 29th, or 12th in line from God Himself. Not only my own spiritual master, but I have benefited from the thousands of disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and I have benefited from many other souls who are in other branches of the same tree of disciplic succession, going back at least 5,000 and 500 years. However, the knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita has been extant in civilized society in our Universe for at least 40 Million years. However, as the Universe is 114 Trillion years old, this knowledge is that ancient in this Universe.

However, as this Universe is just like a flash in the pan, a proverbial flash of lightning in the fabric of eternity, this knowledge is actually eternal.

The fact that my knowledge is not “original” but is coming from a long line of teachers originating from God Himself, that is my only strength. On the purity, strength, and intelligence of these great souls, I dare say Descartes is wrong.

A crude example is that a small child may say 2+2=4, not know how that is so, but it does not change the fact that the child is right. The child heard this from someone who does understand numbers and addition, so on the strength of that person’s knowledge, the child is right.

Or let’s take the example of a normal person, perfectly capable when sober, but when they are intoxicated, they are no better than an animal, at least temporarily. If another man were to kill the drunken person, would that not count as murder? So even a short-term mental disability is not grounds for ny mistreatment.

Now take for example two sons of the same father. One, the elder, is strong, intelligent, and capable… the other, younger, let’s say, for the purpose of this example, a whimpering idiot, cannot learn anything, cannot do much, and cannot, for the life of him, stand up to his brother. Comparing

If the capable boy were to propose to the father that they kill the retarded younger son, because, he might say, let’s face it, he’s no better than an animal, would the father agree? Even if the father agreed with the elder son’s assessment of the younger brother, still, he would not allow the younger son to be killed, even with his long-term disability.

On the streets of various cities in the world, I have personally met many drunk or drugged humans, and to be honest, they are actually lower than some animals!

Animals are no less than the mentally challenged human, whether long-term or short-term. They are spirit souls encaged in a body and mind that don’t permit higher consciousness, not very difficult from a drunk or drugged human. But this conflation of thinking with the presence or absence of a soul has caused a grave injustice in this world.

If only Descartes was fortunate enough to receive instruction from the Song of God!

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

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

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

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

Descartes’ grave error has encouraged the Christians around the world to commit murder with impunity. They interpret the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” as “Thou shalt not kill another human unnecessarily”. This is leading hosts of Christians into endless lifetimes of suffering birth, death, old age, and disease, being born as animals repeatedly, only to be mercilessly slaughtered.

In modern times there is really no excuse for eating meat. Fruits, Roots, Nuts, Vegetables, Grains are abundantly available and milk products obtained from Ahimsa farms can be made available too.

Christians and others who follow any kind of spiritual tradition need to rise above the sad ignorance of Descartes and stop eating meat unless it were a matter of life and death, because Meat is not for spiritualists, meat is for animals, even if the animals happen to be in human form.

Read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is today, and be a better Christian, Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, or Jain or any other type of spiritualist. Do you need a copy?

Heat Wave in Canada(!!)

Canada is known for the cold, but there was a heat wave that killed hundreds! Why do these types of things happen? Is there any way out?

Recently, hundreds of souls have lost their current lives from a terrible heat wave in Canada. In some parts of Canada, recorded temperatures reached 49.5 degrees Celsius, or 121 F. That is more familiar to places in South Central India where I grew up. Canada is known for its cold, not hot weather. And here people of dying of excessive heat? How come?

Weather extremes are increasing all over the world. The storms are fiercer, the droughts are harsher, the rains heavier, the cold more biting… all over the world this is happening.

Some people point to climate change as the culprit, yet others deny those claims.

But it cannot be denied that the suffering of people in general has increased. This is ironic because our efforts to be free of such suffering has also reached an unprecedented frenzy. At no time in history have we tried as hard as we are trying, to mitigate and control the forces of nature. So what gives?

What is the cause of suffering? When I cause suffering, I receive suffering in return. What goes around, comes around. It’s called Karma.

When a lot of us suffer the same lot, such as collective poverty in a country, or drought, or starvation, or violence, or bad weather, or a disease that goes around, then it means that all of us are jointly liable for that suffering.

This applies to enjoyment also – souls who are jointly due for enjoyment are born in specific families, in certain communities, and so on…

It’s not that a certain place or race or group of people on the planet is doomed or condemned, it is just that there are different pockets of different kinds of enjoyments and sufferings, and the souls who deserve that fate are arranged to be put into that place.

Let’s say, for example, that a certain person has committed genocide… killed large numbers of birds, animals, or people… then that person is repeatedly born in circumstances that will cause them to suffer the same fate.

But if many souls have committed similar crimes (or good deeds), then those souls are born in similar circumstances, for example, we know so many families who are just (un)fortunate from the beginning to the end… if they are not born there, then they marry into those families… they are in certain communities, or geographically co-located. If they don’t initially land up there, they will due to work, or some other circumstances.

The suffering of a particular region, nation, or community is collective karma, we all are collectively responsible for that suffering, or enjoyment, for that matter.

So, how to get out of this? End the Karma Chakra! There are Three types of actions:

  • Karma – actions that bind us to future enjoyment
  • Vikarma – actions that bind us to future suffering
  • Akarma – actions that burn away Akarma, Vikarma, and create no further material reactions

कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च विकर्मणः ।
अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गतिः ॥ १७ ॥

karmaṇo hy api boddhavyaṁ
boddhavyaṁ ca vikarmaṇaḥ
akarmaṇaś ca boddhavyaṁ
gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ

The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is and what inaction is.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/17/

Genuine spiritual practice, such as chanting the Names of God, are in the category of “Akarma”. So, for those of you with rosaries, with chanting beads, chant that mantra intensely, more and more! And for those of you who have no such spiritual practices, take them up right now!

If you want to know how to engage in more Akarma, please let me know!

Understanding the Vedas

How can one get a basic understanding of the Vedas?

Tapas, 2 February 2020

Hare Krishna

All glories to Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Dear Prabhuji

I have no knowledge on Vedas. Request you all for helping me to have some basic knowledge on Vedas.

Dandavat Pranam

your ever endearing servant

Tapas

Dejan (Dan) Boskovic, 2 February 2020

Hare Krishna 

All glories to Gurudeva 

All glories to Srila Prabhupāda!

Thank you for your mail, prabhuji.

Radhanath Swami in one lecture said that we should chant 16 rounds a day and attend one lecture to have protection against Maya. We should be scared of Maya too, I am pretty sure he said that in the same lecture. And as I hear pure devotees who do a lot for Krishna never feel like they do enough.

I read and have read Bhagavad Gita few times and am on tenth chapter but my knowledge is not realized yet. Sastra said that you must approach a bonafide spiritual master and serve him and he will tell you the truth because he has seen it. He has that realized knowledge. That is my opinion ,Srila Prabhupāda said we can’t do this just by reading but that is the process of devotion sravanam(hearing) read Bhagavad Gita read everything you can get your hands on and try to brake 4 pillars of demoniac life (meat, eating, illicit sex, intoxication and gambling) chant 16 rounds minimum and thus make your self eligible to receive a spiritual master. Which you can get to know a little through the lectures on YouTube and he will make your knowledge perfect. 

That is the best answer I can give you that I am trying to follow. But I am a neophyte. I suggest you keep asking. And see if more advanced devotes give you an answer that is practical and will enliven you more and make your quest for knowledge of the Vedas enjoyable and fruitful.

Haribol

yours 

Dan

Manian VB, February 2020

Pranams to devotees. 

The  best veda is Bhagavad gita. if you strictly follow its teachings your soul will be up lifted

Sundar Gopal Das, 4 February 2020

Dear Sriman Tapas,

Hare Krishna!

Pls accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru & Gauranga.

Thank you so much for your query.

Actually, the ultimate goal of Vedas is to know Lord Sri Krishna-vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo (Bg.-15.15). So Srila Prabhupada has given us the most important teachings of Lord Sri Krishna in the form of Bhagavad Gita-As it is and Srimad Bhagavatam which is the natural commentary on Vedanta by Srila Vyasadeva along with his Bhaktivedanta Purport. Actually, it is not very easy to derive the most essential Bhakti element from the complicated presentation of Vedic wisdom. The embedded complication act as default encryption is not meant for deprivation of this valuable knowledge but to restrict unauthentic and unscrupulous interpretation. That’s why it is advisable instead of independent study of Vedas, better scrutinizingly go through the treasure house of essence of Vedic wisdom as given by Srila Prabhupada through his books.

In addition, the introduction to Isopanishad, Srila Prabhupada’s one lecture on the “Teachings of Vedas” has been included:

https://vedabase.io/en/library/iso/introduction/

After completely studying all the books of Srila Prabhupada, if you are further interested in Vedas, you can read the followings:

Also you can go through this booklet named ‘Elements of Vedic Thought and Culture’  written by His Holiness Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami (Disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada) :

https://mayapur.store/english-books/3-elements-of-vedic-thought-and-culture.html

Furthermore, you can order the following book online from BBT:

http://bbt.org/book/veda-secrets-east-anthology 

Does this make any sense?

with regards,

your servant,

Sundar Gopal Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 6 February 2020

Dear Sriman Tapas,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

What do you wish to know about the Vedas when Sri Krishna says the following:

yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ pravadanty avipaścitaḥ

veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha nānyad astīti vādinaḥ

kāmātmānaḥ svarga-parā janma-karma-phala-pradām

kriyā-viśeṣa-bahulāṁ bhogaiśvarya-gatiṁ prati

Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this

Bg. 2.42-43 (https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/42-43/)

bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānāṁ tayāpahrta-cetasām

vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samādhau na vidhīyate

In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take place.

Bg. 2.44 (https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/44/)

trai-guṇya-viṣayā vedā nistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna

nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho niryoga-kṣema ātmavān

The Vedas deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material nature. O Arjuna, become transcendental to these three modes. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the self.

Bg. 2.45 (https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/45/)

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

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The sack of rice

There is enough for every creature’s need, but there isn enough even for one man’s greed.

My 7 year old son Vitthal Bhakta told me this story.

Once upon a time, there was a farmer. He used to earn his livelihood by selling rice he grew on his farm. One year, after the harvest, he was on his way to Pandharpur, which was four hours away. He was blissfully chanting Harinam Sankirtan (names of God) during the journey. On his way by bullock cart with sixty four sacks of rice, one of his sacks fell off the cart but he was so engrossed in his singing that he did not notice.

One of the villagers along the road cried out “You lost one of your sacks, it fell down back there”. When he heard that he came to external consciousness and opened his eyes. He tied up his bulls to a nearby tree and walked back. He saw that the bag had burst open and the grains of rice had spilled out on the ground, white grains shining in the sun.

Sparrow eating grain

When he came closer, he noticed there were some birds eating the rice. So the saintly farmer hid behind a tree to wait for the birds to finish their meal. A goat and a cow also joined the birds, and they all ate their fill. Then they went away.

Sweet Cow

When they were finished, before the farmer could come out from behind the tree, another man suddenly appeared and began to drag away the heavy bag of rice.

Greedy Man

The farmer said “wait, that is my bag of rice, it fell from my cart, and I have come to take it back”. The farmer gave the person several handfuls of rice and took the bag back to his cart.

When he reached Pandharpur, he sold fifty of his sacks to get enough money to live till the next season, and offered the remaining fourteen sacks to Lord Vitthal of Pandharpur. He said to the Lord “I learned a lesson today, that the birds and the animals, they take whatever they need, and then they go away. But man is so greedy that he hoards more than he needs”. He concluded, “there is enough in this world for every creature’s needs, but there is not enough for a single man’s greed”.

Lord Vitthala of Pandharpur

All food and all necessities of life are provided by God. We may work in the fields, we may work in the factories, but all that we need and want is actually the property of God. Just because we transform it does not make it ours. The earth, the water, the sunlight, and the power of a seed to grow, we make none of these, we have no power over these. We may know how to utilize these, but that does not make them ours.

We cannot make a single thing by ourselves or live for a single day without the mercy of God.

To consider something “mine to do with as I want” is a crime. We should be responsible curators of the gifts that have been bestowed upon us.

अन्नाद्भ‍वन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः ।
यज्ञा‍द्भ‍‍वति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भ‍वः ॥ १४ ॥

annād bhavanti bhūtāni
parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ
yajñād bhavati parjanyo
yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ

All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajña [sacrifice], and yajña is born of prescribed duties.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/3/14/
Paddy Field in the rain

कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भ‍वं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षरसमुद्भ‍वम् ।
तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम् ॥ १५ ॥

karma brahmodbhavaṁ viddhi
brahmākṣara-samudbhavam
tasmāt sarva-gataṁ brahma
nityaṁ yajñe pratiṣṭhitam

Regulated activities are prescribed in the Vedas, and the Vedas are directly manifested from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Consequently the all-pervading Transcendence is eternally situated in acts of sacrifice.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/3/15/

What is sacrifice? Sacrifice means to please God with our thoughts, words, and deeds. Every thought, word, and deed should be to please God, who is giving us so much at every moment.

The Ishopanishad says this best:

īśāvāsyam idaḿ sarvaṁ
yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ 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.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/iso/1/
Sri Ishopanishad - the Science of God

Hare Krishna!

How To Control the Mind?

How can one control the mind? A perennial question that was asked even 5,000 years ago. Those answers are still relevant! Would you like to learn more?

Tapas Chakraborty, 29 July 2019

So far so learned , To progress in spiritual path the first step is Control of Mind. How to accomplish absolute control of our Mind?

Is it totally internal restraint or a combination of both external and internal?

Request all enlightened soul to chart out a clear direction to follow. I will be highly grateful for your guidance.

Hare Krishna

your servant

Tapas

Thunduparambil Jayaprasad, 30 July 2019

Controlling the mind is not easy..in Bhagavad. Gita ..Krishna says. ..to Arjuna.  ..controlling mind is more difficult than controlling wind…But.with Krishna’s help you can do it by diverting your attention to Krishna service . Chanting.and surrendering to him .then Lord will take care…Hare Krishna

Thunduparambil Jayaprasad

Arun Agarwal, 31 July 2019

Hare Krishna

It is Arjun who says that it is very difficult to control mind even more difficult than controlling air. Lord Krishna then tells Arjuna the simple way to control it. Those who surrender to him can control it very easily.

Hari bol

Arun Agarwal

Tapas Chakraborty, 31 July 2019

Thanks for your reply

Request the following

1. What is complete surrender, and

2. How to accomplish the same

The above are literally theoretical, what practice in our daily life we need to do so that we derive the necessary motivation to remain focused.

Sincerely,

Tapas

Arun Agarwal, 31 July 2019

Hare Krishna

I am sorry the answer I gave that surrender to Krishna is the way to control over mind is not correct. Surrender unto Lord Krishna is necessary for overcoming the three modes of material nature which is his divine energy.

For controlling mind pl refer Bhagwad Gita.

Lord Krishna said (6.35 Bhagwad Gita) it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment.

6.26.(Bhagwad Gita)  From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature one must certainly withdraw it and bring back under the control of self.

However for surrendering unto Krishna one has to be in full knowledge and always keeping himself engaged in pure devotional service of lord Krishna.

I have started reading Bhagavad Gita and the books of Srila Prabhupada for the last one year only. As such I know that I am  actually a beginner only and may try to sound very literate and accomplished. But believe me  I am only trying to express what I have read so far.  I just wish to involve in the process of discussion for enhancing the knowledge

Hare Krishna

Sincerely,

Arun

Sudhanshu Soni, 31 July 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhu

I hope this lecture may help you .

your servant

Sudhanshu

Tapas Chakraborty, 1 August 2019

Thanks Bhakta Arun

It’s a real pleasure reading your reply. I believe we are all learning, in fact in search of absolute truth and knowledge which has no end. Each day comes with a new experience and from it greater insights of what we already know. Also the toughest time in our life teaches us more at a greater speed .The more we have questions greater is our search for truth.

So from your reply what I get to know is training the mind for delineating ourselves from material attachment and focusing on absolute reality.

So the question remains how we can force our mind to withdraw from temptations of the materialistic world. Theoretically yes but practically it is difficult unless we are able to harness the consciousness within .

Sincerely,

Tapas

Sharon, 1 August 2019

Thanking you in your lecture, I have read, and I but I know within the rest of my day I will continue to go back to read through and accept what I need to do in order to make the necessary changes to my inner self to become a better much happier person to become more responsible to ensure I don’t slip away with any of the other people who are not wanting to become a part of the inner world of the betterment xx thanking you

Sincerely,

Sharon xx

Shridhar Das, 1 August 2019

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisance.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All Glories to Sri Guru & Sri Gauranga!

[Requesting all devotees to reply in single mail loop in future. In this case [sda_students:5745]]

I am humbly trying to elaborate on below perfect answers. I have not gone through the link yet as I don’t have the facility at the moment but I hope it answers your query fully.

Mind. This topic is unlimited and endless, no matter how many seminars be delivered on it. So are thoughts, desires, impressions in the mind unlimited.

Indeed, as quoted below a great warrior like Arjuna, who was extremely talented and a valiant warrior accepted subordination to the battle against mind although he was confident to bring under control a voracious hurricane. Can we be that confident? What to speak of mind.

The conditioned soul is in this awkward position all because of its surrender to the mind. Great sages dedicate their whole life to perform penance just to conquer the mind and the senses and transcend this existence. And very few pass the test. The glorious tales of such sages decorate the Srimad Bhagavatam so that we can learn and be inspired in similar spirit.

As per your question, we can see Vishwamitra Muni. He very expertly performed penances. Surrounded by fire from all sides during summer and entered into ice waters during winters. Didn’t eat for days and even month while performing austerity. But a simple tinkling of Menaka’s ankle bell ruined all his progress.

On the other hand, a similar yogi named Durvasa Muni got agitated and so angry that he wanted to kill a devotee like Ambarish just because Durvasa Muni “felt” that he has not been given proper respect. Durvasa Muni summoned a demon from his yogic powers to kill Ambarish Maharaj, a pure devotee. This is called trying to kill a mosquito with a machine gun. Punishing a so-called mistake severely.

On the other hand Ambarish Maharaj didn’t retaliate to save his life. He simply depended on Krishna’s will. Krishna’s Sudarshan personally came without invitation for his protection. What was Durvasa’s qualification? He was fully engaged in Lord’s service and depended on Lord for personal maintenance.  In 56-72 verses of Bhagavad Gita’s 2nd chapter, you can find this comparison of yogic v/s devotional process.

The point is- Our path is of Grace & Dependence. Doesn’t mean we don’t care for restraint. We do the needful to keep the standard for the mind, before it may cheat viz. 4 Regulative Principles, Chanting 16 good Rounds at least, Observing Fast on Ekadashi and festivals, Daily study of Srila Prabhupada Books, goes on… Everyone then observe personal austerities under superior guidance.

On our path, the emphasis is not restraining, for Krishna tells in 3rd Chapter – What can repression accomplish?

Mind is very obstinate and we have our own natures. Our process teaches us not to give up work. Rather if we have greed for work and profit, we should fully engage that greed, while assuring we submit the results which assures pleasure of Guru & Vaishnavas. Krishna guided Arjuna to engage his warfare Kshatriya spirit in fighting too not for solitary devotion in the forest as Arjuna felt.

The ultimatum is, if we are acting as per Supreme Worshipable Personality, The All Loving Krishna’s will, mind will always be happy. But to do that we need to understand His teachings. And that is possible through a bonafide spiritual master and his representatives. So we should look for that person whom we can give our heart to faithfully and follow their instructions. And even if mind is not cooperating, but because heart is set on pleasing someone, mind becomes subordinate to such love. So even when mind is upset, we know whom to approach and hear from. And we know if they are pleased, our life is going perfect. So  look for some advanced souls locally who are fully engaged ecstatically in serving Srila Prabhupada. At least we can pray for guidance daily.

For this reason, Srila Gurudeva & Srimati Gurumata (and various other great souls) open themselves to others. In this case there are online lectures where everyone can hear and interact asking questions daily. There is facility to write emails and personally serve them and inquire from them.

You can also sense this surrender in lives of all leading Srila Prabhupada disciples, for Srila Prabhupada.

Hope this helps.

your servant

Shridhar das

Bhakta Sunil, 1 August 2019

Amazing answers,

Prabhu additional nectar on this topic is at

Lecture by His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari on 28 April 2017 in Riga, Latvia,

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Arun Agarwal, 1 August 2019

Hare Krishna

In my view it is only due to our lack of knowledge about Krishna which makes it difficult for us to delineate ourselves totally from material world. You should continue to study the Bhagavad Gita and also the invaluable literature of Srila Prabhupad . You will gain knowledge about everything necessary to achieve the desired goal.

Hare Krishna

Sincerely,

Arun

Tapas Chakraborty, 1 August 2019

Hare Krishna

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

It is indeed an in-depth and elaborate explanation in dealing with the complexities linked to the control of mind. Some takeaways which I will attempt to follow with heart  and soul.

– Disciplined approach to daily life with regular chanting and reading books

– Focus on understanding the Bhagavad-Gita with repetitive follow up

– Try for holy company(Association of Devotees)

– Engage only for true knowledge

– Detachments from materialistic objects

–  Complete surrender to Lord Krishna for his guidance

– Regular touch with holy brothers by asking questions whenever in doubt.

Thank you

Hare Krishna

your servant

Tapas Chakraborty

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.joincourse.com

Pursuing the Highest Instruction of your Scripture

Every scripture has higher and lower instruction. Pursue the highest instruction always. The lower instructions are for animal-like humans… we should strive to go deeper, higher.

I was out a couple of days ago, looking to meet people interested in spiritual life. I do this often, and especially in December every year, I’m in marathon mode.

It was in Kensington market in Toronto, I was out with my son.

We met a gentleman who introduced himself as Altaf. Altaf Bhai is from Pakistan and also has some Agra connections. He told me he is a yogi, even though he is a Muslim. I thought why not, yoga means to reconnect to God, so why can a Muslim not be a yogi. He started speaking some intricate philosophy. But I could see that there were many gaps in his knowledge. He was secretly trying to convince me to become a Muslim. I’m OK with that, but I’m not OK with ignorance.

As the conversation progressed, however, he began to say things that were insulting to another very very great personality, Lord Shiva. He said that Lord Shiva was actually satan. I had to stop him there. It is one thing to not know something, but for someone like me who knows better, it is a crime to stand there and listen to such things. According to the Vedic texts, the personality known as Satan in the Koran and Bible is actually the personality named Kalipurusha. Not to be confused with the goddess Kali devi, this personality is in charge of the current age of quarrel and hypocrisy. But I couldn’t get in a word edgewise with Altaf – he just didn’t want to hear anything.

He then mentioned sacrificing cows. He said that the Quran does permit sacrificing cows. He said that Allah gave us all the animals for our enjoyment.

A yogi who recommends cow slaughter? A yogi who does not know the basics of yoga? Hmmm… this was very fishy.

Every scripture has higher instructions and lower instructions. The lower instructions are meant so that humans who are on the level of animals may find something to adhere to, and rise higher, and when they do rise higher, then there are higher instructions to follow.

For example, there is also an instruction in the Quran that one should not have sexual relationships with one’s mother, or with the father’s wife. Why was this instruction present? Because at that time and in that place, there were men who did not hesitate to do so. So the Prophet had to include that instructions, just to civilize those animal-like men.

The highest instruction, of course, is to see every woman who is not your wife as your own mother. It does not matter if she is younger or older or what – if she is not your wife, she is as good as your own mother. Treat her with respect. That will resolve a lot of problems at one stroke, but that is another topic for another day.

Similarly, the instruction about ritual sacrifice of animals was in a place where food was hardly available – it was the barren desert after all. The instruction of ritual sacrifice and to cause the least amount of pain to the animal was there because there were people who took sadistic pleasure in torturing animals. This does not mean that the Quran encourages opening of slaughter-houses and killing of animals on a large scale. I couldn’t convince him, but this message is for him and other Altaf’s of the world.

It is not necessary to be a bloody thirsty animal killer to follow Islam, to be a Muslim. Meat is not for spiritualists, unless it is a question of absolute necessity.

I did not have the heart to tell Altaf about the hellish punishments given in the Vedic scripture for killing a cow. And I don’t want to shock my dear readers too. But it is not good, not in this world, nor in the next.

One of the greatest Muslims in the history of the world was Haridas Thakur. Born in Bengal, he is recognized as one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the world. He chanted the Hare Krishna Mahamantra constantly, and was able to convince Muslims with arguments from the Koran that he was doing the highest thing. If you want to read about Haridas Thakur, this book is highly recommended. http://torchlightinternational.com/shop/namacarya/.

Haridas Thakur was disliked by both the Muslims and the Hindus, because he knew both scriptures better than most and he personally followed both scriptures perfectly. Indeed, a Qazi had him whipped in 22 marketplaces, and while most people would die after 1-2 such beatings, Haridas Thakur felt no pain. He was praying for his assailants to be forgiven all the while!

In every scripture, including the Bhagavad Gita, there are higher and lower instructions, for example in the twelfth chapter of the Gita, Krishna says the following:

But those who worship Me, giving up all their activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, having fixed their minds upon Me, O son of Pṛthā – for them I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.

Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt.

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

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

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

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

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/12/ texts 6-12

Do you see how the highest goal may be unattainable for most? So Krishna gives alternatives. But those alternatives are not the highest thing. The highest thing is what Krishna mentioned first.

Similarly, in the Quran also there are lower and higher instructions, meant for people of different kinds.

I have many Muslim friends who are both Muslim and Vegetarian. In fact, many are vegan. See https://veganmuslims.com/ for a more background on that.

As I told Altaf, I was neither rejecting him, nor was I rejecting Prophet Muhammad, and I certainly am not rejecting Allah. What I am emphatically rejecting is his ignorance, and I am even more strongly rejecting words that are supposedly sacred but are actually meant to spread ignorance around. This applies to anyone from any tradition. I could not give him anything else except a vibration of the Mahamantra – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. May Altaf find peace in this life and the next.

My plea to all my Muslim brothers and sisters is this – please dear souls, please go higher in your knowledge and adherence of your own scripture. Follow the highest instruction of your scripture. Continuously chant the names of Allah with pure love and devotion, and you will find you will lose all taste for blood and flesh.

This is my prayer to everyone else, to Buddhists, to Christians, and to Jews. Thou Shalt Not Kill.

Online Bhagavad-Gita course

Are there online resources to learn the Bhagavad Gita?

Tapas Chakraborty, 12 July 2019

I want to undertake the study of Bhagavad-Gita under guidance of Iskcon Swami, the course to be completed in 6 months time through correspondence/ Online. Kindly let me know where should I register for this

Tapas

Bhakta Sunil, 12 July 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

I know of a wonderful online Iskcon “Bhagavad-Gita As It” Is e-course. It is named as “The Ultimate Self-realization course” Through this email course you will not only get daily thoughts and questions and answers, but also regular/weekly interactive lessons on Bhagavad Gita, and what to say of sublime live lectures 

You can register for the e-course for free at www.joincourse.com.

P.S : See that after you enroll through the above webpage address, you will have to click link in another confirmation email which you will receive to confirm your registration and to begin receiving the daily thoughts and periodic lessons on Bhagavad-Gita As It Is

It is absolutely free of charge

For live lectures schedules, please include your name in email list by sending an email to sda@backtohome.com

If any difficulty to register, please reply back here. Find the pamphlet of the email course attached in this email as photo file

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Sundar Gopal Das, 18 July 2019

Hare Krishna,

Dear Bhakta Tapas,

Pls accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru & Gauranga.

Along with the above wonderful course, if you are conversant in reading and writing Bengali, you can try the following online 6-month certified course also from the following link:

https://online.gitacourse.com/

with regards,

your servant,

Sundar Gopal Das, West Bengal, India

Ashutosh Biswas, 18 July 2019

Hare Krishna

All Glories unto Shrila Prabhupada through the Pure Devotees who’re acting as Srila Prabhupada’s representatives, as the bona fide Gurus like His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari, for the present generation 

And, ofcourse all glories unto the students of my Dearest Gurumaharaja Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari and Gurumaataa Mahaaraaniji 

Please accept my humble obeisances through my dandaavat pronaam. And, thanks for sharing the nice sticker of the Ultimate Self Realisation Course with a most fallen pupil of this Course like me! 

Hare Krishna! 

Ashutosh Biswas

Tapas Chakraborty, 19 July 2019

Hare Krishna 

I am already enrolled in all the online courses you have mentioned. No doubt, I have gained immensely in this journey. Daily inspiration and online classes has really given a direction to my life. 

Hare Krishna 

Tapas

Tapas Chakraborty, 19 July 2019

Hare Krishna 

Thanks for your initiative 

Sorry to say I am not conversant in writing Bengali.

I was looking for English course 

Hare Krishna 

Tapas

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 20 July 2019

Dear Tapas,

Hare Krishna!

Have you considered the Online Bhakti Shastri Course?

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das, dasadas.com

Tapas Chakraborty, 22 July 2019

Hare Krishna 

Thank you from my heart to direct me to the online resource I was looking for. I will make up a plan to continue my reading of Bhagavad-Gita with active guidance from ISKCON Prabhu.

your servant 

Tapas 

Tapas Chakraborty, 22 July 2019

Hare Krishna

Dear Prabhu

Thanks for guidance in search for the online repository for taking guided Bhagavad-Gita classes by ISKCON Gurus. I am taking it seriously to have in-depth knowledge on BG.

Hare Krishna

your servant

Tapas

Partha Das, 22 July 2019

Hare Krsna,

Is the Bhakti Shastri a paid course or free.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 22 July 2019

Dear Partha Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The Online Bhakti Shastri course has a nominal fee to cover the cost of administering the course, practically insignificant considering the value being imparted. If there is financial hardship, that can be discussed with the administration team upon registration.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das, dasadas.com


Sundar Gopal Das, 22 July 2019

Dear Bhakta Partha,

This Bhaktisastri is a paid course. I think it is 3000/ for 1-year course.

Also check :

http://mayapurinstitute.org/course/

Here some online courses with live interactive classes are also there. These courses are also chargeable.

With regards,

Sundar Gopal Das

Tapas Chakraborty, 22 July 2019

Dear Bhakta 

Please go to website bhakticourses.com for details 

Hare Krishna

Tapas

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.joincourse.com

Why can we not offer meat, fish, and eggs to God?

In the Bhagavad Gita, only leaves, flowers, fruits, and water are mentioned – so why do we offer other things like roots and stems and beans and nuts? Why not offer meat, fish, and eggs to Krishna then?

Bhaktin Suzanne

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear Devotees,

I have questions after reading this verse from Bhagavad Gita 9:26.

“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.”

I have a question.

All foods mentioned in this verse grow above the ground (leaves, flowers, and fruits).

This verse does not mention roots ( potato, carrot, beet etc).

This verse does not mention stems (celery , cinnamon etc.).

And Krishna also does not say He will accept seeds of plants such as nuts, beans. All grains , which are seeds too are not mentioned in this verse.

Krishna does not mention meat fish and eggs in this verse, so we do not offer these to Krishna.

He does not mention seeds, nuts, and roots. He is very specific about which part of the plant He will accept.

Why then do we go ahead and offer to Krishna the other parts of the plant?

Is there another scripture somewhere that says Krishna accepts roots, stems, seeds and grains? Please enlighten me.

Bhaktin Suzanne

Naren Tippavajjula, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Dear devotee Suzanne

The meaning of :

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati

tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/26/

Even water is underground

It doesn’t mean anything specific.

In broad sense, Krishna means, you need not give me silver, gold or keep payasam (opulent sweet) in golden bowl

Even a leaf, a sprinkle of water, a fruit which you give me with pure heart and devotion it is counted and God will see the bhakti and pure heart in you

This is the meaning in this verse

Devotion to God and being enlightened is what God sees in you

Thank you

Naren Tippavajjula

Shridhar Das, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisance,

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! 

Interesting question. Your attempts to introspect is well appreciated and the act of confirming with a bonafide audience is indeed devotional!

I fully agree with the below answer by Bhakta Narendra. It is the essence. 

Of the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita, 7-12 are treasure in the middle and even in their midst, 9th is still further confidential and this particular verse is the crux. Just as a careful person in previous ages would want to guard the jewel by putting it in a case and pack that case inside another and so on until he feels satisfied, so is this verse similarly packed in the middle.

Consider this example: It is very laborious to attain a B.Tech degree with high grades, especially from a very reputed college like IIT (in India) and that too with a Gold Medal. Firstly, to get into a college takes good school grades. Besides that many entrance exams have to be attempted which involves cut-throat competition. But imagine if it was available very simply? It is not so in Material World but Krishna Consciousness, which is the topmost goal of life, aspired by even the greatest sages and demigods with lifetimes of austerity is actually simple to attain. Srila Prabhupada is writing in the purport: 

The process of achieving such a marvelous result is very easy and can be attempted even by the poorest of the poor, without any kind of qualification.

The only qualification required in this connection is to be a pure devotee of the Lord. It does not matter what one is or where one is situated.

The process is so easy that even a leaf or a little water or fruit can be offered to the Supreme Lord in genuine love and the Lord will be pleased to accept it.

Srila Prabhupada now is very staunchly declaring in his magnanimity:

No one, therefore, can be barred from Krishna consciousness, because it is so easy and universal. Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Krishna conscious by this simple method and thus attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss and knowledge? Krishna wants only loving service and nothing more. Krishna accepts even a little flower from His pure devotee. 

Therefore the purpose of mentioning these 4 items are to indicate how simple has Krishna made Himself to be approached.

And He is not even asking all these items, but simply any one of these.(In comparison, some demigod worship involves offering items like meat, some demigod worship requires humongous amount of ghee, gold, perfection in performing rituals, etc.)

And the appearance of the word “bhaktya” in the verse doesn’t indicate error of repetition of the word devotion on Krishna’s behalf but emphasizing the importance of offering them with love and devotion, by a devotee.

As far as your curiosity on what is bonafide to be offered and what not – One sign of love is to offer what is right. Of course, in Kali that is not possible to understand. Therefore, Acharya, direct representative of God comes to teach us and share with us the essence of the oceanic Vedic wisdom. Here also Srila Prabhupada specifies: 

Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Kishna Himself. Whatever else we eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it. Thus we cannot be acting on the level of loving devotion if we offer such foods.

Even within the above, whatever is easy to digest for the body, in goodness, favorable for our consciousness, should also be offerable to Krishna although Krishna accepts betel nuts as well which is not suitable for us. The lives of great Acharyas simplifies for us what is offerable and what is not. More details on this can be presented by other devotees. 

your servant

Shridhar das

Brajanath Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna Suzanne Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva! 

Interesting question and enlightening answers by Narendra Prabhu and Sridhar Prabhu. Here is my humble attempt to give a context of my 2 cents on this subject.

“… a leaf, a fruit, a flower, or water.” This means that vegetables, fruits, nuts, juice, and all kinds of produce can be offered to Him and then eaten. We also offer dairy products that aren’t mentioned in that verse.

Out of His kindness, Krishna will accept even the smallest token of our faith — even a little water or a Tulasi leaf — if it is offered with love. When Krishna asks us to make such an offering, He is really inviting us to reawaken our eternal, blissful relationship with Him. He wants our love. Therefore the key ingredient in the preparation and offering process is our affection for Him, our desire to please Him.

This verse explains how Krsna emphasizes the love and devotion of the devotee and that is what He sees when we offer Him something.

We develop our love for Krishna by offering/accepting the things He likes and rejecting the things He dislikes. Lord Krishna begins Bg 9.26 with the word patram to explain that pain does not exist in the performance of bhakti to Him, and it can also be performed with ease.

The word bhaktya has been used in the second line and also again in the third line in the word bhakty-upahatam. The repetition emphasizes that, if someone other than My bhakta offers Me fruits or flowers with superficial devotion, I do not accept it, but I accept (açnami) whatever My bhaktas give Me, be it even a leaf. In other words, I fully enjoy that which is offered to Me with bhakti, but I do not enjoy the offering of someone who has been forced to do it. 

Vidura’s wife, Vidurani, felt such great ecstasy at the opportunity to serve Krishna personally that she offered Him a banana peel instead of the fruit and Krishna ate it with great relish.

Sabhari, a devotee of Lord Rama offered Him fruits after biting each piece to ensure that they didn’t taste sour and Lord Rama ate them with great relish.

One can satisfy the Lord simply by devotional service. Gajendra did this by offering a flower, and thus the Lord was satisfied with him (SB 7.9.9).

We are supposed to be essence seekers.

I hope that helps.

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear One,

Your response is gentle and soothing to my mind and heart.

Thank you.

Devotee Suzanne

Rasika Krishna Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please see below excerpt from Sri Valmiki Ramayan:

As per the instructions of Guru Vishwamitra all of them decided to take night rest there. Ram and Lakshman,both the brothers, collected “Kanda-Mool-Fala” (eatable bulbs, roots and fruits/ vegetables) from forest and dedicated to the sage. With the Guru, both the brothers also ate the collected items considering that as boon. After completing the bath and worship, Ram and Lakshman listened variety of stories and religious discourse told by Vishwamitra. Finally, after providing appropriate services to Guru and getting permission from him, they laid down to their gross beds pronouncing the holy “Gayatri Mantra”.

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Thank you to all devotees responding to my question.

I am carefully reading and studying your offerings to all of us.

your servant,

Bhaktin Suzanne

Shridhar Das, 23 June 2019

Oh, I am very enlightened by reading all the answers! Especially the examples below and from Ramayan. 

Few more examples:

Sudama Brahman was shy and embarrassed to offer the chipped rice that his wife had given him in dirty wrapped clothes. Sudama and his wife had no proper clothes to wear. Only 1 pair. They were torn and besides that dirty as well. Coming to Dwarka and being honored by Krishna in the best possible way, experiencing the topmost opulence and welcome in Dwarka, Sudama indeed felt that his gift was not worth offerable to Krishna. Krishna being the Supersoul asked Sudama, “Do you wish to gift me something?”. When Sudama replied No, Krishna told Sudama that he doesn’t taste anything material that His devotees offer. He tastes the spiritual love and devotion and Krishna snatched the chipped rice and honored with great relish.

Another pastime:

Srila Raghunath Das Goswami once gave up begging food as a renunciant in Jagannath Puri and in the deepest of his humility exhibited topmost renunciation by honoring the rice that was coming out from the drainage of Jagannath Puri temple. That rice was the most rejected in material state, being leftovers after the cows had chewed and spit them. This was Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami’s feast everyday. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu heard of this, The Supreme Lord Himself came and snatched that Prashadam from hands of Raghunath Das Goswami and told that He had never tasted anything delicious like this. Lord was tasting the devotional renunciation of Srila Raghunath Das Goswami.

your servant

Shridhar das

Naren Tippavajjula, 23rd June 2019

Hare Krishna

There is another verse from purusha suktam

antar bahischa tatsarvam vyapya narayanastitaha

Meaning, in all of us and everyone, the lord Vishnu is present, we are offering the one which God gave us

Regarding offering in Bhagavad-Gita it’s written as 3 types

Satvik food

Rajasik food

Tamasik food

We should take and even offer only satvik food for the God

As rajasik and tamasik if we take ,it gives rise to anger ,greed and other 5 evils kama,krodha,lobha,madam,matsaryam

So Krishna suggested us not to take those food items by which we can reach eternal happiness

Thank you for your valuable questions

Naren Tippavajjula

Suryakant Vibhandik, 25 June 2019

Hari bol. Thank you so much for all the observation by various prabhus. I would also like to add something i have heard.

Patram is to offer a page of our day’s activities. We are daily writing something on this page with the help of the supersoul.

Pusham is to offer a petal of our heart’s love. We cannot bestow our love fully on anyone or anything in this material world.

But the love can be reciprocated with the Supreme Lord and both are fully satisfied fully by this exchange of love.

Phalam is to offer the results of our activities.

Toyam is to offer a tear with love and devotion for the supreme person. Lord Krishna came to help Draupadi when she helplessly cried for help. She tried her best to save herself by herself but when she raised her both hands Krishna came by the mediam of her tears.

Thank you guru maharaj for providing a platform to express and receive opinions of enlightened souls. Please correct and rectify me. Hari bol.

Bhakta Sunil, 25 June 2019

Hare Krishna

would like to add a speck to the wonderful answers,

All the foods mentioned in the Verses are in mode of goodness, accordingly only foods in mode of goodness are to be offered

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das, 25 June 2019

Dear Mother Suzanne,

Hare Krishna!

The Bhagavad Gita is a summary of the vast Vedic literature, just 700 verses, or 1400 lines in all, spoken in a little over an hour. Bhagavad Gita was spoken in the Vedic context by the Greatest Vedic Authority to a highly advanced and learned disciple who got it in one shot. One lifetime, or a hundred of our current lifetimes are not sufficient to study the entire Vedic literature.

In Bhagavad Gita, for example, it is not directly mentioned “Chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”.We rely on the spiritual masters to tell us that this mantra is what Krishna means when He says amongst all types of sacrifices, “japa” is the highest and best. यज्ञानां जपयज्ञोऽस्मि yajñānāṁ japa-yajño ’smi  Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa] https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/25/

In addition to scripture, we have two other sets of authority., You mentioned scripture, or Shaastra… the other two are “Sadhu” – the great saintly personalities, and “Guru” – the spiritual masters in disciplic succession. So just as I don’t need to wait on a DNA test to determine who my mother and father are, I take their word for it unless I’m in some unusual circumstances! 🙂

So therefore we read scriptures in the association of the devotees, because reading alone, it is possible that we reach some strange conclusions – so many conspiracy theorists, tin-foil hats, despots, tyrants, murderers, and other such persons have claimed to have “direct communion” with God or the scripture they were reading…

These 3, Guru, Sadhu, and Shastra are our GPS triangulation points. We consult all 3 to determine our course of action. That is why the International Society for Krishna Consciousness exists, to provide all three, Guru, Sadhu, and Shaastra, plus a large community of those trying to follow them carefully.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhaktin Suzanne, 28 June 2019

Thank you for your response.

Hare Krishna

Bhaktin Suzanne

J. Austin Tomlinson, 28 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Krishna will also accept stems and roots.

He cares more for your spiritual enlightenment and liberation and transcendence. He is very specific that he cares more about you than you know. Krishna is the supreme person. He will also accept beans and nuts. Imagine he is your best friend and you are his guest. Also imagine his power. This I say in Krishna consciousness. Hare Krishna

J. Austin Tomlinson

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Tongue, Belly, Genital Consciousness

How are you living your life? Would you like to relish genuine human life? Or stay on the animal platform?

During a class by my spiritual master, he said this phrase “Tongue, Belly and Genital Consciousness”. When we boil it down to the essential, we see that in this world, practically every one is in the mood of trying to satisfy their tongues, their bellies, and their genitals.

Of course, for creatures other than human, they have no choice but to follow their instinct. The dog must go around and sniff out the urine of other dogs. The birds must peck around and look for that worm. The fish must constantly swim around trying to find something to eat. The male or female of any species must find a mate… eating, sleeping, mating and defending, that’s all animals ever do.

But humans, we have been given a higher consciousness. Yes, to stay alive, we must gratify our senses to some extent. But what happens if we never transcend the urge of the tongue, the pull of the belly, and the itch of the genitals?

We remain animals. Yes, we may travel in the most fancy cars, planes, or yachts, live in the most opulent mansions, wear the most exquisite clothes, but what do we do with all that? Run here and there with our tongues out, trying hard to get some taste, the same taste we have experienced many times, chewing the same old,same old, tongue, belly, genitals. Very polished animals, but animals nevertheless.

Human society is chasing after the next big thing all the time, better clothing, better food, better residences, better conveyances, even wanting to go and live on other planets… what what will we do in all those? Eat, Sleep, Mate, and Defend? Just like the animals.

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु ।
युक्तस्वप्‍नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दु:खहा ॥ १७ ॥

yuktāhāra-vihārasya
yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya
yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā

He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/17/

If someone practices yoga, spirituality, or religion simply to improve their sex life, they are no better than an animal.

The scriptures repeatedly extol us to get out of the grip of this eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.

स एव पुनर्निद्राजगरगृहीतोऽन्धे तमसि मग्न: शून्यारण्य इव शेते नान्यत्किञ्चन वेद शव इवापविद्ध: ॥ २० ॥

sa eva punar nidrājagara-gṛhīto ’ndhe tamasi magnaḥ śūnyāraṇya iva śete nānyat-kiñcana veda śava ivāpaviddhaḥ.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued speaking to Mahārāja Parīkṣit: My dear King, sleep is exactly like a python. Those who wander in the forest of material life are always devoured by the python of sleep. Being bitten by this python, they always remain in the darkness of ignorance. They are like dead bodies thrown in a distant forest. Thus the conditioned souls cannot understand what is going on in life.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/14/20/

But human life means “Nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau” – to conquer over the pressure of sleep, food, and sense gratification.

The famous 6 Goswamis of Vrindavana did this, but this was not their goal, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, Gopala Bhatta Goswami, and Jiva Goswami were so fully absorbed, practically intoxicated, in Krishna and His associates, that they naturally lost all taste for sense enjoyments, and they were able to sustain themselves with about 2 hours of sleep daily, and hardly any food. In such a state, they left behind personal examples and texts that will prove to be the saviour of humanity.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada also followed in the footsteps of the 6 Goswamis of Vrindavana.

If we do this, we can proceed to divine life, otherwise, we will descend back to animal life.

What can you do to rise to the platform of genuine human life? How may I serve you on your journey?

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