Why take shelter of a Spiritual Master

Jaanvi, 19th January 2015

Dear all,

Many people in this world have no spiritual master, but are following all the good qualities of human being, moreover, helping needy people, social service, etc. Also, visiting temple and listening to spiritual talks. Now, where will they go after leaving this material body?

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Priya Sutradhar, 19th January 2015

Dear Jaanvi mataji,

Hare Krsna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga! All glories to Prabhupad!
Gu means darkness and ru means brightness or knowledge.

The person who helps us to overcome the ignorance of darkness and bring us to the light of knowledge, he is called guru. It is said in Padma purana, that the guru by his power and devotion is capable of rendering a person absolute knowledge and purify him.

And lord Sri Krsna instructs in Bhagawad Gita, if you want to come to Me, if you want to know about Me, first of all go to a bonafide Guru. And if you don’t approach a spiritual master and try to learn scriptures like Gita own your own then all your efforts will prove to be futile.

HG Sriman Sankarshan Das Maharaj explains that “in Krishna consciousness we have a tripod, the three basic legs of bhakti that will solidly situate you on the spiritual platform. They are described as follow by Srila Prabhupada in Chapter Six of the Nectar of Devotion:
(1) Accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master.
(2) Becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him.
(3) Obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion.

All the other items of bhakti are automatically included in these three principles. So if you will simply take shelter of the spiritual master, get initiated by him and always obey him, you will quickly and easily be elevated to the transcendental platform of pure devotional service. In other words, Lord Sri Krishna will become your property”

So dear mataji, in simple words we cannot be liberated from material bandage without the mercy of our spiritual master.

Even if you cannot undergo a formal ceremony, if the spiritual master accepts you and you follow his instructions, that’s initiation. Srila Prahbupada did not get formally initiated until after twelve years after accepting his spiritual master, yet he says from the first meeting, the actual initiation took place, as he accepted his spiritual master within his heart and his instructions as his life and soul.

And as far as the good deeds you mentioned are concerned,everyone is rewarded or punished according to his karma. And if the activities are in Krsna consciousness, Lord Sri Krsna says that anyone who renders even a small amount of service unto Him, it doesn’t go in vain. In this or next life Krsna blesses Him with sufficient intelligent and also makes situation favorable for Him by letting him take birth in a high or vaishnava family so that He can attain the Supreme.

I however have no knowledge. I just made an insignificant attempt to answer and shared what I have learnt from senior devotees. Forgive for any offense.

your servant,
Priya

Yamini Narang, 20th January 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Guru Mataji.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Dear HG Jaanvi Mataji,

First of all, I totally agree with what Priya said just except one thing that she mentioned.

She mentioned that we are rewarded or punished because of our karma. Actually prabhupada says that we are not rewarded or punished, we get reciprocation to our own deeds. Whatever we do, we get reciprocation of that.

And coming to your question, I know a prabhu he’s actually a very good human being, always eager to help others, social services, very positive, no grudges for anyone etc. In other words a very good person. He’s my uncle and his wife is a very good devotee so once we had a programme at some devotee’s place so she asked this question to the speaker “prabhuji, my husband is a very good person but not a krsna devotee so where will he go after leaving his body?”
And prabhuji said that if you’re having a very positive attitude, very down to earth attitude,you’re very good etc. But you are not serving the Lord then after some births you’ll get to know about the Supreme or as u have a very much service attitude so may be by Krsna’s arrangement you sometime may get a chance to serve a Vaishnava, a pure soul then by his blessings you’ll for sure become a good devotee someday may be in this birth or some other. Prabhuji mentioned a quote by HH Radhanath Swami in this regard “a devotee’s anger can turn all your good qualities bad” so prabhu said the same applies the other way.. If you can serve a Vaishnava and please him his blessings can turn all your bad qualities good. So we should grab any opportunity to serve devotees with both of our hands.

In the end we all have to return back home, Back to God head, we have to go into our original identity, the eternal one. So it depends on our karmas when we get that wonderful opportunity to be able to try to go back home. We are really blessed that we got Srila Prabhupada, the savior of this world. We should follow him very sincerely. He has put in a lot of effort to revolutionize this world and we all should assist him and his wonderful disciples in spreading Lord Chaitanya’s message to the fallen souls in this world and make this Hare Krishna Movement even more successful.

I’m the most fallen soul on this planet. Just tried to share a very little knowledge I had. Please forgive for any offenses committed.

your insignificant servant,
Yamini.

 

Sudarshan Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krishna,

Such a wonderful question and such wonderful replies!!

Priya Mataji has very beautifully answered the question. I just wanted to mention that someone without a Spiritual Master is like a dog with no master. They do not have the care and protection that a dog with a master has. So getting initiate is a must have. However for those who were not able to attain the perfection stage they are not losers. This is the beauty of putting efforts into a Spiritual goal.

Please refer to the following verses from the 6th Chapter:

Question:
Bg 6.37 — Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, what is the destination of the unsuccessful transcendentalist, who in the beginning takes to the process of self-realization with faith but who later desists due to worldly-mindedness and thus does not attain perfection in mysticism?
Bg 6.38 — O mighty-armed Kṛṣṇa, does not such a man, who is bewildered from the path of transcendence, fall away from both spiritual and material success and perish like a riven cloud, with no position in any sphere?
Bg 6.39 — This is my doubt, O Kṛṣṇa, and I ask You to dispel it completely. But for You, no one is to be found who can destroy this doubt.

Answer:
Bg 6.40 — The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Son of Pṛthā, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil.
Bg 6.41 — The unsuccessful yogī, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy.
Bg 6.42 — Or [if unsuccessful after long practice of yoga] he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Certainly, such a birth is rare in this world.
Bg 6.43 — On taking such a birth, he revives the divine consciousness of his previous life, and he again tries to make further progress in order to achieve complete success, O son of Kuru.
Bg 6.44 — By virtue of the divine consciousness of his previous life, he automatically becomes attracted to the yogic principles – even without seeking them. Such an inquisitive transcendentalist stands always above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures.
Bg 6.45 — And when the yogī engages himself with sincere endeavor in making further progress, being washed of all contaminations, then ultimately, achieving perfection after many, many births of practice, he attains the supreme goal.

your Servant,
Sudarshan Das

 

Haldhar Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krsna mataji,

Qs. Many people in this world have no spiritual master, but are following all the good qualities of human being, moreover, helping needy people, social service, etc. Also, visiting temple and listening to spiritual talks.

It’s a very nice question and personally I feel it’s relevant to everyone as everyone thinks himself the epitome of good qualities. Regarding visiting a temple actually and spiritual master importance, one can answer by pondering over what he was before coming in contact with Iskcon devotees and what he is now.

Some years before I got an acquaintance with such a person, who always used to talk of organizations doing social services etc. and he used to regularly donate there. I wanted to help him in diverting his energy to the source of every energy, so I became friendly with him, with time made him understand the real cause, the best welfare activity, that prevalent social service these days or such welfare activities targeting the body or the outer shirt only whereas our various welfare activities are for the eternal soul which by serving the suffering soul are serving the body automatically like Food For Life Program, Bhakti Vedanta Hospital, Gurukul Institutes etc. So gradually gradually he was convinced and somehow I get him enrolled to “Discover Yourself Course” and now he is not only a regular donor but also fortunately listens to spiritual talks from pure devotee only.

So only going to temple(which one? Following the path shown by acharyas?) does not make one devotee, it’s the motive what one has signifies his real position and regarding listening to spiritual talks Sanatana Goswami says hearing from a non-devotee is like drinking milk being touched by a serpent. So we have to see from the light of the scriptures what a good human being is. Scriptures says, human life starts from enquiring about one’s real position

By chance, I was today morning reading from Srimad Bhagvatam Canto 4th , chapter 25th and verse 5th is answering your question fully on the subject matter i.e. fruitve activities and spiritual master. So I am putting the same below for reference:

While the princes were undergoing severe austerities in the water, their father was performing different types of fruitive activities. At this time the great saint Narada, master and teacher of all spiritual life, became very compassionate upon the King and decided to instruct him about spiritual life. (So we should be compassionate also towards such people)

Narada Muni asked King Pracinabarhisat: My dear King, what do you desire to achieve by performing these fruitive activities? The chief aim of life is to get rid of all miseries and enjoy happiness, but these two things cannot be realized by fruitive activity. (we may too ask as per time , place & circumstances what do they desire to achieve by these fruitive activities)

“The King replied: O great soul, Nārada, my intelligence is entangled in fruitive activities; therefore I do not know the ultimate goal of life. Kindly instruct me in pure knowledge so that I can get out of the entanglement of fruitive activities.” (This shows that such people may be ripe for injecting Krsna consciousness in case they have not become too arrogant with doer mentality or they are doing the same in ignorance or without any ill motive etc.)

Sri Narottama dasa Thakura has sung:
sat-sanga chadi kainu asate vilasa
te-karane lagila ye karma-bandha-phansa

As long as a person is entangled in fruitive activities, he is bound to accept one body after another. This is called karma-banda-phansa, entanglement in fruitive activities. It does not matter whether one is engaged in pious or impious activities, for both are causes for further entanglement in material bodies. By pious activities one can take birth in a rich family and get a good education and a beautiful body, but this does not mean that the distresses of life are ultimately eliminated. In the Western countries it is not unusual for one to take birth in a rich aristocratic family, nor is it unusual for one to have a good education and a very beautiful body, but this does not mean that Westerners are free from the distresses of life. Although at the present moment the younger generation in Western countries has sufficient education, beauty and wealth, and although there is enough food, clothing, and facilities for sense gratification, they are in distress. Indeed, they are so distressed that they become hippies, and the laws of nature force them to accept a wretched life. Thus they go about unclean and without shelter or food, and they are forced to sleep in the street. It can be concluded that one cannot become happy by simply performing pious activities. It is not a fact that those who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth are free from the material miseries of birth, old age, disease and death. The conclusion is that one cannot be happy by simply executing pious or impious activities. Such activities simply cause entanglement and transmigration from one body to another. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura calls this karma-bandha-phansa.

King Pracinabarhisat admitted this fact and frankly asked Narada Muni how he could get out of this karma-bandha-phansa, entanglement in fruitive activities. This is actually the stage of knowledge indicated in the first verse of Vedanta-sutra: athāto brahma-jijnasa. When one actually reaches the platform of frustration in an attempt to discharge karma-bandha-phansa, he inquires about the real value of life, which is called brahma-jijnasa. In order to inquire about the ultimate goal of life, the Vedas (Mundaka Upaniṣad 11.2.12) enjoin, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: “In order to understand the transcendental science, one must approach a bona fide spiritual master.”

King Pracinabarhisat found the best spiritual master, Narada Muni, and he therefore asked him about that knowledge by which one can get out of the entanglement of karma-bandha-phansa, fruitive activities. This is the actual business of human life. Jivasya tattva-jijnasa nartho yas ceha karmabhihḥ. As stated in the Second Chapter of the First Canto of Srimad Bhagvatam (1.2.10), a human being’s only business is inquiring from a bona fide spiritual master about extrication from the entanglement of karma-bandha-phansa.

Qs. Where will they go after leaving their material body?
It’s already answered above. But we may ask them, where are you heading to (in a mood to help them)? Like Narada Muni being compassionate asking above – “My dear King, what do you desire to achieve by performing these fruitive activities?”

Thank you.

your servant,
Haldhar Das

 

Jaanvi, 21st January 2015

Dear Matajis and Prabhujis,

Thanks for sharing all your answers, very enlightening and helpful.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Sridhar Das, 22nd January 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji!
Please accept my humble obeisances!

The judging factor for whether an activity is spiritual or not, is:

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam

“The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.” (SB 1.2.8)

Social service, planting trees, feeding the poor, constructing hospitals, digging wells, etc. are great pious acts!

However, the Chaitanya Charitamrita states:

kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ
krīyatāṁ yadi kuto ’pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate

“Pure devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price — that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.” (CC Madhya 8/70)

On Jan 20th Srila Gurudeva clarified that if one accepts Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and neglects initiation, that’s committing the third offence: Disobeying the orders of the spiritual master. Initiation is must therefore!

In fact it has repeatedly been emphasized Srila Gurudeva, The tripod of bhakti from The Nectar of Devotion:

1) Taking shelter of a bonafide spiritual master
2) Getting initiated by the spiritual master
3) Following the instructions given by the spiritual master

It is IMPOSSIBLE to attain attraction for the message of Godhead without surrender to the instructions of a spiritual master. Any tasks therefore not directed towards surrender unto the lotus feet of Lord Krishna’s beloved devotee is srama eva hi kevalam, useless labor.

In fact Srila Gurudeva has repeatedly also emphasizes every now and then from the Adi Purana:

ye me bhakta-janah partha
na me bhaktas ca te janah
mad-bhaktanam ca ye bhaktas
te me bhakta-tama matah

“Those who are My devotees are not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My devotees are My devotees.”

Reading with Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji on 20th, we also read (from SB 2/4/10 purport):

“Therefore, not only is a devotee of the Lord more powerful than the Lord, but also worship of the devotee is considered more effective than direct worship of the Lord (mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā).”

Therefore, if one doesn’t consider it important to surrender to such a surrendered devotee of Krishna, how can he be Krishna’s devotee for he is neglecting Krishna’s most important instructions? To not surrender to bonafide guru means to surrender to maya.

“Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.” (CC Madhya 19/151)

Therefore any such person should be considered unfortunate and if favourable, must be approached and offered help, having taken residence at the lotus feet of guru ourself first.

YET, Krishna is tough to be understood. As it was once pointed by His Grace Mahabhagavat Prabhu, who knows how Krishna may promote during death. But this surely is rare.

your servant
Sridhar Das

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

Hemanga Das, 23rd March 2014

Hare Krishna Devotees,

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

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

your servant,
Hemanga Das

Srivatsa Das SDA, 28th March 2014

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

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

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

your servant
Srivatsa Das

Bhakta Sunil, 31st March 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

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

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

Thus it can become easier to give mercy as secret incarnation

humble regards from Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01st April 2014

Dear Hemanga Prabhu,

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

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

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

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

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Shashank, 01st May 2014

Hare Krishna Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All Glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All Glories to Devotees.

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

your servant,
Bhakta shashank.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03rd May 2014

Dear Devotees,

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

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

quote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

unquote

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nashvin, 04th May 2014

Hare Krsna!

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

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

your servant,
Nashvin

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How did we fall into the material world?

Rathin Mandal, 14th May 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

We say that modes of material nature is there only in the material world,
But when we decided to enjoy separately from Krishna, look for our identity separate of Krishna and to lord the Manifestation ourself.
How should this nature of us be understood which is independent of modes of material nature?

your Servant
Rathin

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15th May 2013

Dear Rathin Mandal,

Hare Krishna,

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

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, it is correct that the modes of material nature do not exist in the spiritual world.
But free will, that exists in the spiritual world. The desire to enjoy separately and independently from Krishna is the root cause of the living entity’s bondage in the material world. When the living entity desires to enjoy in this way, then the living entity then comes under the modes of material nature and is transferred to the material world.

In purport to SB 4.29.65, Srila Prabhuda wrote:

kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga-vāñchā kare

nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare

(Prema-vivarta)

Actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the supreme enjoyer. When a living entity wants to imitate Him, he is given a chance to satisfy his false desire to lord it over material nature. That is the beginning of his downfall. As long as he is within this material atmosphere, he has a subtle vehicle in the form of the mind, which is the stockpile of all kinds of material desires. Such desires become manifest in different bodily forms. Śrīla Nārada Muni requests the King to accept this fact from him because Nārada is an authority. The conclusion is that the mind is the storehouse of our past desires, and we have this present body due to our past desires. Similarly, whatever we desire in this present body will be expressed in a future body. Thus the mind is the source of different kinds of bodies.

If the mind is purified by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one will naturally in the future get a body that is spiritual and full of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Such a body is our original form, as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu confirms, jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya — kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’: [Cc. Madhya 20.108] “Every living entity is constitutionally an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.” If a person is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, he is to be considered a liberated soul even in this life. This is confirmed by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī:

īhā yasya harer dāsye

karmaṇā manasā girā

nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu

jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate

“One who engages in the transcendental service of the Lord in body, mind and words is to be considered liberated in all conditions of material existence.” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.187) The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is based on this principle. We must teach people to absorb themselves always in the service of the Lord because that position is their natural position. One who is always serving the Lord is to be considered already liberated. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (14.26):

māḿ ca yo ‘vyabhicāreṇa

bhakti-yogena sevate

sa guṇān samatityaitān

brahma-bhuyāya kalpate

“One who always engages in the spiritual activities of unalloyed devotional service at once transcends the modes of material nature and is elevated to the spiritual platform.” The devotee is therefore above the three modes of material nature and is even transcendental to the brāhmaṇa platform. A brāhmaṇa may be infected by the two baser modes — namely rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. A pure devotee, who is free from all material desires experienced on the mental platform and who is also free from empiric philosophical speculation or fruitive activity, is always above material conditioning and is always liberated.

——end purport —-
Plus, Srila Gurudeva’s answer here is very instructive, worth meditating on.

This is from TTFD dated 4th Nov 2009.
Have the category of souls known as nitya-baddha always been in the material hemisphere, hence the term “eternally conditioned”?

According to the philosophy of some Gaudiya Vaisnava groups this is the case. They say that the nitya-baddhas have never ever been in the spiritual world, thus the term “eternally conditioned” and that the nitya-siddhas have never left Krishna’s association. They say that the nitya-baddhas have been in a place known as the tatashta-shakti from where they descended into the material world of their own free choice. However, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada states that we were once face to face with Sri Krishna in the spiritual planets, that we fell down to become little imitation lords here, and that we are then known as nitya-baddha, eternally conditioned. What is the exact situation of the living being?

Question No.2 : The jivatmas in the spiritual world decided by their own free will to depart. They were sac-cid-ananda vigraha: eternally in full knowledge and bliss. How and why could they they have decided by their own free will to leave Krishna’s association, since everything in the spiritual world is fully spiritual and the material influence of maya or illusion is conspicuous by her absence? Though he has a free choice to depart as he desires [Free-will always been the prerogative of the living being as well as his dharma- pure loving servants of the Supreme Person Krishna,], how could he have possibly been influenced to do so? For example, a split second second decision to leave due to temptation of being an enjoying over lord in the heavenly planets. Is this not some kind of material maya? Would he not have known the consequences due to his higher spiritual aware state of knowledge? Why would he have wanted to leave Krishna’s blissful association?

Answer:

The reason that many devotees get confused over the terms nitya siddha (eternally liberated) and nitya baddha (eternally conditioned) is that they consider them from within the context of time. In other words in material consciousness we are conditioned by kala or time into thinking that there are such things as past, present, and future. If we remember that in the liberated state there is no influence of time, that there is simply the eternal present with no past or future, then we can begin to understand how one can be eternally conditioned or eternally liberated and can switch from one status to the other.

To say that the conditioned souls have never been in the spiritual world with Krishna is anti-sastric and absurd when we consider that Lord Caitanya states that the constitutional nature of every living being is that he is the eternal servant of Krishna.

The eternally liberated souls in the spiritual existence have the independence to either love Krishna or leave Krishna. There has to be a choice. Otherwise love cannot exist, because love is voluntary. As long as the independence of free choice is there, there has to be a possibility of misusing that free choice. And possibility means that there must be certain degree of probability as well. Of course in this case the probability would be smallest possible percentage of 1 divided by infinity (1/?). But if we apply this infinitesimal percentage against the infinite number of living beings who inhabit the spiritual world, guess what we get. We get an infinite number of living beings who misuse their free will and give up the Lord’s association. (1/? x ? = ?)

At the boundary between the spiritual and material worlds time does not exist. Therefore the crossing of the living being over this boundary cannot be measured in time. This means that there is no moment in time when he entered the material world. In other words, if he is in the material world there is no moment in time when he entered it and he has therefore been there eternally. Hence, the term “eternally conditioned”. And when he chooses to surrender to Krishna and go back to Godhead he enters into that realm where there is no past or future. Therefore when he goes back to Godhead, he was always there. Hence the term “eternally liberated”.

Of course, as long as our thought patterns are conditioned by time we cannot fully comprehend these things. But if you will chant Hare Krishna regularly with love and devotion your consciousness will be liberated from the constraints of time, and you will be able to gradually realize these things in full.

And another answer from TTFD dated 29 July 2012:

“In this regard it is confirmed by Srila Prabhupada in a lecture he gave in Mayapur on 11 February 1976 that every living entity is originally nitya-siddha or eternally liberated. But sometimes just as a king may fall asleep and dream that he is a pauper, the eternally liberated soul, because of his marginal nature, may fall into the illusion that he can enjoy separately from Krishna or God. And just as a dream of only a few seconds can appear to be going on forever, when the soul forgets his identity, his illusioned dream-like state seemingly goes on forever and he is thus designated as nitya-baddha or eternally conditioned. Therefore when the living being does not misuse his free will he is known as nitya-siddha and when he misuses his free will he is known as nitya-baddha. ”

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rathin Mandal, 15th May 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

Thank you very much for the answer Prabhuji. This helps me to understand the subject more clearly.

your Servant
Rathin

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Fake Spiritual Masters

B.Shahvir Balaporia, 12th November 2013

Hare Krishna!

What if, in an extremely unfortunate case, an aspirant follows a spiritual master for most of his life, but who later turns out to be a fraud! How can the disciple recover from such an unfortunate situation. What would be the role or intention of God in such a case?

Kind regards,
Shahvir

Sudeep Manchanda, 12th November 2013

Hare Krishna!

My answer is not authoritatively bonafide, but I would call the person lucky and one who is getting special mercy from Krishna. Conditioned that the person is not making false conclusions about his Guru. It is not without Krishna’s mercy that the curtain of delusion are raised. If one is able to see the truth it is a great mercy.

But, if a person out of ignorance considers a bonafide Guru as anything less than his eternal master then he/she is of-course the most unfortunate.

your Servant,
Sudeep Manchanda

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 12th November 2013

Thank you.

Please note Srila Gurudeva’s words below “There is never any offense in submissive inquiry”.

To know who is bona fide and who is not bona fide, one should look at the instructions of the past Acharyas and Krishna. If the person is not following as per past Acharyas and Krishna, then that person is not bona fide and must be rejected.

Here’s a Q&A from 27th Feb 2012 that explains this (from www.sda-archives.com):

quote
Question: Accepting and Rejecting Sri Guru

Dear Gurudeva,

How does one choose/judge the correct guru who can guide him properly on the pathway of Krishna consciousness?

Also, when can we know that our guru is acting wrongly, like Maharaja Bali who rejected his guru Sukracharya when he was told not to surrender to Krishna in His form as Lord Vamanadeva?

Was Maharaja Bali wrong for acting against the wishes of his Gurudeva, or was he right for acting in the favor of Krishna?

Please forgive me if my question appears to be offending.

Vivek
Answer: Accept Real Guru and Reject Bogus Guru

There is never any offense in submissive inquiry. Your questions are most important:

1. How to choose the spiritual master who can guide you properly on the pathway of Krishna consciousness.

2. How to know when a guru is acting wrongly?

3. Was Bali Maharaja wrong to reject his guru and serve Krishna instead?

The answer to your first question is that you should thoroughly study all of Srila Prabhupada’s books and then see who is purely representing Srila Prabhupada’s teachings without any adulteration, both in words and actions. This person is the bona fide spiritual master at whose lotus feet you should fully surrender yourself.

If a spiritual master ever advises you not to surrender to Krishna, he is not a bona fide spiritual master. He is a charlatan who should be immediately rejected. Bali Maharaja become glorious by rejecting his bogus guru and surrendering to Krishna. The bona fide guru is never rejected, and the bogus guru should be rejected immediately without any hesitation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
unquote

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Jayakrishna, 12th November 2013

Dear Shahvir Prabhu,
Hare krishna!
Please accept my humble pranams!

Thank you for this wonderful question!

Prabhu,i wish to share what i understand on this subject.

From our common life experiences,we can understand that if we are offered any thing as cheap,there is a chance of being deceived..
To make it clear,if a ‘guru’ assure us something that dont need any pre qualification or effort from our side but need only some magical formulae or blind obedience,then,by following him we are doing fraud by cheating ourselves,because we want the duplicate,not genuine,the genuine always is costly,we dont want to pay the price for realisation because that is our life itself,ie,to dedicate whole heartedly with the strict observance of the vows the sad guru want from us.

The fact is that a true Guru dont create anything new but only upheld what he learned from his Guru and this chain ends at God,ie.,the words of God is gurus authority.

In short,
Krishna give a true guru for one who is sincere,and a fraud one will always get a fraud ‘guru’.

JAY SRILA GURUDEVA!

With love,

your servant
Jayakrishna

Haladhar Das SDA, 14th November 2013

Hare Krsna Shahvir ji !

Hope your query regarding fake spiritual master is being met now.

It’s indeed unfortunate to see people being cheated by fake gurus. The worst part is that even after being exposed, many of their followers still have full faith in them and they think it’s some false propaganda against them as they think their material opulence and material happiness, their children marriages, good education etc. is due to that Guru only that they were following. They in ignorance are not concerned about how much spiritual advancement they have made after being in contact with that guru, neither they know the regulative principles nor they want to know, so they fail to check the guru they are following as long their senses are being gratified.

A colleague of mine was following such a fake guru and when the guru was exposed he took complete U turn and said he was never following him. Another ex-colleague of mine is the example of above quoted detail, they have put bigger picture of Guru and smaller picture of God in their home altar; when their guru being exposed, they still say “we have perfect faith in our guru, it’s a political campaign against him, we are sure that he will come out honest soon”. Some years before, they used to say that we follow this guru because they get peace of mind there in his ashram. I told them it’s better to sleep for 4 hours rather than going to another city expecting for getting peace of mind while suffering botheration during travel. The desire to enjoy sense gratification is so attractive, that people even after being get cheated from one guru, approaches another cheater guru, then another, then another………………….. but they don’t try to work on themselves, they don’t want to read/follow the scriptures. They always keep following their philosophy of “more gain, less or no pain”.

Many people make guru to make a show among people or relatives of how religious they are. They generally follow the latest fashion, whichever guru is popular or whichever God is popular, accordingly they too jump in the queque. Like these days Peer Baba, Sai Baba are in the latest fashion among so called gods and I have seen not only such peoples but even many temples are making adjustment to allot some space to these gods too in their home altar or temples so that people/money can flow in. When I was a kid, I had hardly seen even Shani dev temple but with times people being fearful of losing wealth/health have started going on Saturdays and seeing the demand, now most of the hindu temples have made makeshift arrangements for Shani dev in their temples. But Shani dev at least is a demigod but what to say of others??

jihvara lalase yei iti-uti dhaya
sisnodara-parayana Krsna nahi paya

“That person who runs here and there seeking to gratify his palate and who is always attached to the desires of his stomach and genitals is unable to attain Krsna.”

Like a child has some qualification to get admission into school and the teacher too has some qualification who is supposed to teach. Similarly a disciple and guru both have requisite qualifications which are mentioned in the shastras. And those who knows the required qualifications can see there are still so many people who are following cheater gurus. But they don’t want to listen either, as they are mad after gratifying their senses and hence their knowledge is being stolen by illusion.

BG 2.44
bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam
tayaapahrta-cetasam
vyavasayatmika buddhih
samadhau na vidhiyate

“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.”

In short, birds of same feather flock together, impurity attracts impurity.

As already told by devotees here, we can find the qualification of a spiritual master in the books of Srila Prabhupada. A small quote from one of his lectures is given below for reference:

Quote
“The spiritual master is compared to a cloud. Just as there are torrents of rain from a cloud, so the spiritual master brings mercy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A cloud takes water from the sea. It doesn’t have its own water, but takes water from the sea. Similarly, the spiritual master brings mercy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just see the comparison. He has no mercy of his own, but he carries the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the qualification of the spiritual master. The spiritual master will never say, “I am God-I can give you mercy.” No. That is not a spiritual master-that is a bogus pretender. The spiritual master will say, “I am a servant of God; I have brought His mercy. Please take it and be satisfied.” This is the spiritual master’s business. He is just like a mailman. When a mailman delivers you some large amount of money, it is not his own money. The money is sent by someone else, but he honestly delivers it-“Sir, here is your money. Take it.” So you become very much satisfied with him, although it is not his money he is giving you. When you are in need and you get money from your father or someone else-brought by the mailman-you feel very much satisfaction.”
Unquote

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.” (The Nectar Of Instruction, verse 1)

Regarding your other question, what would be the role or intention of God in such a case?

For this, first of all we have to understand who we are, then who God is and then what’s our relationship with Him so that we can act accordingly. Hope you are reading “Bhagvad Gita As It Is”, There are many verses on this subject. You can read verse 15.15 with purport as well as verse 18.61 with purport.

As already been answered by Mahabhagavat Prabhu, we get what we desire/deserve due to our past pious or impious deeds but intelligent person instead of repenting or rejoicing in such situations move on towards his goal i.e. serving Krsna for the devoted man and serving own or related people senses for the materialistic man. Krsna like a loving parent does not interfere with our little independence and acts as neutral, like parents they try their best always guiding their children to become good human beings but still children somehow or other cheat them on their back and turns out to be rascals. Similarly Krsna too guides everyone through the scriptures being left by Him, through His pastimes, His representatives etc. but only rare fortunate ones are able to take advantage of His mercy.

BG 9.9 – “O dhananjaya, all this work cannot bind Me. I am ever detached from all these material activities, seated as though neutral.

From the purport : “Although He has control over every minute detail of material activities, He is sitting as if neutral. The example can be given of a high-court judge sitting on his bench. By his order so many things are happening — someone is being hanged, someone is being put into jail, someone is awarded a huge amount of wealth — but still he is neutral. He has nothing to do with all that gain and loss. Similarly, the Lord is always neutral, although He has His hand in every sphere of activity. He is not situated in the dualities of this material world. He is transcendental to these dualities. Nor is He attached to the creation and annihilation of this material world. The living entities take their different forms in the various species of life according to their past deeds, and the Lord doesn’t interfere with them.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 19.151
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna prasade paya bhakti lata bija

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

Purport
When we speak of brahmanda, we refer to the whole universe, or to the cluster of many millions of universes. In all the universes there are innumerable planets, and there are innumerable living entities upon those planets — in the air, on land and in the water. There are millions and trillions of living entities everywhere, and they are engaged by maya in suffering and enjoying the results of their fruitive activity, life after life. This is the position of the materially conditioned living entities. Out of many of these living entities, one who is actually fortunate (bhagyavan) comes in contact with a bona fide spiritual master by Krsna’s mercy.

Krsna is situated in everyone’s heart, and if one desires something, Krsna fulfills one’s desire. If the living entity by chance or fortune comes in contact with the Krsna consciousness movement and wishes to associate with that movement, Krsna, who is situated in everyone’s heart, gives him the chance to meet a bona fide spiritual master. This is called guru-Krsna prasada. Krsna is prepared to bestow His mercy upon all living entities, and as soon as a living entity desires the Lord’s mercy, the Lord immediately gives him an opportunity to meet a bona fide spiritual master. Such a fortunate person is fortified by both Krsna and the spiritual master. He is helped from within by Krsna and from without by the spiritual master. Both are prepared to help the sincere living being become free from material bondage.
How one can become this fortunate can be seen in the life of Srila Narada Muni. In his previous life he was born of a maidservant. Although he was not born into a prestigious position, his mother was fortunately engaged in rendering service to some Vaiṣṇavas. When these Vaiṣṇavas were resting during the Caturmasya period, the boy Narada took the opportunity to engage in their service. Taking compassion upon the boy, the Vaiṣṇavas offered him the remnants of their food. By serving these Vaiṣṇavas and obeying their orders, the boy became the object of their sympathy, and by the Vaiṣṇavas’ unknown mercy, he gradually became a pure devotee. In the next life he was Narada Muni, the most exalted of Vaiṣṇavas and the most important guru and acarya of Vaiṣṇavas.
Following in the footsteps of Narada Muni, this Krsna consciousness movement is rendering service to humanity by giving everyone a chance to come in contact with Krsna. If one is fortunate, he becomes intimately related with this movement. Then, by the grace of Krsna, one’s life becomes successful.
Everyone has dormant Krsna bhakti— love for Krsna— and in the association of good devotees, that love is revealed. As stated in the Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 22.107):

nitya-siddha-Krsna prema sadhya kabhu naya
sravanadi suddha cite karaye udaya
Dormant devotional service to Krsna is within everyone. Simply by associating with devotees, hearing their good instructions and chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, dormant love for Krsna is awakened. In this way one acquires the seed of devotional service. Guru Krsna prasade paya bhakti lata bija.

So in a nutshell, as the intention of a father is always the welfare of his children, similarly intention of Supreme loving father Krsna or His love for His lost suffering children is quite imminent and hence through the Krsna consciousness movement His representatives are rendering the best welfare service to the entire suffering humanity by giving everyone a chance to come in contact with Krsna. If one is fortunate, he becomes intimately related with this movement. Then, by the grace of Krsna, one’s life becomes successful.

Hare Krsna !

ys,
Haladhar Das

B.Shahvir Balaporia, 14th November 2013

Hare Krishna!

Dear Harishji,

Please except my gratitude for your wonderful post. I just wanted to highlight the fact that fraud people are fantastic actors. They perfectly pretend to be the servant of God (after all it is OK if it keeps the money flowing). An innocent aspirant might not be able to see through this veil. The characteristics of a bonafide guru are indeed mentioned in the Shastras, but for an innocent layman distinguishing the genuine from the fraud is very difficult as they are perfect pretenders.

regards,
Shahvir

Haladhar Das SDA, 16th November 2013

Dear Shahvir ji,
Hare Krsna !

Thank you for your reasonable query. The understanding that innocent people are cheated by false pretenders is not correct. Its not innocence but Ignorance actually which leads to suffering. We suffer due to our sinful life and sinful life is due to ignorance of nature laws or God laws. Like there are State laws like keeping to the left and one cannot claim innocence when fined driving on the wrong side, he has to suffer for disobeying State laws. Similarly there are God laws also and one cannot claim ignorance and avoid being punished.

Going to a fake guru is not innocence but wilful ignorance, rather a strong desire to satisfy the senses for quick name, fame, wealth etc. When we get our children admitted to school we try to find out about the school result, their reputation, see their prospectus, and visit personally also and compare with other options also. But when it comes to seeking a Guru or God also specially in India, we dont want to go through the scriptures, see the results/effects on their followers, we just see material opulence, and are just interested in quicker results, less or no austerities.Its a general saying that “No pains, no gains”. But those who feel otherwise looking for quick and favourable results got cheated. Some years before, one of my ex-colleague after understanding our regulative principles said to me these regulative principles, chanting etc. is very troublesome, but their Guru and their religous organisation is very nice and there is no conditions there, anyone can keep on doing anything, there is no restrictions.

BG 18.37 – “That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness. ”
“In the pursuit of self-realization, one has to follow many rules and regulations to control the mind and the senses and to concentrate the mind on the self. All these procedures are very difficult, bitter like poison, but if one is successful in following the regulations and comes to the transcendental position, he begins to drink real nectar, and he enjoys life.”

Srila Prabhupada used to say that this society is a combination of cheater and the cheated. So everyone is either a cheater or is being cheated. Those who are getting cheated they also have cheated someone.Like Srila Gurudeva says, that we should accept that we get the results of our own past deeds and the deliverer is just the courier guy, who is just delivering us our mail. But we need not have to worry for such so called innocent cheated people, as Lord Caitanya being extreme merciful has empowered the Hare Krsna’s to help them out by spreading Krsna consciousness all over the Globe. So December Bhagvad Gita Marathon month is coming and hence please join your nearest Iskcon temple in distributing Bhagvad Gita As It Is to every nook and corner and help these innocent cheated or about to be getting cheated people. Sympathy is good but empathy is far better.

thank you.

ys
Haladhar Das

Nandapriya Devi Dasi, 16th November 2013

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances.

In one lecture i heard that Srila Prabhupada said how to know who is bonafide and who is bogus Guru. Ask these two questions to the person whom you considering Guru.. 1.Who is God?  And 2.How to love God?. And if the answers were as follows…1. Krishna is God., and we can love God through by rendering devotional services.
if you got these answers for your those two questions then he is bonafide Guru otherwise a bogus Guru.

your servant,
NandaPriya Devi Dasi

Shahvir, 16th November 2013

Hare Krishna

It is indeed very difficult to distinguish a genuine guru from a fraud one, as a fraud guru can easily act  genuine. He may pretend to preach about God consciousness & spiritual aspects, etc., but his character would be otherwise in private. This is what i consider a dangerous situation wherein a genuine aspirant may fall prey to a fraud guru who is expert at pretending to be genuine in front of general public! There have been several such cases highlighted by the media in the recent past. Why should the innocent disciple suffer for no fault of his.

Regards,
Shahvir

T V Sanilkumar, 16th November 2013

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

It is not that difficult to identify a guru, provided we know the minimum qualifications required for a bona fide guru as well as a disciple. If we know these qualifications, we can very easily identify a bonafide guru after observing and interacting with him for a few times.  For this, we need to read Srila Prabhupada’s books in detail. These qualification requirements are mentioned in many places in his books.

your servant,
Sanil kumar

Jagannatha dasa SDA, 16th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

In addition to the nice points, already mentioned, I’ll add that this is why we recommend everyone should be very fixed in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.  By taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, nonsense becomes evident and real Krishna consciousness becomes ever more attractive.

We are most fortunate to take shelter of Srila Gurudeva through the Ultimate Self-Realization Course, and this e-group, as he is Prabhupadanuga, following fully in the line of Srila Prabhupada.

Lecturing on this topic, Srila Prabhupada said:

“yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krishna’-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa
[Cc. Madhya 7.128]

He is guru. One who is strictly following the instruction of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and after following Him, he is just delivering the instruction as Krishna has said, then you become guru. It is not difficult. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has ordered everyone. Therefore our process is to follow Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and then try to understand Krishna’s instruction.”

your servant,
Jagannatha Dasa Brahmacari

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16th November 2013

Dear Shahvir,

Hare Krishna!

It is a bit subtle… a person who is internally dishonest is attracted to those who are themselves dishonest… Let us take an example.

Srila Prabhupada preached so much all over the world, and before he went to the USA, he preached for decades in India, but no one took him seriously. Obviously, Srila Prabhupada is a bona fide spiritual master, but no one paid any attention to him. At the same time, people were running after charlatans, getting cheated etc., but still not listening to Srila Prabhupada.

Then, there were so many who came to Srila Prabhupada, but faced with the strictness of his discipline and the honesty of his speech and writings, many turned away and went to Sahajiyas who cheapen Krishna’s loving transcendental pastimes… in their search for “rasa” they got cheated. But if they had simply stayed and obeyed the order of Srila Prabhupada they would have tasted the real spiritual bliss. The impatience and greed to get the benefit without making the effort cost them.

But some fortunate honest souls got Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, and by following the pure-hearted among them, many more are benefiting today also…

Ultimately, since being cheated by a fraud spiritualist is not a spiritual thing, but a material thing, it boils down to karmic action and reaction. If I have cheated others in the past, even if I may be externally honest now, then if my past karmic action has fructified into a reaction, I must be cheated now. This is no different from being cheated in business deals, job, fake relationships, etc. But even being cheated is a great relief then, because at least my karmic reaction has been burned away. Now I can go after the real deal sincerely.

This is the same with children – people say children are pure, but they do bear the effect of past karmas that they have done, that is why one child is born to a low-class prostitute and another child is born to a chaste princess. But regardless, both children can become pure devotees if they follow the bona fide spiritual master, even if one comes from very humble circumstances and another comes from very privileged circumstances. And both are equally likely to cheat if they have the cheating propensity themselves…

At any given point, the reactions of past lifetimes sinful actions are hidden (apraarabdha) and then manifest as “prarabdha karma” – the karmas that will be experienced in this lifetime, and seen on three levels “kutam”, hidden, “bijam” manifested in seed form, and “phalonmukha” or in the form of fruits.

So what is the solution? Instead of lamenting over one’s loss, one should simply engage in devotional service to Sri Krishna / Vishnu or any of His plenary expansions – because “kramenaiva praliyeta vishnu bhakti rathaatmanaam” – gradually all those past reactions become burned up by the practice of devotional service.

One should qualify oneself to see who is pure and who is not by careful observance of whether the person is following an authorized Parampara strictly, whether the spiritual master is listening to their spiritual master’s instructions, etc. Please do read Srila Prabhupada’s books, you will see that a bona fide spiritual master is clearly described in his books.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

B.Shahvir Balaporia, 16th November 2013

Hare Krishna!

Dear Mahabhagavat Dasji,

Thank you very much for such a beautiful & resourceful explanation. I also appreciate the guidance provided by all my dear brothers & sisters who relentlessly serve Krishna & his servants through their posts.

regards,
Shahvir

Sulaksana devi dasi, 14th November 2013

Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances!
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Smti Gurumataji!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Krishna is situated as Paramatma in everyone’s heart and He knows all our thoughts and all our desires so accordingly He facilitates a guru to fulfill them. As it is said in the Bhagavad-gita 15-15 that “I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.”  So one who is aspirant of real guru with no ulterior motive,  He as a caitya guru will send him accordingly to that person who is a bonafide guru or Guru will find him.

your humble servant,
Sulaksana devi dasi

Rathin Mandal, 16th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

I too had this question for a long time. In India we keep on coming across news like this every other day.
I got the opportunity to ask Srila Gurudeva this query.
Srila Gurudeva answered that those who want to get cheated, gets attracted to fake gurus. Those who are sincere, Krishna helps them.

Nothing to boast about me, but I must be having some desire. And that is why I am fortunate to be able to associate with so many wonderful devotees.
Even if one gets attached to someone wrong. But if he has true desire, he will come to the right place.

your Servant
Rathin

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Can animals, birds, insects, plants be liberated from material existence without attaining human form?

Lipsa, 27th November 2013

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumataji
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

I have a doubt in Krishna Book. Kindly clarify…

Chapter 6:

“When flowers and fruits are offered to Krishna, the tree that bore them also receives much benefit, indirectly………

…… Undoubtedly all the gopis and cowherd boys and cows who served Krishna in Vrindavana with love and affection were liberated from the miserable condition of material existence.”

Can a tree or cow or any other animal be liberated by the mercy of the Lord without attaining a human form of life?

Thank you.
your unworthy servant,
Lipsa

Sudeep Manchanda, 27th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept our humble obeisances.

If I remember it correctly I have heard in a lecture that these trees and cows are not ordinary, there are very special and have Krishna’s special mercy.
And when one has Krishna’s mercy anything is not impossible.

For example the lila, where Gajendra who was in an elephant body was liberated, but he was an exalted devotee of the Lord and hence has his special mercy.

For an ordinary jiva who is conditioned and trapped in the cycle of birth and death, we can say that they need to first attain a human body to be able to practice bhakti.

Please correct if I am wrong.

your Servant,
Sudeep Manchanda

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th November 2013

Dear Mother Lipsa and Bhakta Sudeep,

Can a tree or cow or any other animal be liberated by the mercy of the Lord without attaining a human form of life?

To be noted that Tulasi devi or Vrinda Devi is an eternally liberated pure devotee appearing in the material world in the form of a plant/tree so that ordinary persons may have something wonderful to offer to Krishna.

It is rare, but possible…

Yes, the example is a dog who was liberated by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by taking coconut scraps from His hand, this He did because His devotee Sivananda Sen was very much merciful to the Lord – the entire pastime is in Chaitanya Charitamrita Antya Lila Chapter 1, specifically CC Antya 1.17-1.33.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Lipsa, 28th November 2013

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Das Prabhuji and Sudeep Prabhuji
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumataji
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Thank you for enlightening me on this subject.

Reading the verses 1.17 – 1.33 from Chaitanya Charitamrita Antya Lila Chapter 1 was really ecstatic. Thank you Mahabhagavat Das Prabhuji for mentioning about it.

Every verse is full of spiritual knowledge. Whoever reads it immediately feels the need to develop an attachment to this sublime process. I am mentioning a few lines from the text that I liked the most.

Text 24:
…. He thus offers to become the dog of a Vaisnava. There are many other instances in which the pet animal of a Vaisnava was delivered back home to Vaikunthaloka, back to Godhead. Such is the benefit of somehow or other becoming the favorite of a Vaisnava. ….

Text 30:
Seeing the dog eating the green coconut pulp and chanting “Krishna, Krishna” again and again, all the devotees present were very much surprised.

Text 32:
This is the result of sadhu-sanga, consequent association with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the Vaisnava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees.

Thank you.
your unworthy servant,
Lipsa

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Scriptural basis for Chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra

Janardan Mali, 24th September 2013

I had said that I am chanting Hare Krishna mantra every day 1600 times without the help of japamala.

You say ‘so thank you for that, please keep it up’.I do not know  why are you thanking me.

I also follow the  other methods prescribed by Shri Krishna in Srimad Bhagavad Gita for self realization.
You say that Chanting Hare Krishna is  the general easiest method of self realization for this age, and is the fastest path to spiritual perfection
given in the scriptures, it is not invented by anyone, it is specified as so in the Vedic literature.

I am eager to know the scriptures and the Vedic literature. Srimad Bhagavad-Gita  is timeless spiritual knowledge.

You also say that ‘in fact, the Hare Krishna Mahamantra includes ALL other Vedic mantras and is the origin of all Vedic traditions,
including the sacred syllable “Om” which is an impersonal expansion of Krishna of the all-pervading transcendence.

I know you could speak with greater authority and refute any  arguments. But sometimes scholars in response to the requirements of expediency
preach doctrines opposed to the dictates of their conscience and reflects clearly hypocrisy, mendacity and lack of religiosity, pride erroneously
exuding from intoxication of position. Supreme Lord Krishna describes the science of self-realization and the exact processes by which a
human being can establish their eternal relationship with God. In terms of pure, spiritual knowledge the Bhagavad- Gita is incomparable.
Its intrinsic beauty is that its knowledge applies to all human beings and does not postulate any sectarian ideology or secular view.

I am really sorry if I sound harsh.

Yours in Krishna Consciousness

Janardan Mali

Jagannatha dasa, 24th September 2013

My Dear Bhakta Janardan,

Please accept my respectful greetings.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I’ve read with pleasure that you are enjoying the chanting of Hare Krishna so much.  By doing this you are following in the footsteps of the six gosvamis of Vrindavan, headed by Srila Rupa Gosvami, who would dedicate their time to chanting a fixed number of Krishna’s holy names.  The followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are generally known as Rupanugas because they follow the example of Srila Rupa Gosvami.  Our particular branch of the Caitanya tree is headed by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

The teachings of Krishna are eternally sweet, and become even sweeter by coming down to the present moment through Krishna’s pure devotees.  This is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.3:

nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ
 śuka-mukhād amṛta-drava-saṁyutam
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayam
 muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ

Translation:

O expert and thoughtful men, relish Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.

We receive these teachings of Srila Prabhupada through His Grace, Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari prabhu’s Ultimate Self-Realization course, of which this e-group is an adjunct.  He is a bona fide spiritual master, who helps countless souls understand and apply the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna.

In Padma-Purana, it is said:

sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah
SrI-brahma-rudra-sanaka-vaisnava ksiti-pavanah

“Within the Vedas there are crores of perfected mantras. However, outside of the supervision of the guru in an actual sampradaya, one will only become confused and eventually fall into a dark well full of Mayavada philosophies. Under proper direction, the same mantra will deliver the highest achievements.”

Furthermore, Srila Prabhupada’s dedication to presenting his books in such a scholarly and authoritative way, making thousands of sincere disciples and grand-disciples, establishing centers etc. at such an advanced age, dealing with heartless drug-addicts and meat-eaters and empowering them to revive their original enlightened state of Krishna consciousness —- All of this, is testiment that he is free from hypocrisy, mendacity and pride.

Therefore, we follow Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada instructs us to chant on japa mala.  As you come from a very respectable background, I’m sure you know that chanting on japa malas is nothing new, but a prominent feature of our sacrosanct Vedic tradition.

Now, one may not be able to take up all of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings just yet, but at least the principle of accepting Srila Prabhupada’s authority should not be resented, this includes his teachings on how to dress, chant, offer prasadam, and all other aspects of Vaisnava culture.

My dear sir, please excuse me for any pain I may have caused with my words, unintentionally.  I pray to please my beloved Spiritual master, and all devotees, including your good self.

your servant,
Jagannatha Dasa Brahmacari

Harish, 25th September 2013

Hare Krsna Dear Janardan Mali pr !

All glories to Srila Gurudeva !
All glories to Srila Prabhupada !
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krsna mahamantra is mentioned in various scriptures as the only means of deliverance in this dark age of Kali.

Chaitanya-bhagavata 1.14, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu speaking to Tapana Misra
“Listen my dear Misra, in Kali-yuga there is no need for severe penances or performance of opulent sacrifices; whoever worships the Supreme Lord Krsna he be crowned with fortune and success. So go back to your home and worship Lord Krsna with undeviating faith and attention, giving up falsehood and pretensions. By chanting the holy name of Lord Hari, Krsna, you will simultaneously obtain both the proper spiritual practice and the ultimate goal. In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way. I am repeating this great chant for deliverance to you. This consists of sixteen names of the Supreme Lord with thirty two syllables: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. By constantly chanting and worshiping this Maha Mantra, your heart will feel the first blossoming of love and God; then gradually you will understand the truth about the proper spiritual path and the ultimate spiritual goal.”

Kali-santarana Upanisad from Krsna Yajur Veda
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
iti sodasakam namnam kali-kalmasa-nasanam
natah parataropayah sarva-vedesu drsyate

The sixteen names of the Hare Krsna mahamantra “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare” destroy all the inauspiciousness of the age of Kali.  This is the conclusion of all the Vedas.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says in his song Sri Nama from Gitavali
gay gora madhur sware
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Lord Gaurasundara sings in a very sweet voice, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare ; Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Agni Purana
hare Krsna hare Krsna Krsna Krsna hare hare
ratanti halaya vapi te krtartha na samsayah

Hare Krsna hare Krsna Krsna Krsna hare hare: Whoever chants this mantra, even neglectfully, will attain the supreme goal of life. Of this there is no doubt.

Brahmanda Purana 6.59-60
nama sankirtana deva tarakam brahma drsyate
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

The nama sankirtana(public chanting) of Hare Krsna maha-mantra delivers a complete revelation of all of spiritual reality.

Padma Purana, Svarga Khanda 50.6
harir eva samaradhyah sarva deve suresvarah
hari nama maha mantrair nasyatpapa pisacakam

All the grievous sins of one who worships Lord Sri Hari, the Lord of all lords, and chants the holy name, the maha-mantra, are removed.

Ananta-samhita (which is part of the Narada Pancaratra)
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
sodasaitani namani dvatrimsad varnakani hi
kalau yuge maha-mantrah sammato jivatarane
varjayitva tu namaitad durjanaih parikalpitam
chandobaddham susiddhanta viruddham nabhyaset padam
tarakam brahma-namaitad brahmana gurunadina
kalisantaranadyasu sruti-svadhigatam hareh
praptam sri brahma-sisyena sri naradena dhimata
namaitad-uttamam srauta-paramparyena brahmanah
utsrjyaitan-maha-mantram ye tvanyat kalpitam padam
mahanameti gayanti te sastra-guru langhanah
tattva-virodha-sanprktam tadrsam daurjanam matam
sravatha pariharyam syadatma-hitarthina sada
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

“Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare: This sixteen-name, thirty-two syllable mantra is the maha-mantra in the age of Kali by which all living beings can be delivered. One should never abandon chanting this maha-mantra and take to other so-called purificatory processes which are practiced by rascals, or engage in chanting other metrical compositions of the name of Krsna that are against the pure conclusions of the scriptures, or are filled with rasabhasa. About this divinely spiritual maha-mantra, which delivers one from material existence, the original guru, Lord Brahma, has said, kali-santararadi srutite, “The srutis have declared this mantra to be the best means of deliverance in the age of Kali”. Having all heard this from Brahma, the sons and disciples of Brahma, beginning with Narada, all accepted the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and, having meditated on it, attained perfection.”

Thank you

your servant,
Haladhar Das

SUPARTHA RUDRA, 25th September 2013

Hare Krishna,

Respected Janardan Prabhuji,

Please accept my pranam.

In addition to HG Jagannath Prabhuji’s wonderful answer, please find the following link for scriptural reference of chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare as the only way to be delivered in this kali yuga:

http://www.krishna.com/some-scriptural-references-hare-krishna-maha-mantra

your servant,
supartha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 25th September 2013

Dear Bhakta Janardan,

Hare Krishna!

Since the wonderful responses have given most of the information you had requested, I can now answer why I am thanking you for chanting, even though you are not yet chanting according to the spiritual master’s instructions.

This is because any chanting of

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

is better than no chanting of
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

By chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

you are not only benefiting yourself, but the living entities in the entire universe, including myself.

So thank you once again, for daily chanting

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

Finally, Srimad Bhagavad Gita is ONLY accessible and understandable truly to those who are in disciplic succession from Krishna. So therefore, unless you are reading Bhagavad Gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada or another bona fide Acharya in disciplic succession who presents the knowledge As It Is, you haven’t gotten the point. Even though the Bhagavad Gita is open, it is an open secret. 🙂

I quote:
tad viddhi praṇipātena

paripraśnena sevayā

upadekṣyanti te jñānaḿ

jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

Translation: Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth. BG 4.34

Purport

The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. No one can be a bona fide spiritual master without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple. No one can be spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process, as is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. The Bhāgavatam (6.3.19) says, dharmaḿ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam: the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help lead one to the right path. Nor by independent study of books of knowledge can one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding. Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding. In this verse, both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned. Not only should one hear submissively from the spiritual master, but one must also get a clear understanding from him, in submission and service and inquiries. A bona fide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple. Therefore when the student is submissive and is always ready to render service, the reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries becomes perfect. unquote

So kindly do not try to manufacture your own process, please follow the Acharyas in disciplic succession, and their direct instructions given according to time, place, and circumstance.

Hare Krishna!

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Neelam sharma, 30th September 2013

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humble obeisance.

All glories to srila gurudeva and srimati gurumata.
All glories to srila Prabhupada.

Scriptural references on the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra

The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is mentioned in various scriptures as the only
means of deliverance in this age of Kali:

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

iti sodasakam namnam kali-kalmasa-nasanam
natah parataropayah sarva-vedesu drsyate
The sixteen names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra: hare krishna hare krishna
krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare destroy all the inauspiciousness of the age of Kali. This is the conclusion of all
the Vedas. (Kali-santarana Upanisad from Krishna Yajur Veda)

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare

ratanti halaya vapi te krtartha na samsayah
Hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare: Whoever chants this mantra, even neglectfully, will attain the supreme goal of life. Of this
there is no doubt. (Agni Purana)
nama sankirtana deva tarakam brahma drsyate
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
The nama sankirtana(public chanting) of Hare Krishna maha-mantra delivers a complete revelation of all of spiritual reality. (Brahmanda Purana 6.59-60)

mukti-hetuka taraka haya ‘rama-nama’
‘krishna-nama’ paraka haña kare prema-dana

“The holy name of Lord Rama certainly gives liberation, but the holy name of
Krishna transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience and at last
gives one ecstatic love of Krishna.” (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila 3.257

harir eva samaradhyah sarva deve suresvarah
hari nama maha mantrair nasyatpapa pisacakam
All the grievous sins of one who worships Lord Sri Hari, the Lord of all
lords, and chants the holy name, the maha-mantra, are removed. (Padma
Purana, Svarga Khanda 50.6)

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

sodasaitani namani dvatrimsad varnakani hi
kalau yuge maha-mantrah sammato jivatarane
varjayitva tu namaitad durjanaih parikalpitam
chandobaddham susiddhanta viruddham nabhyaset padam
tarakam brahma-namaitad brahmana gurunadina
kalisantaranadyasu sruti-svadhigatam hareh
praptam sri brahma-sisyena sri naradena dhimata
namaitad-uttamam srauta-paramparyena brahmanah
utsrjyaitan-maha-mantram ye tvanyat kalpitam padam
mahanameti gayanti te sastra-guru langhanah
tattva-virodha-sanprktam tadrsam daurjanam matam
sravatha pariharyam syadatma-hitarthina sada
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
“Hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama
rama rama hare hare: This sixteen-name, thirty-two syllable mantra is the maha-mantra in the age of Kali by which all living beings can be delivered.
One should never abandon chanting this maha-mantra and take to other so-called purificatory processes which are practiced by rascals, or engage
in chanting other metrical compositions of the name of Krishna that are against the pure conclusions of the scriptures, or are filled with
rasabhasa. About this divinely spiritual maha-mantra, which delivers one from material existence, the original guru, Lord Brahma, has said,
kali-santararadi srutite, “The srutis have declared this mantra to be the best means of deliverance in the age of Kali”. Having all heard this from
Brahma, the sons and disciples of Brahma, beginning with Narada, all accepted the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and, having meditated on it, attained
perfection.” (Ananta-samhita)
Ananta-samhita is part of the Narada Pancaratra”)

The maha-mantra is further mentioned in Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.7.83
(krishna-nama maha-mantrera), Chaitanya-charitamrita 3.9.56 (‘hare krishna,
hare krishna’ kahe avisrama), Narada Pancaratra, etc.

hare krishna krsneti krsneti mukhyan
mahascarya-namavali-siddha-mantran
krpa-murti-caitanya-deva upagitan
kadabhyasya vrndavane syan krtarth
“When will my heart become satiated by perfecting the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in Sri Vrndavana Dhama, which the most merciful Sri
Caitanyadeva personally chanted and distributed to the fallen souls out of compassion? This wonderful maha-mantra is mixed with the mellows of love and
is the chief and the perfection of all other mantras. They are full of spiritual energies and glories.” (Sri Vrindavana Mahimamrta by Srila
Prabodhananda Sarasvati 17.89)

hare krishna rama nama gana dana karinim
soka moha lobha tapa sarva vigna nasinim
pada padma lubdha bhakta vrnda bhakti dayinim
gaura murtim asu naumi nama sutra dharinim
“He makes the gift of the song of the names ‘Hare, Krishna and Rama’, and destroys all obstacles such as sorrow, delusion, greed and suffering. He
gives the devotional service of Lord Krishna to the multitude of devotees who are eager for the shelter of His lotus feet. I fall down swiftly to
offer my prostrated obeisances to the Lord in His golden form, who holds a string of meditation beads.” (Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Susloka-Satakam
23)

sri-radhar bhave ebe gora avatar
hare krishna nam gaura korila pracar
(Vasudev Ghosh’s bhajan “Jaya Jagannatha Sacira-nandana”, text 4)

Chaitanya-bhagavata Madhya-khanda 23.75-80: (trans. Kusakratha Das)
. The Lord personally taught them, “Please happily hear from Me the maha-mantra of Lord Krishna’s names. It is:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
The Lord said, “Regularly chant japa of this maha-mantra.

In this way you will attain all perfections. Chant at any time and in any circumstance. There are no other rules for chanting.

Gather together, five or ten, in your own homes, clap hands and sing kirtana of these holy names.

You may also sing these words:
haraye namah krishna yadavaya namah gopala govinda rama sri-madhusudana
(‘I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. He is the descendant of the Yadu family. Let me offer my respectful
obeisances unto Gopala, Govinda, Rama and Sri Madhusudana.’ Also see
Chaitanya-charitamrita 2.26.64)

Gathering at home with parents, wife, and children, please sing kirtana in this way.”

japato hari namani sthane sata-gunadhikah
atmanam ca punaty-uccair-japan srotrn-punati ca
“Compared to that person who is attached to chanting japa, the person who performs loud chanting of the holy name of Sri Hari is one hundred times
better. This is because the person who chants japa purifies himself, whereas the person who chants the holy name loudly in kirtana purifies himself, all
those who are with him, and everyone else who hear the holy vibration.”
(Naradiya Purana, Prahlada-vakya)

pasu-paksi-krma-adi balite na pare
sunile se harinama ta’ra saba tare
japile se krishna-nama apani se tare
ucca-sankirtane para-upakare kare
ata eva ucca kari’ kirtana karile
sata-guna phala haya sarva-sastre bole
“The animals, birds, and insects cannot chant the holy name, but by hearing the holy name chanted they can benefit. Chanting the japa of the holy name
of Krishna purifies oneself, but the loud sankirtana of the holy name of Krishna benefits all living beings. Therefore, loudly chant the holy name of
Krishna in kirtana, and you will get one hundred times the benefit of chanting japa. This is the verdict of all the sastras.” (
Chaitanya-bhagavata 1.16, Haridasa Thakura speaking)

“Listen my dear Misra, in Kali-yuga there is no need for severe penances or performance of opulent sacrifices; whoever worships the Supreme Lord Krishna

he be crowned with fortune and success. So go back to your home and worship Lord Krishna with undeviating faith and attention, giving up falsehood and
pretensions. By chanting the holy name of Lord Hari, Krishna, you will simultaneously obtain both the proper spiritual practice and the ultimate
goal. In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other
way. There is no other way. I am repeating this great chant for deliverance to you. This consists of sixteen names of the Supreme Lord with thirty two
syllables: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama

Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. By constantly chanting and worshiping this
Maha Mantra, your heart will feel the first blossoming of love and God; then
gradually you will understand the truth about the proper spiritual path and
the ultimate spiritual goal.” ( Chaitanya-bhagavata 1.14, Lord Caitanya
Mahaprabhu speaking to Tapana Misra)

In his purport to Caitanya-bhagavata Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati says very
clearly that Haridasa Thakura chanted either loudly or softly and that is
why his cave became Vaikuntha.
Chaitanya-bhagavata 1.16.172:
tabe haridasa ganga-tire gopha kari’
thakena virale ahar-nisa krishna smari’
“Then Haridasa went and found a cave on the bank of the Ganges. He remembered Krishna day and night as he resided alone in the cave.”

Purport: “While remaining in a solitary cave on the bank of the Ganges at Phuliya, Srila Thakura Mahasaya loudly chanted the names of Krishna and
passed his days and night remembering the pastimes of the Lord. Sometimes he would chant the sixteen name, thirty-two syllable, maha-mantra loudly
(uccaihsvare), and sometimes he would chant softly (mrdusvare). Every day he would complete the chanting of three hundred thousand holy names, or in a
year he would chant one hundred million names of Hari. Some people consider that chanting the names of Krishna in a solitary place is in the category of
“upamsu-japa,” or “chanting very mildly.” They say that this maha-mantra, or chanting the holy names of the Lord, should not be heard by others; only the
person who is chanting should hear. If the lips move, or if the holy names are recited, then they will automatically be heard by others. But if such
persons lack faith in the Vaisnavas who chant the holy names of the Lord, then by the influence of Kali they dare to quarrel with those Vaisnava
chanters.”
Bhaktivinoda Thakura says in his song Sri Nama from Gitavali:

gay gora madhur sware
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
Lord Gaurasundara sings in a very sweet voice, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
——————————————————————–
your servant,
Nand Priya Devi Dasi

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