Love, not Fear

Why “Fear of God”? Why not “Love of God”? Why fear when you can love instead? How can we transform fear to love?

It’s a fact that many religious systems are based on fear, “do this or you will go to hell”, “listen to me or eternal damnation”, “believe this or the unending eternal fires for you”.

Some are less dire, more business-like “If you displease God, then God will punish you for your sins”. Quid pro quo.

But God is not a bully. God is not insecure. God is not a sadist. God is not even a business-person!

God is Full of Knowledge, Full of Bliss, and is Eternal. No person who has those qualities can be petty, shortsighted, or vindictive.

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam

Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/bs/5/1

God is also our emanator, which makes Him our caretaker practically. Which parent wants their offspring to suffer eternally?

ईश्वर: सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।

भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्‍त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ ६१ ॥

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ

hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati

bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni

yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/61/

Schools and Universities give additional attempts, more chances to students who failed to make the grade. The judicial systems of many countries grant bail, parole, or pardon, in other words, a chance to live life inspite of having made mistakes.

So why on earth do most religious systems and their adherents relate to God in fear? Why are people “God-fearing”? Why are they not “God-loving”?

It is in part because most people know what is sinful and yet do not stop committing that sin. That is like a criminal who knows what they are doing is wrong but persists.

Yes, God is powerful, and God is practically distant, unknown even, to a materially conditioned soul. So, it may be somehow natural to fear this entity that has power over life and death. But remember, the jaws of a cat are death only to a mouse, they are happy and safe and comforting to her kitten.

To a criminal, the Police are to be feared. To an ordinary law-abiding citizen, the Police are no cause for fear. To many, the Police are even a cause of reassurance and/or relief.

God is Loving, and God is not very happy when the relationship is based on awe and reverence.

itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe 

sva-ghoṣaṁ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam 

tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaṁ 

punaḥ prematas taṁ śatāvṛtti vande

By such childhood pastimes as this He is drowning the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy, and is revealing to those devotees who are absorbed in knowledge of His supreme majesty and opulence that He is only conquered by devotees whose pure love is imbued with intimacy and is free from all conceptions of awe and reverence. With great love I again offer my obeisances to Lord Damodara hundreds and hundreds of times.

Sri Damodarashtakam, Verse 3 (Padma Purana, spoken by Satyavrata Muni)

The origin of fear is in lust actually, because fear is an unavoidable factor of life in the material world, or more specifically, life in material consciousness.

It is lust that has brought us into this material nightmare and lust that keeps us here. When we can transform that lust into pure love we become liberated from the pangs of this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari, Transforming Lust into Love

Lust means we want, gimme, gimme, gimme. What do we do when we really love someone? We serve them. And we don’t badger them for this, that, and the other. Instead, we just love them, cherish them, and serve them.

Yes, God is Great, but He is also incredibly Sweet and Loving. What can we do to actually Love God?

NO FEAR!

What is the significance of Diwali Festival in Devotional Practice?

Bhakta Sunil, 02 November 2013

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Please tell , What is the significance of Diwali Festival in Devotional Practice?

I understand that Diwali Festival is celebrated as Lakshmi Puja. But is the festival a Vaisnava Festival?

Also the festival is Lord Rama’s pastimes , of returning to His Kingdom. Thus it is festival of Lights , to celebrate Lord Rama’s return to His Kingdom

Also please clarify about Dhan Teras
I read that Dhan Teras is celebrated to worship Lord Dhanvantari. Please tell about Lord Dhanvantari. And is Dhan Teras also a Vaisnava Festival?

I have these bewilderments regarding this festival. So I request to clarify

Regards,
Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 04th November 2013

Dear Sriman Sunil Vaswani,

Hare Krishna!

Diwali/Deepavali is in fact primarily a Vaishnava festival, but the way the materialists are celebrating the festival, that is not correct.

There are MANY occasions associated with Diwali, here are some I am aware of (there are many many more, we have a history of billions of years):

1. Damodar Leela
2. Govardhan Leela
3. The slaying of Narakasura by Krishna
4. The return of Lord Ramachandra

In all these celebrations, Krishna consciousness is increased. Celebrating any or all of the above is bona fide, and anything other than this is a waste of time meant to indirectly and directly prolong the suffering in the cycle of birth and death.

But, the modern-day materialists have turned Diwali into a gross abomination.

For example, the following activities are commonly performed during Diwali celebrations, which is a terrible nonsense:

1. The distribution of meat, fish, eggs and other unclean foods during “Diwali get-together/party/celebration”
2. The consumption of alcohol and intoxicants including tea, coffee, cigarettes during such celebrations
3. The indulgence in gambling
4. The indulgence in illicit sex in different forms, including dancing, movies, etc.
5. The large-scale excessive pollution of environment by using gunpowder-based fire-crackers, killing so many insects, birds, reptiles, etc., and causing trouble to the small children, elderly persons, sick persons, etc.
6. The increase in the general forgetfulness of Krishna
7. The flaunting (and thus disrespecting) of Lakshmidevi
8. Celebrating like followers of Ravana, not like the devotees of Rama

Lord Dhanvantari, this is who He is:
dhanvantariś ca bhagavān svayam eva kīrtir

nāmnā nṛṇāḿ puru-rujāḿ ruja āśu hanti

yajñe ca bhāgam amṛtāyur-avāvarundha

āyuṣya-vedam anuśāsty avatīrya loke

The Lord in His incarnation of Dhanvantari very quickly cures the diseases of the ever-diseased living entities simply by his fame personified, and only because of him do the demigods achieve long lives. Thus the Personality of Godhead becomes ever glorified. He also exacted a share from the sacrifices, and it is he only who inaugurated the medical science or the knowledge of medicine in the universe. SB 2.7.21

Purport:

As stated in the beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, everything emanates from the ultimate source of the Personality of Godhead; it is therefore understood in this verse that medical science or knowledge in medicine was also inaugurated by the Personality of Godhead in His incarnation Dhanvantari, and thus the knowledge is recorded in the Vedas. The Vedas are the source of all knowledge, and thus knowledge in medical science is also there for the perfect cure of the diseases of the living entity. The embodied living entity is diseased by the very construction of his body. The body is the symbol of diseases. The disease may differ from one variety to another, but disease must be there just as there is birth and death for everyone. So, by the grace of the Personality of Godhead, not only are diseases of the body and mind cured, but also the soul is relieved of the constant repetition of birth and death. The name of the Lord is also called bhavauṣadhi, or the source of curing the disease of material existence.

Srila Prabhupada said this about Deepavali in a letter to one of his disciples:

“Diwali ceremony can be observed in the temple by illuminating 100’s of candles, in different parts of the temple, and offering special Prasad to the Deity. This ceremony was observed by the inhabitants of Ayodhya, the Kingdom of Lord Ramacandra, while Lord Ramacandra was out of His Kingdom due to His 14 years banishment by the order of His father. His younger step-brother Bharata, took charge of the Kingdom and the day on which Lord Ramacandra took back the charge again from His brother, and seated on the throne, this is observed as Diwali function. This is the original idea of Diwali, and Dipabali. Dipabali means the same thing—Dipa means candles, and bali means numerous. When numerous candles are lighted it is called Dipabali. In India, this Dipabali function is celebrated in a special auspicious occasion. This Dipabali function can be observed on 21st October, and Prasad can be distributed on the 22nd October, during daytime, which is known as Govardhana Puja and Annakuta Ceremony. In India, in all Vaisnava temples, this ceremony is observed and 100’s of people are given Prasad according to the capacity of the temple ”

He also wrote this: “Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, quoting from the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, says that the incident of Kṛṣṇa’s breaking the pot of yogurt and being bound by mother Yaśodā took place on the Dīpāvalī Day, or Dīpa-mālikā. Even today in India, this festival is generally celebrated very gorgeously in the month of Kārtika by fireworks and lights, especially in Bombay.” (purport to SB 10.9.1-2)

“CC Madhya 15.36, Translation and Purport: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His devotees participated in all the festivals, including Rāsa-yātrā, Dīpāvalī and Utthāna-dvādaśī.
The Dīpāvalī festival takes place on the dark-moon night in the month of Kārtika (October-November). The Rāsa-yātrā, or rāsa dancing of Kṛṣṇa, takes place on the full-moon night of the same month. Utthāna-dvādaśī takes place the day after Ekādaśī in the waxing fortnight of the moon in the same month. All the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu participated in all these festivals.”

Our principles remain the same, in every festival, this is what we do:

1. Chant Hare Krishna more and more and more

2. Have large scale Harinam Sankirtan

3. Offer gorgeous clothing and ornaments to Krishna

4. Cook opulent offering for Krishna

5. Serve the spiritual master

6. Serve the devotees

7. Clean the home, temple, and decorate it nicely

8. Always remember Krishna, never forget Krishna

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 05th November 2013

Hare Krishna everyone!

Mahabhagavat Prabhu Please accept my humble obeisances and gratitude for an excellent answer!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

It was special to know about Lord Dhanvantari. This knowledge can make it easy for me to connect my colleagues with Krishna Consciousness

I very much agree with Diwali being celebrated in wrong way by many persons. I guess many persons do not really celebrate in the notion of Diwali being an ocassion to celebrate Lord Rama’s pastimes of returning to His Kingdom.

Reading your answer was like taking an adventurous dive into the nectarean ocean of transcendental knowledge

Regards,
Sunil

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