The Profession of Confession and Atonement

In many religious traditions, there is the concept of confessing and atoning for sins. But why do people keep sinning and keep confessing, keep atoning? What is the use of such confession and atonement? What can be done to completely get out of this nasty habit of committing sinful activities?

Some souls accept the authority of God in theory, but not in practice. In the article “Love of God, The Ultimate Variety“, I wrote about fear vs. love… who fears God? One who does not properly follow the instructions of God must necessarily fear God. Just like ordinary citizens are not afraid of the police, but the thief is.

The idea is that just as there is the state law, there is also God’s law. And just as someone who flouts the state law becomes a criminal or an outlaw, similarly, one who flouts God’s law also faces reactions. And depending on the severity of the crime, the reactions can be rather heavy.

In some traditions, practically all religious traditions, there is the idea of “atonement” or in Sanskrit “praayaschitta”. This has been formalized in so many different ways, for example, Christians often go to Church and then confess their sins to the priest. The priest says “OK, repent by doing this and this”, or maybe a Hindu might go to the temple and the priest might tell her “give this and that charity to such-and-such to atone for this sin”.

The atonement is supposed to release the soul of the sinful reaction for a much lower “cost”…

Confession, useful, but is it enough?

But even with or without atonement, though there is hellish punishment that purifies the sinner of the sinful reactions, the soul commits sin again, after all the purification! Why is this?

Do you know what the problem is?

क्‍वचिन्निवर्ततेऽभद्रात्‍क्‍वचिच्चरति तत्पुन: ।
प्रायश्चित्तमथोऽपार्थं मन्ये कुञ्जरशौचवत् ॥ १० ॥

kvacin nivartate ’bhadrāt
kvacic carati tat punaḥ
prāyaścittam atho ’pārthaṁ
manye kuñjara-śaucavat

Sometimes one who is very alert so as not to commit sinful acts is victimized by sinful life again. I therefore consider this process of repeated sinning and atoning to be useless. It is like the bathing of an elephant, for an elephant cleanses itself by taking a full bath, but then throws dust over its head and body as soon as it returns to the land.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/10/
An elephant bathes in the water

Let’s examine the elephant… the elephant goes to the river and takes a bath in the river. Then the elephant comes out and pours dirt, sand and dust on itself after it comes out. Now, the wildlife experts may say why the elephant is doing that, how it protects its skin etc., but let’s just keep to the spirit of the example here.

An elephant dusts itself with mud

If we treat a confession or atonement as a bath, then why is it that people perform the required atonement and then sin again? Why do you need to take a bath again and again? Because you got dirty again after the last bath!

In the material world, dirt is unavoidable, our very bodies are quite dirty, and need to be cleansed again and again. But what about the spirit soul? Is the spirit soul not clean originally?

Hindus bathe in the Ganga to atone for their sins

Is it a good thing to become a professional at confession and atonement? There is no doubt that God is infinitely merciful… and can forgive unlimitedly. Does anyone think that God is such a fool as to accept repeated confessions of a professional sinner without giving the proper reactions to maintain fairness? God is also unlimitedly wise!

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the highly intelligent Maharaja Parikshit and Shukadeva Goswami had this wonderful conversation on this topic. To this question, the answer given was:

Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vedavyāsa, answered: My dear King, since acts meant to neutralize impious actions are also fruitive, they will not release one from the tendency to act fruitively. Persons who subject themselves to the rules and regulations of atonement are not at all intelligent. Indeed, they are in the mode of darkness. Unless one is freed from the mode of ignorance, trying to counteract one action through another is useless because this will not uproot one’s desires. Thus even though one may superficially seem pious, he will undoubtedly be prone to act impiously. Therefore real atonement is enlightenment in perfect knowledge, Vedānta, by which one understands the Supreme Absolute Truth.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/11/

But knowledge enough is not sufficient, one must act on that knowledge, Shukadeva Goswami continues…

My dear King, if a diseased person eats the pure, uncontaminated food prescribed by a physician, he is gradually cured, and the infection of disease can no longer touch him. Similarly, if one follows the regulative principles of knowledge, he gradually progresses toward liberation from material contamination.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/12/

One should go beyond the lifestyle that produces sinful desires…

तपसा ब्रह्मचर्येण शमेन च दमेन च ।
त्यागेन सत्यशौचाभ्यां यमेन नियमेन वा ॥ १३ ॥
देहवाग्बुद्धिजं धीरा धर्मज्ञा: श्रद्धयान्विता: ।
क्षिपन्त्यघं महदपि वेणुगुल्ममिवानल: ॥ १४ ॥

tapasā brahmacaryeṇa
śamena ca damena ca
tyāgena satya-śaucābhyāṁ
yamena niyamena vā

deha-vāg-buddhijaṁ dhīrā
dharmajñāḥ śraddhayānvitāḥ
kṣipanty aghaṁ mahad api
veṇu-gulmam ivānalaḥ

To concentrate the mind, one must observe a life of celibacy and not fall down. One must undergo the austerity of voluntarily giving up sense enjoyment. One must then control the mind and senses, give charity, be truthful, clean and nonviolent, follow the regulative principles and regularly chant the holy name of the Lord. Thus a sober and faithful person who knows the religious principles is temporarily purified of all sins performed with his body, words and mind. These sins are like the dried leaves of creepers beneath a bamboo tree, which may be burned by fire although their roots remain to grow again at the first opportunity.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/13-14/

It is commonly seen that even priests, supposed to be God’s representatives, sin, what to speak of the lay person! This means that even though one may lead a very closely regulated lifestyle, the desire to sin can still remain hidden as a root within the heart. So what is the ultimate solution?

केचित्केवलया भक्त्या वासुदेवपरायणा: ।
अघं धुन्वन्ति कार्त्स्‍न्येन नीहारमिव भास्कर: ॥ १५ ॥

kecit kevalayā bhaktyā
vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ
aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena
nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ

Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Kṛṣṇa can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will revive. He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/15/

So therefore, it is impossible to be completely pure without being a pure devotee of God. Without being a pure lover of God, one cannot escape this sin. In fact, when one is rendering devotional service, at that time it is impossible to sin, because where is the time and the energy to perform sinful actions?

So therefore, instead of sinning and confessing, sinning and confessing, sinning and atoning, sinning and atoning, one should seek to develop pure uncontaminated Love of God in a practical way, which is the only way to be free of the desire and tendency to sin.

My spiritual master says it best “it’s hard to hit a moving target, so keep moving for Krishna, if you give illusion an inch, you will lose your life!”

Surrender means Loving Service

OK, so surrender is required in spiritual life, and it is not an admission of defeat, and the person surrendering cannot surrender their intelligence too. But what exactly is this surrender practically?

I wrote about surrender from a few different angles… for example, how surrender is not a bad word, and how surrender must be intelligent. In this post, I will dwell a bit about what surrender is practically.

The essence of anything is shown in the action that follows from it. For example if I am a fan of a sports team, then I spend my time, money, and energy in everything related to that sports team. If I am a professional of some kind, then I spend my time and energy trying to be better at that profession. If I support a cause, then I use my time, money, energy, and intelligence in pushing forward that cause.

In other words, in whatever way I spend my time, energy, my money, use my influence, in that way I am said to be “surrendered”. This is because I have a choice at every moment, to focus my consciousness on something.

For example, if I was surrendered to my mind, then I spend all my energy listening to the dictates of my mind. I invest a lot of my consciousness in identifying with my mind, and then I do everything in my power to make the rantings of my mind happen. All sorts of people do all sorts of things chasing the mind. And this happens for other things too, for example, if, with my mind, I identify with my body, then I may spend all my time and energy trying to keep my body fit and healthy, stout and strong.

Most of us here in the material world are surrendered to our senses, and to gratify our senses, we indulge in all sorts of activities, and to fuel those activities, we work very hard. To a person surrendered to the mind and senses, there is no peace in this world, there always some other sensory experience to be had, there is always a “bucket list” of desires, coming from an endless wellspring of desires, keeping us busy all our lives, life after life. And it quite often ends very badly, to start badly, and a continuous stream of such unfortunate nonsense.

यतो यतो निश्चलति मनश्चञ्चलमस्थिरम् ।
ततस्ततो नियम्यैतदात्मन्येव वशं नयेत् ॥ २६ ॥

yato yato niścalati
manaś cañcalam asthiram
tatas tato niyamyaitad
ātmany eva vaśaṁ nayet

From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.

vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/26/

Some people claim to be surrendered to God, but actually they are not surrendered to God, but want to propitiate God so that their sensory desires can be satisfied. This is surrender, but not really, it is practically a form of slavery. This is because a person in the grip of the material senses has no freedom, just like a dog who barks uncontrollably or goes around sniffing other dogs’ urine, it is an instinct, and it cannot be stopped.

But in human life, one can has more developed consciousness, to question this knee-jerk reaction to sensory stimuli, and to actually understand our own identity as spirit souls. We can then choose to surrender to God.

But what does it practically mean to be surrendered?

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा श‍ुच: ॥ ६६ ॥

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/66/

Surrender means loving devotional service to God.

Just like “Love is as love does”

Just like “Actions speak louder than words”

ये तु धर्मामृतमिदं यथोक्तं पर्युपासते ।
श्रद्दधाना मत्परमा भक्तास्तेऽतीव मे प्रिया: ॥ २० ॥

ye tu dharmāmṛtam idaṁ
yathoktaṁ paryupāsate
śraddadhānā mat-paramā
bhaktās te ’tīva me priyāḥ

Those who follow this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engage themselves with faith, making Me the supreme goal, are very, very dear to Me.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/12/20/

So, the symptom of a soul surrendered to God is 100% total absorption in the service of God. Everything they do, they do as a service to God, in spirit and in result, offering everything they have to God. Everyone they meet, they meet as a soul who belongs to God. Everyone they treat in relation to God… they love God, so they love “God’s”.

Arjuna, a great surrendered soul, did exactly this:

नष्टो मोह: स्मृतिर्लब्धा त्वत्प्रसादान्मयाच्युत ।
स्थितोऽस्मि गतसन्देह: करिष्ये वचनं तव ॥ ७३ ॥

arjuna uvāca
naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtir labdhā
tvat-prasādān mayācyuta
sthito ’smi gata-sandehaḥ
kariṣye vacanaṁ tava

Arjuna said: My dear Kṛṣṇa, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy. I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/73/

They may or may not proclaim their love, but if you observe their actions carefully, you will see that they eat, sleep, exercise, interact, work all for the satisfaction of God. In fact, you can see that a person in an advanced stage of surrender does not even breathe if it not beneficial for the service of God.

In Arjuna’s case, God Himself proclaimed His love:

स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरातनः ।
भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्येतदुत्तमम् ॥ ३ ॥

sa evāyaṁ mayā te ’dya
yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ
bhakto ’si me sakhā ceti
rahasyaṁ hy etad uttamam

That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend and can therefore understand the transcendental mystery of this science.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/3/

So, surrender means loving service. And it is filled with mystery, adventure, excitement, and satisfaction! To surrender to Krishna is to be in Love with Him.

The Form of God

God has a form. There are specific descriptions of His form. Meditation of His Lotus Feet, for example, dispels all the thick gloom of the heart.

Sometimes spiritualists imagine that since a material form is a limitation, therefore God cannot possibly have a form.

In some religious tradition, the form of God is not at all described.

Some imagine some form of God according to their own concoctions.

It is not that God does not have a form or that His form is imaginary. But it is that one needs to approach the form of God properly.

God’s form is called “saccidananda vigraha”, or that which is composed of sat (eternality), chit(purely conscious knowledge), and ananda(unmitigated bliss). This form of God is unlimited, not constrained by space or time, neither does God’s form deteriorate like material forms.

In a beautiful section of the Srimad Bhagavatam, Lord Kapila, an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, describes the process of devotional service.

Here is one beautiful text, an example for you to relish.

सञ्चिन्तयेद्भगवतश्चरणारविन्दं
वज्राङ्कुशध्वजसरोरुहलाञ्छनाढ्यम् ।
उत्तुङ्गरक्तविलसन्नखचक्रवाल-
ज्योत्‍स्‍नाभिराहतमहद्‍धृदयान्धकारम् ॥ २१ ॥

sañcintayed bhagavataś caraṇāravindaṁ
vajrāṅkuśa-dhvaja-saroruha-lāñchanāḍhyam
uttuṅga-rakta-vilasan-nakha-cakravāla-
jyotsnābhir āhata-mahad-dhṛdayāndhakāram

The devotee should first concentrate his mind on the Lord’s lotus feet, which are adorned with the marks of a thunderbolt, a goad, a banner and a lotus. The splendor of their beautiful ruby nails resembles the orb of the moon and dispels the thick gloom of one’s heart.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/28/21/
Krishna’s lotus feet

God has feet, which defeat the splendour of a lotus in full bloom. The soles of His lotus feet are adorned with specific marks.

Each and every mark has specific significance. Just the lustre of His beautiful red toenail can be compared to a full moon.

Meditating on the lotus feet of God dispels all gloom.

The sole of Sri Radha(right) Krishna(left)

Why can we not meditate on the lotus feet of the Lord?

I spend most of my time meditating on all sorts of things. I pray that all these useless meditations may be replaced by unbroken meditation on the lotus feet of Sri Radha Krishna.

Love and devotion!

Yamini Narang, 25/07/2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila prabhupada

What is difference between love and devotion?

your servant,
Yamuna dd
Bhakta Sunil, 27/07/2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble respects
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada


We all want love and to be loved. This is the most natural thing in the world. It is the purpose of our existence. Lets see what Srila Prabhupada has to say about what real love is and where we can find it. And then let us hear from a beautiful professional prostitute on true love (now that I got your attention read on).

Prabhupada: The…just the opposite word of kama is prema, love.

So in the material world there cannot be prema. Prema means love. The prema is only possible in the spiritual world. Here, what is going on as love, that is not love, that is lust. A boy loves a girl, a girl loves a boy. That is not love, that is lust. As soon as there is some disturbance in lusty affair, they divorce. So therefore that is not love. So we should note it, that so-called love is bogus in this material world. Love cannot be possible. This very word love, prema, is specially reserved for Krsna. Prema pum-artho mahan. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s preaching, that the highest perfection of life is to evoke one’s dormant love for Krsna.

The love is there. It is reserved for Krsna, but due to our foolishness, we are distributing that love in so many ways, up to the dog. This is called illusion. We do not know where to apply love. If you see, all these words is touched with the word kama, kama. Kama means lust. There is no question of love. And love … Prema and kama is described in Caitanya-caritamrta. What is prema and what is… prema and kama. Atmendriya-priti-vancha tara bali kama [Cc. Adi 4.165]. Kama. What is lust? Atmendriya-priti, to satisfy one’s own senses. That is kama. Here, a boy and girl love. They say “love,” but no, it is not love. The boy wants to satisfy his senses, and the girl wants to satisfy her senses. That’s all. Therefore, atmendriya-priti-vancha. Everyone is trying to satisfy her own senses. That is kama. Lust. And then, what is prema? Krsnendriya-priti-iccha dhare prema nama. When the same propensity is transferred for satisfying Krsna’s senses… just like gopis.

The superexcellence of gopis is due that they wanted to satisfy Krsna. They dressed very nicely because they thought that “Krsna become very pleased seeing us nicely dressed.” Not that … In this material world, a woman or a girl dress very nicely just to attract the opposite sex for his sense gratification. That’s all. So everyone, all this description is given there: brahma-varcasa-kama, virya-kama, then vasu-kama. Devim mayam tu sri-kamah. Sri. (aside) You can stand near the wall. Others may not… Sri means beauty. In the Durga-puja, Devi-puja, they ask… After offering Mother Durga all sorts of paraphernalia, then they puspanjali, they pray favor, dhanam dehi rupam dehi balam dehi. Dehi dehi. Dehi means “give me.” After puja… Therefore it is called puja. Puja, just like in business circle, if you want to take some business from a big merchant, so you satisfy him, flatter him, and sometimes invite him in hotel and give him nice dinner.

In this way, after he is satisfied, “Sir, if you kindly give me this contract.” (laughter)
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.1-3 – Los Angeles, May 22, 1972)

Srimati Pingala, from the Srimad Bhagavatam, an expert in the arts of so called “lovemaking” (who was once a prostitute and later became a fully self realized soul) very nicely elaborates on this point and reminds us where to repose our loving tendency so we may actually achieve the love of our hearts!

The prostitute Pingala said: I am such a fool that I have given up the service of that person who, being eternally situated within my heart, is actually most dear to me. That most dear one is the Lord of the universe, who is the bestower of real love and happiness and the source of all prosperity. Although He is in my own heart, I have completely neglected Him. Instead I have ignorantly served insignificant men who can never satisfy my real desires and who have simply brought me unhappiness, fear, anxiety, lamentation and illusion.
(SB 11.8.31)

— courtesy of Devotee Blog

Hope this helps,

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27th July 2015

Dear Mother Yamuna,

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

Congratulations on your spiritual initiation! All glories to your spiritual master!

There can be a big discussion about this, especially in the linguistic and semantic sense, in some cases they are synonyms, in some cases not.

Dut in short, devotion is the key symptom of love. Without devotion, any love professed, whether material or spiritual, is false.

Now, as per Sriman Sunil’s quotes of Srila Prabhupada – only that which seeks to satisfy Krishna is love, and the steps taken to serve Krishna and His devotees is ‘devotional’ service. Of course, devotional service can be performed without love also. For example I am chanting Hare Krishna every day but I have no love for Krishna. But it is impossible to actually love Krishna without also performing devotional service.

Anyone who claims to love Krishna but does not perform devotional service is not being truthful, but for someone who is performing devotional service, love for Krishna is guaranteed, in fact, it is actually love for Krishna, only the devotee does not perceive due to lingering material inebriation.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Yamini Narang, 31st July 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu,
Thank you very much for he best wishes and reply but I’m not yet initiated. You can a at it’s just that I’m renamed by senior devotees our of love. But yes, by all of your prayers and blessings I’m hopefully going to be initiated as my guru comes back to india in early October this year or around match next year!

Well, coming back.. Thank you very much for your reply. I had a doubt because I often heard “serve your guru and Krsna with love and devotion”.. So wanted to inquire what’s the difference between the two! And my doubt is pretty much cleared.

Thank you!
Please forgive for any offences committed!

yours in service to Srila prabhupada,
Yamuna dd

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Why Krishna likes Raas leela?

Pradnya, 15th September 2011

Hare Krishna,

Why Krishna likes Raass Leela?

Pradnya

Ashutosh pandey, 15th September 2011

Hare Krsna!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

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

your servant,
Ashutosh

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15th September 2011

Hare Krishna Mataji,

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Ikshvaku das, 23rd September 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant
Ikshvaku das
Sofia , Bulgaria

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Different ways to render devotional service

Sunil, Aug 28 2011

Please accept my humble obeisances

Which are the different ways in which one can render devotional service

Regards,

Sunil

Ashutosh Pandey, Aug 28 2011

Hare Krishna

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

*Sravanam kirtanam vishnoh, smaranam pada sevanam*

*archanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam*

*Sravanam* — by *hearing* the glories of Krishna from authorities (bona fide spiritual master or his representatives)

*Kirtanam-*by * congregational melodious chanting* of Hare Krishna Mahamantra

*Smaranam*- by *remembering* the pastimes of Krishna that you heard from authorities

*Pada Sevanam*- by offering *service to the lord’s lotus feet* (serving Vaishnavas, offering flowers, tulasi leaves etc.)

*Archanam – deity worship*(newbies can do the same with Photo-frames of lord or can perform worship of Gaura Nitai if allowed by authorities)

*Vandanam- praying *to lord for mercy (go in front of deities and say in your heart looking at them that you are here to be the object of His pleasure, tell me my lord how can I serve you, I am fallen but please engage me in your service and the service of your devotees, cry like a child…. it helps)

*Dasyam*- being *servant of the lord..*..perform duties of spiritual master…serve Vaishnavas….be humble like a blade of grass…tolerant like a tree..and think yourself to be simply insignificant

*Sakhyam- *being as a *friend *of Krishna glorify His name…tell about Him to others..how beautiful and merciful He is….

*Atma-nivedanam-* share your *thoughts and feelings* with the deities…confess your weakness…ask for mercy and promise yourself to rectify it…..

*As a practical guide::*

*Associate *with the devotees of the Lord Krishna

Read everyday (even one sloka or just two pages) of *Books *of Srila Prabhupada

*Chant *sixteen rounds of Hare Krsna mahamantra

*Diet *on Krsna prasadam——try to offer food to the lord in your home or whenever you get opportunity in temples

*Listen to the lectures* of Srila Prabhupada….or choose a bona fide master authorised by Srila Prabhupada if you like to listen in a particular language as Maharaja or Goswamis of ISKCON are from almost all parts of the world.

Out of this *Listening, Reading and chanting* are very important as these you can do wherever you are and whatever condition in you are living…… Whether in comfortable position or in times of pain….

Hare Krsna

YS

Ashutosh

Sunil, Aug 29 2011

Thank you Ashutosh Prabhu very much for your answer

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Aug 29 2011

Very nice answers from Ashutosh Prabhu!

It is practically unlimited, in how many practical ways one can render devotional service…

Our collective mission is to take Krishna Consciousness to every living entity on this planet — so anything towards that goal is a service… speak about Krishna, show Krishna, give Krishna, share Krishna… and assist those who are doing it with body, words, and resources including time, money, facility, land, building, etc… whatever one can afford, whatever one has, engage wholeheartedly in service to the devotees of Krishna.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Quicker Awareness of Dormant Love for God

Sunil,9th August 2011

Respected Devotees and Disciples

Please accept my humble obeisances

Is it true that ,  Lord Krishna brings a person who sincerely tries not to misuse his or

her independence and repents of past misuses of independence , in awareness of

devotional service quicker than a person who does not try to stop misusing

independence and does not repent for past misuses of independence

Sunil

Sanjay gupta,9th August 2011

A person who sacrifice the fruit of his KARMAS can only be able to go krishna`s DHAM according to gita it is called KARMYOG..

Mahabhagavat Das SDA,9th August,2011

Dear Sunil Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, it is correct, but not because Krishna is unfair, but because the person is refusing to accept Krishna’s mercy. In fact, a person who does not try to stop misusing one’s independence is willingly requesting Krishna to keep one under the material energy, so Krishna, being the kind Father, obliges.

ye yathā māḿ prapadyante

tāḿs tathaiva bhajāmy aham

mama vartmānuvartante

manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā. BG 4.11

In other words, a person misusing one’s independence is choosing to surrender to Krishna’s external potency, therefore Krishna reciprocates accordingly.

A person who knows that past material activities were not so conducive to one’s own welfare or the welfare of others does not repeat them, of course, one is advised not to dwell on this all the time being paralyzed by the knowledge of what one may have done knowingly or unknowingly, it was all in ignorance. To dwell on the past or live in the world of the future is both to live in a dream, both are understood to be in the mode of ignorance, according to Bhagavad Gita. (Sunil Prabhu, please find that verse from BG and quote it along with the translation, this is a treasure hunt especially for you).

Mere repentance is not sufficient though… one is aware that a certain set of people go to the house of God every Sunday to repent and confess, but they come out and do it all over again. In fact, this is not limited to that one community. A certain community of people go to holy places, take bath in the Ganges, and then come back and carry on the same nonsense as before. Same thing with yet another set of people who go on pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, come back and resume the original nonsense they were doing.

Such rituals of repentance and atonement, or “praayaschitta” are there in the Vedic scriptures, but the bottom line is that such repentance and atonement does not remove, from the core of the heart, the desire to commit sinful activities.

That is the unique beauty of the process of Bhakti… simply performing devotional service, the very core of the root of the desire to misuse one’s independence is uprooted. Of course, this takes time, but the process works, and we can see gradual progress and advancement if we sincerely stick to the orders of the bona fide spiritual master. But this is not simply a sentiment…

bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir

anyatra caiṣa trika eka-kālaḥ

prapadyamānasya yathāśnataḥ syus

tuṣṭiḥ puṣṭiḥ kṣud-apāyo ‘nu-ghāsam

“Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things — these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way that pleasure, nourishment and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating.” SB  11.2.42

I made a certain part of that bold, hopefully you will see what I am trying to say here.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Tirtharaja Dasa,9thAugust 2011

Hare Krishna,  All glories to Srila Prabhupada. May you all please accept my humble obeisances.
Yes, Krishna is also known as Hridayananda or the lord of the heart and one who gives eternal bliss to the heart. There has to be a concerted effort towards repentance and utter disgust to the sin so that it is not indulged in again. The human heart is filled with evil and thus needs cleansing.  Its not an issue of great mercy falling from the sky and making everyone’s heart pure merely by some sound vibration or activity on our part. The only requirement and the essence of all sadhana bhakti is to make our selves fine tuned and recipients of the lords service hence the offenceless, undeviated and consciencious  chanting of hare krishna maha mantra which Srila Prabhupada compares to the earnest supplication of a child to the supreme to please engage him in His service. Gaura Hari bol.
Lowly servant,
Tirtharaja Dasa.

Sunil,12th August 2011

Respected Mahabhagavat Das

Please accept my humble obeisances

I tried the treasure hunt. I found the following:

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.29.2b

adṛṣṭaḿ dṛṣṭavan nańkṣed

bhūtaḿ svapnavad anyathā

bhūtaḿ bhavad bhaviṣyac ca

suptaḿ sarva-raho-rahaḥ

SYNONYMS

adṛṣṭam — future happiness; dṛṣṭa-vat — like direct experience; nańkṣet — becomes vanquished; bhūtam — the material existence; svapnavat — like a dream; anyathā — otherwise; bhūtam — which happened in the past; bhavat — present; bhaviṣyat — future; ca — also; suptam — a dream; sarva — of all; rahaḥ-rahaḥ — the secret conclusion.

TRANSLATION

Everything happening within time, which consists of past, present and future, is merely a dream. That is the secret understanding in all Vedic literature.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA,13th August 2011

Hare Krishna Sunil Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

That is brilliant! Very good work!

I was thinking about this verse below Prabhu, but your find is very nice also, very pleasantly unexpected also. Thank you very much!

yayā svapnaḿ bhayaḿ śokaḿ

viṣādaḿ madam eva ca

na vimuñcati durmedhā

dhṛtiḥ sā pārtha tāmasī

And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion — such unintelligent determination, O son of Pṛthā, is in the mode of darkness. BG 18.35

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Ashutosh,13thAugust,2011

Hare Krishna!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupad

In this context the conversation between Vishnupriya and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu… clearly mentions the reality of this worldly constitution….”All you see in this material world is false and simply a dream. Nothing other than Lord Krsna and Vaishnavas is real in this world”

This conversation is exceptionally dictates the need to attain the constitutional position for all Jiva…

Ys

Ashutosh

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