Krishna – Duality Confusion – One And Many?

Is the Supreme Absolute Truth One or Many? Is Krishna One or Many? How is it that Krishna is One without a Second? How about Love? How about Relationships? How to understand this?

Jyoti Gupta, 27 April 2020

Hare Krishna 

If you could explain Chapter 5, Text 17 of Bhagavad Gita, where it has been told that there is duality in Krishna-simultaneous identity and individuality.

One more thing I would like to know – He is one without a second.. kindly explain .

Thank you 

🙏

Hare Krishna 

Jyoti Gupta

Mahabhagavat Das, 28 April 2020

Dear Mother Jyoti,

Hare Krishna!

You are referring to BG 5.17, where in the purport Srila Prabhupada writes: “A Kṛṣṇa conscious person can thoroughly understand that there is duality (simultaneous identity and individuality) in Kṛṣṇa, and, equipped with such transcendental knowledge, one can make steady progress on the path of liberation.”

What this means is that Krishna is a person originally, and that He has impersonal aspects.

Before we go to Krishna, let us look at ourselves…

You are a person, but if you completely ignore someone, then that is your own impersonal aspect. Also, when you are angry, then anyone who comes in your way will experience your anger, whether they did something to deserve your anger or not, so in this way, your anger can be said to be impersonal, even though you are a person yourself.

Similarly, Krishna, has His own impersonal aspects. The primary impersonal aspect is His Brahman feature. In the Brahman feature, which is His bodily effulgence, there is no individuality. Another one of Krishna’s impersonal features is time, time does not care for any person, it is impersonal, time just moves on and forces the world to keep moving along with it.

In addition to Krishna’s impersonal features, there is also the “localized Supersoul” or Paramatma feature, where Krishna expands into unlimited expansions, enters into the heart of every living entity along with the Atma, and also enters into the atoms and the space within the atoms. Even though Krishna expands in this way, Krishna still remains Krishna individually.

His closest, most intimate feature is Himself, His personal form, name, and identity.

Another crude example is – you may get a letter from the Government… inside the Government there is a department, and that department has a head, and that head has a boss, that boss has another boss, and ultimately it is the President or the Prime Minister who is the top power of the government. But when we see a policeman on the street enforcing the order of the government, then that policeman has the combined force of the entire government, and if necessary, through that policeman, the entire government can act. So, the government can be seen as some sort of “Brahman” – the government is impersonal, but inside that Brahman, there are so many little government representatives… Of course all of this cannot compare to SrI Krishna because Krishna is inconceivable by material means.

Krishna is one without a second because when you rank someone #1, #2, #3, etc., then it implies that there is some measure by which #1 is superior to #2, and #2 is superior to #3… so if #3 tries a bit harder, then they can overtake #1 and become the new #1… but in the case of Krishna, there is no comparison whatsoever, no one else can compare or match up to Krishna!

There may be occasionally some delay in answering questions sometimes, but rest assured that we are here to serve you on your spiritual journey.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Jyoti Gupta, 29 April 2020

Hare Krishna !

Thank you so much for the kind response, and for bringing clarity to my mind.

Regards

Jyoti Gupta

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.ecstaticmedia.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com

Muslim Brahmin in Hyderabad

Can a Muslim be a Brahmin? Can a Vaishnava be as good as a Mullah or Rabbi or Christian priest? Here are some great insights from a Maulvi in Hyderabad!

Not long ago, I was out on the street distributing the Bhagavad Gita in the South Central Indian City of Hyderabad. Hyderabad, like most cities in India, is a beautiful confluence of many cultures. Specifically, in Hyderabad, there is a significant mix of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian populations, and the history of the city has a strong Muslim flavour. For the most part, people have lived in harmony for hundreds of years. There have been flash-points and incidents of hatred, but relatively rare.

One day, as I stood on the street, I saw an elderly gentlemen, clearly Muslim from his long white beard with moustache shaved off, a baggy light-coloured Salwar Kameez, and a distinctive skull cap. He walked slowly, with a walker, that he gently placed in front of him, and then moved his legs closer to the walker, shuffling by slowly. I respectfully made way for this gentleman and greeted him with a little bow.

He passed back-and-forth a few times, and seeing his friendly countenance, I asked him if he would read the Bhagavad Gita. He said he most certainly would, if I had a Hindi version available. He then told me that he had been to the ISKCON Radha Madan Mohan temple in Abids, Hyderabad several times for the Sunday feast program, and had participated in Harinam Sankirtan, and taken Prasad many times at the temple. The surprise must have been clear on my face, because he then said “Do you know that I am a Brahmin?”.

He then explained “I am the Maulvi of this mosque around this corner. I have dedicated my life to Allah. I don’t eat meat and I don’t drink alcohol. I teach the scripture. So how am I not a Brahmin?”. He then added “The Gita was spoken by Allah and the Q’uran was spoken by Allah, so why would I read one but not the other?“. I was very much gladdened by his mature understanding. This is exactly our Vaishnava understanding too.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna describes the qualities of a Brahmin…

शमो दमस्तप: शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च ।
ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ॥ ४२ ॥

śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
brahma-karma svabhāva-jam

Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness – these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/42/

So, if we see any living entity from any cultural background or any religious orientation who has these qualities, we must accept them as good as Brahmins. Of course, Krishna also says that Brahmin is not only by quality, but also by the work they do…

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

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

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

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

Srila Prabhupada describes the 6 duties of a Brahmin…

Brāhmaṇas are supposed to acquire six kinds of auspicious qualifications: they become very learned scholars (paṭhana) and very qualified teachers (pāṭhana); they become expert in worshiping the Lord or the demigods (yajana), and they teach others how to execute this worship (yājana); they qualify themselves as bona fide persons to receive alms from others (pratigraha), and they distribute the wealth in charity (dāna).

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/17/11/

Based on instructions from the Vaishnava Acharyas, the great saintly teachers, we accept that Prophet Muhammad is an empowered messenger sent directly by God, practically, speaking a “shaktyavesha avataar” or a living entity but with the power to act in a way empowered by God. We accept that Jesus Christ is the son of God, a pure devotee fully dovetailed with the desire of God. We accept that there is only one God, known by different names and different degrees of understanding, as an impersonal spirit (Brahman), as a localized supersoul (Paramatma), and as the Personality of Godhead (Bhagavan).

When our constitutional position, or dharma, is deteriorated due to the contaminations of matter, the Lord Himself comes as an incarnation or sends some of His confidential servitors. Lord Jesus Christ called himself the “son of God,” and so is a representative of the Supreme. Similarly, Mohammed identified himself as a servant of the Supreme Lord. Thus whenever there is a discrepancy in our constitutional position, the Supreme Lord either comes Himself or sends His representative to inform us of the real position of the living entity.

On the Way to Krishna, Chapter 2

I offered my deepest respects to that great Maulvi, that Muslim priest, who has realized the essence of Allah Consciousness in principle. Surely, he is very very close to Allah. By speaking his sweet realized words, he gave me hope that this world can be rectified from its current sectarian path.

In the same way, all the Muslims should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own Maulvis and Hazrats.

The Christians should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own nuns, monks, and priests.

The Jews should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own Rabbis.

This is the principle. One God. Many scriptures according to time, place, and circumstance.

So, what was our conclusion as we parted ways? We concluded that the genuine mature follower of any genuine faith tradition is very similar, they love God, and they love all of God’s creation. They see God everywhere, and see everyone as God’s children, to be loved and served. But the follower-in-name, a materialist or religion-politician of any faith is equally sectarian or in many cases, inhuman, and unfortunately, also evil.

How Popular is Krishna?

Krishna is mentioned as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. So why is it that apparently more people worship Ganesha, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Shiva, etc. than Krishna?

Ajanta Rao, 5 May 2015

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva!

I have a question about the worship of several demigods in Hindu religion. I have read in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam that the essence of all vedas and scriptures is Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then why has Lord Krishna not become the most popular Hindu God? There are more number of people worshipping or having Ganesha or Hanuman or Lakshmi etc as their favorite God. I appreciate anyone helping me understand this concept. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ajanta Rao

Jayakrishna, 5 May 2015

Hare Krishna!

May I try to answer the question based on the lessons I learned from my great senior devotees?

We must understand that God is one and is Krishna, the so called gods (or more accurately demigods)are several and are in fact servants of Krishna,and are the heads of different energies of the master.

 The current day religion of Hinduism is a loose confederation of different systems where even atheists are accepted as Hindus,not to say of polytheists who worship demigods as equal to Krishna, the God,and we can’t accept this.

But Vaishnavas or the devotees of Krishna are humble and are ready to pay obeisances to the demi gods also, but their approach is different, the pure devotees(called so as they have no material aims behind their service) never worship demigods as equal to Krishna but respect demigods as the servants of Krishna,Let us take the demigods separately, who is Sri Hanuman? the greatest devotee of Sri Rama, the supreme personality of godhead, and himself Sri Hanuman is none other thanLord Shiva.Lord Shiva is not a jivatma like us,a guna avatara of Krishna though he is not Vishnu tatwa like Sri Rama or Nrsimha deva. Lord Brahma is the highest jivatma who got this post by the mercy of Krishna. Thus analysing one by one we can understand that each demigod is connected to the lord in different ways.

Then, ‘Why are people attracted to demigods?’  simple, they are doing a business by serving demigods, their philosophy is just give and take. That is not devotion at all.

However, I understand it that Krishna is the most favourite god for most Hindus irrespective of their sects and castes.,even  atheists and communists are loving Krishna!( I know many such people personally)

your servant

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Srivatsa Das, 6 May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

The answer for demigod worship is also explained in Bhagavad Gita.  Krishna says that the mode of worship by the individual is according to the acquired mode of nature by that individual.  It is a journey of the individual back to home back to Godhead. At the end the individual will come back to Krishna. 

 The essence of the Vedas is to know Krishna.   Thanks to Lord Chaithanya’s Sankirtana movement and Srila Prbhupada’ s devotional service in translating various scriptures to English language, we are able to understand the purpose and meaning of these scriptures.  We are also lucky to get the opportunity to get associated with the direct devotees of Srila Prabhupada like Srila Gurudeva who has dedicated his life for the spreading of this knowledge and thus remove the ignorance from this material world.  We must dedicate our life and strongly align in strengthening this mission and thus eradicate the ignorance from society. That is the best we can do at this moment I believe.

your servant

Srivatsa Das   

Priya Harinath, 6 May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Ajanta Rao Mataji, The answer to this question is given by Krishna Himself in the Bhagavad Gita 

bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate

vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/19/

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah

bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ‘pi mam

Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/25

Even Sripad Sankaracharya the great exponent of the Advaita philosophy and who organized the panchopasana worship of Ganesha, Durga, Shiva, Surya and Vishnu has himself stated in his Bhagavad gita bhashya that the Supreme Being is “Vishnu, the one known by the name nArAyaNa, the primordial Creator” (Adi kartA nArAyaNAkhyo viShNuH), that He is “beyond the material universe” (nArAyaNaH paro.avyaktAt) and that He is the original Creator of the universe (sa bhagavAn sRShTvedaM jagat).

Srila Prabhupada’s purport to the above Gita verses are the ultimate authority and one need not to look anywhere else for understanding the knowledge imparted by the Supreme Lord Himself and which has been passed down by the great acharyas and devotees in the disciplic succession. Yet even Srila Sankaracharya  in his purport to the above verse [Bg 9.25] criticizes those who do pUja to other deities, stating that the labor involved is same, but that the results are miniscule.

Again on the question as to why so many people are involved in demigod worship is because everyone desires instant material gratification being deluded by ignorance of their original nature. They do not look beyond their bodies and consider satisfaction of material senses as the purpose of life. But eventually after being tossed repeatedly in the cycle of birth and death they will have to come to the understanding that Krishna is the soul of even of the demigods who are His appointed agents to run this material universe.

This is what  makes it so important to have constant devotee association and surrender to a bonafide spiritual master who alone can guide us in the right path and clarify all our doubts and confusions. We are indeed fortunate to be a part of this wonderful group of devotees.

May Krishna always bless us eternal devotion and service to His Lotus feet and to His devotees.

your humble servant

Priya

Shridhar Das, 7 May 2015

Hare Krishna Ajanta Rao ji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji!

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Your realization hence concludes the domination of Kali Yuga, where, people choose to remain surrendered to their senses and hence submit to mode of ignorance or passion. Very selected few may even strive for goodness but none even have any clue about pure goodness even if situated on goodness or midway between pure goodness and goodness (impersonal liberation) for real transcendence means Krishna, The Supreme Individual.

Covered by passion and ignorance in general, people nowadays deprive themselves of real freedom or satisfaction and choose to embrace some momentary pleasures that merely leads to countless cycle of birth and death. Why? Because ignorance to them is bliss. They somehow like that way.

This or many explanations lie but we cannot put further whys o because it will again boil down to ignorance motivated by material desires as confirmed in Bhagavad Gita:

kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ

prapadyante ’nya-devatāḥ

taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya

prakṛtyā niyatāḥ svayā

“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/21

Because you, me or anyone is looking for satisfaction even at this very moment as well, let’s then focus what will satisfy us ultimately in this situation:

The best solution is as suggested above, to strive for pure devotional service and obtain compassion for the ignorant or become representative of the compassion of the compassionate acharyas by becoming dedicated to this movement that is meant for lifting the fallen mystically through its bona fide process. Your question which concludes the suicidal state of conditioned soul is the pain of our acharyas, and their mission is to save them from this repeated suicide. Anyone who becomes their representative awaits their ocean of mercy which is complete in itself with all the Vaishnava qualities.

However, charity begins at home. Therefore lets strive to spread this movement to best of our capacities that helps the so-called Hindus realize the Universal status of Krishna which His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada has already revealed. Let’s associate more with pure devotees as recommended above without whom we are helpless too.

your servant

Shridhar Das

Sacinandana Das, 13 Jun 2015

Hare Krsna Mataji,

Dandavat Pranam.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Krsna is not popular because there are less devotees. We have to flood this whole world with Krsna Bhakti and one of the most easy things we can do is to ask everyone to join Ultimate Self Realisation e course. We can request people in our offices to join this e course. We can take their email address and register it in http://www.joincourse.com If we want to make Krsna popular then we can increase the number of subscribers of Ultimate Self Realisation e course.

your servant,

Sacinandana Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28 Jul 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Sorry, I read this now and wanted to avoid any misunderstandings… We clearly state that indeed when we measure across time and space, Krishna is indeed Supremely powerful. This is the conclusion of Srila Veda Vyasa’s father Parasara Muni.

If I close my eyes in broad daylight and then claim that it is now dark, is it really dark, or are my eyes closed?

So, Krishna is indeed most popular and most famous, but we may not know the extent of His popularity and fame.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings archived at https://archive.aweber.com/newsletter/usr_course), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com

What should we pray to God for?

What should we pray to God for? Bread? Comfort? What is the best prayer to offer to God?

Kaspars, 3 Dec 2015

Hare Krishna!

1. When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty.

2. Maybe early christians were in great difficulty of food, Jesus taught them to pray for bread, or see food as God’s mercy.

3. Why does everyone in Krishna consciousness criticize christians about praying for daily bread? Jesus himself taught that. I think we should not criticize other religions prayer, we should not criticize Jesus? That whole christian prayer is all good. It is saving people from all bad.

Kaspars

Premananda Das, 3 December 2015

1) All material difficulties are due to our lack of Krishna consciousness, no external suffering.

2 & 3) Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness means to follow the order as it is without interpretations.

your servant

Premananda Das

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

Shridhar Das, 3 December 2015

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Your question has been answered here:

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

yajeta puruṣaḿ param

“A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.”

SB 2.3.10

So we must somehow or other develop the practice of always praying and remembering God. Should we be silent?

Krishna says in 4.11: As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.

So not advisable as a callous/impersonal approach.

Regarding patience, that’s very pleasing to Krishna and we must if we can but this quality manifests in advancing stages of devotional path automatically and needn’t be imitated artificially.

In BG 18.58 Krishna says:

mac-cittaḥ sarva-durgāṇi

mat-prasādāt tariṣyasi

atha cet tvam ahańkārān

na śroṣyasi vinańkṣyasi

“If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.”

BG 18.58

In fact Krishna emphasizes in BG 18.65:

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto

mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru

mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te

pratijāne priyo ‘si me

“Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.”

BG 18.65

So it is a very good practice to always pray and remember God. This is possible when we know who is God, how is God, what are His qualities, just as we cannot love a person in air blindly. We need to be aware of their qualities and features before devoting to any person.

Regarding question 2, I am curious about ‘maybe’. But in general, whenever God or His emissaries like Jesus, the son of Christ descend, their only mission is to take the fallen stuck up souls back to Godhead by developing their attachment for God. In fact, in our Krishna Consciousness we also pray sarira avidya jal prayers thanking God for not only giving us food but for sanctifying. The thanks is extended by offering food to the source of food, God, begging him to kindly take away the sinful reactions from that food and bless it with His love and devotion. And then this is distributed in mass for what is that love centered around personal liberation?

However, although the practice of praying to God for bread is glorious, if the end result is attachment to food instead of God, then such a process is not topmost. Hence, whenever the prayers aren’t fulfilled, people in general become atheist.

Not only food, Krishna in the 10th chapter of Bhagavad Gita tells us He is the taste of the water, He is light of sun, of senses He is mind and so many things.

His mercy is not limited to food, it’s beyond our imagination. In one of the lectures by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada that I was recently hearing, it was stated that it’s a fact that our existence at every moment is Lord’s kindness. If we’re existing, it means it is the personal will of the Lord at every moment. What can be the ultimate mercy than God Himself descending to show us the guiding light? How can one not feel loved and purchased when we see Lord has given His Holy Names as the means to attain Him? Lord is Himself directly present in His Holy Names simply for our deliverance and is constantly sending His representatives time after time in this unbroken lineage. So our vision must stretch beyond food, water and material products.

Before answering the next question I wish to first clarify that the conception of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jew,… as religions is incorrect. These are mere labels. Just as son of a lawyer cannot be rubber stamped as lawyer, a daughter of a doctor as a doctor, similarly no living entity can be labelled anything other than servant of God and ultimate religion being to love God by addressing Him as Krishna, Christ, Allah, Ram, Jehovah, wherever one’s devotion flows…

If someone criticizes a sect simply to satisfy one’s own senses or false ego, that’s displeasing to God. This is against austerities of speech clearly stated in the Bhagavad Gita. However, it’s very honest of you for having inquired the same sincerely.

What real religion is, in truth, is explained here:

“Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart.”

SB 1.1.2

In a lecture on this same verse Srila Prabhupada says:

“So we should not approach God for economic satisfaction or for bread or for wood or for anything necessary for our life. God has arranged food for everyone, the aquatics, the birds, the beasts, the trees, the elephants or the other, four-legged animals, and why not for human being? Human being also, those who are uncivilized, still living in the forest, they have no arrangement for economic development, or they do not know, but they have got also food. Therefore sastra says,

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido

na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhaḥ

tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ

kalena sarvatra gabhira-raṁhasa

[SB 1.5.18]

“One should try for developing God consciousness, not for anything else, because happiness and distress, they come automatically.” We haven’t got to try for it.

Happiness, everyone aspires for happiness. Nobody aspires for distress, but distress is forcibly come upon you. Similarly, the sastra says, “As distress comes without any desire, similarly, happiness also will come without any endeavor.” So long we are in the material world, the so-called happiness and distress will come and go, but our, the human life, the endeavor should be how to find out or revive our relationship with God. That is our main business.” [Unquote]

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Therefore, the verse states, any faith or sect that has taught their follower how to love God, how to depend on God, how to remain satisfied, in bliss, undisturbed, amidst of all difficulties and miseries, simply by taking shelter of God is a successful religion, else it has failed. For the same reason our prayers, devotion, love, happiness, distress, everything should be aimed for the satisfaction of God, not personal satisfaction only.

Last point I wish to add is whatever the faith be but it must teach their followers to expand their vision to see God as an ever youthful all-perfect person, who is not aristocratic but all loving, indiscriminately. A true lover of God sees all the living entities as part and parcel of God including animals, insects, birds, trees, worms, aquatics and not without soul. Therefore, real love of God means loving all living entities. Most of them I meet while preaching conclude they love God but then they also love torturing their brothers and sisters by killing and eating them, which is very demoniac and sinful irrespective of one following Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, etc, as laws are universal just as 1+1=2 everywhere. Rather, in the ten commandments, the merciful Jesus, who is often cited as an ideal example in our movement, as Lord’s devotee, in whose foot steps we follow, has clarified “Thou shalt not kill”.

The Krishna Consciousness movement is not criticizing anyone rather my spiritual master has stated often, that the aim of the movement is to help everyone become a true lover of God. If one is a Christian, then a very ideal Christian, if Islam then a true one, if a Sanatana Dharmi, then a genuine Sanatana Dharmi or follower of Vedas.

Hence the movement is aimed around harmonizing all souls under the universal love of God.

What seemed as criticism to you against Christianity can be properly understood by Lord Jesus’s statement: Hate the sin, not the sinner.

So that pointing out was a merciful correction on an improper attitude of “Give me, give me, give me” whereas the mood of a devotee must be of “Giving giving giving”. 

It is the duty of an acharya to point out the fallacies in a system established by other acharyas (Lord Jesus here) if they are being misinterpreted. The acharyas share a common consciousness, love of Godhead. They are not to be understood like us for they are free of hatred, envy, lust and other such mundane qualities. Their vision is centered around God, not nation, body, society, sect and so on.

Hope this satisfies you!

your servant

Sridhar Das

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Kaspars Gulbis,

Please accept my greetings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thankyou for your humble inquiries.

1. I would say why not?

“..Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ..” In SB 10.14.58 this material world has been described as a place full of miseries and danger lurks at every step. So why not pray to God in all circumstances. Whether in happiness or distress we should always try to remember God and never forget Him.

2. Indeed the food offered to lord is also known as “Prasadam” in Sanskrit, which in literal sense means “mercy”. The food we offer to the Lord with love and devotion is transformed into Lord’s mercy and when we honour such transformed food stuff it has a great spiritual impact on our consciousness.

3. Also, a truly Krishna conscious person would never criticize anyone. Infact, in the conversations of Srila Prabhupada, we can see him addressing Jesus Christ as a vaisnava. A vaisnava is actually a para dukha dukhi, one who can not tolerate the suffering of others. Therefore, we have great respect for Jesus Christ who was preaching the message of the God, as per time, place and circumstances to relieve the living entities from the miseries of this material world. 

 Coming back to your question: praying for daily bread seems insignificant when we see that even a tiny ant gets its daily food without praying, What to speak of thousands of Elephants roaming on Earth eating tonnes and tonnes of food daily. Atleast, I never saw them praying for food. Who provides them all the required food? God. God is all merciful. Since we are in the human form of life with a developed consciousness compared to other forms of life, it only seems wise to capitalize on this unique opportunity and pray for something very rare, very precious, something which is inconceivably priceless- and that is Pure love of God.

I hope this helps. However, it would be enlightening to hear more from other readers as well.

Sincerely,

Shyamapriya devi dasi

Lalit, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

I share my learning.

If we are in Krishna consciousness, we will not be in need of any prayer for “anything”.

With awakened consciousness,we can see things as they are and not as we perceive.

Pain or suffering is there till we are attached to it, the moment awakening happens we realize that everything is like a dream which shall pass.

We do not feel the pain of injury in dreams on waking up.

Many great saints suffered from ailments but their awakening helped them realize that suffering was for the physical body and not aatma (soul) or jeev.

Everything is temporary here, so enjoy as it comes, without any attachment.

Lalit

Sunil, 3 December 2015

Dear Kaspars,

—–

From introduction to Gita :  Just what is the Bhagavad-gita? The purpose of Bhagavad-gita is to deliver mankind from the nescience of material existence. Every man is in difficulty in so many ways, as Arjuna also was in difficulty in having to fight the Battle of Kurukshetra. Arjuna surrendered unto Sri Krishna, and consequently this Bhagavad-gita was spoken.

From the book “Science of Self Realization” :

Whoever teaches how to know God and how to love Him—he is a spiritual master. Sometimes bogus rascals mislead people. “I am God,” they claim, and people who do not know what God is believe them. You must be a serious student to understand who God is and how to love Him. Otherwise, you will simply waste your time. So the difference between others and us is that we are the only movement that can actually teach one how to know God and how to love Him. We are presenting the science of how one can know Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by practicing the teachings of theBhagavad-gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam. They teach us that our only business is to love God. Our business is not to ask God for our necessities. God gives necessities to everyone—even to one who has no religion. For example, cats and dogs have no religion, yet Krishna supplies them with the necessities of life. So why should we bother Krishna for our daily bread? He is already supplying it. Real religion means to learn how to love Him.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6) says,

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo

yato bhaktir adhokshaje

ahaituky apratihata

yayatma suprasidati

First-class religion teaches one how to love God without any motive. If I serve God for some profit, that is business—not love. Real love of God is ahaituky apratihata: it cannot be checked by any material cause. It is unconditional. If one actually wants to love God, there is no impediment. One can love Him whether one is poor or rich, young or old, black or white.

Science of Self Realization by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

From book “Teachings of Queen Kunti” :

Christians and Muslims are also Vaishnavas, devotees, because they offer prayers to the Lord. “O God,” they say, “give us our daily bread.” Those who offer this prayer may not know very much and may be at a lower stage, but this is a beginning, because they have approached God. Going to a church or mosque is also pious (catur-vidha bhajante mam janah sukritino ‘rjuna [Bg. 7.16]). Therefore those who begin in this way will one day become pure..

Teachings of Queen Kunti, by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Jayendran C, 3 December 2015

Thank you devotees for the wonderful answers. Here is a wonderful shloka from the Bhagavatam that would be relevant.

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

 mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

 yajeta puruṣaṁ param

Translation

A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead

Purport

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is described in the Bhagavad-gītā as puruṣottama, or the Supreme Personality. It is He only who can award liberation to the impersonalists by absorbing such aspirants in the brahmajyoti, the bodily rays of the Lord. The brahmajyoti is not separate from the Lord, as the glowing sun ray is not independent of the sun disc. Therefore one who desires to merge into the supreme impersonal brahmajyoti must also worship the Lord by bhakti-yoga, as recommended here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhakti-yoga is especially stressed here as the means of all perfection. In the previous chapters it has been stated that bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal of both karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga, and in the same way in this chapter it is emphatically declared that bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal of the different varieties of worship of the different demigods. Bhakti-yoga, thus being the supreme means of self-realization, is recommended here. Everyone must therefore seriously take up the methods of bhakti-yoga, even though one aspires for material enjoyment or liberation from material bondage.

Akāmaḥ is one who has no material desire. A living being, naturally being the part and parcel of the supreme whole puruṣaṁ pūrṇam, has as his natural function to serve the Supreme Being, just as the parts and parcels of the body, or the limbs of the body, are naturally meant to serve the complete body. Desireless means, therefore, not to be inert like the stone, but to be conscious of one’s actual position and thus desire satisfaction only from the Supreme Lord. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has explained this desirelessness as bhajanīya-parama-puruṣa-sukha-mātra-sva-sukhatvam in his Sandarbha. This means that one should feel happy only by experiencing the happiness of the Supreme Lord. This intuition of the living being is sometimes manifested even during the conditioned stage of a living being in the material world, and such intuition is expressed in the manner of altruism, philanthropy, socialism, communism, etc., by the undeveloped minds of less intelligent persons. In the mundane field such an outlook of doing good to others in the form of society, community, family, country or humanity is a partial manifestation of the same original feeling in which a pure living entity feels happiness by the happiness of the Supreme Lord. Such superb feelings were exhibited by the damsels of Vrajabhūmi for the happiness of the Lord. The gopīs loved the Lord without any return, and this is the perfect exhibition of the akāmaḥ spirit. Kāma spirit, or the desire for one’s own satisfaction, is fully exhibited in the material world, whereas the spirit of akāmaḥ is fully exhibited in the spiritual world.

Thoughts of becoming one with the Lord, or being merged in the brahmajyoti, can also be exhibitions of kāma spirit if they are desires for one’s own satisfaction to be free from the material miseries. A pure devotee does not want liberation so that he may be relieved from the miseries of life. Even without so-called liberation, a pure devotee is aspirant for the satisfaction of the Lord. Influenced by the kāma spirit, Arjuna declined to fight in the Kurukṣetra battlefield because he wanted to save his relatives for his own satisfaction. But being a pure devotee, he agreed to fight on the instruction of the Lord because he came to his senses and realized that satisfaction of the Lord at the cost of his own satisfaction was his prime duty. Thus he became akāma. That is the perfect stage of a perfect living being.

Udāra-dhīḥ means one who has a broader outlook. People with desires for material enjoyment worship small demigods, and such intelligence is condemned in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.20) as hṛta-jñāna, the intelligence of one who has lost his senses. One cannot obtain any result from demigods without getting sanction from the Supreme Lord. Therefore a person with a broader outlook can see that the ultimate authority is the Lord, even for material benefits. Under the circumstances, one with a broader outlook, even with the desire for material enjoyment or for liberation, should take to the worship of the Lord directly. And everyone, whether an akāma or sakāma or mokṣa-kāma, should worship the Lord with great expedience. This implies that bhakti-yoga may be perfectly administered without any mixture of karma and jñāna. As the unmixed sun ray is very forceful and is therefore called tīvra, similarly unmixed bhakti-yoga of hearing, chanting, etc., may be performed by one and all regardless of inner motive.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/10/

Bhagavatam had many instances where people depended on Krishna for their material miseries. King Gajendra depended on Krishna to save his life, Draupadi to protect her chastity, Uttara to save her womb from being destroyed, Dhruva to save his pride after being insulted. In this way, the Bhagavatam in my humble understanding states whoever comes to Krishna is never turned away and is purified even from the material desire they came for.

your humble servant,

Jayendran C

Kaspars Gulbis 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. Please excuse my offenses.

All your kind answers are very nice! I understood that in real Krishna consciousness one doesn’t need to pray for ”anything”. That one has to expand his needs beyond bread and accept love for God that only our Krishna consciousness movement gives. Jesus is a Vaisnava and preached according to that place and circumstance. Also I understood that we can pray to Krishna anytime and must remember Him always. Is it all right?

Thank you!

Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das, 3 December 2015

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you to all of you who participated in this wonderful Q&A. Indeed, this is the main purpose of this sda_students group, to ask questions, receive answers, help us all strengthen our faith, kill the doubts, and become gradually purified with this hearing and chanting about Krishna.

In a gathering, there needs to be a sincere question, and loving, knowledgeable authoritative answers from devotees who truly care.

Both are in abundance in this group of sincere spiritualists from all over the world.

Let the questions flow! Let the answers illuminate! Let us all hear and chant about Krishna and thus be fully engaged in body, intelligence, word and mind, let us enter into the spiritual dimension.

So what are we waiting for?

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Vidaa Joon, 9 December 2015

Great answers, thank you. I agree and wish not to subtract anything from the answers but would like to add that for me another verse that comes to mind regarding the first question is BG 12.13-14, one of my favourites: 

One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me-he is very dear to Me.

I love it because, sure, we sometimes feel a need to pray for help with our problems, and who better than Krishna to be the recipient of our prayers, but if we keep in mind what the above verse says, even our problems will seem to vanish as we put things into perspective, and not only that -it’s exciting to hear how this attitude makes us dear to Krishna! 

Also, I believe one should seek guidance from guru, sadhu, shastra when faced with difficulties, not that one has to suffer blindly. 

your humble servant

Vidaa

Yamini Narang, 9 December 2015

Hari Hari!

Dear devotees,

Thank you very much for the wonderful Q&A discussion! So enlightening! Thank you so much! All glories to all of you! Jai Gurudev! Jai guru Mataji! Jaya Srila prabhupada! 

your grateful and aspiring servant,

Bhaktin Yamini

Rathin Mandal, 9 December 2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your questions. They are very good and important at the same time.

1. When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty.

When in a difficult situation we should remember Sri Krishna. Actually we should remember Him all the time. And yes, we should keep patience too. It should be understood that material and psychological problems are due to our own doing, our own past karma. One should understand that by present suffering one is burning his past karma. One should approach a senior devotee and discuss what Krishna Conscious activities he can do to lower his suffering and remember Sri Krishna more.

2. Maybe early christians were in great difficulty of food, Jesus taught them to pray for bread, or see food as God’s mercy.

3. Why does everyone in Krishna consciousness criticize christians about praying for daily bread? Jesus himself taught that. I think we should not criticize other religions prayer, we should not criticize Jesus? That whole christian prayer is all good. It is saving people from all bad.

I assure you, no one is criticizing Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus is a great Spiritual Master and taught us by his exemplary act as how to remember God at all times. 

What may be confusing you is this, among the 10 commandments, one commandment says ‘Thou shall not kill’. Today christians are opening slaughterhouses to eat meat. Is that what following commandments mean? 

Christians are praying for bread but are they offering the bread to Lord Jesus first. If Lord Jesus is providing them bread then the first share belongs to Lord Jesus. Just like the head of the family gets the first share. The better process would be to pray to Lord Jesus, thank Lord Jesus, offer Lord Jesus and then take what’s remaining.

your servant

Rathin

Kaspars Gulbis, 9 December 2015

Dear devotees,

All glories to all of you!

Every answer is wonderful and nice teaching. Thank you!

Serious Christians do offer prayers before eating, thanking the Lord for food and welcoming Jesus to join the meal with them. Although usually there is meat also having no idea of killing. They say animals have no soul, only humans have. There are also some serious people who strongly preach about vegetarianism and not killing.

Sincerely,

Kaspars

Tirtharaja Das, 11 December 2015

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Jai Sri Sri guru gauranga

Thanks prabhu for this touchy aspect of the nine processes of devotional service.

To humbly respond to the first enquiry, yes devotees should approach the Lord for everything, thus by so doing we learn to completely and entirely depend on the Lord. In the advanced stage from the kanistha mentality we should aspire to not only imitate but to pray like queen Kunti. (Refer to Prayers of Queen Kunti).

In humble submission to 2 & 3, the Lord’s prayer as taught by Christ Jesus contains more than supplication for daily bread and for one to appreciate the depth of the prayer itself, it has to be taken in its entirety lest we seem to be like the blind men describing what is an elephant by the parts of an elephant they can touch.

For my own edification, I quote the same prayer and humbly entreaty all of us who can to meditate on the words of the prayer as vaishnavas and let it speak to our hearts.

Jesus Himself said (in Matthew 6: 8 – 13) … “Your Father already knows what you need before you ask Him. This then is how you should pray:

“Our Father in heaven;

May your Holy Name be honoured;

May your Kingdom come;

May your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us day by day the food we need.

Forgive us the wrongs we have done,

as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

Do not bring us to hard testing,

but keep us safe from the Evil One.

Matthew 6: 8 -13

In verse 31 He further advises “So do not start worrying: ‘Where Will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes? (These are the things the pagans (atheists, Asuras,) are always concerned about). Your Father in Heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you…”

I ask forgiveness if I have offended anybody by quoting from a different scripture but just like Srila Prabhupada would quote Canakya Pandit saying that “a wise man should be able to collect gold from a rubbish damp” …..

Regards,

your lowly servant

Tirtharaja Dasa.

Mahabhagavat Das, 11 December 2015

Dear Tirtharaja Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you so very much Prabhu, for your insights!

Srila Prabhupada and all the Vaishnava Acharyas taught us to respect all the scriptures.

The only caution was to stick to those scriptures we study and understand thoroughly.

Srila Prabhupada`s statements, if not understood properly can cause misunderstandings.

Here are some quotes to help us appreciate context that Srila Prabhupada never criticized the Christians for this prayer, though it can be misunderstood that he criticized them, actually he was explaining the broader principle:

`There are different kinds of love or worship in the world. The beginning is, “O God, give us our daily bread.” This is the beginning. When we are, I mean to say, taught to love God, we are instructed that “You go to temple, go to church, and pray to God for your necessities, for your grievances.” That is the beginning. But that is not pure love. Pure love, perfection of pure love, can be found amongst the gopīs. That is the example.`

Srila Prabhupada lecture, Seattle Sep 30, 1968

`Yes. For the leaders. They are seeing this poor man is going to church or to temple for asking God, “God give us our daily bread.” They are taking the opportunity to spread atheism. They say, “Well, you have prayed for your bread in the temple or in the church. Have you got the bread?” They say, “No. Not yet.” “All right. Come to me. You ask me bread.” “Yes.” They are innocent, “Yes, Mr. such and such, give me bread,” and he gives bread. “Take this bread.” Then they are convinced, “Oh, God cannot give us bread. Our political leader can give bread.” This is, propaganda is going on.`

SB 1.1.2 lecture, London, Aug 18, 1971

`Those who are following the Vedic principles, they think like that. Not only they, others also, the so-called religious system, they also think like that. Just like the Christians. They go to church, “O God, give us our daily bread.” So this bread-supplying business is like that: “God simply supplies bread, and we eat and we enjoy.” Similarly, the Hindu system also there is: “O God, give me some money. I am very poor. I am suffering from disease. Please cure it.” And so everywhere you will find some motive in religiosity. So religion does not mean to solve the economic problem. `

Lecture SB 1.1.2, Caracas, Feb 23, 1975

`The Christian religion also, they say, “O father, give us our daily bread.” So God is accepted, actually He is the father. Must have. We must have original father. You cannot say there is no God. If you are existing, you are existing because of your father. Your father is existing because of his father, his father, his father. There must be somebody original father. That is logical conclusion, not that “I am born out of air” or “My father is born out of air, my grandfather is born…” No. There must be somebody—father. `

Lecture SB 1.2.1, New Vrindaban, Sep 1, 1972

Just like people generally go there like that, “O God, give us our daily bread.” Well, why you are asking God for daily bread? Daily bread is already given to everyone, even birds and bees. Your bread is also there. But people do not know that “My bread is already there. Why I shall bother God for daily bread? Let me learn how to love God.” God is giving us so many things without asking. God is giving us light, God is giving us water, God… Bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhiḥ… (BG 7.4). Everything He is giving you, without which cannot live. 

Lecture SB 1.2.6 Delhi Nov 11, 1973

Dharma is not meant for that purpose.” People have become materialistic more and more because, just like in our country, “If you want economic development, then why you should go to temple?” The communist theory is also like that, that “If you want material happiness, why you are going to church and accepting, ‘O God, give us our daily bread’? The bread, you manufacture. You just work for it.” In one side, it is good. But this is also fact, that without God’s mercy, you cannot get even bread. Although bread you can manufacture, but the ingredients of the bread, the wheat, that is not in your hand.

Lecture SB 1.2.9-10, Delhi, Nov 14, 1973

In this case, the Bible is very much a hallowed scripture, your understanding of this scripture is clearly a most exemplary Vaishnava understanding, and Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva both quote from the Bible.

In fact, Srila Gurudeva loves King David`s prayer “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff…`

So thank you Tirtharaja Prabhu for adding your perspective. I pray that we may receive more of your association in this group.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Guru Vandana Devi Dasi, 19 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I would like to add one more reference to this question:

When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty

Our real goal of life is to become a pure devotee of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada explains in his introduction to Nectar of Devotion that any desire except for service of the Lord is material desire. Then does it sound as though Uttama Bhakti is not for us and restricted to particular group or sect who do not have any desires at all? No, pure devotional service is not too exclusive . When Srila Rupa Goswami  gave the definition for Uttama Bhakti, he did not write” anya abhilasa sunyam”, he gave it as ” anya abhilasita sunyam”. This means “void of any desires for sense gratification”. 

We have integral desires for our survival, for self preservation but still we are not out of the realm of pure devotional service. When we face difficulty we pray, “Oh Krishna please help me” .It is a personal desire for existence still we are not excluded from pure devotional service.We have to be very careful to be pure in our desires, our motive should be pure without any personal agenda for sense gratification.

Out of six principles which Srila Rupa Goswami explains which assure complete success in pure devotional service, being patient (dhairyat) is one of them.

your servant

Guru Vandana devi dasi

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The origin of western religion

What is it with those who claim to have the one and only true eternal religion? And why do they spew hatred? Would you like to understand the origin of the western religious traditions?

Many Western Religions, that is religious traditions that originated in the Middle East, such as Islam and Christianity, claim to be the “One and Only Original True Religion”. I have had people tell me I’m going to hell because I’m not following their particular denomination.

You know, it is really sad to see one type of Muslim denouncing another type of Muslim (for example Shias and Sunnis), or one type of Christian denouncing another type of Christian… Is that not the fundamental anti-thesis of the life of Lord Jesus Christ? Did Prophet Mohammad teach hatred?

But when I converse with them about their own religious tradition, they descend into unreasonable hatred towards others very quickly without actually expressing any understanding about God Himself. I cannot accept that such a soul has any proper understanding of religion which means to re-connect.

So, when I do meet such a person, I follow this advice, and try to get away as soon as possible. What is the use of discussing politics when I want to discuss God?

Of course, there are the pious souls who follow a religious tradition just so they can use God as an order-supplier. For such souls, I strive to encourage them to go deeper into their own understanding of their own faith, so they can reach the essence of their tradition, at minimum, in this lifetime.

God is One without a second, and has absolutely no competition. I would accept your acceptance of your tradition as genuine if you actually know something about God and you actually love God, and by corollary, every single living entity. I could accept your acceptanc of your faith if you know yourself and if you are yourself, meaning, without external material designation.

Every genuine religion tradition has come into being because the great teacher, messenger of God, had something of value to share, and they had to share it in the particular time, place, and circumstances that they were in. Giving undue importance to the details originating from the specific time, place, and circumstance and losing the essence of the teaching is the pastime of fools.

So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s movement is, the starting point is, the spirit soul. And automatically, unless… In the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord said the sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “You give up the so-called man-made duties or occupation or dharma. You just surrender unto Me.” So actually this is dharma, or religion, to surrender to God. God is one. He is neither Hindu nor Muslim nor Christian. God is one. If there is another God, then there is competition. God cannot be two. God is one. Eko brahma dvitīya nasti. That is the Vedic injunction. So God is one. So either you become Hindu or Muslim, the God is one. This is to be understood. So the science of God, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You try to understand scientifically what is meant by God, what is meant by religion. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s preaching. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. He begins His teaching on this principle, that every living being is eternal servant of God. That’s all. And this is religion. Religion does not mean stamping in different way. Religion means to know God the great and we are subordinate, maintained by God. This is religion. If anyone knows these two things only—God is great, and we are subordinate; our duty is to abide by the orders of God—that is religion. So unity can be established on the spiritual platform.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Recently, I came across this interesting article on the website of His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami on the Origin of Western Religion – it is worth a read!

https://www.bhakticharuswami.com/2014/01/the-origin-of-western-religions/

I won’t repeat what’s in this insightful article, but I encourage you to go and take a read yourself!

As always, if I may assist you on your spiritual journey please let me know!

Are there many Gods? Who is Krishna? Who is Vishnu? Who is Shiva? And who are the others?

How are they all related? Who should we worship?

Jayakrishna, 25 June 2018

I have the following doubt and i think you devotees can give the right answer:

In the Bhagavad Gita As It Is (BG 4.12 purport), it is stated that, “Actually, the demigods are not different forms of God, but they are God’s different parts and parcels. God is one, and the parts and parcels are many”,

then, in Brahma Samhita(5.32) it is stated that “Limbed though Kṛṣṇa is, His every limb is the whole entity. He performs all varieties of divine spiritual functions with every one of His limbs. Hence He is an indivisible whole and a perfect transcendental entity. ” this sounds confusing (If Demi Gods are parts of Krishna, and Krishna can take the offerings given to him by any parts, what wrong is there in Demigod worship? especially if it is to get extra strength in our devotion to Krishna?)

again, related with the above doubt,

In Srimad Bhagavatam (9.4.63) “The Supreme Personality of Godhead said to the brāhmaṇa: I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me” So worshiping Demi Gods is justified because they, especially Lord Siva are Vaishnavas and hence Demi God worshiping is an easy method to please Krishna or get taste in Krishna? ( meanings and purports to srimad Bhagavatam 10.22.4 & 10.53.46 are also giving this confusion).

My understanding is that it is Ok to worship DemiGods if the aim is Krishna? am I right in this conclusion,Kindly clarify,

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Bhakta Sunil, 25 June 2018

*Question: Why not pray to the Demigods?*

Hare Krishna Srila Gurudeva

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to You!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I have understood that there is no separate need to pray to demigods as Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by simply serving Him under Your guidance I can achieve the topmost perfection. How should I respond to people who argue that one should pray to demigods for assisting us in our service to Krishna because the demigods are Vaisnavas and the scriptures reveal that service to Vaisnavas is even higher than direct service to Krishna? I understand that you are Krishna’s servant and that I need to serve you and the Vaisnavas, the ISKCON devotees. So please guide me how to understand and respond to this argument for praying to the demigods.

Hare Krishna

Your insignificant servant

Syama Kunda das 

*Answer: Guru is Sum Total of All the Demigods*

The spiritual master is the sum total of all the demigods. So by praying for his mercy you get even the more than the benefit of praying 33 million different prayers to the 33 million different demigods. And besides this, how long would it take you to pray to each of the 33 million demigods? If you made a one minute prayer to each of them, and you did nothing but pray to them 24 hours a day without sleeping, eating, or doing anything else, it would take you more than 60 years to pray to all of them. Compare that with saying a simple one minute prayer to your spiritual master, which yields more benefit. Now intelligently analyze what makes more sense: praying to your spiritual master or praying to the demigods.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

http://www.joincourse.com

www.sda-archives.com Thought for the Day 2 Oct 20216

your insignificant servant,

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 June 2018

Dear Sriman Jayakrishna,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

It is possible to take one point from the Vedic scriptures and use that to justify practically anything. History is strewn with examples of people quoting scriptures to suit their own needs. But our path is “mahajana yena gatah sa panthah” – follow in the footsteps of the great souls who have “made it”. Just like soldiers walking behind the lead in a single file in a minefield. We put our footstep exactly where the previous footstep was.

As a principle, yes, one can ask for help in devotional service to Krishna from anyone who is capable of giving us that help. So, the gopis, topmost devotees, do this by worshipping Mother Katyayani, or the consort of Lord Shiva. Similarly, Srila Rupa Goswami has written about the worship of Lord Ganesha prior to beginning of our service to Sri Krishna.

However, Krishna, our Acharyas, Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva give us clear context and the means how to attain the final goal. With this context it can be seen that demigod worship for any reason is not really required.

Krishna has said

” ye ’py anya-devatā-bhaktā

yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ

te ’pi mām eva kaunteya

yajanty avidhi-pūrvakam “

” Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kuntī, but they do so in a wrong way. ”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/23

and even more strongly:

kāmais tais tair hrta-jñānāḥ

prapadyante ’nya-devatāḥ

taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya

prakrtyā niyatāḥ svayā

“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures. ”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/20

I have an instructing spiritual master in Toronto, Rupanuga Prabhu, who gave me a simple way to satisfy the demigods consistent with our understanding of the demigods as “karma mishra bhaktas” (devotees tinged with some sense of material contamination) of Krishna. He said that after we pick up the Prasada from Krishna’s altar, we can mentally put the Krishna Prasada into other plates and offer the Maha Prasada of the Lord to the demigods mentally. They actually hanker for Krishna Prasada. Then, similarly, the Krishna Prasada can also be mentally offered to the ancestors. This is not contrary to what our gurus have instructed us.

As Srila Gurudeva has said in many ways (quote by Sriman Sunil before), including today’s thought for the day:

Worshipping Krishna Only

Srila Prabhupada very nicely mentions as follows in his introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

“The Lord descends to this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vrindavana, which are full of happiness. When Lord Sri Krishna was in Vrindavana, His activities with His cowherd boyfriends, with His damsel friends, with the other inhabitants of Vrindavana and with the cows were all full of happiness. The total population of Vrindavana knew nothing but Krishna. But Lord Krishna even discouraged His father Nanda Maharaja from worshiping the demigod Indra, because He wanted to establish the fact that people need not worship any demigod. They need only worship the Supreme Lord, because their ultimate goal is to return to His abode.”

Our perfection of happiness will be to follow the example of the inhabitants of Vrindavana by making Krishna the only object of our worship.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari TTFD 26 Jun 2018

Therefore, instead of trying to extract meanings from the scripture that are not specifically given to us by Sri Guru, instead, we should strive to figure out how to align with Sri Guru and follow in his footsteps, starting with aligning our routine and how we live our life in the footsteps of a person who is already expert in following the previous Acharyas.

I hope this makes sense.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Chandrika, 26 June 2018

Sitaram

Can you please tell me if Lord Shiva is a demigod  or one part of the Trinity?

Regards

Chandrika

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna!

The concept of “the Trinity” is somewhat contrived in it that it is assumed that all three members, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva are somehow equal but this is  not so.

Lord Brahma of our Universe is currently a jiva, and hence a demigod, however, when no jiva is qualified to act as Brahma, then Lord Vishnu Himself expands Himself as Brahma.

Lord Shiva is certainly an exalted personality, and plays the role of demigod (father of the material world) as “Shiva” and is a separated expansion of Sri Mahavishnu as “Shambhu” – the glance of Mahavishnu to impregnate the conditioned spirit souls into the womb of material nature.

But Lord Shiva is hard to understand, he is a special “tattva” a category between that of jiva (little spirit soul) and Vishnu tattva (God category).

Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja once explained that Lord Shiva is Vishnu in contact with the material energy, like how milk, once it comes in contact with a sour substance is no longer milk. He was using the analogy of the verse in the Brahma Samhita:

https://www.vedabase.com/en/bs/5/45

(the purport by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada is pretty comprehensive, please do read)

But especially relevant to this conversation “So Śambhu cannot be called a jīva. He is the lord of jīva but yet partakes of the nature of a separated portion of Govinda. “

For more information on the topic of Lord Shiva, as discussed in previous conversations on this group, please refer to:

https://www.dasadas.com/tag/shiva/

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Chandrika, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna

So if Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma are demigods , are you saying that Lord Vishnu, and by his incarnation as Krishna, is the only God (as opposed to demigod)?

Regards

Chandrika

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 June 2018

Dear Mother Chandrika,

Hare Krishna!

Lord Shiva is extremely special, as mentioned before 🙂

Yes, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya

yāre yaiche nācāya, se taiche kare nṛtya

Lord Kṛṣṇa alone is the supreme controller, and all others are His servants. They dance as He makes them do so. CC Adi 5.142

Krishna is the original Vishnu.

ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ

 krṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam

indrāri-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ

 mrḍayanti yuge yuge

All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Krṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists  SB 1.3.28

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/1/3/28

Please do kindly read Srila Prabhupada’s purport: https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/1/3/28

Yes, without a doubt, Krishna is the Supreme Master, everyone else is His servitor in one way or another.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

J. Raul C, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna!!

 Why when I ask people from India who is Krishna, their answer is an incarnation of Vishnu?

I understood Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source from everything emanates!!!

Haribol Krishna devotees!! 

J. Raul C.

Kardama Muni Das, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to Gurudev and Gurumataji

Raul prabhu, this is a very common question. I had this misunderstanding my self when I came to Krishna Consciousness. What I realized was that most people who speak of Lord Krishna as an incarnation of Visnu refer to Ksirodakshayi Visnu as the source of all incarnations. They are limited in their understanding that Ksirodakshayi Visnu comes from Garbhodakshati Visnu, who comes from Karanodakshayi Vishnu, who is an expansion of an expansion of Krishna. 

Srila Prabhupada explains that all the incarnations in the material universes come through Ksirodakshayi Vishnu. So for someone whose knowledge is limited to the material universe only, it is natural to think that all the Visnu-tattvas that appear here are incarnations of Ksirodakshayi Visnu. But someone who can see beyond the material world through the eyes of sastra, specifically Srimad Bhagavatam, it is not very difficult to understand that all the Visnu-tattvas are expansions of Krishna and are only appearing in this universe through Ksirodakshayi Visnu. 

I hope that what I have spoken is correct and helpful. If there is something that does not seen to to be in line with Srila Prabhupada, please correct me.

In your service,

Kardama Muni Das

Jayakrishna, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna! Thank you Prabhujis and Matajis for your replies. Yes, from Srila Gurudevas message it is clearly explained and the doubt ends there. It seems not a coincidence as i have the same experience of getting my doubt answered by his daily messages, it seems that when we are strictly following Sri Guru, he will answer our doubts even without getting asked! such is the power of a Guru! Jaya Srila Gurudeva! we are all blessed to be here as his disciples or students and very very fortunate to have a pure Krishna devotee as our Siksha Guru or Diksha Guru.

Regarding Lord Vishnu, my understanding is that the original form of Vishnu is Krishna with his two hand form, and hence we may say that Krishna who appeared 5000 years ago is an incarnation of Krishna ( two handed Vishnu) himself, the proper word however is not incarnation, it may be described as a descending of Krishna, and this continues in every chaturyugas but each of the past times of Krishna are eternal and is happening somewhere in this universe, as there are many many universes existing and developing. for better understanding we may explain it(though not in the strict sense) to our seeing some stars which are no more there, from some billions of light years.

I have read Devi Bhagavata, there also we can see Krishna and Radha as the supreme authority!, though these Puranas are rajasik or tamasik, there too, the glory of Sri Krishna and Srimati Radha devi is mentioned elaborately! My personal experience is that when we worship Lord Siva faithfully and whole heartedly, we will get directed to Vaishnava devotee association. This is because, as it is mentioned in Brahma Samhita,  Lord Siva is our father,  father of the mundane world and also is the greatest Vaishnava and very much merciful..

your humble servant

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Jayakrishna

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Jiva Soul – A poem from 1874

Back in in 1874, Bhaktivinode Thakura wrote this sublime poem that gives us the formula for Supreme Spiritual Success! Jiva Soul, from Saragrahi Vaishnava

This is a poem by the great saint Bhaktivinode Thakura… from his 1874 work, “Saragrahi Vaishnava”

The Jiva Soul:

Alas for those who spend their days
In festive mirth and joy.
The dazzling, deadly liquid forms
Their hearts fore’er employ.

The shining bottles charm their eyes
And draw their heart’s embrace;
The slaves of wine can never rise
From what we call disgrace.

Was man intended to be
A brute in work and heart?
Should man, the Lord of all around,
From common sense depart?

Man’s glory is in common sense
Dictating us the grace,
That man is made to live and love
The beauteous Heaven’s embrace.

The flesh is not our own alas;
The mortal frame a chain;
The soul confined for former wrongs
Should try to rise again.

Why then this childish play in that
Which cannot be our own;
Which falls within a hundred years
As if a rose ablown.

Our life is but a rosy hue
To go ere long for naught;
The soul alone would last fore’er
With good or evil fraught.

How deep the thought of times to be!
How grave the aspect looks!
And wrapt in awe become, O, we,
When reading Nature’s books.

Man’s life to him a problem dark–
A screen both left and right;
No soul hath come to tell us what
Exists beyond our sight.

But then a voice, how deep and soft,
Within ourselves is left;
Man! Man! Thou art immortal soul!
Thee Death can never melt.

For thee thy Sire on High has kept
A store of bliss above,
To end of time, thou art O! His–
Who wants but purest love.

O Love! Thy power and spell benign
Now melt my soul to God;
How can my earthly words describe
That feeling soft and broad.

Enjoyment, sorrow — what but lots
To which the flesh is heir?
The soul that sleeps alone concludes
In them it hath a share.

And then, my friends, no more enjoy
Nor weep for all below;
The women, wine, and flesh of beasts
No love on thee bestow.

But thine to love thy brother man
And give thyself to God.
And God doth know your wages fair–
This fact is true and broad.

Forget the past that sleeps and ne’er
The future dream at all,
But act in time that are with thee
And progress thee shall call.

But tell me not in reasoning cold,
The soul is made alone
By Earth’s mechanic lifeless rules
And to destruction prone.

My God who gave us life and all
Alone the soul can kill
Or give it all the joys above
His promise to fulfill.

So push thy onward march, O soul,
Against an evil deed
That stands with soldiers Hate and Lust–
A hero be indeed.

Maintain thy post in spirit world
As firmly as you can,
Let never matter push thee down–
O stand heroic man!

O Sharagrahi Vaishnava soul,
Thou art an angel fair;
Lead, lead me on to Vrindavan
And spirit’s power declare.

There rests my soul from matter free
Upon my Lover’s arms–
Eternal peace and spirits love
Are all my chanting charms.

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.

Overcoming Dr. Frog Mentality

Why does anyone try to measure God against themselves?

I heard this example from my spiritual master Sri Sankarshan Das Adhikari several times. Once upon a time, Dr. Frog lived in a well. He was the authority on the well. He knew all its inhabitants, he knew the varying water levels. Dr. Frog was born in the well, and knew that of course, his well was the greatest water body in the world.

One day, a little visitor came to his well, hop hop hop. This visitor had just come from the ocean’s edge. Dr. Frog welcomed his little guest, and they got talking. Dr. Frog told him all about his well. The little one said all that was fine but that he had seen a water body much bigger than the well. Dr. Frog couldn’t believe his ears. He decided to humour his little visitor.

He puffed up his chest a little. “This much bigger?” he asked. The little one said, “No Dr. Frog, much bigger”. Dr. Frog was a master puffer. So he puffed himself up some more. And more. And more. Until his chest burst. And that was the end of Dr. Frog.

Similarly, the Dr. Frogs of this world are trying to measure the glory of God in relation to themselves. When they hear Krishna drank deadly poison as a newborn and sucked out the life of Putana the child-killing demoness, they think, surely this is a fairy tale. When they hear how Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill for 7 days and 7 nights on the little finger of his left hand without a break to protect the citizens of Vrindavan, they think this is surely a myth. When they hear Krishna danced with 3 Billion Gopis and made each of them feel that she was the only one, they say, surely this is a male fantasy. When they hear Krishna married 16,108 wives and each of the wives thought she was the only one, they may think surely Krishna must refer to a tribe of men.

Each materialist, atheist, and pseudo-spiritualist tries to measure God against Himself. This is Maya, that which is not, trying to measure God against one’s own puny little self.

But we little fellows, recovering atheists, are going around telling the little Dr. Frogs of the world, sir, there is a God, and God is very very great, much much greater than you, and they simply puff up their chests. We also say God is very very sweet, not an angry old man, and they think we are fools. We tell them we know what God looks like and they think we are idol worshippers.

But everyone should remember that a frog who croaks too loud attracts his own death in the form of a hungry snake.

The snake of time will devour us all, but those of us in a compact of Love with God, death is simply taking a nap and waking up in our eternal form.

Please read the books of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Please strive to understand and follow them. Please chant Hare Krishna, serve the Krishna Consciousness Movement directly or in any of its many branches like Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, and continue your progessive journey home.

If I may serve you on your journey please reach out!

Penn State or State Pen?

Governments fund Universities and the same Governments fund prisons too. Where would you rather be? For 4 years or 80? For this lifetime or eternity?

Some of my nephews, nieces, children of friends, and even new friends recently started with their post-secondary studies. Some are going to trade schools, some to Universities. Some are staying with their parents in their home towns, some are moving to another city, some to another country… some of these students are moving continents.

Even though this is 2020, and many of these studies are happening online, still the students are all free to learn, to make friends, to have new experiences they never had before. They are free to explore and to grow. They have the freedom of choice.

While many of these students or their parents have paid varying amounts in various fees etc., it is understood that most of these educational institutions have been funded by the governments in those places… local governments, state or provincial governments, even national governments.

So, much of what the students are enjoying is paid for by the government.

There are other people, also in the same range as those young people going to colleges and universities. They live in funded facilities too, but their freedom is strictly restricted. They must eat whatever is given to them. They must stay in a cell. They must wear a uniform and follow a certain regime. They may not visit others, and others may visit them in strictly restricted environments… these are inmates in various jails, prisons, penitentiaries, and so on.

While the students have a lot of freedom, the inmates do not.

Why this this?

One set of people have decided to stay on one side of the government’s system, and many of them are practically enjoying the government’s largesse. Another set of people have made choices that lands them in another set of restrictive circumstances.

Is it that the government builds prisons because it wants citizens to go there?

ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूत: सनातन: ।
मन:षष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति ॥ ७ ॥

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/15/7/

Similarly, Krishna creates the material world for those who make the choice to go against the laws He makes. He does not want any soul to come to the material realm, but they do, by their own choice. Once they do get here, Krishna diligently tries to help them out. He expands into their hearts, comes Himself personally, He sends His messengers, they leave their personal examples, books, societies and associations behind for those trapped in the material realm.

नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभु: ।
अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तव: ॥ १५ ॥

nādatte kasyacit pāpaṁ na caiva sukṛtaṁ vibhuḥ

ajñānenāvṛtaṁ jñānaṁ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ

Nor does the Supreme Lord assume anyone’s sinful or pious activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance which covers their real knowledge.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/15/

It is up to us, the conditioned souls living in the material realm to accept these facilities, get rid of all material contamination and go back home, back to Godhead, where we belong.

Governments fund Universities and the same Governments fund prisons too. Where would you rather be? For 4 years or 80? For this lifetime or eternity?

How may I serve you?

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