Significance of the Feeling of Insignificance

Souls in the material world feel important, very important, or most important. It is a root cause of all strife in the world. What about the feeling of insignificance, or humility? Is that significant?

Most of us consider ourselves highly significant. I am not immune to this either. But when I put my own life in context with the world around me, the other souls, especially in relation with God, I begin to feel insignificant.

But then, in many of my personal interactions, I begin to find this feeling of super-significance show itself again. It manifests itself as pride, arrogance, impatience, intolerance, condescension, holier-than-thou, or obnoxious bossy behaviour. Most people can’t stand it when they see it in someone else. But most of us carefully cultivate the root cause of those traits.

Of course, it’s easy to think that we’re super-significant, after all, we came out of the spiritual world to feel that way, and the material world is designed to make us feel that way too.

It all started with the envy of God. Envy, not jealousy. What is the difference, one may ask. One very advanced spiritualist, Chakri Dasa, a disciple of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada made it very clear in a class in Durban, South Africa, many years ago… He said “Jealousy means you don’t like that someone has what they have”, he continued “But Envy, that is different, it means, I don’t like that you have what you have. I wish that I had what you have. I wish that you didn’t have it, I wish you were dead and I could have that instead”.

So, envy of God means that we want God to be subservient to us (or dead), and instead that we would rather be God. This is actually the “Original Sin”.

This is why the spirit soul comes to the material world. God says, “well, you are you, and I am Me, but if you want, I can send you to a place where you can think that you are God”. And reluctantly He makes arrangements for us to come here, but comes along with us as the Super-Soul or Paramatma!

Therefore, we have the unfortunate situation where everyone in material consciousness is trying to dominate one another.

Is it any wonder then, that as a recovering atheist, I still have these feelings of super-significance! I came here to be God in the first place! 🙂

By now I know that I am not God, but this tendency to try to lord it over the material world, and all others stubbornly persists.

But what is incredible, truly incredible, is that God Himself does not consider Himself very significant, whereas He sees service done unto Him as highly valuable! I found that amazing, and thought you might too.

किञ्चित्करोत्युर्वपि यत् स्वदत्तं
सुहृत्कृतं फल्ग्वपि भूरिकारी ।
मयोपनीतं पृथुकैकमुष्टिं
प्रत्यग्रहीत् प्रीतियुतो महात्मा ॥ ३५ ॥ kiñcit karoty urv api yat sva-dattaṁ
suhṛt-kṛtaṁ phalgv api bhūri-kārī
mayopaṇītaṁ pṛthukaika-muṣṭiṁ
pratyagrahīt prīti-yuto mahātmā

The Lord considers even His greatest benedictions to be insignificant, while He magnifies even a small service rendered to Him by His well-wishing devotee. Thus with pleasure the Supreme Soul accepted a single palmful of the flat rice I brought Him.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/81/35/

In this chapter (and the previous one) of the Bhagavatam, there is an account of a saintly gentleman by the name of Sudama, who was a boyhood school friend of Krishna, in the school of Sandipani Muni.

While Krishna, as the husband of the Goddess of Fortune is Supremely Opulent, Sudama, as a simple spiritualist, was satisfied with whatever came of its own accord. When his wife, frustrated by the extreme poverty (bony bodies, torn clothes, starvation), persuaded Sudama to seek a favour from Krishna, his boyhood Friend, he reluctantly agreed, more joyful for the opportunity to meet Krishna than to ask for some benediction.

He joyfully went to see Krishna, taking a humble gift of 4 handfuls of flattened rice, begged by his wife from a neighbour. But when he saw the opulence of Krishna’s palace, he was too ashamed to give Krishna the humble gift.

He also forgot to ask Krishna for anything at all! He was just so happy to see Krishna, reminisce, etc.

Krishna of course, being the All-knowing Super Soul dwelling in everyone’s heart, knew everything, snatched the rag-parcel of flattened rice, and in return gave Sudama opulence equal to that of the king of heaven.

Sudama felt insignificant in front of Krishna. Krishna felt His gift of opulence insignificant in front of Sudama’s love.

अहो ब्रह्मण्यदेवस्य द‍ृष्टा ब्रह्मण्यता मया ।
यद् दरिद्रतमो लक्ष्मीमाश्लिष्टो बिभ्रतोरसि ॥ १५ ॥ aho brahmaṇya-devasya
dṛṣṭā brahmaṇyatā mayā
yad daridratamo lakṣmīm
āśliṣṭo bibhratorasi

[Sudāmā thought:] Lord Kṛṣṇa is known to be devoted to the brāhmaṇas, and now I have personally seen this devotion. Indeed, He who carries the goddess of fortune on His chest has embraced the poorest beggar.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/81/15/

It is not possible for a person in material consciousness to feel that kind of humility. It is impossible to feign. Only a soul in pure spiritual consciousness, pure Allah/Christ/Yahweh/Adonai/Buddha/Krishna, consciousness can feel such deep humility…

Humility is a precious gift, and true humility comes from knowing and being in one’s own constitutional position as an infinitesimal fragmental part-and-parcel of our glorious emanator.

Oh! When will I feel the genuine insignificance felt by the pure spiritualist? When will I be free of my false pride? When will I actually recover from this horrible atheism I am afflicted with? Oh! My dear Krishna, how and why did I ever allow this horrible poisonous envy enter my heart?

Love, not Fear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ईश्वर: सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।

भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्‍त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ ६१ ॥

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ

hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati

bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni

yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe 

sva-ghoṣaṁ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam 

tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaṁ 

punaḥ prematas taṁ śatāvṛtti vande

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

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

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

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari, Transforming Lust into Love

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

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

NO FEAR!

God and The Absolute Truth

Who is God? What is the Absolute Truth? Does all God do is work to keep us all in line? What gives?

J Raul C, 12th November 2016

Hare Krishna!!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva!!

vancha-kalpa-tarubhyashcha

kripa-sindhubhya eva cha

patitanam pavanebhyo

vaishnavebhyo namo namaha

Dear devotees,

Please help me to understand the conception of God and the conception of Absolute Truth.

I have read and heard so many times in the scriptures and purports that God is Krishna and at the same time we talk about Absolute Truth as the supreme person or param satyam also we know Krishna as the Supreme Person

Please elaborate as God and Absolute Truth are not on the same level.

Thank you kindly,
J Raul C.

Premananda das, 12th November 2016

Hare Krsna Vaisnavas

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

God means controller and Absolute Truth means the source and end of everything and all the energies that exist.

Actually the conception of Absolute Truth is way beyond God.

Absolute Truth actually makes an impression on the mind that it is not just a religious enthusiasm but profound philosophy.
It answers the most important question that He is the origin and destination of everything.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1.1.1 it is explained that Krsna is beginning and end of everything and it also defeats the idea that matter is the source of creation which is prominent in today’s modern world.

It is not only om namo bhagavate not vague but it is Vasudevaya son of Vasudeva and Devaki primeval Bhagawan.

This list is check point of whether someone is God and Absolute Truth.

Absolute Truth is Sri Krsna son of Vasudeva and Devaki.

oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
 tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mṛṣā
 dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.

He is the source and end of everything.
He is supremely conscious and independent.
He is the original source of all knowledge.
He is the original source of bewilderment.
He makes the three worlds appear real like mirage.
He resides in the eternal abode free from illusion.
He is the highest Truth to be mediated upon.(Son of Vasudeva)

your servant

Premananda Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16th November 2016

Dear Sriman Raul,

Hare Krishna!

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

Who is “God” – this is the generic name for some kind of administrative and executive function/position in the creation, maintenance, and dissolution of the manifestation. Actually Krishna is greater than “God”, because Krishna is the source of “God”.

It is like saying “Man”, does not identify a specific individual but a class of individual.

This is why Srila Prabhupada used the phrase “Supreme Personality of Godhead” to describe Krishna, though he did call Krishna God in some specific contexts, like when he explained the phrase “krishnas tu bhagavan svayam”.

There are many “gods”, like for example each of us control something in our own and others’ lives… and because Krishna expands Himself unlimitedly in Vishnu Tattva expansions actually one can say that there are also many “Gods”… but the “gods” and “Gods” are all servant Gods, and everyone is ultimately serving Krishna in some way or another.

A riverhead is the source of a river. A river is a continuously flowing stream of water… even though we say “here is a river”, it is not the same at any two moments – the water in it is different at every moment practically.

Similarly, “God” is a concept that is impossible to explain materially, and is dynamic. Krishna is the source of that infinite dynamism, the source of the power of all powers, all energies, all living entities. If the word Godhead is considered, then that Godhead is the Source of “God”, but that Source of God has many many personalities, like Balarama, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and then the second set of those, Maha Vishnu Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, Kshirodakashayi Vishnu, etc.

We read from the Srimad Bhagvatam how Krishna expands “bahu syam” (I shall be many) into different types of expansions, “svamsha” or Vishnu Tattva expansions, and “vibbinamsha” or separated jiva expansions. Then there are the shaktis, the shiva tattva. There are the potencies of hladini, sandhini, samvit, and so many further expansions and so much complexity in the spiritual and material manifestation.

But in the end, Krishna has nothing to do, He simply plays His flute, and enjoys pastimes with His associates, no “duty” to do, like having to keep track of who is doing what, punishment and reward, that is the “God” function which is played by His arrangements in so many elaborate ways.

I hope this helps.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

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How do I become pure and sinless?

How do I become pure and sinless? Do I fear God? What do I do to be pure and sinless? How do I avoid doing things that are sinful?

Deepak A, 25th March 2016

Hare Krishna devotees

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

Am not a devotee! But i believe god is there in all things.I fear for him.

I always will be correct to my conscience and do things right.

But i have did some things wrong suddenly i feel like am away from god and he is angry on me for deeds i did.

Please tell me what Lord Krishna say about committing sin and how to come out from that.

I want to be pure as god both in deeds and heart .

Please help me!!!

your humble servant
Deepak Appu

Sridhar Das, 25th March 2016

Hare Krishna Deepak!

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

Many answers that shall fully clarify all your doubts are coming up. I however just wanted to state:

I’m sure our understanding of God is that Krishna is the Supreme Person–ality of Godhead, who is one without a second, the rest being his servants/representatives.

We must try to confirm our understanding/sentiments from Vedas to assure we’re understanding correct which you’ve done sincerely.

When we read Bhagavad Gita with the mood of a devoted learner, an aspiring devotee, we will understand what is right, what is wrong, what Krishna wants, what pleases Him, what displeases Him.

When you feel Lord’s anger for you, I wish to correct that this is Krishna’s actual nature confirmed from His statements:

samo ‘haḿ sarva-bhūteṣu

na me dveṣyo ‘sti na priyaḥ

ye bhajanti tu māḿ bhaktyā

mayi te teṣu cāpy aham

I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.(BG 9.29).

The solution to sins is:

sarva-dharmān parityajya

mām ekaḿ śaraṇaḿ vraja

ahaḿ tvāḿ 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. (18.66)

And if one simply accepts that I’m a servant of God or Krishna and I must obediently serve Him then whether one be the most sinful person addicted to most sinful activities but if He accepts this truth, Krishna guarantees to not only forgive their sins but even remove them and liberate the person like a caring father. For such a soul Krishna says:

api cet su-durācāro

bhajate mām ananya-bhāk

sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ

samyag vyavasito hi saḥ

“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.” (BG 9.30)

When we serve the Lord and His devotees, automatically their godly qualities descend upon us if they’re pleased.

So the conclusion is to engage in some devotional service to Krishna in association of His devotees and all your problems (not current but complete lifetime) shall be solved.

Thank you for the nice question.

your servant
Shridhar Das

Bhakta Sunil, 27th March 2016

Hare Krishna Deepak bhai,

Please accept my humble respects,
All Glories to Vaishnavas,

If one does something wrong and feel away from God, it indicates that one has to purify oneself to prevent mistakes and misdeeds which can prick the conscience,

As long one has impurities in heart, one is forced to act in a way depending on the modes of material nature which one has acquired from one’s past desires and actions,

“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” Chapter 3 Verse 5 helps us to understand this point, as follows :

Translation :

Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.

Purport :

It is not a question of embodied life, but it is the nature of the soul to be always active. Without the presence of the spirit soul, the material body cannot move. The body is only a dead vehicle to be worked by the spirit soul, which is always active and cannot stop even for a moment. As such, the spirit soul has to be engaged in the good work of Krishna consciousness, otherwise it will be engaged in occupations dictated by the illusory energy. In contact with material energy, the spirit soul acquires material modes, and to purify the soul from such affinities it is necessary to engage in the prescribed duties enjoined in the sastras. But if the soul is engaged in his natural function of Krishna consciousness, whatever he is able to do is good for him. The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.17) affirms this:

tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer
bhajann apakvo ’tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kim
ko vartha apto ’bhajatam sva-dharmatah

“If someone takes to Krishna consciousness, even though he may not follow the prescribed duties in the sastras or execute the devotional service properly, and even though he may fall down from the standard, there is no loss or evil for him. But if he carries out all the injunctions for purification in the sastras, what does it avail him if he is not Krishna conscious?” So the purificatory process is necessary for reaching this point of Krishna consciousness. Therefore, sannyasa, or any purificatory process, is to help reach the ultimate goal of becoming Krishna conscious, without which everything is considered a failure.

Regarding your asking about freedom from sins, please read the Question-Answer taken from daily “Thought for the Day” emails , dated 7th June 2015 :

Question: Freedom from My Many Sins?

I am 23 years old. Now when I look back I can recollect many sins which I have done. The reason that I was not aware until now that this was sinful is due to my own karma from my previous birth. So even though I did not have the knowledge of right and wrong, I am solely responsible for this because it was my choice to be in ignorance. If in this birth I do good, is it possible that I may get spiritual knowledge in my next birth?

What is initiation? What is the complete process for getting initiated?

Can we live a grihastha (married) life after getting initiated?

Your reader

Answer: Surrender to Krishna Frees You from All Karma

There is no need to wait until your next birth to get spiritual knowledge and live a pure life. You can be born again right through the process known as initiation. In this way you will qualify to enter the eternal abode of Lord Sri Krishna at the time of death.

Initiation is when you take a vow to strictly follow the principles of Krishna consciousness for your entire life. This means that you agree to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day on japa mala beads and that you also agree to strictly avoid illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling for your entire life. At the time of initiation you also accept a highly advanced devotee who is fixed in Krishna consciousness as your spiritual master and you agree to always abide by whatever instructions he gives you. By becoming initiated and keeping your vow, you are a fully surrendered devotee of Krishna. The spiritual master and Krishna free you from the reactions from all of your previous sinful activities for millions of lifetimes in this material world. Initiation is essential for one who wants to attain genuine happiness.

Srila Prabhupada emphasizes the importance of initiation in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.18:

“Unless one is initiated by the right person, who always carries within his heart the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot acquire the power to carry the Supreme Godhead within the core of one’s own heart.”

He also writes in his purport to Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya Lila, 24. 331:

“As far as the time of diksha (initiation) is concerned, everything depends on the position of the guru. As soon as a bonafide guru is received by chance or by a program, one should immediately take the opportunity to receive initiation.”

Regarding your question about married (grihastha) life, many of our disciples are married and are progressing very nicely in Krishna consciousness. This option remains open to you. If you like, you can marry a nice Krishna conscious girl who is already a dedicated member our Krishna consciousness movement and raise children in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
www.joincourse.com

Hope this helps,

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 30th March 2016

Hare Krishna

Actually, you are a devotee! We all are devotees. Even the trees, animals, birds, every living entity. However, we all are in a state of forgetfulness, just like a man who has lost his memory has difficulty to identify himself and where he belongs to. Then with the help of a doctor the patient is made to remember his past life (i.e. his real life) with the help of pictures, videos,etc. Slowly the patient recovers. But this is a very crude example to make us understand of our actual position.

A mango will be called a mango, whether it is at an unriped stage or at a completely ripened, sweet nectarean stage. Just like an unriped mango also has to work its way towards that ripened stage, we all devotees, slowly and slowly have to work on removing those layers and layers, heaps and heaps of dust (ignorance) covering our hearts under the expert guidance of a doctor i.e. a spiritual master to come to that mature, pure devotee stage. So if you haven’t found a doctor yet, this is a very good time to find one (from the wonderful list of spiritual masters in ISKCON and one of them, as you know, is our Srila Gurudeva) and start working your way to becoming completely pure as your wonderful desire is to be.

Sridhar Prabhu has already given well researched answer to your question.

But if you still feel to enquire further, our many experts on board are always there to help you.

Thankyou
Sincerely,
Shyamapriya devi dasi

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Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01st April 2016

Dear Deepak,

Hare Krishna!

The scriptural references you have, and also encouragement from the devotees.

Krishna is not some mean-bully-in-the-sky type personality.
Krishna is your best friend and supreme well-wisher.

If Krishna gives you correction, it will be in the mood of a loving parent who gives some punishment to a child, not some vindictive revenge-seeker-mentality.

Anyways, you know that what you did was not right, so you are feeling some remorse and guilt, but use this to go closer to Krishna by taking up some activity that will reduce the chance of you performing similar actions again.
Guilt is useless, but if we leverage remorse to lead us in the right direction, then that is ideal. Doing something practical that uplifts our consciousness is the key:

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. SB 6.1.15

This is the final answer of Sukadeva Goswami to the question of Maharaja Parikshit which was as follows:

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. SB 6.1.10.

The verses from SB 6.1.10 to SB 6.1.15 are a wonderful exchange. Please consider reading at http://www.vedabase.com/sb/6/1/10

Have you carefully read any of the books of Srila Prabhupada, even if it is a small book? Have you tried chanting Hare Krishna? Have you rendered any practical devotional service to the devotees?

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Deepak, 26th May 2015

Hare Krishna to all
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All Glories to GuruDev.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My question is :- which Yajnas should be perform in this Kaliyug and how to perform it

Hare Krishna

Rathin Mandal, 27th May 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

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

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

For this age only Sankirtana Yajna is recommended. For doing the yajnas that were recommended in other ages, neither do we have that much of life span, nor physical strength and not enough resources. That is why other yajnas are not recommended.

your Servant
Rathin

Sridhar Das, 06th June 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

My humble obeisances to you,
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata!
All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

You have correctly read that Sankirtan Yajna is the recommended Yajna for this age as confirmed below:

kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ
 tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ
 kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt

“Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.” (SB 12.3.52)

It can be performed by anyone irrespective of any past qualifications, irrespective of family backgrounds and can be chanted anytime and any place (we don’t carry beads in the bathroom though).

your servant
Sridhar Das

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I am Flower Bearing Spring

Do you have trouble seeing God?

It’s a famous frequently asked question, and being the recovering atheist I am, I’ve been asked the question many times, can you show me God?

A great saint, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, wrote this article to answer just that question… http://www.backtogodhead.in/how-to-see-god-by-his-divine-grace-a-c-bhaktivedanta-swami-prabhupada/

In the Song of God, The Bhagavad Gita, God says

ṛtūnāṁ kusumākaraḥ “, or ” of seasons I am flower-bearing spring

BG 10.35

I had that experience recently, when one night it was still winter, and seemingly, the next morning, all of a sudden, it was spring. Some trees had fresh green leaves, others had flowers in profuse numbers, some bright and colourful, some fragrant, some both… Here are some pictures so you can see God for yourself.

Apple Blossoms, still buds yet… God’s smile, about to unfold…
Wild Apple Blossoms, in full Bloom, God’s beautiful smile…
Do you have trouble seeing God? Why not see what God says about how we can see Him? Spring anyone?
More Apple Blossoms, this time against the Brilliant Sun, also the eye of God…

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Idol Worship? Or Deity Worship?

Often, I have come across a denigration of the Vedic Culture of Worship of God as “idol worship”. “Idolatry is a sin, you are going to hell”, I have heard very often.

And because the education system I was schooled in was western in its origin, there were many subtle and not-so-subtle references to this idea that somehow or other, this worship of Deities in the Vedic temples was deeply wrong.

And of course, this early conditioning gave me fodder for my atheism, my voidism, my impersonalism, my agnosticism, and essentially held me back from pursuing a spiritual path of any kind.

What is an idol? And how can a stone or metal or wooden image be God? Or how can a message written down in any language represent God?

It’s a fact that God is non-material, and therefore cannot be perceived by material senses. But the material senses are all I have, then how do I perceive God?

First of course, the perception of God is by hearing about Him. His name, His pastimes, and His qualities. In other words, the Name of God is the Form of God.

So, a name written down, is also God. Because God is Absolute, then God is fully present in His name.

But those scriptures which contain God’s name also contain descriptions of God’s qualities, of God’s interactions with others like myself, persons of the flesh. Jayadvaita Swami, born into Judaism, writes “Whose worship is Idol Worship”…

That very same God with the Names, is also described to have a form. Not a form like mine, which suffers birth, death, old age, and disease, but a form that is Eternal, Full of Joy, and Full of Knowledge.

How may I perceive that form with my two little material eyes?

As confirmed in the Padma Purana,

atah shri-krishna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah

“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.”

Padma Purana

Therefore, God, out of His kind mercy, appears before me in a form that I can very well perceive. But when He does, that form is non-material. That same old paint, wood, stone, and metal are transformed, just like an ordinary paper and ordinary ink are transformed with the name of God.

If worshipping a form of God according to the scriptures is wrong, then so is revering the name of the God written down or spoken even, because to utter a name in sound is to cause the form of the word to manifest.

Those who hate “idolatry” should then possess no Cross, no Qu’ran, no Wall, no Scripture, no Shrine, Nothing.

Idolatry is worship of the mundane, be it a car or a beautiful actor, be it a very knowledgeable professor of some mundane subject of the material world, or a great orator, or businessperson.

The supreme abode of the Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is described in the Brahma-samhita as chintamani-dhama, a place where all desires are fulfilled. The supreme abode of Lord Krishna, known as Goloka Vrindavana, is full of palaces made of touchstone. There are also trees called ‘desire trees,’ which supply any type of eatable upon demand, and there are cows known as surabhi, which supply a limitless supply of milk. In this abode, the Lord is served by hundreds of thousands of goddesses of fortune (lakshmis)and He is called Govinda, the primal Lord and the cause of all causes. The Lord is accustomed to blow His flute (venum kvanantam). His transcendental form is the most attractive in all the worlds—His eyes are like lotus petals and His bodily color like clouds. He is so attractive that His beauty excels that of thousands of cupids. He wears saffron cloth, a garland around His neck and a peacock feather in His hair.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Bhagavad Gita As It Is

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No eternal damnation

In many of the world’s religious traditions, there is the concept of eternal damnation… you know, do this, follow that, believe this, till the end of your life, or else, ETERNAL DAMNATION IN HELL FOR YOU!

That sort of fear mongering worked for some time… like with all things that are born in fear, they work on some people all the time, on all people for some time, but not on all people for all time.

People eventually tune that stuff out – with or without the help of the dogmatic religion called atheism.

The problem with eternal damnation is clear when we consider this…

  1. Our legal and constitutional systems have pardons built into them.
  2. Schools and Universities allow failed students to eventually pass.
  3. Even humans, imperfect humans, forgive.

So, something that us fallible humans can construct, police forces, courts, schools, universities… can actually be more merciful, more tolerant, more forbearing than God?

So, does it mean that God, the source of all that be, the Alpha, the Omega, the Origin of the Universe, doesn’t possess the quality of tolerance or forgiveness?

Is God some angry old man sitting around passing judgement and taking delight in making someone suffer eternally in the hellish regions? Is God a sadist?

Having been introduced to such an idea of God, would you blame a reasonable person for turning to atheism?

Nonsense! Eternal Damnation is a myth.

Let me say that again – Eternal damnation does not exist.

Once more – Eternal damnation is a tall tale, told by insecure religious leaders looking to control their flock with fear and intimidation.

But Eternal Damnation? Doesn’t exist, not true, false.

In the Gita, we find this verse:


भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।
सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ ५.२९ ॥
bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati


A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is 5.29 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/29/

Could a “benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities” ever institute a program of eternal damnation, where one can never be redeemed for whatever wrongs one may have committed? Not a chance!

In fact, knowing the material sojourn to be intensely painful, this “benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities” travels with each and every individual soul as the supersoul, till the completion of their material sojourn – whether it be in the body of a bird, a pig, a plant, an insect, a vulture, a tiger or any creature you can think of, God takes His place by the side of the spirit soul, little jiva…


ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।
भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ १८.६१ ॥

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā


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

Bhagavad Gita As It Is 18.61 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/61/

Yes, just see the immense kindness of God, to accompany a person who has rebelled, and left the association and service of God. How many persons even do that for one lifetime? Leave alone for millions and billions of lifetimes? No, only God is capable of that kind of infinite patience and love.

But what about damnation? There is none, there are simply correctional facilities…


तानहं द्विषतः क्रुरान्संसारेषु नराधमान् ।
क्षिपाम्यजस्रमशुभानासुरीष्वेव योनिषु ॥ १६.१९ ॥
tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān
saṁsāreṣu narādhamān
kṣipāmy ajasram aśubhān
āsurīṣv eva yoniṣu


Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, I perpetually cast into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.19 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/16/19/

And what happens next?


आसुरीं योनिमापन्ना मूढा जन्मनि जन्मनि ।
मामप्राप्यैव कौन्तेय ततो यान्त्यधमां गतिम् ॥ १६.२० ॥
āsurīṁ yonim āpannā
mūḍhā janmani janmani
mām aprāpyaiva kaunteya
tato yānty adhamāṁ gatim


Attaining repeated birth amongst the species of demoniac life, O son of Kuntī, such persons can never approach Me. Gradually they sink down to the most abominable type of existence.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.20 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/16/20/

So how can God be advertised as the all-merciful?

This is what A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says:


It is known that God is all-merciful, but here we find that God is never merciful to the demoniac. It is clearly stated that the demoniac people, life after life, are put into the wombs of similar demons, and, not achieving the mercy of the Supreme Lord, they go down and down, so that at last they achieve bodies like those of cats, dogs and hogs. It is clearly stated that such demons have practically no chance of receiving the mercy of God at any stage of later life. In the Vedas also it is stated that such persons gradually sink to become dogs and hogs. It may be then argued in this connection that God should not be advertised as all-merciful if He is not merciful to such demons. In answer to this question, in the Vedānta-sūtra we find that the Supreme Lord has no hatred for anyone. The placing of the asuras, the demons, in the lowest status of life is simply another feature of His mercy. Sometimes the asuras are killed by the Supreme Lord, but this killing is also good for them, for in Vedic literature we find that anyone who is killed by the Supreme Lord becomes liberated. There are instances in history of many asuras – Rāvaṇa, Kaṁsa, Hiraṇyakaśipu – to whom the Lord appeared in various incarnations just to kill them. Therefore God’s mercy is shown to the asuras if they are fortunate enough to be killed by Him.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, BG 16.19 Purport

But that is reserved for the really big demons, it takes a lot of effort to get there, none of the little ones make it past correction, and time in various insect, plant, animal, bird, fish lifetimes before coming back to another human life.

I’ve been told many times that because I am not following the Qu’ran according to someone’s interpretation, or because I haven’t accepted Jesus as my savior in someone’s view, I am going to hell. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I follow the principles of the Quran better than most people who claim to be Muslims, and it is a fact that Jesus Christ led me to where I am today.

God is a loving person, and I have a loving relationship with God. I will accept all the correction I deserve, seeing it coming from the loving hand of God. But this will remain my prayer…


तत्तेऽनुकम्पां सुसमीक्षमाणो भुञ्जान एवात्मकृतं विपाकम्
हृद्वाग्वपुर्भिर्विदधन्नमस्ते जीवेत यो मुक्तिपदे स दायभाक् ॥ १०.१४.८ ॥

tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk

My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8 https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/14/8/

So eternal damnation, it’s a myth, forget about it.

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