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?

So, you want to see God?

Do you want to see God? Who doesn’t! Do you know you already have? But you want to see Him up close and personal? Read on!

If there’s a God, I want to see Him.

George Harrison

It is a common refrain, everyone wants to see God.

One famous Indian monk went around asking many priests, monks, saints, etc., and his question was “Can you show me God?”. And the story goes that none could, except the person who then became his spiritual preceptor.

When that story got popularized, especially in India, and those connected with India in some way, people would ask any person of faith “Can you show me God?”, and then smirk as the poor soul stumbled for an answer.

Reporter 6: So, Your Divine Grace, have you realized God?

Srila Prabhupada: What do you think? What is your opinion?

Reporter 6: I can’t say.

Srila Prabhupada: Then if I say “Yes,”, what will you understand? If you are not yourself expert, then even if I say “Yes; I am God realized,” how will you take it as truth? If you do not know what God realization is. then how can you ask this question, and how will you be satisfied with the answer?

Reporter 6: Well. what is God realization?

Srila Prabhupada: First make sure you understand this idea.

Now, for instance, if one medical man asks another man, “Are you a medical man’.” and the other man says “Yes,” then the first man will understand by their exchange of technical terms whether the second man is truly a medical man. But unless one is himself a medical man, what is the use of asking another man, “Are you really a medical man?”

So for you it is useless to ask about my having realized God, unless you are prepared to accept my answer. Are you?

Reporter 6: Yes.

Srila Prabhupada: Then it is all right. I am God realized. I am seeing God at every moment.

Conversation with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Actually, it is very easy to see God.

O son of Kuntī, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable oṁ in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/8/

Have you tasted water? Have you seen the light of the sun and the moon? Have you heard the syllable “Om”? Have you ever heard any sound? Have you seen anyone with any ability?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you have seen God. Of course, you may not realize that, but you have.

Now, you may say, “Hey Das, you say God is a Person“, so where is that God as a Person?

Ah, now, here comes the crux – what is your qualification to see God?

If you want to meet some famous actor personally, then she should want to meet you. If you want to meet a big businessman, he should want to meet you. If you want to meet a politician, the politician should want to see you. Is this not true?

Doesn’t matter if someone is a lawyer, teacher, scientist, doctor, whatever – you need to be qualified to see them!

The greater the personality, the more qualified someone needs to be!

What is this qualification needed to see God?

premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Śyāmasundara, Kṛṣṇa Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bs/5/38/

“eyes tinged with the salve of love”, in other words, you love God purely, that is your qualification. And love means you love God without expecting anything in return. And there’s infinite variety in how you can love God!

Krishna, Govinda, Shyamasundara, Lotus Eyed, Effulgent, Love of Love, Lord of Lords, God of All!

So, would you like to see God? Face-to-face? In person? What are you prepared to do to qualify yourself? I’d love to serve you on your way! Please comment, or contact me!

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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