The Milk Controversy – should we give it up?

Should spiritualists consume milk or should they be vegan? The Vedic texts enjoin us to develop solid intelligence through milk consumption, but yet modern milk production is fraught with violence. So what is the spiritualist to do?

Partha Das, 26 April 2020

Hare Krsna,

I was surprised to see many articles and interviews by modern day doctors saying milk is white poison.

As a Hare Krsna devotee, I have given up tea, coffee, alcohol smoking etc . My only source of pleasure is daily cups of hot milk . I also enjoy all the milk byproducts such as yogurt, paneer, cheese, milk, sweets etc.

I tried to be a vegan for 3 months , on advice of a doctor who is against milk. But the result was that my bones and tooth became weak and brittle. I was forced to restart milk immediately.

Could you enlighten me a little on this matter. It is not possible to get milk from an ISKCON farm , which doesn’t use injections on cows, or is not cruel to animals.

What is the ISKCON stand on this matter, as our source of milk is the Govt dairy farm and it’s not possible to keep a cow in a city.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Paramahamsa Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna, 

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

I would like to thank you for your wonderful question and also appreciate that you have worked your way to avoid Tea, coffee, and nasty habits like smoking. It indeed shows your dedication to imbibe a proper lifestyle that will bring you closer to Krishna by at least reaching to the mode of goodness. 

As far as Milk and milk products are concerned or in that case, any foodstuff you enjoy if you do so without making an offering to Krishna then you are verily eating sin as mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita 3.13 

yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo

mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ

bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā

ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt

And if you enjoy the foodstuff after they are offered to Krishna then you can rest assured that you are not eating white poison as you point out modern doctors referring to milk. Of course given the fact that your body is able to digest milk and you don’t have some intolerance which might be the case for some individuals and they need to be consulting proper medical care. 

But, from the perspective of Sastra, Srila Prabhupada has very clearly mentioned in many different places that one can maintain ones’ body with any kind of foodstuffs but special emphasis is on Cow milk. It is very essential for the development of finer tissues of the human brain so that they can understand the intricacies of Transcendental knowledge.

Now as far as the milk you are referring to (from ISKCON Farm ) is called Ahimsa milk. This is very rare for people like us living in a city to get but in this matter, Srila Gurudev gives an analogy of a thorn to remove another thorn.

If you are not able to protect or participate in any way to directly protect Mother Cow then at least the milk you get from commercial dairy farms could be used to offer it to Krishna so that at least that particular Cow’s life is successful and you are getting the needed nourishment to developed your brain’s fine tissue to understand the Transcendental knowledge and who knows in the near future with that intelligence you might be able to come up with some scheme for Cow protection! 

your servant, 

Paramahamsa Das

Rahul Prasad, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna …

Dandavat Pranam…

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

How can milk (commercial) be considered in goodness? In the current scenario, cows have to suffer a lot to produce milk (commercial). For the production of commercial milk, the cow needs to undergo various known sufferings.

Then how can the milk produced commercially be considered in goodness?

I request you to please advise.

your servant

Rahul

Paramahamsa Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna Rahul, 

Please accept my humble obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev

The milk that has been offered to Krishna and then accepted as prasadam is transcendental i.e above 3 modes of material nature. 

The milk of the cow even though derived by commercial means when offered to Krishna could be seen as service rendered by the Go (cow/cows) to Govinda  ( the Supreme Personality of Godhead) so it is similar to us working in the commercial world going under so much trouble and collecting little Laksmi and then we utilize it i in the service of Guru and Krishna( Narayan ).

Does this help?

your servant, 

Paramahamsa das.  

Partha Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krsna Rahul Prabhu,

If we see the way plants are treated nowadays with pesticides, DDT, chemical fertilizers etc , I am sure such vegetables are not suitable for offering to Krsna. They will fall in the same category as milk produced in modern farms by torturing cows.

Hence I feel offering milk and vegetables to Krsna , before consumption is the only option left for us.

Nothing in this modern world is pure.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Partha Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krsna Paramhamsa Prabhu,

Thanks for your guidance. I am already offering the milk to Krsna before consumption. 

Hope to be part of the Ahimsa farm community in the near future.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Priya Sundari devi dasi, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna Prabhus. 

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

In my recent years of doing some research and talking to farm devotees as well as non-devotees, this is what I have concluded with the help of some senior Vaishnava inputs: 

1. If you have access to ahimsa milk then that is best. Drinking even 1 cup of ahimsa milk is better than loads of non ahimsa milk. Some devotees get raw milk delivered in bulk and freeze this and use this as needed. 

There are different degrees to the meaning of Ahimsa in this context. 

a. Where a cow is left free to graze and the calf is allowed to freely feed and then what remains is consumed….to…. 

b. Where cows are tied in a farm and allowed to graze for a bit and calves are allowed to feed limited. 

c. Of course the idea is that at the end of Mother Cow’s life, she is not slaughtered and the male calves are not sent away to be killed. 

2. If you don’t have access to ahimsa milk, then the next best option is Raw + Organic whole Milk. You can check with your local farm suppliers. 

a. This ensures that we are not ingested the various antibiotics and other medications that mother cow is subject to 

b. Also organic milk = mother cow is fed a better diet 

c. Raw because is it best to not have milk that has been treated (pasteurized and homogenized) 

*** Please note raw milk will need to be gently boiled before consuming to ensure that any other harmful bacteria have been eliminated***

3. If you don’t have access to raw milk, then the next option is Pasteurized + Organic + Unhomogenized Whole Milk. 

This can be bought locally in many supermarket chains. 

This follows the order of best, better and good. If you are able to afford / have access to ahimsa milk then that’s best. If that’s not an option then the next so on and so forth. 

In the least, the milk that we consume should be Organic and unhomogenized and always whole milk. 

Dr. Marianne Teitlebaum who is a renowned Ayurvedic practitioner talks more about that in her book: 

The demonization of milk

— Dr Marianne Teitelbaum

“Almost every blog or nutritional book I read calls milk a poison. Ayurveda considers milk a nectar and perhaps the most important food we can give to our body. Why the disconnect? There are several factors to consider here, all of which I discuss in my new book “Healing the Thyroid With Ayurveda.”

When you milk a cow and let the milk sit, the cream will rise to the top. This is called unhomogenized milk. Nowadays most of the milk is homogenized so you don’t see that layer of cream at the top anymore. But homogenized milk isn’t as nourishing and can contribute to heart disease and clogged arteries due to this processing of the fat molecules. So strive to get unhomogenized milk.

Get the full fat milk as it is the fat in the milk which delivers the calcium into your bones. If the milk is low-fat your bones will suffer as the calcium is now excreted out of your body contributing to the epidemic levels of osteoporosis we are currently experiencing. 

Many people cannot digest milk due to faulty digestion so it is imperative that you fix your digestion in order to receive milk’s health benefits. 

Some people cannot digest the protein in A1 milk, however numerous small dairies are springing up around the country which supply A2 milk which is lacking that hard to digest protein (see my book or previous posts about A2 milk). 

You must boil the milk to melt down the fat globules for best absorption into your cells, otherwise it will clog your throat and sinuses. 

If cow’s milk bothers you, try goat’s milk which is much lighter and easier to digest, and is similar to Mother’s milk. It is good for losing weight, congestion in the lungs and infections in the gut. 

Simmering the milk for a few minutes with 2-3 cardamom pods helps you digest the protein in the milk. And add a cinnamon stick to help you digest the sugar in the milk. Always add a few pinches of turmeric when simmering milk as the fat will deliver the turmeric into your cells. 

Milk is the only food that instantly absorbs into your cells to nourish all 7 tissues (blood plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow and reproductive fluids). within one day of ingesting whereas any other food can take up to a month to assimilate into the body. 

And boiling the milk forms tryptophan which helps you make more serotonin which makes you both happy and calm. 

This is why drinking warm milk before bed can contribute to a deep restful sleep. 

Many of our thousands of patients have reincorporated milk back into their diets and have experienced the strength, stamina and radiant health that warm whole milk can bring back to our depleted bodies. 

Don’t buy into the argument that we should avoid milk. It’s one of THE most nourishing foods if taken in the correct way.”

follow Dr Teitelbaum’s posts on Facebook. 

If there’s a large group of devotees in your area OR you have consumers who are favorable to not slaughtering cows / calves then you can talk to local farmers and request milk to be delivered for a higher price so that the cow is not harmed and to help the farmer not sell the cow at the end of her life to a slaughter house.  This has worked in some communities in the past. This also means that if people are interested then there is scope for preaching. 

I hope this has helped shed some light on the milk topic. 

your servant 

Priya Sundari devi dasi.

*Kṛṣṇe matir astu*

Partha Das, 29 April 2020

Hare Krsna Mataji,

Thanks for your elaborate explanation.

Partha Das

Rahul Prasad, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna

Dandvat Pranam

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

I do agree that if we offer the Milk (commercial or other type) it will be freed from all 3 modes.

But if we/vegetarian people will avoid consumption of Milk and Milk products then the demand of Milk will fall and the Milk industry will not (will reduce) production of new cows.

As most of the cows are first subjected to the Milk industry and later on moved to Meat industry.

So for the benefit of cows we can move to a (no milk product) vegetarian diet.

I request you to please advise me.

your servant

Rahul

Dr.Reena bhardwaj, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna    

Milk products like curd are good for health , increase immunity, and provide relief for gastrointestinal infections. So, milk in moderate amounts is good for health. 

Dr.Reena Bhardwaj 

Sailesh, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna:

With my limited knowledge, I share the following facts that I am aware of:

 Milk bearing cows are slaughtered once their calf bearing days and milk giving days are done.  It is better in my humble opinion that we be intellectually honest with ourselves, that by supporting milk industry we support the beef industry as well. PETA has a campaign about it as well ( Are you drinking beef?)

 Yes, we can say offer the milk to Krishna , by saying “Krishna Arpana” and then all consequences including the slaughter of the Cows go to Lords feet. But let us be very clear that there is a direct connect between us drinking milk and the end result of what happens to the Cow.

This happens in India as well. The moment a Cow stops giving milk and cannot produce calves, they are released on to the streets. The Cows eat from garbage bins for a while, eventually they are captured and slaughtered . No doubt many are taken to Gau Rakshak sheds, but that is not always the case.

If I have offended anyone, I beg forgiveness. If any feel these are not the facts, I would be grateful if I could be corrected.

Sincerely,

Sailesh

Kumar shivam, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and matajis.

Is there any evidence that if we stop consuming milk then that cow will not yet be slaughtered? Maybe,it might then be used solely for meat purposes and get cultivated as a meat machine as the economic value of milk will go down..

Can’t we promote cow dung for biogas plants, manure and it’s urine for medicinal purposes(as many brands are marketing now itself) so that slaughtering becomes a less viable option.

your servant,

Shivam

Harold Meier, 1 May 2020

Hare Krishna

The only real solution to this matter is to have your own farm and your own cow.  Not very practical.  However you decide to act, act for the sake of Krishna.  If you decide to give up drinking milk, do that for Krishna.  If you decide to continue drinking milk, do that for Krishna.  Either way, don’t be attached to the result and be grateful for each step you take towards Him.

Hare Krishna

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What does it mean to ignore your mind?

What does it mean to “ignore the mind”? Is this even possible? Why would I do that? And how can it be done?

Vishal, 23 February 2020

Hare Krishna,

Dandavats to everyone.

I have heard statements a lot of time, ignore your mind. Can we really ignore our mind and overcome issues like sadness, depression, laziness, confusion etc. Is it so easy to ignore ?

Please help me to understand what it means by ignoring the mind.

Hare Krishna 

Vishal

Nuria.k, 23 February 2020

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

In my humble understanding it means ignoring what is not good for Krsna consciousness because sometimes the mind is lamenting or putting obstacles like on the spiritual path. In that case it is better to strengthen our sadhana and move our attention to Maha mantra and spiritual master.

Nuria.k

Tapas Chakraborty, 24 February 2020

Hare Krishna 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada 

High regards for putting forward such an important subject around which revolves our resolves in our tune to consciousness. I hope a lot of debate and inputs from our learned disciples to shed enough of illuminations for others’ enlightenment.

As a novice in the subject, I am just attempting to put forth my understanding.

Mind is the most critical part of human intelligence, the control or discipline of which is the core to values in understanding of the truth or opening our intelligence to higher knowledge. Ignoring the mind is not a lasting solution to our spiritual journey for everlasting peace and ecstasy rather training it to be focused on our objectives of desires for higher realization in pursuit of excellence.

But the question remains how? In Bhagavad Gita this Subject has been dwelt in great details with 4 paths, viz Bhakti Jyana Raj and Karma yogas each of which deals with different aspects of training our mind. At ISKCON we are in the path of Bhakti Yoga in achieving the twin objectives of Krishna consciousness as well as controlled focus of mind as well as our senses. 

I wish to hear in detail from the disciples in this group whom I look upon as highly realized souls.

Hare Krishna 

From an endearing servant 

Tapas

Sacinandana Das, 25 February 2020

Hare Krishna.

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji. 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

We should ignore the mind if it stops us to perform Krishna Service by intelligence as intelligence is higher than mind. 

Jivera swarupa hoye nitya Krishna Das. 

The constitutional position of the living entity is to serve Krishna. 

For example if we want to get up early and chant the holy names of the Lord but the mind may stay asleep for some more time but we should not listen to it. We should ignore it and wake and chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. 

Mind may give us hundreds of reasons not to chant. It may say oh you are so tired, please take a little more rest but Srila Gurudev says we should chastise the mind. We should tell the mind to get up. Our mind has kept us so long in the material world. We should stop listening to our mind and control it by intelligence. We should be heavy with our mind. Our mind is a rascal.

Mind is like a little child. We must have seen a small child troubling his or her mother but when the child does not listen to her mother, the mother sometimes becomes angry and chastises her child and the child immediately comes under control. 

Our mind is like that small child and intelligence is like a mother. Above the intelligence is the soul whose Constitutional position is to serve Krishna as we are not this body. 

Bhagavad Gita says that the mind can be our best friend or enemy. So how to make our mind our best friend by performing devotional service to our beloved Lord Sri Krishna. In case one does some crime and has to go to jail, will our best friend go to jail with us? No. But Lord Krishna is so kind that as a Paramatma He never leaves us. He follows us from one to another for 84 lakhs yonis waiting for us when this living entity will turn face towards me. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that He is the best friend of all living entities. He is like a loving father and we are like a rich man’s son who has left our father. If some body recognises us and tells oh you are the son of Mr. Such and such. That someone is the Spiritual Master. That is why the Spiritual Master is so dear to Krishna. 

So let us stop listening to our mind and make the whole world Krishna conscious. I hope it helps. Hare Krishna.

your servant, 

Sacinandana das. 

Shridhar Das, 25 February 2020,

Hare Krishna,

Dear Vishal,

Please accept my humble obeisance.

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Ignoring is one of the mind techniques to deal with the mind.

Srila Gurudeva tells in one lecture that ignoring someone is a very heavy way of chastising. Srila Prabhupada did so with his disciples on a few occasions. Any spiritual master does to train the disciple. On the other hand, a parent has to also apply the technique of neglect with their children who is restless by nature. Children speak many things which they do not mean/intend to. It’s just a monkey stunt. If one was to pay heed to each such action from the energetic child, one will have no time for personal life unless really expert.

In the same way, we are already having custody of our child “mind”. Of course it’s a nasty demon in most cases than a child. Therefore, there are many ways to deal with these different behaviors of the mind. The standard principle is:

1) To engage the mind in the lotus feet of the Lord. Since the mind controls the reigns of all 5 senses, the 5 senses also become engaged.

a. Since we are not there,

2) We engage the 5 senses to ensure the mind, whose focus lie on the senses also becomes busy in their engagements

a. This is why we should keep ourselves busy in services

b. That service gives a meaning to our existence and the mind becomes occupied in planning and executing it. Where then is the question for the mind to think otherwise? Besides, if it is service to Krishna, mind purifies. Otherwise, there are millions who are foaming, working hard 16 hours a day for earning some money and experience a drop of sense gratification, but are more entangled with the desires of mind and senses. And are still dissatisfied.

3) Besides engaging, we also restrain our mind and senses from their sense objects.

a. Just as a drunkard who trying to get rid of addiction to alcohol tries to maintain distance from such drinks and his booze circle, we have to distance our mind and senses from their material addictions

b. At the same time apply first 2 principles of engaging somewhere. We are not dry speculators or renunciants who are after giving up the world but we are to connect everything with Krishna through devotional service.

The above 2 are standard principles as per Bhagavad Gita (Engaging & Refraining). 

In our initial stages where we are cultivating the habit of above 2, mind will still sometimes take time out in midst of our engagements to ponder upon negative thoughts. Then we deal mind with the following weapons: (SS RBNJ – Sri Sri Radha Brindavan Nath Jee)

1) Daily Reading of Scriptures: By knowledge, intelligence sharpens and the sword of knowledge comes handy to  cut the illusions of mind.

2) Regular Hearing from Sadhus who are determined and taking their association from time to time!

3) Rosy Words: We console it with a Rosy Words: “My dear mind, let us engage yourself in the service of Guru & Vaishnavas. That will make us happy…” and so on.

4) Beat the Mind: If we get too mellow with the mind, chances are it will switch to the role of master from a friend. Then, we have to beat Hundred times with a broomstick “You rascal! Hypocrite! Cheater! Stop this Nonsense!…” and so on, whenever it blabbers something negative. Please note, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura prescribes, 100 in morning and 100 in night J. If we do daily, mind will be trained.

5) Simple Neglect: Still when we are busy, it will mutter and then we may Simply Neglect/Ignore it knowing it doesn’t carry any weight to whatever it blabbers. Srila Prabhupada often instructs this.

6) Japa: with full struggle to hear the Holy Names of Krishna is the most powerful technique, knowing the power of Holy Names.

So you were speaking of Neglect. Now you have so many instruments. Choose whichever handy and aim at the mind to curb its negativity and then engage in devotional service!

Also note, if you cannot remember these, I have made an Acronym SS RBNJ – Sri Sri Radha Brindavan Nath Jee, Deities of New Vrindavan, West Virginia.

your servant

Shridhar das

Selena Saar, 25 February 2020

Hare Krsna Matajis/Prabhus

Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

In the book written by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada ;

● The path of perfection, Chapter 2 page 13; Mastering the mind and senses.

Your answer must be found precisely here. 

The Path of Perfection

Radhe Radhe, 

your servant,

Selena Saar

Selena Saar, 25 February 2020

Hare Krsna Mataji/Prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

A very good question.

Srila Prabhupada mentioned, to “hit your mind before sleep 100 times with a Chappal (sandal) and in the morning with a danda (stick)”. 

You should not ignore but try to correct your mind. 

Asking help from the Guru and SriKrsna is always recommended. Chant your rounds and read the Holy books given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, listen to lectures. Follow Ekadashi as sincerely as possible. Do Seva. Have love for Godhead and be patient with the process. Have faith in the power of His name. Answers will come from within and without. We have to sharpen our radio-antenna of the mind to the right frequency, and remove the dust from our hearts by these processes.

If you sincerely surrender unto the Lotus Feet, there is no need to for extra worry. 

We first need to understand this concept of fully surrendering. 

Krsna states that those who have surrendered unto His lotus feet. Lamentation is not suitable and befitting.

*Kirtaniya Sada hari*

Radhe Radhe,

your servant

Selena Saar

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

Is Vedic geography and Cosmology limited to India alone?

Do the Vedic texts only refer to India? Is the Vedic view that the earth is flat? What is the truth here?

Manoj Tripathi, 19 May 2016

Hare Krishna dear devotees.

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I was reading the Mahabharata translation by Krsna Dharma prabhu, wherein there are references to several places on this earth. The most interesting ones are mentioned in the portions describing the Rajasuya and Ashwamedha yagyas which Maharaja Yudhishthira performed.

All the places mentioned in these parts of the text seem to be in or around India. Also, it is never mentioned that they crossed the ocean to go to some other place like present Australia or the USA. 

The questions that arise are following:

a. Were there no powerful kingdoms in other parts of the world; or were the capitals of all the kingdoms located in and around India?

b. Are many of the routes and places which were accessible to people in those times not visible to us now?

I reconcile the present and past with these two arguments. Is there anything else that should be understood while reading about the past?

Sorry if I have posted something irrelevant.

Thank you.

Manoj

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 19 May 2016

Dear Manoj,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, Krishna Dharma Prabhu is in disciplic succession from Srila Prabhupada and his translation is relied upon by many devotees within ISKCON.

What is missing in that edition of the Mahabharata is purports as found in Srila Prabhupada’s books to give us full context of the verses (our context is very different today)… but then the work would become really massive because with Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam purports, with 18,000 verses it comes to 18 volumes of books… the Mahabharata has 100,000 verses! 🙂 How many of us have read even Srila Prabhupada’s books thoroughly?

On this topic of reconciling things as they appear today vs. Vedic history, a great reference is Devamrita Swami Maharaja’s “Searching for Vedic India“.

The main point is that human civilization is a devolution from Vedic civilization, things were not more primitive 5000 years as claimed by modern historians and scientists ago but actually more advanced. This cannot be accepted by a person who is proud.

In one lecture by Srila Prabhupada, on the verse BG 1.5, Srila Prabhupada says this:

“Practically in the Battle of Kuruksetra great personalities, warriors, from all parts of the world they came and joined. Some of them joined with this party and others joined with the other party. So far we have studied… just like Saibya, he belonged to Sibya. So all these personalities, we did not get their full description, it would enhance the pages. But these big personalities, we have got their information. There is a book, The Personalities of Mahabharata. Bhagavad-gita is part of Mahabharata. Mahabharata means greater India. Maha means greater, and bharata means India. So this whole planet was Bharata-varsa. There was only one flag. The whole planet was being ruled by one king. That is the king of this Hastinapura. The fight is that, that who would be the king, Maharaja Yudhisthira or Duryodhana. But a king… It is not a democratic; it is monarchy. So Krsna is deciding, “No, Duryodhana is unfit. Maharaja Yudhisthira is fit.” This is Krsna’s desire. Therefore this fight is there. Kuruksetra. Krsna wanted to wipe out all unwanted demons from the face of the world and enthrone Maharaja Yudhisthira because he is the exact representative of Krsna.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, “Everything (Even Dictatorship) Can Be Utilized for Krishna” 73/07/10 London, Bhagavad-gita 1.4-5)

So, the situation was that there were kings all over the world, but there were greater kings and lesser kings. And this was a war of the advanced Kshatriya races, the tribals, low-class humans, and animal-like-humans were not involved in it. In the Ashwamedha yajna, or declaration of supremacy, it was only necessary to get allegiance from the greater kings, the subordinates were naturally bound to follow suit. And of course, less advanced humans didn’t even figure in the equation.

Even in more modern times, it was like that with the Greek or Roman empire, if someone destroyed Athens or Rome, then the entire empire was practically gone.

Also, travel was not necessarily done as it is done today – for example, in the Mahabharata it is mentioned that Arjuna travelled to the heavenly planets. Where is the transportation means today that can take someone to the heavenly planets? So yes, the means of transportation as it existed then is not known today.

The secret is mantra yoga, by proper chanting of a mantra, one can achieve any desired success, whether material or spiritual, it is not necessary to make a tunnel to go through a mountain, it is not necessary to construct a floating ship to go over water, and it is not necessary to construct a metal tube with Bernoulli’s principle to fly in the air. The mantra is very powerful.

However, in the Krishna consciousness movement, we are not interested in discovering processes of material accomplishments, we simply want to chant

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

and become pure servants of the servants of the devotees of Krishna.

So therefore, we don’t always focus so much on the exact reconciliation of modern understanding with what is mentioned in the Vedic literature, we are going for the highest success, we don’t care to fly in a celestial flying craft or manufacture gold from chanting mantras etc.

Does this make sense?

Sincerely,

Mahabhagvat das

Manoj Tripathi, 19 May 2016

Thank you Mahabhagvata Prabhu for such a lucid answer.

These kinds of questions automatically come to mind, however upon thinking a little more I realize that there is no end to such inquiries.

Thank you so much for bringing me back.

Hare Krishna!

Sincerely,

Manoj

Kaspars, 02 June 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Is the planet Earth considered circular or flat in Vedic literature? One local devotee answered to me like this. Advanced people see more dimensions, not our three… It is length, width, height. So we cannot even imagine how Earth looks in other dimensions. Still I am curious whether the Earth was considered flat by ancient people. And how then we get the circular globe.

Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 2 June 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

The 5th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam gives a good idea of the structure of the Universe. See https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/, especially SB 5.16 onwards.

The Vedic cosmology goes beyond our insignificant planet. The “earth” is actually a large collection of “earthly” planets (islands) that are arranged to form something that looks like a disc. So yes, the “earth” is flat, but only when you consider that “earth” means “earthly planetary system with many many planets such as ours”.

Also, this is a video especially for you, this is a simulation of the  chandelier that will be inside the TOVP dome, it gives a good idea of Vedic cosmology according to Srimad Bhagavatam 5th Canto… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdX5lffC2IQ

All these things are difficult to fully understand, imagine an ant trying to understand the plan of a big city, it is practically impossible.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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

Bodily Consciousness, Miss America, and Suicide

Recently, an accomplished young lady committed suicide. What is the root cause of it? What is the consequence of it? What can we do to stop this?

In recent classes on the Srimad Bhagavatam, my spiritual master mentioned this sad news.

Why did a beautiful, young, highly educated young lady, crowned as Miss America recently commit suicide? Yes, Cheslie Kryst, former Miss America, an attorney, committed suicide on Jan 31, 2022! This was incredibly sad that such a gifted person thought it fit to end her valuable human life in this way.

Not long ago, a young school girl, Mallory, just 12 years of age, committed suicide too.

These are just two sad examples of many, many.

Some people are faulting social media, and Big Tech. The argument goes that these platforms are designed and created to be addictive, and these platforms don’t enforce discipline or proper behavior among the users, and so, harassment from others is the cause of the suicide. There is some truth to this.

But just like all other material solutions to material problems, it is only a partial truth. Partial truths only create more problems further down the road.

It is true that platforms like Facebook and Instagram are designed to be addictive. In Mathematics, there is a concept called “necessary and sufficient condition”… sometimes a condition is “necessary” but not “sufficient”. This means that unless all the necessary and the sufficient conditions are met, a certain statement is not true.

The fact is that there are a lot of different causes that cause this problem. If you start analyzing the problem, you will find that our entire social order, our systems, our institutions, and our societies each contribute to this problem. But how to attack the problem at it’s root?

When we examine harassment on social media, negative body image, resulting depression, and reduction of self-confidence to the extent of committing suicide, the primary condition to cause all the other problem is bodily consciousness.

What is “Miss America”? It is an external material designation, awarded to someone almost arbitrarily, on the basis of their body, and to some extent, their mind. So, the very “achievement” deepens and locks someone into bodily consciousness. So this Miss America thing is a big part of the problem, because of course, every idiot has their own idea of what is beautiful and what is not. Everyone who organizes it, everyone who participates in it, everyone who watches it, and everyone who attaches any value or any importance to it is a victim of this terrible disease of bodily consciousness.

Yes, bodily consciousness. Thinking that we are these bodies is the fundamental root cause of the problem.

We are spirit souls, or “Atma”. We are completely non-material.

In fact, the spirit soul wears two bodies, just like we wear outwear and underwear… The “outerwear” in the case of the spirit soul, is these gross material body. And the “underwear” in the case of the spirit soul is the subtle material body, consisting of mind, intelligence, and false ego.

What is false ego? Exactly the very root of the problem. False ego means “I am this body, I am this mind”. To confuse and conflate the identity of the pure spirit soul with temporary identities like the gross and material bodies is the pastime of fools like Descartes. And due to these very smart and clever fools, innocent people are being misled, even to the point of suicide.

In the material energy, the principal manifestations are eight, as above mentioned. Out of these, the first five manifestations, namely earth, water, fire, air and sky, are called the five gigantic creations or the gross creations, within which the five sense objects are included. They are the manifestations of physical sound, touch, form, taste and smell. Material science comprises these ten items and nothing more. But the other three items, namely mind, intelligence and false ego, are neglected by the materialists.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/4/ purport

Spiritual life begins at the point when we realize our identity as spirit soul. Any religious, philosophical or scientific tradition which does not clearly help us understand this is purely material in nature.

It is extremely sad that violence is being committed upon God’s dear souls every single day. And one should be extremely angry with those who are perpetrating this violence?

What is violence and what is non-violence? Violence means denying someone their right. If you have a right to be somewhere, and someone denies you that right, then that is violence against you.

Dear Spirit Soul, you are not this body, you are spirit soul, an eternal associate of God. Why are you accepting this horrible violence being perpetrated on you, making you believe that you are this body, you are this mind?

Wake up! Free yourself from these shackles! And the moment you do, you will no longer be fodder for those peddling sense gratification. You will not be addicted to Wordle, you will not be addicted to Facebook, you will not be addicted to Instagram, you will not be addicted to LinkedIn, and you will never have a negative thought about yourself for all of eternity.

Because you will know who you are, and you will be who you are. Eternal, Full of Knowledge and Ever-increasing Bliss – these are your qualities as a spirit soul.

You will then participate in the most enlivening, adventurous, loving interactions, together with other spiritually perfected beings, in the service of God.

Are you struggling with any negativity because of being misled like these unfortunate souls? Do you know someone suffering like this? Send them this article! Let me know, I will gladly point in the right direction, and you will be ever-increasingly happy.

To the gross materialist who cannot see anything beyond the gross material body, there is nothing beyond the senses. Therefore his occupational activities are limited to concentrated and extended selfishness. Concentrated selfishness centers around the personal body—this is generally seen amongst the lower animals. Extended selfishness is manifested in human society and centers around the family, society, community, nation and world with a view to gross bodily comfort.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/2/8/ purport

At the minimum, you should know the consequence of committing suicide… when someone kills their gross material body, they are not released from their subtle material body. So, the soul, because it is not yet time to acquire a new gross material body, has to remain in the subtle material body till the allotted lifetime is finished.

This is called, remaining on as a ghost. The ghosts, they do not possess a gross material body or senses, though they have many material desires for sense gratification. Just imagine how frustrating it is to want to drink water but have no hands, no tongue, no throat, and no stomach! Such is the fate of the ghost. In order to enjoy material experiences, ghosts have a need to inhabit other material bodies… and this happens when a person becomes intensely angry, or unspeakably morose, drunk, drugged, or otherwise inebriated. When this happens, a ghost finds it easy to enter such a body, and act through that body.

Ghosts are bereft of a physical body because of their grievously sinful acts, such as suicide. The last resort of the ghostly characters in human society is to take shelter of suicide, either material or spiritual. Material suicide causes loss of the physical body, and spiritual suicide causes loss of the individual identity. 

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/14/24/ purport

This is why we find instances of perfectly normal people doing things they would have never dreamed of doing. For example a gentle schoolteacher might murder someone, a devoted mother might abuse their child, a policeman may end up committing a most heinous crime. Of course, the ghost cannot be punished in a human court of law!

So it is all very very sad. This intense bodily consciousness and the resultant side effects must be stopped.

How can you stop this? First you have to perfect yourself. How can you do it?

Here is a start, chant this Mantra as much as you can:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Mahamantra

And to understand who you really are, read this book carefully The Bhagavad Gita As It Is. To be free is your right, don’t surrender it! I can help you get your own copy!

Marriage and Celibacy

What is Celibacy? Is it mutually exclusive with Marriage? What is Celibacy in Marriage? Is there something higher than sex pleasure?

Filip Misic, 19 November 2017

Hare Krishna everyone, please accept my humble obeisances.

I was wondering, why are there so many married people in ISKCON temples? Is celibacy good if one feels like it is not a huge difficulty for him? Please enlighten me.

your humble servant, 

Filip

Rakesh, 20 November 2017

Hare Krsna Filip prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances

That is a wonderful question. As far as I know, Srila Prabhupada said something like that if one can stay a celibate, one should stay like that. Can’t say if it is good or not  because your question has a conditional answer.

Celibate life is blissful and those who can stay like that are very fortunate because of the wonderful opportunity of service and association that they get. 

Coming to the first question, it is not easy to stay Brahmachari. I heard from one senior brahmachari that it is not easy even to decide to join Brahmachari ashram, what to stay of staying a celibate lifelong. Also, even if one joins brahmachari ashram, Maya Devi is always trying to lure him somehow or the other. As I heard from one another devotee, the envy of the jeeva against Krsna is Why Krsna is the enjoyer and the desire is that s/he wants to be Krsna. So that envy and desire is there in living entities’ hearts unless they are pure. Since living entities’ have been in this material world since millions of lifetimes, the conditionings are strong. 

Many brahmacharis change their ashram for many different reasons. It is difficult to say what exactly may be the reason. 

Hope I have been able to answer in some way.

your insignificant servant

Rakesh roshan

Filip Misic, 20 November 2017

Hare Krishna Rakesh Roshan prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances

Thank you for your answer, especially for enlightening me about how I should not let my guard down. As a university student I can say that I feel Maya breathing down my neck every day. Therefore I would like to humbly ask you to please pray for me so that I get more strength. 

your humble servant, 

Filip

Nikhil Mishra, 20 November 2017

Hare Krsna

I heard in one of the audios of Srila Prabhupada lecture that if one can live a celibate life easily then he should live else he should marry.

He says that Marriage is not prohibited in our movement but hypocrisy is !

Rest, personally, with experience i have understood that to overcome maya , one’s efforts are just not sufficient, grace of Krsna is also required.

My philosophy has been to eat well, stay healthy, do prayers, avoid extremes and keep exploring truths behind words said by Guru and shastras. Thankfully I am getting helped. God seems to listen to my prayers.

wishing you best

not so advanced in krsna Consciousness –

Nikhil

Filip Misic, 20 November 2017

Hare Krishna Nikhil

Thank you for your great advice. 

Even less advanced in Krishna consciousness, 

Filip

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 November 2017

Thank you for a great conversation everyone!

Hare Krishna!

Would like to bring to your attention that marital status and celibate status are not mutually exclusive.

Srila Gurudeva is married for over 30 years, but celibate for over 47 years.

I am married, but celibate also. The Krishna consciousness movement is full of such people who are married but also celibate. Of course, not all married couples within ISKCON are celibate, but if at least one of the couple is formally initiated as a disciple of a spiritual master, then celibacy is required.

The essence of the matter is this, from the Thought For the Day 26th Nov 2017:

Question: Sex Outside of Procreation?

My husband and I have been married for many years. Because of health problems, I can’t have any children. Is it illicit if we have sex?

Your student

 Answer: It is Illicit

In this case, you must practice celibacy. Don’t sleep together. Sleep in separate rooms, if possible, or at least in separate beds. Non-procreational sex is illicit. It is a waste of valuable energy that should be engaged in Krishna service, where you will get unlimited benefit instead of temporary titillation of the gross material senses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

In Vedic society, marriage is for a gentle society… most men can’t go through life alone, they need the kind of support and encouragement that only members of the female gender can provide. And most women need protection, at the very least to stave off unwanted attention from animal-like men. When a man and woman work together, they can do much more together than the man or woman individually.

In Vedic society, there are 4 Ashramas, or “positions of shelter” – Brahmacharya or unmarried life, Grihastha, or householder life, Vanaprastha, which could be single or married, but focused on spiritual advancement, and Sannyas, or the renounced order of life. In all the orders of life, one is expected to remain Brahmachari, or celibate, except that the householders have a license to engage in sex for procreation and also some more facility for somewhat luxurious life – because the Grihasthas technically work hard to support the other 3 orders – none of the other orders work for a living, the Grihastha is meant to support them all.

The married householder who lives for the sake of sense gratification is not known as a Grihastha, such persons are known as Grihamedhi, or a person who meditates on sense gratification.

Regardless of external status, one is meant to be internally always in Krishna consciousness, where celibacy is a natural by-product.

Srila Prabhupada quotes this verse in many places, but here it is from the purport to SB 9.19.16:

Therefore, by the practice of bhakti-yoga, one should give up his lusty desires. As explained by Śrī Yāmunācārya:

yadavadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde

 nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt

tadavadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne

 bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu-niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca

When one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, he gets more and more happiness by discharging duties for Kṛṣṇa. Such a person spits on sense gratification, especially that of sexual enjoyment. An experienced, advanced devotee is no longer interested in sex life. The strong desire for sex can be subdued only by advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/19/16/

And he repeats that verse here too, in the purport to BG 2.60

quote

Without engaging the mind in Kṛṣṇa, one cannot cease such material engagements. A practical example is given by Śrī Yāmunācārya, a great saint and devotee, who says:

yad-avadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde

nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt

tad-avadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne

bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca

“Since my mind has been engaged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and I have been enjoying an ever new transcendental humor, whenever I think of sex life with a woman, my face at once turns from it, and I spit at the thought.”

Kṛṣṇa consciousness is such a transcendentally nice thing that automatically material enjoyment becomes distasteful. It is as if a hungry man had satisfied his hunger by a sufficient quantity of nutritious eatables.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/60

Please note that sometimes that quote is misunderstood as a misogynist view that Yamunacharya is spitting at women an Srila Prabhupada is endorsing such a thought, no, Srila Yamunacharya is spitting at the thought of sex indulgence because of his deep Krishna consciousness which provides him with the highest pleasure, and Srila Prabhupada is encouraging us to be fully Krishna conscious.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Filip Misic, 27 November 2017

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Prabhu,

Thank you for your answer. Although I am sure all these answers do not only help me, but others as well. 

your humble servant, 

Filip

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What is the relationship between the Mind and Intelligence?

What is the difference between mind and intelligence? What is the relationship? Does the mind live in the brain?

Rathin 9 January 2018
Hare Krishna,

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

Studying the conversation in Janis Mataji’s question “Questions About Memories of Past Lives and Evolution” is very enlightening.
In response there is an explanation for Subtle body and Gross body.
I had been explaining all this time to others, that intelligence-mind is like software-hardware; one cannot go without another. But somewhere I was relating mind to the brain. But from the answer, it is clear that my assumption is wrong. Brain a part of the gross body.

How do I understand mind and intelligence?
Please help me understand this.

your servant
Rathin

Filip Misic, 9 January 2018
Hare Krishna Rathin,

There is an example that helps one segregate the mind and intelligence and I think that most people can relate to this. Let’s say you hear a catchy song with a funny melody on eg. the radio. The song then gets stuck in your mind and later you start singing or crooning the song out loud. However when this happens to people, they usually say something like: “I can’t stop singing this song…it’s stuck in my head…I want to get this song out of my head!” Now, that is the intelligence speaking. So shortly said the intelligence notices what the mind is doing and decides whether it is a positive or negative thing.
Similarly, we should restrain ourselves, i.e the mind, from thinking of sense objects with the help of intelligence. In this way, we avoid developing attachments towards objects of sense gratification, which only bring delusion and misery. The only thing is people rarely realize there are different levels that affect how you act. I hope this helps you.

your servant, Filip

Sacinandana Das, 9 January 2018

Hare Krishna Bhakta Rathin,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
As per my understanding mind and intelligence reside in the heart of the living entity.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das.

Guru Vandana devi dasi, 9 January 2018
Hare Krishna Bhakta Rathin,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Gurudeva explains that the mind is a psychic on/off switch. It is that which accepts or rejects things. Without proper intelligence one will accept what is bad and reject what is good. With proper intelligence from guru and Krishna one will accept what is good, namely the devotional service of the Lord, and reject material sense gratification.

your servant
Guru Vandana devi dasi

Rathin Mandal, 11 January 2018
Hare Krishna,

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

Thank you Filip Prabhuji, Sacinandan Prabhuji and Guruvandana Mataji for your kind responses and helping me understand this.

your servant
Rathin

Thunduparambil Jayaprasad, 16 January 2018

Mind cannot work on its own , it gets power only when it is attached to senses . when 5 senses are filtered through intelligence (intelligence or wisdom varies from person to person) . depend on his wisdom acquired mind acts. In other words a man having no intelligence is directly controlled by senses which leads to catastrophe.

Hare krishna
Thunduparambil Jayaprasad

Bhakta Sunil, 17 January 2018
Please read the question-answer connected to this topic , taken from from world-famous free e-course at http://www.joincourse.com
Answers According to Vedic Wisdom

Question: Why Come Down to Chant?

Hare Krishna.
When we see clearly that the mind is higher than the senses, the intelligence even higher, and the spirit the highest, why do we come all the way down to chant in order to go back up to the spirit?

Is this done to burn out parabdha karma that keeps coming back, or is it because we are insecure on the subtle level of pure spirit?

If we learned to wait instead of going down to the mind, would there be such a positive energy that we would immediately be in bliss quite substantially, and light to see life unfold like the flowering of goodness?

Thanking you,
Yours in the dharma,
Prema.

Answer: Chanting Is Beyond Matter.

Chanting is not coming down. The name of Krishna is Krishna Himself. So when we chant His name with love we are pulled onto the spiritual platform completely beyond this material existence.

This frees us from karma and makes us solid on the platform of pure spirit.

Although patience is a virtue, waiting alone will not liberate us. We must take powerful, positive action to purify our consciousness from the contamination of material association. This is what chanting Hare Krishna does.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

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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.

Questions On Nature Of Soul, and should we accept everything we hear?

What is the home of the soul? Why does it need to have a form? What is the evidence for the information we get from the scriptures?

Partha Das, 20 October 2019

Hare Krsna,

In chapter 2 of the Bhagvad Gita, we read that the soul is ten thousand part of the tip of a human hair. If this is the real nature of the soul, then logically is not our real home in the brahmajyoti? as this is the only place that a particle of this nature can dwell.

Why then do we say that our real home is the spiritual world where this miniscule soul takes up a spiritual body and does action.

Can the soul not just remain in it’s original form without artificially taking up a spiritual or material body.

Or is the soul so unstable in nature that it has to combine with either a spiritual or material.body to exist.Just like a single atom of oxygen is so unstable, it won’t rest till it combined with some other atom.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 25 October 2019

Dear Sriman Partha,

Hare Krishna!

The soul is non-material, please don’t mistake it like a single atom of oxygen.

budhyate sve na bhedena  vyakti-stha iva tad-gataḥ

lakṣyate sthūla-matibhir  ātmā cāvasthito ’rka-vat

Even when reflected in various objects, the sun is never divided, nor does it merge into its reflection. Only those with dull brains would consider the sun in this way. Similarly, although the soul is reflected through different material bodies, the soul remains undivided and nonmaterial.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/11/7/51

Logically, the size of the soul has nothing to do with where it belongs, they are two separate attributes.

The spiritual body is not separate from the spirit soul. It is the material body both subtle and gross that is separate from the soul.

dehas tu sarva-saṅghāto jagat tasthur iti dvidhā

atraiva mṛgyaḥ puruṣo neti netīty atat tyajan

There are two kinds of bodies for every individual soul — a gross body made of five gross elements and a subtle body made of three subtle elements. Within these bodies, however, is the spirit soul. One must find the soul by analysis, saying, “This is not it. This is not it.” Thus one must separate spirit from matter.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/7/7/23

Size is a limiting attribute only of matter. For the spiritual, there is no barrier of space or time, the spiritual can be bigger than the biggest or smaller than the smallest… Still this one ten thousandth part of the tip of the human hair size is a seed form of the soul – in the perfectional form, the soul blossoms into its eternal identity in the spiritual world.

You assume that the original form is as a particle in the Brahmajyoti effulgence, but actually the original form is in the spiritual world before the soul tried to compete with Krishna.

mad-bhaktaḥ pratibuddhārtho mat-prasādena bhūyasā

niḥśreyasaṁ sva-saṁsthānaṁ kaivalyākhyaṁ mad-āśrayam

prāpnotīhāñjasā dhīraḥ sva-dṛśā cchinna-saṁśayaḥ

yad gatvā na nivarteta yogī liṅgād vinirgame

My devotee actually becomes self-realized by My unlimited causeless mercy, and thus, when freed from all doubts, he steadily progresses towards his destined abode, which is directly under the protection of My spiritual energy of unadulterated bliss. That is the ultimate perfectional goal of the living entity. After giving up the present material body, the mystic devotee goes to that transcendental abode and never comes back.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/3/27/28-29

In the above purport, Srila Prabhupada writes

quote

Niḥśreyasa means “the ultimate destination.” Sva-saṁsthāna indicates that the impersonalists have no particular place to stay. The impersonalists sacrifice their individuality so that the living spark can merge into the impersonal effulgence emanating from the transcendental body of the Lord, but the devotee has a specific abode. The planets rest in the sunshine, but the sunshine itself has no particular resting place. When one reaches a particular planet, then he has a resting place. The spiritual sky, which is known as kaivalya, is simply blissful light on all sides, and it is under the protection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (14.27), brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham: the impersonal Brahman effulgence rests on the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, the bodily effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is kaivalya, or impersonal Brahman. In that impersonal effulgence there are spiritual planets, which are known as Vaikuṇṭhas, chief of which is Kṛṣṇaloka. Some devotees are elevated to the Vaikuṇṭha planets, and some are elevated to the planet Kṛṣṇaloka. According to the desire of the particular devotee, he is offered a particular abode, which is known as sva-saṁsthāna, his desired destination. By the grace of the Lord, the self-realized devotee engaged in devotional service understands his destination even while in the material body. He therefore performs his devotional activities steadily, without doubting, and after quitting his material body he at once reaches the destination for which he has prepared himself. After reaching that abode, he never comes back to this material world.

The words liṅgād vinirgame, which are used here, mean “after being freed from the two kinds of material bodies, subtle and gross.” The subtle body is made of mind, intelligence, false ego and contaminated consciousness, and the gross body is made of five elements — earth, water, fire, air and ether. When one is transferred to the spiritual world, he gives up both the subtle and gross bodies of this material world. He enters the spiritual sky in his pure, spiritual body and is stationed in one of the spiritual planets. Although the impersonalists also reach that spiritual sky after giving up the subtle and gross material bodies, they are not placed in the spiritual planets; as they desire, they are allowed to merge in the spiritual effulgence emanating from the transcendental body of the Lord. The word sva-saṁsthānam is also very significant. As a living entity prepares himself, so he attains his abode. The impersonal Brahman effulgence is offered to the impersonalists, but those who want to associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His transcendental form as Nārāyaṇa in the Vaikuṇṭhas, or with Kṛṣṇa in Kṛṣṇaloka, go to those abodes, wherefrom they never return.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/3/27/28-29

unquote

The soul has 3 features, sat (eternal) chit (full of knowledge), and ananda (blissful). In the Brahmajyoti, only the sat (eternal) aspect is there, therefore, the spirit soul is not satisfied.

One who realizes Brahman has a perfect realization of the sat or eternity aspect of the Supreme. One realizes the Paramatma has a more perfect realization of the sat and cit (knowledge) features of the Supreme. And one who realizes Bhagavan has the most perfect realization of the sat, cit, and ananda (bliss) features of the Supreme.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari in Q&A of TTFD 9 May 2011

I beg you to carefully hear and read from Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada… at least every devotee should read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books and hear all of Srila Prabhupada’s lectures.

Mahabhagavat Das

Partha Das, 25 October 2019

Dandavats Prabhuji, 

Wonderful explanation.Thanks so much.

your Servant

Partha Das

Russell, 27 October 2019

I have a question : I am having problems with the Idea that we must except all that is taught. We don’t do this in real life, for example if you buy a car you don’t believe everything the car salesman tells you. You research for yourself so why must we believe everything in shastra as absolutely literally true, for example that the moon is further than the Sun or that Rahu exists when we have no proof of it neither by our Eyes or computer or risidual evidence, this troubles me.greatly and makes me think that we are laying aside our brains the only real tool we have to know anything even if it is not completely reliable it is all we have to understand by we cant even understand shastra without it ! Thank you for receiving my question 

Russell

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 12 November 2019

Dear Russell,

Please forgive the delayed response to your question, which is quite reasonable and very intelligent.

No one is asking you to lay aside your intelligence. BTW, the brain is not your intelligence, your intelligence is a subtle material element that is manifested or linked to your body through your brain.  You are not this body, you are not your mind. And your mind is certainly not your brain.

In fact, we are asking you to surrender “with” your intelligence. We don’t want blind-following fools in the Krishna conscious movement. We don’t want fanatics. Neither do we want mental speculators. Both are quite dangerous. So we are asking you to please analyze, for example, can something come out of nothing? Can an explosion create order? But the modern world is running on this fairy tale that all this came out of nothing, at a certain point of singularity there was an explosion and time and everything we know was created at that point. How absurd!

We accept a lot of things at face value on a daily basis. We don’t question them at all.

Let us take an example of the things that most of us accept or at least don’t ordinarily verify…

1. Do we do a DNA test to prove that we are the children of our parents?

2. Do we personally assess the medical qualifications of a doctor before we take treatment from them?

3. Do we test the teachers before we go to school?

4. Do we test that the driver of a bus or taxi or train is sober and qualified before getting on that vehicle?

5. Have you ever seen your mind? Why do you believe it exists?

6. Can you see others’ emotions? How can we believe that emotions are real?

7. Before you take medication, do you lab-test it to prove that it is what the label says it is?

8. Before you take medication, do you fully understand how it works?

9. When you eat food, do you track the digestive process as it goes through the system?

10. When you look at materials under a microscope, as you go deeper and deeper, you see that there is more space than there is matter, but you don’t see the space with your eyes… so why do you believe that a solid is a solid and a liquid is a liquid?

11. Why do you accept paper money in exchange for your goods or services when it is really worthless?

We want you to use your intelligence, but we want you to know that your intelligence is quite limited, as is mine. You may certainly be more intelligent than me, but no matter how intelligent you are, you are not more intelligent than this Universe – so how can you figure it out? Plus you won’t live forever too in this body! If an ant were to want to map the world, we would laugh at it. We are like those ants. If I wanted to swim out of the middle of the ocean, I’d be dead before long, but if someone came with a big ship and pulled me out, I wouldn’t argue with that person “oh, but you are preventing me from freely swimming to the shore”. So the scripture is preventing us from drowning in that endless ocean of birth and death. But we argue against that scripture which is our savior!

The Vedic scripture says that on every planet there are living beings. The Vedic scripture says that the moon is a heavenly realm. If someone went somewhere and they didn’t find a heavenly realm, is it not that the simplest explanation is that they didn’t go to where the scriptures say is a heavely realm? Srila Prabhupada said that the astronauts went to the dark planet. Is that wrong? The astronauts went to the dark planet after all, and they didn’t meet anyone there too. So we say they went to Rahu, not the moon, because to us, the moon is a heavenly planet – if you didn’t go to a heavenly planet then you didn’t go to the moon!

We accept so many things at face value, but when it comes to the scripture, which is giving us information that is actually unverifiable by material means, we want proof of it? Everything that is in the scriptures can be personally realized, but the process of realization takes work, discipline, and patience. I know that some of my questions can only be answered by Krishna – but when I meet Krishna, will my questions even matter to me? Who cares, here’s Krishna! I’ve been waiting to meet Him for eons!

In the early days of my spiritual journey, my spiritual master repeatedly told me that I cannot taste the honey by licking the outside of the bottle. I had to dive in and put my tongue in contact with the honey.

So I began to chant

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

and now, even though I’m far from perfect, still I just can’t get enough of it! But how can I convince someone who doesn’t chant?

if a man is blind and cannot see the sun, we can only be sympathetic towards them… but at least they can accept an eye witness account that there is such a thing as the sun.

But if the person is not blind, still one cannot show anything to a man who refuses to open his eyes! One cannot explain the taste of salt or sugar to a person who does  not agree to taste those substances by putting them on their tongue… Similarly Bhakti is a personal experience, the whole thing is experential. The instrument you can perceive the truth of the scripture is your own consciousness, that needs to be sharpened and purified and honed to a high degree of sensitivity.

Are you following the process to realize the scripture by yourself? Does this help you?

Mahabhagavat Das

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

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

What does it mean to say “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”?

Annu bhatia, 7 November 2019

Hare Krishna Das,

I am writing to ask what the following means, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Could you also explain why Jesus asks us to declare spiritually bankruptcy and then find ourselves filled with the presence of the King and His Kingdom.

Thank you dear prabhu.

your humble servant,

Annu

Rebecca, 29 November 2019

Hare Krishna!

I am only a stumbling servant, but having been in the Christian faith, my understanding of the poor in spirit is one who is weary of this material world and who is humble and God conscious. Jesus is teaching humility and realization of our true position that we are Not God but are His children and that by realization of our true position and surrender to God we can be filled with His presence and return back home to His Kingdom.

I trust this will be of some clarification and  finds you well.

your humble God-sister servant and well-wisher

Rebecca

Rakesh, 29 November 2019

Hare Krsna Prabhu

I have read and heard few things from Christian scriptures. 

As per my understanding, the statement means that if a person has the understanding that nothing belongs to them(they are not the controllers, proprietors or enjoyer of anything) in this material world(indicated by poor in spirit), then Krsna(God) is pleased with them and they are on their path back to Godhead.

your aspiring servant

Rakesh Roshan

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

How to stop death

How to stop death? Most people don’t understand that death can actually be stopped. Would you like to understand how?

A lot of souls are interested in stopping death. Trillions of dollars are being spent all over the world in the attempt to stop death. Some are trying to prolong life, some others are trying to conquer this or that disease. Some are taking special diets and pills, yet others are striving to edit their genes to clip out the parts that cause our bodies to grow old.

Some have accepted the inevitability, but are trying to externally patch up their appearance with cosmetic surgery or other cosmetic treatments.

Yet others have accepted the inevitability, and are trying hard to perpetuate themselves through wills, estates, and institutions.

Most don’t realize that there is a simple way to stop death, though.

जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च ।
तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि ॥ २७ ॥

jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur
dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca
tasmād aparihārye ’rthe
na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi

One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/27/

It is a fact that if someone has taken birth then they have to die. And someone who has died must take birth again.

So, if you want to stop death you must stop (re)birth.

Krsna’s advice in the Bhagavad-gita is that we tolerate this temporary suffering. Just as your body is not permanent, so your diseases are also not permanent. You should tolerate the temporary suffering and solve the real problem—you must stop your repetition of birth and death. But people do not know that birth and death can be stopped, so they are simply busy with the temporary problems.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Back To Godhead Magazine, Conversation with Mr. Chugani

As we cultivate a certain consciousness, practically we prepare our next body. For example, there may be a very rich man, and he may be striving to figure out how to protect his wealth from those who want to take it from him… such a person may bury his wealth somewhere, and after death, be born as a poisonous snake that bites anyone who goes in that area. In fact, such an occurance is described in the seventh chapter of the Gita Mahatmya section of the Padma Purana, spoken by Lord Shiva to Parvati Devi. We won’t get into the details here, but this is how it works…

If I cultivate the consciousness of a hog by thinking and acting like one, the mother nature will give me the body of a hog. If I cultivate the consciousness of a dog by thinking and acting like one, then mother nature will mercifully give me the body of a dog.

However if I do cultivate my original consciousness, that I am a spirit soul, part of the Supreme Whole, and spend my life thinking, feeling, willing, speaking, and acting in that purely spiritual way, then, there will be no death for that person, and where there is no death, there is no (re)birth. Where there is no rebirth, there will be no death.

अन्तकाले च मामेव स्मरन्मुक्त्वा कलेवरम् ।
य: प्रयाति स मद्भ‍ावं याति नास्त्यत्र संशय: ॥ ५ ॥

anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ

And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body remembering Me alone at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/5/

For example, if you have spent your lifetime caring for your wealth, possessions, family, or employees or your community or nation, at your moment of departure, you will think of how your projects will continue. You may even ask your physician to give you more time to manage your affairs and leave them properly done. You cannot suddenly think of God. But no one can extend your lifespan even by a single moment.

You may follow another tradition from mine, that is alright. But please understand this fact, that the consciousness you cultivate will determine if you die or live at the moment of your inevitable death. Please purely cultivate God Consciousness, in any tradition.

Hare Krishna!

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