The Hare Krishnas are not pessimistic, optimistic, or realistic – we are simply joyful!

Are the Hare Krishnas pessmistic? Are they realistic? Why do they keep talking about death and the futility of the material pursuit? Could it be, could they be, simply… joyful?

Brajanath Das, 20th February 2017

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

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

Please help me to how to explain if someone says that the Hare Krishnas are not realistic but pessimistic

your servant
Brajanath das

Bhaktarupa Das, 21st February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

You have asked what if someone questions why Hare Krishna’s are pessimistic. You wanted to explain to them that we are realistic and not pessimistic.

One of the dictionary meaning of “pessimistic” is
“tending to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen”.

Dictionary meaning of “optimistic” is
“hopeful and confident about the future.”

If we introspect ourselves, as devotees we follow the regulative principles and chant at least 16 rounds of mahamantra every day.
Generally for non-devotees, following them every day is very austere and difficult. In fact even for devotees in the beginning it is very austere and difficult. But still why do we try to follow them strictly? If there is no benefit in doing so, why do we still do it? The fact is there is immense benefit.

A student who is serious to graduate from school, undergoes severe austerities in studying the subjects thoroughly by spending long hours, sacrificing other recreational activities like watching movies, TV, passing time in browsing internet, Facebook, whats-app, etc. which the student would have engaged in these recreational activities if not serious about graduating from the school. Such taking up of austerities by the student should be criticized as being pessimistic? or appreciate the student as being optimistic who spends time in recreational activities by neglecting to prepare for the graduation?

The sincere student who takes up austerities for graduating is the one who is actually optimistic about the life. The student sees a very bright future and enjoy bigger happiness by taking up these austerities. But the student who does not see the value of graduating from school and spends time in immediate recreational activities is the one who is actually pessimistic. Because the student is pessimistic, looks for all those things that can give immediate sense enjoyments rather than taking up austerities now for a bigger and lasting happiness in the future.

Similarly we “sadhakas” or practicing devotees, also take up austerities now because we are optimistic about our future. We wanted to taste lasting happiness, we realize that the happiness or pleasures provided by the immediate recreational activities did not give us lasting happiness, which every one of us are looking for. This is the exact same thing Lord Sri Krishna and the saintly devotees in the line of disciplic succession are teaching us. We are infected with the disease of ignorance, which hides our original identity, nature and relationships. They teach us on how to get rid of the disease and rise above and situate in the platform of pure last happiness. That process is called Krishna Consciousness. In the beginning these austerities might seem to be very bitter. But Krishna explains that happiness which is bitter in the beginning and becomes nectar in the end is in the mode of goodness. Scriptures explain that this is called “shreyas”, but that happiness which is like nectar in the beginning and becomes bitter in the end is in the mode of passion, called as “preyas”. The sense pleasures provided by the recreational activities are in the mode of passion. It will appear nectar in the beginning but it will turn to be bitter or even poison in the end.

Optimistic people take up austerities to obtain lasting happiness; but pessimistic people settle with immediate temporary pleasures, not seeing the optimistic future. Therefore the Hare Krishna devotees are not only realistic but in fact they are optimistic.

Hare Krishna!

your servant,
Bhaktarupa Das

Dra Varni, 21st February

Hare Krsna!!! Very optimistic, destination and a vehicle for departure. dra

Dra Varni

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 22nd February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

Thank you for the question, and a rare and wonderful response from Bhaktarupa Prabhu! Thank you!

Such questions really should be answered in the same vein as they are asked – most people asking such questions about Hare Krishnas are really not serious about understanding spiritual life – why should we justify anything to anyone? We don’t owe casual askers anything. When someone is serious, then they ask questions differently, and they accompany their question with actions too, trying to do something about their spiritual progress. So we should know when to answer and when not to answer directly.

Actually, we are truly pessimistic about anyone’s chances in the material world, everyone who was born in the material world eventually dies. And everyone who tries to make some nice situation here fails, at minimum, at death, but mostly everyone fails at other times too. We challenge anyone on this point – so many empires have come and gone, so many people have come and gone, so many great people are totally forgotten – what is the value of material efforts? Zero, it all comes to nought.

And we are immensely optimistic about Krishna’s mercy, in fact, we are not just optimistic, but we are experiencing it every day, so we have got direct confidence by personal experience.

The best answer I got to such questions was “try it and see for yourself”. If someone chants Hare Krishna even just once they will benefit more than anything I can say to them for all my lifetime:

https://www.vedabase.com/bg/9/2

rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ
pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed. BG 9.2

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport:

“Generally, people are not educated in this confidential knowledge; they are educated in external knowledge. As far as ordinary education is concerned, people are involved with so many departments: politics, sociology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, etc. There are so many departments of knowledge all over the world and many huge universities, but there is, unfortunately, no university or educational institution where the science of the spirit soul is instructed. Yet the soul is the most important part of the body; without the presence of the soul, the body has no value. Still people are placing great stress on the bodily necessities of life, not caring for the vital soul.”

Then he writes: “It is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived, and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Kṛṣṇa (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) in course of chanting without offenses feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all material contamination. This is actually seen. Furthermore, if one engages not only in hearing but in trying to broadcast the message of devotional activities as well, or if he engages himself in helping the missionary activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he gradually feels spiritual progress. This advancement in spiritual life does not depend on any kind of previous education or qualification. The method itself is so pure that by simply engaging in it one becomes pure.”

And finally, to conclude (purport continues but for this point – this is sufficient):

“The process of devotional service is a very happy one (su-sukham). Why? Devotional service consists of śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, so one can simply hear the chanting of the glories of the Lord or can attend philosophical lectures on transcendental knowledge given by authorized ācāryas. Simply by sitting, one can learn; then one can eat the remnants of the food offered to God, nice palatable dishes. In every state devotional service is joyful. One can execute devotional service even in the most poverty-stricken condition. The Lord says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam: He is ready to accept from the devotee any kind of offering, never mind what. Even a leaf, a flower, a bit of fruit, or a little water, which are all available in every part of the world, can be offered by any person, regardless of social position, and will be accepted if offered with love. There are many instances in history. Simply by tasting the tulasī leaves offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, great sages like Sanat-kumāra became great devotees. Therefore the devotional process is very nice, and it can be executed in a happy mood. God accepts only the love with which things are offered to Him.”

We are not even realistic, we are simply joyful! 🙂

Srila Prabhupada’s final words in that purport?

“Thus the process of devotional service, of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the king of all education and the king of all confidential knowledge. It is the purest form of religion, and it can be executed joyfully without difficulty. Therefore one should adopt it.”

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

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Bible and Bhagavad-gita

A discussion on the similarities and differences between the Bhagavad Gita and the Holy Bible…

Kaspars, 06 August 2016

Dear devotees.
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumata.

Yesterday I was reading Bible and found an amazing similarity with Bhagavad gita. Every text of these quotes, goes in the same meanings and in the same order. Further in both scriptures, devotional service is explained. What do you think about it?

Bible Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. 3 You turn man back into dust And say, “Return, O children of men.” 4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night. 5 You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew. 6 In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades and withers away. 7 For we have been consumed by Your anger And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.

Bhagavad gita Chapter 8

8.15 — After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.
8.16 — From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again.
8.17 — By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together form the duration of Brahmā’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.
8.18 — At the beginning of Brahmā’s day, all living entities become manifest from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls, they are merged into the unmanifest again.
8.19 — Again and again, when Brahmā’s day arrives, all living entities come into being, and with the arrival of Brahmā’s night they are helplessly annihilated.

Hare Krishna
Thank you.
Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 08 August 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

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

Thank you for this nice reflection.

There are some similarities and differences too, for example, the reference to thousand years in Moses’ prayer and thousand ages in Krishna’s precise instruction, are quite different in their meaning.

Once we read Srila Prabhupada’s books though, we begin to see all scriptures in the light of Srila Prabhupada’s purports.
I began studying The Holy Bible when I was 10 years of age, and I did a very detailed course with Q&A reviewed by teachers etc., and I have come across so many wonderful passages from the Bible over the years also.

But I understood more from all the scriptures (Vedic and otherwise) I had read after I read Srila Prabhupada’s books. And I got a very non-sectarian understanding of religion, so much so that I have begun to say whenever someone asks me which religion I follow, that “I am past the labels at this point”, which typically leads to a positive discussion in more togetherness.

Consequently now though, having seen that the Vedic scriptures are the source of all the scriptures in the world, I don’t spend time studying other scriptures, but focus my energies on studying Srila Prabhupada’s books in a deeper way.

Other devotees should contribute their reflections and perspectives to make this a rich and useful conversation.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 8 August 2016

Hare Krsna Kaspars Prabhu

Thats indeed a very nice comparison. And i am sure, you will end up finding many many other similarities if you research more.
Long time back, i read Paramhamsa Yogananda ji and he also compares Bible and Gita beautifully.

Srila prabhupada as well as Srila gurudeva says, essence of all religions is to know and love God .So you see , to a sincere seeker like you, lines of Holy Bible are making so much sense .

Wishing you more bhakti(devotion) and Gyan(knowledge) and begging the same for me..

Hari bol. Praise the Lord.

Nikhil

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu.
Hare Krishna.
Athough there are difference between thousand years and thousand ages, still the way they are compared… like a one day to God, and then again, to night. Every text and meanings goes in the same order in both scriptures, and I understand from this, that Moses knew Bhagavad gita. Its obvious.

As Prabhupada said, Bible is like small pocket dictionary, Bhagavad gita and Srimad Bhagavatam is like big dictionary, where every smallest thing is explained. We now can actually understand Bible better. I think nothing bad reading Bible. With the mercy and help of our beloved Gurudev and Prabhupada, we can now understand the true meaning of scripture. As our Gurudev teaches, we can remain in our religions, and with the help of Krishna consciousness, we can be better Christians, better Muslims, better Buddhists. The universal principle of love of God still remains the same. In one of the recent Thought for The Day Gurudev declared, that he is actually a Christian, who is following the will of God, and that was especially important sign to me personally, because I want to remain close contact with Cristianity and Christians, and Jesus. Because was not Jesus, we would be nowhere. Mlechas would be nowhere. Jesus is the way. Christianity shows the way of holy life, they teach that there IS God. And from that we can ask, Who is God? I think many people then are curious, if there is God, how does He look like. And true Christians with open heart will deffinetely meet a devotee with Prabhupadas books. And I heard a story that one Cristian has actually seen Paramatma as we just know from our books. And now this Cristian would offer full dandavats if he sees Harinama party singing, even if it is raining, wet and dirty ground.

Please comment.
Everyone is welcome to say something.

Thank you
Kaspars

Chenthil Piruthu, 09 August 2016

Respected Kaspars Prabhu

Hare Krishna.

Thank you so much for your mail, your conviction is truly inspirational.

Thanks,
Chenthil.

Premananda das, 09 August 2016

Hare Krsna Bhakta Kaspars
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Whether one is a Christian,Hindu,Muslim,Jain,Buddist etc the essence of religion is to become a lover of God.The original constitutional position of living entitiy is to be a servant of servant of servant of the servant of Krsna.Krsna has unlimited names and incarnates in many forms like Rama,Nrsimha,Vishnu,Vamana ,Varaha,etc but the original form is the beautiful form of Krsna a blusih boy with two -handed form and playing a flute.In Brahma-samhita Lord Brahma mentions that Krsna is original cause of all the causes and has an eternal body full of knowledge and bliss.He is unborn,original and maintainer of all living entities.
In Bhagavat Gita 8..14 it is mentioned Krsna has various plenary expansions and incarnations such as Rama,Nrisimha ,Varaha etc and a devotee can choose to fix his mind in loving service on any of his transcendental forms of the Supreme Lord ,such a devotee does not meet other problems that plague the practitioners of other yogas.Bhakti yoga is very simple,pure and easy to perform.It starts with simply chanting Hare Krsna.It is mentioned that the lord is merciful to all but one who serves Him with exclusive devotion without deviation is helped by Krsna.
A pure devotee can not forget Krsna for a moment and similarly the Supreme lord cannot forget His pure devotees for a moment.
This is the great blessings of Krsna conscious process that by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra-Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare one becomes freed from all material contamination and attains to his natural position as a servitor to Krsna.

your servant
Premananda Das

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Thank You, Chenthil Prabhu,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes lets try to share some inspiration when ever this is possible. May our Gurudev be pleased. I think every one of us has some story, lets share in this group and discuss..

With love
Kaspars

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Thank You Premananda Prabhu,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
This is wonderful short inspirational essence explained by you, to know who we are, to know who God is, original God Krishna, in His various forms, and wonderful process of chanting His names.

Thank you
Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 09 August 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

You are right about Lord Jesus Christ, if you recall, he helped me a lot and is helping me to this day 🙂 Srila Prabhupada mentions him as a Shaktyavesha Avataar, or empowered incarnation of God.

“Now, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, perhaps in the Third Chapter in the First Canto, you’ll find there is description of different incarnations, principal incarnations—not all the incarnations, principal, in different yugas. So in that list of incarnations you’ll find Lord Kṛṣṇa’s name also, Lord Rāma’s name also, Lord Buddha’s name also. Lord Buddha is mentioned in that list. So we, Vaiṣṇavite, we respect Lord Buddha as incarnation, incarnation. So do not think that the Hindus, they have got disregard for Lord Buddha or for Lord Jesus Christ. No. They have all regard. Anyone who comes as representative of God, or as God, as powerful incarnation, they are all welcome. According to time, according to place, according to the audience, they may speak, speak something which is, which may be different from the Vedic conclusion, but they are accepted as powerful incarnations. ” Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.154-157 — New York, December 7, 1966

Srila Prabhupada and the other Acharyas in disciplic succession from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are for everyone, including myself, who could easily be seen as worse than a mleccha (uncultured uncivilized person who does things like kill the mother cow).

I do agree with you in general, but there is no authoritative information to agree on the details at this point. For example, the 1000 ages Krishna mentions are not even a day of “God”, they are simply one day of Brahma, who is not God – God’s time scale has no days and no nights, simply the eternal ever-present. We do accept that all great prophets and teachers around the world across ages know the same Absolute Truth in varying degrees of understanding, realization, and detail.

Re “It is obvious”, we don’t argue on the basis of personal opinions in this tradition. We can certainly accept that certain devotees have certain realizations, and we don’t begrudge them their realizations, but that is not always accepted as the Parampara understanding of a particular situation.

I am not saying someone should not do this or that – you please do as your spiritual master instructs you. I was simply expressing my own situation. My spiritual master has instructed me to carefully study Srila Prabhupada’s books and share them with the whole world, and I feel that this one lifetime will not be enough for that purpose. If, during that attempt and process, I get to read certain other sacred texts, wonderful.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Jayendran C, 10 August 2016

Hare Krishna Kaspar prabhu
Dandavats Pranams

All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to the assembled devotees
I have attached an excerpt from Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava which depicts Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakuras, views on the Bible and Christianity . I hope this adds constructively to the discussion.

“Christ’s message in its pristine and fully blossomed form is included in Lord Caitanya’s philosophy, for Mahāprabhu’s gifts are of an altogether higher dimension than the acceptance of God’s existence, the promises of reward and threats of punishment, and the moral injunctions that form the basis of Christianity; and whereas Christianity expounds the fatherhood of Godhead, Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava dharma goes further, to the transcendental son-hood and consort-hood of Godhead.

Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura described that to consider the Lord our parent entails “the rotten concept that He is our servitor and we the enjoyers.”. As he told the challenging Professor Suthers, “We claim to be greater and better Christians than Westerners.”While lauding Jesus as a śaktyāveśa-avatāra3who “did not teach the ‘eat, drink, and be merry’business,”
Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura clearly delineated the superior position of Gaura-bhaktas over that of Lord Jesus: In the Western countries, Christians believe that the magnanimous Lord Jesus Christ is the only guru, who appeared in this world to accept the burden of all sins of the jīvas. But associates of Śrī Gaura like Śrī Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura and Śrī Haridāsa Ṭhākura are unlimitedly millions of times more advanced and liberal than Jesus Christ, because they taught Vaiṣṇava prema-bhāva to benefit all people in the universe.

In Śrī Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura, selflessness by relinquishing mundane self-interest, and others’ and one’s own spiritual welfare in the form of serving Viṣṇu, are superbly harmonized. Recognizing Śrī Gaurasundara as the ultimate reality devoid of all illusion and the original Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva Datta bore on his shoulders the burden of the material disease of all jīvas—their indifference to Kṛṣṇa—and not only their sins, but superlatively more formidable, their multitudinous terrible offenses. Thus he sincerely prayed with mind, body, and words to free the jīvas from the malady of material existence. This example of compassion is far beyond the imagination of the greatest karmīs and jñānīs, not only in this world, but in all the fourteen worlds. Since the jīvas, prone to violence because of seeing differences arising from false identity due to illusion, revere and idealize karma and jñāna in the world of duality, most of them become bad karmīs and bad jñānīs. On hearing of the desire of Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura, the servant of the spiritual world, to suffer in hell for these jīvas, such persons, who are impelled by innate malice and a dualistic outlook, give him great respect, seeing him as a regular pious karmī or jñānī. But Datta Ṭhākura’s compassion for the jīvas is unlimitedly millions of times greater than that conceivable by bad karmīs and bad jñānīs. This is not highly prejudiced exaggeration or interpretation, but straightforward elucidation of the truth. Verily, the world is blessed by the coming of such servants of Gaura, by whom not just this earth, but all jīvas everywhere, have become fortunate. Eloquent speakers’ tongues reach perfection by glorifying the qualities of such devotees of Lord Caitanya. And the pens of poets and historians who have forsaken mundane research attain their highest success in describing the qualities of these mahā-bhāgavatas imbued with selfless devotion to the Lord. Such is the “greatness among greats”and “gloriousness among the glorious”of the servants of the abundantly magnanimous Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī detected the flaw in philosophically attempting either to humanize God or deify man, which albeit present in perverted Hinduism in a conceptually quite different manner, was the very foundation of Christianity. When some Christian priests proposed to him that mādhurya-rasa is also an aspect of Christianity, as evidenced by those medieval mystics who sought unity with Christ as their bridegroom, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī rejected that claim, for such esoteric endeavors were focused on the son of Godhead rather than directly on the Supreme Lord Himself. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura shed the light of Gauḍīya siddhānta on certain Biblical teachings. He equated Jesus’ famous submission “Thy will be done,”spoken from the position of a devotee, to the similarly well-known conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (Abandon all varieties of dharma and just surrender unto Me), uttered from the standpoint of Godhead. He cited Biblical instructions to chant the names of God as being in accord with the saṅkīrtana movement, and stated that if offered in unmixed devotion, church prayers are also kīrtana. He deemed the supplication “Give us our daily bread”as being far from true devotion, for God should not be regarded as a servitor to be called upon to provide corporal demands; rather, one should request food for the soul. He would often quote the commandment “Do not take the name of the Lord in vain”and comment that it had been misinterpreted by “pseudo-teachers”; God should not be called upon for supplying temporal needs, and thus to not take His name in vain means to chant without anyābhilāṣa (motive other than pure devotion): Pure devotees do not chant the Lord’s names to counteract sinful reactions, accumulate piety, or attain supernal pleasures, nor to mitigate famine, pestilence, social unrest, civil insurrection, or disease, nor to obtain wealth, an earthly kingdom, or any other object of personal enjoyment.

Since the name of Bhagavān is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to ask Him to fulfil our wishes is to consider Him, the supremely worshipable, our servant. This is an offense. Therefore, calling the Lord’s names for any reason other than to attain His devotional service is useless. Jesus Christ told us not to take the Lord’s name in vain, or uselessly. Yet this doesn’t mean that we do not need to chant the Lord’s names constantly—while sleeping, while dreaming, while eating, or when walking about. To chant the Lord’s name, begging for His service, is not a useless activity; it is our only duty. But to make a show of chanting for some other purpose, for actualizing our own desires, is useless. We should not take up chanting the Lord’s names in vain. We should not chant to attain dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa. Instead, we should always chant to attain service to Bhagavān. Do not chant the name for elevation or salvation, whereby you will entangle yourself instead of attaining service to the Absolute.

In Christians’ emphasis on mundane charitable works, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī perceived ignorance of the rudimentary spiritual principle of difference between body and soul. And he detected aversion to Godhead in the concept of a Beelzebub, or a rival of Godhead. He declared that hearing and chanting of Hari-kathā is the actual method for purgation of sins, and that the Western system of confession is hypocritical.He stated that through the misconceptions that there can be only one guru in the total course of history, and that the soul has only one birth, Semites had introduced many obstacles to legitimate spiritual understanding, and that such misunderstandings must be dispelled.* He also warned that if the semitic psychology, represented by the notion of an undefinable Supreme Being, was tantamount to asserting that God is formless, then it struck at the very root of all genuine spiritual activity.10 Similarly, he found a whiff of voidism in the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo. And in a letter sent to Saṁvidānanda Prabhu in London, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī confided that because the outlook of Westerners was based one hundred percent on sense enjoyment, their belief in God was not solid, but tenuous and blurred.

The Harmonist analyzed Christianity and mundane empiricism as concordant, inasmuch as both “justify the life of refined eating and drinking,” and also deemed: “The Bible contains some indirect references to transcendence hopelessly mixed up with precepts of mundane ethical expediency.” Further: The questions that will require to be discussed in connection with the teaching of the Bible, as it is current among the Christians of our day, will be as follows: Nebulous conception of the Personality of Godhead. Mundane and numerically limited conception of saviorship (guru). Confusion between conditioned and free spiritual functions. Overvaluation of hollow mundane morality. Confusion between so-called moral and spiritual conduct. Mundane organization of the Christian church. Superstitious rituals and doctrines opposed to philosophical and scientific experience.

Circa 1903 Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī was traveling with Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura by train from Ranaghat to Krishnanagar when a Christian dignitary, Reverend Butler, entered their coach. Seeing the japa-mālās in their hands he inquired about their identity, to which Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī replied, “Like you, we are missionaries. We are preachers of Śrī Caitanya’s dharma.”Immediately the priest challenged that the dharma of Śrī Caitanya consisted of idol worship and taking the Lord’s name in vain. After hearing Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī’s protracted response, Reverend Butler declared that previously he had discussed the same topics with many reputed paṇḍitas and religious leaders of Navadvīpa, but unlike Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī, none had been able to give an intelligent response.When told that no one in Vṛndāvana could proffer a satisfactory rebuttal to a visiting Christian priest who had accused Kṛṣṇa of flouting Vedic principles by dancing with others’ wives, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī commented that Vṛndāvana is inhabited by neophyte devotees. Christians who came in contact with Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism tended to become perplexed at how a doctrine so theistic and devotional could yet be founded on what they considered indelicate tales of the adulterous liaison between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. They invariably made the seminal miscalculation of ascribing the abysmal condition of contemporary Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava dharma to an intrinsic amorality, an opinion that modern-thinking Hindus typically dittoed. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and his followers invested tremendous energy to refute such claims and establish Kṛṣṇa’s purity as far beyond that imaginable by mundane moralists, whose insistence that Godhead must conform to behavioral standards was actually an impertinent imposition on His absolute freedom. “

your servant,
Jayendran

Kaspars Gulbis, 11 August 2016

Dear Jayendran Prabhu

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Reading your wonderful explanation I got Perfect understanding of bad faults in so called Christianity, and understood, many good ideas how to improove in pure devotional motives, attitude, pure prayer, pure devotional actions, and many subtle details.

Thank you so much.
Kaspars

Jayendran C, 22 August 2016

Hare Krishna Kaspers prabhu,

This was one of the excerpts I distinctly remembered that we had read in our local center on the occassion of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswat Thakur’s appearance day. All glories to HH Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami who compiled all this ! 🙂

your servant,
Jayendran

Kaspars Gulbis, 23 August 2016

Dear Nikhil

Hare Krishna

Thanks for your inspiring words, encouragement and blessings, your words means so much to me.

Thank you
Kaspars

Bhakta Sunil, 23 August 2016

Hare Krishna dear Kaspars Prabhu,

Please accept my humble respects,
All Glories to Vaishnavas,

Nice points you noticed and nice answers too,

Jesus Christ is a great Vaishnava, thus we notice so many similarities between the Scriptures,

In this connection , i would like to share a very recent “thought for the day” of 2nd August 2016, via http://www.backtohome.com which helps us to understand Jesus Christ’s teachings in it’s original pure form including the knowledge which Jesus has not revealed yet :

Which Path to Follow?
uploaded from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Often times people are baffled in their attempt to understand which path they should follow. But the answer is very simple. In which scriptures has God most fully revealed Himself? In the Bible Jesus says that there is more knowledge that he has not revealed yet. But in the Bhagavad-gita 7.2 Krishna says, “

jñānaṁ te ‘haṁ sa-vijñānam
idaṁ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ
yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo ‘nyaj
jñātavyam avaśiṣyate

“I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know.”

There are no scriptures in the world in which God is more fully revealed than in the Vedic wisdom. From the Vedas we learn about His names, His qualities, His pastimes, His abode, His associates, etc. No other scriptures give us such complete information. So considering this, it doesn’t take half a brain to understand that one should obviously follow the path of the Vedas, which culminate in understanding the Supreme Lord as Krishna, if he wants to have the highest level understanding and realization of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Sincerely,
Bhakta Sunil

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The Best Sacrifice / Yajna for this age

Deepak, 26th May 2015

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

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

Hare Krishna

Rathin Mandal, 27th May 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

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

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

your Servant
Rathin

Sridhar Das, 06th June 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

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

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

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

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

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

your servant
Sridhar Das

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Chanting Consciously or Attentively

Vandana Neeraye, 28th May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisance

All Glories to Shrila Prabupada

All Glories to Shrila Gurudev and Guru mataji

Hare Krishna

i know that when we chat it has to be without any offenses. But what does it mean to chant attentively or consciously.

Thank you

your servant,
Vandana

Sacinandana Das, 28th May 2015

Hare Krishna Vandana Mataji,
Please accept my humble obeisances!
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji!
All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

If your question is whether there is a difference between chanting attentively and consciously, I had the same question months back. Ultimately, I preached to the mind to keep things simpler – Just hear the Holy Names attentively.

In other words, I find both as the same thing. Consciously hearing each syllable in Mahamantra – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare also means chanting attentively. And chanting attentively means consciously hearing each syllable in the mantra.

Offenceless chanting means chanting while avoiding all the 10 offences. If we chant without offences, i.e. avoid all the ten offences, we will then automatically be able to chant attentively. This was told to me by Srila Gurudeva personally. Also that, sometimes, the last thing in the list is the most important thing (as found here).

So we must keep striving to chant attentively despite success or failures, which happens by determination, enthusiasm, patience and causeless mercy of Guru and Krishna. Attentive chanting in brahma-muhrat is the ideal-most start of the day.

I seek prayers of all the readers that I may be able to do so.

your servant
Sacinandana Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th September 2015

Dear Mother Vandana,

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

Thank you for this question and Bhakta Shreyas’ nice answer which is complete.

I wanted to add a personal perspective.

As long as we remain alive in this body, it is impossible to chant “completely without consciousness”, because we know that dead bodies cannot chant Hare Krishna. However, it is possible for us to chant in a distracted or mechanical way, which is not fully effective, though any kind of chanting is always better than no chanting. The best thing to do is to notice when we are not paying attention to hearing our own chanting, and focus attention back to hearing the Mahamantra.

Srila Prabhupada once said, as recounted as “the shortest japa workshop” by one of his close disciples, when asked “what do with the distracted mind” that there is the mouth which chants, and the ears which hear, there is no question of the mind, in other words, chanting is as simple as chanting and hearing what one chants.

The example of mechanical chanting is Krishna has come to your door, knocking on your door, and you simply ignore Him. This is because the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is non-different from Sri Radha Krishna, as Krishna is non-different from His name “nama chintamani krishnas chaitanya rasa vigraha, purna shuddho nitya mukto abhinnatvam nama naminoh” – “abhinna’ = non-different, “nama” = name, and “naminoh” = owner of the name (Krishna).

When devotees say chant with attention, it means to recognize that Krishna is in His name and to pay attention to Hearing Him as He visits us out of His causeless mercy.

It is a daily and constant endeavor to anyone who is trying to chant.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das


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How to Manage Work Life without compromising principles

Harish V Menon, 15th January 2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Request your guidance in managing work life. We work with various types of people with different mentalities. When working with colleagues who are having selfish intentions, back biting attitudes and doing politics, how should a person in KC react. I try to be good to everyone, but sometimes end up retaliating to their behaviors and I later repent

Please advise how to handle such type of situations

your Servant,
Harish V

 

Brhadnath dasa, 15th January 2015

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

When I joined at a new place among unknown colleagues, I faced one typical problem, our incharge would thrust work related to other seats to me in addition to my own work. My feeble protests were brushed aside. I also approached devotees, most of them advised to refuse, but that was not my forte. One devotee told me to strengthen my sadhana, viz. attentive chanting in the early hours,devote more time to listen to lectures. I followed and also shared the nectar from the lectures with my colleagues. Within one month the whole scenario changed. Now the additional work load got offloaded, and person concerned would come to me for guidance and I started sharing Prabhupada with them, by gifting them Bhagavad Gita As It Is

I suggest, to share the concerns of your colleagues, (whatever it is), don’t go into the shell and share Prabhupada with them. their is too much scope to reform some persons. Moreover, this will help you to empower yourself to practice bhakti consistently, irrespective of circumstantial feelings

Hope I make some sense

your servant,
Brhad nath dasa

 

Sacinandana Das, 16th January 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All Glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The more we give Krishna, the more we get Krishna. By giving Prasadam to our colleagues we are making them Krishna Conscious. We can ask them to chant Hare Krishna and taste the ultimate bliss. We also have to be careful to not let them know that Bhakti is more important to us than anything else.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das

 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16th January 2015

Dear Sriman Harish,

Hare Krishna!

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

Your question is very pertinent. Many of us face this same situation every single day.

It is important not to get too emotionally invested with materialistic persons either lovingly or in distaste, because if we do, we will be dragged into material consciousness one way or the other.

In my personal work life, I try to stick to business only, but strive to be very professional and friendly without getting involved in their activities, for example, if we have some celebration, I don’t go with the colleagues to the bar, though I will stay in the office and clap and pat people on the back for a job well done.

Not everyone is ready for spiritual advice either, in fact, you can jeopardize your broader Krishna conscious service if you endanger your job by preaching inappropriately.

So, look at this… stay away from the envious, try to gently preach to the innocent…

If we are always exemplary, people will naturally come to us when they need spiritual guidance. It is not easy to change from one day to the next, but I can say that the process of devotional service, rising early, chanting our rounds, Mangal Arati, reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, taking only Krishna Prasada as far as possible, following regulative principles, etc., purifies us gradually and almost imperceptibly, but I can see many differences from years ago and today.

If sometimes, we fail, we should pick ourselves and try again without getting discouraged either.

Hopefully this helps!

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

 

Bhakta Sunil, 17th January 2015

Hare Krishna Harish Prabhu

Dandavat Pranams!

The earlier answers have provided best possible answers ,but to indulge in this topic i humbly put forth the answer in different words :

Dealing and associating are different. At work place you deal with non-devotees but do not take their association and where favorable , give your association

One point I remember about retaliating or not retaliating from Ultimate Self Realization emails , is that one choose one’s battles wisely ; if one can fight or correct then retaliate or else not to retaliate

If one is tolerant and could successfully ignore , then the back biters would get tired of the dirty politics and would soon stop. It is like test of getting agitated or not.

Regarding persons who are envious , backbiting , playing politics and blasphemous ; i remember a recent email from Ultimate Self Realization Emails as forwarded below , which I hope would help :

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:
________________________________

Question: How to Handle Blasphemers?

________________________________

What should a Krishna consciousness person do if someone blasphemes against Lord Krishna or His devotees? Please guide me on ways to handle this especially when the person is unavoidable, like at home or in the office.

There’s another religion where even the slightest blasphemy would mean ghastly acts of terror by its followers and all this killing is justified. Isn’t it wrong to resort to such violent acts if someone blasphemes God?

Regards,
Kaushik

________________________________

Answer: Defeat Them, Leave the Place, or Tune Them Out

________________________________

If someone blasphemes Krishna or His devotee the best thing to do is defeat them philosophically. Convince them they are completely wrong to say such nonsense so that they will feel remorse and apologize. If this is not possible, one should immediately leave that place, because by hearing blasphemy one’s devotion to Krishna will be destroyed. If you are stuck with them like at home or in the office and you cannot convince them that they are wrong, you should block your hears rather than be polluted by hearing blasphemy. For example you can get a headset for hearing Krishna conscious lectures and Hare Krishna kirtan. In this way by tuning into Krishna katha you can tune them out. If you cannot tune them out with a headset, you should tune them out simply by putting your mind somewhere else.

Committing blasphemy is certainly a greatly sinful act. Even though even our scriptures say that blasphemers should be killed, this should NOT be taken literally in this age. This is so because on the plea of Lord Nityananda Lord Caitanya forgave the blasphemers Jagai and Madhai rather than killing them. In this age of Kali because everyone is a blasphemer, if we were to kill the blasphemers, we would have to kill everyone. So the conclusion is that instead of killing the blasphemers, we should kill their blasphemous mentality by the wide scale distribution introduction of Hari nama sankirtan (the congregational chanting of they holy names of God) and the wide scale distribution of transcendental literatures such as the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. This will bring about the much desired peace and happiness for the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
http://www.backtohome.com
———————————————-

Sincerely,
Sunil

 

Balaji Shanmugam, 19th January 2015

Hare Krishna everybody,

Please accept my humble respects.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Our Gurudeva.

I to faced similar problem and in my case it happened to be bit intense. So I wrote our gurudeva. The instruction given by our Gurudeva is available in the following link.

http://sda-archives.com/tftd/tftd/2004/may/tftd_051204.html#W

Hari bol,

S.Balaji.

 

Acharya Das, 19th January 2015

Dear Harish Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeiances.All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have also faced myself such situations some suggestions from my side would be identify and be aware of these kind of people while working. Do your duty to the best of your ability and have a good relationship with your superior.Keep focusing on your task don’t react too much to there politics, back bitting etc but keep a watch on their activities. Distribute Prasad if possible but dont preach too much.

yours Sincerely,
Acharya Das.

 

Harish V Menon, 19th January 2015

​Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you all for your wonderful guidance.

Haribol!​

your Servant,
Harish V

 

Haladhar Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krsna Harish ji,

Thank you for the nice question which definitely everyone goes through in his office life and beautiful answers given.

Just wanted to take the opportunity to add a little to already clarified discussion.

One thing is setbacks small or big, steadies or rather enhances one faith in sadhu, guru, shashtra like Lord Krsna already confirming this material world to be dukhalayam asasvatam temporary and full of miseries. And Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakur ji citing “This place is not fit for the gentleman”. So we should take all the negativity or unfavourable circumstances as sweet reminder to concentrate on the goal of human form of life, going back to Godhead.

e dhana, yaubana, putra, parijana
ithe ki ache paratiti re
kamala-dala-jala, jivana talamala
bhajahu hari-pada niti re

“What assurance of real happiness is there in all of one’s wealth, youthfulness, sons, and family members? This life is tottering like a drop of water on a lotus petal; therefore you should always serve and worship the divine feet of Lord Hari.”

Second thing is we have to understand and properly analyze through the eyes of scripture our favourable position vis-a-vis the position of non-devotees or materialists. We should have mercy on them and if feasible try to find out means to save them from their precarious position.

“Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature, therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.” (BG 3.5)

So having mercy on the poor souls, trying to find out the means for utilizing a unfavourable circumstance in a favourable way. Like Srila Gurudeva HG Sankarshan Das Adhikari ji says a good sailor by adjusting his sails can sail against the wind also. Or a intelligent businessman makes profit in any circumstances, when the price is low, he buys and when the price is high, he sells.

Reading Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta helps a lot in keeping the devotional spirits high while dealing in such unfavourable or so called horrible situations, as after going through it (although its not mentioning every moment), we can know what a unfavourable situation means actually.

Hope it helps.

thank you.

your servant,
Haladhar Das

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Why take shelter of a Spiritual Master

Jaanvi, 19th January 2015

Dear all,

Many people in this world have no spiritual master, but are following all the good qualities of human being, moreover, helping needy people, social service, etc. Also, visiting temple and listening to spiritual talks. Now, where will they go after leaving this material body?

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Priya Sutradhar, 19th January 2015

Dear Jaanvi mataji,

Hare Krsna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga! All glories to Prabhupad!
Gu means darkness and ru means brightness or knowledge.

The person who helps us to overcome the ignorance of darkness and bring us to the light of knowledge, he is called guru. It is said in Padma purana, that the guru by his power and devotion is capable of rendering a person absolute knowledge and purify him.

And lord Sri Krsna instructs in Bhagawad Gita, if you want to come to Me, if you want to know about Me, first of all go to a bonafide Guru. And if you don’t approach a spiritual master and try to learn scriptures like Gita own your own then all your efforts will prove to be futile.

HG Sriman Sankarshan Das Maharaj explains that “in Krishna consciousness we have a tripod, the three basic legs of bhakti that will solidly situate you on the spiritual platform. They are described as follow by Srila Prabhupada in Chapter Six of the Nectar of Devotion:
(1) Accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master.
(2) Becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him.
(3) Obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion.

All the other items of bhakti are automatically included in these three principles. So if you will simply take shelter of the spiritual master, get initiated by him and always obey him, you will quickly and easily be elevated to the transcendental platform of pure devotional service. In other words, Lord Sri Krishna will become your property”

So dear mataji, in simple words we cannot be liberated from material bandage without the mercy of our spiritual master.

Even if you cannot undergo a formal ceremony, if the spiritual master accepts you and you follow his instructions, that’s initiation. Srila Prahbupada did not get formally initiated until after twelve years after accepting his spiritual master, yet he says from the first meeting, the actual initiation took place, as he accepted his spiritual master within his heart and his instructions as his life and soul.

And as far as the good deeds you mentioned are concerned,everyone is rewarded or punished according to his karma. And if the activities are in Krsna consciousness, Lord Sri Krsna says that anyone who renders even a small amount of service unto Him, it doesn’t go in vain. In this or next life Krsna blesses Him with sufficient intelligent and also makes situation favorable for Him by letting him take birth in a high or vaishnava family so that He can attain the Supreme.

I however have no knowledge. I just made an insignificant attempt to answer and shared what I have learnt from senior devotees. Forgive for any offense.

your servant,
Priya

Yamini Narang, 20th January 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Guru Mataji.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Dear HG Jaanvi Mataji,

First of all, I totally agree with what Priya said just except one thing that she mentioned.

She mentioned that we are rewarded or punished because of our karma. Actually prabhupada says that we are not rewarded or punished, we get reciprocation to our own deeds. Whatever we do, we get reciprocation of that.

And coming to your question, I know a prabhu he’s actually a very good human being, always eager to help others, social services, very positive, no grudges for anyone etc. In other words a very good person. He’s my uncle and his wife is a very good devotee so once we had a programme at some devotee’s place so she asked this question to the speaker “prabhuji, my husband is a very good person but not a krsna devotee so where will he go after leaving his body?”
And prabhuji said that if you’re having a very positive attitude, very down to earth attitude,you’re very good etc. But you are not serving the Lord then after some births you’ll get to know about the Supreme or as u have a very much service attitude so may be by Krsna’s arrangement you sometime may get a chance to serve a Vaishnava, a pure soul then by his blessings you’ll for sure become a good devotee someday may be in this birth or some other. Prabhuji mentioned a quote by HH Radhanath Swami in this regard “a devotee’s anger can turn all your good qualities bad” so prabhu said the same applies the other way.. If you can serve a Vaishnava and please him his blessings can turn all your bad qualities good. So we should grab any opportunity to serve devotees with both of our hands.

In the end we all have to return back home, Back to God head, we have to go into our original identity, the eternal one. So it depends on our karmas when we get that wonderful opportunity to be able to try to go back home. We are really blessed that we got Srila Prabhupada, the savior of this world. We should follow him very sincerely. He has put in a lot of effort to revolutionize this world and we all should assist him and his wonderful disciples in spreading Lord Chaitanya’s message to the fallen souls in this world and make this Hare Krishna Movement even more successful.

I’m the most fallen soul on this planet. Just tried to share a very little knowledge I had. Please forgive for any offenses committed.

your insignificant servant,
Yamini.

 

Sudarshan Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krishna,

Such a wonderful question and such wonderful replies!!

Priya Mataji has very beautifully answered the question. I just wanted to mention that someone without a Spiritual Master is like a dog with no master. They do not have the care and protection that a dog with a master has. So getting initiate is a must have. However for those who were not able to attain the perfection stage they are not losers. This is the beauty of putting efforts into a Spiritual goal.

Please refer to the following verses from the 6th Chapter:

Question:
Bg 6.37 — Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, what is the destination of the unsuccessful transcendentalist, who in the beginning takes to the process of self-realization with faith but who later desists due to worldly-mindedness and thus does not attain perfection in mysticism?
Bg 6.38 — O mighty-armed Kṛṣṇa, does not such a man, who is bewildered from the path of transcendence, fall away from both spiritual and material success and perish like a riven cloud, with no position in any sphere?
Bg 6.39 — This is my doubt, O Kṛṣṇa, and I ask You to dispel it completely. But for You, no one is to be found who can destroy this doubt.

Answer:
Bg 6.40 — The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Son of Pṛthā, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil.
Bg 6.41 — The unsuccessful yogī, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy.
Bg 6.42 — Or [if unsuccessful after long practice of yoga] he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Certainly, such a birth is rare in this world.
Bg 6.43 — On taking such a birth, he revives the divine consciousness of his previous life, and he again tries to make further progress in order to achieve complete success, O son of Kuru.
Bg 6.44 — By virtue of the divine consciousness of his previous life, he automatically becomes attracted to the yogic principles – even without seeking them. Such an inquisitive transcendentalist stands always above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures.
Bg 6.45 — And when the yogī engages himself with sincere endeavor in making further progress, being washed of all contaminations, then ultimately, achieving perfection after many, many births of practice, he attains the supreme goal.

your Servant,
Sudarshan Das

 

Haldhar Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krsna mataji,

Qs. Many people in this world have no spiritual master, but are following all the good qualities of human being, moreover, helping needy people, social service, etc. Also, visiting temple and listening to spiritual talks.

It’s a very nice question and personally I feel it’s relevant to everyone as everyone thinks himself the epitome of good qualities. Regarding visiting a temple actually and spiritual master importance, one can answer by pondering over what he was before coming in contact with Iskcon devotees and what he is now.

Some years before I got an acquaintance with such a person, who always used to talk of organizations doing social services etc. and he used to regularly donate there. I wanted to help him in diverting his energy to the source of every energy, so I became friendly with him, with time made him understand the real cause, the best welfare activity, that prevalent social service these days or such welfare activities targeting the body or the outer shirt only whereas our various welfare activities are for the eternal soul which by serving the suffering soul are serving the body automatically like Food For Life Program, Bhakti Vedanta Hospital, Gurukul Institutes etc. So gradually gradually he was convinced and somehow I get him enrolled to “Discover Yourself Course” and now he is not only a regular donor but also fortunately listens to spiritual talks from pure devotee only.

So only going to temple(which one? Following the path shown by acharyas?) does not make one devotee, it’s the motive what one has signifies his real position and regarding listening to spiritual talks Sanatana Goswami says hearing from a non-devotee is like drinking milk being touched by a serpent. So we have to see from the light of the scriptures what a good human being is. Scriptures says, human life starts from enquiring about one’s real position

By chance, I was today morning reading from Srimad Bhagvatam Canto 4th , chapter 25th and verse 5th is answering your question fully on the subject matter i.e. fruitve activities and spiritual master. So I am putting the same below for reference:

While the princes were undergoing severe austerities in the water, their father was performing different types of fruitive activities. At this time the great saint Narada, master and teacher of all spiritual life, became very compassionate upon the King and decided to instruct him about spiritual life. (So we should be compassionate also towards such people)

Narada Muni asked King Pracinabarhisat: My dear King, what do you desire to achieve by performing these fruitive activities? The chief aim of life is to get rid of all miseries and enjoy happiness, but these two things cannot be realized by fruitive activity. (we may too ask as per time , place & circumstances what do they desire to achieve by these fruitive activities)

“The King replied: O great soul, Nārada, my intelligence is entangled in fruitive activities; therefore I do not know the ultimate goal of life. Kindly instruct me in pure knowledge so that I can get out of the entanglement of fruitive activities.” (This shows that such people may be ripe for injecting Krsna consciousness in case they have not become too arrogant with doer mentality or they are doing the same in ignorance or without any ill motive etc.)

Sri Narottama dasa Thakura has sung:
sat-sanga chadi kainu asate vilasa
te-karane lagila ye karma-bandha-phansa

As long as a person is entangled in fruitive activities, he is bound to accept one body after another. This is called karma-banda-phansa, entanglement in fruitive activities. It does not matter whether one is engaged in pious or impious activities, for both are causes for further entanglement in material bodies. By pious activities one can take birth in a rich family and get a good education and a beautiful body, but this does not mean that the distresses of life are ultimately eliminated. In the Western countries it is not unusual for one to take birth in a rich aristocratic family, nor is it unusual for one to have a good education and a very beautiful body, but this does not mean that Westerners are free from the distresses of life. Although at the present moment the younger generation in Western countries has sufficient education, beauty and wealth, and although there is enough food, clothing, and facilities for sense gratification, they are in distress. Indeed, they are so distressed that they become hippies, and the laws of nature force them to accept a wretched life. Thus they go about unclean and without shelter or food, and they are forced to sleep in the street. It can be concluded that one cannot become happy by simply performing pious activities. It is not a fact that those who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth are free from the material miseries of birth, old age, disease and death. The conclusion is that one cannot be happy by simply executing pious or impious activities. Such activities simply cause entanglement and transmigration from one body to another. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura calls this karma-bandha-phansa.

King Pracinabarhisat admitted this fact and frankly asked Narada Muni how he could get out of this karma-bandha-phansa, entanglement in fruitive activities. This is actually the stage of knowledge indicated in the first verse of Vedanta-sutra: athāto brahma-jijnasa. When one actually reaches the platform of frustration in an attempt to discharge karma-bandha-phansa, he inquires about the real value of life, which is called brahma-jijnasa. In order to inquire about the ultimate goal of life, the Vedas (Mundaka Upaniṣad 11.2.12) enjoin, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: “In order to understand the transcendental science, one must approach a bona fide spiritual master.”

King Pracinabarhisat found the best spiritual master, Narada Muni, and he therefore asked him about that knowledge by which one can get out of the entanglement of karma-bandha-phansa, fruitive activities. This is the actual business of human life. Jivasya tattva-jijnasa nartho yas ceha karmabhihḥ. As stated in the Second Chapter of the First Canto of Srimad Bhagvatam (1.2.10), a human being’s only business is inquiring from a bona fide spiritual master about extrication from the entanglement of karma-bandha-phansa.

Qs. Where will they go after leaving their material body?
It’s already answered above. But we may ask them, where are you heading to (in a mood to help them)? Like Narada Muni being compassionate asking above – “My dear King, what do you desire to achieve by performing these fruitive activities?”

Thank you.

your servant,
Haldhar Das

 

Jaanvi, 21st January 2015

Dear Matajis and Prabhujis,

Thanks for sharing all your answers, very enlightening and helpful.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Sridhar Das, 22nd January 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji!
Please accept my humble obeisances!

The judging factor for whether an activity is spiritual or not, is:

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam

“The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.” (SB 1.2.8)

Social service, planting trees, feeding the poor, constructing hospitals, digging wells, etc. are great pious acts!

However, the Chaitanya Charitamrita states:

kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ
krīyatāṁ yadi kuto ’pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate

“Pure devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price — that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.” (CC Madhya 8/70)

On Jan 20th Srila Gurudeva clarified that if one accepts Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and neglects initiation, that’s committing the third offence: Disobeying the orders of the spiritual master. Initiation is must therefore!

In fact it has repeatedly been emphasized Srila Gurudeva, The tripod of bhakti from The Nectar of Devotion:

1) Taking shelter of a bonafide spiritual master
2) Getting initiated by the spiritual master
3) Following the instructions given by the spiritual master

It is IMPOSSIBLE to attain attraction for the message of Godhead without surrender to the instructions of a spiritual master. Any tasks therefore not directed towards surrender unto the lotus feet of Lord Krishna’s beloved devotee is srama eva hi kevalam, useless labor.

In fact Srila Gurudeva has repeatedly also emphasizes every now and then from the Adi Purana:

ye me bhakta-janah partha
na me bhaktas ca te janah
mad-bhaktanam ca ye bhaktas
te me bhakta-tama matah

“Those who are My devotees are not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My devotees are My devotees.”

Reading with Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji on 20th, we also read (from SB 2/4/10 purport):

“Therefore, not only is a devotee of the Lord more powerful than the Lord, but also worship of the devotee is considered more effective than direct worship of the Lord (mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā).”

Therefore, if one doesn’t consider it important to surrender to such a surrendered devotee of Krishna, how can he be Krishna’s devotee for he is neglecting Krishna’s most important instructions? To not surrender to bonafide guru means to surrender to maya.

“Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.” (CC Madhya 19/151)

Therefore any such person should be considered unfortunate and if favourable, must be approached and offered help, having taken residence at the lotus feet of guru ourself first.

YET, Krishna is tough to be understood. As it was once pointed by His Grace Mahabhagavat Prabhu, who knows how Krishna may promote during death. But this surely is rare.

your servant
Sridhar Das

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Why do breakups happen?

Jaanvi, 12th January 2015

Dear All,

Hare Krsna

In the recent times, there have been many breaking up of family relationships, such as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, husband and wife, parent and children, etc. Now, are these happenings due to past karmic reactions, or other reasons??

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Lalit, 12th January 2015

Hare krishna!

I share my learning.

Relations are nothing more than karmic account settlement.

As long as we are attached to our karma the cycle continues.

Doing karma as in duty bound without any prejudice towards result may (as i am too in search) lead to the path inside.

Hare Krishna!

 

Sudeep Manchanda, 12th January 2015

Hare Krishna,

Unfortunately, breaking of relationships is becoming more and more common these days. We have a lot technology to connect to other but still being dragged away from each other. We strive to have ‘good’ company around us. But is our definition of ‘good’ correct?

In Kali-Yuga we do not have relationships. Forget about relationship with The Supreme Personality of Godhead, we do not even have relationships on a material platform. All we do is business. This is a bitter truth! The parent take care of their child so that he/she would take care of them when they grow up.. and similarly for any relationship. We like people who would praise us and not those who would tell us the truth. We all want to be independent and do not want to told what we should and should not do. We put out offers.. I will love you and marry you if you allow me to do something something or I will leave with my parents only if they pay my expense and allow me to do what “I”want to do.

The problem is not Karmas per say. I am married to a wonderfully understanding wife so does that mean my karmas were good? And if I did not have a good wife would that mean my karmas were bad? This may not may not be true but it does become an excuse for us to run away from trying to what we should be doing. We give excuses… What can I do I don’t have a good wife because of my karmas. And what about us?

The perfection of any household (Grahasta) is to have The Supreme Personality Of Godhead, Krishna in the center. It is the responsibility of every family member to contribute to it. If we keep doing business with our family, that is wrong! If we think that this is Krishna’s family and as a part of this family I have a role to play. I have some roles and responsibilities towards ensuring that the common goal of going back to Godhead is met for all; then that is the right consciousness. And with the consciousness there would never be any difference is opinion about what should be done, there may however be difference in the methods of doing it but that can be used constructively if we respect others as Vaishnavas and have an attitude to serve them.

An important point to be noted is that one need not bother about karmas if their actions are in Krishna Consciousness.

your Servant,
Sudeep Manchanda

 

Jaanvi, 13th January 2015

Dear Prabhujis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks for your replies with understanding.

Also, it is true everyone just accept whatever situation as their karma.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Sacinandana Das, 13th January 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

It happens because Krishna is not the center of their lives.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das

 

Lalit, 13th January 2015

Hare krishna!
Karmas with prejudice, attachment and expectations are root cause of misery.
“Karmaneyevadhikaerastu maa faleshun kadachana” summarizes everything.

Be here to make others happy and not in pursuit of happiness for self.

If you have a difficult partner and if you are truly searching for the path inside then you should be thankful to HIM for making arrangements leading to detachment.

Desire or expectation do not cause misery but if both are unfulfilled they cause havoc in one’ life.

Break ups are usually result of unfulfilled expectations, impatience, prejudice and ego.

A true seeker never gives up on any relation or duty despite all odds placed against him.

Hare Krishna!
Lalit

 

Haladhar Das, 13th January 2015

Hare Krsna!

No doubt it’s a fact that with the advancement of so called civilization, people are becoming more and more self centered resulting into broken relationships. This happens due to poor guidance or training from foolish representatives, more or less we ourselves are responsible for electing them. That’s why its necessary to preach Lord Caitanya message of Krsna consciousness far and wide. Until and unless people will know at least theoretically that not only them but every species is not a body but an eternal soul, part and parcel of Krsna, these clashes are bound to happen.

na te vidhu svartha gatim hi visnum
durasaya ye bahir artha maninah
andha yathandair upaniyamanas
te ‘apisa tantraym uru-damni baddhah

“Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu ; not engage in service of his uncontrolled senses & fighting like animals. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.”

One cannot expect peace in an animalistic society. A bunch of animals will naturally and unnecessarily fight. But if one can understand his real position and the goal of life, then disputes can be easily avoided. One should understand anyone embodied (accepting a suitable body as per his desires from the material nature) is automatically under the modes of material nature and is forced to perform accordingly. That’s why Lord Krsna says to Arjuna to become transcendental to these 3 modes of material nature (BG 2.45 nistrai -gunyo bhava arjuna)

Due to past karma’s one may be put under such situations where there is chance of dispute but by properly utilizing one’s free will and in the light of the scriptures, one can refrain from acting unfavourably resulting into future karmic reactions. By thinking that everything happening due to karmic reactions and forgetting or taking it lightly will not help, one should be aware that the way he handles the situation will result into further results. Like one may have bought a ticket from India to Japan, but how he utilizes his brief stay on the plane depends upon him. Similarly by utilizing the temporary human body for eternal gain or by utilizing the senses in the service of the master of senses, we can make best use of a bad bargain and hence avoid family, social, national, international disputes.

Hope it may help.

Thank you.

Haladhar Das

 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 14th January 2015

Dear Mother Jaanvi,

Hare Krishna!

Relationships are complex. Still, one who has a good relationship with Krishna has a good relationship with everyone else. Even if someone’s is a devotee’s enemy, the devotee does not become their enemy. To a nondevotee, yes, everything is karma. But to a devotee, everything is a facility to increase Krishna consciousness, just like the jaws of a cat, death to a mouse, but safe haven to the kitten. So a “bad” relationship is also good for a devotee, and a “good” relationship is equally good, a devotee does not get disturbed with all these things, or even if there is temporary disturbance, the devotee comes back to Krishna consciousness.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Priya Sutradhar, 14th January 2015

Hare Krsna dear Jaanvi mataji. Pranam

Srila Prabhupad said Love affairs in the material world are only shadows or reflections of the real love with Krishna. If you love Krishna in any capacity, you shall never be frustrated because everything in Krishna is perfect, eternal, blissful, and full of knowledge.

your servant,
Priya

Bhakta Sunil, 21st January 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji

In this context I found the following letter of Prabhupada which states any fight between husband and wife be not taken seriously
—–
“Don’t create some abnormal condition. Please go back to your husband and live peacefully and execute Krishna Consciousness together. He will also not take sannyasa order out of frustration. You are an intelligent girl and an advanced student. You should know that our main business is Krishna Consciousness. So fighting between husband and wife is not to be taken very seriously. So if you have any respect for me, I request you not to quarrel with your husband seriously. So if you have any respect for me, I request you not to quarrel with your husband. Live peacefully, chant Hare Krishna and try to serve the cause as best as possible. I am very glad that your mother is also taking interest in Krishna Consciousness. That is very good. As you have to leave Boston very soon it is better that you go immediately to N.Y. and live peacefully with your husband. That is my order. I hope you will not disobey me.” [Letter to Ekayani Aug. 31, 1971]
——-
Hope this helps,

Sincerely,
Bhakta Sunil

 

Yamini Narang, 21st January 2015

Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Dear HG Jaanvi Mataji,
All the previous replies are really wonderful and very helpful. I remember a few teachings by srila gurudeva in this context.

(Excerpt from Srimad Bhagavatam lecture by Srila Gurudeva at Denver, Colorado, 15 January, 2005)

I remember in my brahmacari days we had one temple commander, Madan Mohan Prabhu, in Gainesville. Some of the devotees came up to him and started glorifying him and he knew they had some motives. So he directly said, “OK. What do you want?” He knew there was something up their sleeves. They were not just glorifying him for the sake of glorifying him. This is demoniac mentality. I have some motive so I’m worshiping. In the material world someone gets a position in a corporation and they are always flattering their supervisor. They don’t really like the person. It is just some game to move up the corporate ladders. They might even hate his guts, but still, they play the game, to move up. This is demoniac mentality. It is all based on the desire of prominence. This desire for prominence is the greatest defect actually. It is this desire which brought us here to begin with. We were there in the spiritual world, serving Krishna in Goloka, or in the Vaikuntha world. In every world there, Krishna or Lord Vishnu is prominent. In Goloka Vrindavan everyone is talking about Krishna. The cow herd boys come home, all wide-eyed, they say Mata Mata! You know. What happened today in the forest? This big demon came, and Krishna. Killed him! Krishna did this, Krishna did that! Krishna Krishna!! Everything is Krishna Krishna Krishna.”

So my dear mataji, from this excerpt from Srila Gurudeva’s lecture we can see that people in this material world have demoniac mentality but as prabhupada says that the only motive of our birth is to become Krishna’s servant and go back home, to our real identity, the eternal one and go back to God head. Break up of family relations have even been very frequent in our family and even now many conflicts go on but there’s a change I’ve observed in my family that since a few years the members of our family who have taken up to KC are into family conflicts and fights. So mataji, unless the center of every relationship is Krishna, center every talk, every action, every word that we utter, anything and everything we do, its center is Krishna these kind of fights, conflicts will be there. In other words, suffering will be there.
A few days back I asked Srila Gurudeva about my family members that they keep on shouting on me for nothing and I’m so sensitive that I start crying and waste my time! So Gurudeva said to me that if you are not feeling love from material relations then it is Krsna’s special mercy upon you to become detached from material relations and become more and more attached and surrendered to Him.

And recently I got to know a very sincere and senior mataji who’s a disciple of HH Loknath Swami Maharaj, she loves me like her daughter. So once I told mataji that please don’t leave me, I love you very much. So in reply she said: My dear, till the time the center of our relationship is Krishna, we’ll be together like this and serve the Lord.

So from all these I just concluded one thing. “Keep Krishna in the center, keep your focus on Krishna and serving your Gurudev and you’ll be happy.”

I’m the most fallen soul so kindly forgive me for the offenses committed by me.

May Lord bless you with His pure devotion.

your servant,
Yamini

 

Lalit, 24th January 2015

Hare Krishna!

All break up moments give you an opportunity to dive inside.

Now it’s at one’s discretion how he uses this opportunity.

Playing blame game, fault finding or plunging inside.

Lalit

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.backtohome.com