What to do about unknowingly committed sins?

What do do about unknowingly committed sins?

Rashmi Chhabra, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna everyone.

Please accept my humble obeisances

I have a query. When we breathe, we kill microbes. When we walk we may kill ants or other tiny creatures. Definitely we are doing sins like this and many other times when we are unaware of.

How to counter or at least minimize reactions from such sins?

Thank you all,

Rashmi

Bhakta Sunil, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Regarding your question, i found the following Question-Answer dated 4th May 2019 from daily emails via www.joincourse.com

Question: What is Karma?

What is karma? Is it daily mundane work? Or is it something else?

Ashish Tiwary

Answer:  Our Actions

From: Riga, Latvia

My Dear Ashish,

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Karma is our actions. They bring a material reaction. Everything we do creates a karmic reaction, even our breathing. For example, when we breathe we kill so many microbial germs. The karmic reaction for this is that in a future lifetime we will become microbial germs to be killed by the very same microbial germ, who is now in a human form, that we killed.

The only escape from this powerful wheel of karma is to fully surrender to Krishna, who then mercifully frees us from all of our karmic reactions and takes us back to His eternal abode where there is no birth, no death, no old age, and no disease. There we will enjoy an eternal life, full of bliss, andcfull of knowledge.

I hope this meets you in the best of health

and in an ecstatic mood.

Your ever well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sudarshan Das, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances

That’s a very beautiful question. It is beautiful because Arjuna had asked the same question.

arjuna uvāca

atha kena prayukto ’yaṁ

pāpaṁ carati pūruṣaḥ

anicchann api vārṣṇeya

balād iva niyojitaḥ

Synonyms:

arjunaḥ uvāca — Arjuna said; atha — then; kena — by what; prayuktaḥ — impelled; ayam — one; pāpam — sins; carati — does; pūruṣaḥ — a man; anicchan — without desiring; api — although; vārṣṇeya — O descendant of Vṛṣṇi; balāt — by force; iva — as if; niyojitaḥ — engaged.

Translation:

Arjuna said: O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force?

Bhagavad-gītā 3.36

Simple answer is to be at the stage of doing akarma. When you walk, walk for Krishna; when you breath, breath for Krishna. This way you are not subjected to any sin or reactions.

Your Servant,

Sudarshan Das

Bhakta Shashank, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna Mata ji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Lord Krishna Says in Bhagavata Gita 18th Chapter, 66th verse:

sarva-dharmān parityajya

mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja

ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo

mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

Translation:

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/66/

So we just have to surrender to Krishna and He will take are of everything. But how to do that? We can do that by surrendering to the Spiritual Master.

Your servant,

Sacinandana Das.

Shridhar Das, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisance,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All Glories to Sri Guru & sri Gauranga!

Seeing the enthusiasm, I am also inspired to answer.

Material world is such that one cannot pass a moment without sinning as examples in your question clearly states. Laws of material nature implicates and keeps us all by its shackles in various alluring forms.

Only a rare person in this age of Kali even cares to know how to get rid of such an implication.

Actually, I had once heard from a superior that there is sin tank in our hearts. When we perform devotional activity we immediately become sinless and experience happiness. But later, again the sinful reactions stock up. So this is an ever going cycle.

The solution is that we don’t have to worry about “Becoming sinless” but about “Being Krishna Conscious” as the devotees have already answered wonderfully below by choosing apt verses.

There is no need to give up our routine tasks, but simply changing the goal for whom we are doing the act.

In that way, our working a job, our cooking food, buying vegetables, our saving time, our earning/spending money, sleeping/rising on time, etc. everything will remain the same but because the goal becomes to please Guru & Krishna, all unintended sinful activities shall never act upon us. Not only that, any inclination to commit sinful activity also is uprooted!!! That is speciality of Acting in Transcendental Knowledge. That is why devotees take responsibilities for Krishna in form of Temple Services which keeps them busy in serving Krishna & His devotees. There are various services on this group as well.

In conclusion, the reactions from past constantly keep acting on us but the shield of Krishna Consciousness around us will powder those reactions into dust. We simply need to think of pleasure of Guru & Krishna in whatever we do – will this action/thought/plan/word be a nice offering to Them?

Your servant

Shridhar 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

How to chant early in the morning?

How to get chanting early in the morning?

Nuria, 26 April, 2019

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

I ask guidance to the group for a personal advice on the spiritual journey of Krsna consciousness. Sometimes I have doubts and I feel guilty for every mistake…I am quite new in Krsna consciousness but sometimes I wake up in the early morning and I feel shy. I would like to get up to start chanting but somehow my body is stucked and there is a struggle with the mind so I cannot move. What to do? I tried to relax and breath but it seems it does not work…

Hare Krsna

Nuria

Sudarshan Das, 26 April 2019

Hare Krishna Nuria,

Sorry to see that your sincere question got missed.

I had a similar feeling and got the opportunity to ask the same question to Srila Gurudev in-person when He was giving a lecture in Vrindavan. He replied saying that it was a good sign. If you feel guilty of the mistakes then you are for sure progressing in Bhakti. If you feel fear of the mistakes done and feel bad inside then that means that you are managed to purify yourself to an extent where the false ego is going down, the ego which makes us feel that we have not done any mistake 🙂 So congratulations. What is important to realize is that the process of chanting has helped us reach so far. This is despite the fact that we don’t chant without offenses and not full of love. So, we should not get demotivated and try to chant more both in quantity and quality. Just imagine how much more progress can we make by doing so.

your Servant,

Sudarshan Das

Bhakta Sunil, 9 May 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhu

The point about early morning waking for chanting is in the wonderful audio, in the question-answer part, at the following link : http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Lectures/2018/2018.01.10_SB.5.5.1_Toronto_Canada.mp3

Hope this helps

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA , 11 May 2019

Dear Mother Nuria,

Hare Krishna!

Great question and great answers too!

Having doubts means you are a jiva, congratulations. Feeling guilty means you know you have made a mistake, so that meter is also working. The test is, “is this increasing my desire to hear/chant/read about Krishna, serve Krishna’s devotees, or is this decreasing my desire”. If it is increasing, it is good, if is decreasing, it is not good for us – we should ignore it.

Personally, for me, I always have trouble rising early in the morning whenever I have done one or more of these things:

1. Eaten too much too late at night before going to bed. What is the optimal time varies from person to person, for me it is eating less than 2 hours before going to bed

2. Going to bed too late at night – again this is a personal thing, but anything past 10 PM for me tends to reduce the efficacy of morning meditation

3. Planning to rise too late – the recommendation is to rise well before sunrise. Rising too late clouds my consciousness with “do this do that read this send that remind so-and-so, etc.”, all necessary, but not while I’m chanting

4. Not getting enough rest. I need around 6-7 hours of rest every night – I can push on for 3-4 nights with less rest but after that I start to decline in my ability to function

5. Been too active, either with a lot of people or with computers, Internet, social media, or even preaching before going to bed. I tend to sleep better with a quiet zone between the end of my day and the start of bed-time, usually with reading about Krishna, hearing a class about Krishna, or reading about Krishna

6. I have failed to pray the previous night – something like “My dear Krishna, I have come to this material world trying to usurp your position. Now I realize how foolish I am, but tomorrow morning, in the grip of sleep, I may not realize this. Please save me, please protect me, please allow me to come back to you by chanting your Holy Names”

Over the years I have evolved all sorts of rituals to help me chant – perhaps you should evolve your own, no hard-and-fast rules, just doing more of whatever makes chanting better and doing less of whatever makes chanting worse.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

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How to be detached without being callous?

Spiritual Knowledge often stresses Detachment. How can a Mother be detached from her children? Is there something wrong with this instruction? What is the proper understanding?

Rashmi Chhabra 09 Apr 2019

Hare Krishna all.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada

I m at a very beginning stage of Krishna consciousness. Please forgive my offenses.

In a recent class of Srimati Gurumataji, I heard about the weapon of detachment. I have 2 small kids, well whom I love a lot as a mother. And I think they are the only ones with whom I m attached at most in material life. Most rest things don’t matter to me.

My question is, should I start getting less attached to them? Or at least start that process of detachment?

Kindly enlighten.

Thank you all.

Hare Krishna.

Rashmi

Amogha Lila Das, 10 April 2019

Hare Krishna mataji. Please accept my pranams. All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We are all relatively new to Krishna consciousness, some little more some little less.

The idea of detachment can be understood as not deliberate but through the process of bhakti. When we engage our mind, body and intelligence in Krishna bhakti, then gradually we shall lose taste for material mundane things, not by force, but through getting a higher taste.

Arjuna wanted to detach himself from his duties as a kshatriya warrior, but eventually surrendered to the will of the Lord.

By doing our duty keeping Krishna in the center, we can utilize our lives for Krishna.

Every thing belongs to Krishna. Caring for your children is your duty as a mother and love for them is natural.  Raising them in Krishna consciousness will be the best thing you can do as a loving mother, because our aim is to utilize everything that we possess in the service of Krishna.

Hence detachment will come from the understanding that everything is Krishna’s property and we just have to utilize what already belongs to him in his service.

Hope this helps somewhat….

your humble servant,

Amogha Lila Das

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 10 April 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srimate Gurumata

All glories to Srila Prahbupada

Prabhu gave a very nice answer.

For further clarification I suggest you read this book by Sila  Prahbupada, from start to finish.  ‘The teachings of Queen Kunti. ‘  This is a wonderful book which Prabhupada explains your question perfectly.  As you read this book you understanding and realization will increase  step by step so by the end of it everything will be perfectly clear to you.

your servant

Rupa Manjari dd

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 11 April 2019

Dear Mother Rashmi,

Hare Krishna!

Your question is simply wonderful! Many parents must have this question, but may not ask… worse they may keep a misunderstanding within their hearts also. We must educate the whole world on this point.

What Amogha Lila Prabhu and Mother Rupa Manjari have written is truly profound.

To be detached actually means to be attached to Krishna and Krishna’s… To learn to see how Krishna has given you this important service of raising His own dear part-and-parcel souls “mamaivaamsho” is a great exercise in humility and gratitude. Please protect these children from untoward association, especially television, phones, computers, newspapers, food that is not cooked as a loving offering for Krishna, and materialistic association… Please give them Krishna constantly, in a way that they can accept… please make them best friends of Krishna.

Whatever Amogha Lila Prabhu wrote is fully supported by scripture… here it is from SB 10.14, the stealing of the cowherd boys by Lord Brahma, Krishna expanded Himself as all of them. The cowherd boys’ mothers and the calves’ mothers loved the expansions of Krishna appearing like their offspring more than they loved their own offspring – this was surprising, since a mother loves her child more than anyone else, so the Q&A between Maharaja Parikshit and Shukadeva Goswami is below, it is very nectarean, please dive into it prayerfully:

Text 49:

King Parīkṣit said: O brāhmaṇa, how could the cowherd women have developed for Kṛṣṇa, someone else’s son, such unprecedented pure love — love they never felt even for their own children? Please explain this.

Text 50:

Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, for every created being the dearmost thing is certainly his own self. The dearness of everything else — children, wealth and so on — is due only to the dearness of the self.

Text 51:

For this reason, O best of kings, the embodied soul is self-centered: he is more attached to his own body and self than to his so-called possessions like children, wealth and home.

Text 52:

Indeed, for persons who think the body is the self, O best of kings, those things whose importance lies only in their relationship to the body are never as dear as the body itself.

Text 53:

If a person comes to the stage of considering the body “mine” instead of “me,” he will certainly not consider the body as dear as his own self. After all, even as the body is growing old and useless, one’s desire to continue living remains strong.

Text 54:

Therefore it is his own self that is most dear to every embodied living being, and it is simply for the satisfaction of this self that the whole material creation of moving and nonmoving entities exists.

Text 55:

You should know Kṛṣṇa to be the original Soul of all living entities. For the benefit of the whole universe, He has, out of His causeless mercy, appeared as an ordinary human being. He has done this by the strength of His internal potency.

Text 56:

Those in this world who understand Lord Kṛṣṇa as He is see all things, whether stationary or moving, as manifest forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such enlightened persons recognize no reality apart from the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Text 57:

The original, unmanifested form of material nature is the source of all material things, and the source of even that subtle material nature is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. What, then, could one ascertain to be separate from Him?

Text 58:

For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murāri, the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoof-print. Their goal is paraṁ padam, Vaikuṇṭha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step.

All the purport are amazing, just like the verses… everyone should please read these carefully, and this will be the perfection of all our relationships if we can implement properly.

In the purport to SB 10.14.50, we find this (italics mine):

quote

Sometimes modern thinkers become puzzled when they study the psychology of moral behavior. Although every living entity is inclined toward self-preservation, as stated here, sometimes a person voluntarily sacrifices his own apparent interest through philanthropic or patriotic activities, such as giving his money for the benefit of others or giving his life for the national interest. Such so-called selfless behavior appears to contradict the principle of material self-centeredness and self-preservation.

As explained in this verse, however, a living entity serves his society, nation, family and so on only because these objects of affection represent the expanded concept of false ego. A patriot sees himself as a great servitor of a great nation, and thus he sacrifices his life to gratify his sense of egotism. Similarly, it is common knowledge that a man feels great pleasure by thinking that he is sacrificing everything to please his dear wife and children. A man derives great egotistic pleasure by seeing himself as a selfless well-wisher of his so-called family and community. Thus, to gratify his proud sense of false ego, a man is prepared even to lay down his life. This apparently contradictory behavior is yet another demonstration of the bewilderment of material life, which has neither rhyme nor reason, being a manifestation of gross ignorance of the nonmaterial soul.

unquote

And in the purport to SB 10.14.55, we find this (italics mine) :

In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līla, Chapter Twenty, text 162, Śrīla Prabhupāda comments on this verse as follows: “Parīkṣit Mahārāja asked Śukadeva Gosvāmī why Kṛṣṇa was so beloved by the residents of Vṛndāvana, who loved Him even more than their own offspring or life itself. At that time, Śukadeva Gosvāmī replied that everyone’s ātmā, or soul, is very, very dear, especially to all living entities who have accepted material bodies. However, that ātmā, the spirit soul, is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. For this reason, Kṛṣṇa is very dear to every living entity. Everyone’s body is very dear to oneself, and one wants to protect the body by all means because within the body the soul is living. Due to the intimate relationship between the soul and the body, the body is important and dear to everyone. Similarly, the soul, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, is very, very dear to all living entities. Unfortunately, the soul forgets his constitutional position and thinks he is only the body (dehātma-buddhi). Thus the soul is subjected to the rules and regulations of material nature. When a living entity, by his intelligence, reawakens his attraction for Kṛṣṇa, he can understand that he is not the body but part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Thus filled with knowledge, he no longer labors under attachment to the body and everything related to the body (janasya moho ’yam ahaṁ mameti). Material existence, wherein one thinks, ‘I am the body, and this belongs to me,’ is also illusory. One must redirect his attraction to Kṛṣṇa.Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.7) states:

vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ

janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam

By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.’

In the purport of SB 10.14.56, we find this written (italics are mine):

quote

Everything exists within Lord Kṛṣṇa, and Lord Kṛṣṇa exists within everything. Still, the order of progression is always from the energetic to the expanded energy. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original identity, from whom all other identities emanate. He is the supreme energetic, from whom all categories and dimensions of energy become manifest. Thus, our personal bodies, self, family, friends, nation, planet, universe and so on are all manifestations of the Supreme Lord, who expands Himself through His personal potencies. Lord Kṛṣṇa is certainly the supreme object of our love and attraction, and other objects, such as body, family and home, should be secondary objects of our affection. Moreover, a close analytic study of the actual situation will reveal that even the secondary objects of love are also manifestations of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The conclusion is that Lord Kṛṣṇa is our only friend and object of love.

In his Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrīla Prabhupāda comments on this verse as follows: “Without being an expansion of Kṛṣṇa, nothing can be attractive. Whatever is attractive within the cosmic manifestation is due to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is therefore the reservoir of all pleasure. The active principle of everything is Kṛṣṇa, and highly elevated transcendentalists see everything in connection with Him. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is stated that a mahā-bhāgavata, a highly advanced devotee, sees Kṛṣṇa as the active principle in all moving and nonmoving living entities. Therefore he sees everything within this cosmic manifestation in relation to Kṛṣṇa.”

unquote

When you see your children as Krishna’s children and love them as Krishna’s children, and they realize that they are Krishna’s, then your devotion will be perfect, and their lives also will be perfect. All of you will be attached to Krishna’s lotus feet, and there will be no one more happy than Srimati Gurumataji and Srila Gurudeva.

Mahabhagavat Das, dasadas.com

Priya Harinath, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna devotees

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji

What a wonderful question and what glorious answers from Amogha Lila Das Prabhu and Rupa Manjari mataji. Jaya! And what nectar from Mahabhagavad Das Prabhu. Thank you for guiding and enlightening fallen souls like me. Vaisnava association is the highest blessing anyone can get and it is possible only by the mercy of Guru and Krishna. We are indeed fortunate to have this in the form of this online bhagavata academy and devotees group.

Rashmi mataji, your question is wonderful and is in the mind of any parent. I am a mother of two and I have had this question in my mind in various ways every day. Just to add on to all the above wonderful answers, I had asked Srimati Gurumataji in one of the morning online Bhagavatam classes what should I do as a mother to guide my children towards Krishna. And she gave me a straight amazing answer.  She said, “First become fixed in devotion yourself. Work towards become an initiated devotee and then you will automatically become an example for your children to follow.” [Her words in quote].

You will be doing the greatest service to them if you guide them towards Krishna.

your humble servant

Priya

Rashmi, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna everyone

Thank you so much for explaining. It’s really helps

Rashmi

Rashmi Chhabra, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Prabhuji

All glories to Gurudeva and Prabhupad

Thank you so much for guiding. I really need guidance at every step it seems, as I am the most useless person. Sometimes I have so many questions to enquire I myself don’t know where to start.

The ways you have devised to follow for bringing up kids in Krishna consciousness are superb. I was doing something like that, but little. Now i have been guided for the same.

It will definitely take time and patience from my end, but I’ll definitely put my best efforts in it.

Again thank you,

Hare Krishna

From Rashmi

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I live far from others – how may I advance?

I live very far… how to learn, how do I advance?

Danny, 02 July 2018

Hare Krishna!

I respectfully and humbly ask about Guru.

I live far from any temple and know no other devotees. The only reason I even am studying this path is by the grace of Krishna.

My question is it possible to advance in Bhakti isolated as I am? By grace I found this group and course. I am reading Bhagavad Gita and chanting. I listen to lectures and Kirtan. I hope eventually to visit a temple and be with other devotees and see beautiful deities. But for now I only can have an online association. I am grateful for this group. I love Krishna and devotees. My heart longs for real association.

Sorry I am rambling but I’m not even sure what or how to go about this.

Hare Krishna!

Danny F

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 03 July 2018

Hare Krishna, Danny

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srila Prahbupada.

You appear to have a strong realization of the importance of association.  If we wish to advance and not be distracted from the path we must have strong association, regular association of like minded devotees and senior guidance. 

However the quality of association is the most important thing.  One may be in the association of many devotees but not actually utilise that association.  I see you understand how to proper utilize association by your nice inquiry.  It is good you are listening regularly to lectures and chanting and a participant in this group.  And because you are part of this group you must be getting my spiritual masters ‘thought of the day”. You May also wish to inquire directly with His Grace Sankarshan das Adhikari who is a self realized Spiritual master ,Guru, whenever you have the need. His e-mail address is sda@backtohome.com.

You also have the Association of Srila Prabhupada when you read his books.  You also have the association of Krishna when you read and chant and remember him.

The answer to your question, is it possible to advance when you are in an isolated situation? is yes.  If you properly utilise all the association that is readily available to you.  Though being physically around the temple and devotees physically makes it easier for the simple reason it brings devotees together so we can serve Krishna together.  As  we hear more and chant more the desire to engage in devotional service to the Lord increases.  To do this on your own is more difficult but not impossible. For eg when devotees come together to serve the deity in the temple it is very powerful and encouraging, though one may also serve Krishna in picture form or deity form at home.  One can cook for the Lord offer nice foodstuffs and do Aarti, bath him, dress him, make Garland’s etc.  Home deity worship is especially meant for those who live far from the temple.  If you want to try some extra mercy and make super fast advancement one can perform sankirtan. One can take some books of Srila Prahbupada and distribute to people in your local area, or do a harinam or kirtan in the public so everyone can become liberated from the cycle of birth and death.  Or distribute prasadam.  There are many wonderful stories how devotees made advancement in this way. But the best way to make advancement is to serve Krishna under the guidance of the bonfire spiritual master.   In such a situation one can constantly feel the association of the devotees, Guru and Krishna.  So I strongly suggest you contact HG Sankarshan das Adhikari, which I previously gave the e-mail address and ask how to best serve krishna in your situation.

Where do you live.? It may be there might be some devotees in your area.

your servant

Rupa Manjari dd

Danny F, 05 July 2018

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to Srila Gurudev

Hare Krishna

Thank you for your response! I also contacted Srila Gurudev! He also responded! It is so heartening to know that I can have contact with devotees and a Guru! I thank Krishna for the internet and this group and Gurudev using this platform to teach!

Hare Krishna!

Amanda Saksman, 05 July 2018

Hare Krishna, Danny Prabhu!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Guru Mataji!

I don’t think you need to worry about it. I suppose most of the devotees live outside the temple. I also live quite far away and as often as possible I travel to the temple or to see and hear HG Sankarshan das Adhikari Prabhu and Guru Mataji. I used to live at the temple, though, but it is not a measurement scale for anything. Krishna is everywhere!

I wish you good luck with developing your Krishna Consciousness!

Sincerely,

your servant,

Bhaktin Amanda

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 05 July 2018

Hare Krishna! This exchange is the exact reason why Srila Gurudeva started the Ultimate Self Realization Course nearly 20 years ago. The goal is to serve every soul on the planet, and give them the opportunity to reconnect with Krishna, by reconnecting with those who are connected / want to connect with Krishna.

We started this group, sda_students, in 2011, and many volunteers work behind the scenes to make this group a welcoming place for such beautiful interactions. To these volunteers, my humble obeisances.

But above all? It is you, dear group members, who make this group alive and Krishna conscious. Thank you for giving us your association!

Lila Manjari devi dasi, 06 July 2018

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to dearmost Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to all wonderful Devotees

Thank you for your wonderful query. It reminds me of how I came to Krishna consciousness.

I live far from any temple and know no other devotees. The only reason I even am studying this path is by the grace of Krishna.

I was in the same position few years back. This is the best part of your Krishna consciousness actually if you can keep longing for that association. And your being connected to Krishna consciousness in such situation very strongly proves the unlimited mercy of Lord Krishna and His pure devotees.  This proves that our heart is like an open book in front of the Lord and when He sees the sincere desire of a soul, He gives ALL facilities for advancement in bhakti.

My question is it possible to advance in Bhakti isolated as I am? By grace I found this group and course. I am reading Bhagavad Gita and chanting. I listen to lectures and Kirtan. I hope eventually to visit a temple and be with other devotees and see beautiful deities. But for now I only can have an online association. I am grateful for this group. I love Krishna and devotees. My heart longs for real association.

Once again the same situation. This group has been a great blessing for me to get all the wonderful association of exalted devotees. Also the online book club has helped me a lot to study(not just read) Srila Prabhupada books and understand the philosophy of Krishna consciousness.

And of course as you are already doing, you can also write to Srila Gurudeva (s…@backtohome.com) for guidance in your specific situations.

Kindly forgive me if I have mentioned something inappropriate.

Thank you.

Hare Krishna

your insignificant servant

Lila Manjari devi dasi

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 08 July 2018

Hare Krishna

Dear Danny

Please continue to participate actively on this forum.  Your association is much welcomed and appreciated.  It is wonderful you are also directly associating with Gurudeva.  If you aren’t already, try joining the online live classes he gives, they are nectar.  It is just the same as being there.

Thankyou Mahabhagavat Prabhu for pointing out the wonderful services the devotees are doing behind the scenes to maintain this forum of association.

your servant

Rupa Manjari dd

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

Importance of Ramayan in the Hare Krishna movement

What is the Importance of the Ramayana to the Hare Krishnas? To the Christians? To the Muslims? To the Sikhs? The Jains? The Buddhists? The Atheists?

Chandrika, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna

I have not been able to receive an answer to my question. It’s been constantly deferred.

My question is what is the relevance and importance of the Ramayan in the Hare Krishna organization?

I know that in orthodox Hindu teachings it is treated with great reverence

Regards
Chandrika

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 7 September 2018

Dear Mother Chandrika,

Hare Krishna!

I am hoping that the community of volunteers here has served you to your satisfaction in answering this question comprehensively.
We are here to serve you unlimitedly within the bounds of our own personal limitations. Since we are volunteers, we do ask for your kind patience and understanding.

First of all, the Ramayana is of great importance to everyone, no matter whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or Buddhist. Whether they recognize the importance of the Ramayana is dependent on their own fortune or misfortune. This is because the principles in the Ramayana are Universal.

This eternal religion is understood as an example of water – its wetness and its ability to quench thirst. Anything that does not have these two basic principles is not water, therefore the religion of water can be said to be wetness and its power to quench thirst of living entities. Similarly, the religion of fire is said to be heat and light. Anything that claims to be fire must exhibit these two qualities, and even when a red hot iron exhibits these two qualities, it is of the nature of fire – anyone touching it will get burned even though there are no flames etc. There is no Hindu water or Christian fire. Fire is fire and water is water. Similarly, the eternal religion of the jiva, the spirit soul, is loving devotional service to the Supreme, in His unlimitedly variegated names and forms as He manifests, Krishna, Govinda, Allah, Rama, Jehovah, Buddha… They are ONE.

Next, we don’t give too much importance to sectarianism – we don’t recognize so-called Hinduism, so-called Buddhism, so-called Christianity, and so-called Islam as bona fide religion. The real principled essence of all these great religious traditions is Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion of the living entity. To the extent that followers of different traditions do not deviate from the original universal principles of Sanatan Dharma, we recognize them as genuine, and to the extent they do deviate, we recognize them as “politics”. Srila Gurudeva once said “Religion is one, “religions” means politics”. In other words, there is only one God, and to rekindle our lost love for that One God is the essence of religion. Like Srila Gurudeva said, as Jesus Christ prayed “God, let thine will be done, not mine”.

In that mood, we accept and revere Prophet Mohammad, Lord Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak, and all other great teachers as having taught the same principles of Sanatan Dharma according to the time, place and circumstance, especially the ability of their followers to understand. Some of their followers do understand, and we do accept them as genuine, and some of their followers are caught up in externalities, and we understand them to be immature as yet.

Now, as far as the Ramayana is concerned, there are many versions, and Srila Prabhupada gave us two versions as bona fide – the 2-chapter summary in the 9th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, and also the original Ramayana by the great pure devotee sage Valmiki. There may be value in the other versions, but for us these two are sufficient.

I pray that this is useful.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rasika Krishna Das, 7 September 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

Where exactly mentioned in the 2 chapter summary of Canto 9? I couldn’t find it.

Your servant,
Rasika Krishna Das

Mahabhagavat Das, 7 September 2018

See these two chapters:

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/10/

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/11/

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rasika Krishna Das, 7 October 2018

Thank you Prabhuji, Hare Krishna 🙂

Rasika Krishna Das

Ikshvaku Das, 7 October 2018

Hare Krishna Mahabhgavat prabhu – great answer – thanks.

Ikshvaku das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.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.

Serving those who serve the Supreme

Serving the servant of God is even more powerful than serving God directly…

This morning, very early, before 4AM, I was driving three souls to the Hare Krishna temple.

As I drove on the nearly empty roads, the car was filled with a buzz, and not just the hum of the tires cruising on the asphalt or the sound of the engine. It was my car-load of chanters…

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

Three voices, chanting this mantra in their own cadence, with their own sweet lilting speciality chanted, some softer than others, some slower than others, but all chanted.

The words of one mantra being chanted by one soul blended with another, it was impossible to clearly tell where the mantra started and where the mantra ended. But I was very happy to hear the mantra in this way, like the buzzing of bees.

Even though I had sacrificed my own chanting to drive, I was very satisfied that I was serving three very exalted souls, while I drove, they could chant. They were all chanting very sincerely. They were tasting the sweetness of the Holy Names of God.

Just by hearing them all, I was feeling very happy. So I resolved to try and serve anyone who was serving the Supreme, in any possible way, small or big.

By serving those who serve the Supreme, we serve the Supreme also. But even more importantly, we serve the souls who are dear to the Supreme.

ye me bhakta-janāḥ pārtha
na me bhaktāś ca te janāḥ
mad-bhaktānāṁ ca ye bhaktās
te me bhakta-tamā matāḥ

“[Lord Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna:] ‘Those who are My direct devotees are actually not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My servant are factually My devotees.’

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu quotes this verse from the Ādi Purāṇa. The verse is also included in the Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta (2.6).

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/11/28/

Simple formula, find a servant of God, be their servant. Your own service will be that much sweeter, and God will be pleased with you.

Try it. Even if for a little bit.

Intoxication – do it right

Do you or any one you know do intoxication? Learn to do it right!

I met a young man who “sometimes takes magic mushrooms” to help him “advance spiritually”.

I said to him “mushrooms are a material substance – the spiritual quest is non-material, how can you reach the spiritual dimension with a mere hallucinogen?”

Think about it, if you need a substance to get you in the spiritual mood, then how will you transcend the material? Is that all your “spiritual experience” is? A chemically induced high?

No, the spiritual high is different, potent, and there is no substance that can even come close to the real thing.

Do you or anyone you know like to drink alcohol? Or smoke a little Marijuana? Drugs? Prescription Medication? Or some other hallucinogen? Are you into tea or coffee? Or tobacco in any form? Chocolate anyone?

In human life, our most precious gift is our highly developed consciousness. In other species of life, there is ample facility for the primitive needs of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, but no other species offers the specific gift of highly evolved consciousness.

In the cycle between birth and death, if a person strives to use their consciousness to transcend the misery of birth, death, old age, and disease, or in other words, rediscover their eternal spiritual nature, that is good use of human life.

The process of liberation is brahma jijñāsā, the search for the Absolute Truth.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/5/14/

When someone uses their human consciousness to strive to search for the Absolute Truth, then even if they do not attain to spiritual perfection in this life, they are sure to get another chance…

नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते ।
स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ॥ ४० ॥ nehābhikrama-nāśo ’sti
pratyavāyo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt

In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/40/

As Srila Prabhupada writes…

Or, as the Christians say, “What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world yet suffer the loss of his eternal soul?”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/40/

Intoxication of any kind causes a degradation of the consciousness.

Intoxication does not take you higher, it drags you lower.

What happens to a person who takes intoxicants? They lose their sobriety. This loss of sobriety is gross in some cases, such as someone who is drunk, or subtle in others, such as someone who becomes materially attached.

Even the “benign” substances such as tea, coffee, and chocolate keep us bound up to the material world, by increasing our attachment to the material world.

Are you on a spiritual journey? Then intoxicants will act to dampen your enthusiasm for spiritual perfection. Dear fellow spiritualists, please avoid all material intoxicants, and ensure your smooth journey to pure spiritual consciousness.

However, know that there is a Supreme Intoxication, the transcendental sound of the Names of God. There are unlimited names of God. You can chant any of them, and each of them will intoxicate you.

However, if you haven’t tried these Supreme Combination of Syllables, try them now.

The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, the Mother Mantra, the Source of All Spiritual Wisdom

If you want to know how to do intoxication right, please let me serve you!

What is the Vedic Significance of New Years’ eve?

Bhakta Sunil, 9th January 2017

Hare Krishna

Is there a significance of staying awake till midnight of 31st December , as i understand that this is factually English new year?so is it necessary to stay awake till midnight of 31st December?

Regards,
Sunil

Deepak,9th Jan 2017

As far as i understand there is no significance to awake all night, but if you want chant what can be best than that. we do it for our piece or i can say not to feel embarrassed in society, in other words where people are doing many illicit things on that day, we enjoy and relish it by chanting or by associating with devotees.

Sorry if something wrong I said

your servant
Deepak

Dhrishtadyumna Das, 9th January 2017

Hare krishna
Please accept my humble obesiance

Srila prabhupada told , For us everyday is new year because krishna is everfresh & evernew & we are celebrating him , but these materialist people need to drink this poison to forget all the frustrations, misgivings of past year , we dont need to celebrate by being intoxicated as that is pleasure in mode of ignorance, we can celebrate by being intoxicated in holyname.
Morever this is not new year according to vedic tradition, as per vedic calendar the new year comes on diwali where we light candles, do puja , distribute sweets , gifts, buy new clothes & celebrate on the other hand if u see the way nowadays the people celebrate by getting drunk , vomiting sleeping till next day thus they welcome the new year in hangover, bcos that is the western culture of celebrating things by getting drunk to forget all miseries, people celebrate new year according to english calendar bcos all countries were ruled by british, europeans , thus they passed on their dirty culture to us .
A vaisnava can meditate that i have got a limited time to fulfill my goal to achieve krsna & i am one year closer to death , i should become more serious, sincere , determined & bring urgency in my chanting, taking shelter of srila prabhupada books, , we can welcome the new year by attending mangal arati,chanting in association of devotees, visiting the nearest temple or hearing a tape of our guru maharaj or srila prabhupada.

your servant
Dhrishtadyumna Das

Dra Varni, 9th January 2017

Hello & Hare Krsna! The tradition of ringing in the new year is “eternal time at work” The idea is a cultural tradition born out off cultural satisfaction through participation.

Sincerely,
dra

Naresh Poondla, 9 January 2017

Hare Krishna,
Yes, there is significance of awakening on 31st Dec midnight only

  • if you go to Hare Krishna temple for midnight mangala arthi and listen to kirtans and to be associated with devotees. You whole year will be glorified with the mercy of sri krishna.

Thanks
Naresh

Hemanga Das, 10th January 2017

Hare Krishna !

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudev
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

I am part of Toronto congregation, every year we go along with our own Bhakti Marga Swami to Toronto downtown at midnight to share the mercy of Holy names with locals.You will be surprised how many souls get attracted to Harinam! Some come to temple that night with us after their party, chant some rounds and go back home. Can you imagine how much benefit they might have made?

I was one among many lost souls aimless roaming on streets on Dec. 31st night. Vaishnava’s came and saved me. There are many like me just waiting for mercy! Please spread the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. Every town and village

your servant,
Hemanga Das

Dra Varni, 10th January 2017

Hare Krsna, Yes, importance can be a memory attachment to time and other significant action on that day. Chanting rounds on this day can be the best action.

Thank You dra

Bhakta Sunil, 12th January 2017

Thanks again and again to each one for conversing on this topic which i relished

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.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

Love of God – the ultimate variety

Some Fear God though God Loves Everyone… But what about our Love for God? Infinite Variety! Read on…

We discussed how, for a beginner who does not yet really know God or is not following the instructions of God, Fear of God is a powerful motivator.

On one beautiful afternoon, during a long walk with one of my brothers in Christ, Steve, we discussed both Fear of God, and Love. He is very much in the stage of feeling Fear of God, but I urged him to go deeper into Love instead of staying on in fear. He then said that in the Bible, these types of love are described…

  • Eros – sensual, or romantic love
  • Storge – familial love, parents and children, brothers and sister…
  • Philia – brotherly love – usually between those of faith
  • Agape (prounounced uh-gaap-eh) – God’s love, or Love of God – immeasurable and incomparable to other types of love

I brought up how our spiritual masters teach us that everything that exists in the material world is a perverted reflection of everything pure that exists in the spiritual world.

So every relationship in the material world, which is, more often than not, selfish and in fact, more lust than love, is simply a perverted reflection of the original relationships that exist in the spiritual realm.

When “Agape” that pure love of God is fully and perfectly reciprocated back towards God by the living entities, then it manifests as the following five types of mellows (called “rasas”) of relationship with God.

  • Shanta – the mood of neutrality
    • I know you’re God, but I’m over here, not actively interacting or serving You, even though I’m in the spiritual world
  • Dasya – the mood of servitude
    • actively serving, often in the mood of great awe and reverence
  • Sakhya – the mood of friendship
    • see God as a Friend, no awe and reverence
  • Vatsalya – the mood of parental love
    • see God as a Son, actually subordinate to yourself, feel protective, and feel that God is your dependent
  • Madhurya – the mood of conjugal love
    • this is the most nuanced and complex of them all, but basically seeing God as your husband or lover

In addition to these, there are the following seven secondary rasas, or mellows…

  • laughing
  • astonishment
  • chivalry
  • compassion
  • anger
  • dread
  • ghastliness

When these five primary mellows combine with each other and with the seven secondary mellows, an unlimited variety of mellows is generated, and these wonderful mellows are relished by those who are purely reflecting the Pure Love of God back to God.

Some combinations of mellows are incompatible of course, whereas others are perfectly compatible. This is an intricate science, this knowledge of rasa (mellow) and rasabhaas (the pretense of a mellow).

These mellows of loving devotional service cannot be imitated. They are manifested by perfectly pure devotees only, those who have not the slightest tinge of material attachment or material inebriety. Not to be imitated or artificially put on. If a soul who is not fully and completely in perfect spiritual consciousness tries to artificially force themselves into an advanced mellow of personal relationship, such as person is known as an offender against God.

One great saint, Srila Rupa Goswami, in the 16th Century AD, combed through vast volumes of Vedic Literature and extracted the essence of all Vedic Literature, among his incredible contributions, left behind for us a delightful text called the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (The Ocean of the Unending and Unlimited Nectar of Pure Devotion to God).

Another great modern-day saint, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, wrote a summary study of Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, calling it the Nectar of Devotion.

This subject matter is very vast, and very deep. And to be honest, I am not qualified to delve into most aspects of this subject.

However, I’d like to bring out a few of my appreciations for how the theology from different traditions connects and expands our understanding of God The Supremely All-Attractive One. Even though one scripture, say from the Abrahamic traditions may not contain all this detail that is mentioned in another scripture, say, from the Vedic tradition, it must be understood that all genuine scriptures talk about the same One Supreme Absolute Truth. And genuine saintly souls, advanced in their understanding of their own scripture, will understand, accept, and relish this.

As for the others, the analogy is “stay on the tree”, which refers to how a sour mango on a branch of a mango tree reputed for giving sweet mangoes, just by staying on the branch, becomes sweet. In other words, someone who cannot appreciate higher aspects of our tradition or other traditions should, instead of blaspheming other traditions, seek inward purification and consequent broader and deeper understanding from God about His Glories.

More on purely spiritual relationships in future posts, but the important takeway is that spiritual life doesn’t mean negation of relationships, it means harmonizing all relationships through perfecting that one very special relationship each of us has, with our eternal emanator. In fact, the very raison-de’etre for our existence is so that the Supreme can enjoy these relationships with us.

Yes, the taste of an individual soul’s relationship is absolutely unique, no two souls can give the exact same taste to God. Even though there are unlimited millions, billions, trillions of us in this Universe and in other Universes.

Not just those in “human” forms, but every single living entity has a unique irreplaceable relationship with Krishna.

Would you not like to awaken your personal relationship with your best well-wisher and friend? Try this mantra, if you really want to get in…

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Mahamantra

If you want to go deeper, then best to cultivate being a servant of the servant of the servant of the servant…. (ad inifinitum) God – easier said than done! Leave a comment or contact me.

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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