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

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Is Lord Jesus Christ an incarnation of Krishna?

Bhakta Sunil, 28th December 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble respects
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Have a Krishna Conscious Christmas!

Please tell whether Lord Jesus Christ is an incarnation in the mood of Son of Lord Krishna? like Lord Gauranga is incarnation in mood of devotee

Or

Is Lord Jesus Christ a confidential servant of Lord Krishna?

Sincerely,
Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th December 2014

Dear Sriman Sunil,

Hare Krishna!

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

Lord Jesus Christ ki jaya! 🙂

The information about Lord Chaitanya is not a matter of opinion but statements of the scriptures. Lord Chaitanya is not an “incarnation” of Krishna, but directly Sri Krishna Himself in the mood of Srimati Radharani. This is confirmed in various scriptures including Chaitanya Charitamrita.

We are informed by our Acharyas that Lord Jesus Christ is a devotee in the mood of servitorship, worshipping God as His father with awe and reverence. It is certainly true that he is an empowered personality, who else in known modern history has had just 3 years to preach with such a massive effect on the global consciousness? Lord Jesus Christ, his preaching mission, from the time he started, to the time he was crucified, lasted approximately 3 years. Of course, it is superficial to understand that he was killed. First and foremost, it is understood that Lord Jesus Christ had attained many yogic perfections (such as being lighter than the lightest – to be able to walk on water, such as being smaller than the smallest, to be able to escape a cave covered with a massive rock, etc.). Plus, Lord Jesus Christ, like Haridas Thakura afterwards, had the power to feign death and make people believe that they were killed, whereas this was not true.

Anyway, to make it clear, Lord Jesus Christ is not a svamsha (direct expansion) or kala (indirect expansion) expansion of Krishna, but a vibhinnamsha (separated expansion) jiva (a living entity), a super pure devotee of God. Just as we worship the spiritual master to be as good as God, similarly, Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of such worship.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 29th December 2014

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Prabhu Dandavat Pranams Thank you The point in query is clear by your reply Jaya
Premananda das, 01st January 2015

What it means that Lord Jesus Christ and later Haridas Thakur could feign death ?

your servant
primal

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03rd January 2015

Dear Premal,

Hare Krishna.

Approximately 2000 years ago, some envious fools were trying to kill Jesus Christ. So they crucified him, after forcing upon him torture after torture… They drove big sharp nails through hands and feet/ankles, and made the cross stand up. The plan was that this public “humiliating punishment” would cause Lord Jesus Christ to die of hunger, thirst, bleeding, and pain. So, to continue the divine pastimes, Lord Jesus Christ pretended to “die”, manifested the symptoms of dying. Then what the fools thought was his dead body was put into a cave and covered with a big rock. But in 3 days they found the “body” missing, even though the rock covering remained intact. But, being a greatly surrendered devotee of God, it is superficial to understand that he felt any pain or “died”. The “killers” of Jesus Christ, meanwhile, could not stop his mission, which continues (though most of Lord Jesus Christ’s followers are not really his followers) to this day.

Similarly, approximately 500 years ago, Haridas Thakur was punished by severe dragging/beating/whipping in 22 marketplaces. The intent of the Muslim kazi was that all Muslims and Hindus would see what a painful death awaits anyone who takes to Krishna consciousness after being born in a Muslim family. But Namacharya Srila Haridas Thakura who was in the deep ecstasy of Krishna consciousness, did not feel any pain, he went on chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Finally, the guards got afraid for their own lives, begged Haridas Thakura that if he did not die, the kazi would kill the guards as punishment for not doing their job. So Haridas Thakura, out of mercy for the guards, manifested the symptoms of death, was publicly pronounced dead, and his body was thrown in the Ganga (and not buried, because the Muslim kazi did not want him to “go to heaven”). Anyway, Haridas Thakura regained consciousness and continued his preaching a little downstream. After this incident, no one dared to interfere with Srila Haridas Thakura.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

premananda das, 03rd January 2015

Jai Srila Hari das Thakur! Jai lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you Mahabhagavat  prabhuji for sharing this incident about feigning death by exalted devotees.

your servant
Premal

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How to get free of miseries given by our own mind?

Bhakta Shashank, 10th May 2014

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

How to get rid of the miseries given by our own mind?

your servant,
Bhakta shashank.

Guru Vandana devi dasi, 12th May 2014

Hare Krishna!

Dear Shashank
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
As struggling neophytes, not fully absorbed in Krishna Consciousness  we many times experience disturbances of mind. Srila Gurudeva says that we must understand that we are burning of our past sinful activities . Srila Gurudeva often quotes this verse from Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8

tat te ‘nukampam su-samiksamano
bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak

“My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim.”

So please be patient and consistent in your sadhana

your servant
Guru Vandana devi dasi

Lalit, 16th December 2014

Hare krishna
Become an innocent observer

Bhakta Sunil, 16th December 2014

Nice question Shashankbhai and very nice answers

To put in different words / to add :

Due to impurities and past sinful actions , miseries of mind arise
But by sticking to the Bhakti Yoga process of purification , as you experientially undergo purification and feel that your heart has become ‘soft’ and perceive the light of the Lord in your heart , and engage and beat your mind to engage in this process with determination , your sinful reactions would vanquish and the miseries of the mind would automatically get overcome. Perseverance furthers – even if you perceive miseries of mind , simply see to it that mind is engaged as much possible in the process of Bhakti. Do not give mind to be free , but please chant , read Prabhupada’s books , listen to Kirtana , engage mind in completing seva received from senior Vaishnavas , tax your brain how to preach and distribute books , honor Prasadam , or any activity connected to pleasing the Lord. And before sleeping read books or stories and pastimes of the Lord. Thus , if mind is engaged fully in the process , there would be less and lesser vacancy for miseries

To quote from Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur : Srila Bhaktisiddhanta In the morning our first business should be to beat the mind with shoes a hundred times, and, before going to bed, to beat the mind a hundred times with a broomstick.

To quote from Sankarshan Maharaj Adhikari :

This lesson was completed on 16 May 2007 in Vilnius, Lithuania
———————————————————————–

In this world everyone is suffering varying degrees of anxiety. No one is able to escape the stringent grip of the threefold miseries of material existence: miseries of the mindand body, miseries caused by other living beings, and miseries caused by natural disturbances. But there is an easy way out if we really want out. All we have to do is absorb ourselves in chanting the Mahamantra on a regular daily basis:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Just as we eat every day without fail, we also must chant every day without fail to feed the soul the vital nourishment it requires to become fully awakened. But unfortunately we are not that attracted to the holy names. We are more attracted to the flickering pleasures enjoyed in the combination of the senses with the objects of the senses. This then makes it very difficult for us to reawaken our dormant enlightened consciousness.

Therefore even though we may have accepted that Krishna consciousness is the ultimate goal of our lives, we may still experience difficulty in fully focusing our minds on achieving this goal. Just like sometimes we see that someone enrolls in the university with every intention of getting a college degree, but then they have a difficult time keeping up with the assignments. They are lacking in the required self-discipline to carry through and get the job of their education properly done. If we not are properly focused, a similar thing can happen to us on the pathway of Krishna consciousness. We can know exactly what we are supposed but still not be able to do it.

So if we are in this situation how can we get and maintain the sufficient determination to remain steady on the pathway of spiritual perfection? The key is that we have to make a very solid vow, a firm commitment, and then stick to it without deviation. This is why it is very important that we take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master through the process known as initiation. Initiation means that we make a vow to follow the instructions of the teacher who is fully empowered and qualified to teach us how to become spiritually perfect.

The necessity of initiation is confirmed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam

“Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters.”
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.21

If we agree to make such a commitment and remain firmly dedicated to honoring it, we will be very strong and chaste in our practice of Krishna consciousness, we will make solid steady advancement along the path of bhakti. We will easily able to absorb ourselves 24 hours a day in chanting, serving, and propagating the holy names of the Lord all over the world. In this way we will always be able to dive deeply into the unlimitedly sweet nectar of pure Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
———–
Hope this helps,

Sincerely,
Sunil

Nashvin, 19th December 2014

Hare Krsna Shashank Prabhu

Looking at this from another perspective, we can appreciate that the miseries caused by our own mind help us not to identify with it…

Personally, when I initially discovered the difference between the body and the soul, it was easy to understand (because we can observe the gross body changing, while we, the soul, remain the same).  However, as we learn about the gross body, subtle body (composed of mind, intelligence and false ego) and the soul, it becomes more difficult to understand the difference between the subtle body and the soul.  The obstacles that the mind provide us in our (the soul) desires to practice devotional service enable us to see ourselves as distinct from the subtle body.

your servant,
Nashvin

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Celestial years and Earthly years

Rahul Mangla, 29th January 2014

Dear devotees,

Hare Krishna!!

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All Glories to Srila Gurudev & Srimati Gurumata!
All Glories to Srila Prabhupad!

1. Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.6 purport:

It is stated in the Brahma-samhita that Lord Brahma was initiated into the eighteen-letter Krsna mantra, which is generally accepted by all the devotees of Lord Krsna.

Q: What is this eighteen-letter Krsna mantra?

2. Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.8 purport:

One celestial year is equal to 6 x 30 x 12 x 1000 of our years.

Q: How the first figure 6 is derived in above calculation?

=> I have read only upto 2.9.10, I may come across answers later but just curious to know the answers.

your servant,
Rahul

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 05th February 2014

Dear Bhakta Rahul,

Hare Krishna!

Short answers to your questions (others please kindly correct/elaborate if possible):

1. The 18 letter mantra is mentioned in the Brahma Samhita purport, but it is advisable not to discuss openly as this 18-letter mantra is part of the Gayatri mantras which are confidential and meant to be received in disciplic succession (even if known, they are not effective until received properly in disciplic succession) – in ISKCON, this is at the time of the second initiation, so please rest assured that in due course of time, as and when you get to the right stage, you will receive that mysterious magical 18-syllable mantra… 🙂

2. One celestial day is equal to 6 earthly months. But note that this celestial year mentioned is not Lord Brahma’s year but the years as calculated on heavenly planets… where one day is equal to 6 months of our time.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rahul Mangla, 06th February 2014

Dear Prabhuji,

Hare Krishna!!

Thank you so much for the answers. But I still have doubt in second question.

It is actually the calculation for the duration which Lord Brahma engaged himself in meditation.

He engaged himself for 1000 Celestial Years. To convert it into earthly years it should be multiplied with (X x 30 x 12), where X should be the duration on earth IN YEARS and at the same time should be equal to 1 Celestial Day.

What I could conclude from various references is that one full day (12 hours day + 12 hours night) of heavenly planets is equal to one year on earth. I am including following references to support this:

1. Srimad Bhagavatam 2.10.27 purport: Six months on earth is equal to one day on the heavenly planets.

2. Srimad Bhagavatam 3.17.15 purport:
On the Brahmaloka planet the duration of one day is calculated to be 4,300,000 x 1,000 solar years. [and same is the duration of night which is not written in the purport]
Similarly, in other heavenly planets one day is calculated to be six months of this planet [and same must be the duration of night which is not written in the purport]

3.
24-Nov-2012 – Utthana Ekadashi
07-July-2013 – Sayana Ekadashi
13-Nov-2013 – Utthana Ekadashi

From above Ekadashi dates also, it appears that one heavenly day is equal to one earth year.

So from above references, value of X should be 1.

Therefore 1 Celestial Year = 1 x 30 x 12 Earthly Years

And Lord Brahma engaged in meditation for 1 x 30 x 12 x 1000 earthly years (1000 Celestial Years)

Please confirm if I am correct and forgive for offenses in seeking this clarification.

your servant,
Rahul

Rahul Mangla, 20th February 2014

Hare Krishna!!

I was reading Srimad Bhagavatam 2.10.46 purport, there also it is confirmed that one heavenly (upper planetary) day is equal to one earth year:

In the upper planetary system the duration of one complete day and night is equal to one complete year of this earth. This is accepted even by the modern scientist and attested by the astronauts.

your servant,
Rahul

Jagannatha Dasa, 15th March 2014

Hare Krishna,

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

One celestial year is equal to 6 x 30 x 12 x 1000 of our years.  This is stated in Srila Prabhupada’s purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.8.  One celestial year is thus 2,160,000 (Two million, one hundred and sixty thousand) years.  Since we know based on the same purport that Lord Brahma was in meditation for 1,000 years, therefore, if we want to understand how many years Lord Brahma was meditating, we have to multiply 2,160,000 by 1,000.  The resulting number is the earth years he meditated, viz. 2,160,000,000 or Two billion, one hundred and sixty million years.

Hoping this meets you well.

your servant,
Jagannatha Dasa Brahmacari

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Reconciling Advaita Philosophy with Krishna consciousness

Bhakta Sunil change, 2nd January 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

When I tried to tell a person about Krishna Consciousness , he mentioned that he follows Advaita Philosophy

If I remember correctly , I read in Srila Prabhupada’s book that there is actually no conflict between Advaita philosophy and Bhakti yoga process

Please tell , is Advaita philosophy also a God-realization process?

and what to tell to a person who follows Advaita philosophy?

Regards,
Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 4th January 2014

Hare Krishna Dear Sunil,

Here are some points you can rely upon:

1. Advaita means “One without a second” – Krishna is undisputedly One without a second, no one is comparable to Sri Krishna. Therefore, the perfection of Advaita philosophy is to surrender to Krishna, the real Advaita.

2. The foremost propounder of Advaita philosophy is Adi Shankaracharya who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva who is the topmost Vaishnava. So the deep inner meaning of Advaita philosophy is Krishna consciousness.

3. The famous “Bhaja Govindam” song is written by Adi Shankaracharya himself, so any so-called follower of Advaita philosphy must take shelter of Krishna as instructed in the song.

4. Our philosophy is given by Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and is called “Achintya Bheda Abheda Tattva”, or “Simultaneous Oneness and difference”. Krishna’s creation is also Krishna, but is also different from Krishna the person, this is the secret, just as the sun cannot be separated from the sunshine, still the sun is the source of the sunshine and is therefore different from the sunshine.

There are many more points, but main thing is to give Srila Prabhupada’s books and encourage them to read…

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 4th January 2014

Thank you very much Mahabhagavat Prabhu

Your reply is very nice and helpful
your insignificat servant,
Sunil

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Why no onions and garlic?

Harish V Menon, 18th January 2014

Hare Krishna!

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

I humbly seek clarification on my following ignorance.

Why is onion and garlic forbidden from offering to Krishna. I understand that they are in the mode of ignorance and would develop the characteristics of passion and ignorance to the person consuming it. Kindly enlighten in detail about the reasons behind the same.

Are there any other vegetables generally avoided from offering to Krishna?

Are there any other vegetables which are under the mode of passion and ignorance but are still offered to Krishna and then consumed?

I find it very difficult in making my family members understand about avoiding onion/garlic and its significance. They are not accepting this opinion citing health issues which might arise later for not consuming onion/garlic and for the loss of flavour in the food prepared without those items.

Kindly advise me how to handle this situation and make them understand and follow these principles.

Please forgive me for any offenses.

Thank you.

your Servant,
Harish V

Srivatsa Das SDA, 19th January 2014

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

Regarding Onion/Garlic kindly read the article in the below link

why no onion/garlic

Regarding how to offer food to Krishna and what can be offered , kindly read below article

how and what to offer to Krishna

Regarding the health benefits, there are articles which says that “These natural foods are full of chemicals that can help protect a person from a variety of infections, diseases and illnesses. Garlic and onions help to protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory concerns, diabetes, and a variety of cancers.”

By eating onion or garlic, there is no guarantee that we can avoid above diseases, since we are fully under the control of the law of nature (destiny).

Instead, if we surrender to Krishna and follow a Krishna conscious life, we are less likely to fall prey on these diseases due to healthy food habit (and healthy life too) and also our destiny is controlled by Krishna

I hope the above explanation helps.

your servant
Srivatsa Das

Rohini Devi Dasi, 22nd January 2014

Hare Krishna prabhuji,

All glories to srila Gurudev and srimati gurumataji
All glories to srila prabhupada.

Please accept my humble obeisance.

Harish prabhuji, thank you for asking, a question related to onion and garlic. Its very important to know the reason when we are avoiding certain food items.Although for devotees, when the statement cms from bonafide guru, it is accepted without any deviations and questions.
I understand its very difficult to convince family members, but pls share the two stories mentioned below and also explain the scientific reason to them. This might convince them.

Eating onions and garlic adversely affects one’s consciousness.
The modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance influence every living thing — human, animal, or plant — and we learn from the Vedic literature that onions and garlic are in the lower modes of nature: passion and ignorance. In spiritual life one should cultivate the mode of goodness and avoid the lower modes. Sin in its broadest sense is any activity that hinders our spiritual advancement. Since eating foods in the modes of ignorance and passion hampers our Krsna consciousness, Vaisnava spiritual masters teach their followers to give up onions and garlic. Most important, as aspiring devotees of Krsna we eat only what we offer Him. And His great devotees tell us He doesn’t eat onions and garlic.” The foul breathe and sweat of anyone who has consumed garlic is enough to turn many off. Not only the breathe but the whole body may reek.

In Bhagavad Gita (17.9) Krsna states that ‘Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease.’ Onion and garlic fall in this category. They excite the baser instincts and make it difficult for one to control the senses. The prohibition on onion, garlic etc. is implicit, by virtue of their characteristics.

There are several stories about the actual appearance of onions and garlic in this world – here are a few:

(The following story was kindly provided by HH Bhakti Purusottama Swami) One ayurvedic doctor had told me that this description is there in Ayurveda: When Lord Vishnu in His Mohini form was distributing nectar to demigods two
demons named Rahu and Ketu sat down along with the line of Demigods. By mistake the Lord served them nectar into their mouths. Immediately the lord was informed by the Sun and Moon that those two were demons. As soon as the Lord came to know of this He cut off the heads of both demons. By that time nectar had not passed through their throats. It was still in their mouths. When the Lord cut of their heads , the heads were separated from their bodies. Thus nectar did not pass to the stomach but fell on the ground . (That is the reason why Rahu and Ketu’s head are still alive but their bodies were finished.) When their heads were cut off  garlic and Onions manifested from this nectar which fell on the ground from the mouth of the  two demons. Thus Garlic and Onions are regarded as nectar but not used for the Lord because these are remnants of demons having touched their mouths. Even the nectar touched the mouths of these two demons still garlic and onions act like nectar in curing the diseases. But they are not meant for Vishnu or Vaishnavas. The doctor told me that whoever will eat garlic and Onion, their body will Be very strong like demons body and at the same time their intelligence also will be contaminated like the intelligence of demons.

Here is another historical account:
“Once, in Satya Yuga the rishis were performing gomedha and asvamedha sacrifices for the welfare of the whole universe. A cow or a horse would be cut into pieces and placed in the fire. Afterwards the rishis would utter mantras and the same animal would come alive in a beautiful young body. One time the rishi who was about to perform a gomedha sacrifice, his wife was pregnant. She had a very strong desire to eat and she had heard that if, during pregnancy one has a desire to eat and does not fulfill this, then the baby that will be born will always have saliva coming from its mouth. Very strangely, she desired strongly to eat meat, thus she decided to keep one piece of meat of the cow’s body that was offered in sacrifice. She hid it and was making a plan to eat it very soon. At that time the rishi was finishing the sacrifice and uttered all the mantras for the new young cow tocome to life. However when he saw the new cow, he noticed that there was a little part missing from her left side. He went into meditation and realized that his wife had taken away a piece of meat during the sacrifice. Now his wife also understood what happened and quickly threw the meat far away in a field. Due to the effect of the mantras uttered by the rishi there was now life in this piece of meat. Then the bones in that piece of meat became garlic and the meat became onions in that field. Thus these foods are never taken by any Vaishnava devotee because it is not  vegetarian. Plus it is in the mode of ignorance.”

Onion and garlic are forbidden for the pregnant mother because the child’s body is too delicate and new for him to tolerate such pungent food. Restrictions and precautions to be taken by the pregnant mother, as enunciated in the smrti scriptures of Vedic literature, are very useful. Many ancient cultures recognized the aphrodisiac effects of onions and garlic and highly recommended them for those who wished to increase their sexual potency and discouraged them for those who were on the spiritual path, as they irritate the mind and senses.

There is certainly much information to indicate that onions  and garlic are beneficial in many areas of health such as the following: Antibacterial, antifungal, blood pressure, cholesterol, circulation, impotence, diabetes, as a cardioprotective, anti-oxidant, coughs and colds, stomach conditions, cancer. However for those wishing to cultivate spiritual life they should better not be taken even for those reasons.

Eating only food offered to Kṛṣṇa is the perfection of vegetarianism. In itself, being a vegetarian is not enough; after all, even pigeons and monkeys are vegetarians. But when we go beyond vegetarianism to a diet of prasādam, our eating becomes helpful in achieving the goal of human life-reawakening the soul’s original relationship with God. In the Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa says that

“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I will accept it.” From this verse it is understood that we can offer Kṛṣṇa foods prepared from milk products, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains. Meat, fish, and eggs are not offerable. And a few vegetarian items are also forbidden—garlic and onions, for example, which are in the mode of darkness. (Hing, or asafetida, is a tasty substitute for them in cooking and is available at most Indian groceries or from Temple Services.) Nor can you offer to Krṣṇa coffee or tea that contain caffeine. If you like these beverages, purchase caffeine—free coffee and herbal teas.

While shopping, be aware that you may find meat, fish, and egg products mixed with other foods; so be sure to read labels carefully. For instance, some brands of yogurt and sour cream contain gelatin, a substance made from the horns, hooves, and bones of slaughtered animals. Also, make sure the cheese you buy contains no rennet, an enzyme extracted from the stomach tissues of slaughtered calves. Most hard cheese sold in America contains rennet, so be careful about any cheese you can’t verify as rennetless.

Devotees pls add to the list. I could remember only few.

Hare Krishna.

your servant,
Rohini devi dasi.
Harish V Menon, 21st January 2014

Hare Krishna Srivatsa Das Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Thank you for your nice clarification.

your Servant,
Harish V

Harish V Menon, 03rd February 2014

Hare Krishna Rohini Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisance.

Thank you so much for enlightening me.
Regards,
Harish V

Sulaksana devi dasi, 29th January 2014

Hare Krishna mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisance.
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati gurumataji
All glories to Srila prabhupada!

Thank you! Enjoyed reading the answer.

your humble servant,
Sulaksana devi dasi

Srivatsa Das SDA, 05th February 2014

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

When I asked this question some time back to a senior devotee in a local ISKCON yatra, the answer I got was that “Srila Prabhupada is so merciful that he has given us such nice opportunities to serve Lord Krishna”.  So, what I understood is that there are devotees, who celebrate these opportunities of small small sacrifices.

your servant,
Srivatsa Das

Shreyas, 06th February 2014

Hare Krsna Prabhuji
Dandavat Pranam!
Jaya Srila Gurudeva!

This one is one of my favorites as I had the good fortune to attend this lecture from Srila Gurudeva personally. Srila Gurudeva read out the following question which was the same as you have asked by a sincere listener and Srila Gurudeva replied to the Why: Because they stink! They are stinky. How can you offer such a stink to Krsna? Just by eating them one gets a foul smell. If you eat them then please at least do not come near me, stay away from me! (audience is appreciating and laughing with Srila Gurudeva’s amazing and simple response)

The best way to be convinced is and be able to realize this is by hearing it from sda-archives, audio,2013: 2013.09.20/SB.5.14.10/Katwaria.Sarai.BACE/New.Delhi/India (I am unsure if we are allowed to share the link hence no link, kindly search).

So with respect to family we already have such nice explanations from above but it depends on how much are we convinced?  Theory is there but so is also realization there. And depending on that we can smartly preach to family or friends as per circumstances and people. In simple words onion and garlic promote mode of passion and mode of ignorance. It is scientifically proved that these makes one more sex conscious (Aphrodisiac food) and Krsna and sex go ill together, its the worse combination! Hence a sincere spiritualist or a devotee would reject anything that is rejected by Lord or that which makes one easily serve maya. So if one is sincere to understand God one would act sincerely by rejecting these. Sources are already mentioned by Srila Gurudeva, link to which has been shared above by Srivatsa Prabhuji.

your servant
Hare Krsna!

Shreyas

Bhakta Sunil, 08th February 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I had asked similar question to His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Following is copy of the question answer :

——————————

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Please clarify about foods like onion , garlic

I agree that Lord does not like these types of food and also that these are not in mode of goodness

I myself also do not like to consume these types of foods

Even after reading your reply recently about this same topic , I have few confusions that I humbly request you to clarify :

Onions and garlic are also part of Lord’s created foods. So why such foods are created by Lord though He Himself does like to be offered such type of foods?

Are there permissions for those persons who are used to eating onion , garlic  , to consume such foods under restrictions , and that they can gradually avoid such foods?

Regards,
Sunil

Sankarshan Das Adhikari Jan 24

From: ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

My Dear Sunil,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Onions and garlic are there to satisfy the taste
buds of those who desire such unpalatable things.

There are no permissions.  They are forbidden
in the scriptures:

Manusmriti 5.5

laśunaṁ caiva palāṇḍu abhakṣyāṇi

“Garlic and onions are unworthy of eating.”

I hope this meets you in the best of health
and in an ecstatic mood.

Your ever well-wisher,

Description: SDA

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

kṛṣṇe matir astu (“May you become Krishna conscious”).

————————————

Regards,
Sunil

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What is the signficance of Hanuman’s presence on Arjuna’s chariot?

Rathin Mandal, 03rd April 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

In Krishna book, chapter 58, describing the great war of Kurukshetra, it says that: “Both of them sat down on Arjuna’s chariot, which flew a flag with a picture of Hanumān. Arjuna’s special chariot is always marked with the picture of Hanumān, and therefore he is also named Kapidhvaja.”
I have couple of questions :

What is the pastime for having flag emblemed with Hanumanji on chariot of Arjuna? While as in Mahabharat serial it was shown that mostly warriors used to have flags emblemed with Suryadev (Sun).

Another reason for this question is that there is a very popular belief that because Arjuna had flag of Hanumanji on his chariot, he was protected by Hanumanji. Even I used to believe in this previously. But now I understand that when Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna is himself with Arjuna then Arjuna already has all the protection.
Is there any other pastime related here which got perverted with time?

your Servant
Rathin

Bhakta Sunil, 03rd April 2013

Hare Krishna Rathin Prabhu ji

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I read your question and was reminded of few lines which I had read

I searched and found few results and am pasting a search result which I think you would find relevant to your question :

TEXT 20:
atha vyavasthitan drishtva
dhartarashtran kapi-dhvajah
pravritte sastra-sampate
dhanur udyamya pandavah
hrishikesam tada vakyam
idam aha mahi-pate

TRANSLATION:
At that time Arjuna, the son of Pandu, seated in the chariot bearing the flag marked with Hanuman, took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows. O King, after looking at the sons of Dhritarashtra drawn in military array, Arjunathen spoke to Lord Krishna these words.

PURPORT:
The battle was just about to begin. It is understood from the above statement that the sons of Dhritarashtra were more or less disheartened by the unexpected arrangement of military force by the Pandavas, who were guided by the direct instructions of Lord Krishna on the battlefield. The emblem of Hanuman on the flag of Arjuna is another sign of victory because Hanuman cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and Lord Rama emerged victorious. Now both Rama and Hanuman were present on the chariot of Arjuna to help him. Lord Krishna is Rama Himself, and wherever Lord Rama is, His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Sita, the goddess of fortune, are present. Therefore, Arjuna had no cause to fear any enemies whatsoever. And above all, the Lord of the senses, Lord Krishna, was personally present to give him direction. Thus, all good counsel was available to Arjuna in the matter of executing the battle. In such auspicious conditions, arranged by the Lord for His eternal devotee, lay the signs of assured victory.
Regards,
Sunil
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 04th April 2013

Dear Rathin Mandal,

Yes, it is correct that the chariot was protected by Sri Hanuman who is an eternal servitor of Lord Sri Krishna in His form as Lord Sri Ramachandra, this is mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata even before the war of Kurukshetra.

The makers of television serials are certainly influential, but are not authorities. For example, in one television serial I saw as a child, the actors playing the role of Brahmanas performing auspicious yajnas all had their sacred thread on the right shoulder going down to left side of waist (usually done only for certain duties considered inauspicious). It is sometimes quite unnerving to see the shortcuts etc., because they did not take advice and guidance of bona fide spiritual master. Still, some information is passed, on, but also much misinformation.

Re how it is that Hanuman appeared on the flag, there is a nice pastime of Krishna, but it might be too detailed for this international group of students. So contact me offline for that 🙂

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Rathin Mandal, 04th April 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

Thank you very much Sunil Prabhu and Mahabhagavat Prabhu for the answers.
This helps me to understand the meaning better.

your Servant
Rathin
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Is God present everywhere? How to understand this?

is God present everywhere? If yes, why can’t we find God? Why can atheists even argue that God does not exist? What is the qualification to see God personally?

Lipsa, 17th March 2013

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humble obeisances
Glories to all the Devotees
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumataji
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Kindly clarify my doubt,

When Prahlada Maharaj replied his father that God resides everywhere, the father angrily asked whether his God was within one of the pillars of the palace, and the child said yes. At once the atheist king
shattered the pillar in front of him to pieces, and the Lord instantly appeared as Narasimha!

So does this mean that the Lord is within non-living objects also in the form of His material energy and He appears to favor His pure devotees? If it is true then is He in every object we see around us,
good or bad (like is He present in books, in the walls, in the things we use, etc…) ?

your unworthy servant,
Lipsa

Rathin Mandal, 18th March 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

This entire manifestation is created by Sri Krishna. Energies of Krishna are of three types internal potency, marginal potency and inferior potency. In the spiritual world everything is created by internal potency. While this material world is created by inferior energy and we are part of the marginal potency. All this potencies come from Sri Krishna hence everything is part and parcel of him just like we are.

Something may appear non-living to us, but it is actually not. The Deities in temple are manifestation of Krishna in material world. Deities form is Krishna’s expansion as ‘archa vigraha’. You can read pastime of Lord as ‘Saksi Gopal’. Same is true with picture also. One should know that when he looks at the picture of Krishna, Krishna is also looking back at him. The book of Krishna is non-different from Krishna. Because all the words contained in the book emanate from Krishna. That is way we worship Bhagavat Gita, because it is a gift given by Krishna.

BG 7.5: Besides these, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature.
In the above verse Sri Krishna said that we being part of the superior energy have control over the inferior energy and hence we can use it to an extend. And we are using it to make building, aeroplane and weapons to kill. This clearly proves we have some control over the material energy.

This material is also created by Krishna, so He can use this energy to manifest Himself at any place He likes. But one should remember that the material energy cannot touch Sri Krishna because it is inferior to Him. This is confirmed in the following verse:
BG 4.13: According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.

your Servant
Rathin

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 18th March 2013

Dear Lipsa Mataji,

Hare Krishna!

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

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, Krishna is present in non-living objects, inside every atom and within the space between the smallest particle (which is unknown as yet to the material scientists). As Rathin Mandal said, when it comes to the transcendental name, fame, pastimes, form, image, etc., of Krishna, then He is personally present, not just in the particles.

But if you take items such as laptops, electric cables, tables, chairs. mud, stones, toothbrush, toothpaste, walls, paper, etc.,

Here is what is said in the Bhagavad Gita As It Is:

Verse BG 7.7

mattaḥ parataraḿ nānyat

kiñcid asti dhanañjaya

mayi sarvam idaḿ protaḿ

sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

From the purport etc., it is to be understood that while everything comes from God, everything is not to be taken as God, though it is a manifestation of God’s energy.

From purport to BG 7.4:
quote
The science of God analyzes the constitutional position of God and His diverse energies. Material nature is called prakṛti, or the energy of the Lord in His different puruṣa incarnations (expansions) as described in the Sātvata-tantra:

viṣṇos tu trīṇi rūpāṇi puruṣākhyāny atho viduḥ

ekaḿ tu mahataḥ sraṣṭṛ dvitīyaḿ tv aṇḍa-saḿsthitam

tṛtīyaḿ sarva-bhūta-sthaḿ tāni jñātvā vimucyate

“For material creation, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s plenary expansion assumes three Viṣṇus. The first one, Mahā-Viṣṇu, creates the total material energy, known as the mahat-tattva. The second, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, enters into all the universes to create diversities in each of them. The third, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, is diffused as the all-pervading Supersoul in all the universes and is known as Paramātmā. He is present even within the atoms. Anyone who knows these three Viṣṇus can be liberated from material entanglement.”

unuote

From purport to BG 7.25:

quote

Also in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.7) there is this prayer by Brahma: “O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O Supersoul, O master of all mystery, who can calculate Your potency and pastimes in this world? You are always expanding Your internal potency, and therefore no one can understand You. Learned scientists and learned scholars can examine the atomic constitution of the material world or even the planets, but still they are unable to calculate Your energy and potency, although You are present before them.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, is not only unborn but also avyaya, inexhaustible. His eternal form is bliss and knowledge, and His energies are all inexhaustible.

unquote

Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari, Srila Gurudeva wrote on 11 June 2012:

“It is God in the form of Ksirodakashayi Vishnu who dwells within every atom, not Garbhodakashayi Vishnu. The scientists have not been able to find Him through their gigantic atom smashing machine. The real God particle, Ksirodakashayi Vishnu, is so small that no matter how much they smash atoms to get smaller and smaller particles of matter they will still not be able to find Him. However, the Supreme Lord can easily be found within one’s heart and within every atom by one who has awakened his love for God. Therefore there is no need for a gigantic atom smashing machine to find God. All you need is love.”

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Lipsa, 20th March 2013

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humblest obeisances
Glories to all devotees
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumataji
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Thank You Rathin Mandal Prabhuji, Mahabhagavat Das Prabhuji for the answers with references.

your unworthy servant,
Lipsa

Bhakta David, 22nd March 2013

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Srila Acaryadev and Srimati Guru Mataji.

All glories to Sri Sri Nitai Gauracandraji.

Hare Krishna

How do you top those answers? Perfect explanation supported by sastra and Gurudev.

Thank you to Lipsa Tripathy for asking this question. And thank you to Rathin Prabhuji and Mahabhagavat Prabhuji for their wonderful answers. I have learned a lot from the responses.

your servant,
Bhakta David

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How to understand Srila Prabhupada’s statement about women?

Srila Prabhupada often quoted Chanakya Pandita, and in the purport to Bhagavad Gita 1.40, he wrote “According to Chanakya Pandita, women are generally not very intelligent and therefore not trustworthy.(BG 1.40 purport)”

So does that make Srila Prabhupada a misogynist?
What did he actually mean by that statement?

Rao, 12th May 2013

Hare Krishna dear devotees,

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

All glories to your devotional services!

Please enlighten me on this topic –

“According to Chanakya Pandita, women are generally not very intelligent and therefore not trustworthy.(BG 1.40 purport)”

your servant,
Rao
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 13th May 2013

Dear Rao gaaru,

Hare Krishna!

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

Your question is a very important one. For decades this question has caused turmoil and trip-ups, many heated arguments and discussions, and much anxiety. Many asked Srila Prabhupada questions about this and Srila Prabhupada intelligently answered this question in many different ways. The key is that Srila Prabhupada and his disciples chose to keep this statement unchanged, because to a truly introspective reader, this question begs us to go deeper into the knowledge of Srimad Bhagavat Gita.

I can openly confess that this particular statement, when I read it first about 15 years ago, almost caused me to stop reading the Bhagavad Gita As It Is and put it away as a bigoted male chauvinistic piece of literature. I am glad I continued reading repeatedly, because clearly I saw that understanding that statement whilst in bodily consciousness is impossible.

Many rascals have insulted, blasphemed and painted Srila Prabhupada as a misogynist, as a male chauvinist, etc., on the strength of improper understanding of such statements. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Srila Prabhupada respects every woman more than most women respect themselves.

It is to be understood carefully what Srila Prabhupada means by looking at the broader context and Srila Prabhupada’s own behavior towards women.

Just for context, I am pasting the entire verse, translation and purport…

—-start—-
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 1.40 (http://www.vedabase.com/bg/1/40)

Bg 1.40

adharmābhibhavāt kṛṣṇa
praduṣyanti kula-striyaḥ
strīṣu duṣṭāsu vārṣṇeya
jāyate varṇa-saṅkaraḥ
Word for word:
adharma — irreligion; abhibhavāt — having become predominant; kṛṣṇa — O Kṛṣṇa; praduṣyanti — become polluted; kulastriyaḥ — family ladies; strīṣu — by the womanhood; duṣṭāsu — being so polluted; vārṣṇeya — O descendant of Vṛṣṇi; jāyate — comes into being; varṇasaṅkaraḥ — unwanted progeny.
Translation:
When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Kṛṣṇa, the women of the family become polluted, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, comes unwanted progeny.
Purport:

Good population in human society is the basic principle for peace, prosperity and spiritual progress in life. The varṇāśrama religion’s principles were so designed that the good population would prevail in society for the general spiritual progress of state and community. Such population depends on the chastity and faithfulness of its womanhood. As children are very prone to be misled, women are similarly very prone to degradation. Therefore, both children and women require protection by the elder members of the family. By being engaged in various religious practices, women will not be misled into adultery. According to Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, women are generally not very intelligent and therefore not trustworthy. So the different family traditions of religious activities should always engage them, and thus their chastity and devotion will give birth to a good population eligible for participating in the varṇāśrama system. On the failure of such varṇāśrama-dharma, naturally the women become free to act and mix with men, and thus adultery is indulged in at the risk of unwanted population. Irresponsible men also provoke adultery in society, and thus unwanted children flood the human race at the risk of war and pestilence.

——end—–

To understand this, we should understand what is the meaning of respect… respect means not taking for granted. Respect means cherishing and serving someone, not exploiting them. Respect means being in spiritual consciousness for ourselves and treating everyone else as spirit soul first and foremost.

How to understand this? Note that Arjuna is making the case and using the example of the social consequences of women left without protection from honorable gentlemen. The warriors assembled on the battlefield of Kurukshetra are all brothers, sons, fathers, and protectors of women, being Kshatriyas. Arjuna knows that most of them will be killed in the battle. This means that the women, girls, ladies being protected from degradation by these slain warriors will now be open for exploitation by jackal-like men.

Let us look at the society around us. Most women are indeed without proper protection. They are forced to work for a living, they are left to fend for themselves and children by unscrupulous men, and they are encouraged to be “fashionable/independent/strong/attractive” etc., which all promotes in the end the effect in society  which can be understood as direct or indirect prostitution… This is being encouraged by those men who want to have access to many prostitutes. The woman who has been convinced by some men (and other women previously convinced) to strip off her clothes and pose for a picture on a billboard used to sell something is actually an exploited woman. The woman who has been encouraged to engage in all sorts of activities classified as “culture”, “art” and “entertainment”, is actually exploited. A woman who is “sexually emancipated” means a woman who has been convinced that to behave wantonly is freedom, freedom for who? Freedom for any man to hunt her down like an animal. And for a man who specializes as a woman hunter it is easy to hunt down an unprotected woman.

Whose fault is it? Is it the women’s fault? Should we just blame them for all the problems? NO! Srila Prabhupada is actually saying that it is not their fault. Women are very softhearted by nature. They are very kind, loving, and nurturing. They are also very trusting. It is for this reason that men find it so easy to take advantage of women. When a man wants sex, he just finds a woman he is attracted to and wins her trust with flattery, gifts, sweet words, and promises. When his lust is satiated, he just finds an excuse to move on to the next woman. It is exactly due to this trusting nature that a woman is considered to be untrustworthy, because of her kindhearted nature, a woman sometimes does not know who is to be trusted and who is not to be trusted. A woman is, in this regard, very much innocent and childlike. In this regard, a woman is treated as “not intelligent” because she cannot detect that the nonsense man only wants to gratify his senses, not actually care for her. She mistakes his effort to be a genuine love for her as a person. But she is repeatedly disappointed, first by her father, who does not train her up properly to detect this nature, then by her husband who simply uses her as a prostitute and maidservant, and then by her children who simply take service from her without giving her the love and respect she deserves.

It is time for the men of this world to be ashamed of their inability to do their duty… the reason society is the way it is, is because the men are useless weak fools who don’t have the courage or the strength to actually protect the women they are responsible for. This is the decent men I am talking about. The majority of men are dirty lustful men, classified by Srila Prabhupada with polite words as “irresponsible men” above in the purport, actually in the category of dogs, as they are simply woman hunters.

But lest we think this is the natural order, let us turn to the scriptures and Srila Prabhupada.

Consider the cosmic administration of Krishna. Who is in charge of the department of defense? Durga Devi or Kali devi. Who is in charge of education? Saraswati Devi. Who is in charge of finance? Lakshmi devi. Who are in charge of good food, fine speech, beauty, and happiness? The various goddesses of fortune. Does a person give charge of something important and responsible to someone who is unintelligent and untrustworthy?

No, Durga Devi is “mama maayaa duratyayaa” (BG 7.14), she is loved and respected by Krishna and also greatly appreciated. Can you see His love for her? He claims ownership of her “mama”, mine, but He lovingly recognizes her service to Him.

In fact, all the goddesses of fortune are highly intelligent and highly trustworthy.

What about Srila Prabhupada? Does he think women are unintelligent? Would a spiritual master give initiation to a person he considers unworthy of initiation? No! Srila Prabhupada gave women so many respectable positions, and he treated them with great love and respect. Ask any female disciple of Srila Prabhupada who is in devotional service what was his behavior towards women.

What is common between the goddesses of fortune and all the exalted Vaishnavis? They are in spiritual consciousness, Krishna consciousness. In other words, a person in Krishna consciousness is intelligent and trustworthy, but not a person in material consciousness.

And this is the key to understanding this statement… a person who considers herself to be a woman, that person is unintelligent. A person who considers that a person in a woman’s body to be actually  woman (for sense gratification), is also unintelligent. A person who does not know that one has been a woman, man, cat, dog, tree, worm, etc., is also unintelligent. A person who identifies with one’s own body or another’s body and indulges in sense gratification as a result, is unintelligent. So, lack of intelligence can be the symptom of an ignorant man or woman equally.

But in Krishna consciousness a woman is not treated as an object of sense gratification. She is devi, a goddess of fortune. She is mother. She is highly respected. A person who treats a woman properly as the energy of Krishna is intelligent, and a woman who knows herself as a part-and-parcel of Krishna is intelligent and trustworthy, provided she remains in her spiritual consciousness.

I hope that helps. Please others feel free to add as much information as possible to help everyone understand this statement of Srila Prabhupada properly and uproot the demon of doubt from the hearts and minds of anyone who reads this.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Virendra Trivedi, 13th May 2013

I believe that you understood its literal meaning and are not asking for a word by word translation. Right? If that is true then not much is to be said because it is not too much of a spiritual question.

Two more things are  however noteworthy in this regard:
1) Prabhupada has used the word “generally” here, which automatically implies that there will be exceptions also.
2) Vaishnavis are not included in this. They are beyond the conception of man and woman.

Regarding enlightening, you can try acting otherwise by placing trust on many women around you and soon you will be enlightened 🙂 OR you can simply believe Prabhupada’s words to be absolutely true and act intelligently.

If you act as per my first suggestion you will become enlightened. And if you act as per the second suggestion then you are already enlightened by Prabhupada. Choice is yours. In Krsna Consciousness enlightenment is very easy. Believe it OR not! 🙂

yours,
Virendra Kumar Trivedi
Geetha, 13th May 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I also got the same doubt in my mind. Prabhu really It is very nicely explained by you. Thank you for giving clear explanation.  I have one doubt Prabhu,

In many books  Prabhupada in his purport mentioned about the sayings of Canakya Pandit.  I want to know Is he a devotee or a vaishnava?
If not why his words are so popularly taken.

If I asked any thing wrong please forgive  me its my humble request.

Thanking you,

your servant,
Geetha.
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 14th May 2013

Dear Mother Geetha,

Hare Krishna!

Yes, Chanakya Pandita is a great personality who is an astute observer of society, very learned in Vedic scriptures, and had a good knowledge of how to apply the Vedic principles according to time, place and circumstances. Just as we quote great thinkers when they help us to convince skeptics about a certain point, similarly we can quote such a personality when they help us to convince others.

He was an ideal Brahmana, even though very close to the Maurya emperor Chandragupta, lived a simple life and followed a Brahminical lifestyle. He lived in a hut far from the palace. Indeed, he was the prime minister of an empire approximately the size of modern-day India, but he was an unpaid penniless worker. He did not accept any salary and received alms only to maintain body and soul together. He is a great moral instructor and led by personal example. Anyway, he was involved with politics, but that does not diminish his greatness.

From SB 2.7.9 purport:

“According to the system of varṇāśrama-dharma, the pious and learned brāhmaṇas were the natural guardians of society. The brāhmaṇas, by their learned labor of love, would instruct the administrator-kings how to rule the country in complete righteousness, and thus the process would go on as a perfect welfare state. The kings or the kṣatriya administrators would always consult the council of learned brāhmaṇas. They were never autocratic monarchs. The scriptures like Manu-saṁhitā and other authorized books of the great sages were guiding principles for ruling the subjects, and there was no need for less intelligent persons to manufacture a code of law in the name of democracy. The less intelligent mass of people have very little knowledge of their own welfare, as a child has very little knowledge of its future well-being. The experienced father guides the innocent child towards the path of progress, and the childlike mass of people need similar guidance. The standard welfare codes are already there in the Manu-saṁhitā and other Vedic literatures. The learned brāhmaṇas would advise the king in terms of those standard books of knowledge and with reference to the particular situation of time and place. Such brāhmaṇas were not paid servants of the king, and therefore they had the strength to dictate to the king on the principles of scriptures. This system continued even up to the time of Mahārāja Candragupta, and the brāhmaṇa Cāṇakya was his unpaid prime minister.”

In ISKCON, we are focused on Krishna consciousness, but we are also seeking a transformation of world society, we are not just sitting and chanting Hare Krishna but we are trying very hard to bring back the age of perfect Vedic society to this world.

So it is appropriate to learn from those who were expert in this regard.

You can also assess this by how Srila Prabhupada quotes Chanakya Pandita – it helps us to understand the point better. For example see this: “Cāṇakya Paṇḍta says that even a slight fraction of time cannot be purchased with millions of dollars, and therefore even a moment of time lost without profit must be calculated as the greatest loss in life.” (from purport to SB 3.10.11). And see this one… “One should give up the company of devils, demons and nondevotees and should always associate with devotees and saintly persons. One should always act piously, thinking that this life is temporary, and not be attached to temporary happiness and distress.” (from purport to SB 1.1.44) or see this one “According to the moral instructions of Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, ātmavat sarva-bhūteṣu: one should observe all living entities to be on the same level as oneself. This means that no one should be neglected as inferior; because Paramātmā is seated in everyone’s body, everyone should be respected as a temple of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This verse describes the different ways in which one should respect a guru, a father, a brother, a sister, a guest and so on.” (from purport to SB 6.7.29-30).

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Geetha, 14th May 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much prabhu for clearing my doubt.  I had this question in my mind from a long time but now I come know about him and I want to grateful to this group and I am very fortunate that I am in this group.  And from this group I am getting so many information about our culture,scriptures,about God, devotion,devotee,reading books,chanting, behavior so many things. Thank you once again.

Thanking you,
your servant,
Geetha.
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 14th May 2013

Thank you, this group is only as good as the members who are part of this group. And this group is filled with priceless gems, they are all on their way back to Krishna, so anyone who stays close and engages with this group, simply by the association, will go back home to Krishna.
Virendra Trivedi, 15th May 2013

@ Mahabhagavat prabhu: So True!!! 🙂 Your last comment.

yours
Virendra Kumar Trivedi

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