So you want to serve the needy?

Would you like to help others? How do you know you are actually helping them and not prolonging their misery? How do you know you are not getting entangled in an endless web of actions and reactions?

Some say “manava seve madhava seva“, which means “by serving the needy man, you serve God”. Let us examine this… if you feed the hungry, or clothe the naked, or try to heal the sick… will that actually help them? Sure, there is some temporary relief from the pangs of material suffering. If temporary relief is your goal, sure, but what if you want to really help them out of this mess they are in? You surely cannot feed, clothe, or shelter someone forever. Even if you did, you cannot protect them from old age, disease, and eventually death.

They are suffering primarily because they are spirit souls masquerading as material bodies. The material body gets hungry, gets sick, gets old, and dies, and this is the main cause of problems.

So yes, we can serve God by serving the souls, but how we serve them determines if we become the cause of their emancipation or the cause of their (and our own!) continued bondage.

The law of karma is very complicated, and impossible to trace out fully due to the immense complexity, but it is very very precise. It will surely pay back in just measure every single reaction to every single action.

So yes, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. Not to be administered by us, but we do become instruments of that, mostly unwittingly. What personal enmity did the soldiers from Nazi Germany have against the soldiers from America in the Second World War? Why did Guenter kill Billy? Why did Tommy kill Thorsten? They owed a debt to each other, one to kill, and one to be killed, and in that particular lifetime, one soul was born in Nazi Germany, and the other was born in America. Both were enlisted, and many souls’ karmic reactions came together and manifested as the Second World War.

Every single occurence in the world is simply an example of karmic debts… someone becomes a father, someone becomes a daughter, someone becomes the slaughtherer, someone becomes the slaughtered, and in this way, ad nauseum, someone becomes an exploiter, someone becomes the exploited.

Don’t believe me? OK, let us see, what could be the karmic reward for feeding a hungry man? To be fed yourself, maybe many times over, but being fed yourself primarily. And what does the person who was fed need to do? They need to repay their debt to you. This means that both to enjoy the benefit and to get paid back, both you and the person you fed need to take birth again. Birth again, old again, sick again, and surely death again.

Don’t forget that whatever you fed someone was also a living entity – whether seed, vegetable or animal. So, who pays the debt to that living entity. You both, benefactor and beneficiary.

Same with opening up hospitals – you will one day get free medical treatment yourself.

Opening up orphanages? You will be taken care of by benevolent strangers when you become an orphan yourself.

Any philanthropic activity on the material platform results in such karmic bondage, subtle or gross.

All this sounds depressing, no?

How to actually help someone? It is commonly understood that teaching someone to farm is far better than just feeding them a few meals. Knowing that each living entity is actually spiritual in nature wearing a material covering. It then stands to reason that teaching them to shed the material covering, or in other words, helping them be purely spiritual, that is the way to actually help someone.

Want to help someone? Help them be truly spiritual through your help, let them begin their journey back home. This starts with being purely spiritual yourself. If you cannot do this, then you can continue your philanthropy, don’t stop it, because one day you may progress further…

श्रेयो हि ज्ञानमभ्यासाज्ज्ञानाद्ध्यानं विशिष्यते ।
ध्यानात्कर्मफलत्यागस्त्यागाच्छान्तिरनन्तरम् ॥ १२ ॥

śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj
jñānād dhyānaṁ viśiṣyate
dhyānāt karma-phala-tyāgas
tyāgāc chāntir anantaram

If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/12/12/

So if you want to renounce the fruits of action, that is OK, but know that there is more, such as cultivation of knowedge, but the real deal – realized knowledge, you need to live your knowledge. Even better than the cultivation of knowledge is meditation, and what is the highest?

Being purely conscious of Krishna is higher.

What is even still higher?

And even higher?

And the highest?

मय्येव मन आधत्स्व मयि बुद्धिं निवेशय ।
निवसिष्यसि मय्येव अत ऊर्ध्वं न संशय: ॥ ८ ॥

mayy eva mana ādhatsva
mayi buddhiṁ niveśaya
nivasiṣyasi mayy eva
ata ūrdhvaṁ na saṁśayaḥ

Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/12/8/

Ultimately however, this the way to please God the most…

Generally it is advised that Bhagavad-gītā be discussed amongst the devotees only, for those who are not devotees will understand neither Kṛṣṇa nor Bhagavad-gītā. Those who do not accept Kṛṣṇa as He is and Bhagavad-gītā as it is should not try to explain Bhagavad-gītā whimsically and become offenders. Bhagavad-gītā should be explained to persons who are ready to accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is a subject matter for the devotees only and not for philosophical speculators. Anyone, however, who tries sincerely to present Bhagavad-gītā as it is will advance in devotional activities and reach the pure devotional state of life. As a result of such pure devotion, he is sure to go back home, back to Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/68/

Want to read more? Try this.

Help others, truly help them, start by helping yourself first.

You can start by chanting this purely spiritual mantra, even if just once:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Maha Mantra, the Great Mantra for Deliverance from Material Bondage and Development of Pure Spiritual Nature

Try it out. Help me help others. Please let me know I may serve you on your spiritual journey.

What to do about unknowingly committed sins?

What do do about unknowingly committed sins?

Rashmi Chhabra, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna everyone.

Please accept my humble obeisances

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

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

Thank you all,

Rashmi

Bhakta Sunil, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji,

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

Question: What is Karma?

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

Ashish Tiwary

Answer:  Our Actions

From: Riga, Latvia

My Dear Ashish,

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

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

I hope this meets you in the best of health

and in an ecstatic mood.

Your ever well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sudarshan Das, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances

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

arjuna uvāca

atha kena prayukto ’yaṁ

pāpaṁ carati pūruṣaḥ

anicchann api vārṣṇeya

balād iva niyojitaḥ

Synonyms:

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

Translation:

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

Bhagavad-gītā 3.36

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

Your Servant,

Sudarshan Das

Bhakta Shashank, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna Mata ji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

sarva-dharmān parityajya

mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja

ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo

mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

Translation:

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

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

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

Your servant,

Sacinandana Das.

Shridhar Das, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisance,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All Glories to Sri Guru & sri Gauranga!

Seeing the enthusiasm, I am also inspired to answer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your servant

Shridhar das

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

The grain of rice, who gave up his life

What did you eat this morning? Was it a brother? A mother? A father? Every living entity is intimately related to us. We owe it to them to make their life worthwhile, even if they were just a grain of rice…

There was a family gathering, a few family members got together. On the family WhatsApp group, one said “Oh, I wish you were there”, another said “it would be great to get the whole family together”.

That got me thinking. Who is “whole” family? Just the ones who were born to your father and/or mother? Maybe the cousins? How about the more distant relatives?

Instead of the “relative” platform, I was reminded that every single living entity came from the same one source, the source of all moving and nonmoving beings, the source of all things in the material Universe, the source of light, the source of space, the source of sound, the source of everything we can imagine and beyond.

Even that grain of rice, who, before he was harvested and processed, had the ability to sprout into a rice plant, he was not conscious of his family, but still had a right to live out his life as a plant.

When I think about it, the wooden furniture I am using right now, the cotton fibres that make up my clothes, the grains of rice I had for lunch today, each and every one of them, was a living being. They sacrificed their lives so I could live.

What a debt of gratitude I owe them! What can I do today to make their sacrificed worthwhile?

The farmer who planted the rice seed, the one who watered it and the one who harvested it. The one who husked that grain of rice, the one who packaged up the rice. The truck driver, the shipyard hand, the grocer, the cook of that rice… they were all involved.

When anything is used in the service of God, then everyone who helped make that service possible is benefited. But if all I did was take the grain of rice for my own gratification, then I will surely pay for my action and everyone else will partake too.

It is the law of the material world…

अहस्तानि सहस्तानामपदानि चतुष्पदाम् ।
फल्गूनि तत्र महतां जीवो जीवस्य जीवनम् ॥ ४७ ॥ ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam

Those who are devoid of hands are prey for those who have hands; those devoid of legs are prey for the four-legged. The weak are the subsistence of the strong, and the general rule holds that one living being is food for another.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/13/47/

If I were to accept that grain of rice just for myself, then it would implicate me in karma, an endless cycle of action and reaction

So, this morning, that grain of rice, in a bowl of rice, was lovingly offered to Krishna in an act of sacrifice.

पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्य‍ा प्रयच्छति ।
तदहं भक्त्य‍ुपहृतमश्न‍ामि प्रयतात्मन: ॥ २६ ॥
patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/26/

And when Krishna accepted that grain of rice, his life as a grain of rice had become successful.

Do you feel compassion for the countless living entities who die so you may live? Do you want to take a karma-free diet? Please ask me how!

Escape Manual

In one of my first posts, we explored souls in the material realm . Somehow or other, we are here. In this realm, every action causes reactions, some direct, some indirect. And most actions have consequences, even if the action was “unavoidable”. The consequences of action and reaction is so mind-boggling complex that the best minds are way too feeble to track and comprehend.

If I sow one seed, and that seed gives rise to 10,000 seeds every year, and just a fraction of them, say 1,000 sprout and give rise to 10,000 seeds every year. In just 100 years, how many seeds will this one initial seed produce?

aprarabdha-phalam papam
kutam bijam phalonmukham
kramenaiva praliyeta
visnu-bhakti-ratatmanam

There are different stages of dormant reactions to sinful activities to be observed in a sinful life. Sinful reactions may be just waiting to take effect [phalonmukha], reactions may be still further dormant [kuta], or the reactions may be in a seedlike state [bija]. In any case, all types of sinful reactions are vanquished one after another if a person engages in the devotional service of Lord Visnu.”

Padma Purana

We have been here a long long time, and every moment here, just by the simple act of breathing, prolongs our cycle of reactions.

To live, I need to breathe, I need to eat.

अहस्तानि सहस्तानामपदानि चतुष्पदाम् ।
फल्गूनि तत्र महतां जीवो जीवस्य जीवनम् ॥ ४७ ॥
ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam
Those who are devoid of hands are prey for those who have hands; those devoid of legs are prey for the four-legged. The weak are the subsistence of the strong, and the general rule holds that one living being is food for another.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/13/47/

So how can a being trapped in this endless cycle of action, reaction, birth and death ever escape?

Here is the Escape Manual!

Anyone who reads and strives to apply the principles of the Bhagavad Gita “The Song of God” gets on the trajectory of escape from the material realm. And anyone who begins that journey gains ever-increasing momentum, even if progress may be imperceptible at first.

If you need a copy, let me know!

Randomness is a Myth

Randomness is a myth. Randomness does not exist. But we can learn to free ourselves from the complexities of what appears to be random

You heard that right! Yes. Randomness is another one of those things that doesn’t exist, just like nothingness. Nothing is ever random. Randomness is one of these (or a variant) in every single case:

  1. A figment of imagination
  2. A sign of ignorance
  3. A device, tool, a starting point

Randomness as Imagination – it is very tempting, for someone who wants to pretend that their actions have no consequences, or someone who does not want to take responsibility for their actions, to pretend that the Universe is random. But of course, imagination goes only so far – it is not true.

Randomness as Ignorance – If I gave you an extremely complex mathematical formula, and asked you to show someone else the results of that formula with different hidden inputs, those results can very well appear to be random. But they are not random to someone who knows the equation and the inputs, in this case, you and me. So the outputs simply appear random, they are not so.

Randomness as a tool, a starting point – In many mathematical and scientific disciplines, just like the square root of -1, “i“, to pretend that the space is populated with random values helps to “seed” certain algorithms. This process implicitly acknowledges that randomness is simply a tool, a starting point to reach a model or understanding that is not random.

So if everything is not random, then why does it appear to be? Complexity. The laws of material nature, which are anything but random, are the creation of God, who is above the laws of material nature. The laws themselves are quite simple, but when the laws interact with themselves over and over again, the complexity they generate is mind-boggling.

Take a simple example of me planting one apple seed, just one seed. Not all seeds sprout but if/when this one does, it brings forth a seedling. Not all seedlings grow to be a tree, but if/when this one does, it bears flowers. Not all flowers turn to fruit, but some do. Not all fruits have seeds in them, but most of them do. When these seeds disperse, many sprout, give rise to trees, and this process endlessly continues, as long as the material circumstances are favourable.

After just a few decades, it will be impossible for a person who didn’t witness me planting the first apple seed to detect which apple tree was the first one. It will be impossible, even for me, to tell which tree an apple came from… or to tell for sure which specific seed caused which specific tree to grow.

Which brings us to the oft-heard saying, humans can count the fruits in a tree or the seeds in a fruit, but only God knows how many trees there are inside one seed. God is infinite, and therefore, it is possible for God to know all the permutations, with vision undisturbed by time.

Karma, the law of action and reaction has been described in the Vedic scriptures many millenia ago. A more recent rediscovery of the principles of Karma is by Isaac Newton “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction“. Sometimes, people say “what goes around, comes around“.

I heard that Lord Buddha said that if one were to stack the skeletons of all the bodies one soul has inhabited, those bones will block out the sun! Every soul inhabiting the material world has had many many actions (seeds), giving rise to many many beginning to sprout (seedlings), with many different resultant symptoms (flowers and fruits). It is hard to take one particular symptom of one’s life today and try to ascertain what specific action caused it. But just because it is hard doesn’t mean that randomness is the answer.

So what is the solution? How does one get out of the dense forest of karmic actions and reactions? The Bhagavad Gita defines a particular type of action and classifies it as “akarma” – “inaction”. This inaction is not some sort of inert “do nothing / sit still / renounce all action” practiced by the immature spiritualists or lazy materialists, but it is those actions that are spiritual in nature – that which serve to reconnect spirit to the Supreme Spirit, God.

The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is and what inaction is.” BG 4.17

There is no randomness, everything is actually quite ordered and structured, it is simply a matter of the choices we have made in the past. And just as our present circumstances may appear complex, we can unravel and simplify just as someone pieces together a jumbled up jigsaw puzzle, with time, patience, and determination.

aprarabdha-phalam papam
kutam bijam phalonmukham
kramenaiva praliyeta
vishnu-bhakti-ratatmanam
 
Persons who are completely engaged in the devotional service of the Lord Vishnu the Personality of Godhead—becomes completely extinct from all sorts of vicious reactions which either potential, germinating, seedling or current by a gradual process. (from Padma Purana)
 
असत्यमप्रतिष्ठं ते जगदाहुरनीश्वरम् ।
अपरस्परसंभूतं किमन्यत्कामहैतुकम् ॥ १६.८ ॥
asatyam apratiṣṭhaṁ te
jagad āhur anīśvaram
aparaspara-sambhūtaṁ
kim anyat kāma-haitukam
 
They say that this world is unreal, with no foundation, no God in control. They say it is produced of sex desire and has no cause other than lust. BG 16.8 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/16/8/
 
कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च विकर्मणः ।
अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गतिः ॥ ४.१७ ॥
karmaṇo hy api boddhavyaṁ
boddhavyaṁ ca vikarmaṇaḥ
akarmaṇaś ca boddhavyaṁ
gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ
 

The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is and what inaction is. BG 4.17 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/17/

 
BG 4.17:
The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is and what inaction is.
BG 4.18:
One who sees inaction in action and action in inaction is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities.

What could possibly be unknown to You, O master? With vision undisturbed by time, You witness the minds of all living beings. Nevertheless, on Your order I will speak. SB 10.64.11 https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/10/64/11

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Why are Intoxicated People Happy?

Jaanvi, 06 February 2015

Dear all,

Hare Krsna

There are many people who like indulging in alcohol and have a very strong and healthy body as well as being happy. And then, there are those who do not consume alcohol and have a weak body. Now, could you tell me how to understand this difference?

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 06 February 2015

Hare Krishna!

Mother Jaanvi – our present health has many contributing factors. One of them is called “past karma”. A pious person today may have been impious before thus accruing negative karmic reactions, and an impious person today may have been pious before this accruing positive karmic reactions. It is something like a bank account… suppose two people keep spending money equally from their bank accounts, one person’s bank account suddenly becomes empty and the person has no more money, but the other person’s account has a lot more money… but if they keep spending, that account also will become empty.

It is like a Ferris wheel… some people are on top, some people are at the bottom, but the wheel of time turns and situations change.

A fool who keeps indulging in intoxication will eventually fall sick, grow old, and die, nothing is permanent in this material world.

But, Srila Gurudeva has explained that the pious person who is suffering should internally rejoice because their past reactions are getting finished and soon they will be closer to liberation. And the impious person should be gravely thinking that their stock of good karma is rapidly diminishing and some day soon they will have to face up to their current impiety.

The Krishna conscious person sees both with an equal vision, every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future, in this way both saints or sinners can be fully Krishna conscious. But neither the pious nor impious person are really fortunate, unless they are striving to be Krishna conscious.

Krishna consciousness is the only way by which one can get off this “samsara chakra”, the inescapable prison of complete entanglement.

Hope this helps! Other devotees, please do feel free to contribute.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Sacinandana Das, 07th February 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev.

We are not this body. This body is a temporary covering. Only foolish people drink alcohol as its written on the bottle that its injurious to health. Body is secondary. Consciousness is more important. Its better to be Krishna Conscious in a weak body and go Back to Godhead other than being a materialistic drunkard and taking birth as an animal. Only avoiding alcohol is not enough, we should eat and drink only Krishna Prasadam – sanctified vegetarian foodstuff. Generally devotees have a very strong and healthy body. Devotees are the most happy people on this planet. If a man is happy why does he need to drink alcohol?

your servant,
Sacinandana Das

Jaanvi, 8th February 2015

Dear Prabhujis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks for your clear explaination to this query.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

Saurov, 10th February 2015

Hare Krishna,
My feeling is that when Krishna wants us to come back home, he creates certain situations so that we do not wander. Problems, though we might feel punishing in the short run, is a blessing in the long run as this prevents us from indulging in vices. It is a form of Krishna’s love and mercy. I have seen healthy people so involved in indulging their senses that there is no chance for them to remember Krishna in the present condition.
I agree with all the points Mahabhagavat Prabhu has mentioned. This was my additional input from my own realisations.

Hari Bol,
Saurov

 

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Why do Horrible Incidents happen?

Jaanvi, 15th January 2015

Dear All,

Hare Krsna

In this material world, there are so many horrible incidents happening everywhere such as innocent people being killed either by personal family or outside situation?

Now, since God is in every living being’s heart then how come he allows this to happen?

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 16th January 2015

Hare Krishna!

Dear Mataji,

This is a common question, often the answer is difficult to digest, if one does not have a grasp on the philosophy. Srila Prahbupada explains this clearly in his books as Krishna explains it in Bhagavad-Gita, where he talks about Karma.

The truth is no one is innocent apart from the few pure souls who have descended here to save us. The materiel world is a prision house for those who wish to leave the loving service of Krishna. Due to our envy we are here trying to Lord is over materiel nature. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, a man reaps what he sows.

The naked truth is everyone gets what they deserve.

However we must be careful not to judge, just because such terrible things have not happened to us yet. We have committed many sinful activities over many thousands of lives, and though all the reactions have not yet fruitified, they may later in life or next lives. Though of course for a devotee one is only getting a token reaction, and our past karma is burnt up during initiation(hour indebted we are to our spiritual master), however we have so much ugly Karma we should be suffering for it.

Rupa Goswami explains in Nectar of Devotion there are four kinds of effects due to sinful activities
1)The effect which is not yet fructified,( the reactions to our activities that are lying dormant) 2) the effect which is lying as a seed ( which are the sinful desires stored in the heart which is a result of past activities which give us inclination to perform more sinful activities),3) The effect that which is almost mature 4)) The effect which is already mature, (The suffering we are experiencing presently).

These four effects can be immediately vanquished by one who surrenders to the Supreme Personaility of Godhead. Some forms of atonement can vanquish those reactions that have not yet fructified but only Devotional service can vanquish the desire to commit the activity again. Therefore unless one adopts the path of devotional service to the Lord one will never be fully free from the reactions of his activites and thus one must continue to suffer birth after birth.

Why does the Lord allow this to happen? Because he loves us. If a child insists on touching fire he will get burnt. He is never likely to do the stupid thing again. But of course the father tries to instruct the child first. That is why the Vedas are there, vanasrama, instructions on our to live a pious life as to minimise one suffering in this materiel world, but ultimately, no one can truly be happy here, as it not one’s true home or nature as a fish can never be happy out of water. So the Lord wants us to be truly happy, eternally happy so that is why there is temporary suffering for sinful activities. There are four types of people who begin to take up devotional service. The distress is one of them.

So we should have compassion for those who are suffering, because they do not have Krishna consciousness. Whether it is the child who is brutally murdered or the lady that just inherited a million dollars and appears happy, as in reality they are both suffering for they have forgotten their constitutional postion as Krsna’s loving servant. The child who was murdered may of burnt of that reaction and in the next life getting some temporary enjoyment and the enjoying lady in this life may be manifesting some terrible kama in her next life, but without Krishna consciousness, apparent good or apparent bad is all misery, Thus as Krishna says in Bhagavd-gita one must become transcendental the dualities of materiel nature.

So in conclusion one must give everyone in some way, some how Krishna consciousness so they can permantely escape the miseries of materiel existence.

your servant
Rupa Manjari devi dasi

 

Priya Sutradhar, 16th January 2015

Hare Krsna
Dear Rupa Manjari Mataji, you have given a wonderful answer. Thank you so much for enlightening us.

ys,
Priya

 

Sridhar Das, 16th January 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji
Please accept my humble obeisances!

Your question actually best is answered in the lecture: Unflinching faith in guru, Arrival lecture, San Francisco, July 1975 by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. It should be around 39 minutes mataji, please hear! I will however paste the following:

Just coming here from Philadelphia we were talking with the aeroplane crews, the captain, the pilot. They (were) very patiently hearing us. The question was very intelligent, question pilot made, that “If everything is created by God…” Yes. That is a fact. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. The Vedānta-sūtra says everything is emanated from God. Without a thing being present in God, there cannot be any existence of anything. That’s a fact. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1]. So his question was, “Then what is this evil?” The evil is also God’s creation.

So I explained like this, that for God there is no good or evil; everything is good. So I gave him this example that good, or piety, that is God’s frontage, and evil means God’s back side. So taking this example, the chest or the back of my body, they are equal. It is not that when there is some pain on the back side I don’t care for it; I simply take care of when there is pain in the chest. No. Although it is back side, it is as important as the front side. Then evil and good is also of the same importance? No. Evil… That I gave the example, that for God there is nothing evil. I gave another example. Just like the sun, there is no darkness. Anywhere of sun’s body, there is no darkness. But for us there is light and darkness. Just like if you keep the sun back side, you will find darkness, a very long darkness, your shadow. And if you keep yourself in front, sun, there is no darkness. So it is my business; I create darkness. As soon as I change my position—instead of remaining in front of God, I keep God back side—then there is darkness. Otherwise there is no question of darkness. But in the sun as it is, there is no such darkness. Therefore God is all good. And for us, when we forget God, that is evil. And when we are in God consciousness always, everything good. Is that example all right?
Devotees: Jaya!
Bahulāśva: Perfect.

It is untrue Mataji that Krishna is freely letting us suffer. If one accepts Krishna as Supreme then one must also accept His peace formula – BG 5.29? The reason why we are suffering is because this place is house of miseries. Question should be why are we here?
We actually wanted to be the centre of all enjoyment like Krishna, independently. Therefore Krishna gave us the independence even though we are constitutionally His dependent servants. This is His kindness
So the scenario is: We wanted to be independent enjoyers and Krishna despite being Supreme, acts as our servant, a loving Father by giving us this independence here, where we can enjoy freely. Now we are blaming Krishna that, why are you so loving? Isn’t this childish? Shouldn’t we understand that love is voluntary and not forceful? What is the use of our free will then?
On the other hand, is Krishna really so cruel? Hasn’t He provided us literatures and scriptures as instructions? Didn’t He Himself descend and instruct? Didn’t He recently send His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and other acharyas? In fact He Himself descended again and again until He gave us the easiest process of Sankirtan yajna.
Yet if we block our eyes and ears, then where is the scope of peace? Suffering is inevitable. Suffering means we cannot be independent enjoyers, but are dependent enjoyers. Therefore we must re-accept our constitutional position of eternity, bliss and knowledge by re-accepting Krishna as Supreme as per BG 5.29. We were never related with suffering. But by blocking the sunlight, darkness arises and by accepting Krishna, the sun, darkness/suffering will automatically diminish.
The suggested lecture above by His Divine Grace also is also based on BG 5.29. Please hear it and it will solve your other past queries Mataji.

your servant
Sridhar Das

jaanvi, 16th January 2015

Dear Mataji,

Hare Krsna

Thanks for your reply with all the teachings.

It may take time to digest this unacceptable truth.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 17th January 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please absorb yourself in reading Srila Prahbupada’ books, especially Bhagavad-Gita. Intially this conception may be difficult to digest but due to the pure potency of Srila Prahbupada one can easily realize this. When one can factually realize that one is not the body, the truth is liberating.

Sometimes quotes from Jesus come to my mind as I was raised a Christian, Jesus says, “Continue in my word and you shall no the truth and the truth will set you free,”, therefrore if one continues under the guidance of the spiritual master, continues to read Srila Prahbupada’s books and inquire from the pure devotees then very easily you will become fully realized and the truth will no longer be unacceptable to you.

I am not very advance, and perhaps my presentation of this truth is somewhat flawed. If there is still doubt in which it appears to be please inquire from His Grace Sriman Sankarshana das Adhikari, because of his purity he will be able to explains things clearly.

your servant

Rupa Manjari devi dasi

 

jaanvi, 18th January 2015

Dear Matajis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks for all your answers and explainations.

Could you tell me where can I find the. lecture of Srila Praphupada as per mentioned.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Sridhar Das, 17th February 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji!

If you were referring to the lecture Unflinching faith in guru – San Francisco – 1975 based on Bhagavad GIta 5.29, the link is shared below. Both audio and transcripts are available.

http://vanisource.org/wiki/750715_-_Lecture_Arrival_-_San_Francisco

If you were asking for the same lecture, I beg forgiveness for not looking into it soon, being entangled in personal interests.

your servant
Shreyas

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What to do with money found

Jaanvi, 29th December 2014

Dear all,

HARE KRSNA

Could you tell me if someone finds a big sum of money on the road, he has no idea who it belongs to. Is it correct to keep it for own use. Will this create any karmic action? Or maybe, this could be due to his past karmic reaction that he found this money?

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

Sridhar Das, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances!

Mataji, after understanding this basic principle of karma, you will be able to answer it:

yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra
loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya
mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara

Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed; otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage. (BG 3.9)

Further understanding from Nectar of Instructions, Text 2:

“The wealth of the world actually belongs to Kṛṣṇa, and every living entity, man and animal, has the birthright to use God’s property for his maintenance. When one takes more than his maintenance requires – be he a capitalist or a communist – he is a thief, and as such he is liable to be punished by the laws of nature. The wealth of the world should be used for the welfare of all living entities, for that is the plan of Mother Nature. Everyone has the right to live by utilizing the wealth of the Lord. When people learn the art of scientifically utilizing the Lord’s property, they will no longer encroach upon one another’s rights. Then an ideal society can be formed.

The basic principle for such a spiritual society is stated in the first mantra of Śrī Īśopaniṣad:

īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ
yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam

“Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.”

Therefore, its very important to learn this science in order to know what real welfare is. Only then can we utilize everything perfectly.

The ultimate understanding of this science is as Srila Prabhupada explained – Everything belongs to Krishna.

If I use it for my enjoyment, then I am a thief, meant to be punished (This is karma). If I think, “I am not the enjoyer, let me renounce the money!” that is also foolishness for how can one renounce that which never belonged to that person?

However, If used for Krishna’s enjoyment it’s akarma (boundless action). In fact not only me but the person to whom the money so-called belongs, will also benefit tremendously. Akarma or devotional service will rather destroy all the past karmic reactions!

Therefore, one should know the Original proprietor.

Then, next duty is to apply the knowledge and preach. I daily encounter people who think by working hard like asses honestly (honest asses), one will be liberated. While they are working hard for little grass thinking of liberation, its pitiable that they are indeed preparing themselves to become an ass or so in their next birth. This is the result of a spiritually illiterate society, with the wrong understanding of karma.

But in real world, I won’t steal and run away such money. I shall definitely seek out the person who may be in dire need of that money. If found then I shall request for some donation from him for his benefit. If not, then I shall see how I may ‘smartly’ do the right thing for the mass out of illiteracy may consider me a criminal.

Also, in one of the lectures Srila Gurudeva was giving an insider secret of a spiritual master, to a devotee who is a sales manager of a company with many karmis working under him: The spiritual master sees every one as a part and parcel of Krishna who are covered devotees now. The spiritual master sees, how shall I engage them in such a way that majority of their energy is transferred to Krishna. Therefore we must feed them prashadam. Or accept what they may offer and see how to donate it to Krishna. Accept their love or appreciation. When the boss appreciates the devotee for his work, that is also offered to Krishna!
For this one needs to be very strong in sadhana, for all the karmic reactions being directed to Krishna will be directed through him as the medium.

your servant
Sridhar Das

Sacinandana Prabhu, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

It would be good to donate the money to the local Iskcon Temple.

your servant,
Sacinandana das

Manian VB, 30th December 2014

hare krishna: the question is whether to return the money or use it for you. if you cannot find the owner, you have to use it for spreading krishna concisous as using for personal bnefits will create karmic reactions. your undeserving servant. manain

Rasika Krishna Das, 30th December 2014

Mother Jaanvi,

Hare Krishna!

From the book ‘Nectar of Instruction’:

If a hundred dollar bill is lying on the street, someone may pick it up and put it in his pocket. Such a man is not honest. Another man may see the money and decide to let it remain there, thinking that he should not touch another’s property. Although this second man does not steal the money for his own purposes, he is unaware of its proper use. The third man who sees the hundred-dollar bill may pick it up, find the man who lost it and deliver it to him. This man does not steal the money to spend for himself, nor does he neglect it and let it lie in the street. By taking it and delivering it to the man who has lost it, this man is both honest and wise.

Since the wealth of the world actually belongs to Krsna, so the money can be donated to nearest ISKCON so that it can be best used for the welfare of all living entities.

Sincerely,
Rasika Krishna Das

Gabrielė, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna, my humble obeisances,

This happened to me too, found 100 EUR on the road. I offered those money to Srila Gurudeva on Vyasa Puja. I do not know if it was the perfect way to do…

your servant,
Gabriele

Rathin Mandal, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna,

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

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I had received a very nice teaching, regarding this from Her Grace Shyamamohini Mataji in Toronto. Everything belongs to Krishna.
We all went to book distribution once. On our way back, in one place we saw many coins lying on ground. We ask nearby people if it was their money. Everyone said NO. Then Mataji said that pick up the money. It is Krishna’s money, let us return it back to him. So we will picked up the coins and deposited in the temple.

The lesson I learned was that if I come across something that does not belong to me, then I should try to use it in service of Krishna or give it to someone who can use it for service, if I am not fully capable of doing that. Keeping something for myself, which is not mine, is certainly an attachment. That’s too a bad kind of attachment.

Also if we donate that in service of Sri Krishna, than we are also helping that person who lost something. As his earning has been used in service for Sri Krishna. That is good for him.

your Servant
Rathin

Jaanvi, 31st December 2014

Dear Matajis and Prabhujis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks so much for all your answers.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

Rahul Mangla, 31st December 2014

Hare Krishna!

Rathin prabhu, the last point you wrote is excellent. I never thought of it. Thank you 🙂

your servant,
Rasika Krishna Das

Jaanvi, 03rd January 2015

Dear Matajis and Prabhujis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks so much for all your answers.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

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What is difference between Karmi and Karma Yogi?

Bhakta Sunil, 22nd November 2013

Hare Krishna everyone!

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Please tell what is the difference between karmi and karmayogi?

Regards,
Sunil

Shreyas, 22nd November 2013

Hare Krishna to all the devotees,
Dandavat Pranam!
Jaya Srila Gurudev!

This is my understanding:

Karmi is one who acts for his own sense gratification. One who is attached to the results

Karma yogi is one who acts with detachment to the results. This is the first step to the ladder of yoga which leads to Bhakti Yoga, the ultimate goal.

However Bhakta is one who acts for gratifying the senses of the Lord. This is Bhakti yoga, perfection of Karma yoga. Karma yoga as the ultimate. The actual destination.

I wish to be corrected if my understanding is incorrect.

your servant.

Hare Krishna 🙂
Shreyas

Jagannatha dasa, 23rd November 2013

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

Karma is the execution of activites recommended in the sastra as pious.  The result of such action is pious reactions which can lead one to higher planets in this material world for a superior standard of material enjoyment.  If one neglects to act according to sastric injunctions and instead acts whimsically, that is known as vikarma, and it results in sinful reactions which can drive one down to lower births to experience severe restriction of enjoyment.

Akarma, or bhakti is when one engages in devotional service of the Lord.

When that devotional service is performed with ones activites directly, like walking to the temple, cooking for the Lord, embracing the devotees, or indirectly by offering the money one earns to Krishna for example, that manifestation of bhakti is called karma-yoga, or activity linking one to Krishna.  It is akarma.

Similarly when one who is eager to please Krishna, and therefore studies sastra to know what Krishna wants, under the guidance of the Lord’s devotees, such engagement of the intelligence in Krishna’s service is called jnana-yoga.  It is also bhakti, or akarma.  The result of akarma is that one’s pious and sinful reactions, everything binding us to this material world, are all destroyed (karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti bhajam), and one transcends repeated birth and death by going back to home, back to Godhead.

I hope it’s clear.

your servant,
Jagannatha Dasa Brahmacari

Shreyas, 23rd November 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhuji.

It is very clear now. Thank you for providing a nice explanation including jnana yoga as well and again making realize that as akarma Prabhuji.

your servant

Hare Krishna
Gusti Nyoman Ambara, 23rd November 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhuji

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

Thank you very much for sharing this clear explanation. Please also kindly enlighten me, what is raja-yoga (in relationship with Krishna consciousness)? Thank you.

your insignificant servant
Gusti Nyoman Ambara
Bhakta Sunil, 24th November 2013

Hare Krishna everyone!

Thank you very much Shreyas ji and Jagannatha Prabhu ji for reply to question

I was very pleased to read your replies and my confusion got cleared

Regards,
Sunil

Rathin Mandal, 26th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Your Lotus Feet and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Can we say that a karma yogi is in higher position then a jnana yogi and dhyana yogi.
I am taking verse “BG 12.12: If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.”

Whatever time I have spend with devotees, all I can understand the ‘renunciation of the fruits of action’ is very difficult. Until one is in knowledge of Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna and one is not engrossed in thougths of Sri Krishna. He cannot give up the results of his work neither in tangible form nor in intangible form.

your Servant
Rathin

Shreyas, 26th February 2014

Hare Krsna!

That’s a good question. But what I understood was that jnana yogi is below dhyana yogi. [Dhyana yogi should be those in astanga yoga,meditation ]. Jnana yogi must lead to Brahman realization and Dhyana yoga must lead to Paramatma realization.

Coming back to your question:
Karma yogi however is below jnana yogi. “Renunciation of the fruits of action”, shouldn’t that be above a karma-yogi? Because karma yogi means that one is attached to either the fruits or the work (I am also understanding it currently). So meditation surely is above renunciation of the fruits of action (karma yoga)

The following should also help us from the Bhagavad Gita 6.46 purport:

The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is calledbhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name:karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī or dhyāna-yogī, rāja-yogī, haṭha-yogī, etc. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all other yogas. Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himālayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.

So Rathin prabhu, karma yoga has to be below jnana yoga according to the purport. Awaiting for more enlightenment on this from others 🙂

your servant

Shreyas

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Devotees and Karma

Preethi, 17th March 2013

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to the Vaishnavas

I read in some places that devotees of the Lord are not affected by Maya or Karma. And then in some places I read of devotees being ‘tested’ put through some rough times and hardships and then we look at that as being part and parcel of this material world and the clutches of Maya / Karma.

So then does that mean devotees are effected by Karma / Maya or not and if people are affected, then does that mean they are not doing enough in Krishna Consciousness as a result they are being put through tough times?

My other question is this: I notice that some senior vaishnava devotees speak of ‘forgiveness’ and ‘tolerance’ and ‘patience’ and that everything can be achieved and everyone can be conquered (thru love prasadam patience chanting and devotion). But, I find that very hard to possess or display. The feeling that: I will tolerate and withstand anything but I will not hurt anyone even if they have hurt me – I feel that is very hard to fathom for me. Is that something that will come as my attachment to Krishna increases? Is it also possible I never reach that state?

Requesting your valuable guidance.

Hari Bol
Preethi

Sanil, 17th March 2013

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

The devotees of the Lord are not affected by maya or karma.  Because they are not bothered about what is happening, their concentration is in pleasing Krishna.  Though the devotee is very careful in each and every words and deeds, to avoid material contaminations in their actions, there could be imperfections.  Due to this imperfection, the result can be either good or bad. But devotee is not looking at the results, he is going on serving Krishna.  So, the devotee is not affected by the results whatever it may be.

We should be detached from all material things including our spouse and children.  This relationship is imperfect since this relation is like a business, you are pleasing me so I am pleasing you. When the spouse stops serving or incapable of serving then the issue starts and getting complicated.  So, instead of having material attachment, we should have transcendental attachment.

Detachment means transcendental attachment as Srila Gurudeva said in a recent Thought of the Day.  Also, Srila Gurudeva told that you can have attachments to devotees and  to have the  attachment to the devotee as much as possible.  This attachment is due to being the devotee of Krishna, so this is in relation with Krishna.  Like that we can have transcendental attachment to anything (to the spouse, dog eater, dogs, etc) realising that they are pure souls and they are part and parcel of Krishna. So, we must treat everything and everybody with ultimate care and love, even material things like cars, home, bikes, etc. So, we will naturally forgive, tolerate and patient.  In short we will become perfect lovers if our tove towards Krishna is perfect.

your servant,
Sanil kumar

Rathin Mandal, 17th March 2013

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

I am only presenting my understanding here Mataji.

Pure devotees of Sri Krishna are not affected by the dualities of nature. For them happiness or distress is all same. They take everything as a mercy of Supreme Lord. If something good happens to them then they will say that it is gift of Supreme Lord to this unworthy servant. And for distress they will say that although I am eligible for much more, by mercy of Sri Krishna I am receiving only so little.

Qualities of pure devotee is described as such by Sri Krishna:

BG 12.18-19: One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equipoised in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contaminating association, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn’t care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and who is engaged in devotional service — such a person is very dear to Me.

We can say that karma is something just like seasonal changes. When the soul embodied in this planet, he has to go through all the seasons. Sometime he may feel very cold and other times he may feel very hot. Other times it may be pleasant. Things like this will keep on happening till the soul resides on the material planet.

But if he trains himself with pure love and devotion for Lord, then only he can understand the science of Maya. And he finds his way on interacting with it.

For the second part of the question, we should take example from Mother Sita. Ravana took her away from Sri Ram and held her as prisoner in Lanka. Mother Sita is internal potency of Supreme Personality of Godhead and way powerful than Ravana. She could have easily punished Ravana. But in human form she was a simple lady. So she accepted to be held as prisoner. She also accepted all the torture given by Raksasis.

We can also learn from Sri Laxman. He was never given the exile. Still he went out with Sri Ram, lived in forest and accepted all the unpleasant things. But he never said that why this things happen to me.

I believe that if the one who can continue with chanting of Hare Krishna matamantra even in time of distress, he can attain the qualities that Sri Krishna wants a person to have.

your Servant
Rathin

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 19th March 2013

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

First and foremost, it is very auspicious that you are asking these questions. It means you recognize that there is a beginning position and a advanced position, and you want to get to advanced position.
Thank you also to those who answered, very nice answers that display your strong understanding of our process and philosophy.

To both questions, I beg to answer that it is a gradual process. It is not that one will never “get there”, one who tries, the process is scientific (results are repeatable) and gradual advancement is made as long as one continues to try. It is almost imperceptible when and how someone got to some stage, but that is seen by us in our own heart as a feeling of really feeling fallen. An advanced devotee feels very lowly and fallen, even though other devotees and even ordinary persons can see their exalted nature. The Goswamis were liked by all, the saints and the rogues… because they were not envious of anyone.

To give you another example, here in Toronto, we have one shiksha guru who came to teach us a few things.i. Her Grace Kamalini Mataji. She is a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada, a wonderful wife and mother, she distributes books every single day no matter where she is, and she teaches us by personal example. She is a great great inspiration to the Vaishnavis here at the temple.

But yesterday, when it was my service to give the Sunday feast class, she humbly sat in the audience on the floor! She listened attentively and she came to ask me a question! Can you imagine that, a person 40+ years my senior in devotional service asking me, a lowly neophyte a question? And it was not asked in a “let me see if you know this” mood – she genuinely wanted to hear what I would say. Very humble devotee. Very advanced. And such persons are able to touch hearts and transform consciousness simply by the force of their humility.

But they didn’t necessarily set out to try to be perfect… they sincerely followed the process of devotional service, which includes a continuous effort to develop various Vaishnava qualities, to chant Hare Krishna offenselessly, to give others what we have, to share, to care, to serve the Vaishnavas, to act as Krishna has instructed us to act, to follow strictly the orders of the spiritual master, and to not see oneself as anything other than insignificant.

But along the way, the weight of their devotional service gave them certain perfections, certain power, certain strengths, and among those strengths are to be tolerant, forgiving, humble, kind, generous, dependence on Krishna, consciousness of Krishna, remembrance of Krishna, love for Krishna, respect and affection for the devotees, and much much more.

Specifically, to see a devotee who may be externally sufferingor enjoying and to assume that this is karma is not very nice, even if the devotee may say that it is karma, no, Krishna is personally involved. When a devotee stays devoted, it is an example to the rest of us how to behave when we are inevitably tested. Did Bhishma have any karma? Did Kuntidevi have karma? Did Draupadi have Karma? Did Arjuna have karma? No, they are eternal associates of the Lord. Anyone who apparently suffers or enjoys but does not forget Krishna, that is not karma, that is Krishna acting.

But anyone whose suffering or enjoyment causes forgetfulness of Krishna, that is karma. 🙂 So that is the litmus test, have I forgotten Krishna or am doing less service, oh, then I am not surrendered, I am karmi to that extent which I have forgotten. But if I have not forgotten Krishna, then it is Krishna’s mercy, not some kind of qualification…

Same thing with forgiveness… actually forgiveness is not only a mercy upon others – to the extent we do not forgive, we hold ourselves back from making spiritual progress… but this is a BIG topic too.

Keep at it Mataji, that’s all I can say, please keep trying.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 19th March 2013

Would like to share this writing by His Grace Sriman Vaisesika Prabhu, which is very appropriate:

“Trials and difficulties give us the opportunity to show Krishna our sincerity. Those who prepare themselves for these tests by being vigilant in their bhakti practice during the good and easy times, will be well prepared for the difficult tests that Krishna sends to help one advance on the path of bhakti.

“Krishna can provide anything and everything within a moment, but He waits to test a devotee. And when the devotee comes out successful from the test, He gives him all opportunity for devotional service.” (SPL to Rsi Kumara, 11th April, 1970) Om Tat Sat”
Preethi, 19th March 2013

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to the Vaishnavas

Thank you Mahabhagavat Das Prabhuji, Sanil Prabhu & Rathin Prabhu for your answers with examples. I suppose when we encounter difficulties one way to look at it is yes my sincerity is being tested but it also makes me wonder if I am truly a devotee because I see that the more resilient someone gets the more tougher the situation seems to get. Our mind can be our greatest friend or worst enemy depending on what we feed it and how we train it. During distress it tempts us to cheat and side track especially when one is low and shaken it is all the more easy to forget about the Absolute Truth, but perserverance, patience and constant thoughts of Him and Him alone will save us. Having devotee association ensures that even if we get left behind, someone will be holding out a helping hand. Thank you all for your wise words.

I know with devotional service and constantly doing things in Krishna’s service will slowly yield results. I have a long long way to go in my service, in my bhakti and service for Krishna but being in all your company and association makes me feel like I am very fortunate for being guided and shown the right path.

Hari Bol
Preethi

DK, 20th March 2013

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to the Vaishnavas

Preethi jee,

It was one of the six promises made by Lord Krishna himself.

Sri Krishna promises: “Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me, and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” (9.34)

“Loving service unto the Personality of Godhead is established as an irrevocable fact.” Irrevocable: permanent, cannot be changed. Whatever we do for Krishna in this life is permanent and will stay with us even after the demise of this one body and this one temporary life.

Hare Krishna.

Krishna’s Servant
Deepak

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