Is it necessary to live in a temple or monastery for spiritual progress?

Francisco, Aug 25 2011

All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to the devotees of Krishna

Dear student group devoted to the SDA, I wish you a happy life with Krishna and took the opportunity to ask this question:

To be a good devotee of Krishna is it essential to live in a temple of Krishna?  Hare Krishna

Your servant and friend
Francisco

 
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Aug 25 2011
Dear Francisco Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

In today’s environment, over 99% of the devotees of ISKCON live outside the temple, as they are householders.

Temple environment is definitely most conducive to spiritual life, but it is not a prerequisite to a Krishna Conscious life. In fact, if someone is not ready, then temple environment can scare them, because it is very austere and one has to be very surrendered to stay on in a temple for all of one’s life.

I take it that you don’t live in a temple… you may have some way of earning a livelihood, think every morning who are you working for, not for your employer, not for your family, not for yourself, but for Krishna. Chant Hare Krishna minimum 16 rounds and follow the 4 regulative principles strictly. This is 50% temple life. In your home you have walls and book shelves, saturate them with Krishna and His devotees. You have some entertainment equipment? Listen to Krishna’s devotees speaking. You have some space in a clean comfortable corner of your home? Invite Krishna to come and live there, and care for Him at least as you would care for your dearest most respected human friend. Every day you eat something. So please cook for Krishna what He likes, and take only His remnants. Krishna Prasadam. Finally, according to your capacity, help the devotees who are not working to preach Krishna Consciousness all over the world. Go to temple whenever you can.

In this way, we can strive to make our heart and home into a temple for Krishna.

Your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das
                      
Francisco, Aug 25 2011
Loved and admired Das Mahabhagavat

Hare Krishna!

Prabhu, I will, but how to offer the food to Krishna?

Your servant,
Francisco

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Aug 25 2011

Dear Francisco Prabhu,
Hare Krishna! You are very kind Francisco Prabhu.

Here is an introduction to how you may prepare and offer food to Krishna and take His Prasada.

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/how_to_offer_food.htm

For all, the website http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com is a wonderful website with a lot of information about basic things and advanced things in Krishna Consciousness.

Your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das
 
Francisco, Aug 25 2011

Dear Mahabhagavat Das:

Please extend your comment about whether it is possible for a devotee of Krishna who does not live in a temple to achieve self-realization, that is, become a pure devotee of Krishna?  Are there examples of this?

Thanks for your time dedicated
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Your servant and friend
Francisco

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Aug 25 2011

Dear Francisco Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

We have to understand that “becoming a pure devotee” is not something that is dependent on something external, like living in the temple. Otherwise it would be a really simple formula!  🙂 Otherwise, the millions of people in India who live in Holy towns would all be pure devotees.

Yes, there are many examples of persons who lived in their own homes and were pure devotees. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is such an example. He was a pure devotee even when running a pharmacy business and maintaining his family. Bhaktivinode Thakura is also such an example.

In my personal life, I have the great benefit of observing many such persons who are exceedingly pure in their devotion, but because these persons are very humble they will never advertise themselves. But I can see that their every thought, word and deed is dedicated to serving Krishna. They have never lived in a temple except for visiting other places, etc.

Your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Chanting – which hand to use and why?

Francisco Valencia Berrueta, 22nd August 2011

Hare Krishna

My respectful obedience to all the devotees of Krishna

Para en canto de Mahamantra Hare Krishna con Japa, en la conciencia de Krishna, ¿ por que se recomienda utilizar la mano derecha y usar únicamente los dedos pulgar e indice?

(google translate: For in Mahamantra chanting Hare Krishna Japa, in Krishna consciousness, why it is recommended to use the right hand and use only the thumb and index?)

Your humble servant

Francisco

jagannatha dasa,22nd August 2011

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

The right hand is used for chanting japa because the left hand is reserved for personal hygiene and other less exalted things.

We dont use the index finger.  The index finger is for pointing out faults in others, and for claiming pride and distinction for ourselves.  Therefore, we chant using the thumb and middle finger.  Please find attached an illustration.

Your servant,

-Jagannatha dasa

jagannatha dasa, 22nd August 2011

Regarding the ring finger and smallest finger, it is very difficult to chant with them.

I have heard more esoteric reasons in a class, but I have not done research into scripture for those points personally.

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Your servant,

-Jagannatha dasa

Uddhava Presta Das, 23rd August 2011

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

May I take the liberty of adding some comments that I heard from Sarvabauma prabhuji.

He mentions that the pointing/index finger is kept out of the chanting bag (in a way not used for chanting) to show the direction to a devotee who is asking the way to a Krsna/Vishnu temple and is in a place which is new to him.  This explanation got inscribed on my mind as the statement is more PALATABLE.

Hare Krsna

Uddhava presta das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 24th August 2011

Uddhava Prestha Prabhu, hare Krishna! Please could you get a shastric

reference for this Prabhu? I have never heard it and would like to

understand the source of that information and be sure it is bona fide.

rAma Sita, 24th August 2011

Hare Krsna.

All I know is tarjani (index finger) is not fit for japa as it is forbidden and only angustha (thumb) and madhyama (middle finger) are used with the support of anamika and kanishtika (ring and little fingers). I was told that it is to do with the energy centres and connection there with other nAdis of the body. The nAdi that tarjani connects to is not fit for japam.

To show the way to temple I am not sure 🙂

regards

rAma

Rodrigo, 24th August 2011

All glories to Srila Prahbupada,

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga,

Dear servants of Sri Bhagavan Krishna and Srila Prahbupada.I am left-handed and uhhh,as far as i have remembered i have wiped my bottom while doing toiletry actions with my right hand;and ,that is the way I think it is with all left-handed persons.It is vice-versa with right handed persons who wipe with their left hand .I don’t know why this is.Does anyone know.Does that mean I have been chanting all this time with the wrong hand?since I began chanting I have chanted with my right hand in a bead bag( when i procured one)so please tell me godbrothers and sisters which hand should I really be chanting with;the one I wipe with (the right hand)or the one i never have wiped with(the left hand).It is just a matter of natural dexterous inclination.Please someone tell if or not I have been doing wrong by chanting with the hand I wipe my bottom with in toiletry actions.Thank you .Dandavat Pranams.

Your Servant Eternally in Krishna Consciousness,

A humble,tolerant home worshipper of Sri Krishna

who is not yet initiated,have mercies and grace,

Rodrigo

Manian VB, 24th August 2011

All glories to Gurudeva and Krishna

Which ever hand you do the Japa, purity of the hand and mind is

important. There are so many people left handers. If I am wrong,

devotees please forgive.

Hari Bol.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 24th August 2011

Rodrigo,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

This discussion may feel petty, but there are some very nice principles involved here, so this group is fulfilling the purpose of helping us overcome practical day-to-day hurdles on the path of Krishna Consciousness.

The Vedic system is coming from the perfect source of all knowledge, Sri Krishna. There is a time, place, significance and reason for everything; this is not a whimsical system. Sometimes, the given reason is not reasonable to the material mind, but that is a conditioning. Ultimately, whether we are left-handed or right-handed, that is just a form of material conditioning as we got this present body.

One interaction I recall is when Srila Prabhupada was eating with a person of Indian origin who had become quite westernized in habits, after they were finished, Srila Prabhupada asked the person to wash his hands, the person replied that he had not eaten with his hand directly but used cutlery. Srila Prabhupada explained that the contamination was subtle, but it was there, that the hand was not clean by Vedic standards.

Yes sometimes, the spiritually perfect Acharyas, based on time, place, and circumstances, make some modifications but ensuring that the higher principle is kept. However, changes made by material considerations such as being left-handed or right-handed lead one to a slippery slope of where do we draw the line… Someone can say that they were born in the Middle East, and were brought up eating meat, therefore they should be allowed to eat meat? Someone can say they have been given a very beautiful or handsome body therefore they should be excused the no illicit sex regulation? Someone can say they love that intoxicants “relax” them so they request that they be allowed to continue with that habit? Someone can say they are left-handed therefore they want to offer worship to the deity with their left hand? Manian Prabhu does that make sense?

One positive example in the left-hand/right-hand chanting is a devotee in Toronto. His Grace Dharma Prana Prabhu is a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada. Some years ago he suffered a stroke and much of his language and the mobility in the right side of his body was lost. Of course, he didn’t forget Krishna Consciousness, and has been a great inspiration to me (and hundreds of other people) for the last 8 years I have been at the Toronto temple. He chants Hare Krishna clearly, some other mantras are sometimes slurred, but he chants enthusiastically and can get many many people dancing with him in Kirtan. He showed me my first steps personally. With Japa, he cannot hold/move his beads in his right hand. So he uses the left hand. Someone can say he is breaking the rules, but the higher principle is that he needs to chant, and he is chanting, anyway that he can with his current physical condition which makes it impossible for him to hold beads in right hand.

So Prabhus, I would recommend that unless physically impossible, instead of changing the hand with which one chants, which is the right hand as explained by our Acharyas, and following their instructions, learning to use the left hand for less-than-pleasant necessities is a better thing… someone needs to learn to subdue their mind a bit, others need to control their tongue in eating or speaking, some others need to overcome pride on account of wealth or beauty or youth… everyone has some type of conditioning to overcome, the left-handed/right-handed thing is the same.

Does this help Rodrigo Prabhu?

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Manian VB, 24th August 2011

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

All obeisance to Gurudeva

I thank you very much for correcting me. Your knowledge is so profound

in Vedic systems, I admire you and will try to improve myself with

your blesings. You have corrected me on several occasions for which I

am grateful to you. Your servanat

Hare Krishna

rAma Sita, 24th August 2011

Hare Krsna.

vAma is left hand; vAma hasta is used for one set of activities. While doing homam, taking theertham or taking prasAdam, etc we use the right hand as that is sadAchAra. As Mahabhagavat prabhu has already mentioned, these are all vedic standards. In cases, when only one hand works, the exceptions are fine.

On that note, the consort of the Lord is always on the left. For dharma activities like couple sitting to do sudarsana homam, etc in temples wife sits to the left of the husband.

Irrespective of the purity, etc the positions are better followed as per vedic standards.

regards

rAma

Uddhava Presta Das 25th August 2011

Hare Krsna Mahabhagavat Das prabhuji

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prbhupada

Excellent explanation and inspiration….

Thanks a lot.  Really indebted…

your servant

uddhava presta das

Sincere disciple of Srila Prabhupada

Francisco Valencia Berrueta,16th August 2011

HARE KRISHNA

Su Santidad Sankarshan Das Adhikari, in The Ultimate Self Realization Course, “Is It Essential to Have a Living Guru?” (Lesson C24); wrote:

“One does not need to be spiritually disadvantaged by the physical disappearance of a great spiritual master, such as ISKCON Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, thinking that now there is no more opportunity for spiritual progress. All one has to do is find a sincere disciple of Srila Prabhupada and fully take shelter of him.”; my question is: How to recognize the sincere disciples of Sri Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who have the qualifications to be a spiritual master?

I thank in advance for your kind comments.

Servant of the devotees of Krishna

Francisco

Mahabhagavat Das SDA,17th August 2011

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, this is a very important question. Thank you very much Prabhu.

You can study the books of Srila Prabhupada, especially the Nectar of Instruction, which is a translation from the Sanskrit version Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu by Srila Rupa Goswami, and other instructions by Srila Prabhupada about the qualifications of the spiritual master, then you can assess any person you encounter who presents himself as a spiritual master, who is a personally initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada (not this bogus so-called initiation where a so-called disciple imposes himself upon Srila Prabhupada after he has entered Samadhi).

A spiritual master is 100% dedicated to spreading Srila Prabhupada’s mission all over this planet, every single moment of their day, this is their only business.

The spiritual master never deviates from the instructions of his own spiritual master, and never asks anyone to deviate also. For example, in South America there are some so-called disciples of Srila Prabhupada who are initiating disciples and saying that chanting 4 rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra on the beads is alright. Such so-called spiritual masters may be sincere themselves, but by deviating, they make themselves unqualified to be spiritual masters. Some other spiritual masters, they left ISKCON and started their own organizations, such persons, even though they may be sincere devotees, are again not qualified to be spiritual masters themselves because they disobeyed the order of Srila Prabhupada to not leave ISKCON.

In other words, a spiritual master always remains a sincere disciple of his own spiritual master. But note that not every person who is eligible to bea spiritual master is actually willing to accept the responsibility of taking disciples.

In ISKCON, there is a very careful process that goes beyond emotion and sentiment, there is careful assessment and very very strong checks-and-balances, continual observation of the spiritual masters who are authorized to initiate. This process is accomplished via the ISKCON GBC which is how Srila Prabhupada instructed his disciples to manage ISKCON. In other words, no one who is not authorized by the ISKCON GBC is allowed initiate disciples within ISKCON.

Also, there is a personal component also – if you are really sincere, you can feel in your heart which spiritual master is connecting you to Krishna best. But when you meet such a person, carefully assess without wasting time, and then please do not hesitate. Don’t go by external things like name, fame, etc., as a spiritual master is a pure devotee. Do not lose the opportunity to be connected to the disciplic succession through a bona fide spiritual master.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Tirtharaja Dasa, 18th August 2011

Yes another good source of information is the compilation of Srila

Prabhupada’s writings and sayings on this subject matter known as ‘The

Spiritual Master and The Disciple’. Thank you and happy, informed and

blessed reading.

Yls

Tirtharaja Dasa.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 18th August 2011

Here is a very good article:

http://www.krishna.com/finding-genuine-guru

ys,

MBD

Jagannatha dasa,18th August 2011

Hare Krishna prabhus.

Here are some quotations by Srila Gurudeva on the topic.

Question:  How to Find Guru?

Can you have more than one guru ?

How you can find guru?

How you can get faith and increase faith in guru and God?

Jayprakash

Answer:  You Already Have

While we have only one initiating guru, we may have an unlimited number of instructing gurus.

You do not need to go looking for a guru. You have already found one.

The way to increase your faith in guru and God is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra on a regular daily basis.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

———-

Question: How to Find an Enlightened Guru?

Dear Swamiji,

I am really in need of your precious advice. For the last ten years I have been looking for an enlightened guru. In this regard I have met many monks, but I have found most of them fake. I want to live a spiritual life and want to know the Absolute Truth, but I have failed to meet a real guru. Kindly help me out and tell me the address of a real enlightened guru. I will very much obliged.

Thank you.

Shaminder

Patiala, India

Answer: You’ve Already Found One

I understand your frustration of encountering so many fake gurus because I was also disappointed in the same way when I was seeking a guru who could bless me with genuine spiritual enlightenment. By Krishna’s grace after four-and-a-half years of difficult struggle, I finally found such a bona fide spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness). He enlightened me with perfect spiritual knowledge and saved me from the vicious cycle of birth and death. If you will read his translation of the Bhagavad-gita known as Bhagavad-gita As It Is, you will find great joy and solace.

Before his left this world in 1977 he carefully trained me and his other disciples how to become gurus so that in his physical absence we could carry on with his mission of enlightening the human society. So there is no need for you to be frustrated anymore in your search for an enlightened spiritual master because you have already found one. You may consult with me and the other devotees of ISKCON regarding how to become free from all material miseries. There are many ISKCON temples throughout India. Is there one in your area?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

——

Who is the Real Guru?

Poojaneeya Swamiji,

Please accept my humble pranams.

In these days many people claim to be Gurus. And it is very difficult for an ordinary person to judge who is the real Guru

who is self-realized and can take his/her disciple to the highest truth. How one can find his/her Guru and how he/she will be sure that his chosen person is a real Guru who is self-realized?

With humble pranams

Devadas

The Real Guru is Realized in the Vedic Wisdom

My Dear Devadas,

Please accept my blessings.

If someone decides to be a gold merchant they must have some preliminary knowledge of what is gold, otherwise they will be cheated by so many people who will sell them imitation gold. In a similar way if we are going to seek out a guru or spiritual master we must have some preliminary knowledge of what is a guru or we will be cheated by so many imposters. We are currently living in the Kali Yuga, the Age of Quarrel and Cheating, so we must be very careful when seeking out a guru that we do not become cheated.

Guru is not an invented concept. The idea of guru comes from India’s ancient Vedic literature. If we want some preliminary knowledge to enable us to find out the bona fide spiritual master, then we simply must carefully study the Vedic literature to learn the method of discerning who is the bona fide guru. For the example, the following injunction is given 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.”

SB 11.3.21

Note that the spiritual master must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures. Sadly, nowadays, the so-called gurus present conclusions which go against the authoritative Vedic literatures.

In this way they create societies of the cheater and the cheated. They are the cheater and their disciples are the cheated.

Therefore if you want to find out who is your actual proper guru you must become educated in the Vedic wisdom. In this way you can find out the real guru who is presenting the Vedic wisdom as it is without any distortion. There is a great need in the modern day society for real gurus and real disciples, but due to a lack of Vedic education we have a world full of cheating so-called gurus and their millions and millions of cheated disciples. This is why there is so much chaos in the world.

To try to bring relief to the suffering humanity we are trying to educate the mass of people what is the proper Vedic understanding. So my best advise to you in regards to finding out who is your guru is that first you should become learned in the Vedic wisdom. Then you will have no difficulty at all in discerning who is your guru. I am willing to give you all training and guidance to become expert in the Vedic wisdom. This why I am offering this e-course, the Ultimate Self Realization Course. Kindly take full advantage of it.

Hoping this meets you in good health and in a cheerful mood,

Your eternal well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

—–

There are also so many more quotes along these lines available.

One can search http://www.sda-archives.com in the search bar for keywords or questions.  I got 10 pages of quotes on this topic by searching how to find a guru there.

I hope this is useful.

Your servant,

-Jagannatha dasa

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Your servant,

-Jagannatha dasa

Sanatan Dharma and Dharma

Premal, Aug 16 2011

Hare Krishna Prabhu

All glories to Swami Prabhupada

Please accept my humble obeisances

Prabhu what is the difference between sanatana dharma and dharma?

Ys servant

Premal prabhuji

Bhakti Yoga Prabhu offers a fan to Lord Jagannatha - he was born in Guyana, trained in India and Canada, and now lives in Canada - Sanatan Dharma knows no barriers - Toronto, Canada July 02 2012
Bhakti Yoga Prabhu offers a fan to Lord Jagannatha – he was born in Guyana, trained in India and Canada, and now lives in Canada – Sanatan Dharma knows no barriers – Toronto, Canada July 02 2012

Jagannatha dasa, Aug 16 2011

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

The dharma of fire is to give heat and light, the dharma of a living being is to serve.

Dharma is variously translated as duty, virtue, morality, righteousness, or religion, but no single English word conveys the whole meaning of dharma. The Vedic sage Jaimini defined dharma as a good command that leads to the attainment of the highest good. In Bg. 18.66, Lord Krishna commands us to give up all other dharmas and surrender to Him. This is the paro-dharma, or supreme command (good, duty, virtue, etc.) of the Vedas.

Sanatana-dharma is the eternal activity of the soul i.e. to render service to the Supreme Lord, which in this age is executed mainly by chanting the maha-mantra.  Bhagavata-dharma.

Your servant,

-Jagannatha dasa

Brahma Prabhu offers a lamp to Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra - he has a French-Canadian background, but has practiced Sanatan Dharma for more than 30 years - Toronto, Canada, July 01, 2012
Brahma Prabhu offers a lamp to Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra – he has a French-Canadian background, but has practiced Sanatan Dharma for more than 30 years – Toronto, Canada, July 01, 2012

Ashutosh Pandey, Aug 16 2011

Hare Krsna!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Dharma in broader context will have two different meanings:

1) The nature of any object-Vritti

2) The instructions of the Lord and following constitutional position of a Jiva

to quote: “dharmam tu sakshad bhagvad pranitam”- means the instructions of the Lord (Krsna) is the Dharma (Dharma & Religion are not synonyms)….Dharma means the Vrtti of any Jiva or the constitutional position and hence the service (or duties) associated with it….since Jiva being the part and parcel of lord is eternal like lord Himself and hence his constitutional position (and consequently the duties following it) are also eternal..

Mahaprabhu quotes “Jivera swaroop hoy nitya Krsna Das”….so the term ‘nitya’ is important which means ETERNAL or in Sanskrit ‘Sanatan’…..

Hence originally Dharma means Sanatan Dharma only…If we look in KC view…No difference…

Now a days various so called propaganda motivated as well some newer religious groups have arisen in due course of time…depending upon the kind of people who were to be addressed…

Hence to be more precise in today’s context

Sanatan dharma means the eternal vrtti of a Jiva…while dharma means simply the Vritti

For example: To be cold is the Vritti of Ice and to be hot is the Vrtti of fire…

YS

Ashutosh

 

Devotional practice and Krishna’s mercy

N S, 26th July 2011

 Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I just have a small clarification, I want to know despite all the austerities taken, followed all the regulative priciples, chanting and the whole process of Krishna Consciousness followed religiously, do we still have the possibilities of not reaching the Goloka Vrindavan after death.

Kindly clarify my doubt….

Your’s Servant

N S

 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27th July 2011

Dear N Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Very very nice question.

Devotional service is a privilege, and the rewards of devotional services are also a privilege. It is not a mundane business deal, like “Alright Krishna, I will do this, this, and this, and you give me this, that and that also”.

So, a devotee’s best thing to do is:

tat te ‘nukampāḿ su-samīkṣamāṇo

bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaḿ vipākam

hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te

jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk

“My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.” SB 10.14.8

Please read the purport here: http://vedabase.net/sb/10/14/8/en

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport: “Just as one cannot approach the sun without becoming fire, one cannot approach the supreme pure, Lord Kṛṣṇa, without undergoing a rigid purificatory process, which may appear like suffering but which is in fact a curative treatment administered by the personal hand of the Lord.” So, in other words, after performing devotional service, if I have not reached perfection, if I have to come back, then “bhunjaana evaatma krtam vipaakam” – I cooked my suffering myself, at least Krishna is minimizing it by keeping me in devotional service, in fact, He is giving me devotional service whereas I don’t deserve it!

A pure devotee naturally doesn’t think about what is the destination, because a pure devotee has already reached the destination… while still in the material world, they are not actually on the material platform. Just think about it, what are the activities of devotees in Goloka Vrindavan? What is the consciousness? What is the goal? What is the meditation? Do you think anyone in Goloka Vrindavan is concerned for their own personal welfare? Do you think one of the Gopis would hesitate to come to material world if it was Krishna’s desire?

Now reflect on the pure devotees’ behavior… do they or do they not fully show us in their words and actions the consciousness of the denizens of Goloka Vrindavan?

So, as we begin to get pure, one of the symptoms we can begin to experience, fully naturally, without any effort, no need to worry about what Krishna will do with us, now, or for ever in future – as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructs in His Shikshashtakam verses (which everyone should please commit to memory) “mat praana naathastu sa eva na aparah”, fully surrendered, no matter how Krishna treats us.

Most certainly, the benefits of devotional service are far far greater than one can imagine. After all, we are limited in our perception, but Krishna is Unlimited. So it is like a little pauper going before the king for some food and getting a giant treasure that is beyond the comprehension of the pauper. However, Krishna is also unlimitedly creative, and therefore, one can have no idea, no inkling of how His mercy can come. Also, Krishna has a great sense of humor!

Still, if one is worried about one’s destination after death, then one is not pure in consciousness, not yet fully surrendered to Krishna, we don’ t trust Krishna to be our well-wisher, and therefore, one is not yet a candidate for Goloka Vrindavan.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

N S, 27th July 2011

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank U so much Prabhuji for this crystal clear explaination. After reading your answer for my question, I am realising couple of more doubts in my Mind and I would be grateful If u can try to clarify those.

1} I am a beginner in Krishna Consciousness, less than a year, but my age is 30+ years. At this age how to develop true and Sincere bhakti as my mind is always cluttered and lacks focus in sprituality and distracted with other concoctions.

2} If I get married to an outsider and not a devotee, would my Bhakti will deteriorate and get spoiled.

3} How to develop humbleness, humility, being kind and completely in devotion and other positives, when I have to face the outside world on a daily basis which is Chaotic and ruthless, so will I not get crushed if i have to be meek and practice resilience.

4} Sprituality is good to read and to understand its essence, but difficult to practice. What’s the importance of sprituality in the 21st Century, when the whole world is changing rapidly in technology and globalization and so many changes taking place Day In Day Out, dont U think, we can be laidback if we are not moving with the times.

5} How to behave in office since I dont want to reveal that I’m a devotee in Iskcon, as I feel these material people will not understand me and can make fun of me….. if I have to tell the truth….

Kindly answer these questions which is really bothering me and it could help me to come out of my set of problems I’m facing currently.

Hare Krishna,

Yours Servant

N S.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th July 2011

Dear N Prabhu, again very nice questions that show your sincerity and willingness to go the extra mile in your Krishna consciousness practice.

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva & Srila Prabhupada.

Here are some answers – others may wish to add more to these questions and/or answers.

Q1} I am a beginner in Krishna Consciousness, less than a year, but my age is 35 years. At this age how to develop true and Sincere bhakti as my mind is always cluttered and lacks focus in sprituality and distracted with other concoctions.

A: We are all beginners, especially anyone who has even a tinge of material contamination. Otherwise what are we doing here in this material world? Age is no limitation to development of pure Bhakti. Does not matter if one is 13 or 95, male, female, rich, poor. Pure Bhakti is not dependent on any material condition. Pure Bhakti is “Apratihata” – which means that which cannot be checked. Please simply try your best to follow Srila Gurudeva’s instructions to chant as early as possible in the morning, your full 16 rounds, hearing the sound of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and every day read Srila Prabhupada’s books, associate with devotees, serve them as much as possible, and kindly take heart that the spiritual master’s blessing to attain pure Bhakti is already there, so eventually if we remain sincere, it will come about.

Q2} If I get married to an outsider and not a devotee, would my Bhakti will deteriorate and get spoiled.

A: The purpose of marriage is to increase one’s service to Krishna and the devotees. Your duty after marriage, as a husband, would be to deliver your wife from the cycle of birth and death, and then any children also, to deliver them from material world. Indeed if one can serve more as a Grihastha than as a Brahmachari, then marriage is a great move forward. Please try to find a person who is either a devotee of a devotee of Sri Krishna, or at least a person who is inclined to spiritual life… such a person is in the mode of goodness, and is not overly materially attached. To any prospective candidate, openly state your goal to be a sincere and dedicated devotee of Sri Krishna, that your goal in marriage is to always have Krishna in the centre of your lives together. However, assure the person this doesn’t mean that you will neglect the needs of your family.

Q3} How to develop humbleness, humility, being kind and completely in devotion and other positives, when I have to face the outside world on a daily basis which is Chaotic and ruthless, so will I not get crushed If I have to be meek and practice resilience.

A: Humility does not mean stupidity. The Krishna conscious person does not let others exploit oneself, because when we let others exploit, we let them steal and pillage what belongs to Krishna. Therefore, there is no need to be a doormat to any non-devotee. However, if we are strong in our Krishna consciousness, the calm and peace radiated also in fact influences others. Humility is expressed in many ways, but chiefly, it is to always be hearing, chanting, or remembering Krishna. This is a lifelong practice. Other ways that humility manifests is the willingness to accept one’s own mistakes and work diligently to rectify them. Srila Gurudeva often says that the devotee is like a rose to the devotees but a thunderbolt to non-devotees. So, in outside world, be kind, be courteous, be professional, but don’t accept any nonsense, still one can learn the art of being tactful and smart by being observant and doing always what will please Krishna. Outside chaos cannot affect us if we are in Krishna consciousness… for example, this morning, I went into my work email before having chanted my rounds and was briefly disturbed, until I remembered that I was unnecessarily anxious, that my first and foremost duty was to chant, and then everything was OK.

Q4} Sprituality is good to read and to understand its essence, but difficult to practice. What’s the importance of sprituality in the 21st Century, when the whole world is changing rapidly in technology and globalization and so many changes taking place Day In Day Out, dont U think, we can be laidback if we are not moving with the times.

A: Spirituality was relevant in 5000 BC, 5th century, 15th century, is relevant in 21st century and will be relevant in 29th century or 2901st century. We are spiritual beings, not material creatures. A senior devotee from Mumbai, His Grace Rohini Priya Prabhu, in a presentation, had made a point “We are spiritual beings having a human experience, not human beings having a spiritual experience.”.

We are not rejecting change – we are embracing it, by using every change in the service of Krishna.  We are not rejecting technology, for every technology we are engaged in finding a use in service of Krishna. This is the point. Everything in the service of Krishna! We are even using others’ material attachments in the service of Krishna! Globalization is helping us take Krishna’s voice everywhere. Just see, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness started in New York – Srila Prabhupada defined what is true globalization!

We are indeed moving with the times. Just see, the Goswamis researched all the scriptures and published their works by hand-scribing them. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada read them and translated them into English, publishing paper books. And what is our spiritual master doing? He is travelling around the world on Jet planes, high speed highways in cars, he is using boats, ships, anything that will get him someplace quicker and cheaper. He is using the same Internet, which is spreading so much nonsense, hate, pornography, politics, material distraction of every kind, he is taking this nonsense Internet, and engaging it in Krishna’s service. Same thing you are doing now. This is perfection of use of technology. We are not left behind, we are ahead in the game, because we don’t need any of this stuff, we can be Krishna conscious without it, that is the magic. When Srila Gurudeva’s computer breaks down, he simply gets it fixed, chants Hare Krishna, and reads extra in that time, and in a very calm way, resumes his service. Ordinary materialistic person will go crazy in that time. Recently when there was airline strike, he gave some extra class in London! That is devotee mentality, to use every circumstance in service of Krishna.

Spirituality in fact is not difficult to practice in any time, place, and circumstance. It is more difficult, as per a lecture by Srila Gurudeva, to maintain one’s material attachments and remain in material consciousness! See how hard we have to work to maintain our forgetfulness of Krishna! We need to let ourselves get entangled in all kinds of nonsense by not following the reglative principles, we need to get swept away by other’s material consciousness by not chanting our rounds properly, we need to make ourselves stupid by not remembering and applying practical instructions of the spiritual master’s instructions in daily life. Kali Yuga is terrible, agreed, but one who is in spiritual consciousness cannot be affected by Kali Yuga, by being always in the shelter of the spiritual master who is much much stronger than oneself.

Q5} How to behave in office since I don’t want to reveal that I’m a devotee in Iskcon, as I feel these material people will not understand me and can make fun of me….. if I have to tell the truth….

A: Why should you be afraid? Are you afraid of speaking your father’s name to your friends? Yes, some fools may ridicule your father, but does that make your father any less than he is? Similarly, why are you afraid of declaring that you are the son of the Supreme Father? The fools who may ridicule are also sons of the same Supreme Father. They may not know, or they may not accept, does that change anything? Don’t worry about dogs barking, they will bark at anyone, be the elephant who walks calmly and doesn’t care about barking dogs.

Anyway, we have to be intelligent. If the persons around you see that you always have it together, you never “lose it”, they will have respect for you. If you always have everything done before it is needed, if you don’t waste your time in idle gossip, if you are a leader, then they will look up to you. Then you can attract them to Krishna.

If you find ways to help them, if you give them Krishna Prasadam without necessarily telling them what it is, just as a food or a snack, over time, their natures will undergo a transformations. In my office, many colleagues have asked me questions about my Tilak (which is fainter than usual, but still many noticed), some had conversations, some received Srila Prabhupada’s books, many have come to Ratha Yatra and purchased books by Srila Prabhupada on their own, many take great pains to accommodate me… but still one cannot expect too much from materialistic people, and neither can one disclose one’s heart. Ultimately jobs are to earn money so Krishna conscious projects can be supported, that’s all.

For every practice, we have good reasons, nothing we do is based on any kind of dogma. So nothing to fear or hide. However, no reason to tell everyone about everything. Tell how much someone can accept. Just by being around you, a devotee, their life can be transformed. But do it intelligently. I am where I am because of many devotees’ repeated efforts, but they were all smart, not in a rush, they worked together for Krishna to transform my life, even without knowing one another!

In this connection there is a story. Srila Gurudeva a long time ago worked as a telephone salesperson. Every day he used to not wear Tilak to work. One day he did. That day he broke all the sales quotas… so his manager told him, whatever it is you are wearing on your forehead, wear it everyday. So Srila Gurudeva then wore a Tilak to work every day. Not all situations are like that, but if you are determined, Krishna will find a way to help you practice your devotional service to Him.

Hope this helps! Please keep asking questions to senior and advanced devotees wherever you are, especially those who are in similar circumstances, you will begin to see how best to arrange your life for perfection in spiritual life.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

NIKHIL, 28th July 2011

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thanks a lot, for the answers you gave for the situations and dilemmas we faces in our day to day life. I have a doubt, which is actually not mine. It was asked by someone to me but I didn’t able to answer that. Its regarding to the Ans 2.

“Your duty after marriage, as a husband, would be to deliver your wife from the cycle of birth and death, and then any children also, to deliver them from material world.”

 That person asked me rather questioned me that if marriage is meant for imparting or make the spouse or children Krishna Conscious then why Srila Prabhupada’s wife and children aren’t able to become Krishna Conscious ?And why Prabhupada had to leave His house because of insouciant behavior of His wife? I  didnt able to answer that question at that time and felt belittle.

 I am sorry I dont want to offend anybody. I ask this question coz I think that this is the right platform to ask this question rather to ask directly and feel offended.

Yours truly

N.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th July 2011

Dear Nikhil Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva & Sri Gauranga.

All glores, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Your question is asked in the proper mood, so it is not offensive. Everyone seek to should understand things as they are, also accepting that sometimes, some things are beyond our understanding, just like advanced calculus is out of reach of an average kindergarten student. But this question does not fall into that category:

Question:

>That person asked me rather questioned me that if marriage is meant for imparting or make the spouse or children Krishna Conscious then why Srila >Prabhupada’s wife and children aren’t able to become Krishna Conscious ?And why Prabhupada had to leave His house because of >insouciant behavior of His wife? I  didnt able to answer that question at that time and felt belittle.

  >I am sorry I dont want to offend anybody. I ask this question coz I think that this is the right platform to ask this question rather to ask directly and >feel offended.

Answer:

Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna. He tried all his life to make his family members Krishna conscious. But they staunchly refused. Even so, he did his duty by taking care of their material and spiritual needs till he was of advanced age. Only when the time was to take to Vanaprastha Ashrama, he distanced himself from his family to increase his preaching. Most of us are actually not in that situation. We want to be attached, we want to use our families for our personal sense gratification, especially in the bodily sense, a man wants his wife to give him sense gratification, and a woman wants the same thing also from the man. On that level, a person is not very different from animals, but Srila Prabhupada did not do like this. He did not indulge in sense gratification.

In different ways, in different languages there are phrases like “You can take a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink”. In other words, devotional service cannot be forced. Devotees can urge and urge, but every individual makes a personal choice whether to follow the devotees’ advice or not. Even Krishna does not force! Because love cannot be forced, that love which is forced is a very cheap enjoyment, and Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer. He relishes the flavor of love freely given. Krishna is the Supreme Connoisseur!

I asked this very same question to my spiritual master, His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari… in other words, but his answer is etched in my heart, it was a major, major, turning point in my spiritual life. Before that I was simply asking questions argumentatively to avoid surrendering to Krishna’s representative. This email completely changed my attitude.

From email to me, dated 26th January 2006:

“I am very pleased with your inquisitive spirit.  Kindly continue to inquire until your intelligence is fully satisfied.

It’s a fact that Srila Prabhupada’s family members did not all come out as first class devotees.  This is no discredit upon His Divine Grace.  In his case it was a special arrangement of the Lord so that he could take sannyasa for the deliverance of the entire world.

If any devotee does everything within his power to make his children or students Krishna consciousness, and they still do not take to it, there is no discredit upon him.

It is rather a discredit upon the children or students.

So now, I am requesting you not to be a discredit.  We are sincerely doing everything we can to deliver you from the cycle of birth and death.  Now you kindly take advantage of our mercy and fully take this pathway of Krishna bhakti.”

So, since that day, it has been my sincere attempt to not be a discredit. It is a fact that no disciple can actually be a credit in reality, because all of the disciples qualifications come solely from the mercy of the spiritual master, and the only credit to the disciple is that the mercy was accepted by the disciple.

The most striking part of this email, that touched me deep in the heart, was:

“So now, I am requesting you not to be a discredit.  We are sincerely doing everything we can to deliver you from the cycle of birth and death.  Now you kindly take advantage of our mercy and fully take this pathway of Krishna bhakti.”

So now, Prabhu, my question to anyone reading this is: Are you going to try your best not to be a discredit to the spiritual master and the association of devotees? You don’t have to give anyone an external answer – just answer this question sincerely within your heart and your answer will tell you where you are in devotional life.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Divya, 28th July 2011

Hare Krsna Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu.

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you so much for sparing your valuable time and energy to give such elaborate replies to questions asked by all kinds of devotees. Thank you for the great service.

Regards,

Divya

NIKHIL, 29th July 2011

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

A Humble thanks for an affectionate reply. I am very much in debt for wasting your precious time for writing an elaborate and mind opening reply.

Yours truly

Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 29th July 2011

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva & Srila Prabhupada.

Nikhil Prabhu, thank you for receiving the answers in that mood of humility.

Divya Mataji, thank you for your kindness and appreciation.

Asking or answering questions to help each other practice Krishna conscious life better is never a waste of time! Srila Gurudeva does it practically about 12 hours per day. As his students, it is our duty to assist the spiritual master. By asking questions you are giving everyone an opportunity to serve you and the spiritual master, so I am very grateful to you.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Prem, 29th July 2011

Hare Krishna Prabhu

All glories to Swami Prabhupada

Please accept my humble obeisances

Love is so unconditional you prabhu are setting a great example.

Hari bol

Ys servant

Prem

N S, 2nd August 2011

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Prabhuji,

I am not able to balance my Spritual and Professional Life. Because of my Office Tensions or material Obstacles is always posing a big hindrance to my Spritual Life. Also can u help me how to increase my financial stability as its in a very bad shape. As Iam already 35 and not yet married, not with a steady job or being happy in my current job and no properties of my own, and also health issues are there like I have a back ache for more than 15 years and many more things i am going through on a daily basis. So with all this odds and challenges against me, how can I concentrate on Krishna Consciousness.

 I am also lacking in confidence as I dont look good at all in appearance. So how to face thie material people who dont give any respect and dont even consider me amongst them….

So all these issues and concerns and many more are bothering to me and giving me Sleep less nights. How to be happy and be in a good conscious mind to practice Krishna activities.

I feel like giving up on my life, there’s no motivation to sustain this life and feeling really lonely and bored and frustrated to go on with this life….. Please help me with your Wisdom….. I badly need ur help…..

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 2nd August 2011

Dear N Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva & Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhu, actually you need to rejoice! Krishna has given you the perfect set of circumstances to engage fully in spiritual life! You are better motivated than anyone else for spiritual life!

Don’t you see? Well, let’s start with your name… just see how caring and saintly your parents are, that they named you after Sri Na! Just by saying your own name you are remembering the Lord, and by others saying your name, you are actually engaging in Sankirtan, by inducing others to chant the Lord’s Holy Names! Wow!

Next, no financial stability? Well, don’t you have a job? It is better than having no job, right? Krishna may not have given you too much money, because He is keeping you close to Himself… just like a small child is dear to the parents, and not given very much money by the parents. Surely you have enough to eat, and even though you don’t have your “own” house, you still have a shelter over your head right? How many people on this planet don’t even have food or shelter!?

Not married? Perfect! You are unattached then! We are in need of many many men who can dedicate their lives to serving Krishna, who are not afraid of hard work and who don’t have to care for a family. All your desires for love and affection will be fulfilled by Krishna’s devotees. On this group there are hundreds of friends and everyone of them is your well-wisher. Krishna has given you this opportunity to serve the devotees, why are you wasting it?

Not good looking? Perfect, so you are not at all attached to this body then. The good-looking people are attached to their looks, and are very likely to fall into all sorts of material traps, like finding other good-looking people to be with always… you are not this body! Don’t fall into this skin disease!

Back pain? More than 50% of the world’s human population has back pain of some kind. That is every other person.

So, N S Prabhu, question is, are you chanting Hare Krishna and following the regulative principles? Have you read Bhagavad Gita As It Is end to end thoroughly? Are you performing any practical services in your local ISKCON temple?

Yes, surely, you can throw away all the kind gifts Krishna has bestowed upon you, artificially destroy your body, end up as a ghost for a long long time without any way to perform any actual devotional service, resorting to occupying the bodies of the drunken and angry fools… a most pitiable and horrible existence.

Instead, you have a choice. Follow Krishna’s instructions thoroughly now and you will never have even a single moment for such foolish thoughts. So wake up now, and begin your spiritual life Prabhu!

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Rahul Mangla, 03rd August 2011

Hari Bol N Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva & Srila Prabhupada.

I wish you all the best in your spiritual life. Please follow the golden advice given by Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu and surrender to Krishna.

Hare Krishna,

Rahul

N S, 3rd August 2011

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva & Srila Prabhupada.

Thank U very much from the core of my heart for enlightening me.

Prabhuji, I just want to ask U that if I dont want to get married at 30+ due to various reasons as I told U in my last email, can I still be outside temple and work or do I need to be a Fulltime brahmachari inside the temple. I dont think I will fit into that role of staying inside the temple and practicing fulltime. As I dont have the required patience and controlling of the senses and many other austrities that I have to follow. I am always restless…

My second question to u is I am always thinking about my future and keep worrying about the unknown and always feel insecured physically and financially. How to come out of this problem.

Why there are so many rules and regulations that needs to be followed in Krishna Consciousness… for example:- 1} Can’t eat or drink anything before taking bath.

2} Can’t get inside the Kitchen or touch anything if we have passed stool…

3} Also want to know if we can read any other books or newspapwers or magazines which can really inspire or motivate or any article for self development and enriching our health. Watching some good selective movies whether a English or Hindi or a regional movie…..becos without all this, life willl surely be boring and morose….dont u think so prabhuji….

Becos Krishna Consciousness is so vast and huge that by the time we read all these boooks and chant and be inside the temple like a devoteee and follow everything that we need to, the entire life-span will passs…..then when we will be happy or live our personal life…..I understand there shud be some bhakti or God in our lives, but living life completely in God, it’s really a herculean task for an ordinary man like me…. Please help me with the above questions prabhuji…

Hare Krishna

Yours Humble Servant

N S.

My 3rd question is

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03rd August 2011

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for accepting the answers.

Why are you worried? Krishna is taking care of the elephant in the forest by giving him 400 kgs of food every day, and the ant in the corner by giving him 0.1 gm of food every day, He is supplying the fish with air to breathe through the water the fish lives in. He is allowing the birds to fly freely in the sky without any radar or flight controllers or maps. He is making the sun rise on time, and set on time. He has given us this body. He has given us intelligence and advanced consciousness. He is doing everything perfectly to maintain us. Why should we be worried? We are worried because inside the heart we don’t know that He is our best friend.

If Krishna wants to kill me, no one can stop it. And if Krishna wants to protect me, then no one can harm me, however stronger than me they may be. So, in all circumstances, I accept whatever Krishna has in store for me. In this way I am not anxious most of the time. Of course, being materially contaminated, I am also in anxiety sometimes, but if I continue to follow my Guru’s instructions, even this little bit of anxiety will leave me alone. Of I strive not to rid myself of the anxiety to serve the Guru and the devotees properly, that is required, that anxiety is very sweet, but no anxiety for my personal gain should remain.

It is not necessary to live in the temple as a Brahmachari. However, it is of utmost importance to maintain the standard of cleanliness, both external and internal whether one lives in the temple or not. This means that for all practical purposes, a Grihastha is also a Brahmachari. Of course, you are not married, therefore, wherever you are, you must strive to be in Brahmachari consciousness. You can meet a Brahmachari in your local temple to find out what that means. Without being externally and internally clean, one is no better than animals in human form.

Sense control done artificially without building attraction to Krishna is sure to fail sooner or later. Instead of solely focusing on the “don’ts” we should strongly focus on the “do’s” in Krishna consciousness.

First things first, are you chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra on your beads early in the morning and for a minimum of 16 rounds? If not 16, then what is your daily minimum? Are you consuming only Krishna Prasadam? If not only Krishna Prasadam, then are you taking at least some Krishna Prasadam every day? Are you reading Srila Prabhupada’s books for a certain amount of time every day?

What is your daily, weekly, monthly practical service to the devotees?

The rules are regulations of spiritual life are actually freeing us, they are not restricting us, but giving us freedom. Let us take for example the person who is very much attached to sleeping till late in the day. Such a person will always be short of time in the day and going to bed late every night, still not being able to complete everything properly. Then this person will likely have trouble chanting with devotion and concentration and love. This person will have no time to read Prabhupada’s books, and no time to render any practical service to the devotees. So such a person is always complaining for everything “no time, no time, no time”, whereas, the best hours of the morning every day, this person has wasted in dreamland.

On the other hand, a person who wakes up early can chant one’s rounds undisturbed, and is always ahead of the game, everything gets done, and after chanting, reading, performing one’s services, such a person can peacefully go to bed early every night, and sleep soundly also, perfectly on time to wake up early next morning. This person’s sleep is regulated, therefore, they are free from the problems of “no time, no time, no time”.

Similarly, eating only Krishna Prasadam may seem like a restriction, BUT, did you know how much karma one is accumulating with each bite of food that is not Krishna Prasadam? Do you know that when we eat grains cooked by a person not in Krishna consciousness, we are taking on so much material consciousness? No wonder then, that when a person eats outside food, they are troubled with all sorts of fears, all sorts of hankerings, all sorts of bad thoughts all the time! The so-called restriction is actually freeing the regulated person from SO much misery!

There may be books like technical, professional literature etc., that one is expected to know because of one’s profession or job. Other than this, there is factually no need to read anything outside of spiritual literature. The world’s best self-help books are no match to the Bhagavad Gita As It Is. What can a materially entrapped fool teach you about how to become less anxious? That person is gripped with material anxiety himself! Remember that a drowning man cannot save anyone else. So take shelter of the person who is not drowning, the bona fide spiritual master.

Mundane movies are more or less a waste of time. After watching a mundane movie, everyone is practically drowning more in material misery than before. So learn more about Krishna Katha… those movies which play in the heart based on Krishna Katha are far more relishable and they uplift us. That is possible by devotee association. Do you have regular devotee association?

You are thinking that there is actually some pleasure in the life outside of spiritual life. So you have tried now for 35 years to get this pleasure. Where is this pleasure? You will keep trying till you are 50, 60, 70, and all this time you will feel frustrated like so many other persons who are in old bodies. Please understand that sense gratification is like chewing the chewed, you have chewed this again and again and again for millions, billions, trillions of years, still trying to squeeze some happiness. And for some moments, there is something, but it is just enough to make you work like a donkey for a little bit more pleasure. You know, like a drug addict. A drug addict will do ANYTHING to get another drug fix, the drug addict will even sell one’s own body to get the next drug fix. Material sense pleasure is like a powerful drug, and we are selling ourselves to get the next fix.

Where are you based? Tell me. We will try to introduce you to some persons who are geographically close to you, who can assist you with these problems. But you have to know that if you go to a doctor, the doctor will give you advice, but you will not be cured if you don’t follow the advice.

So, my honest request is that don’t think about whole life, you will be overwhelmed. Just think right now, next 1 hour, max next 1 day. What are you going to do to positively engage the gifts that Krishna has given you to you? Then on the next day, think again for that day what you are going to do. It is your choice, you can make or break your own life.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

P.S: It is advisable not to disclose too many more intimate personal details about yourself on this group.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 04th August 2011

I just came across this little note by Srila Gurudeva, written in 2005…

“Seek Opportunity, Not Security”

Prabhupada advised one gentleman who was coming to him for advice, and he said: “Do not seek security, seek opportunity!”

So our tendency in this world is we want to make a nice comfortable nest for ourselves in this material existence, some secure position here, but there is no such thing as security. You may think you have security here but there is absolutely NO security in this material existence!

So therefore instead of seeking security, we should seek the opportunity how to completely conquer the impurities in our heart, become a pure devotee and spread this as far as possible to everyone that we possibly can.

Prabhupada was very much pushing us to make a revolution, again and again, pushing us to make a revolution on this planet. He gave the definition one time of the word ‘dig-vijaya’, conquering pandita. Of course in Caitanya lila, we know there was Keshava Kashmir, the dig-vijaya pandita who was conquering all the panditas all over India.

So Prabhupada told us that we should make dig-vijaya. He then described what is this dig-vijaya . You go village to village, town to town and make dig-vijaya, that, “There IS God!” and, “I can prove that there is God!” and “Who are you who are saying there is no God? Come on!” That is dig-vijaya.

So Prabhupada wanted us to go head to head with these atheistic rascals and to establish the existence of God. So he encouraged us like that, to become dig-vijaya pandita. We can go anywhere and everywhere and establish Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission.

Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari

SB 11.11.5 class, Boston, MA, 6/9/2005

rAma Sita, 04th August 2011

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga

Hare Krsna

Lord says in the Bhagavadgita, ananyAschinta yantOmA…

That verse mentions that our yOgakshEma are taken care if we surrender to him. Karmas are heavy at times, but the fact that we bear them, we have misused our freewill in the past. Now we have an opportunity to understand how not to misuse.

Suicide is one of the ghastly sins and the repurcussions are worse. As Lord mentions, one who does Atmahatya is cast into darker hells for misusing the freewill and thinking that we are the body. We are not the body, we are eternal. Pardon me here, cuz saying this is very easy for me, but truly realizing and living like that is just not easy.

Contemplate on these and I will not delve into your personal questions.

regards

rAma

Experiencing Difficulty

Sunil, Jul 5 2011

Please accept my respectful obeisances

Is it true,that when one is experiencing difficulties then the intensity of devotion in chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is enhanced?

Regards,

Sunil

Rahul Mangla, Jul 5 2011

Hare Krishna,

I also feel the same but if that is the case, it means that person is chanting for sense gratification. We should however feel eternal spiritual satisfaction while chanting.

Hare Krishna,

Rahul

Jagannatha dasa, Jul 5 2011

Hare Krishna prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

This is a really nice question.  Thank you for posting it.

Difficulty is material. This is explained in Bhagavad-Gita (8.15) by Lord Sri Krishna.  He uses the phrase duhkhalayam asasvatam.  The material world is both miserable and temporary.  Whereas His own abode is free from misery.

Matter can’t give rise to spirit.  Spirit is eternal.  So it’s true that misery alone can’t make us more advanced in spiritual life, otherwise everyone who is intensely suffering would be more and more

Krishna conscious; however, that being said, misery can be used as a springboard to surrender, if we take it as the mercy of the Lord. This mood is perfectly shown by Srimati Kunti Maharani.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.24 and 25.

viṣān mahāgneḥ puruṣāda-darśanād

asat-sabhāyā vana-vāsa-kṛcchrataḥ

mṛdhe mṛdhe ‘neka-mahārathāstrato

drauṇy-astrataś cāsma hare ‘bhirakṣitāḥ

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat

tatra tatra jagad-guro

bhavato darśanaḿ yat syād

apunar bhava-darśanam

My dear Krishna, Your Lordship has protected us from a poisoned cake, from a great fire, from cannibals, from the vicious assembly, from sufferings during our exile in the forest and from the battle where great generals fought. And now You have saved us from the weapon of Asvatthama.  I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.

So the question may be raised, why do some persons take direct shelter of the Lord in times of miseries, whereas others do not?

The first paragraph of Srila Prabhupada’s purport to text 25 begins by dealing with this doubt.  It says:

“Generally the distressed, the needy, the intelligent and the inquisitive, who have performed some pious activities, worship or begin to worship the Lord. Others, who are thriving on misdeeds only,

regardless of status, cannot approach the Supreme due to being misled by the illusory energy. Therefore, for a pious person, if there is some calamity there is no other alternative than to take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord.”

I hope this is helpful.

Your servant,

-Jagannatha dasa

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Jul 5 2011

Hare Krishna Sunil Prabhu,

Yes, that is seen in the essence of Queen Kunti’s prayers… “vipadah santu” – “let there be calamities”,

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat

tatra tatra jagad-guro

bhavato darśanaḿ yat syād

apunar bhava-darśanam

“I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.” SB 1.8.25.

http://vedabase.net/sb/1/8/25/en

Sometimes, Krishna may “turn up the heat”, just to increase the devotee’s feelings of dependence upon Him, in this case, the difficulty provides impetus to getting closer and closer to Krishna.

From the Bhagavad Gita, it is understood that Krishna personally sanctions everything that happens in a devotee’s life, and everything is simply meant to completely purify the devote of all traces of material contamination.

teṣām evānukampārtham

aham ajñāna-jaḿ tamaḥ

nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho

jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā

“To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.” BG 10.11

http://vedabase.net/bg/10/11/en

Please read the purport to these two verses very carefully, it has many deep significant statements by Srila Prabhupada.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Manian VB, Jul 5 2011

Hare Krishna,

An enlightening and helpful explanation given.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada, and other great saints.