How to go deep into meditation

How to go deep into meditation? How to overcome the tyranny of the mind? What can we do to improve the quality of our meditation?

Kaspars, 30 January 2016

Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Gurudeva and Gurumata! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

How to go deep in meditation? Our Gurudev Sankarshan Maharaj mentions that tamasic / rajasic mood will not help. Ok. Then what helps to deepen the meditative moods of bhakti to Krishna in devotion. Please, dear devotees, kindly give some glimpse about your practice of meditational state of mind and how you get that and how you keep being like that.

Thank you.

Kaspars

Seba, 30 January 2016

Sir, 

I am chanting the Hare Krishna mantra daily on the beads still I feel difficulty in deep meditation, my thoughts are in tandem to my repetition to the mantra. 

Kindly help

Thanks

Seba

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 30 January 2016

Hare Krishna Bhakta Kaspars,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your questions.

Just for comparison, my current condition is like that of a surfer, who is struggling to balance on the surfboard. I am constantly battling with the turbulent waves of thoughts in my mind, which try to push me off the board and I have to again and again try to get back on my board and try to listen to the names. This happens almost everyday. And just like the surfer has to check the time of high tides and low tides during a day before venturing into the sea, to deepen our meditation – the time of the day plays a significant role. And Srila Gurudeva gave the key to dive into that deep meditation. 

The following is an excerpt from Srila Gurudeva’s book ‘Truth Works'(Questions and Answers for reviving your divine existence, Vol.1 (page 137) 

“The key to focused japa chanting is to rise early in the morning and finish one’s daily quota of japa chanting before sunrise. This time of the day is known as brahma-muhurta. It is a very spiritual time of the day when it is very easy to keep one’s mind fixed on the holy names. At this time of the day the mode of goodness predominates. This is why it is so easy to chant during this time period. Once the sun comes up, the atmosphere shifts into the mode of passion, a time for activity and productivity; then it becomes very difficult to sit and peacefully meditate on the holy names. If for some reason you cannot complete your japa before sunrise then you must finish it before you take your morning meal. If you make this serious commitment and stick to it every day, you will be able to train your mind to stay absorbed nicely during your japa chanting. It is simply a matter of training and practise.” 

Almost everyone of us here must have experienced the difference in meditating on japa at different times of the day- early morning, noon or evening or night time. And as recommended by the acaryas and with experience we can see that early morning hours, before the sunrise is the best time to practise and help deepen our meditation on mantra. It is also recommended to try to focus the mind on hearing the syllables of Hare Krishna mantra by pronouncing each word of the mantra clearly.

Time is just one of the factors. If we go further then there are ten offenses one must avoid which will further help to deepen our meditation and so on. I am sure some wonderful realizations of the devotees in the group will follow up this post for the benefit of everyone.

Sincerely,

Shyamapriya devi dasi

Guru Vandana devi Dasi, 30 January 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Gurudeva’s Thought for the day Jan 28, 2016  is very inspiring:

“As within, so without.In other words, whatever consciousness you cultivate within your heart is the atmosphere that you will create or manifest in the world that surrounds you. So now decide what kind of atmosphere you would like to live in and seriously cultivate that atmosphere within your heart. In other words, if you want to live in a peaceful, God conscious or Krishna conscious environment, you must always hear about, speak about and think about Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The magic of this is that by doing so you will exert an uplifting influence on your surroundings.”

“Whatever consciousness you cultivate within your heart is the atmosphere that you will create” My practical experience for chanting 2 hours of 16 rounds is to prepare our consciousness for 22 hours for it.   When we think of nonsense for 22 hours ,   there is no focus on the Holy name during those 2 hours.

Rajasic and Tamasic moods will not help because the mind is not peaceful.

Some of these prayers help and keep praying always..

” O Krishna, please help me connect with You in my chanting. O compassionate Krishna please help me to realize that Your Holy name is non different from you. Inspire me to listen to Your Holy name as carefully as I listen to a message from a loved one”

Speak to our mind

” My dear mind please call Krishna, then don’t ignore Him. My dear mind please don’t ignore the presence of the Lord while chanting please, please, please”. 

In nectar of Instruction Verse 8, Srila Prabhupada writes about stages of perfection,

“In the neophyte stage one should always engage in hearing krsna-katha. This is called sranava-dasa, the stage of hearing. By constantly hearing the transcendental holy name of Krsna and hearing of His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, one can attain to the stage of acceptance called varana-dasa. When one attains this stage, he becomes attached to the hearing of krsna-katha. When one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of smaranavastha, the stage of remembering. Recollection, absorption, meditation, constant remembrance and trance are the five items of progressive krishna-smarana. At first, remembrance of Krishna may be interrupted at intervals, but later remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is uninterrupted, it becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When meditation expands and becomes constant, it is called anusmrti. By uninterrupted and unceasing anusmrti one enters the stage of samadhi, or spiritual trance. After smarana-dasa or samadhi has fully developed, the soul comes to understand his original constitutional position. At that time he can perfectly and clearly understand his eternal relationship with Krishna. That is called sampatti-dasa, the perfection of life.”

Thank you for this wonderful question, this makes me remember to take up Krishna consciousness seriously.

your servant

Guru Vandana devi dasi

Alakananda Devi Dasi, 31 January 2016

Hare Krishna devotees,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumataji

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Thank you all for your wonderful insights on how to perfect the chanting of the mantra on japa beads. The information given inspires me to become a better devotee of guru and Lord Krishna.

yours humbly,

Alakananda Devi Dasi

Mahabhagavat Das, 02 February 2016

Dear Bhakta Bushanlal Raina,

Hare Krishna!

Your choice is whether to pay attention to your thoughts or to your chanting. If you pay no attention to the thoughts, the mind will automatically come and listen to the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, of course, it will try to distract you with thoughts, but again, your choice to pay attention makes the difference. Try it out.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Mahabhagavat Das, 02 February 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

This desire you have is a very wonderful desire, and if you repeatedly beg Krishna, He will fulfill your desire.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Haresh Bakshi, 03 February 2016

Hare Krishna bhakta-s, 

Based on my own experience, I can say that chanting is as easy as it is effective. In this age, it is the easiest path to realization.

Thanks and namaste

Haresh Bakshi

Shridhar Prabhu, 17 February 2016

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva !

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Gurudeva!

Meditation means absorption (in Lord or His Absolute aspects). Absorption comes from intense desire (tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam). Intense desire shall arise when we are convinced of the ultimate goal of life single pointedly, without doubt. 

Therefore we must first strengthen our faith in the ultimate goal of life being devotional service to Krishna,

that there is nothing in this whole material world that is worth comparing to devotional service of the Lord. That devotional service 

is unlike any mundane service which instead of demanding a pay (salary), rather deserves a pay to be allowed to be performed. 

Once our faith gets more and more narrowed and firm in this process then we’ll also realize that material nature will keep tossing us into ignorance and passion helplessly, which we cannot fight on our own strength. Due to our anarthas always appearing at any and every time, distancing us away from Lord(through service, His devotees, His pastimes, His qualities, His form, Holy Names, etc..), we feel separation. The longing/hankering of the soul to relish that devotional engagement multiplies, and results into meditation. 

Therefore faith needs to be strengthened, which happens by sincerely striving for practicing a regulated life in the association of devotees and under the guidance of seniors. Association of devotees is explained in Nectar of Instruction, text 4. Hearing from seniors is very important.

The importance of following a regulative life as instructed by the spiritual master has been emphasized in the Preface to Nectar of Instruction. My favorite paragraph from Preface is:

“In all spiritual affairs, one’s first duty is to control his mind and senses. Unless one controls his mind and senses, one cannot make any advancement in spiritual life. Everyone within this material world is engrossed in the modes of passion and ignorance. One must promote himself to the platform of goodness, sattva-guṇa, by following the instructions of Rūpa Gosvāmī, and then everything concerning how to make further progress will be revealed.”

Therefore, while encountering the unavoidable limitless ignorance and passion in the path of devotional service, we may often face despondency and despair. But somehow or the other ignoring these symptoms we must, dutifully and faithfully, if not meditatively, execute devotional service aiming for improvement. Then meditation shall come. 

Also, of the 9 processes of devotional service, visno-smaranam or remembrance of the Lord is 3rd and comes after sravanam and kirtanam, indicating, the automatic result of proper hearing and chanting/preaching is – smaranam (or meditation).

your servant

Shridhar Das

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Human Animal Farm

George Orwell’s Animal Farm describes a horrifying story of how “equals” exploit other equals… There are so many different social systems being tried out, communism, capitalism, socialism, and so on, but practically all of them are animalistic. Is there an ideal social system?

There is a famous book by George Orwell, Animal Farm. It is a satire on communism.

In the book, the oppressed animals on a farm overthrow their human farmer and try to create a society based on egalitarian principles, but they end up in a situation much worse than before, under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon.

But have you considered any other competing “ism”, such as, say “Capitalism”?

Capitalism, where money rules the roost

Is any materialistic ideology different from any other materialistic ideology when implemented in human society?

Is the end result any different?

Let’s take the case of any “democratic” country… take for example Canada, where I live presently… Canada is high up on the list when it comes to social liberty and freedom, with its famous Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and so on… but even in Canada, let’s take, say, the Prime Minister of Canada – does anyone feel that such a person is “equal” to the rest of us living in Canada? OK, let’s leave the top powerful people aside… let’s take an ordinary police officer… there was recently a case in which a Toronto Police Officer accessed a database, gave his son the name and address of an individual who drove a car with a certain license plate, and the individual ended up dead because of that.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

And if you want to exclude that type of power from the equation, let’s take the case of the Native Canadians! The original first nations people of Canada – where are they? I have mostly seen them destitute and begging on the streets. How on earth did Canadian society engineer that injustice?

Canadian Beggar

There are extreme examples, for example communism is supposed to be a classless society in which everyone is equal, has access to common prosperity, and equal opportunity for the best possible life. What is the reality though? The children of communist leaders study in the top schools, go to the top universities, and the children of the rural citizens? They are not even allowed to get off the farm, because then, who will feed the cities cheap food? This is institutionalized with many systems, such as the Hukou system. We see leaders trying to hold on to power until their dying breath, Stalin, Lenin, and Mao are all examples of that. There are any number of present leaders who want to entrench themselves for the duration of their lives!

Communism is based on materialistic ideals

But lest you think that some other competing system like democratic capitalism is better, just look around us – some people have no access to clean drinking water, food, and opportunity in life, just by the compounded effect of generations of exploitation. Some people have what is known as “inter-generational wealth”, and others struggle to pay their rent, living in buildings owned by REITs funded by, guess who, those with inherited wealth! Of course, who ends up born in better or worse material circumstances depends on the past karma of every individual.

Homeless person in Toronto, Canada

Ultimately no materialistic or man-made system can be perfect. The only perfect system is the one that is created by the Creator of all Natural Systems, variously referred to as Allah, Jehovah, or Krishna but referring to the same one Person.

Krishna, the Perfect Creator of the Perfect Society

It is called “Varnashrama”, which is a combination of 2 words “Varna” and “Ashrama”… Varna means occupation, Ashrama means “Life Status”…

The system is organized as follows – there are 4 main Varnas, and 4 main Ashramas, which gives rise to a combination of 16 different categories of people, which are a natural order of society.

The 4 Varnas are:

  • Brahmana” – the intellectual class
  • Kshatriya” – the administrator class
  • Vaishya” – the mercantile class
  • Shudra” – the worker class

The 4 Ashramas are:

  • Brahmacharya” – the student class
  • Grhastha – the householder class
  • Vanaprastha” – the retired class
  • Sannyasa” – the renounced class

Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः ।
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ॥ १३ ॥

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ
tasya kartāram api māṁ
viddhy akartāram avyayam

According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/13/

Ah, there you go, you might say, here comes the infamous Indian caste system, which has resulted in so much suffering, so much inequity, so much bias, and so much violence and exploitation.

The present-day Indian caste system is demonic

Two words are key here, one is “guna” and the other is “karma”.

The present Indian caste system is based on birth, which is called “janma”… basing the caste system on birth is like saying that all doctors’ children will be ever forevermore doctors, or that all of the judges’ children will be anointed judges. Yes, if you are born in a technical or a medical or a business family, it is very likely you will take up the same line because the whole atmosphere is steeped with that particular mood, but you still have to go to medical school or law school or learn to operate a business!

A doctor must be properly qualified

So therefore, the caste system based on birth alone is rejected… instead, every person is analyzed according to their qualities and the work they do.

If for example, someone is born in a family of doctors cannot clear high school or medical school, they will not get the degree and will not be allowed to practice. So why then is someone born in the family of a Brahmana but has the mindset of a worker still demand the social position of a Brahmana?

A judge must be duly qualified

This degraded practice alone has completely destroyed the original social system in India, and is responsible for the destruction of the high class Vedic culture. After all, just like in the famous book by George Orwell, if you make a pig the leader of society, the position will not alter the fact that the pig is, at the root of it, still a pig!

A pig in a suit is still a pig!

The 4 orders are compared to the various parts of the body – the Brahmanas to the head, the Kshatriyas to the hands, the Vaishyas to the stomach, and the Shudras to the legs. This is not derogatory, the head alone cannot get much done, and neither can the hands, stomach, or legs on their own.

The different sections of society must work together, just like the parts of our bodies

Imagine the legs running around without a head, or the hands flailing about in one place, or the stomach starving for the want of food! Our society is presently just like that.

So, in modern day society, we see that the humans are actually divided into 4 categories, represented by animals.

श्वविड्‍वराहोष्ट्रखरै: संस्तुत: पुरुष: पशु: ।
न यत्कर्णपथोपेतो जातु नाम गदाग्रज: ॥ १९ ॥

śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ
saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ
na yat-karṇa-pathopeto
jātu nāma gadāgrajaḥ

Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the deliverer from evils.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/

Why dogs, hogs, camels, and asses? Do we have some kind of hatred for these animals? No, we respect every living entity, but we lament the lost opportunity when a living entity who has achieved a human form of life descends to lower species in life…

Dogs will be dogs

Why and how are humans like dogs?

Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality with which to accept the service of a greater master. After finishing a so-called education, the so-called educated persons move like dogs from door to door with applications for some service, and mostly they are driven away, informed of no vacancy. As dogs are negligible animals and serve the master faithfully for bits of bread, a man serves a master faithfully without sufficient rewards.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
A pig will eat anything, practically

Why hogs?

Persons who have no discrimination in the matter of foodstuff and who eat all sorts of rubbish are compared to hogs. Hogs are very much attached to eating stools. So stool is a kind of foodstuff for a particular type of animal. And even stones are eatables for a particular type of animal or bird. But the human being is not meant for eating everything and anything; he is meant to eat grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, sugar, etc. Animal food is not meant for the human being. For chewing solid food, the human being has a particular type of teeth meant for cutting fruits and vegetables. The human being is endowed with two canine teeth as a concession for persons who will eat animal food at any cost. It is known to everyone that one man’s food is another man’s poison. Human beings are expected to accept the remnants of food offered to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the Lord accepts foodstuff from the categories of leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. (Bg. 9.26). As prescribed by Vedic scriptures, no animal food is offered to the Lord. Therefore, a human being is meant to eat a particular type of food. He should not imitate the animals to derive so-called vitamin values. Therefore, a person who has no discrimination in regard to eating is compared to a hog.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
A camel eats thorns, and thinks they are tasty whereas it tastes its own blood as the thorns cut the insides of its mouth

Why camels?

The camel is a kind of animal that takes pleasure in eating thorns. A person who wants to enjoy family life or the worldly life of so-called enjoyment is compared to the camel. Materialistic life is full of thorns, and so one should live only by the prescribed method of Vedic regulations just to make the best use of a bad bargain. Life in the material world is maintained by sucking one’s own blood. The central point of attraction for material enjoyment is sex life. To enjoy sex life is to suck one’s own blood, and there is not much more to be explained in this connection. The camel also sucks its own blood while chewing thorny twigs. The thorns the camel eats cut the tongue of the camel, and so blood begins to flow within the camel’s mouth. The thorns, mixed with fresh blood, create a taste for the foolish camel, and so he enjoys the thorn-eating business with false pleasure. Similarly, the great business magnates, industrialists who work very hard to earn money by different ways and questionable means, eat the thorny results of their actions mixed with their own blood. Therefore the Bhāgavatam has situated these diseased fellows along with the camels.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
An ass carrying a heavy load, all for a little grass

And why asses?

The ass is an animal who is celebrated as the greatest fool, even amongst the animals. The ass works very hard and carries burdens of the maximum weight without making profit for itself.* The ass is generally engaged by the washerman, whose social position is not very respectable. And the special qualification of the ass is that it is very much accustomed to being kicked by the opposite sex. When the ass begs for sexual intercourse, he is kicked by the fair sex, yet he still follows the female for such sexual pleasure. A henpecked man is compared, therefore, to the ass. The general mass of people work very hard, especially in the Age of Kali. In this age the human being is actually engaged in the work of an ass, carrying heavy burdens and driving ṭhelā and rickshaws. The so-called advancement of human civilization has engaged a human being in the work of an ass. The laborers in great factories and workshops are also engaged in such burdensome work, and after working hard during the day, the poor laborer has to be again kicked by the fair sex, not only for sex enjoyment but also for so many household affairs.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/

What happens when humans who are just like hogs, dogs, camels, and asses go to the election? The dogs vote for a big dog, the hogs vote for a big hog, the camels vote for a big camel, and the asses vote for a big ass.

We end up with a civilization of dogs, hogs, camels, and asses!

And we get a leadership that is full of such dogs, hogs, camels, and asses!

And what will such leaders do in society? They will promote animalism, they might spout big ideals just like the hogs in George Orwell’s book do, but quietly or openly promote animalistic civilization.

Srila Prabhupada once called democracy as “demon crazy”! In other words, the democratic process does not get us the best leaders, only the lowest common denominator.

An ideal society without God in the Centre is not possible

Take your pick, the system created by God or the system created by animals masquerading as humans.

Krishna, the Creator of the Perfect Social Order

What is your choice?

Understanding Lord Rama

Why was He exiled for 14 years? Why did Lord Rama act the way He did? Why did He kill Vali like a hunter kills a wild animal? Why did Lord Rama send Sita to the forest?

K V Rao, 31 Mar 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to your devotional service!

Please help me to understand why did- 

Lord Rama hid behind a bush and shot arrows at Vali?

Lord Rama sent mother Sita to forest based on the comment made by a washerman?

Kaikayee asks King Dasaratha to send Lord Rama for 14 years of vanavas (exile). What is the significance of number “14”?

Haribol!

your servant,

K V Rao

Ravichanthran, 6 Apr 2015

Hare Krishna.  Dandavat Pranam.

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Sankarshan Prabhu!!

Recently I heard about Lord Rama hide behind a bush and shot arrows at Vali question during a recent discourse:-

1. First reason behind is anyone who confronts Vali and fight will have to forego half of his strength to Vali.

2. Ayodhya kingdom encompasses even Vali’s area and being an animal, as per the Shastra, can be killed if the animal does crime to others.  So he was killed by Rama, and every one know how an animal is killed during hunting.

3. By attempting to kill Sugriva (even after accepting his mistake and offering sharanagati )  and taken his wife as Vali’s wife Vali done a crime.

Significance of 14 years:-

As per the sanatana dharma if a person is not available for 14 years, he cannot claim his rights.  Probably, Kaikeyi kept this mind while telling Rama to go on exile.  The rights of a son of Maharaja, namely the kingdom.

Lord Rama send mother Sita to forest based on the comment made by a washerman?

Actually Sita herself wanted to give birth to her sons amidst serene and spiritual environment and accompaniment of Rishis and Munis in forest, which she expressed to Lord Rama personally.  Lord Rama only gave that boon to Sita.

These were from what I heard during various Ramayana discourses by me.  Anyone is welcome to add and correct my these understandings.

Ravichanthran

Mahabhagavat Das, 6 Apr 2015

Dear Sriman Rao,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Wonderful answers by Sriman Ravichanthran Ramachandran. I appreciated those answers very much. Thank you!

Re your second question below, “Lord Rama send mother Sita to forest based on the comment made by a washerman?”, this is my understanding, based on reading from the Acharyas’, hearing from the devotees, and reflecting on what I have gathered:

1. The Lord acted in an exemplary fashion acting as a leader, a ruler must be above reproach – even the hint of suspicion must not be there. This is unfortunately not understood by our modern leaders who are covered with all kinds of scandals and still cling to power.

2. The Lord did not want ordinary fools to incur the sinful reaction of blaspheming Him. For a similar reason, for example, Lord Chaitanya took Sannyasa, or the renounced order of life, to avoid increasing the offenses of the Lord.

3. Lord Ramachandra can never be separated from Sitadevi, as Their eternal pastimes continue in the spiritual Ayodhya planet, however, to give and to experience the highest pleasure of “viraha” or loving in separation, the Lord and Mother Sita enacted this pastime to experience that highest ecstasy. This is contrary to material experiences, but we know that this is the reason why Shyamasundara Krishna apparently (but really never did) left Vrindavana.

4. After Mother Sita disappeared from this planet, Lord Ramachandra observed strict celibacy, perfomed Agnihotra yajna for thirteen thousand years, while continuing to rule as the ideal monarch.

5. The Lord, through His pastimes, showed how the attraction between man and woman in a material way, produces only misery. Even though there is no misery for the Lord, still, the Lord enacted these pastimes to show us to get out of this terrible material attraction (note that serving as husband and wife in devotional service is not abominable, but still the troubles are there for all who are attached to the opposite sex).

6. It is to be noted that if the Lord desired to abandon Mother Sita due to some kind of suspicion, He could have done so in the forest, He had no need to go through so much trouble to defeat Ravana etc.

7. There was no question of Sita being in another man’s home or being unchaste – as described in the Chaitanya Charitamrita as seen in the Kurma Purana… Lord Ramachandra is an expansion of Krishna, He has no illusion, but still see how He behaves in accordance with Vedic etiquette…

CC Madhya 9.201 — Śrīmatī Sītādevī is the mother of the three worlds and the wife of Lord Rāmacandra. Among chaste women she is supreme, and she is the daughter of King Janaka.

CC Madhya 9.202 — When Rāvaṇa came to kidnap mother Sītā and she saw him, she took shelter of the fire-god, Agni. The fire-god covered the body of mother Sītā, and in this way she was protected from the hands of Rāvaṇa.

CC Madhya 9.203 — Upon hearing from the Kūrma Purāṇa how Rāvaṇa had kidnapped a false form of mother Sītā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became very satisfied.

CC Madhya 9.204 — The fire-god, Agni, took away the real Sītā and brought her to the place of Pārvatī, goddess Durgā. An illusory form of mother Sītā was then delivered to Rāvaṇa, and in this way Rāvaṇa was cheated.

CC Madhya 9.205 — After Rāvaṇa was killed by Lord Rāmacandra, Sītādevī was brought before the fire and tested.

CC Madhya 9.206 — When the illusory Sītā was brought before the fire by Lord Rāmacandra, the fire-god made the illusory form disappear and delivered the real Sītā to Lord Rāmacandra.

CC Madhya 9.207 — When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard this story, He was very pleased, and He remembered the words of Rāmadāsa Vipra.

CC Madhya 9.208 — Indeed, when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard these conclusive statements from the Kūrma Purāṇa, He felt great happiness. After asking the brāhmaṇas’ permission, He took possession of the manuscript leaves of the Kūrma Purāṇa.

CC Madhya 9.209 — Since the Kūrma Purāṇa was very old, the manuscript was also very old. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took possession of the original leaves in order to have direct evidence. The text was copied onto new leaves in order that the Purāṇa be replaced.

CC Madhya 9.210 — Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to southern Mathurā [Madurai] and delivered the original manuscript of the Kūrma Purāṇa to Rāmadāsa Vipra.

CC Madhya 9.211-212 — “When he was petitioned by mother Sītā, the fire-god, Agni, brought forth an illusory form of Sītā, and Rāvaṇa, who had ten heads, kidnapped the false Sītā. The original Sītā then went to the abode of the fire-god. When Lord Rāmacandra tested the body of Sītā, it was the false, illusory Sītā that entered the fire. At that time the fire-god brought the original Sītā from his abode and delivered her to Lord Rāmacandra.”

CC Madhya 9.213 — Rāmadāsa Vipra was very pleased to receive the original leaf manuscript of the Kūrma Purāṇa, and he immediately fell down before the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and began to cry.

CC Madhya 9.214 — After receiving the manuscript, the brāhmaṇa, being very pleased, said, “Sir, You are Lord Rāmacandra Himself and have come in the dress of a sannyāsī to give me audience.

Specifically, verses Madhya 9.211-212 are taken directly from Kurma Purana.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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Why don’t I remember my past lives? And were all the species created in a moment?

If I had a past life, then why don’t I remember it? And how were the species created?

Janis, 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna!

I would like to ask two following questions, if I may.

First – why cannot we remember our past lives? If we have lived billions of lifetimes (and even at least one as a Brahma), why cannot we remember a single detail of these lives? I have asked this question on this forum before and received answers – because the experiences of death were too traumatic and such memories would cause mental issues related to multi-identity. Yet still billions of years is a very long time and I think at least something memorable enough should have happened.

Second – how did the species of Earth originate? Did Brahma create them momentarily or did he do the evolution of single cell->multi-cell organisms->fishes->reptiles->mammals->humans?

Thank you!

your servant,

Janis

Chakravarthy, 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna.

My understanding for your first question is as follows.

We are here in the first place since we wanted to enjoy ourselves separately from the Lord and due to His kindness, he arranged us the material body on this planet. All living beings are attached materially to several things, the foremost being the immediate family, friends, and so on. If one were to remember his past life(s), it would be difficult to enjoy the current life due to the past attachments and unfulfilled desires.

If one were to remember or know prior spouses and kids as an example, it would be impractical to his current and prior relations. Where will one’s interest lie due to multiple identities? Imagine having a million(s) kids in all different species. This would not be an enjoyable situation. So, due to His kindness, he takes our memory away facilitating the false happiness we came in for. Similarly, we are able to get past the traumatic experiences in this current life by forgetting them. In this material world where reality is true only when one perceives through the five senses, should one know his past life and death and acquiring a new body after (with certainty), will he be able to enjoy in his current body? To my mind, it seems impossible as fear will dominate of the impending death. We are able to enjoy because we don’t think death is around the corner.

Hope this helped.

Respectfully,

Chakravarthy

Brajanath Das, 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva!

Regarding – Why can’t we remember the past lives?

Imagine the hardships of trying to live one life while plagued with memories of another. If we were to remember the hell we went through in our previous births, we would be suffering from a severe case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and would not be able to function properly in this present life. So the forgetfulness of our previous hellish suffering is Krishna’s kindness upon us so that we can live this life peacefully and cultivate Krishna consciousness in a happy mood in preparation for going back to home, back to Godhead.

I hope that helps.

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Dra Varni, 3 January 2018

Hare Krsna!!  Good Question

REMEMBERING OUR PAST LIVE: My first question for a person who has been born. Is why do you want to remember your past life? Secondly, how do you know that you weren’t born into your past life?  What you do know is, you were born into material reality. A question such as: What if I was not born into material reality. What would I know then about myself?  

Dra Varni

Janis, 4 January 2018

Hare Krishna!

Thank you very much for your answers! I had an approximate idea that it is Krishna’s inconceivable kindness to erase our memories, otherwise they would break our mind. But I was hoping – maybe someone knows more details about the mechanism how the memories are erased.

To answer Dra Varni questions:

1) because the idea of reincarnation fundamentally changes the way I understand how my memory works. I can look back a few years and am able to remember (or at least think I remember) events of my life. If reincarnation exists and I try to look back prior to my birth, I have zero memories. So it raises the question – why?

2) regarding how I know I was not born before – I don’t have memories about that time, so I don’t know anything about it.

Reincarnation is the biggest issue I have with spiritual faith. I believe, when I die, I simply cease to exist. And theory of reincarnation confirms it, because it erases my memories – and since I identify me with my memories, it destroys me.

On a side note – I was thinking about the purpose of hellish planets and paradise planets. For example, from samsara point of view, hell is important step for degrading soul’s intelligence until it is fit to enter less intelligent body. But from functional point of view – if purpose of hell is punishment as means of teaching the soul – what is the point of this punishment, if you cannot remember what you have learned?

Humbly asking for enlightenment.

your servant,

Janis

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 4 January 2018

Dear Janis,

Hare Krishna!

I do appreciate your sincerity.

Past life memories are available to be dredged up – any number of “past life therapists” are doing good business all over the world. There are even books like “Many Lives Many Masters” which claim to have revived past life memories in individuals. But we cannot endorse any of those because of several reasons – we feel it is unnecessary, and also that it is a distraction from genuine spiritual life.

Srila Prabhupada says (paraphrased) that when you have an arrow in your back, your first duty should be to get out that arrow, instead of beginning an investigation as to where that arrow came from and who shot it.

So coming to your question – how are the memories erased?

The memories are not erased from our subtle mind, they are simply not present in the gross mind. The entrapped spirit soul wears 2 bodies, the subtle material body consisting of mind, intelligence, and false ego, and the gross material body which we can perceive with our gross material senses. One indication of past life memories is “inclination”. A naked person of the opposite gender may be available to 2 individuals, one is enamoured, and the other is unaffected, similarly other things like drugs, or sports, or even philosophical speculation.

The subtle mind is projected onto the material body and the brain consisting of its neurons, is an “interface” – it is not actually the mind.

One example is that at the same time as I am writing this, the radio signals and television signals and wireless radio channels of thousands of sources are present in the space where I am sitting. But I don’t hear any of them. Doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, just means that I don’t have the equipment to tune into those signals. With the right receiver, I can receive all those channels, simultaneously if I want to.

Another example of how memories get erased – ask a woman who has given birth to a child how much pain she felt during childbirth – she cannot tell you. Ask a child how much pain she felt when she was being born. She cannot tell you. Intense experiences do get blotted out, and we have many such experiences. I was present when my wife gave birth to my son. Both of them were in intense pain, I could see them both in their intense agony. But both of them don’t remember any of the pain.

The experience of birth, and death, is extremely intense.

The Srimad Bhagavatam 11th canto describes birth thus:

O most charitable Uddhava, what is called birth is simply a person’s total identification with a new body. One accepts the new body just as one completely accepts the experience of a dream or a fantasy as reality. SB 11.22.40 (https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/11/22/40)

The very next verse states this “Just as a person experiencing a dream or daydream does not remember his previous dreams or daydreams, a person situated in his present body, although having existed prior to it, thinks that he has only recently come into being.”

And then ” Because the mind, which is the resting place of the senses, has created the identification with a new body, the threefold material variety of high, middle and low class appears as if present within the reality of the soul. Thus the self creates external and internal duality, just as a man might give birth to a bad son.”

I do invite you to experience this reality, but it is an experience, you cannot theoretically understand it.

You can experience this yourself only by practicing Krishna consciousness fully and wholeheartedly, just like you can feel the water in a lake only by jumping into it, and no one can define what salty is, what sweet is, you need to put substances which taste salty and sweet into your mouth.

Re your belief that you cease to exist upon death, no one can stop you from believing whatever you want to believe, but just think – you didn’t start with a clean slate, you started with a specific set of circumstances that others don’t share exactly with you. Why do you have special circumstances that are different from others’? That line of thinking leads you to believe that you are just a bunch of chemicals, at which point I ask you, when did a bunch of chemicals ever worry about their existence or heaven or hell.

Re what is the purpose of heaven and hell when you cannot remember the punishments? Maybe you cannot remember right now, but I have met people who have nightmares that resemble the various punishments in hellish planets. Those dreams are vividly real and one man was asking me if he would have to go back there. I also have met people for whom the standard of sense gratification here is very low, they seem to recollect that there is a higher standard of enjoyment elsewhere, and they determinedly pursue that enjoyment without giving into lower forms of enjoyment here.

You don’t necessarily have to remember what you learned – after experiencing hellish or heavenly planets, one is put into a situation that constrains one to that situation from where one came from. It is natural.

It is like I am qualified as an electrical engineer. I have probably forgotten 95% of electrical engineering because I now work in the computer software industry for the last 20 years. But I still get paid as much as an engineer would ordinarily get paid, maybe more. One may argue what is the use of going to university to study electrical engineering, but one can also see that I am reaping the rewards of the penance of working hard whilst in university.

God creates a situation in which both the atheist and theist can both exist by their own free will. If you want to be an atheist, you are given full freedom to follow that path. But you are not free from your actions and their subsequent reactions, which you will reap in due course of time.

If for example, reincarnation was provable by gross material means, how would the atheists remain in their own concoctions? That would be taking away the atheists’ free will to be as they want to be.

Ultimately however,

tarko ‘pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā

nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam

dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ

mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “‘Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.’”

CC Madhya 17.186 (https://www.vedabase.com/cc/madhya/17/186)

We are on that path of the progressive path of the great self-realized souls, and we can experience our progress by a progressive disappearance of our confusions, but only if we truly follow.

I pray that this is in some way shape or form helpful to you.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Janis, 5 January 2018

Dear Mahabhagavat,

Hare Krishna! Thank you very much for your answers!

The following two points answered my question very nicely:

1) people have “unexplainable” inclinations since their birth

2) analogy of a soul transmigrating bodies with a person dreaming. The soul – still identifying itself with false ego/intelligence/mind – accepting the next body (not able to remember previous life) is similar to a regular person falling asleep in current life (cannot remember previous dream).

I have issues understanding the following:

1) blocking painful experiences – I agree that in psychology there are such phenomena, however I am able to remember many painful experiences of my current life.

2) identifying myself with a bunch of chemicals and worrying about heaven or hell – there can be chemical reactions in my neurons that result in these worry processes in my brain.

On a theoretical side note – why only human-like species have suitable intelligence to be able to choose God over matter? Maybe it would be too lenient from Krishna’s side to constantly provide this opportunity for all life forms, but still – why not have a constant chance for everyone to be able to learn?

I also would be grateful if you could explain how evolution is compatible with Vedic history – for example dinosaur fossils, carbon dating. Oldest traces of human species are dated approx. 500 000 BC opposed to the age of humankind being approx. 4 million years according to Vedas (adding up the three previous yugas).

I understand that without practice (which I do not have at the moment) I have small chances of realizing non-material processes, because I have material consciousness and these realizations can only be bestowed by Krishna if He wants to. I plan to resume my practice in approx. two years, when I have finished my studies.

Sincerely,

Janis

Abhay Charan Das, 5 January 2018

Nice question by Janis and wonderful answers in the group.  Srila Prabhupada speaks about life after death, putting a part of the morning May 9, 1975 in Perth

Quote Start

Paramahamsa: Many of them say we cannot prove there is any life after death.

Prabhupäda: Yes, this if proof. Just as the boy is there and the father is there, the boy is going to become father. This is future. Both of them are there. The boy is going to be the father, and the father is going to be the grandfather. Where there is no future? The rascals, they do not know, say that, but there is future. How can you stop it? The boy is going to be father, the father is going to be grandfather. This is future.

Amogha: But then he dies, and they cannot see any future after that.

Prabhupäda: Your seeing has no power. This is no argument, “I cannot see.” I cannot see the other side. That does not mean there is nothing. This is all rascaldom. He has become authority “I want to see.” What you can see? Now this is Indian Ocean. On the other side there is India, and other islands, but you cannot see it. Does it mean there is nothing? So, these are foolish questions. Because they are rascals they put such questions and nonsense. That is the proof that they are rascals. They are simply taking authority his little vision. That’s all. What is your vision? Why don’t you see what is the other side? But does it mean there is nothing because you cannot see? When one says “I cannot see,” that means he is a rascal number one. He’s believing so much upon his seeing. He does not know that he is a most insignificant person, so there is no value of his seeing. That he does not know. Therefore he is a rascal. Is it not? He’s believing his eyes so greatly that “I cannot see.” And what is the value of your seeing? What you can see?

Conversation with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Quote End

Irrespective of whether we remember or not of our past life, the very fact we want to live forever is the proof that we are eternal and the very fact that we have a temporary body now is the proof that we must have had different bodies before, since we are eternal. Because we do not remember we take the help of Shastra to learn the truth.

Bg 2.22 — As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

And in SB

kecit kevalaya bhaktya                vasudeva-parayanah

agham dhunvanti kartsnyena      niharam iva bhaskarah

Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Kṛṣṇa can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will revive. He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays.

SB 6.1.15

By executing our Devotional service our understanding gradually becomes solid over a period of time.

And to understand how Species originate this is a good book http://www.humandevolution.com/ where the proofs are given using both Modern Science Methods and the Shastras.

Hope this helps. 

At your Service

Abhay Charan das

Sacinandana Das, 5 January 2018

Thank you for sharing Srila Prabhupada’s conversation Prabhu ji. It was amazing to read it.

your servant,

Sacinandana Das.

Filip Misic, 8 January 2018

Dear Janis,

You have very smart questions, which is good, because they are signs of intelligence. You mentioned that your studies are disabling you from doing spiritual Krishna Conscious practice. But please know, that it is actually not so hard to be Krishna Conscious and lead a spiritual life while simultaneously living a material life. It is possible to balance these two, that is, if one really wants to. 

Krishna explains thoroughly in the Bhagavad Gita, how one can be Krishna Conscious at all times.

First He says to his dear friend Arjuna (12.8):

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.” However, to reach this stage of devotion and love towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not accomplished easily. Therefore, taking this in to notice, Krishna goes on to speak (12.9):

atha cittaṁ samādhātuṁ

na śaknoṣi mayi sthiram

abhyāsa-yogena tato

mām icchāptuṁ dhanañ-jaya

 “My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way develop a desire to attain Me.”

If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.” How you can Janis practice bhakti-yoga and work for Krishna, is nicely described by Srila Prabhupada in his purports. Because Krishna is so merciful, He goes further on to say (12.10):

abhyāse ’py asamartho ’si

mat-karma-paramo bhava

mad-artham api karmāṇi

kurvan siddhim avāpsyasi

“If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.”

then further (12.11)…

athaitad apy aśakto ’si

kartuṁ mad-yogam āśritaḥ

sarva-karma-phala-tyāgaṁ

tataḥ kuru yatātmavān

“If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of Me, then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated.”

and even further (12.12)

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

To better understand how to be Krishna Conscious and spiritual by following the above mentioned instructions given by Krishna himself, I would suggest to you Janis that you get to know Srila Praphupadas commentaries on these verses, as well as the  entire Bhagavad Gita. Srila Prabhupada is the authority on the Krishna Conscious- science, and all the knowledge we get comes from him, which originally comes down from the disciplic succession Guru Parampara. 

The point I am trying to make, is that you can easily practice spiritual life, nevertheless your current situation as a student. You see, I am also a university student and have much work to do, but I also read Prabhupada’s books and visit a Hare Krishna temple often. So I think you can consider visiting a temple, where you can get answers to every question you have. So I truly hope that you turn your “material consciousness” into a more spiritual and blissful consciousness Janis and i don’t think anyone should wait 2 years for that when given the rare opportunity. 

I write to you in an uttermost friendly way 🙂 

your servant, 

Filip.

Sacinandana Das, 8 January 2018

Wonderful answer Bhakta Filip. You are very lucky that you came into Krishna Conscious during your university studies. It is Krishna’s unlimited mercy upon you.

I heard in Srila Gurudev’s lecture in Iskcon Greater Noida bace where Srila Gurudev likes going very much to a student. Srila Gurudev said finish your 16 rounds and then you can study(Not exact words but gist is the same)

your servant,

Sacinandana Das.

Filip Misic, 8 January 2018

Hare Krishna Sacinandana Prabhu,

Very nice. I will try and live up to that standard 🙂

your servant, Filip

Janis, 10 January 2018

Dear Filip,

Thank you for your encouragement! I will try to increase my practice sooner than within two years 🙂

your servant,

Janis

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Coming out of our comfort zone to advance spiritually?

How can we come out of our comfort zone? What does it mean? How can we make rapid spiritual advancement by coming out of our comfort zone?

Brajanath Das, 21 February 2018

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva,

I heard  … 

Krishna will take special care of those especially who comes out of their comfort zone to serve Him.

Please enlighten me

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Filip Misic, 27 February 2018

Hare Krishna Brajanath Prabhu,

When one goes out of his comfort zone to serve Krishna, Krishna is very pleased. Why? Because he sees that we are sincere and want to serve him the best we can. Not only is Krishna very pleased with that, but the devotee himself advances in Krishna Consciousness and experiences bliss and gets situated in transcendence.

Krishna says: “As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.” [BG 4.11] So Krishna resiprocates according to our devotion because he is more pleased with us the more and soncerely we serve him.

I hope this helps you. This is simply my understanding. I am grateful to you for asking this question, because when I write I also get purified. I am sure some devotees can ellaborate on this further.

Seeking to be your servant, 

Filip

Arci devi dasi, 27th February 2018

From Sacinandana Swami’s “The Art of Transformation ” – A cozy, material, comfortable life does not go together with wanting to have experiences of Krishna. You sometimes have to go to the risk zone, so that Krishna can reveal Himself. By our nature we always go to the places of most comfort. But if we want to arrange our life as comfortably as possible, how is it possible for Krishna to reveal Himself and help us? It is usually seen that Krishna reveals Himself when you are out of your comfort zone, when you are in need, when you are at a little risk. But our material tendency is to go too much into these illusory comfort zones. Then you check everything so that Krishna cannot reveal Himself Try to do some seva, try to step out from your normal life, and Lord Krishna will surely help.

your servant,  

Arci devi dasi

Hare Krishna!

Bhakta Sunil, 28 February 2018

Hare Krishna!, please read the below thought for the day regarding the topic in discussion :-

How to Expand Your Comfort Zone – Thought dated 15 January 2016

uploaded from ISKCON Houston, Texas USA

We tend to limit ourselves regarding how much we can do or accomplish for Krishna. This limitation we place on ourselves is called our comfort zone. To advance steadily in Krishna consciousness toward the ultimate goal of pure love of God we need to always try to expand our comfort zone. In this way we will become more and more fixed in Krishna consciousness and in our ability to successfully give Krishna to others. Thus we should train ourselves to feel comfortable outside of our comfort zone and uncomfortable in our comfort zone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

www.joincourse.com

your insignificant servant,

Bhakta Sunil

Filip Misic, 28 February 2018

Thank you Arci devi Mataji for reminding us! This is an important point.

your servant, 

Filip

Brajanath Das, 03 March 2018

Pranams devotees for enlightening me with your wonderful answers.  

your servant,  Brajanath Das

Sacinandana Das, 11 March 2018

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you Arci Mata ji and Bhakta Sunil for sharing the nectar.

your servant,

Sacinandana Das.

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How to feel the need to get serious about spiritual life?

How to avoid getting distracted from the spiritual journey? How to develop the desire to get serious? How to do what I know is the right thing to do?

Radha, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

I chant more than 16 rounds a day and try to focus my mind on Krishna but my mind gets distracted on watching TV or talking to a friend on whatsapp or playing a game on the phone. I know I should instead read Srila Prabhupada’s books or chant more or go to the temple and get association of Devotees but I don’t. On my weekends I feel like I want to relax after a tiring work week. I still finish my 16 rounds everyday but feel like I am not Krishna conscious 24 by 7 which I want to be. I ask Krishna for his mercy. I know I have to be serious about being Krishna conscious but then I tell myself I still have time to do that once I am older. I also know I can go at anytime and need to think about Krsna to get liberation. I don’t know how to control these distractions. 

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Filip Misic, 13 June 2018

Mother Radha,

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

You sound like a very sincere devotee. Krishna Consciousness is a gradual process, so we shouldn’t expect to become liberated souls in a flash.

 It takes determination, just like you are nicely chanting 16 rounds. In this way one by one your anarthas or impurities will wash away by the chanting of the holy name. It is also important to associate with devotees, so you will have to force your mind to go to the temple and get Devotee association. The mind wants to stay in its comfort zone, but we must pull it out of there if we want to advance. The devotees are very friendly and loving. I hope this helps you 🙂

your servant, Filip

Bhakta Sunil, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna Mataji

Please accept my humble respects

Jaya Srila Gurudeva! Jaya Prabhupada

The fact that you are asking this question shows that you are on the right path to overcome distractions and become fixed in Krishna consciousness, so congratulations for already being on the path to overcome the distractions

Please read the following questions and answers from http://www.backtohome.com wrt distractions

Answers According to Vedic Knowledge

Question: Overcoming Distractions and Laziness?

— dated 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

All glories to You and Gurumataji

While reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Chapter 2, Verse 44 I was asking myself about my connections with the material enjoyment. I found that in past examples how distractions led me to rather enjoy myself than instead of doing some devotional service. Because of it I was prone to postpone or sometimes even not to complete the tasks I set up for my sadhana activities. Sometimes I even had problems with consistency chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra every day on my japa mala bears. How to prevent distractions and how to stop myself from getting involved in enjoyment when distractions or laziness arrive.

I am begging for Your guidance. 

Your student

Answer: Beg Krishna to Help You

If you will regularly every day sincerely beg Lord Krishna to protect you from distractions and laziness, He will reciprocate with your sincere prayers and bless you to always be enthusiastically absorbed in His pure devotional service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Properly Balance My Activities? — dated 4 January 2016

I am a 12th standard student. I chant 6 rounds regularly, but in a very inattentive way. In the past few months I have been struggling to control my mind. I have not prepared myself for exams well as I was most of the time engaged in unproductive activities like spending excessive time on cell phone using Internet. Everyday I delayed my studies but as I started chanting seriously I feel a sense of control and am able to do all my activities without distraction. But the problem is that I still don’t fully utilize my potential as I lack the enthusiasm or motivation to study hard and do other devotional activities with a serious intent to please Krishna. So how can I become motivated to study for Krishna and at the same time perform my devotion with a deep intent to please Krishna.

Vishal

Answer: Prioritize Krishna

If you will begin every day focusing your attention exclusively on Krishna by carefully chanting His names, you will then be able to do all of your duties throughout the day as an offering of love to Him. In short, you must always prioritize Krishna. Then everything will work out nicely.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answer based on Vedic knowledge :

Question: Why Does Maya Distract the Neophyte Devotee? — dated 8th March 2018

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My question is: As soon as one starts becoming attached to Krishna why does Maya try to distract attention from Krishna?. She should be happy that one is becoming attracted to her master, and she on the contrary must help such a soul to increase his attraction to Krishna. Please guide.

Your servant,

Avinash G.

Jai Shree Krishna

Answer: To Test Our Genuineness

Maya is there to make sure that we are truly serious about Krishna consciousness, that we are not just making a show. When she sees that we are fully serious she no longer tries to distract us from Krishna. She will then assist us giving us all help in our Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Hope this helps

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Radha, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Thank you for your response. I have tried to force myself to go to the temple but somehow or other don’t go. I used to go to temple regularly a few years back and got very attached with a devotee which didn’t end well.  From that time I don’t like going anymore. I feel very uncomfortable around people from the time I have become Krishna conscious. I like being by myself and chanting and reading. I will beg Krishna to let me go again.

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 14 June 2018

Dear Mother Radha,

Hare Krishna!

Being Krishna conscious 24X7 is no easy thing. To aspire for it is a very wonderful situation to be in! 🙂

The “time to be more Krishna conscious when I am older” doesn’t work. There are millions of old people everywhere – are they taking to Krishna consciousness in large numbers? Not really, because momentum is very important. Whatever I have cultivated now is what I will carry forward as I get older, not that I will be able to develop new habits suddenly just because I am older. Most practitioners of Krishna consciousness actually start when they are younger, though of course, there are exceptions.

It is not unreasonable to want to relax at home after a tiring week. With this online group, and with Srila Gurudeva’s programs, we are taking the temple to the comfort of your own home. For example, we have the Bhagavata Online Academy, we have the daily email, video, Q&A, and we have plans for many more projects.

The best way to be Krishna conscious is to actively participate and maybe even take charge of some project or service. It can be according to your own time and travel constraints, but the Internet has opened up a vast service avenue for all of us.

If you are interested, then please actively participate in the Bhagavata Online Academy, the chanting challenge (for example, can you find someone to chant 1 round with you, on the phone), and other projects without necessarily traveling a lot physically. Or, if you want, you can also assist us with some projects coming up.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Radha, 14 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

I would love to assist with projects. If you have anything please let me know anyway I can serve Krishna 

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 19 June 2018

Hare Krishna! For now, we are requesting everyone to kindly join (or participate if already joined) the Bhagavata Online Academy and participate actively (as in, reply to an email) at least once a week… this service will enliven us all…

Visvanath das, 21 June 2018

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva,

How do we join the Bhagavata online academy. Is there some link?

Thank you all for helping my KC.

your servant,

Visvanath das

Darryl E., 21 June 2018

Is this mail group also called the Bhagavata Online Academy?

Darryl H. Eschete

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21 June 2018

Hare Krishna!

Thank you!

This is the “Students of Sankarshan Das Adhikari” group. The Bhagavata Online Academy is separate from this but a prerequisite is that they must be members of this group and subscribed to Srila Gurudeva’s eCourse.

Here is an excerpt from Bhaktarupa Prabhu’s email re Bhagavata Online Academy:

Bhagavata Online Academy

One of the activities of this group is that we have an organized study program to read Srila Prabhupada’s books, so that the members can get a thorough understanding of the philosophy and concepts of Krishna consciousness. We start a google group every year and enroll members from the sda_students group to read the books together along with their fellow group members. These books are read over a period of time in an organized way, as little as 2-3 pages a day. A facilitator of the group will be asking questions from the pages read from the book for each day of reading. You can reply back to these questions with your answers. You are also welcome to ask you own questions that come up in your reading 

We call this book reading group as “Bhagavata Online Academy”, as it appropriately denotes that the group is aimed at reading, understanding and implementing the Bhagavata Dharma, as taught by our beloved spiritual master of the whole world Srila Prabhupada in his books.

Quote from Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.28 

“Prahlāda Mahārāja continued: I received this knowledge from the great saint Nārada Muni, who is always engaged in devotional service. This knowledge, which is called bhāgavata-dharma, is fully scientific. It is based on logic and philosophy and is free from all material contamination”.

2017-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in January 2017. This group is currently reading “Science of Self Realization”. You are welcome to apply for membership to this group, where you can read Srila Prabhupada’s books systematically along with the other group members. To join the group, please click on the link https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/2017-bhagavata-online-academy and enter your joining comments.

Just for your information, we present the other groups that were started in the reverse chronological order. 

2016-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2016. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”.

2015-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2015. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”. 

2014-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2014. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Sri Brahma Samhita”.

2013-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2013. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading read “Srimad Bhagavatam”.

2011-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2011. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Srimad Bhagavatam”.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Darryl E., 21 June 2018

“Science of Self Realization” was my first of Prabhupada’s books and still my favorite. I will apply for membership, yes.

Darryl E.

Radha, 24 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

I follow all the regulative principles and chant 16 rounds or more everyday but I still have so many material desires which becomes worse especially since I work with non-devotees.

I want to start wearing the kanthi mala but after you wear the mala you can’t eat out. I visit my sister every year in Florida and on flight you cannot bring your own food so will it be a sin to wear the kanthi mala and eat food not offered to Krsna on the flight as it is a long trip.

Hare Krishna

Radha

Satish kumar, 25 June 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhu!

During the cleaning process, if there is still some dust left shall we feel that the cleaning process is completed? We have developed certain wrong notions during the process of our growth, due to lack of proper spiritual masters and be sincere and pray to Lord Krishna, God so kind enough in listening to the prays of sincere Devotees. But don’t lose your confidence till you achieve your goal

I hope this will help you in reaching your perfection.

Haribol

God brother

Satish kumar

Radha, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Thank you for your response but I still did not get the answer about wearing a kanthi mala. I know you can only eat food offered to Krsna but when travelling and you cannot cook is it wrong to eat food from outside when wearing a kanthi mala. 

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Paramhamsa das, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Regarding the food offered to Krishna when travelling the most immediate example to consider is that Srila Gurudev , Srimati Gurumataji , who makes 2 round the world trip every year for preaching  for past many years . And still they maintain their standard of not eating the karmi food offered in the flight by packing their own Prasadam . The trick is you have to pack dry prasadam, like dry fruits, roti /puri with more oil so it stays fresh longer and some type of  dry sabji , The list can go on and on , but the understanding is  If you have the desire then Krishna will surely fulfill just needs a better planning ahead of your trip . 

About neck beads Nectar of devotion chapter 9 Srila Prabhupada mentions of its importance  quoting from Padma and Skanda purana . 

Please read the https://www.vedabase.com/en/nod/9 

I hope I answered your question  if not please feel free to inquire further . 

your servant, 

Paramhamsa das. 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 June 2018

Mataji,

To put on Tulasi neck beads means to take a vow of trying one’s best to reach the platform of pure devotional service. At the very least, one should abstain from knowingly consuming foods that Vaishnavas avoid, such as meat, fish, eggs, onions, garlic, tea with caffeine, coffee, chocolate, mushrooms, etc. Otherwise, it becomes like I am advertising myself as a Vaishnava but it is a mere farce.

Yes, one can take some additional effort to keep oneself pure, packing Prasada may take a bit of additional time but it is well worth it and pays off in terms of better service, better chanting, and better effectiveness in sharing Krishna with others, plus better peace of mind for oneself too.

One can do one’s best while Krishna helps our best get better.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat 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

Are there many Gods? Who is Krishna? Who is Vishnu? Who is Shiva? And who are the others?

How are they all related? Who should we worship?

Jayakrishna, 25 June 2018

I have the following doubt and i think you devotees can give the right answer:

In the Bhagavad Gita As It Is (BG 4.12 purport), it is stated that, “Actually, the demigods are not different forms of God, but they are God’s different parts and parcels. God is one, and the parts and parcels are many”,

then, in Brahma Samhita(5.32) it is stated that “Limbed though Kṛṣṇa is, His every limb is the whole entity. He performs all varieties of divine spiritual functions with every one of His limbs. Hence He is an indivisible whole and a perfect transcendental entity. ” this sounds confusing (If Demi Gods are parts of Krishna, and Krishna can take the offerings given to him by any parts, what wrong is there in Demigod worship? especially if it is to get extra strength in our devotion to Krishna?)

again, related with the above doubt,

In Srimad Bhagavatam (9.4.63) “The Supreme Personality of Godhead said to the brāhmaṇa: I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me” So worshiping Demi Gods is justified because they, especially Lord Siva are Vaishnavas and hence Demi God worshiping is an easy method to please Krishna or get taste in Krishna? ( meanings and purports to srimad Bhagavatam 10.22.4 & 10.53.46 are also giving this confusion).

My understanding is that it is Ok to worship DemiGods if the aim is Krishna? am I right in this conclusion,Kindly clarify,

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Bhakta Sunil, 25 June 2018

*Question: Why not pray to the Demigods?*

Hare Krishna Srila Gurudeva

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to You!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I have understood that there is no separate need to pray to demigods as Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by simply serving Him under Your guidance I can achieve the topmost perfection. How should I respond to people who argue that one should pray to demigods for assisting us in our service to Krishna because the demigods are Vaisnavas and the scriptures reveal that service to Vaisnavas is even higher than direct service to Krishna? I understand that you are Krishna’s servant and that I need to serve you and the Vaisnavas, the ISKCON devotees. So please guide me how to understand and respond to this argument for praying to the demigods.

Hare Krishna

Your insignificant servant

Syama Kunda das 

*Answer: Guru is Sum Total of All the Demigods*

The spiritual master is the sum total of all the demigods. So by praying for his mercy you get even the more than the benefit of praying 33 million different prayers to the 33 million different demigods. And besides this, how long would it take you to pray to each of the 33 million demigods? If you made a one minute prayer to each of them, and you did nothing but pray to them 24 hours a day without sleeping, eating, or doing anything else, it would take you more than 60 years to pray to all of them. Compare that with saying a simple one minute prayer to your spiritual master, which yields more benefit. Now intelligently analyze what makes more sense: praying to your spiritual master or praying to the demigods.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

http://www.joincourse.com

www.sda-archives.com Thought for the Day 2 Oct 20216

your insignificant servant,

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 June 2018

Dear Sriman Jayakrishna,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

It is possible to take one point from the Vedic scriptures and use that to justify practically anything. History is strewn with examples of people quoting scriptures to suit their own needs. But our path is “mahajana yena gatah sa panthah” – follow in the footsteps of the great souls who have “made it”. Just like soldiers walking behind the lead in a single file in a minefield. We put our footstep exactly where the previous footstep was.

As a principle, yes, one can ask for help in devotional service to Krishna from anyone who is capable of giving us that help. So, the gopis, topmost devotees, do this by worshipping Mother Katyayani, or the consort of Lord Shiva. Similarly, Srila Rupa Goswami has written about the worship of Lord Ganesha prior to beginning of our service to Sri Krishna.

However, Krishna, our Acharyas, Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva give us clear context and the means how to attain the final goal. With this context it can be seen that demigod worship for any reason is not really required.

Krishna has said

” ye ’py anya-devatā-bhaktā

yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ

te ’pi mām eva kaunteya

yajanty avidhi-pūrvakam “

” Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kuntī, but they do so in a wrong way. ”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/23

and even more strongly:

kāmais tais tair hrta-jñānāḥ

prapadyante ’nya-devatāḥ

taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya

prakrtyā niyatāḥ svayā

“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures. ”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/20

I have an instructing spiritual master in Toronto, Rupanuga Prabhu, who gave me a simple way to satisfy the demigods consistent with our understanding of the demigods as “karma mishra bhaktas” (devotees tinged with some sense of material contamination) of Krishna. He said that after we pick up the Prasada from Krishna’s altar, we can mentally put the Krishna Prasada into other plates and offer the Maha Prasada of the Lord to the demigods mentally. They actually hanker for Krishna Prasada. Then, similarly, the Krishna Prasada can also be mentally offered to the ancestors. This is not contrary to what our gurus have instructed us.

As Srila Gurudeva has said in many ways (quote by Sriman Sunil before), including today’s thought for the day:

Worshipping Krishna Only

Srila Prabhupada very nicely mentions as follows in his introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

“The Lord descends to this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vrindavana, which are full of happiness. When Lord Sri Krishna was in Vrindavana, His activities with His cowherd boyfriends, with His damsel friends, with the other inhabitants of Vrindavana and with the cows were all full of happiness. The total population of Vrindavana knew nothing but Krishna. But Lord Krishna even discouraged His father Nanda Maharaja from worshiping the demigod Indra, because He wanted to establish the fact that people need not worship any demigod. They need only worship the Supreme Lord, because their ultimate goal is to return to His abode.”

Our perfection of happiness will be to follow the example of the inhabitants of Vrindavana by making Krishna the only object of our worship.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari TTFD 26 Jun 2018

Therefore, instead of trying to extract meanings from the scripture that are not specifically given to us by Sri Guru, instead, we should strive to figure out how to align with Sri Guru and follow in his footsteps, starting with aligning our routine and how we live our life in the footsteps of a person who is already expert in following the previous Acharyas.

I hope this makes sense.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Chandrika, 26 June 2018

Sitaram

Can you please tell me if Lord Shiva is a demigod  or one part of the Trinity?

Regards

Chandrika

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna!

The concept of “the Trinity” is somewhat contrived in it that it is assumed that all three members, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva are somehow equal but this is  not so.

Lord Brahma of our Universe is currently a jiva, and hence a demigod, however, when no jiva is qualified to act as Brahma, then Lord Vishnu Himself expands Himself as Brahma.

Lord Shiva is certainly an exalted personality, and plays the role of demigod (father of the material world) as “Shiva” and is a separated expansion of Sri Mahavishnu as “Shambhu” – the glance of Mahavishnu to impregnate the conditioned spirit souls into the womb of material nature.

But Lord Shiva is hard to understand, he is a special “tattva” a category between that of jiva (little spirit soul) and Vishnu tattva (God category).

Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja once explained that Lord Shiva is Vishnu in contact with the material energy, like how milk, once it comes in contact with a sour substance is no longer milk. He was using the analogy of the verse in the Brahma Samhita:

https://www.vedabase.com/en/bs/5/45

(the purport by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada is pretty comprehensive, please do read)

But especially relevant to this conversation “So Śambhu cannot be called a jīva. He is the lord of jīva but yet partakes of the nature of a separated portion of Govinda. “

For more information on the topic of Lord Shiva, as discussed in previous conversations on this group, please refer to:

https://www.dasadas.com/tag/shiva/

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Chandrika, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna

So if Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma are demigods , are you saying that Lord Vishnu, and by his incarnation as Krishna, is the only God (as opposed to demigod)?

Regards

Chandrika

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 June 2018

Dear Mother Chandrika,

Hare Krishna!

Lord Shiva is extremely special, as mentioned before 🙂

Yes, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya

yāre yaiche nācāya, se taiche kare nṛtya

Lord Kṛṣṇa alone is the supreme controller, and all others are His servants. They dance as He makes them do so. CC Adi 5.142

Krishna is the original Vishnu.

ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ

 krṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam

indrāri-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ

 mrḍayanti yuge yuge

All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Krṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists  SB 1.3.28

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/1/3/28

Please do kindly read Srila Prabhupada’s purport: https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/1/3/28

Yes, without a doubt, Krishna is the Supreme Master, everyone else is His servitor in one way or another.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

J. Raul C, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna!!

 Why when I ask people from India who is Krishna, their answer is an incarnation of Vishnu?

I understood Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source from everything emanates!!!

Haribol Krishna devotees!! 

J. Raul C.

Kardama Muni Das, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to Gurudev and Gurumataji

Raul prabhu, this is a very common question. I had this misunderstanding my self when I came to Krishna Consciousness. What I realized was that most people who speak of Lord Krishna as an incarnation of Visnu refer to Ksirodakshayi Visnu as the source of all incarnations. They are limited in their understanding that Ksirodakshayi Visnu comes from Garbhodakshati Visnu, who comes from Karanodakshayi Vishnu, who is an expansion of an expansion of Krishna. 

Srila Prabhupada explains that all the incarnations in the material universes come through Ksirodakshayi Vishnu. So for someone whose knowledge is limited to the material universe only, it is natural to think that all the Visnu-tattvas that appear here are incarnations of Ksirodakshayi Visnu. But someone who can see beyond the material world through the eyes of sastra, specifically Srimad Bhagavatam, it is not very difficult to understand that all the Visnu-tattvas are expansions of Krishna and are only appearing in this universe through Ksirodakshayi Visnu. 

I hope that what I have spoken is correct and helpful. If there is something that does not seen to to be in line with Srila Prabhupada, please correct me.

In your service,

Kardama Muni Das

Jayakrishna, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna! Thank you Prabhujis and Matajis for your replies. Yes, from Srila Gurudevas message it is clearly explained and the doubt ends there. It seems not a coincidence as i have the same experience of getting my doubt answered by his daily messages, it seems that when we are strictly following Sri Guru, he will answer our doubts even without getting asked! such is the power of a Guru! Jaya Srila Gurudeva! we are all blessed to be here as his disciples or students and very very fortunate to have a pure Krishna devotee as our Siksha Guru or Diksha Guru.

Regarding Lord Vishnu, my understanding is that the original form of Vishnu is Krishna with his two hand form, and hence we may say that Krishna who appeared 5000 years ago is an incarnation of Krishna ( two handed Vishnu) himself, the proper word however is not incarnation, it may be described as a descending of Krishna, and this continues in every chaturyugas but each of the past times of Krishna are eternal and is happening somewhere in this universe, as there are many many universes existing and developing. for better understanding we may explain it(though not in the strict sense) to our seeing some stars which are no more there, from some billions of light years.

I have read Devi Bhagavata, there also we can see Krishna and Radha as the supreme authority!, though these Puranas are rajasik or tamasik, there too, the glory of Sri Krishna and Srimati Radha devi is mentioned elaborately! My personal experience is that when we worship Lord Siva faithfully and whole heartedly, we will get directed to Vaishnava devotee association. This is because, as it is mentioned in Brahma Samhita,  Lord Siva is our father,  father of the mundane world and also is the greatest Vaishnava and very much merciful..

your humble servant

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Jayakrishna

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

Jiva Soul – A poem from 1874

Back in in 1874, Bhaktivinode Thakura wrote this sublime poem that gives us the formula for Supreme Spiritual Success! Jiva Soul, from Saragrahi Vaishnava

This is a poem by the great saint Bhaktivinode Thakura… from his 1874 work, “Saragrahi Vaishnava”

The Jiva Soul:

Alas for those who spend their days
In festive mirth and joy.
The dazzling, deadly liquid forms
Their hearts fore’er employ.

The shining bottles charm their eyes
And draw their heart’s embrace;
The slaves of wine can never rise
From what we call disgrace.

Was man intended to be
A brute in work and heart?
Should man, the Lord of all around,
From common sense depart?

Man’s glory is in common sense
Dictating us the grace,
That man is made to live and love
The beauteous Heaven’s embrace.

The flesh is not our own alas;
The mortal frame a chain;
The soul confined for former wrongs
Should try to rise again.

Why then this childish play in that
Which cannot be our own;
Which falls within a hundred years
As if a rose ablown.

Our life is but a rosy hue
To go ere long for naught;
The soul alone would last fore’er
With good or evil fraught.

How deep the thought of times to be!
How grave the aspect looks!
And wrapt in awe become, O, we,
When reading Nature’s books.

Man’s life to him a problem dark–
A screen both left and right;
No soul hath come to tell us what
Exists beyond our sight.

But then a voice, how deep and soft,
Within ourselves is left;
Man! Man! Thou art immortal soul!
Thee Death can never melt.

For thee thy Sire on High has kept
A store of bliss above,
To end of time, thou art O! His–
Who wants but purest love.

O Love! Thy power and spell benign
Now melt my soul to God;
How can my earthly words describe
That feeling soft and broad.

Enjoyment, sorrow — what but lots
To which the flesh is heir?
The soul that sleeps alone concludes
In them it hath a share.

And then, my friends, no more enjoy
Nor weep for all below;
The women, wine, and flesh of beasts
No love on thee bestow.

But thine to love thy brother man
And give thyself to God.
And God doth know your wages fair–
This fact is true and broad.

Forget the past that sleeps and ne’er
The future dream at all,
But act in time that are with thee
And progress thee shall call.

But tell me not in reasoning cold,
The soul is made alone
By Earth’s mechanic lifeless rules
And to destruction prone.

My God who gave us life and all
Alone the soul can kill
Or give it all the joys above
His promise to fulfill.

So push thy onward march, O soul,
Against an evil deed
That stands with soldiers Hate and Lust–
A hero be indeed.

Maintain thy post in spirit world
As firmly as you can,
Let never matter push thee down–
O stand heroic man!

O Sharagrahi Vaishnava soul,
Thou art an angel fair;
Lead, lead me on to Vrindavan
And spirit’s power declare.

There rests my soul from matter free
Upon my Lover’s arms–
Eternal peace and spirits love
Are all my chanting charms.

The Sun, The Moon, Distances, and The Universal Arrangement

How is it that the statements of the Vedic Scriptures in the matter of dimensions of the sun, moon, and the distances between them don’t match with the modern scientific theories?

Partha Das, 28 October 2019

Hare Krsna, Dandavats,

Could you throw some light on the shloka from the 5th canto of Bhagavatam 5.25.2.

The sun globe, which is a source of heat, extends for 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles]. The moon extends for 20,000 yojanas [160,000 miles], and Rāhu extends for 30,000 yojanas [240,000 miles].

Thanks

Partha Das

Subodh, 29 October 2019

Cosmic and materials knowledge can only affirmed the belief of Krishna’s expansion but can’t get rid of from birth and death cycles, without yug mantras given by mahaprabhu, hence chant hare krishna simply be happy, 

Subodh

Partha Das, 29 October 2019

Very true Prabhuji. But a foundation made of solid knowledge will make us very good devotees of the Lord

Partha Das

Manoj Tripathi, 29th October 2019

Hare Krishna Partha Prabhu.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada,

All glories to Guru Maharaja.

The verse number is 5.24.2

Here, Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī is talking about the sizes of Sun, Moon, and Rahu. Before this verse, he talked about the distance of Rahu from the Sun. 

To adherents of modern science, it may all sound very confusing, or even laughable. However, it should be noted that the Jyotisha Shastras deal with planetary orbits and sizes, and they have been predicting eclipses, seasons etc. very well [1]. Modern measurements on size of the planets and distances (including Sun and moon!) match well with the data given in Surya Siddhanta [2]. Bhagavatam’s picture of the universe may seem to contradict Jyotisha Shastras at some points; however, a detailed study would reveal that everything is in order. And Srila Prabhupada wanted his PhDs to go through these details and construct a model of the universe presented in Bhagavatam and display it in Mayapur [3].   

[1] http://richardlthompson.com/book/vedic-cosmography-and-astronomy

[2] https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/adi/3/8/

[3] https://vanisource.org/w/index.php?title=760427_-_Letter_to_Svarupa_Damodara_written_from_Auckland&t=hl#terms=Ph.D

Manoj Tripathi

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 30 October 2019

Dear Sriman Partha,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All gratitude to all the group members for participating in this worldwide group…

Srimad Bhagavatam is Amala Purana, the spotless Purana, is the literary incarnation of Krishna Himself. Everything mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam is the Supreme Absolute Truth, even if we may struggle to understand how. Verses and purports that I read in the Bhagavatam say ten years ago sometimes make sense to me now, after all the additional context, or in a class, or somehow by Guru’s and Krishna’s mercy.

What is your actual concern with SB 5.25.2?

ŚB 5.25.2

yasyedaṁ kṣiti-maṇḍalaṁ bhagavato ’nanta-mūrteḥ sahasra-śirasa ekasminn eva śīrṣaṇi dhriyamāṇaṁ siddhārtha iva lakṣyate.

yasyedaṁ kṣiti-maṇḍalaṁ bhagavato ’nanta-mūrteḥ sahasra-śirasa ekasminn eva śīrṣaṇi dhriyamāṇaṁ siddhārtha iva lakṣyate.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: This great universe, situated on one of Lord Anantadeva’s thousands of hoods, appears just like a white mustard seed. It is infinitesimal compared to the hood of Lord Ananta.

There is no purport.

Did you mean some other statement?

Mahabhagavat Das

Partha Das, 31 October 2019

Hare Krsna, Dandavats,

Apologies for mentioning the wrong shloka number.

The correct shloka is 5.24.2

The sun globe, which is a source of heat, extends for 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles]. The moon extends for 20,000 yojanas [160,000 miles], and Rāhu extends for 30,000 yojanas [240,000 miles].

your Servant

Partha Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 12 November 2019

Dear Sriman Partha,

Hare Krishna!

Yes, as I stated before, the Srimad Bhagavatam is spotless, faultless. Everything mentioned in the Bhagavatam is the Supreme Absolute Truth. We may not be able to understand it, just as sometimes ordinary people cannot understand the words of a great genius…That being known, what exactly is your question?

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Partha Das, 12 November 2019

Hare Krsna,

My question is that the shloka is not clear wrt what we learned in school about the sizes of these planets and the distance between them.

Dandavats

Partha Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 13 November 2019

Dear Sriman Partha,

Hare Krishna!

Yes, there are 2 ways of receiving knowledge – one is called the “arohapanthi” or the “ascending process”. The other is called “avarohapanthi” or “descending process”. The material scientists follow the ascending process (base one fact upon another that is proven), we follow the descending process. Our process is that there is the Creator and we get all our information from Him. In theory, both processes should reach the same conclusions, but in the ascending process, there are a lot of pitfalls, mistakes, etc., and the ascending process cannot discover information that is spiritual in nature.

It is important not to position the scripture and material science as competitors… Chaitanya Charan Prabhu makes that clear that both deal with different subject matters and have totally different perspectives, and he goes on to show how both are correct.

Here is an example from Chaitanya Charan Prabhu… if you mix charcoal powder with white chalk powder, you get a grey substance. Everyone can see that it is a grey substance. But when you look at the powder under the microscope there is no grey substance to be found, it is either white particles or black particles, no grey. The person looking with the naked eye says grey, the person with the microscope says black and white, and both argue – but both are right. He has numerous examples where the scripture and material science say different things but both are correct…

There is also a BBT book called “The Scientific Basis of Krishna Consciousness” by Bhakti Swarup Damodar Maharaja who was also a scientist before he took Sannyas and even after that he founded the Bhaktivedanta Institute. That book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in these sorts of subjects.

The structure of the Universe is vast, but still material, and yes, the ascending process could possibly discover the entire material truth, but it may take a long time, if at all.

Our mundane material textbooks are presently based on a big fat lie – that this Universe came from nothing. The Big Bang theory is just a theory with no conclusive evidence to support it, it is a fairy tale. Something cannot come from nothing, not even one little electron, or one nanometer of space can be created from nothing. So, the fact that we learned that in our textbooks means that the knowledge we studied there is imperfect.

When I was in school and university, I saw that with Maths and Physics, one little mistake in a proof or derivation can lead us to the wrong conclusion… in those cases, my mistakes were caught by my more expert classmates, seniors, or teachers. But in the realm of theoretical physics, as the field gets more and more specialized and sub-specialized, the reviewer pool gets very very small, to the extent that on a certain topic maybe 3 people in the world understand enough to be able to review the papers. Then, what those three people do is, collude and write papers that they each other review and approve – thus getting tenures and grants from various agencies. No one else can possibly know that they are making a mistake – the fields are too arcane. This was revealed to Srila Gurudeva when he was spreading Krishna consciousness in a small University town in America by a Post-doc researcher who was coming to the temple. I have also met many researchers who said the same thing… basically it is a closed club where nepotism and corruption exists. Sometimes the researcher does research and publishes it knowing it to be wrong, and then the following year, they just publish another paper saying they were wrong.

Our mundane material textbooks are consequently revised many times… this is true of medical texts, and many other fields of material knowledge.

But the Vedic scriptures are coming from Krishna, perfect, constant, not revised, no additions or subtractions, no errata, no addenda.

With regard to astronomy and so on, one of the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, Sadaputa Dasa (Richard Thompson) (who passed away recently) has written many books that help to understand the Vedic astronomy better. And also, the Temple of the Vedic Planetariaum being built in Mayapur will help with that. Also, books and writings by Drutakarma Prabhu (Michael Cremo) are helpful.

For example, Sadaputa Prabhu said that the “islands of earth” mentioned in the Bhagavatam are different planet in the earthly system of planets… and that the “flatness of the earth” describes “planetary rings”… To be honest the writings are so intricate that I didn’t invest my time and effort into understanding them.

Until then, we say what we need to say to pass exams, get jobs, etc., and it is also possible we don’t fully understand how the Bhagavatam could be correct. But, after reflecting on all these types of questions which I also had many of, I can decide how important this is to our spiritual progress to know the distance of the sun and moon etc.

Does this help?

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Sundar Gopal Das, 13 November 2019

Dear Bhakta Partha,

In addition to the wonderful reflection by HG Mahabhagavat Prabhuji, you can hear the answer from HG Chaitanya Charan Prabhuji by clicking the following link:

With regards,

Sundar Gopal Das 

Partha Das, 13 November 2019

Yes Prabhuji. I guess Krsna will keep on revealing more things to us, as we progress in Krsna consciousness.

Thanks

Partha Das

Jayakrishna, 25 November 2019

Hare Krishna!

I think The following conversation is really addressing this question

“Dr. Singh. Because the scientists haven’t detected any water on the surface of the moon, they’ve concluded that no life could survive there.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. They haven’t seen the whole surface of the moon. Suppose someone were to come here from another planet, drop into the Arabian Desert and then return home. Could he come to a complete conclusion about the nature of the whole earth? His knowledge would not be complete”

(The First Morning Walk: April 18, 1973)

It is only recently the science  proved the presence of water in moon surface!! 

With humble obeisances,

Jayakrishna Ramanuja dasa

Partha Das, 26 November 2019

Yes. It seems scientists keep changing their statements too often. Difficult to believe their theories like big bang , Darwin theory etc.

Partha Das

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Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

What does it mean to say “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”?

Annu bhatia, 7 November 2019

Hare Krishna Das,

I am writing to ask what the following means, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Could you also explain why Jesus asks us to declare spiritually bankruptcy and then find ourselves filled with the presence of the King and His Kingdom.

Thank you dear prabhu.

your humble servant,

Annu

Rebecca, 29 November 2019

Hare Krishna!

I am only a stumbling servant, but having been in the Christian faith, my understanding of the poor in spirit is one who is weary of this material world and who is humble and God conscious. Jesus is teaching humility and realization of our true position that we are Not God but are His children and that by realization of our true position and surrender to God we can be filled with His presence and return back home to His Kingdom.

I trust this will be of some clarification and  finds you well.

your humble God-sister servant and well-wisher

Rebecca

Rakesh, 29 November 2019

Hare Krsna Prabhu

I have read and heard few things from Christian scriptures. 

As per my understanding, the statement means that if a person has the understanding that nothing belongs to them(they are not the controllers, proprietors or enjoyer of anything) in this material world(indicated by poor in spirit), then Krsna(God) is pleased with them and they are on their path back to Godhead.

your aspiring servant

Rakesh Roshan

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

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