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

Whose Consciousness have you eaten?

What is the most intimate act? Do you know how consciousness can get transferred just from the food you eat? Did you know you are literally eating someone’s consciousness?

What is the most intimate physical act?

What is the most intimate mental act?

What is the most intimate thing you can share with someone else?

I don’t know what your answers were to the above questions, but I will tell you what the most intimate is…

The most intimate thing you can do is to eat something prepared by someone else. When a person cooks something, it is not just the ingredients getting combined and heated together to produce something… the consciousness of that cook quite literally descends into whatever they are making.

This is why something that your mother or grandmother made can never be replicated by anyone else.

So when a person cooks, especially with grains, then every single element of their consciousness enters into the food they are preparing.

Every source of jubilation

Every source of anger

Every source of sorrow

Every single source of satisfaction

And Frustration

Every hope, desire, longing

Every single fear, every single moment of embarrassment

Every intention, every belief, every single trait

It is all there in that food they have prepared.

It is all there, in what you eat.

Consciousness, you eat

And you are eating it. You will imbibe it all, all their joys and sorrows, their satisfaction and their frustration, every single one of their hopes, desires, and longing will be in your heart too. Every single fear and moments of embarrasmens, every single intention and belief, their very character descends in your heart.

And there it all mixes and mingles with all the other consciousness you have imbibed, from all the other food you have eaten in your life.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said

viṣayīra anna khāile duṣṭa haya mana

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in https://vedabase`.io/en/library/cc/adi/12/50/

Srila Prabhupadw writes in the purport to that verse…

It is very risky to accept money or food from materialistic persons, for such acceptance pollutes the mind of the charity’s recipient…In fact, a Vaiṣṇava should not even accept charity or food from persons who do not follow the rules and regulations of the Vaiṣṇava principles.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/adi/12/50/

My grandparents never used to eat outside in restaurants, etc. This was exactly for this reason, that they did not want to pollute their consciousness.

Do you know who works in those restaurants? Do you know what goes on there? Do you know the character of your cook? You should, because you are about to eat his consciousness, quite literally.

Next time you feel tempted to order take-out or go to some fancy restaurant or even a fast-food place, remember, you are buying more than just a plate of food. You are inviting all those people who work there to come and sit in your heart, feed you their thoughts and desires… it could be a lot more than you bargained for.

Before the pandemic, there were more than 70,000 restaurants in Canada alone. In the United States there were over 660,000 restaurants! Just think of how many meals of darkness are being spread? How many are inside you?

It is no use of course, to tell someone not to do something without giving them an alternative!

The ideal would be to take food prepared by an advanced spiritualist in sacrifice to God. Not meat or other dirty things, but clean pure vegetarian foodstuffs, prepared in a clean state of body and mind, clear consciousness, and in loving devotion to Krishna. The person should be cooking only to please God, not for money or any other such mundane reason.

But there are various grades of consciousness, try to find the person with the best consciousness then.

Of course, you can try cooking yourself. Cooking for God is such as wonderful loving personal service to God. Why don’t you try it?

How To Control the Mind?

How can one control the mind? A perennial question that was asked even 5,000 years ago. Those answers are still relevant! Would you like to learn more?

Tapas Chakraborty, 29 July 2019

So far so learned , To progress in spiritual path the first step is Control of Mind. How to accomplish absolute control of our Mind?

Is it totally internal restraint or a combination of both external and internal?

Request all enlightened soul to chart out a clear direction to follow. I will be highly grateful for your guidance.

Hare Krishna

your servant

Tapas

Thunduparambil Jayaprasad, 30 July 2019

Controlling the mind is not easy..in Bhagavad. Gita ..Krishna says. ..to Arjuna.  ..controlling mind is more difficult than controlling wind…But.with Krishna’s help you can do it by diverting your attention to Krishna service . Chanting.and surrendering to him .then Lord will take care…Hare Krishna

Thunduparambil Jayaprasad

Arun Agarwal, 31 July 2019

Hare Krishna

It is Arjun who says that it is very difficult to control mind even more difficult than controlling air. Lord Krishna then tells Arjuna the simple way to control it. Those who surrender to him can control it very easily.

Hari bol

Arun Agarwal

Tapas Chakraborty, 31 July 2019

Thanks for your reply

Request the following

1. What is complete surrender, and

2. How to accomplish the same

The above are literally theoretical, what practice in our daily life we need to do so that we derive the necessary motivation to remain focused.

Sincerely,

Tapas

Arun Agarwal, 31 July 2019

Hare Krishna

I am sorry the answer I gave that surrender to Krishna is the way to control over mind is not correct. Surrender unto Lord Krishna is necessary for overcoming the three modes of material nature which is his divine energy.

For controlling mind pl refer Bhagwad Gita.

Lord Krishna said (6.35 Bhagwad Gita) it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment.

6.26.(Bhagwad Gita)  From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature one must certainly withdraw it and bring back under the control of self.

However for surrendering unto Krishna one has to be in full knowledge and always keeping himself engaged in pure devotional service of lord Krishna.

I have started reading Bhagavad Gita and the books of Srila Prabhupada for the last one year only. As such I know that I am  actually a beginner only and may try to sound very literate and accomplished. But believe me  I am only trying to express what I have read so far.  I just wish to involve in the process of discussion for enhancing the knowledge

Hare Krishna

Sincerely,

Arun

Sudhanshu Soni, 31 July 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhu

I hope this lecture may help you .

your servant

Sudhanshu

Tapas Chakraborty, 1 August 2019

Thanks Bhakta Arun

It’s a real pleasure reading your reply. I believe we are all learning, in fact in search of absolute truth and knowledge which has no end. Each day comes with a new experience and from it greater insights of what we already know. Also the toughest time in our life teaches us more at a greater speed .The more we have questions greater is our search for truth.

So from your reply what I get to know is training the mind for delineating ourselves from material attachment and focusing on absolute reality.

So the question remains how we can force our mind to withdraw from temptations of the materialistic world. Theoretically yes but practically it is difficult unless we are able to harness the consciousness within .

Sincerely,

Tapas

Sharon, 1 August 2019

Thanking you in your lecture, I have read, and I but I know within the rest of my day I will continue to go back to read through and accept what I need to do in order to make the necessary changes to my inner self to become a better much happier person to become more responsible to ensure I don’t slip away with any of the other people who are not wanting to become a part of the inner world of the betterment xx thanking you

Sincerely,

Sharon xx

Shridhar Das, 1 August 2019

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisance.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All Glories to Sri Guru & Sri Gauranga!

[Requesting all devotees to reply in single mail loop in future. In this case [sda_students:5745]]

I am humbly trying to elaborate on below perfect answers. I have not gone through the link yet as I don’t have the facility at the moment but I hope it answers your query fully.

Mind. This topic is unlimited and endless, no matter how many seminars be delivered on it. So are thoughts, desires, impressions in the mind unlimited.

Indeed, as quoted below a great warrior like Arjuna, who was extremely talented and a valiant warrior accepted subordination to the battle against mind although he was confident to bring under control a voracious hurricane. Can we be that confident? What to speak of mind.

The conditioned soul is in this awkward position all because of its surrender to the mind. Great sages dedicate their whole life to perform penance just to conquer the mind and the senses and transcend this existence. And very few pass the test. The glorious tales of such sages decorate the Srimad Bhagavatam so that we can learn and be inspired in similar spirit.

As per your question, we can see Vishwamitra Muni. He very expertly performed penances. Surrounded by fire from all sides during summer and entered into ice waters during winters. Didn’t eat for days and even month while performing austerity. But a simple tinkling of Menaka’s ankle bell ruined all his progress.

On the other hand, a similar yogi named Durvasa Muni got agitated and so angry that he wanted to kill a devotee like Ambarish just because Durvasa Muni “felt” that he has not been given proper respect. Durvasa Muni summoned a demon from his yogic powers to kill Ambarish Maharaj, a pure devotee. This is called trying to kill a mosquito with a machine gun. Punishing a so-called mistake severely.

On the other hand Ambarish Maharaj didn’t retaliate to save his life. He simply depended on Krishna’s will. Krishna’s Sudarshan personally came without invitation for his protection. What was Durvasa’s qualification? He was fully engaged in Lord’s service and depended on Lord for personal maintenance.  In 56-72 verses of Bhagavad Gita’s 2nd chapter, you can find this comparison of yogic v/s devotional process.

The point is- Our path is of Grace & Dependence. Doesn’t mean we don’t care for restraint. We do the needful to keep the standard for the mind, before it may cheat viz. 4 Regulative Principles, Chanting 16 good Rounds at least, Observing Fast on Ekadashi and festivals, Daily study of Srila Prabhupada Books, goes on… Everyone then observe personal austerities under superior guidance.

On our path, the emphasis is not restraining, for Krishna tells in 3rd Chapter – What can repression accomplish?

Mind is very obstinate and we have our own natures. Our process teaches us not to give up work. Rather if we have greed for work and profit, we should fully engage that greed, while assuring we submit the results which assures pleasure of Guru & Vaishnavas. Krishna guided Arjuna to engage his warfare Kshatriya spirit in fighting too not for solitary devotion in the forest as Arjuna felt.

The ultimatum is, if we are acting as per Supreme Worshipable Personality, The All Loving Krishna’s will, mind will always be happy. But to do that we need to understand His teachings. And that is possible through a bonafide spiritual master and his representatives. So we should look for that person whom we can give our heart to faithfully and follow their instructions. And even if mind is not cooperating, but because heart is set on pleasing someone, mind becomes subordinate to such love. So even when mind is upset, we know whom to approach and hear from. And we know if they are pleased, our life is going perfect. So  look for some advanced souls locally who are fully engaged ecstatically in serving Srila Prabhupada. At least we can pray for guidance daily.

For this reason, Srila Gurudeva & Srimati Gurumata (and various other great souls) open themselves to others. In this case there are online lectures where everyone can hear and interact asking questions daily. There is facility to write emails and personally serve them and inquire from them.

You can also sense this surrender in lives of all leading Srila Prabhupada disciples, for Srila Prabhupada.

Hope this helps.

your servant

Shridhar das

Bhakta Sunil, 1 August 2019

Amazing answers,

Prabhu additional nectar on this topic is at

Lecture by His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari on 28 April 2017 in Riga, Latvia,

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Arun Agarwal, 1 August 2019

Hare Krishna

In my view it is only due to our lack of knowledge about Krishna which makes it difficult for us to delineate ourselves totally from material world. You should continue to study the Bhagavad Gita and also the invaluable literature of Srila Prabhupad . You will gain knowledge about everything necessary to achieve the desired goal.

Hare Krishna

Sincerely,

Arun

Tapas Chakraborty, 1 August 2019

Hare Krishna

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

It is indeed an in-depth and elaborate explanation in dealing with the complexities linked to the control of mind. Some takeaways which I will attempt to follow with heart  and soul.

– Disciplined approach to daily life with regular chanting and reading books

– Focus on understanding the Bhagavad-Gita with repetitive follow up

– Try for holy company(Association of Devotees)

– Engage only for true knowledge

– Detachments from materialistic objects

–  Complete surrender to Lord Krishna for his guidance

– Regular touch with holy brothers by asking questions whenever in doubt.

Thank you

Hare Krishna

your servant

Tapas Chakraborty

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

A cut from above

Have you ever experienced a cut from above ever? Did you recognize it? I was fortunate to experience this…

Early this morning I was excited to be able to offer some sugarcane to Krishna. In India, sugarcane is abundantly available, and especially children and youthful persons with strong teeth enjoy chewing the sugarcane and tasting the sweet juice from the sugarcane.

It is quite the miracle, one can reflect on this, how is it that God has made it that a hard stick-like plant growing in the ground can be filled with delicious sweet juice.

In Canada sugarcane is rare, and Aruna Keshavi had managed to procure some. And to offer to Krishna, I was cutting it. There were two knives, one was like a saw, serrated edges, and he other had a straight edge to peel the hard bamboo-like exterior to expose the sweetness.

A knife, but an instrument…

It happened in a flash. The knife with the serrated edge slipped and my right index finger came in its way. Deep cut. I will spare you the gory details but it was quite bad. The wound has now dried up but it throbs as I type this out.

Immediately I started chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. At first in pain and in fear, but then as realization dawned, then in appreciation, gratitude, and finally in ecstasy. Aruna Keshavi found me ecstatic when she came down, and she did not know that a cut had sparked this ecstasy.

I reflected how it was that one little cut produced so much pain but only because I inhabited this body. A dead body feels no pain. To feel pain is a sign of life. I am alive.

I reflected how the same knife could be an instrument of loving devotional service, a source of pain, an interruption of service, a dangerous weapon or an instrument of mercy. Time, Place, and Circumstance, intent and consciousness made all the difference.

I reflected how much pain we cause those living entities on a daily basis. The ones we breathe in and kill, the ones we accidentally ingest, the ones we step on, the ones we regard as pests… the ones we eat too. I cannot imagine how anyone can think that any living entity can be “painlessly killed”, even if following the Kosher process or the Halal process. It is idiocy to think that any living entity can be peacefully killed. We should strive to minimize the pain of course, but only take as much as needed to keep body and soul together. Not one extra grain of rice. And only in an act of sacrifice to God. Of course, God is no bloodthirsty demon, so God accepts no fish or flesh.

I reflected that the knife could have cut off my finger entirely. It was a big knife, and I was using a lot of force But my finger still works. I am typing with it right now. So I knew that some big calamity had been averted by Krishna. Krishna took a mountain-load my my karma, and gave me a token, little cut instead, just to remind me of His immense mercy.

In Vedic tradition, especially Bhakti (Tradition of Loving Devotional Service to God), the index finger represents the false ego, false pride… index fingers are used to point fingers at others. When we chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on our meditation beads, we chant with our right hand we leave the index finger outside the bead bag. We chant with the thumb and middle fingers on the beads. So this cut represented a cut to my false ego, which I need and will gladly take any day. My false ego is what keeps the subtle and not-so-subtle traces of atheism still present in my heart. With no false ego, I would be a pure devotee of Krishna!

One day will surely come when I will need to leave this body. I am attached to this body and everything connected to it. Best to remember that I am a tenant in this apartment, and I don’t exactly how long my lease is for. I am passing through. But that is a subject for another post.

I could still chant Hare Krishna. I could complete my entire morning service, without any significant problems. In fact, when I was deeply engrossed in my meditation I could not even feel the pain. So, it was a fact that my consciousness determined whether I felt material pain or spiritual bliss. And I became aware of this. Above all, it was confirmation that I am not this body.

So, I am very deeply grateful for this. It was indeed a “cut from above”.

There have been many other such situations, and each time, I ended up with an ecstatic experience, by the mercy of Sri Krishna.

Queen Kunti, one of the greatest saints of all time

So I am today praying Queen Kunti’s prayer. She said…

विपद: सन्तु ता: शश्वत्तत्र तत्र जगद्गुरो ।
भवतो दर्शनं यत्स्यादपुनर्भवदर्शनम् ॥ २५ ॥

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat tatra tatra jagad-guro

bhavato darśanaṁ yat syād apunar bhava-darśanam

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

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/8/25/

I am Krishna’s dog. Krishna can kick me or starve me. Krishna can keep me or kill me. Krishna can do whatever He likes with me. I pray to remain. I am happy to be “Das”. Please bless me that I may remain servant of the servant of God.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, God in the form of His own devotee!

mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ

He alone, and no one else, is the worshipable Lord of My heart.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Krishna can give me a pat on my back, or a kick on my backside. In all circumstances Krishna is my Supreme Well Wisher and Best Friend, and I pray never to forget.

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।

सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ २९ ॥

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram

suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/29/

Eating or Drinking water in front of the Deity

Is it OK to eat or drink water in front of the Deity?

Sudhanshu Soni, 22 July 2019

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisance

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

Hare Krishna as far as I know in front of deity we should not eat anything but I have seen many time devotee drinking water in front of altar many times especially during chanting they keep bottle with them or while having Bhagavatam class.

I wanted to know what is acceptable or prohibited in it and why is it so…

Thank you so much

your servant

Sudhanshu

Manian VB, 22 July 2019

Water is the human necessity.if they drink water during Bhagavatam classes or during chanting

Manian

Priya Sundari devi dasi, 22 July 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhu.

From what the Nectar of Devotion (Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu) states, in Chapter 8 (Offenses to be avoided) –

One should not eat / accept / honor prasadam in front of the deities yes.

If the curtains are closed ie deities are resting then it is ok from what I have seen in various temples. Water is not considered a food in that sense so it is accepted. Same with Caranamrita – which is why after the darshan arati in the morning, devotees are given caranamrita and they wash their hands and mouth once it is honored.

I hope this helps answer your question.

your servant,

Priya Sundari devi dasi

*Kṛṣṇe matir astu*

Sudhanshu soni, 24 July 2019

Thank you so much Mata ji.

your servant,

Sudhanshu

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

Overcoming Dr. Frog Mentality

Why does anyone try to measure God against themselves?

I heard this example from my spiritual master Sri Sankarshan Das Adhikari several times. Once upon a time, Dr. Frog lived in a well. He was the authority on the well. He knew all its inhabitants, he knew the varying water levels. Dr. Frog was born in the well, and knew that of course, his well was the greatest water body in the world.

One day, a little visitor came to his well, hop hop hop. This visitor had just come from the ocean’s edge. Dr. Frog welcomed his little guest, and they got talking. Dr. Frog told him all about his well. The little one said all that was fine but that he had seen a water body much bigger than the well. Dr. Frog couldn’t believe his ears. He decided to humour his little visitor.

He puffed up his chest a little. “This much bigger?” he asked. The little one said, “No Dr. Frog, much bigger”. Dr. Frog was a master puffer. So he puffed himself up some more. And more. And more. Until his chest burst. And that was the end of Dr. Frog.

Similarly, the Dr. Frogs of this world are trying to measure the glory of God in relation to themselves. When they hear Krishna drank deadly poison as a newborn and sucked out the life of Putana the child-killing demoness, they think, surely this is a fairy tale. When they hear how Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill for 7 days and 7 nights on the little finger of his left hand without a break to protect the citizens of Vrindavan, they think this is surely a myth. When they hear Krishna danced with 3 Billion Gopis and made each of them feel that she was the only one, they say, surely this is a male fantasy. When they hear Krishna married 16,108 wives and each of the wives thought she was the only one, they may think surely Krishna must refer to a tribe of men.

Each materialist, atheist, and pseudo-spiritualist tries to measure God against Himself. This is Maya, that which is not, trying to measure God against one’s own puny little self.

But we little fellows, recovering atheists, are going around telling the little Dr. Frogs of the world, sir, there is a God, and God is very very great, much much greater than you, and they simply puff up their chests. We also say God is very very sweet, not an angry old man, and they think we are fools. We tell them we know what God looks like and they think we are idol worshippers.

But everyone should remember that a frog who croaks too loud attracts his own death in the form of a hungry snake.

The snake of time will devour us all, but those of us in a compact of Love with God, death is simply taking a nap and waking up in our eternal form.

Please read the books of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Please strive to understand and follow them. Please chant Hare Krishna, serve the Krishna Consciousness Movement directly or in any of its many branches like Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, and continue your progessive journey home.

If I may serve you on your journey please reach out!

Love He who made all that

Why do we love someone? Why do we love dogs, cats, and things? What is it about them that we love them or lust for them or are attached to them?

Usually, all living entities have affection for some other living entities. Many living entities also have attachments to things.

If a human does not have other humans to associate with, or if they find those relationships unfulfilling, they often keep a dog or a cat or even fish or a lizard or something else.

Why do we love other living entities? Why are we attached to things?

instead of loving

a dog or a cat

why not love Krishna

who made all that

His Holiness Vishnujana Swami (quoted by His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Everything everyone likes is originally enabled by God. Everyone you love is being personally emanated by God.

Whether its your most precious possession, or your most treasured relationship, there is one source.

Simply recognizing God as the source of every single experience that gives you pleasure is the easiest way to develop love for God.

My spiritual master gives the example of a generous roommate, who keep the fridge full with all kinds of most delicious foods and you are free to use anything you like without any payment in return! What do we pay for the sunlight, the air, the water, the earth, and the life that enables to enjoy it all?

We love or are attached to anyone or anything only because Krishna is manifesting them. Actually our love is for Krishna.

अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो मत्त: सर्वं प्रवर्तते ।
इति मत्वा भजन्ते मां बुधा भावसमन्विता: ॥ ८ ॥

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/8/

If we recognize this, we will be fully satisfied, fully content, and blissful always.

Why can we not offer meat, fish, and eggs to God?

In the Bhagavad Gita, only leaves, flowers, fruits, and water are mentioned – so why do we offer other things like roots and stems and beans and nuts? Why not offer meat, fish, and eggs to Krishna then?

Bhaktin Suzanne

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear Devotees,

I have questions after reading this verse from Bhagavad Gita 9:26.

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

I have a question.

All foods mentioned in this verse grow above the ground (leaves, flowers, and fruits).

This verse does not mention roots ( potato, carrot, beet etc).

This verse does not mention stems (celery , cinnamon etc.).

And Krishna also does not say He will accept seeds of plants such as nuts, beans. All grains , which are seeds too are not mentioned in this verse.

Krishna does not mention meat fish and eggs in this verse, so we do not offer these to Krishna.

He does not mention seeds, nuts, and roots. He is very specific about which part of the plant He will accept.

Why then do we go ahead and offer to Krishna the other parts of the plant?

Is there another scripture somewhere that says Krishna accepts roots, stems, seeds and grains? Please enlighten me.

Bhaktin Suzanne

Naren Tippavajjula, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Dear devotee Suzanne

The meaning of :

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati

tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

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

Even water is underground

It doesn’t mean anything specific.

In broad sense, Krishna means, you need not give me silver, gold or keep payasam (opulent sweet) in golden bowl

Even a leaf, a sprinkle of water, a fruit which you give me with pure heart and devotion it is counted and God will see the bhakti and pure heart in you

This is the meaning in this verse

Devotion to God and being enlightened is what God sees in you

Thank you

Naren Tippavajjula

Shridhar Das, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisance,

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! 

Interesting question. Your attempts to introspect is well appreciated and the act of confirming with a bonafide audience is indeed devotional!

I fully agree with the below answer by Bhakta Narendra. It is the essence. 

Of the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita, 7-12 are treasure in the middle and even in their midst, 9th is still further confidential and this particular verse is the crux. Just as a careful person in previous ages would want to guard the jewel by putting it in a case and pack that case inside another and so on until he feels satisfied, so is this verse similarly packed in the middle.

Consider this example: It is very laborious to attain a B.Tech degree with high grades, especially from a very reputed college like IIT (in India) and that too with a Gold Medal. Firstly, to get into a college takes good school grades. Besides that many entrance exams have to be attempted which involves cut-throat competition. But imagine if it was available very simply? It is not so in Material World but Krishna Consciousness, which is the topmost goal of life, aspired by even the greatest sages and demigods with lifetimes of austerity is actually simple to attain. Srila Prabhupada is writing in the purport: 

The process of achieving such a marvelous result is very easy and can be attempted even by the poorest of the poor, without any kind of qualification.

The only qualification required in this connection is to be a pure devotee of the Lord. It does not matter what one is or where one is situated.

The process is so easy that even a leaf or a little water or fruit can be offered to the Supreme Lord in genuine love and the Lord will be pleased to accept it.

Srila Prabhupada now is very staunchly declaring in his magnanimity:

No one, therefore, can be barred from Krishna consciousness, because it is so easy and universal. Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Krishna conscious by this simple method and thus attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss and knowledge? Krishna wants only loving service and nothing more. Krishna accepts even a little flower from His pure devotee. 

Therefore the purpose of mentioning these 4 items are to indicate how simple has Krishna made Himself to be approached.

And He is not even asking all these items, but simply any one of these.(In comparison, some demigod worship involves offering items like meat, some demigod worship requires humongous amount of ghee, gold, perfection in performing rituals, etc.)

And the appearance of the word “bhaktya” in the verse doesn’t indicate error of repetition of the word devotion on Krishna’s behalf but emphasizing the importance of offering them with love and devotion, by a devotee.

As far as your curiosity on what is bonafide to be offered and what not – One sign of love is to offer what is right. Of course, in Kali that is not possible to understand. Therefore, Acharya, direct representative of God comes to teach us and share with us the essence of the oceanic Vedic wisdom. Here also Srila Prabhupada specifies: 

Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Kishna Himself. Whatever else we eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it. Thus we cannot be acting on the level of loving devotion if we offer such foods.

Even within the above, whatever is easy to digest for the body, in goodness, favorable for our consciousness, should also be offerable to Krishna although Krishna accepts betel nuts as well which is not suitable for us. The lives of great Acharyas simplifies for us what is offerable and what is not. More details on this can be presented by other devotees. 

your servant

Shridhar das

Brajanath Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna Suzanne Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva! 

Interesting question and enlightening answers by Narendra Prabhu and Sridhar Prabhu. Here is my humble attempt to give a context of my 2 cents on this subject.

“… a leaf, a fruit, a flower, or water.” This means that vegetables, fruits, nuts, juice, and all kinds of produce can be offered to Him and then eaten. We also offer dairy products that aren’t mentioned in that verse.

Out of His kindness, Krishna will accept even the smallest token of our faith — even a little water or a Tulasi leaf — if it is offered with love. When Krishna asks us to make such an offering, He is really inviting us to reawaken our eternal, blissful relationship with Him. He wants our love. Therefore the key ingredient in the preparation and offering process is our affection for Him, our desire to please Him.

This verse explains how Krsna emphasizes the love and devotion of the devotee and that is what He sees when we offer Him something.

We develop our love for Krishna by offering/accepting the things He likes and rejecting the things He dislikes. Lord Krishna begins Bg 9.26 with the word patram to explain that pain does not exist in the performance of bhakti to Him, and it can also be performed with ease.

The word bhaktya has been used in the second line and also again in the third line in the word bhakty-upahatam. The repetition emphasizes that, if someone other than My bhakta offers Me fruits or flowers with superficial devotion, I do not accept it, but I accept (açnami) whatever My bhaktas give Me, be it even a leaf. In other words, I fully enjoy that which is offered to Me with bhakti, but I do not enjoy the offering of someone who has been forced to do it. 

Vidura’s wife, Vidurani, felt such great ecstasy at the opportunity to serve Krishna personally that she offered Him a banana peel instead of the fruit and Krishna ate it with great relish.

Sabhari, a devotee of Lord Rama offered Him fruits after biting each piece to ensure that they didn’t taste sour and Lord Rama ate them with great relish.

One can satisfy the Lord simply by devotional service. Gajendra did this by offering a flower, and thus the Lord was satisfied with him (SB 7.9.9).

We are supposed to be essence seekers.

I hope that helps.

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear One,

Your response is gentle and soothing to my mind and heart.

Thank you.

Devotee Suzanne

Rasika Krishna Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please see below excerpt from Sri Valmiki Ramayan:

As per the instructions of Guru Vishwamitra all of them decided to take night rest there. Ram and Lakshman,both the brothers, collected “Kanda-Mool-Fala” (eatable bulbs, roots and fruits/ vegetables) from forest and dedicated to the sage. With the Guru, both the brothers also ate the collected items considering that as boon. After completing the bath and worship, Ram and Lakshman listened variety of stories and religious discourse told by Vishwamitra. Finally, after providing appropriate services to Guru and getting permission from him, they laid down to their gross beds pronouncing the holy “Gayatri Mantra”.

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Thank you to all devotees responding to my question.

I am carefully reading and studying your offerings to all of us.

your servant,

Bhaktin Suzanne

Shridhar Das, 23 June 2019

Oh, I am very enlightened by reading all the answers! Especially the examples below and from Ramayan. 

Few more examples:

Sudama Brahman was shy and embarrassed to offer the chipped rice that his wife had given him in dirty wrapped clothes. Sudama and his wife had no proper clothes to wear. Only 1 pair. They were torn and besides that dirty as well. Coming to Dwarka and being honored by Krishna in the best possible way, experiencing the topmost opulence and welcome in Dwarka, Sudama indeed felt that his gift was not worth offerable to Krishna. Krishna being the Supersoul asked Sudama, “Do you wish to gift me something?”. When Sudama replied No, Krishna told Sudama that he doesn’t taste anything material that His devotees offer. He tastes the spiritual love and devotion and Krishna snatched the chipped rice and honored with great relish.

Another pastime:

Srila Raghunath Das Goswami once gave up begging food as a renunciant in Jagannath Puri and in the deepest of his humility exhibited topmost renunciation by honoring the rice that was coming out from the drainage of Jagannath Puri temple. That rice was the most rejected in material state, being leftovers after the cows had chewed and spit them. This was Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami’s feast everyday. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu heard of this, The Supreme Lord Himself came and snatched that Prashadam from hands of Raghunath Das Goswami and told that He had never tasted anything delicious like this. Lord was tasting the devotional renunciation of Srila Raghunath Das Goswami.

your servant

Shridhar das

Naren Tippavajjula, 23rd June 2019

Hare Krishna

There is another verse from purusha suktam

antar bahischa tatsarvam vyapya narayanastitaha

Meaning, in all of us and everyone, the lord Vishnu is present, we are offering the one which God gave us

Regarding offering in Bhagavad-Gita it’s written as 3 types

Satvik food

Rajasik food

Tamasik food

We should take and even offer only satvik food for the God

As rajasik and tamasik if we take ,it gives rise to anger ,greed and other 5 evils kama,krodha,lobha,madam,matsaryam

So Krishna suggested us not to take those food items by which we can reach eternal happiness

Thank you for your valuable questions

Naren Tippavajjula

Suryakant Vibhandik, 25 June 2019

Hari bol. Thank you so much for all the observation by various prabhus. I would also like to add something i have heard.

Patram is to offer a page of our day’s activities. We are daily writing something on this page with the help of the supersoul.

Pusham is to offer a petal of our heart’s love. We cannot bestow our love fully on anyone or anything in this material world.

But the love can be reciprocated with the Supreme Lord and both are fully satisfied fully by this exchange of love.

Phalam is to offer the results of our activities.

Toyam is to offer a tear with love and devotion for the supreme person. Lord Krishna came to help Draupadi when she helplessly cried for help. She tried her best to save herself by herself but when she raised her both hands Krishna came by the mediam of her tears.

Thank you guru maharaj for providing a platform to express and receive opinions of enlightened souls. Please correct and rectify me. Hari bol.

Bhakta Sunil, 25 June 2019

Hare Krishna

would like to add a speck to the wonderful answers,

All the foods mentioned in the Verses are in mode of goodness, accordingly only foods in mode of goodness are to be offered

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das, 25 June 2019

Dear Mother Suzanne,

Hare Krishna!

The Bhagavad Gita is a summary of the vast Vedic literature, just 700 verses, or 1400 lines in all, spoken in a little over an hour. Bhagavad Gita was spoken in the Vedic context by the Greatest Vedic Authority to a highly advanced and learned disciple who got it in one shot. One lifetime, or a hundred of our current lifetimes are not sufficient to study the entire Vedic literature.

In Bhagavad Gita, for example, it is not directly mentioned “Chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”.We rely on the spiritual masters to tell us that this mantra is what Krishna means when He says amongst all types of sacrifices, “japa” is the highest and best. यज्ञानां जपयज्ञोऽस्मि yajñānāṁ japa-yajño ’smi  Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa] https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/25/

In addition to scripture, we have two other sets of authority., You mentioned scripture, or Shaastra… the other two are “Sadhu” – the great saintly personalities, and “Guru” – the spiritual masters in disciplic succession. So just as I don’t need to wait on a DNA test to determine who my mother and father are, I take their word for it unless I’m in some unusual circumstances! 🙂

So therefore we read scriptures in the association of the devotees, because reading alone, it is possible that we reach some strange conclusions – so many conspiracy theorists, tin-foil hats, despots, tyrants, murderers, and other such persons have claimed to have “direct communion” with God or the scripture they were reading…

These 3, Guru, Sadhu, and Shastra are our GPS triangulation points. We consult all 3 to determine our course of action. That is why the International Society for Krishna Consciousness exists, to provide all three, Guru, Sadhu, and Shaastra, plus a large community of those trying to follow them carefully.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhaktin Suzanne, 28 June 2019

Thank you for your response.

Hare Krishna

Bhaktin Suzanne

J. Austin Tomlinson, 28 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Krishna will also accept stems and roots.

He cares more for your spiritual enlightenment and liberation and transcendence. He is very specific that he cares more about you than you know. Krishna is the supreme person. He will also accept beans and nuts. Imagine he is your best friend and you are his guest. Also imagine his power. This I say in Krishna consciousness. Hare Krishna

J. Austin Tomlinson

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