No reason for hopelessness, despair, and negativity

Sometimes there is hopelessness, despair, negativity in our life. Sometimes we don’t understand what’s going on and why. But spiritual life is a scientific process. A scientific process produces a repeatable results each time. So, always remember Krishna (GOD) and never forget Krishna (GOD). But how practically?

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 August 2020

Hare Krishna!

Some of us have received messages to the group or to individuals which convey a sense of hopelessness, despair, and negativity. This may be natural at a time like this, but please know that there is no reason for all that.

Simply striving to understand the process of Krishna consciousness, follow it as best as one can, and find ways to render spiritual service to everyone around us will both gradually and immediately remove all causes of negativity in our lives.

1. You all are already part of the eCourse. Please read the daily message carefully and try to imbibe it deep inside your consciousness – those messages are truly effective. I have been receiving them since 2004, so I have 17+ years experience now. Even though we might not remember the details of each message, it is like a meal packed with nutrients and love and pure spiritual power – even if you don’t remember specifically what you had 10 days ago, it has still made you stronger.

2. You all have access to the daily live lectures, broadcast twice a day. I can rarely attend the lectures, but when I do manage to, I feel very enlivened and energized. Just this morning, an answer to my question by Gurumataji pulled me out of some grave misunderstandings!

3. We have a dedicated team of souls helping to imbibe Srila Prabhupada’s books in an organized fashion… Bhagavata Online Academy – if you are not already on one of those groups, then let me know – we will be soon creating a new group… if you are, then please read those messages, even if you cannot read the actual book, just that message alone is packed with positive energy!

4. Please chant Hare Krishna as much as you can, take Krishna Prasada as much as you can, and serve Krishna and His dear ones as much as you can.

The process of Krishna consciousness works. I have sincerely (and mostly imperfectly) tried it for over 20 years. The only time something goes awry is when I slip on following the process diligently.

If there are any relevant questions, please ask the group – please follow the group guidelines carefully – only messages that follow the guidelines are posted to the group.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Maxine, 27 August 2020

Hare Krishna thank you I will be doing so as you said I should do I ask you to please add me to the group you have coming up I tried to sign up for a group but I received no email from the action I am thankful  for your words and I look forward to do as you say and want to be in a group I want to learn all of Lord Krishnas words and follow and serve him thank you again the material body  I am in is I’ll at the moment but my soul and mind are fine and I am listening to all you teach and all I can read I will follow your words I know we can save all and make this world for Krishna your humble servant maxine

Maxine

Araon Joy, 27 August 2020

And, if I may add what I tell people and keeps me not being hopeless:

God, Lord Krishna, never abandons us and never forgets us (nor do I believe God is sitting back laughing at us as we fail/pass his tests, as I had one Christian tell me earlier this year). We just don’t see the big picture. We don’t see God’s divine plan for our lives or the world. We do not see always how God is constantly working in the world. If I have a moment of fear, as I do not know what is next, I remind myself that somebody else knows what is next and has my best interests at heart (or a really good lesson or something I need in my life) and I trust Krishna completely. Completely.

While I keep doing what I feel moved to, and what dreams I have I continue to pursue, and what art/creativity I want to create I continue to create.

Srila Prabhupada said to Bob Cohen (in the booklet “Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers”) in a series of conversations that miracles are simply things we do not understand. Someone might think a chemical reaction is a miracle, but for a scientist who knows the process it makes sense. We do not understand God’s process in the world. It may seem like miracles or a lack of miracles, but we simply don’t understand the process that has been put in play by the greatest scientist. I trust that scientist. Have faith. Read Gita and Prahbupada’s books. Associate with those of us who are like minded. Remember Krishna daily.

Just my few thoughts.

Hare Krishna

Aaron Joy

Portland Maine USA

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.ecstaticmedia.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

Ascending vs. Descending Process of knowledge

What is knowledge? What is ignorance? How do we acquire knowledge? Which method actually works? Finding out things the ascending way, or hearing from an authority? How to acquire perfect knowledge beyond all doubt?

Knowledge is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

Are these people getting anywhere? Are they “progressing”?

With knowledge, comes power. Power to do good, and also power to do evil. Knowledge can be a liberator, but also can be a tool for enforcing bondage.

Also, what qualifies as knowledge anyway? If, for example, a person acquired some knowledge on “how to rob a bank” and applies that knowledge, landing in prison, or even if they escape somehow, was that really knowledge? Or was it ignorance?

There are 2 main types of knowledge:

  1. Knowledge of the material world -material knowledge
  2. Knowledge of what lies beyond this material world through the scriptures – spiritual knowledge – In Sanskrit “परोक्ष” or “parokṣa”

There are many means of acquiring knowledge:

  1. By Direct experience or perception – In sanskrit “प्रत्यक्ष” or “pratyakṣa”
  2. By hypothesis/logic/conjecture/guessing – In sanskrit “अनुमान” or “anumāna”
  3. By hearing from a higher authority – In Sanskrit “शब्द” or “śabda”

Ultimately, there are 2 fundamental processes of acquiring knowledge:

  1. Ascending Process – build up knowledge from building blocks – In Sanskrit “आरोहपन्था” or “ārohapanthā
  2. Descending Process – Knowledge descending directly from God and His messengers – In Sanskrit “अवरोहपन्था” or “avarohapanthā

In an article, with an example of an ant who wanted to map the Universe, I discussed the futility of the ascending process of knowledge, especially about items that are outside of our realm of perception.

Much of what we know exists, is actually too subtle to perceive.

These are the material elements, listed in the Bhagavad Gita:

Gross Material Elements:

  1. Earth
  2. Water
  3. Fire
  4. Air
  5. Ether (Space/Sky)

Subtle Material Elements:

  1. Mind
  2. Intelligence
  3. False Ego

BG भूमिरापोऽनलो वायु: खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च ।
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा ॥ ४ ॥

bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego – all together these eight constitute My separated material energies.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/4/

The Material-Spiritual Disconnect

Earth is the most gross of the material elements, more subtle is water, even more subtle is air, and ether is quite subtle, you can’t touch or feel space, but we can still perceive it. Now, when we get to the mind, that is even more subtle. Intelligence is still more subtle, and the most subtle material element is false ego, our sense of identity.

However, none of the material elements can directly approach that which is non-material, namely the spiritual is outside of the realm of material elements, even subtle.

If we see our material means of acquiring knowledge, the mind, intelligence, and our sense of identity are all material in nature, and therefore, the ascending process of acquiring knowledge cannot possibly extend to the spiritual realm.

There is another main reason why the ascending process of knowledge is flawed… all of us who are “conditioned” to accept a material identity, have 4 defects:

  1. Tendency to be illusioned (In Sanskrit “भ्रम”or “bhrama”) – we often misunderstand facts and are illusioned about things as they are
  2. Tendency to make mistakes (In Sanskrit “प्रमाद” or “pramāda”) – there is no conditioned souls who can say they never make mistakes
  3. Tendency to cheat others (In Sanskrit “विप्रलिप्सा”or “vipralipsā”) – this is a great weakness, to want to appear better than we are, or know something we don’t, etc.
  4.  We possess imperfect senses (In Sanskrit “करण पाटव” or “karaṇa-pāṭava”) – all our senses are quite imperfect, and we miss a lot from our senses

So, with these 4 defects, it is impossible to acquire perfect knowledge using only our senses. Why is that? It is because with an imperfect instrument, you cannot make something that is perfect. No matter how hard we try, our imperfections stand in the way.

The common example is if we’re doing some mathematical calculation or solving an equation… a tiny mistake somewhere along the way can get us a wrong answer.

Let’s say, for example, someone didn’t know who their father was… they can do some detective work, or a DNA test of every man in the world, or they can take the answer from their mother. The mother’s answer is authoritative and a lot easier too.

Reconnecting Material to the Spiritual

The only way to acquire perfect knowledge, then, is through the descending process, “avarohapantha”. In this process, the Supreme Absolute Perfect (generically called God, specifically named Krishna, Allah, Rama, Govinda, Buddha, Jehovah, Yahweh, etc.) conveys the perfect knowledge, and whoever hears this knowledge passes it on without addition or subtraction.

Perfect Knowledge means something that never changes. Compare this to our ascending process of knowledge. Researchers make a career out of making mistakes! First they publish one paper hypothesizing (and sometimes also offering “proof”) one particular thing… the laypeople accept that as the truth, and then a little while later, that or another researcher publishes another paper contradicting the original hypothesis or proof. In this way, the so-called philosophers and scientists bumble about, going from imperfection to imperfection. This is not called knowledge, this is called nescience, or ignorance.

Why is that? Because material knowledge gives the impression of advancement, whereas it actually traps us in bigger and bigger problems, requiring more and ever more complexity. A material “solution” is only another problem in disguise… it is simply creating one problem in place of another. Therefore, material knowledge is not called knowledge, but ignorance. And those who pursue material knowledge excessively are said to be ignorant.

So therefore, spiritual knowledge is worth pursuing, and such knowledge cannot be “discovered/created/invented” by anyone else other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

धर्मं तु साक्षाद्भ‍गवत्प्रणीतं
न वै विदुऋर्षयो नापि देवा: ।
न सिद्धमुख्या असुरा मनुष्या:
कुतो नु विद्याधरचारणादय: ॥ १९ ॥

dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ
na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ
na siddha-mukhyā asurā manuṣyāḥ
kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādayaḥ

Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/19/

But, one may ask, it’s not like the Supreme Personality of Godhead is directly perceivable to a materially conditioned soul. So what is to be done?

Fortunately, there is a clear way…

स्वयम्भूर्नारद: शम्भु: कुमार: कपिलो मनु: ।
प्रह्लादो जनको भीष्मो बलिर्वैयासकिर्वयम् ॥ २० ॥
द्वादशैते विजानीमो धर्मं भागवतं भटा: ।
गुह्यं विशुद्धं दुर्बोधं यं ज्ञात्वामृतमश्नुते ॥ २१ ॥

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam

dvādaśaite vijānīmo
dharmaṁ bhāgavataṁ bhaṭāḥ
guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ
yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute

Lord Brahmā, Bhagavān Nārada, Lord Śiva, the four Kumāras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahūti], Svāyambhuva Manu, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja, Grandfather Bhīṣma, Bali Mahārāja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and I myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhāgavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/20-21/

Now, at least some of those personalities have established disciplic successions on this planet.

There are 4 main authorized disciplic successions to receive perfect knowledge in discipic successions. A disciplic succession is known as “Sampradaya” or “That which gives completely”.

A mango, intact, passed down

A useful example is that if a ripe mango is high in a tree, then if the mango is handed from person to person from those who are at various heights pass the mango down from hand to hand, vs. trying to throw the mango down to the ground…

A Sampradaya delivers spiritual knowledge perfectly, without addition or subtraction
  1. Brahma Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Madhva, Lord Chaitanya, and their followers.
  2. Rudra Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Vishnu Swami and his followers.
  3. Sri Sampradaya and its branches, begun by Lakshmi devi, the Goddess of Fortune, consort of Lord Narayana, and especially expounded by the great teacher Sri Ramanuja and his followers.
  4. Kumara Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Sri Nimbarka and his followers.

What about the rest?

To the extent the teachings of others are in line with one of these descending lines of discipic succession, they are valid, and anything outside of these is at best a stepping stone to one of these 4 lines of disciplic succession. In the worst case, it is a materialistic business masquerading as a genuine spiritual tradition.

Those who claim to be part of a certain tradition but add or subtract from the fundamental principles or twist the teachings are called “apasampradayas” or “anti disciplic successions”.

His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

By the mercy of my parents and then my spiritual master His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari who is a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada The Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, even though personally unworthy, I am connected to one of these lines of disciplic succession, called the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, and seeking to pass on those pure instructions to whoever may want to follow, without adding or subtracting any principle, only, if need be, adjusting details to suit the individual and times.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

And what is a principle and what is a detail? That, Srila Prabhupada said, requires some intelligence. I pray for this intelligence, which in my case, I simply ask my spiritual master with a clear description of context.

Ultimately however, knowledge coming from the scriptures and the spiritual master in disciplic succession must be realized in the heart through a process of personal effort (sadhana) and purification. Then the paroksha jnana or scriptural knowledge through scripture, becomes “aparoksha” or that which is beyond the reach of the material senses. In order to experience such knowledge in action, one’s senses must be spiritually awakened, or re-spiritualized.

Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Pure devotional service to Krishna is the Ultimate goal of all knowledge, and anything besides this is a waste of time.

Questions? I remain your servant on your spiritual journey! Hare Krishna!

How George Harrison found complete satisfaction

Why can we not find satisfaction? A poor person, middle class person, and rich person all are dissatisfied. Even the richest person sometimes wants a carefree life of the poor… how to get satisfaction in life?

Nisarga, 30 June 2020

When a poor man sees a middle class person he wishes that if I atleast have a life like him I will be satisfied. Similarly that middle Class person will find his happiness in a rich person’s life and the rich person also won’t be that satisfied or happy in his life…he will sometimes wish that he had a life to live like that poor man without any worries .why does this happen and how do we break this loop and find satisfaction and happiness within oneself.

Nisarga

Mahabhagavat Das, 08 September 2020

Dear Nisarga,

Hare Krishna!

A spirit soul is purely spiritual. But when the spirit soul identifies with matter, then the soul seeks satisfaction in material sense gratification. But because the soul is spiritual, everything material does not satisfy.

Actually, the spirit soul is in search of Krishna, as said perfectly by George Harrison…

quote

Everybody is looking for KRISHNA. Some don’t realize that they are, but they are.

KRISHNA is GOD, the Source of all that exists, the Cause of all that is, was, or ever will be. As GOD is unlimited HE has many Names. Allah-Buddha-Jehova-Rama: All are KRISHNA, all are ONE.

God is not abstract; He has both the impersonal and the personal aspects to His personality which is SUPREME, ETERNAL, BLISSFUL, and full of KNOWLEDGE. As a single drop of water has the same qualities as an ocean of water, so has our consciousness the qualities of GOD’S consciousness… but through our identification and attachment with material energy (physical body, sense pleasures, material possessions, ego, etc.) our true TRANSCENDENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS has been polluted, and like a dirty mirror it is unable to reflect a pure image. With many lives our association with the TEMPORARY has grown. This impermanent body, a bag of bones and flesh, is mistaken for our true self, and we have accepted this temporary condition to be final.

Through all ages, great SAINTS have remained as living proof that this non-temporary, permanent state of GOD CONSCIOUSNESS can be revived in all living Souls. Each soul is potentially divine. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita: “Steady in the Self, being freed from all material contamination, the yogi achieves the highest perfectional stage of happiness in touch with the Supreme Consciousness.” (VI,28)

YOGA (a scientific method for GOD (SELF) realization) is the process by which we purify our consciousness, stop further pollution, and arrive at the state of Perfection, full KNOWLEDGE, full BLISS.

If there’s a God, I want to see Him. It’s pointless to believe in something without proof, and Krishna Consciousness and meditation are methods where you can actually obtain GOD perception. You can actually see God, and Hear Him, play with Him. It might sound crazy, but He is actually there, actually with you.

There are many yogic Paths–Raja, Jnana, Hatha, Kriya, Karma, Bhakti–which are all acclaimed by the MASTERS of each method. SWAMI BHAKTIVEDANTA is as his title says, a BHAKTI Yogi following the path of DEVOTION. By serving GOD through each thought, word, and DEED, and by chanting HIS Holy Names, the devotee quickly develops God-consciousness. By chanting:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna – Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama – Rama Rama, Hare Hare

one inevitably arrives at KRISHNA Consciousness. (The proof of the pudding is in the eating!)

I request that you take advantage of this book KRISHNA, and enter into its understanding. I also request that you make an appointment to meet your God now, through the self liberating process of YOGA (UNION) and GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (KRISHNA) HARI BOL.

GEORGE HARRISON 31/3/70

unquote

The only satisfaction is in pure Krishna Consciousness.

Does this help?

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Nikhil Mishra, 08 September 2020

Jai..Hari Bol. Thanks for quoting George Harrison.

I guess Swami Prabhupada must be very pleased with the services of

George Harrison. I have heard that in his last days, Prabhupada asked

caretaking devotees to give his ring to Mr. (Bhakta) George Harrison.

Sincerely

Nikhil

Reason and Love : “Reason helps Love to maintain its proper bounds in the Spiritual world. Love often tends to degrade itself by exercising its function on objects other than God and converts itself into lust for women, wine, meat and gold. Here Reason advises her to rise higher till she reaches her proper sphere above.”

– Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Mahabhagavat Das, 09 September 2020

Yes, George Harrison is a great Vaishnava. He has done tremendous services in the Krishna Consciousness movement when it was needed the most. He chanted Hare Krishna right till the end of his body. Srila Prabhupada surely has arranged for his onward journey. Now it is time for us to strive hard, get out of complacency and be truly Krishna conscious, and give this one life to Krishna. What are we waiting for? 

Mahabhagavat Das, dasadas.com

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.ecstaticmedia.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

Why do I fail in my studies even though I work so hard?

Some students work so hard, but they don’t achieve success? Why is it that hard work alone is not an indicator of success?

Amulya Gowda, 02 August 2020

Hare Krishna! As i need to know that why i am getting failures in my studies as i do much hard work

Amulya Gowda

Bhaktarupa Das, 02 August 2020

Dear Amulya,

Hare Krishna!

A similar question has been answered by Srila Gurudeva in the Thought for the day published 21st May2020,

Hope this answers your question.

Hare Krishna!

yours sincerely,

Bhaktarupa Das

https://ultimate-self-realization.blogspot.com/2020/05/tasting-unlimited-bliss-in-total.html

Answers According to the Vedic Wisdom

Question: Slow in Study Problem

Hare Krishna, Prabhu,

You are a possessor of divine knowledge, so you can provide the most correct solution to every problem.

Things like concentration and intention to study can be developed in any person. But what will you say to a student who processes things slowly,

that is, who is slow in study even after having full concentration and intention?

Your servant ,

A medical student

Answer: Offer Yourself Fully to Krishna

From: ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

My Dear Medical Student,

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

If you will offer yourself fully to Krishna as His eternal servant under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, you will become expert in everything that you do.

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

Your ever well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari  

Akanksha Vishwakarma, 03 August 2020

Amulya Gowda, Shri Krishna also faced so many problems to defeat Jarasandha, a King of Magadha and he is also a father in law of kansa. Shri Krishna tried 16 times to defeat Jarasandha but again and again he got failure but 17th time he defeated Jarasandha.

So, with the help of this event which happens in Krishna’s life I want to say that you don’t feel so depressed about your failures. There are so many challenges in life. Please face that challenge and accept it, make everyday New plans and work on it. One day will come when you achieve your aim like Krishna. When the right time comes everything will be O. K. and leave each and everything on Shri Krishna. 

Ab Saup diya is jeevan ka sab bhaar tumhare charno mein. 

Hai Jeet Tumhare Charno mein, Hai Haar Tumhare Charno mein. 

Akanksha Vishwakarma

Subodh, 03 August 2020

Hare Krishna, 

When you try to catch rajdhani express then you are supposed to wait for while, but waiting at station is not a easy task, for that Srila Prabhupada has given us chanting of the mahamantra during that course of times, in between plenty of passenger train is passing towards your destination, but don’t catch it, it takes longer time, please wait for your rajdhani, one more things in any route there are the few rajdhani but plenty of locals are there, like that Krishna is preparing the rajdhani express but we supposed to wait and chant for him, passing of passenger train is looking like failure of life, but ignore it through holy name of lord, certainly our time of train will come, 

Hare Krishna

Subodh

Bhaktarupa Das, 04 August 2020

Dear Akanksha,

Hare Krishna!

Regarding the fight between Jarasandha and Krishna, it is described in scriptures that Jarasandha attacked Mathura 17 times, but did not succeed, when he attempted 18th time, Krishna performed His pastime of running away from the battle field, just to deliver His devotee Mucukunda. All these are very nicely described in Krishna book (chapters 50 to 52) and Srimad Bhagavatam.  

https://vedabase.io/en/library/kb/50/

Krishna is also worshipped as Ranacora for this wonderful act. 

Krishna is the strength of the strong, intelligence of the intelligent, prowess of all powerful men. ( refer B.G. 7.10 and 7.11)

One who can understand Krishna’s transcendental nature of Krishna’s appearance and activities in truth, does not take birth again and returns back to Krishna (refer B.G. 4.9)

Krishna says with a single fragmental portion He pervades and supports the entire universe (refer B.G. 10.42)

Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we are all at part and parcels of Krishna, meant to serve Him, but not imitate His actions. It is because we wanted to imitate His actions, we have landed up in this material world suffering to do so, like the fish is trying to be happy on the land instead of being happy in water.

Hare Krishna!

yours sincerely,

Bhaktarupa Das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.ecstaticmedia.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

Slaughtered in moments on the 401

Death can come at any moment. We experience death regularly, whether of a fish that just got caught, or a person who died in a car accident, or someone who had a heart attack. Animals, birds, fish and insects can’t do anything about their death. But as humans, how can we prepare for death? How can we transcend it altogether?

My current office is near the waterfront. Some days when I can take a walk along the waterfront, especially in summer, I see these birds diving into the water. They look like Cormorants, but I’m not a bird expert.

The birds dive into the water and surface after a little while. Sometimes, they have a writhing fish in their beaks, which they then promptly swallow.

Cormorant with a fish in it’s beak

The fish was probably happily swimming around enjoying its fish life, until, out of the blue comes death. Of course, the fish can’t really do much about this, when death comes, death comes.

One summer day a couple of years ago, early into the pandemic, we were driving west on what is one of the busiest highways in the world, the Ontario 401. Suddenly, my map instructed me to take the next exit and took me a detour, which I followed… as we re-entered the highway at another point, I saw some vehicles on the empty stretch of highway behind me, they were stopped, and covered with tarpaulins.

Later in the afternoon, on my way back, I saw the vehicles still at the same spot, still covered with tarps. Clearly it had been a bad collision.

I continued to follow the incident, and found out it was an incident involving three cars. One eastbound car, for some reason, lost control and hit another eastbound one in the fast lane, which caused this second car to jump the barrier and land in the westbound lane – resulting in a head-on collision with a westbound car travelling in the fast lane.

Three people lost their lives in that collision, and death was almost immediate. The first responders had no chance, and had to cut open the cars to extract the mortal remains. It was surely gruesome.

I read about the people, a man in his forties in one car, and a woman in her thirties and her father-in-law in his sixties in the other car. I cannot imagine any of them expected to lose their lives on the 401 that morning.

Do we think any meal could be our last meal?

I wondered how their mornings were… did they have their breakfast their morning and say bye to their loved ones? What did they go through during those fatal moments? Did they feel a lot of pain? Did they have family members who were grieving for them? Did they have unfinished business? Maybe an incomplete project?

Death can come at any moment. No ordinary soul can predict the exact moment of their death. And when death comes, everything that was so important until the moment before ceases to matter. It’s just like when I live in an apartment with noisy neighbours and then move to another apartment, the noise in my previous apartment ceases to matter. What happens after death?

Death can come at any moment

Some say that we are just a bunch of chemicals, and nothing more significant than a halt of the electrochemical reactions in the body. Or in other words, after death, there is nothingness. But that logic is faulty on so many levels, after all, a bottle of chemicals doesn’t care about itself and other bottles of chemicals don’t lament it’s loss.

The logic that some combination of material elements somehow develops consciousness is faulty, as I wrote about Descartes’ ignorance about consciousness. His “cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am) should have been something like “sum ergo cogito” (I am, therefore I think).

Actually, the law of momentum applies to us all – just like my baby body is “dead”, my child body is gone too. I still have memories of when I was a baby or a child, even though every single cell of my body back then is dead, this means that I transcend my body, more about that in detail another time.

Beyond Birth and Death. I am not this body.

But anyways, while the fish cannot do anything about their death, us, as human beings, with our highly developed sense of consciousness, can. We can inquire into our true nature, we can inquire into the Supreme Absolute Truth, indeed, human life begins only when we reach that stage of inquiring beyond eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, or rise above the animal propensities.

This stage is called “athāto brahma-jijñāsā“.

The human form is meant for the understanding of Kṛṣṇa consciousness (athāto brahma-jijñāsā), for inquiring about the Supreme Brahman. In the human form, everyone has a chance to understand the Supreme Brahman. The so-called leaders of human society do not know the real aim of human life and are therefore busy with economic development. This is misleading. Every state and every society is busy trying to improve the quality of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. This human form of life is meant for more than these four animal principles. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending are problems found in the animal kingdom, and the animals have solved these problems without difficulty. Why should human society be so busy trying to solve these problems? The difficulty is that people are not educated to understand this simple philosophy. They think that advancement of civilization means increasing sense gratification.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/19/159/ purport

In fact, accidental or not, death awaits everyone who has taken birth… so, if we are sure to die, then we can at least prepare for it. How?

आयुर्हरति वै पुंसामुद्यन्नस्तं च यन्नसौ ।
तस्यर्ते यत्क्षणो नीत उत्तमश्लोकवार्तया ॥ १७ ॥

āyur harati vai puṁsām
udyann astaṁ ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta
uttama-śloka-vārtayā

Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/17/

The moment of death, in fact, is quite significant. We can reach any destination by adjusting our consciousness at the moment of death.

यं यं वापि स्मरन्भावं त्यजत्यन्ते कलेवरम् ।
तं तमेवैति कौन्तेय सदा तद्भ‍ावभावित: ॥ ६ ॥

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya
sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kuntī, that state he will attain without fail.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/6/

The moment of death is actually a great opportunity, a rare portal through which we can escape birth and death altogether!

अन्तकाले च मामेव स्मरन्मुक्त्वा कलेवरम् ।
य: प्रयाति स मद्भ‍ावं याति नास्त्यत्र संशय: ॥ ५ ॥

anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ

And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body remembering Me alone at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/5/

If I were to live every moment thinking that it could be my last, then certain longer-term things could not reasonably be done, but on the other hand if I don’t think about death then it will surely take me by surprise.

So how to live? My spiritual master gave me the perfect instruction in this regard.

My spiritual master
His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

He said, live as if you could die in the next 80 seconds or live for the next 80 years. And his life is a living proof of his instructions, so I choose to follow in his footsteps.

I remind myself that this life of mine can end at any moment, but I work diligently in Krishna Consciousness as if I have another 80 years to go.

Would you like to learn how? Drop me a line!

2019.61-71 Old City Hall, Vaishnava Sanga, Janmashtami, Trinity Bellwoods, Cabbagetown, Travel

2019 Summer Sankirtan Adventures. Krishna is Adventure. When you go out on Sankirtan, your life becomes an adventure too! Sankirtan is life. Live it!

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 05 October 2019

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Even though it appears that summer may be coming to a close, at least as far as my Sankirtan Life is concerned, the summer of Sankirtan continues on, thanks to blessings from the spiritual master and the devotees!

Being out on Sankirtan is the most adventurous thing one can do. When we are out on Sankirtan, we literally put our lives in the hands of Sri Krishna. We beg for His mercy, we remember Him intensely, we make ourselves vulnerable as beggars, and we just go out on a limb to serve the disciplic succession. It is truly a privilege and pleasure to serve in this way.

Sankirtan is also the surest way – second only to marriage 🙂 to remind oneself about one’s false pride in action, and to see what a sad and sorry state the present world in, and just how much everyone just suffering.

Like all genuine pleasures, it takes time to begin to appreciate, and it takes time to practice and hone, it takes time to appreciate every single experience, but once one is in that circle of mercy, truly in that circle of mercy, then one hankers to be back in that flow, that zone of intense Krishna consciousness.

Nowhere does one witness the magic of Krishna consciousness more than being out on Sankirtan. Miracles happen at every moment, and the most unlikely experiences occur, and each experience is hand-picked by Krishna for one’s own betterment.

If you want to see Krishna’s hand in your life, then go out on Sankirtan! If you want to lose attachment to material pleasure, then go out on Sankirtan,. If you want to be humbled, then go out on Sankirtan. If you want to feel pride for Krishna, then go out on Sankirtan. Little or a Lot, PLEASE, do go out on Sankirtan!

Summary:

10 Aug 2019 – Old City Hall

14-17 Aug – Vaishnava Sanga  (3 outings in Shawinigan, Quebec)

23 Aug – Sri Krishna Janmastami (2 outings in the temple)

31 Aug – Trinity Bellwoods Park

31 Aug – Sri Radha Shyamsunder Janmashtami

4 Sep – Downtown Individual Outing (after a LONG time!)

8 Sep – Cabbagetown festival

17-30 Sep – Business Trip Sankirtan in Toronto, New York, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.

———-

Total 11 Outings

Vaisesika Prabhu and His wave of Sankirtan mercy

Vaisesika Prabhu distributes books on the street

Whenever great Sankirtan warriors descend, in their presence and in their footsteps we experience tremendous empowerment. Old City Hall was another magical experience, with the devotees performing Harinam right in front of Old City Hall, and so many devotees greeting the souls milling about. We also got an opportunity to bathe in the nectar shower that was his Vyasa Puja in ISV.

Michael, Dennis, and Wes all gave me their contact information, in fact that’s the only reason I still remember them – they gave me their contact information! Especially Dennis was coming “home” to Canada via Russia, China, and London, England. He felt at home with Krishna too, saying “Hey you’re a Krishna guy, I’ve seen your guys all around”. Wes was back to Toronto after a long stretch in Australia.

Right after that outing, in the temple, I met Karishma and Raghav who were visiting the temple for the first time. They both also took books, gave donations, chanted Hare Krishna and heard all about Radha Kshir Chor Gopinath! And yes, they did share their contact info.

If I can only follow up effectively with everyone I meet (remember these are the cream of the crop, they stopped, gave their time, attention, money, took a book, and left a contact!), ISKCON Toronto will surely be forced to expand into the church across the street! 🙂

Vaishnava Sanga magic

On Harinam in Shawinigan during Vaishnava Sanga

Right after Vaisesika Prabhu left, we got a solid dose of inspiration from the great souls gathered in St. Mathieu Du Parc in Quebec. I got to serve in the kitchen on 2 days, it was blissful service, cooking for all these delightful Vaishnavas! But what’s more, I got to go out on the famous Shawinigan Harinams, not once, not twice, but thrice!

These Shawinigan Harinamas are directly from the spiritual world (like every other Harinama, but I experienced the magic most here. First of all, its not a bunch of shy newbies, but veterans of the art of Harinam, senior devotees, disciples of Srila Prabhupada, advanced souls like Bhaktimarga Swami, Mahatma Prabhu, Krishnadas Kaviraj Prabhu, Lakshminath Prabhu, Guru Prasad Prabhu, and many more elevated souls! And accompanied by such young veterans of the art of Harinam as Krishna Dulal Prabhu and Prana Gauranga Prabhu! It was a pleasure to take the little town of Shawinigan by the storm of Sri Harinam Sankirtan.

Right before, we had stopped at ISKCON Montreal and stocked up on those elusive French books on Krishna consciousness. With a nice box full of books, we set out, only to almost run out on day 1! 🙂

ISKCON Montreal

Here we witness the power of the Holy Name. One can’t speak French or Quebecois to save one’s life, except for a hearty Bonjour (surely said with the wrong accent)! So how these books get distributed, and how donations come in is just a complete mystery to me. Well, not only me, but many many devotees took books, our own Vrajalalana Mataji, and Mathieu Prabhu from Ottawa, and many others, they just congregated on the books and within a very short time almost all the books were gone!

Quebec, Canada

A few years ago, I had met the wife of the owner of a restaurant, she was from Mauritius. Now this time I met her husband and his employees, who all took books and made donations! Now the circle is complete, the whole family has Srila Prabhupada’s books. I am convinced that Krishna has a GRAND plan for this family – I mean he sent a whole Harinam Party after them, not once, not twice, but SO MANY times! 🙂 And His pure devotee’s books! He has accepted donations from them, and allowed them to serve the devotees with drinking water (in that hot weather, it is the most precious thing)… I can’t wait to see what Krishna unfolds in due course of time!

Also followed up with another contact I met a couple of years ago – her family attended one of the events at the Vaishnava Sanga!

I met a couple visiting Quebec from Brazil!

Many many souls took books, not only French, but also English. Very successful in reaffirming the magic of Sri Harinam to me!

A lady who accepted books 3 years ago in Shawinigan texted me excitedly “Hi Krishna das do you have Mahabharat in French?”. So I’m asking around.

Here are a few I remember from the other Sankirtan outings…

On Sri Krishna Janmashtami, I was almost exclusively at the book table, eagerly approaching visiting guests with our books, some took, some didn’t but so what, “next”! Our two little Sankirtan warriors, Govinda and Vitthal Bhakta wanted to distribute books too. And they did. Not only did they distribute books, but also collected handsome donations for Krishna. I was distressed to see these little children treated badly by a couple of guests who treated them as if they were some sort of street urchins begging for themselves! But they are small enough not to notice the insults, and happily and enthusiastically carried on. However, this drives home to me how careful we need to be to protect these little innocent devotees from nastiness (unlike some other Sankirtan warriors who did not get that kind of protection as children or vulnerable adults), so their Sankirtan outings need to be carefully planned and arranged so that they have happy childhood experiences of Sankirtan.

Get Spiritual Books

At the Janmashtami celebration of Sri Radha Shyamsunder close to Toronto, there was this one lady who wanted to begin the Bhagavatam but couldn’t commit to the full set. So she took the personal copy of teh first Canto copy Mother Sucaru! Mother Sucaru was in the midst of reading that particular copy, but she graciously allowed the distribution of her own copy… I had thought that the devotees could replenish, but apparently that big First Canto is not being printed at the moment! She reminded me of Srila Prabhupada who gave his personal copy away for distribution!

Devotees at a Book Table

Two sisters from Wales visited our booth, and said “cool, our Mum is a yoga teacher” and “she probably has tha’one and tha’one”, until suddenly one of them said “tha’one, tha’one I’d like to read”, and took a couple of books, made a donation. They also chanted Hare Krishna “no problem, we’ve chanted before”.

Abhishek was a gas station attendant, a bright young man from Nepal. This was at a gas station close to ISKCON Berkeley – New Jagannath Puri Dham. He didn’t know about this amazing temple! He told me he was reading Paramahamsa Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a yogi”. He said he’d read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is before, promised to read again, accepted a couple of books, and said “sometimes we follow this path, sometimes that path”. And then he acknowledged “without guru we cannot make spiritual advancement, so a group of us are looking for a genuine guru”. He gave me all the contact information and responded with a “Hare Krishna. Thank you very much”

David chanced upon us – on a bike with his toddler son, in Trinity Bellwoods, and was gracious enough to ask very intelligent questions, get a Bhagavad Gita and make a generous donation. He didn’t want to go further in terms of giving me contact details etc., but at least he has the Gita!

Krishna the gas station attendant at a Shell said “Hare Krishna” and pointed to his name badge. He didn’t know about the ISKCON of Silicon Valley, so I wrote down the address for him. He passed the book back to me saying “and your contact information also, in case I have questions”.

Syed, from Lahore, Pakistan had been chased out of a cushy job in Dubai after it was discovered that he was the wrong kind of Muslim – a Shia instead of a Sunni. He’s arrived just 5 months ago, and we could tell he was feeling the cold – with his car warmed up like an oven and togged up with a hoodie with the hood on inside that baking hot car today with 18C weather outside. We had a good philosophical conversation about how God is fair to all and no one sect has a monopoly on God. He had said he liked to cook, found it amazing that I liked to cook too, and accepted a Higher Taste, saying “I like vegetarian food”.

J, a colleague in California, has steadily accepted (and read) Srila Prabhupada’s books over the last couple of years. I started with Prasadam, and cookbooks, and now she has Devamrita Swami’s Hiding in Unnatural Happiness and the Bhagavad Gita As It is.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is

Wonderful Serendipitous meeeting with Book Distribution General Vijaya Prabhu – on our way to Los Angeles we stopped at Ahimsa Cafe for some Prasada. This is a restaurant run by Tukaram Prabhu and his wife, in Long Beach California. I was reluctant, but the family was eager… and as I parked the car and walked over, what do I see but Vijaya Prabhu relishing Prasada! I got some undeserved mercy from a very humble Vaishnava who was out distributing the Bhagavad Gita at the Long Beach College. I pray that I may be able to follow in his footsteps, and 10, 20, 30, more years from now always continue to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books, Srila Gurudeva’s books, my spiritual mentors’ books.

Vijaya Dasa Master Book Distributor & Inspirational Speaker

In Los Angeles lives a saint, His Holiness Amala Bhakta Swami. About 87 years of age, he doesn’t travel anymore, but is the prime example of “tirtham kurvanti tirthani”, for him, a picture of Sri Krishna is not just a picture, but directly Krishna. He took us around a tour of his Ashram, asking us “why would I need to go anyplace else”? He said his focus was on chanting and praying and purifying himself, and that he would preach in New Dvaraka but not leave those auspicious premises. He was extremely encouraging with my book distribution efforts. He told us about some of his early experiences, how he transitioned from a Hollywood actor to a Sadhu gradually, but with firm determination. Meeting him was a great highlight of my life, and when I distribute books, I do so in the hope of pleasing great souls such as him. He is one of the few, in addition to my spiritual master, who have taken the effort to actually correct me, caution me, warn me and guide me in the right direction. To these souls I remain grateful.

Amala Bhakta Swami, a modern-day saint

I’ve been writing this in bits and pieces for many days, actually over 3 weeks, but I fear that it is already too long and may tax you, dear devotee more, so even though I have a lot of amazing stories, they will have to wait for some other day.

My Sankirtan outings goal for 2019 is 108, and write about them all, and I now have 37 to go. Please bless me that I may humbly perform this service. I am very greedy for your blessings. In fact, I am 100% convinced that I can only go out on Harinam Sankirtan because of your blessings, because otherwise I am just a useless fool.

Praying to be always out on Harinam Sankirtan, or at least be in Harinam Sankirtan consciousness 24X7, this is my humble desire, though I must admit that unfortunate as I am, I still maintain all sorts of material attachments.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Chaitanya Das, 05 October 2019,

Hare Krishna Prabhuji. Dandavat Pranam. Please accept my humble obeisances.

Thank you so much for sharing, hope one day i should also be able to do it, seeking your blessings Prabhuji.

your servant,

Chaitanya Das.

Rasika Krishna Das, 6 October 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

Jaya!! All glories to your Sankirtan outings.

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 08 October 2019

Dear Chaitanya Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you for your kind encouragement.

Why not let today be the day? Today you can give a book by Srila Prabhupada or Srila Gurudeva to one of your family members, friends, or colleagues. And if no one is around, then give to yourself, meaning, read to yourself 🙂 The power emanated by vibrating the contents of a pure devotee’s writings changes the world for the better. Please try it.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Chaitanya Das, 08 October 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhu. Please accept my humble obeisances. Thank you so much Prabhu, will do. Will read Srila Prabhupada’s books everyday and distribute whenever i can. Hare Krishna. 

your servant,

Chaitanya Das

Tapas Chakraborty, 09 October 2019

Hare Krishna

Thanks for sharing the enormity of your involvement in spreading the Krishna conscious movement and experience which will benefit us immensely in our determination to progress with higher enthusiasm. We firmly believe setting targets will enable the resolve to reach greater heights of spiritual and transcendental knowledge.

With warm Regards

Tapas

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

If Krishna is self satisfied, then how can Radharani satisfy Krishna?

Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is self-satisfied. So how can Srimati Radharani’s touch satisfy Krishna? How can any devotee’s service satisfy someone who is already self-satisfied? Why words like “lust” used in connection with Krishna?

Sudhanshu Soni, 28 August 2019

Hare Krishna 

Please accept my humble obeisances 

Prabhuji I respectfully and humbly wanted to know the answer from all the devotees for the one question that came in my mind as we are reading nowadays radhika ashtakam,since radha-ashtami is coming .

If Krishna is self satisfied or if he does not have any lust then why is it in the third verse of radhika-ashtakam is written “when she touches the master of the gopis ,she dispels the burning heat of his lusty desires”.

please answer, i really need to know this …

thank you 

your servant 

sudhanshu

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03 September 2019

Dear Sudhanshu,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

There are at least 2 Radhika Ashtakam, one by Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, and one by Srila Rupa Goswami. Both are incredibly advanced as to their meaning and purport. I must confess that I do not fully appreciate those high spiritual mellows myself.

You are referring to verse 3 of Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami.

“saukumarya-shrishta-pallavali-kirti-nigraha

candra-candanotpalendu-sevya-sita-vigraha

svabhimarsha-ballavisha-kama-tapa-badhika

mahyam atma-pada-padma-dasya-dastu radhika

Her charming youthful delicacy negates the fame of freshly-sprouted leaves. Her refreshing form is worthy of being served by the cooling moon, sandalwood paste, lotus flowers, and camphor. When She touches the master of the gopis, She dispels the burning heat of His lusty desires. May Sri Radhika always bestow upon me the service of Her own lotus feet.”

Yes, your understanding is correct that Krishna is beyond and higher than all mundane material qualities. He is “nirguna” that Krishna has no material qualities. But Krishna is also described as “saguna”, which means that He is the reservoir of all auspicious spiritual qualities. It is a fact that Krishna is “Atmarama” or fully satisfied within Himself.

Radha and Krishna are one, They are expanded only to enact pastimes. Srimati Radharani is Krishna’s internal potency Hladini Shakti. No one knows how to give pleasure to Krishna better than Srimati Radharani.

Even though words like “lust” are used, in connection with Radha and Krishna, they do not bear their usual mundane meaning.

It is true that everything we see in the material realm is a perverted reflection of what we see in the spiritual realm. Because we do not have an understanding of the pure spiritual essence of these things, we hear these words and connect that to our material experience.

It is said that the pure devotee sees the mundane and even the mundane reminds the pure devotee of the purely spiritual, for example, Rupa Goswami says “let me be attracted to Krishna like a young boy and girl are attracted to each other”… in other words when Rupa Goswami sees the mundane attraction between a boy a girl, he is reminded of Krishna. Another example, when an advanced devotee sees a baby crying for its mother, she may hanker to chant with that intensity for Sri Sri Radha Krishna to come and save her.

On the contrary, a materially contaminated soul, a conditioned soul such as myself is unfortunately liable to see the mundane in the spiritual, such as the pure interactions of Krishna with the Gopis or Krishna with Srimati Radharani.

Therefore, these advanced topics are not discussed except amongst pure devotees.

When one has fully appreciated Srila Prabhupada’s books, and acquired maturity in one’s understanding of the depths of Bhakti, then one may proceed to these confidential writings of the previous predecessor Acharyas, or spiritual masters.

The confusion you are facing makes it clear that there is some work to be done wrt. fully understanding what Srila Prabhupada has left behind for us…

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Rasika Krishna Das, 04 September 2019

Hare Krishna,

Thank you for enlightening my mind Prabhuji with your excellent answer 🙂

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Sudhanshu soni, 04 September 2019

Thank you so much Prabhuji ,it is very convincing..

your servant,

Sudhanshu

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The Profession of Confession and Atonement

In many religious traditions, there is the concept of confessing and atoning for sins. But why do people keep sinning and keep confessing, keep atoning? What is the use of such confession and atonement? What can be done to completely get out of this nasty habit of committing sinful activities?

Some souls accept the authority of God in theory, but not in practice. In the article “Love of God, The Ultimate Variety“, I wrote about fear vs. love… who fears God? One who does not properly follow the instructions of God must necessarily fear God. Just like ordinary citizens are not afraid of the police, but the thief is.

The idea is that just as there is the state law, there is also God’s law. And just as someone who flouts the state law becomes a criminal or an outlaw, similarly, one who flouts God’s law also faces reactions. And depending on the severity of the crime, the reactions can be rather heavy.

In some traditions, practically all religious traditions, there is the idea of “atonement” or in Sanskrit “praayaschitta”. This has been formalized in so many different ways, for example, Christians often go to Church and then confess their sins to the priest. The priest says “OK, repent by doing this and this”, or maybe a Hindu might go to the temple and the priest might tell her “give this and that charity to such-and-such to atone for this sin”.

The atonement is supposed to release the soul of the sinful reaction for a much lower “cost”…

Confession, useful, but is it enough?

But even with or without atonement, though there is hellish punishment that purifies the sinner of the sinful reactions, the soul commits sin again, after all the purification! Why is this?

Do you know what the problem is?

क्‍वचिन्निवर्ततेऽभद्रात्‍क्‍वचिच्चरति तत्पुन: ।
प्रायश्चित्तमथोऽपार्थं मन्ये कुञ्जरशौचवत् ॥ १० ॥

kvacin nivartate ’bhadrāt
kvacic carati tat punaḥ
prāyaścittam atho ’pārthaṁ
manye kuñjara-śaucavat

Sometimes one who is very alert so as not to commit sinful acts is victimized by sinful life again. I therefore consider this process of repeated sinning and atoning to be useless. It is like the bathing of an elephant, for an elephant cleanses itself by taking a full bath, but then throws dust over its head and body as soon as it returns to the land.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/10/
An elephant bathes in the water

Let’s examine the elephant… the elephant goes to the river and takes a bath in the river. Then the elephant comes out and pours dirt, sand and dust on itself after it comes out. Now, the wildlife experts may say why the elephant is doing that, how it protects its skin etc., but let’s just keep to the spirit of the example here.

An elephant dusts itself with mud

If we treat a confession or atonement as a bath, then why is it that people perform the required atonement and then sin again? Why do you need to take a bath again and again? Because you got dirty again after the last bath!

In the material world, dirt is unavoidable, our very bodies are quite dirty, and need to be cleansed again and again. But what about the spirit soul? Is the spirit soul not clean originally?

Hindus bathe in the Ganga to atone for their sins

Is it a good thing to become a professional at confession and atonement? There is no doubt that God is infinitely merciful… and can forgive unlimitedly. Does anyone think that God is such a fool as to accept repeated confessions of a professional sinner without giving the proper reactions to maintain fairness? God is also unlimitedly wise!

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the highly intelligent Maharaja Parikshit and Shukadeva Goswami had this wonderful conversation on this topic. To this question, the answer given was:

Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vedavyāsa, answered: My dear King, since acts meant to neutralize impious actions are also fruitive, they will not release one from the tendency to act fruitively. Persons who subject themselves to the rules and regulations of atonement are not at all intelligent. Indeed, they are in the mode of darkness. Unless one is freed from the mode of ignorance, trying to counteract one action through another is useless because this will not uproot one’s desires. Thus even though one may superficially seem pious, he will undoubtedly be prone to act impiously. Therefore real atonement is enlightenment in perfect knowledge, Vedānta, by which one understands the Supreme Absolute Truth.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/11/

But knowledge enough is not sufficient, one must act on that knowledge, Shukadeva Goswami continues…

My dear King, if a diseased person eats the pure, uncontaminated food prescribed by a physician, he is gradually cured, and the infection of disease can no longer touch him. Similarly, if one follows the regulative principles of knowledge, he gradually progresses toward liberation from material contamination.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/12/

One should go beyond the lifestyle that produces sinful desires…

तपसा ब्रह्मचर्येण शमेन च दमेन च ।
त्यागेन सत्यशौचाभ्यां यमेन नियमेन वा ॥ १३ ॥
देहवाग्बुद्धिजं धीरा धर्मज्ञा: श्रद्धयान्विता: ।
क्षिपन्त्यघं महदपि वेणुगुल्ममिवानल: ॥ १४ ॥

tapasā brahmacaryeṇa
śamena ca damena ca
tyāgena satya-śaucābhyāṁ
yamena niyamena vā

deha-vāg-buddhijaṁ dhīrā
dharmajñāḥ śraddhayānvitāḥ
kṣipanty aghaṁ mahad api
veṇu-gulmam ivānalaḥ

To concentrate the mind, one must observe a life of celibacy and not fall down. One must undergo the austerity of voluntarily giving up sense enjoyment. One must then control the mind and senses, give charity, be truthful, clean and nonviolent, follow the regulative principles and regularly chant the holy name of the Lord. Thus a sober and faithful person who knows the religious principles is temporarily purified of all sins performed with his body, words and mind. These sins are like the dried leaves of creepers beneath a bamboo tree, which may be burned by fire although their roots remain to grow again at the first opportunity.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/13-14/

It is commonly seen that even priests, supposed to be God’s representatives, sin, what to speak of the lay person! This means that even though one may lead a very closely regulated lifestyle, the desire to sin can still remain hidden as a root within the heart. So what is the ultimate solution?

केचित्केवलया भक्त्या वासुदेवपरायणा: ।
अघं धुन्वन्ति कार्त्स्‍न्येन नीहारमिव भास्कर: ॥ १५ ॥

kecit kevalayā bhaktyā
vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ
aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena
nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ

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.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/15/

So therefore, it is impossible to be completely pure without being a pure devotee of God. Without being a pure lover of God, one cannot escape this sin. In fact, when one is rendering devotional service, at that time it is impossible to sin, because where is the time and the energy to perform sinful actions?

So therefore, instead of sinning and confessing, sinning and confessing, sinning and atoning, sinning and atoning, one should seek to develop pure uncontaminated Love of God in a practical way, which is the only way to be free of the desire and tendency to sin.

My spiritual master says it best “it’s hard to hit a moving target, so keep moving for Krishna, if you give illusion an inch, you will lose your life!”

Krishna – Duality Confusion – One And Many?

Is the Supreme Absolute Truth One or Many? Is Krishna One or Many? How is it that Krishna is One without a Second? How about Love? How about Relationships? How to understand this?

Jyoti Gupta, 27 April 2020

Hare Krishna 

If you could explain Chapter 5, Text 17 of Bhagavad Gita, where it has been told that there is duality in Krishna-simultaneous identity and individuality.

One more thing I would like to know – He is one without a second.. kindly explain .

Thank you 

🙏

Hare Krishna 

Jyoti Gupta

Mahabhagavat Das, 28 April 2020

Dear Mother Jyoti,

Hare Krishna!

You are referring to BG 5.17, where in the purport Srila Prabhupada writes: “A Kṛṣṇa conscious person can thoroughly understand that there is duality (simultaneous identity and individuality) in Kṛṣṇa, and, equipped with such transcendental knowledge, one can make steady progress on the path of liberation.”

What this means is that Krishna is a person originally, and that He has impersonal aspects.

Before we go to Krishna, let us look at ourselves…

You are a person, but if you completely ignore someone, then that is your own impersonal aspect. Also, when you are angry, then anyone who comes in your way will experience your anger, whether they did something to deserve your anger or not, so in this way, your anger can be said to be impersonal, even though you are a person yourself.

Similarly, Krishna, has His own impersonal aspects. The primary impersonal aspect is His Brahman feature. In the Brahman feature, which is His bodily effulgence, there is no individuality. Another one of Krishna’s impersonal features is time, time does not care for any person, it is impersonal, time just moves on and forces the world to keep moving along with it.

In addition to Krishna’s impersonal features, there is also the “localized Supersoul” or Paramatma feature, where Krishna expands into unlimited expansions, enters into the heart of every living entity along with the Atma, and also enters into the atoms and the space within the atoms. Even though Krishna expands in this way, Krishna still remains Krishna individually.

His closest, most intimate feature is Himself, His personal form, name, and identity.

Another crude example is – you may get a letter from the Government… inside the Government there is a department, and that department has a head, and that head has a boss, that boss has another boss, and ultimately it is the President or the Prime Minister who is the top power of the government. But when we see a policeman on the street enforcing the order of the government, then that policeman has the combined force of the entire government, and if necessary, through that policeman, the entire government can act. So, the government can be seen as some sort of “Brahman” – the government is impersonal, but inside that Brahman, there are so many little government representatives… Of course all of this cannot compare to SrI Krishna because Krishna is inconceivable by material means.

Krishna is one without a second because when you rank someone #1, #2, #3, etc., then it implies that there is some measure by which #1 is superior to #2, and #2 is superior to #3… so if #3 tries a bit harder, then they can overtake #1 and become the new #1… but in the case of Krishna, there is no comparison whatsoever, no one else can compare or match up to Krishna!

There may be occasionally some delay in answering questions sometimes, but rest assured that we are here to serve you on your spiritual journey.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Jyoti Gupta, 29 April 2020

Hare Krishna !

Thank you so much for the kind response, and for bringing clarity to my mind.

Regards

Jyoti Gupta

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

The Milk Controversy – should we give it up?

Should spiritualists consume milk or should they be vegan? The Vedic texts enjoin us to develop solid intelligence through milk consumption, but yet modern milk production is fraught with violence. So what is the spiritualist to do?

Partha Das, 26 April 2020

Hare Krsna,

I was surprised to see many articles and interviews by modern day doctors saying milk is white poison.

As a Hare Krsna devotee, I have given up tea, coffee, alcohol smoking etc . My only source of pleasure is daily cups of hot milk . I also enjoy all the milk byproducts such as yogurt, paneer, cheese, milk, sweets etc.

I tried to be a vegan for 3 months , on advice of a doctor who is against milk. But the result was that my bones and tooth became weak and brittle. I was forced to restart milk immediately.

Could you enlighten me a little on this matter. It is not possible to get milk from an ISKCON farm , which doesn’t use injections on cows, or is not cruel to animals.

What is the ISKCON stand on this matter, as our source of milk is the Govt dairy farm and it’s not possible to keep a cow in a city.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Paramahamsa Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna, 

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

I would like to thank you for your wonderful question and also appreciate that you have worked your way to avoid Tea, coffee, and nasty habits like smoking. It indeed shows your dedication to imbibe a proper lifestyle that will bring you closer to Krishna by at least reaching to the mode of goodness. 

As far as Milk and milk products are concerned or in that case, any foodstuff you enjoy if you do so without making an offering to Krishna then you are verily eating sin as mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita 3.13 

yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo

mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ

bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā

ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt

And if you enjoy the foodstuff after they are offered to Krishna then you can rest assured that you are not eating white poison as you point out modern doctors referring to milk. Of course given the fact that your body is able to digest milk and you don’t have some intolerance which might be the case for some individuals and they need to be consulting proper medical care. 

But, from the perspective of Sastra, Srila Prabhupada has very clearly mentioned in many different places that one can maintain ones’ body with any kind of foodstuffs but special emphasis is on Cow milk. It is very essential for the development of finer tissues of the human brain so that they can understand the intricacies of Transcendental knowledge.

Now as far as the milk you are referring to (from ISKCON Farm ) is called Ahimsa milk. This is very rare for people like us living in a city to get but in this matter, Srila Gurudev gives an analogy of a thorn to remove another thorn.

If you are not able to protect or participate in any way to directly protect Mother Cow then at least the milk you get from commercial dairy farms could be used to offer it to Krishna so that at least that particular Cow’s life is successful and you are getting the needed nourishment to developed your brain’s fine tissue to understand the Transcendental knowledge and who knows in the near future with that intelligence you might be able to come up with some scheme for Cow protection! 

your servant, 

Paramahamsa Das

Rahul Prasad, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna …

Dandavat Pranam…

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

How can milk (commercial) be considered in goodness? In the current scenario, cows have to suffer a lot to produce milk (commercial). For the production of commercial milk, the cow needs to undergo various known sufferings.

Then how can the milk produced commercially be considered in goodness?

I request you to please advise.

your servant

Rahul

Paramahamsa Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna Rahul, 

Please accept my humble obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev

The milk that has been offered to Krishna and then accepted as prasadam is transcendental i.e above 3 modes of material nature. 

The milk of the cow even though derived by commercial means when offered to Krishna could be seen as service rendered by the Go (cow/cows) to Govinda  ( the Supreme Personality of Godhead) so it is similar to us working in the commercial world going under so much trouble and collecting little Laksmi and then we utilize it i in the service of Guru and Krishna( Narayan ).

Does this help?

your servant, 

Paramahamsa das.  

Partha Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krsna Rahul Prabhu,

If we see the way plants are treated nowadays with pesticides, DDT, chemical fertilizers etc , I am sure such vegetables are not suitable for offering to Krsna. They will fall in the same category as milk produced in modern farms by torturing cows.

Hence I feel offering milk and vegetables to Krsna , before consumption is the only option left for us.

Nothing in this modern world is pure.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Partha Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krsna Paramhamsa Prabhu,

Thanks for your guidance. I am already offering the milk to Krsna before consumption. 

Hope to be part of the Ahimsa farm community in the near future.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Priya Sundari devi dasi, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna Prabhus. 

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

In my recent years of doing some research and talking to farm devotees as well as non-devotees, this is what I have concluded with the help of some senior Vaishnava inputs: 

1. If you have access to ahimsa milk then that is best. Drinking even 1 cup of ahimsa milk is better than loads of non ahimsa milk. Some devotees get raw milk delivered in bulk and freeze this and use this as needed. 

There are different degrees to the meaning of Ahimsa in this context. 

a. Where a cow is left free to graze and the calf is allowed to freely feed and then what remains is consumed….to…. 

b. Where cows are tied in a farm and allowed to graze for a bit and calves are allowed to feed limited. 

c. Of course the idea is that at the end of Mother Cow’s life, she is not slaughtered and the male calves are not sent away to be killed. 

2. If you don’t have access to ahimsa milk, then the next best option is Raw + Organic whole Milk. You can check with your local farm suppliers. 

a. This ensures that we are not ingested the various antibiotics and other medications that mother cow is subject to 

b. Also organic milk = mother cow is fed a better diet 

c. Raw because is it best to not have milk that has been treated (pasteurized and homogenized) 

*** Please note raw milk will need to be gently boiled before consuming to ensure that any other harmful bacteria have been eliminated***

3. If you don’t have access to raw milk, then the next option is Pasteurized + Organic + Unhomogenized Whole Milk. 

This can be bought locally in many supermarket chains. 

This follows the order of best, better and good. If you are able to afford / have access to ahimsa milk then that’s best. If that’s not an option then the next so on and so forth. 

In the least, the milk that we consume should be Organic and unhomogenized and always whole milk. 

Dr. Marianne Teitlebaum who is a renowned Ayurvedic practitioner talks more about that in her book: 

The demonization of milk

— Dr Marianne Teitelbaum

“Almost every blog or nutritional book I read calls milk a poison. Ayurveda considers milk a nectar and perhaps the most important food we can give to our body. Why the disconnect? There are several factors to consider here, all of which I discuss in my new book “Healing the Thyroid With Ayurveda.”

When you milk a cow and let the milk sit, the cream will rise to the top. This is called unhomogenized milk. Nowadays most of the milk is homogenized so you don’t see that layer of cream at the top anymore. But homogenized milk isn’t as nourishing and can contribute to heart disease and clogged arteries due to this processing of the fat molecules. So strive to get unhomogenized milk.

Get the full fat milk as it is the fat in the milk which delivers the calcium into your bones. If the milk is low-fat your bones will suffer as the calcium is now excreted out of your body contributing to the epidemic levels of osteoporosis we are currently experiencing. 

Many people cannot digest milk due to faulty digestion so it is imperative that you fix your digestion in order to receive milk’s health benefits. 

Some people cannot digest the protein in A1 milk, however numerous small dairies are springing up around the country which supply A2 milk which is lacking that hard to digest protein (see my book or previous posts about A2 milk). 

You must boil the milk to melt down the fat globules for best absorption into your cells, otherwise it will clog your throat and sinuses. 

If cow’s milk bothers you, try goat’s milk which is much lighter and easier to digest, and is similar to Mother’s milk. It is good for losing weight, congestion in the lungs and infections in the gut. 

Simmering the milk for a few minutes with 2-3 cardamom pods helps you digest the protein in the milk. And add a cinnamon stick to help you digest the sugar in the milk. Always add a few pinches of turmeric when simmering milk as the fat will deliver the turmeric into your cells. 

Milk is the only food that instantly absorbs into your cells to nourish all 7 tissues (blood plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow and reproductive fluids). within one day of ingesting whereas any other food can take up to a month to assimilate into the body. 

And boiling the milk forms tryptophan which helps you make more serotonin which makes you both happy and calm. 

This is why drinking warm milk before bed can contribute to a deep restful sleep. 

Many of our thousands of patients have reincorporated milk back into their diets and have experienced the strength, stamina and radiant health that warm whole milk can bring back to our depleted bodies. 

Don’t buy into the argument that we should avoid milk. It’s one of THE most nourishing foods if taken in the correct way.”

follow Dr Teitelbaum’s posts on Facebook. 

If there’s a large group of devotees in your area OR you have consumers who are favorable to not slaughtering cows / calves then you can talk to local farmers and request milk to be delivered for a higher price so that the cow is not harmed and to help the farmer not sell the cow at the end of her life to a slaughter house.  This has worked in some communities in the past. This also means that if people are interested then there is scope for preaching. 

I hope this has helped shed some light on the milk topic. 

your servant 

Priya Sundari devi dasi.

*Kṛṣṇe matir astu*

Partha Das, 29 April 2020

Hare Krsna Mataji,

Thanks for your elaborate explanation.

Partha Das

Rahul Prasad, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna

Dandvat Pranam

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

I do agree that if we offer the Milk (commercial or other type) it will be freed from all 3 modes.

But if we/vegetarian people will avoid consumption of Milk and Milk products then the demand of Milk will fall and the Milk industry will not (will reduce) production of new cows.

As most of the cows are first subjected to the Milk industry and later on moved to Meat industry.

So for the benefit of cows we can move to a (no milk product) vegetarian diet.

I request you to please advise me.

your servant

Rahul

Dr.Reena bhardwaj, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna    

Milk products like curd are good for health , increase immunity, and provide relief for gastrointestinal infections. So, milk in moderate amounts is good for health. 

Dr.Reena Bhardwaj 

Sailesh, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna:

With my limited knowledge, I share the following facts that I am aware of:

 Milk bearing cows are slaughtered once their calf bearing days and milk giving days are done.  It is better in my humble opinion that we be intellectually honest with ourselves, that by supporting milk industry we support the beef industry as well. PETA has a campaign about it as well ( Are you drinking beef?)

 Yes, we can say offer the milk to Krishna , by saying “Krishna Arpana” and then all consequences including the slaughter of the Cows go to Lords feet. But let us be very clear that there is a direct connect between us drinking milk and the end result of what happens to the Cow.

This happens in India as well. The moment a Cow stops giving milk and cannot produce calves, they are released on to the streets. The Cows eat from garbage bins for a while, eventually they are captured and slaughtered . No doubt many are taken to Gau Rakshak sheds, but that is not always the case.

If I have offended anyone, I beg forgiveness. If any feel these are not the facts, I would be grateful if I could be corrected.

Sincerely,

Sailesh

Kumar shivam, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and matajis.

Is there any evidence that if we stop consuming milk then that cow will not yet be slaughtered? Maybe,it might then be used solely for meat purposes and get cultivated as a meat machine as the economic value of milk will go down..

Can’t we promote cow dung for biogas plants, manure and it’s urine for medicinal purposes(as many brands are marketing now itself) so that slaughtering becomes a less viable option.

your servant,

Shivam

Harold Meier, 1 May 2020

Hare Krishna

The only real solution to this matter is to have your own farm and your own cow.  Not very practical.  However you decide to act, act for the sake of Krishna.  If you decide to give up drinking milk, do that for Krishna.  If you decide to continue drinking milk, do that for Krishna.  Either way, don’t be attached to the result and be grateful for each step you take towards Him.

Hare Krishna

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.ecstaticmedia.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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