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

Moving homes – painful business

Have you ever moved? Moved a home? Moved a job? Moved to another city? Moved to another country? Moving is painful, is it not? What about the ultimate move we will be forced to make at the end of our lives? That moment when our soul is ripped from all its current attachments? How to deal with that?

Have you ever moved from one home to another? Moving is a pain. It can be exciting, but usually it is a big hassle, and takes a lot of effort. The bigger the move, the more the pain.

So what about THE BIG MOVE?

You may or may not have moved, or maybe your moves were smooth and painless, but there is one move that is so big and so painful that almost everyone is afraid of it.

That’s right, the biggest ever move of our lives. It is called death. Death. DEATH.

Some call death the grim reaper, and for good reason! Every single attachment we have, to our body, our family, our friends, our home, our profession, our city, country, culture, all of that is ripped out in a moment.

Just as moves are painful, but transient, and usually forgotten once we are in our new home, death is not to be feared.

Why is that?

The jaws of a cat are death for a mouse, but to a kitten, the jaws of his mother is just “hey, my Mom is taking me for an adventure”.

Depending on how we have lived our life, death can be a relief, a cause for great anxiety, or of no consequence whatsoever.

वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि ।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा-
न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ॥ २२ ॥

vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro ’parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī

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

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/22/

Once upon a time there was a saintly person and his disciple.

They went around meeting different people during their travels…

One day, the saintly person met 3 souls.

One was a person of really poor character… he was very wealthy, charismatic, powerful and influential, but lied, cheated, plundered, and murdered for profit and convenience. But as the saintly person had nothing of value that the crook could possibly want, and was such a pleasant personality to be around, the wicked crooked person did not harm the saintly person. To this man, the saintly person gave the blessing “may you live long” and the person was naturally very happy to receive this blessing.

Another person was extremely good in character, always willing to extend a helping hand, kind, and generous too, but he was suffering like you cannot imagine… he had health issues, was very poor, and barely had enough to eat, no proper clothes to wear, and a dwelling that wasn’t even fit for an animal to live in. To this person the saintly person gave the blessing “may you die shortly”.

The third person that the saintly person and his disciple met was a pure Lover of God, and spent every waking moment in the service of God. His every breath resonated the Names of God, and his every action was done in loving communion with God, for the sake of God’s pleasure. He loved every creature, served them as children of God, and was in general very happy and jolly. This person was neither too rich nor too poor, neither too famous, nor unknown. He was neither too beautiful, nor was he very powerful. He was plain and simple, and you couldn’t spot him in a crowd for the most part, but he was just completely satisfied and content, happy to serve God in every possible way. The saintly person blessed him with “live as you are, or die as you are, be as you are”.

Now at the end of the day, when the disciple was serving his spiritual master and asked about the different blessings given during the day, the blessing of a long life to the wicked, the blessing of death to the miserable, and an indifferent blessing to the pure devotee of God. The disciple was somewhat shocked and perplexed at his spiritual master’s different blessings, some of which were seemingly unfair.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari, the author’s spiritual master, enthralls his disciples with transcendental knowledge

The spiritual master, the saintly person, explained…

The person acting wickedly today is reaping the result of his past good activities from the past – good karma. When he dies, then he will reap the results of his present sinful activities – bad karma. So to the wicked man, death would be quite the terrible thing because then the karmic reactions would come home to roost. Instead, if he lives longer and changes his ways, he may have a chance to redeem himself.

Life in the material world is just like a Ferris Wheel

The person in a miserable situation today is reaping the result of his past bad activities, bad karma. When he dies, then he will reap the results of his present kindness – good karma. So to the gentleman, death would be a welcome respite from his suffering and would give him pleasure, and hopefully continue his kind ways.

And to the pure devotee of God, whether he lives or dies makes no difference to the soul – all the reactions to his past karmic actions, whether good karma or bad karma are burned off… he is ecstatic now and he will be forever ecstatic in the service of God, whether here in the material world, or back in the spiritual realm, the person will be eternally happy and satisfied, so he has no need of any blessing for me.

किं कर्म किमकर्मेति कवयोऽप्यत्र मोहिताः ।
तत्ते कर्म प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽश‍ुभात् ॥ १६ ॥

kiṁ karma kim akarmeti
kavayo ’py atra mohitāḥ
tat te karma pravakṣyāmi
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ’śubhāt

Even the intelligent are bewildered in determining what is action and what is inaction. Now I shall explain to you what action is, knowing which you shall be liberated from all misfortune.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/16/

Death is a mere transition, a mere move from one home to another one.

If you have been good or bad in the material sense, you surely will have fear, anxiety or lamentation over death. But if you are in the transcendental stage, then death is, in the words of my spiritual master “closing your eyes in sleep and waking up with Krishna, in Krishna’s pastimes”.

Krishna’s devotees live and play with Krishna eternally

While moving homes may be painful for someone who has a lot of baggage, moving is not painful to the person who has no baggage!

How to get free of baggage?

aprārabdha-phalaṁ pāpaṁ
kūṭaṁ bījaṁ phalonmukham
krameṇaiva pralīyeta
viṣṇu-bhakti-ratātmanām

For those who are engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all sinful reactions, whether fructified, in the stock, or in the form of a seed, gradually vanish.

Padma Purana – quoted in https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/2/

So you can take your pick… you can remain on the level of karmic actions and reactions, or you can make your activities completely transcendental to all material reactions, and burn off any remaining reactions.

You cannot choose whether to surrender or not – you are already surrendered, either to the material energy or to the spiritual energy. You are controlled at every moment, in every respect (but more about that another day). You can choose to act transcendental to the material energy.

How to make your actions transcendental? Glad you asked! Join this course!

Surrender means Loving Service

OK, so surrender is required in spiritual life, and it is not an admission of defeat, and the person surrendering cannot surrender their intelligence too. But what exactly is this surrender practically?

I wrote about surrender from a few different angles… for example, how surrender is not a bad word, and how surrender must be intelligent. In this post, I will dwell a bit about what surrender is practically.

The essence of anything is shown in the action that follows from it. For example if I am a fan of a sports team, then I spend my time, money, and energy in everything related to that sports team. If I am a professional of some kind, then I spend my time and energy trying to be better at that profession. If I support a cause, then I use my time, money, energy, and intelligence in pushing forward that cause.

In other words, in whatever way I spend my time, energy, my money, use my influence, in that way I am said to be “surrendered”. This is because I have a choice at every moment, to focus my consciousness on something.

For example, if I was surrendered to my mind, then I spend all my energy listening to the dictates of my mind. I invest a lot of my consciousness in identifying with my mind, and then I do everything in my power to make the rantings of my mind happen. All sorts of people do all sorts of things chasing the mind. And this happens for other things too, for example, if, with my mind, I identify with my body, then I may spend all my time and energy trying to keep my body fit and healthy, stout and strong.

Most of us here in the material world are surrendered to our senses, and to gratify our senses, we indulge in all sorts of activities, and to fuel those activities, we work very hard. To a person surrendered to the mind and senses, there is no peace in this world, there always some other sensory experience to be had, there is always a “bucket list” of desires, coming from an endless wellspring of desires, keeping us busy all our lives, life after life. And it quite often ends very badly, to start badly, and a continuous stream of such unfortunate nonsense.

यतो यतो निश्चलति मनश्चञ्चलमस्थिरम् ।
ततस्ततो नियम्यैतदात्मन्येव वशं नयेत् ॥ २६ ॥

yato yato niścalati
manaś cañcalam asthiram
tatas tato niyamyaitad
ātmany eva vaśaṁ nayet

From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.

vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/26/

Some people claim to be surrendered to God, but actually they are not surrendered to God, but want to propitiate God so that their sensory desires can be satisfied. This is surrender, but not really, it is practically a form of slavery. This is because a person in the grip of the material senses has no freedom, just like a dog who barks uncontrollably or goes around sniffing other dogs’ urine, it is an instinct, and it cannot be stopped.

But in human life, one can has more developed consciousness, to question this knee-jerk reaction to sensory stimuli, and to actually understand our own identity as spirit souls. We can then choose to surrender to God.

But what does it practically mean to be surrendered?

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा श‍ुच: ॥ ६६ ॥

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

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

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

Surrender means loving devotional service to God.

Just like “Love is as love does”

Just like “Actions speak louder than words”

ये तु धर्मामृतमिदं यथोक्तं पर्युपासते ।
श्रद्दधाना मत्परमा भक्तास्तेऽतीव मे प्रिया: ॥ २० ॥

ye tu dharmāmṛtam idaṁ
yathoktaṁ paryupāsate
śraddadhānā mat-paramā
bhaktās te ’tīva me priyāḥ

Those who follow this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engage themselves with faith, making Me the supreme goal, are very, very dear to Me.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/12/20/

So, the symptom of a soul surrendered to God is 100% total absorption in the service of God. Everything they do, they do as a service to God, in spirit and in result, offering everything they have to God. Everyone they meet, they meet as a soul who belongs to God. Everyone they treat in relation to God… they love God, so they love “God’s”.

Arjuna, a great surrendered soul, did exactly this:

नष्टो मोह: स्मृतिर्लब्धा त्वत्प्रसादान्मयाच्युत ।
स्थितोऽस्मि गतसन्देह: करिष्ये वचनं तव ॥ ७३ ॥

arjuna uvāca
naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtir labdhā
tvat-prasādān mayācyuta
sthito ’smi gata-sandehaḥ
kariṣye vacanaṁ tava

Arjuna said: My dear Kṛṣṇa, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy. I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/73/

They may or may not proclaim their love, but if you observe their actions carefully, you will see that they eat, sleep, exercise, interact, work all for the satisfaction of God. In fact, you can see that a person in an advanced stage of surrender does not even breathe if it not beneficial for the service of God.

In Arjuna’s case, God Himself proclaimed His love:

स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरातनः ।
भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्येतदुत्तमम् ॥ ३ ॥

sa evāyaṁ mayā te ’dya
yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ
bhakto ’si me sakhā ceti
rahasyaṁ hy etad uttamam

That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend and can therefore understand the transcendental mystery of this science.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/3/

So, surrender means loving service. And it is filled with mystery, adventure, excitement, and satisfaction! To surrender to Krishna is to be in Love with Him.

Who or what is Vishnu Tattva?

Who or what is Vishnu Tattva? Since Lord Shiva is an expansion of Lord Vishnu, is Lord Shiva also Vishnu Tattva?

Bhakta Sunil, 13 July 2013

Jaya Hari

Does Vishnu-tattva mean expansion of Lord Krishna?

thanks in anticipation,

Bhakta sunil

Bhaktarupa Das, 15 July 2015

Dear Bhakta Sunil,

Hare Krishna!

Your question was answered by Srila Gurudeva in the Thought for the day dated 02 Mar 2013.

Krishna is the original Vishnu. Therefore, Vishnu tattva means expansions of Krishna.

your servant,

Bhaktarupa Das

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is the Original Form of God?

Dear Guru,

Pranams.

We are taught that the Lord Vishnu is the origin of all gods and that the ten incarnations arise from Lord Vishnu. I am in a dilemma as to who is the origin of whom. We believe that Krishna is one avatar of Lord Vishnu. Kindly enlighten us so that our doubts may be clarified and ignorance removed.

A Servant of God

Answer: Krishna is the Original Vishnu

All forms of God are in the category of Vishnu. Of all the various Vishnus Krishna is revealed in the Vedic wisdom to be the original form of Vishnu. So whether you say that Vishnu is the origin or Krishna is the origin, in either case you are correct. Krishna is not an expansion or avatar of Vishnu. He is the original Vishnu and the origin of unlimited millions of Vishnu forms. The ten incarnations that you mentioned are only a tiny sample of the millions of forms of Vishnu or God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

yours sincerely, 

Bhaktarupa Das

Bhakta Sunil, 17 July 2015

Prabhu is it correct to say that Lord Shiva is Vishnu tattva?

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Bhaktarupa Das, 22 July 2015

Hare Krishna Sunil,

Lord Shiva is neither a Vishnu tattva nor a Jiva tattva. He is in his own unique category called “Shiva-tattva”.

As confirmed by Lord Brahma in Brahma Samhita (5.45).

kshīram yathā dadhi vikāra-viśesha-yogāt

sañjāyate na hi tatah prithag asti hetoh

yah śambhutām api tathā samupaiti kāryād

govindam ādi-purusham tam aham bhajāmi

“Just as milk is transformed into curd by the action of acids, but yet the effect curd is neither same as, nor different from, its cause, viz., milk, so I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whom the state of Śambhu is a transformation for the performance of the work of destruction”.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bs/5/45/

Therefore Lord Shiva is a transformation of the Supreme Lord, just like milk is transformed into curd. Once transformed we no longer call curd as milk. Nevertheless, curd has its source in milk. But curd cannot be transformed into milk. 

To dispel one of the common misconceptions about Lord Shiva, you can read the article “Is Shiva the Supreme?” published in The Ultimate Self Realization Course website, which was originally published by Satyaraja Prabhu in Back to Godhead Magazine years ago.

http://www.krishna.com/shiva-auspicious-one/

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

Muslim Brahmin in Hyderabad

Can a Muslim be a Brahmin? Can a Vaishnava be as good as a Mullah or Rabbi or Christian priest? Here are some great insights from a Maulvi in Hyderabad!

Not long ago, I was out on the street distributing the Bhagavad Gita in the South Central Indian City of Hyderabad. Hyderabad, like most cities in India, is a beautiful confluence of many cultures. Specifically, in Hyderabad, there is a significant mix of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian populations, and the history of the city has a strong Muslim flavour. For the most part, people have lived in harmony for hundreds of years. There have been flash-points and incidents of hatred, but relatively rare.

One day, as I stood on the street, I saw an elderly gentlemen, clearly Muslim from his long white beard with moustache shaved off, a baggy light-coloured Salwar Kameez, and a distinctive skull cap. He walked slowly, with a walker, that he gently placed in front of him, and then moved his legs closer to the walker, shuffling by slowly. I respectfully made way for this gentleman and greeted him with a little bow.

He passed back-and-forth a few times, and seeing his friendly countenance, I asked him if he would read the Bhagavad Gita. He said he most certainly would, if I had a Hindi version available. He then told me that he had been to the ISKCON Radha Madan Mohan temple in Abids, Hyderabad several times for the Sunday feast program, and had participated in Harinam Sankirtan, and taken Prasad many times at the temple. The surprise must have been clear on my face, because he then said “Do you know that I am a Brahmin?”.

He then explained “I am the Maulvi of this mosque around this corner. I have dedicated my life to Allah. I don’t eat meat and I don’t drink alcohol. I teach the scripture. So how am I not a Brahmin?”. He then added “The Gita was spoken by Allah and the Q’uran was spoken by Allah, so why would I read one but not the other?“. I was very much gladdened by his mature understanding. This is exactly our Vaishnava understanding too.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna describes the qualities of a Brahmin…

शमो दमस्तप: शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च ।
ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ॥ ४२ ॥

śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
brahma-karma svabhāva-jam

Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness – these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/42/

So, if we see any living entity from any cultural background or any religious orientation who has these qualities, we must accept them as good as Brahmins. Of course, Krishna also says that Brahmin is not only by quality, but also by the work they do…

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

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

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

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

Srila Prabhupada describes the 6 duties of a Brahmin…

Brāhmaṇas are supposed to acquire six kinds of auspicious qualifications: they become very learned scholars (paṭhana) and very qualified teachers (pāṭhana); they become expert in worshiping the Lord or the demigods (yajana), and they teach others how to execute this worship (yājana); they qualify themselves as bona fide persons to receive alms from others (pratigraha), and they distribute the wealth in charity (dāna).

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/17/11/

Based on instructions from the Vaishnava Acharyas, the great saintly teachers, we accept that Prophet Muhammad is an empowered messenger sent directly by God, practically, speaking a “shaktyavesha avataar” or a living entity but with the power to act in a way empowered by God. We accept that Jesus Christ is the son of God, a pure devotee fully dovetailed with the desire of God. We accept that there is only one God, known by different names and different degrees of understanding, as an impersonal spirit (Brahman), as a localized supersoul (Paramatma), and as the Personality of Godhead (Bhagavan).

When our constitutional position, or dharma, is deteriorated due to the contaminations of matter, the Lord Himself comes as an incarnation or sends some of His confidential servitors. Lord Jesus Christ called himself the “son of God,” and so is a representative of the Supreme. Similarly, Mohammed identified himself as a servant of the Supreme Lord. Thus whenever there is a discrepancy in our constitutional position, the Supreme Lord either comes Himself or sends His representative to inform us of the real position of the living entity.

On the Way to Krishna, Chapter 2

I offered my deepest respects to that great Maulvi, that Muslim priest, who has realized the essence of Allah Consciousness in principle. Surely, he is very very close to Allah. By speaking his sweet realized words, he gave me hope that this world can be rectified from its current sectarian path.

In the same way, all the Muslims should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own Maulvis and Hazrats.

The Christians should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own nuns, monks, and priests.

The Jews should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own Rabbis.

This is the principle. One God. Many scriptures according to time, place, and circumstance.

So, what was our conclusion as we parted ways? We concluded that the genuine mature follower of any genuine faith tradition is very similar, they love God, and they love all of God’s creation. They see God everywhere, and see everyone as God’s children, to be loved and served. But the follower-in-name, a materialist or religion-politician of any faith is equally sectarian or in many cases, inhuman, and unfortunately, also evil.

How Popular is Krishna?

Krishna is mentioned as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. So why is it that apparently more people worship Ganesha, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Shiva, etc. than Krishna?

Ajanta Rao, 5 May 2015

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva!

I have a question about the worship of several demigods in Hindu religion. I have read in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam that the essence of all vedas and scriptures is Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then why has Lord Krishna not become the most popular Hindu God? There are more number of people worshipping or having Ganesha or Hanuman or Lakshmi etc as their favorite God. I appreciate anyone helping me understand this concept. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ajanta Rao

Jayakrishna, 5 May 2015

Hare Krishna!

May I try to answer the question based on the lessons I learned from my great senior devotees?

We must understand that God is one and is Krishna, the so called gods (or more accurately demigods)are several and are in fact servants of Krishna,and are the heads of different energies of the master.

 The current day religion of Hinduism is a loose confederation of different systems where even atheists are accepted as Hindus,not to say of polytheists who worship demigods as equal to Krishna, the God,and we can’t accept this.

But Vaishnavas or the devotees of Krishna are humble and are ready to pay obeisances to the demi gods also, but their approach is different, the pure devotees(called so as they have no material aims behind their service) never worship demigods as equal to Krishna but respect demigods as the servants of Krishna,Let us take the demigods separately, who is Sri Hanuman? the greatest devotee of Sri Rama, the supreme personality of godhead, and himself Sri Hanuman is none other thanLord Shiva.Lord Shiva is not a jivatma like us,a guna avatara of Krishna though he is not Vishnu tatwa like Sri Rama or Nrsimha deva. Lord Brahma is the highest jivatma who got this post by the mercy of Krishna. Thus analysing one by one we can understand that each demigod is connected to the lord in different ways.

Then, ‘Why are people attracted to demigods?’  simple, they are doing a business by serving demigods, their philosophy is just give and take. That is not devotion at all.

However, I understand it that Krishna is the most favourite god for most Hindus irrespective of their sects and castes.,even  atheists and communists are loving Krishna!( I know many such people personally)

your servant

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Srivatsa Das, 6 May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

The answer for demigod worship is also explained in Bhagavad Gita.  Krishna says that the mode of worship by the individual is according to the acquired mode of nature by that individual.  It is a journey of the individual back to home back to Godhead. At the end the individual will come back to Krishna. 

 The essence of the Vedas is to know Krishna.   Thanks to Lord Chaithanya’s Sankirtana movement and Srila Prbhupada’ s devotional service in translating various scriptures to English language, we are able to understand the purpose and meaning of these scriptures.  We are also lucky to get the opportunity to get associated with the direct devotees of Srila Prabhupada like Srila Gurudeva who has dedicated his life for the spreading of this knowledge and thus remove the ignorance from this material world.  We must dedicate our life and strongly align in strengthening this mission and thus eradicate the ignorance from society. That is the best we can do at this moment I believe.

your servant

Srivatsa Das   

Priya Harinath, 6 May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Ajanta Rao Mataji, The answer to this question is given by Krishna Himself in the Bhagavad Gita 

bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate

vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/19/

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah

bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ‘pi mam

Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/25

Even Sripad Sankaracharya the great exponent of the Advaita philosophy and who organized the panchopasana worship of Ganesha, Durga, Shiva, Surya and Vishnu has himself stated in his Bhagavad gita bhashya that the Supreme Being is “Vishnu, the one known by the name nArAyaNa, the primordial Creator” (Adi kartA nArAyaNAkhyo viShNuH), that He is “beyond the material universe” (nArAyaNaH paro.avyaktAt) and that He is the original Creator of the universe (sa bhagavAn sRShTvedaM jagat).

Srila Prabhupada’s purport to the above Gita verses are the ultimate authority and one need not to look anywhere else for understanding the knowledge imparted by the Supreme Lord Himself and which has been passed down by the great acharyas and devotees in the disciplic succession. Yet even Srila Sankaracharya  in his purport to the above verse [Bg 9.25] criticizes those who do pUja to other deities, stating that the labor involved is same, but that the results are miniscule.

Again on the question as to why so many people are involved in demigod worship is because everyone desires instant material gratification being deluded by ignorance of their original nature. They do not look beyond their bodies and consider satisfaction of material senses as the purpose of life. But eventually after being tossed repeatedly in the cycle of birth and death they will have to come to the understanding that Krishna is the soul of even of the demigods who are His appointed agents to run this material universe.

This is what  makes it so important to have constant devotee association and surrender to a bonafide spiritual master who alone can guide us in the right path and clarify all our doubts and confusions. We are indeed fortunate to be a part of this wonderful group of devotees.

May Krishna always bless us eternal devotion and service to His Lotus feet and to His devotees.

your humble servant

Priya

Shridhar Das, 7 May 2015

Hare Krishna Ajanta Rao ji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji!

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Your realization hence concludes the domination of Kali Yuga, where, people choose to remain surrendered to their senses and hence submit to mode of ignorance or passion. Very selected few may even strive for goodness but none even have any clue about pure goodness even if situated on goodness or midway between pure goodness and goodness (impersonal liberation) for real transcendence means Krishna, The Supreme Individual.

Covered by passion and ignorance in general, people nowadays deprive themselves of real freedom or satisfaction and choose to embrace some momentary pleasures that merely leads to countless cycle of birth and death. Why? Because ignorance to them is bliss. They somehow like that way.

This or many explanations lie but we cannot put further whys o because it will again boil down to ignorance motivated by material desires as confirmed in Bhagavad Gita:

kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ

prapadyante ’nya-devatāḥ

taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya

prakṛtyā niyatāḥ svayā

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

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/21

Because you, me or anyone is looking for satisfaction even at this very moment as well, let’s then focus what will satisfy us ultimately in this situation:

The best solution is as suggested above, to strive for pure devotional service and obtain compassion for the ignorant or become representative of the compassion of the compassionate acharyas by becoming dedicated to this movement that is meant for lifting the fallen mystically through its bona fide process. Your question which concludes the suicidal state of conditioned soul is the pain of our acharyas, and their mission is to save them from this repeated suicide. Anyone who becomes their representative awaits their ocean of mercy which is complete in itself with all the Vaishnava qualities.

However, charity begins at home. Therefore lets strive to spread this movement to best of our capacities that helps the so-called Hindus realize the Universal status of Krishna which His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada has already revealed. Let’s associate more with pure devotees as recommended above without whom we are helpless too.

your servant

Shridhar Das

Sacinandana Das, 13 Jun 2015

Hare Krsna Mataji,

Dandavat Pranam.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Krsna is not popular because there are less devotees. We have to flood this whole world with Krsna Bhakti and one of the most easy things we can do is to ask everyone to join Ultimate Self Realisation e course. We can request people in our offices to join this e course. We can take their email address and register it in http://www.joincourse.com If we want to make Krsna popular then we can increase the number of subscribers of Ultimate Self Realisation e course.

your servant,

Sacinandana Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28 Jul 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Sorry, I read this now and wanted to avoid any misunderstandings… We clearly state that indeed when we measure across time and space, Krishna is indeed Supremely powerful. This is the conclusion of Srila Veda Vyasa’s father Parasara Muni.

If I close my eyes in broad daylight and then claim that it is now dark, is it really dark, or are my eyes closed?

So, Krishna is indeed most popular and most famous, but we may not know the extent of His popularity and fame.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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

What should we pray to God for?

What should we pray to God for? Bread? Comfort? What is the best prayer to offer to God?

Kaspars, 3 Dec 2015

Hare Krishna!

1. When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty.

2. Maybe early christians were in great difficulty of food, Jesus taught them to pray for bread, or see food as God’s mercy.

3. Why does everyone in Krishna consciousness criticize christians about praying for daily bread? Jesus himself taught that. I think we should not criticize other religions prayer, we should not criticize Jesus? That whole christian prayer is all good. It is saving people from all bad.

Kaspars

Premananda Das, 3 December 2015

1) All material difficulties are due to our lack of Krishna consciousness, no external suffering.

2 & 3) Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness means to follow the order as it is without interpretations.

your servant

Premananda Das

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

Shridhar Das, 3 December 2015

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Your question has been answered here:

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

yajeta puruṣaḿ param

“A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.”

SB 2.3.10

So we must somehow or other develop the practice of always praying and remembering God. Should we be silent?

Krishna says in 4.11: As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.

So not advisable as a callous/impersonal approach.

Regarding patience, that’s very pleasing to Krishna and we must if we can but this quality manifests in advancing stages of devotional path automatically and needn’t be imitated artificially.

In BG 18.58 Krishna says:

mac-cittaḥ sarva-durgāṇi

mat-prasādāt tariṣyasi

atha cet tvam ahańkārān

na śroṣyasi vinańkṣyasi

“If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.”

BG 18.58

In fact Krishna emphasizes in BG 18.65:

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto

mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru

mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te

pratijāne priyo ‘si me

“Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.”

BG 18.65

So it is a very good practice to always pray and remember God. This is possible when we know who is God, how is God, what are His qualities, just as we cannot love a person in air blindly. We need to be aware of their qualities and features before devoting to any person.

Regarding question 2, I am curious about ‘maybe’. But in general, whenever God or His emissaries like Jesus, the son of Christ descend, their only mission is to take the fallen stuck up souls back to Godhead by developing their attachment for God. In fact, in our Krishna Consciousness we also pray sarira avidya jal prayers thanking God for not only giving us food but for sanctifying. The thanks is extended by offering food to the source of food, God, begging him to kindly take away the sinful reactions from that food and bless it with His love and devotion. And then this is distributed in mass for what is that love centered around personal liberation?

However, although the practice of praying to God for bread is glorious, if the end result is attachment to food instead of God, then such a process is not topmost. Hence, whenever the prayers aren’t fulfilled, people in general become atheist.

Not only food, Krishna in the 10th chapter of Bhagavad Gita tells us He is the taste of the water, He is light of sun, of senses He is mind and so many things.

His mercy is not limited to food, it’s beyond our imagination. In one of the lectures by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada that I was recently hearing, it was stated that it’s a fact that our existence at every moment is Lord’s kindness. If we’re existing, it means it is the personal will of the Lord at every moment. What can be the ultimate mercy than God Himself descending to show us the guiding light? How can one not feel loved and purchased when we see Lord has given His Holy Names as the means to attain Him? Lord is Himself directly present in His Holy Names simply for our deliverance and is constantly sending His representatives time after time in this unbroken lineage. So our vision must stretch beyond food, water and material products.

Before answering the next question I wish to first clarify that the conception of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jew,… as religions is incorrect. These are mere labels. Just as son of a lawyer cannot be rubber stamped as lawyer, a daughter of a doctor as a doctor, similarly no living entity can be labelled anything other than servant of God and ultimate religion being to love God by addressing Him as Krishna, Christ, Allah, Ram, Jehovah, wherever one’s devotion flows…

If someone criticizes a sect simply to satisfy one’s own senses or false ego, that’s displeasing to God. This is against austerities of speech clearly stated in the Bhagavad Gita. However, it’s very honest of you for having inquired the same sincerely.

What real religion is, in truth, is explained here:

“Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart.”

SB 1.1.2

In a lecture on this same verse Srila Prabhupada says:

“So we should not approach God for economic satisfaction or for bread or for wood or for anything necessary for our life. God has arranged food for everyone, the aquatics, the birds, the beasts, the trees, the elephants or the other, four-legged animals, and why not for human being? Human being also, those who are uncivilized, still living in the forest, they have no arrangement for economic development, or they do not know, but they have got also food. Therefore sastra says,

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido

na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhaḥ

tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ

kalena sarvatra gabhira-raṁhasa

[SB 1.5.18]

“One should try for developing God consciousness, not for anything else, because happiness and distress, they come automatically.” We haven’t got to try for it.

Happiness, everyone aspires for happiness. Nobody aspires for distress, but distress is forcibly come upon you. Similarly, the sastra says, “As distress comes without any desire, similarly, happiness also will come without any endeavor.” So long we are in the material world, the so-called happiness and distress will come and go, but our, the human life, the endeavor should be how to find out or revive our relationship with God. That is our main business.” [Unquote]

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Therefore, the verse states, any faith or sect that has taught their follower how to love God, how to depend on God, how to remain satisfied, in bliss, undisturbed, amidst of all difficulties and miseries, simply by taking shelter of God is a successful religion, else it has failed. For the same reason our prayers, devotion, love, happiness, distress, everything should be aimed for the satisfaction of God, not personal satisfaction only.

Last point I wish to add is whatever the faith be but it must teach their followers to expand their vision to see God as an ever youthful all-perfect person, who is not aristocratic but all loving, indiscriminately. A true lover of God sees all the living entities as part and parcel of God including animals, insects, birds, trees, worms, aquatics and not without soul. Therefore, real love of God means loving all living entities. Most of them I meet while preaching conclude they love God but then they also love torturing their brothers and sisters by killing and eating them, which is very demoniac and sinful irrespective of one following Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, etc, as laws are universal just as 1+1=2 everywhere. Rather, in the ten commandments, the merciful Jesus, who is often cited as an ideal example in our movement, as Lord’s devotee, in whose foot steps we follow, has clarified “Thou shalt not kill”.

The Krishna Consciousness movement is not criticizing anyone rather my spiritual master has stated often, that the aim of the movement is to help everyone become a true lover of God. If one is a Christian, then a very ideal Christian, if Islam then a true one, if a Sanatana Dharmi, then a genuine Sanatana Dharmi or follower of Vedas.

Hence the movement is aimed around harmonizing all souls under the universal love of God.

What seemed as criticism to you against Christianity can be properly understood by Lord Jesus’s statement: Hate the sin, not the sinner.

So that pointing out was a merciful correction on an improper attitude of “Give me, give me, give me” whereas the mood of a devotee must be of “Giving giving giving”. 

It is the duty of an acharya to point out the fallacies in a system established by other acharyas (Lord Jesus here) if they are being misinterpreted. The acharyas share a common consciousness, love of Godhead. They are not to be understood like us for they are free of hatred, envy, lust and other such mundane qualities. Their vision is centered around God, not nation, body, society, sect and so on.

Hope this satisfies you!

your servant

Sridhar Das

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Kaspars Gulbis,

Please accept my greetings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thankyou for your humble inquiries.

1. I would say why not?

“..Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ..” In SB 10.14.58 this material world has been described as a place full of miseries and danger lurks at every step. So why not pray to God in all circumstances. Whether in happiness or distress we should always try to remember God and never forget Him.

2. Indeed the food offered to lord is also known as “Prasadam” in Sanskrit, which in literal sense means “mercy”. The food we offer to the Lord with love and devotion is transformed into Lord’s mercy and when we honour such transformed food stuff it has a great spiritual impact on our consciousness.

3. Also, a truly Krishna conscious person would never criticize anyone. Infact, in the conversations of Srila Prabhupada, we can see him addressing Jesus Christ as a vaisnava. A vaisnava is actually a para dukha dukhi, one who can not tolerate the suffering of others. Therefore, we have great respect for Jesus Christ who was preaching the message of the God, as per time, place and circumstances to relieve the living entities from the miseries of this material world. 

 Coming back to your question: praying for daily bread seems insignificant when we see that even a tiny ant gets its daily food without praying, What to speak of thousands of Elephants roaming on Earth eating tonnes and tonnes of food daily. Atleast, I never saw them praying for food. Who provides them all the required food? God. God is all merciful. Since we are in the human form of life with a developed consciousness compared to other forms of life, it only seems wise to capitalize on this unique opportunity and pray for something very rare, very precious, something which is inconceivably priceless- and that is Pure love of God.

I hope this helps. However, it would be enlightening to hear more from other readers as well.

Sincerely,

Shyamapriya devi dasi

Lalit, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

I share my learning.

If we are in Krishna consciousness, we will not be in need of any prayer for “anything”.

With awakened consciousness,we can see things as they are and not as we perceive.

Pain or suffering is there till we are attached to it, the moment awakening happens we realize that everything is like a dream which shall pass.

We do not feel the pain of injury in dreams on waking up.

Many great saints suffered from ailments but their awakening helped them realize that suffering was for the physical body and not aatma (soul) or jeev.

Everything is temporary here, so enjoy as it comes, without any attachment.

Lalit

Sunil, 3 December 2015

Dear Kaspars,

—–

From introduction to Gita :  Just what is the Bhagavad-gita? The purpose of Bhagavad-gita is to deliver mankind from the nescience of material existence. Every man is in difficulty in so many ways, as Arjuna also was in difficulty in having to fight the Battle of Kurukshetra. Arjuna surrendered unto Sri Krishna, and consequently this Bhagavad-gita was spoken.

From the book “Science of Self Realization” :

Whoever teaches how to know God and how to love Him—he is a spiritual master. Sometimes bogus rascals mislead people. “I am God,” they claim, and people who do not know what God is believe them. You must be a serious student to understand who God is and how to love Him. Otherwise, you will simply waste your time. So the difference between others and us is that we are the only movement that can actually teach one how to know God and how to love Him. We are presenting the science of how one can know Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by practicing the teachings of theBhagavad-gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam. They teach us that our only business is to love God. Our business is not to ask God for our necessities. God gives necessities to everyone—even to one who has no religion. For example, cats and dogs have no religion, yet Krishna supplies them with the necessities of life. So why should we bother Krishna for our daily bread? He is already supplying it. Real religion means to learn how to love Him.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6) says,

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo

yato bhaktir adhokshaje

ahaituky apratihata

yayatma suprasidati

First-class religion teaches one how to love God without any motive. If I serve God for some profit, that is business—not love. Real love of God is ahaituky apratihata: it cannot be checked by any material cause. It is unconditional. If one actually wants to love God, there is no impediment. One can love Him whether one is poor or rich, young or old, black or white.

Science of Self Realization by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

From book “Teachings of Queen Kunti” :

Christians and Muslims are also Vaishnavas, devotees, because they offer prayers to the Lord. “O God,” they say, “give us our daily bread.” Those who offer this prayer may not know very much and may be at a lower stage, but this is a beginning, because they have approached God. Going to a church or mosque is also pious (catur-vidha bhajante mam janah sukritino ‘rjuna [Bg. 7.16]). Therefore those who begin in this way will one day become pure..

Teachings of Queen Kunti, by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Jayendran C, 3 December 2015

Thank you devotees for the wonderful answers. Here is a wonderful shloka from the Bhagavatam that would be relevant.

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

 mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

 yajeta puruṣaṁ param

Translation

A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead

Purport

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is described in the Bhagavad-gītā as puruṣottama, or the Supreme Personality. It is He only who can award liberation to the impersonalists by absorbing such aspirants in the brahmajyoti, the bodily rays of the Lord. The brahmajyoti is not separate from the Lord, as the glowing sun ray is not independent of the sun disc. Therefore one who desires to merge into the supreme impersonal brahmajyoti must also worship the Lord by bhakti-yoga, as recommended here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhakti-yoga is especially stressed here as the means of all perfection. In the previous chapters it has been stated that bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal of both karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga, and in the same way in this chapter it is emphatically declared that bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal of the different varieties of worship of the different demigods. Bhakti-yoga, thus being the supreme means of self-realization, is recommended here. Everyone must therefore seriously take up the methods of bhakti-yoga, even though one aspires for material enjoyment or liberation from material bondage.

Akāmaḥ is one who has no material desire. A living being, naturally being the part and parcel of the supreme whole puruṣaṁ pūrṇam, has as his natural function to serve the Supreme Being, just as the parts and parcels of the body, or the limbs of the body, are naturally meant to serve the complete body. Desireless means, therefore, not to be inert like the stone, but to be conscious of one’s actual position and thus desire satisfaction only from the Supreme Lord. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has explained this desirelessness as bhajanīya-parama-puruṣa-sukha-mātra-sva-sukhatvam in his Sandarbha. This means that one should feel happy only by experiencing the happiness of the Supreme Lord. This intuition of the living being is sometimes manifested even during the conditioned stage of a living being in the material world, and such intuition is expressed in the manner of altruism, philanthropy, socialism, communism, etc., by the undeveloped minds of less intelligent persons. In the mundane field such an outlook of doing good to others in the form of society, community, family, country or humanity is a partial manifestation of the same original feeling in which a pure living entity feels happiness by the happiness of the Supreme Lord. Such superb feelings were exhibited by the damsels of Vrajabhūmi for the happiness of the Lord. The gopīs loved the Lord without any return, and this is the perfect exhibition of the akāmaḥ spirit. Kāma spirit, or the desire for one’s own satisfaction, is fully exhibited in the material world, whereas the spirit of akāmaḥ is fully exhibited in the spiritual world.

Thoughts of becoming one with the Lord, or being merged in the brahmajyoti, can also be exhibitions of kāma spirit if they are desires for one’s own satisfaction to be free from the material miseries. A pure devotee does not want liberation so that he may be relieved from the miseries of life. Even without so-called liberation, a pure devotee is aspirant for the satisfaction of the Lord. Influenced by the kāma spirit, Arjuna declined to fight in the Kurukṣetra battlefield because he wanted to save his relatives for his own satisfaction. But being a pure devotee, he agreed to fight on the instruction of the Lord because he came to his senses and realized that satisfaction of the Lord at the cost of his own satisfaction was his prime duty. Thus he became akāma. That is the perfect stage of a perfect living being.

Udāra-dhīḥ means one who has a broader outlook. People with desires for material enjoyment worship small demigods, and such intelligence is condemned in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.20) as hṛta-jñāna, the intelligence of one who has lost his senses. One cannot obtain any result from demigods without getting sanction from the Supreme Lord. Therefore a person with a broader outlook can see that the ultimate authority is the Lord, even for material benefits. Under the circumstances, one with a broader outlook, even with the desire for material enjoyment or for liberation, should take to the worship of the Lord directly. And everyone, whether an akāma or sakāma or mokṣa-kāma, should worship the Lord with great expedience. This implies that bhakti-yoga may be perfectly administered without any mixture of karma and jñāna. As the unmixed sun ray is very forceful and is therefore called tīvra, similarly unmixed bhakti-yoga of hearing, chanting, etc., may be performed by one and all regardless of inner motive.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/10/

Bhagavatam had many instances where people depended on Krishna for their material miseries. King Gajendra depended on Krishna to save his life, Draupadi to protect her chastity, Uttara to save her womb from being destroyed, Dhruva to save his pride after being insulted. In this way, the Bhagavatam in my humble understanding states whoever comes to Krishna is never turned away and is purified even from the material desire they came for.

your humble servant,

Jayendran C

Kaspars Gulbis 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. Please excuse my offenses.

All your kind answers are very nice! I understood that in real Krishna consciousness one doesn’t need to pray for ”anything”. That one has to expand his needs beyond bread and accept love for God that only our Krishna consciousness movement gives. Jesus is a Vaisnava and preached according to that place and circumstance. Also I understood that we can pray to Krishna anytime and must remember Him always. Is it all right?

Thank you!

Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das, 3 December 2015

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you to all of you who participated in this wonderful Q&A. Indeed, this is the main purpose of this sda_students group, to ask questions, receive answers, help us all strengthen our faith, kill the doubts, and become gradually purified with this hearing and chanting about Krishna.

In a gathering, there needs to be a sincere question, and loving, knowledgeable authoritative answers from devotees who truly care.

Both are in abundance in this group of sincere spiritualists from all over the world.

Let the questions flow! Let the answers illuminate! Let us all hear and chant about Krishna and thus be fully engaged in body, intelligence, word and mind, let us enter into the spiritual dimension.

So what are we waiting for?

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Vidaa Joon, 9 December 2015

Great answers, thank you. I agree and wish not to subtract anything from the answers but would like to add that for me another verse that comes to mind regarding the first question is BG 12.13-14, one of my favourites: 

One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me-he is very dear to Me.

I love it because, sure, we sometimes feel a need to pray for help with our problems, and who better than Krishna to be the recipient of our prayers, but if we keep in mind what the above verse says, even our problems will seem to vanish as we put things into perspective, and not only that -it’s exciting to hear how this attitude makes us dear to Krishna! 

Also, I believe one should seek guidance from guru, sadhu, shastra when faced with difficulties, not that one has to suffer blindly. 

your humble servant

Vidaa

Yamini Narang, 9 December 2015

Hari Hari!

Dear devotees,

Thank you very much for the wonderful Q&A discussion! So enlightening! Thank you so much! All glories to all of you! Jai Gurudev! Jai guru Mataji! Jaya Srila prabhupada! 

your grateful and aspiring servant,

Bhaktin Yamini

Rathin Mandal, 9 December 2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your questions. They are very good and important at the same time.

1. When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty.

When in a difficult situation we should remember Sri Krishna. Actually we should remember Him all the time. And yes, we should keep patience too. It should be understood that material and psychological problems are due to our own doing, our own past karma. One should understand that by present suffering one is burning his past karma. One should approach a senior devotee and discuss what Krishna Conscious activities he can do to lower his suffering and remember Sri Krishna more.

2. Maybe early christians were in great difficulty of food, Jesus taught them to pray for bread, or see food as God’s mercy.

3. Why does everyone in Krishna consciousness criticize christians about praying for daily bread? Jesus himself taught that. I think we should not criticize other religions prayer, we should not criticize Jesus? That whole christian prayer is all good. It is saving people from all bad.

I assure you, no one is criticizing Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus is a great Spiritual Master and taught us by his exemplary act as how to remember God at all times. 

What may be confusing you is this, among the 10 commandments, one commandment says ‘Thou shall not kill’. Today christians are opening slaughterhouses to eat meat. Is that what following commandments mean? 

Christians are praying for bread but are they offering the bread to Lord Jesus first. If Lord Jesus is providing them bread then the first share belongs to Lord Jesus. Just like the head of the family gets the first share. The better process would be to pray to Lord Jesus, thank Lord Jesus, offer Lord Jesus and then take what’s remaining.

your servant

Rathin

Kaspars Gulbis, 9 December 2015

Dear devotees,

All glories to all of you!

Every answer is wonderful and nice teaching. Thank you!

Serious Christians do offer prayers before eating, thanking the Lord for food and welcoming Jesus to join the meal with them. Although usually there is meat also having no idea of killing. They say animals have no soul, only humans have. There are also some serious people who strongly preach about vegetarianism and not killing.

Sincerely,

Kaspars

Tirtharaja Das, 11 December 2015

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Jai Sri Sri guru gauranga

Thanks prabhu for this touchy aspect of the nine processes of devotional service.

To humbly respond to the first enquiry, yes devotees should approach the Lord for everything, thus by so doing we learn to completely and entirely depend on the Lord. In the advanced stage from the kanistha mentality we should aspire to not only imitate but to pray like queen Kunti. (Refer to Prayers of Queen Kunti).

In humble submission to 2 & 3, the Lord’s prayer as taught by Christ Jesus contains more than supplication for daily bread and for one to appreciate the depth of the prayer itself, it has to be taken in its entirety lest we seem to be like the blind men describing what is an elephant by the parts of an elephant they can touch.

For my own edification, I quote the same prayer and humbly entreaty all of us who can to meditate on the words of the prayer as vaishnavas and let it speak to our hearts.

Jesus Himself said (in Matthew 6: 8 – 13) … “Your Father already knows what you need before you ask Him. This then is how you should pray:

“Our Father in heaven;

May your Holy Name be honoured;

May your Kingdom come;

May your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us day by day the food we need.

Forgive us the wrongs we have done,

as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

Do not bring us to hard testing,

but keep us safe from the Evil One.

Matthew 6: 8 -13

In verse 31 He further advises “So do not start worrying: ‘Where Will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes? (These are the things the pagans (atheists, Asuras,) are always concerned about). Your Father in Heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you…”

I ask forgiveness if I have offended anybody by quoting from a different scripture but just like Srila Prabhupada would quote Canakya Pandit saying that “a wise man should be able to collect gold from a rubbish damp” …..

Regards,

your lowly servant

Tirtharaja Dasa.

Mahabhagavat Das, 11 December 2015

Dear Tirtharaja Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you so very much Prabhu, for your insights!

Srila Prabhupada and all the Vaishnava Acharyas taught us to respect all the scriptures.

The only caution was to stick to those scriptures we study and understand thoroughly.

Srila Prabhupada`s statements, if not understood properly can cause misunderstandings.

Here are some quotes to help us appreciate context that Srila Prabhupada never criticized the Christians for this prayer, though it can be misunderstood that he criticized them, actually he was explaining the broader principle:

`There are different kinds of love or worship in the world. The beginning is, “O God, give us our daily bread.” This is the beginning. When we are, I mean to say, taught to love God, we are instructed that “You go to temple, go to church, and pray to God for your necessities, for your grievances.” That is the beginning. But that is not pure love. Pure love, perfection of pure love, can be found amongst the gopīs. That is the example.`

Srila Prabhupada lecture, Seattle Sep 30, 1968

`Yes. For the leaders. They are seeing this poor man is going to church or to temple for asking God, “God give us our daily bread.” They are taking the opportunity to spread atheism. They say, “Well, you have prayed for your bread in the temple or in the church. Have you got the bread?” They say, “No. Not yet.” “All right. Come to me. You ask me bread.” “Yes.” They are innocent, “Yes, Mr. such and such, give me bread,” and he gives bread. “Take this bread.” Then they are convinced, “Oh, God cannot give us bread. Our political leader can give bread.” This is, propaganda is going on.`

SB 1.1.2 lecture, London, Aug 18, 1971

`Those who are following the Vedic principles, they think like that. Not only they, others also, the so-called religious system, they also think like that. Just like the Christians. They go to church, “O God, give us our daily bread.” So this bread-supplying business is like that: “God simply supplies bread, and we eat and we enjoy.” Similarly, the Hindu system also there is: “O God, give me some money. I am very poor. I am suffering from disease. Please cure it.” And so everywhere you will find some motive in religiosity. So religion does not mean to solve the economic problem. `

Lecture SB 1.1.2, Caracas, Feb 23, 1975

`The Christian religion also, they say, “O father, give us our daily bread.” So God is accepted, actually He is the father. Must have. We must have original father. You cannot say there is no God. If you are existing, you are existing because of your father. Your father is existing because of his father, his father, his father. There must be somebody original father. That is logical conclusion, not that “I am born out of air” or “My father is born out of air, my grandfather is born…” No. There must be somebody—father. `

Lecture SB 1.2.1, New Vrindaban, Sep 1, 1972

Just like people generally go there like that, “O God, give us our daily bread.” Well, why you are asking God for daily bread? Daily bread is already given to everyone, even birds and bees. Your bread is also there. But people do not know that “My bread is already there. Why I shall bother God for daily bread? Let me learn how to love God.” God is giving us so many things without asking. God is giving us light, God is giving us water, God… Bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhiḥ… (BG 7.4). Everything He is giving you, without which cannot live. 

Lecture SB 1.2.6 Delhi Nov 11, 1973

Dharma is not meant for that purpose.” People have become materialistic more and more because, just like in our country, “If you want economic development, then why you should go to temple?” The communist theory is also like that, that “If you want material happiness, why you are going to church and accepting, ‘O God, give us our daily bread’? The bread, you manufacture. You just work for it.” In one side, it is good. But this is also fact, that without God’s mercy, you cannot get even bread. Although bread you can manufacture, but the ingredients of the bread, the wheat, that is not in your hand.

Lecture SB 1.2.9-10, Delhi, Nov 14, 1973

In this case, the Bible is very much a hallowed scripture, your understanding of this scripture is clearly a most exemplary Vaishnava understanding, and Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva both quote from the Bible.

In fact, Srila Gurudeva loves King David`s prayer “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff…`

So thank you Tirtharaja Prabhu for adding your perspective. I pray that we may receive more of your association in this group.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Guru Vandana Devi Dasi, 19 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I would like to add one more reference to this question:

When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty

Our real goal of life is to become a pure devotee of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada explains in his introduction to Nectar of Devotion that any desire except for service of the Lord is material desire. Then does it sound as though Uttama Bhakti is not for us and restricted to particular group or sect who do not have any desires at all? No, pure devotional service is not too exclusive . When Srila Rupa Goswami  gave the definition for Uttama Bhakti, he did not write” anya abhilasa sunyam”, he gave it as ” anya abhilasita sunyam”. This means “void of any desires for sense gratification”. 

We have integral desires for our survival, for self preservation but still we are not out of the realm of pure devotional service. When we face difficulty we pray, “Oh Krishna please help me” .It is a personal desire for existence still we are not excluded from pure devotional service.We have to be very careful to be pure in our desires, our motive should be pure without any personal agenda for sense gratification.

Out of six principles which Srila Rupa Goswami explains which assure complete success in pure devotional service, being patient (dhairyat) is one of them.

your servant

Guru Vandana devi dasi

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How to go deep into meditation

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

Kaspars, 30 January 2016

Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

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

Thank you.

Kaspars

Seba, 30 January 2016

Sir, 

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

Kindly help

Thanks

Seba

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 30 January 2016

Hare Krishna Bhakta Kaspars,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your questions.

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Shyamapriya devi dasi

Guru Vandana devi Dasi, 30 January 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

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

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

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

Some of these prayers help and keep praying always..

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

Speak to our mind

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

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

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

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

your servant

Guru Vandana devi dasi

Alakananda Devi Dasi, 31 January 2016

Hare Krishna devotees,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumataji

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

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

yours humbly,

Alakananda Devi Dasi

Mahabhagavat Das, 02 February 2016

Dear Bhakta Bushanlal Raina,

Hare Krishna!

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

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Mahabhagavat Das, 02 February 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Haresh Bakshi, 03 February 2016

Hare Krishna bhakta-s, 

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

Thanks and namaste

Haresh Bakshi

Shridhar Prabhu, 17 February 2016

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva !

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Gurudeva!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant

Shridhar Das

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Human Animal Farm

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

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

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

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

Capitalism, where money rules the roost

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

Is the end result any different?

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

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

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

Canadian Beggar

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

Communism is based on materialistic ideals

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

Homeless person in Toronto, Canada

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

Krishna, the Perfect Creator of the Perfect Society

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

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

The 4 Varnas are:

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

The 4 Ashramas are:

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

Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:

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

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

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

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

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

The present-day Indian caste system is demonic

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

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

A doctor must be properly qualified

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

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

A judge must be duly qualified

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

A pig in a suit is still a pig!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dogs will be dogs

Why and how are humans like dogs?

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

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

Why hogs?

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

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

Why camels?

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

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

And why asses?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An ideal society without God in the Centre is not possible

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

Krishna, the Creator of the Perfect Social Order

What is your choice?

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