The Dark Well of the Material World

Material existence is compared to a dark well… why such a dark analogy? Well read on!

Vasudevan K, 4 December 2017

Respected devotees,

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisanaces.

All glories to Srila prabhupada

All glories to srila gurudeva and gurumathaji

I have heard that there is a sloka in bhagavatham which describes material world as dark well and living entity who has fallen into the well is catching a creeper and that creeper is constantly chewed by 2 rats – One white and one black. Insdie the darkwell there is a phython with it’s mouth wide open and on top of the well there is a tiger which is ready to devour the living entity if he comes out. At that time some few drops of honey falls on the mouth of the person and he completely forgets his precarious condition.

The creeper is the life span, 2 rats (black and white ) are the day and night, phython is the jaws of death and tiger is the liberation.

Can you please let me know the sloka for it with it’s sloka number?

Always an insignificant servant,

Hare Krishna,

Vasudevan K

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 29 January 2018

Dear Sriman Vasudevan,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Sorry for the extreme delay in getting back to you. As a group, we are guilty of ignoring your sincere question and we beg your forgiveness for our tardiness.

The analogies you mention, at least most of them, are included in the later conversation between Jada Bharat, the great realized soul, and Maharaja Rahugana, a-proud-but-receptive-king-turned-disciple.

These analogies are mentioned in the 13th Chapter of the 5th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

Summary text of the chapter is as follows:

“The brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata became very kind to King Rahūgaṇa, and to disassociate him from the material world, he spoke figuratively of the forest of the material world. He explained that this material world is like a great forest in which one becomes entangled due to association with material life. In this forest there are plunderers (the six senses) as well as carnivorous animals like jackals, wolves and lions (wife, children and other relatives) who are always anxious to suck the blood from the head of the family. The forest plunderers and the carnivorous blood-sucking animals combine to exploit the energy of a man within this material world. In this forest there is also a black hole, covered by grass, into which one may fall. Coming into the forest and being captivated by so many material attractions, one identifies himself with this material world, society, friendship, love and family. Having lost the path and not knowing where to go, being harassed by animals and birds, one is also victimized by many desires. Thus one works very hard within the forest and wanders here and there. He becomes captivated by temporary happiness and becomes aggrieved by so-called distress. Actually one simply suffers in the forest from so-called happiness and distress. Sometimes he is attacked by a snake (deep sleep), and due to the snakebite he loses consciousness and becomes puzzled and bewildered about discharging his duties. Sometimes he is attracted by women other than his wife, and thus be thinks he enjoys extramarital love with another woman. He is attacked by various diseases, by lamentation and by summer and winter. Thus one within the forest of the material world suffers the pains of material existence. Expecting to become happy, the living entity changes his position from one place to another, but actually a materialistic person within the material world is never happy. Being constantly engaged in materialistic activities, he is always disturbed. He forgets that one day he has to die. Although he suffers severely, being illusioned by the material energy, he still hankers after material happiness. In this way he completely forgets his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

It is risky to read verses or chapter summaries without context – especially without Srila Prabhupada’s purports, so I invite everyone to please read the entire interaction from start to finish.

and of course

and for better understanding, followed by

However, everyone one of us is meant to study Srila Prabhupada’s books in great detail. To this end, we have the Bhagavata Online Academy, the 2017 class of which is about to stop accepting applications and the 2018 class is about to begin accepting applications.

Mahabhagavat Das

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The Hare Krishnas are not pessimistic, optimistic, or realistic – we are simply joyful!

Are the Hare Krishnas pessmistic? Are they realistic? Why do they keep talking about death and the futility of the material pursuit? Could it be, could they be, simply… joyful?

Brajanath Das, 20th February 2017

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances!
All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

Please help me to how to explain if someone says that the Hare Krishnas are not realistic but pessimistic

your servant
Brajanath das

Bhaktarupa Das, 21st February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

You have asked what if someone questions why Hare Krishna’s are pessimistic. You wanted to explain to them that we are realistic and not pessimistic.

One of the dictionary meaning of “pessimistic” is
“tending to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen”.

Dictionary meaning of “optimistic” is
“hopeful and confident about the future.”

If we introspect ourselves, as devotees we follow the regulative principles and chant at least 16 rounds of mahamantra every day.
Generally for non-devotees, following them every day is very austere and difficult. In fact even for devotees in the beginning it is very austere and difficult. But still why do we try to follow them strictly? If there is no benefit in doing so, why do we still do it? The fact is there is immense benefit.

A student who is serious to graduate from school, undergoes severe austerities in studying the subjects thoroughly by spending long hours, sacrificing other recreational activities like watching movies, TV, passing time in browsing internet, Facebook, whats-app, etc. which the student would have engaged in these recreational activities if not serious about graduating from the school. Such taking up of austerities by the student should be criticized as being pessimistic? or appreciate the student as being optimistic who spends time in recreational activities by neglecting to prepare for the graduation?

The sincere student who takes up austerities for graduating is the one who is actually optimistic about the life. The student sees a very bright future and enjoy bigger happiness by taking up these austerities. But the student who does not see the value of graduating from school and spends time in immediate recreational activities is the one who is actually pessimistic. Because the student is pessimistic, looks for all those things that can give immediate sense enjoyments rather than taking up austerities now for a bigger and lasting happiness in the future.

Similarly we “sadhakas” or practicing devotees, also take up austerities now because we are optimistic about our future. We wanted to taste lasting happiness, we realize that the happiness or pleasures provided by the immediate recreational activities did not give us lasting happiness, which every one of us are looking for. This is the exact same thing Lord Sri Krishna and the saintly devotees in the line of disciplic succession are teaching us. We are infected with the disease of ignorance, which hides our original identity, nature and relationships. They teach us on how to get rid of the disease and rise above and situate in the platform of pure last happiness. That process is called Krishna Consciousness. In the beginning these austerities might seem to be very bitter. But Krishna explains that happiness which is bitter in the beginning and becomes nectar in the end is in the mode of goodness. Scriptures explain that this is called “shreyas”, but that happiness which is like nectar in the beginning and becomes bitter in the end is in the mode of passion, called as “preyas”. The sense pleasures provided by the recreational activities are in the mode of passion. It will appear nectar in the beginning but it will turn to be bitter or even poison in the end.

Optimistic people take up austerities to obtain lasting happiness; but pessimistic people settle with immediate temporary pleasures, not seeing the optimistic future. Therefore the Hare Krishna devotees are not only realistic but in fact they are optimistic.

Hare Krishna!

your servant,
Bhaktarupa Das

Dra Varni, 21st February

Hare Krsna!!! Very optimistic, destination and a vehicle for departure. dra

Dra Varni

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 22nd February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for the question, and a rare and wonderful response from Bhaktarupa Prabhu! Thank you!

Such questions really should be answered in the same vein as they are asked – most people asking such questions about Hare Krishnas are really not serious about understanding spiritual life – why should we justify anything to anyone? We don’t owe casual askers anything. When someone is serious, then they ask questions differently, and they accompany their question with actions too, trying to do something about their spiritual progress. So we should know when to answer and when not to answer directly.

Actually, we are truly pessimistic about anyone’s chances in the material world, everyone who was born in the material world eventually dies. And everyone who tries to make some nice situation here fails, at minimum, at death, but mostly everyone fails at other times too. We challenge anyone on this point – so many empires have come and gone, so many people have come and gone, so many great people are totally forgotten – what is the value of material efforts? Zero, it all comes to nought.

And we are immensely optimistic about Krishna’s mercy, in fact, we are not just optimistic, but we are experiencing it every day, so we have got direct confidence by personal experience.

The best answer I got to such questions was “try it and see for yourself”. If someone chants Hare Krishna even just once they will benefit more than anything I can say to them for all my lifetime:

rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ
pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed. BG 9.2

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport:

“Generally, people are not educated in this confidential knowledge; they are educated in external knowledge. As far as ordinary education is concerned, people are involved with so many departments: politics, sociology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, etc. There are so many departments of knowledge all over the world and many huge universities, but there is, unfortunately, no university or educational institution where the science of the spirit soul is instructed. Yet the soul is the most important part of the body; without the presence of the soul, the body has no value. Still people are placing great stress on the bodily necessities of life, not caring for the vital soul.”

Then he writes: “It is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived, and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Kṛṣṇa (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) in course of chanting without offenses feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all material contamination. This is actually seen. Furthermore, if one engages not only in hearing but in trying to broadcast the message of devotional activities as well, or if he engages himself in helping the missionary activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he gradually feels spiritual progress. This advancement in spiritual life does not depend on any kind of previous education or qualification. The method itself is so pure that by simply engaging in it one becomes pure.”

And finally, to conclude (purport continues but for this point – this is sufficient):

“The process of devotional service is a very happy one (su-sukham). Why? Devotional service consists of śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, so one can simply hear the chanting of the glories of the Lord or can attend philosophical lectures on transcendental knowledge given by authorized ācāryas. Simply by sitting, one can learn; then one can eat the remnants of the food offered to God, nice palatable dishes. In every state devotional service is joyful. One can execute devotional service even in the most poverty-stricken condition. The Lord says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam: He is ready to accept from the devotee any kind of offering, never mind what. Even a leaf, a flower, a bit of fruit, or a little water, which are all available in every part of the world, can be offered by any person, regardless of social position, and will be accepted if offered with love. There are many instances in history. Simply by tasting the tulasī leaves offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, great sages like Sanat-kumāra became great devotees. Therefore the devotional process is very nice, and it can be executed in a happy mood. God accepts only the love with which things are offered to Him.”

We are not even realistic, we are simply joyful! 🙂

Srila Prabhupada’s final words in that purport?

“Thus the process of devotional service, of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the king of all education and the king of all confidential knowledge. It is the purest form of religion, and it can be executed joyfully without difficulty. Therefore one should adopt it.”

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

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How to convince someone that materialistic life is futile

Jaanvi, 27th February 2015

Dear all,

Hare Krsna

How could one convince anyone who is materially involved and see materialistic lifestyle as very normal due to the external atmosphere where most people from all the culture are very material and living life to the fullest in the material sense?



Premananda das, 28th February 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

According to the Bhagavad Gita 16.11-12 the demoniac are always after sense gratification and have concept of after life.They believe only in this life and make plans to enjoy this life to the utmost.

Their belief is any activity can be done there is no sin accrued and their is no karma .

Even at the point of death these foolish people ask the physical to prolong life for another 4 to 5 years as their desires are not fulfilled but fail to recognize that as soon as the notice comes by the laws of nature or destiny the physician will be unable to help him.

According to the Upanishad there are 2 birds sitting on the same tree one is enjoying or suffering the fruits of his activities and the other is witnessing all the activities.Unfortunately they do not believe in the concept of soul and Supersoul .

Even if they heard about this concept they do not beleive and have no conception of God.Their only wish is to fulfill their hundreds and thousands of desires and will use all the illegal ways and means to accumulate wealth and gratify their senses .

Honestly rather than convincing the materially involved people who due to external or illusory energy want to live life to the fullest if they are known to you feed them prasadam and pray to Srila Prabhupada .

As in if you hit your head on the wall it will hurt your head.

Therefore it is said you can lead the horse to water but can’t make him drink .

your servant


Bhakta Sunil, 28th February 2015

Hare Krishna mataji

Hope you are doing well
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Many of us are so accustomed or conditioned to lower tastes that it is not easy or quick for many of us to get convinced of taste higher than material pleasure which has become a culture as all in all meaning of living life to the fullest

It is a question of replacing low taste to high taste , for tasting cannot be stopped or renunciated , as Heart is by nature always pleasure seeking

You may try the following tips to convince of Higher Taste or the “Highest Pleasure” :

a) Establish your Divinity first and share as much as you know : For example you can cook and offer to Lord , then give them to “taste”. This is one of the easiest way to convince

b) You can show them transcendental art ( Photos from Iskcon Books ) and allow them to take Darshan from Iskcon Temple Direct broadcasts online

c) You can share poetic thoughts of Senior Devotees , which are easily imbibed or rhyming to the listener. For example “, quotes like “If you give mercy , you get mercy” , and “If you fail to plan , you plan to fail” , and many quotes and even understanding of Scriptures from Iskcon web-pages. Do research on Google

d) Play melodious kirtans and automatically they can listen

Depending on their reaction , you may down-titrate or up-titrate the transcendental prescription

Hope this helps,

your servant,
Bhakta sunil


Sacinandana Das, 28th February 2015

Hare Krsna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All Glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

By performing Kirtan and giving Prasadam.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das


Jaanvi, 13th March 2015

Dear Prabhujis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks for sharing all your advice.


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Can animals, birds, insects, plants be liberated from material existence without attaining human form?

Lipsa, 27th November 2013

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumataji
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

I have a doubt in Krishna Book. Kindly clarify…

Chapter 6:

“When flowers and fruits are offered to Krishna, the tree that bore them also receives much benefit, indirectly………

…… Undoubtedly all the gopis and cowherd boys and cows who served Krishna in Vrindavana with love and affection were liberated from the miserable condition of material existence.”

Can a tree or cow or any other animal be liberated by the mercy of the Lord without attaining a human form of life?

Thank you.
your unworthy servant,

Sudeep Manchanda, 27th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept our humble obeisances.

If I remember it correctly I have heard in a lecture that these trees and cows are not ordinary, there are very special and have Krishna’s special mercy.
And when one has Krishna’s mercy anything is not impossible.

For example the lila, where Gajendra who was in an elephant body was liberated, but he was an exalted devotee of the Lord and hence has his special mercy.

For an ordinary jiva who is conditioned and trapped in the cycle of birth and death, we can say that they need to first attain a human body to be able to practice bhakti.

Please correct if I am wrong.

your Servant,
Sudeep Manchanda

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th November 2013

Dear Mother Lipsa and Bhakta Sudeep,

Can a tree or cow or any other animal be liberated by the mercy of the Lord without attaining a human form of life?

To be noted that Tulasi devi or Vrinda Devi is an eternally liberated pure devotee appearing in the material world in the form of a plant/tree so that ordinary persons may have something wonderful to offer to Krishna.

It is rare, but possible…

Yes, the example is a dog who was liberated by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by taking coconut scraps from His hand, this He did because His devotee Sivananda Sen was very much merciful to the Lord – the entire pastime is in Chaitanya Charitamrita Antya Lila Chapter 1, specifically CC Antya 1.17-1.33.

Mahabhagavat Das

Lipsa, 28th November 2013

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Das Prabhuji and Sudeep Prabhuji
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumataji
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Thank you for enlightening me on this subject.

Reading the verses 1.17 – 1.33 from Chaitanya Charitamrita Antya Lila Chapter 1 was really ecstatic. Thank you Mahabhagavat Das Prabhuji for mentioning about it.

Every verse is full of spiritual knowledge. Whoever reads it immediately feels the need to develop an attachment to this sublime process. I am mentioning a few lines from the text that I liked the most.

Text 24:
…. He thus offers to become the dog of a Vaisnava. There are many other instances in which the pet animal of a Vaisnava was delivered back home to Vaikunthaloka, back to Godhead. Such is the benefit of somehow or other becoming the favorite of a Vaisnava. ….

Text 30:
Seeing the dog eating the green coconut pulp and chanting “Krishna, Krishna” again and again, all the devotees present were very much surprised.

Text 32:
This is the result of sadhu-sanga, consequent association with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the Vaisnava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees.

Thank you.
your unworthy servant,

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How to balance Spiritual life with Material Life

Siddesh JM, 09th May 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada,

I have one question how to manage Material life and Spiritual life?
Please answer me

*Best Regards *
* Siddesh JM
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 09th May 2013

Dear Siddhesh,

Hare Krishna!

This is very good. Only a sincere devotee asks such questions.

For a devotee, there is no such thing as “material life”, everything a devotee does is meant to faciliate spiritual life. Some of it is direct devotional service, like chanting Hare Krishna every day, serving Guru and the Vaishnavas, but some items are indirect… for example, I work in the corporate world so that I can maintain my bodily needs and the needs of my family and serve the local temple, Guru and various projects around the world.

If you prioritize your spiritual life, then the material aspects of your life will automatically be taken care of. Krishna promises this in Bhagavad Gita 9.22

ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham

But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form — to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have. BG 9.22.

Please keep trying – participate fully in this group’s activities, the book clubs, etc., study and work for full excellence but prioritize your spiritual practice first thing in the morning every single day and the last thing you do every night.

Devotees, please add your perspectives to help and encourage Siddhesh and help him become the real master of all achievements (Siddha(perfected)+ Isha(lord)), by helping him become a pure servant of Krishna.
Also, a personal request to all group members, please do not include your cell number, your website, etc., in your email signature. This is our group policy.

Mahabhagavat Das
Sanil, 10th May 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

This is a very vast subject.  I am still trying to understand what is material life and what is spiritual life.  To manage the material life and spiritual life, firstly, I realised that I need to have a clear idea about what is material life and what is spiritual life.  I had a totally wrong concept about spiritual life, since I was flooded with wrong information from media and from different in appropriate sources.  When I got an opportunity to go through Bhagavad Gita As it is and when I got in touch with Srila Gurudeva, and all these devotees through this platform, what I understood is I need to change my present consciousness to Krishna consciousness.  The starting point what I understood is chanting 16 rounds of the mahamantra, strictly adhere to four regulative principles and surrender to a bonafide spiritual master, listen to his teachings and reading of Bhagavad Gita repeatedly and understand thoroughly.

your servant,
Sanil kumar
Siddesh Jm, 10th May 2013

Thanks prabhu
Jayakrishna, 10th May 2013

Hare Krishna!
My humble obeisance at the lotus feet of devotees,

on this subject,what i learned from my beloved senior devotees can be summarised like this,

‘Any thing when connected with Krishna is spiritual,just like a wire connected to electricity is representing electricity’ thus if we do any thing favourable for
Krishna conciousnes,its spiritual,no doubt.

I think that by starting a discussion like this, siddhesh prabhuji is also doing a service to krishna by helping us to discuss and learn more on Krishna.

Please correct me,

your humble servant,
Harish, 11th May 2013

Hare Krsna Prabhu,

Thank you very much for asking this question. This question how to manage material life and spiritual life always remain somewhere in the psychic of the devotee till he fully surrenders to Krsna (gets completely purified from all material desires).

Nectar Of Devotion (1.1.11)
anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena Krsnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama

“‘When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive action. The devotee must constantly serve Krsna favorably, as Krsna desires.’

Discussing topics related to Krsna depicts one’s shraddha/faith in the process but one has to further enhance their shraddha/faith with devotees association, chanting and hearing more about Krsna from fully realized souls and serving them. Gradually gradually the shraddha will ripen and one is sure of Krsna’s protection in any situation like a child feels always protected under his parents shelter.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta (Madhya 22.62)
sraddha-sabde – visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya
Krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

Sraddha is confident, firm faith that by rendering transcendental loving service to Krsna one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is favorable to the discharge of devotional service.

PURPORT (shortened)
Firm faith and confidence are called sraddha. When one engages in the Lord’s devotional service, he is to be understood to have performed all his responsibilities in the material world. He has satisfied his forefathers, ordinary living entities, and demigods and is free from all responsibility. Such a person does not need to meet his responsibilities separately. It is automatically done.

Bhagvad Gita 18.61
The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

jivera svarupa haya – Krsnera nitya-dasa
“It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna.

A person is never independent.  Being eternal servant of Krsna, we have to act under Him, either under His internal energy or under his external illusory energy. That free will we have in the human form. Now it’s in our hand under whose control we want to act, which will decide where/how we would be acting in next birth, whether we want to serve our senses under the influence of external energy and remain entangled in the cycle of birth and death or by serving Krsna under protection of internal energy and get liberation.

Bhagvad Gita 3.27
The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.

Sri Isopanishad (1) :
isavasyam idam sarvam
yat kinca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhuntitha
ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam

Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.

So we need not unnecessary bother about our material needs as they are already there and automatically fulfilled due to our previous births activities (karmas). As Krsna says that a living entity in any species before he takes birth, all the arrangement of his livelihood is being already arranged by Him [Sri Isopanishad (1) mentioned above].

Hence persons who are actually intelligent and philosophically inclined should endeavor only for that purposeful end which is not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet (Brahmaloka) down to the lowest planet (Patala). As far as happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned, it can be obtained automatically in course of time, just as in course of time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire them. (SB 1.5.18)

But it does not mean that we start thinking that when everything is already there then why should I unnecessary endeavor at all. Let me sit at one place and chant like Sri Haridas Thakur. We should not artificially position ourselves as advances Vaishnavas or intimate the acaryas, we will immediately fall down with no chance of return.

As mentioned before, our constitutional position is such that we have to act either under the modes of nature satisfying our own serpent like senses or serving the senses of Krsna under His internal energy. So we should rather stick to our position and try to whole heartedly work for Krsna offering the results unto Him. This way both our material and spiritual obligations would be fulfilled. And same thing Krsna says – Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform — do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me. (BG 9.27)
And in the same verse purport, Srila Prabhupada guides that it is the duty of everyone to mold his life in such a way that he will not forget Krsna in any circumstance.
And we understand by doing so one will remember Krsna at the time of death too and will go back to Godhead.

Thank you,

your servant
Harish, 11th May 2013

A related answer from Srila Gurudeva.
Jai Srila Gurudeva…

All glories unto You.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

15 January 2008
in New Dwarka, Los Angeles, California

A question I am often asked by devotees who are working jobs is “How do I remain Krishna conscious while I am in the material atmosphere of non-devotees at my job?”

The answer is that we should always see Krishna as the proprietor of everything and thus engage everything in His service. As long we consider ourselves to be the proprietors of anything within this material world we are setting ourselves up for being contaminated and bewildered by the influence of the Lord’s illusory energy. The key to always remaining in ecstatic Krishna consciousness is to always remain in the mood of service. In other words we have to always remain careful not to get carried away by the spirit of enjoyment that since I am working this job, this money belongs to me and I can spend it in any way I want for my enjoyment. As soon as we start thinking that we are the proprietors, immediately we lose our Krishna consciousness and our transcendental happiness goes away. But by always remembering that Krishna is the proprietor and engaging everything in His service, we can always feel great satisfaction within our hearts at every minute in all varieties of circumstances.

Another important point is that in the association of non-devotees we should never feel that we have to be like them. Rather we should conduct ourselves in such a way that they would like to become like us. This is known as leading by example. In all spheres of activity devotees are meant to be the leaders, who can guide everyone how to live perfect lives full of peace and happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Divyapriya M, 13th May 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

I got reminded of a similar question asked to a senior devotee very recently at my local temple, and here is what the devotee replied, “Suppose you are in real need of money and someone says they have a lakh rupees and he is ready to give it away to you for free. No loan, no interest, nothing. Just free. You can simply go to his house and collect it. But however, he tells that and leaves. He leaves without mentioning his house address from where you can collect the cash. So, what will you do? Somehow or the other, hook or crook, day or night, you will gather all your contacts, and find his house address and go and collect the money, right? This is exactly the craving we should have for finishing this birth and going to Krishna. If you are determined, come what may, you will manage your daily affairs. Definitely, you will manage.”

Also, one other time, I remember HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami Maharaja mentioning something similar to this. He was giving the example of how in different stages of even our material lives, we are so obsessed with so many things and we work so very hard to obtain them. For example, when I was in high school, I had such an hectic schedule. School from morning 8 am to 4 pm and tuitions till 8:30 pm, and then had to come back home and study. So, typically, at least in the Indian education system, any diligent ambitious high school kid would work hard like anything to get into a premier university. Same in other phases of life. We have so many competitive exams like GMAT and CAT where people work like so so so hard to win over others by meager percentiles. They know it is very hard. For example, one of the competitive exams has around 8 lakh students appearing every year for just 3000 seats!! The candidates themselves know it is humanly impossible for everyone to get through, still they endeavor so hard!

Now, relating this to Krishna consciousness, ours comes with so much mercy! If only, even one day, we do diligent sadhana, our Guru and thereby Krishna get so pleased that They are ready to do anything for us. Compare this with the material exam obsession where you almost lose everything even when you sit back for a week
because you were genuinely ill. When the materialists are ready to put in so much effort on something they know for sure cannot be grabbed by everyone, and everyone has so much confidence that he/she WILL fall under the 3,000/8Lakh margin, and that too for a material education that would go away in a *bleep* (Gurudev style :D),
why can’t we struggle a little bit for something we know, for sure, will happen, and will stay with us eternally, given the most authentic words of Guru, sadhu and sastra? At least as neophytes, it is sure that we struggle, because we are not yet completely out of our material ambitions and a related schedule. But if we can remember the importance and dire need for Krishna consciousness in our lives, through the association of devotees, my intellect says it must be possible.

One devotee once told that, as devotees, sometimes, we do not have enough faith in Krishna as the materialists have in Maya. I’m also telling this to myself, but I’m very convinced that if only I always remember that, and feel inspired by how the materialists work hard (in a positive way, to work for Krishna), I can definitely work that extra bit and place myself safely in good sadhana and service, despite all my personal responsibilities and commitments (also given that I do not keep adding material commitments just because I will anyway somehow manage both).

I pray that I remember this and am always ready to work hard with a positive obsession for Krishna consciousness.

your servant,

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