Descartes did not understand Consciousness

Many believe that animals and other species in other bodies outside of humans are not souls, that they are mere automations. The misunderstanding can be traced back at least to Descartes’ “cogito ergo sum”, where he sadly misunderstood something very important…

René Descartes was a great thinker, an eminent Christian scholar, and his thoughts have arguably shaped the foundations of Christianity.

Unfortunately, he got at least one basic thing wrong, “cogito ergo sum” – translated as “I think, therefore I am”. This statement shows Descartes’ ignorance. Consciousness is not dependent on “thinking”.

Consciousness is the fundamental symptom of life – all living entities have lower or higher consciousness, some can think at a more advanced level based on how evolved their consciousness is, and some at a less advanced level.

Who am I to be criticizing the great Descartes? Yes. I must admit that I am not even a tiny fraction of that mighty thinker. I am just a little recovering atheist. But my knowledge, that is not mine, it is not original. I am not speaking on anything that I have come up with myself, but relying on the words of God Himself. The Bhagavad Gita is quite literally “The Song of God”. I rely on the Bhagavad Gita. But there are way too many mis-translations and misinterpretations of this Divine Book unfortunately, which have been written by speculators with a poor fund of knowledge.

So I rely on the great Acharyas, teachers who received this knowledge in disciplic succession from God. If I threw a mango from the top of a tree to the ground, it would smash, and become unfit to consume, but if I organized a chain of people from the topmost branch of the mango tree to the ground, with ladders and so on, as needed, then the mango could make it safely into my hands.

In the disciplic succession, Parampara, each person in the chain acts as an honest messenger – they repeat everything exactly in line with what their predecessor did, without any addition or subtraction – and you can verify what they said by checking up on what their spiritual master said. So, even if a particular link in the chain may be accepted as ordinary (though none of them can actually be ordinary, that is a matter for another day), still, the message is pristine and perfect.

So I rely on the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is 32nd (from Krishna, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead), 28th(from Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa, the Literary Incarnation of Krishna), or 11th(Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna Himself, appearing as His devotee to show us how to be one) link in the chain originating from God Himself. And even though I have not met Srila Prabhupada personally, I am a disciple of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari, who is a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada, which makes my spiritual master 33rd, 29th, or 12th in line from God Himself. Not only my own spiritual master, but I have benefited from the thousands of disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and I have benefited from many other souls who are in other branches of the same tree of disciplic succession, going back at least 5,000 and 500 years. However, the knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita has been extant in civilized society in our Universe for at least 40 Million years. However, as the Universe is 114 Trillion years old, this knowledge is that ancient in this Universe.

However, as this Universe is just like a flash in the pan, a proverbial flash of lightning in the fabric of eternity, this knowledge is actually eternal.

The fact that my knowledge is not “original” but is coming from a long line of teachers originating from God Himself, that is my only strength. On the purity, strength, and intelligence of these great souls, I dare say Descartes is wrong.

A crude example is that a small child may say 2+2=4, not know how that is so, but it does not change the fact that the child is right. The child heard this from someone who does understand numbers and addition, so on the strength of that person’s knowledge, the child is right.

Or let’s take the example of a normal person, perfectly capable when sober, but when they are intoxicated, they are no better than an animal, at least temporarily. If another man were to kill the drunken person, would that not count as murder? So even a short-term mental disability is not grounds for ny mistreatment.

Now take for example two sons of the same father. One, the elder, is strong, intelligent, and capable… the other, younger, let’s say, for the purpose of this example, a whimpering idiot, cannot learn anything, cannot do much, and cannot, for the life of him, stand up to his brother. Comparing

If the capable boy were to propose to the father that they kill the retarded younger son, because, he might say, let’s face it, he’s no better than an animal, would the father agree? Even if the father agreed with the elder son’s assessment of the younger brother, still, he would not allow the younger son to be killed, even with his long-term disability.

On the streets of various cities in the world, I have personally met many drunk or drugged humans, and to be honest, they are actually lower than some animals!

Animals are no less than the mentally challenged human, whether long-term or short-term. They are spirit souls encaged in a body and mind that don’t permit higher consciousness, not very difficult from a drunk or drugged human. But this conflation of thinking with the presence or absence of a soul has caused a grave injustice in this world.

If only Descartes was fortunate enough to receive instruction from the Song of God!

सर्वयोनिषु कौन्तेय मूर्तय: सम्भवन्ति या: ।
तासां ब्रह्म महद्योनिरहं बीजप्रद: पिता ॥ ४ ॥

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/14/4/

Descartes’ grave error has encouraged the Christians around the world to commit murder with impunity. They interpret the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” as “Thou shalt not kill another human unnecessarily”. This is leading hosts of Christians into endless lifetimes of suffering birth, death, old age, and disease, being born as animals repeatedly, only to be mercilessly slaughtered.

In modern times there is really no excuse for eating meat. Fruits, Roots, Nuts, Vegetables, Grains are abundantly available and milk products obtained from Ahimsa farms can be made available too.

Christians and others who follow any kind of spiritual tradition need to rise above the sad ignorance of Descartes and stop eating meat unless it were a matter of life and death, because Meat is not for spiritualists, meat is for animals, even if the animals happen to be in human form.

Read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is today, and be a better Christian, Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, or Jain or any other type of spiritualist. Do you need a copy?

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

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

Radha, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

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

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Filip Misic, 13 June 2018

Mother Radha,

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

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

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

your servant, Filip

Bhakta Sunil, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna Mataji

Please accept my humble respects

Jaya Srila Gurudeva! Jaya Prabhupada

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

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

Answers According to Vedic Knowledge

Question: Overcoming Distractions and Laziness?

— dated 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

All glories to You and Gurumataji

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

I am begging for Your guidance. 

Your student

Answer: Beg Krishna to Help You

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

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

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

Vishal

Answer: Prioritize Krishna

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answer based on Vedic knowledge :

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

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

Your servant,

Avinash G.

Jai Shree Krishna

Answer: To Test Our Genuineness

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Hope this helps

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Radha, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

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

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 14 June 2018

Dear Mother Radha,

Hare Krishna!

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Radha, 14 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

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

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 19 June 2018

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

Visvanath das, 21 June 2018

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva,

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

Thank you all for helping my KC.

your servant,

Visvanath das

Darryl E., 21 June 2018

Is this mail group also called the Bhagavata Online Academy?

Darryl H. Eschete

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21 June 2018

Hare Krishna!

Thank you!

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

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

Bhagavata Online Academy

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

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

Quote from Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.28 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Darryl E., 21 June 2018

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

Darryl E.

Radha, 24 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

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

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

Hare Krishna

Radha

Satish kumar, 25 June 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhu!

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

I hope this will help you in reaching your perfection.

Haribol

God brother

Satish kumar

Radha, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

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

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Paramhamsa das, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

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

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

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

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

your servant, 

Paramhamsa das. 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 June 2018

Mataji,

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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

A cut from above

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

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

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

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

A knife, but an instrument…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Queen Kunti, one of the greatest saints of all time

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

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

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat tatra tatra jagad-guro

bhavato darśanaṁ yat syād apunar bhava-darśanam

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

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

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

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

mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ

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

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

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

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।

सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ २९ ॥

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram

suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

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

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

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

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

Bhaktin Suzanne

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear Devotees,

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

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

I have a question.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bhaktin Suzanne

Naren Tippavajjula, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Dear devotee Suzanne

The meaning of :

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati

tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

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

Even water is underground

It doesn’t mean anything specific.

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

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

This is the meaning in this verse

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

Thank you

Naren Tippavajjula

Shridhar Das, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisance,

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Srila Prabhupada now is very staunchly declaring in his magnanimity:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant

Shridhar das

Brajanath Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna Suzanne Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are supposed to be essence seekers.

I hope that helps.

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear One,

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

Thank you.

Devotee Suzanne

Rasika Krishna Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please see below excerpt from Sri Valmiki Ramayan:

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

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Thank you to all devotees responding to my question.

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

your servant,

Bhaktin Suzanne

Shridhar Das, 23 June 2019

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

Few more examples:

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

Another pastime:

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

your servant

Shridhar das

Naren Tippavajjula, 23rd June 2019

Hare Krishna

There is another verse from purusha suktam

antar bahischa tatsarvam vyapya narayanastitaha

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

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

Satvik food

Rajasik food

Tamasik food

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

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

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

Thank you for your valuable questions

Naren Tippavajjula

Suryakant Vibhandik, 25 June 2019

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

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

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

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

Phalam is to offer the results of our activities.

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

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

Bhakta Sunil, 25 June 2019

Hare Krishna

would like to add a speck to the wonderful answers,

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

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das, 25 June 2019

Dear Mother Suzanne,

Hare Krishna!

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

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

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

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

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

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhaktin Suzanne, 28 June 2019

Thank you for your response.

Hare Krishna

Bhaktin Suzanne

J. Austin Tomlinson, 28 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Krishna will also accept stems and roots.

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

J. Austin Tomlinson

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Eating Meat is not for Spiritualists

Many aspiring spiritualists, while trying to pursue a spiritual path, also consume meat, yes, from slaughtered creatures.

यातयामं गतरसं पूति पर्युषितं च यत् ।
उच्छिष्टमपि चामेध्यं भोजनं तामसप्रियम् ॥ १० ॥

yāta-yāmaṁ gata-rasaṁ
pūti paryuṣitaṁ ca yat
ucchiṣṭam api cāmedhyaṁ
bhojanaṁ tāmasa-priyam

Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness. BG 17.10

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/17/10/

Leaders of many spiritual traditions choose to turn a blind eye, giving in to “give them what they want”, instead of “teach them what they need”.

For example, one of the Commandments in the Bible states “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. It’s clear as daylight, “Not Kill”. But many church leaders, eager to fill up their churches and their coffers with the money of those addicted to meat and blood, interpret that as “Thou Shalt Not Murder”, in other words, it’s ok to slaughter those poor cows. We can’t blame business-people for wanting to maximize their profits at all costs, but are these religious leaders genuinely spiritual?

Whatever happened to “As you sow, so shall you reap”? Inflict all that horror and cruelty upon another sentient being and expect peace and enlightenment in return?

A good friend told me “its not what goes inside that defiles a man, but what comes out”. So, let’s think about that for a moment. One regulatory definition of meat is as follows ” the carcass of a food animal, the blood of a food animal, or a product or by-product of its carcass.”

Eating “carcass”, “blood”, or a product or by-product of “carcass and/or blood” makes you all spiritually surcharged does it?


It is only through brute mentality that this killing goes on. The civilized method of obtaining needed fat is by milk. Slaughter is the way of subhumans. Protein is amply available through split peas, dāl, whole wheat, etc.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada BG 17.10 Purport

Anyone who wants to pursue spiritual advancement, needs to stay away from this bloodthirsty behaviour. Regardless of which spiritual tradition someone follows, it is possible to follow that tradition without the consumption of meat.

It wasn’t long ago, that certain peoples, nations, races, were not seen as human, yes, even just a few decades ago. But today, that is seen as backward and barbaric. It is envy of others that causes such callousness. “Let him die so I may live”.

I look forward to the day when eating meat from slaughtered birds, animals, and insects is seen as something reserved for other carnivorous creatures who have no choice, no intelligence, and certainly no ability to progress spiritually.

In the meantime, I pray this prayer, following in the footsteps of the great boy saint Prahlada:


स्वस्त्यस्तु विश्वस्य खल: प्रसीदतां
ध्यायन्तु भूतानि शिवं मिथो धिया ।
मनश्च भद्रं भजतादधोक्षजे
आवेश्यतां नो मतिरप्यहैतुकी ॥ ९ ॥
svasty astu viśvasya khalaḥ prasīdatāṁ
dhyāyantu bhūtāni śivaṁ mitho dhiyā
manaś ca bhadraṁ bhajatād adhokṣaje
āveśyatāṁ no matir apy ahaitukī


May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other’s welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/18/9/

“all envious persons may undergo a change of heart and think of the welfare of others.”

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, SB 5.18.9 Purport

Check out this book, A Higher Taste. If you want to, then follow your own spiritual tradition, omit bloodthirst, feel your own advancement, help others advance too. Need resources? Contact me.

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