People must care for people

Spiritual organizations are great. But personal care to a soul can only be given by another soul. Individuals must take care of individuals, regardless of any organizational systems in place…

Are you on the spiritual journey? Maybe you even belong to some spiritual organization? A church? A mosque? A temple? Some other spiritual society or religious association?

Do you have people around you on your path? You need to take care of them, you can’t expect your organization to. Why is that?

Have you ever read a scripture or spiritual text from any tradition where individuals were not directly mentioned? Was there ever an organizational body that interacted in a touching way with an individual? There’s a reason for that! Organizations are good for building processes, providing infrastructure, and many other nice organizational things. But no organization can connect to a soul. A soul can connect to a soul though.

There is no doubt that organizations are very useful. They allow propagation of spiritual ideals in a systematic manner. While not all organizations are necessarily “ideal” though they may well be based on some lofty ideals, they make for effective vehicles to convey the vision, mission, and work intended.

Organizations are usually full of people, no? Yes, organizations do not, cannot, and ultimately will not take care of people in a personal way. Organizations are designed to take care of themselves, to self-propagate. This is necessary of course, because an organization that does not take care of itself usually disappears very quickly. Even when organizations try to take care of people, they do so only to protect or grow the organization itself. So does that mean organizations are evil?

While some organizations may indeed be evil, it is not necessarily evil for an organization to take care of itself. After all, if the organization does not remain, how on earth can it spread the purpose it came into being for?

The people within the organization, especially the ones in management positions often cannot see the individuals for who they are. So, what can be done about this?

Well, souls are uniquely enabled take care of other souls. Whether you are just a layperson in the organization or an office-bearer… don’t forget, you need to put aside your organizational/management hat and be a human to be able to take care of someone. To really take care of someone, you need to be on the pure spiritual platform, to see others as spirit souls, and not just theoretically.

After all, the ultimate purpose of the spiritual organization is to servr souls, but to do so in a personal, relatable way takes personal effort from individuals.

This may mean taking a phone call in the middle of the night, or attending bail hearings. It may mean organizing funerals or taking some meals for someone. It may mean offering a shoulder to cry on or a safe spot for someone to vent their anger. It may mean buying groceries for someone, or arranging to take someone to a doctor’s appointment. It may mean connecting souls to each other.

No matter how accomplished of a spiritual leader you may be, how enlightening or inspiring your talks might be – you need to take the time to individually care for people, really serve them in a personal way.

I remember that my spiritual master and mentors have given me that care. They went above and beyond organizational mandates and made time to help me at the level I was at. It made a BIG difference to me!

ye me bhakta-janāḥ pārtha na me bhaktāś ca te janāḥ

mad-bhaktānāṁ ca ye bhaktās te me bhakta-tamā matāḥ

“[Lord Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna:] ‘Those who are My direct devotees are actually not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My servant are factually My devotees.’

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/11/28/

My desire is to be a humble personal servitor of the people in my spiritual organization. I wish to establish personal relationships with them. Because, my organization, however amazing, certainly cannot and will not. Neither will yours. Yes, it is inconvenient to go out of your way, but if not you, then who?

Please be that ambassador of God and care for His souls. Individually and personally, just as God is taking care of you.

Misery begins when we endeavor for happiness… How?

Rao, 31st August 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!
All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to your devotional service!

Please help me to understand this quote with examples: “misery begins when we endeavor for happiness” .

your servant,
Rao

nuria.k, 31st August 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Do you mean material happiness?
aruni

Shreyas, 03 September 2015

Hare Krishna revered K.V Rao ji,
Please accept my humble obeisances and consider the below answer,
All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

I am sharing what I recently heard while hearing a lecture from His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, delivered on 9th Oct ’76, Aligarh, India (SB 1.2.5):

Solution:
When mind is engaged at the lotus feet of the Lord… As it is stated in the Śrīmad-Bha…, sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor (SB 9.4.18). When the mind is fixed up in the lotus feet of the Lord, then the words are used, the vibration of the tongue used… Vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane. Then the words are utilized for describing about the spiritual world. (coughs) The spiritual world is called Vaikuṇṭha. There is no kuṇṭha, anxiety. That is spiritual world. When you become spiritualized, brahma-bhutaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54), there is no more kuṇṭha. This is the sign of becoming brahma-bhūtaḥ. At the present moment we are jīva-bhūtaḥ. Manaḥ saṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati (BG 15.7). Therefore our struggle for existence is with the mind and the six senses. But when your existence is spiritualized, then brahma-bhūtaḥ, you have no more anxieties. That is the sign. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na… Prasannātmā means na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54).

Problem (here’s the answer):
We have got two diseases in the material world. One is śocati and the other is kāṅkṣati. The things which we haven’t got, we desire to possess, kāṅkṣati. And the things which we possess, it will be spoiled, it will be lost. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says that everything in this material world is temporary: smaro nityam anityatam. So when we engage our mind in these temporary things, that is śocana and akāṅkṣa. And when we are elevated to the spiritual platform, then there is no more śocana and akāṅkṣa. This is the symptom. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati, samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu (BG 18.54). At that time it is possible to re-establish samatā. We are very much anxious to re-establish our universal brotherhood, but from the material platform it is not possible. Unless we come to the platform of brahma-bhūtaḥ, we cannot expect samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). These things are there in the Bhagavad-gītā.

So there’s no harm to endeavour for happiness, as long as the source and sink is Krishna Himself. Devotional Service is satisfying upto the degree it is selfless and uninterrupted. So if my happiness is based on something other than Krishna (selfish), then that means I am putting myself in the position of “I am the enjoyer”. This naturally isolates me from Krishna whereas the natural state is we are all parts and parcels of Krishna (mamaivamso jiva loke jiva bhutah sanatanah). Misery enters here and as my spiritual master states the word misery comes from the word miser. Examples are common. My phone gets lost or cracked I feel depressed and next day I blame Krishna for it and then I feel disinclined towards chanting my 16 rounds or instead of dancing with devotees in a kirtan or arati I remain spaced out. Or maybe skip the program too. This is because my happiness was based on that phone/car/person/job/glorification, etc. and whenever I wanted to feel happy, I depended on them.

And if Krishna is my source of happiness then I would have thanked that at least my bhakti is not lost or stolen.

Of course, it’s a matter of practice as we are daily doing but as we keep getting attached to derive happiness from Krishna, misery is reduced to that degree because we are being servants not misers. It’s all about channelizing our endeavours. We can rather hanker/lament for pushing forward the movement of Srila Prabhupada than for getting promoted in a job or getting a better salary, car or material circumstances.

However, the topmost state is when our only desire is to please guru, vaishnava and Krishna. Then our only misery is how can I please them and this misery is rather source of happiness at the same time, strengthening our Krishna Consciousness.

The Thought of the day at www.backtohome.com from Sept 1 2015, stating –

“If you are not tasting unlimited bliss at every moment, you are doing something wrong because to be constantly relishing unlimited nectar is your natural constitutional position”

helps a lot as a barometer.

Other thoughts at http://www.backtohome.com from Aug 28, Aug 22 2015 and other days are also good on misery/anxiety.

your servant
Bhakta Shreyas

Bhakta Sunil, 03 September 2015

Great answer Shreyas Prabhu

 

Shivani Saxena, 05th September, 2015

Very delightful representation Shreyas Prabhu.

Shivani

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 10th September 2015

Dear Bhakta Rao,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you for your really insightful questions. In addition to the delightful answer by Shreyas, here is something from Srimad Bhagavatam, part of several verses from Prahlada Maharaja, speaking directly to Sri Narasihmadeva, along with translation and very apt purport by Srila Prabhupada…

(BTW, that entire chapter, SB 7.9 is highly nectarean, among my favorite sections from the Bhagavatam)

SB 7.9.20: “O great one, O Supreme Lord, because of combination with pleasing and displeasing circumstances and because of separation from them, one is placed in a most regrettable position, within heavenly or hellish planets, as if burning in a fire of lamentation. Although there are many remedies by which to get out of miserable life, any such remedies in the material world are more miserable than the miseries themselves. Therefore I think that the only remedy is to engage in Your service. Kindly instruct me in such service. ”

SB 7.9.24 “My dear Lord, now I have complete experience concerning the worldly opulence, mystic power, longevity and other material pleasures enjoyed by all living entities, from Lord Brahmā down to the ant. As powerful time, You destroy them all. Therefore, because of my experience, I do not wish to possess them. My dear Lord, I request You to place me in touch with Your pure devotee and let me serve him as a sincere servant. ”

SB 7.9.25

kutrāśiṣaḥ śruti-sukhā mṛgatṛṣṇi-rūpāḥ
kvedaṁ kalevaram aśeṣa-rujāṁ virohaḥ
nirvidyate na tu jano yad apīti vidvān
kāmānalaṁ madhu-lavaiḥ śamayan durāpaiḥ

Translation:
In this material world, every living entity desires some future happiness, which is exactly like a mirage in the desert. Where is water in the desert, or, in other words, where is happiness in this material world? As for this body, what is its value? It is merely a source of various diseases. The so-called philosophers, scientists and politicians know this very well, but nonetheless they aspire for temporary happiness. Happiness is very difficult to obtain, but because they are unable to control their senses, they run after the so-called happiness of the material world and never come to the right conclusion.
Purport:
There is a song in the Bengali language which states, “I constructed this home for happiness, but unfortunately there was a fire, and everything has now been burnt to ashes.” This illustrates the nature of material happiness. Everyone knows it, but nonetheless one plans to hear or think something very pleasing. Unfortunately, all of one’s plans are annihilated in due course of time. There were many politicians who planned empires, supremacy and control of the world, but in due time all their plans and empires — and even the politicians themselves — were vanquished. Everyone should take lessons from Prahlāda Mahārāja about how we are engaged in so-called temporary happiness through bodily exercises for sense enjoyment. All of us repeatedly make plans, which are all repeatedly frustrated. Therefore one should stop such planmaking.

As one cannot stop a blazing fire by constantly pouring ghee upon it, one cannot satisfy oneself by increasing plans for sense enjoyment. The blazing fire is bhava-mahā-dāvāgni, the forest fire of material existence. This forest fire occurs automatically, without endeavor. We want to be happy in the material world, but this will never be possible; we shall simply increase the blazing fire of desires. Our desires cannot be satisfied by illusory thoughts and plans; rather, we have to follow the instructions of Lord Kṛṣṇa: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. Then we shall be happy. Otherwise, in the name of happiness, we shall continue to suffer miserable conditions.

I hope this helps!

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

 

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Should we worship the Demigods for Material Gains?

Manmohan, 19th January 2012

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu
 Please Accept My Humble Obeisances
 I have one query…
 We should worship Krishna for Spritual gains only can we pray the demigods for material benefits…
 What one should do if he is in needs of money to maintain his material and spiritual life…
 Manmohan.

Mahabhagavat Das, 26th January 2012

Dear Bhakta Manmohan,
Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Good question! Understandable also why someone may ask this question.
The demigods are to be respected, never disrespected, but there is no need to worship them for any reason whatsoever, especially if one is in devotional service. They are like the individual government servants – what is it called when someone pays a policeman or government official to expedite some job for them? It is called bribery, corruption, etc.
It is not unreasonable to desire facility for spiritual life, BUT, for a devotee, there is no such thing as material life. Even though a devotee may appear to be doing the same things as a materialist, and externally appears to have the same outcomes, the consciousness of the devotee is different – the results are offered back up to Krishna always. The home is a temple, free time is opportunity to learn more, read more, teach more, chant more, serve more, no material sense gratification involved, even subtly. Of course, this is the goal, in our neophyte stage we may not always be 100% spiritual in focus, but we should certainly try and remind ourselves. In this connection, I learned a lesson today from my wife. She is away in South Africa caring for her father who is ill, and supporting her mother and brother with spiritual strength. She said today to me in a phone call “I was thinking that I hadn’t remembered Krishna for 15 minutes, or 30 minutes, so it was time to remember something about Him now”. So she is trying very hard even though it may get difficult sometimes. I will seek to emulate that exemplary behavior.

Krishna says this in the Bhagavad Gita:
kāńkṣantaḥ karmaṇāḿ siddhiḿ
yajanta iha devatāḥ
kṣipraḿ hi mānuṣe loke
siddhir bhavati karma-jā

Men in this world desire success in fruitive activities, and therefore they worship the demigods. Quickly, of course, men get results from fruitive work in this world. BG 4.12
Please read the purport, Srila Prabhupada writes strongly.
kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ
prapadyante ‘nya-devatāḥ
taḿ taḿ 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. BG 7.20
Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport (I have made some portions *bold* for emphasis):
Those who are freed from all material contaminations surrender unto the Supreme Lord and engage in His devotional service. As long as the material contamination is not completely washed off, they are by nature nondevotees. *But even those who have material desires and who resort to the Supreme Lord are not so much attracted by external nature; because of approaching the right goal, they soon become free from all material lust. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is recommended that whether one is a pure devotee and is free from all material desires, or is full of material desires, or desires liberation from material contamination, he should in all cases surrender to Vāsudeva and worship Him.*
As stated in the Bhāgavatam (2.3.10):
akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā
mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

yajeta puruṣaḿ param
Less intelligent people who have lost their spiritual sense take shelter of demigods for immediate fulfillment of material desires. Generally, such people do not go to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because they are in the lower modes of nature (ignorance and passion) and therefore worship various demigods. Following the rules and regulations of worship, they are satisfied. *The worshipers of demigods are motivated by small desires and do not know how to reach the supreme goal, but a devotee of the Supreme Lord is not misguided. Because in Vedic literature there are recommendations for worshiping different gods for different purposes (e.g., a diseased man is recommended to worship the sun), those who are not devotees of the Lord think that for certain purposes demigods are better than the Supreme Lord.* But a pure devotee knows that the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa is the master of all. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi 5.142) it is said, ekaleīśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya: only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is master, and all others are servants. Therefore a pure devotee never goes to demigods for satisfaction of his material needs. He depends on the Supreme Lord. And the pure devotee is satisfied with whatever He gives.”
Therefore, simply depending on Krishna for everything is the best policy, even if we are not yet pure devotees…
Please let us know if there is any doubt. Bringing a doubt up against the light of the scripture extinguishes the doubt, just as light finishes darkness.
Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhavani devi dasi (SDA), 26th January 2012

Hare Krsna,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga
 
Thank you Mahabhagavat Prabhu for such a comprehensive answer to this most important question, that arises many times during discussions.  I greatly appreciate all the illuminating questions and answers here and want to thank everyone for their interaction.  Thank you.  Hare Krsna!  All glories to our beloved Srila Gurudeva.
Your servant,
Bhavani devi dasi (SDA)

Manmohan, 27th January 2012

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu
 Please accept my humble  obeisances
 bahot dhanyavad prabhu  ( Thank you very much Prabhu ) …
 Infact I was given a mantra by someone and i started chanting that…. but i was not feeling good from within and stopped chanting that mantra….
 Things are very clear now…
 Dandavat..
 Your Servant
 Manmohan

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 January 2012

Very good Manmoham Prabhu, Hare Krishna Mahamantra includes all the Vedic mantras inside it, and by chanting you are in touch with the Boss of bosses of CEOs  of cosmic administration. 🙂 “krishna bhakti kaile sarva karma krita hoy” – Devotional service includes the benefits of all the other services.
Nothing else is necessary.

Premal, 05th February 2012

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
All glories to Swami Prabhupada
Please accept my humble obeisances
Prabhuji would impersonal liberation for people who want and worship different ways not knowing Krishna is the goal.

Example Jains,Buddha they think we ourselves are capable of God.
Are they lower than demigods worshippers?
Similarly nowadays Christians and Muslims and the Jews also feel differently like Christians have changed the scripture and the old scripture is not practised lately these people also are lower than the worshippers of demigods?
Jews I am not aware of their religion and Muslims have also majority now eat meat and worship impersonal Allah newly created by the people are they lower than demigod worshipers?
Ys servant
Premal

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 06th February 2012

Hare Krishna Premal Prabhu,
Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
As far as I understand, both the Jain and Buddhist traditions are impersonalist and voidist. But both of them are skilful ways to elevate persons gradually. For example, Srila Gurudeva often says in his lectures that Buddha, he played a trick. He attracted those who did not want to follow God, but he tricked them into following Him, an incarnation of God, so a little bit, their atheism was replaced by some little bit of faith.
Anyone who thinks that oneself is capable of being God, is in actuality, an atheist. This is according to Srila Prabhupada. We pray to him as someone who came to vanquish this nonsense “nirvishesha shunyavaadi” concepts.
Still, Srila Prabhupada respects the impersonalists also as transcendentalists, because at least they are above the level of animals in human form… even all genuine impersonalists strictly follow the 4 regulative principles of human life.
There is no point discussing too much who likes impersonal liberation, etc., it is sufficient for us to know that many of the demons who are killed by Krishna get impersonal liberation. So what is the value of this impersonal liberation if a demon can get it simply by being killed by Krishna? So why should I meditate and so on just to get the same destination as the demons liberated by Krishna? I have demoniac tendencies but I am not a demon by the mercy of Srila Gurudeva. So I shall simply serve Krishna and His devotees sincerely without worrying about ANY kind of liberation. One who serves 100% dedicated is factually liberated.
You have mixed some concepts…
The original teachings of Lord Jesus Christ are in line with the principles of pure Bhakti. Lord Jesus Christ is a pure devotee of Krishna. If someone has changed, that is their problem, not the problem with the faith as taught by Lord Jesus Christ. If someone is claiming to be following Lord Jesus Christ and is eating meat, as discussed on another thread, then they are simply still in the cycle of karma – karma chakra. They are simply getting good and bad reactions according to their activities, sometimes born as humans, then as animals until they exhaust their karmic debts to the souls they inconvenienced, plus any special treatments from Yamaraja’s department.
The Qu’ran teaches that God is a person, but the so-called scholars who claims that Allah is impersonal are not very well-versed with their own scripture. See this statement by Srila Gurudeva, answer to a question by a Muslim person “Why do you worship the form of God in the temple when God is formless?”
Srila Gurudeva wrote on 25th January 2012:
“If a Muslim asks such a question, he is not learned in his own scripture, the Qur’an clearly states as follows::
Wa lillaahil – Mashriqu wal-Magrib: Fa- ‘aynamaa
tu-walluu fa-samma Wajhul-laah
“To Allah belong the East and the West, and wherever you turn there is Allah’s face.”
–Qur’an 2.115
That Allah or God has a face means that He has a form because someone who is formless must also be faceless. God’s form-possessing nature is also confirmed in the Bible and in the Vedic scriptures.
Besides a wealth of scriptural evidence establishing that God has a form, we can also understand through logic that God must have a form. The logic is very simple: We cannot exceed God in any way. Therefore we cannot possess something that He does not possess. It’s not that we can have a form and He cannot. He must also have form. The difference is that His form is unlimited while our forms are limited. His form is the source of everything, and our forms come from His form.”
As to whether someone is lower or higher, we should know that everything other than Pure Bhakti, is “lower” and we should strive to raise ourselves to the platform of Pure Unmotivated Bhakti to Krishna in any of His names.
Hope this helps.
Questions for you, Bhakta Premal, in the spirit of helping you find answers to your own questions from inside, to be free from all doubts:

1. Are you chanting a minimum of 16 rounds per day of Hare Krishna Mahamantra? If not, what is your plan to get there?
2. Are you reading Srila Prabhupada’s books for minimum 30 minutes a day? If not, when can you start?
3. Are you following the 4 regulative principles of freedom? This is personal question for you, answer honestly in your heart.
4. Are you taking only Krishna Prasadam? If not, what is your plan to get there?

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
 
Premal, 07th February 2012

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
All glories to Swami Prabhupada
Please accept my humble obeisances
Prabhuji as you mentioned atheist is a person who thinks he can become god .
But does not impersonal and voidist claim to be becoming god these paths prabhuji are teachings to become god?
Ys servant
Premal

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 07th February 2012

Hare Krishna Premal Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
There is a subtle difference between impersonalism and voidism. Impersonalism means God is just energy, and to merge into that energy and lose our individuality.
Voidism means there is nothing, they claim that we think that something exists because we are in illusion, they want to make everything zero, become zero, end everything by becoming null, nil, void.
Both impersonalists and voidists, if they are even somewhat pious, can be rescued by Krishna consciousness from their ocean of ignorance.
So, are you asking these questions theoretically or do you have some impersonalists and voidists whom you want to attract to Krishna Bhakti? Every question, in order to personally realize the answer, must be followed by some action, to implement the answer. What is your action following these questions?
Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Premal, 07th February 2012

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
All glories to Swami Prabhupada
Please accept my humble obeisances
Prabhuji my actions are when impersonal path people take I was confused as impersonal was to merge with Krishna or the schools which say there is impersonal energy and they do not mention it as Krishna impersonal energy but just a formless energy and we can become god.
So the confusion was like this in my mind.
Ys servant
Premal